• Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors

Quants 19 Verbal 19- need direction

This topic has 7 expert replies and 18 member replies
Goto page
  • 1,
  • 2
Next
nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members

Quants 19 Verbal 19- need direction

Post Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:37 pm
Hey guys,

So after taking a gmat class that mainly focused on advanced questions on the gmat, and did not emphasize on basics at all (my instructor told me basics are not needed and for me to know math shortcut tricks rather than working out problems), I ended up with a 340 on my GMAT prep practice test. The break down was a 19 quants and 19 verbal. After seeing my horrible score, I hired a tutor, picked up kaplan math work book and kaplan verbal work book. Along with those, I bought the GMAT official quantitive review and verbal review ( as I already completed the official guide questions before I wrote the practice test).

Now I study every day, 4 RC, 10 CR, 20 SC, 10 PS 5 DS.

My question to you all is how do I improve my score. I feel like I often need to review and go over the questions I completed in the same week. Is there a specific study plan you guys use? And what study materials should I use? I am writing the exam next month in July 2016 so don't have that much time.

Thanks,

Nadine

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
Post Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:27 pm
Hi Nadine,

From what you've described, it sounds like you're attempting a certain number of practice questions each day, but that doesn't define a specific study plan. Depending on your score goals, you'll need to get into a certain 'routine' in your studies that emphasizes learning the content and necessary Tactics.

1) How long have you studied?
2) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:30 am
Hi Rich,

First off thanks for the reply.

Second, I have been studying for the GMAT for 4 months now.

Here's a quick background: I first started to learn my basics from khan academy and IXL, and then enrolled into the GMAT course, which focused on just the quantity of the questions and not enough time for understanding them. I forgot my recognition skills for question types after this, and whatever I studied in my basics. I believe I wasted my OG 2016 questions by doing this method, and only retained information for me to get a 340 on the practice test (GMAC practice test so it's pretty representative of the score I'll get in the real exam).

May 21rst- 340 score 19 verbal 19 quants

May 22nd- tutoring and starting off with the basics.

Now will answer your questions in order Smile

1) May 22nd to now - you can say I officially have been studying for a month or 4 weeks
2) I only did one practice exam which was the GMAC practice prep test - where do I get other CAT's and how frequently should I be testing?
3) My score goal is 550- 600 ( don't want to be too unrealistic coming from a 340)
4) I'm planning on taking the exam on July 23rd 2016
5) I have already started my application for September 2016- GMAT score is the final component

Thank you for taking your time out to reply

N

Post Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:29 am
Hi Nadine,

With a score goal of 550+, you would have to raise this initial score over 200 points. While your overall score goal is achievable, a Test Date on July 23rd gives you just over 5 weeks of study time - and that is likely not going to be enough time for you to study and improve that much. As such, you should consider moving back your Test Date so that you have more study time.

Since you took your last CAT almost 4 weeks ago, you should plan to take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) sometime soon. That score will help to define how well your current studies are going and what adjustments should be made to your study plan. Once you have that score, you should report back here. The original download from GMAC came with 2 CATs, so you can either use that second one or take a CAT from one of a variety of other sources (MGMAT, Kaplan, Veritas).

1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:56 am
Hey Rich,

I plan on taking my cat exam this week- will definitely post the results here. I agree with you on pushing my date back but then I will be applying for September 2017 (that's not something initially I wanted to do- but if that can give me a better score then sure).

The schools I plan on applying to are:

1) Degroote School of business (Mcmaster) - my first choice because of coop
2) Schulich school of business (York university) IMBA program
3) Laurier school of business MBA coop program

Another question I wanted to ask was: how do you increase recognizing problem sets- so I don't spend all this time reviewing over material again and can still recognize what to do with them when I see them.

Nadine

Post Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:50 pm
Hi Nadine,

Here's something to keep in mind when you take your CATs - with your score goal, you don't have to get ANY of the 'hard/weird' questions correct. So when you come across something that you think is too tough, you should dump that question immediately (take a quick guess and move on). If you can correctly answer enough of the 'gettable' questions, then you'll hit your goal (and by dumping the hard questions, you'll have more time to spend on those 'gettable' questions).

As far as learning how to recognize a question, remember that the GMAT is consistent - it tests the same concepts over and over, so when you work on a practice question, you should think about what OTHER questions it reminds you of (sometimes it's the wording, or the reference to a formula or how the answer choices are written). In that way, you can draw on your prior knowledge and skills to work through the question in a more efficient manner. As a simple, real-world example - when you're using a spoon, you don't have to think too hard about the 'mechanics' of using it - you've used other spoons before (even if they were bigger or smaller spoons) and you have that memory that helps you to efficiently use a new spoon that you've never seen before.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Top Member

Post Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:18 pm
nhyder wrote:
Another question I wanted to ask was: how do you increase recognizing problem sets- so I don't spend all this time reviewing over material again and can still recognize what to do with them when I see them.

Nadine
Hi Nadine.

From what you asked, it sounds as if your perception of the GMAT is too formulaic, as if, for instance, the GMAT quant section were a regular math test and so preparing for it would pretty much just take learning a bunch of formulas that you would then apply when taking the test.

While, yes, there are patterns to the questions that show up on the GMAT, the questions are unique in ways such that you can't just throw math that you learned at them and expect to get them right. You have to see the logic of the questions and selectively apply aspects of what you have learned in unique ways that relate to what is being asked.

If you fully understand the logic of the questions you see, you will tend to naturally go with methods that make sense. If you don't fully understand the logic, then likely you won't get the right answers even if you do basically recognize question types.

Here is my first question for you.

How long per question do you normally spend when you are practicing?

Your list of daily questions is fairly long and I wonder whether you are really giving each question the attention necessary for truly understanding how to get the correct answer, both before and after you look at the explanation. I mean often people doing practice questions spend ten minutes or more, on average, per question, and that's before even looking at the explanations. At even six minutes total per question, your daily routine would take around five hours, and actually given what you have to achieve, six minutes per question is probably not enough. I think that on some questions you could appropriately spend 20 minutes each before you even choose an answer.

You have to learn to see what's going on and figure out how to get an answer, and in the beginning doing that well can take a lot of time. For a reference point, you could consider the example of someone who is working with me currently. She scored 490 on a recent practice test and has a solid grasp of the fundamentals involved in getting answers, and yet she sometimes spends 20 to 30 minutes working through a practice question. Why? Because if you don't know how to do something, figuring that out the first time can take way longer than it will take once you have trained enough to quickly assess the situation and apply an effective method.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:40 pm
Hey guys,

I wrote my GMAT practice test and scored a 470. I'm still off from my goal though (550 is my goal for now). A 470 is way better than a 340 so I was happy about that but definitely need to improve. I got 15 wrong in the quantitive section out of 37 and 18 wrong in the verbal section out of 41 ( this is also because I guessed the last 10 questions as I had 10 minutes left- timing is what I really need to work on).

I am very grateful for all the advice you both have given, I feel like I definitely need to change how I view the GMAT. I feel like I was viewing the quantitive section as Marty described it being as. Not to mention I have been viewing the explainations and not giving myself ample time to properly attempt the questions (I'd say I complete a quants question in 5 min- and if I don't get it in that time frame I see the explainations). I have learnt I need to stay consistent like Rich said, and keep doing problem sets.

At the moment I routinely go over kaplan math work book questions. I have also ordered Jeff Sackman's Total GMAT Math, but I need direction on how to prepare in terms of scheduling that will also make sure I develop enough recognition skills for the day of the exam.

I got a 31 in quants and 23 in verbal with a 5 in IR

Nadine

Post Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:44 pm
Hi Nadine,

With this more recent score, you're in a far better position to hit your score goal than your initial CAT score implied, so your planned Test Date might just give you enough time to study and hit your score goal. As it stands, you're closer to a 550+ than you probably realize - so a detailed review of your work on this CAT is warranted. You've already defined the pacing 'issue' that you faced, but other than the questions at the end of each section, you did not define WHY you were getting the other questions wrong. Those details can help you to focus your studies over the next several weeks.

After reviewing this CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just didn't know how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Thanked by: nhyder

Top Member

Post Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:08 am
nhyder wrote:
I feel like I was viewing the quantitive section as Marty described it being as. Not to mention I have been viewing the explainations and not giving myself ample time to properly attempt the questions (I'd say I complete a quants question in 5 min- and if I don't get it in that time frame I see the explainations).
Hi Nadine.

The irony here is that much of what GMAT quant is actually testing is your skill in figuring out how to get answers. So in stopping after five minutes if you don't have the answer you are actually missing out on training yourself to do exactly what it is that you need to learn to do in order to score high on the test. While you won't have an hour per question when you are taking the test, as you practice you will naturally speed up as you get better at figuring out ways to get answers.

My, rarely broken, rule for myself is that I can only look at the explanation AFTER I have figured out the answer. In fact, if you don't know how to find an answer to a particular question, you can go look around the internet to find methods that you can apply and then come back to the question and answer it. Alternatively you can figure out a some crazy way to hack your way to the answer, or at least a way to estimate or something.

Also, one can experience emotional blocks when working on questions, and if you don't work all the way to the answers, you aren't dealing with those blocks and working your way through them.

Similarly in verbal, you need to spend time in order to learn to see what you need to see in order to get the right answers. At a certain point in one's preparation, looking at the explanations to verbal questions becomes almost useless. In fact I have seen people whose verbal scores just won't go up, as mostly what those people do is look at explanations, when actually what you have to do is learn to see, and an explanation won't really give you that skill. You have to develop it.

Quote:
I got 15 wrong in the quantitive section out of 37 and 18 wrong in the verbal section out of 41 ( this is also because I guessed the last 10 questions as I had 10 minutes left- timing is what I really need to work on).
From what you said it sounds as if had you spent 8 of those last 10 minutes doing 4 questions and the last two minutes guessing on the last 6, you might have gotten 3 or 4 more verbal questions right and scored 500 or higher.

Quote:
At the moment I routinely go over kaplan math work book questions. I have also ordered Jeff Sackman's Total GMAT Math, but I need direction on how to prepare in terms of scheduling that will also make sure I develop enough recognition skills for the day of the exam.
One way to accomplish this is the following. Go over this latest practice test, and after first figuring out how to answer all the questions you didn't get, analyse the questions to see what types are giving you the most trouble. Then focus on each type, one by one, until you get that type down. Then move onto the next type. In doing that you will both address exactly what you have to address in order to score higher and train yourself to think in terms of type, though I still feel that recognition is not quite what you seem to be making it out to be.

To go from 470 to 550, you have to get, roughly, about 8 to 10 more right answers. So if you learn to work a little more accurately, learn to see a little better in verbal and become an expert in handling certain types of quant questions, you should hit that interim 550 goal.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:22 am
Thank you Rich & Marty,

I haven't gone over my CAT test yet (will do that later on today). I will definitely report back here once I do. My main concern is my verbal score, I was confident that my verbal score would go up but really surprised it did not.

How do I train myself to to do well in the verbal section without looking at the explainations?

Thank you once again for the advice guys,

Nadine

Knitgeek Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
22 Apr 2016
Posted:
57 messages
Followed by:
7 members
Thanked:
9 times
Post Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:44 am
Hey Nadine,

If you need any moral support feel free to message me. I'm a fellow Canadian (west coast though) writing the same day as you!

To put in my two cents on the verbal section, I've found it helpful to spend a good chunk of time reviewing the questions I get wrong in practice. I go through each answer and take the time to reason through each answer as to why it's correct or not. Once I've got it clear in my head why/how the correct answer is correct then I look at the explanation to confirm my logic. The verbal portion of the test is really a test of details and logic and the more practice you get at applying both to the questions the faster you are going to get at coming the correct answer.

Becca

Top Member

Post Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:12 pm
nhyder wrote:
How do I train myself to to do well in the verbal section without looking at the explainations?
The point is not so much to avoid the explanations as to not expect the explanations to get you what you need in the end, which is to get good at seeing what you have to see and at applying logic to get to correct answers, as Becca said.

Really in the beginning each verbal question is a bit of a puzzle, one that may take you some time to solve at this point. For the most part, if you speak and understand English fairly well, there is nothing much that you have to learn, other than maybe a few dozen key sentence construction concepts, in terms of rules or concepts. So basically, scoring higher on verbal takes learning to get the answers by doing whatever it takes, and so look at the situation this way. Reading explanations does not teach YOU how to figure out what the answers are. Sure, you can learn things from the explanation, but the explanations will not show you, for instance, how to go over an RC passage to find just the right information for determining which answer is correct, or how to keep from getting sucked in by a trap answer to a CR question. You have to develop skill in order to do those things, and you have to get used to using solid, logical processes for working your way to answers.

How do you do that? By spending lots of time per question pondering how on Earth you will figure out which answer is correct. The first twenty times you do that you may spend a half hour per question, but as time goes on you will get good at figuring out which answer is correct in less and less time.

When you do questions, prove the wrong answers wrong and the right answers right, really seeing the logic of what's going on. In CR questions, for instance, maybe two or three answers seem possibly correct at first, but as you better understand each question generally you will see that really only one answer has any real validity, most of the time.

For an example, one person working with me takes a lot of time per verbal question at the moment, but wow has she learned to see what she has to see. I say that she is set, because once a person sees what she has to see, the project is mostly done. With more practice she will speed up and hit her target score.

Learn to see what you have to see, to apply logic and to get right answers most of the time, at any speed, and you will be set too.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

Thanked by: dayoajayi, nhyder
nhyder Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
16 Jun 2016
Posted:
10 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:16 am
Hey Becca and Marty,

Thanks for the reply. And for sure will keep in touch.

So far I haven't studied for 3 days (sister just had her first baby). But have been completing reading comprehension questions here and there. The reading with the logic and detail is taking time for me. Sometimes it's really demotivating. Do I just keep attempting the verbal section until I learn the logic of how to answer these verbal questions?

Nadine

Knitgeek Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
22 Apr 2016
Posted:
57 messages
Followed by:
7 members
Thanked:
9 times
Post Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:36 am
I'm not going to lie devoting the time to really logic your way through questions sucks at first. I had about a week and half when I first started the process where I was completely discouraged. I'm usually really strong in verbal content so when I found myself struggling a bit with the GMAT style questions it was really tough.

The good news is it does get better. I took a full length CAT in my second week of using really concentrated logic-it-out studying for my verbal and while I felt going in to the practice test there was no way I was going to do any better then my previous score my overall score jumped 150 points (500 to 650) and my verbal went up considerably (sorry I don't have my section scores in front of me, and granted I made big gains in that two week period in my quant as well).

On top of the score gains I started to find I was getting faster at grasping the logic of the verbal questions. It took me another week after my second practice CAT before I really recognized that I was gaining speed in my ability to answer RC and CR questions and I still have questions that trip me up but that crushing feeling of "I'm never going to get this" has passed.

I will say taking too long a break from studying I know is detrimental for my progress so it's a good thing to hear you are poking away at questions when you've got other things going on. I would also suggest making a habit of reading while you are studying. I know a lot of the experts will suggest it and personally taking a half hour a day to read has helped to get my brain back in to a state that is conducive to tackling the whole verbal portion of the test.

In the words of a certain blue fish: Just keep swimming Smile

Thanked by: dayoajayi, nhyder

Best Conversation Starters

1 lheiannie07 116 topics
2 ardz24 64 topics
3 swerve 63 topics
4 LUANDATO 62 topics
5 M7MBA 57 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

170 posts
2 image description EconomistGMATTutor

The Economist GMAT Tutor

129 posts
3 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

122 posts
4 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

121 posts
5 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

118 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts