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Struggling with Verbal...alot

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
bmierz86 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
02 Nov 2015
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Struggling with Verbal...alot

Post Sat May 06, 2017 9:11 am
Hi All,

I have been struggling with Verbal for a number of months now. I took MGMAT Class, Finished Empower 3 month. Based on these two I was able to jack my Quant score from low 30s to low/mid 40s. However, my Verbal score has remained in the 20s. It is weird because when i Do drills in the OG books for example or other sources I usually am at 70% correct rate and see, to understand what is going on.

Today I took another official CAT Exam, got a 44Q and a 21 Verbal, absolutely brutal. My exam is in 2 weeks, and I made practically no progress on Verbal if I was to look at my GMAT CAT exams, however on drills and homework problems it does look much better.

I don't know what else to do besides getting a private tutor (In NYC) to help me out with the Verbal.

I have the MGMT Book, Powerscore CR book, and a plethora of printouts from gmat club and here for various SC,CR, RC topics which I read and something is still not clicking for me.

Please help.

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Top Reply
Post Sun May 14, 2017 8:11 am
I'm sorry that you're not yet seeing the results of your hard work - that's very frustrating. As you've seen, the Verbal can be harder to improve than the Quant.

Whenever students tell me "I've been studying for months but I haven't seen any improvement!" usually the missing factor turns out to be that they haven't been REVIEWING deeply enough.

It's not enough to watch read the books and do practice problems (although those are a big part of the process). You also have to analyze every problem deeply after you've done it, and track what kinds of mistakes you were making.

For SC, you want to ask yourself:
- was I thinking about the MEANING of the sentence?
- did I identify the overall structure of SUBJECT + VERB?
- did I identify markers of particular grammar issues: parallelism, comparisons, modifiers, etc?
- did I get distracted by meaningless differences in the answer choices, or did I focus on ones that spoke to clear rule violations?

For CR, ask yourself:
- did I identify the question type?
- did I identify the LOGICAL GAP in the argument (for assumption, strengthen, weaken, and evaluate questions) before looking at answer choices?
- can I identify why each wrong answer is wrong?

For RC, ask yourself:
- did I understand the basic message of the passage?
- was every word justifiable in the answer choice that I chose?
- did I fall for trap answers: too extreme, too opinionated, outside assumptions, etc?

Start recording & tracking the kinds of mistakes you make, and you'll start to see improvement. Here's how to track & review:

And here are some helpful articles on Verbal strategy:


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

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