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Stuck with One month to GMAT exam

This topic has 6 expert replies and 5 member replies
srao.smita@gmail.com Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2015
Posted:
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Test Date:
06-30-2015
Target GMAT Score:
710

Stuck with One month to GMAT exam

Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:28 pm
Hi,

I have been preparing for the GMAT for the last one month extensively. I am currently not working ad have dedicated this time to study for the exam. I am fairly confident with Quant (Accuracy 75%) & CR(Accuracy 75%). My problem areas are SC & RC! I have a 60% accuracy on both these sections. I am planning to take the exam in the 3rd week of July and my target score is 680-700. Please help by suggesting ways to handle SC & RC.

I am currently preparing with the Manhattan GMAT books and Official Guides for GMAT 13th Ed.

Thanks.

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Post Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:07 am
Hi srao.smita,

A high accuracy rate when working with individual problems out of books is nice, but we need to know more about how you perform when facing a FULL CAT, so I have a few questions about that part of your practice.

1) How have you been scoring on your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled scores)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?

3) How long have you been studying?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

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Randy@Kaplan Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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GMAT Score:
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Post Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:09 am
Hello, Smrao!

It may sound daunting, but you have already done the necessary spade work: you know your areas of greatest point-growth opportunity--SC & RC. Idea

Prep is not so much a matter of the sheer quantity of hours you spend but rather of exposing yourself to the MEDIUM of the GMAT (i.e., computer/online) and reinforcing the critical-thinking (work-smarter/not-harder) behaviors the GMAT rewards.

Simply prepping in the OG, for example, may expose you to question types and grammar/RC content, but it's not going to prep you for the Test-Day stress induction of trying to translate information from a screen to your scratch board.Shocked

In other words, for the GMAT, you're not prepping for individual questions but training yourself in the work-smarter/not-harder behaviors for the business-like problem-solving situations the GMAT flings at you.

Sooooooo, you need:

- Prep in THE computer medium of the GMAT itself
- Daily exposure to the question types that drag down your score
- Building endurance by taking a Practice GMAT every 7 days

Hope this helps you, Srao! Cool

Thanked by: srao.smita@gmail.com
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srao.smita@gmail.com Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2015
Posted:
8 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Test Date:
06-30-2015
Target GMAT Score:
710
Post Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:03 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi srao.smita,

A high accuracy rate when working with individual problems out of books is nice, but we need to know more about how you perform when facing a FULL CAT, so I have a few questions about that part of your practice.

1) How have you been scoring on your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled scores)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?

3) How long have you been studying?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

Thanks for the reply.

1) How have you been scoring on your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled scores)?: I scored 590 on CAT last week (Quant 44, Verbal 27). I am focussing on improving my verbal score.
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)? I have not take the entire CAT as yet.
3) How long have you been studying?: I have been studying for over a month.
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?: I am planning to apply to MS in MIS program in Fall 2016.

Suggestion/ feedback is highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mystery Girl

srao.smita@gmail.com Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2015
Posted:
8 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Test Date:
06-30-2015
Target GMAT Score:
710
Post Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:09 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi srao.smita,

A high accuracy rate when working with individual problems out of books is nice, but we need to know more about how you perform when facing a FULL CAT, so I have a few questions about that part of your practice.

1) How have you been scoring on your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled scores)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?

3) How long have you been studying?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

Thanks for the reply.

1) How have you been scoring on your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled scores)?: I scored 590 on CAT last week (Quant 44, Verbal 27). I am focussing on improving my verbal score.
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)? I have not take the entire CAT as yet.
3) How long have you been studying?: I have been studying for over a month.
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?: I am planning to apply to MS in MIS program in Fall 2016.

Suggestion/ feedback is highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mystery Girl

Post Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:19 pm
Hi srao.smita,

Raising your score 90+ points in a month will take some effort, but it is doable. Unfortunately, we don't have a full assessment of your skills yet - the only way to get that information is for you to take a FULL-LENGTH CAT (including the essay and IR sections). I suggest that you continue studying as you see fit for the next few days, then take that CAT this weekend. Once you've completed it, you should report back here with your scores and we can talk through your study options for the next month.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

srao.smita@gmail.com Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2015
Posted:
8 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Test Date:
06-30-2015
Target GMAT Score:
710
Post Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:58 am
Hi Rich,

As directed, I took a full length Manhattan CAT exam. My scores are:

IR 3.8, Quant 43, Verbal 27, Total 580

I plan to focus on Verbal for the next 15 days and retake the CAT. I have scheduled the GMAT for 30 July, 2015. Please suggest further course of action.

Thanks,
Srao

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi srao.smita,

Raising your score 90+ points in a month will take some effort, but it is doable. Unfortunately, we don't have a full assessment of your skills yet - the only way to get that information is for you to take a FULL-LENGTH CAT (including the essay and IR sections). I suggest that you continue studying as you see fit for the next few days, then take that CAT this weekend. Once you've completed it, you should report back here with your scores and we can talk through your study options for the next month.

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

Post Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:35 am
Hi Srao,

This recent CAT score is almost identical to your last CAT score, so it appears that you're dealing with your CATs in the same exact way (without making any adjustments). With about 3 weeks to go before your Official GMAT, you will certainly have to make some adjustments to how you handle the GMAT and you might have to consider pushing back your Test Date.

To hit your score goals, you'll likely need to improve BOTH your Quant and Verbal scores. As a side note, you mentioned that you planned to 'retake' the CAT, but you should plan to take a *new* CAT (one that you haven't already used) instead.

Have you used either of the free CATs from www.mba.com?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

srao.smita@gmail.com Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2015
Posted:
8 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Test Date:
06-30-2015
Target GMAT Score:
710
Post Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:53 pm
Hi Rich,

I am trying to make some changes to the way I study verbal. My plan is to study for a few more daysand then take another CAT to determine if I have to reschedule the exam.

I will take up another *new* CAT exam in a few days and let you know the results. Is there any other suggestion that I can incorporate into my studies?

Thanks,
Srao

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Srao,

This recent CAT score is almost identical to your last CAT score, so it appears that you're dealing with your CATs in the same exact way (without making any adjustments). With about 3 weeks to go before your Official GMAT, you will certainly have to make some adjustments to how you handle the GMAT and you might have to consider pushing back your Test Date.

To hit your score goals, you'll likely need to improve BOTH your Quant and Verbal scores. As a side note, you mentioned that you planned to 'retake' the CAT, but you should plan to take a *new* CAT (one that you haven't already used) instead.

Have you used either of the free CATs from www.mba.com?

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

Post Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:50 am
It's always good to have three or four concrete action steps in place. For example:

- Make sure you're up to speed on the principles tested in Sentence Correction. Here's our free SC lesson: http://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/free-gmat-lesson/

- Do all the SC questions in the Official Guide and make sure you understand them thoroughly. Post any questions you have here.

- Read voraciously. There's research suggesting that the physiology of our brains changes when we read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/study-reading-a-novel-changes-your-brain/282952/

- Consider incorporating some mindfulness meditation. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/

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Post Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:41 am
Hi Srao,

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach tend to get 'stuck' at a particular scoring level; that might be what's happening here. You should study as you like for the next couple of days and take that next CAT as planned. If that CAT score is close to the other two recent scores, then a big adjustment to your study plan will be required.

If you have not yet done so, you should do a full review of your last CAT. Take a good look at what you got wrong and define WHY you were getting questions wrong - you're likely making consistent mistakes - if you can 'fix' those mistakes (and keep them from happening again), then you could see a nice bump-up in your scores.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:34 pm
I'm going to throw my thoughts into this already great post/responses of suggestions.

When it comes to improving Sentence Correction performance a very under utilized but highly effective approach is to address this with where you are in the spectrum of knowing formal written English. The answer, of course, depends on your background. Formal written English is still sometimes taught in high school English classes, but nowadays, many schools emphasize other priorities (and many people don’t pay very close attention in high school English class anyway).

Some people, especially those who read a lot, will find that they have already picked up a feeling for the tone and style of formal written English (even if they didn’t know that that is what it is called); others will find that what is considered “correct” in the formal written style sounds odd to them because it differs from the English used in everyday conversation. It’s worthwhile to take a few moments to think about how you experience formal written English.

In our experience, learners come in three types:


1. Native speaker with an ear attuned to formal written English. If you grew up reading a lot, and/or if you like to read non-fiction and more “intellectual” magazines, you may already have a gut feeling for what sounds smoother, more polished, or “more correct” according to the standards the GMAT is testing. Your strategy for mastering the Sentence Correction section will be to build on the instincts you already have. You can trust your ear a lot of the time, though you still need to memorize the specific rules that the GMAT tests, as well as practice quickly identifying the stereotypical tricks and traps of the SC section.

2. Native speaker with less familiarity with formal written English. If you don’t like to read very much, or if you tend to read only websites, popular fiction, or heavily technical material, you may not have developed an intuitive feeling for the structures and patterns of formal written English. Some of what the GMAT considers correct may strike you as very old-fashioned, stilted or simply weird. For learners in this group, the strategy is different. You can trust your ear sometimes, but not very often; you need to focus on memorizing rules and applying them almost as if you were studying a foreign language. In particular, you have to get used to the idea that what strikes your ear as ‘wrong’ may nevertheless be the choice the GMAT is looking for. You can draw on your knowledge as a native speaker to a limited extent, but you need to make a serious, focused effort to memorize the patterns that the GMAT is testing.

3. Non-native speaker of English. Non-native speakers often wonder whether they have any hope of scoring well in Sentence Correction. Clearly, native speakers have an advantage in this area. However, if you are a non-native speaker, the news isn’t all bad. You will need to focus on memorizing rules and applying them without relying on your ear, but at times you may find the job easier than do the learners in category 2. Native speakers who aren’t familiar with formal written English are often misled by their ears. They think that because something sounds right to them, it is right. For some native speakers, it’s hard to think about it any other way. Non-native speakers know that they can’t trust the judgment of their ears, so they’re able to get down to the business of memorizing rules more efficiently.

Not sure where you fit on the spectrum? We have a 5 - 10 minute quiz to help students figure it out. Let me know if you'd like me to send it to you!

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