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Study plan - please help

This topic has 1 expert reply and 2 member replies
Gaurav Mittal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Study plan - please help

Post Sat May 14, 2016 12:31 am
Hi
I am about a month into my preparation now and wanted to get some guidance on how should I proceed from here. Progress so far in brief:
- I took practice test in OG, untimed. Figured out that I need to improve a lot on SC and CR. Accuracy and time on RC was ok but the time I took on SC and CR was prohibitive.

- I had Kaplan premiere so I did the theory of each section from that, except SC. Did all problem sets in Kaplan and marked good qns.

- Finished theory from MGMAT SC and I am still revising everything to let it sink in. Finished half of all problem sets from MGMAT SC.

- Took GMATprep test (full with awa & IR), scored 720 BUT could not even attempt last 4 qns on the test in verbal section. Avg Time taken in RC - 2'20", CR - 2'05", SC- 1'45". Score in verbal: 37, quant: 50.

I have included above details to make sure I express my concern about timing issues I have in verbal currently. I have plans to go through OG and OG verbal.

Can someone please guide me with the strategy to be followed from here. I realize I need to get down on times for each section of verbal. But how? Any other source I should be practicing from or any tips on how I approach remaining two sources (OG & OG verbal). I plan to take the test towards end of july/ first week of august.

Thanks

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Sat May 14, 2016 4:38 am
Hi Gaurav.

I don't think that you have much to worry about regarding timing. You have only really started to practice doing verbal questions, and as you do more you will develop an eye for what you need to see in order to get them right, and you will see it faster.

So, do not make the mistake of practicing mostly on a timed basis, thinking that timing is the issue. Your skill in finding the right details and in seeing the logic of the questions have to develop, and doing practice questions on a timed basis is not a great way to develop those skills.

So do practice questions untimed, and for each question, seek to define what it is that you need to see in order to get it right, and determine exactly why each wrong answer is wrong and why the right answer is right. In doing that you will get better at seeing what you have to see in order to get right answers. To reduce time spent, work on refining your processes and make the way you think about the questions increasingly organized and clear.

To get your time spent on CR questions down, get good at finding the conclusions to the arguments, as generally knowing what the conclusion is is key for getting to the right answer to a CR question.

Also, generally, using gimmicky strategies for doing verbal questions can actually slow you down, as you can use up time applying the strategies while not actually seeing what you have to see in order to figure out which answer is correct. For instance, in using the strategy of looking for one type of error after another in SC answer choices, you can use up a lot of time looking for issues that are not there. You are better off just reading answer choices from end to end looking for issues that are there. Of course, in order to do that you have to have developed skill in seeing the issues.

In general the GMAT is a test of vision and of skill in using logic to make decisions. So develop those things and you will naturally do verbal questions faster. I am pretty sure that by the time you have carefully gone through the verbal questions in the Official Guide and the verbal Guide, you will have developed sufficient skill to complete the verbal section on time and with enough accuracy to hit your score goal. If as you proceed, you don't seem to be accomplishing those things, you could come back with more details of what you are experiencing and get some more ideas.

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Thanked by: Gaurav Mittal, minhle2016
Post Sat May 14, 2016 9:02 am
Hi Gaurav Mittal,

If you took this CAT under realistic conditions, then this is a fantastic performance and it appears that you're on your way to earning a high score on Test Day. The pacing issue that you're facing in the Verbal section is likely due to a couple of different factors - some of which should improve in time. First, if you find yourself re-reading and re-reading the prompt/answers (instead of taking proper notes on the pad), then that could eat up your clock (in small 'chunks'). SCs are remarkably pattern-heavy, so if you make it a point to note the patterns in the prompts that you practice, then you will likely see those same patterns again (and recognize them faster so that you end up answering those SCs faster). With RC and CR, the patterns are more about the logic and structure of the prompts, but recognizing those patterns should also save you some time.

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

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Thanked by: Gaurav Mittal
OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue May 17, 2016 6:04 pm
Gaurav Mittal wrote:
Hi
I am about a month into my preparation now and wanted to get some guidance on how should I proceed from here. Progress so far in brief:
- I took practice test in OG, untimed. Figured out that I need to improve a lot on SC and CR. Accuracy and time on RC was ok but the time I took on SC and CR was prohibitive.

- I had Kaplan premiere so I did the theory of each section from that, except SC. Did all problem sets in Kaplan and marked good qns.

- Finished theory from MGMAT SC and I am still revising everything to let it sink in. Finished half of all problem sets from MGMAT SC.

- Took GMATprep test (full with awa & IR), scored 720 BUT could not even attempt last 4 qns on the test in verbal section. Avg Time taken in RC - 2'20", CR - 2'05", SC- 1'45". Score in verbal: 37, quant: 50.

I have included above details to make sure I express my concern about timing issues I have in verbal currently. I have plans to go through OG and OG verbal.

Can someone please guide me with the strategy to be followed from here. I realize I need to get down on times for each section of verbal. But how? Any other source I should be practicing from or any tips on how I approach remaining two sources (OG & OG verbal). I plan to take the test towards end of july/ first week of august.

Thanks
Hi Gaurav,

That is a fantastic 1st CAT score. Make sure you remain focussed on the studies.
There is a high penalty for not completing a section, so make sure you mark all the questions on the test.

To improve, you need to understand your pain areas. As such, you need to drill down deep in each section and find out the problematic question types:

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you.
CR: There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc.
You need to find that out and then practice them
RC: This again can be drilled down into different types of questions and also different topics. See what questions and topics trouble you the most and then practice accordingly.

As an addition, start preparing an error log and keep a note of all the mistakes you made and the lessons you learnt from the problems. This will ensure you do not make the same mistake again.

While practicing, try to solve 15 CR, 15 SC and 3 - 4 RC each day and make sure you time yourself to improve your speed.

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