a 630 on GMAT- need to sort the road ahead..experts plz help

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Hi,

I took GMAT today and got a 630. (QA: 48; VA: 29). :( :(

During the exam, I was uncertain of my answers in VA which actually turned out to be very disastrous. ( I have had similar feeling during my mock test too). Also I wanted to be extra careful with my answers in VA because of which I ran into time crunch later which did not help my cause either. I feel if I would have been more confident in the section I would have been faster with my responses.

Personally, I think I was moderately prepared for the VA section. I took GMATPrep tests (1 and 2) and other MGMAT Mock tests, and my scores have hovered around 650-630. However twice I touched 700+ mark in GMAT prep tests, although these scores resulted because of repeated questions. I was mostly getting poor scores on VA section where my scaled up score was around 29-30. QA's score was more in comfortable range of 48+.

For my VA prep I went through MGMAT SC (latest edition) and Power score CR bible and built my concepts. I completed OG-12th edition and Official VA book with a 80%+ accuracy in SC and 70-65%+ accuracy in CR. I now remember answers to most of the questions in these books. I also took GMAT Prep Practice Pack 1 and completed CR and SC completely before taking GMAT today. I was able achieve 80%+ accuracy in VA.

What should be my approach from hence on and approximately when should I look to take GMAT again. I am targeting Admission Season of 2013 for fall of 2014 session and I need to have 720+ score.

I feel I am running short of Official GMAT practice problems as I have gone through most of them. Should I buy OG-13th edition? Or should I look for any other resource?

Experts please help.

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by BenMiller » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:10 am
Hitting a scoring plateau in a particular section is a common occurrence. That you were uncertain of your answers strikes me as a key problem that your prep has not adequately addressed. In each verbal problem, there is a clear correct answer.

Often, the correct answer doesn't seem clear, or you have two that both seem correct. This confusion signals that you are not looking at them at the right angle/through the right lens. Whenever this is the case, your first action should be to step back and ask yourself "How can I differentiate between these two seemingly correct answers?" or "I know there must be a CLEAR reason one isn't right, but I'm not seeing it."

Finding the differences between multiple "right-looking" answers will then let you re-frame them through their differences. In such a way, to quote House of Pain, one will become "the cream of the crop, and will rise to the top" and be clearly the right answer to the problem.

While confidence building is necessary and important in achieving a top score, confidence derives from "having it covered" and once you have the process down, not only will you more often get the correct answer, you'll be certain of it which will meaningfully boost your confidence level and take care of the time constraint issue.

Hope this helps,

Ben

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by vabhs192003 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:40 pm
BenMiller wrote:Hitting a scoring plateau in a particular section is a common occurrence. That you were uncertain of your answers strikes me as a key problem that your prep has not adequately addressed. In each verbal problem, there is a clear correct answer.

Often, the correct answer doesn't seem clear, or you have two that both seem correct. This confusion signals that you are not looking at them at the right angle/through the right lens. Whenever this is the case, your first action should be to step back and ask yourself "How can I differentiate between these two seemingly correct answers?" or "I know there must be a CLEAR reason one isn't right, but I'm not seeing it."

Finding the differences between multiple "right-looking" answers will then let you re-frame them through their differences. In such a way, to quote House of Pain, one will become "the cream of the crop, and will rise to the top" and be clearly the right answer to the problem.

While confidence building is necessary and important in achieving a top score, confidence derives from "having it covered" and once you have the process down, not only will you more often get the correct answer, you'll be certain of it which will meaningfully boost your confidence level and take care of the time constraint issue.

Hope this helps,

Ben

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Hi Ben,

Thanks for the inputs. They are encouraging. I was looking to get a more holistic approach to get through the Verbal with more correct answers than wrong one's. Can you help me in identifying the key areas to bring up my verbal score. I have already listed out the books and materials I consulted.

Thanks,
Vaibhav.

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by BenMiller » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:07 am
Hi Vaibhav,

I'd be happy to elaborate and put you on a path. Understanding your proportions that are right and wrong isn't enough to go on. I would need to review with you your particular, idiosyncratic patterns to recommend any more detailed an approach, but in short, your solution is problems, problems, problems...

But probably not the way you normally do them. Your issue is NOT a materials problem, its an approach problem, so the solution isn't to be seeking new materials or methods, but understanding AT A DEEPER LEVEL what you've done right (and wrong) on problems. This requires extensive review and an internal cognitive audit.

Materials-wise, reviewing the OG-12 and VS-3 should suffice. Picking up OG-13 isn't a bad idea either, though they repeat many problems form the OG-12. When reviewing problems, many that you've done weeks ago will seem new. When I teach, I focus on helping students evaluate and modify their own thought process and then apply that to GMAT. Remember this: YOU SHOULD BE SPENDING MORE TIME REVIEWING THE PROBLEMS THAN YOU SPENT SOLVING THEM.

Keep in mind, most privately written materials are geared toward the low to mid-range performers, because that's where the test-prep market is, so once you hit that low 600's, they have diminishing returns, and can often be counterproductive, because they focus on strategies that do well in the 500s, but are completely useless OR COUNTERPRODUCTIVE on 700-level problems.

Ben

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by vabhs192003 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:55 am
BenMiller wrote:Hi Vaibhav,

I'd be happy to elaborate and put you on a path. Understanding your proportions that are right and wrong isn't enough to go on. I would need to review with you your particular, idiosyncratic patterns to recommend any more detailed an approach, but in short, your solution is problems, problems, problems...

But probably not the way you normally do them. Your issue is NOT a materials problem, its an approach problem, so the solution isn't to be seeking new materials or methods, but understanding AT A DEEPER LEVEL what you've done right (and wrong) on problems. This requires extensive review and an internal cognitive audit.

Materials-wise, reviewing the OG-12 and VS-3 should suffice. Picking up OG-13 isn't a bad idea either, though they repeat many problems form the OG-12. When reviewing problems, many that you've done weeks ago will seem new. When I teach, I focus on helping students evaluate and modify their own thought process and then apply that to GMAT. Remember this: YOU SHOULD BE SPENDING MORE TIME REVIEWING THE PROBLEMS THAN YOU SPENT SOLVING THEM.

Keep in mind, most privately written materials are geared toward the low to mid-range performers, because that's where the test-prep market is, so once you hit that low 600's, they have diminishing returns, and can often be counterproductive, because they focus on strategies that do well in the 500s, but are completely useless OR COUNTERPRODUCTIVE on 700-level problems.

Ben

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Hi Ben,

I agree with concluding statements. I too have been struggling to get my hands on decent material which touches the 700+ levels. So I am currently trying to go through the text and concept building again from scratch. I have picked up CR PowerScore Bible again. I am currently having a go at Weaken the arguments type and realizing what all have I missed. And also picking up Questions from various forums like BTG or GMAT Club. But I really wish I get GMAT standard question types collection where I can gauge my progress.
I also tested my self in SC recently and scored a consistent 80%+. I see I can take my score 90%+ or may be even 100%.

I will again go through OG (both the books) for sure in some time and look to get everything correct with proper reasoning the scenes. I really want this to be embedded into deep in my conscience.

Trust me while spelling it out here, I does give me a lot of context of situation and also what lies ahead.

Thanks again Ben, for taking interest in the conversation. Hope you stay in tuned.

Vaibhav.

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by [email protected] » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:48 am
More questions is not usually the answer. You should be focused on reviewing the stuff you have gotten wrong. Study as if you had to explain the answer to someone else. This will help your understanding of the rules and pattern recognition. Start there and dive into more problems. There are a few new problems in OG 13, but not that many. The old paper exams are a decent way to go, but there are not answer explanations...
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by vabhs192003 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:05 am
[email protected] wrote:Start there and dive into more problems. There are a few new problems in OG 13, but not that many. The old paper exams are a decent way to go, but there are not answer explanations...
Thats where I am struggling to get my hands on decent question bank. I guess I am going to bisect OG12 and OG-VA 2nd ed. Can you expand where would I get these old exam papers?

Thanks,
Vaibhav