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GMAT Verbal how to increase from v34 to v40+ ?

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So I sat for my third attempt at the GMAT just last week and scored a 34 on the verbal- my highest official score yet; however, my practice exam scores have been a bit higher and the highest I have ever gotten on the verbal section on a brand new CAT (absolutely no repeats) was a V40 on a Kaplan CAT. But I had been consistently scoring in the v32-v38 range on GMAT prep. My GMAT Prep Cat's are all burned up- any advice on how to get my verbal up from v34 to v40+? I understand v34 is not too shabby but I am a native speaker and I have always loved language, particularly writing. Also it was just the feeling when I got a v40 on that lucky Kaplan CAT that makes me so determined to get my verbal score up- intellectually, I felt like I was on cloud nine. What does it take? Does anyone have stories on how they improved from around this range to v40+?


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by ceilidh.erickson » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:58 am
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. You mention practice exams, but you don't tell us anything else about your study process.

To do well on verbal, you need to do the following:
- read strategy guides from some major prep company. You need to know your SC grammar rules backwards & forwards, and get expert insight into CR & RC process.
- practice OG problems, accurately timed.
- keep an Error Log to review your mistakes: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -studying/

Here's how to thoughtfully review each question type:

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

Start recording & tracking the kinds of mistakes you make, and you'll start to see improvement.
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education