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Help! Strategies required for 700+

This topic has 2 expert replies and 0 member replies
Arunima01 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
21 Jul 2016
4 messages
Test Date:
11th September
Target GMAT Score:

Help! Strategies required for 700+

Post Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:45 am
Hello Members,

I appeared for GMAT for the first time in October, 2016 and scored 550.
Too much procrastination and lack of a proper strategy lead to this dreadful score.

Now, I plan to reappear for the 2nd time on 23rd July (in 6 weeks).

Yesterday, after 2 weeks of preparation, I attempted the GMAT Prep Test 2 and scored a 600 (Q 44 V 28) Sad

After updating the error log, I observed the following things :

Quant Section : Need to devote time to Combination, Probability, Geometry, DS Equation Questions.
I was stuck in 2 back to back Combinations questions and hence, ran out of time. Guessed the last 6 questions (Only 1 out of the 6 was correct)
With some more efforts, I can certainly pull up the Quant score to 48-50! Smile

Verbal Section : Even though I am an avid reader, I zoned out reading the RCs. Guessed all RC questions after skimming through the passage. Almost all of them were wrong! Embarassed
90% accuracy in SC questions and 60% in CR.

Study material used:

    1. Completed the OG 2016 earlier. Now attempting the tough questions using GMAT Wiley.
    2. Kaplan CD
    3. GMAT Club question bank (Bunuel for Quant, Ron SC Tips, Idioms list and, several other for Verbal)
    4. Princeton Review books for theory
    5. MGMAT CAT and Practice Questions, still untouched.

Since, I do not have a high CGPA a really good GMAT score is needed to slightly offset the low CGPA.
I sincerely feel that my biggest issue is lack of concentration (fidgety mind) Rolling Eyes

It would be very helpful if anyone can suggest me few RC strategies (how to make it less painful) and a definite road map which leads to the 700+ milestone! Smile

Thank you in advance.


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:11 pm
Hi Arunima01,

You posted this message in another forum on this site, so I've copied over my response from there:

Given your prior Official Score and your score goal, you will have to make some significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. In that same way, you have to make sure to take your CATs in a realistic fashion that 'matches up' with what you will face on Test Day (so that we have accurate information to properly assess your current skills and define what you need to work on to improve). As such, I have a few questions about this recent CAT:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take it at home?
3) Did you take it at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during this CAT that you can't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you take this CAT before? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (such as in the forums)?

Assuming that this 600 is accurate, the goal of raising a 600 to a 700+ in just 6 weeks might be too difficult to be considered realistic. While you don't have to decide right now, you might want to consider pushing back your Test Date.

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

Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Post Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:01 am
Here are the two strategies I've found most helpful to improve RC:

1. Treat it like a conversation.
Instead of passively trying to absorb the information, pretend that a good friend of your is the author (if it's a science passage, picture someone you know who's into science). Then pause and 'ask questions' of the author as you would in a conversation:

Passage: "for many years, scientists had believed that phenomenon X was caused by Y..."
You: "they *had* believed, so that means they changed their mind? What new information made them change their mind, and why?"

Then when the discussion of that evidence comes up, you will be far more likely to tune into it, because it's answering a question you've already asked. You've primed you brain to be interested!

2. Be scientific about the answer choices: TLAL
Sometimes it's easy to zone out and get lost in the wording, because the answer choices (at least superficially) can seem very similar. However, wrong answers must be demonstrably wrong, so they're likely to include what I call "dealbreaker" language.

My advice is TLAL: Think Like a Lawyer. Ask yourself "would this answer hold up in court?" More here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/03/28/how-to-hack-gmat-reading-comprehension-think-like-a-lawyer/

Good luck!


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

Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
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