How to improve Verbal score from 26-28 to 36-38 ?

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Hello everyone,

I am curious about improving my Verbal score? I can't go up higher than 28, while managed to boost my Quant to 40+. Any advice?

Another issue is scoring. My last official GMAT PrepTest was Q44 V25 resulting in 570, but all the score tables say it is supposed to be 580-590. Where does the discrepancy come from?

Thanks in advance,
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by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:57 pm
pagani88 wrote: I am curious about improving my Verbal score? I can't go up higher than 28, while managed to boost my Quant to 40+. Any advice?
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.

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.
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by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:01 pm
pagani88 wrote: Another issue is scoring. My last official GMAT PrepTest was Q44 V25 resulting in 570, but all the score tables say it is supposed to be 580-590. Where does the discrepancy come from?
Here's the simple answer: your 44 on quant isn't really a "44." It's rounded from a raw score: think about the range from 43.5 to 44.49999.... So there is a such thing as a "high 44" and a "low 44," although you'd never know which one you had.

Your 200-800 score is actually based on the RAW scores, not the rounded SCALED scores. So, a Q "high 44" + V "high 25" might track to something 20 pts higher than a "low 44" + "low 25."

Make sense?
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by [email protected] » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:34 am
pagani88 wrote:Hello everyone,

I am curious about improving my Verbal score? I can't go up higher than 28, while managed to boost my Quant to 40+. Any advice?

Another issue is scoring. My last official GMAT PrepTest was Q44 V25 resulting in 570, but all the score tables say it is supposed to be 580-590. Where does the discrepancy come from?

Thanks in advance,
Artur
Hi Artur,

Generally, the GMAT algorithm is based on a bunch of convoluted variables such as, but not limited to, the difficulty level of the incorrect questions, whether you made consecutive mistakes, whether you got the marked/experimental questions correct/incorrect, whether you made a lot of errors, say more than 4-5, in the first 8-10 questions - as a result of which the algorithm will give you a lower score than if you got the same number of errors in the last section of the test and had everything correct till that point.

Essentially, the idea is that if two people - say A and B - get 34 questions correct in the Quant section (as per the pre-April 16 version of the test), and if A gets the first 3 questions incorrect (and everything correct after that), and B gets the last 3 incorrect (and everything correct before that point), then there will, at the very least, be a difference in the %ile ranking of the two Quant scores. Therefore, even though the Scaled score for both candidates might be Q50 - usually this is the score people receive when they make between 2 and 4 mistakes on the Quant section - there would be a difference in the "level" of Q50 attained, and the %ile ranking for candidate B would be higher - the rationale being that he got the "more difficult" questions incorrect - than that of candidate A.

In other words, the same combination of Scaled scores can fetch different Overall Scores (out of 800) (based on "the level" of your scaled score[s]). In most cases, however, the difference is fairly minimal and the range of the scores is between 10-30 points max. For example, for the same combination of Q44 and V25, you might expect someone to get a 560 too based on the above-mentioned parameters.

Hope this helps - please let me know if you have any further queries.
Last edited by [email protected] on Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by ceilidh.erickson » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:33 am
[email protected] wrote: In other words, as Ceilidh has already mentioned, the same combination of Scaled scores can fetch different Overall Scores (based on your %ile ranking).
This is not correct, and it does not reflect what I said. Your percentile is irrelevant to your score. If one student with a Q50 ends up with a higher overall score than another student with a Q50, it is because that student had a higher raw score. The overall score is based on RAW scores, and has nothing whatsoever to do with percentiles.

GMAC publishes percentiles each year on overall scores based on the proportion of people who got that score. That percentile necessarily changes year to year. The combination of raw scores that yields a particular overall score does not change year to year. Those percentiles are not factored in to re-calibrate scores the following year. If that were the case, we wouldn't be able to compare a Q50 in 2014 to a Q50 in 2018. Scores (both raw and scaled) have to mean the same thing year over year.

The percentile is based on the score, not the other way around.

More information here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... mat-score/
And here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... 700-score/
Ceilidh Erickson
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sc

by [email protected] » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:37 am
pagani88 wrote:Hello everyone,

I am curious about improving my Verbal score? I can't go up higher than 28, while managed to boost my Quant to 40+. Any advice?

Another issue is scoring. My last official GMAT PrepTest was Q44 V25 resulting in 570, but all the score tables say it is supposed to be 580-590. Where does the discrepancy come from?

Thanks in advance,
Artur
Hi Artur,

I am happy to provide my two cents.

As with anything, the only way to improve and/or excel at something is mastering the fundamentals and applying those concepts to the more advanced situations. The GMAT, like any other standardized test, is no different. It requires a thorough understanding of the fundamentals - in both Verbal and Maths - and then being able to strategize those fundamentals so as to be able to solve a question in less than 2 minutes.

A score of V28 indicates that while you have a cursory understanding of the basic concepts and can breeze through the easy questions (this is a good start!), you struggle at the intermediate-advanced level questions, which essentially test those same very concepts, but at a more in-depth level and obfuscated within a bunch of non-essential information. To get to the next level, which should be a 650+ score in your case, you need to be able to filter out the extraneous information and recognize the basic concepts tested - say Subject-Verb Agreement/Parallelism/Tenses/Incorrect subject after the modifier in the case of SC. You also need to start eliminating by looking at the options themselves - this is especially true for the Verbal section, since on the Verbal section, it's not necessarily about selecting the "100% correct" answer choice but rather selecting the "best" answer choice. For example, options containing "Some/few/could/may/might/possibly" are very rarely correct in Strengthen/Weaken CR questions, and hence should be actively eliminated. Similarly, in the case of Reading Comprehension, you need to be able to figure out the basic opinions given in the passages without wasting time trying to understand the details - for example, if an experiment A and its results are mentioned in a passage, you should not be trying to understand "how" the experiment was performed (that can always be looked at when/if there is a question on the same!), but should be able to answer questions such as "What were the results of this experiment?", "Does the author agree with the results?", "Is there a flaw in the experiment?", etc.

As with everything however, improvement does require diligent preparation, and improving by around 90-100 points on the GMAT usually takes at least 1.5-2 months of preparation. A good way to improve would be to start keeping an ERROR LOG of your mistakes, including the time taken to solve the question and the concepts tested/question type. In terms of content, I would suggest the following plan for the next 1.5-2 months.

First 30-45 days (at least 5-6 hours of preparation per day):

- Go through the SC, CR, and RC strategy guides of a leading GMAT test-prep company - this will brush up and refine your fundamentals of the various concepts that are tested on the GMAT

- Re-solve the latest editions of the Official Guide(2018) and Quant+Verbal Review (2018) using the strategies learnt - remember, you need to be ACTIVELY looking to apply the various strategies learnt to a particular question. Maintain a log of the concepts/strategies that you were able to identify, and also those that you couldn't recognize when you solved a question. Revisit those strategies/concepts again - practice makes perfect!

Final 15 days:

Take full GMATPrep mocks (1-6), including the AWA and IR sections - Please ensure that you take the test under exam conditions, religiously adhering to the timings for a particular section. Take the tests in the time-slot in which you have your test booked - for example, if you have your test scheduled in the evening, then in order to get an accurate benchmark of your performance, you should take the test in the evening, and not in the afternoon/morning. Again, as during practice, analyse your errors from these tests. Also, ensure that no one disturbs you during these 3.5-4 hours during which you are taking the exam. This will stimulate the actual GMAT test-taking environment as closely as possible, and also get rid of any nerves on the actual test day, weeding out "careless" mistakes.

Note that GMATPrep 1&2 are freely available from the official website . ExamPack 1 (Tests 3&4) and ExamPack 2 (Tests 5&6) can be purchased from the official website for $49.99 each.

Best of luck and happy studying :)

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by [email protected] » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:30 am
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
[email protected] wrote: In other words, as Ceilidh has already mentioned, the same combination of Scaled scores can fetch different Overall Scores (based on your %ile ranking).
This is not correct, and it does not reflect what I said. Your percentile is irrelevant to your score. If one student with a Q50 ends up with a higher overall score than another student with a Q50, it is because that student had a higher raw score. The overall score is based on RAW scores, and has nothing whatsoever to do with percentiles.

GMAC publishes percentiles each year on overall scores based on the proportion of people who got that score. That percentile necessarily changes year to year. The combination of raw scores that yields a particular overall score does not change year to year. Those percentiles are not factored in to re-calibrate scores the following year. If that were the case, we wouldn't be able to compare a Q50 in 2014 to a Q50 in 2018. Scores (both raw and scaled) have to mean the same thing year over year.

The percentile is based on the score, not the other way around.

More information here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... mat-score/
And here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... 700-score/
Hi Ceilidh,

Firstly, thank you for your detailed response.

However, what I meant by my statement - and it is easy to see as to how it could have been misconstrued - was that the same "scaled score" can fetch a different overall score. The "levels" of a scaled score would be different, sure, and based on a number of factors, such as the difficulty level of the incorrect questions, whether the test taker left any questions, whether he/she made consecutive mistakes, whether he/she made errors on the experimental/marked questions, etc. rather than just the "raw" score. However, the "final scaled score" that a candidate would see, assuming our above example of candidate A getting first 3 incorrect and candidate B getting last 3 incorrect, would remain the same. The only visible difference - from a test taker's perspective [on the score card] - would be in the "%ile" ranking - this was the point I was trying to make. Of course, as you have pointed out, the "level" of the scaled score would determine the "%ile" ranking, and not vice-versa.

For the sake of clarity, I have since gone back and rephrased my earlier post so as to avoid any ambiguities. To summarize and answer Artur's question, although the score you "see" on screen might be a Q44, there are various levels within the same score, and these "levels" would be reflected in the "%ile" ranking rather than the "scaled score"

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by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:40 am
[email protected] wrote: Hi Ceilidh,

Firstly, thank you for your detailed response.

However, what I meant by my statement - and it is easy to see as to how it could have been misconstrued - was that the same "scaled score" can fetch a different overall score. The "levels" of a scaled score would be different, sure, and based on a number of factors, such as the difficulty level of the incorrect questions, whether the test taker left any questions, whether he/she made consecutive mistakes, whether he/she made errors on the experimental/marked questions, etc. rather than just the "raw" score. However, the "final scaled score" that a candidate would see, assuming our above example of candidate A getting first 3 incorrect and candidate B getting last 3 incorrect, would remain the same. The only visible difference - from a test taker's perspective [on the score card] - would be in the "%ile" ranking - this was the point I was trying to make. Of course, as you have pointed out, the "level" of the scaled score would determine the "%ile" ranking, and not vice-versa.

For the sake of clarity, I have since gone back and rephrased my earlier post so as to avoid any ambiguities. To summarize and answer Artur's question, although the score you "see" on screen might be a Q44, there are various levels within the same score, and these "levels" would be reflected in the "%ile" ranking rather than the "scaled score"
Thank you for clarifying. Since the percentile issue is a very common misconception, I wanted to be sure that no students had the wrong idea.
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by [email protected] » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:54 am
Hi pagani88,

It has been more than five months since we last heard from you. Are you still studying for your GMAT?

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
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