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Admissions Success Stories Improve Verbal after Practice Exam #2

This topic has 1 expert reply and 3 member replies

Royalbacon Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Improve Verbal after Practice Exam #2

Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:47 pm
Hi!

I've now been through the full Manhattan verbal set, and I've done all verbal OG questions. This increased my verbal score from ±30 pre-study to 37 post-study. I aim for at least 40 in verbal, and SC is the hardest for me as more than half of my wrong answers in verbal is from SC.

I am not sure what I should do next... I feel I roughly know the rules for SC (I havent learned all the parallelism rules for example). Should I just keep on practicing with Manhattan CATs to see what I do wrong and learn from my mistakes, or should I study more? My exam is in less than 3 weeks now...


Many thanks,

Royalbacon

P.S.: Practice Exam 2 was 690 Q47 V37

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:30 pm
Hi Royalbacon.

Practicing via taking CATs is probably close but is not the best way to get better, and here is the key reason. What you really need to be doing is slowing down and figuring out what it takes to get right answers to verbal questions.

If you were to have fifty minutes to do ten SC questions, how many of them do you think you would get right? If the answer is not ten, then why?

SC is not just about rules. SC is about hacking and using logic to get to right answers. So it may be that for most SC questions, and CR and RC questions for that matter, you have enough understanding of rules and GMAT stuff to get them right. So if you are not getting them right, what's going on is that you haven't developed skills or a system for getting them right.

So my suggestion is that you slow way down and figure out how to get SC questions right, 80 - 100% of the time. Maybe you won't get them all all of the time, and part of that will be because maybe some of the questions you end up using for practice are not that well written, and part of that will be because you need to learn some new ideas, but just by getting good at hacking them, you can learn to get close to all of them right all the time.

At the same time, you can do what you said, notice what else you need to learn in terms of concepts or rules and work on those things as they come up.

One resource you could use for verbal practice is the Veritas Question Bank, which is free and contains many good verbal questions. Do five to ten at a time and see what hit rate you can get.

Take this attitude with CR and RC and you will start getting more of those right too.

Increase your hit rate on the verbal section by one CR question, one RC question and 3 SC questions and probably there's your 40+ score, and I bet you can do even better.

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:44 pm
In addition to Marty's wise advice, I'd suggest incorporating a bit of mindfulness meditation into your regimen. Verbal, to some extent, is a matter of focus and attention, both of which have been shown to improve in response to a consistent meditation practice: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/

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Royalbacon Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:51 pm
Hi Marty,

Thank you very much for your answer. I realised that I only have 10 days left to practice, and 8 of these are working days. Will be tough but I just might do a bit during lunch breaks ..!

My plan is the following. Every day, I will do these sets:

- 10 SC (30 min with an average of 2' per question and 1' for review of wrong answers)
- 5 CR (15 min ........)
- 5 PS
- 5 DS
- 5 RC
- 2 IR (8 min)

After each set, I will make sure I understand my mistakes. In addition, if I get 60% or less correct answers in one set, I will repeat another one. However, If I hit 100% on one of these, I will skip it for one day and refocus on my weakest one.

In addition to that, I will squeeze 125 questions from the manhattan question banks and 60 from the GMATPrep over the period.

I'll keep you updated, it could be a useful reference for others because the program does not really guide us through the "REVIEW/PRACTICE" phase


P.S.: GMAT PRACTICE EXAM 3 this Sunday, EXAM 4 next Sunday, and real exam the following Saturday! Should be fun Very Happy

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:24 pm
That sounds pretty good, but one thing, if you are not getting a high hit rate, then I say bag the two minute average and get to work getting them right no matter how long it takes.

Often people use a two minute cutoff as an out. Rather than feeling the pain of getting into a real struggle with a question, it's "Oh look, two minutes are up. Guess I have to move on."

Get them right. You can always speed up once you get good at getting them right.

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Marty Murray
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m.w.murray@hotmail.com
https://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

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