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Need RC strategy: target score 720+

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Need RC strategy: target score 720+

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I have scheduled my GMAT date on the 9th of May’2012 and I need suggestion, comments and guidance for the following obstacles that I am currently facing. Here are some of my recent MGMAT scores.

MGMAT 1 : 710 (Q50/V36)
MGMAT 2 : 690 (Q50/V34)
MGMAT 3 : 680 (Q48/V35)
MGMAT 4 : 680 (Q48/V35)
MGMAT 5 : 680 (Q47/V35)

Quant is not a problem for me as I am constantly scoring in between 48 and 51 in all the last couple of MGMAT practice tests that I took during the last couple of weeks. Though I am making some silly mistakes in quant that are bringing my score to 47 sometimes but I will be alert for those silly mistakes and will try my best to avoid them altogether on the real exam.

The main problem lies within verbal and is mainly concentrated in the long and complicated RC passages. Once after I have correctly answered a series of complicated CR and SC questions, I am asked a short RC passage and eventually a long and abstract RC passage. Here I would like to say a little bit about my strategy for the RC. For short RC passages that are not usually complicated I have a mental map of the entire passage, I almost surely know what the main point is, and can track back the passage for tricky information and for inference questions as I know where to find them. So I can answer these questions with 2 out of 3 or sometimes 3 out of 3 correct.

Now comes the complicated and long passages. For complicated passages that are providing a lot of abstract information my strategy is to create diagramming (as suggested by MGMAT) of the key information that I think will help me answer. Here also I am able to answer the primary purpose/main idea of the passage. The specific detail or the inference questions are always a miss for me. The problems are most of the cases I am unable to find the information that the question is asking in my created diagram as I did not diagram these information at all and is trying to go back to the passage searching in vain where to find the required information. This kills a lot of my valuable time and results in a series of wrong answers bringing my score down. So I have two problems: retaining the information through proper diagram and unable to understand the passage portions as the passage itself is complicated. Searching by keywords sometimes help and sometimes does not. Also the feeling of time crunch, unable to pace myself in this RC portion is temporarily killing me. I am forced to guess on certain questions and those guesses are not educated ones and are obviously wrong. How can I improve this.

The rest lies in the CR portion and mainly in the highlighted CR questions. No matter what I do I am always wrong here in these questions and is unable to distinguish between two near matches in the answer choices. I have applied the strategy of identifying the premise for, premise against and conclusion and then to identify the roles played by the highlighted portions and answer them. Still the answers are wrong. The answers appears to me complicated to pin down.

For me the verbal scores are in the range of 35 to 38 and have never exceeded 40. My MGMAT test scores are coming as 680 -710. My target score is 720+ and I do not want to compromise with the 700 score. I have really worked hard since I got 570 on my first attempt back in Aug’2011. I have noticed that if I can score another 5/6 verbal questions correctly and provided I do not make trivial mistakes in the quant I can reach 740. I have worked really hard for this exam and any suggestion that would improve my score will be highly appreciated. I have another 3 weeks before the scheduled exam. Please suggest me strategies for improvement.

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Sanjib

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For long passages it is easy to understand the passage structure and main point by reading the first and last lines of each para where as short passages will have a lot of transitions. Try to grasp the main point of each para and skim rest of the details. While diagramming write keywords whichever you see. This will save time while reading and you can spend more time while answering. Use the keywords to track where the details are. I hope that will work Smile With 3 weeks time you should spend more time on GMAT Prep or OG materials rather than MGMAT materials. It will help you tune in yourself to the GMAT style.

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Thanks sam2304. Your points are valuable for me. Yes I am time practicing the OG retired tests and going through the OG to avoid my repeated mistakes.

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Hello Sam2304,

Using your suggested tricks my RC scores are improving. I need some more suggestion in quant. I took the GMAT Prep during the past two weeks and here is the result.

GMAT Prep 2 : 650 (Q49/V36)
GMAT Prep 2 (retake) : 620 (Q48/V28)

I am unable to finish either quant or the verbal of GMAT Prep. In each sections I am left out with 3 to 4 questions to be done and guessing in those. In quant seeing at some hard questions, I am thinking that I should be able to solve it, I am trying to give it my best try, failing and thereby wasting my valuable time. In the last two GMAT Prep I have done 10 quant questions wrong each. I got 48/49 in quant in both the tests. Now the big surprise! I am trying those left out/wrong quant problems after completing my exam and smoothly able to do 5/6 of them. So I can do better. I have a capability to do better. By the way I am always leaving out the probability/combinatories problems if they are hard as I find them hard always. But I can definitely improve from missing out 10 to missing out 5.

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GMAT Prep 2 : 650 (Q49/V36)

Are you sure the score is right because with this split up you should get 690/700.

Check the Feb 4th 2010 video from thursdays with ron available in the below link for quant improvement.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/thursdays-with-ron.cfm

Learn to skip the questions to adjust your timing. I follow a timing strategy and it has been helpful so far. By 10th question you should have 55 mins remaining.

Q - 55 30 10 - 10 22 32
V - 55 30 10 - 11 25 36

This one takes time to get used to it. You should have applied in one or two practice tests before you apply in the actual exam. So its better you proceed the way you solve and not alter it at the last moment. But instead of guessing the last few questions start it when you are at 30th question. Calculate the time and make alternative guesses as in you answer 31 guess 32 answer 33 guess 34 and stop it once you have two mins per qn for remaining questions. You will be penalized more for leaving the section unfinished and for continuous mistakes. So even if you can solve the questions do not hesitate to guess, this will be better compared to losing few questions in a row at the end. Educated guesses or blind guesses is your call based on the time available. Hope this helps !! All the very best for your exam buddy Smile

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Thanks Sam.

I wanted to give me some more time, do some more practice and review repeated mistakes, do some more GMATPrep, thought about it, and have rescheduled my GMAT on the 4th June, last day before the gmat changes.

critical reasoning - I am am doing bad in the strengthen, weaken, and bold/highlighted questions. need some help with assumption questions. In time crunch I am unable to understand the conclusion altogether and missing the answer. For some of these questions the answer seems obvious when I revisit those questions 2nd time. So doing good in un-timed environment. I really need to do the time management better, a lot better. Ans suggestion pl. By the way I am following MGMAT verbal strategy guide and that book is awesome. Really helped me a lot in RC, SC etc.

sentence correction - not doing too badly but yes as always taking risks and paying up badly for taking risks. Idiom is one of the problem areas. Will GMAT test the usage of idiom now that the council has said that idiom is not the intended area to be tested. The other area is finding the dependent clause.

Reading Comprehension - Now from this point I believe practice, and a lot of practice will make me more perfect.

To sum it up i never made it to the 700+ questions so consistency is the key. I need to the reduce exam anxiety next time, I will do much better. Please suggest approach strategy tactics what whatever you guys think suitable.

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I am trying to follow the below time strategy.


Quant Verbal
Q# Time Q# Time
0 75 0 75
5 65 5 66
10 55 10 57
15 45 15 48
20 35 20 39
25 25 25 30
30 15 30 21
35 5 35 12
40 3

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Hi Sam,

If you find some time pls. post a reply. In the last GMAT Prep I got a 710 (Q48, V40). There were so many verbal questions that were common from OG 12. Anyway now I know the Verbal and quant distributions that are needed for getting 710. GMAT council called me and rescheduled my exam date on 26th as she said on the 4th Jun there are no exam and GAMT is changing on the 5th and some software changes are needed.

Thanks,
Sanjib

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Woww that's great Smile !!! You get to write it in old format and that too on 26th or is it that you will write with new pattern ?

I don't have anything new to say buddy. You are all prepped up Smile You know where you are lagging behind and where to work on. So hone your weak areas, especially CR. Try powerscore CR bible if you haven't used it to improve CR. Timing will improve with practice. Do not worry about idioms. Try gmat prep questions if you have utilized GMATPrep atleast 2 times. They have more 700+ questions and will give you new insights. If you want to reduce test anxiety make sure you have less intervals in your timing strategy, that will help you avoid unnecessary anxiety for every 5 questions. Keep it to a minimum number of intervals like mine. I was very time conscious and this helped me to avoid the timer altogether.

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Sam,

I am writing the old format on the 26th may. Wishing for the best.

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