Q39 V29: 560 - 2 months to go for GMAT, need 650+

This topic has expert replies
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Mar 2019
Hi,

I have a GMAT scheduled for early June 2019 and I have been taking a couple of GMAT mocks to see how i score. Here's a history of GMAT tests i've taken so far:

Mock 1: GMAT Prep 1: 530 Q36 V27
Mock 2: Veritas free test: 560 Q39 V29
Mock 3: GMAT Prep 2: 560 Q39 V29 (i took it to ensure that Veritas was accurate)

I have purchased the other 4 mock GMAT exams from GMAC software. However, I would not like to use them so soon untill i am sure that my results are going to improve.

Overall, i struggle in time management (i have noticed that, for both Q and V, i am left with 8-10 minutes to spare for the last 8-10 questions). While there are some areas that I need to make up on from a conceptual standpoint (specifically geometry, combinatorics and word problems), I wanted to understand how do i bring up my verbal score?

On reviewing my 3 mock exams, I noticed that my accuracy at RC and CR has gotten better (~50%), and my accuracy at SC has gone down (from 92% in the first mock to 65% in the 3rd exam).

Can someone provide me with some strategies to score around 650-680, although I would love a 700+, but i do have some confidence in my all round profile to manage an admission into my target schools with a 670 (+/-20).

Thanks! Have a great week end all!

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
Elite Legendary Member
Posts: 10392
Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Thanked: 2867 times
Followed by:508 members
GMAT Score:800

by [email protected] » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:28 am
Hi amegupte0410,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 550 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Raising a 550 to the point that you can consistently score 650+ will likely require at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. If you're really interested in a 700+ though, then you will likely need at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) When is your exact Test Date?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at [email protected]
Image

GMAT/MBA Expert

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 6195
Joined: 25 Apr 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Thanked: 43 times
Followed by:24 members

by [email protected] » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:40 pm
Hi amegupte0410,

I'm glad you reached out, and I'm happy to help. Although you have self-diagnosed a few areas of weakness, since you are currently at a Q39/V29, it's likely that you actually have many more undiscovered weaknesses dragging down your GMAT score. Thus, the best way to move forward is to cast a wide net by following a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic, and then practice each topic until you've gained mastery.

For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let's say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author's Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey logical meanings. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

You also may find it helpful to read the following articles about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and [url=https://blog.targettestprep.com/preparing-for-the-gmat/]the phases of preparing for the GMAT.

Good luck!

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO
[email protected]

Image

See why Target Test Prep is rated 5 out of 5 stars on BEAT the GMAT. Read our reviews

ImageImage