Tips to cross 700...

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Tips to cross 700...

by mehravikas » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:14 pm
Hello,

I appeared for GMAT last year and had a pathetic score of 540 (Q 40, V 25). I have been a regular visitor of the BTG site always. My previous prep test scores are as follows:

GMAT PREP 1 – 490 (Q 34, V 21)
GMAT PREP 2 – 620 (Q 46, V 27)
MGMAT 1 – 640
GMAT PREP 1 (Reloaded) – 620
GMAT PREP 2 Reloaded - 630

I started my preparation again in March this year and have gone the basics of quant and SC. I have used MGMAT SC, MGMAT quant books, and Power score CR for my second shot at GMAT. I started giving prep tests and here are my revised scores –

GMAT PREP 1 – 680 (Q 49, V 32)
GMAT PREP 2 – 670 (Q 47, V 35)

As you can see there is a huge improvement in the sectional scores and the overall scores. I attribute this to the BTG site and my revised preparation plan. I made sure that I’ll go through the fundamentals of SC, CR and Quant. For RC, I read the opinion section of the “The Hindu” daily and write a small paragraph after reading the essay.
I’ll be very honest with you, somehow I want to touch the 700 mark.

Can you give some important tips or suggestions how to reach 40 in the verbal section?

Kind Regards,
Vikas Mehra

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Re: Tips to cross 700...

by lunarpower » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:13 am
mehravikas wrote:Can you give some important tips or suggestions how to reach 40 in the verbal section?
this is a difficult thing to answer, since you haven't really given any specifics as to your strengths and weaknesses.
i.e., you've stated a couple of things that you've done in preparation, but you haven't given any indication of the areas in which you're currently performing well, vs. the areas in which you're not.

also, you've stated that you're reading the opinion section of the newspaper. i don't know if indian newspapers are structured like western newspapers, but, if they are, that may be the least useful section of the newspaper to read, since the passages are rarely, if ever, structured like opinion pieces / editorials.

instead, you may want to look for online JOURNALS, particularly online business and scientific journals, since those articles are most similar to what you're going to see on the exam.
i googled "online business journal articles" and got results such as the following:
https://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/search/
that's not bad. the articles are obviously much, much longer than what you're going to get on the test, but the style is the same.

--

finally:
the GMATPREP scores may not really represent improvements, since they are resets of exams you've already taken (and are thus packed with questions you've already seen).
why don't you take some new tests, rather than repeating the gmatprep tests over and over again?
you've only cited one mgmat test score, meaning that you have at least six more of those that you can take (the set of 6 tests + the "free online practice test" from the online store).

i'm not saying that you shouldn't repeat gmatprep - in fact, that's probably the single best way to be exposed to official problems - but you shouldn't put a lot of stock in the meaning of the SCORES that you get from a repeated administration.
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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Re: Tips to cross 700...

by mehravikas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:38 am
Hi Ron,

Thanks for the response. It's much appreciated. I have also given another two MGMAT tests and my scores have been -

MGMAT 1 - 660 (Q - 43, V - 35)
MGMAT 2 - 660 (Q - 49, V - 31)

To be honest, I was giving my GMAT prep after a long gap. I downloaded it again from GMAC site and got all new questions. But I will definitely make a note of your comments after reloading GMAT prep tests again.

My main weakness in verbal is SC. On an average I am getting 6-7 SC's wrong in the tests.

Here is the average of incorrect answers in verbal:
SC: 7
CR: 3
RC: 4-6


Thanks,
Vikas Mehra

lunarpower wrote:
mehravikas wrote:Can you give some important tips or suggestions how to reach 40 in the verbal section?
this is a difficult thing to answer, since you haven't really given any specifics as to your strengths and weaknesses.
i.e., you've stated a couple of things that you've done in preparation, but you haven't given any indication of the areas in which you're currently performing well, vs. the areas in which you're not.

also, you've stated that you're reading the opinion section of the newspaper. i don't know if indian newspapers are structured like western newspapers, but, if they are, that may be the least useful section of the newspaper to read, since the passages are rarely, if ever, structured like opinion pieces / editorials.

instead, you may want to look for online JOURNALS, particularly online business and scientific journals, since those articles are most similar to what you're going to see on the exam.
i googled "online business journal articles" and got results such as the following:
https://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/search/
that's not bad. the articles are obviously much, much longer than what you're going to get on the test, but the style is the same.

--

finally:
the GMATPREP scores may not really represent improvements, since they are resets of exams you've already taken (and are thus packed with questions you've already seen).
why don't you take some new tests, rather than repeating the gmatprep tests over and over again?
you've only cited one mgmat test score, meaning that you have at least six more of those that you can take (the set of 6 tests + the "free online practice test" from the online store).

i'm not saying that you shouldn't repeat gmatprep - in fact, that's probably the single best way to be exposed to official problems - but you shouldn't put a lot of stock in the meaning of the SCORES that you get from a repeated administration.

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Re: Tips to cross 700...

by lunarpower » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:53 am
hi -

the good news is that, of the three sections of the verbal portion, SC is the most possible to improve.
(with the other two sections, CR and RC, it is extremely difficult to have any sort of improvement, beyond an initial jump that results from improving your understanding of the way the questions actually work.)

the bad news is that your improvement in SC will be EXTREMELY incremental, and will be based on studying LARGE numbers of questions, in extremely minute detail.
being on this forum is a good start.
make sure that you are studying OFFICIAL problems (gmatprep and OG) whenever possible. that applies especially to this forum, on which many (though not necessarily most) of the problems are from questionable sources.

that's a really, really good performance in CR. congratulations there.
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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Re: Tips to cross 700...

by mehravikas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:58 am
Thanks Ron !! Thanks a lot.
lunarpower wrote:hi -

the good news is that, of the three sections of the verbal portion, SC is the most possible to improve.
(with the other two sections, CR and RC, it is extremely difficult to have any sort of improvement, beyond an initial jump that results from improving your understanding of the way the questions actually work.)

the bad news is that your improvement in SC will be EXTREMELY incremental, and will be based on studying LARGE numbers of questions, in extremely minute detail.
being on this forum is a good start.
make sure that you are studying OFFICIAL problems (gmatprep and OG) whenever possible. that applies especially to this forum, on which many (though not necessarily most) of the problems are from questionable sources.

that's a really, really good performance in CR. congratulations there.

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by lunarpower » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:49 am
good luck.

you also may want to consider setting a goal score of 690 instead of 700.

this may sound stupid, but it could make a huge difference psychologically, because the unholy obsession with "round numbers" like 700 can lead to dissatisfaction.

here's what i mean:
if your goal is 700 and you score 680, or even 690, you'll probably be extremely disappointed.
if your goal is 690 and you score 670 or 680, you will most probably be fairly satisfied with your result.

(the same phenomenon is observed in marketing. consumers will universally perceive a discount from $2.00 to $1.75 as significant, but, perversely, will perceive a discount from $1.75 to $1.50 - which is actually a bigger discount, viewed as a percentage - as less significant.)

try it.

(i'm currently trying to get to the point where i can do 9 pull-ups, not 10, in the gym ... same thing. it really does make a difference, even though i'm fully aware of the psychological mechanism at work)
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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by mehravikas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:07 am
Great suggestion Ron.

The goal I have set for myself on verbal is that I have answer more than 30 questions correctly, that ways I can be assured to score between 680-700.

I am regular at this forum and words will be less to describe how helpful the forum is for GMAT aspirants. I have started going through OG-11 questions again and this time I am going through each answer explanation.

You are 200% correct, when you say that SC improves with preparation and CR & RC improve with having a proper mindset of the structure of the passage / argument.

lunarpower wrote:good luck.

you also may want to consider setting a goal score of 690 instead of 700.

this may sound stupid, but it could make a huge difference psychologically, because the unholy obsession with "round numbers" like 700 can lead to dissatisfaction.

here's what i mean:
if your goal is 700 and you score 680, or even 690, you'll probably be extremely disappointed.
if your goal is 690 and you score 670 or 680, you will most probably be fairly satisfied with your result.

(the same phenomenon is observed in marketing. consumers will universally perceive a discount from $2.00 to $1.75 as significant, but, perversely, will perceive a discount from $1.75 to $1.50 - which is actually a bigger discount, viewed as a percentage - as less significant.)

try it.

(i'm currently trying to get to the point where i can do 9 pull-ups, not 10, in the gym ... same thing. it really does make a difference, even though i'm fully aware of the psychological mechanism at work)

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by lunarpower » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:11 am
mehravikas wrote:You are 200% correct, when you say that SC improves with preparation and CR & RC improve with having a proper mindset of the structure of the passage / argument.
200%! awesome.
i've never been more than 110% correct before.
;)

it's excellent that you've made this realization. many students study verbal for months and months and don't realize this at all.

it's also excellent that your "weakest link" happens to be the area most subject to possible improvement (i.e., SC). if you have the drive and the tenacity to study LOTS of problems in minute detail, then you should be able to make it happen.

i'm serious about the 690 vs. 700 thing. in fact, you should do this with any sort of life goal that's expressed as a number.
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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by mehravikas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:14 pm
Please correct if I am wrong here -

Another thing I have realized when answering CR and RC questions, is getting used to the language of the answers. I think that does help to eliminate few incorrect answers.

I am revising SCs this week and I'll reload the GMAT prep again on this weekend.

My new goal is - 690. I'll ping you after the test.

Hope that's fine :-)

Bestest Regards,
Vikas Mehra
lunarpower wrote:
mehravikas wrote:You are 200% correct, when you say that SC improves with preparation and CR & RC improve with having a proper mindset of the structure of the passage / argument.
200%! awesome.
i've never been more than 110% correct before.
;)

it's excellent that you've made this realization. many students study verbal for months and months and don't realize this at all.

it's also excellent that your "weakest link" happens to be the area most subject to possible improvement (i.e., SC). if you have the drive and the tenacity to study LOTS of problems in minute detail, then you should be able to make it happen.

i'm serious about the 690 vs. 700 thing. in fact, you should do this with any sort of life goal that's expressed as a number.

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by lunarpower » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:37 pm
mehravikas wrote:Please correct if I am wrong here -

Another thing I have realized when answering CR and RC questions, is getting used to the language of the answers. I think that does help to eliminate few incorrect answers.
good luck.

yes, you have to get used to being VERY VERY LITERAL when you are dealing with CR and RC.

as in, NEVER make ANY assumptions that are not immediately justified by the content of the passage.
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by gmatplayer » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:01 pm
Some very good advice on this topic.
I made up my mind, going for 790 :-)
Being literal on RC & CR is good.
Thanks RON!

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by lunarpower » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:35 am
gmatplayer wrote:Some very good advice on this topic.
I made up my mind, going for 790 :-)
Being literal on RC & CR is good.
Thanks RON!
good luck.
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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by Ogman05 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:44 am
I have an off topic question here but may appoly as I see talk about the gmat preptest. I took my test and accidentally closed the program after seeing my scores. Is is possible to see the results again somehow so I can analyze what question types I got wrong. So angry baout this. Just took my first diag this past saturday and cant even use it to help with improvement. I know I need to tackle quant however. Any tips.

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by mehravikas » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:28 pm
Yeah you should be able to reload the test with the same questions. If you click on the practice test, it will ask you whether you want to start from scratch or reload the old questions.
Ogman05 wrote:I have an off topic question here but may appoly as I see talk about the gmat preptest. I took my test and accidentally closed the program after seeing my scores. Is is possible to see the results again somehow so I can analyze what question types I got wrong. So angry baout this. Just took my first diag this past saturday and cant even use it to help with improvement. I know I need to tackle quant however. Any tips.

Josh

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by vittalgmat » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:11 pm
Big Thanks to Ron and Meharvikas.
This is a very useful discussion....

rgds
-V