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## Verbal Section

This topic has 4 expert replies and 21 member replies
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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:34 am
Hi sanghaha,

First off, a 730 is an outstanding score (it's well above the 90th percentile overall), so you can apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is almost certainly not necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here:

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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sanghaha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:49 am
Marty Murray wrote:
Probably taking a full test the day before your actual test is not the greatest idea.

However, taking just a verbal section on Monday might make sense. For one thing, after practicing slowly, you need to reaccustom yourself to working quickly. Also, in taking a verbal section you could work on applying what you are working on.

So just taking a verbal CAT might be a good idea. Depending on your schedule maaaybe it would make sense to take just quant and verbal on Monday.

Practicing and training to develop perception and hacking skills are more important though.
Hi @Marty,

Would love to know your thoughts about which material to use for practicing verbal. I have used the OG and some other test prep companies like Magoosh and the Veritas online questions on and off. I have taken the official exam with a decent score (730 w V38). However, my goal was higher and I am looking to improve beyond V40-41 if possible. I know, as you mention, that this would normally take some skill development, and for me apart from the technical skills the most important is time management as I usually end up guessing 4-5 questions on the verbal section having run short of time. This generally pulls my score down and exposes me to wide variations in my verbal performance. So it is of importance for me to find a reliable practice source for verbal which I could use to create 41-question sets and try to lock in a timing strategy since it seems that I am naturally a bit of a slow worker on verbal. Would appreciate your thoughts

sanghaha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
21 Oct 2016
Posted:
9 messages
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Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:59 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi sanghaha,

First off, a 730 is an outstanding score (it's well above the 90th percentile overall), so you can apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is almost certainly not necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here:

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Hi Rich,

Thank you for your thoughts. I certainly agree that its a good score and pursuing it further is not too productive. However, I come from a highly represented demographic, and I would rather have the GMAT be a selling point rather than just a tick in the box. Thus my obsession with landing a higher score. Moreover, my problem (in verbal) is less getting the correct answer, more doing it quickly enough - so I am quite frustrated that I haven't scored that 750+. Maybe its still a skill issue. Hence, I am trying to go that extra mile and trying to right this.

Furthermore, I feel like I have exhausted quite a few of the valuable, good GMAT Verbal study resources without making headaway into how quickly I am tackling the problems. Would be good to know your opinions.

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:23 am
sanghaha wrote:
Hi @Marty,

Would love to know your thoughts about which material to use for practicing verbal. I have used the OG and some other test prep companies like Magoosh and the Veritas online questions on and off. I have taken the official exam with a decent score (730 w V38). However, my goal was higher and I am looking to improve beyond V40-41 if possible. I know, as you mention, that this would normally take some skill development, and for me apart from the technical skills the most important is time management as I usually end up guessing 4-5 questions on the verbal section having run short of time. This generally pulls my score down and exposes me to wide variations in my verbal performance. So it is of importance for me to find a reliable practice source for verbal which I could use to create 41-question sets and try to lock in a timing strategy since it seems that I am naturally a bit of a slow worker on verbal. Would appreciate your thoughts
The GMAT Prep Question Pack available at mba.com has some good verbal questions in it.

I have seen people get some great practice using the 800Score CATs, which are set up to be used in individual sections. So there are in that set five verbal sections that you could use.

Also, you can get a LOT more official verbal questions by finding and downloading one of the compilations that people have made of all of the verbal questions from GMAT Prep 1 and 2. When you take the two tests you see 82 verbal questions. The bank for the test, though, contains hundreds of them.

Meanwhile, you are not "naturally" slow. You just have not yet learned how to do verbal questions quickly. You can learn anything you want to learn, and I am sure that, were you for some reason to pursue such a thing, you could learn to get 41 verbal questions right in a half hour, or less.

For some more ideas, check out this response that I wrote yesterday. Someone was saying something almost the same as what you are saying.

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:40 am
sanghaha wrote:
Moreover, my problem (in verbal) is less getting the correct answer, more doing it quickly enough - so I am quite frustrated that I haven't scored that 750+.
I just noticed your use of the word "frustrated".

Now there is a clue.

The entire idea, being frustrated, is one that slows people down. Rather than just getting something done, a person takes an extra step, getting frustrated.

Even in the micro situation of working on a GMAT question a person can use up valuable time by momentarily going into a state of frustration.

So consider seeking to not go into that state. That's one way to increase your processing speed some.

_________________
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gocoder Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
05 Dec 2015
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120 messages
Target GMAT Score:
720
Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:19 am
Marty Murray wrote:
sanghaha wrote:
Moreover, my problem (in verbal) is less getting the correct answer, more doing it quickly enough - so I am quite frustrated that I haven't scored that 750+.
I just noticed your use of the word "frustrated".

Now there is a clue.

The entire idea, being frustrated, is one that slows people down. Rather than just getting something done, a person takes an extra step, getting frustrated.

Even in the micro situation of working on a GMAT question a person can use up valuable time by momentarily going into a state of frustration.

So consider seeking to not go into that state. That's one way to increase your processing speed some.
I feel I'm actually in a similar state What Sanghaha is facing. Recently, I could score 720(Q:50;V36)[sc:41;cr:35;rc:32],on an official mock, but this score is something constant for last 2 weeks. In an older mock, I scored 720. I have my test in next 3 weeks. I have timing issues with RC and CR. Sometimes, I am held longtime choosing between 2 options on both CR and RC. I'm planning to read The Economist, NYT and do the official questions in the last few days apart from reviewing the older questions. Do you have any suggestions to push oneself or anecdotes ?

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:50 pm
gocoder wrote:
I feel I'm actually in a similar state What Sanghaha is facing. Recently, I could score 720(Q:50;V36)[sc:41;cr:35;rc:32],on an official mock, but this score is something constant for last 2 weeks. In an older mock, I scored 720. I have my test in next 3 weeks. I have timing issues with RC and CR. Sometimes, I am held longtime choosing between 2 options on both CR and RC. I'm planning to read The Economist, NYT and do the official questions in the last few days apart from reviewing the older questions. Do you have any suggestions to push oneself or anecdotes ?
Hi gocoder.

First, let's make this, "I'm planning to read The Economist, NYT and do the official questions ..." parallel.

"I'm planning to read The Economist and NYT and do the official questions ..."

"I am planning to read (list) ... and do ..."

Ok, now, here's something to consider.

When you narrow the list of answers to a CR or RC question down to two answers, usually what you are working with at that point is one logical answer and one trap answer. So basically, what's taking your time is dealing with trap answers, answers which somehow seem right but which actually are wrong for clear, logical reasons.

So to speed up and to increase your verbal score, you could go beyond working on learning to eliminate answer choices and find the right choice to analyzing what makes certain answers trap answers and why you are falling for the traps.

When I work with someone, we often seek to analyze why every wrong answers is wrong and every right answers is right, and we also seek to see how wrong answers could trap people.

The point of figuring out how answers could trap people or why a person might choose a certain wrong answer is to learn to see the answers differently and more clearly, and I think that if you practice by doing that type of analysis, you will increase your skill in seeing the difference between trap answers and the correct answers.

In doing that you will become better at choosing between those last two answers, and you will increase both your speed and your accuracy.

_________________
Marty Murray
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m.w.murray@hotmail.com
https://infinitemindprep.com/
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sanghaha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
21 Oct 2016
Posted:
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Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:59 am
Marty Murray wrote:
sanghaha wrote:
Moreover, my problem (in verbal) is less getting the correct answer, more doing it quickly enough - so I am quite frustrated that I haven't scored that 750+.
I just noticed your use of the word "frustrated".

Now there is a clue.

The entire idea, being frustrated, is one that slows people down. Rather than just getting something done, a person takes an extra step, getting frustrated.

Even in the micro situation of working on a GMAT question a person can use up valuable time by momentarily going into a state of frustration.

So consider seeking to not go into that state. That's one way to increase your processing speed some.
Hi Marty, thanks a lot. Your advice is really actionable, and makes the goal seem more achievable. An update to my prep - I took the Powerprep test and scored unusually high thanks to having seen some of the CR questions, so not looking into it too much. Yet, this was great practice and the RCs and the SCs were mostly fresh.

I have realized that the CR questions in the real test tend to be more subtle than what most prep companies offer. This is where I end up losing time on the test leading to all the time pressure. Hence, I have decided to focus on LSAT CRs.

So for practice, I make 700-level question sets of 41 from GMATClub (with LSAT CRs) and time myself to 75 min. It seems I go slower in the earlier part of the test (Q8-Q16), spending even 3.5-4 min on some CRs to get the right answer. This inadvertently leaves me at Q30 at the 15-min-remaining mark, with significant time pressure. I am trying to be conscious of my habit and am trying to speed up early on in the test to mitigate this issue.

Marty Murray Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
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Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:54 am
sanghaha wrote:
I have realized that the CR questions in the real test tend to be more subtle than what most prep companies offer. This is where I end up losing time on the test leading to all the time pressure. Hence, I have decided to focus on LSAT CRs.

So for practice, I make 700-level question sets of 41 from GMATClub (with LSAT CRs) and time myself to 75 min. It seems I go slower in the earlier part of the test (Q8-Q16), spending even 3.5-4 min on some CRs to get the right answer. This inadvertently leaves me at Q30 at the 15-min-remaining mark, with significant time pressure. I am trying to be conscious of my habit and am trying to speed up early on in the test to mitigate this issue.
Excellent analysis. Excited to see your plan work!

Push yourself to get them done quickly and correctly.

I can add the following too. I had a tendency to finish verbal early, and then in the process of hitting my goal score, the last time I took the test I just barely finished verbal on time, as I was being super careful. Working that way made a difference. In other words, getting the right answer to verbal question after verbal question in the allotted time is not a cakewalk. So be ready to be rather intense in multiple ways in order to nail the section.

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Marty Murray
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sanghaha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:27 am
Hi Marty,

I took the GMAT yesterday and scored a 760! Pretty happy that I finally reached the ballpark that I was targeting. Your advice about analyzing your own weaknesses and finding out what exactly it is that prevents you from getting to the score proved priceless. The bottlenecks turn out to be surprisingly obvious when you look at them with full granularity, and your many posts on this site and GMATClub were immensely helpful to weed out the noise and look at the situation as objectively as possible. I must say, your ideas about being conscious and intense about what you're trying to achieve were absolutely essential for me to tackle the various timing issues I was facing on Verbal. Thanks for the great advice!

To give you some more detail on my test experience, I scored Q50 V44. I was a bit complacent about getting enough sleep, and 5-6 hours of sleep two nights in a row immediately before the test took a toll on me on both IR and Quant. I was not at all feeling fresh and I am sure I messed up something not too difficult on Quant. Even in IR I just ended up staring at the first question for 5 minutes straight without comprehending much - and it was a laughably easy question. In ended up with a 6 in IR whereas I would have usually scored at least a 7. In any case, I got back my rhythm mid-way through Quant and did alright there. In Verbal all the practice I had put in using self-made practice sets that I had told you about really paid off. I was slightly surprised to see Q50 V44 as 760 instead of 770, but I think that might have something to do with an imbalance in the scores for question subtypes, or with having gotten an easy question wrong in Quant.

Overall, the GMAT struggle has taught me some invaluable lessons about self improvement and development that I hope to utilize elsewhere in life. Thank you for everything!

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:35 am
sanghaha wrote:
Hi Marty,

I took the GMAT yesterday and scored a 760! Pretty happy that I finally reached the ballpark that I was targeting.
Exxxxcellent. DONE!

Quote:
Your advice about analyzing your own weaknesses and finding out what exactly it is that prevents you from getting to the score proved priceless. The bottlenecks turn out to be surprisingly obvious when you look at them with full granularity ...
Right?

Quote:
I must say, your ideas about being conscious and intense about what you're trying to achieve were absolutely essential for me to tackle the various timing issues I was facing on Verbal.
Too bad about the lack sleep, and way to go staying intense anyway!

So sweeeet to see you nail your goal.

Quote:
I was slightly surprised to see Q50 V44 as 760 instead of 770, but I think that might have something to do with an imbalance in the scores for question subtypes, or with having gotten an easy question wrong in Quant.
I think the answer is that the overall score is not based on section scores. Rather the overall score and the section scores are all based on how you did on the sections, and also one can be little higher or lower within a certain section score.

Quote:
Overall, the GMAT struggle has taught me some invaluable lessons about self improvement and development that I hope to utilize elsewhere in life. Thank you for everything!
Sure thing.

The process of hitting a GMAT goal has a way of doing that.

That sounds great!

_________________
Marty Murray
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https://infinitemindprep.com/
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