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# This topic has 4 expert replies and 21 member replies

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didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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#### Verbal Section

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:05 pm
How to ACE the verbal section?

I spend too much time at the beginning and have to hurry after question 20 or so, when I notice that I'm running out of time.

Thanks to give me a strategy.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:17 pm
Hi didieravoaka,

Many Test Takers find the Verbal section to be challenging, so you're not alone. The goal to 'ace' the Verbal section is unrealistic though - the good news is that you don't have to ace it to score 700+. Since that section of the Test is just as predictable and standardized as the Quant section is, you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) What materials are you using to study the Verbal section?
2) How long have you been studying the Verbal?
3) What are the typical 'steps' that you go through when answering an SC, RC or CR prompt?

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

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didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:38 pm
Hi Rich,

Actually I know few tips and steps that I have to go through before answering those questions, but I do not always follow them because I feel running out of time.

For SC questions: I read all the sentence(s) and try to understand them before answering. Sometimes I recognize things like parallelism or verb tense issues and focus on those issues.

For RC: I read the question stem first. I read the sentence(s) and make sure I understand the "story". Then I tempt to find some premises or assumptions by myself before answering.

For the RC: Since yesterday, I have found that is better for me to read the text and STOP as soon as I find the answer and then keep going.

I have been studying the Verbal Section (and the whole GMAT) seriously since last summer.

Thanks Rich.

didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:00 pm
Sorry, I forgot about the materials.

I'm using Veritas Prep, Manhattan Gmat to do my CAT's. I'm also using GMATPrep for my CAT's. By the way I got 370 yesterday on gmatprep 3 and 400 today on gmatprep 4. I need a score of 450 on my test date, which is on Wednesday 16th. And I used to studying with Manhattan a lot for the Verbal section.

Since last week, I have been using Bell Curves.com. If I remember correctly it was you who advised me to study with that or another expert of the forum.

Thanks.

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:57 pm
BellCurves is good for quant, not so good for verbal. For verbal practice questions, you are better off using another source, such as the Veritas Question Bank.

From what you said how you have been training for verbal is not that clear. So I have some questions.

Are you doing many practice questions?

If yes, do you do them quickly or slowly?

You said that you have used Manhattan for verbal training. What does that mean exactly? Did you use the guides?

Which aspects of verbal are you better at, SC, CR, or RC?

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didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:55 am
Hi Murray,

Yes I used to do many practice questions in the OG 13 and did them quickly. I used a clock.

Yes for Manhattan I used the guide.

I feel more comfortable with CR, but the assessment report on Manhattan show that I have 56% of right answer on SC, 46% on CR and 39% right on RC.
Though, I feel like I should do much better in SC because it looks to be tthe easier topic in verbal.

Thanks Murray.

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:07 am
didieravoaka wrote:
How to ACE the verbal section?

I spend too much time at the beginning and have to hurry after question 20 or so, when I notice that I'm running out of time.

Thanks to give me a strategy.
It might be helpful if you post a sample or two of the types of questions that give you difficulty. Describe your approach in detail. We'll try to point you in the right direction and offer some time-saving tips.

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Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now! Marty Murray Legendary Member Joined 03 Feb 2014 Posted: 2055 messages Followed by: 132 members Upvotes: 955 GMAT Score: 800 Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:28 am didieravoaka wrote: Hi Murray, Yes I used to do many practice questions in the OG 13 and did them quickly. I used a clock. There's your issue. To get GMAT verbal questions right, you need to develop an eye for key details and for the logic of the situations presented in the questions. Also, you need to develop and refine processes that get you to the right answers. Little to none of that development of skill happens when you do practice questions quickly, on a timed basis. You are doing them quickly, but without really learning much. So in order to develop the skills necessary for scoring higher in verbal, and in quant too, by the way, you have to slow down, and basically forget about the clock for two or three days. You need to work on the questions slowly and develop skill in getting to RIGHT answers. I say two or three days, because my understanding is that your test is scheduled for just five days from now. If you were to have had more time, I would have said to spend weeks doing this. I mean take ten or fifteen minutes per question, even an hour per question at times, working to see exactly why each wrong answer is wrong and each right answer is right. There is only one right answer to an official verbal question, and to most if not all test prep company verbal questions, and there are clear logical reasons why that one answer is right and the others are wrong. You need to develop skill in seeing those logical reasons and in being able to choose right answers with confidence. The way to do that is by slowing down and developing it. Any skill you develop in that way can be applied at any speed, just you have to slow down to develop it. When you are working more slowly, you could seek to achieve a hit rate higher than you have been, maybe for now around 65 - 75 percent right. If doing that takes 15 minutes per question, fine. Getting RIGHT answers is what you are training to do. For SC, work on getting better at noticing the logic of how the answer choices are constructed. Your hit rate in SC is not all that low, and by slowing down and noticing more how things work, you should be able to get that hit rate to go higher. For CR, get better at noticing the trap answers and at seeing the very logical way in which the right answer choice is related to the prompt and the question. For RC, likely you need to get better at noticing the difference between certain answer choices and what is actually said in the passages. Often answer choices seem to reflect or to be related to what is said in a passage, but actually they are well constructed trap answers created just right to match what a test taker might think he read, which is often not what the passage said. _________________ Marty Murray GMAT Coach m.w.murray@hotmail.com https://infinitemindprep.com/ In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Joined 13 Jan 2015 Posted: 163 messages Upvotes: 2 Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:51 am Hi David, Here is how I proceed for each type of question. For SC questions: I read all the sentence(s) and try to understand them before answering. Sometimes I recognize things like parallelism or verb tense issues and focus on those issues. For RC: I read the question stem first. I read the sentence(s) and make sure I understand the "story". Then I tempt to find some premises or assumptions by myself before answering. For the RC: I read the text and STOP as soon as I find the answer of the question and then keep going. Here are the type of questions that give me hard time. Thanks. didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Joined 13 Jan 2015 Posted: 163 messages Upvotes: 2 Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:23 am Hi Marty, Thank you very much for your advice. I really appreciate the time you spend writing down all those tips for me. And you do it every time I post such questions. I appreciate that. The most important thing that I'll keep in mind is that I have to slow down. Indeed, I've been noticing that even during the CAT's my score is higher when I slow down than when I'm not. Though, when I do not slow down is because I'm so worried about the time. I will do everything you said regarding each section of verbal. I will use the questions bank on veritas for the verbal. For the five remaining days I have before the test date, I will work on those issues for both verbal and math sections. Is it okay if after that I take a test on Tuesday? Or do you think that I no longer need to take any additional CAT's, instead just working on those strategies. Thanks again. Marc. Marty Murray Legendary Member Joined 03 Feb 2014 Posted: 2055 messages Followed by: 132 members Upvotes: 955 GMAT Score: 800 Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:16 pm 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. _________________ Marty Murray GMAT Coach m.w.murray@hotmail.com https://infinitemindprep.com/ In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Joined 13 Jan 2015 Posted: 163 messages Upvotes: 2 Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:37 pm Usually I do not take full test as I know AWA and IR sections do no count in the gmat score, I just do quant and verbal. I'll take just quant and verbal on Monday and apply what I'm working on. Thanks Marty. ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2667 messages Followed by: 120 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:34 am didieravoaka wrote: Hi David, Here is how I proceed for each type of question. For SC questions: I read all the sentence(s) and try to understand them before answering. Sometimes I recognize things like parallelism or verb tense issues and focus on those issues. For RC: I read the question stem first. I read the sentence(s) and make sure I understand the "story". Then I tempt to find some premises or assumptions by myself before answering. For the RC: I read the text and STOP as soon as I find the answer of the question and then keep going. Here are the type of questions that give me hard time. Thanks. Each of these questions should have its own thread, but we can discuss the first one here: Quote: In response to mounting public concern, an airplane manufacturer implemented a program with the well-publicized goal of reducing by half the total yearly amount of hazardous waste generated by its passenger-jet division. When the program began in 1994, the division's hazardous waste output was 90 pounds per production worker; last year it was 40 pounds per production worker. Clearly, therefore, charges that the manufacturer's program has not met its goal are false. Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends? A) The amount of nonhazardous waste generated each year by the passenger-jet division has not increased significantly since 1994. B) At least as many passenger jets were produced by the division last year as had been produced in 1994. C) Since 1994, other divisions in the company have achieved reductions in hazardous waste output that are at least equal to that achieved in the passenger-jet division. D) The average number of weekly hours per production worker in the passenger-jet division was not significantly greater last year than it was in 1994. E) The number of production workers assigned to the passenger-jet division was not significantly less in 1994 than it was last year. Conclusion: Charges that manufacturers have not met their goal of reducing hazardous materials are false. Premise: in '94: waste = 90 pounds/worker; last year: waste = 40 pounds/worker Anytime a fraction gets smaller, we can surmise that either the numerator has decreased, the denominator has increased or both. This argument is predicated on the notion that because the waste/worker has decreased from 90 to 40, the amount of waste (the numerator) has dramatically decreased. So we're assuming that it's not the case that the number of workers (the denominator) has dramatically increased. This is what E is saying. General takeaway: if we're told in a CR prompt that a fraction changes, and the argument draws a conclusion about what must have happened to the numerator, the answer will likely contain info about what happened to the denominator. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!
didieravoaka Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:31 am
Thanks David!

I will do a thread for the remaining questions.

sanghaha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:10 am
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

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