stuck on v34. what to do.?

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stuck on v34. what to do.?

by the_silver_lining » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:17 am
I have given 5 MGMAT test till now. My verbal score has not increased in the last 3. Its v34.
scored 640 (q44, v34) in the last test. Any suggestions??
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by [email protected] » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:25 pm
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by Tommy Wallach » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:37 pm
Hey Silver Lining,

There's no better commentary on your studying technique then seeing a bunch of practice tests without a change. HOWEVER, if you've taken them fairly close together, you might be setting your expectations too high.

That being said, I'm going to continue assuming that you've taken some time between tests, reviewed them well, and even worked on verbal homework in-between tests. If this is the case, there's only one explanation: though you might be studying new things, you aren't actually using them on the test. Here are some guideline questions:

1) What would you look for in the answer choices of an SC question that would signal it's a Subject-Verb Agreement question? A parallelism question? A modifier question?

2) Are you taking notes for CR? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you have, are you checking your conclusion/premise against the official ones? Are you getting it right every time?

3) Are you taking notes for RC? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you are, are you writing a structural outline? Do you get the main idea correct every time?

4) Can you describe a gerund to me? A participle? Can you explain the major differences between a CR Inference/Draw a Conclusion question and a CR Strengthen question?

If any of these questions throw you for a loop, then you aren't absorbing new techniques from the books you're studying, and that's why you're not seeing improvement.

Let me know if that helps! Also, feel free to give me your name and I can actually look at your practice tests.

-t
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by the_silver_lining » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:21 pm
Hi Tommy,

Thanks for the reply,

I did assess my practise tests. I felt that i am bit down with the CR and RC.
I will answer your questions.Please bear with my vague explanations. I am not good at explaining. :)

1) What would you look for in the answer choices of an SC question that would signal it's a Subject-Verb Agreement question? A parallelism question? A modifier question?
1. Whenever I see a SC question. I first read the sentence and then on the basis of differences in answer choices try to check what is tested in the question. Whether it is S-V agreement or parallelism or modifier. I can point out the wrong choices in the SC questions (at least most of the times).
2) Are you taking notes for CR? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you have, are you checking your conclusion/premise against the official ones? Are you getting it right every time?
2. For CR i generally do not take notes. However I have realised a pattern in the assumption questions that most of the time answer is the option which gives some negative point which basically rules out other factors. I am very bad at boldface CR. I always get confused with the answer choices. Also same problem with the explain the discrepancy.
3) Are you taking notes for RC? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you are, are you writing a structural outline? Do you get the main idea correct every time?
3. For RC, I somehow did very badly on the last test. RC is one of my biggest weakness. I am not sure how to overcome this. I tried solving many passages from the RC-99. In many of them I got 2-3 right for every passage but off lately i started getting zero questions right for every passage. I stopped practising RC after that. (The fear of getting every question wrong in the RCs stops me.)
4) Can you describe a gerund to me? A participle? Can you explain the major differences between a CR Inference/Draw a Conclusion question and a CR Strengthen question?
4. CR inference/conclusion and strengthening is different.
Inference/conclusion gives the conclusion of the argument. Basically the effect of something. Strengthening is strongly supporting the argument by giving some undelying reasons strongly in favour of the argument.
I have to brush up a bit on gerund and participle.

I am sending you my name in PM.

Thanks a lot.
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by brianlange77 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:04 pm
the_silver_lining wrote: 1. Whenever I see a SC question. I first read the sentence and then on the basis of differences in answer choices try to check what is tested in the question. Whether it is S-V agreement or parallelism or modifier. I can point out the wrong choices in the SC questions (at least most of the times).
Take a look at these links -- may give you some additional thoughts/tips about how to tackle sentence correction.

https://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/GMATprep-SC.cfm
https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... orrection/
the_silver_lining wrote:2. For CR i generally do not take notes. However I have realised a pattern in the assumption questions that most of the time answer is the option which gives some negative point which basically rules out other factors. I am very bad at boldface CR. I always get confused with the answer choices. Also same problem with the explain the discrepancy.
This paragraph scare me a bit -- because it tell me that you've got some big work in front of you on the CR front. I'd suggest starting here -- https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... g-problem/
the_silver_lining wrote: 3. For RC, I somehow did very badly on the last test. RC is one of my biggest weakness. I am not sure how to overcome this. I tried solving many passages from the RC-99. In many of them I got 2-3 right for every passage but off lately i started getting zero questions right for every passage. I stopped practising RC after that. (The fear of getting every question wrong in the RCs stops me.)
Whew -- there are some obvious RC tips I can offer here (second link), but I think you need to bolster your confidence here a bit. Maybe there is something else going on here that is impacting your study?

https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... -the-gmat/
https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... p-passage/

Hope this helps -- ping me back with more thoughts.

-Brian
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by Tommy Wallach » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:51 pm
Hey Silver Lining,

So the short answer is that you didn't really provide the correct answers to any of my questions. That shows me that there's still a lot of very straightforward work ahead. You need to get a set of books (from my company or another), or else take a class. That's my honest opinion. : )

I'll say more once you've posted your scores, but that part won't change. Your fundamental understanding of the test is still weak, and you're doing this with intuitive/basic methods, instead of methods tailored to the GMAT.

I'll say more when I've looked at your scores.

-t
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by the_silver_lining » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:03 am
Hi Tommy,

These are my scores on MGMAT mock tests.

CAT 5 01/30/2013 640 (Q44 V34)
CAT 4 12/09/2012 590 (Q38 V34)
CAT 3 11/16/2012 610 (Q40 V34)
CAT 2 08/10/2012 500 (Q31 V28) (Had studied verbal a bit)
CAT 1 06/25/2012 470 (Q37 V19) (This was my diagnostic test)

I am done with the MGMAT SC, MGMAT CR, and powerscore CR.

Thanks again.
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by Tommy Wallach » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:03 pm
Hey Silver Lining,

So a few things worth noting.

As you probably know, your timing is still a major problem. On your most recent test, you were running ten minutes behind by question 10. You then had to rush here and there to catch up, and guess on the last three questions. Make sure you're benchmarking; you should never fall more than five minutes behind. Your pacing on verbal is great.

Assessment reports here are tough, because the time between all the tests is fairly significant. If I run the report on just the last two tests, I get this:

Problem Solving 44 22 22 0 50% 2:01 2:25 640 690
Data Sufficiency 30 15 15 0 50% 1:31 1:59 610 680
Sentence Correction 30 20 10 0 67% 1:40 1:26 690 730
Critical Reasoning 28 13 15 0 46% 1:54 2:08 610 680
Reading Comprehension 24 14 10 0 58% 1:53 1:40 630 690

Starting here, we can see the primary weakness in critical reasoning. 50% is also lower than we'd like to see on quant (breaking 700 requires running at about 60%-65% correct, as far as I know). Sentence Correction is your strongest area, which is good, because it's very important.

QUANTITATIVE
Geometry 11 3 8 27% 2:04 2:03
Number Properties 13 7 6 54% 1:45 2:18
Algebra 17 13 4 76% 1:20 1:51 FASTEST
Word Problems 20 7 13 35% 2:11 2:38 SLOWEST
Fractions, Decimals, & Percents 13 7 6 54% 2:17 1:50

Here on Quant we can see a few things. Geometry has the lowest correct percentage (27%), and definitely needs work. Equally interesting is the 35% correct on Word Problems, though that category includes so many different things (combinatorics, probability, overlapping sets, etc.) that it can be difficult to work on efficiently. 54% on NP and FDPs isn't terrible, but they still could use some work.

The truth is that the numbers tell lots of good things. First of all, your arc of improvement is fantastic. You've gone from a 470 to a 640. That's huge! To see more improvement, however, you need to make sure you're really changing up your process whenever you can. I asked you a bunch of questions before, right? Here are the correct answers:
1) What would you look for in the answer choices of an SC question that would signal it's a Subject-Verb Agreement question? A parallelism question? A modifier question?
Answers: For SV-Agreement, you would look for splits in the singular/plural of the subject or the verb of the sentence. For parallelism, you would look for markers such as either/or, and, neither, but, although, etc. For modifiers, you would look for relative pronouns (which/that/who), participles (-ing, -ed words), prepositional phrases, adjectives and adverbs.

2) Are you taking notes for CR? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you have, are you checking your conclusion/premise against the official ones? Are you getting it right every time?

Answers: Yes, I am taking notes for CR. I am writing down the conclusion and premises of every assumption family question. When I'm done, I check and see if I identified the conclusion and premises and wrote them down both efficiently and accurately. If I did not, I mark the question for later study.

3) Are you taking notes for RC? Have you ever tried it? If not, there's your problem. If you are, are you writing a structural outline? Do you get the main idea correct every time?

Answers: Yes I am. Yes I have. I write a structural outline, making sure to write down the main idea of the entire passage, as well as what structural role each paragraph plays in supporting that main idea. I nail it every time.

4) Can you describe a gerund to me? A participle? Can you explain the major differences between a CR Inference/Draw a Conclusion question and a CR Strengthen question?

Answers: A gerund is an -ing word acting as a noun. A participle is an adjective that kinda looks like a verb, usually ending in -ing or -ed. The differences between an Inference and a Strengthen question are myriad. First, one of them has a core (conclusion/premise), while the other only has premises. The answer to an inference question is usually a restatement of something in the passage, where the answer to a strengthen question is often something totally new.

For some of these questions, you gave good answers, but for many of them you did not. Keep studying, and make sure you're always generalizing out, coming up with rules that can be applied to other questions of the same type. Good luck!

-t
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by the_silver_lining » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:41 am
Hi Tommy,

Thanks a lot for your advice. The things you pointed out are very helpful. I never realized that I was running 10 minutes behind by the 10th question. I will surely note this down and take care of it in the next test.

Even I tried to asses my score and found out that the number properties was perhaps the weakest in all of the tests.I have tried to brush up Number properties (except combinatorics & probability), geometry, rates and work. I hope I am able to answer the questions on these topics. I did these topics from MGMAT guides and then solved the questions that i got on the previous tests. I was able to solve 99% of them. Ok one question here.

As I had solved the previous test questions correctly. Should I try to practice questions with more difficulty levels also?? (As the difficulty levels are distributed. Not of any single level.)

Thank you again for the answers you have provided for your questions.

Now I have to work on CR and give another test. Lets see how it goes. :)

Thank you again,

Regards,
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by Tommy Wallach » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:42 am
Hey Silver Lining,

Taking practice tests will get the difficulty at the place it needs to be. You don't need to actively go out of your way to try questions of all difficulties. The test is adaptive, so it more or less hangs out where you belong. If you're particularly bad at one category, then yes, it's helpful to use a book to look at easier questions, in order to get your skills/confidence up. Because of the nature of adaptivity, if you're really good at everything except one category, you might never see easy questions in that category you're bad at, and that would make it tough to practice.

Good luck on your next test!

-t
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by the_silver_lining » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:06 pm
I agree. Thanks for the reply : )
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