Verbal Strategy

I was sitting on the train yesterday and I was thinking about why my verbal score had declined from a peak of 52 to 38 on the actual GMAT. I hadn’t changed any of my verbal study habits, so I was perplexed as to why this drop occurred. I was playing with my iPhone when I think I discovered the root of my problem. I remember during my verbal hot streak that I was reading a book on my iPhone (Bram Stoker’s Dracula). Could it be that simple? Could reading increase my verbal score by 14 points? I don’t know if that is the true answer, but it is the working hypothesis I am currently operating under. This morning I started reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I am hoping that by reading everyday I will train my brain to think in proper English, and not the slang that is used on a daily basis. Has anyone else tried this? Think it might work? Think it is a stupid idea? Sorry for not posting yesterday, but I didn’t have much to say…still reveling in the U.S.’s improbable victory over Spain in the Confederation’s Cup. I am probably the only person who cares about this, but here are the highlights:

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8 Responses

  1. I think that you will be better off with more practice tests. They also involve reading, but the key (IMO) is technique (i.e. how to approach different types of questions).

  2. Jaba – I probably should have made this clearer in my post….I am still going to continue to take practice tests and study for the verbal section. This will simply be in addition to my normal work load. It gives me something to do on the train and it improves my verbal skills. Thanks for the comment.

  3. 38 is actually a good score in verbal. BTW how much did you score on the GMAT?? And you are spot on with your reading theory. I definitely think that its a good way to improve your verbal ability..

  4. Hari- 38 is a good score, but I had been routinely getting 50s on my practice tests, so the 38 was disappointing. I got 680 on the GMAT, but had been doing better than that (710 on practice tests).

  5. Reading could help. Do you have the “Official Verbal Guide” from GMAT? If I remember correctly, there are some good reviews in there. Supposedly Princeton Review is also good for Verbal.

    As for the US… WOOO HOO! You are NOT the only one that cares. Bring on Brazil!! Sunday should be an intense game (fingers crossed).

  6. Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole…USA, USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t have the Official Verbal Guide…Maybe that is something I should look into. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Hey Steve! You may also find this exercise to be useful (plus free, and you can do it anywhere):

    The New York Times Exercise / Reading Comp: http://smartestprep.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/the-new-york-times-exercise-reading-comprehension/

    Good luck with your study!

  8. I definitely think reading (actively) everyday helps. In preparation for the GMAT, I read WSJ opinion journal articles every morning on my Blackberry and I ended up scoring a 98% verbal. I think it had a lot to do with it, especially forcing myself to consider the author’s tone, main point, flaws in his argument, etc.

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