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Disclaimer: This post would mainly help if you are struggling on Verbal. Also, this worked for me; please adapt what is most suitable for you.

Here's my experience:

My goal was to reach 80% verbal.

Difference in my two attempts:


I had completed OG10, 11, Scoretop, Kaplan, Manhattan, Sets (about 25 - great to overcome timing issues + some real GMAT type questions - it's a must!)

In SC and CR, I could easily remove 3 choices. The problem was to select from the last two remaining choices. My RC was ok.

I had read Manhattan SC, but still could not relate to GMAT style (of when is present continuous or past perfect is correct / incorrect). I used to go by what sounds good.


I took 1-to-1 tutoring at Csquare. I must say, Csquare is an expert in GMAT question types and pattern. I had decided to take GMAT in next 10 days since I wanted to submit my new scores after the deadline. No choice, but to get up 4:30 am, drive 20 KMs and attend class at 5:00 am. Rush to office by 8:30am phew! (Remembered my 12th class timings). Didn't have much time but to follow his rules.

SC: Csquare made SC very simple with few basic rules like when is -ing, having + ed, were, had been etc. are correct / incorrect. Just follow blindly and apply it! This led to easy elimination of many choices within seconds. I was now more looking for the rules, instead of, spending time in what sounds good.  

CR: Nothing new, Csquare gave a trick to paraphrase CR in a new style and to write down the conclusion before looking at answers. This worked amazingly especially for assumption and weakness type questions.

RC: His RC approach (FIRE) is nice; Again the key in RC is to paraphrase and identify the trigger points. 

Followed the rules for each question type and I could see improvement in practice tests.   

Quant: I hardly touched for 15 hours in this attempt. Just revised GMAT prep 175 questions in VIP section and solved all practice questions. I was more focusing on verbal to cross the 80% barrier.

On the test day: 

Completed all the practice questions for the month. Do it religiously! 


Found tougher than my previous attempt. Was surprised to see quite a few DS questions. After completing math, I knew, it was not a 50.


Started great. First 3 questions, I knew, I got it right. This time, I spent more time on RCs (pretty similar to Sets and GMATprep standard). My approach to RCs was different this time - Kalyan explained that in RCs the answer is in front of you, just we need to paraphrase and identify the trigger points.

In SC and CR, with the new rules, I was now pretty confident on choices I was selecting. If I was not sure on some question, then I made sure that for the next question I gave attention to avoid consecutive errors (heavy penalty on GMAT!). Struggled in last 3 to 4 questions. Had just 4 minutes left. Completed the survey. Could not believe, when the screen flashed - 700 and V – 38: 83%.


Sachin Jain

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