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2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score?

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2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2018, 09:17
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I took the GRE after 4.5 months of studying and scored a 319 (160V/159Q). I'm retaking it again in two weeks and was hoping to see if anyone could provide some advice on how to reach my goal of 324? Below is some more context for reference.

I'm consistently scoring 160-161 on verbal and 158-160 on quant and haven't been able to improve over the last month of studying since I took the exam. What's most frustrating is that I am consistently getting 16-18 questions correct on the first verbal and quant sections, but only 10-12 correct on the 2nd (harder) verbal and quant sections.

Any tips or insights on how I can improve my performance on the harder sections?

Anyone with similar experiences/success stories from other test takers would be really helpful.

Thank you all! :-D


P.S.
What I've used to prepare:
- Magoosh: I completed all of the lessons and 90% of practice questions
- Manhattan practice tests: I took all 6, reviewed mistakes multiple times each
- ETS Power Prep 2: completed both practice exams and ETS Power Prep Plus Test 1
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Re: 2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2018, 16:23
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Troubleshooting.

Develop a core algorithm to answer questions correctly every single time. Apply the algorithm and adjust it until it can fully answer any question so long as you are fully aware of the content. For example, if you don't know the vocabulary, you wont be able to answer correctly but assuming you know the vocabulary, you should be able to answer correctly 100% of time if you have the right algorithm.
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Re: 2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score? [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2018, 13:46
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It's hard to say without knowing much detail, but here are a couple thoughts.
How is your timing? Do you consistently run out of time or finish too early? If so, your score can be greatly affected and if you fix the situation you may be able to bump up your score without needing to suddenly learn anything new. One way to manage timing is to write on your scratch paper two columns representing the question number and your target time. Something like this:
Q T
4 28
8 21
12 14
16 7
20 0

Basically, every 4 questions you can look at the clock on the screen and see how it compares to the target time in the right-hand column. If you see that you're falling behind, the solution is not to speed up! You'll just start making sloppy mistakes. Rather, the solution is to skip a problem that looks tough. No reason to waste time on tough ones when you could have easier ones up ahead. The columns I depicted are for Quant. Verbal would be the same except that you should count down by 6s in the clock column since verbal should be 1:30/question.

Secondly, it sounds like you don't have an error log. In a 4.5 month long process, how did you determine what topics to study? That's a lot of time invested but if you were studying things that weren't as important for you than you may not have been as efficient as possible. Long story short, you need to go back to the tests that you've taken, and put all the questions you got wrong into a spreadsheet. You should also put the ones you got right in there if you spent more than about 2:30 on them. The spreadsheet should also tell what topic (i.e. algebra, word problem, overlapping sets, or main idea, inference, detail, etc) and what question type (i.e. quantitative comparison, multiple choice or reading, sentence completion etc.) Then you can study the trends and see where you're losing the most points. Those are the areas you should be studying. If you lost a total of 5 points from probability, but 12 from word problems, then obviously studying word problems is your priority. Once you've studied it some more and worked out your issues, then I'd go back and redo those 12 problems I'd missed in the past.

Hope this helps.
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Re: 2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score? [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2018, 16:19
Every algorithm can be beaten when you understand its core :roll:
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Re: 2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2018, 13:08
I hope I had your quant score :<
Re: 2nd Attempt. What's the best way to raise my score?   [#permalink] 18 Mar 2018, 13:08
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