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# Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up

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Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up [#permalink]  08 Oct 2018, 03:19
I'm currently preparing for the GRE. I'm aiming to take as many practice tests as possible. I've noticed that my verbal score barely improves from test to test (range: 158-160). Now this score isn't bad, but with the quantitative section, with each test I'm getting a better score. With each test I'm making fewer and fewer mistakes. This sort of leads me to believe that it is very difficult to improve your verbal score. So in other words: your verbal score is pretty much fixed (or you'd have to spend a very long time to improve it marginally), whereas your quant score can easily improve.

Does anyone agree with this assessment?
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Re: Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up [#permalink]  08 Oct 2018, 05:30
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Monco wrote:
I'm currently preparing for the GRE. I'm aiming to take as many practice tests as possible. I've noticed that my verbal score barely improves from test to test (range: 158-160). Now this score isn't bad, but with the quantitative section, with each test I'm getting a better score. With each test I'm making fewer and fewer mistakes. This sort of leads me to believe that it is very difficult to improve your verbal score. So in other words: your verbal score is pretty much fixed (or you'd have to spend a very long time to improve it marginally), whereas your quant score can easily improve.

Does anyone agree with this assessment?

Hi,

Merely taking the mock tests will not help boosting of the score. You have to work on your weaknesses to improve in that particular section.
Improvement in quant may be for the reason that there is a lot of scope to improve as you have not mentioned your score/range.
But if you have reached a platform, it is all the more important that you find reasons for this and work on your weaknesses. May be you are getting some particular questions wrong every time.
_________________

Some useful Theory.
1. Arithmetic and Geometric progressions : https://greprepclub.com/forum/progressions-arithmetic-geometric-and-harmonic-11574.html#p27048
2. Effect of Arithmetic Operations on fraction : https://greprepclub.com/forum/effects-of-arithmetic-operations-on-fractions-11573.html?sid=d570445335a783891cd4d48a17db9825
3. Remainders : https://greprepclub.com/forum/remainders-what-you-should-know-11524.html
4. Number properties : https://greprepclub.com/forum/number-property-all-you-require-11518.html
5. Absolute Modulus and Inequalities : https://greprepclub.com/forum/absolute-modulus-a-better-understanding-11281.html

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Re: Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up [#permalink]  11 Oct 2018, 16:45
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Hi Monco,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. As chetan2u mentioned, taking practice exams one after the other will not help improve your score. GRE practice tests serve two main purposes: to provide diagnostic information and to get you accustomed to the test-taking experience. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GRE questions you are comfortable answering, arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GRE at that point in time, and practice taking the GRE and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

Can practice tests be a valuable tool for learning and continued score improvement? Yes, if they are used properly and at optimal times in your preparation. However, you should not use practice tests as primary learning vehicles because they don’t really provide the kind of practice that you need to increase your score. To improve your score, you need to learn the basics of answering various types of GRE questions, and then practice applying what you have learned by carefully answering practice questions in order to learn to answer them correctly. Learning how to answer a particular type of question can easily take way longer than the 1 minute and 45 seconds per question that you are allotted when you take the GRE. So, to effectively prepare, you have to practice answering questions of each type without the constraints of the exam, and work up to the point at which you can answer questions of each type in around 1 minute and 45 seconds.

While taking a practice test can be a great way to work on your overall approach to taking the GRE, taking a practice test is not a great way to learn how to get right answers to various types of questions, and to hit your score goal, you likely need to focus on the latter type of prep. You certainly can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation to gauge your current skill level (as you have done), but why spend three hours taking another practice test (and another, and another) to learn the same thing over and over again: you have to learn more content and develop more skills to hit your score goal. Using practice tests in such a way wastes a valuable tool.

Once you have done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GRE, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how you will score on the GRE at a particular point in time, the sample size of the number of questions on any practice test is rather small (40 quant questions and 40 verbal questions), so practice tests don’t do a very good job of showing specific areas of weakness. For example, let’s say that you encounter one Rate-Time-Distance question among the 40 quant questions on a practice test, and you get the question wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the Rate-Time-Distance question? Does that mean you’re good to go on such questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s say that out of six practice tests, you saw a total of six Rate-Time-Distance questions and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GRE challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Rate-Time-Distance questions that can appear on any test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Rate-Time-Distance questions doesn’t really tell you much. You must take care not to over-infer based on a handful of practice tests and nothing else.

So, before taking more practice exams, work on improving your verbal skills. If you’d like any advice on how to do so, please reach back out, and I’d be happy to help.

Lastly, you may find the following articles helpful: How to incorporate practice tests into your GRE prep and how to score a 330+ on your GRE.

Please reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Re: Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up [#permalink]  06 Nov 2018, 03:28
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Yes, I fully support the comments above. you must really identify your weak points and work hard on them. then something will change and your results will be better.
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Re: Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up [#permalink]  20 Nov 2018, 07:50
Thanx for this post
Re: Verbal score stays the same, quant score goes up   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2018, 07:50
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