Stupid CR+Essay!!! How to improve?

<p>I found that I've hit a "wall" this morning after finally taking another practice test (yeah, I know, the day after the 4th of July, but to be fair I am busy for all of next week). I felt that I did better than usual, though I didn't expect an 800. However, it seems like I always get 7 questions wrong, no more, no less. Maybe 7 is my unlucky number. Anyways, I've noticed that I'm getting a lot of vocab questions wrong, since out of the 7, 3 of the questions are sentence completions. I was thinking of buying Direct Hits, but I'm not too sure if it is worth the $30 for both books. </p>

<p>Should I get the second volume only, or both? I'm not too sure exactly where my vocabulary level is at the moment. If it helps, I got 2 difficult questions and 1 medium level question wrong, based on collegeboard's ranking for each question. </p>

<p>Also, I've found that I can get -0 on the writing MC, but I seem to have lost my writing speed...I just can't seem to finish anymore. I'm trying to cut down on the time I spend brainstorming (usually 5-6 minutes currently) by preparing some examples ahead of time, but they seem to all just fade out of my memory when I sit down to write the essay. Any ideas on how to write faster?</p>

<p>Oh, and btw, what is the bare minimum I need on the essay for an 800 with all MC correct?</p>

<p>You need at least a 9 (depends on the curve, of course) with an MC subscore of 80 in order to get an 800 (I got 80 MC/ 9 essay/ 800 W in June 2009).</p>