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# Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important)

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19 Sep 2011, 09:07
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It was interesting to read the comments in the discussion. I just want to add my 2 cents .

I feel when GMAC says it is getting away with idioms, it refers to pure idioms such as "making do", "even as", "divided over" etc. I doubt there would be changes with respect to correct prepositional usage. (forbid to vs forbid from ; mistook for vs mistook with). I think we still need to know these things.

With regards to meaning, well i try to remember the rule outlined in MGMAT SC guide : First Grammar, then Meaning, then Concision.

I hope some of the test training companies come up with a set of sample questions as a practice for the SC questions based on meaning.

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20 Sep 2011, 01:27
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I have just posted 27 questions from the OG10 that deal with changes in meaning.

27-og10-question-on-altered-intent-changes-in-meaning-120871.html
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20 Sep 2011, 08:35
My guess on the idioms issue (and I will continue my conversations with GMAC folks to see whether I can get more detail / clarity) is that idioms that don't mess up meaning (including "preposition" idioms) are the ones that will get downplayed. If you say "the teacher is affiliated with that organization" or "the teacher is affiliated to that organization" - well, one's grammatically correct and one's not, but someone's still going to understand what you mean, so why test that?

On the other hand, if you don't understand the meaning of particular idioms (such as the example I gave in my article), well - that's now a meaning issue. I would imagine that that kind of stuff will probably still be in there. I would also guess that "adjacent" grammar issues will still be tested. Eg, in the idiom "From X to Y," there are two things to know: first, that "from" and "to" are paired, and second, that X and Y are parallel. Maybe they won't test us on the "from" and "to" pairing any longer, but parallelism is a different issue, and I would guess that they'll still test us on that.
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20 Sep 2011, 08:49
Dear experts,
Quote:
(a) they want to get rid of idioms entirely

Does it mean that 5 answer choices won't have idiom splits at all?
Or does it mean that idiom splits will exist, but the correct answer would be reached without considering the idioms splits (using other rules and issues)?

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20 Sep 2011, 10:04
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Good question - don't know. My guess is that the idiom splits will not even exist. I've sent an email to Dr. Rudner asking some clarifying questions about this issue. I don't know how much detail he's allowed to share, but if I do get any additional detail from him, I will definitely let you know!
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20 Sep 2011, 11:21
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StaceyKoprince wrote:
Hi, guys

As you can see, Caitlin just posted the link to our longer article.

Re: the meaning stuff, there are already examples of this in OG; meaning has always been one of the major issues. They've been changing the proportion of questions that test this, that's all. Someone who has focused 90% on grammar and only 10% on meaning is going to find the official test a lot tougher because that person hasn't focused enough on the meaning issue - and that issue is more prevalent on the real test now.

Re: the idiom stuff, I spoke directly with Larry* myself and he specifically said that (a) they want to get rid of idioms entirely, and (b) he "hopes" they're gone already, though he doesn't know whether that's actually the case, because it takes time to "scrub" all of the existing questions. This conversation occurred after the conference at the reception; two of my colleagues were with me, but I'm not sure who else from other companies was still around to hear. I can imagine that any attendees who weren't still there are now thinking, "Wait, he didn't say all of that during the conference!" That's true... he said it that evening at the reception.

My guess is that there probably are still some idiom Qs in the pool - and I also distinguish between two kinds of idioms in my longer blog post (see link from Caitlin above). The types of idioms that can still interfere with meaning... maybe they'll keep those.

*Larry is the VP of R&D and Chief Psychometrician of GMAC. Also, he said that they are getting rid of idioms specifically because they think idioms artificially penalize non-native speakers, and they don't want to do that - it's not fair.

Hi

So can i avoid reading MGMAT SC chapter on Idioms ......Or i still need to study that?
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20 Sep 2011, 12:36
StaceyKoprince wrote:
Good question - don't know. My guess is that the idiom splits will not even exist. I've sent an email to Dr. Rudner asking some clarifying questions about this issue. I don't know how much detail he's allowed to share, but if I do get any additional detail from him, I will definitely let you know!

Thanks
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20 Sep 2011, 12:44
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Quote:
So can i avoid reading MGMAT SC chapter on Idioms ......Or i still need to study that?

Read through all of my posts in the thread - we're not entirely sure what all of the implications are yet. We'll let you know when we know more!
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20 Sep 2011, 13:00
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20 Sep 2011, 13:30
Here is the update from Mohater: gmatclub-attends-2011-gmac-test-prep-summit-nyc-120877.html
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Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important) [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2011, 16:33
really I have no words

Right now,after a hard day's work, at 2.00 AM (time zone) I'm studying the idiom chapter in MGMAT SC guide..........

what should I do ?? change strategy ?? continue with the guide ?? this implementation will be soon ?? next week ?' next month ??

Sorry but after a lot of effort and money spent, be concerned is the minimum......

Thanks Gmatclub .
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20 Sep 2011, 20:35
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This post will help all non-native speakers in general and Indians in particular.

Why should you read this post?

This is Sandeep Gupta, a GMAT Trainer in Bangalore India (running the company Ivy-GMAT). I have always had 99th percentile scores on the Verbal Section (in the range of 45 to 51) of the GMAT; also I have always scored 51 in the Quantitative Section. I have never scored less than 770 (Q51,V45) on any of my GMAT attempts.

I am writing what helped me get such scores time and again. If you are a native speaker, you may not find the post useful.

****

What I have been telling at my students for the last 20 months is FINALLY validated by the GMAC!

GMAT SC is all about meaning clarity. Two or more options can be grammatically correct ... the right meaning wins the day for you.

For more details, check ManhattanGMAT Blog:

"How to get that coveted 99th percentile score on the current-day GMAT?"

CAVEAT: All the recommendations mentioned below are for a 99th percentile score (for an average Indian student who happens to be average at Verbal). If you want to score less, you may proportionally reduce the input.

The GMAT has not announced the changes in the other sections but let me tell you all about them from my experiences:

RC:

Not even one direct question is being asked these days. All questions are based on purpose, main point, tone, and very subtle inferences. OCTAVE Technique wins the day for you hands down. You may miss it at your own peril.

SHOCKING as it may seem ...

NONE of the national / international GMAT training companies seem(s) to have any effective approach to tackle RC.

My approach to a 99th percentile score in RCs:

Step 1: Master OCTAVE

Step 2: Solve at least 200 CR inference questions (YES CR inferences not RC inferences), trying to understand how wrong answers are made wrong; also see HOW CLOSE the choices can be.

Step 3: Solve about 200-300 real GMAT + real LSAT passages using OCTAVE ... (Latest RC, OG 10, 11, 12, VR 1, VR 2, LSAT 60 papers)

Step 4: Try four-hour sittings with LSAT RCs (at least 8-10 sittings). As the GMAT is a four-hour long affair and as people struggle most while concentrating on RC, the best way to tackle this is to have four-hour long nonstop sittings with RC and only RC.

Step 5: For 2-3 consecutive days, solve at the rate of at least 40-50 LSAT passages per day (before your test).

If you promise all the above steps to the T, I guarantee 100% accuracy in RC ...

CR:

These days, all CR questions tend to be quite convoluted. You must be really good at deconstructing complex life- and business-situations given in complex language. Assumption / evaluate / complete the passage / numbers and percentages etc. happen to be the most favorite topics on the GMAT lately. Also, most students find it extremely hard to finish any CR question in about 90 seconds (the ideal time for CR).

My approach to a 99th percentile score in CRs:

Step 1: Master ACT ... Assumption Centrality Technique. You must be able to almost guarantee that you will never get any assumption question wrong.

Step 2: Take up about 50 BOLDFACE questions and deconstruct each argument threadbare. Don't mark the answers ... just do a threadbare analysis. Each statement can be either a supporting statement (evidence, premise, fact, consideration, situation, supporting reason etc.), or the conclusion of the author (prediction, opinion, judgement, hypothesis, position, claim etc.), or a sub-conclusion supporting the conclusion of the author, or the conclusion of the other party (usually some critics or some other people whose reasoning is countered by the author). The advantage of this process is that the entire approach to deconstructing any argument will become so crystal-clear to you that all the gaps in any argument (assumptions, flaws, irrelevant / incomplete / distorted evidence(s), number vs percentage jugglery etc.) will become obvious to you.

Remember: ASSUMPTIONS win the day for you.

Step 3: Master Evaluate the Argument approach ... You must be able to almost guarantee that you will never get any Evaluate question wrong.

Step 4: Try to see the numbers vs percents deception that is used so intelligently by the GMAT. You must be able to understand all the subtle nuances with numbers and percentages.

Step 5: Understand other types: Cause and effect, weaken, strengthen, paradox, inference, 2 speakers, situation reaction, complex chains of reasoning etc.

Step 6: Remember all the terms that mean "support to a conclusion" and all the terms that mean the "conclusion". Solve the aforementioned BOLDFACE questions (this time mark the answer ).

Content to refer: Latest CR, LSAT CR (60 papers), OG 10, 11, 12, VR 1, VR 2.

If you promise all the above steps to the T, I guarantee 95-100% accuracy in CR ...

SC:

People who go only by grammar rules and not by meaning clarity are going to be ravaged by this change.

My approach:

To get to 95-100% accuracy level in SC, one needs at least a six-month perspective from now on ... don't expect such accuracy by just a gimmicky preparation of a couple of months.

Start EARLY ... the GMAT will be a much more difficult test to crack with this new revision in SC.

Students targeting 2013 admits should start right from now!!

Step 1: Start reading The New York Times editorials online on a daily basis. Any similar quintessentially American text will also do (The Washington Post, Scientific American, National Geographic etc.). Just read for a couple of hours in the free time you get ... whenever possible.

This will help you improve drastically in all the areas: SC, CR, and RC.

Step 2: Master PRIMEX (Preferences, Rules, Intended Meaning, Exceptions, X-factor logic) technique with IM (intended Meaning) as the central guiding force.

Step 3: You must solve 50+38+100 question set at least 5-6 times ... from the point of view of meaning clarity.

Step 4: Solve only real GMAT content ... any material prepared by any other company is going to be quite unreliable. This may include Latest SC, OG 10, 11, 12, VR 1, VR 2, 9 old GMAT PDF papers, parts of 1000 SC ... only parts.

Step 5: Write brief explanations to all latest SC questions only from the point of view of Meaning Clarity. Force yourself not to use grammar or idiom for elimination. This will indeed be tough as a lot of questions are not based on meaning clarity, especially in OG 10, 11, and VR 1. When it is impossible to eliminate on the basis of meaning alone, use other elimination approaches.

Step 6: Create the right answers to all the aforementioned questions (as full sentences) and revise this set at least 4-5 times before the test. This step is used extremely effectively by the Chinese, who are able to crack SC in grand style.

One more thing: The earlier approach of just doing Manhattan SC book and the OGs alone may not be the foolproof approach.

Make sure you seek expert guidance; preparing for the GMAT in its new avatar on your own can be quite risky. Unless you see an expert explaining these questions from the point of view of meaning clarity, you will not be able to master them in style.

If you promise all the above steps to the T, I guarantee an accuracy of at least 95% in SC.

Quant:

Let's face it. Getting a 51 in Quant is no easy task. It means ensuring not more than one wrong answer.

I know people will hate me for this statement:

If you are fundamentally weak at or scared of Math, I am sure you can't turn the tables on the GMAT and score a 51 with mere preparation / practice. You may indeed reach a 49 or a 50 (easily) with a lot of study / practice ... but a 51 in Quant demands some level of mathematical intuition (already present in you).

My approach to a 51 score in Quant:

Solve all the DS questions first from the toughest possible content (Quant Latest and Quant 700-800). Get to the basics of each question. Don't see the solution too soon. Persist with each question until you finally give up / get the answer.

Referring to the solutions too soon is the biggest disservice that you can do to yourself in Math. You have to relish the toughness of the content and keep an extremely dogged approach ... tenacity is the name of the game.

You should reach a stage where your reaction time is less than 20 seconds (i.e., in 20 seconds you know precisely what you need to do to reach the solution). Also, if you are really good at GMAT Quant, not even one question should take you more than 2 minutes.

The next step will be 'mastery of each topic'. I still see that 9 out of 10 students who call themselves good at Math still have some weak topics in Math ... even one weak topic can ruin it for you.

Just remember that Q51 is not a smaller challenge than V44.

Q50 may happen for innumerable number of students but Q51 is a tough deal.

Feel free to contact me for any more doubts.

Cheers,
Sandeep
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20 Sep 2011, 23:21
Hi Sandeep,

Thanks for the post. Can you explain a little bit more this OCTAVE technique that you mention?
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21 Sep 2011, 11:45
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Hi, guys

I received a reply from Larry (Dr. Rudner - whom I quote in the article). He's traveling right now, so can't check specific details of problems and what is or isn't included idiom-wise, but he did have this to say (quotes from him):

"I had no idea that students were studying idioms in preparation for the GMAT and that this is a big deal."
-->So it's good that we told him! I think this is a to-be-expected disconnect between the publicly-released - and by definition older - materials that we all see, such as the OG, and the new materials - but super-secret and not released - that he works with now. We have to go by the older stuff, of course, but he and his team are working exclusively with the newer stuff and don't necessarily realize what we don't know.

"We have been phasing them [idioms] out ever since our transition to truly managing the test ourselves in 2006. Idioms of all forms, as well as anything that is unnecessarily US centric, do not belong on any test that is used globally, and certainly not on a test designed to measure reasoning skills as opposed to basic skills."

--> So, yes, they really are trying to minimize bias against non-native speakers / international testers.

Larry writes a column once every - I forget, either every month or every 2 months - and he's going to put idioms on his topic list. He may not be able to address this topic in his very next article, but he does want to address idioms when he can. Once he does, I'll get a copy and tell you what I think of what he says (much as I did for the conference).

I also suggested to him that a great theme in general for an article or ongoing series would be "Don't stress about X" where X = things that either aren't tested or aren't very commonly tested. He does like that idea and hopes to do something like that in future as well. If he does, I'll make sure to distribute a link so you can all read it! (And maybe there should be another one called "DO stress about Y!")

Okay, so what does this mean? First, on the idiom issue, put these much lower on your priority list. They should be at the level of "if I want a REALLY high score or if I have extra time, I'll look at this stuff, although I may not actually see any of it on test day." Other things on this list: super-convoluted combinatorics problems, 3-D geometry, coordinate geometry that goes beyond lines, some of the very minor / uncommon CR question types, etc.

IF, though, you are a non-native speaker who really struggles with idioms and you plan to go to an English-speaking business school, then you may want to study that stuff (over a longer period of time and even while in business school) in order to improve your English language skills in general.

On the meaning issue, you should already - hopefully - have been studying meaning anyway. It was always a significant test component; it has just been increasing in prominence over the last few years. Also, just be aware that some things you may currently think of as grammar alone are also meaning issues - for example, misplaced modifiers. Why are they misplaced? How do you know? Because, for example, they refer to the wrong thing - that is, they mess up the meaning. You could argue that modifiers in general are really all about meaning, and you've already been studying those, right? (I hope so! )

So for the meaning stuff, this isn't a totally bizarre, radical change. It's mostly more of the same. Do make sure that you are thinking about these sentences from the point of view of both grammar and meaning. Many students will zero in so much on grammar / construction that they try to make it very mechanical, almost like math... and then meaning will trip you up. You might be able to get away with that on a lot of current OG problems, but you'll get tripped up on others - and those others are the ones that are becoming more common today.

Last edited by StaceyKoprince on 21 Sep 2011, 16:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important) [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2011, 12:00
Thanks Stacey for the update !!
Some good take a ways but I'm surprised at the awareness(or lack of it ) of the people at helm at GMAC on what students study !!!!!! As a non native, I spent substantial time mastering idioms just to know that GMAC never intended to test these at all .. WTF !!!!
Any idea why this so called student friendly body (GMAC) needed a "summit" to announce these changes?

Nothing I or any student can do about this... lets get back to studies guys , enough of drama, I guess

Last edited by sudhir18n on 21 Sep 2011, 12:10, edited 1 time in total.
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21 Sep 2011, 12:09
Thanks dear Stacey
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21 Sep 2011, 12:21
Quote:
Any idea why this so called student friendly body (GMAC) needed a "summit" to announce these changes?

Honestly, the idiom information was almost in passing and I don't think they realized at all that it would be a big deal. They don't teach students - we do - so they don't have the kind of direct contact with you that we do. I think there's also an information dissemination lag - they've been working with totally new questions for years that none of us have seen at all except on real test day, because those Qs haven't been released. My guess is that they didn't even think about the fact that we'd be taking our cues from what's printed in OG - but those questions are years old now.

None of this was intentional or malicious - they really are just researchers who are concerned with making the best possible test and with making it as fair as possible, but they're also (necessarily) insulated from the students during the study process. They don't see you till you're done studying.

But they're aware now, and we're aware too of what they may not know and we can tell them - there's a good 2-way flow of information going, so hopefully we can address these kinds of things in a more timely manner in future.

Also, I know it sucks to feel like you wasted your time studying something (idioms) - but I'll argue that it wasn't wasted time. If you're taking the GMAT, then presumably your b-school program will be in English. If so, the better your English language skills, the more you'll impress professors, fellow students, eventual employers... it wasn't wasted time. Communication skills are critical to business success
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Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important) [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2011, 15:40
One point to add - When we create a new system, its expected target audience was constant at the point of creation. However, as systems evolve because of time, requirements, or any other factors, the target audience also changes. So, after some time, when I take stock of the situation, I realize that this is not the way it was intended to be or I need to change my system to correct the situation.

I guess that is the way everything works, whether it is a new product, new software, new test or even your life.

It is something happening with GMAT at a slightly higher degree now, so the stakeholders are worried about the unknown outcome.

My Advice - Stay cool, take things as they come and do not think too much. Instead spend that time fine-tuning the skills required.
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Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important) [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2011, 21:24
StaceyKoprince wrote:
Quote:
Any idea why this so called student friendly body (GMAC) needed a "summit" to announce these changes?

Honestly, the idiom information was almost in passing and I don't think they realized at all that it would be a big deal. They don't teach students - we do - so they don't have the kind of direct contact with you that we do. I think there's also an information dissemination lag - they've been working with totally new questions for years that none of us have seen at all except on real test day, because those Qs haven't been released. My guess is that they didn't even think about the fact that we'd be taking our cues from what's printed in OG - but those questions are years old now.

None of this was intentional or malicious - they really are just researchers who are concerned with making the best possible test and with making it as fair as possible, but they're also (necessarily) insulated from the students during the study process. They don't see you till you're done studying.

But they're aware now, and we're aware too of what they may not know and we can tell them - there's a good 2-way flow of information going, so hopefully we can address these kinds of things in a more timely manner in future.

Also, I know it sucks to feel like you wasted your time studying something (idioms) - but I'll argue that it wasn't wasted time. If you're taking the GMAT, then presumably your b-school program will be in English. If so, the better your English language skills, the more you'll impress professors, fellow students, eventual employers... it wasn't wasted time. Communication skills are critical to business success

I agree with you on one thing - studying for the GMAT does improve grammar, big time.

But what should be the strategy to tackle the test now, especially for those who are taking the test within this month ?
and presumably, a lot many are because the deadlines are very close.

I was fully prepared for my test, or so I felt. But I was shocked to see some of the things that were being tested. I am pretty sure none of those things have been covered in any SC strategy guide. I managed to solve it, and feel that I got it correct, because I read a lot. Most of the questions that I answered, I could have anyway without preparing anything.

So is it now not possible to "prepare" oneself for that 90 percentile, regardless of what diagnostics one starts at ? or would one have to do a crash course on grammar to be able to master SC ?
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Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important) [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2011, 05:46
Hi all...

This is serious! Are these changes in effect ?? how does one prepare for SCs now...!? I was really counting on SCs to be the easiest on verbal section... now we need to check them for meaning and all?!?! NOT GOOD.
Re: Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important)   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2011, 05:46

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# Attention GMAT Takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (very important)

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