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HELP reducing SC errors

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Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2012, 01:53
Hi everyone,
I know this must be typical question but I searched the SC section and could find comprehensive and complete answers so I'm posting this message.
I'm having trouble reducing the % of wrong answers in the SC section. Currently i'm doing between 10 and 30 questions a day during the week and around 50 - 70 on the weekends (i.e. from the SC1000 set), reviewing the errors, reading theory again and I can't seem to reduce the 25/ 30 % error level.

When I'm actually doing the questions I feel I'm doing better and I have the feeling that I recognize errors faster and more accurately but the error % seems to stay in the same value.

What could be the problem? How could I tackle this?

Thanks for the help in advance
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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2012, 05:10
1) maintain an error log and regularly review them both for questions u did wrong and for those u guessed.
2) lay emphasis on quality rather than quantity. very important to understand why u have discarded the wrong answer choices..generally the time spent on reviewing the answer choices is double the time spent on practice.
3) check for area(topic) in which ur constantly getting questions wrong...master those topics by going through basics , doing a number of easy problem and graduating to difficult problem of only that particular topic..rinse and repeat for other weak topics...
4) I am sure the error % will go down.
Hope this helps.

Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

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Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2012, 05:39
After u got an answer, give it 2 more minutes and get the next best answer....then compare ur selected options...u might get the better one...
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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 16:38
Expert's post
I think you are doing too many problems! Try this:

1) Pick 5 SC problems and give yourself 6-7 minutes to complete the set. Make sure you have recorded an answer for each problem ,even if it is a guess. Your goal at this point is to maximize the total # correct, not to master any one problem.
2) DO NOT check the answers yet. Go through each problem untimed, and attempt to get as much as possible out of the problem. At the end of the process, adjust your answers as needed. Here are some questions to ask:
*What topics are tested in this problem, and how can I tell?
*What problems does the correct answer fix?
*What is wrong with the 4 wrong answer choices? (There may be several problems with one choice.)
*Were there any traps? (For instance, a split that doesn’t really matter, or a correct choice that is written in awkward or unfamiliar language?)
*Did I eliminate any answers without a clear or sensible reason?
*Are there any important elements of this problem that I missed at first? Why did I miss them, and how might I catch them next time?
*What was the most tempting wrong answer, and why? What is the difference between that answer and the correct one?
3) Check your answers. Only count the problem as correct if you got it right during Step 1. If you missed the problem even after extensive review, see if you can catch your mistake. Was there a split you were unsure about, or does this missed problem come as a complete surprise?
4) Check the explanations and re-review as needed. You may need to ask some of the above questions again.

The main point here is . . . don’t just settle for confirming that your answer is right. Try to determine the reason for *every* single difference between the right answer and the wrong choices. You may need to compile a list of questions and use the forums for support. If you are doing this kind of thorough review, you shouldn’t have time to do 70 questions in one day. You could easily spend an hour or more on 5, and it’s worth your time to do so. Sure, every SC problem has something different to it, but what’s much more important is to familiarize yourself with the way the GMAT plays with language, and to develop a reliable approach for recognizing important issues and eliminating quickly and accurately.

I’m assuming here that you have already done some sort of prep, and have knowledge of many of the grammar rules tested on the GMAT. Naturally, if that’s not the case, you would benefit from covering that sort of material, using our SC book or any other source of GMAT-specific grammar instruction that you have available.

Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York

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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 17:46
DmitryFarber, shubh16, rajeevrks27,
Thank you very much for your replies and the great advise.
I did a prep course in the past and now reviewed all the books from Manhattan and use them as reference for the fundamentals.

I realize now that I'm doing too many problems. Although I am maintaining an error log and reviewing my mistakes, the goal of doing al lot of problems had some effects:

1.Made it impossible to fully concentrate for long period of time (what is reflected on the patter of continuous right and wrong answers through the sets)[/list]
2. Has taken time away from thoroughly reviewing not only the questions I get wrong but also the ones I get right and fully understand each of the options.

I'm definitely going to focus on completely understand each question and on practicing the process of elimination/selection of answer choices. I hope after reducing the % of errors (currently at ~25-30% and my goals if ~5%) I can speed up the process by doing more problems each day.

I ask you one more question. Do you know where can I get a reference of the topics tested in each question of the SC 1000 set? With this I can improve a lot my error log and focus on the topics i'm currently making more mistakes.

Again, thank you very much for the help
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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2012, 18:25
I had same problem......just keep practicing and understand meaning....don't get too much into rules!
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Re: HELP reducing SC errors [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2012, 09:38
Thanks for the continued help.
The effort has actually payed out, my percentrage of error is now between 3 and 7% in a full time exam so I'm preatty satisfied.

If I would have to give advice to someone, taking what other members told me and my own experience, that would be:

1. In the first study phase focus on learning and understanding all the theory and rules by looking at examples and keep studying and refreshing the theory all the time
2. For each question you make, take the time to write down what is wrong with each option putting the rule that is broken or your general sense of why it is wrong
3. Every time you correct put extra time in understanding the error you made and the theory behind it, this will reduce the amount of errors considerably (specially when your error % is low)
4. Don't do a lot of questions at once as your attention tends to decrease. Instead mix some SC questions with CR and RC questions.

Thanks again for the help

Re: HELP reducing SC errors   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2012, 09:38
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