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How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques?

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How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 10:35
I am facing a problem while attempting SC questions. I take too much time to read through all the options.

My accuracy is ok(about 75%) when i try to solve questions without the timer running but when i target to solve question in less than 90-120 sec, my accuracy decreases considerably(about 40%).

I did a bit of analysis myself and found that in hurry, i do not identify the question topic or stem and tend to solve question based on my intuition.

Can someone please help me by suggesting a way to approach the problems in which i can retain my accuracy while taking less time.

Thanks,
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 11:22
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Hi Aztec,

SC is a tricky question type. Many students tend to rely on the way in which an answer choice sounds, thereby effectively turning off their grammar brain. Turning on the grammar brain, while tough going at first, will reap rewards in the long run. Not only will you understand the grammatical rules behind each sentence, but you will become faster at spotting the errors in the wrong answer types (which will make you a lot faster!).

The tough going I mentioned earlier requires that you know your grammar fundamentals. Manhattan GMAT's guide is excellent in this regard. I've used it with many of my tutees, and even before they are half way done with the book they are speaking in grammar-ese :). For video learning, Magoosh offers helpful videos that will also help you become adept at the fundamentals.

Once you get the hang of the grammar rules, becoming faster is a matter of doing practice questions and learning to spot the more obvious errors (S-V agreement, Misplaced Modifiers, etc.) Of course do not speed up too soon. Take your time in the beginning, otherwise you'll very likely switch back to relying on your ear (which is especially likely to happen in the tense-fraught environment of the actual GMAT).

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions :).
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Christopher Lele
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Re: How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2012, 02:42
Thanks Chris. I will try to follow your advice. Take it slow and one at a time :) I had been using Manhattan SC guide; I will try to spend more time with it to get my fundamentals right.

One other problem I had been facing is the usage of idioms. I am a non native english speaker with english as my second language so, I frequently make mistakes with the idiom questions. How would you advice me to tackle this problem?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques? [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2012, 10:36
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Idioms are a tricky bunch. One strategy of course involves memorizing a list of over 300 idioms. No doubt very tedious, I recommend using an idiom list only to check an idiom that has come up in a practice question. By relying on a list this way, you are using it in the same way you would a dictionary. That is you are looking up words vs. actually reading a dictionary. Our brains are more primed to learn in such a fashion vs. tediously slogging through a list.

Another recommendation is reading magazines/newspapers such as The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, etc. This will help tune your ear to the way in which idioms are employed in writing.

Hope that helps :)
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Re: How to increase speed & accuracy while attempting SC ques?   [#permalink] 30 Apr 2012, 10:36
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