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How to spot pattern of my RC errors?

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How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2013, 07:47
Hello,

I am practicing RC. My scores status is as below. I want to identify the pattern of my mistakes, so that I can concentrate my effort on them. Can you offer your perspective

I am able to do all 'Low' in less than a minute. If Low and Global, I do in 30 seconds.
If the passage is not dense, I score around 2 or 3 out of 5. I get High, Medium correct too, but not all.
If the passage is dense, I get flooded. Yet I score all the Lows. I don't know how to crack on dense passages of this forum.

I wanted to identify the weakness through question type. They are jumbled too. I was able to identify my weakness through question type in CR and I was successful. But am unable to spot my weakness in RC.

What is the best way to spot the gap in RC ?

Regards,
Raj
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2013, 10:58
Expert's post
rajeshs wrote:
Hello,

I am practicing RC. My scores status is as below. I want to identify the pattern of my mistakes, so that I can concentrate my effort on them. Can you offer your perspective

I am able to do all 'Low' in less than a minute. If Low and Global, I do in 30 seconds.
If the passage is not dense, I score around 2 or 3 out of 5. I get High, Medium correct too, but not all.
If the passage is dense, I get flooded. Yet I score all the Lows. I don't know how to crack on dense passages of this forum.

I wanted to identify the weakness through question type. They are jumbled too. I was able to identify my weakness through question type in CR and I was successful. But am unable to spot my weakness in RC.

What is the best way to spot the gap in RC ?

Regards,
Raj

Dear rajeshs,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

What you are asking is a difficult question. GMAT SC has a more mathematical quality, which makes it easier to classify mistakes in patterns. GMAT RC is much more deeply contextual, so this makes it harder to identify patterns in errors.

I will recommend a couple blogs on GMAT RC strategy that may help you:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/inference- ... rehension/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-rc-el ... g-answers/

You may try posting RC questions you get wrong --- post the passage & the question, explain what you chose and have the experts here explain to you the problem with what you chose. That's one approach that might help.

Most importantly, I have a challenging question for you: How much do you read? I am not talking about reading GMAT RC passages. I am not talking about pleasure reading. I am talking about the kind of reading that challenges you and makes you think. If you want to improve your GMAT RC in a serious way, I recommend reading every single day, at least an hour a day, over and above any GMAT preparations you are doing. Here are some recommendations on what to read:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-reading-list/
In particular, if you are planning to get an MBA and enter the business world, then you already should be reading the Wall Street Journal every day and the Economist magazine every week. Ultimately, you improve in the GMAT RC not through a few slick tricks but because you have done the hard work to accustom yourself to challenging reading.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2013, 09:58
Thanks Mike.
The link you had provided is very useful.

I have identified the following as my weak spots.
Unable to identify the question type - Confused between Inference Vs Assumption, Flaw Vs Weakener, Flaw Vs Explain Discrepancy Vs Weakener.
Applied Assumption strategy for Inference question
When the scope was expanded in the second paragraph, I jotted down the topic, scope and purpose (TSP) that I inferred/pre-thought from paragraph 1. I jotted down TSP even before reading the subsequent paragraphs to avoid keeping too much in the memory.

I hope, wish and pray to solve all the problems.

Mike: How much do you read?
I read much as part of my work. But most of them have been passive reading. I do read a number of news papers, but I have not read them like a GMAT RC. I shall practice reading editorials as GMAT.

In the mean time, I am keen to take just the verbal test as CAT. I have seen one such available for Quant in GMAT prep. Do you know similar products by anyone?

If I manage to get all of medium and most of High questions correct in my practice of verbal, will that push me to the 60-63 percentile?

Regards,
Rajesh
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2013, 11:27
Expert's post
rajeshs wrote:
Thanks Mike.
The link you had provided is very useful.

I have identified the following as my weak spots.
Unable to identify the question type - Confused between Inference Vs Assumption, Flaw Vs Weakener, Flaw Vs Explain Discrepancy Vs Weakener.
Applied Assumption strategy for Inference question
When the scope was expanded in the second paragraph, I jotted down the topic, scope and purpose (TSP) that I inferred/pre-thought from paragraph 1. I jotted down TSP even before reading the subsequent paragraphs to avoid keeping too much in the memory.

I hope, wish and pray to solve all the problems.

Mike: How much do you read?
I read much as part of my work. But most of them have been passive reading. I do read a number of news papers, but I have not read them like a GMAT RC. I shall practice reading editorials as GMAT.

In the mean time, I am keen to take just the verbal test as CAT. I have seen one such available for Quant in GMAT prep. Do you know similar products by anyone?

If I manage to get all of medium and most of High questions correct in my practice of verbal, will that push me to the 60-63 percentile?

Regards,
Rajesh

Dear Rajesh,
First of all, I will highly recommend that you read the Economist magazine. It is written at a much high level of sophistication than must newspapers. If you read this, thinking about inference & assumptions & flaws & discrepancies, it will train your mind for GMAT RC very well.

If you buy any of the MGMAT books, you will get access to their online CATs. Those are very high quality CATs. I would think that you could benefit tremendously from their volume on GMAT RC.

I will also recommend Magoosh. We have a large bank of video lessons about verbal content & strategy. Here's a sample lesson:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/lessons/932-str ... ing-splits
Here's a sample RC question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3623
Here's a sample SC question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3563
Here's a sample CR question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3403
For each one of those, when you submit your answer, the following page will have a full video explanation, for accelerated learning. Magoosh allows users to choose "adaptive" mode for any of their practice sessions, so you could practice in adaptive mode every single time you had a practice session, if that's what you wanted to do.

I would say --- worry less about scores and percentiles, and worry more about improving your verbal performance. Thinking about the former will not help the latter at all.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2013, 01:58
mikemcgarry wrote:
rajeshs wrote:
Hello,

I am practicing RC. My scores status is as below. I want to identify the pattern of my mistakes, so that I can concentrate my effort on them. Can you offer your perspective

I am able to do all 'Low' in less than a minute. If Low and Global, I do in 30 seconds.
If the passage is not dense, I score around 2 or 3 out of 5. I get High, Medium correct too, but not all.
If the passage is dense, I get flooded. Yet I score all the Lows. I don't know how to crack on dense passages of this forum.

I wanted to identify the weakness through question type. They are jumbled too. I was able to identify my weakness through question type in CR and I was successful. But am unable to spot my weakness in RC.

What is the best way to spot the gap in RC ?

Regards,
Raj

Dear rajeshs,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

What you are asking is a difficult question. GMAT SC has a more mathematical quality, which makes it easier to classify mistakes in patterns. GMAT RC is much more deeply contextual, so this makes it harder to identify patterns in errors.

I will recommend a couple blogs on GMAT RC strategy that may help you:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/inference- ... rehension/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-rc-el ... g-answers/

You may try posting RC questions you get wrong --- post the passage & the question, explain what you chose and have the experts here explain to you the problem with what you chose. That's one approach that might help.

Most importantly, I have a challenging question for you: How much do you read? I am not talking about reading GMAT RC passages. I am not talking about pleasure reading. I am talking about the kind of reading that challenges you and makes you think. If you want to improve your GMAT RC in a serious way, I recommend reading every single day, at least an hour a day, over and above any GMAT preparations you are doing. Here are some recommendations on what to read:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-reading-list/
In particular, if you are planning to get an MBA and enter the business world, then you already should be reading the Wall Street Journal every day and the Economist magazine every week. Ultimately, you improve in the GMAT RC not through a few slick tricks but because you have done the hard work to accustom yourself to challenging reading.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)




Hi Mike,
Can you recommend some good magazine for social and political science topic .
For business related we have HBR,The economist etc.
For science related we have The Scientific american
Any similar stuff for social & political science in line with GMAT.


Thanks
Abid.
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2013, 03:29
For geopolitical and social issues The Time magazine is pretty good, especially the editorial content in it.
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2013, 00:57
Hi Mike,

I have written the question types that were not easy to identify. The right hand side of Vs is the right answer. The left hand side is my thought. Can you please help me spot the gap?
I believe that identification of the question type in CR and RC is half the war won.

Question
Which of the following is best supported by the statements above?
Answer
Strengthener Vs Inference

Question
Which one of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the conclusion in the argument above?
Answer
Inference Vs Strenthener

Question
The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?
Answer
Strentghener Vs Inference

Question
The statements above best support which of the following conclusions?
Answer
Assumption Vs Inference

Question
Which of the following is the conclusion toward which the author is probably moving?
Answer
Assumption Vs Inference

Question
The argument above would be more persuasive if which one of the following were found to be true?
Answer
Explain Vs Strenthener

Question
Which one of the following, if true, casts most doubt on the argument above?
Answer
Flaw Vs Weakener

Question
Which of the following, if true, would most seriously call into question the plan outlined above ?
Answer
Flaw Vs Weakener

Question
Which one of the following, if added to the passage, would make the conclusion logical?
Answer
Strenthener Vs Explain Vs Assumption

Question
The Validity of the argument depends on which one of the following?
Answer
Explain Vs Assumption

Question
Each of the following statements, if added to the author's argument, would make the argument logically correct EXCEPT:
Answer
(I don't know the answer)

Question
It is reasonable to assume that the author believes that ..
Answer
(This is a killer. I thought this Assumption, but this is Inference)

Question
The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?
Answer
Strentghener Vs Inference

Question
Which of the following hypothesis best accounts for the findings of the experiment?
Answer
Inference Vs Explain

Question
Based on the passage above, the principal most likely believes which one of the following?
Answer
Assumption Vs Inference


Thanks,
Rajesh
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2013, 11:27
Expert's post
abid1986 wrote:
Hi Mike,
Can you recommend some good magazine for social and political science topic .
For business related we have HBR,The economist etc.
For science related we have The Scientific american
Any similar stuff for social & political science in line with GMAT.
Thanks
Abid.

Dear Abid,
The Economist magazine actually covers a tremendous amount of geopolitical news and a bit of social science, so that would be one good source. It's true, there's no single "go to" place for social science analogous to Scientific American for physical & life sciences. With all due respect to Ajax, I don't consider Time magazine particularly sophisticated. If you can get a hold of some undergraduate textbooks --- on psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc. You probably can find some older ones on Google Books. Reading undergraduate level texts (or graduate level texts) in these disciplines would be the best preparation.
Mike :-)
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors? [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2013, 13:33
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Expert's post
rajeshs wrote:
Hi Mike,

I have written the question types that were not easy to identify. The right hand side of Vs is the right answer. The left hand side is my thought. Can you please help me spot the gap?
I believe that identification of the question type in CR and RC is half the war won.

Thanks, Rajesh

Dear Rajesh,
This is a very difficult post to which to respond. I do agree, that identifying the question stem, on either GMAT RC or CR, is a HUGE step in answering the question correct. That's absolutely true.

To some extent, it may be that your confusion as to what the stems are asking has to do with your proficiency in English. Once again, I ask you: how much are you reading? If you were reading an hour a day, good sophisticated reading in English, I think it would resolve many of these questions.

See this post about identifying GMAT CR questions. The links lead to articles about individual question types:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/save-time- ... questions/

You seem to have great deal of confusion between "strengthener" questions and "inference" questions. Think about which way the support is going.
In a Strengthener question, correctly answered, the direction of support should go from the statement to the argument.
Statement ==> support ===> Argument
In an Inference question, the direction of support should go from the argument to the statement .
Argument ==> support ===> Statement

These prompts indicate Strengtheners, support going to the argument:
Which one of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the conclusion in the argument above?
The argument above would be more persuasive if which one of the following were found to be true?
Which one of the following, if added to the passage, would make the conclusion logical?

They are about improving the argument.

These prompts indicate Inference, support coming from the argument:
Which of the following is best supported by the statements above?
The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?
The statements above best support which of the following conclusions?
The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?

In all cases, it's the statement among the answer choices that is supported, not the argument. The argument gives support, and the answer choice receives it. That's how an inference question works.

It's important to recognize that an assumption is something inside an argument. It is the unstated link between the premise and the conclusion within an argument. In a way, "find the assumption" questions are not too different from "strengthener" questions, because one of the most effective ways to strengthen an argument is to provide support for its assumption. An argument with a strong, well-supported assumption is a strong argument. An argument with a weak or unsupported assumption is a weak argument.
The questions:
Which of the following is the conclusion toward which the author is probably moving?
Based on the passage above, the principal most likely believes which one of the following?

are asking about something outside of the argument, so it is absolutely not asking for an assumption. A "conclusion toward which the author is probably moving" is more or less a definition of the word "inference." An inference could be described as a conclusion that the argument never reaches --- it would be a conclusion if the argument got there. That why this question ....
It is reasonable to assume that the author believes that ..
... is also an inference question. Any question that is asking us, the readers, to make an assumption is most certainly NOT asking for the assumption of the argument. Something that the author clearly believes but does not say is one way to say what an inference is.

An assumption is the very linchpin holding the entire argument together. Thus, a reasonable way to ask for the assumption of an argument is:
The validity of the argument depends on which one of the following?

Paradox questions often ask you to explain something. They often have a prompt ask you to "resolve the discrepancy" or something similar. Sometimes, paradox questions ask you to "explain" the paradox.
Which of the following hypothesis best accounts for the findings of the experiment?
Presumably, this question comes from a Paradox prompt. This is a subtle distinction. Assumptions account for logical conclusions: if the argument is purely verbal, then the assumption would provide support for the conclusion. BUT, if the argument describes a factual situation, such as a scientific experiment, and the real world results don't make sense ---- i.e. a Paradox question --- then assumptions have nothing to do with making real world events make sense. We need an explanation for that.

To be honest, I don't think there's any meaningful difference between a "flaw" question and a "weakener" question. I lump both of them into the same category. I don't know that it is at all helpful to distinguish one from the other. In both cases, we are looking for something that weakens the argument.

The EXCEPT questions are their own category. Any of the other questions types (strengthener, weakener/flaw, assumption, inference, ...) can be presented in the EXCEPT format. Consider this question:
Which statement, if added to the author's argument, would make the argument logically correct?
That's a strengthener question. We are trying to make the argument stronger. One answer choice will be a valid strengthener, and four other answer choices will not be strengtheners.
Now, consider your question:
Each of the following statements, if added to the author's argument, would make the argument logically correct EXCEPT:
This is the EXCEPT version of the same strengthener question. In this question, four of the answer choices will be valid strengtheners --- and they will NOT be the correct answer. Only one of the answer choices is not a valid strengthener, and that's the correct answer to the EXCEPT question.
Similarly, we could change ...
Which of the following weakens the argument?
Which of the following is an assumption of the argument?
Which of the following is an inference of the argument?

into their corresponding EXCEPT questions:
Each of the following statements weakens the argument EXCEPT:
Each of the following is an assumption of the argument EXCEPT:
Each of the following is an inference of the argument EXCEPT:

Same idea --- anything that would be a correct answer in the original question is not a correct answer in the EXCEPT question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: How to spot pattern of my RC errors?   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2013, 13:33
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