In Manhattan GMAT they say: Idiom usage of 'Confidence': : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# In Manhattan GMAT they say: Idiom usage of 'Confidence':

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In Manhattan GMAT they say: Idiom usage of 'Confidence':  [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2011, 14:10
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In Manhattan GMAT they say:

Idiom usage of 'Confidence':

We have confidence that the market will recover. (Correct)
We have confidence in the market's ability to recover (Suspect)
We have confidence in the market to recover. (Wrong)

My question is will it be incorrect to say: I have confidence in you ....or ......I have confidence in Sally. What about the regular usage of the word confidence? Do we have to always consider using Confidence as per its idiom usage?

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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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11 Apr 2011, 22:48
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My understanding is that "I have confidence in Sally" is a perfectly acceptable usage--

Merriam Webster lists just that kind of usage in its definition of the word:
"b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader>"

The difference between this usage and the usage in the three examples in the original post is a difference of meaning.

The intended meaning of the examples in the original post is:
": the quality or state of being certain : certitude <they had every confidence of success>"

In the first (correct) example, the clause "that the market will recover" tells us what type of confidence/certainty we have.

In the third (wrong) example, the use of the preposition "in" signals a difference meaning shade of "confidence" --the "faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way"--and that shade of meaning would require a NOUN or NOUN PHRASE to follow. Instead, in example three we have "the market TO RECOVER," so this example is incorrect.
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2011, 14:14
Thank you, Parker. This was a good explanation. Another question for you,

MGMAT discusses Idiom usage in detail. So if a specific word is listed in the idioms list and there is a specific idiom usage advised for that word. Does that mean we can still use that word in some other way as well other than its suggested idiomatic usage?

Thanks!
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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04 May 2011, 16:06
Hi teal,

Sorry for the late reply on this one-- yes, you're right. What the idiom section does, and does very thoroughly, is hit the most commonly occurring past usages of those idioms on the GMAT (both correct and incorrect). The English language is way too vast to fit within the confines of any single volume, so it's possible that there will be ways of using certain words that are not included on that list (the Oxford English Dictionary is about 20 volumes, and expanding every year!). However, trying to memorize every single usage of every word that appears in an idiom would take longer than a lifetime, so in terms of practicality your time would be best spent focusing on those narrowed-down idioms.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2011, 11:21
Hi Parker,

Can you please make me some suggestions regarding Critical reasoning and reading comp. sections. I am doing well on SC section but unfortunately I am having timing issues on the RC and CR sections.

i) CR

Here is how I am doing the CR questions: I read the question stem, read the stimulus and make the T-diagram. By the time I am done with this, I already know the structure and conclusion and then I pre-phrase the answer in my mind (or at least have an idea what kind of answer I should expect) and then approach the answer choices. I use process of elimination for answers and then when I am down to two or three choices, I compare them and pick one.

The problem with this process is that it's taking me about 4 minutes (double the amount of time it should be). What can I do to speed up my process?

I tried doing CR questions without doing T-diagrams (to speed up the process) but the problem is it's difficult for me to keep all the pieces of the arguments (premise, conclusion) straight in head and my error rate goes up.

II) RC

This section is in a real bad shape. I have severe timing problem in this section. For RCs I read the passage and take notes. When I read the whole thing it takes me really long to read and answer the questions. Almost 1.5 - 2times the alloted time for a long/short passage.

I have gone through all the strategies as discussed in "Thursdays with Ron" but see the problem is that when I skim a lot and focus only on the structure, I don't really understand the passage and I get almost all specific detail questions wrong.

I am still not sure how much balance should I keep between reading for general idea/structure/tone and still keeping and eye on details to understand the main idea of the passage. Please suggest.

Another problem, with RC questions is that in general idea/main purpose questions sometimes I am down to two choices and then those choices are so close that it's so hard for me to eliminate the wrong one and I get tricked in marking the wrong one.

Please make some suggestions on improving timing on CR and RC sections. Every time I take a practice test I run out of time on Verbal section.

Your response would be much appreciated!
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2011, 11:10
Hi teal,

First off, congratulations on what sounds like some very focused and fruitful work. It sounds like you're in a good place right now, albeit one where the challenges facing you are shifting.

My CR goal with students in my classes is to get them do exactly what you've been doing -- practice with diagramming, but with an eye to learning when to let it go on the real test. Not all CR questions and arguments are created equal-- I'm guessing that some of them are much easier for you than others. Developing the instinct to recognize where a particular question falls on the "ease" spectrum for you--as you read through it the first time--is the next step. If you can let go of diagramming for those easier arguments, you'll have more time to do the diagramming when you*do* absolutely need to. This is a different skill set though, and one you'll probably have to practice before it becomes automatic. And you may have a "middle of the road" approach for that middle level of question, too--maybe you just need to jot down the conclusion for medium-level questions (paying particular attention to any red-flag words or structural triggers that your previous experience with the test has told you might be important). If you don't have a sense of which questions are the tougher ones for you, I would look back at your previous work and analyze patterns there, as well as coming up with a system for looking at future questions....maybe mark a small "D" when you think it's a question you should have diagrammed on, and when you're reviewing see if there was a reason why or why not that was helpful to you on that particular *type* of question. Could it be due to a particular content type? More convoluted argument structure? Lots of double negatives? Etc...

Your error rate probably will go up to some degree, but the aim is to minimize this by picking your battles. Flexibility on this test is key, and applying the same approach across the board will hold you back.

RC is probably the hardest area for most people to improve on, so I sympathize with the challenges you've been having. When you say you "don't understand the passage" do you mean you don't understand the structure of the passage or don't understand any of the content at all? The goal with RC for our classes is that students understand a lot of the first paragraph, but much less of the subsequent paragraphs since they'll have to go back and read the relevant parts in detail later for the specific questions (and they'll never be asked about large chunks of the passage, so it's a waste of time to try to understand all of it).

There's also a certain degree of knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and playing to the strengths. If you need a little more time on the RC, are there places you could shave time on the Sentence Correction questions to "bank" that extra few minutes?
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2011, 12:27
parker wrote:

My understanding is that "I have confidence in Sally" is a perfectly acceptable usage--

Merriam Webster lists just that kind of usage in its definition of the word:
"b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader>"

The difference between this usage and the usage in the three examples in the original post is a difference of meaning.

The intended meaning of the examples in the original post is:
": the quality or state of being certain : certitude <they had every confidence of success>"

In the first (correct) example, the clause "that the market will recover" tells us what type of confidence/certainty we have.

In the third (wrong) example, the use of the preposition "in" signals a difference meaning shade of "confidence" --the "faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way"--and that shade of meaning would require a NOUN or NOUN PHRASE to follow. Instead, in example three we have "the market TO RECOVER," so this example is incorrect.

<<editing to avoid confusion>>

Parker,

while the 3rd sentence in its present form be wrong, i can state that
"i have confidence in the market's recovery" right? because here the market's recovery is a noun phrase.
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2011, 11:48
Hello Parker,

Thanks for the suggestions. Your feedback is really helpful. I am working on a different strategy for RCs and it seems to be working for me but I still have a long way to go!

Can you please suggest what's your take regarding using LSAT material for practicing RCs and CRs?

Is the structure of LSAT RC passages the same as the GMAT passages? Is the difficulty level the same. Sometimes I find myself lost in those abstract social science/ literary passages. Please suggest some good practice material for RCs other than OG.

Thanks!!
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2011, 20:46
Hi viks,

Good question--I believe that the phrase "I have confidence in the market's recovery" is technically ok because it follows the rules (noun phrase). It feels to me like option 2 on the list-- a technically correct but less preferred usage. Usage of the noun phrase you gave-- "the market's recovery"--combined with "confidence IN"--would imply, to me, that the market's recovery was a pre-existing thing that I had faith would act in a proper way...a slightly odd meaning.

Things that don't violate clear rules, but also don't fit preferred usage guidelines, often get that "suspect" labeling in our SC guide.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149) [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2011, 20:58
Hi teal,

I only have limited experience with the LSAT (I've taken it, but haven't spent nearly as much time with those materials), so I don't know if I have the best opinion on that front. I will say that when I've had students who run out of OG (and OG supplement) material, I tend to refer them to the 11th edition, then the 10th edition, then the LSAT.

From what I understand, the LSAT passages tend to have more of an argument-type structure (this makes sense given the purpose of the LSAT), and it's helpful to think of the passage in terms of that argument--what the two sides are, which side the author falls on, etc. The GMAT RC passages do not necessarily follow those guidelines. So *some* practice with those passages might help (and if you're out of materials, you're out of materials, so you have to choose from what's available!) but it's not ideal.

If you have a hard time with those abstract passages, though--sure, give those similar-type passages on a shot on the LSAT. Third-party GMAT materials are an option too--there are many opinions on the forums here about which materials written by prep companies are the materials that other students have found most useful.

To everyone out there who hasn't finished the OG content yet (or for that matter, even if you are studying for the LSAT and may hit this same problem)-- please pace yourself with these official materials! There are not that many out there, and burning through them too quickly is an unnecessary waste. There are many strategy points to work on, and many excellent courses/books/teachers out there who can help you work on them in a way that helps squeeze the greatest value out of these questions. By way of analogy-- if you play tennis for 10,000 hours you will probably get better, but you'll also ingrain a lot of bad habits. If you play 5,000 hours, but have excellent coaching along the way, you're likely to get much more of a performance boost.
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Re: Question Regarding Idioms (MGMAT Page 149)   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2011, 20:58
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