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Strategy Confirmation - Sentence Correction - eGMAT or MGMAT [#permalink]
08 Jul 2013, 03:57
I'm sure this has been asked before by other people but please bear with my query as I am planning to adopt this strategy to improve my verbal score.
I gave my GMAT last Monday and got abysmal 28 in verbal section and the low score reduced my overall score to 680 though I aced in quant section with a score of 51.
Generally when I give mock test, my accuracy in CR is about 85-95%, RC is about 60-90% based on my understand of the subject, and SC is about 35-60%.
During the real GMAT verbal section, I completed 16-17 questions in the first 30 minutes, which included two RCs that I know were correctly answered. Post that, I got an extra tough RC and the set of question 17-25 took 22 minutes to complete. I gave extra time on that RC thinking that my SC is never good and CR can be done in less time as well. As I lost time in this set of 8 questions, I was left with 16 questions to be done in 23 minutes, where I stumbled to solve them quickly and in the end, I was disappointed to see a low score of 28.
In my another attempt, which I plan to give in mid-August, I plan to completely focus on two things:
1. Focus more on time management, as I gave about 4 mocks before my previous GMAT and people have raised some concern over it 2. Completely kill sentence correction.
For sentence correction, the last time I had done MGMAT (I found the book highly useful) SC book. However I kept my complete focus on the first 9 chapters and refrained from learning concepts from advanced chapters. I thought doing basics repeatedly would be lot better for me as I did not have good base in grammar and reading advanced chapters for the purpose of completing would not be best of the idea.
This time, I have started with MGMAT advanced chapters as well and focusing only on OG 13th and OG Verbal 2nd Edition questions and reviewing them repeatedly through gmatclub forum. However, I am a also carried away by eGMAT, which some of the people claim to be amazing and help a lot on improving SC skills. I have been through some of their free sessions, but I found the concepts that I already knew and maybe I just need more practice and grilling of each questions from OG and OG verbal under timed conditions.
Hei, I used both resource for my preparation for SC. My initial rate was not more than 20%. As most people advised to use MGMAT SC I decided that will help me to improve. However, it was difficult to use all the rules that i learned from the book in practice especially under time pressure. Then, I decided to e-gmat as I really liked that I could listen the lecture and not read a book. Based on my experience , e-gmay helped to combine all the rules. Another helpful resource was Ron's lectures. He explains really difficult SC in meaningful way, finding concrete reasons for elimination of each wrong choice. Another, important aspect is to use mgmat forum for SC as their experts such as Ron and Stacey provide detailed analysis for all Sc from gmatprep. I was really amazed by their explanation. Reason such as ambiguous or vague are bad reasons to eliminate SC but still many student rely only on this. Be careful and do not repeat this mistake. Focus only on OG and gmat prer questions.
Regardless of the prep-company you use for Sentence correction the idea is the same. You need to develop enough knowledge to be able to identify the errors easily and then have a logical approach to find the errors in an efficient manner. Most students are not systematic in their approach and end up doing extra work or overlooking easy answers. Each main error type has specific words that indicate the error could be present and you need to learn to look for those instead of re-reading each answer choice as a new item. When you find an error type you need to find the other parts of the sentence that will help determine the correct answer. For example, if you find a subject/verb error and the verb is underlined, you need to look in the sentence for the subject - eliminating all of the other pieces of the sentence, so that you are only considering a small portion of the sentence when making your decision.
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It sounds like you are pretty far down the road in terms of understanding the concepts. I can't speak to any other prep materials, but I can say that you will get additional value out of the MGMAT advanced chapters, Ron's lectures, and the forum, but your first priority should be to focus on your process. I honestly think you can get your biggest returns from doing thorough reviews of your practice problems and completing focused study on your areas of weakness.
You must review every problem you do in depth. Did you understand why certain answer choices should be eliminated? (I like what Kad said "Reason such as ambiguous or vague are bad reasons to eliminate SC but still many student rely only on this.") As you work on problems, do you spot errors in the original? Do you recognize the categorical problems within the splits? Are you having problems with specific areas? If you are still working by "feel" or "using your ear" as you do SC, you cannot progress. You must start identify the issues being tested so you can make proper eliminations. If you are struggling to identify the types of errors, practice categorizing the problems you see in the answer choices. For example, "I can eliminate A&C because of S/V agreement, and E is a parallelism problem, and B shifts the meaning incorrectly, so I choose D." Then, after you work the problem, look to the explanation to see if you were correct in your analysis. Look to see if there were errors you didn't see. Once you get good at recognizing errors by type, you will be successful at SC.
As you go through the process and you find that you are weak in a specific area, do some focused study in that area. Pull out the MGMAT topics on that subject. Review questions from the forum that have the same type. Look in the MGMAT book for OG problems that are focused on that area and work those specific problems so you get repeated exposure and practice in that area.
SC is a journey, but you have to be systematic about it. Also, a word of caution - being systematic doesn't mean you are only focused on grammar. You need to be systematic on how you address meaning as well. Meaning may seem like it's more based on feel, but it's not. You just need a slightly different process to make sure the sentence is logical and modifiers are properly placed.