Struggling with SC : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Struggling with SC

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Manager
Joined: 02 Aug 2009
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24 Mar 2010, 18:05
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Hi All,

I have been studying for about 2ish months, have read MGMAT SC guide several times done about 300 questions out of the 1000SC and all of the OG verbal SC questions. I am currently taking the MGMAT course and despite the classes and weekly 30 minute tutoring sessions I still struggle. The conclusion is I just suck. I know all the rules but I am horrible at applying them. My hit rate is still around 70-80%. I am a native speaker with rather poor grammar, but I really want to improve my hit rate to about 90+. Does anyone have any tips of what worked for them about just how to apply the rules or really anything else.

Thanks,

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24 Mar 2010, 19:17
I'm unfortunately the same... I'm not a native speaker so that compounds the problem. I've more or less resigned myself to being right more often than wrong. Good luck on your journey though.
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Last edited by dc3828102 on 24 Mar 2010, 21:42, edited 1 time in total.
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24 Mar 2010, 21:37
I'm currently in the same boat. Native speaker, doing poorly on sentence correction. I have made considerable progress but a ways to go.

Here is what I have done to conquer SC so far:

- I went through the MGMAT SC book the first time and only took notes. This allowed me to take in the concepts that are tested. Mentally, it let me put a name to a face so to speak, this also allowed me to categorize each question into one of the 8 problem types discussed in the MGMAT SC book.

- I tried my hand at OG 11th Edition problems but making sure to error log every question (right or wrong), as well as writing down details for every question. For the details, besides the time to complete the question and the category of the question I also wrote down whether I got it right/wrong, whether I guessed/knew the answer and finally whether I made a careless mistake or not. This allowed me to narrow down where I needed to focus my attention.

- I went through the MGMAT SC book again, paying closer attention to weaker spots. I did the problem sets exactly as prescribed, not just spotting the error and fixing it. This allowed me to work on finding the subject, verb, pronoun, modifier, adverb, and adjective within a sentence. As a native speaker I never really paid much attention to these minute details, I figured I could sound out every problem.

- Some time has passed, my scores have improved. Unfortunately I've hit a road block. I need to be able to do each question in under 2 minutes. Most recommend that you should cross off the wrong answers right away. I was always very slow to commit to an answer. I have started to go through the MGMAT SC book for the third time, this time going through the problem sets in each chapter and performing the OG 11th Ed problems the book recommends at the end of every chapter. One of the differences this time around is I'm doing the questions and giving explanations on why the other possible answers are wrong. I've upped the ante and grade myself if my reasoning is right (5 marks total). This has helped me recognize common errors GMAT likes to use in developing their wrong answers. It has given me a bit more confidence in eliminating wrong answer choices.

- I have saved the OG 12th Ed. and the OG Verbal 2nd Ed. for my final couple weeks of prep. I will time myself and do these questions for additional practice. Ensuring I error log my mistakes and compare them to my initial mistakes. I hope to eliminate most of my mistakes but I'll be more curious to see what I'm struggling on with the higher level questions. It is an iterative process. I will try to work on going over the new found mistakes and study the concepts I struggle with.

At this point just going through the MGMAT SC book, the all mighty bible everyone claims it to be, is useless if you don't change your approach in some way. Kind of like muscle confusion but for the brain.

Hope this helps.
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25 Mar 2010, 20:17
I have just finished the MGMAT SC book as well. I tried the online bank questions and still kinda struggle with them. I got only about half of them right so far.

I only went thru the book once and do not know the rules by heart yet, so definitely going back and take note while this time.

I can still see that I am going to struggle like people here so would help appreciate if people can suggest some strategies for SC problems here. gparmar16 doing a good job so far. Thank you
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27 Mar 2010, 11:07
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Hey Guys,

I can't say I have a ton to add, but as it seems that most of you have been through our book, I'd at least add in a few pointers.

1) You are expected to get 40% of this test wrong, even with a perfect score (remember, it's adaptive). Expecting 90% on Sentence Correction is not reasonable. If you're scoring between 70-80%, and you're seeing a fair number of 7-800 level questions (our practice tests allow you to break down the difficulties of questions you've seen) that's great, and it's time to focus somewhere else.

2) The key to getting a high percentage on SC (70-80%) is categorization. It sounds like most of you are on this, but in case some of you aren't, here is a brief reminder of your process.

a) Read the Original Sentence. If it's short, go straight to b. If it's long, you may need to do some categorization work in the original sentence. Do any categories jump out at you? (To ID: SV-Agreement is splits in the number of subjects and verbs, parallelism triggers include most conjunctions, pronouns involve simply seeing some pronouns, modifiers involve relative pronouns and participles, etc.)

b) Find your first split; categorize it. If you can't categorize the split into one of the major groups (i.e. If it feels more like meaning or concision), go looking for another split.

c) Apply the technique that goes with the category (i.e. for parallelism, isolate individual elements and match up; for pronouns, seek out antecedent; etc.)

d) Rinse and Repeat.

It sounds like a lot of you already know this, but this is the way that I and my fellow instructors all get the consistently high scores on sentence correction that we do.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Tommy Wallach | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | San Francisco

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28 Mar 2010, 02:52
Tommy thank you so much for the tips. I tried applying a similar technique (altho not perfect) on the SC questions bank.

I have exported 25 Q to excel list. I was wondering if I can PM you my score and ask a few personal questions regarding the SC?

Thank you so much
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28 Mar 2010, 08:02
Hey Lonewolf et. al.,

Of course! Feel free to PM with any specific questions. : )

-t
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Tommy Wallach | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | San Francisco

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Re: Struggling with SC   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2010, 08:02
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