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Verbal need to strategise

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Status: SC SC SC SC SC.... Concentrating on SC alone.
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Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 02:38
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Well with hardly a month and half for my GMAT, am just beginning my preparations.

I thought i would structure my preparation step by step and i took a quant text and scored q40.

I know i am weak in Verbal. SO thought before taking the mock test, lemme try a few questions in the OG.
Being a non native speaker of Egnlish found it very difficult. I did some 20 SC questions out of which i got some 15 incorrect. Crirtical Reasoning part, i guess am good at it. Hardly made a few mistakes.

I thought i would start my prep with SC.
I have the Manhattan book. I read in some of the post that it is better to start with some basic grammar.
So i started GMAT Club Grammar book. Hopefully i ll finish it today and will be switching back to Manhattan.
I guess i ll complete it in another couple of days.

Will these do. I mean is it enough. Or should i have to do something more to work on it.

Hopefully should get atleast 70% qstn correct aftr am done with MGMAT SC book.

ANy other ideas ?
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 03:08
The key to SC is not to over learn as there is no way to employ all the strategies, the guides you have will be more than adequate (especially MGMAT). Practice really does make perfect in SC, if you have OG guide you should have little trouble gaining 70%, as long as you review.

Try to get a system down as to how you will attack every SC and try to answer each within around 60 seconds, also if you can go over Thursdays with Ron SC lessons.

Hope this helps
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 04:06
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Hi Ksp,

Firstly let me say , you are at the right place. These forums helped me and several other gmat takers to shred our inhibitions, spread the experience and share a lot of insight and strategies. These are of immense help and exhilarated many prospective gmat test takers when their scores were boosted with all the help offered here.

Coming to your specific SC needs :

1. Make your own strategies - you are on quite a good path by reading up gmat grammar book and planning to go with the SC bible " Manhattan SC guide "

    Make Notes with illustrative example and diagrams after completing every topic in Manhattan Gmat Book
    Read Aristotle prep's SC Grail - Just a bunch of 140 pages which summarizes and fills the gaps where Manhattan SC guide misses.
    After every chapter of Sc Grail , use the question bank provided with it and complete topic wise problem list
    At this point you should be able to grasp most of the strategies. Summarize all your strategies into a bunch of Frameworks
    Revise the Frameworks and strategies you have devised over the learning period

2. Practice the perfect Gmat type questions :
Yes you got your concepts ! time to put them to practice, open your OG 12 ( Official Gmat Guide ) and practice them all ! How you practice is important. Some best practices recommended throughout the forum are :

    a. Do practice 20-30 SC questions from OG 12 in a timed environment , say target to do all 30 SC in a hour.

    b Use the Gmat timer for this purpose. it is available at : gmat-timer-56014.html

    c. Mark your answers in an error log/ sheet. Mark all those you got wrong, you guessed, all those you felt hard.

    d. To know more about an error log see all-about-the-error-log-11754.html

    e. Use this log to mark you OG 12 answers : gmat-club-guide-to-the-gmat-official-guide-12th-ed-85956.html

    f. After 1 hour of solving a bunch of SC problems as laid above, Use the error log , to see which problems you felt hard and got wrong. review them again by cross checking your solutions with OG 12 Sc solutions guide. Update your notes with new learnings you acquired from these problems. Now do all 30 SC in a timed setting again. Ensure you get few incorrect answers this time as you have reviewed them all. This step should take 2-3 hours of your time.

    g. It is available for 10 $ at http://www.aristotleprep.com/book/ultim ... ns-og12-sc .Moreover it gives two strategies for every SC problem found in OG 12. Learn the alternative strategy here and update your notes with it.

    h. I am attaching a sample of the above mentioned solutions guide here , so you can get a glimpse of what i am talking.

    i. After exhausting all OG 12 questions , for more practice solve 54 SC questions from OG 11.
    see my other post at need-help-in-sc-119050.html for specific question numbers from OG 11. Again use an error log , review them , make notes from learnings and re take them as mentioned above.

    j. This gives you immense practice and exposure to GMAT Like SC problems. After all , OG 12 and OG 11 carry retired gmat questions across all sections. There should be around 140 SC questions in OG 12 and 54 non repeated / new SC questions in OG 11.

This process should take you around 7 - 10 days just for SC , with 2-3 hours of work put in everyday !

Extra Practice for SC :

    After reviewing all gmat concepts and completing OG 12 for all sections , you should be ideally in a mock test taking path ! At this point use gmat prep tests 1 and 2.

    Repeat each test thrice , use an error log , mark your answers and review them . Make notes of new learning in your SC notes.

    Next if you take any 5 or 6 Gmat MOCK CAT's from a prep company like Manhattan Gmat, use the same review process i have been emphasizing all the way.

    These tests should give you immense practice , highlight your mistakes, assess your weak areas and impart you new learning along with giving you a Gmat like experience.

    These are what Mock- Cat's are basically meant for !

    Also, there's a collection of SC questions 183 of them from gmat prep tests posted in the forum at : gmatprepsc-105446.html . Review them a week before your actual test date.

    For advanced practice use 70 Brutal SC questions and their explanations from the forum located at :
    the-brutal-100-sc-test-questions-1-70-and-growing-34300.html

IMP NOTE : Gmat uses SC to test your Business English writing skills. B Schools do assess a candidate's proficiency in formal business writing using your verbal scores. If you are planning your MBA, throughout the life , you do require these skills and that is why gmat incorporates SC . These lay a foundation for you, so focus them for Gmat and for your future ! ;)My post is long , but not the implementation. I prepared for Gmat in Solid two months time using above approach for SC. I have guided a student from remote part of south India with poor English to a 720 score. This should be enough to keep you motivated.

Alternative plan :
Call it lack of time , your indiscipline you inherited since birth or some other reason , if the above solution does not yield results for you, There's a fall back strategy that comes to the rescue ! Use SC course from e-gmat. Its advanced , gives you practice of 500 + problems with immense gmat taking strategies for Sc section. I myself never used it, but heard rave reviews for it all over. I took a preview course from them recently and liked their approach a lot which injects the concepts profoundly and the practice that their question bank provides is invaluable . It is way too affordable compared to other gmat prep offerings and for 50$ its worth every penny. Perhaps give it a try if you cannot stick to the above process.

This is all about "SC preparation strategies" you will ever need i believe !

Thanks,
Hoogly
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 04:55
Hi hoogly,


That is a great post.

Am gonna follow you for sure. I ll keep u updated with the details like how far am covering and stuff.

HOpefully i do master the SC with all ur guidance in another a week.

I ll complete with my GMAT Club Grammar book today and will go ahead for the MGMAT SC bible next.
Step by step as you said.

And srsly this post of urs is a great resource for me.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 06:33
Hmmm ,

one more thing KSP .. Do not exhaust yourself with just SC ! Remember gmat has other sections too ;)

Target 1 :

Perhaps complete Mgmat SC , Aristotle SC grail and make notes - 2 hours a day for 4-5 days. Complete SC question bank at end of each section in SC Grail .

Target 2 :

OG 12 and OG 11 problems - 30 problem timed in an hour . Review in next 1 hour. Re-take in next 1 hour
( 3 hours per day )

:0 lets prove the practicality of this most generous approach .
And yes thanks for the Kudo !

I will keep posting specific and different kind of strategies . As you move along the SC , keep posting your learnings and Strategies. lets make this thread much more useful to everyone else .

Thanks,
Hoogly
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 11:48
Hi hogly,

Here is the update of what i did for the day....

Started with the GMAT Club Grammar book. Wanted to buy the full version of it but i dont have a credit card. Will have to get it someway. SO am with the sample version now with first 120 pages.

And yea in GMAT Club Grammar book, i did the following topics...

Basic structure, Nouns, Verbs along with the tenses. ( Got a great clarity on the usage of perfect, perfect continuous, continuous tenses in their present past and future forms ) linking verbs, continuous and non continuous verbs, common distinguishments, proper use of problem verbs... ( first 7 chapters )

Got a clear picture of tenses, also some interesting topics like

as/like , between/among.

Also went through Comparisons in MGMAT, Advanced comparisons in MGMAT.

I guess the aristotle book is full of ready to use thumb rules. Great suggestion. Just referring it side by side.

And also taking notes of them in my notebook.

Hopefully i cover a lot of topics tomorrow.


And hogly, i am not bothered of getting exhausted by SC. THe very thought of BSchool is bringing me lot of energy. THis is the weakest area in GMAT. IF am able to master this i guess i can probably reach out to my target score.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 21:41
Hey by the way you planning for an credit card to buy gmat book right.

If you got an HDFC account , you can create a free virtual credit card for the value of your purchase say 10 $ or equivalent INR and use it for purchase. Its called netsafe. its validity is one day.

I use the same , when i prefer to make small purchases over the net, instead of burdening my already overloaded credit cards ;) and more over its secure too.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 07:10
Hi,

Just read up the strategy for SC. Let me explain my situation.

GMAT: Booked on 9th Sep. Yesterday got a call from Pearson Vue requesting me to re-schedule as the test center will go through a maintenance cycle on 9th Sep. I was disappointed at first but later thought it was a blessing in disguise.

Practice Test scores:
GMATPrep 1:Q44,V22
GMATPrep2:Q44,V25
VeritasPrepFreeTest:Q45,V26
ManhattanReviewCATTest1:Q45,V24

Quant: Silly mistakes and timing issues, latter under control now.
Verb-the monster:
Analyses of my mistakes: Sentence Correction largely; Reading Comprehension- Primary/basic idea, inferences, detailed information from passage. Rare goof ups in CR.
Took 10 days off from work (2 more days left) to prepare. Studied MGMAT SC chapters 1-10, skipped the 9th Chapter-Idioms.
Solved all questions: OG questions, Verbal Review 2nd edition questions provided at the end of each chapter.
Have maintained an error log but have not gone back AGAIN to check where I went wrong. However, after solving, I went through both the solutions for questions where I was right and wrong. I took 6 days to finish the book.
RC: Didn't prepare at all. Have not even solved questions from OG.

KnewtonFreeTest(Took the test today):Q45,V28
Quant: Silly mistakes
Verbal: AGAIN Sentence Correction. Knew the concepts but did NOT apply them. Went through the solutions and thought, "hey! I knew this concept, why did I not apply that here?". Timing was very poor. Guessed the last 5 questions and all went wrong.
RC: 3 long and 1 short. Again primary idea/central idea. Doubts between two answers but always marked the wrong one! Took about 3 min, which includes reading, per RC question.

Where do I go now with my VERB Preparations(I could devote 2 hrs/weekday & 7hrs/weekend for the preparations)?
When can I decide on my GMAT date and what should I consider before deciding?
What, either practice tests/something else, could be indicative of my projected GMAT score?
I want to aim for a score >700 but alas :(
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 07:31
Hey prabshan,

Given ur scores, Ur verbal score isnt at part with your quant score. Working more on your verbal part will fetch u great score with you averaging 45 in quants.
I would suggest you to go thru the GMAT Club Grammar book and also Aristotle SC Grail.
Aristotle SC Grail is a book of thumb rules. It will help you a lot.
And i guess, you could try solving the OG questions section by section. They are classified section wise in MGMAT. Given that you already done with MGMAT SC book, i would suggest you to go topic by topic.
Brush up the same topic in each of these books and then attempt the OG questions. Prepare the error log for each section. Before you start another section review the error log.
If you are sure of all the concepts and if your problem is that you are not able to apply then you need lot of practice. Check out the online courses from egmat and gmat pill. Heard they are good for SC. I would suggest you to postpone the test by a month.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 07:41
And yea, all my approach was to improve SC alone. Am just started with VErbal preparations and am doing SC preparation. I havent started RC and all. SO it ll be inappropriate for me to hep you in the RC part. Lol....
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 08:50
Prabshan,

Surely you are blessed ! So postponing the test is a boon for you. Take test in end of October if you are not in a hurry ! having said that you got solid two months of time.

SC preparation :



1. Stop being panic stricken and jump start to analyse your SC problems.

2. Phase 1 - Take a diagnostic test : Say only for SC ( use OG12 diagnostic test even if you have done it before ). There are some 17 SC questions. Now do take them under timed conditions. Say, use gmat club timer (link 1) and solve all 17 in an hour. Yes Take an hour and utilize the time without rushing SC. This helps you to avoid those mistakes you commit while being in a hurry.

3. Use Gmat Club guide to OG 12 ( link2 ). Its an error log. Go to Diagnostic section and mark your answers for all SC questions ( q.no 37 to q.no 52 ). Ignore the other columns description and just focus on marking your answers.

4. Review your test. Use the diagnostic section error log to see which parts of SC you are failing in. It means Conceptually you are still weak or either unable to apply the rules !

5. Now check this post of mine -> sc-question-119227.html for a sample SC question. Are you following a strategy like this ? ( Do this only once you are done with diagnostics )

6. Go to Aristotle prep website buy SC grail and OG solutions guide ( 25 $ Together ).

7. Phase 2 - Review the basics : Get the concepts first . Study Mgmat SC Guide. yes again. Make your own notes at end of each chapter. Take solid 8-9 overs only for this. Perhaps use your two days for it and a bit more if required. But go slow, read all chapters 1-14 including idioms and Make Notes. Only theory , do not practice anything as of now. Target to complete in two weekends ( no work days ) and 1 work day.

8. Start Aristotle SC grail ( make sure it comes with a topic wise question bank ) . Do each topic and corresponding questions from the question bank after reading through every chapter. Make notes again ! Its just 140 pages book . Target in 2-3 days

9. Get hold of Gmat Grammar book and read all the verb and tense chapters only ! make notes. target 1 day

10. While studying Mgmat and Aristotle , get hold of strategies mentioned in them like 2-3 split strategy and re-splitting !

11. Review all your notes and strategies say for 3-4 hours and do nothing else that day ! - target 1 day

11. Phase 3 - Day 1 : Gmat Like Practice : Do 25 problems each day from OG 12 in an hour . Use timer and mark answers and those you felt hard in gmat club guide to OG error log . Use your learned strategies here. Next 1 hour, analyse all the answers you got wrong , correct , guessed and those you felt hard. How to analyse ? - Use OG solutions guide from Aristotle and cross check your answer ( every single OG 12 problem has been solved in two methods. learn both the strategies here ). Make notes ( Imp) of new concepts or Traps. Next 1 hour , review all marked problems by implementing strategies you learnt and ensure you get most of them right as you have already reviewed them.

12. Phase 3 - remaining days : Next 8 days , solve 25 questions per day from OG 12 and OG 11 ( see my link to OG 11 Sc question numbers - there are 54 of them and 140 in OG12 ). review as above ( imp )

13. See my another Link , where you can download a collection of SC prep questions. There are 183 of them. Review as said above . Perhaps now try to solve 30 - 35 questions in 60 to 65 min.

14. IMP - Report your detailed analysis after phase 1 and again after phase 3 - day 1. At this point if you are struggling. lets not waste more time. Enroll in e-gmat SC course straight away ( only 50 $ and worth every penny )

Note : all links can be found in my above post where i replied to Ksp !

Once you are through SC , we can start with CR and RC !

I am sure , when you are able to rock Quant , use a logical approach for SC , you should be beating verbal too in no time. Grab the concepts , Learn how to Apply those Rules and Practice ! - the only classical approach out there. follow the chronological order and yes Remember ! when done with Phase 2 : making Notes , put all grammar rules in 10 -11 Frameworks. Follow a strategy like : split , apply a grammar framework appropriate, eliminate some choices, re split - apply grammar frameworks , if not check meaning , and then concision in an order to eliminate and arrive to an answer. learn to cut the fluff out o long sentences. Watch gmat pill sample SC video, before you start OG practice for this.

Hope to hear your diagnostic results soon !
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 09:07
Prabshan and Ksp :

See my posting in another thread : the-amount-of-x-and-y-is-or-are-119278.html#p964299

It illustrates how to apply a grammar rule. Perhaps it should be of help as a good starting point ;)
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 23:22
hoogly wrote:
Prabshan and Ksp :

See my posting in another thread : the-amount-of-x-and-y-is-or-are-119278.html#p964299

It illustrates how to apply a grammar rule. Perhaps it should be of help as a good starting point ;)



Hey nice explanation....

Must get minds and brains aligned towards thinking in those lines.... Tuff job...
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 23:25
And yea updates on my preparation....

Weekends... So preparations are kind of sluggish.

ANywayz done with subject verb agreement and Pronouns in both GMAT CLub Grammar book and MGMAT books.

Went out for shopping and got MGMAT set of 8 books. I also have ordered the Official Guide for Verbal Review.

And was quite confident about the exam and now am slowly loosing my confidence.
Mainly because of 680 by akhileshgupta05 . I have been following his posts. Hoped that he ll get past 750. All the very thought of his low score is screwing me.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 07:35
you need to put in the time. Don't be satisfied with Quant 40. That shows insufficient understanding of fundamentals. Don't waste your time on the brain teasers in stupidly hard questions like gmatclub samples. Focus on understanding the core question types and how to solve the "standard" questions mechanically and quickly. Once you get them down pat, then focus on tougher questions to get a handle on conceptually more difficult questions.

Verbal is hard to go from low 30s high 20s to 40s in a month and half, but high 30s is doable. SC should be the easiest to improve. Its good that you have no problems with CR. Non-native speakers have alot of problems with RC. They try to understand every line in each passage which is impossible for most people (even those who end up getting good scores in verbal) because sometimes the language can very esoteric or dense. You need to be able to retrieve core ideas even if u don't understand some words or phrases. Remember, context always provides clues.

You should aim for at least 49-50 in Quant so that there's plenty of wiggle room in verbal to get past 700. Whatever you do, don't get satisfied with high scores in verbal for MGMAT CAT tests. So many people score lower than their inflated prep scores. GMATprep is still the best tool to assess your progress.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 08:50
Dude you shudnt be upset coz of my score! I screwed up! I wasn't expecting a 750 anyway! Those scores you saw were all inflated man!

I was expecting a 720-730! Don't be scared! If you are you have lost without even fighting!

P.S. It's a 670 not 680

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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 19:56
@openbox1 : Hey thanks a lot. That really puts a lot of sense. As of now, am covering up all the materials that i can for the SC topics. And for the RC, yet to start with practice. I have herd it from a lot of people that SC can be easily improved. Have allotted a week for this SC questions as of now. After that have to pace with all parts of GMAT simultaneously.

And the plan for the quants is to go through the MGMAT books to get an idea of the core concepts. This is the plan as of now.

Hpefully this will work.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 20:04
@akhileshgupta05 : Hey thanks for your response. Anyways great piece of advice. Ok, then am not gonna get scared. Have some 40 solid days.Thinking of postponing it by another 10 days. So i will have solid 50 days to prepare. Gonna put up a brave fight.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 07:06
And the update for the day.

Somehow i managed to finish the first 84 pages of GMAT Club Grammar book.
In the MGMAT, i completed parallelism and advanced parallelism. Yet to do Modifiers , Verb Tense Mood VOice, Idioms, Odds and ends, Advanced Subject Verb Agreement, Advanced Verb tense, Advanced Modifiers in MGMAT.

THere is a Practice Test 1: Basic in the GMAT Club Grammar book after 84 pages. 50 questions are there. THat wil be my first SC test.

NOTE : Please sign out of your gmail and facebook before you start your preparations. Finding it difficult to get rid of gtalk and FB. God seriously addicted. And also feel like must get rid of the television. Indians must be ware of the ANNA HAZARE fever. Cant wait get updates on it. Anyways ordered an additional newspaper for my room hoping that it might reduce the ANNA time by an hour atleast.

Also wanted to make some final decisions on my date. Seeing if i can sprint GMAT within Oct 4. THough i dont have too much options other than postponing it another 10 days maximum.

Hopefully i get a good score in the GMAT Club Practise Test Basic Set 1.
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Re: Verbal need to strategise [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 18:29
You can postpone 7 days before the test. So why now? Continue your prep and keep your eye on the date. If you feel later on that you aren't too confident then you can always postpone. What if you need another 20 days instead of 10 ? Then you will have to waste another 50$. Think abt it.

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Re: Verbal need to strategise   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2011, 18:29
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