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# Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal

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Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2014, 13:06
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Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal

1) Unnecessarily Elimination of Prepositional Phrases
Certain answer choices may attempt to use concision by replacing a prepositional phrase with an adjective. While the adjective does reduce the number of words in the sentence, it introduces unnecessary ambiguity.
Example (incorrect): I tried to contact the Los Angeles doctor.
Example (correct): I tried to contact the doctor from Los Angeles.
The phrase “Los Angeles doctor” seems to describe a type of doctor rather than the particular doctor who is from Los Angeles. We have to use the prepositional phrase “from Los Angeles” in order to describe the doctor.

2) Choosing an option that is too Extreme
When main idea GMAT reading comprehension questions occur, the wrong answers will often be very extreme. For these GMAT test questions, if you have to guess, you should pick an answer that is not as extreme. On the GMAT test, extreme words are often included in incorrect answers.

3) Choosing an option(especially that has Conclusion) that is too Broad
In Must be true or Find the conclusion questions, many test taker often choose conclusion that goes beyond the scope of passage. These choices appear lucrative because of their attractive language.

Stimulus :- Flavonoids are a common component of almost all plants, but a specific variety of flavonoid in apples has been found to be an antioxidant. Antioxidants are known to be a factor in the prevention of heart disease

Question :- Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

Some attractive but wrong answer choices :-
i) A diet composed largely of fruits and vegetables will help to prevent heart disease :- This choice is too broad to be supported by the facts : nowhere are we told that a diet of fruits and vegetables will help prevent heart disease. Perhaps apples are the only fruit with the antioxidant flavonoid and there is nothing beneficial about other fruits and vegetables.
ii) Flavonoids are essential to preventing heart disease :- Nothing in the stimulus supports the rather strong statement that flavonoids are essential to preventing heart disease.
iii) Eating atleast one apple each day will prevent heart disease :- Again this choice also has too strong language. The stimulus only stated that apples contain an element that was a factor in preventing heart disease, not that they definitely will prevent heart disease.
iv) A diet deficient in antioxidants is a common cause of heart disease. :- The stimulus makes no mention of the causes of heart disease. Just because an antioxidant can help prevent heart disease does not mean that a lack of antioxidants causes heart disease.
Notice how the scope of the stimulus plays a role in how we attack the answer choices.

Quite often people fail to read and consider words such as 'EXCEPT' 'NOT' etc in the question steam especially in Critical Reasoning questions, leading them to choose an incorrect answer. Even missing out on reading small letters such as 's' or 'ed' and missing punctuation such as a semicolon or a comma can test takers to pick the incorrect answer choice.

The Article is yet to be completed. If you know the mistakes that should be avoided while solving verbal questions, please post in this thread. We would be happy to include them in this post.

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Re: Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2014, 05:47
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Expert's post
In our opinion the main mistake is not to practice enough.

Take as many GMAT practice test as possible AFTER you are familiar with all concepts!!!

Also, it is utterly important to read scientific articles to get a feeling for complex texts.

OPTIMUS PREP
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Re: Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2014, 20:05
Thought this was a really good post, and should be brought to the top again. I've found student often focus so much on quant that they forget to pay serious attention to the verbal.

Jillian
MBA Ivy League
www.MBAIvyLeague.com
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I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad, and currently run the award-winning MBA & EMBA admission firm and blog: http://www.MBAIvyLeague.com. Check out the blog and contact me for a free consultation today!

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Re: Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid in GMAT Verbal   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2014, 20:05
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