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# Distribution of SC questions - Strategy

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Senior Manager
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Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2009, 17:54
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Hey guys,

Have you ever faced such situations, while solving SC, as you are not able to spot the errors in any of the answer choices, or are not able to narrow down the answer choice to one? If yes, then I am with you!!!

I seldom find myself staring at the screen with no clue how to attack a hard SC. I know, I know, every question falls under a specific category of error. According to MGMAT SC there are 9 such categories: Parallelism, Modifiers, Comparisons, Idioms, Verb Tense/Voice/Mood, Subject-Verb agreement, Pronouns, Meaning/Concision, Odds & Ends. So if you are stuck in a situation like above, then you should start checking if the question falls under any of these error categories. But which category to test first? It is definitely not economical to spend time in real GMAT checking these categories randomly. So I have come up with my own strategy to tackle such situations.

Here is the distribution of questions from OG and Official Verbal Guides:
Attachment:

SC_Distribution.jpg [ 73.88 KiB | Viewed 38320 times ]

It is clear from this chart that the probability of a question to fall under one of the first 3 categories is more than 50%. And 75% of the questions comes under one of the first 5 categories. Questions that fall under modifiers and comparisons categories are usually easier than those that fall under parallelism. So it is safe to place your bet on parallelism if you are not able to determine the category of any question.

I personally found this strategy very useful to increase my speed in finding the answers of Brutal SC questions, and I hope that you all will also benefit from it. Comments and suggestions are Welcome!!

Assumption: The distribution of the SC questions in OG and Official Verbal Guides represents the actual distribution of questions in real GMAT.
If you have any questions
New!
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2009, 19:20
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Phew!GLad to see that somebody is in the same boat as me!!
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2009, 21:55
Have some problem often,,,
but if i have no clue which answer to pick, i trust my intuition and ear. It helps often
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 05:29
mirzohidjon wrote:
Have some problem often,,,
but if i have no clue which answer to pick, i trust my intuition and ear. It helps often

I can see how "ear" can help in case of Idioms, but I have a hard time to digest that intuition is the BEST strategy
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 06:32
HI Hgp,
So, If I understood you right, when you can not find clue to the question, you begin to check the belonging of the question to the category one by one, from the top?

Can you suppose the rate of effectiveness increase?
Have you checked this proportions with the Prep. materials?
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 08:42
I think the best way to approach SC questions, is to develop ability to recognize error at first glance. Step by step look at each grammar concept based on percentage from OG often might be wasteful, and leave less time for RC and CR questions, which are equally important.
May be I used the wrong word. By "intuition," I meant, my feeling that something is wrong in the use of specific expression based on expression, i.e. it is not just intuition...
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 10:08
Ayrish wrote:
HI Hgp,
So, If I understood you right, when you can not find clue to the question, you begin to check the belonging of the question to the category one by one, from the top?

Can you suppose the rate of effectiveness increase?
Have you checked this proportions with the Prep. materials?

You got it right. Yes, it increased the rate of effectiveness for me. The question proportion/distribution is from OG12, OG 11, GMAT official verbal guide 2 and GMAT official verbal guide 1.

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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 10:13
mirzohidjon wrote:
I think the best way to approach SC questions, is to develop ability to recognize error at first glance. Step by step look at each grammar concept based on percentage from OG often might be wasteful, and leave less time for RC and CR questions, which are equally important.
May be I used the wrong word. By "intuition," I meant, my feeling that something is wrong in the use of specific expression based on expression, i.e. it is not just intuition...

You are correct mirzohidjon! But this stratey is applicable only for the questions, which you have no clue about. And the probability of that is very high when you are at 700+ difficulty level.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 11:05
Good work buddy..You sure have managerial skills of consolidating data
Yup..actually its more of pattern-based, so identifying a pattern is must...of course , theoretically, classifying the problems and attacking them in a structured manner is the best and 'satisfying' way to answer questions. For me it is a combination of both as there are times when you have to chose the 'best' choice even though two of them can be technically correct.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 12:48
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Kudos!

I have used a checklist like that for my prep, but my approach has been to build a check list from my error log - I would see where i get caught the most and that's the area I would check first. It looked very similar to yours (probably had a few more items there) but the idea is the same.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2009, 16:34
my test date is soon and after so much of practise..SC is still killing me..i plan on spending quality time over nxt few days practicing just the top 4-5 topics listed here..
thanks a ton for compiling this!
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2009, 13:49
Excellent. I love the idea. Will apply it shortly.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2009, 20:23
When I went through those OGs, I noticed the number of ||sm types questions are larger than others.

Good work, buddy.

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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2009, 02:45
Also, here is another project hgp2k contributed to:
gmat-club-guide-to-the-gmat-official-guide-12th-ed-85956.html
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2009, 10:18
+1 Kudos!
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05 Dec 2009, 05:17
Love it, very helpful indeed. Thank you!

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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2010, 20:21
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Pretty awesome, exactly what I was looking for.

Gmatclub rocks......
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2010, 09:13
The trick that worked for me is to quickly scan through the answer choices w/o actually reading, this might help you find the error that is being tested. If the answer choices are different around the usage of verb tense then one of the errors is verb tense.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2010, 22:02
add me too in this category. and i also agree that parallelism is very tough to find out..it really makes sense to bet on parallelism

Thanks for the comparision.
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2011, 21:01
although i wonder if this has changed with the recent updates of GMAT not using many idioms and attempting to increase the focus on 'meaning'. ??
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Re: Distribution of SC questions - Strategy   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2011, 21:01

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