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How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?

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Joined: 15 Aug 2018
Posts: 3
How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 06:08
Hi all,

I want to improve my SC accuracy from 75% to an estimated 85% in half a month. Do you have any suggestion?

Here is my profile:
1. First GMAT exam in Aug 8th, scoring only V20 (freaked out)
2. Second scheduled exam: Sep 5th
3. What I have done? I read thorough the Manhattan SC section, attended one online GMAT course, and more importantly, finished the OG and the Verbal Review.
4. The results from OG practice:
1) Overall, the accuracy fluctuates between 70%-90%, but the average accuracy level is only 90%.
2) Generally, I failed at the very beginning. Hmm, as a good staring point guarantees a high GMAT score, I am pretty concerned about this.
3) I made mistakes consecutively.

5. After my analysis on my practice of OG, I found there are reasons for picking the wrong choice.
1) I ignored the cues by ETS
2) I am pretty weak in pronoun, tense, and meaning
3) My mind goes dead sometimes to make mistakes .For instance, I clicked the wrong choice even if I picked the correct and I ignored nuanced distinctions.

Now am at the across-road to prepare for SC section. But I also have to get ready for other parts, critical reasoning particularly.
So do you have any suggestion about the study plan?

Should I go over OG again? Or what else should i do? Many thanks!
Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 27
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Marketing
GMAT 1: 660 Q44 V37
Re: How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 06:17
I would suggest you to go through the Manhattan SC guide again and then solve the OG questions and go through the explanations as well to improve the SC score.

For CR, you can go through powerscore CR and OG questions
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Re: How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 13:04
Hi XiaoHei,

You're asking about SC, but it's possible that there are other, more-important areas that you should be focused on right now. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long have you studied?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your practice CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) What was your Score on the Official GMAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 19:28
Hi XiaoHei,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. I see that you would like to improve your Sentence Correction score; however, since you scored a V20 on your August 8 GMAT, you really need to work on all areas of GMAT verbal. To improve your GMAT verbal skills, follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build GMAT mastery of one topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts.

For example, let’s say you’re studying Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific Critical Reasoning question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: find the main idea, inference, author’s tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure. This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer.

As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices in a Sentence Correction question, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. For instance, are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently that would have extended your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal resources, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the top verbal] verbal courses.

You also may find my article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!

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Re: How to improve SC accuracy from 75% to 85-90% in half a month?   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2018, 19:28
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