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# How to understand what the question is testing (SC)

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Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2017, 05:23
Hello Experts,

I often com across users mentioning that they are able to understand what the SC sentence is testing in any given question. For example, one user said 'oh this question is testing on the subject-verb agreement'

I am not able to grasp that. My question is, how can I understand what the question is testing? I believe this would help me understand and solve SC questions better.
SVP
Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 1877
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2017, 06:20
pra1785 wrote:
Hello Experts,

I often com across users mentioning that they are able to understand what the SC sentence is testing in any given question. For example, one user said 'oh this question is testing on the subject-verb agreement'

I am not able to grasp that. My question is, how can I understand what the question is testing? I believe this would help me understand and solve SC questions better.

Hi pra1785,

In order to understand what the question is testing, you need to go through the concepts.
There are a certain number of things that you need to check before solving a question. Here are a few of them:

Try to drill down into each problem type to ace them.

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you. As a general guide line, you can start solving a question by taking the following things in consideration:

1. Find out the subject and the verb
2. See that the S&V agree in number
3. Look out for the modifiers
4. Look out for parallelism
5. Look out for usage of certain words - such as vs like, few vs less etc.

Have you enrolled into any proeparatory course or have a book that talks about concepts?
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2017, 10:55
Hi pra1785,

SC questions are built around a finite series of grammar/idiom rules - so you can certainly learn all of the necessary knowledge to tackle most SC questions without too much trouble. There are other rarer issues ('style' and 'meaning' that can also sometimes play a role), but you need to know the major grammar rules first. To be efficient with SCs, you have to use all of the information that you're given - including how the answer choices are designed - to 'zero in' on the grammar rules that being tested and 'fix' whatever might need fixing.

1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 05:36
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi pra1785,

SC questions are built around a finite series of grammar/idiom rules - so you can certainly learn all of the necessary knowledge to tackle most SC questions without too much trouble. There are other rarer issues ('style' and 'meaning' that can also sometimes play a role), but you need to know the major grammar rules first. To be efficient with SCs, you have to use all of the information that you're given - including how the answer choices are designed - to 'zero in' on the grammar rules that being tested and 'fix' whatever might need fixing.

1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

Thank you for the input.

1) I started studying since the beginning of the year.
2) OG 15, 16, Vertias Videos, Kaplan 2016 and kaplan 2017
3) My scores have been inconsistent
Manhattan CAT 1 550 39Q 28V
Manhattan CAT 2 570 37Q 31V
Manhattan CAT 3 580 40Q 30V
KAPLAN CAT 1 670 46Q 36V
KAPLAN CAT 2 650 46Q 33V
KAPLAN CAT 3 640 41Q 37V
GMATPREP 1 580 42Q 28V
GMATPREP 2 620 46Q 29V
4) My goal score is 700
5) My test is in 15 days

I have used the error log and i am not able to figure out my weakness because it is different everytime. I noticed that I get more SC questions wrong (comparatively)
Can you suggest what I should do to improve my score in the time that I have? I am really struggling
Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 05:37
OptimusPrepJanielle wrote:
pra1785 wrote:
Hello Experts,

I often com across users mentioning that they are able to understand what the SC sentence is testing in any given question. For example, one user said 'oh this question is testing on the subject-verb agreement'

I am not able to grasp that. My question is, how can I understand what the question is testing? I believe this would help me understand and solve SC questions better.

Hi pra1785,

In order to understand what the question is testing, you need to go through the concepts.
There are a certain number of things that you need to check before solving a question. Here are a few of them:

Try to drill down into each problem type to ace them.

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you. As a general guide line, you can start solving a question by taking the following things in consideration:

1. Find out the subject and the verb
2. See that the S&V agree in number
3. Look out for the modifiers
4. Look out for parallelism
5. Look out for usage of certain words - such as vs like, few vs less etc.

Have you enrolled into any proeparatory course or have a book that talks about concepts?

hi,

I have used the following to study and practice:
OG 15, 16, Vertias Videos, Kaplan 2016 and kaplan 2017
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 14194
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 16:45
Hi pra1785,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming that your two most recent CATs are the two Official CATs (and that you took these CATs in a realistic fashion), those 2 CAT results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). With a score goal of 700+, you would have to raise your score about 100 in just 2 weeks. Unfortunately, that is not a realistic goal, so you might want to consider pushing back your Test Date. You will likely need to make some significant adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and all of that work will likely take another 2 months of consistent, guided study.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 9232
Location: Pune, India
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 23:13
pra1785 wrote:
Hello Experts,

I often com across users mentioning that they are able to understand what the SC sentence is testing in any given question. For example, one user said 'oh this question is testing on the subject-verb agreement'

I am not able to grasp that. My question is, how can I understand what the question is testing? I believe this would help me understand and solve SC questions better.

Look for decision points. The differences in the options.
Say 2 options use "have done" and 3 use "had done". You know that tenses are being tested.
Say 2 options use "is doing" and 3 use "are doing" - you know that subject-verb agreement is being tested.
etc

Here is a post on decision points: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/1 ... r-choices/

You said you have checked out Veritas Videos. Have you seen our Sentence Correction video? It gives details of the various error types and how to correct them.
_________________
Karishma
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Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 06:48
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi pra1785,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming that your two most recent CATs are the two Official CATs (and that you took these CATs in a realistic fashion), those 2 CAT results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). With a score goal of 700+, you would have to raise your score about 100 in just 2 weeks. Unfortunately, that is not a realistic goal, so you might want to consider pushing back your Test Date. You will likely need to make some significant adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and all of that work will likely take another 2 months of consistent, guided study.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

I wasn't keen on giving my test by end of August. However, there were no available dates in september and the next dates were around mid October. I want to apply in round 1 but it looks like I will have to re evaluate my colleges based on my scores. How do you suggest I improve my scores in 2 weeks? I know there is no miracle but I am willing to put in whatever is possible in these 2 weeks.

Thank you for your advice and guidance. I really appreciate it.
Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 06:50
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
pra1785 wrote:
Hello Experts,

I often com across users mentioning that they are able to understand what the SC sentence is testing in any given question. For example, one user said 'oh this question is testing on the subject-verb agreement'

I am not able to grasp that. My question is, how can I understand what the question is testing? I believe this would help me understand and solve SC questions better.

Look for decision points. The differences in the options.
Say 2 options use "have done" and 3 use "had done". You know that tenses are being tested.
Say 2 options use "is doing" and 3 use "are doing" - you know that subject-verb agreement is being tested.
etc

Here is a post on decision points: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/1 ... r-choices/

You said you have checked out Veritas Videos. Have you seen our Sentence Correction video? It gives details of the various error types and how to correct them.

That makes sense. I will look into that when I solve questions.

Yes, I did see the SC video and followed the IMPACT procedure as well.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 14194
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 12:28
Hi pra1785,

There is a significant 'value' difference between a 600 and a 700 (beyond just the obvious 100 point difference). With a higher score, you have a greater opportunity for Scholarships. A higher GMAT Score puts you into a better position to apply to more competitive Programs (re: Higher-ranked Programs) and there are a variety of benefits to earning an MBA from a higher-ranked School. These opportunities can impact your career and life going forward, so they shouldn't be dictated by a short-term timeframe. This is meant to say that applying for Round 2 might be significantly better for you (in all areas) than trying to 'rush' and apply for Round 1.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/
Manager
Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 181
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2017, 11:12
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi pra1785,

There is a significant 'value' difference between a 600 and a 700 (beyond just the obvious 100 point difference). With a higher score, you have a greater opportunity for Scholarships. A higher GMAT Score puts you into a better position to apply to more competitive Programs (re: Higher-ranked Programs) and there are a variety of benefits to earning an MBA from a higher-ranked School. These opportunities can impact your career and life going forward, so they shouldn't be dictated by a short-term timeframe. This is meant to say that applying for Round 2 might be significantly better for you (in all areas) than trying to 'rush' and apply for Round 1.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

I am understanding your point. However, I think I will be unable to reschedule my exam now due to the short notice. If I score poorly in this test, I could reappear for the test. However, this is my 4th attempt and a 5th attempt might appear as a red flag on my application. I cancelled all my 3 scores from previous attempts since they were given unprepared and in haste.

I did a Kaplan test yesterday and scored a 660. however, it seems Kaplan scores are inflated for me because ManhattanPrep and GMATprep show much lower scores. Can you help me understand the accuracy of Kaplan tests?

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my queries and providing honest feedbacks. I highly appreciate it.
Re: How to understand what the question is testing (SC)   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2017, 11:12
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# How to understand what the question is testing (SC)

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