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Not able to move past V-35

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Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 03:22
Hi guys,

I'm a newbie GMAT aspirant. and i plan to write my test within next 4 weeks. The problem i am encountering is I'm somehow not able to move past V-35.
Despite trying hard to concentrate on question language, I'm making mistakes i shouldn't, like missing parallelisms/missing verb tense disagreements in straight forward questions. Is it absolutely necessary for me to take online/offline tuition classes ? Or could I get through this on my own with more intensive practice.
Either way, need help from fellow aspirants here on strategic question reading tricks/ways and any important set of questions i should be doing.
For now, I'm studying from OG and Kaplan prep plus 2019 & 2020. Thanks.
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Re: Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 05:51
khutts - Welcome to GMAT Club

I would encourage you to review an existing forum post: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-go-to ... 42366.html
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Re: Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 08:25
khutts wrote:
Hi guys,

I'm a newbie GMAT aspirant. and i plan to write my test within next 4 weeks. The problem i am encountering is I'm somehow not able to move past V-35.
Despite trying hard to concentrate on question language, I'm making mistakes i shouldn't, like missing parallelisms/missing verb tense disagreements in straight forward questions. Is it absolutely necessary for me to take online/offline tuition classes ? Or could I get through this on my own with more intensive practice.
Either way, need help from fellow aspirants here on strategic question reading tricks/ways and any important set of questions i should be doing.
For now, I'm studying from OG and Kaplan prep plus 2019 & 2020. Thanks.


Hi khutts,

If you’re not a native speaker, I would recommend for personal classes as it is difficult to go beyond a certain score with self prep.

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Re: Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 11:31
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khutts wrote:
Hi guys,

I'm a newbie GMAT aspirant. and i plan to write my test within next 4 weeks. The problem i am encountering is I'm somehow not able to move past V-35.
Despite trying hard to concentrate on question language, I'm making mistakes i shouldn't, like missing parallelisms/missing verb tense disagreements in straight forward questions. Is it absolutely necessary for me to take online/offline tuition classes ? Or could I get through this on my own with more intensive practice.
Either way, need help from fellow aspirants here on strategic question reading tricks/ways and any important set of questions i should be doing.
For now, I'm studying from OG and Kaplan prep plus 2019 & 2020. Thanks.


I was stuck in a similar situation too. Below are some tips that I wrote in my debrief:

Tips for preparation:

Sentence Correction:
MGMAT is the best book you can get your hands on to prepare for SC.
Aristotle Grail is a simplified version of MGMAT and is too useful to build the concepts.
Magoosh lessons. Easy, Crisp and Lucid video lessons.

Take down the notes in your notebook and revise them every other day, so that they are embedded in your system.
Start off a SC question by find the subject and then check that the verb agrees with it or not. Check for the parallelism by looking out for words such as and, that etc.
Make sure that there is a verb in the sentence (-ing forms are not verbs by themselves)

To break it in points:
1. Find the subject
2. Make sure the subject agrees with the verb in numbers
3. Make sure the verb is full verb
4. usage of Like (used to compare nouns and express similarities), as(used to compare every thing else and such as used for examples)
5. Parallelism- Pay attention to ""and, that, either or, neither nor etc" as they are the signal words and parts on both sides of these words should be parallel
5. Tense: The parallel parts of the sentences should be in the same tense.
Perfect Tense used only when any event has already happened and is over
Progressive tense is used when the event is in action.

These are some of the things which will enable you solve most of the questions correctly.


Critical Reasoning:
Practice is the key here.
You can go through as many strategies you want, but the most important thing here is practice.
Aristotle Grail had some good techniques.
Read the question stem first and then the premise. Pre thinking will help you get the answer quickly.

In assumption questions, try to negate the left over answer choices and then see if the arguement falls apart. If it does, then you have the correct answer
In the conclusion question, full essence of the premise should be captured.

Reading Comprehension:
Definitely the section which is most underrated by the students and according to me, this is the section which can make or break your score.
I have learned it the hard way. There are a lot many strategies which people recommend.

However making a passage map worked out for me.
I always made a passage map by writing the main points about the paragraph, including some of the details. The usage of short hand is a must for this.
I read the first and the last lines of each paragraph with utmost importance as they are the ones which give you a good idea about the intent of the paragraph.
Practice is again the key here. I believe that even if you are not a voracious reader and do not read "the Washington times", you can crack this section by solving ample number of RCs. Worked for me.

Keep a note of the tone in which the passage is written broadly: positive, negative or neutral.
Specific Details questions: Read one line before and after the specific detail in the passage
Inference Questions: Treat like a normal CR question, look for the information in the passage and you will be able to infer easily
Conclusion and Tone questions: Should be able to capture the whole paragraph and should not contain anything new


Recommended Material:
MGMAT SC
Aristotle SC, CR
Magoosh membership
GMAT Prep and GMAT Prep Extended Pack
GMAT Prep Question Pack1

And finally the big one: The pdfs of everything official compiled by Souvik fir CR SC and RC.
These files contain all the official question out there and help to get a hang about the types of questions which come on the real thing.
But these file come at a cost. I would not recommend these files to anyone who is taking the GMAT for the first time as your test taking experience will be diluted because of the seen questions. However, the re-takers should definitely try to solve these files as much as they can.
The official pdfs can be found at the links below:
CR: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-most-comp ... l#p1129824
SC: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-most-comp ... l#p1129819
RC: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-most-comp ... l#p1129820

Error Log: This has to be in place if someone is preparing sincerely. The methods for recording errors may be different, but one should have this. I simply noted down all the questions I got wrong on three separate pages of my notebook, each page for one section.

See if these help.
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Re: Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 14:25
Hi khutts,

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:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
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: Not able to move past V-35  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 16:39
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Hi khutts,

First off, V35 is not a bad start! The good news is that I do think you likely can continue to self-study and improve your verbal skills (and thus your verbal score). That said, to improve your verbal score to a higher level, you need to ensure that are following a study plan that allows you to learn each verbal topic individually, and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

For example, when studying Critical Reasoning, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics to develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you incorrectly answered a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific 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 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 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 questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect 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 stimulating. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such bland passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the New York Times, 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 likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is 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 less than 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 clearly refer to nouns? 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 none of those reasons are 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 answers were always the ones 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, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to put in the necessary time to see the differences between answers 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. 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 to arrive at that answer and what you could do differently 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 do differently to extend 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 skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Not able to move past V-35   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2019, 16:39
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