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# Verbal time management

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Intern
Joined: 15 Jan 2019
Posts: 45
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Marketing, Human Resources
GPA: 3.12
WE: Other (Other)

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08 Feb 2019, 17:12
I am having time management issues in Verbal section. It’s take me around 10 minutes in RC 2:15 in CR and 2:00 in SC on average otherwise I keep getting them wrong.

Also for SC I have studied the concepts and almost finished the OG with only 60 questions remaining but my score hasn’t improved much. In my mock tests I got 46 verbal percentile and 32verbal percentile in 2 different tests. (Economist and Expertsglobal)

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Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Chief Curriculum and Content Architect
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 24 Nov 2014
Posts: 619
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V51

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Updated on: 12 Aug 2019, 12:16
3
Hi UmairAftab.

People often talk about having time management issues on the GMAT, and wonder how to speed up.

One way to do so is to look for ways to be more efficient in your work. For instance, when going through a Reading Comprehension passage, one can be more efficient by not getting too bogged down in details, but rather noting in general what paragraphs say and noting where details lie in order to come back to them later should doing so be necessary for answering a question.

Similarly, in Sentence Correction, one can increase efficiency by being more careful to note where errors lie rather than circling through the choices forgetting which ones one has eliminated.

At the same time, the best way to increase speed is to attain more knowledge and develop more skill, as timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve.

Generally speaking, timing does not improve via one's simply “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following example, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed. To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a question is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that as you develop stronger GMAT verbal skills, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of how you react when seeing a question involving that topic. For instance, consider the following simple question, which might be challenging for someone just beginning to work on Sentence Correction:

The researchers traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails.

(A) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging

(B) traveling into the rainforest, observing monkeys that were swinging

(C) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, swinging

(D) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, which swing

(E) were traveling into the rainforest to observe monkeys in order to swing

Looking at this question, a test-taker might quickly see that choice (B) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (B) has no main verb, and that choice (E) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (E) conveys the nonsensical meaning that the researchers were traveling into the rainforest in order for the researchers to swing through the trees, using their hands, feet and tails.

Then, having eliminated those two choices, the test-taker could end up using a lot of time circling through choices (A), (C), and (D), not sure what’s wrong with any of them.

However, a person who has studied modifiers would know that, when a closing “–ing” modifier is preceded by a comma or begins with preposition, such as “while,” that “–ing” modifier targets the preceding subject verb combination. So, a person with that knowledge would quickly recognize that “while swinging …,” in (A), and “swinging” preceded by a comma, in (C), target the subject and verb of the preceding clause, which are “researchers traveled,” Thus, that person would see that (A) and (C) convey the illogical meaning that the researchers were swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails, and that, therefore, the only choice that works is (D).

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT verbal question that comes your way. As you gain more knowledge and further develop your skills, you will get faster.

Key to developing your skills is to slow way down when practicing and learn to see more clearly what's going on in the questions. In order to train to see what's going on in questions, you have to carefully analyze questions and seek to CLEARLY AND THOROUGHLY DEFINE why every wrong choice is wrong and every correct answer is correct. You could use for this purpose even questions that you have already seen, because you won't be merely seeking to determine which answers are correct. You will be carefully analyzing each choice to determine what exactly about that choice makes it correct or incorrect. Yes, doing so will take more than two minutes per question initially but, over time, you will become better at analyzing questions in this way and your speed will increase.

As you are analyzing questions, make sure to develop a clear understanding of the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Test-takers often spend a lot of time deciding which of the "last two choices" is the correct answer, and so getting better at telling the difference between a trap choice that seems to be correct and the actual correct answer is a key aspect of speeding up in verbal.

From what you said, it sounds as if you correctly answer verbal questions when you take a little extra time. If you can get them correct in over two minutes, you can learn to get them correct in under two minutes. So by looking for ways to be more efficient, learning some more key rules and concepts, and spending time learning to clearly define what makes choices incorrect or correct, you can speed up and ace verbal.
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Originally posted by MartyTargetTestPrep on 09 Feb 2019, 03:39.
Last edited by MartyTargetTestPrep on 12 Aug 2019, 12:16, edited 2 times in total.
Intern
Joined: 15 Jan 2019
Posts: 45
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Marketing, Human Resources
GPA: 3.12
WE: Other (Other)

### Show Tags

09 Feb 2019, 04:23
1
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi UmairAftab.

People often talk about having time management issues on the GMAT, and wonder how speed up.

One way to do so is to look for ways to be more efficient in your work. For instance, when going through a Reading Comprehension passage,one can be more efficient by not getting too bogged down in details, but rather noting in general what paragraphs say and noting where details lie in order to come back to them later should doing so be necessary for answering a question.

Similarly, in Sentence Correction, one can increase efficiency by being more careful to note where errors lie rather than circling through the choices forgetting which ones one has eliminated.

At the same time, the best way to increase speed is to attain more knowledge and develop more skill, as timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve.

Generally speaking, timing does not improve via one's simply “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following example, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed. To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a question is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that as you develop stronger GMAT verbal skills, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of how you react when seeing a question involving that topic. For instance, consider the following simple question, which might be challenging for someone just beginning to work on Sentence Correction:

The researchers traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails.

(A) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys while swinging

(B) traveling into the rainforest, observing monkeys that were swinging

(C) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, swinging

(D) traveled into the rainforest to observe monkeys, which swing

(E) were traveling into the rainforest to observe monkeys in order to swing

Looking at this question, a test-taker might quickly see that choice (B) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (B) has no main verb, and that choice (E) can be eliminated because the version created via the use of (E) conveys the nonsensical meaning that the researchers were traveling into the rainforest in order for the researchers to swing through the trees, using their hands, feet and tails.

Then, having eliminated those two choices, the test-taker could end up using a lot of time circling through choices (A), (C), and (D), not sure what’s wrong with any of them.

However, a person who has studied modifiers would know that, when a closing “–ing” modifier is preceded by a comma or begins with preposition, such as “while,” that “–ing” modifier targets the preceding subject verb combination. So, a person with that knowledge would quickly recognize that “while swinging …,” in (A), and “swinging” preceded by a comma, in (C), target the subject and verb of the preceding clause, which are “researchers traveled,” Thus, that person would see that (A) and (C) convey the illogical meaning that the researchers were swinging through the trees, using their hands, feet, and tails, and that, therefore, the only choice that works is (D).

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT verbal question that comes your way. As you gain more knowledge and further develop your skills, you will get faster.

Key to developing your skills is to slow way down when practicing and learn to see more clearly what's going on in the questions. In order to train to see what's going on in questions, you have to carefully analyze questions and seek to CLEARLY AND THOROUGHLY DEFINE why every wrong choice is wrong and every correct answer is correct. You could use for this purpose even questions that you have already seen, because you won't be merely seeking to determine which answers are correct. You will be carefully analyzing each choice to determine what exactly about that choice makes it correct or incorrect. Yes, doing so will take more than two minutes per question initially but, over time, you will become better at analyzing questions in this way and your speed will increase.

As you are analyzing questions, make sure to develop a clear understanding of the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Test-takers often spend a lot of time deciding which of the "last two choices" is the correct answer, and so getting better at telling the difference between a trap choice that seems to be correct and the actual correct answer is a key aspect of speeding up in verbal.

From what you said, it sounds as if you correctly answer verbal questions when you take a little extra time. If you can get them correct in over two minutes, you can learn to get them correct in under two minutes. So by looking for ways to be more efficient, learning some more key rules and concepts, and spending time learning to clearly define what makes choices incorrect or correct, you can speed up and ace verbal.

Thank you very much for this! I must say this advice is better than what I expected.

Posted from my mobile device
Joined: 25 Dec 2018
Posts: 145
Location: India
GMAT 1: 490 Q47 V13
GPA: 2.86

### Show Tags

09 Feb 2019, 09:59
UmairAftab wrote:
I am having time management issues in Verbal section. It’s take me around 10 minutes in RC 2:15 in CR and 2:00 in SC on average otherwise I keep getting them wrong.

Also for SC I have studied the concepts and almost finished the OG with only 60 questions remaining but my score hasn’t improved much. In my mock tests I got 46 verbal percentile and 32verbal percentile in 2 different tests. (Economist and Expertsglobal)

Posted from my mobile device

I am also facing the same issue, especially with CR and RC. I took eGMAT for the verbal course, but that is also not helping me to improve my score.
Re: Verbal time management   [#permalink] 09 Feb 2019, 09:59
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