One of the big reasons why the those who have good language skills do well on the GMAT is that even the Quantitative section has a lot of English comprehension. The Quantitative section of the GMAT has quite a few Word Problems or problems involving barely any symbols and lots of language in both the Problem Solving and the Data Sufficiency formats. This is especially challenging for non-native speakers of English who take the test since they tend to put English and Math or Verbal and Quantitative skills into separate compartments. Asian test-takers, especially those from India, are used to thinking of Math problems in terms of notational or algebraic language rather than English. So the skill to convert English into either Logic or Algebra is something that test-takers have to master if they aim to score a 50 or more on the Quant section. This post will deal the steps involved in mastering this skill and solving these seemingly lengthy problems faster.
The GMAT Quant generally throws up a few problems that designed to act as speed-breakers during the course of the 75-minute Quantitative section. Not surprisingly, these questions are what are usually referred to as the Roman Numeral problems — information followed by III statements, with the question asking you identify the statements that could be true, must be true or is true. Depending upon the the question stem — could be or must be — you need to follow a specific approach to nail these questions without wasting much time. But one still has to proceed with the knowledge that these problems will take a tad longer to solve than the others since the equivalent of since almost three questions is built into one question.
In the previous two posts we discussed how to read a GMAT RC passage and how to tackle GMAT RC questions. Unlike CR and SC though, the process outlined for RCs cannot be immediately applied to perfection and results seen, something for which there is a strong reason.
One of the reasons why the GMAT is my favourite test of all is that it is so well defined in terms of the skills tested and consistently so. One of the things that is absolutely essential to remember on the GMAT Problem Solving (PS) is that the test-setters do not want you to do donkey work with respect to calculation. The leading companies in the world are not paying thousands of dollars to hire graduates from premier b-schools to do what a calculator can do!
In the two previous posts we covered the major idioms tested on the GMAT. While the list of idioms can be potentially unending, a solid understanding of the idioms we covered so far and a few more that we will cover in this post will hold you in good stead to tackle GMAT SC questions that test idiomatic usage.
In the previous post on Idiomatic Usage we discussed idioms associated with some words such as hypothesise, considered, comprise, ability and capable. While these are definitely tested on the GMAT it is unlikely that all of these will appear in a single test, not more than one or two will. There are idioms though that will definitely end up making an appearance. These are the less fancy idioms around smaller words that test-takers take for granted (and hence overlook) and that can save them lots of time and help them increase their accuracy. One such word is AS. So many questions are made around this simple word that it deserves a dedicated post.
The questions that test Idiomatic usage are always tricky since if a test-taker is not aware of the idiom he or she can end up spending a lot of time trying to sort out other errors and might be going back and forth between options that are idiomatically incorrect. While it would be easy to give a long list of idioms to learn by rote, a list does not really serve any purpose since the list can become vast and cumbersome and there is no guarantee that you will able to retrieve this idiom from memory when you encounter it. A better way would be to scour the OG and look at the idioms that are consistently tested on the GMAT Sentence Correction.
When it comes to GMAT SC it seems as if the list of rules that you need to keep in mind is unending. This post adds to the list of rules but please remember that when you read a sentence your first instinct should not be to fix it unless there is rule that is blatantly broken, always use the 3-2 SPLIT discussed here and here to first identify the error you need to fix.
How to improve your accuracy on GMAT Reading Comprehension
One of the most important skills needed to master GMAT Sentence Correction is the ability to read for the structure and not the content of the sentence. Most of the time test-takers focus on trying to identify a specific rule (that they have learnt) that the sentence is breaking. The exercise of reading the sentence thus becomes similar to going over the words from left to right using a microscope that magnifies grammatical errors.