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unhelpful details = time killer, I NEED HELP!

This topic has 2 expert replies and 4 member replies
yoyo666 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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unhelpful details = time killer, I NEED HELP!

Post Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:50 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    It is very a simple problem but it is a killer on a timed test like the GMAT.

    The problem is that I take long time to rephrase the main points in a passage, that's because I keep writing extra unhelpful details .

    Some times, long passages take 12 to 14 minutes from me. I know I can't do this on the real test and I need to fix this problem ASAP.

    1-how can I avoied this mistake ?

    2-What are the Key words that I should look for it inorder to write down the important information?

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    Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:18 am
    Skim each paragraph looking for words like however, but, also, clearly, importantly, etc -- words used by authors to announce change in direction or emphasis. Based on the sentences with those words, you can get and jot down the gist of each paragraph. Your notes will lead you to the main point. Skip over anything that smacks of supporting detail unless/until you are asked a question about it.

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    Post Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:02 am
    GMATDavid's got it. DO NOT get into that detail on your first read-through and DO NOT get into that detail unless / until you get a question about it!

    Instead, focus on understanding the overall structure of the paragraph. What's the overall point the author's trying to make? What purpose does each paragraph play? What (BASIC) kind of information does each paragraph contain? Know where the different kinds of detailed info reside (by paragraph number), but don't actually know / understand all that detail. If you do get a question about a particular detail, now you can go back to the appropriate paragraph and read what you need to read in order to answer the question.

    The testwriters typically write about twice as many questions for one passage as you will be given if you get that passage. In other words, you won't get all of the questions, which means you won't get asked about all of that detail sitting in front of you, only some of it. You might as well wait to find out which details you're asked about and then only learn those particular details!

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    gmatutor Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:50 pm
    Don't look for key words...

    Instead look for commas....

    Adverbial phrases and contrasting conjunctions are offset by commas.

    To understand the flow of the passage you need to read the entire phrase that has been offset not just a key word. Plus you don't want to have to remember key words it is added stress.

    So just find a commas and you will find the important ideas.

    iespinosa Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:43 pm
    I'm starting to get a good grip at this kind of questions but I don't know how long should I take reading the passage.

    Can somebody tell me. THANKS

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    Post Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:09 pm
    Generally speaking, if it's a shorter passage (you don't have to scroll on the real test or <40 lines in OG), about 2-3 minutes (ideally closer to 2, but it can edge up to 3 if it's an especially complicated passage). For long passages (you do have to scroll on the real test or >40 lines in OG), about 3 minutes (can edge up a little bit if especially long and complicated, but don't go over 4).

    Not much time, in other words. Don't learn all that detail on the first read-through, and you'll have plenty of time. Smile

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    iespinosa Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:58 pm
    Thank you Stacey.
    You've been a lot of help.

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