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Urgent: Doubt related to verbal ques difficulty leve

This topic has 3 expert replies and 0 member replies
lotrgandalf Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 May 2015
Posted:
16 messages

Urgent: Doubt related to verbal ques difficulty leve

Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:36 pm
Please consider the below case, & let me know if it’s fine considering that I am currently unable to complete VA on time & do serious mistakes since I rush through questions marking “c” for all options for big RC questions, when just 25 minutes are left, so that I can focus on CR & SC? My VA score is generally around 30-32.

Case: I did first 7 questions correctly, hence the difficulty level of the 8th question was really high. 1)Suppose I do even 8th & 9th questions correctly, then would the difficulty level of successive questions keep on increasing, & hence successive questions would be more time consuming?2) So, after the 1st 10 questions should I speed through q11-q25, focusing more on alternate questions, easy & medium questions, & spend more time only for q30-q41 ?

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Post Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:55 am
lotrgandalf wrote:
Please consider the below case, & let me know if it’s fine considering that I am currently unable to complete VA on time & do serious mistakes since I rush through questions marking “c” for all options for big RC questions, when just 25 minutes are left, so that I can focus on CR & SC? My VA score is generally around 30-32.

Case: I did first 7 questions correctly, hence the difficulty level of the 8th question was really high. 1)Suppose I do even 8th & 9th questions correctly, then would the difficulty level of successive questions keep on increasing, & hence successive questions would be more time consuming?2) So, after the 1st 10 questions should I speed through q11-q25, focusing more on alternate questions, easy & medium questions, & spend more time only for q30-q41 ?
This is a good question. I wish there were an easy answer. First, while the test is adaptive in the sense that if you're doing well the questions will generally get more difficult, it's not going to feel perfectly linear. In other words, it's not strictly true that If you get the first five questions right, question 6 will be harder still, and if you get the first 20 questions right, the 21st question will make your brain explode, etc. There will be experimental questions mixed in. You can exhaust the number of difficult questions for a problem-type and get a softball. It's possible that what's difficult for other test-takers isn't as troubling for you and vice versa.

As for where to devote more time, again, it's hard to say. If you speed through questions 11-25 and you miss several questions that the algorithm deems to be on the easier side, you may not be able to salvage a good score with a strong finish. Or, you could get lucky, miss only hard and experimental questions, in which case you'd be in great shape. There's no way to know - we're dealing with glaringly imperfect information here.

Here's what I'd suggest: first, don't rush. You don't want to be making careless mistakes on questions you know how to handle. Better to work methodically and run out of time on the back end than fly through a large section of the test and miss easier problems. Two, if you're looking to make up time, try to do so with difficult-seeming longer questions. This usually means text-heavy CR problems in which you read the argument and recognize that you're going to have to read the argument multiple time to fully understand what's going on. Last, hone your ability to recognize important markers in RC passages. The topic sentence of each paragraph will clearly be important. Transition words "however," "although," "moreover," etc., usually suggest something relevant will follow. I'm not suggesting you skim the passage, but you can become more adept at seeing where the information you're likely to be tested on is likely to be.

Do the best you can, and don't obsess over time. If you don't get to, say, the last 3-4 questions, but you're able to answer a high percentage of the first 37-38 questions correctly, you're likely to do quite well.

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Post Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:07 am
Hi lotrgandalf,

In this post, as well as in a post yesterday:

http://www.beatthegmat.com/got-610-in-gmatprep-gmat-after-10-days-what-to-do-t296881.html#799017

You ask some pointed questions, but it's unclear what your GOALS are (and we really need to know those goals before anyone can offer you the type of advice that you're looking for).

As far as your questions in this post, there are a number of issues in terms of what you are describing:

1) You're asking about a plan of attack for the Verbal section, but you haven't stated your Verbal Score goal (nor your overall goal).

2) There's no way for you to reasonably guarantee that you would get the first 7 Verbal questions correct; you could certainly spend more time on that group of questions, but that's not the same thing. Furthermore, you also wouldn't be able to reasonably guarantee that you could get 'every other question' correct later on.

3) A 'harder' question doesn't necessarily mean a 'longer' question. "Difficulty" can be based on a variety of factors (including rarer concepts/patterns, length, number of 'steps' required to solve, the make-up of the 5 answer choices, etc.). You might find that a 'harder' question is actually relatively easy for YOU to solve (based on your studies and skills), so this whole idea is problematic. In that same way, your goal to 'rush' through certain question (based on the NUMBER of the question) is also a questionable choice.

The Verbal section is as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. If you find yourself having serious difficulty with the Verbal section and/or you have trouble finishing on time, then "your way" of dealing with the section is the problem. To significantly improve in this section, you will likely need to focus on learning and practicing the proper content and Tactics.

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

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Post Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:57 pm
lotrgandalf wrote:
Case: I did first 7 questions correctly, hence the difficulty level of the 8th question was really high. 1)Suppose I do even 8th & 9th questions correctly, then would the difficulty level of successive questions keep on increasing, & hence successive questions would be more time consuming?2) So, after the 1st 10 questions should I speed through q11-q25, focusing more on alternate questions, easy & medium questions, & spend more time only for q30-q41 ?
"Difficulty" on verbal is a much trickier topic than it is on the quant. Someone could write a very, very, very difficult quant problem that had one (and only one) unambiguously correct answer. The same isn't really true on verbal. It's not really possible to write an SC that's so difficult that most people will get it wrong, but that still has an unambiguously right answer.

So once you get the first several right, you're in "hard" territory, but they don't necessarily (and can't, really) keep getting harder and harder from there.

Don't try to guess difficulty level! Any time you reach a question that you don't know what to do with, guess and move on.

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