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Ways to "bblast" the GMAT RC.

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bblast Legendary Member
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Ways to "bblast" the GMAT RC.

Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:38 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Hi,
    The RC forum is the most doomed place on BTG. People never come here. Even, the AWA forums are more active than this place.

    I think I am pretty good at one domain of the GMAT- the reading comprehension. So I am coming up with this post to help all of you who are looking for guidance in RC's. This is a way I wanna give back something to the forum. I'll start off with a few basic strategies and then address any specific queries that people have.

    Materials to be covered.
    1>Start with the Official guide 12. Buy a cheap timer and time an an RC progressively as per the number of questions. OG-12 has 24 passages.
    2>Switch over to the official guide verbal review. It has 18 passages.

    Additional material :
    1>Search for OG-10 somewhere. It has over 50 passages. Most of them are covered in OG-12 and OG-Verbal but a good 10-15 fresh meat(New RC's) are available in OG-10.
    2>Do the GMAT prep RC's attached at the bottom of this page.
    3>You can use the Aristotle RC-99 for reading practice only. This book will improve how you read and discern data, however dont fret too much over answers and explanations and ambiguous stuff. Use this book at the start of ur prep if u are on a long 3-4 month budget. Else bunk it.
    4>Manhattan RC book. If you want order this book. Some cool stuff on strategies and 7 good passages with super explanations at the end.

    Of course doing the official guide or any other RC passage without explanation is useless. Time ur passages for 7-8 minutes, but review each passage for 20 mins. Try to recognize the pattern of questions on the Official guide.

    Strategies :
    1>As soon as you see an RC quickly see the time on the upper right and write it down on your scratch pad- do not work more than 6 mins on small passage and 9 mins on long. the 1st and second RC will have 3 questions-3rd RC will be looooong and will have 4 questions, 3rd RC will also be quite challenging so keep 8-9 minutes for this passage-if you are about to get 40+ then fourth RC will also be very challenging(3 questions), but the questions will be realatively easier due to the cruel content.

    Above format will always be true. I can even provide you with approximate Question numbers at which you will see RC's (dont dig that much)!!!!On gmat prep 1st RC always appears at question 6 and ends at Q8. On exam last month I saw the first RC at question 5 . Past saturday I saw the first RC at question 7. I have given the gmat prep multiple times and GMAT thrice- The patten never changes. Some people claim to have seen 3 long passages on the test. I'll tell you the scientific reason behind this. The monitor size and display resolution at the test centre are different. So some of the small passages appear larger to you and appear with with a small "page down bar". These passages would appear the usual 1/2 to 3/4 of the screen at home on ur laptop, but appear larger on the GMAT.

    2>please make notes while u read- the slight pause while u look down to write something helps u comprehend the passage better.

    3>Read the first and last lines of each paragraph extra carefully- they will almost always have a detail question attached.

    4>Dont read as if u are reading the economist or WSJ. The passage will twist and curl from one direction to another, so pause for 2 secs at these points and make sure u are noticing where the story is going.

    Question types :
    I am pretty sure you people know the question types, here is a short jist of major ones.
    A> the passage suggests........ - this means u have to answer a diffcult question; the answer to which will NEVER be stated in the passage but indirectly has to be concluded.

    eg->1st paragraph on a passage on heart/smoking says that certain bacteria can pass through almost impermeable heart membrane - last line of 3rd para says that nicotine from smoking can attach itself to SOME bacteria.

    Question - The passage suggests which of the following regarding effects of smoking ?
    correct answer- nicotine can sometimes get though the impermeable membrane of the heart.
    distorted incorrect answer-Nicotine always reaches heart via bacteria carriers.


    B>"according to the passage"........- this will always be exactly stated in the passage in some other terms. be sure to look back into the passage and VERIFY before hitting next.


    C>Main idea- this one has to encompass all 3 paragraphs of a long passage. A very common trap is to describe some stuff in para 1 and 2. Then give some other explanations in the 3rd para. A wrong answer choice will include the main idea encompassed in the 1st two para's. And the right answer which looks wrong will be surprisingly correct for a simple reason- it has some elements from all 3 paragraphs !!!

    D>it can be inferred - this is a simpler variant of "the passage suggests" crap.
    So, it will be great if u try to differentiate between question type under headings I have listed above.

    Final note- Dont take 3rd party test prep RC's too seriously. GMAT and OG passages have a strict pattern and style which other prep companies fail to reproduce. So stick to official sources for REAL rc prep.

    How to time GMAT and GMAT prep RC ?

    Here is a small sample :
    RC1 start time 66 end time 59. 7 minutes 2/3------------------------------------CIO women
    RC2 start time 49 end time 42. 7 minutes 3/3------------------------------------Volcano
    RC3 start time 33 end time 26. 7 minutes 3/4------------------------------------Snakes
    RC4 start time 16 end time 11. 5 minutes 3/3------------------------------------Health care
    Above data is from GMAT prep-1 . I used to write start end time on my scratch pad. I did this for 3-4 GMATpreps and then the timing problems in RC were history for me. Towards the end I started writing end time beforehand on my scratchpad. So I was working within a small time frame for each particular RC.

    In sum :
    I have to wrap up my bschool application in the next month so I am not able to compile the GMAT prep RC in once place as I promised in my debrief. But I will certaily do that later. For now here are 18 of the GMAT prep RC's on a webpage. Caution - DO NOT USE THIS DOCUMENT UNTIL AND UNLESS YOU HAVE EXHAUSTED THE UTILITY OF GMAT PREP.

    Please click on the link and then convert the page from Chinese to English. If you are using Google crome the option will already be presented to you .

    http://wenku.baidu.com/view/b938d86eb84ae45c3b358c35.html

    Good Luck !!!!

    _________________
    Cheers !!

    Quant 47-Striving for 50
    Verbal 34-Striving for 40

    My gmat journey :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
    My take on the GMAT RC :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
    How to prepare before your MBA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_



    Last edited by bblast on Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:05 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Gunny Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:17 am
    This looks great, thanks!

    Typically, the only things I seem to get wrong in Verbal are the RCs and that includes almost every question. Hopefully your post will help me improve my verbal score Smile

    bblast Legendary Member
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    Post Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:00 am
    Gunny wrote:
    This looks great, thanks!

    Typically, the only things I seem to get wrong in Verbal are the RCs and that includes almost every question. Hopefully your post will help me improve my verbal score Smile
    Smile. I am glad the time and effort that I put in to write the post above helped at least someone.

    _________________
    Cheers !!

    Quant 47-Striving for 50
    Verbal 34-Striving for 40

    My gmat journey :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
    My take on the GMAT RC :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
    How to prepare before your MBA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

    aplavakarthik Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:33 am
    Great work

    I guess all u have to do is practice a lot and observe everything u practice. with practice one can improve his/her speed am I right BBlast?

    bblast Legendary Member
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    Post Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:45 am
    aplavakarthik wrote:
    Great work

    I guess all u have to do is practice a lot and observe everything u practice. with practice one can improve his/her speed am I right BBlast?
    Yup, spot on, also be sure to review everything once ur practice session(timer) if off. You may skip unofficial explanations from 3rd party cats etc. But never ever quickglance over the official guide explanations, Lick them up. In fact I think Official guide makers have probably provided better explanation for RC questions than quant/ sc. Also one must notice the type of questions(suggests/according to passage etc) and how to answer each. You will start noticing the patterns and will automatically start pausing at those twists in the passage at which u will almost always see a detail question.

    _________________
    Cheers !!

    Quant 47-Striving for 50
    Verbal 34-Striving for 40

    My gmat journey :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
    My take on the GMAT RC :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
    How to prepare before your MBA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

    Post Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:41 am
    Great post, bblast.

    If it helps anyone out there, I created a series of free videos (at http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-reading-comprehension) that cover all of the important strategies/tips for RC.

    Cheers,
    Brent

    _________________
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    Use our video course along with Beat The GMAT's free 60-Day Study Guide

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    Come see all of our free resources

    GMAT Prep Now's comprehensive video course can be used in conjunction with Beat The GMAT’s FREE 60-Day Study Guide and reach your target score in 2 months!
    sam2304 Legendary Member
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    Post Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:29 pm
    I have a doubt. Is it better to take more notes or be stingy in it ? ? ? As of now i take more notes but it consumes more time though speed is improving by practice.

    _________________
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    bblast Legendary Member
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    Post Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:43 pm
    sam2304 wrote:
    I have a doubt. Is it better to take more notes or be stingy in it ? ? ? As of now i take more notes but it consumes more time though speed is improving by practice.
    the idea behind taking notes is not to use them to answer questions, but use them as check posts for guiding u through the passages and comprehend it. Also notice as I wrote above, the short pause when u look down to write notes will help u split the small joint wicked passages into separate sections mentally.

    I'll give u a weird tip. I used extreme language on my scratch pad to address people and ideas in the passage. For example I used B.S if the author was going to go against a theory, i used to draw a heart on the pad with a small word inside if i found something in the passage is the main thing which the author will elaborate. Use some short form of extreme words to designate the bad people(whom the author opposes).

    In sum, notes are meant to get the flow and content of the passage into our thick cranium and not for reference to answer questions.

    _________________
    Cheers !!

    Quant 47-Striving for 50
    Verbal 34-Striving for 40

    My gmat journey :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
    My take on the GMAT RC :
    http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
    How to prepare before your MBA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

    Thanked by: sam2304
    sam2304 Legendary Member
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    Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:16 am
    Thanks a lot for quick reply bblast. notes are meant to understand the passage n to know the whereabouts of what is asked. Probably that wil save some time for me Smile

    _________________
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    Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:41 am
    sam2304 wrote:
    I have a doubt. Is it better to take more notes or be stingy in it ? ? ? As of now i take more notes but it consumes more time though speed is improving by practice.
    As I mention in my RC videos, there is no one RC method that works for everyone.
    For this topic, I always encourage students to experiment until they find the strategy that works best for them.

    Cheers,
    Brent

    _________________
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    Use our video course along with Beat The GMAT's free 60-Day Study Guide

    Check out the online reviews of our course
    Come see all of our free resources

    Thanked by: sam2304
    GMAT Prep Now's comprehensive video course can be used in conjunction with Beat The GMAT’s FREE 60-Day Study Guide and reach your target score in 2 months!
    sam2304 Legendary Member
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    Post Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:27 am
    Thanks a lot Brent. Its very true Smile nothing specifically works for everybody. Actually i tried out different strategies and finally landed on note taking. I was just curious if i am spending too much time on note taking. Still honing on this strategy as it works out pretty well for me.

    _________________
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    saketk Legendary Member Default Avatar
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    Post Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:21 am
    Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
    Great post, bblast.

    If it helps anyone out there, I created a series of free videos (at http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-reading-comprehension) that cover all of the important strategies/tips for RC.

    Cheers,
    Brent
    Hi Brent -- I went through all the videos you have created to deal with Reading Comprehensions. I owe a big thanks to you for creating such a wonderful strategy for tackling the GMAT RC's.
    I can immediately see the changes in my approach. Thanks again. The videos are wonderful.

    adi_800 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:37 am
    I guess this was very much the same what I followed last time and you are absolutely bang on with the strategies !! These really worked for me... It is kind of surprising that Mgmat RC book is not that highly rated.. It had good strategies...
    The sad part is I could not handle the tough RC that I got in between 10-14 and panicked later on...
    One thing I have realized is... There are two things you should not be doing in GMAT.
    Think of the difficulty level of a question: This reduces your concentration.. You start to think in negative direction... You would ALWAYS try to suspect your past performance even if you performed well enough... And there is simply no time to think of past performance and there are so many other things you need to concentrate on !!
    Second, if you panic seeing the difficulty level of a passage or the length of the passage.. Then you are a gonner... If you panic, then your comprehension level goes down and this affects your performance...

    sandeepkhaira Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:33 am
    Thanks for such a helping post!!

    mundasingh123 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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    Post Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:04 am
    Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
    Great post, bblast.

    If it helps anyone out there, I created a series of free videos (at http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-reading-comprehension) that cover all of the important strategies/tips for RC.

    Cheers,
    Brent
    Hi Brent , does this video use a gmatprep rc to illustrate the strategies

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