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## End up selecting the second best answer in RC and SC.

This topic has 6 expert replies and 3 member replies
AmitLobo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
05 Apr 2017
Posted:
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#### End up selecting the second best answer in RC and SC.

Wed May 03, 2017 5:21 am
After giving two mocks and also solving close to 400 SC and 100 SC questions a big roadblock I've hit is that I end up choosing the second best answer. How I keep track of this is every time I face a challenging question in either of these sections I write down both the answer choices and when I am reviewing answers I can see that the second option is correct.

I would like to understand how I can master RC and SC and get over this specific challenge I am facing.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Wed May 03, 2017 8:34 am
AmitLobo wrote:
After giving two mocks and also solving close to 400 SC and 100 SC questions a big roadblock I've hit is that I end up choosing the second best answer. How I keep track of this is every time I face a challenging question in either of these sections I write down both the answer choices and when I am reviewing answers I can see that the second option is correct.

I would like to understand how I can master RC and SC and get over this specific challenge I am facing.
Here's my RC/SC crash course:

- Read voraciously everyday for two weeks. (Anything challenging will do.) There's research suggesting that the physiology of our brains changes when we read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/study-reading-a-novel-changes-your-brain/282952/

- Consider incorporating some mindfulness meditation. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/

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Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Wed May 03, 2017 9:13 am
Hi AmitLobo,

Part of your issue might be that you're thinking in terms of a "best answer", when the reality is that there is ONE correct answer and four incorrect ones. As such, if you've narrowed the answers down to two choices (the correct one and one of the incorrect ones), then you're almost to the solution - but there's still one more 'step.' If you cannot directly determine the correct answer, then you have to shift your thinking and define WHY the wrong answer is wrong. Sometimes the reason is obvious, but sometimes it's subtle. From what you've described, you haven't honed your skills enough to nail that last step, so we have to discuss how you're approaching Verbal questions.

1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used?
3) What "steps" do you go through when working on a typical SC, RC or CR prompt?
4) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
5) What is your goal score?

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

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AmitLobo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
05 Apr 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Wed May 03, 2017 10:05 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi AmitLobo,

Part of your issue might be that you're thinking in terms of a "best answer", when the reality is that there is ONE correct answer and four incorrect ones. As such, if you've narrowed the answers down to two choices (the correct one and one of the incorrect ones), then you're almost to the solution - but there's still one more 'step.' If you cannot directly determine the correct answer, then you have to shift your thinking and define WHY the wrong answer is wrong. Sometimes the reason is obvious, but sometimes it's subtle. From what you've described, you haven't honed your skills enough to nail that last step, so we have to discuss how you're approaching Verbal questions.

1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used?
3) What "steps" do you go through when working on a typical SC, RC or CR prompt?
4) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
5) What is your goal score?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
1) How long have you studied? I started studying in the third week of March.
2) What study materials have you used? OG, Magoosh and Jamboree (Indian coaching classes)
3) What "steps" do you go through when working on a typical SC, RC or CR prompt? I read the question thoroughly. For RC i try my best to find support from the passage, for SC I use splits to get rid of wrong answers. CR I am struggling. In the most recent mock I gave most mistakes were in the CR section followed by SC. Only two RC questions were wrong. I got 17 incorrect in total.
4) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)? I got a 530 on both the CATs.
5) What is your goal score? 700. I would like to apply and get into either ISB or IIM (A/B/C)

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ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
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Wed May 03, 2017 11:09 am
There is no such thing as a "second-best" answer! As Rich said, there is ONE right answer, and 4 wrong ones.

Before you go on to study any new problems, go back and deeply analyze the ones you've already done, particularly any that you got wrong. Instead of just focusing on "what is the right answer, and how do I get there?" ask yourself "can I articulate why EACH of the wrong answers was wrong?" Try writing down your explanations of the wrong answers before looking up the explanation, and only use the explanation to confirm that you understood it.

If you're not doing so already, keep an ERROR LOG to track patterns in the mistakes that you make: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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GMAT Score:
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Wed May 03, 2017 10:01 pm
Hi AmitLobo,

If you've been studying for a little more than a month, then it's understandable that you might still be having trouble with certain 'categories' of questions. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you will improve as you continue to study. That having been said, raising a 530 to a 700+ will take some considerable work - and you'll have to make big improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

1) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you have to 'rush' to finish any of the sections (and guess on a bunch of questions)?
4) When are you planning to take the Official GMAT?

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

AmitLobo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
05 Apr 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Thu May 04, 2017 8:45 am
Hi Rich,

Thanks for responding.

1) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)? I scored 530 on my first and second CAT. In the first CAT my Q 32, V31 in the second CAT my score is Q 35, V 28
2) Did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections)? No, I skipped the essay and the IR in both the CAT's. I haven't started studying for these sections yet.
3) Did you have to 'rush' to finish any of the sections (and guess on a bunch of questions)? In the first CAT I finished both sections before time. Quant was tough for me in the first question so did a lot of guess work. There was no guesswork in the verbal. In the second CAT I finished Quant just in time and found only about 4 questions daunting and made guesses. I finished verbal 20 minutes ahead of time.
4) When are you planning to take the Official GMAT? I was planning to take the GMAT in the first week of June, however at the moment I am not confident that this would be the right step.

Thanks once again for your responses.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
9442 messages
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GMAT Score:
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Thu May 04, 2017 4:33 pm
Hi AmitLobo,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By skipping the Essay and IR sections, you took shorter Exams that required less effort from you. As such, it's likely that these score results are not accurate.

Given your score goal, you will need to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections AND you'll have to properly train to face the FULL GMAT. All of that work will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study. This is meant to say that you should consider pushing back your Test Date.

1) Are you still enrolled in a GMAT Course?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

AmitLobo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
05 Apr 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Thu May 04, 2017 9:00 pm
Hi Rich,

1) Are you still enrolled in a GMAT Course? I have subscribed to Magoosh Premium for a year.
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week? I can put in 36 hours a week considering a 6 day week.

Thanks!

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
9442 messages
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GMAT Score:
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Fri May 05, 2017 9:09 am
Hi AmitLobo,

Considering the amount of additional study time that you will likely need to hit your score goal, and the fact that you have some course materials to work through, I suggest that you study with your current resources for a couple of weeks, then take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections). That score result will give us a better idea of whether your current study routine and resources are helping you to improve or not. As an aside, 36 hours per week would be a LOT of studying, so you should be careful about not 'burning out.'

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

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