Skipping Strategy on Verbal

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Skipping Strategy on Verbal

by gmatreq » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:18 am
Hi Everyone
I have my test in a few days and I'm struggling with my timing strategy on Verbal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I usually need to skip 4-5 Qs on the test in order to complete the test in time.

Now most of the times I end up skipping the last RC which tanks my RC percentile(the one we see in the analysis provided by GMATPrep)
My accuracy is almost similar on RC, SC, about 85%. My accuracy on CR is 90%.

I understand that getting Qs wrong in a row affects the score, which is why I want to find an alternative to skipping an entire RC.
I have seen that I am able to figure out CR Qs to skip with high accuracy - so I am planning to skip 2 on that that too separated by a few Qs
and may be 1 on RC - there is usually 1 very difficult Q on RC.

What I don't seem to figure out is which SC Qs to skip. In my attempts I have seen, I by the time I figure out that an SC Q is tough for me, I have already spent around a minute on it. Only alternative I can think of is to skip an SC without even judging if it is difficult or not but I am afraid of skipping an easier Q.

Another statistic to note is I am able to score 40 on verbal(GMATPrep) even if I skip an RC so I am having a dilemma whether to switch from that strategy. But I am almost sure that if I can figure out a better skipping strategy, I could score upto 42 on verbal if not higher. Also if I try to pace my accuracy tanks enough, so that is not an option.

Another stat is that I take around 1:50s on average to solve a sentence correction Q - probably the reason I am having the timing issue. While attempting OG my average timing was around 1:35s for SC. I think enough practice has improved my accuracy because of which I am getting tougher SC Qs which are taking longer.

It'll be great if somebody could help me out with:
1. Figuring out which SC Qs to skip.
2. Confirm if "distributed skipping" would be better than skipping 3 or 4 Qs in a row.
3. Some other alternative

Thanks

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:09 pm
Here's one idea.

On verbal I don't exactly skip. After working on a question for a while, at a certain point I just kinda say, "Ok that's it. This is the answer I'm choosing." and I click the circle and move along. For whatever reason that tends to keep me going at just the right pace.

Verbal is a little different from quant, in which you may have no clue which answer is right, even after a few minutes. On verbal, even if you aren't sure which is right, you generally have it pretty well narrowed down.

As far as error distribution goes, I can say this. In my experience long strings of right answers is the key to higher scores. That way you keep getting right answers on harder questions, which give you the highest number of points per question. For instance I have tended to score around 49-51 on quant, and I have consistently rushed through or guessed on the last four or more questions. I am guessing I must have been getting questions right consistently before that. So even with a weak finish, that long string of right answers to hard questions is giving me a high score.

Meanwhile, maybe see if you can be just a little more organized as you go over verbal questions and answer choices. Sounds as if you are pretty good at them. Maybe a slight improvement in how you approach them will not only save you time but also increase your hit rate.
Marty Murray
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by manyaabroadtpr » Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:14 am
Hi Gmatreq,

You need to make a pacing chart for yourself in which you can set up time slots. For eg. Q1-10 - 25 mins approx & so on. Make sure that you have enough time left for the last 10 ques. For the 1st & 2nd Rc take time, try to rush through the 3rd RC & 4th RC. For SC & CR question types, please make a guess for those questions where you are taking more than 2.5 - 3 mins. Track your weak areas in SC & CR & rush through the ones you get wrong most of the times. Practice online rather than on paper.

Hope this helps.Let us know if you have any further query and we would be happy to help.

www.manyagroup.com

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:31 am
At the outset, excellent analysis. You have a great Verbal score (40) but are looking at super optimizing so great! Guessing strategies are my favourite so love to chip in here :) Ask yourself WHEN do you want to guess. My take is BLINDLY guessing on any question is a bad strategy. Instead you should have internal triggers that tell you when to make an educated guess and move on. Typically this is when you find yourself reading the same thing again and again. Here are some scenarios:

1. You are reading the same line again and again but your brain is not able to register what is written. This is a classic case of either fatigue or the question just being too tough for you. Best to mark and move on.

2. You tried to go down 1 path and were able to boil down to the last 2 option but now are taking way too much time & both options look very similar. Make an educated guess.

3. You need to catch up on time (I hope you have a way to measure your time else read here: https://gmat.crackverbal.com/time-manage ... -the-gmat/) so you need to make a few answer without looking. So what you do is keep your list of question types you would like to guess. Here are a few types:
* In RC you want to blindly mark questions that start with "Which of the following would the author most likely agree with".
* In CR you see a very dense passage on inference and the topic is very unfamiliar.
* In SC you get a multiple modifier question with the entire sentence underlined and all answer option jumbled.
These are questions where you *know* it is going to take long.

Even in 3, I wouldn't say its a blind guess. It is an educated move because you took various factors i.e. that you were running into time-trouble, that you are not comfortable with these topics, that these questions would have anyways taken more time etc.

Let me answer your questions:
gmatreq wrote: It'll be great if somebody could help me out with:
1. Figuring out which SC Qs to skip.
2. Confirm if "distributed skipping" would be better than skipping 3 or 4 Qs in a row.
3. Some other alternative

Thanks
Answers:

1. As I mentioned multiple modifier with entire sentence structure changing in each of the 5 option would be a great candidate. But that still doesn't explain the 1'50" time taken for SC. Is there something else that went wrong?

2. Yes "distributed skipping" is better. Also GMAT has most of the experimental questions in the middle of the test. This was told to me by someone from GMAC in a conference I was invited to attend.

3. Some tips explained above. Be more sensitive to what your brain is telling you. Don't ask it "Can I solve this question?", ask it "Can I solve this question in under 2 minutes?". You will see your brain will be a lot more honest with you :-)

Hope this helps,

Arun
Founder of CrackVerbal - India's fastest growing GMAT Prepration and MBA Admissions Consulting Company. https://gmat.crackverbal.com

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:32 am
One more thing:

Guessing at the end of 3minutes isn't guessing. It is called Giving up! :)

There is a huge difference.

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:15 pm
Hi gmatreq,

Since this post is a week old, I'm curious about how you did on your GMAT? Did your Verbal plan pay off?

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