What to master to beat the hard SC questions?

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Hi all,

First, I am a non-native english speaker. I am preparing for the SC correction section and I am finding it tough to be honest. So, I have all my basics covered, went back and looked at grammar textbooks and went through the Foundations of Gmat Verbal by MGMAT. I am also studying from MGMAT Sentence Correction Guide. At this point I've covered all the basic sections, and some of the advanced sections of the guide. I can distinguish now basic errors on S-V Agreement, Parallelism, Comparisons, Pronouns, Verb, Modifiers, -not so much idioms, still learning them-. However, there is something I am missing for the tough questions and I really do not know what that is. What Makes SC questions tough? What do I need to look for besides the basic errors?

For example, Quant 700+ questions mainly have several steps and include several topics in one question. In sentence correction this difference between hard and easy questions is not so identifiable -at least not for me-. It seems like there are very subtle nuances in these questions. What do I need to master or go through to beat the hard SC questions? Everyone praises MGMAT SC Guide. It has been extremely useful but still I can not knock the intermediate /hard questions of SC.

In short, I want to know what is the difference between easy SC and hard SC questions? What do they test? and Ho do they test it differently from the other questions? Do I need to focus less on the typical SV agreement, parallelism, etc, errors and more on the concision, meaning and idioms? if so what can I do to improve on identifying those errors?

Thanks!

Tony

I am aiming to hit Verbal 40-42 + by the way.

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by GMAT Kolaveri » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:41 pm
What I observed in the hard SC questions was that when one applies the rules of SC without getting the meaning of the question one is bound to make mistake or get it wrong. Your strategy should change according to the question. I use a combination of e-gmat ( meaning guided approach) and MGMAT SC (splits ) on the difficult ones.

The test makers have access to the all the books used by testtakers (MGMAT, Aristotle etc) and they can cleverly frame questions and create traps for the test-taker to make a mistake. Hard SC questions are all about avoiding these traps.

How to nail the hard SC questions?
The best way to improve your accuracy on the hard SC questions is to work on the retired hard SC questions. There is a collection of GMATPREP collection in other forums. Work on a set of 10 problems in 1 hr. analyze each and every question, each and every option, why the correct options are correct...
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by [email protected] » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:29 pm
Another thing that helps with advanced SC questions is being comfortable with "less than ideal" answer choices. One of the ways that sentences are made hard is by giving us answers that fix problems in ways that we do not expect or do not like, such as inverted structure. It's fairly common to hear GMAT takers who struggle with SC to justify eliminating an answer by saying "well, *I* wouldn't write it that way", but just because you wouldn't doesn't mean it can't be done.

Conversely, GMAT writers know exactly what we expect to see in the answers when we've identified an error, and they can take advantage of that by giving us something we like in one or more of the wrong answers. For example, it's easy to get so caught up in fixing a potential tense error that you overlook other possible problems with a given answer because it gave you the tense fix that you anticipated.
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