Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Morning hour for GMAT

I was able to find some time in the morning to move forward with my GMAT preps.

Finishing with the Sentence Correction section of Cracking the GMAT I found minor errors paragraph also interesting (p.251). It also has a comparison quantity matrix, which was pretty much something new to me — I don't remember anything of that.

The next part of the book was devoted to Reading Comprehension. It's a good intro to the exam, but not much new ideas, though.

Few of main points follows:
  1. You should always read the first sentence of paragraph, as it's always a key to entire one.
  2. A very nice list of trigger words on page 265. And another nice list of ying-yang words on page 266. That's what I can a trick. They structurized the approach of solving a problem and giving you tools for that. I don't know if I can remember this, though. But I'll try to use the book as reference while practice, and hopefully, I will learn them.
  3. Process of Elimination (they often call it POE and I always forget about it) — I found it to be the weirdest thing for Reading Comprehension. It doesn't make any sense for me. I mean, you can always eliminate wrong questions, but I was supposed to see some theory behind that. None found.
  4. Reading Comprehension section really requires some silence around. I'm not the most noise-sensitive person, but even a working TV in the other room adds a huge pile of distraction.
  5. I really got stuck on page 278 in the sample question with answers like scornful and denunciatory, dispirited and morose, critical but respectful, admiring and deferntial and uncertain but interested. While I can logically eliminate some of them (2), I have problems choosing between the rest (3). I need some more practice here.
  6. It's recommended to take 3-5 notes while reading the passage. It's something that you need to develop by practicing, from the other side, I'm a little bit concerned about how will it be on the real exam, when you're kinda limited in paper size.
The next part of the book is Critical Reasoning. Actually, as the book authors say, we'll see the most questions on SC, the less or RC and even less on CR. So it looks like the priority of CR is the lowest one.

TEchnically, the whole section on Critical Reasoning was great (pp.283-315). I mean, a lot of interesting and nice tips and tricks. (Fortunetly, as I wasn't very happy about the book at all.) They did a great job on structurizing the problem.

I also liked that they described three main parts to an argument:
  1. Conclusion. Something that author wants us to accept. Look for it in the beging and end of the passage. Normally, you'll be able to nail it down very quickly.
  2. Premises. Evidence to support conclusion.
  3. Assumptions. Unstated ideas or evidence without which the conclusion might be invalid.
On the other note, the real life is different from class room and as you can see on my example (which is not the best one for sure :) it's pretty hard to keep the stable schedule, especially when you cannot invest significant time into it and you're being "attacked" from other sides of your life. However, I am sure that I can make over it. Bear with me. :)