Monday, August 17, 2009

Word Problems

Starting from page 345 I got into Strategies and Practices part of the book, with the opening Chapter 10 of Word Problems. The first few blocks didn't impress me. Some silly principles described in writing -- it's more like something that every person should understand himself, but not learn about.

The picking numbers principles is useful, however, I found it pretty inappropriate for examples shown there -- they can be easier solved with plain math (0.8 * 1.3 -- is it something that is hard to calculate?).

Kaplan's 3 step method for word problems in data sufficiency questions looks absurd to me. Totally.

The Chapter 10 is over now with nothing useful taken. (Read: don't buy this book.)

The Chapter 11 is AWA. While they articulate that you need to learn how to type quickly, I'd be much happier if they would tell me "how quickly"? I'm pretty comfortable with keyboard, but I know people who go way crazier in typing.

Page 364 says that the length of essay is not a factor. However, I remember references to the fact, that the length of essay still rather important thing.

As always, a point of using transitional phrases, like first, therefore, since and for example.

As always, examples in this book really suck. The Analysis if an Issue one starts like they are going to tell me the process of writing an essay step by step (which is good, by the way), but suddenly they just come up with something that my essay might look like with a whole essay text shown.

The book says I should avoid opening sentences with there is or there are. I should mention I'm doing this quite often. ;) I also should not refer to myself needlessly. (Is this a really weak point?)

In Chapter 12, which is about taking control of the test, the authors raise the question of importance of answering the first questions correctly ..."on the GMAT, if you can get the first 10 questions right, you can get lots of later questions wrong and still score get a high percentile score". I believe this is one of the most arguable point of view about the GMAT. However, I don't know who's right here.

What I really like in the book is page 392. It's a sample GMAT practice test answer sheet, which you can scan and print in many copies for your own test process. It looks pretty nice, except I would prefer to see in a few different layouts, the one which is shown is very tied to original exam format, while I normally take about 40-50 questions per session, grouped by sections and the type of the questions, rarely mixed.

Page 400 opens up a full-length practice test. I run just through 25 questions of quantitative part. Hopefully will finish the rest later tonight or the first tomorrow morning. Wondering about the score.