Lesson: Identifying the Main Idea

Comment on Identifying the Main Idea

You are a very good teacher! you are teaching professionally

any less common themes that sometimes come up? or should I stick to learning those common 4?
gmat-admin's picture

Those are the 4 main themes to look for. If any other themes appear, you can handle them individually.

Hello admin :)

I have a question with the sentence structure inside the example.

[ Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has benefited from the unique opportunity to shape product definitions, forcing followers to adapt to a standard or invest in an unproven alternative ] <- in this sentence i see a structure as [ A, B or C ] and thus believe that there should be a parallel structure. "to shape product definitions" this seems to be a infinitive phrase, "forcing followers to adapt to a standard" this seems to be a participial phrase and lastly 'invest in an unproven alternative' this.. i don't know what kind of phrase is this. To sum up, is this an error of parallel? what am i getting wrong with dissolving this sentence?
gmat-admin's picture

You're referring to the passage that begins at 4:42 in the video. Before I address your question, I should mention that this is an official GMAT passage.

The sentence is not in the structure you suggest.

The part of the sentence beginning with "forcing followers to..." is a consequence of shaping product definition.

It tells us more about what it means to shape product definition.

Here's a similar sentence: While driving to work, Nina encountered a roadblock, forcing her to take a detour around Moose Lake.

Thank you Brent,

Do you know why the division between each question type on GMAT prep exams is different from that of real GMAT test?

on prep there are more SC(14) and less CR(9)
on the real test there are more CR(13-14) and less SC(8-9)

I have one more question to you,

On the actual exam in a test center, during the time when I read all terms and conditions and when I can choose a section order, am I allowed to write anything on the laminated paper sheets, or the only time I can do is when the clock ticks?

I am asking because I would like to draw the table you recommended in this video. Actually have you done such table for the updated version of the GMAT(less time and fewer questions?)

And since I am going to take the Verbal section first, I am curious whether I should spend my precious time on drawing this table when the time counts or I can do it before that.

Lastly, since my next section will be Quant, I also was thinking about drawing the same timing table for it using one minute of my break time. And during this one minute, I also wanted to draw a small quant table with fractions presented in this video:

Am I allowed to write these things in those non-timed periods?

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Sorry, I mixed up the numbers. I have edited my response above.

Technically, you're not supposed to write in your note pad until the test starts.
That said, you should be able to create the tables in under 10 seconds. So, I think it's worth it.

That's odd. That YouTube video (on time management) you posted is supposed to be private.
I have updated time management videos here: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/general-gmat-strategies/video/1244 and here: https://youtu.be/bWrUiBT83PQ

I hope that helps.


Hi Brent,

Thank you very much for your response,

I understand,

Just as the first passage comes under "the fix" category,the second passage provides an explanation for some event that happened because of the laws.Am i Right?
gmat-admin's picture

I wouldn't say the first passage (VHS vs Beta) falls in "The fix" category, since nothing is really being fixed. If I were to place it in 1 of the 4 common categories, I'd say either Different Perspectives (since we learn about 2 different marketing strategies) or The Explanation (explaining why VHS won the video cassette market).

I would say the second passage (about stocks) falls in "The Fix," since the passage presents a problem and then a solution to that problem.

Aside: I have a feeling you and I may be talking about different passages (there are 3 passages in total)

Yes.I am taking about about the last 2. One with stock and the other with import duty.
The stock one was from the fix category and I feel that the import duty one was the explanation
gmat-admin's picture

Okay I'm glad we clarified.

Yes, I'd say that passage #2 (about stocks) falls in "The Fix."
I suppose passage #3 could kind of be classified as an Explanation.

I should note that the 4 themes (the fix, the explanation, etc.) I mentioned are just common themes. This doesn't mean that every passage will fall into one of those 4 categories.

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