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# I study cr collection of gmatprep, and see that there are 3

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Knewton GMAT Instructor
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2011, 15:32
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I agree that these kinds of tricks do not appear on medium-level questions. In fact, most low- to medium-level questions can be answered with "common sense" by native English speakers with a pretty good degree of accuracy; as you point out, for non-native speakers, improving efficiency and clarity in reading is key, and being able to summarize the argument is key, too.

However, the challenge of the GMAT is that, as you get better, so do the questions, SO even those who are not shooting for 700+ will see trickier questions on test day, questions which belie the common-sense approach and lead us into traps such as the above you mentioned. Here's the overall idea I'd keep in mind, that works on easier AND harder questions alike:

The GMAT is always asking about the Argument in A/S/W/F questions, NOT about the Conclusion. On easier questions, the right answer in, say, a Weakener question will simply be something that means "The conclusion is wrong" or "The prediction will not come true" or something. However, as questions get harder, this approach doesn't work, because just to argue that the Conclusion or Evidence is false doesn't really Weaken the Argument. To Weaken the Argument, pretend that the conclusion is always actually this sentence:

"The evidence I've given here is sufficient, all on its own, to prove my point."

Every author is really saying this, and it's THIS sentence that we have to weaken/strengthen on the GMAT. If we're always focused on this idea instead of on arguing for/against the Conclusion, we can develop a consistent approach that works on all difficulty levels.

Furthermore, I'm personally less about identifying trap answers and more about learning how to prephrase right answers. Yes, common traps are nice to know, but the best test-takers aren't tempted by them because they predict and find the Right Answer quickly through a solid understanding of what the GMAT is looking for in CR, as well as in RC (and, of course, in all Quant questions).
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2011, 00:10
I agree that these kinds of tricks do not appear on medium-level questions. In fact, most low- to medium-level questions can be answered with "common sense" by native English speakers with a pretty good degree of accuracy; as you point out, for non-native speakers, improving efficiency and clarity in reading is key, and being able to summarize the argument is key, too.

However, the challenge of the GMAT is that, as you get better, so do the questions, SO even those who are not shooting for 700+ will see trickier questions on test day, questions which belie the common-sense approach and lead us into traps such as the above you mentioned. Here's the overall idea I'd keep in mind, that works on easier AND harder questions alike:

The GMAT is always asking about the Argument in A/S/W/F questions, NOT about the Conclusion. On easier questions, the right answer in, say, a Weakener question will simply be something that means "The conclusion is wrong" or "The prediction will not come true" or something. However, as questions get harder, this approach doesn't work, because just to argue that the Conclusion or Evidence is false doesn't really Weaken the Argument. To Weaken the Argument, pretend that the conclusion is always actually this sentence:

"The evidence I've given here is sufficient, all on its own, to prove my point."

Every author is really saying this, and it's THIS sentence that we have to weaken/strengthen on the GMAT. If we're always focused on this idea instead of on arguing for/against the Conclusion, we can develop a consistent approach that works on all difficulty levels.

Furthermore, I'm personally less about identifying trap answers and more about learning how to prephrase right answers. Yes, common traps are nice to know, but the best test-takers aren't tempted by them because they predict and find the Right Answer quickly through a solid understanding of what the GMAT is looking for in CR, as well as in RC (and, of course, in all Quant questions).

So if we pretend that the conclusion is "The evidence I've given here is sufficient, all on its own, to prove my point."
We have to look for an option that says that the evidence is not sufficient for a weaken question
And a Strengthen question, an option that says that the evidence is not sufficient to reach the Main Point
But what technique should we use for an Assumption Question ?
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Knewton GMAT Instructor
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
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Location: NY, NY
Schools: BA New School, PhD Candidate CUNY
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Kudos [?]: 82 [2] , given: 0

Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2011, 00:52
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An Assumption will say "The evidence given IS relevant to the conclusion [not necessarily sufficient, actually, but it will tend in that direction]."

A Strengthener will say "The evidence given is probably more relevant to the conclusion than it was in the original argument [but it doesn't always prove the argument totally solid]."

A Weakener will say "The evidence given is more or less irrelevant and doesn't prove what the author thinks it proves [but it's still possible the conclusion is valid for some unknown reason; really we just can't know from the given evidence]."

Sorry those sentences aren't the simplest-worded, but, if it were simple, it wouldn't be the GMAT
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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2011, 01:46
An Assumption will say "The evidence given IS relevant to the conclusion [not necessarily sufficient, actually, but it will tend in that direction]."

A Strengthener will say "The evidence given is probably more relevant to the conclusion than it was in the original argument [but it doesn't always prove the argument totally solid]."

A Weakener will say "The evidence given is more or less irrelevant and doesn't prove what the author thinks it proves [but it's still possible the conclusion is valid for some unknown reason; really we just can't know from the given evidence]."

Sorry those sentences aren't the simplest-worded, but, if it were simple, it wouldn't be the GMAT

Thanks adam for the Guidance.This seems to suggest that CR on the GMAT is no longer straightforward but more vague , tricky and difficult
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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2011, 18:45
What does A and F stand for? and How does their conclusion work? and what's the thinking process for this type of question
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Knewton GMAT Instructor
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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2011, 21:49
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In the above discussion, we were using "A," "S," "W," and "F" to refer to Assumption, Strengthener, Weakener, and Flaw questions, respectively. While this thread is not the place to get a full understanding of these question types, which cover about 75% of the Critical Reasoning questions in the GMAT question pool, the basics are as follows:

Assumption -- what is necessary to connect the Evidence to the Conclusion?
Strengthen -- what would help connect the Evidence to the Conclusion?
Weaken -- what would make it less likely that the Evidence is connected to the Conclusion?
Flaw -- what about the Conclusion makes it unconnected to the Evidence?

All of these questions are, as the above thread shows, complex and prone to unusual tricks. But thinking about them rigidly along these lines will work, as long as we can parse what the Argument is actually saying, and more importantly, why the author thinks the Argument is valid.
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Re: 3 trick on GMATPREP questions   [#permalink] 14 Jan 2011, 21:49
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