Many people find that those bold face text questions take a little longer than the average 2 minutes for other CR questions, mainly because the arguments tend to be longer and it's sort-of two questions in one (about 2 different bold sections).
However, there are some tips to avoid spending too much time:
(1) Identify the conclusion of the argument first. This is key because the bold text can only play one of three roles in relation to the conclusion: the text IS the conclusion, it is a premise that SUPPORTS the conclusion, or it is a premise that COUNTERS the conclusion.
(2) Write down on your paper what each bold does. For example, you might simply write "(1) supports, (2) = conclusion."
(3) Eliminate the choices that blatantly disagree with what you have written. For example, you might eliminate a choice that says "The first is a statement that the author contradicts...."
(4) Of the remaining choices, pick the one that most closely matches your notes. Note that you will have translate synonymous phrases such as "...advances in support of..." or "advocates for the conclusion" or "reinforces the opinion" rather than just looking for the simple "supports."
Most importantly, don't get too bogged down in the content or details of the argument! The choices are VERY general, about the relation between premises and conclusion. If the argument is about sales taxes and the effect on the ice cream industry in a certain town, the choices probably won't even mention taxes or ice cream! So, no need to take detailed notes, in my opinion.
Emily Sledge | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | St. Louis
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