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What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning?

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What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 09:51
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Hi everyone,

I'm have been studying for the GMAT since October and my exam is in February. I spend 28 hours every week studying. I'm currently struggling with CR. My maths is great, and so is my RC and SC. I was thinking of getting an additional book to help me with CR. I was wondering what would be a great book to study for the CR? I have heard about the PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, is that a good book?

The materials I am currently using are:
Official Guide Book 2016 Bundle
Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set
MGMAT Foundation of GMAT Math

I am aiming for 700. So far I have done the test on GMAT prep where I scored 650 and one of the MGMAT exam I scored 670.

I look forward to your reply and thank you
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount CodesMagoosh Discount Codes
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 10:18
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If you're okay with video instruction, we have a free CR module with 38 videos - http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat- ... -reasoning
We also have a free slideshow on SlideShare that covers everything you need to know: http://www.slideshare.net/GMATPrepNow_f ... ed-to-know

Cheers,
BRENT
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 11:25
Expert's post
Hi gbemi,

Before I can recommend any additional resources, I'd like to know a bit more about how you've been studying:

1) When did you take these 2 CATs? And what were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Do you have to rush to finish the Verbal section?

With a February Test Date, you still have plenty of time to study.

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 11:51
Hi Rich,

Yes I took the entire test. I took both of them last week. One on Monday and the other on Thursday.
For the GMATprep my scaled scores Q-49 and V-29, IR-7, AWA-5.5
For MGMAT my scaled scores Q48 V32

I did the MGMAT first then I did GMAT prep next. For the MGMAT it was just pure luck, as majority of the CR questions I just guessed. Lastly yes in both exams I was rushing to finish the verbal section.

Best,
Gbemi
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New post 07 Dec 2015, 11:52
Hi Brent,

Thank you I will check that out

Best Gbemi
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New post 07 Dec 2015, 22:01
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Hi gbemi,

Taking those 2 CATs so close together was not a good idea (and it's not surprising that those two scores are so similar, since you didn't have much time to study and improve between CATs). Moving forwards, you should plan to take no more than 1 FULL CAT every 1-2 weeks.

While you may have correctly identified CR as an area that you have to work on, you will likely have to also improve your RC and/or SC skills to hit your score goals. Since you still have plenty of time to study, you should continue as you choose. If your CAT scores get 'stuck', then we'll likely need to discuss adjusting your studies and investing in some additional resources.

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New post 08 Dec 2015, 01:44
Hi Rich

Thank you, I will do that. Just one more question. What additional material (book wise) would you recommend for Critical Reasoning?

Thank you
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New post 08 Dec 2015, 06:37
I recommend using LSAT logical reasoning material for practice.
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New post 08 Dec 2015, 11:09
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Hi gbemi,

Many Test Takers who use a book-heavy study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular scoring level, so I would NOT recommend using any more book resources. I also advise against using LSAT resources, as they're not a great match for what you'll see on the GMAT. Since you'll be taking the GMAT on a computer, you would likely benefit from some new computer-based resources.

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New post 08 Dec 2015, 11:30
Hi Rich,

Thank you, if you do not mind me asking, what new computer-based resources should I think of getting? Right now the PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible is the book I am thinking of getting.

Best,
Gbemi
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New post 08 Dec 2015, 17:18
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Hi Gbemi,

Beyond doing lots of practice problems, you likely need consistent, professional guidance so that you can learn all of the patterns, tactics and 'secrets' of the GMAT (without having to try to figure out all of that stuff on your own). You would likely find it beneficial to invest in a GMAT Course of some kind (either Guided Self-Study or Instructor-Led). Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at our site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2015, 20:06
Expert's post
gbemi wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm have been studying for the GMAT since October and my exam is in February. I spend 28 hours every week studying. I'm currently struggling with CR. My maths is great, and so is my RC and SC. I was thinking of getting an additional book to help me with CR. I was wondering what would be a great book to study for the CR? I have heard about the PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, is that a good book?

The materials I am currently using are:
Official Guide Book 2016 Bundle
Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set
MGMAT Foundation of GMAT Math

I am aiming for 700. So far I have done the test on GMAT prep where I scored 650 and one of the MGMAT exam I scored 670.

I look forward to your reply and thank you


Figuring out your weak section is good. However make sure that you do not neglect the other sections.
The study material that you have mentioned here is good. If you want to have a look at the strategies, you have opt for a free trial of our course and see if the course fits your needs. Regarding the additional practice, if you are die with the OG, i would recommend you to buy Official Guide Verbal review and Question Pack1 from mba.com

This will ensure that you get more practice on the official questions.
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2015, 02:00
OptimusPrepJanielle wrote:
gbemi wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm have been studying for the GMAT since October and my exam is in February. I spend 28 hours every week studying. I'm currently struggling with CR. My maths is great, and so is my RC and SC. I was thinking of getting an additional book to help me with CR. I was wondering what would be a great book to study for the CR? I have heard about the PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, is that a good book?

The materials I am currently using are:
Official Guide Book 2016 Bundle
Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set
MGMAT Foundation of GMAT Math

I am aiming for 700. So far I have done the test on GMAT prep where I scored 650 and one of the MGMAT exam I scored 670.

I look forward to your reply and thank you


Figuring out your weak section is good. However make sure that you do not neglect the other sections.
The study material that you have mentioned here is good. If you want to have a look at the strategies, you have opt for a free trial of our course and see if the course fits your needs. Regarding the additional practice, if you are die with the OG, i would recommend you to buy Official Guide Verbal review and Question Pack1 from mba.com

This will ensure that you get more practice on the official questions.


Hi Janielle

Thank you for your answering, I have the Official Guide Verbal review, I have been using it and the reason why I realise that my CR isn't great is because compare to RC and SC I always do bad on it when answering the questions on the OG verbal review. Of course I will not be neglecting my other sections, I just want a book to help me to improve. I have a limited budget that is why I taught about buying the Powerscore CR Bible, however I wanted to know if it is worth it or maybe there are better CR materials books for a reasonable price?

In relation to the Question Pack 1, I do intended on getting one, however I want to feel more comfortable answering CR before I get it. I haven't fully finished the CR section on my OG Verbal review as I left some out.

Best
Gbemi
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New post 10 Dec 2015, 12:29
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Hi Gbemi,

Hope you are doing well. Great work on the Quant - sorry to hear about the CR struggle! Two things to think about: practice material VS. teaching material. If you’re scoring a 29 then it’s likely that you need both. Some people can practice on their own, catch the logic of CR, and see some big score increases. But if you’ve been practicing on your own for some time and haven’t seen much improvement then it’s likely that more practice isn’t going to be sufficient.

In terms of learning there are general reading skills and specific critical reasoning methodologies. Is your reading strong? I noticed that you said that the RC and SC were both great but with a 29 on the verbal it seems that there must more going wrong than just CR. If the reading is weak then at least some of your issues would be solved by improving your reading skills. This will help you everywhere on the GMAT. As a start (if you aren’t doing so already) you could tackle a challenging article every day. I prefer weekly or monthly periodicals as their articles tend to be a bit denser than the articles in the daily ones. Work on your ACTIVE reading. Break down the logic of the articles. What is the main idea? How is it supported? What assumptions are being made? You could also pick up a novel.

If the reading is strong then there’s something that you’re missing in your general approach to/understanding of critical reasoning. Do you have a plan for each question type? For assumption based reasoning are you good at coming up with the gap/assumption? How good are you at coming up with the conclusion? A lot of CR is this meat and potatoes ground work.

Learning critical reasoning
Given your conditions (not wanting to spend a bunch of $$$) I’d start with a book and then take it from there. If you get through the book and are still having issues then you might need someone to walk you through the process.

The CR bible is thorough. It has a good outline for each of the major question types. Two things that I don’t love:

-It’s super dense. I prefer a bit more of a common sense approach than a formal approach to critical reasoning. Still, if you can distill their strategies into something that makes sense for you then you’ll benefit from the book. Just take your time with it.
-It’s full of Non-Official-GMAT material. I wouldn’t recommend using non-GMAT verbal (except for LSAT. More on this later). Having looked at most GMAT companies’ materials, I don’t find that the questions are as quality as GMAT questions or LSAT questions.

Given that there isn’t another better option (that I know of) the CR bible is still a reasonable choice.

Verbal practice materials
You still have a bunch of solid options besides the OG 2016 Bundle:

GMAT Paper Tests (for verbal only. Tests 31, 37, 42, 48, 52, and 55 have the least overlap with other materials. Do not do RC as it overlaps 100% with other materials)
Old GMAT Paper Tests 1-6 (Here on GMAT Club. The CR is good. The SC is a bit clunky and idiom heavy but good practice. I never use the RC. )
Question Pack 1 (Start just doing the easy questions until you have a method)
Official Guide 10th Edition (a whole bunch of verbal in here not in any other resource. More in the easy/medium category but that’s probably not a bad thing at this point.)
Last but not least: LSAT!

I’ve been using LSAT for GMAT tutoring students for years. If you were to ask me what is the secret weapon for GMAT CR I’d reply LSAT LR (logical reasoning)! There’s an almost unlimited amount of LSAT material to practice on (3500 questions+). These questions are super high quality and have gone through the same type of scrutiny as official GMAT questions. It’s true that some of the LSAT question types are not represented on the GMAT. That’s fine. Just skip parallel reasoning, parallel flaw, and principle questions. Not that those questions will hurt you. In fact, they are still going to exercise your critical reasoning brain. But, in terms of getting the most value for your time I would skip them.

If you want to get really particular only do:
-Strengthen
-Weaken
-Assumption
-Flaw
-Evaluate
-Main Idea/Conclusion
-Fill in the Blank
-Role
-Inference/Must be True/Most Supported

Just cross out the ones that you are going to skip before starting the set. Give yourself an average of two minutes per question (A bit more time than normal for verbal but the LSAT questions are generally longer.)

Also, take note that LSAT material is generally tougher/denser than GMAT material: Approach this work with caution. In your case, I’d hold off until you have some solid CR fundamentals and are scoring in the low/mid 30's on the verbal. If you are feeling lost, LSAT work isn’t the place to start:)

I hope this is helpful - reply with any questions. Good luck!

Happy Studies,

A.
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2015, 19:52
Expert's post
gbemi wrote:
OptimusPrepJanielle wrote:
gbemi wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm have been studying for the GMAT since October and my exam is in February. I spend 28 hours every week studying. I'm currently struggling with CR. My maths is great, and so is my RC and SC. I was thinking of getting an additional book to help me with CR. I was wondering what would be a great book to study for the CR? I have heard about the PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, is that a good book?

The materials I am currently using are:
Official Guide Book 2016 Bundle
Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set
MGMAT Foundation of GMAT Math

I am aiming for 700. So far I have done the test on GMAT prep where I scored 650 and one of the MGMAT exam I scored 670.

I look forward to your reply and thank you


Figuring out your weak section is good. However make sure that you do not neglect the other sections.
The study material that you have mentioned here is good. If you want to have a look at the strategies, you have opt for a free trial of our course and see if the course fits your needs. Regarding the additional practice, if you are die with the OG, i would recommend you to buy Official Guide Verbal review and Question Pack1 from mba.com

This will ensure that you get more practice on the official questions.


Hi Janielle

Thank you for your answering, I have the Official Guide Verbal review, I have been using it and the reason why I realise that my CR isn't great is because compare to RC and SC I always do bad on it when answering the questions on the OG verbal review. Of course I will not be neglecting my other sections, I just want a book to help me to improve. I have a limited budget that is why I taught about buying the Powerscore CR Bible, however I wanted to know if it is worth it or maybe there are better CR materials books for a reasonable price?

In relation to the Question Pack 1, I do intended on getting one, however I want to feel more comfortable answering CR before I get it. I haven't fully finished the CR section on my OG Verbal review as I left some out.

Best
Gbemi


I cannot comment on the material from other prep companies, but we offer a Verbal Booster Package with over 100 hours of videos and 3000 questions.
This will cost you $75. You can have a look at it here: http://optimus-prep.com/shop/gmat/gmat-verbal-booster/
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2015, 04:23
HerrGrau wrote:
Hi Gbemi,

Hope you are doing well. Great work on the Quant - sorry to hear about the CR struggle! Two things to think about: practice material VS. teaching material. If you’re scoring a 29 then it’s likely that you need both. Some people can practice on their own, catch the logic of CR, and see some big score increases. But if you’ve been practicing on your own for some time and haven’t seen much improvement then it’s likely that more practice isn’t going to be sufficient.

In terms of learning there are general reading skills and specific critical reasoning methodologies. Is your reading strong? I noticed that you said that the RC and SC were both great but with a 29 on the verbal it seems that there must more going wrong than just CR. If the reading is weak then at least some of your issues would be solved by improving your reading skills. This will help you everywhere on the GMAT. As a start (if you aren’t doing so already) you could tackle a challenging article every day. I prefer weekly or monthly periodicals as their articles tend to be a bit denser than the articles in the daily ones. Work on your ACTIVE reading. Break down the logic of the articles. What is the main idea? How is it supported? What assumptions are being made? You could also pick up a novel.

If the reading is strong then there’s something that you’re missing in your general approach to/understanding of critical reasoning. Do you have a plan for each question type? For assumption based reasoning are you good at coming up with the gap/assumption? How good are you at coming up with the conclusion? A lot of CR is this meat and potatoes ground work.

Learning critical reasoning
Given your conditions (not wanting to spend a bunch of $$$) I’d start with a book and then take it from there. If you get through the book and are still having issues then you might need someone to walk you through the process.

The CR bible is thorough. It has a good outline for each of the major question types. Two things that I don’t love:

-It’s super dense. I prefer a bit more of a common sense approach than a formal approach to critical reasoning. Still, if you can distill their strategies into something that makes sense for you then you’ll benefit from the book. Just take your time with it.
-It’s full of Non-Official-GMAT material. I wouldn’t recommend using non-GMAT verbal (except for LSAT. More on this later). Having looked at most GMAT companies’ materials, I don’t find that the questions are as quality as GMAT questions or LSAT questions.

Given that there isn’t another better option (that I know of) the CR bible is still a reasonable choice.

Verbal practice materials
You still have a bunch of solid options besides the OG 2016 Bundle:

GMAT Paper Tests (for verbal only. Tests 31, 37, 42, 48, 52, and 55 have the least overlap with other materials. Do not do RC as it overlaps 100% with other materials)
Old GMAT Paper Tests 1-6 (Here on GMAT Club. The CR is good. The SC is a bit clunky and idiom heavy but good practice. I never use the RC. )
Question Pack 1 (Start just doing the easy questions until you have a method)
Official Guide 10th Edition (a whole bunch of verbal in here not in any other resource. More in the easy/medium category but that’s probably not a bad thing at this point.)
Last but not least: LSAT!

I’ve been using LSAT for GMAT tutoring students for years. If you were to ask me what is the secret weapon for GMAT CR I’d reply LSAT LR (logical reasoning)! There’s an almost unlimited amount of LSAT material to practice on (3500 questions+). These questions are super high quality and have gone through the same type of scrutiny as official GMAT questions. It’s true that some of the LSAT question types are not represented on the GMAT. That’s fine. Just skip parallel reasoning, parallel flaw, and principle questions. Not that those questions will hurt you. In fact, they are still going to exercise your critical reasoning brain. But, in terms of getting the most value for your time I would skip them.

If you want to get really particular only do:
-Strengthen
-Weaken
-Assumption
-Flaw
-Evaluate
-Main Idea/Conclusion
-Fill in the Blank
-Role
-Inference/Must be True/Most Supported

Just cross out the ones that you are going to skip before starting the set. Give yourself an average of two minutes per question (A bit more time than normal for verbal but the LSAT questions are generally longer.)

Also, take note that LSAT material is generally tougher/denser than GMAT material: Approach this work with caution. In your case, I’d hold off until you have some solid CR fundamentals and are scoring in the low/mid 30's on the verbal. If you are feeling lost, LSAT work isn’t the place to start:)

I hope this is helpful - reply with any questions. Good luck!

Happy Studies,

A.


Thank you so much for your answer, I will try it out and use that method.
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2015, 01:27
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Hi Gbemi,

Have you already had a look at the CR Megathread on GMAT Club? I am also struggling with CR and I found it to be the most comprehensive list of resources out there.

I would also recommend watching a couple videos from Ron Purewal (the link is in the CR Megathread) or registering to the free session offered by E-gmat because it will help you understand the process "in action". These are great free resources.

Good luck !
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2015, 11:34
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Hi Lazure,

With a V40, it's not accurate to say that you're 'struggling' with any major category in the Verbal section. CR might be your 'weakest' category, but with a 40 Scaled Score, you are NOT 'weak' in CR.

Are you still studying for the GMAT? You already have a 700, so what are your overall goals?

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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2015, 12:09
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Lazure,

With a V40, it's not accurate to say that you're 'struggling' with any major category in the Verbal section. CR might be your 'weakest' category, but with a 40 Scaled Score, you are NOT 'weak' in CR.

Are you still studying for the GMAT? You already have a 700, so what are your overall goals?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich



Hi Rich, you're right I am not struggling with Verbal overall and I'm very happy with the V40. However I have noticed in my Enhanced Score Reports that SC and RC are around 90th percentile but CR is continuously around 50-60th. I have studied law in English and thought that CR would actually be my strong suit but no !
700 is a great score but I would like to push my score up since I am applying to top 5 schools and I come from a non-traditional background so the GMAT is the only way schools can establish my ability to follow quant-oriented courses.

So Verbal is definitely not my priority but I know that if I put in a little bit of effort for CR (I haven't read any material so far, only watched a few videos and did a few practice questions) it will yield great results for my verbal score. That's my cost/benefit analysis. :wink:
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2015, 12:13
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Hi Lazure,

With higher-ranked Schools (and certain Programs, such as Finance and other Specialty Programs), a higher QUANT Scaled Score tends to be what Schools are looking for. Keep in mind that you'll also need a strong OVERALL application AND you'll need to be sure that you're 'marketing yourself' correctly to each Program. This is all meant to say that the type of improvement that you're looking for in your overall profile is probably not going to be impacted too much by getting a bit better at CR.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: What is a great material for GMAT Verbal section: Critical Reasoning?   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2015, 12:13

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