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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
can you explain what materials you used and tests followed.
It will be helpful if you explain the method of preparation.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
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Mechmeera wrote:
can you explain what materials you used and tests followed.
It will be helpful if you explain the method of preparation.


My mock test is mainly PowerPrep, GMAT Prep. I also try Princeton and Cambridge mock test but the type of question are not as good.

To improve, I have sets of question divided into problem types (for Sentence: S-V agreement, Preposition, Parallel, Word Choice. For CR: Weaken, Strengthen, Infer...). When you do a bunch of them together, you will notice pattern in question and answer. I found that very helpful. I do have access to a massive amount of material from my tutor and I'm not sure how much time it will take if you have to compose your own list. But I think it will worth a try.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
congratulation! that is an amazing score!

Could you share with us the resources that you used? By the way, can you illustrate your CR-method in approaching this question? it would be a great help for me!

(source: OG)
The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale—the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

(A) Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.
(B) No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.
(C) The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears.
(D) Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.
(E) The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
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nhattruong1302 wrote:
congratulation! that is an amazing score!

Could you share with us the resources that you used? By the way, can you illustrate your CR-method in approaching this question? it would be a great help for me!

(source: OG)
The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale—the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

(A) Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.
(B) No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.
(C) The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears.
(D) Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.
(E) The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.


The resource that I used belong to my teacher. However, most of the questions are actually on this forum. I'll find some time and post a separate topic listing question by type so you can practice.

As for the question:
Step 1: This is a STRENGTHEN question: "supports". Information need: "Hypothesis"

Step 2: Found "hypothesize" in last sentence. Read last sentence to know what is hypothesis. I don't know what "diatonic musical scale" is ("diatonic musical scale" is the main subject of this sentence so you should not risk guest it) + "therefore" mean the hypothesis is a conclusion. If I want to strengthen conclusion, I need to find the information lead to that conclusion and support it one way or another. --> Read up.

Step 3: Read first sentence: I now known "diatonic musical scale" is "the seven-note musical scale". I also know the information lead to the hypothesis is "The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute" --> To strengthen, I probably need something that link the "bone flute" to the "scale" --> I have an idea what I am looking for in the answer.

Step 4: Skim over the answer and do a initial elimination:
A. It mentions "only" instrument. As a rule of thumb, if an answer have "only", "every" or "all", you can consider it eliminate. The reason is any answer that make a claim of "only", "every", "all" is making an ASSUMPTION, often an unsupported one and GMAT consider that the biggest mistake --> eliminate.

B. It mentions "scale" and "the (bone) flute" which is close to what we are look at --> Leave it for now.

C. It doesn't mention "scale" + it clearly talk about the material while we are discussing function "scale" --> OUT OF SCOPE--> eliminate.

D. It mentions "scale" BUT it doesn't mention the "bone". It is also over GENERALIZE, we are discussing "bone flute" which is very specific instrument but this answer mention "Flute", not "the flute" --> eliminate. (I eliminate it immediately but if you are not convince, leave it for now)

E. It mentions "bone...flute", and scale --> leave it for now

--> We have B and E left (or B, D, and E if you don't dare to eliminate D just yet)

Step 5: Reasoning:

As mention in step 3, I know I need to find something that link the "bone flute" with the "scale" to strengthen the hypothesis.

B "No other instrument" is answer is IRRELEVANT because I don't care about the other instrument. I care about linking this particular bone flute to the scale --> eliminate.

D "Flute" is over GENERALIZE + IRRELEVANT because it again doesn't talk about the "bone flute" --> eliminate.

E Obviously linking the "bone flute" to the scale by pointing out the original material could make an instrument that is capable of covering the whole scale --> CHOOSE.

I know it seems very long and complicated way to answer the question (and in this case I end up reading the whole paragraph anyway). But I'm verbalize everything I will be thinking to answer this question. The actual process takes only a little time when you do it often. Beside, after Step 3 I very much have an idea of what I am looking for. Usually I will choose option E the second I skim through it.
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770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Thank you for your brilliant guidance, that is very helpful for me

Btw, how should I practice to master this approach? Are there any exception for CR question type?
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
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nhattruong1302 wrote:
Thank you for your brilliant guidance, that is very helpful for me

Btw, how should I practice to master this approach? Are there any exception for CR question type?


The best way is to find a whole list of question that is of the same type (Weaken, Strengthen...) as I mentions before. Doing 10 of them back to back really bring out the similarity.

Boldface (the question about what is the role of the bold section) is the exception which you can't used this on. Strengthen and Weaken are actually the two easiest type. The question that require you to point out the underline assumption of a reasoning or to answer what can you infer from the given information are harder.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Thanks again, I will practice this approach and then figure it out whether it is the best fix for me!
I am in HCM too, could you share with me some information about the course that you enrolled in? I really want to beat the GMAT!
Great thanks!
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Congratulations on you fantastic score. Pls guide/ provide more information on the
1. quant review sheet used before taking test, as mentioned in your
comment to review quant basics.
2. If it's inference/ assumption question then reading the full and understanind helps?
3. I'm not able to increase my verbal score from 20. RC eats my time, as RC is important how should I plan so that my entire verbal score will improve.

Thanks,

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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
lipsi18 wrote:
Congratulations on you fantastic score. Pls guide/ provide more information on the
1. quant review sheet used before taking test, as mentioned in your
comment to review quant basics.
2. If it's inference/ assumption question then reading the full and understanind helps?
3. I'm not able to increase my verbal score from 20. RC eats my time, as RC is important how should I plan so that my entire verbal score will improve.

Thanks,

Posted from my mobile device

Posted from my mobile device


1. I first learn how to set up my scratch paper here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... tch-paper/. However, I have to adapted it to my timing. I divided the whole test into four section: 25, 15, 15, 20 mins. Because the clock countdown, the following time left will mark the end of each section: 50, 35, 20, 0. First section each include 10 question. last section only include 7. What I have is 6 sheet set up as the first picture (which divided the paper into 5 part for 5 question/sheet). At the end of sheet 2, I write 50 (the amount of time I have left), end of sheet 4 is 35, end of sheet 6 is 20. Last 2 sheet set up as the rest of the picture (divided into 4) with the last part on the last page cross out (as the last section only have 7 question). I hope this help.

2. Even for Inference/assumption, you still need to follow the step. This method does save you some extra reading sometime but more importantly it allow you to understand the argument better since you are tracing a line of thought backward. It also make the error (especially in assumption) clearer.

3. RC took time longer than usual, that is true. If I don't encounter any RC in any of the section, I usually finish the section 3-4 mins earlier than expects and that is fine. You need to account for RC taking longer when you time your progress. To save time, in the beginning, read the first sentences of the paragraph first then skim down. Make note of thing such as linking world like Furthermore, However..., name (of people, place...). Linking word will also give you an understanding what is the relationship between part. Ex: For example mean the following is an example supporting the previous (knowing that is enough, don't read on). However means the following is against the previous. Furthermore is the following support the previous. These words give you the structure of the paragraph. I suggest to improve you should print out a lot of paragraph and practice this with a pencil. For each half A4 paragraph, you should be able to map it out in under 30 seconds. GMAT questions often are not random. The question they ask you will concern information that move from top to bottom with a few general idea question at the beginning or end.

A map of the paragraph could be like this: First line say that the paragraph author support idea A. It is because of B and C. He then explains C (without further mention B, it happen, a lot) and give example C'. Second paragraph start with However and refuse C because of D. D is promoted by person X and organization Y. However, person T argue that X and Y don't account for E when they think about D. Last paragraph concludes that C is still in debate and we need to learn more about E effect of D before we can conclude about C.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
I live in hcmc too. Can you share some info about your tutor.

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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
The method suggested for CR is great, thank you very much for sharing it.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Congratulation on your admirable result. Appreciated for your sharing strategy, especially in Critical reasoning. In this field (CR), I have a few questions as below:

1. What is your rationale (or why do you think) that only read the sentence carefully which includes the “exact word” in the question without reading the premise (“reading it from end to end”) is the enough condition to solve the CR question? (I don’t mention the case the question includes this plan, this substance as you have already solved a OG example)
2. In your side, is there any risk that you could choose the wrong answer if you follow up this strategy? If yes, pls explain the reason.
3. Could you take an examples (level 700+) and give explanation based on this strategy without reading other premise?
4. You mention that Strengthen and Weaken are easiest types, while Assumption and Inference is harder. In my side, the approach to Strengthen, Weaken and Assumption is similar as one must find the assumption to break Strengthen, Weaken and Assumption question types. As such, the level of difficulty is the same among these types, except for that Assumption need additional negation testing.
Is there any wrong in my mind? And could you give more explanation why in your side, the assumption is harder than Strengthen and Weaken?

Look forward on your response. Great thanks!
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
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crisronaldo wrote:
Congratulation on your admirable result. Appreciated for your sharing strategy, especially in Critical reasoning. In this field (CR), I have a few questions as below:

1. What is your rationale (or why do you think) that only read the sentence carefully which includes the “exact word” in the question without reading the premise (“reading it from end to end”) is the enough condition to solve the CR question? (I don’t mention the case the question includes this plan, this substance as you have already solved a OG example)
2. In your side, is there any risk that you could choose the wrong answer if you follow up this strategy? If yes, pls explain the reason.
3. Could you take an examples (level 700+) and give explanation based on this strategy without reading other premise?
4. You mention that Strengthen and Weaken are easiest types, while Assumption and Inference is harder. In my side, the approach to Strengthen, Weaken and Assumption is similar as one must find the assumption to break Strengthen, Weaken and Assumption question types. As such, the level of difficulty is the same among these types, except for that Assumption need additional negation testing.
Is there any wrong in my mind? And could you give more explanation why in your side, the assumption is harder than Strengthen and Weaken?

Look forward on your response. Great thanks!


Here is a question somebody send me to answer. It is one that I only need the first sentence to answer. Although, I must warn you it required a lot of reasoning and ultimately, I did go back to read half a sentence more to confirm my answer:

It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allowing the use of non-programmable calculators during exams, is discriminatory. Though a calculator can be expensive, and some students will not be able to purchase one, the department is not requiring that students use one, it is only allowing them to do so if they desire. Thus, any student who does not purchase a calculator for use on his exams will not be penalized; he or she will be no worse off at exam time than he or she was prior to the policy change.

To which of the following would the opponents of the math department's new policy be most likely to refer, in an attempt to have the new policy abolished?
A. The difference in speed between a top-of-the-line calculator and a bottom-end one is significant.
B. Each individual student's performance is evaluated against the performance of his or her fellow students on math department exams.
C. The university student services department will make available to all students calculators that can be borrowed as library books are.
D. Much of the math being tested on most of the exams in question is so complex that it requires a calculator-like mind to do the necessary computations.
E. When calculators were not allowed, more than half of all students failed their math exams

Step 1: Read the question. This is WEAKEN: "Opponents", "abolished". Topic of discussion: "new policy". They do not specify what is the new policy so I read up.

Step 2 & 3: First sentence explains what is the "new policy": "allowing the use of non-programmable calculators during exams". It also denied that this policy is discriminatory which means the opponent must have cited "discriminatory" as their reason to oppose. For something to be discriminative, it must benefit some students more than other --> I must find a way to show that calculator use in exam room affects students differently. I stop reading here but will come back to confirm my choice.

Step 4: Skim through choice:
A. Compare between different type of calculator --> could affect student differently --> leave it
B. It didn't mention calculator but it did mentions student, more importantly it mentions comparison between student (evaluation) --> leave it for now.
C. This answer actually support the policy since it equalize all student chance --> eliminate
D. Type of math are not the one being debate, it also do not mention calculator but rather "calculator-like mind" (there are 2 different thing) --> out of scope --> eliminate.
E. We don't care about "When calculators were not allowed", we care about when it is allowed --> out of scope --> eliminate.

Step 5: I have two good candidate left A and B.

The simple way would be come back up and read a bit more then choose, the hard but take less effort way is to reason them first

A. A seems like it could be the correct answer because different calculator --> different speed --> different student performance --> discrimination right? Actually, you must note that although calculator is the subject of debate, the end result of the debate is the students' performance. This is important to note because one of GMAT favorite "seemingly right but ultimately wrong" answer types is the one that allows you to make a reasonable assumption which is actually not supported in the text. While "different calculator --> different speed --> different student performance" sound logical, it is just your mind saying it's a possibility. There's no guarantee that speed affects student performance, it's possible that the student with the fast calculator just spend half of his/her exam doing nothing and get the same score as everybody else :-D .

B. B basically mean that the grade are curved, which means if your class perform better and you remains the same then your grade goes down. I choose this question immediately because it's the only one left. But to be sure, I read up. For this fact to be the detergent, I need information that show by introduce the calculator, they are improving some performance and leave other the same. If you look up, you will see clearly this is the case. --> CHOOSE

To answer some of your questions:
1. Reading from end to end make your mind lazy, you read the words but might not be able to create a coherent line of reasoning. By starting with the question, you are more proactive in your reading and allows you to reason. And I don't just read the sentence with the "exact word" alone, if the sentence require more clarification (in previous case: "scale", in this case: none), I will read on further. What matter most is don't read more than you need, it will confuse you. Also, tracing the line of reasoning backward actually help you point out the assumption in lots of case.

2. Even if you follow this strategy correctly and think clearly, you can get around 95% correct (which is what I hope for in GMAT CR anyway). The reason is simple, there is a chance that you actually miss some information in the part you don't read. To minimize this, if I have more time than I need, I will take it slow and actually read back up if I am unsure about my answer. If I am short on time, I just move on.

3. I hope the question about satisfy, although as you see, in the end I did look up. If I don't have the time, I will choose it on the base that it's the only answer that don't have a mistake in it.

4. I think which type is easier depend on the person. For me weaken and strengthen is easier because the type of answer are often typical. You are right about weaken and strengthen are mostly backing up or breaking down an assumption. I found that Assumption in general are a bit harder because in one line of reasoning, there could be more than one assumption. The answer could include one correct assumption and one that require another extra minor assumption (from our side) to match with the reasoning and I often get that wrong.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Appreciated your response with detailed explanation on my concern. Honestly, when I look at only the first sentence “new policy, allowing the use of non-programmable calculators during exams, is discriminatory.”, nothing comes to my mind at that time for the scope and the assumption the author made. Until I read until the last sentence and take a moment for thinking, I can point out that I must find new information that break the relationship between the impact of this policy and performance among students, which I mean the scope of argument, as the last sentence of argument mentions a little things on that.

Even if I realize that the scope MAYBE talk about the relationship between the policy and performance of students by only reading the sentence included “new policy”, I am still worried that my thinking could be wrong as the scope may be different from my mind if the unread sentence (unread premise) discussed on other topics/relationships.

1. I am scare that I bear the risk of finding out incorrect scope if not read the unread premise, but your statistical data 95% correct supports that your approach works effectively. As such, could you share your experience that how can you find out the scope and trust that this is USSUALLY correct by only reading the sentence which includes the “exact word”.
(I think you could response that I can further support my answer with further reading the unread premise, but besides that is there any reason?)
2. Regarding to Assumption type, I just confirm my understanding that in your experience on the high level difficulty of this type, the answer may include two assumption: one is assumption, the other, which has extra minor assumption, is similar to assumption. Could you explain more about the characteristic of this incorrect assumption (you can give example to clarify)? And any tip and rationale to avoid such wrong answer based on your experience.
3. In your side, the approach to Assumption and Evaluate question is the same or not? If not the same, pls help to explain.

Hope you can clear my concern your precious advice could open my mind on my logical thinking. Look forward to your response. Thanks a lot bro!
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
crisronaldo wrote:
Appreciated your response with detailed explanation on my concern. Honestly, when I look at only the first sentence “new policy, allowing the use of non-programmable calculators during exams, is discriminatory.”, nothing comes to my mind at that time for the scope and the assumption the author made. Until I read until the last sentence and take a moment for thinking, I can point out that I must find new information that break the relationship between the impact of this policy and performance among students, which I mean the scope of argument, as the last sentence of argument mentions a little things on that.

Even if I realize that the scope MAYBE talk about the relationship between the policy and performance of students by only reading the sentence included “new policy”, I am still worried that my thinking could be wrong as the scope may be different from my mind if the unread sentence (unread premise) discussed on other topics/relationships.

1. I am scare that I bear the risk of finding out incorrect scope if not read the unread premise, but your statistical data 95% correct supports that your approach works effectively. As such, could you share your experience that how can you find out the scope and trust that this is USSUALLY correct by only reading the sentence which includes the “exact word”.
(I think you could response that I can further support my answer with further reading the unread premise, but besides that is there any reason?)
2. Regarding to Assumption type, I just confirm my understanding that in your experience on the high level difficulty of this type, the answer may include two assumption: one is assumption, the other, which has extra minor assumption, is similar to assumption. Could you explain more about the characteristic of this incorrect assumption (you can give example to clarify)? And any tip and rationale to avoid such wrong answer based on your experience.
3. In your side, the approach to Assumption and Evaluate question is the same or not? If not the same, pls help to explain.

Hope you can clear my concern your precious advice could open my mind on my logical thinking. Look forward to your response. Thanks a lot bro!


1. It's extremely scary to work this way. It took me over four months before I am remotely comfortable with actually skipping the rest of the paragraph. Even then, I do go back to make sure. To make it easier for you, maybe you could start by apply the methods I use to outline reading paragraph: guest how the part related to each other. For example, when you read the first sentence, you have to really think about it. You should at least notice with the first sentence being "It is ludicrous to..." the rest of the paragraph is probably an explanation why is it "ludicrous". This will at least give you a direction when you read the rest. This plus the knowledge that there is some typical type of wrong answer should aid you. After you do a long list of CR question, you will notice more the pattern of question and wrong/right answer.

The 95% number is because at the end of my practice, I usually get all CR question correct, if I was wrong it's usually no more than 1. This is after I have done at least 200-300 CR (most of them is divided into set of 10 similar type questions and there's around 7-8 types. I've done at least three full set). To practice you should print out the question, when you answer, use pencil to underline keyword (Ex: policy, discriminatory, ludicrous, available to all student, type of math, without calculator...). Write out why the answer is wrong too (Out of scope, contradict, irrelevant...). After you finish, review both one you get right and wrong. Take note of where your reasoning go wrong and take note of the type of wrong answer.

2. I can't remember any Assumption question but there is one Weaken question. Could you find an example of one that seems right? I could explain why it's wrong for you.

3. Evaluate is very similar to Assumption. Most of the case, Evaluate answer is assumption write in different form --> same methods.
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Re: 770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
Appreciated for your sharing experience.

I think my main problem is the time pressure under the test. Basically, I could get accuracy around 80% given on normal time 2.5 -3 minutes per question. But given under my target time 1.5-2 minutes per question, I usually get wrong answer. In my side, the reason is due to given targeted short time, I can’t understand fully the scope of argument or unsure and not confident that whether my understanding on scope or reasoning of argument is correct or not. As such, I need an advice how to improve my accuracy under the target time.

I have found that your practice approach that finds out the pattern of CR question type by dividing in into 7-8 types which is really similar to my approach that I had done so far. As such, I think your advice could help me a lot to improve my CR skill because of similar approach to break this test.

1. I also did summary my note by myself which divided 7-8 types of CR type given 200 questions. It’s really appreciated if you can look overview on my note, share your experience, give comment on my summary note and assess whether it is appropriate not. If not appropriate, pls help to me give advice. It’s more convince if I send my summary note to your private email.
2. Given my problem under the targeted time, could you please give me other advice to deal with it.

Look forward to your response. Thanks a lot bro!
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770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
740 V47 - Q50 is an outstanding performance and it puts you in position to apply to any Business School, so you should apply to whatever Schools you'd like to.
Thanks for sharing your GMAT experience and advices.
Best Wishes with your applications!
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770: V47 - Q50: Some experience & strategy [#permalink]
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