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Critical Reasoning Shortcuts and Tips

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Manager
Joined: 28 May 2011
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2011, 19:26
Thanks...+1
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Manager
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2011, 12:24
Nice post.
Manager
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2011, 07:59
THANKS
Status: How can I crack Verbal
Joined: 12 May 2011
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Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 700 Q51 V32
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2011, 06:16
thank you
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2011, 07:02
monirjewel wrote:
Best Critical reasoning shortcuts, tips, and notes

Assumptions -1
• An assumption is merely an unstated (implied) premise.
• In logically correct arguments which contain an assumption, the premise + assumption = conclusion.
• If the question stem asks you “what is assumed…” then you should identify unstated premise of passage. Look for a gap in logic.
Assumptions - 2
• Ask yourself, “What must be true to make the conclusion valid?” (Using the premise + assumption = equation formula).
• Remember, since the assumption is an UNSTATED premise, any answer choice that comes from the passage to support your assumption is necessarily incorrect. The answer will be implied, not explicitly stated.

Assumption -3
• An assumption bridges the gap between argument’s stated premises and conclusion.
• Use denial test.
• Compare premise words against conclusion.
• For assumption questions, find the conclusion and determine which answer choice needs to be true for a conclusion to be valid.

Strengthen the Argument
Find the logical gap and fix it with additional information. This is the ONLY type of GMAT question where additional information (outside of the question) can/should be used.
• Correct answers to this question type will:
• Connect evidence with conclusion better.
• Make conclusion stronger.
• Strengthen the evidence with new information (perhaps an assumption is needed to make the argument work

Strengthen/Weaken
Strengthen/Weaken questions are the most common Critical Reasoning (CR) question type on the GMAT.
• Break down piece of evidence.
• Attack validity of an assumption.
• Don’t try to prove or disprove conclusion.
• Tip the scales.

Strengthen/Weaken
Don’t be careless! Wrong answer choices often have exactly opposite of desired effect.
• Double-check that your answer satisfies the ques¬tion stem, not the opposite of the question stem.
• When you compare two items, you must be sure that the two items are indeed comparable.

Inference
Inference questions are usually very basic, about one or more premises. PICK THE OBVIOUS ANSWER (even if it seems too obvious).
• Consider the evidence, draw a conclusion.
• An inference is an extension of an argument, not a necessary part of it.
• A valid inference is a conclusion, but not necessarily the conclusion, of a set of statements.
For inference questions, determine which answer choice must absolutely, positively be true based on what you’ve read.
• Pick the obvious answer choice.
• Avoid extreme answers (too strong or too weak)

Inference vs. Assumption
An inference is a conclusion that can be drawn based on one or more of the statements in the stimulus. An inference must be true based on something that you read.
An assumption is a missing but necessary piece of evidence. An assumption is something that must be true in order for the argument to be complete

Numbers, Percentages
Watch for the distinction between NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES.

• To solve this type of question, look for a logically contradictory discrepancy.
• Often the correct answer will take a similar format (in terms of answer length or argument structure).

Mimic the Reasoning
Eliminate the question stem detail to create a shorthand version of the argument structure.
• Question Stem: If it rains, then I will stay at home today.”
• Shorthand: If A, then B.”
• Answer: “If A, then B.”

Statistical Assumptions
Are the statistics representative?
Is the question stem doing a lure and switch in terms of numbers?
Is the question stem using numbers to assume something is so, when the numbers aren’t actually helping explain the phenomenon given?

7 Principles of CR
1. Understand structure of argument. Identify premise (P), conclusion (C) and any unstated assumptions. Look for structural signpost words which mark P and C.
2. Preview question before reading passage.
3. Paraphrase passage’s point or main idea using one verb “i.e., explain, criticize, compare, contrast”.3
4. Judge argument’s persuasiveness while reading actively.
7. Keep SCOPE in mind. Moderate rather than strong words / qualifiers usually correct.

Paraphrasing and Prephrasing
Paraphrasing
• Actively translate passages into your own words.
• Pretend you are explaining the information in a passage to a 10-year-old kid.
Pre phrasing
• As you do more questions, you will begin to “guess” correctly, as you start to think as the test makers do.

Strategy

4-Step Method
1. Preview question stem.
2. Read stimulus and paraphrase if tricky.

Indicate Flaw
Use the information that is present in the passage to answer “Indicate the Flaw” CR questions.
Not about new information like “Weaken” CR questions.

Irrelevant
Watch for irrelevant or overly strong answer choices in CR.
Stay within SCOPE and TONE of passage

Negate (Counterattack)
For assumption questions, negate CR answer choice to see if the conclusion can survive

Statistics
When an argument is based on statistics, it is usually assumed that the people polled are representative of the whole
Questions Involving Surveys, Consider: Does the survey accurately represent the views of the whole group surveyed? Is there a statistics bait and switch?

Scope Shifts
Be wary of scope shifts. Look for tentmakers’ tricks:
• Sometimes a passage will begin with one group and draw a conclusion about another group. Similarly, a passage might have weak premises and then draw an overbroad conclusion.
• Other times the tone of the passage moves so far that the testtaker is left wondering, “How did that conclusion come about?”

if it helps then give me a kudos..thank u

Great Collection! Thanks
Intern
Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2011, 08:00
Awesome sharing by you dude,
Intern
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2011, 18:57
Thanks, great post.
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2011, 15:48
Thank you...Useful.
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Joined: 21 Aug 2011
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2011, 04:51
Very useful post. Thank you..
Manager
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2012, 01:41
Thanks, much appreciated
Manager
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2012, 20:34
Thanks for sharing....very useful post
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2012, 19:06
very useful, thank you so much.
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Manager
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2012, 09:45
Very useful material. will surely be handy.. thankx
Manager
Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 213
Location: Accra, Ghana
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2012, 10:06
Thanks for the resources. I will use them well.
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Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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23 May 2012, 02:04
Hi,

I was in process in reading Critical reasoning from Powerscore CR book.....but after reading some 4-5 chapters i tend to forget old things...(May be i am less in confidence), So what i thought, if it is possible for some one to provide a OG critical reasoning questions break up by catagories for eg:-
WEAKEN, STRENGTHENING,PARAOX,BOLD FACES......
Like the same done by manhattan for SC questions

IF any one has done so, then please provide the details, else i will start doing so,
Manager
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Joined: 30 Jun 2011
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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23 May 2012, 06:42
1
KUDOS
monirjewel wrote:
Best Critical reasoning shortcuts, tips, and notes

Assumptions -1
• An assumption is merely an unstated (implied) premise.
• In logically correct arguments which contain an assumption, the premise + assumption = conclusion.
• If the question stem asks you “what is assumed…” then you should identify unstated premise of passage. Look for a gap in logic.
Assumptions - 2
• Ask yourself, “What must be true to make the conclusion valid?” (Using the premise + assumption = equation formula).
• Remember, since the assumption is an UNSTATED premise, any answer choice that comes from the passage to support your assumption is necessarily incorrect. The answer will be implied, not explicitly stated.

Assumption -3
• An assumption bridges the gap between argument’s stated premises and conclusion.
• Use denial test.
• Compare premise words against conclusion.
• For assumption questions, find the conclusion and determine which answer choice needs to be true for a conclusion to be valid.

Strengthen the Argument
Find the logical gap and fix it with additional information. This is the ONLY type of GMAT question where additional information (outside of the question) can/should be used.
• Correct answers to this question type will:
• Connect evidence with conclusion better.
• Make conclusion stronger.
• Strengthen the evidence with new information (perhaps an assumption is needed to make the argument work

Strengthen/Weaken
Strengthen/Weaken questions are the most common Critical Reasoning (CR) question type on the GMAT.
• Break down piece of evidence.
• Attack validity of an assumption.
• Don’t try to prove or disprove conclusion.
• Tip the scales.

Strengthen/Weaken
Don’t be careless! Wrong answer choices often have exactly opposite of desired effect.
• Double-check that your answer satisfies the ques¬tion stem, not the opposite of the question stem.
• When you compare two items, you must be sure that the two items are indeed comparable.

Inference
Inference questions are usually very basic, about one or more premises. PICK THE OBVIOUS ANSWER (even if it seems too obvious).
• Consider the evidence, draw a conclusion.
• An inference is an extension of an argument, not a necessary part of it.
• A valid inference is a conclusion, but not necessarily the conclusion, of a set of statements.
For inference questions, determine which answer choice must absolutely, positively be true based on what you’ve read.
• Pick the obvious answer choice.
• Avoid extreme answers (too strong or too weak)

Inference vs. Assumption
An inference is a conclusion that can be drawn based on one or more of the statements in the stimulus. An inference must be true based on something that you read.
An assumption is a missing but necessary piece of evidence. An assumption is something that must be true in order for the argument to be complete

Numbers, Percentages
Watch for the distinction between NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES.

• To solve this type of question, look for a logically contradictory discrepancy.
• Often the correct answer will take a similar format (in terms of answer length or argument structure).

Mimic the Reasoning
Eliminate the question stem detail to create a shorthand version of the argument structure.
• Question Stem: If it rains, then I will stay at home today.”
• Shorthand: If A, then B.”
• Answer: “If A, then B.”

Statistical Assumptions
Are the statistics representative?
Is the question stem doing a lure and switch in terms of numbers?
Is the question stem using numbers to assume something is so, when the numbers aren’t actually helping explain the phenomenon given?

7 Principles of CR
1. Understand structure of argument. Identify premise (P), conclusion (C) and any unstated assumptions. Look for structural signpost words which mark P and C.
2. Preview question before reading passage.
3. Paraphrase passage’s point or main idea using one verb “i.e., explain, criticize, compare, contrast”.3
4. Judge argument’s persuasiveness while reading actively.
7. Keep SCOPE in mind. Moderate rather than strong words / qualifiers usually correct.

Paraphrasing and Prephrasing
Paraphrasing
• Actively translate passages into your own words.
• Pretend you are explaining the information in a passage to a 10-year-old kid.
Pre phrasing
• As you do more questions, you will begin to “guess” correctly, as you start to think as the test makers do.

Strategy

4-Step Method
1. Preview question stem.
2. Read stimulus and paraphrase if tricky.

Indicate Flaw
Use the information that is present in the passage to answer “Indicate the Flaw” CR questions.
Not about new information like “Weaken” CR questions.

Irrelevant
Watch for irrelevant or overly strong answer choices in CR.
Stay within SCOPE and TONE of passage

Negate (Counterattack)
For assumption questions, negate CR answer choice to see if the conclusion can survive

Statistics
When an argument is based on statistics, it is usually assumed that the people polled are representative of the whole
Questions Involving Surveys, Consider: Does the survey accurately represent the views of the whole group surveyed? Is there a statistics bait and switch?

Scope Shifts
Be wary of scope shifts. Look for tentmakers’ tricks:
• Sometimes a passage will begin with one group and draw a conclusion about another group. Similarly, a passage might have weak premises and then draw an overbroad conclusion.
• Other times the tone of the passage moves so far that the testtaker is left wondering, “How did that conclusion come about?”

if it helps then give me a kudos..thank u

Thanks for the amazing tips
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Vaibhav

If you found my contribution helpful, please click the +1 Kudos button on the left, Thanks

Intern
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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24 May 2012, 01:07
Thanx for the above useful post!
i also needed the question break up from official guide, for example:
Weakening questioning----Q3,Q4....Q100 etc
Strengthening:- Q1, Q2...Q50

like the manahattan has done for SC after each chapter they teach!

Regards,
Laksh
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 212
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2012, 22:56
thats great i have been looking this kind of short notes for long
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Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Posts: 145
Concentration: Healthcare, General Management
GMAT Date: 09-14-2012
Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2012, 09:46
I've done a decent amount of CR problems already, and overall I'm doing pretty well, with around an 80% hit rate. The only thing is I dont feel very confident in my answer choices...I'm wondering if others have gone through the same type of feeling. I'd like to become more confident in my answer choices, even though I'm answering the questions correctly on test day. Any tips?
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2012, 07:52
+1 Kudos, this information is very helpfull
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Re: Best Critical Reasoning shortcuts, notes, tips   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2012, 07:52

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