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Help in improving CR

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Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2020, 21:56
Hey guys let me start by giving some information about my prep so far.

I have been preparing for the GMAT for more than 2 years now and started off with a score of 480(Q37 V21).
I have managed to increase my score by 100+ points as per my latest mocks score of 620(Q48 V24).

I had started off with the Manhattan guides, then went to other resources such as TTP, E-gmat and also Powerscore Bible CR.
I have hit a wall when it comes to my progress with CR. I had started off super confident in CR, but off late I am scared of any CR question, mainly the 700+ level question.
I am really good at SC and I have noticed that the best way to improve RC is non stop practice. So I'm good I'm good with these 2 areas.

Can someone guide me. How do I perfect my CR strategy?
How do I proceed from here?
Is there any book that can still help me considering I have already gone through Manhattan and Powerscore?
Should I go for another online course or stick to practicing as many CR questions as possible?
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Re: Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2020, 10:50
Hi savwildeye,

To start, improving a 140 points is a significant achievement - and it shows that you have the capacity to learn and improve! From what you describe, you're most interested in high-difficulty-level CRs, but with Verbal Scaled Scores in the low-V20s, you're missing significant points in ALL 3 major Verbal categories (RC, SC and CR). As such, you shouldn't be focused on rare CR issues at this point; there are too many other big-point areas that you need to work on.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) Have you taken the Official GMAT? If you have, then how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each attempt)?
2) Over the last 3 months, how many hours did you typically study each week?
3) Have you used any other study materials besides the ones you listed? What "brands" of CATs have you used over ALL of your studies?
4) Over the last 3 months, on what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2020, 19:17
Hi Rich,
I understand my verbal score reflects that my I have not mastered the basics, but I can confidently say I have a good grasp on concepts. This is reflected in the 80% accuracy in my OG Verbal questions. And the thing is I know how to go ahead with RC and SC. I have seen tremendous progress by practicing a lot.
The problem is I don't see the same results in CR. And every time I see a Cr question on the mock it throws me off guard and ruins my momentum.
So SC and RC I know i can improve.

Also your course is one of the courses I am considering to opt for, depending on the conclusion I make based on what's the best way to improve and the fastest.
I wanted to know if your course will complement the other materials I have used or whether I will have start practicing a new method altogether. And also whether I will have to spend time covering basic all over again in the course.

Studies:
1) Have you taken the Official GMAT? If you have, then how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each attempt)?
Yes. the 620 score I mentioned above is from the official mock test.
2) Over the last 3 months, how many hours did you typically study each week?
All of my free time. Haven't been tracking the number of hours. But haven't stopped practicing Gmat for the last 2 years.
3) Have you used any other study materials besides the ones you listed? What "brands" of CATs have you used over ALL of your studies?
I recently gave Veritas prep mock in which I scored a 620(Q44, V32).
4) Over the last 3 months, on what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
I haven't given many mocks. The 2 mentioned above are all.

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score? Score of 740.
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?
I really want to try Round 3 if possible. Or else I'm open to next year Spring or Fall intakes.
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Re: Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2020, 19:34
Consider checking out Thursdays with Ron. His videos regarding CR may help you out.
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New post 31 Mar 2020, 19:41
Gmat700Knight wrote:
Consider checking out Thursdays with Ron. His videos regarding CR may help you out.

Gmat700Knight have you gone through his videos. I've heard he is good.
But apparently he covers questions from the free GMAT prep mocks. Is this true?
Cause I have used only 1 Gmatprep mock twice.
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Re: Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2020, 10:33
Hi savwildeye,

You bring up a number of important issues - and properly addressing them all will be necessary before you can hit your Score Goal.

In your original post, you noted that your recent practice CAT Score was a 620/Q48/V24, but in your last post you wrote that your recent Score was 620/Q44/V32. Are those 2 separate practice CATs or is it just 1 (and is one of them mis-numbered)?

There's a big difference between doing well on a 'block' of Verbal practice questions from a book and performing at that same level during the Verbal section of an adaptive CAT (in which you have to jump among RC, SC and CR and quickly change what you're doing to fit whatever prompt that's in front of you). In addition, while the OG books are great sources for practice questions, but they're not designed to teach you Tactics, patterns or the little 'secrets' behind the GMAT - for those, you'll need Course-oriented materials.

Raising a 620 to the point that you can consistently score 740+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. If you think that you ultimately "need" that type of Score to get into your first-choice School, then you might need to consider pushing back your Test Date.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2020, 10:41
Hi savwildeye,

First off, great work with your latest score improvement. Also, Q48 is a very very solid quant score, so nice job all around, my friend. Regarding CR, here is some general advice you can follow to improve your CR skills.

To improve in Critical Reasoning, you first need to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

A major mistake that people make when training for CR, and for GMAT verbal in general, is that they do practice questions too fast. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what's going on in the passages and answer choices, and it's likely that you won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes on each question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend as many as 15 minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process: If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do and you make sure you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well, if not as quickly as those around you. Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. Then, as you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly. Think of Critical Reasoning questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers.

So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. Doing so is your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently can you work on speeding up. Working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you will still be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a key aspect of getting correct answers to Critical Reasoning questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct but don't get the job done. The logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. So, to get better at your job, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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New post 01 Apr 2020, 19:52
EMPOWERgmatRichC

You bring up a number of important issues - and properly addressing them all will be necessary before you can hit your Score Goal.

Oh sorry for the confusion, I made some mistakes.
Free Gmatprep Mock 1 taken in 2018 - 480 (Q37 V21)
Free Gmarprep Mock 2 taken on 1/03/2020 - 610 (Q48 V25)
Veritas mock 1 taken on 20/03/2020 - 620 (Q44 V32).

I will be studying the entire day for GMAT for the next 1 month, given the lockdown in our country .
Is it possible to complete the entire Empower course in 1 month, if I put in 8 hours a day?
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Re: Help in improving CR  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2020, 15:30
Hi savwildeye,

To start, you have to be careful about confusing "quantity" of study with "quality" of study. I've never asked anyone to study 40+ hours a week - and while it's great that you might have the available time to study that much, with that number of study hours, you would run the risk of 'burning out' before Test Day (and that is something that we want to avoid). If you are going to try to study that much, then I suggest that you take one hour "off" for every two hours of study. For example, you could study for 2 hours, then stop for an hour, then study for another 2 hours, then take an hour off, etc.

While I suspect that you could work through lots of practice materials in a month if you were studying that many hours, all of that activity in a relatively short amount of time won't necessarily translate into the type of Score that you're looking for. "Cramming" rarely leads to great results with Exams such as the GMAT - and a 740+ is approximately the 97th percentile (meaning that most Test Takers will clearly never score that high). To properly develop all of the skills needed to consistently earn that type of result, you're almost certainly going to need more than 1 month of additional study time (regardless of the number of study hours that you can squeeze into that month). That's not just about working through a certain number of practice questions - it's about making fundamental changes to how you "see" (and respond to) the overall Exam.

We can put together a proper Study Plan with a 740 Score Goal in mind, but it's not something that you should try to 'force' into a 1-month timeframe.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Help in improving CR   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2020, 15:30

Help in improving CR

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