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# I m terrible at CR

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 29
Location: Hong Kong
GPA: 3.85
WE: Corporate Finance (Investment Banking)
I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2018, 05:10
having understood the importance of verbal on overall GMAT score over relative to quant, i have switched my main focus from quant and worked more on verbal questions.

Although my SC has improved alot after some time of focused study, my CR has not improved no matter how many practices i have done or explanation videos i have watched.

Of the 5 answer choices, i would have eliminated the other 3 wrong ones, leavig the 2 most probable answer choices, one of them would be the correct one- but at the end, i would have picked the wrong one out of the 2. and even after reading the explanatation, i could ony be half convinced that the one i had chosen was wrong....

i m feeling incredibly hopeless...
_________________

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."

Intern
Joined: 12 Oct 2018
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V39
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

01 Dec 2018, 05:34
1
gempony
Hey!!! I am not any verbal expert. But I can tell my approach on CR, which enabled me to get 97 percentile in CR in first attempt.
The problem you are facing has to do with the conceptual clarity. My approach is that after reading the argument u get the feel of the argument and do some prethinking. U get 2-3 thoughts into mind. Go through options, and find the right option instead of elimination.
Elimination works when all the prethinking thoughts don't work in coherence with the options. Then you use the elimination approach.
My point is that elimination strategy is very unreliable and consumes a lot of time. Believe me, once you start elimination in CR options, u dwelve into an unknown territory of assumptions, which makes you confuse between two options at the end.
And regarding prethinking, the point is that initially u might face problem and will take a lot of time in developing it. But once it starts subconscious ly, you need not to practice any CR questions further and that skill will always be in your thought process but just some regular touch is preferable.
gempony wrote:
having understood the importance of verbal on overall GMAT score over relative to quant, i have switched my main focus from quant and worked more on verbal questions.

Although my SC has improved alot after some time of focused study, my CR has not improved no matter how many practices i have done or explanation videos i have watched.

Of the 5 answer choices, i would have eliminated the other 3 wrong ones, leavig the 2 most probable answer choices, one of them would be the correct one- but at the end, i would have picked the wrong one out of the 2. and even after reading the explanatation, i could ony be half convinced that the one i had chosen was wrong....

i m feeling incredibly hopeless...

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 8
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

01 Dec 2018, 05:46
1
Hey.. I am not expert in CR but yeah from experiences I can say that everyone goes through this cycle.

As you said you get puzzled between two answer choices, to be very honest this happens with everyone and everyone feels the same. Suppose the OA is C you might get confused between A and C but I may get confused between E and C..what I want to convey is everyone gets stumbled on such two tempting options... How to deal with this is by POE think on two options carefully and re read it and eliminate other one.

From my perspective this generally happens cause of two reasons 1) lack of concepts 2)reading without paying attention to details. Try to work on this and let us know how it goes.

All the best

Everyday is not good but there is something good in everyday.

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 29
Location: Hong Kong
GPA: 3.85
WE: Corporate Finance (Investment Banking)
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

01 Dec 2018, 07:41
Swat40 wrote:
gempony
Hey!!! I am not any verbal expert. But I can tell my approach on CR, which enabled me to get 97 percentile in CR in first attempt.
The problem you are facing has to do with the conceptual clarity. My approach is that after reading the argument u get the feel of the argument and do some prethinking. U get 2-3 thoughts into mind. Go through options, and find the right option instead of elimination.
Elimination works when all the prethinking thoughts don't work in coherence with the options. Then you use the elimination approach.
My point is that elimination strategy is very unreliable and consumes a lot of time. Believe me, once you start elimination in CR options, u dwelve into an unknown territory of assumptions, which makes you confuse between two options at the end.
And regarding prethinking, the point is that initially u might face problem and will take a lot of time in developing it. But once it starts subconscious ly, you need not to practice any CR questions further and that skill will always be in your thought process but just some regular touch is preferable.
gempony wrote:
having understood the importance of verbal on overall GMAT score over relative to quant, i have switched my main focus from quant and worked more on verbal questions.

Although my SC has improved alot after some time of focused study, my CR has not improved no matter how many practices i have done or explanation videos i have watched.

Of the 5 answer choices, i would have eliminated the other 3 wrong ones, leavig the 2 most probable answer choices, one of them would be the correct one- but at the end, i would have picked the wrong one out of the 2. and even after reading the explanatation, i could ony be half convinced that the one i had chosen was wrong....

i m feeling incredibly hopeless...

Posted from my mobile device

Thanks for sharing ~

I usually have done pre-thinking before searching for the right option...but after reading all the options, i would realise there could be other possible options other than the one/ two i had thought of ...and sometimes my pre-thinking option would be incorrect.

overall i just find CR ultra difficult and time-consuming , i wish i could find some systematic approach that works for all questions and minimizes all ambiguty
_________________

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13074
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

01 Dec 2018, 12:42
Hi Gem,

In another thread, we discussed the importance of defining all of your current skills, strengths and weaknesses - including CR. Have you had a chance to take another practice CAT? Considering that your Official GMAT is a little over 3 weeks away, you should plan to take one FULL-LENGTH CAT per week leading up to Test Day (with your last CAT about 1 week before your exam). Seeing how you perform in CR - in the context of how you perform over the course of the entire Exam - could help to define additional areas that you might need to work on. Once you have that next CAT Score, you should post back here and we can discuss the results.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 12 Oct 2018
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V39
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

02 Dec 2018, 05:57
gempony wrote:
Swat40 wrote:
gempony
Hey!!! I am not any verbal expert. But I can tell my approach on CR, which enabled me to get 97 percentile in CR in first attempt.
The problem you are facing has to do with the conceptual clarity. My approach is that after reading the argument u get the feel of the argument and do some prethinking. U get 2-3 thoughts into mind. Go through options, and find the right option instead of elimination.
Elimination works when all the prethinking thoughts don't work in coherence with the options. Then you use the elimination approach.
My point is that elimination strategy is very unreliable and consumes a lot of time. Believe me, once you start elimination in CR options, u dwelve into an unknown territory of assumptions, which makes you confuse between two options at the end.
And regarding prethinking, the point is that initially u might face problem and will take a lot of time in developing it. But once it starts subconscious ly, you need not to practice any CR questions further and that skill will always be in your thought process but just some regular touch is preferable.
gempony wrote:
having understood the importance of verbal on overall GMAT score over relative to quant, i have switched my main focus from quant and worked more on verbal questions.

Although my SC has improved alot after some time of focused study, my CR has not improved no matter how many practices i have done or explanation videos i have watched.

Of the 5 answer choices, i would have eliminated the other 3 wrong ones, leavig the 2 most probable answer choices, one of them would be the correct one- but at the end, i would have picked the wrong one out of the 2. and even after reading the explanatation, i could ony be half convinced that the one i had chosen was wrong....

i m feeling incredibly hopeless...

Posted from my mobile device

Thanks for sharing ~

I usually have done pre-thinking before searching for the right option...but after reading all the options, i would realise there could be other possible options other than the one/ two i had thought of ...and sometimes my pre-thinking option would be incorrect.

overall i just find CR ultra difficult and time-consuming , i wish i could find some systematic approach that works for all questions and minimizes all ambiguty
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2769
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

03 Dec 2018, 21:53
Hi gempony,

I understand that you are facing problems in CR questions. We are conducting a free CR webinar this weekend which focuses on application of pre-thinking approach with ease. I invite you to attend it. Register here to reserve your spot. After registration you will get access to some amazing free resources to further develop your CR skills.

Hope this helps! In case you have any more queries, you can write to us at support@e-gmat.com. We will be happy to help.

Regards,
_________________

| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Intern
Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 29
Location: Hong Kong
GPA: 3.85
WE: Corporate Finance (Investment Banking)
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

03 Dec 2018, 22:20
egmat wrote:
Hi gempony,

I understand that you are facing problems in CR questions. We are conducting a free CR webinar this weekend which focuses on application of pre-thinking approach with ease. I invite you to attend it. Register here to reserve your spot. After registration you will get access to some amazing free resources to further develop your CR skills.

Hope this helps! In case you have any more queries, you can write to us at support@e-gmat.com. We will be happy to help.

Regards,

Thank you! I have signed up for the webinar. Looking forward to getting some extra tips and tricks!
_________________

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."

Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4294
Location: United States (CA)
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

04 Dec 2018, 19:08
1
Hi gempony,

First off, DON’T FEEL HOPELESS!! I’m happy to provide some advice on how to improve your Critical Reasoning skills.

Now, one of the major mistakes folks make when studying for the GMAT is that they try to learn by taking the approach of “practice first and figure the rest out later.” In other words, they do practice problems before understanding the concepts on which those problems are based, and thus try to learn solely from reading solutions to problems. If, in any way, you have been following this method, you really need to go back and start with the foundations of Critical Reasoning. After you have mastered those foundations, begin doing focused practice.

When studying Critical Reasoning, your first goal is to fully 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.

Another major mistake that people make when training for CR is that they do practice questions too quickly. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what's going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely 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 even fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Look at the process this way:

If you get a new job in a field in which you’re not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do. So, what do you do? You do the job correctly, if not as quickly as those around you, and you make sure that you learn all the angles so that you do the job well. 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 doing your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. That's what it takes for you to do your job. Then, only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently, you can 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 vital 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 learn to get correct answers, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Keep working hard, my friend. You can do this!!

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Intern
Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 29
Location: Hong Kong
GPA: 3.85
WE: Corporate Finance (Investment Banking)
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

04 Dec 2018, 20:16
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi gempony,

First off, DON’T FEEL HOPELESS!! I’m happy to provide some advice on how to improve your Critical Reasoning skills.

Now, one of the major mistakes folks make when studying for the GMAT is that they try to learn by taking the approach of “practice first and figure the rest out later.” In other words, they do practice problems before understanding the concepts on which those problems are based, and thus try to learn solely from reading solutions to problems. If, in any way, you have been following this method, you really need to go back and start with the foundations of Critical Reasoning. After you have mastered those foundations, begin doing focused practice.

When studying Critical Reasoning, your first goal is to fully 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.

Another major mistake that people make when training for CR is that they do practice questions too quickly. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what's going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely 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 even fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Look at the process this way:

If you get a new job in a field in which you’re not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do. So, what do you do? You do the job correctly, if not as quickly as those around you, and you make sure that you learn all the angles so that you do the job well. 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 doing your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. That's what it takes for you to do your job. Then, only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently, you can 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 vital 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 learn to get correct answers, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Keep working hard, my friend. You can do this!!

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Great Advice ! I have indeed made the big mistake of doing step two before mastering step one! Now I m focusing more on the method instead of doing a lot of question drills. It indeed has helped me to increase my hit rate and I have been getting more correct answers in a row ... still a long way to go though but I will do my best. I can’t give up like I did last year.

Thanks again!!!

Posted from GMAT ToolKit
_________________

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."

Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4294
Location: United States (CA)
Re: I m terrible at CR  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 15:52
My pleasure!
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Re: I m terrible at CR &nbs [#permalink] 06 Dec 2018, 15:52
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# I m terrible at CR

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