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My Notes - Critical Reasoning

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My Notes - Critical Reasoning  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2018, 06:32


- Notes are inspired from e-gmat CR course, powerscore book, magoosh online course.


Premise Indicators

because; since; for; for example;for the reason that;in that;given that;as indicated by;due to;owing to;this can be seen from;we know this by

Conclusion Indicators

thus; therefore; hence; consequently; as a result; so; accordingly; clearly; must be that; shows that; conclude that; follows that; for this reason

Counter-premise Indicators

But;Yet;However;On the other hand;Admittedly;In contrast;Although;Even though;Still;Whereas;In spite of;Despite;After all

General steps to solve a CR question:


1. Read a question correctly:

So this one is the first and the biggest step, while solving a CR question. If started on wrong foot, you will definitely loose this battle. Most people try to find words such as strengthen, weaken, evaluate etc. and jump on the next step. many people do not look at the part that need to strengthen or weaken. Always read the question correctly and understand it properly. Usually question format is this way.

weaken/strengthen/evaluate what --->>> argument/conclusion/premise

2. Identify all parts correctly:

Usually question has premise which contains an argument(reasoning) and argument's part will be a conclusion. identify all these parts correctly and correlate all of these parts with given question.

3. Time to pre-think:

This part is influenced by e-gmat pre-think portion, But here I am trying to convey it in my terms. You to think as author of the passage. why that question is given and why situation is created. Suppose first two steps are correctly identified. in that case you have to find gaps in the reasoning. if you do, you can say that answer should be something that can fit with this gap. In general life, we face many situations in which we can identify gaps of people. while reading news, we find many such situations/arguments. Think of those times and remember how you argue in favor or against it. that all is termed as pre-thinking. Most importance of it is that you can solve question quiet fast.

4. Art of POE:

This is the final step. Suppose all above things are clarified, then find out choices that can not be the option. Suppose you are left with 2 choices then look back at content and find what have you missed. which one is not letting you achieve your objective. remaining one will be the answer.

1. Evaluate type questions:

a. Usually a situation given in which implementation of a plan is discussed.
b. Focus on what to achieve.
c. Think every answer choice is possible, now how we can achieve our goal.
d. Consider two polar opposite response of the choice.

2. paradox/flaw arguments:

A. Understand situation completely. Why there is a paradox/flaw?
B. Pre-think why such situation can exists. Why there is a flaw/paradox ?
C. Identify 4 wrong answer. If can not eliminate an answer then keep it for the last.

3. Bold face questions

A. First identify individual BF out of following list.
B. Find the conclusion.
C. Connect both BFs with conclusion.

Vocab of bold face questions :

1. Conclusion - what reasoning seeks to establish. intermediate conclusion.
2. judgment - opinion of someone about something.
3. Prediction - forecast about something.
4. Evidence/ fact - Factual data that can be used.
5. Opinion - Someone's point of view, may or may not be correct.
6. Main conclusion - What whole argument seeks to establish.
7. circumstance - condition related to an evant.
8. Consideration - careful thought.
9. findings - factual data
10. claim - someones opinion, generally not backed by any evidence.

4. Trap answers:

A. Look for weak connections: Words to look out for is some, sometimes. In some cases an answer is obvious but put some or sometimes infront of it and it become a bad choice. if you end up having such two choices then look for these words.
Ex - he cooks good food vs sometimes, he cooks good food.
B. It could be an answer if we assume something. Do not assume something. Stick with the given paragraph/abstract.
C. Do not choose restated assumption. or an opposite case such as weakner for strengthner.
D. Do not eliminate an answer choice cause, you are not sure. if not keep it till last. if you are confident of other 4 incorrect. this can be ur choice.
E. Do not ignore the Conclusion. Usually the answer is somewhere around the conclusion.
F. Be logical, No matter what, you will get there eventually.

5. Assumption question:

A. Choice must not weaken/irrelevant the conclusion.
B. seems to do something with conclusion.
C. Now only use negation . remember use it when needed.
D. Assumption question will normally fit one of the following categories:
- 1. Eliminates an alternate cause for the stated effect
- 2. Shows that when the cause occurs, the effect occurs
- 3. Shows that when the cause does not occur, the effect does not occur
- 4. Eliminates the possibility that the stated relationship is reversed
- 5. Shows that the data used to make the causal statement are accurate, or eliminates possible problems with the data

6. Strengthening question:

A. Look for unstated assumption.
B. strengthening does not mean that its 100% true. As far as its pushing in positive direction its good for us.
C. Work on the conclusion

7. Weaken question:

A. work on the reasoning - 99% of the time this is the way. there are gaps in reasoning. Look into them. there is your answer.

8. Summery Notes:

1. Read closely and know precisely what the author said. Do not generalize!
2. Always identify conclusion and premise. and try to identify if argument is strong or weak.
3. Carefully read and identify the question stem. Do not assume that certain words are automatically associated with certain question types.
4. The word “least” has a similar effect to “except” when it appears in a question.
5. Pre-phrase/pre-think: after reading the question stem, take a moment to mentally formulate your answer to the question stem.
6. Always read each of the five answer choices. Remember you need to find 4 wrong choices. How to do that ? Separate the answer choices into Contenders and Losers. After completing this process, review the contenders and decide which answer is the correct one.
7. little things make a big difference, and every single second counts. If you can save even five seconds by employing a certain method, then do so!
8. Occasionally, students will read and eliminate all five of the answer choices. If this occurs, return to the stimulus and re-evaluate the argument. Remember — the information needed to answer the question always resides in the stimulus, either implicitly or explicitly. If none of the answers are attractive, then you must have missed something key in the stimulus.
9. Do not generalize anything. generalization make scope too broad and usually end up 'out of scope'.

Gmat Club Important resources:

Gmat Club Critical Reasoning Guide
GMAT Prep Critical Reasoning Collection
Critical Reasoning_Oldy but goldy question banks
Collection of Articles on Critical Reasoning
100 Amazing CR Questions + Explanations cr 700 to 800 level

Youtube - Kevin Rocci

Critical Reasoning - Parts of an Argument
Critical Reasoning Strategies - Efficiency
Critical Reasoning - Draw a Conclusion
Critical Reasoning - Strengthen the Argument
Critical Reasoning - Weakening an Argument
Critical Reasoning - Evaluate the Argument
Critical Reasoning - Complete the Argument

Youtube - Critical Reasoning

How to Go from Hating to LOVING Critical Reasoning
5 Common Mistakes in GMAT Critical Reasoning
Veritas Blueprint for Critical Reasoning
GMAT Critical Reasoning Tip: Identifying Subtle Gaps In Logic
e-gmat CR Prethinking
GMAT Tip: Techniques to Get Through Dense Critical Reasoning Qestions
GMAT Critical Reasoning Flashcard

So what if still you are not able to improve your CR:

Well, first of all do not loose hopes. Give a new angle to your thinking. Also follow below given steps when you are at such stage.

1. Powerscore bible - if LSAT one then far better, if not then Gmat one. I have met people who say that this book do not have many questions. well guys, let me break it to you. This one is pure gem, the best you can get out there. Concepts are really dense. If you could really connect things, you will feel significant improvement.

2. e-gmat CR course: I like this course for the pre-thinking approach, which impact your timings and accuracy. For learning, I have left some youtube links in above section.

3. Practice as much as you can - Well, practice is key for any thing and practice at right question/source is very important. But remember whatever source you choose, practice your plan. whatever your notes are, follow them, No matter how easy question is. When question will be very tough, your plan will help you.

4. Make your own notes - very important, make your own notes, rectify them if you make a mistake. after sometime you find them matured and at the same time, improvement in your accuracy.

5. Rectify your mistakes - In case you make a mistake, review your plan first. what was wrong. when you find that out write that down at some place. modify your notes with that point. Take that mistake at your chin, like boxer. make a new mistake but never repeat the previous one.

6. Solve Official Question and read Official Explanations. Weather you solve it correctly or not, read the explanation and compare your thinking with their's.

7. Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” - sherlock holmes - BE one if you have too.

What to do to increase your CR/RC speed?

I recently asked this question to my magoosh instructor. And he answered it beautifully. Hope this will be helpful for others too.

As far as speed goes, this will increase with general proficiency. I'd also suggest that you read high-level material every day. The faster you can read, the faster you can solve these problems, as there's a lot to read and consider!

Further, your eyes and your brain can sometimes work at different speeds. For instance, when reading really tough material, I can "read" the words very quickly, but I have to slow way down in order to understand them. Conversely, with easier material, my brain processes the sentence before I'm even done reading it, and I'm already thinking of connections and counter-arguments before I've even finished the reading.

So not only do you have to work on reading words quicker, but you also have to work on your brain's ability to make sense of them. Just like any other muscle, your brain needs to be worked out. Of course, GMAT prep itself it a very good workout, but so can more interesting reading material, a stimulating conversation about some abstract topic, or even a difficult puzzle or board game.

The trick is to push yourself. Focus as hard as you can, and when you get tired and want to stop, focus even harder! You want to pay attention to whatever you are doing for longer than you want to. That's how your brain will get stronger and quicker.

P.S. - TAG me in any CR question if you have any trouble. Do give your side of understanding. As far as source is authentic I will try to help you.
Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Want to improve your Score:
GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51 | Time management

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood
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Re: My Notes - Critical Reasoning  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2019, 09:21
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: My Notes - Critical Reasoning   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2019, 09:21

My Notes - Critical Reasoning

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