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Need help for CR Getting most 700 Level Questions Incorrect

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Need help for CR Getting most 700 Level Questions Incorrect  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2019, 07:32
Hi,

I am getting most of the 700 Level questions incorrect. I have gone through many CR Questions on the GMAT Club Forum but I have a lot of difficulty getting the 700 level questions correct.

I have read the power score bible and I have also gone through the e-gmat Cirtical reasoning course but I am not able to improve my CR accuracy for the 700 level questions. I am doing fine with the 500 and 600 level questions.

I need suggestions for improvement.

Thank You
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Need help for CR Getting most 700 Level Questions Incorrect  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2019, 12:57
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Hi givinggmat,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help.

A key aspect of GMAT verbal that you could consider is that much of what GMAT verbal tests is the level of sophistication of the thinking that a test-taker brings to bear when answering the questions. You can correctly answer 500 level questions by using basic approaches and simple strategies that are not very sophisticated. To get 600 level questions correct, you have to use more sophisticated approaches and think more deeply in order to determine whether choices are incorrect or correct, and to answer 700 level questions, you have to employ thinking that is still more sophisticated.

Accordingly, if you are hitting a ceiling in terms of the level of difficulty of the questions that you are answering correctly, it's likely that the reason is that the approaches that you are using are sophisticated enough to get you to the correct answers to less difficult questions, but are not sufficiently sophisticated to get you to the answers to 700 level questions.

Consider the following.

In a 500 level CR question, an incorrect choice could be clearly off topic, while the correct choice could be clearly relevant to the argument presented in the passage.

In a 600 level CR question, an incorrect choice could be related to the topic discussed in the passage but focused on the wrong aspect of that topic, and the correct answer could also be related to the topic discussed in the passage and say something that somewhat obviously affects the argument presented.

OK, so by just sticking to the topic, you could get the 500 level question correct, and by noticing what aspect of the passage's topic the incorrect answer choice in the 600 level question is about, you could eliminate that choice and choose the correct answer.

However, in a 700 level question, an incorrect answer can be a cleverly constructed trap that presents something that is relevant to the argument but doesn't quite have the effect needed for answering the question, AND the correct answer can be written to SEEM COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC.

So, an approach that would work for correctly answering the 500 level and 600 level questions would not work for answering the 700 level question.

So, the question becomes, what you you have to do in order to get 700 level questions correct? The answer is that you have to make the way you approach answering questions more sophisticated, and you won't achieve this end by merely applying some basic strategies that you learned about somewhere. Rather you have to slow way down in your practice and analyze questions and answer choices to develop skill in clearly defining what makes incorrect choices incorrect and correct answers correct.

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 700 level 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 fifteen 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 or even one hour 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.

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, and get 700 level questions correct consistently, you have to learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

So, in summary, to get 700 level questions correct consistently, you have to make the approach that you are using more sophisticated, and the way to do so is to slow down in your practice and train yourself to more clearly see the logical reasons why incorrect choices are incorrect and correct choices are correct.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Need help for CR Getting most 700 Level Questions Incorrect   [#permalink] 24 Feb 2019, 12:57
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