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Need to Improve CR to break 700

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Joined: 09 Aug 2016
Posts: 26
Location: United States (NY)
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
GPA: 2.46
Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2018, 21:44
Hi

I took the GMAT three times and can't break 700 because of CR. CR seems to be the one thing holding me back.
I worked with tutors and I know the process for answering CR questions. I work on CR questions by reading the question, finding the conclusion and premise, stating my goal, then using process of elimination. I narrow it down to two possible answer choices, but cannot choose the correct answer for some reason. It might be because of my logical reasoning of why I chose the incorrect answer. On my last test, I bombed CR by getting a 6. Is there a way I can improve this in CR?

I think if I can just improve my CR and bring my SC back up to mid/high 30s, I can break 700. Below are my overall scores and verbal scores from the past three GMAT tests.

Thanks

Overall Scores
7/12:660 Q:49 V:31 IR:6
9/7:650 Q:48 V:33 IR:8
10/13:650 Q:50 V:27 IR:8

Verbal Scores
7/12: Verbal:31 CR:23 RC:31 SC:38
9/7: Verbal:33 CR:25 RC:35 SC:32
10/13: Verbal:27 CR:6 RC:35 SC:32
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Re: Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 05:38
cb02 wrote:
Hi

I took the GMAT three times and can't break 700 because of CR. CR seems to be the one thing holding me back.
I worked with tutors and I know the process for answering CR questions. I work on CR questions by reading the question, finding the conclusion and premise, stating my goal, then using process of elimination. I narrow it down to two possible answer choices, but cannot choose the correct answer for some reason. It might be because of my logical reasoning of why I chose the incorrect answer. On my last test, I bombed CR by getting a 6. Is there a way I can improve this in CR?

I think if I can just improve my CR and bring my SC back up to mid/high 30s, I can break 700. Below are my overall scores and verbal scores from the past three GMAT tests.

Thanks

Overall Scores
7/12:660 Q:49 V:31 IR:6
9/7:650 Q:48 V:33 IR:8
10/13:650 Q:50 V:27 IR:8

Verbal Scores
7/12: Verbal:31 CR:23 RC:31 SC:38
9/7: Verbal:33 CR:25 RC:35 SC:32
10/13: Verbal:27 CR:6 RC:35 SC:32



Hi cb02,

To improve your CR and RC, I think you would benefit from subscribing for a GMATPREP course. In my opinion EmpowerGMAT and e-gmat are both fantastic courses for CR. They both offer free trial so you can try out their free trials to decide which one you want to go for. Plus I believe the e-gmat Scholaranium is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 08:43
Top Contributor
How you think through a question dictates how much time you will spend on different parts of a question stem and corresponding answer choices. This is the key for time management -- minimize the time you spend on parts of the question that don't matter!

http://www.gmatpill.com/criticalreasoni ... Estate.mp4

With CR, there's a lot of text to read. The key is to make sense of what's important and to ignore the stuff that is less important. Also - making mental diagrams in your head of how things can relate to each other can help make sense of that logic.

That way you can go into the answer choices already with something in mind of what to expect.
Image

Sometimes improving your SC can then improve your ability to comprehend CR questions -- if you can read them with the right approach.

Here's a Google sheet with links to OG SC video explanations that can help walk you through the thinking process:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Learn more about GMAT Pill @ http://www.gmatpill.com/testimonials
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 14:44
Hi cb02,

How many times have you taken the Official GMAT in total? I ask because in August, 2017 you noted that you had taken the GMAT twice (scoring 570 on both attempts). There is a lifetime limit of 8 attempts in total - so if you've taken the GMAT more than the 5 attempts that you've listed, then you might have just 1 or 2 more tries remaining.

In addition, since you appear to have the ESRs for your 3 most recent attempts, I would like to see the ESR for this recent 650. While you have self-identified CR as an area that you need to work on, there are clearly other areas that need some improvement too - and I'd like to see all of the relevant information before I offer any advice. If you would rather not post your ESR publicly, then you can feel free to PM or email it to me.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Joined: 09 Aug 2016
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Re: Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 15:49
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi cb02,

How many times have you taken the Official GMAT in total? I ask because in August, 2017 you noted that you had taken the GMAT twice (scoring 570 on both attempts). There is a lifetime limit of 8 attempts in total - so if you've taken the GMAT more than the 5 attempts that you've listed, then you might have just 1 or 2 more tries remaining.

In addition, since you appear to have the ESRs for your 3 most recent attempts, I would like to see the ESR for this recent 650. While you have self-identified CR as an area that you need to work on, there are clearly other areas that need some improvement too - and I'd like to see all of the relevant information before I offer any advice. If you would rather not post your ESR publicly, then you can feel free to PM or email it to me.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

I have taken it 5 times, but took time off after the first two. I can take it three more times (total of 8) in lifetime).
I will PM/email you ESR and other details tonight.

Thanks

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Re: Need to Improve CR to break 700  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 18:09
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Hi cb02,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that you have a really awesome quant score, so good job! That being said, I agree that you need to improve your Critical Reasoning skills in order to improve your overall score.

Now, one of the major mistakes folks make when studying for the GMAT is that they try to learn by taking the approach of what I like to call “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 fast. 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 per question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend even fifteen minutes per question, learning to see what there is to see. Here's 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. 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.

OK, so, 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. Get it? 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 learn to do your job, getting correct answers, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

So keep working hard my friend, you can do this!!

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Need to Improve CR to break 700   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2018, 18:09
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