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# Question stem: First or later?

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Retired Moderator
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Question stem: First or later? [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2010, 20:12
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Hi!
According to MGMAT CR, you should read first the question stem. However, the CR Bible suggests that you should read first the stimulus and then the question stem.

What do you think? Which approach is better?

Thanks!
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Re: Question stem: First or later? [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2010, 20:25
Hi,

Initally i used to read Question stem first and read the argument. knowing question stem first always influenced my thoughts while reading the premise and argument and often i used to skip some points which are critical to get the correct answers.

So, in my case, now i read argument first with empty mind, after reading argument, take a pause and analyze and paraphrase it in my mind, and then read the Question stem.

It helped me a lot !!!!
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Kudos [?]: 48 [0], given: 25

Retired Moderator
Status: 2000 posts! I don't know whether I should feel great or sad about it! LOL
Joined: 04 Oct 2009
Posts: 1637

Kudos [?]: 1103 [0], given: 109

Location: Peru
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT & HKS (Government)
WE 1: Economic research
WE 2: Banking
WE 3: Government: Foreign Trade and SMEs
Re: Question stem: First or later? [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2010, 20:39
I think like you. (Notice I don't say "I think like you DO" LOL!).

I think that even it is more confusing when the question stem gives you additional information about the argument. In that sense, reading the argument first is better.
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"Life’s battle doesn’t always go to stronger or faster men; but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

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Re: Question stem: First or later? [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 12:49
Hey metallicafan:

It may very well be most important for you to have a system you're confident in...I've heard great things about the Powerscore book, but I've always taught (and practiced) question stem first and for me I wouldn't do it any other way.

One advantage I see to question-stem-first is that then you know what you're looking for in the argument. If it's a Strengthen or Weaken question (or a derivative like "which data would be most useful to evaluate the argument", the singlemost important part of the stimulus is the conclusion, so you can look out specifically for that and then build your argument around it. To me, that makes things pretty efficient and gives me a reading "anchor" so that I'm invested in the question before reading about botany, zoology, poetry, etc. I like turning on that critical part of my mind "I'm looking for the conclusion and the flaw in the reasoning" first and feel that it's most efficient and productive, but ultimately the key is to do what makes you confident and efficient.
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Last bumped by metallicafan on 15 Dec 2010, 12:49.

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Re: Question stem: First or later?   [#permalink] 15 Dec 2010, 12:49
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