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Weaken and strenghten questions

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New post 08 Sep 2019, 00:40
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Do you have some tricks to answer correctly those kind of questions? I really have problems with them. Thanks a lot.
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New post 08 Sep 2019, 04:45
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giubranca wrote:
Do you have some tricks to answer correctly those kind of questions? I really have problems with them. Thanks a lot.


giubranca - Good morning (where I happen to live). It is funny, I was just covering these sorts of CR questions yesterday with a client. By the end of our lesson, he was knocking these questions out left and right. I will give you a recap here, gratis.

1) Practice reading CR passages. I know this sounds silly, but most of them follow the same construct:

- background information (first line or two)
- premise(s)
- argument/conclusion (last line or two)

2) Identify the premise(s) on which the argument is based. For example, my client and I were examining a weaken question from the OG about a burger joint that was apparently losing money from a new product, a low-fat (or low-calorie, I cannot really remember) vegetarian burger. The argument was that the restaurant should stop offering the burger, since it was not selling well and was hurting the profitability of the business. As you are reading, watch for keywords like "since," "because," or "due to," which lay out the line of thought that leads to the argument.

3) Stick to the premise(s) and conclusion like glue. This can help you weed out other reasonable-sounding answers that do not necessarily connect to the logic behind the argument. In the case of the burger joint question, one had to do with satisfaction among customers who had eaten the vegetarian sandwich. A chain of logic might go that if these people were pleased with the sandwich, they would be more inclined to purchase it again, so it might not be such a bad sandwich to offer. This represents a perfectly legitimate could-be-true line of thought, but one that does not put a dent in the argument itself, which is based on the bottom line of the business. That is, we have no idea whether two people ate the sandwich and were satisfied or 1 percent of all customers who visited the restaurant tried the vegetarian burger, and the majority of this quite small minority of diners was pleased with the sandwich. While I am on the topic, watch out for misleading words such as "some," "most," or "among." These choices often sidetrack the test-taker, who should be thinking instead, Okay, if "some" do such-and-such, what about others who are not mentioned? Such unqualified, vague language is meant to get the test-taker to make assumptions that could or could not be true.

Another answer choice had to do with an industry-wide fall in the sales of hamburgers, which again might appear to fit the given argument. However, this particular argument was not based on hamburger sales declining, but on this one sandwich dragging down the profit margins of the business. To make a long story short, the correct answer hit both points, the sandwich in question and the profitability of the business. It said something to the effect that if a group of burger-lovers went out to eat and even one of them was a vegetarian, the whole group would only eat at restaurants that offered vegetarian fare. The pieces fit together like clockwork: if not just the vegetarian, but the vegetarian and all of his or her friends would decide where to eat based on, say, a vegetarian hamburger being offered, then this burger joint would logically lose business from the entire group by pulling the vegetarian sandwich from the menu.

All the other answers, reasonable or not, just proved to be distractions. When you comb through them, look for those that fit into the following patterns:

- reversals (those answers that accomplish the opposite of what the question is asking, for example strengthening a weaken question)
- outside-of-scope (OOS, those answers that bring in outside information that is not grounded in the argument itself to masquerade as a legitimate answer)
- off-topic (typically the easiest to identify, these answers may not tie into the argument at all, introducing a completely separate consideration instead)

There are nuances to certain questions that are worth exploring in depth, but as you study, see whether you can identify any of the above in incorrect answers. When you put it all together and stop fighting the impulse to go with your untrained manner of thinking, you will start to notice that you will get more questions correct, and sooner or later, you will use your new ways of thinking as your safety net.

Good luck with your studies.

- Andrew
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New post 08 Sep 2019, 09:08
giubranca wrote:
Do you have some tricks to answer correctly those kind of questions? I really have problems with them. Thanks a lot.


https://gmatclub.com/forum/powerscore-c ... 15864.html

This is a good source for all CR questions

Hope it helps!

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New post 08 Sep 2019, 11:23
MentorTutoring This is really helpful. Thanks
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New post 08 Sep 2019, 12:49
J2S2019 wrote:
MentorTutoring This is really helpful. Thanks


J2S2019 - I am glad you find it helpful. CR questions used to give me the most grief, so if I can spare someone else some of nitpicking I had to do to finally break through to a more proficient status, then that is what I want to do. As I told another member of the site not too long ago, I find the sheer volume of top-quality information on this site staggering. I hope to add to all that great work in my own way.

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New post 08 Sep 2019, 14:16
Please go to YouTube type “Thursday’s with Ron CR” that video is very helpful
giubranca wrote:
Do you have some tricks to answer correctly those kind of questions? I really have problems with them. Thanks a lot.


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New post 12 Sep 2019, 06:50
Hi giubranca,

Would you like some general advice on how to improve your CR skills?
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Re: Weaken and strenghten questions   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2019, 06:50
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