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I always miss "weaken" CR questions???

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
wreelp Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
07 Feb 2008
Posted:
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Test Date:
March 11th
Target GMAT Score:
650

I always miss "weaken" CR questions???

Post Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:05 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Hello, one of my strongest areas is critical reasoning, and last night when i was going throw all my incorrect answers to CR i noticed the majority of them are "weaken" questions. I tried to find a method or something wrong that I am doing but I didnt really make any discoveries. Is there a solid set method of attack to this type of CR problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    thanks

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    Post Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:11 am
    there are two basic ways to weaken a conclusion:
    1 - undermine an assumption upon which the conclusion rests
    2 - contradict an explicitly stated premise

    it's extremely rare for a gmat problem to require an answer choice that does #2, since the truth of an argument's premises is usually sacrosanct. therefore, the vast majority of the time, you're going to be looking for answer choices that do #1: undermine an assumption upon which the argument rests.

    here, then, are two strategies you can use for 'weaken' problems:
    * 'forward' solution:
    try to identify the assumptions upon which the argument rests. this is difficult at times, especially within the time frame allotted, but it's extremely helpful: if you can identify an assumption and then see an answer choice that knocks down that assumption, that's the right choice.
    * 'backward' solution:
    look at the answer choices, and ask yourself: 'what assumption would this answer choice be trying to contradict?' after identifying that assumption, think about whether it would be essential to the integrity of the argument. if so, you've got the right choice.

    ironically, finding assumptions is even more important for these problems than for 'find the assumption' problems, because the answer choices themselves don't spell out the assumptions.

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