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Struggling with CR - Help

This topic has 4 expert replies and 5 member replies
nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Struggling with CR - Help

Post Mon May 30, 2016 1:19 pm
Dear Experts

I am really struggling with the CR section. I am sure my basics are not right. In my last GMAT Prep Mock I got number of CR questions wrong.I am not able to understand the argument fully and selecting wrong answers while spending decent amount of time in my mocks.

I want to increase my accuracy. Please help how can I kill the CR section & streamline my thought process for CR? What should I do for strengthening CR section? What sources should I refer?

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Knitgeek Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon May 30, 2016 2:31 pm
It may sound a bit silly but read. Traditionally I have no issues with CR type questions on tests and even I'm finding that the GMAT questions can be really tough. I've gotten back in the habit of reading a bit every day and it's helping to flex the mental muscles I need for the whole verbal portion of the test.

Untimed practice is good too. While you are getting the hang of what to look for in CR questions it is helpful to no rush yourself. I've been spending most of my review time going over questions I get wrong and trying to re-reason out why each answer is right or wrong to help me build awareness of what kind of tactics to expect without looking at the explanations given with the answers. I then check my reasoning against the explanations to make sure I can explain both why an answer is wrong and why another is right.

It's a bit of time consuming process but I know personally it is working well and I've had a couple of "ah ha!" moments with the reasoning process behind the CR questions. I've picked up at least 10 seconds per question since I started.

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OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon May 30, 2016 7:45 pm
nchaswal wrote:
Dear Experts

I am really struggling with the CR section. I am sure my basics are not right. In my last GMAT Prep Mock I got number of CR questions wrong.I am not able to understand the argument fully and selecting wrong answers while spending decent amount of time in my mocks.

I want to increase my accuracy. Please help how can I kill the CR section & streamline my thought process for CR? What should I do for strengthening CR section? What sources should I refer?
Hi nchaswal,

In your studies so far, what preparatory course/book have you used?
When do you plan to take the GMAT?

CR can be improved by pre-thinking. Read the question stem first and then the argument. This will help you comprehend the argument in the light of the question stem.

Try to drill down on which problem types are troubling you and then make a focussed attempt to improve those:
There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc. You need to find that out and then practice them.

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Post Mon May 30, 2016 8:01 pm
Hi nchaswal,

You're focused on the CR section, but in most cases that is the least frequent question of the major question types in the Verbal section of the GMAT. Before you commit too heavily to focusing on that subject, if would help if you provided a bit more information about your studies so far and your goals:

1) How long have you studied?
2) What materials have you used?
3) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

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Thanked by: nchaswal
nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Mon May 30, 2016 10:43 pm
OptimusPrep wrote:
nchaswal wrote:
Dear Experts

I am really struggling with the CR section. I am sure my basics are not right. In my last GMAT Prep Mock I got number of CR questions wrong.I am not able to understand the argument fully and selecting wrong answers while spending decent amount of time in my mocks.

I want to increase my accuracy. Please help how can I kill the CR section & streamline my thought process for CR? What should I do for strengthening CR section? What sources should I refer?
Hi nchaswal,

In your studies so far, what preparatory course/book have you used?
When do you plan to take the GMAT?

CR can be improved by pre-thinking. Read the question stem first and then the argument. This will help you comprehend the argument in the light of the question stem.

Try to drill down on which problem types are troubling you and then make a focussed attempt to improve those:
There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc. You need to find that out and then practice them.
Hi
Optimus & Rich.C at empower

I plan to take GMAT in July third week. My target score is above 740
I have given 3 Mgmat mocks till now scoring 590,690,680.
I have given two GMAT prep mock from GMAC. First I gave after 50 hrs of prep and scored 700(49,37).second I gave this Sunday after 145+ hrs of prep (including time spent taking mocks) scoring 730(50,39) and most of the questions I got wrong in verb were CR.

For CR I had studied foundations of verbal by Mgmat almost 2 months ago. Apart from that only a couple videos I have seen. I kind of ignored CR for that time as I wanted to strengthen my SC. Now I have a good grip on SC but CR is still lacking in accuracy. After that I did not use any source.
After this Sunday's test I have started with powerscore CR Bible.
I plan to apply this year for nxt year mba classes.

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Post Tue May 31, 2016 8:46 am
Hi nchaswal,

Your recent CAT scores show that you could certainly hit your score goal on Test Day (and with a Test in the latter half of July, you have 1.5 months of study time remaining, so you could certainly improve even more). I'd like to know a bit more about how you took these CATs:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions before?

With a V39, you don't really have a 'weak' category in the Verbal section. At that scoring level, your missing points are more nit-pick in nature (little things - rarer CR/RC prompts, SC idioms, subtle wrong answer types, etc.). And if you are focused on the 'little things', then there's something to be said for the missing Quant point(s) too. Are you getting questions wrong in that section that you could/should be getting correct?

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

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Thanked by: nchaswal
nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Post Tue May 31, 2016 9:05 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi nchaswal,

Your recent CAT scores show that you could certainly hit your score goal on Test Day (and with a Test in the latter half of July, you have 1.5 months of study time remaining, so you could certainly improve even more). I'd like to know a bit more about how you took these CATs:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions before?

Rich
Dear Rich

1.) Yes I took the entire CAT ( AWA, IR, QUANT & VERBAL) for every mock I did. I especially respect the two 8 mins breaks as well. In the last test I missed my 8 min break after Quant by 40 seconds though.
2.) Yes I took at home.
3.) I will be booking my noon slot and all of the mocks were given around 12-4 pm or 11:30 to 3:30 pm.
4.) As much as it is possible I replicate the test environment. Though I might have laid down on my bed for a min during the break, I follow 8 mins breaks religiously and do not overshoot any of them. I use notepad though for my rough work in Quant. I never skip a question but yes in MGMAT tests I could not answer last few questions (e.g. 3-4 in Quant and 3-4 in Verbal) in almost all MGMATs because of less time but in GMAC Mocks I mostly completed all the questions even if I had to guess the last few ones.
5.)MGMAT it happened twice that 3-4 questions in Quant were repeated and also 3-4 in Verbal. But in GMAC Tests except IR, all of the questions were new to me. I did not take any of the CAT more than once.

Thank you so much Rich, for asking incisive questions and I really appreciate your step by step approach to help me understand that whether my scores are indicating true or not.

And yes some of the questions in Quant and even verbal are achievable and I am getting them wrong because of doing careless mistakes, not sticking long enough with a question, not diving deep in DS & messing up in CR section.

I will be taking another GMAC mock this coming Sunday.

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It is GMAT. So what?

Post Tue May 31, 2016 9:22 am
Hi nchaswal,

From your last post, the only potential 'red flag' that I see is that you're taking your CATs at home (which is not realistic). Other than that, your current study routine appears to be working, so I don't have any suggestions about how you would significantly change it. At your current scoring level, the GMAT becomes really 'sensitive' to little mistakes - if you make too many, then your score goal becomes impossible to achieve. In that way, you really have to focus on the 'precision' in your work - eliminate the little mistakes and you should have that score locked up. CR prompts are really about understanding the logic involved (and the assumption(s) behind it), so learning those patterns in logic should help you to improve a bit in that category.

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

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nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
17 Apr 2015
Posted:
44 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Thanked:
6 times
Target GMAT Score:
760
GMAT Score:
740
Post Tue May 31, 2016 9:42 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi nchaswal,

From your last post, the only potential 'red flag' that I see is that you're taking your CATs at home (which is not realistic). Other than that, your current study routine appears to be working, so I don't have any suggestions about how you would significantly change it. At your current scoring level, the GMAT becomes really 'sensitive' to little mistakes - if you make too many, then your score goal becomes impossible to achieve. In that way, you really have to focus on the 'precision' in your work - eliminate the little mistakes and you should have that score locked up. CR prompts are really about understanding the logic involved (and the assumption(s) behind it), so learning those patterns in logic should help you to improve a bit in that category.

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

I agree with your viewpoint. I need to be extra cautious and not take any question lightly except if I am not able to solve it in 2-3 mins.

Sorry, I just checked I wrote 740 as my target score. It is 760 and I am totally sure the little mistakes will be my undoing if I do not keep them in check.

In Verbal, as SC questions can be done in less than 1.5 mins and once basics are set right in CR questions, they will also bear fruits faster than RC questions. Therefore, can you suggest the sources for really tricky SC and CR questions which are harder and are of 750-800 level ?

Again I really appreciate all of your valuable inputs & they really sound very practical.

_________________
It is GMAT. So what?

Post Tue May 31, 2016 12:23 pm
Quote:
In Verbal, as SC questions can be done in less than 1.5 mins and once basics are set right in CR questions, they will also bear fruits faster than RC questions. Therefore, can you suggest the sources for really tricky SC and CR questions which are harder and are of 750-800 level ?
I find that the difference between scoring in the 38-42 range on Verbal and scoring 44+ is less about the ability to do well on the toughest questions, and more about consistency/focus.

Some simple adjustments you can make:

- Consider incorporating some mindfulness meditation - participants in this study saw a conspicuous improvement in test scores in as little as two weeks: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/

-Consider using some of these score-boosting techniques: http://creatingpositivefutures.com/3-research-based-strategies-for-overcoming-test-anxiety/

Practice with a larger Question Bank: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat-question-bank/

Then hit some fresh official tests. Post your questions here.

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