GMAT CR Tip - Save time by taking your time.

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People often wonder what they can do to answer CR questions faster. So, if you're having trouble finishing the verbal section of the GMAT on time, this tip may be for you.

One thing that sucks up a lot of time is circling through the last two or three choices of a CR question. We've all done it. We eliminate the choices that clearly do not have the effect we need but are then left with two or three choices all of which seem arguably correct, and we circle through them not sure why one is the best.

One common reason for this type of experience is that we haven't built a solid foundation for answering the question because we went through the passage too fast. One thing I see people do pretty often is quickly reading a CR passage and "getting the general idea" without developing exact understanding of what the passage says. Another common approach is literally skipping words in a passage or blowing off reading the last few words of a passage.

When people use such approaches, they often do so in an attempt to save time. Why read every word if you can get through the passage faster without reading some of those pesky words? Right? Whatever it takes to save time and complete the verbal section on time!

The truth is that the seconds you can save by skimming some or all of a CR passage or by skipping words can be brutally offset by extra minutes taken circling through answer choices. That word in the first sentence of the passage you skipped? That word can be the one word you need to see why choice (A) is correct and choice (C) is clearly incorrect.

So, to answer CR questions faster, read the passages more thoroughly, doing things such as picking up on suspicious details and noting exactly, rather than generally, what conclusions and supporting statements say. You'll often find that, if you are clear enough about what the passage says, the correct answer will practically jump out at you, the fifteen extra seconds spent reading the passage more than made up for by the time saved.
Marty Murray
Chief Curriculum and Content Architect
[email protected]


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