Test Taking Strategy
On verbal part of the GMAT, you will encounter about 14 Critical Reasoning questions of various
lengths (sometimes you will even need to scroll to read all the answer choices). In 99 per cent of
cases, you will have a short passage with one question right under it. The argument you meet
can be anything from a classical argument to an advertisement or a dialog. The questions will ask
you to manipulate the argument to weaken/strengthen it, find the conclusion, assumption,
explanation, do an inference, supplement a statement, or even tell how its parts are related to
each other. On average, you will have 1:50 for each question, but it is recommended that you try
to stay within 1:30 on CR (Critical Reasoning) questions since you will need to save some time
for Reading Comprehension.
It is recommended that you read through Kaplan's Verbal workbook or the Section of CR in the
Kaplan GMAT book with CD, 5th edition. Both of the books are good for building a solid
background; in our sessions, we will develop further the techniques described in these books, yet
will not rely on them for exercises or anything else.
First of all, Critical Reasoning is ability to reason clearly to evaluate and judge arguments. You
are using this skill a lot during you everyday life while reading newspapers or watching movies.
When you think that the movie is pushing the limit of the Reasonable or the news sounds less
reasonable than the movie that was pushing the limit, you are using your CR skills to produce
these conclusions. Besides the Verbal part on the GMAT, you will also need good argumentative
skills to beat the essays since one of them is to construct an argument, and the other is to
evaluate one. As a rule, GMAT CR questions will ask you to manipulate the argument to
weaken/strengthen it, find the conclusion, assumption, explanation, do an inference or
supplement a statement, etc. Whatever it is that you have to do, you will need 2 things to
succeed: know the basic structure of arguments and clearly understand the argument.
In general, about 80% of GMAT arguments consist of evidence, usually 2 pieces, a conclusion -
the main point of an argument, and an assumption - the bridge between the evidence and
conclusion. The majority of the arguments you encounter on the test will be 3 step arguments:
Evidence1 + Evidence2 = Conclusion.