Hi. I am Vamshi. To give you an introduction, I am a GMAT aspirant and I improved my score from 570 to 680 and I have to say this group has helped me a lot and I always had this thought of giving it back somehow, no matter how small it could be. I found CR to be one of the most dreaded topics, so I thought why not share my journey about how I went on from being an amateur in CR to scoring a 97 percentile on CR.
The Story before 570 Attempt
I started my GMAT preparation around December 2018. I took a classroom coaching program, learned the concepts, solved the questions of their material, and did OG.
I would get a few questions right and a few of them wrong. It was mostly a hit and miss kind of case. I used to simply read the question and directly jump to the options. This went on for about 6-7 months and I finally took the test and scored a mere 570. CR was bad obviously. The accuracy was very low be it easy, medium, or hard questions.
The Story after 570
I realized that it is not just about the preparation, but it is all about the right way of going about it. I signed up for a different resource this time which was more organized and structured. This time, I started focusing on not just the CR concepts but their application. I understood I needed a few strategies to make sure I score well. I understood the mistakes I was making while solving those questions previously. I realized that a lot needs to be done before jumping to options. In fact, if you focus you’ll realize that there is a certain framework to solve CR questions.
Frameworks to Solve CR Questions
To begin with, CR questions on GMAT follow various frameworks and there is a particular way of approaching them. There’s some pre-analysis to be done before you start eliminating the answer choices. That pre-analysis can be done only if you know the framework for each and every type of question be it assumption, strengthen, or evaluate.
There are mainly four common frameworks. Most of the questions can be solved if we understand how to apply these frameworks. They are:
I’ll just give you a brief idea of how causality framework looks like.
If there is a cause (X) and effect relationship in the argument, the three things you have to keep in mind for the assumption to hold true are:
· X happened before Y
· There are no causes other X for Y to happen
· No reverse causality that is Y did not happen before X
By sticking to these three guidelines, you can easily eliminate the wrong choices and finally select the right one.
The Strategy behind Eliminating Answer Choices
When it comes to eliminating answer choices, I didn’t follow any strategy earlier. I would often get confused between two close answer choices and end up marking the wrong one. There are many traps set by the test makers and it is important to have the right strategies to identify and mark the right answer at the end.
For example, an answer choice can be considered as irrelevant when it doesn’t fall within the scope of the argument. To give a clear understanding, if the conclusion is about the environmental advantage of using paper bags instead of plastic bags, any option talking about the economical advantage would be irrelevant.
Similarly, if one of the two close answer choices is a partial truth or distortion, it can be straight away eliminated. By partial truth, I mean an assumption that does not hold true during all the conditions.
The Advantage of Taking Quizzes and Analyzing Them
The key is not to solve many questions, but to learn from every question that you solve. When you analyze why you picked the wrong answer and understand the core reason behind it from the standpoint of the scope of the conclusion, things start to improve. That was something I wasn’t doing in my first attempt.
I made sure I solved hand-picked questions with detailed solutions so that I understand the strategy to solve all the kind of questions I could face on an actual GMAT test.
Once I learned all the concepts and strategies to solve CR, I kept taking quizzes. Based on the results, I spent a considerable amount of time analyzing them and identifying my weaker areas. Then I would get back to going through the concepts of my weaker areas and practice those kinds of questions.
Though I would get a few questions wrong during my practice, I always knew I was approaching them the right way and it was just a matter of time I mastered it. Finally, the result was said it all. I scored a 97 percentile on GMAT CR and I can surely say that it is the change in the way of preparation that helped me to get to this level.
Finally, one thing I would like to say for the GMAT aspirants be it the beginners or the people who are in their midway of preparation is, just do not blindly go on solving questions. The right plan while preparing can help you achieve good results in a way shorter time than just a random preparation of learning and solving. Good luck!
Still working on improving my performance to get to 720+. Hoping the centers to open up soon!