Four Tips to Improve Your GMAT Critical Reasoning

By BlogMgmt On Nov 1, 2018 In  Verbal Critical Reasoning 


You will face approximately a dozen critical reasoning questions on your GMAT exam. There is a wide variety of types of critical reasoning questions, but almost all of them require the same basic techniques. The goal of GMAT critical reasoning questions is to test your ability to evaluate an argument and its conclusions. This is a business skill that your career will frequently require. Here are four simple tips to improve your critical reasoning score.

Remember How You Are Being Tested

While critical reasoning questions do require some reading, most of the questions will contain fewer than 100 words. Remember that GMAT critical reasoning is not testing your reading comprehension, but your thinking skills. For this reason, it is important to cut through any complicated language quickly and get to the heart of the question. Time spent trying to sort out the exact meaning of every word and phrase will be time lost.

Read the Question First

Before you read anything else in a critical thinking question, read the question itself. Determine what exactly it is asking you to discover. Once you understand the question, move on to reading the remaining information. By ensuring you understand the question first, you have the advantage of framing the options as a potential answer. Otherwise, it is easy to make assumptions about what information is important.

Summarize in Your Own Words

GMAT critical reasoning questions are intentionally complicated. Additionally, the exam offers one correct answer and four very tempting incorrect answers on every question. In order to cut through the complicated language, try to rephrase the content of each question in your own words. Imagine you were explaining the meaning of the question to someone else. Using this simplified language helps you get past the intentional difficulty of the questions.

Know Your Goal

There are many different sorts of critical reasoning questions. Some ask you to draw a conclusion, others to find an assumption or weakness, and still others present you with a paradox. Until you understand the type of question you are dealing with, you will get bogged down in the potential answers. For this reason, it is crucial that you know the type of answer you are looking for before you read the answers. Wandering into the answers without a clear goal is sure to leave you confused and waste your precious time.

GMAT critical reasoning questions make up about ⅓ of the verbal section of the exam. That is a significant portion of your score, making it worthwhile to develop a strategy to tackle them. By following the simple tips above, you will improve your speed and accuracy when faced with a critical reasoning challenge. Looking for a way to improve your GMAT score across the board? Consider enrolling in EmpowerGMAT’s online prep course. With real test questions and a score improvement guarantee, we have the tools you need to reach your goal.

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