GMAT Critical Reasoning Practice Question & Explanation

March 6, 2014 by

You may not love doing GMAT Critical Reasoning practice, but it’s good for your score. We initially posted this stimulus and question on Facebook – give it a try:

While the average American reads only two books per year, researchers have recently concluded that by reading  two books per month, people can expect their memorizing capacity to double. The most effective way for Americans to begin to read two books per month – thus increasing their memory capacity – is to support Proposition 75, which will require students to read at least two books per month beginning in 2nd grade and through their senior year of high school.

Which of the following can be most properly drawn, if the statements above are true, about future reading habits and memorization capacity?

• A)  If Proposition 75 passes, all teen-agers will see a significant increase in their ability to memorize for tests.

Writing the GMAT Argument Essay

January 27, 2014 by

As you probably know by now, with the inclusion of the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section came the exclusion of the one of the previously required essays.  Before the test change, GMAT test takers built the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score on the backs of two essays: Analysis of an Argument and Analysis of an Issue.  These two essays would be scored independently—by one human and one computer—then those two scores would be averaged for a total AWA score on a 0-6 point scale in ½-point increments.  In order to keep total testing time at 3.5 hours, test makers decided to cut the thirty-minute Analysis of an Issue essay and insert a thirty-minute Integrated Reasoning section. Now, only the GMAT Argument essay remains.

So what can you make of this decision?  Are you better off with the Argument essay over the Issue essay?  And, if so, is there a way we … Read full post

GMAT Study Tip: Try Coffivity

January 17, 2014 by

I’ve got a quick GMAT study tip for you today. We tell our students to think critically and strategically when approaching problems on the GMAT. So, for those of you who need a cognitive boost or who like a little ambient noise while you’re studying, I found a helpful little website with associated apps. It’s called Coffivity.

According to the site,

“Research shows it’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space. And a loud workplace can be frustrating and distracting. But, the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Our team has delivered the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop, which means when your workspace just isn’t quite cutting it, we’ve got you covered. Coffitivity. Enough noise to work.” (Read the research here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/665048)… Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning: How to Make Predictions

January 13, 2014 by

If you still need to be convinced about the value of making predictions on the GMAT, then read this: Beating GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions. Now that we are all on board, let’s learn how to do it…

When a Critical Reasoning (CR) question pops up on the screen, adept test takers know to read the actual question first. The Question is always found in the middle between the Stimulus and the Answer Choices. By reading the question first and, thus, depending solely on the type of CR question posed, the test taker knows how to most efficiently and effectively untangle the stimulus above.

There are many different types of CR questions, but most of them will fall under the category we at Kaplan like to call the Argument Family. The members of the Argument Family are Assumption, Strengthen, Weaken, Flaw, and Evaluation. The correct answer to every question … Read full post

Using Common Knowledge on GMAT Critical Reasoning: The Solution

January 1, 2014 by

Did you try out last year’s Critical Reasoning practice question? Okay, it was really only a few days ago, but that was 2013, and we’re fresh into 2014. Let’s start off strong with breaking down this GMAT Critical Reasoning question in a way that will allow you to grab points on GMAT Test Day.

Solution

Step 1: Identify the Question Type

The direct wording in the question stem clearly indicates a weaken question.

Step 2: Untangle the Stimulus

The conclusion here is that companies employing overseas call centers will be more profitable than companies that do not. The evidence is that these companies save more with overseas call centers than do companies that don’t use them.

The argument, however, assumes that all other elements of the businesses will remain the same. As we head to the choices, we should be looking for a fact … Read full post

Beat GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions

December 19, 2013 by

In Part II of my series on the Verbal section of the GMAT, we are going to cover the necessity of predicting correct answers to Verbal questions before evaluating the answer choices available. Predicting is a skill one must learn and practice over time. Start now, do it consistently, and you will make a breakthrough.

Let’s first take a moment to appreciate a simple GMAT truism: for every question on the exam, there is always one right and four rotten answers. Always. All answer choices that are not the correct one are definitively incorrect.

Understand that the GMAT is written by human beings. Just like the questions, answer choices are deliberately composed. In every list of five GMAT answer choices, the test makers thoughtfully construct the four wrong answers. Each of these wrong answers will, in some way, address a possible misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the original stimulus or … Read full post

GMAT & The Real World: Critical Reasoning Flaws & Entrepreneurship

December 18, 2013 by

Maybe you heard about (or read) a recent story in the Washington Post entitled: Are business schools graduating the wrong leaders? If so, the GMAT may be to blame. Hopefully you’ve been watching my blog series on this story, and tracking the various critical reasoning errors. Let’s discuss another one today.

The article suggests that people interested in entrepreneurship don’t do as well on the GMAT, and it concludes that the GMAT discourages entrepreneurship.

“Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results are an important assessment criterion for business-school applications. The higher the GMAT score, the better the odds of gaining admission. A study in the Journal of Business Ethics makes the surprising finding that high GMAT scores may be correlated to some of the negative traits of American business: lack of ethical orientation, male domination of executive ranks, uncertainty avoidance, and individualism. What’s more, GMAT scores may be inversely correlated with … Read full post

GMAT Basics: What to Expect, What is a Good GMAT Score, How to Test

December 15, 2013 by

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is probably unlike any test you’ve ever taken in your academic career. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test designed to provide a common yardstick by which business school admissions committees can measure applicants and their ability to succeed in their M.B.A. programs.

The test consists of three sections and is scored on a range between 200 and 800.

GMAT scores are used by business schools to provide a common yardstick to compare candidates for admission. On the GMAT, you will actually receive four scores:

• A total score, ranging from 200-800
• A math subscore, ranging from 0-60
• A verbal subscore, ranging from 0-60
• A score for your AWA, ranging from 0-6
• An Integrated Reasoning subscore, ranging from 1-8

Each of the above scores will be accompanied by a percentile rank. The percentile rank highlights what proportion of test takers … Read full post

GMAT & The Real World: More Critical Reasoning Flaws

December 3, 2013 by

A Study Questioning the GMAT Ironically Proves to be a Great Resource to Practice GMAT Critical Reasoning Flaw Questions…

Maybe you heard about (or read) a recent story in the Washington Post entitled: Are business schools graduating the wrong leaders? If so, the GMAT may be to blame

I love this piece because the study (at least as it is presented in the article) is jam-packed with critical reasoning flaws you can use to sharpen your GMAT Critical Reasoning skills.

So, let’s continue our multi-part special.

In this installment, we will take a look at how this article deals with a very important concept in GMAT Critical Reasoning and the AWA essay: Causality.

GMAT Critical Reasoning avidly tests your ability to understand how causal arguments work. All causal arguments assume that there is no alternative cause. This article is assuming that the GMAT is the cause of lower volumes of … Read full post

GMAT & The Real World: Critical Reasoning Flaws

November 22, 2013 by

A Study Questioning the GMAT Ironically Proves to be a Great Resource to Practice GMAT Critical Reasoning Flaw Questions…

Maybe you heard about a recent story in the Washington Post entitled: Are business schools graduating the wrong leaders? If so, the GMAT may be to blame.

The reason why I love this piece is because the study (at least as it is presented in the article) is jam-packed with critical reasoning flaws you can use to sharpen your GMAT Critical Reasoning skills.

That’s why I’ve decided to make this a multi-part special.

In our first installment, one of the reasoning flaws that the GMAT tests is starkly evident. Let’s see if you can identify it:

“A study in the Journal of Business Ethics makes the surprising finding that high GMAT scores may be correlated to some of the negative traits of American business: lack of ethical orientation…

The report’s … Read full post

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