Best Tips and Strategies for GMAT Critical Reasoning

    GMAT Verbal Reasoning comprises of three sections. Out of 4 sections of GMAT, the score of quant and verbal contributes equally towards the calculation of overall GMAT score. 

    The verbal section of GMAT contains 3 different types of tasks: 

    In this article, we will share a plan to ace the critical reasoning of GMAT verbal section, before doing so, let’s have look at the tasks of this section. 

    GMAT Critical Reasoning Doables

    The tasks of critical reasoning are designed to measure the ability of the candidates to argue with logic and evaluate arguments, along with the formulation of a plan of action

    The questions of this task come with short passages of 100 words and there will be a question at the end of the passage with options. According to the question, the test-taker needs to select an. The question types of this section includes 

    • Strengthen the Argument
    • Weaken the Argument/Find the Flaw
    • Inference – Draw a Conclusion
    • Completing the argument
    • Find the Assumption
    • Paradox/Discrepancy
    • Structuring of the argument

    So, this section is very tricky and without proper planning, this task may appear extremely difficult. But following proper strategies, the test-takers can secure sufficient score in critical reasoning, as a result the core of verbal reasoning, will be higher. 

    Below, a few tips are listed for GMAT critical reasoning:

    GMAT Critical Reasoning Tips

    One can ace GMAT CR with few strategies and preparation tips as follows

    Start With Learning the Concepts of Premises, Assumptions, and Conclusions

    To learn reasoning, understanding the basic concepts and terminologies are very important. You can take any books on high school standards for this purpose. Learn the basic rules of validation and critical reasoning. 

    Begin Testing the Answers with the Probable Ones

    At the time of finding the correct option, start with the probable ones and skip the extreme statements containing all, none, only, and other terms. The statements with these words are likely to be wrong for being a generalized one. 

    Check the Modifier

    Modifiers are there in the conclusion. It mainly points toward a flaw in the argument. Consider this factor at the time of selecting the answer option. 

    Beware of Going Off-Topic

    All you need to answer the question will be presented in the passage itself, so, stop looking elsewhere; rather derive the answer from the passage itself. 

    This rule applies to the entire section of verbal reasoning. The answer needs to be deduced from the passage – for seeking the conclusion, paradox, structuring, and all other types, it is applicable. You generally don’t need to introduce any new ideas. 

    Be Logical While Selecting the Answer Option

    Be clear to yourself before marking the answer. You must have the logic behind selecting a specific option – not the others. 

    Be Prepared to Get a Weird, but Correct Answer

    The weirdest answer option may be the correct answer for a specific argument. Don't think twice before marking. Remember, the option may not look like a realistic one – it does not need to be; rather, it has to be logically correct.

    Mark the More Probable One When Stuck Between Two Options

    Yes, it is possible to get stuck between two options in the questions of GMAT critical reasoning. It happens! But don’t waste too much time. Guess the answer to mark or mark the option that appears more probable and move to the next one. Don’t waste too much time on it. 

    Make a Proper Time Plan

    The critical reasoning section does not take as much time as the reading comprehension takes. But it takes more time compared to the sentence correction tasks of GMAT verbal. Approximately, 1 minute should be enough to answer the questions of critical reasoning. 

    Read and Understand the Question and 5 Options

    Read the passage, questions, and answer options very carefully to interpret these properly, otherwise, there will be a possibility of mistake. 

    To understand the passage easily you can break it into parts and use your own words to understand the requirement of the question and the meaning of the passage. The same strategy applies to the answer options. These apparently look pretty similar with a very little difference but these are contradictory. A minimal carelessness will contribute to a loss of a point. 

    Best Books for GMAT CR to Learn the Techniques

    To answer the questions of GMAT critical reasoning quickly, you need to understand the theories and techniques. Several books for GMAT critical reasoning are available from which you can get an idea of different types of questions and reasoning. Compared to the other two tasks of verbal section (reading comprehension and sentence correction), you need to be more logical for this section. Few books for GMAT CR are as following 

    • GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
    • GMAT Critical Reasoning
    • GMAT Official Guide to Quantitative Review 2020
    • The Official Guide for GMAT Review
    • GMAT All the Verbal: The Definitive Guide to the Verbal Section of the GMAT
    • GMAT Foundations of Verbal
    • GMAT Critical Reasoning Grail
    • Critical Reasoning & Reading Comprehension: Verbal Preparation Guide
    • Veritas Prep: Critical Reasoning
    • Manhattan Review GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide

    Practice with GMAT Question Papers

    GMAT verbal practice papers are easily available, go through it. Before solving, try to understand different parts of the argument of the critical reasoning section. Also, try to solve the paper within time and not spending more than 1.5-2 minutes in a question. 

    Along with all these tips, remember to practice and take as many mock tests possible. It will strengthen the understanding of the methodologies in you. GMAT verbal often appears easy to the candidates, compared to the quant section. But don’t take it too lightly and remember, being logical is important for GMAT verbal as well as for the GMAT critical reasoning. 



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