One of the experts and content directors of The Economist’s GMAT Tutor shares a strategy on how to approach the Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT.
A common piece of advice that GMAT experts give students who are studying for Critical Reasoning is to try to pre-think -- that is, after reading the question and before reviewing the answer choices, anticipate what the answer might look like. When reading the question, think for yourself how you might strengthen/weaken the conclusion/formulate the logical flaw in the argument.
But why is this the correct procedure? Students wonder too; I often find that students balk at this and skip this crucial step, and jump to sifting through the answer choices and thinking about them one by one.
There are several problems with skipping the pre-thinking stage.
- Skipping this step ends up being more time consuming. If you don’t have a sense of what you are looking for, you spend more time considering answer choice that you would eliminate very quickly if you had a notion in mind of what the correct answer is.
- You are more likely to go for a strong distractor, because it might seem like a sensible answer.
- Pre-thinking is empowering to you as a test-taker. It helps you psychologically by boosting your confidence. Imagine: you form an idea in your mind of what the correct answer choice should be, and BINGO -- it’s there for you to select! The confidence points you earned will energize you as you continue to solve the test problems. Conversely, avoiding pre-thinking puts you in a passive, disempowered mindset, and saps your energy as you treat each answer choice as a potentially correct one.
So practice this method, and the strategy will help you deal more quickly with questions.
Stay tuned! In up upcoming post, we will present a question and will walk you through the steps to solve it by using pre-thinking.