Saturday, January 15, 2011

Critical Reasoning, basically thinking on your feet.

Like Reading Comprehension, you must take a passage and answer the multiple choice questions provided. This time however, the passage given will be less than 100 words and are followed by less questions. Like the title provides, this portion is meant to test your reasoning skills. This means analyzing the arguments provided, but also creating your own arguments as well as action plans to go along with the material.

You will be given a situation in the question in which you will have to break apart to find your answer. Don't get all worried if the subject of what you're reading doesn't seem familiar. The questions are not based on what you know prior or what you're familiar with. They are based on what you can dig up and retrieve from the actual text given.
According to the Official Guide for GMAT Review, there are 3 areas in which you will be working through…
  1. Argument Construction
  2. Argument Evaluation
  3. Formulating and Evaluating a Plan of Action
Argument Construction

What is the structure of this passage? What arguments are being drawn throughout? Are there any conclusions being made, or assumptions along the way? You may find that there are similarities mirrored in different arguments, or that a research question is posed indirectly through the work. Try to delve into the reading and base what you find on the concrete structure that makes up the material.

Argument Evaluation

Can you analyze this given text? Do you understand this certain argument?Are you able to take off your rose-colored lenses and see past the author's possible bias?

Where does the author have strength in their writing? What about weaknesses? This is putting what the arguments are into context of the whole. Asking yourself if the arguments fly and whether they're backed up will help you determine these questions.

Formulating and Evaluating a Plan of Action

How effective is this written work? How diverse is the plan of action provided? Is there an openness about it to leave room for other prospective research, points, arguments or findings? Are there any factors that come into play as far as arguments go, to strengthen or weaken their points? These questions cause you to inquire into the make-up of the plan of action provided. Your job is to see whether it makes sense.

The bottom line for all of these questions is to think critically. Put on that analyzer eyeglass and try to see beyond what the text is generally saying. Critically reason out and analyze each point, bias and statement. These questions test your ability to see the text from a critical perspective.

Make sure to be careful while reading. Some statements are made generally whereas others are solid fact. Make sure you can distinguish between what is claimed by the facts and what is claimed by the author. Truth is an important factor here.

Try to figure out where it falls. It may trick you and not actually fall at the end so be careful with that. These conclusions can help you think logically about the rest of the work you're analyzing.

It is important that you clearly understand what the question is asking. Only then can you be solid in your answer. Read it carefully and then go to your text for reference. Some questions may seem awfully similar (resulting in people getting awfully confused) so make sure you've got your apples and oranges sorted out.

Answer Answer…

Before purely picking the answer you may know is right, read all of the options just to be sure.
If you reason out the material with a critical eye and a knack for what the question requires of you, you can be sure you'll be set!

1 comment:

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