Critical Reasoning Changes with OG13


Every few years, the GMAT folks update their “Official Guide to the GMAT Exam” book to reflect changes in test questions. The latest revision (OG 13) is certainly something worth paying attention to.

The last OG update was OG12 back in 2009. With the new exam change in 2012, we have the biggest update to the GMAT exam in a long time.

The GMAT now has a new Integrated Reasoning section, scored out of 8 in increments of 1, and sample questions are featured in their OG 13 book. There have also been some slight changes in other sections – with the addition of new practice questions. In SC, there is a slight greater emphasis on questions focused on “meaning” and in CR there are more questions asking you to logically complete an argument.

Critical Reasoning Emphasis on Logical Arguments

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

While we cover the new question types for Integrated Reasoning in another post, we’ll talk about the change in Critical Reasoning. The change is more of an emphasis on questions asking you to logically complete the last part of an argument. The OG12 had 7 of these question types, that number has since doubled to 14 in OG13. Granted, there are more CR questions in OG 13 (from 99 to 124), but previously the mix was about 7% for CR questions of this type. Now that percentage is closer to 11%.

We’ll give you a sample question so you can see if questions of this type are easy for you tackle:

The attribution of mysterious mobile social networking app “MobileSocial” to Mark Pinkerman is regarded as tentative since it is based on the first comment posted inside the app – “Mark Pinkerman created this!” Recently, several blog and media publications have emerged that named Mark Pinkerman as the creator of MobileSocial; yet, no Mark Pinkerman has actually stepped forth to claim credit for the app. Unfortunately, these blogs and media publications lend no support to the attribution of MobileSocial to Mark Pinkerman since ______.
Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

A) the first comment posted misidentifies the creators of some other recent startup web sites, including Facebash and Yoogle
B) the author of the comment had no strong evidence on which to base the identification of Mark Pinkerman as the creator of MobileSocial
C) there are websites and apps that can conclusively be attributed to a Mark Pinkerman from Seattle, WA but these are not mentioned in the comment, nor does this particular Mark Pinkerman claim he created the app
D) the recent blogs and media publications had no source for their attribution other than the already mentioned first comment posted inside the app
E) no other known comments posted identify Mark Pinkerman as the creator of MobileSocial

Use Transitives to Figure Out the Blank

There’s a keyword in the last sentence – “Unfortunately, these blogs and media publications …”

That means there was hope for one thing, but the introduction of these publications did not help achieve that hope. Previously, there was one comment inside the app that supported this association.

Then new publications came out (hope is that they have a way of supporting the association) but UNFORTUNATELY they do not help support the association.

Why? Well they are reinforcing the association. It’s just that it’s not SUPPORTING the association, as in evidence supporting a statement.

The publications aren’t presenting new evidence. In a diagram, we have
A and B

B is associated with A because of some small remark “x”.
Rather than coming up with “y”, the bloggers simply just come up with “xx” to support “x”. This doesn’t add to the credence of the association because it just references the same supporting point.

That’s why (D) makes sense here.

Gradual Change

This is not as big a change as adding the Integrated Reasoning section. BUT, this is a greater emphasis in part of the verbal section and this DOES affect your 800 score, whereas the Integrated Reasoning section DOES NOT affect your 800 score.

So, yes, you do need to be prepared for IR questions on exams after June 5, 2012, BUT don’t neglect these CR questions either because while you might prepare yourself to do well on IR, your 800 GMAT score is going to fall slightly if these “LOGICALLY COMPLETE THE ARGUMENT” questions are a problem for you. 

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