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GMAT Story #8: Student Claims GMAT Pill is “Far Better Than [Manhattan GMAT Books]” – Aces Critical Reasoning OG Diagnostic

In case you haven’t seen the story of the mother who went from rocking babies to rocking the GMAT (GMAT Story #7)

or in case you haven’t seen the non-native English speaker explode to 760 with an MBA Scholarship (GMAT Story #4)

or perhaps the McKinsey analyst who struggled for years but finally broke the 700 mark (GMAT Story #6)

—well, today we have a student who only just started learning our approach to critical reasoning. Forget powerscore bible or ManhattanGMAT books—this student had a real relevation.

Here’s the email we got:

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM, xxxxxxxxx wrote:
Hi Zeke,

(My Comment)
I bought both the verbal and quantitative GMAT “pills” a little under a month ago but started with the critical reasoning (CR) pill today. Although I have read through all of the Manhattan GMAT books (8 books in the series hence my delay in starting the GMAT Pill), it still seemed that I was falling short on all sections of the GMAT (as per diagnostic test results)… and couldn’t understand why.

After going through the videos and quizzes for the CR pill, I was stunned… and dumbfounded

somehow, I internalized all the information you taught… and did extremely well on the CR portion of the Diagnostic test in the OG as well as correctly answered the first 10 questions from the CR chapter… WOW!!!

I never thought I would ever fully understand this portion of the GMAT… but your methods for CR has broken this barrier for me….

So far, the CR pill was EXTREMELY effective and I want to say thank you for creating this!!! Your method of teaching this portion of the GMAT is EXCEPTIONAL and FAR BETTER than any GMAT trick/strategy guide out there. I can’t wait to move on to Sentence Correction to see how well I do.

(2 questions)

Question 1:
No matter what I do, in the Diagnostic Test of the OG, question 22 in the CR portion always throws me… I can never get it right.. Can you show me how to think this through:
Following several years of declining advertising sales, the Greenville Times reorganized its advertising sales force. Before reorganization,the sales force was reorganized geographically, with some sales representatives some sales representatives concentrating on city-center businesses and others concentrating on different outlying regions. The reorganization attempted to increase the sales representatives’ knowledge of clients’ businesses by having each sales representative deal with only one type of industry or retailing. After the reorganization, revenue from advertising sales increased.

In assessing whether the improvement in advertising sales can properly be attributed to the reorganization, it would be most helpful to find out which of the following?

A). What portion of the total revenue of the Greenville Times is generated by advertising sales?
B). Has the circulation of the Greenville Times increased substantially in the the last two years?
C). Among all the types of industry and retailing that uses the Greenville Times as an advertising vehicle, which type accounts for the largest portion of the newspapers’ advertising sales?
D). Do any clients of the sales representatives of the Greenville Times have a standing order with the Times for a fixed amount of advertising per month?
E). Among the advertisers in the Greenville Times, are there more types of retail businesses or more types of industrial businesses?

GMATPill: Here’s what the diagram looks like.

[Reorganization] —> [ Improvement in sales]

What info would strengthen this relationship? Well, how do we know the reorganization resulted in improved sales? Do we have numbers that show that? How are “improved sales” measured?

(A) talks about proportions — we’re not interested in proportions. We want actual amounts.
(B) – Increased circulation in the last 2 years is the same as increased sales. There wouldn’t be increased circulation if there weren’t sales to begin with. It’s because there are sales, that the publication is now circulating around…so B is what we want.
(C) – we don’t care about the split between industry/retail…remember we’re focusing on [reorganization as a whole] and how it leads to [improvement in sales overall]

(D) seems too specific mentioning fixed amount per month – way too specific
(E) – again, retail/industrial split doesn’t matter

Question 2:

How can you tell if a CR question in the OG is a 500, 600, or 700 question? Sentence Correction, Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving?

There’s a bit more of a blur for CR questions since they do require more thinking. More straight forward questions would be in the 500/600 batch. Questions that allow for more opportunities to mess up or that involve more moving parts would be 600/700 questions

SC in particular has the widest range. Some SC questions are super easy – they only test 1 framework and very few words are underlined so you know exactly what’s being tested. SC questions with the entire thing underlined can be more difficult because it takes more time to read the whole question and you may not be able to spot what they are testing you on immediately. In general, don’t worry about what level each question is. Just use them for studying purposes. You want to start off with the easy ones and progress to the harder ones. But in the end, you want to get them all correct.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
xxxxxxxx

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