Critical Reasoning Questions
Computer-adaptive tests are still a new feature of the educational landscape. Those of us who have interviewed for work have had the experience of taking computer-based tests. But computer-adaptive tests represent at least one level-up from the usual experience. Here's why.
WHAT IS TESTED ON CR?
CR questions are essentially case-studies drawn from business, science, and government. An unusual vocabulary is unavoidably a part of the problem, and you will need time to pick up the jargon from those sciences that you have thus far avoided, such as etymology, primatology, and lunar geology. Aside from that, most people regard this type of question the most life-like and informative of the 3 types of questions on the verbal section.
CR TIME CONSTRAINTS
As with all the GMAT verbal questions, CR questions cannot be held to any fixed time limit, other than the limit imposed by the 65 minute time budget of the entire section. Typically, a normal reading speed is not sufficient to deal with a CR question in 2 minutes, so technique is important. Specifically you'll want to know how to eliminate answers. Many books and forums reach right for the out-of-scope elimination. We caution you that this is an ambiguous term. Without a fixed meaning, your application of the concept is likely to be idiosyncratic, and therefore unreliable. It's use in the literature is to be regarded as a sign that the writer has noticed but knows not how to explain the underlying logical flaw.
Since the adaptive test algorithm is adjusting itself to your performance, it will not allow you to literally skip questions, or to go back and revise your answers to previous questions. You may ask yourself, What should I do when I can't answer one of the questions? As a final resort, choose a random answer, just to move the algorithm forward and avoid tanking the entire test. In fact, you can assume that the test already has a good estimate of your final score, so that any one particular question is not that important. Skipping it - by choosing a random answer - won't make a big difference to your score, provided you return to your baseline performance on the next questions.