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Tips to tackle critical reasoning questions in the GMAT

Posted on October 23, 2020
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The GMAT Verbal segment contains a critical reasoning (CR) question. The section contains a prompt that poses some form of statement in CR questions. In this section you will have to examine the argument by strengthening it, weakening it, finding its underlying premise, etc. In the GMAT Verbal segment, you can find around 13 critical reasoning questions.

More than your reading ability, CR tests your critical thinking and reasoning abilities. Usually, the argument prompt is less than 100 words, far less than a passage from reading comprehension, and the critical reasoning argument is often just a single question. Of the total of 41 verbal questions, critical reasoning occupies approximately 1/3 of the Verbal section.

Reason to have the critical reasoning section in the GMAT

Buying and selling is integral to any business: even though you are not a salesperson yourself, the company’s reputation depends on the profits it can gain from sales.

 Each sale, in its essence, is an argument. I have to persuade you to buy it if I want to sell you anything. I may well make the sale if I make a beautifully cogent case. If my argument is flawed, it can only mean bad things for the long-term financial well-being of my company.

Every sale is an argument, but that’s just where the business world ‘s arguments start. A typical manager must contend all day with claims from all directions. A successful manager must be qualified to decide: how can I improve or weaken this argument? What is the premise of this argument? To test this claim, what more proof will I need? In other words, all the abilities needed for critical reasoning on the GMAT need to be implemented by a real-life manager.

In any business, arguments are very relevant, and the ability to assess arguments is one that every manager should cultivate. That’s exactly why business schools want you to bone up on it, which is why in the GMAT has a critical reasoning section.

Types of critical reasoning questions

The general strategy for GMAT critical reasoning is: read the argument first. Know what kind of question you are going to have to answer, and with that in mind, read the argument. The eight broad categories of questions in GMAT critical reasoning are:

1) weaken the argument

2) strengthen the argument

3) find the assumption

4) draw inference/conclusion

5) structure of the argument

6) paradox

7) evaluate the conclusion

8 ) complete the argument

The GMAT offers one correct answer and four enticing and potentially misleading statements for the other options in all reasoning questions. People who read the statement and query and then go aimlessly through the response choices spend much longer time than required.

Go through the question with an understanding of what you’re looking for. The more clearly you grasp what kind of data or statement the query would answer, the easier you would find it.

By adopting the right strategies, you will be able to crack GMAT critical reasoning questions easily.

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