GMAT Critical Reasoning, GMAT Verbal
Comments 5

Q & A – The Assumption Question

Let’s discuss! In the previous post, we discussed the standard operating procedure to solve Assumption Questions – The Negation Method. The best way to really test whether you have understood a particular method of solving is to test it against tough questions.

What makes a GMAT CR question tough? A tough question has trap options that are extremely relevant to the passage making it tough to eliminate them. Also, unlike a medium-level question, a tough question might have three close options, two which are very close and one close enough to be in the consideration set.

Hoe does one side-step trap options? Firstly, the correct option has to be relevant to the argument made in the passage and not the passage as a whole. This is an important differentiation to make (one we will tackle with the question below). Secondly, it should be very specific to the line of reasoning presented in the argument and not just have the terms present in the argument.

It is in such a context that your technique gets really tested.

So read the Assumption Question below, apply the negation method and post your answers in the comments section. We will then dissect the passage and the answer options to arrive at the right answer using the negation method.

Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of school children sent to them for treatment of allergic reaction to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
(B) Children who are allergic reaction to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment building in Renston.
(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago.


  1. Akshaya says

    I think Answer is A.
    Method : Negation
    If the number of school nurses has decreased, it is obvious that number of children per nurse will increase. So, the conclusion will be false.


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