All posts filed under: GMAT Critical Reasoning

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. Advertisements

Critical Reasoning – The Assumption Question 1

The Assumption Question is a Critical Reasoning Question Type on the GMAT® that gives test-takers a certain amount of trouble (the most troublesome being the Boldfaced Question Type). Test-takers often say that they have trouble in attaining a certain level of consistency on this question type. In this post we shall look at a standard operating procedure that will help you increase your accuracy level and choose the right option when faced with two seemingly correct options.

Critical Reasoning – The Conclusion Question 2

In the previous Critical Reasoning post we discussed one specific kind of logic that is tested on the Conclusion Question Type. In this post we will take a look at the only other type of standard logic tested on the conclusion questions. If you are able to understand apply the technique to solve these two logical structures, most conclusion questions should be a breeze. Let us take a GMAT Critical Reasoning question to examine this further. Although aspirin has been proven to eliminate moderate fever associated with some illnesses, many doctors no longer routinely recommend its use for this purpose. A moderate fever stimulates the activity of the body’s disease-fighting white blood cells and also inhibits the growth of many strains of disease-causing bacteria.

Critical Reasoning – The Conclusion Question 1

Of all Critical Reasoning Question Types on the GMAT® , the conclusion question is probably the easiest of the lot. The only thing that one needs to remember is that the conclusion should not be a possibility but a certainty based on the information given. Test-takers sometimes tend become adventurous and choose options that are not fully supported by the information since the correct option seems too obvious. But on the GMAT® it is the most straightforward option that turns out to be the conclusion.

Critical Reasoning: Correlation-Causation 3

In the previous two posts, we saw how Weaken-Type Critical Reasoning questions based on correlation-causation passages can be solved in under a minute. Just to summarize, X and Y are correlated does not mean X is causing Y since there is no evidence to prove that the direction of causation is from X to Y, it can also be from Y to X So based on arguments that conclude that X is causing Y since X and Y are correlated, Assumption and Strengthen questions can also be asked. Assumption Type: The assumption is that Y is not causing X. A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of immune-system activity tend to score much lower on tests of mental health than do people with normal or high immune-system activity. The researcher concluded from this experiment that the immune system protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease. The researcher’s conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions? (A) High immune-system activity protects against mental illness better than normal immune-system activity does (B) …

Critical Reasoning: Correlation-Causation — Weaken Question 2

In the previous post, we saw how Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT® are based on rules of formal logic. We took the specific case of the arguments that incorrectly assume that correlation implies causation. Just to summarize, X and Y are correlated does not mean X is causing Y since there is no evidence to prove that the direction of causation is from X to Y, it can also be from Y to X there can be a different reason, Z, for the occurrence of Y. So based on arguments that conclude that X is causing Y since X and Y are correlated, there can be three types of questions that can be asked — Weaken, Assumption and Strengthen. Weaken Type: Correct Option will always show that in fact Y is causing X (third cause Z is usually not given in the options since it will make the answer two obvious) Researchers have concluded from a survey of people aged 65 that emotional well-being in adulthood is closely related to intimacy with siblings earlier …

Critical Reasoning: Correlation-Causation — Weaken Question 1

The biggest misconception about Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT® is that they are based on common sense. Well, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, CR questions are based on rules of formal logic. The question from the Official Guide (OG) below is a perfect illustration. A study of marital relationships in which one partner’s sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above? (A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments that can jeopardize the couple’s marriage. (B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season. (C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly …