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GMAT Critical Reasoning

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This is a study tool. The 3 wrong answers for each question are randomly chosen from answers to other questions. So, you might find at times the answers obvious, but you will see it re-enforces your understanding as you take the test each time.
1. Premise + (assumption) = Conclusion

2. Read the passage and label each boldface as Fact - Opinion - or Conclusion. Skim each answer choice - only looking for terminology matching F - O - C. Eliminate AC that don't match F - O - C classification.

3. If an argument involves percentages - use real - concrete numbers. The words inference - assertion - prediction and claim are all synonyms for conclusion.

4. Explains or leads to a premise instead of the conclusion

5. Always - only - all >> insert not necessarily or sometimes... Not - Never - none - not one - not once >> at least one - at least once - Some - a few - several >> no - none - Sometimes - on occasion - often >> never - At least - at most - more than -

6. An answer choice that weakens the conclusion without requiring significant leaps of logic is likely correct. Use an S-W-slash chart on EXCEPT questions with confusing wording. Four answer choices will weaken - one will not. The correct answer choice

7. 1. Focus on the essential meaning. 2. Use EXTREME shorthand.3. Keep terms the same - try to keep exact wording of key points. 4. Make sure you understand what you are writing.

8. Arguments contain 2 opposing points of view. Assess answer choices by holding them in opposition to the conclusion or one of its assumptions. 1. Identify the conclusion from the point of view of the author. 2. Note the counter-claim and it's proponen

9. Describe the role of a part or parts of an argument - often use argument/counterargument structure (use modified T-diagram) Don't spend too much time - eliminate a few choices and move on. Two boldfaced statements - determine the role each one plays

10. Provides a conclusion that is opposite of what the argument says.

11. Analyze the logical flow of a argument and choose the AC that most closely mimics the argument flow or structure - be sure to not spend too much time

12. The answer choice MUST be true!

13. When reading any question stem - try to classify the problem. Then - as you diagram - proactively find answers for the question type. Read the question stem first. If it is not immediately helpful - do not dwell. The process of diagramming will gener

14. 1. Draw a large T - leaving more room on the left 'pro' side than the right 'con' side. 2. Look for the conclusion and write it on the top of the T. 3. Read the argument sentence by sentence. Write any pro premises on the left and cons on the right.

15. They limit the scope of an argument and can be useful in identifying incorrect answer choices. They provide nuances to the argument - which can help you make some answer choices correct or incorrect. When diagramming - be sure to include boundary wor

16. To help the process of elimination: 1. Write down letters A-E. 2. Evaluate each answer choice and note whether a. It strengthens the conclusion with an S b. it weakens the conclusion with a W c. Is irrelevant to the conclusion with a slash through it

17. Since - Due to - As a result of - Because - Given that - As

18. Answer choice provides the opposite of what you are looking for

19. Only use this method when the primary patterns do not apply. A) predict the future - will - should - can be expected to - could result in - are likely to B) subjective opinion - anything that cannot be proven C) cause & effect - if...then - as a resu

20. A category of assumption - 'how do we logically get from Point A to Point B?' - key words: therefore - because - for this reason - etc. - fact-based or background information; occasionally reflects an opinion or claim

21. 1. Expose a faulty or tenuous assumption OR 2. Negatively impacts the conclusion directly

22. A category of assumption - cause and effect conclusions; correlation is not causation. - look for an assumption that eliminates an alternate model of causation - you must rule out the causality in the other direction

23. Solve a problem posed by the premises - correct AC should directly counteract or fix a given problem. Tend to appear as a new premise - wrong AC will address some piece of the argument but not counteract or fix the problem. Some wrong AC will reinfor

24. Unstated parts of an argument that are necessary to reach the given conclusion. NEVER stated in the written argument.

25. In order to clarify a question stem with EXCEPT - rephrase the EXCEPT statement into a question - inserting the word NOT and eliminating the word EXCEPT. Ex: 'Each of the following helps to explain event X except...' turns into 'Which one does NOT ex

26. Identify information that would help evaluate the validity of a given conclusion - the correct AC will provide a way to TEST the conclusion

27. Look for the assumption to: 1. Bridge agap between any premise and the conclusion. 2. Support/strengthen/validate the conclusion. The answer doesn't have to be the only necessary assumption. The right answer is often 'necessary but not sufficient.' I

28. Presented in 3 common ways - so read the question first! 1. Question contains the conclusion. 2. Question hints at the conclusion in the argument. 3. Argument contains an obvious conclusion - indicated by a clear signal word. Some GMAT questions ask

29. What do you do when two or more answer choices are very tempting? Use the Least Extreme Negation (LEN) technique. - negate answer choices to see whether the argument fails - use the least extreme negation possible. If the conclusion can still follow

30. Most common among critical reasoning questions.Correct answers do NOT need to make the conclusion false or invalid; just needs to make it less likely that the conclusion is valid.

31. Follows on from the conclusion instead of identifying an assumption that underlies the conclusion

32. Provide unnecessary information about a premise - make sure answer choices are not simply related to the conclusion but also weaken it - an answer choice can seem realistic - but only need to determine whether it weakens the argument

33. In 'Explain an Event or Discrepancy' - Look for __________ that shows why the discrepancy is not one - after you add it to existing premises - it shoul make sense all together - correct AC fills a logical hole in the argument - allowing all premises

34. The main point of the argument - logically supported by the assumptions and premises. In the form of an opinion or claim.

35. Answers require you to assume at least one piece of information not explicitly presented in the argument.

36. 1. Abbreviate anything you can but don't abbreviate so much that you change or lose the argument. 2. Underline key words - details and boundary words. 3. Use arrows to indicate cause and effect relationships. 4. Identify point of view with a colon to

37. Is a disguised version of a known question type. Once you recognize what type it is - use the standard strategies for that type.

38. Identify the conclusion and choose the best AC that restates or paraphrases it

39. To strengthen an argument - look for an answer choice that fixes a weakness of the conclusion - validates an assumption - or introduces new supporting evidence. A premise can strengthen or support a conclusion without being necessary for that conclus

40. Make sure to note if a question is strengthen or weaken the conclusion so as to not mistakenly choose the wrong answer - use an S-W-slash chart

41. Provides an assumption that is not actually necessary for the conclusion to be logically valid. - breaks up a category subtype

42. A category of assumption - Reflects opinions or claims and that these are true or that a sequence of events will occur in a way the argument assumes.

43. If you have two claims X & Y - ask yourself which leads to the other. A) 'X - therefore Y'. If this works - Y is the conclusion. B) 'Y - therefore X'. If this works - X is the conclusion. The deduction that takes place last logically in the sequence

44. Proposes faulty mathematical or logical reasoning - make sure that any substituted expressions are truly synonyms

45. Select a situation that best exemplifies the conclusion

46. Conclude something from a given set of premises - the conclusion you draw must be true as a result of only the given premises; it should not require any additional assumptions. Sample question stems: 'If the statements above are true - which of the f

47. Commonly uses words 'assumption - assume - flaw or questionable'. Assumptions serve as a necessary bridge between the premises and the conclusion. The correct answer choice of an assumption question must be necessary to the conclusion of the argument

48. 1. Find the assumption. 2. Draw a conclusion. 3. Strengthen the conclusion. 4. Weaken the conclusion. 5. Explain an event or discrepancy. 6. Analyze the argument structure. 7. Evaluate the conclusion. 8. Resolve a problem. 9. Provide an example. 10.

49. Stated pieces of information or evidence that provide support for the conclusion (facts - opinions or claims).

50. 1. Look for the conclusion - often the last sentence of an argument - but sometimes the first. 2. Find the premises that lead to the conclusion - provide ALL the pieces of information written in the argument. - provide evidence that supports or leads