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GMAT Critical Reasoning

Instructions:
  • Answer 50 questions in 15 minutes.
  • If you are not ready to take this test, you can study here.
  • Match each statement with the correct term.
  • Don't refresh. All questions and answers are randomly picked and ordered every time you load a test.

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. 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






2. 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






3. 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






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






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






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






7. 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






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






9. 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






10. Always - never - all -none - etc. They make the argument very broad or far-reaching - making it susceptible to attack. Note any extreme language used in premises or conclusions with an (!). This strategy ONLY applies to words in the argument. _______






11. 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.






12. Tied to a premise and provides unnecessary information about a premise - if the premise is already a stated fact - it doesn't need support - make sure the answer choice is not simply related to the conclusion but supports it






13. 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






14. 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






15. 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






16. 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






17. 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






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






19. 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.






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






21. 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.






22. The answer choice MUST be true!






23. Use your paper to visibly eliminate answer choices A-E. Cross out incorrect choices and circle the correct answers. Check all of the answer choices even if you believe you have found the correct one. You may find that another answer choice is potenti






24. 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






25. 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.






26. Extreme words make the answer choices incorrect - unless the argument explicitly justifies/states extreme words. A correct answer choice must be 100% true. When you see boundary or extreme words in an answer - ask 'what is the most extreme example I






27. 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






28. Select a situation that best exemplifies the conclusion






29. A powerful technique. If an answer choice in a question is negated and the argument becomes nonsensical - then the answer choice is almost certainly correct. An argument might depend on several assumptions - any of which could be the answer. However






30. Many answer choices weaken the argument instead of strengthening it - make sure to note the question type so as to choose the correct answer






31. 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






32. 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






33. 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






34. 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






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






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






37. Poses two seemingly contradictory premises and find the AC that best reconciles them - Question will indicate the discrepancy or provide a keyword pointing to it in the argument: yet - however - nonetheless - paradoxically - surprising because...Argu






38. 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






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






40. 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






41. 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






42. 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






43. Premise + (assumption) = Conclusion






44. 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






45. 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






46. 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






47. Therefore - As a result - Suggests - It follows that - Indicates - Accordingly - So - Consequently - Thus - Hence - Should






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






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






50. Answer choice replaces a fundamental term with something that seems like a synonym or introduces extreme words - common between numbers - percentages and proportions