Students generally either love or hate GMAT Critical Reasoning questions. There’s usually not much middle ground. If you fall into the latter category, I’m about to make your life a while lot easier.
The Key to Critical Reasoning
GMAT CR questions test your ability to think critically about an argument, filter through the implications of that argument, and answer questions accordingly. That’s not always easy, especially when the argument itself seems a little bit dense or convoluted -- or worse, when it seems perfectly logical on the surface!
As you probably know by now, your ability to get right answers on a majority of GMAT critical reasoning questions lies in your ability to accurately identify the author’s assumption(s). What you may not yet excel at is being able to synthesize the argument and break it down into its simplest components in order to accurately recognize that underlying assumption.
Well, good news for you. In about 10 minutes, after watching this video, you will:
Learn This Master GMAT CR Strategy
There you have it. If you get in the habit of using your scratch paper and writing out the argument’s conclusion and premise(s) in your own words in as simple of terms as possible, it will help you better get your mind around exactly what the author is arguing and more easily identify the underlying assumptions as a result. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the most common GMAT critical reasoning argument patterns to make your life even easier on the GMAT verbal section.
Practice: Sample Critical Reasoning Question
Now that you’ve learned what to do, the next step of course is to practice it. So, try your hand at the following sample GMAT critical reasoning problem, taken from Brandon Royal’s Game Plan for the GMAT, and post your answers in the comment area below. If you have questions, be sure to post them there as well!
An investigator divided 128 adults into two distinct groups (high TV viewers and low TV viewers) based on the number of hours of violent TV programming they watched per day. A significantly larger percentage of the high-viewing group than of the low-viewing group demonstrated a high level of aggression. The investigator concluded that greater TV viewing, particularly of violent programming, caused higher aggression levels.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion above?
(A) Some subjects in the high-viewing group experienced lower levels of aggression than did other subjects in the high-viewing group.
(B) Some subjects in the low-viewing group did not experience any aggression.
(C) Fear of aggressive tendencies as a result of watching large amounts of TV was the reason some subjects restricted their viewing of TV.
(D) Some subjects watched live programming whereas other viewers watched pre-recorded TV programs.
(E) Some subjects’ already high levels of aggression caused them to increase their viewing, particularly of violent TV programs.
Brett Ethridge is the founder of Dominate the GMAT, a leading provider of GMAT courses online and topic-specific GMAT video lessons. He has taught the GMAT for 9 years and loves working with students to help them achieve their highest potential. Brett is an entrepreneur, a triathlete, and an avid Duke basketball fan.
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