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How to Tackle Must Be True or Inference Critical Reasoning questions
It is one of the most common question categories in the GMAT Exam after the Weaken, Strengthen, and Assumption questions.
Structure of the question stem
The question stem usually will not contain a conclusion and you have to draw one (infer) from the information given in the question stem.
So your question stem will contain just 2-3 factual statements NOT arguments.
The information given in the question stem will be true and valid unlike that in the assumption, weaken, and strengthen question stems, where the stem has an inherent weakness that needs to be mitigated (in case of strengthen questions) or further increased (in case of weaken questions)
The information in the question stem IS true irrespective of the ‘real-world’ scenario. For example if the question stem were to state that 'The Earth revolves around the moon' then we need to assume that it is the truth. We cannot bring in our real-world or outside knowledge,which is contradictory to the information provided in the question stem.
Many a times the question stem will contain numbers, percentages, and statistics and ask you to draw an inference based on the quantitative data.
Words used in the question statement
The question stem will typically use some variation of the words:-
- Draw the conclusion
- Most properly drawn
- Best supported by
- Must be true
POE:Process Of Elimination
An inference could be a logical deduction from a single statement or from a combination from two or more factual statements from the question stem.
One should always keep in mind that the information in the options should always (not sometimes ) hold true with respect to the contents of the question stem.
Always work from wrong to right eliminating the options that can be true or are sometimes true but NOT always true.
The inference drawn should always be valid .The most common trap on this type is something that could be true
and might even likely to be true
but does not necessarily have to be absolutely true.
Inference questions can sometimes include the words ‘strongly supported by ‘ which also show up in Strengthen questions. If the question contains this language, check to see whether it refers to the answers as conclusions or inferences “ if so, this is an Inference question, not a Strengthen question.
Strengthen questions will contain a conclusion in the argument, not in the answer choices.
Difference between Inference /Must be true and Other question types
While the test takers can easily get caught up by the use of familiar looking words in the question statements, one has to read closely and look for the exact information being sought to deduce the question type.Difference between Inference (must be true) and Assumption questions
Inference can be easily and directly deduced from the statements of the question stem while assumption will contain NEW information and can never be directly deduced from the question stem.Difference between Inference (must be true) and Strengthen questions
While Strengthen questions contains questions stems with inherent weakness or gaps in logic that need to be filled by the correct answer option,containing new information. Inference questions can be directly deduced from the question passage with the use of NO outside information.Difference between Inference (must be true) and Conclusion (main point) questions
The use of expressions such as ‘Draw a Conclusion’ or ‘Which of the following conclusions is best supported by' make it difficult for the test-takers to pick the correct question category, but in Conclusion or Main point questions you will either be provided with a conclusion in the question stem or be asked to state the main point of the argument and wouldnot be asked to provide an inference as in the case of Must be true questions, which typically don't contain the conclusion of the argument in the question stem itself
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