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Inferring is the last thing you should do.

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Inferring is the last thing you should do. [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2013, 17:16
40% of reading comp questions are 'inference' and so it's pretty important to have good skills for this.
The very name 'inference' is completely misleading.
Make no attempt to infer anything. That will lead you to subjective answers, probably incorrect.
Consider: How people infer results, is to a degree dependent on their cultural background. Yet the GMAT is supposedly international. What can you infer from this?

What I am about to say is counter-intuitive, but true. I've tested it with my students.
Read the question and quite simply look in the text for synonyms of key answer words and phrases.
EG: . . . . . . Lady Charteuse lay back on the chaise-longue, and yawned. The gas mantles were turned up too high again. Really, the quality of servants these days! Where the devil could Clarence be? She was hardly able to keep her eyes open.

A . . .
B . . .
C Lady Charteuse had taken sleeping pills.
D Clarence is one of the house servants and is responsible for the gas lamps.
E A chaise-longue is a comfortable chair-bed popularised in the Victorian era.

This is just a crude example I dreamed up to illustrate my point. The correct answer, E, mentions the chaise-longue, and 'chair-bed' is associated with 'lay back', 'yawned', 'hardly keep her eyes open'.
Don't infer. Just look for equivalents. That's it.
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Re: Inferring is the last thing you should do. [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2013, 09:43
Expert's post
Mainly Agree here.

In the GMAT RC Inference you do not need to infer very much. In fact, when looking at answer choices for such questions, those that are furthest from the text are wrong.

It is analogous to my walking into a room sweating. Based on that information, can you infer I have been running? No. Can you infer that it is hot outside? Not really. That the heating is up in the room? Nope. All you can infer is that I walked in and am sweating for some reason (in paraphrased words of course). Okay this is simplistic but you get the idea. You should not go too far away from the text and everything should be supported in some way. The easiest way to check this is to divide the answer choice into components and check each one. You will find that one or more of these informational components of a wrong answer choice is missing or the info presented in the text negates it. Try it out with some practice questions. Compare wrong and right answers and ask yourself which is closer to the text? Most of the time you will find the right answer choice parallels the text most closely.
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Re: Inferring is the last thing you should do.   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2013, 09:43
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