This video introduces you to the Characteristics of a Correct Assumption on GMAT Critical Reasoning. Watch this video closely to understand concepts, which will be beneficial in solving problems in the Verbal Section on GMAT.
Characteristics of a Correct Assumption on GMAT CR
Assumptions on the GMAT are a core component of critical reasoning that must be understood to answer CR questions. In this short article, we will cover the nature of assumptions in GMAT critical reasoning.
Characteristics of an Assumption
In GMAT critical reasoning questions, the argument consists of a premise and a conclusion, and there is usually a gap between the two. This gap is called the missing link, and identifying it is the key to solving critical reasoning questions.
A correct assumption is one that fills the missing link and is necessarily true; these are its two defining features. Keep in mind, however, that while an assumption always fills the missing link, not everything that fills the missing link is an assumption. As mentioned above, an assumption must also be necessarily true for the argument to hold. Assumptions always strengthen the argument and when made negative, completely voids the argument. Let us illustrate this concept through an example:
Example 1 - Consider the following argument:
The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. Hence the political party has done a good job and deserves a second term.
The missing link in this passage is the link between the 15% GDP growth and the performance of the political party.
Now, take a look at this answer choice:
- GDP growth is an important factor in deciding the performance of a political party.
The conclusion has been based entirely on GDP growth, and this answer choice suggests that GDP growth is important in determining the performance of a political party. Furthermore, it must be true for the argument to hold. Imagine that the answer choice was inverted to state that GDP growth was immaterial in deciding the performance of a political party. In such a case, the argument would become void because it hinges on the idea that GDP is important in determining a political party's performance.
Thus, this statement can be said to be a fine assumption, as it is necessarily true and fills the missing link.
Now let us take a look at another potential answer choice, for the same passage:
Example 2 - GDP growth is the most important factor in determining the performance of a political party.
This answer choice also fills the missing link but it is not necessarily true. GDP growth need not be the most important factor in determining the quality of the party's performance; it could be the second most important, third most important, or even one of a collection of equally important factors. As the argument may hold, in all such cases, this answer choice is not necessarily true. Thus, while this answer choice would be a very good strengthing statement, it is not an assumption.
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.