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Characteristics of an Evaluation Statement on GMAT Critical Reasoning

This video explains the characteristics of an Evaluation Statement on GMAT Critical Reasoning. The concepts in this video will prove valuable in solving question in the verbal section on GMAT.

Characteristics of an Evaluation Statement on GMAT Critical Reasoning

In GMAT critical reasoning questions, a passage will consist of a premise and a conclusion. Between these two, there will be a logical gap, known as the missing link. This missing link plays an important role in evaluation-based critical reasoning questions. In this short article, we will cover the characteristics of a GMAT critical reasoning evaluation statement.

The Evaluation Statement

As mentioned above, the missing link is very prominent in GMAT evaluation questions. A correct evaluation statement will act upon the missing link and lead to the finding of some fact or data that shall help in the assessment of the argument. Remember, the finding is equally likely to help or hurt the argument. The point is to evaluate the exercise, not necessarily to strengthen or weaken it. The outcome of an evaluation can be positive or negative. The missing link approach works great for these questions. Now let us illustrate this concept with an example:

Example 1 - Which of the following will help in evaluating the 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, and the conclusion is that the party has done a good job and should stay in power.

Now, take a look at this answer choice:

Whether GDP is an important factor in deciding the performance of a political party.

The conclusion has been drawn solely based on the GDP, meaning that the validity of the conclusion hinges on whether GDP can be used as a metric to judge a political party's performance. Thus, thins answer choice is a fine evaluation statement, as clarity on whether GDP is an important factor in judging a political party's performance will help to evaluate the conclusion's validity. The conclusion could be weakened or strengthened, based on whether the GDP turns out to be important or not, but that is not our concern.

Now let us take a look at a few more example answer choices, with the same passage and missing link.

Example 2 - Whether the government played an important role in achieving the growth in GDP.

Once again, the evaluation may be positive or negative, but knowing whether the government played an important role in achieving GDP growth will provide us with a better understanding of their performance. Thus, Example 2 is also a fine evaluation statement.

Example 3 - Whether a 15% growth in GDP is satisfactory, considering Xitora's socio-political situation.

In simple terms, this answer choice is asking whether 15% GDP growth is good enough to say that the ruling party has done well in this regard. Very often, GMAT uses these high numbers and we tend to not question them, using our general knowledge and common sense to judge the statements, and this is not a very good approach. Thus a statement questioning whether 15% GDP growth is praiseworthy is another very fine evaluation statement.

Example 4 - Whether the performance of the government was satisfactory in on other factors in deciding the performance of a government.

The given conclusion is based on only the GDP, and therefore, an evaluation of how the government performed on other relevant factors is relevant, as the conclusion talks about the overall performance f the government, not just its success with the GDP. Therefore this answer choice is an excellent evaluation statement.

This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.