Characteristics of an Inference Statement on GMAT Critical Reasoning
In GMAT critical reasoning questions, you will be provided with a passage that will have a premise and conclusion; between this premise and conclusion, there will be a logical gap that is known as the missing link. Identifying the missing link is very important, as working upon it is the core of most critical reasoning questions. In this short article, we will cover the characteristics of inference statements, one of the functions that act upon the missing link.
The Inference Statement
To infer something means to arrive at a conclusion based on certain information provided. In GMAT critical reasoning questions, the correct answer choice should be based entirely on the information provided, meaning that it should be free of any extrapolations or assumptions. Let us go through a few examples to understand this concept, better.
Example 1 - Which of the following statements can be directly inferred from the following passage?
The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth during any tenure of the previous 100 years.
The mind map here is: 15% GDP growth---> Highest growth in 100 years
Now let us go through a few different answer choices.
The political party deserves another term.
This answer choice is not a good inference. Whether the party deserves to retain power depends on their overall performance, of which GDP is only a small part. Thus, this information is not enough to infer that the party deserves a second term.
The political party has done a great job at governance.
Once again, governance is a broad term and the quality of the party's governance depends on many factors, apart from the GDP. Thus, the information provided is not enough to draw this inference.
If it were not for the current political party, the GDP growth would have been less than 15%.
The consequences of a different political party being in power simply cannot be inferred from the information provided. Thus, this is a poor example of an inference statement.
No other similar economy witnessed greater than 15% GDP growth during the same tenure.
This answer choice introduces completely new information. What happened to other similar economies cannot be inferred from the provided information. Thus, this is not a good inference statement.
The GDP growth during the current party's tenure has been extraordinary.
If something is the highest of its kind in a century, it can reasonably be described as extraordinary. Thus, this answer choice is a fine example of an inference statement.
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.