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Critical Reasoning Approach on GMAT





Here is a set of free short videos for stepwise preparation of Critical Reasoning on GMAT. For a more detailed treatment of the topic, you may want to opt for our GMAT online course or our GMAT test series of 15 mock tests.


How to Attempt Critical Reasoning- The "Missing-link" Approach



Many previous GMAT aspirants have reported that critical reasoning is an especially complex portion of the exam. The key to overcoming this complexity and tackling these questions is to approach them in a systematic manner. It is especially important to handle critical reasoning questions, systematically, as a failure to do so will not only lead to a lower score, in this section, but also take up much of your valuable time. Here, we will cover the best approach for you to take on the GMAT critical reasoning questions.

The Missing Link Approach


At Experts’ Global, we call this strategy the missing link approach. To understand this highly organized approach, you must begin by understanding the the nature of the GMAT critical reasoning passages. Each passage will include a "premise" and a "conclusion"; however, the “conclusion” will not logically follow the “premise”. They key to solving these questions is to identify the gap between the "premise" and "conclusion", which we call the “missing link”.

Although, you should note that there is no need for you to fill in the missing link. You only need to identify it, so that you can use it to identify the correct answer choice. Please go through the step-by-step guide, provided below, to understand this approach.

1. Read the question, before reading the passage. Doing so will allow you to understand exactly what type of question it is, strengthening, weakening, etc., and approach the passage, accordingly.

2. Read the passage very carefully and make a mind-map rather than taking note, to save time.

3. Identify the missing link by seeing where the gap in the passage's reasoning is. The missing link is whatever information is needed to connect the premise of the passage to its conclusion that is not provided.

4. Have an idea of what you are going to search for in the answer choices. This step is quite important.

5. Finally, use the "grid" to eliminate four answer choices. Remember, it is not about finding the one correct answer choice; it's about finding the best among the five answer choices. When you eliminate four answer choices, the one that is left is the correct answer choice.


Choices Generally Incorrect on Critical Reasoning



The critical reasoning section is one of the most time intensive parts of the GMAT exam. The reason why many GMAT candidates report that this section took them the most time is that there are a great number of factors that must be considered, while evaluating the correctness of each answer choice. Here, we will work to mitigate the amount of time that you will need to spend on critical reasoning, by going over certain types of answer choices that are typically incorrect. By understanding these types of answer choices, you will be able to eliminate incorrect options, more efficiently, and better recognize the qualities of the correct answer choice.

Incorrect Answer Choices


1. Irrelevant Answer Choices


Read the following sentence, closely, and pay attention to the flow of logic presented- Jack should be able to score well on the GMAT; he is a good athlete.

Here, we see a fine example of an answer choice that is irrelevant, meaning that it fails to comment on the matter at hand. Athletic capability has nothing to do with one’s ability to secure a high HMAT score, so this answer choice cannot be correct.

2. Extrapolators


Extrapolators are answer choices that extrapolate, meaning that they suggest that something that happened “there” should also happen “here”. This type of answer choice is quite common on the GMAT and should be discarded

3. Contradictory to the Fact Stated in the Passage


Factually contradictory answer choices are something that you must look out for, very closely, on your GMAT. Please read the following example to understand this type of incorrect answer choice.

Example 1 - Passage: The price of oil has increased due to the rising dollar.
                    Question: Which choice weakens the argument that the rising dollar is responsible for the rise in oil prices.
                    Choice: The price of oil has not increased.

The choice in example 1 makes a critical error; it goes against factual information, presented in the passage. When a GMAT question asks you to weaken an argument, it asks you to weaken the logic of the reasoning behind it, not attack the facts stated. Therefore, if the passage is stating that the price of oil has increased due to the rising dollar, a weakening statement must attack the link between the rising dollar and the increase in oil prices. Bringing into question the premise of the passage is not the right approach. In conclusion, an answer choice that presents information that goes against something presented in the passage will always be incorrect.

4. Purely repetitive in terms of facts already mentioned in the passage


The fourth type of incorrect answer choice stands in contrast to the third. An answer choice that simply repeats or reasserts information that the passage already presented can also be dismissed. A correct answer choice will always provide new information.


Ten Main Question Types on Critical Reasoning



As mentioned above, the critical reasoning section is a highly complex part of the GMAT. Furthermore, this complexity leads many GMAT candidates to spend an inordinate amount of time in this section. Here, we will work towards helping you develop a firmer understanding of the ten main types of critical reasoning questions, found on the GMAT, and their unique answer requirements and parameters. If you are able to understand these question types, well, you will be able to identify the requirements of each question, more efficiently.

The Question Types


Please find, below, the ten main types of GMAT critical reasoning question types and their respective question structures.

1. Assumption Questions - The typical assumption question usually takes the form of:

Which of the following is an assumption made in the argument?

Or

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

2. Strengthening Questions - The typical strengthening question is usually along the lines of:

Which of the following statements, if true, would most significantly strengthen the argument drawn in the passage.

3. Weakening Questions - The typical structure of a weakening question is:

Which of the following statements, if true, would most significantly weaken the argument drawn in the passage.

These three question types are the most common in GMAT critical reasoning.

4. Explanation Questions - The typical structure of an explanation question is:

Which of the following would reveal, most clearly, the absurdity of the conclusion drawn above?

or

Which of the following would best resolve the paradox in the passage above?

5. Evaluation Questions - The typical structure of an evaluation question is:

Which of the following will help in resolving the validity of the above argument?

6. Inference Questions - The typical structure of an inference question is:

Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statement above.

7. Conclusion Questions - The typical structure for an inference question is along the lines of:

The author's main point is that...

or

The author is arguing that...

The final three types of questions are bit distinct, in that they are presented in different ways.

8. Para Completion Questions - In the case of par completion questions an incomplete paragraph will be given to you, and you will have to select the most appropriate option to end it with. The typical question structure is:

Which of the following best completes the passage?

9. Dialogue Questions - Dialogue questions are much the same as the standard types of questions, but the passage takes the form of a dialogue between two individuals, and a question is given based on the paragraph.

10. Boldfaced Questions - In boldfaced questions, a portion of the passage will be bolded and the question will be based on the role that the bolded section plays. The typical question structure is:

In the argument above, the portions in boldface play which of the following roles?


Characteristics of a Correct Assumption



When it comes to GMAT critical reasoning questions, understanding the nature of assumptions is vital to getting a good score. Assumptions are central to critical reasoning, and we will now cover what their exact nature and role on the GMAT are.

Characteristics of an Assumption


The key to solving GMAT critical reasoning questions is identifying the missing link, the gap between the premise and conclusion that make up the critical reasoning argument.

The defining features of a correct assumption are that it fills the missing link and is necessarily true. Please do keep in mind that both of the features must be present for a statement to be an assumption. Not everything that fills a missing link is an assumption; an assumption must also be necessarily true for the argument to hold. Thus, assumptions always lend strength to an argument and if made negative, void it. You might find this concept to be somewhat complex. Please go through the following example, for clarity.

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 only factor that the conclusion considers is GDP growth, and this answer choice suggests that GDP growth is important in determining the performance of a political party. Moreover, we can safely say that this answer choice must be true if the argument is to hold. If the answer choice was reversed to state that GDP growth did not matter in determining the performance of a political party, 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 is a good example of an 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.
Example 2 is not a correct assumption. Although it does fill in the missing link, it is not necessarily true. Even if the GDP growth is not the single most important factor in determining the party’s performance, instead being the second, third, or fourth most important, the argument would still hold. Thus, this answer choice is not necessarily true, and while it may be a good strengthening statement, it is not an assumption.


Difference Between "Strengthening Statement" and "Assumption"



As we have mentioned above, GMAT critical reasoning questions include an argument that consists of a premise and a conclusion. Within this argument, there will usually be a logical gap between the premise and conclusion , called the missing link. Identifying this missing link is the key to solving GMAT critical reasoning questions. Another aspect of the missing link that we have mentioned on this page is how “strengthening statements” and “assumptions” affect missing links. Here, we will cover the difference between these two elements, in greater detail.

Strengthening Statements and Assumptions


The defining trait of a strengthening statement is that it fills in the missing link by providing information that can bridge the gap between the premise and conclusion. The difference between an assumption and a strengthening statement is that the former serves the same function as the latter, but it must also necessarily be true. Therefore, we can say that assumptions are a subset of strengthening statements, and strengthening questions are easier versions of assumption questions. In summary, any statement that can fill the missing link is a strengthening statement, and if it must be true for the argument to hold, it is an assumption.

Please consider the following example, to understand this concept better.

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, and the conclusion is that the party has done a good job and should stay in power.

Now, consider the following answer choice:

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

This answer choice is an assumption. This statement bridges the gap between the premise and conclusion, by suggesting that GDP is an important factor in determining how well a political party performed. This answer choice is also an assumption, as it must be true for the argument to hold.

To further our understanding of this concept, we will now take up another example, with the same passage and the same reasoning but a different answer choice.

Example 2 - GDP growth is the most important factor in determining the performance of a political party.
Example 2 is only a strengthening statement, not an assumption. While it does fill the missing link very well, it need not be true for the argument to hold. To elaborate, even if GDP were the second most, third most, or even merely an important factor, the argument would still make sense.

By studying this example, you should be able to understand the distinction between strengthening statements and assumptions, quite well. So, make sure to do so as the sooner you understand this distinction, the easier your life on the GMAT critical reasoning will be.

Now, please consider one final example; once again, with the same passage and missing link.

Example 3 - During the tenure of no previous government did the GDP grow by more than 10%.
Again, this example is a good strengthening statement but not an assumption. The 5% gap indicates that this government improved upon the GDP growth. However, the statement does not have to be true for the argument to hold.


Assumption Negation Test



Here, we will cover how to employ the assumption negation test on GMAT critical reasoning questions. Since assumptions must fill the missing link between the premise and conclusion and be necessarily true for an argument to hold, they always strengthen arguments and when made negative, void the argument.Utilizing this property, you can test for valid assumptions on the GMAT; this is called the assumption negation test.

The Assumption Negation Test


We will now use a live example, to explain how to conduct this test.

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, and the conclusion is that the party has done a good job and should stay in power.

Now, consider this answer choice:

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

If you are having difficulty deciding whether this qualifies as an assumption, , invert this statement and apply it to the argument. If the argument is now void, the statement is an assumption. Inverted, the statement becomes “GDP growth is not an important factor in deciding the performance of a political party.” If this statement is true, the argument is voided, as the conclusion hinges upon the idea that high GDP growth is an important determining factor in the party's performance. Thus, this answer choice is an assumption.

Let us now take a look at another answer choice, for the same passage and missing link.

Example 2 - GDP growth is the most important factor in determining the performance of a political party.
When negated, this statement becomes “GDP growth is not the most important factor in determining the performance of a political party.”This statement does not void the argument because even if GDP growth is not the most important factor, it can still be an important determining factor. Thus, Example 2 is not an assumption.

Now let us go through one, final, example.

Example 3 - During the tenure of no previous government did the GDP grow by more than 10%.
This answer choice suggests that the previous governments did not manage to achieve GDP growth, as high as the current one’s. When inverted, the answer choice would state that some of the previous governments did manage to achieve a higher GDP growth. This statement does not invalidate the argument as the 15% rise in GDP being the highest ever is not necessary for the argument to hold. Once again, this answer choice qualifies as a strengthening statement but it is not an assumption.


Characteristics of a Strengthening Statement



Here, we will cover the characteristics of a strengthening statement, in the context of GMAT critical reasoning. This is a vital topic to master, if you are to tackle the GMAT critical reasoning questions. Identifying and working on the missing link is at the core of solving these questions and the strengthening statement is one of the primary factors that affects a missing link.

The Strengthening Statement


Every assumption made in support of an argument represents an inherent weakness in it. A strengthening statement should address this weakness by either eliminating it or or providing additional information that supports the conclusion. Through the following live examples, we will cover this concept, in detail.

Example 1 - Which of the following statements, if true, would most significantly strengthen the statement?
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, please consider this answer choice:

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

This answer choice states that GDP is important in determining how well or poor a political party performed. In doing so, it fills the missing link between GDP growth and the performance of the party. Thus, this answer choice is a fine strengthening statement because it addresses an inherent weakness in the argument, the relevance of GDP growth to the party’s performance and suitability for staying in power.

Now, let us take up another example, using the same passage and missing link:

Example 2 - GDP growth is the most important factor in determining the performance of a political party.
Just like example 1, example 2 fills the missing link between the premise that the GDP has grown and the conclusion that this growth proves that the political party has done a good job and deserves a second term.

At this point, it is important to mention that you must avoid evaluating theanswer choices. The language of the questions includes the caveat, "if true", meaning that you must assume he information to be accurate. You must not concern yourself with the supposed factual accuracy of the questions. Rather, you should simply evaluate them on the basis of whether the answer choice forms a strong link between the premise and conclusion.

Finally, we will go through two more examples.

Example 3 - During the tenure of no previous government did the GDP grow by more than 10%.
Please do not think that this answer choice is irrelevant. By mentioning that the 15% GDP growth rate is the highest ever, this answer choice also strengthens the argument by bringing in the additional relevant information.

Example 4 - None of the other similar economies experienced a GDP growth rate that exceeded 12% in that same tenure.
At first glance, example 4 may seem like an extrapolator, which you may remember is a type of answer choice that is always incorrect in GMAT critical reasoning, a they suggest that something that happened over there should happen here. However, in this case, the answer choice is not an extrapolator. Before drawing the comparison between the GDP growths, the argument has drawn an analogy by suggesting similar economies. Thus, this answer choice is also strengthening the conclusion, by bringing in additional, relevant, information.


Characteristics of a Weakening Statement



Here, we will cover the characteristics of a strengthening statement, in the context of GMAT critical reasoning. Understanding the weakening statement is vital to performing well on the GMAT critical reasoning section, for much the same reasons as why understanding the strengthening statements is important.

The Weakening Statement


As mentioned in the section on strengthening statements, very assumption made in support of an argument represents an inherent weakness in it. To be a weakening statement, an answer choice must attack this weakness by either invalidating the argument or providing additional information that weakens the conclusion. Through the following live examples, we will cover this concept, in detail.

Weakening Versus Strengthening


In the context of GMAT critical reasoning, weakening and strengthening have opposite objective but similar concepts. In fact, weakening statements are often seen as an easier equivalent to strengthening statements, as it is much easier to attack flaws in an argument than build it up.. Please go through the following live examples, to understand this concept.

Example 1 - Which of the following statements, if true, would most significantly strengthen the statement?
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, please consider this answer choice:

- GDP growth is not an important factor in deciding the performance of a political party.

This conclusion is builtupon the idea that the GDP growth has been good. Thus, by suggesting that GDP growth is irrelevant to judging the performance of a political party, and it suitability for maintaining power, this answer choice undermines the argument.

Let us take up a few more examples, using the same passage and missing link:

Example 2 - During the tenure of no previous government, the GDP grew by less than 18%.
By suggesting that all previous governments achieved a GDP growth that was at least 3% higher than the one achieved by the current one, this answer choice introduces relevant information that weakens the conclusion. Thus, it is a fine weakening statement,

Example 3 - The government did not play an important role in achieving the GDP.
Example 3 attacks the causal link between the current political party in power and the GDP growth. In doing so, it undermines the argument by suggesting that the GDP growth cannot be used to judge the party in power’s performance and suitability for staying in power, making it a fine example of a weakening statement.

Example 4 - None of the other economies witnessed a growth of less than 20% in GDP, during the same tenure.
This answer choice first draws an analogy by suggesting similar economies. Without such an analogy, answer choices like this are typically considered incorrect on the GMAT. However, creating an analogy by suggesting that other economies are similar and then stating that every other economy's GDP has grown by at least 5% more is an excellent way of introducing new information to weaken the conclusion.

Example 5 - 15% GDP growth is the lowest in 100 years for Xitora.
This answer choice also brings in additional relevant information that weakens the argument.

In the same way, there can be any number of potential answer choices for a weakening question. As mentioned earlier, it is easier to weaken an argument than to strengthen it.

Now, we will take up one final example, once again with the same passage and missing link.

Example 6 - The GDP did not grow by 15%.
Example 6 is a bad answer choice, as it directly contradicts information presented in the passage, itself. Remember, any answer choice must only affect the logical reasoning presented in the passage, not the information. A passage must be weakened by attacking the connection between the premise and the conclusion; trying to refute the facts presented in not the correct way.


Characteristics of an Explanation Statement



Here, we will cover the nature and use of explanation statements, another of the primary elements that act upon the missing link, in GMAT critical reasoning questions. Once again, we must reiterate that it is vital to understand this concept, given the importance of working upon the missing link to solve critical reasoning questions.

The Explanation Statement


When tackling a GMAT explanation question, you will most likely be asked to address a paradox, a discrepancy between the premise and the conclusion. These paradoxes arise from the gap in logical reasoning between the premise and the conclusion, and a correct explanation statement should clarify the absurdity/paradox and fill the missing link. The missing link approach that we have described, elsewhere on this page, is a fine approach to solving such questions.

Now, please take a close look at the following live examples.

Example 1 - Which of the following will resolve the paradox in the reasoning?
The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This growth is highest among all tenures over the last 50 years. However, the party has not done a good job and must not get another tenure.

The missing link here is between the GDP growth and the conclusion that the did a bad job and does not deserve another tenure.

If this passage is taken to be correct, in that Xitora’s GDP growth is the highest its been in 50 years, the conclusion does not logically follow. The natural conclusion that would flow from a statement informing us that a party had managed to achieve a record high GDP growth would be that the party has done a good job.

We will now take up the following answer choice, as a potential explanation statement.

- The growth in GDP was primarily due to the growth in the private sector and the government had an insignificant role in it. Moreover, the crime rate was at its all-time peak.

The answer choice does a very good job of resolving the paradox. It brings in additional information, the fact that the credit for the high GDP growth should go to the private sector, simply shifting credit for the growth away from the government. Therefore, this answer choice is a fine explanation statement.

We will now take up another answer choice, for the same passage and missing link.

Example 2 - During the same tenure, the GDP of other similar economies grew by more than 20%.
Answer choices of this sort are not, usually, correct on the GMAT, as they can be accused of extrapolation. However, in this case, an analogy has been drawn by grouping similar economies together. Thus, if the GDPs of other, similar, economies grew at a much higher rate, the government cannot be said to have done a good job. To put it simply, example 2 suggests that 15% is not an impressive growth rate for such an economy and the government should have done a better job, meaning that this answer choice has successfully resolved the paradox.


Beware When you See Numbers in CR Questions



As you prepare for your GMAT, you may find that critical reasoning questions that happen to include numerical values are especially challenging. It is easy to get distracted by the by the seemingly concrete quality of information that the fixed numbers provide and lose sight of the passage’s core point. Here, we will cover how to avoid being tricked by numbers in GMAT critical reasoning questions.

Numbers in GMAT Critical Reasoning


If a GMAT critical reasoning question contains numbers, especially numbers that can make an impression, take great interest in the argument. As the “catches” or "trap" of the CR question is, typically, somehow related to the number, you must pay close attention to them.We will now cover this concept, through a live example.

Example 1 - Which of the following, if true, weakens the conclusion?
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 should stay in power for 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, the problem here, which often trips GMAT candidates up, is that the numbers can skew the reader’ perception of the overall information presented. This passage speaks of the supposedly fine performance of a political party and its deservingness for a second term. The seemingly high numbers, 15% and 50 years, represent a supposedly high GDP growth and a significant length of time; thus, it is only natural that you might develop a certain impression of this information. You need to be highly critical about these numbers.

Consider the following answer choice.

- During the same tenure, the GDP of similar economies grew by more than 20%.

This answer choice suggests that the GDP growth experienced by Xitora, during this party’s tenure, is not particularly impressive. It does so by providing new information that suggests that such a rate of GDP growth is the norm for countries like Xitora. Therefore, this answer choice is a very fine weakening statement.

At this point, we would like to impress upon you that the information presented in this answer choice is not irrelevant, and the answer choice is not an extrapolator. Although it may come across as an extrapolator, at first, this answer choice actually avoids this flaw by drawing an analogy between economies of similar types, whose GDPs grew by 20%. Thus, it suggests that a 15% growth, while impressive, is not exceptional and is not an indicator that the ruling party has done a particularly fine job.

There are many GMAT weakening, strengthening, and especially explanation questions centered around the numbers presented in the passage. While attempting the GMAT CR questions, take care to critically and carefully examine the numbers involved.


Characteristics of an Evaluation Statement



As is the case with the other types of questions that we have discussed here, the understanding the missing link is vital when tackling evaluation-based critical reasoning questions. Here, we will cover the characteristics of evaluation statements on GMAT critical reasoning.

The Evaluation Statement


The reason the missing link is very prominent in GMAT evaluation questions because 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. Keep in mind that this finding need not necessarily help or hinder the argument. The point is not to find information that can strengthen or weaken the argument; it is to evaluate the exercise. Remember, the evaluation’s outcome can strengthen or weaken the argument, both are equally valid. Please go through the following example to understand this concept.

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.

We will now consider the following answer choice.

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

The only factor that has been taken into account, when determining the argument’s conclusion, the quality of the party’s performance and its suitability for a second term, is Xitora’s GDP growth. Therefore, we can say that he validity of the conclusion hinges on GDP’s suitability as a metric for judging a political party’s performance. Therefore, this answer choice is a good evaluation statement. Understanding whether GDP is an important factor in judging a political party's performance will help to evaluate the conclusion's validity. Depending on whether the GDP is important or not, the conclusion could be weakened or strengthened. However, that is not an element that we have to take into account here.

Let us now go through a few more answer choices for the same passage and missing link.

Example 2 - Whether the government played an important role in achieving the growth in GDP.
In example 2, whether the evaluation is positive or negative, understanding the extent of the government’s role in achieving GDP growth will provide us with a better understanding of their performance. Therefore, example 2 is also a correct evaluation statement.

Example 3 - Whether a 15% growth in GDP is satisfactory, considering Xitora's socio-political situation.
This answer choice can seem a bit complicated, at first glance. However, if we simplify it a little, we arrive at a statement asking whether 15% GDP growth is good enough to say that the ruling party has done well in this regard. In this answer choice, we see a common tactic that GMAT questions employ. GMAT questions often employ high numbers, as we tend not to question them and fall into the trap of using our general knowledge and common sense to judge the statements.

Thus a statement that questions the praiseworthiness of a 15% GDP growth is also a good evaluation statement.

Example 4 - Whether the performance of the government was satisfactory in on other factors in deciding the performance of a government.
As the given conclusion talks about the overall performance of the government but is based on only the GDP; therefore, an evaluation of how the government performed on other relevant factors is relevant, and example 4 is an excellent evaluation statement.


Characteristics of an Inference Statement



Here, we will cover cover the characteristics of inference statements, one of the functions that act upon the missing link. We will begin by discussing what exactly an inference is and what its role in GMAT critical reasoning is.

The Inference Statement


AN inference is a conclusion, reached on the basis of certain information provided. While working on GMAT critical reasoning questions, please keep in mind that the correct answer choice should be based entirely on the information provided. It should not include any form of extrapolation or assumption. Please go through the following examples, carefully, to understand this concept.

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 we will consider several, different answer choices.

1. The political party deserves another term.
This statement is too broad to be a good inference. The party’s suitability for remaining in power is dependent on many factors, other than GDP growth. Whether the party should retain power depends on their overall performance, of which fostering GDP growth is just one part.

2. The political party has done a great job at governance.
Again, in the second answer choice, the term used is too broad. The quality of a political party’s governance depends on many factors, besides GDP growth. It is quite clear that the information provided in this answer choice is simply not enough to draw this inference.

3. If it were not for the current political party, the GDP growth would have been less than 15%.
The supposed consequences of this particular party not having governed simply cannot be inferred from the information provided. Thus, this is a poor example of an inference statement.

4. No other similar economy witnessed greater than 15% GDP growth during the same tenure.
Example 4 is a poor inference statement, as it introduces completely new information. The provided information is not enough to infer what happened to other, similar economies.

5. The GDP growth during the current party's tenure has been extraordinary.
Something that is the highest of its kind in 50 years can, indeed, be described as extraordinary. Therefore, this answer choice is a good inference statement.


Characteristics of a Conclusion Statement



On the GMAT, each critical reasoning question has a central point. A statement that summarizes this point is known as a conclusion statement. Here, we will cover the defining characteristics of such statements and how to identify them on GMAT critical reasoning questions.

The Conclusion Statement


The conclusion of a passage is, essentially, the main reason that it was written. It can also be understood as the main reasoning behind the argument. As such a statement can be seen as somewhat subjective, we feel that it would be prudent to clarify that the meaning of the argument is to be considered, from the author’s point of view. Please go through the following question to understand this concept.

The Author’s Main Point is That…


Typically, a GMAT conclusion statement question takes the form of "The author's main point is that..." with the answer choices being potential conclusion statements. Let us illustrate, through the following examples.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, the party is unlikely to win another term in the upcoming elections. Certain socio-political moves by the incumbent government have led to severe public outcry. As a result, recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party.

Mind Map: High GDP growth--> party deserves credit--> party's socio-political moves have been criticized--> polls show a decline in popularity--> the party is not likely to win again.

We will now go through the potential answer choices to see how to eliminate inappropriate options in a conclusion statement question.

Option 1 - The party's efforts need to be applauded.
While the information presented in option 1 is mentioned in the passage, it is not part of the conclusion. This information is included in the premise. Therefore, this choice is incorrect.

Option 2 - The party has failed on socio-political fronts.
The passage, merely, states that the party's socio-political moves have led to public outcry. This information is not enough to conclude that it has failed on these fronts, meaning that it cannot even be an inference, much less a conclusion.

Option 3 - The party's actions on socio-political issues have led to severe public outcry.
This information is stated, outright, in the passage. However, it is not the conclusion, as it is not what the argument was written to say.

The argument here has not been written to suggest that there was an outcry, it seems to have been written to suggest that the party will not win another term.

Option 4 - The popularity of the party has declined in recent times.
This is close, but it is not the conclusion.

Option 5 - The opinion polls reflect a decline in the popularity of the party.
Much like option 3, option 5 is information stated in the passage that is, nonetheless, not the conclusion. Option 5, is a supporting statement.

Option 6 - The party will lose the upcoming elections.
Option 6 may seem like a good answer choice, but it is actually a trap. This answer choice is too strong, given the language used in the passage. The passage only states that "the party is unlikely to win", which is not the same as saying that it will certainly lose.

Option 7 - The party will take serious corrective socio-political measure before the election.
Option 7 is, entirely speculative. It can neither be inferred nor concluded.

Option 8 - The party is likely to lose the upcoming elections.
This is the main point of the passage, a very fine conclusion statement.


Characteristics of a Para-completion Statement



As the name suggests, answering a GMAT para-completion . To do so, you must pick the most appropriate completing statement, from among the options presented. Here, we will cover how to best determine the appropriateness of para-completion answer choices.

The Para-Completion Statement


There are two requirements that an answer choice must fulfil, in order to be considered correct. A correct para-completion statement must effectively finish the paragraph and logically flow from the whole paragraph, not just the last sentence, doing justice to the whole passage or conversation. For such questions, the mind map strategy is the best approach. Unlike most critical reasoning questions, the missing link is not needed here. All that is required is that the mind map has a logical train of thought; even if the argument presents the facts in a haphazard manner, they must be arranged logically, in your mind map. Please go through the following example to understand this concept, fully. Example 1 -Which of the following best completes the passage?

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. The government's role in this growth has been vastly applauded by multiple sections of society. However, the party is unlikely to win another term in the upcoming elections. However, the government has been accused of being soft on various social, political, and diplomatic issues. The elections are due in three months and therefore...

Mind Map: High GDP growth--> party deserves credit--> party's stand on social, political, and diplomatic issues has been criticized--> ...

Before we begin analysing the question choices, proper, it would be prudent to understand what exactly the passage is doing. To put it very simply, the first half of the passage praises the current governing part of Xitora, while the second half criticises it. Remember, it is always important to be clear on the meaning of a question, before you begin analysing answer choices.

Option 1 - The party is not likely to win another term in office.
Option 1 is not very well thought out. This answer choice only does justice to the second half of the passage, the part criticizing the party, not the whole thing. Therefore, it is not correct.

Option 2 - The party's economic policies must be lauded.
Option 2 stands as an inversion of option 1. It only talks about the first half of the paragraph, where the party is praised but does not address the second half. Therefore, this is also not a good answer choice.

Option 3 - The voter's must analyze the party's performance.
Option 3 carries an overly emotional tone. Such answer choices are rarely correct.

Option 4 - The public must demand greater government action on social, political, and diplomatic issues.
As is the case with option 1, option 4 only refers to the information presents in the second half of the paragraph. It does not cover the election. If you take a close look at the final sentence, you will see that it begins by mentioning elections, thus, the correct option must also be related to elections.

Option 5 - It is difficult to predict whether the party will win another term in office.
The first half of the paragraph talks about one of the government's strong points, the second half talks about one of its weak points, and the final sentence talks about elections. Since the author's opinion seems to be that the government has both strong and weak points, the idea that the election results will be difficult to predict is a fine conclusion to the passage.


Strategy for Solving CR Boldface Questions



Here, we will cover how to answer boldface critical reasoning questions, on the GMAT, effectively. In GMAT boldface questions, a passage will be provided that has one or more portions in boldface. The question will be to determine what role those portions play in the passage.

Strategy for Solving GMAT Boldface Questions


Step 1: Identify the conclusion of the argument.
Step 2: Link the bold part(s) with the conclusion.
Step 3: Know what you are going to look for in the options.
Step 4: Use the grid system to eliminate four answer choices. The remaining, fifth, answer choice will be the answer.

Please pay close attention to the following example to understand this strategy.

Example 1 - In the given argument, what roles do the boldfaced sections play?
The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

Mind Map: GDP growth has been great--> party deserves credit-->party has been soft on other issues-->not likely to win elections

First of all, let us begin by understanding what the conclusion of this passage is. In this case, the conclusion appears to be the second bolded section, itself, that the party in unlikely to win another term, making our task of understanding how the bolded sections relate to the conclusion a bit easier. The first bold part is an argument, implication, or fact that the argument tried evaluating the implication of. In the process of doing so, the argument talked about the government's performance on other fronts and concluded that the party was not going to win the elections. Thus, the first boldface section is a statement, fact, or implication, whose implication is being examined by the argument, and the second boldfaced section is the conclusion of the argument.

Having understood the expectations of this question, we can now go through the answer choices. Remember, always make sure to fully understand the question, itself, before taking a look at the answer choices.

Option 1 - The first is a circumstance whose implication the argument seeks to evaluate; the second is the main conclusion.
Here, option 1 is actually the correct answer choice. It describes the roles of the two boldface sections, perfectly, and lines up with our expectations.

Option 2 - The first is a finding that the argument seeks to evaluate; the second opposes the finding.
The first half of option 2 is, in fact, correct; as we have described above, the first boldface section is a finding that the passage seeks to evaluate. However, this is not the correct answer choice, as the second part is incorrect. If the second boldfaced section opposed the finding, it would say that the GDP has not grown by 15%.

Option 3 - The first is a fact that opposes the main conclusion; the second is the main conclusion.
In option 3, we see the inverse of option 2; the second half is correct but the first half is not. We will take a close look at this answer choice as it is a very close answer choice, making it a potentially dangerous trap. Suggesting that the GDP has grown by 15% is not suggesting that the party is likely to win, thus opposing the conclusion. While this fact could lead to a slightly different prediction, the role of the first boldfaced section, in the reasoning, is not to oppose the main conclusion; it is simply to mention something positive that the party may have done or had a role in.

Option 4 - The first is a finding that helps derive a conclusion; the second is the conclusion.
Option 4 is a very interesting answer choice, but it is not likely to be the correct one. In all likelihood, the conclusion mentioned here is that the party must be applauded for its role in achieving a 15% growth in GDP, as that is the most logical conclusion to stem from the fact that the GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current governing party, the information presented in the first boldface section. However, this is not the conclusion mentioned in the second boldfaced section; that is the main conclusion of the passage, that the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.


Frequently Used Vocabulary in Boldface Questions



Elsewhere, on this page, we have defined the parameters of GMAT boldface questions. These questions consist of a passage, wherein one or more sections will be in boldface. The question will ask you to determine what those sections’ role in the passage is. While the questions are highly logical and straightforward, they do have a vocabulary of their own that many GMAT candidates find perplexing. Unless you are already familiar with the words and phrases commonly associated with GMAT boldface questions, it is very easy to become confused by them. Here, we will cover some of the vocabulary, most commonly seen in GMAT boldface questions, including both nouns and verbs.

Nouns


1. Conclusion –“Conclusion” is used to refer to the main point of the argument, in boldface questions.

2. Judgment –“Judgement” is used to refer to any particular individual or group's opinion. An opinion, of course, is any type of statement that is subjective in nature.

3. Prediction –“Prediction” is also a term used to refer to opinions. However, this term differs from others such as it, in that it specifically refers to an opinion about a likely outcome.

4. Evidence –“Evidence” is used to refer to hard data and facts that can be used to draw inferences.

5. Fact - In GMAT boldface questions, "fact" is only used to refer to information that is known to be true, definitively.

6. Opinion –As we mentioned above, “opinion” means someone's individual point of view.

7. Main Conclusion –Boldface arguments often contain more than one conclusion; there can only be one main conclusion, however. The "Main Conclusion" is the final conclusion of the argument.

8. A Conclusion –In contrast to number 7, the term "A Conclusion" refers to one of the intermediate conclusions of the argument.

9. Circumstance –In the context of GMAT boldface questions, “conclusion” refers to any sort of fact or condition.

10. Assumption - An “assumption” is a supposition. This means that it is to be taken as truth, even though there is no proof in its favor.

11. Consideration - "Consideration" refers to some type of careful thought.

12. Finding - A finding is some form of fact or information that is discovered. This is in contrast to information that is freely provided.

13. Explanation - An explanation is a statement that clarifies something by providing information.

14. Objection - An objection is a statement that opposes or challenges some other information.

15. Claim –“Claim” is similar to "assumption". Both are, essentially, assertions made without proof.

16. Position –On GMAT boldface questions. “position” refers to a stance taken by someone.

Out of the sixteen terms listed here, the most common are circumstance, evidence, fact, conclusion, opinion, judgment, and assumption.

Verbs


1. To Oppose - On the GMAT, the term "to oppose" means "to challenge".

2. To Establish - "To establish" refers to establishing facts. Another way to put this is that “to establish” means proving something.

3. To Evaluate – On the GMAT, “evaluating” is synonymous with “examining”.

4. To Imply - The term "to imply", essentially, means to suggest something.

5. To Introduce - On GMAT, "to introduce" refers to “introducing” information. This term is employed in the context of new information being bought up.

6. To Support –In GMAT boldface questions, “support” is used in the context of supporting, which means strengthening, an argument.

7. To Undermine - Conversely "undermine" means to weaken an argument.

8. To Challenge - Of course "to challenge" means the same thing as "to oppose". The two terms are, largely, interchangeable.

9. To Describe - On the GMAT, the term "to describe" is used to mean "to elucidate".

Out of these nine verbs, "to support", "to explain", "to evaluate", "to establish", and "to oppose" are the ones that you will see most frequently on GMAT boldface questions.


Key Points for Boldface Questions



In GMAT critical reasoning boldface questions, the purpose is to determine what role the bolded portions, of the passages, play. Boldface questions, often, put GMAT candidates on the back foot. The main cause for the candidates’ confusion tends to be the format and, somewhat oblique, vocabulary used by the questions. Due to the introduction of these new elements, many candidates come to doubt their abilities and make avoidable mistakes.Here, we will cover the key points to keep in mind regarding the GMAT boldface questions.

The Key Points


To begin with, do not be nervous. Despite their, seemingly strange, natureboldface questions are extremely logical and it is entirely possible to get 100% accuracy on them. It is actually quite common for GMAT candidates to report that they completed the GMAT without a single incorrect boldface question. The main reason why students tend to be scared of the boldface questions is that they do not have the proper strategy for tackling them. Having covered this strategy, elsewhere on this page, we will now recap it.

Strategy Recap


The first step of this strategy is identifying the conclusion of the passage. Secondly,connect the passage’s boldface sections with the conclusion. The third step is very important; you must be sure to maintain a clear picture of what to expect from the answer choices, or else you will be confused by the vocabulary, associated with the answer choices.

As you may have ascertained by now, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the unique vocabulary of boldface questions. We have gone through said vocabulary, at length, elsewhere on this page.You may want to go through that section, very carefully, to ensure that you understand the nomenclature, associated with the GMAT boldface questions.

Finally, when answering the boldface questions on your GMAT, follow the grid method for eliminating incorrect answer choices, as always. Remember, on the GMAT, it is not about finding a perfect answer choice, or the "correct" answer choice; it is about finding the most appropriate of the five answer choices presented. Have the grid in place, and once you have eliminated four answer choices, the one that is left is the best answer choice.


Vocabulary Test 1 for Boldface Questions



By this point, you should know what exactly the nature of a GMAT Boldface question is. These questions include a passage, wherein one or more sections have been bolded. You will then have to determine the role of those passages in the broader passage. Due to the complex vocabulary associated with this type of GMAT question, many candidates find boldface questions to be especially challenging. Thus, we have put together a few vocabulary tests on the same. Here, you will find the first of five such tests.

Vocabulary Test #1


Please read the passage below and then go through the list of terms below it. To improve your understanding of how to identify terms on GMAT boldface questions, see which of them can apply to the bolded portion. Once you have arrived at your answer, read further to see an explanation for each option.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

-Main Conclusion
-A Conclusion
-Fact/Finding
-Opinion
-Judgment
-Circumstance
-Evidence
-Prediction
-Assumption
-Consideration

Answers


First, please go through the mind map for the passage.

Mind Map: GDP growth has been great--> party deserves credit-->party has been soft on other issues--> not likely to win

1. Main Conclusion - The boldface portion clearly, and quite plainly, states a fact that is not based on any other information. Thus, it cannot be called a conclusion, let alone the main conclusion of the passage.

2. A Conclusion - As mentioned above, the bolded portion is not a conclusion of any kind.

3. Fact/Finding –Again, as mentioned above, the bolded portion states a fact very clearly. Thus, this is a fine way to refer to it.

4. Opinion –The bolded section presents information that is treated as a hard fact, rather than someone’s subjective viewpoint. Therefore, it cannot be called an opinion.

5. Circumstance - This is a fitting label for the bolded portion.

6. Evidence - The bolded portion can be described as evidence, although that is not the role that it plays in this passage.

7. Prediction –The bolded section makes no inferences, so it cannot possibly be a prediction.

8. Assumption –As we have already established, the bolded section conveys a hard fact. This means that it cannot be an assumption.

9. Yes, this bolded portion could be called a consideration, under most circumstances. However, in this reasoning, the bolded portion does not play the role of consideration.

Therefore, the two most appropriate options are Fact/Finding, and Circumstance.


Vocabulary Test 2 for Boldface Questions



In this section, you will find the second of our five vocabulary tests for the GMAT boldface questions. Please go through this test, carefully, to understand the exact meanings of the complicated terms associated with the GMAT boldface questions and hoe to identify them.

Vocabulary Test # 2


After reading the following passage, please go through the list of terms below it, and see which can apply to the bolded portion. Once you have arrived at your answer, read further to see an explanation for each option.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a nation, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

-Main Conclusion
-A Conclusion
-Fact/Finding
-Opinion
-Judgment
-Circumstance
-Evidence
-Prediction
-Assumption
-Consideration

Answers


Before trying to find the answers, please go through the mind map for the passage.

Mind Map: GDP growth has been great--> party deserves credit-->party has been soft on other issues--> not likely to win

1. Main Conclusion – From the mind map, we know that the main conclusion of the passage is that the party is unlikely to win a second term. Thus, it is clear that the bolded section is not the main conclusion.

2. A Conclusion - The bolded section is not an intermediate conclusion either.

3. Fact –While the bolded section can be considered a fact, as it is an objective statement, this would be a somewhat weak choice, as the information is not a hard fact.

4. Opinion - This is a good potential answer, as the information presented cannot be called a hard fact, as mentioned above. It would be more accurate to call the bolded section an interpretation of information.

5. Judgment - This is also a fine choice, largely for the same reasons that make "Opinion" a good option.

6. Circumstance - The bolded section is not a circumstance.

7. Evidence –As has already been established, the bolded section cannot be called a firm fact. Thus, it cannot be considered “evidence”, as well.

8. Prediction - The bolded section is not a prediction. The bolded section takes the form of information presented in support of a statement, not speculation on a potential occurence.

9. Assumption - The bolded section is not an assumption, as there is no inference being made.

10. Consideration - Yes, this bolded section can be described as a consideration.

Thus, the three terms that can apply to the bolded section are "opinion", "judgment", and "consideration". Considering the role that the bolded section plays in the passage, the best term is "consideration". The bolded section acts as a consideration to lead to the intermediate conclusion that the party must be applauded for its role.


Vocabulary Test 3 for Boldface Questions



In this section, you will find the third of our five vocabulary tests for the GMAT boldface questions. Please go through this test, carefully, to understand the exact meanings of the complicated terms associated with the GMAT boldface questions and hoe to identify them.

Vocabulary Test # 3


After reading the following passage, please go through the list of terms below it, and see which can apply to the bolded portion. Once you have arrived at your answer, read further to see an explanation for each option.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 100 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party must be applauded for its role in the achievement. However, recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

-Main Conclusion
-A Conclusion
-Fact/Finding
-Opinion
-Judgment
-Circumstance
-Evidence
-Prediction
-Assumption
-Consideration

Answers


Before trying to find the answers, please go through the mind map for the passage.

1. Main Conclusion - While this bolded section is a conclusion, it is not the main conclusion. From the mind map, we can see that the main conclusion is that the party is not likely to win.

2. A Conclusion - The bolded section is an intermediate conclusion, drawn from the first half of the paragraph. It is not the main conclusion, but it is part of the chain of conclusions in this passage.

3. Fact/Finding - The bolded section is not a fact, for sure, as it is clearly the author's stance on a subject, not a firm reality.

4. Opinion - As mentioned above, the bolded section is the author's stance on the subject, meaning that, on the GMAT, it can be called an opinion.

5. Judgment –Similarly, the bolded section can also be called an opinion. In it, the author provides his or her own stance on a subject. Thus, on the GMAT, this bolded section can be called an opinion.

6. Circumstance - The bolded section is not a circumstance.

7. Evidence - As the bolded section is not a firm fact, it will not be considered a piece of evidence, on the GMAT.

8. Prediction –The author does not speculate on any future events, in the bolded section. Thus, it cannot be called a prediction.

9. Assumption - The bolded section is, obviously, not an assumption.

10. Consideration - The bolded section can be called a consideration, but given its role in the passage, this would be a weak choice.

All things considered, given the role that the bolded section plays in the passage, the most appropriate term to use for it would be "a conclusion".


Vocabulary Test 4 for Boldface Questions



In this section, you will find the fourth of our five vocabulary tests for the GMAT boldface questions. Please go through this test, carefully, to understand the exact meanings of the complicated terms associated with the GMAT boldface questions and hoe to identify them.

Vocabulary Test # 4


After reading the following passage, please go through the list of terms below it, and see which can apply to the bolded portion. Once you have arrived at your answer, read further to see an explanation for each option.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 50 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, the recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the partyb> owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

-Main Conclusion
-A Conclusion
-Fact/Finding
-Opinion
-Judgment
-Circumstance
-Evidence
-Prediction
-Assumption
-Consideration

Answers


Before trying to find the answers, please go through the mind map for the passage.

Mind Map: GDP growth has been great--> party deserves credit-->party has been soft on other issues--> not likely to win

Main Conclusion The bolded section, clearly, does not describe the main conclusion of the passage. From the mind map, we can see that the passage’s main conclusion is that the party is not likely to win. However, the bolded section does have a connection to the main conclusion; it is a piece of evidence, presented in its support.

A Conclusion –Related to the point made above, not only is the bolded section not the passage’s main conclusion, it is not a conclusion of any sort. The bolded section consists of information that is stated, plainly, not determined by analyzing other information.

Fact –Within the context of the passage, the bolded section is, certainly, a fact. The information in the bolded section is presented as objective and there is nothing else in the passage that contradicts it.

Opinion - The bolded section is not an opinion, although it is understandable why you might be confused on this point, as the bolded section mentions opinion polls. Remember, while an opinion may be subjective, the existence of the polls is not. Whether the poll occurred, what it found, etc., are all subjective, and even quantifiable, entities.

Judgment – Similarly, the boldface section cannot be called a judgement.The section, simply, presents facts; it does not evaluate them. Since opinion polls are objective, terms such as fact and evidence are better fits for this question.

Circumstance –“Circumstance” can be applied to this boldface section, but it is a rather weak choice.

Evidence - This is a very good choice, as the information presented in the boldface is being used to support the main conclusion.

Prediction - The bolded section does not speculate on future events, in any way, meaning it is not a prediction.

Assumption - The bolded section states information and does not make any assumptions, so this is a poor choice.

Consideration –The term consideration can also be used to refer to the boldface, although it would be a bit of a weak choice.

Based on the above reasoning, fact, evidence, circumstance, and consideration are the most fitting terms for this boldfaced section. If we are to select one of these terms, then “evidence” is the best candidate. In the context of this passage, the bolded section is evidence that is used to support the final conclusion. The fact that the current party in power has seen a steep decline in popularity polls is used to support the conclusion that it will not win a second term.


Vocabulary Test 5 for Boldface Questions



In this section, you will find the fifth and final vocabulary test that we have prepared, for the GMAT boldface questions. Please go through this test, carefully, to understand the exact meanings of the complicated terms associated with the GMAT boldface questions and hoe to identify them.

Vocabulary Test # 5


After reading the following passage, please go through the list of terms below it, and see which can apply to the bolded portion. Once you have arrived at your answer, read further to see an explanation for each option.

The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the current political party. This is the highest growth since any tenure over the previous 50 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement. However, the recent opinion polls reflect a steep decline in the popularity of the party owing to its perceived softness on longstanding social, economic, and diplomatic issues. Therefore, the party is unlikely to win another term in the forthcoming elections.

-Main Conclusion
-A Conclusion
-Fact/Finding
-Opinion
-Judgment
-Circumstance
-Evidence
-Prediction
-Assumption
-Consideration

Answers


Before trying to find the answers, please go through the mind map for the passage.

Mind Map: GDP growth has been great--> party deserves credit-->party has been soft on other issues--> not likely to win

Main Conclusion –Here, we can see that the first choice is a fitting answer. The bolded section can be called the main conclusion of the passage, as it is the ultimate result of the passage’s reasoning and the information presented within it.

A Conclusion –As mentioned above, the bolded section is a conclusion. However, we cannot refer to it as, simply. “a conclusion”. On the GMAT “a conclusion” refers to intermediate conclusions, conclusions that are separate from the main conclusion of the argument.

Fact –On a separate note, the bolded section is a somewhat subjective statement. It is the author’s interpretation of information present in the passage. Thus, it cannot be taken as a fact.

Opinion –As we have established above, the bolded section is a subjective statement, based on the author’s interpretation of information. Thus, it can be called and opinion.

Judgment –For the same reasons that it can be called an opinion, the bolded section can also be referred to as a judgement.

Circumstance –The bolded section in in no way a circumstance.

Evidence - The bolded section is the main conclusion of the passage. Thus, it is highly unlikely that it could be meant to serve as evidence for some further conclusion.

Prediction –In the bolded section, the author speculates on the outcome of a future event, the upcoming elections. Therefore, the bolded section can, certainly, be called a prediction.

Assumption - The bolded section makes no assumptions.

Consideration - The bolded section is in no way a consideration.

Thus, main conclusion, opinion, judgment, and prediction are the potential answer choices here. Considering the specific role played by the bolded section in this passage, the best choice here is clearly, "main conclusion".


A Note on Dialogue Based CR Questions



On the surface, a dialogue based critical reasoning question seems extremely different from a conventional critical reasoning question. However, the truth is that the two types of questions are functionally identical. The basic concepts of GMAT critical reasoning remain, exactly, the same.Dialogue based questions will still be based on strengthening, assumption, weakening, explanation, evaluation, or inference. The only real difference is that, rather than an argument, the information will be presented in the form of a dialogue or conversation, between two or more parties. Please go through the sample question, below, to gain a better understanding of this concept.

Sample Question


Which of the following represents the fundamental flaw of Martina's response?

Jack: The GDP of Xitora has grown by 15% during the tenure of the Democrats. This is the highest growth during any tenure of the previous 30 years. Since the GDP growth is a fine indication of the economic growth of a party, the party has been applauded for its role in the achievement.

Martina: I disagree, you are discounting the soft stand by Democrats on long-standing social and diplomatic issues. Such a stand makes the performance of the government far from laudable.

Here, John has made an assertion and Martina has made a response, refuting it, that we are informed has a weakness. The question is which answer choice best describes that fundamental weakness. We will now go through the answer choices, one by one.

If we build a mind map for this question, we will find that John has suggested a high GDP growth and asserted that the current political party deserves to be applauded for its role in achieving the same. In response, Martina says that responds that the Democrats' performance on social and diplomatic issues has been soft and, thus, the government cannot be lauded.

Option 1 - She refutes Jack's argument, which is backed by numerical data, by her claim not backed by any evidence.
On a technical level, this argument is not invalid. Jack did back his argument with numerical data and Martina did not do so. However, Option 1 is not the main weakness of the argument, making it a weak choice.



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