\ Determining the method of reasoning deployed on GMAT Critical Reasoning

# Determining the method of reasoning deployed on GMAT Critical Reasoning

## Determining the Method of Reasoning Deployed on GMAT CR

In GMAT critical reasoning, there are several different types of questions that you will encounter. In this short article, we will cover the characteristics of the determining method of reasoning questions and how to solve them.

### Determining Method of Reasoning

In method of reasoning questions, an argument is presented, and the question asks you to identify which answer choice best describes the reasoning of the argument. Typically, the question is “In the passage, the author develops the argument by…?”

Let us understand this concept better by taking a GMAT-like example:

Example 1: Japanese texts often make no clear distinction between the colors blue and green because until the modern era, the Japanese language had no distinct word for the color blue, referring to it as a gradient of green. Similarly, ancient Greek texts, such as The Iliad, describe dark blue objects as being black and light blue objects as being gray. Thus, classics scholars believe that ancient Greek also lacked a distinct word for blue, defining dark blue as a shade of black and light blue as a shade of gray.

The author develops the argument in this passage by…?

Here, we have a passage followed by a question stem; the methodology for soling this question is what you have been taught in all the other sessions.

Step 1 – Read the question stem.
Step 2 – Read the argument.
Step 3 – Come up with a broad expectation from the correct answer choice.

Here, the author begins by mentioning “Japanese texts” and then refers to “Greek texts” with the buzzword “Similarly”, and the conclusion of the passage states something about “Greek texts”. So, the author has reached a conclusion about Greek texts on the basis of Japanese texts. Thus, the method by which the author has reached the conclusion is by drawing similarity between two elements. This means that we must look for a buzzword or buzzphrase along the lines of “showing similarity” or “drawing analogy” in the correct answer choice.

Option 1: “drawing analogy with a known phenomenon to draw a conclusion about an unknown phenomenon”

This option uses an appropriate buzzphrase “drawing analogy”. Further, in this scenario, the “known phenomenon” can be understood to be the “Japanese texts”, and the “unknown phenomenon” about which a conclusion has been drawn is the “Greek texts”. Thus, this option fits the contexts; it is the correct answer choice.

Let us now understand the second type of method of reasoning question; in this type, a dialogue is given to you, and the question is on the lines of “The second person responds to the first person by doing which of the following?”

Let us understand this concept better by taking a GMAT-like example:

Example 2:

David – I am considering pursuing a specialization in mergers and acquisitions rather than one in general corporate law. In today’s corporate climate, corporations have a greater need for mergers and acquisitions specialists, so law firms are recruiting them in larger numbers, meaning such specialists are offered higher salaries.

Amina – I do not think this is a wise decision. As the need for corporate lawyers specializing in mergers and acquisitions grows, the average salary for such lawyers will increase, making hiring general corporate law specialists more affordable by comparison. Then, law firms will begin to hire more such specialists, leading to a sharp increase in their salaries.

In responding to David’s plan, Amina does which of the following?
Here, we have a dialogue followed by a question stem.

Step 1 – Read the question stem.
Step 2 – Read the argument.
Step 3 – Come up with a broad expectation from the correct answer choice.

Here, the first person (David) talks about why he is considering pursuing a different specialization, and then provides reasons why he plans to do so. The second person (Amina) begins by disagreeing with the first person; “I do not think this is a wise decision” is the conclusion of the first person. Then, the second person provides her reasoning for the conclusion.

Thus, the second person is disagreeing with the first and then providing reasons for that disagreement.

Let’s take a look at the correct answer choice.

Example 2: Concluding against David’s plan and building an argument in favor of her conclusion.

“Concluding against David’s plan” indicated that Amina is disagreeing with Davis, and “building an argument in favor of her conclusion” indicates that she is providing reasons for her conclusion, which is her disagreement with David. This is the correct answer choice.

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