Finding the Flaw in Reasoning on GMAT Critical Reasoning
Finding the Flaw in Reasoning on CR
In GMAT critical reasoning, there are several different types of questions that you will encounter. In this short article, we will cover the form of the two types of questions that involve finding a flaw in reasoning.
The second and third types of CR questions are centered around finding the flaw or shortcoming in a particular bit of reasoning.
In this type of question, you are explicitly asked to find the flaw in the reasoning. One form of the question is an argument will be presented and followed by one of the two statements below:
Example 1: A serious flaw in the reasoning of the argument is that...
Example 2:Of the following, which most closely resembles the above argument in logical structure?
Another form is that a dialogue will be presented and followed by a question stem along the lines of:
Example 3: Jack’s response to Lily is flawed in that…
This structure conveys that the second person’s response to the first person is flawed in that…, and then the answer choices.
In this type of question, you are implicitly asked to identify the flaw in the reasoning. Technically such questions are general CR questions on the topics of assumption, strengthening, weakening, explanation, evaluation, etc., but to solve them you must be able to identify the flaw in the reasoning of the argument provided. In order to do so, you must understand the types of flawed reasoning, whichwe will be discussing below.
Types of flawed reasoning
In total, there are 14 types of flawed reasoning that you can encounter on the GMAT. The following is an exhaustive list of the same. Please keep in mind that it is not necessary to memorize all of these flaws; you just have to familiarize yourselves with the underlying concepts.
- Confusing cause with effect
- Confusing correlation with causation
- Assuming that bases are the same
- Incorrect analogy
- Circular reasoning
- Impressed by numbers
- Missing the main point
- Comparing percentage with absolute numbers
- Comparing one with oneself
- Confusing necessity with sufficiency
- Confusing sufficiency with necessity
- Confusing possibility with necessity
- Confusing between subsets and supersets
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to the Experts’ Global Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.