How to Attempt Critical Reasoning- The "Missing-Link" Approach
Critical reasoning is a fairly complex and nuanced part of the GMAT that many aspirants struggle with. The questions of this section of the GMAT must be approached in a systematic manner; otherwise, it is highly likely that you will not only give an incorrect answer but also lose a lot of time. In this short article, we will cover such a systematic approach to GMAT critical reasoning questions.
The Missing Link Approach
The missing link approach is a highly organized method for solving GMAT critical reasoning questions. To understand this approach, you must first understand the nature of the GMAT critical reasoning passages. Each passage will have a "premise" and a "conclusion" that will not logically flow from it. The gap between the "premise" and the "conclusion" is the missing link, and it is what you must work to identify, as identifying this link is the key to solving most critical reasoning questions on the GMAT.
However, you must keep in mind that there is no need for you to fill the missing link; just identify it and then use the answer choices to solve the question. Let us elaborate upon this method, through a stepwise approach:
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.
Read the passage very carefully and make a mind-map rather than taking note, to save time.
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.
Have an idea of what you are going to search for in the answer choices. This step is quite important.
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.
By following this method, you will be able to solve the GMAT critical reasoning questions, efficiently and accurately. This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.