GMAT Critical Reasoning

GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions Explained!

The GMAT Verbal section is not only a test of language skills but also requires you to be logically sound, which is tested through the specific type of questions called as theCritical Reasoning questions. The other two question types of the Verbal section include the Reading Comprehension and Sentence Correction questions. Let us know in detail what the Critical Reasoning questions are all about.

What are the Reasoning Questions?

Basically, the GMAT Verbal section consists of a total of 41 questions, which need to be attempted within an allotted time of 75 minutes. Of the 41 questions, approximately a third, which means nearly 13 questions, will be the Critical Reasoning type. The Critical Reasoning questions are those that test the students’ skills in argument analysis. By argument analysis, we mean argument evaluation, construction, action-plan construction and evaluation etc. This might confuse you a bit but we shall dig deeper to understand more about these questions.Each Critical Reading question is based upon a small paragraph, which might typically consist of 50 to 70 words. Each of these paragraphs presents an argument, based upon which a multiple-choice question follows. All you have to do is to analyze the given argument and select the correct answer option that provides a precise answer to the given argument question. Oftentimes, in these question types, you will either be asked to provide a justification or evaluation for the argument. This information might help you to understand that these questions test not only your language but also logical skills.How Should You Answer Reasoning Questions?From the preparation point of view, you should concentrate primarily on reading different types of content, be it from magazines, editorials, online, novels. In a way, you should read any content with interest and develop a knack for evaluating the discussion. This will help you improve your ability to judge well and evaluate correctly.From the exam point of view, you should be cautious since there is a time factor for answering such questions. Make sure that you read the paragraph in coherence with the question and evaluate it as per the instructions provided.Sample QuestionChain smokers run into the risk of increasing their chances of getting affected to the deadly disease of lung cancer.Which of the following statements, if true, weakens the above argument?A. Smoking is indeed very harmful and the government should take necessary steps in putting a check to it.B. Smoking is no way related to lungs and does not cause any harm to them.C. Smoking seriously affects lungs and increases the risk of many other chronic diseases.D. Smoking is harmful enough to affect not only the smoker but also the ones around him.E. To stop smoking to affect lung cancer, doctors have designed a special drug that is highly effective and costly.Correct Answer: (B)Explanation: The above argument pertains to smoking and its effect on lungs. If you can observe, to make the given argument weak, the answer sentence should state that smoking is harmless, at least to the organs under discussion, which are lungs.The first answer option, as we can observe is purely irrelevant to the context and hence cannot compete to be an answer. The second option absolutely weakens the given argument by stating that smoking is harmless to lungs. Hence, this option is the correct answer. The third answer option supports the given argument and hence cannot be the correct answer. The fourth and fifth answer options are irrelevant in the context of the given argument and hence cannot be the suitable answer choices.Note that the argument here is a bit simple to help you easily understand the pattern. However, there would be tougher and a bit longer arguments that would require more attention. Refer to the following links to find sampleCritical Reading questions: