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41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Stay within the scope of the
• If your rationale seems farfetched, or you bring in outside knowledge to solve a question, most likely you are overreaching.

• The harder you have to work to justify an answer choice, the less likely it is that the choice is correct.
Find the Conclusion

The conclusion is often found in the
first or last sentence of the passage.
• Look for conclusion signposts:
therefore, hence, thus, etc.
Find the Conclusion

• Premise clauses usually show
support or offer evidence.
• Example premise signposts: because,
since, in view of, given that, etc.
Supply your own Conclusion
• In “supply your own conclusion”
questions, the conclusion must be supported by ALL premises—not just one.
• Be on the lookout for helpful keywords in the second last sentence.
Assumptions – 1
• An assumption is merely an unstated
(implied) premise.

• In logically correct arguments which contain an assumption, the premise + assumption = conclusion
Assumptions – 1
• If the question stem asks you “what
is assumed…” then you should
identify unstated premise of passage.
Look for a gap in logic.
Assumptions – 2
• Ask yourself, “What must be true to make the concludion valid?” (using the equation above).

• Remember, since the assumption is an UNSTATED premise, any answer choice that comes from the passage to support your assumption is necessarily incorrect. The answer will be implied, not explicitly stated.
Causal Assumption
• Ask whether there might be an alternative cause if an argument does not necessarily seem as straightforward as a question stem makes it out to be.

• “Could Y have caused Z instead of X?”
Strengthen the Argument
• Find the logical gap and fix it with additional information. This is the ONLY type of GMAT question where additional information (outside of the question) can/should be used.

• Correct answers to this question type will:
– Connect evidence with conclusion better.
– Make conclusion stronger.
– Strengthen the evidence with new
information (perhaps an assumption is needed) to make the argument work).
Causal Assumption
• Ask whether there might be an alternative cause if an argument does not necessarily seem as straightforward as a question stem makes it out to be.

“Could Y have caused Z instead of X?”
• Inference questions are usually very
basic, about one or more premises.

if it seems too obvious).
Resolve the Paradox
• To solve this type of question, look for a logically contradictory discrepancy.

• Often the correct answer will take a similar format (in terms of answer length or argument structure).
Mimic the Reasoning
• Follow same line of reasoning from the passage in the answer.
• Eliminate the question stem detail to create a shorthand version of the argument structure.
• Question Stem: If it rains, then I will stay at home today.”
• Shorthand: If A, then B.”
• Answer: “If A, then B.”
• Always read the question first, then
read the stimulus appropriately for that
type of question.
Analogy Assumptions
• Are the two situations analogous?
Or is the analogy silly?
• Strengthen/Weaken questions are the most common CR question type on the GMAT.
• Break down piece of evidence.
• Attack validity of an assumption.
• Don’t try to prove or disprove conclusion.
• Tip the scales.
Statistical Assumptions
• Are the statistics representative?
• Is the question stem doing a bait and switch in terms of numbers?
• Is the question stem using numbers to assume something is so, when the numbers aren’t actually helping explain the phenomenon given?
Number of CR Questions
• Most people see 11 CR questions on
the GMAT.
7 Principles of CR
1. Understand structure of argument
(identify premise (P), conclusion (C) and any unstated assumptions)—look for structural signpost words which mark P and C.

2. Preview question before reading

3. Paraphrase passage’s point or main idea using one verb
“ie explain, criticize,
compare, contrast”.
7 Principles of CR (contd.)
4. Judge argument’s persuasiveness while reading actively.

5. Answer question being asked.

6. Prephrase answer.

7. Keep SCOPE in mind. Moderate (vs. very strong ) words / qualifiers usually correct.
V CR Assumption
• An assumption bridges the gap
between argument’s stated premises and conclusion.
• Use denial test.
• Compare premise words against
Paraphrasing and Prephrasing
• Actively translate passages into your own
• Pretend you are explaining the information
in a passage to a 10-year-old kid.
• Think about what form the correct answer will take.
• As you do more questions, you will begin to “guess” correctly, as you start to think as the testmakers do
• Don’t be careless! Wrong answer
choices often have exactly opposite of desired effect.

• Double-check that your answer satisfies the question stem, not the opposite of the question stem.
• Identify the conclusion and find the answer that addresses the conclusion. Most questions follow this guideline.
• Consider the evidence, draw a conclusion.

• An inference is an extension of an argument, not a necessary part of it.

• A valid inference is a conclusion, but not necessarily theconclusion, of a set of statements.
4-Step Method
1. Preview question stem.

2. Read stimulus and paraphrase if tricky

3. Prephrase answer.

4. Choose an answer which answers question stem
• When you compare two items, you must be sure that the two items are indeed comparable.
• For inference questions, determine which answer choice must absolutely, positively be true based on what you’ve read.

• Pick the obvious answer choice.

• Avoid extreme answers (too strong or too weak)
• For assumption questions, find the conclusion and determine which answer choice needs to be true for a conclusion to be valid.
Indicate Flaw
• Use the information that is present in the passage to answer “Indicate the Flaw” CR questions.

• Not about new information like “Weaken” CR questions.
• Watch for irrelevant or overly strong answer choices in CR.

• Stay within SCOPE and TONE of passage.
• For assumption questions, negate CR answer choice to see if the conclusion can survive.
• When an argument is based on statistics, it is usually assumed that the people polled are representative of the whole.
Questions involving Surveys
• Consider: Does the survey accurately represent the views of the whole group surveyed? Is there a statistics bait and switch?
• Prephrase an answer before looking at the actual answer choices.
• With explanation questions, reconcile the facts presented.

• Stay within scope.
Inference vs. Assumption
• An inference is a conclusion that can be drawn based on one or more of the statements in the stimulus. An inference must be true based on something that you read.

• An assumption is a missing but necessary piece of evidence. An assumption is something that must be true in order for the argument to be complete.
Scope Shifts
• Be wary of scope shifts. Look for testmakers’ tricks:

• Sometimes a passage will begin with one group and draw a conclusion about another group. Similarly, a passage might have weak premises and then draw an overbroad conclusion.

• Other times the tone of the passage moves so far that the testtaker is left wondering, “How did that conclusion come about?”
Evaluate the Argument
• Test relevance.

• Determine which a choice helps to determine whether a conclusion is valid.
• 2 most common ways to weaken an argument:

• Break down central assumption.
• Assert alternative possibilities relevant to the argument.
Numbers, Percentages
• Watch for the distinction between NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES.