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Tips for Cracking GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions

The critical analysis questions appear in the verbal section of the GMAT exam. While there are 36 questions in total in the verbal section, around 11 questions related to critical reasoning are entailed in this section. The GMAT critical analysis section is framed to test the ability of the candidate to evaluate and draw a rational conclusion based on logical arguments.  These questions are a matter of concern for the test-takers as they present themselves as a key to cracking GMAT. Let us take a look at what exactly are these questions and what is the best approach to crack these questions.

The critical analysis questions are typical of 5 types – viz., (1) Strengthen the argument, (2) Weaken the argument/ finding the flaw, (3) Inference/conclude, (4) Find the assumption, and (5) Paradox/discrepancy. For any aspirant, it is imperative that they do a proper and in-depth analysis of these types of questions in order to clearly understand their pattern and nature so that they get the right clarity about them.

Meanwhile, the following are some of the tips that would help one successfully cracking GMAT critical reasoning questions:

Maintaining pace:

In total, one will get 65 minutes for answering the verbal section of the GMAT Exam. Though GMAT critical analysis questions do not take as much time as the reading comprehension questions, they inevitably consume more time than sentence correction questions.  While practising for the GMAT critical analysis questions, one must plan to spend no more than a minute and a half on each question.


Read the question first:

To correctly answer the critical reasoning questions, it is many times helpful to read the question before going through the passage. Figuring out the type of question asked will surely help one to figure out what they should be looking for.


Think with caution about what they are being asked:

As one reads the question, they should try and figure out what exactly is asked of them. Are they being asked to draw an inference on the given piece of information? Are they asked to reconcile the contradictory statements? Finding an answer to these questions will help one determine the approach to a given problem.


Avoiding the extreme answer choices:

To crack critical reasoning, extreme or absolute answers are a red flag in the real sense. While practising GMAT critical reasoning, one should try and notice the “clue words.” They should avoid responses that contain ‘only,’ ‘never,’ ‘always,’ ‘all,’ ‘none,’ ‘best,’ ‘worst,’ ‘must,’ etc., for they are nearly incorrect. This is one of the best tips that will help one to crack the GMAT.


Steer clear of answer choices with information that wasn’t directly given in the passage:

For the inference question, this point certainly holds. Everything needed to answer the given question is contained in the passage only. So, one needs to be cautious if the answer choice addresses a digressive issue or is off-topic.


Taking notes while GMAT critical reasoning questions: 

At times, one will find some pertinent piece of information in an answer choice. So it is advised that one should take notes while practising such questions.


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