Listen while you read along, with an audio version of this article:
Helpful for: MBA Applicants Read Time: 6 minutes Quick Facts:
- The most important aspect to consider when answering a CR question is recognizing the connection between the premise and conclusion. You should also be able to realize when this connection is lacking.
- Be familiar with the four question types: assumption, weaken, strengthen and flaw. Eliza explains:
The correct answer to an assumption question is most often the unstated but necessary connection between the premise and the conclusion. The correct answer to a weaken question is something that exploits the lack of connection between the premise and the conclusion. Likewise, the correct answer to a strengthen question is usually something that fills in the gap between the premise and the conclusion. The correct answer to a flaw question is usually something that points out the missing link or lack of connection between the premise and the conclusion.
- The first step to answering a CR question is to spot the premise and conclusion. You should definitely practice this skill to gain speed and accuracy.
- The second step is figuring out the missing links between the two.
- Eliza cites an example question: “A study of college athletes showed that, if they took the same amount of exercise, those who stuck to a vegetarian diet lost more weight than those who maintained a predominately red meat diet. Therefore, if someone wants to lose weight, the best way to do so is to be a vegetarian.”
- Can you spot the falsity of this argument? One issue is that an assessment can’t be made on the general population based on the subset of college athletes. Another issue is that while a vegetarian diet may be better for weight loss than a red meat one, the argument does not prove that it is the best.
- The argument assumes that the results of college athletes represent those of the average population.
- The argument would be weakened if the studies showed that a white meat diet results in more weight loss than a vegetarian one.
- The argument’s flaw is that college students might lose weight in different ways to those of the average population.
- The argument could be strengthened if college athletes’ weight management matched that of the general population.
Do you have other helpful tips to share for the CR section?
For further info on the topic read GMAT Tutorials: Critical Reasoning (Video).
Source: Grant Me Admission