Critical Reasoning - An Overview
by Stephen Bolton, 11th March, 1999
Critical Reasoning questions are one third of the Verbal section of the GMAT exam. These questions are designed to test one's logic and reasoning skills, particularly in evaluating arguments. The questions themselves could deal with almost any subject matter, and no familiarity with that subject matter is assumed or required.
This tutorial aims to give you the tools to find the answer that ETS wnat you to find which is just what you need to raise your score.
The GMAT's Critical Reasoning is intended to be an effective way of evaluating how people reason. However, the truth is that the logic in many of the questions ...view middle of the document...
In this case, it is at the end of the passage:
The CEO has therefore initiated a plan to boost productivity by giving employees shares of the company as part of their pay package.
Notice the word therefore in that sentence. Words like therefore, thus, hence, and so usually tell us that this is the conclusion or the main idea. Let these words lead you to the main idea.
Premise - Premises are the facts or evidence that support or lead to the conclusion. Unlike assumptions, they are explicit. Here is an example from the text:
A CEO of a major company noted a serious decline in worker productivity during the previous five years.
This premise helps the author lead to the conclusion or main idea of the text.
Assumption- Assumptions are the facts that support the conclusion, like the premise does, but unlike the conclusion and premises they are not stated in the text: they are implicit. Here is what would be an example of an assumption for this particular Critical Reasoning problem:
Owning something or part of something obliges you work harder to make it succeed.
Note that this line is not in the text: it cannot be in the text if it is an assumption of the author. But it does give the argument as a whole some sense, and also supports the conclusion.
Supporting Information- Like a premise, this is stated and explicit information embedded in the text, but unlike a premise, it does not support the conclusion. At best it supports a premise or provides further detail or information regarding a premise. From the text:
According to a report done by an outside consultant, productivity dropped by 35% by the end of that period.
This sentence supports the first sentence, the premise that notes that productivity...