Tips and Tricks for GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions

By Lisa Zimmer Hatch, Scott A. Hatch

Part of GMAT For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The critical reasoning questions on the GMAT are all about using logic. To maximize your potential on the critical reasoning questions in the verbal section of the GMAT, use these helpful techniques:

  • Read the question first so you know what kind of question you have to answer before you read the argument.

  • For strengthen- or weaken-the-argument questions, determine what type of reasoning the author uses and choose an answer that either helps or hurts that way of reasoning.

  • For questions that ask you to draw conclusions, choose an answer that contains an element of all the author’s premises.

  • Remember that the correct answer to an inference question usually concerns just one of the argument’s premises.

  • Assumption questions ask you to choose an answer that states a premise the author assumes to be true but doesn’t state directly. The correct answer often links the last premise to the conclusion.

  • For method-of-reasoning questions, figure out how the author makes the argument. Usually the author uses inductive reasoning, and the GMAT focuses on these specific ways to make an argument through inductive reasoning:

    • Cause and effect

    • Analogy

    • Statistics