5 Ways to Eliminate Argument Analysis Answers on the GRE

By Ron Woldoff, Joseph Kraynak

Like the other Verbal questions on the GRE, answering the Argument Analysis questions means eliminating the obviously wrong answers and working with what’s left. After you’ve answered the question yourself, look at each answer choice and eliminate those that don’t match your own answer. Here are some ways to eliminate wrong answers and also some common traps to avoid.

Beware of “always,” “never,” and other absolute answers

Absolute answers — those containing the words always, never, must, all, or none — are almost always wrong, so you can flag them for elimination more quickly than the other choices. You may not always be able to eliminate answer choices that contain absolutes, but this strategy works often enough to narrow your choices if you’re stuck.

Dodge decoy answers

An answer choice may contain information that’s irrelevant to the argument. If you’re not sure of what you’re looking for, you may get stuck evaluating the extra information. Avoid this trap by answering the question yourself before looking at the answer choices — this makes any of these irrelevant answers easier to spot.

Stay dispassionate

Correct answer choices are usually unbiased and tone-neutral. The premise is based on facts, not feelings. If an answer choice seems emotional or opinionated, it’s probably a prime candidate for elimination.

Avoid picking an answer just because it’s true

Don’t choose an answer just because it’s true. Plenty of answer choices are true but don’t answer the question. When you see an answer choice that’s true, make sure it answers the question.

Don’t be tempted by opposite statements

If you’re asked to weaken or support the argument, the answer choices almost always contain at least one statement that does the exact opposite. It may make sense because it contains the elements that you’re looking for, but make sure it goes in the right direction. If you’re strengthening an argument, for example, this trap answer will fit perfectly but actually weaken the argument.