GRE Sample Verbal Reasoning Question: Analyzing an Argument

By Ron Woldoff, Joseph Kraynak

An Argument Analysis question asks you to determine whether the argument may have a flaw or a weakness. When taking the GRE, expect two Argument Analysis questions in each Verbal section. An Argument Analysis question consists of a short passage and a single question.

Read the sample passage and answer the question based on information stated or implied in the passage. Select one answer choice.

Sample passage

With the passage of a universal healthcare bill, the government not only has the right but also the responsibility to regulate what people eat. Face it, the fact that the United States spends 50 percent more per capita for healthcare than most European countries is because people in the United States consume far more junk food. If taxpayers are footing the bill for healthcare, then the government is responsible for controlling healthcare costs, and the most effective way to do that is to crack down on the junk food industry.

  1. Which of the following, if true, most effectively challenges the argument that poor dietary habits, such as junk food, lead to higher healthcare costs?

    (A) Countries in Europe do not impose such regulations on their food producers.

    (B) Labeling foods enables people to regulate their own consumption.

    (C) Prices of health services are on average more than 50 percent higher in the United States than in most European countries.

    (D) The healthcare bill does not mandate dietary restrictions.

    (E) Some food items considered junk food actually contain healthy ingredients.

Answer and explanation

  1. C.

    If the prices of health services are more than 50 percent higher in the United States, then this accounts for the fact that the United States spends more than 50 percent as much per capita on healthcare than most European countries, undermining the argument that poor diet is responsible for the difference.