GMAT

# How to ace GMAT critical reasoning: A step-by-step guide

By Edvoy• Last updated: Jun 16, 2023

The GMAT critical reasoning section can be a difficult one to tackle.

Knowing how to approach this section can make all the difference between an average score and an excellent one.

In this guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to approach and tackle GMAT critical reasoning questions so you can maximize your performance on the exam.

## Overview of GMAT critical reasoning

GMAT critical reasoning is a section of the GMAT exam that tests your ability to think critically and logically. It is a section of the exam that requires you to read and analyze a passage, draw conclusions from it, identify the strengths and weaknesses of an argument, and identify any logical flaws.

The GMAT critical reasoning section is comprised of a variety of question types, including short and long passages, argument and inference questions, assumption questions, strengthen and weaken questions, and evaluation of the argument questions. The passages presented in the GMAT critical reasoning section are usually taken from various sources, such as newspapers, magazines, books, and other media.

## Step-by-step guide to ace GMAT critical reasoning

Acing the GMAT Critical Reasoning requires careful preparation and practice. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you master this section of the GMAT:

### Step 1: Understand the format

The GMAT critical reasoning section is composed of three types of questions:

1. Strengthen/Weaken
2. Assumption
3. Argument evaluation

Each question will provide a short passage followed by a question. You will need to read the passage and answer the question based on the information provided.

### Step 2: Learn the key concepts

In order to ace the GMAT critical reasoning section, you must familiarize yourself with the key concepts that GMAT uses. These concepts include:

• Logical fallacies
• Common assumptions
• Strategies for analyzing arguments
• Common types of evidence

### Step 3: Practice with sample questions

Once you understand the key concepts well, it is time to start practising with sample questions. Many resources are available online with sample questions, such as the Official Guide to the GMAT. Work through as many of these questions as possible and review your answers. Pay particular attention to questions you got wrong and try to identify any patterns or mistakes you made.

### Step 4: Take a GMAT prep course

A GMAT prep course will allow you to practice critical reasoning questions in a more structured environment and get feedback from a qualified instructor. Many prep courses also provide additional resources, such as practice tests and study materials, which can help you to focus your studying and identify areas of improvement.

### Step 5: Develop a strategy

Developing a strategy for the GMAT critical reasoning section is essential for success. Take time to develop a plan for how you approach each question and practice it until it becomes second nature. Your strategy should include techniques for reading the passage quickly and efficiently, identifying critical elements of the argument, and analyzing the assumptions.

### Step 6: Take practice tests

Taking practice tests is one of the best ways to prepare for the GMAT critical reasoning section. Practice tests will give you an idea of how you will perform on the actual exam and help you identify areas of improvement. Make sure to review your answers and focus on any mistakes that you made.

### Step 7: Review and refine

Finally, review and refine your skills. Take the time to review the key concepts and practice questions. Make sure to focus on any areas of weakness and practice until you feel confident with the material.

## Types of questions in GMAT critical reasoning

There are three main types of questions that you can expect on the GMAT:

• Strengthen questions
• Weaken questions
• Assumption questions

### Strengthen questions

Strengthen questions requires finding additional evidence or points that would make the author's argument stronger or more valid. These questions ask you to think beyond what is stated in the passage and look for ways to add credibility to the argument.

### Weaken questions

Weaken questions require you to identify points or evidence that could undermine the original argument. These questions focus on finding flaws in the presented argument and providing logical justifications for those flaws.

### Assumption questions

Assumption questions require you to identify underlying assumptions necessary for the argument to be valid. These questions ask you to think beyond what is stated in the passage and probe deeper into finding any unstated premises that support the given conclusion.

## Tips to ace GMAT critical reasoning

Acing the GMAT critical reasoning section requires a combination of practice and knowledge. Here are some tips to help you prepare for this challenging part of the exam

### 1. Read the question thoroughly

It is important to read each question carefully and understand what it is asking before jumping into answering it. A critical reasoning question will give a conclusion, often with some premises that support the conclusion. Make sure you know each element in the question before attempting to answer it.

### 2. Pull out keywords

To make sense of a critical reasoning question, identify certain keywords such as "strengthen," "weaken," or "assumption." These words tell you what kind of answer the GMAT is looking for and how to approach your response accordingly.

### 3. Identify assumptions

Assumptions are unstated facts that must be true for an argument to be valid. Therefore, to answer the questions accurately, you must identify what assumptions are being made and decide if they are logical or not.

### 4. Understand the scope of the argument

Before attempting to answer a critical reasoning question, it is important to understand the scope of the argument. This means looking at all premises included in the passage and determining whether any other facts might change your opinion of the passage's conclusion.

Once you have identified keywords and understood assumptions and scopes, it is time to look at potential answer choices for the given question. Read each option carefully to determine which best matches your understanding from steps 1-4 above. Keep an eye out for extreme wording, as these answers tend to be incorrect.

### 6. Practice, practice, practice

The best way to get better at critical reasoning questions is to practice. Make sure you are familiar with the different types of arguments used in GMAT questions and how you can approach them. With enough practice, it will become easier to identify assumptions, evaluate possible answers and select the correct one for each question.

## 3 best books to ace GMAT 2023 critical reasoning

There are a variety of books that can be used to ace the GMAT 2023 critical reasoning section. The 3 best books for mastering GMAT critical reasoning are

### 1. The GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible 2023

This book from Manhattan GMAT is designed to help you understand the structure of arguments and introduce skills that will enable you to analyze any argument presented in the GMAT verbal section quickly. It also provides a comprehensive review of all question types found on the exam and offers detailed solutions for each practice question. This book is an invaluable resource when preparing for the GMAT critical reasoning section.

### 2. Kaplan GMAT Critical Reasoning Prep Plus 2023

This handy guide from Kaplan is tailored specifically to critical reasoning. It includes tips for using the process of elimination, analyzing evidence provided in an argument, recognizing persuasive techniques, and deciphering underlying assumptions. It also provides a thorough overview of the various question types found on the exam, as well as several practice sets with varying difficulty levels.

### 3. Critical Reasoning GMAT Strategy Guide, 6th Edition

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the critical reasoning section of the GMAT. It covers all the major topics and provides extensive examples and explanations. It also includes a set of drills and practice questions to help readers become familiar with the test and develop their critical reasoning skills. Additionally, this guide includes tips and strategies to help readers approach each question correctly and identify the most efficient solution.

## Conclusion

Tips and strategies outlined in this guide provide an excellent framework for preparing for the GMAT critical reasoning section. By taking the time to practice these methods and techniques, you will have a much better chance of acing the GMAT critical reasoning section. With hard work and dedication, you can be well on your way to achieving a high score on the GMAT and advancing your career.

### What does the GMAT critical reasoning section measures?

GMAT critical reasoning tests your ability to think critically and logically. It requires an individual to read and analyze a passage, draw conclusions from it, identify the strengths and weaknesses of an argument, and identify any logical flaws in the argument.

### What are the different types of questions in the GMAT critical reasoning?

There are three main types of questions that students can expect on the GMAT: strengthen questions, weaken questions, and assumption questions.

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