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GMAT Critical Reasoning: Guide to Ace GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions in 2023

Yocket Editorial Team

Critical reasoning questions test your capacity to evaluate rational justifications. The arguments cover a variety of subject areas and scenarios that a typical GMAT test taker should be able to comprehend, even if they do not have a strong background in the topic being discussed.

The GMAT Verbal section includes three types of questions: Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension. There are usually 100 words or less in the Critical reasoning prompt, followed by a question stem and five answer choices. In this blog, we’ll examine the need for critical reasoning, portions covered in GMAT critical reasoning questions, GMAT guides for Critical reasoning and more.

Table Of Contents

Importance of GMAT Critical Reasoning

Logical reasoning is one of the most valuable skills in the workplace. If you want to succeed as a business manager, you need to be able to come up with logical and well-presented arguments for your ideas, whether it's deciding whether one strategy is better than the other or figuring out what keeps your customers coming back for more.

An effective manager must be able to answer the question, "How would this argument be strengthened or weakened?" What is the premise on which this argument is based? What additional evidence would I need in order to evaluate this argument's merits? As a result, to be a successful manager in real life, you must possess all of the GMAT Critical Reasoning skills. The ability to evaluate arguments is a skill that every manager should cultivate in the workplace.

Suggested: Here's a breakdown of each section on the GMAT

What To Expect in GMAT Critical Reasoning?

All GMAT Critical Reasoning questions have a short argument that contains a premise and a conclusion. To do well on the GMAT Critical Reasoning, you must understand both components. It is important to understand the types of questions. GMAT Critical Reasoning questions fall into eight categories. Types 1-4 account for approximately 75% of all GMAT CR questions. The following are the kinds of questions you’ll encounter in the GMAT critical reasoning section:

Find a flaw in the argument/weaken it

To attack an argument, undermine one of its key assumptions.

Make the case stronger

  • Either directly support one of the premises or add new premises that support the conclusion.
  • Confirm or support an argument's assumption.
  • Support, measure, or independently confirm the conclusion.
  • Weaken an implicit or explicit objection to the argument.

Find Assumption

Look for the connection between the question's premise and answer.

Draw a conclusion or inference

It's a fact that can't be disputed in light of the prompt's details.

The structure of the argument

which includes boldface structure questions and dialogue structure questions


Paradoxes are those statements or arguments that appear to be incoherent or illogical.

Conclusions are evaluated

Among the five answers, choose the one that is most relevant to issue

Complete your argument

Critical thinking and attention to context are required in order to answer this question.

Suggested:  Best guide to prepare for the GMAT 2023

5 Tips For GMAT Critical Reasoning Preparation

Don't question facts when attempting the GMAT's Critical Reasoning section. Instead, you should look at the gap (assumption) between the facts and the conclusion itself.  Many questions in the Critical Reasoning section ask you to identify the assumption. To make things easier, here are a few pointers.

1.  Read the Question First

Before reading the argument, take a look at the question. Make sure you know what type of question you'll have to answer before reading the argument. It's important to keep in mind what you need to do as you read the argument. As a result, read the question carefully so that you know exactly what you're supposed to do and how to go about solving a particular problem.

2.  Find that Unstated Assumption

After identifying the argument's conclusion and premise, consider the underlying assumption. The task is to find the unstated assumption and question the gap between the facts and conclusion. Every argument has 3 parts:

  • A premise is the facts or reasons that support the argument's foundation
  • Assumption that remains unstated. It must be true for the conclusion to be valid. If the assumption is false, the argument collapses.
  • The conclusion is the argument's message which is backed up by the premise.

Consider this equation:

Premise + (unstated) assumption +(extra context/background info) = Conclusion

To be good at Critical Reasoning, you must analyse the argument and identify its components.

3.  Know What You’re Looking For Beforehand

In Critical Reasoning questions, the GMAT provides one correct answer and four tempting, potentially confusing alternatives. People who read the argument and question and then jump to the answer choices without thinking are asking to be confused and likely take longer on many Critical Reasoning questions.

For types #1-3, finding the argument's assumption is the best way to strengthen or weaken it. Find the assumption to find the argument's flaw (if the flaw is a faulty assumption).

For other question types, it's harder to predict the answer, but rephrasing the task can help. What's the argument's structure? Where's the paradox? How can the conclusion be evaluated? etc. The better you understand the question, the faster you'll find the answer.

4.  Read EXACTLY what is written

Students often misread the argument, question stem, or one of the choices in the critical reasoning section. Take your time, stay engaged, and read EXACTLY what is written without paraphrasing. What piece of information can make a conclusion invalid? Some details or modifiers that seem 'extra' may be simplified or ignored. These mistakes can be avoided by reading carefully and noticing every modifier or extra detail.

5.  Look for Four Wrong Answers, Not the Correct One.

Almost all GMAT cr questions have a couple wrong answers. Focus on easily debunked options when sifting through confusing options. First, eliminate only the incorrect options. You can incrementally eliminate options until four are wrong. This helps you "narrow the field" and focus on more difficult or confusing choices. The last choice, no matter how confusing or strange, must be the correct answer.

Best Prep Books For GMAT Critical Reasoning

The Critical Reasoning section of the GMAT is one that calls for a significant amount of study time. Make sure that you get the top books possible for the gmat critical reasoning practice questions The following is a list of the best critical reasoning book for gmat currently available:

  1. PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
  2. GMAT Critical Reasoning (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides)
  3. GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide
  4. Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook

GMAT cr questions test both your thinking skills and your capacity to evaluate arguments critically. They require a high level of attentiveness to detail and are resistant to the majority of tricks and shortcuts. Follow this guide and you will ace the GMAT critical reasoning section. To clarify any doubts on GMAT CR or with regards to studying abroad, reach out to our Yocket counsellors today!

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