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GMAT Critical Reasoning: Finding/Drawing a Conclusion

GMAT CR Conclusion Question TypeReaching a conclusion in an argument depends on the premise(s) and the assumption.

In simple terms,

Premise(s) + Assumption = Conclusion

What confuses GMAT test takers is the extent to which assumptions can be used to reach a conclusion. A wrong answer choice can plant the idea that it is alright to use personal biases, and knowledge outside the given statements to reach a conclusion. The subtle clues in the answer choices will misguide the test takers. That is why it is important to write down the premises(s) in separate lines.

Let us try one question.

Q) If you go by the popularity of Gaming units, as of Jan 4th 2015, Sony’s PS4 sold 18.5 million units and reached 10.9 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, a growth of 37.9% from October 2014.  Despite the massive growth, Sony’s PlayStation is behind Microsoft’s Xbox One, which in November 2014 accelerated its sales due to a $50 price cut, and a bundle of free games. On 28th January 2015, Spotify, the leading music subscription service announced an exclusive partnership with PS4, and offered digital music to 64 million PlayStation Network users. With the announcement, Feb 2015 saw a spike in sales for the PS4 units by 45%.

Which one of the following conclusions is valid for the above statements?

a) PS4, on itself, does not have the brand reach nor the mass following needed to overtake Microsoft’s Xbox One.

b) Demand for Microsoft’s Xbox One declined during Feb 2015

c) Bundling of services has increased the market share for Sony’s PS4

d) Price Cut had a direct impact on sales of Gaming Units

e) Sales of Sony’s PS4 will overtake Microsoft’s Xbox One in 2015

We know that listing the premises on a notepad can slow you down. You don’t have to write them in full sentences. The problem with depending on your memory to connect premise to the conclusion is that we are habitually bound to read the answer choices, and the facts from the choices can creep into the premises. It can even influence the assumptions.

Don’t read the answer choices in First Iteration.

First Iteration

1) Read the statements included in the argument

2) What is the subject of the argument?

3) List down the premises

4) List the assumptions used by the Author


Let’s use the First Iteration for the above question

1) Read the statements in 1 minute


If you go by the popularity of Gaming units, as of Jan 4th 2015, Sony’s PS4 sold 18.5 million units and reached 10.9 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, a growth of 37.9% from October 2014.  Despite the massive growth, Sony’s PlayStation is behind Microsoft’s Xbox One, which in November 2014 accelerated its sales due to a $50 price cut, and a bundle of free games. On 28th January 2015, Spotify, the leading music subscription service announced an exclusive partnership with PS4, and offered digital music to 64 million PlayStation Network users. With the announcement, Feb 2015 saw a spike in sales for the PS4 units by 45%.

2) What is the subject of the argument?


Sales of Sony’s PS4 vs Microsoft’s Xbox One
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GMAT Critical Reasoning Conclusion Question Type

Download Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning


You know why GMAT test takers score in the low 600s or never cross the 700+ mark?

They fail to look at critical reasoning as a scoring opportunity. GMAT Critical Reasoning is not a puzzle. There is no extra point in getting to the answer without using Process of Elimination. You are wasting your time overanalyzing the answer choices or posting your findings in GMAT Forums. The so-called Critical Reasoning experts know the answer. Justifying an answer choice is much easier.

F1GMAT’s Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning E-Book will take the mystery out of critical reasoning questions.

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