Slippery Slope in GMAT Critical Reasoning

GMAT Slippery Slope Argument FallacyGMAT Critical reasoning assumption questions depend on arguments that involve Slippery Slope. This type of critical reasoning fallacy might not be mentioned in Official GMAT Guide, but the test creators often use this fallacy in various answer choices. It is easy to spot them if you pay attention to how the conclusions are reached.

What is a Slippery Slope?

Slippery Slope is a critical reasoning fallacy where the speaker concludes that some event is bound to follow another event although there is no evidence of the same. Although logically the GMAT test taker might feel that Event B should Follow Event A, there are several intermediate steps or conditions that should be met before Event B immediately follows Event A.


Free Speech Expert : Govt. has set guidelines on Social Media self-censorship. Soon the govt. will control what we can express and what we cannot.

On first read, this statement might seem obvious. But if you pay attention to two words “guidelines” and “self-censorship”, the govt. is not imposing any rules, but they are providing guidelines - not on censorship but on self-censorship.  The argument is a classic example of Slippery Slope. The second statement takes on an extreme Event that is bound to follow – “control what we can express and what we cannot”. The Expert has not separated what we can express on social media from the modes of expression in all other forms of communication. This is an extreme case, and in order for such event to happen, there are several conditions or intermediate events that need to happen.

Let’s go into the details

Event A: Govt. guidelines on Social Media self-censorship

Event B: Govt. will control what we can express and what we cannot

Potential Intermediate Steps

1) Acceptance or Rejection of Guidelines

2) Uniform Regulatory Body to monitor what is acceptable and what is not

3) Finding convergence internationally between govt. and social media platforms on common censorship guidelines.

4) Scaling the self-censorship guidelines to an externally authorized body.

5) Enabling Govt. to offer censorship on all major forms of media.

Although Event B is not impossible, the likelihood depends on several events and actions, and steps 1-5 would be one of the assumptions that the test creators will include in the answer choice.

How do you spot Slippery Slope in Arguments?

1) Pay attention to the words used

Although “self-censorship” and “censorship” might seem like a small difference, the word “self” changes the context of the argument.

2) Author’s Conclusion

The use of the word “Soon” is a giveaway that the fallacy tested here is Slippery Slope. If the author had used a more traditional conclusion words or phrases such as “Therefore”, “This indicates that”, “Hence”, “Consequently”, it would have meant the Event B would be an event that is likely to happen after Event A. Such framing of conclusion can also be part of GMAT Critical reasoning Assumption questions but “Soon” implies testing ‘Slippery Slope’.

3) Event B = Extreme

If Event B is an unlikely likelihood, you have to be on your guard regarding the fallacy of the argument. Some GMAT test takers might rephrase the question into “What should come true in order for such an event to happen?”. This is another way of asking the assumption question. 

Process of elimination is the best approach when it comes to shortlisting the most relevant assumption. Some answer choices seem natural for Event B to happen, but the test taker is asking you to pick the most likely answer choice not the one that just answers the question. Therefore, compare the answer choices and eliminate the irrelevant and weak assumptions.

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.

Find out How>>

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)

We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).

Pages: 327


"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter