Strengthen In GMAT Critical Reasoning

One common mistake that GMAT candidates make is that they don't stay close to the text provided in the passage.

Let’s look at an example:

Q) Company X has instituted an Employee Wellness Program that will provide employees with free access to smoking cessation programs, nutritional counseling, and personal training services at a local gym.  Similar programs at other companies have been shown to improve workplace attendance and performance, and reduce the employer’s costs for employee health insurance.  Thus, the Employee Wellness Program will be good for both the employees and the company.

If true, which of the following would best support the conclusion of the argument above?

a) Many employees take advantage of free nutritional counseling when it is offered by employers.
b) Smoking cessation programs are only effective for 20% of those smokers who use them.
c) Personal training services at a local gym will make it easier for employees to improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the incidence of serious illness.
d) Exercising without personal training services can often lead to injury due to incorrect use of weight-training equipment.
e) Company X will give employees taking part in the smoking cessation program one paid hour off each Friday afternoon to participate in a support group.

Your first step here is to read the question itself, and notice that it’s asking you to find the answer choice that supports, or strengthens, the conclusion.  Then, as you read the argument, notice the word thus, which is a great clue to guide you to the argument’s conclusion, which is that “the Employee Wellness Program will be good for both the employees and the company.”

The argument’s evidence provides several examples of how to program is good for the company—it will “improve workplace attendance and performance, and reduce the employer’s costs for employee health insurance.”  But the conclusion talks about benefits for employees as well as the company, and the argument doesn’t state explicitly how the program will benefit them.  Now, let’s look at the answer choices one at a time.

a) Many employees take advantage of free nutritional counseling when it is offered by employers.

The counseling’s popularity might indicate that it is beneficial to the employees, but it might not.  This choice doesn’t clearly demonstrate that the Employee Wellness Program benefits the employees, and is a good example of a wrong answer that makes the test-taker work too hard in order to justify choosing it.  Here, one would have to assume that employees take advantage of the program because it is beneficial to them.  A strengthener shouldn’t require a major assumption, and therefore this choice is not the best answer.  Wrong answers like this are common, so watch out for them.

b) Smoking cessation programs are only effective for 20% of those smokers who use them.

This choice makes it LESS likely that the programs will benefit either the employees or the company.  This answer choice may catch your eye if you didn’t read the question closely enough, and are mistakenly looking for a weakener instead of a strengthener.

c) Personal training services at a local gym will make it easier for employees to improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the incidence of serious illness.

This is the correct answer.  The argument seems to imply that the increased attendance and performance and reduced health insurance costs are due to improved employee health, which would naturally benefit the employees.  This choice makes that unstated implication clear, and fills the gap in the argument.
If words like unstated and gap remind you of assumption questions, that’s a good thing!  Often, the weakness in an argument is due to the gap left by an unstated assumption, and the best way to strengthen the argument is by explicitly stating the assumption.

d) Exercising without personal training services can often lead to injury due to incorrect use of weight-training equipment.

This answer might be tempting, but again, it requires too many assumptions to tie it into the argument as a strengthener.  In order for this to strengthen the argument, one must assume that employees would still exercise without the personal training services, and that they would incorrectly use the weight-training equipment. That’s too much work for the question, and so this answer choice must be rejected.

e) Company X will give employees taking part in the smoking cessation program one paid hour off each Friday afternoon to participate in a support group.

This might benefit the employees, but it would be a burden to Company X.

Author :

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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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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

Reviews

"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)

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