GMAT is famous for using your own momentum against you

GMAT MomentumLike a  tae kwon do blackbelt or an icy road, the GMAT is perhaps most famous for its ability to use your own momentum against you.  Few places is this as evident as on Critical Reasoning questions, in which the most common way to answer incorrectly is to allow your subconscious mind to lead you to a slightly-out-of-scope conclusion that the psychological warriors at GMAC have already anticipated you’d conclude.  Accordingly, to perform well on Critical Reasoning questions it is, well, critical that you pay particular attention to the narrow scope of the conclusion.  As an example, consider the question:

Poor physical fitness among children has become an epidemic among American children.  In Europe, however, where schoolchildren participate in calisthenics and other athletic activities on a daily basis while at school, children are significantly more fit.  Tests show that European students have superior strength and agility, and that they are significantly more likely than are American children to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.  Therefore, we must conclude that American children can become more physically fit only through a daily calisthenics program at school.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the above argument relies?

(A)    Student physical fitness is a pressing concern worthy of taxpayer resources
(B)    All children can be made equally physically fit
(C)    It is possible within the current American school budgets and logistics to implement a nationwide calisthenics program
(D)    School calisthenics programs are an indispensable factor in European children’s fitness
(E)    American schools have been unable to provide healthier lunch options for overweight children

What is the conclusion of this argument? While most students will be able to note that the last sentence contains the conclusion, many will read their own conclusion that isn’t as narrowly-focused as the given statement.  Did you read this passage as an advertisement for a school-based calisthenics initiative?  Note that the conclusion does NOT say that “we should implement a school calisthenics program” (which might lead you toward choices A or C).  It, instead, states that the ONLY way for American students to improve their fitness is through DAILY, SCHOOL calisthenics.  That’s a strikingly different conclusion – the paragraph argues not in favor of implementing such a program,  but rather that no other program or initiative could work.  Whether such a program is viable, as choices A and C seek to establish, is irrelevant.  What we need is an answer choice that indicates that DAILY, SCHOOL calisthenics are a vastly superior program and that nothing else will do; choice D is the  answer that does so, and is therefore correct.

The GMAT loves to employ techniques like the above to bait test-takers into assuming a conclusion that is a few degrees off of center.  An answer choice that falls outside the scope of the given conclusion will be incorrect every time, but the GMAT is quite deft at creating situations that use your mental inertia to convince you of an off-scope conclusion.  Beware of the following tricks that the GMAT employs to draw you slightly off the scope:

• As in the above, use an argument that you assume to be a sales pitch
• Include subject matter about which nearly all pre-MBAs share a common sentiment, and make the actual conclusion slightly off your natural leaning (e.g. nepotism or long work hours)
• Make a fairly bland statement in the conclusion (e.g. “ancestors lived in this region during this era”) knowing that you’ll mentally want to infer a superlative term (e.g. “the earliest ancestors in this region lived at this time”)
• Use a principle as a premise upon which a conclusion depends, knowing that you’ll often read the authoritative presence as a conclusion itself (e.g. “No newspaper can fairly be blamed for adverse repercussions if its reporting was accurate.  As officials have validated our translation of the prime minister’s remarks, we bear no responsibility for the outcome of the protests.”  Here, the first sentence is simply given as a fact; the last statement “we bear no responsibility” is the conclusion.)

In order to maximize your performance on Critical Reasoning questions, you need to take care to ensure that you understand the true scope of an argument’s conclusion before you delve into the answer choice, as the GMAT will employ tricks like those listed above to shift your view of the argument and bait you toward incorrect answer choices that already anticipate your error.  When reading Critical Reasoning passages, not all sentences are created equal; make sure that you devote an extra few seconds to fully process and identify the conclusion and its narrow scope, and you’ll avoid the trap, out-of-scope answer choices that befall most examinees.

VeritasPrep Veritas Prep is the world’s largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world’s best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep is now live in more than 90 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning (2019 Edition)


1) Introduction   
2) 6 Step Strategy to solve GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions   
3) How to overcome flawed thinking in GMAT Critical Reasoning?   
4) 4 GMAT Critical Reasoning Fallacies   
5) Generalization in GMAT Critical Reasoning   
6) Inconsistencies in Arguments   
7) Eliminate Out of Scope answer choices using Necessary and Sufficient Conditions   
8) Ad Hominem in GMAT Critical Reasoning   
9) Slippery Slope in GMAT Critical Reasoning   
10) Affirming the Consequent – GMAT Critical Reasoning   
11) How to Paraphrase GMAT Critical Reasoning Question   
12) How to Answer Assumption Question Type   
13) How to Answer Conclusion Question Type   
14) How to Answer Inference Question Type   
15) How to Answer Strengthen Question Type   
16) How to Answer Weaken Question Type   
17) How to Answer bold-faced and Summary Question Types   
18) How to Answer Parallel Reasoning Questions   
19) How to Answer the Fill in the Blanks Question   
Question Bank   
Question 1: 5G Technology (Inference)   
Question 2: Water Purifier vs. Minerals (Fill in the Blanks)   
Question 3: Opioid Abuse (Strengthens)   
Question 4: Abe and Japan’s Economy (Inference)   
Question 5: Indians and Pulse Import (Weakens)   
Question 6: Retail Chains in Latin America (Assumption)   
Question 7: American Tax Rates – Republican vs. Democrats (Inference)   
Question 8: AI – China vs the US (Weakens)   
Question 9: Phone Snooping (Strengthens)   
Question 10:  Traditional Lawns (Assumption)   
Question 11:  Appraisal-Tendency Framework (Inference)   
Question 12:  Meta-Analysis of Diet Trials (Weakens)   
Question 13:  Biases in AI (Strengthens)   
Question 14:  Stock Price and Effectiveness of Leadership (Inference)   
Question 15:  US Border Wall (Weakens)   
Question 16:  Driverless Car and Pollution (Assumption)   
Question 17:  Climate Change (Inference)   
Question 18:  Rent a Furniture (Weakens)   
Question 19:  Marathon Performance and Customized Shoes (Weakens)   
Question 20:  Guaranteed Basic Income (Assumption)   
Question 21:  Brexit (Infer)   
Question 22:  AB vs Traditional Hotels (Assumption)   
Question 23:  Tax Incentive and Job Creation (Weakens)   
Question 24:  Obesity and Sleeve Gastrectomy (Inference)   
Question 25:  Recruiting Executives (Weaken)   

Answers with Detailed Explanation

Download Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning (2019 Edition)

Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide

After reading F1GMAT’s Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide, you will:

1. Complete GMAT RC Questions in less than 1 minute and 50 seconds
2. Read Faster
3. Take Notes Effectively
4. Collect and Interpret Facts
5. Speed up Summary Creation
6. Remember Information
7. Question the Author   
8. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Title question   
9. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Main Idea Question   

10.Learn to Answer GMAT Reading comprehension Inference question

11. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Detail Question   

12. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Purpose Question
12. Learn to Answer GMAT organization of passage Question
13. Learn to identify the style/tone or attitude of the author

Download Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide (2019 Edition) (100+ New Questions)

Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning

After you read F1GMAT’s Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide, you will learn:

How to overcome flawed thinking in GMAT Critical Reasoning?  

How to spot Inconsistencies in Arguments  

How to eliminate out of scope answer choices using Necessary and Sufficient Conditions  

How to Paraphrase GMAT Critical Reasoning Question  

How to Answer Assumption Question Type  

How to Answer Conclusion Question Type  

How to Answer Inference Question Type  

How to Answer Strengthen Question Type  

How to Answer Weaken Question Type  

How to Answer bold-faced and Summary Question Types  

How to Answer Parallel Reasoning Questions  

How to Answer the Fill in the Blanks Question

Download Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning (2019 Edition) (25+ New Questions)

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