What is critical reasoning?

In exams such as the GATE, CAT or GMAT, you will be tested on how well you understand what you are reading. This is known as critical or logical reasoning. Basically, you’re being tested on your power of logic and your ability to examine statements – you’re on the hunt for hidden assumptions!

What format are these questions?

There are many different types of critical reasoning questions.
One possible format is a short paragraph that you are given to read. Based on what you read, you will answer a few questions.

  • Find a supporting statement to the argument.
  • Find a statement which counters the argument.
  • Draw the conclusion from the passage.
  • Identify the inference.
  • Identify a parallel argument.
  • Identify an assumption that is implied but not stated.


Can you give me an example?

E-businesses are starting to gradually take over traditional “bricks-and-mortar” businesses. Last year, companies listed on the NASDAQ, a stock exchange index for new technological companies, rose on average twice as fast as the fastest-rising stocks listed on the Dow Jones index.

Question 1:
The argument about e-businesses would be strengthened the most by which of the following?

a) A report by a financial expert stating that share prices are set to rise in the future.

b) An end-of-year statement by a company listed on the NASDAQ announcing record profits for the past year.

c) An article in the Financial Times indicating that a larger proportion of traditional firms (that is, non e-business firms) have gone bankrupt than new e-businesses.

d) A novel by a company director about an e-business that ends up on the bestsellers list.

e) Reduced corporate taxes for new e-businesses by the Federal government.

The correct answer is C. You are trying to find something that supports the passage’s idea that e-businesses are taking over traditional firms.

Choice A doesn’t state which share prices will rise – NASDAQ or Dow Jones?
Choice B doesn’t really relate to the decline of traditional firms.

Choice D is not objective enough, because it is as novel. For all we know, this novel might be complete fiction.
Choice E suggests that e-businesses need more help through tax breaks, so it actually weakens the argument.

Critical Reasoning QUESTIONS FROM GATE

  1. Modern warfare has changed from large scale clashes of armies to suppression of civilian populations. Chemical agents that do their work silently appear to be suited to such warfare are useful tools for their cause.

Which of the following statements best sums up the meaning of the above passage:

  1. Modern warfare has resulted in civil strife
  2. Chemical agents are useful in modem warfare.
  3. Use of chemical agents in warfare would be undesirable.
  4. People in military establishments like to use chemical agents in war.
  5. The horse has played a little known but verb important role in the field of medicine. Horses were injected with toxins of diseases un till their blood built up immunities. Then a serum was made from their blood. Serums to fight with diphtheria and tetanus were developed this way.

It can be inferred from the passage, that horses were

  1. Given immunity to diseases
  2. Generally quite immune to disease
  3. Given medicines to fight to toxins
  4. Given diphtheria and tetanus serums
  5. One of the legacies of the Roman legions was discipline. In the legions, military law

prevailed and discipline was brutal. Discipline on he battlefield kept units obedient, intact and fighting, even when the odds and conditions were against them.

Which on the following statements best sums up the meaning of the above passage?

(a) Thorough regimentation was the main reason for the efficiency of the Roman legions

even in adverse circumstances

(b)The legions were treated inhumanly as if the men were animals.

(c) Discipline was the armies’ inheritance from their seniors.

(d) The harsh discipline to which the legions were subjected to led to the odds and

conditions being against them.

  1. Few school curricula include a unit on how to deal with bereavement and grief, and yet all students at some point in their lives suffer from losses through death and parting.

Based on the above passage which topic would not be included in a unit on bereavement?

  1. How to write a letter of condolence
  2. What emotional stages are passed through in the healing process
  3. What the leading causes of death are
  4. How to give support to a grieving friend.
  5. . Wanted Temporary, Part- time persons for the post of Field Interviewer to conduct personal interviews to collect and collate economic data. Requirements: High School- pass, must be available for Day, Evening and Saturday work, transportation paid, expenses reimbursed. Which one of the following is the best inference from the above advertisement?
  6. Gender- discriminatory
  7. Xenophobic
  8. Not designed to make the post attractive
  9. Not gender- discriminatory
  10. After several defeats in wars, Robert Bruce went in exile and wanted to commit suicide, Just before committing suicide, he came across a spider attempting tirelessly to have its net. Time and again the spider failed but that did not deter it to refrain from making attempts. Such attempts by the spider made Bruce curious. Thus, Bruce started observing the near- impossible goal of the spider to have the net. Ultimately, the spider succeeded in having its net despite several failures. Such act of the spider encouraged Bruce not to commit suicide. And then, Bruce went back again and won many a battle, and the rest is history.

Which one of the following assertions is best supported by he above information?

  1. Failure is the pillar of success
  2. Honesty is the best policy
  3. Life begins and ends with adventures
  4. No adversity justifies giving up hope
  5. Statement: You can always give me a ring whenever you need

Which one of the following is the best inference from the above statement?

  1. Because I have a nice caller tune
  2. Because I have a better telephone facility
  3. Because a friend in need is a friend indeed
  4. Because you need not pay towards the telephone bills when you give me a ring
  5. X: You look very tired.

Y: you bet!

  1. Y says he is not tired
  2. Y confirms that he is very tired
  3. Y wants to have a bet with X
  4. Y condemns X
  5. A: I heard that you are going aboard!

B: So do I

  1. B says that he not going aboard
  2. B is expressing a doubt about his not going aboard
  3. B says that there is a possibility of his going aboard
  4. B confirms that is going aboard.
  5. Upagupta, the disciple of Buddha, lay a sleep on the dust by the city wall of Mathurs.

Lamps were all out, doors were all shut, and stars were all hidden by the murky sky of August. Whose feet were those tinkling with anklets, touching his breast of a sudden?

He woke up startled, and the light from a woman’s lamp struck his forgiving eyes.

It was a dancing girl, starred with jewels.

Clouded with a pale- blue mantle , drunk with the wine of her youth.

She lowered her lamp and saw the young face “austerely beautiful”.

‘forgive me, young ascetic,’ said the woman ,’

“graciously come to my house. The dust earth is not a fit bed for you’

The ascetic answered ‘Woman, go on your way; when the time is ripe, I will come to you”.

According to author “your way” has any special meaning if so choose the best option

  1. Dancing in royal court
  2. Wish to offer her body for money
  3. Spending a night with some other guys
  4. All the above
  5. X: how can we overcome the hurdles which crop up all of a sudden

Y: Let’s cross the bridge when we come to it

  1. Y is being optimistic
  2. Y says that X is unnecessarily apprehensive
  3. Y’s approach is casual
  4. Y is very pessimistic


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