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GMAT Critical Reasoning – Quick Reference Guide

1. The Powerscore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible
2. GMATToppers class notes

Premise Indicators: Background Information is unbiased & just prepare

Because, Since, For, For example, For the reason Sub Conclusion refers to a statement which
STATED PREMISE the ground for reasoning to begin. It explains the
that, In that, Given that, As indicated by, Due to, doubles up as a conclusion to the premise and as
Background/ Premise/ Fact/ CONCLUSION current state of events. The conclusion will still
Owing to, This can be seen from, We know this
Additional Premise Indicators:
Furthermore, Moreover, In addition to, Also,
Evidence/ Additional Premise/
Counter Premise/ Conditional
Assumption = Conclusion/ Inference/
a premise to the main conclusion
Conclusion is the last frontier in the argument. It is
supported by all the statements but it never
holds it ground even if the background information
is removed
Reasoning/ Causal Reasoning supports any other statement. Additional Premise is the independent idea
Besides, What is more
different from what already has been stated as a
Counter Premise Indicators: Numbers & Percentages - Misconception: reason. This premise can independently lead to
But, However, Yet, Although, Never the less, In 1. Increasing % automatically lead to increasing the conclusion without any help from the previous
spite, Despite, On the contrary, While Conditional Reasoning (two or more events) Causal Reasoning (Only two events) numbers. reasons
Premise Conclusion 2. Decreasing % automatically lead to decreasing
Sufficient Condition Indicators: P (Sufficient condition) Q (Necessary condition) C (Cause) E (Effect) Counter Premise adds strength to conclusion. The

If, When, Whenever, Every, All, Any, People who, main theme of the author is always discussed after
Repeat form: P Q How to attack Causal Conclusion: 3. Increasing numbers automatically lead to
In order to the counter premise indicator words. Used for
Mistaken negation: P Q 1. Find an alternate cause for the stated effect. increasing %
Necessary Condition Indicators: reasons – Contrast and Exception
Mistaken reversal: Q P 2. Show that even when the cause occurs, the effect does not occur 4. Decreasing numbers automatically lead to
Then, Only, Only if, Must, Required, Unless, Premise 1 Premise Premise
Contrapositive (Valid inference): Q P 3. Show that although the effect occurs, the cause did not occur decreasing % Assumption is an information the author assumes
Except, Until, Without Counter
Premise 2 4. Show that the stated relationship is reversed 5. Large numbers automatically mean large %, that the reader will also assume the same in order
Cause and Effect Indicators: Premise Sub- 1. Either/Or Statements: 2. The Double Arrow: 5. Show that a statistical problem exists with the data used to make and small numbers automatically mean small % to come to the conclusion
Caused by, Because of, Responsible for, Reason Conclusion 1. Either A or B will go to the party “A if B” & “A only if B” the causal statement 6. Large % automatically mean large numbers,
for, Leads to, Induced by, Promoted by, Outcome: A, B, AB B A&A B Supporter Assumption these assumptions link
and small % automatically mean small numbers together new or rogue elements in the stimulus
Determined by, Produced by, Product of, Played a Inference: A B; B A A B
Conclusion Conclusion Conclusion Stimuli containing causal arguments are often followed by Weaken, or fill logical gaps in the argument
role in, Was a factor in, Is an effect of 2. Either A or B will go to the party but Possible scenario: Modifier Scope:
Strengthen, Assumption, or Flaw questions
Conclusion Indicators: not both 1. A and B both attend 1. Quantity Modifier: Defender Assumption these assumptions contain
Thus, Therefore, Hence, Consequently, As a Outcome: A, B 2. Neither A nor B attend Definite Probably statements that eliminate ideas that would
result, So, Accordingly, Clearly, Must be that, Inference: A B; A B; B A; B A All 100 0 undermine the conclusion. They defend the
Shows that, Conclude that, By follows that, For 3. Multiple Sufficient & Necessary Condition: Most min 51 100(> the majority) argument by showing that a possible source of
this reason If you have to graduate from Harvard with a good Many 40 (< the majority) attack has been eliminated
Numerical ideas: Some min 1 100 (all)
job, you must be rich and smart
Amount, Quantity, Sum, Total, Count, Tally None 0
Grad H & Good job Smart & Rich
Percentage ideas: 2. Probability Modifier:
~ (Smart & Rich) ~ (Grad H & Good job)
Percent, proportion, fraction, ratio, incidence, Should, must, may, can, could, would, will
~ Smart or ~ Rich ~ Grad H or ~ Good job
likelihood, probability, segment, share
Definitive confirmation once you have selected an
answer: Category IV Category II Category III
Category I P C
1. Assumption – use the assumption negation E
Principle or Conclusion or
technique Stimulus Stimulus Stimulus Fact or
Stimulus Premise or Inference or
2. Justify – use the justify formula Evidence
Assumption judgment
3. Evaluate the argument – use the Variance test

4. Point at Issue – use the Agree/ Disagree test

Answer Choice Answer Choice Answer Choice

Answer Choice

Must be True/
Conclusion/ Method of Flaw in the Parallel Cannot be Justify the Strengthen/ Resolve the Evaluate the
Most Point at Issue Assumption Weaken Bold Face
Main Point Reasoning Reasoning Reasoning True Conclusion Support Paradox Argument

1. Prioritize each element in the argument

Correct Answers: Correct Answers: Premises + Answer choices = Correct Answers: Correct Answers: in the following order: C, P and E Category
Correct Answers: 1. Uncertain use of a Term or Elements that must be
2. Match the category and not the
1. Answers that Incorrect Answers paralleled: Negation Conclusion Answer choice that Variance Test:
1. Paraphrased Answers – Concept – value (ethical or subcategory
paraphrase the 1. New element answer Technique: Correct Answers: contains the possible Supply 2 polar opposite
restate a portion of the monetary sense) 1. Method of reasoning –
1. Any new element in the 3. If there is a P Category in the argument
conclusion 2. Half right, half wrong 2. Source argument simple premise conclusion 1. Logically cause of the situation (Yes/ No, Pass/ Fail, 0%/
stimulus in a different terms. conclusion will appear in the correct & it is referred in the answer choice as 1st
answer 3. Circular reasoning or conditional or causal negate the 100%) response to the premise or the 2nd premise then it is a
2. Combination answers – 2. The validity of the
answer Incorrect Answers:
3. Exaggerated answer 4. Errors of Conditional answer choices. 2. Elements that are common to the question posed in the answer wrong answer
result from combining two or Incorrect Answers: reasoning argument 1. Explains one side of
4. The opposite answer 2. The negated conclusion and at least one premise choice & then analyze how the 4. The word 2nd premise should always
more statements in the 1. Answers that are 5. Mistaken Cause & Effect 3. The certainty level of the paradox
5. The reverse answer answer choice normally do not come in the correct varying response affect the refer to an additional premise that is a
stimulus true but do not 6. Straw Man conclusion – Stimulus 2. Similarities & statement with an independent idea
(must, never, always) ||
that attacks the answer conclusion in the stimulus. If
encapsulate the 7. General lack of relevant
3. Elements that appear in the differences 5. Never select an Answer based on the B
evidence for the conclusion conclusion (should) argument will be one response strengthens &
author’s point premises but not the conclusion category
the correct 1. No conclusion the other response weakens,

2. Answers that 8. Internal contradiction 4. The certainty level of

usually appear in the correct answer 6. Whenever a counter premise indicator is
Incorrect Answers: 9. Appeal fallacies premises answer 2. Language of contradiction the answer choice is correct
repeat the premises used make sure the answer choice carries
1. Could be True or likely to be 10. Survey errors the effects by using words such as against,
True answers of the argument Correct Answers: 11. Exceptional case/ Elements that need not be Logical opposites: Incorrect Answers: Incorrect Answers:
3. Sub conclusion anti, outweighs, etc.
2. Exaggerated answers Agree/ Disagree overgeneralization paralleled: Qty: All/ Not All, Some/ None
1. Opposite answers 1. Opposite answers
Time: Always/ Not Always, 7. Counter argument in a argument can
3. New Information answers confused for a Test: 12. Errors of composition and 1. Topic of the stimulus Supporter 2. The Shell game answers 2. The Shell game answers also be called as premise because in a
conclusion One speaker will division 2. The order of presentation Sometimes/ Never
4. The Shell Game Space: Everywhere/ Not 3. Out of scope answers 3. Out of scope answers holistic perspective a counter argument
agree and the other 13. False analogy of the premises and
5. The Opposite answer everywhere, Somewhere/ Nowhere supports the conclusion
14. False dilemma conclusion in the stimulus. Scenarios:
6. The Reverse Answer Main point questions speaker will 8. The certainty level of the conclusion has
15. Errors in the use of evidence But the No. of elements Conclusion True Assumption True 1. Incomplete information
are Must be True disagree To strengthen argument: to be mapped effectively according to the
16. Time shift errors have to be matched. 2. Improper comparison
questions with an 1. Answers starting with ‘at least 1. Identity the conclusion – this is argument
additional criterion – 17. Nos. & % errors. 3. Qualified conclusion 9. Never choose an answer based on
Numbers & Percentages: one’ or ‘at least some’ - ‘None’ use what you are trying to strengthen
1. If the stimulus contains %, avoid you must also identify Incorrect Answers: negation technique to check 2. Personalize the argument Approach: consideration (could be part of P or C or E
answers that contain hard numbers the author’s point 2. Avoid answers that the 3. Look for weakness in the 1. The stimulus will contain an argument or B category) statements and sub
1. Ethical Vs
2. If the stimulus contains only assumption is the primary argument 2. Focus on the conclusion conclusion.
numerical information, avoid
Factual situation 3. The information in the stimulus is suspect
assumption or most important Consideration is a statement
answers that contain % 2. Dual Agreement assumption 4. Weaken questions often yield strong which is taken into account in Filtration
3. If the stimulus contains both % or Dual Defender prephrases. order to filter one possibility
and numerical information, any Disagreement Assumption Supporting a causal reasoning almost always consists of performing 5. The answer choice are accepted as given,
Conclusion from a large set of
answer choice that contains one of the tasks: even if they include “new” information
3. View of one of possibilities
numbers, %, or both may be true 1. Eliminate any alternate cause for the stated effect
the speaker is Premise 2. Show that when the cause occurs, the effect occurs To weaken a conditional conclusion, attack Anti consideration is a A
unknown 3. Show that when the cause does not occur, the effect does not occur the necessary condition by showing that the statement which will help to
Supporter 4. Eliminate the possibility that the stated relationship is reversed necessary condition does not need to occur in focus on A’ after discussing
Assumption 5. Show that the data used to make the causal statement is accurate order for the sufficient condition to occur about A. A’