Reading Comprehension I: Introduction II: The Challenge III: The Five Steps IV: Question Types Macro Questions 1. Main Idea 2. Purpose of the Passage 3. Tone 4. Passage Organization 5. Category of Writing 6. Identity of the Author Micro Questions 7. Detail of the Passage 8. Definition of a Term 9. Support for a Premise 10. Function of Passage Part 11. Inference V: Tips VI: Sample Essays
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IV-11: Question Types: Micro Questions- Inference (advanced)

Inference questions ask you to go beyond the passage. The answer won’t be stated directly in the text, just implied. To answer this question type you must be able to get inside the author’s mind and understand how he or she would react to a given situation. Inference questions are especially difficult because they combine both macro and micro elements of the passage.

How to identify inference questions: Hint, imply, or suggest, are words that signal inference.

With which of the following would the author most likely agree?

Based on the details in the passage, which position would the author find most objectionable?

What does the author imply about military history?

How to tackle them: These are tricky! Because the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, lower scorers won’t be presented with many (or any) of these questions. Think about which answer is best supported by the facts of the passage alone. On inference questions, outside knowledge can confuse your understanding of the intention or implication of the passage.

 Vulcan Mind Meld and Reading Comprehension In the science-fiction series Star Trek, the Vulcan mind meld was a trick in which a Vulcan said "your mind to my mind," pressed his hand to the subject, and transferred the subject's thoughts. Inference questions are often the most challenging reading comprehension questions because they ask you to make logical conclusions based on the author's way of thinking. Do your best to be like a Vulcan: be open to the author's point of view and work on learning how to "meld" with it.

Inference Questions

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