This chapter reviewed several question types:
- Main Idea
- Most Strongly Supported.
- None of the Premises is ever false (the GMAT doesn’t make up facts), but the conclusions are often false.
- Most Strongly Supported questions are devious because it could be the unstated main idea of the passage or just combination of two lines.
Test Taker, Beware!
(Note: more questions will be added here in January 2019)
Now that we’re deep into the Critical Reasoning chapter, we’re going to move into discussing trap answer choices. Test writing is an extremely time-consuming task, but test writers have an easy way out. On nearly every question you will see wrong answers that they pull out of a “bin” of typical junk answers. These wrong answers do not do much to test ability; they are simply there to fool inexperienced and unskilled test takers.
(A) If you misread the passage, this looks right.
(B) Maybe right – close call with some subtle difference most students miss.
(C) Correct answer!
(D) The opposite of the correct answer.
(E) The BESTEST choice that uses INCREDIBLY strong language (like all, never).
If you have gone far enough to be able to identify and assess an argument, don’t fall into a trap when picking an answer. On the positive side, a skilled test taker can identify trap answer types quickly and then use process of elimination to increase the chances of getting the right answer.
Beware: The Sentimental Favorite
These are answer choices that are out of the question scope, but sound appealing on a superficial level.
The level of diabetes in the United States among those over 50 has been attributed to high levels of sugar usage. In Zaire, however, diabetes rates among those over 50 are nearly as high as those in the US and individual sugar consumption levels are much lower.
What is the most reasonable conclusion from the above passage?
- If most people used sugar-replacement sweeteners instead of sugar, the rate of diabetes worldwide would drop rapidly.
- There are other factors besides sugar usage that determine diabetes levels.
Choice (A) sounds nice. We approve of the sentiment, but answer choices that espouse high ideals or provide convenient explanations may not be correct.
Choice (B) is the correct answer because it gets to the flawed causal argument: sugar usage may not be the sole factor behind diabetes rates.