CHALLENGE: Identify the Flaws
These questions ask you to recognize what’s wrong with an argument. Most of these questions require you to point out a fallacy in the argument. We have an extensive section above covering the most common logical flaws.
Here are typical flaw questions:
- Which one of the following best identifies the flaw in the above argument?
- In presenting her position, the author does which one of the following?
How to beat Flaw Questions:
- Identify and put the conclusion and premises in your own words.
- Keep an eye out for extreme statements (which are harder to defend or prove).
- Find assumptions
- Based on the assumptions, you can identify the main flaw. Become very good at identifying logical flaws in the assumptions (see our list below).
- Find the answer that most resembles your idea of the flaw (check all choices).
Any assumption is, by definition, a fallacy. Assumptions tend to fall into specific classes and we’ve identified over two dozen types of flaws in this course. Many GRE questions revolve around identifying assumptions (flaws) in arguments. One way to learn how to find these errors and teach your mind to think critically is to go through a series of common flaws. Many of these flaws are rarely found on the GRE, but try to teach yourself to read critically and look out for assumptions of all types, which is the crucial skill.
We’re going to delve into the different kinds of flaws, starting with the Ad Hominem category.