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    Reading Comprehension
  I: Introduction
  II: The Challenge
III: The Five Steps  
  IV. 11 Question Types
Macro Questions
spacer1: Main Idea
spacer2: Purpose of the Passage
spacer3: Tone
spacer4: Passage Organization
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Micro Questions
spacer7: Detail of the Passage
spacer8: Definition of a term
spacer9: Support for a premise
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11: Inference
  V: Tips
  VI: Sample Questions
   

Section 4: Type 11 - Inference (advanced)
 
 

These 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 it: Hint, imply, suggest, . . . these 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 it: These are tricky! Because the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, low scorers won’t get many of these questions. Think about which answer is best supported by the facts of the passage alone. Keep the use of outside knowledge to a minimum. Imagine you know nothing except what is included in the passage and use only this information to answer the questions. 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 when a Vulcan said "your mind to my mind" and pressed his hand to the subject and the subject's thoughts were transferred.
Inference questions represent the most challenging reading comprehension questions because they ask you to make logical conclusions based on the author's way of thinking. In this way, be open the author's point of view and learn how to "meld" with it.


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 V: Tips