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
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.