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Solving Critical Reasoning questions in MBA Entrance Exams

Aug 26, 2013 13:07 IST

    Critical Reasoning is an important aspect of the management entrance examinations. It is very helpful in solving Reading Comprehension, Paragraph Completion and Summary type questions.

    The types of questions based on critical reasoning are strengthening/ weakening the argument, strengthening/ weakening the conclusion and finding the assumption. Let us look at each type.

    Paragraph 1:

    Yesterday, I went to the park. The weather was nice and sunny. The park has a lot of greenery. There were a lot of dogs. Hence, I should stop going to the park.

    Question:

    We need to find the assumption for this argument.

    Solution:

    The first 4 sentences make up the premise. Sentences beginning with “Hence” signify that they are conclusions.  The gap that bridges the premise and the conclusion is that I should stop going to the park because of the presence of dogs. Hence, that is the assumption.

    Paragraph 2:

    Pushkar Village is the only village in the nation that borders two national parks— Pushpika and Batika. These parks protect and preserve nationally known marine ecosystems that attract visitors from all over the world and provide us with amazing places to appreciate and recreate. Unfortunately, both parks face serious threats from developers who want to build new homes near the parks.

    Question:

    Which of the following strengthens the author’s argument?

    a)      Pushkar Village has two parks.

    b)      The two parks protect ocean life, attract tourists, and provide us with places to enjoy.

    c)       Developers destroy national parks and are greedy people.

    d)      Pushkar Village should encourage residents to visit its two national parks.

    Solution:

    To solve such questions you need to understand the theme of the argument. Read the question carefully to see whether the whole argument has to be strengthened or a part which is mentioned in the question. You have to provide an additional fact that supports the theme of the argument. Any irrelevant data would not affect the argument.

    Option B strengthens the author’s view as it provides a correct explanation for why the parks should not be replaced by the builders.

    Paragraph 3:

    On a recent Saturday morning at 9 a.m., I was driving from South Extension towards Connaught Place. All the roads, including Asoka Road, Janpath, and Minto Road had been taken over by bicyclists riding in groups on the middle of the road. With total disregard of car traffic or safety, they ignored traffic signals, ran red lights, and cut in front of cars. Police regulation is needed.

    Question:

    Which of the following weakens the author’s argument?

    a)      Roads in New Delhi are dangerous for drivers.

    b)      People should not drive around Connaught Place on Saturday mornings.

    c)       Bicycle riders in Connaught Place do not obey traffic laws and are a hazard to drivers.

    d)      There was a circular stating the ride and traffic had been cordoned in Connaught Place for Saturday.

    Solution:

    You have to provide an additional fact that opposes the theme of the argument.  Any irrelevant data would not affect the argument. Option D is the correct answer as it gives a reason as to why the author faced the traffic problems.

    One can also solve by eliminating the options. The wrong options usually fall into the following categories:

    • Opposite: An option which contradicts the argument. This option weakens the argument.
    • Irrelevant: Has no effect on the argument.
    • Off-track: An option which is related but does not hit the bull’s eye. A wayward answer choice.
    • Beyond Scope: An option having extra data.
    • Absurd: is extremely irrelevant. E.g. An argument that focuses on hair-loss; but the option talks of stomachache.
    • Poetic: They are looking for a logical choice and not a poetic one.
    • General statements: Defining or preaching statements.
    • Narrow statement: Too specific to only one aspect of the argument.

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