Guys! I think its great learning here together. I did not find a thread for Critical Reasoning for 2009. So opened one. It will be based as per last year threads.
Let us start with some basic info:
Critical Reasoning A Critical Reasoning question is given as a short paragraph, followed by one or two questions. The short paragraph is an argument.
An argument consists of three parts:
i) the premise - the evidence
ii) the conclusion - the main point of the argument and
iii) an assumption - the unstated or missing premises with out which the argument would be untenable.
Sometimes, the conclusion may not be given and the question may require you to supply the conclusion.
The premises are pieces of evidence that the author uses to arrive at the conclusion. A premise is basically a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn.
Let us consider an example.
Example: TRP of ABC show is at an all time low. There are not many brands interested to advertise their product during commercial breaks. Thus, new twist and turns are required to pep up the show.
Premises = low TRP of show, not many advertisers.
Assumption = the show is predictable with no new twists and turns.
Conclusion = new twist and turns are required to pep up the show.
Questions encountered can be of following kinds:
1) Find conclusion : Here, the conclusion is already given. Look out for key-words like hence, so , thus, therefore, etc. At times, you will find the conclusion beginning directly with these keywords.
2) Supply the conclusion :Here, the argument provides a set of evidences. Your task is to supply the conclusion. This implies that the answer is not a sentence given in the passage but must include and rest on all the evidences.
Example: Fewer elected officials are supporting environmental legislation this year than at any time in the last decade. In a study of thirty elected officials, only five were actively campaigning for new environmental legislation. This comes at a time when the public's concern for the environment is growing by leaps and bounds.
Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the passage above?
A. More elected officials are needed to support environmental legislation.
B. Elected officials have lost touch with the concerns of the public.
C. The five elected officials who actively campaigned for new environmental legislation should be congratulated.
D. If the environment is to be saved, elected officials must support environmental legislation.
First task is to identify the premise.
Premise 1 = Fewer elected officials are supporting environmental legislation this year.
Premise 2 = Public's concern for the environment is growing.
Now the logical conclusion should follow both the premises. Here, A neglects public concern. B does not even talk about the environment. C neglects public concern. Only D follows both premises 1 and 2. So, it is the logical conclusion.
3) Finding the assumption : Here, the task is to identify the conclusion first.An assumption is not given as a premise but will be requiredfor the conclusion to be valid. So, assumption is basically an unstated premise.
Example: Many people believe that gold and platinum are the most valuable commodities. To the true entrepreneur, however gold and platinum are less valuable than opportunities that can enable him to further enrich himself. Therefore, in the world of high-finance, information is the most valuable commodity.
The author of the passage above makes which of the following assumptions?
A. Gold and Platinum are not the most valuable commodities.
B. Entrepreneurs are not like most people.
C. The value of information is incalculably high.
D. Information about business opportunities is accurate and will lead to increased wealth.
Now the first task is to identify the conclusion.
Here, conclusion = In the world of high-finance, information is the most valuable commodity. (Notice the "therefore")
A and B here are irrelevant. C is same as the conclusion. Only D can be a valid assumption as it is assumed that Information about business opportunities is accurate and will lead to increased wealth.