Critical Reasoning Exercises 1

GMAT GRE critical reasoning exercises

Causal arguments are arguments which comprise a cause and an effect. 

Lets take an example

An exit poll conducted by a popular television news channel reveals that the incumbent will lose the presidential election. The channel cites sharp decline in per capita income of the electorate leading to an anti-incumbency wave.

Cause: anti -incumbency

Effect: incumbent’s losing the election

Causal arguments attribute a cause to an effect.

The conclusion is based on causal logic. A certain cause is attributed to the effect;

X, therefore Y. 

Words like- If, whenever, only, when – indicate that the argument is causal.

– If A then B or Whenever A happens, B happens …

In  questions with if, whenever, only, observe the cause and the effect.

Example 1:

Whenever it rains in City A, it rains in City B

Cause  – It rains in City A               

 Effect  – It rains in City B

Logically consistent pair 1: It rains in City A, it rains in City B

Logically consistent pair 2: It doesn’t rain in City B, It doesn’t rain in City A,  

Inconsistent pairs:

  1. It rains in City B, It rains in City A
  2. It doesn’t rain in City A, It doesn’t rain in City B

Science of thinking  tip:

If A, then B .. Cause = A , effect B.. There are two conclusions

Conclusion 1:  cause happens, effect happens

Conclusion 2:   effect doesn’t happen, cause doesn’t happen

Example 2:

George gets a tan when he goes to Miami

Cause  – George goes to Miami          Negated cause  – George doesn’t go to Miami

Effect  – George gets a tan                    Negated effect – George doesn’t get a tan

Consistent pair 1: George goes to Miami, George gets a tan

Consistent pair 2: George doesn’t get a tan, George doesn’t go to Miami


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Now lets do a small exercise

Each question will have one statement with two parts. The statement is followed by four statements. You have to choose a pair of statements logically consistent with the main statement . Each question can have more than 1 answer.

1. If you are lucky, you can hit the jackpot.
2. Whenever the professor yells, we become silent.
3. Every time he cries, his eyes become red.
4. Only when you start earning, you will know the true value of money.
5.George goes out with his friends only on weekends.
6. If you don’t socialize, you will become a recluse.

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