CAT : How to excel in solving Critical Reasoning Questions


Critical reasoning is the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing,applying,analyzing,synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion; hence it is considered, one among those few question types, which require rigorous practice, tremendous involvement, extended time , yet responsible for contributing more negative marking in your score card. Need not to say that sincere efforts together with flawless approach and great persistence are required to overcome the unseen barrier and hurdle while solving these questions. The cryptic nature of passage along with identical options and hypothetical scenario makes jobs even more complicated and one is never sure that he has selected a precise answer. Critical Reasoning is baffles even the most proficient aptitude takers. Critical reasoning is inward-directed with the intent of
maximizing the rationality of the thinker. One does not use critical thinking to solve problems—one uses critical thinking to improve one’s process of thinking. Critical reasoning is nothing but extended form of critical thinking when it becomes inseparable part of educational syllabi. It requires justification, impenetrable logics and ability to relate to hypothetical scenario if one is determined to excel in solving such questions because ultimate requirement of critical reasoning is nothing but
finding faults in someone else’s arguments. The ability to critically analyze an argument – to dissect structure and components, thesis and reasons – is important. But so is the ability to be flexible and consider non-traditional alternatives and
The questions could be one of the following types.
1. Assumption/Presumption based questions 2. Inferential questions
3. Conclusion based questions 4. Argument Impacts ( Strengthening
or weakening the arguments )
5. Anticipation based questions 6. Paradox 7. Complete the argument

Let us discuss some terminologies which are inextricable while solving above mentioned critical reasoning questions.
Argument: It conveys a specific thought which is judgmental and is supported by statements. Usually argument is nothing but a set of statements out of which a conclusion is drawn from the other supportive statements.
Premise: It a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion. One of the most proffered ways to identify the premise(s) in the argument is to ask the question WHY on the conclusion. A premise usually begins with identifiers such as-
if, given that, since, because, suppose etc. Once you learn to identify and distinguish these, the solving the rest becomes effortless.
Assumption: An assumption, like the premise, is an unquestionable fact or an unstated premise. However, unlike the premise, it is not explicitly stated and requires reading between the lines. As discussed above its an art to differentiate
assumption from a fact. One is required to find an assumption in the passage to strengthen an argument. To weaken an argument, an assumption in the passage that either contradicts or negates the argument has to be found.
Conclusion:  Conclusion is the the final consequence of a sequence of actions or events. It’s relationship between statements that holds true when one logically “follows from” one or more others. A conclusion is all about content while a premise
elaborates the rationale behind that content. A question ‘What’ must be answered by reference to facts and evidence. Finally, One important point should be taken in consideration that our task must begin with identifying the premises, conclusions, arguments and assumptions. It is of utmost importance that we ought to be conversant with the definitions and identifiers for all these concepts. Critical reasoning passages are quite different when compared to reading comprehension. The general perception associated with critical reasoning passage is that insertion or deletion of a word or a phrase has the potential to alter the entire meaning and implications of a argument or statement.


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