About GMAT Critical Reasoning

The GMAT's critical reasoning questions test your analytical reasoning skills. Specifically, the critical reasoning questions measure the following:

  • Argument Formation
  • Information Relevancy
  • Argument Evaluation
  • Logical Analysis

The format of the question is simple: the stimulus contains a short-paragraph argument; the question stem follows the stimulus and asks you a question based upon the stimulus.

In evaluating the argument in a critical reasoning question (i.e., in evaluating the stimulus), the GMAT does not presuppose that you are familiar with certain issues or topics. Instead, the ability to answer correctly is based upon whether you can dissect an argument (identifying the premises and conclusion) and determine the crux of the argument.

The official directions for critical reasoning questions are simple: "For this question, select the best of the answer choices given." 1


  1. Source: 11th Edition Official Guide GMAT Review, page 468. [Back]