• Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Varsity Tutors
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Veritas Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Target Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Economist Test Prep
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    PrepScholar GMAT

Inference/Assumption questions

This topic has 2 expert replies and 2 member replies
shmoowalker Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
04 Jun 2014
7 messages

Inference/Assumption questions

Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:01 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
    Any tips on how to improve on inference/assumption questions? I find myself making inferences that, although they seem correct, are not the ones the test is looking for. Same goes for questions asking you to assume something. How do you know which inference is the one the test is looking for. Am I overthinking these questions?

    Example questions:

    The passage implies that:
    The conclusion above depends in which of the following assumptions?

    Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
    Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:06 pm
    Hi shmoowalker,

    Each type of CR question has a set of "steps" that you can go through to try to predict the correct answer before you look at the 5 answer choices. Inference questions can sometimes be a bit more challenging than other types of CR questions, since an inference can come from a word/phrase, a sentence or everything included in the prompt. Sometimes inference questions can be quite easy though.

    What steps do you typically go through when dealing with CR prompts? Describe what you do.
    What resources have you been using during your studies? What method(s) have you learned for CR questions?

    GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,

    Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

    GMAT/MBA Expert

    JTuquero Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
    17 Sep 2014
    29 messages
    Followed by:
    1 members
    5 times
    Post Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:22 am
    Hi schmoowalker,

    Here is a blog post on reading to find the assumption in CR questions: http://econgm.at/DJptvc.

    Keep practicing these type of questions, as identifying the assumption in CR questions will only be easier the more you do it.

    Best of luck.


    The Economist GMAT Tutor Representative

    Free 7-Day Test Prep with Economist GMAT Tutor - Receive free access to the top-rated GMAT prep course including a 1-on-1 strategy session, 2 full-length tests, and 5 ask-a-tutor messages. Get started now.
    Post Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:36 am
    Inference questions and assumption questions are actually quite different in CR.

    With inference questions, you want to ask yourself: given the information in the argument, what else must be true?

    When answering inference questions:
    - don't add any outside information
    - don't jump to any conclusions beyond what is explicitly stated
    - eliminate any answer choices that don't have to be true

    For more, see:http://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2012/03/22/tackling-a-gmatprep-critical-reasoning-inference-problem/

    Assumption questions, on the other hand, are about finding what information is missing from the argument that would be needed for the conclusion to hold.

    When answering assumption questions:
    - find the conclusion of the argument, and the premises used to support it
    - figure out what information is missing that would be necessary for the conclusion to hold
    - eliminate any answer choices that aren't necessary for the conclusion

    For more, see: http://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2011/11/11/tackling-find-the-assumption-cr-problems/

    Good luck!


    Ceilidh Erickson
    Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
    EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
    Harvard Graduate School of Education

    Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
    Sign up for a FREE TRIAL, and learn why we have the highest ratings in the GMAT industry!

    Thanked by: gmatdestroyer1
    Free Manhattan Prep online events - The first class of every online Manhattan Prep course is free. Classes start every week.
    Post Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:00 pm
    Remember, with Inferences:

    • Accept each piece of evidence as true.
    • Don’t worry if there’s no conclusion in the passage.
    • Pre-phrase your own answer BEFORE looking at the answer choices.

    Keep in mind that an "inference" on the GMAT is not like an "inference" in real life. You have to PROVE something beyond reasonable doubt on the GMAT, so don't allow your own outside "ideas" to lead you to an answer choice that "seems reasonable" but is not supported by the info in the passage. If anything in the premise contradicts an answer choice, it cannot be a logical inference. And beware of "extreme" language!

    Let's check out a practice question:

    Of the archaeologists working in major digs in Africa and Asia Minor, approximately 12% are women, according to statistics published in an anthropological periodical recently. But there were less than half that number of women working archaeological digs twenty years ago, even though the number of total archaeologists working in Africa and Asia Minor has doubled in that time. With more women joining the archaeological professions than ever before, and an increasing number of aging archaeologists retiring, it’s likely the total number of archaeologists working in Africa and Asia Minor will remain constant over the next five years.

    Which of the following can be properly inferred given the above statements?

    (A) Baby boomers are retiring at the exact same rate as female archaeologists are entering their field of study.
    (B) There is a growing proportion of women studying archaeology in higher education.
    (C) A higher proportion of women work in archaeology today than did twenty years ago.
    (D) There are no female aging archaeologists expected to retire in the next five years.
    (E) In four years, there will be a higher percentage of female archaeologists working in major digs in Africa and Asia Minor.

    (A) and (B) may be tempting, but the passage only mentions women “joining the archaeological professions.” It could be true that women joining the profession are not necessarily graduating from archaeological programs at an increasing rate. They could be moving laterally towards archaeology. (C) is also incorrect: if the percent doubled and the total doubled, then the proportion of women stayed the same. If you chose (D), be wary of words like “no” in CR - extreme answer choices are often incorrect! (E) must be correct. If the total number remains constant, but more women are joining than “ever before,” it’s reasonable to infer the demographic will shift towards a higher total percentage of women in the field.

    Hope this gives you some ideas of what to look out for!


    Vivian Kerr
    GMAT Rockstar, Tutor

    Former Kaplan and Grockit instructor, freelance GMAT content creator, now offering affordable, effective, Skype-tutoring for the GMAT at $150/hr. Contact: GMATrockstar@gmail.com

    Thank you for all the "thanks" and "follows"! Smile

    Best Conversation Starters

    1 Vincen 180 topics
    2 lheiannie07 61 topics
    3 Roland2rule 54 topics
    4 ardz24 44 topics
    5 VJesus12 14 topics
    See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

    Most Active Experts

    1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

    GMAT Prep Now Teacher

    155 posts
    2 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...


    105 posts
    3 image description GMATGuruNY

    The Princeton Review Teacher

    101 posts
    4 image description Jay@ManhattanReview

    Manhattan Review

    82 posts
    5 image description Matt@VeritasPrep

    Veritas Prep

    80 posts
    See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts