Many prospective test takers have trouble identifying conclusions in Critical Reasoning questions in the GMAT.
Brett Ethridge, founder of Dominate the GMAT, offers quick insight about identifying conclusions.
The conclusion is often there but you are struggling to find it. Sometimes it can be easy because there are locator words or tip-off words like “therefore” or “so”. What comes after such words is very likely to be the conclusion. If you see a word like that in the argument prompt, it’s clear that you are about to see what the author’s point is, separated from the premises and the background.
However, what if there are no such words? What do you do in that case? When you are looking at a sentence in the argument in isolation, ask yourself what question you would logically ask next if somebody came up to you in the street and said that sentence completely out of the blue.
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If somebody comes up to you and tells you: “Hey John, I’m going to business school and it’s going to increase my financial prospects significantly.” How do you respond? You will probably say: “Really? Why do you think that?” If that’s your question, maybe that’s the conclusion.
Contrast the first sentence you are told with this one: “Hey John, I just read a study that people who graduate with an MBA see their salary climb 20% in the first year after graduation.” What would your logical response to that be? You are probably going to say something like: “Really, that’s interesting.” That’s just a fact. You wouldn’t ask: “Why do you think that?”
What the person is trying to do is convince you that their financial prospects are going to increase because they are going to business school. The increase in the financial prospects is the conclusion, while the enrolment in a business school programme is the premise.
Hopefully, this video will better enable you to spot the conclusion and thus get a higher score on the GMAT.