GMAT Critical Reasoning: Sample Strengthen Questions

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Sample Questions

critical reasoningYou most likely already know that GMAT questions of the same type can appear in various forms. Some forms of Critical Reasoning (CR) arguments do not state conclusions explicitly. What you do in such cases? This post will look at a Strengthen the Argument CR question that doesn't state a conclusion but requires you to identify information that, if true, would make the argument's conclusion more solid.

Allow yourself two minutes to attempt this question.

Addressing an unprecedented economic downturn in Country X, the government raised taxes to reduce the budget deficit and satisfy international creditors. An opposition group in City A, the capital of Country X, started a massive resistance campaign to protest increasing taxes. To put an end to the resistance without significantly reducing taxes, the government plans to decrease taxes in City A to previous levels while keeping the increases in the rest of the country.

Which of the following, if true, provides most reason to believe that the government's plan will end the tax resistance campaign in city A?

A) Bringing down tax rates in City A will not cause dissatisfaction among international creditors.

B) If the government cannot find a way to stop the tax resistance campaign, it will experience losses greater than those it will experience if it chooses to decrease tax rates in City A.

C) If the government accepts the demand to reduce taxes, opposition groups may use similar strategies to oppose any future decisions of the government.

D) The opposition group will not continue its campaign while tax rates in other cities are unchanged.

E) Although many Country X residents and businesses are opposed to increased taxes, the majority understands the importance of this government measure.


In this argument with no explicit conclusion, the question stem provides one: the government's plan will help to bring down the tax resistance campaign in city A. The opposition in City A demands that the government reduce taxes and starts a massive resistance campaign. The government plans, therefore, to reduce taxes in City A but keep them elevated in the rest of the country. You need to find the answer choice that provides most grounds to believe that such partial reduction will be sufficient for the opposition group to discontinue its campaign. Choices that deal with matters other than the opposition group stopping the campaign are irrelevant.

Choice A provides irrelevant information. International creditors' satisfaction is clearly of no interest to the opposition group. This choice shows that the proposed plan may be reasonable, but it provides no new reason to believe that the opposition group will cease the protest.

Choice B shows that the protest is detrimental and measures should be taken to stop it, but provides no new reason to believe that the government's plan is the way to do that.

Choice C points out a possible drawback of appeasing the opposition group, but it does nothing to support the belief that the government's play will end the protest.

Choice D is correct. The fact that tax rates in other cities are of no importance to the opposition group in City A strengthens the prediction that the government's plan, which affects only City A, will end the tax resistance campaign.

Choice E is irrelevant. This general information is not related to the opposition group and how it will behave after tax reduction.

The correct answer is D.

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