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CRITICAL REASONING

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CR Process
 Step 1: Read the argument and question in the given order
Deconstruct the argument
• Read through to understand fully the argument. Diagram only the argument
structure or necessary relationship (timeframe, causality, math reasoning)
• The argument may vary: nhiều hơn 1 evidence, không có conclusion, có thêm
intermediate conclusion hoặc counter-point.
Classify the question type
• Note xuống abbr của dạng câu hỏi
• Phải đọc đến cuối câu hỏi để tránh bị miss chữ “Except”

 Step 2: Pre-thinking
• Tuỳ theo dạng câu hỏi có strategy pre-thinking khác nhau.

 Step 3: POE
• Go from wrong to right (dựa trên common wrong answer). Phải đọc hết 5 câu trả lời
• Loại câu chắc chắn sai trước rồi còn lại mới suy luận.
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Deconstruct the argument


1. PREMISE & CONCLUSION
 Premise: answer the question of “Why”
• Indicator: because, since, for, for the reason, after all, due to, as indicated by, furthermore, given that
 Conclusion: final message of author
• Indicator: thus, therefore, hence, so, as a result of, consequently, accordingly, it follows that, it must be that
• If no indicator, use structure Because [statement], we conclude that [statement] to define which is
premise and conclusion
 Complex argument
• Multiple conclusion to confuse A-> B, B-> C or Conclusion + Premise Form (Therefore, since … Thus,
because... Hence, due to...)
• Common construction: Introduce a view point to raise a counter conclusion
A number (some, many, etc) of people (critics, students, teachers, etc) believe (claim, propose, argue, etc) that
 Important modifiers. Don’t generalize the meaning
• Quantity indicators: all, every, most, many, some, several, few, sole, only, not all, none, entirely, lack all of
• Probability indicators: must, will, always, probably, likely, would, necessarily, could, rarely, never
• Timeframe indicator: years ago, not until, date from later than
• Other indicators: intense interest

Note: if time’s up, cut short to the indicators to define premise/conclusion


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Deconstruct the argument


2. COUNTER-POINT
Phân biệt đâu là conclusion, đâu là counter point
• Conclusion phải là side của author
• Counter point: point of view được attribute vào 1 nhóm nào đó. Indicator:
but, yet, however, on the other hand, admittedly, in contrast, although,
whereas, still, in spite of, despite, after all)
Examples
• Some companies tie (claim A). This is, however, counterproductive because
(claim B) => Author conclusion là claim B
• The government thinks (plan A). However, plan A not working because … =>
Author conclusion là (not plan A)

3. INTERMEDIATE CONCLUSION
• Là kết luận trung gian support chứ không phải final conclusion
• Dùng because, therefore để test cái nào là final conclusion
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CR Question Type
Group Type Abbr
HELP OR HURT Strengthen S
Weaken W
ANSWER STIMULUS Find assumption FA
Resolve the paradox Pdox
PROVE Must Be True True
Main Point M
STIMULUS ANSWER Reasoning – Method of reasoning R
Reasoning – Find the flaw Fl
(Fact Test / Structure Test) Reasoning – Parallel reasoning //R
(Variation Test) Evaluation Ev
Fin in the blank FitB
Except Ex
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STRENGTHEN - S
Question Samples
If true most strengthen/ most strongly support the claim?
Provide the best basis/ the best reason for the claim?
Prove the hypothesis
Provide justification for /evidence in favor of
If feasible will effectively achieved / successfully accomplished?
Which following, if true, is helpful in establishing that the conclusion ABOVE is properly?
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION
• Any errors/ gaps/ suspects/ flaw in the stimulus  fill-in
• Arguments contain analogies or survey  make them sounder
POE Wrong Answers
* New info - Contender if it’s SUPPORTING.
* New info - Loser: RELATED but not AFFECTED the conclusion (ex: bus – pollution)
* OOS – Loser if mainly irrelevant comparison
* Reverse / Switch term
* Shell game: support a SIMILAR conclusion / not the real one
* Variation of supporting levels: little to a lot. Evaluate STRAIGHTFORWARD Impact
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WEAKEN - W
Question Samples
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weaken / undermines the conclusion?
Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the validity of the argument?
Which of the following, if true, most strongly call into question the author’s conclusion?
Find disadvantages / Find a criticism of the argument
What is damaging to the argument?
A plan is ill-suited if / Otherwise unlikely to succeed
Which of the following, if known, is evidence that contradicts the hypothesis above/ against the
speculation above.
Popular scenarios including
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• ATTACK THE CONCLUSION. #1 INCOMPLETE INFO: any
• Any errors/ gaps/ suspects/ flaw in the stimulus. other possibilities or data/
POE Wrong Answers survey problems
#2 IMPROPER COMPARISON:
Similar to Strengthen question
compare items essentially
different/ false analog
#3 QUALIFIED CONCLUSION:
limit the conclusion or
overgeneralize it to leave it
to attack
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FIND ASSUMPTION - FA
Question Samples
If statement true, which of following must be true?
The author assumes which of the following in saying that
The argument can’t be true unless which of following statements are assumed or true?
The conclusion above would be more reasonably drawn if
Which of following is required in order to claim
Pre-thinking Correct Answer [NEW + SUPPORT CONCLUSION + MUST-BE-TRUE]
Assumption => Conclusion => Inference. Both Assumption và Inference đều Must be true
1. Supporter: close gap or link new elements back to the premises. Khác với Strengthen là assumption cannot
contain extraneous information – a minimalist answer nên các answer dạng này thường ít.
2. Defender: eliminate weakeners – có rất nhiều new info để weaken, nên dạng này unlimited answer. Cách duy
nhất là sau khi POE thì dùng Negation technique để xác nhận lại
POE Wrong Answers
1. Các answer có “at least one/ at least some” thường là đúng, nhưng cần phải negate lại để kiểm tra
2. Avoid các answer that claim an idea: the primary purpose, the top priority, the main factor thường sai
3. Negate argument: điều đc đề cập trong argument được cho là đúng, không bao giờ counter lại
4. Restate argument: not wrong, but actually not UNSTATED assumption
Logical opposition (for Negation technique) Many # most # some. Often -> Some, not Many or Most
All (100) # Not all (0-99) | Some (1-100) # None (0) Always # Not always | Sometimes # Never
At least one # None | At least some # None Everywhere # Not everywhere
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RESOLVE THE PARADOX - PDOX


Question Samples
Which of following, if true, helps resolve the paradox above
Which of following, if true, helps explain the surprising / the puzzle above
Which of following if true, helps reconcile the discrepancy / contradiction / conflict / contrast
Which of following, if true, helps to explain the viewpoint described
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
Language of contradiction and no conclusion
• Address both sides of the paradox & relate to the Difference
• Give a reason for a different action of one side
• All Assumed to be True (Claim A, Claim B – contradict, Correct Answer) – don’t evaluate
POE Wrong Answers
• Address one side without providing possible cause for discrepancy
• OOS – different groups
• Similarities & differences: Paradox: 2 similar items -> Incorrect answer explain difference & vice versa
• Weird/ strange fact – Don’t eliminate because Answer is assumed to be true.
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MUST BE TRUE (True)


Question Samples
Which answer can be “Must be true”?
The considerations above, if true, most support which of following claims
Which, if true, best serve as an alternative explanation
Which of following can be inferred from the above?
Which of following can most properly be drawn from the information
Which of following can logically be expected to
If the facts stated in the passage above true, then: FACT TEST – Incorrect Answer
Pre-thinking Correct Answer Watch out: modifier, adv, expression,
exclamation
• Correct answer is a paraphrase of stimulus #1 New element – OOS
Restate stimulus or present it in a different manner #2 Half right/ half wrong
• Correct answer is a logical consequence. Khi stimulus #3 Switch term trap
có nhiều facts thì khả năng cao phải logically connect #4 Exaggerated/ extreme answers
True, not stated. Closely related, but not E #5 Opposite Answer
POE Wrong Answers #6 Reverse Answer
#7 Mix-up (2 fact độc lập, % & #)
• FACT TEST #8 No authority trap
• Other possible traps: #9 Time-frame mismatch
o Paraphrase, not exact duplicate of stimulus #9 Logic (logical negation, math logic)
#10 Real-world distraction
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MAIN POINT (M)


Question Samples
Which answer can be “logically concluded”?
Which of following represents the main idea of the paragraph?
The statement above best support which conclusion/ assertion
Which of following conclusion is best supported by the passage?
Which one of the following most accurately restates the main point of the passage?
The main point of the argument is that?
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• Main conclusion of the argument
POE Wrong Answers
• Step 1: FACT TEST
• Step 2: CHECK AUTHOR’S MAIN POINT
• Other possible traps
o True, but not the author’s main point
o Repeat/ paraphrase stimulus without making any conclusion
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REASONING – Method of reasoning - R


Question Samples
• TWO-WAY DISCUSSION
Mr. A responds to / challenges/ advocates Mr. B’s argument by
• AUTHOR’S ARGUMENT STRUCTURE
The author develops the argument by doing which?
The advertisement/ argument proceeds by
Which of the following describes the technique of reasoning / argumentative strategy used above?
The method of the argument is to
• BOLD-FACED
The claim plays which one of the following roles in the arguments?
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• Think about ABSTRACT STRUCTURE of the argument
• Label E, C, +/- cho các argument. Xác định same/opposite side đối với từng argument
POE Wrong Answers
• FACT TEST
• Other possible traps:
o Describe truly the argument, but not answering the question
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REASONING – Find the flaw - Fl


Question Samples
Có chữ “flaw” hoặc “vulnerable” trong question nhưng không có chữ “If true”
The argument is flawed because it
Each of the following describes a flaw in the reasoning
The reasoning is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument
The reasoning above is flawed because it fails to recognize that
A questionable aspect of the reasoning above is that it
Which one of the following best indicates why the statistics given above provide by themselves no evidence
for the conclusion they are intended to support?
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• Re-evaluate the argument and find the error of reasoning. Flaws different from weaken argument,
it relates directly to the ABSTRACT STRUCTURE of the logic
POE Wrong Answers
• FACT TEST
• Other possible traps:
o True but not identify the error in the reasoning (not confusing with weaken)
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REASONING – Parallel reasoning - //R


Question Samples
Which of statements best matches the argument shown?
Which most accurately describes the author’s method of defending the case?
Which most parallel to the argument in logical structure?
Which is most closely parallel in its reasoning to the reasoning in the argument above?
Which exhibits a pattern of reasoning most similar to that exhibited by the argument above?
Which of following is most like/similar to the argument above in its logical structure?
The flawed reasoning in one of following is most similar to the flawed reasoning in the argument above
The questionable pattern of reasoning in the argument is most similar to that in which of following
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• Define Method of reasoning in the argument
• Look for Certainty level/ Intent in the Premise and Conclusion
POE Wrong Answers ARGUMENT
• Cách 1: Abstract Structure Test theo thứ tự PREMISE ------------------------> CONCLUSION
Logic -> Conclusion -> Premise -> Validity   
• Cách 2: Abstract Statement summarize action Certainty Logic Certainty
In the statement w/o referring to details for POE Intent Validity Intent
• Other possible traps
Matching: probability mod, synonym
Not matching: negative/positive, topic, order
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EVALUATION - EV
Question Samples
The answer to which of the following question contribute most to an evaluation of the argument
Clarification of which of the following issues would be most important to an evaluation of the position
Which of the following is important to know in investigating the hypothesis in the passage
Which of the following most useful to know to determine the plan / in order to judge whether
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
• Reveal LOGICAL FLAW of the argument or NEW INFO – either strengthen or weaken the argument
POE Wrong Answers
• VARIATION TEST to Contenders
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FILL IN THE BLANK - FitB


Strengthen/ weaken / assumption (Tác động đến argument)
Claim ... assuming that ............................................................
Claim … is the fact that / is that ............................................................
Claim … (NOT) since/ because ............................................................
Main point (Suy ra từ argument)
Therefore, ............................................................
Hence, the stability will likely ............................................................
Thus, in many case, by criminals’ characterizataion of their situation, ...................................
Inference (Suy ra từ argument)
Claim ..., it must be expected/ infered that ............................................................
Claim ..., it must be shown that ............................................................
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EXCEPT – Ex
Question Samples
Câu hỏi có thể là bất cứ loại nào nhưng có chữ Except ở cuối câu
POE Wrong answers
• ODD ONE OUT – Không cần pre-thinking
• Phổ biến là Strengthen/Weaken. Đi thẳng vào Answer Choice và label S / W / N (N =
neutral). Pick the Odd one
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NUMBER & PERCENTAGE


Indicators
Number: amount, quantity, sum, total, count, tally
Percentage: Percent / proportion / fraction / ratio / incidence (rate of occurrence) / segment /
share
Likelihood or Probability: more likely / more prone to / occurs with a high frequency (>50%)
Pre-thinking Correct Answer
Larger # không có nghĩa là larger % và ngược lại. Do đó increase in % không có nghĩa là increase
in # vì group base size có thể khác nhau. Tương tự với Sales & Share
POE Wrong Answers
Must-be-true Question
• If stimulus có %, loại các đáp án về # và ngược lại
• If stimulus có % và number, đáp án đúng có thể có #, % hoặc cả hai
Weaken / Strengthen Question:
• POE trên logic quan hệ với total amount / percentage
• Mix-up general # & particular #: Nếu argument chỉ có đề cập chung chung về the number of
thì answer choice trap sẽ có các con số hoặc % cụ thể.
• Not always expect EXACT number matching: argument nói về at least 10% thì right answer có
thể dùng con số 20%
METHOD OF REASONING
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CAUSALITY – A cause B
Indicator
Caused by / Because of / Responsible for / Reason for / Leads to / Contribute to / Improve
Induced by / Promoted by / Determined by / Produced by / Product of
Played a role in / Was a factor in / Is an effect of / A put B at risk
This is an encouraging evidence that A improves B
Weaken scenarios (Find a flaw in the assumption)
1. Alternative cause B, not only A
2. Reverse relationship: B cause A
3. Provide error & problem to the data/survey in the causal statement
4. Correlation not causality relationship: A happens before (or simultaneously) B w/o causing
a. C cause A và B – both A, B results of a change
b. Example case A happens -> B not happens
c. Example case B happens -> A not happens
Strengthen scenarios
1. No other causes
2. No reverse relationship: B not cause A
3. Reduce error & give proof to the data/survey in stimulus
4. Example case A happens -> B happens
5. Example case A not happens -> B not happens