Answers to Sample GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions
1. If the safest airline seats are now among the lightest, as choice
E says, then buying them could be part of a strategy of minimizing fuel
costs, rather than indicating a shift away from that goal. Choice E,
therefore, is the best choice.
Choice A merely confirms that seat safety has improved, and thus does
not weaken the argument. Many policy shifts take place without being
publicly announced, so choice B does not weaken the argument. Choice C
indicates that minimizing fuel costs remains a priority, but it is
neutral on whether safety has become more important, so C is incorrect.
Choice D does not distinguish between safe and unsafe seats, and is thus
The passage asserts that skill at forging signatures is not by itself
sufficient to match all of the characteristics that the software
analyzes to identify signatures. Because the software gives access only
after identifying a signature, access cannot be achieved by someone
employing forging skill alone. Choice C is thus the best answer.
The passage gives no information about how fast the software operates or
about how long the software was under development, so neither A nor D
can be concluded. Choice B is incorrect since the software might have
features not mentioned in the passage that make it unattractive to
banks. The passages give no reason to think that errors of the sort that
choice E describes, even if made, would be numerous.
The general manager’s objection is based on avoiding training costs
altogether. But if, as choice C says, hiring experienced users of
Microton computers is significantly more costly than hiring otherwise
qualified people who would have to be trained to use Vitech computers,
the force of the objection is weakened. Choice C, therefore, is the best
Choices A, B, and D are all incorrect; none of them provides information
relevant to an evaluation of Microton computers as compared with Vitech
computers. Choice E argues independently against replacing Microton
computers with Vitech and thus is also incorrect.
The manufacturers’ conclusion would be weakened if it could be argued
that, in the opinion of customers, safety considerations favor the
earlier model. Choice B supports such an argument and is the best
The groups mentioned in choice A would both expected to consider safety
important, so their failing to buy the new model would be striking,
without casting doubt on the conclusion; thus, choice A is incorrect.
Choice C might support the conclusion, because customers bought other
engine support the conclusion, because customers bought other engine
models that might not include the newer safety features. Choice D and E
suggest that usability and price, respectively, were not the customers’
primary consideration in favoring the earlier model, but neither choice
weakens the conclusion that safety was not their primary consideration.
Between 1985 and 1988, nursing home occupancy rates rose although
admission rates declined. Choice A receives support from these facts
since it would be a basis fro an adequate account of how they arose.
Because it is the only choice that receives support, A is therefore the
Without information about the population of older people, nothing can be
concluded about percentages in nursing homes; thus, choice B is
incorrect. Since there is nothing to indicate whether the development
that took place between 1985 and 1988 was an unusual development or a
common one, choice C receives no support. No information about numbers
of beds is provided, so neither choice D nor choice E is correct.
According to choice D, many firms with PRP contracts also have
modernized equipment. Since the cause of their improved productivity
might be the modernized equipment, not the PRP contracts, this weakens
the argument, so D is the best answer.
Choice A does not weaken the argument: it is merely more evidence of the
sort already being used. Choice B is incorrect because it is a natural
consequence of increased worker productivity if other costs remain
stable. Choice C is incorrect because it explains why introducing PRP
contracts is difficult, but says nothing about the results of doing so.
Choice E is incorrect because it is not implausible that workers’ pay
should roughly correspond to their productivity.
The argument, in predicting a drop in the price of corn futures, relies
on news suggesting a good-sized corn crop. This prediction is undermined
if there is, at the same time, news suggesting a small crop. Choice D
presents such news and is therefore the best answer.
Choice A provides background information describing a stage at which
rains are essential, and choice C makes rain over the entire
corn-growing area seem more certain. Both are fully compatible with the
argument and do nothing to weaken it. Past price changes (choice B) and
details of who handles harvested corn (choice E) cannot affect the
eventual size of this year’s corn crop, so neither is relevant to the
The question to be resolved is why the mandated wage increase, which
increased operating costs, was accompanied by an increase in profits. By
showing how the wage increase might have led to an increase in the
retailer’s sales, choice B helps resolve this question, and thus is the
Choices A and E are incorrect, since they suggest that the wages that
rose as a result of the mandated increase constituted a significant
proportion of the retailer’s expenditures, which if anything adds to the
seeming paradox. Choices C and D also contribute to the paradox, since
they indicate that along with increases in the minimum wage there were
increases in the retailer’s operating costs; so choices C and D are also
If the government’s program of support payments to cotton farmers
succeeded in raising revenue for the government that would, in the
absence of the program, not be raised, this could explain why the
program will not be a net burden on the budget. Choice A suggests that
the program would raise revenue: by raising the price of cotton, the
direct support payments will boost cotton framers’ profits and thereby
increase the tax revenues the government receives from cotton farmers.
Therefore, A is the best answer.
None of the other choices provides a source of revenue to the government
or suggests that savings would be realized in a governmental expense
category, so choices B, C, D, and E are all incorrect.
The passage explains that the primary way hospitals have covered the
cost of unreimbursed care in the past is no longer available to them. It
follows that they have three options: finding a new way to cover that
cost, reducing it by giving less unreimbused care, or suffering a loss.
This is essentially what choice B concludes, so B is the best answer.
The passage touches neither on kinds of medical procedures administered
in hospitals (choice A) nor on revenue other than that received from
patients or their insurers (choice E), so neither choice is correct. The
passage gives no hint of who the paying patients are how do not rely on
insurance, so choice C is unsupported. Concerning choice D, the passage
actually suggests that it is false.
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