GRE Critical Reasoning Strategy – Technique 1: Think of the Argument as if it were a House



I want you to indulge me for a second and imagine that you have a house on a secluded island surrounded by nothing but water Now this house is going to be very peaceful, very relaxing You can bask in the Sun ,you can walk outside, put your feet in the sand But this house has a fundamental flaw The very thing that gives it its tranquility — the water is the very thing that can destroy it If a giant wave were to get too close, this house would cease to exist Even moderate flooding would damage this house beyond repair. So how can we address this issue? One solution would be to raise it This is not a bad approach. Many beach houses are elevated to avoid the water and other elements Of course if we go down this path, we'd have to support it But this house on one column is in a precarious position Perhaps even a worse position than from which it started Now you might be thinking what on earth does this have to do with the GRE and Specifically, what does this have to do with critical reasoning passages? The reason I introduced the video with this tranquil setting is because this is how I like to think about the critical reasoning passages I like to think of them as if they are raised houses that need to be supported Let's go ahead and turn down the music and get into detail about how this metaphor can help us better Understand the critical reasoning passages and ultimately get the correct answer and raise our GRE scores When you first encounter a critical reasoning passage, it's going to look relatively short and it's going to present an argument The arguments could be rather simple or they could be quite complex, but the structure is typically the same You're given a conclusion of some sort or recommendation or kind of a final opinion and The author of the passage has one premise or two premises to support that position So here's a relatively simple example that I have created to show you how this process of building the house works whenever we encounter critical reasoning passages The argument says 'Because they contain a significant amount of potassium, a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits bananas are clearly great'. Whenever you come across this passage the very first thing I want you to identify is the conclusion and in this case the conclusion is going to be that 'bananas are clearly great' Now this is the meat of the argument. This is the bulk of the argument So would it make more sense for it to be the support or the house? Well, it's the house. So this is where we're gonna put our conclusion right here. Now what's holding up our house? What's holding up our conclusion? What is actually supporting this conclusion, you know this recommendation or this opinion? Well in this case there's only one beam or one column just like our picture and it's this idea that bananas contain a lot of potassium and then they say potassium is a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits. So I'm going to put the evidence right here Some people like to refer to this as a 'premise' Other people like to refer to it as a 'supporting idea' — in every case it's the same thing. What it does, its function is to hold up the conclusion so that it can be supported This is why I like to think of these as a raised house because at the top you have this conclusion Which may or may not be heavy and at the bottom you need to support it with a column in order for it to be structurally sound So let's go ahead and see what that looks like. So this is what I kind of picture whenever I do these passages I put the conclusion inside the house 'bananas are clearly great' And then the piece of evidence would be the column 'they contain a significant amount of potassium, a mineral that provide provides a variety of health benefits'. So, before we move on to actually either Improving or weakening this house or this critical reasoning passage Make sure that you know how to effectively set up or build the house before you actually tackle the questions If I were tasked with making this house, this conclusion stronger and more stable One approach that I could take is look at the middle column itself and try to make that stronger So what I've done is I've added a cement block to the bottom of this column. I have more firmly entrenched it into the ground which has the effect of making the conclusion itself more persuasive — in effect, stronger So that's a metaphor. How does that actually look in practice? How do you make a piece of evidence? Stronger if a critical reasoning passage asks me to strengthen the argument How would I actually do that if I'm focusing on existing evidence? Well Let's take a look — the evidence that I'm given says 'they contain a significant amount of potassium, a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits'. So one thing I could Highlight to make this column stronger is I could say that these health benefits from potassium are Shown or have been shown to be long-lasting? So these are not temporary health benefits, these are health benefits that will last an individual a long time So what I've done here is, I've made this column or this piece of evidence stronger Which makes the house itself more stable, but could I even take it further? Could I even make this column even stronger? Let's see if we can create an example where that's the case So now we're looking at a Roman column You know these columns that are famous all over the world for their stability and longevity many of them are still standing today So what could I do to the existing evidence to, in essence turn it into a Roman column — something that will really hold up this conclusion and make the overall argument very compelling and difficult to disagree with What if I said something drastic? something that is so persuasive That the argument itself becomes extremely compelling What if I said that potassium is the mineral Let me write this really quickly most responsible for reducing heart disease and Then I go on to further say that heart disease is the number one killer in America Now a brief note When you take the GRE and you do a critical reasoning passage your job is not to disagree with the answer choices or find evidence to the contrary that the answer choices are not true No Your job is to assume that all five of the answer choices are true and choose the one that most logically strengthens the argument So make sure you understand that distinction because I don't know if potassium is the mineral most responsible for reducing heart disease That I'm not sure of and I'm not really going to research it because that's not the point of this exercise the point of this exercise is to assume that all five of the answer choices are true and choose the one that best supports the argument. So let's actually discuss what I wrote here I said potassium is a mineral that can reduce heart disease and heart disease is a killer so, in essence potassium prevents death Why is that a Roman Column, when the previous two examples were a wooden beam and a wooden beam with a concrete block in the bottom Well, it's because I've introduced this idea this element of life and death and whenever you introduce life and death You kind of up the stakes or up the ante and the argument itself becomes — I guess you could say a more serious issue the stakes are higher so to speak and By saying that potassium plays a role in reducing death This argument becomes very difficult to disagree with or it becomes much more difficult to challenge in essence I have turned the wooden beam into this Roman column that more effectively holds up the Conclusion the meat of the argument, you know, the bananas are clearly great and makes it much harder to top all over Now this begs the question we've gone through the process of increasing Existing evidence in order to make the conclusion and the argument more persuasive and more firm But is there another way to strengthen an argument? is there something else we can do in order to make this house this conclusion more stable and At the end of the day more compelling and the answer is yes. Let's take a look So rather than focus on the one column or the existing piece of evidence What I can do is I can introduce a new column or a new piece of evidence That is entirely unrelated to what I have already there So for example that new piece of evidence, I introduced will have nothing to do with potassium Nothing to do with a variety of health benefits But, both of these columns together serve the same function in holding up the house and supporting the conclusion So, for example, I could write something simple like bananas are clearly great because They are cheap Now notice by having two pieces of evidence my house no longer rests precariously on only one column in effect it becomes more stable and harder to topple over or harder for it to come crashing down and collapse and nothing's really stopping me from only having two columns. I mean I can put in a third column if I want to and So, you know over here again, I could keep the same idea that bananas are cheap and for this second one maybe I'll say something like bananas have aphrodisiac qualities and For my non-native speakers who don't know what that means You can go ahead and google it but as you can see all three of these kind of support the conclusion that bananas are clearly great and you know technically nothing's really stopping me from adding a fourth column or even a fifth column but eventually, you know, this gets a little bit ridiculous the main principle remains however, in that Basically, the more supporting pieces of evidence you have the harder it becomes kind of prove this conclusion false because even if you knock out one of the columns The entire structure is not going to fall down Even if you knock out another one of the columns the entire structure is not going to fall down It's definitely going to become weaker and a little bit less stable, but it's going to you know stay upright and so finally if we put these two elements together, you know this idea of strengthening existing evidence and adding additional piece of Evidence you can get kind of what I call a superstructure that would look something like this So if you look at this argument here you have the conclusion at the top and you have three pieces of extremely solid evidence three pieces of evidence that are very difficult to discount and Basically, this structure is not going to fall down It's going to be very difficult for you know enemies of this argument to to topple it over So that's how strengthening works and let's just do a quick recap So there's essentially two ways to strengthen a critical reasoning passage You can take whatever evidence is there already whatever evidence is existing and kind of upgrade that evidence you know you make the wooden beam have a Concrete block at the base of it or you can even kind of turn it into a Roman column Another thing you can do is just introduce a new piece of unrelated evidence that also supports the conclusion So even if you have one wooden beam and you introduce another wooden beam So now you have two the one beam by itself is relatively weak and not very good at supporting this argument but you put two of them together and the conclusion becomes much more stable and then you can add three four or five and then Finally if you combine both of those together you get what I get again call kind of a superstructure or a super argument So that's how you strengthen one of these arguments. Let's now get into the idea of were more like a bulldozer or were more of a destructive force and our Goal is not to strengthen it but rather to weaken it kind of we have these Devastating motives. How would that work? To illustrate the idea of weakening this structure and weakening the conclusion. Let's go back to square one, which is our original argument recall that our original conclusion is bananas are clearly great and it rests on this piece of evidence that could they contain a significant amount of potassium, a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits. So let's say I want to introduce what I call a 'termite attack' — so these little guys they're known as termites Now how would a termite attack work? Termites eat wood and Weaken wood and so I'm not talking about wholesale destruction here I'm just talking about introducing a new piece of information that Makes this evidence less compelling and makes this wood weaker So it originally says they contain a significant amount of potassium a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits. What if I say that, however Very little of this potassium Is Absorbed by the human body So yeah potassium does have health benefits according to this new piece of information and Perhaps humans get it by some other means other than bananas but if we're talking about bananas with their significant source of potassium The vast majority of this mineral does not actually get into the body in a meaningful way It just comes in and goes out and notice. This is kind of like what I call the termite attack It didn't completely negate this idea of potassium But it did weaken the wood enough that this house is now sitting even more Precariously on top of this column and we have to start worrying about the kind of reliability of our conclusion So this attack is not a full-blown attack. Let's look at a stronger attack So the stronger attack would be what I call the chainsaw attack so unlike a Termite attack in which we're just weakening the wood the chainsaw attack You're actually severing the wood and cutting it into pieces and introducing a new piece of evidence that really makes this argument weaker, so what could we say to do so? How about this? What if I were to say Because much of this potassium does not get absorbed by the human body one must actually eat a huge number of bananas and in so doing actually cause some health issues. So let's write this down. So let's say much of the potassium is Not absorbed Which is very similar to what I said with a termite attack, but I'm gonna take it one step further okay, I'm gonna say in order to Receive or realize the health benefits One must One must eat so many bananas So many bananas that It causes health issues So it is true that potassium has health benefits But because the body absorbs so little of the potassium from the bananas That means the human must eat like a million bananas in Eating a million bananas, it actually causes health issues So maybe it will solve some health issues over here but in on the other side It'll actually cause some health issues And so now you'll see that this is a much stronger attack than the termite attack Because not only are we not receiving the effect, we're actually getting kind of a negative effect You know by — we're over stuffing ourselves or gorging ourselves and also where we're causing some health issues and again Let me reiterate it doesn't matter if this is true or not because on the GRE We always assume that the answer choices are true. No matter what We're just trying to determine does it actually weaken the argument. So this would be kind of like the chainsaw attack And then finally the final attack. Let's take a look. It's what I call the missile attack So the missile attack, you know, this guy is just hell-bent on complete destruction Hell-bent on obliterating this evidence in to such a degree that the entire structure just falls down and is no longer stable at all So the original says they contain a significant amount of potassium a mineral that provides a variety of health benefits But what if I say to realize these health benefits? To realize these health benefits One must Consume a Fatal amount of bananas So I just took this one step further with the missile attack It's no longer about, you know, some kind of side effects or side issues now, we're talking about death So maybe a person has the two million bananas the body shuts down The body doesn't know what to do with all this and even though they're getting some health benefits with the potassium. Well, obviously Death is not a good thing. And then this entire argument falls apart Let me finally state one more time. This is an argument for illustrative purposes I don't have any inclination whether eating a lot of bananas kills you or not, but Just keep in mind that all of these answer choices are assumed true Even if they seem a little bit illogical or kind of out of step with your area of expertise I will say though that the GRE does make an effort to present mostly true or even true answer choices so that You know test takers are not caught completely off-guard by what they deemed to be an absurd answer even though it might Fit inside the logic of the sentence better than the answer choices so the destruction or the weakened Aspect, you know if they ask you to weaken a conclusion, you're focusing primarily on existing evidence It's pretty rare for the GRE to introduce a new piece of evidence that weakens the argument they tend to focus on the existing pieces of evidence and you can kind of use the termite attack or the Chainsaw attack or even the missile attack, but let's actually explore What would that look like kind of adding a new piece of evidence? How would that weaken this conclusion? Because notice we're not going to do anything to the column the existing column But we have to add something to this that kind of weakens the overall argument. So here's how I envision something like that looking Whenever I add evidence that has the effect of weakening the overall conclusion, I like to imagine it's a heavyweight that's located on one side of the house and it's kind of because of gravity pulling the house down at the tilted angle and Making its it more kind of tenuously on this single column here and you know If you add enough way to you add strong enough evidence the whole house can topple over and I think this is a good metaphor To illustrate how this works now. Keep in mind this Kilogram or this weight is completely unrelated to potassium and health benefits. It's almost like the attack though accepts this as true Accepts this as true and just ignores it and it introduces a new piece of evidence That weakens this conclusion that bananas are clearly great. So let's give an example here. Let's say that banana is so B are only grown in Greg land, for example and Greg land is run by a Dictator who abuses human rights and this dictator relies on income from banana sales So notice I accept it's true that there's a lot of potassium and it causes health benefits. Yeah, that's true But the only place where you can actually get bananas is from Greg land. Greg land is run by this authoritarian who likes to abuse humans and human rights and the only thing or one of the things propping up this regime, you know The Greg land regime is the income from banana sales So this seems to kind of undermine the conclusion that bananas are clearly great So let's review if I want to weaken a conclusion I can attack the existing evidence and we kind of Separated those into three categories the termite attack the chainsaw attack and the missile attack But I can also introduce a new piece of evidence that kind of Causes the building structure to skew one way or tilt one way and if you put enough weight here You know if you put for example a thousand kilograms that might be enough weight to Basically topple structure over if you put some weak evidence That's you know, not very good at weakening the conclusion. You know, let's say it's like ten kilograms It's not gonna have much of an effect So a lot of this is also about degree and how good the evidence is that you're supplying So we've so far looked at strengthen and we've looked at weaken We do need to look at one more thing, which I have labeled fill the gap So this technique of fill the gaps it deals with the assumption questions the assumption critical reasoning questions an Assumption question basically tells you to fill the hole or fill the gap and go ahead and take a look at our argument So we have the same conclusion bananas are clearly great But look at my piece of evidence bananas are yellow and then look at this gap Now let's explain why there's a gap. The reason there's a gap here a gap in logic is according to my conclusion Bananas are great according to my evidence bananas are yellow what's missing here is the connection between yellow and Great So your job as the GRE test taker is essentially to plug this gap With a piece of information that allows the conclusion to be logically supported you can also think of it as a bridge From yellow to great now in most cases or in some cases I should say The connection is obvious. So if I say bananas are clearly great and then I say there's a lot of health benefits the connection between health benefits and great is Obvious enough that I don't have to fill the gap Or let's do the opposite if I say bananas are clearly great and I want to weaken it and I say that bananas caused cancer obviously Having cancer is not a great thing That's a bad thing and it's an obvious weakening of the conclusion the assumption questions typically tell you to fill a non-obvious gap and Yellow being great is certainly a non-obvious gap. So how could I fill that? What would be an example? Well, I could say something like this, you know current research shows That The color yellow The color yellow has a soothing effect on people's mood or on people's moods so notice I plugged it here with something that I think is obvious enough a Soothing effect is in most people's eyes. Probably a good thing So I think I've effectively plugged this gap here enough to where the conclusion can be logically Supported let's look at another example So we could say something to the effect of the color yellow has been proven to spark creativity So notice sparking creativity is probably a good enough thing that I have effectively closed this gap Now, can you think of a scenario where you basically have to close the gap twice? You know not close at once but close it twice. Let's go ahead and look at what that would look like So if I had to close this gap twice That means there's gonna be a piece of evidence right here and then another piece of evidence is going to close the gap So I initially have this idea that bananas are yellow. What if I say that yellow is the most common wall color So yellow being the most common wall color is not a good enough Closing of the gap that it tells me bananas are clearly great So I have this connection between yellow and yellow but I don't have the connection still between yellow and great Right. So finally, I'm gonna close this one more time. So here's my first close I need to close it one more time. I need to say something like this people paint their walls the color that makes them happiest and Then finally I can close this gap with my second piece of evidence here Because the connection between great and happy is clear enough So let's just recap that. I have the conclusion bananas are clearly great I have a piece of evidence bananas a yellow the first piece of evidence just says that yellow is the most common wall color Which doesn't close the gap enough to get me to great The second piece of evidence is people paint their walls the color that makes them happiest finally The bridge has been closed. So what we get here is yellow equals Ggeat, but it took me two jumps not one jump The good news is the GRE doesn't really ask you to make two jumps or to take two jumps They only ask you to take one jump, but I still think this is a good Exercise because you can actually fill the gap hundreds of times, you know, you can go down to infinite gap-filling, but at some point the whole logic just becomes ridiculous and absurd and At one point you just have to admit that the connection between the two options is obvious Let us conclude this video by actually applying the strategy and we're gonna go in the same order that we went in in the video so we're gonna start with a Strengthen and then we're gonna go to a weakened and then finally we're gonna conclude the video with an assumption question So if you look at number 25 here, it says which of the following if true both most strengthens the argument and the Process is going to be the same here. So I want to identify the conclusion and I want to identify any pieces of evidence on which this conclusion relies so I'm going ahead and I'm gonna go ahead and read it– 'Recently an unusually high number of dolphins have been found dead of infectious diseases'. Well, that's obviously not the conclusion and 'most of these had abnormally high tissue concentrations of certain compounds that even in low concentrations reduce dolphins resistance to infection' So there's some kind of chemical that's affecting the Dolphins The only source of these compounds in the Dolphins environment is boat paint Therefore so see this word 'therefore'. That's the signal that I'm probably looking at the conclusion and do you see the word 'since' that's a signal that I'm looking at the word because or a reason So probably what they're doing here is they're giving me a reason which is going to be the evidence and then the main Clause Of this sentence is going to be the conclusion. So let's see what the evidence is since dolphins rid their bodies of the compounds rapidly once exposure ceases Okay, so they're they get rid of the chemical quickly in their body Their mortality rate should decline rapidly if such boat paints are banned so it looks like this right here is the conclusion and The sentence beginning with cents is my main piece of evidence now there is other evidence here But this is the one I'm most concerned about my main piece of evidence So let's go ahead and put that inside the house and on the column and see what we get So it's gonna look like this You know in the main meat of the argument the house we have this sentence mortality rate of dolphins will surely decline if boat paints are banned and Then my main piece of evidence is the dolphins rid their bodies of the compound rapidly once exposure ceases So I have a I have a question here. I can either strengthen the existing piece of evidence You know this idea that the Dolphins get rid of the chemical quickly or I can add an additional piece of evidence To kind of hold up this conclusion and if my existing piece of evidence is very strong It's kind of hard to strengthen that wouldn't you agree? So it says this dolphins rid their bodies rapidly once exposure stops So you notice it's very difficult to strengthen that piece of evidence just because it's so strong. So what am I leaning toward here? I'm leaning toward adding a piece of evidence That's that's what I'm leading leaning toward here and it looks like this so I have over here my original piece of evidence, you know on the left and On the right. I'm going to add a piece of evidence And what I like to do is I like to think about it before looking at the answer choices So it says that dolphins rid their bodies of the compounds But what I'm missing here is they're still swimming in the water You know, what about the water you? Know, okay. Let's say the chemical gets out of the body in Theory it may still exist in the water and the Dolphins are still swimming in the water So the compound might have an opportunity to go back into the Dolphins body and cause this issue So what I want to add is I want to add that this compound Remember, I'm trying to strengthen it this compound does not Stay in the water I already know it doesn't stay in the body But I need to add this piece of information that it probably doesn't stay in the water now I don't know if this is exactly the right answer, but I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track Just because they almost kind of obviously to me at least did not mention what happens to the water Or what happens to the chemical once it gets out of the Dolphins body? So let's go back and actually look at these answer choices and see my guess, you know My additional supporting evidence was on the right track Okay, here are the answer choices with the questions and recall what I'm looking for is the chemical or the compound does not stay in The water that's kind of my guess here because I'm adding an additional support to that structure In order to strengthen the conclusion, which is what I was asked to do So let's start at the bottom the compounds do not leach out of the boat paint if the paint is applied exactly in accordance with the manufacturer's directions Not really my guess and also this seems to support the idea that I don't need to ban the paint Because if I follow the directions exactly it doesn't leach out So this looks a little bit off-topic or even kind of contradictory of what I'm looking for High tissue levels of the compounds have recently been found in some marine animals. So I'm gonna stop here because this is nothing about dolphins Right. So my main emphasis here is about dolphins or the chemical in the water not about some other marine animals So it's good and cross that out The compounds break down into harmless substance and substances after a few months of exposure to water or air So this looks pretty good because I said it does not stay in the water So when it gets exposed to the water give it a few months and it breaks down which means it does not stay So this one looks pretty good. I'm gonna skip that one in High concentrations the compounds are toxic to many types same reason as Dee. It's not focusing on the dolphins Let's cross that out and then finally a the levels of the compounds typically used in boat paints today are lower than they were so they're They're basically giving the information that we should be able to keep the boat paint. Which kind of Contradicts that I need to ban it here. So it's a little bit off topic It's also referencing the past which is not very relevant to the argument. So the correct answer is going to be see here and just to recap what happened is we added an additional piece of evidence that allowed us to hold up this house that the Fatality rate or the mortality rate of these dolphins is sure to decrease once we ban these boat paints So that's how a strength in one works. Let's see how a weak in one works Okay, so now we're looking at a weakened argument and I know that because if you look at the bottom it says — Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the argument? And undermine is just a synonym for weaken. So same process I'm gonna read this try to identify the conclusion and any evidence that this conclusion relies upon So I'm gonna read it from the very beginning even After numerous products made with artificial sweeteners became available sugar consumption per capita continued to rise Not a conclusion and not really evidence that a conclusion relies upon just seems like a fact Now manufacturers are introducing fat-free versions of various foods That they claim have the taste and texture of the traditional high-fat versions Again, that's just what they're doing. So it's like a fact even if the manufacturers claim is true Given now given it tells me this is a signal that this is a reason right there or at least evidence So given that the availability of sugar-free foods did not reduce sugar consumption So this evidence is basically about sugar It is unlikely that's a very strong word which kind of signals to me it's the conclusion It is unlikely that the availability of these fat free foods will reduce fat consumption. So we have here the conclusion and The evidence that it relies on primarily is right here this given right there. So let's go ahead and see what that looks like. So we have our conclusion up here at top and then we have down here our evidence sugar free foods did not reduce sugar consumption Now I haven't I have an option here the GRE typically in a weakened question likes me to attack existing evidence You know this sugar free foods did not reduce sugar consumption and to me this looks open to attack I don't think I need to introduce a new piece of information That's unrelated to sugar in order to weaken this argument I think it's much more persuasive to attack this idea of the sugar-free foods So what I'm gonna use is I'm gonna use a termite attack So I have my termites here. I want to weaken this wood So I want to say something about this sugar that weakens it So what they're concluding is that the fat free foods will not reduce fat consumption And the reason they're giving is the sugar free foods did not reduce sugar consumption. So, how about this? What if the sugar free products sucked? Right what if there's some other factor at play which caused it to not reduce sugar consumption what if they tasted bad or what if they were very expensive or something like that So what's going on here is they're trying to compare the fat free and the sugar free and this may be a spurious comparison It may be like comparing apples to oranges So my guesses are you know something about these sugar free products sucked Maybe they tasted bad. Maybe they were expensive. You know, we can't necessarily Look at an orange over there and make a make a conclusion about the apple over here It's not a very logical approach and it leaves this conclusion or this evidence open to a termite attack So let's go ahead and take a look at the answer choices and see if we can find one that says the sugar-free products kind of sucked Okay, here we go we have the answers and I'm gonna read the question again So it says which of the following if true most seriously undermines the argument and remember our guess is that these sugar-free products? Kind of sucked All right, sugar free products sucked. All right, let's start at the bottom not all foods containing fats Do you see how this has nothing to do with sugar nothing to do with the evidence? Cross it out People who regularly consume products containing artificial sweeteners are more likely than others to so what they're doing here is they're connecting artificial sweeteners, which is sugar free To the fat free foods, but they're talking about if you're more likely eat one Then you're more likely to eat the other or whatever. They're talking about doesn't make sense This is a connection that is not made in the argument or even implied The foods brought out in sugar free versions did not generally have reduced levels of fat So again, that's not really what I'm looking for. So they're putting the fat inside the sugar free versions No, all I want to say is that the sugar free versions sucked. Let's cross that out the products made with artificial sweeteners Remember this means sugar free Did not taste like products made with sugar this looks pretty good it's basically saying hey these things suck they don't even taste like sugar You know, I'm a big fan of diet coke, you know, I love diet coke with it which uses an artificial sweetener But I would never argue that it tastes like Coke. In fact, they taste very different and I don't like the taste of coke so B looks pretty good a Several kinds of fat substitute notice. There's nothing in here about sugar So using my termite attack, I was able to determine with reasonable confidence Even before looking at the answer choices that it's going to be an attack on the sugar-free products. Correct answer is B All right, we have one more to look at and it's our closing the gaps or fill in the gaps Example also known as an assumption question. So let's go ahead and take a look Okay, the final one here we have is this assumption and of course, I know that if you look at the question which of the following is an assumption and Whenever I have an assumption question, what I'm trying to do is close the gap, so you'll see we have this gap right here but we're still going to have a conclusion right here, and we're still going to have a piece of evidence or Additional pieces of evidence right there. So I'm gonna read this from the beginning It says extensive housing construction is underway in Pataska forests. The habitats have a large population of deer Because now because tells me this is a reason Because deer feed at the edges of forests These deer will be attracted to the spaces alongside the new roads being cut through potassium for astir the new residential areas Consequently is a signal that I'm now looking at the conclusion Once the housing is occupied the annual number of the forest is deer hit by cars will be much higher than Before construction started. So I've identified the conclusion. I've identified most of the evidence So the deer they like to be at the edges of forest if you cut through or you if you create new roads You're gonna have more edges which means deer will be attracted to those edges near cars and then potentially be hit by the cars So let us go ahead kind of visualize this with our house so it looks like this we have our conclusion in the house Annual number of beer hit by cars will be much higher and our evidence is new roads are being cut through the forest where a lot of deer live creating new edges of forest where deer like to eat near the roads and Then obviously on the roads, what do you have you have cars? Now it doesn't necessarily Say this ok, which maybe could be one of my closing the gaps so One of my closing the gaps could be something like this new residents in the houses most of them will drive because what if you know, this is a neighborhood that has a lot of for example Bicyclists or cyclists and they use the roads to bicycle. Not very likely so this is just a guess What I think is happening here is The fact that they keep giving me these numbers, you know the annual number of deer hit by cars will be much higher and They're saying here where a lot of deer live a lot of deer live in these forests Well, here's the thing if they're cutting the roads Through the forest every time they cut a road you're going to lose forests and If you lose forest you're going to lose deer Think about it. Think about it If you lose the forest the deer don't have a place to live if they don't have a place to live Maybe they won't be attracted to the edge here If they're not attracted to the edge, then they likely won't be hit by a car. So, how do I close this gap? I close this gap by saying some forest will still exist After they cut the roads through, you know, if they cut through too many roads There will be no forest and there will be no deer which means no deer will be hit by the cars Which means this conclusion is false. I don't want this conclusion to be false I want it to be basically true and I need to close this gap I need to say hey, you know there will still be some forest so let's go ahead and look at the answer choices Okay, here we have them I'm gonna read the question again it says which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends and recall our guess is maybe something about You know, most of the new residents will drive So something about that That's one of our guesses another one of our guesses is we're still going to have forests so still have Forests for the deer to live in let's start at the bottom No, deer hunting will be allowed in Pataska for us when the housing is occupied I mean I guess if you have enough hunting it could maybe Negatively impact this conclusion because the conclusion is the number hit by deer will increase if a lot of them are killed by hunting Then maybe but now this just isn't persuasive enough It's just a little bit too off topic and I don't think a significant amount of beer are killed by hunting to really render that logical The development will leave sufficient forests to sustain a significant population of deer So this looks like my guess number two. This one looks pretty good. So let's skip that In years past stop there talking about the past not relevant to any of this whatsoever cross it out Deer will be as attracted to the forest edge around new houses Well, if they go around new houses, they're not likely to hit be hit by cars Which means the number hit by cars would not increase at least with the houses case so this seems a little bit off topic or even contradictory and Then finally the number of deer hit by commercial seems kind of very specific and odd So let's go ahead and craw that out correct answer is going to be D. And as you can see my guest number two Was the one that's at play here All right guys, that is the conclusion of this video. So we kind of saw how we can imagine these GRE argument passages our houses houses that either need to be supported or weakened or even close the gap and In doing so we can have a stronger conclusion or a weaker conclusion or a conclusion that doesn't have as many holes in it Hopefully you found this video helpful If you guys want to practice additional critical reasoning questions GRE is actually not the best source, you know You can either look at GMAT or you can look at LSAT. The problem with GRE is that there's just not that many of them One verbal section typically only has two critical reasoning passages So the study material the practice practice material doesn't include a lot of these questions So if you really enjoy these and you have fun with them I recommend these two sources in addition to the GRE stuff if you guys have any questions, you guys know how to get me gregmattesting @ gmail.com Alright guys until next time!

16 thoughts on “GRE Critical Reasoning Strategy – Technique 1: Think of the Argument as if it were a House”

  1. Gregmat = yellow🌞
    You are the epitome of GRE teaching 💫

    Your voice, explanations, creativity, and thoughts are unique and effective💫
    Thank you so much for you commitment to genuinely help GRE students!🌷

  2. In strengthening the argument, i am not quite why it should be C, if it is going to break down after some exposure to air/water, what is the need to ban boat paints anyway?

  3. Hi Greg! Just wanted to know if Vocabulary is important for pacing the GRE especially for non-native speakers and what should I do if I encounter an unknown word?

  4. You're the best GRE Teacher Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! You deserve all the awards & I hope your channel goes viral, its so didactic.

  5. You're a brilliant teacher, I'm really surprised you only have 3.5k subs.
    I've been struggling with verbal and you've been really helpful so far!

  6. Wow! I enjoyed your house strategy. It is very clear and straight forward. I now find easy to identify the main conclusion and the evidents. Thank u man

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