In this article we are going to discuss the following topics :

  • What is Critical Reasoning?
  • The Importance of CR
  • What do the CR Questions Test?
  • Basic Terminology of CR
  • Types of Critical Reasoning Questions


Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to do the following:

  • understand the logical connections between ideas
  • identify, construct and evaluate arguments
  • detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning
  • solve problems systematically
  • identify the relevance and importance of ideas
  • reflect on the justification of one’s own beliefs and values

Critical thinking is not a matter of accumulating information. A person with a good memory and who knows a lot of facts is not necessarily good at critical thinking. A critical thinker is able to deduce consequences from what he knows, and he knows how to make use of information to solve problems, and to seek relevant sources of information to inform others.

Critical thinking should not be confused with being argumentative or being critical of other people. Although critical thinking skills can be used in exposing fallacies and bad reasoning, critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks. Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen arguments. We can use critical thinking to enhance work processes and improve social institutions.

Some people believe that critical thinking hinders creativity because it requires following the rules of logic and rationality, but creativity might require breaking rules. This is a misconception. Critical thinking is quite compatible with thinking “out-of-the-box”, challenging consensus and pursuing less popular approaches. If anything, critical thinking is an essential part of creativity because we need critical thinking to evaluate and improve our creative ideas.


  • Problem Solving skill ( course of action )
  • Decision Making (conclusion)
  • Convincing skill (Argument)
  • Leadership  (Assumption/Inference/Conclusion)
  • Avoiding skepticism/bias (Assumption/Inference)
  • Practical thinking ability (Assumption/Inference)

In teaching critical thinking, the simplest exercise and the one that, over the years, has gotten the greatest attention, is shown below.

The students are told to draw nine dots as shown on the top, and connect them all with 4 straight lines, made without taking the pencil off the paper. What we note is that even students who have seen this problem sometime in the past often cannot solve it because they can’t “get out of the box.” The students then get a second, similar problem, arranging 9 buttons, that requires them to avoid thinking of the pattern as a square, and even though they have seen a previous example, their performance doesn’t markedly improve.

The research proves Critical Reasoning Ability of the person or candidate is directly proportional to ones efficiency in handling the critical situation. Unless we have a practice or familiarize with the Critical Reasoning Questions in Verbal Ability, they are a tough task.

And, for virtually all test takers the time constraint is a major obstacle. So, we have included all the sections of Critical Reasoning in this section.

Here we take you to the world of CR.


Critical Reasoning section tests your reasoning ability but it is of a much higher level than the ordinary Logical Reasoning. The reasoning that a graduate is required to follow is an amazing variety of work situations.

The tests are similar to Reading Comprehension to the extent that a passage is to be read and questions answered with respect to the information in the passage. The difference is that these passages rarely exceed 100 words and contain information that is to be understood clearly. Reading comprehension passages are long and punctuated with peripheral facts. By contrast, Critical Reasoning passages are quite short, and every single word should be considered very carefully; there are subtle shades of meanings, which often require a reading between the lines.

The key to solving these types of questions is to recognize the premise and the conclusion. Essentially, two or more premises lead to a conclusion and assumptions are the unstated premise in this chain.

This rule is to be applied in a variety of ways, some of the questions require you to understand the question and apply the rule in a highly subtle and skilled manner.

The good news is that the questions are based on elementary rules of logic and good old common sense.


Before we actually tackle Critical-reasoning questions it would be a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the basic terminology.


David was talking during class, so he didn’t understand the teacher’s instructions.

Here, the conclusion is that David did not understand the teacher’s instructions.

The Premise that led to the conclusion is that David was talking.


A Premise is a statement that serves as the basis of an argument. There may be more than one premise in a Critical Reasoning passage. All these premises put together lead to the conclusion.

The Arguments contain a number of premises and possibly more than one conclusion. Hence, it becomes necessary to classify and connect things and events in order to analyze the argument.

An Assumption is also a premise but an unstated one. It is a line of thought based on which the author makes a conclusion. The author’s conclusion is always dependent on an assumption.

An Inference is something that is implied in the passage yet not directly stated. It is different from an assumption because unlike the assumption the inference does not directly affect the conclusion. In other words the conclusion does not depend upon the inference. There can be more than one inference in a critical reasoning passage.


  1. Assumption type of questions
  2. Conclusion based questions
  3. Course of action
  4. Theme Detection
  5. Strengthen/ Weaken the argument type of questions
  6. Logical completion of ideas
  7. Cause effect relationship
  8. Inferential type of questions
  9. Similar reasoning type of questions

Remember most critical reasoning passages are in the form of arguments in which the writer tries to convince the reader of something.

Every Critical Reasoning Questions starts with a statement and can end in either of the way as conclusion, inference, or assumption.

Let us brief the above mentioned terms with examples in the next part.