What is the Negation test? Let’s start our discussion of this topic by examining the structure of a GMAT critical reasoning (CR) question. Typically, a GMAT CR assumption question has an argument followed by a question stem asking the test taker to find out the assumption hidden in the given argument. The question stem is, in turn, followed by five answer choices, your job is to identify the one option that verily bridges the gap between the premise and the conclusion of the argument.

Now let’s imagine you are tackling a CR assumption question in the GMAT test, you have easily deducted a few options on account of one reason or the other. Once you have removed a few options, you are eventually stuck with two or max three answer choices and you cannot figure out which option to choose. Moreover, each one of them might seem likely to be the correct answer. At this point of time, you can negate any one of the answer choices and then read the conclusion to see what kind of effect the negation of that answer has at the conclusion of the argument. You can repeat the process with the remaining answer choices as well. Whichever answer choice when negated makes the conclusion of the argument sound irrelevant, is the correct answer. 

Let Us Understand the Negation Test with the Help of an Example:

Rajan had applied for an extension of his term as SCI Manager but his application was declined by the VP of the company. This is highly unfortunate because this will deprive him of his livelihood for the rest of his life.

The assumption of this argument is that Rajan is capable of earning a livelihood only as an SCI manager. Now if you negate this assumption, the resultant statement will be Rajan is capable of earning a livelihood not only as an SCI manager. Moreover, if you read the conclusion, “this is highly unfortunate because this will deprive him of his livelihood for the rest of his life”, it doesn’t make logical sense anymore. Hence, our answer is based on the assumption made earlier that Rajan is capable of earning a livelihood only as an SCI manager.

Hence, when using the negation test, think of the correct answer choice as a missing premise such that when linked with the conclusion, it has to make sense and be true. 

You will find many such examples on the internet, download critical reasoning questions and practice until you are perfect.  

Now that we have explained to you what the negation test is and how you can use it to solve critical reasoning questions in the GMAT exam, you’re better positioned to solve critical reasoning questions.

All the best for your GMAT exam!

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