GMAT Critical Reasoning Practice Question & Explanation

March 6, 2014
Kaplan GMAT

Photo Credit: susivinh via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: susivinh via Compfight cc

You may not love doing GMAT Critical Reasoning practice, but it’s good for your score. We initially posted this stimulus and question on Facebook – give it a try:

While the average American reads only two books per year, researchers have recently concluded that by reading  two books per month, people can expect their memorizing capacity to double. The most effective way for Americans to begin to read two books per month – thus increasing their memory capacity – is to support Proposition 75, which will require students to read at least two books per month beginning in 2nd grade and through their senior year of high school. 

Which of the following can be most properly drawn, if the statements above are true, about future reading habits and memorization capacity?

  • A)  If Proposition 75 passes, all teen-agers will see a significant increase in their ability to memorize for tests.
  • B)  Individuals who read 4 books per month are going to be twice as likely to remember long lists of information as those who only read 2 books per month.
  • C)  If one already has an above average memory but only reads 2 books per year, their ability to remember information will not be influenced by increasing their reading to 2 books per month.
  • D)  The kids with the best memories in high school are those who read the most books.
  • E)  If Proposition 75 passes, responsible high school students can expect their memories to increase.

Researchers have found that reading 2 books per month (24 per year) instead of only 2 per year will double your memorizing capacity. According to the stimulus, the most effective way to get students to read 2 books per month, and thus benefit from a better memory, is to pass Proposition 75, which will require schools to have students read 2 books per month once they learn to read. This line of reasoning can only work if Proposition 75 passes AND if the schools are successful at getting students to read 2 books per month.

Answer Choice (E) is correct because it notes that if Proposition 75 passes, responsible high school students can expect their memories to increase. Responsible students are those who fulfill their school obligations, the newest of which will be to read 2 books per month (if Proposition 75 passes.)

While answer choice (A) is tempting because it says that ability to memorize will increase in all student if Proposition 75 passes, it assumes that all high school students will actually read 2 books per month. Unfortunately, rumor has it that not all high school students fulfill the assignments they are given. Choice (A) is also an extreme answer choice (evident in the use of the word “all.”)

Choice (B) is out of scope because it begins qualifying memory (remembering long lists) and quantifying the increase in memory (reading 4 books per month will double your memory if you are currently reading 2 books per month.) Neither of these claims can be properly drawn from the stimulus.

Answer choice (C) is similar to (B) in that it begins to get specific on how much one’s memory will change given different situations – information you don’t know from the passage.

Answer choice (D) claims that the best memories come from those who read the most. While the stimulus tells you that memory can double if you read 2 books per month instead of per year, it does not substantiate the idea that those who read the most books will have the best memory. Thus, it is outside the scope of the stimulus.

Now, who is going to go read a book immediately?

Questions about GMAT critical reasoning? Talk to us in the comments!

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