Critical Reasoning is one of the most tricky topics asked in MBA entrance exams. In this article you will get frequently asked Critical Reasoning questions that will give you an idea about the level of difficulty.
One of the biggest reasons candidates choose to not study Critical Reasoning is because it is not directly asked in the CAT exam. CAT syllabus is not predefined. Therefore, candidates should have basic knowledge of every topic to be able to handle any surprises that CAT 2022 may throw. In CAT 2018, half of the Reading Comprehension questions were Critical Reasoning questions.
Critical Reasoning questions are similar to Reading Competency questions where a passage (not more than 150 words) is asked and 2-3 questions are asked based on the passage. These questions test the candidate’s ability to effectively arrive at the correct answer.
Let’s Look at Some of The Frequently Asked Critical Reasoning Questions:
Directions for questions 1-25: Each question has a small passage followed by a question. Choose the best answer from the five options given after each question.
1. Which of the following best completes the passage below? In a survey of job applicants, two-fifths admitted to being at least a little dishonest. However, the survey may underestimate the proportion of job applicants who are dishonest, because____.
A. Some dishonest people taking the survey might have claimed on the survey to be honest
B. Some generally honest people taking the survey might have claimed on the survey to be dishonest
C. Some people who claimed on the survey to be at least a little dishonest may be very dishonest
D. Some people who claimed on the survey to be dishonest may have been answering honestly
E. Some people who are not job applicants are probably at least a little dishonest
2. The average life expectancy for the United States population as a whole is 73.9 years, but children born in Hawaii will live an average of 77 years, and those born in Louisiana, 71.7 years. If a newlywed couple from Louisiana were to begin their family in Hawaii, therefore, their children would be expected to live longer than would be the case if the family remained in Louisiana. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn in the passage?
A. Insurance company statisticians do not believe that moving to Hawaii will significantly lengthen the average Louisianan’s life.
B. The governor of Louisiana has falsely alleged that statistics for his state are inaccurate.
C. The longevity ascribed to Hawaii’s current population is attributable mostly to genetically determined factors.
D. Thirty percent of all Louisianans can expect to live longer than 77 years.
E. Most of the Hawaiian Islands have levels of air pollution well below the national average for the United States.
3. The average life expectancy for the United States population as a whole is 73.9 years, but children born in Hawaii will live an average of 77 years, and those born in Louisiana, 71.7 years. If a newlywed couple from Louisiana were to begin their family in Hawaii, therefore, their children would be expected to live longer than would be the case if the family remained in Louisiana. Which of the following statements, if true, would most significantly strengthen the conclusion drawn in the passage?
A. As population density increases in Hawaii, life expectancy figures for that state are likely to be revised downward.
B. Environmental factors tending to favor longevity are abundant in Hawaii and less numerous in Louisiana.
C. Twenty-five percent of all Louisianans who move to Hawaii live longer than 77 years.
D. Over the last decade, average life expectancy has risen at a higher rate for Louisianans than for Hawaiians.
E. Studies show that the average life expectancy for Hawaiians who move permanently to Louisiana is roughly equal to that of Hawaiians who remain in Hawaii.
4. Insurance Company X is considering issuing a new policy to cover services required by elderly people who suffer from diseases that afflict the elderly. Premiums for the policy must be low enough to attract customers. Therefore, Company X is concerned that the income from the policies would not be sufficient to pay for the claims that would be made. Which of the following strategies would be most likely to minimize Company X’s losses on the policies?
A. Attracting middle-aged customers unlikely to submit claims for benefits for many years.
B. Insuring only those individuals who did not suffer any serious diseases as children
C. Including a greater number of services in the policy than are included in other policies of lower cost
D. Insuring only those individuals who were rejected by other companies for similar policies
E. Insuring only those individuals who are wealthy enough to pay for the medical services
5. A program instituted in a particular state allows parents to prepay their children’s future college tuition at current rates. The program then pays the tuition annually for the child at any of the state’s public colleges in which the child enrols. Parents should participate in the program as a means of decreasing the cost of their children’s college education. Which of the following, if true, is the most appropriate reason for parents NOT to participate in the program?
A. the parents are unsure about which public college in the state the child will attend.
B. The amount of money accumulated by putting the prepayment funds in an interest-bearing account today will be greater than the total cost of tuition for any of the public colleges when the child enrols.
C. The annual cost of tuition at the state’s public colleges is expected to increase at a faster rate than the annual increase in the cost of living.
D. Some of the state’s public colleges are contemplating large increases in tuition next year.
E. The prepayment plan would not cover the cost of room and board at any of the state’s public colleges.
6. Company Alpha buys free-travel coupons from people who are awarded the coupons by Bravo Airlines for flying frequently on Bravo aeroplanes. The coupons are sold to people who pay less for the coupons than they would pay by purchasing tickets from Bravo. This making of coupons results in lost revenue for Bravo. To discourage the buying and selling of free-travel coupons, it would be best for Bravo Airlines to restrict the
A. number of coupons that a person can be awarded in a particular year
B. use of the coupons to those who were awarded the coupons and members of their immediate families
C. days that the coupons can be used to Monday through Friday
D. amount of time that the coupons can be used after they are issued
E. number of routes on which travellers can use the coupons
7. The ice on the front windshield of the car had formed when moisture condensed during the night. The ice melted quickly after the car was warmed up the next morning because the defrosting vent, which blows on the front windshield, was turned on full force. Which of the following, if true, most seriously jeopardizes the validity of the explanation for the speed with which the ice melted?
A. The side windows had no ice condensation on them
B. Even though no attempt was made to defrost the back window, the ice there melted at the same rate as did the ice on the front windshield.
C. The speed at which ice on a window melts increases as the temperature of the air blown on the window increases
D. The warm air from the defrosting vent for the front windshield cools rapidly as it dissipates throughout the rest of the car.
E. The defrosting vent operates efficiently even when the heater, which blows warm air toward the feet or faces of the driver and passengers, is on.
8. To prevent some conflicts of interest, Congress could prohibit high-level government officials from accepting positions as lobbyists for three years after such officials leave government service. One such official concluded, however, that such a prohibition would be unfortunate because it would prevent high-level government officials from earning a livelihood for three years. The official’s conclusion logically depends on which of the following assumptions?
A. Laws should not restrict the behaviour of former government officials.
B. Lobbyists are typically people who have previously been high-level government officials.
C. Low-level government officials do not often become lobbyists when they leave government service.
D. High-level government officials who leave government service are capable of earning a livelihood only as lobbyists.
E. High-level government officials who leave government service are currently permitted to act as lobbyists for only three years.
9. A conservation group in the United States is trying to change the long-standing image of bats as frightening creatures. The group contends that bats are feared and persecuted solely because they are shy animals that are active only at night. Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the accuracy of the group’s contention?
A. Bats are steadily losing natural roosting places such as caves and hollow trees and are thus turning to more developed areas for roosting.
B. Bats are the chief consumers of nocturnal insects and thus can help make their hunting territory more pleasant for humans.
C. Bats are regarded as frightening creatures not only in the United States but also in Europe, Africa, and South America.
D. Raccoons and owls are shy and active only at night, yet they are not generally feared and persecuted.
E. People know more about the behaviour of other greatly feared animal species, such as lions, alligators, and greatly feared animal species, such as lions, alligators, and snakes, than they do about the behaviour of bats.
10. Meteorite explosions in the Earth’s atmosphere as large as the one that destroyed forests in Siberia, with approximately the force of a twelve-megaton nuclear blast, occur about once a century. The response of highly automated systems controlled by complex computer programs to unexpected circumstances is unpredictable. Which of the following conclusions can most properly be drawn, if the statements above are true, about a highly automated nuclear-missile defence system controlled by a complex computer program?
A. Within a century after its construction, the system would react inappropriately and might accidentally start a nuclear war.
B. The system would be destroyed if an explosion of a large meteorite occurred in the Earth’s atmosphere.
C. It would be impossible for the system to distinguish the explosion of a large meteorite from the explosion of a nuclear weapon.
D. Whether the system would respond inappropriately to the explosion of a large meteorite would depend on the location of the blast.
E. It is not certain what the system’s response to the explosion of a large meteorite would be if its designers did not plan for such a contingency.
11. The fewer restrictions there are on the advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who advertise their services, and the lawyers who advertise a specific service usually charge less for that service than lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore, if the state removes any of its current restrictions, such as the one against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains its current restrictions. If the statements in the passage are true, which of the following must be true?
A. Some lawyers who now advertise will charge more for specific services if they do not have to specify fee arrangements in the advertisements.
B. More consumers will use legal services if there are fewer restrictions on the advertising of legal services.
C. If the restriction against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements is removed, more lawyers will advertise their services.
D. If more lawyers advertise lower prices for specific services, some lawyers who do not advertise will also charge less than they currently charge for those services.
E. If the only restrictions on the advertising of legal services were those that apply to every type of advertising, most lawyers would advertise their services.
12. The fewer restrictions there are on the advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who advertise their services, and the lawyers who advertise a specific service usually charge less for that service than lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore, if the state removes any of its current restrictions, such as the one against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains its current restrictions. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument concerning overall consumer legal costs?
A. The state has recently removed some other restrictions that had limited the advertising of legal services.
B. The state is unlikely to remove all of the restrictions that apply solely to the advertising of legal services.
C. Lawyers who do not advertise generally provide legal services of the same quality as those provided by lawyers who do advertise.
D. Most lawyers who now specify fee arrangements in their advertisements would continue to do so even if the specification were not required.
E. Most lawyers who advertise specific services do not lower their fees for those services when they begin to advertise.
13. Defense Department analysts worry that the ability of the United States to wage a prolonged war would be seriously endangered if the machine-tool manufacturing base shrinks further. Before the Defense Department publicly connected this security issue with the import quota issue, however, the machine-tool industry raised the national security issue in its petition for import quotas. Which of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the machine-tool industry’s raising the issue above regarding national security?
A. When the aircraft industries retooled, they provided a large amount of work for builders.
B. The Defense Department is only marginally concerned with the effects of foreign competition on the machine-tool industry.
C. The machine-tool industry encountered difficulty in obtaining governmental protection against imports on grounds other than defence.
D. A few weapons that are important for defence consist of parts that do not require extensive machining.
E. Several federal government programs have been designed which will enable domestic machine-tool manufacturing firms to compete successfully with foreign toolmakers.
14. Opponents of laws that require automobile drivers and passengers to wear seat belts argue that in a free society people have the right to take risks as long as the people do not harm others as a result of taking the risks. As a result, they conclude that it should be each person’s decision whether or not to wear a seat belt. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion drawn above?
A. Many new cars are built with seat belts that automatically fasten when someone sits in the front seat.
B. Automobile insurance rates for all automobile owners are higher because of the need to pay for the increased injuries or deaths of people not wearing seat belts.
C. Passengers in aeroplanes are required to wear seat belts during takeoffs and landings.
D. The rate of automobile fatalities in states that do not have mandatory seat belt laws is greater than the rate of fatalities in states that do have such laws.
E. In automobile accidents, a greater number of passengers who do not wear seat belts are injured than are passengers who do wear seat belts.
15. The cost of producing radios in Country Q is ten percent less than the cost of producing radios in Country Y. even after transportation fees and tariff charges are added, it is still cheaper for a company to import radios from Country Q to Country Y than to produce radios in Country Y. The statements above, if true, best support which of the following assertions?
A. Labour costs in Country Q are ten percent below those in Country Y.
B. Importing radios from Country Q to Country Y will eliminate ten percent of the manufacturing jobs in Country Y.
C. The tariff on a radio imported from Country Q to Country Y is less than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the radio in Country Y.
D. The fee for transporting a radio from Country Q to Country Y is more than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the radio in Country Q.
E. It takes ten percent less time to manufacture a radios in Country Q than it does in Country Y.
16. During the Second World War, about 375,000 civilians died in the United States and about 408,000 members of the United States armed forces died overseas. On the basis of those figures, it can be concluded that it was not much more dangerous to be overseas in the armed forces during the Second World War than it was to stay at home as a civilian. Which of the following would reveal most clearly the absurdity of the conclusion drawn above?
A. Counting deaths among members of the armed forces who served in the United State in addition to deaths among members of the armed forces serving overseas
B. Expressing the difference between the numbers of deaths among civilians and members of the armed forces as a percentage of the total number of deaths
C. Separating deaths caused by accidents during service in the armed forces from deaths caused by combat injuries
D. Comparing death rates per thousand members of each group rather than comparing total numbers of deaths
E. Comparing deaths caused by accidents in the United States to deaths caused by combat in the armed forces
17. Toughened hiring standards have not been the primary cause of the present staffing shortage in public schools. The shortage of teachers is primarily caused by the fact that in recent years teachers have not experienced any improvements in working conditions and their salaries have not kept pace with salaries in other professions. Which of the following, if true, would most support the claims above?
A. Many teachers already in the profession would not have been hired under the new hiring standards.
B. Today more teachers are entering the profession with a higher educational level than in the past.
C. Some teachers have cited higher standards for hiring as a reason for the current staffing shortage.
D. Many teachers have cited low pay and lack of professional freedom as reasons for their leaving the profession.
E. Many prospective teachers have cited the new hiring standards as a reason for not entering the profession.
18. A proposed ordinance requires the installation in new homes of sprinklers automatically triggered by the presence of a fire. However, a home builder argued that because more than ninety percent of residential fires are extinguished by a household member, residential sprinklers would only marginally decrease property damage caused by residential fires. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the home builder’s argument?
A. Most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires.
B. Since new homes are only a tiny percentage of available housing in the city, the new ordinance would be extremely narrow in scope.
C. The installation of smoke detectors in new residences costs significantly less than the installation of sprinklers.
D. In the city where the ordinance was proposed, the average time required by the fire department to respond to a fire was less than the national average.
E. The largest proportion of property damage that results from residential fires is caused by fires that start when no household member is present.
19. Even though most universities retain the royalties from faculty members’ inventions, the faculty members retain the royalties from books and articles they write. Therefore, faculty members should retain the royalties from the educational computer software they develop. The conclusion above would be more reasonably drawn if which of the following were inserted into the argument as an additional premise?
A. Royalties from inventions are higher than royalties from educational software programs.
B. Faculty members are more likely to produce educational software programs than inventions.
C. Inventions bring more prestige to universities that do books and articles.
D. In the experience of most universities, educational software programs are more marketable that are books and articles.
E. In terms of the criteria used to award royalties, educational software programs are more nearly comparable to books and articles than to inventions.
20. Increase in the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the human bloodstream lower bloodstream-cholesterol levels by increasing the body’s capacity to rid itself of excess cholesterol. Levels of HDL in the bloodstream of some individuals are significantly increased by a program of regular exercise and weight reduction. Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statements above?
A. Individuals who are underweight do not run any risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
B. Individuals who do not exercise regularly have a high risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream late in life.
C. Exercise and weight reduction are the most effective methods of lowering bloodstream cholesterol levels in humans.
D. A program of regular exercise and weight reduction lowers cholesterol levels in the bloodstream of some individuals.
E. Only regular exercise is necessary to decrease cholesterol levels in the bloodstream of individuals of average weight.
21. When limitations were in effect on nuclear-arms testing, people tended to save more of their money, but when nuclear-arms testing increased, people tended to spend more of their money. The perceived threat of nuclear catastrophe, therefore, decreases the willingness of people to postpone consumption for the sake of saving money. The argument above assumes that
A. The perceived threat of nuclear catastrophe has increased over the years.
B. Most people supported the development of nuclear arms
C. People’s perception of the threat of nuclear catastrophe depends on the amount of nuclear-arms testing being done
D. The people who saved the most money when nuclear-arms testing was limited were the ones who supported such limitations
E. There are more consumer goods available when nuclear-arms testing increases
22. Which of the following best completes the passage below? People buy prestige when they buy a premium product. They want to be associated with something special. Mass-marketing techniques and price-reduction strategies should not be used because____.
A. Affluent purchasers currently represent a shrinking portion of the population of all purchasers
B. Continued sales depend directly on the maintenance of an aura of exclusivity
C. Purchasers of premium products are concerned with the quality as well as with the price of the products
D. Expansion of the market niche to include a broader spectrum of consumers will increase profits
E. Manufacturing a premium brand is not necessarily more costly than manufacturing a standard brand of the same product
23. A cost-effective solution to the problem of airport congestion is to provide high-speed ground transportation between major cities lying 200 to 500 miles apart. The successful implementation of this plan would cost far less than expanding existing airports and would also reduce the number of aeroplanes clogging both airports and airways. Which of the following, if true, could be proponents of the plan above most appropriately cite as a piece of evidence for the soundness of their plan?
A. An effective high-speed ground-transportation system would require major repairs to many highways and mass-transit improvements.
B. One-half of all departing flights in the nation’s busiest airport head for a destination in a major city 225 miles away.
C. The majority of travellers departing from rural airports are flying to destinations in cities over 600 miles away.
D. Many new airports are being built in areas that are presently served by high-speed ground-transportation systems.
E. A large proportion of air travellers are vacationers who are taking long-distance flights.
24. If there is an oil-supply disruption resulting in higher international oil prices, domestic oil prices in open-market countries such as the United States will rise as well, whether such countries import all or none of their oil. If the statement in the passage concerning oil-supply disruptions is true, which of the following policies in an open-market nation is most likely to reduce the long-term economic impact on that nation of sharp and unexpected increases in international oil prices?
A. Maintaining the quantity of oil imported at constant yearly levels
B. Increasing the number of oil tankers in its fleet
C. Suspending diplomatic relations with major oil-producing nations
D. Decreasing oil consumption through conservation
E. Decreasing domestic production of oil
25. If there is an oil-supply disruption resulting in higher international oil prices, domestic oil prices in open-market countries such as the United States will rise as well, whether such countries import all or none of their oil. Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the statement in the passage?
A. Domestic producers of oil in open-market countries are excluded from the international oil market when there is a disruption in the international oil supply.
B. International oil supply disruptions have little, if any, effect on the price of domestic oil as long as an open-market country has domestic supplies capable of meeting domestic demand.
C. The oil market in an open-market country is actually part of the international oil market, even if most of that country’s domestic oil is usually sold to consumers within its borders.
D. Open-market countries that export little or none of their oil can maintain stable domestic oil prices even when international oil prices rise sharply.
E. If international oil prices rise, domestic distributors of oil in open-market countries will begin to import more oil than they export.
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