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Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

Economists have found that every time a regulatory restriction on the price of dairy products was abolished in a certain country, the food engineering expenses of dairy product manufacturers in that country increased and a wider range of products was produced. It was also established that, in general, dairy companies in countries which do not restrict the price of dairy products spent more on their food engineering divisions than did such companies in countries which do have price restrictions. Nevertheless, if the restrictions are canceled, dairy products manufacturers will charge higher prices for their produce.

In the argument above, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice can be eliminated directly after reading the word assumption. The first portion in boldface is a premise, not an assumption. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice can be eliminated directly after reading the word prediction. The first portion in boldface is a premise, not a prediction. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Excellent!

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The first boldface portion describes a pattern of cause-and-effect: no restriction on price leads to more R&D and a wider range of products. The economists suggest that this will recur, i.e., happen again. The second boldface portion describes another such causal pattern: no restriction on price leads to higher prices. Both patterns have the same cause - no restriction on price.

While it is true that the first pattern was established while the other is a prediction, this does not make this answer choice any less correct, as this answer choice makes no claims about this aspect.

Incorrect.

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While the first part of this answer choice can be accepted as a correct description of the first portion in boldface, the second part incorrectly describes the second portion in boldface as an exception to the situation described in the first boldface type portion.

The second portion in boldface is not an exception. It is a general prediction which the author claims will apply to all or most cases.

Incorrect.

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While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The second portion in boldface type is not evidence (i.e. a premise) but rather a prediction. It is not purely factual information since it deals with something that may or may not happen in the future.

The first is an assumption supporting the economists' position; the second is the conclusion which arises from the argument.
The first is a prediction regarding a future development; the second is evidence which proves the point made by the economists in this argument.
The first is a pattern of cause and effect which the economists suggest will recur; the second is contradicting evidence showing why it will not.
The first is a pattern of cause and effect which the economists suggest will recur; the second also describes a pattern of cause and effect that follows from the same cause.
The first is a generalization made by the economists supporting the point of the argument; the second is the exception to the first.