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Critical Reasoning: Inference Questions

Jacques Leswift and Andy Flasch are the top two cyclists in the world and constantly compete for first place on the international road cycling tour. When Leswift is at maximum pace, his ratio of protein content to body temperature increases by 11.9% from its regular state. When Flasch is at maximum pace, the same ratio only increases by 8.6%. As part of a research project, the maximum pace ratios of a control group of moderately successful cyclists were measured and an average was calculated. Scientists compared the data and noted that a high ratio positively influences an athletic performance.

The statements above, if true, best support which of the following as a conclusion?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



This conclusion is not supported by the argument. The figure of 11.9% in Premise B is irrelevant, because it tells us by how much the maximum pace ratio increased, while we are only interested in the absolute number - the maximum pace ratio. As far as we know, Flasch's maximum pace ratio could be higher than Leswift's.

When solving Critical Reasoning questions, be careful so as not to confuse a downward/upward trend (11.9% increase) with an absolute number (maximum pace ratio).

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



This conclusion is not supported by the argument. The figure of 11.9% in Premise B is irrelevant since we are only interested in the maximum pace ratio. As far as we know, Flasch's maximum pace ratio could be higher than Leswift's.

When solving Critical Reasoning questions, be careful so as not to confuse a downward/upward trend (11.9% increase) with an absolute number (maximum pace ratio).

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



This conclusion is not supported by the argument. The figure of 11.9% in Premise B is irrelevant because it tells us by how much the maximum pace ration increased, while we are only interested in the absolute number - the maximum pace ratio. As far as we know, Leswift's regular state ratio could be lower than the control group's even though his maximum pace ratio is higher.

When solving Critical Reasoning questions, be careful so as not to confuse a downward/upward trend (11.9% increase) with an absolute number (maximum pace ratio).

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



This conclusion is not supported by the argument. Since we are not told the regular state ratios of any of the cyclists, we cannot compare their increases.

When solving Critical Reasoning questions, be careful so as not to confuse a downward/upward trend (11.9% increase) with an absolute number (maximum pace ratio).

Terrific!

[[snippet]]



The figures of 11.9% and 8.6% are irrelevant and we can't really learn anything from them, since we are not given the regular state ratios of any of the cyclists. We only know by how much the maximum pace ratio increased from the regular state.

The only thing that we can compare is the maximum pace ratio which translates to athletic performance (according to Premise E). Since Leswift and Flasch are better athletes than the control group members, we can conclude that their average maximum pace ratio is higher than that of the group.

Was that clear?

Great.

The point of this question is to teach you to pay attention to difference between an absolute high number and a trend (downward or upward - i.e.  increase or decrease.)

The premises of this argument tell us about a measurement called maximum pace ratio. This means  "the ratio between protein content to body temperature when the athlete is at his top cycling pace". The premises compare this maximum pace ratio (the ratio measured at top pace) with the ratio of each athlete at the regular state (when at rest, or not-cycling), and describe by how many percent the ratio increases from the regular state to the maximum pace state. So the argument is comparing the trend - the increase of this measurement - in the bodies of two different athletes.

We only know  that in the body of one of the athletes the ratio increases more than in the other. But we are not told what the measurements are; we aren't told what the ratio is at maximum pace for each athlete, only by how much the ratio has increased compared to that athlete's own regular state. 

In general, Leswift achieves a higher athletic performance level than Flasch does as his maximum pace ratio is higher.
When compared, the average of the maximum pace ratios of Leswift and Flasch exceeded the average of the control group.
Statistically, Flasch has a lower chance of winning a cycling race against Leswift.
Leswift's regular state protein content to body temperature ratio is higher than that of the cyclists in the control group.
To reach maximum pace, the control group's ratio increased by a smaller amount than that of Flasch and Leswift.
No, I'm still struggling to understand...
Yup - I got it.