A recent post at Beat The GMAT addresses the GMAT critical reasoning section, looking specifically at questions that deal with necessary conditions. Careful review of such questions will help test takers develop a sharp eye for conditional sentences.
There are a few types of conditional sentences, but they are used to show that an action will happen only if a certain condition is met or fulfilled. Of course, you will not always be given “only if” or “only when” to mark a conditional sentence; the necessary condition can often just be implied in the wording. You can guarantee that the GMAT critical reasoning section will not always give you an obvious indicator.
Here is the example question provided by Beat the GMAT of the type of necessary condition question you might find on the GMAT critical reasoning test:
“Successfully launching a new product for supermarket sale requires either that supermarkets give prominent shelf space to the product or that plenty of consumers who have not tried it seek it out. Consumers will seek out a new product only if it is extensively advertised, either on television or in the press. One way for a manufacturer to obtain prominent shelf space for a new product is to promote it in trade journals.
If the statements given are true, which of the following must, on the basis of them, also be true?
(A) Provided that a manufacturer promotes a new product in trade journals, the product will have a successful launch.
(B) If consumers who have not tried a new product do not seek it out and if its manufacturer does not promote it in trade journals, then it will not have a successful launch.
(C) Any new product that is advertised extensively on television will be sought out by many consumers who have not tried it.
(D) If a new product is not given prominent shelf space by supermarkets and if television advertising is too expensive, a successful launch of the product will not occur without press advertising.
(E) If a new product is successfully launched for supermarket sale without extensive advertising, then the manufacturer must have promoted it in trade journals.”
There are several statements to this argument. The first statement of the argument implies the condition by using “requires,” while the second makes it clear with the use of “only if.” The third statement provides just one way of many to reach the desired result (getting that shelf space).
What answer do you pick? Check out the blog for the correct answer, and be sure to keep practicing and reviewing for the GMAT critical reasoning section as you prepare to apply to business schools in Washington DC.