Critical Reasoning


In the last few years the federal government has imposed so many restrictions and conditions on the building of nuclear power plants that it takes twice as long to build a nuclear power plant in the United States as it does to build one in either Europe or Japan. It is no coincidence that, during the same years, many companies have given up their plans to build nuclear power plants in the United States, Clearly, the decisions to abandon nuclear power plant projects in the United States are a direct consequence of government restrictions.

The author of the passage above makes her argument by

(A) denying the plausibility of any other point of view

(B) marking contradictory assumptions

(C) drawing a generalization from an atypical case

(D) asserting a causal connection

(E) comparing cases that are unrelated to each other


The words ‘It is no coincidence’ in the second sentence, and ‘clearly’ in the last sentence, reveal the author’s assertion that government restrictions are directly responsible for the abandonment of nuclear power station projects in the United States. So, she is asserting a causal connection between two phenomenon. (D) is what states this, and is the answer.

(You should understand the difference in meanings between the words ‘casual’ and ‘causal’. ‘Casual’ means ‘not serious’ or ‘informal’. ‘Causal’ means ‘being in the nature of the cause (for an identified effect)’.

The three sentences in the argument are very closely related, and no other explanation is plausible. The author does not have to deny the possibility of any other point of view. So, (A) is not the answer.

The author only states facts, and no assumptions have been made by him in the argument. So, (B) is also wrong.

The author’s argument is not based on the abandonment of any particular atomic plant. Since no single case has been referred to in the passage, (C) is wrong.

Restrictions on nuclear plants, and their construction (or abandonment) are closely related. So, (E) is also wrong.

Previous Question

Next Question

GMAT-Model Questions Index Page