Critical Reasoning - Fallacy in reasoning

GMAT® Verbal Practice Questions

This GMAT verbal practice question is a critical reasoning question and the concept tested is identifying the fallacy in reasoning in the argument.


During the last 50 years in England, the national football team has had at least 60℅ of its players born during the months January to March. Similarly, in Germany, at least 50℅ of the team has been born during the first three months of the year. In fact, this statistic holds true for most European countries. This shows that in most European countries, parents with kids born early in the year are more likely to encourage a football career.

Which of the following best explains why the conclusion need not be the best explanation for the statistic?

  1. Of the remaining members, 60℅ or more tend to be born between the months of April and June.
  2. Parents of kids born in the second half of the year have displayed a measurable intent to promote scholarly careers
  3. The age cut-off for kids to try out for a team in most European countries is calculated as on December 31 of any year and older the kid during trials, greater the chances of getting the right opportunities.
  4. The school year usually begins in April in most European countries and many parents are known to encourage students to work on their academics and not sports during the school year.
  5. During the last 50 years, on average 30℅ of the kids have been born during the first three months of the year.

Explanatory Answer

Video explanation will be added soon.
  1. Step 1: Analyzing the Argument

    The author believes that the parents who have kids in the first quarter of the new year are more likely to encourage their kids to have a football career.

    The question asks to identify an option that points out that the author’s reasoning may be flawed. Essentially, the correct option must provide an alternative explanation for the statistic that shows that a significant portion of the players on the teams were born in the first quarter.

  2. Step 2: Eliminating Options

    • The correct option must explain why more members of the team were born in the first quarter and not just talk about the number or percentage of births during the other months of the year. Therefore, Options (A) and (E) are irrelevant to the discussion and do not refute or support the author’s reasoning.
    • Option (B) adds strength to the argument. If the parents who had kids in the second half of the year prefer that their kids have scholarly careers, it stands to reason that the number of team members born in the first quarter is high because their parents encouraged their football careers.
    • Option (D) is linking vacation months to encouragement to play football. The argument is discussing the link between birth month and encouragement to play football. The relationship discussed in the option has no ties to the argument and does not refute or strengthen the argument.
    • According to Option (C) the cut-off dates for trials is December 31. If that were the scenario, the kids born earlier in any year would be older than kids born later in the year and will have an edge over the younger kids. The option implies that there are more players born in the first quarter because they had an edge over the other players, as kids, and not because of parental support. The option thus questions the author’s argument.
Option C is the correct answer.

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