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the DESCRIBE Family

DESCRIBE is one of the three families of questions in the Reasoning section. On DESCRIBE questions your job is to understand the structure of the argument.


DESCRIBE questions are sometimes easy. If they feel easy, let them be easy.

You can recognize DESCRIBE questions because they don't ask you to attack, extend, or add to the argument. Instead, the question uses language like "describes" or "expresses."

The argument proceeds by


Which of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion of the argument?

All DESCRIBE questions are MECHANICAL because you can make a specific prediction. That said, a specific prediction on a DESCRIBE question is really just an anchor prediction.

Expect the correct answer to include the exact same ideas or structure, but not necessarily the same words or content.

Tricky DESCRIBE questions use complex structures and bad writing to confuse you. The arguments are likely to feature sub-conclusions, anti-theses, pronouns, and double negatives. To mix up the flow, the conclusion is likely to be in the middle or at the start of the argument.

Navigate trickier DESCRIBE questions using structure keywords, especially fact and pivot words, and conditional logic.


Blah blah blah plays which one of the following roles/functions in the argument?

Job description: Define the relationship between the conclusion and the "blah."


  1. Ignore the "blah," at first. Find the conclusion and then figure out how they're related.
  2. Wrong answers are typically mistaken about either (a) the conclusion or (b) their relationship.


Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its pattern of reasoning to the argument above?


The flawed pattern of reasoning exhibited by which of the following is most similar to that exhibited by the argument above?

Terminology Note

You may have heard these called "matching" questions elsewhere.

Job description: Map the argument's abstract structure.


  1. If you see conditional logic, write down the structure from the start.
  2. 🦇 Count Count: the correct answer usually has the same number and type of facts and the same type of conclusion. Imagine yourself saying "1 conditional fact, 2 conditional facts, a conditional conclusion... Ha Ha Ha"
  3. If the argument is bad (they may or may not tell you in advance), you only need to find an argument that is bad in the same way.