Statements, Assumptions, Arguments and Conclusions

Statements, Assumptions, Arguments and Conclusions: Critical Reasoning Questions. Tricks on how to solve critical Reasoning questions

1 Tips

3 TIPS to crack Reasoning Questions on Statements and Assumptions

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Tip #1: Assumptions should be drawn only from the given statement, not from your real life experiences

Statement:  "Please put more people on the job to make up for the delay."

Assumptions:

(I)     Delay is inevitable in most jobs.

(II)   Output will increase with more number of people on the job.

A.   Only assumption I is implicit

B.   Only assumption II is implicit

C.   Either I or II is implicit

D.   Neither I nor II is implicit

E.    Both I and II are implicit

Solution:

Assumption I is not implicit, even if based on your real life experiences, you may believe that delay is inevitable in most jobs. As per the statement, increasing the number of people will make up for the delay by increasing the output. So II is implicit. Thus, correct option is B.

Statement: If you are an engineer, we have a challenging job for you.

Assumptions:

(I)   We need an engineer.

(II) You are an engineer.

A.   Only assumption I is implicit

B.   Only assumption II is implicit

C.   Either I or II is implicit

D.   Neither I nor II is implicit

E.    Both I and II are implicit

Solution:

An engineer is needed, hence the advertisement. So assumption I is implicit.

Assumption II is not implicit, even if the reader is an engineer.

Hence the correct option is A.

Tip #2: Don’t extrapolate beyond what is given in the statement to arrive at false assumptions

Assumptions:

(II) Nobody loves reading any other material.

A.   Only assumption I is implicit

B.   Only assumption II is implicit

C.   Either I or II is implicit

D.   Neither I nor II is implicit

E.    Both I and II are implicit

Solution:

Neither (I) nor (II) can be reasonably drawn from the given statement. Thus, correct answer will be D.

Statement: “You can't solve syllogism question without constructing a diagram. Difficult questions on syllogism need Venn diagram solving,” a teacher tells his students.

Assumption:

(I)   The students are not intelligent.

(II) Problem cannot be solved.

A.   Only assumption I is implicit

B.   Only assumption II is implicit

C.   Either I or II is implicit

D.   Neither I nor II is implicit

E.    Both I and II are implicit

Solution:

Assumption I is false because nothing is said about the students. Assumption II is false since the statement does not say that the problem cannot be solved. So, correct answer is D.

Tip #3: If a notice/ advertisement is put up, the implicit assumption is that it will have impact

Statement: Do not copy our software without our permission - A notice.

Assumptions:

(I)   It is possible to copy the software.

(II) Such warning will have some effect.

A.   Only assumption I is implicit

B.   Only assumption II is implicit

C.   Either I or II is implicit

D.   Neither I nor II is implicit

E.    Both I and II are implicit

Solution:

If it were not possible to copy the software, there would be no need for the notice. Hence, (I) is implicitly true. Similarly, if the warning would have no impact, the notice would not be posted. Hence, (II) is also implicit. So, the correct answer is E.

Statement: "A rare opportunity to be a professional while you are at home." - An advertisement for computer literate housewives by a computer company.

Assumptions:

(I)   Some housewives simultaneously desire to become professional.

(II) Computer industry is growing at a fast pace.

(III)        It is possible to be a professional as well as a housewife.

A.   Only I and II are implicit

B.   Only II and III are implicit

C.   Only I and III are implicit

D.   Only II is implicit

E.    None of these

Solution:

If no housewives desired to become professionals, there would be no reason to make the advertisement. Hence, (I) is implicit. (III) is also implicit, otherwise the advertisement would not be made in the first place. Thus, the correct answer is C.

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3 TIPS on cracking Reasoning Questions on Statements and Arguments

Classification of Arguments

1.    Strong Argument: Strong arguments are those which are directly related to the statement, do not make extra assumptions, are valid and hold true.

2.    Weak Argument: Weak arguments are those which not related to the statement directly, may make unjustifiable assumptions, are false, vague or invalid.

Example:

Statement: Are nuclear families better than joint families?

Arguments:

I.  No. Joint families ensure security and also reduce the burden of work.

II.  Yes. Nuclear families ensure greater freedom.

With so many people around in a joint family, there is more security. Also, work is shared. Again, in nuclear families, there are lesser number of people and so lesser responsibilities and more freedom. Both arguments are Strong.

Tip #1: Arguments with unjustifiable assumptions are weak

Statement: Should the education at all levels be offered only in vernacular medium?

Arguments:

I.    Yes. This is the only way to enhance performance of the students.

II.    No. This will severely affect acquiring knowledge for want of good text books in vernacular medium.

A.   Only argument I is strong

B.   Only argument II is strong

C.   Either I or II is strong

D.   Neither I nor II is strong

E.    Both I and II are strong

Solution:

In (I) it is assumed that offering education in vernacular is the only way to enhance performance of the students. But, this assumption is not justifiable. Hence (I) is weak.

Argument (II) is strong since offering books in English or other languages would open up more avenues for Students.

So the correct answer is B.

Statement: Should girls learn arts like judo and karate?

Arguments:

(I)   Yes. It will enable them to defend themselves from rogues and ruffians.

(II) No. They will lose their feminine grace.

Solution:

Learning martial arts is necessary for girls for self-defense. So, argument (I) is strong.

In argument (II), it is assumed without justification that martial arts will impact feminine grace.

Thus, the answer will be A.

Tip #2: If an argument is not scientific or contradicts your general knowledge or goes against research by reputed organizations, it is weak

Statement: Should books by only deserving authors be published?

Arguments:

(I)   Yes. It will save a lot of paper which is in short supply.

(II) No. It is not possible to draw a line between the deserving and the undeserving.

A.   Only argument I is strong

B.   Only argument II is strong

C.   Either I or II is strong

D.   Neither I nor II is strong

E.    Both I and II are strong

Solution:

Argument (I) says that paper is in short supply. But, this is not something we have ever heard in the news. It is contradictory to our general knowledge and is therefore weak.

Argument (II) is a strong argument because establishing committees to control the publishing of books would be against freedom of speech. Such committees would also be partial and have their own agendas.

So the correct answer is B.

Tip #3: Arguments that are illogical and unrelated to the statement are weak

Statement: Should all the school teachers be debarred from giving private tuitions?

Arguments:

(I)   No. The needy students will be deprived of the expertise of these teachers.

(II) Yes. This is an injustice to the unemployed educated people who can earn their living by giving tuitions.

(III)        Yes. Only then the quality of teaching in schools will improve.

(IV)        Yes. Now salary of these teachers is reasonable.

A.   Only I and III are strong

B.   Only I, II and III are strong

C.   Only III and IV are strong

D.   Only II, III and IV are strong

E.    None of these

Solution:

Argument (I) is weak because needy students will not be deprived of their education in schools, if those teachers also offer private tuitions on the side.

Argument (II) is weak because other unemployed individuals can also hold private tuitions if they are capable of doing so.

Argument (III) is strong. There could be a tendency for teachers to reduce their efforts in schools to encourage more students to join their private tuition classes.

Argument (IV) is weak. By what standards can anyone decide to stop a worker from seeking further employment by deciding that their salary is already reasonable?

Thus, the correct answer is E.

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5 TIPS on cracking Reasoning Questions on Conclusions and Course of Action

Tip #1: Conclusion drawn on the basis of data not provided in the statement(s) does not hold

Statements:  In a one-day cricket match, the total runs made by a team were 200. Out of these 160 runs were made by spinners.

Conclusions: (I) 80% of the team consists of spinners.

(II) The opening batsmen were spinners.

A.   Only conclusion I follows

B.   Only conclusion II follows

C.   Either I or II follows

D.   Neither I nor II follows

E.    Both I and II follow

Solution:

Nothing has been said in the statements about the number of spinners or the batsmen. So both conclusions do not follow. Hence the correct option is D.

Statement: Any student who does not behave properly while in the school brings bad name to himself and also for the school.

Conclusions: (I) Such student should be removed from the school.

(II) Stricter discipline does not improve behavior of the students.

A.   Only conclusion I follows

B.   Only conclusion II follows

C.   Either I or II follows

D.   Neither I nor II follows

E.    Both I and II follow

Solution:

The statement mentions nothing about disciplinary action against misbehaving students, so none of the conclusions follows. The correct answer is D.

Tip #2: Conclusions with definitive qualifiers (all, no one, at least) require stringent support to be valid

Statements: A forest has as many sandal trees as it has Ashoka trees. Three-fourth of the trees are old ones and half of the trees are at the flowering stage.

A.   All Ashoka trees are at the flowering stage.

B.   All sandal trees are at the flowering stage.

C.   At least one-half of the Ashoka trees are old.

D.   One-half of the sandal trees are at the flowering stage.

E.    None of these

Solution:

Conclusions A, B, C do not hold because of the presence of definitive words ‘all’ and ‘at least’ when the statements do not provide such definite information. D does not follow because nothing has been said about the fraction of sandal trees in flowering stage. Thus, the answer is E.

Statement: Money plays a vital role in politics.

Conclusion: (I) The poor cannot become politicians. (II) All rich men take part in politics.

A.   Only conclusion I follows

B.   Only conclusion II follows

C.   Either I or II follows

D.   Neither I nor II follows

E.    Both I and II follow

Solution:

None of the conclusions follows since they are definitive whereas the given statement is not. Hence the correct answer is D.

Tip #3: Conclusion should not contradict your common sense and general knowledge

Statements: Our securities investments carry market risk. Consult your investment advisor or agent before investing.

Conclusions: (I) One should not invest in securities.

(II) The investment advisor can reasonably estimate the market risk

A.   Only conclusion I follows

B.   Only conclusion II follows

C.   Either I or II follows

D.   Neither I nor II follows

E.    Both I and II follow

Solution:

Investment in securities involves risk but this does not mean that one should not invest in securities. So I does not follow. Since the statement advises one to consult investment advisor before investing, so II follows. Thus the correct answer is B.

Statements: Soldiers serve their country.

A.   Men generally serve their country.

B.   Those who serve their country are soldiers.

C.   Some men who are soldiers serve their country.

D.   Women do not serve their country because they are not soldiers.

Solution:

Conclusion A does not follow since it is ambiguous. Again, B does not hold since soldiers are not the only people serving their country. Conclusion D does not hold because it contradicts the fact that women can also be soldiers. C is the answer.

Tip #4: There must be no extremity involved in the course of action

Statement: The members belonging to two local societies occasionally fight with each other on the main highway and traffic is jammed always.

Courses of Action:

I.         The local police station should immediately deploy policemen round the clock on the main highway.

II.         Those involved in fighting should be identified and put behind bars.

III.         Local authority should cease the management of the two societies with immediate effect.

A.   Only I and II

B.   Only I and III

C.   Only II and II

D.   All of I, II, III

E.    None

Solution:

To stop the fighting, the police must deploy troops and the culprits must be put behind bars to deter them from causing such scenes in the future, so I and II follow. The 3rd course of action would be extreme. So the answer is A.

Tip #5: The course of action should be justified based on the statement

Statement: The Company X has rejected the first load of valves supplied by Company A and has cancelled its entire huge order quoting use of inferior quality material and poor craftsmanship.

Courses of Action:

I.         The Company A needs to investigate functioning of its purchase, production and quality control departments.

II.         The Company A should inspect all the valves rejected by Company X.

III.         The Company A should inform Company X that steps have been taken for improvement and renegotiate schedule of supply.

A.   Only I and II

B.   Only I and III

C.   Only II and II

D.   All of I, II, III

E.    None

Solution:

First of all, company A should inspect the rejected valves to ensure if they are really substandard. If so, it should scrutinize its working thoroughly and fix its quality issues. III is not justified from the statement, because the quality errors have not been fixed and issuing a statement to Company X to that effect would be a lie. The answer is A.

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Statements, Assumptions, Arguments and Conclusions

Statements, Assumptions, Arguments and Conclusions: Critical Reasoning Questions. Tricks on how to solve critical Reasoning questions

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