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CRITICAL REASONING for CLAT (New Pattern)


What is Measured?
Critical Reasoning questions measure your ability to understand, analyze, and apply information and concepts presented
in written from. All questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied.
The CLAT Critical Reasoning questions evaluate your ability to do the following:
Understand words and statements.
Although the questions do not test your vocabulary (they will not ask you to define terms), they do test your ability to
interpret special meanings of terms as they are used in the reading passages. The questions will also test your
understanding of the English language. These questions may ask about the over all meaning of a passage.
Understand logical relationships between points and concepts.
This type of question may ask you to determine the strong and weak points of an argument or evaluate the relative
importance of arguments and ideas in a passage.
Draw inferences from facts and statements.
The inference questions will ask you to consider factual statements or information presented in a reading passage and,
on the basis of that information, reach conclusions.
Main Idea
Each passage is a unified whole that is, the individual sentences and paragraphs support and develop one main idea or
central point. Sometimes you will be told the central point in the passage itself, and sometimes it will be necessary for
you to determine the central point from the overall organization or development of the passage. You may be asked in
this kind of question to –
Recognize a correct restatement, or paraphrasing, of the main idea of a passage;
Identify the author’s primary purpose or objective in writing the passage; or
Assign a title that summarizes, briefly and pointedly, the main idea developed in the passage.
Supporting ideas
These questions measure your ability to comprehend the supporting ideas in a passage and differentiate them from the
main idea. The questions also measure your ability to differentiate ideas that are explicitly stated in a passage from ideas
that are implied by the author but that are not explicitly stated. You may be asked about-
Facts cited in a passage;
The specific content of arguments presented by the author in support of his or her views; or
Descriptive details used to support or elaborate on the main idea.
Whereas questions about the main idea ask you to determine the meaning of a passage as a whole, questions about
supporting ideas ask you to determine the meanings of individual sentences and paragraphs that contribute to the
meaning of the passage as a whole. In other words, these questions ask for the main point of one small part of the
passage.
Inferences
These questions ask about ideas that are not explicitly stated in a passage but are implied by the author. Unlike
questions about supporting details, which ask about information that is directly stated in a passage, inference questions
ask about ideas or meanings that must be inferred from information that is directly stated. Authors can make their
points in indirect ways, suggesting ideas without actually stating them. Inference questions measure your ability to
understand an author’s intended meaning in parts of a passage where the meaning is only suggested. These questions
do not ask about meanings or implications that are remote from the passage; rather, they ask about meanings that are
developed indirectly or implications that are specifically suggested by the author.
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To answer these questions, you may have to –


Logically take statements made by the author one step beyond their literal meanings;
Recognize an alternative interpretation of a statement made by the author; or
Identify the intended meaning of a word used figuratively in a passage.
If a passage explicitly states an effect, for example, you may be asked to infer its cause. If the author compares two
phenomena, you may be asked to infer the basis for the comparison. You may be asked to infer the characteristics of an
old policy from an explicit description of a new one. When you read a passage, therefore, you should concentrate not
only on the explicit meaning of the author’s words, but also on the more subtle meaning implied by those words.
Applying information to a context outside the passage itself
These questions measure your ability to discern the relationships between situations or idea presented by the author
and other situations or ideas that might parallel those in the passage. In this kind of question, you may be asked to –
Identify a hypothetical situation that is comparable to a situation presented in the passage;
Select an example that is similar to an example provided in the passage;
Apply ideas given in the passage to a situation not mentioned by the author; or
Recognize ideas that the author would probably agree or disagree with on the basis of statements made in the passage.
Unlike inference questions, application questions use ideas or situations not taken from the passage. Ideas and
situations given in a question are like those given in the passage, and they parallel ideas and situations in the passage;
therefore, to answer the question, you must do more than recall what you read. You must recognize the essential
attributes of ideas and situations presented in the passage when they appear in different words and in an entirely new
context.
Logical structure
These questions require you to analyze and evaluate the organization and logic of a passage. They may ask you-
How a passage is constructed - for instances, does it define, compare or contrast, present a new idea, or refute an idea?
How the author persuades readers to accept his or her assertions;
The reason behind the author’s use of any particular supporting detail;
To identify assumptions that the author is making;
To assess the strengths and weaknesses of the authors arguments; or
To recognize appropriate counter arguments.
These questions measure your ability not only to comprehend a passage but also to evaluate it critically. However, it is
important for you to realize that logical structure questions do not rely on any kind of formal logic, nor do they require
you to be familiar with specific terms of logic or argumentation. You can answer these questions using only the
information in the passage and careful reasoning.
About the style and tone
Style and tone questions ask about the expression of a passage and about the ideas in a passage that may be expressed
through its diction – the author’s choice of words. You may be asked to deduce the author’s attitude to an idea, a fact,
or a situation from the words that he or she uses to describe it. You may also be asked to select a word that accurately
describes the tone of a passage – for instance, “critical”, “questioning”, “objective”, or “enthusiastic”.
To answer this type of question, you will have to consider the language of the passage as a whole: It takes more than
one pointed, critical word to make the tone of an entire passage “critical”. Sometimes, style and tone questions ask
what audience the passage was probably intended for or what type of publication it probably appeared in. Style and
tone questions may apply to one small part of the passage or to the passage as a whole. To answer them, you must ask
yourself what meanings are contained in the words of a passage beyond the literal meanings. Did the author use certain
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words because a particular audience would expect to hear them? Remember, these questions measure you ability to
discern meaning expressed by the author through his or her choice of words.
Strategies for Reading
1. Analyze each passage carefully, because the questions require you to have a specific and detailed understanding of
the material.
You may find it easier to do the analysis first, before moving to the questions. Or, you may find that you prefer to skim
the passage the first time and read more carefully once you understand what question asks. You may even want to read
the question before reading the passage. You should choose the method most suitable for you.
2. Focus on key words and phrases, and every effort to avoid losing the sense of what is discussed in the passage.
Keep the following in mind.
Note how each fact relates to an idea or an argument.
Note where the passage moves from one idea to the next.
Separate main ideas from supporting ideas.
Determine what conclusion are reached and why.
3. Read the questions carefully, making certain that you understand what is asked.
An answer choice that accurately restates information in the passage may be incorrect if it does not answer the
question. If you need to, refer back to the passage for clarification.
4. Read all the choices carefully
Never assume that you have selected the best answer without first reading all the choices.
5. Select the choice that answers the question best in terms of the information given in the passage. Do not rely on
outside knowledge of the material to help you answer the questions.
The Directions
These are the directions that you will see for critical reasoning questions when you take the CLAT test. If you read them
carefully and understand them clearly before going to sit for the exam, you will not need to spend too much time
reviewing them once you are at the test center and the exam is under way.
The questions in this group are based on the content of a passage. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to
each question. Answer all questions following the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.
Note I: In logical terms, this is case of what is called hypothetical reasoning. The general format is
Case I:
If x then y
X
Therefore, y
(correct inference)
Ex (I) If crime is controlled, citizens will be happy.
Crime is controlled.
Inference: Citizen will be happy.
Remark: Correct inference.
Some other variations are:
Case II:
If x then y.
Not x.
Therefore, not y.
(incorrect inference)
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Ex (II) If inflation is controlled, fiscal deficit will be brought down.


Inflation is not controlled.
Inference: Fiscal deficit will not be controlled.
Remark: Incorrect inference. At best, it is probably true.

Case III:
If x then y.
y.
Therefore, x.
(incorrect inference)
Ex (III) If inflation is controlled, fiscal deficit will be controlled.
Fiscal deficit controlled.
Inference: Inflation must have been controlled
Remark: Incorrect inference. At best, it is probably true.

Case IV:
If x then y.
Not y.
Therefore, not x.
(correct inference)
Ex (IV) If inflation is controlled, fiscal deficit will be controlled.
Fiscal deficit is not controlled.
Inference: Inflation was not controlled
Remark: Correct inference.
Note II:
It would be prudent to mention another class of arguments called disjunctive arguments. Their formats are:
Case V:
Either x or y.
Not y.
Therefore, x.
(correct inference.)
Ex (V) Either the government should accept the workers’ demands or it should take steps to tackle the strike.
The government has decided not to accept the worker’s demands.
Inference: The government should take steps to tackle the strike
Remark: Correct inference.
Case VI:
Either x or y.
x.
Therefore, not y.
(incorrect inference)
Ex (VI) Either the government should accept the workers’ demands or it should take steps to tackle the strike.
The government has accepted the worker’s demands.
Inference: The government need not take any steps to tackle the strike.
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Remark: Incorrect inference.


Case VII:
Either x or y.
y.
Therefore, not x.
(incorrect inference)
Ex (VII) Either I will go or she will come.
She has come.
Inference: I will not go.
Remark: Incorrect inference.
Case VIII:
Either x or y.
Not y.
Therefore x.
(correct inference)
Ex (VIII) Either I’ll go or she will come.
She has not come.
Inference: I’ll go
Remark: Correct inference
Types of categorial proposition:
a) Universal proposition: Universal propositions either fully include the subject or fully exclude it,
Examples are:
All boys are cute. No box is square shaped.
Usually, Universal propositions begin with “All”, “Every”, “Any”, etc. or “No”, “None of the”, “Not a single”, etc.
A universal positive proposition is usually denoted by the letter ‘A’ while a universal negative proposition is usually
denoted by the letter ‘E’.
b) Particular Proposition: Particular propositions either only partly include or only partly exclude the subject while
making a statement.
Usually, particular propositions have relational clauses like “some”, “many”, “quite a few”, etc. or “some….not”, “not
many”, “very little”, etc.
Type of proposition Universal Particular
Positive ‘A’ means All ‘I’ means some
Negative ‘E’ means No ‘O’ means Some not

Some A type propositions not beginning with ‘All’


i) All positive propositions beginning with ‘every’, ‘each’, ‘any’, are A-type propositions.
Example:
Every man makes mistakes. (All men make mistakes)
ii) A positive sentence with a particular person as its subject is always an A-type proposition.
Example:
He should be awarded a gold medal.
Subject Predicate
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He (is a man) who should be awarded a (gold medal).


iii) A positive sentence with a very definite exception is also of A-type
Example:
All Students except Mohan have failed.
(All except Mohan (are the students) who have failed).
Some E-type propositions not beginning with ‘No’
i) All negative sentences beginning with ‘no one’, ‘none’, ‘not a single’, etc. are E-type propositions.
Example:
None can escape from Jail.
(No man is one who can escape from Jail).
Subject Predicate.
ii) A sentence with a particular person as its subject but a negative sense is an E-type proposition.
Example:
He does not deserve a gold medal.
(He (is not a man) who deserves a gold medal)
Subject Predicate
iii) A negative sentence with a very definite exception is also of E-type
Example:
No student except Mohan has failed.
iv) When an interrogative sentence is used to make as assertion, this could be reduced to an E- type
proposition.
Example:
Is there any sanity left in the world?
(No sanity left in the world).
Some I-type propositions not beginning with ‘Some’
i) Positive propositions beginning with words such as ‘most’, ‘a few’, ‘mostly’, ‘generally’, ‘almost’, ‘frequently’,
‘often’, are to be reduced to the I-type propositions.
Example:
Students are frequently short-tempered.
(Some students are short-tempered)
ii) Negative propositions beginning with words such as ‘few’, ‘seldom’, ‘hardly’, ‘scarcely’, ‘rarely’,
‘little’, etc. are to be reduced to I-type.
Example:
Few men are not corruptible.
(Some men are corruptible)
iii) A positive sentence with an exception which is not definite, is reduced to I-type proposition.
Example:
All students except three have passed.
(Some students have passed,)
Some O-type propositions not beginning with ‘Some…not’
i) All negative propositions beginning with words such as ‘all’, ‘every’, ‘any’, ‘each’, etc. are to be reduced to O-type
propositions.
Example:
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All men are not rich.


(Some men are not rich.)
ii) Negative propositions with words such as, ‘a few’, ‘mostly’, ‘generally’, ‘almost’, ‘frequently’, are to be reduced to O-
type propositions.
Example:
Students are not frequently short-tempered.
(Some students are not short-tempered.)
iii) Positive propositions beginning with words such as ‘few’, ‘seldom’, ‘hardly’, ‘scarcely’, ’rarely’, ‘little’, are to be
reduced to O-type propositions.
Example:
Few men are corruptible
(Some men are not corruptible)
iv) A negative sentence with an exception, which is not definite, is to be reduced to the O-type.
Example:
No students except two have passed.
(Some students have not passed)
Exclusive propositions
Propositions beginning with ‘only’, ‘alone’, ‘none but’, ‘none else but’, are called exclusive propositions. Such
propositions can be reduced to A or E or I form.
For Example:
“Only Educated are IAS Officers.”
This sentence implies that “No uneducated is IAS officer” and therefore, “All IAS Officers are educated”.
ARGUMENT
There are three main parts to an argument:
• Conclusion: This is what the author is trying to persuade us to accept.
• Premises: These are the pieces of evidence the author gives to support the conclusion.
• Assumptions: These are unstated ideas or evidence without which the entire conclusion might be invalid.
Argument:
Note: ‘P’ stands for premise or statement in logical terms.
(PI) In the past 11 years, advertising revenues for the magazine India Today have fallen by 30%. (P2) The magazine has
failed to attract new subscribers, (P3) and newsstand sales are down to an all time low. Thus, sweeping editorial changes
will be necessary if the magazine is to survive.
In the passage above, the author’s conclusion is found in the last line:
Thus, sweeping editorial changes will be necessary if the magazine is to survive.
To support this, the author gives three pieces of evidence, or premises: Advertising revenue is down; there are no new
subscribers; and very few people are buying the newspaper at the newsstand.
Are there any assumptions here? Well, not in the passage itself. Assumption are never stated by the author. They are
parts of the argument that have been left out. Even the best though out argument has assumptions. In this case, one
important assumption the author seems to make is that it was the old editorial policy that caused the problems the
magazine is now encountering. Another assumption is that editorial changes alone will be enough to restore the
magazine’s financial health.
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A critical reasoning passage is not necessarily made up only these three parts. The passage might contain other
information as well extraneous ideas, perhaps, or statements of an opposing point of view. This is why it’s so important
to find and identify the conclusion and the premises (as well as the argument’s underlying assumptions).
Look for conclusion at the beginning and end of a passage.
Most arguments follow one of two common structures:
Premise, premise, premise, conclusion
or
Conclusion, premise, premise, premise
Therefore, the conclusion can often be found in the first or last sentence of the passage.

Conclusion Indicators
Hence Therefore
So Accordingly
Thus Consequently
Follows that Shows that
Conclude that Implies, indicates that
As a result Means that
When determining the conclusion’s scope be careful not to ready any more or less into than the author states. Certain
words limit the scope of a statement.
These words are called quantifiers – pay close attention to them. hence
Following is a list of the most important quantifiers:

Quantifiers
All Except Likely, same
Some Most Many
Only Could No
Never Always Everywhere
Probably Must Alone

Premises
Ince you’ve found the conclusion, most often everything else in the argument will be either premises or “noise”. The
premises provide evidence for the conclusion; they form the foundation or infrastructure upon which the conclusion
depends. To determine whether a statement is a premise, ask yourself whether it supports the conclusion. If so, it’s a
premise. Writers use certain words to flag conclusions; and certain words to flag premises. Following is a partial list of
the most common premise indicators:
Premise Indicators
Because For
Since It is evidence that
If In that
As Owing to
Suppose In as much as
Assume May be delivered from
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Counter – Premise Indicators


But Despite
Admittedly Expect
Even though Nonetheless
Nevertheless Although
However In spite of the fact

Look for a statement that control stand alone; in other words, a statement that needs to be supported by premises
If you can’t find the conclusion, look for the premises instead. These are the parts of the argument that support the
conclusion.
Premises are often preceded by another kind of signpost. Words like the following signal that evidence is about to be
given to support a conclusion.
Because in view of since given that
Q.1 Assumption Questions
An assumption is something which is assumed, supposed and taken for granted. An assumption question asks you to
identify an unstated premise of the passage from among the answer choices. As you read the passage, what you will be
looking for is a gap in the underlying logic of the argument. There are many different kinds of assumptions the test
writers can use, but let’s get started by identifying three: casual assumptions, statistical assumptions, and analogy
assumptions.
Casual Assumptions
Casual assumptions take an effect and suggest a cause for it. Take a look at the simplified example below.
Every time I wear my green suit, people like me. Therefore, it is my green suit that makes people like me.
The author’s conclusion (it is the green suit that makes people like him) is based on the premise that every time he
wears it, he has observed that people like him. But this argument relies on the assumption that there is no other
possible cause for people liking him. Perhaps he always wears a red tie with his green suit, and it’s really the tie that
people like.
Whenever you spot a cause being suggested for an effect, ask yourself if the cause is truly the reason for the effect, or if
there might be an alternate cause.
Analogy Assumptions
An argument by analogy compares one situation to another, ignoring the question of whether the two situations are
comparable.
Use of this product causes cancer in laboratory animals. Therefore, you should stop using this product.
The author’s conclusion (you should stop using the product) is based on the premise that the product causes cancer in
laboratory animals. This argument is not really complete. It relies on the assumption that because this product causes
cancer in laboratory animals, it will also cause cancer in humans.
Whenever you see a comparison in a critical reasoning passage, you should ask yourself: Are these two situations really
comparable?
Statistical Assumptions
A statistical argument uses statistics to “prove” its point. Four out of five doctors agree: The pain reliever in Sinutol is
the most effective analgesic on the market today. You should try Sinutol.
The conclusion (you should try Sinutol) is based on the premise that four out of five doctors found the pain reliever in
Sinutol to be the most effective. However, a literal reading of the passage tells us that the statistic that the author uses
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in support of his conclusion is only based on the opinions of five doctors (all of whom be on the board of directors of
Sinutol). The author’s conclusion is based on the assumption that four out of every five doctors will find SInutol to be
wonderful. This may be correct, but we do not know for sure. Therefore, the most we can say about the conclusion is
that it may be true.
Wherever you see statistic in an argument, always be sure to ask yourself the following questions. Are the statistical
representative?

How to Recognize an Assumption Question


Assumption questions generally contain one of the following wordings:
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
The argument above assumes which of the following?
The claim above rests on the questionable presupposition that…

How to Attack the Answer Choices on an Assumption Question


Assumptions plug holes in the argument and help make a conclusion true. Here are some guidelines for spotting
assumptions among the answer choices:
Assumptions are never stated in the passage. If you see an answer choice that comes straight from the passage, it is not
correct.
Assumptions support the conclusion of the passage. Find the conclusion in the passage, then try out each answer choice
to see whether it makes the conclusion stronger.
Assumptions frequently turn on the gaps of logic we’ve just discussed. If the argument proposes a cause for an effect,
you should ask yourself whether there might be some other cause. If the argument uses statistics, you should probably
ask yourself whether the statistics involved are representative. If the argument offers an analogy, you should ask
yourself whether the two situations are analogous.
Example:
Many people believe that gold and platinum are the most valuable commodities. To the true entrepreneur, however,
gold and platinum are less valuable than opportunities that can be enable him to further enrich himself. Therefore, in
the world of high finance, information is the most valuable commodity.
The author of the passage above makes which of the following assumptions?
A. Gold and Platinum are not the most valuable commodities.
B. Entrepreneurs are not like most people.
C. The value of information is incalculably high.
D. Information about business opportunities is accurate and will lead to increased wealth.
The question tells you that you are looking for an assumption, which means that as you read, you’ll be looking for a gap
in the argument.
Because an assumption supports the conclusion, it’s a good idea to know what the conclusion is. Can you identify it? It
was in the last sentence, preceded by “therefore”: “In the world of high finance, information is the most valuable
commodity”.
As you read the passage, keep your eyes open for potential gaps in the argument. For example, as you read, it might
occur to you that the author is assuming that there is no such thing as bad information. Anyone who has ever taken a
stock tip knows the error in that assumption.
Don’t be upset if you can’t find a gap in the argument as you read. The answer choices will give you a clue.
Analysis:
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A. Gold and platinum are not the most valuable commodities.


Does this support the conclusion? In a way. It does. If information is supposed to be the most valuable commodity, it
might help to know that gold and platinum are not the most valuable commodities. However, saying that gold and
platinum are not the most valuable commodities does not necessarily mean that information is the most valuable
commodity.
B. Entrepreneurs are not like most people. If most people find gold and platinum to be the most valuable commodities,
while entrepreneurs prefer information, then it could be inferred that entrepreneurs are not like most people. Does this
support the conclusion, though? Not really.
C. The value of information is incalculably high. This answer merely restates the conclusion. Remember, we’re looking
for an assumption, which is an unstated premise. In addition, this answer goes beyond the scope of the argument. To
say that information is valuable does not mean that its value is “incalculable”.
D. Information about business opportunities is accurate and will lead to increased wealth.
This is the best answer.
If the business information is not accurate, it could not possibly be valuable. Therefore, this statement supports the
conclusion by plugging a dangerous gap in the argument.
ASSUMPTIONS

Example 1:
Statement: “In my opinion, you should get your child examined by a specialist doctor.”
Assumption: Specialist doctors are able to diagnose better than ordinary doctors.
Explanation: The assumption is valid. One is advising (perhaps his friend) to get his child examined by a specialist doctor.
Obviously, he must be assuming that specialist doctors diagnose better than ordinary ones, otherwise he would not
have advised thus.

Example 2:
Statement: The next meeting of the Governing Body of the institute will be held after one year.
Assumption: The institute will remain in function after one year.
Explanation: The assumption is valid. The common practice is to hold meetings of only those bodies that are functional.
So, if it is being announced that the next meeting will be held after one year, the announcers must be assuming that the
institute will remain functional after one year.

Example 3:
Statement: The girl is too clever to fail in the examination.
Assumption: Very clever girls do not fail in the examination.
Explanation: The assumption is correct. The statement says that the girl won’t fail (effect) because she is very clever
(cause). Obviously, it is assumed that very clever girls do not fail.
Some standard categories of assumptions
(a) Existence / Non- existence of the subject
(b) Adjectives
(c) Cause – effect
(d) Course of action
(e) Analogy
(f) Advertisements / notices / appeals
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04. Statement: The boy is too honest not to speak the truth.
Assumption:
I. Very honest boys also tell lies.
II. Dishonest boys also speak the truth.
Explanation: None of them is implicit. The statement only implies that if a boy is very honest, it would not be possible
for him to lie. But, I is just the opposite of it. Assumption II is not implicit because the statement does not talk about
“dishonest” boys.

05. Statement: Warning: Cigarette smoking is injurious to health.


Assumption:
I. Children consider teachers as their models.
II. Really, this warning is not necessary.
Explanation: None is implicit. Assumption I is a mere twisted form of the given statement. Smoking is injurious. It means
that non – smoking is not injurious. And that’s it. It doesn’t mean that non – smoking promotes health. II obviously is just
the opposite of what is true. Public warnings are given only when they are assumed to be necessary.

06. Statement: “Do not lean out of the door of the bus.” – a warning in a school bus
Assumption:
I. Learning out of a running bus is dangerous.
II. Children do not pay any heed to such warnings.
Explanation: Leaning out of a running bus must be dangerous, otherwise the warning would not have been there.
Hence, I is implicit. But II is not implicit. If the authorities would have assumed that children do not pay any heed to such
warnings, they would not have put it up there.

07. Statement: “If you are a mechanical engineer, we want you as our supervisor.” – an advertisement by company X.
Assumption
I. Mechanical engineer are expected to be better performers by company X.
II. The company X needs supervisors.
Explanation: IT is not implicit. The company wants mechanical engineers. One reason could be that the company
expects mechanical engineers to be good performers, as I suggests. But there could be another reasons: for example,
the company’s supervisory job could be such that only a mechanical engineer could perform it. But one thing is certain,
the advertisement was for supervisors; this means supervisors are needed. Hence, II is implicit.

08. Statement: “Computer education should start at school level itself”.


Assumption:
I: Learning computer is easy.
II: Computer education fetches jobs easily.
Explanation: If one says that computers should be taught at schools, he must have assumed that it is an easy subject,
because schools are a place of elementary education; tougher things are taught at colleges. But the statement does not
say anything about jobs. So, I is implied, II is not.

09. Statement: To pass the examination, you have to practice very hard.
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Assumption:
I: Passing the examination is desirable.
II: Hard practice leads to success.
Explanation: The advice is given on the behaviour that should be followed to pass the exam. This shows that passing
exam is necessary. So, assumption I is implicit. Passing the examination is a form of success. And, according to the
statement, it may be achieved by hard work, so assumption II is implicit.

10. Statement: These apples are too cheap to be good.


Assumption
I: When the apple crop is abundant, the prices go down
II: The lower the selling price, the inferior the quality of the commodity.
Explanation: It is not hinted in the statement. II is. The author says that apples cannot be good because they are “too
cheap”: this means that he thinks that cheap things are usually not good.

11. Statement: A warning in a train compartment – “To stop train, pull the chain. Penalty for misuse: Rs.500”.
Assumption
I: Some people misuse the alarm chain.
II: On certain occasions, people may want to stop a running train.
Explanation: Since penalty has been provided for, It means that there must be some misuse of alarm chain, so I is
implicit. Since the alarm chain has not been taken off despite its misuse, it means that people may genuinely want to
stop a train on some occasions. Hence, II is implicit.

STRENGTHEN – THE ARGUMENT QUESTIONS


If a question asks you to strengthen an argument, it is saying that the argument can be strengthened; in other words,
again, you’re going to be dealing with an argument that has a gap in its logic.
Like assumption questions, strengthen the argument questions are really asking you to find this gap and then fix it with
additional information. Here are some guidelines for spotting strengthen-the-argument statements among the answer
choices.
The best answer will strengthen the argument with new information. If you see an answer choice that comes straight
from the passage, It’s wrong.
The new information you’re looking for will support the conclusion of the passage. Find the conclusion in the passage.
Find the conclusion in the passage, then try out each answer choice to see whether it makes the conclusion stronger.
Strengthen-the-argument questions frequently turn on the gaps of logic we’ve already discussed. If the argument
proposes a cause for an effect, you should ask yourself whether there might be some other cause. If the argument uses
statistics, you should probably ask your self whether the statistics involved are representative. If the argument offers an
analogy, you should ask yourself whether the two situations are analogous.
How to Recognize a Strengthen-the-Argument Question
Strengthen-the-argument questions generally contain one of the following wordings:
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the author’s argument?
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the author’s hypothesis?
Example: It has recently been proposed that we adopt an all – volunteer army. This policy was tired on a limited basis
several years ago and was a miserable failure. The level of education of the volunteers was unacceptably low, while
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levels of drug use and crime soared among army personnel. Can we trust our national defence to a volunteer army? The
answer is clearly “No”.
Which of the following statements, if true, most strengthens the author’s claim that an – volunteer army should not
be implemented?
A. The general level of education has risen since the first time all – volunteer army was tired.
B. The proposal was made by an organization called Citizens for peace.
C. The first attempt to create a volunteer army was carried out according to the same plan now under proposal and
under the same conditions as those that exist today.
D. A volunteer army would be less expensive than an army that relies on the draft.
Analysis:
You know from reading the question first that you’re expected to find a gap in the argument. Even better, the question
itself tells you the conclusion of the passage: “An all – volunteer army should be implemented.”
Because the reasoning in a strengthen-the-argument question is going to contain gaps, it pays to see whether the
argument is statistical, casual, or analogous. You may have noticed that the arguments does, in fact, use an analogy. The
author bases his conclusion on the result of one previous experience. In effect he says, “The idea didn’t work then, so it
won’t now. “This is the potential gap in the argument. If you didn’t spot the argument by analogy, don’t worry. You
would probably have seen it when you starred attacking the answer choices:
A. The general level of education has risen since the first time an all – volunteer army was tired.
Does this support the author’s conclusion? Actually, it may weaken the conclusion. If the general level of education has
risen, it could be argued that the level of education of army volunteers is also higher. This would remove one of the
author’s objections to a volunteer army. Eliminate it.
B. The proposal was made by an organization called Citizen for Peace.
This is irrelevant to the author’s conclusion. You might have wondered whether a group called “Citizen for Peace” was
the right organization to make suggestions about the army. Attacking the reputation of a person in order to cast doubt
on that person’s ideas is a very old pastime. There’s even a name for it: an ad hominem fallacy. An ad hominem
statement does not strengthen an argument. Eliminate it.
C. The first attempt to create a volunteer army was carried out according to the same plan now under proposal and
under the same conditions as those that exist today.
This is the best answer. In this passage you find that there is a potential gap because we cannot know that a new
attempt to institute an all – volunteer army would turn out the same way it did before. This answer choice provides new
information that suggest that the two situations are analogous.
D. A volunteer army would be less expensive than an army that relies on the draft.
Does this support the conclusion? No. In fact, it makes a case for a volunteer army. Eliminate it.
WEAKEN – THE – ARGUMENT QUESTIONS
If a question asks you to weaken an argument, it implies that the argument can be weakened; in other words, once
again, you’re going to be dealing with unstated premises and a logical gap.
Like assumption questions and strengthen – the – argument questions, weaken – the – argument questions really ask
you to find a gap in the argument. This time, however, you don’t need to fix the gap. All you have to do is expose it. Here
are some guidelines for finding weaken – the – argument statement among the answer choices:
The statement you’ll look for should weaken the conclusion of the passage. Find the conclusion in the passage, then try
out each answer choice to see whether it makes the conclusion less tenable.
Weaken – the – argument questions frequently trade on the gaps of logic that we’ve already discussed. If the argument
proposes a cause for an effect, ask yourself whether there might be some other cause. If the argument uses statistics,
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ask yourself whether the statistic involved are representative. If the argument offers an analogy, ask yourself whether
the two situations are analogous.
How to Recognize a Weaken – the – Argument Question
Weaken – the – argument questions usually contain one of the following wordings:
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn in the passage?
Which of the following indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?
Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the argument above?
Example:
The recent turnaround of the LEX Corporation is a splendid example of how an astute chief executive officer can re
channel a company’s assets towards profitability. With the new CEO at helm, LEX has gone, In only three business
quarters from a 10 million dollar operating loss to a 22 million dollar operating gain.
A major flaw in the reasoning of the passage above is that.
A. The passage assumes that the new CEO was the only factor that affected the corporation’s recent success.
B. The recent success of the corporation may be only temporary
C. The chief executive officer may be drawing a salary and bonus that will set a damaging precedent for this and other
corporations.
D. The author does not define “profitability”
Analysis:
You know from reading the question that you’ll need to find a flaw in the reasoning of the argument. As you read the
passage, look for the conclusion. The correct answer choice will weaken this conclusion. In this passage, the conclusion is
in the first sentence: “The recent turnaround of the LEX Corporation is a splendid example of how an astute chief
executive officer can re channel a company’s assets towards profitability.”
Because this is a weaken – the – argument question that will almost certainly contain a gap in it’s reasoning, you should
look to see whether the argument is casual, statistical, or analogical. In this case, the argument is casual. The passage
implies that the sole cause of the LEX Corporation’s turnaround is the new CEO. While this may be true, don’t worry. You
would probably have seen it when you attacked the answer choices. Let’s do that now.
A. The passage assumes that the new CEO was the only factor that affected the corporation’s recent success.
This is the best answer. The new chief executive officer may not have been the cause of the turnaround there may have
been some other cause we don’t know about.
B. The recent success of the corporation may be only temporary.
It may be hasty to crown LEX with laurels after only three economic quarters, but this statement doesn’t point out a flaw
in the reasoning of the passage. Eliminate it.
C. The chief executive officer may be drawing a salary and bonus that will set a damaging precedent for this and other
corporations.
This answer choice may seem tempting because it’s not in favor of the new CEO. But this alone doesn’t represent a
major flaw in the reasoning of the passage. Eliminate it.
D. The author does not define “profitability”. An author can’t define every word he uses. Profitability seems a common
enough word, and a change in the balance sheet from minus 10 million to plus 22 million seems to qualify. Eliminate it.
INFERENCE QUESTIONS
Definition: The reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgement on the basis of circumstantial
evidence.
Types of inferences:
01. illation
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02. abstract thought, logical thinking reasoning – thinking that is coherent and logical
03. analogy – an inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others.
04. corollary (logic) – an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition.
05. derivation – a line of reasoning that shows how a conclusion follows logically from accepted preposition.
06. entailment, implication, deduction – something that is inferred (deduced or entailed or implied). “His resignation had
political implication”.
07. extrapolation – an inference about the future (or about some hypothetical situation) based on known facts and
observation.
08. presumption (law) – an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or judicially noticed.
The candidate is asked to decide whether a given inference follows or not in the light of the given passage.

Example 01.
Passage:
All those who have pride for their country and love for their motherland will not tolerate the remark of the journalist.
Inference:
Some people will find the remarks of the journalist intolerable.
Explanation: We may safely assume that some (may be not all) people do love their country and motherland. Now, all
such people will not tolerate the remarks of the journalist. Hence, it can be inferred that the inference is definitely true.
Example 02.
Passage:
Although the government has raised taxes, the tax revenue has dropped.
Inference: A rise in taxes usually results in a rise in tax revenue.
Explanation: The use of the word ‘although’ implies that tax revenue was expected to rise after the rise in taxes. This
means that it was assumed that usually tax raise implies a rise in tax revenue. This means that the given inference is
definitely true.

Example 03.
Passage:
Because the government raised taxes, the collections improved.
Inference: Usually, when taxes are raised, collection improve.
Explanation: Definitely true.

Example 04.
Passage:
The collections had to improve as the taxes were raised.
Inference: sometimes, collection drop when taxes are raised.
Explanation: Definitely false. This case is slightly different from the previous one. Here, the use of the emphatic words
‘had to’ implies that tax raise ‘has to’ result in a rise in collections: It is an absolute must. Hence, the given inference is
definitely false.

Example 05.
Passage:
The collections may improve only if the government raises taxes.
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Inference: I.
Whenever the taxes are raised, the collections improve.
II. The collections never improve when taxes are raised.
III. The collections will not improve if the taxes are not raised.
Explanation: The use of the word ‘only if’ implies that the condition that the taxes be raised in ‘necessary’ but the use of
the word ‘may’ implies that it is not ‘sufficient’ for the collections to improve.
In other words, the sentence implies that collections are not going to improve without tax raise, while if taxes were
indeed raised, it may or may not improve. Consequent to this, the evaluation of the three inferences are:
I. data inadequate
II. definitely false
III. definitely true.
Parallel – The – Reasoning Questions
Parallel – the – reasoning questions ask you to recognize the reasoning in a passage and follow the same line of
reasoning in one of the answer choices. The best way to understand the passage associated with a reasoning question is
to simplify the terms.
Here’s an example: “If it rains, I will stay home today”. We could simplify this by saying, “If A, then B.”
How to Recognize a Parallel – the – Reasoning Question
Parallel – the – reasoning questions will usually contain one of the following wordings:
Which of the following most closely parallels the reasoning used in the argument above?
Which of the following supports its conclusion in the same manner as the argument above?
Which of the following is most like the argument above in its logical structure?
Here’s an example:
World class marathon runners do not run more than six miles per day when they are in training. Therefore, if you run
more than six miles per day, you are not world class.
Which of the following statement supports its conclusion in the same manner as the argument above?
A. Sprinters always run in the morning. If it is morning, and you see someone running, it will not be a sprinter.
B. Paint never dries in less than three hours. If it dries in less than three hours, it is not pain.
C. If a car starts in the morning, chances are it will start again that evening. Our car always starts in the morning, and it
always starts in the evening as well.
D. If you sleep less than four hours per night, you may be doing yourself a dis services. Studies have shown that the most
valuable sleep occurs in the fifth hour.
Analysis:
First, simplify the argument in the passage. World – class marathon runners do not run more than six miles per day
when they are in training. (If A, then B.) Therefore, if you run more than six miles per day, you are not world – class. (If
not B, then not A)
Now, let’s attack the answer choices:
A. Sprinters always run in the morning. If it is morning, and you see someone running. It will not be a sprinter.
Just because this answer choice is also running doesn’t mean the reasoning will be the same. In fact, it is unlikely that
the test writers would use the same subject matter for the correct answer. If we simplify this argument, we get: If A,
then B. If B, then not A. Is this the same reasoning used in the passage? No. Eliminate it.
B. Paint never dries in less than three hours. If it dries in less than three hours, it is not paint.
If we simplify this argument, we get: IF A, then B. If not B, then not A. This is the best answer.
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C. If a car starts in the morning, chances are it will start again that evening. Our car always starts in the morning, and it
always starts in the evening as well. If we simplify this argument, we get: If A, then B. If always A, then always B. That
doesn’t sound right. Eliminate it.
D. If you sleep less than four hours per night, you may be doing yourself a dis service. Studies have shown that the most
valuable sleep occurs in the fifth hour. Simplifying this argument, we get… again, not much. The reasoning in this answer
choice is very different from the reasoning from the reasoning in the passage. Eliminate it.
Resolve/Explain Questions
Some questions ask you to resolve an apparent paradox or explain a possible discrepancy. In these questions, the
passage will present you with two seemingly contradictory facts. Your job is to find the answer choice that allows both
of the facts from the passage to be true.
How to Recognize a Resolve/Explain Question
Resolve/Explain questions will usually contain one of the following wordings:
Which of the following, if true, resolves the apparent contradiction presented in the passage above?
Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy describes above?
Which of the following, if true, forms a partial explanation for the paradox described above?
Here’s an example:
In 2005, Blue Sky Airlines reported an increase in the total number of passengers it carried form the year before, but a
decrease in total revenues – even though prices for its tickets on all routes remained unchanged during the two years
period.
Which of the following, if true, best reconciles the apartment paradox described above?
A. Blue Sky Airlines was a victim of a mild recession in 2005.
B. Total passenger miles were up in 2005.
C. Fuel costs remained constant during the two years period.
D. Passengers traveled shorter (and thus less expensive) distance in 2005.
Analysis:
First, restate the contradiction in your own words.
“Blue Sky profits went down even though they flew more passengers.”
Now, let’s see which of the answer choices makes both of the facts in the argument true.
A. Blue Sky Airlines was a victim of a mild recession in 2005.
If Blue Sky was affected by a recession, that might explain a loss of revenues. But because ticket prices remained the
same, it would not explain how the number of passengers could have increased at the same time. Eliminate it.
B. Total passenger miles were up in 2005.
If total passenger miles were up, and prices remained the same, there is no way that there could have been a loss of
revenues. We can eliminate this choice as well.
C. Fuel costs remained constant during the two year period.
If fuel costs has not remained constant, the company’s profits might have fallen. An increase in fuel prices could have
increased its costs and cut into profits. But it would not have cut into total revenues, which is what we are concerned
with in this passage. Of course, because previous choice mentioned that the costs remained constant, this choice has no
bearing on the argument at all. Eliminate it.
D. Passengers traveled shorter (and thus less expensive) distances in 2005.
Bingo! IF passengers traveled on short, inexpensive flights, then they paid less money. In spite of the increase in number
of passengers, the money they paid could have added up to less than that of the year before. This is the best answer,
but always remember to read all the choices anyway.
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Evaluating Given Courses Of Action


Directions: A course of action is a step or administrative decision to be taken for improvement, follow up, or further
action in regard to the problem, policy etc. On the basis of the information given in the statement. You have to assume
everything in the statement to be true then decide which of the given suggested courses of action logically follows for
pursuing.

Example:
Q: The plague epidemic has spread to many parts of the country.
Courses of action:
I. Doctors should be asked to perform their duty religiously.
II. The government should take up a cleanliness drive across the country.
A. How to determine whether a suggested action reduces or solves a problem.
If you are having problems in determining whether a suggested action reduces or solves a problem, then you can follow
the following rules:
(i) Established fact
(ii) Experience predict so
(iii) Logic predicts so
(iv) Prevailing notion of truth

Example:
01. Statement: Malaria has been spreading rapidly in North India.
Courses of action:
I. Anti – mosquito liquids should be sprayed in North India. ( )
II. A child should be handed over to child welfare society. ( )

02. Statement: A group of school students was reported to be enjoying at a picnic spot during school hours.
Courses of action:
I. The principal should contact the parents of those students and tell them about the incident with a real warming for
the future.
II. Some disciplinary action must be taken against those students and all other students should be made aware of it.
Explanation:
If students are out of the school during school hours, it is case of sheer indiscipline. Both I and II will tend to solve the
problem. Also, both are suitable courses of action and not extreme actions. Both warning and some punishment are
necessary: both follow.

03. Statement: Every, year, at the beginning or at the end of the monsoons, we have some cases of conjunctivitis, but
this year it seems to be a major epidemic witnessed after nearly four years.
Courses of action:
I. Precautionary measures should be taken after every four years to check this epidemic
II. People should be advised to drink boiled water during winter season.
Explanation:
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Against an epidemic, precautionary measures should be taken every year and not every year and not every years.
Hence, I does not follow. But II is, of course, a positive step. It is a preventive action and it should be followed. Hence, I
does not follow while II does.

04. Statement: Footpaths of a busy road are crowded with vendors selling cheap items.
Course of action:
I. The help of police should be sought to drive them away.
II. Some space should be provided to them where they can earn their bread without blocking footpaths.
Explanation:
Vendors are not meant for footpaths. So, they should be driven away from there. This is what I suggests. But will it not
be an extreme action? Yes, it will be. The vendors earn their livelihood from that place and this action would snatch
away their livelihood. This is what II suggests. But will it not be an incomplete action? Yes, it will be. How can we be
sure that the vendors would leave the footpaths if they are given alternative means of livelihood? Therefore, the best
action would be to provide alternative livelihood so that they earn their bread and to use force to drive them away so
that footpaths are cleaned. Hence, both I and II follow.

05. Statement: The officer incharge of a company had a hunch that some money was missing from the safe.
Course of action:
I. He should get it recounted with the help of the staff and check it with the balance – sheet.
II. He should inform the police.
Explanation:
If the officer thinks that some money is missing the best thing for him to do is to check it. Thus, I follows. Informing
police is not necessary at this stage. The police should be informed only it is confirmed that the money is missing.

06. Statement: Youngsters are often found staring at obscene posters.


Course of action:
I. Children should be punished and penalized if they are found doing so.
II. Any display of such materials should be banned.
Explanation:
Children stare at obscene posters out of curiosity. Curiosity is not a bad quality. Therefore, the suggestion of punishing
children, if they look at obscene posters, is absurd. But on the other hand, this also is a fact that obscene posters create
unhealthy imprints on the impressionable fragile minds of children. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the display
of obscene posters itself is banned so that children keep away from this evil. Hence, I doesn’t follow but II does.

07. Statement: A train was derailed while moving over a bridge and fell into the river.
Course of action:
I. The Railway authorities should clarify the reason of the accident to the Government.
II. The Government should allocate funds to compensate for the destruction caused.
Explanation:
If a train has been derailed, the Government must obtain necessary information as to what caused the accident. This
would enable the Government to take necessary preventive measures. Hence, course of action I follows. Further, the
derailment of the train is the government’s responsibility and, consequently, the government must pay compensation to
the men affected. Hence, II follows.
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08. Statement: Courts take too long in deciding important disputes of various departments.
Course of action:
I. Court should be ordered to speed up matters.
II. Special powers should be granted to officers to settle disputes concerning their department.
Explanation:
The problem here is: delay in justice. Both the suggested courses of action will solve the problem. I will solve it because
if courts speed up, justice would not be delayed. II will solve it because it would create other forums for settlement of
disputes and this will automatically mean faster rate of dispensing of justice. Also, neither of the suggested actions is
objectionable in any way. Hence, both of them follow.

09. Statement: The Librarian finds some cases in which the pages from certain books issued from the library are torn.
Course of action:
I. The librarian should keep a record of books issued by each student and if the pages are found torn, strict measures
should be taken against the child who had been issued that book.
II. Some funds should be collected from the children collectively to renovate the library.
Explanation:
The problem: some students tear the pages off the books issued to them. Will I solve the problem? Yes, obviously.
Hence, I follows. But II doesn’t The renovation of library is not the issue.

10. Statement: Passengers travelling by the Indian Railways face a lot of hardships and inconveniences.
Course of action:
I. Efforts should be made to stop overcrowding in trains.
II. Facilities for safe and pure drinking water should be provided.
III. The railway stations and platforms should be made more clean and hygienic.
Explanation:
All the recommendations would be positive steps towards a solution of the problem, i.e., hardships and inconvenience
to passengers. Hence, all follow.

11. Statement: The problem of female infanticide has still not disappeared from our society.
Course of action:
I. Serve punishment should begiven to those who indulge in female infanticide.
II. Efforts should be made to eradicate illiteracy.
III. Child labour should be banned.
Explanation:
I is obviously a proper course of action. Also, it is an established fact that there is a direct correlation between female
infanticide and illiteracy. Hence, II follows. But there is no obvious relation between child labour and female infanticide.
Hence, III does not follow.

12. Statement: India has been facing the problem of child labour despite several legislations.
Course of action:
I. India should treat child labour as a trivial issue.
II. Child labour should be declared civil offence.
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III. Children indulging in such activities should be punished.


Explanation:
I is of course rubbish: it talks of escaping from a problem. II is not proper: civil offence means that we are making it
lighter because it is a criminal offence presently. III is also not proper. To stop child labour we must stop and punish
those who employ children. To punish the innocent children themselves would be in human.

13. Statement: Despite the provision of legal punishments, the system of dowry remains prevalent in our society.
Course of action:
I. Focus should be diverted to proper execution of the legal provisions.
II. The youth should be enforced by the Parliament against dowry.
III. The youth should be persuaded to rebel against their parents and indulge in no dowry marriages.
Explanation:
If legal provisions have proved inadequate, will it means either or both will follow: one, that the provisions are not
adequate (hence I follows) and two, that the provisions are not adequate (hence II follows). III could have been accepted
but it carries the objectionable advice of rebelling against the parents.

14. Statement: Crores of rupees are spent each year for the purpose of removing illiteracy, but the plan has failed to
deliver.
Course of action:
I. The spending should be permanently abandoned.
II. The spending should be temporarily halted.
III. The government should employ funds in some more rewarding areas.
Explanation:
None follows. All the suggested courses of action suggest that spending money on illiteracy is almost a wastage. This
attitude is wrong.

15. Statement: Some newspapers have alleged that some of our eminent sportsmen offered bribe to their adversary
team to ensure victory.
Course of action:
I. The concerned sportsmen should be suspended form all active participation in sports.
II. The concerned sportsmen should file a defamation suit against the newspapers.
III. Proper enquiry should be done regarding the matter.
Explanation:
The statement does not say whether all allegations are true or false. IF they are true, II will not follow; if they are false, I
will not follow. As per the information given at present, only III follows unquestionably.
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