Critical Reasoning Exercise – 1


Ok guys, So here are a few questions which are a mixed bag and some are not really a specific “type” of question to which there are tricks or methods to solve.

Don’t worry, wherever there are methods to be applied, we are there to guide you but this exercise shall also check your ablility in this section. You might not be able to get all questions and may not understand as to why some of the answers are right or wrong.

You can post your doubts and the answers with reasoning will be mailed to you directly.

Also one important thing during this test is to time yourself. There are 5 questions to be answered. These must be done in a maximum of 10 minutes. This is the speed you must have for CLAT. If you can do it faster then Great! Right now you might not be able to complete it within this time. Don’t worry. Keep practicing and you will get there.

1. Professor Lahiri must have revealed information that was embarrassing to the college. After all, to have been publicly censured by the head of the college, as Lahiri was, a professor must either have revealed information that embarrassed the college or has been guilty of gross professional negligence, and Lahiri’s professional behaviour is impeccable.

Which one of the following exhibits a pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

a. According to company policy, employees who are either frequently absent without notice or who are habitually late receive an official warning. Since Ms. Dhinka has never received such a warning, rumours that she is habitually late must be false.

b. Any employee of Janki, Patel, and Lanu, who discussed a client with a member of the press will either be fired or demoted. But since Janki employees never discuss their clients at all, no Janki employee will ever be demoted.

c. Anyone promoted to supervisor must either have worked on the shop floor for three years or have an influential sponsor. Babu, therefore, has an influential sponsor, since he was promoted to supervisor after a year on the shop floor.

d. Anyone who is either awarded a letter of commendation or who receives a bonus must be recommended by a company officer. Simon has been recommended by a company officer and will receive a bonus, so he must not have been awarded a letter of commendation.

Tip: There is no such method to solving such questions. You have to figure it out on your own. What I personally did was divide the question into Parts such as A,B,C etc. SO in this case Lahiri revealed information due to which he was censured is the conclusion which I mark as A. Two reasons could be revealing information which I mark as B or Gross professional negligence which I mark as C.

So A occurs only if B or C happens. But since C did not happen, A occurred due to B.

This is the pattern. The answers may not have the same pattern but the most similar is the one you have to mark. You will understand it once you try it. But be Quick! Don’t sit and divide. These divisions must be in your head mentally. Not wriiten in a rough sheet.

2. Slash and burn agriculture is the process of burning forest areas, leaving behind vegetable ash that provides fertilizer for three or four years of crops. On the cleared land nutrients come out of the soil, however, and the land is no longer good for farming. New land is then cleared by burning and the entire process starts again. Since most farming in tropical areas uses this method, forests there will eventually be permanently destroyed.

The argument depends on the assumption that:

a. Forests in tropical areas do not regenerate well enough to restore themselves once they have been cleared by the slash and burn method.

b. Other methods of agriculture are not as destructive to the environment in tropical regions as the slash and burn method is.

c. Forests in tropical areas are naturally deficient in nutrients that are needed for the growth of plants that are not native to those areas.

d. Slash and burn agriculture is most suitable for farming in tropical areas.

Tip: I have already dealt with these sort of questions in my previous article “A few Tricks of the Trade”. Have a look. 😀

3. In a jurisdiction where use of headlights is optional when visibility is good, drivers who use headlights are less likely to be involved in a collision than are drivers who use headlights only when visibility is poor. Yet Highway Safety Department records show that making use of headlights mandatory at all times does nothing to reduce the overall number of collisions.

Which of the following, if true, most helps resolve the apparent discrepancy in the paragraph above?

a. In jurisdictions where use of headlights is optional when visibility is good, one driver in four uses headlights for daytime driving in good weather.

b. A law making use of headlights mandatory at all times is not especially difficult to enforce.

c. Only very careful drivers use headlights when their use is not legally required.

d. There are some jurisdictions in which it is illegal to use headlights when visibility is good.

You are on your own here guys. There is no method. It all depends on the way you think. Try and figure out the discrepancy. Once you do that it becomes much easier to find the solution.

4. Recent advances in cataract surgery show that high-technology medicine is increasing the nation’s health care costs. Cataracts are a major cause of blindness, especially in elderly people. Fifteen years ago, cataract surgery was painful and not effective all the time. Due to new technology used in cataract surgery, the surgery now restores vision drastically and is not as expensive. These two factors have caused the number of cataract surgeries performed to increase, which has, in turn, driven up the total amount spent on cataract surgery.

Which one of the following can be inferred from the passage above?

a. Fifteen years ago, very few people had successful cataract surgery.

b. In the long term, the advantages of advanced medical technology will probably be out-weighed by the disadvantages.

c. The total amount spent on cataract surgery has increased because the increased number of people choosing to have the surgery more than offsets the decrease in cost per operation.

d. Fifteen years ago, cataract surgery was affordable for more people than it was last year.

Tip: Always read the passage first. Never read the options otherwise your reading unconsciously will become biased on what you think sounds correct. In such questions make sure that you are clear on the difference between a conclusion and an inference. I will write a separate article on that. Till then you must remember one basic thing. An Inference CAN NEVER BE STATED in the question while a conclusion may or may not be stated. And there’s a reason why this tip is under this question. So use your brains. 😛

You have to infer something from the passage not just state what is given in the passage.

5. All students at Jitnu College were asked to label themselves liberal, conservative or in-between politically. Of the students, 25 percent labeled themselves conservative, 24 percent labeled themselves liberal, and 51 percent labeled themselves in-between. When asked about a particular set of issues, however, 77 percent of the students endorsed what is generally regarded as a liberal position.

What would resolve the apparent discrepancy?

a. More students who labelled themselves in-between than students who labelled themselves liberal opposed what is defined as a liberal position on that set of issues.

b. The majority of students who labelled themselves in-between opposed what is defined as a liberal position on that set of issues.

c. Some students who labelled themselves liberal endorsed what is defined as a conservative position on that set of issues.

d. Some students who labelled themselves conservative endorsed what is defined as a liberal position on that set of issues.

Tip: Sometimes the most obvious answer IS the answer. Don’t get confused. 😉


  1. c
  2. b
  3. a
  4. c
  5. d

Best Of Luck,

Nishant Prasad,

The ClatGyan Team.


  1. hey nishant ! in question no.3 wats wrong wid option c ………….. it even suffices d query ….. right? confused between option a n c…….. how 2 overcum such probs?????

  2. Hey Chinamayee,
    Here the problem is that both the answers are to some extent correct.

    But the problem is that it depends on the question setter also as to what he thinks is the correct answer.

    I marked the answer as A because it is a specific which tells me that even if the law is enforced only 1 out of 4 drivers will most probably follow it and hence the discrepancy is resolved.

    To make it clear the discrepancy is how even after enforcing the mandatory law will the accidents tally remain the same.

    In a more general sense option c also solves the query, but since there is a fact given and you have to assume it as true if given in the question. Please remember even if something in the question is ridiculous and against your principles also…for your own benefit in the exam its ALWAYS true.

    So since its a fact, it gives me a distinct reason of why the no. of accidents remain the same. Hence I have marked that as the answer.
    Although certain question setters…might regard option c as the correct answer but in all probability the factual solution will be correct.
    Also again..all facts are not answers. So just dont see a fact and mark it as the answer. Read ALL options very carefully.

    Basically the more specific answer should be the one you mark.
    Hope that answers your question.

    • Check out the hint given with the question. The assertion statement states how A follows either due to B or C but since C is not in force, it happens due to B. The same explanation occurs in the case of option c. The question asks for similarity in reasoning, so there.

  3. how is “b” the answer of 2?…nowhere in d question is dere ne talk abt other agricultural methods and their positive or negative impact on the environment. it seems totally out of scope
    i think “a” shud b d answer fr Q2. he is assuming forests will not regenerate once d farmers move in and therefore will be forever destroyed.

    • No, (b) is the absolutely correct answer. It follows thus :
      The question’s last sentence states “Since most farming in tropical areas uses this method, forests there will eventually be permanently destroyed.” with respect to the Slash and Burn technique. It obviously assumes that other forms of agriculture have less harmful effects on the forest land and it is THIS technique that will eventually lead to the forests being permanently destroyed. Keep in mind option (a) is a fact, NOT an ASSUMPTION. 🙂

  4. This is really cool 🙂  These are exactly the kind of questions i thought i was bad at,so thank you,CG 🙂 But it turned out i got a 5 on 5 😛

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