Critical Reasoning : A Few Tricks of The Trade

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So with a few days to go for our End semester examinations at NALSAR, here are a few tips which might help you towards a few questions of CR.

I am now posting a few questions along with the answers and the reasoning behind it such that all of you can get a hang of and understand the method.

So now let’s begin:

1) Statement: Saroj drafted an application to the bank for a loan of Rs. 1,80,000 by
mortgaging her house to the bank and promised to repay the amount within 5
years.

Assumptions:

I. The bank has a practice of granting loans for Rs. 1,00,000 and above.

II. The bank accepts a house as a collateral security against such loans

i) Both are implicit
ii) Only I is implicit
iii) Only II is implicit
iv) None of these

The answer to this question will be i) Both are implicit
Now the technique to solve these questions is very simple.
The first thing that you all have to do is negate the Assumptions given. In this example Assumption I states “The Bank has a practice of Granting loans for Rs.1,00,000 and above.”
The negation will be:
The Bank DOES NOT have a practice of……..”
Now if this is the assumption then the Statement falls, because if the bank does not have a practice of granting loans above Rs. 1 lakh then why has Saroj drafted an application of more.
Hence the author has ASSUMED that a bank has such a practice and has made the statement.
Similarly the negation for Assumption II will be, “The bank DOES NOT accept….”
So if the Bank does not accept houses as collateral security then there is no point of the application for the loan.

The basic point is that after negating the Assumptions if the Statement seems stupid or the statement falls, The positive statement is definitely an assumption.

2) Statement: War begins in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men that defences against war have to be built.

Assumptions:

I Individuals are responsible for waging war.

II Wars arise because people do not believe in solving matters through peaceful talks.
i) Both are implicit
ii) Only I is implicit
iii) Only II is implicit
iv) None of these

The answer over here is ii) Only I is implicit
If we look at “negated” assumption I  Individuals are NOT responsible for waging war.
If this is so then war cannot begin in the minds of men, as men are individuals.
Hence I is an assumption.
But “negated” assumption II  Wars WILL NOT Arise because people BELIEVE in solving matters through peaceful talks.
Now the NEGATED assumption II falls in line with the statement as if peaceful talks will disallow wars from arising then defences can be built in the minds of men.
Hence the NEGATED statement is an Assumption and not the given one. Hence Assumption II is not Implicit.

Another Type of question that can be asked is as follows:

q.1) Should government officials be transferred from one state to
another?

I Yes, because it will boost national integration.

II No, because more government officials are required in the capital.

i) Both are forceful
ii) Only I is forceful
iii) Only II is
forceful
iv) None of these

Now in such questions you have to use simple logic and to some extent your General Knowledge.
The answer here is iv) None of these
I is not forceful because shifting govt officials does not necessarily boost national integration. Govt. officials have been moving throughout states for years and I think we all know that communal riots still happen. It is a very weak argument
II is not forceful as well. Thinking practically there will be more government officials required in areas where there is no or very low amount of representation ans where there is work required to be done. In capitals which are definitely developed and also people will replace the individuals leaving their post it wont really make that big a difference. Again this is a weak argument. I have shown you two flaws.
There is no such trick to these questions. You Just have to be practical.

I am posting a few questions. Please give them a try and post questions in the ASK US section for any doubts.

1. Statement: In order to implement an efficient and effective administration, party workers demanded the Minister to adhere to ‘one man, one post’.
Assumptions:

I Human beings are incapable of being efficient in more than one sphere in
life.

II A person attending to only administration or party work will be able to do
justice to that post.

i) Both are implicit
ii) Only I is implicit
iii) Only II is implicit
iv) None of these

2. Statement:
The thing that makes you exceptional is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.

Assumptions:

I No person can identify with the crowd if he is exceptional.

II Men who are exceptional are always lonely by nature.

i) Both are implicit
ii) Only I is implicit
iii) Only II is implicit
iv) None of these

3. Should the post of governor be abolished?

I Yes, because the government should do away with unnecessary posts in the
system.

II No, because governors are the agents of the opposition party.

i) Both are forceful
ii) Only I is forceful
iii) Only II is forceful
iv) None of these

4. Should old-age pension be introduced in India?

I Yes, because it is the most important social necessity.

II No, because it will be a very heavy burden on the state.

i) Both are forceful
ii) Only I is forceful
iii) Only II is forceful
iv) None of these

5. Should we have open book system of examinations?

I Yes, because that will eliminate mugging up techniques.

II No, because this is not a true test.

i) Both are forceful
ii) Only I is forceful
iii) Only II is forceful
iv) None of these

6. Should all industries in India be nationalised?

I Yes, because that is the only way to increase production.

II No, because innovations will not be possible.

i) Both are forceful
ii) Only I is forceful
iii) Only II is forceful
iv) None of these

7. Statement: If it does not rain throughout this month, most farmers would be in trouble this year.

Assumptions:

I Timely Rain is essential for farming

II Most farmers are generally dependent on Rains.

i) Only Assumption I is implicit
ii) Only Assumption II is Implicit
iii) Both are Implicit
iv) None are implicit

8. Statement: The school authorities have decided to increase the number of students in each classroom to seventy from the next academic session to bridge the gap between income and expenditure to a large extent

Assumptions:

I The income generated by the fees of additional students will be sufficient enough to bridge the gap.

II The school will get all the additional students in each class from the next academic session

i.) Only I is implicit
ii.) Only II is implicit
iii.) Both are Implicit
iv.) Neither are implicit

9. Statement: “A visit of school children to the forest to widen their knowledge of Natural resources has been arranged.”- A notice in school

Assumptions:

I Forests are full of natural resources

II Children are likely to learn from their interaction with new environment.

i.) Only I is implicit
ii.) Only II is implicit
iii.) Both are Implicit
iv.) None are implicit

10. An advertisement in a newspaper- “Wanted unmarried, presentable, matriculate girls between 18 and 21, able to speak English fluently to be taken as models.

Assumptions:

I Fluency in English is a prerequisite for good performance as a model

II Height does not matter in performing as a model.
i.) Only I is implicit
ii.) Only II is implicit
iii.) Both are Implicit
iv.) None are implicit

Answer Key:
1.)iii
2.)ii
3.)iv
4.)ii
5.)iv
6.)iv
7.)iii
8.)i
9.)iii
10.)i

I hope that this article helps you to do better with these questions.
Please post further doubts or queries in the ASK US section.
We will be glad to answer.
All the best,
Nishant Prasad
CLATGyan team

30 COMMENTS

  1. hey i cn’t get d answers of Q5 N Q2. IN ur process of negating d sentence i still cn’t get d correct answer 4 Q2. can u plz xplain me. n in Q5 D OPEN BOOK SYSTEM will ultimately lessen d mugging up techniques of many students n at d same tym its not a fair test. den y is d answer 2 dis question is NONE OF THESE. PLZZZZZZZZZZ do let me know where am wrong.

  2. @paaras
    yes paaras major questions are the ones you sent. We decided to use them as a way to explain them to you as well as everyone else.
    I hope you dont mind.
    🙂

    @chinamyee
    I’ll send u a mail with the reasoning separately. We are in the process of preparing for our end semesters so please bear with a few delays this week till oct 29th.
    As far as Q5 is concerned, its not that it isnt a fair test as if you have given open book tests its not that they are unfair because the questions are not direct questions. they are generally application of the matter available to you in the text. So you can use the book for some help but the answer depends on whether you have understood or not.

    But yes it does eliminate mugging techniques. Sorry for the error.

    The answer for Q5 will be ii).

  3. hey nishant,

    am really glad dat u answered 2 my queries. am sure once ur semesters r ovr u’ll surely send me d explanation of Q2 . ITS OKAY I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. instead i really wanted 2 thank u 4 providing us wid such gud techniques to solve dese tricky probs…….. once u r free plz do let us know d techniques 2 solve other probs specifically d techniques 4 STRENGHTENING N WEAKENING THE ARGUMENTS AND SYLLOGISMS…….. ALL THE BEST 4 UR EXAMSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

  4. Sir could you please provide me with the explanation for Q2 and Q4…doubts for Q2 is already discussed above by chinmayee…bt in Q4 how can we consider old-age pension scheme as the MOST IMPORTANT SOCIAL NECESSITY…..???there can be other important social necessities as well like poverty eradication…

  5. @Anando

    Really sorry guys i overlooked MOST important in Q4.
    Now another tip. Always be careful of words like “most”, “might”, “maybe”..these might change ur answers.
    If the option had stated that old age pensions is “one of the most important” social necessities it is forceful. But since most is used it loses force as most definitely there are other equally major social necessities as well..

    So really sorry guys for this…there are 2 errors in this article. But its good to see that you all are catching on to the “thinking” i was talking about in my first article. 😉
    So I will try my level best to keep the mistakes to a minimum.
    But CR being such a subject please excuse me if minor errors occur in the future.

    But this definitely does not mean that if u get a separate answer that I am wrong ok!
    😛

    So the answer for Q4 is iv– i.e none are forceful!

  6. pertaining to ques. no. 8, why can’t assumption II be implicit? If school authority has decided to increase the number of students to seventy then it must have assumed that they will get all the required students.

  7. Thnks nishant….errors do happen……..but its also necessary to check ourselves and how we carry on solving questions and get the correct answer…

  8. in Q5, dosnt the assumption that ‘open book tests COMPLETELY ELIMINATE mugging ‘stand on flimsy ground…because there is still a possibility of a faction who mug up info. to save time or for reasons best known to them…in that case the answer is “iv “.

    in Q8,isnt assumption ll strong too…because the reason the school increased its strength is because it is aware of its increasing demand ….plz clarify

  9. hey Nishant!
    In Q.8, the first assumption –
    The income generated by the fees of additional students will be sufficient enough to bridge the gap.

    You used the word ‘will’ which weakens the argument. Shouldn’t it be ‘The income generated by the fees of additional students MAY be sufficient enough to bridge the gap.’? When we say something WILL happen, we are cent percent sure. But how can we be sure here that it would definitely, by all means, bridge that gap???

    And shouldn’t the answer to question 4 be iii? Argument ii is forceful because providing this pension would, for sure, be a financial strain for the country.
    Reply soon!!! Or mail me your explanation.

  10. i still haven’t understood as to how to decide between the options- both and either…
    plz plz plz help me out with this…

    • You choose ”both” when both the given options facilitate the cause/solve the problem and can go along together. You choose ”either” when only one of the options can be followed due to them being contradictory to each other.

      Hypothetical Eg: A govt. official has been accused of taking bribes.
      (a) Suspend him
      (b) Don’t suspend him.

      You’re bound to choose ”either” one of these, right?

  11. in q.10, i guess presentable includes “height n weight”……am i correct or is it that the question has to be worked out differently ??

    But guyz, this is an awesome job and i love clat gyan…….

  12. hey…i wanted to know the reason for choosing ans (i) and Not (iii) in ques. 8…… and ques. 6 why is the ans None..? cant it be (iii) ??

  13. hi,
    m pravesh…i didnt uderstand the 2nd example u hav given that”war begins in the minds of men……”..can u please explain me this technique…plz help me out..i m eagerly waitin for ur guidance..please

  14. HEY !! i din’t understood the logic behind these question . i’ll be vry grateful if u could xplain the technique to do these question in brief . i am looking forward for u r reply . 

  15. Can you mail me the explanation for Q.8? Shouldn’t it option iv as we cannot be sure whether the income generated by the fees of additional students will be sufficient enough to bridge the gap? HOW CAN WE BE CERTAIN ?

  16. Q-8
    ASSUMPTION 2
    this assumption is clearly stated in the statement and that too in almost same words…how can it not be an assumption.???

  17. Q8 ..assumption 2nd …
    This assumption states that the school authority thinks that they would get the additional students. Won’t it be an assumption. if a schools thinks to increase the no. of seats they assume that they will be filled.

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