The CLATGyan Blogpost
Writing Competition - 2013
The difference between an inference and a conclusion
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 15:13
Two very important type of questions you will get is based on conclusions and inferences, Now in an instant moment they will sound very familiar to you. But both these concepts are poles apart.
Now you may wonder as to why do we need to know literal differences in meaning for CLAT. Sorry to inform you guys, but CR in CLAT is tougher and more twisted than you think and this article might be the reason for your various wrong answers in practice papers.
Now the type of questions you will get will be either that you will be given a statement or passage and they will ask you “What is the inference?” or “what is the Conclusion?” that you arrive at.
Advice 1: ALWAYS READ THE PASSAGE FIRST. I am saying this again and again. Reading the options before will not only confuse you but if you consider yourself really smart will introduce bias in your thinking and you will mark the wrong answer.
Advice 2: Read ALL the options carefully. Do not read option A and decide this is the answer and mark it. Read all the options as there might just be a closer answer and that’s what the examiner wants from you.
Advice 3: Always keep a track of time while doing CR. Sometimes you do not realize and you lose so much time in CR that you have very less time for sections where you can score.
Now coming to Inference and Conclusion:
Now you must understand that from an inference is when you go from
SPECIFIC –> GENERAL
For example: Bidya and Rupali, two Indians were the only two people who adopted dogs from the International Home of Disabled Dogs run by Ms.Hallo.
Now an inference for this statement will be that: “Most girls are sympathetic towards disabled dogs.”
And Conclusion is when you go from
GENERAL –> SPECIFIC
For Example: Dr.AJ tried a chemical X on his two mice and they both turned blue due to blockage of the lungs and died.
The Conclusion would be:
I.) If chemical X is applied to any mouse he shall turn blue and die due to its inability to breathe.
To distinguish, the inference to this statement would be,
II.) “Chemicals can be harmful to Mice”
These are not CLAT level questions and not even very correct, but I used these examples to try and help you grasp what I am trying to say here.
I hope you have understood.
Also, One other important difference between Inferences and conclusions Is that:
Conclusions MAY be stated in the statement or passage itself. It is not necessary that it be so.
However inferences are NEVER stated in the passage.
Taking the above example of Dr.AJ –> If both the statements were given as options and the question was to figure out the inference then even though statement I sounds more correct, the inference will be statement II because statement I has SPECIFICS from the passage such as “Chemical X” and turn blue.
Do not keep these examples as a benchmark. These are not illustrative of clat questions but just few example to help you understand the concept.
Let us take an example from the exercise given earlier,
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.
I know that most of you will be immediately say that the answer is option a and you would be correct if they had asked for a conclusion,
But since they asked for inference your answer changes to c.
Option a states a clear fact as stated in the passage that 15 years ago very few people had successful surgery . But we “infer” from the passage that even though new technology which restores vision is cheaper due to its success rate obviously more people will undertake it because an added advantage is that its cheap. Hence the total amount of money spent on cataract surgery has increased.
Please keep these 2 factors in mind:
- Inference – Specific –> General
- Conclusion—General –> Specific
And Another important thing: PLEASE READ THE QUESTION ENTIRELY AND PROPERLY. Do not assume the question to be inference or conclusion. Be very careful before answering.
All your doubts are welcome. Hope this article helps you out.
All the Best,
The CLATGyan Team.
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