How to Crack Critical Reasoning Questions in CAT 2013
When preparing for your examinations, you want to make sure that the answers you are choosing make sense logically in relation to the statement you are reading. In other words, anything can make sense, but you have to make sure it agrees with your question in order to get a great score in your entrance exam.
Mainly, there are two basic type of logical reasoning (critical reasoning) questions. The logic fro beginners has been explained below:
I. Critical Reasoning Type 1
“If X is true, then Y must be true. We know that X is in fact true. So Y must be true as well”
Whenever it’s sunny, I bring my sunglasses to work. It is sunny, so I shall bring my sunglasses to work today.
This sort of logical statement is called modus ponens. If you consider “it is raining” to be X and “I am bringing my sunglasses to work” to be Y, the statement fits the pattern wonderfully.
“The bells you can hear now are always rung during a funeral. Someone must have died!”
Technically it makes sense – if the bells are rung during a funeral and someone usually dead at a funeral, are they not? If you delve a little deeper you will realize this sentence is actually invalid. It doesn’t follow that the bells are only run when there is a funeral. The bells could also be ringing for a wedding, a baptism, etc. If you had said “The bells you can hear now are only rung…”, then this statement would be right.
Your invalid statement said that if X is true, then Y must be true. We know Y is true. So X must be true as well. Be careful you don’t mix up the causal effects of X and Y.
II. Critical Reasoning Type 2
“If X is true, then Y must be true. We know that Y is not in fact true. So X can’t be true either.”
Whenever it’s snowing, I am always in a good mood. I’m feeling quite down today, so the weather can’t be snowing today!
This type of statement is called the modus tollens. X = “The weather is snowing” and Y = “Good Mood”. If X causes Y, and Y is not true – then X cannot be true either. This statement logically makes sense.
“Ram plays basketball on a team. Winning a basketball game causes him to come into work with sweets for everyone the next day. He didn’t win his game yesterday, so I don’t think he will be handing out sweets today.”
This might seem like it makes sense at first. But Ram might hand out sweets today for any other reason as well – he also handed out sweets on his birthday, when he got a promotion and when he got engaged. Just because he didn’t win his game doesn’t mean he won’t give out sweets today. This is an incorrect statement – you just said that if X is true, then Y must be true. We know that X is not in fact true. So Y can’t be true either.
When you’re following the logic of a statement, disregard what you think you know. Try to focus only on the logic. Even if the statement includes facts which contradict your opinions, try to put it aside.
All turtles have feathers. I have a pet turtle. Therefore, I must have at least one pet that has feathers.
Turtles definitely don’t have feathers – you know that for a fact. But that statement is perfectly LOGICAL. It is a great example of modus ponens. When you maintain the ability to separate your opinion and the logic in that statement, you can start to tackle much harder logical statements that try to trick you