CAT Questions | Critical Reasoning – Assumptions and Conclusions

IMPORTANCE OF THE TOPIC IN VARIOUS EXAMINATIONS 

Critical Reasoning – Assumptions and Conclusions is one such topic of Verbal Ability which is high-scoring and it comes in most of the MBA Entrance exams like GMAT, XAT, MAT, and CMAT. The assumption of an argument is the basis for establishing the conclusion. 

Critical Reasoning questions that ask about assumptions are only based upon unstated assumptions. Unstated assumptions are present in arguments that are not entirely complete. There is thus at least one significant gap in such an argument.

It is one such question which involves the ability to reason, analyzing, evaluating, decision making as well as problem-solving. It entails effective communication and problem-solving ability. Critical thinking skills are quite beneficial as they allow a candidate to come out of any adverse situation. 

Questions related to Assumptions and Conclusions have been very frequent in recent years, so this topic is very important for scoring high marks. Three to four questions every year can be expected. 

 XAT, SNAP, and GMAT come up with a lot of Assumptions and Conclusion questions, so to score high one must be thorough with these.

 

LIST OF CONCEPTS

  • Concept of Assumption – an unstated or hidden fact that supports the conclusion
  • Concept of Conclusion – Totally based on facts and is based upon the argument
  • Learning about the different types of Arguments – Deductive and Non-deductive
  • The concept of Elimination method – Eliminating assumptions and then choosing from fewer options which prove to be more convenient for the correct answer 
  • The concept of Negation – Selecting an answer that occupies the sample space that in return excludes the original choice
FREQUENCY OF ASSUMPTIONS & CONCLUSION QUESTIONS IN THE VARIOUS MBA ENTRANCE EXAMS
 
CAT 

 

YEARSLOTNO OF QUESTIONSGOOD ATTEMPTDIFFICULTY LEVEL
2019
132Easy
231Difficult
2018
133Easy
222Easy

XAT 

YEARNO OF QUESTIONSGOOD ATTEMPTDIFFICULTY LEVEL
202064Moderate
201953Moderate-Difficult
201853Moderate

SNAP

 

YEARNO OF QUESTIONSGOOD ATTEMPTDIFFICULTY LEVEL
2019
201822Easy
201721Moderate
201611Easy

 

ASSUMPTIONS & CONCLUSIONS QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

1. Statement: The State government has decided to appoint four thousand primary school teachers during the next financial year

 Assumptions:

1. There are enough schools in the state to accommodate four thousand additional primary school teachers
2. The eligible candidates may not be interested to apply as the government may not finally appoint such a large number of primary school teachers

A. Only assumption I is implicit
B. Only assumption II is implicit
C. Either I or II is implicit
D. Neither I nor II is implicit
E. Both I and II are implicit

Option A

Explanation: Because such decisions as given in the statement are finalised only after taking the existing vacancies are taken into consideration. So, I implicit while II isn’t

 

2. Statement: A warning in a train compartment – “To stop train, pull chain. Penalty for improper use 500”
Assumptions:

1. Some people misuse the alarm chain
2. On certain occasions, people may want to stop a running train

A. Only assumption I is implicit
B. Only assumption II is implicit
C. Either I or II is implicit
D. Neither I nor II is implicit
E. Both I and II are implicit

Option E

 

Explanation: Clearly, it can be stated that the penalty is imposed to prevent people from misusing the alarm chain. This means that some people misuse it. So, I is implicit. The alarm chain is provided to stop the running train in times of urgency. So, II is also implicit

 

3. Statement: If it is easy to become an engineer, I don’t want to be an engineer

Assumptions:

1. An individual aspires to be professional
2. One desires to achieve a thing which is hard earned

A. Only assumption I is implicit
B. Only assumption II is implicit
C. Either I or II is implicit
D. Neither I nor II is implicit
E. Both I and II are implicit

 

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Option B

Explanation: Nothing is mentioned about the professional nature of the job. So, I is not implicit. The statement also gives us a hint that one rejects a thing that is easy to achieve. So, II is implicit

 

4. Statement: The concession in rail fares for the journey to hill stations has been cancelled because it is not needed for people who can spend their holidays there

 Assumptions:

1. Railways should give concession only to needy persons
2. Railways should not encourage people to spend their holidays at hill stations

A. Only assumption I is implicit
B. Only assumption II is implicit
C. Either I or II is implicit
D. Neither I nor II is implicit
E. Both I and II are implicit

Option A

Explanation: The statement mentions that concessions should not be given to people who can afford to spend holidays in hill stations. This means they should be given only to needy persons. So, I is implicit. But, II does not follow from the statement and is not implicit

 

How to deal with the topic preparation

LEVEL 1

  1. Students are supposed to have basic knowledge of the narrative the argument forms
  2. They should be quick in choosing the correct assumption 
  3. Students must be able to eliminate the assumptions which seem not to match
  4. They must be aware of the fact that Assumptions are always indefinite and positive
  5. They must not compare the different assumptions
  6. Students should read the statement with an approach that the assumptions would be true with regard to the statement

 

LEVEL 2

  1. Some words like some, to large extent, many, much, exist in the assumptions. The key learning is that the assumption will always be implicit (True)
  2. Any assumption that is conveying the message of advertisement or notice will also be always true
  3. Any assumption that is talking about the past and future, that assumption will always be explicit (False)
  4. Any assumption that is talking about social welfare ( positive ), government policies then will always be true 
  5. If any assumption shows the words like a suggestion, order, request then that particular assumption will be Implicit. A Restatement is never implicit
  6. The Negation of the assumption is one of the most common methods to arrive at the right answer choice. In other words, if your assumption is correct, negating it will weaken your conclusion

 

LEVEL 3

Students should not go too logical with the questions as that would just make it very complicated. Common assumptions are safe to follow but other than that one should not align the statement with General Knowledge and facts. Try to answer Assumptions and Conclusion questions from the advanced level of previous cat papers, mock tests, and materials. Finish all the concepts used, examples, and questions given in the recommended book along with miscellaneous exercises. The Critical Reasoning book by K Sinha Nishit is very helpful. Also the book “Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible” is of huge value for critical reasoning questions. But it is suggested to go through any one of these books simply to avoid confusion. Reference books by a few authors are helpful but a candidate should choose that totally based upon his standards. Taking too much time for advanced questions will be harmful to crack the exam. Finally, students need to practice as many questions as they can to get a hold of the concepts and find solutions fast. Practice will always help a candidate to crack the assumption and conclusion questions