Critical Reasoning – Courses of Action

Importance of that topic in various exams

The course of action questions is a common type in Verbal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning questions where we have to conclude from the statements given. Based on the information given in the statement which if true, then-candidate decides which of the suggested courses of action logically follow. Just as in real life finding a course of action for certain difficulties is challenging so are these questions and need a logical frame of mind. Many MBA exams like CAT, CMAT, MAH-CET ask questions based on the course of action.

Though questions asked from this topic may be rare in CAT, but practise on a few sample questions is needed for other non-CAT exams.

Importance of questions in MBA exams from Courses of Action:

MAH CET

Courses of Action Question Analysis
YearNo of QuestionsGood attemptDifficulty
202033Moderate
201921Moderate to Difficult
201833Easy

CMAT

Courses of Action Question Analysis
YearNo of QuestionsGood attemptDifficulty
202011Easy
201932-3Moderate-Easy
201822Easy

 

Types of Course of Action questions:

Fact and Improvement based: 

When the question is a statement presenting some fact and options suggest the corrective course of action, they are fact and improvement based questions.

Note: These types of questions contain two or more statements and these are followed by some  Courses of Actions. You have to find which course of action will logically follow from the given statements in the options.

Problem and Solution based:

The question will contain a problem and the suggested courses of action will be provided in the options.

The correct solution should be practically possible and should pe an apt solution for the problem presented in the question. The solution should be feasible and applicable with respect to the problem.

 

Examples of questions from previous papers of various exams:

Question 1: 

Statement: A large number of people in ward X of the city are diagnosed to be suffering from a fatal malaria type.

Courses of Action: I. The city municipal authority should take immediate steps to carry out extensive fumigation in ward X.

The people in the area should be advised to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.

(1) Only I follows

(2) Only II follows

(3) Either I or II follows

(4) Neither I nor II follows

(5) Both I and II follow

 

Option 5 – Clearly, prevention from mosquitoes and elimination of mosquitoes are two ways to prevent malaria. The action will reduce the problem. So, both the courses follow.

Question 2:  Statement: Exporters in the capital are alleging that commercial banks are violating a Reserve Bank of India directive to operate a post-shipment export credit denominated in foreign currency at international rates from January this year.

Courses of Action: I. The officers concerned in the commercial banks are to be suspended.

II. The RBI should be asked to stop giving such directives to commercial banks.

(1) Only I follows

(2) Only II follows

(3) Either I or II follows

(4) Neither I nor II follows

(5) Both I and II follow

 

Option 4 – As mentioned in the statement, the commercial banks violate an RBI directive. The only course of action here would be to make the banks implement the Act, hence neither I or II follows.

Question 3: Statement: Severe drought is reported to have set in several parts of the country.

Courses of Action:

Government should immediately make arrangement for providing financial assistance to those affected.

Food, water and fodder should immediately be sent to all these areas to save the people and cattle.

A. Only I follows

B. Only II follows

C. Either I or II follows

D. Neither I nor II follows

E.Both I and II follow

 

Option B – In case of a natural calamity, the foremost duty of government is to provide basic ameneties essential to save lives. Providing financial assistance to everyone will put undue burden on the country’s resources, hence option B is correct.

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How to deal with that topic preparation

Level 1 

Questions based on courses of action need logical thinking and a deep understanding of the statement.

For level 1 questions some practice or going through a few questions from previous sample papers should be enough

Level 2 

A few tips on the course of action questions are none of the solutions will be extreme and be a solution for the course of action. The action should be positive steps towards the solution rather than harsh and undemocratic. Analyze course of action whether it will solve the problem or lessen it.

Level 3

These types of questions need an enormous amount of practice and logical thinking. Practice all sets of questions from difficult sets of past year papers for the true/false section.