Chapter 4: CRITICAL REASONING
There are ten short arguments given below. Read each of the
passages and answer the question that follows it.
Q. In a recent report, the gross enrolment ratios at the primary level, that is, the number of children
enrolled in classes one to five as a proportion of all children aged six to ten, were shown to be very
high for most states; in many cases they were way above 100 per cent! These figures are not worth
anything, since they are based on the official enrolment data compiled from school records. They
might as well stand for 'gross exaggeration ratios'.
Which one of the following options best supports the claim that the ratios are exaggerated?
The definition of gross enrolment ratio does not exclude, in its numerator, children below six
years or above ten years enrolled in classes one to five.
A school attendance study found that many children enrolled in the school records were not
meeting a minimum attendance requirement of 80 per cent.
A study estimated that close to 22 per cent of children enrolled in the class one records were
below 6 years of age and still to start going to school.
Demographic surveys show shifts in the population profile which indicate that the number of
children in the age group six to ten years is declining.
Ans . C
Q. Szymanski suggests that the problem of racism in football may be present even today. He begins
by verifying an earlier hypothesis that clubs' wage bills explain 90 per cent of their performance.
Thus, if players' salaries were to be only based on their abilities, clubs that spend more should
finish higher. If there is pay discrimination against some group of players — fewer teams bidding for
black players thus lowering the salaries for blacks with the same ability as whites — that neat
relation may no longer hold. He concludes that certain clubs seem to have achieved much less than
what they could have, by not recruiting black players.
Which one of the following findings would best support Szymanski's conclusion?
Certain clubs took advantage of the situation by hiring above-average shares of black players.
Clubs hired white players at relatively high wages and did not show proportionately good
During the study period, clubs in towns with a history of discrimination against blacks, under-
performed relative to their wage bills.
Clubs in one region, which had higher proportions of black players, had significantly lower wage
bills than their counterparts in another region which had predominantly white players.
Ans . B
Q. The pressure on Italy's 257 jails has been increasing rapidly. These jails are old and overcrowded.
They are supposed to hold up to 43,000 people — 9,000 fewer than now. San Vittore in Milan, which
has 1,800 inmates, is designed for 800. The number of foreigners inside jails has also been increasing.
The minister-in-charge of prisons fears that tensions may snap, and so has recommended to the
government an amnesty policy.
Which one of the following, if true, would have most influenced the recommendation of the minister?
Opinion polls have indicated that many Italians favour a general pardon.
The opposition may be persuaded to help since amnesties must be approved by a two-thirds
majority in parliament.
During a recent visit to a large prison, the Pope, whose pronouncements are taken seriously,
appealed for 'a gesture of clemency'.
Shortly before the recommendation was made, 58 prisons reported disturbances in a period of
Ans . D
Q. The offer of the government to make iodised salt available at a low price of one rupee per kilogram is
welcome, especially since the government seems to be so concerned about the ill effects of noniodised
salt. But it is doubtful whether the offer will actually be implemented. Way back in 1994, the
in an earlier effort, had prepared reports outlining three new and simple but experimental
for reducing the costs of iodisation to about five paise per kilogram. But these reports have
just those —
reports on paper.
Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the author's contention that it is doubtful whether
the offer will be actually implemented?
The government proposes to save on costs by using the three methods it has already devised for
The chain of fair-price distribution outlets now covers all the districts of the state.
Many small-scale and joint-sector units have completed trials to use the three iodisation methods
for regular production.
The government which initiated the earlier effort is in place even today and has more information
on the effects of non-iodised salt.
Ans . C
Q. About 96 per cent of Scandinavian moths have ears tuned to the ultrasonic pulses that bats, their
predators, emit. But the remaining 4 per cent do not have ears and are deaf. However, they have a
larger wingspan than the hearing moths, and also have higher wing-loadings — the ratio between a
wing's area and its weight — meaning higher manoeuvrability.
Which one of the following can be best inferred from the above passage?
A higher proportion of deaf moths than hearing moths fall prey to bats.
Deaf moths may try to avoid bats by frequent changes in their flight direction.
Deaf moths are faster than hearing moths, and so are less prone to becoming a bat's dinner
than hearing moths.
The large wingspan enables deaf moths to better receive and sense the pulses of their bat
Ans . B
Q. Argentina's beef cattle herd has dropped to under 50 million from 57 million ten years ago in 1990.
The animals are worth less too: prices fell by over a third last year, before recovering slightly. Most
local meat packers and processors are in financial trouble, and recent years have seen a string of
plant closures. The Beef Producers Association has now come up with a massive advertisement
campaign calling upon Argentines to eat more beef — their 'juicy, healthy, rotund, plate-filling'
Which one of the following, if true, would contribute most to a failure of the campaign?
There has been a change in consumer preference towards eating leaner meats like chicken and
Prices of imported beef have been increasing, thus making locally grown beef more competitive
in terms of pricing.
The inability to cross-breed native cattle with improved varieties has not increased production to
Animal rights pressure groups have come up rapidly, demanding better and humane treatment
of farmyard animals like beef cattle.
Ans . A
Q. The problem of traffic congestion in Athens has been testing the ingenuity of politicians and town
planners for years. But the measures adopted till date have not succeeded in decreasing the number
of cars on the road in the city centre. In 1980, an odds and evens number-plate legislation was
introduced, under which odd and even plates were banned in the city centre on alternate days,
thereby expecting to halve the number of cars in the city centre. Then in 1993, it was decreed that
all cars in use in the city centre must be fitted with catalytic converters; a regulation had just then
been introduced, substantially reducing import taxes on cars with catalytic converters, the only
condition being that the buyer of such a 'clean' car offered for destruction a car at least 15-year-old.
Which one of the following options, if true, would best support the claim that the measures adopted
to date have not succeeded?
In the 1980s, many families purchased second cars with the requisite odd or even number plate.
In the mid-1990s, many families found it feasible to become first-time car owners by buying a
car more than 15-year-old and turning it in for a new car with catalytic converters
Post-1993, many families seized the opportunity to sell their more than 15-year-old cars and
buy 'clean' cars from the open market, even if it meant forgoing the import tax subsidy.
All of the above
Ans . D
Q. Although in the limited sense of freedom regarding appointments and internal working, the
independence of the Central Bank is unequivocally ensured, the same cannot be said of its right to
pursue monetary policy without coordination with the Central Government. The role of the Central
Bank has turned out to be subordinate and advisory in nature.
Which one of the following best supports the conclusion drawn in the passage?
A decision of the chairman of the Central Bank to increase the bank rate by two percentage
points sent shock-waves in industry, academic and government circles alike.
Government has repeatedly resorted to monetisation of the debt despite the reservations of the
The Central Bank does not need the Central Government's nod for replacing soiled currency
The inability to remove coin shortage was a major shortcoming of this government.
Ans . B
Q. The Shveta-chattra or the 'White Umbrella' was a symbol of sovereign political authority placed over
the monarch's head at the time of the coronation. The ruler so inaugurated was regarded not as a
temporal autocrat but as the instrument of protective and sheltering firmament of supreme law. The
white umbrella symbol is of great antiquity and its varied use illustrates the ultimate common basis
of non-theocratic nature of states in the Indian tradition. As such, the umbrella is found, although not
necessarily a white one, over the head of Lord Ram, the Mohammedan sultans and Chatrapati
Which one of the following best summarises the above passage?
The placing of an umbrella over the ruler's head was a common practice in the Indian subcontinent.
The white umbrella represented the instrument of firmament of the supreme law and the non-
theocratic nature of Indian states.
The umbrella, not necessarily a white one, was a symbol of sovereign political authority
The varied use of the umbrella symbolised the common basis of the non-theocratic nature of
states in the Indian tradition.
Ans . D
Q. The theory of games is suggested to some extent by parlour games such as chess and bridge.
Friedman illustrates two distinct features of these games. First, in a parlour game played for money,
if one wins the other (others) loses (lose). Second, these games are games involving a strategy. In
a game of chess, while choosing what action is to be taken, a player tries to guess how his/her
opponent will react to the various actions he or she might take. In contrast, the card-pastime,
'patience' or 'solitaire' is played only against chance.
Which one of the following can best be described as a 'game'?
The team of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest for the first time in human
A national level essay writing competition.
A decisive war between the armed forces of India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Oil Exporters' Union deciding on world oil prices, completely disregarding the countries which
have at most minimal oil production
Ans . C
From the alternatives, choose the one which correctly classifies the four sentences as a
F : Fact : If it relates to a known matter of direct observation, or an existing reality or something known to
J : Judgement : If it is an opinion or estimate or anticipation of common sense or intention.
I : Inference : If it is a logical conclusion or deduction about something based on the knowledge of facts.
Q.A. If India has embarked on the liberalization route, she cannot afford to go back.
B. Under these circumstances, being an active supporter of WTO policies will be a good idea.
C. The WTO is a global organization aiming at freer trade.
D. Many member countries have already drafted plans to simplify tariff structures.
Q.A. The Minister definitely took the wrong step.
B. Under the circumstances, he had many other alternatives.
C. The Prime Minister is embarrassed due to the Minister's decision.
D. If he has put the government in jeopardy, the Minister must resign.
Q.A. The ideal solution will be to advertise aggressively.
B. One brand is already popular amongst the youth.
C. Reducing prices will mean trouble as our revenues are already dwindling.
D. The correct solution will be to consolidate by aggressive marketing
Q.A. If democracy is to survive the people must develop a sense of consumerism.
B. Consumerism has helped improve the quality of goods in certain countries.
C. The protected environment in our country is helping the local manufacturers.
D. The quality of goods suffers if the manufacturers take undue advantage of this.
Q.A. Unless the banks agree to a deferment of the interest, we cannot show profits this year.
B. This would not have happened had we adopted a stricter credit scheme.
C. The revenues so far cover only the cost and salaries.
D. Let us learn a lesson: we cannot make profits without complete control over credit.
Q.A. Qualities cannot be injected into one's personality.
B. They are completely dependent on the genetic configuration that one inherits.
C. Hence changing our inherent traits is impossible as the genes are unalterable.
D. The least one can do is to try and subdue the “bad qualities”.
Q.A. Everything is purposeless.
B. Nothing before and after the existence of the universe is known with certainty.
C. Man is a part of the purposeless universe; hence man is also purposeless.
D. There is only one way of adding purpose to this universe: Union with Him.
Q.A. Everyday social life is impossible without interpersonal relationships.
B. The root of many misunderstandings has been cited in poor relations among individuals.
C. Assuming the above to be true, social life will be much better if people understand the importance
of good interpersonal relations.
D. A study reveals that interpersonal relations and hence life in general can be improved with a little
effort on the part of individuals.
Q.A. The prices of electronic goods are falling.
B. Since we have substantial reductions in import duties, this is obvious.
C. The trend is bound to continue in the near future.
D. But the turnover of the electronic industry is still rising, because the consumers are increasing
at a rapid rate.
Q.A. In the past, it appears, wealth distribution, and not wealth creation has dominated the economic
B. Clearly, the government has not bothered to eradicate poverty.
C. Today's liberalization is far from the hitherto Nehruvian socialism.
D. Results are evident in the form of a boom in the manufacturing sector output and turnover of all
CAT Practise - This section contains statements followed by questions based on the
statements. Read the statements and select the best option as the answer.
Q.Unless you dedicate your whole life to it, you will never learn to speak the language of another country
to perfection; you will never know its people and its literature with complete intimacy.
Which of the following is likely to undermine the above argument?
- I can speak 10 foreign languages already.
- I do not travel to foreign countries.
- I am happy with the languages I know and do not need to learn any other language.
- I should spend time to understand my own people and literature first, only then can I appreciate other
languages and cultures.
Q.The writer can only be fertile if he renews himself and he can only renew himself, if his soul is constantly
enriched by fresh experience.
Which of the following is most likely to support the above thought?
- Only out of fresh experience can the writer get germs for new writing.
- The writer can meet new people.
- The writer must see new places.
- None of these
Q.But because the idea of private property has been permitted to override with its selfishness, the common
good of humanity it does not follow that there are not limits within which that idea can function for the
general convenience and advantage.
Which of the following is most likely to weaken the argument?
- All the people of the society should progress at an equitable rate and there should be no disparity
and private property does bring about a tremendous disparity.
- One should not strive for the common good of humanity at all, instead one should be concerned with
maximising one's own wealth.
- One should learn from the experiences of former communist nations and should not repeat his
mistakes at all.
- Even prosperous capitalist countries like the USA have their share of social problems.
Q.Now the audience is a very curious animal. It is shrewd rather than intelligent. Its mental capacity is less
than that of its most intellectual members. If these were graded from A to Z, decreasing with succeeding
letters to the zero of the hysterical shop-girl, I should say its mental capacity would come around about
the letter O.
According to the above statement,
- some members in the audience are more intelligent than any of its other members.
- the net intelligence of the audience is a little less than average.
- Only (a)
- Both (a) and (b)
Q.I have been studying it, consciously and subconsciously, for 40 years and I still find men unaccountable;
people I know intimately can surprise me by some action of theirs which I never thought them capable
of or by the discovery of some trait which exhibit a side of themselves that I never even suspected.
The idea in this sentence can be best summarised as
- men are inconsistent and therefore one should not be confident even about one's closest friends.
- men are unpredictable, one can never tell what they will do next; hence, one should be very careful
in one's dealings.
- no matter how closely you know somebody there still exists an unknown facet of his personality.
- None of these
Such type of questions expect users to either Strengthen an
argument, weaken an argument; identify a parallel argument;
identify the assumption; identify the inference; select the
Inference: If you come to me with a gun in
your hand then i infer that you want to harm me; Thus
inference helps us conclude that a certain thing is true in
the light of another thing being true.
Assumption: It is a belief that one holds
about something. It may differ from person to person and may
not be true or logical.
Assumptions can lead to inferences.
Situation: A girl is out late night.
Situation: A boy is going to a temple.
|Inference: That girl has a loose character.
||Inference: That boy is of a good character.
Assumption: Only girls with loose characters go out
Assumption: Anyone going to a temple is of good
Q. The average life expectancy for Indians
is 73.9 years. Mumbai born children live on an average till 71
years. Delhi born children live on an average till 60 years.
If a newly wed couple from Delhi were to move to Mumbai then
their children would live longer than if the couple stayed in
Which statement would weaken the conclusion drawn in the
A. Longetivity attributed to Mumbaites is
due to genetic reasons
- insurance companies don't believe that moving to Mumbai
will lengthen the life span;
- Longetivity attributed to Mumbaites is due to genetic
- 30% of Delhi people can expect to live longer than
Case II: Which statement would strengthen
the conclusion drawn in the passage.
A. Environmental factors tending to favor
longetivity are more in Mumbai then Delhi
- As population density increases in Mumbai life
expectancy is likely to be downwards;
- Environmental factors tending to favor longetivity are
more in Mumbai then Delhi;
- Over the last decade life expectancy has risen at higher
rate in Delhi than Mumbai;
- 25% of all Delhites who move to Mumbai live longer than
Q. The fewer restrictions there are on the
advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who
advertise their services, and the lawyers who advertise a
specific service usually charge less for that service than
lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore if the state removes
any of its current restrictions such as the ones against
advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall
consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains
Which of the below options are true if the above paragraph is
A. if the restrictions against
advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements is removed
more lawyers will advertise their services.
- Some lawyers who now advertise will charge more for
specific services if they do not have to specify fee
arrangements in the advertisements;
- more consumers will use legal services if there are
fewer restrictions on the advertising of legal services;
- if the restrictions against advertisements that do not
specify fee arrangements is removed more lawyers will
advertise their services;
- If more lawyers advertise, lawyers who do not advertise
will also charge less than they currently charge for those
Case II: Which statement if true would most
seriously weaken the argument concerning lowering legal cost
- The state has recently removed some other restrictions
that had limited the advertising of legal services;
- The state is unlikely to remove all restrictions on
- Most lawyers who now specify fee arrangements in their
advertisements would continue to do so even if the
specifications were not required.
- Most lawyers who advertise specific services do not
lower their fee for those services when they begin to
A. Most lawyers who advertise specific
services do not lower their fee for those services when they
begin to advertise.
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