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Logical Reasoning in CAT: How to factor strengths & weakness

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The questions based on merits of statements appear frequently under Logical Reasoning section of Common Admission Test (CAT) paper. You must tackle these questions strictly on the basis of information and arguments provided in the questions.

Any statement made for any reason may appear strong or weak, depending upon the supportive arguments. Logical reasoning questions of this type are placed before an aspirant to test his/her decision taking ability and to test his understanding of the language twist. In this logic, propositions are labelled with a representation of the arguments which strengthen or weaken the validity of statement. Arguments are supposed to be analyzed before going for appropriate answer option.

Factors that strengthen or weaken the arguments

There will be 4/5 options and an aspirant is required to choose the most appropriate option that strengthens or weakens the argument. One must carefully go through the options to analyse the best one. Let us understand the process –

i)    If the question is asked to select the option that best strengthens the argument, find out the option that has strong supportive evidence and/or reason for the argument.

ii)    In case the question is asked to find out the option that weakens the argument most, one has to locate the option which is equipped with the reason/evidence that shakes the very claim of the argument

iii)    It depends upon the question and followed options. Please remember you have nothing to add or delete even while thinking of an answer option since the statement/argument/information may be imaginary or may not be based on facts of life.

Example question – Let us share a question that appeared in XAT-

Question – Analyse the following passage and provide an appropriate answer for questions 1 & 2 that follow-

Silver is especially and repetitively savage about what he sees as the extravagant claims made for particle physics, arguing that once the proton, neutron, and electron were found and their properties experimentally confirmed, the very expensive searches for ever more exotic particles, such as Higgs Boson, were increasingly harder to justify other than by their importance to particle physicists. Most of the particles resemble ecstatic happiness. They are very short lived and have nothing to do with everyday life. His repeated assault goes to the level of sarcasm: ‘Finding the Higgs Boson will be a magnificent technical and theoretical triumph. Like a great Bobby Fisher game’. Of course this is a tad unfair, even if some of the claims of its practitioners invite such assaults on their field.

Q.1 – Identify the statement(s) that is (are) logically consistent with the content of the paragraph

i)    Identifying more information about Higgs Bosom is a significant contribution to particle physics.

ii)    Silver is an ardent critic of Higgs Boson theory.

iii)    Everyday life has nothing to do with experimental confirmation of the properties of proton, neutron and electron.

iv)    Research on exotic particles in particle physics is an expensive proposition.

A.    Only IV    B. only II   C. Only I   D. Only I and IV   E. Only II and IV

Answers with explanation - 

Ans. to Question-1 – E- Only II and IV – As per the given information in the passage, Silver is an ardent critic of new physics theories with the belief that all these new researches are quite expensive. We find both the statements/arguments in option E, which should be the right answer

The author of this article Mr S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability Section to CAT Aspirants through online coaching classes. offers a comprehensive preparation package coupled with over 200 online interactive classes with Top CAT experts including from IIMs for CAT 2013 preparation

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