Inferential reasoning questions are arguably one of the most confusing kinds in most aptitude tests. Even the most confident test-takers cannot bet on their marked choices with 100% certainty. There is always a chance of slips or missing out on small details that can lead one to a wrong answer. Like their other critical reasoning question type chums, they too have a reputation for bringing negative marks to one’s overall score.
However, the good news is that like the other critical reasoning types, they too can be mastered. All you need to do is to be better informed, have a clear-cut strategy and relevant practice. So, here are some quick information and effective strategies that will empower you to tackle inferential reasoning questions in CAT exam more efficiently.
Solving an inferential reasoning question begins, as you must have guessed, from identifying the fact that the question requires you to make inferences. Some questions explicitly mention the word inference, others more subtly hint that they belong to the domain of inferential reasoning.
Some of the most common phrases are given here that indicate an inferential reasoning question:
a) Which of the following must be true on the basis of the above statements?
b) Which of the following is most strongly supported by the information?
c) Which statement most logically completes the passage?
2. Rephrase the questions in your words
Most of the mistakes stem from wrong or incomplete understanding of the question. The tone of the question is often academic and therefore, gets problematic. You would be surprised by the clarity that putting the question in your own words can bring. A good rephrase would allow you to correctly utilize premises, assumptions and arguments and help you reach the correct answer.
3. Eliminate the wrong answers
This is a good strategy for most type of aptitude questions. However, the advantage of inferential reasoning questions is that there are identified standard wrong answers and traps that aptitude question framers have been using for a long time. If you are aware of these standard wrong answers, spotting the correct one becomes much easier.
The wrong answers are usually either unrelated or contradictory to the facts presented in the reasoning passage. Additionally, some answer choices can be too broad or general. These broad options cannot be completely deduced from the information presented in the passage and require additional premises.
The following examples would illustrate the concepts in a better way.
I moved to Bangalore a year ago. I like the city so I refused a better job offer at Mumbai.
Which of the following can be inferred on the basis of the given statements?
1. Mumbai has a better climate than Bangalore (unrelated).
2. The narrator will take a high paying job offer at Mumbai. (contradictory).
3. Bangalore is a more preferred job destination than Mumbai. (too broad).
4. The narrator likes Bangalore better than Mumbai.( Correct)
Now it can be seen that the inferential reasoning is not that difficult. Although it does appear a little troublesome to think in a structured and logical way at first. However, with focused practice, it becomes easy and interesting. With these easy strategies, one can ace the CAT and join any of the top B-Schools in India.
CAT aspirants can learn in a more efficient way from various engaging and interesting video lessons from BYJU’S.