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GAT General NTS Preparation Analytical Ability

GAT General NTS Preparation Analytical Ability

GAT General (NTS) Preparation Analytical Ability

3.1.1 Question format
Each analytical reasoning question is a logical puzzle, based on a given set of conditions. Like mathematical questions, these questions have exactly one correct answer, which is what you need to select.
Analytical reasoning questions are presented in groups of four or five questions. Each group is based on a short passage followed by a set of conditions. Occasionally, there are graphs and tables instead of a passage. To understand the general format of the question, consider the following example.
Question 1-4:
As part of their sports physical, seven college athletes F, G, H, I, J, K and L are being weighed. In announcing the results of the physical exams, the coach has given the following information.
i. None of the athletes is exactly the same weight as another athlete.
ii. K is heavier than L, but lighter than H.
iii. I is heavier than J
iv. Both F and G are heavier than H.

1 Each of the following could be true EXCEPT
A. F is the heaviest.
B. G is the heaviest.
C. I is the heaviest.
D. More than three athletes are heavier than K.
E. More than three athletes are lighter than K.

2 Which of the following, if true, would be sufficient to determine which athlete is the lightest?
A. I is the heaviest
B. I is lighter than K
C. K is heavier than J
D. J is heavier than K
E. Exactly five students are lighter than F.

3 If J is heavier than F, how many different rankings by weight, of the athletes are possible?
A. 1 B. 2 C. 3 D. 4 E. 5

4 If H is heavier than I, which of the following CANNOT be true?
A. I’s weight is equal to the average of F’s weight and G’s weight.
B. I’s weight is equal to the average of K’s weight and L’s weight
C. J’s weight is equal to the average of K’s weight and L’s weight
D. J is the second lightest.

Answers:
1. E     2. D    3. C       4. A
3.1.2 How to attempt
• Simplify the information by using abbreviations and symbols. The first step is to strip away all of the excess verbiage from the given passage and then to abbreviate the remaining key words with single letters. For example, in the question statement “five musicians a bassist, a drummer, a guitarist, a pianist, and a trumpeter are performing in a talent show”, you should immediately abbreviate them B, D, G, P and T. You can use abbreviated letters to represent a whole sentence also. You should use symbols to represent conditions. You may develop your own symbolic conventions for this. The objective is to convert the problem into notations, so that, it is easily understandable. The following is a basic set of symbols, which are most commonly used.
‘A’ represents the statement “Akbar is going”.
‘B’ represents the statement “Babur is going”.

Symbol
Meaning Examples

~ Not ~A Akbar is not going. Or you can say,
“it is not the case that Akbar is
going”.
∧ And A ∧ B Akbar and Babur are going.
A ∧ ~B Akbar is going and Babur is not
going.
∨ Or A ∨ B Akbar or Babur is going.
A ∨ ~B Akbar is going or Babur is not going.
→ If, then A → B If Akbar is going then Babur is going.
(A ∧ B)
→ S
If Akbar and Babur are going, then
Saleem is going.
↔ If and only if A ↔ B Babur is going, if and only if Akbar is
going.

• Before learning the tactics to attempt an analytical reasoning question, you must be familiar with some basic logic facts, which are explained in the following text. Consider A and B are two statements.
o A is true means ~A is false.
o ~A is true means A is false.
o (A ∧ B) is true means both A and B are true.
o (A ∧ B) is true means either A or B or both are false.
o (A ∨ B) is true means either A or B or both are true.
o (A ∨ B) is false means both A and B are false.
o ~(A ∧ B) is equivalent to (~A ∨ ~B).
o ~(A ∨ B) is equivalent to (~A ∧ ~B).
o If (A → B) is true then
If A is true B is also true.
If A is false B may be true or false.
o If (A → B) is false then A is true and B is false.
o (A → B) is equivalent to (~B → ~A)
o (A ↔ B) is true means:
If A is true B is true.
If A is false B is false.
o (A ↔ B) is false means:
If A is true B is false.
If A is false B is true.
o (A ↔ B) is equivalent to [(A → B) ∧ (B → A)].
• You must be familiar with the most common types of analytical reasoning questions. The following four types occur more frequently than the others, and when you see them, you should immediately know
what you need to do to answer them.
o Which of the following could be true? If only one of the answer choices could be true, then each of the other four choices must be false; that is, each one must violate at least one of the
given conditions.
o Which of the following must be true? Since only one of the answer choices must be true, then for each of the choices, either it is false or it is possibly (but not definitely) true. You have to choose only that choice which is definitely true.
o Which of the following cannot be true? Since only one of the answer choices cannot be true, then each of the other choices could be true. The correct answer is the only choice, which violates at least one of the given conditions or is otherwise inconsistent with what you know must be true.
o How many possibilities are there? This question asks, “How many different ways are there to satisfy all of the given conditions?” Here, you must systematically count or list all of the possibilities that do not violate any of the conditions.
• Identify the key words that serve to limit the situation. Certain words are critical to your understanding of the situation. Be sure to incorporate your symbols. Some frequently used key words are listed below:
After All Always At least At most
Before But Can be Cannot be Consecutive
Different Directly Each
No fewer
than
No more than
Only Possible Entire Every Exactly
Except Fewer First If If and only if
Immediately Impossible Last Least Most
Must be Same Some The Least The Most
Unless Smallest Greatest None
Note that certain key words have only one function, to rule out a
potential ambiguity.
• Eliminating the choices is always a good strategy. While eliminating the
choices, first of all, eliminate those which are ruled out by individual
conditions: Then work through the remaining choices.
• Study conditions, not merely for what they state but also for what they
imply. Certain analytical reasoning questions resemble the inference
questions you find in the reading comprehension section. To answer
them correctly, you must understand not only what the conditions state
explicitly, but also what they imply.
• Often the key to answering analytical reasoning questions is to organize
the given information in a list or table.
• On some analytical reasoning questions, an excellent way to deal with
the information is to draw a simple diagram, picture, or map. This is
particularly helpful when you are dealing with the physical or temporal
order of things. It is much easier to tell whether person A can be
seated opposite person B if you have sketched a diagram of the table; it
is easier to know whether person C is older or younger than person D if
you have entered all of the given information on a time line; and it is
easier to determine whether town E is east of town W if you have drawn
a simple map.
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3.1.3 Example questions with Answers and
Explanations
Questions 1-5:
Six actors —- Bob, Carol, Dave Ed, Frank, and Grace audition for a part in an
off-Broadway play. The auditions will take place over four consecutive days,
starting on a Thursday. Each actor will have one audition; the days on which
the different actors will audition must conform to the following conditions.
i. At least one audition will take place each day.
ii. No more than two auditions will take place on any day.
iii. No more than three auditions will take place on any two
consecutive days.
iv. Bob’s audition must take place on Saturday.
v. Carol’s audition must take place on the same day as another
audition.
vi. Frank’s auditions must take place on the day before Grace’s
audition.
vii. Dave’s audition must take place on a day after Ed’s audition.
1 If only one audition takes place on Thursday which actor could have that
audition?
(A) Bob (B) Carol (C) Dave (D) Frank (E) Grace
2 If Bob’s and Frank’s auditions are on the same day, which of the following
must be true
(A) Dave’s audition will take place on Thursday
(B) Dave’s audition will take place on Friday
(C) Grace’s audition will take place on Thursday
(D) Carol’s audition wi l l take place on Sunday
(E) Ed’s audition will take place on Sunday
3 If the director decides to hold two auditions on Thursday and two on
Sunday, how many actors would be eligible to audition on Friday?
(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4 (E) 5
4 If Ed and Grace have their auditions on the same day which of the following
must be true?
(A) Ed’s audition will take place on Thursday.
(B) Frank’s audition will take place on Friday.
(C) Carol’s audition will take place on Saturday.
(D) Grace’s audition will take place on Saturday.
(E) Carol’s audition will take place on Sunday.
5 If Ed’s audition is on Saturday, which of the following actors cannot
audition on the same day as any other actor?
(A) Bob
(B) Carol
(C) Ed
(D) Frank
(E) Gr
ace
Questions 6-10:
During the first half of the year, from January through June, the chairperson of
the mathematics department will be on sabbatical. The dean of the college has
asked each of the six professors in the department — Arkes, Borofsky, Chang,
Denture, Hobbes, and Lee— to serve as acting chairperson during one of
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those months. The mathematicians can decide the order in which they will
serve, subject only to the following criteria established by the dean.
i. Chang will serve as chairperson in February.
ii. Arkes will serve as chairperson before Hobbes does.
iii. Borofsky and Dexter will serve as chairpersons in consecutive
months.
6 Which of the following professors could serve as chairperson in January?
(A) Borodfsky (B) Chang (C) Dexter (D) Hobbes (E) Lee
7 In how many ways can the schedule be made up if Lee has to serve as
chairperson in May?
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
(E) 6
8 If Lee serves in April, all of the following could be true EXCEPT
(A) Arkes serves in January
(B) Hobbes serves in march
(C) Borofsky serves in may
(D) Borofsky serves in June
(E) Hobbes serves in June
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9 If Borofsky serves in May, what is the latest month in which Arkes could
serve?
(A) January
(B) February
(C) March
(D) April
(E) June
10 Which of the following CANNOT be true?
(A) Arkes and Lee serve in consecutive months.
(B) Lee and Hobbes serve in consecutive months.
(C) Hobbes and Dexter serve in consecutive months.
(D) Arkes and Chang serve in consecutive months.
(E) Borofsky and Chang serve in consecutive months.
Solutions 1-5:
First express each of the conditions symbolically:
B, C, D, E, F, and G: 1 audition each
Days: Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Each day: 1 or 2 auditions
2 consecutive days: 2 or 3 auditions
B=Sat Cx F<G E<D
1 A violates the condition that Bob’s audition will take place on Saturday
(B=Sat). B violates the condition that Carol’s audition cannot be the only
audition on a particular day (Cx). Choices C and E are impossible. Since
Dave’s audition must take place on a day after Ed’s audition (E<D) and Grace’s
audition must take place on a day after Frank’s audition (F<G) neither can
take place on Thursday. Only choice D does not violate any of the given
conditions, so this is the correct answer.
2 The condition that Bob’s and Frank’s auditions are on the same day completely
determines the schedule. They must take place on Saturday (B=Sat). To
avoid having more than three auditions on two consecutive days, there can be
only one audition on Friday and one on Sunday, which means there will be two
on Thursday. Since Frank must have to precede Grace (F<G), Grace’s audition
will take place on Sunday. Since Ed must precede Dave, Ed’s audition will take
place on Thursday and Dave’s audition on Friday. Finally, Carol ’s audition will
be the second audition on Thursday. The final schedule is “C and E on
Thursday, D on Friday, B and F on Saturday and G on Sunday”. Only choice B
is consistent with this schedule, so “B” is the correct choice.
3 Since only one audition can take place on Friday, it cannot be Carol’s (C/x);
and, of course, it cannot be Bob’s (B = Sat). Any of the other four actors
could audition on Friday as indicated in the following schedules:
E/F on Thu, D on Fri, B on Sat, C/G on Sun
C/F on Thu, E on Fri, B on Sat, D/G on Sun
C/E on Thu, E on Fri, B on Sat, D/G on Sun
E/F on Thu, G on Fri, B on Sat, C/D on Sun
So the correct choice is D.
4 The only schedule that fulfils the conditions is “F on Thu, E/G on Fri, B on Sat,
and C/D on Sun”. Only choice E is consistent with this schedule.
5 Since Ed and Bob’s auditions are both taking place on Saturday, eliminate
choices A and C. Since Carole must audition on the same day as another
actor, eliminate B. Finally, since Dave’s audition must take place on Sunday
(E < D), Frank’s audition must take place on Thursday and Grace’s audition on
Friday (F < G). Eliminate choice D. The complete schedule is: “C/F on Thu, G
on Fri, B/F on Sat, and D on Sun.”
Solutions 6-10:
Let A, B, C, D, H, L represents professor names.
C=February, A<H, B<<D and D<<B
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6 Only choice E is there, which does not violate any of the conditions, so is the
correct choice.
7 With C serving in February and L in May, the only consecutive months
available for B and D are March and April. Then since A must serve is before H
in June. There are two possible schedules, depending on the order of B and D,
so the correct choice is B.
8 If L serves in April, the consecutive months available for B and D are May and
June; so choices C and D could be true. Since A must serve before H, choices
A and B must be true, only choice E cannot be true.
9 Since A must serve before H does, A cannot serve in June. Can A serve in
April? No, because then, D would serve in June (B<<D or D<<B), and again A
would not precede H. The latest that A could serve in March, which could
occur in the final order: L, C, A, D, B and H.
10 The only professors that can serve in January are A and L, so, one of them
must serve in January, and neither serves in February. So choice A cannot be
true.
3.2 Logical Reasoning
Each logical reasoning question requires you to analyze an argument presented in
a short passage. Often you are asked either to find a conclusion that is a logical
consequence of the passage, or to choose a statement that, if true, strengthen or
weakens the argument.
3.2.1 Question format
Logical reasoning questions are based upon a passage called argument. You have
to analyze the argument presented in the passage. The passage is followed by a
question. Occasionally, there is more than one question related be the same
passage. No matter what the number is, the questions always aim at your ability
to understand the conclusion reached by the author of the passage, and to give
argument and contra arguments. Logical reasoning questions are a lot l ike reading
comprehension questions in a verbal section.
For each logical reasoning question, the argument is followed by a multi choice
question. The choices are simple statements. Mostly the question statement
begins with the phrase “which of the following statements”. Here are a few
examples:
• Which of the following statements is an assumption on which the conclusion
of this argument is based?
• Which of the following statements identifies a flaw in the reasoning of this
argument?
• Which of the following statements can be most reasonably inferred, from
the statements in the given passage?
• Which of the following statements, if true, would most seriously, weaken
the argument offered?
• Which of the following statements, if true, would strengthen the conclusion
in the preceding argument?
• Which of the following statements would be the most important to know to
evaluate the argument given in the preceding paragraph? Every logical
reasoning question does not fit this mold, but you should try.
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3.2.2 How to attempt
• While attempting logical reasoning questions, you should read the question
statement before reading the argument. Then you should analyze the
argument presented in the passage. You must know what aspect of the
argument you are to concentrate on, and focus on it. By this, you will not
be unnecessarily wasting your time.
• You must be able to spot the question type by reading the question
statement. If you do this, you will be better able to approach the
argument in hand. The following six categories are those which most
commonly occur:
1 Assumption: Questions that test your ability to recognize the premises on
which an argument is based, often take the following forms:
o The conclusion above depends on which of the following
assumptions?
o The author of the passage above makes which of the following
assumptions?
o In the passage above, the author assumes which of the following
statement to be true?
2 Inference: Questions, which test your ability to go beyond the author’s
explicit statements and see what these statements imply, may be worded like
these.
o It can be inferred from the passage above that the author
believes that …
o Which of the following is implied by the passage above?
o From the information above, which of the following is the most
reasonable inference?
3 Conclusion: Questions that test your ability to determine what claim can
logically be made on the basis of evidence in the passage above?
o If the statements above are true, which of the following in a
conclusion that can be properly drawn?
o The statements in the passage, if true, best supports which of the
following conclusions?
4 Central Point: Questions that test your ability to understand the
thrust of an argument.
o The statement sited above conveys which of the following
propositions?
o The author of the passage above argues that…
o Which of the following expresses the point the author of the
passage above makes?
5 Support: Questions that test your ability to recognize whether an
assertion supports or undermines an argument.
o Which of the following, if true, best supports the author’s
conclusion?
o Which of the following, if true, most weakens the author’s
conclusion?
6 Argument Evaluation: Questions that test your ability to judge
an argument.
o Which of the fol lowing identifies a flaw in the speaker’s
reasoning?
o Which of the following would be most important to know when
evaluating the accuracy of the argument above?
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• Do not try to skim the passage, read each argument carefully. It is not
enough to have a general idea about the argument; you must be able to
analyze it very carefully.
• You must find the conclusion of the argument, which the author claims to
have reached. That most common situations are as follows:
o The conclusion is the last sentence of the passage, often starting
by words such as so, therefore, thus, hence, consequently etc.
o The conclusion is the first sentence of the passage followed by
the supporting evidence.
o Occasionally, the conclusion is not present in the passage; in this
case, the question asks you to identify the conclusion.
• Pay particular attention to signal words such as accordingly, for this
reason, hence, although, but, except, in contrast, nevertheless, unlike etc.
• Eliminating the choices is always the best strategy if you do not know what
the correct answer is. This process will eliminate some obvious wrong
choices. And you will be able to make an educated guess from the
remaining ones.
• Every argument is based upon certain assumptions made by the author. If
an argument’s basic premises are sound, the argument is strengthened. If
an argument’s basic premises are flawed, the argument is weakened. In
support questions, where you have to decide about weakening or
strengthening the question, pinpoint what the argument assumes. Then
compare that assumption with the answer choices. If the question asks you
to find the choice, which most strengthens the argument, look for the
choice that is most in keeping with the argument’s basic assumption. If
the question asks you to choose the choice that most weakens the
argument, look for the answer that casts the most doubt on that
assumption.
• Some logical reasoning questions are essential ly mini analytical reasoning
questions, so, be familiar with all of the important logical facts and apply
whenever needed. Example questions with Answers and Explanations
3.2.3 Example Questions with Answers and Explanations
Questions 1-2:
The microwave oven has become a standard appliance in many kitchens, mainly
because it offers a fast way of cooking food. Yet, some homeowners believe that
the ovens are still not completely safe. Microwaves, therefore, should not be a
standard appliance until they have been carefully researched and tested.
1 Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion of the
passage above?
(A) Homeowners, often purchase items despite knowing they may be unsafe.
(B) Those homeowners in doubt about microwave safety ought not to purchase
microwaves.
(C) Research and testing of home appliances seldom reveals safety hazards.
(D) Microwaves are not as dangerous as steam irons, which are used in almost
every home.
(E) Homeowners often purchase items that they do not need.
2 Which one of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion of
the passage above?
(A) Homeowners often doubt the advertised safety of al l new appliances.
(B) Speed of food preparation is not the only concern of today’s homeowner.
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(C) Modern homeowners have more free time than ever before.
(D) Food preparation has become almost a science, with more complicated and
involved recipes.
(E) Many microwave ovens have been found to leak radioactive elements.
3 Years ago, a poll concluded that there are more televisions than there are
bathtubs in American homes. No doubt that fact remains today, especially in
light of the growing popularity of home computers. Now, in addition to owning
televisions for entertainment, more and more families are purchasing TV
monitors for use with a personal computer. We can safely guess that there are
sti ll many more people staring at a picture tube than singing in the shower.
Which of the following statements can be inferred from this passage?
(A) Personal computers probably cost less than install ing a shower or bathtub.
(B) People can wash themselves without a tub or shower, but they cannot
watch television unless they own a television set.
(C) TV monitors will work with personal computers in place of regular
computer monitors.
(D) As many computers are sold today as television sets a few years ago.
(E) More television monitors are now used with personal computers than are
used to watch commercial television broadcasts.
4 Some scientists have proposed that, over two hundred million years ago, one
giant land mass, rather than various continents and islands, covers one third
of the earth. Long before there was any human l ife, and over vast periods of
time, islands and continents drifted apart. Australia was the first to separate,
while South America and Africa were late in splitting apart. Some islands, of
course, were formed by volcanoes and were never part of the great land mass.
All the following would support the author’s claim EXCEPT
(A) Many of the plants of the South American rain forests are markedly similar
to those of African rain forests.
(B) Australia has more animals that are not found in any other continent than
have several of the much larger continents.
(C) Volcanic islands like Hawaii have ecosystems very different from those of
continental lands with the same average temperature.
(D) The plants of similar conditions in South America have less in common with
those of Australia than with those of Asia, Africa or Europe.
(E) The primitive languages of Australia are unlike those of Africa, which
resembles those of South America.
5 Every Saturday, Amir has pizza for lunch and then goes to the movies.
If the statement above is true, which of the following statements must also be
true?
1 If it is not Saturday, than Amir is not having pizza for lunch and is not
going to the movies.
2 If Amir has pizza for lunch and then goes to the movies, it is Saturday.
3 If Amir has pizza for lunch, but does not go to the movies, it is not a
Saturday.
(A) 1 only
(B) 2 only
(C) 3 only
(D) 1 and 2 only
(E) 2 and 3 only
6 Antifreeze lowers the melting point of any liquid to which it is added so that
the liquid will not freeze in cold weather. It is commonly used to maintain the
cooling system in automobile radiators. Of course, the weather may become
so cold that even antifreeze is not effective, but such a severe climatic
condition rarely occurs in well-traveled places.
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Which of the following can be deduced from the passage?
(A) Well-traveled places have means of transportation other than automobiles.
(B) Antifreeze does not lower the melting point of certain liquids in extreme
conditions.
(C) Severe climatic conditions rarely occur.
(D) It is not often that many travelers who use antifreeze have their cooling
system freeze.
(E) Antifreeze raises the melting point of some liquids.
Solutions:
1 The conclusion of the passage is that, because of safety concerns, more
research and testing ought to be done before microwaves become standard household appliances. If, however, research and testing are ineffective means
of discerning safety problems (as choice C says), then research and testing
would be irrelevant. This criticism seriously weakens the conclusion. So
choice C is the correct answer.
2 If many microwave ovens have been found to leak radioactive elements (as
choice E says), then the conclusion that microwaves should not be standard
appliances until they are more carefully researched and tested is further
strengthened because more safety concerns need to be addressed. So, choice
E is the correct answer.
3 Though Choices A and B may well be true, they cannot be inferred from the
information in the passage. But choice C can be inferred since, “more and
more families are purchasing TV monitors for use with a personal computer.”
TV monitors must work with these computers, otherwise, people would not buy
them for that purpose. Choices D and E may or may not true, but they are not
inferences from the passage, simply additional information. So, the correct
choice is C.
4 If Australia was the first continent to separate, it would follow that its flora
and fauna would develop in isolation over a longer period of time. Similarly,
we may expect the plants and animal of South America and Africa that
separated later, to be more alike. Choices A, B, and D support these ideas.
The separately developed islands are different at is also in accord with the
passage. However the languages of all the continents would have developed in
isolation, since man did not evolve until after the break-up of the landmass,
and it is surprising that African and South American languages are similar.
Human likeness or differences are irrelevant to the claims of the passage. So
choice E is the correct answer.
5 This logical reasoning question is very easy as soon as you express the given
statement symbolically. “If it is Saturday, then Amir has Pizza and goes to
Movies” translates as S →(P ∧ M) . This is equivalent to ~ (P ∧ M)→~ S ,
which is equivalent to (~ P∨ ~ M)→~ S . So if either P or M is false, then S is
false. Therefore, 3 is true, neither 1 nor 2 are true. So, the correct choice is
C.
6 Choice D is the correct answer. Since severe climatic conditions rarely occur
in well-traveled places, it is not necessarily true that “It is not often that
many travelers who use antifreeze have their cooling systems freeze.” Choice
A mentions other means of transportation, which is not addressed in the
passage. Choice B refers to “certain” liquids.

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