Analytical reasoning is a tricky beast; if you make a mistake with the interpretation of any key term or phrase, you are bound to go wrong. Keeping this in mind, we explain some common 'interpretation' mistakes committed in analytical reasoning. An in-depth knowledge of this terminology can help you ace the questions in Analytical Reasoning section.
List of commonly used words/phrases:
The following list of statements should be carefully evaluated while attempting Analytical Reasoning questions. We have explained statements with the help of examples; you can derive generalizations from the same.
- 'At least' 1 professor: This term simply means that you need to consider one professor or more while making a set or combinations. The number of professors can be more than 1, but it cannot be zero.
- 'At the most' two professors: This term means that you can take a maximum of two professors when you make sets or combinations. The number of professors can be 2, 1 or even zero, but in no case it can be more than 2.
- 'Must be': When a question or statement that states 'must be' with regards to something, it means that the condition is 100% fulfilled. Something which may or may not be true cannot be the answer for this question.
- 'Could be': A question using 'could be' conveys that out of the given options, only one would be there, which can possibly happen and rest of the options will have some conditions which are being violated.
- P 'is next to' Q: This implies that P and Q are sitting together and P could be either to the left or right of Q.
- If M is there, N has to be there: This would not mean that M and N will always be together. It just implies that, if M is there, then N will also be there. At the same time, it can happen that N is there but M isn't. Remember, the condition is on M, not on N.
- 'At least one of' M or N must be there: This implies that every valid combination made must have at least one out of M & N. They can both come, but the possibility of neither being there does not exist.
- If J and K are there, L cannot be there: This implies that if both J and K are there, only then L cannot be there. However, L can be there if only one of J or K is there.
- X will be there, only if Y is there: This implies that X will be present, only when Y is present. But this does not mean that X will be present (at a place or in a group) every time Y is there. Y can be a member alone as well, but X cannot be present without Y.
- All but X can be a member of club II: This implies that everyone can be a member of club II except person X. In other words, X cannot be a member of club II.
The above are some of the common statements that baffle students in examinations. As a piece of advice, try to expand this list of statements and include other ones that confuse you as well. By simply doing this exercise, you will significantly enhance your capability in analytical reasoning based questions.
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