Critical Reasoning: Facts, Inferences & Judgements

Questions based on facts, judgements and inferences often feature in a number of competitive examinations. You need to be aware of the key features of FIJs to handle the related questions well.
Facts
They deal with pieces of information that one has heard, seen or read, and which are open to discovery or verification. Facts are those statements which involve dates, natural phenomena, events etc. Facts are:
  • Verifiable
  • Universal truths
  • Figures, statistics or other data without an opinion.
Inferences
These are conclusions drawn about the unknown on the basis of the known. Inferences check your ability to read between the lines.
The known data in the sentence used to conclude an inference is called facts. Thus, all the inferences are based on facts and logic of deduction.
Judgements
Judgements are opinions that imply approval or disapproval of persons, objects situations and occurrences in the past, present or future. Judgement can be identified from statements that:
  • Imply approval or disapproval
  • Impose compulsion
  • Predict using will or shall
Example:
Consider the following statements and identify the facts, judgements and inferences among them. 
  1. The minister said that the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan is a wonderful initiative.
  2. The schools of the city have adopted the project and made plans to launch a number of programs.
  3. With various segments of the society contributing towards it, Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan is going to be a success.
  4. The Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan will go a long way towards a cleaner India.

Solution:

  • Statement 1: The minister said that the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan is a wonderful initiative. In this sentence the key word is - Minister said, which means we are quoting someone's opinion, thereby making it verifiable. Since it can be verified hence it is a FACT.
  • Statement 2: The schools of the city have adopted the project and made plans to launch a number of programs.
    This entire statement can be verified and hence is a FACT.
  • Statement 3: With various segments of the society contributing towards it, Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan is going to be a success.
    Judgments show the approval and disapproval, and this sentence is showing approval for Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan by use of the word success. But look at the first part of the sentence- with various segments of the society contributing towards it; this is the reason for success. Thus, this is an unknown conclusion based on known facts and hence it is an INFERENCE.
  • Statement 4: The Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan will go a long way towards a cleaner India. This statement gives an approval but does not provide a reason for it hence it is a JUDGEMENT.
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Facts, Inference, Judgements: Key Learning
  • FIJs seem daunting at first but can be easily mastered by a lot of practice.
  • Solving the question with the help of tricks will help you save time and attempt more questions.
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