Deductive Reasoning Tests
A deductive reasoning test assesses your ability to use given information and make logical deductions. The test is not based on any previous knowledge or skills, and is usually presented as a number of word problems with multiple-choice answers.
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Deductive reasoning test formats & example questions
Knowing and understanding the format of the deductive reasoning test will make it less daunting when you have to take one in a job application situation.
The examples below demonstrate some of the deductive reasoning question types you might come across when you are taking a test.
Example Question 1
All footballers are fit and healthy.
All famous sports players are footballers.
Given that the above is true, which of the following is the logical deduction?
- All footballers are famous sports people
- All famous people are fit and healthy
- All famous sports players are fit and healthy
- All fit and healthy people are footballers
- All football players are men
Using deductive reasoning, the only logical answer is 3. To get to this answer, you need to simplify the given facts. All famous sports players are footballers, and all footballers are fit and healthy.
- We can’t deduce that all footballers are famous sports people, as we haven’t got that information.
- We can’t deduce that all famous people are fit and healthy, because the fact is about famous sports people.
- This is the logical answer.
- This information is not given; all footballers are fit and healthy but we can’t logically link that all fit and healthy people are footballers.
- This is obviously incorrect, as gender is not mentioned at all in the question.
Example Question 2
Given the information in the table, is the following statement correct?
There are more men in the warehouse than women.
- Cannot be concluded
According to the data, the answer is 1. There are more men in the warehouse than women.
Example Question 3
In our Sixth Form this year, 94% of students achieved A* to C grades. Last year, 95% of students achieved A* to C grades. The school has said that its new approach to mentoring students has had a brilliant impact on student performance.
Based on the information above, which of the following statements are true?
- Next year, student performance will be less than this year.
- All students taking A-Levels achieved A* to C
- Before last year, no students achieved A* to C
- Before last year, less than 94% of students achieved A* to C
- Every school has seen a rise in student performance.
With the given information, the only logical conclusion is 4.
- The student performance is increasing, so this cannot be correct given the facts.
- In this school 6% of students did not achieve A* to C.
- We do not have the data to make that deduction.
- We know that student performance has increased, so the year before last must have seen results below 94%.
- We do not have the information to deduce performance in other schools.
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Deductive Reasoning Tests Tips
1The facts given are true
Don’t worry if the facts you are given cannot be verified; you are dealing with them as if they are. In the first example above, not all footballers are fit and healthy, and not all famous sports people are footballers.
If you worry about the truth of the statements, you risk bringing your own knowledge into the equation – and that could make it more difficult to logically find the answer.
As mentioned before, taking the given information and simplifying it can make it much easier for you to make the logical deductions needed.
Ignore any ‘waffle’ and try to keep the facts in order – even if they are presented oddly. In the same way, do not try and overcomplicate things.
3The answer is in the question
If at any point in the test you find yourself guessing or trying to reach an answer, it is probably wrong. There is only one right answer, and if you follow the logic in the question, it should be the only one you can reach.
As an addition to this, making an educated guess is better than leaving the question unanswered; remember this is a timed test.
To help you get the right answer quickly, you might find it useful by eliminating the more obvious wrong answers first. This can clarify the situation, making it easier to choose the right answer.
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