Logical reasoning questions are designed to assess your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Read our step-by-step explanations on how to solve logical reasoning questions in UMAT.
The logical reasoning section (Referred to as Section 1 in the past) is all about using problem-solving and critical thinking skills to answer questions given the information provided by the stimulus. Usually, these questions come in the format of a reading passage, graph or table and will ask you questions like:
There is often more than one question on the same stimulus, so it’s important to read the content carefully!
This section has a lot of reading involved and so most students find this the most difficult of the UMAT sections to finish in the allotted time. It’s hard to really say exactly what time you should allocate to questions of this section as everyone has different strengths and weaknesses but use your past papers to figure out what your individual timing for the exam is.
The key to logical reasoning questions is to be as speedy as possible whilst absorbing as much information provided. Note-taking and diagrams can help with this as well as practising over time. Here are some general strategies to employ in the exam:
There are many different types of questions in Logical Reasoning section and different ways to tackle each specific type. Most Logical Reasoning questions may fall into the following types.
Again, there may be more unique style questions and techniques as the exam varies year on year. We’ve put some tips on a few techniques that may help you understand the types of questions you may be faced with to help you in the exam:
This type of question presents a scenario where you’ll have to arrange the information into a combination that suits the clues given in the question. The approach for this question type is to tabulate the data or simplify it into a diagram. Here’s a step-by-step example:
The Bear bow costs $710. William, Bob, Henry and Ronald were having a discussion about four brands of bows they were willing to buy – Hoyts, Win&Win, Bear and Renegade non-respectively. They each vary in price from $595, $630, $699 and $710 non-respectively. All four boys decided to buy a new bow to beat their highest target competition score – 637, 688, 713 and 749 non-respectively.
We can conclude that:
(A) Ronald bought a Bear bow for $710
(B) Bob bought a Bear bow for $710
(C) The Renegade bow cost Henry $630
(D) William’s lowest target competition score is 688
Did you get it right? Here is the step by step method on how we got the answer.
We can already rule out (D) as the information provided is for highest target competition score NOT lowest. Therefore we can’t conclude anyone’s lowest target competition score.
The best approach to this question would be to draw a table, such as the one below.
|Make a Table|
Before putting the information from the clues into the table there are two golden rules you should know:
Step 1: From clue 1, we know that the Bear bow costs $710
|Step 1: Begin to add the information|
Step 2: From clue 2, we know that the $595 bow went to the person with the score of 637. If we put the information of clue 2 into row 1 of the table there will clearly be an overlap of the cost and so this is not possible. Hence, clue 2 will go in its own separate row.
|Step 2: Add clue 2’s data|
Step 3: From clue 3, we can see that Henry bought a Renegade bow. We will skip this clue for now since it could potentially be placed in row 2 as there is no overlap but it can also be in a row of its own, so for now we’ll skip that clue and come back to it. [In the exam, mark it with a star so you know to come back]
Step 4: From clue 4, the Hoyts bow went to a person with a score of 688. Since there is overlap if we place clue 4 in row 1 and 2, we can safely assume that it is in its separate row.
|Step 4: Add the clue 4 data|
Step 5: From clue 5, Ronald scored 749 but did not buy the $630 bow. This clue could be put in row 1 as there is no overlap and also can exist in row 4. Therefore, we’ll come back to this clue.
Step 6: From clue 6, Bob bought a $699 bow and scored 713. This clue has to be in row 4 as if it were to be in any row there would be an overlap of either the cost or the score.
|Step 6: Add the clue 6 data|
Step 7: Now that we’ve gone through our clues, we’ll come back to the ones we skipped earlier [clue 3 and 5]
Step 8: Clue 3 says that Henry bought a Renegade bow and the only place it fits so that there is no overlap is in row 2.
|Step 8: Using th table we can deduce where the leftover from Clue 3 fits|
Step 9: Clue 5 tells us that Ronald has a score of 749 but did not pay $630. The only place where this will fit will be in row 1 so that there is no overlap.
|Step 9: Using the table we can deduce where the data from clue 5 has to fit|
Step 10: We’ve used up all of our clues however there is just one box remaining in each column. It then just becomes a matter of filling in the blank through an elimination process of what’s left in each of the categories.
|Step 10: Use a process of elimination to populate the remainer of the table|
Therefore our answer is A
NOTE: You might be thinking that it is very time-consuming to tabulate all this information but usually there are 3-4 questions following this stimulus. So, having a table is a really quick and accurate way of going about questions like this. A question will specify that the data will be used for several subsequent questions. Using a table will help you save time as you will have more time for that block rather than a minute a question.
This type of question tests your ability to interpret information from graphs and tables and make logical conclusions to answer the question. The UMAT can make these questions difficult by overloading you with unnecessary data, using different units of measurement, presenting misleading representations of data or using graphs that you’re not used to such as a three-axis graph.
Here are some guiding tips when handling these questions:
Source: Drefahl, S. (2010). Marriage and life expectancy. Retrieved 24/01/17
From the graph, it can be concluded that:
(A) The decline in the male age at marriage in the 1950’s was a consequence of World War II.
(B) The female age at marriage in 1990 was less than that of males at 1910
(C) The male age at marriage was less in 1990 than it was in 1930
(D) The female age at marriage will overtake the male age at marriage by 2050
Did you get it right again? Here are some tips that might help get the answer faster!
Things you should notice when looking at a graph like this:
We can immediately rule out D as we should never extrapolate the data and the timeframe of the data is 1890 to 2010. There is nothing on 2050.
We are not given any context about World War II in the question and this is outside the scope of the data we have been given so we can’t really conclude A.
Option C is not true as we can see from the graph that male age at marriage was higher in 1990 than it was in 1930
The female age at marriage in 1990 was approximately 24, which was less than the male age at marriage in 1910, which was approximately 25. Hence B is the answer.
Active Speed reading tips to save time
Logical reasoning questions demand a lot of reading and logical deduction at the same time. Thus, it is important to master the art of Active Speed Reading.
Active reading, as mentioned before, is when you are actively paying attention to the words that you are currently reading. It can be easy to let your mind wander off when reading huge chunks of text but something that you can’t afford to waste time on in the UMAT. A tip for this is to actively follow the words along the page with your pencil as you are reading.
Speed Reading is reading something quickly but also absorbing as much information as you go along. Again, following along with a pencil helps with this as you are actively reading and controlling your reading pace with your pencil. You will have to learn to read efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips for this:
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