Statement and Assumptions Tricks with Examples

INTRODUCTION:-

In these kinds of questions, a statement is given followed by some assumptions. The student is required to evaluate the assumptions & decide which of them is implicit in the given statement. Before we go further, it is imperative for us to understand the meanings of the terms statements & assumptions.

DEFINITIONS

STATEMENT:

At the simplest level, a statement is a prescribed account of certain facts, views, problems or circumstances expressed in words.


ASSUMPTION:

An idea which is thought to be true, or sure to happen, but is not explicitly proved or supported by proofs.


IMPLICIT:

Something that is suggested or is to be understood, though it is not plainly expressed.

In our day to day affairs, we make a lot of statements as a part of our communication process. As the communication process evolved over time, brevity became the norm as statements became smaller & crisper, yet they continued to carry the same meaning.

In this kind of communication, the speaker/author leaves certain ideas unsaid, those which he takes for granted, which work as a link b/w a statement & a conclusion. These unsaid ideas are on the speaker/author’s mind before making a statement. These unsaid ideas are very much implied in the statement.

Example 1

To understand the above, let us assume that your friend has applied for a competitive exam. You saw him working hard, preparing for that exam. It is a natural reaction to say that, ‘He is working hard, & he will be successful’. Here you are co-relating 2 different aspects. ‘Working hard’ & ‘succeeding’. How can you relate these two? Obviously by ASSUMING that hard work is necessary to attain success.

Normal way of expression Expression intended
a)   He is working hard i) He is working hard
ii) Those, who work hard, succeed.
[This statement is taken for granted]
b)  He will be successful iii) He will be successful

Approach to the question:

The words used in the statements & the format of the statements give some clue in evaluating the assumptions.

Rules to be followed

KEYWORDS

Words like ‘all’, ‘only’, ‘every’, etc., are definitive in nature, whereas words like ‘some’, ‘a few’, ‘many’, etc., are not. Therefore one should differentiate b/w statements like “use entire time for studies” & “use some time for studies”.

Example 1

Statement:
The Indian Hockey team is unable to rise to the occasion. The team should be trained by the army.
Assumptions

  • Army training is the best method available to improve the present performance of the Indian hockey team.
  • Army training is a reasonably good solution to solve the existing problem.
  • Army training is the only solution to come out of the present problems that the Indian hockey team is facing.
  • Army training will definitely put the Indian hockey team on the winning track.
  • Army training would probably solve the performance based problems in the Indian hockey team.

In this example, only assumptions (ii) & (v) are valid assumptions, because assumptions (i), (iii) & (iv) use definitive words such as ‘best’, ‘only’ & ‘definitely’ respectively.

Statements (ii) & (v) consist of a suggestion to solve the problem. The speaker, definitely, feels that ‘army training’ would help the hockey team to overcome its performance related problems, but the statement does not give any clue that army training is the best or only or definitely an effective solution to the given problems.

NOTICE/APPEAL/ADVERTISEMENT:

Sometimes the statement is in the form of a notice or appeal or an advertisement. In these cases, the following are the valid assumptions.
  • In case of notice/appeal/advertisement, it will have some response.
  • In case of an official notice, if what is mentioned therein implemented, it will have a beneficial effect on the organization & there is a need to issue it.
  • In case of an appeal or public interest notice, the implementation of it will be beneficial to the people & non-implementation may cause harm.
  • In case of an appeal, the reason for issuing such an appeal exists.
  • In advertisement, what is being highlighted is looked forward by the people.

Example 1

Statement:-
“Join our training institute to become a master in reasoning”. An advertisement.
Valid assumptions that are possible:
  • At least some people would respond to the advertisement
  • There are people who look forward to become a master in reasoning.

Example 2

Statement:
“Donate money for flood relief”, an appeal.
Valid assumptions that are possible:-
  • At least some people would respond to the appeal
  • There is necessary to help flood inaction.

Example 3

Statement:
“Do not put hands out of running bus”, a notice in the bus.

Valid assumptions that are possible:-
  • Passengers would read the notice
  • It is the duty of the travel agency to issue such a notice.
  • Keeping hands out of the running bus may prove to be harmful.

EXISTENCE/NON-EXISTENCE of the subject

If the speaker is talking about a hypothetical or an unestablished object/idea, he does so with an assumption that such a thing exists. Similarly, if its absence is being talked about, it is assumed ‘not existing’.

Example 1

Statement:-
Marriages are made in heaven.

Valid assumptions that are possible:-
i) Heaven exists.

CAUSE-EFFECT

Some statements suggest a cause & effect relationship. The conjunction b/w the clauses are normally, ‘hence’, ‘as’, ‘therefore’, ‘thus’, etc. In all such cases the valid assumption is ‘this cause leads to this effect’. These statements can be of the form, ‘though cause, yet no effect’, ‘because no cause, hence no effect’, etc.

Example 1:

Statement
The weather is bad. The match will be cancelled.
Valid assumptions:
Matches cannot be played in bad weather.

Analysis:
Here the speaker is connecting bad weather & a match. He assumes that the cause i.e., match bad weather, would lead to the effect, i.e., match being cancelled. Hence, the underlying assumption is that ‘matches cannot be played in bad weather’.

Suggestions:

Certain statements suggest a course of action to solve a given problem. A suggestion is nothing but an advice. When a person gives an advice, he thinks that there exists a situation which needs an advice & that this advice will bring in some improvement in the situation.

Example 1:

Students are weak in English. They should be made to practice more.
Valid assumptions:
I. Students being weak in English is not desirable.
II. More practice would improve the performance of the students who are weak in English.

Analysis:
From the statement, it is clear that “students being weak in English” is not desirable. The author also assumes that the action suggested, would help in improving the situation. Thus, both the assumptions are valid.

Practice problems:

Directions:
1) If only assumption (i) is implicit
2) If only assumption (ii) is implicit
3) If neither (i) nor (ii) is implicit
4) If either (i) or (ii) is implicit
5) If both the statements are implicit.

1) Statement:
An Unemployment allowance should be given to all those unemployed youth in India, who are above 21 years of age.

Assumptions:
i) The government has collected enough funds through taxes to provide the unemployment allowance to the youth in India.
ii) There are unemployed youth in India who needs monetary support.

2) Statement:
Why don’t you invite Ram for this year’s Dussehra festival?
Assumptions:
i) Unless Invited, Ram would not attend the festival.
ii) Ram is a member of the Hindu society of Hyderabad.

Answers

1) 2
2) 1

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