Catalog of question types (article) | Khan Academy (2024)

Logical reasoning question types

Here's a loose inventory of the types of question stems you’ll see throughout the Logical Reasoning section. This list is in no way comprehensive, since there are many ways to word the same task, but the examples found here are conceptually representative of the question type.

The more adept you become at identifying question types, the more easily you’ll be able to choose an appropriate strategy—and that means greater accuracy and speed on Test Day.

Identify the conclusion

Examples:

  • Which one of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion drawn in the argument?
  • The conclusion drawn in Annie’s argument is that

Note: In our system, you will find some questions that ask you to Identify or Infer the Dispute mixed up with questions that ask you to Identify the Conclusion.

Learn more:

  • Identify the conclusion | Quick guide
  • Identify the conclusion | Video lesson
  • Identify the conclusion | Learn more
  • Identify the conclusion | Worked example

Identify an entailment (also known as implication)

Examples:

  • Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the statements above?
  • If the essayist’s statements are true, then which one of the following must also be true?
  • Which one of the following statements follows logically from the information above?
  • If the statements above are true, which one of the following CANNOT be true?

Sometimes you’ll be asked to identify a choice that conflicts with the statements in the passage. In that case, the questions might ask variations of:

  • Which one of the following claims is inconsistent with the statements in the editorial?
  • Of the following claims, which one can most justifiably be rejected on the basis of the statements above?

Learn more:

  • Identify an entailment | Quick guide
  • Identify an entailment | Video lesson
  • Identify an entailment | Learn more
  • Identify an entailment | Worked example

Infer what is most strongly supported

  • Which one of the following most logically completes the argument?

Note: These question stems always feature a blank space like this _______ at the end of the passage.

  • Laura's statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following hypotheses?
  • Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?
  • Which one of the following can most reasonably be concluded on the basis of the information above?
  • Of the following claims, which one can most justifiably be rejected on the basis of the statements above?

Learn more:

  • Strongly supported inferences | Quick guide
  • Strongly supported inferences | Video lesson
  • Strongly supported inferences | Learn more
  • Strongly supported inferences | Worked example

Identify or infer an issue in dispute

Examples:

  • X and Y disagree over whether
  • X and Y disagree with each other about which one of the following?
  • The dialogue provides the most support for the claim that X and Y disagree over whether
  • On the basis of their statements, X and Y are committed to disagreeing over the truth of which one of the following statements?

Top tip: Sometimes the test will ask you to infer what the speakers agree on, so it’s important to read the question carefully!

Learn more:

  • Disputes | Quick guide
  • Disputes | Video lesson
  • Disputes | Learn more
  • Disputes | Worked example

Identify the technique

Examples:

  • The educator’s argument proceeds by
  • Paul responds to Sara’s argument using which one of the following argumentative techniques?
  • Which one of the following is a technique of reasoning used in the argument?
  • X responds to Y's argument by doing which one of the following?

Learn more:

  • Identify the technique | Quick guide
  • Identify the technique | Video lesson
  • Identify the technique | Learn more
  • Identify the technique | Worked example

Identify the role

Examples:

  • The claim that … plays which one of the following roles in the argument?
  • The claim that … is used in the argument to
  • Which one of the following most accurately describes the role played in the argument by the claim that …?

Learn more:

  • Identify the role | Quick guide
  • Identify the role | Video lesson
  • Identify the role | Learn more
  • Identify the role | Worked example

Identify the principle

Examples:

  • Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the reasoning in the argument above?
  • The journalist’s reasoning most closely conforms to which one of the following principles?
  • The situation described above conforms most closely to which one of the following generalizations?
  • The principle stated above, if valid, most helps to justify the reasoning in which one of the following arguments?

Learn more:

  • Identify the principle | Quick guide
  • Identify the principle | Video lesson
  • Identify the principle | Learn more
  • Identify the principle | Worked example

Match the structure

Examples:

  • Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its reasoning to the argument above?
  • The pattern of reasoning in the argument above is most similar to that in which one of the following arguments?
  • Which one of the following arguments is most closely parallel in its reasoning to the argument above?

Learn more:

  • Match the structure | Quick guide
  • Match the structure | Video lesson
  • Match the structure | Learn more
  • Match the structure | Worked example

Match principles

  • Which one of the following conforms most closely to the principle illustrated above?
  • The principle underlying the argument above is most similar to the principle underlying which one of the following arguments?

Learn more:

  • Match principles | Quick guide
  • Match principles | Video lesson
  • Match principles | Learn more
  • Match principles | Worked example

Identify a flaw

Examples:

  • The reasoning in the magazine article’s argument is flawed in that the argument
  • Which one of the following most accurately describes a flaw in the argument’s reasoning?
  • The argument commits which one of the following errors of reasoning?
  • The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument
  • The argument’s reasoning is questionable in that the argument
  • The reasoning in the argument is flawed in that the argument overlooks the possibility that
  • Trey's remarks suggest that he is misinterpreting which one of the following words used by Ginevra?

Many students confuse flaw and weaken questions, because they associate a somewhat negative tone to both question types.

Flaw questions: The argument is already bad. The choices describe reasons why an argument is flawed.

New info: Weaken questions: The task is to find a new premise that would weaken the connection between the support and the conclusion. The choices always contain new information.

Learn more:

  • Identify a flaw | Quick guide
  • Identify a flaw | Video lesson
  • Identify a flaw | Learn more
  • Identify a flaw | Worked example

Match flaws

Examples:

  • The flawed pattern of reasoning in the argument above is most similar to that in which one of the following?
  • Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its flawed reasoning to the argument above?
  • Which one of the following arguments contains flawed reasoning that is most parallel to that in the argument above?
  • The flawed nature of the argument above can most effectively be demonstrated by noting that, by parallel reasoning, we could conclude that

Learn more:

  • Match flaws | Quick guide
  • Match flaws | Video lesson
  • Match flaws | Learn more
  • Match flaws | Worked example

Necessary Assumptions

Examples:

  • Which one of the following is an assumption required by the argument?
  • The argument requires assuming which one of the following?
  • The argument requires the assumption that
  • The argument relies on assuming which one of the following?
  • Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Learn more:

  • Necessary assumptions | Quick guide
  • Necessary assumptions | Video lesson
  • Necessary assumptions | Learn more
  • Necessary assumptions | Worked example

Sufficient Assumptions

Examples:

  • The conclusion drawn above follows logically if which one of the following is assumed?
  • The conclusion of the argument is strongly supported if which one of the following is assumed?
  • The conclusion of X's argument can be properly drawn if which one of the following is assumed?
  • Which one of the following is an assumption that, if true, would do most to justify X's actions?

Learn more:

  • Sufficient assumptions | Quick guide
  • Sufficient assumptions | Video lesson
  • Sufficient assumptions | Learn more
  • Sufficient assumptions | Worked example

Strengthen

Examples:

  • Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the support for the scientist's hypothesis?
  • Which one of the following, if true, adds the most support for the conclusion of the argument?
  • Each of the following, if true, supports the claim above EXCEPT

Learn more:

  • Strengthen | Quick guide
  • Strengthen | Video lesson
  • Strengthen | Learn more
  • Strengthen | Worked example

Weaken

Examples:

  • Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most calls into question the efficacy of the traditional treatment described above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, is the strongest logical counter that the linguist can make to the philosopher?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the claim made above?

Learn more:

  • Weaken | Quick guide
  • Weaken | Video lesson
  • Weaken | Learn more
  • Weaken | Worked example

Identify what is most/least helpful to know

Examples:

  • Which one of the following would be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?
  • The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the argument above?
  • The answer to which one of the following questions would LEAST help in evaluating the argument?

Learn more:

  • Helpful to know | Quick guide
  • Helpful to know | Video lesson
  • Helpful to know | Learn more
  • Helpful to know | Worked example

Explain

Examples:

  • Which one of the following, if true, most helps to explain the apparently paradoxical result?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most helps to explain the failure of the strategy?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most helps to explain the preference described above?
  • Each of the following, if true, contributes to an explanation of the difference in caloric intake EXCEPT:

Explanation: Top tipSometimes students see the words “helps to” in an explain question and they mistake it for a strengthen question. Notice, however, that in explain question types, you’re not helping an argument (which is what a strengthen question asks you to do), but that you’re helping to explain how a situation could have occurred.

Learn more:

  • Explain | Quick guide
  • Explain | Video lesson
  • Explain | Learn more
  • Explain | Worked example

Resolve a conflict

Examples:

  • Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent conflict described above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy in the information above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, does most to justify the doctors’ apparently paradoxical belief?

Learn more:

  • Resolve a conflict | Quick guide
  • Resolve a conflict | Video lesson
  • Resolve a conflict | Learn more
  • Resolve a conflict | Worked example
Catalog of question types (article) | Khan Academy (2024)

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