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Verbal reasoning question

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Mar 18, 2005
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OntEdTchr wrote: How is it c? We need to make assumptions that certain choices exclude others. The word "must" in the question should be "could." It's easy to eliminate A, B, D and E as possible answers, but the statement that Laura and Marco want lightweight jackets doesn't eliminate the possibility that those jackets may have hoods. The statement that "nobody wants a lightweight jacket with a hood" is also ambiguous. Does that mean that they wouldn't be happy with such a jacket or simply they they don't require it? If I say that "I don't want to go to the park," most native-English speakers would interpret that as me being unhappy if we were to go the park. Laura and Marco don't explicitly need a hood, although that assumes that the description of what they want is complete and exclusive of anything else, but they wouldn't necessarily mind having one.

In any case, I like questions like this primarily for the opportunity to analyze the question itself.

This was my line of thinking as well. When I saw that someone answer none of the above, I was like damn, didn't think that was an option. This isn't a think outside of the box thing is it?

Like you said, C is the only answer that can't be eliminated but also doesn't mean it is the correct answer imo because of the reasons you stated.
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ProjectPixelation wrote: I had a feeling we would get one of these posts lol
Did you frequently question teachers/professors on their course materials in HighSchool/Post secondary?

Sorry, just teasing... and asking out of curiosity

Would be amusing and ironic since you're a teacher yourself ;)
How do you deal with such students? (e.g. "But I like to analyze the exam rather than answer the questions!")

PS: Answer is C as no one wanted a jacket that met both criteria.

Edit:


The term "verbal reasoning" is misleading...
I think this would be very challenging even for adults to figure out if done entirely verbally (e.g. someone read this to you). At a minimal you'd need to see this on paper...
I actively encourage those students. “Why?” “How?” and “what about?” are words that so many students fear using and can open up incredibly deep and insightful conversations. Those words are fundamental to going beyond knowledge and developing a real understanding. I’ve had students point out ambiguity in test questions and I welcome that. First, I learn more about what the student knows based on how they phrase their question/critique, and second, I’m not so arrogant as to believe that the questions I develop on my tests are perfect and students have no business questioning them.

You assume that the individuals that wanted a lightweight jacket didn’t want a hood. There are also several ways to interpret the phrase, “I don’t want...” I might throw this up to my students next week and see what they come up with. A fun activity might be to see if we can reword the question to eliminate any possible ambiguity or need for assumptions. Now that would be a great diagnostic assessment for students’ thinking around the use of language.
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OntEdTchr wrote: How is it c? We need to make assumptions that certain choices exclude others. The word "must" in the question should be "could." It's easy to eliminate A, B, D and E as possible answers, but the statement that Laura and Marco want lightweight jackets doesn't eliminate the possibility that those jackets may have hoods. The statement that "nobody wants a lightweight jacket with a hood" is also ambiguous. Does that mean that they wouldn't be happy with such a jacket or simply they they don't require it? If I say that "I don't want to go to the park," most native-English speakers would interpret that as me being unhappy if we were to go the park. Laura and Marco don't explicitly need a hood, although that assumes that the description of what they want is complete and exclusive of anything else, but they wouldn't necessarily mind having one.

In any case, I like questions like this primarily for the opportunity to analyze the question itself.
This is precisely the problem with people around here. North Americans tend to add their own fear, bias, opinion, emotion, "assumption" to EVERYTHING. (a.k.a. stereotype, or worse, implicit prejudice)

Ambiguous? Do you think this is written by some ESL person? It can't be more clear. Read the passage and the answers again. They use the SAME word, "want", in every sentence.
Verbal reasoning tests are often used during recruitment for positions in many industries, such as banking, finance, management consulting, mining and accounting. The tests are used as an efficient way to short list candidates for later stages of the recruitment process, such as interview. When used in recruitment, the tests normally include a series of text passages regarding a random topic. Then there will be a series of statements regarding the passages. The candidate must then determine if the statement is true, false or they can't tell (it's ambiguous). The candidate is not expected to know anything about the topics, and the answer is to be based purely on the information in the passage.
No one asked you to "imagine" things not stated in the passage...
Last edited by Tugendhat on Aug 24th, 2020 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ProjectPixelation wrote: The term "verbal reasoning" is misleading...
I think this would be very challenging even for adults to figure out if done entirely verbally (e.g. someone read this to you). At a minimal you'd need to see this on paper...
It is really an official or accepted term.
Last edited by Tugendhat on Aug 24th, 2020 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DanChristianYeung wrote: I guessed C as well. Not a 'correct' answer, but the best one.
C is the correct answer because every other answer has direct evidence in the passage that proves them FALSE.
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Tugendhat wrote: This is precisely the problem with people around here. North Americans tend to add their own fear, bias, opinion, emotion, "assumption" to EVERYTHING. (a.k.a. stereotype, or worse, implicit prejudice)

Ambiguous? Do you think this is written by some ESL person? It can't be more clear. Read the passage and the answers again. They use the SAME word, "want", in every sentence.



No one asked you to "imagine" things not stated in the passage...
I mean, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I'm not sure where you're going with implicit prejudice and fear. Am I supposed to be afraid of hoods or biased towards lightweight jackets? Seems a bit extreme. Also, English is my second language. What does ESL have to do with this?

Assuming that one of the given answers must be correct, C is the correct one since all of the others are demonstrably wrong. But now we're back to making assumptions. The statement, "I want 'x'" does not imply that I don't want 'x' and 'y.'

Imagine this scenario. A guest asks for ice cream. You ask if they want chocolate syrup on top. Your guest gets mad at you, saying "Of course I don't, all I said is that I want ice cream. If I wanted syrup I would have said so." You'd be forgiven for being surprised by your guest's reaction. If I were given this on a job interview I'd explain why I'm eliminating A, B, D and E and explain why I feel that C, while the best answer available, is not complete. What they'd want to do with that answer is up to them.

You seem to be very defensive about this question. Did you author it?
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Jul 8, 2009
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None of the answers must be true. C may be true.

Picking C relies on interpreting the lack of a statement that person X wants item Y as being equivalent to the statement that person X doesn't want item Y. Any introductory course in logic will tell you not to do something like that.
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OntEdTchr wrote: I mean, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I'm not sure where you're going with implicit prejudice and fear. Am I supposed to be afraid of hoods or biased towards lightweight jackets? Seems a bit extreme. Also, English is my second language. What does ESL have to do with this?

Assuming that one of the given answers must be correct, C is the correct one since all of the others are demonstrably wrong. But now we're back to making assumptions. The statement, "I want 'x'" does not imply that I don't want 'x' and 'y.'

Imagine this scenario. A guest asks for ice cream. You ask if they want chocolate syrup on top. Your guest gets mad at you, saying "Of course I don't, all I said is that I want ice cream. If I wanted syrup I would have said so." You'd be forgiven for being surprised by your guest's reaction. If I were given this on a job interview I'd explain why I'm eliminating A, B, D and E and explain why I feel that C, while the best answer available, is not complete. What they'd want to do with that answer is up to them.

You seem to be very defensive about this question. Did you author it?
My mistake. I thought you were a native speaker because you said "most native-English speakers would interpret"...

The issue is you can make unlimited assumptions and that's not the point of this exercise.
Last edited by Tugendhat on Aug 25th, 2020 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mercury048 wrote: None of the answers must be true. C may be true.

Picking C relies on interpreting the lack of a statement that person X wants item Y as being equivalent to the statement that person X doesn't want item Y. Any introductory course in logic will tell you not to do something like that.
You are making the same mistake like the guy above... What you said is correct in general, but this is a specific case. (the answer is to be based purely on the information in the passage)

What each individual wants is clearly, specifically stated in the passage.
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I also think C is ambiguously worded. "No one wants a lightweight jacket with a hood." is correct if you taken it very literally, i.e. there is no one actively looking for such a jacket -- their stance towards it is neutral as far as we know. But colloquially, "no one wants x" usually means x is undesirable. I find it difficult to treat "no one wants x" as a neutral expression, and I think many would feel the same way.
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digger314 wrote: I also think C is ambiguously worded. "No one wants a lightweight jacket with a hood." is correct if you taken it very literally, i.e. there is no one actively looking for such a jacket -- their stance towards it is neutral as far as we know. But colloquially, "no one wants x" usually means x is undesirable. I find it difficult to treat "no one wants x" as a neutral expression, and I think many would feel the same way.
Now, this is back to square one----Reading Comprehension.
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Tugendhat wrote: Now, this is back to square one----Reading Comprehension.
I have no problem comprehending both potential meanings. You are the one refusing to acknowledge one of them, which happens to be the most obvious interpretation here.
This is precisely the problem with people around here. North Americans tend to add their own fear, bias, opinion, emotion, "assumption" to EVERYTHING. (a.k.a. stereotype, or worse, implicit prejudice)
Everyone injects their biases and assumptions into their language; human language is not precise like math or programming code. The biases and assumptions are just different in different places. It's the job of the writer to write in a manner that minimizes misunderstanding, especially for a logical reasoning question. Though I'm guessing that statement is not as ambiguous in the UK.

Anyway that's enough pedantry from me on this topic... you guys have fun ;)
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digger314 wrote: I have no problem comprehending both potential meanings. You are the one refusing to acknowledge one of them, which happens to be the most obvious interpretation here.
I understand perfectly and I have acknowledged it every time. People are disputing the level of language proficiency and word choice.

Which is not the issue here... But thanks for replying.
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I got “C” as well. These questions are very common for the kids that are competing in math contests through their school ( e.g., Caribou math contest, CMS math, etc.). I’ve seen my son solving many of these questions (started in grade 4).

These are fun but some of them, I have no freaken clue then my 10 yr old would explained it to me, lol...I love it! It tests your logical and reasoning skills.

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