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# Judgment and Reasoning for Firefighter Exam Study Guide (page 6)

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Updated on Jun 23, 2011

### Logical Reasoning Questions

Firefighters have the ability to analyze and reason. A good firefighter must use analytical and logical reasoning skills when making important decisions. Therefore, firefighter exams sometimes include questions that test critical thinking.

Analytical and logical reasoning questions take many different forms: number series, sequences, analogies, and logic problems are just some of them.

#### Series and Sequences

Use your reasoning abilities as you try to answer the following sample questions.

1. Look at this series: 1, 1, 5, __ , 9, 9, 13,… What number should fill the blank?
1. 3
2. 5
3. 9
4. 17

Number series, letter series, and sequence questions measure your ability to reason without words. To answer these questions you must determine the pattern in each one. In each number series, look for the degree and direction of change between the numbers. In other words, do the numbers increase or decrease, and by how much? In question 16, the numbers repeat once and then increase by 4. Notice also that this question asks you to fill in the blank, not to add to the end of the series. Since the number 5 is repeated once, the answer is choice b.

#### Analogies

Another type of logical reasoning question is the verbal analogy. In an analogy, two sets of words are related to each other in a specific and similar way. Verbal analogies will test your ability to see these word relationships.

1. Aspirin is to headache as bandage is to
1. injection.
2. fracture.
3. accident.
4. wound.

The correct answer is choice d, wound. This is a use or function analogy; in both sets of words—aspirin and headache, bandage and wound—something is used for something else. Aspirin is used to treat a headache, a bandage is used to treat a wound. All the other choices in this question are loosely associated with injury, but the best answer is clearly choice d.

A good way to figure out the relationship in a given analogy question is to make up a sentence. You must first read each question carefully, as it is easy to mistake one kind of analogy for another. Formulating a sentence that expresses the relationship is the best way to avoid this mistake. Take question 17 as an example. The following are sentences you might make when approaching this analogy:

• Aspirin is used to treat a headache. A bandage is used to treat an injection? No. As soon as you say the sentence, you know that choice a is wrong. So you must try again.
• A bandage is used to treat a fracture. Again, no. A fracture requires a cast; a bandage won't help.
• A bandage is used to treat an accident. No, once again. A bandage might treat a person who has been in an accident, but it will not treat the accident itself.
• A bandage is used to treat a wound. Yes, of course. Your sentence tells you this is the right choice.

#### Logic

Next, try this logic problem:

1. During the past year, Zoe read more books than Heather.
2. Jane read fewer books than Heather.

Jane read more books than Zoe.

If the first two statements are true, the third statement is

1. true.
2. false.
3. uncertain.

Logic problems may appear daunting at first. However, solving these problems can be done in the most straightforward way. These problems can often be solved by writing out the information using math formulas. This may allow the relationships between the information in the question to be seen more easily. For question 18, there are three individuals noted: Zoe, Jane, and Heather. Write out the information in the question as math formulas. Recall the math symbols for greater than (<) and less than (>). The open part of the symbol is always in the direction of the larger value, such as 10 > 7 or 7 < 10. Using this technique, the information in the question can be written like this:

Zoe > Heather (or Z > H)
Jane < Heather (or J < H); this is the same as Heather > Jane
Jane > Zoe (or J > Z)

If the first two statements are true as the question states, Zoe would be greater than Jane because Zoe is greater then Heather and Heather is greater than Jane (remember that you can write this relationship either way as long as you turn the symbol around). Using this logic, the third statement that Jane > Zoe is obviously false.

A similar technique can be used on logic questions that involve numbers. Try this problem:

1. Kyle has twice as many marbles as Stan. Stan has a third as many marbles as Eric. If Eric has 21 marbles, how many does Kyle have?
1. 25
2. 14
3. 7

To solve this type of problem, write out the known information using math formulas:

K = 2 × S (Kyle has twice as many marbles as Stan)

S = E / 3 (Stan has 1/3 as many marbles as Eric)

E = 21 (Eric has 21 marbles)

You can now use these fairly simple formulas to solve the problem. To find out how many marbles Stan has, plug 21 into the value for E in the second formula:

S = 21 / 3 = 7; Stan has 7 marbles

Plug that answer into the first formula to find how many marbles Kyle has:

K = 2 × 7 = 14; Kyle has 14 marbles

Choice b is correct. Using these simple math techniques for logic problems can make them much clearer and easier to follow.

### How To Answer Judgment and Reasoning Questions

Judgment and reasoning questions are used to see how you would approach situations you may face as a firefighter on a day-to-day basis. Potential firefighters are expected to be sharp, safety conscious, respectful, and professional. When answering judgment and reasoning questions:

• Read the question slowly, and more than once if needed, so that you will understand what the question is asking as well as the scenario given to you.
• Look for key words that direct you to the correct answers.