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Reasoning Skills Practice Test

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

If you'd like to gauge how much your critical thinking and reasoning skills have improved, take this practice test.

After you complete this test, grade it and then compare your score with your score on the Reasoning Skills Success Practice Test . Take as much time as you need to do this short practice test. When you finish, check your answers against the answer key that follows this test.

Good luck!

Reasoning Skills Practice Test

Directions: Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.

Joshua's ten-year-old stereo system has just died. He wants to buy a new one, but isn't sure what kind to get. He's on a tight budget but wants good quality—something that will last him for years. He has a large tape collection, but he has been transferring them to CDs because he believes the quality is much better.

  1. Which of the following most accurately presents the issues Joshua must consider, in order of priority?
    1. cost, quality, and brand name of system
    2. quality, cost, and components of system
    3. components, quality, and warranty for system
    4. trade-in value of old system and components of new system
  2. Which of the following is probably the best choice for Joshua?
    1. a medium-quality stereo with CD player but no tape deck, regular price
    2. a high-quality stereo with a tape deck but no CD, regular price
    3. a high-quality stereo with CD player but no tape deck on sale for half price
    4. a low-quality stereo with CD player and tape deck, sale price

Choose the best answer for each of the following.

  1. "Koala bears are the cutest animals in Australia!" is
    1. a fact.
    2. an opinion.
    3. a tentative truth.
    4. none of the above
  2. "The Grand Canyon is considered one of the most popular tourist spots in the country" is
    1. a fact.
    2. an opinion.
    3. a tentative truth.
    4. none of the above

The following items (5–20) present questions, statements, or short passages that illustrate the process of reasoning or critical thinking. In some items, the speaker's reasoning is flawed. Read each item and select the answer choice that most accurately describes it. Choose d if there is no flaw or if the speaker remains neutral.

  1. "The city is considering putting in another sanitary landfill."
    1. "sanitary landfill" is a euphemism
    2. "sanitary landfill" is a dysphemism
    3. "sanitary landfill" is vague
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  2. "Do you support raising the tuition for state schools, making it even harder for the underprivileged to receive an education?"
    1. The question uses circular reasoning.
    2. The question is presenting the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    3. The question is biased.
    4. The speaker is remaining neutral.
  3. "Give her a chance, Carl. She's a good person, and she's had a really hard time since her mother died. She's never worked in an office before, but you'll be giving her the first break she's had in a long time."
    1. The speaker is using peer pressure.
    2. The speaker is appealing to Carl's sense of pity.
    3. The speaker is using a red herring.
    4. The speaker is remaining neutral.
  4. "Don't listen to her opinion. She's from the Midwest."
    1. The speaker is presenting a straw man.
    2. The speaker is asking a loaded question.
    3. The speaker is presenting an ad hominem argument.
  5. "Tough-Scrub is tougher on dirt!"
    1. The ad is making an incomplete claim.
    2. The ad is appealing to our vanity.
    3. The claim the ad makes is untestable.
    4. There's nothing wrong with this ad.
  6. "We are all planning to protest the new insurance rules because they're so limited, and you're coming with us, right?"
    1. The speaker is presenting a no in-betweens argument.
    2. The speaker is using circular reasoning.
    3. The speaker is using peer pressure.
    4. The speaker is remaining neutral.
  7. "I failed the test, Mr. Hopper, because I got all of the questions wrong."
    1. The speaker is appealing to vanity.
    2. The speaker is using circular reasoning.
    3. The speaker is reversing cause and effect.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's explanation.
  8. "The average employee works only 45 hours a week and takes home $65,000 a year in salary. Not bad, eh?"
    1. The speaker has made a hasty generalization.
    2. The speaker has committed a non sequitur.
    3. The speaker's use of averages could be misleading.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  9. "If you are feeling stressed, you should try meditation. I was developing an ulcer and since I began meditating, I've slept better, felt calmer and I even laugh a lot more. Even better, meditation doesn't cost a penny!"
    1. The speaker is using peer pressure.
    2. The speaker is presenting a circular explanation.
    3. The speaker is making a hasty generalization.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  10. "So the end result is that we either have to cut jobs or go out of business."
    1. The speaker has presented a no in-betweens fallacy.
    2. The speaker has presented a straw man.
    3. The speaker has presented a slippery slope scenario.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  11. "Music is based on numbers. I'm good with numbers, so I'd be a good musician."
    1. The speaker has committed a non sequitur.
    2. The speaker has committed an ad hominem fallacy.
    3. The speaker has made a biased generalization.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  12. "The reason the prisons are so overcrowded is because courtroom judges are only out to put people away."
    1. This speaker uses an argument that presents the straw man fallacy.
    2. This speaker provides a statistic based on common sense.
    3. This speaker presents the slippery slope scenario.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  13. "I have succeeded because I was destined to succeed."
    1. The speaker is presenting a circular explanation.
    2. The speaker is presenting an untestable explanation.
    3. The speaker is reversing cause and effect.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  14. "If you stop going to the gym, the next thing you know, you'll start eating unhealthy food, and before you know it, you'll have heart disease."
    1. The speaker is appealing to the listener's sense of pity.
    2. The speaker is using flattery.
    3. The speaker is presenting a slippery slope argument.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  15. "I know you're upset with me about losing that paperwork. But you really should be paying attention to what Nicole did with that extra textbook money you gave her last week."
    1. The speaker is presenting a red herring.
    2. The speaker is committing an ad hominem.
    3. The speaker is using peer pressure.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.
  16. "Have you gone to the new grocery store yet? They had bananas for only 25 cents a pound so obviously they have the best bargains in the city."
    1. The speaker's argument is untestable.
    2. The speaker is making a hasty generalization.
    3. The speaker is using a euphemism.
    4. There's nothing wrong with the speaker's reasoning.

In the following situations, which source is most credible?

  1. You want to find out about the condition of a used pick-up truck you're thinking of buying.
    1. the truck's owner
    2. a friend who refurbishes used cars and trucks
    3. a used-car salesman
    4. an independent garage mechanic
  2. You want to find out about the quality of diamonds in a pawn shop.
    1. a friend who shops there all the time
    2. the shop's owner
    3. a professional jeweler
    4. an antique dealer

Read the following argument carefully and answer the questions that follow.

(1) School should be in session year-round rather than just September through June. (2) Having the summer months off means that children spend the first two months at the beginning of the school year reviewing what they learned the year before. (3) This is a waste of precious time. (4) Imagine how much more children would learn if they had an extra four months a year to learn new material. (5) In addition, with so many single-parent households or families where both parents have to work, child care in the long summer months is a serious financial burden on families. (6) Those who can't afford child care have no choice but to leave their children alone.

  1. What is the main point (conclusion) of the argument?
    1. sentence 1
    2. sentence 2
    3. sentence 3
    4. sentence 4
    5. sentence 5
  2. This conclusion is
    1. a fact.
    2. an opinion.
    3. a tentative truth.
  3. How many major premises support this conclusion?
    1. one
    2. two
    3. three
    4. four
  4. Which of the following would most strengthen this argument?
    1. "Teachers across the country agree."
    2. "According to a New York Times survey, just one week of summertime child care costs an average of $250."
    3. "At least we should make summer camps more affordable and educational."
    4. "Studies show that children who read throughout the summer do better in the next school year."
  5. Sentence 6 commits which of the following fallacies?
    1. red herring
    2. straw man
    3. no in-betweens
    4. non sequitur

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Every day for the last month, Roberto has been going to bed an hour earlier than usual. Since then, he has noticed that he feels more rested. He has also started eating healthier meals and eating out less. He has finally been able to put some money into his savings account. His headaches have gradually lessened as well.

  1. Which of the following is very likely to be the result of getting more sleep?
    1. He is feeling rested.
    2. He is eating out less.
    3. He is saving money.
    4. Both a and c
  2. If Roberto were to claim that his savings account has improved due to his extra sleep, which of the following would be true?
    1. He'd be making a hasty generalization.
    2. He'd be committing the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    3. He'd be reversing cause and effect.
    4. He wouldn't be committing any logical fallacies.
  3. Selena wants to make a birthday cake for her son. She knows that she needs to do each of the following:

    1. Mix the batter and pour it into the cake pan.
    2. Decorate the top with sprinkles and colored icing.
    3. Read the recipe to determine what she needs to buy.
    4. Go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients.
  4. In which order should Selena take the steps listed above?
    1. 2, 3, 4, 1
    2. 4, 2, 1, 3
    3. 1, 2, 3, 4
    4. 3, 4, 1, 2

You would like to know whether the employees in your company have started exercising as a result of the company recently building a new health club on the tenth floor of your building. You get a list of all the employees that received photo identification permitting entrance into the gym. You see that 64 percent of the employees applied for the gym photo ID and therefore conclude that 64 percent of the employees have started to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle as a result of the opening of the new gym.

  1. What is wrong with your conclusion?
    1. You haven't found out what kind of exercise the employees are engaging in.
    2. You don't find out whether some, or all, of the employees were exercising elsewhere before the new gym opened.
    3. You don't take into account that just because 64 percent applied for a gym ID, they are not all actually going to the gym.
    4. Both b and c
  2. Which of the following could you logically conclude from your before/after comparison?
    1. Sixty-four percent of the employees intended to use the new gym.
    2. Providing a health club for employees improves work performance.
    3. When people have a health club in their place of employment, they are more likely to eat right.
    4. If the gym offered exercise classes, then more people would use it.
  3. If you wanted to survey people in your company about the new health club and how it has changed or affected their lifestyle, which people would provide you with a representative sample?
    1. people who worked for the company before, during, and after the health club was built
    2. people who joined the company after the health club was built
    3. people who never worked for the company
    4. people who belong to a health club

Michelle has a list of chores she needs to get done before 5:00 p.m. She needs to vacuum, but she can't do that between 10–12 or 2–4 because the baby will be sleeping. She needs to do yesterday's dishes, but she can't do that between 9–10 or 12–1 because she and the baby will be eating. She needs to cook dinner, but she can't do that until she does yesterday's dishes, and she wants to do that as close to dinnertime as possible. She also needs to dust, but she wants to do that before she vacuums.

  1. Which of the following is the best schedule for Michelle?
  2. Brenda is hosting a dinner party. On one side of the table, Ed (E) is sitting next to Mary (M). There are two seats between Annabelle (A) and Mary. Annabelle is next to Carl (C). Carl is one seat away from Mary. Roger (R) is at one end of the table.

  3. In which order are these guests sitting?
    1. R, A, C, E, M
    2. R, C, M, E, A
    3. E, M, A, C, R
    4. M, C, R, A, E

Posttest

 

Answer Key

  1. b.
  2. c.
  3. b.
  4. c.
  5. a.
  6. c.
  7. b.
  8. c.
  9. a.
  10. c.
  11. b.
  12. c.
  13. d.
  14. a.
  15. a.
  16. a
  17. b.
  18. c.
  19. a.
  20. b.
  21. d.
  22. c.
  23. a.
  24. b.
  25. b.
  26. b.
  27. c.
  28. a.
  29. b.
  30. d.
  31. d.
  32. a.
  33. a.
  34. b.
  35. a.

 

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