Most verbal reasoning tests will contain true or false questions. These questions test your analytical skills, but they just as often appear on verbal exams as on logical assessments. On true/false/cannot say questions, you’ll be given a short passage or a set of premises along with a statement, and you’ll be asked to determine, essentially, whether the passage contains enough information to determine whether the statement is true or false.
In this article, we’re going to explain how you should approach verbal aptitude tests and what common pitfalls you should avoid. We’ll also go through some of our top verbal reasoning true, false, cannot say tips. When you’re finished reading through this page, make sure to click over to our questions page to try some cannot say verbal reasoning problems on your own.
What Is a True/ False/ Cannot Say Question?
On a verbal reasoning test, true or false questions have little to do with actual veracity of the information in a particular statement, which is good news. You won’t need any outside information to answer these questions. Pre-employment psychometric exams are supposed to test how well you can comprehend texts and reports.
Your job, on online aptitude assessments, is simply to state whether you’ve been given enough information to prove an argument right or wrong. You are not expected to give your opinion or have any prior knowledge of the subject. These questions ask you to use deductive reasoning only to arrive at a reliable conclusion.
How to Answer True/ False/ Cannot Say Questions:
Your job on this section of the test is to determine whether a statement is true or false based on the information you already have. When reading through the question, make notes of what you do and do not know. Then when answering the question, try to determine whether you can prove the statement false. If there’s any case in which the statement could be false, then it can’t be true. Then, see if there’s enough information to verify that the statement must hold true in every instance. If there’s even the slightest doubt, then the statement cannot reasonably be true.
People generally like to believe they’re very rational, but the truth is that we humans are far from logical. When left to our own devices, we make excuses, ignore relevant examples, connect unrelated details, and pay far too much attention to our emotions. Human nature has a logic of its own. So, it’s that much more important that you pay careful attention to the wording in each question and double check your reasoning before marking your answer. Here we’ve listed four common logical fallacies you should make sure to avoid when taking a true/ false/ cannot say exam.
- Correlation not Causation
Psychologists in particular love to explain that while two phenomena may appear together, they may not necessarily be related causally. In order to show that one action causes another effect, you have to effectively rule out all other possibilities. For example, just because you’re sad every time it rains does not mean the rain is affecting your emotions. You may simply notice the rain more often when you’re sad because it confirms for you that you are, in fact, miserable.
- False Dichotomy
95% of the time, a problem will have more than two solutions; however, many people will present a dilemma using either/or. Even if the text provides a few solutions to a problem, it usually isn’t true that these are the only possibilities. You won’t have too much trouble coming up with alternatives if you are willing to use a bit of creativity. For example, you could say, “You’re either going to war or you’re not” would be a false dichotomy. You can threaten to go to war, fund local armies, and carry out an airstrike without actually deploying troops on the ground. In most cases, life is too complicated to fit neatly into a convenient dichotomy.
- Circular Arguments
In a circular argument, the ends justify the means. That is to say that if you begin an argument with your conclusion, you will prove your point, but not in any meaningful or significant way. Indeed, if your conclusion is also your premise, then you have nothing to back up your claims. For instance, if you were to say “The Bible is true because the Bible says that the Bible is true,” you wouldn’t actually be stating anything out of the ordinary because if you don’t believe the words of the Bible, you also wouldn’t believe what it says about its own authenticity.
- Red Herring
While a red herring might help you out on a difficult job interview, it won’t help you on a true/false/cannot say verbal reasoning exam. A red herring refers to a case in which one party diverts the conversation deliberately shifting the discussion to a different topic. Red herrings might be relevant, but they don’t actually contribute to the debate at hand. For example, let’s say Amy asks her Spanish teacher if they could hold discussions during class to improve their speaking skills. If the teacher replies, “It looks like you’re not practicing Spanish enough at home,” she’s re-directing the conversation away from her own shortcomings in order to avoid the topic. This red herring does not address Amy’s concerns whatsoever.
Verbal Reasoning True/ False/ Cannot Say Tips
Before heading out to the assessment center, read through our true/ false/ cannot say tips!
- Ignore Extraneous Details: It’s important that you only pay attention to the information given to you. You may happen to know a great deal about the topic at hand, but do your best to ignore any previous knowledge. The questions are based on the text provided, and while you may know much more, you’re far more likely to answer incorrectly if you let your mind wander. Remember, they want to evaluate your logical reasoning, so they’ll give you everything you need to answer the question.
- Aim for Certainty: When it comes to true/false/can’t say questions, probably isn’t good enough. Likely, “I think so,” maybe, and “it has to be” are invalid If you want to circle true, you should know beyond a doubt that the statement is true. This is not the place to be wishy washy.
- Pay Attention to Qualifiers: All, some, never, none are all incredibly important adjectives. They drastically change the meaning of a phrase, so you should pay attention whenever you see one. Remember, some means at least one but not all.
Final Thoughts on Cannot Say/ True/ False Questions
These problems may seem confusing at first. Indeed, they’re not at all intuitive. Make sure not to miss the free true/ false/ not given practice questions we wrote just for you. They’re posted on the questions tab with their answers. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Then read the explanations to see if your reasoning was on track.