To handle inference based questions well, first we should know the definition of the word ‘inference’. So let us first define inference:
It is a conclusion drawn on the basis of a given fact of given facts. It is also an ability of a reader or listener to read in between the lines. Inference is always with respect to listener/reader and more than one inference can be drawn on the basis of a given fact.
Let us try to understand it by an Example:
Fact: Anil has started devoting 15 hours to study seriously for BPO.
Now what can be said about ‘Anil’? These could be as follow:
- Anil is a hard working person.
- Anil is likely to crack BPO.
- Anil is much focused, determined and has lots of patience etc.
All the above three conclusions drawn, on the basis of a give fact, are inferences. So more than one inference can be drawn on the basis of given fact.
While answering inference based question keep two things in mind and these are as follow:
- An inference cannot be a direct line from a passage instead it should be based on one of the lines from the given facts/reading comprehension.
- An inference should not be restatement of any of the lines from the given passage/facts.
If the fact is ‘I am happy’, then the inference cannot be that ‘I am not sad’. In other words it is a restatement of the original statement.
Now while solving reading comprehension if you find yourself stuck between two choices, while answering inference based question, then make sure that for the answer to be correct it should have relevant basis in the passage to support the conclusion.
Let us do one more example to understand ‘inference’ better.
Read a few line given below and answer the question that follows:
People are always less happy to accept scientific data they feel contradicts their preconceived beliefs. No surprise here; no human likes to be wrong. But science isn’t supposed to care about preconceived notions. Science, at least good science, tells us about the world as it is, and not as some wish it to be. Sometimes what science finds is consistent with a particular religion’s wishes. But usually it is not.
What can be inferred about good science?
1. A good science is well received by the educated people.
2. A good science is based on concrete results obtained through testing the hypothesis.
3. A good science and religion are same.
4. A good science will always prove the general populace wrong.
Answer to the above question is Option 2 and this can be drawn on the basis of the line ‘But science isn’t supposed to care about preconceived notions. Science, at least good science, tells us about the world as it is and not as some wish it to be’’.
Option 1 is wrong as there is no relevant point in the passage to draw this conclusion.
Option 3 is too farfetched and it may not be always true for science and religion to be same.
Option 4 is wrong as there is no faction the passage to support this option.