Try a Sample Logical Reasoning Question: Parallel Reasoning

Test 73, Section 2, Question 17

If Suarez is not the most qualified of the candidates for sheriff, then Anderson is. Thus, if the most qualified candidate is elected and Suarez is not elected, then Anderson will be.


The reasoning in which one of the following is most similar to the reasoning in the argument above?


A

If the excavation contract does not go to the lowest bidder, then it will go to Caldwell. So if Qiu gets the contract and Caldwell does not, then the contract will have been awarded to the lowest bidder.

B

If the lowest bidder on the sanitation contract is not Dillon, then it is Ramsey. So if the contract goes to the lowest bidder and it does not go to Dillon, then it will go to Ramsey.

C

If Kapshaw is not awarded the landscaping contract, then Johnson will be. So if the contract goes to the lowest bidder and it does not go to Johnson, then it will go to Kapshaw.

D

If Holihan did not submit the lowest bid on the maintenance contract, then neither did Easton. So if the contract goes to the lowest bidder and it does not go to Easton, then it will not go to Holihan either.

E

If Perez is not the lowest bidder on the catering contract, then Sullivan is. So if Sullivan does not get the contract and Perez does not get it either, then it will not be awarded to the lowest bidder.

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This is solid reasoning. It begins with an if/then statement. If Suarez is not the most qualified, then Anderson is. That means that it’s either Suarez or Anderson who’s most qualified. So, if the most qualified candidate is elected, and it’s not Suarez, it must be Anderson. He’s the only other person who could be most qualified.

We’re asked to match the reasoning. What we have here is some quality (qualified for sheriff). If it’s not most exemplified by one particular person (Suarez), it’s most exemplified by another particular person (Anderson). If the person is chosen based on that quality, and it doesn’t go to the first person, it has to go to the other. That’s what I’m looking for.

A. This doesn’t work. We have no if/then statement that compares the quality (lowest bid) between Qui and Caldwell. We need a sentence saying, “If Caldwell is not the lowest bidder, Qui is.” Also, the last sentence is backward. It should say, “if it is awarded to the lowest bidder, then Qui will get it.”

B. Yup. First, we have a quality that is best among one of two candidates. If Dillon isn’t the lowest bidder, Ramsey is. Then, we have a sentence saying that if the contract goes based on that quality (lowest bidder) and Dillon doesn’t get it, then Ramsey must get it. Perfect match.

C. The first sentence is wrong. It shouldn’t say that either Kapshaw will be rewarded the contract or Johnson will be. Rather, it should say that either Kapshaw is the lowest bidder or Johnson is.

D. Answer D is wrong because the first sentence shouldn’t say, “then neither did Easton.” Instead, it should say, “then Easton did.” That leads it to a mismatching conclusion, as well. If the conclusion were a match for the passage, then if Holihan doesn’t get it, Easton will.

E. The first sentence is good. The second sentence is where this falls apart. It should say, “So, if the contract goes to the lowest bidder and Sullivan doesn’t get it, Perez does.” That would be a match. Instead, this answer hypothesizes that both Sullivan and Perez might not get it. That doesn’t happen in the stimulus.

The answer is B.

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