We often come across passages with interesting questions in it.
Questions that have the answers directly stated in the passage are easy to attempt.
Questions that don’t have the answers directly stated in the passage are difficult to attempt.
These difficult questions are called Inference Questions.
There are three easy steps to attempt Inference Questions.
Have a quick glance at the passage to understand the context and the theme.
Read the question you are asked and try to identify the area of the passage that gives you a hint of the answer.
Try to extract the hidden meaning contained in the lines of the passage and your question will be answered.
I believe an example will make things more clear.
John doesn’t like to go to school. He never completes his homework on time. He sleeps all day.
Now, can you guess what kind of a boy John is.
John is obviously not active because he sleeps all day, doesn’t do his homework on time and also doesn’t like to go to school.
The passage gives us no information about John being boring or unintelligent. He may sleep all day but he can be very intelligent at the same time.
John is obviously lazy because he sleeps all day and doesn’t do his homework on time.
Thus, we can see that the answer wasn’t directly stated and we had to extract it from the information given in the passage.
Let’s try out another interesting passage.
Uncle Sam went to buy carrots from the market.
After carefully parking his new car by the sidewalk, he went inside the shop.
He found fresh, ripe mangoes at the counter.
He bought two dozens not only for himself but also for his entire family because they were his favourite.
Then, he took a rickshaw and happily went home.
After that, his wife started asking him about the carrots and the car. He was numb and had no answers.
Now, if you are asked about the nature of Uncle Sam… your answer would be...
You cannot obtain the answer directly from the story. You have to read in between the lines and extract the implied meaning.
He was not careless because he had parked his new car carefully by the sidewalk.
He was in fact caring and not reluctant or indifferent because he bought mangoes not only for himself but for his whole family.
So, the answer would be FORGETFUL, because he couldn’t remember things properly.
Thus, we were able to extract the answer from the information given in the passage.
Time for a quick RECAP
Inference Questions don’t have answers that are directly stated in the passage.
We have to understand what is implied in the passage or what the author wishes to state.
And extract the answer from the given information.