Reading Comprehension

Inferences

In inferences section of the bank exams, the questions will ask you to sum up or select the meaning of a sentence, word inside a sentence or an entire passage. The idea behind the inference section is to present the candidate with passages, sentences or phrases that have a specific meaning. These questions check the candidate on his reading comprehension abilities.

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Inferences

The strategy of answering inference is very simple. A candidate has to have a three-prong approach to such questions. The first method is the deduction. In such questions, the option will be something that is not directly visible in the passage or the sentence. Rather you will have to deduce it. Let us see this strategy and others with some examples.

Deduction

Example 1: The scholarship was difficult to get. His marks were very satisfactory. He had waited three months for the email to come. It was supposed to be the happiest day in his life. He shut his computer and left the room.

Inferences

Q 1: After reading the above, what do you think has happened?

A) The person got accepted into a University.

B) The person got rejected by the University.

C) The person is waiting for a reply.

D) The person shuts his computer down.

Answer: The answer is C) The person is waiting for a reply from the University. The paragraph carries a negative sense and it makes it clear that the person was checking his computer for mail. But it doesn’t make it clear that he has received a rejection letter, in which case he is still waiting for a reply to come.

Example 2: He managed to get onto the top of the hill with difficulty. The river was right below. He readied his rifle and took aim. Below, there were deer, unsuspecting and grazing.

Q 1: Why did the person climb on top of the mountain?

A) He liked the view from the top.

B) The mountaintop was a calm and relaxing place.

C) He wanted to get a clear shot of the deer.

D) The rifle was on top of the mountain.

Answer: The sentence “the river was right below” seems to point to the fact that it was a good place to take aim. The other options seem to have no backing in the passage. So the correct option here will be B) The mountaintop was a calm and relaxing place.

Speculation

The word speculation means the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence. In these types of questions, you will be asked to speculate on the basis of the passage. Let us see an example of speculation. Read the following passage and answer the question that follows.

Example 3: All the pain and suffering comes from the stupidity of humans. Their stupidity to believe nonsense and force this nonsense on others is what causes pain and suffering in the world. In the words of the great philosopher called Voltaire,”If you believe in absurdities, you can commit atrocities”.

Q 1: What do you think the author will feel about a person who believes in ghosts?

A) The person is absurd and should change his beliefs.

B) The person’s beliefs are dangerous to others.

C) The author does not say anything about ghosts.

D) Voltaire was a great philosopher.

Answer: You may immediately go ahead and select D) but Voltaire is not the main topic of the passage. Please consider all options before you answer. The option A) doesn’t follow from the passage. The passage presents the idea that a person who believes in ridiculous things or superstitious or illogical things can easily commit evil deeds against others. So the obvious option to infer from that is B) The person’s beliefs are dangerous to others.

Examination

The examination questions will present a passage and ask the candidate about the state of thought of a given character. In other words, a passage will present the views and opinions of a particular author and you will have to guess on those bases the feelings of the author. Let us see an example.

Example 4: A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!

Q 1: What does the author mean by “in some of its imaginings”:

A) That even the people who are very close keep secrets from each other.

B) Each person has a different imagination than the other.

C) That each person’s secrets are different than the other person that he is sharing a space with.

D) Every person has an independent existence no matter how close he gets to others.

Answer: The word imaginings means thoughts or fantasies. Thus the author speculates about the fact that even though the people might seem close to each other, they can still harbour great secrets from each other. Thus the correct option is A).

Practice Question

Q 1: Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged.

In the above, what would describe the condition of the author best?

A) The author is deeply sad and disturbed and unable to focus.

B) The author is distracted from a book by something else.

C) The author is depressed and wishes to read a book.

D) The author is talking about life and how it is a book that we all have to read.

Ans: B) The author is distracted from a book by something else.

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