Logical Reasoning (Verbal)
Each question in this part of the assessment starts with a reading passage
containing the information to be used to choose between correct and incorrect
logical conclusions. These conclusions are based on the information in the
passage. After this reading passage, you are given a lead-in phrase that
tells you to choose from among five different responses. These possible
responses are generated by correctly or incorrectly applying logical thought to
the information in the passage at the beginning of the question. They can be
thought of as different ways of completing a sentence that begins with the
Each reading passage is based on actual Bureau of Labor Statistics documents
but is not necessarily a completely accurate representation of BLS work. It is
important that you accept every fact in the reading passage as true,
when you evaluate the response choices offered. You should use only
the information in the passage as the basis for accepting or rejecting any
response choices. Be careful not to allow any "facts" that are not clearly
stated in the reading passage, or any outside knowledge you may have of the
"facts", to influence your thinking.
The lead-in phrase following each reading passage prompts you to select from
among five response choices, labeled A through E, so that a complete and valid
sentence is formed. The lead-in may ask you to select the statement that is a
necessary consequence of the facts given, (that is, a
conclusion that must be true from the facts given). This lead-in takes the
"From the information given above it can be validly concluded that..."
You should respond here by selecting the alphabetical designator (A-E) of the
statement that satisfies the stated condition, that is, a "valid conclusion."
Alternatively, the phrase may ask you to identify a conclusion that
is not necessarily true (in that sense, "false,") given the facts
contained in the reading passage. This kind of lead-in generally reads as
"From the information given above it CANNOT be validly concluded that..."
Here you should choose the letter (A-E) next to the statement that is not
adequately supported as necessarily true by reasoning from the facts you were
given in the reading passage.
If additional conditions are clearly stated in the sentence-completion
instructions, then take them into account when making your answer choice. For
example, if the instructions said:
"From the information given above it can be validly concluded that,
in the State of Nevada in 1999..."
your response choice should be valid for "the State of Nevada in 1999," in
addition to following validly from the reading passage itself. Do not
assume any of these additional limiting conditions. Only apply those that are
In all cases, there will be a single correct response
alternative. None of the questions here (or on the actual assessment)
have multiple correct answers.
Test-Taking Tips for Logical Reasoning
Before you try to answer a few sample questions, here are some general
test-taking tips that should help you with the Logical Reasoning section.
- Study the question carefully. A brief explanation of why each
choice is correct or incorrect follows each practice question. If you
understand this reasoning for the practice items, you will do well on the
- NEVER assume or use any information that the question fails to
give you. This is NOT an assessment of how much you know about economics in
general! Consider ONLY the information given in each reading passage when
choosing among the alternative responses.
- Read both the factual passage and the sentence completion
instruction carefully. Both must be considered in making your choice.
- Be sure to read all the response choices carefully before choosing one.
- In questions that ask you to select a valid conclusion, always choose
the one conclusion that must definitely follow from the information you are
given. In questions that ask you to find the invalid alternative, choose the
one conclusion that does not definitely follow from the information.
- Pay special attention to words like "all," "some," or "none" when you
read the factual information each question gives you. Other qualifying words
such as "other than," "only" or "unless" are important, too. These words can
play a critical part in precisely specifying the facts to be used in your
- Pay attention to negative prefixes also, such as non-, un-, or dis-.
These can be crucial to specifying the basic facts in the paragraph.
- "Test-taking" courses or your college instructors may have advised you
to avoid any response choices that contain the quantifiers "all" or "none."
In both the practice questions here and in the actual economist assessment,
these words are NOT signs of incorrect response choices. They will appear in
both correct and incorrect response choices.
- Pay close attention to the word "ONLY" and to the phrase "IF AND ONLY
IF." Saying "The door will open IF AND ONLY IF both keys are used" sets up a
highly specific condition that must be met. There is exactly one way to open
the door-you must use both keys. By contrast, if the sentence says, "The
door will open if the key is used," there may be several ways to open the
door besides by using the key.
- The questions in the assessment will vary in difficulty level, and
difficult questions will be mixed in with easier ones throughout the
assessment. When you encounter a question that is difficult for you, try
drawing diagrams or other schematic notes on the "scratch" paper provided to
support and confirm your thought processes. Also, bear in mind that you can
stop working on a difficult question temporarily and return to it later.