What is it?
Fact-based conclusion questions test your ability to recognize and draw logical conclusions based on given a set of data/facts. This type of question probably has the greatest degree of variability: it can go from something very similar to “Reading facts” questions to challenging inferences from vague introductory paragraphs.
- Which of the following statements can be concluded from ...?
- Based on the data on table xx, which of the following statements is a valid conclusion ...?
Pharcom is a global pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of small molecule drugs for curing. Your team has been called by the Head of R&D to help him pre-select the drugs that are most likely to reach patenting and commercialization. He claims that on average 12% of researched drugs are cleared to be marketed, while the remaining part are dismissed either during the R&D process or final certification. Currently the average total expense for every drug in development is 12 Mn£ and the full trial and certification lasts for 10 years for the drugs going through the full process. The research and development process of the drugs is constituted by the following steps:
- Trial 1: Laboratory trial to test the effect of the active ingredients. The trial costs 3.5 Mn£ and lasts for 2 years.
- Trial 2: Laboratory trial to test the impact of side effects. The trial costs 4 Mn£ and lasts for 1.5 years.
- Trial 3: Animal testing to evaluate bacteria resistance. The trial costs 4.5 Mn£ and lasts for 4.5 years.
- Final certification by Food and Drug Administration. Filing costs 4.5 Mn£ and certification lasts for 2.5 years.
Which of the following statements can be concluded based on the information above?
Tips & Tricks
There are three possible types of answers that you may encounter in fact-based conclusion questions:
- False conclusions - some conclusions may simply be false or wrong. Even if their logic is correct, the outcome may be reversed or wrong.
- True conclusions - answers which both sound logic and draw the correct conclusion.
- Unproven conclusions - the logic may be correct and the conclusion reasonable, however they are not supported by facts in the introductory graph or paragraph.
How to tell false from true conclusions?
Telling true from false conclusions may prove challenging and time-consuming. Some answers especially will require you to mentally estimate a set of values for which some statements or relationships can hold. Here are a few steps which may prove useful in assessing a statement:
Can the opposite also be true?
Always evaluate whether the opposite of what is stated can be disputed. Candidates typically do not ask themselves this question. You’ll be surprised how asking yourself this kind of question can make a significant difference.
Consider the extremes
Conclusions should always be true, not just most of the time. If a conclusion is not always true, it’s not valid. When dealing with ranges of numbers, select them so as to keep them as close as possible to the situation described in the statement, but do not comply with it. What would make it wrong?