The Civil Service Exam: Basics of Logic

Many examinees before have declared that logic questions were one of the most difficult parts of the Civil Service exam. They have mentioned how it can get confusing – considering that it should be just logical, to say the least, right?

As the logical questions of the Civil Service Exam have a reputation for being mind-boggling, it is important to understand the basics of logic before diving into the confusing answers to questions that seem impossible to answer.

Before getting to the nitty-gritty questions you’ll need to answer for the Civil Service Exam, we must understand the meaning of logic first.

What is Logic?

Logic is simply the study of correct reasoning, intellect, and argument. It is also a study of differentiating successful and unsuccessful arguments.

What is an argument?

An argument is defined by statements that can be classified into premises and conclusions. Premises are meant to support and give reasons to the other statements which is the conclusion.

You can easily identify if an argument entails being successful if the premises support the conclusion. While an argument can prove unsuccessful if the premises do not support the conclusion.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, here are few terms that usually appear on Logic types of questions and choices on the exam:

Logic – which is the study of:

a. Differentiating successful arguments from unsuccessful ones through criteria;

b. The methods and analogy in which the criteria are applied;

c. Similar statement properties, for example, logical truth, consistency, implication, equivalence, etc.

Statement – is meant to state a fact; always a declarative sentence. This never appears as an exclamatory sentence, or even as questions.

Argument – showcases a set of multiple statements. Some statements can present themselves as premises (in support or opposing), while other statements can act as conclusions.

Truth value – this determines whether a certain statement is true or false. There is a truth value in every statement. So a statement can either possess a true truth value or a false truth value. Furthermore, both cannot exist in the same statement.

Below are examples of arguments:

  • Aristotle is not immortal, for no human is immortal, and Aristotle is a human.
  • Aristotle is a human, therefore he is mortal; since every human is mortal.
  • All humans are mortal, and Aristotle is mortal as he is human.

Indications of premises and conclusions:

  • Premise clues: using the terms – because, since, for, as, given that, in as much as, for that reason
  • Conclusion clues: using the terms – therefore, thus, so, hence, consequently, it follows that, we may infer

You’re dozing off, aren’t you? It could get pretty boring studying all of this especially as it appears to have NO relevance with anything else. But this is only a precursor for the more technical stuff, such as analogy, that you will be dealing with when you study Logic questions and correct answers even further.

These are just the basics to get you started on understanding what could pop up in the Civil Service Exam. It’s important not just to study the topics included in the Civil Service Exam, but to also take civil service practice tests so that you can enhance your test-taking skills for the exam.