What will you learn from this article
  1. What are the important terms of this topic
  2. What does this topic test?
  3. Rules for solving cause and effect questions
  4. Types of questions asked
  5. How to solve cause and effect questions
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Learning the logic behind cause and effect will not only help you score in Logical Reasoning section, but also Verbal Ability. Sometimes, questions asked in Reading Comprehension require a thorough understanding of cause and effect.


Cause and Effect in Entrance Exams

Cause and effect questions are one of the most important questions that forms a part of the logical reasoning section in entrance exams. Even though cause and effect questions might seem easier for some, there are chances that what you think of as the answer, does not turn out to be the answer in reality. Hence, it is imperative to understand what all is there in such types of questions and how to prepare for them. 

Some important definitions 

  1. Cause – Condition under which the event or situation occurs 
  2. Effect – The repercussion or consequences of the situation occurred
  3. Sufficient condition – The statement explaining the cause of the situation is known as the sufficient condition. 
  4. Necessary condition – The necessary condition is the one that has to be satisfied for the event to occur. This condition is mandatory for the event to cause. 

Aim of cause and effect questions

The main aim of causal and effect questions is to look at the relationship between two statements. Basically the need of the questions is to analyse whether the two statements are causally related to each other or not. 

This means that if the first statement is a cause, whether the second statement has the ability to be an effect of it. 

As an example, consider the following statements 

  • There is an increase in the sale of N95 masks. 
  • Due to pandemic, people have been taking precautionary steps of social distancing and using masks in public places. 

In both these statements, there is a causal relationship involved as the increase in sale of masks has been due to the pandemic. 

  • He was killed in the thunderstorms and lightning. 
  • It was raining heavily. 

Now there may or may not be a causal relationship between these two statements because we do not know whether the place where it was raining heavily was the same place where the boy got killed. 

Rules to keep in mind while solving cause and effect questions

  • You must be able to make out whether one statement is the cause of the other statement and vice versa. 
  • Cause occurs before the effect. Both the statements must lead to a sort of relationship with each other. 
  • It might be possible that while reading the sentences, you may come across a third event that is responsible for creating the effect or acts as a common cause for both the events. But for analysing that event, you need to read the statements properly. 
  • If no relationship seems to be established, both the statements are independent situations. 

Types of questions asked

The pattern of cause and effect questions is that two statements are given followed by the options that are

  • If the statement (I) is the cause and the statement (II) is the effect. 
  • If statement (II) is the cause and the statement (I) is the effect. 
  • Whether both are independent causes. 
  • Whether both are the effects of an independent cause. 
  • Whether both are the effects of a common cause. 

Whatever statements and questions are asked, each will have to be chosen from the options given above. 

How to solve the questions

  • The most important tip to keep in mind is to read the statements and understand which event led to what. These questions test your logical and analytical skills, so prepare for it accordingly. 
  • Make sure that while answering the questions, the effect should be a logical consequence of the cause. 
  • It should be meaningful to say that the cause leads to the effect. 
  • Do NOT assume!

Sample question

Let us understand this with an example. 

  1. There have been predictions of heavy rainfall in the following week. 
  2. All the local stores are selling raincoats and umbrellas. 

Options 

  • If the statement (I) is the cause and the statement (II) is the effect. 
  • If statement (II) is the cause and the statement (I) is the effect. 
  • Whether both are independent causes. 
  • Whether both are the effects of an independent cause. 
  • Whether both are the effects of a common cause. 

Solution

While reading the two statements, you can very well decipher that the local stores are selling raincoats and umbrellas due to the prediction of the heavy rainfall. Hence, we come to the conclusion that statement 1 is the cause and statement 2 is the effect. 

Likewise by reading the statements and with good practice, you can solve these questions. It is interesting but at the same time sometimes, a few options seem to be dubious. So a good practice of questions can be perfect for preparing such cause and effect questions.