New Syllabus Thinking Skills

Summary of Changes

The Thinking Skills module replaces the General Ability Module of the selective school test. It introduces a variety of new content including English and Mathematical skills. However more focus is on the English skills. We have created content to cover the new type of questions asked in the Thinking skills exam. A few changes include strengthening and weakening arguments, identifying flaws in arguments and necessary but not sufficient conditions. A few samples of the new content can be found below.

Strengthening Arguments

Q. Sarah recently lost her job due to COVID-19 in March. Meanwhile, Australia has been able to control COVID-19. In November she has applied for several jobs. She has 15 years’ experience in similar jobs. I think she will get a job.

Which statement most strengthens the above argument?

  1. There are people with more experience looking for similar
  2. Employers are still hesitant in hiring due to future
  3. She meets most of the requirements listed in the
  4. Most of the employers she has applied to have previously offered her the
  5. She works in a niche industry and most people know

Answer D.

Explanation- The argument is that Sarah should get the job due to her experience in similar jobs. A and B weaken the argument. C and E strengthen the argument, but D is the stronger as it states that employers she has applied to have offered her jobs in the past.

Weakening Arguments

Q. Tom: “All countries should follow the policy of nonviolence as advocated by Mahatma Gandhi.”

Which statement weakens the above argument most?

  1. All major religions tell us to fight against
  2. Dropping the Atom bomb on Hiroshima saved millions of lives as it ended world war
  3. There have been few large wars after world war
  4. It is not necessary that we should do what Mahatma Gandhi says or
  5. Nuclear weapons should be eliminated by nations which possess


Answer .B


The argument is that all countries must practice non- violence. Statement E strengthens the argument. C is a mere observation. D is irrelevant. A and B both weaken the statement. However, B is the stronger argument as it cites actual evidence from world war II. So, the answer is B.

Flaws In Arguments

Q. Daniel surveyed a group of people regarding the foods they like when eating out. He counted that 30 liked pizza, 20 like fish and chips and 10 liked Butter Chicken. He said, ” there must be 60 people in the group”.

what is the flaw in his argument?

A. He has counted the number of people correctly so, there is no flaw.
B. He forgot that there may be some people who like Pizza and Butter Chicken.
C. He forgot that those who like Butter chicken may also like fish and chips.
D. He forgot that those who like fish and chips may also like pizza.
E. He forgot that people could like two or all three food items and double counted them.

Answer E

Explanation: A is wrong. B, C, D are correct but do not tell the complete story. So, the answer is E.

Necessary But Not Sufficient Conditions

Q. The following sign is displayed in front of a seating area in a stadium

“Only members and Gold Pass holders allowed”

If this is true, which one of the statements must also be true.

A. Tom holds a gold pass so he will be allowed.
B. Tom is a member so he will be allowed.
C. Tom is allowed so he must be a member.
D. Tom is allowed so he must hold a gold pass.
E. Tom is allowed he must be a member or hold a gold pass.

Answer. E

Being a member or having a Gold Pass are necessary but not sufficient conditions. Only members or gold pass holders will be allowed does not mean that all members and gold pass holders will be allowed. For instance, someone might be drunk and unruly, or someone might be carrying a prohibited item. So, A and B are ruled out as both satisfy a necessary condition which may or may not be sufficient. C is ruled out as he might hold a gold pass. D is ruled out as he might be member. So E, is the right answer.


Implicit Assumptions

Q. Sam is given a contract for employment states “You are appointed to the post of an assistant lawyer with a probation period of six months and your performance will be reviewed based on key performance indicators at the end of the period for confirmation”

Assumption 1. Currently the employment is temporary.

Assumption 2. There are prospects for extended employment.

Which of the above two statements are implicit in the above paragraph?

A. Only statement 1 is implicit.
B. Only statement 2 is implicit.
C. Both 1 and 2 are implicit.
D. Neither 1 nor 2 are implicit.

Answer C.

Currently the employment is conformed only for six months. If targets on key performance indicators are met there will be confirmation.


Q. The captain of a cricket team wants to determine the batting order according to some rules set by the coach. The batsmen are Sunil, Gill, Shaw, Sanju and Virat. He will ask each of them to bat for 30 minutes and then decide. The following rules need to be followed.

Gill must bat before Sunil
Virat must bat before Shaw and Sanju.
Shaw must bat immediately before or immediately after Sunil.

Which one of the following could be the order in which the players bat?

A. Virat, Gill, Sanju, Sunil, Shaw.
B. Virat, Sunil, Gill, Sanju, Shaw.
C. Virat, Sanju, Sunil, Gill, Shaw.
D. Shaw, Virat, Sunil, Sanju, Gill.
E. Sanju, Virat, Shaw, Gill, Sunil

Answer A. Remember to start from the rules and evaluate the given options.

B- violates rule1 & 3. Gill must bat before Sunil and Shaw should bat before or after Sunil.
C -violates rule 1 & 3
D- violates rule 1 & 2 E- violates all rules.

Evaluating Alternatives

Q. An Indian marriage have five events on five days. Sudha wants to buy at least 5 dresses. She has selected 5 combinations at five different shops.An Indian marriage have five events on five days. Sudha wants to buy at least 5 dresses. She has selected 5 combinations at five different shops.

Shop 1 5 dresses for $960 each

Shop 2 4 dresses for $1200 each with the fifth one free. All dresses cost $1200

Shop 3 3 dresses for $1200 with 50% discount on the remaining 2. All dresses cost $1200.

Shop 4 Buy three for $1600 each and get 2 free

Shop 5 Buy 1 and get 1 free. Each dress costs $1600.

She wants to go for the cheapest option. Which Shop should she buy from?

A. Shop 1

B. Shop 2

C. Shop 3

D. Shop 4

E. Shop 5

Answer E

Shop1 – cost = 960 X 5= $4800 Shop 2- $4800
Shop 3 – 3*1200+2*1200*.5=$4800
Shop 4. $4800
Shop 5. $4800 but she will get 6 dresses.

So, shop 5 is the best option as she questions states that she wants to buy “at least” 5 dresses

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