In this article, the topics discussed are :

  • Statement and Courses of Action
  • Purpose of Course of Action
  • Pattern of Questions for Courses of Action

STATEMENT AND COURSES OF ACTION

Statement and Courses of Action is a major area of logical reasoning topic. In this type of questions, a situation is presented and some courses of action are suggested in context of that situation and candidate is asked to determine which course of action(s) follows. This is a regular feature in Placement Tests


PURPOSE OF COURSE OF ACTION

This type of questions is intended to scrutinize the decision -making skills of the candidate. Such questions are asked to test your ability to judge a problem correctly, to determine the root cause of the problem and then to prescribe a suitable course of action. The correct course of action either lessens the problem or improves the situation created by the problem and also the correct course of action will not increase the complexity of the problem. And again, the correct course of action is practical and feasible.


PATTERN OF QUESTIONS FOR COURSES OF ACTION

Remember: A course of Action is a step or administrative decision to be taken up for improvement or follow – up for further action in regard to the problem, policy etc. on the basis of the information given in statement.

Normally there will be two broad types of pattern in such questions

  1. Problem and Solution based
  1. Fact and Improvement based

 

Problem and Solution based:

When the presented situation talks of a problem and the suggested course of action talk of a solution.

(a)It solves, reduces or minimizes the problem

(b)It is a practical solution.

(c) By the way of common sense, everyday experiences, and general knowledge, it can be easily judged whether the suggested course of action solves, reduces or minimizes the problem.

Again, if the solution is applicable in everyday life, it will be practical when it is an established fact (acknowledged universally as a fact), prediction by experience or logical prediction.

Established Fact

The established facts may be social, sociological, biological and are universally acknowledged as solution to the given problem.

Example

Statement: A large number of people in ward X of the city are diagnosed to be suffering from a fatal malaria type.

Courses of Action

  1. The city municipal authority should take immediate steps to carry out extensive fumigation in ward X.
  2. The people in the area should be advised to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.

(1) Only I follows

(2) Only II follows

(3) Either I or II follows

(4) Neither I nor II follows

(5) Both I and II follow

Answer is (5) – Clearly, prevention from mosquitoes and elimination of mosquitoes are two ways to prevent malaria. The action will reduce the problem. So, both the courses follow.

It is a biological established fact that malaria can be prevented by using safeguards against mosquitoes.

Prediction by Experience

Some problem may be solved by previous experience, in the same or similar type of situation. (How?)

Steps to Evaluate a Course of Action

If we analyse the questions asked in the examinations till now, we can classify the question into two patterns or types. If the problem given is a new one and hardly any experience can be attached to it, check whether the course of action is logically right.

Logically Right

These questions are also handy in solving certain problems. In such cases, own logic and reasoning is to be used to see whether the problem is solved or reduced by a particular course of action.

Example

Statement: Reports say that the government jobs in rural areas are lying vacant.

Course of Action: People working in rural areas should be given more incentives.

This course of action is logically right. If incentives are given, people are motivated and hence they will go to rural areas.

Now, the practicality test. A suggested course of action may indeed solve a problem but in practical life it may not be advisable or possible. If it is so, then the course of action is rejected.

Example

Statement: Accidents are increasing in our state.

Course of Action: The production of vehicles should be banned

Though the above course of action minimises the problem, it is practically impossible.

 

Fact – Improvement Relation:

This pattern is solved just by applying the same rules of Problem and Solution based. First we have to identify

the fact or the situation will improve due to the course of action mentioned. Second thing to do is to check the practicality of the course of action.

Format of the Fact-Improvement Problem

These types of questions contain two or more statement and these statements are followed by the number of Courses of Action. You have to find which Course of Action will logically follow from the given statement.

Example

Statement: Exporters in the capital are alleging that commercial banks are violating Reserve Bank of India directive to operate a post shipment export credit denominated in foreign currency at international rates from January this year.

Courses of Action:

I. The officers concerned in the commercial banks are to be suspended.

II. The RBI should be asked to stop giving such directives to commercial banks.

(1)Only I follows

(2) Only II follows

(3) Either I or II follows

(4) Neither I nor II follows

(5) Both I and II follow

Answers (4) – The statement mentions that the commercial banks violate a directive issued by the RBI. The remedy is only to make the banks implement the Act. So, none of the courses follow.