One of the topics where I am seeing quite a few students facing issues these days is Cause and Effect Questions. These questions are important from the perspective of MBA Entrance Exams like IIFT, NMAT, SNAP and others. While Cause and Effect Questions are nothing but one of the 7 types of Critical Reasoning Questions and we will be covering it in detail in our Critical Reasoning Course; we have tried to put forth in this article some nuances around how to solve cause and effect questions and help all the students out there and not be limited to the students of our course. 

cause and effect questions

How to Solve Cause and Effect Questions

What is Cause and Effect

Cause is an event that leads to another event, which in turn is called the effect of the triggering event. 

If there are sequence of events, the event which is an effect shall always be preceded by an event which was its triggering cause event. 

Let us understand this with an example: 

1. The Australian Cricket Team worked hard for four years to rebuilt itself after all the key senior players retired. 

2. The Australian team won the Cricket World cup after their consistent efforts.

3. The Australian team reached number 1 ranking after the huge success. 

If we consider statements 1 and 2, we can clearly see that statement 2 is the result of statement 1. Hence, statement 1 is the cause for the effect in statement 2. 

Similarly, if statement 2 and 3 are analyzed in a pair, you will see that statement 2 was the cause for the effect in statement 3. 

Hence, any particular statement may play the role of both the cause and effect, depending on the other statement in whose respect this particular statement is being analyzed. 

You will never be asked to comment on a statement for being a cause or effect at absolute level. It will always be given with other statements in lieu of which you will have to decide the role of a given statement as a cause or effect. 

Key to solve Cause and Effect questions lies in the fact of identifying by going through the sequence of events that which event will lead to which event. The event which becomes the reason for another event to happen becomes the cause of the later event, which is called effect.

Cause – Reason for something to happen

Effect – Thing that happened

Cause and Effect – Explains what made what to happen

Format of Cause and Effect Questions

(A) If statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect;

(B) If statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect;

(C) If both the statements I and II are independent causes;

(D) If both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes; and

(E) If both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause

Solved Examples of Cause and Effect Questions

Example 1

I – The committee appointed by the Government on the fee structure of the professional courses has drastically reduced the fees of various courses in comparison to those charged in the last year.
II – The parents of aspiring students seeking admission to professional courses had launched a severe agitation protesting against the high fees charged by the professional institutes and the admission process was delayed considerably.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect.
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect.
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes.
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes.
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause.

Solution

Since the parents of aspiring students seeking admission to professional courses had launched a severe agitation protesting against the high fess changed by the professional institutes.

So, the committee was appointed by the Government on the fee structure of professional courses has drastically reduced the fess of previous course. Hence the correct answer is B.

Example 2

I – Police authority has recently increased vigil during the evening hours in the locality.
II – There has been considerable reduction in the incidents of petty crimes in the locality.
A. Statement I is the cause and statement II is its effect.
B. Statement II is the cause and statement I is its effect.
C. Both the statements I and II are independent causes.
D. Both the statements I and II are effects of independent causes.
E. Both the statements I and II are effects of some common cause.

Solution 

Since police authority has recently increased vigil during the evening hours in the locality therefore, the petty crimes have reduced considerably.

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