A detective uses his magnifying glass to hunt for clues, and follows those leads to determine who did it. In a similar manner, logic problems test your deductive reasoning ability. You are challenged to use the given information, make logical inferences, and reach a conclusion. As you think through the implications, remember to keep your cool and figure out the next step. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the hunt!
Here are some tips for you to get started:
- Write down all of the information that you know.
- As you use up a piece of information, make a note. Typically a problem will require you to use most/all of the information given.
- Don’t be afraid to try different things and test some cases.
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Read the solution if you get stumped.
Assume that published books are classified as novels, short stories, or story books according to the following classification:
A novel has at least 300 pages.
A short story has at most 100 pages.
A story book has at most 500 pages.
What can we say about a book that has 400 pages?
Let's try different things and test some cases:
Consider a book which has 400 pages.
Is it a novel? It has 400 pages, which is more than 300 pages, so it could be a novel.
Is it a short story? It has 400 pages, which is more than 100 pages, so it could not be a short story.
Is it a story book? It had 400 pages, which is less than 500 pages, so it could be a story book.
Thus, it is either a novel or a story book.
Logic puzzles can be classified as
- Logic Word Problems: Working from the given statements, we have to determine if the conclusion is true or false. It can be helpful to rephrase the problem so that it is familiar to you.
- Truth-tellers and Liars: Based on what people said, we have to figure out who told the truth and who lied, in order to determine what happened. Remember: Liars never say “I am a liar!”
- Order Theory: Given how certain terms compare to each other, we have to find the largest or smallest term. Drawing a flowchart can be helpful, as it offers a visual way for us to get organized.
- Elimination grids: Given a huge list of information, we set up a grid which offers an easy way of displaying and interacting with the information. Once we have crossed out untrue scenarios, "whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."