HSPT Verbal : Determining Whether a Statement is True, False, or Uncertain

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Jeremy is taller than Jean. John is shorter than Jeremy. John is shorter than Jean. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

uncertain

true

false

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

 Let's use symbols from math to help us understand this:

(1) Jeremy is taller than Jean: Jeremy > Jean

(2) John is shorter than Jeremy: John < Jeremy

This could be rewritten: Jeremy > John

Thus, we know that Jeremy is taller than Jean and John; however, we do not know anything about the relationship between John and Jean.

Example Question #2 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Thomas is smarter than Luca. Luca is smarter than John. John is smarter than Thomas. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

false

uncertain

Correct answer:

false

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.

(1) Thomas is smarter than Luca: Thomas > Luca

(2) Luca is smarter than John: Luca > John

We could string these together as well:

Thomas > Luca > John

John is not smarter than Thomas; therefore, this is false.

Example Question #3 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Baruch is weirder than Frederick. Frederick is weirder than Arthur. Baruch is weirder than Arthur. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

true

uncertain

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.

(1) Baruch is weirder than Frederick: Baruch > Frederick

(2) Frederick is weirder than Arthur: Frederick > Arthur

These can all be combined to give us: 

Baruch > Frederick > Arthur

It is indeed the case that (3) Baruch > Arthur.

Example Question #4 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Godfrey is more unknown than Henry. Henry is better known than Giles. Giles is more unknown than Godfrey. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

uncertain

true

false

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. "Greater than" (>) will mean "more known," and "less than" (<) will mean "more unknown."

(1) Godfrey is more unknown than Henry: Godfrey < Henry

This could be rewritten: Henry > Godfrey

(2) Henry is better known than Giles: Henry > Giles

Thus, we know that Henry is more known than both Giles and Godfrey; however, this does not tell us anything about the relationship between Giles and Godfrey.  Therefore (3) is uncertain.

Example Question #1 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Teddy has more fun than Jack. Franklin has less fun than Jack. Teddy has more fun than Franklin. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

false

uncertain

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. "Greater than" (>) will mean "has more fun," and "less than" (<) will mean "has less fun."

(1) Teddy has more fun than Jack: Teddy > Jack

(2) Franklin has less fun than Jack: Franklin < Jack

This could also be written: Jack > Franklin

Therefore, we could string all of these together into:

Teddy > Jack > Franklin

Therefore, (3) Teddy > Franklin does hold.

Example Question #2 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Physics is more difficult than chemistry. Chemistry is easier than philosophy. Philosophy is easier than physics. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

uncertain

false

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.  “Greater than” (>) will mean “more difficult,” and “less than” (<) will mean “easier.”

(1) Physics is more difficult than chemistry: Physics > chemistry

This could be rewritten: Chemistry < physics

(2) Chemistry is easier than philosophy: Chemistry < philosophy

Therefore, this tells us that chemistry is easier than the other two subjects.  However, it does not tell us anything about the relationship between philosophy and physics.

Example Question #7 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

It is easier to drive in snow than it is in ice. It is harder to drive in snow than in rain. It is easier to drive in rain than in ice. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

uncertain

true

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “harder to drive in,” and “less than” (<) will mean “easier to drive in.”

(1) It is easier to drive in snow than it is in ice: snow < ice

(2) It is harder to drive in snow than in rain: snow > rain

This could be rewritten: rain < snow.

All of these could be combined to give us: rain < snow < ice.

This means that rain is indead easier to drive in that ice.

Example Question #8 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Nuclear power is more efficient than coal power. Coal power is less efficient than gas power. Gas power is more efficient than nuclear power. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

true

uncertain

false

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “more efficient than,” and “less than” (<) will mean “less efficient than.”

(1) Nuclear power is more efficient than coal power: nuclear > coal

This could be rewritten as: coal < nuclear

(2) Coal power is less efficient than gas power: coal < gas

Thus, we are told that coal is less efficient than both nuclear and gas; however, we are told nothing about the relationship between nuclear and gas power.

Example Question #9 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

There are more cabs than trucks on the roads in New York City. There are more motorcycles than there are trucks on the roads in New York City. There are more cabs than motorcycles on the roads in New York City. If the first two sentences are true, the third is __________.

Possible Answers:

false

true

uncertain

Correct answer:

uncertain

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this. “Greater than” (>) will mean “more on the road,” and “less than” (<) will mean “less on the road.”

(1) There are more cabs than trucks on the roads in New York City: cabs > trucks

This could be rewritten as: trucks < cabs

(2) There are more motorcycles than there are trucks on the roads in New York City: motorcycles > trucks

This could be rewritten as: trucks < motocycles

Thus, we are actually only being told something about trucks—there are fewer of them than both cabs and motorcycles (in New York City).  Thus, we cannot say anything about the relationship between the number of cabs and the number of motorcycles.

Example Question #10 : Determining Whether A Statement Is True, False, Or Uncertain

Gremlins are more frightening than ogres. Skeletons are less frightening than ogres. Gremlins are more frightening than skeletons. If the first three sentences are true, the fourth is __________.

Possible Answers:

uncertain

true

false

Correct answer:

true

Explanation:

Let’s use symbols from math to help us understand this.  “Greater than” (>) will mean “more frightening,” and “less than” (<) will mean “less frightening.”

(1) Gremlins are more frightening than ogres: gremlins > ogres

(2) Skeletons are less frightening than ogres: skeletons < ogres

This could be rewritten as: ogres > skeletons

All together, we can say:

gremlins > ogres > skeletons

Therefore, it is indeed the case that gremlins are more frightening than skeletons.

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