Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:
Read the Question (Every question)
- Go through the text and underline evidence
- Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
(easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
- Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
- Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.
This question type is most similar to drawing conclusions because there is no conclusion directly stated in the text. The difficulty with this question will be sorting through the answers because some may sound logical and true in real life but the text does not give enough evidence to support it (therefore making it overgeneralized). The best approach is to try and prove each answer wrong using the text and then eliminating them:
A Roughly half of what we need to be happy is decided by our genetic make up:
This is not the conclusion but rather a topic introduction. The argument in the passage is revolving around the influence of your genes on personality traits, so this answer option is just providing evidence FOR the argument (meaning this answer is arguing that it is true that genes influence personality). As a result, this is supporting evidence for another conclusion. Therefore A is incorrect.
B We may as well accept the idea that our potential for happiness in life is to some extent decided at birth:
In the text, the evidence supports that genes contribute to half the attributes we need to be happy. Genes are something already decided at birth, so it would logically follow that our potential for happiness in life is partially decided already at birth. Therefore B is the correct answer.
C Whether or not you are happy in life is either determined by your soul or your genes:
This is a very similar choice to ‘A’ and is wrong for similar reasons. There is also no evidence based on whether or not happiness is related to the soul, the author only speculates it as another reason. In addition, this cannot be concluded by the author because they do not say their opinion on the matter, rather they only say “you’re born as you are”. Therefore C is incorrect.
D Whether or not you are happy in life is not something over which you yourself have any control:
This is not true because, even if you accepted the proof from the student concluding that genes contribute roughly half of the attributes we need to be happy, there is another half that is unaccounted for. This missing half could be completely based on controllable factors. Again, this is not the conclusion not only because the statement cannot be true, but also because it is too narrow. It talks only about happiness and no other personality traits. Therefore D is incorrect.
E The person you are at birth is the person you will be throughout your life:
There is no evidence for this in the text. The evidence in the text shows that there is, at most, a partial correlation between genes and personality traits. There is still room for you to develop and have your personality traits reshaped. This is also a very vague statement, what is meant by “the person you are at birth”? There is no specific information. Therefore E is incorrect.