Cause and Effect Shortcuts and Study Material

After doing lots of practice tests you will come to recognize cause and effect words and phrases. These include: since, because, for, so, consequently, as a result, thus, therefore, due to and hence. It is a good idea to focus on these as often a question will ask you to interpret how these words have been used to link different aspects of an issue or argument together. There are subtle difference between these words and phrases, as some signal stronger causal relationships than others. A word like because indicates a direct causal link. The word so also joins facts together but does not necessarily mean that it was the first fact that led to the second.

Examples on Cause and Effect

Consider the following two examples:
1. As a result of over subscription, Adam did not get a place on the philosophy course.
2. The philosophy course was oversubscribed so Adam enrolled in a different class.

What is the answer if you asked: Did Adam get place on the philosophy course? In the first sentence, you know that he did not. The second sentence is more ambiguous. Perhaps Adam got a place, but opted out of the overcrowded course.
Be careful not to mix up causal words with words such as then, next, after and later. These words indicate a chronological sequence rather than a causal effect. For example, then does not imply that one thing caused another to happen, only that if happened after.


Cause and Effect Questions from Previous Year Exams

Cause and Effect


Cause and Effect Video Lecture



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