Speaking test sample answers: Inductive reasoning

Last week's blog post was a guide to inductive reasoning. This post builds on it, so take a minute to read or re-read it. Continue when it's fresh in your mind. 

Scoring highly in a speaking test involves stating your reasoning very clearly. Imagine you disagree with someone. You'd have to be very clear and logical when you explain your point, much more so than if someone agrees with you. Let's keep that mindset and go through some sample speaking test answers. This week's focus is using inductive logic. 

Let's start with a personal question: 

What's the best way to spend a rainy day? 

Good question. It's been rainy for the past few days here, so I've been thinking about that a lot. Yesterday, I sat by the window, drank hot coffee, and listened to some relaxing piano music. It was fantastic! So, I don't know if it's always best, but I think, for me, it's certainly a good way to spend a rainy day.

The speaker gave one specific case that was fantastic, and then tentatively generalized from there. This is also a good answer because of the specific verbs and descriptions.

What if you get a more business-oriented question? Let's use inductive reasoning to answer this question:

Why would a client prefer your company over a less expensive competitor? 

This is an important question because my company certainly isn't the cheapest. But, we have a lot of happy clients. I can't speak for everyone, but the clients I know, perhaps over a hundred, all demand an excellent product. They can't risk failure. And, with us, failure is less likely. I'm biased, but I think my company has one of the best products on the market. We are all passionate about delivering the best, and it shows. So, my clients need the best, and we are the best. That's why people choose us.

Notice how the speaker starts specific and then generalizes. It also has a large sample size (over a hundred) with a high percentage in support (all).

This is a more straightforward spoken style—we wouldn't speak like this in a presentation. Rather, we'd speak like this with colleagues during a brainstorming session, or in a speaking test. But the structure is the same in a more formal setting.

So, use some inductive reasoning in your arguments. Start specific and then generalize. If you mix that with deductive reasoning and some good words and phrases, you are sure to score highly on your speaking test and generally convince people of your opinion. 

Practice this style in your lessons. It's easy to understand, but not so easy to do in practice.