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HOME > Sample Questions > Test Humanities, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences Module > Using Representation Systems Flexibly

Using Representation Systems Flexibly

You will be given 55 minutes to solve 22 problems in this subtest.

Please read the instructions before you look at the model questions. When you take the TestAS, you will be given the same instructions in the test booklet.

To understand a text, a diagram is helpful to visualise the essential content.

When it comes to effects, one notes down the key variables from the text and uses arrows to show the effects occurring between the variables. + and - are used to indicate whether the effect is positive or negative.

Here is an example of a positive effect:
Text: The bigger the income (I) of a family, the bigger is also its expenditure (E).
OR: The lesser the income (l) of a family, the lesser is also its expenditure (E).

i.e. an increase in variable I leads to an increase in the target variable (in this case E) or, alternatively, a decrease in variable I leads to a decrease in the target variable E. Therefore both variables follow the same trend.


Here is an example of a negative effect between two variables:
Text: The more a student studies (L), the lower is his fear (F) of the examination.
OR: The lesser a student studies (L), the greater is his fear (F) of the examination.

i.e. an increase in variable L leads to a decrease in the target variable F and vice versa. Therefore the two variables follow an opposite trend.

Since more than two variables are usually described in a text, diagrams generated from texts are frequently more complex.


Here is an example of various effects occurring between four variables:
Text: Over the last few years, the demand (D) for PCs rose continuously. This led to an increase in prices (P). The general increase in prices led to more and more companies (C) coming into the PC market and the supply (S) of PCs increased. This in turn affected prices (P): they fell.


Chronological processes are shown using arrows (without the signs + and -). Here is an example:

Text: To help understand a text, it makes sense to first read the text and then make notes. One can then memorise the content of the text using the notes. Afterwards one tries to reproduce the essential content of the text from memory.

There are relations, which are shown by other arrows or line connections. These are explained in the corresponding exercises.

The following exercises in each case comprise up to three questions on a particular topic. In finding solutions to the exercises you will possibly also have to take previously given information into account, for example solving Exercise 3 may require information given in Exercises 1 and 2. If exercises are linked this way, you will always be informed of this.
Solve the exercises using only the corresponding information given. Specialist knowledge is not required for correctly solving the exercises.

Instructions    Example 1    Example 2    Example 3    Example 4    Example 5    Example 6