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CAT Exam | CAT Verbal Questions: Paragraph Completion

Paragraph completion is a subset of the verbal ability section of various entrance exams. verbal ability based topic that are asked in many MBA entrance exams like CAT, IIFT, NMAT. Usually, the questions based on paragraph completion are tricky. Paragraph completion topic doesn’t need any specific rules but to think like an author.  Comprehending the paragraph is key to solving these paragraph completion questions.

Below shows the number of paragraph completion questions that have been asked in various MBA exams in recent years. These questions are mostly asked in the CAT Verbal Ability section of the paper.

CAT
YearSlotNo. of
Questions
slot 12
slot 21
slot 32
slot 12
slot 24
slot 14
slot 23
XAT
YearSlotNo. of
Questions
20222
20212
20202
NMAT
YearSlotNo. of
Questions
20221
20212
20191

CAT Questions & other MBA entrance exams | CAT Verbal Questions: Paragraph Completion

Below you will find certain paragraph completion questions with answers for your understanding:

Q.1
What happens to our brains as we age is of crucial importance not just to science but to public policy. By 2030, for example, 72 million people in the US will be over 65, double the figure in 2000 and their average life expectancy will likely have edged above 20 years. However, this demographic time-bomb would be much less threatening if the elderly were looked upon as intelligent contributors to society rather than as dependents in long-term decline.
 
  1. The idea that we get dumber as we grow older is just a myth, according to brain research that will encourage anyone old enough to know better.
  2. It is time we rethink what we mean by the ageing mind before our false assumptions result in decisions and policies that marginalize the old or waste precious public resources to re-mediate problems that do not exist.
  3. Many of the assumptions scientists currently make about ‘cognitive decline’ are seriously flawed and, for the most part, formally invalid.
  4. Using computer models to simulate young and old brains, Ramscar and his colleagues found they could account for the decline in test scores simply by factoring in experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                          [CAT 2020]

Answer:

This paragraph discusses the growing aging populace and need to identify how they can be contributors to the society.
Choice (2) continues the line of thought about not wasting public resources based on existing assumptions about cognitive decline with age.
Choice (4) is also eliminated right away as it talks of a “decline in test scores”, the test not detailed here.
Choice (1) is incorrect as it doesn’t talk of the aged in the society, just lays down the basic premise that they are not on the path of mental decline. This would have been discussed before the paragraph we are trying to complete begins.
Choice (3) builds on the idea discussed by choice (1) and doesn’t fit as well as (2) to complete the paragraph.
Sentences 3 and 2 go together, as do 1 and 4.
The question is ” Choose the Sentence that completes the Paragraph “
Hence, the answer is Sentence 2
Choice 2 is the correct answer.

Q.2.
The better behaviour resulting from smart devices is just one threat to the insurance industry. Conventional risk pools (for home or car insurance, for example) are shrinking as preventable accidents decline, leaving the slow-footed giants of the industry at risk. Business is instead moving to digital-native insurers, many of which are offering low premiums to those willing to collect and share their data. Yet the biggest winners could be tech companies rather than the firms that now dominate the industry. Insurance is increasingly reliant on the use of technology to change behaviour; firms act as helicopter parents to policyholders, warning of impending harm—slow down; reduce your sugar intake; call the plumber—the better to reduce unnecessary payouts.
 
  1. The growing mountain of personal data available to individuals and, crucially, to firms is giving those with the necessary processing power the ability to distinguish between low-risk and high-risk individuals.
  2. Cheap sensors and the tsunami of data they generate can improve our lives; blackboxes in cars can tell us how to drive more carefully and wearable devices will nudge us toward healthier lifestyles.
  3. Yet this sort of relationship relies on trust, and the Googles and Apples of the world, on which consumers rely day-by-day and hour-by-hour, may be best placed to win this business.
  4. The uncertainty that underpins the need for insurance is now shrinking thanks to better insights into individual risks.

                                                                                                                                                                                         [CAT 2020]

Answer:

The main point of this paragraph is that technology is producing some threats to the insurance industry, and that tech companies could be the biggest winners in this.
Starting off by mentioning the threats, the author has declared that “yet the biggest winners could be tech companies” and, in justifying why so, he talks of how insurance is using technology to change behaviour to reduce payouts.
Consider option 1. This talks of how data available to individuals and firms is helping them assess risk better. It doesn’t carry forward the thought about helicopter parenting from the penultimate line of the paragraph.
Option 2 talks of how smart devices are helping improve lives and lifestyles. This substantiates the threat of “better behaviour resulting from smart devices” that the author refers to while starting the paragraph. It doesn’t conclude the paragraph.
Option 4 is ruled out as it talks of reducing uncertainty due to better insights into risks. This is the basic premise on which this paragraph is based, but does not conclude the given paragraph.
Option 3 talks of “this sort of relationship” and why the tech companies are better placed to win business based on trust. This provides the reasoning for why the author thinks tech companies are the biggest winners, so this is the correct concluding line.
The question is ” Choose the Sentence that completes the Paragraph “
Hence, the answer is Sentence 3
Choice 3 is the correct answer.

Q.3.
Non-residents are allowed to purchase shares or convertible debentures of an Indian company up to the extent and subject to terms and conditions set out under the FDI scheme. A person purchasing shares proposes to be collaborator or proposes to acquire the entire share holding of a new Indian company is required to obtain prior permission of the government

  1. if he has a previous venture or tie-up in India through investment in shares or debentures.
  2. when he wants to invest as per the policy guidelines with the intention to keep the money and transfer the same on conditional basis.
  3. if he likes to establish the company for the benefit of this country without selling the shares in the international market and move forward.
  4. unless he is a non-resident Indian he may not be permitted to go for direct investment in India.

                                                                                                                                                                                         [XAT 2019]

Answer:

Option A.
Explanation – the tone of the paragraph clarifies and sets out all the terms, Option A goes to conclude the paragraph. Other options despite being close are not appropriate.

 

Q.4.

Canada’s reputation for financial regulation is starry. Its banks got through the crisis unscathed. According to Moody’s, a ratings agency, Royal Bank of Canada sits alongside HSBC and JPMorgan Chase in the top tier of global banks. And Canadian policymakers are old hands at pulling “macro prudential” levers of the sort

  1. that would bring financial discipline all over.
  2. which confirm to moral and ethical global banking system.
  3. now in vogue among rich-world central banks.
  4. now consistent enough among all the commercial banks as per the prevailing international norms.

                                                                                                                                                                                         [XAT 2018]

Answer:

Option 3
Now in vogue among rich –world central banks refer to Royal Bank of Canada. Other options do not either refer to paragraph or end it with meaningful conclusion.

List of Concepts in CAT VARC: Paragraph Completion -

Rule-1:

The questions should not be approached subjectively. It is not about individual opinion. The candidate must objectively follow the author’s style, pick up the clues that exist in the paragraph. The conclusion must achieve the following-

It must add additional meaning to the paragraph

It must retain the thought process of the author and the meaning conveyed in the passage

It must be in line with the tone of the author

Rule-2:

The candidate must observe certain parameters during paragraph completion.

Cause-Effect: The paragraph presents us with various causes, and the correct answer option must give a logical effect. The answer cannot be in contradiction with the causes present in the paragraph

The course of action: A situation might be presented through the paragraph. The right choice, in this case, should provide a course of action

Contrasting option: The paragraph might contain different viewpoints, ideas. usually in the options, a choice with a contrasting idea is given. This option must be straight away rejected, as this will be contradicting the essence of the paragraph

Chronological Order: A sequence or a specific order of events may be conveyed in the paragraph. So the order should also be checked

Theory-illustration: The paragraph might contain a particular theory. And the correct answer might offer a correct explanation to the theory presented in the paragraph

Though there were no questions asked in recent 3 years in the major MBA entrance exams, there is a good chance of these questions appearing in any of the exams like XAT, CAT, IIFT. As the pattern of these exams is not fixed, candidates must be well prepared with these questions.

Preparation Phase for Paragraph Completion

Level 1:

  • The questions based on individual concepts involving style of the author, tone, keywords should be practiced by the candidates. Use MBAP CAT E-book (Concept theory) study material for practicing para completion questions.
  • Candidates must pick a set of questions based on a separate topic. Students must time themselves per question and then try to tackle each concept separately to gain command on the fundamental concepts.

Level 2:

  • Topics covering multiple concepts in paragraph completion like the tone of the author, style, should be practiced. Watch MBAP live lecture Recording (Basic) for understanding the concepts. You can also find some examples in MBAP Previous year CAT question paper.
  • Candidates must try to cover the questions based on these questions by keeping a time limit so that they get acquainted with these questions involving multiple concepts.

Level 3:

To gain mastery over paragraph completion questions with higher difficulty, the candidates have to look into the previous papers like CAT, XAT. And solve topic-based tests on these concepts, so that the student will be able to solve questions involving 2-3 variable in a timed manner. They can find out more examples of para completion from MBAP CAT E-book (Practice Questions).

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