CAT Questions | Paragraph Completion

Paragraph completion based questions are asked in many MBA entrance exams like CAT, IIFT, NMAT. Usually, the questions based on paragraph completion are tricky. The questions do not require the candidates to remember any rules. But the questions demand the students think like the author. Comprehending the paragraph is key to solving these questions.

List of Concepts in Paragraph Completion-

Some of the rules which can be followed while attempting these questions are as follows: –


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


The candidate must observe certain parameters.

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.

Some Questions from Previous Papers

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 dependants in long-term decline.

a. 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.

b. 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 remediate problems that do not exist.

c. Many of the assumptions scientists currently make about ‘cognitive decline’ are seriously flawed and, for the most part, formally invalid.

d. 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


Choice (b) talks about the idea of not wasting the public resources based on the assumptions about cognitive decline with the age.

Choice (d) talks about the decline in the test scores, which is not discussed here.

Choice (a) is incorrect, as it just puts forward the idea for the basic premise that aged are on the path of mental decline.

Choice (c) doesn’t fit with the idea expressed in the paragraph.

Hence the correct answer is B.

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 pay-outs.

a. 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.

b. Cheap sensors and the tsunami of data they generate can improve our lives; black boxes in cars can tell us how to drive more carefully and wearable devices will nudge us toward healthier lifestyles.

c. 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.

d. The uncertainty that underpins the need for insurance is now shrinking thanks to better insights into individual risks.


Option (A) talks about the data available to individuals. It does not discuss helicopter parenting.

Option (B) substantiates the threat of better behaviour resulting from the devices. But it doesn’t conclude the paragraph.

Option (D) can be rejected, as it talks about uncertainty due to better insights. This forms the basic premise of the para. 

Option (C) talks about why tech companies are better placed to win business based on trust. This reasoning is in line with the paragraph.


Hence the correct answer is C.

Q 3) By calling for exempting unionized businesses from the minimum wage, unions are creating more incentives for employers to favour unionized workers over the non-unionized sort. Such exemptions strengthen their power. This is useful because for all the effort unions throw at raising the minimum wage, laws for better pay have an awkward habit of undermining union clout.

a. High rates of unionization make minimum-wage rules unnecessary as collaborative wage-setting achieves the flexibility goals of a low minimum wage and the fairness goals of a high one.

b. Workers who have no real alternative to employment in the unregulated shadows of the labour market are even more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse than workers with the legal right to take low wages.

c.The labour ethos of worker solidarity seems hollow if non-union workers are underpriced by union workers and left unemployed or scrambling for unauthorized work.

d. Once employers are obliged to pay the same minimum wage to both unionized and non-unionized labour, workers often see less reason to pay the dues to join a union.


Option (A) discusses high rates of unionization. This sentence does not complete the given paragraph.

Option (B) discusses the scenario where workers without the legal right take low wages. This is a new idea and does not complete the paragraph.

Option (C) discusses the union calling for exempting businesses from the minimum wage. But this is not in line with the idea expressed in the passage.

Option (D) explains that the workers have less incentive to pay and join a union which is protected by low wages.

Hence option (D) is the correct answer.


How to deal with that topic preparation

Level 1 

  • The questions based on individual concepts involving style of the author, tone, keywords should be practised by the candidates
  • 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 like the tone of the author, style, should be practised
  • 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 the 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.


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