CAT VARC has changed a lot since 2014-15 and has increased the number of RC based questions and the other part called as verbal ability also saw an inclination towards questions that require extensive reading than anything else (read as vocab and grammar). We have tried to present here the CAT 2017 VARC Section with detailed solutions in a student friendly format to test yourself and understand the importance of reading for VARC section of the CAT exam. For a curated reading list head out here: Bharath’s Reading List. If you are planning to take CAT 2017 paper as a full fledged mock, it would help if you go back to : CAT Question Bank and solve questions that are not from actual CAT Question papers.
Understanding where you are in the world is a basic survival skill, which is why we, like most species come hard-wired with specialized brain areas to create cognitive maps of our surroundings. Where humans are unique, though, with the possible exception of honeybees, is that we try to communicate this understanding the world with others. We have along history of doing this by drawing maps – the earliest version yet discovered were scrawled on cave walls 14,000 years ago. Human cultures have been drawing them on stone tablets, papyrus, paper and now computer screens ever since.
Given such a long history of human map-making, it perhaps surprising that is only within the last few hundred years that north has been consistently considered to be at the top. In fact, for much of human history, north almost never appeared at the top, according to Jerry Brotton, a map historian... “North was rarely put at the top for the simple fact that north is where darkness comes from,” he says. “West is also very unlikely o be put at the top because west is where the sun disappears.”
Confusingly, early Chinese maps seem to buck this trend. But, Brotton, says, even though they did have compasses at the time, that isn’t the reason that they placed north at the top. Early Chinese compasses were actually oriented to point south, which was considered to be more desirable than deepest darkest north. But in Chinese maps, the emperor, who lived in the north of the country was always put at the top of the map, with everyone else, his loyal subjects, looking up towards him. “In Chinese culture the Emperor looks south because it’s where the winds come from, it’s a good direction. North is not very good but you are in a position of the subjection to the emperor, so you look up to him,” says Brotton.
Given that each culture has a very different idea of who, or what, they should look upto it’s perhaps not surprising that there is very little consistency in which way early maps pointed. In ancient Egyptian times the top of the world was east, the position of sunrise. Early Islamic maps favoured south at the top because most of the early Muslim cultures were north of Mecca, so they imagined looking up (south) towards it Christian maps from the same era (called Mappa Mundi) put east at the top, towards the Garden of Eden and with Jerusalem in the centre.
So when did everyone get together and decide that north was the top? It’s tempting to put it down to European explorers like Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Megellan who were navigating by the North Star. But Brotton argues that these early explorers didn’t think of the world like that at all. “When Columbus describes the world it is in accordance with east being at the top,” he says “Columbus says he is going towards paradise, so his mentality is from a medieval mappa mundi.” We’ve got to remember, adds Brotton, that at the time, “no one knows what they are doing and where they are going.”
Which one of the following best describes what the passage is trying to do?
Early maps did NOT put north at the top for all the following reasons EXCEPT
According to the passage, early Chinese maps placed north at the top because
It can be inferred from the passage that European explorers like Columbus and Megellan
Which one of the following about the northern orientation of modern maps is asserted in the passage
The role of natural phenomena in influencing map-making conventions is seen most clearly in
I used a smartphone GPS to find my way through the cobblestoned maze of Geneva's Old Town, in search of a handmade machine that changed the world more than any other invention. Near a 13th-century cathedral in this Swiss city on the shores of a lovely lake, I found what I was looking for: a Gutenberg printing press. "This was the Internet of its day — at least as influential as the iPhone," said Gabriel de Montmollin, the director of the Museum of the Reformation, toying with the replica of Johann Gutenberg's great invention. [Before the invention of the printing press] it used to take four monks...up to a year to produce a single book. With the advance in movable type in 15th-century Europe, one press could crank out 3,000 pages a day.
Before long, average people could travel to places that used to be unknown to them — with maps! Medical information passed more freely and quickly, diminishing the sway of quacks...The printing press offered the prospect that tyrants would never be able to kill a book or suppress an idea. Gutenberg's brainchild broke the monopoly that clerics had on scripture. And later, stirred by pamphlets from a version of that same press, the American colonies rose up against a king and gave birth to a nation. So, a question in the summer of this 10th anniversary of the iPhone: has the device that is perhaps the most revolutionary of all time given us a single magnificent idea? Nearly every advancement of the written word through new technology has also advanced humankind. Sure, you can say the iPhone changed everything. By putting the world's recorded knowledge in the palm of a hand, it revolutionized work, dining, travel and socializing. It made us more narcissistic — here's more of me doing cool stuff! — and it unleashed an army of awful trolls. We no longer have the patience to sit through a baseball game without that reach to the pocket. And one more casualty of Apple selling more than a billion phones in a decade's time: daydreaming has become a lost art.
For all of that, I'm still waiting to see if the iPhone can do what the printing press did for religion and democracy...the Geneva museum makes a strong case that the printing press opened more minds than anything else...it's hard to imagine the French or American revolutions without those enlightened voices in print...
Not long after Steve Jobs introduced his iPhone, he said the bound book was probably headed for history's attic. Not so fast. After a period of rapid growth in e-books, something closer to the medium for Chaucer's volumes has made a great comeback.
The hope of the iPhone, and the Internet in general, was that it would free people in closed societies. But the failure of the Arab Spring, and the continued suppression of ideas in North Korea, China and Iran, has not borne that out... The iPhone is still young. It has certainly been "one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history, “ as Apple CEO. Tim Cook said. But I'm not sure if the world changed for the better with the iPhone — as it did with the printing press — or merely, changed.
The printing press has been likened to the Internet for which one of the following reasons?
According to the passage, the invention of the printing press did all of the following EXCEPT
Steve Jobs predicted which one'of the following with the introduction of the iPhone?
"I'm still waiting to see if the iPhone can do what the printing press did for religion and democracy." The author uses which one of the following to indicate his uncertainty?
The author attributes the French and American revolutions to the invention of the printing press because
The main conclusion of the passage is that the new technology has
This year alone, more than 8,600 stores could close, according to industry estimates, many of them the brand -name anchor outlets that real estate developers once stumbled over themselves to court. Already there have been 5,300 retail closings this year... Sears Holdings—which owns Kmart—said in March that there's "substantial doubt" it can stay in business altogether, and will close 300 stores this year. So far this year, nine national retail chains have filed for bankruptcy.
Local jobs are a major casualty of what analysts are calling, with only a hint of hyperbole, the retail apocalypse. Since 2002, department stores have lost 448,000 jobs, a 25% decline, while the number of store closures this year is on pace to surpass the worst depths of the Great Recession. The growth of online retailers, meanwhile, has failed to offset those losses, with the ecommerce sector adding just 178,000 jobs over the past 15 years. Some of those jobs can be found in the massive distribution centers Amazon has opened across the country, often not too far from malls the company helped shutter.
But those are workplaces, not gathering places. The mall is both. And in the 61 years since the first enclosed one opened in suburban Minneapolis, the shopping mall has been where a huge swath of middle-class America went for far more than shopping. It was the home of first jobs and blind dates, the place for family photos and ear piercings, where goths and grandmothers could somehow walk through the same doors and find something they all liked. Sure, the food was lousy for you and the oceans of parking lots encouraged car-heavy development, something now scorned by contemporary planners. But for better or worse, the mall has been America's public square for the last 60 years.
So what happens when it disappears?
Think of your mall. Or think of the one you went to as a kid. Think of the perfume clouds in the department stores. The fountains splashing below the skylights. The cinnamon wafting from the food court. As far back as ancient Greece, societies have congregated around a central marketplace. In medieval Europe, they were outside cathedrals. For half of the 20th century and almost 20 years into the new one, much of America has found their agora on the terrazzo between Orange Julius and Sbarro, Waldenbooks and the Gap, Sunglass Hut and Hot Topic.
That mall was an ecosystem unto itself, a combination of community and commercialism peddling everything you needed and everything you didn't: Magic Eye posters, wind catchers. Air Jordans....
A growing number of Americans, however, don't see the need to go to any Macy's at all. Our digital lives are frictionless and ruthlessly efficient, with retail and romance available at a click. Malls were designed for leisure, abundance, ambling. You parked and planned to spend some time. Today, much of that time has been given over to busier lives and second jobs and apps that let you swipe right instead of haunt the food court. ' Malls, says Harvard business professor Leonard Schlesinger, "were built for patterns of social interaction that increasingly don't exist."
The central idea of this passage is that:
Why does the author say in paragraph 2, 'the massive distribution centers Amazon has opened across the country, often not too far from malls the company helped shutter'?
In paragraph 1, the phrase "real estate developers once stumbled over themselves to court" suggests that they
The author calls the mall an ecosystem unto itself because
Why does the author say that the mall has been America's public square?
The author describes 'Perfume clouds in the department stores' in order to
Scientists have long recognised the incredible diversity within a species. But they thought it reflected evolutionary changes that unfolded imperceptibly, over millions of years. That divergence between populations within a species was enforced, according to Ernst Mayr, the great evolutionary biologist of the 1940s, when a population was separated from the rest of the species by a mountain range or a desert, preventing breeding across the divide over geologic scales of time. Without the separation, gene flow was relentless. But as the separation persisted, the isolated population grew apart and speciation occurred.
In the mid-1960s, the biologist Paul Ehrlich - author of The Population Bomb (1968) - and his Stanford University colleague Peter Raven challenged Mayr's ideas about speciation. They had studied checkerspot butterflies living in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in California, and it soon became clear that they were not examining a single population. Through years of capturing, marking and then recapturing the butterflies, they were able to prove that within the population, spread over just 50 acres of suitable checkerspot habitat, there were three groups that rarely interacted despite their very close proximity.
Among other ideas, Ehrlich and Raven argued in a now classic paper from 1969 that gene flow was not as predictable and ubiquitous as Mayr and his cohort maintained, and thus evolutionary divergence between neighbouring groups in a population was probably common. They also asserted that isolation and gene flow were less important to evolutionary divergence than natural selection (when factors such as mate choice, weather, disease or predation cause better-adapted individuals to survive and pass on their successful genetic traits). For example, Ehrlich and Raven suggested that, without the force of natural selection, an isolated population would remain unchanged and that, in other scenarios, natural selection could be strong enough to overpower gene flow...
Which of the following best sums up Ehrlich and Raven's argument in their classic 1969 paper?
All of the following statements are true according to the passage EXCEPT
The author discusses Mayr, Ehrlich and Raven to demonstrate that
Do sports mega events like the summer Olympic Games benefit the host city economically? It depends, but the prospects are less than rosy. The trick is converting...several billion dollars in operating costs during the 17-day fiesta of the Games into a basis for long-term economic returns. These days, the summer Olympic Games themselves generate total revenue of $4 billion to $5 billion, but the lion's share of this goes to the International Olympics Committee, the National Olympics Committees and the International Sports Federations. Any economic benefit would have to flow from the value of the Games as an advertisement for the city, the new transportation and communications infrastructure that was created for the Games, or the ongoing use of the new facilities.
Evidence suggests that the advertising effect is far from certain. The infrastructure benefit depends on the initial condition of the city and the effectiveness of the planning. The facilities benefit is dubious at best for buildings such as velodromes or natatoriums and problematic for 100,000-seat Olympic stadiums. The latter require a conversion plan for future use, the former are usually doomed to near vacancy. Hosting the summer Games generally requires 30-plus sports venues and dozens of training centers. Today, the Bird's Nest in Beijing sits virtually empty, while the Olympic Stadium in Sydney costs some $30 million a year to operate.
Part of the problem is that Olympics planning takes place in a frenzied and time-pressured atmosphere of intense competition with the other prospective host cities — not optimal conditions for contemplating the future shape of an urban landscape. Another part of the problem is that urban land is generally scarce and growing scarcer. The new facilities often stand for decades or longer. Even if they have future use, are they the best use of precious urban real estate?
Further, cities must consider the human cost. Residential areas often are razed and citizens relocated (without adequate preparation or compensation). Life is made more hectic and congested. There are, after all, other productive uses that can be made of vanishing fiscal resources.
The central point in the first paragraph is that the economic benefits of the Olympic Games
Sports facilities built for the Olympics are not fully utilised after the Games are over because
The author feels that the Games place a burden on the host city for all of the following reasons EXCEPT that
The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) given below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequence of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer.
1. The process of handing down implies not a passive transfer, but some contestation in defining what exactly is to be handed down.
2. Wherever Western scholars have worked on the Indian past, the selection is even more apparent and the inventing of a tradition much more recognizable.
3. Every generation selects what it requires from the past and makes its innovations, some more than others.
4. It is now a truism to say that traditions are not handed down unchanged, but are invented.
5. Just as life has death as its opposite, so is tradition by default the opposite of innovation.
1. Scientists have for the first time managed to edit genes in a human embryo to repair a genetic mutation, fuelling hopes that such procedures may one day be available outside laboratory conditions.
2. The cardiac disease causes sudden death in otherwise healthy young athletes and affects about one in 500 people overall.
3. Correcting the mutation in the gene would not only ensure that the child is healthy but also prevents transmission of the mutation to future generations.
4. It is caused by a mutation in a particular gene and a child will suffer from the condition even if it inherits only one copy of the mutated gene.
5. In results announced in Nature this week, scientists fixed a mutation that thickens the heart muscle, a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
1. The study suggests that the disease did not spread with such intensity, but that it may have driven human migrations across Europe and Asia.
2. The oldest sample came from an individual who lived in southeast Russia about 5,000 years ago.
3. The ages of the skeletons correspond to a time of mass exodus from today's Russia and Ukraine into western Europe and central Asia, suggesting that a pandemic could have driven these migrations.
4. In the analysis of fragments of DNA from 101 Bronze Age skeletons for sequences from Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes the disease, seven tested positive.
5. DNA from Bronze Age human skeletons indicate that the black plague could have emerged as early as 3,000 BCE, long before the epidemic that swept through Europe in the mid-1300s.
1. This visual turn in social media has merely accentuated this announcing instinct of ours, enabling us with easy-to-create, easy-to-share, easy-to-store and easy-to-consume platforms, gadgets and apps.
2. There is absolutely nothing new about us framing the vision of who we are or what we want, visually or otherwise, in our Facebook page, for example.
3. Turning the pages of most family albums, which belong to a period well before the digital dissemination of self-created and self-curated moments and images, would reconfirm the basic instinct of documenting our presence in a particular space, on a significant occasion, with others who matter.
4. We are empowered to book our faces and act as celebrities within the confinement of our respective friend lists, and communicate our activities, companionship and locations with minimal clicks and touches.
5. What is unprecedented is not the desire to put out news feeds related to the self, but the ease with which this broadcast operation can now be executed, often provoking (un)anticipated responses from beyond one's immediate location.
The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
To me, a "classic" means precisely the opposite of what my predecessors understood: a work is classical by reason of its resistance to contemporaneity and supposed universality, by reason of its capacity to indicate human particularity and difference in that past epoch. The classic is not what tells me about shared humanity—or, more truthfully put, what lets me recognize myself as already present in the past, what nourishes in me the illusion that everything has been like me and has existed only to prepare the way for me. Instead, the classic is what gives access to radically different forms of human consciousness for any given generation of readers, and thereby expands for them the range of possibilities of what it means to be a human being.
A translator of literary works needs a secure hold upon the two languages involved, supported by a good measure of familiarity with the two cultures. For an Indian translating works in an Indian language into English, finding satisfactory equivalents in a generalized western culture of practices and symbols in the original would be less difficult than gaining fluent control of contemporary English. When a westerner works on texts in Indian languages the interpretation of cultural elements will be the major challenge, rather than control over the grammar and essential vocabulary of the language concerned. It is much easier to remedy lapses in language in a text translated into English, than flaws of content. Since it is easier for an Indian to learn the English language than it is for a Briton or American to comprehend Indian culture, translations of Indian texts is better left to Indians.
For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest level in 4 million years. This does not cause storms like Harvey - there have always been storms and hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico - but it makes them wetter and more powerful. As the seas warm, they evaporate more easily and provide energy to storm fronts. As the air above them warms, it holds more water vapour. For every half a degree Celsius in warming, there is about a 3% increase in atmospheric moisture content. Scientists call this the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. This means the skies fill more quickly and have more to dump. The storm surge was greater because sea levels have risen 20 cm as a result of more than 100 years of human -related global warming which has melted glaciers and thermally expanded the volume of sea water.
Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identify the odd one out. Choose its number as your answer and key it in.
1. People who study children's language spend a lot of time watching how babies react to the speech they hear around them.
2. They make films of adults and babies interacting, and examine them very carefully to see whether the babies show any signs of understanding what the adults say.
3. They believe that babies begin to react to language from the very moment they are born.
4. Sometimes the signs are very subtle - slight movements of the baby's eyes or the head or the hands.
5. You'd never notice them if you were just sitting with the child, but by watching a recording over and over, you can spot them.
1. Neuroscientists have just begun studying exercise's impact within brain cells — on the genes themselves.
2. Even there, in the roots of our biology, they've found signs of the body's influence on the mind.
3. It turns out that moving our muscles produces proteins that travel through the bloodstream and into the brain, where they play pivotal roles in the mechanisms of our highest thought processes.
4. In today's technology-driven, plasma-screened-in world, it's easy to forget that we are born movers — animals, in fact — because we've engineered movement right out of our lives.
5. It's only in the past few years that neuroscientists have begun to describe these factors and how they work, and each new discovery adds awe-inspiring depth to the picture
1. The water that made up ancient lakes and perhaps an ocean was lost.
2. Particles from the Sun collided with molecules in the atmosphere, knocking them into space or giving them an electric charge that caused them to be swept away by the solar wind.
3. Most of the planet's remaining water is now frozen or buried, but clues over the past decade suggested that some liquid water, a presumed necessity for life, might survive in underground aquifers.
4. Data from NASA's MAVEN orbiter show that solar storms stripped away most of Mars's once-thick atmosphere.
5. A recent study reveals how Mars lost much of its early water, while another indicates that some liquid water remains.
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