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 2018 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 2018 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.
The only thing worse than being lied to is not knowing you’re being lied to. It’s true that plastic pollution is a huge problem, of planetary proportions. And it’s true we could all do more to reduce our plastic footprint. The lie is that blame for the plastic problem is wasteful consumers and that changing our individual habits will fix it.
Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology. Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place.
As an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, I have had a disturbing window into the accumulating literature on the hazards of plastic pollution. Scientists have long recognized that plastics biodegrade slowly, if at all, and pose multiple threats to wildlife through entanglement and consumption. More recent reports highlight dangers posed by absorption of toxic chemicals in the water and by plastic odors that mimic some species’ natural food. Plastics also accumulate up the food chain, and studies now show that we are likely ingesting it ourselves in seafood. . . .
Beginning in the 1950s, big beverage companies like Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch, along with Phillip Morris and others, formed a non-profit called Keep America Beautiful. Its mission is/was to educate and encourage environmental stewardship in the public. . . . At face value, these efforts seem benevolent, but they obscure the real problem, which is the role that corporate polluters play in the plastic problem. This clever misdirection has led journalist and author Heather Rogers to describe Keep America Beautiful as the first corporate greenwashing front, as it has helped shift the public focus to consumer recycling behavior and actively thwarted legislation that would increase extended producer responsibility for waste management. . . . [T]he greatest success of Keep America Beautiful has been to shift the onus of environmental responsibility onto the public while simultaneously becoming a trusted name in the environmental movement. . . .
So what can we do to make responsible use of plastic a reality? First: reject the lie. Litterbugs are not responsible for the global ecological disaster of plastic. Humans can only function to the best of their abilities, given time, mental bandwidth and systemic constraints. Our huge problem with plastic is the result of a permissive legal framework that has allowed the uncontrolled rise of plastic pollution, despite clear evidence of the harm it causes to local communities and the world’s oceans. Recycling is also too hard in most parts of the U.S. and lacks the proper incentives to make it work well.
Which of the following interventions would the author most strongly support:
The author lists all of the following as negative effects of the use of plastics EXCEPT the:
In the first paragraph, the author uses “lie” to refer to the:
In the second paragraph, the phrase “what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper” means:
It can be inferred that the author considers the Keep America Beautiful organisation:
“Everybody pretty much agrees that the relationship between elephants and people has dramatically changed,” [says psychologist Gay] Bradshaw. “Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relatively peaceful coexistence, there is now hostility and violence. Now, I use the term ‘violence’ because of the intentionality associated with it, both in the aggression of humans and, at times, the recently observed behavior of elephants.”
Typically, elephant researchers have cited, as a cause of aggression, the high levels of testosterone in newly matured male elephants or the competition for land and resources between elephants and humans. But, Bradshaw and several colleagues argue that today’s elephant populations are suffering from a form of chronic stress, a kind of species-wide trauma. Decades of poaching and culling and habitat loss, they claim, have so disrupted the intricate web of familial and societal relations by which young elephants have traditionally been raised in the wild, and by which established elephant herds are governed, that what we are now witnessing is nothing less than a precipitous collapse of elephant culture.
Elephants, when left to their own devices, are profoundly social creatures. young elephants are raised within an extended, multi-tiered network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a life span as long as 70 years. Studies of established herds have shown that young elephants stay within 15 feet of their mothers for nearly all of their first eight years of life, after which young females are socialized into the matriarchal network, while young males go off for a time into an all-male social group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.
This fabric of elephant society, Bradshaw and her colleagues [demonstrate], ha[s] effectively been frayed by years of habitat loss and poaching, along with systematic culling by government agencies to control elephant numbers and translocations of herds to different habitats. As a result of such social upheaval, calves are now being born to and raised by ever younger and inexperienced mothers. Young orphaned elephants, meanwhile, that have witnessed the death of a parent at the hands of poachers are coming of age in the absence of the support system that defines traditional elephant life. “The loss of elephant elders,” [says] Bradshaw "and the traumatic experience of witnessing the massacres of their family, impairs normal brain and behavior development in young elephants.”
What Bradshaw and her colleagues describe would seem to be an extreme form of anthropocentric conjecture if the evidence that they’ve compiled from various elephant researchers weren’t so compelling. The elephants of decimated herds, especially orphans who’ve watched the death of their parents and elders from poaching and culling, exhibit behavior typically associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders in humans: abnormal startle response, unpredictable asocial behavior, inattentive mothering and hyper-aggression.
[According to Bradshaw], “Elephants are suffering and behaving in the same ways that we recognize in ourselves as a result of violence. Except perhaps for a few specific features, brain organization and early development of elephants and humans are extremely similar.”
Which of the following statements best expresses the overall argument of this passage?
In the first paragraph, Bradshaw uses the term "violence" to describe the recent change in the human-elephant relationship because, according to him:
The passage makes all of the following claims EXCEPT
Which of the following measures is Bradshaw most likely to support to address the problem of elephant aggression?
In paragraph 4, the phrase, “The fabric of elephant society . . . has(s) effectively been frayed by . . .” is:
The Indian government has announced an international competition to design a National War Memorial in New Delhi, to honour all of the Indian soldiers who served in the various wars and counter-insurgency campaigns from 1947 onwards. The terms of the competition also specified that the new structure would be built adjacent to the India Gate – a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. Between the old imperialist memorial and the proposed nationalist one, India’s contribution to the Second World War is airbrushed out of existence.
The Indian government’s conception of the war memorial was not merely absentminded. Rather, it accurately reflected the fact that both academic history and popular memory have yet to come to terms with India’s Second World War, which continues to be seen as little more than mood music in the drama of India’s advance towards independence and partition in 1947. Further, the political trajectory of the postwar subcontinent has militated against popular remembrance of the war. With partition and the onset of the India-Pakistan rivalry, both of the new nations needed fresh stories for self-legitimisation rather than focusing on shared wartime experiences.
However, the Second World War played a crucial role in both the independence and partition of India. The Indian army recruited, trained and deployed some 2.5 million men, almost 90,000 of which were killed and many more injured. Even at the time, it was recognised as the largest volunteer force in the war.
India’s material and financial contribution to the war was equally significant. India emerged as a major military-industrial and logistical base for Allied operations in south-east Asia and the Middle East. This led the United States to take considerable interest in the country’s future, and ensured that this was no longer the preserve of the British government. Other wartime developments pointed in the direction of India’s independence. In a stunning reversal of its long-standing financial relationship with Britain, India finished the war as one of the largest creditors to the imperial power.
Such extraordinary mobilization for war was achieved at great human cost, with the Bengal famine the most extreme manifestation of widespread wartime deprivation. The costs on India’s home front must be counted in millions of lives.
Indians signed up to serve on the war and home fronts for a variety of reasons. Many were convinced that their contribution would open the doors to India’s freedom. The political and social churn triggered by the war was evident in the massive waves of popular protest and unrest that washed over rural and urban India in the aftermath of the conflict. This turmoil was crucial in persuading the Attlee government to rid itself of the incubus of ruling India. Seventy years on, it is time that India engaged with the complex legacies of the Second World War. Bringing the war into the ambit of the new national memorial would be a fitting – if not overdue – recognition that this was India’s War.
In the first paragraph, the author laments the fact that
The author lists all of the following as outcomes of the Second World War EXCEPT:
The phrase “mood music” is used in the second paragraph to indicate that the Second World War is viewed as:
The author suggests that a major reason why India has not so far acknowledged its role in the Second World War is that it:
The author claims that omitting mention of Indians who served in the Second World War from the new National War Memorial is:
Economists have spent most of the 20th century ignoring psychology, positive or otherwise. But today there is a great deal of emphasis on how happiness can shape global economies, or — on a smaller scale — successful business practice. This is driven, in part, by a trend in "measuring" positive emotions, mostly so they can be optimized. Neuroscientists, for example, claim to be able to locate specific emotions, such as happiness or disappointment, in particular areas of the brain. Wearable technologies, such as Spire, offer data-driven advice on how to reduce stress.
We are no longer just dealing with "happiness" in a philosophical or romantic sense — it has become something that can be monitored and measured, including by our behavior, use of social media and bodily indicators such as pulse rate and facial expressions. There is nothing automatically sinister about this trend. But it is disquieting that the businesses and experts driving the quantification of happiness claim to have our best interests at heart, often concealing their own agendas in the process. In the workplace, happy workers are viewed as a "win-win." Work becomes more pleasant, and employees, more productive. But this is now being pursued through the use of performance-evaluating wearable technology, such as Humanyze or Virgin Pulse, both of which monitor physical signs of stress and activity toward the goal of increasing productivity.
Cities such as Dubai, which has pledged to become the "happiest city in the world," dream up ever-more elaborate and intrusive ways of collecting data on well-being — to the point where there is now talk of using CCTV cameras to monitor facial expressions in public spaces. New ways of detecting emotions are hitting the market all the time: One company, Beyond Verbal, aims to calculate moods conveyed in a phone conversation, potentially without the knowledge of at least one of the participants. And Facebook [has] demonstrated that it could influence our emotions through tweaking our news feeds — opening the door to ever-more targeted manipulation in advertising and influence.
As the science grows more sophisticated and technologies become more intimate with our thoughts and bodies, a clear trend is emerging. Where happiness indicators were once used as a basis to reform society, challenging the obsession with money that G.D.P. measurement entrenches, they are increasingly used as a basis to transform or discipline individuals.
Happiness becomes a personal project, that each of us must now work on, like going to the gym. Since the 1970s, depression has come to be viewed as a cognitive or neurological defect in the individual, and never a consequence of circumstances. All of this simply escalates the sense of responsibility each of us feels for our own feelings, and with it, the sense of failure when things go badly. A society that deliberately removed certain sources of misery, such as precarious and exploitative employment, may well be a happier one. But we won't get there by making this single, often fleeting emotion, the over-arching goal.
According to the author, wearable technologies and social media are contributing most to:
The author’s view would be undermined by which of the following research findings?
According to the author, Dubai:
In the author's opinion, the shift in thinking in the 1970s:
From the passage we can infer that the author would like economists to:
When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That is not supposed to happen. Generations of schoolchildren have been taught that the inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible. A mouse should not be born with something its parents have learned during their lifetimes, any more than a mouse that loses its tail in an accident should give birth to tailless mice.
Modern evolutionary biology dates back to a synthesis that emerged around the 1940s60s, which married Charles Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection with Gregor Mendel’s discoveries of how genes are inherited. The traditional, and still dominant, view is that adaptations – from the human brain to the peacock’s tail – are fully and satisfactorily explained by natural selection (and subsequent inheritance). Yet [new evidence] from genomics, epigenetics and developmental biology [indicates] that evolution is more complex than we once assumed.
In his book On Human Nature (1978), the evolutionary biologist Edward O Wilson claimed that human culture is held on a genetic leash. The metaphor [needs revision]. Imagine a dogwalker (the genes) struggling to retain control of a brawny mastiff (human culture). The pair’s trajectory (the pathway of evolution) reflects the outcome of the struggle. Now imagine the same dog-walker struggling with multiple dogs, on leashes of varied lengths, with each dog tugging in different directions. All these tugs represent the influence of developmental factors, including epigenetics, antibodies and hormones passed on by parents, as well as the ecological legacies and culture they bequeath.
The received wisdom is that parental experiences can’t affect the characters of their offspring. Except they do. The way that genes are expressed to produce an organism’s phenotype– the actual characteristics it ends up with – is affected by chemicals that attach to them. Everything from diet to air pollution to parental behaviour can influence the addition or removal of these chemical marks, which switches genes on or off. Usually these so-called ‘epigenetic’ attachments are removed during the production of sperm and eggs cells, but it turns out that some escape the resetting process and are passed on to the next generation, along with the genes. This is known as ‘epigenetic inheritance’, and more and more studies are confirming that it really happens. Let’s return to the almond-fearing mice. The inheritance of an epigenetic mark transmitted in the sperm is what led the mice’s offspring to acquire an inherited fear.
Epigenetics is only part of the story. Through culture and society, [humans and other animals] inherit knowledge and skills acquired by [their] parents. All this complexity points to an evolutionary process in which genomes (over hundreds to thousands of generations), epigenetic modifications and inherited cultural factors (over several, perhaps tens or hundreds of generations), and parental effects (over single-generation timespans) collectively informb how organisms adapt. These extra-genetic kinds of inheritance give organisms the flexibility to make rapid adjustments to environmental challenges, dragging genetic change in their wake – much like a rowdy pack of dogs.
The passage uses the metaphor of a dog walker to argue that evolutionary adaptation is most comprehensively understood as being determined by:
Which of the following options best describes the author's argument?
The Emory University experiment with mice points to the inheritance of:
Which of the following, if found to be true, would negate the main message of the passage?
The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4) 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. Impartiality and objectivity are fiendishly difficult concepts that can cause all sorts of injustices even if transparently implemented.
2. It encourages us into bubbles of people we know and like, while blinding us to different perspectives, but the deeper problem of ‘transparency’ lies in the words “and much more”.
3. Twitter’s website says that “tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline based on accounts you interact with most, tweets you engage with, and much more.”
4. We are only told some of the basic principles, and we can’t see the algorithm itself, making it hard for citizens to analyse the system sensibly or fairly or be convinced of its impartiality and objectivity.
1. The eventual diagnosis was skin cancer and after treatment all seemed well.
2. The viola player didn’t know what it was; nor did her GP
3. Then a routine scan showed it had come back and spread to her lungs.
4. It started with a lump on Cathy Perkins’ index finger.
1. The woodland’s canopy receives most of the sunlight that falls on the trees.
2. Swifts do not confine themselves to woodlands, but hunt wherever there are insects in the air.
3. With their streamlined bodies, swifts are agile flyers, ideally adapted to twisting and turning through the air as they chase flying insects – the creatures that form their staple diet.
4. Hundreds of thousands of insects fly in the sunshine up above the canopy, some falling prey to swifts and swallows.
1. But now we have another group: the unwitting enablers.
2. Democracy and high levels of inequality of the kind that have come to characterize the United States are simply incompatible.
3. Believing these people are working for a better world, they are, actually, at most, chipping away at the margins, making slight course corrections, ensuring the system goes on as it is, uninterrupted.
4. Very rich people will always use money to maintain their political and economic power.
The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the author's position
Artificial embryo twinning is a relatively low-tech way to make clones. As the name suggests, this technique mimics the natural process that creates identical twins. In nature, twins form very early in development when the embryo splits in two. Twinning happens in the first days after egg and sperm join, while the embryo is made of just a small number of unspecialized cells. Each half of the embryo continues dividing on its own, ultimately developing into separate, complete individuals. Since they developed from the same fertilized egg, the resulting individuals are genetically identical.
Production and legitimation of scientific knowledge can be approached from a number of perspectives. To study knowledge production from the sociology of professions perspective would mean a focus on the institutionalization of a body of knowledge. The professions-approach informed earlier research on managerial occupation, business schools and management knowledge. It however tends to reify institutional power structures in its understanding of the links between knowledge and authority. Knowledge production is restricted in the perspective to the selected members of the professional community, most notably to the university faculties and professional colleges. Power is understood as a negative mechanism, which prevents the nonprofessional actors from offering their ideas and information as legitimate knowledge.
The conceptualization of landscape as a geometric object first occurred in Europe and is historically related to the European conceptualization of the organism, particularly the human body, as a geometric object with parts having a rational, three-dimensional organization and integration. The European idea of landscape appeared before the science of landscape emerged, and it is no coincidence that Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, who studied the structure of the human body, also facilitated an understanding of the structure of landscape. Landscape which had been a subordinate background to religious or historical narratives, became an independent genre or subject of art by the end of sixteenth century or the beginning of the seventeenth century.
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. Displacement in Bengal is thus not very significant in view of its magnitude.
2. A factor of displacement in Bengal is the shifting course of the Ganges leading to erosion of river banks.
3. The nature of displacement in Bengal makes it an interesting case study.”
4. Since displacement due to erosion is well spread over a long period of time, it remains invisible.
5. Rapid displacement would have helped sensitize the public to its human costs.
1. In many cases time inconsistency is what prevents our going from intention to action.
2. For people to continuously postpone getting their children immunized, they would need to be constantly fooled by themselves.
3. In the specific case of immunization, however, it is hard to believe that time inconsistency by itself would be sufficient to make people permanently postpone the decision if they were fully cognizant of its benefits.
4. In most cases, even a small cost of immunization was large enough to discourage most people.
5. Not only do they have to think that they prefer to spend time going to the camp next month rather than today, they also have to believe that they will indeed go next month.
1. Translators are like bumblebees.
2. Though long since scientifically disproved, this factoid is still routinely trotted out.
3. Similar pronouncements about the impossibility of translation have dogged practitioners since Leonardo Bruni’s De interpretatione recta, published in 1424.
4. Bees, unaware of these deliberations, have continued to flit from flower to flower, and translators continue to translate.
5. In 1934, the French entomologist August Magnan pronounced the flight of the bumblebee to be aerodynamically impossible
CAT® (Common Admission Test) is a registered trademark of the Indian Institutes of Management. This website is not endorsed or approved by IIMs.
2IIM Online CAT Coaching
A Fermat Education Initiative,
58/16, Indira Gandhi Street,
Kaveri Rangan Nagar, Saligramam, Chennai 600 093