CAT 2020 Question Paper | VARC Slot 3

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 24

Para Summary type of questions are trickier than you expect it to be. In the CAT previous year papers, we saw that there were 3 questions on an average per slot in Para Summary. Though CAT 2020 saw a reduction of questions from 34 to 26, the average no. of questions remained the same for Para Summary. Since it is trickier, and carries negative marking, it will be wiser to attempt it after solving other parts of VA like Sentence Elimination and Sentence Rearrangement. We can expect atleast 1 question from this type to be easy to moderate difficulty. The best questions to practice for the CAT Exam are the actual CAT Previous Year Paper.

Question 24 : The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

The dominant hypotheses in modern science believe that language evolved to allow humans to exchange factual information about the physical world. But an alternative view is that language evolved, in modern humans at least, to facilitate social bonding. It increased our ancestors’ chances of survival by enabling them to hunt more successfully or to cooperate more extensively. Language meant that things could be explained and that plans and past experiences could be shared efficiently.

  1. From the belief that humans invented language to process factual information, scholars now think that language was the outcome of the need to ensure social cohesion and thus human survival.
  2. Most believe that language originated from a need to articulate facts, but others think it emerged from the need to promote social cohesion and cooperation, thus enabling human survival.
  3. Since its origin, language has been continuously evolving to higher forms, from being used to identify objects to ensuring human survival by enabling our ancestors to bond and cooperate. 
  4. Experts are challenging the narrow view of the origin of language, as being merely used to describe facts and label objects, to being necessary to promote more complex interactions among humans.

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Explanatory Answer

The main idea of the paragraph is that challenging the dominant hypothesis that language evolved in order to facilitate exchange of factual information, an alternative view holds that language evolved in order to facilitate social bonding and improve chances of survival. Option B captures all key ideas.

Option A incorrectly uses the word "invented". Option C talks about language "continuously evolving to higher forms". The paragraph does not state this. Option D states "experts" are challenging the "narrow" view of origin of language. The paragraph only talks about "an alternative view".

The answer is, "Most believe that language originated from a need to articulate facts, but others think it emerged from the need to promote social cohesion and cooperation, thus enabling human survival."

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