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CAT 2013

CAT Prep: Read between the lines to solve parajumbles

| 22 July 2013 1126 IST

While the sequence of options in para-jumble questions may confuse your choice for correct answers, you can win over the questions by looking into some clues and comprehending broad meaning of the paragraph.

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Read good books in English by a variety of authors to understand language along with various tones that make you understand thought and flow of the paragraph.

It is not at all necessary that CAT should keep you flummoxed all the time and ask you to solve the random type of jumbled paragraphs. It becomes a little benevolent also by providing you the opportunity to solve such questions where i) opening sentence is given before hand, ii) concluding sentence is given, and/or iii) both the opening and closing sentences are given. 

How nice would be the feeling when you have to organize the sentences following the opening sentence and leading to closing sentence. The task should definitely seem easier and the aspirant would become more relaxed. But, going by the reputation of CAT it is not exactly like that. An aspirant now, will have to read between the lines since the body of the parajumble has to be formed in a sequential coherent paragraph. It is like a condensed RC passage where Level of Difficulty has been increased.

How to prepare

With the technology getting improved day by day, reading habits are getting a little cozy and aspirants now prefer to read and practice work-sheets on line. Good Study material is also available on various sites. So now, it should give a boost to the study pattern as we can devote and divide our studies in the most suitable manner between hard copy and soft copy material. A few suggestions that can help you solve para-jumbles below:

  1. Read good books in English by a variety of authors, past and present – like James Thurbar, George Bernard Shaw, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Burgess, Graham Greene They use easy- to-understand language along with various tones that make you understand the thought and flow of the paragraph. Use your travel time or Bed time for this substantial reading.
  1. Editorials and articles in English Newspapers. They give you the opportunity of reading rich in less time. Ideas and thoughts in Paragraphs in news paper give an insight on various situations, problems and imaginations. In order to emphasize the view point, it may begin with an adverb, adjective, superlative, comparative, negation, interrogation etc. (More importantly, Frankly speaking, in a rhetoric, with malice, at a time etc.). This is important since it will equip you to understand the various types and styles in which the paragraph may be formed. This reading can be done any time during the day as you get the newspaper before your bed-tea time and the same is available till the next one arrives.  So you have 24 hours to finish chewing the news paper.

  2. When you are at home, in office or have decided to study at the designated hour, start reading and following various types of jumbled paragraphs, on line as well as off line, try to solve them, find out the committed mistakes, read it afresh and again follow the guidelines.  If you are able to solve five to ten parajumbles with 95 percent accuracy every day, rest assured you will begin having fun with them and they will become one of your most favourite pastime. 

  3. Try to form jumbled paragraphs, follow the opening sentence, lead to closing sentence by following various tips and guidelines available with you. Out of the rich study material,      

when you attempt to solve different jumbled paragraphs – check where lies the central idea of it – in beginning, in the middle or in the end. Opening and closing sentences, if given, will be a support to it.

The strategy to solve

There exists certain clues for each question. Some of the important clues towards solving Parajumbles follow:

  1. Parajumbles with given opening & closing sentences usually do not begin with reference words also, like, this, that, these, those, thus, etc.
  2. Mark & strike out the words & sentences that create confusion in your mind
  3. Think what would be the order, if you wrote the same sentences.
  4. Now, Find out the linking words e.g. conjunctions, pronouns e.g. He/she/it/who/ this/ these/that/which etc. as they indicate that they must have been used in place of some nouns. These words would help to find the link between the sentences.
  5.  Find out, if there is any historical or chronological event based on time factor so that the same may be connected to opening sentence or may lead to closing sentence
  6. The use of words like therefore, however, summing up, hence, henceforth, hitherto etc. will either lead you to closing sentence or to next paragraph-meaning change of idea, so watch out for the same.
  7.  Now, you will be able to connect and replace the marked out confused words & sentences.
  8.  More and more practice is the key to success.

Example Question – (CAT question)

Direction- In the following paragraph opening and closing sentences are given followed by a group of sentences, which if placed in correct sequence will form a coherent paragraph. You have to select the most appropriate option out of the given ones that follow the paragraph.

1. Opening - Matrilineal systems of land inheritance advantaged women in many respects,  especially in granting them economic and social security. 
6. Closing sentence - At the same time, their customary exclusion from major authority in public bodies meant that they were unlikely to be the ones directing the changes. 

A. Women, in particular, were profoundly affected by these changes. 
B. The large joint family estates came to be partitioned; there was an increasing penetration of market forces and patriarchal ideologies spread in influence. 
C. These systems, however, did not remain fixed over time. 
D. Interventions by the colonial and postcolonial states, and the processes of social change which these set in motion, eroded customary practices. 

1. ABCD    2. BADC    3.CDBA   4.DBCA

Ans. – 3.CDBA – Look at the explanation given below –
Get the clue in sentence labelled ‘C’ – ‘These’ should follow the opening sentence 1, so we get-CDBA- A leads to closing sentence ‘…… their customary exclusion….’ There is the clue to choose the right preceding sentence.

1. Matrilineal systems of land inheritance advantaged women in many respects, especially in granting them economic and social security,
C. These systems, however, did not remain fixed over time.
D. Interventions by the colonial and post-colonial States, and the processes of social and cultural change which these set in motion, eroded customary practices.
B.The large joint family estates came to be partitioned; there was an increasing penetration of market forces and patriarchal ideologies spread in influence.
A. Women, in particular, were profoundly affected by these changes.

6. At the same time, their customary exclusion from major authority in public bodies meant that they were unlikely to be the ones directing the change, and were seldom in a position to effectively protect their interests.

Author of this article Mr S K Agarwal is a CAT Expert, a seasoned CAT trainer with over 25 years of experience, & author of many CAT books. He also guides Verbal Ability and LR Section to CAT Aspirants through MBAUniverse.com online coaching classes.  Visit the link below for more information and new batch schedules:

http://www.mbauniverse.com/mba-exam-preparation/CAT_Preparation/mba_preparation_package.php

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