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Passage - 1

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Vocabulary used in speech or writing organizes itself in seven parts of speech (eight, if you count interjections such as Oh! and Gosh! and Fuhgeddaboudit!). Communication composed of these parts of speech must be organized by rules of grammar upon which we agree. When these rules break down, confusion and misunderstanding result. Bad grammar produces bad sentences. My favorite example from Strunk and White is this one: “As a mother of five, with another one on the way, my ironing board is always up.”
Nouns and verbs are the two indispensable parts of writing. Without one of each, no group of words can be a sentence, since a sentence is, by definition, a group of words containing a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb); these strings of words begin with a capital letter, end with a period, and combine to make a complete thought which starts in the writer’s head and then leaps to the reader’s.
Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought. If your work consists only of fragments and floating clauses, the Grammar Police aren’t going to come and take you away. Even William Strunk, that Mussolini of rhetoric, recognized the delicious pliability of language. “It is an old observation,” he writes, “that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric.” Yet he goes on to add this thought, which I urge you to consider: “Unless he is certain of doing well, [the writer] will probably do best to follow the rules.”
The telling clause here is Unless he is certain of doing well. If you don’t have a rudimentary grasp of how the parts of speech translate into coherent sentences, how can you be certain that you are doing well? How will you know if you’re doing ill, for that matter? The answer, of course, is that you can’t, you won’t. One who does grasp the rudiments of grammar finds a comforting simplicity at its heart, where there need be only nouns, the words that name, and verbs, the words that act.
Take any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence. It never fails. Rocks explode. Jane transmits. Mountains float. These are all perfect sentences. Many such thoughts make little rational sense, but even the stranger ones (Plums deify!) have a kind of poetic weight that’s nice. The simplicity of noun-verb construction is useful—at the very least it can provide a safety net for your writing. Strunk and White caution against too many simple sentences in a row, but simple sentences provide a path you can follow when you fear getting lost in the tangles of rhetoric—all those restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses, those modifying phrases, those appositives and compound-complex sentences. If you start to freak out at the sight of such unmapped territory (unmapped by you, at least), just remind yourself that rocks explode, Jane transmits, mountains float, and plums deify. Grammar is ... the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking. 

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Inferring from the passage, the author could be most supportive of which one of the following practices?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following statements can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following statements, if false, could be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“Take any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence. It never fails. Rocks explode. Jane transmits. Mountains float.” None of the following statements can be seen as similar EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following quotes best captures the main concern of the passage?
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Passage - 2

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Few realise that the government of China, governing an empire of some 60 million people during the Tang dynasty (618–907), implemented a complex financial system that recognised grain, coins and textiles as money. Coins did have certain advantages: they were durable, recognisable and provided a convenient medium of exchange, especially for smaller transactions. However, there were also disadvantages. A continuing shortage of copper meant that government mints could not produce enough coins for the entire empire, to the extent that for most of the dynasty’s history, coins constituted only a tenth of the money supply. One of the main objections to calls for taxes to be paid in coin was that peasant producers who could weave cloth or grow grain – the other two major currencies of the Tang –would not be able to produce coins, and therefore would not be able to pay their taxes.
As coins had advantages and disadvantages, so too did textiles. If in circulation for a long period of time, they could show signs of wear and tear. Stained, faded and torn bolts of textiles had less value than a brand new bolt. Furthermore, a full bolt had a particular value. If consumers cut textiles into smaller pieces to buy or sell something worth less than a full bolt, that, too, greatly lessened the value of the textiles. Unlike coins, textiles could not be used for small transactions; as [an official] noted, textiles could not “be exchanged by the foot and the inch”.
But textiles had some advantages over coins. For a start, textile production was widespread and there were fewer problems with the supply of textiles. For large transactions, textiles weighed less than their equivalent in coins since a string of coins could weigh as much as 4 kg. Furthermore, the dimensions of a bolt of silk held remarkably steady from the third to the tenth century: 56 cm wide and 12 m long. The values of different textiles were also more stable than the fluctuating values of coins.
The government also required the use of textiles for large transactions. Coins, on the other hand, were better suited for smaller transactions, and possibly, given the costs of transporting coins, for a more local usage. Grain, because it rotted easily, was not used nearly as much as coins and textiles, but taxpayers were required to pay grain to the government as a share of their annual tax obligations, and official salaries were expressed in weights of grain.
In actuality, our own currency system today has some similarities even as it is changing in front of our eyes. We have cash – coins for small transactions like paying for parking at a meter, and banknotes for other items; cheques and debit/credit cards for other, often larger, types of payments. At the same time, we are shifting to electronic banking and making payments online. Some young people never use cash [and] do not know how to write a cheque.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the passage, the modern currency system shares all the following features with that of the Tang, EXCEPT that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:In the context of the passage, which one of the following can be inferred with regard to the use of currency during the Tang era?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:When discussing textiles as currency in the Tang period, the author uses the words “steady” and “stable” to indicate all of the following EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:During the Tang period, which one of the following would not be an economically sound decision for a small purchase in the local market that is worth one-eighth of a bolt of cloth?
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Passage - 3

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

In the late 1960s, while studying the northern-elephant-seal population along the coasts of Mexico and California, Burney Le Boeuf and his colleagues couldn’t help but notice that the threat calls of males at some sites sounded different from those of males at other sites. That was the first time dialects were documented in a nonhuman mammal.
All the northern elephant seals that exist today are descendants of the small herd that survived on Isla Guadalupe [after the near extinction of the species in the nineteenth century]. As that tiny population grew, northern elephant seals started to recolonize former breeding locations. It was precisely on the more recently colonized islands where Le Boeuf found that the tempos of the male vocal displays showed stronger differences to the ones from Isla Guadalupe, the founder colony.
In order to test the reliability of these dialects over time, Le Boeuf and other researchers visited Año Nuevo Island in California—the island where males showed the slowest pulse rates in their calls—every winter from 1968 to 1972. “What we found is that the pulse rate increased, but it still remained relatively slow compared to the other colonies we had measured in the past” Le Boeuf told me.
At the individual level, the pulse of the calls stayed the same: A male would maintain his vocal signature throughout his lifetime. But the average pulse rate was changing. Immigration could have been responsible for this increase, as in the early 1970s, 43 percent of the males on Año Nuevo had come from southern rookeries that had a faster pulse rate. This led Le Boeuf and his collaborator, Lewis Petrinovich, to deduce that the dialects were, perhaps, a result of isolation over time, after the breeding sites had been recolonized. For instance, the first settlers of Año Nuevo could have had, by chance, calls with low pulse rates. At other sites, where the scientists found faster pulse rates, the opposite would have happened—seals with faster rates would have happened to arrive first.
As the population continued to expand and the islands kept on receiving immigrants from the original population, the calls in all locations would have eventually regressed to the average pulse rate of the founder colony. In the decades that followed, scientists noticed that the geographical variations reported in 1969 were not obvious anymore. . . . In the early 2010s, while studying northern elephant seals on Año Nuevo Island, [researcher Caroline] Casey noticed, too, that what Le Boeuf had heard decades ago was not what she heard now. . . . By performing more sophisticated statistical analyses on both sets of data, [Casey and Le Boeuf] confirmed that dialects existed back then but had vanished. Yet there are other differences between the males from the late 1960s and their great-greatgrandsons: Modern males exhibit more individual diversity, and their calls are more complex. While 50 years ago the drumming pattern was quite simple and the dialects denoted just a change in tempo, Casey explained, the calls recorded today have more complex structures, sometimes featuring doublets or triplets. . . .

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:From the passage it can be inferred that the call pulse rate of male northern elephant seals in the southern rookeries was faster because:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following conditions, if true, could have ensured that male northern elephant seal dialects did not disappear?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following best sums up the overall history of transformation of male northern elephant seal calls?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following can be inferred from Le Boeuf’s study as described in the passage EXCEPT that:
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Passage - 4

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia, meaning contrary to authority or without a ruler, and was used in a derogatory sense until 1840, when it was adopted by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to describe his political and social ideology. Proudhon argued that organization without government was both possible and desirable. In the evolution of political ideas, anarchism can be seen as an ultimate projection of both liberalism and socialism, and the differing strands of anarchist thought can be related to their emphasis on one or the other of these.
Historically, anarchism arose not only as an explanation of the gulf between the rich and the poor in any community, and of the reason why the poor have been obliged to fight for their share of a common inheritance, but as a radical answer to the question ‘What went wrong?’ that followed the ultimate outcome of the French Revolution. It had ended not only with a reign of terror and the emergence of a newly rich ruling caste, but with a new adored emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, strutting through his conquered territories.
The anarchists and their precursors were unique on the political Left in affirming that workers and peasants, grasping the chance that arose to bring an end to centuries of exploitation and tyranny, were inevitably betrayed by the new class of politicians, whose first priority was to re-establish a centralized state power. After every revolutionary uprising, usually won at a heavy cost for ordinary populations, the new rulers had no hesitation in applying violence and terror, a secret police, and a professional army to maintain their control.
For anarchists the state itself is the enemy, and they have applied the same interpretation to the outcome of every revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries. This is not merely because every state keeps a watchful and sometimes punitive eye on its dissidents, but because every state protects the privileges of the powerful.
The mainstream of anarchist propaganda for more than a century has been anarchistcommunism, which argues that property in land, natural resources, and the means of production should be held in mutual control by local communities, federating for innumerable joint purposes with other communes. It differs from state socialism in opposing the concept of any central authority. Some anarchists prefer to distinguish between anarchist-communism and collectivist anarchism in order to stress the obviously desirable freedom of an individual or family to possess the resources needed for living, while not implying the right to own the resources needed by others. . . .
There are, unsurprisingly, several traditions of individualist anarchism, one of them deriving from the ‘conscious egoism’ of the German writer Max Stirner (1806–56), and another from a remarkable series of 19th-century American figures who argued that in protecting our own autonomy and associating with others for common advantages, we are promoting the good of all. These thinkers differed from free-market liberals in their absolute mistrust of American capitalism, and in their emphasis on mutualism.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author believes that the new ruling class of politicians betrayed the principles of the French Revolution, but does not specify in what way. In the context of the passage, which statement below is the likeliest explanation of that betrayal?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following best expresses the similarity between American individualist anarchists and free-market liberals as well as the difference between the former and the latter?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author makes all of the following arguments in the passage, EXCEPT: 
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the passage, what is the one idea that is common to all forms of anarchism?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Of the following sets of concepts, identify the set that is conceptually closest to the concerns of the passage.
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Passage - 5

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

In a low-carbon world, renewable energy technologies are hot business. For investors looking to redirect funds, wind turbines and solar panels, among other technologies, seem a straightforward choice. But renewables need to be further scrutinized before being championed as forging a path toward a low-carbon future. Both the direct and indirect impacts of renewable energy must be examined to ensure that a climate-smart future does not intensify social and environmental harm. As renewable energy production requires land, water, and labor, among other inputs, it imposes costs on people and the environment. Hydropower projects, for instance, have led to community dispossession and exclusion . . .Renewable energy supply chains are also intertwined with mining, and their technologies contribute to growing levels of electronic waste . . . Furthermore, although renewable energy can be produced and distributed through small-scale, local systems, such an approach might not generate the high returns on investment needed to attract capital.
Although an emerging sector, renewables are enmeshed in long-standing resource extraction through their dependence on minerals and metals . . . Scholars document the negative consequences of mining . . . even for mining operations that commit to socially responsible practices[:] “many of the world’s largest reservoirs of minerals like cobalt, copper, lithium,[and] rare earth minerals”—the ones needed for renewable technologies— “are found in fragile states and under communities of marginalized peoples in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” Since the demand for metals and minerals will increase substantially in a renewable-powered future . . . this intensification could exacerbate the existing consequences of extractive activities.
Among the connections between climate change and waste, O’Neill . . . highlights that “devices developed to reduce our carbon footprint, such as lithium batteries for hybrid and electric cars or solar panels[,] become potentially dangerous electronic waste at the end of their productive life.” The disposal of toxic waste has long perpetuated social injustice through the flows of waste to the Global South and to marginalized communities in the Global North . ..
While renewable energy is a more recent addition to financial portfolios, investments in the sector must be considered in light of our understanding of capital accumulation. As agricultural finance reveals, the concentration of control of corporate activity facilitates profit generation. For some climate activists, the promise of renewables rests on their ability not only to reduce emissions but also to provide distributed, democratized access to energy . . .But Burke and Stephens . . . caution that “renewable energy systems offer a possibility but not a certainty for more democratic energy futures.” Small-scale, distributed forms of energy are only highly profitable to institutional investors if control is consolidated somewhere in the financial chain. Renewable energy can be produced at the household or neighborhood level. However, such small-scale, localized production is unlikely to generate high returns for investors. For financial growth to be sustained and expanded by the renewable sector, production and trade in renewable energy technologies will need to be highly concentrated, and large asset management firms will likely drive those developments.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Based on the passage, we can infer that the author would be most supportive of which one of the following practices?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following statements, if true, could be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage, EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following statements, if false, could be seen as best supporting the arguments in the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following statements, if true, could be an accurate inference from the first paragraph of the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following statements best captures the main argument of the last paragraph of the passage?
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Passage - 6

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
The claims advanced here may be condensed into two assertions: [first, that visual] culture is what images, acts of seeing, and attendant intellectual, emotional, and perceptual sensibilities do to build, maintain, or transform the worlds in which people live. [And second, that the] study of visual culture is the analysis and interpretation of images and the ways of seeing (or gazes) that configure the agents, practices, conceptualities, and institutions that put images to work. . . .
Accordingly, the study of visual culture should be characterized by several concerns. First, scholars of visual culture need to examine any and all imagery – high and low, art and non art.. . . They must not restrict themselves to objects of a particular beauty or aesthetic value. Indeed, any kind of imagery may be found to offer up evidence of the visual construction of reality. . . .
Second, the study of visual culture must scrutinize visual practice as much as images themselves, asking what images do when they are put to use. If scholars engaged in this enterprise inquire what makes an image beautiful or why this image or that constitutes a masterpiece or a work of genius, they should do so with the purpose of investigating an artist’s or a work’s contribution to the experience of beauty, taste, value, or genius. No amount of social analysis can account fully for the existence of Michelangelo or Leonardo. They were unique creators of images that changed the way their contemporaries thought and felt and have continued to shape the history of art, artists, museums, feeling, and aesthetic value. But study of the critical, artistic, and popular reception of works by such artists as Michelangelo and Leonardo can shed important light on the meaning of these artists and their works for many different people. And the history of meaning-making has a great deal to do with how scholars as well as lay audiences today understand these artists and their achievements.
Third, scholars studying visual culture might properly focus their interpretative work on lifeworlds by examining images, practices, visual technologies, taste, and artistic style as constitutive of social relations. The task is to understand how artifacts contribute to the construction of a world. . . . Important methodological implications follow: ethnography and reception studies become productive forms of gathering information, since these move beyond the image as a closed and fixed meaning-event. . . .
Fourth, scholars may learn a great deal when they scrutinize the constituents of vision, that is, the structures of perception as a physiological process as well as the epistemological frameworks informing a system of visual representation. Vision is a socially and a biologically constructed operation, depending on the design of the human body and how it engages the interpretive devices developed by a culture in order to see intelligibly. . . . Seeing . . . operates on the foundation of covenants with images that establish the conditions for meaningful visual experience.
Finally, the scholar of visual culture seeks to regard images as evidence for explanation, not as epiphenomena.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“No amount of social analysis can account fully for the existence of Michelangelo or Leonardo.” In light of the passage, which one of the following interpretations of this sentence is the most accurate?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“Seeing . . . operates on the foundation of covenants with images that establish the conditions for meaningful visual experience.” In light of the passage, which one of the following statements best conveys the meaning of this sentence?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which set of keywords below most closely captures the arguments of the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following statements may be considered valid inferences from the passage, EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following best describes the word “epiphenomena” in the last sentence of the passage?
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Passage - 7

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Aggression is any behavior that is directed toward injuring, harming, or inflicting pain on another living being or group of beings. Generally, the victim(s) of aggression must wish to avoid such behavior in order for it to be considered true aggression. Aggression is also categorized according to its ultimate intent. Hostile aggression is an aggressive act that results from anger, and is intended to inflict pain or injury because of that anger. Instrumental aggression is an aggressive act that is regarded as a means to an end other than pain or injury. For example, an enemy combatant may be subjected to torture in order to extract useful intelligence, though those inflicting the torture may have no real feelings of anger or animosity toward their subject. The concept of aggression is very broad, and includes many categories of behavior (e.g., verbal aggression, street crime, child abuse, spouse abuse, group conflict, war, etc.). A number of theories and models of aggression have arisen to explain these diverse forms of behavior, and these theories/models tend to be categorized according to their specific focus. The most common system of categorization groups the various approaches to aggression into three separate areas, based upon the three key variables that are present whenever any aggressive act or set of acts is committed. The first variable is the aggressor him/herself. The second is the social situation or circumstance in which the aggressive act(s) occur. The third variable is the target or victim of aggression.
Regarding theories and research on the aggressor, the fundamental focus is on the factors that lead an individual (or group) to commit aggressive acts. At the most basic level, some argue that aggressive urges and actions are the result of inborn, biological factors. Sigmund Freud (1930) proposed that all individuals are born with a death instinct that predisposes us to a variety of aggressive behaviors, including suicide (self directed aggression) and mental illness (possibly due to an unhealthy or unnatural suppression of aggressive urges). Other influential perspectives supporting a biological basis for aggression conclude that humans evolved with an abnormally low neural inhibition of aggressive impulses (in comparison to other species), and that humans possess a powerful instinct for property accumulation and territorialism. It is proposed that this instinct accounts for hostile behaviors ranging from minor street crime to world wars. Hormonal factors also appear to play a significant role in fostering aggressive tendencies. For example, the hormone testosterone has been shown to increase aggressive behaviors when injected into animals. Men and women convicted of violent crimes also possess significantly higher levels of testosterone than men and women convicted of nonviolent crimes. Numerous studies comparing different age groups, racial/ethnic groups, and cultures also indicate that men, overall, are more likely to engage in a variety of aggressive behaviors (e.g., sexual assault, aggravated assault, etc.) than women. One explanation for higher levels of aggression in men is based on the assumption that, on average, men have higher levels of testosterone than women.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author identifies three essential factors according to which theories of aggression are most commonly categorised. Which of the following options is closest to the factors identified by the author?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author discusses all of the following arguments in the passage EXCEPT that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following statements can be seen as logically implied by the arguments of the passage EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“[A]n enemy combatant may be subjected to torture in order to extract useful intelligence, though those inflicting the torture may have no real feelings of anger or animosity toward their subject.” Which one of the following best explicates the larger point being made by the author here?
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Passage - 8

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

174 incidents of piracy were reported to the International Maritime Bureau last year, with Somali pirates responsible for only three. The rest ranged from the discreet theft of coils of rope in the Yellow Sea to the notoriously ferocious Nigerian gunmen attacking and hijacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Guinea, as well as armed robbery off Singapore and the Venezuelan coast and kidnapping in the Sundarbans in the Bay of Bengal. For [Dr. Peter] Lehr, an expert on modern-day piracy, the phenomenon’s history should be a source of instruction rather than entertainment, piracy past offering lessons for piracy present. . . .
But . . . where does piracy begin or end? According to St Augustine, a corsair captain once told Alexander the Great that in the forceful acquisition of power and wealth at sea, the difference between an emperor and a pirate was simply one of scale. By this logic, European empire-builders were the most successful pirates of all time. A more eclectic history might have included the conquistadors, Vasco da Gama and the East India Company. But Lehr sticks to the disorganised small fry, making comparisons with the renegades of today possible.
The main motive for piracy has always been a combination of need and greed. Why toil always a starving peasant in the 16th century when a successful pirate made up to £4,000 on each raid? Anyone could turn to freebooting if the rewards were worth the risk . . . .
Increased globalisation has done more to encourage piracy than suppress it. European colonialism weakened delicate balances of power, leading to an influx of opportunists on the high seas. A rise in global shipping has meant rich pickings for freebooters. Lehr writes: “It quickly becomes clear that in those parts of the world that have not profited from globalisation and modernisation, and where abject poverty and the daily struggle for survival are still a reality, the root causes of piracy are still the same as they were a couple of hundred years ago.” . . .
Modern pirate prevention has failed. After the French yacht Le Gonant was ransomed for $2million in 2008, opportunists from all over Somalia flocked to the coast for a piece of the action. . . . A consistent rule, even today, is there are never enough warships to patrol pirate-infested waters. Such ships are costly and only solve the problem temporarily; Somali piracy is bound to return as soon as the warships are withdrawn. Robot shipping, eliminating hostages, has been proposed as a possible solution; but as Lehr points out, this will only make pirates switch their targets to smaller carriers unable to afford the technology.
His advice isn’t new. Proposals to end illegal fishing are often advanced but they are difficult to enforce. Investment in local welfare put a halt to Malaysian piracy in the 1970s, but was dependent on money somehow filtering through a corrupt bureaucracy to the poor on the periphery. Diplomatic initiatives against piracy are plagued by mutual distrust: The Russians execute pirates, while the EU and US are reluctant to capture them for fear they’ll claim asylum.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“Why toil away as a starving peasant in the 16th century when a successful pirate made up to £4,000 on each raid?” In this sentence, the author’s tone can best be described as being:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:“A more eclectic history might have included the conquistadors, Vasco da Gama and the East India Company. But Lehr sticks to the disorganised small fry . . .” From this statement we can infer that the author believes that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:We can deduce that the author believes that piracy can best be controlled in the long run:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author ascribes the rise in piracy today to all of the following factors EXCEPT:
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Passage - 9

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Mode of transportation affects the travel experience and thus can produce new types of travel writing and perhaps even new “identities.” Modes of transportation determine the types and duration of social encounters; affect the organization and passage of space and time; . . . and also affect perception and knowledge—how and what the traveler comes to know and write about. The completion of the first U.S. transcontinental highway during the 1920s . . . for example, inaugurated a new genre of travel literature about the United States—the automotive or road narrative. Such narratives highlight the experiences of mostly male protagonists “discovering themselves” on their journeys, emphasizing the independence of road travel and the value of rural folk traditions.
Travel writing’s relationship to empire building— as a type of “colonialist discourse”—has drawn the most attention from academicians. Close connections have been observed between European (and American) political, economic, and administrative goals for the colonies and their manifestations in the cultural practice of writing travel books. Travel writers’ descriptions of foreign places have been analysed as attempts to validate, promote, or challenge the ideologies and practices of colonial or imperial domination and expansion. Mary Louise Pratt’s study of the genres and conventions of 18th- and 19th-century exploration narratives about South America and Africa (e.g., the “monarch of all I survey” trope) offered ways of thinking about travel writing as embedded within relations of power between metropole and periphery, as did Edward Said’s theories of representation and cultural imperialism. Particularly Said’s book, Orientalism, helped scholars understand ways in which representations of people in travel texts were intimately bound up with notions of self, in this case, that the Occident defined itself through essentialist, ethnocentric, and racist representations of the Orient. Said’s work became a model for demonstrating cultural forms of imperialism in travel texts, showing how the political, economic, or administrative fact of dominance relies on legitimating discourses such as those articulated through travel writing. . . .
Feminist geographers’ studies of travel writing challenge the masculinist history of geography by questioning who and what are relevant subjects of geographic study and, indeed, what counts as geographic knowledge itself. Such questions are worked through ideological constructs that posit men as explorers and women as travelers—or, conversely, men as travelers and women as tied to the home. Studies of Victorian women who were professional travel writers, tourists, wives of colonial administrators, and other (mostly) elite women who wrote narratives about their experiences abroad during the 19th century have been particularly revealing. From a “liberal” feminist perspective, travel presented one means toward female liberation for middle- and upper-class Victorian women. Many studies from the 1970s onward demonstrated the ways in which women’s gendered identities were negotiated differently “at home” than they were “away,” thereby showing women’s selfdevelopment through travel. The more recent poststructural turn in studies of Victorian travel writing has focused attention on women’s diverse and fragmented identities as they narrated their travel experiences, emphasizing women’s sense of themselves as women in new locations, but only as they worked through their ties to nation, class, whiteness, and colonial and imperial power structures.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the passage, Said’s book, “Orientalism”: 
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:From the passage, it can be inferred that scholars argue that Victorian women experienced self-development through their travels because:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:American travel literature of the 1920s:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:From the passage, we can infer that feminist scholars’ understanding of the experiences of Victorian women travellers is influenced by all of the following EXCEPT scholars':
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:From the passage, we can infer that travel writing is most similar to:
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Passage - 10

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

[There is] a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good. As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich. The richer you are, the more you spend to be off-screen. . . . The joy — at least at first — of the internet revolution was its democratic nature. Facebook is the same Facebook whether you are rich or poor. Gmail is the same Gmail. And it’s all free. There is something mass market and unappealing about that. And as studies show that time on these advertisement-support platforms is unhealthy, it all starts to seem déclassé, like drinking soda or smoking cigarettes, which wealthy people do less than poor people. The wealthy can afford to opt out of having their data and their attention sold as a product. The poor and middle class don’t have the same kind of resources to make that happen. Screen exposure starts young. And children who spent more than two hours a day looking at a screen got lower scores on thinking and language tests, according to early results of a landmark study on brain development of more than 11,000 children that the National Institutes of Health is supporting. Most disturbingly, the study is finding that the brains of children who spend a lot of time on screens are different. For some kids, there is premature thinning of their cerebral cortex. In adults, one study found an association between screen time and depression. . . . Tech companies worked hard to get public schools to buy into programs that required schools to have one laptop per student, arguing that it would better prepare children for their screenbased future. But this idea isn’t how the people who actually build the screenbased future raise their own children. In Silicon Valley, time on screens is increasingly seen as unhealthy. Here, the popular elementary school is the local Waldorf School, which promises a back-to nature, nearly screen-free education. So as wealthy kids are growing up with less screen time, poor kids are growing up with more. How comfortable someone is with human engagement could become a new class marker.
Human contact is, of course, not exactly like organic food . . . . But with screen time, there has been a concerted effort on the part of Silicon Valley behemoths to confuse the public. The poor and the middle class are told that screens are good and important for them and their children. There are fleets of psychologists and neuroscientists on staff at big tech companies working to hook eyes and minds to the screen as fast as possible and for as long as possible. And so human contact is rare. . . . There is a small movement to pass a “right to disconnect” bill, which would allow workers to turn their phones off, but for now a worker can be punished for going offline and not being available. There is also the reality that in our culture of increasing isolation, in which so many of the traditional gathering places and social structures have disappeared, screens are filling a crucial void.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author is least likely to agree with the view that the increase in screen-time is fuelled by the fact that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author claims that Silicon Valley tech companies have tried to “confuse the public” by:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The statement “The richer you are, the more you spend to be off-screen” is supported by which other line from the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which of the following statements about the negative effects of screen time is the author least likely to endorse?
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Passage - 11

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Although one of the most contested concepts in political philosophy, human nature is something on which most people seem to agree. By and large, according to Rutger Bregman in his new book Humankind, we have a rather pessimistic view – not of ourselves exactly, but of everyone else. We see other people as selfish, untrustworthy and dangerous and therefore we behave towards them with defensiveness and suspicion. This was how the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes conceived our natural state to be, believing that all that stood between us and violent anarchy was a strong state and firm leadership.
But in following Hobbes, argues Bregman, we ensure that the negative view we have of human nature is reflected back at us. He instead puts his faith in Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the 18th-century French thinker, who famously declared that man was born free and it was civilisation – with its coercive powers, social classes and restrictive laws – that put him in chains.
Hobbes and Rousseau are seen as the two poles of the human nature argument and it’s no surprise that Bregman strongly sides with the Frenchman. He takes Rousseau’s intuition and paints a picture of a prelapsarian idyll in which, for the better part of 300,000 years, Homo sapiens lived a fulfilling life in harmony with nature . . . Then we discovered agriculture and for the next 10,000 years it was all property, war, greed and injustice. . . .
It was abandoning our nomadic lifestyle and then domesticating animals, says Bregman, that brought about infectious diseases such as measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, syphilis, malaria, cholera and plague. This may be true, but what Bregman never really seems to get to grips with is that pathogens were not the only things that grew with agriculture – so did the number of humans. It’s one thing to maintain friendly relations and a property-less mode of living when you’re 30 or 40 hunter-gatherers following the food. But life becomes a great deal more complex and knowledge far more extensive when there are settlements of many thousands.
“Civilisation has become synonymous with peace and progress and wilderness with war and decline,” writes Bregman. “In reality, for most of human existence, it was the other way around.” Whereas traditional history depicts the collapse of civilisations as “dark ages” in which everything gets worse, modern scholars, he claims, see them more as a reprieve, in which the enslaved gain their freedom and culture flourishes. Like much else in this book, the truth is probably somewhere between the two stated positions.
In any case, the fear of civilisational collapse, Bregman believes, is unfounded. It’s the result of what the Dutch biologist Frans de Waal calls “veneer theory” – the idea that just below the surface, our bestial nature is waiting to break out. . . . There’s a great deal of reassuring human decency to be taken from this bold and thought-provoking book and a wealth of evidence in support of the contention that the sense of who we are as a species has been deleteriously distorted. But it seems equally misleading to offer the false choice of Rousseau and Hobbes when, clearly, humanity encompasses both.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the author, the main reason why Bregman contrasts life in preagricultural societies with agricultural societies is to:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:None of the following views is expressed in the passage EXCEPT that:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the passage, the “collapse of civilisations” is viewed by Bregman as:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:The author has differing views from Bregman regarding:
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Passage - 12

Direction: The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
I’ve been following the economic crisis for more than two years now. I began working on the subject as part of the background to a novel, and soon realized that I had stumbled across the most interesting story I’ve ever found. While I was beginning to work on it, the British bank Northern Rock blew up, and it became clear that, as I wrote at the time, “If our laws are not extended to control the new kinds of super-powerful, super-complex, and potentially superrisky investment vehicles, they will one day cause a financial disaster of global-systemic proportions.” . . . I was both right and too late, because all the groundwork for the crisis had already been done—though the sluggishness of the world’s governments, in not preparing for the great unraveling of autumn 2008, was then and still is stupefying. But this is the first reason why I wrote this book: because what’s happened is extraordinarily interesting. It is an absolutely amazing story, full of human interest and drama, one whose byways of mathematics, economics, and psychology are both central to the story of the last decades and mysteriously unknown to the general public. We have heard a lot about “the two cultures” of science and the arts—we heard a particularly large amount about it in 2009, because it was the fiftieth anniversary of the speech during which C. P. Snow first used the phrase. But I’m not sure the idea of a huge gap between science and the arts is as true as it was half a century ago—it’s certainly true, for instance, that a general reader who wants to pick up an education in the fundamentals of science will find it easier than ever before. It seems to me that there is a much bigger gap between the world of finance and that of the general public and that there is a need to narrow that gap, if the financial industry is not to be a kind of priesthood, administering to its own mysteries and feared and resented by the rest of us. Many bright, literate people have no idea about all sorts of economic basics, of a type that financial insiders take as elementary facts of how the world works. I am an outsider to finance and economics, and my hope is that I can talk across that gulf.
My need to understand is the same as yours, whoever you are. That’s one of the strangest ironies of this story: after decades in which the ideology of the Western world was personally and economically individualistic, we’ve suddenly been hit by a crisis which shows in the starkest terms that whether we like it or not—and there are large parts of it that you would have to be crazy to like—we’re all in this together. The aftermath of the crisis is going to dominate the economics and politics of our societies for at least a decade to come and perhaps longer.

Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following best captures the main argument of the last paragraph of the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following, if true, would be an accurate inference from the first sentence of the passage?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:Which one of the following, if false, could be seen as supporting the author’s claims?
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:All of the following, if true, could be seen as supporting the arguments in the passage, EXCEPT:
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Question for CAT PYQ 2020: Reading Comprehension
Try yourself:According to the passage, the author is likely to be supportive of which one of the following programmes?
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