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CAT PYQ 2021: Paragraph Summary Notes | Study Topic-wise Past Year Questions for CAT - CAT

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Q.1. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and experimenting with entirely new business models. Why are countries that were until recently associated with cheap hands now becoming leaders in innovation? Driven by a mixture of ambition and fear they are relentlessly climbing up the value chain. Emerging-market champions have not only proved highly competitive in their own backyards, they are also going global themselves.
(a) Competition has driven emerging economies, once suppliers of cheap labour, to become innovators of business models that have enabled them to move up the value chain and go global.
(b) Innovations in production and distribution are helping emerging economies compete with countries to which they once supplied cheap labour.
(c) Developing countries are being forced to invent new business models which challenge the old business models, so they can remain competitive domestically.
(d) Production and distribution models are going through rapid innovations worldwide as developed countries are being challenged by their earlier suppliers from the developing world.

Correct Option is (a)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. Developing economies are becoming hotbeds of economic innovation.
2. Earlier they used to be associated with cheap labour, but now ambition and fear have made them competitive globally.
Option A: It correctly captures the two main points and hence is the answer.
Option B: This option is distorted. Business innovations have not been mentioned as the reason why emerging economies have become competitive globally. It has only been mentioned as a factor in close association.
Option C: Again, the paragraph does not mention that the developing economies are being forced to do this in order to stay competitive. This option suggests an element of necessity for the survival of the economies, which is not implied.
Option D: This option is distorted. The passage only mentions innovations in developing economies and not worldwide.


Q.2. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Foreign peacekeepers often exist in a bubble in the poor countries in which they are deployed; they live in posh compounds, drive fancy vehicles, and distance themselves from locals. This may be partially justified as they are outsiders, living in constant fear, performing a job that is emotionally draining. But they are often despised by the locals, and many would like them to leave. A better solution would be bottom-up peacebuilding, which would involve their spending more time working with communities, understanding their grievances and earning their trust, rather than only meeting government officials.
(a) Peacekeeping duties would be more effectively performed by local residents given their better understanding, knowledge and rapport with their own communities.
(b) The environment in poor countries has tended to make foreign peacekeeping forces live in enclaves, but it is time to change this scenario.
(c) Extravagant lifestyles and an aloof attitude among the foreigners working as peacekeepers in poor countries have justifiably made them the target of local anger.
(d) Peacekeeping forces in foreign countries have tended to be aloof for valid reasons but would be more effective if they worked more closely with local communities.

Correct Option is (d)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. The peacekeeping forces often exist in a bubble. Though there are valid reasons behind this, this also results in the locals feeling antipathy towards them.
2. The solution to this problem is to build rapport with the locals too instead of focusing only on the government officials.
Option A: Not implied in the paragraph. The paragraph suggests building relationships with the locals. Appointing only locals as peacekeepers has not been implied.
Option B: This option distorts what is being presented in the paragraph. The paragraph suggests that the bubble is justified sometimes and also suggest measures to counter that. The option implicates the country's environment as being responsible for that bubble, hence the blame is shifted completely. Also, the option fails to mention the antipathy and the measures suggested to counter the bubble.
Option C: This option is distorted. Where the paragraph says that the aloof attitude is justified sometimes, the option blames the peacekeeping forces and their 'extravagant lifestyles' for the antipathy they face. Hence, can be eliminated.
Option D: Option D correctly captures the main points and is the answer.


Q.3. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
McGurk and MacDonald (1976) reported a powerful multisensory illusion occurring with audio-visual speech. They recorded a voice articulating a consonant ‘ba-ba-ba’ and dubbed it with a face articulating another consonant ‘ga-ga-ga’. Even though the acoustic speech signal was well recognized alone, it was heard as another consonant after dubbing with incongruent visual speech i.e., ‘da-da-da’. The illusion, termed as the McGurk effect, has been replicated many times, and it has sparked an abundance of research. The reason for the great impact is that this is a striking demonstration of multisensory integration, where that auditory and visual information is merged into a unified, integrated percept.
(a) Visual speech mismatched with auditory speech can result in the perception of an entirely different message: this illusion is known as the McGurk effect.
(b) When the quality of auditory information is poor, the visual information wins over the auditory information.
(c) The McGurk effect which is a demonstration of multisensory integration has been replicated many times.
(d) When the auditory speech signal does not match the visual speech movements, the acoustic speech signal is confusing and integration of the two is imperfect.

Correct Option is (a)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. A multisensory illusion, dubbing a different visual cue to audio, makes the subject perceive a different sound. (Important point)
2. This illusion is called McGurk effect. (Important point. Related to 1)
3. An impactful subject of research as it demonstrates multisensory integration. (Secondary point. 1 and 2 can stand without this point)
Option A: Covers 1 and 2. Hence, a plausible option.
Option B: It distorts what the author is trying to say. It draws a conclusion out of the results of the study instead of paraphrasing the passage.
Option C: Option C covers only 3. It does not mention 1 and hence is not a good summary.
Option D: Mentions only 1. Not an apt summary.
Hence, the answer is Option A.


Q.4. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Biologists who publish their research directly to the Web have been labelled as “rogue”, but physicists have been routinely publishing research digitally (“preprints”), prior to submitting in a peer-reviewed journal. Advocates of preprints argue that quick and open dissemination of research speeds up scientific progress and allows for wider access to knowledge. But some journals still don’t accept research previously published as a preprint. Even if the idea of preprints is gaining ground, one of the biggest barriers for biologists is how they would be viewed by members of their conservative research community.
(a) One of the advantages of digital preprints of research is they hasten the dissemination process, but these are not accepted by most scientific communities.
(b) Compared to biologists, physicists are less conservative in their acceptance of digital pre-publication of research papers, which allows for faster dissemination of knowledge.
(c) While digital publication of research is gaining popularity in many scientific disciplines, almost all peer-reviewed journals are reluctant to accept papers that have been published before.
(d) Preprints of research are frowned on by some scientific fields as they do not undergo a rigourous reviewing process but are accepted among biologists as a quick way to disseminate information.

Correct Option is (b)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. As compared to physicists, biologists are more conservative when it comes to the subject of preprints.
2. Preprints allow faster dissemination of knowledge.
A: Misses out the comparison between biologists and physicists.
B: Captures both the points appropriately and is the answer.
C: Also misses out the comparison between biologists and physicists.
D: Factually incorrect, physicists and not biologists are open to the idea of preprints.


Q.5. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Creativity is now viewed as the engine of economic progress. Various organizations are devoted to its study and promotion; there are encyclopedias and handbooks surveying creativity research. But this proliferating success has tended to erode creativity’s stable identity: it has become so invested with value that it has become impossible to police its meaning and the practices that supposedly identify and encourage it. Many people and organizations committed to producing original thoughts now feel that undue obsession with the idea of creativity gets in the way of real creativity.
(a) The obsession with original thought, how it can be promoted and researched, has made it impossible for people and organizations to define the concept anymore.
(b) The industry that has built up around researching what comprises and encourages creativity has destroyed the creative process itself.
(c) Creativity has proliferated to the extent that is no longer a stable process, and its mutating identity has stifled the creative process.
(d) The value assigned to creativity today has assumed such proportions that the concept itself has lost its real meaning and this is hampering the engendering of real creativity.

Correct Option is (d)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. The value of creativity to economic progress has been realised, with serious investment being done to study/promote it.
2. But this success fires back. Policing its meaning can lead to obsession, hampering creativity itself.
A: It is extreme in approach. The paragraph does not imply that it has become impossible to define the concept, but it becomes difficult to practice creativity when it is being forced on oneself.
B: It is also extreme. The obsession hampers, not completely destroys the creative process.
C: This option is a distortion and fails to capture the above points.
D: Comes the closest to capturing the above two points, and hence, is the answer.


Q.6. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
The unlikely alliance of the incumbent industrialist and the distressed unemployed worker is especially powerful amid the debris of corporate bankruptcies and layoffs. In an economic downturn, the capitalist is more likely to focus on costs of the competition emanating from free markets than on the opportunities they create. And the unemployed worker will find many others in a similar condition and with anxieties similar to his, which will make it easier for them to organize together. Using the cover and the political organization provided by the distressed, the capitalist captures the political agenda.
(a) In an economic downturn, the capitalists use the anxieties of the unemployed and their political organisation to set the political agenda to suit their economic interests.
(b) The purpose of an unlikely alliance between the industrialist and the unemployed during an economic downturn is to stifle competition in free markets.
(c) An economic downturn creates competition because of which the capitalists capture the political agenda created by the political organisation provided by the unemployed.
(d) An unlikely alliance of the industrialist and the unemployed happens during an economic downturn in which they come together to unite politically and capture the political agenda.

Correct Option is (a)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. In an economic disaster, the atypical alliance of established industrialist and unemployed workers proves powerful.
2. Anxieties and anticipation lead them to look after their interests.
3. It is the industrialist that benefits the most as he is able to use the latter to achieve his vested political interests.
A: Comes the closest in capturing all three points, and hence, is the answer.
B: Distortion. This purpose has not been mentioned in the passage.
C: Distortion. It has not been mentioned that an economic downturn creates competition. It has been mentioned that during such a disaster, the industrialist is more likely to focus on the downsides emerging from free-market (competition) than the upsides.
D: Distortion. It has been implied that the industrialist manipulates the situation to fulfill his own political agenda, and not that the two parties come together to achieve a single goal.


Q.7. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
People view idleness as a sin and industriousness as a virtue, and in the process have developed an unsatisfactory relationship with their jobs. Work has become a way for them to keep busy, even though many find their work meaningless. In their need for activity people undertake what was once considered work (fishing, gardening) as hobbies. The opposing view is that hard work has made us prosperous and improved our levels of health and education. It has also brought innovation and labour and time-saving devices, which have lessened life’s drudgery.
(a) Despite some detractors, hard work is essential in today’s world to enable economic progress, for education and health and to propel innovations that make life easier.
(b) Hard work has overtaken all aspects of our lives and has enabled economic prosperity, but it is important that people reserve their leisure time for some idleness.
(c) Some believe that hard work has been glorified to the extent that it has become meaningless, and led to greater idleness, but it has also had enormous positive impacts on everyday life.
(d) While the idealisation of hard work has propelled people into meaningless jobs and endless activity, it has also led to tremendous social benefits from prosperity and innovation.

Correct Option is (d)
The main points of the passage are:
1. People increasingly view idleness as sin and industriousness as a virtue, pushing them into meaningless jobs.
2. On the other hand, this has also saved us from many of life's drudgeries.
A: Misses out on point 1.
B: A distortion. The author does not advocate idleness. Also, 1 is not covered properly.
C: Incorrect. 'led to greater idleness' is not implied anywhere in the passage.
D: Covers both the points aptly and is the answer.


Q.8. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
The human mind is wired to see patterns. Not only does the brain process information as it comes in, it also stores insights from all our past experiences. Every interaction, happy or sad, is catalogued in our memory. Intuition draws from that deep memory well to inform our decisions going forward. In other words, intuitive decisions are based on data, and not contrary to data as many would like to assume. When we subconsciously spot patterns, the body starts firing neurochemicals in both the brain and gut. These “somatic markers” are what give us that instant sense that something is right … or that it’s off. Not only are these automatic processes faster than rational thought, but our intuition draws from decades of diverse qualitative experience (sights, sounds, interactions, etc.) - a wholly human feature that big data alone could never accomplish.
(a) Intuition is infinitely richer than big data which is based on rational thought and accomplishes more than what big data can.
(b) Intuitions are automatic processes and are therefore faster than rational thought, and so decisions based on them are better.
(c) Intuition draws from deep memory, and may not be related to data, but to decades of diverse qualitative experience.
(d) Intuitions are neuro-chemical firings based on pattern recognition and draw upon a rich and vast database of experiences.

Correct Option is (d)
The main points of the paragraph are as follows:
1. Intuition draws from a vast array of memories that our brain keeps in store.
2. When our brain recognises a pattern from past memories, neuron firing starts, which gives us the gut feeling of intuition.
A: Distortion: The passage does not give any detail about big data being based on rational thought.
B: Out of scope. The paragraph does not allude to whether the decisions based on intuition are better or worse.
C: Incorrect: The passage says that intuitive decisions are based on data.
D: Correctly covers the mentioned points and hence, is the answer.


Q.9. The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
Brazil’s growth rate has been low, yet most Brazilians say their financial situation has improved, and they expect it to get even better. This is because most incomes are rising fast, with higher minimum wages and very low unemployment. The result is falling inequality and a growing middle class — the result of economic stabilization, improved social security and universal primary education. But despite recent improvements the Brazilian economy is still painfully unequal, with poor Brazilians paying the biggest share of their income in taxes and getting the least back in government services.
(a) Economic reforms have benefitted many Brazilians, but they are unaware of the impending problems from rising inequalities in their society.
(b) Good economic indicators have masked the unfair taxation of the poor that is likely to destabilise the Brazilian economy in the next few years.
(c) Most Brazilians feel they have benefitted from recent economic events, but the poor continue to be dealt unfairly by the state.
(d) With rising incomes and falling unemployment, most Brazilians are being misled into thinking that their economy is doing well.

Correct Option is (c)
The main points of the paragraph are:
1. The Brazilian economy has been stagnant, but the popular perception is that the times have improved.
2. The reasons are falling inequality and other important services.
3. Despite this, the economy is brutally unequal.
A: Ignorance on the part of Brazilians is not implied. What the author is saying that though things have improved for the ones who say so, others are still being dealt a rough hand.
B: The paragraph does not imply that the good economic indicators are being used as subterfuge to cover up the prevailing inequality.
C: Comes the closest in capturing the three points. Hence, is the answer.
D: It has a problem similar to Option A. Things have improved for that section of people. They are not ignorant, nor are they being misled into believing something.

The document CAT PYQ 2021: Paragraph Summary Notes | Study Topic-wise Past Year Questions for CAT - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Topic-wise Past Year Questions for CAT.
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