CAT '99
(December 12, 1999)

Section 1

Comprehensive Analysis of the Common Admission Test
(for admission to the elite IIMs and allied institutions in India)
Prepared by contributions from 15 cities in India and almost 100 top-ranking PT students.
Questions collected on the basis of memory.
Prepared by contributions from 15 cities in India and almost 100 top-ranking PT students.
Questions collected on the basis of memory. Prepared by contributions from 15 cities in India and almost 100 top-ranking PT students.
Questions collected on the basis of memory.

EU + READING COMPREHENSION DETAILS

Directions for question 1 to 5 : Given below are two sentences 1 and 6 and four sentences jumbled between them. Choose the option that denotes the proper sequence of the four sentences A, B, C and D between 1 and 6 whose positions are kept fixed.

We could not memorize the entire questions but yes… we have got the gist of the questions and the Correct answers. Please note carefully the clue that is given and crosscheck your answers with that.

  1. Theme of question : Mud hump colony on African Plains – predators attacking the colony – workers and soldier ants – queen ant, etc.
  2. Ans.(2), DBAC ; key connection DB – "a mud hump – hump is alive – worker & soldiers – ratio"

  3. Reconstruction of history by post revolutionary science involves more than a multiplication of historical misconstructions.
  4. Ans. BADC Key "Those misconstructions – because ‘they’ aim – as a technique of teaching"

  5. Language skills development in a child is best between 3 to 5 years of age etc.
  6. Ans.(3) DCA- key; "3-5 years in these years – the reason is simple – the reason".

  7. Making others laugh is tricky – the intended humour may not come off – companies that make humorous advts may not necessarily get the returns out of it etc.
  8. Ans.(4) BADC key – " is tougher – humour may not come off – not enough just to make them laugh – cash does not come"

  9. Beluga Whales being hunted by man mercilessly – Whales developing a special escape system by diving to the bottom and staying there for long times etc.
  10. Ans.DACB "4 and 8 HP motors – with "these" – today, however -.."

    Directions for Q.6 to 13: In the following questions, given are four options for each question. Choose the option that best replaces the underlined portion in question.

  11. Bacon believes that medical profession should be allowed to ease and quicken death where the end would otherwise only delay for a few days and at the cost of great pain.
    1. otherwise only delay for a few days and
    2. be delayed for a few days and
    3. be otherwise only delayed for a few days and
    4. be delayed for a few days

          Ans.(3). Here (1), (2) and (4) are grammatically incorrect.

  1. Many of these environmentalists proclaim to save nothing less than the planet itself.
    1. that they save nothing less than
    2. that they are saving nothing lesser than
    3. to save nothing less than
    4. to save nothing lesser than

          Ans.(3). Here (1), (2) and (4) are grammatically incorrect.

  1. His father made great sacrifices to educate him, moving house on three occasions, and severing the thread on his loom’s shuttle whenever Mencius neglected his lessons to make him understand the need to persevere.
    1. severed the thread on his loom’s shuttle whenever Mencius neglected his lessons to make him understand the need for persevering.
    2. severed the thread on his loom’s shuttle whenever Mencius neglected his lessons to make him understand the need to persevere.
    3. severing the thread on his loom’s shuttle whenever Mencius neglected his lessons to make him understand the need to persevere.
    4. severing the thread on his loom’s shuttle whenever Mencius neglected his lessons to make them understand the need to persevere.

          Ans.(2). Here (1), (3) and (4) are grammatically incorrect.

  1. Since the advent of cable television, at the beginning of this decade, the entertainment industry took a giant stride forward in our country.
    1. this decade, the entertainment had taken
    2. this decade, the entertainment industry has taken
    3. this decade saw the entertainment industry taking
    4. this decade, the entertainment industry took

          Ans.(2). Here (1), (3) and (4) are grammatically incorrect.

  1. Mr. Pillai, the president of the union and who is also a member of the community group, will be in charge of the negotiations.
    1. since he is a member of the community group
    2. also being a member of the community group
    3. a member of the community group
    4. in addition, who is a member of the community group

          Ans.(3). (3) is the most concise and clear.

  1. If you are on a three month software design project and, in two weeks, you have put together a programme that solves part of the problem, show it to your boss without delay
    1. and, you’ve put together a programme that solves part of the problem in two weeks
    2. and, in two weeks, you have put together a programme that solves part of the problem
    3. and, you’ve put together a programme that has solved part of the problem in two weeks
    4. and, in two weeks you put together a programme that solved only part of the problem

          Ans.(3). Here (1), (2) and (4) are grammatically incorrect because of incorrect tenses.

  1. The MP rose up to say that, in her opinion, she thought the Women’s reservation Bill should be passed on unanimously.
  1. rose to say that she thought the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed
  2. rose up to say that, the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed on
  3. rose to say that, in her opinion, she thought that the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed
  4. rose to say that, in her opinion, the Women’s Reservation Bill should be passed on

          Ans.(1). Here (1) is the most concise and clear.

  1. It was us who had left before he arrived.
    1. we who had left before time he had arrived.
    2. us who had went before he arrived.
    3. us who had went before had arrived.
    4. we who had left before he arrived.

          Ans.(4). Here (1), (2) and (3) are grammatically incorrect.

Directions for questions 14 to 21 : Read each of the eight short passages given below and answer the question that follows it.

  1. The company’s coffee crop for 1998-99 totalled 8069 tonnes, an all time record. The increase over the previous year’s production of 5830 tonnes was 38.58%. The previous highest crop was 6070 tonnes in 1970-71. The company had fixed a target of 8000 tonnes to be realized by the year 2000-01, and this has been achieved two years earlier, thanks to the emphasis laid on the key areas of irrigation, replacement of unproductive coffee bushes, intensive refilling and improved agricultural practices. It is now our endeavour to reach the target of 10000 tonnes in the year 2001-02.

Which of the following would contribute most to making the target of 10000 tonnes in 2001-02 unrealistic ?

    1. The potential of the productivity enhancing measures implemented up to now has been exhausted.
    2. The total company land under coffee has remained constant since 1969 when an estate in the Nilgiri Hills was acquired.
    3. The sensitivity of the crop to climatic factors makes predictions about production uncertain.
    4. The target setting procedures in the company have been proved to be sound by the achievement of the 8000 tonnes target.

           Ans.(1). Obvious answer. Can be guessed easily.

  1. Three airlines – IA, JA and SA – operate on the Delhi-Mumbai route. To increase the number of seats sold, SA reduced its fares and this was emulated by IA and JA immediately. The general belief was that the volume of air travel between Delhi and Mumbai would increase as a result.

Which of the following, if true, would add credence to the general belief ?

    1. Increase in profitability of the three airlines.
    2. Extension of the discount scheme to other routes
    3. A study that shows that air traveller's in India are price conscious
    4. A study that shows that as much as 80% of air travel in India is company sponsored.

           Ans.(3). Obvious answer. Can be guessed easily.

  1. Developed countries have made adequate provisions for social security for senior citizens. State insurers (as well as private ones) offer Medicare and pension benefits to people who can no longer earn. In India, with the collapse of the joint family system, the traditional shelter of the elderly has disappeared. And a state faced with a financial crunch is not in a position to provide social security. So, it is advisable that the working population give serious thought to building a financial base for itself.

Which one of the following, if it were to happen, weakens the conclusion drawn in the above passage the most ?

    1. The investible income of the working population, as a proportion of its total income, will grow in the future.
    2. The insurance sector is underdeveloped and trends indicate that it will be extensively privatized in the future.
    3. India is on a path of development that will take it to a developed country status, with all its positive and negative implications.
    4. If the working population builds a stronger financial base, there will be a revival of the joint family system.

            Ans.(4). Here the other three options are absurd and do not fit at all.

        We could not memorize the next few questions. Sorry ! However the general themes for the
        next few were ---

  1. Biodiversity and educational backwardness are correlated
  2. Cigarettes and taxes levied by the government
  3. McNeill’s Study of Brahmin Vedic Recitation and how generations upon generations the tradition had continued
  4. Malthusian logic of population growing at a geometric rate and food production at an arithmetic rate
  5. Animals are good in groups only. When alone, they tend to lose mental balance.

Q.22 –23 : There was a small passage on "Right things being done by man at the wrong time -- the unreasonableness of man."

There were 2 questions based on this passage. Very simple and direct. Basically RC type.

 

Q.24 to 50 were RC passages

(5 passages / 27 questions)

Passage No. 1
Theme :
The World Trade Organization – Issues and Policies
No. of Words :
1000 approx. spread over 5 paragraphs in 1.25 pages (A4 size)
Details of the passage :
What is the WTO ? Definitions / Uruguay round of talks / Tokyo round / GATT issues / multilateral bargaining related issues / Tradeoffs in international trade / US did not want WTO initially / Europe welcomed the Dispute Settlement system under WTO due to fear of unilateral sanctions from the US / Developing countries also welcomed the WTO / US ambassador Kantor’s support to the WTO / Second factor for WTO creation was legal pressures from the lawyers’ lobby / Robert Hudec’s elaboration of consistency of legal systems etc. / Momentum of legal development in EU and the European Court’s role in it / Doctrine of mutual recognition in the case of Cassis de Dijon in 1979 was a turning point / EC rulings have helped the EU integration process / WTO was basically all about a consolidation exercise / It is all about conservation and not revolution / the system has been slowly built over 1940-1990 etc.
Analysis :
A typical passage as can be found in any business newspaper on a daily basis especially in the wake of the Seattle meet. You should have cracked it easily as there was nothing much to it.
Questions :
Total 6 questions were asked – all direct and simple.
Questions were based on these :
What could be the closest reason why WTO was not formed in 1970? , The most likely reason for the acceptance of WTO Package by nations was : , The method of
interpretation of European Court of Justice was that : , In the statement "It amounted to a recognition that International trade and its benefits cannot be enjoyed unless trading nations accept the discipline often negotiated rules based environment". It refers to :,
Q. The importance of  Cassis De Dijan is that it : , etc. 

Passage No. 2
Theme :
The concept of Art and "Writing" as an escapist route
No. of Words : 1150 approx. spread over 5 paragraphs in 1.25 pages (A4 size)
Details of the passage :
Art / Its definition / As a flight / But why is "writing" an escape route ? / concept of an immediate choice / Perceptions / Consciousness / Revealers / Unity of landscape as seen on the Earth is due to man’s imagination that the trees, stars and the moon are an integrated whole / We are directors and not producers / Earth has a dark permanence / Artistic impulse to prove that "we are essential to this planet" / Example of a novice painter who asked "When can I consider my painting finished?" and the reply "When you can look at it and say "Am I the one who did it?" / The dialectic is nowhere more apparent than in writing / Concept of objectivity etc.
Analysis :
A tough philosophical passage. Mature reading required. If you have not done any focussed and specific reading in philosophy, you would be well-advised to leave it. The sentence construction and vocabulary was esoteric, to say the least.
Questions :
Total 5 questions were asked – tricky ones. Since only 5 questions were asked, you could have easily afforded to leave this passage.
Questions were based on these :
Distinction between perception and creativity, Writer as an artist, Art of writing manifests dialectic of perception and creativity etc.

Passage No. 3
Theme :
Warfare techniques – East v/s West
No. of Words : 1600 approx. spread over 12 paragraphs in 2 pages (A4 size)
Details of the passage :
The fighting between nations reveals their cultural and historical patterns / Vietnam war’s example given / Second World was recreated by the US / Asian war style is "indirect" unlike the West basically due to the geographical terrains / Asia’s bow and arrow method of indirect war / Sun-Tzu’s "Art of War" – the classical treatise written 2300 yrs ago / the Western genius Clausewitz wrote only recently / Sun Tzu says "To subdue enemy without fighting is excellence" / Japan and Pearl Harbour incident / Sun-Tzu says that subtlety is needed / Why the US failed in Vietnam / Viet Kong’s strategy / North v/s South Vietnam / First stage of war is subtle / Second stage is open and brutal / US great at technology but still gets regular surprises / Iraq-Kuwait example given / Clausewitz’s book "On War" says – "Combat is the continuation of politics by violent means" etc.
Analysis :
A great passage that needs a mature mindset to grasp quickly the subtle shades of argument put forth. The longest passage in CAT 1999, this one could have been managed with some effort.
Questions :
Total 6 questions were asked – all direct and simple. The problem was that even the longest passage had only 6 questions !

Passage No. 4
Theme :
Art -- Abstractionism v/s Representationalism
No. of Words : 950 approx. spread over 4 paragraphs in 1.25 pages (A4 size)
Details of the passage :
What is abstractionist art ? / Definitions / Examples of artists like Picasso, Mondrian, Miro given / People are generally comfortable with simple Representational art as by Charles Russell as they can relate to it easily / Many people feel that artists turn abstractionists due to lack of "drafting skills" / People feel that Representational art is rational and systematic / Art should portray reality / Author says that he objects to this / Picasso could draft very well / example of "Guernica" depicting the German bombing / Their ideas are different / Actually this began with the first scratchings of the prehistoric man / Possibly in the future art will not need to exist physically / Artists will simply think and the artform shall be ready etc.
Analysis :
An excellent passage that needed a mature mindset to aid understanding. However, with little effort, even those not into reading such passages could have managed it as the message was very simple and direct.
Questions :
Total 5 questions were asked – all direct and simple.

Passage No. 5
Theme :
The concept of the Nation State
No. of Words : 1000 approx. spread over 6 paragraphs in 1.25 pages (A4 size)
Details of the passage :
Since World War II, the "nation state" has been approved by one and all be it the modernized West or the Communist Russia or the Third world / However "nation state" has not delivered the goods / It has broken down / Several pressures being faced by the nation state are "Community claims", "territorial claims" etc. / What is happening is that individuals and communities are reacting to the forces of Globalization and are trying to express their desire to exist as a separate entity / Positive side of this debate is their desire to exist separately which can be seen as a liberation movement against injustice / Need for labels attached to groups for identification / Identity is necessary in a changing world but can be divisive / Raymond Aron’s "Peace Through Law" / The problem is the reconciliation of nationalistic demands in the exercise of democracy etc.
Analysis :
An excellent passage as can be found in any newspaper’s "foreign affairs" section or the "lead article" near the editorials. This passage needs a prior exposure to certain key terminologies in order to be grasped fully in the limited time available.
Questions :
Total 5 questions were asked – all direct and simple.
Questions were based on these :
Demand for recognition of identities, Guaranteed happiness, Which of these is not true?, Which of the following about the Nation State is false? etc.

Q.51-55 were paragraph formation of 4 sentences.

Directions : Select the option representing the correct sequence of the four jumbled statements to form a coherent paragraph.

We are able to reproduce only one…. Sorry for that !

  1. Group decision making however does not necessarily fully guard against arbitrarianism & anarchy, for individual capriciousness can get substituted by collection of group members.

  2. Nature itself as an intricate system of checks & balances, meet to process the delicate balance between various environmental factors that affect our ecology.

  3. In institutions also there is a need to have is place a system of checks & balances which inhibits the concentration of powers in only some individuals.

  4. When human interventions alter this delicate balance the outcomes have been seen to be disastrous.

          (1) BDCA (2) BCAD (3) CABD (4) CDAB

In such questions, you must start directly from the options eliminating choices one by one. Each question of this type should not take more than 20 seconds. All standard questions as practised in the PT material.

Ans.(2) BC and AD are the keys.

Four more such very simple questions. A sincere student must manage all five.

Could not collect some of them. Sorry !


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