How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (2014)

Part 2: Verbal Ability

Section 3: Fill in the Blanks

Block 2: LODs and CAT Questions

Chapter 13. Previous Years’ Questions from CAT

CAT 1996

Directions for Questions 1 and 2: In each of the following sentences, a part of the sentence is left unfinished. Beneath each sentence, four different ways of completing the sentence are indicated. Choose the best alternative among the four.

1.————————, the more they remain the same.

(a)The more the merrier

(b)The less the dynamism

(c)The more things change

(d)The more pronounced the transformation

2.The stock market is probably——————. And the way the market has been plunging says a lot about investor’s confidence.

(a)the best barometer to assess the sentiment of the public.

(b)an ideal indication of the health of public sentiment.

(c)the least imperfect mechanism for judging the quantity of the sentiment of the public.

(d)the best indicator of public sentiment.

CAT 1997

1.——————— that in this apparent mess, two things need not be interfered with.

(a)It is important

(b)It is of cardinal importance

(c)It should be urgently understood

(d)It cannot be emphasised

2.The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what —————

(a)he makes out of it.

(b)he gets for others

(c)he has overcome through it.

(d)he becomes by it.

3.Wines that yield a good commercial profit————in the same limited areas of France as now.

(a)seem to have been produced.

(b)appear to have a remarkable semblance

(c)bear a significant similarity in terms of production to those grown

(d)appear to have been similarly produced

CAT 1998

Directions for Questions 1 to 5: In each of the following sentences, part/parts of the sentence is/are left blank. Beneath each sentence, four different ways of completing the sentence are indicated. Choose the best alternative from among the four.


In pursuance of their decision to resist what they saw as anti-labour policies, the company employees’ union launched agitation to ________ .


(a) show their virility


(b) reaffirm their commitment to the company


(c) bring down the government


(d) demonstrate their strength


The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition as it has developed up to now, with all its diverse proponents, is that it consists of a _________ Plato.


(a) series of footnotes to


(b) set of prologues to


(c) collection of chapters on


(d) string of commentaries to


The interest generated by the soccer World Cup is_________ compared to the way cricket ________ the nation.


(a) milder, fascinates

(b) lukewarm, electrifies


(c) tepid, inspires

(d) unusual, grips


No doubt, it was our own government but it was being run on borrowed ideas, using ________ solutions.


(a) worn out

(b) second hand


(c) impractical

(d) appropriate


The telephone symbolises that awkward __________ in all communication technologies; while it _______ to bring us together, it keeps us apart.


(a) paradox, needs

(b) irony, intends


(c) paradox, tries

(d) irony, wishes

CAT 2000

Directions for Questions 1 to 5: In each of the following sentences, parts of the sentence are left blank. Beneath each sentence, four different ways of completing the sentence are indicated. Choose the best alternative from among the four.


Though one eye is kept firmly on the—————, the Company now also promotes———— contemporary art.


(a) present, experimental


(b) future, popular


(c) present, popular


(d) market, popular



The law prohibits a person from felling a sandalwood tree even if it grows on one’s own land, without prior permission from the government. As poor people cannot deal with the government, this legal provision leads to a rip-roaring business for ——— who care neither for the————nor for the trees.


(a) middlemen, rich


(b) the government, poor


(c) touts, rich


(d) touts, poor



It will take some time for many South Koreans to ———— the conflicting images of North Korea, let alone to————————— what to make of their northern cousins.


(a) reconcile, decide

(b) understand, clarify


(c) make out, decide

(d) reconcile, understand


In these bleak and depressing times of —————prices, non-performing governments and ——————— crime rates, Sourav Ganguly has given us Indians a lot to cheer about.


(a) escalating, increasing


(b) spiraling, booming


(c) spiraling, soaring


(d) ascending, debilitating



The manners and——— of the nouveau riche is a recurrent————— in the literature.


(a) style, motif

(b) morals, story


(c) wealth, theme

(d) morals, theme

CAT 2002 (I)

Von Neumann and Morgenstern assume a decision framework in which all options are thoroughly considered, each option being independent of the others, with a numerical value derived for the utility of each possible outcome the expected utility. (1)…….. such a model reflects major simplifications of the way decisions are made in the real world. Humans are not to process information as quickly and effectively as the model assumes; they tend not to think (2) ……….. as the model calls for, they often deal with a particular option without really assessing its (3) ……….. and when they do assess alternatives, they may be externally nebulous about their criteria of evaluation.


(a) Regrettably

(b) Firstly


(c) Obviously

(d) Apparently


(a) Quantitatively

(b) Systematically


(c) Scientifically

(d) Analytically


(a) Implications

(b) Disadvantages


(c) Utility

(d) Alternatives

CAT 2002 (II)

In a large company, (1) ………. people is about as common as using a gun or a switch-blade to (2) ………. an argument. As a result, most managers have little or no experience/of firing people, and they find it emotionally traumatic, as a result, they often delay the act interminably, much as an unhappy spouse will prolong a bad marriage. And when the firing is done, it’s often done clumsily, with far worse side effects than are necessary.

Do the world-class software organizations have a different way of firing people? No; but they do the deed swiftly, humanely and professionally.

The key point here is to view the fired employee as a “failed product” and to ask how the process (3)………. such a phenomenon in the first place.


(a) dismissing

(b) punishing


(c) firing

(d) admonishing


(a) resolve

(b) thwart


(c) defeat

(d) close


(a) derived

(b) engineered


(c) produced

(d) allowed

CAT 2003


The Internet is a medium where users have nearly ___________choices and ___________ constraints about where to go; and what to do.


(a) unbalanced, non-existent


(b) embarrassing, no


(c) unlimited, minimal


(d) choking, shocking



The best punctuation is that of which the reader is least conscious; for when punctuation, or lack of it, ________ itself, it is usually because it ________ .


(a) obtrudes, offends

(b) enjoins, fails


(c) conceals, recedes

(d) effaces, counts


The argument that the need for a looser fiscal policy to _______ demand outweighs the need to ________ budget deficits is persuasive. -


(a) assess, minimise

(b) outstrip, eliminate


(c) stimulate, control

(d) restrain, conceal


The Athenians on the whole, were peaceful and prosperous; they had ___________ to sit at home and think about the universe and dispute with Socrates, or to travel abroad and _________the world.


(a) leisure, explore

(b) time, ignore


(c) ability, suffer

(d) temerity, understand


This simplified ____________ to the decision-making process is a must read for anyone ________ important real estate, personal, or professional decisions.


(a) primer, maximising

(b) tract, enacting


(c) introduction, under

(d) guide, facing


Physicians may soon have ________ to help paralysed people move their limbs by bypassing the ________ nerves that once controlled their muscles.


(a) instruments, detrimental


(b) ways, damaged


(c) reason, involuntary


(d) impediments, complex



Their achievement in the field of literature is described as _____________; sometimes it is even called _____________.


(a) magnificent, irresponsible


(b) insignificant, influential


(c) significant, paltry


(d) unimportant, trivial



From the time she had put her hair up, every man she had met had groveled before her and she had acquired a mental attitude toward the other sex which was a blend of ____________ and ____________ .


(a) admiration, tolerance


(b) indifference, contempt


(c) impertinence, temperance


(d) arrogance, fidelity


CAT 2004


Early ____________ of maladjustment to college culture is ___________by the tendency to develop friendship networks outside college which mask signals of maladjustment.


(a) treatment, compounded


(b) detection, facilitated


(c) identification, complicated


(d) prevention, helped


The British retailer, M&S, today formally ________ defeat in its attempt to ___________ King’s, its US subsidiary, since no potential purchasers were ready to cough up the necessary cash.


(a) admitted, acquire

(b) conceded, offload


(c) announced, dispose

(d) ratified, auction


Companies that try to improve employees’ performance by ____________ rewards encourage negative kinds of behaviour, instead of __________ a genuine interest in doing the work well.


(a) giving, seeking


(b) bestowing, discouraging


(c) conferring, discrediting


(d) withholding, fostering



A growing number of these expert professionals _________having to train foreigners as the students end up ____________the teachers who have to then unhappily contend with no jobs at all or new jobs with drastically reduced pay packets.


(a) resent, replacing

(b) resist, challenging


(c) welcome, assisting

(d) are, supplanting


The __________ regions of Spain all have unique cultures, but the ____________ views within each region make the issue of an acceptable common language of instruction an even more contentious one.


(a) different, discrete

(b) distinct, disparate


(c) divergent, distinct

(d) different, competing

CAT Archives


At that time, the White House was as serene as a resort hotel out of season. The corridors were __[1]_____. In the various offices, __[2]______ gray men in waistcoats talked to one another in low-pitched voices. The only color, or choler, curiously enough, was provided by President Eisenhower himself. Apparently, his __[3]______ was easily set off; he scowled when he___[4]______ the corridors.



(a) striking

(b) hollow


(c) empty

(d) white



(a) quiet

(b) faded


(c) loud

(d) stentorian



(a) laughter

(b) curiosity


(c) humour

(d) temper



(a) paced

(b) strolled


(c) stormed

(d) prowled


“Between the year 1946 and the year 1955, I did not file any income tax returns.” With that [1] statement, Ramesh embarked on an account of his encounter with the Income Tax Department. “I originally owed Rs 20,000 in unpaid taxes. With [2] and [3], the 20,000 became 60,000. The Income Tax Department then went into action and I learned first hand just how much power the Tax Department wields. Royalties and trust funds can be [4]; automobiles may be [5] and auctioned off. Nothing belongs to the [6] until the case is settled.”



(a) devious

(b) blunt


(c) tactful

(d) pretentious



(a) interest

(b) taxes


(c) principal

(d) returns



(a) sanctions

(b) refunds


(c) fees

(d) fines



(a) closed

(b) detached


(c) attached

(d) impounded



(a) smashed

(b) seized


(c) dismantled

(d) frozen



(a) purchaser

(b) victim


(c) investor

(d) offender


It was __[1]_____ , and the new sun sparkled gold across the ripples of a gentle sea. A mile from shore, a fishing boat __[2]_______ the water, and the word for Breakfast Flock flashed through the air, till a crowd of a thousand seagulls came to __[3]______ the fight for bits of food. It was another busy day ___[4]______.


But way off __[5]____, out by himself beyond boat and shore, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was practicing. A hundred feet in the sky, he lowered his webbed feet, lifted his beak, and strained to hold a painful hard twisting curve through his wings. The curve meant that he would fly slowly, and now he slowed until the wind was a whisper in his face, until the ocean stood __[6]______ beneath him. He __[7]____ his eyes in fierce concentration, held his breath, forced one single more inch of curve. Then his feathers ruffled, he stalled and fell.



(a) morning

(b) twilight


(c) dawn

(d) mendicant



(a) meandered

(b) chummed


(c) anchored

(d) languished



(a) dodge

(b) lodge


(c) nudge

(d) vacillate



(a) culminating

(b) beginning


(c) practicing

(d) gainsaying



(a) shore

(b) scared


(c) alone

(d) brood



(a) deep

(b) akimbo


(c) still

(d) conspicuous



(a) narrowed

(b) widened


(c) opened

(d) decreed

Answer Key

CAT 1996

1. (c)

2. (d)


CAT 1997

1. (a)

2. (d)

3. (a)


CAT 1998

1. (d)

2. (a)

3. (b)

4. (b)

5. (c)

CAT 2000

1. (b)

2. (d)

3. (a)

4. (c)

5. (d)

CAT 2002 (I)

1. (a)

2. (a)

3. (c)


CAT 2002 (II)

1. (c)

2. (a)

3. (d)


CAT 2003

1. (c)

2. (a)

3. (c)

4. (a)

5. (d)

6. (b)

7. (d)

8. (b)


CAT 2004

1. (c)

2. (b)

3. (a)

4. (a)

5. (b)

CAT Archives – I

1. (c)

2. (a)

3. (d)

4. (a)


CAT Archives – II

1. (b)

2. (a)

3. (d)

4. (d)

5. (b)

6. (d)


CAT Archives – III

1. (a)

2. (a)

3. (a)

4. (b)

5. (a)

6. (c)

7. (a)