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

Part 2: Verbal Ability

Section 6: New Verbal Question Types in CAT

Chapter 23. Paragraph Completion/ Last Sentence of the Paragraph

Select the best concluding statement of a paragraph:

In this type of question, a paragraph is given and four alternative concluding statements are given for the same. You are required to choose the option that best concludes the paragraph. These questions first made their appearance in the CAT 2005 examination and sparked huge debates amongst the student community about their answers.

The reason for the confusion was that when read normally, each of the four options for the concluding sentence, logically followed the material of the text in the paragraph. However, in these questions the key to deducing the one correct option is the ability to understand the author’s opinion (Advanced reading skill 5 from the PART I of this book.). Once you have identified the author’s opinion you can evaluate the options for the concluding sentence by trying to fit in the one option that made the most ‘concluding sense’ in the context of the author’s opinion about the topic.

By trying to fit the concluding sense of each option we mean to say that you need to compare how each sentence concludes the argument – i..e. winds up the points made by the author and best conveys the author’s opinion about the topic.

Further, the concluding sentence also needs to be a conclusion of the paragraph. It should not leave the scope of further carrying the paragraph’s discussion forward.

The following examples will help you understand this type of question:


Complete the following paragraph with the most suitable sentence.

In order to boost sales of toys at times other than the peak sale time. Toy -manufacturers take recourse to the use of several techniques. Some of these include promoting character toys from Bollywood and Hollywood movies or TV series. All these sets are marketed as “collectibles” for the young consumers. The collections within a family of Collectibles, however, never appear to be complete (especially to the parents). As soon as all the characters are acquired, the child then requires the associated gadgets and gizmos that are bundled into the collectible set. Thus parents go shopping for the “car,” the “home,” the “mobile home,” and even the “airplane” to ensure a happy homely environment for the toys. Ultimately, just as the elusive final piece of the series is attained the manufacturer and promoter release the next series of “collectibles.”

The prime aim of the manufacturer and promoter is to ensure that

(a)all children should be happy and no child can be happy without a complete series of toys.

(b)as soon as one set is complete or almost complete, then the next one arrives on the scene.

(c)children should be encouraged to complete their collections of toys..

(d)sales need to be artificially bolstered throughout the year.

The correct answer is d.

Let us now look at the following examples from the CAT 2005:

Example 2

Federer’s fifth grand slam win prompted a reporter to ask whether he was the best ever. Federer is certainly not lacking in confidence, but he wasn’t about to proclaim himself the best ever. “The best player of this generation, yes” he said, “But nowhere close to ever. Just look at the records that some guys have. I’m a minnow.” ___________________

(a)His win against Agassi, a genius of the previous generation, contradicts that.

(b)Sampras, the king of an earlier generation, was as humble.

(c)He is more than a minnow to his contemporaries.

(d)The difference between ‘the best of this generation’ and ‘the best ever’ is a matter of perception.

The correct answer is (c). You need an answer that concludes the passage. While options a & b take the paragraph into a new direction, d is irrelevant in the context provided – it is too general in nature.

Example 3

Thus the end of knowledge and the closing of the frontier that it symbolizes is not a looming crisis at all, but merely one of many embarrassing fits of hubris in civilizations long industry. In the end, it will pass away and be forgotten. Ours is not the first generation to struggle to understand the organizational laws of the frontier, deceive itself that it has succeeded, and go to it’s grave having failed. __________________

(a)One would be wise to be humble.

(b)But we might be the first generation to actually reach the frontier.

(c)But we might be the first generation to deal with the crisis.

(d)However, this time the success is not illusory.

Options (b) & (d) seem to indicate that we might have reached the frontier. But by it’s very definition the frontier of knowledge can never be reached. Hence, you can eliminate these answers. Further, if you consider Option c, it talks about dealing with the crisis – which does not exist at all according to the first sentence of the paragraph.

Example 4

Most firms consider expert individuals to be too elitist, temperamental, egocentric, and difficult to work with. Force such people to collaborate on a high stakes project and they just might come to fisticuffs. Even the very notion of managing such a group seems unimaginable. So most organizations will fall into default mode, setting up project teams of people who get along nicely. _____________________________

(a)The result however is disastrous.

(b)The result is mediocrity.

(c)The result is the creation of experts who then become elitists.

(d)Naturally, they drive innovations.

The paragraph clearly states that teams are formed on the basis of people’s ability to get along with each other (rather than on their merit with respect to the task at hand.)Obviously, this leads to a compromise in the quality of the work being performed. Hence, Option (d) is eliminated. Option (a) simply does not follow from the previous sentence since the word however indicates that the author should be contradicting his previous idea with this sentence. However, if you analyse the ideas in the last sentence of the paragraph and the Option (a), you will clearly see that there is no contrast between the two ideas.

Option (c) talks about an effect that is highly improbable in the context. Option (b) is perfect since you will expect mediocrity when you create a team on the basis of parameters other than ability.

Example 5

The audience for crosswords and sudoku, understandably, overlap greatly, but there are differences, too. A crossword attracts a more literary person, while sudoku appeals to a keenly logical mind. Some crossword enthusiasts turn up their noses at sudoku because they feel it lacks depth. A good crossword requires vocabulary, knowledge. mental flexibility and sometimes even a sense of humor to complete. It touches numerous areas of life and provides an ‘Aha!’ or two along the way.___________________________

(a) Sudoku, on the other hand, is just a logical exercise, each one similar to the last.

(b) Sudoku, incidentally, is growing faster in popularity than crosswords even among the literate.

(c) Sudoku, on the other hand, can be attempted and enjoyed even by children.

(d) Sudoku, however, is not exciting in any sense of the term.

In order to solve the above question, you need to understand that you are looking for the option that best ‘completes’ the paragraph. The structural construct under which we reach the last sentence of the paragraph is that of the comparison of crosswords and sudokus. The author has shown a clear bias towards crosswords – and in fact is in the process of explaining his sentence ‘Some crossword enthusiasts turn up their noses at sudoku because they feel it lacks depth.’ So obviously after praising crosswords, he has to talk in a dark light about sudoku. Option (a) has the perfect fit under this structure. Although Option (d) is also negative in it’s construction, it is unlikely to be the answer because of the fact that it is too crude and direct – something that you cannot associate with the atuhor’s style of writing. Options (b) and (c) get eliminated because they are talking positive about sudokus – something that goes against our expectations of what the author is likely to convey.


The following questions have a paragraph from which the last sentence has been deleted. From the given options, choose the one that completes the paragraph in the most appropriate way.

(1)And those newly democratic countries have done relatively well. Elsewhere, the first flowerings of protest in the spring of 2011 brought not freedom but more tyranny and vicious civil strife. When the police in the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain failed to stamp out a raucous pro-democracy mutiny, the ruling family panicked.__________________

(a)Not only has Bahrain failed to progress, it has turned the clock back to where it was after a previous bout of sectarian tensions in the 1980s.

(b)The result is a grim stand-off between the country’s embittered two-thirds majority of Shia Muslims and a wary Sunni minority. 

(c)It invited nearby Sunni monarchs to send in troops, which lead to scores of deaths and hundreds of arrests. 

(d)Nowhere, as yet, has the right to vote or greater freedom to speak translated into markedly better government, more jobs or brighter short-term prospects.

(2)U.S. secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, affirmed their support for a Geneva peace conference in August 2013, but offered little in the way of a strategy to bring the warring sides to the table. Rebels appear unwilling to consider a plan that does not include Assad’s ouster, while Assad is unwilling to go voluntarily.______________

(a)Moreover, neither side seems willing to negotiate from a perceived position of weakness.

(b)The Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in August has only complicated international discussions of a peace process. 

(c)The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership and imposed economic sanctions on Damascus.

(d)Arab governments, including Gulf states and Jordan, have provided arms and financial and diplomatic support to the opposition. 

(3)Many voters remember a time when hard work was reliably rewarded with economic security. This was not really true in the 1950s and 60s if you were black or female, but the question still remains: what if Mr Cowen is right? What if the bottom 85% today are mostly doomed to stay there? In a country founded on hope, that would require something like a new social contract.________________

(a)For their part Republican leaders offer long-cherished shrink-the-government schemes, rebranded as plans to save the American Dream.

(b)In truth, the links between investment and government policy are rarely so neat, and even such a boom might do little for middle-class wage stagnation.

(c)Politics risks becoming a “zero-sum game where a few do very well while struggling families of every race fight over a shrinking economic pie.”

(d)Politicians cannot duck Mr Cowen’s conundrum for ever.

(4)Previous studies over the years have suggested that we use one half of our brain more often than the other, playing a part in the type of personality we have.

While the left side of the brain is usually associated with logical, analytical and detail-oriented behavior, the right side has been connected to creative, thoughtful and subjective thinking._________________________

(a)But a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests there is no evidence within brain imaging that proves some people are right-brained or left-brained.

(b)The research team conducted a two-year study of 1,011 people who were part of the International Neuroimaging Data-Sharing Initiative (INDI), and who were between the ages of 7 and 29.

(c)All connections in the brain were examined, and all possible combinations of the brain regions were correlated for each brain region that was left-lateralized or right-lateralized.

(d)However, we just do not see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people.

(5)It is not uncommon for an El Niño winter to be followed by a La Niña one—where climate patterns and worldwide effects are, for the most part, the opposite of those produced by El Niño. Where there was flooding there is drought, where winter weather was abnormally mild, it turns abnormally harsh.______________________

(a)By the time it had run its course eight months later, the giant El Niño of 1997-98 had deranged weather patterns around the world

(b)Hundreds of families splashed frantically through the muddy flood to save what they could. 

(c)La Niñas have followed El Niños three times in the past 15 years—after the 1982-83 event and after those of 1986-87 and 1995.

(d)By the time the debris settled and the collective misery was tallied, the devastation had in some respects exceeded even that of the El Niño of 1982-83

(6)Dust Bowl is “a Ken Burns film” in what might by now be called the traditional sense—that is to say, a beautifully wrought, latitudinous, and, at the very least, aspirationally definitive work of filmic nonfiction, right at home among the documentarian’s prior oeuvre. It is a wholly appropriate approach to the terrors of the Dust Bowl. Consider: What do three hundred fifty million tons of airborne dirt, blown up on sixty-mile-an-hour winds and crackling with electricity, look like? How does it feel to watch that cloud roll in? To be caught up in its abrasive, blinding rage?__________________________

(a)Tapping their childhood memories, Burns’s vision of the Dirty Thirties departs ever so slightly from the sense of staid authority that his viewers have come to expect and takes on something of the haunting quality of a remembered nightmare

(b)Measurements and meteorological data, film and still photographs, even eyewitness reports can only suggest so much—and Burns, deft storyteller that he is, knows it.

(c)No fact or artifact could make the storm any more visible, any more real, for the viewer than the act of sympathetic imagination that it takes to conjure an image of this mustachioed, older gentleman as a kid, huddled against his praying mom as the dark dirt blasted their home.

(d)He knows that, of the resources available to him, it’s the child’s-eye view, a naive and poignant focus on the so-called small picture, the apparently miscellaneous detail that all but magically gives expression to whatever is unfathomable beyond it.

(7)New Deal efforts at soil conservation brought back the land. When the rains came back in ’39, and dust storms started to settle down, farmers on the Plains turned to the Ogallala Aquifer, the 174,000-square-mile water table beneath them, to satisfy their crops’ needs.___________________

(a)Wells started cropping up everywhere, some feeding crops that required more moisture than the wheat lost only a decade or two earlier.

(b)What seemed like a good idea at the time “was the beginning of a bad idea,” said one old-timer at the close of the film. 

(c)At the present rate of depletion, the aquifer could, at some point, be pumped dry.

(d)In a region with so little and such unreliable rainfall, it made sense: All the water that they could ask for was right there, under their feet, and the technology to get at it finally was affordable.

(8)But when a tsunami hits Japan, an earthquake crushes Haiti, or an embassy attack leaves foreign servicemen dead, even the most calloused tweeter goes soft inside, and every laptop turns into a small news service all its own.___________________

(b)At such moments, the web becomes a nurturing and shining place, and every stiff-jawed critic seems to want to send you forward with hugs and a smile.

(b)Sorrow pours down from the loftiest peaks.

(c)This wasn’t disaster porn but a startling flood of goodwill.

(d)These days, life online has become friendly, well mannered, oversweet.

9.King Herod had a substantial architectural heritage to his name in the Levant by the time of his death in 4 BCE. As one of Rome’s most loyal client kings, he incorporated much Roman-style architecture throughout the lands he ruled. He visited Rome in 40 BCE and returned two more times, between 19 and 12 BCE._______________________

(a)Herod’s building program in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom rivaled much of what he had seen in Rome.

(b)Herod’s mimicry of things Roman encompassed the public and the monumental as well as the private and domestic. 

(c)The last two trips were during Augustus’ building frenzy in Rome, when the emperor famously turned a city of bricks into one of marble. 

(d)He also created Roman-style baths, with various chambers for different temperatures and employed hypocaust technology, which heated water from underneath.

10.On June 22, 2012, for $9,826,500, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased George Washington’s personal bound copy of the Constitution with the Bill of Rights and Acts of Congress. The volume dated from 1789, Washington’s first year in office as president of the United States. In its margins, he repeatedly wrote the word “president” to emphasize those sections relating to his official powers and responsibilities. ____________________________

(a)With his meticulous—some might say pedantic—mind, he carefully measured the dimensions of the presidency as if it were a suit of clothes. 

(b)Washington’s approach to leadership emerged from a code of personal conduct that he began developing as a young man. 

(c)The deaths of his father and his brother—Lawrence died when George was only twenty—appears to have left him touchy and insecure—a temperament that did not bode well for his future.

(d)Washington looked forward to his first experiences of combat in the French and Indian War, expecting a great adventure that would put the seal on his manhood.

11.And when the words run out, there are numbers. The news that physicists had found the Higgs boson confirmed some of the greatest intellectual work ever carried out. True, the human race may not be able to resolve territorial disputes or run a stable currency bloc but it has established why the universe has structure.__________________________

(a)In the eurozone crisis, some leaders have now looked properly at the effects of failure.

(b)The world’s worst problems can be solved by face-to-face negotiation.

(c)There is only one route through the crisis, much of it unpalatable to voters—and hence to leaders.

(d)We should recognise this at least as progress, and of an astounding kind.

12.Languages are extremely diverse, but they are not arbitrary. Behind the bewildering, contradictory ways in which different tongues conceptualise the world, we can sometimes discern order. Linguists have traditionally assumed that this reflects the hardwired linguistic aptitude of the human brain._____________________________

(a)Yet recent scientific studies propose that language “universals” aren’t simply prescribed by genes but that they arise from the interaction between the biology of human perception and the bustle, exchange and negotiation of human culture.

(b)Language has a logical job to do—to convey information—and yet it is riddled with irrationality: irregular verbs, random genders, silent vowels, ambiguous homophones. 

(c)You’d think languages would evolve towards an optimal state of concision, but instead they accumulate quirks that hinder learning, not only for foreigners but also for native speakers.

(d)These peculiarities have been explained by linguists by reference to the history of the people who speak it. 

13.How liberal democracy will emerge from this process is difficult to imagine. The Syrian people—the driving force of the peaceful protests against Assad’s regime—are faced with a “choice” between Assad’s brutal dictatorship, and US-sponsored Islamist rebel militants allied with an exiled Muslim Brotherhood-dominated opposition.____________________________

(a)It is therefore far from clear that the FSA represents the sentiments of Syrian civil society.

(b)But just as the West’s Islamist gambit during the Cold War (and after) paved the way for the global acceleration of al-Qaeda’s operations, the implications of this ill-conceived strategy will be even more devastating.

(c)They have become unwitting pawns on a geopolitical chessboard in which the principal players—the US, Iran, Russia, and China—are fighting a proxy war for strategic influence.

(d)It is not too late to reverse course. Caught in the midst of a proxy war for strategic influence, UN envoy Kofi Annan’s diplomatic efforts never had a chance.

14.In Rwanda, stability has been achieved partly by the drive to stress national, not ethnic identity. Given the genocide, the exhortation that “we are all Rwandans” is understandable. But it is striking how far the government goes to downplay ethnic identities. There is no official recognition of different ethnic groups. While there is an unwritten rule that the prime minister to President Kagame should be a Hutu, officially questions about the balance of Hutus and Tutsis in power do not arise.___________________________

(a)Political activity is tightly controlled and discussion managed through a system of forums while the country focuses on economic development.

(b)decades of apparent stability under the rule of Marshal Tito masked antagonisms which, in the right conditions, exploded.

(c)But as any good researcher looking at a twin study will know, you need to look for the differences over the long-term too.

(d)Rwanda is assimilationist and emphasises its citizens are Rwandan, never mind their ethnic identity, more like France, for example. 

15.In Afghanistan the Soviets thought Pashtun tribal loyalties would be no match for the kind of modernization they had imposed on the Central Asian republics to Afghanistan’s north, although anyone who has spent any time in post-1989 Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Kyrgyzstan will know that the sectarianism and tribalism that was quiescent during the Soviet era are back with a vengeance. e. As for NATO, the alliance went into Kosovo imagining the province to have the potential for the kind of ethnic comity that truly did exist in Bosnian cities like Sarajevo and Tuzla before 1992, when, in fact, Kosovo proved to be a zero-sum game. When the province was ruled from Belgrade, the Serbian minority held sway. When NATO arrived, it was the Albanians’ turn, and while on utilitarian grounds the oppression of a minority is perhaps to be preferred to the oppression of a majority, _________________________________

(a)But the textbook example of this amnesia about the importance of sectarianism has been the American involvement in Iraq.

(b)Jeans, Planck wrote to a mutual colleague, “is the very model of a theorist as he should not be, just as Hegel was in philosophy: so much the worse for the facts if they don’t fit.”

(c)That was scarcely what NATO intended, or predicted would happen once Yugoslav regulars and Serb militias had been sent packing.

(d)But unable to free themselves from the bear trap of one version or another of contemporary Western progress narratives,

16.Not that billboards are themselves unusual. What marked these out was that each and every one was either ragged and empty, or else carrying posters so old that the sun had bleached them illegible. If they’re selling anything, it’s the vivid reality of decline._________________________

(a)At least that was how a number of high-profile figures sought to characterise the situation. 

(b)Whether a direct symptom of Greece’s problems or not, they serve as an eerie reminder of the country’s economic plight.

(c)Such interventions have not been welcomed by everyone—many I spoke to here said they felt like an attempt to influence the vote. 

(d)No doubt many who voted for the anti-austerity parties will claim that what looks to have been a concerted campaign against the left-wing Syriza party helped their centre-right rivals New Democracy to victory yesterday. 

17.At the end of his Digital Life Design talk in January, Thrun confirmed that he had resigned his tenure at Stanford. Instead, he was throwing his energy into a new venture, going live that day, called Udacity. The site would offer “massive online open courses” (MOOCs) free of charge to the global 99 per cent, to the tech-savvy and web-illiterate alike.___________________________________

(a)With student debt at $1 trillion in the United States alone—greater than credit card debt—the current education system, with its barriers, privileges, and vast inequalities, was no longer defensible, he said.

(b)The Grand Challenge called on American university students to build robotic cars and race them, unassisted, across 131 miles of unforgiving desert scrub, over salt flats and down the treacherous Beer Bottle Pass.

(c)As the lab’s director, Thrun developed “enhanced reality” glasses worthy of a dystopian sci-fi novel and built a second generation of robotic cars that have since logged thousands of miles on California roads.

(d)By the time classes began, enrolment had swelled to 158,000, with students from every country in the world except North Korea.

18.We’re the richest country on earth—four and a half percent of the world’s people producing more than twenty percent of the world’s wealth. But you wouldn’t know from the cheapjack spending squabbles in Congress. We possess more military power than the rest of the planet combined. Though you couldn’t tell by the way we’re treated by everyone from the impotent Kremlin to the raggedy councils of the Taliban._________________________________

(a)Witness our foreign policy deliberations, mired in snits about what kind of underachievement to pursue.

(b)Consider our domestic policy debates—a people once proverbial for our risk-taking, our biggest election-year issue is now health insurance.

(c)And we fret ceaselessly over balancing the budget as if the first duty of nationhood is to be a thrifty parent trying to skimp on a country’s infrastructure with a box of “Highway Helper.”

(d)The earth is ours. We have the might and means to achieve the spectacular—and no intention of doing so.

19.Just as the Indian subcontinental plate has a tendency to constantly rub and push against the Eurasian tectonic plate, causing friction and volatility in the entire Himalayan mountain range, India’s bilateral relationship with China is also a subtle, unseen, but ongoing and deeply felt collision, the affects of which have left a convoluted lineage._________________________________

(a)The relationship is into layers of rivalry, mistrust, and occasional cooperation, not to mention actual geographical disputes.

(b)Several rounds of talks held since 1981 have failed to resolve the disputed claims. 

(c)Tensions between the two powers have come to influence everything from their military and security decisionmaking to their economic and diplomatic maneuvering, with implications for wary neighbors and faraway allies alike.

(d) An unsettled border provides China the strategic leverage to keep India uncertain about its intentions, and nervous about its capabilities, while exposing India’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and encouraging New Delhi’s “good behavior” on issues of vital concern. 

20.It used to be that people from my ethnicity (Jewish) and my geography (the Northeast) retired to Florida when they reached the age of 65. Sometimes, if they could afford it, they retired at 60 and gave themselves a few extra years in the sun. The East Coast of Florida, whose informal capital is Boca Raton, was the mecca for those who wanted to take it easy after years of hard labor. ________________________________

(a)Most retirees were small merchants and entrepreneurs who’d risen early every morning and come home late every night in order to buy the split level in the suburbs and send their kids to college. 

(b)For their children — of which I count myself one — it was hard to understand. Florida seemed so unlike what we thought of as the center of the world: New York City.

(c)They wanted peace and quiet, sunshine and poolside, canasta and golf. Florida was leisurely, pastel-colored, and sun-drenched, not fast, grubby, and overcast. New York was exciting, but they’d had enough of exciting.

(d)It’s true that many of the people living in this area of Florida are old, but is that bad? Old people, I’ve come to feel, are often very interesting people — a fact that becomes increasingly evident as I grow old myself.



1.The Assad regime depends on its patrons in Iran and the Iranian-backed Hezbollahmilitia in neighboring Lebanon. The Sunni-led opposition is similarly turning to its regional patrons. These regional players, with their own agendas, will keep pulling Syria apart until a functioning national government can be reestablished. 

(a)The resolution must be political — but grounded in a realistic assessment of the difficulty in putting the pieces of Syria back together.

(b)The regime has seemed equally bent on division.

(c)What’s happening in Syria isn’t an insurgency now but a sectarian civil war. 

(d)The country should enter what is similar to quarantine until it is cured from the sectarian disease.

2.Naseeruddin Shah is undoubtedly one of the best performers on the Indian screen. Despite his atypical looks, he managed to make a mark for himself in both parallel and commercial films, but gives credit to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan for paving the way for unconventional looking heroes in the Hindi filmdom.

(a)Naseeruddin’s own achievements are no mean feat, but despite three National Awards, international honour and acclaim, the seasoned actor wonders why he isn’t seen as a commercially viable artist by filmmakers.

(b)Nowadays unconventional-looking actors like NawazuddinSiddiqui and Irrfan among others have raised the bar in filmdom, but Naseeruddin feels the real credit goes to Amitabh Bachchan.

(c)Mentality has not changed. It’s just that the audience has always appreciated good acting.

(d)But the tendency has not changed. Still the chocolate face is acceptable.

3.Given that all three major parties - Congress, BJP and AAP - have declared that they would not enter into any post-poll alliances, the chances of President’s Rule seem higher, especially if the largest party is way short of the majority mark. Since President’s Rule cannot last beyond six months,

(a)Experts, however, also feel a huge voter-turn out usually suggests a decisive and clear mandate. 

(b)However, absence of a formal government can slow down functioning of the departments. 

(c)Experts look at the scenarios as an ‘unfortunate’ one for the city as it hurts the functioning of the government in a significant way. 

(d)The fresh election to the Delhi assembly may well be held along with the LokSabha election in the summer of 2014.

4.Most voters respond to the liberal and conservative frames on most issues. Not all issues — most of us have a few things we care strongly about, whether it’s guns, abortion, minimum wage, Afghanistan or whatever. Very few of us have a strong belief in a particular “ideology” in the sense of strongly adhering to a particular set of first principles that attentive political actors would recognize as “liberal” or “conservative” (or socialist, libertarian, green or whatever).

(a)Instead, most voters seem to appreciate arguments from multiple sides — we might think it sounds right that people should make it on their own and that too much government assistance would make us dependent, but we might also think it sounds right that we should pitch in collectively to help the needy and also that there are things we can do collectively to ensure a fairer chance for all.

(b)In practical terms, believing both of those things might be wildly inconsistent, but it’s also true, in practical terms, that most of us never have to resolve that inconsistency — so we don’t.

(c)Picking an ideology, for most of us, doesn’t accomplish anything.

(d)That turns out to make for a very effective democracy.

5.Mourn the statesman and the revolutionary and the terrorist and the neoliberal and the ethicist and the pragmatist and the saint and don’t you dare try to discard or remove any part of that whole.

(a)He had a compliment to give to everybody, including my housekeeper and doorman. It was amazing. A gentle giant, he was.

(b)Celebrate him? Sure, but then make sure you’re willing to consider emulating him.

(c)Mandela faced, the hypocrisy of many who praise his life .

(d)He showed us how liberating it is to forgive.

6.Freedom of the Press, the Ark of the Covenant of Democracy”, as proudly proclaimed by our Supreme Court, is not in good shape. A document published by The Free Speech Hub, an initiative of the Media Foundation, records how journalists in Kashmir have been beaten and shot at by the security forces. Journalist AmulyaPani was assaulted when he went to cover the police firing on villagers in Kalinganagar in Orissa, and journalists Moirangthem Romeo and Atom Lukhoi were arrested by the Imphal East commandos in Jirabam in Manipur, for no apparent reason. Attacks on freedom of the press and journalists are not the monopoly of the security forces. Attacks on and vandalising M F Husain’s paintings, threats against writer Arundhati Roy for her article about Maoists and the onslaught on Bollywood film My Name is Khan emanated from intolerant social and political groups.

(a)We have not learnt to accord freedom to the thought we hate or to a movie of which we disapprove.

(b)Regrettably, law enforcement authorities look the other way when powerful political personalities and organisations are involved. 

(c)We have not learnt to give freedom to the thought we dislike.

(d)The root cause is the inability to stomach anything which is unconventional or opposed to one’s idea of truth and morality. 

7.1967 Border: At the start of the Six Day War in 1967, Gaza was held by Egypt, the Golan Heights by Syria, and the West Bank by Jordan; after the Six Day War, Israel had pushed its Arab neighbors to the Sinai Peninsula to the West, to the Jordan River to the East, and out of the Golan, and its occupation of these new territories has continued since (except for Gaza, from which Israel withdrew but has since subjected to a military blockade to isolate the Strip’s Hamas-led government). The two-state solution is premised on a Palestinian state established in the Gazan and West Bank territory held by Egypt and Jordan at the start of the Six Day War.

(a)The compromise, then, is to exchange territory -- Palestinian negotiators will concede settlement blocs in the West Bank to Israel in exchange for territorial additions to the Palestinian state.

(b)The last round of direct talks fell apart when Palestinian negotiators reportedly would not concede that Israel is a “Jewish state” in exchange for a settlement freeze. 

(c)Israeli negotiators have consistently resisted the resettlement of Palestinian refugees to Israel, arguing that it is logistically not feasible and would alter the fundamental identity of the Israeli state.

(d)But those exact borders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has argued, have become indefensible, and Israeli negotiators are pushing to retain settler-held territory in the West Bank. 

8.In July this year, Twitter introduced “Promoted Products”, a paid service that highlights advertiser’s tweets, handles or trends, to India. As it edges ever closer to the traditional model of a content-driven media company through such advertising efforts and new content partnerships, Twitter’s India initiatives can be seen as a clear—but cautious—part of a larger, less organic growth strategy for its global future.

(a)Indian brands could also create “promoted tweets”, which would also be sold through a cost-per-engagement model.

(b)Twitter hinted that it intended to launch this service in “selected international markets”, but did not name India specifically.

(c)There are many people on Twitter who actually take the brand’s promotion and do it in their own way.

(d)Twitter was still growing in the US, its home country, but that it already had a larger user base in some other countries. 

9.India return to the trajectory of growth? It was not “will” India return, but “when”. Underlying this question has been disappointment and hope. There is the perception that India’s current economic woes are of its own making. This disappoints, because India did so well to withstand the Great Recession of 2008. There is also the view, however, that these problems can be remedied with stronger leadership.

(a)The hope is that this leadership will be forthcoming and that a resurgent India will counter an ambitious China. 

(b)There were, of course, supplementary questions — is corruption an endemic feature of our polity? Who will best whom in the presidential tussle between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi? What is the nature and consequence of the strengthening tide of federalism? — but they all flowed from this interest in the future prospects of the economy.

(c)We focus on the trees and lose sight of the forest. The challenge of responding to interested, non-partisan and well-meaning critics of the India story on foreign soil compels analytical realignment. 

(d)Most of us who live in large cities and circle the opinion formers in government, politics and journalism tend to get bogged down in the minutiae of anecdotal analysis.

10.The House of Lords has been replaced by the UK Supreme Court which is now the highest court of appeal in the United Kingdom. It was established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Court is housed in a building opposite the Big Ben. The atmosphere in Court is genial, not forbidding. The court rooms are spacious and brightly lit. There is pin drop silence in the Court. Counsel respectfully answer occasional polite queries from the Bench without loud interruptions from counsel on the other side. The day I visited the Court it delivered an important judgment in which by a majority of 6 to 3 it ruled that the Human Rights Act 1998 did not apply to British armed forces on foreign soil, viz. Iraq. A noteworthy feature is that a concise press summary outlining the facts of the case, the legal issues involved and the reasons for the judgment is issued at the same time by the registry with the approval of the Court to “assist in understanding the Court’s decision”. Judgments of the Court are available on the same day.

(a)A shameful blot on our criminal justice system is the phenomenon of undertrials rotting in jails for periods longer than the maximum punishment imposable upon conviction.

(b)If this be judicial activism, it is most welcome because it enforces the right of under-trials to a speedy trial guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.

(c)Adoption of this practice in our Supreme Court is worth consideration.

(d)In this context, the anguished observations of a Bench of the Delhi High Court, comprising Chief Justice DipakMisra and Justice Manmohan, were most timely.

11.A crisis in Indo-US relations has long been in the making. There is, of course, the massive shift in perceptions of India that frames the reception of events. India’s new economy used to be the darling of The New York Times, now its old society is subject to yawningly relentless indictment. India was the maturing great power, now it has become an infantile wannabe. It had a strong government, now it is flailing.

(a)The case has become a marker of our confusions over our relationship with the US.

(b)Our self-esteem is shaped by what others think of us. 

(c)The Ugly Indian and Ugly American have rediscovered each other.

(d)The American liberal establishment has suddenly rediscovered an India that is reactionary, exploitative, deceitful, feudal and incapable of the rule of law.

12.Currently, India has more than 7 lakh teachers who are untrained and teaching in classrooms across the country. A further 5 lakh are expected to be recruited to fill in teacher vacancies. The DIET is able to cater to only 40% of the teachers in the country. In this context, distance education offers an opportunity for large-scale upgradation of teacher skills and qualifications.

(a)Currently, India has more than 7 lakh teachers who are untrained and teaching in classrooms across the country. A further 5 lakh are expected to be recruited to fill in teacher vacancies. 

(b)The Government should scale up operations of IGNOU’s distance education program for teacher education, which is already collaborating with states to provide pre-service and in-service training to government teachers.

(c)Implementing a work-based curriculum will involve designing a textbook that has activities finely interwoven into the theory.

(d)If distance training is to be provided to all the untrained teachers, the capacity of the current distance education program will have to be increased. 

13.It is a vicious circle. Girls are being discriminated against and hence, there are less girls being born. The lesser the number of girls the more in the society the higher the crime against them for sexual desires are not a taboo but a condition that needs to be taken into account in any society. Rapes are the most common occurrence in a society where not each man finds at least one woman for himself. The more the crime, the more women do not want girls to be born to “save” them from this life leading to lesser number of girls. We need to educate and make aware the root cause.

(a)Why I ask in this country, which has in his history held women in high regard, which prays to goddesses for SHAKTI, DHAN and PEACE are we so distant from ground realities of women who live amongst us.

(b)Even when the girls survive, we as a society in India have always given priority to the need of the men and boys in the house. 

(c)It’s unnerving to think how women can do this to girls. How the educated, learned and aware women can commit such brutality. 

(d)Yet rather than understanding the reason all the women who have been subject to these crimes either by family or fate do not want their girls to be born to avoid such a life for them.

14.While several feminists demand death penalty for rapists, even right-wing conservatives would also ask for the same. Why this convergence of interests? Extremist positions seem to create this problem quite frequently. While feminists would base it on the absolute right of a woman over her sexuality, the conservatives come from where a woman’s sexual ‘purity’ or ‘impurity’ defines her identity and place. Here India and Bharat (if such a demarcation exists) want the same, but one looks forward, while the other is regressive. Legitimacy for an argument drawn from cultural past is always problematic. Culture has, for the most part, evolved in ways in which a group is held inferior through elaborate myths and mythologies, it sustains status quo, it works through complicity of the group held inferior through incentives.

(a)Sacrifice is a woman’s test to greatness, not her mental acumen or control of her agency.

(b)So is it worthwhile for a woman to try to achieve the ideal in this scenario? 

(c)A rational discussion on human rights requires freedom from the tendency of romanticization of culture, it needs to be peeled, its nuances understood, since it is very clear that an image of glorification of powerful woman does not destroy or even nullify the more horrifying ground realities.

(d)Empowering though it may seem, this cultural representation is not very liberating.

15.The example set forth by Malala has helped bring the world’s focus on the very serious issue affecting the people in Malala’s country. Going against the odds, Malala had started to voice her defiance against the Taliban for banning girls from going to school much before the world’s spotlight came to rest on her. She started blogging about the dismal situation of education for girls around her as early as in December 2009 and was also interviewed on local news channels. But her leap to international recognition after October 2012 gave her the platform to address the world, and on 12th July 2013 she stood at the UN calling out for worldwide access to education.

(a)Malala, in her show of defiance, has sparked a movement. 

(b)She has emerged as a global leader who seems to have every intention to use the pedestal she has acquired for the cause of education.

(c)The words uttered by her during her interview in The Jon Stewart Show, “But then if I hit a Talib with a shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib….” clearly portrays that age isn’t a basis to be a leader.

(d)This young girl has started on a path to bring on a much needed change and with the world willing to lend her its support, one can always aspire to see her dream turning into a reality in the near future.

16.Where some Economists argued that the Food security bill would be a huge liability to India and that it was out of India’s financial capability to fund this Bill, Amartya Sen responded in a stern way saying that “Sitting in a room with Air Conditioning which is working as a result of subsidized electricity as well as eating food prepared with subsidized cooking gas as well as the fact that rich farmers being able to buy subsidized fertilizers” for their own profit depicted a very selfish act. Economic Growth has to be fairly distributed among the various social strata of society according to their needs and in a country like India where the majority population is under the BPL certain preferences of opportunities, minority security as well as relief funds are to be provided.

(a)Reduction of communal violence, health, education and shelter remain Indian Primary worries and Economic Growth can contribute to them if used judiciously and effectively.

(b)In statements made by certain Economists as well as Global Organizations, Economic Policies and Social Policies are seen to be not incompatible but” bound to be at war with each other “and that Growth is the enemy of social equity .

(c)A very important fact that our world economy misinterprets it, is that both these economic variables are not contradicting each other but have a subtle and important correlation between them.

(d)Hence we can therefore conclude that Economic Growth and Social Welfare are Correlative variables and that with proper channelization of Policies leads to higher social welfare which indirectly leads to more Economic Growth.

17.There is no one best price that the government can and should try to find and dictate. Creating conditions for ensuring market prices can be the only best response of the government that will help ensure the most efficient allocation of resources.You cannot stand for making things affordable for the common man while at the same time oppose FDI in retail. Competition among various kinds of retailers will help ensure that. Also, strict action against hoarders will not help curb occasional jump in prices of certain commodities. Removing trade barriers will. Howsoever we may like to, we cannot legislate away scarcity.   As a common man trying to make a living in Delhi, these are some of my areas of concern which I hope you will take note of and find ways to address.

(a)First principles of economics tells us that it is because of the mismatch in demand and supply. 

(b)At the very least, you have certainly raised the level of debate in this country and brought some serious competition amongst a field dominated by age-old political parties.

(c)For once, no one wants to identify with a politician with a criminal background.

(d)You have certainly raised the bar of expectations that we as the common man have from public offices and for that we thank you.

18.The aim of the youth in politics appears to be not just contesting elections and assuming power, but a larger aim to serve the society and save it from innumerable social-ills. However, to achieve these conceived objectives of progress, development, peace and empowerment, the youth need adequate nurturing. Education must be a mix of theory, case studies and practical exposure, which would make them aware of the realities of the society. Political parties must also focus on the capacity development of the youth who would be the harbingers of change. Development and enhancement of the leadership skills must be focused upon.

(a)Ingrained with rational values, perceptions and ideals, the youth in Indian politics hold the promise that they would not yield to obsolete dogmas and slogans. The mantra that now rings loud is- “If politics determines our future, it is time, we determined our politics”.

(b)Youth of such high characters in a civil society make for a more informed citizenry, who have the power to facilitate better awareness, make for better participation in the political realm and articulate the choices of the people at large, thereby holding the government more accountable.

(c)Elastic as the concept is, politics demands the qualities of the youth, said Robert Kennedy in 1966. Youth is not a time of life, but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, predominance of courage over timidity and of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.

(d)Their activism has shown that their voices cannot be subdued as they belong to the land of Mahatma Gandhi.

19.Legitimacy of a government is one that has been an incessant thorn for the international community. One would assume that the post cold-war ideology which believes that the best and only form of a legitimate government is the one which is elected through a democratically held election would settle matters easily with election being the only benchmark for determining legitimacy. But then to classify a democratically elected government which refuses its citizenry the most basic of democratic rights as the representatives of its people would be a gross human rights violation.

(a)But the recognition that such government has from the international community is also an important element determining the legitimacy of such government.

(b)This creates a rather meek reality for the many struggling in the middle- east or the other regions for the new government they aim to create would be subject to a more rigorous international diplomatic scrutiny than their tyrannical counterparts they would be replacing.

(c)The moral compass of the nation states whose recognition is sought is a subjective tool and can liberally sway in the direction that favours that nation’s own national interest or even soothe the ruling party’s vote banks. 

(d)Sanction of the citizen which it seeks to represent is an important source for deriving legitimacy for a government.

20.There is no final judgment in the marketplace for ideas since one can never know when the circumstances will lead to a renewed interest for that idea. There was a time when libertarianism was very dormant and now because of excessive government regulation, people looking for answers have re-discovered it. By the author’s logic, Copernicus should have conceded defeat to Helios-centric model of solar system, Communists should have conceded defeat after Soviet’s fall and Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Besides, it is extremely ignorant to call the market place of ideas as free and unfettered given the extent of state sponsored education that almost never showed the nation state’s founding philosophy in bad light.

(a)If you believe in the free market, why weren’t you willing to accept as final the judgment against libertarianism rendered decades ago in the free and unfettered marketplace of ideas?

(b)History, the repository of ideas has almost always been directed by the State to promote nationalism at the cost of truth.

(c)The author need only read USA’s account of Great Depression, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan War etc. to realize the truth.

(d)Does our libertarian recognize that large corporations are a threat to our freedoms?

21.The debt ridden, staggering economy of Europe is no longer news to anyone. Even a layman like me who hardly has very basic understanding of economics can gauge the direct implications of this economic hardship. Unemployment has surged, inflation rates are soaring and the current account deficits are hard to come to terms with. The causes for this economic downswing has been explained by economists in several ways; profligacy on the part of governments, shortsightedness etc.

(a)The tough economic condition in Europe has created a frustrated population. They have long been looking at the government with desperate eyes to make amends. 

(b)History repeats itself; not in the situations created by destiny, but in the reactions of people to these situations. Friedrich Hegel had very rightly mentioned, “the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history”.

(c)However, the causes are not what interest me. The current situation and the reaction to this situation do.

(d)Being a lover of European history and an ardent fan of world war movies, the first two words that propped up in my head was “hail Hitler”.

22.Taking a bike on to Britain’s roads is not as dangerous as it once was. Estimates from the Department for Transport show that, per million miles cycled, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured has fallen by 33% since the 1990s. But the rate has recently moved up again, even as the number of road accidents in general has fallen sharply.

(a)In London, cyclists made up 22% of all casualties on the roads in 2012, up from just 10% in 2006

(b)Thus, it can be concluded that cyclists are responsible for their own safety, or lack thereof.

(c)Cars, on the other hand, have seen a 7% fall in accidents and have also lower figures for number of casualties in the past two decades, as compared to cycle accidents.

(d)Road accidents are an unnatural phenomenon and no blame can be attached to cyclists for having seen a rise in their contribution towards the same.

23.Mr Modi would face more constraints, and enjoy fewer direct powers, as prime minister of India than he does as chief minister of Gujarat. It is unclear whether he would be good at holding together a coalition (which any BJP-led government would surely be), delegating to others, negotiating on legislation or responding to crises as they arise. But the record from Gujarat suggests he thinks hard about policy, has clear ideas of how he would promote higher economic growth and social development and would prefer to bolster overall wealth creation than promote social welfare schemes. If economics alone mattered, Mr Modi’s achievements in Gujarat suggest he is the man best placed to get India moving again. The problem is that political leaders are responsible for more.

(a)For all his crowds of supporters, his failures in 2002, and his refusal since to atone for them leave him a badly compromised candidate with much left to do.

(b)Mr. Modi is a political leader like none other and is sure to become India’s next Prime Minister, come May 2014.

(c)And Mr. Modi has chalked out the solution to this problem, in the form of higher economic growth and social development.

(d)Surely, a Chief Minister for a Third Term can be called a political leader, isn’t it?

24.It is worth noting that if the political structure of North African countries was characterized by strong and efficient checks and balances, politicians and policy-makers would have less freedom to influence the countries’ political economy according to their own interests. Individual economic and social agents would then have less leeway to behave in a manner serving their private interest by exercising disproportionate lobbying influence on politicians.

In the same fashion, the existence of a strong legal and judicial framework that enforces property rights would allow the efficient supervision of international, economic, and financial standards and provide private market participants with the ability to monitor and control economic activities. Levels of corruption would also be brought down and the economic and banking sectors’ performance would improve.

(a)The absence of checks and balances facilitated the establishment of what Acemoglu and Robinson called “vicious circles.”

(b)The low level of participation, transparency, and information-sharing allowed by the institutional infrastructure in North African countries provide fertile grounds for pressure and lobbying from powerful interest groups pursuing personal interests.

(c)The picture painted by the various economic and financial reforms implemented in the region, however, ignores rooted institutional deficiencies. These are crucial to fully understand the social unrest that has swept the region.

(d)Going beyond mere economic factors, the lack of transparency, symmetrical access to information and practical accountability to the public — as exclusive networks hold power over the political economy structures — represent a significant stumbling block to political transition and make North African economies more prone to economic and social instability.

25.The moral and legal prohibitions on torture and any kind of humiliating and degrading treatment, create an immense moral presumption against such actions. Torture is judged wrong both because of its immediate harmful consequences – the severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental — as well as its wider adverse consequences. These include the way torture can provide a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists’ cause by exposing the gap between liberal values that we proclaim and the illiberal practices we adopt, as Guantanamo Bay demonstrated. But the harmful consequences of torture are only part of the explanation. We also condemn torture because of its internal qualities.

(a)In deciding whether to legalize torture, we need, therefore, ultimately to consider whether, even if torture sometimes works, we want to belong to the kind of society that institutionalizes such a practice, despite its morally corrosive internal and external qualities, affecting all those involved.

(b)To succeed in his craft, the special interrogator needs to become, at best, indifferent to the pain of those whom he is interrogating; and, at worst, adept in the vice of cruelty.

(c)Yet, we need our special interrogators to be – professionally — men or women of vice. In the ticking bomb examples, the torturer arrives by magic just at the moment we need him; and he departs, conveniently, shortly thereafter.

(d)Torture adversely affects the character of those involved in the process: both the torturers and the tortured.

26.Effective foreign policy requires a clarity regarding the nation’s interests. It requires focus and will. With no clarity, will or focus, Indian foreign policy is a disaster. Politicians are both uninformed and uninterested in foreign policy. Diplomats of the elite Indian Foreign Service (IFS) care more about cushy assignments in the US and Europe than serving the nation’s interests.

(a)India’s response has been woefully inadequate — this is in keeping with historical precedent. 

(b)India’s foreign policy establishment has a reputation for lacking a backbone. 

(c)For too long, India tolerated the lack of respect shown to its dignitaries. 

(d)Few care about serving in strategically important places such as Afghanistan or Egypt. It is little wonder that India has made little progress in its quest for permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

27.Understanding Iran’s scientific heritage and respecting it builds the kind of trust that will inevitably be necessary for sustained engagement and reducing insecurities that can lead to counter-productive actions by hardliners. Success in this field can spill over to other crucial areas, such as the human rights situation in Iran, which has significantly deteriorated over the course of the past years. Time, however, is limited. The political pendulum in Iran will swing back in favor of the hardliners if the Rouhani government has little to show for in the next six to twelve months.

(a)By following through on scientific and technological collaboration, Washington and Brussels can — over time — help fundamentally transform Tehran’s relations with the West.

(b)Second chances do not come often. We have a golden opportunity to test win-win proposals and strengthen the positive-sum narrative of the Iranian moderates – not just at the negotiating table, but also through concrete actions that can facilitate a new, cooperative relationship with Iran and its people, void of the painful baggage of the past.

(c)Will the more cooperative, moderate and win-win approach favored by President Hassan Rouhani and the majority of the population take root and prevail?

(d)The human rights situation in Iran, which has significantly deteriorated over the course of the past years.

28.I criticized Adonis because he engaged politically, and placed himself firmly on the side of the government. He himself criticized the revolution, and the people themselves. He can criticize me personally as Ali Ferzat, he can criticize individual people, but he really cannot criticize the majority or the movement. He also contradicts himself; he supported the [1979] revolution in Iran, which was all about religion, but now he’s outspoken against the Syrian revolution, because he says it’s coming from the mosques. So you can see the contradiction.

(a)This regime came riding in military tanks – but he hasn’t criticized the regime, he’s criticized the people whose crime was simply asking for their freedom.

(b)As an artist you need to tackle important issues but not engage in political polemics yourself.

(c)Caricature is on the front line against dictatorship. It is an art form for all people – people who may not necessarily understand painting or sculpture, but [who will all] understand caricature.

(d)His position on religion is confused and misleading at the same time.

29.Love affairs are based on opportunism and the fulfillment of some kind of need in the moment without foresight for future consequences of action. They have no substance of loyalty and Qatar is most certainly not monogamous. Qatar’s rendezvousing all at once with the Brotherhood among other Islamist groups, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Western powers, Iran and whoever should ascend to power regionally, is highly risky behavior. The Muslim Brotherhood itself is far removed from its original formation in goals and will not lose sight of its most earnest desire for expansionism, power and influence. Given this cocktail mix of relations and conflicting interests, the potential long-term consequences are unfathomable. 

(a)However, does this mean the love affair with the Muslim Brotherhood is over?

(b)Having held close ties with the Brotherhood for some time, Qatar’s relationship with the movement has only grown stronger in recent years. 

(c)But for now, and for some time to come, we have a flourishing Qatar-Muslim Brotherhood love affair.

(d)The Qatari state does not have a clear strategy on how to move forward due to Syria’s worsening crisis.

30.As more and more consumers opt to view content via the Internet, the playing field may eventually level, although Netflix and Amazon have a significant head start, Raff adds. For example, HBO could garner similar analytics through its HBO Go app. What’s unclear at the moment is whether new outlets for original programming will dilute the market for high-end productions. “Obviously, there isn’t room for infinite content, but there is definitely room for multiple providers,” says Bradlow, noting that customers have multiple tastes and the mass market has fragmented.

(a)The subscription nature of their businesses and the data collection mechanisms built into their systems means the companies are all in a position to know hourly what customers are watching, how they interact with content and what their preferences are. 

(b)In theory, if the online channels can use original content to attract new groups of viewers who wouldn’t otherwise subscribe, they can invest the extra money in producing more in-house series and features and recoup those costs over time.

(c)This is a matter of having privileged access to customers and exploiting a fixed cost to do as much business as you can.

(d)The real impact of the company’s original content plans will play out in the years to come.

◊ Answer Key


1. (c)

2. (a)

3. (b)

4. (a)

5. (c)

6. (b)

7. (d)

8. (b)

9. (c)

10. (a)

11. (d)

12. (a)

13. (c)

14. (a)

15. (c)

16. (b)

17. (a)

18. (d)

19. (c)

20. (a)


1. (a)

2. (b)

3. (d)

4. (a)

5. (b)

6. (d)

7. (d)

8. (b)

9. (a)

10. (c)

11. (a)

12. (b)

13. (a)

14. (c)

15. (d)

16. (d)

17. (d)

18. (a)

19. (d)

20. (c)

21. (b)

22. (a)

23. (a)

24. (d)

25. (a)

26. (d)

27. (b)

28. (a)

29. (c)

30. (c)


Exercise 1

1.The passage talks about the Arab Spring bringing about more tyranny and civil strife. As the last sentence given, talks about the ruling family of Bahrain panicking, the last sentence of the passage should talk about the result of this panicking. So, option (c) is the correct answer as it completes the paragraph. Options (a) and (d) cannot be the answer. Option (b) could have been the answer, but since option (c) talks about what the royal family did as a result of this panicking, it is the correct answer.

2.The passage talks about the warring sides i.e. the rebels and the Assad government. Option (a) completes the passage as it talks about neither of the sides being willing to negotiate. So, option (a) is the correct answer.

3.The paragraph talks about an idea presented by Mr Cowen and its effects. Option (d) talks about this and completes the paragraph. So, option (d) is the correct answer.

4.The paragraph talks about the different halves of the brain playing a different part in the type of personality people have. Option (a) talks about a journal which talks about people not being left or right brained. Since this sentence takes the idea forward, it is the correct answer. Options (b), (c) and (d) talk about the research related to this idea. So, these options are incorrect.

5.The passage talks about the La Niñas having followed El Niños. So, option (c) is the correct answer. None of the other options talk about this idea.

6.The passage talks about the terrors of the Dust Bowl and option (b) is the sentence that best follows the given paragraph. So, option (b) is the correct answer.

7.The paragraph talks about the farmers on the Plains turning to the Ogallala Aquifer. This idea is best completed by the sentence in option (d), so it is the correct answer.

8.The passage says that at the time of a disaster, it becomes the most talked about topic in the internet world and even the most indifferent internet users tend to talk about it. So, option (b) is the correct answer. None of the other options are correct according to the flow of ideas.

9.The paragraph talks about King Herod who had architectural heritage to his name in the Levant. Since it talks about him returning to Rome two times between 19 and 12 BCE, option (c) is the correct answer because it talks about the last two trips during Augustus’ building frenzy. None of the other options make sense according to the flow of the paragraph.

10.The paragraph talks about George Washington’s habit of repeatedly writing of the word “president” on his personal bound copy of the Constitution with the Bill of Rights and Acts of Congress to emphasize those sections relating to his official powers and responsibilities. This habit shows that he had a meticulous and pedantic way of doing things. So, option (a) is the correct answer.

11.The paragraph talks about the discovery of Higgs Boson being one of the greatest intellectual works ever carried out. Option (d) is the most appropriate end to the paragraph as it talks about recognising this discovery as progress. All other options are out of context. So, option (d) is the correct answer.

12.The paragraph talks about the diversity of languages. The last line of the paragraph presents an idea about the hardwired linguistic aptitude of the human brain which is contradicted in the statement in option (a). Thus option )a) completes the paragraph and is the correct answer.

13.The paragraph talks about the Syrian people who are faced with a choice between Assad’s dictatorship and US sponsored militants. Option (c) is the only option that talks about the Syrian people. It says that they have become pawns on a geopolitical chessboard. So, option (c) is the correct answer.

14.The passage talks about how in Rwanda though stress is laid on national rather than on ethnic identity, there still exist some rules based on ethinicity. Thus option (a), that talks about political activity being tightly controlled is the correct answer.

15.The paragraph says that sectarianism and tribalism that was quiescent during the Soviet era are back with a vengeance. Option (c) talks about the back fire from NATO Since it continues the flow of ideas presented in the paragraph, option (c) is the correct answer.

16.The paragraph talks about billboards of Greece whose condition reflects the decline of the country. Option (b) talks about these billboards serving as an eerie reminder of the country’s economic plight. None of the other options talk about the billboard. So, option (b) is the correct answer.

17.The paragraph talks about a site started by Thrun that would offer “massive online open courses” (MOOCs) free of charge to the global 99 per cent, to the tech-savvy and web-illiterate alike. Option (a) carries forward the idea and talks about the barriers and privileges of the current education system and so option (a) is the correct answer. None of the other options are correct in the given context.

18.The paragraph talks highly of America as being a healthy and powerful nation. Option (d) takes this idea forward and is the correct answer.

19.The paragraph talks about India’s bilateral relationship with China which is a subtle, unseen, but ongoing and deeply felt collision, the affects of which have left a convoluted lineage. Options (a), (b) and (c) all take this idea forward but option (c) talks about how the tension between the two countries have come to influence everything related to them and thus is the correct ending of the paragraph. So, option (c) is the correct answer.

20.The paragraph talks about Jewish people shifting to Florida when they get old after years of hard labour. Since option (a) continues this flow of ideas and talks about retirees, it is the correct answer.

Exercise 2

1.Option (a) is the most suitable because it acts as an actual conclusion to the idea presented in the passage, offering a final thought on the resolution of this conflict. Option (d) is another close answer but does not finish the passage in what feels like a conclusive manner. Options (b) and (c) restate what is mentioned in the passage itself.

2.Option (b) continues and ends the thought expressed in the passage in the best way, while options (a), (c) and (d) take off on a different tangent altogether. Hence, (b) is the right answer.

3.Option (d) is an extension of the concept of the possibility of President’s Rule mentioned in the paragraph and explains it in further detail, making it the best conclusion to the passage concerned.

4.Option (a) explores the explanation behind such voter-behavior and concludes the passage most effectively.

5.From the given options, option (b) seems the most conclusive while the rest leave the thread loose, without providing a rounding off statement to the passage. Thus, (b) is the correct answer.

6.Option (d) best ends the passage, while (a), (c) and (d) continue the line of though expressed in the passage without providing the final link.

7.The crucial clue in the passage is provided by the direct mention of the border dispute. Option (d) is the only one that makes a direct reference to the same, providing the crucial link and conclusion to the passage.

8.Option (b) best sums up the idea presented in the passage.

9.Options (b), (c) and (d) are all sentences that could come before the pargraph, but not ideally conclude it. They leave the idea rather open-ended and incomplete, while A best puts forth a conclusion.

10.Options (a), (b) and Dbear no direct relation with the content of the passage, nor they extend the idea it presents. Option (b) is confusing because it does not directly allude to anything, but this also makes it a wrong option. Thus (c) is the best answer.

11.Option (a) is a conclusion while (b), (c) and (d) either build up or paraphrase what’s been said in the passage.

12.The passage’s contents are accurately summed up by option (b) while (a), (c) and (d) just reiterate parts of it.

13.The author’s purpose and sentiment are expressed succinctly in option A’s forceful concluding question.

14.The options (a). (b) and (d) can be eliminated on the basis that it does not add anything to the line of thought already being discussed in the passage. Option (c) is the only one that not only does that but goes a step further and provides an authoritative conclusion.

15.Option (d) talks of the future scenario with a thought for the reader to ponder over. Thus, option (d) is the best answer.

16.The conclusive tone of option (d) makes it the best option to the exclusion of the others.

17.The final option, (d), is the one that signs off the first-person address in the passage and is the best possible conclusion.

18.Option (a) speaks of a ‘promise’ and the ‘future’ providing us all the clues that it is indeed the concluding sentence of this passage. Options (b), (c) and (d) are either not conclusive or nature or too generic to wrap up the argument put forth.

19.Options (a), (b) and (c) are irrelevant and take a trajectory beyond the one drawn by the passage. Option (d) correctly connects the citizen to the government’s legitimacy, making it the correct answer.

20.The writer in option (c) offers the ‘author’ he has discussed in the passage a suggestion in what is a strong judgment on his/her part. It is the best option as it is in keeping with the tone of the passage, which clearly expresses a view.

21.Options (a), (c) and (d) don’t summarize the passage, nor do they suggest a possible future course of action, or give any final thoughts. It is option B that makes a forceful point that seems clear with the theme of the passage- a lesson that Europe should heed.

22.The logical end to the passage is option A that does not veer from the crux of the passage. It does not introduce unnecessary information or take a stand that cannot be conclusively taken as options (b), (c) and (d) do.

23.Option (a) is the best option here as it takes the most balanced stand and is reflective of the ending mood of the passage, that is more skeptical than laudatory. Thus options (b), (c) and (d) would be inappropriate choices.

24.Options (a), (b) and (c) reiterate what has been stated in the passage in a roundabout fashion. It is option (d) that adds a notable comment to tie up the arguments the writer has dealt with. Out of the given options it may not seem the only correct option, but it is the best one.

25.Only option (a) directly seems compatible with the intention of the passage, which is to decide whether even torture works, it is wrong. The other options describe factors or persons that are subsumed in the discussion presented in the discussion already and therefore cannot be treated as concluding remarks per se.

26.Option (a) and (b) merely restate what has already been said in the passage. Option (c) does bring in a new statement but more or less continues in the same strain. The concluding remark has to be thought packaged as advice or a strategy or something else to that effect. Option (d) fulfills this criteria.

27.Option (d) does not have much relevance to the content of the passage. Option (a) introduces a new angle and a new player, ‘Washington’, which cannot be seen as a final argument. Option (c) is an open-ended question, leaving the possibility of many interpretations. Thus option (b) is the correct choice, which summarizes and knits together the concerns and issues brought up by the passage.

28.Option (a) here best expresses the idea in the passage, which is a critique of a person called Adonis by the speaker, who contradicts himself at various points, an example of which is presented in Option (a). The other options don’t use the material provided in the passage and hence cannot be sufficiently connected with it.

29.The passage analyses the relationship between Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood. The passage clearly alludes to the fact that this relationship is a long-lasting one. Option (c) expresses this, while the others either leave the question open-ended or don’t provide the closing statement that completes the passage satisfactorily.

30.After the passage analyses the entry of the internet as a major player in consumer preferences for obtaining their content, the passage is left at a more or less concluded point. Option (c) only expresses the best possible and most precise conclusion to the same. The other options seem ludicrous and don’t fit the content of the passage well.