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

Part 4: CAT Papers (Real and Sample)

Section 2: Model Test Paper for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Chapter 4. Model Test Paper

Choose the best concluding sentence for the paragraph provided.


“What is the capital of Slovakia?” intoned my son working on his assignment. To me, this was too much stress and embarrassment to suffer in one sitting. During the last couple of hours yours truly had already feigned a couple of restroom trips to sneak a peek at internet’s take on Genghis Khan’s lineage. Did one really care about whether the Mongolian marauder lived in a ‘ger’ or drank fermented mare’s milk called ‘airag’? Life seems rather unfair that one is now required to help out with children’s homework. I am forced to revisit my school days that had happily ended over 35 years ago. Memories of what one learned then escape me.



But honestly, the world has changed ever since!!



But honestly, hasn’t the world changed ever since?



But honestly, the world hasn’t changed ever since!!



But you tell me, hasn’t the world changed ever since?


If my aunt in London is all for Monty Panesar’s bowl ing, does that make her an insular British Asian? If she moons over Zaheer Khan –– ‘he’s so handsome, what a cricketer’ –– does that make her a ‘bad’ Britisher as well as bad person of Indian origin? She had SreeSanth and R.P. Singh to choose from.



Besides, there were Rahul, Sachin and Saurav!



And then there was Dhoni, for god’s sake!



Which cricketer you choose to support determines whether you are an insular British Asian or for that matter a ‘bad’ Britisher!



Why Zaheer, for God’s sake!


I believe the nuclear deal will benefit both the coun tries. The deal can add new dimensions to the expand ing relationship between the world’s two largest democ racies. For the US there may be gains in access to the Indian nuclear market but the crucial impact for it, as for India, will be the widened base of their relations.



Should the deal fail both countries will suffer.



However, a few negative points remain to be sorted out before the deal can go through.



Should the deal go through, hence, both countries would be the biggest gainers.



Should the deal go through, hence, both countries would be big gainers.

Directions for Questions 4 to 8

The question is in the form of jumbled statements which when un-jumbled will form a coherent sequence. Choose the correct answer from the given options.




The invasion and occupation had little to do with what is today understood as regime change. In fact, it had the exact opposite goal in mind.



The invasion of China in 1900 was designed to eliminate the Boxers, stabilize China, advance and protect imperial gains, and to actually buttress the Qing state—to give it enough power and legitimacy to quell domestic unrest, but not enough to expel foreign invaders.



The western nations maintained the occupation for nine months, setting up shop in Beijing and other towns and cities—organizing police forces, cleaning streets, handing out jobs, implementing “law and order,” and generally running a relatively efficient occupation—notwithstanding much rancor and division between and among the imperial powers.



Indeed, the occupation of China can well be thought of as the first multi-lateral imperial project of the new century.



Eventually, a western force of some 54,000 British, French, Russian, Japanese, and American forces—a total of eight nations contributed troops—invaded and occupied key parts of coastal China including Beijing










Sudoku conditions the mind to looking for answers that may not be immediately visible. The numbers within the box can only tell so much, but being able visualise numbers which are not in the box will go a long way.



And that certainly helps in practically every area of life, being able to keep one’s goal in focus instead of flustered by details.



In certain IQ tests, such people are classified as Visual Mathematicians–the ones who are able to see the big picture.



“Think outside the box” may just be the best advice to solving Sudoku, even if it sounds a tad paradoxical.


(a) DACB

(b) BACD


(c) ABCD

(d) CABD




“We show that non-language related activities, such as playing or watching a sport, enhance one’s ability to understand language about their sport precisely because brain areas normally used to act become highly involved in language understanding,” said Sian Beilock, lead author and associate professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.



In this study, 12 professional and intercollegiate hockey players, eight fans and nine people who had never watched a game listened to discussions about hockey players, shooting pucks, and making saves.



Watching hockey may boost brain power and increase language skills as well.



The brain boost helps athletes and fans understand hockey information, even though when people are listening to hockey, they have no intention to act.



Participants also listened to sentences about everyday activities, such as ringing a doorbell. The researchers used functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study which brain areas were most active when the participants were listening.










Then, their motivation and performance may increase—and then you’ll be the happy employer of employees in good moods.



So, if you’re an employer, your best bet is not to hire unhappy employees, but to show your employees that being productive and performing their jobs well will make them feel good.



Dr. Sinclair also found that when people believed that the task would make them feel good, they devoted more energy to the job.



Psychological research does show that sad moods lead to more contemplation and, often, more thoughtful or accurate judgments.



Are unhappy employees more productive?










This zaps our energy and decreases our interest in a project. Instead, exaggerating the possible positive outcomes is a great way to deal with stress,” says Dr Muller.



“For instance, do you usually imagine the worst case scenario?



“When faced with a challenge or problem, we often exaggerate the possible negative outcomes, and focus only on these.



Dr Muller explains that this “opposite exaggeration” exercise can reduce negative thinking and inspire you to stay productive at work.



Instead of picturing yourself losing the business account because you gave a terrible presentation that the boss hated, imagine the brilliant presentation that nets you not only the account but also the corner office, a huge raise, and use of the company jet!”







Directions for Questions 9 to 13

Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow. School exams must do a few seemingly simple things. They should show what has been learnt and who has done best, with grades that are both precise and meaningful. They should be rigorous, but also fair. Standards should stay steady over time, but the curriculum should be up to date. The courses should be accessible and attractive, yet cover all the ground that universities and employers require.

Such contradictions guarantee dissatisfaction, especially as good results in the A—levels taken in the final school years play a huge role taken in university admissions—and thus future earning power. So in August, which should be the quietest month in the school year, there is an annual panic about Britain’s education system.

This week’s A level results showed a record pass- level of 96%, with a record 22.4% gaining the top A grade- and prompted the usual howls of dismay about dumbing – down and lack of differentiation. A government minister, David Miliband, said the row was “a pantomime, not a discussion”. The threefold increase in students getting two passes or more over the past 30 years was a sign of improving education, he said, and those who criticised it were elitists defending “the old order”.

Yet even Mr. Miliband agrees that there is a need for change in the way the best candidates are graded. Places at the top dozen universities are oversubscribed, sometimes hugely, by candidates with a plethora of A grades. It’s a small problem compared with others - such as the fact that a quarter of schoolchildren never learn to read and count properly- but a politically important one.

One plan is to split the A grade into four sub-categories. Another is to publish the percentage marks scored, or to show the grade gained on each bit of exam. Such ploys might help to distinguish brilliant candidates from the merely clever. But not necessarily: exams are only a rough measure of ability, so it may be sensible to have broad categories rather than narrow ones. Some would like an extended essay, or a new A grade for those who answer the hardest questions. But whatever the system, the best schools will find ways of getting their candidates to do well. No system can achieve both social engineering and academic excellence.

What about the wider charge, that A levels have become too easy? The biggest changes have been in the way that the exams work. Good exam technique matters less. Retakes are freely allowed and questions are less cryptic, with more signposting about how to answer them. The aim is to find out what candidates know, rather than what they don’t. There is a great deal more coursework- with all the attendant dangers of plagiarism and cramming.

Given all that, and how much more exam- centred pupils and teachers have become, it would be odd if results did not improve. In fact, they have done so since 1982, suggesting that the trend is not a deliberate political plot. Educational results do generally improve as countries get richer. But it is also true that content has changed, and not always for the better. This is particularly true in the GCSE exams, taken at 16, which are widely seen as undemanding. But there are problems at A level too; It’s possible to get an A in Maths without a solid grasp of calculus, for example. That used to be essential.

Such shortcomings certainly impose strain on the next stage in the system. A survey this week showed that 90% of academics thought A levels had become less demanding. In the highly rated actuarial- science course at London’s city University, for example, the first term of the first year is spent filling in gaps in Maths that students used to learn at A level: chiefly geometry, vectors and calculus. The university- level Maths that actuaries need is crammed into two terms of the first year.

Remedial courses are widespread, but not yet very burdensome, says Universities UK, a lobby group. A –levels no longer dovetail neatly into the intensive three- year degree course that is still British universities’ main offering. But it may well be better to leave universities to plug specific gaps, rather than expect all A - level candidates in, say, maths, to learn things that only a few will need. In the end, American style levels of participation in higher education will require American- style flexibility, with more part- time degrees and greater use of credits, and a greater financial contribution from the student.

Even if the universities’ complaints are largely overblown, the other big constituency – employers – is still unhappy. They once saw A – levels as a solid signal of achievement, but many now say they distrust them.

There is evidence that some basic skills are becoming patchier. SHL, the country’s largest provider of private testes, has seen a steady decline in the numerical and verbal reasoning abilities of graduate- level applicants. Because there are a lot more graduates than there used to be, it is not wholly surprising that standards have dropped a bit. But there’s no doubt that faith in the system is dented.

In the end, arguments about declining standards are beside the point. No exam system imaginable could provide all the information that A – levels are supposed to signal. Some sensible tweaks are possible: more differentiation of the very brightest, extra marks for good grammar and spelling in essays, a larger core curriculum in maths, fewer resits and less coursework, and less narrow specialisation. But in the end, the best exam system will be one that matters less than the education it seeks to measure, not more.


Which of the following are valid inferences that can be drawn from the passage?



Mr. Miliband believes that the only problem with the current A level examination system is the lack of differentiation amongst the best candidates.



One of the ways in which the examination system is being tried to be improved is to create a better differentiation amongst the best candidates.



The author does not believe that A level students should necessarily be prepared for the intensive three year degree courses in universities.



More coursework means less weightage to examinations and hence better grades in the examination. (v) The author believes that people in general have lost faith in the A-Grade results.


(a) All 5


(b) All except (i)


(c) All except (i) & (v)


(d) None of these options.


Which of the following can be inferred to be problems that the author believes exist with the current A level examination system?



The current examination system does not properly differentiate amongst the good students.



The current examination system should emphasize on spellings and grammar.



The current examination system does not ad-equately cover the curriculum in Maths.



The current examination system should reduce its emphasis on coursework


(a) All 4


(b) All except (i)


(c) All except (ii) & (iv)


(d) None of these options.


Which according to the author is the best examination system?



One that tests the candidates abilities together with sensible tweaks such as more differentiation of the very brightest.



One that dovetails neatly into the intensive three year degree course that is still British Universities main offering.



One that is a solid signal of achievement and skill together with thorough knowledge.



One in which the education that is measured is more critical than the measurement itself.


(a) Only (i) & (ii)

(b) Only (iii) & (iv)


(c) Only (iv)

(d) All of the above.


“It’s a small problem compared with others such as ... But a politically important one” Which problem is being referred to in the sentence of reference?



That a quarter of the school children never learn to read and count properly



That the numerical and verbal reasoning test scores have declined over the years



That the supply of A grade applications for admission is increasing by leaps and bounds at the top universities



None of these.


Which of the following statements is David Miliband likely to agree with?



That there should be no pantomime, but a discussion of the issue of A level examinations.



Those who are against the A-level grading system are dogmatic and not pragmatic.



The current results are a signal of improvement in the education system but not a signal of decline of educational standards.



The A level examination system should have an improved distinction between the best candidates.


(a) All of these


(b) All except (i)


(c) All except (i) & (ii)


(d) Only (iii)


Directions for Question 14

Four statements with blanks are given followed by 4 alternatives. Choose the one which fits the set of statements the maximum number of times.



People sensed...



A bad ... case had come in form of a person with a smashed knee.



And then, without warning ... struck.



The animals were the first to recognize the signs of oncoming...


(a) Tragedy

(b) Accident


(c) Disaster

(d) Calamity

Directions for Questions 15 to 17

Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow. Do you recall the pleasure of discovering a new brand that actually delivers something that is perceptively superior to an existing one? It usually doesn’t involve an entirely new approach or radical departure from conventional wisdom—one feels the product in question is effortlessly superior to whatever the previous standard was. This happened to me when I purchased my first pair of Timberland boots in the late Seventies from a cubbyhole of a shop in High Street Kensington. They looked just like other boots but were amazing—robust, comfortable and durable—something I confirmed while I tramped along the Thai-Cambodia border attempting to assist refugees fleeing from the Khmer Rouge.

These days, Timberland has established itself as a cloth-ing, beachwear, and accessories brand, turning out scores of designer boots, shoes, slip-ons and deck shoes. Nowadays they are fully up to speed about their carbon footprint and recently acquired a company with a range of accessories for skateboarders. It is still a good brand, but there is that niggling feeling that Timberland is merely a fashion statement rather than a mould-breaking take on the work boot for the leisured classes.

Like Timberland, Riedel, the pioneer wine glass makers, knocked me sideways when I first tasted Bordeaux from their specially designed glass. It was state-of-the-art and effective; if you ever doubted the curve of a wine glass could completely alter the wine’s taste, you only had to drink an identical wine from two differently designed wine glasses. I can assure you, a Bordeaux tasted from a Burgundy glass was completely different. Various grape varieties taste differently according to the glass used because they affect specific parts of the palate, so that if the wine is “thrown” towards a particular portion of the roof of the mouth, different taste sensations arise.

Riedel glassware turn out their traditional quality products that are more or less still at the summit for their type. However, they now feel impelled to diversify in the desire to “expand the brand”, perhaps aiming to cover all bases while consumers still have a jangle in their spare-change pocket. Or perhaps, having enjoyed enormous growth off the back of a single, simple and inspired idea in the 1950’s, Riedel, like Timberland, is experiencing a midlife crisis of sorts.

To celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, Riedel have launched the “Sommeliers Black Tie Range”, ultra-expensive glasses from £50 to £80 a throw. Doubtless there will be a market for these glasses in the tuxedo-wearing classes. The stems are black so when you eye up a filled glass on your banqueting table, it appears that the Lafleur ‘47 (or is it Kangarouge NV?) goes all the way down to the base. To help those hard of seeing, the white wine version merely has a black base and a clear stem. And that’s not all—Riedel now have something “to wow your guests” called Nachtmann Bossa Nova plates, which “show off your culinary presentation skills”. Help! Get me out of here! All I ever wanted was a sturdy pair of boots and a perfect glass for my Bordeaux—not some sort of lifestyle nightmare.

It might be time to consider the impact of appropriate glasses for various wines. We should start with Champagne as virtually no one except celebrants at Mongolian National day in Ulan Bator uses those old saucer-shaped ones (Champagne coupes, they’re called). Little-known fact: the shape was allegedly based on Marie-Antoinette’s breast.

The slender flute is the now the preferred Champagne shape, although I have yet to hear anyone claim it is based on any part of the anatomy of Louis XVI. The flute is superior because it manages to contain the bubbles of the Champagne—and provided you are drinking something not mass-produced by the lifestyle people, you can actually smell its nose.

Flying in the face of this advice, the most memorable Champagne I ever tasted was Cristal RosA© served in a plastic cup on a Eurostar as it pulled out of Paris. We had just spent the night at Chateau de Saran in Epernay drinking no end of different vintages of Dom Perignon, including their rare RosA©. One of our party thought that while those wines were perfectly acceptable, they didn’t compare to the charms of Cristal RosA©. I still have no idea how he managed to slip away from the queue at the Gare du Nord and return triumphant, clutching a handful of plastic cups. Even with the handicap of the drinking vessel, it managed to transcend anything we had drunk in the past day or two. I have no doubt it would have been even more ethereal in a flute.

The same would apply to my first experience of Latour ‘59, served up in a stone mug on a stem. I drank it with a passionate socialist friend (later a Labour Government Minister) who believed that despite his privileged upbringing, it was only just that one of the greatest wines of the century should be served at his table in earthenware. I watched in horror as he expounded on some now obscure point of the class struggle between slurps from his mug.

At the reverse end of the spectrum, I have drunk several bottles of Cheval Blanc ‘83 with a hedge fund owner who insists on serving this glorious wine in eighteenth century crystal, which for all I know could have been Marie-Antoinette’s. It still managed to strut its stuff—no easy task when the crystal is as thick as a bottle top. However, even he was dumbstruck when I arrived with a series of tasting glasses and thought it would be amusing to compare them. The quality leap was discernable but sadly I was not affluent enough to gift them to him, so it will be back to the ancien rA©gime. Riedel are not the only option when it comes to fine wine; at present I prefer drinking fine Bordeaux from very thin tasting glasses, half the dimensions of the classic Riedel variety. However, Riedel do deserve huge credit for introducing the concept of wine-specific glasses, ranging from Bordeaux and Burgundies to Chianti and red RhA’nes.

I recently went to a dinner in honour of Georg Riedel in London, where he had vast displays of his glassware, including the dreaded Black Tie ones. It was tad gratuitous to put up a Riedel glass of Grand-Puy-Lacoste ‘01 against a plastic cup with the same wine. No prizes for which tasted more interesting and revealed more of its character. Still, he is a craftsman and deserves honour.

I only wish that the human race wasn’t genetically impelled to always expand and hunt for new markets. It is nothing very new, historically. When the Emperor Augustus died, his will instructed his successor not to expand the boundaries of the Empire, but before too many centuries the legions became restless and began appointing their own Emperors, such was their shame at not being allowed to conquer and pillage. I don’t have any fears about Riedel going down this fatal route if they stopped spreading themselves into the wider philistine world of the consumer. On the contrary, I won’t be too surprised when I hear of the Alcopops Riedel glass or the eco-friendly slingback Timberland.


Why was the wine at the author’s friends place served in a stone mug?



because the friend wanted to show that he could use extraordinary glasses to produce different tastes



because the friends wanted to show how rooted to the masses he was in spite of his contrasting upbringing.



because the author and his friend belonged to the labour party and both deemed it fit that, it was only just that one of the greatest wines of the century should be served at his table in earthenware.


(a) only A and B

(b) only C


(c) only B and C

(d) only B


What according to the author is the reason that the champagne and wines taste different in different glasses?



The stem of the glass allows the liquid to move smoothly on the tongue giving it a unique shape.



The tip of the glass allows the user to smell the wine which accentuates the taste.



Even with the handicap of the drinking vessel, a fine drink managed to transcend anything that can be drunk so the vessel according to the author was not important, but it was the quality of the drink that mattered.



none of these.


Which of the following options would be the best choice to define the purpose of writing this passage?



Why should one complicate their life by using fancy products, when simpler alternatives are available?



Why do beloved brands have to expand past their initial ground-breaking product?



It might make sense to consider the impact of appropriate glasses for various wines.



None of these.

Directions for Questions 18 to 20

Fill in the blanks in the statements with the right words from the given options.


The Mayor of Lucknow formed a committee to simplify several dozen—city ordinances that were unnecessarily complicated and out-of-date.


(a) pedantic

(b) empirical


(c) byzantine

(d) slovenly


The—rumors did a great deal of damage even though they turned out to be false.


(a) bemused

(b) prosaic


(c) apocryphal

(d) ebullient


My great grand uncle who lost his life in the 1856 mutiny was a for Indian independence.


(a) knave

(b) reactionary


(c) compatriot

(d) martyr

◊ Answer Key

1. (b)

2. (d)

3. (a)

4. (c)

5. (a)

6. (c)

7. (a)

8. (d)

9. (b)

10. (c)

11. (c)

12. (d)

13. (c)

14. (c)

15. (d)

16. (d)

17. (b)

18. (c)

19. (c)

20. (d)

1.(b) the paragraph starts with a question and the subsequent lines ask about the futility of learning things that should no longer be relevant ,so the logical end of the paragraph should be in the form of a question further questioning the credibility of things that are being learnt by children in their curriculum as he gives his own example of having happily forgotten those things.

2.(d) since the aunt had choices given to her at the end, the paragraph here had to end with a refrain and exclamation about her final choice.

3.(a) options 3 and 4 are just same things being said in different ways and obviously out of context ,option 2 is irrelevant as it talks about something specific which has not been mentioned, option 5 clearly is not related at all to the general context in which the paragraph is framed. So it is option (a) which is a logical link to the last sentence.

4.EABCD (c)

E statement has to be the starting or the end statement and as E is followed clearly by A, so E has to start, followed by A and the last statement is clearly provided by D. So the right sequence is EABCD.

5.(a) DACB

The link between statements D and A are clearly visible as A is explaining the logic of D. Statement B is the final conclusive statement of the given paragraph. So the answer is DACB.

6.(c) ABEDC

Statement EDC are clearly following each other in a sequence. B is an explanation of the methodology mentioned in A. So the right sequence is ABEDC.

7.EDCBA (a)

The statement E starts with a question, the answer to which is given by statement D and it gets further proved by the experiment in C. Statements B and A have to be together in the sequence BA. So the answer comes to be (a) EDCBA.

8.CABED (d)

Statements ED clearly form the most logical conclusion. A quote starts in statement C and is completed in statement A. So when we get the staring as CA and end as ED, we just have one option left for e answer and that is CABED.


The answer is clear from the paragraph itself that (i) cannot be included.


Options (ii) and (iv) are clearly out of the purview of the question.


Only the option iv is the clear best method as said by the author in the passage.


The problem mentioned is not covered in any of the given options.


It is clear from the passage that options i and ii are not covered in context of David Miliband.

14.(c) disaster

15.(d) only B

As the friend was a socialist so he wanted to show his socialistic ideology through this symbolic representation.


None of these is the answer here because the right answer is given in the 3rd paragraph in the following lines : Various grape varieties taste differently according to the glass used because they affect specific parts of the palate, so that if the wine is “thrown” towards a particular portion of the roof of the mouth, different taste sensations arise.


The following lines from the passage clearly show that (b) clearly covers the purpose of the passage: “However, they now feel impelled to diversify in the desire to “expand the brand”, perhaps aiming to cover all bases while consumers still have a jangle”

“ Help! Get me out of here! All I ever wanted was a sturdy pair of boots and a perfect glass for my Bor-deaux—not some sort of lifestyle nightmare.”


The answer is choice c, byzantine, an adjective that means “highly complicated and intricate.” Here, you are looking for a restatement of the clue words complicated and out-of-date,


(c) Apocryphal (adj.) means of questionable authenticity or doubtful authority.


A martyr (n.) is one who sacrifices something of supreme value, such as a life, for a cause or principle.