Verbal Ability CAT  Back to CAT Home

DIRECTIONS for Questions 1 to 10: Read each of the short passages given below and answer the question that follows it.

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

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

A. Increase in profitability of the three airlines.

B. Extension of the discount scheme to other routes.

C. A study that shows that air travellers in India are price-conscious.

D. A study that shows that as much as 80% of air travel in India is company-sponsored.

2. According to McNeill, a Brahmin priest was expected to be able to recite at least one of the Vedas. The practice was essential for several centuries when the Vedas had not yet been written down. It must have had a selective effect, since priests would have been recruited from those able or willing to memorise long passages. It must have helped in the dissemination of the work, since a memorised passage can be duplicated many times.

Which one of the following can be inferred from the above passage?

A. Reciting the Vedas was a Brahmin’s obligation

B. The Vedic priest was like a recorded audio cassette

C. McNeill studied the behaviour of Brahmin priests

D. Vedic hymns had not been scripted

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

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

A. The investible income of the working population, as a proportion of its total income, will grow in the future.

B. The insurance sector is underdeveloped and trends indicate that it will be extensively privatised in the future.

C. India is on a path of development that will take it to a developed country status, with all its positive and negative implications.

D. If the working population builds a stronger financial base, there will be a revival of the joint family system.

4. Various studies have shown that our forested and hilly regions, and, in general, areas where biodiversity -- as reflected in the variety of flora -- is high, are the places where poverty appears to be high. And these same areas are also the ones where educational performance seems to be poor. Therefore, it may be surmised that, even disregarding poverty status, richness in biodiversity goes hand in hand with educational backwardness.

Which one of the following statements, if true, can be said to best provide supporting evidence for the surmise mentioned in the passage?

A. In regions where there is little variety in flora, educational performance is seen to be as good as in regions with high variety in flora, when poverty levels are high.

B. Regions which show high biodiversity also exhibit poor educational performance, at low levels of poverty.

C. Regions which show high biodiversity reveal high levels of poverty and poor educational performance.

D. In regions where there is low biodiversity, at all levels of poverty, educational performance is seen to be good.

5. Cigarettes constitute a mere 20% of tobacco consumption in India, and fewer than 15% of the 200 million tobacco users consume cigarettes . Yet these 15% contribute nearly 90% of the tax revenues to the Exchequer from the tobacco sector. The punitive cigarette taxation regime has kept the tax base narrow, and reducing taxes will expand this base.

Which one of the following best bolsters the conclusion that reducing duties will expand the tax base?

A. The cigarette manufacturers’ association has decided to indulge in aggressive promotion.

B. There is a likelihood that tobacco consumers will shift to cigarette smoking if cigarette prices were to reduce.

C. The cigarette manufacturers are lobbying for a reduction on duties.

D. An increase in duties on non -cigarette tobacco may lead to a shift in favor of cigarette smoking.

6. Thomas Malthus, the British clergyman turned economist, predicted that the planet would not be able to support the human population for long. His explanation was that human population grows at a geometric rate, while the food supply grows only at an arithmetic rate.

Which one of the following, if true, would not undermine the thesis offered by Malthus?

A. Population growth can be slowed down by the voluntary choices of individuals and not just by natural disasters.

B. The capacity of the planet to feed a growing human population can be enhanced through biotechnological means.

C. Human systems, and natural systems like food supply, follow natural laws of growth which have remained constant, and will remained unchanged.

D. Human beings can colonise other planetary systems on a regular and on-going basis to accommodate a growing population.

7. The company’s coffee crop for 1998-99 totalled 8079 tonnes, an all time record. The increase over the previous year’s production of 5830 tonnes was 38.58%. The previous highest crop was 6089 tonnes in 1970-71. The company had fixe d a target of 8000 tonnes to be realised by the year 2000-01, and this has been achieved two years earlier, thanks to the emphasis laid on the key areas of irrigation, replacement of unproductive coffee bushes, intensive refilling and improved agricultural practices. It is now our endeavour to reach the target of 10000 tonnes in the year 2001 -02.

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

A. The potential of the productivity enhancing measures implemented up to now has been exhausted.

B. The total company land under coffee has remained constant since 1969 when an estate in the Nilgiri Hills was acquired.

C. The sensitivity of the crop to climatic factors makes predictions about production uncertain.

D. The target -setting procedures in the company have been proved to the sound by the achievement of the 8000 tonne target.

8. Animals in general are shrewd in proportion as they cultivate society. Elephants and beavers show the greatest signs of this sagacity when they are together in large numbers, but when man invades their communities they lose all their spirit of industry. Among insects, the labours of the bee and the ant have attracted the attention and admiration of naturalists, but all their sagacity seems to be lost upon separation, and a single bee or ant seems destitute of every degree of industry. It becomes the most stupid insect imaginable, and it languishes and soon dies.

Which of the following can be inferred from the above passage?

A. Humankind is responsible for the destruction of the natural habitat of animals and insects.

B. Animals, in general, are unable to function effectively outside their normal social environment.

C. Naturalists have great admiration for bees and ants, despite their lack of industry upon separation.

D. Elephants and beavers are smarter than bees and ants in the presence of human beings.

9. In a recent report, the gross enrolment ratios at the primary level, that is, the number of children enrolled in classes one to five as a proportion of all children aged 6 to 10, were shown to be very high for most states; in many cases they were way above 100 percent! These figures are not worth anything, since they are based on the official enrolment data compile d from school records. They might as well stand for ‘gross exaggeration ratios’.

Which of the following options best supports the claim that the ratios are exaggerated?

A. The definition of gross enrolment ratio does not exclude, in its numerator, children below 6 years or above 10 years enrolled in classes one to five.

B. A school attendance study found that many children enrolled in the school records were not meeting a minimum attendance requirement of 80 percent.

C. A study estimated that close to 22 percent of children enrolled in the class one records were below 6 years of age and still to start going to school.

D. Demographic surveys show shifts in the population profile which indicate that the number of children in the age group 6 to 10 years is declining.

10. Szymanski suggests that the problem of racism in football may be present even today. He begins by verifying an earlier hypothesis that clubs’ wage bills explain 90% of their performance. Thus, if players’ salaries were to be only based ontheir abilities, clubs that spend more should finish higher. If there is pay discrimination against some group of players -- fewer teams bidding for black players thus lowering the salaries for blacks with the same ability as whites -- that neat relation may no longer hold. He concludes that certain clubs seem to have achieved much less than what they could have, by not recruiting black players.

Which of the following findings would best support Szymanski’s conclusions?

A. Certain clubs took advantage of the situation by hiring above -average shares of black players.

B. Clubs hired white players at relatively high wages and did not show proportionately good performance.

C. During the study period, clubs in towns with a history of discrimination against blacks, under-performed relative to their wage bills.

D. Clubs in one region, which had higher proportions of black players, had significantly lower wage bills than their counterparts in another region which had predominantly white players.

DIRECTIONS for Questions 11 to 15: For the word given at the top of each table, match the dictionary definitions on the left (A, B, C, D) with their corresponding usage on the right (E, F, G, H). Out of the four possibilities given in the boxes below the table, select the one that has all the definitions and their usages correctly matched.

11. Exceed

Dictionary definition Usage

A. To extend outside of, or enlarge beyond; used chiefly in strictly physical relations

B. To be greater than or superior to

C. Be beyond the comprehension of

D. To go beyond a limit set by (as an authority or privilege)


E. The mercy of god exceeds our finite minds

F. Their accomplishments exceeded our expectation

G. He exceed his authority when he paid his brother's gambling debts with money from the trust

H. If this rain keeps up, the river will exceed its banks by morning


A. (A-H), (B-F), (C-E), (D-G)

B. (A-H), (B-E), (C-F), (D-G)

C. (A-G), (B-F), (C-E), (D-H)

D. (A-F), (B-G), (C-H), (D-E)

12. Infer

Dictionary deifnition Usage

A. To derive by reasoning or implication

B. To surmise

C. To point out

D. To hint


E. we see smoke and infer fire

F. Given some utterance, a listener may infer from it things which the utterer never implied

G. I waited all day to meet him, from this you can in fer my zeal to see him

H. She did not take part in the debate except to ask a question inferring that she was not interested in the debate


A. (A-G), (B-H), (C-E), (D-F)

B. (A-F), (B-H), (C-E), (D-G)

C. (A-H), (B-G), (C-F), (D-E)

D. (A-E), (B-F), (C-G), (D-H)

13. Mellow

Dictionary deifinition Usage

A. Adequately and properly ages so as to be free of harshness

B. Freed from the rashness of youth

C. Of soft and loamy consistency

D. Rich and full but free from stridency


E. He has mellowed with age

F. The tones of the old violin were mellow.

G. Some wines are mellow

H. Mellow soil is found in the Gangetic plains


A. (A-E), (B-G), (C-F), (D-H

B. (A-E), (B-F), (C-G), (D-H)

C. (A-G), (B-E), (C-F), (D-H)

D. (A-H), (B-G), (C-F), (D-E)

14. Relief

Dictionary definition Usage

A. Removal or lightening of something distressing

B. Aid in the form of necessities for the indigent

C. Diversion

D. Release from the performance of duty


E. A ceremony follows the relief of a sentry after the morning shift

F. It was a relief to take off the tight shoes.

G. The only relief I get is by playing cards

H. Disaster relief was offered to the victims.


A. (A-F), (B-H), (C-E), (D-G)

B. (A-F), (B-H), (C-G), (D-E)

C. (A-H), (B-F), (C-G), (D-E)

D. (A-G), (B-E), (C-H), (D-F)

15. Purge

Dictionary definition Usage

A. Remove a stigma from the name of

B. Make clean by removing whatever is superfluous, foreign

C. getting rid of

D. to casue evacuation of


E. The opposition was purged after the coup.

F. The committee heard his attempt to purge himself of a charge of heresy.

G. Dru gs that purge the bowels are often bad for the brain

H. It is recommended to purge water by distillation


A. (A-E), (B-G), (C-F), (D-H)

B. (A-F), (B-E), (C-H), (D-G)

C. (A-H), (B-F), (C-G), (D-E)

D. (A-E), (B-H), (C-G), (D-E)

DIRECTIONS for Questions 16 to 20: In each of the following sentences the main statement is followed by four sentences each. Select the pair of sentences that relate logically with the given statement.

16. Either Sita is sick or she is careless.

1. Sita is not sick

2. Sita is not careless

3. Sita is sick

4. Sita is careless

A. 1,2

B. 1, 4

C. 2, 1

D. 4, 1

17. Ram gets a swollen nose whenever he eats hamburgers.

1. Ram gets a swollen nose.

2. Ram does not eat hamburgers

3. Ram does not get a swollen nose

4. Ram eats hamburgers.

A. 1, 2

B. 4, 3

C. 1, 4

D. 2, 4

18. Either the employees have no confidence in the management or they are hostile by nature.

1. They are hostile by nature

2. They are not hostile by nature.

3. They have confidence in the management

4. They have no confidence in the management.

A. 2, 1

B. 4, 3

C. 1, 3

D. 2, 3

19. Whenever Ram reads late into the night, his father beats him up.

1. His father does not beat Ram.

2. Ram reads late into the night.

3. Ram reads early in the morning.

4. Ram’s father beats him in the morning.

A. 3, 4

B. 2, 4

C. 1, 2

D. None of these

20. All irresponsible parents shout if their children do not cavort.

1. All irresponsible parents do not shout.

2. Children cavort

3. Children do not cavort.

4. All irresponsible parents shout.

A. 1, 2

B. 2, 1

C. 3, 1

D. All of these

DIRECTIONS for Question 21 to 25: In each of the following sentences, parts of the sentence are left blank. Beneath each sentence, four different ways of completing the sentence are indicated. Choose the best alternative from among the four.

21. But ___________ are now regularly written to describe well-established practices, organisations and institutions, not all of which seem to be ________ away.

A. reports, withering

B. stories, trading

C. books, dying

D. obituaries, fading

22. The Darwin who ___________ is most remarkable for the way in which he _________the attributes of the world class thinker and head of the household.

A. Comes, figures

B. arises, ads

C. emerges, combines

D. appeared, combines

23. Since her face was free of __________ there was no way to __________ if she appreciated what had happened.

A. make-up, realise

B. expression, ascertain

C. emotions, diagnose

D. scars, understand

24. In this context, the __________ of the British labour movement is particularly

A. affair, weird

B. activity, moving

C. experience, signifcant

D. atmosphere, gloomy

25. Indian intellectuals may boast, if they are so inclined, of being __________ to the most elitist among the intellectual ___________ of the world.

A. subordinate, traditions

B. heirs, cliques

C. ancestors, societies

D. heir, traditions

DIRECTIONS for Questions 26 to 30: Arrange sentences A, B, C, D between sentences 1 and 6 to form a logical sequence of six sentences.


1. Buddhism is a way to salvation.

A. But Buddhism is more severely analytical.

B. In the Christian tradition there is also a concern for the fate of human society conceived as a whole, rather than merely as a sum or network of individuals.

C. Salvation is a property, or achievement of individuals.

D. Not only does it dissolve society into individuals, the individual in turn is dissolved into component parts and instant s, a steam of events.

In modern terminology, Buddhist doctrine is reductionist.






1. The problem of improving Indian agriculture is both a sociological and an administrative one.

A. It also appears that there is a direct relationship between the size of a state and development.

B. The issues of Indian development, and the problems of India’s agricultural sector, will remain with us long into the next century.

C. Without improving Indian agriculture, no liberalisation and delicensing will be able to help India.

D. At the end of the day, there has to be a ferment and movement of life and action in the vast segment of rural India

6. When it starts marching, India will fly.






1. Good literary magazines have always been good because of their editors.

A. Furthermore, to edit by committee, as it were, would prevent any magazine from finding its own identity.

B. The more quirky and idiosyncratic they have been, the better the magazine is, at least as a general rule.

C. But the number of editors one can have for a magazine should also be determined by the number of contributions to it.

D. To have four editors for an issue that contains only seven contributions is a bit silly to start with

6. However, in spite of this anomaly, the magazine does acquire merit in its attempt to give a comprehensive view of the Indian literary scene as it is today.






1. It’s the success story of the Indian expatriate in the US which today hogs much of the media coverage in India.

A. East and West, the twain have met quite comfortably in their person, thank you.

B. Especially in its more recent romancing-the -NRI phase.

C. Seldom does the price of getting there - more like not getting there - or what’s going on behind those sunny smiles get so much media hype.

D. Well groomed, with their perfect Colgate smiles, and hair in place, they appear the picture of confidence which comes from having arrived.

6. The festival of feature films and documentaries made by Americans of Indian descent being screened






1. The wind had savage allies.

A. If it had not been for my closely fitted helmet, the explosions might have shattered my eardrums.

B. The first clap of thunder came as a deafening explosion that literally shook my teeth.

C. I didn’t hear the thunder; I actually felt it -- an almost unbearable physical experience.

D. I saw lightning all around me in every shape imaginable.

6. When very close, it began raining so torrentially that I thought I would drown in mid-air.





DIRECTIONS for Questions 31 to 35: Choose the grammatically correct sentence from among the four options given.


A. I am not one of those who believe everything they hear.

B. I am not one of these who believes everything I hear.

C. I am not one of those who believes everything he hears.

D. I am not one of those who believes in everything one hears.


A. Cannot one do what one likes with one’s own?

B. Cannot one do that one likes to do with his own?

C. Cannot one do that one likes with his own?

D. Cannot one do what he likes with his own?


A. There’s Mr. Som, whom they say is the best singer in the country.

B. There’s Mr. Som, who they say is the best singer in the country.

C. There is Mr. Som, whom they say is the best singer in the country.

D. There is Mr. Som who, they say is the best s inger in the country.


A. Each of the students has done well.

B. Each of the student has done well.

C. Each of the students have done well.

D. Each of the student have done well.


A. Today we love, what tomorrow we hate; today we seek, what tomorrow we shun, today we desire, what tomorrow we fear.

B. Today, we love what tomorrow we hate, today, we seek what tomorrow we shun, today, we desire what tomorrow we fear.

C. Today we love what tomorrow we hate, today we seek what tomorrow we shun, today we desire what tomorrow we fear.

D. Today we love what tomorrow we hate; today we seek what tomorrow we shun; today we desire what tomorrow we fear.

DIRECTIONS for Questions 36 to 40: In each of the following questions a part of a paragraph or sentence has been underlined. From the choices given, you are required to choose the one which would best replace the underlined part.

36. Victory is everything in the Indian universe and Tendulkar will be expected to translate his genius to that effect. To contemplate any other option is to contemplate the risk of failure .

A. To contemplate any other action is to contemplate the risk of failure.

B. Failure is not an action that can be contemplated.

C. Any other action has the potential of failure.

D. Failure is not an option.

37. In Martin Amis’ new novel, the narrator is trapped -- and hurtling towards a terrible secret. Its resolution, and the dreadful revelations it brings, ally to give an excruciating vision of guilt.

A. ally to give an excruciating vision of guilt.

B. to us give a vivid picture of guilt.

C. is a painful picture of a guilt -ridden world.

D. does not really solve all the questions in the narrator’s mind.

38. How many times have I asked myself: when is the world going to start to make sense? There is a monster out there , and it is rushing towards me over the uneven ground of consciousness.

A. There is a monster out there

B. It is as if the world is on my shoulders

C. The answer is out there somewhere

D. There is a sea of sensibility in me.

39. Contemplating whether to exist with an insatiable romantic temperament, he was the author and largely the subject of a number of memorable novels.

A. Contemplating whether to exist

B. Combining realistic detail

C. Miscegenating a brilliant mind

D. Aware that he had been born

40. In a penetrating study, CBS-TV focuses on those people without hope, whose bodies are cared for by welfare aid , but whose spirit is often neglected by a disinterested society.

A. whose bodies are cared for by welfare aid

B. who do not have enough to eat

C. whose hopelessness may be alleviated

D. who may be physically satiated

                 Aesop's Fables - Story for kids
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