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Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 10 November 2008, 06:00 PM
 

I think I have prolonged this article for quite some time now but it’s never too late than never. Although I admit that it is not a very well researched or well thought article but I think it will do the needful in case you get such questions in this CAT as well. With time I’ll work and rework on this article till I am happy myself with what I have written.

Talking from my personal experience I have always thought that paragraph completion is a game of well read people. It is no rocket science but someone who doesn’t read, would never be able to crack paragraph completion atleast. In one phrase if you ask me how to crack a paragraph completion question, I’d say ‘Maintain The Continuity’. That is all it takes and hence proves my point that you have to be well read to understand the flow of the passage. Most of the time the crux of the passage will lie in the first line itself, and the rest of the passage will move with the same flow. The flow can be maintained wither by maintaining the parallel structure or through contrast. Let's look a some examples from previous year CAT papers.

Maintaining continuity through maintaining a parallel structure: 

1. I am sometimes attacked for imposing 'rules'. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hate rules. All I do is report on how consumers react to different stimuli. I may say to a copywriter, "Research shows that commercials with celebrities are below average in persuading people to buy products. Are you sure you want 
to use a celebrity?" Call that a rule? Or I may say to an art director, "Research suggests that if you set the copy in black type on a white background, more people will read it than if you set it in white type on a black background." (CAT 2006)

1.      Guidance based on applied research can hardly qualify as 'rules'.

2.      Thus, all my so called 'rules' are rooted in applied research.

3.      A suggestion perhap s, but scarcely a rule.

4.      Such principles are unavoidable if one wants to be systematic about consumer behaviour.

5.      Fundamentally it is about consumer behaviour - not about celebrities or type settings.

The paragraph starts with the author mentioning that he does not impose ‘rules’. To validate his assertion he gives two examples, X and Y. And then see the structure- 

Example X followed by “Call that a rule?”

Example Y followed by…. 

What will you choose except option 3? You need a sentence which would point to example Y, implying that Y is not a rule. 

2. We can usefully think of theoretical models as maps, which help us navigate unfamiliar territory. The 
most accurate map that it is possible to construct would be of no practical use whatsoever, for it would be an 
exact replica, on exactly the same scale, of the place where we were. Good maps pull out the most important 
features and throw away a huge amount of much less valuable information. Of course, maps can be bad as 
well as good - witness the attempts by medieval Europe to produce a map of the world. In the same way, a 
bad theory, no matter how impressive it may seem in principle, does little or nothing to help us understand a 
problem. (CAT 2006)

1.      But good theories, just like good maps, are invaluable, even if they are simplified.

2.      But good theories, just like good maps, will never represent unfamiliar concepts in detail.

3.      But good theories, just like good maps, need to balance detail and feasibility of representation.

4.      But good theories, just like good maps, are accurate only at a certain level of abstraction.

5.      But good theories, just like good maps, are useful in the hands of a user who knows their limitations.

If you understand the structure of the last sentence you would invariable get this right. Let me put in a simple form: X, even if it’s impressive, is Bad. However Y is good… 

If I continue the structure of the last sentence, the complete thing would be: 

X, even if it’s impressive, is Bad. However Y, even if it’s not impressive, is good. 

What can you choose except option 1? 

Maintaining continuity through contrast: 

3. The audiences 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.   _______________________ (CAT 2005)  

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

2.   Sudoku, incidentally, is growing faster in popularity than crosswords, even among the literati.

3.   Sudoku, on the other hand, can be attempted and enjoyed even by children.

4.   Sudoku, however, is not exciting in any sense of the term.  

This paragraph is starts with mentioning a contrast… (…but there are differences…). The first contrast comes as “A crossword attracts a more literary person, while sudoku appeals to a keenly logical mind.” The second contrast starts with “A good crossword requires X, Y and Z…” The second contrast is to be completed. If you keep in mind the first contrast you can complete the second contrast with option 1.  
 

4. In the evolving world order, the comparative advantage of the United States lies in its military force. 
Diplomacy and international law have always been regarded as annoying encumbrances, unless they can be 
used to advantage against an enemy. Every active player in world affairs professes to seek only peace and to 
prefer negotiation to violence and coercion. (CAT 2006)

1.      However, diplomacy has often been used as a mask by nations which intended to use force.

2.      However, when the veil is lifted, we commonly see that diplomacy is understood as a disguise for the rule of force.

3.      However, history has shown that many of these nations do not practice what they profess.

4.      However, history tells us that peace is professed by those who intend to use violence.

5.      However, when unmasked, such nations reveal a penchant for the use force.

If you see the contrast happening between diplomacy and use of force you will end up at option 1 and 2. Option 2 has to be chosen because it is providing an intended contrast to “Each player professes to seek..” by the words “when the veil is lifted..”. If you go by the implied meaning of “someone is professing to have or do something…” you automatically get a notion that something is hidden behind. And the words “veil is lifted…” bring out the notion in words by telling you that the hidden thing is unmasked.

 

The best way to practise these questions is to pick up questions from previous year CAT papers and write down every reason fro picking up or eliminating the option. Good Luck! This article would have not been possible without TG’s help so my heartfelt thanks go to him.smile

2008 and Eternity Copyright Total Gadha and Dagny Taggartevil

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Hungry Gadha! - Monday, 10 November 2008, 06:08 PM
 

At last we have it!...as you promised in the past for an article on Paragraph completion...yeap,'Maintain The Continuity' ..be with the context...you are very right...that's the mantra..and i have followed n improved a lot on this front! ofcourse, still scope for improvement!...i remeber there was a time where i'm really struggling to do PC & SCs...now i'm feeling confident on PCs...unlike SCs..where i still feel hard to mark the ans as i always find 2 or more options very confusing in the end....its hard! ...but again its our strength which will ensure our win! isn't it!

Mean while i'm just taken a printout of this article..smile 'll go through again tonight.

Finally, thank you Dagny & of course, special thanks to TG toosmile for making this article happen.

Regards,
HG

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Abhinav Agrawal - Monday, 10 November 2008, 06:21 PM
  The last example is great. I was confused between option 3 and 5 as both deal with 'unmask' and 'lifting the veil'. When I looked closer into the question, I found a phrase 'such nation' in option 5. This phrase doesn't go with the idea in passage, coz in last sentence it says 'every active player'!! Another bullet in the barrel to kill the eternal doubt of choosing the correct among the last 2!!

Thanks Dagny mam

Abhinav
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Software Engineer - Monday, 10 November 2008, 06:28 PM
  This is to certify that 'she' never brakes promise. <insert approve icon here>

smile And TG You made my (D-)day. smile

- SE
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 10 November 2008, 09:47 PM
  smile
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Ritu M - Tuesday, 11 November 2008, 12:10 PM
  Thank you Dagny and TG for the wonderful article. . .
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Ritu M - Tuesday, 11 November 2008, 01:44 PM
 

Hi Dagny,

Could you please help solve this question:

Most firms consider expert individuals to be too elitist, tempramental, 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 fall into default mode, setting up project teams of people who get along nicely.________________________(CAT 2005)

1. The result, however, is disastrous.

2. The result is mediocrity.

3. The result is creation of experts who then become elitist.

4. Naturally, they drive innovations.

I had chosen 4, as how can we predict the result. Since the people get along well, the results should be good !!

The correct answer is given as 2.

Thanks and regards

 

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by veenu singla - Tuesday, 11 November 2008, 07:01 PM
 

The passage is talking abt compromise by organisation in the last line , which can only be followed by down in performance abd second choice states that

 

I hop this clears ur doubt

 

Try to catch the Tone of the Author.........

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Anuj Jain - Wednesday, 12 November 2008, 12:29 AM
 

Hi Dagny,

Great Article, really helpful, but I am quite confused between option 2nd and 5th of example 4.

Both of them are talking about the unmasked, then why should we go for option 2, pls clarify my doubt.

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 12 November 2008, 08:00 AM
  Hi Anuj,

Read Abhinav's post above.

Dagny
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by abhishek tripathi - Wednesday, 2 September 2009, 04:19 PM
  thank u dagny mam i wll b very great ful if u can kindly post some of the questions of sentence ending at mah mail id i.e saahil12000@yahoo.co.in rep asap
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Netra Mehta - Thursday, 3 September 2009, 11:34 AM
  Hi Dagny!
That wz indeed a gr8 article...

but m not satisfied with my performance in PC sad
Most of the tym i mark wrong questions...
since vry less tym is left 4 CAT now..plz gimme sum suggestions on how can i improve on dis topic...
What shud b my strategy nw???
i ll also b really grateful if u can post some more questions along with dere explanations here...
Plz help!!!
Summary Writing
by Netra Mehta - Thursday, 3 September 2009, 01:54 PM
  Hi Dagny...
I hv a question on summary writing...
Plz help me in solving the following problem...

Five alternative summaries are given below for the text. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the text.

Q. There are many and good reasons why women have left little in the way of literary monuments, especially poetry. The main reason is education, or more specifically the lack of it in most women’s lives until well into the twentieth century. In the light of this, what is surprising is not that so few women wrote poetry, but that any women wrote poetry at all. When a woman who had never been to grammar school, never learnt Latin and did not know the rules of syntax, let alone of prosody, set herself to writing lines that rhymed, she was imitating an art that, admire it though she might, she did not understand — a male art, a male tradition. This meant she generally produced poetry that was at best imperfect, at worst, frankly bad.

a) The reason why women haven’t created literary monuments is because until recently they were not educated. In this case, the only option for an uneducated woman was to plagiarize in order to show herself as superior.
b) The lack of education is the biggest reason for women’s lack of achievements in the literary sphere. In the absence of the knowledge of basics, she would see the male creations as ‘ideal’ and try to copy them.
c) The lack of education is the biggest reason for women’s lack of achievements in the literary sphere. Feeling inferior to educated men, they would imitate them in every area including literature.
d) The lack of education is the biggest reason for women’s lack of achievements in the literary sphere. It suited men well since in such a scenario the women had no choice but to imitate the men.
e) Women have not created literary monuments because of many impediments, including lack of education, which confined her knowledge only to the basics.
Re: Summary Writing
by tapas mani shyam - Thursday, 3 September 2009, 03:03 PM
 

HI netra

 

I would guess the answer to be option "b". Am I correct?

Re: Summary Writing
by Netra Mehta - Friday, 4 September 2009, 12:10 PM
  Yeah Tapas!
U r right!

I marked "d" actually..
Can u plz explain me d reason 4 ur answer...y cant it b "d" ??
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by megha agarwal - Saturday, 5 September 2009, 03:13 PM
 

hey ..i too was confused n between 3 and 5..

most of the times i mark the wrong answer in PC(s).which ultimately screws my eng score...

can it b a bit more expalinatory

Re: Summary Writing
by Anjan rajan - Tuesday, 8 September 2009, 06:44 AM
  @ Netra
This para never talks abt choice or rather ne kind of compulsion to Follow art
hence it is not d.


The ans has to be b.
Its directly evident from last 2 lines wherin the author says tht woman is trying to imitate male-art.
So, as the author says Follow The Continuity
Re: Summary Writing
by Netra Mehta - Thursday, 10 September 2009, 11:29 PM
  Thnx Anjan! smile
I got dat...
Re: Summary Writing
by Anjan rajan - Sunday, 13 September 2009, 12:21 AM
  wc

N best of luck to all of you for CAT 09
Re: Summary Writing
by mayank sangwan - Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 01:40 PM
 

hi netra

i think, option (b) capture the best essence of the passage.

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Pallav Jain - Saturday, 19 September 2009, 05:30 PM
  Hi Guys,

Here is a Para Com. Ques. plz solve it and tell me the explanation

The simple life of Asia NEED FEAR NO SHAMING from the sharp wqith europe in which steam and electricity have placed it today. the old world of trade the world of the craftsman and the pedlar, of the village market and the saints-DAY fair, where little boats row ups and down great rivers laden with the produce of the country, where every place have some court in which the travelling merchant may display his stuffs and jewels for beautiful screened woman to see and buy, is not yet quite dead and its form may change only at a great loss can asia permit its spirit tp die, since the whole of that industrial and decorative art whichis the heirloom of ages has been in its keeping, and she must lose with it not only the beauty of things, but the joy of the worker his individuality of vision and the whole age-long humanising of her labour..............................

a) Asia knows it is true, nothing of the fierce of a time-devouring locomotion, but she still the far deeper travel culture of the pligrimage and the wndering monk.
b) for the indian ascetc begging his bread of village housewives or seated at evenfall beaneath some tree chatting and smoking with the peasent of the district, is the real traveller.
c) to him a countryside doesnot consist of its natrual features alone.
D) it is a nexus of habits and associations of human elements and traditions suffused with the tenderness and freindship of one who has shared for a moment, the joys and sorrows of its personal dram
e) for to clothe oneself in the web of one's own weaving is to house oneself in one's own house, to create for the spirit its own sphere.

Regards
Pallav Jain
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Netra Mehta - Sunday, 27 September 2009, 10:48 PM
  Hi Pallav!!

Is d ans (D) ???

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by sumit agarwal - Friday, 2 October 2009, 10:54 AM
  e:
para talk abt asia has its own ways then example a , b ,c . and it shud be proud on that.nd shud not lose it.
a)-repeat of idea

b)-out of scope
c)-? make no sense
d)-new idea --- passage never talk abt tenderness frndship.. also not a completing sentence
e) summaries the essense
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by " S " . - Monday, 19 October 2009, 01:56 PM
  hello dagny man...
can u plz explain the last question...i.e.. diplomacy one...plz
why cant be the option 3
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by bllitz blitz - Wednesday, 4 November 2009, 01:55 AM
  Hey Pallav,
Can you post the answers?
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Kovendhan Venugopal - Friday, 6 November 2009, 04:20 PM
  Thanks a lot dude
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by vinay mudgil - Tuesday, 11 May 2010, 04:45 PM
  Thanks for such a nice article. I really enjoyed it !!!
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Manish Gupta - Saturday, 3 July 2010, 06:20 PM
 

Hi Dagny,

In the 3rd question in the article you wrote, why can't option 3 be the answer.
Contrasting an intelligent man with a dictionary of a vocab with a child should be fine in the context of the question. Also, the fact that one sudoku is similar to another does not take the shine away from  it, does it ?

I am very new to the forum, this is my first day here. Please excuse me in case i'm wrong.

Regards
Manish

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Anand Jaggi - Sunday, 3 October 2010, 04:56 PM
  thx fr the article
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Akash Mehrotra - Saturday, 13 November 2010, 06:09 PM
  Nice way to tackle these kinds of questions Danny sir

You simply rocks
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by rakesh kumar - Thursday, 4 August 2011, 11:48 AM
  People may be attracted to those who have similar attitudes, values, and beliefs and even marry them – at least in part – on the basis of this similarity because attitudes are highly visible and salient characteristics and they are fundamental to the way people lead their lives. Personality-related characteristics, on the other hand, take much longer to be known. However, once people are in a committed relationship, it is primarily personality similarity that influences marital happiness because being in a committed relationship entails regular interaction and requires extensive coordination in dealing with tasks, issues and problems of daily living. ____.


OPTIONS

1)But Nature doesn’t really care whether they get along or not, as long as the two procreate.

2)That is why we try to choose someone with the same interests as we, someone from a similar background, with the same values, and with whom we have a lot in common.

3)Hence couples with similar temperaments tend to get along better, and that similar attitudes and beliefs are not an important factor.


4)Where personality similarity is likely to facilitate this process, personality differences may result in more friction and conflict in daily life.


5)Exceptions generally do not arise when some external factors, like interference of in-laws, is playing a role in the couple’s unhappiness, not their personalities.
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by rakesh kumar - Thursday, 4 August 2011, 11:49 AM
  Existentialism is the view of life which focuses on “a man” and in so doing denies that any man is to be
measured or equated against any class called “man” in any sense of experience. Since “man” traditionally
is classified in terms of his mind, body and will against the framework of an external world, the existential
position denies, utterly, the certainty of any external world, as object, and denies, utterly, the assertion
that any rule – physical, emotive, or intellectual - is valid in relation to the single individual.
__________________ .
(1) The exponent of existentialism considers the traditional world to be one of illusion.
(2) Man is not an accidental expression of colliding atoms which continuously move in a random
fashion.
(3) It is quite interesting to analyze organized religion with this background.
(4) It is the consciousness of a man that he is existing in terms of his own flowing of experience, a flow
which is governed by natural laws.
(5) Therefore, the existentialist is free to choose because there are no objective standards to inhibit or
constrain his choice.
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by rakesh kumar - Thursday, 4 August 2011, 11:59 AM
  my take is 4
revert back
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by yogesh muchhal - Friday, 26 August 2011, 12:36 AM
  I think it's 4. 
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by ath nar - Sunday, 28 August 2011, 12:11 AM
  option 4 for sure
the completion must talk about personality charac
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by shrikant soni - Wednesday, 7 September 2011, 11:22 PM
  Great ones to fix the slight bit of leakage in the concept ...
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by prachi xyz - Friday, 9 September 2011, 09:51 PM
 

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 civilization ’s 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 its grave having failed.

(1) One would be wise to be humble.

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

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

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

the answer to it is 1,

sir could u plz explain me why can't 3rd be the answer,evn this is maintaining the continuity and talking abt the crisis.

 

Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Rafa nn - Friday, 21 October 2011, 09:14 AM
  great article...with a few examples u ve given the approach for these kind of qs..better than reading thru all boring coaching class materials...thnks a ton!
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
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Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Ved Prakash Choudhary - Thursday, 19 July 2012, 09:56 AM
  Is 2) the answer to your first question??
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Sirius Black - Monday, 23 July 2012, 02:12 PM
  The answer will be 2nd... the paragraph is about how companies tend to sacrifice expertise for a better team management.. and even if they get mediocre results, they at least get the job done.
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Sirius Black - Monday, 23 July 2012, 02:15 PM
  I would go with 5.
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by deepika sharma - Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 03:48 PM
  nice 1smile
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by neha aggarwal - Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 04:33 PM
  Hi Ma'am, smile

Please help me with this:
Globally, Vision AG competes on the strength of its brand and technology. Paradoxically, both have been its Achilles' Heels in India. Apart from a defunct brand personality, feedback reveals that, functionally, Vision CTVs have lower resistance to voltage-fluctuations, and need strong broadcast signals for visual and audio clarity. Moreover, these CTVs are not strong on sound quality, a major requirement in this entertainment-oriented market. Rectifying these mistakes may take time. __________
    

a) Vision needs to be more aggressive in the market.   
    

b) The odds are stacked against Vision.   
    

c) This will seal the fate of Vision India's fading fortunes.   
    

d) Vision doesn't lack for effort, though.   

Please explain the reason as well..

Thanks,
Neha
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Mohit Sharma - Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 06:44 PM
  Hi Neha,
I would go with 4th option. Cause if we follow the continuity of the paragraph then the last line said that it may take time but vision also dont lack in efforts. First line of the paragraph clearly states that it works on its brand n tech.
Tell me if i m wrng.
Thanks,
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by neha aggarwal - Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 10:35 PM
  Yep you are right..

Thanks..
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by rachit mongia - Thursday, 2 August 2012, 09:20 AM
  I am confused between 3rd and 5th options of the last example.

Please help.
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by himanshu malviya - Sunday, 5 August 2012, 08:25 PM
  my answer is 2 is it right
Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Anuj Asthana - Saturday, 18 August 2012, 12:00 AM
  Dagny Mam

My Answer is 2,

Thanks for such a good post.I got to know where I commit mistakes.


Re: Paragraph Completion Techniques- Tips and Strategies
by Ankita Singh - Thursday, 24 September 2015, 06:20 PM
  hello ..
i had a tint of confusion with the last question and the set of options , u posted..
actually in the last line .. the context is about peace.. (2 continue with the follow) we should be talking about peace in the last line .. which is supposed to b closing the para.
(according 2 me.. )