Essence of the passage in CAT 2015
Essence topic surprised many CAT takers with directly 4 questions in CAT 2014 making a comeback for this topic. Similarly in CAT 2015 do expect atleast 2 – 3 or maybe 4 or 5 questions.
Spend 30 mins and solve these 4 questions and you are done with your prep required for Essence Reasoning topic.
Four alternative summaries are given below each text. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the text.
Question 1 Easy to Medium
Physically, inertia is a feeling that you just can’t move; mentally, it is a sluggish mind. Even if you try to be sensitive, if your mind is sluggish, you just don’t feel anything intensely. You may even see a tragedy enacted in front of your eyes and not be able to respond meaningfully. You may see one person exploiting another, one group persecuting another, and not be able to get angry. Your energy is frozen. You are not deliberately refusing to act; you just don’t have the capacity.
A. Inertia makes your body and mind sluggish. They become insensitive to tragedies, exploitation, and persecution because it freezes your energy and decapacitates it.
B. When you have inertia you don’t act although you see one person exploiting another or one group persecuting another. You don’t get angry because you are incapable.
C. Inertia is of two types — physical and mental. Physical inertia restricts bodily movements. Mental inertia prevents mental response to events enacted in front of your eyes.
D. Physical inertia stops your body from moving; mental inertia freezes your energy, and stops your mind from responding meaningfully to events, even tragedies, in front of you..
1. A 2. B 3. C 4. D
In statements A and B, equal weightage has been given to physical and mental inertia, whereas the author has not done so. The author has emphasized mental inertia in the passage. Statement C is too generic. Statement D is more complete. D enlists the part of not reacting to tragedies as well. Thus, it more completely captures the gist of the passage. Hence, the correct answer is option 4
Question 2 Easy to Medium
Try before you buy. We use this memorable saying to urge you to experience the consequences of an alternative before you choose it, whenever this is feasible. If you are considering buying a van after having always owned sedans, rent one for a week or borrow a friend’s. By experiencing the consequences first hand, they become more meaningful. In addition, you are likely to identify consequences you had not even thought of before. May be you will discover that it is difficult to park the van in your small parking space at work, but that, on the other hand, your elderly father has a much easier time getting in and out of it.
A. If you are planning to buy a van after being used to sedans, borrow a van or rent it and try it before deciding to buy it. Then you may realize that parking a van is difficult while it is easier for your elderly father to get in and out of it.
B. Before choosing an alternative, experience its consequences if feasible. If, for example, you want to change from sedans to a van, try one before buying it. You will discover aspects you may never have thought of.
C. Always try before you buy anything. You are bound to discover many consequences. One of the consequences of going in for a van is that it is more difficult to park than sedans at the office car park.
D. We urge you to try products such as vans before buying them. Then you can experience consequences you have not thought of such as parking problems. But your father may find vans more comfortable than cars.
1. A 2.B 3. C 4. D
Using the Van prior to purchase is an example for all things that are supposed to be bought. Statement A does not highlight that. It only talks about the Van. The ‘always’ in statement C cannot be accounted for. “Try when feasible”, the author says. Therefore, there is no place for ‘always’. Statement D is similar to A, in the sense that it is more concerned with the Van than just using it as an example to illustrate a concept.
Statement B has been put forth or worded well. It speaks about the feasibility part and also the part of
experiencing before choosing. Hence, the correct answer is option 2.
Question 3 Medium level
It is important for shipping companies to be clear about the objectives for maintenance and materials management — as to whether the primary focus is on service level improvement or cost minimization. Often when certain systems are set in place, the cost minimization objective and associated procedure become more important than the flexibility required for service level improvement. The problem really arises since cost minimization tends to focus on out of pocket costs which are visible, while the opportunity costs, often greater in value, are lost sight of.
A. Shipping companies have to either minimize costs or maximize service quality. If they focus on cost minimization, they will reduce quality. They should focus on service level improvement, or else opportunity costs will be lost sight of.
B. Shipping companies should determine the primary focus of their maintenance and materials management. Focus on cost minimization may reduce visible costs, but ignore greater invisible costs and impair service quality.
C. Any cost minimization program in shipping is bound to lower the quality of service. Therefore, shipping companies must be clear about the primary focus of their maintenance and materials management before embarking on cost minimization.
D. Shipping companies should focus on quality level improvement rather than cost cutting. Cost cutting will lead to untold opportunity costs. Companies should have systems in place to make the service 1evel flexible.
1. A 2. B 3. C 4. D
Service quality or quality level improvement is not the chief discussion point of the passage. Therefore, we can
do away with statements A and D. The author nowhere says that any cost minimization is bound to lower quality of service. Therefore, statement C can be eliminated as well. Statement B rightly suggests determining the primary focus (clear about objectives). It briefly describes how focus on only cost management and ignoring greater
invisible costs (opportunity costs) would not be effective.
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.
Question 4: Difficult
Some decisions will be fairly obvious — “no-brainers.” Your bank account is low, but you have a two-week vacation coming up and you want to get away to some place warm to relax with your family. Will you accept your in-laws’ offer of free use of their Florida beachfront condo? Sure. You like your employer and feel ready to move forward in your career. Will you step in for your boss for three weeks while she attends a professional development course? Of course.
A. Some decisions are obvious under certain circumstances. You may, for example, readily accept a relative’s offer of free holiday accommodation. Or step in for your boss when she is away.
B. Some decisions are no-brainers. You need not think when making them. Examples are condo offers from in-laws and job offers from bosses when your bank account is low or boss is away.
C. Easy decisions are called “no-brainers” because they do not require any cerebral activity. Examples such as accepting free holiday accommodation abound in our lives.
D. Accepting an offer from in-laws when you are short on funds and want a holiday is a no-brainer. Another no-brainer is taking the boss’s job when she is away.
1. A 2. B 3. C 4. D
Statement D is ruled out because compared to other options it fails to mention which offer of in-laws you will accept. Statement C is ruled out because there is no mention of ‘cerebral activity’ by the author. The author has not scientifically substantiated why some decisions would be no-brainers.
Statement B can be ruled out as well because; there are ‘job offers’ from bosses. Statement A is correct because certain ‘circumstances’ have been pointed out when some decisions are obvious.
Hence, the correct answer is option 1.