Critical Reasoning – Summary based questions

DIRECTIONS for the question 1 to 15: Identify the most appropriate summary for the paragraph and write the key for most appropriate option.
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  1. Eight percent of the Earth's crust is aluminum, and there are hundreds of aluminum-bearing minerals and vast quantities of the rocks that contain them. The best aluminum ore is bauxite, defined as aggregates of aluminous minerals, more or less impure, in which aluminum is present as hydrated oxides. Bauxite is the richest of all those aluminous rocks that occur in large quantities, and it yields alumina, the intermediate product required for the production of aluminum. Alumina also occurs naturally as the mineral corundum, but corundum is not found in large deposits of high purity, and therefore it is an impractical source for making aluminum. Most of the many abundant nonbauxite aluminous minerals are silicates, and, like all silicate minerals, they are refractory, resistant to analysis, and extremely difficult to process.
    Which of the following best summarises the above paragraph?
    1. Talks about the various sources of aluminium in nature, and narrows down on bauxite as the ore from which it is most convenient to extract aluminium.
    2. A mineral must either be alumina or readily supply it in order to be classified as an aluminum ore.
    3. Corundum would be used to produce aluminum if many large deposits of very high quality corundum were to be discovered.
    4. Aluminum silicates are unsuitable alternatives to bauxite because considerably more energy is required to extract alumina from them.
  2. Globalization is one of the great issues facing universities today, particularly in humanities departments. It means different things to different people, but most agree that globalization pluralizes. In the words of Jonathan Arac, globalization "opens up every local, national or regional culture to others and thereby produces 'many worlds'." However, this rapid pluralization is occurring in the age of English, when a single language has achieved a dominance hitherto unknown in world history. As a result, the many worlds opened up by globalization are increasingly likely to be known through that single language alone.
    1. The English language is bound to become more complicated with the coming in a globalized world that heavily promotes a culture of pluralization
    2. Even the English language cannot escape globalization and pluralization
    3. In a globalized world, characterized by pluralization, English assumes an even more significant position as a tool for people to communicate amongst themselves
    4. In a globalized world, English, with its language dominance of the world, is in prime position to become the carrier of local, national and regional cultures across the world
  3. When a man produces a greater quantity of any commodity than he desires for himself, it can only be on one account; namely, that he desires some other commodity which he can obtain in exchange for the surplus of what he himself has produced. It seems hardly necessary to offer any thing in support of so necessary a proposition; it would be inconsistent with the known laws of human nature to suppose, that a man would take the trouble to produce anything without desiring to have anything. If he desires one thing, and produces another, it is only because the thing which he desires can be obtained by means of the thing which he produces, and better obtained, than if he had endeavoured to produce it himself.
    1. The purpose of producing something that is not desired can only to obtain something in exchange.
    2. The purpose of producing something in excess that desired by oneself is to obtain something he desires in exchange for it.
    3. The purpose of producing something that is desired can only to obtain something in exchange that is not desired.
    4. The purpose of producing something is desired is further justified by exchanging it for something is also desired but not produced.
  1. Nothing reveals more explicitly the American middle-class mind than the comic strips, otherwise known as 'funnies', carried every day in the newspapers. A recent piece of the popular Wizard of Id strip has the King of Id enquiring of his minister on measures being taken to discourage the entry of undesirable immigrants. The minister's response is suave: the problem has been taken care of; two billboards have been planted at the frontier; the first one carries the greeting, 'Welcome to Id: 40 per cent unemployment'; the second is even closer to the flesh, "Don't bother, all jobs have been shipped to India."
    1. The middle class in America has a funny way of looking at things and American comic strips reflect the same
    2. The middle class American only finds in comedy reprieve from the problems of his daily life
    3. The middle class American is tired of losing jobs and is using billboards to reflect his anger and resentment at the way things are being done
    4. The middle class American is not too happy with its current economic state and comic forms of expression in society reflect the same
  2. Failure is like the original sin in the biblical narrative: everyone has it. Regardless of class, caste, race, or gender, we are all born to fail, we practise failure for as long as we live, and pass it on to others. Just like sin, failure can be disgraceful, shameful and embarrassing to admit. And did I mention ugly? Failure is also ugly ugly as sin, as they say. For all its universality, however, failure is under-studied, when not simply neglected. It's as if even the idea of looking at failure more closely makes us uneasy; we don't want to touch it for fear of contagion.
    1. Failure, though to be avoided at all costs, is something that is essentially ugly and disruptive for ones life.
    2. Failure, because of its inherest trappings, is something that we avoid.
    3. Failure, hard to digest and even harder to accept, is simply not understood very well.
    4. Failure, with all its negative implications and outcomes, is a subject avoided because of the fear it generates.
  3. Reading is thinking with someone else's head instead of one's own. But to think for oneself is to endeavour to develop a coherent whole, a system, even if it is not a strictly complete one. Nothing is more harmful than, by dint of continual reading, to strengthen the current of other people's thoughts. These thoughts, springing from different minds, belonging to different systems, bearing different colours, never flow together of themselves into a unity of thought, knowledge, insight, or conviction, but rather cram the head with a Babylonian confusion of tongues; consequently the mind becomes overcharged with them and is deprived of all clear insight and almost disorganised. This condition of things may often be discerned in many men of learning, and it makes them inferior in sound understanding, correct judgment, and practical tact to many illiterate men, who, by the aid of experience, conversation, and a little reading, have acquired a little knowledge from without, and made it always subordinate to and incorporated it with their own thoughts.
    1. Illiterate men are wiser than the well-read men
    2. Reading may actually be one of the evils that ail this world
    3. Reading, when done a certain way, may actually cause harm
    4. Reading leads to subversion of thoughts
  4. Business and economics are tied up together in lots of people's minds. After all, they're both about money, aren't they? An awful lot of people seem to believe that economics is Big Business and business is small economics. The failure to keep the two apart leads to some bizarre misconceptions in the popular understanding. For example the idea that countries are businesses in competition with each other, or that business is about self-serving greed and economics is the soulless science of large scale greed. Business is the art of commerce. Economics is the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Just from the definitions we can immediately see one clear difference. Economics concerns systems and general principles and is therefore a theoretical subject eminently suitable for academic study in a university, while business is a practical craft that does not belong there.
    1. Business and economics are majorly overlapping terms with minor distinctions.
    2. Business and economics are mildly overlapping terms with major distinctions.
    3. Business and economics are two terms completely unrelated to each other.
    4. Business and economics are two terms not only completely unrelated but also completely misunderstood.
  5. In the 1990s, the Labour party could plausibly offer positive-sum redistribution and could therefore please both left and right. Take for example expanding higher education. This was leftist - because a higher supply of graduates would bid down the graduate premium and hence help reduce inequality. But it was also rightist because it improved skills and opportunity. Or take tax credits and minimum wages. These were leftist because they reduced poverty, but also rightist because they encouraged work. Similarly, the promise of policy stability was intended both to please business and to encourage job creation. Such policies were centrist, vote-winning and (within limits) reasonable economics.
    1. The Labour party of the 1990s was cunning and manipulative.
    2. The Labour party of the 1990s was hamstrung and in effect, centrist.
    3. The Labour party of the 1990s was effective by being equivocal.
    4. The Labour party of the 1990s was confused itself and acted in a non-committal manner.
  6. What is the object of medical education? It is to enable the practitioner, on the one hand, to prevent disease by his knowledge of hygiene; on the other hand, to divine its nature, and to alleviate or cure it, by his knowledge of pathology, therapeutics, and practical medicine. That is his business in life, and if he has not a thorough and practical knowledge of the conditions of health, of the causes which tend to the establishment of disease, of the meaning of symptoms, and of the uses of medicines and operative appliances, he is incompetent, even if he were the best anatomist, or physiologist, or chemist, that ever took a gold medal or won a prize certificate. This is one great truth respecting medical education.
    1. Medical science is not as simple as it seems and it poses the intricate challenge of being able to identify, prevent and cure diseases to the medical practitioner
    2. Medical practice is a simple science dealing with the identification, prevention and cure of diseases and doctors often forget this simple precept
    3. Practitioner of medicine need not focus on individual gains as long as they are able to expel diseases from their very root of existence
    4. Prevention and alleviation of diseases are the two holistic measures that drive the efficacy of a practitioner of medicine
  7. One of the most popular, enduring, and irritating myths about depression is that it means depressed people are sad all the time – and that by extension, people who are happy can’t be experiencing depression, even if they say they are. It is a skewed and horrible version of depression, and it’s one that further stigmatises the condition and isolates people with depression and related mental health conditions. This is because, put bluntly, depression doesn’t make you sad all the time – though the level of sadness a patient experiences can of course vary depending on the individual and the severity of depression.
    Which, out of the following, does not represent an apt summary for the paragraph?
    1. Filtering depression through one lens is fraught with danger
    2. Unilateral understanding depression is not the correct way of approaching it
    3. Straightjacket evaluation of depression is risqué
    4. Singular understanding of depression is erroneous
  8. Feminists insist that the more women, people of color and LGBT individuals are visible, the better off – and more egalitarian – the world will be. But is simple representation the best answer to sexism? Women are still scarce in many places of power: there’s a dearth of women in Congress, a lack of female experts on the Sunday morning talk shows and a shortage of women CEOs, law partners and bylined reporters. The push for eventual parity, however, often means that the first women in traditionally male spaces – be it politics, gaming or even firefighting – are saddled with the responsibility of taking abuse until a critical mass is reached and (hopefully) the culture shifts, and of making that space more woman-friendly.
    1. Increased representation, coupled with actual on the ground parity, is the way forward in order to ensure that the world adopts a more women-friendly approach
    2. An increase in representation at places that matter is of greater consequence than a simple increase in numbers when it comes to deciding the power of women in society
    3. A simple increase in representation of women might actually be a misleading criterion in order to judge the actual role of women in society
    4. An increase in representation of women in various places , in conjunction with greater authority in roles of power, is required to end discrimination against women
  9. If you still think 2008 and the financial crisis changed everything, still think of it as a progressive triumph, think again. Instead of the brave new world of reformed finance, what’s been created in the US is something close to a perfect world, policy-wise, for the plutocrats. The biggest rewards have come from an economic policy, backed by the Federal Reserve and the administration, that has maintained ultra-low interest rates. This has forced investors into the market, at the expense of middle-class savers, particularly the elderly. The steady supply of bond purchases has essentially given free money to those least in need and most likely to do damage to everyone else. The results make a mockery of the Democrats’ attempts to stoke populist sentiments. In this recovery, the top 1% gained 11% in their incomes while the other 99% experienced, at best, stagnant incomes. As one writer at the Huffington Post put it: “The rising tide has lifted fewer boats during the Obama years – and the ones it’s lifted have been mostly yachts.”
    1. Post the financial crises of 2008, plutocrats have found renewed strength with the help of the government and have managed to offset the heavy losses they suffered
    2. Post the significant financial crises of 2008, the US financial world and administration has cleverly manipulated the context and ensured that those who not deserve any help get the maximum possible aid
    3. In a post-crises scenario, the US financial world and administration has belied expectations by continuing profligate measures of the past
    4. In a post 2008 financial crises scenario, the US financial world and administration has cleverly managed to run an agenda that actually helps those who do not need help, and does not get rid of malice of the financial world it was supposed to
  10. Experts have long recognized the perils of biological and cultural extinctions. But they’ve only just begun to see them as different facets of the same phenomenon, and to tease out the myriad ways in which social and natural systems interact. Catalyzed in part by the urgency that climate change has brought to all matters environmental, two progressive movements, incubating already for decades, have recently emerged into fuller view. Joining natural and social scientists from a wide range of disciplines and policy arenas, these initiatives are today working to connect the dots between ethnosphere and biosphere in a way that is rapidly leaving behind old unilateral approaches to conservation. Efforts to stanch extinctions of linguistic, cultural, and biological life have yielded a “biocultural” perspective that integrates the three. Efforts to understand the value of diversity in a complex systems framework have matured into a science of “resilience.”
    1. The long established need of dealing with biological and cultural extinctions unilaterally has finally been met with a common framework having evolved that deals with extinction issues by using the science of resilience
    2. The coming together of natural and social scientists has been finally able to evolve a viewpoint that necessitates the use of the science of resilience to deal with issues of biological and cultural extinctions
    3. The assimilation of the biological and cultural viewpoint on extinction, exacerbated by global warming, has brought about an integrated viewpoint to deal with the serious conservation issues
    4. The gradual merger of the biological and cultural viewpoint on extinction has lead to a situation where a homogeneity of thought has evolved on dealing with all issues related to the ethnosphere and biosphere
  11. Sport is interesting because people take sport more seriously than religion. Sport is the last bastion of our nature as human animals. It's a combat between human animals displaying their genetic fitness. And people don't like cheating because it goes against everything that we needed as animals, that was an accurate display of people's genetic potential. That's why you want to find out who is naturally the fastest runner in the world, not the person who can run the fastest with the assistance of technology, but who was just born with the best genes. So in fact, it;'s profoundly just what the Nazis would've admired" the strongest, the fittest, the most beautiful.
    1. sports is the driver of our genetic instincts
    2. sports is the gateway to our genetic ancestry
    3. sports defines our genetic connect and potential
    4. sports allows us to connect with our deeper genetic responses
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  13. In Shakuntala (classic Sanskrit's greatest play), the tragic part is in the middle but it all ends well. Mahabharata has tragic parts but it also ends well. There is no inevitability of tragedy that you can get in Greek drama, that sort of thing we have never had. That does not mean we don't have tragedy. And we do have audiences that love tragedy but there are regional variations. I can give you all excellent example. For instance, there was a time in the south when they had a film made in Tamil and Malayalam. Same film. The film made in Kerala would have a tragic ending. The film released in Tamil Nadu had a happy ending. It was felt the people in Kerala liked tragic endings. They thought tragic endings were far more entertaining and satisfying than happy ones. There were many explanations given such as in Kerala there is a very high level of literacy (almost 100% by now).
    Which of the following best summarises the given paragraph?
    1. Tamil and Malayalam audience have contrasting preferences with reference to ending of a movie due to cultural reasons
    2. Even today, Indians are not always comfortable with a film that ends tragically.
    3. Indian drama has a rich cultural legacy spanning centuries as is the case with Greek drama
    4. Literacy rates determine the audience’s taste and preference with regards to films
Paragraph Summary
1. A The passage is talking about aluminium ores. It says that corundum is the best ore – but it is not found extensively. It goes on to recommend bauxite over silicates. These hydrated oxides are first converted to alumina – which is then smelted to form aluminum.
2 – is correct, but it is only talking about an intermediate step.
3 – is a hypothesis which is not stated in the passage.
4 – is true, but very specific as it does not talk about bauxite.
2. D This is where you need to be careful about the context of the given paragraph. Remember the key concepts in the paragraph are:
globalization and pluralization
opening up every local, national or regional culture
role of English as a global language (many worlds opened up by globalization are increasingly likely to be known through that single language alone.)
Keeping this in mind, we can see that option 4 is the apt answer here.
Option 1 highlights a negative not mentioned in the paragraph.
The paragraph does not talk about English escaping anything, hence, option 2 is rejected.
Option 3 is incorrect as English as a tool for communication is a narrow sentiment and the passage adopts a much broader outlook.
3. B Options 1 and 4 are illogical in the given case.
 refer to the lines: When a man produces a greater quantity of any commodity than he desires for himself, it can only be on one account; namely, that he desires some other commodity which he can obtain in exchange for the surplus of what he himself has produced.
Option 2 is the perfect summary derived from the above lines.
Remember, the focus in the paragraph is on producing something extra for exchanging something; not just simply producing something. This makes option 2 the answer and helps us rule out option 3.
4. D The choice in this case is between option 3 and 4. If you read the two options closely, you will see that the two options represent similar ideas, though they adopt slightly different ways to portray the same. Option 4 is far more inclusive in its ambit as it talks of the general economic climate whereas option 3 only talks of unemployment. Which is the more apt choice? In this case, option 4 represents the more general of the two answers and fits the context better. Also, option 3 adopts a harsher tone than required.
5. D The only option that provides the complete picture and takes care of the two important aspects of the paragraph is option 4. Yes, failure is ugly but it is also something which is not looked at closely (last line of the paragraph). This sentiment finds a mention only in option 4.
6. C In the given case, 3 options can be clubbed in the ‘extreme’ category: option 1, 2 and 4. Each of these options is too extreme (even though you might find the odd line to support these ideas) and presents scenarios which are lopsided. Remember this line from the paragraph: Nothing is more harmful than, by dint of continual reading, to strengthen the current of other people's thoughts.
This is the case the author is worried about (one of the outcomes of reading) and this is when reading is harmful. This is only one situation under which reading is harmful and this makes option 3 the best answer in the given case.
7. B What we need to decide is whether business and economics have some relation (minor) or not. From the given context, we can see that business and economics refer to two dimensions of the same: one is theoretical and the other is practical. Though different, a minor relation between the two can be deduced. In the given case, it is clear that option 1 cannot be the answer rather 2 is most appropriate. Option 4 might confuse you but its extreme nature makes it incorrect. The option states that the two are completely unrelated and completely misunderstood; this is an extreme sentiment we cannot derive from the context as statement ' After all, they're both about money, aren't they?' states the similarity.
8. C The given paragraph tells us one thing: how the Labour party acted in the 1990s, and how it used the centrist viewpoints to win both sides of the political spectrum. By using measures that were sold to both the left and the right, the Labour party was able to win favour with the voters. This sentiment is best reflected in option 3, which points out that the Labour party was effective by not taking extreme viewpoints and adopting an equivocal stance (synonymous with the centrist viewpoint mentioned in the paragraph).
9. D In the given paragraph, the author of the passage just emphasis one simple point: a medical practitioner should be able to identify and cure diseases; this is the only consideration of the author of the passage. Which option only focuses on this element? Option 4. The other options commit the following mistakes:
Option 1: the author does not state medical science to be complicated.
Option 2: the author does not say anything about doctors forgetting the basic precept.
Option 3:  the author does not focus on individual gains.
10. C The first thing you need to notice about the question: it asks you which of the following is not an apt summary for the paragraph. So be careful about this little fact. Secondly, options 1, 2 and 4 are similar in nature, each pointing out the fact that depression cannot be viewed through a singular lens. Option 3 is the correct answer and in order to identify this, you need to know the meaning of the word risqué: Suggestive of sexual impropriety. These clearly does not fit in the given case. Risqué does not mean risky.
11. D Option 4 is the apt answer in the given case. It contains all the points in the passage. Remember, the subject of the passage is sexism (discriminatory or abusive behaviour towards members of the opposite sex) and this only finds a mention in option 4. Option 1, though close to option 4, leaves out the sexism bit and rather places focus on 'women friendly approach'. This is clearly not mentioned in the passage.
Option 2 only picks up one point of the passage. Option 3 again only analyses the given issue from one perspective and misses the main point. Also, the phrase 'actual role of women in society' is ambiguous in the given context.
12. D Option 4 is the best answer.
In this question, you need to carefully evaluate the options and identify the one which is most applicable in the given case:
Option 1: too strong an option; losses of plutocrats not mentioned.
Option 2: the paragraph does not mention maximum possible help to any particular group
Option 3: the paragraph does not mention that measures of the past have been continued
Option 4: this is the apt choice which highlights the significant points of the paragraph.
13. C The key to this question is the meaning of the word ‘exacerbated’ in option 3. It means ‘make worse’. Option three essentially talks about how the coming together of viewpoints has lead to common approach to deal with conservation issues. This is the central viewpoint of the author of the passage as well.
Option 1 incorrectly highlights a ‘long established need’. This is not mentioned in the passage.
Option 2 emphasis the scientists and the science of resilience yet misses out the major points.
Option 4 talks about ‘all issues related to the ethnosphere and biosphere’. This is an extreme viewpoint not expressed by the paragraph.
14. D The author of the paragraph illustrates how sports is actually of our past and how it reflects the combat that used to take place between human animals. It is a reflection out of genetic fitness. Keeping these sentiments in mind, we can see that option 4 is the best fit in the given case.
15. B Usually Indian movies tend to have a happy ending. In fact the trend mentioned with reference to Malayalam cinema is an aberration possibly attributable to the higher literacy rates prevalent in the society.
1 – They do have contrasting preferences but it is possibly driven by higher literacy rates in Kerala. Further it is an aberration and not the central theme of the passage.
3 – The statement is factually correct – dramas like Shakuntala and Iliad & Odyssey were written around 7th century BC. However this is not the central idea of the passage.
4 – The statement is a possible explanation as to why the audiences of Malayalam movies have a preference for tragedies. It is not the central statement of the passage.
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