Question 21

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3 and 4) below, when properly sequenced, would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:

1. The more we are able to accept that our achievements are largely out of our control, the easier it becomes to understand that our failures, and those of others, are too.
2. But the raft of recent books about the limits of merit is an important correction to the arrogance of contemporary entitlement and an opportunity to reassert the importance of luck, or grace, in our thinking.
3. Meritocracy as an organising principle is an inevitable function of a free society, as we are designed to see our achievements as worthy of reward.
4. And that in turn should increase our humility and the respect with which we treat our fellow citizens, helping ultimately to build a more compassionate society.

Correct Answer: 3214


A brief reading of the sentences suggests that the paragraph is about the limits to considering meritocracy as an organising principle in a free society. Statement 3 introduces the topic at hand by stating the inevitability of meritocracy. Statement 2 initiates the main idea by citing the general idea given in recent books about the limits of merit and its applicability. Thus, 3-2 will form a pair.
Statement 1 extends this idea by giving the benefits of understanding the limits, and statement 4 follows this by applying this to build a more compassionate society.

Thus, the correct sequence will be 3-2-1-4.

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