4 Excellent tips to solve para summary questions in CAT VARC

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Para summary in CAT VARC
Para summary in CAT VARC

How to solve Para Summary questions in CAT VARC? Excellent tips

Para Summary questions in CAT VARC, like the Reading Comprehension, also tests one’s comprehension skills. Over the past few years, there have been around three questions that are asked on Para Summary, in the CAT VARC section. The para summary questions will consist of a paragraph and you will need to choose the option that best summarises the given paragraph. Let’s discuss some excellent tips to solve the para summary questions in CAT VARC.

Like in RC’s the key here is to identify the chain of thought. Once the candidate is able to identify the central idea and the chain of thought, finding the right summary is not very tough. To better understand the para summary and answer these questions, read good quality articles, essays or well-written books. The most effective way for a student to improve in the VARC is to practice as many questions as they can. The approach that’s best recommended involves the following steps and is fairly straightforward.

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Also, Try checking out previous year papers of CAT to know about the level of questions that appear in Para Summary in the VARC section.

Tips and Tricks to solve para summary for CAT VARC

Following are some excellent tips that will help you solve the para summary questions:

  • The summary must include the main points of the paragraph. It need not include illustrations of the point or elaborations of it but it MUST always include the main point.
  • Do not get distracted by less important facts in the paragraph. The first thing you must search among the options is whether or not they address the main point of the paragraph
  • A summary should be crisp and to the point. Hence, eliminate options that give too much of irrelevant details

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How to prepare for Para Summary questions:

  • The preparation for summary questions will be the same as for all reading comprehension type question – you need to learn to grasp the gist of the paragraph.
  • To be able to cut to the main point of the paragraph, practice reading and summarizing paragraphs.
  • While summarizing the paragraph try to identify what was the most important point or points of the paragraph. The whole passage would revolve around this point. If an example or illustration is given, it would be an illustration of this main point.
  • Read a lot of articles from various sources, and try to identify the main point of each paragraph and the overall article, the key arguments forwarded and the conclusion of the essay/article.

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Examples- Para summary for CAT VARC

Let’s see some examples to see how to put the tools we discussed to use. Para summary questions for CAT:

From the given options, choose the sentence that summarises the paragraph in the most appropriate way.

Question 1:

Earth day is all about saving the earth. It’s funny how after hundreds or even thousands of years’ worth of human life, we are just starting to care about our earth. I mean maybe it’s because we feel like we are getting crowded here on the earth. The truth is the earth will only get more populated and we do need to change both the way we live and our perspective on our world.
The world is more important than we can imagine. We won’t be able to find another earth we can live on for thousands of years and that’s only if we can make it that long. The sources of energy that are here on the earth are starting to run low. One day there will have to be a change in everything. I just hope that we can be more prepared for that day now.

by: Ricky Haggard

a) People are just starting to care about the earth after thousands of years of human life because the earth is now getting crowded and energy sources are starting to run low. This has to be changed if we are to continue our existence
b) People have realized the importance of earth after hundreds of years of human life. There are many reasons for this and the most important reason is that the earth is getting crowded for the ever-increasing population
c) People have just realized the importance of earth. Hopefully, they will continue to keep its value in mind and prolong the existence of the human race for the next thousand years
d) People have realized the importance of protecting the earth after a lot of struggle. This is important for the survival of the human race because humans cannot survive without energy sources

Solution: 

Answer (A)

The essence of the paragraph is that people are beginning to realize the importance of the earth just now, after thousands of years of human life. This is because the earth is getting crowded and the energy sources are running low. We cannot find another earth and so the way we live on this earth must be changed if we are to continue our existence. Option A, is the best summary of the paragraph. Option B is incorrect because it misses out on one of the reasons. Option C misses out on both the reasons. Option D also misses out on the reason of ‘overcrowding’. Option A is the correct answer.

Check out the previous year papers of CAT to know about the level of questions that appear in Para Summary in the VARC section.

Question 2:

Twice already in his career had Holmes helped him to attain success, his own sole reward being the intellectual joy of the problem. For this reason the affection and respect of the Scotchman for his amateur colleague were profound, and he showed them by the frankness with which he consulted Holmes in every difficulty. Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius, and MacDonald had talent enough for his profession to enable him to perceive that there was no humiliation in seeking the assistance of one who already stood alone in Europe, both in his gifts and in his experience. Holmes was not prone to friendship, but he was tolerant of the big Scotchman, and smiled at the sight of him.

a) The Scotchman was a mediocre person whereas Sherlock Holmes was a talented guy. This realization soon dawned on the Scotchman and he sought Holmes’ assistance in every difficulty thereafter.
b) The Scotchman realized early in his career that Sherlock Holmes was a very talented guy and his assistance would be required to solve difficult cases. So, setting aside humiliation, he sought Holmes’ assistance whenever required.
c) The Scotchman was a talented person. Unlike many mediocre people, who are full of themselves, he realized the unique gifts of Sherlock Holmes and gave him the opportunity to assist him in every difficulty.
d) The Scotchman was talented enough to realize the genius of Sherlock Holmes and seek his assistance in every difficult matter. Holmes, on his part, was satisfied with just the intellectual joy of the problem.

Solution:

Answer (D)

Option A is incorrect. It is mentioned in the paragraph that the Scotchman was a talented guy. Option C talks about the Scotchman ‘giving an opportunity’ to Sherlock Holmes, which is incorrect. Between B and D, option D is a better summary of the paragraph. It covers all the important points mentioned in the paragraph, including the one about Holmes’ reward. Option D is the correct answer.

Question 3:

The village of Birlstone is a small and very ancient cluster of half-timbered cottages on the northern border of the county of Sussex. For centuries it had remained unchanged; but within the last few years its picturesque appearance and situation have attracted a number of well-to-do residents, whose villas peep out from the woods around. These woods are locally supposed to be the extreme fringe of the great Weald forest, which thins away until it reaches the northern chalk downs. A number of small shops have come into being to meet the wants of the increased population; so there seems some prospect that Birlstone may soon grow from an ancient village into a modern town. It is the centre for a considerable area of country, since Tunbridge Wells, the nearest place of importance, is ten or twelve miles to the eastward, over the borders of Kent.

a) There is a bright prospect of Birlstone, a small and ancient village in Sussex, transforming into a modern town because of many people settling there and many small businesses cropping up.
b) There is a bright chance that Birlstone, a small and ancient town in Sussex, will transform into a truly great modern town. This is because many people are opting to settle there and many businesses are being opened to cater to the needs of these people.
c) There is a good chance that the sleepy town of Birlstone will transform into a modern town because of the surge in the number of people opting to settle down in the town in recent years. This may be because of the picturesque locations and the great Weald forest on the border of the town.
d) It is not surprising that the town of Birlstone is transforming into a modern town given its picturesque locations. In recent years, many people have opted to settle there and many small shops have come up to cater to their growing needs.

Solution:

Answer (A)

Option B is incorrect because of the use of the words ‘great modern town’, which is not what the original paragraph conveys. Option C, states that the surge in the number of people might be because of the picturesque locations and the great Weald forest, which is something that is not conveyed in the paragraph. In the passage, it is given that there seems some prospect that Birlstone may soon grow from an ancient village into a modern town. The tone of the author here is that of uncertainty. He is not saying that it’ll become or it is becoming rather the author is saying that there is a prospect that it might. In option D, it is given that the village is transforming which is not what the author is conveying. Thus, option D is incorrect. Option A provides a succinct summary of the paragraph, and hence the correct answer.

The next step is to practice a lot of questions on para summaries. Taking a lot of Mocks for CAT and Sectional tests for CAT will help you to get a hold on the concepts, which you can use to fine tune your test taking strategies. Also, take Free CAT Daily targets, for a rigorous practice on a daily basis.

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