XAT 2015


For the following questions answer them individually

Question 11

Read the following statements carefully:
Statement 1 : If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present.
Statement 2 : Murali did not work as hard as his friends but had secured 1st rank in the examination
Which of the following options is correct with respect to the above two statements?

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Analyse the following passage and provide appropriate answers for questions that follow.

The understanding that the brain has areas of specialization has brought with it the tendency to teach in ways that reflect these specialized functions. For example, research concerning the specialized functions of the left and right hemispheres has led to left and right hemisphere teaching. Recent research suggests that such an approach neither reflects how the brain learns, nor how it functions once learning has occurred. To the contrary, in most ‘higher vertebrates’ brain systems interact together as a whole brain with the external world. Learning is about making connections within the brain and between the brain and outside world.

What does this mean? Until recently, the idea that the neural basis for learning resided in connections between neurons remained a speculation. Now, there is direct evidence that when learning occurs, neuro – chemical communication between neurons is facilitated, and less input is required to activate established connections over time. This evidence also indicates that learning creates connections between not only adjacent neurons but also between distant neurons, and that connections are made from simple circuits to complex ones and from complex circuits to simple ones

As connections are formed among adjacent neurons to form circuits, connections also begin to form with neurons in other regions of the brain that are associated with visual, tactile, and even olfactory information related to the sound of the word. Meaning is attributed to ‘sounds of words’ because of these connections. Some of the brain sites for these other neurons are far from the neural circuits that correspond to the component sounds of the words; they include sites in other areas of the left hemisphere and even sites in the right hemisphere. The whole complex of interconnected neurons that are activated by the word is called a neural network.

In early stages of learning, neural circuits are activated piecemeal, incompletely, and weakly. It is like getting a glimpse of a partially exposed and blurry picture. With more experience, practice, and exposure, the picture becomes clearer and more detailed. As the exposure is repeated, less input is needed to activate the entire network. With time, activation and recognition become relatively automatic, and the learner can direct her attention to other parts of the task. This also explains why learning takes time. Time is needed to establish new neutral networks and connections between networks. Thi suggests that the neutral mechanism for learning is essentially the same as the products of learning. Learning is a process that establishes new connections among networks. The newly acquired skills or knowledge are nothing but formation of neutral circuits and networks.

Question 12

It can be inferred that, for a nursery student, learning will ...

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Question 13

Read the following statements and answer the question that follows.
I. The two hemispheres of the brain are responsible for learning autonomously.
II. Simultaneous activation of circuits can take place in different areas of the brain.
III. There are specific regions of the brain associated with sight, touch and smell.
IV. The brain receives inputs from multiple external sources.
V. Learning is not the result of connections between neurons.

Which of the above statements are consistent with ideas expressed in the passage?

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Question 14

Which of the following proverbs best describes the passage?

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Question 15

A father and son aged 60 and 25 respectively, have been learning paragliding for quite some time. Based on the passage above, which of the following would be true?

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Analyse the following passage and provide appropriate answers for questions that follow.

Certain variants of key behavioural genes, “risk allele” make people more vulnerable to certain mood, psychiatric, or personality disorders. An allele is any of the variants of a gene that takes more than one form. A risk allele, then, is simply a gene variant that increases your likelihood of developing a problem.

Researchers have identified a dozen - odd gene variants that can increase a person’s susceptibility to depression, anxiety and antisocial, sociopathic, or violent behaviours, and other problems - if, and only if, the person carrying the variant suffers a traumatic or stressful childhood or faces particularly trying experiences later in life. This hypothesis, often called the “stress diathesis” or “genetic vulnerability” model, has come to saturate psychiatry and behavioural science.

Recently, however, an alternate hypothesis has emerged from this one and is turning it inside out. This new model suggests that it’s a mistake to understand these “risk” genes only as liabilities. According to this new thinking, these “bad genes” can create dysfunctions in unfavourable contexts - but they can also enhance function in favourable contexts. The genetic sensitivities to negative experience that the vulnerability hypothesis has identified, it follows, are just the downside of a bigger phenomenon: a heightened genetic sensitivity to all experience.

This hypothesis has been anticipated by Swedish folk wisdom which has long spoken of “dandelion” children. These dandelion children - equivalent to our “normal” or “healthy” children, with “resilient” genes - do pretty well almost anywhere, whether raised in the equivalent of a sidewalk crack or well - tended garden. There are also “orchid” children, who will wilt if ignored or maltreated but bloom spectacularly with greenhouse care. According to this orchid hypothesis, risk becomes possibility; vulnerability becomes plasticity and responsiveness. Gene variants generally considered misfortunes can instead now be understood as highly leveraged evolutionary bets, with both high risks and high potential rewards.

In this view, having both dandelion and orchid kids greatly raises a family’s (and a species’) chance of succeeding, over time and in any given environment. The behavioural diversity provided by these two different types of temperament also supplies precisely what a smart, strong species needs if it is to spread across and dominate a changing world. The many dandelions in a population provide an underlying stability. The less - numerous orchids, meanwhile, may falter in some environments but can excel in those that suit them. And even when they lead troubled early lives, some of the resulting heightened responses to adversity that can be problematic in everyday life - increased novelty - seeking, restlessness of attention, elevated risk - taking, or aggression - can prove advantageous in certain challenging situations: wars, social strife of many kinds, and migrations to new environments. Together, the steady dandelions and the mercurial orchids offer an adaptive flexibility that neither can provide alone. Together, they open a path to otherwise unreachable individual and collective achievements.

Question 16

The passage suggests ‘orchids’:

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Question 17

Which of the following statements correctly echoes the author’s view?

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Question 18

The word ‘diathesis’ means:

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Question 19

Mr. Good and Mr. Evil were batch - mates during the college. Five years after graduating, Mr.Evil was put behind bars for financial fraud while Mr. Good was running a successful NGO, working for orphans. Mr. Good was raised in a protective environment while Mr. Evil was a self - made man. Based on the above information, which of the following statements is definitely correct ?

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Analyse the following passage and provide appropriate answers for questions that follow.

Alone – he was alone again – again condemned to silence – again face to face with nothingness! Alone! – never again to see the face, never again to hear the voice of the only human being who united him to earth! Was not Faria’s fate the better, after all – to solve the problem of life at its source, even at the risk of horrible suffering? The idea of suicide, which his friend had driven away and kept away by his cheerful presence, now hovered like a phantom over the abbe’s dead body.

“If I could die,” he said, “I should go where he goes, and should assuredly find him again. But how to die? It is very easy,” he went on with a smile; “I will remain here, rush on the first person that opens the door, strangle him, and then they will guillotine me.” But excessive grief is like a storm at sea, where the frail bark is tossed from the depths to the top of the wave. Dantes recoiled from the idea of so infamous a death, and passed suddenly from despair to an ardent desire for life and liberty.

“Die? Oh, no,” he exclaimed – “not die now, after having lived and suffered so long and so much! Die? yes, had I died years ago; but now to die would be, indeed, to give way to the sarcasm of destiny. No, I want to live; I shall struggle to the very last; I will yet win back the happiness of which I have been deprived. Before I die I must not forget that I have my executioners to punish, and perhaps, too, who knows, some friends to reward. Yet they will forget me here, and I shall die in my dungeon like Faria, ” As he said this, he became silent and gazed straight before him like one overwhelmed with a strange and amazing thought. Suddenly he arose, lifted his hand to his brow as if his brain were giddy, paced twice or thrice round the dungeon, and then paused abruptly by the bed.

“Just God!” he muttered, “whence comes this thought? Is it from thee? Since none but the dead pass freely from this dungeon, let me take the place of the dead!” Without giving himself time to reconsider his decision, and , indeed, that he might not allow his thoughts to be distracted from his desperate resolution, he bent over the appalling shroud, opened it with the knife which Faria had made, drew the corpse from the sack, and bore it along the tunnel to his own chamber, laid it on his couch, tied around its head the rag he wore at night around his own, covered it with his counterpane, once again kissed the ice - cold brow, and tried vainly to close the resisting eyes, which glared horribly, turned the head towards the wall, so that the jailer might, when he brought the evening meal, believe that he was asleep, as was his frequent custom; entered the tunnel again, drew the bed against the wall, returned to the other cell,
took from the hiding – place the needle and thread, flung off his rags, that they might feel only naked flesh beneath the coarse canvas, and getting inside the sack, placed himself in the posture in which the dead body had been laid, and sewed up the mouth of the sack from the inside.

Question 20

How was the protagonist planning to resolve his problem?

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