XAT 2021

Instructions

Read the following passage and answer the three questions that follow.

Considering the multitude of situations in which we humans use numerical information, life without numbers is inconceivable. But what was the benefit of numerical competence for our ancestors, before they became Homo sapiens? Why would animals crunch numbers in the first place? It turns out that processing numbers offers a significant benefit for survival, which is why this behavioural trait is present in many animal populations.

Several studies examining animals in their ecological environments suggest that representing number enhances an animal’s ability to exploit food sources, hunt prey, avoid predation, navigate in its habitat, and persist in social interactions. Before numerically competent animals evolved on the planet, single-celled microscopic bacteria — the oldest living organisms on earth — already exploited quantitative information. The way bacteria make a living is through their consumption of nutrients from their environment. Mostly, they grow and divide themselves to multiply. However, in recent years, microbiologists have discovered they also have a social life and are able to sense the presence or absence of other bacteria; in other words, they can sense the number of bacteria. Take, for example, the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. It has a special property that allows it to produce light through a process called bioluminescence, similar to how fireflies give off light. If these bacteria are in dilute water solutions (where they are alone), they make no light. But when they grow to a certain cell number of bacteria, all of them produce light simultaneously. Therefore, Vibrio fischeri can distinguish when they are alone and when they are together.

Somehow they have to communicate cell number, and it turns out they do this using a chemical language. They secrete communication molecules, and the concentration of these molecules in the water increases in proportion to the cell number. And when this molecule hits a certain amount, called a quorum, it tells the other bacteria how many neighbours there are, and all bacteria glow. This behaviour is called “quorum sensing”: The bacteria vote with signalling molecules, the vote gets counted, and if a certain threshold (the quorum) is reached, every bacterium responds. This behavior is not just an anomaly of Vibrio fischeri; all bacteria use this sort of quorum sensing to communicate their cell number in an indirect way via signalling molecules.

Question 41

Which of the following statements is NOT based on the premises of the passage?

Video Solution
Instructions

For the following questions answer them individually

Question 42

Read the following passage and answer the question that follows.
We can think of the history of life on earth as a vast, long-term experiment in pure competition. Every living organism is competing with all other living organisms for resources (nutrients, sunlight, water, territory, etc.). Nature, or the natural world, is a laboratory of unfettered competition. It’s a dog-eat-dog, no-holds-barred, day-in and day-out struggle.

There are no governmental regulators to protect the weak or favor the strong. All organisms are given a chance, but not necessarily an equal chance. As the climate and the environment change (and change they do), some organisms are favored over others at times, but these advantages are fleeting. What nature gives, nature can take away.

Which of the following can be BEST concluded from the passage?

Video Solution
Instructions

Read the following excerpt and answer the two questions that follow.

Para 1: We plan to right-size our manufacturing operations to align to the new strategy and take advantage of integration opportunities. We expect to focus phone production mainly in Hanoi, with some production to continue in Beijing and Dongguan. We plan to shift other Microsoft manufacturing and repair operations to Manaus and Reynosa respectively, and start a phased exit from Komaron, Hungary.

Para 2: In short, we will focus on driving Lumia volume in the areas where we are already successful today in order to make the market for Windows Phone. With more speed, we will build on our success in the affordable smart phone space with new products offering more differentiation. We’ll focus on acquiring new customers in the markets where Microsoft’s services and products are most concentrated. And, we will continue building momentum around applications.

Para 3: We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12500 factory direct and professional employees over the next year. These decisions are difficult for the team, and we plan to support departing team members with severance benefits.

Question 43

Which of the following can be BEST described as the core message of the excerpt?

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Question 44

In conveying the core message, the Para 2:

Video Solution
Instructions

Read the following poem and answer the two questions that follow.

Sit, drink your coffee here; your work can wait awhile.
You're twenty-six, and still have some of life ahead.
No need for wit; just talk vacuities, and I'll
Reciprocate in kind, or laugh at you instead.

The world is too opaque, distressing and profound.
This twenty minutes' rendezvous will make my day:
To sit here in the sun, with grackles all around,
Staring with beady eyes, and you two feet away.

Question 45

Which of the following BEST captures the essence of the poem?

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Question 46

What does the poet BEST convey by mentioning grackles in these lines, “...with grackles all around, /Staring with beady eyes, and you two feet away.”?

Video Solution
Instructions

Read the following passage and answer the three questions that follow.

Most of recorded human history is one big data gap. Starting with the theory of Man the Hunter, the chroniclers of the past have left little space for women’s role in the evolution of humanity, whether cultural or biological. Instead, the lives of men have been taken to represent those of humans overall. When it comes to the lives of the other half of humanity, there is often nothing but silence.

And these silences are everywhere. Our entire culture is riddled with them. Films, news, literature, science, city planning, economics. The stories we tell ourselves about our past, present and future. They are all marked—disfigured—by a female-shaped ‘absent presence’. This is the gender data gap.

The gender data gap isn’t just about silence. These silences, these gaps, have consequences. They impact on women’s lives every day. The impact can be relatively minor. Shivering in offices set to a male temperature norm, for example, or struggling to reach a top shelf set at a male height norm. Irritating, certainly. Unjust, undoubtedly.

But not life-threatening. Not like crashing in a car whose safety measures don’t account for women’s measurements. Not like having your heart attack go undiagnosed because your symptoms are deemed ‘atypical’. For these women, the consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly.

One of the most important things to say about the gender data gap is that it is not generally malicious, or even deliberate. Quite the opposite. It is simply the product of a way of thinking that has been around for millennia and is therefore a kind of not thinking. A double not thinking, even: men go without saying, and women don’t get said at all. Because when we say human, on the whole, we mean man.

This is not a new observation. Simone de Beauvoir made it most famously when in 1949 she wrote, ‘humanity is male and man defines woman not in herself, but as relative to him; she is not regarded as an autonomous being. [...] He is the Subject, he is the Absolute—she is the Other.’ What is new is the context in which women continue to be ‘the Other’. And that context is a world increasingly reliant on and in thrall to data. Big Data. Which in turn is panned for Big Truths by Big Algorithms, using Big Computers. But when your big data is corrupted by big silences, the truths you get are half-truths, at best. And often, for women, they aren’t true at all. As computer scientists themselves say: ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’

Question 47

Based on the passage, which of the following statements BEST explains “absent presence”?

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Question 48

Based on the passage, which of the following options BEST describes “double not thinking”?

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Question 49

Which of the following statements can be BEST concluded from the passage?

Video Solution
Instructions

Read the following passage and answer the two questions that follow.

And that has to do with the question of uncertainty and doubt. A scientist is never certain. We all know that. We know that all our statements are approximate statements with different degrees of certainty; that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or false but rather how likely it is to be true or false. We must discuss each question within the uncertainties that are allowed. And as evidence grows it increases the probability perhaps that some idea is right or decreases it. But it never makes absolutely certain one way or the other. Now, we have found that this is of paramount importance in order to progress. We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified- how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don’t know what it is all about or what the purpose of the world is or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.

Question 50

What does the author BEST mean when he says, “We must discuss each question within the uncertainties that are allowed?”

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