How to Effectively Tackle Sentence Exclusion in CAT Exam?

Thursday, January 30th, 2020


How to Effectively Tackle Sentence Exclusion

Sentence Exclusion or the Odd sentence out of the paragraph question type has been recently introduced in the CAT and has been a regular feature since. In this question type, a paragraph consisting of 5 sentences is given in an unorganized sequence in which one sentence is logically out of sync with the rest of the sentences. The test taker will have to identify this ‘odd’ sentence.

Below are listed four different methods of solving Odd sentence out of the paragraph question types. The method I is a quick method suited for solving simpler questions in which one sentence can be positively identified to be visibly different in theme and method II is for more difficult questions in which all the five sentences appear to be on the same theme. Methods III and IV are suited for all questions.

Method I:

Identify the sentence in the paragraph that is thematically different from the others.

Example 1:

  1. When SARS began to spread, the tools scientists needed were much less mature, including the basic infrastructure for sharing results rapidly so anyone could build on them.
  2. That precious bit of data, freely available to any researcher who wanted to study it, unleashed a massive collaborative effort to understand the mysterious new pathogen, coronavirus that has been rapidly spreading in China and beyond.
  3. By Saturday morning, Andrew Mesecar, a professor of cancer structural biology at Purdue University, had redirected his laboratory to start analyzing the DNA sequence of the coronavirus, which bore a striking resemblance to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the 2002 viral outbreak that sickened more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800.
  4. The genome of the coronavirus was posted on a Friday night on an open-access repository for genetic information.
  5. Just 10 days after a pneumonia-like illness was first reported among people who visited a seafood market in Wuhan, China, scientists released the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that sickened them.

Explanation: Read the sentences carefully. The paragraph is not talking about the SARS syndrome but a new disease in China named the coronavirus which bears a ‘striking resemblance’ to SARS. Therefore, sentence 1, which talks exclusively about SARS – which is a different disease – is the odd sentence out of the paragraph. All the other sentences relate to the new coronavirus.

However, what if all the sentences in a paragraph are on the same theme? Most CAT questions fall into this category and simply looking for a thematically different sentence may not be possible. In this case, one has no option but to apply the principles mentioned below in Method II.

Method II:

Step 1 – Who/What is being talked about?

Step 2 – What about the Who/What is being talked about?

 Method II is useful for solving sentences that appear to be on the same theme with no digressions.

Example 2:

  1. While that’s a dramatic fall from a generation ago, when about 97% of livestock were raised in traditional conditions, it trails countries like the U.S. and Europe, where 95% or more of pigs and poultry are raised in so-called “intensive systems” — in common parlance, factory farms.
  2. When you consider how China feeds itself, though, it’s still just catching up.
  3. That transition is likely to be a major factor in the spread of new diseases such as the coronavirus, which has killed 17 people since it was first detected last month in Wuhan.
  4. About 44% of the country’s livestock in 2010 were still raised in backyards and traditional mixed farms, where they mingle with crops and other animals.
  5. With the world’s largest high-speed rail network, a payments system that’s largely conducted via phone apps, and half the world’s solar-power plants, China often looks like a country at the technological frontier.

Explanation: Applying the Who/What principle outlined in method II we get:

[1] is about China which is trailing behind US and Europe in factory farms.

[2] is also about China which is behind other countries in feeding itself.

[3] is also about China and its transition to factory farming from traditional farming is likely to cause the spread of new diseases.

[4] is also about China and a large percentage of its livestock (44%) are not factory farmed but raised in backyards and traditional farms.

[5] is also about China and its place in the world as a country at the technological frontier.

It is clear that sentence 1-4 are about China’s backwardness in farming especially in factory farming as compared to the US and Europe while sentence 5 is about China being at the technological frontier. Therefore, sentence 5 is the odd sentence out of the paragraph as it does not sync with the ‘backwardness’ of China in farming and its consequences as do sentences 1-4.

Online Coaching Course for CAT 2020

a) 900+ Videos covering entire CAT syllabus
b) 2 Live Classes (online) every week for doubt clarification
c) Study Material & PDFs for practice and understanding
d) 10 Mock Tests in the latest pattern
e) Previous Year Questions solved on video


Example 3:

  1. Its presence is implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen.
  2. Dark matter is a form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total energy density.
  3. The first to suggest the existence of dark matter, using stellar velocities, was Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn in 1922.
  4. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and that it has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution.
  5. Dark matter is called dark because it does not appear to interact with observable electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and so it is undetectable by existing astronomical instruments.

Explanation: Applying the Who/What principle outlined in method II we get:

[1] is about Dark Matter and the reasons for which it is implied that there is dark matter in the universe.

[2] is about dark matter and the fact that it accounts for 85% of the matter in the universe.

[3] is about the first person to suggest the existence of dark matter.

[4] is about dark matter and the fact that it is abundant in the universe.

[5] is also about dark matter and the reasons it is called dark.

Sentences 1,2,4 and 5 are not about the existence of dark matter at all but are about the abundance of dark matter in the universe and the reason as to why it is called dark. Sentence [3] is about the first person to suggest the existence of dark matter which is not the theme of the other four sentences. Therefore, sentence 3 is the odd sentence out of the paragraph.

Odd sentence out of the paragraph questions can also be solved by using the same method one applies in order to solve Jumbled Paragraph questions. The student will have to logically rearrange the sentences to form a coherent paragraph and the sentence which links logically with only one other sentence and is on a different theme or subject is the odd sentence.

Method III:

Solve the example below by rearranging the sentences into a coherent paragraph and identify the sentence which links logically with only one other sentence and is on a different theme or subject.

Example:

Let us try and solve example 2 again by rearranging the sentences logically and selecting the sentence that is out of sync.

  1. While that’s a dramatic fall from a generation ago, when about 97% of livestock were raised in traditional conditions, it trails countries like the U.S. and Europe, where 95% or more of pigs and poultry are raised in so-called “intensive systems” — in common parlance, factory farms.
  2. When you consider how China feeds itself, though, it’s still just catching up.
  3. That transition is likely to be a major factor in the spread of new diseases such as the coronavirus, which has killed 17 people since it was first detected last month in Wuhan.
  4. About 44% of the country’s livestock in 2010 were still raised in backyards and traditional mixed farms, where they mingle with crops and other animals.
  5. With the world’s largest high-speed rail network, a payments system that’s largely conducted via phone apps, and half the world’s solar-power plants, China often looks like a country at the technological frontier.

Explanation: DA are a pair. D mentions that 44% of livestock are raised traditionally while A goes on to add that this figure is a dramatic fall from a generation ago when the livestock raised from traditional farming was 97%.

EB are a pair since E talks about China’s advance as a technologically frontier nation while B adds that when it comes to feeding itself though – it is still catching up.

C follows A with the ‘transition’ from traditional raising of livestock to factory farming causing the spread of new diseases. C concludes the paragraph.

Thus, the sequence is EBDAC.

Among the two pairs, DA and EB, both the sentences in D and A are on the same subject – traditional methods of livestock farming. In the EB pair, E is about China being an advanced nation technologically while B is about China still having to catch up as far as modern factory farming methods are concerned. Since E can link logically only with B and is on a different subject to sentence B – technologically advanced country – E is the odd sentence out of the paragraph.

But what if one sentence in the question will not link logically with any other sentence of the paragraph? The student is advised to rearrange the sentences logically as if it was a Jumbled paragraph question and select the sentence which does not link logically with ANY of the other sentences.

Method IV:

Rearrange the sentences to form a coherent paragraph and identify the sentence which does not link logically with the other sentences of the paragraph.

Example:

Let us try and solve example 3 again by rearranging the sentences logically and selecting the sentence that is out of sync.

  1. Its presence is implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen.
  2. Dark matter is a form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about a quarter of its total energy density.
  3. The first to suggest the existence of dark matter, using stellar velocities, was Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn in 1922.
  4. For this reason, most experts think that dark matter is abundant in the universe and that it has had a strong influence on its structure and evolution.
  5. Dark matter is called dark because it does not appear to interact with observable electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and so it is undetectable by existing astronomical instruments.

Explanation: Using method IV we get:

B is the introductory sentence and BA is a pair. B introduces ‘dark matter’ and A with ‘Its’ goes on to add how dark matter’s presence is implied.

AD is also a logical pair. A mentions the fact that dark matter’s presence is ‘implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained by accepted theories of gravity unless more matter is present than can be seen.’ D with ‘For this reason’ goes on to add that therefore the dark matter is abundant in the universe.

E follows D by stating the reason as to why dark matter is called dark.

Sentence C does not link with any of the sentences in the paragraph since it mentions the ‘existence’ of dark matter and the name of the person who first suggested it. The other four sentences are about the ‘presence’ of dark matter, its abundance and the reason as to why it is called dark.

Since sentence C does not link logically with the other sentences after rearrangement it is the odd sentence out of the paragraph. 

Students are advised to practice solving a lot of Sentence Exclusion questions using the different methods that have been outlined above before honing in on the method one finds best suited for solving this question type. Instead of looking for short cut methods in solving Sentence Exclusion questions, it would be better to increase one’s aptitude in solving this type of question. This can only be brought about by hard work and diligent practice.

Online Coaching Course for CAT 2020

a) 900+ Videos covering entire CAT syllabus
b) 2 Live Classes (online) every week for doubt clarification
c) Study Material & PDFs for practice and understanding
d) 10 Mock Tests in the latest pattern
e) Previous Year Questions solved on video


If you Like this post then share it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.