CAT 2017 – Questions With Possible Issues
Slot – 1 (2 questions)
5 has to start the passage as all the other sentences have a reference to some thing mentioned in earler sentences - 'The study' in 1, 'The oldest sample' in 2, 'The ages of the skeletons' in 3 and “'In the analysis....' from 4.
5 can be followed by 4 as there is a direct reference to DNA. 4 is also talking about the analysis of skeletons mentioned in 5.
1 can also be looked at to follow 5. However, 'The study' mentioned in 1 has to be mentioned in any of the sentences preceding 1. As 5 has no such reference to any study, but 4 has one – 'analysis of 101.....' – 1 will have to follow 4, which will follow 5.
It could be pointed out that 5 should immediately precede 1 because of the reference 'such intensity' linking to 'epidemic that swept through' and 4 needs to immediately precede sentence 2 (because of the reference 'oldest sample', linking to 'seven tested positive'). However, these requirements may be overruled by the more important consideration - 'The study' as mentioned above.
1 is to be followed by 2, to keep it as close as possible to 4 and the passage ends with 3.
The correct order of sentences will be is 54123, as given in the official key.
Students who have referred to the source of this passage from the internet may feel that 51423 should be the answer. However, students should note that the passage, in the source, appears in a specific context – abstract of a certain study – enabling the use of the reference 'The study' at any place in the passage, including the start of the passage. In the absence of such a context in the question paper, the words 'The study' play a key role in deciding the most logical sequence.
However, we need to wait and see how the IIMs would respond to any objections raised by students, given that their sequence differs from that in the source.
5 has to start the passage as it talks about 'A recent study'. This is followed by 4 which talks about the data looked at in the study mentioned in 5. The loss of 'thick atmosphere' in 4 can be considered to include loss of water, which is mentioned in 1. After losing water in 1, 3 talks about the remaining water, making the sequence 5431, leaving 2 out.
2 only defines/explains 'solar storms' referred to in 4 and hence can be left out. 1 and 3 describe the two aspects introduced in 5 – 'loss of water' and 'water remaining' and hence become integral to the passage along with 5.
The paper setters have edited out certain crucial portion from the source text. In the absence of this crucial connecting text, unless we consider atmosphere to include water, this question cannot be answered as we would end up with two distinct groups – 531 and 42 – talking about water loss/retention and atmosphere loss respectively with no apparent connection between them.
We believe that the best course of action for the IIMs would be to exclude this question from evaluation.
Slot – 2 (1 question)
The paper setters left out a crucial piece of information about a,b,c being integers. In the absence of this information, the question doesnt have a unique solution. As the question was of non-MCQ type, which doesnt allow for 'cannot be determined' to be the answer, students would have had to reason backwards and infer that a,b,c must be integers.
If objections are raised, there would be a slight likelihood that the IIMs may decide to exclude this question from evaluation.