CAT 2020 Mock Test Part 2 Various Types of Questions on Reading Comrehension Preparation

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More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions and philanthropic organizations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon: ‘metric fixation’ . The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible — and desirable — to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics) ; and that the best way to motivate people within these organizations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance.

The rewards can be monetary, in the form of pay for performance, say, or reputational. In the form of college rankings, hospital ratings, surgical report cards and so on. But the most dramatic negative effect of metric fixation is its propensity to incentivise gaming: that is, encouraging professionals to maximize the metrics in ways that are at odds with the larger purpose of the organization. If the rate of major crimes in a district becomes the metric according to which police officers are promoted, then some officers will respond by simply not recording crimes or downgrading them from major offences to misdemeanours. Or take the case of surgeons. When the metrics of success and failure are made public — affecting their reputation and income — some surgeons will improve their metric scores by refusing to operate on patients with more complex problems, whose surgical outcomes are more likely to be negative. Who suffers? The patients who don՚t get operated upon.

When reward is tied to measured performance, metric fixation invites just this sort of gaming. But metric fixation also leads to a variety of more subtle unintended negative consequences. These include goal displacement, which comes in many varieties: when performance is judged by a few measures. and the stakes are high (keeping one՚s job, getting a pay rise or raising the stock price at the time that stock options are vested) , people focus on satisfying those measures — often at the expense of other, more important organizational goals that are not measured. The best-known example is ‘teaching to the test’ , a widespread phenomenon that has distorted primary and secondary education in the United States since the adoption of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001.

Short-terrnism is another negative. Measured performance encourages what the US sociologist Robert K Merton in 1936 called ‘the imperious immediacy of interests … where the actor՚s paramount concern with the foreseen immediate consequences excludes consideration of further or other consequences’ . In short, advancing short-term goals at the expense of long-range considerations. This problem is endemic to publicly traded corporations that sacrifice long-term research and development, and the development of their staff, to the perceived imperatives of the quarterly report.

To the debit side of the ledger must also be added the transactional costs of metrics: the expenditure of employee time by those tasked with compiling and processing the metrics in the first place — not to mention the time required to actually read them …

Question No. 19

What is the main idea that the author is trying to highlight in the passage?

1. All kinds of organizations are now relying on metrics to measure performance and to give rewards and punishments.

2. Performance measurement needs to be precise and cost effective to be useful for evaluating organizational performance.

3. Evaluating performance by using measurable performance metrics may misguide organizational goal achievement.

4. Long-term organizational goals should not be ignored for short term measures of organizational success.

Question No. 20

All of the following can be a possible feature of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001, EXCEPT:

1. standardised test scores can be critical in determining a student՚s educational future.

2. the focus is more on test-taking skills than on higher order thinking and problem-solving.

3. school funding and sanctions are tied to yearly improvement shown on tests.

4. assessment is dependent on the teacher ′ s subjective evaluation of students ′ class participation.

Question No. 21

Which of the following is NOT a consequence of the ‘metric fixation’ phenomenon mentioned in the passage?

1. Short-term orientation induced by frequent measurement of performance.

2. Finding a way to show better results without actually improving performance.

3. Deviating from organizationally important objectives to measurable yet less important objectives.

4. Improving cooperation among employees leading to increased organizational effectiveness in the long run.

Question No. 22

What main point does the author want to convey through the examples of the police officer and the surgeon?

1. Some professionals are likely to be significantly influenced by the design of performance measurement systems.

2. Metrics-linked rewards may encourage unethical behaviour among some professionals.

3. The actions of police officers and surgeons have a significantly impact on society.

4. Critical public roles should not be evaluated on metrics-based performance measures.

Question No. 23

Of the following, which would have added the least depth to the author՚s argument?

1. A comparative case study of metrics- and non-metrics-based evaluation, and its impact on the main goals of an organization.

2. More real-life illustrations of the consequences of employees and professionals gaming metrics-based performance measurement systems.

3. Assessment of the pros and cons of a professional judgment based evaluation system.

4. An analysis of the reasons why metrics fixation is becoming popular despite its drawbacks.

Question No. 24

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the option that best captures the author՚s position.

The early optimism about sport՚s deterrent effects on delinquency was premature as researchers failed to find any consistent relationships between sports participation and deviance. As the initial studies were based upon cross-sectional data and the effects captured were short-term, it was problematic to test and verify the temporal sequencing of events suggested by the deterrence theory. The correlation between sport and delinquency could not be disentangled from class and cultural variables known. Choosing individuals to play sports in the first place was problematic, which became more acute in the subsequent decades as researchers began to document just how closely sports participation was linked to social class indicators.

1. Contradicting the previous optimism, latter researchers have proved that there is no consistent relationship between sports participation and deviance.

2. Statistical and empirical weaknesses stand in the way of inferring any relationship between sports participation and deviance.

3. Sports participation is linked to class and cultural variables such as education, income, and social capital.

4. There is a direct relationship between sport participation and delinquency but it needs more empirical evidence.

Question No. 25

Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identity the odd one out.

1. Much has been recently discovered about the development of songs in birds.

2. Some species are restricted to a single song learned by all individuals, others have a range of songs.

3. The most important auditory stimuli for the birds are the sounds of other birds.

4. For all bird species there is a prescribed path to development of the final song,

5. A bird begins with the sub song, passes through plastic song, until it achieves the species song.

Question No. 26

The four sentences (labelled 1,2, 3,4) given in this question, when properly sequenced, form a coherent paragraph. Each sentence is labelled with a number. Decide on the proper sequence of order of the sentences and key in this sequence of four numbers as your answer:

1. They would rather do virtuous side projects assiduously as long as these would not compel them into doing their day jobs more honourably or reduce the profit margins

2. They would fund a million of the buzzwordy programs rather than fundamentally question the rules of their game or alter their own behavior to reduce the harm of the existing distorted, inefficient and unfair rules.

3. Like the dieter who would rather do anything to lose weight than actually eat less, the business elite would save the world through social impact-investing and philanthro-capitalism.

4. Doing the right thing — and moving away from their win-win mentality — would involve real sacrifice, instead, it՚s easier to focus on their pet projects and initiatives.

Question No. 27

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the option that best captures the author՚s position:

A Japanese government panel announced that it recommends regulating only genetically modified organisms that have had foreign genes permanently introduced into their genomes and not those whose endogenous genes have been edited. The only stipulation is that researchers and businesses will have to register their modifications to plants or animals with the government, with the exception of microbes cultured in contained environments. Reactions to the decision are mixed. While lauding the potential benefits of genome editing, an editorial opposes across-the-board permission. Unforeseen risks in gene editing cannot be ruled out. All genetically modified products must go through the same safety and labeling processes regardless of method.

1. A government panel in Japan says transgenic modification and genome editing are not the same.

2. Exempting from regulations the editing of endogenous genes is not desirable as this procedure might be risk-prone.

3. Excepting microbes cultured in contained environments from the regulations of genome editing is premature.

4. Creating categories within genetically modified products in terms of transgenic modification and genome editing advances science but defies laws.

… The complexity of modern problems often precludes any one person from fully understanding them. Factors contributing to rising obesity levels, for example, include transportation systems and infrastructure, media, convenience foods, changing social norms, human biology and psychological factors … The multidimensional or layered character of complex problems also undermines the principle of meritocracy: the idea that the ‘best person’ should be hired. There is no best person. When puffing together an oncological research team, a biotech company such as Gilead or Genentech would not construct a multiple-choice test and hire the top scorers, or hire people whose resumes score highest according to some performance criteria Instead, they would seek diversity they would build a team of people who bring diverse knowledge bases, tools and analytic skills …

Believers in a meritocracy might grant that teams ought to be diverse but then argue that meritocratic principles should apply within each category. Thus the team should consist of the ‘best’ mathematicians, the ‘best’ oncologists, and the ‘best’ biostatisticians from within the pool. That position suffers from a similar flaw. Even with a knowledge domain, no test or criteria applied to individuals will produce the best team. Each of these domains possesses such depth and breadth, that no test can exist. Consider the field of neuroscience. Upwards of 50,000 papers were published last year covering various techniques, domains of enquiry and levels of analysis, ranging from molecules and synapses up through networks of neurons. Given that complexity, any attempt to rank a collection of neuroscientists from best to worst, as if they were competitors in the 50- metre butterfly, must fail. What could be true is that given a specific task and the composition of a particular team, one scientist would be more likely to contribute than another optimal hiring depends on context. Optimal teams will be diverse.

Evidence for this claim can be seen in the way that papers and patents that combine diverse ideas tend to rank as high-impact. It can also be found in the structure of the so- called random decision forest, a state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithm. Random forests consist of ensembles of decision trees. If classifying pictures, each tree makes a vote: is that a picture of a fox or a dog? A weighted majority rules. Random forests can serve many ends. They can identify bank fraud and diseases, recommend ceiling fans and predict online dating behaviour. When building a forest, you do not select the best trees as they tend to make similar classifications. You want diversity. Programmers achieve that diversity by training each tree on different data, a technique known as bagging. They also boost the forest ‘cognitively’ by training trees on the hardest cases — those that the current forest gets wrong. This ensures even more diversity and accurate forests.

Yet the fallacy of meritocracy persists. Corporations, non-profits, governments, universities and even preschools test, score and hire the ‘best’ . This all but guarantees not creating the best team. Ranking people by common criteria produces homogeneity … that՚s not likely to lead to breakthroughs.

Question No. 28

Which of the following conditions would weaken the efficacy of a random decision forest?

1. If a large number of decision trees in the ensemble were trained on data derived from easy cases.

2. If a large number of decision trees in the ensemble were trained on data derived from easy and hard cases.

3. If the types of ensembles of decision trees in the forest were doubled.

4. If the types of decision trees in each ensemble of the forest were doubled.

Question No. 29

On the basis of the passage, which of the following teams is likely to be most effective in solving the problem of rising obesity levels?

1. A team comprised of nutritionists, psychologists, urban planners and media personnel, who have each scored a distinction in their respective subject tests.

2. A specialized team of nutritionists from various countries, who are also trained in the machine-learning algorithm of random decision forest.

3. A specialized team of top nutritionists from various countries, who also possess some knowledge of psychology.

4. A team comprised of nutritionists, psychologists, urban planners and media personnel, who have each performed well in their respective subject tests.

Question No. 30

The author critiques meritocracy for all the following reasons EXCEPT that:

1. diversity and context-specificity are important for making major advances in any field.

2. modern problems are multifaceted and require varied skill-sets to be solved.

3. criteria designed to assess merit are insufficient to test expertise in any field of knowledge.

4. an ideal team comprises of best individuals from diverse fields of knowledge.

Question No. 31

Which of the following conditions, if true, would invalidate the passages main argument?

1. If top-scorers possessed multidisciplinary knowledge that enabled them to look at a problem from several perspectives.

2. If it were proven that teams characterized by diversity end up being conflicted about problems and take a long time to arrive at solution.

3. If assessment tests were made more extensive and rigorous.

4. If a new machine-learning algorithm were developed that proved to be more effective than the random decision forest.

Question No. 32

Which of the following best describes the purpose of the example of neuroscience?

1. Neuroscience is an advanced field of science because of its connections with other branches of science like oncology and biostatistics.

2. In the modern age, every field of knowledge is so vast that a meaningful assessment of merit is impossible.

3. In narrow fields of knowledge, a meaningful assessment of expertise has always been possible.

4. Unlike other fields of knowledge, neuroscience is an exceptionally complex field, making a meaningful assessment of neuroscientists impossible.

Question No. 33

Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identify the odd one out.

1. As India looks to increase the number of cities, our urban planning must factor in potential natural disasters and work out contingencies in advance.

2. Authorities must revise data and upgrade infrastructure and mitigation plans even if their local area hasn՚t been visited by a natural calamity yet.

3. Extreme temperatures, droughts, and forest fires have more than doubled since 1980.

4. There is no denying the fact that our baseline normal weather is changing.

5. It is no longer a question of whether we will be hit by nature՚s fury but rather when.

Question No. 34

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the option that best captures the author՚s position. Should the moral obligation to rescue and aid persons in grave peril, felt by a few, be enforced by the criminal law? Should we follow the lead of a number of European countries and enact bad Samaritan laws? Proponents of bad Samaritan laws must overcome at least three different sorts of obstacles. First, they must show the laws are morally legitimate in principle, that is, that the duty to aid others is a proper candidate for legal enforcement. Second, they must show that this duty to aid can be defined in a way that can be fairly enforced by the courts. Third, they must show that the benefits of the laws are worth their problems, risks and costs.

1. Everyone agrees that people ought to aid others, the only debate is whether to have a law on it.

2. Bad Samaritan laws may be desirable but they need to be tested for legal soundness.

3. If bad Samaritan laws are found to be legally sound and enforceable they must be enacted.

4. A number of European countries that have successfully enacted bad Samaritan laws may serve as model statutes.

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