After successfully completing the CAT 2016 sprint series and the SNAP 2016 sprint series, we are back with the XAT 2017 sprint preparation series – Verbal 2 to boost your prep. This series will consist of 10 sets of questions from past year XAT papers, leading to XAT 2017 and covered almost all the question types that you needed to know come the 8th of January.

 

XAT 2017 sprint preparation series – Verbal 2

Q.1-4: Analyse the following passage and provide appropriate answers for the questions 1 through 4 that follow.

We can answer Fermi’s Paradox in two ways. Perhaps our current science over-estimates the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence evolving. Or, perhaps, evolved technical intelligence has some deep tendency to be self-limiting, even self-exterminating. After Hiroshima, some suggested that any aliens bright enough to make colonizing space ships would be bright enough to make thermonuclear bombs, and would use them on each other sooner or later.

I suggest a different, even darker solution to the Paradox. Basically, I think the aliens forget to send radio signals or colonize space because they’re too busy with runaway consumerism and virtual-reality narcissism. Once they turn inwards to chase their shiny pennies of pleasure, they lose the cosmic plot.

The fundamental problem is that an evolved mind must pay attention to indirect cues of biological fitness, rather than tracking fitness itself. This was a key insight of evolutionary psychology in the early 1990s; although evolution favours brains that tend to maximize fitness (as measured by numbers of great-grandkids), no brain has capacity enough to do so under every possible circumstance. As a result, brains must evolve shortcuts: fitness-promoting tricks, cons, recipes and heuristics that work, on an average, under ancestrally normal conditions. Technology is fairly good at controlling external reality to promote real biological fitness, but it’s even better at delivering fake fitness – subjective cues of survival and reproduction without the real-world effects.

Fitness-faking technology tends to evolve much faster than our psychological resistance to it. With the invention of Xbox 360, people would rather play a high-resolution virtual ape in Peter Jackson’s King Kong than be a perfect-resolution real human. Teens today must find their way through a carnival of addictively fitness-faking entertainment products. The traditional staples of physical, mental and social development – athletics, homework, dating – are neglected. The few young people with the self- control to pursue the meritocratic path often get distracted at the last minute.

Around 1900, most inventions concerned physical reality and in 2005 focus shifted to virtual entertainment. Freud’s pleasure principle triumphs over the reality principle. Today we narrow-cast human-interest stories to each other, rather than broadcasting messages of universal peace and progress to other star systems.

Maybe the bright aliens did the same. I suspect that a certain period of fitness-faking narcissism is inevitable after any intelligent life evolves. This is the Great Temptation for any technological species – to shape their subjective reality to provide the cues of survival and reproductive success without the substance. Most bright alien species probably go extinct gradually, allocating more time and resources to their pleasures and less to their children.

Heritable variation in personality might allow some lineages to resist the Great Temptation and last longer. Some individuals and families may start with an “irrational” Luddite abhorrence of entertainment technology, and they may evolve ever more self-control, conscientiousness and pragmatism by combining the family values of the religious right with the sustainability values of the Greenpeace. They wait patiently for our fitness-faking narcissism to go extinct. Those practical-minded breeders will inherit the Earth as like-minded aliens may have inherited a few other planets. When they finally achieve contacts, it will not be a meeting of novel-readers and game-players. It will be a meeting of dead-serious super-parents who congratulate each other on surviving not just the Bomb, but the Xbox.

1.Among the following options, which one represents the most important concern raised in the passage?

A.Extraterrestrial life and its impact on human beings
B.Lack of interest in developing proper fitness
C.Short-term pleasure seeking behaviour
D.Technological advancement and extinction of intelligence.
E.Tendency of brain to develop shortcuts

2.Which among the following would be the best possible explanation for the lack of contact between human beings and aliens?

A.Overestimation of the technological capability of aliens
B.Genetic variation in aliens’ personality is not yet achieved
C.Thermonuclear bombs might have destroyed all aliens
D.Colonisation of space is impossible to achieve
E.Aliens have become self-centred and pleasure seeking

3.To which of the following statements would the author of the passage agree the most?

A.Violent crime, including gang warfare for turf protection and expansion, co-exists in all technological advanced societies in spite of proliferation of fitness-faking technologies
B.The technology to produce fitness-faking gadgets is guided by the government’s desire to control the minds of citizens and keep citizens away from engaging in trouble-making activities
C.Countries that have the most advanced technology often are the ones that are at the forefront of colonial expansion through wars
D.Wars and colonial conquest engaged in by the European nations after the renaissance would not have occurred had fitness-faking gadgets and consumerism existed in those countries during those times
E.The search for colonies is undertaken by all the countries, irrespective of their technological This colonial expansion is guided more by need for adventure than for resources.

4.Which of the following statements, if true, challenges the ideas presented in the passage the most?

1.Violent crime, including gang warfare for turf protection and expansion, co-exists in all technological advanced societies in spite of proliferation of fitness-faking technologies.
2.The technology to produce fitness-faking gadgets is guided by the government’s desire to control the minds of citizens and keep citizens away from engaging in trouble-making activities
3.Countries that have the most advanced technology often are the ones that are at the forefront of preparedness for wars.
4.The era of colonial expansion that was engaged in by the European nations after the renaissance would have never taken place had the technology to produce fitness-faking gadgets existed during those times
5.Teenagers having access to technology, engage in more socializing away from parental supervision than those who do not have access to such technology

A. 1 and 3
B. 2 and 3
C. 3 and 4
D. 1 , 2 and  5
E. 1 , 3 and 5

5.Media are not just passive channels of Not only do they supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the internet seems to be doing is chipping away our capacity for concentration.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument presented above?

A.Nietzsche was forced to use a typewriter when he started losing his After he mastered the machine, he could type with his eyes closed. It was later found that under the effect of the machine, Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style”.
B.One of the effects of the timekeeping instruments has been that we have started deciding on our daily activities based on the clock and not based on our senses
C.Studies have shown that the essay writing skills of an average 15-20 year old, who spends a lot of time browsing the internet, is comparable to what it was among the average 15-20 year old, throughout the 1980s and the 1990s
D.A recent study has shown that the number of people who fall asleep while reading a printed book has increased in the last five years
E.The ability of the younger judges, who have grown up with ready access to internet, to judge complex and intricate cases, has, on an average, become better as compared to what it was for judges of comparable age profile during the 1920s.

6.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument presented in the previous question?

A.Nietzsche was forced to use a typewriter when he started losing his After he mastered the machine, he could type with his eyes closed. It was later found that under the effect of the machine, Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style”.
B.One of the effects of the timekeeping instruments has been that we have started deciding on our daily activities based on the clock and not based on our senses
C.Studies have shown that the essay writing skills of an average 15 – 20 year old, who spends a lot of time browsing the internet, is comparable to what it was among the average 15-20 year old, throughout the 1980s and the 1990s
D.A recent study has shown that the number of people who fall asleep while reading a printed book has increased in the last five years.
E.The ability of the younger judges, who have grown up with ready access to internet, to judge complex and intricate cases, has, on an average, become better as compared to what it was during the 1920s.

7.Randomness has to be dealt with successfully to ensure a better control over one’s life. Before one can deal effectively with randomness, one must acknowledge its existence.

The above statement implies the following except:

A.Randomness can be dealt with effectively.
B.If one acknowledges the existence of randomness, one will be able to deal with it effectively.
C.One can deal effectively with randomness if and only if one acknowledges its existence.
D.Everyone lives in a random world
E.If one does not acknowledge the existence of randomness, one cannot deal with it effectively.

8.Perhaps this war will pass like the others which divided us, leaving us dead, killing us along with the killers but the shame of this time puts its burning fingers to our faces. Who will erase the ruthlessness hidden in innocent blood?

Which of the following is certainly not implied in the above verse?

A.Killers also get killed in war.
B.Humanity gets divided by war and reunites afterwards in peace
C.This war is especially ruthless
D.This war is shameful to the entire humanity
E.None can obliterate the ruthlessness of this war

9.Travelling is my Today in the Himalayas, as I drag my feet through the ___________________, I cannot but think of the same time last year when I was negotiating the thick                        _of the Ganges delta or for that matter the time I spent with my children ___________________about in the waters of the Arabian Sea.

The option that best fills the blanks in the above sentence would be:

A.slush, sludge, sloshing
B.sludge, slosh, slushing
C.slush, slosh, sludging
D.slosh, sludge, slushing
E.sludge, slush, sloshing

10.In spite of being perceived as________________by all, the club members decided to                   Arun, a skinny teenage  with  prominent                               _, as the member of the year, so that the whole affair would be _______________to Arun’s father who was recuperating after a serious illness.

The option that best fills the blanks in the above sentence would be:

A.felon, felicitate, freckles, febrile
B.feral, facilitate, feckless, felicific
C.federate, facilitate, freckles, feral
D.febrile, felicitate, feckless, feral
E.feckless, felicitate, freckles, felicific

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Solutions

1. Option c

2. Option e

3. Option d

4. Option e

5. Option d

6.Option e

7.Option b

8.Option b

9.Option a

10.Option e

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You can follow the entire sprint series here: XAT 2017 Sprint Preparation Series by Learningroots

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