CAT Paragraph Summary, also known as CAT para summary, has now become a regular feature of CAT Verbal Ability. There were three questions from CAT paragraph summary both in CAT 2017 and CAT 2018, making this topic an important one. Aspirants, particularly the ones who are weak in RC, can no longer afford to miss this topic. Paragraph Summary in CAT carries the promise of almost 10 marks, which is 20% of the usual cut-off.
You can also download the FREE Para summary for CAT pdf
Having realized the importance of CAT paragraph summary, we must now turn our attention to how should our approach to CAT paragraph summary questions be. Here are a few very important things that you must keep in mind while solving questions on CAT paragraph Summary. I will demonstrate the importance of these by solving a CAT para summary question from CAT 17.
Steps to solve Para Summary Questions
The paragraph summary question asks you to choose an option that succinctly captures the essence of a paragraph, which is usually about 100 to 150 words. The paragraph is followed by four options. Here are a few things that you must do:
- Read the paragraph carefully; you must try to understand the paragraph. If you have not understood the paragraph, the chances are that you would not be able to pick the right summary. Please leave the question if you are not at all able to understand the contents of the paragraph.
- Once you have understood the passage, you must try to pick the subject matter of the passage. Look for the important nouns in the passage and connect them such that you create the right logical relationship between those nouns.
- With this logical link between the nouns, you must start comparing the options. Option comparison is a very important step. The right option must not have anything apart from what is given in the passage; the right option must not distort information, and lastly, the right option must not leave out any critical information. Usually, the options distort information or add something that is not given in the paragraph.
- You must look for the differences between the options. The point of difference should be evaluated. You should see if the passage has any hint that helps you understand which option is better and which is not.
- Start with the elimination process, checking out those options that you feel have flaws in them.
- Finally, choose the right answer.
Para Summary Solved Example from CAT 2017
North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds, but they have a trick up their sleeves — they produce whistles that sound like bird alarm calls, scaring potential predators away. At first, scientists suspected birds were simply startled by the loud noise. But a new study suggests a more sophisticated mechanism: the caterpillar’s whistle appears to mimic a bird alarm call, sending avian predators scrambling for cover. When pecked by a bird, the caterpillars whistle by compressing their bodies like an accordion and forcing air out through specialized holes in their sides. The whistles are impressively loud — they have been measured at over 5O dB from 5 cm away from the caterpillar — considering they are made by a two-inch long insect.
- North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars will whistle periodically to ward off predator birds – they have a specialized vocal tract that helps them whistle.
- North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars can whistle very loudly; the loudness of their whistles is shocking as they are very small insects.
- The North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of acoustic deception, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
- North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in. a case of deception and camouflage, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
The most frequently occurring nouns in the passage are Walnut Sphinx, the sound they create, alarm calls, predators.
Now create a logical relationship between these nouns: The Walnut Sphinx creates a sound that resembles alarm calls. It drives predators away by these calls.
Check for the choice and find the differences between them:
Option 1 says that the birds whistle periodically, something that is not given in the passage.
Option 2 has everything in place, but it does not speak of predators and how the alarm calls scare them away.
Option 3 is the best choice, as it speaks of the birds defending themselves from predators, through the alarm calls.
Option 4 speaks of camouflage, which is used for deception through colour, not through sound.
Thus (3) is the best choice.
You can also go through the video solution of the same question:
Para Summary Practice Questions
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