Comprehensive Guide for CAT Para Jumbles

Ace the questions on Para Jumbles by learning these expert tips, tricks and shortcuts.

Introduction to CAT Para Jumbles

Para-jumbles is one of the most frequently asked questions in the Verbal Ability section of CAT and other MBA entrance exams. This topic is also known by the name of Sentence Rearrangement. As a basic introduction for these questions, we all know that these questions consist of a set of sentences, each labeled with a letter. The sentences have to be arranged logically to form a coherent paragraph.

Generally, in CAT, 4-5 questions from this topic make an appearance in previous year papers. CAT 2015 introduced a variation for these questions and introduce new type of question called Type in the Answer or 'TITA' questions. In this format, the candidates had to type in the answers and there were no options for Para jumbles. This made these questions exponentially tougher and quite a challenge to deal with. You can understand the difficulty yourself. There are 120 possible combinations for a five-sentence para-jumble question and any given combination will make an iota of sense for sure. This had made these questions quite challenging and in fact, considering that these questions could be solved from options previously, you should be ready for a battle on your hands.

CAT Para Jumbles Tips and Tricks:

  • Follow the general to specific rule, this means that you should move from an introductory sentence to one that gives the details. Try to find sentence which introduces a topic or person or idea. This will be the opening sentence.
  • You could also try to find the closing sentence; this sentence will generally be a concluding statement. It will not introduce a new idea but conclude what has already been mentioned.
  • The next trick which is really helpful in solving Para jumbles is to make mandatory pairs.Mandatory pairs are sentences which will necessarily come together. The key to solving Para-jumble questions is identification of these connected pairs of statements.

For mandatory pair identification, be on the lookout for:

1. Nouns and pronouns reference: Nouns or subjects mentioned in a statement can be replaced by a pronoun in the next statement. Be always on the lookout for such pairs.

2. Subject matching: two statements based on the subject form a pair

3. Time sequences: in general, if a given set of statements contains reference to time based events, make sure maintain a particular order that is past-present-future or vice-versa.

  • Transition words such as: as also, as well as, besides, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly, consequently, hence, for one thing, above all, aside from, besides, in other words, instead, likewise, on one hand, on the other hand, rather, meanwhile, next, then, soon, in conclusion, after all, all in all, to sum up.

CAT Solved Para Jumbles

Example 1: Let's take up a sample problem and understand how solving Para-jumbles operates. Remember, we will learn some critical skills from this single problem. Go through the following set of sentences labeled A to F:

  • The book was Jonah Lehrer's how We Decide and the epiphany was that consciousness could reside in the brain.
  • He was a twenty-year-old philosophy major at Hamilton College.
  • In January 2010, while driving from Chicago to Minneapolis, Sam McNerney played an audio book and had an epiphany.
  • The quest for an empirical understanding of consciousness has long preoccupied neurobiologists.
  • The standard course work-ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy-enthralled him.
  • But McNerney was no neurobiologist.

Which are these answer options?

  • DCAFBE
  • CAFDBE
  • CAFBED
  • CADFBE

Solution: In this case, the right answer is option 4. Let us look how?

The first observations we make for this question are:

Which are these answer options?

  • The pair 'BE' is present in every answer option. This is what option analysis is: picking out clues from the answer options. By not even reading the statements, we have managed to figure out one set of connected statements.
  • The second thing we learn from answer options is that the first sentence of the question is either D or C
  • All you need to do is read these two sentences and establish which forms the better opening for the given paragraph.


The next thing that you actually need to do is to establish connections between various statements. Look carefully at the highlighted sets of words in this case:

  • The book was Jonah Lehrer's how We Decide and the epiphany was that consciousness could reside in the brain.
  • He was a twenty-year-old philosophy major at Hamilton College.
  • In January 2010, while driving from Chicago to Minneapolis, Sam McNerney played an audio book and had an epiphany.
  • The quest for an empirical understanding of consciousness has long preoccupied neurobiologists.
  • The standard course work-ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy-enthralled him.
  • But McNerney was no neurobiologist.

Example 2:

A. Although there are large regional variations, it is not infrequent to find a large number of people sitting here and there and doing nothing.

B. Once in office, they receive friends and relatives who feel free to call any time without prior appointment.

C. While working, one is struck by the slow and clumsy actions and reactions, indifferent attitudes, procedure rather than outcome orientation, and the lack of consideration for others.

D. Even those who are employed often come late to the office and leave early unless they are forced to be punctual.

E. Work is not intrinsically valued in India.

F. Quite often people visit ailing friends and relatives or go out of their way to help them in their personal matters even during office hours.

1. ECADBF
2. EADCFB
3. EADBFC
4. ABFCBE

Answer: Look at the personal pronoun "they" in sentence B: Once in office, they receive friends and relatives who feel free to call any time without prior appointment. This they must be referring to some people. The reference to some people only comes in sentences A, D, and F. Therefore, one of the sentences will come before sentence B. Let's see the link AB, DB, and FB;

Link AB- Although there are large regional variations, it is not infrequent to find a large number of people sitting here and there and doing nothing. Once in office, they receive friends and relatives who feel free to call any time without prior appointment.

Link DB- Even those who are employed often come late to the office and leave early unless they are forced to be punctual. Once in office, they receive friends and relatives who feel free to call any time without prior appointment.

Link FB- Quite often people visit ailing friends and relatives or go out of their way to help them in their personal matters even during office hours. Once in office, they receive friends and relatives who feel free to call any time without prior appointment.

Which of these links makes sense? Only link DB seems coherent. Now, we examine the options with link DB. We see that options 1 and 3 have link DB in them. Also, both the options have link ADBF. Therefore, ADBF is a link. Now we only need to place sentences E and C. We can do that by reading the sentences in the order given in options 1 and 3.

Key Learning:

In a nutshell, keep in mind the following points while attempting Sentence Rearrangement questions:

  • Practice without options: Solving with options is easier but CAT 2015 had TITA (type in the answer) type Para jumbles and practicing without options will help you prepare for this type of questions.
  • Try to form a general to specific structure. Most paragraphs will start with a broader theme and then dive into the specifics.
  • Pay special attention to Pronouns and Conjunctions. They will help you in forming connections and making mandatory pairs.
  • Once you are done with the question, take out the time to read the ordered Para again and see if it makes sense. This will help you in improving your accuracy.

CAT TITA Para-Jumbles: Extra Tips

Do remember that solving Para-jumbles without answer options is a very challenge to handle. The best approach in this case is to focus on your reading skills. Essentially, these questions are a factor of your reading skill and you need to make sure you improve your ability to comprehend complex text and form connections between statements. As always, the best way to achieve these objectives is to focus on your reading skills and improve your reading ability. This is the hard way out in the given situation but you got to do what you need to.

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