Free Verbal Reasoning - 01 Practice Test - CAT 

Question 1

Alpha Ltd manufactures swim wear and planned to launch a new line of women's bathing suits in April, which is typically the peak time of year for swim wear sales. The company conducted consumer polls, which returned favorable results for both style and price, and took out advertisements in major fashion magazines and television stations. Yet the launch was disappointing: sales in April did not exceed even half of the company's sales during the same period in the previous year.

Each of the following, if true, could explain the disappointing sales of the new swim wear line EXCEPT :

A. The prediction of a cool, rainy summer by meteorologists received much attention in the national media
B. None of the stores carrying the new swim wear line displayed it prominently.
C. The company's manufacturing plants experienced difficulty in obtaining dyes in the advertised colors and so substituted different colors.
D. A major competitor launched a line of similar swim wear at a lower price in February.
E. A scene in which a major actress was to wear one of the new swimsuits in a much anticipated movie to be released in February was never filmed.


Solution : E

Option E is the correct answer.

Question 2

Which of the following best completes the passage below? Established companies concentrate on defending what they already have. Consequently, they tend not to beinnovative themselves and tend to underestimate the effects of the innovations of others. The clearest example of this defensive strategy is the fact that___.

A. ball point pens and soft-tip markers have eliminated the traditional market for fountain pens, clearing the way for the marketing of fountain pens as luxury or prestige items
B. a highly successful automobile was introduced by the same company that had earlier introduced a model that had been a dismal failure
C. a once-successful manufacturer of slide rules reacted to the introduction of electronic calculators by trying to make better slide rules
D. one of the first models of modern accounting machines, designed for use in the banking industry, was purchased by a public library as well as by banks
E. the inventor of a commonly used anesthetic did not intend the product to be used by dentists, who currently account for almost the entire market for that drug.


Solution : C

Option C is the correct answer.


Question 3

Inorganic pesticides remain active on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables for several days after spraying, while organic pesticides dissipate within a few hours after application, leaving the surface of the sprayed produce free of pesticide residue. Therefore, when purchasing from a farm that uses inorganic pesticides, one must be careful to wash the produce thoroughly before eating it to prevent the ingestion of toxins. But one need not worry about ingesting pesticides when purchasing from farms that use only organic pesticides.

The argument above assumes that

A. Consumers are aware of the origins of the produce they purchase.
B. Produce from farms that use organic pesticides reaches the consumer within hours after it is picked or harvested.
C. No farm uses both organic and inorganic pesticides.
D. No pesticide is capable of penetrating the skin of a fruit or vegetable.


Solution : D

The conclusion of the argument is that one need not worry about ingesting pesticides when purchasing produce from farms that use only organic pesticides. The basis for that claim is the fact that organic pesticides leave the surface of produce within a few hours of spraying. In order for this argument to be valid, we must assume that the organic pesticides do not harm the produce in any lasting way.

(A) This is unrelated to the argument since the conclusion speaks about not having to worry about ingesting produce on which only organic pesticides were known to be used.

(B) If anything, this statement runs counter to what the argument is saying. If produce that has been sprayed with organic pesticide reaches the final consumer within hours after it is picked, it is possible that the consumer does need be concerned about the pesticides.

(C) The conclusion of the argument is already limited to those farms which use "only organic pesticides."

(D) CORRECT.If a pesticide is capable of penetrating the skin of a fruit or vegetable then, while the organic pesticide will dissipate from the surface of the fruit in a few hours, it may remain inside the fruit. The author of this argument assumes that the pesticides cannot penetrate the skin.

Question 4

During the Second World War, about 375,000 civilians died in the United States and about 408,000 members of the United States armed forces died overseas. On the basis the those figures, it can be concluded that it was not much more dangerous to be overseas in the armed forces during the Second World War than it was to stay at home as a civilian.

Which of the following would reveal most clearly the absurdity of the conclusion drawn above?

A. Counting deaths among members of the armed forces who served in the United State in addition to deaths among members of the armed forces serving overseas
B. Expressing the difference between the numbers of deaths among civilians and members of the armed forces as a percentage of the total number of deaths
C. Separating deaths caused by accidents during service in the armed forces from deaths caused by combat injuries
D. Comparing death rates per thousand members of each group rather than comparing total numbers of deaths


Solution : D

Concluding from the similar numbers of deaths in two groups that the relative danger of death was similar for both groups is absurd if, as here, one group was far smaller. D exposes this absurdity by pointing out the need to compare death rates of the two groups, which would reveal the higher death rate for the smaller group.

Therefore, D is the best answer. Since the conclusion acknowledges the difference between the number of civilian and armed forces deaths, expressing this difference as a percentage, as suggested by B, is beside the point.

A is inappropriate because it simply adds a third group to the two being compared. Because cause of death in not at issue, C is irrelevant.

Question 5

In developed countries, such as the United States, the percentage of the population diagnosed with clinical depression is much greater than that in developing countries. Researchers hypothesize that this difference is due to the increased leisure time afforded to residents of developed countries.

The hypothesis of the researchers depends on which of the following assumptions?

A. Clinical depression is a genetically transmitted malady.
B. Access to accurate diagnostic procedures for depression is equal for residents of developing and developed countries.
C. Most activities characterized as “leisure time” in developed countries are inherently boring.
D. Certain medications that effectively treat clinical depression are not readily available in developing countries.


Solution : B

Assumption Eliminate alternate models of causality The passage concludes that increased leisure time in the developed world causes an increase in the percentage of people diagnosed with clinical depression. For this causal conclusion to be valid we must eliminate alternate causes for this disparity.

Note: some questions of this type focus on eliminating reverse causality. That is, if the conclusion is that X causes Y (because X and Y are observed together), then one assumption is that Y does notcause X. Other questions focus on eliminating an outside cause. That is, if the conclusion is X causes Y (because X and Y are observed together), then another assumption is that Z (some outside force) does not cause Y. As it turns out, this question is of the latter type: eliminating an outside cause.

(A) This statement weakens the hypothesis. If clinical depression were genetically transmitted, then the amount of leisure time would have no effect on the percentage of the population diagnosed with clinical depression.

(B) CORRECT.If individuals in the developing and developed worlds do not have equal access to accurate diagnostic procedures, it is possible that either frequent misdiagnoses or a lack of correct diagnoses causes the seeming disparity between the populations. Thus, for the argument to be valid, this assumption must hold true. Put another way, this assumption eliminates the possible outside cause (the difference in diagnostic techniques between the developing and the developed worlds).

(C) Nothing indicates that most leisure activities must be inherently boring. As long as more individuals in the developed world than in the developing world are experiencing boredom, the logic of the passage remains valid.

(D) This choice weakens the researchers’ hypothesis. If fewer effective medications were available in the developing world, the incidence of clinical depression there should be higher than in developed countries.

Question 6

Toughened hiring standards have not been the primary cause of the present staffing shortage in public schools. The shortage of teachers is primarily caused by the fact that in recent years teachers have not experienced any improvements in working conditions and their salaries have not kept pace with salaries in other professions.

Which of the following, if true, would most support the claims above?

A. Many prospective teachers have cited the new hiring standards as a reason for not entering the profession
B. Many teachers already in the profession would not have been hired under the new hiring standards.
C. Today more teachers are entering the profession with a higher educational level than in the past.
D. Many teachers have cited low pay and lack of professional freedom as reasons for their leaving the profession.


Solution : D

The passage rejects one explanation of the shortage of teachers that it results from toughened hiring standards and gives an alternative that it results from deficiencies in pay and working conditions.D provides corroborative evidence for the latter explanation by suggesting that, for many former teachers, poor pay and working conditions were reasons for their quitting the profession.

A and B provide evidence that tends to implicate new hiring standards in the staffing shortage and thus support the explanation that the passage rejects.

C becomes irrelevant in this context.

Question 7

A certain medication used to treat migraine headaches acts by blocking pain receptors in the brain. When a person takes the medication within one hour after ingesting grapefruit or grapefruit juice, however, the effectiveness of the medication is significantly diminished. Researchers have determined that the grapefruit contains a compound that alters the shape of the pain receptors, with the result that the medication can no longer bind with them completely.

Which of the following conclusions could be most properly drawn from the information given above?

A. If one takes the medication more than an hour after ingesting grapefruit, its effectiveness is not diminished.
B. Ingesting grapefruit after taking the medication does not diminish the effectiveness of the medication.
C. There is only one type of pain receptor in the brain.
D. The medication is fully effective only when it properly binds with its target pain receptors.


Solution : D

For questions asking us to draw a conclusion, we need to base the conclusion only on the information presented; we cannot add any new information or assumptions. In addition, remember that we are not required to use all of the information presented in the premises, though the more information we can include, the better (as long as we don't take it too far!).

(A) The passage says that grapefruit or grapefruit juice ingested within an hour will "significantly" diminish the effectiveness of the medication. This does not mean that grapefruit or grapefruit juice ingested more than an hour before the medication is ingested will have no effect on the medication; it may have a mild effect.

(B) The passage speaks only of taking the medication after ingesting grapefruit;it says nothing about the effects of eating grapefruit after taking the medication.

(C) The passage implies that the pain receptors that the specific medication works on are the pain receptors that are affected by grapefruit. This does not mean that these are the only pain receptors in the brain.

(D) CORRECT. The passage says that the medication has been shown to be less effective when taken after grapefruit consumption. Furthermore, grapefruit has been shown to affect the binding of the medication to pain receptors. It can be concluded that effective binding is needed to enable the effectiveness of the medication.


Question 8

A proposed ordinance requires the installation in new homes of sprinklers automatically triggered by the presence of a fire. However, a home builder argued that because more than ninety percent of residential fires are extinguished by a household member, residential sprinklers would only marginally decrease property damage caused by residential fires.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the home builder’s argument?

A. most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires.
B. The installation of smoke detectors in new residences costs significantly less than the installation of sprinklers.
C. In the city where the ordinance was proposed, the average time required by the fire department to respond to a fire was less than the national average.
D. The largest proportion of property damage that results from residential fires is caused by fires that start when no household member is present.


Solution : D

The home builder reasons from evidence about most residential fires to a conclusion about the effectiveness of sprinklers in preventing property damage. But this reasoning is faulty because of the possibility that most of the property damage results from the minority of fires excluded from the builder’s evidence. That possibility is realized if D is true.

Thus, D is the best answer. Because the builder’s argument concerns neither the cost of installing sprinklers not a comparison with fire department performance in other locations, B and C are irrelevant. The evidence the home builder cites suggests that formal training is not needed in order to extinguish fires, so A is not the correct answer. 

Question 9

The public often protests when an unregulated service industry is found to be corrupt. However, regulation often leads to increased costs for the consumer. Fewer companies survive in a regulated market, leading to decreased competition and higher prices. The public then responds negatively to the increased costs of these services.

The statements above best support which of the following?

A. Service industries should not be regulated.
B. The public should not protest unregulated services.
C. Only unregulated services are subject to public protest.
D. The public is sometimes the cause of its own complaints.


Solution : D

The passage describes how public complaints about one issue (corruption in unregulated service industries) can have consequences (increased costs) that lead to new public complaints. The correct answer will tie together this information without assuming too much.

(A) This answer choice is too extreme. While regulation does often result in increased costs, which consumers don't like,the regulation presumably halts the corruption, which consumers also don't like.

(B) This answer choice is a judgment call based on the idea that the increased costs are less desirable than the corruption. The passage does not provide information to support this claim.

(C) The passage doesn't address what types of services are subject to public protest. In addition, the word "only" is extreme.

(D) CORRECT. This answer summarizes what the passage describes a cycle of public discontent. Notice that the correct “inference” or “conclusion” here isn't much more than a summary of the premises in the passage.

Question 10

Even though most universities retain the royalties from faculty members’ inventions, the faculty members retain the royalties from books and articles they write. Therefore, faculty members should retain the royalties from the educational computer software they develop.

The conclusion above would be more reasonably drawn if which of the following were inserted into the argument as an additional premise?
Type in the option/s.

A. In terms of the criteria used to award royalties, educational software programs are more nearly comparable to books and articles than to inventions
B. Royalties from inventions are higher than royalties from educational software programs.
C. Inventions bring more prestige to universities that do books and articles.
D. In the experience of most universities, educational software programs are more marketable than are books and articles.


Solution :

The passage concludes that, where royalty retention of faculty members’ works is concerned, software should be treated as books and articles are, not as inventions are. The conclusion requires an additional premise establishing that software is, in relevant respects, more comparable to books and articles than to inventions.

D provides this kind of premise and is therefore the best answer.

A, B, and C each describe some difference between software and inventions, or between inventions and books and articles, or between software and books and articles. However, none establishes the required relationship among inventions, software, and books and articles.

Question 11

Normally it takes a week for a cake to become moldy in a refrigerator. The cake in Rahul's refrigerator is moldy. Therefore, the cake in Rahul's refrigerator must be at least a week old.
Which of the following, if true, strengthens the conclusion?

A. Rahul's refrigerator has not been cleaned in two years.
B. A blown fuse in Rahul's building has deprived his refrigerator of electricity for the past five days.
C. The cake had just been baked when it was placed in Rahul's refrigerator; it has remained there ever since.
D. A recent study demonstrated that 95% of refrigerators currently in use will keep a cake fresh for one week.


Solution : C

This argument begins with a premise stating that normally it takes a cake a week to become moldy in a refrigerator. The next premise is that this particular cake is moldy. The argument concludes that this particular cake must have been in the refrigerator for at least a week.

The conclusion depends on the idea that this cake has been aging normally inside the refrigerator. (If the refrigerator were defective, or the cake were abnormally perishable, the conclusion would be undermined.) To strengthen the conclusion, you should look for a statement that indicates that the cake has indeed been aging inside the refrigerator in the normal fashion.

(A) Weaken. If Rahul's refrigerator is dirty, the cake may well have gotten moldy unusually fast - which means the cake could be less than a week old.

(B) Weaken. If a lack of electricity has kept the refrigerator from working, the cake may well have gotten moldy unusually fast -- which means the cake could be less than a week old.

(C) CORRECT.Strengthen. If the cake had not been fresh when it was placed in the refrigerator, or if it had not been in the refrigerator continuously since then, it might have gotten moldy in less than a week. Therefore, knowing that the cake was fresh when it was placed in the refrigerator, and that it has been there ever since, gives us reason to think that the cake has been aging in the refrigerator at a normal rate.

(D) Irrelevant. This study only provides evidence to support the initial premise in the argument, namely, that "normally it takes a week for a cake to become moldy in a refrigerator."This answer choice does not state whether or not Rahul's refrigerator is among the 95%; nor do we know anything else about this specific situation.

Question 12

The fewer restrictions there are on the advertising of legal services, the more lawyers there are who advertise their services, and the lawyers who advertise a specific service usually charge less for that service than lawyers who do not advertise. Therefore, if the state removes any of its current restrictions, such as the one against advertisements that do not specify fee arrangements, overall consumer legal costs will be lower than if the state retains its current restrictions.
Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument concerning overall consumer legal costs?

A. The state has recently removed some other restrictions that had limited the advertising of legal services.
B. Lawyers who do not advertise generally provide legal services of the same quality as those provided by lawyers who do advertise.
C. Most lawyers who now specify fee arrangements in their advertisements would continue to do so even if the specification were not required.
D. Most lawyers who advertise specific services do not lower their fees for those services when they begin to advertise.


Solution : D

If D is true, the lawyers who begin advertising when the restriction is removed might all be among those who do not lower their fees on beginning to advertise, in which case no decrease in consumer legal costs will occur. Therefore, E weakens the argument and is the best answer.

Since A does not relate the recent removal of restrictions to changes in consumer legal costs, it alone does not weaken the argument. Since the argument is unconcerned with whatever restrictions remain in effect but focuses only on those that will be removed, A does not weaken the argument.

B and C are irrelevant to an evaluation of the argument, which is concerned with cost considerations, not with the quality of legal services or the content of lawyers’ advertisements.

Question 13

Defense Department analysts worry that the ability of the United States to wage a prolonged war would be seriously endangered if the machine-tool manufacturing base shrinks further. Before the Defense Department publicly connected this security issue with the import quota issue, however, the machine-tool industry raised the national security issue in its petition for import quotas.
Which of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the machine-tool industry’s raising the issue above regarding national security?

A. When the aircraft industries retooled, they provided a large amount of work for too builders.
B. The Defense Department is only marginally concerned with the effects of foreign competition on the machine-tool industry.
C. The machine-tool industry encountered difficulty in obtaining governmental protection against imports on grounds other than defense.
D. A few weapons important for defense consist of parts that do not require extensive machining.


Solution : C

Since the size of the machine-tool manufacturing base presumably has implications in area beyond national security, one might find it surprising that the industry raised the security issue in its petition.

C, the best answer, explains that the industry turned to this issue because others tended to be ineffective in efforts to obtain governmental protection. A explains why the industry might NOT raise the security issue, since it suggests that it might have raised the issue of jobs instead.

B explains why the industry might NOT raise the security issue about import quotas, since it suggests that the Defense Department had no interest in import quotas whatsoever. D is not relevant to the industry’s choice of strategy for securing import quotas.

Question 14

Opponents of laws that require automobile drivers and passengers to wear seat belts argue that in a free society people have the right to take risks as long as the people do not harm other as a result of taking the risks. As a result, they conclude that it should be each person’s decision whether or not to wear a seat belt.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion drawn above?

A. Automobile insurance rates for all automobile owners are higher because of the need to pay for the increased injuries or deaths of people not wearing seat belts.
B. Passengers in airplanes are required to wear seat belts during takeoffs and landings.
C. The rate of automobile fatalities in states that do not have mandatory seat belt laws is greater than the rate of fatalities in states that do have such laws.
D. In automobile accidents, a greater number of passengers who do not wear seat belts are injured than are passengers who do wear seat belts.


Solution : B

The principle that people are entitled to risk injury provided they do not thereby harm others fails to justify the individual’s right to decide not to wear seat belts if it can be shown, as A shows, that that decision does harm others. Therefore, B is the best answer.

B cites a requirement analogous to the one at issue, but its existence alone does not bear on the legitimacy of the one at issue. The argument implicitly concedes that individuals take risks by not wearing seat belts; therefore, C and D, which simply confirm this concession, do not weaken the conclusion.

Question 15

The cost of producing mobile phones in Rotrua is ten percent less than the cost of producing mobile phones in Polokwane. Even after transportation fees and tariff charges are added, it is still cheaper for a company to import mobile phones from Rotrua to Polokwane than to produce mobile phones in Polokwane.

The statements above, if true, best support which of the following assertions?

A. Labor costs in Rotrua are ten percent below those in Polokwane.
B. importing mobile phones from Rotrua to Polokwane will eliminate ten percent of the manufacturing jobs in Polokwane.
C. The tariff on a mobile phone imported from Rotrua to Polokwane is less than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the mobile phone in Polokwane.
D. The fee for transporting a mobile phone from Rotrua to Polokwane is more than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the mobile phone in Rotrua.


Solution : C

If the tariff on importing mobile phones from Rotrua to Polokwane were as high as ten percent or more of the cost of producing mobile phones in ROTRUA, then, contrary to what the passage says, the cost of importing mobile phones from POLOKWANE to ROTRUA would be equal to or more than the cost of producing mobile phones in ROTRUA. thus, the tariff cannot be that high, and C is the best answer.

A give possible partial explanations for the cost difference, but neither is supported by the passage because the cost advantage in POLOKWANE might be attributable to other factors.

B and D are both consistent with the information in the passage, but the passage provides no evidence to support them.