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Tips & Tricks to solve Odd One Out questions in CAT exam

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Tips & Tricks to solve Odd One Out questions in CAT exam

Odd One Out type questions have been recently introduced in the CAT Exam. Out of 34 questions in the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Section, 3 questions are from Odd One Out. These questions comes under TITA [Type in the Answer] type of questions wherein one have to type in the number corresponding to the statement that is the odd one. In this article, we will be seeing some amazing Tips & Tricks to Solve the Odd One Out Questions that comes in the CAT Exam.

Sentence exclusion or Odd One Out questions tests one important skill: to detect an anomaly in data. Sentence exclusion is a new twist on the old Parajumbles question. An ‘irregular’ sentence is added to an already haphazard paragraph. Out of the four/ five given sentences, 3/4 sentences are coherent parts of the paragraph and the remaining one is the one that needs to be taken out. This is an extra task for the candidate as he has to not only fish out the odd sentence but also join the sentences so as to form a proper paragraph.

Look at the simple Odd one out questions before moving on to the ones in CAT:

Look at the following words, and find the odd one among them.

Taxi     Plane   Bike     Walk

The answer is obvious: Walk.

What you did here to solve the question was:

  1. First you read the words in given order.
  2. You figured out that three of them have the common category of ‘vehicles’.
  3. You comprehended that the fourth one does not belong to this group and so that is the answer to this question.

This is exactly what has to be done in the sentence exclusion or odd one out questions in CAT:

  1. You have to read the given sentences in that order.
  2. Figure out what they have in common, i.e., what is the main common idea linking them together.
  3. Confirm the odd sentence that will be incoherent with the paragraph and finalize the correct order (if asked).

How to find what the given sentences have in common?

Answer is find the Commonality in the paragraph. The easiest way to figure out the commonality is to find out ‘what is going on’ in the paragraph. Find the ‘topic of discussion’, what the author is trying to convey. When you find the ‘topic’, you will figure out which are the sentences that have that ‘subject’ in common.

The ‘topic’ can commonly be found in the opening sentence of the paragraph. To find the opening sentence, use the usual Para Jumbles technique. The opening sentence mostly chalks out the timeline of the events, the full names of the characters involved, the idea upon which the whole paragraph is built up in the succeeding sentences and the sentence which does not end abruptly with “however…” or “but…”.

Once the opening sentence is discovered, the rest of the sentences need to be sorted out in order to find the link and connect them to form a paragraph. The sentence which cannot be connected or linked with the other sentences to be a part of the paragraph is usually the odd one out.

A reverse – way of identifying the misfit

The odd sentence is usually made to appear as a part of the paragraph to confuse the candidates. It will usually feature the same people involved or has the same broad theme as discussed in the other sentences (For example, the para may be about WWII, and the misfit may be about WWI).

Still, there are some obvious signs to fish out the odd sentence:

  1. Inconsistent tense – This is perhaps the most common sign of an odd sentence. The entire paragraph may be in one tense or one-time frame. Then there may be a sentence that sticks out because it has an entirely different tense.
  2. Inconsistent tone – The para may be entirely formal or sometimes informal in tone, and the misfit sentence has the opposite tone.
  3. The ‘Also’ type – The entire para may talk about one thing that a person or persons has/have been doing. The misfit may talk about something entirely different than the same people may have done. This is usually made difficult due to the commonality of people.
  4. The ‘Opposite’ type – The para tries to prove one a thing, the misfit tries to prove the opposite. This may seem easy to spot but is usually made difficult by making the opposition subtle.

For example:

How, in such an alien and inhuman world, can so powerless a creature as Man preserve his aspirations untarnished? A strange mystery it is that Nature, omnipotent but blind, in the revolutions of her secular hurrying’s through the abysses of space, has brought forth, at last, a child, subject still to her power, but gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and evil, with the capacity of judging all the works of his unthinking Mother.

In spite of Death, the mark and seal of the parental control, Man is yet free, during his brief years, to examine, to criticize, to know, and in imagination to create. The freedom, however, is often exploited by Man to rule all other species on the earth. To him alone, in the world with which he is acquainted, this freedom belongs, and in this lies his superiority to the resistless forces that control his outward life.

Observe how the sentence in bold subtly contradicts and deviates from the main theme of the paragraph.

This ‘reverse technique’ works only when you are aware of what is going on in the paragraph thoroughly. You know the subject matter of the discussion. You cannot find the odd sentence just on the basis of a minor difference. Do not assume the odd sentence.

To summarize,

  1. Find the main theme by finding the opening sentence
  2. Find the one connection, which gives you a reason to single out a misfit
  3. Put the rest of the paragraph together by eliminating the misfit.

CAT Exam Odd One Out | Practice Questions with Solutions:

Now, let’s apply the above-mentioned Tips and Tricks to solve Odd One Out questions in CAT exam:

Example 1: [Odd One Out for CAT]

1. It came as something of a surprise when scientists determined that human beings share almost 99 percent of their genetic material with chimpanzees.

2. Pre-human bipeds predated stone tools, which appeared approximately 2.5 million year ago.

 3. Despite all that is held in common, however, the differences are crucial and allow humans to be allotted their won genus and species, Homo sapiens.

 4. This led one scientific journalist to refer to humans as “the third chimpanzee.”

Sol: 1, 4, and 3 can be seen as describing what is common between chimpanzees and human species and yet how different they are. 2 has no connection with this theme. So the answer is Option 2.

Example 2: [Odd One Out for CAT]

1. This is the country where the leader of the ruling party, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, at least three chief ministers, and a number of sports and business icons are women.

2. It is also a country where a generation of newly empowered young women are going out to work in large number than ever before.

3. It is early days yet, but one hopes these are the first stirrings of change.

4. Trust Law, a news service run by Thomson Reuters, has ranked India as the worst G20 country in which to be a woman.

Sol: 4, 1, and 2 make up a complete story about the country being the worst for women in spite of the facts presented in 1 and 2. Since there is no connection between this and the “stirrings of change” in 3, it is the odd sentence. The answer is Option 3.

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Tips & Tricks to solve Odd One Out questions in CAT exam
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