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A Jumble


Most of the information given in parajumbles is unnecessary for the purpose at hand, i.e., sorting the sentences. In essence what we are looking for are things that can help us in connecting the sentences. Some approaches are given below to help identify the sequence of sentences.

Generally, in a given parajumble more than one approach will be applicable at the same time, therefore practices identifying which approach/approaches apply to the parajumbles you have to solve.

Noun-Pronoun Relationship Approach


In noun/pronoun relationships, we know that the noun will come first and will be referred to later using suitable pronouns.

Study the following example:

  1. People can get infected by handling reptiles and then touching their mouths or an open cut.
  2. At first they look the perfect pets: exotic, quiet and tidy.
  3. A study estimates that in 1995, there were as many as 6,700 reptile-caused salmonella infections.
  4. But lizards and other pets can harbor a salmonella bacterium that makes people sick.
    1. BCAD
    2. BCDA
    3. ACDB
    4. BDCA

Read sentences C and D carefully. Sentence D contains the noun phrase “a salmonella bacterium” and Sentence C contains the noun phrase “salmonella infections”. What is the relationship between the two? Since the phrase “a salmonella bacterium” introduces the bacterium, it should logically precede the phrase “salmonella infections”. Therefore, the sentence that contains the phrase “a salmonella bacterium” should come before the sentence that contains the phrase “salmonella infections”. So, Sentence D should precede Sentence C! Once you have a link between two sentences, look at the answer choices to see if you are on the right track. If you are, then you have the right answer (Option (d) BDCA) and it is time to move on to the next exercise.


  1. These enormous “rivers” – quite inconstant, sometimes shifting, often branching and eddying in manners that defy explanation and prediction – occasionally cause disastrous results.
    1. One example is El Nino, the periodic catastrophe that plagues the West Coast of America.
    2. It is rich in life.
    3. This coast is normally caressed by the cold, rich Humboldt Current.
    4. Usually the Humboldt hugs the shore and extends 200 to 300 miles out to sea.

6. It fosters the largest commercial fishery in the world and is the home of one of the mightiest game fish on record, the black marlin.

  1. ABCD
  2. DCAB
  3. ACDB
  4. CBAD

Read sentences A and C carefully. Notice the noun/pronoun relationship between the two. Sentence A refers to “the West Coast of America” and Sentence C talks about “this coast”. Which coast? Obviously “the West Coast of America”! Therefore, Sentences A and C are related and Sentence A must come before Sentence C. Now look again. Sentence C talks about “the cold, rich Humboldt Current” and Sentence D refers to “the Humboldt” obviously these two sentences are also related. Which one should come first? Once you have decided, check the answer choices to see if you are correct. (Option (c) ACDB)

Acronym Approach: Full Form vs. Short Form


When we introduce someone or something, we use the complete name or title. When we refer to the same someone or something later in the paragraph, we use just the surname or the first name if we are on familiar terms with the person being discussed. If we are discussing an object, we remove the modifiers and just use the noun or a pronoun to refer to it.

In Parajumbles we encounter full and short names or sometimes acronyms of some term or institution. Example: World Trade Organisation – WTO, Dr. Manmohan Singh – Dr. Singh, Karl Marx – Marx, President George W. Bush – President Bush or The President. The rule is that if both full form as well as short form is present in different sentences, then the sentence containing full form will come before the sentence containing short form.


  1. If you are used to having your stimulation come in from outside, your mind never develops its own habits of thinking and reflecting.
  2. Marx thought that religion was the opiate, because it soothed people’s pain and suffering and prevented them from rising in rebellion.
  3. If Karl Marx was alive today, he would say that television is the opiate of the people.
  4. Television and similar entertainments are even more of an opiate because of their addictive tendencies.
    1. BACD
    2. ADBC
    3. BCDA
    4. CBDA

Sentence B has Marx (short form) and sentence C has Karl Marx (full form). So C will come before B. Now look at the options. In option (a), (b) and (c), B is placed before C—hence, rejected. Option (d) is the right answer.

Time Sequence Approach (TSA)–either Dates or Time Sequence Indicating Words

In a given parajumbles, there may be a time indication given, either by giving years – or by using time indicating words. This provides a way for us to identify the correct sequence of the sentences by arranging the sentences using their proper time sequence. Some words through which a time sequence may be indicated are – Before, after, later, when, etc.

  1. Then two astronomers—the German, Johannes Kepler, and the Italian, Galileo Galilei—started publicly to support the Copernican theory, despite the fact that the orbits it predicted did not quite match the ones observed.
  2. His idea was that the sun was stationary at the centre and that the earth and the planets move in circular orbits around the sun.
  3. A simple model was proposed in 1514 by a Polish priest, Nicholas Copernicus.
  4. Nearly a century passed before this idea was taken seriously.
    1. CADB
    2. BCAD
    3. CBDA
    4. CDBA

In the above example you will observe that the flow of logic is in the form of a time sequence which flows from the oldest time period to a more contemporary time period. Therefore,

Sentence C will be the first sentence. Sentence B expands upon the “
simple model” proposed, hence, it will be the sentence following C. The next sentence in order of chronology is C—nearly a century passed, while the last sentence will be A which completes the sequence from older time to contemporary time thus giving us the answer as CBDA


  1. By the time he got to Linjeflug four years later, he had learned many lessons, in fact, he began his second stint as top dog by calling the entire company together in a hanger and asking for help, a far cry from his barking out commands just 48 months back.
  2. At SAS, he arrived at a time crisis.
  3. This book is chock-a-block full of intrusive stories and practical advice, describing Carton’s activities at Vingresor (where he assumed his first presidency at age 32), Linjeflug, and SAS in particular.
  4. He began at Vingresor as an order giver, not a listener – neither to his people nor to his customers and made every mistake in the book.
    1. CDAB
    2. CBAD
    3. BACD
    4. BADC

Observe the sequence given. Again you will see a chronological order in the parajumble. Sentence C gives us a clear indication that the book is being talked about in current times. Sentence D then starts tracing Carton’s career path from the beginning, thus leading us to the correct sequence of CDAB.

Structure Approach

In order to unjumble a group of sentences quickly, it is essential for us to understand how language sticks together to form a cohesive unit. English provides certain sequencing words – firstly, secondly, then, however, consequently, on the other hand, etc. – which writers use to join sentences or ideas together and to provide a smooth flow from one idea to the next. It is essential to learn how to spot these words and learn how to use them correctly. Para-jumble sentences often contain several signal words, combining them in complex ways.

Cause and Effect Signals: 
Look for words or phrases explicitly indicating that one thing causes another or logically determines another. Some examples of such words are:



in order to












Support Signal Words: Look for the words or phrases supporting a given sentence. Sentences containing these words will generally not be the opening sentence. These sentences will follow immediately the sentence supported. Some examples of such words are:








as well






Contrast Signals: Look for function words or phrases (conjunctions, sentence adverbs, etc.) that indicate a contrast between one idea and another, setting up a reversal of a thought.




on the contrary



even though

instead of


in spite of


in contrast





Let us put into practice what we have discussed so far. Here is a typical example, combining all the points discussed above.


  1. When conclusions are carefully excluded, however, and observed facts are given instead, there is never any trouble about the length of the papers.
  2. The reason for this is that those early paragraphs contain judgments that there is little left to be said.
  3. A judgment (“He is a boy”, “She is an awful bore”) is a conclusion, summing up a large number of previously observed facts.
  4. In fact, they tend to become too long, since inexperienced writers, when told to give facts, often give more than are necessary, because they lack discrimination between the important and the trivial.
  5. It is a common observation among teachers that students almost always have difficulty in writing themes of the required length because their ideas give out after a paragraph or two.
    1. ECDAB
    2. CEBAD
    3. EACBD
    4. EBCAD

Sentence E states the situation in general and gives us information about why students have problems “in writing themes of the required length”. Sentence B goes on to tell us “the reason for this”, so the two sentences must be related. Similarly, Sentence C is related to Sentence B because both sentences contain the word “judgment”, with Sentence C explaining what the word means. Once a link of this nature is established, go to the answer choices to see if you are on the right track. D any of the answer choices offer our line of reasoning? Answer (d) does.

In the above jumble, the word “however” in Sentence A suggests a contrast to something mentioned previously. In situations of this kind, it is always a good idea to separate the argument clearly. Sentences A and D, therefore, should come together. Now you try.


  1. To read the characters or the letters of the text does not mean reading in the true sense of the word.
    1. This mere mechanism of reading becomes altogether automatic at an early period of life.
    2. You will often find yourself reading words or characters automatically, while your mind is concerned with a totally different subject.
    3. This can be performed irrespective of attention.
    4. Neither can I call it reading when it is just to extract the narrative portion of a text from the rest simply for one’s personal amusement.
      1. BACD
      2. DCBA
      3. ADCB
      4. CBDA

The word “neither” in Sentence D will tell you that there is something additional that the writer wishes to discuss. Sentences 1, A, B and C all talk about the same idea. Therefore, Sentence D should be the last sentence. Any answers? So, option (a) is the answer.

Linking the Sentences

Let us look at the following statements:

  1. As a retention strategy, the company has issued many schemes including ESOPs.
  2. Given the track record and success of our employees, other companies often look to us as hunting ground for talent.
  3. The growth of the Indian economy has led to an increased requirement for talented managerial personnel and we believe that the talented manpower is our key strength.
  4. Further in order to mitigate the risk we place considerable emphasis on development of leadership skills and on building employee motivation.

I have deliberately not given the options here.

Read all the statements one by one, and try to find out the opening statement and any possible linkage between/among the statements.


Can I be the opening statement – Very Unlikely. It does not introduce any idea or theme. Ideally the 1st statement would be an initiator of ideas or theme of the passage.
Can II be the opening statement – May be.
Can III be the opening statement – May be.
Can IV be the opening statement – Very Unlikely as it talks about an idea which is being “furthered” in this statement. You can also see that statement IV talks about “Mitigating the risk”. What is the risk? So now we would try to find out the “risk” in other statements. This “risk” is present in statement II in the words – “other companies often look to us as hunting ground for talent”. So, statement II will come before statement IV.

As discussed earlier, statement IV furthers an idea, and that idea is present in statement I. Hence, I-IV should come together.
Let us see all that we have established so far:
Link – I-IV and II will come before IV and I cannot be the starting statement.

Now let us look at the options:
A. I, II, III, IV – Ruled out and I-IV link is not present.
B. II, I, IV, III – This is the only option left out. Hence, answer.
C. III, I, IV, II – Ruled out as II comes after IV.
D. IV, I, III, II – Ruled out as I-IV link is not present.

Hence, option (b) is the answer.



Let us look at another example from CAT 2007:

  1. In America, highly educated women, who are in stronger position in the labour market than less qualified ones, have higher rates of marriage than other groups.
    [A is the opening statement as mentioned in the paper. You are required to re-arrange the following four statements.]
  2. Some work supports the Becker thesis, and some appears to contradict it.
  3. And, as with crime, it is equally inconclusive.
  4. But regardless of the conclusion of any particular piece of work, it is hard to establish convincing connections between family changes and economic factors using conventional approaches.
  5. Indeed, just as with crime, an enormous academic literature exists on the validity of the pure economic approach to the evolution of family structures. (Options Withheld pro tem)

Can B be the opening statement – Very Unlikely. There is no mention of “Becker thesis” in the opening statement.

Can C be the opening statement – Two words in the statement – “Crime” and “Inconclusive” make this as the statement after A very unlikely.

Can D be the opening statement – Though it furthers the idea presented in statement A, usage of word like “But” make it unlikely to be the statement coming just after statement A. Besides, statement A does not talk about any piece of work. In fact, statement A is just an opinion.

Can E be the opening statement – Yes. E is the statement after A – both through elimination of other statements and selection.

Next statement should be C, as it again talks about ‘Crime’ and how inconclusive it is (despite “an enormous academics literature exists” as given in statement E).

Next statement:
D should be the last statement as it concludes the whole theme that “it is hard to establish”. Now the whole point is – how do we place statement B and Becker thesis, which finds no mention in the whole passage. Only reasoning that can be given here is – Probably this passage has been taken from a book or project report which has something to do with Becker Thesis, and this passage is just a small part of it.

Now let us look at the options and try to eliminate the options with the help of the conclusions that we have derived so far:

  1. BCDE – Ruled out as E is the 1st statement.
  2. DBEC – Ruled out as E is the 1st statement.
  3. BDCE – Ruled out as E is the 1st statement.
  4. ECBD – Answer.
  5. EBCD – Ruled out as EC. D is the link.

Hence, option (d) is the answer.

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