‘Phodo CAT’ – 5 questions a day towards decimating CAT – Updated on 18th Oct 2011!


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In our new series for IIM aspirants, we provide 5 typical CAT questions of the day in association with CPLC . We will upload the best ways to solve them the very next day. Do give us your solutions for the same. If your method is selected by our experts as the smartest way, you stand a chance to win a cash prize of Rs. 300/- (It is possible no one is selected on a day if our experts’ solution is better than all entries!)


Old ‘Phodo CAT’ questions and answers can be found here : Phodo CAT Archive

Update 18-Oct-2011: Please find below a couple of question sets on Logical Reasoning. Recommended time:10 mins

Directions for questions 1 to 3: Answer these questions on the basis of the information given below.

X, Y and Z are playing a game.  There are some matchsticks on a table.  Each person has to pick up at least one matchstick and at the most two matchsticks, in turn.  The person, who picks up the last matchstick, loses.  X, Y and Z take turns in that order – till all the match sticks are picked up.  Each person plays intelligently such that, to the extent possible, he does not lose even if the other two players collude.

1. How many matchsticks should X and Y respectively pick in their first chance, So that Z is certain to lose if X and Y play with the common objective of making Z lose? (There are 7 matchsticks to start with)

a) (1, 1)                         b) (1, 2)                         c) (2,1)                            d) (2,2)

2. If there are 5 matchsticks at some point of time in the game, and you are told later that Y lost the game, then whose turn was it to pick up matchsticks at that point of time.

a) X                              b) Y                              c) Z                                d) cannot be determined

3. What is the smallest number of matchsticks greater than 5 at the beginning that would ensure that Z will lose, given that X and Y work towards making Z lose?

a) 7                               b) 8                              c) 9                                d) 6


Directions for questions 4 to 6: 8 people A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H are seated in a circular formation.

  • G is sitting between B and D.
  • A is sitting to the immediate left of C.
  • G is to the immediate right of D, who is two places to the left of F.
  • C is sitting 2 places to the right of H, who is sitting 2 places to the left of E.

4. If A is facing west, which pair is definitely facing the same direction?

a)  B and F                    b) G and H                    c) C and E                    d) Cannot be determined

5. If H is facing south, who amongst the following can be facing north-west?

a) A                              b) D                              c) F                              d) C

6. If D is sitting to the immediate right of G, who could be sitting to the immediate left of D?

a) G                              b) E                              c) B                              d) Cannot be determined


Update 18-Oct-2011: Answers to the questions on contextual English Usage are given below:

1.( b) – ‘never goes away’ in the first sentence results in permanency

2.( c) ‘ to forget was natural’  makes the opposite of it costly and time consuming.

3.( d) The sentence later states that we keep all these things (rough drafts etc.) hence retain.

4.( a) since we fail to delete them retaining information has become the ‘normal’ way of doing things – the closest option that comes to this meaning is default. default means: failure  to  act;  inaction  or  neglect.

5.( d) By contrast to ‘retaining information’ will be deleting it (in this context) rather than any other option.

Update 14-Oct-2011: Please find below a new set of questions on contextual English Usage:

In questions 1 to 5 certain parts of a paragraph are left blank. Choose the best word from the options to fill in the blanks.


In fact, we all are coming to learn that lesson the hard way: digital information almost never goes away, even if we wish that it would. The result is the _____(1)_____of the past in the present. This fact is one of the biggest challenges that society will face as computers and the Internet become more a part of everyday life. For millennia, _____(2)_____information was costly and time-consuming, and to forget was a natural part of being human. In the digital age, the opposite is true: cheap computer storage, powerful processors, and ubiquitous Internet access have made remembering the norm. Consider this: we tend to _____(3)_____our rough drafts, years of e-mail traffic, and thousands of ghastly digital snapshots on our hard drives, not because we have decided that they are worth remembering, but because keeping them is now the _____(4)_____way of doing things. By contrast, deciding what to _____(5)_____is costly. It actually requires much more time and effort to shed data than to keep it. So we click “save” just in case.



1. a) insistence            b) permanency              c) transience                 d) relevance

2. a) getting                 b) spreading                 c) remembering             d)forgetting

3. a) delete                  b) forget                                   c) recycle                      d) retain

4. a) default                 b) only                          c) anticipated                d) predictable

5. a) remember            b) understand                c) reconcile                   d) delete


Update 14-Oct-2011: Answers to Reading Comprehension Questions are given below:

1. a) The first paragraph states that religious faiths and customs unite the members each tribe within that tribe. “…members of these groups possess one thing in common: they believe in the constant insistency to remain united under religious faiths and customs.” The various tribal groups in India in different parts of India are not (cannot be) united by common faith and customs. Hence option (a) is incorrect. The first paragraph itself supports the other options (b) and (c). Option (c) is implied by the part, “most of the insistency, however, comes from …”


2. b) The passage is too concise to accommodate option (a). Option is vague and general as this passage talks briefly about the religious faiths of two tribal groups – the Nagas and the Bhils. Option (d) is partially correct but the passage is not a general introduction of these tribes but deals only with the religious faiths, hence option (b) is the best way to describe the topic of the essay.


3. b) Statement A is incorrect because the passage states head hunting and human sacrifice was an “older tradition” from which the current sacrifice of pigs and dogs has originated. Hence it is incorrect to say that “they are head hunters….” B is correct because the passage states “quaint and secretive”. C is correct because tabu (taboo) is mentioned. D is mentioned explicitly.


4. c) This is stated in the passage at the end of the third paragraph.


5. b) – the dictionary meaning of syncretism as used in this context.



Update 11-Oct-2011: Today’s set is another Reading Comprehension Passage. Please find passage and questions below. Suggested time limit: 10 mins.

Passage 2


Amongst the 68 teeming million citizens of India who belong to tribal groups, Indian tribal religious concepts, terminologies and practices are as wide-ranging as the hundreds of tribes. However, members of these groups possess one thing in common: they believe in the constant insistency to remain united under religious faiths and customs. Most of the insistency, however, comes from the process of consolidation within a national political and economic system that brings tribes into increasing reach with other groups and uncountable prestigious belief systems. On the whole, those tribes that remain geographically separated in desert, hill, and forest regions or on islands are able to retain their traditional cultures and religions for a longer period of time.


The Naga tribes live in the mountains of north-east India. They believe in a specific earthquake god who created the earth out of the waters by earthquakes. The sons of this God now watch over mankind and punish those who perform wrong deeds. Religious life in this Indian tribe is quite quaint and secretive, compared to the others. Other deities without name or form reside in the mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, who need mollifying, for their hostile attitude to men. Omens and dreams are also generally believed in. Witchcraft is widely practised and some men are also believed to have the capability to turn into tigers. Some tribal groups sacrifice dogs or pigs when making a wood carving; otherwise the carver will soon fall ill or die. This most likely belongs to the older tradition of only allowing a man to carve a human figure in a morung (bachelors’ dormitory) when he had taken a head. Head-hunting was a significant practice, since fertile crops depended on a sprinkling of blood from a stranger over the fields. Reincarnation is believed by many Naga tribes and the dead are buried in the direction from which their ancestors have arrived. The doctrine of genna (tabu) involves the entire social groups: villages, clans, households, age groups, sex groups, in a series of rituals that are regularly practised; this genna ritual is also the result of an emergency such as an earthquake.


The Bhils are one of the largest tribes of western India, living in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Many Bhils are Hinduised. Religious life amongst this Indian tribe is known to be much varied and curious. There exists a myth of descent from a tiger ancestor. The Jhabua Bhil and others believe in Bhagavan or Bholo Iswor, who is a personal supreme God. They also believe in minor deities who have shrines on hills or underneath the trees. Worship of Bhagavan is generally performed at the settlements central sanctuary. There lies a human-oriented cult of the dead amongst the Bhils, whose main ritual is named Nukto and is practised in front of a dead person’s house. Nukto purifies the spirit of the dead and merges it with Bhagavan. Gothriz Purvez is the collective ancestor. The perception of a spirit-rider is crucial in Nukto and Gothriz Purvez accompanies the spirit on part of its journey to the after-world.


Many tribes in India demonstrate considerable syncretism with Hinduism, like the Kadugollas of Karnataka, who worship gods such as Junjappa, Yattappa, Patappa, and Cittappa. In reality they are more devoted to Shiva, who dominates their festivals and religious observances. Local deities are still of significance, though, the Bedanayakas of Karnataka worship Papanayaka. This deity is supposed to have lived 300-400 years ago as a holy man among them and who performed miracles.


Beginning of Question Set

1. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true?

a) Common religious faiths and customs unite the various tribal groups in India.

b) Tribal groups living in isolation retain their unique customs and faiths for longer periods.

c) Tribal groups lose their unique customs and faiths when brought into the mainstream India.

d) None of these.


2. What is this passage about?

a) Life of Indian tribes.

b) Religious life of Indian tribes

c) Tribal concepts and practices.

d) The Nagas of north-east and the Bhils of western India.


3. According to the passage, which of the following is/are true about the Nagas of the north-east?

A. They are head-hunters and practice human sacrifice to appease their gods.

B. They practice their religious belief more often individually and privately.

C. They practice prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective.

D. They worship mountains, forests and other natural phenomena.

a) A, B, C and D            b) B, C and D                c) C and D                    d) A, B and D



4. According to the passage, the Gothriz Purvez of the Bhils is which of the following?

a) The leader (head) of the tribe also called a spirit rider.

b) The supreme God.

c) The spirit from which the tribe has descended.

d) The purified spirit of the dead Bhil that merges with Bhagwan.
 5. Which of the following descriptions most closely correspond to the meaning of ‘syncretism’ in the context? (the last paragraph, first line)

a) The fusion of two or more originally different inflectional forms.

b) The combination of different forms of belief or practice

c) The attempted reconciliation with a common enemy.

d) The principles or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects.


End of Question Set


Do not forget to leave your full name and email address along with your solutions in the comment sections below so that we can contact you just in case your solution is selected as the smartest solution for the questions! (For obvious reasons, CPLC students will not be eligible for the cash prize 🙂 But you guys can still revise for CAT 2011! So do participate!)

All the best! Phod dalo!

Old ‘Phodo CAT’ questions and answers can be found here : Phodo CAT Archive

About CPLC

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CPLC was founded by Prof. S.G Chitale (of Chitale-Joshi Math text book fame) and his son Parag Chitale. An MBA himself, from JBIMS, Parag decided to tread on the footsteps of his father when he started to teach the BMS students in different colleges in Mumbai. Seeing the dearth of classes for MBA entrance exam that offered personalized attention, he decided to start one himself at a residential premise at Santacruz. Started with mere two full time faculty members, today CPLC has a battery of 15 full time employees which includes 10 faculty members. There are another 8 faculty members who teach part-time. Every faculty member is a known figure in the industry and yet is very attached to the CPLC philosophy of “Value Education with Personal Attention”.

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@Manu and everyone! Rejoice! Sharpen the pencils! The new questions are here!!!

Dhairya Sanghvi

1. ans. (a) 95:68

Sol: 20! = 19! x 5 x 2 x 2
In 19!, 5 comes 3 times, and 2 comes 16 times.
so in 20!, 5 comes 4 times and 2 comes 18 times.

Therefore on taking the ratio of the number of factors,
all except powers of 2 and 5 cancel out.

So, (18+1)(4+1)/(16+1)(3+1) = (19×5)/(17×4) = 95/68

2. ans. (d) c.b.d

Sol: The figure formed on joining the centers of
the circles need not be a square. it could be a
rhombus and hence the angles (subtended at the respective centers)
need not be equal.
The area in the shaded portion will depend on these angles.

3. ans. (a) 270

Sol: Let the marked price be m and the C.P. x1, x2, x3.
Discounts: 1/9, 1/7, 1/6 (converting percentages to ratios)
Profits: 1/6, 1/8, 1/3
For the sum of C.P.s to be the least, the logical combination
of discount and profit will be:
d p
1/9 1/3
1/6 1/6
1/7 1/8
Thus, Selling Price SP1 = m – m/9 = 8m/9
SP2 = m – m/7 = 6m/7
SP3 = m – m/6 = 5m/6
Using (S.P. – C.P.)/C.P. = Profit, for all the three we get,
x1 = 2m/3; x2 = 16m/21; x3 = 5m/7

Thus x1 + X2 + X3 = 15m/7.

Only option (a) 270 satisfies the above and all the conditions given in the question.

4. ans. (a) 7/11

Sol: Rationalize RHS twice and then compare LHS and RHS.
P = 7/11

5. ans. (d) (x+2)*f(x+1)/x

Sol: Substitute x+2 in place of x.
Then check the value of each option and match it with the above value.