Para-jumble questions figure in almost all MBA entrance exams. These are a set of connected statements in some random order, which need to be put in the right order to create a meaningful and coherent paragraph. They are also referred to as Sentence Rearrangement.
1. Understand the structure
The first thing that the candidates need to know before attempting questions on para-jumbles is how to structure a paragraph. Any paragraph or passage has the following parts:
-Introduction- the introduction is the opening statement of the paragraph. It lays down the theme of the passage and tells the reader what to expect in the passage.
-Middle- the introduction is followed by the middle part which includes the main content. All the points about what has been introduced in the introduction is mentioned here with examples.
-Conclusion- the conclusion is the final part of the passage that sums up or reiterates whatever has been discussed in the preceding paragraphs. The conclusion does not introduce any new point but only concludes the key ideas of the paragraph.
The candidates should understand this structure well, as this will help them know which sentence needs to be arranged where.
2. Identify the theme
Candidates should ascertain the main theme in the paragraph. This will make their work easier. this is because once they understand the theme, they will be able to identify the flow of the paragraph or statements and the links between these statements would become clearer.
3. Look for pairs
It is a good idea to work out the opening and closing statements. After doing this, proceed to identify the possible pairs or sentences that will necessarily come together. Some examples of such pairs could be:
-Nouns and Pronouns- a sentence with a noun will always come before a sentence with a pronoun used for that particular noun.
- Same subject- statements based on the same subject will come together.
- Chronology- statements need to be grouped together according to a chronology, which shall be guided by the sentences.
-Look for key words that give you more than a hint about the placement of a particular statement. For instance, words such as in addition, furthermore, moreover, besides, although, if, until, yet, because, meanwhile, however, and so on, give a fair idea to the candidates about the link with statements preceding or succeeding the statement with these words. For instance, a word like ‘Furthermore’ provides additional information to the statement preceding the sentence in which it is used.
4. Some common observations
- The statement beginning with the name of a person will mostly be the first sentence of the paragraph, while the sentences beginning with pronouns other than ‘I’ and ‘You’ will not form the first sentence of a paragraph.
- The statements that begin with determiners such as that, these and those will not form the first sentence.
- The statements beginning with articles ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’, have a good chance of being the first sentence.
- Sentences beginning with but, so, now shall appear in this order only.
- The last statement or the conclusion can be identified through words such as finally, thus, in conclusion, hence and therefore.
Advice for candidates
Para jumbles become easy once the candidates identify the flow of the sentences and the central theme. Identifying the introduction and conclusion makes the job easier. With enough practise, candidates can get a good hold over para jumbles.
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