Reading Comprehension

Paragraph Sentence Sequence

Paragraph Sentence Sequence questions ask the candidate to rearrange a group of sentences to form a coherent paragraph. These sequence questions can be of a few types. Let us try and see some examples and methods to solve these.

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Paragraph Sentence Sequence

Let us begin with a simple example. Find the correct sequence of the following sentences:

1. In spite of an unprecedented boom in the market.

A) and had to remain content

B) the paper dealer could not

C) push up his sales

D) with the volume of sale lower than

2. what he had sold the previous year.

  1. BCAD
  2. DBAC
  3. ABCD
  4. CABD

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Answer: Let us first understand the pattern of the question. The question has two fixed clauses marked with 1 and 2. All the other sentences are to be fit between the two clauses. The trick is to look for the pronouns. Make the combinations in your head and read them. Try and see which combinations make sense out of the ones that you tried. In the above case, the combination BCAD seems to fit the best. The sentence is thus “In spite of an unprecedented boom in the market the paper dealer could not push up his sales and had to remain content with the volume of sale lower than what he had sold the previous year.”

May 20, 2012 during the Annular Eclipse of the Sun

Level II Difficulty

Let us try and increase the difficulty a bit. Remember there are no fixed rules to solve these questions. The more you read, the better you will get. Assemble the following paragraph:

  1. Scientists have learned to supplement the sense of sight in numerous ways.
  1. Or they look through a small pair of lenses arranged as a microscope into a drop of water or blood and magnify by as much as 2000 diameters the living creatures there, many of which are among man’s most dangerous enemies.
  2. In front of the tiny pupil of the eye they put, on Mount Palomar, a great monocle 200 inches in diameter, and with it see 2000 times farther into the depths of space.
  3. Or they can bring happenings of long ago and far away as coloured motion pictures, by arranging silver atoms and colour-absorbing molecules to force light waves into the patterns of original reality.
  4. Or, if we want to see distant happenings on earth, they use some of the previously wasted electromagnetic waves to carry television images which they re-create as light by whipping tiny crystals on a screen with electrons in a vacuum.
  1. Or if we want to see into the centre of a steel casting or the chest of an injured child, they send the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images we can see on a screen or photograph. Thus almost every type of electromagnetic radiation yet discovered has been used to extend our sense of sight in some way.

Answer: The correct sequence is BADC. If you follow the ‘or’s you will see the sequence is very natural.

Practice Questions

Q 1: Find the correct sequence of the sentences in the paragraph:

  1. Rowson and Moor (1966) conducted the study of the development of sheep conceptus during the first fourteen days.
  1. By Day 16 to 18, it extended into the contralateral horn.
  2. Eckstein and Kelly (1977) reported that during early pregnancy in ewes, the trophoblast rapidly elongated to occupy both horns and body of the uterus by Day 20.
  3. They found that by Day 13 to 14 the embryonic vesicle lied as a 10 cm long tube in the uterine horn ipsilateral to the corpus luteum of pregnancy.
  1. King et al (1982) found that on Day 11 trophoblast vesicle began to elongate, by Day 13th vesicle entered the contralateral horn, by Day 18 both horns were occupied in ewes.

Ans: C, A, B.

Level II Difficulty

Q 2: Detect the correct sequence of the sentences in the following:

  1. Finally, he found his car keys in the back of his right pocket of his blue-jeans.
  1. Everything he had dreamed of, everything he had hoped for, all his life raced in his head in jumbled blurry images when he felt the cold steel of a gun pointed at him and a hoarse male voice telling him to give him his wallet.
  2. Somehow, he knew this wouldn’t end well. He just couldn’t have that perfect life he had dreamed of, could he?
  3. Then things took a turn for the worse.

Ans: C, A, B.

Q 3: Suggest the best sequence of the sentences that result in a coherent paragraph:

Long ago, in a land of mist and magic, a land forgotten by time itself, in a small village, a county of the kingdom there lived a

  1. young boy with big ambitions: he dreamed of becoming a knight in the king’s army, King Harold’s army.
  2. His parents were old and needed him there to help them with the animals and with the work around the house.
  3. Mark, the young village boy, was an only child.
  4. He was sure that life meant more than that. It had to. Village life was not for him.
  5. But he wanted more than that. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life caring for the pigs and goats.
  1. He was aware that his parents needed him but on the other hand, he couldn’t bury himself there.

Ans: A, C, B, E, D

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