Jumbled paragraphs are common test questions in all competitive examination, a much feared topic for candidates across all banking exams. Parajumbles are jumbled paragraphs. Basically, you are given a paragraph but the sentences are not in the right order. The candidate is expected to rearrange the sentences in a logical order such that they make sense. Through these questions examiner wants to know the candidate’s reading skill as well as reasoning ability.
These questions have the following structure
“Given below are six sentences, i.e. A, B, C, D, E and F, which have been presented in a wrong order. Arrange them in order to form a meaningful paragraph and then answer the questions given below.”
This statement is followed by 5-6 statements in jumbled order.
Contrary to popular belief, you can attain 100 % accuracy in parajumbles questions if you approach them scientifically. This is how you approach parajumbles questions step by step.
1. Identify Transition words:
Transition words make the shift from one idea to another very smooth. They organize and connect the sentences logically. Observing the transition words found in a sentence can often give you a clue about the sentence that will come before/after that particular sentence. Given below are some commonly used transition words:
also, again, as well as, besides, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly, consequently, hence, otherwise, subsequently, therefore, thus, as a rule, generally, for instance, for example, for one thing, above all, aside from, barring, besides, in other words, in short, instead, likewise, on one hand, on the other hand, rather, similarly, yet, but, however, still, nevertheless, first of all, to begin with, at the same time, for now, for the time being, in time, later on, meanwhile, next, then, soon, the meantime, later, while, earlier, simultaneously, afterward, in conclusion, with this in mind, after all, all in all to sum-up.
2. Identify Personal Pronouns
Personal pronouns are he, she, it, him, her, they, you, your etc. Remember that personal pronouns always refer to a person, place or thing etc. Therefore, if a sentence contains a personal pronoun without mentioning the person, place or object it is referring to, the person, place or object must have come in the previous sentence. Often, this is a good lead to identify a link.
3. Demonstrative Pronoun
The demonstrative pronouns are “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” “This” and “that” are used to refer to singular nouns or noun phrases and “these” and “those” are used to refer to plural nouns and noun phrases. Whenever a sentence contains a demonstrative pronoun without mentioning the noun or the noun phrase, it means that the previous sentence must be mentioning that noun or noun phrase. Finding that noun or noun phrase helps us connect two sentences.
- Michael Hofman, a poet and translator, accepts this sorry fact without approval or complaint.
- But thanklessness and impossibility do not daunt him.
- He acknowledges too “in fact he returns to the point often” that best translators of poetry always fail at some level.
- Hofman feels passionately about his work, and this is clear from his writings.
- In terms of the gap between worth and rewards, translators come somewhere near nurses and street-cleaners.
1. EACDB 2. ADEBC 3. EACBD 4. DCEAB
- Again an easy one. Notice the demonstrative pronoun “this” in sentence A: Michael Hofman, a poet and translator, accepts this sorry fact without approval or complaint. Also note that sentence A is introducing Michael Hofman (Michael Hofman, a poet and translator,…) and will thereby come before every sentence containing the personal pronoun he or him. So which sorry fact is sentence Areferring to? It can only be the fact found in sentence E. Also, other sentences contain “he” or “him”.
- Therefore, EA is a link. Link EA is contained in option 1, 3 and 4. But in 4, sentence D is coming before sentence A, and this cannot happen because sentence A should be before any other sentence referring to Hofman as sentence A is introducing Hofman. Therefore, we are left with options 1 and 3. The difference between options 1 and 3 is the order of sentence Dand B. Let’s examine the link DB:
- Option 1: Link DB- Hofman feels passionately about his work, and this is clear from his writings. But thanklessness and impossibility do not daunt him.
- Does this sound like a plausible flow? Certainly NOT. Therefore, link DB is incorrect and the correct answer is option 3.
4. Combining it with logic
Sometimes using logic to decide the order of sentences can yield high dividends. In the previous example, we had used logic to determine that sentence A would come before any other sentence referring Hofman. Keep your eyes open for clues such as these
5. Acronym Approach
Full form vs. short form:
In parajumbles we encounter full and short names or acronyms of some term or institution.
Ex-World Trade Organization – 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.
6. Time Sequence Approach
Either dates or time sequence indicating words: Be aware of the time indication either by giving years – or by using time indicating words. Arrange the sentences using their proper time sequence. Here are a few time sequence indicating words –Before after later when.
7. Theory Approach
If any sentence is working as an example – place it after the sentence for which it is working as an example, not necessarily just after – because one has to explain the idea, it is hypothesis/ theory. It should not be before the idea that it explains.
8. Articles Approach
Articles can be divided into two categories –
1. Definite (the) and
2. Indefinite (a and an).
When the author uses ‘a / an’ – he wants to make a general statement – wants to introduce the noun followed by a/an for the first time but when he uses ‘the’ he wants to refer back to some previously discussed noun. It means having ‘the’ is very unlikely in the opening sentence. If ‘a/an’ and ‘the’ both are used for the same noun then the sentence containing ‘the’ will come after the sentence containing a/an.
9. Noun, Pronoun and Adjective (NPA) Approach
– Whenever pronoun comes – it will come in the immediate sentence containing the respective noun.
i. e. A sequence can be like this
or like this
………….. no pronoun
i.e. the pronoun sequence will continue till it is halted by a break (i.e. a sentence containing no pronoun) then if necessary it will start with the noun again. We can’t write pronoun after a break. It is not a correct form of writing.
10. Opening – Closing Sentence (OCS) Approach
Supported or free, general or need previous explanation:
OCS is particularly useful in 4 sentence parajumbles (where opening sentence is not given)
Let’s see the characteristics of an opening sentence
It will introduce an idea in the first hand.
In most of the cases it will use indefinite article a/an. i.e. if both definite and indefinite articles are used for the same noun then the sentence containing noun with indefinite article a/an will come first (may be opening sentence).
The sentence can stand alone
It will not have pronouns (exception: if respective noun is not mentioned anywhere). It will not have contrast words/or words indicating continuation/or words like – hence, therefore, so- etc.
11. Key Words Approach – KWA
Some words will be repeated in two consecutive sentences:
In most of the cases we repeat some important words of one sentence in the sentence that follows.
Hence if you are seeing any important (not like he, she, that, is, are type) then chances are that these two sentences will be consecutive. Remember it gives you an idea that which sentences can be consecutive for example 23 or 32 but for exact order you have to look for some other clue or meaning.
12. Structure Approach – SA
Link sentences logically i.e.:
Link the sentences logically i.e. see what is the role played by a specific sentence
Then search for some proper sentence that should come before or the one which will follow.
13. Indicating Words Approach – IWA
Take care of words that indicate something helpful to decide sequence:
Some words indicates some specific nature of sentences that will come before or that will follow.
Look for the words like
But, So, Therefore, And, However
Think what they are indicating.
This is it for parajumbles. Please ask us any questions or queries in the comments section below.
This article was written by Vaibhav Mehta, Education Consultant at www.MockBank.com, a Bangalore based online test-preparation company for government and PSU jobs.