Rearrangement of sentences or paragraph is a very common section in RBI Grade B exam. Sticking to the rules mentioned below will help you solve these questions. After understanding the rules, Practice becomes the key. We will discuss basic strategies, which will allow you to gain speed, and a perception to look at the sentences.
Sentence rearrangement (SR), which is also called as Parajumbles, is wrongly considered to be difficult and time consuming. It is a myth. Our strategies and a bit of practice will let you understand that SR can be solved in no time very easily. SR consists of a group of jumbled up sentences. The goal is to rearrange the sentences in the original sequence. One sentence rearrangement segment usually contains 5 parts (questions) and that means if your arrangement is right, you will be able to get all five of them right.
Let us discuss few strategies and ways to approach questions related to SR
The strategies can be divided into 2 broad steps/ groups:
Step 1: Arranging the sentences by using cognitive ability
Step 2: Arranging the sentences by using grammatical knowledge
There is no order of following these two steps. However, it is advisable to first read the Para jumble and get a sense of central theme of the Jumbled Paragraph.
Role of flow of passage
Any written article or essay has three parts, Introduction, body and conclusion. We all know that Introduction comes first, then body and then finally conclusion
You must identify how the flow is being maintained in the jumbled paragraph.
To identify the flow of the paragraph, it is important to get a sense of central theme of the paragraph and identify the way the paragraph should be framed.
It is important to note that the method of solving Parajumbles in RBI exam is different from CAT or other exams because here a total of five questions follow the paragraph with each question asking us to identify a particular number/ place of each sentence. In other exams, questions following Para jumbles focus on asking the correct order of the jumbled paragraph. In that category of questions, Elimination can be followed but not here.
So, the first step is to identify introduction, body and conclusion of the paragraph and create a potential or possible order in your own head.
Usage of grammatical knowledge can be divided into many sub-steps. Go through all sub-steps/ rules to understand what knowledge is required to get to the final answer in a Para jumble.
Identify the opening or topic sentence
Topic sentence is the sentence with which the paragraph should start. Scan through all the sentences; try to get the feel of what the passage is about. Identify the tone, which will help you decide which of the given sentences can be a topic sentence or a sentence through which an article or conversation can start.
You can use the following rules also to identify the topic sentence and also to re-arrange the jumbled paragraph.
Rule 1: Role of Nouns and Pronouns
A noun is a word that functions as the name of some specific person, place or thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.
On the other hand, a pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase.
A: Ram is a good boy. B: He wakes up at 6am everyday.
Here, ‘Ram’ is a noun, and ‘He’ is a pronoun.
You can read in detail on nouns in Wren and Martin. I am providing scanned pages of relevant chapters of the book so that you can understand and practice grammar to create a basic understanding of these terms.
The important thing to remember here is, it is always the case that a pronoun would follow the noun, not the other way around. You cannot use the same sentence as –
He wakes up at 6am everyday. Ram is a good boy.
Who is ‘he’ referring to in the first sentence? The two sentences used like this won’t make any sense. They seem unrelated.
Use the same rule in SR. If there is a pronoun used in the sentence, look for the sentence which uses the noun to which this pronoun is referring to. The sentence with noun will always come before the sentence with a pronoun.
Rule 2: Role of Abbreviations
Amongst the sentences in a given question, if you notice an abbreviation, you should look for its expanded version in other sentences as the abbreviation will always follow the full form, it can never be other way round.
For example COP is an abbreviation for more than one thing. It could mean Conference of the Parties but it could also mean Close Of Play.
One cannot assume its meaning unless it has already been mentioned.
Rule 3: Role of Adjectives
Adjectives in English describe people, places, and things. A word used with a noun to describe or point out the person, animal, place or thing which the noun names, or to tell the number or quantity is called an adjective. Most adjectives can be used in front of a noun or after a link verb.
They have a beautiful house.
Their house is beautiful.
‘beautiful’ is the adjective here.
The important thing to remember here is, we must look for adjectives which are comparing things.
A: India played well today
B: They were better than last year
Here, the adjective is ‘better.’ It is comparing the performance this year with last year. So, the key is what is being compared? It must be mentioned earlier in the passage, hence this comparative adjective should come later. Correct sequence would be A then B.
Rule 4: Role of Articles
The words a, an, and the– are special adjectives called articles.
Indefinite Articles—a, an:
an—used before singular count nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound:
- an apple, an elephant, an issue, an orange
a—used before singular count nouns beginning with consonants (other than a, e, i, o, u):
- a stamp, a desk, a TV, a cup, a book
Used before singular nouns that are unspecified:
- a pencil
- an orange
Used before number collectives and some numbers:
- a dozen
- a gallon
Used before a singular noun followed by a restrictive modifier:
- a girl who was wearing a yellow hat
Used with nouns to form adverbial phrases of quantity, amount, or degree:
- I felt a bit depressed.
Can be used before singular and plural, count and non-count nouns
Used to indicate a noun that is definite or has been previously specified in the context:
- Please close the door.
- I like the clothes you gave me.
Used to indicate a noun that is unique:
- Praise the Lord!
- The Columbia River is near here.
Used to designate a natural phenomenon:
- The nights get shorter in the summer.
- The wind is blowing so hard.
Used to refer to a time period:
- I was very naïve in the past.
- This song was very popular in the 1980s.
Used to indicate all the members of a family:
- I invited the Bakers for dinner.
- This medicine was invented by the Smiths.
The important thing to remember here is, Referring to an object or a subject, Definite article, i.e. ‘The’ should address it only after an indefinite article (a, an) has already introduced it.
A: The boy seemed to be 8 years old.
B: Last night a boy wandered into my backyard
Here, while arranging the sentences, you must realize that statement B will come first and then it will be followed by statement A.
Statement B uses the article ‘a’ to introduce ‘a boy.’ It could be any random boy. Statement A uses ‘the’ to specify the particular boy, referring to the one who wandered into the backyard.
Rule 5: Role of Connectives
Connectives connect and relate sentences and paragraphs. They assist in the logical flow of ideas as they signal the relationship between sentences and paragraphs. Connectives are basically Connectors or Transition words.
Few such connectives are –
Although, though, if, until, since, but, after, alternatively, besides, then, yet, because, consequently, whenever, furthermore, so, therefore, as a result of etc
The important thing to remember here is, these words link to some previous sentences and they can never be Topic/introductory sentences.
A: However, his car’s tyre got punctured.
B: He wanted to reach there on time.
Here, in this example, both the statements use pronouns, so, we will need an alternative method to arrange them. Statement A uses a connector which is connecting something which happened earlier or something which lead to the present situation. Statement B on the other hand is a general statement which is more likely to be Topic sentence and that is indeed the earlier situation than tyre getting punctured.
Rule 6: Role of Problem and Solution statement
One of the most basic flow in any sentence or paragraph is you ask the problem first and then offer a solution/suggestion to it.
So, problem sentence (with or without a question mark) would always come first, and the solution later. Solution statement can be understood by identifying the tone of that statement. A solution statement will tell you that you are either nearing the conclusion of the paragraph or you are concluding with it.
Problem and solution statements can also be identified in Step 1 when you try to understand theme of the paragraph and identify introduction, body and conclusion of the Para jumble.
A: We must provide free food to people living below poverty line
B: India has a huge population of people living below poverty line
Here, both the statements can be Topic sentences. But by identifying the tone of both sentences, you’d see that Statement B is highlighting a problem i.e. of poverty, while Statement A is a suggestion close to a solution to this problem. Hence, A will follow B.
The important thing to remember here is, a problem statement will not conclude the paragraph and cannot come in the end.
Also, a problem statement can be without a question mark as well. Understanding the concept of reading Tone of a statement/ sentence will help you identify problem and solution statements.
Rule 7: Role of Mandatory pairs
Mandatory pairs are those two sentences, which cannot have anything in between. They will include same phrase, same word, same noun or pronoun.
A: Ramesh is suffering from Malaria
B: The govt. must look into it seriously.
C: In his area, other people are also falling sick.
Here, Statement A and C become mandatory pairs, as C has ‘his’ in it which is referring to ‘Ramesh’ basically, there is no other reference to Ramesh elsewhere, hence, the statement containing ‘his’ must follow sentence containing ‘his’.
Also, sentence A and C are problem statements while sentence B is a solution statement. Therefore, B has to follow A and C
Correct sequence: A-C-B
The important thing to remember here is, if there is a statement which has used a pronoun and that is not used anywhere else, then this statement would become a mandatory pair to the statement containing noun corresponding to that.
Rule 8: Role of narrowing down of collective objects
We will look at it with an example-
A: one such tool is Planning
B: Management involves many tools and technique
Here, statement B is talking about ‘many’ tools, hence, ‘many’ is corresponding to a collective thing. Statement A is talking about ‘one’ such thing, hence it is specifically pointing to a definite tool.
The important thing to remember here is, ‘one’ is narrowing down ‘many’ and narrowing down of a larger entity will happen only after larger entity is introduced. So, A will follow B here.
Another use of this rule is to identify general and specific sentences. General sentences always come before Specific sentences as they introduce an issue and then the issue is narrowed down through specific sentences. This is called “Funneling approach”. It is used very widely in writing paragraphs, articles and essays.
Rule 9: Role of ‘it’- action and reaction
‘It’ is a special word, it specifies a case or object or a subject. It is used as a reaction to an action. Example –
A: It is a grave offence
B: Hit and run cases are on a rise in India
Here, In A, ‘It’ is referring to a case which should have been mentioned earlier, in statement B, that case has been mentioned, i.e. Hit and run.
The important thing to remember here is, You should do an activity tracking, where you should be able to spot actions and reactions to those actions.
After running through all these rules in both steps, let us understand their application through an example.
Arrange the following sentences
A: Nearly a month after the Chief Minister’s unfortunate hospitalization, the people of Tamil Nadu know very little about her health.
B: If the government is keen on curtailing these rumours, it would do better by keeping people updated regularly on the broad state of the Chief Minister’s health
C: Given that there has been no official word from the State government, it is not entirely unnatural that her extended stay in hospital has led to people speculating about her ill-health.
D: The recent arrests of several people in Tamil Nadu on charges of spreading rumours about the health of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa are a cause for serious concern.
E: While the State police might have its reasons to worry about threats to public order in the wake of wild rumours circulating on social media, arresting so many people reflects a failure to distinguish between unfounded speculation and trouble makers.
In the given example, first you must scan through all the sentences. Then try to identify the Topic/Opening sentence. If you cannot find the topic sentence, try following other rules to make pairs and possible arrangement.
How to find out the topic sentence?
You’ll see that above example talks about Chief Minister’s health, but only statements A and D contain the name of the state as well as name of the chief minister hence, one of them have to be topic sentence.
Identify keywords in these two sentences. In sentence A, know very little is the keyword which can help us solve the problem. Similarly, in sentence D, charges of spreading rumours and cause for serious concern are keywords.
If you analyse the statements again, you will see that D is providing a problem and A is providing a solution or an answer to the problem. The problem is that people are spreading rumours about health of CM and the answer is that people know very little about her health and that is why they are spreading rumours. RULE 6 applies here and solves the question of identifying TOPIC sentence which is D.
Next, you’d spot a keyword ‘rumours’ in B and E, so they could both be a mandatory pair to D. But, since you have already scanned through the sentences, you’d know that much has been said about rumours and health and police, and the statement B has a tone of offering of some ultimate suggestion hence it should come somewhere at the end. That makes E the mandatory pair of D.
We have already covered that B has a tone of a suggestion and solution and must come in the end. Between A and C, you’d notice that both the statements are talking about Chief Minister, her health, government’s response and people’s concern. But then you’d notice that C is a more specific sentence built over A, which is making a general statement about knowing very little. C builds up on the general statement of A by talking about no official word from the government. Thus, C should come after A.
And the remaining sentence is B. It is offering a solution to problems cited earlier, which involves how to tackle rumours and people spreading those.
Hence, the correct sequence would be –
It is important to understand that in sentence rearrangement questions, you have to stop speculating about possible arrangement. Do not apply your own ideas and stick to the rules. Only then can you come to the right conclusion. Identify keywords and apply all 9 rules to solve the question.