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Part 391 – Reading Comprehension Previous Year Questions

Directions: You have two brief passages with 5 questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
PASSAGE–I In 776 BC the First Olympic Games were held at the foot of Mount Olympus to honour the Greek’s chief God Zeus. The Greeks emphasized, physical fitness and strength in their education of youth. Therefore contests in running, jumping, discus and javelin throwing, boxing and horse and chariot racing were held in individual cities, and the winners competed every four years at Mount Olympus. Winners were greatly honoured by having poems sung about their deeds. Originally these were held as games of friendship, and any wars in progress were halted to allow the games to take place. The Greeks attached so much importance to these games that they calculated time in fouryear cycles called ‘Olympiads’ dating from 776 BC.

Q1. Where were the First Olympic Games held?
(a) Mount Olympus (b) Mount Olympiad
(c) Mount Orels (d) Mount of Greeks
Ans: (a) Mount Olympus

Q2. Why were the Olympic Games held ?
(a) To stop wars
(b) To crown the best athletes
(c) To honour Zeus
(d) To sing songs about athletes
Ans: (c) To honour Zeus

Q3. Approximately how many years ago did these games originate ?
(a) 776 years (b) 2279 years
(c) 1207 years (d) 2781 years
Ans: (d) 2781 years (2006 + 776)

Q4. Which of the following contests was not held ?
(a) Discus throwing (b) Skating
(c) Boxing (d) Running
Ans: (b) Skating

Q5. The values connected with Olympic Games were
(a) physical fitness, education of youth and friendship.
(b) health, contests and singing.
(c) running, jumping, throwing and boxing.
(d) fouryear cycles, wartime, young age and friendship.
Ans: (a) physical fitness, education of youth and friendship
PASSAGE–II Faith in progress is deep within our culture. We have been taught to believe that our lives are better than the lives of those who came before us. The ideology of modern economics suggests that material progress has yielded enhanced satisfaction and wellbeing. But much of our confidence about our own wellbeing comes from the assumption that our lives are easier than those of earlier generations. The lives of the socalled primitive peoples are thought to be harsh–their existence dominated by the ‘incessant quest for food’. In fact, primitives did very little work. By contemporary standards we’d have to judge them very lazy. The key to understanding why these ‘stoneage people’ failed to act like us – increasing their work effort to get more things–is that they had limited desires. In the race between wanting and having, they had kept their wanting low–and, in this way ensured their own kind of satisfaction. They were materially poor by contemporary standards, but in at least one dimension– time–we have to count them richer.

Q6. What is the basis for progress and growth according to the writer ?
(a) Faith in progress is deeprooted in our culture.
(b) We have been taught that progress in necessary.
(c) Material progress has given us strength.
(d) We have assumed to progress.
Ans: (a) Faith in progress is deeprooted in our culture

Q7. What does the writer attribute to modern economics ?
(a) That our lives are easier than before.
(b) The progress is a natural process.
(c) That material progress leads to higher satisfaction and wellbeing.
(d) That it forces us to assume progress.
Ans: (c) That material progress leads to higher satisfaction and wellbeing

Q8. What is the writer’s image of the primitive people ?
(a) Their life was harsh.
(b) They did no work.
(c) They were lazy.
(d) Search for food was their primary focus in life.
Ans: (c) They were lazy

Q9. What is the key to understanding the primitive people’s behaviour according to the passage ?
(a) They had no desires.
(b) They had everything they needed.
(c) They had limited desires.
(d) They kept their wants high.
Ans: (c) They had limited desires

Q10. How does the writer appreciate the primitives ?
(a) They have a low degree of wants.
(b) They are the masters of their time owing to their contentedness.
(c) They are materially poor.
(d) They are highly satisfied.
Ans: (a) They have a low degree of wants
Directions: You have one brief passage with five questions. Read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
PassageI All of us have enormous capabilities. In many of us however, our achievements fail to correlate with our potential, because of lack of selfdisciplinethe effort needed to channel our energy for productive uses. To maximise your effectiveness you must “learn to put your nose to the grindstone, work against boredom and learn to take the long, hard way in life rather than the short, easy way”. Here are a few suggestions that focus on “How to do what you want to do.” Take risks. It is important to realise that nothing in life is achieved unless you risk something. That’s how selfconfidence develops. Every chance you take, offers you valuable spinoffs in terms of learning. Earn a reward. Sometime back I had to face the rather unenviable task of preparing for two examinations simultaneously. I had to be ruthless in driving myself from one goal to another. Hard nosed attitude saw me sail through the courses. I rewarded myself at the end of it indulging in my favourite pastime and taking a short holiday.

Q11. Why do our achievements fail to correlate with our potential?
(a) Because of lack of intelligence.
(b) Because of lack of discipline.
(c) Because of lack of external help.
(d) Because of lack of selfdiscipline.
Ans: (d) Because of lack of selfdiscipline

Q12. How does one’s selfconfidence develop?
(a) By taking risks.
(b) By always meeting with success.
(c) By being cautious.
(d) By being garrulous.
Ans: (a) By taking risks

Q13. What does every chance in our life teach us?
(a) It helps us to become philosophical.
(b) It helps us to become idealistic.
(c) It helps us to learn.
(d) It shows us our limitation.
Ans: (c) It helps us to learn

Q14. How does the author reward him after his success?
(a) By taking a short holiday.
(b) By doing more work.
(c) By visiting friends.
(d) By thanking God.
Ans: (a) By taking a short holiday

Q15. What does the author try to convey?
(a) One has to be complacent about his present self.
(b) One has to work hard and learn at least from failures.
(c) Only inborn genius brings success in life.
(d) One has to believe in luck.
Ans: (b) One has to work hard and learn at least from failures.
Directions: You have two brief passages with 5 questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
PASSAGE–I The Law is an ass, declared Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, and it often seems he was right. For punishment does not always fit the crime and it rarely happens that a prison term reforms a criminal”. Consider the following two cases. The first one had happened in a village in Madurai District. One Gopal Yadhav, a hardcore criminal undergoing life sentence in the Madurai Prison came out on bail for two days to perform the last rites of his mother. But he was rearrested on the same evening on the charges of murdering his neighbour’s son to settle old scores. The second case too came to Madurai Court recently. Deserted by her husband a drunkard, his griefstricken wife mixed rat poison in the food and gave it to her four children aged between 1 1 2 and 9 years. Before she could swallow the same food she was unable to bear the pitiable sight of her children writhing in pain. She rushed them to hospital where she disclosed everything. She was able to save the lives of the first three children, but the law of the country awarded her two years imprisonment (later commuted to one year) on the charges of plotting to kill her children. Would you say women like her are a danger to the society ? Would you call them criminals ? It is high time that we found other ways of registering our disapproval of wrong doing. To imprison the bad is expedient – when they are dangerous. To imprison the mad and the merely sad, as we do, is not only unnecessary, it is uncivilised.

Q16. The writer says The Law is an ass because
(a) it is as patient as an ass.
(b) it does not punish the criminals severely.
(c) punishments do not help to reform criminals.
(d) criminals can escape punishment.
Ans: (c) punishments do not help to reform criminals.

Q17. Gopal Yadhav came out on bail
(a) in order to murder his enemy.
(b) to cremate his mother.
(c) so that he could be rearrested.
(d) to see his four children under- going treatment in the hospital.
Ans: (b) to cremate his mother

Q18. The mother in the second case cannot be called a criminal because she
(a) rushed her children to the hospital.
(b) mixed an ineffective poison in the food.
(c) was able to save three out of four children.
(d) was deserted by her husband.
Ans: (a) rushed her children to the hospital.

Q19. The writer argues that punishments for people like the woman in the second case are not necessary because they
(a) don’t commit crimes frequently.
(b) are less dangerous than other criminals.
(c) represent poor society.
(d) should not be clubbed with other criminals.
Ans: (b) are less dangerous than other criminals.

Q20. The main difference between the two cases is
(a) the first is about a man and the other is about a woman.
(b) the woman regrets what she has done, but not the man.
(c) the man is a lifer but the woman is not.
(d) the man and the woman belong to different communities.
Ans: (b) the woman regrets what she has done, but not the man
PASSAGE–II The United Nations Fourth World Women ’s Conference had a colourful start at Beijing on September 4th. This is the century’s most crucial conference which aimed at changing the status quo of women’s lives characterised by inequality. In a preliminary session, Ms. Aung Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said that expanding women’s power will bring greater peace and tolerance to the world. “It is not the prerogative of men alone to bring light to this world. Women with their capacity for compassion and selfsacrifice, with their courage and perseverance have done much to dissipate the darkness of intolerance and hate”, said Ms. Suu Kyi. In the afternoon session Ms. Ayako Yamaguchi, a Japanese delegate, launched a petition against beauty pageants. “What right do men have to evaluate women in a few minutes ? All women are beautiful. Beauty is something different for everyone”, Ms. Ayako Yamaguchi said. “Beauty contests are used as trade and exploitation. The training is very vigorous, but it is the organisers, not the women, who get the full benefit”, said Ms. Ranjana Bhargava. “After the competition, the women become trapped and the abuse and the bad things begin. The women are tainted, no one else will accept them”.

Q21. The Women’s World Conference was very important because
(a) Ms. Aung Suu Kyi has just been awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
(b) Ms. Aung Suu Kyi was taking part in the Conference.
(c) its main purpose was to change inequalities between men and women.
(d) it was to protest against beauty contests.
Ans: (c) its main purpose was to change inequalities between men and women.

Q22. Which of the following arguments of Ms. Aung Suu Kyi is not true ?
(a) Women also can bring greater peace to the world.
(b) Men cannot claim they have done more for peace.
(c) Women have the capacity for compassion and sacrifice.
(d) Men have done nothing to dissipate ignorance.
Ans: (d) Men have done nothing to dissipate ignorance.

Q23. The main emphasis in Ms. Ayako Yamaguchi’s argument is
(a) men have no right to judge women.
(b) men should be given more time to evaluate women.
(c) all women are beautiful in a way.
(d) beauty contests are not necessary.
Ans: (a) men have no right to judge women.

Q24. Beauty is something different for everyone. This statement means
(a) beauty is certainly different from ugliness.
(b) beautiful women do not mingle with other women.
(c) beauty cannot be defined adequately.
(d) each woman is beautiful.
Ans: (c) beauty cannot be defined adequately.

Q25. Colourful start in the first sentence refers to
(a) participants who were all beautiful.
(b) a lot of excitement and cheerfulness in the conference hall.
(c) absence of black coloured girls.
(d) flags of various colours outside the conference hall.
Ans: (b) a lot of excitement and cheerfulness in the conference hall
Directions: You have one brief passage with 5 questions following the passage. Read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives. Every society must develop in its people a social responsibility. This is something that we, in India, have been falling short of. We are very individualistic and don’t relate ourselves to our society as such. Very seldom, do we actually go out and do something, which is beneficial to the society and which does not have a sidebenefit for ourselves, as individuals. And, this is another thing that must be built into the education system. Our young boys and girls coming out must have a feeling for our society. There is a special responsibility that you have, that we all have in building up the spirit. We have to see that what we learn is not used only for our own personal benefits, that every task we do is such that it benefits the weak and the poor, as Gandhiji has said. India, today, is striving out into the modern world. We are looking ahead to new technology, to high technology, new methods, new types of employment, and a new dynamism in our economic growth. But while we look ahead, we must not forget the millions who are still below the poverty line. When we look at technology, when we look at science, when we look at development, our attention must not be diverted from what is still a major block in India — the poor and deprived groups. And everything we do must be targetted in a manner that the benefit will flow to the weak, the deprived and the depressed.

Q26. According to the author, the Indian people
(a) are socially very responsible
(b) lack social responsibility
(c) have several responsibilities
(d) are highly irresponsible
Ans: (b) lack social responsibility

Q27. Indians do not do anything beneficial to society unless
(a) there is a benefit for themselves.
(b) it involves personal sacrifices.
(c) other individuals are benefitted.
(d) the whole society benefits by it.
Ans: (a) there is a benefit for themselves

Q28. The author says that India
(a) wants to acquire new technology.
(b) does not want new technology.
(c) already has sufficient new technology.
(d) can export technology to other counrtries.
Ans: (a) wants to acquire new technology

Q29. The author suggests that
(a) the poor and the weak must benefit from new technology.
(b) the poor and the weak produce new technology.
(c) the new technology must help the rich.
(d) the new technology is useless to the poor and the weak.
Ans: (a) the poor and the weak must benefit from new technology

Q30. What value does the author want to build into the educational system ?
(a) Individuals must work for themselves.
(b) Individuals must work for the benefit of the society without expecting any return or personal benefits.
(c) Society must work for the benefit of the individuals.
(d) Sidebenefit is a must for any social work.
Ans: (b) Individuals must work for the benefit of the society without expecting any return or personal benefits

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