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Part 409 – Reading Comprehension Previous Year Questions

PASSAGE II We all know that Eskimos have 50 different words for ‘snow’. Or is it 500 ? Anyway, an awful lot. It is one of those interesting little facts that says something about the amazing ingenuity of humans. Whereas we see snow, the Eskimos perceive an endlessly varying realm of white textures and possibilities. Except that is not true. Talk to the average Eskimo and you’ll find he has about the same number of words for snow as we do. I discovered this when I took a sledgedog team through the Russian Arctic and asked the locals. And it gets worse: the EskimoInuit do not live in igloos. They do not even rub their noses together Hearing this I began wondering what other myths surround the world’s far flung places. Shelters made out of snow are indeed constructed and fashioned from snowy bricks, just as we like to imagine. Except the EskimoInuit rarely lived in them for long periods and disappointingly, the elders that I met had never heard of them. In truth, these are coastal people who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snowhouses for hunting excursions or migrations. Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature. A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down. Moreover, chameleons often change colour as a signalling device -some such as the panther chameleon, transform into a vivid orange to scare off predators, while others flash bright colours to attract a mate. The brighter the colour a mate is able to display, the more dominant. Thus the act of standing out can be more important than that of blending in.

Q1. The author was surprised by the fact that
(a) Eskimos have 500 words for ‘snow’
(b) the ingenuity of humans
(c) the EskimoInuit do not live in igloos
(d) the EskimoInuit rub their noses together
Ans: (c) the EskimoInuit do not live in igloos

Q2. The author discovered that
(a) igloos are not fashioned from snowy bricks
(b) only the EskimoInuit elders live in igloos
(c) snow houses are reserved for hunting migrations
(d) the coastal people foraged for firewood
Ans: (c) snow houses are reserved for hunting migrations

Q3. The changing colour of a chameleon is more to do with
(a) camouflage (b) mood and temperature
(c) transformation (d) protection
Ans: (b) mood and temperature

Q4. A chameleon warms itself by
(a) residing in bright areas
(b) turning a darker colour to absorb more heat
(c) matching its colour with the environment
(d) adjusting its body temperature with that of the environment
Ans: (b) turning a darker colour to absorb more heat

Q5. A male chameleon is believed to be more dominant if
(a) he has the colours of the panther
(b) he exhibits vivid orange colour
(c) if he can blend in with the others
(d) if he displays flashing bright colours
Ans:
(d) if he displays flashing bright colours
PASSAGE III At low tide he walked over the sands to the headland and round the corner to the little bay facing the open sea. It was inaccessible by boat, because seams of rock jutted out and currents swirled round them treacherously. But you could walk there if you chose one of the lowest ebb tides that receded a very long way. You could not linger on the expedition, for once the tide was on the turn, it came in rapidly. For this reason very few people cared to explore the little bay fresh and unlittered, as it was completely covered by the sea at high tide. The cave inviting, looked mysteriously dark, cool and inviting, and he penetrated to the farthest corner where he discoveredawide crack, rather like a chimney. He peered up and thought he could see a patch of daylight.

Q6. According to the writer, the bay could not be reached by boat because
(a) it had numerous number of rocks
(b) there were too many ebbs
(c) it was facing the open sea
(d) there were seams of rock and treacherously swirling currents
Ans: (d) there were seams of rock and treacherously swirling currents

Q7. One could visit the bay
(a) at any time one chose
(b) when there was low tide
(c) on certain occasions
(d) during the evenings
Ans: (b) when there was low tide

Q8. It was not possible to linger on the expedition because
(a) the tide turned sprightly
(b) the tide turned at once
(c) the water rose rapidly
(d) the water rushed with great force
Ans: (a) the tide turned sprightly

Q9. While passing through the cave, the writer discovered a
(a) large opening
(b) chimneyshaped rock
(c) cool and secluded corner
(d) big crack through which light came in
Ans: (d) big crack through which light came in

Q10. He found the bay fresh and unlittered because
(a) the sea water had receded
(b) he was the first visitor there
(c) the high tide had just washed the litter away
(d) it was not frequented by people
Ans:
(c) the high tide had just washed the litter away
PASSAGEIV The world’s largest living organism is not the blue whalewhich still is the world’s largest living animalbut Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the country’s prime living animals and ‘prime tourist attraction. Sadly, size notwithstanding, it is slowly succumbing to the Killer ‘white syndrome’, a bleaching disease which has invaded 33 of its 48 reefs. Otherwise brilliantly multicoloured and teeming with a Kaleidoscope of life, the affected reefs have acquired a deathly white pallor, the result of dying tissues. The bleaching of the reef happened following the recording of the warmest ever sea water temperature in the area here. Scientists fear that the naturally gorgeous reefare endangered and the as yet undiscovered animal and plant species would soon suffer irreplaceable damage. This is only because of the rising of water temperature.

Q11. Which of the following statements is not true ?
(a) The Great Barrier Reef is not the world’s largest living mammal
(b) The Blue whale is dying of ‘white syndrome’
(c) The ‘white syndrome’ is a new bleaching disease
(d) The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism
Ans: (b) The Blue whale is dying of ‘white syndrome’

Q12. 33 out of Australia’s 48 reefs have succumbed to
(a) the impact of the Blue whale
(b) the impact of tourism
(c) the destructive impact of white syndrome
(d) the bleaching disease affecting the whales
Ans: (c) the destructive impact of ‘white syndrome’

Q13. The dying reefs acquired a
(a) brilliant and multicolour
(b) kaleidoscopic hues
(c) brilliant blue colour like the whale
(d) sickly white pallor
Ans: (d) sickly white pallor

Q14. Scientists’ main worry is that
(a) there will be a fall in tourism with the reefs gone
(b) the bleaching will make the water warmer
(c) other endangered and undiscovered flora and fauna will also be damaged
(d) future research on ‘white syndrome’ will stop
Ans: (c) other endangered and undiscovered flora and fauna will also be damaged

Q15. The meaning of succumbing is
(a) giving way to an underground passage
(b) giving way to something powerful
(c) following order
(d) coming in the way of
Ans:
(b) giving way to something powerful
PASSAGE- V The Wright brothers did not have to look far for ideas when building their airplane, they studied birds. The act of copying from nature to address a design problem is not new, but over the last decade the practice has moved from obscure scientific journals to the mainstream. The term ‘biomimicry’, popularized by American naturalsciences writer Janine Benyus in the late 1990s, refers to innovation that take their inspiration from flora and fauna. Biomimicry advocates argue that with 3.8 billion years of research and development, evolution has already solved many of the challenges humans now encounter. Although we often see nature as something we mine for resources, biomimicry views nature as a mentor. From all around the globe, there are countless instances where natural sources have served as inspiration for inventions that promise to transform every sector of society. One such instance occurred in 1941 when Swiss engineer, George de Mestral was out hunting with his dog one day when he noticed sticky burrs, with their hundreds tiny hooks, had attached themselves to his pants and his dog’s fur. These were his inspiration for Velcro.

Q16. The airplane was inspired by
(a) animals (b) plants
(c) birds (d) flies
Ans: (c) birds

Q17. Biomimicry refers to designs that
(a) are inspired by natural things
(b) transformed society
(c) are based on scientific engineering
(d) arise out of man’s creativity
Ans: (a) are inspired by natural things

Q18. Biomimicry views the natural world as a
(a) mine for resources (b) mine field of ideas
(c) mentor (d) source of inspiration
Ans: (c) mentor

Q19. What has helped solve many of the challenges encountered by man ?
(a) Biomimicry (b) Evolution
(c) Innovation (d) Invention
Ans: (b) evolution

Q20. The two instances of biomimicry mentioned in the passage are
(a) flora and fauna (b) birds and burrs
(c) copying and innovating
(d) airplane and Velcro
Ans:
(d) airplane and velcro
Directions: In the following questions, read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives. The recent change to allvolunteer armed forces in the United States will eventually produce a gradual increase in the proportion of women in the armed forces and in the variety of women’s assignments, but probably not the dramatic gains for women that might have been expected. This is so even though the armed forces operate in an ethos of institutional change oriented toward occupational equality and under the federal sanction of equal pay for equal work. The difficulty is that women are unlikely to be trained for any direct combat operations. A significant portion of the larger society remains uncomfortable as yet with extending equality in this direction. Therefore, for women in the military, the search for equality will still be based on functional equivalence, not identity or even similarity of task. Opportunities seem certain to arise. The growing emphasis on deterrence is bound to offer increasing scope for women to become involved in novel types of noncombat military assignments.

Q21. Which sentence is an incorrect one ?
(a) The recent change to all voluntary armed forces in US will produce a gradual increase in the proportion of women.
(b) The difficulty is that women are likely to be trained for any direct combat operation.
(c) Opportunities seem certain to arise
(d) The difficulty is that women are unlikely to be trained for any direct combat operation
Ans: (b) The difficulty is that women are likely to be trained for any direct combat operation.

Q22. A suitable title for the passage might be
(a) Current status of women in US military.
(b) Current status of women in US navy.
(c) Current status of women in US airforce.
(d) Current status of women in US teaching service.
Ans: (a) Current status of women in US military.

Q23. According to the passage, despite the United States armed forces’ commitment to occupational equality for women in the military, certain other factors preclude women
(a) being assigned all of the military tasks that are assigned to men.
(b) drawing assignments from a wider range of assignments than before.
(c) having access to positions of responsibility
(d) receiving equal pay for equal work
Ans: (a) being assigned all of the military tasks that are assigned to men.

Q24. The passage implies which of the following is a factor conducive to a more equitable representation of women in the United States armed forces than has existed in the past ?
(a) The allvolunteer character of the present armed forces.
(b) The past service records of women who had assignments functionally equivalent to men’s assignments.
(c) The level of awareness on the part of the larger society of military issues.
(d) An increased decline in the proportion of deterrence oriented non combat assignments.
Ans: (a) The allvolunteer character of the present armed forces.

Q25. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(a) present an overview of the different types of assignments available to women.
(b) analyze reforms in the new United States allvolunteer armed forces necessitated by the increasing number of women in the military.
(c) present the new United States all–volunteer armed forces as a model case of equal employment policies in action.
(d) present a reasoned prognosis of the status of women in the new United States allvolunteer armed forces.
Ans: (d) present a reasoned prognosis of the status of women in the new United States allvolunteer armed forces.

Q26. Which of the following is closest in sense to the word novel used in the passage ?
(a) new (b) prosaic
(c) dull (d) boring
Ans: (a) new

Q27. It can be inferred from the passage that after the recent change
(a) Some join willingly, some are forced.
(b) Everyone joins the military under compulsion.
(c) Men are forced, women join willingly.
(d) Everyone joins the military willingly.
Ans: (d) Everyone joins the military willingly.

Q28. The word ‘opportunities’ used in the passage may be replaced by all except
(a) openings (b) failures
(c) scope (d) prospects
Ans: (b) failures

Q29. It can be inferred from the passage that
(a) The change to allvolunteer armed forces took place many years ago.
(b) Opportunities for women in military are certain to decline.
(c) The Government sanctions equal pay for equal work.
(d) The society encourages increased participation of women in direct combat.
Ans: (c) The Government sanctions equal pay for equal work.

Q30. The dramatic gains for women and change in the attitude of a significant portion of the larger society are logically related to each other in as much as the author puts forward the latter as
(a) the major reason for absence of the former.
(b) a public response to achievement of the former.
(c) a reason for some of the former being lost again.
(d) a pre condition for any prospect of achieving the former.
Ans: (d) a precondition for any prospect of achieving the former.

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