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Part 419 – Reading Comprehension Previous Year Questions

Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the given questions. Emily Dickinson, who was born nearly 200 years ago, has long been an enigma. She was so reclusive that the townsfolk of Amherst, Massachusetts, where she spent her life, called her “the myth”, as if her very existence were in question. Few got so much as a glimpse of her white dress— as an adult she only wore white—and only ten of her poems were published in her lifetime. After her death in 1886, hundreds of others were discovered in a wooden chest, and a new legend grew up, sweet with pathos, of a woman too delicate for this world, disappointed in love. Emily Dickinson lived with her unmarried sister Lavinia in an elegant house called The Homestead. Next door, at Evergreens, was the family home of her brother Austin; his wife, Sue, was Emily’s intimate, and she addressed much of her poetry to her. But their comparative Eden was shattered by the arrival in Amherst of Mabel Loomis Todd, a young faculty wife. Musical, artistic and ambitious, the ruthless Mabel insinuated herself into the Dickinsons’ lives. In 1882 she embarked on an affair with Emily’s brother Austin, who ensured Mr Todd’s compliance by promoting his academic career. The lovers thought their passion was so special that normal rules did not apply. The spurned wife, Sue, was devastated, and the resulting family feud would echo down the generations. Mabel effectively destroyed the Dickinson family. The irony is, however, that she was one of the only people to recognise Emily’s originality and brilliance in her lifetime. After Emily died, Mabel determined that the public should read the poetry, and devoted herself to editing, publishing and promoting it. In doing so, she suppressed some of its originality, conventionalising Emily’s odd punctuation. She also constructed the sentimental view of the mythic poetess and her milieu which Ms Gordon’s biography has now so effectively dispelled. MEANINGS OF DIFFICULT WORDS/PHRASES (a) enigma (N.): mystery (b) reclusive (Adj.): seeking solitude (c) pathos (N.): a style that has the power to evoke feelings (d) insinuated (V.): give to understand (5) embarked (V.):proceed some where despite the risk of possible dangers (6) compliance (N.): surrendering power to another (7) spurned (Adj.): rejected by a lover without warning (8) devastated (V.): to make somebody feel extremely shocked and sad (9) feud (N.): a bitter quarrel between two parties (10) irony (N.): the amusing/strange aspect of a situation that is very different from what you expect (11) conventionalising (V.): normalising (12) mythic (Adj.): that has become very famous, like somebody/something in a myth (13) dispelled (V.): to make something, especially a feeling/belief, go away/disappear

Q1. Emily Dickinson lived in an elegant house called
(a) The sweet home (b) The Homestead
(c) Sweet Patho (d) Dream house
Ans: (b) The Homestead

Q2. What colour of dress did Dickinson prefer to wear as an adult?
(a) Red (b) White
(c) Black (d) Blue
Ans: (b) White

Q3. What was Emily Dickinson, called by her town folk?
(a) Amherst (b) Enigma
(c) Reclusive (d) “the myth”
Ans: (d) “the myth”

Q4. Whose arrival in Dickinson’s family did bring about unrest and chaos in her life?
(a) Ms Gordon (b) Austin
(c) Mabel Loomis Todd (d) Lavinia
Ans: (c)Mabel Loomis Todd

Q5. What was the cause of Sue’s devastation?
(a) Losing her job
(b) Mabel’s affairs with Austin
(c) Emily’s illness
(d) Emily’s doctor
Ans:
(b)Mabel’s affairs with Austin
Directions: In the following questions, you have a brief passage with 5 questions following the passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives. PASSAGE Antarctica is shedding 160 billion tonnes a year of ice into the ocean, twice the amount of a few years ago, according to new satellite observations. The ice loss is adding to the rising sea levels driven by climate change and even east Antarctica is now losing ice. The new revelations follows the recent announcement that the collapse of the western Antarctica ice sheet has already begun and is unstoppable, although it may take many centuries to complete. Global warming is pushing up sea level by melting the world’s major ice caps and by warming and expanding oceans waters. The loss of the entire western Antarctica ice sheet would eventually cause up to 4 metres (13ft) of sealevel rise, devastating lowlying and coastal areas around the world. The new data, published in journal Geophysical Research Letters, comes from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite, which was launched in 2010. It shows that the western Antarctica ice sheet is where 87% of the lost ice is being shed, with the east Antarctic and the Antarctic peninsula shedding the rest. The data collected from 2010-2013 was compared to that from 2005 2010. The satellite measures changes in the height of the ice and covers virtually the whole of the frozen continent, far more of than previous altimeter missions. CryoSat-2 collected five times more data than before in the crucial coastal regions where ice losses are concentrated and found key glaciers were losing many metres in height every year. The Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers in west Antarctica were losing between 4m and 8m annually.

Q6. What is the main reason for the shedding of ice?
(a) Global warming (b) Rise in the water level
(c) Melting of ice (d) Mystery
Ans: (a) Global warming

Q7. What are the new revelations made?
(a) It may take centuries.
(b) The ice will melt in West Antarctica.
(c) It is very slow.
(d) The collapse is unstoppable.
Ans: (d) the collapse is unstoppable.

Q8. Which are the Islands affected in West Antarctica?
(a) The Pine Island, Thwaites and Smit Glacier
(b) The Pin Islands, Twaites and Smit Glaciers
(c) The Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers
(d) The Pine Island, Twaites and Smith Glaciers
Ans: (c) The Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers.

Q9. How many tons of ice is shed every year by the Antarctica?
(a) 180 billion (b) 160 billion
(c) 87 billion (d) 4 billion to 8 billion
Ans: (b) 160 billion

Q10. The data provided by Cryo Sat 2 was launched by
(a) ESA (b) EAS
(c) EASC (d) EES
Ans:
(a) ESA
Directions: In the following questions, you have a 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. Two years later, in November 1895, he signed his final will. He left the bulk of his fortune, amounting to about £ 1,75,000 to a trust fund administered by Swedish and Norwegian trustees. The annual interest shall be awarded as prizes to those persons who during the previous year have rendered the greatest services to mankind. The interest shall be divided into five equal parts — now amounting to about £ 8,000 each — one of which shall be awarded to the person who has made the most important discovery or invention in the realm of physics, one to the person who has made the most important chemical discovery or improvement, one to the person who has made the most important physiological or medical discovery, one to the person who has produced the most outstanding work of literature, idealistic in character, and one to the person who has done the best work for the brotherhood of nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, as well as for the formation or popularization of peace congress.

Q11. The said prize is awarded
(a) once in 5 years. (b) every year.
(c) once in 4 years. (d) once in 2 years.
Ans: (b) every year.

Q12. Which is the prize that is referred to in the passage ?
(a) Nobel Prize (b) Magsaysay Award
(c) Pulitzer Prize (d) Booker Prize
Ans: (a) Nobel Prize.

Q13. The number of prizes in the field of science are
(a) four. (b) one.
(c) three. (d) five.
Ans: (c) three.

Q14. Total annual prize money amounts to
(a) £ 8,000. (b) £ 1,750,000.
(c) £ 350,000. (d) £ 40,000. (d) £ 40,000.

Q15. Prize is awarded for outstanding work in
(a) Chemistry. (b) Literature.
(c) Physics. (d) All the above.
Ans: (d) All the above.
Directions: In the following questions, read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives. Passage-1 Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally shortlived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew. Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality. So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies. The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

Q16. According to the author, what can be defined as ‘failure’?
(a) Failing on an epic scale
(b) Not truly knowing yourself
(c) Living your life so cautiously that you do not fail
(d) A situation where all your fears come to pass
Ans: (b) Not truly knowing yourself.

Q17. Which of the following is a major benefit of failure according to the passage?
(a) Failure helps in stripping away the inessential.
(b) Failure teaches you things which you could not have learnt in any other way.
(c) Failure gives you an inner security which cannot be otherwise attained.
(d) Failure helps you in finding the determination to succeed.
Ans: (d) Failure helps you in finding the determination to succeed

Q18. Why does the author say that failure is ‘inevitable’ in life?
(a) Because nothing can prevent the caprice of fate.
(b) Because not all of us are wellacquainted with failure.
(c) Because life is difficult and too complicated.
(d) Because the fear of failure takes precedence over the desire for success.
Ans: (a) Because nothing can prevent the caprice of fate

Q19. Which of the following is a suitable title for this passage?
(a) What constitutes failure?
(b) Failure is inevitable in life
(c) Failure has its benefits
(d) A hope rather than a reality
Ans: (c) Failure has its benefits

Q20. According to the author, what is the impact of failure on a person?
(a) A person emerges wiser and stronger implying that he is secure in his ability to survive.
(b) A person realises that happiness in life does not depend on the achievements or acquisitions.
(c) A person realises that his qualifications and CV are not his life.
(d) A person realises the strength of his relationships by identifying his true friends.
Ans: (a) A person emerges wiser and stronger implying that he is secure in his ability to survive.
Passage-2 Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater trumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future? Freedom and power bring responsibility. That responsibility rests upon this Assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now. That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we might fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to, wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over. And so we have to labour and work hard to give reality to. our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments. To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for illwill or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.

Q21. What is the greatest challenge that India faces today as per the passage?
(a) It is a challenge to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity.
(b) It is a challenge to wipe off tears from every eye and thus eradicating suffering.
(c) It is a challenge to build a noble mansion of free India
(d) It is a challenge to fulfil the pledges that we have so often taken
Ans: (a) It is a challenge to end poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity

Q22. How can we fulfil our pledges that we have taken in the past and the present?
(a) The people of India need to set a hope that can never be betrayed.
(b) The people of India need to provide a service to millions of people who suffer in their country.
(c) The people of India need to labour and hard work to give reality to their dreams.
(d) The people of India need to work with more responsibility now which has been brought by power and freedom.
Ans: (c) The people of India need to labour and hard work to give reality to their dreams.

Q23. Which of the following is the most suitable title for this passage?
(a) A star of hope rises
(b) A fateful moment for India
(c) The success and failures of India
(d) Challenges facing the Indian economy
Ans: (b) A fateful moment for India

Q24. Which of the following statements best describes the message of the passage?
(a) India’s future is filled with incessant striving and providing services to millions of sufferers.
(b) India needs to wake up to the call of future and end her sorrows of the past.
(c) The independence of India is being celebrated as it has opened the door to the triumphs and achievements that have long awaited us.
(d) The birth of freedom has brought in its wake more responsibility of fulfilling our pledges and creating a new history.
Ans: (d) The birth of freedom has brought in its wake move responsibility of fulfilling our pledges and creating a new history

Q25. As per the passage, which of the following statements best compares India’s preindependence (past) period to the postindependence (future) period?
(a) India’s past was a period of poverty and ignorance while its future will be a period of adventure.
(b) India’s past was a period of slumber while its future will be a period of triumphs.
(c) India’s past was a period of struggle while its future will be a period of hope, triumphs and achievements.
(d) India’s past was a period of criticism while its future will be a period of peace.
Ans: (c) India’s past was a period of struggle while its future will be a period of hope, triumphs and achievements.
Directions: In the following questions, you have three brief passages with 5 questions following each passage. Read the following passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives. Passage I
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999 it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 metres (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 metres (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. Supported by an Aframe on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”. It provides the highest public viewing point and is the 20th tallest structure, in London. The London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, was officially called the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye. Since 20 January 2011, its official name is the EDF Energy London Eye following a threeyear sponsorship deal. The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Q26. The structure built for the Festival of Britain in 1951 was
(a) London Eye (b) Dome of Discovery
(c) Jubilee Gardens (d) Millennium Wheel
Ans: (b)Dome of Discovery

Q27. The tallest Ferris wheel in the world is
(a) Singapore Flyer (b) Dome of Discovery
(c) London Eye (d) Star of Nanchang
Ans: (a) Singapore Flyer

Q28. The London Eye is situated on the banks of
(a) Hungerford Bridge (b) The Thames
(c) London Borough (d) Westminster Bridge
Ans: (b) The Thames

Q29. Which of the following doesnot mean the same as entire?
(a) Total (b) Partial
(c) Whole (d) Complete
Ans: (b) Partial

Q30. The highest viewing point is provided by
(a) Hungerford Bridge (b) Dome of Discovery
(c) Millennium Wheel (d) Westminster Bridge
Ans:
(c) Millennium Wheel

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