Comprehension Practice Set
From CDS - I (2016)
Passages 1, 2 and 3
Directions: After each passage, you will find some items based on the passage. First read a passage and answer the items based on it. You are required to select your answers based on the contents of the passage and opinion of the author only.
To avoid the various foolish opinions to which mankind is prone, no superhuman brain is required. A few simple rules will keep you, not from all errors, but from silly errors.
If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted. Thinking that you know, when in fact you do not, is a bad mistake to which we are all prone. I believe myself that hedgehogs eat black beetles, because I have been told that they do; but if I were writing a book on the habits of hedgehogs, I should not commit myself until I had seen one enjoying this diet.
Aristotle, however, was less cautious. Ancient and medieval writers knew all about unicorns and salamanders; not one of them thought it necessary to avoid dogmatic statements about them because he had never seen one of them.
1. The writer believes that
(a) most people could avoid making foolish mistakes if they were clever
(b) through observation we could avoid making many mistakes
(c) Aristotle made many mistakes because he was not observant
(d) all errors are caused by our own error in thinking
2. With reference to the passage, which one of the following is the correct statement ?
(a) Aristotle was able to avoid the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teen than men.
(b) Aristotle thought women have fewer teeth than men.
(c) Aristotle proved that women have fewer teeth by counting his wife's teeth.
(d) Aristotle may have thought that women have fewer teeth because he never had a wife.
3. The writer says that if he was writing a book on hedgehogs,
(a) he would maintain that they eat black beetles because he had been told so
(b) he would first observe their eating habits
(c) he would think it unnecessary to verify that they ate black beetles
(d) he would make the statement that they ate black beetles and later verify it
4. The writer is of the opinion that
(a) unicorns and salamanders were observed by ancient and medieval writers but were unknown to modern writers
(b) ancient and medieval writers wrote authoritatively about unicorns and salamanders though they had never seen them
(c) unicorns and salamanders so not exist
(d) only those who had observed the habits of unicorns and salamanders wrote about them
5. A 'dogmatic statement' in the context means a statement which is
Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to go to the market to buy a few handkerchiefs, the old ones had done vanishing trick. On the way I met an old friend of mine and I took him to a nearby restaurant for tea and snacks. Afterwards, I went to the shop and selected a dozen handkerchiefs. I pulled out my purse to make the payment and discovered that it was empty; I then realised that it was not my purse. It was a different purse altogether. How that happened is still a source of wonder to me and I refuse to believe that it was the work of my good old friend, for it was his purse that I held in my hand.
6. The man could not buy the handkerchiefs because
(a) he did not like the handkerchiefs
(b) his friend did not allow him to buy them
(c) the shop did not have any handkerchiefs
(d) he had no money in the purse
7. When he tried to take out the purse, he discovered that
(a) it was not there
(b) it was lost
(c) it was a new purse
(d) it was his friend's purse
A profound terror, increased still by the darkness, the silence and his waking images, froze his heart within him. He almost felt his hair stand on end, when by straining his eyes to their utmost, he perceived through the shadows two faint yellow lights. At first, he attributed these lights to the reflection of his own pupils, but soon the vivid brilliance of the night aided him gradually to distinguish the objects around him in the cave, and he beheld a huge animal lying but two steps from him.
8. The opening of the passage suggests that
(a) darkness, silence and waking images added to his already being in profound terror
(b) a profound terror increased the waking images in his frozen heart
(c) the person was frightened by darkness and silence
(d) a profound terror was caused in him by the silence and darkness of the night
9. When he perceived through the shadows two faint lights,
(a) he experienced a great strain
(b) he felt his hair stand upright
(c) his eyes felt strained to their utmost
(d) his pupils dilated
10. The person in the story
(a) imagined that he saw an animal
(b) could not recognise the animal
(c) saw the animal by chance
(d) expected to see the animal
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