Practice Paper: Reading Comprehension

Direction: Following the passage, there are questions with four suggested answers.

Select the best answer.

The video wave has swept too far. It bears a large responsibility for the declining interest in reading among the young. If we don’t do something to stem the tide, the reading impulse will be soon doomed.

The time-honoured way of ‘improving reading is by reading fiction. Everyone needs stories. Cavemen told them round their fires. Mythologies and folk stories have been passed between generations for centuries. Most of us are literate and in theory, our fictional needs could be satisfied by reading.

But it is not so- Today’s generation of average and below average school children rely on video, television and film. While many of these offerings maybe harmless in themselves, they do nothing to, build up reading skills. They replace the consolidatory work which turns halting mechanical reading into the real thing. If some of the hours children spend watching television are devoted to reading, the population will be better educated.

Watching a story is a totally passive pastime. Someone else has made all the 350 decisions about casting, set, clothing, facial expression, and tone and so on. Reading a story is an active partnership between writer and reader. Ideas are sketched and the mind of the reader creates the rest.

Why is the dramatized fiction usurping the written kind? It is because’ children whose reading is hesitant cannot readily identify and enjoy the plot. Watching something is easier. This is leading to a generation whose mental processes are stultified. The problem is that many children will read very slowly. I worry for instance about the children who carry the same 1000 word book, with them for a fortnight. It is hardly surprising that such children declare that they find reading boring, and peer to watch television. Their difficulty is not reading the words – it is interpreting them. They-need to be able to read fast enough for a story.

That means practice. Only by reading daily will a child become strong and independent reader. Parents need to be convinced of the importance of preventing their children from wasting their hours on inert viewing. Without the television, the child is likely to turn to books for entertainment.

I used to think that filmed version of enjoyable books were a spur to reading. I have changed my mind. Visual images drown the imagination. A dramatization, seen once, can spoil your reading forever. Dramatized fiction is literary equivalent to empty calories.

It replaces the appetite-for real food. Children must have a nutritionally balanced reading diet.

Q 1. What is the writer’s main objection to video wave?

(a) It has replaced the reading of traditional stories.
(b) It prevents children from learning how to read properly.
(c) It fails to provide children with enough good stories.
(d) It exposes children to stories they should not see.

Q 2. Dramatized fiction is different from written fiction, because

(a) it consists of mainly simple stories.
(b) it concentrates more on action than on character.
(c) it doesn’t contain much detail.
(d) it doesn’t require use of imagination.

Q 3. What tends-to put children off reading fiction?

(a) There are frequently words in it which they cannot read
(b) They lose interest because of their reading deficiencies
(c) The stories they were given take too long to develop
(d) They are often required to do it for their home work

Q 4. What has the writer changed his opinion about?

(a) The influence of parents on children’s reading habits
(b) The effect of filmed stories on children
(c) The power of children’s imagination
(d) The importance of reading for children

Q 5. What is the purpose of this article?

(a) To analyse the difference between dramatized fiction and real fiction
(b) To criticize parents for failing to encourage children to read
(c) To urge greater concentration on developing children’s reading skills
(d) To encourage children to do more reading than watching television

Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions given after the passage:

1. Often, we passionately pursue matters that in the future appear to be contradictory to our real intention or nature; and triumph is followed by remorse or regret. There are numerous examples of such a trend in the annals of history and contemporary life.

2. Alfred Nobel was the son of Immanuel Nobel, an inventor who experimented extensively with explosives. Alfred too carried out research and experiments with a large range of chemicals; he found new methods to blast rocks for the construction of roads and bridges; he was engaged in the development of technology and different weapons; his life revolved around rockets and cannons and gun powder. The ingenuity of the scientist brought him enough wealth to buy the Bofors armament plant in Sweden.

3. Paradoxically, Nobel’s life was a busy one yet he was lonely; and as he grew older, he began suffering from guilt of having invented the dynamite that was being used for destructive purposes. He set aside a huge part of his wealth to institute Nobel Prizes. Besides honouring men and women for their extraordinary achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature, he wished to honour people who worked for the promotion of peace.

4. It’s strange that the very man whose name was closely connected with explosives and inventions that helped in waging wars willed a large part of his earnings for the people who work for the promotion of peace and the benefit of mankind. The Nobel Peace Prize is intended for a person who has accomplished the best work for fraternity among nations, for abolition or reduction of war and for promotion of peace.

5. Another example that comes to one’s mind is that of Albert Einstein. In 1939, fearing that the Nazis would win the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb, Einstein urged President Franklin D Roosevelt to launch an American programme on nuclear research. The matter was considered and a project called the Manhattan Project was initiated. The project involved intense nuclear research the construction of the world’s first atomic bomb. All this while, Einstein had the impression that the bomb would be used to protect the world from the Nazis. But in 1945, when Hiroshima was bombed to end World War II, Einstein was deeply grieved and he regretted his endorsement of the need for nuclear research.

6. He also stated that had he known that the Germans would be unsuccessful in making the atomic bomb, he would have probably never recommended making one. In 1947, Einstein began working for the cause of disarmament. But, Einstein’s name still continues to be linked with the bomb. Man’s fluctuating thoughts, changing opinions, varying opportunities keep the mind in a state of flux. Hence, the paradox of life: it’s certain that nothing is certain in life.

Q 6. The Manhattan Project was intiated ______.

1. in honour of Einstein.
2. to protect the Nazis.
3. to bomb Hiroshima.
4. to carry out nuclear research

Q 7. Alfred established the Nobel Prizes to ______.

1. remind people of his achievements.
2. ease his guilt and promote work for the betterment of mankind.
3. use his wealth for hard working people.
4. honour only those people who are intelligent

Q 8. In paragraph 4, the word ‘accomplished’ means ___________.

1. completed successfully.
2. worked hard.
3. won awards
4. made an effort to do something

Q 9. In the fifth paragraph, the word ‘endorsement’ means

1. expressing one’s opposition.
2. expressing one’s approval or support.
3. making a promise to do something.
4. expressing one’s regret.

Q 10. Working with arms and ammunition helped Alfred to amass _______.

1. enemies
2. intelligence
3. wealth
4. popularity

Q 11. Immanuel’s interest in dynamites influenced Alfred’s inclination for working ___________.

1. for humanity
2. with explosives
3. for the Nobel Peace Prize
4. with contradiction

Q 12. One of the paradoxes in Alfred’s life was that he was ___________.

1. lonely yet rich
2. hard working but a failure
3. intelligent yet lonely
4. occupied yet lonely

Q 13. Einstein had the impression that the Germans would __________.

1. bomb Hiroshima.
2. be successful in making the world’s first atomic bomb.
3. be unsuccessful in making the atomic bomb.
4. work for humanity.

Q 14. The passage is _____________.

1. an argumentative essay
2. an expository essay.
3. a process essay.
4. a descriptive essay.

Q 15. The paradox, ‘it’s certain that nothing is certain in life’, indicates the writer’s

1. hatred for scientists
2. analytical mind
3. scientific mind
4. persuasive nature


  1. B
  2. D
  3. B
  4. B
  5. C
  6. 4
  7. 2
  8. 1
  9. 2
  10. 3
  11. 2
  12. 4
  13. 2
  14. 4
  15. 2

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