(Paper) CDS: English Comprehension Solved Exam Paper (I) : 2006

Combined Defence Services

CDS General English Solved Paper (I) : 2006

Directions (For the 24 items which follows): In this section you have four short passages. After each passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read passage I, and answer the questions based on it. Then go on to the other passages. You are required to select your answers based on the contents of the passage and opinion of the author only. Examples ‘I’ and ‘J’ are solved for you.


In our approach to life, be it pragmatic or otherwise, a basic fact that confronts us squarely  and unmistakably is the desire for peace, security  and happiness.  Different forms of life at different  levels of existence make up the teeming denizens of this earth of ours. And, no matter whether they belong to the higher groups such as human beings or to the lower groups such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort and  security. Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Even the lowliest insect strives for protection against dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and not to die, so do all other creatures. I. The author ’s main point is that

(a) different forms of life are found on earth

(b) different levels of existence are possiblein nature

(c) peace and security are the chief goals of all living beings

(d) even the weakest creature struggles to preserve its life

J. Which one of the following assumptions orsteps is essential in developing the author ’s position ?

(a) All forms of life have a single overriding goal

(b) The wi ll to survive of a creature is identified with a desire for peace

(c) All beings are divided into higher and lower groups

(d) A parallel is drawn between happiness and life, and pain and death

I. The idea which represents the author ’s main point is “peace and security are the chief goals of all living beings”, which is response (c). So (c) is the correct answer.

J. The best assumption underlying the passage is “The will to survive of a creature is identified with a desire for peace”, which is response (b). So (b) is the correct answer.

Passage – I

Incredible though it may seem, while the percentage of literacy in India has been going up, the number of illiterates has also been increasing. Thus, according to the 1966 figures there were 353 million illiterates in the country - 20 million more than in 1961. During the same period the percentage of literacy went up from 24 to 29 per cent. The explanation for this paradox lies in the rapid growth of population which has outpaced whatever little progress has been achieved in literacy. For instance from 1951 to 1961, literacy increased at an annual average rate of 0.7 per cent while the country’s population grew by 2.15 per cent every year. But the population explosion is not ent irely responsible for the growing number of illiterates. The apathy of most states in failing to tackle the problem of adult literacy is also partly to blame. Till now, they have shown little awareness of the magnitude of the problem. Moreover, follow up measures to prevent neoliterates from relapsing into illiteracy is just asimportant as the initial adult literacy campaigns. Here too, the State Education authorities have been negligent. Not sufficient provision has been made for ‘continued education’. This can be done by setting up more rural libraries, adult schools and correspondence courses.

1.Which of the following is as important as the literacy campaign ?
(a) A new policy on education
(b) Vocational education system
(c) Prevention of neo-literates dropping into illiteracy
(d) Opening more universities

2. In this passage what is one of the steps for continued education ?
(a) Starting short-term courses
(b) Opening more rural libraries
(c) Making education a fundamental right
(d) Making education a subject in the Union List

3.What was the number of illiterates in 1961?
(a) 37.3 crore
(b) 35.3 crore
(c) 33.3 crore
(d) 2 crore

4.What is the paradox refer red to in the passage?
(a ) The number of illiterates has decreased whi le the percentage of literacy has increased
(b) The number of literates has increased while the percentage of literacy has gone down
(c) The number of l i ter ates and the percentage of i l l i ter ates hav e both decreased
(d) The number of i l l i ter ates and the percentage of literacy have both increased

5.What was the percentage of literacy in 1961?
(a) 5
(b) 19
(c) 20
(d) 24

6.What has been the annual average rate of increase in - literacy from 1951 to 1.961 ?
(a) 0.7%
(b) 2.15%
(c) 5.0%
(d) 7.0%

7.What is meant by neo-literates ?
(a) Potential literate persons
(b) University teachers
(c) Research scholars
(d) People who become newly literate

8.What is the cause of the paradox referred to in the passage”?
(a) Shortage of funds for the education sector
(b) Absence of jobs for the educated
(c) Rapid increase in population
(d) No follow up measures for continued education

9.Which of the following statements is/ are correct ?
1. Populat ion explosion i s ent i r el y responsible for the growing number of illiterates
2. The indifference on the part of the Central Government to tackle the problem of adult literacy has been the main culprit.
Select the correct answer by using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Passage – I I

It is an old saying that knowledge is power. Educat ion is an instrument which imparts knowledge and, therefore, indirectly controls power. Therefore, even since the dawn of civilization persons in power have always tried to supervise or control education. It has been the hand-maid of the ruling class. Dur ing the Christian Era the ecclesiastics controlled the institution of education and diffused among the people the gospels of the Bible and religious teachings. These gospels and teachings were no other than a philosophy for the maintenance of the existing society. It taught the poor man to be meek and to earn his bread with the sweat of his brow, while theb priests and the landlords lived in luxury, fought duels for the slightest offence. During the Renaissance, education passed more from the clutches of the priests into the hands of the princes. In other words, it became more secular. It was also due to the growth of the nation state and powerful monarchs who united the country under their rule. Thus, under the control of the monarch, education began to devise and preach the infallibility of its master, the monarch or king. It also invented and supported fantastic theories like the Divine Right Theory and that the king can do no wrong. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, education took a different turn and had to please the new masters. It now no longer remained the privilege of the baron class but was thrown open to the new rich merchant class of society. Yet education w as st i l l conf ined to the few el i te. The philosophy which was in vogue during this period was that of ‘Laissez Faire’ restricting the function of the state to the mere keeping of law and order while, on the other hand, in practice the law of the jungle prevailed in the form of free competition and the survival of the fittest.

10. During the Christian Era who controlled the education system ?
(a) The Government
(b) The common people
(c) The church and priests
(d) The monarchs

11.What does the hand-maid of the ruling class mean ?
(a) Private maid-servants of the prince
(b) Mistress of the prince
(c) The economy under the authority of the prince
(d) Something fully under the control of the ruling class

12. Consider the following statements
1. Dur ing the Renaissance, educat ion became less secular.
2. Under the Laissez Faire approach, it was believed that king can do no wrong.

Which of the statements given above is/ arecorrect ?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

13.Whom does the term infallibility refer to in this passage ?
(a) Kings
(b) Scholars
(c) Priests
(d) Social reformers

14.Which one of the following is the correct statement ? During the Christian Era,
(a) the poor man was thought to be beloved of the God
(b) it was thought that the poor man must earn his bread by hard work
(c) approach of surviv al of the f i t test prevailed
(d) function of the State was confined only to governance

Passage – I I I

Progress in life depends a good deal on crossing one threshold after another. Sometime a man watched his little nephew try to write his name. It was hard work, very hard work. The little boy had arrived at a threshold. Today he writes his name with comparative ease. Now a new threshold confronts him. This is the way with all of us. As soon as we cross one threshold, as soon as we conquer one difficulty, a new difficulty, appears, or should appear. Some people make the mistake of steering clear of thresholds. Anything that requires genuine thinking and use of energy they avoid. They prefer to stay in a rut where thresholds are not met. Probably, they have been at their job a number of years. Things are easy for them. They make no effort to seek out new obstacles to overcome. Real progress stops under such circumstances.
Some middle-aged and elder ly people greatly enrich their thresholds. One went into an entirely new business when he was past middleife and made a success of it.  De Morgan didn’t start to write novels until he was past sixty. Psychologists have discovered that man can continue to learn throughout li fe. And it is undoubtedly better to try, and fail than not to try at all. Then one can be placed in the category of the Swiss mountaineer of whom it was said, “He died climbing”. When a new difficulty rises to obstruct your path, do not complain. Accept the challenge. Determine to cross this threshold as you have crossed numerous other thresholds in your past life. In the words of the poet “do not rest, but strive to pass `from dream to dream’.”

15.Which one of the following statements is true?
(a) One can learn new things only upto the age of 35 years
(b) University is the best place for learning
(c) A person can continue to learn whole his life
(d) One should cease to learn new things after a certain age

16.Which one of the following statements is true?
(a) One should use technology in learning new things
(b) One should not waste his energy in crossing one threshold to another
(c) One should always seek guidance of elders
(d) One should continue to face obstacles which confront him

17.Which one of the following statements is true?
(a) A person can be successful only if he does not cross many thresholds
(b) De Morgan was a renowned mountaineer
(c) A reference has been made of a Dutch mountaineer
(d) One should not lament if he faces new obstacles

18. According to this passage, progress in lifec depends on which one of the following factors ?
(a) Energy conservation
(b) Human resource development
(c) Showing per severance in crossing obstacles, one after another
(d) Remaining contented with one’s job

19.When does real progress stop
(a) When there is poor governance
(b) When economy of the country is in bad shape
(c) When people refrain from finding new obstacles to overcome
(d) When percentage of illiteracy increases

Passage – IV

Scientists tell us that without the presence of the cohesive force among the atoms that comprise this globe of ours, it would crumble to pieces and we would cease to exist and even as there is cohesive force in blind matters, so must there be in all things animate and the name for that cohesive force among animate beings is love. We have to learn to use that force among all that lives, and in the use of it consists our knowledge of God. Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction. Life persists in middle of destruction. Only under that law would a wellordered society be intelligible and life worth living. The sum total of the energy of mankind is not to bring us down but to lift us up, and that is the result of the definite, of unconscious working of the law of love. The fact that mankind persists shows that the cohesive force is greater than the disruptive force, centripetal force greater than centrifugal. If love be not the law of our being, here is no escape from a periodical recurrence of war, each succeeding one outdoing the preceding in ferocity. A l l the teachers that ev er l ived have preached this law with more or less vigour. If love was not law of life, life would not have persisted in the midst of death. Life is a perpetual triumph over the grave. I f .there is a fundamental distinction between man and beast, it is the former ’s progressive recognition of the law and its application in practice to his own personal life. All the saints of the world, ancient and modern, approve of that Supreme Law of our being. That the brute in us seems so often to gain an easy triumph is true enough. That however does not disprove the law. It shows the difficulty of practice.1.What does our knowledge of God consists in ?
(a) Behaving that God helps the poor and the downtrodden
(b) Understanding his omnipresence
(c) Learning to love all living things
(d) Lear ning that sinful act s lead to destruction

20.What are human beings bound by ?
(a) Sense of security
(b) Love
(c) Fear of God
(d) Self interest

21. Consider the following statements
1. The Supreme Law of our being has been explained by scientists.
2. According to scientists, centrifugal force is greater than cohesive force among the atoms.

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct ?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

22.What does centripetal force mean ?
(a) A force which draws things towards the centre
(b) A force working away from the centre
(c) Gravitational force
(d) Atomic repulsion

23. Consider the following statements
1. Mankind persists because cohesive force is less than centripetal force.
2. Cohesive force does not exist among animate things.’.

24.Which of the statements given above is/ are correct ?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS: 1. (c) 2. (b) 3. (c) 4. (d) 5. (d) 6. (a) 7. (d) 8. (c) 9. (d) 10. (c) 11. (d) 12. (d) 13. (a) 14. (b) 15. (c) 16. (d) 17. (d) 18. (c) 19. (c) 20. (c) 21. (b) 22. (d) 23. (a) 24. (d)


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