(Paper) CDS: English Comprehension Solved Exam Paper (I) : 2007

Combined Defence Services

CDS General English Solved Paper (I) : 2007

Directions (For the 29 items which follows): In this section you have six short passages. After each passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read a passage, and then answer thequestions based on it. You are required to selectyour answers based on the contents of the passage and opinion of the author only. Examples ‘I’ and‘J’ have been solved for you.


 In our Approach to life, be it pragmatic or otherwise, a basic fact that confronts us squarelyand 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 possible in 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 or steps is essential in developing the author ’s position ?
(a) All forms of life have a single overriding goal
(b) The wil l 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 under l ying the passage is “The will to survive of a creatureis identified with a desire for peace”, which is response (b). So (b) is the correct answer.

Passage – I

Many present-dayboard now recognise theneed for careful succession planning. The Chief Executive Officer ’s succession plans are  commonly par t of his annual performance review, and most boards now devote several meetings a year to the subject. One crucial decision that boards face is whether to select one of their own or an outsider. Unsurprisingly, firms  in trouble are much more likely to look for fresh blood. When the business is running smoothly, di rectors are more than happy to pick an experienced insider, who will continue along the present path. Whereas prom sing senior  executives will of ten abandon a struggling company, successful firms tend to have a large pool of talented managers to choose from. Occasional l y, even a successful company appoints an outsider who can introduce some  particular expertise. Many utility companies seek out side Chief Execut iv e Of f i cer s to shepherd them through the complexities of deregulation. Many boards do consider outsiders even when the existingChief Executive Officer is planning a normal retirement.

1. The passage conveys that an ailing firm cannot be revived by the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer who is an
(a) Outside expert
(b) Experienced insider
(c) Expert in deregulation
(d) Experienced shepherd

2. Successful companies prefer to promote an inside executive as Chief Executive Officer for reasons of
(a) Stability of operations
(b) Higher profits
(c) Market compulsions
(d) Diversification

3. Successful companies sometimes appoint Chief Execut ive Off icers f rom outside because
(a) Their existing executives are complacent
(b) Distance lends enchantment
(c) They wish to input their expertise
(d) They wish to be better placed then their competitors

4.What is the main issue in this passage ?
(a) Leadership traits of Chief Executive Officers
(b) Compensat ion paskage of Chief Executive Officers
(c) Discipline to be inculcated by Chief Executive Officers
(d) Planning the succession of Chief Executive Officers

5. Consider the following statements :
1. The Companies are too complacent and do not address the problem of succession of their Chief Executive Officers.
2. Even successful companies do not have enough talent in their ranks to pick incumbent to pick incumbent to the post of Chief Executive Officer.
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

Passage – I I

Something strange haunts the cultural landscape of America. Movie makers and television producers have become the mostpowerful, though perhaps not the most careful historians. It seems fair to say more people are getting their history or what they think is history, from the movies these days than from the  and arid history books. The phenomenon is  probably unavoidable, yet, if the history as presented by the movies turns out to be a muddyblur of fantasy and fact, the consequences cannot be good. In the 16th Century, Francis Bacon said that history makes men wise. It follows that bad history, trivialized history, history distorted and sensationalised, can make them foolish. There is indeed something disconcerting about the tendency of today’s movies-as-hi story to construct multicoloured and sound-tracked edifices of entertainment on the slender foundations of what appear to be actual events.

6. Consider the following statements
1. Movie makers can manipulate the actual events of history.
2. The quality of standard history books has deteriorated. 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

7. As historians, movie makers are
(a) both powerful and careful
(b) Powerful but not sticklers for accuracy
(c) Neither powerful nor careful
(d) Forced to stick to facts

8. Becon’s statement that ‘history makes men wise’ is interpreted by the author as follows
(a) History aided by technological support makes men wise
(b) History as a plain and actual record of events makes men wise
(c) A sentimentalised account of events is good history as it gives pleasure
(d) Good history cannot dispense with the help offered by movies

9.Which one of the following statements best reflects the attitude of the author in the passage ?
(a) The author is all admi ration for the movie makers and television producers of America
(b) The author regrets that movie makers and television producers of America do not have good stories
(c) The author does not find fault with trivialized or distorted history
(d) The author does not really approve of the rather disturbing trend of today to rely on movie maker s and television producers to describe history

10. Consider the following statements
1. Movies are responsible for the children in America to neglect their academic schedules.
2. Children in America are losing respect for their parents because of the influence of the technological advances depicated in the movies and television programmes.
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

Combined Defence Services

CDS General English Solved Paper (I) : 2007

Passage – I I I

Scientists show that there is a curious relationship between a lion’s life span and the pattern of spots on each side of its face. Each spot is associated with the root of a whisker, and thepat tern of spots i s as characteristic of an individual lion is a finger print of a person. But the placement varies between the two sides of the face. Males with a greater degree of a symmetry tend to die younger than their more evenly envisaged colleagues. Thus can a male’s life be read in his face it is his autobiography.

11. According to the passage, the spots are:
(a) Associated with hair growing round the mouth of a lion
(b) Associated with the lions rubbing against the roots - of trees
(c) Formed owing to cross breeding between different species of lions
(d) The after-effects of a disease

12. The phrase “evenly-envisaged colleagues” means
(a) Scientists who are level headed
(b) Lions with symmetrical spot-patterns on each side of the face
(c) Scientists who are members of a society that hold the same opinion
(d) those lions whose life spans are shorter than those of other lions

13.Which one of the following statements is not correct ?
(a) The variation between the patterns is a pointer to the lion’s longevity
(b) There is hardly any variation between the patterns on the two sides of a lion’s face
(c) The pattern of spots is characterictic of each individual lion
(d) The relationship between the pattern of spots and the l ife span of a l ion is somethingt strange

14.Whati s the conclusion of scientist s regarding the placement of spots on either side of a lion’s face ?
(a) Males with a greater degree ofirregularity in spot patterns have shorter life spans
(b) Males with a greater degree of lack of ordered spot patterns have longer life spans
(c) Males with very few spots on their bodies die younger
(d) Males with evenly placed spots on both sides of the face die sooner

15.Why is the lion’s face his autobiography ?
(a) The lion’s face shows all aspects of his life like an autobiography
(b) The lion is the author of his own life story
(c) The lion’s spots appear late in life likean autobiog raphy
(d) The lion’s life span can be judged from the lion’s face

Passage – IV

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They donot feel any enmity aganist me as an individual, nor I against them. They are “only doing their duty,” as the saying goes. Most of them are kindhearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. But if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces, he will still be able to sleep without any degree of compunction. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil.

16. The people who are flying overhead are called highly civilized because they
(a) Are kind hearted
(b) Are doing their duty
(c) Are trained bombers
(d) Draw hefty salaries

17. The person who succeeds in killing the author will
(a) Never sleep undisturbed
(b) Be without any remorse
(c) Suffer a lot
(d) Consider himself a ‘sinner

18. The reason why they are trying to kill the author is that
(a) They have murderous instincts
(b) They have a grudge against the author
(c) They have an assigned job
(d) The author is not as law-abiding as they are

19. In this passage the author assumes that doing one’s duty to one’s country
(a) Heightens one’s sensibility
(b) Exonerates a person of his act of killing
(c) Makes one kind-hearted
(d) Makes one desist from doing anything  unscrupulous

20.What is the author ’s attitude to the ways of  civilized societies ?
(a) Sarcastic (b) Indifferent
(c) Hostile (d) Casual

Passage – V

All at tempt s to detect oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars have been unsuccessful, and  it can be concluded that the amount of oxygen is not more than one-thousandth part of the amount in the Earth’satmosphere. Indirect evidence of oxygen is provided by the ruddy colour of Mars, which is unique among the  heavenly bodies. This red colour is suggestive ofrocks that have been completely oxidized and it may be contrasted with the grey or brownish colour of the rocks on the Moon, which have  remained unoxidised because of the absence of oxygen. It appears probable that Mars may be a planet where the weathering of rocks followed by their oxidation, has resulted in the almost complete deplet ion of oxygen f rom the atmosphere.

21. The amount of oxygen avai lable in the atmosphere of Mars is
(a) Probably very small
(b) None at all
(c) A thousand times more than that in the earth’s atmosphere
(d) About as much as there is in the Moon’s atmosphere

22. The reason suggested by the writer for the difference in colour between the rocks on Mars and those on the Moon is that
(a) Mars is very cold compared to other planets
(b) There i s no oxygen at al l in the atmosphere of the Moon
(c) The rocks on Mars have become old
(d) The rocks on Mars are unoxidized

23. According to the passage
(a) The amount of oxygen in Mars has remained constant
(b) Once there was more oxygen in the tmosphere of Mars than there is now
(c) At one time Mars was swept by fire, which turned the rocks into a reddish colour
(d) Severe storms caused the weathering of rocks

24. The presence of colouration in Mars is quite suggestive of the presence of
(a) Brownish rocks in the atmosphere
(b) Grey and brown rocks on the moon
(c) Oxygen in the atmosphere in the past
(d) No oxygen at all in the atmosphere

Passage – VI

I passed all the other course that I took at my university, but I could never pass Botany. This was because all Botany studens had to spend several hours a week in a laboratory looking through a microscope at plant cells, and I could never see through a microscope. I never once saw a cell through a microscope. This used to enrage my inst ructor. He would wander around the laboratory pleased with the progress all the students were making in drawing the involved and, so I am told, interesting structure of flower cells, until he came to me. I would just be standing there. “I cannot see anything, I would say.” He would begin patiently enough, explaining how anybody can see through a microscope, but he would always end up in fury, claiming that I too could see through a microscope but just pretended that I couldn’t. “It takes away from the beauty of flowers anyway.” I used to tell him. “We are not concerned with beauty in this course”, he would say. “We are concerned solely with what I may cal l the mechanics of flowers.” “Well”, I’d say, “I can’t see anything”, “Try it just once again”, he’d say, and I would put my eye to the microscope and see nothing at all , except now and again a nebulous milky substance-a phenomenon of maladjustment. “You were supposed to see avivid, restless clockwork of sharply defined plant cells.” I see what looks like a lot of milk”, I would tell him. This, he claimed, was the result of my not having adjusted the microscope properly, so he would readjust it for me, or rather, for himself. And I would look again and see milk.

25. The author thinks that he could not pass the botany examination because
(a) He did not take any interest in the subject
(b) He was partially blind
(c) He did not like microscope
(d) His teacher was not devoted to job

26. The difference in attitude between the instructor and the author was that while the
(a) Instructor was patient with the microscope; the author was impatient with it
(b) Instructor was concerned with the mechanics of flowers; the author was concerned more with the beauty of flowers
(c) Instructor could adjust the microscope properly, the author did not learn to adjust the microscope
(d) Instructor was interested in flowers, the author was disinterested in the beauty of flowers

27. The instructor was enraged with the author’s persistenefai lure to see cells because he thought that the author
(a) Pretended not to see them
(b) Was only interested in the mechanics of flowers
(c) Could only see a nebulous mi l ky substance
(d) Lacked common sense

28. The author thought that the instructor
(a) Attached too much significance to the laboratory work
(b) Failed to appreciate brilliant students
(c) Was himself pretending to be a scholarly person
(d) Used to get upset with him

29. Plant-cells under the microscope looked like milk to the author because the instructor
(a) Actually adjusted the microscope for himself
(b) Adjusted the microscope for the whole class
(c) Was solely concerned with the mechanics of flowers
(d) Was solely concerned with the mechanics of the microscope

ANSWERS: 1. (d) 2. (a) 3. (c) 4. (d) 5. (d) 6. (a) 7. (b) 8. (b) 9. (d) 10. (d) 11. (a) 12. (b) 13. (b) 14. (a) 15. (d) 16. (a) 17. (b) 18. (c) 19. (b) 20. (a) 21. (a) 22. (b) 23. (b) 24. (c) 25. (a) 26. (b) 27. (a) 28. (d)29. (a)


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