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

Combined Defence Services

CDS General English Solved Paper (II) : 2006

Directions (For the 22 items which follow): 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 the questions based on it. You are required to select your answers based on the contents of the passage and opinion of the author only.Example ‘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, securityand 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 seekpeace, comfort and security. Life is as dear to a mute creature as it isto 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 others 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 presserve its life

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 Explanation

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.
The best assumpt ion under l ying 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

  • Like human beings, elephant s are sometimes the victims of acute stress, and in bothspecies, stress produces diseases of the heart and arteries. Thousands of elephants living in parts of East Africa are  crowded together on dry, dusty, treeless plains, confined by the terrain and the size of their herds. All day the animals huddle together, munching and waving their large, fanlike ears. Exposed to strong sunlight, restricted in their diet and frustrated in their migration, the  elephants appear bored and restless and are also afflicted with vascular diseases.
  • Recent studies show that the elephants,  whose life span is similar to man’s are suffering from habitat stress. They are also suffering from two ailments common to man - medial sclerosis and atherosclerosis - unknown among other jungle dwelling beasts.
  • Both diseases affect the lining of the arteries, resulting it thickening, hardening and inelasticity of the vesselans. In medial sclerosis the accumulation of calcium salts makes the arteries in the neck and limbs into rigid, narrow pipes. In advanced cases the blood supply is severely reduced and there is a danger of heart failure. In such circumstances medial sclerosis produces stiff . and lame elephants. 
  • When excessive layers of fat, rather than  alcium salts, are deposited in the artery lining,  the elephants develop lipid plaques closely resembling atheroma in man. Such lipid accumulations in human beings are a major cause of heart disease and are attributed to high blood pressure, improper diet, smoking and stress.

1. Consider the following statements
1. Elephants are blissfully happy while moving in the jungles of East Africa.
2. Exposure to strong sunlight causes a number of eye diseases for elephants

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

2. Consider the following statements :
1. Elephants develop lipid plaques when calcium salts get deposited in the vessel walls.
2. In medial sclerosis, calcium salsts end up in imparting rigidness to the arteries in the neck.

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

3.Which one of the following causes a diseases in elephants which is similar to atheroma in man?
(a) Excessive sunlight
(b) Consumption of sugar-cane
(c) Consumption of banana
(d) Deposit of fat

4. Consider the following statements
1. Many of animals living in the jungles suffer from the diseases common to elephants.
2. Average life of an elephant, particularly in East Africa is much larger than that of a human being.

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

Passage-I I

In 1837 Louis Aggasiz, a young naturalist, had to suffer ridicule at the hands of geologistswhile trying to prove that the earth had gone through a number of ice ages. Then, for almosta century, the four-fold ice age scheme of the Alps (Wurm, Riss, Mindel and Gunz) given by Alberta Penck and E. B. Rucker in 1909 got so well entrenched in geology that most of the global evidence was forced to fit into this fourfold framework and nobody daz d to think of more than four ice ages. Only recently have the data from sea-cores and deep ice cores revealed that, in the last 2 million years, the earth has witnessed 17-18 cold-warm oscillations rather than four, as believed earlier. More important was the realization that ice ages, were severaltimes longer than the warm periods and that they could be triggered off even within a brief space of a century. The warm periods werenormally only of a span of 10-15 thousand years. The portriat of an ice age is starkly gloomy. Vastareas of earth, including large areas of Europe, Canada, U.S.Aand India: may come under a thick blanket of ice and the lower latitudes will be under the grip of droughts and famine. With the already mounting food and fuel crisis, the earth can ill-afford such a catastrophe.

5.Why was Louis Aggasiz scoffed at?
(a) He was too unorthodox
(b) He did not subscribe to the theory of four ice ages
(c) He believed too much in the laws of nature
(d) He believed in sustainable development

6.Which one of the following statements is correct?
In the cold-warm oscillations in the life of the earth,
(a) warm periods have been longer than the ice ages
(b) ice ages have been as brief as a century
(c) ice ages were several times longer than warm periods
(d) both warm and cold periods lasted for a span of 10-15 thousands years.

7. If an ice, age grips the earth in the near future, then
(a) only Europe, USA, Canada and India will be under ice
(b) the most par t s of the souther n hemisphere will be under the grip of famine and droughts
(c) the food and fuel. crisis will become severe part icular ly in the nor thern hemisphere
(d) many. earthquakes will occur

8. “The earth can ill-afford such a catastrophe” means
(a) The earth cannot afford illness which would be brought about by an ice age
(b) Catastrophic diseases will be unleashed by an ice age
(c) The mankind will not be able to bear such a catastrophe
(d) Only rich nations will survive

Passage – I I I

Are newspapermen not limiting the scope of their job? They have been content to speakonly to the elite and are not in touch with the vast masses. of our country that they ignore. That is why the press as a whole has often been wide off the mark in its assessment of the people’s feelings and in ‘its forecasts of the shape of things to come. In India where literacy is not very widespread out pol itical consciousness and political judgement are highly evolved, there must be new methods of reaching people are arguing wi th them, persuading them and reading their views. This is the challenge before the press in India.

9. In India, there is
(a) More l i teracy than pol i t i cal consciousness
(b) Less literacy than political consciousness
(c) A n equal measure of l i teracy and political consciousness
(d) Widespread use of malpractices by the big houses owning press

10. Newspapermen have limited the scope of their profession because
(a) They do not make correct assessments
(b) They are influenced by politicians
(c) They are out of the touch wi th the common people
(d) They are too much influenced by the electronic media

11.What are ‘N ew methods of reaching people’?
(a) Arguing with people and getting to know them
(b) Persuading people and making them well-informed
(c) Convincing people to use Internet
(d) They have not been enlarged upon in the passage

Passage – IV

Our greatest need, after water is sodium  chloride, or common salt. We need it for a very curious reason. It is not found in most cells of  our body, or in most plant cells. They contain  potash salts and there are plenty of these in every kind of food. But it is found in our blood. Our horses and cows are often short of salt. That is why they lick each other in summer. Men whosweat a good deal feel an instinctive  need of salt. Miners in deep and hot mines eat far more bacon than the average of the population, and some of them put a little salt in the drinking water. If they run very short of salt they may get cramps inthe limbs or stomach. The same applies to other workers who sweat very greatly, such as ship’s  firemen. The firemen of Scandinavian ships eat more salted fish and salted meat than those of British ships and are therefore less affected.

12.Man’s greatest need is
(a) Salt (b) Bacon
(c) Water (d) Vitamins

13. Horses lick one another in order to
(a) Show their love
(b) Relive fatigue and stress
(c) Take in some salt
(d) Get a cooling effect

14. Consider the following statements
1. Men who sweat less are in dire need of salt.
2. Shortage of salt can lead to cramps in the stomach or limbs.

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

Passage – V

The essence of democracy is the active participation of the people in government affairs. When the people do not participate, when theyare uninformed or uninterested when they cannot and will not maketheir voices heard or felt, when in short, they default; the spirit ofdemocratic action will soon die. But when the people indi v idual ly and through thei r  institutions and organizations become active participants in the governmental activities, then we have that fertile soil in which democracy flourishes. Democracy is founded upon a faith  in the overall judgement and good sense of the people as a whole. The magic lies not in the literal arithmetic of majority vote, but in the oftproven sense of what is right and what is fair.

15. The essence of democracy lies in seeking the opinion of the public on
(a) contemporary issues
(b) who should rule
(c) what is morally justified
(d) what should be the economic policy of the country

16. According to the author, public opinion means
(a) the opinion expressed by the public opinion polls
(b) the opinion expressed by its elected representatives
(c) the opinion of the majority
(d) the consensus of the public as a whole

17. Democracy takes deep roots in a country if its citizens
(a) become, active participants in the issues of governance
(b) become act ive members of pol it ical parties
(c) participate in parliamentary discussions
(d) read national news and commentaries regularly

18. A ccording to the author, the spi r i t of democracy cannot survive if people
(a) do not believe in democratic values
(b) turn against an elected government
(c) do not take interest in the affairs of the government
(d) become intolerant

Passage – VI

There are people st il l living who once trembled to think what would happen to family life if hungry school children were fed at the  public expense. In the. first place, they thought, thi s would dest roy the parental sense of responsibility and put an end to that thrift which is so strong a tie between underpaid parent and underfed child. House would cease to be sweet home i f mother s had no longer to deny themselves the necessaries of life in order to keepthe bodies and souls of their infants together. The sanctity of family life must not be violated by free sandwiches. I happen to believe in the institution of the family, but I could never see how underfeedingchildren was the best way to preserve it. Similarly, I could never see how the institution of the family was imperilled by the work of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Yet many people once trembled to think what the consequences would be if the prying officials of  this society were permitted to interfere with the sacred relationship between a parent and a child.

19. According to the evidence in the passage, the author
(a) sides with those who dislike outside interference in family life
(b) partially agrees with those who want families to be left alone
(c) mentions about the virtues of democracy
(d) clearly shows his preference for public intervention favouring children

20. This paggage is mainly about
(a) Old beliefs in the present-day world
(b) Public care for undernourished children
(c) The rights of families
(d) Parents’ responsibility to children

21. “The sanctity of family life must not be violated by free sandwiches”. This is an expression of the
(a) Author ’s personal belief
(b) General belief of the people
(c) Belief of all the old people
(d) Bel ief of those w ho oppose publ ic expenditure on feeding children

22. The use of the adjective ‘sacred’ in the phrase ‘sacred relationship’ shows that the attitude of the author is
(a) Sarcastic
(b) Humorous
(c) Religious
(d) Sorrowful

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


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