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Handy tips to attempt Reading Comprehension – Part 2

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Many students just go through the article in haste with the aim of finishing reading the article at the earliest. This hampers our objective of gaining maximum knowledge from the article. You should put your mind to it. If you get your answer wrong, don’t just understand the explanation and arrive at the answer. You should be able to find fault with your reasoning and only then move ahead. And if you cannot find problem with your answer and do not find the explanation convincing enough, you should ask. Write down all your queries in the ‘Comments’ section.

Click Here to read Handy tips for Reading Comprehension

This exercise is solely based on reading skill – how good you read and how well you comprehend the information in the passage. I request you to sit in a quiet place while attempting this exercise. Use all your energy to concentrate while reading and try to understand the passage from author’s view.

Direction for questions 1 to 7: Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow. Read as slowly as you want but read the passage only once and then attempt the question.

  1. Efficiency is all right in its place, in the shop, the factory, the store. The trouble with efficiency is that it wants to rule our play as well as our work; it won’t be content to reign in the shop, it follows us home.
    It can be inferred from the above passage that
    a.efficiency can become all-pervading.
    b.efficiency does not always pay.
    c.efficiency can be more of a torture than a blessing.
    d.efficiency hinders every walk of life
    e.None of these
    Answer – A
    Explanation :
    As the passage says that efficiency won’t be content to reign in the shop, but will follow us home, it implies that efficiency can become all-pervading. (b) is not the focus of the questions. (c) & (d) goes beyond the scope of the argument.

As discussed before, it is important to restrict oneself to the information provided in the paragraph. If author asks you to make any inference, make it only on the basis of the information provided.Considering the level of question in Mains exam, it is highly probable that no director factual question will be asked. Inference based questions have high chances of being asked. Following are such questions- What does the author imply? Or What does the author suggest? Or What does the passage imply?

Author suggests these idea without explicitly stating them. It measures candidate’s skill to understand the intended meaning. So, read between the lines. Good vocab always helps in comprehending the author’s intent. All the questions in the exercise are inference based. You don’t require any more information to crack these questions. Just stay focused and read with concentration.

  1. In order to ease the traffic congestion, the transport planners decided to have a sophisticated system of elevated monorail travel in the city. However, it was pointed out by somebody that a metro rail system would be a more effective solution to the traffic problem. The plan was thus stalled. Moreover, since a budget had not been drawn up for the project, it was deemed fit to stall the work of the monorail for some time. Meanwhile, the traffic planners of the city decided to build an efficient system of subways and flyovers in the city with the aim of easing the same problem. At the instant when the planners were preparing to award the contracts to the concerned parties, the transport planners came up with the contention that the subways interfered with the site of a pillar of the monorail system. The traffic planners had to give up the idea and think of other possible solutions.
    (Remove the useless information, focus on main theme and supporting ideas. Theme of the passage is finding solution for traffic problem. Monorail system – stalled due to various reasons (no need to remember those reasons – useless information) – subway & flyover is new solution –stalled due to fight between the two parties. We can conclude various solutions were proposed but none of them is in action)
    Which of the following can we infer from the above passage?
    a.The city authorities felt that the monorail system was essentially impractical.
    b.Intervention of higher authority is needed to find the solution
    c.The projects would be stalled for an indefinite period.
    d.Traffic problem is not going to be resolved anytime soon.
    e.There needs to be greater intimacy between different planners.
    Answer – D
    Explanation :
    Since the parties – traffic and transport planners – are more concerned with their own projects, rather than solving the problem of the city, option D is the best fit. C may or may not be true. Due to use of ‘indefinite period’, we would reject this (Remember the point in the article about ‘extreme view’).  A is not stated in the passage, B and E goes beyond the scope of the argument made in the para.

Just below the question I have stated the main theme of the passage. I have cited ‘The reasons for which monorail work was stalled’ as useless information and need not be retained. But what if the question is being asked from it – What are the reasons for which monorail work has been stalled?

  • As I have already said, there is very less probability of question being asked in such a direct way, that you can find the answer just written in the passage. But if the question is still asked and we don’t remember the information, it won’t take more than 5 seconds to go back to the paragraph where that particular information has been given.
  • The student, who does not know the theme and tries to remember all the information will start searching for ‘the reasons of stalling of monorail’ in whole passage, (he will search for the keywords –‘stalled’ and ‘monorail’ in the whole passage) and will end up wasting a lot of time. Whereas the student, who has connected all the different paragraphs with a common theme will know exactly where to search for the reasons. For ex – If you remember that monorail was stalled in the first paragraph (only important information is to be remembered) of the passage, you can find the answer by returning to the paragraph in not more than 5 seconds.
  1. The company encourages its managers to interact regularly, without a pre-set agenda, to discuss issues concerning the company and society. This idea has been borrowed from the ancient Indian concept of religious congregation, called satsang. Designations are forgotten during these meetings; hence, it is not uncommon in these meetings to find a sales engineer questioning the CEO on some corporate policy or his knowledge of customers.
    Based on the information provided in the above passage, it can be inferred that
    a.the company is concerned about its reputation with its employees.
    b.the company believes in fostering the spirit of dialogue without degenerating it into a positioningbased debate.
    c.the company had some inter-personnel problems in the past due to which it felt the need forthese corporate satsangs.
    d.the company wants its employees to think like the managers do
    e.All of these
    Answer – B
    Explanation :
    The passage states that designations are forgotten during the meetings and even a sales engineer can question the CEO on company policies. The company’s ulterior motive is not the focus of the argument, so A, C and D are ruled out.

  2. From Cochin to Shimla, the new culture vultures are tearing down acres of India’s architectural treasures. Ancestral owners are often fobbed off with a few hundred rupees for an exquisitely carved door or window, which fetches fifty times that much from foreign dealers, and yet more from the drawing room sophisticates of Europe and the US. The reason for such shameless rape of the Indian architectural wealth can perhaps, not wrongly, be attributed to the unfortunate blend of activist disunity and the local indifference.
    It can be inferred from the above passage that
    a.the environment created by activist disunity and local indifference is idealfor antique dealers to thrive in India.
    b.only Indians are not proud of their cultural heritage and are hungry for the foreign currency that iseasily available in return of artifacts.
    c.most Indian families have heirlooms which can be sold at high prices to Europeans and Americans.
    d.India is the only rich market for unscrupulous antique dealers.
    e.Both a and d
    Answer – A
    Explanation :
    The passage states that the rape of Indian architectural wealth can be attributed to the blend of activist disunity and local indifference. B & C cannot be known from the information in the paragraph. D seems to be true but the use of word ‘Only’ makes it wrong (Remember the point about options which lend an ‘extreme view’ to the argument)

  3. The effect produced on the mind by travelling depends entirely on the mind of the traveller and on the way in which he conducts himself. The chief idea of one very common type of traveller is to see as many objects of interest as he possibly can. If he can only after his return home say that he has seen such and such temple, castle, picture gallery, or museum, he is perfectly satisfied. Far different is the effect of travels upon those who leave their country with a mind prepared by culture to feel intelligent admiration for all the beauties of nature and art to be found in foreign lands. When they visit a new place, instead of hurrying from temple to museum to picture gallery, they allow the spirit of the place to sink into their minds, and only visit such monuments as the time they have at their disposal allows them to contemplate without irreverent haste.
    It can be inferred from the above passage that
    a.the writer prefers the second type of traveller.
    b.the first type of traveller is the lay traveller who does not understand the worth of any place hetravels to.
    c.the objective of the second type of traveller is not to see much, but to see well.
    d.All of these
    e.Both a & c
    Answer – C
    Explanation :
    The passage states that the second kind of traveler visits only such monuments as the time at his disposal allows him to contemplate without irreverent haste. The preference of the writer is not the focus of the argument; hence A is wrong. B may or may not be true, given the information about first traveler, hence crossed out. C is the correct answer.

  4. Where the film Bahubali loses out is where every commercial film congenitally goes awry –becoming too simplistic to address serious issues and failing to translate real life to reel.
    Which of the following can be inferred from the above line?
    a.The film’s director aimed at recreating real life on the silver screen.
    b.The film was too simplistic for the audience’s taste.
    c.The film was successful in spite of its shortcomings.
    d.The film being commercial, had no serious aspect to it
    e.None of these
    Answer – E
    Explanation :
    The passage supports none of the given options. C does not seem to be true in light of facts presented in the passage. B is stated anyway in the passage. Option A – What the director aimed at does not seem to be the focus of the argument, which discusses a general consequence. D is out of the purview of the passage.

  5. Aspiration is nothing new. Neither is the debate over what the Indian middle class is, what it wants and what it buys. Since the mid-80s, that has been the focus of the economic policy papers so called pro- and anti-poor budgets and marketing strategies that have successfully broken the barrier of urban selling and reached deeper into rural India with increasing income levels and aspirations.
    Based on the above passage, it can be inferred that
    a.the Indian middle class has been the focus of economic policies for a long time.
    b.the Indian middle class has graduated from being the ‘deprived’ middle class to the ‘pampered’middle class.
    c.Both (a) and (b)
    d.Neither (a) nor (b)
    e.The main focus of marketing people is to sell products to rural people
    Answer – A
    Explanation :
    The Indian middle-class, what it wants and what it buys has been the focus of economic policies since the mid-80s, hence A is true. B infers far beyond what can be reasonably inferred from the argument. E is true to some extent but not completely true.

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