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Comprehension of   passage and  art of Summarizing – CSEET

Comprehension of   passage and  art of Summarizing – CSEET

Comprehension of   passage and  art of Summarizing – Introduction

The word comprehension means the ability to understand what you listen or what you read. It is an exercise which aims at improving or testing one’s ability to understand a language. In a comprehension test, you are given an unseen passage or a paragraph or two. These paragraphs show the idea or mood, concerning issues, their solutions that the author provides. Your main task is to answer the questions asked from the passage.

Important Strategy to Solve Comprehension Passages

  • Read the passage as fast as possible.
  • Get thoroughly involved with the paragraph to understand it.
  • Underline important lines or parts of the passage to answer the questions. It will also help to understand the main idea of the passage or the tone or mood of the author.
  • Try to translate a complex line in an easy one in your own words and your own language. This will help you in analyzing the main idea of the paragraph and in seeking the cause and effects of the passage.
  • Underline or mark the keywords. These will help you to discover the logical connections in the passage and help in understanding it better.
  • Try to understand some certain unfamiliar words by reading the line thoroughly. The theme of the line will make you understand the meaning of the words.
  • Determine the main idea, tone or mood, inferential reasoning, and other details from the paragraph.
  • Do not assume anything based on your personal belief.
  • Look back at the paragraph when in doubt.
  • Read the questions and all the alternative provided and choose the most appropriate one.

Things to remember

1.Find the central idea in the passage
2.Focus on Details
3.Logical structure
4.The Tone of the passage


  1. Find the central idea in the passage

This is important to get an overall understanding of the passage and to mentally make a note about the category it belongs to. The topic should be obvious to you in the first five lines of the passage. This helps since when you solve the questions, it becomes easier to eliminate options that are, in a way, not consistent with the central theme of the passage.

  1. Focus on Details

Sometimes, questions in reading comprehensions might be related to extremely specific details in the passage. In such a situation, questions are often direct and can be easily attempted. However, to do this, one must be able to sort such details of the passage without wasting too much time on skimming or reading the passage again. So, it is advisable to note down some points that may feel important to you. You can do this while reading the passage. You will get a better hold of what is important and what is not as you practice more.

  1. Logical structure

Sometimes, questions are asked about the passage. Having a proper understanding of the passage is essential for such questions. Always pay attention to the way certain words shape the passage. Moreover, questions such as “What should be the most apt title for the passage?” are much easier to answer if you have an overall idea about the structure of the passage.

  1. The Tone of the passage

This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the passage. But there are certain ways to solve questions like these. Firstly, recognize words that have a positive or negative connotation, used by the author. Look for descriptive phrases. Secondly, study and understand the various tones there are. Some of the most common tones are acerbic, biased, dogmatic, optimistic, humorous, grandiose, and introspective (these are only a few, tones are many) sometimes, authors may have a neutral tone and sometimes mixed.

Requisite Skills

To develop a better level of comprehension one requires certain skills like:

  • Logical ability
  • Fluency
  • Inference Power
  • Analytical ability
  • Reasoning ability
  • Sentence construction and cohesion
  • Reading speed
  • Vocabulary power
  • Working memory and attention

Key Takeaways

  • Analytical ability, fluency, and vocabulary skills are key to reading comprehension.
  • Being able to connect ideas within and between sentences helps in understand the whole text.
  • Reading aloud and talking about experiences can help build reading skills.
  • Reading speed should be fast in order to scan and skim to summarise the major points of the passage.
  • Paying attention while reading allows taking in more information from the text and working memory allows them to hold on to that information and use it to gain meaning.

Sample Questions

  1. Directions (1-10): Read the given passage carefully and attempt the questions that follow.
It is an old saying that knowledge is power. Education is an instrument which imparts knowledge and therefore, indirectly controls power. Therefore, ever since the dawn of our civilisation, persons in power have always tried to supervise or control education. It has been handmaid of the ruling class. During the Christian Era, the ecclesiastics controlled the institution of education and diffused among the people the gospel 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 the priests and the landlords lived in luxury and fought duels for the slightest offence. During the Renaissance, education passed more from the clutches of the priest into the hand of the prince. In order words, it became more secular. Under the control of the monarch, education began to devise and preach the infallibility of its masters, the monarch or king. It also invented and supported fantastic theories like “The Divine Right Theory” and that the king can do no wrong, etc. 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 the society. The philosophy which was in vogue during this period was that of “Laissez Faire” restricting the function of the state to a mere keeping of laws 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.
  1. What does the theory “Divine Right of King” stipulate?

(a)   The king are God

(b)   That the right of governing is conferred upon the king by God.

(c)   They have the right to be worshipped like Gods by their subjects.

(d)   That the right of king are divine and therefore sacred.

  1. Who controlled education during the Renaissance?

(a)   The common people.

(b)   The prince

(c)   The church and the priests.

(d)   None of the above.

  1. What did the ruling class in the Christian Era think of the poor man?

(a)   That he is the beloved of God.

(b)   That he deserves all sympathy of the rich

(c)   That he should be strong and lord over others.

(d)   That he is meant for serving the rich.

  1. Who controlled the institution of education during the Christian Era?

(a)   The secular leaders of society

(b)   The church and the priests

(c)   The monarchs

(d)   The common people.

  1. What does the word “infallibility” mean?

(a)   That every man is open to error

(b)   Sensitivity

(c)   The virtue of not making mistake

(d)   That some divine power is responsible for determining the fate of the man.

  1. What do you mean by the “sweat of his brow”?

(a)   Very hard work

(b)   The tiny droplets of sweat on the forehead

(c)   The wrinkles visible on the forehead

(d)   The sign of innocence.

  1. What does the policy of “Laissez Faire” stand for?

(a)   Individual freedom in the economics field

(b)   State control over law and order in society

(c)   Joint control of the means of production by the state and private enterprise

(d)   Decontrol over law and order by the ruling class.

  1. Which of the following describes the writer?

(a)   Concerned

(b)   Unconcerned

(c)   Aggressive

(d)   Frustrated

  1. Choose the correct synonym out of the four choice given:


(a)   Chitchat

(b)   A teaching or doctrine of a religious teacher

(c)   Rumour

(d)   Guidance.

  1. Choose the correct synonym out of the four choices given:


(a)   Uncertain

(b)   Out-dated

(c)   The prevailing fashion or style

(d)   Journey.

  1. Read the following passage and answer Q. no. 1 to 5 based on the passage.
India loses grain crops worth crores of rupees every year because of pests. In fact, the increased food production made possible by modern technology and agricultural research would become more evident if farmer is able to effectively combat the various pests and insects that destroy crops. While some of the crops are destroyed after harvesting, a large quantity of grains is destroyed in the fields. True that Indian farmer today is better able to combat these destroyers of grains, for he made available to him better storing facilities for the harvested crops, and modern chemical aid like insecticides with which he may spray the growing crops in his fields. But, one has to remember that not all insects are harmful. The common earthworms, for instance, is a friend of man, because it works like a dustman by breaking up the dead leaves and wood from plants and mixes them with the soil, thus making the soil richer. Therefore, when a farmer sprays his field with chemicals that kills insects, he destroys his friends with his enemies.
  1. A large part of the increased food production is lost because of:

(a)   The lack of irrigation facilities

(b)   The inadequate rainfall in the country

(c)   The destruction caused by the harmful insects

(d)   Bad eating habits of the people

  1. The function of the insecticide is:

(a)   To protect the growing crop

(b)   To nourish the growing crop

(c)   To harvest the growing crop

(d)   To store the harvested crop

  1. When the farmer sprays his field with chemical that kills insects:

(a)   He spoils his growing crop

(b)   He kills good as well as bad insects

(c)   He fertilizers the soil

(d)   He decreases his food productions

  1. The common earthworm:

(a)   Is the greatest destroyer of crops

(b)   Reduces the grain to dust

(c)   Breaks up the leaves on the crop

(d)   Makes the soil more rich

  1. After harvesting what the farmer needs is:

(a)   A good supply of seeds

(b)   Ability to combat the weather

(c)   A safe place for storage

(d)   A lot of chemical fertilizers

  1. Read the following passage and answer Q. no. 1 to 9 based on the passage.
In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome was the most fair part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by and depended on the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.

The principal conquests of the Romans were achieved under the republic; and the emperors, for the most part, were satisfied with preserving those dominions which had been acquired by the policy of the senate, the active emulations of the consuls, and the martial enthusiasm of the people. The seven first centuries were filled with a rapid succession of triumphs; but it was reserved for

Augustus to relinquish the ambitious design of subduing the whole earth, and to introduce a spirit of moderation into the public councils. Inclined to peace by his temper and situation, it was easy for him to discover that Rome, in her present exalted situation, had much less to hope than to fear from the chance of arms; and that, in the prosecution of remote wars, the undertaking became every day more difficult, the event more doubtful, and the possession more precarious, and less beneficial. The experience of Augustus added weight to these salutary reflections, and effectually convinced him that, by the prudent vigour of his counsels, it would be easy to secure every concession which the safety or the dignity of Rome might require from the most formidable barbarians. Instead of exposing his person and his legions to the arrows of the Parthians, he obtained, by an honourable treaty, the restitution of the standards and prisoners which had been taken in the defeat of Crassus. On the death of that emperor, his testament was publicly read in the senate. He bequeathed, as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the empire within those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries: on the west, the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.


  1. The word ‘fair’ in the passage most nearly means

(a)   Light-complexioned

(b)   Bright

(c)   Beautiful

(d)   Egalitarian

  1. ‘The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown….’ What does this mean?

(a)   The borders were guarded by experienced warriors

(b)   They relied on ancient spells to ward off attackers

(c)   The legend of Rome’s might dissuaded interlopers

(d)   The Romans fought with outdated but famous weapons

  1. The attitude of the author of the passage to the events described therein is one of

(a)   Suppressed anger

(b)   Silly indulgence

(c)   Scholarly detachment

(d)   Empathetic understanding

  1. The authors contention that there was ‘a happy period of more than fourscore years’ would be most weakened if it was found that :

(a)   All emperors are prone to be fallible

(b)   The emperors had no real love for humanity

(c)   The emperors had short reigns

(d)   The emperors were all incompetent tyrants

  1. The passage suggest that in the context of empires

(a)   It is important that they restrict themselves within certain secure boundaries

(b)   It is necessary that there be a senate exercising power

(c)   It is necessary that they must be pacifist

(d)   It is expected that its people will have a comfortable life.

  1. The word ‘cemented’ in the passage most nearly means

(a)   Ossified

(b)   United

(c)   Established firmly

(d)   Formalized

  1. Why was the policy of expansionism stopped?

(a)   Soldiers were angry at constant wars

(b)   The common man was angry at the constant wars

(c)   The realization that the idea of the Roman Empire was good enough to scare other territories into acceding to them

(d)   The Empire was becoming overstretched and there were no real gains to be had from further conquest

  1. Why did Augustus not expose his legions to ‘the arrows of the Parthians’

(a)   Because he disliked all forms of suffering

(b)   Because he felt a sense of duty and responsibility towards his troops

(c)   Because he realized that waging war would not effectively serve his purpose

(d)   Because he had turned to the path of peace

  1. What does the phrase ‘martial enthusiasm’ imply in context of the passage

(a)   A desire to get married

(b)   Fondness for war

(c)   An aggressive view of life

(d)   An appetite for destruction

  1. Directions (Q. 1 – 6) : The questions in this section is based on the passage. The questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage. For some of the questions, more than one of the choices conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question.
Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superficially similar, they differ profoundly in their approaches to and uses of legal reasons: substantive reasons are more common than formal reasons in the United States, whereas in England the reverse is true. This distinction reflects a difference in the visions of law that prevails in the two countries. In England, the law has traditionally been viewed as a system of rules; the United States favours a vision of law as an outward expression of community’s sense of right and justice.

Substantive reasons, as applied to law, are based on moral, economic, political and other considerations. These reasons are found both “in the law” and “outside the law” so to speak. Substantive reasons inform the content of a large part of the law: constitutions, statutes, contracts, verdicts, and the like. Consider, for example, a statute providing or purposes were explicitly written into the statute was to ensure quiet and safety in the park. Now suppose that a veterans’ group mounts a World War II jeep (in running order but without a battery) as a war memorial on a concrete slab in the park, and charges are brought against its members. Most judges in the United States would find the defendants not guilty because what they did had no adverse effect on park’s quiet and safety.

Formal reasons are different in that they frequently prevent substantive reasons from coming into play, even when substantive reasons are explicitly incorporated into the law at hand. For example, when a document fails to comply with stipulated requirements, the court may render the document legally ineffective. A Will requiring written witness may be declared null and void and, therefore, unenforceable for the formal reason that the requirement was not observed. Once the legal rule- that a Will is invalid for lack of proper witnessing – has been clearly established, and the legality of the rule is not in question, application of that rule precludes from consideration substantive arguments in favour of the Will’s validity or enforcement.

Legal scholars in England and the United States have long bemused themselves with extreme examples of formal and substantive reasoning. On the one hand, formal reasoning in England has led to wooden interpretations of statutes and an unwillingness to develop the common law through judicial activism. On the other hand, freewheeling substantive reasoning in the United States has resulted in statutory interpretations so liberal that the texts of some statutes have been ignored.


  1. Which one of the following best describes the content of the passage as a whole?

(a)   An analysis of similarities and differences between the legal systems of England and the United States

(b)   A re-evaluation of two legal systems with the use of examples

(c)   A contrast between the types of reasons embodied in the United States and English legal systems

(d)   An explanation of how two distinct visions of the law shaped the development of legal reasoning

  1. It can be inferred from the passage that English judges would like to find the veterans’ group discussed in the second paragraph guilty of violating the statute because

(a)   not to do so would encourage others to act as the group did

(b)   not to do so would be to violate the substantive reasons underlying the law

(c)   the veterans failed to comply with the substantive purpose of the statute

(d)   the veterans failed to comply with the stipulated requirements of the statute

  1. From the discussion on Wills in the third paragraph it can be inferred that substantive arguments as to the validity of a Will might be considered under which one of the following circumstances?

(a)   The legal rule that a Will be witnessed in writing does not stipulate the formal of the

(b)   The legal rule requiring that a Will be witnessed stipulates that the Will must be witnessed in writing by two people

(c)   The legal rule requiring that a Will be witnessed in writing stipulates that the witnessing must be done in the presence of a judge

(d)   A judge rules that the law can be interpreted to allow for a verbal witness to a Will in a case involving a medical emergency

  1. Which one of the following best describes the function of the last paragraph of the passage?

(a)   It presents the consequences of extreme interpretations of the two types of legal reasons discussed by the author

(b)   It shows how legal scholars can incorrectly use extreme examples to support their views

(c)   It corrects inaccuracies in legal scholars’ view of the nature of two types of legal systems

(d)   It suggests how characterisations of the two types of legal reasons can become convoluted and inaccurate

  1. The author of the passage suggests that in English law a substantive interpretation of a legal rule might be warranted under which one of the following circumstances

(a)   Social conditions have changed to the extent that to continue to enforce the rule would be to decide contrary to present-day social norms

(b)   The composition of the legislature has changed to the extent that to enforce the rule would be contrary to the views of the majority in the present legislative assembly

(c)   The legality of the rule is in question and its enforcement is open to judicial interpretation

(d)   Individuals who have violated the legal rule argue that application of the rule would lead to unfair judicial interpretations

  1. The author of the passage makes use of all of the following in presenting the discussion of the English and the United States legal systems except

(a)   Comparison and contrast

(b)   Generalisation

(c)   Explication of terms

(d)   A chronology of historical developments

Para Jumbles, Sentence Correction, Sentence Arrangement and Sentence Completion Para Jumbles

Para Jumbles are basically jumbled paragraphs. You are provided with a paragraph but the sentences are not in the right sequence. You have to rearrange the sentences so that they turn out into a meaningful paragraph.

Key skills required

  • Understanding the topic of the paragraph : You should be able to understand what is being talked about in because it will help in establishing link with other sentences of the paragraph.
  • Understanding the information flow : The next thing which is very important is the to identify that the information should be in a flow and to understand what exactly the paragraph is trying to convey.

A pre-requisite to both the above skills is to possess the qualities of good reader.

Sample Questions

Direction (1-5): The sentences given in each question, when properly sequenced, from labelled with a letter. Choose the most logical order of sentences from among the given choice to construct a coherent paragraph.

  1. a. People who start up their own business typically come from two extreme backgrounds: One is the business family background and the other is a steady professional family background.
  2. Typically, people from different background face different kinds of basic problems.
  3. The people from both the backgrounds find it very difficult to establish and manage an enterprise.
  4. Starting up and managing a small business is no joke.

(a)   d b c a

(b)   b a c d

(c)   d a c b

(d)   c d a b.

  1. a. venture capital is recommended as the ideal source of financing for a successfully small business.
  2. Several companies including start-ups have been funded by dedicated venture funds during this decade.
  3. Despite this, an average Indian entrepreneur understands and appreciation of venture capital concept has been woefully inadequate.
  4. In the Indian context, though venture capital has been a relatively late entrant, if has already made a reasonable impact.

(a)   a b c d

(b)   a d b c

(c)   a c b d

(d)   a d c b

  1. a. Progress in diagnosis, in preventive medicine and in treatment, both medicinal and surgical, has been rapid and breath taking.
  2. Much in medicine which is not taken for granted was undreamt of even as recently as 20 years ago.
  3. Presently small pox has been eradicated, poliomyelitis practically banished, tuberculosis has become curable and coronary artery disease surgically relievable.
  4. The dramatic surge in the field of molecular biology and research by immunologists and geneticists has succeeded in controlling parasitic disease like malaria and river blindness that affect millions of people round the world.

(a)   b d c a

(b)   b a c d

(c)   b c a d

(d)   b d a c

  1. a. Instead, many deaths and injuries result from failing objects and the collapse of buildings, bridges and other structures.
  2. Earthquakes almost never kill people directly.
  3. Fire resulting from broken gas or power lines is another major danger during a quake.
  4. Spills hazardous chemicals are also a concern during an earthquake.

(a)   c a b d

(b)   d a c b

(c)   d c a b

(d)   b a c d

  1. a. The Winchester or hard disk drives can store much more data than what can be stored on a floppy diskette.
  2. Hard disks come sealed and they cannot be removed or changed likes floppy diskettes.
  3. Often floppy disk system is used in conjunction with the Winchester disk system.
  4. This makes for an ideal system for secondary storage.

(a)   c a b d

(b)   c b d a

(c)   b a c d

(d)   a b e d


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