Reading Comprehension (English, Study Material, Exam Preparation, Examples, Question, Answer and Explanation)

Reading Comprehension

When it comes to difficulty and challenging section for english, this is the section which requires understanding of all the grammar rules, vocabulary and practice a lot of comprehensions and passages to score maximum marks.

Reading comprehension section of SSC CGL Tier-2, IBPS PO, RBI Grade B, SBI PO exam, etc. is challenging. So, here we are providing few examples and practice questions based on Reading Comprehension, attempt these short passages and the questions following them.

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Practice Questions : For Reading Comprehension

Example 1 - Directions (1-5): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

Our home stood behind the railroad tracks. Its skimpy yard was paved with black cinders. The only touch of green we could see was far away, beyond the tracks over where the white folks lived. But cinders were fine weapons. All you had to do was crouch behind the brick pillars of a house with your hands full of gritty ammunition and the first wooly black head you saw from behind another row of pillars was your target. It was fun. One day, the gang to which I belonged found itself engaged in a war with the white boys who lived beyond the tracks. As usual, we laid down our cinder barrage thinking this would wipe the white boys out. But they replied with a steady bombardment of broken bottles. We retreated. During the retreat, a broken milk bottle caught me behind the ear, opening a deep gash. The sight of blood pouring over my face completely demoralized our ranks. My fellow combatants left me standing paralyzed in the center of the yard and scurried for their houses. A kind neighbor saw me and rushed me to a doctor.

Question 1: The locality, where the author lived, was
a) behind a brick quarry
b) near a coal mine
c) far away from where the whites lived
d) close to where the whites lived

Answer: Option B
Explanation: The locality, where the author lived, was near a coal mine.

Question 2: The author used the cinders for
a) harassing the white boys
b) cooking his food
c) building houses
d) laying them on the railroads

Answer: Option A
Explanation: The author used the cinders for harassing the white boys.

Question 3: The weapons used by the whites in the gang fight were
a) as effective as the author’s
b) less effective than the author’s
c) more dangerous than the author’s
d) as harmless as the author’s

Answer: Option C
Explanation: The weapons used by the whites in the gang fight were more dangerous than the author’s.

Question 4: The author was hit by a broken bottle
a) as soon as the fight began
b) during a lull in the fight
c) after the fight was over
d) when the author’s gang was withdrawing

Answer: Option D
Explanation: The author was hit by a broken bottle when the author’s gang was withdrawing.

Question 5: At the sight of the author’s bloody wound, his friends
a) were terrified
b) were filled with shame
c) grew very angry
d) felt depressed and defeated

Answer: Option D
Explanation: At the sight of the author’s bloody wound, his friends felt depressed and defeated.



Example 2 - Directions (6-10): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

In the highest sense, religion is an intensely individual issue. But there is a national question also. We must hold together and we cannot hold together only on the strength of police regulations. An internal regulator of conduct is absolutely necessary. Will men be good and wise without the aid of religion? As modern life has multiplied desires without the corrective of a sense of spiritual values, knowledge of modern science does not reduce either greed or lust. Indeed, it has nothing to do with these criminal disturbances of the mind. On the contrary, it finds fresh tools for greater indulgence in all forms of greed, lust and anger. It is true that a sense of shame by itself often prevents overt misconduct. But it does not go to the root of the mischief; it does not stop undesirable mental activities. The only thing that can prevent or restrain these evils is the religious sense.

Question 6: According to the author, religion is essentially a
a) personal matter
b) the matter having national relevance
c) the body of rules and regulations
d) the sacrifice of worldly desires

Answer: Option A
Explanation: According to the author, religion is essentially a personal matter.

Question 7: The statement “we must hold together” means that we should
a) be politically united
b) work together
c) be spiritually united
d) keep up our nation’s prestige

Answer: Option D
Explanation: Keep up our nation’s prestige

Question 8: The author thinks that in the modern times
a) the police have grown very powerful
b) people’s needs have increased
c) politicians have become corrupt
d) we are practicing several faiths

Answer: Option B
Explanation: The author thinks that in the modern times people’s needs have increased.

Question 9: The worst thing about modern science is that it has
a) produced dangerous weapons
b) spread new superstitions
c) contributed to the decline of our values
d) discredited all religions

Answer: Option C
Explanation: The worst thing about modern science is that it has contributed to the decline of our values.

Question 10: The author holds that the perfect remedy for man’s evil propensities is a
a) the sense of shame
b) religious sense
c) the combination of a sense of shame and religion
d) the sense of good conduct

Answer: Option B
Explanation: The author holds that the perfect remedy for man’s evil propensities is a religious sense.



Example 3 - Directions (11-15): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

I was lying on a ridge scanning, with field glasses, a rock cliff opposite me for tahr, the most sure footed of all Himalayan goats. On a ledge halfway up the cliff, a tahr and her kid were lying asleep. Then, the tahr got to her feet, stretched herself and the kid immediately began to feed. After a minute the mother freed herself, took a few steps along the ledge, poised for a moment, then jumped down on to another but a narrower ledge some twelve to fifteen feet below her. As soon as it was left alone the kid started running backward and forwards, stopping every now and then to peer down at its mother, but unable to summon the courage to jump down to her, for below the narrow ledge was a sheer drop of a thousand feet. I was too far away to hear whether the mother was encouraging her young, but from the way her head was turned, I believe she was doing so. The kid was getting more and more agitated and, possibly fearing that it would do something foolish, the mother went to what looked like a mere crack in the vertical rock face and, climbing it, rejoined her young. Immediately on doing so she lay down, presumably to prevent the kid from feeding.
After a while, she got to her feet again, allowed the kid to drink for a minute, poised carefully on the brink and jumped down while the kid again ran backward and forwards above her. Seven times in the course of the next half-hour this procedure was repeated until finally the kid, abandoning itself to its face, jumped and landing safely beside its mother was rewarded by being allowed to drink its fill. The lesson for her young, that it was safe to follow where she led, was over for that day.

Question 11: Which of the following excerpts from the passage best bears out the description of the tahr as a sure-footed mountain goat?
a) “Seven times in the course of the next half-hour this procedure was repeated.”
b) “The lesson for her young __________ was over for that day.”
c) “__________ the mother went to what looked like a mere crack in the vertical rock face __________ rejoined her young.”
d) “I was too far away to hear whether the mother was encouraging her young __________ I believe she was doing so.”

Answer: Option A
Explanation: “Seven times in the course of the next half-hour this procedure was repeated.”

Question 12: The mother goat feared that the kid “would do something foolish” like
a) drink more than its share of milk
b) throw itself off the cliff
c) follow her down the vertical rock face
d) continue to pace up and down indefinitely

Answer: Option B
Explanation: The mother goat feared that the kid “would do something foolish” like throw itself off the cliff.

Question 13: Which of the following phrases can replace “abandoning itself to its fate”, used in the second paragraph?
a) Making the most of the situation
b) Taking the bull by the horns
c) Facing the music
d) Accepting consequences

Answer: Option D
Explanation: Accepting consequences

Question 14: One way in which the kid was encouraged to follow its mother was by
a) not being allowed to have its fill of milk until it had jumped
b) running backward and forwards on the ledge before it jumped
c) getting very agitated before it jumped
d) being rejoined by its mother several times

Answer: Option D
Explanation: One way in which the kid was encouraged to follow its mother was by being rejoined by its mother several times.

Question 15: The mother goat taught her kid the lesson through
a) agility and sure-footedness
b) severity and punishment
c) patience and perseverance
d) praise and reward

Answer: Option A
Explanation: Agility and sure-footedness



Example 4 - Directions (16-18): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

Corruption is not a new phenomenon in India. It has been prevalent in society since ancient times. History reveals that it was present even in the Mauryan period. Great scholar, Kautilya, mentions the pressure of forty types of corruption in his contemporary society. It was practised even in Mughal and Sultanate period. When the East India Company took control of the country, corruption reached new height. Corruption in India has become so common that people now are averse to thinking of public life with it. Corruption has been defined variously by scholars. But the simple meaning of it is that corruption implies perversion of morality, integrity, character or duty out of mercenary motives, i.e. bribery, without any regard to honour, right and justice. In other words, undue favour for any one for some monetary or other gains is corruption. Simultaneously, depriving the genuinely deserving from their right or privilege is also a corrupt practice. Shrinking from one’s duty or dereliction of duty are also forms of corruption. Besides, thefts, wastage of public property constitute varieties of corruption. Dishonesty, exploitation, malpractices, scams and scandals are various manifestations of corruption.

Question 16: According to the passage, what all are the manifestation of corruption?
a) malpractices
b) dishonesty
c) scams and scandals
d) All of these

Answer: Option D

Question 17: Perversion of what is not mentioned in the passage?
a) character
b) attitude
c) morality
d) integrity

Answer: Option B

Question 18: According to the passage, corruption is _____ .
a) new phenomenon in India
b) insignificant to Indian society
c) prevalent since ancient times
d) prevalent only in middle east countries

Answer: Option C



Example 5 - Directions (19-22): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

Corruption is not a uniquely Indian phenomenon. It is witnessed all over the world in developing as well as developed countries. It has spread its tentacles in every sphere of life, namely business administration, politics, officialdom and services. In fact, there is hardly any sector which can be characterised for not being infected with the vices of corruption. Corruption is rampant in every segment and every section of society, barring the social status attached to it. Nobody can be considered free from corruption from a high ranking officer.
To root out the evil of corruption from society, we need to make a comprehensive code of conduct for politicians, legislatures, bureaucrats and such code should be strictly enforced. Judiciary should be given more independence and initiatives on issues related to corruption. Special courts should be set-up to take up such issues and speedy trial is to be promoted. Law and order machinery should be allowed to work without political interference. NGOs and media should come forward to create awareness against corruption in society and educate people to combat this evil. Only then we would be able to save our system from being collapsed.

Question 19: According to the passage, which of the following is INCORRECT?
a) corruption is prevalent only in developing countries
b) corruption is rampant in every segment and section of society
c) to combat corruption, law and order should be allowed to work without political interference
d) corruption is not a uniquely Indian phenomena

Answer: Option A

Question 20: Which of the following measure is not mentioned in the passage to root out the evil of corruption from society?
a) private sector should create awareness against corruption
b) media should come forward to create awareness and educate people to combat this evil
c) judiciary to be given more independence and initiative in relation to corruption
d) comprehensive code of conduct for politicians, legislature and bureaucrats

Answer: Option A

Question 21: According to the passage, who is free from corruption?
a) high ranking officers
b) politicians
c) bureaucrats
d) None of these

Answer: Option D

Question 22: According to the passage where does corruption has spread its tentacles?
a) officialdom
b) politics
c) business administration
d) All of these

Answer: Option D



Example 6 - Directions (23-25): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

Keeping employees happy, motivated and on the payroll is one of the key concerns to businesses these days because it’s an open market for top talent. A good employee can walk out of the door today and have a comparable or better job tomorrow. Which brings up a very important question: what would the companies do to keep away that person from even thinking about going to work elsewhere? Gone are the days when the monthly paycheck and two weeks’ vacation a year were enough to keep employees happy. Employers must come up with irresistible incentives to keep top talent onboard. The results of a recent survey by Fortune Magazine on why people leave their jobs shows that 30 percent leave for better compensation and benefits, 27 percent for a better career opportunity, 27 percent for new experience, 21 percent are dissatisfied with opportunities at current job and 16 percent desire to change careers or industries. Money is no longer the only major motivator. So, is this an onsite daycare center for working parents? Paying for all or part of their health insurance? Or offering educational assistance or paying for certification? On an annual ski trip, paid foreign tours, onsite car washes and oil changes? Or free laundry and dry cleaning facilities? Or prized stock options? Well it could be anything as long as it can keep the employees motivated. There are perks other than monetary gains or raise in pay package which can make employees feel happy and satisfied and the feel good factor.

Question 23: What can be the suitable title for the passage?
a) Incentives to employees
b) Money – a major motivator for employees
c) Giving employees a feel good factor
d) Challenges to keep employees onboard

Answer: Option C

Question 24: Which of the following reason is not being mentioned in the passage in regard to people leaving their jobs?
a) family constraints especially after getting married
b) dissatisfaction with opportunities at current job
c) better compensation and benefits in new job
d) to have a new experience

Answer: Option A

Question 25: According to the passage, what is not the key concern of the businesses these days?
a) happiness of employees
b) motivating employees
c) keeping employees on payroll
d) criticizing the employees performance

Answer: Option D



Example 7 - Directions (26-27): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

Superstitions are a universal phenomena having their own peculiar place in the cultural ethos and milieu of a people. They epitomize man’s fear of the unknown, fear of evil, blind faith in omens and portents. Superstitions are inter-woven with myth, legend, unnatural phenomena and disaster, customs and traditions and are mainly the outcome of ignorance. They are unreasoned and irrational beliefs that gradually become matters of faith. When certain things and happenings are rationally inexplicable people tend to assign mysterious and supernatural reasons for their operation. Thus a natural disaster is explained in terms of God’s wrath and the failure of one’s project is assigned to the black cat which crossed the path just as one set out on the errand. The primitive human beings were mainly governed by superstitions. Superstitions were widespread before the dawn of civilization when science had not advanced. Thus, ignorance of the primitive people and the resultant growth of superstitions were the direct outcome of the lack of scientific advancement. Unenlightened people always tend to be superstitious. The belief in the sanctity of time and old traditions of the ancestors bind the people into knots of superstitious thought.
Besides, the unscrupulous priests and religious officials exercise a dominating, unhealthy effect upon the people believing in religious orthodoxy. They encourage superstitions for their own ulterior motives. Superstitions are not only universally prevalent but even have strikingly common features whether believed in India or in as far off a place as Canada. There are some common superstitions which are shared by people all over the world. Beliefs in spirits, ghosts and witches and reincarnation are quite common among all the peoples of the world. Belief in witches still prevails in India, France, Scotland, England and many other countries. In countries of the East, especially in India, belief in ghosts and spirits still exists. The cries of certain birds like owls and ravens and the howl of cats are regarded with superstition as portents of evil throughout the world. Then there is a very common belief that the sighting of comets portends the death of kings or great men or some unforeseen catastrophe. Shakespeare refers to such a superstition in his Julius Ceaser, Halley’s Comet in the twentieth century evoked a similar response in many a mind.

Question 26: According to passage which of the following is not regarded as a superstition by the people?
a) howl of cats
b) cries of children
c) crossing of path by black cat
d) sighting of comets

Answer: Option B

Question 27: Which of the following is INCORRECT with respect to passage?
a) superstitions is also prevailing in Canada
b) superstitions are a universal phenomena
c) superstitions are unreasoned and rational beliefs
d) a natural disaster is regarded as a god’s wrath by the superstitious people

Answer: Option C



Example 8 - Directions (28-30): In this section, you have one short passage. After this passage, you will find several questions based on the passage. First, read Passage and answer the questions based on it.

The size of the workforce in Brazil, the number of kids at home and parents to sustain will obviously have a great impact on the extent of poverty in Brazilian households. In fact, the demographic transition that has been ongoing in Brazil for the past few decades has helped a lot in reducing poverty. Less children were born in poorer families and that’s less children that ended up involved in street violence, drugs, gangs and so on. More parents were then able to push their kids to go to school and get an education. Of course, the situation is still pretty bad in Brazilian slums (favelas), but it’s estimated that the demographic transition had an impact equivalent to + 0.5% in GDP growth, which is not bad at all considering that the average GDP growth (per capita) was about 3% per year at the time. And since this transition happened over 30 years, its impact on the economy is equal to around 15% of growth in GDP (over three decades). Overall, the change in the family structure and in Brazilians’ lifestyle has had a much greater impact on reducing poverty than the speed of the demographic transition itself. On the other hand, the transition did have an influence on wages (e.g. supply of labor) and interest rates in a way that worsened poverty in Brazil (less overall income).

Question 28: What does the term ‘favelas’ used in the passage refers to?
a) street kids
b) slums in brazil
c) interest rates prevaling in brazil
d) labour supply

Answer: Option B

Question 29: According to the passage, Brazilian children born in poorer families were not involved in which kind of activity so often?
a) bullying
b) street violence
c) gangs
d) drugs

Answer: Option A

Question 30: According to the passage, which of the following doesn’t have an impact on the extent of poverty in Brazilian households?
a) number of kids at home
b) size of the workforce
c) parents
d) nature of job

Answer: Option D

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