Reading Comprehension Exercises

English Comprehension questions

Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases may have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

Passage 1

Rohit and Virat lived in the same village. While Virat owned the largest shop in the village, Rohit was a poor farmer. Both had large families, with many sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. One day, Rohit, tired of not being able to make ends meet, decided to leave the village and move to the city where they were sure to make enough to feed everyone. They said their goodbyes, packed their few belongings and set off. When night fell, they stopped under a large tree. There was a stream running nearby, where they could refresh themselves. Rohit told his sons to clear the area below the tree. He told his wife to fetch water. He instructed his daughters-in-law to make up the fire and started cut-ting wood from the tree himself. Now, in that branches of the tree sat a thief. He watched as Rohit’s family worked together. He also noticed they had nothing to cook. Rohit’s wife too thought the same, for she said to her husband, “Everything is ready. But what shall we eat ?” Rohit raised his hands to heaven and said, “Don’t worry. He is watching all this from above. He will help us.”

The thief was worried. He had seen that the family was large and worked well together. Surely they did not know he was hiding in the branches. He decided to make a quick getaway. He climbed down swiftly when they were not looking and ran for his life But, he left behind his bundle of stolen jewels and money, which dropped down into Rohit’s lap. He opened it and jumped with joy when he saw the con-tents. The family promptly gathered its belongings and returned to the village. There was great excitement when they told everyone how they got rich.

Virat thought this was a nice quick way to earn some money ! He commanded his family to pack some clothes and they set off as if on a journey. They stopped under the same tree and Virat started commanding everyone as Rohit had done. But no one in his family was willing to obey orders. They were used to having servants wait on them – so the one who went to the river to fetch water had a nice bath. The one who went to gather wood for the fire went off to sleep beneath the tree. And Virat only ordered everyone about, not conversation that they had rehearsed carefully. Virat’s wife said, “Everything is ready. But what shall we eat ?” Virat raised his hands upwards and said, “Don’t worry. He is watch-ing all this from above. He will help us”.

At this, the thief jumped down from the tree, knife in hand. Seeing him, everyone started running helter skelter to save themselves. The thief stole everything. Virat and his family had to return to the village empty handed, having lost all the jewellery and gold they had taken with them.

Question: Which of the following cannot be said about Rohit’s family ?
(A) They respected and obeyed Rohit.
(B) They were so poor that they sometimes had to starve.
(C) The had no friends in the village when they were poor.
(a) None
(b) Only (C)
(c) Only (B) and (C)
(d) Only (B)
Ans: (b)

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Question: Why did Rohit and his family decide to camp under the thief’s tree’ ?
(a) Being a large family they knew they could capture the thief.
(b) It was a convenient spot to camp for the night.
(c) It was the only tree large enough to shelter the whole family.
(d) There was a stream nearby and wood to build a house.
Ans: (b)

Question: Why did the thief leave the valuables he had stolen behind ?
(a) Seeing Rohit’s faith in God the thief was filled with remorse.
(b) Feeling sorry for Rohit’s family he decided to donate the valuables to them.
(c) He was afraid that God would punish him for stealing.
(d) In his hurry to run away he forgot to take the valuables along.
Ans: (d)

Question: Which of the following best describes Virat ?
(a) He was a rich businessman.
(b) He bullied his wife so she obeyed him.
(c) He paid his servants well to look after his family’s needs.
(d) He was greedy and had cheated Rohit.
Ans: (d)

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Question: Why did Rohit’s family return to the village?
(a) To show off their new found wealth.
(b) To buy back their land and start a business.
(c) They had no need to shift to the city.
(d) To share their wealth with the other villagers.
Ans: (c)

Question: What made Rohit utter the phrase, “He is watching all this from above”?
(a) He had spotted the thief and wanted to frighten him off.
(b) He was telling his wife to trust God to look after them.
(c) It was a warning to his family meinbers to stick together.
(d) He was begging the thief for help to feed his family.
Ans: (b)

Question: Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage ?
(a) Virat planned to seek his fortune in the city as Rohit had.
(b) Rohit’s family preferred to live in the city.
(c) Virat had no intention of moving to the city.
(d) Virat lost his entire life savings to the thief.
Ans: (c)

Question: Why did the thief return to the tree ?
(a) To plot how to get his money Back
(b) He thought no one would look for him there.
(c) To keep a watch on Virat’s family.
(d) Not mentioned in the passage
Ans: (d)

Question: Why was the thief not afraid of Virat’s family ?
(a) They had not brought their servants along to protect them.
(b) Seeing their wealth he sus-pected them of stealing his loot.
(c) He had weapons to defend himself.
(d) Virat’s family was not united and obedient.
Ans: (d)

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Question: How did the villagers react to Rohit’s newfound wealth ?
(a) They tried hard to coax him to reveal the secret of his wealth
(b) They followed his example and became more devout.
(c) They pretended to be happy for him but were secretly jealous.
(d) There was great excitement.
Ans: (d)

Passage 2

Directions: Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words in the passage are printed in bold to help you locate them easily while answering some of the questions.

Leaders of the 15 European Union Governments resolved to create an area of “freedom, justice and security” across their national frontiers. This would make it harder for criminals to engage in crossborder crimes, which include trafficking in human beings, drugs, money laundering and above all keeping out hordes of bogus political asylum seekers from poor countries. These illegal immigrants are seen essentially as “economic migrants”. The EU leaders have agreed on a 10-

point plan to crack down on organised crime and create a common system for political asylum seekers. The aim is to strengthen the basic rights of some 320 million EU citizens and long-term non-European residents in the EU. This is also to

ensure that the illegal immigrants do not exploit differing legal systems within the EU for their own ends. Years of sustained migration to EU countries generally and Germany particularly has given the impression that the right to political asylum granted in Germany was practically a right to illegal immigration. The West German Government, in préunification years, adopted generous laws related to political asy lum, particularly to enable East Germans, under communist rule, to migrate to West Germany. In the process, thousands of North African Arabs, Iranians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and citizens of black African countries exploited these to enter Germany. The mounting abuse of the rules to asylum in Germany, the Benelux region and Britain sparked a debate on a new policy on aliens. In Germany, the right of asylum is guaranteed in the Constitution.

In other EU States, granting asylum is at the discretion of the local immigration authority. Under the proposed reforms, all the EU States will have common asylum and immigration laws. With the unification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist rule in Eastern and Central Europe, migration to Western Europe began in earnest. The crises were immensely compounded in the early Nineties by the advent of ethnic and civil wars in the Balkans. Nearly 7-8 million foreigners live in Germany — 9 to 10 per cent of its population; in France about 5 per cent. A quarter of them are from neighbouring EU States. The largest single ethnic minority in Germany are the Turks, who now number nearly two million, and over half of them are born in Germany. The second largest ethnic minority comes from former Yugoslavia and this numbers over a million. There are about 20,000 people of Indian origin in Germany, mainly professionals and students. The illegal immigrants’ poverty and dependence on social welfare facilities have triggered much racism and

xenophobia in most European societies. In France, Italy and Austria, the illegal immigrants have trigged a major debate about race issues. With the rising tide of racism, right-wing xenophobic political groups and parties have made impressive electoral gains in recent elections. The proposed co-operation between 15 member-States on justice and home affairs may pave the way for pan-European cooperation and integration and could defuse xenophobic tensions. The EU leaders have made a commitment to fight serious organised crime and pledged practical steps to boost cooperation across the EU between the police and the prosecutors. Asilverliningon the horizon is thata vast majority of the illegal immigrants are young and are in a fast-greying European continent, where, if the present demographic trend continues, there will be more pensioners than taxpayers in the next few decades. Experts point out that with the proposed expansion of the EU, the mass migration from Eastern and Central Europe to Western Europe may continue unabated. The foreigners on their part are expected to fully integrate with host communities and restore West European values, living standards and social conventions. But this will happen only with the emergence of the second and third generation of migrants, who will increasingly identify themselves with the indigenous population. Perhaps, this may herald the decline of racism and xenophobia in European societies.

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Passage 3

Question: Why are the majority of the illegal migrants termed as “economic migrants”?
(a) These migrants seek economic benefits in the guise of seeking political asylum.
(b) The migrants indulge in cross-border crimes like drug trafficking.
(c) The migrants exploit the liberal economy of the asylum-providing country.
(d) Migrants make money through laundering.
Ans: (a)

Question: What has prompted the EU to make drastic changes in the system of granting political asylum?
(a) To create an atmosphere of freedom, fraternity and liberty.
(b) To prevent the pillaging of their economy.
(c) To check the increase in crime along their frontiers.
(d) A deluge of illegal migrants.
Ans: (d)

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Question: Which of the following statements is/are responsible for aggravating the crises of illegal migration?
(A) The unification of Germany
(B) The breaking up of the USSR.
(C) The proposed expansion of the EU.
(a) Only (A)
(b) Only (B)
(c) Only (C)
(d) Only (A) and (B)
Ans: (d)

Question: What does ‘money laundering’ imply?
(a) A launderette deal
(b) Financial transaction
(c) Disposing of money
(d) None of these
Ans: (d)

Question: What has caused the sudden spurt in xenophobic tensions?
(a) Violation of basic rights of the EU citizens
(b) The Constitution providing a right to seek political asylum
(c) Increase in cross-border crime
(d) The unceasing inffux of illegal migrants in the EU member-States
Ans: (d)

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Question: What measures have the EU taken to curb illegal migration?
(a) A 10 – point plan that proposes cooperation of the EU members on justice, common asylum and immigration laws
(b) A proposed plan to check mass migration from Western Europe to Central and Eastern Europe.
(c) The right-wing political parties to make an electoral gain and curb xenophobia
(d) The indigenous population and EU citizens to get the upper hand.
Ans: (a)

Passage 4

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words in the passage are in bold print to help you locate them while answering some of the questions. Many men and women are so money minded that they do not undertake any serious work that does not pay. They believe that it is foolish to exert themselves for study and brain work which cannot be converted into cash. ‘Hard work only for money, and then plenty of play and pleasure’: this seems to be their rule of life. They value intellect only as the key to material prosperity and regard personal mental development as a foolish fad. This miserable materialistic psychology is very deeprooted in all classes of society. Rich and poor, all suffer from it. An old working woman complained to me of her son’s habit of occasionally buying some books, and said, “He wastes his money on books. What good are they to him? He is a carpenter, not a schoolmaster”.

Question: Why do many people not like to read books?
(a) Because they do not like reading
(b) Because they do not have time for it
(c) Because they cannot understand books
(d) Because they think that books do not help them in getting money
Ans: (d)

Question: According to the passage, money minded people value
(a) intellect
(b) study
(c) hard work
(d) material benefits
Ans: (d)

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Question: Which of the following is true in the context of the passage?
(a) Everyone exhibits materialism
(b) People from all walks of life may exhibit materialism
(c) Only the rich and the poor are not materialistic
(d) Children do not show materialism
Ans: (b)

Question: Why does the old woman not like her son reading books?
(a) Because he should help her more
(b) Because he should be more careful about his health
(c) Because reading cannot make him a better man
(d) Because reading does not help him in his profession
Ans: (d)

Question: The old woman
(a) is materialistic
(b) is not at all concerned about her son
(c) felt that her son should spend all his time reading
(d) felt that her son should take rest rather than read books
Ans: (a)

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