Reading for Comprehension

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  • Q1

    Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

    Mt Everst has continued to attract ever since June 8, 1924, when two members of a British expedition, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, had first attempted to climb the summit. The two men were last spotted climbing to the top, until the clouds engulfed them and took their lives.

    Mallory's body was found after 75 years in May 1999. Ten more expeditions were to follow before the historic successful climb of Everest for the first time, by Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper, and Tenzing Norgay, an acclaimed Sherpa climber. The news of the climb reached England at the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and Hilary became famous overnight, in all of the British Empire. Tenzing on the other hand, became a symbol of national pride across both Nepal and India.

    Today, Mt Everest is drawing attention for all bad reasons. The entire route that the climbers follow to reach the top is littered with rubbish and in sore need of cleaning up. The rubbish strewn all over the mountain includes oxygen cylinders, human waste, and even climbers' dead bodies which do not decompose in the extreme cold.

    Under the new regulations passed by the Nepalese government, climbers scaling Everest will have to bring back eight kilograms of garbage. This amount excludes the climber’s own garbage weight. This measure is taken to restore the pristine nature of the peak. The rule will be applicable to those climbers who will ascend beyond Everest's base camp, from April onwards. Climbers who fail to comply with this new rule are likely to be charged and legal action would be taken against them. The action would involve the paying of a fine, or other penalty. Expeditions returning back to the base will have to submit their trash at an office to be set up in the precincts of the Everest Base Camp.

    (a) When was the first attempt to scale Mt Everest made and by whom? 1 mark
    (b) What was the outcome of the first expedition? 1 mark(c) What was the climbing record before the first successful attempt? 1 mark

    (d) Who were the first successful climbers of Mt Everest? 1 mark

    (e) Why is Everest drawing attention today? 1 mark

    (f) What is the nature of the waste littering the mountainside? 2 marks

    (g) What is the nature of the new government regulation? 2 marks

    (h) How were the first climbers rewarded? 1 mark


    (a) The first attempt to scale Mt Everest was made on 8 June 1924, by two Britishers, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

    (b) The two men were spotted going ahead to reach the peak, when they were engulfed by clouds and were never seen or heard since. Mallory's body was discovered 75 years later.

    (c) There were ten successful attempts before the first successful climb of Everest.

    (d) The first successful climbers of Mt Everest were edmund Hilary from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay from Nepal.

    (e) Everest is drawing attention today because the entire route of the climb is strewn with rubbish left behind by the climbers.

    (f) The waste littering the mountain trait consists of used oxygen cylinders, human waste, and the dead bodies of climbers that have not decomposed due to the extreme cold.

    (g) Under the new regulation, climbers are required to bring back 8 kg of garbage, excluding their own and deposit the same at the office at the base camp. Defaulters would be fined or would face penalty.

    (h) As their feat coincided with the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Hilary's feat was acknowledged all over the British Kingdom and Tenzing was acclaimed by India, Tibet and Nepal.

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  • Q2

    Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

    A disease of the brain neurocysticircosis, or formation of a cyst in the brain, that was known to affect few people till about five years ago has become common among all ages. Neurologists are concerned with the rapid rise in the incidence of neurocysticircosis, the condition in which tapeworms attack the brain sometimes manifesting as convulsions or severe headaches or even causing permanent damage to vision. But there are more worrying aspects to the disease. Water and green leafy vegetables, specifically those grown in fields are fast becoming the most favoured route for tapeworms to enter human bodies.

    Neurologists are now asking people to avoid eating raw vegetables. Neurocysticircosis is a parasitic infection of the central nervous system. The eggs of the tapeworms make their way from the intestines to the bloodstream and ultimately to the brain. The worms can create havoc inside the brain depending on the site of invasion. Lesion caused by neurocysts can affect sight, damage the spinal cord and even cause psychiatric illnesses and seizures.

    Tapeworm infections are passed in the bowel of a person who is infected. The egg travels through the food pipe to the stomach. It has three pairs of hooklets and in the small intestine, it burrows through the wall. From here it enters the bloodstream and gets deposited in three major organs: the brain, eyes and muscles. The disease is said to be most dangerous if not treated timely. Seizures and headaches are the most common symptoms. In the muscles it may cause lumps under the skin. Although rare, cysticerci may float in the eyes and caused disturbed vision.

    People especially children have become so conscious about their diet that they want to eat more salads. Raw vegetables should definitely be boiled. The infection is found only on outer surface of vegetable so peeling them can be a major prevention.

    a. Why do neurologists ask people to avoid eating raw vegetables? 2 marks

    b. In what way is neurocysticircosis damaging for human beings? 2 marks

    c. What are the most common symptoms of neurocysticircosis? 2 marks

    d. What precautions can be taken to prevent this disease? 2 marks

    e. Find the word in the passage which means ‘abnormal growth’. 1 mark

    f. What is the synonym of ‘havoc’? 1 mark


    a. Tapeworms enter human body through raw vegetables grown in fields, and attack brain, eyes and muscles.

    b. Lesions caused by neurocycts can affect digestion, vision, spinal cord, muscles and intestine.

    c. Seizures and headaches are the most common symptoms of this disease. Disturbed vision is also seen but in rare cases.

    d. We can avoid this disease by peeling the raw vegetables and boiling them before eating, as the infection is found only on outer surface of vegetables so peeling them can be a major prevention.

    e. Cyst

    f. Destruction

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  • Q3

    Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

    Papaya is a healthy fruit with a list of properties that is long and exhaustive. You can munch on it as a salad, have it cooked or boiled or just drink it up as milkshake or juice. Papaya has many virtues that can contribute to our good health. The most important of these virtues is the protein digesting enzyme it has. The enzyme is similar to pepsin in its digestive action and is said to be so powerful that it can digest 200 times its own weight in protein. It assists the body in assimilating the maximum nutritional value from food to provide energy and body-building nutrients. Papain in raw papaya makes up for the deficiency of gastric juice and fights excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach and intestinal irritation. The ripe fruit, if eaten regularly corrects habitual constipation, bleeding piles, and chronic diarrhoea. The juice of the papaya seeds also assists in the above said ailments.

    Papaya juice, used as a cosmetic, removes dark spots on skin due to exposure to sunlight, and leaves the skin smooth and delicate. A tablespoonful of its juice, combined with a few drops of lemon juice, should be consumed daily for a month in case of lever disease. The fresh juice of papaya, mixed with honey can be applied over inflamed tonsils, for diphtheria and other throat disorders. It dissolves the membrane and prevents infection from spreading.

    a. What is the most important virtue of papaya? 2 marks
    b. How does a raw papaya fight excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach? 2 marks

    c. What is the cosmetic value of papaya? 1 mark

    d. How can papaya help in treating inflamed tonsils? 2 marks

    e. Give a suitable title for the passage? 1 mark

    f. Give the synonyms for ‘exhaustive’ and ‘delicate’ in the context of the phrase. 2 marks


    a. The powerful protein digesting enzyme present in a papaya helps the body to assimilate body-building nutrients from the food that provides energy.

    b. Papain present in a raw papaya makes up for the deficiency of gastric juice that fights excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach.

    c. Papaya removes blemishes on skin and makes it soft and smooth.

    d. Inflamed tonsils can be cured by applying fresh juice of papaya mixed with honey on them.

    e. Papaya is the Panacea for All

    f. The synonyms for ‘exhaustive’ and ‘perish’ are ‘complete’ and ‘smooth’ respectively.

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  • Q4

    Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

    The saving of certain wild animals from extinction has for many years been a problem for zoologists and other specialists; but more recently the problem has become so acute, and has received so much publicity, that most people are now concerned about it. This may at first seem strange because one of the most gratifying developments of the last few years has been the passing of strict laws to protect wild animals and the consequent decline in the hunting of big game for sport. Why is it, then that some rare wild animals are still threatened with extinction and even some of the less rare ones are rapidly declining in number?

    One reason is the ‘march of civilization’. When an area is wholly cleared of vegetation to make room for new towns, factory sites or hydroelectric plants, the natural home of several species is destroyed. The displaced must either migrate to another area or perish. Even the clearing of land for roads or an airfield may involve ’pushing back’ the jungle, and the smaller the area in which wild animals compete for a living the smaller the number that can hope to survive.

    Civilization brings, too, swift and easy transport and so assists those who are determined to break the various protective laws. Thieves can elude the game wardens, shoot an elephant for its tusks, a rhinoceros for its horn, or a deer for its meat and be miles away from the site of the crime before the dead or dying victim is even discovered.

    It is sad to reflect that civilization, which can bring so many benefits to people who have previously known only hunger and misery, brings also facilities for the heartless criminals who, for the material gain, will slaughter some harmless animals and threaten the disappearance of its kind from the earth.

    a. “This may first seem strange.” To what does the word ‘this’ refer? 1 mark

    b. How is the ‘march of civilization’ affecting the wild life? 2 marks

    c. What does the author mean by the phrase ‘pushing back’? 2 marks

    d. How does the modern transport help the poachers in hunting? 2 marks

    e. Give a suitable title for the passage? 1 mark

    f. Give the synonyms for ‘extinction’ and ‘perish’ in the context of the passage. 2 marks


    a. ‘This’ refers to the growing extinction of rare wild animals due to illegal hunting.

    b. Construction of houses, roads and airports reduces the forest land available to the wild animals to live. This overcrowding makes them compete for the limited natural resources, consequently only few survive.

    c. The phrase ‘pushing back’ means encroachment of the forestland, shrinking the size of the forest area due to construction work.

    d. The hunters enter forests using modern transport such as jeeps and cars, and after killing wild animals they fled miles away in no time.

    e. Civilization: A Bane for the Wild Life.

    f. The synonyms for ‘extinction’ and ‘perish’ are ‘disappearance’ and ‘die’ respectively.

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  • Q5

    Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

    It was a dull autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym.
    She was crying because they had been bullying her. This is not going to be a school story, so I shall say as little as possible about Jill's school, which is not a pleasant subject. It was Co-educational, a school for both boys and girls, what used to be called a "mixed" school; some said it was not nearly so mixed as the minds of the people who ran it. These people had the idea that boys and girls should be allowed to do what they liked. And unfortunately what ten or fifteen of the biggest boys and girls liked best was bullying the others. All sorts of things, horrid things, went on which at 'an ordinary school would have been found out and stopped in half a term, but at this school they weren't. Or even if they were, the people who did them were not expelled or punished. The Head said they were interesting psychological cases and sent for them and talked to them for hours. And if you knew the right sort of things to say to the Head, the main result was that you became rather a favourite than otherwise.
    That was why Jill Pole was crying on that dull autumn day on the damp little path which runs between the back of the gym and the shrubbery. And she hadn't nearly finished her cry when a boy came round the corner of the gym whistling, with his hands in his pockets. He nearly ran into her.

    "Can't you look where you're going?" said Jill Pole.

    "All right," said the boy. "you needn't start -" and then he noticed her face, "I say. Jill," he said, "what's up?"

    Jill only made faces; the sort you make when you're trying to say something but find that if you speak you'll start crying again.

    "It's Them, I suppose - as usual," said the boy grimly, digging his hands further into his pockets.

    Jill nodded. There was no need for her to say anything, even if she could have said it. They both knew.
    "Now, look here." said the boy. "It’s no use...."

    He meant well, but he did talk rather like someone beginning a lecture. Jill suddenly flew into a temper (which is quite a likely thing to happen if you have been interrupted in a cry).
    "Oh, go away and mind you own business," she said. "Nobody asked you to come barging in, did they? And you're a nice person to start telling us what we all ought to do, aren't you? I suppose you mean we ought to spend all our time sucking up to them, and currying favour, and dancing attendance on them like you do."

    "Oh, Lord!" said the boy, sitting down on the grassy bank at the edge of the shrubbery and very quickly getting up again because the grass was soaking wet. His name unfortunately was Eustace Scrubb, but he wasn't bad sort.

    "Jill!" he said. "Is that fair?"

    "I d-don't know and I don't care," sobbed Jill.

    Eustace saw that she wasn't quite herself yet and very sensibly offered her a peppermint. He had one too. Presently Jill began to see things in a clearer light.

    "I'm sorry, Eustace," she said presently.

    1. Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

    (a) Bullying (line 2)
    (b) Expelled (line 11)
    (c) Barging (line 33) [3]

    2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.

    (a) Why was Jill crying? [2]
    (b) Why do you think she was crying behind the gym? [2]
    (c) Who is ‘Them’ referred to in line 24? [2]
    (d) Why did Jill fly into a temper? [2]
    (e) Which sentences tell us that both Jill and Eustace Scrubb had suffered similarly? [2]
    (f) When did Jill begin to see things differently? [2]

    3 (a) What kind of school did the children go to? Write your answer in not more than 60 words. [8]

    (b) Give a title to your summary in. Give a reason to justify your choice. [2]


    Answers: (Please Note: Where ever multiple answers are given the students are requested to write only one answer)
    (a) Bullying: harassing, intimidating
    (b) Expelled: sent out of school, dismissed (from school)
    (c) Barging: entering forcefully, walking in without permission

    (a) Jill was crying because the older children had been bullying her.
    (b) Jill had been bullied by senior boys and girls of her school. She was crying behind the gym because she did not want to be seen by anyone.
    (c) The term ‘Them’ referred to the school bullies, the senior boys and girls.
    (d) Jill flew into a temper because Eustace Scrubb interrupted her and he was talking like someone beginning a lecture.
    (e) “There was no need for her to say anything even if she could have said it. They both knew.”
    (f) Jill began to see things differently after Eustace offered her, a peppermint.

    3. (a) Points according to the question
    - Co-educational or mixed school
    - Boys and girls did what they liked
    - Plenty of bullying
    - Not expelled or punished
    - Head ‘talked to them/interesting psychological cases
    - If you said the right things you became a favourite.


    Jill Pole’s school was Co-educational or ‘mixed’ where the older students did what they liked. Even though there was plenty of bullying, practically no one was punished or expelled because the ‘Head’ considered the bullies as interesting psychological cases and merely talked to them without taking any action. Those bullies who said the right things became his favourites.

    (b) The Title is: ‘A Day In a Co-Educational School’
    This is an apt title because the entire story given here deals with an incident happened in a Co-educational school on a particular day.

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