Practice Reading Comprehension Questions and Answers

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension is one of the most important parts of the English Language section in almost all competitive and bank exams like- SBI PO, SBI Clerk, IBPS PO, IBPS SO, SSC, RBI Grade B, RBI Assistant, SEBI Grade A and many others.

What is Reading Comprehension?

Reading Comprehension basically tests our ability to read and understand what we are reading. Being able to comprehend what we read, we can extract the meaning from the text and better understand what the author is trying to convey.

The purpose of Reading Comprehension is to test candidates’ knowledge with respect to- 

  • Vocabulary- It is the ability to understand the language being used in the passage.
  • Text Comprehension- Text comprehension is using this language to create an awareness of what the meaning is, behind the text.

Both these components are essential and play a significant role in understanding the passage.

Importance of Reading Comprehension Skills 

Reading Comprehension

How to Approach Reading Comprehension in the Exam?

The current trend of Reading Comprehension questions that come in the exam are inference based. This means that the questions are not direct but the candidates have to infer them from the given passage based on their understanding of the passage.

Therefore, in order to solve Reading Comprehension questions accurately, you need to follow the correct approach in the exam.

Given below are some pointers that you must keep in mind-

Read the Passage

  • First and foremost, read the given passage carefully and identify the subject/topic that the author is talking about.
  • For this you can read the first paragraph and the last paragraph. 
  • This will help you in understanding what the author is trying to convey with respect to that topic/subject.
  • It will also help you figure out the tone (humorous, dry, assertive, biased, skeptical, positive, negative, etc.) that the author has used.
  • Moreover, reading the passage first will enable you to understand the logical sequence of the passage.
  • It is not necessary to understand each and every word of the passage. The goal should be to understand the gist (summary) of the passage.
  • For longer passages, focus on the important keywords and eliminate phrases/words/sentences that are not useful.

Read the Questions First

  • Every candidates’ approach to solving a Reading Comprehension is different.
  • Therefore, many aspirants prefer to follow the approach of reading the questions first.
  • The advantage of reading the questions first is that it will save you the effort and time of reading the passage multiple times.
  • Moreover, it will also give you an idea of what to look for in the passage.

However, you will be the better judge of which approach best works for you. Therefore, practice several reading comprehensions following both the approaches and see which method works for you.

Identify Transition Words

  • Transition words play an important role in sentence structure and composition.
  • These words will help you find the important ideas/transitions in the passage.
  • It will enable you to understand the logical flow of the passage.
  • There are three kinds of transition words-
  • Continuity words- These words are used by the author to support his view further.
  • Contrast words- These words are used to show contrast/contradictory views.
  • Conclusion words- Such words are used by the author to sum up/conclude his argument so far.

Given below are some of the examples of Transition words-

Continuity WordsIntransitive VerbConclusion Words
Moreover However Thus
Additionally But Therefore 
Likewise Nonetheless Hence 
Furthermore  Although To sum up

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Another crucial step is to work on your vocabulary. 
  • If you have good vocabulary, it will become easier for you to read the passage and understand the meaning of the words used easily.
  • Moreover, around 2 to 3 questions will be based on Synonyms and Antonyms. These questions are quite scoring if you have a good vocabulary. However, in case you come across a word of which you don’t know the meaning, then read the sentence in which that word appears to get a rough idea of the meaning.
  • If a question is based on a phrase given in the passage, read a few lines just above and below that phrase to get an exact idea about the meaning of the phrase.

Divide the Passage into Smaller Sections

  • Generally, the Reading Comprehensions asked in competitive exams are based on complex topics.
  • One trick to simplify your reading is to break the passage into smaller sections.
  • Dividing the passage into smaller sections will make it easier for you to comprehend what you are reading.

Don’t Make Assumptions

  • Do not apply your own knowledge/assumptions while reading the passage.
  • Even though you understand what the passage is talking about, you should not answer questions as per your assumptions.
  • Confine yourself to the points given in the passage only.

Sample Questions on Reading Comprehension

Read the given passage below and answer the following questions.

Enough countries ratified the deal on global warming reached in Paris in December 2015—aiming to keep the increase on pre-industrial temperatures to “well below” 2°C —for it formally to come into effect in November 2016. The world’s governments are starting to act on their pollution-cutting pledges. But two big questions loom large in 2017.

One is the fate of the Paris Agreement under Donald Trump. The president-elect has claimed that global warming is a hoax intended to frustrate American businesses. He will seek to thwart the Clean Power Plan, which sets national standards to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, and withdraw from the Paris deal itself. However, none of his options are easy. Now that the agreement has entered into force, the country is bound to it for four years. A Trump administration could stymie related environmental efforts, but that would alienate China, among others. The plummeting price of solar and wind power may anyway test Mr Trump’s love of coal. And powerful states, such as California, will lead green endeavours where federal ones fall short.

The second question is whether businesses get serious about curbing their emissions. To stand a chance of limiting the world to warming of less than 2°C, net zero emissions must be reached around the middle of the century. Yet, when totted up, national pledges to curb pollution under the Paris deal will only keep warming to around 3°C. Firms must help bridge the gap.

In many cases they can make money from going greener. Over the decade to 2015 Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, saved as much as $1 billion annually by changing the routes of its American vehicle fleet, which doubled its efficiency. And their reputations are at risk. In recent years Lego, a maker of toy bricks, has been lambasted for its relationship with the oil industry, and snack giants such as NestlĂ© have come under attack for the deforestation caused by palm-oil plantations.

But how serious will businesses’ efforts be? In Mr Trump’s America, the pressure may be off. And in the wider corporate world “sustainability” has too often been jargon for activities designed to fob off environmentalists.

Confusion over measurement has not helped: firms lack an agreed means of reporting their impact on the planet. Many ways exist to quantify water use, chemical use and emissions from buildings, products and supply chains. Comparing companies using differing standards is tricky enough. Doing so when firms hide key information can be a joke. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index deemed Volkswagen the world’s most sustainable carmaker in 2015; weeks later, news broke that 11m of the firm’s diesel vehicles had been fitted with software to cheat emissions tests.

In 2017 there should at least be fewer excuses. A task force on carbon disclosure will deliver recommendations to the G20 and the Financial Stability Board, a global regulators’ forum. The plan is to create a voluntary framework that will allow companies to report their exposure to climate risks consistently. Once they do so the market can go green more efficiently, armed with more information.

A new carbon-disclosure framework for firms could, therefore, spur progress on national pledges to curb emissions. Other trends could help cut waste. Talk of the “circular economy”, predicated on recycling and reusing products, is in vogue. Leasing models, for everything from cars to light bulbs, can save resources.

The Paris Agreement includes mechanisms to crank up national pledges. Fresh talks will be held in 2018 to take stock of progress; countries will then decide on new goals for themselves in 2020. Even if America has fallen back by then, dreadful air pollution in India and China means their governments cannot ignore emissions. Tree-hugging Europeans will demand further action. So, despite the temptation, in America at least, to shelter behind the new climate-change denier-in-chief in the White House, the best long-term strategy firms can pursue is one that lowers their own impact on the planet.

Q1)  Who has been criticised for the relationship with the oil industry according to the passage?

  1.  Financial Stability Board
  2. The oil industry
  3. Volkswagen the world’s most sustainable carmaker
  4. A maker of toy bricks
  5. None of these

Answer: (D)

Q2) Which of the following is not true according to the passage?

i. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index deemed Volkswagen the world’s most sustainable carmaker in 2015; weeks later, news broke that 11m of the firm’s diesel vehicles had not been fitted with software to cheat emissions tests.

ii. To stand a chance of limiting the world to warming of less than 2°C, net zero emissions must be reached around the middle of the century.

iii. When totted up, national pledges to curb pollution under the Paris deal will only keep warming to around 3°C.

  1. Only i
  2. Only ii
  3. Both i & ii
  4. Only iii
  5. Both i & ii

Answer: (A)

Q3) How can the market go green more efficiently according to the passage?

  1. By reusing products
  2. By creating a voluntary framework
  3. When companies will find Many ways to quantify water use
  4. When companies will find Many ways to quantify chemical use and emissions from buildings
  5. None of these

Answer: (B)

Q4) When will countries decide their new goals according to the passage?

  1. By 2018
  2. By 2020
  3. By 2017
  4. In 2015
  5. In 2020

Answer: (E)

Q5) Which of the following is true according to the passage?

  1. A Trump administration could not stymie related environmental efforts, but that would alienate China, among others.
  2. Even if America has fallen back by then, dreadful air pollution in India and Russia means their governments cannot ignore emissions.
  3. Over the decade to 2015 Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, saved as much as $1 million annually by changing the routes of its American vehicle fleet, which doubled its efficiency.
  4. Many ways exist to quantify water use, chemical use and emissions from buildings, products and supply chains.
  5. None of these

Answer: (D)

Q6) Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

Lambasted

  1. Criticised
  2. Compliment
  3. Protest
  4. Surrender
  5. All are the synonyms

Answer: (A)

Q7) Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

Hoax.

  1. Genuine act
  2. Native
  3. Original
  4. Humbug
  5. None of these

Answer: (D)

Q8) Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

  1. Convert
  2. Promise
  3. Break
  4. Assure
  5. Vow

Answer: (C )

Conclusion

Reading Comprehension has become an indispensable part of government and competitive exams. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not take this topic lightly. Practice as many reading comprehensions as possible to improve your speed. Furthermore, it will also help you in understanding the types of reading comprehension passages that can be asked in the exam. You can expect around 8 to 10 questions on this topic.

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