CAT Reading Comprehension Practice With Answers PDF

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CAT Reading Comprehension Practice With Answers PDF
CAT Reading Comprehension Practice With Answers PDF

CAT Reading Comprehension Practice With Answers PDF:

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Instructions

In the modern scientific story, light was created not once but twice. The first time was in the Big Bang, when the universe began its existence as a glowing, expanding, fireball, which cooled off into darkness after a few million years. The second time was hundreds of millions of years later, when the cold material condensed into dense suggests under the influence of gravity, and ignited to become the first stars.

Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s astronomer royal, named the long interval between these two enlightements the cosmic ‘Dark Age’. The name describes not only the poorly lit conditions, but also the ignorance of astronomers about that period. Nobody knows exactly when the first stars formed, or how they organized themselves into galaxies — or even whether stars were the first luminous objects. They may have been preceded by quasars, which are mysterious, bright spots found at the centres of some galaxies.

Now two independent groups of astronomers, one led by Robert Becker of the University of California, Davis, and the other by George Djorgovski of the Caltech, claim to have peered far enough into space with their telescopes (and therefore backwards enough in time) to observe the closing days of the Dark age.

The main problem that plagued previous efforts to study the Dark Age was not the lack of suitable telescopes, but rather the lack of suitable things at which to point them. Because these events took place over 13 billion years ago, if astronomers are to have any hope of unravelling them they must study objects that are at least 13 billion light years away. The best prospects are quasars, because they are so bright and compact that they can be seen across vast stretches of space. The energy source that powers a quasar is unknown, although it is suspected to be the intense gravity of a giant black hole. However, at the distances required for the study of Dark Age, even quasars are extremely rare and faint.

Recently some members of Dr Becker’s team announced their discovery of the four most distant quasars known. All the new quasars are terribly faint, a challenge that both teams overcame by peering at them through one of the twin Keck telescopes in Hawaii. These are the world’s largest, and can therefore collect the most light. The new work by Dr Becker’s team analysed the light from all four quasars. Three of them appeared to be similar to ordinary, less distant quasars. However, the fourth and most distant, unlike any other quasar ever seen, showed unmistakable signs of being shrouded in a fog because new-born stars and quasars emit mainly ultraviolet light, and hydrogen gas is opaque to ultraviolet. Seeing this fog had been the goal of would-be Dark Age astronomers since 1965, when James Gunn and Bruce Peterson spelled out the technique for using quasars as backlighting beacons to observe the fog’s ultraviolet shadow.

The fog prolonged the period of darkness until the heat from the first stars and quasars had the chance to ionise the hydrogen (breaking it into its constituent parts, protons and electrons). Ionised hydrogen is transparent to ultraviolet radiation, so at that moment the fog lifted and the universe became the well-lit place it is today. For this reason, the end of the Dark Age is called the ‘Epoch of Re-ionisation’. Because the ultraviolet shadow is visible only in the most distant of the four quasars, Dr Becker’s team concluded that the fog had dissipated completely by the time the universe was about 900 million years old, and oneseventh of its current size.

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Question 1: In the passage, the Dark Age refers to

a) the period when the universe became cold after the Big Bang.

b) a period about which astronomers know very little.

c) the medieval period when cultural activity seemed to have come to an end.

d) the time that the universe took to heat up after the Big Bang.

Question 2: Astronomers find it difficult to study the Dark Age because

a) suitable telescopes are few.

b) the associated events took place aeons ago.

c) the energy source that powers a quasars is unknown.

d) their best chance is to study quasars, which are faint objects to begin with.

Question 3: The four most distant quasars discovered recently

a) could only be seen with the help of large telescopes.

b) appear to be similar to other ordinary, quasars.

c) appear to be shrouded in a fog of hydrogen gas.

d) have been sought to be discovered by Dark Age astronomers since 1965.

Question 4: The fog of hydrogen gas seen through the telescopes

a) is transparent to hydrogen radiation from stars and quasars in all states.

b) was lifted after heat from starts and quasars ionised it.

c) is material which eventually became stars and quasars.

d) is broken into constituent elements when stars and quasars are formed.

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Instructions

Each one has his reasons: for one art is a flight; for another, a means of conquering. But one can flee into a hermitage, into madness, into death. One can conquer by arms. Why does it have to be writing, why does one have to manage his escapes and conquests by writing? Because, behind the various aims of authors, there is a deeper and more immediate choice which is common to all of us. We shall try to elucidate this choice, and we shall see whether it is not in the name of this very choice of writing that the engagement of writers must be required.

Each of our perceptions is accompanied by the consciousness that human reality is a ‘revealer’, that is, it is through human reality that ‘there is’ being, or, to put it differently, that man is the means by which things are manifested. It is our presence in the world which multiplies relations. It is we who set up a relationship between this tree and that bit of sky. Thanks to us, that star which has been dead for millennia, that quarter moon, and that dark river are disclosed in the unity of a landscape. It is the speed of our auto and our airplane which organizes the great masses of the earth. With each of our acts, the world reveals to us a new face. But, if we know that we are directors of being, we also know that we are not its producers. If we turn away from this landscape, it will sink back into its dark permanence. At least, it will sink back; there is no one mad enough to think that it is going to be annihilated. It is we who shall be annihilated, and the earth will remain in its lethargy until another consciousness comes along to awaken it. Thus, to our inner certainty of being ‘revealers’ is added that of being inessential in relation to the thing revealed. One of the chief motives of artistic creation is certainly the need of feeling that we are essential in relationship to the world. If I fix on canvas or in writing a certain aspect of the fields or the sea or a look on someone’s face which I have disclosed, I am conscious of having produced them by condensing relationships, by introducing order where there was none, by imposing the unity of mind on the diversity of things. That is, I think myself essential in relation to my creation. But this time it is the created object which escapes me; I cannot reveal and produce at the same time. The creation becomes inessential in relation to the creative activity. First of all, even if it appears to others as definitive, the created object always seems to us in a state of suspension; we can always change this line, that shade, that word. Thus, it never forces itself. A novice painter asked his teacher, ‘When should I consider my painting finished?’ And the teacher answered, ‘When you can look at it in amazement and say to yourself “I’m the one who did that!…

Which amounts to saying ‘never’. For it is virtually impossible considering one’s work with someone else’s eyes and revealing what has been created. But it is self-evident that we are proportionally less conscious of the thing produced and more conscious of our productive activity. When it is a matter of poetry or carpentry, we work according to traditional nonns, with tools whose usage is codified; it is Heidegger’s famous ‘they’ who are working with our hands. In this case, the result can seem to us sufficiently strange to preserve its objectivity in our eyes. But if we ourselves produce the rules of production, the measures, the criteria, and if our creative drive comes from the very depths of our heart, then we never find anything but ourselves in our work. It is we who have invented the laws by which we judge it. It is our history, our love, our gaiety that we recognize in it. Even if we should regard it without touching it any further, we never receive from it that gaiety or love. We put them into it. The results which we have obtained on canvas or paper never seem to us objective. We are too familiar with the processes of which they are the effects. These processes remain a subjective discovery; they are ourselves, our inspiration, our ruse, and when we seek to perceive our work, we create it again, we repeat mentally the operations which produced it; each of its aspects appears as a result. Thus, in the perception, the object is given as the essential thing and the subject as the inessential.

The latter seeks essentiality in the creation and obtains it, but then it is the object which becomes the inessential. The dialectic is nowhere more apparent than in the art of writing, for the literary object is a peculiar top which exists only in movement. To make it come into view a concrete act called reading is necessary, and it lasts only as long as this act can last. Beyond that, there are only black marks on paper. Now, the writer can not read what he writes, whereas the shoemaker can put on the shoes he has just made if they are to his size, and the architect can live in the house he has built. In reading, one foresees; one waits. He foresees the end of the sentence, the following sentence, the next page. He waits for them to confirm or disappoint his foresights. The reading is composed of a host of hypotheses, followed by awakenings, of hopes and deceptions, Readers are always ahead of the sentence they are reading in a merely probable future which partly collapses and partly comes together in proportion as they progress, which withdraws from one page to the next and forms the moving horizon of the literary object. Without waiting, without a future, without ignorance, there is no objectivity.

Question 5: The author holds that:

a) There is an objective reality and a subjective reality.

b) Nature is the sum total of disparate elements.

c) It is human action that reveals the various facets of nature.

d) Apparently disconnected elements in nature are unified in a fundamental sense.

Question 6: It is the author’s contention that:

a) Artistic creations are results of human consciousness.

b) The very act of artistic creation leads to the escape of the created object.

c) Man can produce and reveal at the same time.

d) An act of creation forces itself on our consciousness leaving us full of amazement.

Question 7: The passage makes a distinction between perception and creation in terms of

a) Objectivity and subjectivity.

b) Revelation and action.

c) Objective reality and perceived reality.

d) Essentiality and non-essentiality of objects and subjects.

Question 8: The art of writing manifests the dialectic of perception and creation because

a) reading reveals the writing till the act of reading lasts.

b) writing to be meaningful needs the concrete act of reading.

c) this art is anticipated and progresses on a series of hypotheses.

d) this literary object has a moving horizon brought about by the very act of creation.

Question 9: A writer, as an artist,

a) reveals the essentiality of revelation.

b) makes us feel essential vis-a-vis nature.

c) creates reality.

d) reveals nature in its permanence.

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Instructions

Since World War II, the nation-state has been regarded with approval by every political system and every ideology. In the name of modernisation in the West, of socialism in the Eastern bloc, and of development in the Third World, it was expected to guarantee the happiness of individuals as citizens and of peoples as societies. However, the state today appears to have broken down in many parts of the world. It has failed to guarantee either security or social justice, and has been unable to prevent either international wars or civil wars. Disturbed by the claims of communities within it, the nation-state tries to repress their demands and to proclaim itself as the only guarantor of security of all. In the name of national unity, territorial integrity, equality of all its citizens and non-partisan secularism, the state can use its powerful resources to reject the demands of the communities; it may even go so far as genocide to ensure that order prevails.

As one observes the awakening of communities in different parts of the world, one cannot ignore the context in which identity issues arise. It is no longer a context of sealed frontiers and isolated regions but is one of integrated global systems. In a reaction to this trend towards globalisation, individuals and communities everywhere are voicing their desire to exist, to use their power of creation and to play an active part in national and international life.

There are two ways in which the current upsurge in demands for the recognition of identities can be looked at. On the positive side, the efforts by certain population groups to assert their identity can be regarded as “liberation movements”, challenging oppression and injustice. What these groups are doing – proclaiming that they are different, rediscovering the roots of their culture or strengthening group solidarity – may accordingly be seen as legitimate attempts to escape from their state of subjugation and enjoy a certain measure of dignity. On the downside, however, militant action for recognition tends to make such groups more deeply entrenched in their attitude and to make their cultural compartments even more watertight. The assertion of identity then starts turning into self-absorption and isolation, and is liable to slide into intolerance of others and towards ideas of “ethnic cleansing”, xenophobia and violence.

Whereas continuous variations among peoples prevent drawing of clear dividing lines between the groups, those militating for recognition of their group’s identity arbitrarily choose a limited number of criteria such as religion, language, skin colour, and place of origin so that their members recognise themselves primarily in terms of the labels attached to the group whose existence is being asserted. This distinction between the group in question and other groups is established by simplifying the feature selected. Simplification also works by transforming groups into essences, abstractions endowed with the capacity to remain unchanged through time. In some cases, people actually act as though the group has remained unchanged and talk, for example, about the history of nations and communities as if these entities survived for centuries without changing, with the same ways of acting and thinking, the same desires, anxieties, and aspirations. Paradoxically, precisely because identity represents a simplifying fiction, creating uniform groups out of disparate people, that identity performs a cognitive function. It enables us to put names to ourselves and others, form some idea of who we are and who others are, and ascertain the place we occupy along with the others in the world and society. The current upsurge to assert the identity of groups can thus be partly explained by the cognitive function performed by identity. However, that said, people would not go along as they do, often in large numbers, with the propositions put to them, in spite of the sacrifices they entail, if there was not a very strong feeling of need for identity, a need to take stock of things and know “who we are”, “where we come from”, and “where we are going”.

Identity is thus a necessity in a constantly changing world, but it can also be a potent source of’ violence and disruption. How can these two contradictory aspects of identity be reconciled? First, we must bear the arbitrary nature of identity categories in mind, not with a view to eliminating all forms of identification—which would be unrealistic since identity is a cognitive necessity—but simply to remind ourselves that each of us has several identities at the same time. Second, since tears of nostalgia are being shed over the past, we recognise that culture is constantly being recreated by cobbling together fresh and original elements and counter-cultures. There are in our own country a large number of syncretic cults wherein modern elements are blended with traditional values or people of different communities venerate saints or divinities of particular faiths. Such cults and movements are characterised by a continual inflow and outflow of members which prevent them from taking on a self-perpetuating existence of their own and hold out hope for the future, indeed, perhaps for the only possible future. Finally, the nation-state must respond to the identity urges of its constituent communities and to their legitimate quest for security and social justice. It must do so by inventing what the French philosopher and sociologist, Raymond Aron, called “peace through law”. That would guarantee justice both to the state as a whole and its parts, and respect the claims of both reason and emotions. The problem is one of reconciling nationalist demands with the exercise of democracy.

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Question 10: According to the author, happiness of individuals was expected to be guaranteed in the name of:

a) Development in the Third world.

b) Socialism in the Third world.

c) Development in the West.

d) Modernisation in the Eastern Bloc.

Question 11: Demands for recognition of identities can be viewed:

a) Positively and negatively.

b) As liberation movements and militant action.

c) As efforts to rediscover cultural roots which can slide towards intolerance of others.

d) All the above

Question 12: Going by the author’s exposition of the nature of identity, which of the following statements is untrue?

a) Identity represents creating uniform groups out of disparate people.

b) Identity is a necessity in the changing world.

c) Identity is a cognitive necessity.

d) None of the above.

Question 13: According to the author, the nation-state

a) has fulfilled its potential.

b) is willing to do anything to preserve order.

c) generates security for all its citizens.

d) has been a major force in preventing civil and international wars.

Question 14: Which of the following views of the nation-state cannot be attributed to the author?

a) It has not guaranteed peace and security.

b) It may go as far as genocide for self-preservation.

c) It represents the demands of communities within it.

d) It is unable to prevent international wars.

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Answers & Solutions:

1) Answer (B)

Refer to the given lines “Sir Martin Rees, Britain’s astronomer royal, named the long interval between these two enlightenments the cosmic “Dark Age”. The name describes not only the poorly lit conditions, but also the ignorance of astronomers about the period.”

2) Answer (B)

Refer these line”The main problem that plagued previous efforts to study the Dark Age was not the lack of suitable telescopes but rather the lack of suitable things at which to point them. Because these events took place over 18 billion years ago, if astronomers are to have any hope of unraveling them they study objects that are at least 13 billion light years away.”
This indicates B.

Option D is incorrect as by referring to these lines “However at the distances required for the study of Dark Age, even quasars are extremely rare and faint.” , it is clear that the quasars are not faint to begin with but the distance which is required to study them is too large, so they appear faint.

3) Answer (A)

Refer to the given lines “Recently some members of Dr. Becker’s steam announced their discovery of the four most distant quasars known, all the new quasars are terribly faint, a challenge that both teams overcame by peering at them through one of the twin Keck telescope in Hawaii. These are the world’s largest and can therefore collect the most light.”

4) Answer (B)

Refer to the given lines “The fog prolonged the period of darkness until the heat from the first stars and quasars had the chance to ionize the hydrogen (breaking it into its constituent parts, protons and electrons). Ionized hydrogen is transparent to ultraviolet radiation, so at that moment the fog lifted and the universe became the well-lit place it is today.”

5) Answer (C)

The passage states that “Each of our perceptions is accompanied by the consciousness that human reality is a ‘revealer’, that is, it is through human reality that ‘there is’ being, or, to put it differently, that man is the means by which things are manifested. It is our presence in the world which multiplies relations.”
Hence, option C is stated in the paragraph.

6) Answer (B)

We can eliminate options C and D as they are contrary to what is stated in the passage. The passage states that all facets of nature, and not artistic creations, are revealed by human consciousness. The passage states that:

“The latter seeks essentiality in the creation and obtains it, but then it is the object which becomes the inessential.”

Hence, we can infer option B.

7) Answer (D)

Perception and Creation are explained in terms of essentiality and non-essentiality in the third and fourth paras of the passage.
Hence the answer is Option D.

8) Answer (A)

The passage states that :

The dialectic is nowhere more apparent than in the art of writing, for the literary object is a peculiar top which exists only in movement. To make it come into view a concrete act called reading is necessary, and it lasts only as long as this act can last.

Hence, option A directly follows from the passage.

9) Answer (B)

The passage states that:

One of the chief motives of artistic creation is certainly the need of feeling that we are essential in relationship to the world.

Hence, an artist makes us feel essential vis-a-vis nature.

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10) Answer (A)

The passage states that:

“In the name of modernisation in the West, of socialism in the Eastern bloc, and of development in the Third World, it was expected to guarantee the happiness of individuals as citizens and of peoples as societies.”

Hence, only option A is correct.

11) Answer (D)

Option A can be inferred from the following line:”There are two ways in which the current upsurge in demands for the recognition of identities can be looked at.” The author goes on to mention an upside and a downside.

Option B can be concluded from the given lines:”On the downside, however, militant action for recognition tends to make such groups more deeply entrenched in their attitude and to make their cultural compartments even more watertight.”

Option C can be concluded from the following lines:”What these groups are doing – proclaiming that they are different, rediscovering the roots of their culture or strengthening group solidarity – may accordingly be seen as legitimate attempts to escape from their state of subjugation and enjoy a certain measure of dignity.”

Hence, all three options directly follow from the passage.

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12) Answer (D)

The passage states that:

“First, we must bear the arbitrary nature of identity categories in mind, not with a view to eliminating all forms of identification—which would be unrealistic since identity is a cognitive necessity .”

Hence, we can eliminate option C.

It also states that:

“Identity is thus a necessity in a constantly changing world, but it can also be a potent source of’ violence and disruption. ”

Thus option B can be eliminated.

The passage states that:

“Paradoxically, precisely because identity represents a simplifying fiction, creating uniform groups out of disparate people, that identity performs a cognitive function.”

Hence, all options except D are eliminated. Hence, none of the above.

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13) Answer (B)

The passage states that:

“However, the state today appears to have broken down in many parts of the world. It has failed to guarantee either security or social justice, and has been unable to prevent either international wars or civil wars. Disturbed by the claims of communities within it, the nation-state tries to repress their demands and to proclaim itself as the only guarantor of security of all. In the name of national unity, territorial integrity, equality of all its citizens and non-partisan secularism, the state can use its powerful resources to reject the demands of the communities; it may even go so far as genocide to ensure that order prevails.”

Hence, we can eliminate options A, C and D as they contradict what is given above. The author states that the state will do anything, including genocide, to preserve order. Hence, we can infer option B.

14) Answer (C)

The passage states that:

However, the state today appears to have broken down in many parts of the world. It has failed to guarantee either security or social justice, and has been unable to prevent either international wars or civil wars. Disturbed by the claims of communities within it, the nation-state tries to repress their demands and to proclaim itself as the only guarantor of security of all. In the name of national unity, territorial integrity, equality of all its citizens and non-partisan secularism, the state can use its powerful resources to reject the demands of the communities; it may even go so far as genocide to ensure that order prevails.

Hence, options A, B and D are directly given in the passage. However, option C is not mentioned in the passage and is inconsistent with what is stated in the passage.

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