Reading Comprehension Quiz for CAT
Download important CAT Reading Comprehension Quiz Questions with Solutions PDF based on previously asked questions in CAT exam. Practice Reading Comprehension Quiz Questions with Solutions for CAT exam.
Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given
Grove snails as a whole are distributed all over Europe, but a specific variety of the snail, with a distinctive white-lipped shell, is found exclusively in Ireland and in the Pyrenees mountains that lie on the border between France and Spain. The researchers sampled a total of 423 snail specimens from 36 sites distributed across Europe, with an emphasis on gathering large numbers of the white-lipped variety. When they sequenced genes from the mitochondrial DNA of each of these snails and used algorithms to analyze the genetic diversity between them, they found that. . . a distinct lineage (the snails with the white-lipped shells) was indeed endemic to the two very specific and distant places in question.
Explaining this is tricky. Previously, some had speculated that the strange distributions of creatures such as the white-lipped grove snails could be explained by convergent evolution—in which two populations evolve the same trait by coincidence—but the underlying genetic similarities between the two groups rules that out. Alternately, some scientists had suggested that the white-lipped variety had simply spread over the whole continent, then been wiped out everywhere besides Ireland and the Pyrenees, but the researchers say their sampling and subsequent DNA analysis eliminate that possibility too. “If the snails naturally colonized Ireland, you would expect to find some of the same genetic type in other areas of Europe, especially Britain. We just don’t find them,” Davidson, the lead author, said in a press statement.
Moreover, if they’d gradually spread across the continent, there would be some genetic variation within the white-lipped type, because evolution would introduce variety over the thousands of years it would have taken them to spread from the Pyrenees to Ireland. That variation doesn’t exist, at least in the genes sampled. This means that rather than the organism gradually expanding its range, large populations instead were somehow moved en mass to the other location within the space of a few dozen generations, ensuring a lack of genetic variety.
“There is a very clear pattern, which is difficult to explain except by involving humans,” Davidson said. Humans, after all, colonized Ireland roughly 9,000 years ago, and the oldest fossil evidence of grove snails in Ireland dates to roughly the same era. Additionally, there is archaeological evidence of early sea trade between the ancient peoples of Spain and Ireland via the Atlantic and even evidence that humans routinely ate these types of snails before the advent of agriculture, as their burnt shells have been found in Stone Age trash heaps.
The simplest explanation, then? Boats. These snails may have inadvertently traveled on the floor of the small, coast-hugging skiffs these early humans used for travel, or they may have been intentionally carried to Ireland by the seafarers as a food source. “The highways of the past were rivers and the ocean-as the river that flanks the Pyrenees was an ancient trade route to the Atlantic, what we’re actually seeing might be the long lasting legacy of snails that hitched a ride…as humans travelled from the South of France to Ireland 8,000 years ago,” Davidson said.
Question 1: The passage outlines several hypotheses and evidence related to white-lipped grove snails to arrive at the most convincing explanation for:
a) why the white-lipped variety of grove snails are found only in Ireland and the Pyrenees.
b) why the white-lipped variety of grove snails were wiped out everywhere except in Ireland and the Pyrenees.
c) how the white-lipped variety of grove snails might have migrated from the Pyrenees to Ireland.
d) how the white-lipped variety of grove snails independently evolved in Ireland and the Pyrenees.
Question 2: In paragraph 4, the evidence that “humans routinely ate these types of snails before the advent of agriculture” can be used to conclude that:
a) white-lipped grove snails may have inadvertently traveled from the Pyrenees to Ireland on the floor of the small, coast-hugging skiffs that early seafarers used for travel.
b) 9,000 years ago, during the Stone Age, humans traveled from the South of France to Ireland via the Atlantic Ocean.
c) rivers and oceans in the Stone Age facilitated trade in white-lipped grove snails.
d) the seafarers who traveled from the Pyrenees to Ireland might have carried white-lipped grove snails with them as edibles.
Question 3: Which one of the following makes the author eliminate convergent evolution as a probable explanation for why white-lipped grove snails are found in Ireland and the Pyrenees?
a) The coincidental evolution of similar traits (white-lipped shell) in the grove snails of Ireland and the Pyrenees.
b) The absence of genetic variation between white-lipped grove snails of Ireland and the Pyrenees.
c) The absence of genetic similarities between white-lipped grove snails of Ireland and snails from other parts of Europe, especially Britain.
d) The distinct lineage of white-lipped grove snails found specifically in Ireland and the Pyrenees.
Question 4: All of the following evidence supports the passage’s explanation of sea travel/trade EXCEPT:
a) the oldest fossil evidence of white-lipped grove snails in Ireland dates back to roughly 9,000 years ago, the time when humans colonised Ireland.
b) archaeological evidence of early sea trade between the ancient peoples of Spain and Ireland via the Atlantic Ocean.
c) absence of genetic variation within the white-lipped grove snails of Ireland and the Pyrenees, whose genes were sampled.
d) the coincidental existence of similar traits in the white-lipped grove snails of Ireland and the Pyrenees because of convergent evolution.
The passage below is accompanied by a set of six questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
During the frigid season… it’s often necessary to nestle under a blanket to try to stay warm. The temperature difference between the blanket and the air outside is so palpable that we often have trouble leaving our warm refuge. Many plants and animals similarly hunker down, relying on snow cover for safety from winter’s harsh conditions. The small area between the snowpack and the ground, called the subnivium… might be the most important ecosystem that you have never heard of.
The subnivium is so well-insulated and stable that its temperature holds steady at around 32 degree Fahrenheit (0 degree Celsius). Although that might still sound cold, a constant temperature of 32 degree Fahrenheit can often be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the air temperature during the peak of winter. Because of this large temperature difference, a wide variety of species…depend on the subnivium for winter protection.
For many organisms living in temperate and Arctic regions, the difference between being under the snow or outside it is a matter of life and death. Consequently, disruptions to the subnivium brought about by climate change will affect everything from population dynamics to nutrient cycling through the ecosystem.
The formation and stability of the subnivium requires more than a few flurries. Winter ecologists have suggested that eight inches of snow is necessary to develop a stable layer of insulation. Depth is not the only factor, however. More accurately, the stability of the subnivium depends on the interaction between snow depth and snow density. Imagine being under a stack of blankets that are all flattened and pressed together. When compressed, the blankets essentially form one compacted layer. In contrast, when they are lightly placed on top of one another, their insulative capacity increases because the air pockets between them trap heat. Greater depths of low-density snow are therefore better at insulating the ground.
Both depth and density of snow are sensitive to temperature. Scientists are now beginning to explore how climate change will affect the subnivium, as well as the species that depend on it. At first glance, warmer winters seem beneficial for species that have difficulty surviving subzero temperatures; however, as with most ecological phenomena, the consequences are not so straightforward. Research has shown that the snow season (the period when snow is more likely than rain) has become shorter since l970. When rain falls on snow, it increases the density of the snow and reduces its insulative capacity. Therefore, even though winters are expected to become warmer overall from future climate change, the subnivium will tend to become colder and more variable with less protection from the above-ground temperatures.
The effects of a colder subnivium are complex… For example, shrubs such as crowberry and alpine azalea that grow along the forest floor tend to block the wind and so retain higher depths of snow around them. This captured snow helps to keep soils insulated and in turn increases plant decomposition and nutrient release. In field experiments, researchers removed a portion. of the snow cover to investigate the importance of the subnivium’s insulation. They found that soil frost in the snow-free area resulted in damage to plant roots and sometimes even the death of the plant.
Question 5: The purpose of this passage is to
a) introduce readers to a relatively unknown ecosystem: the subnivium.
b) explain how the subnivium works to provide shelter and food to several species.
c) outline the effects of climate change on the subnivium.
d) draw an analogy between the effect of blankets on humans and of snow cover on species living in the subnivium.
Question 6: All of the following statements are true EXCEPT
a) Snow depth and Snow density both influence the stability of the subnivium.
b) Climate change has some positive effects on the subnivium.
c) The subnivium maintains a steady temperature that can be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the winter air temperature.
d) Researchers have established the adverse effects of dwindling snow cover on the subnivium.
Question 7: Based on this extract, the author would support which one of the following actions?
a) The use of snow machines in winter to ensure snow cover of at least eight inches.
b) Government action to curb climate change.
c) Adding nutrients to the soil in winter.
d) Planting more shrubs in areas of short snow season.
Question 8: In paragraph 6, the author provides the examples of crowberry and alpine azalea to demonstrate that
a) Despite frigid temperatures, several species survive in temperate and Arctic regions.
b) Due to frigid temperatures in the temperate and Arctic regions, plant species that survive tend to be shrubs rather than trees.
c) The crowberry and alpine azalea are abundant in temperate and Arctic regions.
d) The stability of the subnivium depends on several interrelated factors, including shrubs on the forest floor.
Question 9: Which one of the following statements can be inferred from the passage?
a) In an ecosystem, altering any one element has a ripple effect on all others.
b) Climate change affects temperate and Artie regions more than equatorial or arid ones.
c) A compact layer of wool is warmer than a similarly compact layer of goose down.
d) The loss of the subnivium, while tragic, will affect only temperate and Artic regions.
Question 10: In paragraph 1, the author uses blankets as a device to
a) evoke the bitter cold of winter in the minds of readers.
b) explain how blankets work to keep us warm.
c) draw an analogy between blankets and the snow pack.
d) alert readers to the fatal effects of excessive exposure to the cold.
Answers & Solutions:
1) Answer (A)
Throughout the passage, the author has contemplated the reasons why the white-lipped variety of grove snails are found only in Ireland and the Pyrenees. This is also evident from the last line of the first paragraph, the first line of the second paragraph and the first line of the fourth paragraph.
The author has not discussed the reasons why the snails were wiped out from the other parts of the world. Option B is incorrect.
The author has focused neither on migration nor on the evolution of the snails. Option C and D are irrelevant.
Hence, option A is the correct answer.
2) Answer (D)
In the fourth paragraph, the author states that the appearance of grove snails and the arrival of humans in Ireland coincided. Further, the author proves his point by mentioning about the evidence that humans routinely ate these types of snails before the advent of agriculture. From this, we can infer that people who came to colonize Ireland must have brought snails with them as edibles. Option D is the most relevant in this context.
Options B and C are out of context.
Option A might be factually true, but it cannot be concluded from the given sentence.
Hence, option D is the correct answer.
3) Answer (B)
In the second paragraph, the author mentions convergent evolution in which two populations evolve the same trait by coincidence. In that case, if the traits are similar by mere coincidence, the genetic structure must be different as they are part of two distinct populations. However, in the study, it was found that the two groups of snails have genetic similarities and thus, it cannot be a case of convergent evolution. Option B states the same.
Hence, option B is the correct answer.
4) Answer (D)
In the second paragraph, the author mentions convergent evolution in which two populations evolve the same trait by coincidence. In that case, if the traits are similar by mere coincidence, the genetic structure must be different as they are part of two distinct populations. However, in the study, it was found that the two groups of snails have genetic similarities and thus, it cannot be a case of convergent evolution. Thus, the author refutes the claim that convergent evolution can explain the similarity in characteristics. Therefore, option C supports the passage’s explanation of sea travel/trade while option D rejects.
Hence, option D is the correct answer.
5) Answer (C)
The entire passage revolves around the effects of climate change on subnivium.
We can eliminate option D directly as it talks about a small illustration. It cannot be said to be the purpose of the passage. Options A and B emphasize subnivium as the subject. However, the passage is about the effects of climate change on subnivium rather than subnivium itself. Throughout the passage, the author discusses the effects of various climatic changes and how it affects the subnivium.
Therefore, option C is the right answer.
6) Answer (B)
The author mentions that ‘Both depth and density of snow are sensitive to temperature.’ Therefore, we can easily eliminate option A.
Option C talks about the insulating properties of subnivium which has been explicitly mentioned in the passage – ‘Although that might still sound cold, a constant temperature of 32°F can often be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the air temperature during the peak of winter.’ Therefore, we can eliminate option C too.
Option D states that researchers have established the adverse effects of the dwindling snow cover in subnivium. From the line starting with ‘research has shown that…’, we can infer that the effects of the dwindling snow cover on subnivium has been established.
The entire passage does not discuss any positive effect of climate change on the subnivium. Therefore, we can say that option B is the right answer.
7) Answer (B)
The author mentions in the passage that the quality of snow also plays a vital role. Therefore, maintaining 8 inches of snow with a machine will not fix the problem. Moreover, the option feels too shallow and unsustainable. Therefore, we can eliminate option A.
Option C also feels shallow and unrealistic. Moreover, it has not been mentioned that adding nutrients will fix the issue.
Option D suggests planting shrubs. But, in the last paragraph the author mentions that the effects are multilayered and complex. Options A, C, and D try to address the symptom than attacking the cause. Option B offers a more viable solution and addresses the cause of the issue rather than its manifestation. Therefore, the author is most likely to agree with option B and hence, option B is the right answer.
8) Answer (D)
The reason for the inclusion of the shrubs must be in line with the central idea of the passage. Options A and C are too general and hence, can be ruled out easily. Option B states that plants that tend to survive turn out to be shrubs. But, it has not been mentioned anywhere in the passage.
The last paragraph clearly mentions that the effects of colder subnivium are multilayered and interrelated. The shrubs tend to prove the point. The paragraph discusses the effect on the shrubs in detail, adding substance to the statement.
Therefore, option D is the right answer.
9) Answer (A)
Options B and D mention that it will be the arctic and the temperate regions that will be affected. Though we do not know the effect of climate change on the tropical regions, we cannot claim that there will be no effects. The passage does not give us sufficient information to make that claim. Therefore, we can rule out options B and D.
Option C states that a compact layer of wool is warmer than a similarly compact layer of goose down. Again, the passage does not provide us with sufficient information to substantiate this claim. We do not have sufficient details to compare 2 different materials. Therefore, option C can be ruled out as well.
Option A talks about ripple effect. The entire passage is about how the effects of climate change are interrelated. Ripple effect also discusses the same. Therefore, option A is the right answer.
10) Answer (C)
In the passage, author uses the example to explain how having some spaces between layers increases the insulating property. He then uses the same logic to explain the effects of increase in density of snow on subnivium. Therefore, the author uses the example to draw an analogy. Therefore, option C is the right answer.
We hope this CAT Reading Comprehension Quiz Questions with Solutions PDF for CAT will be helpful to you.