Level-1 : Comprehension (Passage) – 01

Directions: Read the short passage and answer the questions. Refer to the text to check your answers when appropriate.

These are very basic level passages to help you understand the concept and prepare you for actual experience of reading passages with MCQs.

Passage 01 – Rhesus monkeys use facial expressions to communicate with each other and to enforce social order. For example, the “fear grimace,” although it looks ferocious, is actually given by a ________ monkey who is intimidated by a _________ member of the group.

Q1. What is the meaning of the underlined word grimace as it is used in the passage?
a. wrinkle
b. contortion
c. shriek
d. simper

Q2. Which pair of words, if inserted into the blanks in sequence, makes the most sense in the context of the passage?
a. calm . . . aggressive
b. dominant . . . subordinate
c. confident . . . fearless
d. subordinate . . . dominant

Passage 02 – In prolonged space flight, besides the obvious hazards of meteors, rocky debris, and radiation, astronauts will have to deal with muscle atrophy brought on by weightlessness; therefore, when they return to Earth, they face a protracted period of weight training to rebuild their strength.

Q3. What is the most likely meaning of the underlined word debris as it is used in this passage?
a. fragments
b. decay
c. bacteria
d. alien life

Q4. The underlined word atrophy, as used in the paragraph, most nearly means
a. pain.
b. wasting.
c. weakening.
d. cramping.

Passage 03 – Most of the women in the orchestra wore conventional black skirts and white shirts during concerts and had their hair neatly pulled back. Robin, with her brightly colored clothing and unusual hairstyles, was considered quite eccentric.

Q5. What is the meaning of the underlined word eccentric as it is used in the sentence?
a. unconventional
b. joyful
c. unreliable
d. proud

Passage 04 – Donna’s memo caused much contention around the office last week. She may have meant well, but her usually caustic tone offended almost everybody. She has become a consistent nuisance at work, and probably should be fired.

Q6. Based on the tone of the passage, which of the following words best describes the author’s attitude toward Donna?
a. exasperated
b. admiring
c. patronizing
d. isolated

Q7. The underlined word caustic, as used in this passage, most nearly means
a. cause and effect.
b. reoccurring.
c. biting.
d. unclear.

Q8. What is the meaning of the underlined word contention as it is used in this passage?
a. theorizing
b. discord
c. gossip
d. calm

Answers :

Q1 – Option b (A grimace is a contortion of the face. Neither a wrinkle nor a simper match the descriptive word ferocious. A shriek would be described in terms of sound, rather than looks.)

Q2 – Option d (Choices a and c do not include the sense of hierarchy conveyed in the phrase to enforce social order. Choice b does convey a sense of hierarchy, but in the wrong order.)

Q3 – Option a (This is the choice that makes the most sense when imagining objects floating in space.)

Q4 – Option b (Although a muscle that atrophies may be weakened (choice c), the primary meaning of the phrase to atrophy is to waste away.)

Q5 – Option a (The passage implies that the other women in the orchestra were conventional because of the way they dressed and wore their hair. Because Robin does things differently, she would be considered unconventional. The other choices, although she may be joyful, unreliable, and proud, have nothing to do with the context of this sentence, which is directly addressing her appearance as it compares to the other women in the orchestra.)

Q6 – Option a (The author puts emphasis on Donna’s habit of upsetting people at work. She has “offended almost everybody,” and is a “consistent nuisance.” The author concludes that Donna should be fired, indicating that he’s had enough of her trouble-making. The word exasperated means that the author has reached the limit of his patience.)

Q7 – Option c (Something that is caustic is acidic—it burns or bites.)

Q8 – Option b (Contention in this sense means discord or anger.)

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