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CBSE Class 12 English Comprehension Passages – Practice Test-1
Read the given passage carefully.
- Given the standing of some of its institutions of higher learning, the IITs and IIMs, India is a potential knowledge power. Realising the potential, however, is not going to be easy. The impressive strides made by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) notwithstanding, universal access to quality school education- a minimum necessary condition for any progress towards making India a knowledge society’, as the 2006 report of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) puts it-remains a distant goal.
- There is as yet no legislation at the national level to affirm the right to education, a fundamental right under the Constitution. The number of school buildings for elementary and secondary education falls far short of requirements and so does the number of qualified teachers. The pressure on government budgets, which forces governments to hire teachers on contract paying a pittance of a salary, is playing havoc with quality. While the incursion of the private sector in the field is providing some competition, mechanisms to enforce the required standards are lacking.
- Not that there are no national standards or standards-enforcing agencies. We have the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to bring out textbooks in various subjects for school education. The central government runs several model schools. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts examinations for schools affiliated to it across the country. The states too have their school boards to conduct exams and enforce minimum standards. How even the standards vary widely. In their anxiety to show spectacular performance, some states are overly lenient-in marking answer papers.
- Questions arise even over the standards applied by CBSE. Going by the number of students securing 90% or more in their higher secondary exam, it would appear India is on the brink of a knowledge revolution. The numbers are so large that the cut-off point for admission to top colleges is now above 90%. However, admissions to IITs and medical colleges are not based only on CBSE or state board exam results. Leading undergraduate colleges offering non-professional degree courses hold their own admission tests. Obviously, higher secondary school results are not taken to be a reliable index of the quality of a student’s learning capability or potential.
- It is not difficult to see why. In the CBSE class XII exam., the number of successful candidates securing more than 90% in economics this year turned out to be over 8000 in the Delhi region alone; in English it was above 9000.
The numbers seem to be growing every year. If the country produces so many children who attain very high levels of performance even before graduation, we can expect India to produce Amartya Sens by the dozens.
- While scoring high marks or even 100 out of 100 may not be out of a good student’s reach in subjects like mathematics or physics, it is difficult to figure out the quality of the answers that fetch 90% marks in Economics or English. The standards applied by higher secondary boards like CBSE seem to have been diluted to the point that leaves a big gap between what students learn at school and what they have to face on entering institutions of higher learning. Thriving teaching shops around the country promise to bridge that gap.
- In an attempt to remedy the situation, NCERT had recently commissioned experts to rewrite textbooks on macro and micro economics. Though not entirely free from blemishes, these new texts should go some way in helping beginners get acquainted with the basic concepts in the subject and their applications.
- Not surprisingly, their introduction is facing roadblocks. Teachers do not like to be compelled to look at textbooks they are not familiar with. Those who revel in seeing students score 90% are chary of ushering in something that may stop the rush of such scores. Lastly, even teaching shops see red as they fear loss of business if the higher secondary finalists can get their skills upgraded without buying their help.
- One wonders if our Knowledge Commission is aware of these insidious impediments to India’s knowledge ambitions.
1. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 x 4 = 4)
- Why is quality school education a distant goal?
(a) There are no fundamental rights.
(b) There is no legislation at the national level.
(c) Measures to enforce the required standards are not there.
(d) There are no minimum necessary conditions.
- What is the tone of writer when he remarks: ‘India is on the brink of a knowledge revolution.’
- What are some states doing for ensuring good performances?
(a) Lenience in marking
(b) Following their own school boards
(c) Following CBSE
(d) All of these
- Why do teachers oppose the new textbooks?
(a) They are not familiar with them.
(b) They want students to score good marks.
(c) They are happy with the old books.
(d) Teaching shops would lose their business.
2. Answer the following questions as briefly as possible. (1 x 6 = 6)
- What remains a distant goal?
- What is the main factor that has affected the quality of education?
- Which are the standard enforcing agencies in India?
- Why do leading undergraduate colleges hold their own admission tests?
- What is the problem created by the results of CBSE examinations?
- Why does the author state, “we can expect India to produce Amartya Sens by the dozens”?
3. Which word in the passage means the same as (1 x 2 = 2)
- Reputation (para 1 )
- Impressive (para 3)
- (c) Measures to enforce the required standards are not there.
- (c) Sarcastic
- (a) Lenience in marking
- (a) They are not familiar with them.
- Quality school education remains a distant goal.
- The main factor that has affected the quality of education is the fact of governments hiring under-qualified teachers on contract, paying them a pittance of a salary.
- The CBSE for schools affiliated to it and state boards for other schools in the states.
- Leading undergraduate colleges hold their own admission tests because they distrust higher secondary school results.
- The problem created by the results of CBSE examinations is that CBSE has created a gap between knowledge at the school level and at the level of institutions of higher learning.
- The author says this because the results of CBSE class XII exam show (incorrectly) that many children attain very high levels of performance even before graduation.
Read the given poem carefully.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And’ tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes;
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:-
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?*.
1. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 x 2 = 2)
- What is the mood of the poet in these lines?
- What ‘seemed a thrill of pleasure’?
(a) Birds hopping and playing
(b) The budding twigs
(c) Nature’s holy plan
(d) Nature’s music
2. Answer the following questions as briefly as possible.
- The poet’s mind was filled with
- Why was the poet sad?
- According to the poet, nature is
- The poet found the birds
- What were the budding twigs doing?
- Why does the poet have reason to lament?
3. Which word in the poem means the same as (1 x 2 = 2)
- Windy (fifth stanza)
- Sprouting leaves (fifth stanza)
- (c) Melancholy
- (a) Birds hopping and playing
- pleasant thoughts of nature bringing sad thoughts to mind.
- The poet was sad because of the destruction man has caused to nature.
- full of resources for man to explore and exploit.
- hopping and playing, as they were happy.
- The budding twigs were spreading out their leaves to catch the breeze.
- The poet has reason to lament because nature’s holy plan is for all plants and animals to be happy, but man has ruined the environment by exploiting it for his selfish needs.
Read the given passage carefully.
Not knowing about websites like Orkut, myspace.com, facebook.com orfriendster.com, for teens, isn’t it just in the league of the ‘uncool’ today?
These are an integral part of the information superhighway that students access for academic purposes. Mostly, parents aren’t bothered until a case like Adnan Patrawala hits the headlines. Going out to meet friends made through a social networking site cost the teenager’s life.
It’s important to understand that it isn’t the site perse that’s at fault. But what perhaps is at fault are the unsafe ways young people communicate over such public forums where it’s easy for strangers to access information.
“Teens also swap messages with friends, posting diary-like blogs and share photos. Beyond their profiles, they can search through message boards and blogs about various topics like sports, relationships or music”, says Annette Martis, Manager, Consumer Products and Solutions, Symantec India.
Unfortunately, parents can’t always chaperone teens to make sure they’re safe online. Martis’ tips for parents include
- You cannot teach your kids the ways of the internet-especially online communities-unless you know the lay of the land well yourself.
- Anyone can join an online community and pretend to be someone they’re not. These sites even allow visitors to search for people based on age, city and gender. Kids can post information about their school or pictures of themselves or information about their sporting events, which seems harmless. But they don’t understand that predators can piece information together to find, identify and harm them. Explain the dangers of posting personal information and make sure your teen’s profile doesn’t offer any clues about who she really is.
- Kids can never be 100% certain of who they’re interacting with in online communities. Some try to add as many friends as possible to their contact list-meaning, people they don’t really know can message them directly..
- Sometimes teens post material that can be used against them later. Once posted online, these musings are out there for the world to see. People are worried now whether future employers can use such postings against them.
- Ask young children what kind of content they think is appropriate to post in online communities. Set some guidelines together and stick them near the computer.
- Kids are often scared their internet privileges will be taken away if they tell parents about anything that’s making them uncomfortable online. But if you’re talking about it, they’ll feel comfortable that you’ll understand. Together, become familiar with the online community’s safety policies and reporting mechanisms.
- For teenagers, Martis has some simple tips.
- Use your site’s privacy features to limit personal posts to people you trust.
- Don’t post suggestive pictures or images that might give strangers clues about your identity. They compromise your security and may affect how relatives, teachers, friends and acquaintances perceive you.
- Monitor your blog comments and delete anything you don’t want people to see.
- Don’t use your account to spread rumours or disclose personal information about others. Your actions could have serious implications for you and even your parents.
1. On the basis of your reading of the above passage make notes on it in points only, using recognisable abbreviations wherever necessary. Also suggest a suitable title. (5)
2. Write a summary of the above passage in about 80 words. (3)
1. Title: Tips for Online Behaviour
1. Students access social websites in unsafe ways
- sharing profiles.
- swap messages & photos with friends.
- post bfogs.
2. Strangers use this information to harm them
- They pretend to be someone else.
- Piece together info.
- Identify & harm them.
3. Annette Martis of Symantec India’s tips
- for stds
(a) use wbsts privacy features effectively.
(b) don’t post suggestive pictures.
(c) don’t disclose personal info.
(d) don’t spread rumours.
- for parents
(a) learn safe ways to access scl wbsts along with your children.
(b) make gdlns for safe access of wbsts.
(c) inform children about gdlns.
Students access social websites in unsafe ways, putting themselves in danger. Annette Martis of Symantec India suggests some guidelines which can be followed by students and their parents. She asks students to use the websites’ privacy features effectively, not post suggestive pictures, disclose personal information or spread rumours. Parents must learn safe ways to access such websites with their children, make and inform their children guidelines for online posting of information.
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