Comprehension Passages test the intelligence of students in terms of their reading and comprehending i.e. understanding the passages and ability to answer the questions based on such passages. Students should be able to express their thoughts in short simple and lucid manner. Such exercises take away the need to memorise and show the way to write precisely. It also judges the vocabulary of the readers.
Comprehension Passages CBSE Classes
Types of Passages
Two types of passages are given for comprehension in exam.
(i) Case Based (Factual Passage) (300-350 words): A factual passage composed information in a direct manner about a particular subject. These passages focus completely on details or facts. It may include instructions, a report or a description. It helps the reader to develop a complete idea of a specific person, place, object or being.
(ii) Discursive Passage (350-400 words): A discursive passage may include the opinion of a person which are generally argumentative, persuasive and interpretative. It allows students to arrive at a conclusion through reasoning and understanding rather than intuition. It presents a balanced and objective approach towards the subject being discussed.
Types of Questions
In the examination, the students are tested on a variety of questions that test their inferential and understanding skills.
In Case Based Factual Passage
- 8 Objective Type Questions (including Multiple Choice Questions) are asked carrying 1 mark each.
In Discursive Passage
- 4 Short Answer Type Questions are asked carrying 2 marks each.
- 4 Objective Type Questions (including Multiple Choice Questions) to test vocabulary are asked carrying 1 mark each.
Vocabulary based questions may include word formation, meanings, synonyms and antonyms.
Steps to Attempt Reading Comprehension
- Read each and every line of the passage carefully. Reading the passage twice is always helpful, as it helps a better understanding and makes it easier for the student to find answers.
- If the title of the passage is given, read it first, as it gives the central idea of the passage.
- Underline the difficult words while reading the passage, as you might be tested on these words in the very short answer type questions.
- Always give emphasis on the beginning and end of the passage. These parts often hold the most important information of the passage.
- While answering, be sure that you’ve clearly understood the question. Answer must be relevant to the question.
- Ensure that you answer the question according to the marks it carries.
- Try to use your own language and frame the answer according to the question.
- Make sure in the answer that you use the same tense in which the question has been asked.
- Write the question number on each answer very carefully in the answer sheet to avoid mistakes.
How to Answer Vocabulary Based Questions
These questions test the student’s knowledge of words and their meanings in the context they are written in the passage, as well as the meaning of proverbs and idioms commonly used.
The types of questions asked are:
Word Meaning Based: If you are not sure of the meaning of the word, you will have to guess it from the context in which it is used. Just find a word or a phrase from the options given that makes the same sense as before.
Synonym Based: Rewrite the sentence in which the word is used, inserting only one word from the options given so that the sentence makes the same sense from before.
Antonym Based: Rewrite the sentence in which the word is used, inserting only one word from the options given so that the sentence makes the opposite sense from before.
One Word Substitution Based: Rewrite the sentence in which the word is used, inserting only one word from the options given so that the sentence makes the same sense as before.
Solved Comprehension Passages
Case based Factual Passages
Bullet Train in India
Quite recently India laid the foundation stone for one of its most sought-after projects – running a Bullet Train. It was very well considered as a dream project of the Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Entire India felt proud of having its first ever bullet train scheduled to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, a distance of 508 km, in about 2 hours 35 minutes. In his own words, “To grow, one needs to expand one’s dreams and decide one’s strength to achieve that. It’s the New India which has to fly high”. “Bullet Train is a project that will provide pace to development. Along with new technology, it will also bring results faster”, he added. According to Achal Khare, the Managing Director of the National High Speed Rail Corporation, the project would be completed by December 2023.
It all began with the Prime Minister’s ambitious dream of having a high-speed train in India that cuts the travel time and yet remains an economical option to go from one city to another. The technology of this High-Speed Rail, also known as HSR, was influenced by Japan, which runs a network of bullet trains in their country on Shikasen technology, making many cities well connected to others. According to reports, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered to provide US$ 12 billion of soft loans to build India’s first Bullet Train. The loan was offered at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent per year with repayment over 50 years and a moratorium for the first 15 years. The Japanese Government will be bearing 80 per cent of the total project cost whereas the increase in cost estimates has to be borne by both India and Japan.
The reason this deal between India and Japan is considered path-breaking is that there is currently no financial institution in India that could provide such a huge funding to be repaid over as long a time as 50 years.
1. The ………………. for the Bullet Train project was laid recently.
a) railway track
b) signalling system
c) foundation stone
d) None of these
2. The bullet train will take about ………………. to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
a) 3 hours 25 minutes
b) 2 hours 55 minutes
c) 2 hours 35 minutes
d) None of these
3. According to PM Modi, the two benefits that the bullet train will bring are to provide pace to ………………and faster……….
a) travel, trains
b) train travel, results
c) development, trains
d) development, results
4. The project is expected to be ………………… by December 2023.
d) None of these
5. What was the Prime Minister’s ambitious dream?
6. Where is the technology for the bullet train coming from?
7. What are the details of the loan offered for this project by Japan?
8. Why is this deal between India and Japan considered as path-breaking?
1. foundation stone
2. 2 hours 35 minutes
3. development, results
5. The Prime Minister’s ambitious dream was to have a high-speed train in India that cuts the travel time and yet remains an economical option to go from one city to another.
6. The technology for the bullet train is coming from the bullet trains that run in Japan based on Shikasen technology.
7. The details of the loan offered for this project by Japan are US$ 12 billions of soft loans at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent per year with repayment over 50 years and a moratorium for the first 15 years.
8. The deal between India and Japan is considered path-breaking because currently no financial institution in India can provide such a huge funding to be repaid over as long a time as 50 years.
Mother Teresa: A Humanitarian
Mother Teresa was a humanitarian. This means she did things to help out other people. Her entire life was devoted to helping the poor, the sick, the needy and the helpless.
Mother Teresa was born in Uskub, Ottoman Empire on 26th August, 1910. This city is now called Skopje. Her birth name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father died when she was eight and she was raised by her mother. She joined the Sisters of Loreto at the age of 18 to become a missionary in India. She first had to learn English. So she went to Ireland to learn English at the Loreto Abby.
A year later she started her missionary work in Darjeeling, India. She learnt the local language, Bengali, and taught at the local school. She soon took her first vows as a nun and took the name, Teresa.
When she was 36 years old, she felt the call from God to help the poor of India. She received some basic medical training and then set out to help the sick and the needy. This wasn’t an easy task in 1948 India. She had very little support and, while trying to feed and help the poorest of the poor, she herself was constantly hungry and even had to beg for food.
Soon other women joined her and she formed the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa described the purpose of the Missionaries of Charity as an organisation to take care of “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who fed unwanted, unloved and uncared for throughout society.”
It wasn’t an easy task to build such an organistion and to keep the focus on the poorest people. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace. She was beatified in 2003, the first step on the path to sainthood, within the Catholic church. She worked almost up until her death on 5th September, 1997.
1. Mother Teresa was called …………. because her entire life was devoted to helping the poor, the sick, the needy and the helpless.
b) a humanitarian
c) a sympathiser
2. Mother Teresa was born in Uskub, now known as …………., on 26th August, …………………
a) Skopje, 1899
b) Basra, 1911
c) Skopje, 1910
d) None of these
3. She went to Ireland to learn…………. at the Loreto Abby.
4. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu changed her to Teresa when she …………… as a nun.
a) left Ireland for India
b) joined the Sisters of Loreto
c) took her vows
d) None of these
5. When did she decide to help the poor in India?
6. What hardships did she face while helping the poor?
7. The purpose of the Missionaries of Charity, according to Mother Teresa, is……………
8. Why was Mother Teresa honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize?
1. b) a humanitarian
2. c) Skopje, 1910
3. a) English
4. c) took her vows
5. She decided to help the poor in India when, at the age of 36, she felt the call from God to help the poor in India.
6. The hardships she faced while helping the poor were that she had very little support and, while trying to feed and help the poorest of the poor, she herself was constantly hungry and even had to beg for food.
7. To work as an organisation to take care of “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the leapers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved and uncared for throughout society.”
8. Mother Teresa was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.
Happiness is like the sun; it is often hidden by the clouds of thoughts, worries and desires. We have to scatter and dissolve them to experience happiness. You don’t have to create happiness. All you have to is calm your mind, because when there is a quiet mind and inner peace, there is happiness. Happiness is not something far away and unattainable. Happiness does not depend on circumstances, objects or events. It is an inseparable part of our consciousness, of our essence, but hidden and covered from sight by our thoughts, desires and worries. The mind is always in a constant race from one thought to another, from one worry to another. It constantly moves from one object or task to another, never standing still. This restlessness hides the happiness that is within you. It is like a choppy sea that hides the bottom. When the sea gets calm, you can see the bottom. In the same way, when the mind gets quiet, you sense the happiness that is within you.
You cannot see a treasure at the bottom of a stormy and muddy lake although it is there. However, when the wind stops, the water becomes still and mud sinks, you can see the treasure. The treasure is there, whether you see it or not. So is happiness. It is always here, only hidden by thoughts, desires and worries.
You can experience more and more happiness in your life. Only your thoughts stand in your way of experiencing it. Next time you feel happy, stop for a moment and watch the state of your mind. You will be surprised to discover that it is calm, and there are almost no thoughts in your mind. Since the mind is not accustomed to stay in this peaceful state for long, it soon becomes active again, and the sense of happiness disappears.
1. What is common between happiness and the sun?
2. How can we enjoy moments of happiness in our life?
3. How does the restlessness of our mind come in the way of our happiness?
4. How can we detect the treasure at the bottom of a stormy and muddy lake?
5. The word………. in para 1 is the synonym of ‘disperse’.
6. The word ……… in para 1 means the same as ‘one and the same’.
7. The word ‘hidden’ in para 2 is an antonym of ……………
8. Which of the following words in para 3 is a synonym of ‘habituated’?
1. Happiness is like the sun; it is often hidden by the clouds of thoughts, worries and desires. We have to scatter and dissolve them to experience happiness.
2. Restlessness of our mind comes in the way of our happiness by making the mind disturbed, whereas happiness requires a clam mind and inner peace.
3. The mind is always in a constant race from one thought to another, from one worry to another, never standing still. This restlessness hides the happiness that is within us.
4. One cannot see the treasure at the bottom of a stormy and muddy lake although it is there. However, when the wind stops, the water becomes still and the mud sinks, one can see the treasure.
7. d) visible
8. c) accustomed
Panther and the Game Animals
1. One would imagine that at the very sight of the panther, deer, antelopes and its other preys would just run for their lives. Nothing of the sort. They all stand their ground and make such a loud noise that the panther is left with no other choice except to leave quietly. I have seen a tinny chital baby standing in the middle of an opening in the forest, stamping its feet on the ground and shooting away a tiger. With the white of its erect tail showing, it kept up its shrill call until the tiger made itself scarce. No tiger in its senses would attempt to catch such an impertinent brat, just as you would not dram of catching an offending crow cawing away in your verandah.
2. While the panther sticks to cover and hugs the edge of the forest, the game animals, on the other hand, like to assemble right out in open vast grazing grounds. Open spaces, which the panther carefully avoids, are what the game animals deliberately seek.
3. It is difficult to describe the pandemonium kicked up by various animals when they spot or suspect a panther around. The chital strikes a shrill note, the kakar emits a deafening bark and the sambar rings a bell. The peacock on its perch, the jungle fowl on the ground, and the monkey treetops, all join in the chorus of condemnation of the panther. They curse the panther in their own inimitable language. The resulting confusion of sounds is so irritating to the sharp ears of the panther that it is left with no other option except to go away.
4. The panther has thus to deal with its ever alert and watchful associates who show no mercy and expect none. It is a fight between finesse and flight, between clever and skilful defence.
5. Contrary to the common belief, the panther never springs upon its prey. It stalks as close to its victim as it can manage, and then makes the final dash by rushing at it at lightning speed.
1. What strategy do animals like deer, antelopes etc adopt to drive away the panther?
2. How do the panther and the game animals (deer, antelopes, etc) react to open spaces?
3. What effect does the loud noise made by birds and animals have on the panther?
4. How does the panther kill its prey?
5. The word…….…. in para 1 means the same as “high-pitched and piercing”.
6. The word…………. in para 2 is the synonym of ‘intentionally’.
7. Which word in para 3 is an antonym of ‘praise’?
8. Which of the following words is a synonym of ‘springs’ in para 5?
1. The animals like deer, antelope etc. stand their ground and make such a loud noise that the panther is left with no other choice except to leave quietly.
2. The panther carefully avoids open spaces by sticking to cover at the edge of the forest, whereas the game animals deliberately seek such spaces. They like to assemble in vast open grazing grounds.
3. The loud noise made by the birds and animals when they suspect that a panther is around is so irritating to the sharp ears of the panther that it has no option except to go away.
4. The panther kills its prey by first stalking as close as possible to its victim and then makes the final dash by running at it at lightning speed.
7. c) condemnation
8. b) leaps