Unseen Comprehension Passages Practice CBSE Questions: Grammar for Schools

Some important previous years’ CBSE questions based on ‘unseen comprehension passages’ are given here for practice. These questions will help students in preparing for their reading section of English paper of class 9 and 10 students. Answers are given after the passages and these answers should only be seen after attempting the passage.

Comprehension Passages CBSE Questions

Q. Read the passage given below: (10 marks) [SQP. 2022-23]

(1) Mountains have always been held in great awe by mankind. They have been a challenge to humans. Those brave among us have always wanted to conquer them. You see, the more incredible the mountains, the greater the thrill – a challenge to the bravery of the human race. Climbing mountains is an experience that is hard to put into words. You are in a beautiful environment and, when you reach the top, you feel incredible. But you also have to climb down, which is when most accidents happen – people are tired, it gets dark, it’s harder. So, mountain climbing is undoubtedly one of the most popular adventure sports along with being challenging and risky for the climber.

(2) Without any perceived risk, there can’t be a feeling that any significant challenge has been surmounted. Fair, but we have to bear in mind that mountaineering is not a sport that can be embraced without preparation. The enthusiasts must develop in themselves the spirit of adventure, willingness to undertake hardships and risks, extraordinary powers of perseverance, endurance, and keenness of purpose before climbing a mountain. They should also know how to handle the mountaineering equipment. Then comes the penance of the rigorous training. This could very well be the lifeline up there. It helps inculcate and hone survival instincts that allow the climber to negotiate perilous situations. There are numerous institutes in India and abroad that offer such training.

(3) Mountain climbers are unanimous in agreeing that the unpredictable weather is what they fear the most. There may be sunshine one moment and a snowstorm the other. At higher altitudes, snow is a regular feature and being decisive about setting up camps or proceeding further is crucial. The icy sheets after ice storms make walking treacherous, while the powdery snow makes a mountaineer sink deep into the snow. Up there, where the intention is to embrace nature’s wonder, one realises that it cannot be done without facing its formidable glory. A true mountaineer may challenge the mountain, yet is always respectful to the powerful forces of nature.

(4) Summiting mountains carries its own health risks such as oxygen and altitude sickness problems, frost bites, swelling of hands and feet, fluid collection in brain or lungs and exhaustion. Yet, the gratification mountaineers feel from mastering something that is so frightening, urges them to undertake these endeavours. We may think that the mountaineers are fearless, experts say, “Not at all. It’s fear that keeps them so intrigued with such arduous journeys.” Impulse and brazenness can be deadly foes. In the words of the Indian mountaineer, Bachendri Pal, “The biggest risk … is to not to take the risk at all. Remember that.”

Based on your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below. (1×10 = 10 marks)

(i) Why does the writer say that mountains inspire ‘awe’ in humans? (Paragraph 1)
(a) They present us with opportunities for exciting sports.
(b) They evoke the wish in us, to master them.
(c) They inspire in us, deeds of valour.
(d) They represent peace and calm to us.

(ii) Select the option that corresponds to the following relation below:
The more incredible the mountains—the greater the thrill (Paragraph 1)
(A) The higher the stamina—the lower the food intake
(B) The more you laugh—the lesser your illness
(C) The smaller the car—the bigger the advantage
(D) The heavier the luggage—the higher the penalty

(iii) Select the option that displays what the writer projects, with reference to the following:
So, mountain climbing is undoubtedly one of the most popular adventure sports. (Paragraph 1)
(a) doubt       (b) caution
(c) conviction (d) denial

(iv) Complete the following with a phrase from paragraph 1.

(v) The writer compares training to penance in the line–Then comes the penance of the rigorous training. (Paragraph 2) State 1 point of similarity between training and penance.

(vi) Based on your reading of the text, list 2 reasons why the writer says that “mountaineering is not a sport that can be embraced without preparation”. (Paragraph 2) 1
(1) ___________
(2) ___________

(vii) What connect does the writer draw out between unpredictable weather and setting up of camps? (Paragraph 3) 1

(viii) The writer says, “A true mountaineer may challenge the mountain, yet is always respectful to the powerful forces of nature.” (Paragraph 3)
Select the reason the mountaineer is respectful to the forces of nature, up in the mountains.
(a) survival                   (b) experience
(c) tradition                 (d) directive

(ix) Supply 1 point to justify the following:
While mountain climbing, an impulsive mountaineer is either disaster-prone or as good as dead.

(x) Evaluate the INAPPROPRIATE reason for the feeling of exhilaration on reaching a summit, that the mountain-climbers experience.
(A) Achievement of a seemingly impossible feat
(B) Spectacular panoramic view
(C) Application of the inculcated survival instincts
(D) Opportunity to use sophisticated mountaineering equipment


(i) (b) They evoke the wish in us, to master them.
(ii) (d) The heavier the luggage—the higher the penalty.
(iii) (c) conviction
(iv) Hard to put in words
(v) very difficult / requires perseverance
(1) Because mountaineering includes difficulties like having to walk on icy sheets that cannot be accomplished without proper preparation of equipment
(2) Because mountaineering includes dealing with several health hazards that cannot be managed without preparation.
(vii) If the weather is unpredictable, it makes it difficult to decide when to set up camp as mountaineers would prefer to climb when it’s sunny and camp when it’s snowing.
(viii) (a) survival
(ix) Survival is key in mountain climbing and it can be done with meticulously planning/ careful decision-making/careful application of training (any one or more). It has no room for rash or impulsive decisions/actions— these would lead to accidents or fatalities.
(x) (d) Opportunity to use sophisticated mountaineering equipment

CBSE Official Marking Scheme

Passage – 8 marks (CBSE 2020)  

1. Caged behind thick glass, the most famous dancer in the world can easily be missed in the National Museum, Delhi. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro is that rare artefact that even school children are familiar with. Our school textbooks also communicate the wealth of our 5000-year heritage of art. You have to be alert to her existence there, amid terracotta animals to rediscover this bronze image.  

2. Most of us have seen her only in photographs or sketches, therefore the impact of actually holding her is magnified a million times over. One discovers that the dancing girl has no feet. She is small, a little over 10 cm tall — the length of a human palm — but she surprises us with the power of great art — the ability to communicate across centuries.  

3. A series of bangles — of shell or ivory or thin metal — clothe her left upper arm all the way down to her fingers. A necklace with three pendants bunched together and a few bangles above the elbow and wrist on the right hand display an almost modern art.  

4. She speaks of the undaunted, ever hopeful human spirit. She reminds us that it is important to visit museums in our country to experience the impact that a work of art leaves on our senses, to find among all the riches one particular vision of beauty that speaks to us alone. 

1.1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following questions. [1×8 = 8]  

(a) The Dancing Girl belongs to
(i) Mohenjo-Daro.
(ii) Greek culture.
(iii) Homo sapiens.
(iv) Tibet.

(b) In the museum she’s kept among
(i) dancing figures.
(ii) bronze statues.
(iii) terracotta animals.
(iv) books.

(c) Which information is not given in the passage?
(i) The girl is caged behind glass.
(ii) She is a rare artefact.
(iii) School books communicate the wealth of our heritage.
(iv) She cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.

(d) ‘Great Art’ has power because
(i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.
(ii) it is small and can be understood.
(iii) it is seen in pictures and sketches.
(iv) it is magnified a million times.

(e) The jewellery she wears
(i) consists of bangles of shell or ivory or thin metal only.
(ii) is a necklace with two pendants.
(iii) Both (i) and (ii) are correct.
(iv) Neither (i) nor (ii) is correct.

(f) She reminds us
(i) of the never-say-die attitude of humans.
(ii) why museums in our country are exciting.
(iii) why she will make us come into money.
(iv) of dancing figures.

(g) The synonym of the word “among” in paragraph 1 is ________.

(h) The size of the dancing girl is equal to the length of the human palm. (True/False) 



(a) (i) Mohenjo-Daro

(b) (iii) terracotta animals

(c) (iv) she cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.

(d) (i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.

(e) (i) consists of bangles of shell, ivory or thin metal.

(f) (ii) why museums in our country are exciting.

(g) amid

(h) True

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