English Language Quiz for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020- 31st October

Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is one of the most amazing military accomplishments in history. With a small fighting force numbering in the hundreds, Cortes led the Spanish explorers into victory against an Aztec population that many believe topped 21 million. In light of such a seemingly impossible victory, the obvious question is: how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world’s strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?

Several factors led to Cortes’ success. First, the Spanish exploited animosity toward the Aztecs among rival groups and convinced thousands of locals to fight. In one account of a battle, it is recorded that at least 200,000 natives fought with Cortes. Next, the Spanish possessed superior military equipment in the form of European cannons, guns, and crossbows, leading to effective and efficient disposal of Aztec defenses. For example, Spanish cannons quickly defeated large Aztec walls that had protected the empire against big and less technically advanced armies.

Despite the Spanish advantages, the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital city of Tenochtitlan had they leveraged their incredible population base to increase their army’s size and ensured that no rogue cities would ally with Cortes. In order to accomplish this later goal, Aztec leader Motecuhzoma needed to send envoys to neighboring cities telling their inhabitants about the horrors of Spanish conquest and the inevitability of Spanish betrayal.

In addition, the Aztecs should have exploited the fact that the battle was taking place on their territory. No reason existed for the Aztecs to consent to a conventional battle, which heavily favored the Spanish. Motecuhzoma’s forces should have thought outside the box and allowed Cortes into the city, only to subsequently use hundreds of thousands of fighters to prevent escape and proceed in surprise “door-to-door” combat. With this type of battle, the Aztecs would have largely thwarted Spanish technological supremacy. However, in the end, the superior weaponry of the Spanish, the pent-up resentment of Aztec rivals, the failure of Aztec diplomacy, and the lack of an unconventional Aztec war plan led to one of the most surprising military outcomes in the past one thousand years.

Q1. Which of the following best characterizes the main point the author is trying to convey in the passage?

(a) Aztec failure to fight an unconventional war led to an unnecessary defeat
(b) Spanish victory was neither as impressive nor as surprising as it may first appear
(c) Resentment toward the Aztecs led to their demise
(d) Herman Cortes masterminded an amazing military accomplishment
(e) The myopic vision of the Aztecs led to their unnecessary downfall

Q2. The passage is sequentially organized in which of the following ways?

(a) Introduce an enigma; explain the reasons for the enigma; discuss the inevitability of the enigma
(b) Define a problem; explain the sources of the problem; offer a solution to the problem
(c) Introduce a mystery; offer an explanation for the mystery; provide an alternative explanation for the mystery
(d) Pose a question; offer an answer to the question; offer an alternative answer to the question
(e) Define a problem; explain the likelihood of the problem; discuss the consequences of the problem

Q3. The author implies which of the following about the Aztec view toward an unconventional military confrontation of the Spanish?

(a) The Aztecs did not consider it
(b) The Aztecs considered it, but rejected it out of beliefs about how battles ought to be fought
(c) The Aztecs considered this, but it was too late
(d) The Aztecs were certain a victory could be achieved via traditional combat
(e) The Aztecs felt the geography of Tenochtitlan did not favor this strategy

Q4. According to the passage, all of the following led to Cortes’ success EXCEPT:

(a) Advanced crossbows
(b) Nimble military force
(c) Local Spanish allies
(d) Local tribal friction
(e) Quick destruction of Aztec walls

Q5. Which of the following best characterizes the author’s view about the inevitability of Aztec demise at the hands of the Spanish?

(a) Absolutely Inevitable
(b) Likely Inevitable
(c) Ambivalent
(d) Likely Not Inevitable
(e) Absolutely Not Inevitable

Q6. The author implies which of the following about the nature of Aztec regional influence and power?

(a) Engendered some anger
(b) Achieved with a non-traditional military campaign
(c) Based upon a technologically outdated military
(d) Achieved through alliances
(e) Based upon small yet swift and brutal military force

Q7. The author’s tone can best be described as?

(a) Frustrated
(b) Angry
(c) Optimistic
(d) Analytical
(e) Introspective

Q8. Choose the word/group of words which is most SIMILAR in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in passage.
Rogue

(a) solace
(b) reprobate
(c) solicit
(d) intrigue
(e) enthrall

Q9. Choose the word/group of words which is most SIMILAR in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in passage.
Animosity

(a) reckon
(b) endeavor
(c) antipathy
(d) beckon
(e) inveigle

Q10. Choose the word/group of words which is most OPPOSITE in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in passage.
Consent

(a) amuse
(b) stimulate
(c) provoke
(d) instigate
(e) dissent

Directions (11-15): Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical or idiomatic error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The number of that part is the answer. If there is ‘No error’, the answer is (e). (Ignore errors of punctuation, if any.)

Q11. To arrive at a decision (A) / all the interested parties (B) / should be invited and (C) / involved in the discussion. (D) / No error (E)

(a) A
(b) B
(c) C
(d) D
(e) E

Q12. Although he is my bosom friend, (A) / I cannot ask him for (B) / money without any (C) / vividly reason. (D) / No error (E)

(a) A
(b) B
(c) C
(d) D
(e) E

Q13. We would have (A) / accompanied you to (B) / the picnic spot if you (C) / would have told us in advance.(D) / No error (E)

(a) A
(b) B
(c) C
(d) D
(e) E

Q14. I do not understand (A) / what to make employees (B) / so agitated on (C) / such trivial issues. (D) / No error (E)

(a) A
(b) B
(c) C
(d) D
(e) E

Q15. Since most of the urban people (A) / have been lived in polluted areas (B) / they suffer from severe (C) / diseases caused by pollution. (D) / No error (E)

(a) A
(b) B
(c) C
(d) D
(e) E

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Solutions

S1. Ans. (b)
Sol. Option (b) is correct
In order to ascertain the main point that the author is trying to make, it is important to examine logical flow of the passage.
1st Paragraph: Explain a seemingly amazing accomplishment and ask whether it really is as impressive as it first appears.
2nd Paragraph: Explain factors that made the impressive accomplishment not as impressive.
3rd Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn’t have to turn out the way it did.
4th Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn’t have to turn out the way it did.
A. The Aztec failure to fight in an unconventional manner is discussed only in the last paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
B. This encapsulates the logical flow and main points of the passage.
C. This topic is only discussed during part of the second paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
D. The main point of the passage is to challenge this common belief and point out that it was not as amazing as is often asserted.
E. The passage never even mentions that the Aztec had myopic vision let alone makes this the main focus.

S2. Ans. (a)
Sol. Option (a) is correct
In order to see the sequential ordering, break down the logical flow of the passage.
1st Paragraph: Introduce something that looks very impressive on the surface and ask how it happened.
2nd Paragraph: Offer several factors that help explain what seemed so impressive and unbelievable.
3rd Paragraph: Provide several ways that the seemingly unbelievable was not inevitable.
4th Paragraph: Continue with paragraph 3. Conclude by noting that the seemingly unbelievable and unexplainable was both explainable and not inevitable.
To summarize the sequential organization:
Introduce an enigma (“how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world’s strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?”)
Explain reasons for the enigma (2nd paragraph)
Discuss the inevitability of the enigma (3rd and 4th paragraphs)
A. This matches the sequential order explained above.
B. The third and fourth paragraphs are not offering a solution to a problem but rather discussing the inevitability of an outcome.
C. The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative explanation for the mystery but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
D. The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative answer to the question but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
E. The second paragraph does not discuss the likelihood of the problem but rather explains the sources of the problem (i.e., the sources for the seemingly incredible victory of Cortes). The passage makes no mention of the consequences of the invasion, its success, or its seemingly impressive status etc.

S3. Ans. (a)
Sol. The author never mentions that the Aztecs had a view toward an unconventional military conflict with the Spanish. The topic is mentioned only as the author notes that the Aztecs should have pursued this type of a confrontation with the Spanish. Further, when the author did mention unconventional combat, he prefaced it with the statement: “Motecuhzoma’s forces should have thought outside the box…” Based upon these facts, our best inference is that the Aztecs did not ever consider an unconventional military confrontation with Cortes.
A. This seems to be implied in the author’s suggestion that “Motecuhzoma’s forces should have thought outside the box…”
B. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation with the Spanish.
C. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation with the Spanish.
D. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs were certain they could achieve victory in a traditional means.
E. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation, let alone how it would be influenced by the geography of Tenochtitlan.

S4. Ans. (b)
Sol. A. The passage mentions this as a source of success: “the Spanish possessed superior military equipment in the form of European cannons, guns, and crossbows”
B. Although the passage mentions that Cortes’ army was small, it implies that this as a weakness. The passage never states that the military was nimble nor does it mention this as a source of success.
C. The passage mentions this as a source of success: “In one account of a battle, it is recorded that at least 200,000 natives fought with Cortes.”
D. The passage mentions this as a source of success: “animosity toward the Aztecs among rival groups”
E. The passage mentions this as a source of success: “Spanish cannons quickly defeated large Aztec walls”

S5. Ans. (d)
Sol. The relevant portion of the passage is: “Despite the Spanish advantages, the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital city of Tenochtitlan”
A. This does not match with the passage: “the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital”
B. This does not match with the passage: “the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital”
C. This does not match with the passage: “the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital”
D. This does match with the passage: “the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital”
E. This does not match with the passage: “the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital”.

S6. Ans. (a)
Sol. Option (a) is correct
The relevant portion of the passage is: “Spanish exploited animosity toward the Aztecs”
A. This matches the description of the passage.
B. The passage never mentions that that Aztec fought a non-traditional military campaign.
C. The question refers to the “regional” Aztec influence and the passage never states or implies that the Aztec military was outdated when compared to regional enemies.
D. The passage implies that the Aztecs lacked adequate alliances.
E. The passage states that the Aztecs had a large military force (although we do not know whether it was larger than other regional players; nonetheless, the passage does not discuss the Aztec military size and speed relative to regional enemies).

S7. Ans. (d)
Sol. Option (d) is correct
The author begins with a problem and spends the remainder of the passage analyzing the causes of the problem (2nd paragraph) and the inevitability of the problem (3rd and 4th paragraph).
A. The author expresses virtually no emotion in the passage.
B. The author expresses virtually no emotion in the passage.
C. The author is analyzing a historical issue and is not expressing personal emotions such as optimism or pessimism.
D. This captures the author’s tone as the author analyzes an enigma by explaining it and discussing the extent of its inevitability.
E. The author is addressing history from an objective and outside view, not looking inward. The author never mentions himself.

S8. Ans. (b)
Sol. Rogue means a dishonest or unprincipled. Hence it has same meaning as reprobate.
Solace means comfort or consolation in a time of great distress or sadness.
Solicit means ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone.
Intrigue means arouse the curiosity or interest of, fascinate.
Enthrall means capture the fascinated attention of.

S9. Ans. (c)
Sol. Animosity means strong hostility. Hence it has same meaning as antipathy.
Beckon means appear attractive or inviting.
Inveigle means persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery.

S10. Ans. (e)
Sol. Consent means permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Hence it has opposite meaning as dissent.
Amuse means provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone), entertain.
Instigate means bring about or initiate (an action or event).

S11. Ans. (e)
Sol. The sentence is grammatically correct.

S12. Ans. (d)
Sol. ‘vivid reason’ will be used in place of ‘vividly reason’ because ‘vividly’ is an adverb while ‘vivid’ is an adjective and ‘reason’ is a noun for which adjective is used to express its qualities.

S13. Ans. (d)
Sol. ‘had told’ will be used in place of ‘would have told’ as for unreal situation of past, ‘Subject + would/ could/ might/ should + have + V3’ is used in main clause and ‘Subject + had + V3’ is used in conditional clause.
Ex. I would have helped you if you had come earlier.

S14. Ans. (b)
Sol. ‘what makes/ what has made/ what made’ will be used in place of ‘what to make’.

S15. Ans. (b)
Sol. Use ‘live’ in place of ‘have been lived’ as simple present tense is used for work done for some permanent work of present.

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