English Language Practice Questions For RBI Assistant Mains 2017

Dear Students,

English Questions For RBI Assistant Mains 2017

English Section is a topic that is feared by most of the candidates appearing in the RBI Assistant Prelims and IBPS Clerk Exam. Though the sheer number of concepts and rules may seem intimidating at first, with discipline and the right approach, it is not difficult to master these concepts and their application to questions. Through such English Quizzes for IBPS Clerk, RBI Assistant and other upcoming exams, we will provide you with all types of high-level questions to ace the questions based on new pattern English for RBI Assistant Mains.

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

Over the past 150 years dramatic failures have occurred, at surprisingly regular intervals, in the field of bridge building. 
In 1847, the first major structural failure on Britain's expanding railway network occurred at Chester, England. The Dee Bridge, whose cast-and wrought-iron design followed common practice for the period, collapsed under a passing train, killing everyone aboard. Subsequent investigation revealed that the structure, the longest of its kind, simply pushed the limits of railroad-bridge engineering too far. 

In 1879, the longest bridge in the world spanned the River Tay at Dundee, Scotland. Composed of many modest spans, the structure involved no radically new design concepts and seemed to be a mere application of proven technology. However, the force of the wind was grossly underestimated and workmanship was inferior. As a result, the Tay Bridge, vulnerable in a gale, was blown off its supports. 
In 1907, the longest span in the world was being constructed over the St. Lawrence River near Quebec, Canada. The bridge was of a relatively new type, known as a cantilever, which had become quite fashionable. Although it was only slightly longer than the highly successful cantilever bridge over the Forth River near Edinburgh, Scotland, the Quebec Bridge was so inadequately designed that it collapsed before it was completed. 
In 1940, the third longest suspension bridge in the world was opened in Washington State. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was designed as state of the art, which included a strong aesthetic preference for slender structures. Within four months of its opening, the bridge was destroyed by winds in a manner totally unanticipated by its engineers. 
In 1970, steel box-girder bridges in Milford Haven, Wales, and in Melbourne, Australia, failed spontaneously while under construction. Both were among the longest structures of their kind and were thought to be just natural applications of existing technology. 
In 2000, the much-anticipated opening of London's Millennium Bridge over the River Thames was followed only three days later by its closure. The sleek footbridge swayed unexpectedly and excessively under the feet of pedestrians, and it was deemed too dangerous to use. What should have been a mere extension of the millennia-old art of building pedestrian bridges, proved to be a modern engineering embarrassment? 

The thirty-year interval between historic bridge failures was first highlighted by the work of Paul Sibly, who wrote a thesis on the subject, and his University of London advisor, A.C. Walker. They noted the cyclical regularity of such occurrences and speculated that it represented a gap in communications between generations of engineers.

Although each of the notable failures involved a different type of bridge, in no case was the structure radically new. Each used technology that engineers had been confidently employing for bridges, and for which the assumed loads and methods of analysis were well established. In every case, engineers believed that they were just building incrementally on successful practice. 
In fact, designing in a climate of success can be dangerous for an engineer. Successful experience teaches us only that what has been accomplished in the past has worked. But things that work on a small scale do not necessarily work when slightly larger. 
This was known to Vitruvius, who wrote about Greek and Roman engineering more than 2,000 years ago. It was also known to Galileo, who noted that Renaissance engineers who followed successful methods of building ships and moving obelisks were often surprised by the spontaneous failures when tried with larger ships and obelisks. 
Failures always reveal weaknesses and provide incontrovertible evidence of our incomplete understanding of how things work. When the failures described above occurred, engineers were sensitized to their own limitations and so approached subsequent designs—no matter of what kind of bridge—with renewed respect for the laws and forces of nature. Unfortunately, human memory fades with time, and new generations of engineers with no vivid experience of past failures can proceed with hubris to design again beyond wise limits.

The history of engineering is no mere adjunct to technical know-how. A historical perspective on bridge building or any other engineering specialty provides a caveat about how our humanity affects our thinking. Building a new bridge following a familiar model can lead to complacency. Building a novel bridge, especially in the wake of a spectacular failure, forces engineers to think from scratch and also to think more deeply and critically. Hence, the paradox that success leads to failure, and failure leads to success. 

The cable-stayed bridge is a form that is currently being pushed to limits and beyond those originally imagined to apply to it. Widespread successes with cable-stayed structures have made the type almost commonplace. As such, its development into ever longer spans is following the historic pattern that in the past has led to failures. Whether there will be a major cable-stayed bridge failure soon - or around the year 2030 - will most likely depend not so much on computer analyses as on how well engineers know their history and are determined not to repeat it. 

Q1. Which of the following maxims will most suitably introduce the above passage? 
(a) “The higher you rise, the lower you fall.” 
(b) “This is how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.” 
(c) “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat if.” 
(d) “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 
(e) “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

S1. Ans.(c)
Sol. The passage is about how engineers have been stretching a particular technology or design almost until it fails. The writer says that works at a small level—in the beginning—does not necessarily work at greater level. A design that works should not be stretched to its limits—which results in failure of that design. IN the case of bridges this has been happening with almost regular intervals. The last sentence of the passage will fully justify option (c).

Q2. The writer is most likely to consider which of the following as the real reason for the cyclical regularity of bridge collapses? 
(a) The radical change that engineering principles undergo at periodic intervals. 
(b) The bridge building technologies being useful for a limited period of approximately 30 years. 
(c) The communication gap between two generations of engineers. 
(d) Engineers do not realise that things may not work at larger scales. 
(e) The techniques that sustain small bridges are applied to large ones.

S2. Ans.(e)
Sol. Though all the answer options are partially true, the question asks you to find out the “real” reason behind the regularity of bridge failures. We need to then rank these choices with the help of the details available in the passage. The passage after analysing the possible reasons almost concludes that “... things that work on a small scale do not necessarily work when slightly larger.” The writer then cites the example of ship building, too. Hence this can be the most likely reason for the bridge collapses. Hence the answer is option (e).

Q3. According to the passage, which of the following bridge techniques may lead to a collapse (if at all) in the near future? 
(a) The beam type bridge which is built on two or more supports which hold up a beam. 
(b) The arch type of bridge on which the weight is carried outward along two paths, curving toward the ground. 
(c) A suspension bridge hung by cables which hang from towers. The cables transfer the weight to the towers, which transfer the weight to the ground. 
(d) The cantilever type of bridge, in which two beams support another beam where the deck or traffic way is. The two beams must be anchored well. 
(e) None of these.

S3. Ans.(c)
Sol. The last two paragraphs of the passage discuss the type of technique that is widely used for bridges currently — which is the suspension or cable-stayed bridges. The writer states that this technique may be in danger of being stretched and if the engineers do not learn from their mistakes made earlier, the collapse of next bridge may be expected around 2030 if the cycle holds true and may happen to a cable-stayed or suspension bridge. Hence option (c). This is a very straightforward application question.

Q4. According to the writer, what is the importance of engineering failures? 
(a) They reveal mankind's weaknesses. 
(b) They are proof for man's incomplete understanding of phenomena. 
(c) They sensitize the engineers to the limitations of phenomena. 
(d) They force engineers to review their knowledge. 
(e) All of the above.

S4. Ans.(d)
Sol. The answer to this question comes from the paragraph beginning, “Failures always reveal ……” Options (a and b) are too broad and the writer does not imply that engineering failures can reveal “mankind’s” weaknesses or its incomplete understanding of the world as a whole. The writer is not philosophical about the engineering failures. Options (c) is wrong because it talks about the ‘limitations of phenomena”—whereas it is engineers’ limitations they are sensitized to. The paragraph states that “... engineers were sensitized to
their own limitations and so approached subsequent designs   with renewed respect for the laws and forces of nature. This is what option (d) states, and hence the answer. All of the above is automatically eliminated as there are wrong options.

Q5. Which of the following explains the contextual meaning of the word novel as used in the passage? 
“Building a novel bridge, especially in the wake of a spectacular failure, forces engineers to think from scratch and also to think more deeply and critically.” 
(a) Beginning as the resumption or repetition of a previous act or thing. 
(b) Not resembling something formerly known or used. 
(c) Having recently come into existence or use. 
(d) What is freshly made and unused. 
(e) Striking especially in conception or style.

S5. Ans.(b)
Sol. In the earlier sentence the writer talks about building “new bridges” implying these may be new but based on the same designs as of the earlier ones. Then he states the quoted sentence, implying these designs not only new but original (unprecedented) as well. This makes option (b) close to the intended meaning.

Q6. When did first major structural failure on Britain's expanding railway network occurred?
(a) 1847
(b) 1940
(c) 1907
(d) 1874
(e) 1904

S6. Ans.(a)
Sol. 1847

Q7. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word notable as used in the passage?
(a) eatable
(b) note
(c) distinguish
(d) forget 
(e) elimination

S7. Ans.(c)
Sol. notable-distinguish

Q8. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word perspective as used in the passage?
(a) stretch
(b) state
(c) refer
(d) outlook
(e) application

S8. Ans.(d)
Sol. perspective-a way of looking at or thinking about something

Q9. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word failure as used in the passage?
(a) success
(b) antimony
(c) puzzle
(d) reveal
(e) approached

S9. Ans.(a)
Sol. failure-success

Q10. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word Widespread as used in the passage?
(a) far
(b) broad
(c) narrow
(d) weight
(e) extensive

S10. Ans.(c)
Sol. Widespread- common over a wide area or among many people.

Direction (11-15): In each question, the word at the top is used in five different ways, numbered to (a) to (e), Choose the option in which the usage of the word is INCORRECT or INAPPROPRIATE.

Q11. Look
(a) Looking ahead to next year, we expect to be even more successful.
(b) The company is looking at the possibility of moving to a larger office.
(c) He is looking around to a new car.
(d) Sameer will be looking around by his friends
(e) If you're planning to invest in your friend's company, I advise you to look before you leap.

S11. Ans.(c)
Sol. He is looking around for a new car.-look around/round for (something) : to search for (something)
look ahead - to think about what will happen in the future
look around/round or look around/round (a place) : to go through a place in order to see what is there : to explore a place-The kids looked around the shops while we unpacked.
look at (someone or something)-to think about or consider (something or someone)
look before you leap-to think or learn about the possible bad results of an action before doing it

Q12. Wait
(a) The hostess waits on tables/people when the restaurant is crowded.
(b) I'll be late; don't wait on
(c) If you have so much work to do, then what are you waiting for?
(d) No one knows what lies in wait for us in the coming year. 
(e) We waited out the storm in our hotel room.

S11. Ans.(c)
Sol. He is looking around for a new car.-look around/round for (something) : to search for (something)
look ahead - to think about what will happen in the future
look around/round or look around/round (a place) : to go through a place in order to see what is there : to explore a place-The kids looked around the shops while we unpacked.
look at (someone or something)-to think about or consider (something or someone)
look before you leap-to think or learn about the possible bad results of an action before doing it

Q13. Run
(a) I ran around some old photos from when I was a kid.
(b) He told the boy to run along home.
(c) Don't let your imagination run away with you. 
(d) She ran away with the election.
(e) She ran away with a man old enough to be her father.

S13. Ans.(a)
Sol. I ran across some old photos from when I was a kid.
run across (someone or something)- to meet (someone) or find (something) by chance
run along-to go away
a run away with (someone) disapproving : to leave a person or place in order to live with and have a sexual relationship with (someone)
run away with (someone) : to make (someone) do something that is not sensible or reasonable

Q14. See
(a) She is seeing about getting tickets to the concert.
(b) Can you see on the baby for me?
(c) They don't see eye to eye on this issue.
(d) She saw great musical talent in her son.
(e) She saw him off at the train station.

S14. Ans.(b)
Sol. Can you see after the baby for me?see after (someone or something)- to take care of (someone or something)
see about (something)-to do what is required for (something) -to deal with (something)
see (something) in (someone or something)- to notice or perceive (something good or attractive) in (someone or something)

Q15. Make
(a) I don't know what to make of her behavior.
(b) Don't make them out as worse than they are.
(c) I couldn't quite make out what she said.
(d) After taking the money, the thieves made on toward the main highway.
(e) She has worked very hard to make something of herself.

S15. Ans.(d)
Sol. After taking the money, the thieves made off toward the main highway.
make (something) of (something or someone) : to have or form an opinion about (something or someone)
make something of (yourself or your life) : to become successful
make (something) out or make out (something)-to hear and understand (something)


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