English Questions For SBI Clerk Prelims 2018 (Reading Comprehension)

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English Questions For SBI Clerk Prelims 2018 (Sentence Improvement)


This section can be easy as pie if your basics are clear. Sometimes, even those who can communicate very well in English, fail to perform to the best of their ability in the banking exams. So, instead of boiling the ocean, try building up a strong vocabulary, an effective knowledge of grammar, and efficient comprehension skills so as to be on the ball to face this particular section. Here is a quiz being provided by Adda247 to let you practice the best of latest pattern English Questions.



Directions (1-15): 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.

In 1798, Thomas Malthus, an English clergyman and pioneer economist, published Essay on the Principles of Population. In it he observed that human populations will double every 25 years unless they are kept in check by limits in food supply. In 1838, Darwin read Malthus’ essay and came to realize that all plant and animal populations have this same potential to rapidly increase their numbers unless they are constantly kept in check by predators, diseases, and limitations in food, water, and other resources that are essential for survival. This fact was key to his understanding of the process of natural selection. Darwin realized that the most fit individuals in a population are the ones that are least likely to die of starvation and, therefore, are most likely to pass on their traits to the next generation.

An example of evolution resulting from natural selection was discovered among "peppered" moths living near English industrial cities. These insects have varieties that vary in wing and body coloration from light to dark. During the 19th century, sooty smoke from coal burning furnaces killed the lichen on trees and darkened the bark. When moths landed on these trees and other blackened surfaces, the dark coloured ones were harder to spot by birds who ate them and, subsequently, they more often lived long enough to reproduce. Over generations, the environment continued to favour darker moths. As a result, they progressively became more common. By 1895, 98% of the moths in the vicinity of English cities like Manchester were mostly black. Since the 1950’s, air pollution controls have significantly reduced the amount of heavy particulate air pollutants reaching the trees, buildings, and other objects in the environment. As a result, lichen has grown back, making trees lighter in colour. In addition, once blackened buildings were cleaned making them lighter in colour. Now, natural selection favours lighter moth varieties so they have become the most common. This trend has been well documented by field studies undertaken between 1959 and 1995 by Sir Cyril Clarke from the University of Liverpool. The same pattern of moth wing colour evolutionary change in response to increased and later decreased air pollution has been carefully documented by other researchers for the countryside around Detroit, Michigan. While it is abundantly clear that there has been an evolution in peppered moth coloration due to the advantage of camouflage over the last two centuries, it is important to keep in mind that this story of natural selection in action is incomplete. There may have been additional natural selection factors involved. (Q6)
Darwin did not believe that evolution follows a predetermined direction or that it has an inevitable goal. His explanation that evolution occurs as a result of natural selection implied that chance plays a major role. He understood that it is a matter of luck whether any individuals in a population have variations that will allow them to survive and reproduce. If no such variations exist, the population rapidly goes extinct because it cannot adapt to a changing environment. Unlike Lamarck, Darwin did not believe that evolution inevitably produces more complex life forms and that the ultimate result of this process is human. These were shocking, revolutionary ideas even for scientists who accepted evolution.

Darwin did not rush his ideas about evolution and natural selection into print. He first concentrated his efforts on writing the account of his voyage on the Beagle and analyzing the many preserved animal and plant specimens and extensive notes that he brought back with him. An additional factor was the widespread Christian evangelical fervour in England during the 1830s and 1840s. He could have been charged with sedition and blasphemy for widely publishing his unpopular theory. After returning from the voyage around the world on the Beagle, he settled down in England, married Emma Wedgwood (his wealthy first cousin), raised a large family, and quietly continued his research at his newly purchased country home 16 miles south of London. In 1842 he wrote a 35 page summary of his theory about evolution. This was expanded to a 230 page manuscript in 1844, but it was not published and apparently was only known to a few people in British scientific circles. Darwin busied himself over the next two decades establishing his reputation as an important naturalist by growing and studying orchids, pigeons, earthworms, and other organisms at his home. He spent 8 of these years studying and writing about barnacles that people had sent him from around the world.
It was not until he was 50 years old, in 1859, that Darwin finally published his theory of evolution in full for his fellow scientists and for the public at large. He did so in a 490 page book entitled On the Origin of Species. It was very popular and controversial from the outset. The first edition came out on November 24, 1859 and sold out on that day. It went through six editions by 1872. The ideas presented in this book were expanded with examples  fifteen additional scientific books that Darwin published over the next two decades.

What finally convinced Darwin that he should publish his theory in a book for the general educated public was the draft of an essay that he received in the summer of 1858 from a younger British naturalist named Alfred Wallace, who was then hard at work collecting biological specimens in Southeast Asia for sale to museums and private collectors. Darwin was surprised to read that Wallace had come upon essentially the same explanation for evolution. Being a fair man, Darwin insisted that Wallace also get credit for the natural selection theory during debates over its validity that occurred at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University in 1860. We now know that Darwin deserves most of the credit. In 1837, one year after he returned from the voyage on the Beagle, he made detailed notes on the idea of evolution by means of natural selection. At that time, Wallace was only 14 years old. In addition, it was Darwin's book, rather than Wallace's essay, that had the most impact on the Victorian public. Darwin not only described the process of natural selection in more detail, but he also gave numerous examples of it. It was his On the Origin of Species that convinced most scientists and other educated people in the late 19th century that life forms do change through time. This prepared the public for the acceptance of earlier human species and of a world much older than 6000 years.

Q1. The Principles of Population of Thomas Malthus was important to Darwin in which of the following ways? 
(a) They helped him understand how plant and animal populations were kept in check by environmental factors.
(b) They helped him understand that predators, diseases, and limitations in food helped check the burgeoning population of plants and animals. 
(c) They helped him understand that those who can survive predators, diseases, and limitations in food passed on their genes to the next generation. 
(d) They helped him understand the natural tendency of all living things to rapidly increase their numbers. 
(e) They helped him understand that unless kept in check through natural selection plant animal populations have a tendency to rapidly increase in numbers.

S1. Ans.(c)
Sol. The first paragraph states that the principles of population of Malthus (doubling in 25 years if not kept in check by limitations in food) made Darwin realize the "key to natural selection"—which was that the ones that survive the adversities pass on their gene to the next generation in order that the species survives—otherwise the species becomes extinct. This clearly stated in option (c).

Q2. Which of the following would most seriously challenge the example of "peppered" moths as proof for evolution resulting from natural selection? 
(a) The lichen that covered the bark of the trees was black in colour too. 
(b) The male species of the "peppered" moth were usually lighter in colour compared to the dark females of the species. 
(c) The lichen that covered the bark of the trees provided excellent nutrition to the "peppered" moths. 
(d) Air pollution altered the physiology of the "peppered" moths and made them produce an excess of black pigment. 
(e) The lighter female species of the "peppered moth" preferred the darker ones among the males for mating. 

S2. Ans.(d)
Sol. We are asked to provide an additional factor. Option (d) provides this additional factor that it was not actually natural selection but the pollutants that made them change their colour by making then produce more black pigment. Option (e) is erroneous because it does not provide an additional factor to prove that at one time 98% of the moth population was black (only males?).

Q3. Which of the following ideas of Darwin were shocking to his contemporary scientists who believed in evolution? 
A. That human beings were the ultimate form of the evolutionary process. 
B. That it is matter of luck that there are variations among the individuals of the same species. 
C. That the evolutionary processes were predetermined to produce more and more complex life forms. 
D. That evolutionary processes depended on chance factors. 
(a) A and B 
(b) C and D 
(c) A and C 
(d) B and D
(e) All of the above 

S3. Ans.(d)
Sol. Darwin did not believe that the evolutionary processes were predetermined to produce more and more complex life forms ending in the final product human beings like his contemporary scientists. Hence A and C are not the ideas of Darwin but of his contemporaries. Hence not parts of the answer. B and D are ideas of Darwin and shocked his contemporaries. Both are stated in the third paragraph.

Q4. From the example of the evolutionary history of the "peppered" moth we can infer that... 
(a) Natural selection is not the only factor involved in evolution. 
(b) Chance plays a major role in evolutionary processes. 
(c) Pollution plays a major role in evolutionary processes. 
(d) The industrial revolution has had a major impact on the way human beings have evolved. 
(e) None of the above

S4. Ans.(b)
Sol. From the point of view of evolution we can treat industrial revolution and pollution as chance—they are not natural processes predetermined and bound to happen. Since this had influenced the way the "peppered" moths evolved, we can safely infer that chance has a role to play in evolutionary processes. One may object to "major role"—but otherwise the evolution might not have happened or went on in some other direction. Hence, major role is not unsubstantiated.

Q5. Which of the following prompted Darwin to finally publish to the general public his "unpopular theory"? 
(a) An essay by naturalist Alfred Wallace that was given to Darwin. 
(b) Alfred Wallace who published a similar paper was not punished by the evangelical England. 
(c) By 1858 Darwin had established himself as a renowned naturalist. 
(d) By 1858 Darwin had had a large family to support. 
(e) Darwin was busy studying the barnacles that were sent to him from around the world and he was gathering proof for his "unpopular theory".

S5. Ans.(a)
Sol. This is a specified idea question. The answer is stated in the passage directly. "What finally convinced Darwin that he should publish his theory in a book for the general educated public was the draft of an essay that he received in the summer of 1858 from a younger British naturalist named Alfred Wallace..." This is sufficient to answer the question and make option (a) correct.

Q6. If it is assumed that natural selection was the only process occurring, which of the following will be true about plants and animals? (Refer to the bold sentence in the passage) 
(a) Each generation will have greater variation until all members of a population will eventually be different. 
(b) Each generation will have less variation until all members of a population are essentially identical. 
(c) Each generation will have no variation and members of a population will become extinct. 
(d) Each generation will have no variation and all living beings on the planet will look alike. 
(e) Each generation will have greater variation but all members of that population will be identical.

S6. Ans.(b)
Sol. If there were no other factor involved each generation will pass on the most favourable traits (genes) to the next generation and will not necessitate any change—the result over many generations is that there would be there no difference between individuals and every individual will have the same qualities (like clones). Even though the environment changes it will act as a constant for all individuals hence it won't demand individual differences.

Q7. Which of the following is false in the context of the passage?
(a) Thomas Malthus was the author of “Essay on the Principles of Population.”
(b) Darwin published his theory of evolution for the general public in 1859.
(c) Alfred Wallace was a Dutch naturalist.
(d) Emma Wedgwood was the wife of Darwin.
(e) Darwin, not Wallace deserves most of the credit for the Theory of Natural Selection.

S7. Ans. (c)
Sol. It is clearly mentioned in the last paragraph that Wallace was a British naturalist.

Q8. Which of the following was not the belief of Darwin ?
(a) Evolution inevitably produces more complex life forms and that the ultimate result of this process is human
(b) The fittest of individuals survive in any population
(c) Natural selection favours the fittest
(d) Evolution occurs as a result of natural selection
(e) Chance plays a major role in evolution

S8. Ans.(a)
Sol. Refer to the following lines “Unlike Lamarck, Darwin did not believe that evolution inevitably produces more complex life forms and that the ultimate result of this process is human” of third paragraph.”

Q9. Lamarck believed in which of the following?
(a) Evolution sometimes produces more complex life forms
(b) Natural selection is not the only factor involved in evolution.
(c) Pollution has had a major impact on the way human beings have evolved.
(d) Evolution occurs through the process of adaption
(e) the ultimate result of the process of Evolution is human

S9. Ans.(e)
Sol. Refer to the third paragraph for Lamarck’s views “Unlike Lamarck, Darwin did not believe that evolution inevitably produces more complex life forms and that the ultimate result of this process is human” of third paragraph.”

Q10. What is the meaning of the word blasphemy as used in the passage?
(a) outrage
(b) blessing
(c) piety
(d) profanity
(e) whereabouts

S10. Ans.(d)
Sol. Blasphemy means the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.

Q11. What is the meaning of the word sedition as used in the passage?
(a) regicide
(b) provocation
(c) regalia
(d) tergiversation
(e) anomaly

S11. Ans.(b)
Sol. Sedition means conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

Q12. What is the meaning of the phrase keep in check as used in the passage?
(a) turgid
(b) turbid
(c) restrain
(d) complement
(e) glorify

S12. Ans.(c)
Sol. keep someone or something in check means to keep someone or something under control; to restrain someone or something.

Q13) What is the meaning of the word starvation as used in the passage?
(a) suffering due to inclement weather
(b) suffering due to lack of shelter
(c) suffering due to lack of food
(d) suffering due to lack of friends and family
(e) suffering due to infertile land

S13. Ans.(c)
Sol. Starvation refers to suffering or death caused by lack of food.

Q14. What is the meaning of the word fervour as used in the passage?
(a) vehemence
(b) harbour
(c) favour
(d) odour
(e) curiosity

S14. Ans.(a)
Sol.  fervor refers to intense and passionate feeling.

Q15. What is the meaning of the word inevitable as used in the passage?
(a) unforgiving
(b) unassuming
(c) obdurate
(d) unfortunate
(e) inexorable

S15. Ans.(e)
Sol. Inevitable means certain to happen; unavoidable.


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