FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1989 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q1. Write a Précis of the following passage and suggest a suitable title:
The Greatest” civilization before ours was the Greek. They, too, lived in a dangerous world. They were a little, highly civilized people, surrounded by barbarous tribes and always threatened by the greatest Asian power, Persia. In the end they succumbed, but the reason they did was not that the enemies outside were so strong, but that their spiritual strength had given way. While they had it, they kept Greece unconquered. Basic to all Greek achievements was freedom. The Athenians were the only free people in the world. In the great empires of antiquity — Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia — splended though they were, with riches and immense power, freedom was unknown. The idea of it was born in Greece, and with it Greece was able to prevail against all the manpower and wealth arrayed against her. At Marathon and at Salamis overwhelming numbers of Persians were defeated by small Greek forces. It was proved there that one free man was superior to many submissively obedient subjects of a tyrant. And Athens, where freedom was the dearest possession, was the leader in those amazing victories.
Greece rose to the very height, not because she was big, she was very small, not because she was rich, she was very poor, not even because she was wonderfully gifted. So doubtless were others in the great empires of the ancient world who have gone their way leaving little for us. She rose because there was in the Greeks the greatest spirit that moves in humanity, the spirit that sets men free.”
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end:
“Teaching more even than most other professions, has been transformed during the last hundred years from a small, highly skilled profession concerned with a minority of the population, to a large and important branch of the public service. The profession has a great and honourable tradition, extending from the dawn of history until recent times, but any teacher in the modem world who allows himself to he inspired by’ the ideals of his predecessors is likely to be made sharply aware that it is not his function to teach what he thinks, but to instill such beliefs and prejudices as are thought useful by his employers. In former days a teacher was expected to be a man of exceptional knowledge or wisdom, to whose words men would do well to attend. In antiquity, teachers were not an organized profession, and no control was exercised over what they taught. It is true that they were often punished afterwards for their subversive doctrines.
Socrates was put to death and Plato is said to have been thrown into prison, but such incidents did not interfere with the spread of their doctrines. Any man who has the genuine impulse of the teacher will be more anxious to survive in his books than in the flesh. A feeling of intellectual independence is essential to the proper fulfillment of the teacher’s functions, since it is his business to instill what he can of knowledge and reasonableness into the process of forming public opinion.
In our more highly organized world we face a new problem. Something called education is given to everybody, usually by the State the teacher has thus become, in the vast majority of cases, a civil servant obliged to carry out the behests of men who have not his learning, who have no experience of dealing with the young, and whose only attitude towards education is that of the propagandist.”
a) What change has occurred in the profession of teaching during the last hundred years?
b) What do you consider to be the basic functions of a teacher?
c) What handicaps does a modern teacher face as compared to the teachers in the olden days?
Q3. Use any five of the following pairs of words in your own sentences so as to bring out the difference in meaning clearly: 15
a) Collision, Collusion, b) Verbal, Verbose, c) Facilitate, Felicitate, d) Conscious, Conscientious, e) Wave, Waive, f) Wreck, Wreak, g) Virtual, Virtuous, h) Flatter, Flutter, i) Deference, Difference, j) Humility, Humiliation
Q4. Make sentences to illustrate the meaning of any five of the following: 10
a) Account for, b) Carry weight, c) To fall back upon, d) To be taken aback, e) A wild goose chase, f) By leaps and bounds, g) As cool as a cucumber, h) To burn the midnight oil.
Q5. Given below are a number of key-words. Select any five and indicate the word or phrase you believe is nearest in meaning to the keyword: 10
i) Foible: a) Witty report b) Petty lie c) Personal weakness.
ii) Premise: a) Assumption b) Outline c) Commitment.
iii) Sacrosanct: a) Peaceful b) Sacred c) Mundane d) Painful.
iv) Calumny: a) Misfortune b) Praised) Quietness d) Slander.
v) Viable: a) Credible b) Questionable c) Workable d) Vital.
vi) Decorum: a) Style of decoration b) Innocence c) Social conformity d) Modestly.
vii) Touchstone: a) Goalpost b) worry bead c) Magic Jewel d) Standard or Criterion.
viii)Sheepish: a) Embarrassed b) Conforming c) Cowardly d) Unfortunate.
Q6. Expand the idea contained in any one of the following in about 150 words: 20
a) “If winter comes, can spring be far behind.”
b) “Slow and steady wins the race”
c) Eternal vigilance is the. Price of Liberty.
d) Man does not live by bread alone.
e) Full many a flowers is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.
f) “Foreign Aid” — Is it a blessing or a curse?