FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1992 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q1. Write a Précis of the following passage and suggest a suitable title: 25
Throughout the ages of human development, men have been subject to miseries of two kinds: those imposed by external nature, and, those that human beings misguidedly inflicted upon each other. At first, by far the worst evils were those that were due to the environment. Man was a rare species, whose survival was precarious. Without the agility of the monkey, without any coating of fur, he has difficulty in escaping from wild beasts, and in most parts of the world could not endure the winter’s cold. He had only two biological advantages: the upright posture freed his hands, and intelligence enabled him to transmit experience.
Gradually these two advantages gave him supremacy. The numbers of the human species increased beyond those of any other large mammals. But nature could still assert her power by means of flood and famine an pestilence and by exacting from the great majority of mankind incessant toil in the securing of daily bread. In our own day our bondage to external nature is fast diminishing, as a result of the growth of scientific intelligence. Famines and pestilence still occur, but we know-better, year by year, what should be done to prevent them. Hard work is still necessary, but only because we are unwise: given peace and co-operation, we could subsist on a very moderate amount of toil. With existing technique, we can, whenever we choose to exercise wisdom, be free of many ancient- forms -of bondage to external nature.
But the evils that men inflict upon each other have not diminished in the same degree. There are still wars, oppressions, and hideous cruelties, and greedy men still snatch wealth from those who are less skilful or less ruthless than themselves. Love of power still leads to vast tyrannies, or to mere obstruction when its grosser forms are impossible. And fear-deep – scarcely conscious fear — is still the dominant motive in very many lives.
Q2. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end:
“Moral self-control, and external prohibition of harmful acts, are not adequate methods of dealing with our anarchic instincts. The reason they are inadequate is that these instincts are capable of many disguises as the Devil in medieval legend, and some of these disguises deceive even the elect. The only adequate method is to discover what are the needs of our instinctive nature, and then to search for the least harmful way of satisfying them. Since spontaneity is what is most thwarted by machines, the only thing that can be provided is opportunity, the use made of opportunity must be left to the initiative of the individual. No doubt, considerable expense would be involved but it would not be comparable to the expense of war. Understanding of human nature must be the basis of any real improvement in human life. Science has done wonders in mastering the laws of the physical world, but our own nature is much less understood, as yet, than the nature of stars and electrons. When science learns to understand human nature, it will be able to bring happiness into our lives which machines and the Physical Science have failed to create.”
a) Why are moral self-control, and external prohibition inadequate to deal with our anarchic instincts?
b) What is the adequate method of anarchic instincts?
c) What should be the basis of any real improvement in human life?
d) How can science help humanity to achieve happiness?
Q3. Use any five of the following pairs of words in your own sentences so as to bring out the difference in their meaning:
i) Assent, Ascent ii) Ballot, Ballet iii) Corps, Corpse iv) Due, Dew v) Diary, Dairy vi) Momentary, momentous vii) Route, Rout viii) Veil, Vale.
Q4. Frame sentences to illustrate the meaning of any five of the following:
i) Between the devil and the deep sea ii) A wild goose chase iii) Over head and ears, iv) Time and tide, v) To live from hand to mouth, vi) To beat about the bush, vii) To fish in troubled waters, viii) A bird’s eye-view.
Q5. Given below are a number of key words: Select any five and indicate the word, you believe is nearest in meaning to the key word:
i) Perturb: a) to upset b) to cause doubt c) to burden d) to test.
ii) Wry: a) twisted b) sad c) witty d) suffering.
iii) Ferret: a) to search b) to trap c) to hide d) to flee.
iv) Pallid: a) weak b) pale c) dull d) scared.
v) Intrepid: a) fearless b) cowardly c) dull d)fool hardy.
vi) Reprisal: a) surprise b) award c) revision d) retaliation.
vii) Viable: a) wavering b) divided C) capable of living d) fading.
viii) Resurgent: a) revolutionary b) fertile c) rising again d) fading
Q6. Expand the idea contained in any one of the following in about 200 words:
i) “Uneasy lies the head, that wears a crown”
ii) “If winter comes, can spring be far behind”
iii) “Mankind is an abstraction, man is a reality”
iv) “The Press and the Nation rise and fall together”
v) Environmental pollution — a global problem
vi) Population Explosion