FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1994 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q1. Make a Précis of the following passage in about 125 words and suggest a suitable title: 25 marks.
“Education does not develop autonomously: it tends to be a mirror of society and is seldom at the cutting edge of social change. It is retrospective, even conservative, since it teaches the young what others have experienced and discovered-about the world. The future of education will be shaped not by educators, but by changes in demography, technology and the family. Its ends – to prepare students to live and work in their society – are likely to remain stable, but its means are likely to change dramatically”.
“Schools, colleges and universities will be redefined in fundamental ways: who is educated, how they are educated, where they are educated – all are due for upheaval. But their primary responsibility will be much the same as it is now: to teach knowledge of languages, science, history, government, economics, geography, mathematics and the arts, as well as the skills necessary to understand today’s problems and to use its technologies. In the decades ahead, there will be a solid consensus that, as Horace Mann, an American educator, wrote in 1846, “Intelligence is a primary ingredient in the wealth of nations”. In recognition of the power of this idea, education will be directed purposefully to develop intelligence as a vital national resource”.
“Even as nations recognize the value of education in creating human capital, the institutions that provide education will come under increasing strain. State systems of education may not survive demographic and technological change. Political upheavals in unstable regions and the case of international travel will ensure a steady flow of immigrants, legal and illegal, from poor nations to rich ones. As tides of immigration sweep across the rich world, the receiving nations have a choice: they can assimilate the newcomers to the home culture, or they can expect a proliferation of cultures within their borders. Early this century, state systems assimilated newcomers and taught them how to fit in. Today social science frowns on assimilation, seeing it as a form of cultural coercion, so state systems of education are likely to eschew cultural imposition. In effect, the state schools may encourage trends that raise doubts about the purpose or necessity of a state system of education”. (Diane Ravieh).
Q2. Read the following passage and answer the question given at the end in your own words. 20 marks.
“Piecing together the story of human evolution is no easy task. The anthropologist Richard Leakey has identified four key steps in our evolution from the earliest hominid to modern humans. First, the occurrence of binedilism between 10 and 4 million years ago. Then the evolution of Homo, with its large brain and capacity to make stone tools — the earliest examples of which are 2.5 million years old. Next, the evolution of Hemo erects almost 2 million years ago, followed by its migration out of Africa into Eurasia. And finally the appearance of modern human less than 150000 years ago”.
“Through the 10 million years of human evolution, the Earth’s climate has changed considerably. During the period that Michael Sarrnthies of Kie has called the “Golden era” — up to 3 million years ago — the world was much warmer than it is now. Then conditions started to deteriorate, and there was a gradual build-up of ice at the poles. Around 2.6 million years ago the climate became cyclical: ice ages characterized by huge ice sheets covering much of North America and northern Europe were followed by interglacial, when conditions were comparable to those we see today. Elizabeth Vrba of Yale University, one of the most vigorous proponents of the idea of punctuated equilibrium, has shown that this change in the world’s climate 2.6 million years ago had sudden and dramatic effects in Africa. A predominantly warm and moist climate was transformed into one which was colder and more arid”. (Mark Maslim)
a. Give dictionary meanings of the underlined words.
b. How did the climate become cyclical?
c. Define the term “Golden era”.
d. Describe the various stages in the development of the human species.
Q3. Expand the idea embodied in One of the following in about 200 words. 20
a. The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.
b. Art is long and time is fleeting.
c. The better part of valour is discretion.
d. Conscience is God’s presence in man. –
e. Capital is only the fruit of labour, and could never have existed if labour had not first existed.
Q4. Complete any five of the following sentences supplying the missing word in each: 10
a. From this happy —— he is awakened by his child asking him to read —— an incredibly long and boring story about wolves.
b. The this is that, when we do travel, we never seem to these people.
c. The ——- objects were not changes, but the —— things had altered beyond recognition.
d. More than ten days —— before I again had any —— with Mrs. Reed.
e. His —— has fallen off, revealing a —— of dirt on his bald head.
f. No, we must accept the —— with what grace we can and leave the weather to its own
g. Take all you need but leave your—— behind is sound- – for the holidaymaker.
h. Modern advertisements often —— the human race in a ———- light.
Q5. Use any Five of the following pairs of words your own sentences to bring out the difference in their meaning:- 10
i. All, Awl; (ii) Boy, Buoy; (iii) Fallow, Fellow: (iv) Jewry, Jury; (v) Functional, Disfunctional; (vi) Yew, Eue; (vii) Allusive, Elusive; (viii) Ladylike, Ladyship.
Q6. Frame sentences to illustrate the meaning of any five of the following: 15
i) Between Scylla and Charybidis; (ii) Hobson’s choice; (iii) Sting in the tail; (iv) With open arms; (v) Wash one’s hand of (To): (vi) Count one’s chickens (To); (vii) Burn midnight oil (To).