FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 2006 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q.1. Make a précis of the given passage and suggest a suitable heading: (20 + 5)
It was not so in Greece, where philosophers professed less, and undertook more. Parmenides pondered nebulously over the mystery of knowledge; but the pre-Socratics kept their eyes with fair consistency upon the firm earth, and sought to ferret out its secrets by observation and experience, rather than to create it by exuding dialectic; there were not many introverts among the Greeks. Picture Democritus, the Laughing Philosopher; would he not be perilous company for the dessicated scholastics who have made the disputes about the reality of the external world take the place of medieval discourses on the number of angles that could sit on the point of a pin? Picture Thales, who met the challenge that philosophers were numskulls by “cornering the market” and making a fortune in a year. Picture Anaxagoras, who did the work of Darwin for the Greeks and turned Pericles form a wire-pulling politician into a thinker and a statesman, Picture old Socrates, unafraid of the sun or the stars, gaily corrupting young men and overturning governments; what would he have done to these bespectacled seedless philosophasters who now litter the court of the once great Queen? To Plato, as to these virile predecessors, epistemology was but the vestibule of philosophy, akin to the preliminaries of love; it was pleasant enough for a while, but it was far from the creative consummation that drew wisdom’s lover on. Here and there in the shorter dialogues, the Master dallied amorously with the problems of perception, thought, and knowledge; but in his more spacious moments he spread his vision over larger fields, built himself ideal states and brooded over the nature and destiny of man. And finally in Aristotle philosophy was honoured in all her boundless scope and majesty; all her mansions were explored and made beautiful with order; here every problem found a place and every science brought its toll to wisdom. These men knew that the function of philosophy was not to bury herself in the obscure retreats of epistemology, but to come forth bravely into every realm of inquiry, and gather up all knowledge for the coordination and illumination of human character and human life.
Q No. 2 Read the passage and answer the questions that follow: (20 Marks)
“Elegant economy!” How naturally one fold back into the phraseology of Cranford! There economy was always “elegant”, and money-spending always “Vulgar and Ostentation” a sort of sour grapeism which made up very peaceful and satisfied I shall never forget the dismay felt when certain Captain Brown came to live at Cranford, and openly spoke of his being poor — not in a whisper to an intimate friend, the doors and windows being previously closed, but in the public street! in a loud military voice! alleging his poverty as a reason for not taking a particular house. The ladies of Cranford were already moving over the invasion of their territories by a man and a gentleman. He was a half-pay captain, and had obtained some situation on a neighbouring railroad, which had been vehemently petitioned against by the little town; and if in addition to his masculine gender, and his connection with the obnoxious railroad, he was so brazen as to talk of his being poor — why, then indeed, he must be sent to Coventry. Death was as true and as common as poverty, yet people never spoke about that loud on the streets. It was a word not to be mentioned to ears polite. We had tacitly agreed to ignore that any with whom we associated on terms of visiting equality could ever be prevented by poverty from doing anything they wished. If we walked to or from a party, it was because the weather was so fine, or the air so refreshing, not because sedan chairs were expensive. If we wore prints instead of summer silks, it was because we preferred a washing material; and so on, till we blinded ourselves to the vulgar fact that we were, all of us, people of very moderate means.
(a) Give in thirty of your own words what we learn from this passage of Captain Brown. ( 4 marks )
(b) Why did the ladies of Cranford dislike the Captain. ( 2 marks )
(c ) What reasons were given by the ladies of Cranford for “not doing anything that they wished”? ( 2 marks )
(d) “Ears Polite”. How do you justify this construction? ( 2 marks )
(e) What is the meaning and implication of the phrases? ( 2 marks each )
(1) Sour-grapeism (2) The invasion of their territories (3) Sent to Coventry (4) Tacitly agreed (5) Elegant economy
Q No. 3 Write a comprehensive note (250-300 words) on any ONE of the following: ( 20 marks )
(a) Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise.
(b) A pen becomes a clarion.
(c ) Charms strike the sight but merit wins the soul
(d) What fools these mortals be!
(e) Stolen glances, sweeter for the theft.
Q No. 4 (A) Chose the word that is nearly similar in meaning to the word in capital letters. (1 mark each)
(1) FINICKY: (a) unstable (b) troubled (c ) fussy (d) unpleasant
(2) SAMIZDAT: (a) underground press (b) secret police (c ) twirling jig (d) large metal tea urn
(3) VELD: (a) arctic wasteland (b) European plains (c ) South African grassland (d) Deep valley
(4) CAJUN: (a) French-Canadian descendant (b) American Indian (c ) Native of the Everglades (d) Early inhabitant of the Bahama Islands
(5) LOGGIA: (a) pathway (b) Marsh (c ) gallery (d) carriage
Q No. 4 (B) Pick the most nearly opposite in meaning to the capitalized word: (1 mark each)
(1) CAPTIOUS: (a) Tolerant (b) capable (c ) Winning (d) Recollected
(2) PENCHANT: (a) Dislike (b) Attitude (c ) Imminence (d) Distance
(3) PUTATIVE: (a) Powerful (b) Colonial (c ) Undisputed (d) Unremarkable
(4) FACSIMILE: (a) imitation (b) model (c ) mutation (d) pattern
(5) LARCENY: (a) appropriation (b) peculation (c ) purloining (d) indemnification
Q No. 5 (A) Change the narration from direct to indirect and from indirect to direct speech (only five)
(1) He said, “let it rain ever so hard I shall go out”.
(2) The mother said to the young girl, “Do you know where salim is”?
(3) The officer said, “Hand it all! Can you not do it more neatly”.
(4) Invoking our help with a loud voice she asked us whether we would come to her aid.
(5) He exclaimed with an oath that no one could have expected such a turn of events.
(6) The teacher said to his students, “Why did you come so late”?
(7) They applauded him saying that he had done well.
(8) “You say,” said the judge, “the bag you lost contained one hundred and ten pounds”?
Q No. 5 (B) Correct ONLY FIVE of the following:
(1) Playing a game regularly is better than to read books always.
(2) A good reader must be hardworking and possess intelligence.
(3) I noticed Akbar was carrying a bag in his hand.
(4) Having entered his house, the door was shut at one.
(5) He thinks that his writing is better than his friend.
(6) He is such a man who is liked by everyone.
(7) I sent a verbal message to my friend.
(8) He has visited as many historical places as one has or can visit.
Q No. 6 (A) Use ONLY FIVE of the following in sentences to bring out their meaning:
(1) Twiddle with (2) Vamp up (3) Whittle away (4) Winkle out (5) Give someone the bum’s rush (6) Loom large (7) Besetting sin (8) To hang fire
Q No. 6 (B) Use ONLY FIVE pair of words in sentences:
(1) Veracity, Voracity (2) Persecute, Prosecute (3) Moat, Mote (4) Loath, Loathe (5) Ingenious, Ingenuous (6) Fair, Feign (7) Emigrant, Immigrant (8) Wreak, Wreck