SBI PO Aptitude-English Practice Paper

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Directions (Qs. 1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given after the passage. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

India is rushing headlong towards economic success and modernization, counting on high-tech industries such as information technology and biotechnology to propel the nation to prosperity. India's recent announcement that it would no longer produce unlicensed inexpensive generic pharmaceuticals bowed to the realities of the World Trade Organisation while at the same time challenging the domestic drug industry to compete with the multinational firms. Unfortunately, its weak higher education sector constitutes the Achilles heel of this strategy. Its systematic disinvestment in higher education in recent years has yielded neither world-class research nor very many highly trained scholars, scientists nor managers to sustain high–tech development.

India?s main competitors especially China but also Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are investing in large and differentiated higher education system. They are providing access to large numbers of students at the bottom of the academic system while at the same time building some research – based universities that are able to compete with the world?s best institutions. The recent London Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of the world?s top 200 universities included three in China, three in Hong Kong, three in South Korea, one in Taiwan and one in India. These countries are positioning themselves in the knowledge based economies of the coming era.

There was a time when countries could achieve economic success with cheap labor and low – tech manufacturing. Low wages still help, but contemporary large – scale development requires a sophisticated and at least partly knowledge-based economy. India has chosen that path but will find a major stumbling block in its university system. India has a significant advantage in the 21st-century knowledge race. Its education sector is the third-largest in the world in student numbers after China and the United States. It uses English as the primary language of higher education and research. It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected. There are a small number of high-quality institutions, departments, and centers that can form the basis of quality in higher education. The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches.

Yet the weaknesses outweigh the strengths. India educates approximately 10 percent of its young people in higher education compared with more than half in the major industrialized countries and 15 percent in China. Almost all of the world's academic systems resemble a pyramid, with a small high-quality tier at the top and a massive sector at the bottom. India has a tiny top tier. None of its universities occupy a solid position at the top. A few of the best universities have some excellent departments and centers and there are a small number of outstanding undergraduate colleges. The University Grants Commission's recent major support of five universities to build on their recognized strength is a step forward, recognizing a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence. These universities, combined, enroll well under 1 percent of the student population.

  1. Which of the following is/are India's strength/s in terms of higher education?
  2. I. Its system of higher education allows variations.
    II. Medium of instruction for most higher learning in English.
    III. It has the paraphernalia, albeit small in number, to build a high-quality education sector.
    (1) Only II
    (2) Only I & II
    (3) Only III
    (4) Only II & III
    (5) All I, II & III
  3. What does the phrase? Achilles Heel? mean as used in this passage?
    (1) Weakness
    (2) Quickness
    (3) Low quality
    (4) Nimbleness
    (5) Advantage
  4. Which of the following are Asian countries, other than India, doing to head towards a knowledge-based economy?
    I. Building highly competitive research-based universities.
    II. Investing in a diverse higher education system
    III. Providing access to higher education to a select few students.
    (1) Only I
    (2) Only I & II
    (3) Only II & III
    (4) Only II
    (5) All I, II & III
  5. Which of the following is/are India's weakness/es when it comes to higher education?
    I. Indian universities do not have the requisite teaching faculty to cater to the needs of higher education.
    II. Only five Indian universities occupy the top position very strongly, in the academic pyramid when it comes to higher education.
    III. India has the least percentage of the young population taking to higher education as compared to the rest of the comparable countries.
    (1) Only I & II
    (2) Only II
    (3) Only III (4) Only I & III
    (5) All I, II & III
  6. What did India agree to do at the behest of the World Trade Organisation?
    (1) It would stop manufacturing all types of pharmaceuticals.
    (2) It would ask its domestic pharmaceutical companies to compete with the international ones. (3) It would buy only license drugs from the USA
    (4) It would not manufacture cheap common medicines without a license.
    (5) None of these

Directions (6 – 8) Choose the word/ group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

    (1) safeguarding
    (2) neglecting
    (3) sidelining
    (4) nurturing
    (5) ignoring
    (1) drive
    (2) jettison
    (3) burst
    (4) acclimatize
    (5) modify
    (1) argument
    (2) frustration
    (3) advantage
    (4) hurdle
    (5) fallout

Directions (9 – 10): Choose the word/ group of words which is most opposite in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

    (1) handy
    (2) manageable
    (3) breathtaking
    (4) awkward
    (5) difficult
    (1) against
    (2) similar to
    (3) mirror
    (4) differ from
    (5) unfavourable to

Directions (Qs. 11-15): Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical error or idiomatic error in it. The error if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The number of that part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is (5). (Ignore error of punctuation, if any).

  1. The bane of Indian hockey today is /(1) lack of interest by the part of the public /(2) which in turn is fuelled by the perception that /(3) it doesn?t pay to take up the sport as a career. /(4) No error /(5)
  2. Illegal sand mining has become /(1) a boom business fuelled /(2) by the ever – increasing demand /(3) of the construction industry. /(4) No error /(5)
  3. In view of the intense cold wave conditions /(1) prevailing in the state, the government declared /(2) holidays in all the schools /(3) for a period of ten days. /(4) No error (5)
  4. As market leaders, /(1) we have always been at /(2) the forefront of creating awareness /(3) between the public. /(4) No error (5)
  5. If the IPL has succeeded in drawing /(1) an audience across the country, it is because /(2) cricket has always had a strong foundation /(3) and a dedicated audience. /(4) No error /(5)

Directions (Qs. 16 -20) Rearrange the given five sentences (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E) in a proper sequence so as to form a meaningful paragraph and answer the given questions.
(A) Therefore, it is important to source a large part of economic growth in agriculture, in rural non -agricultural activities and in productive expansion of the informal sector have high employment elasticities, as well as in an export strategy based on labour intensive export.
(B) It is important because it creates more resources and has the potential of creating more space for the involvement of the poor.
(C) If the growth is sourced from those sectors of the economy or those activities that have a natural tendency to involve the poor in their expansion, such growth helps poverty eradication.
(D) Economic growth is important.
(E) But this involvement depends on the sources of growth and nature of the growth.

  1. Which of the following should be the FIRST sentence after rearrangement?
    (1) A
    (2) B
    (3) C
    (4) D
    (5) E
  2. Which of the following should be the SECOND sentence after rearrangement?
    (1) E
    (2) D
    (3) C
    (4) B
    (5) A
  3. Which of the following should be the THIRD sentence after rearrangement?
    (1) A
    (2) B
    (3) C
    (4) D
    (5) E
  4. Which of the following should be the FOURTH sentence after rearrangement?
    (1) E
    (2) D
    (3) C
    (4) B
    (5) A
  5. Which of the following should be the FIFTH sentence after rearrangement?
    (1) A
    (2) B
    (3) C
    (4) D
    (5) E

Directions (Qs. 21- 30): In the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage andagainst each, five words are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find the appropriate word in each case.

Around the world, forests are being (21) at a rate of about thirteen million hectares a year and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17% – 20% of all global emissions. In addition, forests and other terrestrial carbon sinks play a (22) role in preventing runaway climate change, soaking up a full 2.6 Gt of atmospheric carbon every year. The destruction of forests, therefore not only emits carbon – a staggering 1.6 Gt a year, which severely (23) forests capacity to absorb emissions from other sources – but also drastically (24) the amount of forest land available to act as a carbon sink in the future.However, the effects of deforestation extend beyond carbon. Rainforests (25) a wide variety of ecosystems services, from regulating rainfall to purifying groundwater and keeping fertile soil from (26); deforestation in one area can seriously damage food production and (27) to clean water in an entire region. The value of global ecosystem services has been estimated at 33 trillion USD each year (almost half of global GDP), but these services have been taken for granted without a mechanism to make the market reflect their value. Rainforests are also a home and (28) of income for a huge number of people in Africa, Asia and South America. (29) this, economic pressures frequently drive both local communities and national governments in the developing world to (30) these forests in ways that are unsuitable, completely stripping vast areas for fuel, timber, mining, or agricultural land.

21.(1) ended
(2) destroyed
(3) extinct
(4) killed
(5) wasted

22.(1) tough
(2) important
(3) vital
(4) biggest
(5) effective

23.(1) affect
(2) diminish
(3) increases
(4) alternates
(5) impairs

24.(1) plagues
(2) develops
(3) reduces
(4) shortens
(5) influences

25.(1) sell
(2) offers
(3) give
(4) provide
(5) earns

26.(1) transforming
(2) decoding
(3) erupting
(4) draining
(5) eroding

27.(1) handiness
(2) excess
(3) availability
(4) access
(5) supply

28.(1) beginning
(2) source
(3) ways
(4) reference
(5) measure

29.(1) Despite
(2) Also
(3) Inspite
(4) Apart
(5) Beside

30.(1) exploit
(2) encompass
(3) nurture
(4) work
(5) improve

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