Reading Comprehensions Exercise – 1


A. Film scholars have of course for some decades paid attention to difference as manifested especially in the oeuvres of valued auteurs, in genres broadly conceived (the musical, the film noir, the horror film), and in international cinema, which are customarily read as expressing, as well as establishing, cultural alternatives to the spoon feeding of Hollywood, challenging the Americentric perspective of global cinema history. Proper analysis of these films is needed so that we do not fall into the trap of lazy criticism that plagues so much of the Hollywood press.

Traditions, as we use the concept, are bodies of films whose commonalities (usually the result, at least in large part, of the particular conditions of their production) make them worthy of collective study. Most often, cinematic traditions are ‘national’ in the sense that they include traits that constitute a form of difference within a larger, more diffuse and varied body of films from the world over, and yet there are often indispensable transnational connections that foreclose any understanding of the tradition solely within the terms of its ‘native’ culture. Thus the tradition of the British new wave, as its name suggests, is profitably understood as similar in some important respects to French New Wave filmmaking and to the more general phenomenon of ‘new waves’ and ‘new cinemas’ that emerged as such a prominent feature of post-1950s cinema in Europe, Latin America and even Hollywood (albeit dumbed down) itself in the early post-studio era.

Sometimes film traditions are international as well as national developments, inviting, as in the case of Japanese horror film, the tracing of formal and thematic affinities to both a transnational body of conventions and also to particular developments within a national cinema. As opposed to these broad conceptions of traditions, there is the narrower perspective of analysing films on the basis of the filmography of the auteur behind the film. This gives us a more specific understanding of the films even if the larger implications go missing. These things are generally missing from typical Hollywood discourse on films. These two are broadly the two methods of film analysis.

1. The word ‘auteur’ in the passage most nearly means

2. The passage brings up the issue of British new wave in order to

3.  The word ‘foreclose’ in the passage most nearly means

4.  The passage suggests that :

5. The passage’s attitude towards Hollywood and its films is one of:

6. What, according to the passage, is the need to analyse films from different viewpoints?

7.  What does ‘spoon feeding’ imply in the context of the passage?

8. What does ‘tradition’ mean in the context of this passage

B.    In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome was the most fair part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by and depended on the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.

The principal conquests of the Romans were achieved under the republic; and the emperors, for the most part, were satisfied with preserving those dominions which had been acquired by the policy of the senate, the active emulations of the consuls, and the martial enthusiasm of the people. The seven first centuries were filled with a rapid succession of triumphs; but it was reserved for Augustus to relinquish the ambitious design of subduing the whole earth, and to introduce a spirit of moderation into the public councils. Inclined to peace by his temper and situation, it was easy for him to discover that Rome, in her present exalted situation, had much less to hope than to fear from the chance of arms; and that, in the prosecution of remote wars, the undertaking became every day more difficult, the event more doubtful, and the possession more precarious, and less beneficial. The experience of Augustus added weight to these salutary reflections, and effectually convinced him that, by the prudent vigour of his counsels, it would be easy to secure every concession which the safety or the dignity of Rome might require from the most formidable barbarians. Instead of exposing his person and his legions to the arrows of the Parthians, he obtained, by an honourable treaty, the restitution of the standards and prisoners which had been taken in the defeat of Crassus. On the death of that emperor, his testament was publicly read in the senate. He bequeathed, as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the empire within those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries: on the west, the Atlantic Ocean; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.

9. The word ‘fair’ in the passage most nearly means

10.  ‘The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown….’ What does this mean?

11.  The attitude of the author of the passage to the events described therein is one of

12. The authors contention that there was ‘a happy period of more than fourscore years’ would be most weakened if it was found that :

13. The passage suggest that in the context of empires

14. The word ‘cemented’ in the passage most nearly means

15. Why was the policy of expansionism stopped?

16. Why did Augustus not expose his legions to ‘the arrows of the Parthians’

17.  What does the phrase ‘martial enthusiasm’ imply in context of the passage

C.     One form of the modern challenge to myth has been to the scientific credibility of myth. Did creation really occur in a mere six days, as the first of two creation stories in Genesis (1:1–2:4a) claims? Was there really a worldwide flood? Is the earth truly but six or seven thousand years old? Could the ten plagues on the Egyptians actually have happened? The most unrepentant defence against this challenge has been to claim that the biblical account is correct, for, after all, the Pentateuch was revealed to Moses by God. This position, known as ‘creationism’, assumes varying forms, ranging, for example, from taking the days of creation to mean exactly six days to taking them to mean ‘ages’. Creationism arose in reaction to Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859), which contends that species gradually emerged out of one another rather than being created separately and virtually simultaneously. Surprisingly, creationism has become ever more, not ever less, uncompromisingly literalist in its rendition of the biblical account of creation.

At the same time creationists of all stripes vaunt their views as scientific as well as religious, not as religious rather than scientific. ‘Creationism’ is shorthand for ‘creation science’, which appropriates scientific evidence of any kind both to bolster its own claims and to refute those of secular rivals like evolution. Doubtless ‘creation scientists’ would object to the term ‘myth’ to characterize the view they defend, but only because the term has come to connote false belief. If the term is used neutrally for a staunchly held conviction, creationism is a myth that claims to be scientific. For creation scientists, it is evolution that is untenable scientifically. In any clash between the Bible and modern science, modern science must give way to biblical science, not vice versa.

A much tamer defence against the challenge of modern science has been to reconcile myth with that science. Here elements at odds with modern science are either removed or, more cleverly, reinterpreted as in fact modern and scientific. Myth is credible scientifically because it is science – modern science. There might not have been a Noah able singlehandedly to gather up all living species and to keep them alive in a wooden boat sturdy enough to withstand the strongest seas that ever arose, but a worldwide flood did occur. What thus remains in myth is true because scientific. This approach is the opposite of that called ‘demythologizing’, which separates myth from science.

18.  The word ‘stripes’ in the passage most nearly means

19. What word below best sums up the reaction of the creationists in the face of scientific evidence

20. What is the characteristic feature of the ‘tamer defence against modern science’

21. What is the specific sense in which the author uses the term ‘myth’ in the passage?

22. The word ‘unrepentant’ in the passage most nearly means

23.  The various examples from the Bible quoted in the passage are cited in order to

24. The passage suggests that

25.  What does ‘tamer’ imply in the context of the passage


  1. Really, loving to see “You have completed the exercise and your score is 23 out of 25”.
    Do post such reading comprehension questions and please gradually increase the difficulty level too.
    Thanks again @Asad for changing the Question-Answer pattern. 🙂 Long live CLATgyan.

      • Seriously, you don’t have to. Well, 23 one was on my second attempt. I haven’t commented to show off my score to anyone in anyway. I told Asad to change the question-answer pattern, so he did, then I thanked him for that. Nothing else. And  yeah, you shouldn’t bother for others score. So, Chillax and repeat, “Long live CLATGyan.” 😛

        [No Offense]

  2. hey friends plz help me,,,,actually am a hindi midium student so its very difficult to understand for me,,,specially this RC section,,,,and also d other section,,,,thanx
    all d best to all CLATians

    • hey i understand ur prob. jst start working hard.start reading eng. newspapr nd some novels ,find difficult words in dictionary etc

  3. Hi, are the CLAT questions actually this hard ? As in are the levels actually this high ?
    Please post some more comprehensions ! This is actually very helpful ! 🙂

  4. Can you please highlight the words whose meaning are being asked for? I lost time there. Other than that the passages were amazing. Thanks. 🙂

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