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ENGLISH COMPREHENSION - sept. 24, 2011


Directions for Qns. 1 to 20:

Read each of the following passages and answer the items that follow. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.

PASSAGE -1


All of the cells in a particular plant start out with the same complement of genes. How then can these cells differentiate and form structures as different as roots, stems, leaves, and fruits? The answer is that only a small subset of the genes in a particular kind of cell are
expressed, or turned on, at a given time. This is accomplished by a complex system of chemical messengers that in plants include hormones and other regulatory molecules. Five major hormones have been identified: auxin, abscisic acid, cytokinin, ethylene, and gibberellin.

Studies of plants have now identified a new class of regulatory molecules called oligosaccharins. Unlike the oligosaccharins, the five well-known plant hormones are pleiotropic rather than specific, that is, each has more than one effect on the growth and development of plants. The five has so many simultaneous effects that they are not very useful in artificially controlling the growth of crops. Auxin, for instance, stimulates the rate of cell elongation, causes shoots to grow up and roots to grow down, and inhibits the growth of lateral shoots. Auxin also causes the plant to develop a vascular system, to form lateral roots, and to produce ethylene.

The pleiotropy of the five well-studied plant hormones is somewhat analogous to that of certain hormones in animal. For example, hormones from the hypothalamus in the brain stimulate the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland to synthesize and release many different hormones, one of which stimulates the release of hormones from the adrenal cortex. These hormones have specific effects on target organs all over the body. One hormone stimulates the thyroid gland, for example, another the ovarian follicle cells, and so forth.

In other words, there is a hierarchy of hormones. Such a hierarchy may also exist in plants. Oligosaccharins are fragments of the cell wall released by enzymes: different enzymes release different oligosaccharins. There are indications that pleiotropic plant hormones may actually function by activating the enzymes that release these other, more specific chemical
messengers from the cell wall.


1. According to the passage, the five well-known plant hormones are not useful in controlling the growth of crops because
(A) it is not known exactly what functions the hormones perform
(B) each hormone has various effects on plants
(C) none of the hormones can function without the others
(D) each hormone has different effects on different kinds of plants

2. The passage suggests that the place of hypothalamic hormones in the hormonal hierarchies of animals is similar to the
place of which of the following in plants?
(A) Plant cell walls
(B) The complement of genes in each plant cell
(C) A subset of a plant cell’s gene complement
(D) The five major hormones

3. The passage suggests that which of the following is a function likely to be performed by an oligosaccharin?
(A) To stimulate a particular plant cell to become part of a plant’s root system
(B) To stimulate the walls of a particular cell to produce other oligosaccharins
(C) To activate enzymes that release specific chemical messengers from plant cell walls
(D) To duplicate the gene complement in a particular plant cell

4. The author mentions specific effects that auxin has on plant development in order to illustrate the
(A) point that some of the effects of plant hormones can be harmful
(B) way in which hormones are produced by plants
(C) hierarchical nature of the functioning of plant hormones
  1. concept of pleiotropy as it is exhibited by plant hormones

5. According to the passage, which of the following best describes a function performed by oligosaccharins?
(A) Regulating the daily functioning of a plant’s cells
(B) Interacting with one another to produce different chemicals
(C) Releasing specific chemical messengers from a plant’s cell walls
  1. Influencing the development of a plant’s cells by controlling the expression of the cells’ genes

6. The passage suggests that, unlike the pleiotropic hormones, oligosaccharins could be used effectively to
(A) trace the passage of chemicals through the walls of cells
(B) pinpoint functions of other plant hormones
(C) artificially control specific aspects of the development of crops
(D) alter the complement of genes in the cells of plants

PASSAGE -2

Producers of the Beta format for videocassette recorders (VCR’s), for example, were first to develop the VCR commercially in 1975, but producers of the rival VHS (Video Home System) format proved to be more successful at forming strategic alliances with other producers and
distributors to manufacture and market their VCR format Seeking to maintain exclusive control over VCR distribution. Beta producers were reluctant to form such alliances and eventually lost ground to VHS in the competition for the global VCR market.

Despite Beta’s substantial technological head start and the fact that VHS was neither technically better nor cheaper than Beta, developers of VHS quickly turned a slight early
lead in sales into a dominant position. Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage. The perception among consumers that prerecorded
tapes were more available in VHS format further expanded VHS’s share of the market. By the end of the 1980’s. Beta was no longer in production.


7. The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?
(A) Evaluating two competing technologies
(B) Tracing the impact of a new technology by narrating a sequence of events
(C) Reinterpreting an event from contemporary business history
  1. illustrating a business strategy by means of a case history

8. According to the passage, today’s successful firms, unlike successful firms in the past, may earn the greatest profits by
(A) investing in research to produce cheaper versions of existing technology
(B) being the first to market a competing technology
(C) adapting rapidly to a technological standard previously set by a competing firm
.(D) emphasizing the development of methods for the mass production and distribution of a new technology.
9. According to the passage, consumers began to develop a preference for VCR’s in the VHS format because they believed which of the following?
(A) VCR’s in the VHS format were technically better than competing-format VCR’s.
(B) VCR’s in the VHS format were less expensive than competing-format VCR’s.
(C) VHS was the first standard format for VCR’s.
(D) VHS prerecorded videotapes were more available than Beta-format tapes.


PASSAGE -3

Australian researchers have discovered electroreceptors (sensory organs designed to respond to electrical fields) clustered at the tip of the spiny anteater’s snout. The
researchers made this discovery by exposing small areas of the snout to extremely weak electrical fields and recording the transmission of resulting nervous activity to the brain.
While it is true that tactile receptors, another kind of sensory organ on the anteater’s snout, can also respond to electrical stimuli, such receptors do so only in response to electrical field strengths about 1,000 times greater than those known to excite electroreceptors.

Having discovered the electroreceptors, researchers are now investigating how anteaters utilize such a sophisticated sensory system. In one behavioral experiment, researchers
successfully trained an anteater to distinguish between two troughs of water, one with a weak electrical field and the other with none. Such evidence is consistent with researchers’ hypothesis that anteaters use electroreceptors to detect electrical signals given off by prey; however, researchers as yet have been unable to detect electrical signals emanating from termite mounds, where the favorite food of anteaters live. Still, researchers have observed
anteaters breaking into a nest of ants at an oblique angle and quickly locating nesting chambers. This ability quickly to locate unseen prey suggests, according to the researchers, that the anteaters were using their electroreceptors to locate the nesting chambers.

10. According to the passage, which of the following is a characteristic that distinguishes electroreceptors from tactile receptors?
(A) The manner in which electroreceptors respond to electrical stimuli
(B) The tendency of electroreceptors to be found in clusters
(C) The unusual locations in which electroreceptors are found in most species.
(D) The amount of electrical stimulation required to excite electroreceptors

11. Which of the following can be inferred about the experiment described in the first paragraph?
(A) Researchers had difficulty verifying the existence of electroreceptors in the anteater because electroreceptors respond to such a narrow range of electrical field strengths.
(B) Researchers found that the level of nervous activity in the anteater’s brain increased dramatically as the strength of the electrical stimulus was increased.
(C) Researchers found that some areas of the anteater’s snout were not sensitive to a weak electrical stimulus.
(D) Researchers found that the anteater’s tactile receptors were more easily excited by a strong electrical stimulus than were the electroreceptors..
12. The author of the passage most probably discusses the
function of tactile receptors in order to
(A) eliminate and alternative explanation of anteaters’ response to electrical stimuli
(B) highlight a type of sensory organ that has a function identical to that of electroreceptors
(C) point out a serious complication in the research on electroreceptors in anteaters.
(D) suggest that tactile receptors assist electroreceptors in the detection of electrical signals.
13. Which of the following can be inferred about anteaters from the behavioral experiment mentioned in the second paragraph?
(A) They are unable to distinguish between stimuli detected by their electroreceptors and stimuli detected by their tactile receptors.
(B) They are unable to distinguish between the electrical signals emanating from termite mounds and those emanating from ant nests.
(C) They can be trained to recognize consistently the presence of a particular stimulus.
(D) They react more readily to strong than to weak stimuli.







PASSAGE -4

In an attempt to improve the overall performance of clerical workers, many companies have introduced computerized performance monitoring and control systems (CPMCS) that record and report a worker's computer driven activities. However, at least one study has shown
that such monitoring may not be having the desired effect.
In the study, researchers asked monitored clerical workers and their supervisors how assessments of productivity affected supervisors' ratings of workers' performance. In contrast to unmonitored workers doing the same work, who without exception identified the most important element in their jobs as customer service, the monitored workers and their supervisors all responded that productivity was the critical factor in assigning ratings. This finding suggested that there should have been a strong correlation between a
monitored worker's productivity and the overall rating the worker received. However, measures of the relationship between overall rating and individual elements of performance clearly supported the conclusion that supervisors gave considerable weight to criteria such as attendance. accuracy, and indications of customer satisfaction.
It is possible that productivity may be a "hygiene factor." that is, if it is too low, it will hurt the overall rating. But the evidence suggests that beyond the point at which productivity becomes "good enough." higher productivity per se is unlikely to improve a rating.

14. According to the passage, before the final results of the study were known, which of the following seemed likely?

A That workers with the highest productivity would also be the most accurate
B That workers who initially achieved high productivity ratings would continue to do so consistently
C That the highest performance ratings would be achieved by workers with the highest productivity
D That the most productive workers would be those whose supervisors claimed to value productivity

15. It can be inferred that the author of the passage discusses "unmonitored workers" primarily in order to

A compare the ratings of these workers with the ratings of monitored workers
B provide an example of a case in which monitoring might be effective
C provide evidence of an inappropriate use of CPMCS
D emphasize the effect that CPMCS may have on workers' perceptions of their jobs

16. Which of the following, if true, would most clearly have supported the conclusion referred to in the middle of the passage?

A Ratings of productivity correlated highly with ratings of both accuracy and attendance.
B Electronic monitoring greatly increased productivity.
C Most supervisors based overall ratings of performance on measures of productivity alone.
D Overall ratings of performance correlated more highly with measures of productivity than the researchers expected.


17. According to the passage, a "hygiene factor" is an aspect of a worker's performance that

A has no effect on the rating of a worker's performance
B is so basic to performance that it is assumed to be adequate for all workers
C is given less importance than it deserves in rating a worker's performance
D if not likely to affect a worker's rating unless it is judged to be inadequate
PASSAGE 5


The achievement of science in the twentieth century has been very great. Its influence can be felt in every sphere of life. From the small pins and needles to the huge iron sheets and joints, most of the things we require for our everyday use, come out of factories where scientific principles are utilized for practical ends. Science has enabled man to bring forces of nature under control and to use them for his own advantage. It has brought the distant parts of the world close together. Our knowledge of the universe has been much widened on account of the untiring effects of the astronomers like Jeans and Eddington. Remarkable cures of human disease have been possible owing to the discovery of some wonderful medicines.

18. The main idea of the passage is;
  1. The impact of science can be felt in every sphere of life.
  2. Science is an anathema
  3. Nothing is beyond the purview of science.
  4. Science can work miracles.

19. The mode of approach is :
a) logical b) anatomical c) descriptive d) expository

20. What has enabled man to harness the forces of nature to the advantage of mankind?
a) arts b) oratory c) bravery d) science.

ANSWERS
1B 2.D 3.A 4.D 5.D 6.C 7.D 8.D 9.D 10.D


11.C 12.A 13.C 14.C 15.D 16.D 17.D 18.A 19.C 20. D



ENGLISH COMPREHENSION - sept. 24, 2011 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 9:50:00 PM Rating: 5

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