Short Reading Comprehension Passages Questions and Answers

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.

The Emperor's brother-in-law was also his Prime Minister and his avourite courtier. He was not liked by the other courtiers as a result. Jealous of the Emperor's brother-inlaw the courtiers once said, “Your Majesty, why don't you appoint one of us as Prime Minister ? Subject us to a test to see who is truly the right person to be Prime Minister.” At the time the Prime Minister was out hunting with another courtier. In pursuit of their prey they mistakenly rode into the neighbouring kingdom. As they were strangers and had weapons they were arrested as spies by the soldiers there and were certain to be sentenced to death by the ruler, King Amir.

The courtier was petrified and bowed his head in prayer. The Prime Minister pretending to be praying whispered something in his ear. The two of them then began arguing. “I should be the one to die first !” each of them said. Those present were astonished to hear their argument. The soldiers brought the two before King Amir. He was astonished to hear of their strange behaviour. “Tell me why you are so eager to die ?” Pretending to be reluctant to reveal the reason the Prime Minister bowed respectfully and said, “Sir, our Emperor has a secret wish of annexing your kingdom. If you kill us the Emperor can attack your kingdom on the pretext of avenging our deaths. The Emperor has also promised us a great reward for our sacrifice. We felt that in case you changed your mind and set one of us free to return home he would not get the reward.” King Amir was worried when he heard this. Concerned that the lives of his subjects would be lost in war, King Amir refused to kill either of the two and sent them home. When they heard about the incident the Emperor's courtiers bowed their heads. They were ashamed. They realised the Emperor had made a wise choice in selecting his Prime Minister.

1. Why were the courtiers not on good terms with the Emperor's brother-in-law ?
(A) The Emperor used to only heed his brother-in-law's advice
(B) He was cleverer than they were and he would remind them of it
(C) He was empowered to take decisions on behalf of the Emperor
(D) He had more power and prestige and earned more than they did
(E) None of these

2. Why did the Emperor's two courtiers enter the neighbouring kingdom ?
(A) The Emperor had asked them to deliver a message to its king
(B) They wanted to spy on the neighbouring kingdom
(C) They had accidentally wandered into neighbouring territory
(D) The other courtiers had set a trap for them
(E) Their curiosity about the kingdom led them to enter it

3. Why was the Emperor's brotherin-law not afraid when faced with death ?
1. He felt that if he told King Amir the truth his life would be spared.
2. He was confident that he would be rescued.
3. He had prayed fervently asking God to save them.
(A) None
(B) Only 1
(C) Only 2
(D) Both 2 and 3
(E) Only 3

4. Which of the following can be said about the Emperor ?
(A) He reserved important posts for his family members
(B) He had chosen a worthy Prime Minister
(C) He was ruthless and wanted to conquer the neighbouring kingdom
(D) He treated all his courtiers shabbily except his brother-inlaw
(E) He deliberately endangered the lives of his courtiers in order to test them

5. Why did the two courtiers begin to argue with each other ?
(A) They wanted to distract the soldiers so they could escape
(B) It was a delaying tactics till they were rescued
(C) They blamed each other for the predicament they were in
(D) The Prime Minister wanted to stop the other courtier from divulging the Emperor's plan to the enemy
(E) None of these

6. What surprised King Amir about the courtiers' behaviour ?
1. They were very respectful to him although he had condemned them to death.
2. Each was volunteering to be killed first.
3. They had managed to convince the soldiers to set them free.
(A) Only 1
(B) Both 1 and 2
(C) Only 3
(D) Only 2
(E) None of these

7. Why did King Amir set the two courtiers free ?
(A) He believed their story that the Emperor was planning to attack
(B) He had great respect for their courage
(C) He had ascertained they were not spies so he set them free
(D) He was impressed by the wisdom of the Emperor's courtiers
(E) None of these

8. Which of the following does not describe the Emperor's reaction to the courtiers' request to appoint one of them as Prime Minister ?
1. He thought about asking his brother-in-law to resign.
2. He tested his brother-in-law to prove he was best suited for the post of Prime Minister.
3. He disregarded it completely and punished the courtiers.
(A) Only 1
(B) Only 3
(C) Both 1 and 3
(D) All 1, 2 and 3
(E) None of these

9. Which of the following is NOT true in the context of the passage ?
(A) King Amir was concerned about the welfare of his people
(B) The Emperor's brother-inlaw had enemies at court
(C) King Amir set the Emperor's brother-in-law free on account of his bravery
(D) The Emperor's brother-inlaw was deserving of the post of Prime Minister
(E) The Prime Minister was a quick thinker

10. What was the courtiers’ reaction when they heard about the Prime Minister's safe return ?
(A) They were disappointed because their plan had failed
(B) They were ashamed of their plot to kill him
(C) They were upset to hear about his bad experience
(D) They bowed in respect and praised his wisdom
(E) None of these

Questions No. 11 to 13 : Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
11. subject
(A) topic (B) undergo (C) expose (D) citizen (E) accountable

12. pretext
(A) excuse (B) guess (C) crime (D) example (E) fraud

13. petrified
(A) panic (B) scared (C) feared (D) alarming (E) terror

Questions No. 14 to 15 :  Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

14. right
(A) immoral (B) unsuitable (C) inaccurate (D) inconvenient (E) error

15. reveal
(A) secret (B) darken (C) disclose (D) hide (E) invisible

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