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Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension: English Reading Comprehension Exercises with Answers, Sample Passages for Reading Comprehension Test for GRE, CAT, IELTS preparation

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English Reading Comprehension Test Questions and Answers. Improve your ability to read and comprehend English Passages

Q246. > How quickly things change in the technology business! A decade ago, > IBM was the awesome and undisputed king of the computer trade, > universally feared and respected. A decade ago, two little companies > called Intel and Microsoft were mere blips on the radar screen of the > industry, upstart startups that had signed on to make the chips and > software for IBM’s new line of personal computers. Though their > products soon became industry standards, the two companies remained > protected children of the market leader. What has happened since is a > startling reversal of fortune? IBM is being ravaged by the worst > crisis in the company’s 79-year history. It is undergoing its fifth > restructuring in the past seven years as well as seemingly endless > rounds of job cuts and firings that have eliminated 100,000 jobs since > 1985. Last week, IBM announced to its shell-shocked investors that it lost $4.97 billion last year-the biggest loss in American corporate > history. And just when IBM is losing ground in one market after > another, Intel and Microsoft have emerged as the computer industry’s > most fearsome pair of competitors. The numbers on Wall Street tell a > stunning story. Ten years ago, the market value of the stock of Intel > and Microsoft combined amounted to about a tenth of IBM’s. Last week, > with IBM’s stock at an 11 year low, Microsoft’s value surpassed its > old mentor’s for the first time even ($26.76 billion to $26.48 > billion), and Intel ($24.3 billion) is not far behind. While IBM is > posting losses, Intel’s profits jumped 30% and Microsoft’s rose 44%. > Both Intel, the world’s largest supplier of computer chips, and > Microsoft, the world’s largest supplier of computer software, have > assumed the role long played by Big Blue as the industry’s pacesetter. > What is taking place is a generational shift unprecedented in the > information age – one that recalls transition in the U.S. auto > industry 70 years ago, when Alfred Sloan’s upstart General Motors > surpassed Ford Motors as America’s No. 1 car maker. The transition > also reflects the decline of computer manufacturers such as IBM, Wang > and Unisys, and the rise of companies like Microsoft, Intel and AT & T > that create the chips and software to make the computers work. Just > like Dr. Frankenstein, IBM created these two monster competitors, says > Richard Shaffer, publisher of the Computer Letter. Now, even IBM is in > danger of being trampled by the creations it unleashed. Although Intel > and Microsoft still have close relationships with Big Blue, there is > little love lost between IBM and its potent progeny. IBM had an ugly > falling-out with former partner Microsoft over the future of > personal-computer software. Microsoft developed the now famous disk > operating system for the IBM-PC called DOS–and later created the > operating software for the next generation of IBM personal computers, > the Personal System/2. When PS/2 and its operating system, OS/3, > failed to catch on, a feud erupted over how the two companies would > upgrade the system. Although they publicly patched things up, the > partnership was tattered. IBM developed its own version of OS/3, which > has so far failed to capture the industry’s imagination, Microsoft’s > competing version, dubbed New Technology, or NT, will debut in a few > moths and will incorporate Microsoft’s highly successful Windows > program, which lets users juggle several programs at once. Windows NT > however, will offer more new features, such as the ability to link > many computers together in a network and to safeguard them against > unauthorized use. IBM and Intel have also been parting company. After > relying almost exclusively on the Santa Clara California company for > the silicon chips that serve as computer brains, IBM has moved to > reduce its dependence on Intel by turning to competing vendors. In > Europe, IBM began selling a low-cost line of PCs called Ambra, which > runs on chips made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. IBM also > demonstrated a sample PC using a chip made by another Intel enemy, > Cyrix. And last October, IBM said it would begin selling the company’s > own chips to outsiders, in direct competition with Intel. IBM clearly > feels threatened. And the wounded giant still poses the biggest threat > to any future dominance by Intel and Microsoft. Last year, it teamed > up with both companies’ most bitter rivals–Apple Computers and > Motorola–to develop advanced software and microprocessors for a new > generation of desktop computers. In selecting Apple and Motorola, IBM > bypassed its longtime partners. Just as Microsoft’s standard > operations system runs only on computers built around Intel’s computer > chips, Apple’s software runs only on Motorola’s chips. Although IBM > has pledged that the new system will eventually run on a variety of > machines, it will initially run only computer programs written for > Apple’s Macintosh or IBM’s OS/2. Its competitive juices now flowing, > IBM last week announced that it and Apple Computer will deliver the > operating system in 1994–a year ahead of schedule. What was the original reason for the feud between IBM and Microsoft?

  1.  The two companies developed competing softwares.
  2.  Microsoft and Intel teamed up against IBM.
  3.  IBM began to purchase microchips from Intel instead of Microsoft.
  4.  IBM made losses while Microsoft made profits.
  5.  Employment in the industry is going down.

Solution : The two companies developed competing softwares.
Q247. > How quickly things change in the technology business! A decade ago, > IBM was the awesome and undisputed king of the computer trade, > universally feared and respected. A decade ago, two little companies > called Intel and Microsoft were mere blips on the radar screen of the > industry, upstart startups that had signed on to make the chips and > software for IBM’s new line of personal computers. Though their > products soon became industry standards, the two companies remained > protected children of the market leader. What has happened since is a > startling reversal of fortune? IBM is being ravaged by the worst > crisis in the company’s 79-year history. It is undergoing its fifth > restructuring in the past seven years as well as seemingly endless > rounds of job cuts and firings that have eliminated 100,000 jobs since > 1985. Last week, IBM announced to its shell-shocked investors that it lost $4.97 billion last year-the biggest loss in American corporate > history. And just when IBM is losing ground in one market after > another, Intel and Microsoft have emerged as the computer industry’s > most fearsome pair of competitors. The numbers on Wall Street tell a > stunning story. Ten years ago, the market value of the stock of Intel > and Microsoft combined amounted to about a tenth of IBM’s. Last week, > with IBM’s stock at an 11 year low, Microsoft’s value surpassed its > old mentor’s for the first time even ($26.76 billion to $26.48 > billion), and Intel ($24.3 billion) is not far behind. While IBM is > posting losses, Intel’s profits jumped 30% and Microsoft’s rose 44%. > Both Intel, the world’s largest supplier of computer chips, and > Microsoft, the world’s largest supplier of computer software, have > assumed the role long played by Big Blue as the industry’s pacesetter. > What is taking place is a generational shift unprecedented in the > information age – one that recalls transition in the U.S. auto > industry 70 years ago, when Alfred Sloan’s upstart General Motors > surpassed Ford Motors as America’s No. 1 car maker. The transition > also reflects the decline of computer manufacturers such as IBM, Wang > and Unisys, and the rise of companies like Microsoft, Intel and AT & T > that create the chips and software to make the computers work. Just > like Dr. Frankenstein, IBM created these two monster competitors, says > Richard Shaffer, publisher of the Computer Letter. Now, even IBM is in > danger of being trampled by the creations it unleashed. Although Intel > and Microsoft still have close relationships with Big Blue, there is > little love lost between IBM and its potent progeny. IBM had an ugly > falling-out with former partner Microsoft over the future of > personal-computer software. Microsoft developed the now famous disk > operating system for the IBM-PC called DOS–and later created the > operating software for the next generation of IBM personal computers, > the Personal System/2. When PS/2 and its operating system, OS/3, > failed to catch on, a feud erupted over how the two companies would > upgrade the system. Although they publicly patched things up, the > partnership was tattered. IBM developed its own version of OS/3, which > has so far failed to capture the industry’s imagination, Microsoft’s > competing version, dubbed New Technology, or NT, will debut in a few > moths and will incorporate Microsoft’s highly successful Windows > program, which lets users juggle several programs at once. Windows NT > however, will offer more new features, such as the ability to link > many computers together in a network and to safeguard them against > unauthorized use. IBM and Intel have also been parting company. After > relying almost exclusively on the Santa Clara California company for > the silicon chips that serve as computer brains, IBM has moved to > reduce its dependence on Intel by turning to competing vendors. In > Europe, IBM began selling a low-cost line of PCs called Ambra, which > runs on chips made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. IBM also > demonstrated a sample PC using a chip made by another Intel enemy, > Cyrix. And last October, IBM said it would begin selling the company’s > own chips to outsiders, in direct competition with Intel. IBM clearly > feels threatened. And the wounded giant still poses the biggest threat > to any future dominance by Intel and Microsoft. Last year, it teamed > up with both companies’ most bitter rivals–Apple Computers and > Motorola–to develop advanced software and microprocessors for a new > generation of desktop computers. In selecting Apple and Motorola, IBM > bypassed its longtime partners. Just as Microsoft’s standard > operations system runs only on computers built around Intel’s computer > chips, Apple’s software runs only on Motorola’s chips. Although IBM > has pledged that the new system will eventually run on a variety of > machines, it will initially run only computer programs written for > Apple’s Macintosh or IBM’s OS/2. Its competitive juices now flowing, > IBM last week announced that it and Apple Computer will deliver the > operating system in 1994–a year ahead of schedule. Which of the following statements is true?

  1.  IBM plants to introduce a new system that will run on a variety of machines.
  2.  IBM’s new generation desk top computers will run only on Motorola’s chips.
  3.  IBM is working out a joint strategy with Apple to force Motorola to supply chips at a lower price.
  4.  IBM is going to sell its own chips to Apple and Motorola.
  5.  The share value of IBM is going up relative to that of Intel and Microsoft.

Solution : IBM plants to introduce a new system that will run on a variety of machines.

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Q248. > How quickly things change in the technology business! A decade ago, > IBM was the awesome and undisputed king of the computer trade, > universally feared and respected. A decade ago, two little companies > called Intel and Microsoft were mere blips on the radar screen of the > industry, upstart startups that had signed on to make the chips and > software for IBM’s new line of personal computers. Though their > products soon became industry standards, the two companies remained > protected children of the market leader. What has happened since is a > startling reversal of fortune? IBM is being ravaged by the worst > crisis in the company’s 79-year history. It is undergoing its fifth > restructuring in the past seven years as well as seemingly endless > rounds of job cuts and firings that have eliminated 100,000 jobs since > 1985. Last week, IBM announced to its shell-shocked investors that it lost $4.97 billion last year-the biggest loss in American corporate > history. And just when IBM is losing ground in one market after > another, Intel and Microsoft have emerged as the computer industry’s > most fearsome pair of competitors. The numbers on Wall Street tell a > stunning story. Ten years ago, the market value of the stock of Intel > and Microsoft combined amounted to about a tenth of IBM’s. Last week, > with IBM’s stock at an 11 year low, Microsoft’s value surpassed its > old mentor’s for the first time even ($26.76 billion to $26.48 > billion), and Intel ($24.3 billion) is not far behind. While IBM is > posting losses, Intel’s profits jumped 30% and Microsoft’s rose 44%. > Both Intel, the world’s largest supplier of computer chips, and > Microsoft, the world’s largest supplier of computer software, have > assumed the role long played by Big Blue as the industry’s pacesetter. > What is taking place is a generational shift unprecedented in the > information age – one that recalls transition in the U.S. auto > industry 70 years ago, when Alfred Sloan’s upstart General Motors > surpassed Ford Motors as America’s No. 1 car maker. The transition > also reflects the decline of computer manufacturers such as IBM, Wang > and Unisys, and the rise of companies like Microsoft, Intel and AT & T > that create the chips and software to make the computers work. Just > like Dr. Frankenstein, IBM created these two monster competitors, says > Richard Shaffer, publisher of the Computer Letter. Now, even IBM is in > danger of being trampled by the creations it unleashed. Although Intel > and Microsoft still have close relationships with Big Blue, there is > little love lost between IBM and its potent progeny. IBM had an ugly > falling-out with former partner Microsoft over the future of > personal-computer software. Microsoft developed the now famous disk > operating system for the IBM-PC called DOS–and later created the > operating software for the next generation of IBM personal computers, > the Personal System/2. When PS/2 and its operating system, OS/3, > failed to catch on, a feud erupted over how the two companies would > upgrade the system. Although they publicly patched things up, the > partnership was tattered. IBM developed its own version of OS/3, which > has so far failed to capture the industry’s imagination, Microsoft’s > competing version, dubbed New Technology, or NT, will debut in a few > moths and will incorporate Microsoft’s highly successful Windows > program, which lets users juggle several programs at once. Windows NT > however, will offer more new features, such as the ability to link > many computers together in a network and to safeguard them against > unauthorized use. IBM and Intel have also been parting company. After > relying almost exclusively on the Santa Clara California company for > the silicon chips that serve as computer brains, IBM has moved to > reduce its dependence on Intel by turning to competing vendors. In > Europe, IBM began selling a low-cost line of PCs called Ambra, which > runs on chips made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. IBM also > demonstrated a sample PC using a chip made by another Intel enemy, > Cyrix. And last October, IBM said it would begin selling the company’s > own chips to outsiders, in direct competition with Intel. IBM clearly > feels threatened. And the wounded giant still poses the biggest threat > to any future dominance by Intel and Microsoft. Last year, it teamed > up with both companies’ most bitter rivals–Apple Computers and > Motorola–to develop advanced software and microprocessors for a new > generation of desktop computers. In selecting Apple and Motorola, IBM > bypassed its longtime partners. Just as Microsoft’s standard > operations system runs only on computers built around Intel’s computer > chips, Apple’s software runs only on Motorola’s chips. Although IBM > has pledged that the new system will eventually run on a variety of > machines, it will initially run only computer programs written for > Apple’s Macintosh or IBM’s OS/2. Its competitive juices now flowing, > IBM last week announced that it and Apple Computer will deliver the > operating system in 1994–a year ahead of schedule. Many computers would be linked together through a network in a system developed by:

  1.  IBM
  2.  Apple
  3.  Microsoft
  4.  HCL
  5.  None of the above

Solution : Microsoft
Q249. > How quickly things change in the technology business! A decade ago, > IBM was the awesome and undisputed king of the computer trade, > universally feared and respected. A decade ago, two little companies > called Intel and Microsoft were mere blips on the radar screen of the > industry, upstart startups that had signed on to make the chips and > software for IBM’s new line of personal computers. Though their > products soon became industry standards, the two companies remained > protected children of the market leader. What has happened since is a > startling reversal of fortune? IBM is being ravaged by the worst > crisis in the company’s 79-year history. It is undergoing its fifth > restructuring in the past seven years as well as seemingly endless > rounds of job cuts and firings that have eliminated 100,000 jobs since > 1985. Last week, IBM announced to its shell-shocked investors that it lost $4.97 billion last year-the biggest loss in American corporate > history. And just when IBM is losing ground in one market after > another, Intel and Microsoft have emerged as the computer industry’s > most fearsome pair of competitors. The numbers on Wall Street tell a > stunning story. Ten years ago, the market value of the stock of Intel > and Microsoft combined amounted to about a tenth of IBM’s. Last week, > with IBM’s stock at an 11 year low, Microsoft’s value surpassed its > old mentor’s for the first time even ($26.76 billion to $26.48 > billion), and Intel ($24.3 billion) is not far behind. While IBM is > posting losses, Intel’s profits jumped 30% and Microsoft’s rose 44%. > Both Intel, the world’s largest supplier of computer chips, and > Microsoft, the world’s largest supplier of computer software, have > assumed the role long played by Big Blue as the industry’s pacesetter. > What is taking place is a generational shift unprecedented in the > information age – one that recalls transition in the U.S. auto > industry 70 years ago, when Alfred Sloan’s upstart General Motors > surpassed Ford Motors as America’s No. 1 car maker. The transition > also reflects the decline of computer manufacturers such as IBM, Wang > and Unisys, and the rise of companies like Microsoft, Intel and AT & T > that create the chips and software to make the computers work. Just > like Dr. Frankenstein, IBM created these two monster competitors, says > Richard Shaffer, publisher of the Computer Letter. Now, even IBM is in > danger of being trampled by the creations it unleashed. Although Intel > and Microsoft still have close relationships with Big Blue, there is > little love lost between IBM and its potent progeny. IBM had an ugly > falling-out with former partner Microsoft over the future of > personal-computer software. Microsoft developed the now famous disk > operating system for the IBM-PC called DOS–and later created the > operating software for the next generation of IBM personal computers, > the Personal System/2. When PS/2 and its operating system, OS/3, > failed to catch on, a feud erupted over how the two companies would > upgrade the system. Although they publicly patched things up, the > partnership was tattered. IBM developed its own version of OS/3, which > has so far failed to capture the industry’s imagination, Microsoft’s > competing version, dubbed New Technology, or NT, will debut in a few > moths and will incorporate Microsoft’s highly successful Windows > program, which lets users juggle several programs at once. Windows NT > however, will offer more new features, such as the ability to link > many computers together in a network and to safeguard them against > unauthorized use. IBM and Intel have also been parting company. After > relying almost exclusively on the Santa Clara California company for > the silicon chips that serve as computer brains, IBM has moved to > reduce its dependence on Intel by turning to competing vendors. In > Europe, IBM began selling a low-cost line of PCs called Ambra, which > runs on chips made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. IBM also > demonstrated a sample PC using a chip made by another Intel enemy, > Cyrix. And last October, IBM said it would begin selling the company’s > own chips to outsiders, in direct competition with Intel. IBM clearly > feels threatened. And the wounded giant still poses the biggest threat > to any future dominance by Intel and Microsoft. Last year, it teamed > up with both companies’ most bitter rivals–Apple Computers and > Motorola–to develop advanced software and microprocessors for a new > generation of desktop computers. In selecting Apple and Motorola, IBM > bypassed its longtime partners. Just as Microsoft’s standard > operations system runs only on computers built around Intel’s computer > chips, Apple’s software runs only on Motorola’s chips. Although IBM > has pledged that the new system will eventually run on a variety of > machines, it will initially run only computer programs written for > Apple’s Macintosh or IBM’s OS/2. Its competitive juices now flowing, > IBM last week announced that it and Apple Computer will deliver the > operating system in 1994–a year ahead of schedule. One possible conclusion from the passage is that:

  1.  Share prices are not a good indicator of a company’s performance.
  2.  Firing workers restore a company’s health.
  3.  All companies ultimately regret being a Dr. Frankenstein to some other company.
  4.  Consumers gain because of competition among producers.
  5.  Employment in the industry is going down.

Solution : All companies ultimately regret being a Dr. Frankenstein to some other company.

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Q250. > To teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is > practiced. Space may sound like a vague, poetic metaphor until we > realize that it describes experiences of everyday life. We know what > it means to be in a green and open field; we know what it means to be > on a crowded rush hour bus. These experiences of physical space have > parallels in our relations with others. On our jobs, we know what it > is to be pressed and crowded, our working space diminished by the > urgency of deadlines and competitiveness of colleagues. But then there > are times when deadlines disappear and colleagues cooperate, when > everyone has space to move, invent and produce with energy and > enthusiasm. With family and friends, we know how it feels to have > unreasonable demands placed upon us, to be boxed in the expectations > of those nearest to us. But then there are times when we feel accepted > for who we are (or forgiven for who we are not), times when a spouse > or a child or a friend gives us the space both to be and to become. > > Similar experiences of crowding and space are found in education. To > sit in a class where the teacher stuffs our minds with information, > organizes it with finality, insists on having the answer while being > utterly uninterested in our views, and forces us into a grim > competition for grades-to sit in such a class is to experience a lack > of space for learning. But to study with a teacher who not only speaks > but also listens, who not only gives answers but asks questions and > welcomes our insights, who provides information and theories that do > not close doors but open new ones, who encourages students to help > each other learn-to study with such a teacher is to know the power of > a learning space. A learning space has three essential dimensions: > openness, boundaries and an air of hospitality. To create open > learning space is to remove the impediments to learning that we find > around and within us: we often create them ourselves to evade the > challenge of truth and transformation. One source of such impediments > is our fear of appearing ignorant to others or to ourselves. The > openness of a space is created by the firmness of its boundaries. A > learning space cannot extend indefinitely; if it did, it would not be > a structure for learning but an invitation for confusion and chaos. > When space boundaries are violated, the quality of space suffers. The > teacher who wants to create an open learning space must define and > defend its boundaries with care, because the pursuit of truth can > often be painful and discomforting, the learning space must be > hospitable. Hospitality means receiving each other, our struggles, our > new-born ideas with openness and care. It means creating an ethos in > which the community of truth can form and the pain of its > transformation be borne. A learning space needs to be hospitable not > to make learning painless, but to make painful things possible, things > without which no learning can occur-things like exposing ignorance, > testing tentative hypotheses, challenging false or partial > information, and mutual criticism of thought. > > The task of creating learning space with qualities of openness, > boundaries and hospitality can be approached at several levels. The > most basic level is the physical arrangement of the classroom. > Consider the traditional classroom setting with row upon row of chairs > facing the lectern where learning space is confined to the narrow > alley of attention between each student and teacher. In this space, > there is no community of truth, hospitality or room for students to > relate to the thoughts of each other. Contrast it with the chairs > placed in a circular arrangement, creating an open space within which > learners can interconnect. At another level, the teacher can create > conceptual space-with words, in two ways. One is through assigned > reading; the other is through lecturing. Assigned reading, not in the > form of speed reading several hundred pages, but contemplative reading > which opens, not fills, our learning space. A teacher can also create > a learning space by means of lectures. By providing critical > information and a framework of interpretation a lecturer can lay down > the boundaries within which learning occurs. We also create learning > space through the kind of speech we utter and the silence from which > true speech emanates. Speech is a precious gift and a vital tool, but > often our speaking is an evasion of truth, a way of buttressing our > self-serving reconstructions of reality. Silence must therefore be an > integral part of learning space. In silence, more than in arguments, > our mind-made world falls away and must also create emotional space in > the classroom, space that allow feeling to arise and be dealt with > because submerged feelings can undermine learning. In an emotionally > honest learning space, one created by a teacher who does not fear > dealing with feelings, the community of truth can flourish between us > and we can flourish in it Which of the following statements best describes the author’s conception of learning space?

  1.  Where the teacher is friendly.
  2.  Where these is no grim competition for grades.
  3.  Where the students are encouraged to learn about space.
  4.  Where the teacher provides information and theories which open new doors and encourages students to help each other learn.
  5.  Physical, perceptual and behavioral levels.

Solution : Where the teacher provides information and theories which open new doors and encourages students to help each other learn.
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Solution :

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