top of page

Reading Comprehension



  • Read the section a thoroughly and then answer the questions.

  • To complete the paper time management is essential as the paper is quite lengthy.

  • Divide the allotted time as per the sections.

  • Do attempt and try to finish sections A and B in the first half of the allotted time.

  • The answers should be precise.

  • Answers in section C should be brief and to the point.

  • Answers should be logical and should explain only what is asked.

  • Be creative and believable in the section B part of the paper.

  • Solve previous years question papers or mock question papers in order to learn time management.

  • Attempt the question paper in a sequence.

  • Neat and legible handwriting, leaving space between the answers and underlining value points has a positive impact on the examiner.

  • In case of reference to context questions, ensure that there is no repetition of answers while attempting the various sub parts.


  • Converse in English.

  • Choose a topic and discuss it in English.

  • Make a habit of talking in English and write down difficult words, understand their meanings and practise to include them in your speech.

  • Talk to yourself in English while standing in front of the mirror and be confident.

  • Watch English movies, news and read English news papers.

  • It is also important to write in English regularly to develop a knack for difficult and unusual words and improving your vocabulary.

  • Following these tricks regularly will develop your language power and you will have a strong command over the language soon.

  • Be precise. Be right.

1. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow: 12

Built by the British after the 1857 uprising the Army barracks inside the Red Fort are an eyesore. They were, however, witness to one of the most crucial events of the final phase of the independence struggle. The historic trials of the captured soldiers of Netaji Subhash Bose's Indian National Army (INA) were held here in 1945.

The INA trials began at Red Fort in November 1945. But much before the trials began, the fate of the INA prisoners had captured popular imagination. In August 1945, Jawaharlal Nehru issued a demand for leniency. Soon there was a groundswell of popular support for the INA detainees. Senior INA officers such as Shah Nawaz Khan, Prem Kumar Sahgal and Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon became potent symbols of India’s struggle for Independence.

Celebrated lawyers represented the prisoners. Bhulabhai Desai, Tej Bahadur Sapru, K.N. Katju and Nehru himself appeared in court at barrack no. B 4 where the trials were being held. The Congress set up a Central INA Fund Committee where people donated generously. When the trial was on, Delhi was in ferment. Pamphlets were circulated and posters threatening death to "20 English dogs" for every INA prisoner were pasted all over Delhi. 

Now, the barracks stand empty and in dire need of repairs. Some of them will soon be used to house one of the country's biggest museums. Said an official from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) "Plans are underway for a grand museum at the British barracks that have such a strong element of history attached to them."

According to the ASI, two barracks used to imprison Khan, Sahgal, Dhillon and hundreds of' INA soldiers are now being maintained as a memorial. This was originally a guardroom constructed by the British army in 1916.

The ASI took over these barracks from Indian Army in 1993 for conservation and preservation on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The uniforms worn by INA soldiers, photographs of Netaji and other items are on display. In one of the galleries, materials found during excavations carried out by the ASI inside the fort in 1995 as well as photographs can be viewed.

A. Answer the following questions:

(a) What is the historical importance of the army barracks inside the Red Fort? 2

     (b)   What did Nehru do for the INA prisoners? 2

(c) Frame two questions on the basis of the underlined part of the passage. 2

(d) What has been done by the ASI to preserve the place where the INA soldiers were kept by the Britishers? 2


B. Pick out the words from the passage that mean the same as : 4

(a) Luck

(b) Digging

      (c) Full

      (d) Freed


2.Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow: 12

As you walk through the meandering Ballimaran Street in Old Delhi, chances are you would go past Sharif Manzil without noticing it. Today it's just another decrepit structure standing cheek-by-jowl with other houses all adding up to a congested mass of concrete. But Sharif Manzil is an address that dates back 267 years. Said to have been constructed in 1740, a year after Nadir Shah sacked Delhi, It's one of the oldest and most illustrious havelis of Delhi.

Built by the royal physicians of the Mughals who came to India during Babur's rule, the haveli was home to Hakim Ajmal Khan, a scion of the family and Delhi's best known Unani practitioner--he was known to charge Rs 1,000 per day for outstation calls, but would treat his patients free of charge if they came to him. Ajmal Khan (1863-1927) dominated political life in the Delhi of the early 1900s. He had a unique double to his name, having been elected president of both Indian National Congress and Muslim League (in those days, it wasn't too odd for nationalistic Muslims to wear both hats). 

Ajmal Khan was a friend and ally of Gandhi and stood for Hindu-Muslim unity. As an illustrious citizen of Delhi, he often acted as a bridge between the British government and the people of the city. However, during periods of political tension-like the Rowlatt Satyagraha of 1919--Ajmal Khan sided with the citizens. One of his lasting contributions to the city is as an institution-builder. He set up the Jamia Millia University and the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College, among others. 

Sharif  Manzil fell on bad times after 1947 when Ajmal Khan's grandson shifted to Pakistan. Today the sprawling complex houses a guest house and a market which is partly occupied by Afghan traders. 

Other Old Delhi havelies also came to be associated with the national movement. There was the palatial Darus Salaam (Abode of Peace) where M A Ansari lived. Its current address is 1, Ansari Road in Daryaganj. Ansari was an England-educated doctor and an eminent Congressman who became president of the party. The Ansaris would often host Gandhi when he visited Delhi and the house was a hub of Congress politics. Other prominent 'political havelis', like the one owned by Motilal Nehru haven't stood the test of time.


A.  Answer the following questions:

(a) What is the present condition of Sharif Manzil in Old Delhi? 2

(b) What is the historical background of this building? 2

(c) Who was Ajmal Khan? What role did he play during the British period? 2

(d) What is the historical background of 1, Ansari Road?         2


B.  Pick out the words from the passage that mean the same as : 4

(a) Busy

(b) Related to king family

(c) Strong

(d) Temporary


3. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow: 12

Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life at Birla House at 5 Tees January Marg. It was here, in the evening of January 30, that Bapu emerged from a meeting with Sardar Patel and was walking to his daily prayer meeting when his life was snuffed out by an assassin's bullets. The building was acquired by the government in 1971 and is now called Gandhi Smriti. 

But there are other places in the city where Bapu lived during his long political life. One such place is the Harijan Colony at Mandir Marg where he lived from April 1946 to June 1947. Ganni, a resident of the colony, isn't sure how old he is, but he remembers Gandhi as someone who taught his people not to stoop while sweeping the floor, which led them to start using the long broomstick. 

The colony, now Valmiki Sadan, still retains the austere aura that Gandhiji championed. "The government has come up with numerous offers to make a memorial in the room where he stayed, but the Valmiki Samaj has declined. Gandhiii himself turned down an offer from Seth Birla when he offered to renovate this room for him." said Maharaj Krishna Vidyarthi, who takes care of the Valmiki temple next door.

Valmiki Sadan is actually an NDMC colony, which now houses third and fourth generations of the initial inhabitants who had lived with Gandhi. "He used to come armed with his stick in the afternoons asking us to disperse and let him sleep. We used to wonder why this old man won't let us play in peace," says 76-year-old Sukha Ram, president of Valmiki Samaj. Gandhi also lived for a while at Harijan Sevak Sangh in north Delhi and in the early part of his career, he stayed with prominent citizens of the city.


A.  Answer the following questions:

(a) Where did Gandhiji spend his last days? 2

(b) What did Gandhiji teach people while living in the Harijan Basti ? 2

(c) Frame two questions on the basis of the underlined part of the passage. 2

(d) What is the present condition of Valmiki Sadan ? 2


B.  Pick out the words/phrases from the passage that mean the same as : 4

  1. Taken out

  2. A political murderer

  3. Disappeared

  4. Accepted

bottom of page