FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR
RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 2007
ENGLISH (Précis & Composition)
TIME ALLOWED: 3 HOURS…………………..Maximum Marks: 100
Q#1 Make a précis of the given passage and suggest a suitable heading.
The author of a work of imagination is trying to effect us wholly, as human beings,
whether he knows it or not; and we are affected by it, as human beings, whether we
intend to be or not. I suppose that everything we eat has some effect upon us than
merely the pleasure of taste and mastication; it affects us during the process of
assimilation and digestion; and I believe that exactly the same is true of any thing we
The fact that what we read does not concern merely something called our literary taste,
but that it affects directly, though only amongst many other influences , the whole of
what we are, is best elicited , I think, by a conscientious examination of the history of
our individual literary education. Consider the adolescent reading of any person with
some literary sensibility. Everyone, I believe, who is at all sensible to the seductions of
poetry, can remember some moment in youth when he or she was completely carried
away by the work of one poet. Very likely he was carried away by several poets, one
after the other. The reason for this passing infatuation is not merely that our sensibility
to poetry is keener in adolescence than in maturity. What happens is a kind of
inundation, or invasion of the undeveloped personality, the empty (swept and
garnished) room, by the stronger personality of the poet. The same thing may happen at
a later age to persons who have not done much reading. One author takes complete
possession of us for a time; then another, and finally they begin to affect each other in
our mind. We weigh one against another; we see that each has qualities absent from
others, and qualities incompatible with the qualities of others: we begin to be, in fact,
critical: and it is our growing critical power which protects us from excessive possession
by anyone literary personality. The good critic- and we should all try to critics, and not
leave criticism to the fellows who write reviews in the papers- is the man who, to a keen
and abiding sensibility, joins wide and increasingly discriminating. Wide reading is not
valuable as a kind of hoarding, and the accumulation of knowledge or what sometimes
is meant by the term „a well-stocked mind.‟ It is valuable because in the process of
being affected by one powerful personality after another, we cease to be dominated by
anyone, or by any small number. The very different views of life, cohabiting in our
minds, affect each other, and our own personality asserts itself and gives each a place
in some arrangement peculiar to our self.
Q.2 Read the following passage and answere the questions that follow:
Strong section of industrials who still imagine that men can be mere machines and are
at their best as machines if they are mere machines are already menacing what they
call “useless” education. They deride the classics, and they are mildly contemptiois of
history, philosophy, and English. They want our educational institutions, from the oldest
universities to the youngest elementary schools, to concentrate on business or the
things that are patently useful in business. Technical instruction is to be provided for
adolescent artisans; book keeping and shorthand for prospective clerks; and the
cleverest we are to set to “business methods”, to modern languages (which can be used
in correspondence with foreign firms), and to science (which can be applied to industry).
French and German are the languages, not of Montaigne and Gorthe, but of Schmidt
Brothers, of Elberfeld and Dupont et Cie., of Lyons. Chemistry and Physics are not
explorations into the physical constitution of the universe, but sources of new dyes, new
electric light filaments, new means of making things which can be sold cheap and fast to
the Nigerian and the Chinese. For Latin there is a Limited field so long as the druggists
insist on retaining it in their prescriptions. Greek has no apparent use at all, unless it be
as a source of syllables for the hybrid names of patent medicines and metal polishes.
The soul of man, the spiritual basis of civilization- what gibberish is that?
a) What kind of education does the writer deal with? (2)
b) What kind of education does the writer favour? How do you know? (3)
c) Where does the writer express most bitterly his feelings about the neglect of the
d) Explain as carefully as you can the full significance of the last sentence. (4)
e) Explain the underlined words and phrases in the passage (8)
Q-3 Note (250-300 words) on any one of the following
1- Honesty is the best policy but advertising also helps.
2- It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
3- A suspicious parent makes an artful child.
4- Spontaneity and creativity as symbols of freedom.
5- Means justify ends.
Q-4 Choose synonyms (only five)
a-tiny marine life
d-type of moth
d-enable to fly
(B) Pick the most nearly opposite in meaning to the capitalized words.