Reading Comprehension Select Many Practice Test 1


Passage for Questions 1 to 5

My heart begins pounding the theme from Jaws, triple tempo, as the shipwreck inches into view. Given the task I face—kicking down 55 feet on a single breath—such anxiety is a perfectly normal response, although precisely the wrong one for a free diver. Fear releases adrenaline, which jacks up the heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and causes rapid, shallow breathing. But if I can relax, an entirely different experience awaits: The exhilaration of probing the deep blue unencumbered by air tanks. Thats the essence of free diving, a sport defined by lung capacity and physical endurance. Taken broadly, "free diving" encompasses everything from floating face down in a swimming pool (static apnea) to plunging more than 500 feet on a weighted sled (no-limits diving). But the majority of the worlds 20,000 free divers fall into the "constant ballast" category, relying on little more than a mask and fins to dive as far as their lungs will take them. Thats where I fit in. Ive come to Grand Cayman Island to put my apnea limits to the test, and to use the two-day Advanced Free Diver course at Divetech to hone my family-vacation snorkeling skills into spear-fisherman shape. Free diving dates back to at least 4,500 B.C. and Mediterranean mother-of-pearl divers. But it wasnt until Paul Bert, the 19th-century French physiologist, first described the physiological "dive reflex" in marine mammals that scientists began speculating on its existence in humans. They soon discovered that nerve receptors in the face tell the heart to throttle down the instant we hit water, causing pulse rates to drop as much as 50 percent in novice divers and sink to eight beats per minute in world champions. Blood vessels in the skin and extremities constrict, while those in the brain, heart and lungs dilate, shunting blood to the places that count. Even the spleen gets in on the act, releasing an extra dose of red blood cells to ferry oxygen around the body.

Question 1

It was discovered that the moment the human body hits water

  1. the facial nerve receptors trigger an immediate response
  2. the pulse rate drops depending upon the competence of the person in diving
  3. pulse rates drop by 50 percent if the person is an experienced diver
  4. the blood vessels in the heart stretch and widen
  5. blood is blocked from reaching crucial locations in the body

Correct Answer: A, B and D

Explanation:

The end of the passage clearly brings out what had been discovered in respect of the human body’s reaction when it hits water. A has been clearly brought out and hence, it is correct. The drop in pulse rates has been brought out to be different for novice divers and the professional divers. Therefore, B is correct. C is clearly incorrect as a novice diver is not experienced at all. D is correct as it has been brought out that the blood vessels in the heart dilate. E is incorrect as it has been brought out that blood is shunted to the places that count; in other words, blood reached the crucial body locations. Therefore, A, B and D are the correct answers.

Question 2

Which of the following is a result of anxiety?

  1. Relaxation
  2. Diving underwater on a single breath
  3. Constriction of blood vessels
  4. Release of adrenaline
  5. Fall in heart rate

Correct Answer: C and D

Explanation:

The beginning of the passage brings out that the author is faced with the task of diving down 55 feet underwater in a single breath and this is causing him anxiety. Diving underwater on a single breath is not the result of this anxiety; rather it is the reason that is generating this anxiety. Therefore, A and B are both incorrect. C and D have been brought out as the results of anxiety and so they are both correct. It is mentioned that the heart rate jacks up as a result of anxiety. This means that the heart rate is increasing and not decreasing. Therefore, E is incorrect. In view of the above, C and D are the correct answers.

Question 3

According to the author, the advantages of relaxed free diving encompass

  1. floating face down in a swimming pool
  2. probing the underwater world without the unwanted load of oxygen tanks
  3. diving more than 500 feet
  4. improving one’s physical endurance
  5. using a mask and fins for diving

Correct Answer: B and D

Explanation:

The question is related to the advantages that are offered by free diving if one carries it out in a relaxed manner and not free diving as a technique. Options A, C and E are merely referring to different aspects of the technique of free diving. They are not referring to the advantages offered by such a form of diving. Therefore, options A, C and E are all incorrect. B and D have been clearly brought out as the advantages of free diving as a sport when it is executed in a relaxed manner. Therefore, B and D are the correct answers.

Question 4

Which of the following do NOT fall into any category of free divers?

  1. Static apnea
  2. Diving using only a mask and fins
  3. Floating in a swimming pool
  4. Diving without an air tank
  5. Diving with an air tank

Correct Answer: C and E

Explanation:

Free diving means diving deep underwater without an air tank. This implies that E is correct as diving with an air tank cannot be termed a form of free diving at all. Static apnea is the form of free diving wherein one stays in water for as long as one’s lungs can endure to go without air. Simply floating in the swimming pool as indicated in option C cannot be termed as free diving because it does not specify whether the face is in the water or whether one is floating on one’s back in which case, it would not amount to any form of free diving at all. In view of the ambiguity involved, it can be said that C is correct. All the other options refer to some or the other form of free diving and hence, C and E are the correct answers.

Question 5

Which of the following conclusions based on the contents of the passage are justified?

  1. The author is a free diver belonging to the constant ballast category
  2. The author is a free diver of the static apnea category
  3. Free divers train themselves to dive without any limits
  4. Feeling fear and angst is not normal for free divers
  5. The author does not have any snorkelling skills

Correct Answer: A and D

Explanation:

It has been clearly brought out that the author belongs to the constant ballast category and he wishes to test his apnea limits. This does not mean that he belongs to the static apnea category as well and moreover, it has not been implied anywhere in the passage. Therefore, A is correct and B is incorrect. C is clearly incorrect as it has been specifically mentioned that free divers can dive as far as their lungs permit them to. D is correct as it has been brought out in the beginning of the passage that anxiety is a wrong response for free divers. E is incorrect as the author clearly mentions that he wishes to hone his snorkelling skills. This means that he already possesses the skills and he wants to sharpen these skills. Therefore, A and D are the correct answers.

Passage for Questions 6 to 10

Until the mid-20th century, scientists believed that the chest cavity would implode at around 115 feet. Water pressure, they argued, reaches 65 pounds per square inch at that depth, which is enough to shrink lungs to the size of grapefruits and collapse rib cages like empty soda cans. Their theory went out the window in the 1950s and early 1960s, however, when divers like Enzo Maiorca returned from beyond 115-feet with rib cages intact. We now know that water pressure forces blood vessels in the chest to swell, filling the void left by the lungs with an incompressible fluid.

Among the dangers of free diving, the most disconcerting is shallow-water blackout—the brains frightening tendency to shut down within 15 feet of the surface during the ascent. As you descend, water pressure squeezes your lungs, condensing the oxygen and giving you what feels like a second breath. During the return trip, however, your lungs re-expand, dissipating whats left of your oxygen. If levels drop too low, not enough will move into the bloodstream, and the lights go out. Fortunately, the bodys laryngospasm reflex kicks in to tighten the throat and keep water out for up to a minute—just enough time for your dive buddy to drag you to the surface, tilt your head back, and beg, "Breathe, baby."

Knowing Johnston will be there watching my eyes as I ascend (seeing them roll back in the head is a red flag), I dip below the surface. Staying in the syringe—dive speak for a tight hydrodynamic column—I kick down to 30 feet, my point of neutral buoyancy, and then sink effortlessly to the bottom. I feel good—surprisingly good—thanks to the densely packed oxygen molecules in my lungs.

Lingering a moment, I peer up at the mirrored surface that separates this liquid world from mine. Diving to 55 feet was no sweat. I figure I could dive twice that with a little practice, reaching what scientists thought, not 50 years ago, was the bodys depth limit. Today, however, that boundary has been pushed to at least 531 feet (the current no-limits world record), which begs the question: Just how deep can humans go? "We dont know that yet," says Lundgren, adding ominously. "But one day someone will find out

Question 6

According to the author, shallow-water blackout is a danger of free diving that is highly

  1. confounding
  2. agitating
  3. whimsical
  4. baffling
  5. reposing

Correct Answer: A, B and D

Explanation:

It has been brought out by the author that among all the dangers of free diving shallow-water blackout is the most disconcerting. Confounding, agitating and baffling carry the same meanings as disconcerting, but whimsical and reposing carry entirely different meanings. This implies that A, B and D are the correct answers.

Question 7

Which of the following is true in respect of the effect of water pressure on humans?

  1. Scientists believed that the chest cavity would blow up at a depth of about 115 feet
  2. Rib cages will collapse at the water pressure of 65 pounds per square inch
  3. Blood vessels of the chest enlarge and fill the empty space left by lungs that have been compressed
  4. It is now known that lungs will not shrink with increase in water pressure
  5. It is no longer believed that the chest cavity will cave in at a depth of about 115 feet

Correct Answer: C and E.

Explanation:

The beginning of the passage clearly brings out that the initial theory which was believed by the scientists was refuted in the 1950's and early 1960's. This implies that B is incorrect. Also, it was believed that the chest cavity would implode at a depth of about 115 feet. Implode means to collapse inward or cave in and not blow outwards. Therefore, A is incorrect and E is correct. It is now known that blood vessels swell to occupy the void left by the lungs. This implies that the lungs shrink with increase in water pressure. Therefore, C is correct and D is incorrect. In view of the above, C and E are the correct answers.

Question 8

When a free diver is coming up towards the surface of the water,

  1. the breathing stops just before the surface is reached
  2. oxygen from the lungs is dispelled
  3. water pressure squeezes the lungs
  4. the throat automatically tightens to keep out water for a minute if the oxygen levels drop very low
  5. oxygen is condensed and stored by the lungs

Correct Answer: B and D

Explanation:

During the free diver’s descent, that is when the diver is moving towards the bottom of the water body, water pressure squeezes the lungs and condenses the oxygen. This does not happen during ascent which would be when the diver is coming towards the surface of the water. Therefore, C and E are incorrect. A is clearly incorrect because the diver is holding his breath for the entire duration that he is underwater and not just when he is close to the surface. B and D refer to the actions that take place as the diver approaches the surface of the water and hence, B and D are the correct answers.

Question 9

The author attributes the feeling of goodness while sinking to the bottom to

  1. Johnston, who is waiting for him to come up
  2. the condensed oxygen in his lungs
  3. the closely packed oxygen molecules in his lungs
  4. the dissipated oxygen molecules in his lungs
  5. the laryngospasm reflex

Correct Answer: B and C

Explanation:

The author mentions that he feels surprisingly good as he descends to the bottom and he gives the credit for this feeling to the densely packed oxygen molecules in his lungs. Dissipated oxygen molecules mean exactly the opposite of being densely packed and therefore, B and C are correct, but D is incorrect. The laryngospasm reflex is supposed to kick in when the diver is ascending and it does not make the diver feel good in any way whatsoever. A is clearly incorrect as the author makes a reference to Johnston waiting for him to come up to elucidate the fact that he can rely on Johnston to drag him to the surface if required. In view of the above, it is evident that A and E are incorrect and B and C are the correct answers.

Question 10

Which of the following conclusions based on the given passage are justified?

  1. The author feels he could have easily dived 110 feet with some more practice
  2. Divers can always rely on the laryngospasm reflex to save them when they run out on oxygen
  3. The laryngospasm reflex cannot save a diver if he is well below the surface of the water
  4. The limit to which humans can dive freely has not yet been confirmed
  5. During ascent, a diver experiences a second breath which is a result of condensed oxygen in the lungs

Correct Answer: A, C and D

Explanation:

The passage ends on the note that we are not yet aware of the limit to which humans can dive freely. Moreover, the author mentions that with a little practice, he can dive to a depth of twice of 55 feet. Therefore, A and D are correct. The laryngospasm reflex kicks in when the diver’s oxygen levels fall too low. This reflex can keep the water out of the throat for only a minute. If the diver is close to the surface, then only can he be pulled to safety. Therefore, B is incorrect and C is correct. E is clearly incorrect as the diver has condensed oxygen in his lungs during descent and not during ascent. Therefore, A, C and D are the correct answers.

Passage for Questions 11 to 15

Tantra is different from other traditions because it takes the whole person, and his worldly desires into account. Other spiritual traditions ordinarily teach that desire for material pleasures and spiritual aspirations are mutually exclusive, setting the stage for an endless internal struggle. Although most people are drawn into spiritual beliefs and practices, they have a natural urge to fulfill their desires. With no way to reconcile these two impulses, they fall prey to guilt and self – condemnation or become hypocritical. Tantra offers an alternative path. The tantrik approach to life avoids this pitfall. Tantra itself means “to weave, to expand, and to spread”, and according to tantrik masters, the fabric of life can provide true and ever- lasting fulfillment only when all the threads are woven according to the pattern designated by nature. When we are born, life naturally forms itself around that pattern. But as we grow, our ignorance, desire, attachment, fear, and false images of others and ourselves tangle and tear the threads, disfiguring the fabric. Tantra “sadhana” or practice reweaves the fabric, and restores the original pattern. This path is systematic and comprehensive.

The profound science and practices pertaining to hatha yoga, pranayama, mudras rituals, kundalini yoga, nada yoga, mantra, mandala, visualization of deities, alchemy, ayruveda, astrology, and hundreds of esoteric practices for generating worldly and spiritual prosperity blend perfectly in the tantrik disciplines. Proper recitation of mantras helps invoke the natural forces to produce the desired effect. “Tantrasadhana” or tantrik meditation and worship helps one attain many supernatural powers. These powers may be used for good or for bad purposes.

Question 11

Which of the following is NOT related to the tantrik approach to life?

  1. Attainment of one’s desires
  2. Maintaining one’s spiritual beliefs alongside worldly prosperity
  3. Meditation for attaining supernatural powers
  4. Evade materialistic gains
  5. Ignoring and shunning one’s desires

Correct Answer: D and E.

Explanation:

The beginning of the passage clearly outlines the tantric philosophy as one that allows people to enjoy worldly pleasures and seek spiritual attainment at the same time. This implies that A and B are both related to the tantric approach to life and hence, both A and B are incorrect answer options to the question asked. However, E is not related to the tantric approach in life and hence, it is a correct answer option. The passage clearly brings out that the meditation procedures followed as part of the tantric approach to life can lead to attaining supernatural powers and hence, C is related to the tantric approach to life. Therefore, C is an incorrect answer option. As tantric philosophy advocates enjoying worldly pleasures, D is clearly not related to the tantric approach to life. This implies that D and E are the correct answer options.

Question 12

The tantra philosophy advocates

  1. following the path of nature for spiritual and materialistic fulfilment
  2. avoiding an amalgamation of worldly pleasures with spiritual aspirations
  3. avoiding the path that leads to guilt arising from desiring materialistic pleasures
  4. avoiding natural way of living
  5. following a path that builds will power for overcoming worldly desires

Correct Answer: A and C.

Explanation:

A careful reading of the passage makes it aptly clear that tantric philosophy advocates following the path of nature and living life as nature has planned it for us. This includes enjoying worldly pleasures and attaining spiritual fulfilment. This makes it obvious that B, D and E are incorrect and A and C are the correct answers.

Question 13

Which of the following substantiate the claim, “Tantra offers an alternative path”?

  1. “Tantra is different from other traditions because it takes the whole person, and his worldly desires into account”
  2. “Although most people are drawn into spiritual beliefs and practices, they have a natural urge to fulfill their desires”
  3. “When we are born, life naturally forms itself around that pattern”
  4. “The tantrik approach to life avoids this pitfall”
  5. “These powers may be used for good or for bad purposes”

Correct Answer: A and D.

Explanation:

The author uses the statement in question to bring out that tantra offers an alternative method for achieving full satisfaction from life. Option A refers to the fact that tantra is different from other spiritual traditions with respect to the principles it follows. Therefore, A implies that tantra offers an alternative path for complete satisfaction from life. D also indicates that tantra is offering an alternative path for avoiding the pitfall. Hence, A and D are correct. B, C and E refer to statements that do not substantiate the claim in question in any way whatsoever. Hence, B, C and E are all incorrect and A and D are the correct answers.

Question 14

Which of the following best describes the relation between
S1 – “teach that desire for material pleasures and spiritual aspirations are mutually exclusive”
S2 – “fall prey to guilt and self-condemnation”

  1. S1 and S2 are not related
  2. S1 is the evidence that justifies S2
  3. S2 is the evidence that justifies S1
  4. S1 refutes S2
  5. S2 can be concluded on the basis of S1

Correct Answer: B and E.

Explanation:

It is implied that people fall prey to guilt because they are unable to give up worldly pleasures or are still attracted to them when they are expected to give them up on their path to attaining spiritual fulfilment. Hence, it is evident that S2 is the outcome of S1 and therefore, B and E are correct. This implies that A, C and D are incorrect and B and E are the correct answers.

Question 15

Which of the following conclusions based on the contents of the passage are justified?

  1. Renouncing materialistic pleasures sooner or later affects mental satisfaction even if one is on the path to attain spiritual fulfilment
  2. Following spiritual beliefs precludes enjoying worldly pleasures in the tantric way of life
  3. Tantrasadhana has a scientific aspect too which needs to be understood and mastered in order to utilize the tantra principles to their utmost potential
  4. Renouncing materialistic pleasures does not affect mental satisfaction if one decides to take the path to attain spiritual fulfilment
  5. Tantrasadhana is completely subjective with no scientific claims or procedures

Correct Answer: A and C.

Explanation:

The contents of the passage make it aptly clear that the conclusion at A is justified. Hence, A is correct and D is incorrect. The term, ‘preclude’ is used to define two events that cannot coexist. This implies that B is clearly incorrect as it goes against the basic principle of tantric philosophy. The end of the passage brings out that there are many scientific practices that are involved in the tantric philosophy and the correct usage of these practices can lead to attainment of supernatural powers. Hence, C is correct and E is incorrect. Therefore, A and C are the correct answers.