Reading Comprehension – Passage
The passage below is accompanied by a set of six questions. Choose the best answer to each question
I used a smartphone GPS to find my way through the cobblestoned maze of Geneva’s Old Town, in search of a handmade machine that changed the world more than any other invention. Near a 13th-century cathedral in this Swiss city on the shores of a lovely lake, I found what I was looking for: a Gutenberg printing press. “This was the Internet of its day — at least as influential as the iPhone,” said Gabriel de Montmollin, the director of the Museum of the Reformation, toying with the replica of Johann Gutenberg’s great invention. [Before the invention of the printing press] it used to take four monks…up to a year to produce a single book. With the advance in movable type in 15th-century Europe, one press could crank out 3,000 pages a day. Before long, average people could travel to places that used to be unknown to them — with maps! Medical information passed more freely and quickly, diminishing the sway of quacks…The printing press offered the prospect that tyrants would never be able to kill a book or suppress an idea. Gutenberg’s brainchild broke the monopoly that clerics had on scripture. And later, stirred by pamphlets from a version of that same press, the American colonies rose up against a king and gave birth to a nation.
So, a question in the summer of this 10th anniversary of the iPhone: has the device that is perhaps the most revolutionary of all time given us a single magnificent idea? Nearly every advancement of the written word through new technology has also advanced humankind. Sure, you can say the iPhone changed everything. By putting the world’s recorded knowledge in the palm of a hand, it revolutionized work, dining, travel and socializing. It made us more narcissistic — here’s more of me doing cool stuff! — and it unleashed an army of awful trolls. We no longer have the patience to sit through a baseball game without that reach to the pocket. And one more casualty of Apple selling more than a billion phones in a decade’s time: daydreaming has become a lost art.
For all of that, I’m still waiting to see if the iPhone can do what the printing press did for religion and democracy…the Geneva museum makes a strong case that the printing press opened more minds than anything else…it’s hard to imagine the French or American revolutions without those enlightened voices in print…
Not long after Steve Jobs introduced his iPhone, he said the bound book was probably headed for history’s attic. Not so fast. After a period of rapid growth in e-books, something closer to the medium for Chaucer’s volumes has made a great comeback.
The hope of the iPhone, and the Internet in general, was that it would free people in closed societies. But the failure of the Arab Spring, and the continued suppression of ideas in North Korea, China and Iran, has not borne that out… The iPhone is still young. It has certainly been “one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history, “ as Apple CEO. Tim Cook said. But I’m not sure if the world changed for the better with the iPhone — as it did with the printing press — or merely, changed.
Q1) The printing press has been likened to the Internet for which one of the following reasons?
A) It enabled rapid access to new information and the sharing of new ideas
B) It represented new and revolutionary technology compared to the past
C) It encouraged reading among people by giving them access to thousands of books
D) It gave people access to pamphlets and literature in several languages
Q2) According to the passage, the invention of the printing press did all of the following EXCEPT
A) Promoted the spread of enlightened political views across countries
B) Gave people direct access to authentic medical information and religious texts
C) shortened the time taken to produce books and pamphlets.
D) enabled people to perform various tasks simultaneously.
Q3) Steve Jobs predicted which one’of the following with the introduction of the iPhone?
A) People would switch from reading on the Internet to reading on their iPhones.
B) People would lose interest in historical and traditional classics.
C) Reading printed books would become a thing of the past.
D) The production of e-books would eventually fall.
Q4) “I’m still waiting to see if the iPhone can do what the printing press did for religion and democracy.” The author uses which one of the following to indicate his uncertainty?
A) The rise of religious groups in many parts of the world.
B) The expansion in trolling and narcissism among users of the Internet
C) The continued suppression of free speech in closed societies
D) The decline in reading habits among those who use the device
Q5) The author attributes the French and American revolutions to the invention of the printing press because
A) maps enabled large numbers of Europeans to travel and settle in the American continent.
B) the rapid spread of information exposed people to new ideas on freedom and democracy
C) it encouraged religious freedom among the people by destroying the monopoly of religious leaders on the scriptures.
D) it made available revolutionary strategies and opinions to the people.
Q6) The main conclusion of the passage is that the new technology has
A) some advantages, but these are outweighed by its disadvantages.
B) so far not proved as successful as the printing press in opening people’s minds
C) been disappointing because it has changed society too rapidly
D) been more wasteful than the printing press because people spend more time daydreaming or surfing.
Q1: Option (A)
Q2: Option (D)
Q3: Option (C)
Q4: Option (C)
Q5: Option (B)
Q6: Option (B)
After going through the CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, we can see that, earlier, printing books took a lot of time. One book took a year and 4 monks to be produced. After the advent of Gutenberg press, not only books became easy to produce but also pamphlets, newspapers etc. came into circulation which gave birth to ideas and allowed their sharing which led to revolutions. Option (A) is the clear answer.
From paragraph 2 of CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, we can see that printing press shortened the time to produce books (one press could crank out 3000 pages per day), medical information passed freely and quickly and political views spread across countries which led to revolutions.
In paragraph 5 of CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, Steve Jobs says that, “Bound book was probably headed for history’s attic”
Option C is the correct answer
After going through the CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, we can see that printing press revolutionized the society, information was available to everyone and ideas could flow freely. Have a look at paragraph 4, as per the author, iPhone has failed in doing so till now, there is continued suppression in societies like China, North Korea and Iran. He is waiting for something like this to happen.
Option (C) is the correct answer.
In paragraph 2 of CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, we can see in the last lines that Gutenberg press produced pamphlets which stirred by which American colonies rose up against a king and gave birth to a nation. Rapid information exposed to people to information and ideas.
Option B is the correct answer.
In the last line of the paragraph of CAT 2017 – Reading Comprehension – Passage, author says that, “I’m not sure if the world changed for the better with the iPhone – as it did with the Printing Press – or merely changed”.
So, the conclusion of the passage is that the iPhone (new technology) is not that successful in opening people’s minds as printing press.
CAT 2017 Questions from Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension – Set 1: Despite their fierce reputation. Vikings may not have always been the plunderers and pillagers popular culture imagines them to be.
Reading Comprehension – Set 2: Typewriters are the epitome of a technology that has been comprehensively rendered obsolete by the digital age.
Reading Comprehension – Set 3: The end of the age of the internal combustion engine is in sight. There are small signs everywhere: the shift to hybrid vehicles is already under way among manufacturers.
Reading Comprehension – Set 4: During the frigid season…it’s often necessary to nestle under a blanket to try to stay warm.
Reading Comprehension – Set 5: Creativity is at once our most precious resource and our most inexhaustible one.
Reading Comprehension – Set 6: Do sports mega events like the summer Olympic Games benefit the host city economically?
Reading Comprehension – Set 7: Scientists have long recognized the incredible diversity within a species. But they thought it reflected evolutionary changes that unfolded imperceptibly, over millions of years.
Reading Comprehension – Set 8: This year alone, more than 8,600 stores could close, according to industry estimates, many of them the brand -name anchor outlets that real estate developers once stumbled over themselves to court.
Reading Comprehension – Set 9: Understanding where you are in the world is a basic survival skill, which is why we, like most species come hard-wired with specialized brain areas to create congnitive maps of our surroundings.
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