Reading Comprehension Practice Test 19
Directions (Q. 1-9): Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow by selecting the most appropriate option.
The day the cat was killed, Maddy watched her mother wind that old clock with her same little smile, cranking the gold key into its funny little hole, as grandma wandered around the dining table in her dressing gown while her nurse read a pulp fiction on the front step, while her brothers scraped their forks against the table and dripped the last bits of potatoes and corn from their open, awful mouths, that clock sat heavy on the white carpet, at the end of the hall, mom humming along to that terrible ticking. It made Maddy’s teeth clench. Truly, there was no point to these silly, endless family dinners. Always being six o’clock sharp and never over until that clock was wound, thirteen years of her life wasted for this nonsense so far, burnt up in boredom, when all the while she had some very important matters to attend to back in her bedroom.
The long case clock had been left by the previous owner, or maybe the one before that, no one was sure. Cloaked in pine wood and always counting, no birds printed around the clock face, no farm scenes or flowers, just black numbers and wiry hands and that was that, then near the bottom, a long silver pendulum behind a square of smokey glass. It was too heavy to tip, too tall to place anything on top, old and faded and always suspect. Her brothers avoided it at night and the cat avoided it entirely (or used to). The clock face glowing round and white, over the wooden suit, like a pale faced ghost or a porcelain reaper, feetless and shadows for arms. And mom would sing along with the pendulum while the boys knocked over the kitchen chairs wrestling and playing tag, and grandmother would nap by the television and the nurse would paint her nails. All the time, her mom would smile and hum.
1. The use of the word ‘cranking’ conveys the meaning that
(1) the key did not fit the lock properly
(2) the clock doesn’t work
(3) the key was used with irritation on the mother’s part
(4) gold was not a suitable metal for a clock key
2. The siblings were ‘awful mouths’ is the following figure of speech:
(3) Transferred epithet
3. “Truly, there was no point to these silly, endless family dinners.” The correct transformation would be
(1) The subject found her siblings mentally unstable and took long to finish dinner.
(2) Her mother forced her to sit through a lengthy dinner ritual.
(3) The food could only appeal to the youngsters, not a teenager.
(4) The subject was pre-occupied with some personal work and was impatient with others at the dinner table.
4. The tone of the story is
5. The clock was ‘always suspect’. The subject thought
(1) that it wasn’t working at all
(2) it tended to move slowly
(3) it broke down periodically
(4) it had one hand missing
6. “The clock face was glowing round and white.” This observation is further enhanced by the observation that it was like
7. “It made Maddy’s teeth clench.” The idiom to clench one’s teeth’ can be introduced in an EBL class by
(1) giving a detailed meaning of the expression
(2) giving other similar idioms and asking children to guess the meanings in context
(3) guiding students to find other ‘teeth’ idioms on their own by looking up the word ‘idioms’
(4) giving a worksheet where students use the idiom in a number of situations
8. The word ……….. in the story means ‘incline’. [Para 2]
9. “All the time, her mom would smile and hum.” This suggests that Maddy
(1) admired her mother’s calm
(2) thought her mother was indifferent to time
(3) was convinced her mother was more attuned to the mechanical working of the clock, not the time
(4) thought that her mother didn’t care about her family