Based on the SSC-FCI Assistant Grade III mains exam held on April 2012.

  1. Topicwise Breakup
  2. Reading comprehension (15Qs)
  3. Passage with Blanks (20Qs)
  4. Sentence improvement (10Qs)
  5. Direct/Indirect Speech (10Qs)
  6. Active-Passive (10Qs)
  7. Idioms and Phrases (5Qs)
  8. Synonyms- Antonyms (10Qs)
  9. Fill in the blanks (5Q)
  10. Sentence Correction (10Q)
  11. Sentence Arrangement(5Q)

Topicwise Breakup

FCI Eng Mains Breakup
If you rearrange the same data differently then:

English Grammar




RC and SA


Sentence improvement 10 Idioms and Phrases 5 Comprehension 15
Direct/Indirect Speech 10 Synonyms 5 Sentence Arrangement 5
Active-Passive 10 Antonyms 5
Sentence Correction 10 Fill in the blanks 5
Passage with Blanks 20
Total: 40 40 20


  • majority of the paper is occupied with English grammar and Vocab (40-40),
  • remaining gap is filled up with Reading comprehension and Sentence arrangement questions (20) to make up 100 questions.

Reading comprehension (15Qs)

RC#1: Humor and Jokes (10qs)

The common people have a way of laughing at their own misfortunes. They can also laugh at their oppressors. Satire became a habit with them while they groaned under the oppression of kings, priests and plutocrats. In contemporary India, the politician and the bureaucrat are the ones they take their revenge upon. There is much humour in Indian proverbs. Even the Gods are not spared. There is a special form of worship called ninda-stuti, praise by dispraiseReal humour in India, as else-where, is contained within the different languages and it is difficult for Indians of one region to understand the humour of another.India is also by tradition a class-ridden and hierarchical society.

Excessive reverence is shown to elders and to those in authority, though this may be changing. Sons and daughters don’t usually joke with their parents and vice-versa; a boss can’t afford to be seen in a mood of levity with his employees; the landlord wouldn’t dream of sharing a joke with his peasant labourers. The path to wit and humour is strewn with pitfalls. With Indian intellectuals, solemnity is a motto. Many of them wouldn’t be seen dead with a joke. And the higher they go in the cerebral scale, the drier they become.

  1. Who does not oppress the commoner?
    1. Authors .
    2. Plutocrats
    3. Bureaucrats
    4. Politicians
  1. Who laughs at their own misfortunes?
    1. Intellectuals
    2. Commoners
    3. Politicians
    4. Kings
  1. Whom do the commoners laugh at?
    1. Misfortunes
    2. Oppressors
    3. Intellectuals
    4. Writers
  1. ‘Cerebral scale’ means
    1. a device to measure height
    2. a device to measure intelli-gence
    3. intellectual ability
    4. head massager
  1. Who becomes drier in the matter of wit?
    1. The greater intellectual
    2. The lesser intellectual
    3. The commoner
    4. An employee
  1. According to the passage, the Indian intellectuals are by nature
    1. the rulers
    2. the bureaucrats
    3. the youngsters
    4. the common public
  1. Satire became a habit for
    1. witty
    2. solemn
    3. humorous
    4. rich
  1. A plutocrat is
    1. a bureaucrat
    2. an alien
    3. a labourer
    4. a rich person
  1. A ‘ninda-stuti’ is
    1. a dispraise by praise
    2. a hymn
    3. a praise by dispraise
    4. a proverb
  1. Who often find themselves at the end of the common people’s sarcastic wit?
    1. Sons and daughters
    2. Parents and elders
    3. Labourers
    4. Politicians and bureaucrats

RC#2: Keeping the Art alive (5Qs)

The art of storytelling is not bad and it will not be allowed to die. The invention of printing, literacy and the average man’s increasing enslavement to visual media in the recent decades threatened to stamp out the art altogether.

It faces a nutrient even in Indian homes, at least in urban areas, where it has been kept alive for centuries by indulgent and mothers using the tales of Princes, princesses and flying horses for lullaby.

  1. Which or who of the following have kept this art alive for centuries?
    1. Invention of printing and progress of literacy
    2. changing in men’s likes and dislikes
    3. indulgent grandmothers
    4. urban people in India
  2. Why is it necessary to keep the art alive?
    1. There is a heavy demand for it
    2. deals with stories of princes, princesses and flying horses.
    3. Children love to listen to stories.
    4. All grandmothers like to tell stories.
  3. “art” as used in the paragraph refers to
    1. a habit of grandmothers
    2. story telling
    3. stories from epics
    4. artificial way of story telling
  4. ‘tales’ in this paragraph relate to
    1. stories of competitions held in schools
    2. bedtime stories
    3. stories of princes, princesses and flying horses
    4. tragic stories
  5. According to the passage, the threat to story telling is the result of
    1. invention of printing, literacy and man’s enslavement to visual media
    2. invention of new methods of entertainment
    3. lack of interest in telling stories and listening to the stories
    4. unwillingness of urban people to tell stories.

Passage with Blanks (20Qs)

Passage#1: Happiest Person

The happiest person is the one who enjoys what life offers. (b1) age has its pleasures and its pains. Old age has always been thought of as the (b2) age to be. But it is not (b3) for the old to be unhappy. With old age should come (b4) and the ability to guide others with (b5) wisely given. The old can have the joy of seeing their (b6) making progress in life. They can watch their grandchildren (b7) up around them. If (b8) life has been a useful one, they can feel the happiness of having come through the (b9) of life (b10).


FCI Bio b1. (1) Each (2) All  (3) No (4) Everyb2. (1) worst (2) best (3) dreadful (4) impossibleb3. (1) proper (2) needful (3) necessary (4) unnecb4. (1) knowledge (2) studies (3) learning (4) wisdom

b5. (1) riches (2) advice (3) money (4) property

b6. (1) parents (2) ancestors (3) children (4) neighbours

b7. (1) looking (2) growing (3) climbing (4) chatting

b8. (1) our (2) his (3) mine (4) their

b9. (1) attack (2) war (3) battle (4) skirmish

b10. (1) badly (2) successfully (3) bitterly (4) sorrowfully

Passage#2: Timely Actions

Timely actions are always (b1) When a cloth gets torn it must mended (b2), if it is to be us the act of stitching is (b3) , the may become bigger and it may more stitches and the cloth may come (b4) for use. In the same ner, whenever any action is to be it must be done at the (b5) When (b6) comes, we must utilize or else the delay may result in (b7) failure and (b8). So remember (b9), stitch (b10) time saves nine.

b1. (1) hopeful (2) essential (3) beneficial (4) usefulb2. (1) later (2) .at once (3) then (4) next dayb3. (1) undone (2) left (3) rejected (4) postponedb4. (1) ugly (2) worst (3) unfit (4) waste

b5. (1) fixed (2) appropriate (3) accurate (4) constant

b6. (1) opportunity (2) time (3) chance (4) luck

b7. (1) enjoyment (2)disaster (3) destruction (4) disappointment

b8. (1) sorrow (2) tragedy (3) unhappiness (4) joy

b9. (1)nine (2) a (3) no (4) any

b10. (1)in (2) on a any (4) over

Sentence improvement (10Qs)

In the following questions, a part of the sentence is printed in *bold*. Alternatives are given in answer-choices, which may improve the statement. Pick the correct alternative.

  1. The music show *began* when we arrived in the hall.
    1. had begun
    2. had began
    3. would begin
    4. No improvement
  1. There will be *black* murder when she hears this.
    1. red
    2. blue.
    3. pink
    4. No improvement
  1. The congregation believes that *it has selected* a suitable preacher.
    1. it has been selected
    2. it have selected
    3. it has select
    4. No improvement
  1. My group of tenth-graders *are such well behaved.*
    1. is so well behaved
    2. are so well behaved
    3. is such well behaved
    4. No improvement
  1. My *admonishing to him* will not change his mind.
    1. admonishing at him
    2. admonishing him
    3. admonishing for him
    4. No improvement
  1. She *gave* most of her time to dance.
    1. lent
    2. spent
    3. devoted
    4. No improvement
  1. The people *criticized* the terrorist attack.
    1. condoned
    2. condemned
    3. conceded
    4. No improvement
  1. Surbhi’s father did not want her *to have spent* all her money at the fair.
    1. to be spending
    2. to have been spending
    3. to spend
    4. No improvement
  1. Basmati rice is *more superior than* most other varieties of rice.
    1. superior than
    2. more superior to
    3. superior to
    4. No improvement
  1. Those were the days when we *would all go out* together.
    1. will all go out
    2. will be going out
    3. would have been going
    4. No improvement

Direct/Indirect Speech (10Qs)

In the following questions, a sentence has been given in Direct/Indirect form. From the given answer choices, select the best choice that expresses the same sentence in Indirect/Direct form.

  1. The Principal told us, “Wait here till I return.”
    1. The Principal told us wait here till he return.
    2. The Principal told us to wait there till he returned.
    3. The Principal told us to wait there till return,
    4. The Principal told us please wait here till he returned.
  1. My mother said to me, “Who is your best friend ?”
    1. My mother questioned me as to who my best friend was.
    2. My mother asked me who is my best friend.
    3. My mother asked me who my best friend was.
    4. My mother asked me who my best friend is
  1. The teacher said to the boys, “If you do your best you will surely pass.”
    1. The teacher asked the boys to work hard so that they can pass.
    2. The teacher told the boys that unless they work hard they will not pass.
    3. The teacher requested the boys that if they work better, they will surely pass.
    4. The teacher told the boys that if they did their best they would surely pass.
  1. The boy pleaded that he had not stolen the book.
    1. The boy said, “I don’t steal the book.”
    2. The boy said, “I didn’t steal the book.”
    3. The bOy said, “I hadn’t stolen the book.”
    4. The boy said, t 1 haven’t stolen the book.”
  1. Kavitha said, “I saw the photograph.”
    1. Kavitha told that she saw the photograph.
    2. Kavitha said that she had seen the photograph.
    3. Kavitha said that the photograph was seen by her.
    4. Kavitha said that she has seen the photograph.
  1. The king said to his men, “Put the man in prison.”
    1. The king implored his men to put the man in prison.
    2. The king commanded his men to put the man in prison.
    3. The king requested his men to put the man in prison.
    4. The king informed his men to put the man in prison.
  1. He said, “I have made a kite.”
    1. He says that he made a kite.
    2. He will say that he had made a kite.
    3. He said that I had made a kite.
    4. He said that he had made a kite.
  1. Dravid’s neighbour said, “Do you like to play golf ?
    1. Dravid’s neighbour questioned him and said if he liked to play golf.
    2. Dravid’s neighbour asked him to like golf.
    3. Dravid’s neighbour asked him if he would like to .play golf.
    4. Dravid’s neighbour asked him if he liked to play golf.
  1. She announced that they had selected Pradeep as their leader.
    1. She said, “Pradeep is our leader.
    2. She announced, “We have selected Pradeep as our leader.”
    3. She announced, “Let us se-, lect Pradeep as our leader.”
    4. She declared, “Pradeep had been selected as our leader.”
  1. He told the boy not to sit there.
    1. “Didn’t sit here,” he said to the boy.
    2. “Don’t sit there,” he said to the boy.
    3. “Didn’t sit there,” he said to the boy.
    4. “Don’t sit here,” he said to the boy.

Active-Passive (10Qs)

Change the voice of the given question statements

  1. The whole village was ravaged by the man-eater.
    1. The man-eater ravages the whole village.
    2. The whole village is ravaged by the man-eater.
    3. The man-eater ravaged the whole village.
    4. The whole village is being ravaged by the man-eater.
  1. The purity of justice is maintained by the reports of proceedings in the law courts.
    1. The law courts maintain purity of justice in the reports of the proceedings.
    2. The reports of the proceedings of the law courts maintain the purity of justice.
    3. Pure justice is maintained in the proceedings of the law courts.
    4. The maintanance of justice is pure in the proceedings of the law courts.
  1. He handed her a chair.
    1. She was handed a chair by him.
    2. He handed a chair to her.
    3. He will hand a chair to her.
    4. A chair will be handed to her by him.
  1. Call the police at once.
    1. Let the police be called at once.
    2. The police was to be called at once.
    3. The police is to be called at once.
    4. Let the police called at once.
  1. Post the letter.
    1. The letter is posted.
    2. The letter was posted.
    3. Let the letter be posted.
    4. The letter will be posted.
  1. Who painted it?
    1. It was painted?
    2. Was it painted?
    3. Had it been painted by?
    4. By whom was it painted?
  1. Newton wrote this letter yesterday
    1. Yesterday was written letter by Newton.
    2. This letter is written by Newton yesterday.
    3. This letter was written by Newton yesterday
    4. This letter was wrote by Newton yesterday
  1. An awareness is being created among the people by the government about the importance of trees.
    1. The Government is creating awareness among the people about the importance of trees.
    2. The Government are creating awareness among the people about the importance of trees.
    3. The Government awareness an about the b trees.
    4. The Governs awareness an about the trees.
  2. Ads on TV increase the sale of any commodity.
    1. The sale of any commodity is being increased by ads on TV.
    2. The sale of any commodity are increased by ads on TV.
    3. The sale of any commodity are being increased by ads on TV.
    4. The sale of any commodity is increased by ads on TV.
  3. The Indian Government is encouraging the Europeans to visit India.
    1. The Europeans are encouraged by the Indian government to visit India
    2. The Europeans are encouraing the Indian government to visit India.
    3. The Europeans are being encouraged by the Indian government to visit India
    4. The Europeansis encouraged by the Indian government to visit India

Idioms and Phrases (5Qs)

  1. To take one to task
    1. to reprove
    2. to take care of
    3. to approve
    4. to give a job
  2. A red letter day
    1. an important day
    2. an auspicious day
    3. a dangerous day
    4. an unimportant day
  3. To cast away
    1. to leave a place
    2. to discard for ever
    3. to develop new habits
    4. to keep in a hospital
  1. To give a cold shoulder
    1. to rub shoulder
    2. to tease
    3. to take no notice of
    4. to give a cold shower
  2. To kick the bucket
    1. to die
    2. to escape
    3. to attack
    4. to disappear

Synonyms- Antonyms (10Qs)

Synonyms (5Q)

  1. Apparent
    1. Glaring
    2. Vague
    3. Similar
    4. Dress
  2. Discourse
    1. Sermon
    2. Calamity
    3. Intricate
    4. Worsen
  3. Bombastic
    1. Pompous
    2. Sensitive
    3. Rapid (4) sufficient
  4. Customary
    1. Unusual
    2. Traditional
    3. Rare
    4. Exceptional
  5. Slain
    1. Pained
    2. Wronged
    3. Duped
    4. Killed

Antonyms (5Q)

  1. Vague
    1. Unclear
    2. Definite
    3. Cloudy
    4. Ambiguous
  2. Perfect
  3. Imperfect
  4. Ugly
  5. Defect
  6. Complete
  7. Explicit
  8. Implicit
  9. Surplus
  10. Superfluous
  11. Profit
  12. Disadvantage
  13. Boon
  14. None of the above
  15. Obsolete
  16. New
  17. Boutique
  18. Physique
  19. Deficit
  20. Bane
  21. Antique

Fill in the blanks (5Q)

  1. He felt _____ making so many mistakes.
    1. worthy of
    2. aware of
    3. ashamed of
    4. fond of
  2. The chief guest _____ the prizes.
    1. gave up
    2. gave in
    3. gave away
    4. gave way
  3. This problem _____ a lot of thought.
    1. calls for
    2. comes across
    3. calls on
    4. comes into
  1. Which is ____ longest river in India?
    1. a
    2. an
    3. the
    4. No article
  2. I promise to you in all circumstances.
    1. stand up to
    2. stand with
    3. stand off
    4. stand by

Sentence Correction (10Q)

Obj Eng
  1. He caught the boy,(a)/ steal (b)/the parcel. (c)/ No error. (d)
  2. I am (a)/ taller than you .(b)/ aren’t I ? (c)/ No error. (d)
  3. A man of fifty (a)/ cannot he called (b)/ as young. (c)/ No error. (d)
  4. One of my (a)/ brothers live (b)/in U.S.A. (c)/ No error. (d)
  5. I will (a)/ meet him (b)/ when he will come. (c) No error. (d)
  6. I will not (a)/ agree to (b)/ the proposal. (c)/ No error. (d)
  7. He wanted to go (a)/ to home (b)/ as he was sick. (c)/ No error. (d)
  8. Either you (a)/ or he (b)/ are happy. (c)/ No error. (d)
  9. In her address (a)/ she advised us to protect (b)/ our nation. (c)/ No error. (d)
  10. Besides me (a)/ many other (b)/were present. (c)/ No error. (d)

Sentence Arrangement(5Q)

In the following questions, the first and last parts of the sentence are given correctly. The rest of the sentence is split into four parts and named P, Q, R and S. These four parts are not given in their proper order. Read the sentence and find out which of the four combinations is correct.

1. (First Statement) The CentreP. for vehicles carrying food articlesQ. on the windshield andR. has made it mandatory

S. to display details

(Last Statement) the rear screen.

  1. RPSQ
  2. PQRS
  3. SRQP
  4. PRQS
2. (First Statement) The manP. would have given himQ. was singularly inconspicuousR. and no one passing him in the street

S. who was called Alfred Not,

(Last Statement)  another look.

  1. SQRP
  2. RPQS
  3. PRQS
  4. QRSP
3. (First Statement) If my fatherP. gives meQ. I shall spendR. permission

S. a few months

(Last Statement) abroad

  1. QRPS
  2. PARS
  3. PRQS
  4. QPRS
4. (First Statement) R.K. Narayan’s charactersP. merchants, hermits, teachers, etc.Q. come from everyR. and represent in miniature

S. area of Indian society

(Last Statement)  a wealth of human experience.

  1. PRQS
  2. QSPR
  3. RPSQ
  4. SQPR
5. (First Statement) ElephantsP. in their feetQ. to sense seismic vibrationsR. have special bones

S. that enable them

(Last Statement) long before we can.

  1. QRSP
  2. PRQS
  3. RPSQ
  4. RSQP
SSC Mock