KPK Public Service Commission, Peshawar Competitive Examination for Provincial Management Service, 2008 Paper: English Precis and Composition
Maximum Marks: 100 Note: Attempt all questions. Marks will be deducted for incorrect use of language. Extra attempt of any question will not be considered. Candidates must draw two straight lines (=== ) at the end to separate each question attempted In the answer book.
Q. 1 Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow: (20)
Advertising is an with ulterior motives. It is used to attract consumers attention and make them believe that one brand is better than another or that they need something that they really do not. Advertising indirectly sets many cultural norms. It plays on many common beliefs, hoping to relate to the majority of the consumers. There are many popular methods for getting such message across.
We are subjected to a continual barrage of advertisements on the television, the print media and the Internet. The average internet surfer comes across at least an ad or two per page surfed.
Over the years, advertising has become an important economical means through which the demand for a product is controlled. The need for advertisement has been reflected by a continual increase in demand for market analysts, strategists and psychologists.
In Pakistan, even our utility companies have resorted to the rather tasteless printing of advertisements all over the phone and gas bills! Our roads are lined not with trees but with huge hoardings advertising everything from food to vacations.
Subliminal means, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary, “below the threshold of consciousness or apprehension.” So , what are subliminal adverts?
They are covertly embedded images or ‘messages’ that ‘speak’ to the subconscious and not to the conscious mind. Subliminal adverts are used as tools of persuasion by our media manipulators. They are embedded in advertising material for a variety of reasons, usually to stimulate consumption, alter our moods and enhance associations.
We ‘react’ to images and symbols in a powerful way and our media persuaders know how to use this fact to their advantage. In other words, depending on the intended effect, specific works or images can trigger unconscious thought which may lead to subsequent action.
The whole point of a subliminal ad is that you can’t see it.
The public first became aware of subliminal advertising in the 1950’s with a movie theater experiment. Short clips of the phrases “Hungry? Eat Popcorn” and ‘Drink Coca-Cola“ were inserted by advertiser James Vicary in the movies being shown.
This supposedly boosted sales at the refreshment stands, but later it was found to be a hoax. Vicary admitted that the original “study” was fabrication (Skeptical Inquirer, Spring 1992), intended only to increase customers for his marketing business.
Belief in subliminal messaging reached a surreal height in USA in 1980 with the publication of The Clam-Plate Orgy and Other Subliminals the Media use to Manipulate Your Behavior by Dr. Wilson Bryan Key.
USA has its own set of extremists of all kinds. Americans see a hidden hand in many areas. In the September 2000 election campaign in USA, there was a subliminal message scare: A Republican ad flashed the segment “RATS.” from the word “Bureaucrats,” for 1/30 of a second ova a picture of the Democratic candidate, Al Gore. Complaints were made but the Republican’s ad agency denied that this was intentional (“subliminal”).
Detractors claim that subliminal messages have also been detected in radio advertisements, print and media ads for cigarettes (Camels), soft drinks (Coke and Pepsi cans), clothes and perfumes, several Disney movies (the Lion King), and popular rock and roll songs. However, the effectiveness of these messages in modifying behavior has yet to be proven.
As though subliminal messaging in ads isn’t enough. there are ad companies researching the possibility that auditnry stimuli may induce people to go on a spending spree The New Scientist talks about ads which are geared to stimulate our sense of smell and persuade us to by expensive perfumes, coffee, bread etc.
Should there be laws to limit what ad companies can do? Do ad companies have the right to employ psychology to induce us to buy their product?’ Is this an Orwellian nightmare?
Attempt any 4 questions:
1. Why can’t we ‘see’ subliminal ads?
2. What is the writer’s opinion of subliminal advertising’? Do you agree with the views of the writer?
3. What does the writer mean by an “Orwellian nightmare’?
4. In your opinion are subliminal ads an ethical practice?
5. After reading the above passage, do you think the writer has exaggerated the situation or is it possible that this is already being practiced?
Q.2 Write a precis of 169 words of the following passage. Give it a suitable title. (20)
Hydroponics, an unconventional growing technique, is the cultivation of plants in water. Revolutionary as it may sound, plants do not need soil as such – they need only the nutrients and moisture contained in the soil, and these can be supplied through gravel that contains water, as well as through soil.
Hydroponics is not a new process. As long ago as the 1690s, an English physician tried growing plants in a laboratory experiment, and in the 1810s German researchers used the method to develop many of the formulas for plant nutrient still in use today.
About a generation ago, hydroponics moved out of the research labs into commercial use. A California physiologist, W.F.Gericke, published guidelines for hydroponics agriculture in 1936. Use was made of hydroponics in some military operations during World War II. Since then research projects and commercial ventures in hydroponics have gone forward in a number of countries, including areas where water is in short supply and temperatures are too extreme for ordinary agriculture.
One of the leading companies in the field of hydroponics, in Arizona, which operates over 200 greenhouses on a 48-hectare section of land. Hydroculture produces more than 2.7 million kilograms of vegetables and fruits each year – mostly tomatoes, but also cucumbers, lettuce and melons. Crop yields are excellent. Each mature tomato plant produces and an average of 12.1 kilos of fruit in a year of two growing cycles. This compares with about 9 kilos for two crops of the average soil grown plant.
Hydroculture’s greenhouses measure 8 by 39 meters and consist of steel frames covered with a reinforced plastic film that is resistant to weather and lets in a minimum amount of light. The plants are fed by inorganic nutrients dissolved in water which is supplied by a plastic pipeline. The feeding and watering system is automated. Electric sensing devices (sensors) determine when the plants are hungry or thirsty. The sensors send impulse messages that automatically activate the water and nutrient delivery system. When the sensors ‘know’ that the plants have had enough, they automatically shut off the system.
Temperature, humidity, and air circulation are carefully controlled. Air conditioning and heating keep the temperature at 29 Celsius by day and 18 by night. No entry is given to wind, hail, frost, drought, weeds or insects.
Despite the development, soilless agriculture still remains only a minor competitor to the traditional open-field way of growing crops. Hydroponics accounts for only a small fraction of world output of food and fibre, and its potential is primarily in arid region agriculture where water is in short supply. or in the production of high priced specialty crops which reward costly investment and intensive care.
Q.3. Explain the meaning of any five of the following: (05)
i. Activate ii. Arid iii. Humidity iv. Automated v. Sensors vi. Resistant vii. Unconventional viii. Inorganic
Q.4. a) Choose the word nearest in meaning to the word In capitals (Attempt only five). ( 05)
1. DOMESTICATE: a) to turn native b) be exclusive c) tame d) cut claws
2. ANTICS: a) expectation b) absurd behaviour c) temper d) place where ants live
3. DATA: a) belief b) point of origin c) date line d) information
4. TRAIT: a) narrow enclosure b) strong point c) distinguishing feature d) footprint
5. ERA: a) curious event b) disaster c) period of history d) cycle
6. SACROSANCT: a) peaceful b) sacred c) mundane d) painful
b) Use any five of the following in sentences which illustrate the meaning of the Idiom: ( 10 )
i. Have your cake and eat it too
ii. Like two peas in a pod
iii. Burn one’s boats
iv. Take something with a pinch of salt
v. To read between the lines
vi. To stick to one’s guns
Q.5. Change the following into reported speech. Attempt only 5. Any extra attempt will not be considered. (10)
i. Amir said, “I haven’t seen you for a long time.”
ii. I asked my sister, “Why did you do that?”
iii. She asked him, “Why don’t you love me anymore?”
iv. Amir asked Junaid, “When are we going to leave?”
v. She said, “I had an infection.”
vi. Junaid said, “I don’t like to stay in be.”
vii. Akhtar said, “I bought a new car.”
b) Makeup five groups of three words which are similar In meaning or area of use. (10)
barge, barrel, bucket, can, cane, canoe, flask, hive, nest, raft, rod, stick, tin, vat, warren
Q. 6. Write about 250 words on one of the following: (20)
i. The advantages of living alone
ii. A night spent out in the open
iii. Your first visit to a large city
iv. Children should be seen not heard.