Directions(1-8): Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. Certain words are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of these.
There are plenty of good reasons for a young person to choose to go to university: intellectual growth, career opportunities, having fun. Around half of the school-leavers in the rich world now do so, and the share is rising in poorer countries, too. Governments are keen on higher education, seeing it as a means to boost social mobility and economic growth. Almost all subsidise tuition—in America, to the tune of $200bn a year. But they tend to overestimate the benefits and ignore the costs of expanding university education. Often, public money just feeds the arms race for qualifications.
As more young people seek degrees, the returns both to them and to governments are lower. Employers demand degrees for jobs that never required them in the past and have not become more demanding since. In a desperate attempt to stand out, students are studying even longer, and delaying work, to obtain master’s degrees. In South Korea, a country where about 70% of young workers have degrees, half of the unemployed are graduates. Many students are wasting their own money and that of the taxpayers who subsidise them.
Spending on universities is usually justified by the “graduate premium”—the increase in earnings that graduates enjoy over non-graduates. These individual gains, the thinking goes, add up to an economic boost for society as a whole. But the graduate premium is a flawed unit of reckoning. Part of the usefulness of a degree is that it gives a graduate jobseeker an advantage at the expense of non-graduates. It is also a signal to employers of general qualities, such as intelligence and diligence that someone already has in order to get into a university. Some professions require qualifications. But a degree is not always the best measure of the skills and knowledge needed for a job. With degrees so common, recruiters are using them as a crude way to screen applicants. Non-graduates are thus increasingly locked out of decent work.
In any case, the premium counts only the winners and not the losers. Across the rich world, a third of university entrants never graduate. It is the weakest students who are drawn in as higher education expands and who are most likely to drop out. They pay fees and sacrifice earnings to study, but see a little boost in their future incomes. When dropouts are included, the expected financial return to starting a degree for the weakest students (dwindles) to almost nothing. Many school-leavers are being misled about the probable value of the university.
Governments need to offer the young a wider range of options after school. They should start by rethinking their own hiring practices. Most insist on degrees for public-sector jobs that used to be done by non-graduates, including nursing, primary-school teaching and many civil-service posts. Instead, they should seek other ways for nongraduates to prove they have the right skills and to get more on-the-job training.
School-leavers should be given a wider variety of ways to gain vocational skills and to demonstrate their employability in the private sector. If school qualifications were made more (rigorous), recruiters would be more likely to trust them as signals of ability, and less insistent on degrees. “Micro-credentials”—short, work-focused courses approved by big employers in fast-growing fields, such as IT—show promise. Universities should grant credits to dropouts for the parts of courses they have completed. They could also open their exams to anyone who wants to take them and award degrees to those who succeed.
Such measures would be more efficient at developing the skills that boost productivity and should save public money. To promote social mobility, governments would do better to direct funds to early-school education and to helping students who would benefit from university but cannot afford it. Young people, both rich and poor, are illserved by the arms race in academic qualifications, in which each must study longer because that is what all the rest are doing; it is time to disarm.
Why is encouraging more students to obtain graduate degrees not a good idea for a country?
I. It affects the job prospects of the non–graduates class.
II. Degrees turning into a minimum requirement for screening applicants.
III. Degrees acting as false indicators of certain qualities.Both II and IIIOnly IIIOnly IAll of the aboveBoth I and IIIOption D
All of the given reasons are mentioned in the passage as the factors due to which countries should be of the view that encouraging higher education among its population will certainly aid the economy of the country.
- With which of the following statement is the author is most likely to agree?
I. Early education forms the foundation for the higher education across different fields of study.
II. Investing in early – school education will show better results than investing in higher education.
III. The main aim of education is to improve the employment situation of a country.Only IIOnly IOnly IIIBoth I and IIBoth II and IIIOption A
On referring to 7th paragraph, ‘to promote social mobility, governments would do better to direct funds to early-school education and to helping students who would benefit from university but cannot afford it. Young people, both rich and poor, are ill-served by the arms race in academic qualifications, in which each must study longer because
that is what all the rest are doing; it is time to disarm’.
In the author’s opinion, in order to improve the quality of education in the country, the government should spend on early – education instead of higher – education.
- Which of the following would best summarize the last paragraph of the passage?
Mutually reliable commandMutually assured instructionMutually reliable instructionMutually agreed measuresNone of the aboveOption B
As the paragraph talks about the efficient measures for skills thereby boosting productivity and the other promotion which would be beneficial for the university; thus it is talking about the assured instruction which will serve as a win-win situation for saving the money and thereby benefitting students.
- Which of the following is the MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the given word?
‘Dwindle’ means diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength;
‘Diminish’ means to make or become less.
‘Fade’ means gradually grow faint and disappear.
‘Shrivel’ means wrinkle and contract or cause to wrinkle and contract, especially due to loss of moisture.
‘Abate’ means (of something unpleasant or severe) become less intense or widespread.
‘Ebb’ means (of an emotion or quality) gradually decrease.
- Which of the following changes has the author suggested in public – sector jobs?
I. Ensuring equality in pay to graduates and non–graduates.
II. Modifying the criteria for hiring employees.
III. Introducing training programmes for boosting the productivity of the already existing workforce.Only IIAll I, II and IIINone of I, II and IIIOnly IIIBoth I and IIOption A
On referring to the 5th paragraph, ‘governments need to offer the young a wider range of options after school. They should start by rethinking their own hiring practices. Most insist on degrees for public-sector jobs that used to be done by non-graduates, including nursing, primary-school teaching and many civil-service posts. Instead, they should seek other ways for non-graduates to prove they have the right skills and to get more on-the-job training’.
The author in the passage suggest certain changes in the hiring criteria of the public – sector companies in order to deal with the disparity among graduates and non – graduates.
- Which of the following can be inferred from the second paragraph of the passage?
I. The tax payers’ money spent on subsidizing education loses its value with the increase in the level of education it is spent on.
II. Unemployment and level of education of the population of a country are inversely related.
III. The number of degree holders in a country and value of that degree are inversely related.Only IIOnly IIIBoth I and IIIBoth I and IINone of I, II and IIIOption B
It can be understood from the passage that availability of more number of people with degrees affect their individual demand and thus, value. This means there is an inverse relationship between the number of degree holders and the value of that degree.
- As per the fourth paragraph of the passage, how do universities show a higher return of degrees they offer?
I. By showing the offered salary packages and the real salaries student receive when they join companies.
II. By not revealing the amount of loans student take to finance their studies.
III. By bribing survey conducting agencies and evaluators for obtaining better reviews.Both I and IIIOnly IIOnly IIINone of I, II and IIIAll of I, II and IIIOption D
On referring to the paragraph 4th, ‘in any case, the premium counts only the winners and not the losers. Across the rich world, a third of university entrants never graduate. It is the weakest students who are drawn in as higher education expands and who are most likely to drop out. They pay fees and sacrifice earnings to study, but see little
boost in their future incomes. When dropouts are included, the expected financial return to starting a degree for the weakest students dwindles to almost nothing. Many school-leavers are being misled about the probable value of university’.
As per the passage, the universities ignore the figures related to drop – outs in order to show a better picture of the returns of the courses they offer.
- Which of the following is the MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the given word?
‘Rigorous’ means extremely thorough and careful, ‘meticulous’ means showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.
‘Tolerant’ means showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with.
‘Flexible’ means able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances.
‘Lenient’ means mild or soothing; emollient.
She was glad to be home again, back (in the bosom of her family.)Someone who was befriended, taken care of, or treated well but proved to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful.Where the righteous go after deathTo get warmed up after a cold day outsideTo be in a group of people who love youTo be cheered up by someoneOption D
The idiom “in the bosom of” is used to mean ‘among a group of people with whom one feels safe, comfortable, and loved, especially one’s family’.
- Your remark about people who have been in trouble with the police was very (close to the bone).
To be angry with somebody about something and want to discuss it with themTo express your thoughts honestlySo honest or clearly expressed that it is likely to offend someone.To get caught while taking bribeTo make a dissenting comment about the policeOption C
The phrase “close to the bone” is used to mean ‘(of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing discomfort’.
Directions(9-10): In the given question, an idiom/phrase has been printed in bold in the sentence. Choose the alternative that best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.