Department of English, RU, Written Test

University of Rajshahi
Department of English
Admission Test 2005

Full Marks: 50 Time: 1 hour

(N.B. Answer all questions. Marks for each question are shown in the margin.]

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions below it. Answer the questions in your own words as far as possible. You may use single words from the passage, but you must not use entire sentences from the passage to answer the questions. 

What does it mean to be free? Is freedom a matter of doing what happens to suit you, going where you like, thinking what you will? This you do anyhow. Merely to have independence, does that mean freedom? Many people in the world are independent, but very few are free. Freedom implies great intelligence, does it not? To be free is to be intelligent, but intelligence does not come into being by just wishing to be free; it comes into being only when you begin to understand your whole environment, the social, religious, parental and traditional influences that are continually closing in on you. But to understand the various influences – the influence of your parents, of your government, of society, of the culture to which you belong, of your beliefs, your gods and superstitions, of the tradition to which you conform unthinkingly—to understand all these and become free from them requires deep insight but you generally give in to them because inwardly you are frightened. You are afraid of not having a good position in life; you are afraid of what your priests will say; you are afraid of not following tradition; of not doing the right thing. But freedom is really a state of mind in which there is no fear or compulsion, no urge to be secure.


a) What, according to the author, is freedom?

b) How is freedom different from independence?

c) What do you understand by the phrase “the various influences?”

d) Why do people conform to tradition?

e) What is the central idea of this passage?

2. Write an essay on any ONE of the following:                                 25

 a) The worst storm you have seen and its aftermath.

 b) Grading standards in SSC and HSC examinations in Bangladesh.

  c) Uses and abuses of mobile phones.

University of Rajshahi
Department of English

Admission Test 2007

Time: 1 hour Full Marks: 60

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions below it:           30 marks 

            Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

           She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father, and had, in consequence of her sister’s marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had  been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.

          Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr Woodhouse’s family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters/ but particularly of Emma. Between them, it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor’s judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.

          The real evils indeed of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

          Sorrow came—a gentle sorrow—but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness. — Miss Taylor married. It was Miss Taylor’s loss which first brought grief. It was on the wedding-day of this beloved friend that Emma first sat in mournful thought of any continuance. The wedding over and the bride-people gone, her father and herself were left to dine together, with no prospect of a third to cheer a long evening….. 

           How was she to bear the change? — It was true that her friend was going only half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference between a Mrs. Weston only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house; and with all her advantages, natural and domestic, she was now in great danger of suffering from intellectual solitude. She dearly loved her father, but he was no companion for her. He could not meet her in conversation, rational or playful. 

a) What title would you choose for this passage? Justify your choice.

b) What impression of Emma do you get from the passage?

c) What is Emma’s relationship with Miss Taylor?

d) What was the most important change in Emma’s life? How did she react to it?

e) What are the meanings of the following words? ( The words are in bold type in the passage above. You must write the English meanings of the words.)

(i) disposition; (ii) indulgent; (iii) restraint; (iv) unperceived; (v) mournful, (vi) solitude.

2. Write an essay on any ONE of the following topics:     30 marks

       a) Exploitation of women in advertisements;

       b) Positive aspects of overpopulation in a poor country;

       c) The need of education in a successful democracy.

University of Rajshahi
Department of English
Admission Test 2010-2011

Full Marks 60                                                                                                      Time: 1 hour

    Answer all questions. Marks for each question are shown in the margin.

  1. Write a composition on any ONE of the following:                   30

    a) A fearful experience in your life;

    b) The importance of school uniform

    c) Childhood books you remember most.

 2. Read the following poem and write what you understand of it.   20

    Gather rosebuds while you may, 
           Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
            To-morrow will be dying.
 The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
            The higher he will be getting,
           The sooner will his race be run.

And nearer he’s to setting. 
       That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
     But being spent, the worse, and worst
          Times still succeed the former.

 3. Translate the following into English:                                                10

আদিকাল থেকেই মানুষ নানাভাবে নিজেকে প্রকাশ করার চেষ্টা করে আসছে। পাহাড়ের গায়ে পাথরের উপরে ছবি আঁকা থেকে শুরু করে বর্তমানের নানারকম শিল্পকর্ম সবই মানুষের আত্মপ্রকাশের বিভিন্ন রূপ। এসবের মধ্যে কবিতা এমন একটি বিশ্বজনীন আত্মপ্রকাশের প্রচেষ্টা যা ভাষার মাধ্যমটিকে ব্যবহার করে থাকে। প্রাচীন কালের মানুষরাও কবিতার চর্চা করত, আবার এই যান্ত্রিক সভ্য জগতেও এর মূল্য কমেনি। ভাষার সাথে মানুষের সম্পর্ক যতদিনের কবিতার সাথে সম্পর্কও ততদিনেরই। 

University of Rajshahi
Department of English
Admission Test 2011-12 

Marks: 60                                                                                                          Time: 1 hour

 Answer all questions. Marks for each question are shown in the margin.

l. Write an essay on ONE of the following:                                                  25

a) Is obtaining a high grade more important than acquiring knowledge for a student?

b) Technology and students,

c) Our disappearing social values.

2. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow: 20 

When the boy came to see me, I anticipated that he would seek my help for his admission into my department. He was really asking for my help but not about what I expected. He said very earnestly, ‘Could you please help me to persuade my parents that I should not go to university?’ 

The habits of a lifetime made me, almost automatically, start to remind him of the value of a liberal education. But when I glanced at him, I checked myself. Il was a safe bet that he had already had some experience in the great books, but had already been bored to death by Hamlet and Macbeth, and had rejected such studies. Who was I to urge him to have some more of these things stuffed down his throat? It turned out in the course of further conversation that what the boy wanted desperately to be was a dental technician. and that the thought of entering university was nothing less than revolting to him. His parents. I gathered, felt very strongly that he should have the blessing of higher education even though he found it a curse. 

I felt like saying to the boy. ‘Don’t come to university. Stick to your guns. Be the technician you want to be.’ But I was fair-minded. I pointed out the advantages of both sides, knowing that my department would probably settle the boy’s problem for him. One never knows what ripples one’s falling pebble will cause. A few days later, the boy’s father met me and said. My son wants to come and see you again. He says you made university sound very nice.’

a)  Give the meanings of the underlined words/sentences in the passage.

b)  What was unusual about the boy’s request?

c)  What was the conflict between the boy and his parents?

d)  What did the writer mean when he said that his department itself would probably solve the  boy’s problem for him?

3. Translate into English:                                                                   15            

ভোর বেলা মায়ের ডাকে ঘুম ভাঙ্গলো। তাকিয়ে দেখলাম মায়ের মুখে মিষ্টি হাসি। মা বললেন ‘পিঠে করেছি, খাবেত জলদি এস’। পিঠার কথা শুনে চোখ থেকে ঘুম পালিয়ে গেল। এক লাফে উঠে বসলাম। বিছানা ছেড়ে নামতেই নাকে এসে লাগলো পিঠার মিষ্টি গন্ধ। চোখ মুছতে মুছতে ঘরের বাইরে এলাম। দেখলাম মায়ের হাতে থালা ভর্তি পিঠা।

University of Rajshahi
Department of English
Admission Test 2012-13

Time: 1 hour                                                                          Full Marks: 60

Answer all questions. Marks for each question are shown in the margin.

1. Write an essay on ONE of the following:                                                 30              

a) Benefits of having good companions;

b) An opportunity you have wasted in your life;

c) Your idea of healthy food.

2. Read the following passage and answer the questions below it:  20

Recently I was unfortunate enough to be in a store when a robbery took place. I learned from that experience that a pointed gun makes people obey. I had stopped at the store on my way home from work to get a loaf of bread. I was at the check-out counter when a man standing nearby pulled out a gun and yelled, “Everybody on the floor and away from the cash register!” My first reaction was fear. Around me, people dropped to the floor. But I felt frozen where I stood. As I hesitated, the robber pointed his gun at me and yelled again, “On the floor!” Then I felt angry. I was bigger and stronger than he was. I was sure I could put him on the floor in a fair fight. But the gun, small enough to cradle the palm of my hand, was bigger and stronger than I was. I sank obediently to the floor. 

All of us watched silently as the robber scooped money out of the cash register into a paper bag. Then he ran out the door, jumped into a car that was waiting, and the car raced away. Everyone then stood up and started talking. A clerk called the police, who asked if anyone could describe the robber or the car. No one could. Then one man, blustering defensively, told the clerk just what I was thinking. “Listen. Tell them when a gun is pointed at me, it’s all I’m looking at. One look and I’m going to do whatever I’m told,”

a) What is the main idea of the passage? Where is the idea stated first and where is it repeated? b) Why did the writer feel angry?

c) What happened before and after the robbery?

d) Give the meaning, in English, of the words underlined in the passage.

3. Translate the following into English:                                            10

প্রাচীনকালে অনেক রাজারাণীও কবি-শিল্পীদের ভয় পেতেন। কারণ তারা খুব জনপ্রিয় ছিলেন এবং জনমতকে প্রভাবিত করতে সক্ষম ছিলেন। এরকম একজন রাজা ও রানী ছিলেন ইংল্যান্ডের রাজা প্রথম এডওয়ার্ড এবং তার রানী এলেনর। তাদের ভয়ে একজন কবি প্রতিবাদ হিসেবে পাহাড় থেকে লাফিয়ে পড়ে আত্মহত্যা করেন। এই ঘটনা নিয়ে একটা কবিতাও লেখা হয়েছিল।

Rajshahi University
Department of English
Admission Test 2015-2016

Time: 1 hour                                                                         Full marks: 50

Read the following passage and answer the questions below it:

About fifty years ago the notion of English as a global language was merely a theoretical prediction which is still diffuse and vague. However, realities have created it as a real language at the present time. People in every part of the world feel its urgent role in their life: for academic purposes,  for business goals and for other purposes. English is spoken by people throughout the world as their first, second and foreign language. Indeed, English is now a world language.

English as a world language is not merely an international language. The notion of international language can be understood as a language which is used in any international communication Which involves people from two or more countries. Japanese is an international language, but it is not a global language. Japanese is often used by people who communicate with Japanese people, usually in the area in which Japanese people, traditional political power and/or business are dominant. Japanese, however, is not used in a great number of other contexts. The same thing applies to Arabic. As an international language, Arabic is not only used in the area in which Arab people are dominant, but it is employed when people communicate with Arabs in other places. However, Arabic is not used when there is no connection with Arabs. This is different from the fact of English as a global language-English is not used when people communicate with English speakers, it is used by people of different first languages. It is not only applied when people speak to English people, but also When people from different nations meet. English is the most widely spoken language in very different contexts in the world. Therefore, English is not only an international language but also a global language. The global language can be spoken as either the first, second or foreign language. The prominent characteristic of a global language is that it is the most widely used language in communication in most places in the world. People feel the need to master it for their life.

There are some countries where people speak English as their first language. USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and several Caribbean countries are among the thirty territories that use English as their first language. However English does not gain its special status as a global language merely by being spoken by people in those countries; it becomes a world language because people in other countries give a special credence to English, even though they do not speak it as a first language-

a) How does the author distinguish between an international language and a global language?

b) How, according to the passage, is English both an international and a global language? 

c) When does a language attain a global status? 

d) Give contextual meanings in English of the underlined words in the passage.

e) Translate the following sentences from the passage into Bangla 

Japanese is often used by people who communicate with Japanese people. usually in the area in which Japanese people tradition, political power and/or business are dominant, Japanese, however, is not used in a great number of other contexts. The same thing applies to Arabic.

 2. Write a composition (in not more than 600 words) on any one of the following topics:  30

a) Your vision of future Bangladesh

b) Fears and anxieties of the young generation of your time

Rajshahi University
Department of English
Admission Test 2016

Time: 1 hour                                                                                                    Full Marks: 50

Figures in the Right margin indicate marks. Answer both the questions.

1. Read the passage below and answer the questions following it:           5×5=25

Throughout the early sixties of the last century, Rajshahi was a pathetically provincial little town. It was so small, in fact, that it did not have cars on its streets. In the whole of Rajshahi, there were around three or four private cars and two or three rental cars that were only rarely seen on the streets. Some months after our arrival at Rajshahi we went to visit my mother’s ancestral house in Natore in a car rented from the local Motor Union. The car appeared to date from the nineteen-twenties; it was a convertible with a canvas hood and spoked wheels, and on the 30-mile journey to Natore it had to stop twice to cool its engine. What Rajshahi had on the roads in abundance were “tom-toms”, the little one-horse-drawn carts that clip-clopped through the streets, and whose little horses left dung wherever they went. When it dried and pounded to dust, it flew through the air and gave a distinctive smell to the atmosphere. There were cycle-rickshaws too, of course. Some of the boys of my neighbourhood made up a game of rickshaw number-plate spotting and the highest number they spotted, they said, was 600. This was perhaps the highest number of rickshaws that Rajshahi, with its then sparse population, could support. Both the number of rickshaws and people in Rajshahi multiplied, however, quite quickly; so much so that some years later number-plate spotting as a hobby became outdated.

  a. On what criteria is Rajshahi called a “provincial little town” in the           passage?

  b. What idea does the writer convey by mentioning the journey to             Natore?

  c. What does the activity of “number-plate spotting” imply?

  d. Give the meanings (in English) of the words in bold in the passage and  make a  sentence of your own with each of them.

   e. Translate into Bangla the first three sentences of the passage.

2. Write an essay on “Facebook Friendship”                                   25


Rajshahi University
Department of English
Admission Test 2017

Time: 1 hour                                                                     Full Marks: 50

 (Figures in the right margin indicate full marks. Answer both the questions.)

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions below it:              25

To put it bluntly, English cannot claim a dominant position of any kind in relation to the status of Bangla in Bangladesh. Although there are some other languages and cultures in Bangladesh, it is predominantly a monoculture and a monolingual country and it does not have many languages competing for ascendency, English—the language as well as its ancillaries — is of course subordinate to Bangla and the national culture. What this means for everyone in Bangladesh is that the study of everything that relates to Bangladesh is far more important than the study of English. If English is at all important in the country, it is so for the study of a host of other things and subjects, and it is more important in the sciences than in the humanities. In other disciplines, it is of course a mere instrument, a tool, and not much else. No scientist or economist ever needs to bother about reading a Mill or a Milton to develop a prose style they require for professional purposes. And indeed that is how most of our academics use English; they learn the language only to be able to research and to produce scholarly papers in their respective research areas. 

(a) Does the passage discourage the study of English? Justify your answer.

(b) Why is English in Bangladesh subordinate to Bangla?

(c) How would you explain the idea of a language as ‘ a tool’? 

(d) Give the contextual meanings in English of the words in bold and make a sentence of your 
    own with each of them.

(e) Translate the first three sentences of the passage into Bangla.

2. Write a composition on any one of the following:                        25

(a) Human crises in the present world

(b) Your strengths and weaknesses as an individual


Rajshahi University
Department of English
First Year Admission Test 2018-19

Time: 1 hour                      Full Marks: 50 

[Marks for each question are shown in the margin. Answer both the questions]

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions below it:             5×5=25

Before the invention of reading and writing, people lived in an environment in which they struggled to survive against natural forces, animals and other humans. To survive, preliterate people developed skills that grew into cultural and educational patterns. For a particular group’s culture to continue into the future, people had to transmit it, or pass it on, from adults to children. The earliest educational processes involved sharing information about gathering food and providing shelter, making weapons and other tools, learning language and acquiring the values, behaviour and religious rites or practices of a given culture.

Through direct informal education, parents and elders taught children the skills and roles they would need as adults. These lessons eventually formed the moral codes that governed behaviour. Since they lived before the invention of writing, preliterate people used an oral tradition or storytelling to pass on their culture and history from one generation to the next. By using language, people learned to create and use symbols, words or signs to express their ideas. When these symbols grew into pictographs and letters, human beings created a written language and made a great cultural leap to literacy.

(a) What does the passage say about the role of education?

(b) How did environment determine the objects of educational processes? 

(c) How did an oral tradition lead to the development of a written language?

(d) Translate the first two sentences of the second paragraph into Bangla.

(e)  Give the meanings in English) of the underlined words and make a sentence of your own  with each of them.

2. Write an essay on any one of the following:                                             25

(a) The experience of overcoming a phobia

(b) First Impressions: To value or not to value? 

(c) You after 30 yea