Here is the passage being analysed, from Francis Bacon's essay "Of Studies":
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention. Some books may also be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man, conference a reading man, and writing an exact man. And therefore if a man writes little, he had need have a good memory; if he confers little, he had need have a present wit; and if he reads little, he had need have much cunning to seem to know that he doth not.
Histories make men wise, poets witty, the mathematics subtle, natural philosophy deep, moral, grave, logic and rhetoric able to contend.
And here are the questions I'm expected to answer about this passage:
What is meant by conference?
- (A) A meeting where conversation is important
- (B) A gathering of people
- (C) A get together
- (D) A group of people assembled to hear a speaker
What does some books are to be tasted mean?
- (A) To be read with diligence and attention
- (B) To be read but not curiously
- (C) To be read just for fun
- (D) To be read only in parts
How must we approach the 'meaner' sort of books?
- (A) They are to be read by deputy and extracts made of them by others
- (B) They are to be read but not to contradict and confute
- (C) They are to be read but only in parts
- (D) They are to be read but not curiously
What should be the real object of reading?
- (A) Not to contradict and confute
- (B) To weigh and consider
- (C) To distil the contents
- (D) To understand the author's point of view
If a man reads very little, what must he pretend?
- (A) He must pretend to have a good memory
- (B) He must pretend to have a lot of intelligence
- (C) He must pretend to know a lot
- (D) He must pretend to be witty
The answers I marked are: 2D, 3A, 4B, 5A. However, the correct answers are: 1D, 2A, 3D, 4D, 5C.
Now, my understanding is that the answers I marked are directly from the passage as it is. However, the correct answers seems to be different. Perhaps a great understanding of the passage is required?