III. Reading Comprehension

Section A

The Human Development Report, published annually since 1990, seeks to __50__ “human development” around the world and calculates a “Human Development Index” (HDI 人类发展指数) for 169 countries. The HDI is __51__ on average income, life expectancy, and level of education. __52__, rich countries tend to have higher HDIs than poor countries, but there are interesting __53__ in human development among countries with similar levels of economic development, because some have better health and education systems than others.

Almost every country in the world has a higher HDI than in 1990, despite the fact that since the 2008 financial crisis the total number of people living in extreme __54__ has increased. The report concludes that most people are healthier, live longer, are more __55__, — and that even in countries with severe economic problems, people’s health and education have generally __56__. Although sub-Saharan African countries are at the bottom of the pile __57__ human development, some of them have made significant progress since 1990. The report is __58__, however, of the fact that economic inequality has increased significantly in the last twenty years, both within and between countries.

The greatest threat to HDI in the future, according to the report, is climate change. The way to increase average income in a country is through economic growth, which means increased production and __59__. However, if this __60__ to greater emissions (排放) of greenhouse gases, as has always been the case in the past, global warming will probably go faster, causing severe environmental problems in some parts of the world that will __61__ the livelihoods of huge numbers of people. The progress of the last twenty years, __62__, might not be sustainable (可持续的).

The only solution, according to the report, is to break the __63__ between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions — which, __64__ to say, is easier said than done.

50.   A. judge               B. investigate         C. assess              D. justify

51.   A. based               B. focused             C. keen                  D. reflected

52.   A. Unexpectedly     B. Unwillingly       C. Unfortunately       D. Unsurprisingly

53.   A. variations          B. experiments      C. signs                  D. mixtures

54.   A. cruelty              B. poverty             C. emotion              D. terror

55.   A. talented             B. disadvantaged    C. determined        D. educated

56.   A. infected              B. ignored             C. improved             D. impressed

57.   A. to the extent of    B. on account of     C. for the sake of    D. in terms of

58.   A. critical                B. proud                C. fond                  D. independent

59.   A. administration     B. consumption      C. application          D. concentration

60.   A. objects              B. sticks                C. leads                   D. turns

61.   A. threaten             B. maintain            C. concern               D. guarantee

62.   A. therefore            B. however            C. otherwise             D. nevertheless

63.   A. gap                    B. record               C. law                     D. link

64.   A. fearless             B. needless            C. careless              D. hopeless

Section B


Life is different in Anchorage, Alaska, at the beginning of March. Every year at this time, the downtown streets become crowded with people. But these are not just regular pedestrians. In addition to the people walking through the streets, there are hundreds of dogs. It is time for the Iditarod—the famous dogsled race of Alaska.

The name of the race comes from the name of an Alaska gold rush town, Iditarod. It means “distant” or “distant place.” It comes from one of the languages of native Alaskans.

More than sixty sled teams begin the race in Anchorage. When the teams reach the outskirts of town, they get a taste of Alaska’s wilderness. For about two weeks, they will fight the unbearable cold, wind, snow, and ice to finish the race. The temperature on the trail is often well below zero degrees.

The Iditarod trail stretches for about a thousand miles. It has many rendezvous points. At these meeting places, race teams “check in” to let officials know how they are doing. Some teams get into trouble along the way. Officials will stopthem on the trail and give them the help they need. For example, officials might stop a team’s progress to give first aid or to collect an injured or tired dog. These dogs are cared for and reunited with their owners after the race.

The Iditarod trail is an important part of Alaska’s history. A part of the trail was used by some heroic dogs and humans in 1925. In Nome, Alaska, many people were catching the deadly disease diphtheria. The whole town was inquarantine, or isolation, in order to stop thisdisease. The only way to get medicine to Nome was by dogsled. About twenty “mushers,” or dogsled drivers, offered to help. They wanted to save the people of Nome from this terribletrouble.

Today the Iditarod race honors this heroic journey and all of the journeys on the famous trail. As the race organizers say, the Iditarod is “the last great race on Earth.”

65.   Which of the following is TRUE about the Iditarod race?

A. It is held every year in the downtown streets in Anchorage.

B. It usually lasts about two weeks in freezing cold weather.

C. It is held to honor the gold seekers who once lived in Iditarod.

D. Its trail is totally different from the one used by some heroic dogs

66.   In the race, it’s possible for a seriously injured dog _____.

A. to finish the race unnoticed                    B. to meet its owner again

C. to work for a new owner                       D. to get timely treatment

67.   When a town is in quarantine (in paragraph 4), people in the town _____.

 A. can get whatever they want easily

B. have to exchange gold for medicine

C. are not allowed to go out freely       

D. will be remembered as heroes

68. The passage is mainly about _____.

A. life in Alaska B. a dogsled race of Alaska

C. a period of Alaska’s history D. heroic dogs and people in Alaska