III. Reading Comprehension

Section A

Directions: For each blank in the following passage there are four words or phrases marked A, B, C and D. Fill in each blank with the word or phrase that best fits the context.

Everyone in business has been told that success is all about attracting and retaining (留住) customers. It sounds simple and achievable. But,   50  , words of wisdom are soon forgotten. Once companies have attracted customers they often   51   the second half of the story. In the excitement of beating off the competition, negotiating prices, securing orders, and delivering the product, managers tend to become carried away. They forget what they regard as the boring side of business—  52   that the customer remains a customer.

  53   to concentrate on retaining as well as attracting customers costs business huge amounts of money annually. It has been estimated that the average company loses between 10 and 30 per cent of its customers every years. In constantly changing   54 , this is not surprising. What is surprising is the fact that few companies have any idea how many customers they have lost.

Only now are organizations beginning to wake up to those lost opportunities and calculate the   55  

implications. Cutting down the number of customers a company loses can make a big   56   inits performance. Research in the US found that a five per cent decrease in the number of defecting (流失的) customers led to   57   increases of between 25 and 85 per cent.

In the US, Domino’s Pizza estimates that a regular customer is worth more than $5,000 over ten years. A customer who receives a poor quality product or service on their first visit and   58   never returns, is losing the company thousands of dollars in   59   profits (more if you consider how many people they are likely to tell about their bad experience).

The logic behind cultivating customer   60   is impossible to deny. “In practice most companies’ marketing effort is focused on getting customers, with little attention paid to   61   them”, says Adrian Payne of Cornfield University’ School of Management. “Research suggests that there is a close relationship between retaining customers and making profits.   62   customers tend to buy more, are predictable and usually cost less to service than new customers. Furthermore, they tend to be less price   63  , and may provide free word-of-mouth advertising. Retaining customers also makes it   64   for competitors to enter a market or increase their share of a market.

50.  A. in particular            B. in reality             C. at least                    D. first of all

51.  A. emphasize              B. doubt                C. overlook                  D. believe

52.  A. denying                  B. ensuring             C. arguing                   D. proving

53.  A. Moving                   B. Hoping                C. Starting                  D. Failing

54.  A. markets                  B. tastes                 C. prices                     D. expenses

55.  A. culture                   B. social                   C. financial                  D. economical

56.  A. promise                  B. plan                    C. mistake                   D. difference

57.  A. cost                       B. opportunity          C. profit                      D. budget

58.  A. as a result              B. on the whole         C. in conclusion        D. on the contrary

59.  A. huge                       B. potential               C. extra                  D. reasonable

60.  A. beliefs                     B. loyalty                  C. habits                 D. interest

61.  A. altering                    B. understanding       C. keeping              D. attracting

62.  A. Assumed                  B. Respected            C. Established          D. Unexpected

63.  A. agreeable                 B. flexible                  C. friendly                D. sensitive

64.  A. unfair                       B. difficult               C. essential                D. convenient

Section B

Directions: Read the following three passages. Each passage is followed by several questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one that fits best according to the information given in the passage you have just read.


The teacher who did the most to encourage me was, as it happens, my aunt. She was Myrtle C. Manigault, the wife of my mother’s brother Bill. She taught me in second grade at all-black Summer School in Camden, New Jersey.

During my childhood and youth, Aunt Myrtle encouraged me to develop every aspect of my potential, without regard for what was considered practical or possible for black females. I liked to sing; she listened to my voice and pronounced it good. I couldn’t dance; she taught me the basic dancing steps. She took me to the theatre—not just children’s theatre, but adult comedies and dramas—and her faith that I could appreciate adult plays was not disappointed.

My aunt also took down books from her extensive library and shared them with me. I had books at home, but they were all serious classics. Even as a child I had a strong liking for humour, and I’ll never forget the joy of discovering Don Marquis’s Archy & Mehitabel through her.

Most important, perhaps, Aunt Myrtle provided my first opportunity to write for publication. A writer herself for one of the black newspapers, she suggested my name to the editor as a “youth columnist”. My column, begun when I was fourteen, was supposed to cover teenage social activities—and it did—but it also gave me the freedom to write on many other subjects as well as the habit of gathering material, the discipline of meeting deadlines, and, after graduation from college six years later, a solid collection of published material that carried my name and was my passport to a series of writing jobs.

Today Aunt Myrtle is still an enthusiastic supporter of her “favourite niece”. Like a diamond, she has reflected a bright, multifaceted (多面的) image of possibilities to every pupil who has crossed her path.

65.  Which of the following did Aunt Myrtle do to the author during her childhood and youth?

A. She lent her some serious classics.          B. She cultivated her taste for music.

C. She discovered her talent for dancing.       D. She introduced her to adult plays.

66.  What does Archy and Mehitabel in Paragraph 3 probably refer to?

A. A book of great fun.                      B. A writer of high fame.

C. A serious masterpiece.                    D. A heartbreaking play.

67.  Aunt Myrtle recommended the author to a newspaper editor mainly to ______.

A. develop her capabilities for writing            B. give her a chance to collect material

C. involve her in teenage social activities        D. offer her a series of writing jobs

68.  We can conclude from the passage that Aunt Myrtle was a teacher who ______.

A. trained pupils to be diligent and well-disciplined

B. gave pupils confidence in exploiting their potential

C. emphasized what was practical or possible for pupils.

D. helped pupils overcome difficulties in learning