Passage 1

  At some 2300 miles in length, the Mississippi is the longest river in the United States. At some 1000 miles, the Mackenzie is the longest river in Canada. But these waterways seem minute in comparison to the world’s 2 lengthiest rivers: the Nile and the Amazon. 
  The Nile which begins in central Africa and flows over 4100 miles north into the Mediterranean hosted one of the world’s great ancient civilizations along its shores. Calm and peaceful for most of the year, the Nile used to flood annually, thereby creating, irrigating and carrying new topsoil to the nearby farmland on which ancient Egypt depended for livelihood. As a means of transportation, the river carried various vessels up and down its length. 
  A journey through the unobstructed  part of this waterway today would pass by the splendid valley of the Kings, where the tombs of many of these ancient monarchs have stood for over 3000 years. Great civilizations and intensive settlement are hardly associated with the Amazon, yet this 4000 mile-long south American river carries about 20% of the world’s fresh water more than the Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze combined. Other statistics are equally astonishing. The Amazon is so wide at some points that from its center neither shore can be seen. Each second, the Amazon pours some 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic.  There, at its mouth stands one island larger than Switzerland. Most important of all, the Amazon irrigates the largest tropical rain forest on earth. 

Passage 1
9. What can be found in the valley of the Kings?
10. In what way is the Amazon different from other big rivers?
11. What does the speaker say about the Amazon?

Recording 2
  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the third in our cities of business seminars in the program “Doing Business Abroad”. (Q19) Today, we are going to look at the intercultural awareness, that is the fact that not everyone is British, not everyone speaks English and not everyone does business in a British way. And, why should they? (Q19) If overseas business people are selling to us, then they will make every effort to speak English and to respect our traditions and methods. It is only polite for us to do the same when we visit them. It is not only polite, it is a central, if we want to sell British products overseas. First, a short quiz. Let’s see how interculturally-aware you are. Question 1: where must you not drink alcohol on the first and seventh of every month. Question 2: where should you never admire your host’s possessions. Question 3: how should you attract the waiter during a business lunch in Bangkok. Question 4: where should you try to make all your appointments either before 2 or after 5:30 pm. OK, everyone had a chance to make some notes. Right! Here are the answers. Although I am sure that the information could equally well apply to countries other than those I have chosen. No.1: (Q20) you must not drink alcohol on the first and seventh of the month in India. In international hotels, you may find it served, but if you are having a meal with an India colleague, remember to avoid asking for a beer. If you are an arrival, coincide with one of those tips. No.2: in Arab countries, the politeness and generosity of the people is without parallel. If you admire your colleague’s beautiful belt and bowls, you may well find yourself being presented with them as a present. This is not a cheap way to do your shopping, however, as your host will quite correctly expect you to respond by presenting him with a gift of equal worth and beauty. In Thailand, clicking the fingers, clapping your hands or just shouting “Waiter” will embarrass your hosts, fellow diners, the waiter himself and, most of all, you. Place your palm downward and make an inconspicuous waving gesture, which will produce instant and satisfying results. And finally, (Q21) in Spain, some businesses maintain the pattern of working until about 2 o’clock and then returning to the office from 5:30 to 8, 9 or 10 in the evening.

Q19: What should you do when doing business with foreigners?
Q20: What must you avoid doing with your Indian colleague?
Q21: What do we learn about some Spanish people?




  Did Sarah Josepha Hale write “Mary’s Little Lamb,” the eternal nursery rhyme(儿歌)about girl named Mary with a stubborn lamb? This is still disputed, but it’s clear that the woman 26 reputed for writing it was one of America’s most fascinating 27 characters. In honor of the poem publication on May 24,1830, here’s more about the 28 supposed author’s life.

  Hale wasn’t just a writer, she was also a 29 fierce social advocate, and she was particularly 30 obsessed with an ideal New England, which she associated with abundant Thanksgivinx xg meals that she claimed had “a deep moral influence,” she began a nationwide 31 campaign to have a national holiday declared that would bring families together while celebrating the 32 traditional festivals. In 1863, after 17 years of advocacy including letters to five presidents, Hale got it. President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, issued a 33 proclamation setting aside the last Thursday in November for the holiday.

  The true authorship of “Mary’s Little Lamb” is disputed. According to New England Historical Society, Hale wrote only one part of the poem, but claimed authorship. Regardless of the author, it seems that the poem was 34 inspired by a real event. When young Mary Sawyer was followed to school by a lamb in 1816, it caused some problems. A bystander named John Roulstone wrote a poem about the event, then, at some point, Hale herself seems to have helped write it. However, if a 1916 piece by her great-niece is to be trusted, Hale claimed for the 35 rest of her life that “Some other people pretended that someone else wrote the poem”.



  Scientists scanning and mapping the Giza pyramids say they've discovered that the Great Pyramid of Giza is not exactly even. But really not by much. This pyramid is the oldest of the world’s Seven Wonders. The pyramid’s exact size has 26 puzzled experts for centuries, as the "more than 21 acres of hard, white casing stones" that originally covered it were 27 removed long ago. 

  Reporting in the most recent issue of the newsletter "AERAGRAM," which 28 chronicles the work of the Ancient Egypt Research Associates, engineer Glen Dash says that by using a new measuring approach that involved finding any surviving 29 remnants of the casing in order to determine where the original edge was. They found the east side of the pyramid to be a 30 maximum of 5.55 inches shorter than the west side.

  The question that most 31 fascinates him, however, isn't how the Egyptians who designed and built the pyramid got it wrong 4,500 years ago, but how they got it so close to 32 perfect. "We can only speculate as to how the Egyptians could have laid out these lines with such 33 precision using only the tools they had," Dash writes. He says his 34 hypothesis is that the Egyptians laid out their design on a grid, noting that the great pyramid is oriented only 35 slightly away from the cardinal directions (its north-south axis runs 3 minutes 54 seconds west of due north, while its east-west axis runs 3 minutes 51 seconds north of due east)—an amount that's "tiny, but similar," Atlas Obscura points out.



  When Elon Musk says, as he did this week, that his new priority is using artificial intelligence to build domestic robots, we should not only take note, but look forward to the day we can put our legs up in admiration.

  Mr. Musk is a guy who gets things done. The founder of two “moonshot” tech companies, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is bringing electric vehicles to mass market and   26   humans to live on other planets. Lest this strike the amateur techie—not that readers of The Independent would ever count among them—as so much hot air, you can be reassured that the near $13bn (£8.8bn) fortune this entrepreneur has   27   comes from practical achievements rather than hypothetical ones.

  A lot of clever people are   28   about artificial intelligence, fearing that robots will one day become so   29   they’ll murder all of us. These fears are mostly  30  : as with hysteria about genetic modification, we humans are generally wise enough to manage these problems with alacrity and care.

  And just think of how wonderful it would be if you had a live-in robot. It could —  31  — be like having a babysitter and masseuse rolled into one — or, if that required   32   intelligence beyond the ken of Mr. Musk’s imagined machine, at least some one to chop the carrots, wash the car and mow the lawn. Once purchased and trained, this would allow the   33   user to save money and time, freeing up   34   space in our busy lives to, for instance, read The Independent.

  That is why we welcome Mr. Musk’s latest   35  , and wish him well. As long as robots add to the sum of human happiness, reduce suffering or cumbersome activity, and create time to read world-class journalism, The Independent will be their fans. Especially since journalism is one job robots will never do.

A) amassed
B) casual
C) emotional
D) enabling
E) eventually
F) exaggerated
G) extravagant
H) generously
I) misleading
J) precious
K) reward
L) smart
M) sphere
N) terrified
O) venture

26. D enabling
27. A amassed
28. N terrified
29. L smart
30. F exaggerated
31. E eventually
32. C emotional
33. B casual
34. J precious
35. O venture 


Passage One 
Questions 46 to 50 are based on the following passage.

   The Ebro Delta, in Spain, famous as a battleground during the Spanish Civil War, is now the setting for a different contest, one that is pitting rice farmers against two enemies: the rice-eating giant apple snail, and rising sea levels. What happens here will have a bearing on the future of European rice production and the overall health of southern European wetlands. 

     Located on the Mediterranean just two hours south of Barcelona, the Ebro Delta produces 120 million kilograms of rice a year, making it one of the continent’s most important rice-growing areas. As the sea creeps into these fresh-water marshes, however, rising salinity(盐分)is hampering rice production. At the same time, this sea-water also kills off the greedy giant apple snail, an introduced pest that feeds on young rice plants. The most promising strategy has become to harness one foe against the other.

    The battle is currently being waged on land, in greenhouses at the University of Barcelona. Scientists working under the banner “Project Neurice” are seeking varieties of rice that can withstand the increasing salinity without losing the absorbency that makes European rice ideal for traditional Spanish and Italian dishes.

   “The project has two sides,” says Xavier Serrat, Neurice project manager and researcher at the University of Barcelona. “the short-term fight against the snail, and a mid- to long-term fight against climate change. But the snail has given the project greater urgency.”

  Originally from South America, the snails were accidentally introduced into the Ebro Delta by Global Aquatic Tecnologies, a company that raised the snails for fresh-water aquariums(水族馆), but failed to prevent their escape. For now, the giant apple snail’s presence in Europe is limited to the Ebro Delta. But the snail continues its march to new territory, says Serrat. “The question is not if it will reach other rice-growing areas of Europe, but when.”

    Over the next year and a half investigators will test the various strains of salt-tolerant rice they’ve bred. In 2018, farmers will plant the varieties with the most promise in the Ebro Delta and Europe’s other two main rice-growing regions—along the Po in Italy, and France’s Rhône. A season in the field will help determine which, if any, of the varieties are ready for commercialization.

     As an EU-funded effort, the search for salt-tolerant varieties of rice is taking place in all three countries. Each team is crossbreeding a local European short-grain rice with a long-grain Asian variety that carries the salt-resistant gene. The scientists are breeding successive generations to arrive at varieties that incorporate salt tolerance but retain about 97 percent of the European rice genome(基因组).

46.Why does the author mention the Spanish Civil War at the beginning of the passage?
A. It had great impact on the life of Spanish rice farmers.
B. It is of great significance in the records of Spanish history.
C. Rice farmers in the Ebro Delta are waging a battle of similar importance.
D. Rice farmers in the Ebro Delta are experiencing as hard a time as in the war.

47.What may be the most effective strategy for rice farmers to employ in fighting their enemies?
A. Striking the weaker enemy first
B. Killing two birds with one stone
C. Eliminating the enemy one by one
D. Using one evil to combat the other

48. What do we learn about “Project Neurice”?
A. Its goals will have to be realized at a cost.
B. It aims to increase the yield of Spanish rice.
C. Its immediate priority is to bring the pest under control.
D. It tries to kill the snails with the help of climate change.

49. What does Neurice project manager say about the giant apple snail?
A. It can survive only on southern European wetlands.
B. It will invade other rice-growing regions of Europe.
C. It multiplies at a speed beyond human imagination.
D. It was introduced into the rice fields on purpose.

50. What is the ultimate goal of the EU-funded program?
A. Cultivating ideal salt-resistant rice varieties.
B. Increasing the absorbency of the Spanish rice. 
C. Introducing Spanish rice to the rest of Europe.
D. Popularizing the rice crossbreeding technology.

Passage Two
Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage. 

    Photography was once an expensive, laborious ordeal reserved for life's greatest milestones. Now, the only apparent cost to taking infinite photos of something as common as a meal is the space on your hard drive and your dining companion's patience.

  But is there another cost, a deeper cost, to documenting a life experience instead of simply enjoying it? "You hear that you shouldn't take all these photos and interrupt the experience, and it's bad for you, and we're not living in the present moment," says Kristin Diehl, associate professor of marketing at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

    Diehl and her fellow researchers wanted to find out if that was true, so they embarked on a series of nine experiments in the lab and in the field testing people's enjoyment in the presence or absence of a camera. The results, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, surprised them. Taking photos actually makes people enjoy what they're doing more, not less.

    "What we find is you actually look at the world slightly differently, because you're looking for things you want to capture, that you may want to hang onto," Diehl explains. "That gets people more engaged in the experience, and they tend to enjoy it more."

    Take sightseeing. In one experiment, nearly 200 participants boarded a double-decker bus for a tour of Philadelphia. Both bus tours forbade the use of cell phones but one tour provided digital cameras and encouraged people to take photos. The people who took photos enjoyed the experience significantly more, and said they were more engaged, than those who didn't.

    Snapping a photo directs attention, which heightens the pleasure you get from whatever you're looking at, Diehl says. It works for things as boring as archaeological(考古的)museums, where people were given eye-tracking glasses and instructed either to take photos or not. "People look longer at things they want to photograph," Diehl says. They report liking the exhibits more, too.

    To the relief of Instagrammers(Instagram用户)everywhere, it can even makes meals more enjoyable. When people were encouraged to take at least three photos while they ate lunch, they were more immersed in their meals than those who weren't told to take photos.

   Was it the satisfying click of the camera? The physical act of the snap? No, they found; just the act of planning to take a photo—and not actually taking it—had the same joy-boosting effect. "If you want to take mental photos, that works the same way," Diehl says. "Thinking about what you would want to photograph also gets you more engaged."

51.What does the author say about photo-taking in the past?
A. It was a painstaking effort for recording life’s major events.
B. It was a luxury that only a few wealthy people could enjoy.
C. It was a good way to preserve one’s precious images.
D. It was a skill that required lots of practice to master.

52.Kristin Diehl conducted a series of experiments on photo-taking to find out __________.
A. what kind of pleasure it would actually bring to photo-takers
B. whether people enjoyed it when they did sightseeing
C. how it could help to enrich people’s life experiences
D. Whether it prevented people enjoying what they were doing

53.What do the results of Diehl’s experiments show that people taking photos?
A. They are distracted from what they are doing.
B. They can better remember what they see or do.
C. They are more absorbed in what catches their eye.
D. They can have a better understanding of the world.

54.What is found about museum visitors with the aid of eye-tracking glasses?
A. They come out with better photographs of the exhibits.
B. They focus more on the exhibits when taking pictures.
C. They have a better view of what are on display.
D. They follow the historical events more easily.

55.What do we learn from the last paragraph?
A. It is better to make plans before taking photos.
B. Mental photos can be as beautiful as snapshots.
C. Photographers can derive great joy from the click of the camera.
D. Even the very thought of taking a photo can have a positive effect.





Bicycles used to be the most important means of transportation in China’s urban and rural areas. Consequently, China was once called “the Kingdom of Bicycles.” Nowadays, as urban traffic congestion and air pollution become more serious, cycling has come back into vogue. Recently, Chinese entrepreneurs, by incorporating mobile Internet technology with traditional bicycles, have invented a new business model known as shared bicycles. The advent of shared bicycles has rendered cycling increasingly convenient. People can use a shared bicycle at any time with just one mobile phone. In order to encourage people to cycle, many cities have built bicycle lanes. Now, an increasing number of Chinese people also like to exercise via cycling. 



Currently, China owns the world’s largest and fastest high-speed railway network. The speed of high-speed trains will continue to mount, and more cities will construct high-speed railway stations. High-speed railway has markedly shortened people’s travel time. Compared with aircraft, high-speed trains enjoy an outstanding advantage—punctuality, because they are generally not affected by weather or traffic control. High-speed railway has dramatically transformed the way of life of Chinese people. Nowadays, it has become the No. 1 means of transportation for many people going on a business trip. An increasing number of people also travel by high-speed trains during holidays. In addition, there are also a considerable number of young people who choose to work in one city but live in a neighboring city, and who commute to and from work by a high-speed train every day.



In the past, having a private car was a luxury for the majority of Chinese people, while nowadays, private cars are everywhere in China. Cars have become an integral part of people’s lives: not only do people drive to and from work, but they also travel by car frequently. In some cities, the number of cars has been increasing so fast that the problems of traffic jams and lack of parking spaces are becoming ever more severe; the municipal governments of these cities have to introduce new rules to limit the number of cars to be allowed on the road. With air pollution becoming increasingly serious, a growing number of people are now choosing to purchase a new energy vehicle, and the Chinese government has also adopted some measures to encourage the development of new energy vehicles. 




Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write an essay on the importance of building trust between businesses and consumers. You can site examples to illustrate your view. You should write at least 150 words but no more than 200 words. 

Supposing that people intend to enjoy reliable and harmonious relationship between businesses and consumers, it is advisable for people to attach much importance to trust building between them. 

In contemporary society, it is a widespread phenomenon that relationship between companies and customers is deteriorating due to the lack of mutual trust between the two sides. Several typical examples can be given: some companies use false advertisement to deceive consumers; other corporations sell fake and inferior products online to seek excessive profits. As a matter of fact, a growing number of people have come to realize the great significance of building trust between firms and clients. Without mutual trust between the two parties, it would be impossible to establish a healthy and safe business environment. Without mutual trust between the two sides, it would be impossible to protect consumer rights and interests. 

I, as a consumer, firmly hold the view that both the companies and customers should make joint efforts to build trust. Only in this way can the two sides enjoy trustworthy, steady and sustainable relationship. 


Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write an essay on the importance of building trust between teachers and students. You can site examples to illustrate your view. You should write at least 150 words but no more than 200 words. 

Supposing that we intend to establish reliable and harmonious relationship between teachers and students, it is advisable for us to attach much importance to trust building between the two sides. 

On today’s campus, it is a widespread phenomenon that relationship between teachers and students is deteriorating due to the lack of mutual trust between the two parties. Several typical examples can be given: some teachers misunderstand their students and even criticize them just because of lack of mutual trust; some students regard their teachers as their enemies and even rebel against their teachers’ instructions. As a matter of fact, a growing number of people have come to realize the great significance of building trust between teachers and students. Without mutual trust between teachers and students, it would be impossible to establish a harmonious and interactive teaching and learning environment. Without mutual trust between the two parties, it would be impossible for teachers to make the students cooperate with them and participate in the classroom activities voluntarily; Without mutual trust between the two sides, it would be impossible to arouse students’ enthusiasm and interests of learning.

I, as a college student, am firmly convinced that both teachers and students should make joint efforts to build trust. Only in this way can the two sides enjoy trustworthy, friendly and harmonious relationship. 


Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write an essay on the importance of building trust between employers and employees. You can site examples to illustrate your view. You should write at least 150 words but no more than 200 words. 
Supposing that people intend to establish reliable and harmonious relationship between employers and employees, it is advisable for them to attach much importance to trust building between the two sides. 
In contemporary society, it is a universal phenomenon that relationship between employers and employees is deteriorating due to the lack of mutual trust between the two parties. Several typical examples can be given: some employers do not trust their subordinates so that they do not offer development opportunity to them; some employees distrust their superiors so that they are unwilling to devote themselves to the development of their companies. In fact, an increasing number of people have come to realize the great significance of building trust between employers and employees. Without mutual trust between them, it would be impossible to establish an efficient and productive working atmosphere. Without mutual trust between them, it would be impossible for employers to arouse motivation and activity of the employees; Without mutual trust between the two sides, it would be impossible for employees to fully explore their potentials and make contributions to the future development of their companies. 
I, as a youngster, am firmly convinced that both employers and employees should make joint efforts to establish a trustworthy relationship. Only in this way can the two sides work pleasantly, efficiently and productively.