Passage One

Devil’s Tower, the first national monument in America, could almost be mistaken for the stump of an enormous tree. Its sheer rock size sweep up from a broad base until they cut off abruptly at the flat summit. Rising more than one thousand feet in the middle of the gently rolling plains at Wyoming. The massive column of rock looks as though it was dropped down into this location from a different time and place. In a sense it was, Devil’s Tower is a relic of the past. When the melted rock of the earth’s core forced its way to the surface to form the throat of a volcano. As the centuries passed, the rock cooled and hardened, shrinking and cracking into long columns. Born in fire and fury, Devil’s Tower was then shaped by the slow, gentle work of wind and water.

The outer layers of the volcano were worn away until the hard core stood completely exposed. Small wonder that an Indian legend described Devil’s Tower as being formed by supernatural powers. The legend says that when seven girls were attacked by bears, they took refuge on top of a small rock, and appealed to the rock god for help. The god caused the rock to grow and to lift the girls far above the ground, while its sides were scored by the claws of the angry bears. Even today, says the legend, the girls can be seen above the tower in rock as seven shining stars in the night’s sky. 


Q9: What does Devil’s Tower look like?

Q10: What caused the volcano’s outer layer to wear away?

Q11: What does Indian legend say about Devil’s Tower?

Q12: How did the rock god help the seven girls in the Indian legend?


Passage Two

It’s no accident that most gas stations have convenient stores attached. Few of us can fill up the tank without buying a few snacks, cigarettes, soft drinks or other items we can live without. “I deserve it!” that's what hard-working men and women say to justify their lavish vacations, big stereo systems or regular restaurant meals. They do deserve such indulgences. However, they also deserve a home of their own, a secure retirement and freedom from worrying about unpaid bills.

No one should have to live with what a Taxes mother described as constant stress tension even fear about the money. Sadly, the pleasure that comes from extravagances often disappears long before the bills do. The video camera that one single mother bought for a special occasion, for example, is not much fun now. She’s figured out that it will take her another three years to pay it off a thirty dollars a month.

And the New Yorkers who spent a bundle on an outdoor hot tub, now admit that they rarely use it because we can’t afford to heat it in winter. The solution, said priorities, add up the annual cost of each item, then consider what else she could buy with the same money. That will help you to decide which item is really worth it. One Chicago woman, for example, discovered the daily lunches with co-workers cost her two thousand dollars a year. She decided to take lunch to work instead. “I now put twenty dollars a week into my vacation fund, and another twenty into retirement savings,” she says, “those mean more to me than lunch."


Q13: What does the speaker say about drivers who stop at gas stations?

Q14: What does the speaker say about extravagances?

Q15: What does the speaker want to show by the example of the Chicago woman?