Part 1

Letters and Emails


Do you still write letters nowadays or do you just use email?



Obviously I don’t write letters any more as it is so old-fashioned and takes so long to get the message to others. Besides, I believe fewer and fewer people write letters right now.


Can you tell me some of the major differences between writing letters and email?



Well, one big difference between them I can think of is the speed at which the message is delivered. What I mean by that is the receiver can get your message through email much faster while it will have to take at least a few days for the receiver to get the message.


What sorts of email can make you feel excited?



Well, definitely any email that contains good news can make me excited or even thrilled. For instance, I will be so pleased to receive an email in which I am informed that I am officially admitted to a university I’ve been dreaming to go to.


Do you think that people will stop using letters in the future?



No, I do not think letters will become obsolete in the future, because it brings people a much more intimate and personal feeling when people receive letters from their friends and families, which is something that email cannot do.


Do you prefer to make a phone call or send an email to others?



It really depends on what matter I need to address. For instance, I will have to make a phone call if I need someone’s immediate attention to the matter I work on. Otherwise, I will probably just send an email as it is nothing urgent.


Part 2 & 3

Part 2题目


Describe an interesting website you often visit.

You should say:

What it is

When you first visited it

What you found out;

And explain why it was interesting to you.



此话题属于物品类话题, 所要描述的是“一个有趣的网站”;使用的主要时态应该是过去时态 “一般现在时态”以及现在完成时态;在交代前三个“basic information”的时候, 我们需要思考:它们之间是否存在某种 logical connection?或者可以给出哪些相关的拓展信息? 比如,在描述第一次接触这个网站的时候, 大家可以尝试给出更多的细节,尽量给考官创造出画面感;另外,大家须特别关注, 第一个信息点是最最重要的, 需要在最开始就告知考官你要描述的这个网站是什么。


到最后解释,说明的部分,大家需要展开说明为什么这个网站如此有趣, 特别, 比如它的内容, 展现形式或者它提供的其他服务等等。



Well, there's indeed one particular website I would like to talk about, and it is Taobao. You may have heard of it if you have stayed in China long enough.


Anyway, it's become one of the most influential and popular websites in China. As a shopping website, millions of sellers take advantage of this platform to sell all kinds of products every day, which is such a benefit for shoppers as people from all ages seem to be interested in it,  so just like what people say, there is nothing you cannot find if you go to search for it on Taobao.


I could still remember it was about 8 years ago that  I first visited that website when I was actually trying to look for something else on another website, and suddenly a pop-up window came out so I just unconsciously clicked on it. And then it turned out to be Taobao.com. From then on, as I began to use it more and more, I was surprised to find out there's a huge variety of products being sold every day. Plus, you could find lots of special offers there occasionally.


I enjoy that website so much as it's such a wonderful place where I can shop anything I need without having to walk around at those shopping malls, which can be really exhausting. In addition, it's also an amazing place where I can do some window shopping just to kill time when I feel really bored. Therefore, I have to admit, the more I use it, the more I like it.



influential 形容词; 有影响力的 

EgWith his influential background, Peter definitely has a great impact on the changes of the company.


a variety of : 短语; 各种各样的

EgThere are a variety of products in those online shops.


exhausting: 形容词; 令人疲惫的

Eg: Many people are in favor of rock-climbing, but it can be a rather exhausting activity.


window-shopping 名词; 浏览商店的橱窗(只看不买)

EgStudents usually enjoy window-shopping as most of them do not have enough money.


Part 3题目


What do you think of on-line education?



Well, I personally think it's a positive trend as it doesn't require learners to travel to traditional schools or classrooms, which saves a lot of time.

Instead, the learner can just stay at home sitting in front of a computer with the internet access, and then he or she can just enjoy the pleasure of receiving education.



①positive 形容词;积极的  乐观的

EgNo matter what troubles he faces, he can always stay positive. 


access: 名词;使用权

EgPeter sent a complaint letter to the manager of the hotel as there was no internet access in his room.


How does internet shape the way people live?



Well, our life has been dramatically changed since the invention of the internet.

In the past, we didn't have the access to the latest news unless we turned on our TV or read newspaper, but now with the internet, especially with the internet function in our smartphone, we can get the news so fast.



dramatically 副词;夸张的 戏剧化的

EgAfter living for 5 years in the US, her eating habit has dramatically changed.


②function : 名词; 功能  作用

EgI suggest you try to find more functions in this new smartphone.


Why do some people, especially young women get addicted to on-line shopping?


Well, reasons may vary, but I guess the most direct reason is the convenience brought by on-line shopping. With those on-line stores selling all sorts of goods, it is clearly so easy for those young women to browse what they like, meaning all they need to do is to sit in front of their computer and click their mouse to make their purchase.



vary 动词; 不同  不一样

EgPeople may vary in terms of their personalities, but they all come here for one purpose. That is to win the contest and get the award.


②purchase : 动词/名词; 购买

EgIn order to stop him from overspending, he keeps a record of each purchase he makes.


Do you think people can live without the internet?



Definitely not.

Internet has greatly shaped the way we live in so many amazing ways, so we rely on it for almost everything.

For instance, we use it to send emails at work, to stay in touch with friends, to look for information and we also use it for fun when we feel bored.



amazing 形容词;吃惊的  美好的

EgWith so many amazing movies in the up-coming season, he does not really know which one to watch.


rely on: 动词短语; 依赖  依靠

EgMost Chinese kids rely on their parents too much so what usually happens is that they find it hard to live on their own independently after they start their study abroad.




沪江网校首席雅思口语名师; 英国谢菲尔德大学毕业;英文专业8级;5年以上英文教学经验。



















The chart below shows the rate of males and females who were overweight in Australia from 1980 to 2010.


Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.






The bar chart gives information about the percentage of overweight men and women in Australia over 30 years from 1980 to 2010.


Overall, it is clear that this three-decade period witnessed a noticeable increase in overweight rate of both men and women in Australia, and the obese men clearly outnumbered their female counterparts.


During two decades from 1980 to 2000, the ratio of overweight males experienced an unbalanced increase from 47% to 70%. By the year of 1990, the overweight ratio had risen at a slower pace to just over 50%, while from then on, it rocketed to 70% in 2000. In the meantime, the overweight figures of the female saw a similar trend, rising gradually from 30% in 1980 to 50% in 2000.


From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of overweight men witnessed an opposite trend, with a slight decrease of 3%, while the overweight rate in the female remained stable at approximately 50% during this decade.         



①rate: n. 比率

②outnumber: vt. 数量超过

③counterpart: n. 对应的人或物

④ratio: n. 比率(=rate

⑤rocket:  vi. 快速增长

⑥see a similar trend:  呈现相似的趋势

⑦witness an opposite trend: 呈现相反的趋势

⑧remain stable at: 保持稳定在……








Some people said the government shouldn't spend money in building theaters and sports stadiums; they should spend more money on medical care and education. Do you agree or disagree?


Some people think health care should be free for everyone, while others think they should pay medical costs for themselves. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.


Some people argue that governments should invest more in parks and recreational facilities, while others advise governments to increase their investment in hospitals and medical services. Discuss both views and present your opinion.



The subjects and lesson contents are decided by the authorities such as the government. Some people argue that students should make the choice. Do you agree or disagree?


Some people argue that teachers should be allowed to punish disruptive students. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


As part of education, students should spend a period of time studying and living in a different county to learn language and culture. Do you agree or disagree


Some people think that some subjects such as math and philosophy are difficult for some students, so people should take it as selective not compulsory. Do you agree or disagree?


In schools and universities, some girls tend to choose arts subjects, while boys choose to study science subjects. What are the reasons? Do you think this trend should be changed?



A recent survey shows that in many countries across the world people are generally living longer. But an increased life expectancy has many implications for the aging individuals and for the society as a whole. What are the possible effects of a longer life expectancy on individuals and the society?


Young people are leaving their homes from rural areas to study or work in the cities. What are the reasons? Do advantages of this development outweigh its disadvantages?


Some people think that robots are very important for humans' future development. Others, however, think that robots are a dangerous invention that could have negative effects on society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.


It is noticed that an ever-increasing number of people prefer online shops to physical stores. What are the causes of the phenomenon and what influences are there?


Some people claim that public museums and art galleries will not be needed because people can see historical objects and works of art by using a computer. Do you agree or disagree with this opinion?



Nowadays, older people who need employment have to compete with younger people. What problems do this cause? And what are the solutions


Old generations often hold some traditional ideas on the correct way of life, thinking and behavior. However, some people think that itis not helpful for the young generations to prepare for modern life in the future. What's your opinion?


More and more people are working at home rather than in the workspace. Some people say this will bring benefits to the workers and their families, but others think it will bring stress to the home. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.


Some people would like to live in cities, while others in countryside. What are the benefits of both ways and what is your choice?



Exposure to international media, such as TV, film and magazine, has a significant impact on the local culture. Do you agree that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?


Some people think that it is not worthy to spend too much money on protection of wild animals but on human beings .To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Instead of trying to prevent climate change, people should find a way to live with it. To what extent do you agree or disagree.



The museum should be admitted free of charge. Do the disadvantages outweigh advantages of this issue?


In recent years, 'responsible tourists' have paid attention to preserving both culture and environment of the places they visit. However, some people say that it is impossible to be a 'responsible tourist'. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Some people think that cultural traditions will be destroyed when they are used as money-making machines aims at tourists, other people believe that it is the only way to save such conditions in the world today. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.



Some people believe that if a police force carries guns, it would cause a high level of violence in that society. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Many people are afraid to leave their homes because of their fear of crime. Some believe that more action should be taken to prevent crime, but others feel that little can be done. What is your opinion?


Some people argue that governments should punish all the criminals in a fixed way, while others suggest governments to punish criminals flexibly by considering criminals' genders, age, and motives. Discuss both views and present yours.



Individual greed and selfishness has been the basis of the modern society. Some people think that we must return to the older and more traditional values of respect for the family and the local community in order to create a better world to live in. To what extent do you agree or disagree?








题目:As part of education, students should spend a period of time studying and living in a different county to learn language and culture. Do you agree or disagree?







More than a decade ago, the idea of studying abroad was rather rare. However, with more and more students choosing to go abroad nowadays, some academics propose that it is a surefire way for language and culture learning by immersing students in the culture. In my opinion, although learning abroad is not something that every student have to choose, it is an alluring option for many students.


Admittedly, moving to a new country for studying and living is sometimes a difficult leap to make for a few students in consideration of the factors such as financial burdens, time spent away from families and friends, and the big responsibility they will take on. Still, many graduates are looking forward to furthering their studies or working abroad someday for its obvious benefits.


For most of language learners, studying abroad grants them a chance to completely immerse themselves in the foreign language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in. This is because if they are in a “real environment”, they need to do the considerable language practice by using the new language in daily life in order to communicate. In addition, some local universities will offer language courses to provide the international students with a more formal education.


In terms of culture, students who have an experience of learning abroad are able to get in touch with diverse cultures. Compared with those who learn cultures via reading books or watching movies, the students living in exotic local environment can have the chance to experience an incredible new way of life, and thus have a better understanding and appreciation of the local people and history. 


In conclusion, although plenty of factors may stop students from learning in a foreign country, the trend is that an increasing number of students seek to study and live abroad with a view to its positive effects on education.



surefire:  adj. 一定成功的

look forward to doing: 盼望,期待

immerse:  vt.沉浸,使陷入

exotic:  adj. 异国的

with a view to: 考虑到,以……为目的






沪江网校雅思教研,英国杜伦大学毕业;英文专业8级;高中英语教师资格证书等,主攻雅思托福等留学考试。参与沪江网校World English A2 B1、新版雅思6.5分写作、新版雅思7分写作等课程的设计规划与制作。







Section 1 & Section 2重点场景(生活类):银行咨询,交通工具,购车保险,艺术鉴赏,公园导览,图书馆场馆介绍,活动介绍。

Section 3 & Section 4重点场景(学术类):学术讨论,课程安排,作业反馈,论文讨论,饮食与情绪,昆虫/动物研究。


Section 1  

Questions 1-3

Complete the notes below.


Example                           Answer

The customer is going to France for     1 week

Traveller’s cheques can be replaced within 1 _____

Having a little cash is useful for things like 2 _____

The bank charges for ATM withdrawals with a 3 _____


Questions 4-7

Complete the table below.


Order                 Collect in branch          Home delivery

Monday-Thursday     Next day                 Next day

4 Before _____ p.m.    10 a.m.                  5. _____ p.m.

Friday-Saturday        Tuesday                 Tuesday

6 _____              10 a.m.                  7 _____p.m.


Questions 8-10

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

8 The bank will buy back unused traveller's cheques

A free of charge.

B for a small fee.

C if they are returned in good condition.


9 Sandra does not want Euros because she

A already has some.

B will be given some.

C will be buying some at the airport.


10 On Tuesday Sandra will

A collect the cheques from the branch.

B be at work.

C sign for the cheques at home






Question 11

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

11 NUS extra cards

A are offered free to all students.

B are recognised internationally

C give you a year's-worth of discounts


Questions 12-15

Complete the notes below.


Student Railcards

For young people between 16 and 25

Mature students 25+ studying 12 _____

Get 13 _____ train fares in the UK

Discounts for theatre tickets and 14 ____

1 year £28

3 years 15 _____


Questions 16-17

Choose TWO letters, A-E.

Local bus operators offer bus passes

A especially for students.

B for various lengths of time.

C that are cheaper the longer the period.

D for use only for commuting.

E that can be used by your friends


Questions 18-20

Write the correct letter, A, B or C, next to questions 18-20.

Which places are useful for the following?

A Household items

B Vintage clothes

C Second-hand textbooks


18 The university campus

19 Charity shops

20 Car boot sales





Section 3  

Questions 21-25

Complete the notes below.


Autumn term: Key dates

Term starts

15th September

Release timetables

15th September

Release 21 _____

14th October

All assignments online

by 22 _____

Release grades for first assignment

23 _____

Release 24 _____ for Belgium trip

29th October

Belgium trip

25 _____


Questions 26-30

Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.

26 The college is trying to

A significantly reduce the amount of paper it uses

B be careful about the amount of documents it produces.

C discover why students keep losing their work


27 According to the text, students at the college

A are not allowed to print documents.

B have restrictions on how many pages they can print.

C have to pay to do any printing.


28 The college

A has permission to reproduce the quizzes.

B wants the students to give them feedback about the quizzes.

C thinks the online quizzes are more effective than the paper ones.


29 The tutor explains that

A the quizzes are easy to find on the intranet.

B the quizzes will be online for a few weeks only.

C the majority of the quizzes are online.


30 The online quiz system

A occasionally doesn't work.

B keeps the quiz results confidential.

C allows tutors to identify areas where the students may be having difficulties





Section 4

Questions 31-40

Questions 31-34

31 _____ times are less common within the family

32 We may eat more than we need due to our _____

33 Eating habits can be affected by both _____ emotions.

34 People who are _____ are more likely to eat more due to negative emotions


Questions 35-39

Answer the questions below.

Which type of hunger relates to the points below?

Write E for emotional hunger. Write P for physical hunger.

35 Experiences a sudden urge to eat

36 Hungers for any type of food

37 Needs to satisfy the hunger as soon as possible

38 Will stop eating once full

39 Will feel no sense of guilt after eating


Questions 40

Choose the correct letter. A, B or C.

40 People suffering from obesity can be helped by

A taking the pressure off them about feeling guilty.

B understanding why they have negative feelings.

C pinpointing stressful moments that can cause emotional hunger


Answer key

Section 1

1 24 hours

2 snacks and laxis

3 debit card

4 2.30

5 5(.00)

6 anytime

7 1.30

8 A

9 A

10 B


Section 2

11 C

12 fulltime

13 1/3 off / one third off

4 holiday offers

15 £65



18 C

19 B

20 A


Section 3

21 (the) second assignment

22 24th November

23 17th November

24 (the) booking forms

25 19th November

26 A

27 B

28 A

29 C

30 C


Section 4

31 formal eating

32 emotional state    

33 positive and negative  

34 overweight    

35 E      

36 P

37 E

38 P

39 P

40 C





You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.


A Wonder Plant

The wonder plant with an uncertain future: more than a billion people rely on bamboo for either their shelter or income, while many endangered species depend on it for their survival. Despite its apparent abundance, a new report says that species of bamboo may be under serious threat.

A Every year, during the rainy season, the mountain gorillas of Central Africa migrate to the foothills and lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains to graze on bamboo. For the 650 0r so that remain in the wild, it’s a vital food source. Although there are at almost 150 types of plant, as well as various insects and other invertebrates, bamboo accounts for up t0 90 percent of their diet at this time of year. Without it, says Ian Redmond, chairman of the Ape Alliance, their chances of survival would be reduced significantly. Gorillas aren’t the only locals keen on bamboo. For the people who live close to the Virungas, it’s a valuable and versatile raw material used for building houses and making household items such as mats and baskets. But in the past 100 years or so, resources have come under increasing pressure as populations have exploded and large areas of bamboo forest have been cleared to make way for farms and commercial plantations.


B Sadly, this isn’t an isolated story. All over the world, the ranges of many bamboo species appear to be shrinking, endangering the people and animals that depend upon them. But despite bamboo’s importance, we know surprisingly little about it. A recent report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Inter-national Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) has revealed just how profound is our ignorance of global bamboo resources, particularly in relation to conservation. There are almost 1,600 recognized species of bamboo, but the report concentrated on the l,200 or so woody varieties distinguished by the strong stems, or culms, that most people associate with this versatile plant. Of these, only 38 ‘priority species’ identified for their commercial value have been the subject of any real scientific research, and this  has focused mostly on matters relating to their viability as a commodity. This problem isn’t confined to bamboo. Compared to the work carried out on animals, the science of assessing the conservation status of plants is still in its infancy. “People have only started looking hard at this during the past 10-15 years, and only now are they getting a handle on how to go about it systematically,” says Dr. Valerie Kapos, one of the report’s authors and a senior adviser in forest ecology and conservation to the UNEP.


C Bamboo is a type of grass. It comes in a wide variety of forms, ranging in heightfrom 30 centimeters to more than 40 meters. It is also the world’s fastest-growing woody plant; some species can grow more than a meterin a day. Bamboo’s ecological rote extends beyond providing food and habitat for animals. Bamboo tends to grow in stands made up of groups of individual plants that grow from root systems known as rhizomes. Its extensive rhizome systems, which tie in the top layers of the soil, are crucial in preventing soil erosion. And there is growing evidence that bamboo plays an important part in determining forest structure and dynamics. “Bamboo’s pattern of mass flowering and mass death leaves behind large areas of dry biomass that attract wildfire,” says Kapos. “When these burn, they create patches of open ground within the forest far bigger than would be left by a fallen tree.” Patchiness helps to preserve diversity because certain plant species do better during the early stages of regeneration when there are gaps in the canopy.


D However, bamboo’s most immediate significance lies in its economic value. Modern processing techniques mean that it can be used in a variety of ways, for example, as flooring and laminates. One of the fastest growing bamboo products is paper-25 percent of paper produced in India is made from bamboo fiber, and in Brazil, 100,000 hectares of bamboo are grown for its production. Of course, bamboo’s main function has always been in domestic applications, and as a locally traded commodity it’s worth about $4.5billion annually. Because of its versatility, flexibility and strength (its tensile strength compares to that of some steel), it has traditionally been used in construction. Today, more than one billion people worldwide live in bamboo houses. Bamboo is often the only readily available raw material for people in many developing countries, says Chris Stapleton, a research associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens. “Bamboo can be harvested from forest areas or grown quickly elsewhere, and then converted simply without expensive machinery or facilities,” he says. “In this way, it contributes substantially to poverty alleviation and wealth creation.”


E Given bamboo’s value in economic and ecological terms, the picture painted by the UNEP report is all the more worrying. But keen horticulturists will spot an apparent contradiction here. Those who’ve followed the recent vogue for cultivating exotic species in their gardens will point out that if it isn’t kept in check, bamboo can cause real problems. “In a lot of places, the people who live with bamboo don’t perceive it as being endangered in any way,” says Kapos. “In fact, a lot of bamboo species are actually very invasive if they’ve been introduced.” So why are so many species endangered? There are two separate issues here, says Ray Townsend, vice president of the British Bamboo Society and arboretum manager at the Royal Botanic Gardens. “Some plants are threatened because they can’t survive in the habitat-they aren’t strong enough or there aren’t enough of them, perhaps. But bamboo can take care of itself-it is strong enough to survive if left alone. What is under threat is its habitat.” It is the physical disturbance that is the threat to bamboo, says Kapos. “When forest goes, it is converted into something else: there isn’t anywhere for forest plants such as bamboo to grow if you create a cattle pasture.”


F Around the world, bamboo species are routinely protected as part of forest eco-systems in national parks and reserves, but there is next to nothing that protects bamboo in the wild for its own sake. However, some small steps are being taken to address this situation. The UNEP-INBAR report will help conservationists to establish effective measures aimed at protecting valuable wild bamboo species. Towns end, too, sees the UNEP report as an important step forward in promoting the cause of bamboo conservation. “Until now, bamboo has been perceived as a second-class plant. When you talk about places such as the Amazon, everyone always thinks about the hardwoods. Of course these are significant, but there is a tendency to overlook the plants they are associated with, which are often bamboo species. In many ways, it is the most important plant known to man. I can’t think of another plant that is used so much and is so commercially important in so many countries.” He believes that the most important first step is to get scientists into the field. “We need to go out there, look at these plants and see how they survive and then use that information to conserve them for the future.”


Questions 1-7

Reading Passage has six sections A-F.

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet

NB You may use any letter more than once


1. Comparison of bamboo with other plant species

2. Commercial products of bamboo

3. Limited extent of existing research

4. A human development that destroyed large areas of bamboo

5. How bamboos are put to a variety of uses

6. An explanation of how bamboo can help the survival of a range of plants

7. The methods used to study bamboo


Questions 8-11

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-D) with opinions or deeds below.

Write the appropriate letters A-D in boxes 8-11 on your answer sheet.

NB you may use any letter more than once


A Ian Redmond

B Valerie Kapos

C Ray Townsend

D Chris Stapleton


8. Destroying bamboo jeopardizes to wildlife.

9. People have very confined knowledge of bamboo.

10. Some people do not think that bamboo is endangered.

11. Bamboo has loads of commercial potentials.


Questions 12-13

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 12-13 on your answer sheet


12. What environmental problem does the unique root system of bamboo prevent?

13. Which bamboo product is experiencing market expansion?



You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.


The Ant and the Mandarin

In 1476, the farmers of Berne in Switzerland decided there was only one way to rid their fields of the cutworms attacking their crops. They took the pests to court. The worms were tried, found guilty and excommunicated by the arch­bishop. In China, farmers had a more practical approach to pest control. Rather than relying on divine intervention, they put their faith in frogs, ducks and ants. Frogs and ducks were encouraged to snap up the pests in the paddies and the occasional plague of locusts. But the notion of biological control began with an ant. More specifically, it started with the predatory yellow citrus ant Oeco-phylla smaragdina, which has been polishing off pests in the orange groves of southern China for at least 1,700 years. The yellow citrus ant is a type of weaver ant, which binds leaves and twigs with silk to form a neat, tent-like nest. In the beginning, farmers made do with the odd ants' nests here and there. But it wasn't long before growing demand led to the development of a thriving trade in nests and a new type of agriculture - ant farming.


For an insect that bites, the yellow citrus ant is remarkably popular. Even by ant standards, Oecophylla smaragdina is a fearsome predator. It's big, runs fast and has a powerful nip - painful to humans but lethal to many of the insects that plague the orange groves of Guangdong and Guangxi in southern China. And for at least 17 centuries, Chinese orange growers have harnessed these six-legged killing machines to keep their fruit groves healthy and productive.


Citrus fruits evolved in the Far East and the Chinese discovered the delights of their flesh early on. As the ancestral home of oranges, lemons and pomelos, China also has the greatest diversity of citrus pests. And the trees that produce the sweetest fruits, the mandarins - or kan - attract a host of plant-eating in­sects, from black ants and sap-sucking mealy bugs to leaf-devouring caterpil­lars. With so many enemies, fruit growers clearly had to have some way of pro­tecting their orchards.


The West did not discover the Chinese orange growers' secret weapon until 1 the early 20th century. At the time, Florida was suffering an epidemic of citrus canker and in 1915 Walter Swingle, a plant physiologist working for the US Department of Agriculture, was sent to China in search of varieties of orange that were resistant to the disease. Swingle spent some time studying the citrus orchards around Guangzhou, and there he came across the story of the culti­vated ant. These ants, he was told, were "grown'' by the people of a small village nearby who sold them to the orange growers by the nestful.


The earliest report of citrus ants at work among the orange trees appeared in a book on tropical and subtropical botany written by Hsi Han in AD 304. "The people of Chiao-Chih sell in their markets ants in bags of rush matting. The nests are like silk. The bags are all attached to twigs and leaves which, with the ants inside the nests, are for sale. The ants are reddish-yellow in colour, bigger than ordinary ants. In the south, if the kan trees do not have this kind of ant, the fruits will all be damaged by many harmful insects, and not a single fruit will be perfect."


Initially, farmers relied on nests which they collected from the wild or bought in the market where trade in nests was brisk. "It is said that in the south orange trees which are free of ants will have wormy fruits. Therefore, people race to buy nests for their orange trees," wrote Liu Hsun in Strange Things Noted in the South in about 890.


The business quickly became more sophisticated. From the 10th century, coun­try people began to trap ants in artificial nests baited with fat. "Fruit-growing families buy these ants from vendors who make a business of collecting and selling such creatures," wrote Chuang Chi-Yu in 1130. "They trap them by fill­ing hogs' or sheep's bladders with fat and placing them with the cavities open next to the ants' nests. They wait until the ants have migrated into the bladders and take them away. This is known as 'rearing orange ants'." Farmers attached k the bladders to their trees, and in time the ants spread to other trees and built new nests.


By the 17th century, growers were building bamboo walkways between their trees to speed the colonisation of their orchards. The ants ran along these narrow bridges from one tree to another and established nests "by the hundreds of thousands”.


Did it work? The orange growers clearly thought so. One authority, Chhii Ta-Chun, writing in 1700, stressed how important it was to keep the fruit trees free of insect pests, especially caterpillars. "It is essential to eliminate them so that the trees are not injured. But hand labour is not nearly as efficient as ant power..."


Swingle was just as impressed. Yet despite his reports, many Western biologists were skeptical. In the West, the idea of using one insect to destroy another was new and highly controversial. The first breakthrough had come in 1888, when the infant orange industry in California had been saved from extinction by the Australian vedalia beetle. This beetle was the only thing that had made any in- T roads into the explosion of cottony cushion scale that was threatening to destroy the state's citrus crops. But, as Swingle now knew, California's "first'' was noth­ing of the sort. The Chinese had been expert in biocontrol for many centuries.


The long tradition of ants in the Chinese orchards only began to waver in the 1950s and 1960s with the introduction of powerful organic insecticides. Although most fruit growers switched to chemicals, a few hung onto their ants. Those who abandoned ants in favour of chemicals quickly became disillusioned. As costs soared and pests began to develop resistance to the chem­icals, growers began to revive the old ant patrols in the late 1960s. They had good reason to have faith in their insect workforce.


Research in the early 1960s showed that as long as there were enough ants in the trees, they did an excellent job of dispatching some pests - mainly the larger insects - and had modest success against others. Trees with yellow ants produced almost 20 per cent more healthy leaves than those without. More recent trials have shown that these trees yield just as big a crop as those protected by expensive chemical sprays.


One apparent drawback of using ants - and one of the main reasons for the early skepticism by Western scientists - was that citrus ants do nothing to control mealy bugs, waxy-coated scale insects which can do considerable damage to fruit trees. In fact, the ants protect mealy bugs in exchange for the sweet honey-dew they secrete. The orange growers always denied this was a problem but Western scientists thought they knew better.


Research in the 1980s suggests that the growers were right all along. Where X mealy bugs proliferate under the ants' protection, they are usually heavily parasitised and this limits the harm they can do.


Orange growers who rely on carnivorous ants rather than poisonous chemicals maintain a better balance of species in their orchards. While the ants deal with the bigger insect pests, other predatory species keep down the numbers of smaller pests such as scale insects and aphids. In the long run, ants do a lot less damage than chemicals - and they're certainly more effective than excommunication.


Questions 14-18

Look at the following events (Questions 14-18) and the list of dates below.

Match each event with the correct time A-G.

Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.


14. The first description of citrus ants is traded in the marketplace.

15. Swingle came to Asia for research.

16. The first record of one insect is used to tackle other insects in the western world.

17. Chinese fruit growers started to use pesticides in place of citrus ants.

18. Some Chinese farmers returned to the traditional bio-method


List of Dates

A 1888

B AD 890

C AD 304

D 1950s

E 1960s

F 1915

G 1130


Questions 19-26

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 19-26 on your answer sheet write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this


19. China has more citrus pests than any other country in the world.

20. Swingle came to China to search for an insect to bring back to the US.

21. Many people were very impressed by Swingle's discovery.

22. Chinese farmers found that pesticides became increasingly expensive.

23. Some Chinese farmers abandoned the use of pesticide.

24. Trees with ants had more leaves fall than those without.

25. Fields using ants yield as large a crop as fields using chemical pesticides.

26. Citrus ants often cause considerable damage to the bio-environment of the orchards.


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.


Communicating Styles and Conflict

Knowing your communication style and having a mix of styles on your team can provide a positive force for resolving conflict.

A As far back as Hippocrates’ time (460-370B.C.), people have tried to understand other people by characterizing them according to personality type or temperament. Hippocrates believed there were four different body fluids that influenced four basic types of temperament. His work was further developed 500 years later by Galen. These days there are any number of self-assessment tools that relate to the basic descriptions developed by Galen, although we no longer believe the source to be the types of body fluid that dominate our systems.


B The value in self-assessments that help determine personality style. Learning styles, communication styles, conflict-handling styles, or other aspects of individuals is that they help depersonalize conflict in interpersonal relationships. The depersonalization occurs when you realize that others aren’t trying to be difficult, but they need different or more information than you do. They’re not intending to be rude: they are so focused on the task they forget about greeting people. They would like to work faster but not at the risk of damaging the relationships needed to get the job done. They understand there is a job to do. But it can only be done right with the appropriate information, which takes time to collect. When used appropriately, understanding communication styles can help resolve conflict on teams. Very rarely are conflicts true personality issues. Usually they are issues of style, information needs, or focus.


C Hippocrates and later Galen determined there were four basic temperaments: sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic and choleric. These descriptions were developed centuries ago and are still somewhat apt, although you could update the wording. In today’s world, they translate into the four fairly common communication styles described below:


D The sanguine person would be the expressive or spirited style of communication. These people speak in pictures. They invest a lot of emotion and energy in their communication and often speak quickly. Putting their whole body into it. They are easily sidetracked onto a story that may or may not illustrate the point they are trying to make. Because of their enthusiasm, they are great team motivators. They are concerned about people and relationships. Their high levels of energy can come on strong at times and their focus is usually on the bigger picture, which means they sometimes miss the details or the proper order of things. These people find conflict or differences of opinion invigorating and love to engage in a spirited discussion. They love change and are constantly looking for new and exciting adventures.


E Tile phlegmatic person - cool and persevering - translates into the technical or systematic communication style. This style of communication is focused on facts and technical details. Phlegmatic people have an orderly methodical way of approaching tasks, and their focus is very much on the task, not on the people, emotions, or concerns that the task may evoke. The focus is also more on the details necessary to accomplish a task. Sometimes the details overwhelm the big picture and focus needs to be brought back to the context of the task. People with this style think the facts should speak for themselves, and they are not as comfortable with conflict. They need time to adapt to change and need to understand both the logic of it and the steps involved.


F Tile melancholic person who is soft hearted and oriented toward doing things for others translates into the considerate or sympathetic communication style. A person with this communication style is focused on people and relationships. They are good listeners and do things for other people-sometimes to the detriment of getting things done for themselves. They want to solicit everyone’s opinion and make sure everyone is comfortable with whatever is required to get the job done. At times this focus on others can distract from the task at hand. Because they are so concerned with the needs of others and smoothing over issues, they do not like conflict. They believe that change threatens the status quo and tends to make people feel uneasy, so people with this communication style, like phlegmatic people need time to consider the changes in order to adapt to them.


G The choleric temperament translates into the bold or direct style of communication. People with this style are brief in their communication - the fewer words the better. They are big picture thinkers and love to be involved in many things at once. They are focused on tasks and outcomes and often forget that the people involved in carrying out the tasks have needs. They don’t do detail work easily and as a result can often underestimate how much time it takes to achieve the task. Because they are so direct, they often seem forceful and can be very intimidating to others. They usually would welcome someone challenging them. But most other styles are afraid to do so. They also thrive on change, the more the better.


H A well-functioning team should have all of these communication styles for true effectiveness. All teams need to focus on the task, and they need to take care of relationships in order to achieve those tasks. They need the big picture perspective or the context of their work, and they need the details to be identified and taken care of for success. We all have aspects of each style within us. Some of us can easily move from one style to another and adapt our style to the needs of the situation at hand-whether the focus is on tasks or relationships. For others, a dominant style is very evident, and it is more challenging to see the situation from the perspective of another style. The work environment can influence communication styles either by the type of work that is required or by the predominance of one style reflected in that environment. Some people use one style at work and another at home.


The good news about communication styles is that we have the ability to develop flexibility in our styles. The greater the flexibility we have, the more skilled we usually are at handling possible and actual conflicts. Usually it has to be relevant to us to do so, either because we think it is important or because there are incentives in our environment to encourage it. The key is that we have to want to become flexible with our communication style. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!”


Questions 27-34

Reading Passage has eight sections A-H.

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-x in boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet.


List of Headings

i           Summarising personality types

ii          Combined styles for workplace

iii         Physical explanation

iv         A lively person who encourages

v          Demanding and unsympathetic personality

vi         Lazy and careless personality

vii        The benefits of understanding communication styles

viii        Cautious and caring

ix         Factual and analytical personality

x          Self-assessment determines one’s temperament



27. Section A

28. Section B

29. Section C

30. Section D

31. Section E

32. Section F

33. Section G

34. Section H


Questions 35-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this


35. It is believed that sanguine people dislike variety.

36. Melancholic and phlegmatic people have similar characteristics.

37. Managers often select their best employees according to personality types.

38. It is possible to change one’s personality type.

39. Workplace environment can affect which communication style is most effective.


Question 40

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in box 40 on your answer sheet.


40. The writer believes using self-assessment tools can

A. help to develop one’s personality.

B. help to understand colleagues’ behaviour.

C. improve one’s relationship with the employer.

D. directly resolve conflicts.








Passage 1

1. E

2. D

3. B

4. A

5. D

6. C

7. B

8. A

9. B

10. B

11. D

12. soil erosion

13. paper


Passage 2

14. C

15. F

16. A

17. D

18. E

19. TRUE



22. TRUE

23. TRUE


25. TRUE



Passage 3

27. iii

28. vii

29. i

30. iv

31. ix

32. viii

33. v

34. ii


36. TRUE


38. TRUE

39. TRUE

40. B