SECTION 2: STUDY SKILLS
Directions: In this section, you will read several passages. Each passage is followed by several questions based on its content. You are to choose ONE best answer, (A), (B), (C) or (D), to each question. Answer all the questions following each passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage and write the letter of the answer you have chosen in the corresponding space in your ANSWER BOOKLET.
Last month, upon hearing that a neighbor had been burgled, my husband voiced a desire to beef up our home security. I was largely unresponsive. The previous owners of our house installed a burglar alarm system, but we never got it switched on, because, quoting Ed, I apparently care more about the $29 monthly fee than I do about our home security. In the end, I gave in.
The alarm company sent over a sales representative, a well-coiffed professional in a suit and heels. She recommended adding some infrared motion sensors. I was not wild about this. I like to keep things simple. My idea of home security is to hire cheap, disreputable painters who can be counted upon to paint the windows shut. "Besides, can't the motion sensors be set off by a pet?" I said.
Ed leaned in close to the sales rep. "We don't have any pets," he whispered. "We don't have a pet now'' I said." But we might someday." I knew this to be a lie. Ed is a dog person, and I'm a cat person. We cancel each other out.
I pointed out that every now and then, the neighbors' cat, Sprinkles, will sneak into the house when the back door is open. The alarm woman started talking about "pet resistance." This was a feature of the motion sensor whereby it was set to cover the room from the waist up only. "Though of course...," she hesitated, "the cat would have to stay on the ground at all times."
We got the sensors, and we got the system switched on. We never got a pet, each of us practicing his or her own particular brand of pet resistance, but we did, after many years of cost-based bickering, get a housecleaner. Every other month, Natalia can be seen making her way through the filth and cobwebs. I gave her the alarm code but promised to leave the alarm off the day she came.
Naturally, I forgot. Later that morning, my work phone rang. It was Natalia, yelling in harmony with the shrieking of the alarm. She couldn't find the code. On top of all this, my cell phone started ringing. This was the alarm company, responding to the alarm and calling me to get the secret password-which was different from the shutoff code-required for them to shut off the system and prevent the police from rushing over to arrest Natalia for breaking and entering.
Some weeks back, Ed and I had spent 15 minutes arguing over the secret password for the alarm. Ed is a fan of the complicated, hacker-proof, identity-theft-foiling password, the kind that involves alternating capital and lowercase letters with obscure foreign accent marks, whereas I'll use my name. I had no recollection of what we'd settled on. "Ummmm." The alarm, and Natalia, continued to go off. This went on for some time.
Meanwhile, Natalia had dug through her bag, found the piece of paper I'd given her with the shutoff code and quieted the screaming alarm. I don't know how effective these alarms are against burglars, but Sprinkles hasn't been seen on the property in weeks.
Why didn't the writer get the burglar alarm system switched on?
(A) Because she didn't like its design.
(B) Because the burglar alarm system had broken down.
(C) Because she considered monthly fee unnecessary.
(D) Because she thought their home security was not a problem.
The family didn't have a pet because _______.
(A) they didn't like pets
(B) they didn't like each other's favorite animal
(C) they took their neighbors' pet as their own.
(D) it cost a lot to have a pet.
According to the sales representative, the motion sensor _______.
(A) is pet resistant
(B) is set to cover the room floor
(C) could be set off by a pet if it was near
(D) could be set off by a pet if it jumped high enough
The word "bickering" in paragraph 5 is closest in meaning to _______.
Ed preferred their password for the alarm to be _______.
(C) easy to remember
(D) his own name
An article published recently in the prestigious scientific journal Nature is shedding new light on an important, but hitherto little has been appreciated, aspect of human evolution. In this article, Professors Dennis Bramble and Daniel Lieberman suggest that the ability to run was a crucial factor in the development of our species. According to the two scientists, humans possess a number of anatomical features that make them surprisingly good runners. 'We are very confident that strong selection for running-which came at the expense of the historical ability to live in trees-was instrumental in the origin of the modern human body form,' says Bramble, a biology professor at the University of Utah.
Traditional thinking up to now has been that the distinctive, upright body form of modern humans has come about as a result of the ability to walk, and that running is simply a by-product of walking. Furthermore, humans have usually been regarded as poor runners compared to such animals as dogs, horses or antelopes. However, this is only true if we consider fast running, or sprinting, over short distances. Even an Olympic athlete can hardly run as fast as a horse can gallop, and can only keep up a top speed for fifteen seconds or so. Horses, antelopes and greyhounds, on the other hand, can run at top speed for several minutes, clearly outperforming us in this respect. But when it comes to long-distance running, humans do astonishingly well. They can maintain a steady pace for miles, and their overall speed compares favourably with that of horses or dogs.
Bramble and Lieberman examined twenty-six anatomical features found in humans. One of the most interesting of these is the nuchal ligament, a band of tissue that extends from a ridge on the base of the skull to the spine. When we run, it is this ligament that prevents our head from pitching back and forth or from side to side. Therefore, we are able to run with steady heads, held high. The nuchal ligament is not found in any other surviving primates, although the fossil record shows that Homo erectus, an early human species that walked upright, much as we do, also had one. Then there are our Achilles tendons at the backs of our legs, which connect our calf muscles to our heel bones-and which have nothing to do with walking. When we run, these tendons behave like springs, helping to propel us forward. Furthermore, we have low, wide shoulders, virtually disconnected from our skulls, another anatomical adaptation which allows us to run more efficiently. Add to this our light forearms, which swing out of phase with the movement of our legs to assist balance, and one begins to appreciate the point that Bramble and Lieberman are trying to make.
But what evolutionary advantage is gained from being good long-distance runners? One hypothesis is that this ability may have permitted early humans to obtain food more effectively. 'What these features and fossil facts appear to be telling us is that running evolved in order for our direct ancestors to compete with other carnivores for access to the protein needed to grow the big brains that we enjoy today,' says Lieberman.
The human ability to run ______.
(A) was only recently described in a scientific journal
(B) played an important part in human evolution
(C) is now regarded as more important than the ability to climb trees
(D) is surprising when we consider evolutionary trends
According to the passage, humans ______.
(A) are better runners than most other animals
(B) are not good at running short distances
(C) compare unfavorably with horses and dogs
(D) cannot run at top speed over long distances
It appears that the nuchal ligament _______.
(A) is found only in modern primates
(B) enables us to run with steady heads
(C) prevents the head from moving
(D) is a unique anatomical feature among all species
The passage suggests that _______.
(A) we do not need calf muscles in order to walk
(B) without shoulders we could not run very fast
(C) the movement of our forearms is out of phase
(D) our Achilles tendons are an adaptation for running
According to the passage, early humans _______.
(A) killed animals by exhausting them
(B) may have evolved big brains for running
(C) competed with other animals for food
(D) could probably run before they could walk
People value money desperately because they value one another desperately; thus the cause of panic in the stock-market plunge is not that people will lose their dollars but that they will lose their sense of community. For the past couple of weeks, the nation has watched itself roll toward ruin because people were losing their money in bales. If one were tasteless enough to ask a big loser what exactly he was losing, he would sputter, "What am I losing? My car! My beautiful home! My children's educations! My clothes! My dinner! My dollars!" They are all true. People have been mourning the passing of their money for all the things that money can do, and what money can do is impressive. Money can build cities, cure diseases, and win wars. The sudden acquisition of the stuff can toss our spirits into the air like a hat.
Money can do considerably more. It offers power, an almost unique form of power, not simply because it allows us to acquire and possess things but because it is we who determine its worth; we who say a ruby costs more than an apple; we who decide that a tennis court is more valuable than a book. Paradoxically, money creates a deep sense of powerlessness as well, since technically we cannot provide money for ourselves; someone or something else must do that for us-our employers or, until recently, our stocks. All that, money can do: and when such essential, familiar functions are snatched from one's life, small wonder that people may grow wild, frantic, and even murderous.
What money can do, however, is not the same as what money is. Let's return for a moment to the theory: people value money because they value one another. In other words, the usefulness of money is directly related to and established by continuous mutual need. People work for money to buy things that other people make or do, things that they cannot or will not make or do for themselves but that they deem necessary for some definition of self-improvement.
Abstractly, money is one of the ways, indeed a universally accepted way, by which we make connections. Cash is cold. So the connections may feel cold, but real blood flows through them. These connections constitute one of the central means by which societies cohere; by which they sustain and characterize themselves.
When the coin begins to wobble, as it has in the past weeks, a fear seizes the mind that is disorienting. The fear is not merely that of the loss of possessions but of self-possession, which in some sense is bought and sold from person to person in infinite daily bargains. To lose money is frightening. To lose touch with others is more frightening still. Losing touch may cause the panic of the times.
This passage mainly discusses _______.
(A) the functions of money
(B) the stock-market plunge
(C) a new theory of investment
(D) a cold characteristic of cash
According to the author, what can be a regular source of money provided for us?
According to the passage, money can do all the following EXCEPT _______.
(A) build cities and cure diseases
(B) enhance relationships among people
(C) create a sense of powerlessness
(D) prove the morality of people
Under what circumstances are connections related to cash said to be cold in the passage?
(A) When they are not established for societies to cohere.
(B) When they are not compared to "real blood".
(C) When their functions are snatched from people's life.
(D) When their worth is hard to determine and not valued.
It can be learned from the passage that ______.
(A) people worry about the dollars they have more than the sense of community
(B) money can lubricate the social machine but it cannot prove the value of people
(C) in daily transactions one's self-possession is gained or lost
(D) losing money is more frightening than losing touch with others
At first glance, why anyone would want to save California condors is not entirely clear. Unlike the closely related Andean condors with their white neck fluff or king vultures with their brilliant black-and-white colour, California condors are not much to see. Their dull black colour-even when contrasted with white underwings-featherless head and neck, oversized feet and blunt talons are hardly signs of beauty or strength. Their appeal begins to become evident when they take flights. California condors can soar almost effortlessly for hours, often covering hundreds of miles a day-far more than other creatures of the air. Only occasionally do they need to flap their wings-to take off, change direction or find a band of warm air known as thermal to carry them higher.
When it was discovered that the condor population was becoming dangerously small, scientists and zookeepers sought to increase condor numbers quickly to preserve as much of the species' genetic diversity as possible. From studying wild condors, they already knew that if a pair lost an egg, the birds would often produce another. So the first and sometimes second eggs laid by each female in captivity were removed, artificially incubated, and the chicks raised using hand-held puppets made to look like adult condors. Such techniques quickly proved effective.
Despite these successes, the effort to save California condors continues to have problems, evoke criticisms and generate controversy. Captive-hatched condors released to the wild have died at what to some people are alarmingly high rates. Others have had to be recaptured after they acted foolishly or became ill. As a result, the scientists, zookeepers and conservationists who are concerned about condors have bickered among themselves over the best ways to rear and release the birds.
Some of the odd behavior on the part of these re-released birds is hard to explain. At times they landed on people's houses and garages, walked across roads and airport runways, sauntered into park visitor centers and fast food restaurants, and took food offered by picnickers and fishermen. None are known to have died by doing so, though. Most recently, some of the first chicks hatched in the wild died after their parents fed them bottle caps, glass shards, pieces of plastic and other man-made objects that fatally perforated or blocked their intestines. These deaths may be due to the chicks' parents mistaking man-made objects for bone chips eaten for their calcium content.
Mike Wallace, a wildlife specialist at the San Diego Zoo, has suggested that some of the condors' problems represent natural behavior that helps them survive as carrion eaters. The real key to successful condor reintroduction, he believes, lies in properly socializing young condors as members of a group that follow and learn from older, preferably adult birds. That, he argues, was missing from earlier condor releases to the wild. Typically, condors hatched in the spring were released to the wild that autumn or winter, when they were still less than a year old. Now, condor chicks at several zoos are raised in cave-like nest boxes. The chicks can see older condors in a large flight pen outside their box but cannot interact with them until they are about five months old. Then the chicks are gradually released into the pen and the company of the social group. The group includes adult and older juvenile condors that act as mentors for younger ones.
According to the passage, the most impressive feature of the California condor is _______.
(A) its resemblance to Andean condor
(B) its ability to glide
(C) its colorful plumage
(D) its blunt talons
In the first stage of the conservation program _______.
(A) eggs were removed from the nests of wild condors
(B) female condors were captured and studied carefully
(C) scientists and zookeepers tried to create genetic diversity
(D) condors were induced to lay more than one egg
Which of the following is true about the attempts to save these birds from extinction?
(A) There is disagreement about the methods employed.
(B) The majority of condors released into the wild became ill.
(C) Attempts to breed condors in captivity have failed,
(D) Condors reintroduced into the wild are unable to hunt.
Some chicks hatched by re-released condors died because _______.
(A) they fell into pools of water
(B) they fell prey to other animals
(C) they had odd drinking habits
(D) they swallowed dangerous objects
According to Mike Wallace, there will be fewer problems _______.
(A) if young condors are taught not to eat so much carrion
(B) if the chicks are kept in cave-like nest boxes for five months
(C) if young condors can learn appropriate behavior from older birds
(D) if the chicks can have older birds for company when they hatch
We are not who we think we are.
The American self-image is suffused with the golden glow of opportunity. We think of the United States as a land of unlimited possibility, not so much a classless society but as a place where class is mutable-a place where brains, energy and ambition are what counts, not the circumstances of one's birth.
The Economic Mobility Project, an ambitious research initiative led by Pew Charitable Trusts, looked at the economic fortunes of a large group of families over time, comparing the income of parents in the late 1960s with the income of their children in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Here is the finding: "The 'rags to riches' story is much more common in Hollywood than on Main Street. Only 6 percent of children born to parents with family income at the very bottom move to the top.
That is right, just 6 percent of children born to parents who ranked in the bottom fifth of the study sample, in terms of income, were able to bootstrap their way into the top fifth. Meanwhile, an incredible 42 percent of children born into that lowest quintile are still stuck at the bottom, having been unable to climb a single rung of the income ladder.
It is noted that even in Britain-a nation we think of as burdened with a hidebound class system-children who are born poor have a better chance of moving up. When the three studies were released, most reporters focused on the finding that African-Americans born to middle-class or upper middle-class families are earning slightly less, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than did their parents.
One of the studies indicates, in fact, that most of the financial gains white families have made in the past three decades can be attributed to the entry of white women into the labor force. This is much less true for African-Americans.
The picture that emerges from all the quintiles, correlations and percentages is of a nation in which, overall, "the current generation of adults is better off than the previous one", as one of the studies notes.
The median income of the families in the sample group was $55,600 in the late 1960s; their children's median family income was measured at $71,900. However, this rising tide has not lifted all boats equally. The rich have seen far greater income gains than have the poor.
Even more troubling is that our notion of America as the land of opportunity gets little support from the data. Americans move fairly easily up and down the middle rungs of the ladder, but there is "stickiness at the ends" - four out of ten children who are born poor will remain poor, and four out often who are born rich will stay rich.
What did the Economic Mobility Project find in its research?
(A) Children from low-income families are unable to bootstrap their way to the top.
(B) Hollywood actors and actresses are upwardly mobile from rags to riches.
(C) The rags to riches story is more fiction than reality.
(D)The rags to riches story is only true for a small minority of whites.
The word "quintile" (para.4) refers to _______ in the passage.
(A) the bottom fifth
(B) the study data
(C) the sample group
(D) the lowest family income
It can be inferred from the undertone of the writer that America, as a classless society, should _______.
(A) perfect its self-image as a land of opportunity
(B) have a higher level of upward mobility than Britain
(C) enable African-Americans to have exclusive access to well-paid employment
(D) encourage the current generation to work as hard as the previous generation
Which of the following statements is TRUE according to the passage?
(A) The US is a land where brains, energy and ambition are what counts.
(B) Inequality persists between whites and blacks in financial gains.
(C) Middle-class families earn slightly less with inflation considered.
(D) Children in lowest-income families manage to climb a single rung of the ladder.
What might be the best title for this passage?
(A) Social Upward Mobility.
(B) Incredible Income Gains.
(C) Inequality in Wealth.
(D) America Not Land of Opportunity.
I am always a little puzzled when I hear people complain about the difficulties of finding a good job. Young people in their 20s express dissatisfaction that all the good jobs have been taken by those in their 40s. People in their 40s, trapped in the middle groups of the workforce, complain about waiting for their elders to make room for them at the top. Older employees worry about being forced out of the job market prematurely by younger people willing to work at entry-level wages. It is not a pretty picture.
But I do not buy it. In my view, differences between generations are not a problem but an opportunity-if you remember to apply some basic principles of self-marketing. Most of us learned from Marketing 101 textbooks that there are four phases in the life cycle of a product or brand. The names may differ, but essentially the four phases are Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. As a manager of high-profile athletes for more than 30 years, I know that these four phases certainly apply to the career and marketability of an athlete.
An athlete's introduction or start-up phase is when he or she starts competing, does well and captures the attention of people in the sport. Introduction turns into the growth phase when the athlete goes from being a promising performer to an established star. That's when everybody wants a piece of the athlete's time and he must stay focused on his primary talent and not get distracted by side issues.
For an athlete, the toughest thing about the mature phase may simply be recognizing that he or she is in it. If you're marketing a bar of soap it is easy to tell if the product is mature. It is there in the stagnant or shrinking sales figures. It is different with athletes. Not only do they think the growth phase will never end, but they often deny that there is any decrease in their athletic skills or marketability, no matter what the numbers say.
The decline phase for an athlete may sound harsh, but it doesn't have to be if he or she thinks of it as a reflective phase. In this phase an athlete can have tremendous future as a legendary figure who functions as an ambassador for his or her sport. If you substitute "employee" for "athlete" in these examples, these four phases apply to any individual's career.
I genuinely believe that whenever people face a career crisis, a big reason is because they are "out of phase." I have always been a tremendous advocate of recruiting older workers. With the massive downsizing of corporate America, there are tens of thousands of talented men and women over the age of 50 who feel shut out of the work-place. To me, these people are a gold mine-not because they are available but rather because they possess the qualities that employees in the introduction and growth phases lack, namely wisdom and experience. And since many of them received generous early-retirement packages, money is not their sole motivation. In other words, they are affordable.
If I were marketing myself in the mature phase, I'd focus on these qualities. Wisdom, experience and affordability make up a potent package. But you can not do that unless you first recognize and fully appreciate the phase you are in.
What can be concluded from the passage?
(A) Most young people cannot find a job if they don't study the four phase theory.
(B) Young people with good jobs have studied the four phase theory.
(C) Job seekers should fully understand the phase they are in.
(D) Older employees will be forced out of job market by the young.
Who are complaining about the difficulties of getting a good job at the top?
(A) Young people hopping from job to job.
(B) People in their forties.
(C) Older employees with the likelihood of early retirement.
(D) People not completing the four phases in their career cycle.
Which of the following statements is TRUE according to the author?
(A) One generation's ambition will sooner or later become a reality.
(B) Finding a good job mainly depends on one's age.
(C) Differences between generations are more an opportunity than a problem.
(D) The marketability of a product can be compared with that of an athlete.
According to the author, in which of the four phases can an athlete have a tremendous appeal?
(A) Introduction phase.
(B) Growth phase.
(C) Mature phase.
(D) Decline phase.
The author thinks highly of older employees because _______.
(A) they are good at marketing themselves
(B) they are obedient and can be easily controlled
(C) they possess better qualities in the growth phase
(D) they have more wisdom, experience and affordability