Reading Test 2

TEST – 2                                                                                             (PASSAGE – 1)

1. The world’s tropical rainforests comprise some 6% of the Earth’s land area and contain more than half of all known life forms, or a conservative estimate of about 30 million species of plants and animals. Some experts estimate there could be two or even three times as many species hidden within these complex and fast- disappearing ecosystems, scientists will probably never know for certain, so vast is the amount of study required.

2. Time is running out for biological research. Commercial development is responsible for the loss of about 17 million hectares of virgin rainforest each year – a figure approximating 1% of what remains of the world’s rainforests.

3. The current devastation of once impenetrable rainforest is of particular concern because, although new tree growth may in time repopulate felled areas, the biologically diverse storehouse of flora and fauna is gone forever. Losing this bountiful inheritance, which took millions of years to reach its present highly evolved state,
would be an unparalleled act of human stupidity.

4. Chemical compounds that might be extracted from yet-to-be-discovered species hidden beneath the tree canopy could assist in the treatment of disease or help to control fertility. Conservationists point out that important medical discoveries have already been made from material found in tropical rainforests. The drug aspirin, now synthesised, was originally found in the bark of a rainforest tree. Two of the most potent anti- cancer drugs derive from the rosy periwinkle discovered in the 1950s in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar.

5. The rewards of discovery are potentially enormous, yet the outlook is bleak. Timber-rich countries mired in debt, view potential financial gain decades into the future as less attractive than short-term profit from logging. Cataloguing species and analysing newly-found substances takes time and money, both of which are in short supply.

 6. The developed world takes every opportunity to lecture countries which are the guardians of rain forest . Rich nations exhort them to preserve and care for what is left, ignoring the fact that their wealth was in large part due to the exploitation of their own natural world.

7. It is often forgotten that forests once covered most of Europe. Large tracts of forest were destroyed over the centuries for the same reason that the remaining rainforests are now being felled – timber. As well as providing material for housing, it enabled wealthy nations to build large navies and shipping fleets with which to continue their plunder of the world’s resources.

8. Besides, it is not clear that developing countries would necessarily benefit financially from extended bio prospecting of their rainforests. Pharmaceutical companies make huge profits from the sale of drugs with little return to the country in which an original discovery was made.

9. Also, cataloguing tropical biodiversity involves much more than a search for medically useful and therefore commercially viable drugs. Painstaking biological fieldwork helps to build immense databases of genetic, chemical and behavioural information that will be of benefit only to those countries developed enough to use them.

10. Reckless logging itself is not the only danger to rainforests. Fires lit to clear land for further logging and for housing and agricultural development played havoc in the late 1990s in the forests of Borneo. Massive clouds of smoke from burning forest fires swept across the southernmost countries of South-East Asia choking cities and reminding even the most resolute advocates of rainforest clearing of the swiftness of nature’s retribution.

11. Nor are the dangers entirely to the rainforests themselves. Until very recently, so-called “lost” tribes – indigenous peoples who have had no contact with the outside world – still existed deep within certain rainforests. It is now unlikely that there are any more truly lost tribes. Contact with the modern world inevitably brings with it exploitation, loss of traditional culture, and, in an alarming number of instances, complete obliteration.

12. Forest-dwellers who have managed to live in harmony with their environment have much to teach us of life beneath the tree canopy. If we do not listen, the impact will be on the entire human race. Loss of biodiversity, coupled with climate change and ecological destruction will have profound and lasting consequences.

Questions 1-5
You are advised to spend about 7 minutes on Questions 1-5.

 Refer to.

Example: ‘ a conservative estimate’……B……

Ex:        ‘a conservative estimate’    (paragraph 1) 1.     ‘biologically diverse storehouse of flora and fauna’     (paragraph 3)   2. ‘timber-rich countries mired in debt’   (paragraph 5)   3. ‘exploitation of their own natural world’    (paragraph 6)   4. ‘benefit financially from extended bio prospecting of their rain forests’ (paragraph 5)   5. ‘loss of biodiversity’ (paragraph 12)A. with many trees but few financial resources B. purposely low and cautious reckoning C. large-scale use of plant and wildlife D. profit from an analysis of the plant and animal life E. wealth of plants and animals F. being less rich in natural wealth

 Q 6 The amount of rainforest destroyed annually is:
a)  approximately 6% of the Earth’s land area
b)  such that it will only take 100 years to lose all the forests
c)  increasing at an alarming rate
d)  responsible for commercial development

Q 7. In Borneo in the late 1990s:
a)  burning forest fires caused air pollution problems as far away as Europe
b)  reckless logging resulted from burning forest fires
c)  fires were lit to play the game of havoc
d)  none of the above

Q 8. Many so-called “lost” tribes of certain rainforests:
a)  have been destroyed by contact with the modern world
b)  do not know how to exploit the rainforest without causing harm to the environment
c)  are still lost inside the rainforest
d)  must listen or they will impact on the entire human race.

Questions 9-11

Q9. How many medical drug discoveries does the article mention?
Q10. What two shortages are given as the reason for the writer’s pessimistic outlook?

Q11. Who will most likely benefit from the bio prospecting of developing countries’ rainforests?

TEST – 2                                                                                          (PASSAGE – 2)

A Traditionally uniforms were — and for some industries still are — manufactured to protect the worker. When they were first designed, it is also likely that all uniforms made symbolic sense – those for the military, for example, were originally intended to impress and even terrify the enemy; other uniforms denoted a hierarchy – chefs wore white because they worked with flour, but the main chef wore a black hat to show he supervised.

B The last 30 years, however, have seen an increasing emphasis on their role in protecting the image of an organisation and in uniting the workforce into a homogeneous unit — particularly in ‘customer facing” industries, and especially in financial services and retailing. From uniforms and work wear has emerged ‘corporate clothing’. “The people you employ are your ambassadors,” says Peter Griffin, managing director of a major retailer in the UK. “What they say, how they look, and how they behave is terribly important.” The result is a new way of looking at corporate work wear. From being a simple means of identifying who is a member of staff, the uniform is emerging as a new channel of marketing communication.

C Truly effective marketing through visual cues such as uniforms is a subtle art, however. Wittingly or unwittingly, how we look sends all sorts of powerful subliminal messages to other people. Dark colours give an aura of authority while lighter pastel shades suggest approachability. Certain dress style creates a sense of conservatism, others a sense of openness to new ideas. Neatness can suggest efficiency but, if it is overdone, it can spill over and indicate an obsession with power. “If the company is selling quality, then it must have quality uniforms. If it is selling style, its uniforms must be stylish. If it wants to appear innovative, everybody can’t look exactly the same. Subliminally we see all these things,” says Lynn Elvy, a director of image consultants House of Colour.

D But translating corporate philosophies into the right mix of colour, style, degree of branding and uniformity can be a fraught process. And it is not always successful. According to Company Clothing magazine, there are 1000 companies supplying the work wear and corporate clothing market. Of these, 22 account for 85% of total sales – £380 million in 1994.

E A successful uniform needs to balance two key sets of needs. On the one hand, no uniform will work if staff feels uncomfortable or ugly. Giving the wearers a choice has become a key element in the way corporate clothing is introduced and managed. On the other, it is pointless if the look doesn’t express the business’s marketing strategy. The greatest challenge in this respect is time. When it comes to human perceptions, first impressions count. Customers will size up the way staff looks in just a few seconds, and that few seconds will colour their attitudes from then on. Those few seconds can be so important that big companies are prepared to invest years, and millions of pounds, getting them right.

F In addition, some uniform companies also offer rental services. “There will be an increasing specialisation in the marketplace,” predicts Mr Blyth, Customer Services Manager of a large UK bank. The past two or three years have seen consolidation. Increasingly, the big suppliers are becoming ‘managing agents’, which means they offer a total service to put together the whole complex operation of a company’s corporate clothing package – which includes reliable sourcing, managing the inventory, budget control and distribution to either central locations or to each staff member individually. Huge investments have been made in new systems, information technology and amassing quality assurance accreditations.

G Corporate clothing does have potentials for further growth. Some banks have yet to introduce a full corporate look; police forces are researching a completely new look for the 21st century. And many employees now welcome a company wardrobe. A recent survey of staff found that 90 per cent welcomed having clothing which reflected the corporate identity.

Questions 12-17
The passage First Impressions Count has seven paragraphs A—G. Which paragraphs discuss the following points? Write the appropriate letters A-G in boxes 12-17 on your answer sheet.
Example                                                                                                          Answer
the number of companies supplying the corporate clothing market      D

12  different types of purchasing agreement
13  the original purposes of uniforms
14  the popularity rating of staff uniforms
15  involving employees in the selection of a uniform
16  the changing significance of company uniforms
17  perceptions of different types of dress

Questions 18-24
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the passage? In boxes 18-24 on your answer sheet write
YES               if the statement agrees with the writer’s views
NO                 if the statement contradicts the writer’s views
NOT GIVEN   if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about thi
18.  Uniforms were more carefully made in the past than they are today.
19.  Uniforms make employees feel part of a team.
20.  Using uniforms as a marketing tool requires great care.
21.  Being too smart could have a negative impact on customers.
22.  Most businesses that supply company clothing are successful.
23. Uniforms are best selected by marketing consultants.
24. Clothing companies are planning to offer financial services in the future

TEST – 2                                                                                         (PASSAGE – 3)                                                                                             

A. By the time Laszlo Polgar’s first baby was born in 1969 he already had firm views on child-rearing. An eccentric citizen of communist Hungary, he had written a book called “Bring up Genius!” and one of his favourite sayings was “Geniuses are made, not born”. An expert on the theory of chess, he proceeded to teach little Zsuzsa at home, spending up to ten hours a day on the game. Two more daughters were similarly hot-housed. All three obliged their father by becoming world-class players. The youngest, Judit, is currently ranked 13th in the world, and is by far the best female chess player of all time. Would the experiment have succeeded with a different trio of children? If any child can be turned into a star, then a lot of time and money are being wasted worldwide on trying to pick winners.

B.  America has long held “talent searches”, using test results and teacher recommendations to select children for advanced school courses, summer schools and other extra tuition. This provision is set to grow. In his state-of-the-union address in 2006, President George Bush announced the “American Competitiveness Initiative”, which, among much else, would train 70,000 high-school teachers to lead advanced courses for selected pupils in mathematics and science. Just as the superpowers’ space race made Congress put money into science education, the thought of China and India turning out hundreds of thousands of engineers and scientists is scaring America into prodding its brightest to do their best.

C. The philosophy behind this talent search is that ability is innate; that it can be diagnosed with considerable accuracy; and that it is worth cultivating. In America, bright children are ranked as “moderately”, “highly”, “exceptionally” and “profoundly” gifted. The only chance to influence innate ability is thought to be in the womb or the first couple of years of life. Hence the fad for “teaching aids” such as videos and flashcards for newborns, and “whale sounds” on tape which a pregnant mother can strap to her belly.

D. In Britain, there is a broadly similar belief in the existence of innate talent, but also an egalitarian sentiment which makes people queasy about the idea of investing resources in grooming intelligence. Teachers are often opposed to separate provision for the best-performing children, saying any extra help should go to stragglers. In 2002, in a bid to help the able while leaving intact the ban on most selection by ability in state schools, the government set up the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. This outfit runs summer schools and master classes for children nominated by their schools. To date, though, only seven in ten secondary schools have nominated even a single child. Last year all schools were told they must supply the names of their top 10%.

E.   Picking winners is also the order of the day in ex-communist states, a hangover from the times when talented individuals were plucked from their homes and ruthlessly trained for the glory of the nation. But in many other countries, opposition to the idea of singling out talent and grooming it runs deep. In Scandinavia, a belief in virtues like modesty and social solidarity makes people flinch from the idea of treating brainy children differently.

F.   And in Japan, there is a widespread belief that all children are born with the same innate abilities – and should, therefore, be treated alike. All are taught together, covering the same syllabus at the same rate until they finish compulsory schooling. Those who learn quickest are expected then to teach their classmates. In China, extra teaching is provided, but to a self-selected bunch. “Children’s palaces” in big cities offer a huge range of after-school classes. Anyone can sign up; all that is asked is excellent attendance.

G.   Statistics give little clue as to which system is best. The performance of the most able is heavily affected by factors other than state provision. Most state education in Britain is nominally non-selective, but middle-class parents try to live near the best schools. Ambitious Japanese parents have made private, out-of-school tuition a thriving business. And Scandinavia’s egalitarianism might work less well in places with more diverse populations and less competent teachers. For what it’s worth, the data suggest that some countries – like Japan and Finland, see table – can eschew selection and still thrive. But that does not mean that any country can ditch selection and do as well.

H.   Mr. Polgar thought any child could be a prodigy given the right teaching, an early start and enough practice. At one point he planned to prove it by adopting three baby boys from a poor country and trying his methods on them. (His wife vetoed the scheme.) Some say the key to success is simply hard graft. Judit, the youngest of the Polgar sisters, was the most driven, and the most successful; Zsofia, the middle one, was regarded as the most talented, but she was the only one who did not achieve the status of grandmaster. “Everything came easiest to her,” said her older sister. “But she was lazy.”

Questions 29-34

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

 In boxes 29-34 on your answer sheet, write

 YES    if the statement agrees with the view of the writer.

 NO    if the statement contradicts the view of the writer.

 NOT GIVEN    if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this.

29.  America has a long history of selecting talented students into different categories.

30.  Teachers and schools in Britain held welcome attitude towards the government’s selection of gifted students.

31.  Some parents agree to move near reputable schools in Britain.

32.  Middle-class parents participate in their children’s education.

33.  Japan and Finland comply with selected student’s policy.

34.  Avoiding-selection-policy only works in a specific environment.

Questions 35-36

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

 Write your answers in boxes 35-36 on your answer sheet.

 35.  What’s Laszlo Polgar’s point of view towards geniuses of children

   A) Chess is the best way to train geniuses.

   B)  Genius tends to happen on first child.

   C)   Geniuses can be educated later on.

   D)   Geniuses are born naturally.

36.  What is the purpose of citing Zsofia’s example in the last paragraph

   A) Practice makes genius.

   B)  Girls are not good at chess.

   C)  She was an adopted child.

   D)  Middle child is always the most talented.

 Questions 37-40

Use the information in the passage to match the countries (listed A-E) with correct connection below.

 Write the appropriate letters, A-E, in boxes 37-41 on your answer sheet.

 37.  Less gifted children get help from other classmates

38.  Attending extra teaching is open to anyone

39.  People are reluctant to favor gifted children due to social characteristics

40.  Both views of innate and egalitarian co-existed

1. E   
2. A  
3. C  
4. D
5. F
6. B 
7. D 
8. A
9. 3 
10. time (and) money 
11. pharmaceutical companies / developed countries
12 F
13 A
14 G
15 E
16 B
17 C
19 YES
20 YES
21 YES
22 NO
24 NO
29. YES
30. NO
31. YES
33. NO
34. YES
35. C
40. C