II. Grammar and Vocabulary
Directions: After reading the passage below, fill in the blanks to make the passage coherent and grammatically correct. For the blanks with a given word, fill in each blank with the proper form of the given word; for the other blanks, use one word that best fits each blank.
From classics to movies
He can recite Shakespeare’s Hamlet from memory. His favorite ancient myth is The Odyssey. Tom Hiddleston, 32, could have been a popular professor teaching English Literature at (21) _____ ______ university, but the well-educated British man chose to do something that he loves even more: acting.
He’s well-known around the world as the villain Loki from the Hollywood films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012) and now Thor: The Dark World, which will come out in China on Nov 8. Hiddleston’s role as Thor’s evil brother has led his fans — “Hiddlestoners” — (22) ___ _ ____ (refer) to him as “the most charming villain” in cinema.
(23) _____ _ ___ his charm, Hiddleston had a tough time (24) ____ _ ______ (persuade) his scientist father that acting was a worthwhile job. As a student at Eton, a private school for upper-class kids in England, Hiddleston performed in a lot of school plays. At 18, he appeared on stage at the Edinburgh International Festival. “It was the first time that people I knew and loved and respected came up to me after the show and said: ‘You could really do this (25) ____ _ ______ you wanted to’,” Hiddleston told the Daily Mail.
He said that as a teenager he didn’t have much self-esteem, but acting gave him confidence. “It was when they started saying I could do it (26) _______ _ ___ I really committed to it as a possibility,” he continued. However, his father did not approve, believing his polite and bright son should be using his brains for (27) ______ _ ____ else. “You’ve been educated, so why do you want to spend your life pretending to be someone else when you could be your own man?” the father told the son.
So, instead of going to drama school, Hiddleston went to Cambridge, (28) ____ _ ______ he studied classics. There, he continued to appear in student plays and even landed some roles on TV and in local theaters. He managed to balance his acting and his studies so well that he (29) _____ _ _____ (graduate) with a first-class degree.
But Hiddleston’s international breakthrough came when he auditioned for the 2011 film Thor. He was desperate to play the title superhero, but the director decided that he was (30) ______ _ ____ (suitable) for the part of the villain, Loki.
In the end, his dark and powerful performance won over his father. It also earned him some important fans in the film industry: Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen. The two world-famous directors asked him to star in their award-winning films War Horse (2011) and Midnight in Paris (2011), respectively.
Directions: Read the following three passages. Each passage is followed by several questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one that fits best according to the information given in the passage you have just read.
Science not always so serious
Did you know that if you attach a weighted stick to the back of a chicken, it walks like a dinosaur?
No, you did not know (or care to know) such things, but now you do! Thanks to this year’s winners of the Ig Nobel Prizes! Now in its 25th year, the Ig Nobel is the goofyyounger cousin of the honored Nobel Prize. It applauds achievements in the fields of medicine, biology, physics, economics, literature, etc. Every September at Harvard University, awards are presented in 10 categories that change year to year, depending on — according to the organization — what makes the judges “laugh, then think”.
The ceremony officially begins when audience members launch paper airplanes at an assigned human target on the stage, then speakers only have 60 seconds to present their research. In previous years, the one-minute rule was imposed by a young girl — nicknamed Miss Sweetie Poo — who would go up to the platform and repeat the words: “Please stop, I’m bored,” in a sharp tone until the speaker left the stage.
Fortunately for candidates though, the Ig Informal Lectures are held afterwards on Saturday to give presenters more time to explain the crazy things they’re working on.
The research can seem more like the brainchildren of teenage boys than of respectable adults. Justin
Schmidt won the physiology Ig for creating the “Sting Pain Index,” which rates the pain people feel after getting stung (蛰) by insects. Smith pressed bees against 25 different parts of his body until they stung him. Five stings a day for 38 days, Smith concluded that the most painful sting locations were the nostril (鼻孔) and the upper lip. Ouch.
As silly as they sound, not all of the Ig awards lack scientific applicability. A group of scientists from 12 different countries won in the medicine category for accurately diagnosing patients with appendicitis (阑尾炎) based on an unusual measurement: speed bumps (减速带). They found that patients are more likely to have appendicitis if they report pain during bumpy car rides.
All these weird experiments have just one thing in common. They’re improbable. It can be tempting to assume that “improbable” implies more than that — implies bad or good, worthless or valuable, trivial or important. Something improbable can be any of those, or none of them, or all of them, in different ways. And what you don’t expect can be a powerful force for not only entertaining science, but also for the boundary-pushing science we call innovation.
56. The underlined word “goofy” in Paragraph 2 probably means __________.
57. According to the passage, what can we know about the awarding ceremony of Ig Nobel?
58. The example in Paragraph 6 is used to illustrate that Ig Nobel __________.
59. Among the four candidates below, who is most likely to win an Ig Nobel?
The MacArthur Foundation late last month announced its latest crop of “genius grants”, and once again you thought maybe, just maybe, this was your year.
And why not? These days, we’re all geniuses. We might be “marketing geniuses” or “cooking geniuses” or “TV geniuses”. We have so weakened “genius” that it’s fast joining the company of “natural” and “mindful” (留心), words left inactive through overuse and misuse.
Admittedly, the word is tough to nail down. Sometimes we assume genius equivalent to raw intelligence. But many of humanity’s greatest breakthroughs were achieved by those with only modest IQs.
Sometimes we think of the genius as someone extremely knowledgeable, but that definition also falls short. During Albert Einstein’s time, other scientists knew more physics than Einstein did, but history doesn’t remember them. That’s because they didn’t make use of that knowledge the way Einstein did. They weren’t able to, as he put it, “regard old questions from a new angle”.
The genius is not a know-it-all but a see-it-all, someone who, working with the material available to all of us, is able to make surprising and useful connections. True genius involves not merely an extra advance, but a conceptual leap. As philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer put it: Talent hits the target no one else can hit; genius hits the target no one else can see.
We’ve lost sight of this truth, and too often grant the title of genius on talented people hitting visible targets. A good example is the much-boasted announcement earlier this year that scientists had, for the first time, recorded the sound of two black holes bumping, a billion light-years away. It was a remarkable discovery, no doubt, but it did not represent a dramatic shift in how we understand the universe. It merely confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
As Plato observed, “What is honored in a country is cultivated there.” What do we honor? Digital technology, and the convenience it represents, so naturally we get a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg as our “geniuses”, which, in point of fact, they aren’t.
The iPhone and Facebook are wonderful inventions. In many ways, they make our lives a bit easier, a bit more convenient. If anything, though, a true genius makes our lives more difficult, more unsettled. William Shakespeare’s words provide more anxiety than relief, and the world felt a bit more secure before Charles Darwin came along. Zuckerberg and Jobs may have changed our world, but they haven’t yet changedour worldview.
We need to recover genius, and a good place to start is by putting the brakes on Genius Flooding.
63. The key factor that sets geniuses and talents apart is that __________.
64. The reasons why people naturally regard Steve Jobs & Mark Zuckerberg as geniuses include all the following EXCEPT that __________.
65. What can we infer from the passage?
66. What is the best title for the passage?
All aboard: try these out
Here are new card games popular in the Western geek circle that offer much brain work. Give them a try if you fancy testing your limits.
60. Playing the ghost in Mysterium offers you a lot of fun because __________.
61. In Codenames, what clue may the Spymaster give for the cards bearing “agency”, “climate” and “fountain”?
62. Which of the following is NOT true about Pandemic: Legacy?
Directions: Translate the following sentences into English, using the words given in the brackets.
Directions: Fill in each blank with a proper word chosen from the box. Each word can be used only once. Note that there is one word more than you need.
Gender equality has powerful potential to improve the economy, security and the overall well-being of a population.
“If the world closed the gender gap in workforce _, global [Gross Domestic Product] would increase by 28 trillion dollars by 2025... That’s about a quarter of the world’s current GDP, and almost half of the world’s current debt,” said U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell in a recent speech. She also noted that “studies have found that countries with less gender inequality are more secure, and peace _ last longer when women are at the negotiating table.”
Nonetheless, no country in the world can _ that it has achieved full gender equality.
“Around the world, women are vastly _ in politics and the workforce, particularly in leadership positions and other high-paying jobs,” said Ambassador Russell. At the same time, women make up the majority of the poor. “I’ve heard people say that poverty has a _ face, and that makes sense when you consider that women control just one-fifth of global wealth,” said Ambassador Russell.
World leaders are beginning to recognize that everyone benefits from _ gender equality, she said. This is why gender equality is part of U.S. foreign policy. A key part of U.S. efforts focus on educating and empowering girls. In the past 18 months, the United States _ its global strategy to empower adolescent girls, as well as Let Girls Learn, which is a Presidential initiative that focuses on educating girls.
We are also working with numerous countries to remove _ that keep women from inheriting or owning property, entering the formal job market or accessing banking services.
“Gender equality sometimes looks like an impossible task — a _ without an end,” said Ambassador Russell. “But...we can make progress, and that progress is worth making. Little by little, discussion by discussion, step by step, we can improve the lives of women and girls, men and boys all around the world. And in doing so, we can reach our 40goals of peace, prosperity, and security.”
Directions: Read the following passage. Fill in each blank with aproper sentence given in the box. Each sentence can be used only once. Notethat there are two more sentences than you need.
5 Fictions about Premium Economy (豪华经济舱)
If the sight of your fellow passengers relaxing inpremium economy has you filled with envy, you’re not alone. It seems like everyairline is providing a few rows of seats that offer just that much more legroomand space. But is it worth the price? Here are five fictions about premiumeconomy class.
Ø Premium economy is pretty much the same onevery airline.
“___bdblank___ (67)”, says Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of the The Points Guy. Benefitscan include anywhere from 5 to 7 inches of extra legroom, a slightly wider seatand slightly more seat recline (向后倚靠). Other conveniencescan include adjustable head rests, leg rests on some carriers, larger personalTV screens, power ports and a better level of food. But frankly, nothing isstandardized.
Ø You get a meal and free drinks with a premium economyseat.
Not on most domesticflights that offer a semblance (表象) of internationalservice. ___bd blank__(68). But when itcomes to meals, you’ll get a few more bags of free peanuts than they offer incoach and the opportunity to purchase pre-packed in-flight meals beforeeconomy-class passengers do.
Ø There are others benefits, like free Wi-Fi.
You might findfurrier pillows and larger blankets, but add-ons like in-flight Wi-Fi usuallycome along with an additional charge. “_____bdblank__ (69)”, says DiScala of Johnny Jet, who adds, “Some do, so always ask.I made the mistake of buying Wi-Fi on my SAS flight in June. I later learnedthat premium passengers get it for free.”
Ø You get a lot more space.
A “lot more space” isvery relative. Don’t expect a huge seat, just one that’s somewhat larger thanthose in economy on the same aircraft. Honig says that “You can expect to findroughly as much space as you’ll get in the domestic first-class cabin on a U.S.airline, or in JetBlue’s ‘Even More Space’ section. It’s definitely more thanyou’ll have in coach.”
Ø _____bd blank__ (70)
“Just as withbusiness class, it’s worth checking the price of premium economy,” says Leff ofViewfromtheWing.com. “The addition may not be very high. Last weekend, I wroteabout premium economy on Virgin Atlantic being cheaper than coach. But it mayalso be much more expensive. Airfares vary dramatically, and that’s as true forpremium economy as it is for coach.”
Directions: For each blank in the following passage there are four words or phrases marked A, B, C and D. Fill in each blank with the word or phrase that best fits the context.
“Achievement Gap” Closing Slightly for Young Students in U.S.
Within many education systems, wealthier students often test better than poorer ones, which, to education experts, is often called the “achievement gap.”
Sean Reardon is a professor of poverty and _ in education at Stanford. He studied children and how they prepare for kindergarten classes. He also looked at how their preparation has changed since the 1990s. He found _ that from 1998 to 2010 the achievement gap closed a little.
One way to reduce the gap is to offer pre-kindergarten _ to very young children.
Education experts and some politicians have long _ for pre-kindergarten classes for all young children. In fact, it has been a _ heard on the political campaign trail —universal pre-kindergarten classes for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
Such classes are already being offered in some areas around the United States, including the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. _, education reformers may want to look to Washington as a role model.
Vincent Gray, former mayor of the District of Columbia, wrote the legislation for universal pre-K when he was chairman of the D.C. Council. His _ gave parents of all children in Washington the choice to begin school at either age 3 or 4. The pre-K programs are not a _ in the city. Parents can still choose what is best for their family. But many parents are choosing education.
However, there are theories that say a child does not need schooling at the age of 3 and 4. If we are looking at test results, Finland _ the United States and most other countries in mathematics, reading and science. Yet Finnish children do not start school until age 7.
Perhaps there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Perhaps different children need school at different times. Generally, wealthier parents have more _ resources to help their children. Educated parents — wealthy or not — may know how to use the resources that are available to them. For example, they may take their children to free events at a public library or recreation center. Washington, D.C. also has many museums with free _ .
Perhaps children who grow up with these types of activities don’t need to start attending school at age 3. However, children who are growing up in what Vincent Gray calls socio-economically bd_blank situations may not have access to such activities. For some families, he says, starting school at age 3 can be a game changer.
Pre-kindergarten classes do more than _ the child. They also bring parents and caregivers into the schools. This point of contact, explains Gray, is a valuable time to educate families.
A federal study found that, _ , parent involvement increased with such contacts. But it increased even more among _ parents. It shows schools offer a place where conversations with these parents can happen.
IV. Summary Writing
Directions: Read the followingpassage. Summarize the main idea and the main point(s) of the passage in nomore than 60 words. Use your own words as far as possible.
A Father’s Influence Makes for Better Grades
Adolescents fromlow-income families in particular are more likely than their middle-class peersto underachieve and to drop out of school. Studies have shown that a positiveattitude towards school work and the support and encouragement from theirparents can help at-risk youngsters to overcome the economic barriers and lackof resources they face. Most of the evidence about the effects of parentalinvolvement comes from research on mothers. Little is known, however, about howadolescents experience their fathers’ warmth and the beliefs and behaviors thatare most affected by it.
This new study ispart of a larger one focusing on low-income families conducted in four middleschools in the southwestern United States. Data were analyzed fromquestionnaires completed by 183 sixth-graders about how optimistic andmotivated they were about their schoolwork, and how they experienced theirfathers. The questionnaires were completed primarily by respondents of MexicanAmerican, African American and European American descent. Their maths andlanguage arts grades were also obtained.
Their findings show how fathers can support theirteenagers in ways that result in greater optimism, self-efficacy, and,ultimately, higher achievement at school.
These positive effects extend to both sons anddaughters, while in different ways. Experiencing their father’s warmth firstinfluences daughters’ sense of optimism, and then spills over into theirfeeling more determined and certain about their academic abilities. This inturn leads to better math grades. There is a more direct link between theirfathers’ involvement and teenage boys’ belief in their ability to succeed onthe academic front. This heightened self-confidence increased their success inEnglish language arts classes.
Suizzo suggests that counselors and educators shouldencourage fathers to communicate warmth and acceptance to their children,because of the positive influence these emotions have on their well-being.