Academic Reading Test 58 Volatility Kills, Passage 2 Air Change, Passage 3 The Origin of ancient writing with Answers
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You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage Volatility Kills below.
A . Despite gun battles in the capital of Chad, rioting in Kenya, and Galloping inflation in Zimbabwe, the economies of sub-Saharan Africa are, as a whole, in better shape than they were a few years ago. The World Bank has reported recently that this part of the continent experienced a respectable growth rate of 5.6 percent in 2006 and a higher rate from 1995 to 2005 than in previous decades. The bank has given a cautions assessment that the region may have reached a turning point. An overriding question for developmental economists remains whether the upswing will continue so Africans can grow their way out of poverty that relegates some 40 percent of the nearly 744 million in that region to living on less than a dollar a day. The optimism, when inspected more closely, maybe short-lived because of the persistence of a devastating pattern of economic volatility that has lingered for decades.
B. “In reality, African countries grow as fast as Asian countries and other developing countries during the good times, but afterward they see growth collapses,” comments Jorge Arbache, a senior World Bank economist. “How to prevent collapses may be as important as promoting growth.” If these collapses had not occurred, he observes, the level of gross domestic product for each citizen of the 48 nations of sub -Saharan Africa would have been third higher.
C . the prerequisites to prevent the next crash are not in place, according to a World Bank study issued in January, Is Africa’s Recent Growth Robust? The growth period that began in 1995, driven by a commodities boom spurred in particular by demand from China, may not be sustainable, because the economic fundamentals- new investment and the ability to stave off inflation, among other factors-are absent. The region lacks the necessary infrastructure that would encourage investors to look to Africa to find the next Bengaluru ( Bangalore ) or Shenzhen, a November report from the bank concludes. For sub–Saharan countries rich in oil and other resources, a boom period may even undermine efforts to institute sound economic practices.. From 1996 to 2005, with growth accelerating, measures of governance– factors such as political stability, rule of law, and control of corruption- actually worsened, especially for countries endowed with abundant mineral resources, the January report notes. Volatility Kills
D . Perhaps the most incisive analysis of the volatility question comes from Paul Collier, a longtime specialist in African economics at the University of Oxford and author of the recent book The Bottom Billion. He advocates a range of options that the U.S. and other nations could adopt when formulating policy toward African countries. They include revamped trade measures, better-apportioned aid, and sustained military intervention in certain instances, to avert what he sees as a rapidly accelerating divergence of the world’s poorest, primarily in Africa, from the rest of the world, even other developing nations such India and China. Volatility Kills
E. Collier finds that bad governance is the main reason countries fail to take advantage of the revenue bonanza that results from a boom. moreover, a democratic government, he adds, often makes the aftermath of a boom worse. “Instead of democracy disciplining governments to manage these resource booms well, what happens is that the resource revenues corrupt the normal functioning of democracy-unless you stop ( them from) corrupting the normal function of democracy with sufficient checks and balances”, he said at a talk ion January at the Carnegie Council in New York City.
F. Collier advocates that African nations institute an array of standards and codes to bolster governments, one of which would substitute auctions for bribes in apportioning mineral rights and another of which would tax export revenues adequately. He cites the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which took in $ 200 million from mineral exports in 2006 yet collected only $86000 in royalties for its treasury. “If a nation gets these points right, ” he argues, “It’s going to develop. If it gets them wrong, it won’t.” Volatility KillsVolatility Kills
G . To encourage reform, Collier recommends that the G8 nations agree to accept these measures as voluntary guidelines for multinationals doing business in Africa- companies, for instance, would only enter new contracts through auctions monitored by an international verification group. Such an agreement would follow the examples of the so-called Kimberley Process, which has effectively undercut the trade in blood diamonds, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in which a government must report to its citizens the revenues it receives from sales of natural resources.
H . These measures, he says, are more important than elevating aid levels, an approach emphasized by economist Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University and celebrity activists such as Bono. Collier insists that first Angola receives tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and whether it gets a few hundred million more or less in aid is really second-order.
Questions 1-4 Volatility Kills
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-C) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.
NB you may use any letter more than once
A . Jeffrey D. Dachs
B . Paul Collier
C . Jorge Arbache
Question 1. An unexpectedly opposite result
Question 2. Estimated more productive outcomes if it were not for sudden economic downturns
Question 3. A proposal for a range of recommended instructions for certain countries to narrow the widening economic gap
Question 4. An advocate for a method used for a specific assessment
Questions 5-9 Volatility Kills
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet, write
|TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
Question 5. The instability in an economy in some African countries might negatively impact their continuing growth after a certain level has been reached.
Question 6. Collier is the most influential scholar in the study of the volatility problem.
Question 7.Certain African governments levy considerable taxes on people profiting greatly from exportation.
Question 8. Some African nation’s decisions on addressing specific existing problems are directly related to the future of their economic trends.
Question 9. Collier regards Jeffrey d. Sachs recommended a way of evaluating of title importance.
Questions 10-13 Volatility Kills
Summary of Volatility Kills
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage Volatility Kills, using No More than Three words from the Reading Passage Volatility Kills for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.
|According to one research carried by the world bank, some countries in Africa may suffer from ….10.….. due to the lack of according preconditions. they experienced a growth stimulated by ……11……., but according to another study, they may not keep this trend stable because they don’t have ……12…… which would attract investors. to some countries with abundant resources, this fast-growth period might even mean something devastating to their endeavor. during one specific decade accompanied by …..13.….. as a matter of fact, the governing saw a deterioration.|
Changes in Air
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27 which are based on Reading Passage below.
A . A federal ban on ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), to conform with the Clean Air Act, is ironic, affecting 22.9 million people in the U.S who suffer from asthma. Generic inhaled albuterol, which is the most commonly prescribed short-acting asthma medication and requires CFCs to propel it into the lungs, will no longer be legally sold after December 31, 2008. Physicians and patients are questioning the wisdom of the ban, which will have an insignificant effect on ozone but a measurable impact on wallets: the reformulated brand-name alternatives can be three times as expensive, raising the cost to about $40 per inhaler. The issue is even more disconcerting considering that asthma disproportionately affects the poor and that, according to recent surveys, an estimated 20 percent of asthma patients are uninsured. Volatility Kills
B . “The decision to make the change was political, not medical or scientific,” says pharmacist Leslie Hendeles of the University of Florida, who co-authored a 2007 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine explaining the withdrawal and transition. In 1987 Congress signed on to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty requiring the phasing out of all nonessential uses of CFCs. At that time, medical inhalers were considered an essential use because no viable alternative propellant existed. In 1989 pharmaceutical companies banded together and eventually, in 1996, reformulated albuterol with hydrofluoroalkane.
C . The transition began quietly, but as more patients see their prescriptions change and costs go up, many questions why this ban must begin before generics become available. At least one member of the FDA advisory committee, Nicholas J. Gross of the Stritch-Loyola School of Medicine, has publicly regretted the decision, recanting his support and requesting that the ban is pushed back until 2010 when the first patent expires.
D . Gross notes that the decision had nothing to do with the environment. Albuterol inhalers contributed less than 0.1 percent of the CFCs released when the treaty was signed. “It’s a symbolic issue,” gross remarks. Some skeptics instead point to the billions of dollars to be gained by the three companies holding the patents on the available HFA- albuterol inhalers, namely Glaxo- SmithKline, Schering-Plough, and Teva. Although the FDA advisory committee recognized that the expenses would go up, Hendeles says, it also believed that the companies would help defray the added costs for individuals. Firms, for instance, had committed to donating a million HFA-albuterol inhalers to clinics around the country. According to Hendeles GlaxoSmithKline did not follow through, although Schering- Plough, and Teva did. GlaxoSmithKline did not respond to requests for comment.
E . The issue now, Hendeles says, is that pharmaceutical-grade CFCs are in short supply, and the public faces the risk of a shortage of albuterol inhalers if the FDA does not continue promoting the production of HFA inhalers. He posits that even costs of generics would go up as CFCs become scarcer. Gross disagrees, saying that the inhaler shortage and the closure of CFC manufacturing plants are a result of the ban. Volatility Kills
F . The HFA inhalers also have encountered resistance because some asthmatics insist that they do not work as well as the CFC variety. But, Hendeles says, the differences are in the mechanics and maintenance- unlike CFC inhalers, the HFA versions must be primed more diligently and rinsed to accommodate the sticker HFA formulation. They also run out suddenly without the warning with a CFC inhaler, that the device is running low. ” Pharmacists may not tell people of these things, and the doctors don’t know,” Hendeles says. Volatility Kills
G . The main public health issue in this decision may be the side effects of the economics, not the drug chemistry. Multiple studies have shown that raising costs leads to poorer adherence to treatment. One study discovered that patients took 30 percent less antiasthma medication when their co-pay doubled. In the case of a chronic disease such as asthma, it is particularly difficult to get people to follow regular treatment plans. “Generally speaking, for any reason you don’t take medication, the cost makes it more likely” that you do not, comments Michael Chernew, a health policy expert at Harvard Medical School.
H . Such choices to forgo medication could affect more than just the patients themselves. “For example, ” Hendeles points out, “in a pregnant mother with untreated asthma, less oxygen is delivered to the fetus, which can lead to congenital problems and premature birth.” And considering that the disease disproportionately strikes the poor, what seemed to be a good, responsible environmental decision might, in the end, exact an unexpected human toll.
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-C) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
NB you may use any letter more than once
B . Michael Chernew
C . Leslie Hendeles
Question 14. Put forward that the increase in the price of drugs would contribute to the patients’ negative decision on the treatment.
Question 15. Spoke out a secret that the druggists try to hold back.
Question 16. Pointed out that the protocol itself is not concerning the environment.
Question 17. Demonstrated that the stop of providing alternatives for CFCs would worsen rather than help with the situation.
Question 18. In public repented of his previous backing up of the prohibition proposal.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? In boxes 19-23 on your answer sheet, write
|TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
Question 19. It took almost a decade before the replacement drug for the asthma therapy was ultimately developed by the joint effort of several drug companies.
Question 20. One of the FDA committee members had a decisive impact on the implementation of the ban on chlorofluorocarbons.
Question 21. as a matter of fact, the emitted chlorofluorocarbons in asthma treatment took up quite an insignificant amount at the time when the pact was reached.
Question 22 . The HFA and CFC inhalers have something different regarding the therapeutic effect.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using No More than Three words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet.
|American people with asthma would be impacted by …..23…….. about chlorofluorocarbons which would consume the ozone layer. The usually used …..24.…. would be considered illegal because it needs the propelment of …..25……. The …….26.…… would cost the patients considerably more money. Impoverished people are far more likely to suffer from asthma and what makes it even worse is that some of them are in …..27…… condition.|
The origin of ancient writing
A . The Sumerians, an ancient people of the Middle East, had a story explaining the invention of writing more than 5000 years ago. It seems a messenger of the King of Uruk arrived at the court of a distant ruler so exhausted that he was unable to deliver the Oracle message. So the King set down the words of his text messages on a clay tablet. A charming story, whose retelling at a recent symposium at the University of Pennsylvania amused scholars. They smiled at the absurdity of a letter that the recipient would not have been able to read.
B . They also doubted that the earliest writing was a direct rendering of speech. Writing more likely began as a separate, symbolic system of communication and only later merged with spoken language.
C . Yet in the story, the Sumerians, who lived in Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq, seemed to understand writing’s transforming function. As Dr. Holly Pittman, director of the University’s Center for Ancient Studies, observed, writing’ arose out of the need to store and transmit information …… over time and space”.
D . In exchanging interpretations and information, the scholars acknowledged that they still had no fully satisfying answers to the questions of how and why writing developed. Many favored an explanation of writing’s origins in the visual arts, pictures becoming increasingly abstract and eventually representing spoken words. Their views clashed with a widely held theory among archaeologists that writing developed from the pieces of clay that Sumerian accountants used as tokens to keep track of goods.
E . Archaeologists generally concede that they have no definitive answer to the question of whether the writing was invented only once, or arose independently in several places, such as Egypt, the Indus Valley, China, Mexico, and Central America. The preponderance of archaeological data shows that the urbanizing Sumerians were the first to develop writing, in 3200 or 3300 BC. These are the dates for many clay tablets in an early form of cuneiform, a script written by pressing the end of a sharpened stick into wet clay, found at the site of the ancient city of Uruk. The baked clay tablets bore such images as pictorial symbols of the names of people, places, and things connected with government and commerce. The Sumerian script gradually evolved from pictorial to the abstract but did not at first represent recorded spoken language.
F . Dr. Peter Damerow, a specialist in Sumerian cuneiform at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, said, ‘ it is likely that there were mutual influences of writing systems around the world. However, their great variety now shows that the development of writing, once initiated, attains a considerable degree of independence and flexibility to adapt to specific characteristics of the sounds of the language to be represented. Not that he accepts the conventional view that writing started as a representation of words by pictures. New studies of early Sumerian writing, he said, challenge this interpretation. The structures of this earliest writing did not, for example, match the structure of spoken language, dealing mainly in lists and categories rather than in sentences and narratives.
G . For at least two decades, Dr. Denise Schmandt-Besserat, a University of Texas archaeologist, has argued that the first writing grew directly out of a system practiced by Sumerian accountants. They used clay tokens, each one shaped to represent a jar of oil, a container of grain or a particular kind of livestock. These tokens were sealed inside clay spheres, and then the number and type of tokens inside were recorded on the outside using impressions were replaced with inscribed signs, and writing had been invented.
H. Though Dr. Schmandt -dessert has won much support, some linguists question her thesis, and others, like Dr. Pittman, think it too narrow. They emphasize that pictorial representation and writing evolved together. “There’s no question that the token system is a forerunner of writing dr Pittman said, but I have an argument with her evidence for a link between tokens and signs, and she doesn’t open up the process to include picture-making.
I . Dr. Schmandt-Besserat vigorously defended her ideas. ‘My colleagues say that pictures were the beginning of writing’ she said, ” but show me a single picture that becomes a sign in writing. They say that designs on pottery were the beginning of writing, but show me a single picture that becomes a sign in writing. they say that designs on pottery were the beginning of writing, but show me a single sign of writing you can trace back to a pot- it doesn’t exist. In its first 500 years, she asserted, cuneiform writing was used almost solely for recording economic information, and after that its uses multiplied and broadened.
J . Yet other scholars have advanced different ideas. Dr. Piotr Michalowski, Professor of Near East Civilizations at the University of Michigan, said that the photo writing of Sumerian Uruk was so radically different as to be a complete break with the past. It no doubts served, he said, to store and communicate information, but also became a new instrument of power. Some scholars noted that the origins of writing may not always have been in economics. In Egypt, most early writing is high on monuments or deep in tombs. In this case, said Dr. Pascal Vernus from a university in Paris, the early writing was less administrative than sacred.
It seems that the only certainty in this field is that many questions remain to be answered.
Choose the correct letter A, B , C or D
Question 27. The researchers at the symposium regarded the story of the King of Uruk as ridiculous because
A . writing probably developed independently of speech.
B. clay tablets had not been invented at that time.
C . the distant ruler would have spoken another language.
D . evidence of writing has been discovered from an earlier period.
Question 28. According to the writer, the story of the King of Uruk
A . is a probable explanation of the origins of writing.
B . proves that early writing had a different function to writing today.
C . provides an example of symbolic writing.
D . shows some awareness amongst Sumerians of the purpose of writing.
Question 29. There was disagreement among the researchers at the symposium about
A . the area where writing began.
B . the nature of early writing materials.
C . the way writing began.
D . the meaning of certain abstract images.
Question 30. The opponents of the theory that writing developed from tokens believe that it
A . grew out of accountancy.
B . evolved from pictures.
C . was initially intended as decoration.
D . was unlikely to have been connected with commerce.
Look at the following statements ( Questions 31-36 ) and the list of people below. Match each statement with the correct person, A-E.
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.
NB you may use any letter more than once.
List of people
A . Dr.Holly Pittman
B . Dr. Peter Damerow
C . Dr. Denise Schmandt-Besserat
D . Dr. Piotr Michalowski
E . Dr. Pascal Vernus
Question 31. There is no proof that early writing is connected to decorated household objects.
Question 32. As writing developed, it came to represent speech.
Question 33. Sumerian writing developed into a means of political control.
Question 34. Early writing did not represent the grammatical features of speech.
Question 35. There is no convincing proof that tokens and signs are connected.
Question 36. The uses of cuneiform writing were narrow at first and later widened.
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-N, below
Write the correct letter, A-N, in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
The earliest form of writing
Most archaeological evidence shows that the people of …..37……… invented writing in around 3300 BC. Their script was written on ….38.…. and was called…..39……. Their script originally showed images related to political power and business, and later developed to become more……40…….
A . cuneiform B. pictorial C . tomb walls
D. urban E . legible F . stone blocks
G . simple H . Mesopotamia I . abstract
J . papyrus sheets K . decorative L . clay tablets Uruk
M . Egypt