Practising Reading Comprehension
Each of below texts is followed by a number of questions or incomplete statements. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question.
(The following passage appeared in an American newspaper.)
A retired Frenchman, twice listed as dead by French bureaucrats, is getting annoyed. "So far I've died twice," said Maurice Georges, age 76, on French television, expressing frustration with official errors and jokes from his friends. He added: "The main thing is to be alive." In 1966 he applied to local authorities in Meurthe-et-Moselle, the region where he was born, for documents he needed to claim an inheritance. The documents revealed that he had died in 1965. After a legal battle to come back from the
official grave, he applied last year for a birth certificate. He was told it was impossible to get one because he had died in 1988.
1. The passage calls attention to the
A) inaccuracy of television reporting
B) obstinacy of bureaucracy
C) problems of retired people
D) frustration of government workers
2. Because of the official documents, Mr. Georges was obliged to
A) prove he was alive
B) move to a different region
C) renounce his inheritance
D) retire from his job
3. According to the passage, Mr. Georges was frustrated partly because
A) he had lost his friends
B) he had already received his inheritance
C) people found his situation amusing
D) people thought he was joking
4. The final sentence of the passage shows that
A) Mr. Georges had lied about his age
B) the local authorities had made a second error
C) Mr. Georges had won a legal battle
D) the local authorities had won a legal battle
There is a battle going on in Australia between Aborigines and archaeologists. The Aborigines say that ancient bones and other artifacts should be reburied. The archaeologists say that to do so would mean the end of archaeology.
Rocky Sainty, president of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council, wants all archaeological excavation in Tasmania stopped. Sainty told The Bulletin: "Aboriginal people know how long we've lived here. We know how we trade. The sites that have been excavated are very significant to us. We couldn't expect someone to go and dig up graves of the Whites at the back of Hobart. Well, we have the same feelings."
Last year, Sainty and the council took two La Trobe University archaeologists to court in an effort to have excavated material returned.
University of Western Australia archaeologists had already returned some excavated material. The artifacts, 17,000 years old, had been dug up in the King River valley.
After the material was returned to them, the Aborigines scattered it over the lake "to heal the site."
The La Trobe archaeologists, Jim Allen and Tim Murray, were shocked. They refused to hand over the artifacts they had collected until they had finished their
analysis. The courts, however, ordered Allen and Murray to return the material to Tasmania. A truck was needed to transport the 500,000 items.
Allen is angry. "This decision means I will never again excavate on a site in Australia, because it would carry at
least the potential problem we've encountered there. It would be unethical to take any material out of the ground knowing that it could be vandalized in this way somewhere down the track."
His colleague, Tim Murray, believes the irony of the current situation is that the work of archaeologists has given Aborigines a new sense of pride. "Archaeologists provide a service both to Aboriginal people and the general Australian public," Murray says. "We found the way of making meaningful a whole history of this country before
the arrival of Europeans. If that becomes more and more difficult, then the kind of silence that existed before the development of Aboriginal history will return."
1. The passage focuses on two competing
(A) scientific observations
(B) archaeological methods
(C) attitudes toward the past
(D) efforts to build for the future
2. According to the passage, what the archaeologists view as science the aborigines see as
3. Rocky Sainty's statement about digging up graves of Whites (line 7) is used as
(A) a threat to the activities of the archaeologists
(B) a parallel to the actions of the archaeologists
(C) an excuse for the Aborigines' behavior
(D) a joke at the expense of the archaeologists
4. Why did the president of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council take two archaeologists to court?
(A) The Aborigines wanted to repossess excavated material.
(B) The archaeologists had tried to trade the excavated material.
(C) The archaeologists had polluted the environment.
(D) The excavations were prohibited by Tasmanian law.
5. Why does Jim Allen intend not to excavate in Australia any more?
(A) He fears that he could not retain possession of the artifacts.
(B) He does not have enough financial support.
(C) It would be too difficult to transport the items to his university.
(D) All the interesting material has already been dug up by the Aborigines.
6. Tim Murray feels that the whole situation is ironic because archaeologists
(A) have begun to explain Aboriginal beliefs to Europeans
(B) are partly responsible for the Aborigines' feelings for their past
(C) have adopted the religious attitudes of the Aborigines
(D) have previously enjoyed the support of the Aborigines
7. As a result of the controversy between Aborigines and archaeologists, Tim Murray believes that
(A) more excavations will be undertaken without official permits
(B) Aborigines will be obliged to undertake their own excavations
(C) archaeologists may be obliged to find new methods of excavating
(D) Aboriginal history may be neglected in the future
The following passage is taken from an article about film. Read the passage carefully before you choose your answers.
Film is a visual medium, presenting in instantaneous
images what takes many paragraphs to describe. In this
respect it makes prose look primitive. On the other hand
film is a clumsy vehicle for conveying concepts of
analysis: it has to find visual and dramatic substitutes for what novels tell us about motives, feelings, contexts and social meanings. Further, unlike verbal communication, film lacks indication of tense. Its images always exist in the present, although it has various indirect devices for
suggesting past and future action.
The effects of these differences are profound and far-reaching, but an obvious consequence in films based on novels is the substitution of external symbols for internal exploration. Clothes, settings, gestures, glances all
become charged with implication; private thoughts become spoken statements (which frequently transforms their significance); and narration becomes enactment.
Whereas fiction evokes mental images, film recreates physical ones. Novels can suggest mood and atmosphere,
the nature of individuals and communities, without supplying all the visual details. Filmmakers must decide what everything looks like. The abstractions of language are impossible in the cinema, which through appearances reveals information — age, gender, stature, species —
that may be unspecified in the book. An "animal" must be a tiger or a lion; a "sweet" face must present itself for judgment. This is the main reason, intrinsic to the
medium, why people always feel that a film of a novel is not quite as they imagined it. It is not that one set of
precise images has been contradicted by another; rather that the film renders visually specific what is abstract or unstated in the text.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) demonstrate the superiority of cinema over literature
(B) explain how films differ from novels
(C) tell filmmakers how to base films on novels
(D) argue that film is as much an art as literature
2. According to the author, a film is superior to a novel because a film can
(A) convey a social message with conviction
(B) present immediately what takes pages to describe
(C) depict past, present, and future convincingly
(D) appeal to a wide audience
3. According to the author, what happens when a novel is made into a film?
(A) Mental images become more important in the film.
(B) A narrative voice is added to the soundtrack.
(C) The number of characters is usually increased.
(D) What is described in words is replaced by images.
4. In line 9, "charged" is best interpreted to mean
5. According to the author, one of the main challenges for a filmmaker who makes a film based on a novel is to
(A) find visual means to convey the characters' feelings and thoughts
(B) maintain the novel's sequence of events
(C) have appropriate dialogues written
(D) remain faithful to the portrayal of the characters in the novel
6. The main function of the examples given by the author in the last paragraph is to
(A) illustrate what the author has previously explained
(B) allow the author to express personal opinions
(C) emphasize the power of the imagination
(D) point out to the reader what visual clues to watch for
7. According to the author, "people always feel that a film of a novel is not quite as they imagined it" (lines 16-17) mainly because the
(A) images supplied in the film contradict those they imagined
(B) filmmakers invent scenes that are not in the book
(C) film gives clear images for what is not clear in the book
(D) readers differ in their interpretation of cinematic images
8. In this passage, the point of view is that of
(A) a defender of high culture
(B) an advocate for filmmakers
(C) a historical novelist
(D) a dispassionate critic
Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.
It is difficult to comprehend the immense proportions of the blue whale, the largest animal ever to inhabit our
planet. At about 30 meters in length, this marine mammal is longer than three railroad boxcars and bigger than any
dinosaur that ever lumbered on land. It weighs more than 25 elephants. Its heart is the size of a small car. And that organ pumps tons of blood through nearly 2 million kilometers of blood vessels, the largest of which could accommodate an adult person crawling on hands and knees. The
animal has a tongue the size of a grown elephant. It has approximately 45,000 kilograms of muscles to move its 54,000 kilograms of skin, bones, and organs. And this living mountain can still swim at speeds up to 48 kilometers per hour!
It is difficult to grasp the enormous problems that so
large an organism must overcome simply to stay alive. For starters, a blue whale is a warm-blooded animal with a relatively high metabolic rate; to stay warm and active in an icy ocean environment, it must consume and burn
1 million kilocalories a day. This it does by straining 3,600 kilograms of tiny krill from the ocean water each day on special food-gathering sieve plates. In addition, each of the trillions of cells in the whale's organs must exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, take in nutrients, and rid itself
of organic wastes, just as a single-celled protozoan living
freely in seawater must do.
Yet a given whale cell — a liver cell, let us say — can lie deep in the body, separated from the environment by nearly 2 meters of blubber, muscle, bone, and other tissues. For this reason, the whale needs an elaborate transport system to deliver oxygen and nutrients and to carry away carbon dioxide and other wastes.
Although the blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived, it shares with all other animals the same fundamental physical problems of day-to-day survival.
1. In the first paragraph, the author is most concerned with
(A) carefully explaining the need to preserve the blue whale
(B) adequately conveying the enormousness of the blue whale
(C) questioning the reader's knowledge of the blue whale
(D) enlisting the reader in the defense of the blue whale
2. In line 3, the word "lumbered" is best interpreted to mean
(A) sought for wood
(B) stretched out
(C) moved slowly
(D) grew large
3. According to the passage, which of the following is true of the largest
blood vessels in the blue whale?
(A) They are larger than three railroad cars.
(B) They weigh more than 25 elephants.
(C) They can accommodate a grown elephant.
(D) They are large enough to contain a human being.
4. The primary focus of the second paragraph is on
(A) the proportions of the blue whale
(B) comparing the blue whale to other animals
(C) considering how the blue whale deals with its size
(D) the passage of food through the blue whale's body
5. In line 12, "krill" refers to
(A) a waste product of the blue whale
(B) a method used by the blue whale to strain food from seawater
(C) an amount of seafood equivalent to one million kilocalories
(D) an organism consumed by the blue whale
6. The author mentions a protozoan in line 25 in order to
(A) show sources of food for the blue whale
(B) illustrate that other organisms live in seawater
(C) demonstrate that the blue whale functions like other organisms
(D) compare the diet of the protozoan with that of the blue whale
7. The final sentence of the passage emphasizes which of the following aspects of the blue whale?
(A) Its unique shape
(B) Its special physical requirements
(C) What it has in common with other organisms
(D) What it must do in order to survive