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READING PASSAGE 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

The dugong: Sea cow

Dugongs are herbivorous mammals that spend their entire lives in the sea. Their close relatives the manatees also venture into or live in freshwater. Together dugongs and manatees make up the order Sirenia or sea cows, so-named because dugongs and manatees are thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaids or sirens of the sea.

A

The dugong, which is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, looks rather like a cross between a rotund dolphin and a walrus. Its body, flippers and fluke resemble those of a dolphin but it has no dorsal fin. Its head looks somewhat like that of a walrus without the long tusks.

B

Dugongs, along with other Sirenians whose diet consists mainly of sea-grass; and the distribution of dugongs very closely follows that of these marine flowering plants. As seagrasses grow rooted in the sediment, they are limited by the availability of light. Consequently they are found predominantly in shallow coastal waters, and so too are dugongs. But, this is not the whole story. Dugongs do not eat all species of seagrass, preferring seagrass of higher nitrogen and lower fibre content.

C

Due to their poor eyesight, dugongs often use smell to locate edible plants. They also have a strong tactile sense, and feel their surroundings with their long sensitive bristles. They will dig up an entire plant and then shake it to remove the sand before eating it. They have been known to collect a pile of plants in one area before eating them. The flexible and muscular upper lip is used to dig out the plants. When eating they ingest the whole plant, including the roots, although when this is impossible they will feed on just the leaves. A wide variety of seagrass has been found in dugong stomach contents, and evidence exists they will eat algae when seagrass is scarce. Although almost completely herbivorous, they will occasionally eat invertebrates such as jellyfish, sea squirts, and shellfish.

D

A heavily grazed seagrass bed looks like a lawn mown by a drunk. Dugongs graze apparently at random within a seagrass bed, their trails meandering in all directions across the bottom. This is rather an inefficient means of removing seagrass that results in numerous small tufts remaining. And this is where the dugongs derive some advantage from their inefficiency. The species that recover most quickly from this disturbance, spreading out vegetatively from the remaining tufts, are those that dugongs like to eat. In addition, the new growth found in these areas tends to be exactly what hungry dugongs like.

E

Dugongs are semi-nomadic, often travelling long distances in search of food, but staying within a certain range their entire life. Large numbers often move together from one area to another. It is thought that these movements are caused by changes in seagrass availability. Their memory allows them to return to specific points after long travels. Dugong movements mostly occur within a localised area of seagrass beds, and animals in the same region show individualistic patterns of movement.

F

Recorded numbers of dugongs are generally believed to be lower than actual numbers, due to a lack of accurate surveys. Despite this, the dugong population is thought to be shrinking, with a worldwide decline of 20 per cent in the last 90 years. They have disappeared from the waters of Hong Kong, Mauritius, and Taiwan, as well as parts of Cambodia, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Further disappearances are likely. (In the late 1960s, herds of up to 500 dugongs were observed off the coast of East Africa and nearby islands. However, current populations in this area are extremely small, numbering 50 and below, and it is thought likely they will become extinct. The eastern side of the Red Sea is the home of large populations numbering in the hundreds, and similar populations are thought to exist on the western side. In the 1980s, it was estimated there could be as many as 4,000 dugongs in the Red Sea. The Persian Gulf has the second-largest dugong population in the world, inhabiting most of the southern coast, and the current population is believed to be around 7,500. Australia is home to the largest population, stretching from Shark Bay in Western Australia to Moreton Bay in Queensland. The population of Shark Bay is thought to be stable with over 10,000 dugongs.)

G

Experience from various parts of northern Australia suggests that Extreme weather such as cyclones and floods can destroy hundreds of square kilometres of seagrass meadows, as well as washing dugongs ashore. The recovery of seagrass meadows and the spread of seagrass into new areas, or areas where it has been destroyed, can take over a decade. For example, about 900 km2 of seagrass was lost in Hervey Bay in 1992, probably because of murky water from flooding of local rivers, and run-off turbulence from a cyclone three weeks later. Such events can cause extensive damage to seagrass communities through severe wave action, shifting sand and reduction in saltiness and light levels. Prior to the 1992 floods, the extensive seagrasses in Hervey Bay supported an estimated 1750 dugongs. Eight months after the floods the affected area was estimated to support only about 70 dugongs. Most animals presumably survived by moving to neighbouring areas. However, many died attempting to move to greener pastures, with emaciated carcasses washing up on beaches up to 900km away.

H

If dugongs do not get enough to eat they may calve later and produce fewer young. Food shortages can be caused by many factors, such as a loss of habitat, death and decline in quality of seagrass, and a disturbance of feeding caused by human activity. Sewage, detergents, heavy metal, hypersaline water, herbicides, and other waste products all negatively affect seagrass meadows. Human activity such as mining, trawling, dredging, land-reclamation, and boat propeller scarring also cause an increase in sedimentation which smothers seagrass and prevents light from reaching it. This is the most significant negative factor affecting seagrass. One of the dugong’s preferred species of seagrass, Halophila ovalis, declines rapidly due to lack of light, dying completely after 30 days.

I

Despite being legally protected in many countries, the main causes of population decline remain anthropogenic and include hunting, habitat degradation, and fishing-related fatalities. Entanglement in fishing nets has caused many deaths, although there are no precise statistics. Most issues with industrial fishing occur in deeper waters where dugong populations are low, with local fishing being the main risk in shallower waters. As dugongs cannot stay As dugongs cannot stay underwater for a very long period, they are highly prone to deaths due to entanglement. The use of shark nets has historically caused large numbers of deaths, and they have been eliminated in most areas and replaced with baited hooks. Hunting has historically been a problem too, although in most areas they are no longer hunted, with the exception of certain indigenous communities. In areas such as northern Australia, hunting remains the greatest impact on the dugong population

Questions 1-4

Summary

Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

Dugongs are herbivorous mammals that spend their entire lives in the sea. Yet Dugongs are picky on their feeding Seagrass, and only chose seagrass with higher 1_________ and lower fibre. To compensate for their poor eyesight, they use their 2 _________ to feel their surroundings.

It is like Dugongs are “farming” seagrass. They often leave 3 _________ randomly in all directions across the sea bed. Dugongs prefer eating the newly grew seagrass recovering from the tiny 4 _________  left behind by the grazing dugongs.

Questions 5-9

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

5   The dugong will keep eating up the plant completely when they begin to feed.

6   It takes more than ten years for the re-growth of seagrass where it has been grazed by Dugongs.

7   Even in facing food shortages, the strong individuals will not compete with the weak small ones for food.

8   It is thought that the dugong rarely returns to the old habitats when they finished the plant.

9   Coastal industrial fishing poses the greatest danger to dugongs which are prone to be killed due to entanglement.

Questions 10-13

Answer the questions below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

10   What is Dugong in resemblance to yet as people can easily tell them apart from the manatees by its tail?

11   What is the major reason Dugongs traveled long distances in herds from one place to another?

12   What number, has estimated to be, of dugong’s population before the 1992 floods in Hervey Bay took place?

13   What is thought to be the lethal danger when dugongs were often trapped in?

READING PASSAGE 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below. 

Thomas Young
The Last True Know-It-All

Thomas Young (1773-1829) contributed 63 articles to the Encyclopedia Britannica, including 46 biographical entries (mostly on scientists and classicists) and substantial essays on “Bridge,” “Chromatics,” “Egypt,” “Languages” and “Tides”. Was someone who could write authoritatively about so many subjects a polymath, a genius or a dilettante? In an ambitious new biography, Andrew Robinson argues that Young is a good contender for the epitaph “the last man who knew everything.” Young has competition, however: The phrase, which Robinson takes for his title, also serves as the subtitle of two other recent biographies: Leonard Warren’s 1998 life of paleontologist Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) and Paula Findlen’s 2004 book on Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), another polymath.

Young, of course, did more than write encyclopedia entries. He presented his first paper to the Royal Society of London at the age of 20 and was elected a Fellow a week after his 21st birthday. In the paper, Young explained the process of accommodation in the human eye —on how the eye focuses properly on objects at varying distances. Young hypothesised that this was achieved by changes in the shape of the lens. Young also theorised that light traveled in waves and ho believed that, to account for the ability to see in color, there must be three receptors in the eye corresponding to the three “principal colors” to which the retina could respond: red, green, violet. All these hypotheses Were subsequently proved to be correct.

Later in his life, when he was in his forties, Young was instrumental in cracking the code that unlocked the unknown script on the Rosetta Stone, a tablet that was “found” in Egypt by the Napoleonic army in 1799. The stone contains text in three alphabets: Greek, something unrecognisable and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The unrecognisable script is now known as demotic and, as Young deduced, is related directly to hieroglyphic. His initial work on this appeared in his Britannica entry on Egypt. In another entry, he coined the term Indo-European to describe the family of languages spoken throughout most of Europe and northern India. These are the landmark achievements of a man who was a child prodigy and who, unlike many remarkable children, did not disappear into oblivion as an adult.

Born in 1773 in Somerset in England, Young lived from an early age with his maternal grandfather, eventually leaving to attend boarding school. He had devoured books from the age of two, and through his own initiative he excelled at Latin, Greek, mathematics and natural philosophy. After leaving school, he was greatly encouraged by his mother’s uncle, Richard Brocklesby, a physician and Fellow of the Royal Society. Following Brocklesby’s lead, Young decided to pursue a career in medicine. He studied in London, following the medical circuit, and then moved on to more formal education in Edinburgh, Gottingen and Cambridge. After completing his medical training at the University of Cambridge in 1808, Young set up practice as a physician in London. He soon became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a few years later was appointed physician at St. George’s Hospital.

Young’s skill as a physician, however, did not equal his skill as a scholar of natural philosophy or linguistics. Earlier, in 1801, he had been appointed to a professorship of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution, where he delivered as many as 60 lectures in a year. These were published in two volumes in 1807. In 1804 Young had become secretary to the Royal Society, a post he would hold until his death. His opinions were sought on civic and national matters, such as the introduction of gas lighting to London and methods of ship construction. From 1819 he was superintendent of the Nautical Almanac and secretary to the Board of Longitude. From 1824 to 1829 he was physician to and inspector of calculations for the Palladian Insurance Company. Between 1816 and 1825 he contributed his many and various entries to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and throughout his career he authored numerous books, essays and papers.

Young is a perfect subject for a biography — perfect, but daunting. Few men contributed so much to so many technical fields. Robinson’s aim is to introduce non-scientists to Young’s work and life. He succeeds, providing clear expositions of the technical material (especially that on optics and Egyptian hieroglyphs). Some readers of this book will, like Robinson, find Young’s accomplishments impressive; others will see him as some historians have —as a dilettante. Yet despite the rich material presented in this book, readers will not end up knowing Young personally. We catch glimpses of a playful Young, doodling Greek and Latin phrases in his notes on medical lectures and translating the verses that a young lady had written on the walls of a summerhouse into Greek elegiacs. Young was introduced into elite society, attended the theatre and learned to dance and play the flute. In addition, he was an accomplished horseman. However, his personal life looks pale next to his vibrant career and studies.

Young married Eliza Maxwell in 1804, and according to Robinson, “their marriage was a happy one and she appreciated his work,” Almost all we know about her is that she sustained her husband through some rancorous disputes about optics and that she worried about money when his medical career was slow to take off. Very little evidence survives about the complexities of Young’s relationships with his mother and father. Robinson does not credit them, or anyone else, with shaping Young’s extraordinary mind. Despite the lack of details concerning Young’s relationships, however, anyone interested in what it means to be a genius should read this book.

Questions 14-20

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE              if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this

14   ‘The last man who knew everything’ has also been claimed to other people.

15   All Young’s articles were published in Encyclopedia Britannica.

16   Like others, Young wasn’t so brilliant when growing up.

17   Young’s talent as a doctor surpassed his other skills.

18   Young’s advice was sought by people responsible for local and national issues.

19   Young took part in various social pastimes.

20   Young suffered from a disease in his later years.

Questions 21-26

Answer the questions below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

21   How many life stories did Young write for the Encyclopedia Britannica?

22   What aspect of scientific research did Young focus on in his first academic paper?

23   What name did Young introduce to refer to a group of languages?

24   Who inspired Young to start his medical studies?

25   Where did Young get a teaching position?

26   What contribution did Young make to London?

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READING PASSAGE 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

The Pearl

A

Throughout history, pearls have held a unique presence within the wealthy and powerful. For instance, the pearl was the favored gem of the wealthy during the Roman Empire. This gift from the sea had been brought back from the orient by the Roman conquests. Roman women wore pearls to bed so they could be reminded of their wealth immediately upon waking up. Before jewelers learned to cut gems, the pearl was of greater value than the diamond. In the Orient and Persia Empire, pearls were ground into powders to cure anything from heart disease to epilepsy, with possible aphrodisiac uses as well Pearls were once considered an exclusive privilege for royalty. A law in 1612 drawn up by the Duke of Saxony prohibited the wearing of pearls by the nobility, professors, doctors or their wives in an effort to further distinguish royal appearance. American Indians also used freshwater pearls from the Mississippi River as decorations and jewelry.

B

There are essentially three types of pearls: natural, cultured and imitation. A natural pearl (often called an Oriental pearl) forms when an irritant, such as a piece of sand, works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk secretes a fluid to coat the irritant. The layer upon layer of this coating is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is formed.

C

The only difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls is that the irritant is a surgically implanted bead or piece of shell called Mother of Pearl. Often, these shells are ground oyster shells that are worth significant amounts of money in their own right as irritant catalysts for quality pearls. The resulting core is, therefore, much larger than in a natural pearl. Yet, as long as there are enough layers of nacre (the secreted fluid covering the irritant) to result in a beautiful, gem-quality pearl, the size of the nucleus is of no consequence to beauty or durability.

D

Pearls can come from either salt or freshwater sources. Typically, saltwater pearls tend to be higher quality, although there are several types of freshwater pearls that are considered high in quality as well. Freshwater pearls tend to be very irregular in shape, with a puffed rice appearance the most prevalent. Nevertheless, it is each individual pearl’s merits that determines value more than the source of the pearl. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls. However, most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China. Cultured pearls are the response of the shell to a tissue implant. A tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell. This graft will form a pearl sac and the tissue will precipitate calcium carbonate into this pocket. There are a number of options for producing cultured pearls: use freshwater or seawater shells, transplant the graft into the mantle or into the gonad, add a spherical bead or do it non-beaded. The majority of saltwater cultured pearls are grown with beads.

E

Regardless of the method used to acquire a pearl, the process usually takes several years. Mussels must reach a mature age, which can take up to 3 years, and then be implanted or naturally receive an irritant. Once the irritant is in place, it can take up to another 3 years for the pearl to reach its full size. Often, the irritant may be rejected, the pearl will be terrifically misshapen, or the oyster may simply die from disease or countless other complications. By the end of a 5 to 10-year cycle, only 50% of the oysters will have survived. And of the pearls produced, only approximately 5% are of substantial quality for top jewelry makers. From the outset, a pearl farmer can figure on spending over $100 for every oyster that is farmed, of which many will produce nothing or die.

F

Imitation pearls are a different story altogether. In most cases, a glass bead is dipped into a solution made from fish scales. This coating is thin and may eventually wear off. One can usually tell an imitation by biting on it. Fake pearls glide across your teeth, while the layers of nacre on real pearls feel gritty. The Island of Mallorca (in Spain) is known for its imitation pearl industry. Quality natural pearls are very rare jewels. The actual value of a natural pearl is determined in the same way as it would be for other “precious” gems. The valuation factors include size, shape, color, quality of surface, orient, and luster. In general, cultured pearls are less valuable than natural pearls, whereas imitation peals almost have no value. One way that jewelers can determine whether a pearl is cultured or natural is to have a gem lab perform an x-ray of the pearl If the x-ray reveals a nucleus, the pearl is likely a bead-nucleated saltwater pearl. If no nucleus is present, but irregular and small dark inner spots indicating a cavity are visible, combined with concentric rings of organic substance, the pearl is likely a cultured freshwater. Cultured freshwater pearls can often be confused for natural pearls which present as homogeneous pictures that continuously darken toward the surface of the pearl. Natural pearls will often show larger cavities where organic matter has dried out and decomposed. Although imitation pearls look the part, they do not have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls, and their luster will also dim greatly. Among cultured pearls, Akoya pearls from Japan are some of the most lustrous. A good quality necklace of 40 Akoya pearls measuring 7mm in diameter sells for about $1,500, while a super- high-quality strand sells for about $4,500. Size, on the other hand, has to do with the age of the oyster that created the pearl (the more mature oysters produce larger pearls) and the location in which the pearl was cultured. The South Sea waters of Australia tend to produce the larger pearls; probably because the water along the coastline is supplied with rich nutrients from the ocean floor. Also, the type of mussel common to the area seems to possess a predilection for producing comparatively large pearls.

G

Historically, the world’s best pearls came from the Persian Gulf, especially around what is now Bahrain. The pearls of the Persian Gulf were naturally created and collected by breath-hold divers. The secret to the special luster of Gulf pearls probably derived from the unique mixture of sweet and saltwater around the island. Unfortunately, the natural pearl industry of the Persian Gulf ended abruptly in the early 1930s with the discovery of large deposits of oil. Those who once dove for pearls sought prosperity in the economic boom ushered in by the oil industry. The water pollution resulting from spilled oil and indiscriminate over-fishing of oysters essentially ruined the once pristine pearl-producing waters of the Gulf. Today, pearl diving is practiced only as a hobby. Still, Bahrain remains one of the foremost trading centers for high-quality pearls. In fact, cultured pearls are banned from the Bahrain pearl market, in an effort to preserve the location’s heritage. Nowadays, the largest stock of natural pearls probably resides in India. Ironically, much of India’s stock of natural pearls came originally from Bahrain. Unlike Bahrain, which has essentially lost its pearl resource, traditional pearl fishing is still practiced on a small scale in India.

Questions 27-30

Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet.

27   ancient stories around the pearl and customers

28   Difficulties in the cultivating process.

29   Factors can decide the value of natural pearls.

30   Different growth mechanisms that distinguish the cultured pearls from natural ones.

Questions 31-36

Complete the summary below

Choose a letter from A-K for each answer.

Write them in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.

In ancient history, pearls have great importance within the rich and rulers, which was treated as a gem for women in 31 _______ pearls were even used as medicine and sex drug for people in 32 _______. There are essentially three types of pearls: natural, cultured and imitation. Most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China while the 33 _______  is famous for its imitation pearl industry. The country 34 _______. Usually manufactures some of the glitteriest cultured ones while the nation such as 35 _______ produces the larger sized pearl due to the favorable environment along the coastline. In the past, one country of 36 _______ in Gulf produced the world’s best pearls. Nowadays, the major remaining suppliers of natural pearls belong to India.

A   America         B   Ancient Rome             C   Australia

D   Bahrain           China                Japan              G   India

H   Korea             I    Mexico            Persia              K   Spain

Questions 37-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?

In boxes 37-40 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

37   Often cultured pearl’s center is significantly larger than in a natural pearl.

38   Cultivated cultured pearls are generally valued the same as natural ones.

39   The size of pearls produced in Japan is usually of a smaller size than those came from Australia.

40   Akoya pearls from Japan Glows more deeply than the South Sea pearls of Australia

Passage 1

1 nitrogen

2 sensitive bristles

3 trails

4 tufts

5 TRUE

6 FALSE

7 NOT GIVEN

8 FALSE

9 NOT GIVEN

10 dolphin

11 Sea grass availability / Food shortage / seagrass shortage

12 1750

13 Fishing net

Passage 2

14 TRUE

15 FALSE

16 FALSE

17 FALSE

18 TRUE

19 TRUE

20 NOT GIVEN

21 46

22 human eye accommodation

23 Indo-European

24 Richard Brocklesby

25 Royal Institution

26 gas lighting

Passage 3

27 A

28 E

29 F

30 C

31 B

32 J

33 K

34 F

35 C

36 D

37 TRUE

38 FALSE

39 TRUE

40 NOT GIVEN

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