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

History of timekeeping

Ever since man first noticed the regular movement of the Sun and the stars, we have wondered about the passage of time. Prehistoric people first recorded the phases of the Moon some 30,000 years ago, and recording time has been a way by which humanity has observed the heavens and represented the progress of civilization.

The earliest natural events to be recognized were in the heavens, but during the course of the year, there were many other events that indicated significant changes in the environment. Seasonal winds and rains, the flooding of rivers, the flowering of trees and plants, and the breeding cycles or migration of animals and birds, all led to natural divisions of the year, and further observation and local customs led to the recognition of the seasons.

Egyptian shadow clocks divided daytime into 12 parts with each part further divided into more precise parts. One type of shadow clock consisted of a long stem with five variable marks and an elevated crossbar which cast a shadow over those marks. It was positioned eastward in the morning and was turned west at noon. Obelisks functioned in much the same manner: the shadow cast on the markers around it allowed the Egyptians to calculate the time. The obelisk also indicated whether it was morning or afternoon, as well as the summer and winter solstices. 1500 BCE, was similar in shape to a bent T-square. It measured the passage of time by the shadow cast by its crossbar on a non-linear rule. The T was oriented eastward in the mornings and turned around at noon so that it could cast its shadow in the opposite direction. Although accurate, shadow clocks relied on the sun, and so were useless at night and in cloudy weather.

Inventions for measuring and regulating time

The early inventions were made to divide the day or the night into different periods in order to regulate work or ritual, so the lengths of the time periods varied greatly from place to place and from one culture to another.

Oil lamps

There is archaeological evidence of oil lamps about 4,000 BCE, and the Chinese were using oil for heating and lighting by 2,000 BCE. Oil lamps are still significant in religious practices, symbolic of the journey from darkness and ignorance to light and knowledge. The shape of the lamp gradually evolved into the typical pottery style shown. It was possible to devise a way of measuring the level in the oil reservoir to measure the passing of time.

Candle Clocks

Marked candles were used for telling the time in China from the sixth century CE. There is a popular story that King Alfred the Great invented the candle clock, but we know they were in use in England from the tenth century CE. However, the rate of burning is subject to draughts, and the variable quality of the wax. Life oil lamps, candles were used to mark the passage of time from one event to another, rather than tell the time of day.

Water Clocks

The water clock, or clepsydra, appears to have been invented about 1,500 BCE and was a device which relied on the steady flow of water from or into a container. Measurements could be marked on the container or on a receptacle for the water. In comparison with the candle or the oil lamp, the clepsydra was more reliable, but the water flow still depended on the variation of pressure from the head of water in the container.

Astronomical and astrological clock making was developed in China from 200 to 1300 CE. Early Chinese clepsydras drove various mechanisms illustrating astronomical phenomena. The astronomer Su Sung and his associates built an elaborate clepsydra in 1088 CE. This device incorporated a water-driven bucket system originally invented about 725 CE. Among the displays were a bronze power-driven rotating celestial globe, and manikins that rang gongs, and indicated special times of the day.

Hour Glasses or Sandglasses

As the technology of glass-blowing developed, from some time in the 14th century it became possible to make sandglasses. Originally, sandglasses were used as a measure for periods of time like the lamps or candles, but as clocks became more accurate they were used to calibrate sandglasses to measure specific periods of time, and to determine the duration of sermons, university lectures, and even periods of torture.

The Division of the Day and the Length of the ‘Hour’ An Egyptian sundial from about 1,500 BCE is the earliest evidence of the division of the day into equal parts, but the sundial was no use at night. The passage of time was extremely important for astronomers and priests who were responsible for determining the exact hour for the daily rituals and for the important religious festivals, so a water clock was invented.

The Merkhet

The Egyptians improved upon the sundial with a ‘merkhet’, one of the oldest known astronomical instruments. It was developed around 600 BCE and uses a string with a weight as a plumb line to obtain a true vertical line, as in the picture. The other object is the rib of a palm leaf, stripped of its fronds and split at one end, making a thin slit for a sight.

A pair of merkhets were used to establish a North-South direction by lining them up one behind the other with the Pole Star. Viewing the plumb lines through the sight made sure the two merkhets and the sight were in the same straight line with the Pole Star. This allowed for the measurement of night-time events with a water clock when certain stars crossed the vertical plumb line (a ‘transit line’), and these events could then be recorded by ‘night-time lines’ drawn on a sundial.

There are various theories about how the 24 hour day developed. The fact that the day was divided into 12 hours might be because 12 is a factor of 60, and both the Babylonian and Egyptian civilisations recognised a zodiac cycle of 12 constellations. On the other hand, (excuse the pun) finger-counting with base 12 was a possibility. The fingers each have 3 joints, and so counting on the joints gives one ‘full hand’ of 12.

In classical Greek and Roman times they used twelve hours from sunrise to sunset; but since summer days and winter nights are longer than winter days and summer nights, the lengths of the hours varied throughout the year.



Questions 1-4

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

In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

YES                  if the statement is true

NO                   if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN    if the information is not given in the passage

1   Timekeeper’s exact date of origin was not clear today.

2   People use candles and oil lamps for recording time to do things in the early days.

3   Oil lamps are used for religious beliefs in 4000 BCE.

4   The sundials have always been inaccurate to record time in ancient Egypt.

Questions 5-10

Write the correct letter A-D, in boxes 5-10 on your answer sheet

NB  You may use any letter more than once.

   Wooden shadow clock

B     Clepsydra


D     lamp oil candle

5   It is used the container tag position recording time

6   It is used to measure a particular time

7   It is used only in the sunny day

8   It is used oil cistern to measure the passage of time

9   It isn’t only used to tell the time

10   It is more accurate than candles and oil lamps

Questions 11-13

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

Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer.

11   Which picture shows the working principle of clepsydra?

12   Which picture best describes the wooden shadow?

13   The picture below illustrates the oil lamp clock’s working


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

Water Treatment 2: Reed Bed


Nowadays subsurface flow wetlands are a common alternative in Europe for the treatment of wastewater in rural areas. mainly in the last 10 to 12 years, there has been significant growth in the number and size of the systems in use. Compared to common treatment facilities, wetlands lower in cost investment, lesser to maintain, and are ideal for densely populated rural or suburban areas rather than urban areas.


The Common Read has the ability to transfer oxygen from its leaves, down through its stem and rhizomes and out via its root system. As a result of this action, a very high population of micro-organisms occurs in the root system, with zones of aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic conditions. Therefore with the waste water moving very slowly and carefully through the mass of Reed roots, this liquid can be successfully treated.


A straightforward definition of a reed bed is if you have dirty water in your pool or water, which is heavily polluted, Read Beds will be planted to make the water clean again. This is good for ecology and living organisms and fish in the water. Reed Beds have a wide range of qualities and are acceptable for cleaning everything from secondary to tertiary treatment of mild domestic effluent, to rural waste and even heavy industrial contaminants. The reason why they’re so effective is often that within the bed’s root sector, natural biological, physical and chemical processes interact with one another to degrade or remove a good range of pollutants. Reed beds can be built in a number of variants, but mainly they are of the horizontal flow or vertical (down) flow configuration where water flows through the beds horizontally or vertically.



Horizontal-flow wetlands may be of two types: free-water surface-flow (FWF) or subsurface water-flow (SSF). In the former, the effluent flows freely above the sand/gravel bed in which the reeds etc. are planted; in the latter effluent passes through the sand/ gravel bed. In FWF-type wetlands, the effluent is treated by plant stems, leaves and rhizomes. Such FWF wetlands are densely planted and typically have water-depths of less than 0.4m. However, dense planting can limit oxygen diffusion into the water. These systems work particularly well for low strength effluents or effluents that have undergone some form of pretreatment and play an invaluable role in tertiary treatment and the polishing of effluents. The horizontal reed flow system uses a long reed bed, Where the liquid slowly flows horizontally through. The length of the reed bed is about 100 meters. The downside of the horizontal reed beds is that they use up lots of land space and they do take quite a long time to produce clean water.



A vertical flow reed bed is a sealed, gravel-filled trench with reeds growing in it (see the picture below). The common reed oxygenates the water, which helps to create the right environment for colonies of bacteria to break down unwanted organic matter and pollutants. The reeds also make the bed attractive to wildlife.

How does a vertical flow reed bed work?


In vertical flow (Downflow) reed beds, the wastewater is applied on top of the reed bed, flows down through a rhizome zone with sludge as substrate, then the root zone with sand as substrate and followed by a layer of gravel for drainage, and is collected in an under drainage system of large stones. The effluent flows on to the surface of the bed and percolates slowly through the different layers into an outlet pipe, which leads to a horizontal flow bed and is cleaned by millions of bacteria, algae, fungi, and microorganisms that digest the waste, including sewage. There is no standing water so there should be no unpleasant smells.


Vertical flow reed bed systems are much more effective than horizontal flow reed-beds not only in reducing biochemical oxygen demanded (BOD) and suspended solids (SS) levels but also in reducing ammonia levels and eliminating smells. Usually considerably smaller than horizontal flow beds, but they are capable of handling much stronger effluents which contain heavily polluted matters and have longer lifetime value. A vertical reed bed system works more efficiently than a horizontal reed bed system, but it requires more management, and its reed beds are often operated for a few days then rested, so several beds and a distribution system are needed.


There are several advantages of Reed Bed systems over traditional forms of water treatment: first, they have low construction and running costs; second, they are easy management; third they have an excellent reduction of biochemical oxygen demand and suspended solids; last, they have a potential for efficient removal of a wide range of pollutants.


Reed beds are natural habitats found in floodplains waterlogged depressions and estuaries. The natural bed systems are a biologically proved, and an environmentally friendly and visually unobtrusive way of treating wastewater and have the extra virtue of frequently been better than mechanical wastewater treatment systems. In the medium to long term reed bed systems are, in most cases, more cost-effective in installment than any other wastewater treatment. They are robust and require little maintenance. They are naturally environmentally sound protecting groundwater, dams, creeks, rivers, and estuaries.



Questions 14-16

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 14-16 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.

14   The Reed bed system is a conventional method for water treatment in the urban area.

15   In the reed roots, there’s a series of process that helps breakdown the pollutants.

16   Escherichia coli is the most difficult bacteria to be dismissed.

Questions 17-19

Complete the diagram below.

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

Questions 20-24

Use the information in the passage to match the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems: horizontal flow system and downflow system (listed A-H) below.

Write the appropriate letters A-H in boxes 20-24 on your answer sheet.

20……….…………, which is the advantage of the down-flow system.

However, 21…………..………. and 22………..……… are the disadvantages of down-flow system

23………………and 24……….………… are the two benefits of the horizontal flow system. However, it’s less effective and efficient.

A     It can deal with a more seriously polluted effluent.

B     It requires more beds than one compared to the other.

C     It needs less control and doesn’t need to be taken care of all the time.

D     It requires a lot of guidance.

E     It can’t work all the time because the pool needs time to rest and recover after a certain period.

F     It’s a lot more complicated to build the system.

G    The system is easy to be built which does not need an auxiliary system.

H     It consumes less water.

Questions 25-26

Choose two correct letters from the following A, B, C, D, or E.

Write your answers in boxes 25-26 on your answer sheet.

What are the TWO benefits of natural bed systems when compared to conventional systems?

A     Operation does not require electricity or fuel supply.

B     They’re visually good and environmentally friendly.

C     No mechanical systems are involved.

D     They’re to be set up and used in less cost.

E     They do not break down.



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

Sand Dunes


One of the main problems posed by sand dunes is their encroachment on human habitats. Sand dunes move by different means, all of them aided by the wind. Sand dunes threaten buildings and crops in Africa, the Middle East, and China. Preventing sand dunes from overwhelming cities and agricultural areas has become a priority for the United Nations Environment Program. On the other hand, dune habitats provide niches for highly specialized plants and animals, including numerous rare and endangered species.


Sand is usually composed of hard minerals such as quartz that cannot be broken down into silt or clay. Yellow, brown and reddish shades of sand indicate their presence of iron compounds. Red sand is composed of quartz coated by a layer of iron oxide. White sands are nearly pure gypsum. Sand with a high percentage of silicate can be used in glassmaking. Sandstone is created by sand, mixed with lime, chalk or some other material that acts as a binding agent, that is deposited in layers at the bottom of a sea or other area and pressed together into rock by the great pressure of sediments that are deposited on top of it over thousands or millions of years.


The most common dune form on Earth and on Mars is crescentic. Crescent-shaped mounds are generally wider than they are long. The slipfaces are on the concave sides of the dunes. These dunes form under winds that blow consistently from one direction, and they also are known as barchans or transverse dunes. Some types of crescentic dunes move more quickly over desert surfaces than any other type of dune. A group of dunes moved more than 100 metres per year between 1954 and 1959 the China’s Ningxia Province, and similar speeds have been recorded in the Western Desert of Egypt. The largest crescentic dunes on Earth, with mean crest-to-crest widths of more than 3 kilometres, are in China’s Taklamakan Desert.


Radially symmetrical, star dunes are pyramidal sand mounds with slipfaces on there or more arms that radiate from the high center of the mound. They tend to accumulate in areas with multidirectional wind regimes. Star dunes grow upward rather than laterally. They dominate the Grand Erg Oriental of the Sahara. In other deserts, they occur around the margins of the sand seas, particularly near topographic barriers. In the southeast Badain Jaran Desert of China, the star dunes are up to 500 metres tall and may be the tallest dunes on Earth. Straight or slightly sinuous sand ridges typically much longer than they are wide are known as linear dunes. They may be more than 160 kilometres (99 mi) long. Some linear dunes merge to form Y-shaped compound dunes. Many forms in bidirectional wind regimes. The long axes of these dunes extend in the resultant direction of sand movement. Linear loess hills known as pahas are superficially similar.


Once sand begins to pile up, ripples and dunes can form. Wind continues to move sand up to the top of the pile until the pile is so steep that it collapses under its own weight. The collapsing sand comes to rest when it reaches just the right steepness to keep the dune stable. This angle, usually about 30-34°, is called the angle of repose. Every pile of loose particles has a unique angle of repose, depending upon the properties of the material it’s made of, such as the grain size and roundness. Ripples grow into dunes with the increase of wind and sand input.


The repeating cycle of sand inching up the windward side to the dune crest, then slipping down the dune’s slip face allows the dune to inch forward, migrating in the direction the wind blows. As you might guess, all of this climbing then slipping leaves its mark on the internal structure of the dune. The image on the right shows fossil sand dune structure preserved in the Merced Formation at Fort Funston, Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The sloping lines or laminations you see are the preserved slip faces of a migrating sand dune. This structure is called cross-bedding and can be the result of either wind or water currents. The larger the cross-bedded structure, however, the more likely it is to be formed by wind, rather than water.


Sand dunes can “sing” at a level up to 115 decibels and generate sounds in different notes. The dunes at Sand Mountain n Nevada usually sing in a low C but can also sing in B and C sharp. The La Mar de Dunas in Chile hum in F while those at the Ghord Lahmar in Morocco howl in G sharp. The sounds are produced by avalanches of sand generated by blowing winds. For a while, it was thought that the avalanches caused the entire dune to resonate like a flute or violin but if that were true then different size dunes would produce different notes. In the mid 2000s, American, French and Moroccan scientists visiting sand dunes in Morocco, Chile, China and Oman published a paper in the Physical Review Letters that determined the sounds were produced by collisions between grains of sand that caused the motions of the grains to become synchronized, causing the outer layer of a dune to vibrate like the cone of a loudspeaker, producing sound. The tone of the sounds depended primarily on the size of the grains.


Scientists performed a computer simulation on patterns and dynamics of desert dunes in laboratory. Dune patterns observed in deserts were reproduced. From the initial random state, stars and linear dunes are produced, depending on the variability of the wind direction. The efficiency in sand transport is calculated through the course of development. Scientists found that the sand transport is the most efficient in the linear transverse dune. The efficiency in sand transport always increased through the evolution, and the way it increases was stepwise. They also found that the shadow zone, the region where the sand wastes the chance to move, shrinks through the course of evolution, which greatly helps them build a model to simulate a sand move.


Questions 27-34

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-H from the list below.

Write the correct number, i-x, in boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i           potential threat to buildings and crops despite of benefit.

ii          the cycle of sand moving forward with wind

iii         protection method in various countries.

iv         scientists simulate sand move and build model in lab

v          sand composition explanation

vi         singing sand dunes

vii        other types of sand dunes

viii       the personal opinion on related issues.

ix         reasons why sand dunes form

x          the most common sand type

27   Paragraph A

28   Paragraph B

29   Paragraph C

30   Paragraph D

31   Paragraph E

32   Paragraph F

33   Paragraph G

34   Paragraph H

Questions 35-36

Answer the questions 35-36 and choose correct letter A, B, C or D.

35   What is the main composition of white sand made of according to the passage?

A   Quartz

B   Gypsum

C   Lime

D   Iron

36   Which one is not mentioned as a sand type in this passage?

A   Linear

B   Crescentic

C   Overlap

D   Star

Questions 37-40

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-J below.

Write the correct letter, A-J in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

Crescentic is an ordinary 37……………………….. on both Earth and Mars, apart from which, there are also other types of sand dunes. Different color of the sand reflects different components, some of them are rich in 38………………………… that can not be easily broken into clay. Sand dunes can “sing” at a level up to 115 decibels and generate sounds in different notes. Sand dunes can be able to 39………………………. at a certain level of sound intensity, and the different size of grains creates different 40………………………… of the sounds.

A     quartz                  B     shape                   C     pressure

D     tone                     E     protection            F     category

G     minerals               H     sing                          lab

J      direction

Passage 1

1. YES

2. YES



5. B

6. A

7. D

8. C

9. A

10. B

11. C

12. A

13. D

Passage 2


15. TRUE


17. sludge

18. sand

19. gravel

20. A

21. B

22. E

23. C

24. G

25. B

26. D

Passage 3

27. i

28. v

29. x

30. vii

31. ix

32. ii

33. vi

34. iv

35. B

36. C

37. B

38. G

39. H

40. D

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