美国《GMAT阅读理解题》 与 考研命题思路的 对比
一、GMAT的阅读文章(一般有450字左右，紧接着7 – 9道测试题)
Historians have only recently begun to note the increase in demand for luxury goods and services that took place in eighteenth-century England. McKendrick has explored the Wedgwood firm’s remarkable success in marketing luxury pottery; Plumb has written about the rapid increase of provincial theaters, musical festivals, and children’s toys and books. While the fact of this consumer revolution is hardly in doubt, three key questions remain: Who were the consumers? What were their motives? And what were the effects of the new demand for luxuries?
An answer to the first of these has been difficult to obtain. Although it has been possible to infer from the goods and services actually produced what manufacturers and servicing trades thought their customers wanted, only a study of relevant personal documents written by actual consumers will provide a precise picture of who wanted what. We still need to know how large this consumer market was and how far down the social scale the consumer demand for luxury goods penetrated. With regard to this last question, we might note in passing that Thompson, while rightly restoring laboring people to the stage of eighteenth-century English history, has probably exaggerated the opposition of these people to the sudden attacks of capitalist consumerism in general. For example, laboring people in eighteenth-century England readily shifted from home-brewed beer to standardized beer produced by huge, heavily capitalized urban breweries.
To answer the question of why consumers became so eager to buy, some historians have pointed to the ability of manufacturers to advertise in a relatively uncensored press. This, however, hardly seems a sufficient answer. McKendrick favors a Veblen model of conspicuous consumption stimulated by competition for status. The “middling sort” bought goods and services because they wanted to follow fashions set by the rich. Again, we may wonder whether this explanation is sufficient. Do not people enjoy buying things as a form of self-gratification? If so, consumerism could be seen as a product of the rise of new concepts of individualism and materialism, but not necessarily of the frenzy for conspicuous competition.
Finally, what were the consequences of this consumer demand for luxuries? McKendrick claims that it goes a long way toward explaining the coming of the Industrial Revolution. But does it? What, for example, does the production of high-quality pottery and toys have to do with the development of iron manufacture or textile mills? It is perfectly possible to have the psychology and reality of a consumer society without a heavy industrial sector. (414 words)
1. In the first paragraph, the author mentions McKendrick and Plumb most probably to
[A] compare their interest in luxury goods and in luxury services.
[B] confirm key questions about 18th-century England consumerism.
[C] contrast their views on luxury consumerism in 18th-century England.
[D] exemplify historians who have proved the growing consumerism in 18th-century England.
2. Which of the following items, if preserved from eighteenth-century England, would provide an example of the kind of documents mentioned in Paragraph 2?
[A] A bargain stricken between a manufacturer and a consumer.
[B] A theater ticket stamped with the date and name of a particular play.
[C] A diary that mentions luxury goods and services purchased by its author.
[D] A newspaper advertisement describing luxury goods and services available.
3. In the third paragraph, the author is primarily concerned with
[A] contrasting two theses and offering a compromise.
[B] examining two theories and supporting one over the other.
[C] raising several questions but implying that they cannot be answered.
[D] questioning two explanations and proposing a possible alternative to them.
4. The author would most probably agree that the Industrial Revolution
[A] resulted from the growing demand for luxury goods and services.
[B] was not directly driven by a growing demand for luxury goods and services.
[C] was closely bound up with the demands for luxury goods and services.
[D] exploited the already existing demand for luxury goods and services.
5. The title which best expresses the main idea of the text is
[A] A Comment on Historians’ Study on Rising Demand for Luxuries in 18th-century England
[B] The Impacts of Consumer Demand for Luxury Goods and Services in the 18th Century
[C] The Ever-increasing Demand for Luxuries in Eighteenth-century England
[D] Consumers’ Demand for Luxuries in the 18th Century and Their Motives
从以上1、2、3题中我们可以清楚地感悟到命题专家对考生的理解要求 - 不但理解文章中的文字信息，而且要求透过文字信息理解信息之间的逻辑关系、信息之间的类比关系并对信息进行抽象概括。这三项要求体现出GMAT阅读理解题的超群之处;也正是在这三方面反映出GMAT试题对考生抽象思维能力的考察。浏览近年的GMAT阅读理解题，我们可以发现，逻辑结构题、类比推理题和逻辑框架题几乎出现在每篇阅读理解文章的后面。可见，本文后的这三道题不是偶然现象，而偶然中的必然。这就值得我们去深思了。
二、考研阅读理解(2010年考研阅读理解Part A Text 1)
Of all the changes that have taken place in English-language newspapers during the past quarter-century, perhaps the most far-reaching has been the inexorable decline in the scope and seriousness of their arts coverage.
It is difficult to the point of impossibility for the average reader under the age of forty to imagine a time when high-quality arts criticism could be found in most big-city newspapers. Yet a considerable number of the most significant collections of criticism published in the 20th century consisted in large part of newspaper reviews. To read such books today is to marvel at the fact that their learned contents were once deemed suitable for publication in general-circulation dailies.
We are even farther removed from the unfocused newspaper reviews published in England between the turn of the 20th century and the eve of World War II, at a time when newsprint was dirt-cheap and stylish arts criticism was considered an ornament to the publications in which it appeared. In those far-off days, it was taken for granted that the critics of major papers would write in detail and at length about the events they covered. Theirs was a serious business, and even those reviewers who wore their learning lightly, like George Bernard Shaw and Ernest Newman, could be trusted to know what they were about. These men believed in journalism as a calling, and were proud to be published in the daily press. "So few authors have brains enough or literary gift enough to keep their own end up in journalism," Newman wrote, "that I am tempted to define ‘journalism’ as ‘a term of contempt applied by writers who are not read to writers who are’."
Unfortunately, these critics are virtually forgotten. Neville Cardus, who wrote for the Manchester Guardian from 1917 until shortly before his death in 1975, is now known solely as a writer of essays on the game of cricket. During his lifetime, though, he was also one of England’s foremost classical-music critics, and a stylist so widely admired that his Autobiography (1947) became a best-seller. He was knighted in 1967, the first music critic to be so honored. Yet only one of his books is now in print, and his vast body of writings on music is unknown save to specialists.
Is there any chance that Cardus’s criticism will enjoy a revival? The prospect seems remote. Journalistic tastes had changed long before his death, and postmodern readers have little use for the richly upholstered Vicwardian prose in which he specialized. Moreover, the amateur tradition in music criticism has been in headlong retreat. (429 words)
1. It is indicated in Paragraphs 1 and 2 that
[A] arts criticism has disappeared from big-city newspapers.
[B] English-language newspapers used to carry more arts reviews.
[C] high-quality newspapers retain a large body of readers.
[D] young readers doubt the suitability of criticism on dailies.
2. Newspaper reviews in England before World War II were characterized by
[A] free themes.
[B] casual style.
[C] elaborate layout.
[D] radical viewpoints.
3. Which of the following would Shaw and Newman most probably agree on?
[A] It is writers’ duty to fulfill journalistic goals.
[B] It is contemptible for writers to be journalists.
[C] Writers are likely to be tempted into journalism.
[D] Not all writers are capable of journalistic writing.
4. What can be learned about Cardus according to the last two paragraphs?
[A] His music criticism may not appeal to readers today.
[B] His reputation as a music critic has long been in dispute.
[C] His style caters largely to modern specialists.
[D] His writings fail to follow the amateur tradition.
5. What would be the best title for the text?
[A] Newspapers of the Good Old Days
[B] The Lost Horizon in Newspapers
[C] Mournful Decline of Journalism
[D] Prominent Critics in Memory
第3题是人物观点题，答案是[D]，类似[D]的信息可以从第3段最后一句的So few authors …中找到。
不同点：GMAT的1、2、3题分别为逻辑结构题、类比推理题和逻辑框架题;而2010考研Text 1后面的1、2、4题均属细节理解题。2010年20道阅读理解题中只有一道(31题)是逻辑结构题，典型的推理判断题一道也没有，细节理解题的难度又特别大、缺乏区分度，以至造成整个阅读理解Part A试题信度和效度的缺失。由此清楚反映出双方命题专家所持的不同的命题指导思想：美国GMAT命题专家重视考核考生的抽象思维能力、宏观把握语篇结构与语段结构的能力和类比推理能力，因此题型中逻辑结构题、类比推理题和逻辑框架题占的比例较大;而2010考研命题专家则侧重考核考生对事实性细节的理解能力，所以类比推理题和逻辑框架题一道也没有。当然，仅从一篇文章后的五道题的类型对比很难得出全面的结论，但从一个侧面却可以窥视两者之间在命题思路方面的差异。
21. In the opening paragraph, the author introduces his topic by
[A] posing a contrast.
[B] justifying an assumption.
[C] making a comparison.
[D] explaining a phenomenon. [逻辑框架题]
30. The author associates the issue of global warming with that of smoking because
[A] they both suffered from the government’s negligence.
[B] a lesson from the latter is applicable to the former.
[C] the outcome from the latter aggravates the former.
[D] both of them have turned from bad to worse. [逻辑框架题]
32. By referring to the limbic system, the author intends to show
[A] its function in our dreams.
[B] the mechanism of REM sleep.
[C] the relation of dreams to emotions.
[D] its difference from the prefrontal cortex. [逻辑结构题]
40. According to the last paragraph, “paper plates” is to “china” as
[A] “temporary” is to “permanent”.
[B] “radical” is to “conservative”.
[C] “functional” is to “artistic”.
[D] “humble” is to “noble”. [细节类比题]
注：GMAT是 Graduate Management Admission Test (管理类研究生入学考试)的缩写形式，是美国教育考试服务处(EST)负责的考试之一。www.59wj.com 如果觉得《通过美国GMAT阅读分析考研英语阅读命题思路》复习指导,kaoyan不错，可以推荐给好友哦。