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  Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension

  Part A


  Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points)

  Text 1

  For every Chad Hurley or Mark Zuckerberg there are many Sathvik Krishnamurthys. The first two are the young entrepreneurs behind YouTube and Facebook, respectively, who are striking it rich in Silicon Valley’s current Web boom. Mr. Hurley last year sold video site YouTube to Google for more than $1.7 billion just 19 months after the company’s founding, netting him a personal fortune valued at more than $340 million. Mr. Zuckerberg has built social-networking site Facebook into a start-up valued at $15 billion in less than four years。

  Then there is Mr. Krishnamurthy. Plenty of wannabe Silicon Valley entrepreneurs expect to land on a spectacular path to success, but most end up with stories akin to his. Mr. Krishnamurthy is the 39-year-old chief executive of Voltage Security, a start-up that makes security software. He will tell you that the real name of the entrepreneurial game is plain slogging it out。

  Since March 2003, Mr. Krishnamurthy has burned the midnight oil at Voltage. He has had to cultivate a brand-new executive team, build a product line from scratch and travel the world to solicit wary customers. Along the way, he has weathered travails such as a hostile climate to tech start-ups and a six-month delay in the shipping of a key product。

  At times, things got so tough that the CEO needed pep talks himself, says Ken Gullicksen, a Voltage board member and a venture capitalist at Morgenthaler Ventures. “We as a board have had to give Sath private encouragement,” says Mr. Gullicksen. “Even a guy like him feels the pain。”

  Every industry has its superstars and its sloggers, of course. But the tech industry of the late 1990s and earlier this decade has seen an unusual number of speedy two-year cycles that end with a lucrative sale or initial public offering. And when that doesn’t happen, the process can get so grueling and so protracted that some venture capitalists say they’ve had to get creative to convince burned-out entrepreneurs to not bail。

  21.The statistics in the first paragraph is enumerated to_____。

  [A] demonstrate the capabilities of the ambitious entrepreneurs

  [B] display the rapid growth of websites

  [C] illustrate the fierce competition between Google and Facebook

  [D] reveal the triumph attained by some CEOs。

  22.The second paragraph is intended to convey_____。

  [A] other tech CEOs struggle

  [B] the mishaps of Mr. Krishnamurthy

  [C] the coming contest of Silicon Valley

  [D] the deficiency of security software

  23.The phrase “slogging…out” in Line 5, paragraph 2 most probably denotes_____。

  [A] record with details [B] work with difficulty

  [C] obscure with pretext [D] set free commercial talents

  24.The remarks by Mr. Gullicksen indicate_____。

  [A] his apprehension of the tech start-ups

  [B] the potential of pep talks

  [C] the worst predicament a CEO may encounter

  [D] the side-effects of private encouragement

  25.It can be inferred from the last paragraph that the typical status in the market place is____。

  [A] emergence of superstars and sloggers

  [B] the limited number of short-term juicy transactions or dealings

  [C] with draw of most burnt-out entrepreneurs

  [D] the grueling and protracted asset evaluation by the federal government

  Text 2

  Even today in the modern, developed world, surveys show that parents still prefer to have a boy rather than a girl. One longstanding reason why boys have been seen as a greater blessing has been that they are expected to become better economic providers for their parents’ old age. Yet it is time for parents to think again. Girls may now be a better investment。

  Girls get better grades at school than boys, and in most developed countries more women than men go to university. Women will thus be better equipped for the new jobs of the 21st century, in which brains count a lot more than brawn. In Britain far more women than men are now training to become doctors. And women are more likely to provide sound advice on investing their parents’ nest egg: surveys show that women consistently achieve higher financial returns than men do。

  Furthermore, the increase in female employment in the rich world has been the main driving force of growth in the past couple of decades. Those women have contributed more to global GDP growth than have either new technology or the new giants. Add the value of housework and child-rearing, and women probably account for just over half of world output. It is true that women still get paid less and few make it to the top of companies, but, as prejudice fades over coming years, women will have great scope to boost their productivity—and incomes。

  Governments, too, should embrace the potential of women. Women complain (rightly) of centuries of exploitation. Yet, to an economist, women are not exploited enough: they are the world’s most under-utilised resource; getting more of them into work is part of the solution to many economic woes, including shrinking populations and poverty。

  Some people fret that if more women work rather than mind their children, this will boost GDP but create negative social externalities, such as a lower birth rate. Yet developed countries where more women work, such as Sweden and America, actually have higher birth rates than Japan and Italy, where women stay at home. Others fear that women’s move into the paid labour force can come at the expense of children. Yet the evidence for this is mixed. For instance, a study by Suzanne Bianchi at Maryland University finds that mothers spent the same time, on average, on childcare in 2003 as in 1965. The increase in work outside the home was offset by less housework—and less spare time and less sleep。

  26.What is the paragraph preceding the text mainly about?

  [A] The history of the developed countries。

  [B] The importance of sex。

  [C] The preference of grandparents。

  [D] The development of juveniles。

  27.The word “brawn” in Line 3, paragraph 2 most probably means____。

  [A] race [B] diploma [C] color [D] muscle

  28.The author’s attitude toward women’s prospect can he described as_____。

  [A] pessimistic [B] cautious [C] skeptical [D] desperate

  29.It can be inferred from the text that countries the world over still fail to recognize the driving force of women in_____。

  [A] exploiting the natural resources

  [B] contributing inadequate solutions

  [C] building up a well-off living condition

  [D] ranking many economic woes

  30.The reduction of rest period by women is mentioned to_____。

  [A] shed light on negative social externalities

  [B] refute some people’s worry

  [C] cast doubt on the mixed evidence

  [D] confirm the higher birth rates


  Text 3

  Well, for a fortnight it was a splendid party. Now for the Olympic bills—and that hangover will last for years. The Greek Olympic committee reckons it can break even: half of its $2.3 billion budget for running the games will come, via the International Olympic Committee, from broadcasters, most of the rest from commercial sponsors, ticket sales and merchandising. But what about the taxpayer? Overall, Greek and (modestly) other European Union taxpayers have spent $300m helping to run the games, nearly $1.5 billion keeping them secure, and some $7 billion preparing facilities for them. In all, that means near 5% of 2003 Greek GDP, roughly $800 for every single inhabitant, pensioner or babe, taxpayer or not. Top-level sport is a business, albeit not, in the Olympic version, one aiming for profit—nor answerable to outside shareholders. Should it be subsidized to this extent?

  Most Greeks think so. They were told the games would be costly. Few can have doubted the costs would go wildly over budget; in the event, by about 50%. That figure of $800 per head was not put flatly to them, but if the opinion polls are any guide, four Greeks in five welcomed the games—and probably still do: their country rebutted the sneers that nothing would be ready, it ran the show well, it has had a terrific time and weeks of exposure to the world’s cameras, and it is left with some durable improvements to its infrastructure. Anyway, these Greeks can say, an elected government, backed by public opinion, is entitled to do what it likes: others send men into space, we run the Olympics—as we should have been allowed to do in 1996, centenary of their first modern celebration。

  That is true. But democratic governments can do damn-fool things; sending men into space, for example. Was the Greeks’ spending wise? Prestige, publicity and proud memories are not to be ignored. But what else is left? A magnificent stadium and its accompanying public park in Athens, plus various other venues in the city or nearby; four big provincial stadiums; some cheap housing in the capital; better roads there, a bigger and better metro system, a new suburban rail line and a new tramway to the southern beaches. As one Athenian version puts it, 20 years’ infrastructure improvements in five。

  Actually, that is not what they got. Less than $1.5 billion of the money spent has gone into the EU-subsidised transport improvements, sensible as they may be. Two weeks of security apart, most of the rest has gone into the new sports facilities. Some of these will be useful in the future, some less so. It is a fair bet that all will lose money, unless Greece can somehow achieve that rich and sports-mad Australia, with its inheritance from the Sydney games of 2000, has not. That seems unlikely. Granted, sports facilities can be a public good, and one that most voters approve of. But are world-class sports facilities really the public good on which the hugely indebted government of a small and not very rich country such as Greece should rush to spend over $5.5 billion? What about schools and hospitals, or the roads and other bits of infrastructure that might generate business investment, and so produce genuine economic growth, rather than mere prestige?

  In this context, the Greek government’s claim that “oh, we’ll cut spending in other ways” is hardly persuasive or even to the point. If public spending ought to be or can readily be cut, cut it anyway. If you need better public infrastructure, invest in what you need, not in what suits the International Olympic Committee。

  31.The majority of Greeks, according to the text, are supportive_____。

  [A] preparing a splendid of horticultural party

  [B] abiding by the Olympic chapter

  [C] manufacturing commercial facilities for world expo

  [D] overfunding the 2003 Olympic Games

  32.It is implied in the second paragraph that Greeks still doubt_____。

  [A] the comment made IOC members

  [B] centenary of their first national anniversary

  [C] the hosting right of 1996 Olympic Games

  [D] the 2003 failure of the International Olympic Committee

  33.“Sending men into space” is quoted to_____。

  [A] exemplify absurd conducts

  [B] prove the strength of an average nation

  [C] report the rapid development of aeronautical science

  [D] survey the current exploitation of the extraterritorial conditions

  34.The author’s attitude toward the official assertion is_____。

  [A] approval [B] ambivalence [C] denial [D] confusion

  35.Which of the following could be the best title of text?

  [A] Great sport, great feat. [B] Greek Sport Events。

  [C] Pity about the misspent billions. [D] Money can make the mare go。

  Text 4

  Foreigners are a hot topic in Britain. Opinion polls consistently rate asylum and immigration as one of voters’ main concerns, and right-wing parties of varying degrees of extremism have been profiting by playing up the threat to the British way of life posed by a flood of unwashed foreigners。

  So a report published this week by the UNHCR will make welcome reading for the government. It shows asylum applications to industrialized countries falling sharply, continuing the downward trend of the past three years. But one statistic will be of special significance: while Britain was the most popular rich-country destination in 2003, it has now fallen into second place behind France。

  So what’s behind the drop in applications? One reason is simply that there are fewer asylum-seekers. The UNHCR reckons that, in the first half of 2004, the number of people seeking sanctuary in rich countries fell by 22% compared with the same period last year. Part of the drop is due to the removal of unpopular governments; Iraqis and Afghans, in particular, have stopped leaving home in such large numbers. Iraqis were the biggest single group of refugees at the start of 2003, marking 11,094 applications. By the second quarter of this year that had fallen to only 2,070. Afghans have seen a similar, though slightly less precipitous, decline。

  But a fall in the general level of asylum-seeking worldwide doesn’t explain why Britain has lost its particular attractiveness as a sanctuary. While asylum applications in Europe have fallen by 20% in the past six months, applications to Britain are down by a 37%。

  Aware of public anxiety, the government has been making life increasingly difficult for anyone trying to reach Britain. British immigration officers now conduct patrols in France, aiming to catch stowaways on trains or ferries. High-tech scanning machines have been installed in European ports to detect people hiding in cargo shipments. “We think it’s the huge number of barriers that have gone up that prevent people from claiming asylum,” says Hannah Ward of the Refugee Council. “To claim asylum, you actually have to get to the UK。”

  The asylum system still needs reform. Even when applications are turned down, most people are never removed from the country. The approvals process itself needs work, too: one in five of all appeals is currently upheld, and the number rises to more than 40% for Somalis, Sudanese and Eritreans, suggesting that officials are doing a bad job of processing the initial applications. But if fewer foreigners are coming, voters won’t mind so much that the system is a mess。

  36.Downing Street No.10 will benefit from_____。

  [A] a recently released account [B] a consistent opinion poll

  [C] the right-wing parties [D] a flood of unwashed foreigners

  37.Hannah Ward’s remarks are quoted to _____。

  [A] clarify the welcome reading by UNHCR

  [B] emphasize the awareness of public anxiety

  [C] indicate the cause of application dive

  [D] categorize the stowaways and cargo shipments

  38.The term “work” in Line 2, paragraph 6 denotes_____。

  [A] function [B] improvement [C] publicity [D] visibility

  39.It can be inferred from the text that voters simply care_____。

  [A] a hot topic

  [B] varying degrees of extremism

  [C] the number of immigrants

  [D] a flood of high-tech scanning machines

  40.Which of the following could be the best title for the text?

  [A] Asylum applications. [B] A worldwide decline。

  [C] A messy system. [D] From flood to trickle。


  Part A (40 points)

  21. D 22. A 23. B 24. C 25. B 26. C 27. D 28. B 29. C 30. B 31. D 32. C 33. A 34. C 35. C 36. A 37. C 38. B 39. C 40. D

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