Section A
Direction: In this section, you will hear two long conversations. At the end of each conversation, you will hear four questions. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet I with a single line through the centre.

Conversation 1
M: Have you decided what you wish to study?
W: Yes, professor. I wish to study architecture.
M: Ah, that’s a wonderful profession. Why did you choose it?
W: I gave a lot of thought to things you said during our last discussion, and I decided architecture made the most sense for me. In particular, I’m attracted to the marriage of design and engineering.
M: That’s great, but I seem to remember you were preoccupied with all the lofty mathematics. You no longer think this aspect will be too hard for you?
W: No. I was doing some online research and I think I should be able to manage. Math might be the toughest subject I encounter in the curriculum, but I’ll simply put in the work required. I’m certain the fruits of my labor will pay off.
M: I’m sure that’s true. Due to its material nature, architecture is one field where you will be able to clearly witness the contribution you make to a city. And the legacies you build will last much longer than any of us mortals.
W: Yeah, I guess that’s true too. So what subjects do you think I should start brushing up on in preparation? I have the whole summer.
M: These days, architecture is a very diverse and dynamic degree. Most universities will encourage you to learn different things from fields as wide-ranging as philosophy and economics. Nevertheless, I would suggest you start with computer science because there will be many intricate visuals you will have to produce as part of your projects.
W: Any software in particular you think I should start with?
M: Photoshop is a good place. If you aren’t yet, try to become as proficient as you can with it. And another thing that I would recommend you learn as much as you can is fine arts, in particular, the history of Western art.
Questions 1 to 4 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 1: Why does the woman wish to study architecture?
Question 2: How does the woman say she will overcome the difficulty in learning mathematics?
Question 3: What does the man say about architects’ contribution to a city?
Question 4: What subject does the man suggest the woman start with?

A) She is drawn to its integration of design and engineering.
B) She is influenced by her father who teaches architecture.
C) She is preoccupied with her dream to be an architect.
D) She is attracted to the beauty of modern buildings.

A) By taking prerequisite courses.
B) By studying the subject online.
C) With the professor’s help.
D) Through hard work.

A) It is immortal.
B) It is immaterial.
C) It is long-lasting.
D) It is groundbreaking.

A) Computer science.
B) Philosophy.
C) Economics.
D) Western art.

Conversation 2
W: So as I mentioned over the phone, we are looking for someone who is very discreet. I can’t stress this enough.
M: I fully understand.
W: As we all know, being such a famous football player at Real Madrid, Mr. Sanchez has a very high public profile. This means he cannot leave the house without being recognized and harassed.
M: Yes, I completely understand how imperative it would be to respect Mr. Sanchez’s private life.
W: Good. As his personal assistant, you would be required to run common everyday chores for Mr. Sanchez, things he cannot do himself due to his fame, like going to the supermarket or post office. So, well, at first sight it may appear that working for a celebrity is very glamorous. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m telling you this so that you don’t get any false expectations of what the job has to offer you.
M: Thanks. I understand this too. This is my first job after graduating from university. So frankly, I don’t have much prior working experience. I am, however, very excited about the prospect of joining this company and very keen to start from the bottom in whatever capacity I may be of use.
W: That’s good to hear. You sound very energetic. Tell me why do you think you are well suited for this job?
M: Well, firstly, I love football. I’m a lifelong Real Madrid supporter and go to their games every weekend I can. I would simply love to have a job where I’m involved in some capacity with Real Madrid, regardless of the position and salary. And secondly, I think what this company does in sports consultancy is very cool. And I think my language skills could prove very uscful down the road.
W: Please tell me more about your language skills.
M: I am fully fluent in English and Spanish and have a working proficiency in French.
Questions 5 to 8 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 5: What do we learn from the conversation about Mr. Sanchez?
Question 6: What will the man do if he gets the job?
Question 7: What does the man say about himself?
Question 8: Why does the man think he is a very competitive candidate?

A) He is a famous football coach.
B) He is well known to the public.
C) He has been guarded by a discreet assistant.
D) He has occasionally been harassed by his fans.

A) Help promote Mr. Sanchez’s public profile.
B) Run common daily chores for the woman.
C) Play a key role in Real Madrid.
D) Serve as a personal assistant.

A) He once worked part-time in university.
B) He is honest and always tells the truth.
C) He cares little about his working hours.
D) He has little previous work experience.

A) He has a natural capacity to cooperate with others.
B) He has a sound knowledge of sports consultancy.
C) He has a high proficiency in several languages.
D) He has a strong ability to connect with people.

Section B
Direction: In this section, you will hear two passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear three or four questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Passage 1
Adventure sports are undeniably attractive to many energetic and thrill-seeking kids. Sports like rock climbing, surfing, skiing, and mountain biking, thus have lots of appeal. They don’t have many of the rules and pressures of traditional team sports, but they still have all the benefits of outdoor physical activity.
When properly supervised, extreme sports can be a part of a healthy, balanced life. Some adventure sports may be associated with higher risks of injury, so it’s important for kids to figure out when to take risks, and when not to. Risk-free activities deprive kids of the opportunity to test themselves and overcome their fears. But to some, these very risks are what makes these sports a bad choice. They say that extreme sports can often lead to devastating injuries, especially as young thrill-seekers may attempt feats that are too advanced for them.
But let’s be real. Most kids do all kinds of dangerous stuff whether you want them to or not. Adventure sports have many of the same risks and dangers, but they have an additional sense of adventure, courage and autonomy that is important to foster in young children. As always, it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for their kids. But if you do decide that adventure sports are a bit too much, do try to introduce other forms of outdoor adventures into their lives. Camping under the stars, fishing, stargazing or even just playing in the woods can help a lot in building the same sense of self-confidence and risk-taking as in adventure sports.
Questions 9 to 11 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 9: Why do extreme sports appeal to many kids?
Question 10: What does the speaker say about risk-free activities?
Question 11: What should parents do if they decide adventure sports are a bit too much for their kids?

A) They have fewer rules and pressures.
B) They require less supervision and training.
C) They are more suitable to young people.
D) They bring more benefits to young people.

A) They prevent kids from enjoying adventure sports.
B) They rob kids of the chance to cultivate their courage.
C) They help kids guard against any possible injuries.
D) They deprive kids of the opportunity to develop team spirit.

A) Introduce them to these sports step by step.
B) Ask them to try some forms of indoor sports.
C) Let them participate in some less risky outdoor activities.
D) Help them take up these sports when they are more mature.

Passage 2
The shiny gadgets of today will be waste tomorrow. Manufacturers don’t talk much about this when they announce the big new thing that will replace your mostly just as good old thing. In fact, technology firms often purposely design devices that will not last long and cannot be repaired so that consumers will have to spend their money on a new one.
This year, the French government began requiring tech manufacturers to list a repairability score. If a device can be repaired, then its life can be extended, saving consumers money and the planet the burden of so many trashed gadgets. Equipped with this knowledge, consumers can make better choices about which products to buy.
Some 59 million tons of old TVs, computers, screens, smartphones, washers and other electronics are discarded every year. This waste is dangerous. Batteries explode in recycling facilities. Toxic substances like mercury leak into soil and groundwater and disperse in the air. Manufacturing flat screens adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We need tech companies to take the lead to solve this problem. If they won’t, governments must make them do so.
Although tech companies will often speak of environmental sustainability, many lobby against repair legislation, fearful it will eat into their profits. Sustainability matters, but marketable design appears to matter more to these companies. Consumers should support right-to-repair legislation. In this world, damage is a certainty. But we cannot leave things broken: A problem of our creation is a problem that can be fixed.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 12: Why did new products soon become waste?
Question 13: What did the French government require tech companies to do to help consumers make better choices?
Question 14: What should tech companies do to help ensure environmental sustainability?
Question 15: What does the speaker think of the problem of waste?

A) Manufacturers use effective strategies to promote fancier products.
B) Tech firms intentionally design products to have short lifespans.
C) Such products tend to comprise parts that are irreplaceable.
D) Consumers often have a craving for the latest model.

A) Detail the life cycle of their products.
B) Specify the major parts of their products.
C) List a repairability score of their products.
D) Indicate the competitiveness of their products.

A) Take due caution in upgrading their products.
B) Substitute all toxic substances with non-toxic ones.
C) Invest in constructing more recycling facilities.
D) Take the initiative to reduce electronic waste.

A) It can be solved.
B) It is certain to worsen.
C) It is unavoidable in the long run.
D) It will be fixed by tech companies.

Section C
Direction: In this section, you will hear three recordings of lectures or talks followed by three or four questions. The recordings will be played only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Recording 1
On average, US workers spend about 10% of their workday surfing the internet, emailing friends or shopping online. This behavior, called cyberloafing, is believed to cost employers up to $85 billion a year in lost productivity.
The majority of cyberloafing research focuses on ways to prevent employees from engaging in this behavior through interventions such as internet monitoring and computer use policies. But it turns out, such behaviors may not be a sign that a worker is lazy or just wasting time. Social media use at work has been linked to higher levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction. New research suggests cyberloafing can help workers cope with an exceptionally stressful work environment.
But is cyberloafing actually effective at reducing employee stress levels? That’s the question my research team wanted to answer in our new study. Our hypothesis was that cyberloafing may serve as a mini-break, giving employees an opportunity to recover from stressful work situations. To test this, we asked workers to complete an online survey and rank how much time they spent cyberloafing, checking non-work emails and shopping. We also asked them to rank job satisfaction, their desire to quit, and how often they’ve experienced mistreatment at work, such as being bullied, threatened or yelled at. As you might expect, we found that overall, more mistreatment at work was correlated with lower levels of job satisfaction and a greater desire to quit. More interestingly, we found that cyberloafing effectively buffered this connection. That is, mistreated workers who spent more time surfing the web and checking emails reported higher job satisfaction and were less likely to want to quit than similar participants who didn’t cyberloaf as much. This suggests that cyberloafing acts as a sort of relief valve for workers, helping them recover from stressful experiences.
While we did not directly assess how cyberloafing affects worker performance, we believe by relieving stress it may not only reduce worker turnover, but also ultimately bolster productivity. This fits with other recent research that suggests taking short breaks is associated with higher levels of daily job performance. That isn’t to say cyberloafing is always good. Too much time spent on non-work activities likely causes performance to suffer. All in all, managers should be more lenient with employees. We believe a bit of online shopping or surfing the internet at work could make workers more productive in the long run.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 16: What does most cyberloafing research focus on?
Question 17: What was the hypothesis of the speaker’s research team?
Question 18: On what point do the results of the speaker’s study agree with other recent research?

A) How internet monitoring can be implemented.
B) How to prevent employees from cyberloafing.
C) How cyberloafing affects overall productivity.
D) How to encourage productive internet surfing.

A) Overuse of social media may lead to decline in productivity.
B) Employee engagement is closely related to job satisfaction.
C) Cyberloafing may relieve employees of stress.
D) Cyberloafing is a sign of workers’ laziness.

A) Taking mini-breaks means better job performance.
B) Cyberloafing generally does more harm than good.
C) Employees who indulge in internet surfing are most likely to quit.
D) Worker turnover is linked to the time allowed for cyberloafing.

Recording 2
When Julius Morton moved to Nebraska City in 1854, he faced a problem shared by many settlers in the territory: It was a treeless plain. That meant no trees for building materials, or for fuel. But Morton was one of the world’s first conservationists, stating, “For prosperity, we ought to plant as many forests as we have exhausted and consumed”. So he started planting trees, beginning with his own land. By 1860 Morton possessed a forest of more than 300 trees. A few years later, he had more than 1,000.
As the forest grew, so did Morton’s influence in Nebraska. This was largely because Morton founded the Nebraska City News, the state’s first newspaper, in which he frequently wrote editorials about the practical and aesthetic benefits of tree planting. He also organized the Nebraska State Gardening Society and served on the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture.
While serving on the Board, Morton came up with an idea to spread his belief in tree planting statewide. On January 4, 1872, Morton drafted a resolution that April 10 be designated day for the planting of trees in the State of Nebraska and urged people to go out and plant trees themselves.
Morton called the special event Arbor Day as “arbor” is Latin for “tree”. The state government agreed. And on April 10, 1872, the first unofficial Arbor Day was celebrated throughout Nebraska. Prizes were awarded to counties, cities, and individuals who planted the largest number of trees. That day, an astounding one million trees were planted in Nebraska — an average of more than six for every man, woman and child in the state. Since 1885, Nebraska has planted more than 700,000 acres of trees, earning it the nickname “the Tree Planters State”.
Arbor Day became a legal, civic holiday in the state in 1885. It was held on April 22 — Julius Morton’s birthday. In addition to a parade in NebraskaCity, Morton introduced what has since become a long-standing Arbor Day tradition: Schoolchildren went outside and planted trees together.
In 1970, nearly a century after Arbor Day was first celebrated, President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday of every April to be observed as National Arbor Day. All 50 states recognize the April observance, although many hold an additional state Arbor Day in a month more suited to local tree planting.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 19: What does the speaker say about Nebraska City in 1854 when Julius Morton moved there?
Question 20: What did Julius Morton do that increased his influence in Nebraska City?
Question 21: What does the speaker say happened on April 10,1872?

A) There were environmental problems.
B) There were no wooden buildings.
C) There were few settlers.
D) There were no trees.

A) He urged the state to start the Nebraska State Gardening Society.
B) He founded a newspaper and used it to promote his ideas.
C) He engaged himself in a large number of aesthetic projects.
D) He served as chairman of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture.

A) Nebraska earned the nickname “the Tree Planters State”.
B) The state government declared it the official Arbor Day.
C) One million trees were planted throughout Nebraska.
D) A special prize was awarded to Julius Morton.

Recording 3
Modern humans arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago. They then spread across Europe and Asia sometime after 60,000 years ago. This is the “Out of Africa” model, as it’s commonly known. In the 1990s, the hypothesis found widespread acceptance. But this popular idea is in need of revision, particularly given the number of important findings across Asia over the past few decades.
For instance, many new human fossils found, particularly in China, are now dated as older than 60,000 years. This calls into question the idea that modern humans migrated out of Africa only 60,000 years ago. Take the recent discovery of two modern human teeth found in the Luna cave in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. When my research team and I dated these teeth, we found they were more than 70,000 years olda situation clearly impossible if modern humans moved out of Africa only 60,000 years ago.
So with such findings, what happened exactly? Where does the most current data suggest we came from?
The first question we should ask is why did modern humans leave Africa to begin with? If a population is perfectly adapted to a particular environment and has access to an abundance of resources, then there really is no reason to move or change. For instance, some monkeys in Africa have a set of teeth that has hardly changed over the course of millions of years, indicating that they found a place that has worked for them.
So what happened with humans? Some researchers have suggested that population density increased to the point where smaller human groups were forced to explore new lands. Other researchers have suggested that due to major environmental events in East Africa, humans were prompted to find greener pastures. Yet another explanation could simply be that early modern human hunters were following the large animals that they relied on, and so they moved out of Africa without realizing that they were actually moving from one continent to another.
Humans need daily access to reliable fresh water, which appears to be absent from many coastal areas. This brings us to another question: by which route did modern humans move out of Africa? No clear routes across the Mediterranean from North Africa appear to be present, so the earlier dispersals out of Africa and into Europe and Asia might have been across the Arabian Peninsula.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 22: What do we learn about modern humans according to the hypothesis commonly accepted in the 1990s?
Question 23: What has called into question the “Out of Africa” model?
Question 24: What does the speaker want to show with the example of some monkeys in Africa?
Question 25: What question does the speaker raise close to the end of the talk?

A) They lived mostly in Africa for about 200,000 years.
B) They moved out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.
C) They preferred to live in Europe rather than in Asia.
D) They spread across Europe and Asia in a few decades.

A) The Luna cave in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
B) The human fossils discovered most recently in Africa.
C) The traces of human migration out of Africa to Asia.
D) The discovery of two modern human teeth in China.

A) There must have been some reason for human migration.
B) Humans had access to abundant food sources there.
C) Humans adapted themselves to the environment there.
D) There have been changes in animals’ living conditions.

A) When modern humans started to disperse out of Africa.
B) How humans settled down on the Arabian Peninsula.
C) Why fresh water is so important for human survival.
D) What path modern humans took to migrate out of Africa.



Section A
Direction: In this section, you will hear two long conversations. At the end of each conversation, you will hear four questions. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet I with a single line through the centre.

Conversation 1
M: Hi, Lily, how’s the new apartment?
W: It’s okay.
M: What? How can it be just okay when last week you were thrilled about the place and kept posting photos of it online?
W: Well, last week when I moved in, the apartment seemed cozy, just the right size for one person. But now it just seems tiny, shabby and solitary.
M: Ah, that’s the problem. You miss your roommates from university, don’t you?
W: I’m going to sound like an idiot, because I used to complain to you all the time about how crowded our dormitory room was, and about all the things they did to irritate me like watching movies late at night without headphones, or talking loudly early in the morning. But now I miss them terribly.
M: Of course you do. That’s perfectly normal. When I got my first place I remember thinking I couldn’t wait to live by myself and get away from my juvenile roommates and all their annoying habits. But then I began missing them and feeling lonely and thinking that our dormitory was like paradise, even though there were six of us guys in one small room.
W: I thought it was just me who felt like that.
M: Look, you lived at home with us, and then you had three roommates, and this is your first time living alone. So it’s hard. But your first apartment is a milestone in your life, and you should celebrate it. Tell me about the apartment.
W: Actually, it’s not bad. In fact, it’s pretty adorable, now that I have decorated it and it has everything I need. I have a kitchen to cook in and a bathroom all to myself, and then another room with my bed at one end, and a sofa, a small table and chairs at the other end.
M: That does sound adorable and I can’t wait to see it, and neither can mom and dad.
Questions 1 to 4 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 1: What was the woman’s first impression of the apartment?
Question 2: Why does the woman say she is going to sound like an idiot?
Question 3: What do we learn about the man when he left the dormitory to live on his own?
Question 4: What does the man say he can’t wait to do?

A) It was spacious and tranquil.
B) It was warm and comfortable.
C) It was shabby and solitary.
D) It was tiny and noisy.

A) She no longer hates people talking loudly in the dorm.
B) She misses her roommates she used to complain about.
C) She begins to enjoy the movies she once found irritating.
D) She finds the crowded dorm as cozy as her new apartment.

A) He found the apartment perfectly furnished.
B) He had a feeling of despair and frustration.
C) He had a similar feeling to the woman’s.
D) He felt the new place was like paradise.

A) Go to see the woman’s apartment.
B) Make a phone call to his parents.
C) Buy some furniture for the woman.
D) Decorate the woman’s apartment.

Conversation 2
W: Welcome to our program Book Talk. Our guest today is Frank Jones, a critic of our education system, and the author of a new book, How to Reform Our Universities.
M: Hello, Susan.
W: Frank, you support radically changing universities in America?
M: Yes, I believe that the purpose of higher education is to prepare young people to enter the workforce, and that our current system fails to do this. We’re allocating too many resources to disciplines that don’t match the needs of employers.
W: I think your attitude to education is a bit cynical, Frank. Surely the purpose of university is to prepare young people to participate fully in civic life, rather than just to find well-paid jobs.
M: Susan, many young graduates struggle to find any job, let alone a good one. The job market is grim, particularly for students who study the arts.
W: I agree that it isn’t easy for young people to find work, but you propose closing down all departments that aren’t directly related to science and technology. Is that really the solution?
M: You’re overstating my point. My argument is that we need to use more of our budget on areas like science and engineering. To do that, we need to take money from subjects like literature and music.
W: But the arts have value. They’re an important part of our culture. Studying literature or music or sculpture might not result in a job in that area, but it helps young people to think about the world in a deeper way, which makes them better citizens and makes for a better society.
M: I agree that the arts are valuable to society, but it’s naive to think that not only the most talented, but all students should study them at university level. The arts are very competitive, and most graduates will end up with a great deal of debt, obtaining a degree that has little value on the job market.
Questions 5 to 8 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 5: What do we learn from the conversation about the man?
Question 6: What does the man believe is the problem with the current American system of higher education?
Question 7: How should the education budget be allocated according to the man?
Question 8: What does the woman say the arts can do?

A) He works as a literary critic.
B) He hosts an educational program.
C) He has initiated a university reform.
D) He has published a book recently.

A) It fails to keep up with the radical changes of society.
B) It fails to ensure universities get sufficient resources.
C) It has not prepared young people for the job market.
D) It has not fostered the growth of the arts disciplines.

A) More of the budget should go to science and technology.
B) The underfunded music discipline should be prioritized.
C) Subdisciplines like sculpture should get more funding.
D) Literature should get as much funding as engineering.

A) Build a prosperous nation.
B) Make skilled professionals.
C) Create ingenious artists.
D) Cultivate better citizens.

Section B
Direction: In this section, you will hear two passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear three or four questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Passage 1
Do you ever have the annoying feeling that you don’t have time to really think anymore? You’re not alone. A variety of factors have conspired to rob us of time for reflection about ourselves and our lives. Today, our preoccupied minds are rarely silent. The average person receives hundreds of texts and voice messages a day, and holidays for many of us are action-packed weeks, more likely full of family activities than opportunities for tranquility and contemplation.
Regular reflection, however, underlies all great professionals. It’s a prerequisite for you to recharge your mental batteries see things in a new light and tap into your creativity. Almost all of the great advisors that I have studied have found ways to get away from it all and contemplate their life and work. Some researchers in the field of creativity, in fact, believe that insight occurs during the reflection and relaxation that follows a period of intense activity. Schedule time for reflection about your work, or a particular project you’re engaged in. I usually block out half an hour. Don’t answer the phone; push your papers to the side; sketch; make lists; draw mind maps of ideas that come to you. At the end, write down any emerging ideas. When you’re alone, stop worrying and think. A lot of our down time is spent worrying about troublesome things in our lives or fantasizing about how we’d like our lives to be. Revisit things during moments of relaxation, after a period of intense work. This is when we are the most creative.
Questions 9 to 11 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 9: What do we learn about the feeling that one doesn’t have time to think anymore?
Question 10: What trait do all great professionals share?
Question 11: What do some researchers believe is conducive to creative ideas?

A) It is quite common.
B) It is rarely noticed.
C) It seldom annoys people.
D) It occurs when one is alone.

A) Seeing things in black and white.
B) Engaging in regular contemplation.
C) Having a special understanding of creativity.
D) Knowing how to make their mental batteries work.

A) Engaging in intense activity.
B) Fantasizing in one’s down time.
C) Working on a particular project.
D) Reflecting during one’s relaxation.

Passage 2
Even before Colorado was a state, it had post offices. The first opened in 1859 in a settlement founded by migrants searching for gold. Life could be unpredictable at West – gold failed to appear, drought ruined farmers and settlers clashed with Native Americans. On the settlement’s location, now stands a sprawling university campus. Amid all the changes, one feature remained constant – the postal service. The maps tracing America’s westward expansion are telling. In 1864, there were few postal branches on land controlled by Native Americans, which still accounted for most of the West. Over the next 25 years, post offices grew quickly. Colonization of the West could be regarded as a result of big government rather than pioneers. As federal subsidies and land grants tempted people into the deserts and plains, the post kept them connected. In the mid-19th century, the post office department was far from a centralized bureaucracy. To keep up with migration patterns, postal services were added to existing businesses. The federal government commissioned private wagons to carry the mail. Short-term contracts were granted to local businessmen to act as postmasters. These partnerships enabled the mail to quickly follow migrants, helping knit together remote parts of the country. Mr. Blevins, a digital historian, wrote a book on the history of the US postal service, he used data science to analyze historical trends. Most strikingly, he built an accompanying website, complete with interactive maps. They show readers how, within a generation the postal service helped colonize a continent. These online interactive maps illustrate the formative power of snail mail.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 12: What does the passage say about Colorado before it became a state?
Question 13: How did the postal service contribute to America’s westward expansion?
Question 14: What did the federal government do to meet the increasing demand for the postal service in the West?
Question 15: What did Mr. Blevins do to study the history of the US postal service?

A) Farmers helped Native Americans grow crops.
B) There were expansive university campuses.
C) There existed post offices.
D) Migrants found gold there.

A) It helped to boost the economy in the American West.
B) It provided job opportunities for many gold seekers.
C) It extended the influence of the federal government.
D) It kept people in the deserts and plains connected.

A) It employed Native Americans to work as postmen.
B) It commissioned private wagons to carry the mail.
C) It subsidized the locals who acted as postmasters.
D) It centralized postal services in its remote areas.

A) He analyzed interactive maps of mail routes.
B) He read a large collection of books on the topic.
C) He examined its historical trends with data science.
D) He collected data about its impact on local business.

Section C
Direction: In this section, you will hear three recordings of lectures or talks followed by three or four questions. The recordings will be played only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Recording 1
In last week’s lecture, we discussed reasons why people forget things. This week, we will discuss a surprising reason why we might remember some things – anxiety. Think about something as simple as buying a coffee. That may not seem like an experience that would make a deep impression on your memory, but anxiety could change that. In fact, a new study suggests that people with higher anxiety levels might remember certain information better than people with lower anxiety levels. That’s because higher levels of anxiety may make people more susceptible to negative feelings, putting them in a more negative state of mind. That in turn may make them able to better remember some events. Let’s take a closer look at that new study now. In this study, the researchers started by giving 80 undergraduate students an anxiety test. The test measured the participants’ anxiety levels over the preceding two weeks. Then, to test memory, the participants were shown a series of neutral words, one at a time. Some of the words were printed on to photos of negative scenes, meaning images that could affect their emotions negatively, such as a photo of a car accident or a cemetery. The rest of the words were printed on to photos of neutral scenes, such as a photo of a lake or trees. Neutral words included words like “table” or “desk” that don’t elicit emotion. Later, the participants were asked to think back to the words they were shown earlier, which caused them to reenter either a negative or a neutral mindset. The participants were then presented with another set of neutral words, and their memory of these new words was tested. The researchers found that the new words presented to people in a negative mindset were better remembered by people with higher levels of anxiety than those with lower levels of anxiety. In other words, when highly anxious individuals took in otherwise emotionally neutral information that was presented to them, it became colored by their negative mindset, making them remember the information better. But these same effects were not seen in people with low levels of anxiety. Previous studies have found that extreme levels of anxiety, such as those experienced by people diagnosed with an anxiety disordercan be quite detrimental to memory and cognitive performance. But the highly anxious people in this study represent individuals who are managing their anxiety and for whom anxiety is not a serious problem.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 16: What does the speaker say the new study suggests?
Question 17: What did researchers do first in the new study?
Question 18: What do we learn from previous studies about anxiety?

A) Higher levels of anxiety may improve people’s memory.
B) Some experiences are easier to remember than others.
C) Most people tend to remember things selectively.
D) Simple things may leave a deep impression on one’s memory.

A) They classified the participants mindset.
B) They showed some photos to the participants.
C) They measured the participants anxicty levels.
D) They tested the size of the participants’ vocabulary.

A) Anxiety has become a serious problem for an increasing number of people.
B) Extreme levels of anxiety can adversely affect cognitive performance.
C) People diagnosed with anxiety disorder may forget things selectively.
D) There is no direct correlation between memory and levels of anxiety.

Recording 2
Over the past 20 years, the internet has gradually become a dominant feature of our lives. It has changed how we communicate with each other, and it has definitely transformed the way we do business with each other. Marketing has also changed in a number of ways. For instance, in the past consumers had to call a phone number and patiently wait on hold, in order to get the information they wanted. Today, they want the information immediately. They’ll go to the company’s social media page and post comments and questions, expecting to receive an immediate response. If they don’t get their questions answered soon, they’ll move on to another company that will answer them quickly. Marketing departments today need to follow technological development. For example this year’s smartphone is smarter than last year’s; self-driving cars are now on the road. Marketers have to do research on which technologies are coming into being. Otherwise they risk being left behind in the virtual dust. Marketing has also changed due to the importance of video. Pcople don’t just want to read text, they want to watch things happening. Companies now have to explore how they can use video on a consistent basis to share information about their businesses. Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to shoot something these days. All you need is a smartphone. But what’s the result of all this? Shorter attention spans. We are the same people that we were 20 years ago. Not only have we grown accustomed to getting the information we want instantaneously, our attention spans are much shorter. If something doesn’t capture our attention within a few seconds, we’re on to the next piece of content. Marketers need to figure out ways to speak directly to the customer’s emotions and they need to figure out how to do that as quickly as possible. Once people are emotionally engaged, they’ll stick with you. If marketing has changed this much in the past 20 years, imagine what the next 20 years will bring. In a recent survey, only 9% of marketers could say with confidence that their marketing efforts were actually working. Their confidence is being shaken, because the rules of the game change every year. That’s why it’s important for marketers to pay attention to the latest technological developments and consider collaborating with technological innovators. That way, they’ll be moving at the same pace as the tech industry.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 19: What does the speaker say about today’s consumers?
Question 20: How do marketers capture consumers’ attention as quickly as possible?
Question 21: What does the speaker suggest marketers do to meet future challenges?

A) They compare products from different companies before making a choice.
B) They get information from other consumers’ postings and comments.
C) They lose patience when their phone call is no promptly answered.
D) They expect to get instantaneous responses to their inquiry.

A) Giving them rewards on the spot.
B) Broadening their scope of interest.
C) Speaking directly to their emotions.
D) Focusing on the details of the product.

A) Change the rules of the game in the market every year.
B) Keep up with the latest technological developments.
C) Learn from technological innovators to do business.
D) Make greater efforts to build up consumers’ confidence.

Recording 3
You might be surprised to learn that the benefits of friendships extend beyond people’s social life and into their work, which is interesting when considering the extent to which people sacrifice friendships, or at least the time they spend with friends, because of the extended hours they’re devoting to work. Just last week, I was remarking to a colleague that I’m content with only one social engagement per week. But according to recent research, that’s evidently not enough. In an initial study of more than 700 respondents, scholars from an American university analyzed the impact that friends, as opposed to family, have on self-esteem and well-being. Friends came out substantially on top. That’s because to be someone’s mate is a voluntary act, unlike family who people rarely get to choose. The researchers found that when people choose to cultivate and maintain supportive friendships with an individual, it means that the person is valued and worthy of their limited time. Such sentiments of value and worthiness boost our self-esteem. The second study comprised more than 300 participants. It proved that the better we feel about ourselves, the more likely we’ll perform our job confidently and competently. This follow-up study found that non-work friends even improve people’s job satisfaction. They have as much of an impact on how much they love their jobs as do the friends they have at work, despite not actually being at our place of work. These types of friends tend to be our preferred outlet for venting about work-related matters. This is an avenue that may not be available at the office. So even though friendships can be easy to neglect when confronted by pressures at work, or even pressures at home, neglecting our friends can turn out to be harmful and counterproductive. That’s why, when determining how to create a better work-life balance, we need to consider not only how to balance work and family demands, but also how to cultivate and sustain supportive friendships. It’s for this reason that managers should never discriminate when it comes to requests from employees for flexible work arrangements. It’s irrelevant whether their need for a desired schedule is due to, say, parenting responsibilities or a craving to hang out with the best mate. What matters is the opportunity to engage in a nourishing activity outside of work. That will definitely have a follow-on effect at work.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the recording you have just heard.
Question 22: What does the speaker say is interesting?
Question 23: What did researchers from an American university analyze in their initial study?
Question 24: What did the second study find about non-work friends?
Question 25: What does the speaker suggest managers do?

A) People have only one social engagement per week.
B) Working together enhances friendship.
C) Few people have devoted friends.
D) Friendships benefit work.

A) The impact of friends on people’s self-esteem.
B) How supportive friends can be in the workplace.
C) How to boost one’s sense of value and worthiness.
D) The role of family ties in people’s mental well-being.

A) They show little interest in their friends’ work.
B) They tend to be much more difficult to make.
C) They are more trustworthy and reliable.
D) They increase people’s job satisfaction.

A) Allow employees to have a flexible work schedule.
B) Encourage employees to be friends with colleagues.
C) Help employees balance work and family responsibilities.
D) Organize activities to nourish friendships outside of work.



Section A
Direction: In this section, you will hear three news reports. At the end of each news report, you will hear two or three questions. Both the news report and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

News Report 1
Police have reported a man being bitten by a 4-foot snake when he lifted his toilet seat on Sunday morning. The snake was not poisonous, so the man did not have to go to the hospital, but his arm was medically treated at the scene.
The police officer interviewed told news reporters the snake didn’t belong to the man, and it was unclear how it got into the apartment. The snake was eventually captured by the local animal handlers and taken to an animal hospital afterward. It was being treated for an outer skin infection. It was unclear who the owner was. The snake may be taken to a local zoo for care if the owner does not come forward.
Over the years, other creatures like frogs and fish have found their way into toilets. But this was the first instance of a snake in recent years.
Questions 1 and 2 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Question 1: What do we learn from the police report?
Question 2: What does the report say was still unclear?

A) A man was bitten by a snake.
B) A man was taken to a hospital.
C) A man kept a 4-foot snake as a pet.
D) A man fell off his toilet seat.

A) Where the snake had been taken.
B) Whether the snake was infected.
C) How the snake was captured.
D) Who owned the snake.

News Report 2
Every week since last April, Andrea Belcher has been doing something slightly unusual and amusing when she takes out her trash.
It all started off when a movie star shared a photo of herself putting her trash bins out in a ball gown. This inspired Andrea to get dressed up to take out the trash.
She was too embarrassed to do it during the day. So one dark evening, she put on her black off-the-shoulder gown and put her trash bin out. Her daughter filmed it and the whole family laughed, but it seemed to go down well.
The following weeks she found other outfits in her dressing-up box, and dressed up as different characters and famous people, sharing her exploits on social media. Before long, people started offering up their own fancy dresses for her to wear. And before she knew it, she had done 20 weeks.
Explaining why she has kept up the videos, Andrea explained how nice it was to have a little bit of fun and craziness that made people smile. Besides, it also helps to remind people in the community to put out their trash bins each week.
Questions 3 and 4 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Question 3: What has Andrea Belcher been doing since last April?
Question 4: Why has Andrea Belcher kept up her videos?

A) Taking her trash out in fancy dresses.
B) Amusing herself by going to ball parties.
C) Sharing her photos with famous movie stars.
D) Posting her daughter’s photos on social media.

A) To make herself popular.
B) To amuse people.
C) To please her daughter.
D) To record her achievements.

News Report 3
No money but still hungry? No problem. Welcome to Frank’s restaurant where customers are paying for meals and leaving receipts on a board. Anyone who is hungry and wants something to eat can take one, no questions asked and hand it to staff for some food.
The idea for the board of free meals started after a donor came in with $100 for each member of its staff. After two staffers returned their share, there was $700 leftover, according to Tarah Morris, the owner of the restaurant. So they decided to do something more by creating the board.
The board of free meals inside the restaurant shows a host of potential meals already paid for by customers, each costing about $10. The board has messages of kindness like, “If you want more kindness in the world, put it here.”
The drive has been going on for two weeks and Morris said just under 50 customers have picked up a free meal. There have been no reports of anyone taking advantage of the situation. In fact, there are a lot more people giving tickets than receiving. It seems people want to help and are driven by helping others.
Questions 5 to 7 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Question 5: What can people do at Frank’s restaurant?
Question 6: What does the owner of the restaurant say about the idea for the board of free meals?
Question 7: What has happened at Frank’s restaurant since the board of free meals was created?

A) Eat as much as they want for $10.
B) Have a chance of winning a $100 prize.
C) Have a meal even if they have no money.
D) Get a free meal after answering some questions.

A) It was brought up by two staffers.
B) It helped to popularize her restaurant.
C) It originated from a donation to her staff.
D) It was suggested by some of her customers.

A) Fifty customers have offered donations.
B) More people have been giving than taking.
C) Many people have come to eat at the restaurant.
D) Most staffers have received messages of kindness.

Section B
Direction: In this section, you will hear two long conversations. At the end of each conversation, you will hear four questions. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Conversation 1
W: Welcome to our program, Friends and Relationships. Our guest today is psychologist Steve Pinker from McGill University.
M: Glad to be here, Jane.
W: Hi Steve. Our question today is why friends suddenly disappear. They may block us on their social media accounts and stop responding to our emails. They simply vanish without a trace.
M: The answer may lie in childhood the way the person related to their mum and dad. It’s related to their attachment styles.
W: Attachment styles?
M: Yeah. There are two different attachment styles: an anxious attachment style and an avoidant attachment style. When there is a relationship breakdown with their parents, children with an anxious attachment style scream and cry to get their parents to come back. But other children simply shut down and try to deal with their emotions by ignoring the situation. And these attachment styles carry on into adulthood.
W: Does avoidance reduce their stress levels?
M: Not really. Their stress levels are actually the same as those experienced by the children who yell and scream.
W: And I assume both might be turned insecure.
W: Exactly. And it’s a very insecure attachment.
W: How does an insecure attachment affect relationships between friends, co-workers, and romantic relationships?
M: It’s the same as conflicts. So, if you have a disagreement with a securely attached person, they’re not going to panic. They’re able to hear what the other person is saying and express their own feelings and thoughts effectively. However, an insecurely attached person won’t. They might either attack you, get defensive, or just disappear from your life. To them, a difference, no matter how small in your eyes, signals the end of the relationship.
W: That explains why they suddenly disappear.
Questions 8 to 11 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 8: What do we learn about the man?
Question 9: What are the speakers mainly talking about?
Question 10: How do children with an anxious attachment style react to a breakdown in their relationship with parents?
Question 11: What does the man say about insecurely attached people?

A) He is a psychologist.
B) He is a famous writer.
C) He is a host for a TV program.
D) He is a primary school teacher.

A) Why social media accounts vanish without a trace.
B) Why parents raise their children in different ways.
C) Why people fail to respond to emails promptly.
D) Why friends break off contact all of a sudden.

A) They simply shut themselves down.
B) They avoid showing their emotions.
C) They scream to get their parents back.
D) They attempt to ignore the whole situation.

A) They may regard any difference as the end of a relationship.
B) They are on better terms with friends and romantic partners.
C) They try to express their feelings and thoughts effectively.
D) They attach more value to their relationships with others.

Conversation 2
M: I hear you’re going to Japan soon.
W: Yes, that’s right.
W: Could I ask you a favor?
W: Sure. What is it?
M: I was wondering if you could get me some jeans while you’re there. I’ll pay you back, of course.
W: A pair of jeans? Okay. I don’t see why not, but what’s wrong with jeans here?
M: Well, I just love good jeans and Japan happens to make the best in the world. My friend brought me a pair from there five years ago, and they still look new.
W: Really? I had no idea Japan made jeans. I would have thought America made the best jeans because it’s a typical American garment.
M: Yeah, I thought so too. But it tums out Japan still has some very old mills with the traditional weaving tools used to make jeans the original way. It’s a slower process of making clothing. But the end result is surely superior. Also, the fabric they use is of a higher quality and the dyes are natural. They have a denser weave and are more durable than any other genes in the world.
W: That sounds cool. What size do you want and how much are they?
M: I have a 34 waist and size 30 or 32 in length. Either is fine. They should be around $500. But make double certain they are made in Japan.
W: $500? Boy, that’s expensive. Do you typically spend that much on a pair of casual trousers?
M: They are a little pricey, yes. But they are very special. Bear in mind they will last me several years and they are very fashionable too. I think they’re totally worth it.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 12: What makes the man choose to buy jeans made in Japan?
Question 13: Why is the woman puzzled by the man’s request?
Question 14: What does the man say about the dyes of Japanese jeans?
Question 15: What does the man say about Japanese jeans at the end of the conversation?

A) Their price.
B) Their color.
C) Their quality.
D) Their design.

A) Jeans are a typical American garment.
B) America makes the best-known brands of jeans.
C) America has the best weaving tools in the world.
D) Jeans are available in a greater variety in America.

A) They are artificial.
B) They are natural.
C) They are unique.
D) They are special.

A) They are for casual wearing.
B) They are popular with boys.
C) They are much too pricey.
D) They are worth the price.

Section C
Direction: In this section, you will hear three passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear three or four questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Passage 1
Every time I walk out of a superhero movie, I feel the same way. I experience a sense of longing, realizing that there should be more in life. The desire for adventure is a human one. Superhero films capture this desire perfectly.
The plot of each superhero film has become relatively predictable. The world is in peril. The world needs a hero. The hero is in peril. The hero resolves the peril. The hero saves the world. Each film has an attractive lead, several expensive explosions, a few jokes to lighten the mood, and numerous punches that land unrealistically well. Even though we basically know what will happen, we keep coming back for more.
The elites of our society have rejected superhero films. They say the films lack any form of artistry. These movies are criticized as being too simple, but they give the fans what they want – entertainment.
No matter the form in which they reveal themselves, hero stories will always be present in life. It’s not just about being entertained, but also being inspired. One author has mentioned that women desire to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure. Most young women want to be a part of something grand, something important. It seems clear that this principle applies to men, as well. So next time you see your favorite superhero film, be entertained, but also be inspired. Let that small longing you feel motivates you to make a difference.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 16: How does the speaker feel every time he walks out of a superhero movie?
Question 17: What does the passage say about the plot of all superhero movies?
Question 18: What do the elites of American society think of superhero movies?

A) He desires more in life.
B) He wants to see it again.
C) He feels as inspired as other audience members.
D) He longs to become a superstar himself.

A) It is rather unrealistic.
B) It is extremely artistic.
C) It is somewhat complicated.
D) It is relatively predictable.

A) They are biased against women.
B) They are basically misleading.
C) They are full of shootings.
D) They are too simple.

Passage 2
Telling stories is one of the most powerful means leaders have to influence, teach and inspire. Storytelling forges connections among people. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand instinctively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind.
This understanding also holds true in the business world, where an organization’s stories, and the stories its leaders tell, helps solidify relationships in a way that factual statements don’t.
Good stories do more than create a sense of connection. They build familiarity and trust. They allow the listener to enter the story, making them more open to learning. Good stories can contain multiple meanings so they’re surprisingly economical in conveying complex ideas in graspable ways. And stories are more engaging than the recital of data points or a discussion of abstract ideas.
Stories about professional mistakes and what leaders learned from them are another great avenue for learning. Because people identify so closely with stories, they can imagine how they would have acted in similar circumstances. They’re able to work through situations in a way that’s risk-free.
There are extra benefits for leaders. With a simple personal story, they can convey fundamental values. They can offer insight into the evolution of their own experience and knowledge, presenting themselves as more approachable. And then they are more likely to inspire others to want to know more.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 19: What does the passage say about storytelling?
Question 20: What can good stories do to listeners according to the passage?
Question 21: What can leaders do with a simple personal story?

A) It can highlight leadership.
B) It can help connect people.
C) It is a means to inspire creative thinking.
D) It is an intuitive way to solidify friendship.

A) Allow them to recite data points.
B) Make them more open to learning.
C) Enable them to remember the main idea.
D) Stimulate them to engage in discussions.

A) Inspire listeners’ imagination.
B) Enrich their own experience.
C) Convey fundamental values.
D) Explain insightful ideas.

Passage 3
The U.S. was founded by successive waves of immigrants, and immigrants are still contributing to America today – statistics prove it. On two key measures of financial performance, immigrants outperform native-born Americans.
First, they’re more likely to be entrepreneurs. From 1996 to 2016, the pace at which immigrants started businesses was double that of U.S.-born individuals. Immigrants aren’t just becoming entrepreneurs more frequently. They are often succeeding. Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies had a founder who was either an immigrant or the child of one.
Another key measure of financial strength is debt level. Immigrants do better in this area too. Immigrants use credit less often for purchasing cars, homes, or starting businesses. This results in significantly lower levels of debt than native-born Americans. For example, 34% of Americans born in Latin America report no credit card or installment loan debt. This can be compared to just 19% of the general population.
Why are immigrants doing so well? The values and habits they bring from their own homelands help explain some of the success.
Unemployment tends to be higher in developing countries. That means more people must become entrepreneurs. Credit is also scarcer in most developing countries. This means individuals must save more in order to achieve their goals, or they borrow money from friends and family rather than a bank. That means less debt and potentially better credit outcomes when they reach the U.S.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 22: What does the passage say statistics prove?
Question 23: What do we learn about immigrants in the U.S., compared with native-born Americans?
Question 24: What does the passage say about immigrants in the U.S. in terms of financial strength?
Question 25: What do immigrants do to achieve their goals in the U.S.?

A) Immigrants outnumber U.S.-born Americans.
B) Immigrants have been contributing to the U.S.
C) Another wave of immigrants is hitting the U.S.
D) The number of immigrants to the U.S. is declining.

A) More of them expect their children to succeed in business.
B) They have fewer chances to be hired by U.S. companies.
C) They have founded most Fortune 500 companies.
D) More of them are successful business people.

A) They have higher installment loan debt than native-born Americans.
B) Nineteen percent of them borrow money from friends and family.
C) Their level of debt is lower than that of native-born Americans.
D) Thirty-four percent of them use credit for their daily purchases.

A) Keep their traditional values and old habits.
B) Find employment in competitive businesses.
C) Borrow money from financial institutions.
D) Collaborate with native-born Americans.



Section A
Direction: In this section, you will hear three news reports. At the end of each news report, you will hear two or three questions. Both the news report and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

News Report 1
A woman was charged with allegedly violating a Rhode Island city law against feeding wild animals. The 55-year-old woman’s neighbors blame her for making the area’s rat problem worse.
Newly installed cameras captured several rats active in the middle of the day. Neighbors say that it’s even worse during the night. The woman and her parents, who owned the home, told reporters that she’s being charged for feeding birds.
“Who would have known just loving animals gets you that much trouble,” she said.
It is prohibited to feed any wild animals including birds in Rhode Island city. Nevertheless, while the woman’s intention was to feed birds, it is clear that rats were also benefiting.
Anthony Moretti, director of the city administration, said he saw more than 20 rats near the woman’s home. He said it will take months to get the problem under control.
Questions 1 and 2 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Qugstion 1: What do we learn from the report about the 55-year-old woman?
Question 2: What did the director of the city administration say at the end of the news report?

A) She was involved in a conflict with bird lovers.
B) She was charged with mistreating animals.
C) She was on bad terms with her neighbors.
D) She was accused of violating a city law.

A) It will take time to solve the rat problem.
B) All wild animals should be well protected.
C) The woman was not to blame for the situation.
D) No one should go unpunished for violating law.

News Report 2
To prepare for eventually sending astronauts to Mars, NASA began taking applications Friday for four people to live for a year in Mars Dune Alpha. That’s a 1,700-square-foot Martian habitat inside a building in Houston. The paid volunteers will work in an environment similar to Mars. They will have limited communications with family, restricted food and resources. NASA is planning three experiments with the first one starting in the fall next year. Food will all be ready-to-eat space food. Some plants will be grown, but not potatoes like in the movie “The Martian”.
“We want to understand how humans perform in them,” said lead scientists Grace Douglas. “We are looking at Mars realistic situations.”
The application process opened Friday and they’re not seeking just anybody. The requirements are strict, including a master’s degree in a science, engineering or math field or pilot experience. Only American citizens or permanent U.S. residents are acceptable. Applicants must be between 30 and 55 and in good physical health.
Attitude is key, said former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. He said the participants need to be super competent, resourceful, and not relying on other people to feel comfortable.
Questions 3 and 4 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Question 3: What does NASA require the paid volunteers to do?
Question 4: What will the participants in the project eat?

A) Communicate with astronauts in Mars Dune Alpha.
B) Work in an environment resembling Mars.
C) Build a Martian habitat in Houston.
D) Send in applications before Friday.

A) Ready-made food.
B) Food that is organic.
C) Food they grow.
D) Potatoes mostly.

News Report 3
A Japanese mayor apologized Thursday for biting the Olympic gold medal of a softball player. Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura had praised athlete Miu Goto during a public media event. He asked her to put the medal around his neck. Kawamura then bit into it. Biting a medal in front of journalists and photographers has become a common pose for Olympic medalists. However, it is only for the winners themselves, not others.
“I’m really sorry that I hurt the treasure of the gold medalist,” Kawamura told reporters Thursday. The mayor said the medal was undamaged, though he offered to pay for the cost of a new one. Goto, however, has accepted the International Olympic Committee’s offer of a replacement, according to Japanese media reports.
The scene broadcast on television prompted thousands of complaints to city hall. Some Olympians said they treat their medals as treasures and that it was disrespectful and unacceptable for Kawamura to bite one.
“I would cry if that happened to me,” said another athlete, Naohisa Takato. “I handle my own gold medal so gently that I would not scratch it.”
Questions 5 to 7 are based on the news report you have just heard.
Question 5: What does the news report say about the Japanese mayor Takashi Kawamura?
Question 6: What did Mayor Takashi Kawamura offer to do?
Question 7: What did some Olympians say they would do with their medals?

A) He apologized for scratching an athlete’s gold medal.
B) He was asked to present a gold medal to Miu Goto.
C) He bit a softball player’s Olympic gold medal.
D) He attracted public attention at a media event.

A) Have another picture taken with the Olympic medalist.
B) Apologize to the International Olympic Committee.
C) Get the damaged medal repaired.
D) Pay for the cost of a new medal.

A) Allow no one to touch them.
B) See them as symbols of honor.
C) Treat them as treasures.
D) Keep them in a safe place.

Section B
Direction: In this section, you will hear two long conversations. At the end of each conversation, you will hear four questions. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Conversation 1
M: What’s that orange thing on your computer screen?
W: It’s something I bought yesterday. It’s a plastic sheet that blocks blue light. I have one that I use to cover my phone screen too.
M: What do you mean by blue light?
W: Blue light includes natural light, but it also includes light that isn’t natural. For example, from computers, phones, televisions, and other electronic devices.
M: So, blue light is harmful and that’s why you want to block it?
W: It isn’t that simple. Blue light isn’t necessarily bad for us. In fact, we need blue light during the day to be healthy, but too much blue light, especially from electronic devices, can harm our health by weakening our vision and making it harder for us to fall asleep. And poor sleep can cause all sorts of health problems.
M: I’m not so sure that sleep is nearly as important as people always say it is. I haven’t slept enough in months because I have too much work to do and I feel fine, and it’s the same for most of my friends. Poor sleep might be a problem for old people, but surely young people can handle late nights.
W: Well, the research I’ve read shows that sleep is probably even more important than we thought, and that not having enough sleep can contribute to serious health problems like obesity and heart disease. And all the artificial blue light from electronic devices means we have to try harder to sleep well.
M: Maybe you’re right. I’m on my computer very late most nights, and that’s probably why I don’t sleep enough.
Questions 8 to 11 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 8: What did the woman do to her computer?
Question 9: What does the woman say about blue light?
Question 10: Why does the man say he hasn’t slept enough for months?
Question 11: What has the woman learned from the research she has read?

A) She covered its screen with a plastic sheet.
B) She connected it with her smart phone.
C) She decorated it with colorful stickers.
D) She bought some new software for it.

A) It may not be simply blue.
B) It includes unnatural light.
C) It is more harmful to young people.
D) It induces people to fall asleep.

A) He has had much trouble falling asleep.
B) He has had some sort of health problems.
C) He has stayed up playing computer games.
D) He has been burdened with excessive work.

A) Exposure to blue light is the chief cause of obesity.
B) Sleep may be more important than people assumed.
C) Sleep may also be negatively affected by natural light.
D) Overuse of electronic devices may cause heart disease.

Conversation 2
W: As a kid did you know what job you wanted to do when you grew up?
M: No, I didn’t. And I got sick every time adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
W: It’s the same with me. And I’m tired of people asking that question of my 10-year-old daughter. My daughter’s stock answers are basketball player, pop singer, mechanical engineer. Adults love that last one as it’s the perfect mix of the sensible and the ambitious. When she was much younger, my daughter used to say she wanted to be queen of the clouds, which I loved. That’s the kind of goal setting I like to see in children, springing from their boundless imaginations.
M: Yes, we grown-ups can be tedious and limiting in our need for reality. And we teach a very gloomy image of adulthood that whatever our children’s future holds, it must be seen within the context of a job.
W: How utterly overwhelming and dull!
M: When people ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, I have to swallow the urge to say, “Hey, back off my kid’s dreams.”
W: We can’t dismiss the idea that teenagers have to plan to do something after they finish school, and parents are entitled to hope it’s more than simply spending 10 hours a day playing computer games.
M: But asking, “What do you want to be?” isn’t going to lead a child to a fulfilled life, rather, leads to false expectations and a high chance of disappointment.
W: Exactly. We should be helping our kids understand who they are, even if that means letting go of who we think they should be.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
Question 12: What question were both speakers fed up with when they were kids?
Question 13: What occupation do adults see as both sensible and ambitious according to the woman?
Question 14: What kind of goal setting does the woman like to see in children?
Question 15: What does the woman suggest adults should do?

A) What they wanted to be when grown up.
B) What their favorite cartoon character was.
C) What they learned from computer games.
D) What they liked to do most after school.

A) A stock broker.
B) A pop singer.
C) A mechanical engineer.
D) A basketball player.

A) Ambitious.
B) Sensible.
C) Imaginative.
D) Practical.

A) Relax their strict control of their kids.
B) Help their kids understand themselves.
C) Impose their own dreams on their kids.
D) Dismiss their high expectations of their kids.

Section C
Direction: In this section, you will hear three passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear three or four questions. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only once. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.

Passage 1
Greater Internet access correlates directly with improved healthcare, education and economic development. People living in rural areas, however, lag behind in online use, which limits their access to government services, banking, and job opportunities.
Nowhere is this challenge clearer than in Africa. Most Africans live in rural areas that are tough to wire for internet access.
Now, some phone companies are trying to introduce Internet-ready phones into African markets. Certain companies have started selling simple smartphones for only $20. Previously, the lowest price had been around $40, well out of reach for many people.
These devices are powered by software from the giant electronics company, KaiOS Technologies Limited. Most companies are trying to make phones ever more powerful and capable, but KaiOS went the other way. It made every effort to keep the essential capabilities of smartphones, but strip out costs and preserve battery life for people who likely have inadequate access to electricity.
The KaiOS devices offer an alternative to the more expensive models that remain out of reach to many Africans and contribute to the digital divide. The body of KaiOS phones is as basic as it gets. Instead of a touchscreen, they’re controlled with an old-school keypad. They’re designed for 3G networks because 4G coverage doesn’t reach two thirds of Africa’s customers. In total, KaiOS phones are made from about $15 worth of parts, while Apple’s top of the line iPhone has $390 worth of stuff.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 16: What are a number of phone companies trying to do in Africa?
Question 17: How do KaiOS smartphones differ from smartphones of most other companies?
Question 18: What are KaiOS smartphones equipped with?

A) Set up company branches.
B) Improve its infrastructure.
C) Introduce iPhones into its markets.
D) Promote Internet-ready phones.

A) They cater to Africans’ needs.
B) They are more expensive models.
C) They are more powerful and capable.
D) They boast the longest battery life.

A) A large touchscreen.
B) An old-school keypad.
C) A voice-response device.
D) A digitally-designed system.

Passage 2
For years, using recycled plastic to make plastic products was cheap. By contrast, fossil fuel plastic was more expensive. Thus, the sustainable option was an economic option too. But now it is cheaper for major manufacturers to use new plastic.
According to one recent business report, recycled plastic now costs an extra $72 a tonne compared with newly made plastic. This may be because of consumer demands. They are pushing for more recycled plastics in new products. Meanwhile, new plastic is becoming cheaper. This is because of a boom in petroleum chemical production from the U.S.
The price increase of recycled plastic could cost sustainable manufacturers an extra $250 million a year. Smaller manufacturers may also be forced to use new plastic to reduce costs. Makers of clear plastic bottles may also opt for new fossil-fuel based plastic to save money. Plastic packaging makers are being pressured to use more recycled plastic. This is done in hopes of reducing the enormous amount of plastic pollution in the oceans.
The UK government plans to tax companies which don’t use at least 30% recycled plastic in their products. Additionally, the government is planning to increase the quantity of recycled plastic in the market. This could mean incentives for new recycling plants. Additionally, recycling facilities may be improved at a local council level and recycled plastic could be imported. This would help increase the amount of recycled plastic in circulation.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 19: What is said about using recycled plastic to make plastic products in the past?
Question 20: What has led to a more competitive price for new plastic?
Question 21: What does the UK government plan to do about plastic?

A) It ensured sustainable economic growth.
B) It was strongly opposed by manufacturers.
C) It was cheaper than using fossil fuel plastic.
D) It satisfied consumer demands on the whole.

A) The capacity to mass produce it.
B) The U.S. federal government’s regulations.
C) A boom in market demand for clear plastic bottles.
D) A rapid increase in U.S. petroleum chemical production.

A) Require companies to use 30% of new plastic.
B) Increase the supply of new plastic in the market.
C) Reduce the amount of plastic pollution in local areas.
D) Take measures to promote the use of recycled plastic.

Passage 3
At the Dreamery, a business in Manhattan, naps are for sale. A 45-minute session in a darkened enclosure with peace and quiet costs $25. To be clear, this institution is no hotel. This is a nap joint. It sells the idea of the nap as much as the nap itself.
Is a nap worth $25? The answer is obviously yes. Here, at this point in the argument, it’s traditional for me to bring up all the studies that show the benefits of napping. But do you really need experts to tell you that? Just look at the world around you at 2:30 in the afternoon.
I’ve been working from home for more than 10 years now. And the quality and quantity of work I can do emerges directly from my ability to concentrate. I don’t understand how people have creative careers without napping. Every day at about 1 p.m., everyone faces the same choice: sleep until 2 p.m. and then work until 5 or daydream and drift around social media and attend pointless meetings until 7 p.m.
The friends I have who still work in offices inform me that bosses insist they take the second option and that napping is associated with laziness. I genuinely find it odd, for if you nap properly, it’s like waking up from a full night’s sleep and you can double your day’s worth of concentration.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
Question 22: What do we learn about the Dreamery, a business in Manhattan?
Question 23: Why does the speaker ask us to look at the world around us at 2:30 in the afternoon?
Question 24: What do we learn about the quantity and quality of the speaker’s work?
Question 25: What does the speaker say he finds odd?

A) It studies dreams.
B) It rents a place for nap-takers.
C) It is a hotel for business people.
D) It is a nap research institute.

A) To find out creative people’s work performance.
B) To see how many people can go without napping.
C) To understand the obvious importance of napping.
D) To feel how difficult it is to get his idea across.

A) They decline due to pointless meetings.
B) They depend on his ability to concentrate.
C) They enable him to enjoy a creative career.
D) They are affected by the overuse of social media.

A) Some bosses associate napping with laziness.
B) Many office workers nap during work hours.
C) Some bosses can concentrate without napping.
D) Many of his friends daydream in the office.