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Passage 1: Striking Back at Lightning With Lasers

Questions 1 – 3

1.   The main topic discussed in the text is ANSWER: D

A.   The damage caused to US golf courses and golf players by lightning strikes.
The write only gives a little information about the effect of lightning on golfers [in paragraph 1] and no information about the damage caused to US golf courses => not the main topic. => FALSE
B.   The effect of lightning on power supplies in the US and in Japan.
There  is  only  information  about  the  damage  to  US  power  companies  [100  million  dollars]  in paragraph 1 and no information relating to damage in Japan => FALSE
C.   A variety of methods used in trying to control lightning strikes
There are only two techniques to control lightning mentioned in the passage: rockets and lasers => not variety => FALSE
D.  A laser technique used in trying to control lightning strikes.
Only  paragraphs  1,  3  and  4  are  not  about  the  use  of  lasers.  The  other  7  paragraphs  all  give information about the laser technique. Note also the title of the passage=> TRUE

2.   According to the text, every year lighting

A.   Does considerable damage to buildings during thunderstorms.
The  first  paragraph  refers  to  the  problem  when  thunderstorms  strike.  The  final  2  sentences  in paragraph 1 state: “And there is  damage to property too.  Lightning damage costs American power  companies  more  than  100  million  dollars  a  year”  =>  damage  to  companies  is  more than 100 million dollars [a huge amount of money] => It is considerable damage. => TRUE.
B.   Kills or injures mainly golfers in the United States.
In  paragraph  1,  the  writer  only  mentions  “a  lone  golfer  may  be  a  lightning  bolt‟s  most  inviting target”. There is no information whether golfers or other people in the US are the main victims of lightning strikes => NOT GIVEN.
C.   Kills or injures around 500 people throughout the world.
In  paragraph  1:  “Their  electrical  fury inflicts  death  or  serious  injury  on  around  500  people  each year in the United States alone”. => „In the United States alone‟, not in the world => FALSE
D.  Damages more than 100 American power companies.
Lightning caused damage costing American power companies more than 100 million dollars a year, but  there  was  no  information  relating  to  how  many  companies  were  damaged.  =>  NOT GIVEN

3.   Researchers at the University of Florida and at the University of  New Mexico

A.   Receive funds form the same source
In paragraph 3: “The technique survives to this day at a test site in Florida run by the University of Florida, with support from the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI)”
–  Support from = receive fund from
In  paragraph  5:  Jean  –  Claude  Diels  of  the  University  of  New  Mexico  leads  a  project,  “which  is backed by EPRI”
–  Backed by = receives funds from
–  Backed by~to be supported by
Two researchers at the University of Florida and the University of New Mexico receive funds from the same source (EPRI) => TRUE
B.   Are using the same techniques
The technique used in research at the University of Florida is firing rockets into thunder clouds, and the technique of the University of New Mexico is to use lasers to discharge lightning.
=> They use different techniques => FALSE
C.   Are employed by commercial companies.
There is no information in either paragraph 3 or paragraph 5 about who employs them to do this
– research => NOT GIVEN
D.  Are in opposition to each other.
–   Neither  paragraph  3  nor  paragraph  5  say  whether  these  two  scientists  are  in  opposition

Questions 4-6: Complete the sentences below.

4.   EPRI receives financial support from…..

In paragraph 3, “EPRI, which is funded by power companies”
– Funded by = receives financial support
=>  ANSWER: Power companies

5.   The advantage of the technique being developed by Diels is that it can be used….

In paragraph 5, “Diels is leading a project, which is backed by EPRI, to try to  use lasers to discharge lightning safely – and safety is a basic requirement since no one wants to put themselves or their expensive equipment at risk”. => This means that the advantage of the technique Diels developed is that it can discharge lightning safely. Moreover, as mentioned in paragraph 4, the technique using rockets: while “they are fine for research; they cannot provide the protection from lightning strikes that everyone is looking for”. “Cannot provide the protection” means they are not safe. => Safety is the advantage of the technique using lasers.
=>ANSWER: Safely

6.   The main difficulty associated with using the laser equipment is related to its….

In paragraph 7: “However, there is still a big stumbling block. The laser is no nifty portable….. Diels is trying to cut down the size….”. This means that the main difficulty of using the laser is that it is not easy to carry or to move.  Diels is trying to cut down the laser to the size of a small table.
– Stumbling block = difficulty
– No nifty portable~ not easy to carry or to move

Questions 7 – 10

7.   B – Atoms

In paragraph 6: “The idea began some 20 years ago; when high – powered lasers were revealing their ability to extract electrons out of atoms…generate a line of ionization…”  “Extract electrons out of atoms” means the laser is able to remove electrons from atoms
– Generate a line of ionization = create a line of ionization
This means that a laser was used to create a line of ionization by removing electrons from atoms

8.   C – Storm clouds

In  paragraph  6:  “If  a laser could  generate  a line  of ionization in  the air  all  the way  up  to  a storm cloud…in  an uncontrollable surge”. This  means  that once the laser is  able to  create  a line of ionization, it could then be directed at storm clouds in order to control electrical charges.
– Up to = directed at
– Guide = control

9.   G – Rockets

In paragraph 4, the writer states: “But while rockets are fine for research, they cannot provide the protection from lightning” => They are dangerous.
In   paragraph   5,   the   technique   using   lasers   is   mentioned   as   the   way   to   discharge   lighting safely.Therefore, in comparison to rockets, using laser techniques is less dangerous than using rockets in order to control electrical charges.

10. D – Mirrors

In paragraph 6, the writer writes that “To stop the laser itself being struck, it would not be pointed straight at the clouds. Instead it would be directed at a mirror and from there into the sky”. That means in order to protect the laser, it is firstly directed at a mirror, not pointed straight at the clouds.
–  To stop the laser being struck = to protect the laser

Questions 11 – 13

11. Power companies have given Diels enough money to develop his laser.

Key words: power companies, Diels, enough money, develop laser.
In  paragraph  8,  “Bernstein  says  that  Diels‟s  system  is  attracting  lots  of  interest  from  the  power companies.  But  they  have  not  yet  come  up  with  the  5  million  dollars  that  EPRI  says  will  be needed  to  develop  a  commercial  system…”.  This  means  that  though  power  companies  are interested in Diels‟ system, they have not yet given him the money that he needs to develop it.

12. Obtaining money to improve the lasers will depend on tests in real storms.

Key words: Money, improve the lasers, depend on, real storms.
In  paragraph  8,  “He  reckons  that  the  forthcoming  field  test  will  be  the  turning  point  –  and  he’s hoping for good news. Bernstein predicts „an avalanche of interest and support” if all goes well. He expects to see cloud – zappers eventually costing 50,000 dollars to 100,000 dollars each”. This  means that if the upcoming [forthcoming]  real  tests  go well  (= depend on the tests), Bernstein can obtain a lot of interest and support costing 50,000 to 100,000 million dollars. – Field test = test done by practical work rather than working in library or laboratory ~ tests in real storms.
– Reckon: to think, have opinion on something
– Forthcoming: going to happen, very soon
– An avalanche of interest and support: a lot of interest and finance/money

13. Weather forecasters are intensely interested in Diels’s system.

Key words: weather forecasters, interested in, Diels‟s system
Meteorology [weather forecasting] is referred to in paragraphs 9 and 10:  “Diels also hopes to see the birth  of  „interactive  meteorology‟  –  not  just  forecasting  the  weather  but  controlling  it”. That means Diels hopes his system can interact and affect weather, but there is no information about the interest of weather forecasters in his system.


Passage 2: The Nature of Genius

Questions 14 – 18, choose FIVE letters, A – K


Most of the popular beliefs about genius and giftedness are mentioned in paragraph 2
A.   Truly gifted people are talented in all areas.
In paragraph 2: “it is popularly believed that if people are talented in one area, they must be defective in another”. That means they are unable to be talented in all areas. => FALSE
– defective: having a fault or faults; not perfect or complete
B.   The talents of geniuses are soon exhausted.
In  paragraph  2,  “…  that  intellectuals  are  impractical,  that  prodigies  burn  too  brightly too soon and burn out”.
– burn out = exhausted
– prodigies = [young] talents
This means that the talents of geniuses soon burn out/are exhausted => TRUE
C.   Gifted people should use their gifts
“that people with gifts have a responsibility to use them [their gifts]” => TRUE
D.  A genius appears once in every generation => NOT GIVEN
E.   Genius can be easily destroyed by discouragement => NOT GIVEN
F.   Genius is inherited
In  paragraph  2:  “…that  genius  runs  in  families”.  That  means  genius  is  inherited  from people in their families. => TRUE
G.  Gifted people are very hard to live with => NOT GIVEN
H.  People never appreciate true genius. “…that genius goes unrecognized and unrewarded” => that means they [geniuses] are not appreciated by other people.=> TRUE
I.    Geniuses are natural leaders => NOT GIVEN
J.    Gifted people develop their greatness through difficulties. “….that  adversity  makes  men  wise”  =>that  means  people  [men]  become  wiser  through difficulties. => TRUE
K.   Genius will always reveal itself.
In   paragraph   3,   the   writer   refers   to:   “…the   frequency   with   which   abilities   went unrecognised by teachers and schools”. Therefore, it is not always true that genius is recognized or reveals itself. => FALSE

Questions 19 – 26

19. Nineteenth century studies of the nature of genius failed to take into account the uniqueness of the person’s upbringing

Key   words:   nineteenth   century   studies,   nature   of   genius,   failed,   take   into   account uniqueness of person‟s upbringing.
In  paragraph  3:  “However,  the  difficulty  with  the  evidence  produced  by  these  studies, fascinating  as  they  are  in  collecting  together  anecdotes  and  apparent  similarities  and exceptions,    is    that    they    are    not    what    we    would    today    call    norm-referenced”.
–  failed to take into account = they are not norm-referenced… we must also take into account
– the uniqueness of the person’s upbringing = information about how common or exceptional
these  circumstances  were  at  the  time.   For  example,  most  studies  were  conducted  among “members of the privileged classes”, but “home tutoring was common in the families of the nobility and wealthy”.   So, studies failed to take into account the education and health of the circumstances of children from a range of social classes – the social norms.

20. Nineteenth – century studies of genius lacked both objectivity and proper scientific approach.

Key   words:   nineteenth   –   century,   studies   of   genius,   lacked,   objectivity,   proper scientific approach
The  last   sentence  in   paragraph   3:   “It   was   only  with   the   growth   of   paediatrics   and psychology in the twentieth century that studies could be carried out on a more objective, if still not always very scientific, basis”. This means that in the 19th  century studies could not be  conducted  using  an  objective  and  scientific  approach. Studies  only  became  more objective and scientific in the 20th century.

21. A true genius has general powers capable of excellence in any area.

Key words: true genius, general powers, excellence in any area.
In paragraph 4, the writer notes the idea of Dr Johnson that: “The true genius is a mind of large  general  powers,  accidentally  determined  to  particular  direction.  We  may  disagree with the „general‟, for we doubt if all musicians of genius could have become scientists of genius or vice versa…”

22. The skills of ordinary individuals are in essence the same as the skills of prodigies.

Key words: skills of ordinary individual, the same as, the skills of prodigies.
In paragraph 5: “…the achievements of prodigies are the manifestations ofskills or abilities which are similar to, but also much superior to, our own”. This means that the skills of prodigies are similar to those of ordinary people, but their achievements are much greater. However, “….their minds are not different from our own…”
–  the same as = similar to

23.  The  ease  with  which  truly  great  ideas  are  accepted  and  taken  for  granted  fails  to  lessen  their significance.

Key words: truly great ideas, accepted, taken for granted, fails, lessen their significance.
In paragraph 5, the writer explains that “the hard-won discoveries of scientists like Kepler or  Einstein  become  the  commonplace  knowledge  of  schoolchildren  and  the  colours  of  an artist  like  Paul  Klee  so  soon  appear  on  the  fabrics  we  wear.   This  does  not  minimise  the supremacy of their achievements….”
–   So,   great   ideas/hard-won   discoveries   are   accepted   and   taken   for   granted~   even schoolchildren learn them.  However, the importance of these ideas is not lessened/reduced.
– lessen = minimize

24. Giftedness and genius deserve proper scientific research into their true nature so that all talent may be retained for the human race.

Key words: giftedness and genius, deserve, scientific research, true nature, talent, retained for the human race
In the passage, there is no reference to scientific research relating to what genius really is, in  order  for  all  talent  to  be  retained.  In  fact,  in  the  last  paragraph  the  writer  tells  us  that: “Genius and giftedness are relative descriptive terms of no real substance”.

25. Geniuses often pay a high price to achieve greatness

Key words: geniuses, pay high price, achieve greatness
In paragraph 6: “We may envy their achievements and fame, but we should also recognize the price they may have paid in terms of perseverance, single-mindedness ….to make their way to the top”. This  means  that  we  may  feel  jealous  because  some  geniuses  become  famous.  However, they did not achieve this fame without a lot of hard work and determination to succeed.

26. To be a genius is worth the high personal cost

Key worth: be a genius, worth, high personal cost
In paragraph 6, the writer only mentions the high price that geniuses may have paid to gain success/  achieve  greatness.  There  is  no  reference  to  whether  all  the  personal  costs  – restrictions  on  their  personal  lives,  demands  on  their  time  and  energy,  for  example  –  are worth the reward of becoming a genius.



Questions 27 – 32

27. Paragraph B

In  paragraph  B,  the  writer  explains  that  ageing  of  objects  “must  occur  according  to  the laws of physical chemistry and of thermodynamics. Although the same law holds for a living  organism,  the  result  of  this  law  is  not  in  the  same  way…  biological  system  has ability to renew itself it could actually become older without ageing”. The  difference  in  aging  of  objects  and  living  organisms  is  that  ageing  of  objects  must occur  according  to  the  laws  of  physical  chemistry  and  of  thermodynamics  and  living organisms  actually  become  older  without  ageing.    The  reason  is  that  “The  material  of which  the  organism  is  formed  changes  continuously”,  unlike  an  object  –  the  material  of which it is made does not change. not in the same way = differences
=>  ANSWER:  ix – Fundamental differences in ageing of objects and organisms

28. Paragraph C

In  paragraph  C,  the  writer  writes  that  “a  restricted  life  span,  ageing,  and  then  death  are basic characteristics  of  life”. The  reason is  that  “in  nature,  the  existent  organisms either adapt or are regularly replaced by new types… it needs room for new and better life”. That  means  when  an  organism  dies/  is  replaced  by new  types,  because  of  changes  in  the genetic material,  they have new  characteristics, and in  the course of their  individual lives they are tested for optimal or better adaptation to the environmental conditions. => This is the benefit of dying.
=> ANSWER: ii – Why dying is beneficial

29. Paragraph D

In  paragraph  D,  the  writer  states  that  “Although  more  and  more  people  attain  an advanced  age  as  a  result  of  developments  in  medical  care  and  better  nutrition,  the characteristic upper limit for most remains 80 years”.
This  means  that  though  there  are  developments/improvements  in  life  [better  nutrition, medical care], the lifespan is still stable/ remains [80 years]
– developments = improvements
– stable = remain
=>ANSWER: vii – A stable lifespan despite improvement

30. Paragraph E

In  paragraph  E:  “If  a  life  span  is  a  genetically  determined  biological  characteristic,  it  is logically  necessary  to  propose  the  existence  of  an  internal  clock,  which  in  some  way measures  and  controls  the  ageing  process  and  which  finally  determines  death  as  the  last step  in  a  fixed  program”.   This  means  that  we  should  think  of  the  ageing  process  in  the same way as an internal, biological clock functioning until death.
– an internal clock = biological clock
=>  ANSWER: i – The biological clock

31. Paragraph F

The main idea of paragraph F is the effect of energy consumption on life span.   “Animals which save energy….live much longer than those which are always active”.
For example, animals like crocodiles and tortoises which behave „frugally‟ with energy/ do not  use  up  a  lot  of  energy,  and  live  for  a  long  time.   Compared  with  men,  women  also behave more frugally with energy – they use less of it~they have a lower metabolic rate. Therefore,  people  or  animals  consuming  a  lot  of  energy have  an  intensive  life,  but  not  a long life.
– frugally: in a way that uses only as much food or energy as is necessary
=> ANSWER: viii – Energy consumption

32. Paragraph G

In paragraph G, “It follows from the above that sparing use of energy reserves should tend to extend life”. This means that using less energy can extend/prolong life.  “Each of us can develop his or her own „energy-saving programme‟…..Experience shows that to live in this way not only increases the life span but is also very healthy”.
– extend = prolonging
=>  ANSWER: iv – Prolonging your life

Questions 33 – 36

33.& 34. Objects age in accordance with principles of…. and of…..

Key words: objects, principles of
In paragraph B, “Ageing in this case [ageing of objects] must occur according to the laws of physical chemistry and of thermodynamics”
–  in accordance with = according to
–  principles = laws
=> ANSWER: Physical chemistry, thermodynamics

35. Through mutations, organisms can… better to the environment

Key words: mutations, organisms, environment
In   paragraph   C:      “Because   of   changes   in   the   genetic   material   (mutations)   these [organisms]  have  new  characteristics  and  in  the  course  of  their  individual  lives  they  are tested  for  optimal  or  better  adaptation  to  the  environmental  conditions”.  This  means that,  thanks  to  mutations,  organisms  have  new  characteristics  which  may  allow  them  to adapt better to the environment.
Though  from  the  text  ‘adaptation’ is  in  noun form,  in  the question, after  „can‟  we  need  a verb, so we must change “:adaptation‟ => adapt
– environment = environmental conditions
=>ANSWER: adapt

36.  … would pose a serious problem for the theory of evolution.

Key words: pose, serious problem, theory of evolution.
In paragraph C: “Immortality would disturb this system – it needs room for new and better life. This is the basic problem of evolution”. Immortality poses a problem for evolution – there would be no new life with a possibility of better characteristics.
– immortality: that lives or lasts for ever
=>  ANSWER: Immortality

Questions 37 – 40

37. The wear and tear theory applies to both artificial objects and biological systems.

Key words: wear and tear theory, artificial objects and biological systems.
In  paragraph  A:  “in  this  statement  we  think  of  artificially  produced,  technical  objects [artificial  objects],  products  which  are  subjected  to  natural  wear  and  tear  during  use” =>when    they    are    used,    objects    suffer    from    wear    and    tear~they    become    less effective/damaged.
In  the  last  sentence,  the  writer  raises  a  question  “But  is  the  wear  and  tear  and  loss  of function   of   technical   objects   and   the   death   of   living   organisms   really   similar   or comparable?”  The  wear  and  tear  and  loss  of  function  of  technical  objects  are  questioned  whether they are comparable to the death of living organisms.
In  paragraph  B,  the  writer  answers  this  question.    Organisms  are  different  because  the “material of which the organism is formed changes continuously”.
– biological system = living organisms

38. In principle, it is possible for a biological system to become older without ageing

Key words: principle, possible, biological system, become older without ageing
In  paragraph  B:  “At  least  as  long  as  a  biological  system  has  the  ability to  renew  itself  it could  actually become  older without ageing” => A  biological  system  can become  older without ageing.

39. Within seven years, about 90 per cent of a human body is replaced as new.

Key words: seven years, 90 per cent of human body, replaced as new
There is no information in the passage relating to „seven years‟, or 90 per cent

40. Conserving energy may help to extend a human’s life.

Key words: conserving energy, extend, life
In paragraph G, “It follows from the above that sparing use of energy reserves should tend to extend life”. => That means saving energy can help people live longer.
– conserving energy = sparing use of energy reserves


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  1. Ratnakar Oleti 31/12/2019
  2. Shu 18/04/2020

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