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Reading Passage 1
The Fitness Craze – The modern gym and its predecessors
The modern gym is ubiquitous. In every corner of every major city there is a gym, or fitness or health centre advertising its promises and dreams of a better body and a healthier life. And they are right. A good gym, a good program and dedication to the cause can, and does, result in a better physique, a healthier body, and, often as not, an improved mental outlook. Where did the concept of the modern gym arise from? If the results are so spectacular, why are not more people involving themselves in health centre activities? Should governments make gym participation a compulsory activity? Is there proof that all this oftentimes frenetic activity is really being realized in positive results?
There is no doubt that the modern gym provides benefits on a wide scale. The research provides volumes that regular programs of cardiovascular workouts and weight and muscle regimens show astonishing results in improved health, increased resistance to illness, better awareness of diet and fitness, reduced health costs and, ultimately a longer life span for those dedicated enough to follow the programs, as well as the enormous amount of data collected on the effects of regulated exercise on the human body. The contemporary gym is a modern work of technology, covering every aspect of modern health. A modern gym has exercise equipment focused on every muscular movement of the human body, personal trainers attuned to the needs and requirements of every participant, monitors and technological devices to track and record every improvement, or lack of, in the pursuit of physical perfection, as well as extras such as swimming pools, cool-down centres, spas, entertainment areas and cafes. Additionally, modern gyms operate as social centres, allowing like-minded individuals and groups to achieve similar goals, to participate in group exercise classes, and even, as reported in some locations, operating as meeting centres, creating opportunities for people to meet away from the traditional locations, such as the workplace or other social sites.
Does the fitness centre work? Do people actually improve their health? The answer is yes, but there are many qualifications that come with that response. Obviously, much depends on the individual’s dedication in achieving the desired results, but it cannot be disputed that the mechanics provided, leading to the proven results, show that planning and perseverance result in quantifiable improvement in health. With greater knowledge of health knowledge and technology, there have been great advances in equipment, exercise techniques, measurements of achievement, health benefits and overall standards and routines which have combined to give the opportunity for this generation to be the fittest, healthiest and most aware age group as far as health issues are concerned.
However, there is concern among health professionals, government health agencies and those who are tasked with monitoring health and fitness issues of the general population that this is not necessarily the case, that this generation is not becoming the fittest. One World Health Organization report focusing on U.S. statistics has advised that life spans in the U.S. have actually dropped for the first time in over two decades. The sedentary lifestyle so many have adopted, owing to the advances in technology as one possible cause, is acting as a direct opposite to the rise in gyms and the fitness movement. Others see social reasons and question whether the 21st century lifestyle is having an effect. The role of personal trainers has taken on a new, elevated, status, and many comment that we are now seeing a phenomenon known as the ‘outsourced-self’, whereby the responsibility for our own health and fitness is being transferred onto others, paid professionals as it were. The responsibility for our own health now resides with others, they claim, as if we can buy health.
The concept of the modern gym and the desire for a stronger physique and a healthier life predates the fads of the latter part of the 20th century, such as jogging, jazzercise, celebrity aerobics, home gyms and Zumba workouts. In fact, predates them by thousands of years. The very first requirements of early humankind were to run, to escape or to chase prey, to lift and carry items such as water, fuel and food, to balance, to climb, and to fight. In later centuries, as civilizations formed and battled with each other, fitness took on a more structured regimen, with physical training a requirement for all young men to prepare them for fighting. Around 2000 BC, Chinese writings indicate it was realized there was a strong link between physical activity and physical well-being, while in India yoga was emerging as a means to merge the physical and the spiritual. The ancient Greeks also prized physical fitness as a sport, notably with their introduction of the first Olympic Games, and records of athletic competitions were related by other civilizations as well.
However, following this golden period of physical awareness and achievement, there ensued a thousand-year period of relative ignorance of the needs of physical training, with feudal systems and church dominance of societies conspiring to turn the focus away from the body’s fitness requirements, particularly in the Western world. The Renaissance era, centering around the 1500s, saw a renewed interest in health, the anatomy and physical education, and various European thinkers espoused views on exercise and fitness, some even drawing on the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were great strides made in a more structuralised approach to fitness, with gymnasiums opening in many European cities, with each culture learning and feeding off each other, and new techniques being added, such as Spanish military gymnastic academies, Scottish Highland games, German open-air gymnasiums, Swedish calisthenics and the Czech Sokol movement, which included moral and intellectual training with physical fitness. In the United States, in the late 1800s, as one example, Harvard University gathered the best of the European models and pioneered physical education for both men and women.
Over the course of the 20th century, physical fitness has emerged as a recognized science, a necessity for health and a government responsibility to ensure well-being for its citizenry, and the modern gym, with its wide array of exercise programs fits the bill. Ironically, as technology has advanced, levels of fitness have tended to decline, even as awareness of fitness has increased. The modern gym may go some ways to countering this worrying trend, interestingly, with a new and improved vast array of technological equipment.
Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1 – 13 which are based on Reading Passage 1.
Questions 1 – 6
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1 – 6 on your answer sheet write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage
1. Fitness centres can be found in many major cities.
2. The gym today also operates as a meeting place.
3. Some health professionals are worried, though, that even with the increase in gyms, general fitness levels are not increasing.
4. Exercise fads in the 20th century, such as jogging and home gyms, have not been effective in increasing general fitness levels.
5. The Chinese were the first to recognise that physical fitness was necessary for a healthy population.
6. Today, it is acknowledged that governments must have a commitment for the good health of its citizens.
Questions 7 – 9
The reading passage makes claims about what modern gyms can offer. Of the following claims, which THREE are mentioned in the text?
Choose THREE letters A – G and write your answers in boxes 7 – 9 on your answer sheet.
The modern gym today can offer
- yoga classes
- opportunities to meet other people
- exercise programs for children and adults
- staff who are aware of an individual’s fitness requirements
- places for people to work
- people who can speak different languages
- different exercise regimes
Questions 10 – 13
Choose the appropriate letters A – D and write them in boxes 10 – 13 on your answer sheet.
10. Research on modern gyms indicates
- that a better diet leads to improved health.
- that they have a longer life span than older gyms.
- there is proof that a regular program of different exercises leads to better well-being.
- there is a need for personal trainers to ensure an improvement in health.
11. Health professionals and government departments
- are worried that, despite the increase in gyms, the general health of the population is not improving.
- dispute the World Health Organisation statistics on American life spans.
- argue as to whether the sedentary lifestyle is the main cause of a decrease in fitness.
- feel it is the responsibility of personal trainers to ensure a healthier life for people.
12 The concept of the modern gym
- arose from such innovations as jogging, jazzercise and other 20th century fads.
- can be traced back to the first instincts for humans to run, to hunt and to fight.
- was first found in early Chinese writings.
- was recorded in athletic competitions, such as by the Greeks and the first Olympic Games.
13 After a millennium of ignoring the needs of physical fitness,
- the Western world turned to the church as a means to improve fitness.
- there was a revitalization in the interest of physical health.
- it was recognized that the Greeks and Romans knew more about health than contemporary beliefs.
- European cultures argued with each other to establish the best fitness programs.
Correct 13 / 13 PointsIncorrect / 13 Points
Reading Passage 2
The Story of the Bar Code
The ingenious ideas and technological advances that have led to the modern bar code.
The modern bar code, or more correctly, the Universal Product Code (UPC), has a relatively short history in the consumer world of some 40 years since its first working use, but the ideas that drove its introduction have been around for more than a hundred and twenty years. Indeed, earlier concepts of automated counting and identifying systems began in the late 19th century with punch cards being used in the 1890 U.S. census. In the 1930s, a student at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration headed a project designed to automate the shopping experience by using punch card technology from a catalogue to order items, which in turn would then see the items delivered from a storeroom with an accompanying ‘automated bill’. The idea being thus to keep more accurate inventory records, and, it was envisaged, to save time. However, the Great Depression and the unwieldiness of the system combined to ensure the project never moved forward. But, the ideas were in place; it was just a case of when the technology would be available.
The first moves towards the modern bar code began in the late 1940s in Philadelphia, in the U.S., at the Drexel Institute of Technology, when there was a request from the president of a chain of grocery stores to come up with the technology for an automated system to record product information during the checkout stage. The Institute declined to embark on the research, but a graduate student and a teacher at the Institute were intrigued by the concept, and began toying with different ideas as to how best to capture the required information. In fact, so intrigued was the teacher, Norman Woodland, that he quit his teaching job and moved to Florida to further advance the idea, experimenting and building on the concept of the Morse Code, with its dots and dashes, and converting them into a series of narrow and wide lines. It is recorded that one idea came to him while sitting on the beach, with his fingers in the sand, and as he pulled his fingers towards him, lines were created that would come to represent the basics of the system. He then swept his fingers in a circle, creating a bulls-eye figure, which was to serve as the basis for the first bar code design.
Norman Woodland continued working with the graduate student, Bernard Silver, and they were granted a patent in 1952 for their idea of a ‘Classifying Apparatus and Method’, an automated system of identifying and numbering different items, using symbols. However, academic analysis and peer evaluation identified the concept as being about 20 years ahead of its time, as the technology was lacking to put in place what the mind had conceived. There were no computers capable of handling the procedures, and an extremely bright light was required to ‘read’ the lines of the black and white coding system. By now Woodland was working at IBM, and was trying to interest them in pursuing the project but, while interested, IBM acknowledged that it was a project for the future. Woodland and Silver in turn sold the patent to another electronics company in an effort to stimulate industry action and in the early 1970s the RCA company had acquired the patent and began serious advances in realising the concepts. Unfortunately, Bernard Silver passed away at a young age in 1963 and never saw his original ideas come to fruition.
At the same time, in the late 1950s, there was a big move in the American railroad industry for a system to identify railway cars, which were moved all across America, and exchanged between different railway lines, thus creating a complex problem of keeping track of them. In the 1960s an MIT masters student named David Collins began working on a system with the then-new computers and he came up with a coding system utilising colour-coded stripes which would identify the owner of the railway wagon and its number, although this had its limitations. He quickly realised the implications of such a system and tried to persuade the company he worked for to expand the project and to develop ‘a little black-and-white-line equivalent for conveyor control and for everything that moves’. The company declined, instead choosing to focus on the railway system, so David Collins left and formed his own company, incorporating the new laser light system, one of the missing links that had bedevilled the earlier work of Woodland and Silver. In the late 1960s, some very basic systems were installed in motor car factories for General Motors and for a distribution company in New Jersey, to ensure shipments were sent to the right destination.
It was the grocery industry’s requirements that really propelled the bar code into universal use in the consumer world. In the early 1970s there was growing interest in the possibilities of the bar code, interestingly, for the original reasons that were initially put forward: inventory control and speeding up the check-out procedures. It was a lengthy procedure, though, to get everything running smoothly, and much was proceeded on based on faith that there would be long-term savings. In the future. In order for the system to produce the savings envisaged, upwards of 80% of all products would need bar codes, and the full cooperation of the production and retailing industry would be required. But time-lines were produced, and nearly every link in the consumer chain bought into the concept, and though there were figures presented that nearly $500 million would be required to get a thorough system in place, the guarantee of massive savings within ‘a few years’ drove the project forward, which saw the early concepts finally being put in place.
In 1974, in Ohio, in the U.S., a package of chewing gum was scanned at a supermarket and became the first retail product purchased using scanner technology. Scanning technology was now a reality, and the first scanner and the original pack of chewing gum are now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in the United States. Scanning technology then moved forward at a rapid rate, and today, the technology is used to track the mating habits of insects, health patients’ needs and identification, marathon runners in competitions, trees about to be cut down in forests, airline luggage and tickets, and an important tool in the reduction in fraud. Bar codes represent the ultimate in man’s ability to conjure up ideas, and then patiently work through the emerging technology to see the ideas realised fully.
Reading Passage 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14 – 26 which are based on Reading Passage 2.
Questions 14 – 19
Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs A – F.
For paragraphs A – F, choose the most suitable heading from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers I – IX in boxes 14 – 19 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more headings than paragraphs, so some headings will not be used.
List of Headings
- The original concept sees many modern applications
- Grocery stores worry about the costs
- Early ideas lead to modern concepts
- A different industry provides a new stimulus
- Different Technological Institutes compete
- Early setbacks
- An old system inspires one man
- Railways lead the way
- Theory becomes reality
14 Paragraph A
15 Paragraph B
16 Paragraph C
17 Paragraph D
18 Paragraph E
19 Paragraph F
Questions 20 – 26
Complete the summary of information below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 20 – 26 on your answer sheet.
The History of the Bar Code
The idea of the bar code began with the concept of which were used in the 1890 U.S. census, and experimented with in the 1930s. In the 1940s, grocery stores wanted an automated device that would capture for inventory records and to speed up the checkout process. Two men worked on the concept and one came up with an idea based on the Morse Code, and the first barcode was actually a design, shaped in a circle. At the same time, the Railroad companies were looking for an automated system to keep track of their , and a colour-coded numbering system was introduced, with the designer looking for a way to simplify it to black-and-white lines. With the invention of the light, the final innovation was made and in the 1960s, early bar code systems for inventory were introduced in car companies. The first retail product purchased using a bar code was in , and today bar codes are used for a wide range of purposes, as well as reducing .
Reading Passage 3
The Discovery, Classification and Exploration of Pluto
A: On the 14th of July, 2015, a NASA deep space probe called New Horizons flew through the Pluto system in the Kuiper belt, located almost 6 billion kilometres from our sun, gathering high resolution photographs of the dwarf planet and its moons. Scientifically, the aims of the New Horizons mission were to provide experts on Earth with greater detail regarding the geomorphology, atmosphere, magnetosphere and surface composition of Pluto. As well as cameras for high resolution imagery, the spacecraft used an array of on-board scientific equipment to obtain information, including remote sensors, radio transmitters, computer subsystems, a large satellite dish and a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
B: Pluto was discovered in February, 1930, by the American Charles Tombaugh, a young self-taught astronomer working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Tombaugh, then in his early twenties, detected the existence of the planet by examining anomalies in photographic plates with the aid of a special viewing apparatus known as a blink microscope. His discovery soon made worldwide news headlines, and on the 25th of May, 1930, the members of the Lowell Observatory chose the name of Pluto for the ninth planet in the Solar System by unanimous vote. The name itself comes from that of the Roman god of the underworld, and was suggested by a schoolgirl living in England, whose uncle, a retired university librarian, had passed on her suggestion through academic acquaintances. It has been rumoured that Pluto’s discovery served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s canine character of the same name. There is, however, no question surrounding the naming of the element plutonium, which was named after the planet following the creation of the former by a team of scientists at the University of California in the early 1940s.
C: The estimated mass of Pluto was steadily revised downwards in the decades following its discovery, and was not accurately calculated until 1978, the same year in which Charon, the largest of the planet’s five moons, was discovered by the United States Naval Observatory astronomer James Christy. While the original estimate of Pluto’s mass had been seven times that of Earth, Christy and his colleague, Robert Harrington, compared Charon’s orbital period and size with those of Pluto, estimating the planet’s mass to be approximately 0.2 per cent that of the earth. A pair of smaller satellites, Nix and Hydra, was subsequently identified in 2005, with the final two of Pluto’s known moons, named Kerberos and Styx, being discovered in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
D: However, in spite of having been regarded as the ninth planet in the solar system for more than fifty years, Pluto’s status and classification began to come into question towards the close of the twentieth century. Initially, this was due to the fact that during the nineties a number of objects, made of rock and ice and of a similar size to Pluto, were discovered lying within the Kuiper belt, a circumstellar disc, in many ways resembling a gigantic asteroid belt, at the edge of the Solar System beyond Neptune. The first of these new Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) was identified in 1992 by a pair of astronomers, David Jewitt and Jane Luu, working out of the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. Many more Kuiper Belt Objects were found in the years that followed, making Pluto’s official status as a planet increasingly controversial among many in the scientific community. While Pluto remains, at present, the largest of the known trans-Neptunian objects located in the Kuiper belt, the discovery in 2005 of a minor planet with a greater mass, Eris, in an outlying region of the Kuiper belt known as the scattered disc, prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a formal definition of the term “planet” that excluded Pluto.
E: When the New Horizons interplanetary space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral in January, 2006, its primary mission was to voyage to Pluto, at that time the only remaining unexplored planet in the Solar System. However, in August of the same year, at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) held in the Czech Republic, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet on account of the fact that it did not meet one of the three formal conditions required to be classed as a planet. According to the official definition of the IAU, a planet must be in orbit around the sun and have sufficient mass both for its own gravity to make it spherical in shape and to have cleared the area around its orbit of smaller objects. Failing to meet the third of these criteria, Pluto was classified as a “dwarf planet”. While the decision of the IAU to reduce the number of planets in the Solar System from nine to eight has received its fair share of both praise and criticism, the definition of Pluto as a dwarf planet, while controversial, remains in use. Today, there are five known bodies in the Solar System that have been recognised by the IAU as dwarf planets. In addition to Pluto, these are Ceres, Haumea, Makemake and Eris. At the same time, it has been estimated that there may be hundreds more as yet undiscovered and unclassified dwarf planets throughout the Solar System.
F: The high resolution images of Pluto made during the New Horizons close flyby of the planet and beamed back to Earth from across the Solar System have revealed a unique terrain. Far from being a flat, dead world, the rocky dwarf planet’s surface contains a multitude of varied, complex landscapes, ranging from oddly-textured ridges with the appearance of tree bark or dragon scales, ice cliffs, valleys and mountains and frozen lakes and oceans to heavily cratered and pitted plains. Experts theorise that, in addition to the impact of other space bodies colliding with the planet, the majority of its terrain has been shaped by a combination of ice sublimation and tectonic forces. While still awaiting official approval from the International Astronomical Union, names for a number of Pluto’s regions and topographical features have already been proposed by the New Horizons discovery team in consultation with the general public, including Tombaugh Regio, the Brass Knuckles, Tartarus Dorsa and Cthulhu Regio, the latter named after a fictional deity from the works of American author H.P. Lovecraft.
G: Irrespective of its official present classification as a dwarf planet, the New Horizons reconnaissance of Pluto provides a wealth of knowledge and data regarding the last major body in the Solar System not previously visited by a space probe. While the planet, spacecraft and New Horizons team may be comparatively small, the mission to the Pluto system not only represents the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of preparation on Earth, but also the beginning of a new chapter in space exploration at the edge of the Solar System and beyond.
Reading Passage 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27 – 40 which are based on Reading Passage 3.
Questions 27 – 32
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 27 – 32 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
27. The majority of Pluto’s terrain was formed by collisions with other space bodies.
28. Pluto is the name of a Disney character.
29. The New Horizons space probe has travelled beyond the Solar System.
30. Styx was discovered in 2011.
31. Pluto lies within the Kuiper belt.
32. Eris has insufficient mass to clear its orbit of smaller objects.
Questions 33 – 37
Complete the sentences below.
Choose TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 33 – 37 on your answer sheet.
33. Charles Tombaugh used a piece of specialist equipment called a .
34. Pluto’s largest satellite was discovered by .
35. Eris is located in an area of the Kuiper belt called the .
36. The International Astronomical Union came up with a formal definition for planets at a meeting held in the .
37. The name of one area on the surface of Pluto, called , was inspired by the creation of a particular writer.
Questions 38 – 40
Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A – G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A – G in boxes 38 – 40 on your answer sheet.
38. The significance of the New Horizons mission.
39. The technological equipment on board New Horizons.
40. The number of dwarf planets