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Read the texts and answer the questions. Type your answers in the spaces provided.
Correct 11 / 11 PointsIncorrect / 11 Points
Reading Passage 1
A brief history of the Olympics
A. Most people have heard of the Olympics, a sporting event held every four years, where people from around the world congregate in one place to compete in various sporting events. But how much is known of its history? The Olympics first began in Ancient Greece nearly 2700 years ago as a religious occasion, very different from the secular event we see now. It was primarily a festival celebrating the ancient Greek gods. Named after the goddess Olympia, the festival was actually in praise of the god Zeus and was held in a specially constructed stadium called The Hippodrome. Unlike the modern Olympics, there were very few events, the most popular being running, fighting and javelin throwing.
B. For the athletes, the honour of winning was the reason for participation, not only for themselves, but also for their city, as the winner of each competition was given prizes to bestow on the citizens of his hometown. Prizes were often food – grain and meat – but occasionally also precious metals. Naturally, this engendered a degree of rivalry amongst competitors and cities, but one of the most notable aspects of the Olympics was that, for the duration of the festival, there was peace, at least outside the arena. By government decree, there were no arguments or hostilities, convicted criminals were to be treated well and the death penalty was not carried out. All wars – domestic and international – had to be suspended. Nothing of importance was discussed as the games became the paramount focus of the nation.
C. Despite the prizes, the honours and the enforcement of peace, the Games were not entirely philanthropic in nature. In accordance with the customs of the time, they still carried the traditional exclusion of women and slaves, who were not allowed within the stadium. Transgression of this rule resulted in severe punishment. It was not until 1900 that women were finally allowed to compete.
D. Nonetheless, for nearly 700 years, the Olympics represented something noble in that it promoted, albeit for only five days, a period of peace around which the whole country could gather. It was somewhat ironic, then, that the original Games were abolished after the Roman invasion in AD356, and for a period of just over a millennium and a half, there were no more Olympics.
E. It was in 1896 that Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a Frenchman, and Dimitrios Vikelas, a Greek, revived the games. Fittingly, the first of the modern Olympics was held in Greece, but although the intentions of the Games were good, they no longer represented the original ideals of the Olympics. World War I caused one game to be cancelled and World War II caused the cancellation of another two – a far cry from the period of peace the games first inspired. To try and revive the spirit of peace and understanding that the original games represented, Baron de Coubertin designed an Olympic flag with five intertwining rings which symbolised the union of the five continents. This was first used at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920 together with the release of doves at the beginning of the Games as a symbol of peace. However, athletes competing to be the best in the world, financial rewards in the form of sponsorship, financial problems and allegations of drug abuse have further tarnished what was once the embodiment of a desire to bring people together harmoniously.
F. However, there is still much to admire in the Olympics of today. It has become an opportunity for people of nearly 200 nationalities to come together in the spirit of friendly competition, much as they did nearly 3000 years ago. Now the rewards come in the form of medals and the knowledge that the athlete is one of the best in the world. The importance of the games has been reinforced with the introduction of the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics Games, the latter of which is specifically for people with physical disabilities. It can now be said that the Olympic Games is truly a competition for all people.
Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1 – 11 which are based on Reading Passage 1.
From the list of headings choose the most suitable for each paragraph.
List of headings
- Re-emergence of the Games
- Traditional discrimination
- The end of a peaceful period
- The contemporary Olympiad
- Recognition for the organisers
- Dissolution through conquest
- A feeling of animosity
- Harmony through competition
1. Paragraph A
2. Paragraph B
3. Paragraph C
4. Paragraph D
5. Paragraph E
6. Paragraph F
Questions 7 -11
Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER.
7. How many times has war cancelled the modern Olympics?
8. Why were there no Olympics between 356 and 1896?
9. To whom specifically were the original Olympics dedicated?
10. Before AD356, how long was each Olympics?
11. How many countries are represented in the modern Olympics?
Correct 14 / 14 PointsIncorrect / 14 Points
Reading Passage 2
Tapping the depths
A: It has been predicted that, at the current rate, New Zealand will increase its energy demand by 20% in the next 10 years. It has also been predicted that emissions from fossil fuels could rise by as much as 45%, a statistic that has prompted the government to announce plans to increase renewable energy supplies by nearly 50% as part of a NZ$79 million energy strategy.
B: Of the available options, the cost of establishing efficient solar power sources remains prohibitive and there is opposition to the location of wind farms near populated areas. Most of New Zealand’s renewable energy currently comes from hydro schemes, but this solution alone is not sufficient. Indeed, the Energy Minister of New Zealand stated that the country has been slow to utilise its sustainable forms of energy production. However, there is one renewable source of energy that is currently proving itself a viable alternative to fossil fuels: geothermal energy, the heat contained in rocks beneath the earth’s surface. Water is injected down a borehole and retrieved after being heated by the rocks.
C: In aquifers (porous rocks like limestone and sandstone about 2 km beneath the earth’s surface), the water temperature may reach 100 °C, and at 3 km it may exceed 200 °C. The high pressure underground prevents the water from turning to steam, but at the surface it can be allowed to expand and drive a steam turbine linked to an electricity generator. The water is then pumped from the borehole to a heat exchanger from which it can be used for a number of purposes.
D: People have been using hot spring water for a very long time – most famously, the Romans 2000 years ago at Bath in England. If sufficiently hot, spring water can be used to provide heating for buildings. It is also possible to use geothermal energy to generate electricity. Of all countries experimenting with its exploitation, New Zealand is leading the field, with geothermal energy accounting for nearly 30% of its total needs as a result of its naturally volcanic environment. No other country has reached 1% as yet, although in the UK it is estimated that geothermal power could supply 10% of electricity for 125 years if it could be exploited efficiently. The world’s largest geothermal power station is at Geyserville, California, which generates 1500 MW. Other nations generating electricity this way include China, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Russia.
Generating capacity (GW) % of total New Zealand 2.21 29.4 USA 1.74 0.25 Pacific region 0.50 0.22 Japan 0.24 0.13 Turkey 0.02 0.11
E: Although it fulfils most of the requirements demanded of an alternative energy source, geothermal energy is not a perfect solution. Extracting the heat in large quantities at a particular site lowers the temperature, meaning the site must then be abandoned at least until it recovers, which could take many years. The water contains mineral salts which would eventually corrode or block the boiler systems that extract the energy from the water. In addition, although using geothermal energy does not release carbon dioxide or pollutants, there is the problem of the sulphurous smell of hot aquifers and possibility of radioactive gases such as radon rising in boreholes. This latter issue requires further research before it is considered safe. Engineers would also need to consider any possible effects on the local geology in unstable regions, such as subsidence or slippage.
Reading Passage 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 12 – 25 which are based on Reading Passage 2.
Questions 12 – 15
Choose the most suitable headings for sections A–F from the list below. Use each heading once only.
List of headings
- The science of geothermal energy
- Water heating
- Government planning
- The search for perfect solutions
- Looking at alternatives
- Global use
- In comparison
- Unresolved drawbacks
- Problems overcome
Example Paragraph A Answer III
12. Paragraph B
13. Paragraph C
14. Paragraph D
15. Paragraph E
Questions 16 – 21
Complete the text below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the reading passage.
16. Geothermal energy is the result of extracting heat from water passed through .
17. This energy may provide an alternative to .
18. Not a new discovery, geothermal energy was first tapped by .
19. Only one quarter of a per cent of energy is extracted through this method in .
20. As well as blockages, water heated through aquifers is not used in boilers as it causes .
21. Potential effects to the surrounding land also have to be taken into account by .
Questions 22- 25
Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.
22. The cost is the main drawback for which form of power?
23. What is the advantage in boring deeper into the rock?
24 . Why is New Zealand using geothermal energy more than any other country is?
25. What potential emissions from boreholes need further investigation?
Correct 15 / 15 PointsIncorrect / 15 Points
Reading Passage 3
A: In the late 1970s, people in northern Europe were observing a change in the lakes and forests around them. Areas once famous for the quality and quantity of their fish began to decline, and areas of once-green forest were dying. The phenomenon they witnessed was acid rain – pollutants in rain, snow, hail and fog caused by sulphuric and nitric acids.
B: The principal chemicals that cause these acids are sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, both by-products of burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). A percentage of acid rain is natural, from volcanoes, forest fires and biological decay, but the majority is unsurprisingly manmade. Of this, transportation sources account for 40%; power plants 30%; industrial sources 25%; and commercial institutions and residues 5%. What makes these figures particularly disturbing is that since the 1970s, nitrogen oxide emissions have tripled. Each year the global atmosphere is polluted with 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide, 130 million tons of sulphur dioxide, more than three million tons of toxic metals, and a wealth of synthetic organic compounds, many of which are proven causes of cancer, genetic mutations and birth defects.
C: For natural causes of acid rain, nature has provided a filter. Naturally occurring substances such as limestone or other antacids can neutralise this acid rain before it enters the water cycle, thereby protecting it. However, areas with a predominantly quartzite- or granite-based geology and little top soil have no such effect, and the basic environment shifts from an alkaline to an acidic one. Recycled and intensified through the water table, acid rain has reached such a degree in some parts of the world that rainfall is now 40 times more acidic than normal – the same acidic classification as vinegar.
D: Environmentally, the impact is devastating. Lakes and the life they support are dying, unable to withstand such a battering. This has a direct effect on the animals that rely on fish as a food source. Certain species of American otter have had their numbers reduced by over half in the last 20 years, for example. Yet this is not the only effect. Nitrogen oxides, the principal reagent in acid rain, react with other pollutants to produce ozone, a major air pollutant responsible for destroying the effectiveness of farmland, making it significantly less productive. With scientists working on producing ever bigger and longer lasting genetically modified foods, some farmers are reporting abnormally low yields. Tomatoes grow to only half their full weight and the leaves, stalks and roots of other crops never reach full maturity.
E: Naturally it rains on cities too, eating away stone monuments and concrete structures, and corroding the pipes which channel the water away to the lakes where the cycle is repeated. Paint exposed to rain is not lasting as long due to the pollution in the atmosphere speeding up the corrosion process. In some communities the drinking water is laced with toxic metals freed from metal pipes by the acidity. After any period of non-use, we are encouraged to run taps for at least 60 seconds to flush any excess debris, as increased concentrations of metals in plumbing such as lead, copper and zinc result in adverse health effects. As if urban skies were not already grey enough, typical visibility has declined from ten to four miles, in many American cities, as acid rain turns into smog. Also, now there are indicators that the components of acid rain are a health risk, linked to human respiratory disease.
F: Acid rain itself is not an entirely new phenomenon. In the nineteenth century, acid rain fell both in towns and cities. What is new, and of great concern, is that it can be transported thousands of kilometres due to the introduction of tall chimneys dispersing pollutants high into the atmosphere, allowing strong wind currents to blow the acid rain hundreds of miles from its source. Thus the areas where acid rain falls are not necessarily the areas where the pollution comes from. Pollution from industrial areas of England are damaging forests in Scotland and Scandinavia. Acids from the Midwest United States are blown into northwest Canada. More and more regions are beginning to be affected, and given that 13 of the world’s most polluted cities are in neighbouring Asia, countries like Australia and New Zealand are increasingly under threat.
G: Transboundary pollution, the spread of acid rain across political and international borders, has prompted a number of international responses. International legislation during the 1980s and 1990s has led to reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions in many countries but reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides have been much less, leading to the conclusion that without a cooperative global effort, the problem of acid rain will not simply blow away.