99 年 - 2010年12月大学英语六级考试真题#12925
1. Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer from the four choices marked [A],
(C) and [D]. For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
Into the Unknown
The world has never seen population ageing before. Can it cope?
Until the early 1990s nobody much thought about whole populations getting older. The UN had the foresight to convene a “world assembly on ageing” back in 1982, but that came and went. By 1994 the World Bank had noticed that something big was happening. In a report entitled “Averting the Old Age Crisis”, it argued that pension arrangements in most countries were unsustainable.
For the next ten years a succession of books, mainly by Americans, sounded the alarm. They had titles like Young vs Old, Gray Dawn and The Coming Generational Storm, and their message was blunt: health-care systems were heading for the rocks, pensioners were taking young people to the cleaners, and soon there would be intergenerational warfare.
Since then the debate has become less emotional, not least because a lot more is known about the subject. Books, conferences and research papers have multiplied. International organisations such as the OECD and the EU issue regular reports. Population ageing is on every agenda, from G8 economic conferences to NATO summits. The World Economic Forum plans to consider the future of pensions and health care at its prestigious Davos conference early next year. The media, including this newspaper, are giving the subject extensive coverage.
Whether all that attention has translated into sufficient action is another question. Governments in rich countries now accept that their pension and health-care promises will soon become unaffordable, and many of them have embarked on reforms, but so far only timidly. That is not surprising: politicians with an eye on the next election will hardly rush to introduce unpopular measures that may not bear fruit for years, perhaps decades.
The outline of the changes needed is clear. To avoid fiscal (财政) meltdown, public pensions and health-care provision will have to be reined back severely and taxes may have to go up. By far the most effective method to restrain pension spending is to give people the opportunity to work longer, because it increases tax revenues and reduces spending on pensions at the same time. It may even keep them alive longer. John Rother, the AARP’s head of policy and strategy, points to studies showing that other things being equal, people who remain at work have lower death rates than their retired peers.
Younger people today mostly accept that they will have to work for longer and that their pensions will be less generous. Employers still need to be persuaded that older workers are worth holding on to. That may be because they have had plenty of younger ones to choose from, partly thanks to the post-war baby-boom and partly because over the past few decades many more women have entered the labour force, increasing employers’ choice. But the reservoir of women able and willing to take up paid work is running low, and the baby-boomers are going grey.
In many countries immigrants have been filling such gaps in the labour force as have already emerged (and remember that the real shortage is still around ten years off). Immigration in the developed world is the highest it has ever been, and it is making a useful difference. In still-fertile America it currently accounts for about 40% of total population growth, and in fast-ageing western Europe for about 90%.
On the face of it, it seems the perfect solution. Many developing countries have lots of young people in need of jobs; many rich countries need helping hands that will boost tax revenues and keep up economic growth. But over the next few decades labour forces in rich countries are set to shrink so much that inflows of immigrants would have to increase enormously to compensate: to at least twice their current size in western Europe’s most youthful countries, and three times in the older ones. Japan would need a large multiple of the few immigrants it has at present. Public opinion polls show that people in most rich countries already think that immigration is too high. Further big increases would be politically unfeasible.
To tackle the problem of ageing populations at its root, “old” countries would have to rejuvenate (使年轻) themselves by having more of their own children. A number of them have tried, some more successfully than others. But it is not a simple matter of offering financial incentives or providing more child care. Modern urban life in rich countries is not well adapted to large families. Women find it hard to combine family and career. They often compromise by having just one child.
And if fertility in ageing countries does not pick up? It will not be the end of the world, at least not for quite a while yet, but the world will slowly become a different place. Older societies may be less innovative and more strongly disinclined to take risks than younger ones. By 2025 at the latest, about half the voters in America and most of those in western European countries will be over 50—and older people turn out to vote in much greater number than younger ones. Academic studies have found no evidence so far that older voters have used their power at the ballot box to push for policies that specifically benefit them, though if in future there are many more of them they might start doing so.
Nor is there any sign of the intergenerational warfare predicted in the 1990s. After all, older people themselves mostly have families. In a recent study of parents and grown-up children in 11 European countries, Karsten Hank of Mannheim University found that 85% of them lived within 25km of each other and the majority of them were in touch at least once a week.
Even so, the shift in the centre of gravity to older age groups is bound to have a profound effect on societies, not just economically and politically but in all sorts of other ways too. Richard Jackson and Neil Howe of America’s CSIS, in a thoughtful book called The Graying of the Great Powers, argue that, among other things, the ageing of the developed countries will have a number of serious security implications.
For example, the shortage of young adults is likely to make countries more reluctant to commit the few they have to military service. In the decades to 2050, America will find itself playing an ever-increasing role in the developed world’s defence effort. Because America’s population will still be growing when that of most other developed countries is shrinking, America will be the only developed country that still matters geopolitically (地缘政治上).
Ask me in 2020
There is little that can be done to stop population ageing, so the world will have to live with it. But some of the consequences can be alleviated. Many experts now believe that given the right policies, the effects, though grave, need not be catastrophic. Most countries have recognised the need to do something and are beginning to act.
But even then there is no guarantee that their efforts will work. What is happening now is historically unprecedented. Ronald Lee, director of the Centre on the Economics and Demography of Ageing at the University of California, Berkeley, puts it briefly and clearly: “We don’t really know what population ageing will be like, because nobody has done it yet. “
In its 1994 report, the World Bank argued that the current pension system in most countries could ______.
(A)not be sustained in the long term
(B) further accelerate the ageing process
(C) hardly halt the growth of population
(D)help tide over the current ageing crisis
2.【題組】2. What message is conveyed in books like Young vs Old?
(A)The generation gap is bound to narrow.
(B) Intergenerational conflicts will intensify.
(C) The younger generation will beat the old.
(D)Old people should give way to the young.
3.【題組】3. One reason why pension and health care reforms are slow in coming is that ______.
(A)nobody is willing to sacrifice their own interests to tackle the problem
(B) most people are against measures that will not bear fruit immediately
(C) the proposed reforms will affect too many people’s interests
(D)politicians are afraid of losing votes in the next election
4.【題組】4. The author believes the most effective method to solve the pension crisis is to ______.
(A)allow people to work longer
(C) cut back on health care provisions
(B) increase tax revenues
(D)start reforms right away
5.【題組】5. The reason why employers are unwilling to keep older workers is that ______.
(A)they are generally difficult to manage
(B) the longer they work, the higher their pension
(C) their pay is higher than that of younger ones
(D)younger workers are readily available
6.【題組】6. To compensate for the fast-shrinking labour force, Japan would need ______.
(A)to revise its current population control policy
(B) large numbers of immigrants from overseas
(C) to automate its manufacturing and service industries
(D)a politically feasible policy concerning population
7.【題組】7. Why do many women in rich countries compromise by having only one child?
(A)Small families are becoming more fashionable.
(B) They find it hard to balance career and family.
(C) It is too expensive to support a large family.
(D)Child care is too big a problem for them.
Directions: In this section, you will hear 8 short conversations and 2 long conversations. At the end of each conversation, one or more questions will be asked about what was said. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After each question there will be a pause. During the pause, you must read the four choices marked [A],
(C) and [D], and decide which is the best answer. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
(A)The man is the manager of the apartment building.
(B) The woman is very good at bargaining.
(C) The woman will get the apartment refurnished.
(D)The man is looking for an apartment.
(A)How the pictures will turn out.
(C) What the man thinks of the shots.
(B) Where the botanical garden is.
(D)Why the pictures are not ready.
(A)There is no replacement for the handle.
(B) There is no match for the suitcase.
(C) The suitcase is not worth fixing.
(D)The suitcase can be fixed in time.
(A)He needs a vehicle to be used in harsh weather.
(B) He has a fairly large collection of quality trucks.
(C) He has had his truck adapted for cold temperatures.
(D)He does routine truck maintenance for the woman.
(A)She cannot stand her boss’s bad temper.
(B) She has often been criticized by her boss.
(C) She has made up her mind to resign.
(D)She never regrets any decisions she makes.
(A)Look for a shirt of a more suitable color and size.
(B) Replace the shirt with one of some other material.
(C) Visit a different store for a silk or cotton shirt.
(D)Get a discount on the shirt she is going to buy.
(A)At a “Lost and Found”.
(C) At a trade fair.
(B) At a reception desk.
(D)At an exhibition.
(A)Repair it and move in.
(C) Convert it into a hotel.
(B) Pass it on to his grandson.
(D)Sell it for a good price.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
(A)Unique descriptive skills.
(C) Colourful world experiences.
(B) Good knowledge of readers’ tastes.
(D)Careful plotting and clueing.
(A)A peaceful setting.
(C) To be in the right mood.
(B) A spacious room.
(D)To be entirely alone.
(A)They rely heavily on their own imagination.
(B) They have experiences similar to the characters’.
(C) They look at the world in a detached manner.
(D)They are overwhelmed by their own prejudices.
19.【題組】22.Questions 22 to 25 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
(A)Good or bad, they are there to stay.
(B) Like it or not, you have to use them.
(C) Believe it or not, they have survived.
(D)Gain or lose, they should be modernised.
(A)The frequent train delays.
(C)The food sold on the trains.
(B) The high train ticket fares.
(D)The monopoly of British Railways.
(A)The low efficiency of their operation.
(B) Competition from other modes of transport.
(C) Constant complaints from passengers.
(D)The passing of the new transport act.
(A)They will be de-nationalised.
(C) They are fast disappearing.
(B) They provide worse service.
(D)They lose a lot of money.
Directions: In this section, you will hear 3 short passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear some 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],
(C) and [D]. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
Questions 26 to 29 are based on the passage you have just heard.
(A)The whole Antarctic region will be submerged.
(B) Some polar animals will soon become extinct.
(C) Many coastal cities will be covered with water.
(D)The earth will experience extreme weathers.
(A)How humans are to cope with global warming.
(B) How unstable the West Antarctic ice sheet is.
(C) How vulnerable the coastal cities are.
(D)How polar ice impacts global weather.
(A)It collapsed at least once in the past 1.3 million years.
(B) It sits firmly on solid rock at the bottom of the ocean.
(C) It melted at temperatures a bit higher than those of today.
(D)It will have little impact on sea level when it breaks up.
(A)The West Antarctic region was once an open ocean.
(B) The West Antarctic ice sheet was about 7,000 feet thick.
(C) The West Antarctic ice sheet was once floating ice.
(D)The West Antarctic region used to be warmer than today.
27.【題組】30. Questions 30 to 32 are based on the passage you have just heard.
(A)Whether we can develop social ties on the Internet.
(B) Whether a deleted photo is immediately removed from the web.
(C) Whether our blogs can be renewed daily.
(D)Whether we can set up our own websites.
(A)The number of visits they receive.
(C) The files they have collected.
(B) The way they store data.
(D)The means they use to get information.
(A)When the system is down.
(C) When the URL is reused.
(B) When new links are set up.
(D)When the server is restarted.
Questions 33 to 35 are based on the passage you have just heard.
(A)Some iced coffees have as many calories as a hot dinner.
(B) Iced coffees sold by some popular chains are contaminated.
(C) Drinking coffee after a meal is more likely to cause obesity.
(D)Some brand-name coffees contain harmful substances.
(A)Have some fresh fruit.
(C) Take a hot shower.
(B) Exercise at the gym.
(D)Eat a hot dinner.
(A)They could enjoy a happier family life.
(B) They could greatly improve their work efficiency.
(C) Many cancer cases could be prevented.
(D)Many embarrassing situations could be avoided.
33. Section B
Directions: There are 2 passages in this section. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked [A],
(D)You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
Questions 52 to 56 are based on the following passage.
In the early 20th century, few things were more appealing than the promise of scientific knowledge. In a world struggling with rapid industrialization, science and technology seemed to offer solutions to almost every problem. Newly created state colleges and universities devoted themselves almost entirely to scientific, technological, and engineering fields. Many Americans came to believe that scientific certainty could not only solve scientific problems, but also reform politics, government, and business. Two world wars and a Great Depression rocked the confidence of many people that scientific expertise alone could create a prosperous and ordered world. After World War Ⅱ, the academic world turned with new enthusiasm to humanistic studies, which seemed to many scholars the best way to ensure the survival of democracy. American scholars fanned out across much of the world—with support from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright program, etc.—to promote the teaching of literature and the arts in an effort to make the case for democratic freedoms.
In the America of our own time, the great educational challenge has become an effort to strengthen the teaching of what is now known as the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). There is considerable and justified concern that the United States is falling behind much of the rest of the developed world in these essential disciplines. India, China, Japan, and other regions seem to be seizing technological leadership.
At the same time, perhaps inevitably, the humanities—while still popular in elite colleges and universities—have experienced a significant decline. Humanistic disciplines are seriously underfunded, not just by the government and the foundations but by academic institutions themselves. Humanists are usually among the lowest-paid faculty members at most institutions and are often lightly regarded because they do not generate grant income and because they provide no obvious credentials (资质) for most nonacademic careers.
Undoubtedly American education should train more scientists and engineers. Much of the concern among politicians about the state of American universities today is focused on the absence of “real world” education—which means preparation for professional and scientific careers. But the idea that institutions or their students must decide between humanities and science is false. Our society could not survive without scientific and technological knowledge. But we would be equally impoverished (贫困的) without humanistic knowledge as well. Science and technology teach us what we can do. Humanistic thinking helps us understand what we should do.
It is almost impossible to imagine our society without thinking of the extraordinary achievements of scientists and engineers in building our complicated world. But try to imagine our world as well without the remarkable works that have defined our culture and values. We have always needed, and we still need, both.
In the early 20th century Americans believed science and technology could _______.
(A)solve virtually all existing problems
(C) help raise people’s living standards
(B) quicken the pace of industrialization
(D)promote the nation’s social progress
34.【題組】53. Why did many American scholars become enthusiastic about humanistic studies after World WarⅡ?
(A)They wanted to improve their own status within the current education system.
(B) They believed the stability of a society depended heavily on humanistic studies.
(C) They could get financial support from various foundations for humanistic studies.
(D)They realized science and technology alone were no guarantee for a better world.
35.【題組】54. Why are American scholars worried about education today?
(A)The STEM subjects are too challenging for students to learn.
(B) Some Asian countries have overtaken America in basic sciences.
(C) America is lagging behind in the STEM disciplines.
(D)There are not enough scholars in humanistic studies.
36.【題組】55. What accounts for the significant decline in humanistic studies today?
(C) Shortage of devoted faculty.
(B) Shrinking enrollment.
(D)Dim prospects for graduates.
37.【題組】56. Why does the author attach so much importance to humanistic studies?
(A)They promote the development of science and technology.
(B) They help prepare students for their professional careers.
(C) Humanistic thinking helps define our culture and values.
(D)Humanistic thinking helps cultivate students’ creativity.
Questions 57 to 61 are based on the following passage.
Will there ever be another Einstein? This is the undercurrent of conversation at Einstein memorial meetings throughout the year. A new Einstein will emerge, scientists say. But it may take a long time. After all, more than 200 years separated Einstein from his nearest rival, Isaac Newton.
Many physicists say the next Einstein hasn’t been born yet, or is a baby now. That’s because the quest for a unified theory that would account for all the forces of nature has pushed current mathematics to its limits. New math must be created before the problem can be solved.
But researchers say there are many other factors working against another Einstein emerging anytime soon.
For one thing, physics is a much different field today. In Einstein’s day, there were only a few thousand physicists worldwide, and the theoreticians who could intellectually rival Einstein probably would fit into a streetcar with seats to spare.
Education is different, too. One crucial aspect of Einstein’s training that is overlooked is the years of philosophy he read as a teenager—Kant, Schopenhauer and Spinoza, among others. It taught him how to think independently and abstractly about space and time, and it wasn’t long before he became a philosopher himself.
“The independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan (工匠) or specialist and a real seeker after truth,” Einstein wrote in 1944.
And he was an accomplished musician. The interplay between music and math is well known. Einstein would furiously play his violin as a way to think through a knotty physics problem.
Today, universities have produced millions of physicists. There aren’t many jobs in science for them, so they go to Wall Street and Silicon Valley to apply their analytical skills to more practical—and rewarding—efforts.
“Maybe there is an Einstein out there today,” said Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, “but it would be a lot harder for him to be heard.”
Especially considering what Einstein was proposing.
“The actual fabric of space and time curving? My God, what an idea!” Greene said at a recent gathering at the Aspen Institute. “It takes a certain type of person who will bang his head against the wall because you believe you’ll find the solution.”
Perhaps the best examples are the five scientific papers Einstein wrote in his “miracle year” of 1905. These “thought experiments” were pages of calculations signed and submitted to the prestigious journal Annalen der Physik by a virtual unknown. There were no footnotes or citations.
What might happen to such a submission today?
“We all get papers like those in the mail,” Greene said. “We put them in the junk file.”
What do scientists seem to agree upon, judging from the first two paragraphs?
(A)Einstein pushed mathematics almost to its limits.
(B) It will take another Einstein to build a unified theory.
(C) No physicist is likely to surpass Einstein in the next 200 years.
(D)It will be some time before a new Einstein emerges.
39.【題組】58. What was critical to Einstein’s success?
(A)His talent as an accomplished musician.
(B) His independent and abstract thinking.
(C) His untiring effort to fulfill his potential.
(D)His solid foundation in math theory.
40.【題組】59. What does the author tell us about physicists today?
(A)They tend to neglect training in analytical skills.
(B) They are very good at solving practical problems.
(C) They attach great importance to publishing academic papers.
(D)They often go into fields yielding greater financial benefits.
41.【題組】60. What does Brian Greene imply by saying “... it would be a lot harder for him to be heard” (Lines 1-2, Para. 9)?
(A)People have to compete in order to get their papers published.
(B) It is hard for a scientist to have his papers published today.
(C) Papers like Einstein’s would unlikely get published today.
(D)Nobody will read papers on apparently ridiculous theories.
42.【題組】61. When he submitted his papers in 1905, Einstein _______.
(A)forgot to make footnotes and citations
(B) was little known in academic circles
(C) was known as a young genius in math calculations
(D)knew nothing about the format of academic papers
43.Part V Cloze (15 minutes)
Directions: There are 20 blanks in the following passage. For each blank there are four choices marked [A],
(D)on the right side of the paper. You should choose the ONE that best fits into the passage. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
America’s most popular newspaper website today announced that the era of free online journalism is drawing to a close. The New York Times has become the biggest publisher yet to 62 plans for a paywall around its digital offering, 63 the accepted practice that internet users will not pay for news.
Struggling 64 an evaporation of advertising and a downward drift in street corner sales, The New York Times 65 to introduce a “metered” model at the beginning of 2011. Readers will be required to pay when they have 66 a set number of its online articles per month.
The decision puts the 159-year-old newspaper 67 the charging side of an increasingly wide chasm (鸿沟) in the media industry. But others, including the Guardian, have said they will not 68 internet readers, and certain papers, 69 London’s Evening Standard, have gone further in abandoning readership revenue by making their print editions 70 .
The New York Times’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, 71 that the move is a gamble: “This is a 72 , to a certain degree, in where we think the web is going.”
Boasting a print 73 of 995,000 on weekdays and 1.4 million on Sundays, The New York Times is the third bestselling American newspaper, 74 the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. 75 most US papers focus on a single city, The New York Times is among the few that can 76 national scope—as well as 16 bureaus in the New York area, it has 11 offices around the US and 77 26 bureaus elsewhere in the world.
But 78 many in the publishing industry, the paper is in the grip of a 79 financial crisis. Its parent company, the New York Times Company, has 15 papers, but 80 a loss of $70 million in the nine months to September and recently accepted a $250 million 81 from a Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, to strengthen its balance sheet.
(C) carry over
(B) set out
(C) such as
(B) far from