101 年 - 2012年6月大学英语六级考试真题#12918
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, B, C and D. For questions 8-10, complete the sen tences with the information given in the passage.
The Three-Year Solution
Hartwick College, a small liberal-arts school in upstate New York, makes New York, makes this offer to well prepared students: earn your undergraduate degree in three years instead of four, and save about 543,000—the amount of one year’s tuition and fees. A number of innovative colleges are making the same offer to students anxious about saving time and money. That’s both an opportunity and a warning for the best higher-education system in the world.
TheUnited Stateshas almost all of the world’s best universities. A recent Chinese survey ranks 35 American universities among the top 50, eight among the top 10. Our research universities have been the key to developing the competitive advantages that help Americans produce 25% of all the world’s wealth. In 2007, 623,805 of the world’s brightest students were attracted to American universities.
Yet, there are signs of peril (危险)within American higher education.U.S.colleges have to compete in the marketplace. Students may choose among 6,000 public, private, nonprofit, for profit, or religious institutions of higher learning. In addition, almost all of the 532 billion the federal government provides for university research is awarded competitively.
But many colleges and universities are stuck in the past. For instance, the idea of the fall-to-spring“school year”hasn’t changed much since before the American Revolution, when we were a summer stretch no longer makes sense. Former George Washington University president Stephen Trachtenberg estimates that a typical college uses its facilities for academic purposes a little more than half the calendar year.“While college facilities sit idle, they continue to generate maintenance expenses that contribute to the high cost of running a college,” he has written.
Within academic departments, tenure(终身职位)，combined with age-discrimination laws, makes faculty turnover—critical for a university to remain current in changing times—difficult. Instead of protecting speech and encouraging diversity and innovative thinking, the tenure system often stifles(压制)them: younger professors must win the approval of established colleagues for tenure, encouraging like-mindedness and sometimes inhibiting the free flow of ideas.
Meanwhile, tuition has soared, leaving graduating students with unprecedented loan debt. Strong campus presidents to manage these problems are becoming harder to find, and to keep. In fact, students now stay on campus almost as long as their presidents. The average amount of time students now take to complete an undergraduate degree has stretched to six years and seven months as students interrupted by work, inconvenienced by unavailable classes, or lured by one more football season find it hard to graduate.
Congress has tried to help students with college costs through Pell Grants and other forms of tuition support. But some of their fixes have made the problem worse. The stack of congressional regulations governing federal student grants and loans now stands twice as tall as I do. Filling out these forms consumes 7% of every tuition dollar.
For all of these reasons, some colleges like Hartwick are rethinking the old way of doing things and questioning decades-old assumptions about what a college degree means. For instance, why does it have to take four years to earn a diploma? This fall, 16 first-year students and four second-year students at Hartwick enrolled in the school’s new three year degree program. According to the college, the plan is designed for high-ability, highly motivated student who wish to save money or to move along more rapidly toward advanced degrees.
By eliminating that extra year, there year degree students save 25% in costs. Instead of taking30credits a year, these students take 40. During January, Hartwick runs a four week course during which students may earn three to four credits on or off campus, including a number of international sites. Summer courses are not required, but a student may enroll in them—and pay extra. Three year students get first crack at course registration. There are no changes in the number of courses professors teach or in their pay.
The three-year degree isn’t a new idea. Geniuses have always breezed through.JudsonCollege, a 350-student institution inAlabama, has offered students a three-year option for 40 years. Students attend “short terms” in May and June to earn the credits required for graduation.BatesCollegeinMaineandBallStateUniversityinIndianaare among other colleges offering three-year options.
Changes at the high-school level are also helping to make it easier for many students to earn their undergraduate degrees in less time. One of five students arrives at college today with Advanced Placement (AP) credits amounting to a semester or more of college level work. Many universities, including large schools like theUniversityofTexas, make it easy for these AP students to graduate faster.
For students who don’t plan to stop with an undergraduate degree, the three-year plan may have an even greater appeal. Dr. John Sergent, head of VanderbiltUniversityMedicalSchool’s residency (住院医生) program, enrolled in Vanderbilt’s undergraduate college in 1959. He entered medical school after only three years as did four or five of his classmates.” My first year of medical school counted as my senior year, which meant I had to take three to four labs a week to get all my sciences in. I basically skipped my senior year,” says Sergent. He still had time to be a student senator and meet his wife.
There are, however, drawbacks to moving through school at such a brisk pace. For one, it deprives students of the luxury of time to roam (遨游) intellectually. Compressing everything into three years also leaves less time for growing up, engaging in extracurricular activities, and studying abroad. On crowded campuses it could mean fewer opportunities to get into a prized professor’s class.Iowa’sWaldorfCollege has graduated several hundred students in its three-year degree program, but it now phasing out the option. Most Waldorf students wanted the full four-year experience—academically, socially, and athletically. And faculty members will be wary of any change that threatens the core curriculum in the name of moving students into the workforce.
“Most high governmental officials seem to conceive of education in this light—as a way to ensure economic competitiveness and continued economic growth,” Derek Bok, former president of Harvard, told The Washington Post. “I strongly disagree with this approach.” Another risk: the new campus schedules might eventually produce less revenue for the institution and longer working hours for faculty members.
Adopting a three-year option will not come easily to most school. Those that wish to tackle tradition and make American campus more cost-conscious may find it easier to take Trachtenberg’s advice: open campuses year-round.“You could run two complete colleges, with two complete faculties,”he says.“That’s without cutting the length of students’ vacations, increasing class sizes, or requiring faculty to teach more.”
Whether they experiment with three-year degrees, offer year-round classes, challenge the tenure system—or all of the above—universities are slowly realizing that to stay competitive and relevant they must adapt to a rapidly changing world.
Expanding the three-year option may be difficult, but it may be less difficult than asking Congress for additional financial help, asking legislators for more state support, or asking students even higher tuition payments. Campuses willing to adopt convenient schedules along with more focused, less-expensive degrees may find that they have a competitive advantage in attracting bright, motivated students. These sorts of innovations can help American universities avoid the perils of success.
Why didHartwickCollegestart three-year degree programs?
(A) To create chances for the poor.
(C) To enroll more students.
(B) To cut students’ expenses.
(D) To solve its financial problems.
2.【題組】2. By quoting Stephen Trachtenberg the author wants to say that .
(A) American universities are resistant to change
(B) the summer vacation contributes to student growth
(C) college facilities could be put to more effective use
(D) the costs of running a university are soaring
3.【題組】3. The author thinks the tenure system in American universities .
A）suppresses creative thinking
(C) guarantees academic freedom
(B) creates conflicts among colleagues
(D) is a sign of age discrimination
4.【題組】4. What is said about the new three-year degree program at Hartwick?
(A) Its students have to earn more credits each year.
(B) Non-credit courses are eliminated altogether.
(C) Its faculty members teach more hours a week.
(D) Some summer courses are offered free of charge.
5.【題組】5. What do we learn aboutJudsonCollege’s three-year degree program?
(A) It has been running for several decades.
(B) It is open to the brightest students only.
(C) It is the most successful in the country.
(D) It has many practical courses on offer.
6.【題組】6. What changes in high schools help students earn undergraduate degrees in three years?
(A) Curriculums have been adapted to students’ needs.
(B) More students have Advanced Placement credits.
(C) More elective courses are offered in high school.
(D) The overall quality of education bas improved.
7.【題組】7. What is said to be a drawback of the three-year college program?
(A) Students have to cope with too heavy a workload.
(B) Students don’t have much time to roam intellectually.
(C) Students have little time to gain practical experience.
(D) Students don’t have prized professors to teach them.
8. 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
(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.
As anyone who has tried to lose weight knows, realistic goal-setting generally produces the best results. That's partially because it appears people who set realistic goals actually work more efficiently, and exert more effort, to achieve those goals.
What's far less understood by scientists, however, are the potentially harmful effects of goal-setting.
Newspapers relay daily accounts of goal-setting prevalent in industries and businesses up and down both Wall Street and Main Street , yet there has been surprisingly little research on how the long-trumpeted practice of setting goals may have contributed to the current economic crisis , and unethical （不道德的）behavior in general.
“Goals are widely used and promoted as having really beneficial effects. And yet, the same motivation that can push people to exert more effort in a constructive way could also motivate people to be more likely to engage in unethical behaviors,” says Maurice Schweitzer, an associate professor at Penn’sWhartonSchool.
“It turns out there’s no economic benefit to just having a goal---you just get a psychological benefit” Schweitzer says. “But in many cases, goals have economic rewards that make them more powerful.”
A prime example Schweitzer and his colleagues cite is the 2004 collapse of energy-trading giant Enron, where managers used financial incentives to motivate salesmen to meet specific revenue goals. The problem, Schweitzer says, is the actual trades were not profitable.
Other studies have shown that saddling employees with unrealistic goals can compel them to lie, cheat or steal. Such was the case in the early 1990s when Sears imposed a sales quota on its auto repair staff. It prompted employees to overcharge for work and to complete unnecessary repairs on a companywide basis.
Schweitzer concedes his research runs counter to a very large body of literature that commends the many benefits of goal-setting. Advocates of the practice have taken issue with his team’s use of such evidence as news accounts to support his conclusion that goal-setting is widely over-prescribed
In a rebuttal (反驳) paper, Dr. Edwin Locke writes:“Goal-setting is not going away. Organizations cannot thrive without being focused on their desired end results any more than an individual can thrive without goals to provide a sense of purpose.”
But Schweitzer contends the “mounting causal evidence” linking goal-setting and harmful behavior should be studied to help spotlight issues that merit caution and further investigation. “Even a few negative effects could be so large that they outweigh many positive effects,” he says.
“Goal-setting does help coordinate and motivate people. My idea would be to combine that with careful oversight, a strong organizational culture, and make sure the goals that you use are going to be constructive and not significantly harm the organization,” Schweitzer says.
What message does the author try to convey about goal-setting?
(A) Its negative effects have long been neglected.
(B) The goal increase people’s work efficiency.
(C) Its role has been largely underestimated.
(D) The goals most people set are unrealistic.
9.【題組】53. What does Maurice Schweitzer want to show by citing the example of Enron?
(A) Setting realistic goals can turn a failing business into success.
(B) Businesses are less likely to succeed without setting realistic goals.
(C) Financial incentives ensure companies meet specific revenue goals.
(D) Goals with financial rewards have strong motivational power.
10.【題組】54. How did Sears’ goal-setting affect its employees?
(A) They were obliged to work more hours to increase their sales.
(B) They competed with one another to attract more customers.
(C) They resorted to unethical practice to meet their sales quota.
(D) They improved their customer service on a companywide basis.
11.【題組】55. What do advocates of goal-setting think of Schweitzer’s research?
(A) Its findings are not of much practical value.
(B) It exaggerates the side effects of goal-setting.
(C) Its conclusion is not based on solid scientific evidence.
(D) It runs counter to the existing literature on the subject.
12.【題組】56. What is Schweitzer’s contention against Edwin Locke?
(A) The link between goal-setting and harmful behavior deserves further study.
(B) Goal-setting has become too deep-rooted in corporate culture.
(C) The positive effects of goal-setting outweigh its negative effects.
(D) Studying goal-setting can throw more light on successful business practices.
Questions 57 to 61 are based on the following passage.
For most of the 20th century, Asia asked itself what it could learn from the modern, innovating West. Now the question must be reversed. What can the West’s overly indebted and sluggish (经济滞长的) nations learn from a flourishing Asia?
Just a few decades ago, Asia’s two giants were stagnating(停滞不前) under faulty economic ideologies. However, once China began embracing free-market reforms in the 1980s, followed by India in the 1990s, both countries achieved rapid growth. Crucially, as they opened up their markets, they balanced market economy with sensible government direction. As the Indian economist Amartya Sen has wisely said, “The invisible hand of the market has often relied heavily on the visible hand of government.”
Contrast this middle path with America and Europe, which have each gone ideologically over-board in their own ways. Since the 1980s, America has been increasingly clinging to the ideology of uncontrolled free markets and dismissing the role of government---following Ronald Regan’s idea that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. “Of course, when the markets came crashing down in 2007, it was decisive government intervention that saved the day. Despite this fact, many Americans are still strongly opposed to “big government.”
If Americans could only free themselves from their antigovernment doctrine, they would begin to see that the America’s problems are not insoluble. A few sensible federal measures could put the country back on the right path. A simple consumption tax of, say, 5% would significantly reduce the country’s huge government deficit without damaging productivity. A small gasoline tax would help free America from its dependence on oil imports and create incentives for green energy development. In the same way, a significant reduction of wasteful agricultural subsidies could also lower the deficit. But in order to take advantage of these common-sense solutions, Americans will have to put aside their own attachment to the idea of smaller government and less regulation. American politicians will have to develop the courage to follow what is taught in all American public-policy schools: that there are good taxes and bad taxes. Asian countries have embraced this wisdom, and have built sound long-term fiscal (财政的) policies as a result.
Meanwhile, Europe has fallen prey to a different ideological trap: the belief that European governments would always have infinite resources and could continue borrowing as if there were no tomorrow. Unlike the Americans, who felt that the markets knew best, the Europeans failed to anticipate how the markets would react to their endless borrowing. Today, the European Union is creating a $580 billion fund to ward off sovereign collapse. This will buy the EU time, but it will not solve the bloc’s larger problem.
What has contributed to the rapid economic growth in China and India?
(A) Copying western-style economic behavior.
(B) Heavy reliance on the hand of government.
(C) Timely reform of government at all levels.
(D) Free market plus government intervention.
14.【題組】58. What does Ronald Reagan mean by saying “government is the problem” (line4, Para. 3)?
(A) Many social evils are caused by wrong government policies.
(B) Many social problems arise from government’s inefficiency.
(C) Government action is key to solving economic problems.
(D) Government regulation hinders economic development.
15.【題組】59. What stopped the American economy from collapsing in 2007?
(A) Self-regulatory repair mechanisms of the free market.
(B) Cooperation between the government and businesses.
(C) Abandonment of big government by the public.
(D) Effective measures adopted by the government.
16.【題組】60. What is the author’s suggestion to the American public in face of the public government deficit?
(A) They urge the government to revise its existing public policies.
(B) They develop green energy to avoid dependence on oil import.
(C) They give up the idea of smaller government and less regulation.
(D) They put up with the inevitable sharp increase of different taxes.
17.【題組】61. What’s the problem with the European Union?
(A) Conservative ideology.
(B) Shrinking market.
(C) Lack of resources.
(D) Excessive borrowing.
18.Part V Cloze (15 minutes)
Directions: There are 20 blanks in the following passage. For each blank there are four choices marked
(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.
Music produces profound and lasting changes in the brain. Schools should add music classes, not cut them. Nearly 20 years ago, a small study advanced the 62 that listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major could boost mental functioning. It was not long 63 trademarked “Mozart effect” products began to appeal to anxious parents aiming to put toddlers (刚学步的孩子) 64 the fast track to prestigious universities like Harvard and Yale. Georgia’s governor even 65 giving every newborn there a classical CD or cassette.
The 66 for Mozart therapy turned out to be weak, perhaps nonexistent, although the 67 study never claimed anything more than a temporary and limited effect. In recent years, 68 , scientists have examined the benefits of a concerted 69 to study and practice music, as 70 to playing a Mozart CD or a computer-based“brain fitness” game 71 in a while.
Advanced monitoring 72 have enabled scientists to see what happens 73 your head when you listen to your mother and actually practice the violin for an hour every afternoon. And they have found that music 74 can produce profound and lasting changes that 75 the general ability to learn. These results should 76 public officials that music classes are not a mere decoration, ripe for discarding in the budget crises that constantly 77 public schools.
Studies have shown that 78 instrument training from an early age can help the brain to 79 sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to mathematics. The musically adept (擅长的)are better able to 80 on a biology lesson despite the noise in the classroom 81 , a few years later, to finish a call with a client when a colleague in the next office starts screaming a subordinate. They can attend to several things at once in the mental scratch pad called working
【題組】62．memory, an essential skill in this era of multitasking.