Reading Practice Test 4

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Reading Passage 1

 
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-15 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
 

Questions 1-6
Reading Passage 1 has seven sections, A-G.
Choose the correct headings for sections A-F from the list of headings below.
Write the correct numbers, i-ix, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i The problem of allocating limited resources to address risk
ii External and internal threats
iii Thinking about change
iv How to understand risk clearly
v Starting the risk analysis
vi A quantitative method for analyzing risk
vii Managing different parts
viii Different strategies for dealing with risk
ix Adapting to change saves resources

1. Paragraph A
2. Paragraph B
3. Paragraph C
4. Paragraph D
5. Paragraph E
6. Paragraph F

Paragraph G (Example) Answer: ix

 

Managing Risk


A.
Among a wide range of fields, the word ‘risk’ entails the probability of loss. As a concept, it is useful in areas as diverse as military conflict, public health, business, and finance. It is a very broad term that can refer to such things as the handling of radioactive materials or to the construction safety of bridges and other infrastructure. One particular scope of risk involves institutions’ understanding about all new projects that create desired benefits. Those initiatives have the potential to bring in more profit, but also engender some risk; at the very least, there is the prospect of losing the initial outlay without having produced any tangible results. Research over the past few decades has created frameworks that help to identify and mitigate potential pitfalls. Venturing into the unknown is a less frightening task for companies when they can rationally evaluate the risks they take on an effort to expand their operations and income.

В.
Аnу change in the way a company works, like implementing a new Internet technology system or a franchising scheme, requires understanding the risk at hand. Identification is the first step in any decision-making process. Identifying risks can be broken down into several constituent parts depending on the nature of the problem and type of institution conducting the analysis. Sources of risk are identified in order to formulate and deploy potential mitigating strategies.

C.
For example, a software engineering project requires numerous man-hours and high labor costs. An internal source of risk for that particular project is the possibility that parts of the software coded by different teams might be incompatible, resulting in а product that requires more capital input than planned for. For the same software project, one source of exogenous risk, as opposed to endogenous, might be a downturn in the national economy that dries up demand for the final software product. Risk identification strategies may also include simulations, analysis of different market scenarios, or for particular areas, checking a common database of known risks.

D.
Once potential risks have been identified, both the probability of the problem actually occurring and how much the problem would cost if it did materialize need to be calculated. Multiplying the two numbers together can give a value, which can then be compared to the values generated by all other identified risks. This kind of risk assessment is useful for helping corporations prioritize risks that need to be mitigated, though there are some difficulties inherent in the methodology.

E.
The value of a lost shipment of cargo is easily quantifiable but the probability of a major weather event that causes the loss is not. Also, since the probability of the event occurring and the cost of that event are multiplied, it is difficult to prioritize between: a) events that have a very high cost, but relatively low chance of occurring; and b) events that have minimal costs, but will almost certainly occur. With only finite amounts of capital, material, and time, deciding which risk is focused on becomes very important.

F.
After agreeing on which risks should be mitigated, there are several options that groups can choose from. Dr. Merlin Dorfman, a software engineer, identifies four types of treatment for potential risks: Avoidance, Reduction, Transfer, and Retention. All four strategies of approaching risks have benefits and drawbacks. Avoidance dictates not engaging in the particular activity that carries the risk, the cost of which is foregoing any potential profit or advantage. Reduction of risk is intuitively very familiar to most people and involves the expenditure of resources to reduce costs in the event of a loss. Installing sprinkler systems in a building to reduce damage sustained in a fire is one common example. Transfer is where another party takes on risk, with one typical method being insurance. Retention simply means accepting the risk and covering it with available resources. This includes risk where losses are so small that addressing them would cost more money than is lost, and also risks that are so catastrophic and improbable as to be uninsurable.

G.
In an ever-changing world, dealing with the unexpected creates stronger institutions. A comprehensive and rigorous risk strategy is part of that plan, especially when large amounts of capital and livelihoods are on the line.

 

 

Questions 7-9
Choose the appropriate letters, A-D, and write them in boxes 7-9 on your answer sheet.

7. One example of an exogenous risk for a business starting a new venture is
А the threat of invasion from another country.
B internal strife among the management.
С potential problems with the facility or building.
D the occurrence of accounting irregularities at the finance department.

8. Knowing what risks to prioritize is difficult because
A random events will always occur in life.
8 people will never be able to quantify risk.
С it is hard to determine which risk has the greatest consequences.
D there are too many unknown factors in the world.

9. According to passage, the author feels that
A dealing with risk is not feasible, given the limitation in methodology.
В companies addressing risk are stronger.
С given the right approach risk IS easily manageable
D the framework concerning risk needs to be re-examined.

 

 

Questions 10-14
From the information in the text, identify what kind of risk treatment the following actions are.

Write the appropriate letters, A-C, in boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

10. Increasing the coverage of a company’s fire insurance policy

11. Making a decision not to invest in a new product

12. Installing safety lights in a stairwell

13. Training workers on the proper use of machines

14. Canceling the unveiling of a new product line

Type of Risk Treatment

А Avoidance
B Reduction
C Transfer

 

 

Question 15

Answer the question below, using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.
Write your answer in box 15 on your answer sheet.

15. What does the Retention strategy simply involve?

 

 


 

 

Reading Passage 2

 
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 16-29 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
 

 

Human Diaspora


A.
The question of exactly how the Earth became populated by humanity beggars our everyday notion of self. The government and nation state under which people live are usually quite familiar in such a way that it is difficult to imagine a time when no such social structures existed. That there was a pre-human time on the planet is not in dispute. Exactly how humans came to imprint their own mental and cultural architecture on the physical landscape across the world is quite important. The discourse that a single person engages in with himself or herself forms a coherent, yet malleable identity. Similarly, the story of the human diaspora across face of the planet, as told by Western science, supplements the rich and varied ways that people across the world see themselves.

B.
In the field of paleoanthropology (study of human origins), the great majority of evidence now points to a single origin hypothesis out of Africa. In 1871, Charles Darwin prefigured this development in his Book Descent of Man when he conjectured it was “somewhat … probably that our early progenitors lived on the African continent …” This went against another view held in Western science that Europe was ‘naturally’ the birthplace of all humankind. With modern technology, the origin of modern humans has been confirmed. The time and circumstances under which those first peoples left their homes and settled the entire planet have also been roughly sketched.

C.
Climate change was the driving factor that drove both the evolution of protohominid species and also migration out of the continent. Around two million years ago, climate factors changed the environment such that previously tree-dwelling species were forced onto the ground. These new selection pressures resulted in a species able to walk upright and able to use tools extensively. The climate changes also allowed these early hominids to migrate through the usually arid Sahara and Middle East, populating the rest if the Eurasian landmass, but not Australia nor the Americas, for the next one million years.

D.
The next part of this version of the human story comes from a variety of sources including: the fossil record, which can trace where human species went in the world and at what time; two types of genetic evidence, one of which is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the other being Y-chromosome DNA; geologic cores that give insights into weather patterns from millennia ago; and archaeological findings that indicate what tools early humans used. Scientists have taken core samples from one of the world’s deepest lakes, Lake Malawi, in southeastern Africa in order to determine climatic conditions in previous geological eras. Sediments from around 100,000 years ago indicate the occurrence of a massive ‘megadrought’ in the region when the level of Lake Malawi dropped to at least 600 meters. All humans currently inhabiting the Earth today are descended from a small band, perhaps numbering just about 2,000 people, who survived that continent-wide devastation. Then, starting about 70,000 years ago, more favorable wet and humid weather conditions allowed the descendants of those survivors to cross into Eurasia and, eventually, to all other major landmasses, excluding Antarctica.

E.
The genetic evidence from which scientists developed this model is based on the characteristics of a special kind of DNA in cells. Mitochondria are the power stations of the body since they produce most of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) used to create chemical energy for cellular processes. Mitochondria also notable for containing DNA that is outside the cell nucleus. This is important because the mitochondria present in cells that are involved in reproduction and fertilization comes exclusively from the egg cell, or the mother’s side. This mtDNA mutates at a higher rate than nuclear DNA. By measuring the differences in samples from enough populations, geneticists can determine a rough timeline of when groups of humans arrived where they did. The genetic evidence indicates modern humans settled Australia about 50,000 years ago, corresponding with the exit out of Africa. In the rest of Eurasia, previous human species had already established themselves but were eventually displaced by Homo sapiens sapiens.

F.
Paleoanthropological studies are useful for highlighting how closely related the human species is. Anthropologists have already noticed certain universal culture characteristics present in all groups of human beings. The most obvious superficial characteristics, such as skin pigmentation, have only recently been expressed. Nina Jablonski and George Chaplin of the California Academy of Sciences state that “coloration in humans is adaptive and labile. Skin pigmentation levels have changed more than once in human evolution,’ giving weight to the argument that arbitrary categorization is not, in fact, part of the real human story here on Earth.

 

 

Questions 16-18
Choose the appropriate letters, A-D, and write them in boxes 16-18 on your answer sheet

16. According to information in the text, the place where humans originated
A is still subject to controversial debate.
B has been pinpointed to an exact time and place.
С were different. according to different theories.
D might never be known for sure,

17. According to information in the text, one important factor affecting the spread of
humanity
A resulted from the mutation rate in early humans» DNA.
B was the use of different kind of stone tools.
C was the ability to walk upright on two legs.
D was the shifting of global weather patterns.

18. According to information in the text, the continent of Australia
A remained uninhabited by any human species until 50,000 years ago.
B was settled by early hominids about 70.000 years ago.
С has been home to some sort of human species for at least a million years.
D was unable to support any human population until its climate changed.

 

 

Questions 19-22
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 19-22 оn your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement agrees with the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

19. Western science is one of several methods used to understand our past.

20. Modern humans were the only species of hominids to have left Africa.

21. Geologic findings from Lake Malawi give clues about the timeline of modern humans.

22. Without evidence from mtDNA, it would be impossible to know when Australia was settled.

 

 

Questions 23-25
Choose ONE phrase from the list of phrases, A-J, below to complete each of the following sentences.

Write the appropriate letters in boxes 23-25 on your answer sheet.

23. The story of humans on the planet …
24. Paleoanthropology …
25. Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man …

A. has had very few breakthroughs in recent times.
В. seeks to determine how humans settled the globe.
C. is still being revealed through scientific research.
D. is largely conjectural and not very useful.
E. tries to understand how human cultures are different.
F. makes claims which are not verifiable.
G. is largely understood, with little left to research.
H. has been largely disproven with modern science.
I. contains mostly positive aspects about human nature.
J. has an early guess about human origins that is accurate.

 

 

Questions 26-29
Classify the following statements as being:

A. geological evidence
B. archaeological evidence
C. fossil evidence
D. genetic evidence

Write the appropriate letters, A-D, in boxes 26-29 on your answer sheet.

26. Bones of a primitive human species in Western Europe
27. An ancient stone axe found on an Australian beach
28. An analysis of chromosomal material in different populations
29. Strata in a rock exposed by natural weathering and erosion

 

 


 

 

Reading Passage 3

 
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 30-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
 

Questions 30-36
Reading Passage 3 has eight sections, A-H.
Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.
Write the correct number i-x in boxes 30-36 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i Summarising personality types
ii Combined styles for workplace
iii Physical explanation
iv A lively person who encourages
v Demanding and unsympathetic personality
vi Lazy and careless personality
vii The benefits of understanding communication styles
viii Cautious and caring
ix Factual and analytical personality
x Self-assessment determines one’s temperament

Section A (Example) Answer: iii

30. Section B
31. Section C
32. Section D
33. Section E
34. Section F
35. Section G
36. Section H

 

Communicating Styles and Conflict

Knowing your communication style and having a mix of styles on your team can provide a positive force for resolving conflict.


Section A
As far back as Hippocrates’ time (460-370 BC), people have tried to understand other people by characterising them according to personality types or temperaments. Hippocrates believed there were four different body fluids that influenced four basic types of temperament. His work was further developed 500 years later by Galen (130-200 AD). These days there are a number of self-assessment tools that relate to the basic descriptions developed by Galen, although we no longer believe the source to be the types of body fluid that dominate our systems.

Section B
The value in self-assessments that help determine personality styles, learning styles, communication styles, conflict-handling styles, or other aspects of individuals is that they help depersonalise conflicts in interpersonal relationships.

The depersonalisation occurs when you realise that others aren’t trying to be difficult, but they need different or more information than you do. They’re not intending to be rude; they are so focused on the task they forget about greeting people. They would like to work faster but not at the risk of damaging the relationships needed to get the job done. They understand there is a job to do, but it can only be done right with the appropriate information, which takes time to collect.

When used appropriately, understanding communication styles can help resolve conflicts on teams. Very rare are conflicts of true personality issues. Usually, they are issues of style, information needs, or focus.

Section C
Hippocrates and later Galen determined there were four basic temperaments: sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric. These descriptions were developed centuries ago and are still somewhat apt, although you could update the wording.

In today’s world, they translate into the four fairly common communication styles
described below:

Section D
The sanguine person would be the expressive or spirited style of communication. These people speak in pictures. They invest a lot of emotion and energy in their communication and often speak quickly, putting their whole body into it. They are easily sidetracked onto a story that may or may not illustrate the point they are trying to make. Because of their enthusiasm they are great team motivators. They are concerned about people and relationships. Their high levels of energy can come on strong at times and their focus is usually on the bigger picture, which means they sometimes miss the details or the proper order of things. These people find conflict or differences of opinion invigorating and love to engage in a spirited discussion. They love change and are constantly looking for new and exciting adventures.

Section E
The phlegmatic person — cool and persevering — translates into the technical or systematic communication style. This style of communication is focused on facts and technical details. Phlegmatic people have an orderly, methodical way of approaching tasks, and their focus is very much on the task, not on the people, emotions, or concerns that the task may evoke. The focus is also more on the details necessary to accomplish a task. Sometimes the details overwhelm the big picture and focus needs to be brought back to the context of the task. People with this style think the facts should speak for themselves, and they are not as comfortable with conflict. They need time to adapt to change and need to understand both the logic of it and the steps involved.

Section F
The melancholic person, who is soft-hearted and oriented towards doing things for others, translates into the considerate or sympathetic communication style. A person with this communication style is focused on people and relationships. They are good listeners and do things for other people — sometimes to the detriment of getting things done for themselves. They want to solicit everyone’s opinion and make sure everyone is comfortable with whatever is required to get the job done. At times this focus on others can distract from the task at hand. Because they are so concerned with the needs of others and smoothing over issues, they do not like conflict. They believe that change threatens the status quo and tends to make people feel uneasy, so people with this communication style, like phlegmatic people, need time to consider the changes in order to adapt to them.

Section G
The choleric temperament translates into the bold or direct style of communication. People with this style are brief in their communication — the fewer words the better. They are big picture thinkers and love to be involved in many things at once. They are focused on tasks and outcomes and often forget that the people involved in carrying out the tasks have needs. They don’t do detail work easily and as a result can often underestimate how much time it takes to achieve the task. Because they are so direct, they often seem forceful and can be very intimidating to others. They would usually welcome someone challenging them, but most other styles are afraid to do so. They also thrive on change, the more the better.

Section H
A well-functioning team should have all of these communication styles for true effectiveness. All teams need to focus on tasks, and they need to take care of relationships in order to achieve those tasks. They need the big picture perspective or the context of their work, and they need the details to be identified and taken care of for success.

We all have aspects of each style within us. Some of us can easily move from one style to another and adapt our style to the needs of the situation at hand – whether the focus is on tasks or relationships. For others, a dominant style is very evident, and it is more challenging to see the situation from the perspective of another style.

The work environment can influence communication styles either by the type of work that is required or by the predominance of one style reflected in that environment. Some people use one style at work and another at home.

The good news about communication styles is that we all have the ability to develop flexibility in our styles. The greater the flexibility we have, the more skilled we usually are at handling possible and actual conflicts. Usually it has to be relevant to us to do so, either because we think it is important or because there are incentives in our environment to encourage it. The key is that we have to want to become flexible with our communication styles. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!”

 

 

Questions 37-39
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 37-39 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

37. Managers often select their best employees according to personality types.

38. It is possible to change one’s personality type.

39. Workplace environment can affect which communication style is most effective.

 

 

Question 40
Choose the correct letter А. В, С оr D.
Write your answer in box 40 on your answer sheet.

40. The writer believes using self-assessment tools can
A help to develop one’s personality.
B help to understand colleagues’ behaviour.
C improve one’s relationship with the employer.
D directly resolve conflicts.

 

 


Ответы к этим текстам :

Reading Test 4 Answer Key

Reading Passage 1

1. iv
2. v
3. ii
4. vi
5. i
6. viii
7. A
8. C
9. B
10. C
11. A
12. B
13. B
14. A
15. accepting the risk

Reading Passage 2

16. B
17. D
18. A
19. YES
20. NO
21. YES
22. NOT GIVEN
23. C
24. B
25. J
26. C
27. B
28. D
29. A

Reading Passage 3

30. vii
31. iv
32. viii
33. ii
34. i
35. ix
36. v
37. NOT GIVEN
38. TRUE
39. TRUE
40. B

 

 

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