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Section III Reading Comprehension

(60 minutes)

Part A

Directions :

Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing A, B, C or D.Mark your answers on, ANSWER SHEET1.

Text 1

Competition for admission to the country's top private schools has always been tough, but this year Elisabeth realized it had reached a new level. Her wake-up call came when a man called the Dalton School in Manhattan, where Elisabeth is admissions director, and inquired about the age cutoff for their kindergarten program. After providing the information, she asked about the age of his child. The man paused for an uncomfortably long time before answering. "Well, we don't have a child yet. We're trying to figure out when to conceive a child so the birthday is not a problem. "

Worries are spreading from Manhattan to the rest of the country. Precise current data on private schools are unavailable, but interviews with representatives of independent schools all told the same story: an oversupply of applicants, higher rejection rates. "We have people calling us for spots two years down the road," said Marilyn of the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati. " We have grandparents calling for pregnant daughters. " Public opinion polls indicate that Americans' No. 1 concern is edu-cation .Now that the long economic boom has given parents more disposable income, many are tuming to private schools, even at price tags of well over $ 10,000 a year. "We're getting appli-cants from a broader area geographically than we ever have in the past," said Betsy of the Latin School of Chicago, which experienced a 20 percent increase in applications this year.

The problem for the applicants is that while demand has increased, supply has not. "Every Year ,there are a few children who do not find places, but this year, for the first time that I know of , there are a significant number without places ,"said Elisabeth.

So what can parents do to give their 4-year-old an edge? Schools know there is no easy way to pick a class when children are so young. Many schools give preference to children of their gradu- ates. Some make the choice by drawing lots. But most rely on a mix of subjective and objective measures: tests that at best identify developmental maturity and cognitive potential, interviews with parents and observation of applicants in classroom settings. They also want a diverse mix. Children may end up on a waiting list simply because their birthdays fall at the wrong time of year, or be- cause too many applicants were boys.

The worst thing a patent can do is to pressure preschoolers to perform-for example, by push-ing them to read or do math exercises before they're ready. Instead, the experts say, parents should take a breath and look for alternatives. Another year in preschool may be all that's needed.

41. From this text we learn that it is

[A] harder to make a choice between public and private schools.

[B] harder to go to private schools this year than before.

[C] more difficult to go to public schools than to private schools.

[D] as difficult to go to private schools this year as before.

  • Text 4

    Jill Ker Conway ,president of Smith ,echoes the prevailing view of contemporary technology when she says that " anyone in today's world who doesn't understand data processing is not educated. " But she insists that the mcreasing emphasis on these matters leave certain gaps. Says she: "The very strongly utilitarian emphasis in education ,which is an effect of man-made satellites and the cold war, has really removed from this culture something that was very profound in its 18th and 19th century roots ,which was a sense that literacy and learning were ends in themselves for a demo- cratic republic. "

    In contrast to Plato's claim for the social value of education,a quite different idea of intellectu-al purposes was advocated by the Renaissance humanists. Ovejoyed with their rediscovery of the classical leaming that was thought to have disappeared during the Dark Ages,they argued that the imparting of knowledge needs no justification-religious ,social ,economic ,or political. Its purpose,to the extent that it has one ,is to pass on from generation to generation the corpus of knowledge that constitutes civilization. "What could man acquire ,by virtuous striving ,that is more valuable than knowledge?" asked Erasmus ,perhaps the greatest scholar of the early 16th century. That idea has acquired a tradition of its own. "The educational process has no end beyond itself," said John Dewey. "It is its own end. "

    But what exactly is the corpus of knowledge to be passed on? In simpler times ,it was all included in the medieval universities' Quadrivium ( arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music ) and Trivium( grammar, thetoric ,logic). As recently as the last century ,when less than 5% of Americans went to college at all, students in New England establishments were compelled mainly to memorize and recite various Latin texts,and crusty professors angrily opposed the introduction of any new scientific discoveries or modern European languages. "They felt," said regretfully Charles Francis Adams, Jr. ,the Union Pacific Railroad president who devoted his later years to writing history ,"that a classical education was the important distinction between a man who had been to college and a man who had not been to college ,and that anything that diminished the importance of this distinction was essentially revolutionary and tended to anarchy. "

    56. The first paragraph shows that Jill Ker Conway accepts utilitarian emphasis in education

    [A] wholeheartedly.

    [B] with reservation.

    [C] against her own will.

    [D] with contempt.

  • Education for education's sake was probably opposed by

    [A] scholars in the Renaissance period.

    [B] Jill Ker Conway.

    [C] scholars in the Dark Ages.

    [D] Plato.

  • The idea that education transmits knowledge is dated back to

    [A] the Renaissance humanists.

    [B ] the medieval universities.

    [C] the 18th century's American scholars.

    [D] the cold war period.

  • It can be inferred that Charles Francis Adams ,Jr.

    [A] devoted his later years to classical education.

    [B] was an advocate of education in history.

    [C] was an opponent to classical education.

    [D] regretted diminishing the importance of the distinction.

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