English reading for Japanese high school students: the Common Test for University Admissions in 2014 DAY 1

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Part 3A

Read the sentence of the next question (Question 1 and Question 2), guess the meaning of the underlined words from each sentence and choose the ones that are most appropriate ones for [27] and [28].

Question 1

Jane: How’s Michelle doing? The last time I met her, she looked a little depressed and said she was worried about her schoolwork.
Mary: I saw her yesterday, and she seemed absolutely exuberant.
Jane: Really? I wonder what happened.
Mary: Well, she’d been worried about her math test, but she did really well after all. Also, she’s found a part-time job that she enjoys a lot.
Jane: That’s great. I’m happy to hear that.

In this situation, exuberant means to be very [27].

(1) busy and stressed
(2) happy and energetic
(3) hard-working and healthy
(4) upset and nervous

Question 2

Jacob: How are your summer plans going? I heard you’re going to travel around South America with your friend.
Hiromi: Well, I’d made all the travel arrangements, was studying Spanish, and had even started packing my bag. But suddenly, my friend told me she couldn’t go. So then I got cold feet and canceled the trip.
Jacob: Oh, too bad. It’s a shame that you felt too anxious to travel alone.

In this situation, got cold feet means [28].

(1) became sick
(2) became thrilled
(3) lost control
(4) lost courage


Question 1 [27] (2)
Question 2 [28] (4)

Part 3B

In the paragraphs of the following questions ( Questions 1 to 3 ), there is one sentence that should be removed for better coherence. Choose the most appropriate sentence to remove from the underlined parts (1) through (4), respectively.

Question 1 [29]

Children between the ages of three and five begin to ask many questions.  (1)The average weight of children around these ages is more than 12 kilograms.  (2)The way parents handle their children’s questions is important.  (3)Some parents may be proud of their children’s development and happily answer all their questions.  (4)This encourages children to use their imagination and become more creative. On the other hand, if parents are not patient enough to answer questions, children might feel that they shouldn’t be curious about things. As a result, they may begin to feel nervous about trying new activities.

Question 2 [30]

Which do you prefer, living in the country or in the city?  (1)According to a United Nations survey, half of the seven billion people on this planet are living in the countryside. However, more and more people are moving into urban areas.  (2)It is estimated that about two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities within the next 35 years.  (3)Living in a city apartment is convenient but sometimes lonely.  (4)Cities are likely to be too crowded and become very difficult places to live. Having said that, due to recent population trends, we soon may not have a choice about where to live.

Question 3 [31]

With a little bit of care, your goldfish can live much longer than you might expect. First, choose the largest possible tank you can afford and decorate it with objects such as small rocks and plants.  (1)However, be careful not to put sharp objects in the tank that could harm your fish. Second, feed them only as much as they can eat in a few minutes and immediately remove any leftover food.  (2)You can soon teach them to eat from your hand.  (3)The most important thing is to clean the tank and change the water at least once every two weeks.  (4)To make it easier for the fish to adjust to new water, partial water changes are much better than complete water changes. By doing all these things, you can be sure your fish will survive into their “golden years.”


Question 1 [29] (1)
Question 2 [30] (3)
Question 3 [31] (2)

Part 3C

The following conversation is part of a discussion among teachers at a high school in the United States about foreign language education as they review the curriculum.Choose one of the following (1) to (4), respectively, to put in [32] to [34].

Ted: For the past 20 years our school has been offering French and Spanish. However, times have changed and perhaps we should reevaluate the needs of our students. I’ve heard some suggest that native English speakers don’t need to study a foreign language because English has become a global language. I’d like to get your views on this.

Jennifer: Well, with the globalization of many businesses, knowing a foreign language has become increasingly useful in the workplace. In business situations, when you’re negotiating with people from other countries, it’s obviously a disadvantage if they know your language but you don’t know theirs. Also, by studying a foreign language, students can learn about various customs and cultural values of people from different parts of the world. This can smooth business relationships.

Ted: So, Jennifer, I guess you’re saying that [32].

(1) English is the most common language in the business world
(2) it’s a disadvantage to use a foreign language in business
(3) knowing a foreign language can have a practical, career-related benefit
(4) studying business skills contributes to foreign language learning

David: I agree with Jennifer, and I suggest that we offer Chinese classes. China is a fast-growing economy and in the future it will become the world’s biggest. Also, I believe there are more native speakers of Chinese than of any other language. Perhaps along with French and Spanish, we should offer Chinese.

Maria: I understand what you’re saying, but in order to be well-informed about China, one should be able to read Chinese, which would involve years of study to learn at least 3, 000 to 4, 000 characters. I think continuing to offer French and Spanish is still more practical. Because these languages are somehow related to English, there are many words that have the same origin, and this makes the language learning process less difficult.

Ted: So, Maria, your idea is that [33].

(1) a native English speaker may find it easier to learn French and Spanish
(2) Chinese would be most useful because China is a fast-growing economy
(3) it would be useful to learn Chinese because China has the greatest number of people
(4) knowing French or Spanish could make it easier to learn other European languages

Leslie: Well, I’m not sure which foreign language would be most valuable to our students. However, studying a foreign language can help students become aware of their own language and culture. Most of us use our native language without thinking deeply, and we make many cultural assumptions. But most importantly, through learning a foreign language, we’re better able to look at something from various perspectives.

Ted: Leslie, that’s a very interesting point. You’re saying the biggest advantage of foreign language study is that it can increase students’ [34].

(1) ability to consider things from different points of view
(2) desire to understand their own language and culture
(3) knowledge of other language structures and cultures
(4) opportunities to be successful in global business

Ted: I appreciate getting all your ideas. Perhaps we should prepare a questionnaire for our students and try to get a sense of their interests and future goals.


[32] (3)
[33] (1)
[34] (1)

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