Reading Comprehension
Directions: In this section there are five passages followed by fifteen questions or unfinished statements, each with four suggested answer marked A, B, C and D.    Choose the one that you think is the correct answer.


Petroleum products, such as gasoline, kerosene, home heating oil, residual fuel oil, and lubricating oils, come from one source -- crude oil found below the earth's surface, as well as under large bodies of water, from a few hundred feet below the surface to as deep as 25,000 feet into the earth's interior.    Sometimes crude oil is secured by drilling a hole through the earth, but more dry holes are drilled than those producing oil.    Pressure at the source or pumping forces crude oil to the surface.    Crude oil wells flow at varying rates, from ten to thousands of barrels per hour.    Petroleum products are always measured in 42-gallon barrels.

Petroleum products vary greatly in physical appearance: thin, thick, transparent or opaque, but regardless, their chemical composition is made up of two elements: carbon and hydrogen, which form compounds called hydrocarbons.    Other chemical elements found in union with the hydrocarbons are few and are classified as impurities.    Trace elements are also found, but these are of such minute quantities that they are disregarded.    The combination of carbon and hydrogen forms many thousands of compounds which are possible because of the carious positions and joinings of these two atoms in the hydrocarbon molecule.

The various petroleum products are refined from the crude oil by heating and condensing the vapors.    These products are the so-called light oils, such as gasoline, kerosene, and distillate oil.    The residue remaining after the light oils are distilled is known as heavy or residual fuel oil and is used mostly for burning under boilers.    Additional complicated refining processes rearrange the chemical structure of the hydrocarbons to produce other products, some of which are used to upgrade and increase the octane rating of various types of gasoline.

1. Which of the following is NOT true?
A. Crude oil is found below land and water.
B. Crude oil is always found a few hundred feet below the surface.
C. Pumping and pressure force crude oil to the surface.
D. A variety of petroleum products is obtained from crude oil.

2. Many thousands of hydrocarbon compounds are possible because ___.
A. the petroleum products vary greatly in physical appearance
B. complicated refining processes rearrange the chemical structure
C. the two atoms in the molecule assume many positions
D. the pressure needed to force it to the surface causes molecular transformation

3. Which of the following is true?
A. The various petroleum products are produced by filtration.
B. Heating and condensation produce the various products.
C. Chemical separation is used to produce the various products.
D. Mechanical means such as the centrifuge are used to produce the various products.

4. How is crude oil brought to the surface?
A. Expansion of the hydrocarbons.
B. Pressure and pumping.
C. Vacuum created in the drilling pipe.
D. Expansion and contraction of the earth's surface.

5. Which of the following is NOT listed as a light oil?
A. Distillate oil.
B. Gasoline.
C. Lubrication oil.
D. Kerosene.


Centuries ago, man discovered that removing moisture from food helps to preserve it, and that the easiest way to do this is to expose the food to sun and wind.    In this way the North American Indians produce pemmican (dried meat ground into powder and made into cakes), the Scandinavians make stockfish and the Arabs dried dates and "apricot leather".

All foods including water -- cabbage and other leaf vegetables contains as much as 93% water, potatoes and other root vegetables 80%, lean meat 75% and fish, anything from 80% to 60%, depending on how fatty it is.    If this water is removed, the activity of the bacteria which cause food to go bad is checked.

Fruit is sun-dried in Asia Minor, Greece, Spain and other Mediterranean countries, and also in
California, South Africa and Australia.    The methods used vary, but in general, the fruit is spread out on trays in drying yards in the hot sun.    In order to prevent darkening, pears, peaches and apricots are exposed to the fumes of burning sulfur before drying.    Plums, for making prunes, and certain varieties of grapes for making raisins and currants, are dipped in an alkaline solution in order to crack the skins of the fruit slightly and remove their wax coating, so as to increase the rate of drying.

Nowadays most foods are dried mechanically.    The conventional method of such dehydration is to put food in chambers through which hot air is blown at temperatures of about 110℃ at entry to about 43℃ at exit.    This is the usual method for drying such things as vegetables, minced meat, and fish.

Liquids such as milk, coffee, tea, soups and eggs may be dried by pouring them over a heated steel cylinder by spraying them into a chamber through which a current of hot air passes.    In the first case, the dried material is scraped off the roller as a thin film which is then broken up into small, though still relatively coarse flakes.    In the second process it falls to the bottom of the chamber as a fine powder.    Where recognizable pieces of meat and vegetables are required, as in soup, the ingredients are dried separately and then mixed.

Dried foods take up less room and weigh less than the same food packed in cans or frozen, and they do not need to be stored in special conditions.    For these reasons they are invaluable to the climbers, explorers and soldiers in battle, who have little storage space.    They are also popular with housewives because it takes so little time to cook them.    Usually it is just a case of replacing the dried-out moisture with boiling water.

6. The open-air method of drying food ___.
A. is the one most commonly used today
B. was invented by the American Indians
C. has been known for hundreds of years
D. tends to be unhygienic

7. Bacteria which cause food to go bad ___.
A. cannot live in sunlight
B. are killed by drying
C. are in no way dependent on the water content
D. have their activity greatly reduced by drying

8. Nowadays vegetables are most commonly dried ___.
A. on horizontal cylinders
B. in hot-air chambers
C. in the sun and wind
D. using the open tray method

9. Dried foods ___.
A. are often packed in cans or frozen
B. are used by soldiers and climbers
C. need more storage space than soldiers usually have available
D. are much cheaper than canned or frozen products

10. Housewives like dried foods because they ___.
A. are quick to prepare
B. taste better
C. can be preserved by boiling in water
D. look fresh and appetizing when cooked


Please Recycle That Bobsled Run (大雪橇滑道)

For the 1992 Winter Games, French organizers constructed a new motorway, parking lots and runs for skiing in the Alps.    Environmentalists screamed "Disaster!"    Thus warned, the Norwegians have adopted "green" advice and avoided great blots on the landscape.    The speed-skating rink was built to look like an overturned ship, and placed so as not to disturb a bird sanctuary.    Dug into a mountainside, the hockey arena is well concealed and energy efficient.    The bobsled run is built out of wood not metal and hidden among trees.    No wonder the president of the International Olympic Committee has called these the first "Green Games".

Lillehammer's opening ceremonies featured a giant Olympic Torch burning biogas produced by rotting vegetation.    During construction, builders were threatened with '7,500 fines for felling trees unnecessarily.    Rare trees were carefully transplanted from hillsides.    Food is being served on potato-based plates that will be fed, in turn, to pigs.    Smoking has been banned outdoors as well as in, with enforcement by polite requests.

Environmentalists have declared partial victory, though Coca-Cola's plan to decorate the town with banners has been scaled back, there are still too many billboards for strict green tastes.    Perhaps, but after the Games, athlete housing will be converted into vacation homes or shipped to the northlands for student dormitories.    Bullets will be plucked from targets and recycled to keep the lead from poisoning ground water.    And these tricks won't be forgotten.    Embarrassed by environmental protests, the I.O.C. claims that green awareness is not entrenched -- along with sport and culture -- as a permanent dimension of the Olympic Charter.

Indeed, Sydney was successful in becoming host for the 2000 Summer Games in part on the strength of its endorsement from Greenpeace.    Aspiring host cities are picking up the code.    Salt Lake City, bidding for the 2002 Games, may opt to use the bobsled run that Calgary built for the '00 Games.    After that, who could deny that recycling is an Olympic movement?

11. Which of the following countries has not paid enough attention to the "green" issues?
A. Norway.
B. France.
C. America.
D. Australia.

12. In which area did the environmentalists fail in Lillehammer?
A. Energy.
B. Smoking.
C. Housing.
D. Advertising.

13. Which of the following describes the I. O. C's attitude towards the environmentalists' protests?
A. Trying to commit themselves.
B. Showing indifference and contempt.
C. Arguing for practical difficulties.
D. Negotiating for gradual changes.

14. The 2002 Games might be held in ___.
A. Oslo
B. Calgary
C. Sydney
D. Salt Lake City


When companies do business overseas, they come in contact with people from different cultures.    These individuals often speak a different language and have their own particular custom and manners.    These differences can create problems.

For example, in France, business meetings begin promptly at the designated time and everyone is expected to be there.    Foreign business people who are tardy are often left outside to cool their heels as a means of letting them know the importance of promptness.    Unless one is aware of such expected behaviors he may end up insulting the people with whom he hopes to establish trade relations.

A second traditional problem is that of monetary conversions.    For example, if a transaction is conducted with Russia, payment may be made in rubles.    Of course, this currency is of little value to the American firm.    It is, therefore, necessary to convert the foreign currency to American dollars.    How much are these Russian rubles worth in terms of dollars?    This conversion rate is determined by every market, where the currencies of countries are bought and sold.    Thus there is an established rate, although it will often fluctuate from day to day.    For example, the ruble may be worth '0.75 on Monday and '0.72 on Tuesday because of an announced wheat shortage in Russia.    In addition, there is the dilemma associated with converting at '0.72.    Some financial institutions may be unwilling to pay this price, feeling that the ruble will sink much lower over the next week.    As a result, conversion may finally come at '0.69.    These "losses" must be accepted by the company as one of the costs of doing business overseas.

A third unique problem is trade barriers.    For one reason or another, all countries impose trade barriers on certain goods crossing their borders.    Some trade barriers are directly related to exports.    For example, the United States permits strategic military material to be shipped abroad only after government permission has been obtained.    Most trade barriers, however, are designed to restrict import.    Two of the most common import barriers are quotas and tariffs.

15. The best title for the passage would be ___.
A. How to Succeed in International Trade
B. Monetary Conversion
C. Trade Barriers
D. Unique Problems in International Trade

16. In France, tardy business people ___.
A. are often insulted
B. often suffer from coldness
C. are often left outdoors waiting
D. are often asked to polish their shoes

17. According to the passage, conversion rates ___.
A. are always changing
B. are determined by financial institutions
C. are agreed upon by two trading countries
D. vary from day to day

18. The intended audience of this passage are ___.
A. professors of economics
B. postgraduate students of international trade
C. beginners of business
D. business people

19. Which of the following is likely to be discussed in the next paragraph?
A. Export trade barriers.
B. Quotas and tariffs.
C. Reasons for imposing trading barriers.
D. Measures to break down trade barriers.

1. B
2. C
3. B
4. B
5. C
6. C
7. D
8. B
9. B
10. A
11. B
12. D
13. A
14. D
15. D
16. C
17. D
18. C
19. B