W: Hi, Kevin. Your roommate told me that I could find you here. What are you doing here?
M: What does it look like I am doing?
W: Well, it looks like you are watching television, but we have a math test tomorrow, so I thought you’d be studying for it and maybe I can study with you.
M: Oh, well, I am just taking a break. This equation stuff gives me a headache if I work on it too long.
W: I know what you mean. I’ve been working on it for three hours already. I’m beginning to go over. I just don’t get some of them.
M: But I can’t believe you are coming to me. I mean you do know what I got on the last test, don’t you?
W: Yeah, I know. You told me. I just thought two heads might be better than one.
M: Yeah, that's nice idea, but...you know, I wish I knew that person in our class who got a full score on the last test. She didn't miss a question. Umm...was it Elizabeth?
W: Oh yeah, Elizabeth! She is a friend of mine. She’d be a big help right now. Why don't I give her a call?
M: What? At this hour? It’s already 10:30. I don't want to impose on her.
W: Yeah, I guess you are right, but you know what, she owes me a big favor. Let’s at least give her a call and see what she says. Maybe going over some of the problems with us would help her review the material.
M: It's worth a try.
Questions 11 to 15 are based on the longer conversation you have just heard.
11. What are the speakers mainly discussing?
12. Why is the man watching television?
13. Why is the man surprised that the woman wants to study with him?
14. Why doesn’t the man want to call Elizabeth?
15. What makes the woman insist on calling?
Today I want to mention an early form of transportation, one that brought the first European settlers to America. And that is the wooden sailing ship.
From colonial times sailing ships were vital to the economy. Many towns on the coast depended on fishing or whaling for employment and income. This was especially true in the northeastern states. The wood from nearby forests and the skills of local designers and workers also formed the basis of an important shipbuilding industry, but the big profits were to be made on trade with faraway places, and since sea captains often became one of the owners of their ships, they had a strong interest in the commercial success of their voyages. Therefore they carried on a very profitable trade with other parts of the world.
The high point of this trade came in the mid-19th century with the introduction of the clipper ship, the enormous clipper ships with huge sails reaching nearly two hundred feet into sky. They could carry passengers and cargo from New York around South America to San Francisco in less than three months and clear to China in just half a year. At that time this seemed unbelievably fast and efficient, but in the 1860s, more reliable steam-powered ships began to take over, and soon the important role of sailing ships in the US economy would come to an end.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the passage you have just heard.
16. What aspect of United States history does this passage mainly discuss?
17. According to the passage, what may be one reason for the success of the merchant ships of the United States?
18. What can we learn about clipper ships?