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過去這個週末學生考了 2016 年 12 月的 SAT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 SAT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
這裡，我們整理了 2016 年 12 月 SAT 考試當中的 5 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 SAT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 SAT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 SAT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。舉例來說，如果你看第二篇文章 “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee”，你會看到文章是來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review。閱讀更多來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review 的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
- 文學 (literature)：1 篇經典或現代的文學文章（通常來自美國）
- 歷史 (History)：1 篇跟美國獨立/創立相關的文章，或者一篇受到美國獨立 / 創立影響的國際文章（像是美國憲法或者馬丁路德金恩 (Martin Luther King Jr.) 的演說）
- 人文 (Humanities)：1 篇經濟、心理學、社會學、或社會科學的文章
- 科學 (Sciences)：1-2 篇地理、生物、化學、或物理的文章
- 雙篇文 (Dual-Passages)：0-1 篇含有兩篇同主題的文章
所有 2016 年 12 月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is adapted from E. M. foster, A Room with a view Originally published in 1908. Lucy Honey church has just returned to England from Italy.
The society out of which Cecil Proposed to rescue Lucy was perhaps no very splendid affair, yet I was more splendid than her antecedents entitled her to. Her father, a prosperous local solicitor, had built Windy Corner, as a speculation at the time the district was opening up, and, falling in love with his own creation, had ended by living there himself. Soon after his marriage, the social atmosphere began to alter. Other houses were built on the brow of that steep southern slope, and others, again, among the pine trees behind, and northward on the chalk barrier of the downs. Most of these houses were larger than Windy Corner, and were filled by people who came, not from the district, but from London, and who mistook the Honeychurches for the remnants of an indigenous aristocracy. He was inclined to be frightened, but his wife accepted the situation without either pride or humility. “I cannot think what people are doing,” she would say, “but it is extremely fortunate for the children. “She called everywhere, her calls were returned with enthusiasm, and by the time people found out that she was not exactly of their milieu, they liked her, and it did not seem to matter. When Mr. Honeychurch died, he had the satisfaction — which few honest solicitors despise – of leaving his family rooted in the best society obtainable.
The best obtainable. Certainly many of the immigrants were rather dull, and Lucy realized this more vividly since her return from Italy. Hitherto she had accepted their ideals without questioning — their kindly affluence, their in explosive religion, their dislike of paper-bags, orange-peel, and broken bottles. A Radical out and out, she learnt to speak with horror of Suburbia. Life, so far as she troubled to conceive it, was a circle of rich, pleasant people, with identical interests and identical foes. In this circle, one thought, married and died. Outside it were poverty and vulgarity for ever trying to enter, just as the London fog tries to enter the pine-woods pouring through the g aps in the northern hills. But, in Italy, where any one who choose may warm himself in equality, as in the sun, this conception of life vanished. Her senses expanded; she felt that there was no one whom she might not get to like, that social barriers were irremovable, doubtless, but not particularly high. You jump over them just as you jump into a peasant’s olive-yard in the Apennines and he is glad to see you. She returned with new eyes.
So did Cecil, but Italy had quickened Cecil not to tolerance, but to irritation. He saw that the local society was narrow, but instead of saying, “Does that very much matter” he rebelled, and tried to substitute for it the society he called broad. He did not realize that Lucy had consecrated her environment by the thousand little civilities that create a tenderness in time and that through her eyes saw its defects, her heart refused to despise it entirely.
Nor did he realize a more important point — that if she was too great for this society, she was too great for all society, and had reached the stage where personal intercourse would alone satisfy her. A rebel she was, but not for the kind he understood — a rebel who desired, not a wider dwelling room, but equality beside the man she loved. For Italy was offering her the most priceless of all possessions — her own soul.
These two letters are adapted from John Adams, Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife. Originally published in 1841, Both of the letters were written to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776.
Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and as such they have, and of right ought to have, full power to make war, conclude peace, establish commerce and to do all other acts and things which other States may rightfully do.” You will see, in a few days, a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man. A plan of confederation will be taken up in a few days.
When I look back to the year 1761 and recollect the argument concerning writs of assistance in the superior court, which I have hitherto considered as the commencement of this controversy between Great Britain and America, and run through the whole period, from that time to this, and recollect the series of political events, the chain of causes and effects, I am surprised at the suddenness, as well as greatness of this revolution. Britain has been filled with folly, and America with wisdom; at least, this is my judgement. Time must determine. It is the will of Heaven that the two countries should be sundered forever. It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting, and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect at least. It will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies and vices which threaten to disturb, dishonour, and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement in states as well as individuals. And the new Governments we are assuming in every part will require a purification or they will be no blessings. The people will have unbounded power, and the people are extremely addicted to corruption and venality, as well as the great. But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling providence, in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.
Had a Declaration of Independency been made seven months ago, it would have been attended with many great and glorious effects. We might, before this hour, have formed alliances with foreign states. We should have mastered Quebec, and been in possession of Canada …
But, on the other hand, the delay of this Declaration to this time has many great advantages attending it. The hopes of reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by multitudes of honest and well meaning, though weak and mistaken people, have been gradually and, at last, totally extinguished. Time has been given for the whole people maturely to consider the great question of independence, and to ripen their judgment, dissipate their fears, and allure their hopes, by discussing it in newspapers and pamphlets, by debating it in assemblies, conventions, Committees of safety and inspection, in town and country meetings, as well as in private conversations, so that the whole people, in every colony of the thirteen, have now adopted it as their own act. This will cement the union, and avoid those heats, and perhaps convulsions, which might have been occasioned by such a Declaration, six months ago.
But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of one continent to the other, from this time forward and forevermore.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.
The passage is adapted from Ed Yong, “Madness of Crowds: Single Ants Beat Colonies at Easy Choices” 2013 by National Geographic Society.
Virtually every article or documentary about ants takes a moment to fawn over their incredible collective achievements. Together, ant colonies can raise gardens and livestock, build living rafts, run vaccination programmes, overpower huge prey, deter elephants, and invade continents. No individual could do any of this; it takes a colony to pull off such feats.
But ants can also make mistakes. Like all animal collectives, they face situations when the crowd’s wisdom turn into foolishness.
Takao Sasaki and Stephen Pratt from Arizona State University found one such example among house- hunting Temnothorax ants, When they need to find a new nest, workers spread out form their colony to search for good real estate. In earlier work, Sasaki and Pratt have shown that, as a group, the ants are better at picking the best of two closely-matched locations, even if the most of the workers have only seen one of the options. It’s a classic example of swarm intelligence, where a colony collectively computes the best solution to a task.
But Sasaki showed that this only happens if their choice is difficult. If one nest site is clearly better that the other, individual ants actually outperform colonies.
When a workers finds a new potential home, it judges the quality for itself. Temnothorax ants love dark nests, in particular, with fewer holes, it’s easier to control their temperature or defend them. If the worker decides that it like the spot, it returns to the colony and leads a single follower to the new location. If the follower agrees, it does the same. Through these “tandem-runs,” sites build up support, and better ones do so more quickly than poorer ones. When enough ants have been convinced of the worth of a site, their migration gathers pace, workers just start picking up their nestmates and carrying them to the new site.
In past experiments, Sasaki and Pratt have always found that ant colonies make better decisions than individual workers. Even though each worker might only visit one or two possible sites, the colony collectively explores all the options and weights them against one another. And since many individuals need to “vote” for a particular site, “this prevents any one ant’s poor choice from misleading the entire colony,” says Sasaki.
This time, the team wanted to see if the colony keeps its superiority for easy tasks as well as difficult ones. They presented Temnothorax ants with two possible nests – one held in constant darkness and another whose brightness could be adjusted. Sometimes, the ants had an easy choice between a dark nest and a blindingly illuminated one. Sometimes, they had to choose between two similar sites, one just marginally dimmer than the other.
As the light difference between the nests got bigger and the task became easier, the ants, whether as individuals or colonies, made more accurate choices. The team expected as much. But to their surprise, the single workers showed the greatest improvements and eventually outperformed their collective peers. In the easiest tasks, they chose the darker nest 90 percent of the time, while the colonies peaked at 80 percent accuracy.
To understand why this happens, consider how the ants choose their nests. If an individual is working by herself, she might visit a few sites in a row and gauge the difference between them. If they’re very similar, there’s a good chance she’ll make the wrong decision. But the colony doesn’t work off the recommendations of any individual; it relies on a quorum, just like the up- and down-voting systems of some social websites. Together, the colony can amplify small differences between closely-matched sites and smooth out had choices from errant individuals.
Still, this systems isn’t perfect. If many ants happen to find a bad site very quickly, they might reach a quorum before other workers have time to rouse support for a better alternative. “A bad choice can happen even if one site is much better than the other, because the ants at the bad site will have no information at all about the existence of the better alternative,” says Sasaki.
A single ant isn’t as vulnerable to this problem. “She will visit both sites, easily see that one is better than the other, and nearly always make the right choice,” says Sasaki. Colonies, however, put less effort into comparing their options than lone individuals, which sometimes leads them astray.
This passage is adapted from Adam Grant, ” The Best Lie Detection in the Workplace,” 52013 by the Washington Post.
Lie detection is a notoriously difficult skill to master. In fact, even most so-called lie detection experts -experienced detectives, psychiatrists, job interviewers, judges, polygraph administrators, intelligence agents and auditors -hardly do better than chance. In a massive analysis of studies with more than 24,000 people, psychologists Charles Bond Jr. and Bella DePaulo found that even the experts are right less than 55 percent of the time.
Still, some people are better judges of character than others. So when we need to count on people to assess honesty, we tend to turn to the skeptics among us expecting that they’ll be thorough and discerning. Consider a clever study by psychologists Nancy Carter and Mark Weber, who presented business professionals with a scenario about an organization struggling with dishonesty in its hiring interviews. They had the chance to choose one of two highly competent senior managers to be the company’s job interviewer. The major difference between the two managers wasn’t experience or skill, it was a matter of personality. One manager was sceptical and suspicious, whereas the other manager had a habit of trusting others.
Eighty-five percent chose the skeptical manager to make the hiring decision, expecting the trusting manager to be naïve and easily duped.
But we are right that skeptics are better lie detectors? To find out, Carter and Weber created videotapes of eight business students interviewing for a job. Half of the interviewees told the truth throughout the interview, while the other half was instructed to tell
three significant lies apiece.
Carter and Weber recruited a group of people to watch the videos. Several days beforehand, they had completed a survey about whether they were generally sceptical or trusting of others. After watching the videos, the participants placed their bets about which candidates lied and which told the truth, and thus made a choice as to who they would hire.
The result were surprising. The more trusting evaluators better identified the liars among the group than the skeptics did, and were also less likely to hire those liars. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s the skeptics who are easiest to fool. Why would this be? One possibility, according to Carter and Weber, is that lie-detection skills cause people to become more trusting. If you’re good at spotting lies, you need to worry less about being deceived by others, because you can often catch them in the act.
The other possibility is that by trusting others, we sharpen our skills in reading people. Skeptics assume that most people are hiding or misrepresenting something. This makes them interpersonally risk-averse, whereas people who habitually trust others get to see a wider range of actions—from honesty to deception and generosity to selfishness. Over time, this create more opportunities to learn about the signals that distinguish liars from truth tellers.
DSo what signals do trusters use to spot lies? One of the study’s findings is that they pay more attention to vocal cues than skeptics do. This lines up beautifully with a breakthrough review led by the psychologist Alder Vrij. His team examined several decades of research and concluded that most of us rely heavily on nonverbal cues, such as nervousness or confidence, even though they can be misleading.
To effectively spot lies, Vrij and colleagues recommend renewed attention to verbal cues – inconsistencies in stories and incorrect responses to questions for which you already know the answer.
2016年 12月 (北美) SAT 考試閱讀題目
Also in: 简中 (简中)