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過去這個週末學生考了 2016 年 11 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 11 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 11 月 (北美) SAT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert, Stern Men. 2000 by Elizabeth Gilbert. Ruth Thomas spent her childhood on Fort Niles Island with her father and now, as a teenager, attends a boarding school arranged for by her mother.
It was Ruth Thomas’s firm position that she belonged nowhere but on Fort Niles Island. This was the position she took with her mother: she was truly happy only on Fort Niles; Fort Niles was in her blood and soul; and the only people who understood her were the residents of Fort Niles Island. None of this, it must be said, was entirely true.
It was important to Ruth in principle that she feel happy on Fort Niles, although, for the most part, she was pretty bored there. She missed the island when she was away from it, but when she returned, she immediately found herself at a loss for diversion. She made a point of taking a long walk around the shoreline the minute she came home (“I’ve been thinking about this all year!” she would say), but the walk took only a few hours, and what did she think about on that walk? Not much. There was a seagull; there was a seal; there was another seagull. The scenery was as familiar to her as her bedroom ceiling. She took books down to the shore, claiming that she loved to read near the pounding surf, but the sad fact is that many places on this Earth offer better reading environments than wet, barnacle-covered rocks. When Ruth was away from Fort Niles, the island became endowed with the characteristics of a distant paradise, but when she returned to it, she found her home cold and damp and windy and uncomfortable.
Still. whenever she was on Fort Niles, Ruth wrote letters to her mother, saying, “Finally I can breathe again!”
More than anything, Ruth’s passion for Fort Niles was an expression of protest. It was her resistance against those who would send her away, supposedly for her own good. Ruth would have much preferred to determine what was good for her. She had great confidence that she knew herself best and that, given free rein, would have made more correct choices. She certainly wouldn’t have elected to send herself to an elite private school hundreds of miles away, where girls were concerned primarily with the care of their skin and horses. No horses for Ruth, thank you. She was not that kind of girl. She was more rugged. It was boats that Ruth loved, or so she constantly said. It was Fort Niles Island that Ruth loved. It was fishing that Ruth loved.
In truth, Ruth had spent time working with her father on his lobster boat, and it had never been a terrific experience. She was strong enough to do the work, but the monotony killed her. Working as a sternman meant standing in the back of the boat, hauling up traps, picking out lobsters, baiting traps and shoving them back in the water, and hauling up more traps. And more traps and more traps. It meant getting up before dawn and eating sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. It meant seeing the same scenery again and again, day after day, and rarely venturing more than two miles from shore. It meant spending hour upon hour alone with her father on a small boat, where the two of them never seemed to get along.
On one of their early trips, Ruth warned her father about a barrel drifting up on his “port side,” and he laughed in her face.
“Port side?” he said. “This isn’t the Navy, Ruth. You don’t need to worry about port and starboard. The only direction you need to worry about is staying out of my way.
Ruth seemed to get on his nerves even when she wasn’t trying to, although sometimes she did so on purpose, just to pass the time.
This passage is adapted from Joshua Greene, Moral Tribes. © 2013 by Joshua D. Greene.
In 1995, a U.S. News & World Report survey posed the following question to readers: “If someone sues you and you win the case, should he pay your legal costs?” Eighty-five percent of respondents said yes. Others got this question: “If you sue someone and lose the case, should you pay his costs?” This time, only 44 percent said yes. As this turnabout illustrates, one’s sense of fairness is easily tainted by self-interest. This is considered biased fairness, rather than simple bias, because people are genuinely motivated to be fair. Suppose the magazine had posed both versions of the question simultaneously. Few respondents would have said, “The loser should pay if I’m the winner, but the winner should pay if I’m the loser.” We genuinely want to be fair, but in most disputes there is a range of options that might be seen as fair, and we tend to favor the ones that suit us best. Many experiments have documented this tendency in the lab. The title of a Dutch paper nicely summarizes the drift of these findings: “Performance-based pay is fair, particularly when I perform better”
A series of negotiation experiments by Linda Babcock, George Loewenstein, and colleagues illuminates the underlying psychology of biased fairness. In some of these experiments, pairs of people negotiated over a settlement for a motorcyclist who had been hit by a car. The details of the hypothetical case were based on a real case that had been tried by a judge in Texas. At the start of the experiment, the subjects were randomly assigned to their roles as plaintiff and defendant. Before negotiating, they separately read twenty-seven pages of material about the case, including witness testimony, maps, police reports, and the testimonies of the real defendant and plaintiff. After reading this material, they were asked to guess what the real judge had awarded the plaintiff, and they did this knowing which side they would be on. They were given a financial incentive to guess accurately, and their guesses were not revealed to the opponents, lest they weaken their bargaining positions. Following the subsequent negotiation, the subjects were paid real money in proportion to the size of the settlement, with the plaintiff subject getting more money for a larger settlement and the defendant subject getting more money for a smaller one. The settlement could be anywhere from $ 0 to $ 100,000. The pairs negotiated for thirty minutes, with their negotiations divided into six five-minute periods. Both subjects lost money in “court costs” as the clock ticked, and failure to agree after thirty minutes resulted in an additional financial penalty for both negotiators.
On average, the plaintiffs’ guesses about the judge’s award were about $15,600 higher than those of the defendants, and the bigger the discrepancy between the two guesses, the worse the negotiation went. In other words, the subjects’ perceptions of reality were distorted by self-interest. What’s more, these distortions played a big role in the negotiation. Pairs with relatively small discrepancies failed to agree only 3 percent of the time, while the negotiating pairs with relatively large discrepancies failed to agree 30 percent of the time. In a different version of the experiment, the negotiators didn’t know which side they would be on until after they made their guesses about the judge’s settlement. This dropped the overall percentage of negotiators who failed to agree from 28 percent to 6 percent.
These experiments reveal that people are biased negotiators, but, more important, they reveal that their biases are unconscious. Plaintiffs guessed high about the judge’s award, and defendants guessed low, but they weren’t consciously inflating or deflating their guesses. (Once again, they had financial incentives to guess accurately.) Rather, it seems that knowing which side of a dispute you’re on unconsciously changes your thinking about what’s fair. It changes the way you process the information. In a related experiment, the researchers found that people were better able to remember pretrial material that supported their side. These unconsciously biased perceptions of fairness make it harder for otherwise reasonable people to reach agreements, often to the detriment of both sides.
Passage 1 is adapted from David A. Kessler, “A New Crack at Friction.’ 02001 by Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Passage 2 is adapted from Peter Weiss, ‘Model May Expose How Friction Lets Looser 02001 by Society for Science & the Public.
Friction is a ubiquitous feature of everyday life. Without it, we couldn’t walk, tires wouldn’t roll, and ballpoint pens would fail to write. But what is friction, and how does it act?
The basic properties are simple to grasp. To move a solid object from rest on top of a solid surface, a minimum force has to be applied to overcome the force of friction. This force is proportional to the compressive force pushing the two surfaces together, in this case the weight of the object. Intriguingly, this minimum force is independent of the area of contact between the body and the surface. So the friction force on a rectangular solid resting on a table is the same whichever face is in contact with the surface. These laws have been known since the mid 1700s. It is one of the dirty little secrets of physics that while we physicists can tell you a lot about quarks, quasars and other exotica. there is still no universally accepted explanation of the basic laws of friction.
The standard picture of friction is that the solid surfaces are not really planar, but are rough on a microscopic scale. The presence of these tiny surface features, or asperities as they are known, prevents the surfaces from coming into full contact. So the true contact area is much smaller than its apparent value, and is proportional to the compressive force between the surfaces, in much the same way that the contact area between a car tire and the road increases when you load your car. Problems have arisen when physicists tried to confirm this picture using calculation from first principles. The goal is to construct, either analytically or on the computer, a solid body and surface from atoms with prescribed interactions, and calculate the friction force directly. But previous attempts at this found that the two surfaces ride freely on top of each other because of the mismatch between the asperities on the two surfaces, so there is no friction.
One solution to this problem, suggested by Muser, Wenning and Robbins, attributes a crucial role to dirt – the diffuse collection of foreign mobile atoms trapped between the two surfaces. According to the authors’ numerical simulations, these mobile atoms quickly find appropriate gaps between the surfaces where they become trapped. These atoms then “lock” the two surfaces in place. To move the top surface, it has to be pushed up and over the dirt atoms, the force required being proportional to the weight of the top body. Furthermore, the calculated force is seen to be essentially independent of the apparent contact area.
Now, two physicists have modeled surface slippage-friction’s retreat-as bands of atoms in the top surface momentarily leaping up from the underlying surface. Millions of such ripples propagate simultaneously along the interface when, for instance a book slides on a table, they say.
For years, physicists have tried to explain this large-scale behavior in terms of atomic-scale events. They’ve had some success by portraying surfaces as jagged on an atomic scale. That way, very little material actually touches. However, scientists still struggle to explain why protrusions from two surfaces would stick together at all.
There’s incentive to find out. A better understanding of friction could improve scientists’ grasp of countless phenomena, such as engine performance and tool wear. Moreover, friction is particularly vexing for developers of micromachines.
In the new mathematical model, Eric Gerde and Michael P. Marder build upon the physics of how cracks form and propagate through solids. Think of a bump in a rug, says Marder. As people know from everyday experience, pushing such bumps along can move a big rug over a floor.
Something similar may be happening at the atomic scale between sliding surfaces. Marder says that the combination of downward and sideways forces on an object sliding along an underlying surface can translate into upward forces that open “cracks” at the interface, akin to bumps in a rug. These cracks amount to a series of arches, each a few atomic diameters across. As these waves of separation advance along the interface, the overlying surface comes back down behind each wave and reconnects with the surface below. A plus for this hypothesis is that it predicts the simple relationship between compressive forces, like weight, and frictional forces. Yet it doesn’t require the surfaces to be rough on an atomic scale, as previous models do.
This passage is adapted from a speech delivered in 1795 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the speech, Coleridge, an English poet, discusses the French Revolution, which began in 1789.
Revolutions are sudden to the unthinking only. Strange rumblings and confused noises still precede these earthquakes and hurricanes of the moral world. The process of revolution in France has been dreadful, and should incite us to examine with an anxious eye the motives and manners of those, whose conduct and opinions seem calculated to forward a similar event in our own country. The oppositionists to ” things as they are,” are divided into many and different classes. To delineate them with an unflattering accuracy may be a delicate, but it is a necessary, task, in order that we may enlighten, or at least be aware of, the misguided men who have enlisted under the banners of liberty, from no principles or with bad ones….
The first class among the professed friends of liberty is composed of men, who unaccustomed to the labor of thorough investigation, and not particularly oppressed by the burthens of state, are yet impelled by their feelings to disapprove of its grosser depravities, and prepared to give an indolent vote in favor of reform. Their sensibilities not braced by the co-operation of fixed principles, they offer no sacrifices to the divinity of active virtue. Their political opinions depend with weather-cock uncertainty on the winds of rumour, that blow from France. On the report of French victories they blaze into republicanism, at a tale of French excesses they darken into aristocrats. These dough-baked patriots are not however useless. This oscillation of political opinion will retard the day of revolution, and it will operate as a preventive to its excesses. Indecisiveness of character, though the effect of timidity, is almost always associated with benevolence.
Wilder features characterize the second class… They listen only to the inflammatory harangues of some mad-headed enthusiast, and imbibe from them poison, not food; rage, not liberty. Unillumined by philosophy, and stimulated to a lust of revenge by aggravated wrongs, they would make the altar of freedom stream with blood, while the grass grew in the desolated halls of justice.
We contemplate those principles with horror. Yet they possess a kind of wild justice well calculated to spread them among the grossly ignorant. To unenlightened minds, there are terrible charms in the idea of retribution, however savagely it be inculcated. The groans of the oppressors make fearful yet pleasant music to the ear of him, whose mind is darkness, and into whose soul the iron has entered….
There is a third class among the friends of freedom, who possess not the wavering character of the first description, nor the ferocity last delineated. They pursue the interests of freedom steadily, but with narrow and self-centering views: they anticipate with exultation the abolition of privileged orders, and of acts that persecute by exclusion from the right of citizenship. Whatever is above them they are most willing to drag down; but every proposed alteration that would elevate their poorer brethren, they rank among the dreams of the visionaries; as if there were any thing in the superiority of Lord to Gentleman, so mortifying in the barrier, so fatal to happiness in the consequences, as the more real distinction of master and servant, of rich man and of poor. Wherein am I made worse by my ennobled neighbor? Do the childish titles of Aristocracy detract from my domestic comforts, or prevent my intellectual acquisitions? But those institutions of society which should condemn me to the necessity of twelve hours daily toil, would make my soul a slave, and sink the rational being into the mere animal. It is a mockery of our fellow-creatures’ wrongs to call them equal in rights, when by the bitter compulsion of their wants we make them inferior to us in all that can soften the heart, or dignify the understanding. Let us not say that this is the work of time — that it is impracticable at present, unless we each in our individual capacities do strenuously and perseveringly endeavor to diffuse among our domestics those comforts and that illumination which far beyond all political ordinances are the true equalizers of men.
This passage is adapted from Lee Alan Dugatkin, Principles of Animal Behavior, << 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. The book concerns natural selection, a process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment.
As an example of natural selection acting on animal behavior, let’s examine how individuals in social groups respond to strangers. For animals that live in stable groups, strangers-unknown individuals from outside one’s group-represent a significant danger. Such individuals may compete for scarce resources, disrupt group dynamics that have long been in place, and so on. As such, ethologists are interested in whether animals from group-living species display a fear of strangers, a phenomenon technically known as xenophobia. In particular ethologists hypothesize that xenophobia may be especially strong when resources are scarce, since competition for such resources will be intense under such a scenario, and keeping strangers away may have a strong impact on the lifetime reproductive success of group members.
To examine the effect of resource scarcity on the evolution of xenophobia, Andrew Spinks and his colleagues examined xenophobia in the common mole rat. Common mole rats live in South Africa in underground colonies made up of two to fourteen individuals. They are an ideal species in which to examine xenophobia and its possible connection to resource availability for two reasons: First, all populations of common mole rats are “tightly knit” in the sense that each group typically has a single pair of “reproductive individuals” who produce most of the offspring in a colony, which means that all group members tend to be genetic relatives. Second, populations of common mole rats differ in terms of the amount of resources in their environments. Some common mole rat populations inhabit mesic (moderately moist) environments that presents only mild resource limitations, while other populations live in arid environments and face intense limitations on their resources. This variation in resource availability is largely due to the fact that mesic environments have about four times as much rainfall as arid environments.
Spinks and his colleagues examined whether populations from arid areas were more xenophobic than those from mesic environments, as one might predict based on our above discussion of natural selection, resources, and xenophobia. To do this, they conducted 206 “aggression” trials. The protocol for these experiments was quite simple: Two mole rats-one from the arid and one from the mesic environment-were placed together, and any aggression that occurred between them was recorded. This procedure was repeated for two mole rats from different mesic colonies. Results were clear-cut: For both male vs. male and female vs. female, when the pair of individuals were from different colonies, fear of strangers and aggression toward such strangers was much more pronounced in the common mole rats from the arid environment, where resources were limited, than it was in the common mole rats from the mesic environment. This result was not a function of individuals from arid populations just being more aggressive in general. Control experiments demonstrated that when two individuals who knew each other from the arid population were tested together, aggression disappeared-thus it was the identification of a stranger that initiated the aggression. This is precisely the sort of behavior that natural selection should favor.
Common mole rats that are lucky enough to end up reproducing almost always move from their home colony to find a mate. What this means is that some strangers that are encountered by members of a social group are potential mates, and hence perhaps worth tolerating. Natural selection then should not simply favor all xenophobia, but a xenophobia that is sensitive to the sex of the stranger. In support of this, in trials in which the two individuals tested were a male and a female, Spinks and his colleagues found that while aggression was still uncovered in the low-resource, arid population, the level of aggression decreased dramatically when compared to aggression in same-sex interactions. In other words, natural selection has produced common mole rats that temper their fear of strangers as a function of both where they live and the sex of the strangers.
2016年 11月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀題目
Also in: 简中 (简中)