過去這個週末學生考了 2020 年 9 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 2020 年 9 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 2020 年 9 月 (亞洲/國際) SAT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is from James Baldwin, Another Country.©1990 by Gloria Baldwin Karefa-Smart. Originally published in 1962. Eric, an actor, and Vivaldo, a writer, are watching Vivaldo’s girlfriend, Ida, sing with a band that her brother, the Kid, once played with.
She was not announced; there was merely a brief huddle with the piano-player; and then she stepped up to the mike. The piano-player began the first few bars, but the crowd did not take the hint.
“Let’s try it again,” said Ida, in a loud, clear voice.
At this, heads turned to look at her; she looked calmly down on them. The only sign of her agitation
was in her hands, which were tightly, restlessly clasped before her—she was wringing her hands, but she was not crying.
Somebody said, in a loud whisper, “Dig, man, that’s the Kid’s kid sister.”
There were beads of sweat on her forehead and on her nose, and one leg moved out, trembling, moved 15 back. The piano-player began again, she grabbed the mike like a drowning woman, and abruptly closed
Made me leave my happy home.
You took my love and now you’ve gone,
Since I fell for you.
She was not a singer yet. And if she were to be judged solely on the basis of her voice, low, roughtextured, of no very great range, she never would be. Yet, she had something which made Eric look up and caused the room to fall silent; and Vivaldo stared at Ida as though he had never seen her before. What she lacked in vocal power and, at the moment, in skill, she compensated for by a quality so mysteriously and implacably egocentric that no one has ever been able to name it. This quality involves a sense of the self so profound and so powerful that it does not so much leap barriers as reduce them to atoms—while still leaving them standing, mightily, where they were; and this awful sense is private, unknowable, not to be articulated, having, literally, to do with something else; it transforms and lays waste and gives life, and kills.
She finished her first number and the applause was stunned and sporadic. She looked over at Vivaldo with a small, childish shrug. And this gesture
somehow revealed to Eric how desperately one could love her, how desperately Vivaldo was in love with her. The drummer went into a down-on-the-levee-type song, which turned out to be a song Eric had never heard before:
Betty told Dupree
She wanted a diamond ring.
And Dupree said, Betty,
I’ll get you most any old thing.
“My God,” muttered Vivaldo, “she’s been working.”
His tone unconsciously implied that he had not been, and held an unconscious resentment. And this threw Eric in on himself. Neither had he been working—for a long time; he had merely been keeping his hand in. He looked at Vivaldo’s white, passionate face and wondered if Vivaldo were now thinking that he had not been working because of Ida: who had not, however, allowed him to distract her. There she was, up on the stand, and unless all the signs were false, and no matter how hard or long the road might be, she was on her way. She had started.
She and the musicians were beginning to enjoy each other and to egg each other on as they bounced through a ballad of cupidity, treachery, and death;
and Ida had created in the room a new atmosphere and a new excitement. Even the heat seemed less intolerable. The musicians played for her as though she were an old friend come home and their pride in her restored their pride in themselves.
The number ended and Ida stepped off the stand, wet and triumphant, the applause crashing about her ears like foam. She came to the table, looking at Vivaldo with a smile and a small, questioning frown, and, standing, took a sip of her drink. They called her back. The drummer reached down and lifted her, bodily, onto the stand, and the applause continued.
This passage is adapted from Ian Tattersall, Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins. ©2012 by Ian Tattersall.
Some of the most notable technological advances in hominid history, including the domestication of fire, the invention of compound tools, and the building of shelters, predated languages. Such achievements are impressive indeed. But language facilitated the imposition of symbolic information processing upon older cognitive processes. And this added an entirely new dimension to the way in which hominids saw the world, and eventually reimagined it.
That this momentous event took place in Africa—the continent in which we find the first fossil evidence of creatures who looked just like us, and (somewhat later) the earliest archaeological suggestions of symbolic activities—is corroborated by a recent study of the sounds used in spoken
languages around the world. The study of comparative linguistics makes it clear that languages have evolved much as organisms have done, with descendant versions branching away from the ancestral forms while still retaining for some time the imprint of their common origins. Many scientists have accordingly used the differentiation of languages as a guide to the spread of mankind across the globe. And in doing this they have traditionally concentrated on the words that make up those languages. But this has proved a tricky endeavor, for individual words change quite rapidly over time: so rapidly that beyond a time depth of about five thousand years, or ten at the very most, it turns out to be fairly hopeless to look for substantial traces of relationship. As a result, while language has indeed proven useful in tracing the movement of peoples around the Earth over the last few thousand years, linguists have been somewhat stymied when it comes to its very early evolution.
Cognitive psychologist Quentin Atkinson has recently suggested an alternative. According to Atkinson, in seeking the origins of language we are better off looking not at words as a whole, but at the individual sound components—the phonemes—of which they are comprised. This makes sense, because the phonemes are much more bound by biology than are the ideas that their combinations represent. And when Atkinson looked at the distribution of phonemes in languages around the world, he found a remarkable pattern. The farther away from Africa you go, the fewer phonemes are typically used in producing words. Some of the very ancient “click” languages of Africa, spoken by people with very deep genetic roots, have over a hundred phonemes. English has about 45; and in Hawaii, one of the last places on Earth to be colonized by people, there are only 131. Atkinson attributes this pattern to what is known as “serial founder effect”: a phenomenon, well known to population geneticists, that is due to the
drop in effective population size each time a descendant group buds off and spreads away from an ancestral one. With each successive budding, genetic—and apparently also phonemic—diversity diminishes.
The signal of this effect in the five hundred or so languages analyzed by Atkinson is weaker than the one found in the genes, but this difference is plausibly due to the rapidity with which languages evolve. The key thing, though, is that the genetic and phonemic patterns are essentially the same, and that both point to an origin in Africa. Atkinson’s analysis suggests that the convergence point may be in southwestern Africa, which is also in line with one recent genetic study. And his results imply not only that modern Homo sapiens originated in a single place, but also that the same thing was true for language (or at least, for the form of language that survives today). In which case, there is a strong argument for a fundamental synergy between biology and language in the rapid takeover of the world by articulate modern human.
This passage is adapted from Stephen M. Roth, “Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up in Muscles? And Why Does it Cause Soreness?” ©2006 by Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc.
As our bodies perform strenuous exercise, we begin to breathe faster as we attempt to shuttle more oxygen to our working muscles. The body prefers to generate most of its energy using aerobic methods, meaning with oxygen. Some circumstances, however, require energy production faster than our
bodies can adequately deliver oxygen. In those cases, the working muscles generate energy anaerobically. This energy comes from glucose through a process called glycolysis, in which glucose is broken down or metabolized into a substance called pyruvate through a series of steps. When the body has plenty of oxygen, pyruvate is shuttled to an aerobic pathway to be further broken down for more energy. But when oxygen is limited, the body temporarily converts pyruvate into a substance called lactate, which allows glucose breakdown—and thus energy production—to continue. The working muscle cells can continue this type of anaerobic energy production at high rates for one to three minutes, during which time lactate can accumulate to high levels.
A side effect of high lactate levels is an increase in the acidity of the muscle cells, along with disruptions of other metabolites. The same metabolic pathways that permit the breakdown of glucose to energy perform poorly in this acidic environment. On the surface, it seems counterproductive that a working muscle would produce something that would slow its capacity for more work. In reality, this is a natural defense mechanism for the body; it prevents permanent damage during extreme exertion by slowing the key systems needed to maintain muscle contraction.
Contrary to popular opinion, lactate or, as it is often called, lactic acid buildup is not responsible for the muscle soreness felt in the days following
strenuous exercise. Rather, the production of lactate and other metabolites during extreme exertion results in the burning sensation often felt in active
muscles, though which exact metabolites are involved remains unclear. This often painful sensation also gets us to stop overworking the body,
thus forcing a recovery period in which the body clears the lactate and other metabolites.
Researchers who have examined lactate levels right after exercise found little correlation with the level of muscle soreness felt a few days later. This
delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS as it is called by exercise physiologists, is characterized by sometimes severe muscle tenderness as well as loss of strength and range of motion, usually reaching a peak 24 to 72 hours after the extreme exercise event.
Though the precise cause of DOMS is still unknown, most research points to actual muscle cell damage and an elevated release of various metabolites into the tissue surrounding the muscle cells. These responses to extreme exercise result in an inflammatory-repair response, leading to swelling and soreness that peaks a day or two after the event and resolves a few days later, depending on the severity of the damage. In fact, the type of muscle
contraction appears to be a key factor in the development of DOMS. When a muscle lengthens against a load—imagine your flexed arms attempting to catch a thousand pound weight—the muscle contraction is said to be eccentric. In other words, the muscle is actively contracting, attempting to
shorten its length, but it is failing. These eccentric contractions have been shown to result in more muscle cell damage than is seen with typical concentric contractions, in which a muscle successfully shortens during contraction against a load.
This passage is adapted from a speech delivered in 1928 by Herbert Hoover, “Rugged Individualism.” Hoover was campaigning for the office of president of the United States as a member of the Republican Party.
After the war [the First World War], when the Republican Party assumed administration of the country, we were faced with the problem of
determination of the very nature of our national life. During one hundred and fifty years we have builded up a form of self-government and a social system which is peculiarly our own. It differs essentially from all others in the world. It is the American system. It is just as definite and positive a political social system as has ever been developed on earth. It is founded upon a particular conception of self-government in which decentralized local responsibility is the very base. Further than this, it is founded upon the conception that only through ordered liberty, freedom, and equal opportunity to the individual will his initiative and enterprise spur on the march of progress. And in our insistence upon equality of opportunity has our system advanced beyond all the world.
During the war we necessarily turned to the government to solve every difficult economic problem. The government having absorbed every
energy of our people for war, there was no other solution. For the preservation of the state the Federal Government became a centralized despotism which undertook unprecedented responsibilities, assumed
autocratic powers, and took over the business of citizens. To a large degree we regimented our whole people temporarily into a socialistic state. However justified in time of war, if continued in peace-time it would destroy not only our American system but with it our progress and freedom as well.
When the war closed, the most vital of all issues both in our own country and throughout the world was whether governments should continue their
war-time ownership and operation of many instrumentalities of production and distribution. We were challenged with a peace-time choice between
the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines—doctrines of paternalism and state
socialism. The acceptance of these ideas would have meant the destruction of self-government through centralization of government. It would have meant the undermining of the individual initiative and enterprise through which our people have grown to unparalleled greatness.
The Republican Party from the beginning resolutely turned its face away from these ideas and these war practices. A Republican Congress co-operated with the Democratic administration to demobilize many of our war activities. At that time the two parties were in accord upon that point.
When the Republican Party came into full power it went at once resolutely back to our fundamental conception of the state and the rights and responsibilities of the individual. Thereby it restored confidence and hope in the American people, it freed and stimulated enterprise, it restored the government to its position as an umpire instead of a player in the economic game. . . .
There has been revived in this campaign, however, a series of proposals which, if adopted, would be a long step toward the abandonment of our American system and a surrender to the destructive operation of governmental conduct of commercial business. Because the country is faced with difficulty and doubt over certain national problems—that is,
prohibition, farm relief, and electrical power—our opponents propose that we must thrust government a long way into the businesses which give rise to these problems. In effect, they abandon the tenets of their own party and turn to state socialism as a solution for the difficulties presented by all three. It is proposed that we shall change from prohibition to the state purchase and sale of liquor. If their agricultural relief program means anything, it means that the government shall directly or indirectly buy
and sell and fix prices of agricultural products. And we are to go into the hydro-electric power business. In other words, we are confronted with a huge program of government in business.
There is, therefore, submitted to the American people a question of fundamental principle. That is: shall we depart from the principles of our American political and economic system, upon which we have advanced beyond all the rest of the world, in order to adopt methods based on principles destructive of its very foundations?
Passage 1 is adapted from The University of Auckland, “Naming Species before Extinction.” ©2013 by The University of Auckland. Passage 2 is adapted from Geoffrey Giller, “Are We Any Closer to Knowing How Many Species There Are on Earth?” ©2014 by Scientific American, a division of Nature America, Inc.
Claims that most species will go extinct before they can be discovered have been debunked by researchers in an article published in Science.
The scientists show that the claims are based on two key misconceptions: an over-estimation of how many species may exist on Earth, and the erroneous
belief that the number of taxonomists (people who describe and identify species) is declining.
“Our findings are potentially good news for the conservation of global biodiversity,” says lead author Associate Professor Mark Costello from The
University of Auckland, who published the work with Professor Nigel Stork from Griffith University and Professor Bob May from Oxford.
The authors propose that there are 5, plus or minus 3, million species on Earth—far fewer than has been widely believed—of which 1.5 million
species have been named. This re-affirms previous estimates by the three authors, which spanned the upper and lower reaches of this range.
“Over-estimates of the number of species on Earth are self-defeating because they can make attempts to discover and conserve biodiversity
appear to be hopeless,” says Dr. Costello. “Our work suggests that this is far from the case. We believe that with just a modest increase in effort in taxonomy and conservation, most species could be discovered and
protected from extinction.”
The authors conclude that there have never been so many people describing new species—including professionals and amateurs, the number may near 50,000. And the community continues to grow, in large part due to the development of science in Asia and South America, regions that are rich in biodiversity and where many new species are being discovered.
While the research suggests that species are more likely to be discovered than to go extinct, the authors do not underplay the seriousness of the threats to species and their habitats. The combination of over-hunting, habitat loss and climate change, now occurring at both local and global scales, means that extinction rates could increase very rapidly in the
Dr. Costello says that the discovery and naming of species is critical to their conservation. Naming a species gives formal recognition to its existence,
making its conservation far easier.
Julian Caley, a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and his coauthors looked at published estimates of the total number of species
in the world as well as reckonings of the number of terrestrial insects, terrestrial arthropods, marine species and coral reef–dwelling species. Within each group, the researchers found that there was no indication that the estimates were converging on a number or a range.
The main problem, Caley says, is that new estimates usually fail to take previous work into account. “No one really refers to the information
that’s already gained,” he says. Caley also points out that many of these past estimates used multiple different techniques to arrive at their estimates,
including extrapolations based on the density of species in a study area or the rate at which new species are being discovered and described. But a
larger problem is that many are just single-number estimates. Normally, he explains, statistical calculations have an associated margin of error. This range incorporates the likelihood that the actual number of species is not, say, five million—it could be five million plus or minus three million, for a total range of two million to eight million species globally. (This was, in fact, the estimate of one paper that included a range.)
The team calls for future estimates to include these ranges and to be statistically based, instead of what they call “simple best guesses.” When taking past work into account, the authors wrote, estimates that are not statistically based should carry less weight or possibly be excluded altogether.
Nigel Stork, a professor at Griffith University, is a coauthor of the paper that gave the two million to eight million species range. Stork agrees about the need for improved statistical approaches when making estimates. He takes issue, however, with Caley’s conclusion that there is no convergence of global species estimates. “[Caley] says that the global species richness estimates haven’t converged,” Stork notes. “I don’t necessarily agree.” Caley’s paper reaches that conclusion by including what Stork calls “sheer guesses.” If only papers with statistically based methodologies are included, then there is convergence, as Stork and others wrote in their paper.