2010 年 12 月大学英语六级考试真题 Part I Writing (30 minutes) Direction: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a short essay entitled My Views on University Ranking. You should write at least 150 words following the outline given below.
  1. 目前高校排名相当盛行;
  2. 对于这种做法人们看法不一;
  3. 在我看来…… My Views on University Ranking
Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes) Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet
  1. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer from the four choices marked [A], [B], [C] and [D]. For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage. Into the Unknown The world has never seen population ageing before. Can it cope? Until the early 1990s nobody much thought about whole populations getting older. The UN had the foresight to convene a “world assembly on ageing” back in 1982, but that came and went. By 1994 the World Bank had noticed that something big was happening. In a report entitled “Averting the Old Age Crisis”, it argued that pension arrangements in most countries were unsustainable. For the next ten years a succession of books, mainly by Americans, sounded the alarm. They had titles like Young vs Old, Gray Dawn and The Coming Generational Storm, and their message was blunt: health-care systems were heading for the rocks, pensioners were taking young people to the cleaners, and soon there would be intergenerational warfare. Since then the debate has become less emotional, not least because a lot more is known about the subject. Books, conferences and research papers have multiplied. International organisations such as the OECD and the EU issue regular reports. Population ageing is on every agenda, from G8 economic conferences to NATO summits. The World Economic Forum plans to consider the future of pensions and health care at its prestigious Davos conference early next year. The media, including this newspaper, are giving the subject extensive coverage. Whether all that attention has translated into sufficient action is another question. Governments in rich countries now accept that their pension and health-care promises will soon become unaffordable, and many of them have embarked on reforms, but so far only timidly. That is not surprising: politicians with an eye on the next election will hardly rush to introduce unpopular measures that may not bear fruit for years, perhaps decades. The outline of the changes needed is clear. To avoid fiscal (财政) meltdown, public pensions and health-care provision will have to be reined back severely and taxes may have to go up. By far the most effective method to restrain pension spending is to give people the opportunity to work longer, because it increases tax revenues and reduces spending on pensions at the same time. It may even keep them alive longer. John Rother, the AARP’s head of policy and strategy, points to
studies showing that other things being equal, people who remain at work have lower death rates than their retired peers. Younger people today mostly accept that they will have to work for longer and that their pensions will be less generous. Employers still need to be persuaded that older workers are worth holding on to. That may be because they have had plenty of younger ones to choose from, partly thanks to the post-war baby-boom and partly because over the past few decades many more women have entered the labour force, increasing employers’ choice. But the reservoir of women able and willing to take up paid work is running low, and the baby-boomers are going grey. In many countries immigrants have been filling such gaps in the labour force as have already emerged (and remember that the real shortage is still around ten years off). Immigration in the developed world is the highest it has ever been, and it is making a useful difference. In still-fertile America it currently accounts for about 40% of total population growth, and in fast-ageing western Europe for about 90%. On the face of it, it seems the perfect solution. Many developing countries have lots of young people in need of jobs; many rich countries need helping hands that will boost tax revenues and keep up economic growth. But over the next few decades labour forces in rich countries are set to shrink so much that inflows of immigrants would have to increase enormously to compensate: to at least twice their current size in western Europe’s most youthful countries, and three times in the older ones. Japan would need a large multiple of the few immigrants it has at present. Public opinion polls show that people in most rich countries already think that immigration is too high. Further big increases would be politically unfeasible. To tackle the problem of ageing populations at its root, “old” countries would have to rejuvenate (使年轻) themselves by having more of their own children. A number of them have tried, some more successfully than others. But it is not a simple matter of offering financial incentives or providing more child care. Modern urban life in rich countries is not well adapted to large families. Women find it hard to combine family and career. They often compromise by having just one child. And if fertility in ageing countries does not pick up? It will not be the end of the world, at least not for quite a while yet, but the world will slowly become a different place. Older societies may be less innovative and more strongly disinclined to take risks than younger ones. By 2025 at the latest, about half the voters in America and most of those in western European countries will be over 50?and older people turn out to vote in much greater number than younger ones. Academic studies have found no evidence so far that older voters have used their power at the ballot box to push for policies that specifically benefit them, though if in future there are many more of them they might start doing so. Nor is there any sign of the intergenerational warfare predicted in the 1990s. After all, older people themselves mostly have families. In a recent study of parents and grown-up children in 11 European countries, Karsten Hank of Mannheim University found that 85% of them lived within 25km of each other and the majority of them were in touch at least once a week. Even so, the shift in the centre of gravity to older age groups is bound to have a profound effect on societies, not just economically and politically but in all sorts of other ways too. Richard Jackson and Neil Howe of America’s CSIS, in a thoughtful book called The Graying of the Great Powers, argue that, among other things, the ageing of the developed countries will have a number of serious security implications.
For example, the shortage of young adults is likely to make countries more reluctant to commit the few they have to military service. In the decades to 2050, America will find itself playing an ever-increasing role in the developed world’s defence effort. Because America’s population will still be growing when that of most other developed countries is shrinking, America will be the only developed country that still matters geopolitically (地缘政治上). Ask me in 2020 There is little that can be done to stop population ageing, so the world will have to live with it. But some of the consequences can be alleviated. Many experts now believe that given the right policies, the effects, though grave, need not be catastrophic. Most countries have recognised the need to do something and are beginning to act. But even then there is no guarantee that their efforts will work. What is happening now is historically unprecedented. Ronald Lee, director of the Centre on the Economics and Demography of Ageing at the University of California, Berkeley, puts it briefly and clearly: “We don’t really know what population ageing will be like, because nobody has done it yet. “ 注意:此部分试题请在答题卡 1 上作答。
  1. In its 1994 report, the World Bank argued that the current pension system in most countries could . [A] not be sustained in the long term [B] further accelerate the ageing process [C] hardly halt the growth of population [D] help tide over the current ageing crisis
  2. What message is conveyed in books like Young vs Old? [A] The generation gap is bound to narrow. [B] Intergenerational conflicts will intensify. [C] The younger generation will beat the old. [D] Old people should give way to the young.
  3. One reason why pension and health care reforms are slow in coming is that . [A] nobody is willing to sacrifice their own interests to tackle the problem [B] most people are against measures that will not bear fruit immediately [C] the proposed reforms will affect too many people’s interests [D] politicians are afraid of losing votes in the next election
  4. The author believes the most effective method to solve the pension crisis is to . [A] allow people to work longer [C] cut back on health care provisions [B] increase tax revenues [D] start reforms right away
  5. The reason why employers are unwilling to keep older workers is that . [A] they are generally difficult to manage [B] the longer they work, the higher their pension [C] their pay is higher than that of younger ones [D] younger workers are readily available
  6. To compensate for the fast-shrinking labour force, Japan would need .
[A] to revise its current population control policy [B] large numbers of immigrants from overseas [C] to automate its manufacturing and service industries [D] a politically feasible policy concerning population
  7. Why do many women in rich countries compromise by having only one child? [A] Small families are becoming more fashionable. [B] They find it hard to balance career and family. [C] It is too expensive to support a large family. [D] Child care is too big a problem for them.
  8. Compared with younger ones, older societies are less inclined to .
  9. The predicted intergenerational warfare is unlikely because most of the older people themselves .
  10. Countries that have a shortage of young adults will be less willing to commit them to . Part III Listening Comprehension (35 minutes) Section A Directions: In this section, you will hear 8 short conversations and 2 long conversations. At the end of each conversation, one or more questions will be asked about what was said. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After each question there will be a pause. During the pause, you must read the four choices marked [A], [B], [C] and [D], and decide which is the best answer. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre. 注意: 此部分试题请在答题卡 2 上作答。
  11. [A] The man is the manager of the apartment building. [B] The woman is very good at bargaining. [C] The woman will get the apartment refurnished. [D] The man is looking for an apartment.
  12. [A] How the pictures will turn out. [C] What the man thinks of the shots. [B] Where the botanical garden is. [D] Why the pictures are not ready.
  13. [A] There is no replacement for the handle. [B] There is no match for the suitcase. [C] The suitcase is not worth fixing. [D] The suitcase can be fixed in time.
  14. [A] He needs a vehicle to be used in harsh weather. [B] He has a fairly large collection of quality trucks. [C] He has had his truck adapted for cold temperatures. [D] He does routine truck maintenance for the woman.
  15. [A] She cannot stand her boss’s bad temper. [B] She has often been criticized by her boss. [C] She has made up her mind to resign.
[D] She never regrets any decisions she makes.
  16. [A] Look for a shirt of a more suitable color and size. [B] Replace the shirt with one of some other material. [C] Visit a different store for a silk or cotton shirt. [D] Get a discount on the shirt she is going to buy.
  17. [A] At a “Lost and Found”. [C] At a trade fair. [B] At a reception desk. [D] At an exhibition.
  18. [A] Repair it and move in. [C] Convert it into a hotel. [B] Pass it on to his grandson. [D] Sell it for a good price. Questions 19 to 21 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
  19. [A] Unique descriptive skills. [C] Colourful world experiences. [B] Good knowledge of readers’ tastes. [D] Careful plotting and clueing.
  20. [A] A peaceful setting. [C] To be in the right mood. [B] A spacious room. [D] To be entirely alone.
  21. [A] They rely heavily on their own imagination. [B] They have experiences similar to the characters’. [C] They look at the world in a detached manner. [D] They are overwhelmed by their own prejudices. Questions 22 to 25 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
  22. [A] Good or bad, they are there to stay. [B] Like it or not, you have to use them. [C] Believe it or not, they have survived. [D] Gain or lose, they should be modernised.
  23. [A] The frequent train del
 

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