|1. A||21. TRUE|
|2. B||22. FALSE|
|3. H||23. FALSE|
|4. D||24. NOT GIVEN|
|5. B||25. rubber|
|6. C||26. farmer|
|7. G||27. eye movements|
|8. B||28. language co-activation|
|9. A||29. Stroop Task|
|10. D,E IN ANY ORDER||30. conflict management|
|11. D,E IN ANY ORDER||31. cognitive control|
|12. C,D IN ANY ORDER||32. YES|
|13. C,D IN ANY ORDER||33. NOT GIVEN|
|14. iv||34. NO|
|15. vi||35. NO|
|16. viii||36. NOT GIVEN|
|17. v||37. D|
|18. i||38. G|
|19. vii||39. B|
|20. iii||40. C|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 , which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Synthesis of an online debate
Great thanks to volunteer Ngoc Nguyen has contributed these explanations and question markings.
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You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 , which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
An explorer’s encounter with the ruined city of Machu Picchu, the most famous icon of the Inca civilisation
When the US explorer and academic Hiram Bingham arrived in South America in 1911, he was ready for what was to be the greatest achievement of his life: the exploration of the remote hinterland to the west of Cusco, the old capital of the Inca empire in the Andes mountains of Peru. His goal was to locate the remains of a city called Vitcos, the last capital of the Inca civilisation .
Cusco lies on a high plateau at an elevation of more than 3,000 metres, and Bingham’s plan was to descend from this plateau along the valley of the Urubamba river, which takes a circuitous route down to the Amazon and passes through an area of dramatic canyons and mountain ranges.
When Bingham and his team set off down the Urubamba in late July, they had an advantage over travellers who had preceded them : a track had recently been blasted down the valley canyon to enable rubber to be brought up by mules from the jungle. Almost all previous travellers had left the river at Ollantaytambo and taken a high pass across the mountains to rejoin the river lower down, thereby cutting a substantial corner, but also therefore never passing through the area around Machu Picchu.
On 24 July they were a few days into their descent of the valley. The day began slowly, with Bingham trying to arrange sufficient mules for the next stage of the trek. His companions showed no interest in accompanying him up the nearby hill to see some ruins that a local farmer , Melchor Arteaga, had told them about the night before. The morning was dull and damp, and also seems to have been less than keen on the prospect of climbing the hill . In his book Lost City of the Incas, he relates that he made the ascent without having the least expectation that he would find anything at the top.
Bingham writes about the approach in vivid style in his book. First, as he climbs up the hill, he describes the ever-present possibility of deadly snakes , ‘capable of making considerable springs when in pursuit of their prey’; not that he sees any. Then there’s a sense of mounting discovery as he comes across great sweeps of terraces, then a mausoleum, followed by monumental staircases and, finally, the grand ceremonial buildings of Machu Picchu. 'It seemed like an unbelievable dream the sight held me spellbound ’, he wrote.
We should remember, however, that Lost City of the Incas is a work of hindsight, not written until 1948, many years after his journey. His journal entries of the time reveal a much more gradual appreciation of his achievement. He spent the afternoon at the ruins noting down the dimensions of some of the buildings, then descended and rejoined his companions, to whom he seems to have said little about his discovery. At this stage, didn’t realise the extent or the importance of the site, nor did he realise what use he could make of the discovery.
However, soon after returning it occurred to him that he could make a name for himself from this discovery. When he came to write the National Geographic magazine article that broke the story to the world in April 1913, he knew he had to produce a big idea.
He wondered whether it could have been the birthplace of the very first Inca, Manco the Great, and whether it could also have been what chroniclers described as ‘the last city of the Incas’. This term refers to Vilcabamba the settlement where the Incas had fled from Spanish invaders in the 1530s. Bingham made desperate attempts to prove this belief for nearly 40 years. Sadly, his vision of the site as both the beginning and end of the Inca civilisation, while a magnificent one, is inaccurate. We now know, that Vilcabamba actually lies 65 kilometres away in the depths of the jungle.
One question that has perplexed visitors, historians and archaeologists alike ever since Bingham, is why the site seems to have been abandoned before the Spanish Conquest. There are no references to it by any of the Spanish chroniclers - and if they had known of its existence so close to Cusco they would certainly have come in search of gold.
An idea which has gained wide acceptance over the past few years is that was a , a country estate built by an Inca emperor to escape the cold winters of Cusco, where the elite could enjoy monumental architecture and spectacular views. Furthermore, the particular architecture of Machu Picchu suggests that it was constructed at the time of the greatest of all the Incas, the emperor Pachacuti (1438-71). By custom, Pachacuti’s descendants built other similar estates for their own use, and so Machu Picchu would have been abandoned after his death, some 50 years before the Spanish Conquest.
Great thanks to volunteer Lan Nguyen has contributed these explanations and question markings.
If you want to make a better world like this, please contact us
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 , which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
According to the latest figures, the majority of the world’s population is now bilingual or multilingual, having grown up speaking two or more languages. In the past, such children were considered to be at a disadvantage compared with their monolingual peers. Over the past few decades, however, technological advances have allowed researchers to look more deeply at how bilingualism interacts with and changes the cognitive and neurological systems, thereby identifying several clear benefits of being bilingual.
Research shows that when a bilingual person uses one language, the other is active at the same time. When we hear a word, we don’t hear the entire word all at once: the sounds arrive in sequential order. Long before the word is finished, the brain’s language system begins to guess what that word might be. If you hear ‘can’, you will likely activate words like ‘candy’ and ‘candle’ as well, at least during the earlier stages of word recognition. For bilingual people, this activation is not limited to a single language; auditory input activates corresponding words regardless of the language to which they belong. Some of the most compelling evidence for this phenomenon, called ‘ language co-activation ’, comes from studying eye movements . A Russian-English bilingual asked to ‘pick up a marker’ from a set of objects would look more at a stamp than someone who doesn’t know Russian, because the Russian word for ‘stamp’, marka, sounds like the English word he or she heard, ‘marker’. In cases like this, language co-activation occurs because what the listener hears could map onto words in either language.
Having to deal with this persistent linguistic competition can result in difficulties, however. For instance, knowing more than one language can cause speakers to name pictures more slowly, and can increase ‘tip-of-the-tongue states’, when you can almost, but not quite, bring a word to mind. As a result, the constant juggling of two languages creates a need to control how much a person accesses a language at any given time. For this reason, bilingual people often perform better on tasks that require conflict management . In the classic Stroop Task , people see a word and are asked to name the colour of the word’s font. When the colour and the word match (i., the word ‘red’ printed in red), people correctly name the colour more quickly than when the colour and the word don’t match (i., the word ‘red’ printed in blue). This occurs because the word itself (‘red’) and its font colour (blue) conflict. Bilingual people often excel at tasks such as this, which tap into the ability to ignore competing perceptual information and focus on the relevant aspects of the input. Bilinguals are also better at switching between two tasks; for example, when bilinguals have to switch from categorizing objects by colour (red or green) to categorizing them by shape (circle or triangle), they do so more quickly than monolingual people, reflecting better cognitive control when having to make rapid changes of strategy.
It also seems that the neurological roots of the bilingual advantage extend to brain areas more traditionally associated with sensory processing. When monolingual and bilingual adolescents listen to simple speech sounds without any intervening background noise, they show highly similar brain stem responses. When researchers play the same sound to both groups in the presence of background noise, however, the bilingual listeners’ neural response is considerably larger, reflecting better encoding of the sound’s fundamental frequency, a feature of sound closely related to pitch perception.
Such improvements in cognitive and sensory processing may help a bilingual person to process information in the environment, and help explain why bilingual adults acquire a third language better than monolingual adults master a second language. This advantage may be rooted in the skill of focussing on information about the new language while reducing interference from the languages they already know.
Research also indicates that bilingual experience may help to keep the cognitive mechanisms sharp by recruiting alternate brain networks to compensate for those that become damaged during aging. Older bilinguals enjoy improved memory relative to monolingual people, which can lead to real-world health benefits. In a study of over 200 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease, bilingual patients reported showing initial symptoms of the disease an average of five years later than monolingual patients. In a follow-up study, researchers compared the brains of bilingual and monolingual patients matched on the severity of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Surprisingly, the bilinguals’ brains had more physical signs of disease than their monolingual counterparts, even though their outward behaviour and abilities were the same. If the brain is an engine, bilingualism may help it to go farther on the same amount of fuel.
Furthermore, the benefits associated with bilingual experience seem to start very early. In one study, researchers taught seven-month-old babies growing up in monolingual or bilingual homes that when they heard a tinkling sound, a puppet appeared on one side of a screen. Halfway through the study, the puppet began appearing on the opposite side of the screen. In order to get a reward, the infants had to adjust the rule they’d learned; only the bilingual babies were able to successfully learn the new rule. This suggests that for very young children, as well as for older people, navigating a multilingual environment imparts advantages that transfer far beyond language.