Skip to main content
-- seconds remaining

Part 1


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14 which are based on Reading Passage 1.

The role of accidents in business

In 1894 Dr John Kellogg and his brother. Will, were supervising a hospital and health spa in Michigan. The patients were on a restricted diet. One day, the brothers left cooked wheat untended for more than 24 hours. When they returned, they saw what they had done. It was no good to eat, but they decided to run the stale wheat through rollers, just to see how it would turn out. Normally, the process produced long sheets, but they were surprised to discover that this time the rollers created flat flakes. They baked them, and then tried the same thing with corn. From this accidental discovery came the cornflakes that generations have now been eating for breakfast.

Accidents happen; there is nothing predictable and orderly about innovation. Nobel laureate Sir Alan Hodgkin, who discovered how nerve cells transmit electrical impulses between the skin and the brain, commented: 'I believe that the record of my published papers conveys an impression of directedness and planning which does not at all coincide with the actual sequence of events.’

The same rule applies in business. The mistake that gave US cornflakes keeps repeating itself in the history of disruptive innovation, the kind that transforms markets. Louis Daguerre, for, instance, discovered the technique that gave US photography in the 1830s, when drops of mercury from a shattered thermometer produced a photographic image. The microwave was discovered when Peroy Spender, a scientist with Raytheon, was testing a new vacuum tube and discovered that the sweet in his pocket had melted. The artificial sweetener, saccharin, was the unintentional result of a medical scientist’s work on a chemical treatment for gastric ulcers. While working for the firm 3M, researcher Art Fry had no idea he was taking the first steps towards Post- It Notes when he used bits of adhesive office paper that could be easily lifted off the page to replace the scrap paper bookmarks that kept falling out of his hymn book.

Breakthrough and disruptive innovation are rarely driven by orderly process. Usually they come out of a chaotic, haphazard mess, which is why big companies, full of managers schooled in business programmes designed to eliminate random variation and mistakes, struggle with them. In these sorts of environments, accidents are called failures and are discouraged.

It is no surprise then that research from the late British economist Paul Geroski and London Business School’s Constantinos Markides found that companies that were skilled at innovation were usually not that skilled when it came to commercialisation, and vice versa. Their book, Fast Second, divides businesses into 'colonists’ and 'consolidators’. Small and nimble, colonists are adept at creating market niches but are terrible institution builders. Consolidators, with their strong cultures of discipline and cost control, know how to take clever ideas from other firms and turn them into mass­market items. Microsoft is a prime instance of this.

With companies spending hundreds of billions of dollars on research and development, US academics Robert Austin and Lee Devin examined how managers can encourage productive slip-ups. In their article Accident, Intention and Expectation in the Innovation Process, they argue that business processes actually prevent helpful mis-steps from occurring. According to their catalogue of accidents, not all false steps and mishaps are equal. Accidents, they say, come from unlikely mental associations such as memories and vague connections, looking for something and finding it in an unexpected way, looking for one thing and finding something else, and not looking for anything but finding something valuable.

Accident-prone innovation, they say, requires companies to get outside the ‘cone of expectation’. It means throwing together groups from diverse backgrounds, and combining ideas in unpredictable ways, other strategies also include having systems that watch out for accidents and examine them for value, generating them when they do not happen often enough, seizing oil the useful ones, capturing their valuable features, and building on them to add value and give potential for useful accidents.

All this, however, requires thinking that is often counter-intuitive to the way businesses operate. In other words, it is the kind of thinking that goes against the beliefs of most business managers. It runs counter to the notion frequently pushes by consultants that you can ‘harness’ creativity and direct it to line up with intention. ‘The cost of accidents business, people tend to call such efforts failure.’

There are tentative signs that more companies are starting to realise that failure can lead to commercial gain, and that this is part or the risk-talking that underpins innovation. Australia’s largest brewing company, for example, made a bad error when it launched a new beer called Empire Lager, pitched at younger consumers. Having spent a fortune creating a beer with a sweeter taste, designing a great-looking bottle and a television campaign, Foster’s was left with a drink that no-one wanted to buy. The target market was more interested in brands built up by word of mouth.

Instead of wiping the unsuccessfull product launch, Fosters used this lesson learned to go on and develop other brands instead. One of them, Pure Blonde, is now ranked as Australia’s fifth-largest beer brand. Unlike Empire Lager, there has been almost no promotion and its sales are generated more by word of mouth.

Other companies are taking similar steps to study their own slip-ups. Intuit, the company behind financial tools such as Quicken, holds regular ‘When Learning Hurts’ sessions. But this sort of transformation is never easy. In a market that focuses on the short-term, convincing employees and shareholders to tolerate failure and not play it safe is a big thing to ask.

Part 2

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-27, which are based on Reading Passage 2.

Climate Change: Instant Expert

A. Climate change is with us. A decade ago, it was conjecture. Now the future is unfolding before our eyes. Canada's Inuit see it in disappearing Arctic ice and permafrost. The shantytown dwellers of Latin America and Southern Asia see it in lethal storms and floods. Europeans see it in disappearing glaciers, forest fires and fatal heat waves. Scientists see it in tree rings, ancient coral and bubbles trapped in ice cores. These reveal that the world has not been as warm as it is now for a millennium or more. The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980. And Earth has probably never warmed as fast as in the past 30 years--a period when natural influences on global temperatures, such as solar cycles and volcanoes should have cooled us down.

B. Climatologists reporting for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say we are seeing global warming caused by human activities. People are causing the change by burning nature's vast stores of coal, oil and natural gas. This releases billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year, although the changes may actually have started with the dawn of agriculture, say some scientists. The physics of the "greenhouse effect" has been a matter of scientific fact for a century. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps the Sun's radiation within the troposphere, the lower atmosphere. It has accumulated along with other manmade greenhouse gases, such as methane and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Some studies suggest that cosmic rays may also be involved in warming.

C. If current trends continue, we will raise atmospheric CO2concentrations to double pre-industrial levels during this century. That will probably be enough to raise global temperatures by around 2℃ to 5℃. Some warming is certain, but the degree will be determined by cycles involving melting ice, the oceans, water vapour, clouds and changes to vegetation. Warming is bringing other unpredictable changes. Melting glaciers and precipitation are causing some rivers to overflow, while evaporation is emptying others. Diseases are spreading. Some crops grow faster while others see yields slashed by disease and drought. Clashes over dwindling water resources may cause conflicts in many regions.

D. As natural ecosystems - such as coral reefs - are disrupted, biodiversity is reduced. Most species cannot migrate fast enough to keep up, though others are already evolving in response to warming. Thermal expansion of the oceans, combined with melting ice on land, is also raising sea levels. In this century, human activity could trigger an irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This would condemn the world to a rise in sea level of six metres - enough to flood land occupied by billions of people.

E. The global warming would be more pronounced if it were not for sulphur particles and other pollutants that shade us, and because forests and oceans absorb around half of the CO2 we produce. But the accumulation rate of atmospheric CO2 has doubled since 2001, suggesting that nature's ability to absorb the gas could now be stretched to the limit. Recent research suggests that natural CO2 "sinks", like peat bogs and forests, are actually starting to release CO2.

F. At the Earth Summit in 1992, the world agreed to prevent "dangerous" climate change. The first step was the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which came into force during 2005. It will bring modest emission reductions from industrialised countries. Many observers say deeper cuts are needed and developing nations, which have large and growing populations, will one day have to join in. Some, including the US Bush administration, say the scientific uncertainty over the pace of climate change is grounds for delaying action. The US and Australia have reneged on Kyoto. Most scientists believe we are under-estimating the dangers.

G. In any case, according to the IPCC, the world needs to quickly improve the efficiency of its energy usage and develop renewable non-carbon fuels like: wind, solar, tidal, wave and perhaps nuclear power. It also means developing new methods of converting this clean energy into motive power, like hydrogen fuel cells for cars. Other less conventional solutions include ideas to stave off warming by "mega-engineering" the planet with giant mirrors to deflect the Sun's rays, seeding the oceans with iron to generate algal blooms, or burying greenhouse gases below the sea. The bottom line is that we will need to cut CO2 emissions by 70% to 80% simply to stabilise atmospheric CO2 concentrations--and thus temperatures. The quicker we do that, the less unbearably hot our future world will be.

Part 3


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3.

Olive Oil Production

Olive oil has been one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years and its popularity is growing rapidly in other parts of the world. It is one of the most versatile oils for cooking and it enhances the taste of many foods. Olive oil is the only type of vegetable/fruit oil that can be obtained from just pressing. Most other types of popular oils (corn, canola, etc.) must be processed in other ways to obtain the oil. Another important bonus is that olive oil has proven health benefits. Three basic grades of olive oil are most often available to the consumer: extra Virgin, Virgin and Olive Oil. In addition to the basic grades, olive oil differs from one country or region to another because of the types of olives that are grown, the harvesting methods, the time of the harvest, and the pressing techniques. These factors all contribute to the individual characteristics of the olive oil.

Olive trees must be properly cared for in order to achieve good economic yields. Care includes regular irrigation, pruning, fertilizing, and killing pests. Olives will survive on very poor sites with shallow soils but will grow very slowly and yield poorly. Deep soils tend to produce excessively vigorous trees, also with lower yields. The ideal site for olive oil production is a clay loam soil with good internal and surface drainage. Irrigation is necessary to produce heavy crops and avoid alternate bearing. The site must be free of hard winter frosts because wood damage will occur at temperatures below 15°F and a lengthy spell of freezing weather can ruin any chances for a decent crop. The growing season also must be warm enough so fruits mature before even light fall frosts (usually by early November) because of potential damage to the fruit and oil quality. Fortunately, olive trees are very hardy in hot summer temperatures and they are drought tolerant.

The best olive oils hold a certificate by an independent organization that authenticates the stone ground and cold pressed extraction process. In this process, olives are first harvested by hand at the proper stage of ripeness and maturity. Experts feel that hand harvesting, as opposed to mechanical harvesting, eliminates bruising of the fruit which causes tartness and oil acidity. The olives harvested are transferred daily to the mill. This is very important because this daily transfer minimizes the time spent between picking and pressing. Some extra virgin olive oil producers are known to transfer the olives by multi-ton trucks over long distances that expose the fragile fruit to crushing weight and the hot sun, which causes the olives to begin oxidizing and thus becoming acidic. In addition to the time lapse between harvesting and pressing, olive oil must be obtained using mechanical processes only to be considered virgin or extra virgin. If heat and/or chemical processes are used to produce the olive oil or if the time lapse is too long, it cannot be called virgin or extra virgin.

Once at the mill, the leaves are sucked away with air fans and the olives are washed with circulating potable water to remove all impurities. The first step of extraction is mashing the olives to create a paste. The oil, comprising 20% to 30% of the olive, is nestled in pockets within the fruit’s cells. The olives are crushed in a mill with two granite millstones rolling within a metal basin. Crushing and mixing the olives releases the oil from the cells of the olive without heating the paste. A side shutter on the mill’s basin allows the mixed olive paste to be discharged and applied to round mats. The mats are stacked and placed under the head of a hydraulic press frame that applies downward pressure and extracts the oil. The first pressing yields the superior quality oil, and the second and third pressings produce inferior quality oil. Some single estate producers collect the oil that results from just the initial crushing while many other producers use an additional step to extract more oil. The olive pulp is placed on mats constructed with hemp or polypropylene that are stacked and then pressed to squeeze the pulp. Oil and water filter through the mats to a collection tank below. The water and oil are then separated in a centrifuge.

Regardless of the method used for the first pressing, the temperature of the oil during production is extremely important in order to maintain the distinct characteristics of the oil. If the temperature of the oil climbs above 86ºF, it will be damaged and cannot be considered cold-pressed.

The first pressing oil contains the most “polyphenols”, substances that have been found to be powerful antioxidants capable of protecting against certain types of disease. The polyphenols are not the only substances in the olive with health-promoting effects, but they are quite unique when compared to other commonly used culinary oils such as sunflower and soy. It is these polyphenols that really set extra virgin olive oils apart from any other oil and any other form of olive oil. The more refined the olive oil is, the smaller the quantity of polyphenols.

The result of the producers’ efforts is a cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with high quality standards and organoleptic characteristics, which give the oil its health-protective and aromatic properties.

Part 1

Questions 1-5

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage?

In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

YES.if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
NO.if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
NOT GIVEN.if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

1. The delay in the process used by the Kellogg brothers affected the final product.

2. Sir Alan Hodgkin is an example of someone whose work proceeded in a logical and systematic way.

3. Daguerre is an exception to the general rule of innovation.

4. The discovery of saccharin occurred by accident during drug research.

5. The company 3M should have supported Art Fry by funding his idea of Post-It Notes.

Questions 6-9

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-H, below.

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet.

6. The usual business environment

7. Geroki and Markides’s book

8. Microsoft is an example of a company which

9. The origin of useful accidents

A.can be found in unusual thoughts and chance events.
B.can be taught in business schools.
C.has made a success from someone else’s invention. designed to nurture differences. unlikely to lead to creative innovation
F.says that all mistakes are the same.
G.shows that businesses are good at either inventing of selling.
H.suggests ways of increasing the number of mistakes

Questions 10-14

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D

Write the correct letter in boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet.

10. How do Austin and Devin advise companies to get out of the 'cone of expectation'?
11. In recommending ‘counter-intuitive’ thinking, what do Austin and Devin imply?
12. The writer describes the Empire Lager disaster in order to show that
13. Pure Blonde has been more successful than Empire Lager because
14. The writer concludes that creating a culture that learns from mistakes

Part 2

Questions 23-27

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

TRUE.if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE.if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN.If there is no information on this

9. Volcanoes can influence the global climate.

10. Billions of people live near the sea.

11. Peat bogs never release CO2.

12. Improving energy efficiency can be done quickly.

13. Burying greenhouse gases under the sea is not possible.

Questions 15-18

The text has 7 paragraphs (A-G).

Which paragraph contains each of the following pieces of information?

15. The effects of global warming on animals.

16. The ways in which ordinary people can see the global climate is changing.

17. The science behind global warming.

18. Possible solutions to global warming.

Questions 19-22

Complete the following sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text.

Wars could be fought over reduced .

Certain pollutants actually protect us from .

countries were not required to make cuts in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Algal blooms feed on .

Part 3

Questions 28-31

Choose the correct letters A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letters in boxes 28–31 on your answer sheet.

28. According to the text, which of the following does NOT affect the individual features of olive oils from different regions?
29. According to the text, which of the following is NOT part of olive tree management?
30. According to the text, what is the main danger of frost?
31. According to the text, which of the following does NOT affect the “extra virgin” olive oil certification?

Questions 32-34

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 32-34 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE.if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE.if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN.If there is no information on this

32. Olive trees don’t need a regular supply of water to survive.

33. No other cooking oils apart from olive oil contain polyphenols.

34. Damage to olives before they are pressed can affect the taste of the oil.

Questions 35-40

Complete the flow chart below.

Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from Passage for each answer.

The Olive Oil Production Process

  • Stage 1: Olive trees should be planted in earth with good drainage in a year round warm climate.

  • Stage 2: Trees must be carefully irrigated and fertilized and must be controlled

  • if you want to get that will make you profit.

  • Stage 3: Olives are crushed to form a

  • Stage 4: The paste is put on round mats inside a . Water is blended in with the paste as it’s pressed and a water/oil mixture escapes.

  • Stage 5: Water is removed by a process. The Oil is then bottled and distributed.

Part 1 :
0 of 14 questions
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Part 2 :
0 of 13 questions
9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Part 3 :
0 of 13 questions
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40