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  SECTION III: Reading Comprehension

  Part A

  Read the following texts and answer the questions which accompany them by choosing A, B, C or D. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1.

  Text 1

  In recent years, there has been a steady assault on salt from the doctors: salt is bad for you ? regardless of your health. Politicians also got on board. "There is a direct relationship," US congressman Neal Smith noted, "between the amount of sodium a person consumes and heart disease, circulatory disorders, stroke and even early death." Frightening, if true! But many doctors and medical researchers are now beginning to feel the salt scare has gone too far. "All this hue and cry about eating salt is unnecessary," Dr. Dustan insists. "For most of us it probably doesn't make much difference how much salt we eat." Dustan's most recent short-term study of 150 people showed that those with normal blood pressure experienced no change at all when placed on an extremely low-salt diet, or later when salt was reintroduced. Of the hypertensive subjects, however, half of those on the low-salt diet did experience a drop in blood pressure, which returned to its previous level when salt was reintroduced." An adequate to somewhat excessive salt intake has probably saved many more lives than it has cost in the general population," notes Dr. John H. Laragh. "So a recommendation that the whole population should avoid salt makes no sense." Medical experts agree that everyone should practice reasonable "moderation" in salt consumption. For the average person, a moderate amount might run from four to ten grams a day, or roughly 1/2 to 1/3 of a teaspoon. The equivalent of one to two grams of this salt allowance would come from the natural sodium in food. The rest would be added in processing, preparation or at the table. Those with kidney, liver or heart problems may have to limit dietary salt, if their doctor advises. But even the very vocal "low salt" exponent, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. admits that "we do not know whether increased sodium consumption causes hypertension." In fact, there is growing scientific evidence that other factors may be involved: deficiencies in calcium, potassium, perhaps magnesium; obesity (much more dangerous than sodium); genetic predisposition; stress." It is not your enemy," says Dr. Laragh. "Salt is the No. 1 natural component of all human tissue, and the idea that you don't need it is wrong. Unless your doctor has proven that you have a salt-related health problem, there is no reason to give it up."

  1. According to some doctors and politicians, the amount of salt consumed

  [A] exhibits as an aggravating factor to people in poor health. [B] cures diseases such as stroke and circulatory disorders. [C] correlates highly with some diseases. [D] is irrelevant to people suffering from heart disease.

  2. From Dr. Dustan's study we can infer that [A] a low-salt diet may be prescribed for some people. [B] the amount of salt intake has nothing to do with one's blood pressure. [C] the reduction of salt intake can cure a hypertensive patient. [D] an extremely low-salt diet makes no difference to anyone.

  3. In the third paragraph, Dr. Laragh implies that [A] people should not be afraid of taking excessive salt. [B] doctors should not advise people to avoid salt. [C] an adequate to excessive salt intake is recommended for people in disease. [D] excessive salt intake has claimed some victims in the general population.

  4. The phrase "vocal …… exponent" (line 2, Para. 4) most probably refers to [A] eloquent doctor. [B] articulate opponent. [C] loud speaker. [D] strong advocate.

  5. What is the main message of this text? [A] That the salt scare is not justified. [B] That the cause of hypertension is now understood. [C] That the moderate use of salt is recommended. [D] That salt consumption is to be promoted.

  Part B

  In the following article some paragraphs have been removed. For Questions 1——5, choose the most suitable paragraph from the list A——F to fit into each of the numbered gaps. There is one paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1.

  From her vantage point she watched the main doors swing open and the first arrivals pour in. Those who had been at the head of the line paused momentarily on entry, looked around curiously, then quickly moved forward as others behind pressed in. Within moments the central public area of the big branch bank was filled with a chattering, noisy crowd. The building, relatively quiet less than a minute earlier, had become a Babel. Edwina saw a tall heavyset black man wave some dollar bills and declare loudly, "I want to put my money in the bank"


  It seemed as if the report about everyone having come to open an account had been accurate after all.

  Edwina could see the big man leaning back expansively, still holding his dollar bills. His voice cut across the noise of other conversations and she heard him proclaim, "I'm in no hurry. There's something I'd like you to explain." Two other desks were quickly manned by other clerks. With equal speed, long wide lines of people formed in front of them. Normally, three members of staff were ample to handle new account business, but obviously were inadequate now. Edwina could see Tottenhoe on the far side of the bank and called him on the intercom. She instructed, "Use more desks for new accounts and take all the staff you can spare to man them."


  Tottenhoe grumbled in reply, "You realize we can't possibly process all these people today, and however many we do will tie us up completely." "I've an idea," Edwina said, "That's what someone has in mind. Just hurry the processing all you can."


  First, an application form called for details of residence, employment, social security, and family matters. A specimen signature was obtained. Then proof of identity was needed. After that, the new accounts clerk would take all documents to an officer of the bank for approval and initialing. Finally, a savings passbook was made out or a temporary checkbook issued. Therefore the most new accounts that any bank employee could open in an hour were five, so the three clerks presently working might handle a total of ninety in one business day, if they kept going at top speed, which was unlikely.


  Still the noise within the bank increased. It had become an uproar.

  A further problem was that the growing mass of arrivals in the central public area of the bank was preventing access to tellers' counters by other customers. Edwina could see a few of them outside, regarding the milling scene with consternation. While she watched, several gave up and walked away. Inside the bank some of the newcomers were engaging tellers in conversation and the tellers, having nothing else to do because of the melee, chatted back. Two assistant managers had gone to the central floor area and were trying to regulate the flood of people so as to clear some space at counters. They were having small success.


  She decided it was time for her own intervention.

  Edwina left the platform and a railed-off staff area and, with difficulty, made her way through the milling crowd to the main front door.

  A. Yet she knew however much they hurried it would still take ten to fifteen minutes to open any single new account. It always did. The paperwork required that time.

  B. But still no hostility was evident. Everyone in the now jam-packed bank who was spoken to by members of the staff answered politely and with a smile. It seemed, Edwina thought, as if all who were here had been briefed to be on best behavior.

  C. A security guard directed him, "Over there for new accounts." The guard pointed to a desk where a clerk ? a young girl ? sat waiting. She appeared nervous. The big man walked toward her, smiled reassuringly, and sat down. Immediately a press of others moved into a ragged line behind him, waiting for their turn.

  D. Even leaning close to the intercom, it was hard to hear above the noise.

  E. Even tripling the present complement of clerks would permit very few more than two hundred and fifty accounts to be opened in a day, yet already, in the first few minutes of business, the bank was crammed with at least four hundred people, with still more flooding in, and the line outside, which Edwina rose to check, appeared as long as ever.

  F. Obviously someone had alerted the press in advance, which explained the presence of the TV camera crew outside. Edwina wondered who had done it.


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