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新GRE阅读完全剖析(一)

2005-12-01 00:00马焱俊

  前言

  ETS经过成熟酝酿后,讲于2006年10月推出的新的GRE General Test。作为历史悠久的GRE一般化考试,历史55年来上也是首次发生重大变化。面对变化,中国考试应该尽早适应并且从考试考察能力转变之中解读中出调整和应对策略。本文通过详细剖些ETS官方给出的Verbal Reasoning权威样题,和广大考生分享新GRE阅读部分的变化究竟在哪里,本质上延续的根本特点是什么以及相应的备考策略以及启发。站在命题哲学的高度透视这次变化,做到知己知彼,百战不殆。

  总体宏观变化

  从ETS官方网站的叙述中,最为核心的整个考试的变化趋势为如下几点:

  Greater emphasis on higher cognitive skills and less dependence on vocabulary

  More text-based materials, such as reading passages

  A broader selection of reading passages

  Emphasis on skills related to graduate work, such as complex reasoning

  Expansion of computer-enabled tasks (e.g., clicking on a sentence in a passage to highlight it)

  Two 40-minute sections rather than one 30-minute section

  逐点分析,不难发现几乎每条都于阅读部分难度和重要性的提高分不开的。所为cognitive认知性能力,是所有阅读测试的核心,即主要依赖文章本身而非经验性的一种理解能力。不仅在能力上提出了更高要求,阅读文章本身不论从选择题材的广度,每个Section考察的篇幅数量都大大提升。在计算机新媒介的辅助下,ETS把GRE阅读注册商标般的推理也提高到新的层次进行考察。简而言之,阅读可谓成为了新GRE考试中的重中之重。

  样题剖析

  笔者对给出的样题中阅读部分做一个综合评述,慢慢揭开新GRE阅读的神秘面纱。在对题目做完剖析之后,总结相关的变化和值得注意的要点。

  Questions 6 through 8 are based on the following reading passage.

  Music critics have consistently defined James P. Johnson as a great early jazz pianist, originator of the 1920's Harlem "stride" style, and an important blues and jazz composer. In addition, however, Johnson was an innovator in classical music, composing symphonic music that incorporated American, and especially African-American, traditions.

  Such a blend of musical elements was not entirely new: by 1924 both Milhaud and Gershwin had composed classical works that incorporated elements of jazz. Johnson, a serious musician more experienced than most classical composers with jazz, blues, spirituals, and popular music, was particularly suited to expand Milhaud's and Gershwin's experiments. In 1927 he completed his first large-scale work, the blues- and jazz-inspired Yamekraw, which included borrowings from spirituals and Johnson's own popular songs. Yamekraw, premiered successfully in Carnegie Hall, was a major achievement for Johnson, becoming his most frequently performed extended work. It demonstrated vividly the possibility of assimilating contemporary popular music into the symphonic tradition.

  本选文难度和风格几乎和现行的GRE阅读没有太大区别。题材又谈到了黑人,尤其是爵士音乐。这种题材在95-00笔考期间也经常出现。把握住文章首段重要词汇however抓住主题。分清文中矛盾对象(创新与传统,不同音乐家间的逻辑联系),文章应该比较容易处理。

  6. The passage states that Johnson composed all of the following EXCEPT

  A. jazz works  B. popular songs  C. symphonic music  D. spirituals  E. blues pieces

  此题正确答案为D。文中开始谈到Johnson作为伟大爵士音乐家,因为其创始了新的风格,其中包括了blues and jazz。而在文章末句提到了他吸收了同时代的popular music以及symphonic。注意该题的spirituals文中确实也出现过,但是措辞用的是borrow from,题干问的是compose。

  7. Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

  The author suggests which of the following about most classical composers of the early 1920's?

  A. They were strongly influenced by the musical experiments of Milhaud and Gershwin.

  B. They had little working familiarity with such forms of American music as jazz, blues, and popular songs

  C. They made few attempts to introduce innovations into the classical symphonic tradition

  本题即为新GRE阅读中新酝酿推出的所谓恐怖的"多选题"。其实这种题型即为原来GRE阅读中罗马数字题的变体,只是难度进一步加大。正确答案B。——They had little working familiarity with such forms of American music as jazz, blues, and popular songs。本题从出题点分析涉及文中的比较点。最后的逻辑关系用东方阅读体系表示可以是:Johnson=Milhaud and Gershwin<>most composers。运用取非解题思路。

  8. The author suggests that most critics have

  A. underrated the popularity of Yamekraw

  B. undervalued Johnson's musical abilities

  C. had little interest in Johnson's influence on jazz

  D. had little regard for classical works that incorporate popular music

  E. neglected Johnson's contribution to classical symphonic music

  此题正确答案为E。该题题干提到的critics指引考生定位到文章首段。经过逻辑和套路熟练训练后,不难把握Music critics have consistently defined James P. Johnson as a great early jazz pianist…… however, Johnson was an innovator in classical music。类似于两个观点的对立,为结构上重要内容。

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