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新GRE阅读完全剖析

2006-05-28 12:26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。

  Questions 9 and 10 are based on the following reading passage.
  Scholarship on political newspapers and their editors is dominated by the view that as the United States grew, the increasing influence of the press led, ultimately, to the neutral reporting from which we benefit today. Pasley considers this view oversimplified, because neutrality was not a goal of early national newspaper editing, even when editors disingenuously stated that they aimed to tell all sides of a story. Rather, the intensely partisan ideologies represented in newspapers of the early republic led to a clear demarcation between traditional and republican values. The editors responsible for the papers' content — especially those with republican agendas — began to see themselves as central figures in the development of political consciousness in the United States.

  本文为符合现行GRE考试部分文章套路分类中的广义新老观点对比型。文首观点说报纸最后的政治取向将会趋于neutral。而之后Pasley提出的观点否认了这种看法(oversimplified)。具体从早期国家报纸的党派差异论证自己观点。文章首句符合一贯GRE阅读的品味:长度达到35词的复杂难句子,为理解上的一个难点。

  9. Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.
  The passage suggests that Pasley would agree with which of the following statements about the political role of newspapers?
  A. Newspapers today are in many cases much less neutral in their political reporting than is commonly held by scholars.
  B. Newspapers in the early United States normally declared quite openly their refusal to tell all sides of most political stories.     C. The editorial policies of some early United States newspapers became a counterweight to proponents of traditional values.

  仍然是多项选择题,要求考生自主列出ABC正确的组合。正确答案为C。A选项极具干扰度,文首谈到的一种报纸变化乃是一种未来的趋势。而A项做出了GRE阅读中很敏感的比较(than),原文没有明确的关于现在报纸的风格比较。B项为文中让步层面内容:even when editors disingenuously stated that they aimed to tell all sides of a story,体会该叙述,与公开声明的程度不符。C项counterweight解释为平衡物,表达了文末关于一些支持republican编辑的态度。

  10. In the context in which it appears, "disingenuously" most nearly means

  A. insincerely  B. guilelessly  C. obliquely  D. resolutely  E. pertinaciously

  此题即为新GRE在取消词汇部分后,做出的相应调整。把部分词汇转移到阅读部分来考察,取代之前单纯的词之间的逻辑关系,这种做法也是吸收了TOEFL阅读考察中的部分经验。disingenuously作为GRE重点词汇,为ingenuous反义(和ingenious形近)。即使考生现场不认识该单词,也可以从上下文逻辑关系得到提示。前半句because neutrality was not a goal of early national newspaper editing基本意群表达非单纯目的, 后半句even when editors disingenuously stated that they aimed to tell all sides of a story声明事务的方方面面。从之间相反关系推理,state动词的修饰可以缩小到AC选项的范围。句子本身goal与aimed to为上下句平行结构的标志。(考察的该词在文中也被加亮)

  Questions 16 through 18 are based on the following reading passage.

  In Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry does not reject integration or the economic and moral promise of the American dream; rather, she remains loyal to this dream while looking, realistically, at its incomplete realization. Once we recognize this dual vision, we can accept the play's ironic nuances as deliberate social commentaries by Hansberry rather than as the "unintentional" irony that Bigsby attributes to the work. Indeed, a curiously persistent refusal to credit Hansberry with a capacity for intentional irony has led some critics to interpret the play's thematic conflicts as mere confusion, contradiction, or eclecticism. Isaacs, for example, cannot easily reconcile Hansberry's intense concern for her race with her ideal of human reconciliation. But the play's complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more "contradictory" than Du Bois's famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting with human unity, or Fanon's emphasis on an ideal internationalism that also accommodates national identities and roles.

  笔者发现本文本身就是现行GRE考试阅读部分曾经考过的真题文章,全文不做一字修改。从这个意义上说,考生对于新GRE部分不用抱任何恐惧感。所有现在成熟的训练体系和阅读方法仍然是有效的,本质上的阅读文章风格没有任何变化。

  16. The author's primary purpose in the passage is to

  A. explain some critics' refusal to consider Raisin in the Sun a deliberately ironic play
  B. suggest that ironic nuances ally Raisin in the Sun with Du Bois's and Fanon's writings
  C. analyze the fundamental dramatic conflicts in Raisin in the Sun
  D. emphasize the inclusion of contradictory elements in Raisin in the Sun
  E. affirm the thematic coherence underlying Raisin in the Sun

  正确答案E,全文逻辑关系理解有点难度。文章为了说明LH的讽刺的才能,而不像对批评意见所说的那样some critics interpret the play's thematic conflicts as mere confusion, contradiction, or eclecticism。所以全文论证作用上应该为affirm coherence。

  17. The author of the passage would probably consider which of the following judgments to be most similar to the reasoning of the critics described in the highlighted sentence?

  A. The world is certainly flat; therefore, the person proposing to sail around it is unquestionably foolhardy.
  B. Radioactivity cannot be directly perceived; therefore, a scientist could not possibly control it in a laboratory.
  C. The painter of this picture could not intend it to be funny; therefore, its humor must result from a lack of skill.
  D. Traditional social mores are beneficial to culture; therefore, anyone who deviates from them acts destructively.
  E. Filmmakers who produce documentaries deal exclusively with facts; therefore, a filmmaker who reinterprets particular events is misleading us.

  此题在原来老题中也相同出现。唯一的变化在于老题给出具体行号定位,而新GRE借助机考形式,方便考生,直接在原文highlight所需定位的句子。此题选C选项。逻辑上都是缺乏能力导致的结果而不是故意产生的预期结果。

  18. Click on the sentence in the passage in which the author provides examples that reinforce an argument against a critical response cited earlier in the passage.

  这种新的考题形式将在新GRE阅读中普遍出现,笔者称其为选择句子题。其实该题仍然是老题在机考形式下稍做改动而成,免去了考生按照A-E选项依次定位文章寻找的时间,而直接要求考生自主选择。答案为句子But the play's complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more "contradictory" than Du Bois's famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting with human unity, or Fanon's emphasis on an ideal internationalism that also accommodates national identities and roles.该题难度比原题,由于其开放型,有一定提高。离开来考虑;

  Rain-soaked soil contains less oxygen than does drier soil. The roots of melon plants perform less efficiently under the low-oxygen conditions present in rain-soaked soil. When the efficiency of melon roots is impaired, the roots do not supply sufficient amounts of the proper nutrients for the plants to perform photosynthesis at their usual levels. It follows that melon plants have a lower-than-usual rate of photosynthesis when their roots are in rain-soaked soil. When the photosynthesis of the plants slows, sugar stored in the fruits is drawn off to supply the plants with energy. Therefore, ripe melons harvested after a prolonged period of heavy rain should be less sweet than other ripe melons.
  
  19. In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

  A. The first states the conclusion of the argument as a whole; the second provides support for that conclusion.
  B. The first provides support for the conclusion of the argument as a whole; the second provides evidence that supports an objection to that conclusion.
  C. The first provides support for an intermediate conclusion that supports a further conclusion stated in the argument; the second states that intermediate conclusion.
  D. The first serves as an intermediate conclusion that supports a further conclusion stated in the argument; the second states the position that the argument as a whole opposes.
  E. The first states the position that the argument as a whole opposes; the second supports the conclusion of the argument.

  此题形式为曾经笔考中逻辑部分的考察重点:逻辑单题,即全文对应了一道涉及直接逻辑推理的问题。此题正确答案为C选项。两个黑体部分都不是直接结论,而是中间的支持型结论(前提和推理过程)。全文逻辑:oxygen->root efficiency->nutrient for photosynthesis-> sugar reserve-> sweet。对于这种题型,考生可能比较陌生,逻辑作用上的抽象和把握成为新GRE的特色。

  For the past two years at FasCorp, there has been a policy to advertise any job opening to current employees and to give no job to an applicant from outside the company if a FasCorp employee applies who is qualified for the job. This policy has been strictly followed, yet even though numerous employees of FasCorp have been qualified for any given entry-level position, some entry-level jobs have been filled with people from outside the company.

  24. If the information provided is true, which of the following must on the basis of it also be true about FasCorp during the past two years?

  A. There have been some open jobs for which no qualified FasCorp employee applied.
  B. Some entry-level job openings have not been advertised to FasCorp employees.
  C. The total number of employees has increased.
  D. FasCorp has hired some people for jobs for which they were not qualified.
  E. All the job openings have been for entry-level jobs.

  仍然是逻辑单题的类型。原文说如果在F公司内部有任何职位空缺并且内部员工有资格,则该职位一定给予内部员工。在这个条件约束下,结果现状是很多员工对任何entry-level职位都合适,任有部分来自公司外的员工。理解文章基础上,为了解释这些信息,可以推出有些职位空缺因为没有合适的本公司内部员工申请,才会有外人成功应聘。所以答案选A。

  A tall tree can transport a hundred gallons of water a day from its roots deep underground to the treetop. Is this movement propelled by pulling the water from above or pushing it from below? The pull mechanism has long been favored by most scientists. First proposed in the late 1800's, the theory relies on a property of water not commonly associated with fluids: its tensile strength. Instead of making a clean break, water evaporating from treetops tugs on the remaining water molecules, with that tug extending from molecule to molecule all the way down to the roots. The tree itself does not actually push or pull; all the energy for lifting water comes from the sun's evaporative power.

  套路非常清晰的短文章。文章首句神秘现象。设问句给出两种可能解释。余下文章篇幅主要集中在一种解释之上。

  25. The passage is primarily concerned with

  A. refuting a hypothesis advanced by scientists
  B. discussing the importance of a phenomenon
  C. presenting a possible explanation of a phenomenon
  D. contrasting two schools of thought
  E. discussing the origins of a theory

  主题写作手法题型。把握住现象解释型套路,全文作用即为解释现象——C选项。干扰来自D选项。全文虽然有两种可能解释,但始终没有明确进行过对比。

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

  Which of the following statements is supported by the passage?

  A. The pull theory is not universally accepted by scientists.
  B. The pull theory depends on one of water's physical properties.
  C. The pull theory originated earlier than did the push theory.

  多选题型。正确选项AB。A项对应文章The pull mechanism has long been favored by most scientists,也就说明了not universally accepted by scientists。B项为文中细节:水的张力,改写符合一贯研究的解题经验:用抽象宏观的词替代原文具体内容。C项考察了关键的推理严谨性:尽管文中说长久以来pull theory被很多人接受,但没有明确提到任何两理论时间先后比较的内容。

  27. The passage provides information on each of the following EXCEPT

  A. when the pull theory originated
  B. the amount of water a tall tree can transport
  C. the significance of water's tensile strength in the pull theory
  D. the role of the sun in the pull theory
  E. the mechanism underlying water's tensile strength

  属于传统上GRE阅读中比较难细节题,无法从题干本身获得定位主题词的信息。A项文中对应时间1800,B项所提最小单位可能是水分子。C项提到的tensile strength为理论涉及的基础性原理,26题已经有所涉及。D项对应文章末句。而E选项对文中信息做了推广延伸。在tensile strength更底层的具体原理机理文中没有进一步解释。

  Producing and using biodiesel, a fuel derived from cultivated rapeseed, causes 35 percent less air pollution per gallon than does producing and using regular diesel fuel. The government plans to reduce diesel-related air pollution over the next decade by 25 percent, so replacing regular diesel with biodiesel would seem to be the obvious solution. Unfortunately, the greatest possible production of biodiesel would amount to only one percent of all diesel fuel to be produced during the next 15 years.

  28. The passage is structured to lead to which of the following as a conclusion?

  A. The use of biodiesel will increase by less than one percent over the next 15 years.
  B. During the next 15 years, the production of biodiesel will be increased as fast as it is possible to increase it.
  C. During the next 15 years, it will be impossible, just by switching to biodiesel, to meet the government's stated goal with respect to reducing air pollution.
  D. Fifteen years from now, the air pollution caused by the production and use of one gallon of regular diesel fuel will be far less than it currently is.
E. There will be no significant year-to-year increase in the amount of regular diesel fuel used during the next 15 years.

  全文给出了很多细节性的数字,而解题需要对相关数字做出简单推算。可以设现在每加伦传统diesel油的污染x,现在一年需要消耗的油量y加伦。简单估算后,产量严重限制了最后biodiesel最后对减少污染的实际作用,所以正确答案为C。A选项混淆了产量和使用情况;B选项与原文末句叙述不符;D选项比较的是一加仑现在使用的diesel油与15年后污染情况;E选项比较具有迷惑性,但是核心主体为diesel,而不是文中的biodiesel。

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