历年四级听力及MP3下载(百度云)
历年四级听力及MP3下载(百度云)

一、2014年12月英语四级阅读理解真题

 
Section A
Questions 36 to 45 are based on the following passage.

 
For decades, Americans have taken for granted the United States' position in the development of new technologies. The innovations (创新) resulted from research and development during World War II and afterwards were __36__ to the prosperity of the nation in the second half of the 20th century. Those innovations, upon which virtually all aspects of __37__ society now depend, were possible because the United States __38__ then the world in mathematics and science education. Today, however, despite increasing demand for workers with strong skills in mathematics and science, the __39__ of degrees awarded in science, math, and engineering are decreasing.
The decline in degree production in what are called the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) seems to be __40__ related to the comparatively weak performance by U.S. schoolchildren on international assessments of math and science. Many students entering college have weak skills in mathematics. According to the 2005 report of the Business-Higher Education Forum, 22 percent of college freshmen must take remedial (补习的) math __41__. and less than half of the students who plan to major in science or engineering __42__ complete a major in those fields.
The result has been a decrease in the number of American college graduates who have the skills, __43__ in mathematics, to power a workforce that can keep the country at the forefront (前沿) of innovation and maintain its standard of living. With the __44__ performance of American students in math and science has come increased competition from students from other countries that have strongly supported education in these areas. Many more students earn __45__ in the STEM disciplines in developing countries, especially China, than in the United States.
 
A) accelerating
B) actually
C) closely
D) contemporary
E) courses
F) critical
G) declining
H) degrees
I) especially
J) future
K) led
L) met
M) procedures
N) proportions
O) spheres
 

Section B
 
Ban Sugary Drinks that Will Add Fuel to the Obesity War
 
[A] On a train last Thursday, I sat opposite a man who was so fat he filled more than one seat. He was pale and disfigured and looked sick to death, which he probably was: obesity (肥胖症) leads to many nasty ways of dying. Looking around the carriage, 1 saw quite a few people like him, including a couple of fatty children with swollen checks pressing against their eyes. These people are part of what is without exaggeration an epidemic (流行病) of obesity.
[B] But it is quite unnecessary: there is a simple idea — far from new — that could spare millions of such people a lifetime of chronic (长期的) ill health, and at the same time save the National Health Service(NHS)at least £ 14 billion a year in England and Wales. There would, you might think, be considerable public interest in it. This simple idea is that sugar is as good — or as bad — as poison and should be avoided. It is pure, white and deadly, as Professor John Yudkin described it 40 years ago in a revolutionary book of that name. The subtitle was How Sugar Is Killing Us.
[C] In its countless hidden forms, in ready meals, junk food and sweet drinks, sugar leads to addiction (瘾), to hormonal upsets to the appetite, to metabolic (新陈代谢的) malfunctions and obesity and from there to type 2 diabetes (糖尿病) and its many horrible complication. If people really grasped that, they would try to kick the habit, particularly as Britain is the "fat man of Europe". They might even feel driven to support government measures to prevent people from consuming this deadly stuff. Yet so far this idea has met little but resistance.
[D] It is not difficult to imagine the vested interests (既得利益集团) lined up against any sugar control- all the food and drink manufacturers, processors, promoters and retailers who make such easy pickings out of the magic powers of sugar. Then there are the liberals, with whom I would normally side, who protest that government regulation would be yet another instance of interference in our lives.
[E] That is true, but people should realize that you cannot have a welfare state without a nanny slate (保姆国家), to some degree. If we are all to be responsible for one another's health insurance, through socialized medicine, then we are all closely involved in one another's health, including everyone's eating and drinking. That has already been admitted, finally, with smoking. But it has yet to be admitted with overeating, even though one in four adults in this country is obese and that number is predicted to double by the year 2050. Quite apart from anything else, obesity will cripple the NHS.
[F] Recently, though, there have been signs that the medical establishment is trying to sound the alarm. Last month the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC) published a report saying that obesity is the greatest public health issue affecting the UK and urging government to do something.
[G] The report offers 10 recommendations, of which the first is imposing a tax of 20 percent on sugary drinks for at least a year, on top of the existing 20 percent value-added tax. That at least would be an excellent start. The amounts of sugar in soft drinks are horrifying, and turn straight to fat. As Professor Terence Stephenson, head of the AMRC, has said, sugary soft drinks are "the ultimate bad food. You are just consuming neat sugar. Your body didn't evolve to handle this kind of thing."
[H] Precisely. The risks of eating too much fat or salt (which are very different) pale into insignificant compared with the harm done by sugar. And it is everywhere.
[I] It is difficult to buy anything in a supermarket, other than plain, unprepared meat, fish or vegetables, that doesn't have a large amount of sugar in it. This has come about because the prevailing scientific views of the 1960s and 1970s ignored the evidence about sugar, and instead saw fat as the really serious risk, both to the heart and other organs, as well as the cause of obesity.
[J] The fashion was to avoid fat. But finding that food with much of its fat removed is not very appetizing, food producers turned to sugar as a magic alternative flavor enhancer, often in the forms of syrups (糖浆) that had recently been developed from corn, and put it generously into most prepared foods and soft drinks.
[K] This stuff is not just fattening. It is addictive. It interferes with the body's metabolism, possibly via the activity of an appetite-controlling hormone. There's plenty of evidence for this, for those who will accept the truth.
[L] Theoretically, people ought to make "healthy choices" and avoid overeating. But sugar additives are not easy to identify and are hard to avoid. So the snacking, over-drinking and over eating that makes people fat is not really their own fault: obesity is in large part something that is being done to them. It should be stopped, or rather the government should stop it.
[M] Going round my local supermarket, I am constantly astonished that it is still legal to sell all the poisons stacked high on the shelves. The problem is that they are worse than useless. They are poisonous. They are known to be addictive. They are known to make people obese. And giving small children sweet drinks or bottles of fake juice all day long is nothing less than child abuse.
[N] Clearly, the sale of such stuff ought to be illegal. I hate to think of yet more government regulation. But a bit of tax on sweet soda and a little more health education, a bit of cooking in schools and banning vending machines (自动售货机) here and there — as suggested try the AMRC report — is not going to achieve very much. Labelling is quite inadequate. What is needed is legislation banning high levels of sugary syrups used in foods and drinks.
[O] In June 2012, the then minister for public health said the government was not scared of the food industry and had not ruled out legislation, because of the costs of obesity to the NHS. However, nothing has happened yet. Why not have another Jammie Dodger biscuit and forget about it.
 
注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2上作答。
 
46. Avoiding over-consumption of sugar can improve people's health as well as save medical expenses.
47. Laws should be passed to make it illegal to produce overly sweet foods or drinks.
48. Giving small children sweet juices to drink all the time is equal to child abuse.
49. Looking around, the author found obesity quite widespread.
50. The number of obese people is expected to increase quickly in the next few decades.
51. If people really understood the horrible consequences of sugary foods and drinks, they would support government measures against sugar consumption.
52. It would be a very good beginning to improve an additional tax on sugary drinks.
53. The government has not yet taken any action to regulate sugar consumption although it indicated its intention to do so some time ago.
54. Sugar is far more harmful to health than fat and salt.
55. Consumers of sweet foods are not really to blame because they cannot tell what food is sugary.
 

Section C
Passage One
Questions 56 to 60 are based on the following passage.

 
New Yorkers are gradually getting used to more pedaling passengers on those blazing blue Citi Bikes. But what about local bike shops? Is Citi Bike rolling up riders at their expense? At Gotham Bikes in Tribeca, manager W. Ben said the shop has seen an increase in its overall sales due to the bike-share program. "It's getting more people on the road," he said. James Ryan, an employee at Danny's Cycles in Gramercy said Citi Bike is a good option for people to ease into biking in a city famed for its traffic jams and aggressive drivers. "They can try out a bike without committing to buying one," he said.
Rentals are not a big part of the business at either Gotham Bikes or Danny's Cycles. But for Frank's Bike Shop, a small business on Grand St., the bike-share program has been bad news. Owner Frank Arroyo said his rental business has decreased by 90% since Citi Bike was rolled out last month. Arroyo's main rental customers are European tourists, who have since been drawn away by Citi Bikes.
However, Ben said the bike-share is good for bike sales at his shop. "People have used the bike-share and realized how great it is to bike in the city, then decide that they want something nicer for themselves," he noted.
Christian Farrell of Waterfront Bicycle Shop, on West St. just north of Christopher St., said initially he was concerned about bike-share, though, he admitted, "I was happy to see people on bikes."
Farrell's early concerns were echoed by Andrew Crooks, owner of NYC Velo, at 64 Second Ave. "It seemed like a great idea, but one that would be difficult to implement," Crooks said of Citi Bike. He said he worried about inexperienced riders' lack of awareness of biking rules and strong negative reaction from non- cyclists. However, he said, it's still too early to tell if his business has been impacted.
While it's possible bike-share will cause a drop in business, Crooks allowed that the idea is a positive step forward for New York City.
 
56. What is the author's chief concern about the increasing use of Citi Bikes in New York?
A) How non-cyclists will respond to it.
B) Whether local bike shops will suffer.
C) Whether local bike businesses will oppose it.
D) How the safety of bike riders can be ensured.
 
57. What happened to Gotham Bikes as a result of the bike-share program?
A) It found its bike sales unaffected.
B) It shifted its business to rentals.
C) It saw its bike sales on the rise.
D) It rented more bikes to tourists.
 
58. Why is the bike-share program bad news for Frank's Bike Shop?
A) It cannot meet the demand of the bike-share program.
B) Its customers have been drawn away by Citi Bikes.
C) Its bike prices have to be lowered again and again.
D) It has to compete with the city's bike rental shops.
 
59. Why did Andrew Crooks think that the bike-share program would be difficult to execute?
A) Inexperienced riders might break biking rules.
B) Conflicts might arise among bike rental shops.
C) Traffic conditions might worsen in the downtown area.
D) There are not enough lanes to accommodate the bikes.
 
60. What is the general attitude of the local bike shops towards Citi Bike?
A) Wait and see.
B) Negative.
C) Indifferent.
D) Approving.

 
Passage Two
Questions 61 to 65 are based on the following passage.

 
Various studies have shown that increased spending on education has not led to measurable improvements in learning. Between 1980 and 2008. staff and teachers at U.S. public schools grew roughly twice as fast as students. Yet students showed no additional learning in achievement tests.
Universities show similar trends of increased administration personnel and costs without greater learning, as documented in Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's recent book Academically Adrift Limited Learning on College Campuses.
A survey shows that 63% of employers say that recent college graduates don't have the skills they need to succeed and 25% of employers say that entry-level writing skills are lacking.
Some simplistically attribute the decline in our public education system to the drain of the skilled students by private schools, but far more significant events were at work.
Public schools worked well until about the 1970s. In fact, until that time, public schools provided far better education than private ones. It was the underperforming students who were threw out of public schools and went to private ones.
A prominent reason public schools did well was that many highly qualified women had few options for working outside the house other than being teachers or nurses. They accepted relatively low pay, difficult working conditions, and gave their very best.
Having such a large supply of talented women teachers meant that society could pay less for their services. Women's liberation opened up new professional opportunities for women, and, over time, some of the best left teaching as a career option, bringing about a gradual decline in the quality of schooling.
Also around that time, regulations, government, and u nions came to dictate pay, prevent adjustments, and introduce bureaucratic (官僚的) standard for adjustment. Large education bureaucracies and u nions came to dominate the landscape, confusing activity with achievement. Bureaucrats regularly rewrite curriculums, talk nonsense about the theories of education, and require ever more administrators. The end result had been that, after all the spending, students have worse math and reading skills than both their foreign peers and earlier generations spending far less on education — as all the accumulating evidence now documents.
 
注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2上作答。
 
61. What do we learn from various studies on America's public education?
A) Achievement tests have failed to truly reflect the quality of teaching.
B) Public schools lack the resources to compete with private schools.
C) Little improvement in education has resulted from increased spending.
D) The number of students has increased much faster than that of teachers.
 
62. How do some people explain the decline in public education?
A) Government investment does not meet school's needs.
B) Skilled students are moving for private schools.
C) Qualified teachers are far from adequately paid.
D) Training of students' basic skills is neglected.
 
63. What was significant contribution to the past glory of public schools?
A) Well-behaved students.
B) Efficient administration.
C) Talented women teachers.
D) Generous pay for teachers.
 
64. Why did some of the best women teachers leave teaching?
A) New career opportunities were made available to them by women's liberation.
B) Higher academic requirements made it difficult for them to stay in their jobs.
C) They were unhappy with the bureaucratic administration in their schools.
D) The heavy teaching loads left them little time and energy for family life.
 
65. What docs the author think is one of the results of government involvement in education?
A) Increasing emphasis on theories of education.
B) Highly standardized teaching methods.
C) Students' improved academic performance.
D) An ever-growing number of administrators.
 

二、2014年12月英语四级阅读理解答案详解

 
36-45:NOIKJ MHLCB
46-55:FIDOK BECLG
56-60:CBADA
61-65:BADBC