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  TEST 3

  READING PASSAGE 2

  You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.

  The Nature of Genius

  There has always been an interest in geniuses and prodigies. The word 'genius', from the Latin gens (= family) and the term 'genius', meaning 'begetter', comes from the early Roman cult of a divinity as the head of the family. In its earliest form, genius was concerned with the ability of the head of the family, the paterfamilias, to perpetuate himself. Gradually, genius came to represent a person's characteristics and thence an individual's highest attributes derived from his 'genius' or guiding spirit. Today, people still look to stars or genes, astrology or genetics, in the hope of finding the source of exceptional abilities or personal characteristics.

  The concept of genius and of gifts has become part of our folk culture, and attitudes are ambivalent towards them. We envy the gifted and mistrust them. In the mythology of giftedness, it is popularly believed that if people are talented in one area, they must be defective in another, that intellectuals are impractical, that prodigies burn too brightly too soon and burn out, that gifted people are eccentric, that they are physical weaklings, that there's a thin line between genius and madness, that genius runs in families, that the gifted are so clever they don't need special help, that giftedness is the same as having a high IQ, that some races are more intelligent or musical or mathematical than others, that genius goes unrecognised and unrewarded, that adversity makes men wise or that people with gifts have a responsibility to use them. Language has been enriched with such terms as 'highbrow', 'egghead', 'blue-stocking', 'wiseacre', 'know-all', 'boffin' and, for many, 'intellectual' is a term of denigration.

  The nineteenth century saw considerable interest in the nature of genius, and produced not a few studies of famous prodigies. Perhaps for us today, two of the most significant aspects of most of these studies of genius are the frequency with which early encouragement and teaching by parents and tutors had beneficial effects on the intellectual, artistic or musical development of the children but caused great difficulties of adjustment later in their lives, and the frequency with which abilities went unrecognised by teachers and schools. However, the difficulty with the evidence produced by these studies, fascinating as they are in collecting together anecdotes and apparent similarities and exceptions, is that they are not what we would today call norm-referenced. In other words, when, for instance, information is collated about early illnesses, methods of upbringing, schooling, etc. , we must also take into account information from other historical sources about how common or exceptional these were at the time. For instance, infant mortality was high and life expectancy much shorter than today, home tutoring was common in the families of the nobility and wealthy, bullying and corporal punishment were common at the best independent schools and, for the most part, the cases studied were members of the privileged classes. It was only with the growth of paediatrics and psychology in the twentieth century that studies could be carried out on a more objective, if still not always very scientific, basis.

  Geniuses, however they are defined, are but the peaks which stand out through the mist of history and are visible to the particular observer from his or her particular vantage point. Change the observers and the vantage points, clear away some of the mist, and a different lot of peaks appear. Genius is a term we apply to those whom we recognise for their outstanding achievements and who stand near the end of the continuum of human abilities which reaches back through the mundane and mediocre to the incapable. There is still much truth in Dr Samuel Johnson's observation, 'The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction'. We may disagree with the 'general', for we doubt if all musicians of genius could have become scientists of genius or vice versa, but there is no doubting the accidental determination which nurtured or triggered their gifts into those channels into which they have poured their powers so successfully. Along the continuum of abilities are hundreds of thousands of gifted men and women, boys and girls.

  What we appreciate, enjoy or marvel at in the works of genius or the achievements of prodigies are the manifestations of skills or abilities which are similar to, but so much superior to, our own. But that their minds are not different from our own is demonstrated by the fact that the hard-won discoveries of scientists like Kepler or Einstein become the commonplace knowledge of schoolchildren and the once outrageous shapes and colours of an artist like Paul Klee so soon appear on the fabrics we wear. This does not minimise the supremacy of their achievements, which outstrip our own as the sub-four-minute milers outstrip our jogging.

  To think of geniuses and the gifted as having uniquely different brains is only reasonable if we accept that each human brain is uniquely different. The purpose of instruction is to make us even more different from one another, and in the process of being educated we can learn from the achievements of those more gifted than ourselves. But before we try to emulate geniuses or encourage our children to do so we should note that some of the things we learn from them may prove unpalatable. We may envy their achievements and fame, but we should also recognise the price they may have paid in terms of perseverance, single-mindedness, dedication, restrictions on their personal lives, the demands upon their energies and time, and how often they had to display great courage to preserve their integrity or to make their way to the top.

  Genius and giftedness are relative descriptive terms of no real substance. We may, at best, give them some precision by defining them and placing them in a context but, whatever we do, we should never delude ourselves into believing that gifted children or geniuses are different from the rest of humanity, save in the degree to which they have developed the performance of their abilities.

  Questions 14-18

  Choose FIVE letters, A-K.

  Write the correct letters in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.

  NB Your answers may be given in any order.

  Below are listed some popular beliefs about genius and giftedness.

  Which FIVE of these beliefs are reported by the writer of the text?

  A Truly gifted people are talented in all areas.

  B The talents of geniuses are soon exhausted.

  C Gifted people should use their gifts.

  D A genius appears once in every generation.

  E Genius can be easily destroyed by discouragement.

  F Genius is inherited.

  G Gifted people are very hard to live with.

  H People never appreciate true genius.

  I Geniuses are natural leaders.

  J Gifted people develop their greatness through difficulties.

  K Genius will always reveal itself.

  Answers:14-18 IN ANY ORDER  B  C  F  H  J

  解析

  篇章结构

  体裁:议论文

  主题:天才的本质

  结构:

  第1段---天才一词的来源及其含义

  第2段---人们对于天才的种种误解

  第3段---十九世纪对天才的研究及其缺陷

  第4段---天才何以为天才?

  第5段---天才是非凡的凡人

  第6段---要看到天才所付出的代价

  第7段---总结到底应该如何看待天才

  解题地图

  难度系数:★★★★☆

  解题顺序:MUTIPLE CHOICE→TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN

  友情提示:看到这么多的TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN,考生心里一定乐开花了吧。本题是全TRUE法试验场地,别客气,尽管用吧,结果会给你惊喜!!

  必背词汇

  1. perpetuate v. 使存在,使不朽

  It is our hope that the men of Yale will,in their own lives,perpetuate their manhood and courage.

  我们愿所有耶鲁人一生都能永远保持他们这种豪迈精神与勇气。

  His honesty and generosity perpetuated our memory. 他的真诚和大度长存于我们的记忆中。

  2. attribute n. 品质:属性

  What attributes should a good manager possess?一名的经理人应该具备何种品质?

  Courage is a good attribute of a soldier. 勇气是一名好士兵应该具备的品质。

  3. ambivalent adj. 自相矛盾的;含糊的(n. ambivalence)

  We are both somewhat ambivalent about having a child. 对于要不要孩子这件事,我们都有些摇摆不定。

  O’Neill had a genuine ambivalence toward US involvement in the war.

  O’Neil在美国是否参战一事上态度暧昧。

  4. mistrust v. 不相信,怀疑

  As a very small child she had learned to mistrust adults. 还是个小孩的时候,她就已经学着不相信大人了。

  Some people mistrust the computerised banking. 有些人对计算机化的银行业深表怀疑。

  5. defective adj. 有缺陷的

  The disease is caused by a defective gene. 这种疾病是由基因缺陷引起的。

  This is a defective product. 这是件次品。

  6. burn out燃尽;耗尽

  The hotel was completely burnt out. Only the walls ramained.

  那座宾馆完全烧毁了,只留下一些残垣断壁。

  It’s a high-pressure job and you could burn out young.

  这工作压力太大,你可能在年纪轻轻时就江郎才尽了。

  7. eccentric adj. 古怪的

  His eccentric behaviour lost him his job. 他的怪异举止让他丢了饭碗。

  Aunt Lucy was always a bit eccentric. Lucy姑妈总是有点怪怪的。

  8. adversity n. 逆境

  We admire his courage in the face of adversity. 我们佩服他在逆境中的勇气。

  He had drifted through life with advantage of wealth,never tested by adversity.

  他一生生活富足,从未经受贫苦的考验。

  9. collate v. 整理

  A computer system is used to collate information from across Britain.

  一个电脑系统被用来整理英国的所有信息。

  10. upbringing n. 养育

  Mike had had a strict upbringing. Mike从小家教严格。

  11. vantage point特定角度,有利位置

  From my vanrage point on the hill,I could see the whole procession.

  从我在山上的位置望去,整个队伍尽收眼底。

  The whole dispute looked silly from my uantage point. 从我的角度看,整个争端毫无意义。

  12. continuum n. 连续统一体

  The Creole language is really various dialects arranged on a continuum.

  克里奥尔语是几个相当不同的方言组成的共同体。

  All the organisms in an ecosystem are part of an evolutionary continuum. 生态系统中所有的生物都是一个进化体系的一部分。

  13. manifestation n. 表现

  These latest riots are a clear manifestation of growing discontent. 最近的暴乱正是民怨的明确体现。

  Manifestation of the disease often doesn't occur until middle age. 这种病的症状到人的中年时才会显现。

  14. minimise v. 使缩小

  Every effort is being made to minimise civilian casualties. 我们尽了努力减少平民伤亡。

  We must not minimise the problem of racial discrimination. 我们不可以轻视种族歧视的问题。

  15. supremacy n. 地位;主权

  We can't deny Japan's unchallenged supremacy in the field of electronics.

  我们不能否认日本在电子产品市场不可挑战的authority。

  air supremacy制空权

  16. outstrip v. 超过

  We outstripped all our competitors in sales last year. 去年我们的销售额赶超了所有对手。

  Demand for new aircraft production is outstripping supply. 新型航空产品供不应求。

  17. emulate v. 效仿

  He hoped to emulate the success of Wilder. 他希望能够效仿Wilder的成功。

  Few teachers can emulate the remarkable result of the experiment.

  鲜有教师能够效仿实验的惊人结果。

  认知词汇

  genius n. 天才

  prodigy n. 神童

  cult n. 狂热崇拜

  divinity n. 神明

  characteristic n. 特点,特征

  exceptional adj. 非同一般的,的

  intellectual n. 知识分子

  impractical adj. 不切实际的,缺乏实践经验的

  denigration n. 贬损

  frequency n. 频繁

  beneficial effect 有利影响

  adjustment n. 适应

  fascinating adj. 吸引人的

  anecdote n. 轶事

  norm-referenced 常模参照

  schooling n. 学校教育

  historical sources 历史资源

  infant mortality 婴儿死亡率

  life expectancy寿命

  home tutoring 家教

  bullying n. 恃强凌弱(的行为)

  privileged adj. 特权的

  paediatrics n. 儿科学

  mundane adj. 平凡的

  mediocre adj. 平庸的

  incapable adj. 无能的

  nurture v. 养育,培养

  trigger v. 引发,触动

  marvel v. 惊叹

  demonstrate v. 论证,证明;示范

  unpalatable adj. 令人不快的,讨厌的

  perseverance n. 坚持不懈

  precision n. 精确性;明确性

  save conj. 只是,除了

  试题解析

  Questions 14-18

  ·题目类型:MULTIPLE CHOICE

  ·题目解析:

  本题属于选择题中的多选题,一般题目说明中会指定要选几个答案。

  本题问的是作者在文中描述的看法,答案全部集中于第二段。

  以上是小编为大家带来的“剑桥雅思8阅读真题解析”的相关内容,希望大家可以结合剑桥雅思真题练习,掌握题型的解题技巧,成功在考试中拿下高分。


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