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  Second nature

  Your personality isn’t necessarily set in stone. With a little experimentation, people can reshape their temperaments and inject passion, optimism, joy and courage into their lives

  A Psychologists have long held that a person’s character cannot undergo a transformation in any meaningful way and that the key traits of personality are determined at a very young age. However, researchers have begun looking more closely at ways we can change. Positive psychologists have identified 24 qualities we admire, such as loyalty and kindness, and are studying them to find out why they come so naturally to some people. What they’re discovering is that many of these qualities amount to habitual behaviour that determines the way we respond to the world. The good news is that all this can be learned. Some qualities are less challenging to develop than others, optimism being one of them. However, developing qualities requires mastering a range of skills which are diverse and sometimes surprising. For example, to bring more joy and passion into your life, you must be open to experiencing negative emotions. Cultivating such qualities will help you realise your full potential.

  B ‘The evidence is good that most personality traits can be altered,’ says Christopher Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, who cites himself as an example. Inherently introverted, he realised early on that as an academic, his reticence would prove disastrous in the lecture hall. So he learned to be more outgoing and to entertain his classes. ‘Now my extroverted behaviour is spontaneous,’ he says.

  C David Fajgenbaum had to make a similar transition. He was preparing for university, when he had an accident that put an end to his sports career. On campus, he quickly found that beyond ordinary counselling, the university had no services for students who were undergoing physical rehabilitation and suffering from depression like him. He therefore launched a support group to help others in similar situations. He took action despite his own pain — a typical response of an optimist.

  D Suzanne Segerstrom, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, believes that the key to increasing optimism is through cultivating optimistic behaviour, rather than positive thinking. She recommends you train yourself to pay attention to good fortune by writing down three positive things that come about each day. This will help you convince yourself that favourable outcomes actually happen all the time, making it easier to begin taking action.

  E You can recognise a person who is passionate about a pursuit by the way they are so strongly involved in it. Tanya Streeter’s passion is freediving — the sport of plunging deep into the water without tanks or other breathing equipment. Beginning in 1998, she set nine world records and can hold her breath for six minutes. The physical stamina required for this sport is intense but the psychological demands are even more overwhelming. Streeter learned to untangle her fears from her judgment of what her body and mind could do. ‘In my career as a competitive freediver, there was a limit to what I could do — but it wasn’t anywhere near what I thought it was,’ she says.

  F Finding a pursuit that excites you can improve anyone’s life. The secret about consuming passions, though, according to psychologist Paul Silvia of the University of North Carolina, is that ‘they require discipline, hard work and ability, which is why they are so rewarding.’ Psychologist Todd Kashdan has this advice for those people taking up a new passion: ‘As a newcomer, you also have to tolerate and laugh at your own ignorance. You must be willing to accept the negative feelings that come your way,’ he says.

  G In 2004, physician-scientist Mauro Zappaterra began his PhD research at Harvard Medical School. Unfortunately, he was miserable as his research wasn’t compatible with his curiosity about healing. He finally took a break and during eight months in Santa Fe, Zappaterra learned about alternative healing techniques not taught at Harvard. When he got back, he switched labs to study how cerebrospinal fluid nourishes the developing nervous system. He also vowed to look for the joy in everything, including failure, as this could help him learn about his research and himself.

  One thing that can hold joy back is a person’s concentration on avoiding failure rather than their looking forward to doing something well. ‘Focusing on being safe might get in the way of your reaching your goals,’ explains Kashdan. For example, are you hoping to get through a business lunch without embarrassing yourself, or are you thinking about how fascinating the conversation might be?

  H Usually, we think of courage in physical terms but ordinary life demands something else. For marketing executive Kenneth Pedeleose, it meant speaking out against something he thought was ethically wrong. The new manager was intimidating staff so Pedeleose carefully recorded each instance of bullying and eventually took the evidence to a senior director, knowing his own job security would be threatened. Eventually the manager was the one to go. According to Cynthia Pury, a psychologist at Clemson University, Pedeleose’s story proves the point that courage is not motivated by fearlessness, but by moral obligation. Pury also believes that people can acquire courage. Many of her students said that faced with a risky situation, they first tried to calm themselves down, then looked for a way to mitigate the danger, just as Pedeleose did by documenting his allegations.

  Over the long term, picking up a new character trait may help you move toward being the person you want to be. And in the short term, the effort itself could be surprisingly rewarding, a kind of internal adventure.

  Questions 14-18

  Complete the summary below.

  Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

  Write your answers in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet

  Psychologists have traditionally believed that a personality 14 was impossible and that by a 15 , a person’s character tends to be fixed. This is not true according to positive psychologists, who say that our personal qualities can be seen as habitual behaviour. One of the easiest qualities to acquire is 16 . However, regardless of the quality, it is necessary to learn a wide variety of different 17 in order for a new quality to develop; for example, a person must understand and feel some 18 in order to increase their happiness.

  Questions 19-22

  Look at the following statements (Questions 19-22) and the list of people below.

  Match each statement with the correct person, A-G.

  Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet

  19 People must accept that they do not know much when first trying something new.

  20 It is important for people to actively notice when good things happen.

  21 Courage can be learned once its origins in a sense of responsibility are understood.

  22 It is possible to overcome shyness when faced with the need to speak in public.

  List of People

  A Christopher Peterson

  B David Fajgenbaum

  C Suzanne Segerstrom

  D Tanya Streeter

  E Todd Kashdan

  F Kenneth Pedeleose

  G Cynthia Pury

  Questions 23-26

  Reading Passage 2 has eight sections, A-H.

  Which section contains the following information?

  Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet

  23 a mention of how rational thinking enabled someone to achieve physical goals

  24 an account of how someone overcame a sad experience

  25 a description of how someone decided to rethink their academic career path

  26 an example of how someone risked his career out of a sense of duty


  Questions 14-15


  难度及答案:难度低;答案为 transformation/change; young age

  关键词:第1空的关键闻为traditionally believe、impossible;第二空的关键词为person's character tend to be fixed.

  定位原文:A 部分第 1 段第 1 句 “Psychologists have long…a very young age.” 心理学家 长期以来持有一种观点,即人们的性格在任何有意义的方式下都不会经受改变, 并且人们的主要性格特点在小时候就已经确定了。

  解题思路:根据对应原文发现原文有两个分句刚好对应题目的两个空格,从and前的分句中 cannot undergo 对应 impossible, 因此第 1 个空格为 transformation 从第2空格句中发现空格前有定冠词“a”,且traits of personality对应person's characteristics,determined 对应 fixed,因此第 2 空为 young age。

  Questions 16

  参考译文: 其中一个最容易获得的品质是___。

  难度及答案: 难度高;答案为optimism

  关键词: the easiest qualities

  定位原文: A部分第2段第1句“Some qualities... of them.”有一些品质没有另一些品质如此难以开发,乐观这个品质就是其中一个。

  解题思路: 从对应原文中找到比较级,原文中出现比较级的部分一般为考点。文中指出有一些品质没有另外一些品质那么难养成,乐观(optimism)就是其中一个,与 one of the easiest 对应,此空格填 optimism。

  Questions 17

  参考译文: 但是,不管是哪种品行,人们都有必要学习各种各样的______以发展新的品行。

  难度及答案: 难度中等;答案为skills/techniques 。

  关键词:learn、 a wide variety of

  定位原文: A部分第2段第2句“However, developing qualities...and sometimes surprising.”但是,人们想要开发这些品质要求掌握一系列的技巧,这些技巧五花八门,有时候还可能让人很吃惊。

  解题思路: 原文中的learn、a range of与题目中master、a wide variety of 分别为同义替换,因此此空可填 techniques/skills。

  Questions 18

  参考译文: 例如,一个人必须要明白和感受一些_____.目的是提高他们的快乐程度。

  难度及答案: 难度中等;答案为 negative emotions/feelings

  关键词: understand and feel 、 increase their happiness

  定位原文: A部分第2段第3句“For example, to bring more…emotions.” 例如,你如果想为你的生活增加更多的快乐和激情,你必须敞开胸怀对待消极的情绪。

  解题思路: 原文中 bring more joy and passion in my life、experience 与題干中 increase their happiness、understand and fed分别属于同义替换。因此,本题答案为 negative, emotion。

  Questions 19

  参考译文: 他们必须接受这个事实,即人们在第一次尝试一些新事物的时候知道的不多。


  关键词: accept、 first trying something new

  定位原文: F 部分第 3,4 句 “Psychologist Todd Kashdan has this…he says.” 心理学家 Todd Kashdan提供了这类的建议给人们去获取这些新的激情。他说:“作为一个新人,你通常需要去忍受并嘲笑自己的无知。你必须接受那些消极的情绪。”

  解题思路: 在对应原文中找到Kashdan的态度,原文中own ignorance、accept与題干中 they do not know、tolerate and laugh at your own 分别属于同义替换,因此此题配对E项。

  Question 20

  参考译文: 去主动留意美好的事情对一个人是很重要的。

  难度答案: 难度高;答案为C

  关键词: actively notice、 good things happen

  定位原文: D段第2句“She recommends you train...come about each day.”她建议人们应该训练自己去关注那些美好的事情并且记录下每天发生的三件美好的事情。这样做有助于自己说服自己让人开心的事情每时每刻都在发生,也更加容易使你采取实际的行动(去做积极的事情)。

  解题思路: 参照对应原文,找到了Segerstrom的态度,原文中train yourselves to pay attention to、positive things that come about each day 与题干中的actively notice、good things happen分别属于同义替换,因此此题答案为C。

  Question 21



  关键词: courage、 sense of responsibilities

  定位原文: H 部分第 I 段第 5 句 “According to Cynthia Pury... obligation.” 根据一位来自克莱姆森大学的心理学会Cynthia Pury的观点,Pedeleose的故事证明了一个观点,这个观点就是勇气不是被无畏所激发,而是通过道德责任所激发。

  解题思路: 参照对应原文,原文中moral obligation与题干中sense of responsibilities属于同义替换,且由原文中可知courage是obligation产生的,因此此題答案为G。

  Question 22

  参考译文: 当面对需要在公众面前演讲的需求时,害羞是可以被克服的。


  关键词: overcome shyness、speak in public

  定位原文: B部分第3句“So he learned to be…his classes.”因此,他开始学怎样变得亲和, 怎样活跃他的课堂。

  解题思路: 根据对应原文,原文中 be more outgoing、entertain his classes 与题干中 overcome shyness、speak in the public分别属于同义替换,因此本题答案为A。

  Question 23



  关键词:rational thinking、physical goals

  定位原文: E 部分第 5 句 “Streeter learned to untangle... and mind could do.” Streeter 通过判断自己身体和心理可以承受的程度,学习了如何去解除她的恐惧。

  解题思路: 题干中rational thinking对应原文learn to untangle her fears,原文全句表达了 Streeter战胜了她心理上和生理上的恐惧,达到了自己的目标,即为题干中的 physical goals,因此此题匹配E段。

  Question 24


  难度及答案: 难度中等;答案为C

  关键词:overcome a sad experience

  定位原文: C部分全文,再发生了一场终止他运动生涯的意外时,David Fajgenbaum也做过相似的性格转换,那时他正准备上大学。在大学校园里,他很快发现:除了普通的询问,学校里并没有为像他那样正在经受生理恢复和心理沮丧的学生提供服务。 他因此发起了一个提供服务小组去帮助其他的那些和他有着相似境况的人。他对于这样的情况采取了行动,尽管他自己也在经受运伤痛,这是一种积极者的反应。

  解题思路: C段全文在描写David Fajgenbaum在事故之运如何以一种乐观的心态面对已经积极的帮助他人的。因此匹配C段。

  Question 25

  参考译文: 描述一个人如何决定去重新思考自己的学术研究之路。

  难度及答案: 难度高;答案为G

  关键词: rethink their academic career path

  定位原文: G部分第1段,在2004年,医学科学家Mauro Zappaterra开始在哈佛大学医学院开展他的博士学位的研究。不幸的是,他相当痛苦,因为他的研究与他所好奇的关于治疗相关疾病的方案不相符合。最终他在Santa Fe休息了一段时间,在这八个月的时间里,Zappaterra学到一种没有在哈佛学过的可替代的治疗技术。当回来的时候,他改变了他的实验项目,转而研究脑脊髓液是如何滋养神经系统的发展。他也发誓要在一切事物中,包括失败中,寻找快乐。因为失败可以帮助他了解自己的研究和他自身。

  解题思路: G段描述了 Zappaterra这个人从事的研究方向。从G段第四句描述了 Zappaterra 转变了自己的研究方向,因此该题匹配G段。

  Question 26


  难度及答案; 难度中等;答案为H

  关键词: risked his career、sense of duty

  定位原文: H部分第 1 段第 3 句“ The new manger was intimidating ...would be threatened.” 一个新上任的经理恐吓员工,Pedeleose明知自己的事业会遭到威胁,仍仔细地录下他每次作恶的片段,并且最终将证据交给高级主管。

  解题思路: 原文以Pedeleose为例,讲述他出于道义举报领导的不良行为的事迹。文中的 his own job security would be threatened 与题目中的 risked his career属于同义替换。

  希望大家能够认真的对以上雅思阅读考前练习:Second nature进行练习,并在练习结束后进行分析和总结。