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  SAT阅读练习题:Reading Comprehension Test 3

  10 minutes - 7 questions

  The passage is taken from a biography of Florence Nightingale who is mainly remembered for her heroic work as a nurse during the Crimean War.

  The name of Florence Nightingale lives in the memory of the

  world by virtue of the heroic adventure of the Crimea. Had she

  died - as she nearly did - upon her return to England, her

  reputation would hardly have been different; her legend would

  have come down to us almost as we know it today - that gentle

  vision of female virtue which first took shape before the adoring

  eyes of the sick soldiers at Scutari. Yet, as a matter of fact, she

  lived for more than half a century after the Crimean War; and

  during the greater part of that long period all the energy and all the

  devotion of her extraordinary nature were working at their

  highest pitch. What she accomplished in those years of unknown sat

  labor could, indeed, hardly have been more glorious than her

  Crimean triumphs; but it was certainly more important. The true

  history was far stranger even than the myth. In Miss Nightingale's

  own eyes the adventure of the Crimea was a mere incident -

  scarcely more than a useful stepping-stone in her career. It was the

  fulcrum with which she hoped to move the world; but it was

  only the fulcrum. For more than a generation she was to sit in

  secret, working her lever: and her real life began at the very

  moment when, in popular imagination, it had ended.

  She arrived in England in a shattered state of health. The

  hardships and the ceaseless efforts of the last two years had

  undermined her nervous system; her heart was affected; she

  suffered constantly from fainting-fits and terrible attacks of utter

  physical prostration. The doctors declared that one thing alone

  would save her - a complete and prolonged rest. But that was also

  the one thing with which she would have nothing to do. She had

  never been in the habit of resting; why should she begin now?

  Now, when her opportunity had come at last; now, when the iron

  was hot, and it was time to strike? No; she had work to do; and,

  come what might, she would do it. The doctors protested in vain;

  in vain her family lamented and entreated, in vain her friends

  pointed out to her the madness of such a course. Madness? Mad -

  possessed - perhaps she was. A frenzy had seized upon her. As

  she lay upon her sofa, gasping, she devoured blue-books, dictated

  letters, and, in the intervals of her palpitations, cracked jokes. For

  months at a stretch she never left her bed. But she would not rest.

  At this rate, the doctors assured her, even if she did not die, she

  would become an invalid for life. She could not help that; there

  was work to be done; and, as for rest, very likely she might rest ...

  when she had done it.

  Wherever she went, to London or in the country, in the hills

  of Derbyshire, or among the rhododendrons at Embley, she was

  haunted by a ghost. It was the specter of Scutari - the hideous

  vision of the organization of a military hospital. She would lay that

  phantom, or she would perish. The whole system of the

  Army Medical Department, the education of the Medical Officer,

  the regulations of hospital procedure ... rest? How could she rest

  while these things were as they were, while, if the like necessity

  were to arise again, the like results would follow? And, even in

  peace and at home, what was the sanitary condition of the Army?

  The mortality in the barracks, was, she found, nearly double the

  mortality in civil life. 'You might as well take 1, 100 men every

  year out upon Salisbury Plain and shoot them,' she said. After

  inspecting the hospitals at Chatham, she smiled grimly. 'Yes, this

  is one more symptom of the system which, in the Crimea, put to

  death 16,000 men.' Scutari had given her knowledge; and it had

  given her power too: her enormous reputation was at her back -

  an incalculable force. Other work, other duties, might lie before

  her; but the most urgent, the most obvious, of all was to look to

  the health of the Army.

  1. According to the author, the work done during the last fifty years of Florence Nightingale's life was, when compared with her work in the Crimea, all of the following except

  A. less dramatic

  B. less demanding

  C. less well-known to the public

  D. more important

  E. more rewarding to Miss Nightingale herself.

  2. The 'fulcrum' (line 17) refers to her

  A. reputation

  B. mental energy

  C. physical energy

  D. overseas contacts

  E. commitment to a cause

  3. Paragraph two paints a picture of a woman who is

  A. an incapacitated invalid

  B. mentally shattered

  C. stubborn and querulous

  D. physically weak but mentally indomitable 91sat.cn

  E. purposeful yet tiresome

  4. The primary purpose of paragraph 3 is to

  A. account for conditions in the army

  B. show the need for hospital reform

  C. explain Miss Nightingale's main concerns

  D. argue that peacetime conditions were worse than wartime conditions

  E. delineate Miss Nightingale's plan for reform

  5. The series of questions in paragraphs 2 and 3 are

  A. the author's attempt to show the thoughts running through Miss Nightingale's mind

  B. Miss Nightingale questioning her own conscience

  C. Miss Nightingale's response to an actual questioner

  D. Responses to the doctors who advised rest

  E. The author's device to highlight the reactions to Miss Nightingale's plans

  6. The author's attitude to his material is

  A. disinterested reporting of biographical details

  B. over-inflation of a reputation

  C. debunking a myth

  D. uncritical presentation of facts

  E. interpretation as well as narration

  7. In her statement (lines 53-54) Miss Nightingale intended to

  A. criticize the conditions in hospitals

  B. highlight the unhealthy conditions under which ordinary soldiers were living

  C. prove that conditions in the barracks were as bad as those in a military hospital

  D. ridicule the dangers of army life

  E. quote important statistics

  SAT Reading Comprehension Test 3参考答案

  1.Correct Answer: B

  Explanation:

  ‘Except’ questions need careful checking. Here you are looking for something that cannot be said of Florence Nightingale’s work in the last fifty years of her life. If you re-read from line 11 "What she accomplished in those years of unknown labor could, indeed, hardly have been more glorious than her Crimean triumphs; but it was certainly more important..." you will find evidence that her work was ‘important’, ‘less well-known’, ‘less dramatic’, and also ‘rewarding’ to her. But you will not find evidence that it was ‘less demanding’, in fact it was arduous, and put a strain on her health. Therefore we choose answer B.

  2.Correct Answer: A

  Explanation:

  Re-read lines 11-20. You will see that the ‘fulcrum’ was the ‘stepping stone’ she was to use to advance her aims. This stepping-stone was the reputation she had earned in the Crimea. Hence, answer A.

  3.Correct Answer: D

  Explanation:

  Paragraph two reveals the poor state of health of Ms. Nightingale. sat(Her heart was affected; she suffered attacks of utter physical prostration etc.). But it also shows that she never gave up and could not be put off her work.(She would not rest; there was work to be done and she would do it etc.). Hence she was physically weak but mentally indomitable. Answer D.

  4.Correct Answer: C

  Explanation:

  The primary purpose of paragraph 3 is to explain what Ms. Nightingale wanted to do and why. Answer C. Note that answer D is too general - it refers to peacetime and wartime conditions but does not state that it is for the army, and so is unacceptable. Answer B is also too general - we are not concerned with hospitals in general, only the army.

  5.Correct Answer: A

  Explanation:

  The questions are a rhetorical device used by the author to try to give us a flavor of the thoughts that preoccupied Ms. Nightingale. Answer A. (If you re-read, you will see that they cannot be actual questions or responses.)

  6.Correct Answer: E

  Explanation:

  The author is highly involved in his subject. He tries to make the matter interesting, and tries to state what Ms. Nightingale’s thoughts and reactions were. This is best covered by saying he narrates and interprets. Answer E.

  7.Correct Answer: B

  Explanation:

  Ms. Nightingale was not quoting actual figures (eliminate E). She was also not concerned about conditions in hospitals in general (eliminate A) - she was concerned with military hospitals, and the conditions in the army in general. The last line tells us that her main concern was the ‘health of the army’. So her main point is that ordinary solders were living in unsanitary conditions, and answer B is best. She is not ridiculing the dangers she is pointing them out (eliminate D). She is not proving anything (eliminate C).

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