1. When you need to complete a creative task, do you prefer to work together with others or to do it alone?

  Nowadays, whether individual should work as a team or finish tasks alone when dealing with some creative tasks is a prevalent topic undergoing serious debate. Two different opinions obviously exist to support and to oppose. Personally, I agree with the idea that working with a group of people is the best way to approach creative projects.

  The main reason for my propensity for the choice is that a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skills than any single individual is likely to possess. As we all know, teammates in a team can learn something from each other because they are from different places, owning various experiences and hold different views towards things. The example of Tom, who is a computer programmer, can support my idea. He was assigned a task to create a phone game. At first, this project did not run smoothly because he did not have any experience on this kind of work. Then he consulted with his friends who had succeed in creating several phone games for help, through which Mike learned a lot including some useful ideas and methods. As a result, in this way, he could finish his task on time. Therefore, it is essential to assemble a group of people for completing a creative task.

  Another reason why I prefer to the statement lies in the fact that working with others is conducive to developing communication ability. This is because if people work in a group, he or she have to communicate with teammates about his or her ideas and plans, through which he or she can learn some communication skills. This provides a good instance of my sister Mary, working as an advertising manager. She has to tackle numerous problems related to advertisement with her group members every day. At first, she did not know how to express her ideas to her teammates properly especially when some conflicts happened. However, after being a leader for 3 months, she learned some skills like listening to others carefully first and then giving her own ideas. As a result, she become a excellent leader who know how to communicate with others in a proper way. Therefore, it is significant to work together.

  Taking into account of all these factors, we may reach the conclusion that assembling a group of people to work together is a better approach to solving some creative tasks.

  2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People would meet many problems in their daily life and they would solve them by themselves or from the help of their families; the help from the government is not necessary.

  Problems are inevitable in everyone’s life so that support, no matter practical aids or spiritual encouragement, is by no means dispensable. It is noticeably seen that in the face of difficulties, people are more likely to resort to themselves or acquaintances. However, this does not mean than the help from government is negligible. In other words, it is definitely important for the government to provide help for its citizens.

  First of all, the efficiency of solving problems can be substantially boosted by official assistance. To be specific, the government possesses absolute authority in legislation, supervision and regulation. Besides that, it can work collectively with different departments to support activities that benefit the public. For example, if pollutants caused by a given factory contaminate rivers, residents in the vicinity can report this case to the local government. It takes little imagination to predict that the government is bound to take measures to prevent the factory from releasing something less environment-friendly. Needless to say, the intervention of governments is more deterrent to the factory than the complaints from the public. In this sense, governments are well positioned to solve tricky public affairs.

  In addition, the society will be more harmonious with the availability of the aids given by the government. Obviously, it is unwise for the government to create an image that it is far more superior to other social organizations. Otherwise, the gap between governments and common citizens will be widened, which will further distance the authorities from people. As a matter of fact, official are public servants, which means that they ought to work diligently and productively to assist people when harsh time arrives or help disadvantageous people. Presumably, such dedication is also supposed to stimulate the public to be wholeheartedly devoted to city construction and economic development.

  In a nutshell, the government definitely plays an irreplaceable role in building social harmony and easing people from anxiety. From the angle of the authorities, they are supposed to show people that they are always there to save them from troubles. After all, every individual deserves the right to gain official aids.

  3. When we make major purchase (for example, car or laptop), our decisions can be influenced by different sources of information. Explain how each of the following sources of information can influence your decision.

  (1) Recommendations from friends or colleagues

  (2) Information from media (for example, TV, magazines, newspapers)

  (3) Recommendations from sales person in the store

  Buying things can be work. If you’re running on a budget like me, it’s always important to make as informed a purchase as possible. I try to consider several sources of information—salespeople, friends and colleagues, and media.

  The least useful of these three sources is recommendations from salespeople. This is because salespeople don’t always have your best interests in mind. I remember one time when I was hunting for a new television a few years ago. I’d visited a number of large retailers, and at every single one, the salespeople had tried to sell me a more expensive TV than the one I wanted. I didn’t need all of the extra features these pricier TVs had—I just wanted something simple with an acceptable level of picture quality. But none of the salespeople were very helpful for finding something that fit my criteria. Since salespeople often make a commission for selling these types of devices, they probably won’t provide you with the most reliable information. But you can still consult them in the beginning if you’re lost.

  More useful are recommendations from friends and colleagues. They will be far more likely to give you an honest picture of what to expect from a product. I’ve made many small- to medium-sized purchases based on suggestions from these sources, and I’ve rarely regretted it. Someone who uses a product on a daily basis can tell you all its pros, cons, and quirks. For example, when I was looking to buy a pair of portable laptop speakers, I asked one of the IT guys in my office for ideas. He pointed me towards an affordable pair of USB speakers, but made sure to tell me that they worked poorly at high volumes because of the limited energy that USB ports can provide. Since I was only using the speakers for traveling, that was an acceptable trade-off for the excellent price, so I picked up a pair from the store.

  My go-to source of information for purchases is still from media, however. I think the internet is particularly useful for this. Pretty much anything you can buy has been reviewed by someone on the internet, so you’re not limited to the unreliable testimonies of salespeople or the limited range of products used by friends and colleagues. Not only that, but for the more popular products, there are usually tens if not hundreds of reviews, so you get a good idea of how reliable different manufacturers are. For instance, when I was in the market for a new laptop last year, friends recommended several models to me. Using review websites, I managed to eliminate many of them based on negative performance evaluations and customer testimonies about defects.

  It doesn’t hurt to consider all three sources of information. However, there’s a clear hierarchy when it comes to their usefulness. Salespeople are ok to start off with, but you’ll want to get some tips from friends and colleagues, and in the end, verify those tips online.

  4. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? As modern life becomes more complex, it is essential for young people to have the ability to plan and organize.

  Needless to say the ability to plan and organize has always been essential, however, these days the methods used to plan and organize our daily lives have changed. Our world has become more business oriented and being late is unacceptable in most social environments. Whether you are young or old there is no question that planning and organizing is essential, that being said I completely agree with the above statement.

  I was born in the late 80’s, and when I grew up I remember seeing a lot of people using small calendars to take notes, I also remember seeing a watch on almost everyone’s wrist. Those were the tools needed to stay organized in the past, no one would use their cell phone to plan anything because those functions were virtually non-existent.

  Unfortunately, as our society has evolved into a more materialistic and developed version of our past society, people have become too reliant on technology. For example, it has become virtually impossible to keep a conversation going between friends without someone fiddling with their cell phone or someone answering a phone call. Alarm clocks and other devices with power cords are basically non-existent and the use of wireless devices are on the rise.

  When we use our phone as our personal assistant there are way too many potential problems. Being late because the alarm didn’t go off due to our phones running out of battery and missing a meeting because we put something in our calendar and forgot about it are just two examples. Compared to in the past I would say that we have become more disorganized. In order to solve this issue. I believe that we need to start planning and organizing like we did in the past. Bring back the paper calendars with the big red circles marking important events and start using old-school alarm clocks that literally makes you jump out of bed at the moment it goes off!

  To conclude, having the ability to plan and organize is definitely an essential skill. In order to improve our ability to do that, we should become less reliant on technology and start using less convenient but more effective methods, or at least make sure that our phones are fully charged (or charging) when we go to bed.

  5. Which option do you prefer? Travel to foreign countries when you are young than when you are older. Give specific reasons or examples to support your decision.

  Globalization has made the world become smaller and the people from all over the world become closer. Many people show a desire to experience different natural and cultural environment in foreign countries. Traveling is usually their first choice. Although the cost may be high for the young, from my perspective, traveling to foreign countries in youth is better than at old age.

  To begin with, the young are going to obtain a richer life through traveling to foreign countries. The world is a stunning place, full of treasures for people to explore. Although the young may learn the magnificence of The Pyramids and The Louvre in books, their impression of them are just limited to pictures and verbal descriptions. Only when the young visit these places in person will the sites become part of their lives. If one wants to ride a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge in youth, but he fails to achieve the dream, he will live in regret for the rest of his life. On the contrary, if he achieves it, he will have many proud moments when he looks back on his life.

  Besides, traveling to foreign countries in youth helps the young to perform better in their future careers and studies. The charm of traveling lies in its unexpected adventures. The young may encounter all kinds of difficulties, but anything is possible as long as they have confidence and wills. Traveling to different countries will force the young to care for issues that are bigger than those in their daily lives. Compassion and love will arise in the heart of the young for the pain and suffering experienced by others. Deep and consistent connections may be created with those new friends who they meet during traveling. Along with the new friends during the trip, the young can listen to the sour, sweet, bitter or hot stories, talk to people with different personalities and acquire insights on their own lives.

  Granted, some people may argue that young people usually lack money and they are supposed to work hard. Retirement period is a good time to travel to foreign countries, because the senior could usually afford both the time and money. However, it’s worthwhile to invest money and sacrifice time into tasting various aspects of life in the world as early as possible.

  In conclusion, it is highly rewarding to travel in foreign countries in youth and it is better to start earlier, for people won’t always be young. Instead of regretting at old ages due to poor physical conditions, it is better to travel in youth.

  6. Is it important for government to provide money for things that are beautiful than things that are practical?

  Government’s core function is to provide for health, safety, education and defense of its citizens. It may be tempting to argue that by focusing on things pleasing to behold, a government can harvest more support. I, however, believe this could be a bad idea. Eye-catcher projects can be no substitute for ones with practical purposes.

  Consider real estate. The recent decades have witnessed a boom in majestic mansions and skyscrapers on a global scale. While they are all pleasing to our eyes, quite a few boasts fashionably hallow designs taking up much space yet serving few practical purposes. Even so, governments still play along, funding projects and enforcing policies in the hope of a sound public image. However, all this could be in vain when the housing reality of the working class has become so harsh that few others would step up to fill the role. If the government could subsidize affordable housing, things would be a lot better for struggling college graduates. Studies have shown 60 percent of young people have to postpone their wedding plans as the result of inability to buy a house. Affordable housing does not necessarily make a good headline, but government is doing the right thing for the benefits of the public from a practical sense.

  Let’s now turn to public transit. Maglev train can be regarded as a remarkable milestone in transportation history. The sleek design and fast speed gives this invention aura of fame and the government aura of flourish. Can we thus assume the administration is a successful one? The answer is negative. This technological advancement is rather costly and energy inefficient. At the expense of huge financial and human resources, the government manages to present the world with an eye-catcher yet fails to satisfy the needs of the majority. Poorly maintained bus lines and overly crowed subways are the reality for the public. It surely falls under the rubrics of government responsibility to upgrade the current public transit. Such practical plan does not always gather much spotlight but if we take a long view, government is making a contribution commuters can benefit from on an every-day basis.

  To sum up, nice-looking projects tend to be a huge drain on government’s recourses. Things that seem to be practical, on the other hand, deserve more attention.

  7. Which one do you think is the most important for high school teacher (age from 15 to 18) ?

  A. the ability to give students advice to plan for their future

  B. the ability to find which students need help and provide them with help

  C. the ability to encourage students to learn on themselves outside of the classroom

  Recently, what is the most important quality of high school teachers has been a hotly-debated question for a long time. Some people suppose that high school teachers should have the capacity to teach student learn by themselves while others regard assistance from teachers as most valuable. However, from my own perspective, I assume that it is most important for teachers to give useful advice on students’ future planning. My view points are based on the following reasons and examples.

  To begin with, for senior students, how to choose a suitable future college major is essential to them. The reason is that this kind of decisions will definitely cast a significant impact on these kids who are just standing on the crossroad of their life. So if teachers are able to offer some practical opinion to their students, they may probably own a better college life as well as a brighter future. For example, five years ago when my sister Jane was prepared for her college entrance exam, her parents tried a lot to make her to choose a famous normal university, because they thought being an English teacher would have a lot of free time and could take care of her future family. Nevertheless, Jane had no interest in teaching. All she liked was programming. Fortunately, her computer science teacher kept encouraging her to pick up a major related to programming and tried a lot to persuade her parents to follow their daughter’s heart. This June Jane graduated from a computer engineering major and found a well-paid job in Shanghai. The most important thing is she never regret her decision in college major selection and always tell us that she is happy with her career. Obviously, her computer science teacher played an essential role in her major-choosing determination.

  Moreover, due to the limitation of knowledge and experience, students may find it quite tough to pick up their future major. Nevertheless, teachers who know the outside world better can provide good advice to their students and thus will make their determination much easier. For instance, when I was in senior high school, there were two majors I would like to choose: one was translation and the other one was English teaching. I was too young to distinguish them clearly and just roughly knew that these two were both related to English, which was my favorite subject. One day I discussed this problem with my English teacher who owned a two-tear translation experience before she came to our school. Translation, she said, was a little bit boring because a translator should sit in front of a desk and type all the time, merely having any connection with other people. In contrast, being a teacher could involve with a lot interaction with little kids and would be much more interesting. Due to my outgoing personality, she recommended me to choose the latter. She was right. Several years passed by, I have become a TOEFL teacher and I am deeply into my career. If I did that decision myself, I might choose translation and finally find it not suitable for me. So my English teacher helped me a lot when I was a senior high school student.

  Last but not least, obviously, it is possible that teachers may give some wrong advice because of their own drawbacks or an inadequate understanding of their students. However, this disadvantage can be simply fixed if we tell our students to consider other people’s opinion. As long as our kids collect various kinds of information from different groups, he or she can eventually select the most suitable one. One of my neighbor called Jack, an energetic boy, also was confused about major selecting. Actually, he had wide-ranged interests, from finance to human resources. When he asked his teacher for advice, his teachers can only give some unspecific information to him because none of them had a finance or HR background. Fortunately, Jack had an uncle who worked in financial field. He provided additional information to his nephew and thus finally led to Jack’s determination to study accounting in his future college life. Therefore, even in some case, it is indeed a bit difficult for teachers to give a profound advice, students can easily get some supplement from other individuals and finally make the best decision.

  To sum up, helping students to choose an ideal future direction is the most significant quality which high school teachers should have. On the one hand, major selecting of teenagers can greatly influence their future life; on the other hand, senior high school kids lack the capacity to decide their college major on their own. Even if sometimes advice from teachers can also have its own deficiency, this disadvantage can be solved effectively by accepting various kinds of advice from different groups of people.

  8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is better to relax by watching a movie or reading a book than doing physical exercises.

  For many years, research has shown that doing exercises helps to alleviate a number of health complications, leading to a healthy body, soul and mind. However, some people use all excuses to justify reasons as to why they lead a sedentary life. This essay seeks to look at benefits of physical activities as opposed to reading a book or watching television.

  Doing exercises offers many benefits to one's physiological processes. As opposed to watching television or reading a book where energy expenditure is low, physical exercises aid in efficient blood flow and cardiovascular fitness. On the other contrary, lack of exercises often leads to a number of health problems such as high blood pressure, her at diseases and obesity. To be able to truly relax one must possess a healthy body, and this has to be achieved by healthier activities like jogging, fitness training, or mountain climbing, rather sitting in a chair all day long.

  Moreover, exercises help people utilize their leisure time more constructively. People gain motor skills and other relevant traits like strength, flexibility and coordination. On the other hand, some books and programs on television end up making the viewers imitate bad habits which they see from the actors or read in the books. Since these groups of people lack time to release their stress, the chances of them developing bad habits is very high compared to those who engage in sports, games and exercises.

  Finally, some forms of exercises encourage socialization and team building, which is a much greater way to relax than being alone. Examples of these exercises include many of the collective sports people often do such as soccer and basketball. In these sports, people meet and play as a team, share their happiness and excitement with each other and as a result achieve much higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction. By contrast, watching TV or reading a book is often solitary experience, involving little interaction with others, which is boring.

  In a nutshell, doing exercises is much more beneficial than watching television or reading a book. Our bodies require regular exercises to make us remain active and healthy. A fit person is more productive in the workplace since he/she can effectively accomplish responsibilities, and can also be more relaxed after work because he/she is more actively involved with the nature or other people around him/her.

  9. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement that your job has more effect on your happiness than your social life does?

  People nowadays often talk about how maintaining a healthy work-life balance is the key to finding happiness. I think that both are needed in order to be truly happy, but I am also of the opinion that one’s job affects one’s happiness more greatly than one’s social life. There are a few reasons for this.

  First of all, people nowadays tend to spend more time in the workplace than in recreational social situations, so work may be a bigger factor in one’s happiness just because it occupies a larger part of the day. I know of many people, for example, that work upwards of 70 hours a week. In my country this is quite normal. Averages out to a working time of 10 hours a day; assuming that most people spend about 1 hour commuting back and forth from work, and that they get at least 6 hours of sleep per day, that only leaves 7 hours of ‘unoccupied’ time at most. Realistically, errands will take up a part of that ‘unoccupied’ time, so the average person may only get a few hours per day to pursue their social life. A person’s work life may thus dwarf their social life.

  Second of all, jobs are in many ways what enable you to have a social life in the first place. In order to go out and do things you need money, and in order to get money, you need to work. How interesting and fulfilling would a person’s social life be if that person couldn’t go out to restaurants and movies, or take trips to faraway places? I’d bet that person’s life would be pretty uneventful and boring. A well-paying job gives you more freedom to pursue interests and activities you enjoy with the people you love.

  Admittedly, a good job can probably never fully replace a fulfilling social life. At the end of the day, we are social creatures. Though getting by despite having a poor social life is certainly possible, I firmly believe that every person needs a satisfying social life in order to be truly happy. However, this doesn’t mean that social lives affect your happiness more than jobs do. A social life will not by itself make you truly happy either. People are also creatures that crave progress, and having a job is one of the most straightforward ways to pursue progress.

  Work not only takes up more of a person’s day than his or her social life, it in some sense is also what enables someone to have a social life in the first place. A good job could never fully replace a good social life, of course, but neither could a good social life replace a good job; both are fundamental to a person’s happiness. Still, in the end, our modern way of living dictates that our jobs will have a greater effect on our happiness than our social lives do.

  10. Do you agree or disagree that with the following statement? It's more important for the government to spend money to build art museums and music performance centers than to build recreational facilities (such as swimming pool and playgrounds).

  Times witness our great progress which has been made in daily life. People are paying much attention to improving all qualities of life especially with the help of art museums and recreational facilities. But which one is important? Government should build art museums or swimming pool and playgrounds, in my opinion. I believe they are equally of importance to people.

  On one hand, art museums and music performance can benefit us a lot. Specifically speaking, there are three-point advantages. Firstly, they are good ways to relax ourselves after too much business. There is no doubt that people are facing more stress than before. For instance, in some organization, consultancies company or investment banks, people who work there are always confronted with difficult tasks that needed to be completed in short period of time and so they have to work not only in daytime but also at night continually. How wonderfully they enjoy themselves in art museums or music performance after work! Secondly, it is an opportunity that artists or musicians can communicate their works in art museums or music performance. Besides, as is well known to all, any work of art and music convey thoughts, ideas and feelings so that audiences can get this information from works. Thirdly, art museum and music performance would bring us economic benefits, because selling tickets to visitors or listeners would make profits which could not be ignored.

  On the other hand, recreational facilities play an important role in our daily life. They help us not only with health but also with teaching us a lot of lessons which could not learn from text book. By sporting, for example, we can learn more about persistence as is good in quality on the way to success. And in the games, none of us could always be a winner. It has been found, by a recent survey conducted by a prestigious US research facility, after polling thousands of college graduates between 20 and 30, that people who like sporting in college are more likely to accept the failure and adapt themselves to the changes in all aspects than people who don’t like sports. The former would be more likely to succeed in doing something than the latter in the coming days. In this way, we find it really necessary for recreational facilities to be built within community.

  In short, it is impossible to determine the relative importance of art museum, music performance and recreational facilities. Thus, a wise government should build both of them.