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Rahima ITC English Language Unit








Reading Passage 1:
The Curious Origins and Nomenclature of @

Computers and email have become so much a part of modern life that the @
symbol is now one of the best-known of symbols. However, before it was
introduced into email usage in the early 1970s, almost the only people who
knew of this symbol were accountants.


Why this should be is no mystery, given the numerous theories as to the
origins of @. Nearly all of these theories state that @ was first used for
financial transactions hundreds of years ago. According to one theory, @ was
used for “each at”, in order to distinguish it from “per” (symbolized by a). So,
10 potatoes @ $1 = $10, whereas 10 potatoes a $1 = $1. Another theory
credits the French with inventing the symbol. They originally used the letter à
for “each at”. However, they had to lift the writing hand from the page in order
to write the accent above the à. To avoid having to do this and so save time,
they started using @ instead.


Whatever the origins of @, over the centuries it became established as a
commercial symbol. Modern accountants use it to mean either at (termed “at
site”), or at the rate of (termed “at rate”).


The nomenclature of @ in many languages other than English is perhaps
even more interesting than its origins and is certainly more interesting than
the word “at”. There is a naming of @ in at least 59 languages, and in Morse
code. In many of these languages, @ is seen as being similar to an animal or a
part of an animal. For example, in Chinese it is called “little mouse”, in Danish
it is called “elephant’s trunk”, and in Italian it is called “snail”. Perhaps the
most interesting name for @ is the German “spider monkey”, which likens @
to the tail of a monkey grabbing a branch.


In an era of globalization, perhaps it is not practical to have so many different
names for @. Such a universal symbol demands a universal name. There have
been a number of suggestions. One such proposal is to name @ “Astatine”,
after the chemical element which has the chemical symbol At. So perhaps ten
years from now, a word which was largely known only to some scientists will
be familiar to us all. Whatever the future holds for @, it should be no less
interesting than its past or present.



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(c) There are many names for and possible origins of the @ symbol. (d) The German name for @ likens @ to the tail of a monkey grabbing a branch. At is the symbol for: (a) @ (c) Astatine (b) at site (d) at rate Perhaps ten years from now.1 2 3 4 Which statement best describes the main idea of the passage? (a) The French invented the @ symbol. (b) There are many names for the @ symbol. (a) 1971 (c) 1982 (b) 1978 (d) 1993 If you bought 10 potatoes @ $1. which symbol or letter did the French use to mean “each at” (a) (b) 5 6 7 8 9 @ à (c) $ (d) = The underlined word nomenclature is closest in meaning to which word? (a) interesting (c) inventing (b) grabbing (d) naming In Paragraph D. (c) @ is called “snail” in Italian. we will all know the word ________. (a) universal RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT (c) nomenclature E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |2 . (b) There is a naming of @ in Morse code. (d) One possible universal name for the @ symbol is “Astatine”. You can infer that the @ symbol was introduced into email usage in _______. how many examples are given of @ nomenclature in languages other than English? (a) one (c) three (b) two (d) four Which of the following statements is not correct? (a) There is a naming of @ in at least 95 languages. how much money would you need to pay? (a) $1 (c) $11 (b) $10 (d) $20 At first.

made people healthier. the capital of Denmark. Cyclists’ organizations such as the Danish Cyclists’ Federation started to demand better infrastructure and safety for the city’s cyclists. The people of Copenhagen said they wanted more segregated cycle paths where cyclists would be separated from motor vehicles. This has earned it a reputation as one of the most – possibly the most – bicycle-friendly city in the world. E By the 1980s there was a good system of cycle tracks and after demands from the people the politicians started to listen and make good cycle tracks on the main roads. C Cycling in Copenhagen hasn’t just happened overnight. The law changed to give people more voice in the planning process. They took space away from cars and developed a coordinated strategy for cycling. and saved Copenhagen around $91 million US dollars on health costs each year. F These measures have drastically reduced the number of car accidents. Having fewer cars makes the city quieter and safer. however. notices that there are lots of cyclists.(b) 10 Morse (d) Astatine The underlined word its in paragraph E refers to: (a) @ (c) the future (b) At (d) the chemical element Reading Passage 2: A Everyone who goes to Copenhagen. Environmentalists pushed for more cycling. More people commute by bike in Copenhagen than in the whole of the United States. Since the 1980s the length of cycle track has doubled. Cycling is seen as a healthier. In the 1950s. They painted white crosses on the streets where a cyclist had been killed by traffic. The first bicycle routes were developed in the 1940s. Since then cycling has risen and risen. it has a dense urban It is therefore city council policy to increase the number of cycle commuters to 50% of all journeys to work by 2015. environmentally RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |3 . By 2010 half the residents of the actual city of Copenhagen were cycling. B In Copenhagen 36% of all citizens commute to work. the increasing number of cars on the road reduced the number of cyclists as cyclists did not feel safe. and public transport is easier to use. Adapted from stateofgreen. By the early 20th century Copenhagen was already Europe’s top cycling city. cheaper and quicker way around town than public transport or car. It has an extensive and welldesigned system of cycle tracks. During the 70s the percentage of cyclists fell to an all-time low of 10%. Cyclists have priority over cars. and distances are fairly short. D During the oil crisis of the 70s the Danish government introduced car-free Sundays and they were very popular. school and university by bicycle. Car drivers are a dwindling minority: there are fewer of them every year. Copenhagen is ideal for cycling – it is flat.

(a) the reputation (c) the city (b) the cycle track system (d) the world The underlined word overnight in paragraph C means ________. (c) There are more car accidents. (a) public transport is not good (c) cars are expensive (b) people think it is healthy and efficient (d) the Americans don’t do it The underlined word It in paragraph A refers to _______. RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |4 . (d) The network is constantly improving. (a) (b) 17 18 encourage cycling (d) discourage cycling (a) A change in the law (c) Cyclists’ organizations (b) More cars on the road (d) The people of Copenhagen The underlined word dwindling in paragraph F means _______. (b) 20 (c) Which of the following did not help cycling? (a) 19 increase the number of cars on the road make public transport quicker the number is staying the same decreasing in size (c) increasing in number (d) decreasing in number Which of the following is not true? (a) Politicians listened to the people. The best title for this passage is: ________.11 12 13 14 15 16 What do people notice when they go to Copenhagen? (a) It is a cycling city (c) It is dense. (a) dense urban structure (c) cycle tracks (b) distances (d) Copenhagen The underlined word This in paragraph A refers to _______. (d) It is flat. (b) The cycle network was carefully planned. (a) over a short period (c) in one day (b) slowly (d) over a long period The local government wants to _______. (b) Everyone goes there. Cycling is popular in Copenhagen because _______.

Companies need to provide workers with the best working conditions. The Women’s Health Study by Harvard researchers found that women whose work is highly stressful have a 40% greater risk of heart disease compared with less stressed colleagues. Industries have to deal with lawsuits and legal battles are expensive. The Japanese have a word for this: karoshi. In Japan workers often put in many hours of overtime. for example it is normal to work a six-day week with long hours. D Stress does not just affect men: it affects women workers too. Karoshi also has a demotivating effect on the rest of the workforce. There is an increasing amount of evidence to show that workers in high-demand situations who have little control over their work and low social support are at increased risk of developing and dying of cardiovascular disease. C However this punishing schedule was not the only cause. F Because the problem is serious and affects the national economy it is important to stop it. B East Asian countries have a strong work ethic. Companies lose workers and hence productivity. and it is also cheaper and kinder. Japan’s National Defense Council for Victims of Karoshi established in 1988 that Japan had longer working hours than any other developed country. Going to court brings bad publicity for the business. These results were confirmed by other studies in Denmark and China.(a) (b) Copenhagen: the city on two wheels Copenhagen bans cars (c) Green City Copenhagen (d) Driving in Copenhagen Reading Passage 3: A Working for long periods under extremely stressful work conditions can lead to sudden death from heart attack and stroke caused by stress. Studies have shown a link between women’s job stress and cardiovascular disease. Families may lose the main breadwinner and face economic hardship and but other countries such as China. E Death by overwork affects not only the victim. G The workers themselves should get plenty of exercise. Adapted from japantimes. In the end. reduce working hours and cut stress. Employers should not place excessive demands on their workers. prevention is better than cure. including heart attacks and strokes. In China there were 600. They should practice relaxation techniques and ask for help if they need it. This reduces depression and helps them to be healthy. The first case was reported in Japan in 1969. and lots of sleep. Stressful work conditions are a key component of this phenomenon. Workers who work long overtime hours have particularly high levels of stress hormones. In RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |5 .000 cases in 2010. South Korea and Bangladesh have reported similar cases. but also other people.

which statement is true? (a) (b) 30 Problems in the dead worker’s family Business productivity Your attitude to work can kill you. The best title for this passage is: ________. (a) is only in Japan (c) is a serious problem (b) is the worker’s fault (d) cannot be fixed In order to solve the problem _______. (a) How to work harder RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT (c) Why work yourself to death? E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |6 . (d) Only the victim is affected.21 22 23 24 25 Karoshi is due to _______. (a) agreed with (c) were confused by (b) disagreed with (d) had nothing to do with The work death problem _______. (a) too much time (c) unpaid work (b) not enough time (d) extra hours of work Stress at work affects _______. Work gives you a heart attack. (c) Women’s work is highly stressful. (a) only men (c) only women (b) both men and women (d) people with a bad heart The underlined word it in paragraph D refers to _______. (a) stress (c) women (b) men (d) workers Which of these is not related to death from overwork? (a) (b) 26 27 28 29 (c) Other workers’ motivation (d) Lawyers’ fees The underlined phrase were confirmed by in paragraph D means _______. (a) going to work (c) overwork (b) working in east Asia (d) having a bad heart The underlined word overtime in paragraph B means _______. (a) workers need to eat more (c) workers need to work more (b) companies need to help their workers (d) women should stop work In this passage.

as well as various medical. electric circuits. Another use for it is in an all carbon-based device called a light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC). D Graphene's high electrical conductivity and high optical transparency make it a candidate for transparent conducting electrodes. Graphene may replace silicon as a semiconductor for use in transistors. There are other related materials. Graphene can also be used for batteries which charge in just a few seconds. It can be used to line containers and make them gasproof. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. These are used for such applications as touchscreens. flexible. and nearly transparent. While silicon has long been the standard for commercial solar cells. transparent material that graphene is giving rise to thousands of new technologies from ultra-light batteries to super-strong lightweight materials. they could obtain a single layer of carbon atoms. They called this material graphene. light. It is useful for solar cells. produce unique properties. These properties mean that it will revolutionize many things in our daily lives. Luckily. and they are flexible enough to be folded up. organic photovoltaic RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |7 . These devices still work after being soaked in water. and many more have been proposed. High-quality graphene is very strong. thin. light. also made of carbon. yet durable display screens. which makes it a good candidate for use in solar cells. F Graphene has a unique combination of high electrical conductivity and optical transparency. These include lightweight. E Graphene oxide membranes allow water vapor to pass through. Research suggests that graphene filters could outperform other techniques of desalination by a significant margin. Because it is very light and very strong it is an improvement on the film which is currently used. a crystalline form of carbon that is only one molecule thick. chemical and industrial processes.(b) Working conditions in South Asia (d) Women’s health problems at work Reading Passage 4: A Graphene is a new material. which have special properties. This could allow for smaller and faster computers. and organic light-emitting diodes. liquid crystal displays. but have been shown to be impermeable to all other liquids and gases. Scientists discovered that when they peeled layers off the common form of carbon known as graphite. carbon is one of the commonest materials so we will not run out of it. G There are so many uses for this strong. Further development and commercialization of such membranes could completely change the economics of biofuel production. new research has shown that graphene could be far more efficient at transforming light into energy. Adapted from wikipedia. B Numerous potential applications for graphene are under development. C Graphene has the ideal properties to be an excellent component of integrated circuits. and its twodimensional nature. Its interaction with other materials and with light.

(a) Allows liquid to pass through (c) Allows water to pass through (b) Allows gas to pass through (d) Allows only water to pass through In making energy from the sun graphene would be _______. (a) layers (c) scientists (b) atoms (d) graphene The underlined word revolutionize in paragraph A means _______. (a) Very useful indeed (c) Not at all useful (b) Not very useful (d) Not as good as silicon In the future graphene will probably be _______. (a) an element (c) an atom (b) a layer of carbon (d) a layer of peel The underlined word they in paragraph A refers to _______. (a) (b) 37 38 39 40 conductivity and transparency conducting electrodes (c) applications (d) touchscreens Graphene is useful as a desalination filter because it _______. (a) can be soaked (c) can be bent (b) can be cut (d) can be used The underlined word These in paragraph D refers to _______.31 32 33 34 35 36 Graphene is _______. (a) improve (c) support (b) destroy (d) change Which possible use of graphene is not mentioned in the passage? (a) as a semiconductor (c) for desalination (b) in the screen of your phone (d) in motorcycle suits The underlined word flexible in paragraph C means _______. (a) The Manufacture of Graphene (c) The Future of Graphene Oxide (b) Six Applications of Graphene (d) The Graphene Revolution RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |8 . (a) used from time to time (c) used a lot (b) extremely expensive (d) not used at all A good title for this passage might be _______.

sculptural forms and has been revived in recent years by the natural building and sustainability movements. (a) new (c) expensive (b) old (d) not used in many places RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e |9 . In the UK. C Cob structures can be found in a variety of climates across the globe. cob is ______. and earth (soil). and windows are deep-set. Cobwork (tabya) was used in the North Africa and al-Andalus (southern Spain) in the 11th and 12th centuries and was described in detail by Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century. This means that cob is a good insulator. Many old cob buildings can be found in Africa. It has probably been used for building since prehistoric times. making it one of the most environmentally friendly ways of building. Cob is fireproof. straw. It is being revived in the eco-building 41 As a building material. Some of the oldest man-made structures in Afghanistan are composed of cob. E The walls of a cob house are generally about 24 inches thick. This is because sand and soil and water are easy to find almost everywhere. D Cob is a traditional mixture of earth. so they are load bearing. Ireland. A number of cob houses survive in New Zealand and the USA. Adapted from Wikipedia. has very low embodied energy – it needs little energy to make. Cob houses are comfortable to live in and very cheap to build. old-fashioned cob. unlike cement. Virtually all the materials used in the cob building process are bio-degradable (they break down easily) or can be recycled. It can keep heat in in cold climates or keep it out in hot climates. In many countries people are rediscovering the benefits of good. similar to adobe. northern France and other parts of Europe many homes have survived over 500 years and are still inhabited. All these advantages are giving cob a new life. sand. giving the homes a characteristic internal appearance. straw and water mixed by hand or machinery. provided a tall foundation and large roof overhang are present. even in rainy climates. It can be used to create artistic. rather like building a giant clay pot. Because of the thick walls the house is easy to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. They also have excellent thermal mass. there are amazing earth houses 13 stories high and hundreds of years old. F Cob architecture uses one of the world's most abundant building materials – it is usually found on site in large quantities. resistant to earthquake activity and inexpensive. Cob structures are strong. The material has a long life span. B Cob is an ancient building material. In Yemen.Reading Passage 5: A Cob is a building material consisting of clay. It is sustainable. They can support the weight of a roof. the Middle East. sand. water. It is formed into lumps and pressed together to form the walls of a building. which takes huge amounts of energy – and its cost is extremely low indeed.

(a) last well and are comfortable (c) last well. (a) to keep rain off (c) to make it look nice (b) to keep the sun out (d) to provide extra space The underlined word abundant in paragraph F might mean ______. but are not comfortable (b) do not last well. (a) need machinery (c) can work by hand (b) wait for a hot day (d) need cement Cob buildings _______. (a) A History Of Cob Building (c) (b) How to Build With Cob (d) RAHIMA ITC ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIT Cob: A Traditional Building Material Rediscovered Cob Architecture in Europe E5A PRE-FINAL READING Version A P a g e | 10 . (b) It is low-tech. (c) It is common. Cob houses are hard to heat. Cob buildings _______. (d) It is strong. When you build a cob house you should put a wide roof on it _______. (d) Cob is being revived in many countries.42 43 44 45 46 47 To make cob you _______. (a) useful (c) simple (b) common (d) cheap A suitable title for this passage would be ______. (a) use no energy (c) use quite a lot of energy (b) use little energy (d) use too much energy (c) Cob is not used any more. Which of these statements is true? (a) (b) 48 49 50 Cob is found only in dry places. but are comfortable (d) do not last well and are uncomfortable The building material is _______ (a) hard to find (c) cheap and available (b) hard to work with (d) available from shops Which advantage of cob is not mentioned in the text? (a) It is cheap.