Part I Writing (30 minutes)

Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write an essay entitled Man and Computer by commenting on the saying, “The real danger is not that the computer will begin to think like man, but that man will begin to think like the computer.” You should write at least 150 words but no more than 200 words. Write your essay on Answer Sheet 1.


  Part II Listening Comprehension (30 minutes)

  Section A

Directions: In this section, you will hear 8 short conversations and 2 long conversations. At the end of each conversation, one or more questions will be asked about what was said. Both the conversation and the questions will be spoken only once. After each question there will be a pause. During the pause, you must read the four choices marked A), B), C) and D), and decide which is the best answer. Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 1 with a single line through the centre.https://www.ienglishcn.com/

1. A) She can count on the man for help.

B) She can lend the man a sleeping bag.

C) She has other plans for this weekend.

D) She has got camping gear for rent.

2. A) The man should keep his words.

B) Karen can take her to the airport.

C) Karen always supports her at work.

D) She regrets asking the man for help.

3. A) His trip to Hawaii has used up all his money.

B) He usually checks his brakes before a trip.

C) His trip to Hawaii was not enjoyable.

D) He can’t afford to go traveling yet.

4. A) There was nothing left except some pie.

B) The woman is going to prepare the dinner.

C) The man has to find something else to eat.

D) Julie has been invited for dinner.

5. A) Send Professor Smith a letter.

B) Apply to three graduate schools.

C) Present a new letter of reference.

D) Submit no more than three letters.

6. A) He is a professional gardener in town.

B) He declines to join the gardening club.

C) He prefers to keep his gardening skills to himself.

D) He wishes to receive formal training in gardening.

7.A) Many people do not appreciate modern art.

B) The recent sculpture exhibit was not well organized.

C) Modern art cannot express people’s true feelings.

D) Sculpture is not a typical form of modern art.

8.A) Bob cannot count on her vote.

B) She will vote for another candidate.

C) Bob does not have much chance to win.

D) She knows the right person for the position.

Questions 9 to 12 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

9. A) Poor management of the hospital.

B) The outdated medical testing procedures.

C) Decisions made by the head technician.

D) The health hazard at her work place.

10. A) Cut down her workload.

B) Repair the x-ray equipment.

C) Transfer her to another department.

D) Allow her to go on leave for two months.

11.A) They are virtually impossible to enforce.

B) Neither is applicable to the woman’s case.

C) Their requirements may be difficult to meet.

D) Both of them have been subject to criticism.

12.A) Organize a mass strike.

B) Try to help her get it back.

C) Compensate for her loss.

D) Find her a better paying job.

Questions 13 to 15 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

13.A) In the preparatory phase.

B) In the concluding part.

C) In stating your terms.

D) In giving concessions.

14.A) He uses lots of gestures to help make his points clear.

B) He presents his arguments in a straightforward way.

C) He responds readily to the other party’s proposals.

D) He behaves in a way contrary to his real intention.

15. A) Both can succeed depending on the specific situation.

B) The honest type is more effective than the actor type.

C) Both may fail when confronting experienced rivals.

D) The actor type works better in tough negotiations.

 Section B

  Passage One

Questions 16 to 19 are based on the passage you have just heard.

16. A) The weight of the boxes moving across the stage.

B) The number of times of repeating the process.

C) The size of the objects shown.

D) The shape of the cubes used.

17. A) Girls seem to start reasoning earlier than boys.

B) Girls tend to get excited more easily than boys.

C) Boys enjoy playing with cubes more than girls.

D) Boys pay more attention to moving objects than girls.

18. A) It is a breakthrough in the study of the nerve system.

B) Its findings are quite contrary to previous research.

C) Its result helps understand babies’ language ability.

D) It may stimulate scientists to make further studies.

19. A) They talk at an earlier age.

B) Their bones mature earlier.

C) They are better able to adapt to the surroundings.

D) The two sides of their brain develop simultaneously.

  Passage Two

Questions 20 to 22 are based on the passage you have just heard.

20. A) The city’s general budget for the coming year.

B) The blueprint for the development of the city.

C) The controversy over the new office regulations.

D) The new security plan for the municipal building.

21. A) Whether the security checks were really necessary.

B) Whether the security checks would create long queues at peak hours.

C) How to cope with the huge crowds of visitors to the municipal building.

D) How to train the newly recruited security guards.

22. A) Confrontational. C) Ridiculous.

B) Straightforward. D) Irrelevant.

 Passage Three

Questions 23 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.

23. A) He considers himself a blessed man. C) He used to work as a miner in Nevada.

B) He works hard to support his five kids. D) He once taught at a local high school.

24. A) To be nearer to Zac’s school. C) To look after her grandchildren.

B) To cut their living expenses. D) To help with the household chores.

25. A) Skeptical. C) Indifferent.

B) Realistic. D) Optimistic

 Section C

Directions: In this section, you will hear a passage three times. When the passage is read for the first time, you should listen carefully for its general idea. When the passage is read for the second time, you are required to fill in the blanks with the exact words you have just heard. Finally, when the passage is read for the third time, you should check what you have written.

Mountain climbing is becoming a popular sport, but it is also a (26) ____________ dangerous one. People can fall; they may also become ill. One of the most common dangers to climbers is altitude sickness, which can affect even very (27) ____________ climbers.

Altitude sickness usually begins when a climber goes above 8,000 or 9,000 feet. The higher one climbs, the less oxygen there is in the air. When people don’t get enough oxygen, they often begin to (28) ____________. They may also feel (29) ____________. Besides these symptoms of altitude sickness, others such as headache and (30) ____________ may also occur. At heights of over 18,000 feet, people may be climbing in a (31) ____________ daze (恍惚). This state of mind can have an (32) ____________ effect on their judgment.

A few (33) ____________ can help most climbers avoid altitude sickness. The first is not to go too high too fast. If you climb to 10,000 feet, stay at that height for a day or two. Your body needs to (34) ____________ a high altitude before you climb to an even higher one. Or if you do climb higher sooner, come back down to a lower height when you sleep. Also, drink plenty of liquids and avoid tobacco and alcohol. When you reach your top height, do light activities rather than sleep too much. You breathe less when you sleep, so you get less (35) ____________.

Part III Reading Comprehension (40 minutes)

  Section A

Directions: In this section, there is a passage with ten blanks. You are required to select one word for each blank from a list of choices given in a word bank following the passage. Read the passage through carefully before making your choices. Each choice in the bank is identified by a letter. Please mark the corresponding letter for each item on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre. You may not use any of the words in the bank more than once.

Questions 36 to 45 are based on the following passage.

A key process in interpersonal interaction is that of social comparison, in that we ___36___ ourselves in terms of how we compare to others. In particular, we engage in two types of comparison. First, we decide whether we are superior or inferior to others on certain ___37___, such as attractiveness, intelligence, popularity, etc. Here, the important aspect is to compare with an appropriate reference group. For example, ___38___ joggers should not compare their performance with Olympic standard marathon (马拉松) runners. Second, we judge the extent to which we are the same as or different from others. At certain stages of life, ___39___ adolescence, the pressure to be seen as ___40___ to peers is immense. Thus, wearing the right brand of clothes or shoes may be of the utmost importance. We also need to know whether our thoughts, beliefs and ideas are in line with those of other people. This is part of the process of self-validation whereby we ___41___ self-disclosures to seek support for our self-concept.

People who do not have ___42___ to a good listener may not only be denied the opportunity to heighten their self-awareness, but they are also denied valuable feedback as to the validity and acceptability of their inner thoughts and feelings. By ___43___ these with others, we receive feedback as to whether these are experiences which others have as well, or whether they are less ___44___. Furthermore, by ___45___ the reactions to our self-disclosures we learn what types are acceptable or unacceptable with particular people and in specific situations.

A) rashly I) discussing

B) dimensions J) gauging

C) common K) comparing

D) especially L) modest

E) similar M) different

F) access N) features

G) evaluate O) appreciate

H) employ

Section B

Directions: In this section, you are going to read a passage with ten statements attached to it. Each statement contains information given in one of the paragraphs. Identify the paragraph from which the information is derived. You may choose a paragraph more than once. Each paragraph is marked with a letter. Answer the questions by marking the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2.

 Tactics to Spark Creativity

A) Why is it that some people rack their brains for new ideas, only to come up empty while others seem to shake them almost effortlessly out of their sleeves? Whether creativity is an innate gift or a cognitive process that anyone can jump-start is a question so intriguing that researchers keep studying it from different angles and discovering new and surprising techniques.

B) Several recent studies suggest that the best route to an “aha moment” involves stepping away from daily chores—whether it’s taking a daydream break, having a drink or two after work or simply gazing at something green. Of course, personality can make a difference. People who rate high in openness to new experiences in personality tests also may be more distractible and curious, according to a 2010 study in Creativity Research Journal.

C) But open personality isn’t the only path to inspiration, researchers say. Walking away from a problem to do simple, routine tasks, and letting the mind wander in the process, can spark creative new connections or approaches to solving dilemmas, says a 2012 study in Psychological Science. That helps explain why a lot of great ideas occur at transition times, when people are waking up or falling asleep, bathing, showering or jogging.

D) For years, Amy Baxter, a physician and pain researcher, looked for ways to use cold to relieve children’s pain from vaccination shots(疫苗接种). But her light bulb moment didn’t come until she was driving home from work, tired after an all-night shift in the emergency room. The steering wheel on her car was vibrating because the tires were poorly aligned, and she noticed as she pulled into her driveway that the vibration had made her hands numb. With help from her husband Louis, she made the connection: Combining vibration and cold might be enough to ease the pain of a shot.

E) She applied a vibrating massager and a bag of frozen peas to the arm of her 7-year-old son Max, then rolled over his skin a small metal wheel used by neurologists to test sensitivity. Max felt nothing. That discovery sparked the development of “Buzzy”, a toylike vibrating bee fitted with a tiny ice pack. With help from a 2008 federal grant, she produced the device and began marketing it online. Buzzy is now being used in 500 hospitals to ease patients’ pain from injections and infusions.

F) Dr. Baxter’s groggy, wee-hour(凌晨) insight wasn’t a stroke of luck. Students in a 2011 study solved more problems requiring fresh new insights when they tackled them at off-peak times of day—in the evening for morning people, and in the morning for night owls, says the study, published in Thinking & Reasoning. Such advice runs counter to the conventional wisdom that solving problems requires focusing a person’s attention and blocking out distractions.

G) Viewing the color green may help make those ideas more apparent, according to research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. When students were given creativity tests, those whose test-cover pages had a green background gave more creative answers than those whose pages were white, blue, red or gray. Many see green as a symbol of fertility, growth and renewal, triggering the positive mood and striving for improvement that fosters creativity, says the study.

H) Mind-wandering, often seen as daydreaming, allows the brain to incubate new approaches to familiar problems, serving as “a foundation for creative inspiration”, says the 2012 study in Psychological Science. In a test of creativity, researchers divided 145 students randomly into four groups. Three groups were given a 12-minute break with different assignments; a fourth group kept studying. When all the students tackled the same problems a second time, those who had done a simple, boring task during a break had more creative ideas than those who were assigned a tough cognitive puzzle, those who rested, or those who didn’t take a break.

I) Another tactic: Build time for mind wandering into daily routines, breaking away from tasks requiring concentration to take a walk or run, look out a window or do some relaxing, routine physical task. Atlanta ad executive John Stapleton had been trying for three weeks to come up with advertising ideas for a client, the Costa Rica Tourism Board, to encourage people to visit the Central American nation. But it wasn’t until he got out of his Atlanta office, traveled to the Costa Rican rain forest and relaxed on his patio(露台) at a resort. Then a storm was approaching. An idea crept into his mind: all the howler monkeys started woofing like dogs, and the rain forest came to life.

J) He and his colleagues developed an iPad app enabling users to create their own jungle music, syncing the sounds of howling monkeys, frogs, rain, fish and streams into a rhythmic symphony, free for children and potential adult visitors to download as a window into Costa Rica’s biodiversity. A key to hatching the idea of illustrating biodiversity via music was to get away from juggling accounts and being constantly distracted, jumping from one task to the next, Mr. Stapleton assumes.

K) Moderate drinking can also relax inhibitions(抑郁)in a way that seems to let the mind range across a wider set of possible connections. It can also help a person notice environmental cues or changes that a sober brain would block out, Dr. Wiley says.

L) Priming(填充) the mind with a wide range of experiences and information also helps. Tor Myhren, an ad executive, says he uses “massive creative stimulus followed by total solitary confinement” to start ideas flowing. Anticipating a period of hard work recently, he read Wired magazine cover to cover, then went to see Django Unchained. When he set his brain up properly for it, when he’d fed his brain properly, he could do it.https://www.ienglishcn.com/

M) Entrepreneurial people have ideas about everything all the time, says Jonathan Kaplan, inventor of the Flip pocket camcorder, an idea that sparked a boom in personal videos a few years ago. We always think we’re right and always think it’s possible to do them, says Kaplan, who is now chief executive of a company based on his latest idea, The Melt, San Francisco.

N) Straying from your field of expertise can help, studies show. Market-research executive Sterling Lanier was looking for successful new ideas a few years ago. “I was in Death Valley from 2007 to 2010, thinking maybe I lost it,” he says. “Then I relaxed a little, went out to lunch, started telling stories while drinking beer with a friend, a cancer epidemiologist(流行病学专家).” His friend started complaining about all the problems she had of getting research subjects to fill out arduous, 400-question medical surveys.

O) Then came his light-bulb moment: “You have to make it entertaining. Why don’t you just make it super fun and friendly on the iPad?” he asked. By applying market-research techniques to a new field, he came up with a colorful, gamelike medical questionnaire that became the basis for the new company he heads; the product is being used at a growing number of research hospitals and clinics.

46. Combining vibration and cold may be helpful to lessen kids’ sufferings from vaccination shots.

47. Green color can stimulate one’s optimistic emotion and high spirits in pursuit of progress, thereby enhancing creative power.

48. Users can make their own jungle music with the help of an iPad app developed by an Atlanta ad executive.

49. The issue about where new ideas come from interested researchers to study it from different angles.

50. Information from the magazine and movie was stuffed into Tor Myhren’s mind and this gave him the great power of creativity.

51. An interesting medical questionnaire became the basis for the foundation of a new company, whose product is being used by many hospitals.

52. Drinking an appropriate amount of alcohol is conducive to one’s mental and physical relaxation.

53. A study shows that mind-wandering can help to inspire people’s ability to overcome similar difficulties.

54. Creativity is not only related with open personality but also connected with doing simple daily work and flying the mind freely.

55. It is at off-peak times of day that new ideas can be sparked to cope with tough problems.

  Section C

Directions: There are 2 passages in this section. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C) and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.

  Passage One

Questions 56 to 60 are based on the following passage.

Amid all the job losses, there’s one category of worker that the economic disruption has been good for: nonhumans.

From self-service checkout lines at the supermarket to industrial robots armed with saws and taught to carve up animal bodies in slaughter-houses, these ever-more-intelligent machines are now not just assisting workers but actually kicking them out of their jobs.

Automation isn’t just affecting factory workers, either. Some law firms now use artificial intelligence software to scan and read mountains of legal documents, work that previously was performed by highly-paid human lawyers.

“Robots continue to have an impact on blue-collar jobs, and white-collar jobs are under attack by microprocessors,” says economics professor Edward Leamer. The recession permanently wiped out 2.5 million jobs. U.S. gross domestic product has climbed back to pre-recession levels, meaning we’re producing as much as before, only with 6% fewer workers. To be sure, robotics are not the only job killers out there, with outsourcing (外包) stealing far more jobs than automation.

Jeff Burnstein, president of the Robotics Industry Association, argues that robots actually save U.S. jobs. His logic: companies that embrace automation might use fewer workers, but that’s still better than firing everyone and moving the work overseas.

It’s not that robots are cheaper than humans, though often they are. It’s that they’re better. “In some cases the quality requirements are so exacting that even if you wanted to have a human do the job, you couldn’t,” Burnstein says.

Same goes for surgeons, who’re using robotic systems to perform an ever-growing list of operations—not because the machines save money but because, thanks to the greater precision of robots, the patients recover in less time and have fewer complications, says Dr. Myriam Curet.

Surgeons may survive the robot invasion, but others at the hospital might not be so lucky, as iRobot, maker of the Roomba, a robot vacuum cleaner, has been showing off Ava, which could be used as a messenger in a hospital. And once you’re home, recovering, Ava could let you talk to your doctor, so there’s no need to send someone to your house. That “mobile telepresence” could be useful at the office. If you’re away on a trip, you can still attend a meeting. Just connect via videoconferencing software, so your face appears on Ava’s screen.

Is any job safe? I was hoping to say “journalist,” but researchers are already developing software that can gather facts and write a news story. Which means that a few years from now, a robot could be writing this column. And who will read it? Well, there might be a lot of us hanging around with lots of free time on our hands.

56. What do we learn from the first few paragraphs?

A) The over-use of robots has done damage to American economy.

B) It is hard for robots to replace humans in highly professional work.

C) Artificial intelligence is key to future technological innovations.

D) The robotic industry has benefited from the economic recession.

57. What caused the greatest loss of jobs in America?

A) Using microprocessors extensively.

B) Moving production to other countries.

C) The bankruptcy of many companies.

D) The invasion of migrant workers.

58. What does Jeff Burnstein say about robots?

A) They help companies to revive.

B) They are cheaper than humans.

C) They prevent job losses in a way.

D) They compete with human workers.

59. Why are robotic systems replacing surgeons in more and more operations according to Dr. Myriam Curet?

A) They save lots of money for the patients.

B) They beat humans in precision.

C) They take less time to perform a surgery.

D) They make operations less painful.

60. What does the author imply about robotics?

A) It will greatly enrich literary creation.

B) It will start a new technological revolution.

C) It will revolutionize scientific research.

D) It will be applied in any field imaginable.

  Passage Two

Questions 61 to 65 are based on the following passage.

You’ve now heard it so many times, you can probably repeat it in your sleep. President Obama will no doubt make the point publicly when he gets to Beijing: the Chinese need to consume more; they need—believe it or not—to become more like Americans, for the sake of the global economy.

And it’s all true. But the other side of that equation is that the U.S. needs to save more. For the moment, American households actually are doing so. After the personal-savings rate dipped to zero in 2005, the shock of the economic crisis last year prompted people to snap shut their wallets.

In China, the household-savings rate exceeds 20%. It is partly for policy reasons. As we’ve seen, wage earners are expected to care for not only their children but their aging parents. And there is, to date, only the flimsiest (脆弱的) of publicly-funded health care and pension systems, which increases incentives for individuals to save while they are working. But China is a society that has long esteemed personal financial prudence (谨慎). There is no chance that will change anytime soon, even if the government creates a better social safety net and successfully encourages greater consumer spending.

Why does the U.S. need to learn a little frugality (节俭)?Because healthy savings rates are one of the surest indicators of a country’s long-term financial health. High savings lead, over time, to increased investment, which in turn generates productivity gains, innovation and job growth. In short, savings are the seed corn of a good economic harvest.

The U.S. government thus needs to act as well. By running constant deficits, it is dis-saving, even as households save more. Peter Orszag, Obama’s Budget Director, recently called the U.S. budget deficits unsustainable and he’s right. To date, the U.S. has seemed unable to see the consequences of spending so much more than is taken in. That needs to change. And though Hu Jintao and the rest of the Chinese leadership aren’t inclined to lecture visiting Presidents, he might gently hint that Beijing is getting a little nervous about the value of the dollar—which has fallen 15% since March, in large part because of increasing fears that America’s debt load is becoming unmanageable.

That’s what happens when you’re the world’s biggest creditor: you get to drop hints like that, which would be enough by themselves to create international economic chaos if they were ever leaked. (Every time any official in Beijing deliberates publicly about seeking an alternative to the U.S. dollar for the $2.1 trillion China holds in reserve, currency traders have a heart attack.) If Americans saved more and spent less, consistently over time, they wouldn’t have to worry about all that.

61. How did the economic crisis affect Americans?

A) They had to tighten their belts.

B) Their bank savings rate dropped to zero.

C) Their leadership in the global economy was shaken.

D) They became concerned about China’s financial policy.

62. What should be done to encourage Chinese people to consume?

A) Changing their traditional way of life.

B) Providing fewer incentives for saving.

C) Improving China’s social security system.

D) Cutting down the expenses on child-rearing.

63. What does the author mean by saying “savings are the seed corn of a good economic harvest” (Line 4, Para. 4)?

A) The more one saves, the more returns one will reap.

B) A country’s economy hinges on its savings policy.

C) Those who keep saving will live an easy life in the end.

D) A healthy savings rate promotes economic prosperity.

64. In what circumstances do currency traders become scared?

A) When Beijing allows its currency exchange rates to float.

B) When China starts to reduce its current foreign reserves.

C) When China talks about switching its dollar reserves to other currencies.

D) When Beijing mentions in public the huge debts America owes China.

65. What is the author’s purpose of writing the passage?

A) To urge the American government to cut deficits.

B) To encourage Chinese people to spend more.

C) To tell Americans not to worry about their economy.

D) To promote understanding between China and America.

Part IV Translation (30 minutes)

Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to translate a passage from Chinese into English. You should write your answer on Answer Sheet 2.


京剧(Peking Opera)已有200多年的历史,是中国的国剧。与其他地方戏相比,京剧享有更高的声誉,但其实京剧融合了多种地方戏的元素。京剧演员的脸谱(facial make-up)和戏服都很精美,相比之下舞台布景则十分简单。表演者主要应用四种技能:唱、念、做、打。京剧较擅长于表现历史题材的政治、军事斗争,故事大多取自历史演义和小说话本(historic and fictional stories)。在古代,京剧大多是在户外演出的,因此演员们形成了一种有穿透力的唱腔,以便每个人都能听到。


2012年12月大学英语六级考试真题答案及解析! -1


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