Part Ⅰ Writing (30 minutes)
Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer from the choices marked A), B), C) and D). For questions 8 to10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
A Few Aspects of American Life
It's summertime. For many Americans, this is the season to travel. Why Because school is over and the weather is great. And most of all, they believe they deserve a break. When Americans take a break, they often head for their favorite vacation spot.
Throughout their history, Americans have been people on the move. The early immigrants had to travel to get to the New World. Once they arrived, the settled along the East Coast. But they weren't content to stay here. Explorers and traders journeyed to the unknown western territories. Later, settlers moved west to develop new areas. As a result of this west movement, Americans eventually occupied the whole continent―from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Even today, Americans seem unable to stay put. Research says that average American moves every five years.
Americans are used to traveling. Some people make long-distance commuting to work daily. Their jobs may even require them to take frequent business trips. Most companies provide an annual vacation for their employees, and people often use that time to travel. Some people just visit friend or relatives in distant states. Some go on low-budget weekend trips and stay in economy motels. Those with more expensive tastes choose luxurious hotels. Camping out in the great outdoors appeals to adventurous types. Some travel in recreational vehicles to camp out in comfort, while others “rough it” by sleeping in tents. Families often plan their trips with the kids in mind. More and more “family friendly” hotels offer special programs for children.
Americans love pets. Many pet owners treat their pets as a part of the family. You might say Americans treat their pets like they treat their children―sometimes even better.
In America, there are more households with pets than those with children. At least 43 percent of US homes have pets of some sort. Usual creatures, such as monkeys, snakes and even wolves, find a home with some Americans. More common pets include fish, mice and birds. But the all-time favorites are cats and dogs, even at the White House. Americans sometimes have strong feelings about whether dogs or cats make better pets. “Dog people” and “cat people” often enjoy friendly competition.
Many grocery stores in America sell pet foods. Pets can even accompany their owners on vacation. Fancy hotels are beginning to accommodate both man and animal. Animal guests at Four Seasons Hotels can enjoy delicious meals served on fine china and sleep in soft beds.
The average American enjoys having pets around, and for good reason. Researchers have discovered that interacting with animals lowers a person's blood pressure. Dogs can offer protection from robbers and unwelcome visitors. Cats can help rid the home of unwanted mice. Little creatures of all shapes and sizes can provide friendship and love. In many cases, having a pet prepares a young couple for the responsibilities of parenthood. Pets even encourage social relationships they give their owners an appearance of friendliness, and they provide a good subject of conversation.
Pets are as basic to American culture as hot dogs or apple pie. To Americans, pets are not just property, but a part of the family.
“I do.” To Americans, these two words carry great meaning. They can even change your life, especially if you say them at your own wedding. Making wedding promises is like signing a contract. Now Americans don't really think marriage is a business deal. But marriage is a serious business.
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