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2012年12月英语六级试题试卷及答案二

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  Part I Writing

  Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a short essay entitled On Maintaining Trust by commenting on the saying “Trust was the most frequently used when we are talking about interpersonal relationships. However, it is hard to build trust but easy to destroy it. Therefore, how to build and maintain trust is very important for us”. You should write at least 150 words but no more than 200 words.

  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 four choices marked A) , B) , C) and D) . For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.

  Rates are low, but consumers won't borrow

  With heavy debt loads and high joblessness, Americans are cautious

  The US Federal Reserve(Fed)'s announcement last week that it intended to keep credit cheap for at least two more years was a clear invitation to Americans: Go out and borrow.

  But many economists say it will take more than low interest rates to persuade consumers to take on more debt. There are already signs that the recent stock market fluctuations, turbulence in Europe and the US deficit have scared consumers. On Friday, preliminary data showed that the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index had fallen this month to lower than it was in November 2008, when the United States was deep in recession.

  Under normal circumstances, the Fed's announcement might have attracted new home and car buyers and prompted credit card holders to rack up fresh charges. But with unemployment high and those with jobs worried about keeping them, consumers are more concerned about paying off the loans they already have than adding more debt. And by showing its hand for the next two years, the Fed may have thoughtlessly invited prospective borrowers to put off large purchases.

  Lenders, meanwhile, are still dealing with the effects of the boom-gone-bust and are forcing prospective borrowers to go to extraordinary lengths to prove their creditworthiness.

  "I don't think lenders are going to be interested in extending a lot of debt in this environment," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, a macroeconomic consulting firm. "Nor do I think households are going to be interested in taking on a lot of debt."

  In housing, consumers have already shown a slow response to low rates. Applications for new mortgages have decreased this year to a 10-year low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Sales of furniture and furnishings remain 22% below their pre-recession peak, according to Spending Pulse, a research report by MasterCard Advisors.

  Credit card rates have actually gone up slightly in the past year. The one bright spot in lending is the number of auto loans, which is up from last year. But some economists say that confidence among car buyers is hitting new lows.

  For Xavier Walter, a former mortgage banker who with his wife, Danielle, accumulated $20000 in credit card debt, low rates will not change his spending habits.

  As the housing market topped out five years ago, he lost his six-figure income. He and his wife were able to modify the mortgage on their four-bedroom house in Medford, New Jersey, as well as negotiate lower credit card payments.

  Two years ago, Mr. Walter, a 34-year-old father of three, started an energy business. He has sworn off credit. "I'm not going to go back in debt ever again," he said. "If I can't pay for it in cash, I don't want it."

  Until now, one of the biggest restraints on consumer spending has been a debt aftereffect. Since August 2008, when household debt peaked at $12.41 trillion, it has declined by about $1.2 trillion, according to an analysis by Moody's Analytics of data from the Federal Reserve and Equifax, the credit agency. A large portion of that, though, was simply written off by lenders as borrowers defaulted on loans.

  By other measures, households have improved their position. The proportion of after-tax income that households spend to remain current on loan payments has fallen.

  Still, household debt remains high. That presents a paradox: many economists argue that the economy cannot achieve true health until debt levels decline. But credit, made attractive by low rates, is a time-tested way to increase consumer spending.

  With new risks of another downturn, economists worry that it will take years for debt to return to manageable levels. If the economy contracts again, said George Magnus, senior adviser at UBS, then "you could find a lot of households in a debt trap which they probably can never get out of."

  Mortgage lenders, meanwhile, burned by the housing crash, are extra careful about approving new loans. In June, for instance, Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage buyer in the United States, said that borrowers whose existing debt exceeded 45 to 50% of their income would be required to have stronger "compensating" factors, which might include higher savings.

  Even those borrowers in strong financial positions are asked to provide unusual amounts of paperwork. Bobby and Katie Smith have an extremely good credit record, tiny student debt and a combined six-figure income. For part of their down payment, they planned to use about $5000 they had received as wedding gifts in February.

  But the lender would not accept that money unless the Smiths provided a certified letter from each of 14 guests, stating that the money was a gift, rather than a loan.

  "We laughed for a good 15 or 20 minutes." recalled Mr. Smith. 34.

  Mr. Smith, a program director for a radio station in Orlando, Florida, said they ended up using other savings for their down payment to buy a $300000 four-bedroom house in April.

  For those not as creditworthy as the Smiths, low rates are irrelevant because they no longer qualify for mortgages. That leaves the eligible pool of loan applicants wealthier, "older and whiter," said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. "It's creating much more of a divide," he said, "between the haves and the have-nots."

  Car shoppers with the highest credit ratings can also get loans more easily, and at lower rates, said Paul C. Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

  During the recession, inability to obtain credit severely cut auto buying as lenders rejected even those with good credit ratings. Now automakers are increasing their subprime(次级债的)lending again as well, but remain hesitant to approve large numbers of risky customers.

  The number of new auto loans was up by l6% in the second quarter compared with the previous year, said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit at Experian, the information services company.

  But some economists warn that consumer confidence is falling. According to CNW Marketing Research, confidence among those who intend to buy a car this year is at its lowest since it began collecting data on this measure in 2000.

  On credit cards, rates have actually inched higher this year, largely because of new rules that curb the issuer's ability to charge fees or raise certain interest rates at will.

  At the end of the second quarter, rates averaged 14. 01% on new card offers, up from 13. 75% a year earlier, according to Mail Monitor, which tracks credit cards for Synovate, a market research firm. According to data from the Federal Reserve, total outstanding debt on revolving credit cards was down by 4.6% during the first half of the year compared with the same period a year earlier.

  Even if the Fed's announcement helps keep rates steady, or pushes them down, businesses do not expect customers to suddenly charge up a storm.

  "It's not like, 'Oh, credit is so cheap. let's go back to the heydays(鼎盛时期), '",said Elizabeth Crowell, who owns Sterling Place, two high-end home furnishing and gift stores in New York. "People still fear for their jobs. So I think where maybe after other recessions they might return to previous spending habits, the pendulum hasn't swung back the same way."

  注意:此部分试题请在答题卡1上作答。

  1. What is the purpose of the announcement issued by the US Federal Reserve last week?

  A) To help reduce the debt burden on consumers.

  B) To force the banks to lower their interest rates.

  C) To encourage consumers to get more bank loans.

  D) To prevent further fluctuations in the stock market.

  2. Why are people reluctant to take on more debt despite the low interest rates?

  A) They are afraid of losing their good credit ratings.

  B) They are pessimistic about employment prospects.

  C) They have little faith in the Fed's financial policies.

  D) They expect the Fed to further lower interest rates.

  3. What does the author say about lenders in the current credit market?

  A) They are becoming more cautious.

  B) They are eager to offer more loans.

  C) They advise prospective borrowers to put off large purchases.

  D) They are only concerned about how much they can get back.

  4. What does the author want to say by citing Xavier Walter's case?

  A) Not many Americans can afford to pay in cash these days.

  B) The Fed's policies exert a strong influence on borrowers.

  C) People now won't buy things unless they have the money.

  D) It is beneficial for Americans to borrow in times of recession.

  5. What is the economists' concern regarding the current economy?

  A) Consumers' unwillingness to spend. C) The ever-lowering interest rates.

  B) Banks' inability to recover debt. D) The unmanageable debt levels.

  6. What do we learn from the Smiths' story?

  A) It is very difficult for people to build up a good credit record.

  B) A certain amount of savings is needed for one to buy a house.

  C) The purchase of a house will plunge young couples into heavy debt.

  D) Mortgage lenders are now careful about borrowers' qualifications.

  7. According to Guy Cecala, the banks' policy on mortgage lending will result in_.

  A) a wider gap between the rich and the poor

  B) a bigger down payment for house buyers

  C) a higher debt level for the less wealthy

  D) a greater pressure on senior buyers

  8. During the recession, the number of car buyers decreased because it was difficult to _____________.

  9. Credit card interest rates have gradually increased recently because new rules do not allow the issuers to raise certain interest rates or ________________.

  10. According to Elizabeth Crowell, the current recession, unlike previous ones, has not seen a swing back in people's ________________.

  Part III Listening Comprehension (35 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 waid. 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 2 with a single line through the center.

  注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2 上作答。

  11. A) Ask his boss for a lighter schedule.

  B) Trade places with someone else.

  C) Accept the extra work willingly.

  D) Look for a more suitable job.

  12. A) It is unusual for his wife to be at home now.

  B) He is uncertain where his wife is at the moment.

  C) It is strange for his wife to call him at work

  D) He does not believe what the woman has told him.

  13. A) The man is going to send out the memo tomorrow.

  B) The man will drive the woman to the station.

  C) The speakers are traveling by train tomorrow morning.

  D) The woman is concerned with the man's health

  14. A) The suite booked was for a different date.

  B) The room booked was on a different floor.

  C) The room booked was not spacious enough.

  D) A suite was booked instead of a double room.

  15. A) The reason for low profits.

  B) The company's sales policy.

  C) The fierce competition they face.

  D) The lack of effective promotion.

  16. A) Go and get the groceries at once.

  B) Manage with what they have.

  C) Do some shopping on their way home.

  D) Have the groceries delivered to them.

  17. A) The hot weather in summer.

  B) The problem with the air conditioner.

  C) The ridiculous rules of the office.

  D) The atmosphere in the office.

  18. A) Set a new stone in her ring.

  B) Find the priceless jewel she lost.

  C) Buy a ring with precious diamond.

  D) Shop on Oxford Street for a decent gift.

  Questions 19 to 22 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

  19. A) Damaging public facilities.

  B) Destroying urban wildlife.

  C) Organising rallies in the park.

  D) Hurting baby animals in the zoo.

  20. A) He had bribed the park keepers to keep quiet.

  B) People had differing opinions about his behaviour.

  C) The serious consequences of his doings were not fully realised.

  D) His behaviour was thought to have resulted from mental illness.

  21. A) Brutal. B) Justifiable. C) Too harsh. D) Well-deserved.

  22. A) Encouraging others to follow his wrong-doing.

  B) Stealing endangered animals from the zoo.

  C) Organising people against the authorities.

  D) Attacking the park keepers in broad daylight.

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

  23. A) She has already left school.

  B) She works for the handicapped.

  C) She is fond of practical courses.

  D) She is good at foreign languages.

  24. A) He is interested in science courses.

  B) He attends a boarding school.

  C) He speaks French and German.

  D) He is the brightest of her three kids.

  25. A) Comprehensive schools do not offer quality education.

  B) Parents decide what schools their children are to attend.

  C) Public schools are usually bigger in size than private schools.

  D) Children from low income families can't really choose schools.

  Section B

  Directions:In this section, you will hear 3 short passages. At the end of each passage, you will hear some question. Both the passage and the questions will be spoken only onece. After you hear a question, you must choose the best answer from the four choices marked A),B),C) and D). Then mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.

  注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2上作答。

  Passage One

  Questions 26 to 29 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

  26. A) Encourage the students to do creative thinking.

  B) Help the students to develop communication skills.

  C) Cultivate the students' ability to inspire employees.

  D) Focus on teaching the various functions of business.

  27. A) His teaching career at the Harvard Business School.

  B) His personal involvement in business management.

  C) His presidency at college and experience overseas.

  D) His education and professorship at Babson College.

  28. A) Development of their raw brain power.

  B) Exposure to the liberal arts and humanities.

  C) Improvement of their ability in capital management.

  D) Knowledge of up-to-date information technology.

  29. A) Reports on business and government corruption.

  B) His contact with government and business circles.

  C) Discoveries of cheating among MBA students.

  D) The increasing influence of the mass media.

  Passage Two

  Questions 30 to 32 are based on the passage you have just heard.

  30. A) They have better options for their kids than colleges.

  B) The unreasonably high tuition is beyond their means.

  C) The quality of higher education may not be worth the tuition.

  D) They think that their kids should pay for their own education.

  31. A) They do too many extracurricular activities.

  B) They tend to select less demanding courses.

  C) They take part-time jobs to support themselves.

  D) They think few of the courses worth studying.

  32. A) Its samples are not representative enough.

  B) Its significance should not be underestimated.

  C) Its findings come as a surprise to many parents.

  D) Its criteria for academic progress are questionable.

  Passage Three

  Questions 33 to 35 are based on the passage you have just heard.

  33. A) A newly married couple. C) Someone good at cooking.

  B) A business acquaintance. D) Someone you barely know.

  34. A) Obtain necessary information about your guests.

  B) Collect a couple of unusual or exotic recipes.

  C) Buy the best meat and the freshest fruit.

  D) Try to improve your cooking skills.

  35. A) Losing weight. B) Entertaining guests.

  C) Making friends. D) Cooking meals.

  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 carfully for its general idea. When the passage is read for the second time, you are required to fill in the blanks numbered from 36 to 43 with the exact words you have just heard. For blanks numbered from 44 to 46 you are requied to fill in the missing information. For these blanks, you can either use the exact words you have just heard or write down the main points in your own words. Finally ,when the passage is read for the third time, you should check what you have written.

  注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2上作答。

  People with disabilities comprise a large but diverse segment of the population. It is (36) ______ that over 35 million Americans have physical, mental, or other disabilities. (37) ______ half of these disabilities are "developmental," i.e., they occur prior to the individual's twenty-second birthday, often from (38) ______ conditions, and are severe enough to affect three or more areas of development, such as (39) ______, communication and employment. Most other disabilities are considered (40) ______, i.e., caused by outside forces.

  Before the 20th century, only a small (41) _______of people with disabilities survived for long. Medical treatment for such conditions as stroke or spinal cord (42) ______ was unavailable. People whose disabilities should not have inherently affected their life span were often so mistreated that they (43) _______. Advancements in medicine and social services have created a climate in which (44) ____________________________. Unfortunately, these basics are often all that is available. Civil liberties such as the right to vote, marry, get an education, and gain employment have historically been denied on the basis of disability.

  (45) __________________________. Disabled people formed grassroots coalitions to advocate their rights to integration and meaningful equality of opportunity. (46) _____________________________. In the mid-1970s, critical legislation mandated(规定)access to education, public transportation, and public facilities, and prohibited employment discrimination by federal agencies or employers receiving federal funds.

  Part IV Reading Comprehension (Reading in Depth) (25 minutes)

  Section A

  Directions: In this section, there is a short passage with 5 questions or incomplete statements. Read the passage carefully. Then answer the questions or complete statements in the fewest possible words. Please write your answers on Answer Sheet 2.

  Questions 47 to 51 are based on the following passage.

  For many families, figuring out how many after-school activities are too many is a struggle. For parents who fear they're "over-scheduling" their children, a new study carries a comforting message. The paper, published last week by the Society for Research in Child Development, is the first to take a data-driven look at the issue-and whether being so busy is really a bad thing. The study suggests the phenomenon is more isolated than media reports suggest: in fact. 40% of children (ages 5-18) are engaged in no activities, typical kids spend just five hours a week in structured activities, and very few children-3-6%-spend 20 hours a week. On average, most kids spend far more time watching TV and playing games. And for kids who're extremely busy, there's also good news: the more activities they do, the better kids perform on measures of educational achievement and psychological adjustment. "This popular concern [about over-scheduling] has been generated by a couple of parenting books and the media," says Yale professor and lead author Joseph Mahoney. But looking at the data, "it's hard to argue that kids are over-scheduled.

  That news will be welcome in households like the Oviedos', in Highland Park, Ill. Nine-year-old Bianca spends six hours a week in rhythmic-gymnastics classes and three hours a week at ballet, plus a half-hour piano lesson. "The alternative would be playing on the computer or watching TV," says her mother, Anca, who believes Bianca benefits by learning to focus, making new friends and acquiring new skills.

  The new paper doesn't sway some experts who've advocated against activity-creep. They say kids arc far busier-and overstressed by it all-than the numbers suggest. "This is an example of researchers using big data sets to dispute the lived experience of many, many parents and families," says William Doherty, a University of Minnesota family- studies professor. Some skeptics question whether the self-reported time-diary data are really accurate; others say they don't account for all the time spent getting between activities. Alvin Rosenfeld. co-author of The Over-Scheduled Child, says: "If people follow this advice and do more activities, I think it'll be pretty damaging."

  Despite the doubters, the new data are a small step toward a better understanding of what's best for kids. And no matter what the numbers show, there's no disputing that every child is different--and some will absolutely do better with less. Lisa DuIg of South Lyon, Mich., feels as though her 6-year-old twins are the only kids in town who don't take skiing and ice-skating lessons. "There is nothing wrong with cuddling up(依偎)on the couch with Mom and Dad," says Lisa. And for families who prefer to bond on the sidelines of soccer fields, the latest research can provide a different kind of comfort.

  注意:此部分试题请在答题卡2 上作答。

  47. The question in dispute in the passage is whether or not children are_____?

  48. It can be inferred that a good way to keep children away from TV and video games is to engage them in______.

  49. According to the new study, children will _____academically and psychologically if they involve themselves in more after-school activities.

  50. There are skeptics who raise doubts about the new study, saying that its data may be _____________.

  51. In spite of the controversy, the new study may help people see more clearly _____________.

  Section B

  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 maked 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.

(责任编辑:张严今)

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