READING SECTION DIRECTIONS
The Reading section measures your ability to understand academic passages in English. You will read passages and answer questions about them. Answer all questions based on what is stated or implied in the passages.
You will read three passages. You have 60 minutes to read the passages and answer the questions.
Most questions are worth one point, but the last question in each set is worth more than one point. The directions indicate how many points you may receive.
Some passages include a word or phrase in bold type. For these words and phrases, you will see a definition in a glossary at the end of the passage.
1. The long–term movement of individuals, families, or larger groups to a new location outside their community of origin is known as migration. Human migration occurs on various geographic scales: from one continent or country to another, between regions within a single country, and from one city neighborhood to another. Several factors stimulate migration, including economic conditions, political conflict, war, cultural circumstances, and environmental factors.
2. People migrate from source to destination in well–defined streams. Many migration streams actually consist of a series of stages, a phenomenon known as step migration. For example, a peasant family from the countryside is likely to move first to a village, then to a nearby town, later to a city, and finally to a metropolis—the capital or the largest city in the region. The intensity of a migration stream depends on such factors as the physical distance and the degree of difference between the source and the destination. It also depends on the flow of information from the destination back to the source. People are likely to have more complete and accurate information about nearby places than about places that are farther away.
3. The decision to move is the result of various stimuli, which social scientists classify as “push” and “pull” factors. Push factors are the conditions that impel people to leave their home communities. The lack of jobs or educational opportunities, political fear, ethnic or religious discrimination, and natural disasters are all examples of push factors. Pull factors are the circumstances that attract people to certain destinations, such as better living standards, the chance of getting a job, and family connections.The circumstances that induce people to move from one part of the world to another—economic, political, and environmental conditions – usually involve a combination of push and pull factors. Because people are usually more familiar with their home community than with a desired destination, they are likely to understand push factors more accurately than pull factors. Pull factors tend to be more vague and people often have overly optimistic expectations of their destination.
4. Economic conditions are a leading factor in human migration. Throughout history, poverty has driven millions of people from their homelands. Industrialization has attracted populations to urban areas in search of economic opportunity. The flow from farms or villages to the expanding metropolitan and industrial centers has occurred both within and between countries. During the twentieth century, Russians moved into the new industrial centers in Siberia, Chinese migrated to Manchuria and Southeast Asia, and Africans moved from tribal areas into the mining regions of South Africa and Congo. Today, perceived opportunities in destinations such as Western Europe and North America encourage numerous migrants to search for a better life. Some workers migrate only seasonally or temporarily. Especially in newly industrializing areas, workers tend to retain their village roots and return home after a period of earning in a factory or mine. However, most migrants relocate permanently, and the growing urban populations worldwide are composed of people who have cut themselves off from their roots.
5. The twentieth century saw an increase in migratory flows caused by the push factors of political oppression, revolution, and war. Refugees fled from Russia after the 1917 revolution, from Germany and Italy during the Nazi and Fascist regimes, and from Eastern Europe after the Second World War. Millions of people were uprooted as a result of political, cultural, and religious conflict. The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 led to the uprooting and resettlement of around 14 million Muslims and Hindus—the largest single movement of people in a short period. The armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s drove as many as three million people from their homes. In the same decade, a civil war in Rwanda forced more than two million Rwandans from their homeland.
6. Reasons for migration include environmental conditions, often in combination with economic and political problems. A major historical example is the Irish famine of the 1840s, when prolonged rains and blight destroyed the potato crop. The resulting famine, along with the oppressive political system, caused hundreds of thousands of peasants to migrate from Ireland to North America. In recent decades, a series of droughts resulting from successive rainless seasons in sub–Saharan Africa, combined with such factors as ethnic strife and civil war, have caused large–scale migrations and a growing refugee crisis in the region.
blight: severe plant disease