Listen to the recordings and choose the best answer to each question. To make this quiz more like the real test, cover the questions and answers during each conversation and lecture. When you hear the first question for each set, uncover the questions and answers.

Time – approximately 10 minutes

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Listen to part of a lecture in a natural history class.

W: Coal is a substance of plant origin. It’s composed mostly of carbon with varying amounts of mineral matter. Coal has been accumulating on Earth for millions of years, but only since the nineteenth century has it been used so much, mainly as a fuel. Coal has formed only since land plants evolved on Earth. Large amounts were formed in the Carboniferous period and during the more recent— yes, Tim?

M: Excuse me, Doctor Lopez. The Carboniferous period—when was that?

W: The Carboniferous period was a time in Earth’s history that lasted from 350 million years ago to about 280 million years ago. And, by the way, what does that name tell you?

M: There was a lot of carbon.

W: That’s right—carbon, the main ingredient of coal. During the Carboniferous period, there were a lot of plants on Earth, and these plants contained carbon that later hardened into coal. Coal started to form when huge quantities of vegetable matter collected and decomposed in swamps. Over time, layers of decaying vegetation piled up, one layer on top of another. The top layers compressed and squeezed the bottom layers, and the bottom layers turned into a thick material called peat. Bacteria digested the organic plant remains, breaking or cracking the large molecules into smaller units of hydrocarbons. Eventually, layers of sand, rock, and other mineral sediments accumulated on top of the peat beds. After millions of years, the sediment was buried and heated by compression. And what happened to the peat on the bottom?

M: It turned into coal.

W: Yes. That’s right. This was because the pressure and heat of the sediment forced out much of the volatile matter in the peat. The pressure and heat were essential, and the result was compact layers of coal. Today in the Mississippi Delta, plant debris and sand are building up at such a rate that the delta is sinking under the weight. This is carrying the debris down to depths where it will experience compression and high temperature. And that’s how it’s happened all over. Coal deposits can be found on every continent on Earth. But even though coal is very plentiful and affordable, its widespread use is our number one environmental concern. The burning of coal for energy sends soot and smoke into the air, releasing harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. A lot of us in the scientific community feel that the use of coal as a fuel should be discouraged.We feel that in place of coal, we should be exploring cleaner, renewable sources of energy.

1. What is the lecture mainly about?

2. According to the professor, when did coal begin to form on Earth?

3. According to the lecture, which of the following are stages in coal formation?

4. Why does the professor say this: “The pressure and heat were essential, and the result was compact layers of coal. Today in the Mississippi Delta, plant debris and sand are building up at such a rate that the delta is sinking under the weight. This is carrying the debris down to depths where it will experience compression and high temperature.”

5. Why does the professor say this: “But even though coal is very plentiful and affordable, its widespread use is our number one environmental concern.”

Listen to part of a lecture in a communications class.

Researchers study television to understand its effects on viewers and to measure its effectiveness in selling products. Much of the research on TV audiences is market research, paid for by corporations with something to sell. Let me repeat: research on television is funded largely by advertisers.

The television industry depends on advertising money to survive, and this relationship influences what television offers viewers. Advertisers aim to reach mass audiences and specific social groups. In turn, the television industry tries to meet the needs of advertisers, because pleasing the advertisers is nearly as important as pleasing the public. This means advertisers have a lot of control over what programs are made and when they are shown.

The American television industry is controlled by people who are more interested in the culture of consumerism than in preserving cultures or natural resources. I mean, for the first time in history, most of the stories children learn don’t come from their parents or schools; they come from a small number of large corporations with something to sell. And this culture of consumerism is exported to other countries.

Television is the most effective marketing tool ever created. Many advertisements apply basic psychology by sort of appealing to our insecurities and desires. Ads convince us that the things we once thought were luxuries are now necessities. Television is highly skilled at creating images of affluence, not just in the ads, but in the programs as well. Using sophisticated market research, programmers and advertisers sort of paint a picture of life centered on material possessions. This kind of life may look glamorous and desirable, but it’s all at the expense of personal relationships.

As you probably can tell, I tend to agree with critics of the media. Advertising does create false needs, and products we really need don’t require advertising. Television promotes consumerism. It shows us things, things, and more things. It encourages greed and envy. Television helps create a wasteful society, where things are thrown out long before they are worn out.

6. What is the main idea of the lecture?

7. According to the professor, why do researchers study television?

8. According to the professor, why do advertisers have control over television programming?

9. Listen again to part of the lecture. Then answer the question.

“Television is highly skilled at creating images of affluence, not just in the ads, but in the programs as well. Using sophisticated market research, programmers and advertisers sort of paint a picture of life centered on material possessions. This kind of life may look glamorous and desirable, but it’s all at the expense of personal relationships.”

Why does the professor say this: “This kind of life may look glamorous and desirable, but it’s all at the expense of personal relationships.”

10. What is the professor’s opinion of television



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