READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
A Brief History of London Underground
It is a staple of not just the capital of the UK, but of British culture in general. It is used by more than 1.3 billion people per year, and it is more than 400 kilometres long. It has survived fires, floods, terrorist attacks and two world wars, and it has been described as “form of mild torture”, a “twopenny tube” and a system of “padded cells”. It is the London Underground, and it has been around for more than 150 years. But how did it all start?
The idea of an intricate train network running underneath a vibrant and heavily populated city like London might not be such a novelty in contemporary society, but it certainly was one back in the early 19th century when it was first conceived. In fact, the only reason such a notion-at the time described by The Times as an “insult to common sense” – was even entertained in the first place was pure desperation: during the Victorian era, London roads were insufferably overcrowded, and a Royal Commission of 1846 meant that central London was out of bounds for railway companies, whose mainline railways all had to stop just outside the City and West End. A way to connect Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross was, therefore, a necessity to relieve the congested streets, and Charles Pearson, the man who originally envisioned a Fleet Valley rail tunnel just fifteen years after the first steam passenger service was opened in 1830, couldn’t have come up with his plan for what was to become London Underground at a better time.
And so the story begins, in 1863, with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway, which ran between Paddington (called Bishop’s Road at the time) and Farringdon, serving a total of eight stations. Five years later, in 1868, the first section of the Metropolitan District Railway (now incorporated into the District and Circle lines) followed, running from South Kensington to Westminster. Within the first fifty years, much of what is known as Zone 1 of the London Underground system today would be built, all funded by private developers. (Unfortunately for them, none would get the financial returns they had been promised.)
People nowadays might complain about the atmosphere in London Underground, particularly in the summer, but it is nothing compared to the conditions the Metropolitan Railway’s passengers had to weather during the first years of its operation. So foul was the smell in the tunnels that spread under the city that drivers were allowed to grow beards, in hopes that this would protect them from inhaling the billowing smokes. (According to the account of a civil servant from that time, the stink in the underground was comparable to that of a ‘crocodile’s breath’.) Nevertheless, the line was a smashing success from the very beginning, with more than 11 million passengers in just the first year.
The second spate of construction works arrived with the development of electric traction at the end of the 19th century, which meant that trains no longer had to run through shallow tunnels to allow room for the steam produced by the engines to escape. Instead, new tunnels could now be dug, cutting deeper into the belly of the city. The first deep-level electric railway was opened in December 1890 by the City and South London Railway, connecting King William Street to Stockwell. In the following fifty years, the existing tube lines would systematically be extended, branching into London’s various suburbs. Surprisingly, it would take until 1968 for an entirely new line to open again: the Victoria Line (provisionally named the Viking Line), which was followed by the Jubilee Line eleven years later.
As I mentioned above, London Underground’s first lines were built by private developers, meaning that each line was owned by different companies. This changed in 1933 when all of those companies were nationalised and merged to form the London Passenger Transport Board, which controlled London’s railway, tram, trolleybus, bus and coach services. (Coincidentally, 1933 was also the year the first diagram of the iconic Underground map was first presented by Harry Beck.) The London Passenger Transport Board itself was nationalised in 1948.
The next wave of changes came at the turn of the 21st century, and has continued to unfold well into its second decade: in 2003, the famous Oyster card was introduced-a wireless travel card that can be charged up with the money to be used for single fares or weekly, monthly, and yearly travel tickets. Busking was also legalised the same year. In 2007, London Underground achieved its next important milestone, reaching 1 billion passengers per year, and in 2009 it was named the best Metro system in Europe. In early 2016, a new Crossrail line named after Queen Elizabeth II was announced, which is due to open in late 2018. This will be the first new line in nearly forty years. And the story goes on.
So, there you have it. The underground system that every Londoner loves to hate, but without which London never would have become the sort of financial hub and melting pot it is today. A history spanning across three centuries, all of which contributed to the creation of not just a transport system, but a unique, daring brand, and a cultural phenomenon the likes of which the world had never seen before. Perhaps it is, as its critics contend, too busy, too hot, too pricey and too grimy. But it is also a remarkable achievement, for Londoners and non-Londoners alike, and it should be treasured regardless of its shortcomings.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement is true according to the passage
FALSE if the statement is false according to the passage
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
1 More than a billion commuters use London Underground every day.
2 London Underground would not be considered a unique concept were it to be
3 In the 19th century, railway companies were not allowed to build stations within
4 Charles Pearson’s London Underground plan was a precursor of his Fleet Valley
rail tunnel idea.
5 The first section of the Metropolitan District Railway, opened in 1868, took five
years to complete.
6 The British government promised great financial returns to private investors to
convince them to fund London Underground.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet.
7 During the first year of its operation, the Metropolitan Railway
A encouraged passengers to grow beards to block the smell.
B was not particularly successful.
C had more than 11 million passengers.
D was as bad as it is nowadays during the summer months.
8 At the end of the 19th century,
A London Underground stopped using shallow tunnels.
B a new London Underground line was completed.
C a new method of moving trains with electricity was invented.
D the City and South London Railway was established.
9 The Victoria Line
A was originally named the Viking Line.
B was the first London Underground line to use electric traction.
C was the fourth London Underground line to be built.
D was built more than 70 years after its predecessor.
10 The London Passenger Transport Board
A replaced the private companies that previously owned London Underground.
B released the first diagram of the Underground map in 1933.
C was established by private developers.
D controlled most of London’s transport services.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from Reading Passage 2 for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
11 Since 2003, London commuters have been able to listen to 11 ………………… in and
outside London Underground stations.
12 London Underground not only attracted a lot of business to London but also
helped it to become a 12 ………………….
13 London Underground does have its 13 ………………….. but it’s still a unique and
important cultural phenomenon.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-28 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
The Pioneer Anomaly
It’s been more than four decades of incessant theorising and perplexed head-scratching for scientists, engineers and astronomy fans across the globe, but thanks to a recent study published in the journal Physical Review Letter, we finally have some answers to what has been causing the deceleration of NASA’s Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft-otherwise known as the “Pioneer Anomaly”.
Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973 respectively and were the first spacecraft to travel beyond the solar system’s main asteroid belt. Their claim to fame, however, changed the moment they skirted past Jupiter and began their journey towards Saturn, as it was at that point-by then already the early 1980sthat scientists and navigators discovered something had gone terribly awry: the two spacecraft seemed to be slowing down.
As Bruce Betts of The Planetary Society explains, the scientists involved in the project had anticipated most of the slowing down due to “the gravitational pull of the Sun and other massive objects in the solar system”. In fact, when the deceleration was first observed, it was so small that it was dismissed as an insignificant, temporary phenomenon, and attributed to the effect of dribbles of leftover propellant still in the fuel lines after controllers had cut off the propellant. It would take until 1998 for a group of scientists led by John Anderson of Jet Propulsion Laboratory 0PL) to confirm that, even at 13 kilometres from the sun, the two Pioneer spacecraft were still losing speed at a rate of approximately 300 inches per day squared (0.9 nanometres per second squared). The first theories of what might be the cause followed soon thereafter.
The late 1990s were an important time for the field of astrophysics, with the Hubble Space Telescope observations of distant supernovae having only in 1998 confirmed that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Anderson et al’s confirmation of the Pioneer Anomaly the same year seemed to offer a demonstration of the very same phenomenon of expansion within our own solar system-a theory that plenty of scientists quickly embraced. Others yet ascribed the deceleration to dark matter, while some suggested the spacecraft, as Toth and Turyshev put it, might’ve “unearthed the first evidence of extra dimensions”. The possibility that a new law of physics directly contradicting Einstein’s general theory of relativity might be to blame was also considered.
In 2004, Turyshev decided to get to the bottom of the Pioneer anomaly. Since the two spacecraft had stopped communicating with earth (Pioneer 11 first in 1995, and Pioneer 10 less than a decade later in 2003), all he could depend on were old communications and data; so, with the monetary aid of the Planetary Society and its eager, dedicated members, he began to gather the data from a number of different sources. There were two types of data that he needed to procure for his research: the “housekeeping data” engineers had used in order to monitor spacecraft operation, and Doppler data.
The data came in all sorts of forms: some were in digitised files offered by JPL navigators (a lucky find, as punch cards were still the preferred method of data storage back in the 1970s), while others were in magnetic tapes accidentally discovered under a staircase in JPL. All in all, there were more than 43 gigabytes of data-an admirable result, considering that at the time the two Pioneer spacecraft were launched there had been no formal requirement that NASA archive any of the records collected, and it had only been due to sheer luck and a former Pioneer team member’s diligence that any telemetry data had been saved at all.
Once all the data had been collected, the formidable task of going through the volumes of information began. It was neither quick nor easy, and it required the assistance of a variety of people, including JPL engineers and retired TRW engineers who had worked on the Pioneer project, who had to consult with each other in order to interpret old blueprints and reconstruct the probes’ 3D structure. In the end, however, the team’s perseverance paid off, and Turyshev’s suspicions-which had initiated the study-were confirmed: it was the electrical subsystems and the decay of plutonium in the Pioneer power sources that were to blame for the spacecraft’s bizarre trajectory-more specifically the heat they emitted. This was corroborated by the discovery that other spacecraft with different designs had not been affected in the way Pioneer 10 and 11 had.
As Turyshev said, speaking of the study, “the story is finding its conclusion because it turns out that standard physics prevail. While of course, it would’ve been exciting to discover a new kind of physics, we did solve a mystery.”
The reading passage has seven sections, A-G.
Which section contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-G, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.
14 The contemporary context of John Anderson’s study
15 How Turyshev’s study was conducted
16 A description of the journey of the Pioneer aircraft
17 How data was normally cached at the time of the Pioneer launch
18 Why Turyshev’s study couldn’t rely on new information
19 The name of a scientific publication
20 The original theories for the Pioneer anomaly
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-H below.
Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 21-25 on your answer sheet.
A played a pivotal role in Turyshev’s study.
B coincided with another scientific breakthrough in its field.
C leftover propellant had been expected to cause issues.
D contradicted contemporary theories about the Pioneer spacecraft.
E ceased communication later than its predecessor.
F was inspected by former TRW engineers to confirm its authenticity.
G exceeded all expectations in terms of quantity.
H external factors had been taken into account in the planning stage.
21 NASA’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft
22 The Planetary Society
23 Some of the spacecraft’s deceleration was not a surprise because
24 John Anderson’s study
25 The data Turyshev used in his study
Choose THREE letters A-H.
Write your answers in boxes 26-28 on your answer sheet.
NB Your answers may be given in any order.
Which THREE of the following statements are true of Turshev’s study?
A Former Pioneer team members were recruited to help to understand the data.
B It was an initiative by the Planetary Society that instigated it.
C It provided us with the first proof of extra dimensions.
D It identified calefaction caused by the Pioneer design as the culprit behind the anomaly.
E Parts of the Pioneer spacecraft were recreated to help with the study.
F The analysis stage of the study was particularly time-consuming.
G It proved that spacecraft with a design similar to the Pioneer 10 and 11 faced similar issues.
H Turyshev was unhappy with the result of his investigation.
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
The Future of Food
When we think of the future, most of us imagine hoverboards and flying cars, exciting new technological advancements and developments, perhaps even scientific achievements and breakthroughs. What we spend little time contemplating, however, is what we will be eating. Nevertheless, food futurologists and organisations around the world have examined the prospects, and they might, at first glance at least, appear less than thrilling.
One thing that’s for certain, according to food futurologist Morgaine Gaye, is that meat will once again become a luxury. “In the West,” she proclaims, “many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat.” Unfortunately though, rising prices are spelling the doom of this long-lasting trend. “As a result, we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap.” Professor Sheenan Harpaz of the Volgani Centre in Beit Dagan, Israel, agrees: “As the price of raising livestock goes up, we’ll eat less beef.” So, what will we eat?
According to Harpaz as well as Yoram Kapulnik, the director of the Volcani Centre, the answer to that question lies with our reliance on genetic engineering. As overpopulation and resource depletion will inevitably lead to a struggle to feed the masses, they predict, the food industry will experience a shift in focus from “form” to “function”. “Functional foods” will be genetically modified to provide additional value, and they will be targeted at each group of the population-with foods customised to meet the needs of men, women, the elderly, etc. “Once we have a complete picture of the human genome,” explains Kapulnik, “we’ll know how to create food that better meets our needs.”
But food still has to come from somewhere and leading food futurologists and other scientists are firm on their belief that the foods of the future will come from insects. “They are nutritionally excellent,” says Arnold van Huis, lead author of Edible Insects, a 2013 report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. Not only that but, according to researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, they are also full of protein, and on par with ordinary meat in terms of nutritional value. Insects are already a part of people’s diets in various cultures in Asia and Africa; however, one major hurdle that will need to be overcome with regards to Western countries is the presentation. As Gaye suggests, “things like crickets and grasshoppers will [have to] be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers”. There is already such an initiative in Kenya and Cambodia (the quite successful WinFood project), and the Netherlands is already investing into research on insect-based diets and the development of insect farm legislation.
Another source of future food, according to Dr Craig Rose of the Seaweed Health Foundation, could be algae. Algae, like insects, are extremely nutritious and already popular in Asia, and could be the perfect solution for three very important reasons: first of all, they can grow both in fresh and salt water-a notable advantage, considering the shortage of land we are bound to experience in the future; secondly, they grow at an astounding pace the likes of which no other plant has ever been found to achieve before; and finally, with 10,000 different types of seaweed around the world, they can open up an exciting world of new flavours for us to discover. But that’s not all: several scientists believe that the biofuel we would extract from algae could lead to a diminished need for fossil fuels, thereby improving our carbon footprint. Algae would, much like insects, need to be refashioned to appeal to Westerners, but research such as the one conducted by scientists at Sheffield Hallam University, who replaced salt in bread and processed foods with seaweed granules with efficacious results, suggests that this is unlikely to pose a problem.
The final option brought forth by scientists is lab-grown, artificial meat. In early 2012, a group of Dutch scientists managed to produce synthetic meat using stem cells originating from cows, and there are already a few companies, such as the San Francisco start-up Impossible Foods and the Manhattan Beach-based Beyond Meat, which are dedicated to manufacturing plant-made meat. The benefits of a worldwide move towards in-vitro meat would be tremendous for the environment, which would see a reduction in energy and water waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and would significantly reduce animal suﬀering. There is one hindrance to such plans at the moment, sadly, and that’s the price: the first artificial burger, grown at Maastricht University in 2013, cost a whopping €250,000 (£190,545) to make.
Complete the summary.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 29-33 on your answer sheet.
There are several not particularly 29 ………………….. theories as to what food might look like
in the future, according to several organisations and food futurologists around the
world. Morgaine Gaye, a prominent food futurologist, believes that meat is set to all but
disappear from our daily diets again due to 30 …………………… Professor Harpaz offers the same
opinion, contending that 31 …………………… will continue to become costlier and costlier. To
fill the gap left by meat, he says, we will have no choice but to turn to 32 ……………………., with
“functional foods” that will be aimed at each demographic. The only step we’ll need to
take to get there is to manage to decode the 33 ……………………..
Complete the table.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer
Write your answers in boxes 34-40 on your answer sheet.
. 34 ………….. and full of protein
. Similar to meat in terms of nutritional value
. Regularly consumed in 35 …………..
. 36 ………….. will need to be adjusted for unaccustomed cultures
. Easy and quick to 37 …………..
. Up to 10,000 different flavours
. Might positively influence (38) ………….. by providing us with alternative fuels
. Made with bovine 39 ………….. and/or plants
. Would lead to a drop in energy and water waste, as well as greenhouse gas emissions
. Would also alleviate 40 …………..
Too expensive at the moment