YDS Test Your Comprehension - 4

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    During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale showed extraordinary qualities of determination and organizing ability. In the English hospital where she worked, conditions at first were terrible; dirt and disease probably caused more deaths among the soldiers than did the wounds received in battle. Still, under these circumstances, Florence Nightingale gradually built up a highly disciplined nursing staff and, together with more adequate medical supplies, she was able to improve conditions and be of real service to the soldiers. However, the work was hard, and, as a result, her own health suffered.



    1. One important point the passage makes is that Florence Nightingale ................ .

    A) would have been more efficient if she had had a more qualified nursing staff
    B) was not liked by the nursing staff because of her harsh discipline
    C) hated the terrible conditions she was working in and wanted to get away
    D) failed to improve conditions in the hospital as she herself had poor health
    E) overcame, with great efficiency, the problems she faced in a military hospital



    2. It is clear from the passage that, because Florence Nightingale was a determined person, with a gift for organizing, she .......... .
    A) volunteered to serve in the Crimean War
    B) was widely criticised by her staff
    C) did little nursing herself
    D) was able to succeed in her work
    E) was selected by the army to work as a nurse in the hospital



    3. As the writer points out in the passage, conditions in the military hospital were, at the beginning, so bad that ......... .

    A) they accounted for more deaths among the soldiers than the war itself
    B) little could be done to improve them
    C) Florence Nightingale felt she had little chance of success
    D) many of the nursing staff fell ill
    E) medical supplies soon ran out



    Nobody knows when fiction began. Maybe the first story-teller was a prehistoric mother trying to explain the world to her children. Or perhaps it was a hunter telling about his adventures around the camp fire. Who can tell? What we do know, though, is that story-telling was a purely oral activity until around 800 BC. Myths and tales were passed down by word of mouth and had to be memorized by each new generation of story-tellers. This oral tradition only changed when ancient peoples started to keep written records of certain stories. The earliest surviving examples of these are the epics of Homer, a blind professional story-teller, who lived in the eighth century BC.



    4. It is pointed out in the passage that story-telling ........ .

    A) was first introduced by Homer in ancient times
    B) possibly began in prehistoric times
    C) began as a written activity in antiquity
    D) became less and less popular during the 8th century BC
    E) became far more popular with the invention of writing


    5. According to the passage, the Homeric epics .......... .

    A) were among the first stories to be written down
    B) consisted mainly of myths and other tales
    C) are the first examples of prehistoric tales and myths
    D) were not the best of their kind in the 8th century BC
    E) have often been imitated successfully in later centuries



    6. We understand from the passage that, throughout the oral tradition, professional story-tellers .......... .

    A) were much respected in primitive societies
    B) depended on Homer for their stories
    C) were skilful at creating new stories
    D) collected the first stories going back to prehistoric times
    E) used to learn myths and tales by heart

    By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the population of Tokyo had grown about 1 million, making it the largest city in Japan and one of the most populous in the world. An especially lively section of the city was along the Sumida River, where pleasure boats and parties were common and whose banks were lined with fashionable tea-houses. Tea was central to the Japanese not only in their homes, but in the public life as well. In the bustling urban centres of 18th-century Japan, tea-houses served a role similar to the one played by coffee-houses in Europe which were centres of discussion and entertainment.


    7. We learn from the passage that the Sumida River ........ .

    A) separated the poor area of Tokyo from the rich one
    B) could be dangerous and so boats rarely used it
    C) ran through one of the most popular parts of eighteenth century Tokyo
    D) was a busy waterway since it was the commercial centre of the city
    E) has recently lost its popularity among the people of Tokyo


    8. The writer points out that, in the eighteenth century, there was .....

    A) an effort among other Japanese cities to imitate the social life of Tokyo
    B) a sudden increase in the population of Tokyo
    C) a growing interest among the people of Tokyo in European coffee-houses
    D) a widespread desire among the young in Japan for all kinds of entertainment
    E) a great likeness between Japan's tea-houses and Europe's coffee-houses


    9. We can understand from the passage that no city in the eighteenth century Japan ........ .

    A) could compete with Tokyo's cultural life
    B) had as many tea-houses as Tokyo had
    C) had established as many centres of entertainment as Tokyo had
    D) had as large a population as that of Tokyo
    E) consumed as much tea as Tokyo did


    Answer Keys:
    1.E, 2.D, 3.A, 4.B, 5.A, 6.E, 7.C, 8.E, 9.D.

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