Multiple-choice questions evaluate your ability to read for specific information. There are different types of multiple choice. This type offers you a 'stem' — sometimes an incomplete statement or a question — and three or four possible answers. Read the questions before you read the passage so you know what you are looking for.
• You will not be penalized for wrong answers, so even if you don't know the answer, write something down.
• The different options for
the answers include plausible 'distractors' — the wrong answers that only close reading will show to be wrong. These often contain key words from the text, so read carefully!
• You will not be expected to have any specialist background knowledge of the given subject.
• Read the question and options(given choices) before you read the text and try to predict the answer.
Read the text and answer the three multiple-choice questions that follow.
Passage Heading: Energy crisis? What crisis?
Looking at the forecasts for the world's energy demands for the future is pretty frightening. As the population of the world has increased, so has our thirst for energy. Should we build more nuclear power stations, as these don't produce the carbon dioxide that conventional coal or gas-fired power stations produce? But wait a minute — nuclear power is dangerous! Following the accident in Cernobyl in 1984, many people turned against nuclear power, preferring greener options like wind and solar power. But how reliable is wind power? Even in windy parts of the world, like western England, the wind turbines are not always turning. What could make up the shortfall when the wind stops blowing? Coal? Far too dirty. Gas? Cleaner than coal, but it still produces carbon dioxide. Nuclear? Too dangerous and politically sensitive. Solar power? In northern Europe? You must be joking.
That future generations will have to find alternatives goes without saying. Without trying to sound too apocalyptic, there is no way that we can maintain our present lifestyles. It is still not clear just how much damage we have already done, and are currently doing, to the planet, but the vast majority of scientists believe that we have to do something.
If we accept that change has to take place, we can consider what the catalyst will be for such change. Will it be governments telling us to save energy in various ways? Will it be companies producing ever more energy-efficient products? Or will it be people that change? Some may change for ideological reasons, believing that to save the planet they will need to change and will stop driving their gas- guzzling four-by-fours and heating their houses to 25 degrees in winter so that they can sit in shorts and a T-shirt to watch their home cinema. Many more are likely to change, not for ideological reasons, but for financial ones. As the price of energy increases — which, unless a new cheap source of energy is found, it almost certainly will — people will face stark choices; money for food or money for heating. (Interestingly, since the recent financial crisis, there has been a significant increase in the number of people growing their own food and consequently the demand for allotments, once seen as the preserve of old men, has skyrocketed.)
it is quite probable that we won't be able to rely on the governments of the world to get us out of this difficult situation. Most democratic governments are not around for more than a decade, so it is clear that they are more likely to look at the short-term rather than long-term difficulties.
Perhaps surprisingly, some of the poorest people in the world will be least affected. If you are a subsistence farmer, growing enough food for your family and just a few more vegetables to sell at the market, then you are unlikely to have high energy requirements. However, if you can't live without your car and spend a high proportion of your income on energy in its various forms, then it is highly likely that you will have to accept some quite dramatic changes in your life.
1 According to the writer, our energy needs in the future ____.
A will depend on how the climate changes.
B involve equally dangerous options.
C have no easy solution.
D must include a cleaner use of gas.
2 The writer feels that most people will change their behaviour ____.
A because energy will be more expensive in the future.
B because governments will encourage a change in attitude.
C because new technology will improve energy efficiency.
D for ideological reasons.
3 According to the text, in recent times demand for allotments has ____.
A fallen quickly.
B steadily declined.
C risen slowly.
D increased dramatically.
Answer + Analysis:
1 The answers to the questions are in order in the text, so you can presume that the answer to number 1 is somewhere near the beginning.
A Not correct. Aspects of climate are mentioned, but not climate change.
B Not correct. Danger is only mentioned in connection with nuclear power.
C Correct. The fact there are questions about each form shows there is no easy answer.
D Not correct. Gas is mentioned, but not as a 'must'.
2 The key to the answer is in the words most in the question and many more in the key sentence in the text.
B Not correct: This is speculative.
C Not correct: This is also speculative.
D Not correct: More will change for financial reasons.
3 You may well not know the word allotment, but you don't need to know it to be able to answer the question. The text states that there has been a significant increase in the number of people growing their own food and consequently the demand for allotments … has skyrocketed. Again. you may not have seen the word skyrocketed before, but the word does suggest something going up very quickly, so the answer is D.