Tuesday, July 1, 2014

READING MID YEAR 2011

Here are the answers for the Reading Comprehension Mid Year 2011. Good luck.

1. B             2. A             3. B             4. C             5. B
6. B             7. C             8. B             9. A             10. A
11. A           12. C           13. C           14. A           15. C
16. A           17. B           18. C           19. A           20. C
21. B           22. B           23. A           24. C           25. A


26. A           27. B           28. C           29. B           30. B
31. D           32. B           33. C           34. B           35. D
36. A           37. B           38. D           39. A           40. A
41. D           42. A           43. D           44. B           45. B

Saturday, June 28, 2014

ANSWERS TO READING: END 2011

Here are the answers to the set of questions I gave you. Read, find the answers and compare the answers given here. Best of luck in your coming MUET exam. 

1. B:           1995 - 2005 = ten year period, not 20
2. B:           2005, 1st is fishing 43.3 million, skateboarding 12.2 mil
3. A:           - get this - ...! (use of expression and exclamation mark)
4. B:           percentage growth of soccer 17.5, golf 2.9 does not indicate MORE THAN TWICE THE RATE
5. C:           No mention of statistics for those 'watching' big sports
6. A:           kayaking is an individual sport
7. B:           writer DOES NOT prefer the current trend in sports participation, he's all for the cheering crowd (meaning he likes to watch, not participate)
8. A:           worried how customers perceive their brand = losing their distinctiveness
9. B:           no mention of Starbucks loss of revenue/income, paragraph 2 indicates Starbucks experienced has watered down but didn't mention income.
10. B:         not because of high prices but paragraph 3 states 'are at risk from growing sense that their products are indeed just commodities'.
11. C:         Schulz suggests that the company needs to go back to its roots.
12. A:         up-market - more appealing to the rich.
13. B:         doubtful - similar to 'not sure'
14. C:         health conscious because there is a growing concern about obesity.
15. A:         a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 - pound for pound methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas
16. B:         difficult to control - para 2: 'it is not always easy because sometimes they are one and the same'.
17. A:         'they do exist' conveys disbelief
18. B:         warming at higher latitudes
19. A:         tipping point - point where something tips over/trigger a serious reaction
20. C:         are easier to control than those emitted from wetlands and paddy fields
21. A:         option III is not stated
22. B:         women now earn almost as much as men because it stated, 'due to a narrowing wage gap'. option A is unacceptable as there is no data and option C is also not related as it is not stated who owns more property
23. B:         emphasise the large numbers - biggest/twice the size of the hottest developing markets
24. B:         seismic relates to earthquakes/earth shattering/something amazing, nerve wrecking means nervous, groundbreaking means pioneer/original/first of its kind
25. A:         human capital - manpower
26. A:         more open - more liberal
27. C:         cause and effect (access to female edu therefore increase of literacy, increased labour-force participation therefore 70 percent more women work etc)
28. A:         growing faster because 8.1 compared to 5.8. option B is not accurate as higher female earners in developed world is not necessarily comparing to men, could be compared to number of female earner is poorer countries and C is inaccurate as 80 percent is not the same as 'Some 80 percent' which means 'about 80 percent)
29. B:         'what the world needs at the moment' = positive attitude
30. C:         conveys surprise
31. B:         anaphoric reference
32. A:         affects the ability to convey emotions
33. B:         one consequence (stated in the question) is a delayed response to anger as given in the example in lines 42 - 44
34. C:         contributes to the field : 'part of a bludgeoning field called 'embodied cognition'
35. C:         using their hands to commit a moral transgression therefore they will have an urge to wash them.
36. B:         because all the other statements are can be proven wrong.
37. C:         all three - body, mind (thoughts) and emotions (feelings) are interrelated.
38. B:         previous paragraph (anaphoric) refers to how cheap food has been and how much people waste
39. D:         NOT TRUE because when more meat is consumed demand for grain increases as 8kg grain needed to produce 1kg meat
40. C:         the use of maize for ethanol has increased food prices because the maize for ethanol amounts for half of the fall in the world's overall grain stocks.
41. A:         farmers not the urban poor
42. D:         no mention of higher wages
43. B:         free up agricultural trade= less control and opening up
44. B:         a catch here refers to a drawback/disadvantage
45. D:         once in a lifetime chance to narrow the gap


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

QUESTION 1 NOVEMBER 2012

A survey was carried out on the quality of facilities available in three colleges. Using only the information provided, write about the results of the survey. In your writing, you are to link the information in Table 1 and Table 2. You should write 150 to 200 words.



Comparison of Quality of Facilities in 3 Colleges

The stimuli present two tables, Table 1 on 'Rating of College Facilities' while Table 2 is on 'Fees, Scholarships and Numbers of Registered Students'. In general, institutions that charge higher fees tend to provide better facilities regardless of number of registered students and scholarships offered.

According to both tables, College C which collects the highest fees per semester (RM10,000) scored the highest ratings in all facilities except sports centre and food court.  It still managed to attract 5500 registered students although the number of scholarships offered were extremely low (10 only).

College A charges reasonable fees of RM6000 per semester and has the highest record of registered students (7000). It also has relatively good rating especially scoring top marks in providing wireless connection, food court and banking facilities. Another pull factor is that it offers the highest number of scholarships (500).

Meanwhile, students of College B rated its institution's facilities as mostly average to poor with only the sports centre achieving a good rating. The co-curricular centre, food court and transport received the lowest ratings. Although 100 scholarships are offered, this college enrolled the lowest number of registered students (1000).

In conclusion, the higher the school fees, the better the facilities provided.

QUESTION 2 : A person’s success is determined by the number of As obtained in examinations

“A person’s success is determined by the number of As obtained in examinations”. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.                   

Over these past few years, the education is structured in a manner that a student’s academic performance is assessed using a grade system, which is ranged from A as the highest rank to the lowest rank of G. The grade hierarchy system is given to students to measure how well they can understand and master the context of a subject. However, most students, parents and teachers strongly believe that getting as many A’s as possible would make a person become “successful”. The question arises, can getting lots of A’s mould a successful person?

There is no law or legislation implemented for a person to be successful only if he or she had glorious results in examinations.

A person can also be successful by unleashing novelties. There are uncountable students that excelled in their  examinations, with straight A’s grasped in their hand, firmly; also there are also students who failed in their examinations, really terribly. But the so called “failures” have high potential of creativity, yet to be unveiled; and the remarkable creative ideas make them to be one in a million. For instance, Bill Gates, one of the most successful software designers in the histories. He had a famous quote, “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft”. The momentum of this quote is very strong and firm – it is definitely a silly mistake to say that a person will be led to starway boulevard even if they are excellent scorers in the examinations.

In a similar manner, a person can be successful if they had passion in what they do. Due to various pressures, mostly from parents and peers, students had a mindset that they must score as many A’s as possible to make them successful in their life. They had a mindset that they must be lawyers, professors, doctors and so on to make them successful in their life. So to approach these careers, they are to garner as many A’s as they can. But that could be untrue. As an illustration, Shimmy, who is a famous dancer, was used to be a lawyer graduate. People may argue that perhaps she could not find a law-related job after she graduated. But the fact is, being a lawyer, is her father’s dream, not hers! Her dream is that she could dance and could exhibit her dance to the world. Her passion is on the stage, not on the court. She is determined that she would not be a successful lawyer, and she was right! So what about all those A’s?

On top of that, the number of A’s obtained is definitely not a ruler to measure whether a person is successful or not. Thanks to the education system, students are molt into reading and exam machines to get A’s. Sad but true, a large percentage of A’s scorers are late bloomers. They chunk in a lot of information from the textbooks or reference books at the eleventh hour, and regurgitate all the information when it comes to examination. But does that make them a successful learner? Human memory power has limitations. So the A’s obtained by the student may not be genuine. They fit to be known as exam machines rather than successful youngsters.

In a nutshell, it is definitely not a good idea to determine whether a person is successful based on the number of A’s garnered in examinations. There are more crucial aspects as it does not portray one’s attitude in studies



QUESTION 2 POPULARITY OF ONLINE EDUCATION

The popularity of online education has increased over the years. Many working adults, housewives and school leavers prefer learning online rather than going to education institutions where they have to be physically present. The popularity of online education is also because of various other reasons. Discuss these reasons.

There are many working adults who wish to pursue post-secondary education for personal growth and career advancement. The Internet has given many working adults hope for a college diploma or degree. There are many courses offered online such as diplomas, degrees and post-graduate degrees for a variety of fields be they business or arts. Thus, they can now attend online education programmes. Online education is becoming more attractive because it can be pursued anywhere without a formal setting. Students are just required to have access to a computer or even a smartphone and Internet connectivity if they want to attend online educations programmes. Therefore there are many reasons for online learning, namely accessibility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. 

First and foremost, there are many people who opt for online learning rather than going to education institutions because online education is very accessible. This means that it can be accessed by all walks of people regardless of place and time. Housewives with children can pursue an education at home without having to leave home responsibilities to others. Other than that, working adults can also pursue an education after working hours, during office lunch break or at their leisure. Thus, many working adults and housewives these days choose online learning because of its easy and convenient accessibility rather than going to education institutions where they have to be physically present.

Moreover, there are many people who prefer online learning rather than going to education institutions because online education provides focused learning that is flexible and suitable to each student’s needs. Online education is as comprehensive as any campus based education. It caters to students with varied learning styles and allows students to follow personal study routines. The students can study at night or early in the morning, whichever suits them best. The materials prepared cater to different difficulty levels while online tutors participating in online forums to guide students are also available. Hence, students can focus better because of the flexibility of online learning leading to more people opting for online learning rather than going to traditional education institutions.

Other than that, reduced study cost is another reason for choosing online education. Online education is a cost-effective mechanism for non-traditional students and enables millions around the world to continue their education without costing an arm and a leg. In addition, expensive textbooks are also not required with the advent of e-books and online journals. There is no need to rush or pay transportation costs to go to college, so stress as well as financial factors can be reduced as well. Thus, online learning is a more cost-efficient option for today’s fast paced society. 

In a nutshell, more and more working adults, housewives and school leavers are exploring the option of online education as a means to self-development. This type of learning helps them learn faster, retain more information and earn a degree at a fraction of the cost. Therefore, the government has sanctioned this medium of education by approving institutes like Open University Malaysia where everyone can learn. It is hoped that more of such universities and learning institutes that offer online learning will mushroom around the country because education is the key to progress and prosperity. 


QUESTION 2 ICT AND SOCIAL ILLS

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the cause of today's many social ills. What is your opinion?

From YouTube to Facebook; from Xbox 360 to Nintendo Wii; from Intel-powered computers to multitasking mini netbooks; these evolutionary medium of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have become essential part of our lives that not using one of them is so irrelevant in our society. Indeed, the rapid advancement of technology propels the social welfare, for better or worse. Undeniably, I agree that ICT cause today’s many social ills like cyber-bullying and privacy intrusion. However, I am not waywardly inclined towards the cons because ICT have pros as well when used to handle social ills such as terrorist attacks.

Knowingly, ICT is the platform for cyber-bullying. Nowadays, the unending rise of social networking sites that gives birth to Facebook, MySpace and more recently Twitter have shaped how this generation interacts. As if teenagers have fully understood and are practising the phrase “No man is an island,” they make new friends while keeping in touch with the others through these sites, virtually and dangerously. Photos posted that are initially intended to update their lifestyles are altered by stalkers and reposted to dent their reputations. On a more serious note, predators use these sites, especially MySpace, to lash harsh verbal abuses to innocent victims. A search through the dark side of MySpace would let us uncover hatred, vengeance and anger that are unleashed on helpless teens, causing social unrest about the potential psychological trauma the site could trigger. The problem is so disturbing to the social, specifically the parents, that the theme of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2009 is “Protecting children in cyberspace.”

Besides, privacy invasion is another sensitive issue caused by ICT. Ironically, computers, on which we rely excessively to store and save our private data, are the means of hackers to steal, destroy or even be exploited for their own selfish good. This hideous act could easily be done when uninformed surfers of the internet download good-looking software that turn out to be malicious. When perpetrators have got hold to credit card numbers, bank accounts or confidential documents, it’s frightening to imagine that the hard-earned money could be lost the next hour. The social, however, neglect this warning and as a result, cyber criminals gain the upper hand by pocketing social wealth. On a different and larger scale, the leaked photos of Hong Kong celebrities in compromising positions not only stunned the conservative community but shattered the faith of a million fans as well. The main culprit? A computer technician who unlawfully search and more importantly, copy the private photographs.

Nevertheless, ICT can be useful weapons to counter terrorist attacks. The Closed-circuit Televisions (CCTVs) that are placed literally everywhere in London indicates that it is unlikely for a person to commit a crime and flee unpunished. Better still, the eagle eyes coupled with facial recognition technology would provide clues on the whereabouts of a wanted individual. As an evidence, investigators of the 7 July London bombings – simultaneous attacks on public transports in the morning rush hour that claimed hundreds of lives and injured more – used CCTVs to trace the mindless, heartless bombers. Closer to home, law enforcers took advantage of the cameras installed in the hotels to catch the last moments before the bombing of JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton happened in Indonesia. Although the damage was done and the social plummeted into distraught and distress, the brilliant use of ICT serves as a stern reminder to extremist that you can hide, but you cannot run.


To tie it up, it depends on the users of ICT to determine whether the medium are beneficial or dangerous. If hackers intentionally want to inflict harm, social networking sites could be horrific indeed. If invaders want to tarnish anyone’s life, the word privacy might as well be taken out from the dictionary. Therefore, instead of centralising the discussion on ICT, let us scrutinise the creators; the propellers; the masterminds behind this technology: the humankind.

QUESTION 2 EFFECTS OF INCREASE IN FUEL PRICES

Money is always an issue in today's era of materialism. Most people need it for basic survival while the lucky few indulge in luxuries without worrying about money. In my opinion, I strongly agree that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will definitely affect the society. In this essay, I would like to touch on the effects this price increase has on society today, namely increasing vice activities, widening the gap between the rich and the poor and affecting the population trend in the long term.

First and foremost, society will immediately be affected by the rise in fuel prices because consumer products will be more costly and this leads to an increase of vice activities. This is because basic necessities such as rice, flour, sugar and so on will be in great demand and some warehouses will store or hoard the items to further increase the price of the product. Moreover, in the newspapers today, reports of smuggling of these items prove that this vice activity is on the rise. For example, the recent sugar price hike caused a furor among the Malaysian society as it costs more fuel to travel to and from the supermarket and when arriving, most places had run out of stock even though the government had allocated 2kg of sugar to one person. Therefore, the fuel price increase had definitely caused more hardships to society today.

Secondly, it is undeniable that the rise in fuel prices leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. This is due to the fact that people are greatly affected by the price of basic necessities such as food and fuel in particular. Furthermore, the rich people will still be able to afford such things but the poor will face greater challenges as the popular saying goes: "The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer." For instance, when money is used to purchase consumer products that are necessary for survival, then less money will be spent on health and dental check-up, educational purposes and others. Thus, it is clear that the fuel price hike will further stress on the differences between the rich and the poor which is such a tragedy.

Last but not least, in the long term the population trend or demographics of the society will be greatly affected. This means that new families will consciously decide not to have too many children in order to increase their quality of life. In addition, society is now more aware of birth control and family planning so this will greatly reduce the population as most families will have 1 to 5 children instead of more. Take for example, new families with less children will surely spend less on basic necessities like food, clothes, transport and many more. Hence, the demographics of the whole country will be affected and this in turn will reduce our workforce which will affect our country's productivity and prosperity.


In short, there are many short term to long term effects of a fuel price increase which includes more crimes like hoarding and smuggling will occur and this leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor as well as a change in the society's demographics. I still strongly believe that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will surely cause a negative impact to society. The government must find a way to stabilise the fuel price at a reasonable rate so that it does not affect the productivity of this country towards achieving the aspirations of the nation for Vision 2020.