You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Why we need to protect polar bears
Polar bears are being increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change, but their disappearance could have far-reaching consequences. They are uniquely adapted to the extreme conditions of the Arctic Circle, where temperatures can reach -40°C. One reason for this is that they have up to 11 centimetres of fat underneath their skin. Humans with comparative levels of adipose tissue would be considered obese and would be likely to suffer from diabetes and heart disease. Yet the polar bear experiences no such consequences.
A 2014 study by Shi Ping Liu and colleagues sheds light on this mystery. They compared the genetic structure of polar bears with that of their closest relatives from a warmer climate, the brown bears. This allowed them to determine the genes that have allowed polar bears to survive in one of the toughest environments on Earth. Liu and his colleagues found the polar bears had a gene known as APoB, which reduces levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) – a form of ‘bad’ cholesterol. In humans, mutations of this gene are associated with increased risk of heart disease. Polar bears may therefore be an important study model to understand heart disease in humans.
The genome of the polar bear may also provide the solution for another condition, one that particularly affects our older generation: osteoporosis. This is a disease where bones show reduced density, usually caused by insufficient exercise, reduced calcium intake or food starvation. Bone tissue is constantly being remodelled, meaning that bone is added or removed, depending on nutrient availability and the stress that the bone is under. Female polar bears, however, undergo extreme conditions during every pregnancy. Once autumn comes around, these females will dig maternity dens in the snow and will remain there throughout the winter, both before and after the birth of their cubs. This process results in about six months of fasting, where the female bears have to keep themselves and their cubs alive, depleting their own calcium and calorie reserves. Despite this, their bones remain strong and dense.
Physiologists Alanda Lennox and Allen Goodship found an explanation for this paradox in 2008. They discovered that pregnant bears were able to increase the density of their bones before they started to build their dens. In addition, six months later, when they finally emerged from the den with their cubs, there was no evidence of significant loss of bone density. Hibernating brown bears do not have this capacity and must therefore resort to major bone reformation in the following spring. If the mechanism of bone remodelling in polar bears can be understood, many bedridden humans, and even astronauts, could potentially benefit.
The medical benefits of the polar bear for humanity certainly have their importance in our conservation efforts, but these should not be the only factors taken into consideration. We tend to want to protect animals we think are intelligent and possess emotions, such as elephants and primates. Bears, on the other hand, seem to be perceived as stupid and in many cases violent. And yet anecdotal evidence from the field challenges those assumptions, suggesting for example that polar bears have good problem-solving abilities. A male bear called GoGo in Tennoji Zoo, Osaka, has even been observed making use of a tool to manipulate his environment. The bear used a tree branch on multiple occasions to dislodge a piece of meat hung out of his reach. Problem-solving ability has also been witnessed in wild polar bears, although not as obviously as with GoGo. A calculated move by a male bear involved running and jumping onto barrels in an attempt to get to a photographer standing on a platform four metres high.
In other studies, such as one by Alison Ames in 2008, polar bears showed deliberate and focused manipulation. For example, Ames observed bears putting objects in piles and then knocking them over in what appeared to be a game. The study demonstrates that bears are capable of agile and thought-out behaviours. These examples suggest bears have greater creativity and problem-solving abilities than previously thought.
As for emotions, while the evidence is once again anecdotal, many bears have been seen to hit out at ice and snow – seemingly out of frustration – when they have just missed out on a kill. Moreover, polar bears can form unusual relationships with other species, including playing with the dogs used to pull sleds in the Arctic. Remarkably, one hand-raised polar bear called Agee has formed a close relationship with her owner Mark Dumas to the point where they even swim together. This is even more astonishing since polar bears are known to actively hunt humans in the wild.
If climate change were to lead to their extinction, this would mean not only the loss of potential breakthroughs in human medicine, but more importantly, the disappearance of an intelligent, majestic animal.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
Polar bears suffer from various health problems due to the build-up of fat under their skin.
The study done by Liu and his colleagues compared different groups of polar bears.
Liu and colleagues were the first researchers to compare polar bears and brown bears genetically.
Polar bears are able to control their levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol by genetic means.
Female polar bears are able to survive for about six months without food.
It was found that the bones of female polar bears were very weak when they came out of their dens in spring.
The polar bear’s mechanism for increasing bone density could also be used by people one day.
Complete the table below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet.
People think of bears as unintelligent and
However, this may not be correct. For example:
● In Tennoji Zoo, a bear has been seen using a branch as a 9
This allowed him to knock down some
● A wild polar bear worked out a method of reaching a platform where a
● Polar bears have displayed behaviour such as conscious manipulation of objects and activity similar to a
Bears may also display emotions. For example:
● They may make movements suggesting
if disappointed when hunting.
● They may form relationships with other species.
Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs, A-G.
Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.
Write the correct number, i-ix, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
|The areas and artefacts within the pyramid itself
|A difficult task for those involved
|A king who saved his people
|A single certainty among other less definite facts
|An overview of the external buildings and areas
|A pyramid design that others copied
|An idea for changing the design of burial structures
|An incredible experience despite the few remains
|The answers to some unexpected questions
Complete the notes below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 21-24 on your answer sheet.
The Step Pyramid of Djoser
The complex that includes the Step Pyramid and its surroundings is considered to be as big as an Egyptian 21 of the past.
The area outside the pyramid included accommodation that was occupied by
along with many other buildings and features.
A wall ran around the outside of the complex and a number of false entrances were built into this. In addition, a long
encircled the wall.
As a result, any visitors who had not been invited were cleverly prevented from entering the pyramid grounds unless they knew the 24 of the real entrance.
Questions 25 - 26
Choose TWO letters, A-E.
Write the correct letters in boxes 25 and 26 on your answer sheet.
Which TWO of the following points does the writer make about King Djoser?
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter in boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet.
The first paragraph tells us about
According to the second paragraph, what is Stella Pachidi’s view of the ‘knowledge economy’?
What did Pachidi observe at the telecommunications company?
In his recently published research, Ewan McGaughey
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-G, below.
Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 31-34 on your answer sheet.
The ‘algorithmication’ of jobs
Stella Pachidi of Cambridge Judge Business School has been focusing on the ‘algorithmication’ of jobs which rely not on production but on
While monitoring a telecommunications company, Pachidi observed a growing
on the recommendations made by AI, as workers begin to learn through the ‘algorithm’s eyes’.
Meanwhile, staff are deterred from experimenting and using their own
and are therefore prevented from achieving innovation.
To avoid the kind of situations which Pachidi observed, researchers are trying to make AI’s decision-making process easier to comprehend, and to increase users’
with regard to the technology.
Look at the following statements (Questions 35-40) and the list of people below.
Match each statement with the correct person, A, B or C.
Write the correct letter,A, B or C, in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
List of people
Greater levels of automation will not result in lower employment.
There are several reasons why AI is appealing to businesses.
AI’s potential to transform people’s lives has parallels with major cultural shifts which occurred in previous eras.
It is important to be aware of the range of problems that AI causes.
People are going to follow a less conventional career path than in the past.
Authorities should take measures to ensure that there will be adequately paid work for everyone.