Reading for TOEFL – Navigation

Reading for TOEFL – Navigation

Questions 1 -10 refer to the following passage.

Early mariners gradually developed ways of observing and recording in their journals their position, the distances and directions they traveled, the currents of wind and water, and the haz-ards and havens they encountered. The information in these journals enabled them to find their way home and, for them or their successors, to repeat and extend the recorded voyages. Each new observation could be added to an ever-increasing body of reliable information.

Ship captains and navigators were not concerned about running into other vessels, but as heavy traffic developed along shipping routes, avoiding such collisions became a serious matter. In all fields of navigation, keeping a safe distance be-tween ships moving in different directions at different speeds became as important as knowing how to reach one’s destination.

The larger the ship, the easier it is to see, but the larger a ship, the more time it requires to change its speed or direc-tion. When many ships are in a small area, an action taken by one ship to avoid colliding with another might en-danger a third. In busy seaports, such as Hamburg and New York, this problem has been solved by assigning incoming and outgoing ships to separate lanes, which are clearly marked and divided by the greatest practical distance.

The speed of jet airplanes makes collision a deadly possibility. Even if two pilots see one another in time to begin evasive action, their maneuvers may be useless if either pilot incorrectly predicts the other’s move. Ground-based air traffic controllers assign aircraft to flight paths that keep airplanes a safe distance from one another.

When steam engines began to replace sails during the first half of the nine-teenth century, a ship’s navigator had to compute fuel consumption as well as course and location. Today, in airplanes as well as in ships, large amounts of fuel, needed for long trips, reduce the cargo capacity, and economy requires that its consumption be kept to a minimum.

In modern air and sea navigation, a schedule has to be met. A single voyage or flight is only one link in a complicated and coordinated transportation network that carries goods and people from any starting place to any chosen destina-tion. Modern navigation selects a ship’s course, avoids collision with other mov-ing ships, minimizes fuel consumption, and follows an established timetable.

1. What is the main topic of the passage?

  • a. Historical records of navigation
  • b. Airplane navigation in Europe
  • c. Schedules and shipping long distances
  • d. The growing importance of navigation

2. Which of the choices is closest in meaning to the word “hazards” as used in lines 5–6?

  • a. Dangerous obstacles
  • b. Safe seaports
  • c. Whales and large fish
  • d. Inaccurate navigation

3. Which of the following has the same mean-ing as the word “collisions” as used in line 16?

  • a. Other vessels
  • b. Running into
  • c. Avoiding such
  • d. Serious matter

4. Which of the following does the word “it” in line 23 refer to?

  • a. Ship
  • b. Time
  • c. Speed
  • d. Larger

5. Where can the following sentence be added to the passage?

In fact, many harbors were burned down from fires begun as a result of ships’ colliding in port.

  • a. After the word “encountered” in para-graph 1
  • b. At the end of paragraph 2
  • c. After the word “third” in paragraph 3
  • d. After the word “possibility” in para-graph 4

6. How are ships kept apart in the ports of Hamburg and New York?

  • a. The port controllers guide ship cap-tains by radio.
  • b. Incoming and outgoing ships are as-signed to clearly marked lanes.
  • c. Ships are not allowed to change their course or their speed while in port.
  • d. Captains use their journals to deter-mine the hazards in port.

7. What does the author imply about the speed of jet airplanes?

  • a. Air traffic is now safer than it was with planes with piston-driven en-gines.
  • b. Radio communication between ships and planes help schedules.
  • c. Collisions of jet airplanes almost al-ways result in the deaths of passen-gers and crew.
  • d. Pilots are now able to predict evasive maneuvers that others will take.

8. What can be inferred about fuel consump-tion in the nineteenth century?

  • a. A ship’s captain had to decide how many sails would be used on a ship.
  • b. A navigator had to determine how much fuel a ship needed for a voyage.
  • c. A large amount of fuel made room for extra cargo space.
  • d. A journal was kept about the amount of coal a steam engine used during a voyage.

9. Look at the word “timetable” in the last sentence of the passage. Which of the following words has the same meaning?

  • a. Schedule
  • b. Network
  • c. Navigation
  • d. Established

10. Which of the following statements is sup-ported by the passage?

  • a. Information in mariners’ journals is better than modern navigation tech-niques.
  • b. Collisions in the air are more danger-ous than those at sea.
  • c. Mariners today have to compute more things than those in the past did.
  • d. Air traffic controllers use the same navigation techniques as sea captains.

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