Reading comprehension test – level 3

Below you will find level 3 reading comprehension test designed by one of the Polish examination boards. There are three tasks in the test with the answer key at the end to let you check your performance.


Task One

You are going to read two texts. For questions 1 to 6 choose the answer (A, B or C), which fits best according to the texts.

Text One

 India Shops for Missile Defense Radar

 The Indian Ministry of Defense in the next few months will float a tender for missile-detection radar systems in a deal that could be worth more than $500 million.

Senior ministry officials said India must look overseas for systems that can be linked to missile defense systems currently in use by the military, because the Defense Research and Development Organization has not designed and developed a medium- or long-range missile-detection system.

The decision for the tender was made based on a national missile threat assessment prepared by the Office of Integrated Defense Staff (IDS), which also prepares joint doctrine for the services.

A senior IDS military planner said India faces nuclear missile threats from Pakistan’s long-range Ghauri, midrange Shaheen and short-range M-11 missiles. Similarly, it faces a threat from China’s medium- to long-range DF series of nuclear missiles.

The military planner said India needs a mix of missile-detection systems to be deployed along with indigenously developed surface-to-air missile systems. The Navy’s main destroyers also will be equipped with Brahmos anti-ship cruise missile systems that will be assisted by missile-tracking radar.

Nitin Mehta, a defense analyst, said Israel’s Green Pine radar is the most favorable missile detection radar, as it can see the launch of Pakistani missiles if the radar is placed on the border. Mehta noted, however, that procurement of the Green Pine radar would need a nod from Washington, which he said is unlikely in view of Washington’s granting of non-NATO ally status to Pakistan last year.

1.       The Indian MoD wants to buy foreign systems because …
A.     the Indian systems are not as good as the foreign ones
B.     India has not built its own missile detection system yet
C.     the Indian one cannot work with missile systems in use

2.      The overseas systems must be able to
A.     detect and track a variety of missiles
B.     work with Shaheen missile systems
C.     be deployed with missile-tracking radar

3.      According to Mr. Mehta, the purchase of Green Pine radar would be opposed by …
A.     Pakistan
B.     Israel
C.     the USA

Text Two

 A More Global Intelligence View

The Pentagon and CIA want to go far beyond today’s satellite-based sensors to field a system that keeps an eye on the entire globe at once. The concept, called universal situational awareness, does not mean the ability to continuously observe everything, but to track enough objects to provide relevant and timely data.

The CIA studied the technological needs of the war on terror last year, and joined this year with Pentagon counterparts for a follow up that ‘has led to a handful of decisions that have helped us frame our best preferences,’ said Stephen Cambone, the Pentagon intelligence czar. Chief among these is a need for a space-based radar, which would detect moving military equipment on land and sea. It should also be able to take images of designated areas, and gather terrain elevation data for 3-D planning maps. Likely made up of a nine-satellite constellation, the orbiting radar would also work with sensors on aircraft, ships and ground vehicles to focus on items of interest.

The system’s novelty and versatility have sparked a tug-of-war among its potential users in the military and intelligence community, especially the CIA, over what it should do, how it should operate and who should control it. Military commanders have complained that they rank low on the priority list when collection schedules are set up for the National Reconnaissance Office’s satellites. The new satellites will cover broad swaths of the Earth’s surface, making it easier to handle last-minute surveillance requests and they will be tied closely to military communications systems to deliver data quickly. But it remains to be seen whether military commanders in the field would ever receive information from satellites directly.

4.      The new system will be able to …
A.     detect objects invisible so far
B.     get more data at the same time
C.     observe the globe all the time

5.      The main function of the radar would be …
A.     locating moving objects
B.     creating 3D terrain images
C.     photographing selected areas

6.      The military fear that …
A.     the CIA will be prioritised in data access
B.     the system will be difficult to operate
C.     they will be denied access to data

Task Two

You are going to read an interview with Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, the former Director, U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), who is talking about the missile defense system. Choose from questions A to H the one which you think fits best each paragraph 7 to 13. There is an extra question which you do not need to use.

7. _____        It is not my role or my preference to comment on the politicians’ views. Everyone I have come across in the executive and legislative branches that deals with this has looked very hard at the responsibilities of defending this country. Therefore, when I look back and see nine Congresses and four presidents that have supported this effort, I suspect the future will hold the same.

8. _____        To some degree we have demonstrated its usefulness in combat against short-range missiles with the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system. This year we are beginning the program against long-range missiles and we are starting to bring those systems together. And I think we are better off with it than without it, from an effectiveness standpoint.

9. _____        Every day, it’s becoming clearer but these things have a way of working out in operation. So, it will take some time before we know exactly who’s to do what.

10. _____    I wouldn’t say they are not ready. But what we are finding, especially in defense against long-range missiles, is the Air Force owning the radar and satellites, the Army operating the missiles and command-and-control systems, and the Navy contributing sensors. And only the total integration across all services in different basing modes makes it effective.

11. _____    I think we want to transfer responsibility cleanly with a minimum risk to the system where we can. Where we will jeopardize the effectiveness of the systems we have to see what makes sense. An interim solution could be keeping systems development and support operations within the MDA umbrella longer than we expected.

12. _____    The one thing I really love about missile defense is: If you can imagine it, it can be done. The possibility is on the table; when you look at terrestrially based boost-phase systems, they need to be close to the target, which is why sea-basing is so attractive.

13. _____    The procedures we have, produced the best Army, Navy and Air Force in the world. So they are not bad. But now they are faced with a complex effort, that can’t be met by traditional systems. That is why I proposed and we set up some of the authorities for the Missile Defense Agency.

A.     Do you foresee missile interceptors on submarines?
B.     Have responsibilities of services involved in operating this system been sorted out?
C.     What do you tell critics who say this system will not be effective?
D.     How will you manage the testing and deployment of the long-range missile defense?
E.     Are Department of Defense processes up to developing such a complex system?
F.      How do you respond to Senator Kerry’s call for less missile defense spending?
G.    So what is the way out?
H.    You have doubts whether the services are prepared to run the system. Are they?

Task Three

You are going to read a newspaper article. For questions 14 to 20, choose the answer (A, B, C or D), which fits best according to the text.

Making New Rules for Nukes

American presidents have to sneak into Pakistan. Bill Clinton did it in 2000 because of a bomb threat. Last week George W. Bush had even less reason to expect a warm welcome. Taliban and Al Qaeda still find a haven in many Pakistani cities – which may help to explain the “Bush Dog Go Home” rallies that drew thousands of Islamists across the country. Adding to the tensions, Bush had just signed a major nuclear deal with Pakistan’s archrival, India, on terms he declined to offer to his steadfast ally, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. When Bush’s jet landed in locked-down Islamabad – which Pakistani police had turned into a “ghost city,” detaining hundreds of people – it was at night with the jet-wing lights off and the window shades down.

Bush touted his diplomatic accord with India as a triumph. It is one that the president, who is increasingly unpopular at home as well, badly needs. Under its terms, India would be brought back from official outcast status 32 years after it exploded a nuclear device and then refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). New Delhi last week agreed to subject 14 of its reactors to international inspection by 2014. In return India will receive U.S. investment and equipment allowing it to help address its enormous energy needs with nuclear power, thus taking pressure off global energy prices.

Bush administration officials said the pact would solidify the historic strategic realignment of America and India. Even the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, sometime Bush critic Mohammed ElBaradei, said the accord was simply a pragmatic recognition of reality, and a “timely” way of bringing Delhi under some global supervision and strengthening nuclear safety.

But the deal still needs to pass muster on Capitol Hill, and critics there warned the administration could be ushering in a nightmarish new era of loose nukes. Why? Because the Bush team conceded to India’s demands that Delhi’s eight military reactors would be kept from scrutiny and that it could build as many more as it wants. Washington also agreed to remove all U.S. sanctions even though Delhi has not signed the NPT. The result, some critics said, could be a vastly beefed-up Indian arsenal and a new arms race between India and Pakistan. “You can’t break the rules for India and expect Iran to play by them. Or Pakistan or North Korea,” said Rep. Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts. “I think that once the Congress understands what the details of the deal mean, it will mean rough sledding to get it passed.”

And pass it must. The challenge is made tougher by the current prickly attitude toward the White House in Congress. Although the administration barely consulted with Congress beforehand, the new deal requires that both the House and Senate revise the Atomic Energy Act, which forbids nuclear material and equipment from being exported to any state that is not one of the five acknowledged nuclear powers (America, Russia, France, Britain and China) and has detonated a nuclear explosive device.

What kind of signal does signing the deal send to other countries? Start with Musharraf’s Pakistan. The former general, considered a key U.S. ally because of his efforts against Al Qaeda, has sold his friendship with Washington as a boon to Pakistan’s global stature and economy. Now he must try to explain away India’s new strategic advantage to hardliners in his own military ranks, some of them Islamists. It was no coincidence that Musharraf traveled to China, Pakistan’s old cold-war ally, just before Bush went to India, or that China was the first nation to say it opposed the India accord. “America has signed a civil nuclear agreement with India on the basis of what it sees to be its interests,” he said at the National Defense College in Islamabad a day before Bush arrived. “Pakistan also has its options in a strategic context and my recent trip to China was part of my effort to keep our strategic options open.” Jehangir Karamat, the Pakistani ambassador to Washington, said that Pakistan had no intention of escalating. But he added: “That’s the fear. If India ratchets up that kind of race as a result it would be unfortunate.” Bush officials say this agreement is for India only because only India has earned it: unlike Pakistan, it is a vibrant democracy with a sterling record on non-proliferation. Now the president must convince Congress of that.

14.   The new reason for unpopularity of US President in Pakistan is …
A.arrests that had taken place before the visit
B. increasing the number of troops in Pakistan
C.American refusal to provide economic help
D.his unfair treatment of the host country

15.   According to the new deal, India will …
A.lower energy production prices
B. sign Non Proliferation Treaty
C.allow inspection of all reactors
D.receive funding from the U.S.

16.   According to Mr. ElBaradei, the deal would …
A.improve American – Indian relations
B. be a big threat to global nuclear safety criticized by Atomic Energy Agency to control Indian nuclear power

17.   The opponents of the deal…
A.insist on India signing the NPT
B. fear it will lead to an arms race
C.demand control of Indian reactors
D.dread ‘nuclear’ countries reaction

18.   It will be difficult to pass the deal as…
A.Senate was ignored in consultations
B. Congress must change the nuclear laws
C.Congress disagrees with Senate on it
D.Senate is criticized by the White House

19.   According to president Musharraf, …
A.Pakistan was betrayed by America
B. China would strongly oppose the deal
C.India is getting strategic advantage
D.US signed the deal for its own benefit

20.   According to US officials, …
A.Pakistan would misuse nuclear systems
B. the new Pakistani alliance is dangerous
C.only India has deserved such a deal
D.India would escalate nuclear research

Answer key

1B   2A   3C   4B   5A   6A   7F   8C   9B   10H   11G   12A   13E   14D   15D   16D   17B   18B   19D   20C