SLP 3333 Reading test in English

Bulgarian STANAG exams tests

So far I have published Polish tests prepared according to STANAG6001. Since all non-English speakers in NATO are interested in English exams, so are the Bulgarians. It made me search for other than Polish tests and I found those, prepared by the Bulgarian national test team of Ministry of Defence:

Reading comprehension test – level 3 (SLP 3333)

(L3/R/003)

READING TASK 1

Read the text FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM. Choose the correct answer. Circle a, b, c, or d. “0” is an example.

FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM

If you travel a lot, you’ve probably thought about getting a frequent flyer (FF) card. How does it work exactly? Although the programs started with U.S. airlines, they are a global fact of life in travel today. Foreign carriers initially resisted using an FF program; they theorized that it “reduced” the value of their service. However, their resistance resulted in a significant loss of market share to the U.S. airlines that flew worldwide. In the end, they formed their own programs. For the consumer, regardless of whether travel is for business or leisure, mileage and rewards are part of the bottom line.

The frequent flyer program is an incentive program operated by an airline to reward customers for their continued loyalty. The concept behind FF programs is that the airlines want their passengers to become lifetime customers. It is much more costly for the airlines to get new customers than it is to retain the ones they already have. So how do they reward you? The more frequently you fly with them, the greater your awards! Today’s frequent flyer programs offer benefits above and beyond free air travel.

You earn one mile for each mile that you fly on a particular airline. You can also earn “miles” or “points” for other travel and non-travel transactions. Travel transactions can include hotel stays, rental cars, and more. Non-travel-related awards include credit card purchases (you earn a mile for every dollar charged), long-distance telephone services, even mortgages and stock trades! Finally, shopping at certain stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, also provides an opportunity to “rack up” those miles.

Your FF miles reside in your account – much like your dollars in the bank. At this time, most of the larger domestic airlines use a fairly uniform policy: mileage does not expire, but there must be some activity in your account once every three years. The airlines may change their mileage expiration policies, so you should read their most current guidelines. When the mileage total reaches a certain amount, you can “redeem” them for an award, usually air travel.

If you are a frequent flyer, join the program that will allow you to consolidate your miles. This would usually be with the dominant airline in your region. The chosen airline should be convenient for you and the one that has the most flights to the places that you visit often. This is your number one consideration, because when you rapidly accumulate miles and reach the critical “25,000” mark, you can qualify for “elite” status.

Example: 0. Frequent flyer programs_______.
a. offer more than free flights
b. help you travel more easily
c. offer numerous discounts
d. help you earn extra money

1.  You do NOT get FF points if you ______.
a. do shopping
b. take out a mortgage
c. make a phone call
d. rent a house

2.  According to the text, the FF program ______.
a. met a quick and wide approval
b. reduced competition among airlines
c. helps attract new customers only
d. keeps customers loyal to the company

3. For a valid FF membership, you ______.
a. collect points by certain activities
b. keep track of airlines’ discounts policy
c. reach a certain number of points
d. open a new account for your FF miles

4.  The author’s attitude to the FF program is______.
a. ambivalent
b. encouraging
c. criticizing
d. reserved

READING TASK 2

Read the text HOW THE EURO WORKS. Choose the correct answer. Circle a, b, c, or d. „0‟ is an example.

HOW THE EURO WORKS

National currencies are vitally important to modern economies. They allow us to consistently express the value of an item across borders of countries, oceans, and cultures. Currencies are also deeply embedded in our cultures and our psyche. Think about how familiar you are with the price of things. If you’ve grown up in the United States, you think of everything in “dollars,” just like you think about distances in inches and miles.

On January 1, 2002, the euro became the single currency of 12 member states of the European Union. This will make it the second largest currency in the world (the U.S. dollar being the largest). It will also be the largest currency event in the history of the world. Twelve national currencies will evaporate and be replaced by the euro.

The European Commission (EC) was given the task of creating the euro symbol as part of its communications work. There were three things the design had to accomplish: it had to be easily recognized, easily written by hand and pleasing to look at. The EC had more than 30 designs drawn up. They selected ten and let the public vote, which narrowed those ten down to two. The design that was finally selected is based on the Greek letter epsilon, and resembles the “e” as the first letter of the word “Europe.” The two parallel lines through the center of the “c” represent stability.

There are seven euro bank notes and eight euro coins ranging in value from 1 cent to 2 euros. They vary in size, shape and thickness according to their values to promote easier identification. The design of the coins features one of three maps of Europe surrounded by the 12 stars representing the Euro member states. The opposite side of the coins has designs specific to each country, also surrounded by the 12 stars. Although each country has its own coin design, each coin is accepted in any member state.

The original seed was planted in 1946 when Winston Churchill suggested the creation of the “United States of Europe.” He hoped a unified government would bring about permanent peace on the continent.  In 1952, six west-European countries took Churchill’s suggestion and created the European Coal and Steel Community. In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed by six European countries, declaring the goal of creating a common European market. After many false starts, the process of creating the Euro got its real start in 1989, when the Delors Report was published by Jacques Delors, president of the European Commission.

 Example 0: The concept of currency______.
a. is a peculiarity of modern economies
b. is part of people’s cultural identity
c. expresses familiarization with prices
d. lacks universally recognized meaning

1. The design of the euro symbol aimed at ______.
a. imitating other currency symbols
b. representing unity and security
c. symbolizing Europe’s past
d. facilitating identification

2. The European Commission was ______ the euro symbol.
a. established to design
b. assigned to create
c. involved in promoting
d. responsible for sanctioning

3. The coins of each member country ______.
a. symbolize its status in the union
b. feature a map on both sides
c. share no common elements
d. repeat the star pattern

4. The creation of the euro ______.
a. coincided with an EU anniversary
b. was advocated by Winston Churchill
c. was marked by numerous futile attempts
d. contributed to permanent peace in Europe

READING TASK 3

Read the text GUNS, BUTTER AND THE DEFICIT. Choose the correct answer.  Circle a, b, c, or d. „0‟ is an example.

GUNS, BUTTER AND THE DEFICIT

In the past two years we’ve seen large increases in funding for all the instruments of American policy. Whether you like or dislike George Bush’s foreign policy, there’s no denying he has outlined an ambitious role for America in the world. Except that, within a few years, this policy is likely to collapse.

No, the problem isn’t Iraq or Afghanistan. The greatest threat to America’s primacy in the world comes not from its overseas commitments. It’s the result of America’s chronically unbalanced domestic finances. The mounting federal budget deficits will mean sharp cutbacks in American military and foreign-affairs spending. We will see a forced retreat of
America’s foreign policy similar to post-Vietnam War years – only the cuts this time will be deeper and the chaos far greater.

The United States can easily afford its world role thanks to a $10 trillion national economy. But America is an empire without an imperial culture. Foreign affairs are seen as the most dispensable part of the budget. Even military spending, protected because it is a series of jobs programs, has always been easy to cut down. The commitments that make up America’s world role are tolerated as long as the economy is growing and the budget is large enough to accommodate everything. But if there were a choice between guns and butter, there is little doubt what Americans would choose.

With intelligent fiscal management, such a choice would not present itself. But this is not what we have in Washington these days. Congress is irresponsible, but President Bush has not vetoed a single bill since he took office, and he now beats all presidents but Lyndon Johnson at domestic spending. At some point, however, the budget will be under severe pressure and Congress will begin searching for cuts, and spending on foreign affairs, even military spending, will get the ax. And America’s grand new engagement in the world will turn out to be short-lived indeed.

Example: 0. The author thinks recent US foreign policy is______.
a. based on sound judgment
b. met with total acceptance
c. driven by high aspirations
d. aimed at a new world order

1. The author believes America’s dominant world role is most endangered by______.
a. financing unpopular campaigns
b. increasing foreign-affairs spending
c. leading controversial foreign policy
d. mismanaging the national budget

2. According to the article, in times of crisis the Americans would______.
a. give up taking overseas initiatives
b. favour domestic budget reduction
c. maintain the same foreign policy
d. tolerate a stagnant economy

3. The author thinks that Congress______.
a. disobeys the President
b. lacks effective supervision
c. attempts to evade the law
d. ignores experts’ warnings

4. The article argues that ______.
a. America’s foreign policy will be slightly altered
b. America can recover quickly from loss of influence
c. America’s ambitions are threatened by incompetence
d. America will be forced to cut spending on culture

READING TASK 4

Read the text THE NEW AMERICAN MODEL. Choose the correct answer. Circle a, b, c, or d. „0‟ is an example.

THE NEW AMERICAN MODEL

Over the last quarter century, the U.S. labor market has led the industrialized world in job creation. At the same time, however, wages have stagnated for many Americans and declined markedly for those at the bottom.

Social scientists do not fully understand what has caused these trends. Some portion of the problem is due to the three-way reinforcing system of rigidity in workplaces, schools, and government programs. A vast number of workplaces rely on rigid top-down hierarchies, where front-line workers are largely expected to follow their bosses’ commands. Many schools support this system: they teach obedience when doing boring and repetitive work, but do not emphasize problem-solving skills. Government programs close the cycle by typically relying on rigid top-down rules and regulations.

Regardless of the causes, we have a new economy with new challenges and new opportunities. The facts of the new economy must influence our policy decisions. For example, as inequality increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to protect poor children without policies to raise the productivity and wages of the bottom sector of the labor market. As another example, with computers common at work, physical disabilities are much less likely to be obstacles to productive employment.

The solution to the problem of stagnating wages and productivity can be seen in the nation’s most productive workplaces. These workplaces typically train all workers in the skills needed to work together to solve problems for customers. Moreover, they combine this training with incentives and work structures that promote such problem solving.

This model of the new American workplace has several implications for social policy. First, it informs schools and other training providers about the skills on which they should focus, such as working in teams and solving problems systematically. As a consequence, the certifications provided by high schools and created by industries must certify these skills. Finally, at workplaces where employees are empowered to solve problems, regulators can
build on these skills and work structures to achieve the goals of their regulations.

Example: 0. more Recently US labor market has been characterized by______.
a. jobs but same or less pay
b. higher wages but more work hours
c. more jobs in the industrial sector
d. higher wages for low-paid jobs

1. The text states that recent economic trends are partly caused by______.
a. lack of managerial experience
b. conflicting policies of the institutions
c. lack of flexibility in management style
d. boring and repetitive tasks at work

2. The author believes that ______.
a. schools should be encouraged to instill obedience
b. education is focused on decision making skills
c. hierarchical rules should be strictly observed
d. creative thinking is stifled by institutions

3. The text implies that the new economy strongly depends on ______.
a. overcoming the physical disabilities problem
b. adjusting the management process to economic reality
c. introducing equal opportunities practices in all sectors
d. raising the bottom sector wages and productivity

4. The article argues that ______.
a. only workplaces should issue certificates proving team-work skills
b. the new US workplace model will significantly affect social policy
c. the education system can easily cope with the challenges of the new economy
d. physical disabilities still pose a major problem to productive employment

READING TASK 5

Read the text DOWN WITH DEMOCRACY! Choose the correct answer. Circle a, b, c, or d. „0‟ is an example.

DOWN WITH DEMOCRACY!

Americans have a thing for democracy. Some Americans, in fact, claim to love it so much that they want to make it our primary export. Even those who aren’t particularly fond of the idea of a war in Iraq are behind the notion that we’re bringing democracy to the beleaguered Iraqi citizens. Those Americans who feel that way are those, however, who don’t really understand democracy much at all. There’s a saying that goes, “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.” The more educated American will point out that we don’t live in a true democracy, but rather in a democratic republic, or representative democracy. They apparently don’t know the corollary of that old saying which states, “Representative democracy is when the flock elects a wolf to decide what’s for dinner.”

Our political representatives are supposed to take into consideration the desires of their constituents. Since they want to be re-elected, they often do. The problem, of course, is that poll-driven politicians all too often lose sight of the best thing to do in their exclusive focus on what might be the most popular thing to do. Compounding the situation is the fact that far too many voters couldn’t care less about far too many other voters. They communicate their own selfish desires via letters, phone calls, or election ballots to their politicians; in their selfish desire to be re-elected, politicians then frequently cast their votes accordingly.

Our founding fathers, who weren’t idiots, left us with a representative democracy and a list of safeguards to prevent either an absolute pure majority rule, or an absolute representative majority rule. That list of safeguards is often referred to as “The Bill of Rights.” The first ten amendments were written and ratified specifically to ensure that the government, no matter what the majority thought it wanted, couldn’t take away certain rights considered “unalienable.” At one time, those rights were all but sacrosanct. Thanks to the desires of the majority (or at least a perceived majority), that’s the case no more.

Example:
0. The author claims that most Americans______.
a. disapprove of US foreign policy
b. perceive democracy as their duty
c. doubt the concept of democracy
d. understand what true democracy is

1. In paragraph 1, according to the author, the US type of democracy means______.
a. election results depend on the majority
b. politicians inevitably make good decisions
c. the majority can elect ineffectively
d. the electorate has the final say

2. The text says that US politicians______.
a. disregard their constituents’ desires
b. are mostly guided by the minority’s preferences
c. successfully balance various voters’ demands
d. exchange efficiency for popularity

3. The author implies that the founding fathers______.
a. established a well-balanced political system
b. provided the government with unlimited powers
c. guaranteed the majority ultimate power
d. aimed at safeguarding politicians’ interests

4. The article argues that nowadays______.
a. US democratic values have lost their appeal to the majority
b. Americans consider “The Bill of Rights” obsolete
c. US democracy is undermined by corruption
d. the constitutional freedoms are jeopardized

Answer key:

TASK 1 TASK 2 TASK 3 TASK 4 TASK 5
1.  d 1.  d 1. d 1. c 1. c
2.  d 2.  b 2.  a 2.  d 2.  d
3.  a 3.  d 3.  b 3.  b 3.  a
4.  b 4.  c 4.  c 4.  b 4.  d