English Reading Tests

English reading for Japanese high school students: the Common Test for University Admissions in 2013 DAY 2


Section 4A

Read the following sentences and graphs, and choose the most appropriate answer to the following questions (1-3) from 1 to 4 below.

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated by the planets in our solar system. The ancient Romans identified five of them, naming them after some of their gods: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. Uranus and Neptune were not discovered until after the telescope was invented centuries later. More recently, space exploration has helped us answer questions asked in science fiction novels and movies, for example, “Could Mars support human life?” Given the planet’s average surface temperature (AST) of -65°C, it would be close to impossible for people to survive there. We have also learned about various factors contributing to AST.

The most important factor determining a planet’s AST is its distance from the Sun. Figure 1 shows the ASTs of our solar system’s planets. They are arranged in order of distance from the Sun, with Mercury being the closest. In most cases, the farther from the Sun, the colder the planet. However, AST cannot be predicted only by a planet’s distance from the Sun. Other factors must be taken into consideration as well.

One of them is a planet’s atmosphere. For example, the atmosphere of Venus is composed primarily of carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps the planet retain the heat it receives from the Sun. Mercury’s atmosphere, on the other hand, contains no CO2. As a result, although Venus is farther from the Sun, its AST is more than double that of Mercury.

In addition to atmosphere, other planetary features influence AST. One of these is the properties of a planet’s surface. The four planets closer to the Sun are called terrestrial planets because they are solid and rocky. The four planets farther from the Sun are called gas giants, huge balls of gas which lack solid surfaces. Terrestrial planets tend to retain more of the Sun’s heat than gas giants. Other minor aspects include a planet’s size, its gravity, and the length of its day.

Since these factors are differently interconnected for each planet, it is difficult for us to describe AST in simple terms. The ancient Romans would be amazed at what we now know about our solar system. However, there are many more mysteries ahead of us that we have only begun to solve.

Figure 1. Average surface temperatures of planets in the solar system.

No.1 Which of the following combinations most likely represents the ASTs for Mercury (A) and Venus (B)? [ 35 ]

1.(A) 170°C (B) 460°C
2.(A) 230°C (B) 460°C
3.(A) 290°C (B) 560°C
4.(A) 350°C (B) 560°C

No.2 Which combination of factors most strongly influences a planet’s AST? [ 36 ]

1.Its distance from the Sun and the length of its day.
2.Its distance from the Sun and the nature of its atmosphere.
3.The nature of its atmosphere and its size.
4.The nature of its surface and the length of its day.

No.3 Which of the following statements is true? [ 37 ]

1.All gas-based planets have ASTs lower than –150°C.
2.The ASTs of different planets influence each other.
3.The atmosphere of Mercury contains more CO2 than that of Venus.
4.There is only one terrestrial planet with an AST below zero.



No.1 [ 35 ] 1

No.2 [ 36 ] 2

No.3 [ 37 ] 4

Section 4B

Read the advertisement for the restaurant on the next page, and choose the most appropriate answer to the following questions (1-3) from 1 to 4 below.

No.1 Which of the following statements is true? [ 38 ]

1.Eating Green will open its first restaurant uptown.
2.Multiseven has written some songs about Storyteller 76 FM.
3.People can listen to Eating Green‘s opening event on the radio.
4.You must be an Eating Green member to attend the opening event.

No.2 If you buy two Daily Specials, two Senior Specials, and one Pink Lemonade, you will get [ 39 ].

1.discount coupon for future purchases
2.a free toy for a child under ten
3.an invitation to an opening event
4.one free Pink Lemonade

No.3 A customer [ 40 ].

1.can become a member for a $30 annual fee
2.can make an order by phone or online
3.will get free delivery with any order
4.will receive a discount for delayed deliveries

Eating Green
New location opening soon!

The popular, family-friendly restaurant Eating Green is opening its second restaurant downtown, following its success uptown. Now, Eating Green will also deliver directly to your office or home, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You’re invited to join Eating Green for our exciting grand opening event at our new location from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on June 22. Local band Multiseven will be performing songs they’ve composed just for Eating Green. A variety of free drinks will be served, too. For those who cannot attend in person, the radio station Storyteller 76 FM will be broadcasting the event live.

Summer specials from our menu

Daily Special$14Fish or chicken
Vegetarian Plate$12
Kids’ Special$8Under age 10 only – comes with a toy!
Senior Special$1065 or older only – low cholesterol, low calorie
Fruit Bowl$8Sesonal selection
Green Salad$6
Pink Lemonade$4Buy two, get another one free

・Spend more than $50 and get a coupon for $10 off your next purchase.
・A $5 delivery fee is added to orders of less than $20.
・$5 off on orders not delivered within one hour.

Ordering: Call 555-632-0226.
Membership: Members receive a free drink with each order. Visit us online at http://www.eatinggreen.com for more details about applying for membership.


No.1 [ 38 ] 3

No.2 [ 39 ] 1

No.3 [ 40 ] 4