English Reading Tests

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

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Section 5

In the following text, two second-year university students are writing about their first-year experiences on a university information-sharing website for new students in the Department of Psychology. Read the text and choose the most appropriate answer to the questions below (1-5) from 1 to 4.

Message from Eri

My experience

Hi! I’m Eri, a second year psychology student. Have you thought about which courses to take yet? Unlike in high school, where your classes and time schedule are mostly decided for you, here you have a lot more flexibility. Also, there are no Saturday classes! The freedom is cool, but you need to plan your schedule carefully, I’ll share my experiences and make recommendations so that you might get some ideas about how to create the best schedule for yourself.

My original plan was to take as many courses as possible in my first two years and then have a more open schedule from my third year. Even as a kid, I was someone who liked to finish all of my homework at the beginning of summer so that I’d have plenty of time to have fun during the rest of my vacation. However, this initial plan did not quite work out, and I had to change my schedule for the second year.

At first, I scheduled 14 classes a week. Because I left one day completely open for my part-time job, I had to have four classes in a row on three of the other days. I was used to attending classes all day in high school, but I didn’t realize how difficult university lectures would be. By fourth period, I was usually too exhausted to concentrate, and I ended up failing two afternoon classes. What’s more, I had no time to review my notes or readings right before class on those full days, and that eventually hurt my test scores as well as my final grades.

My advice

Now that I’ve told you about my first year, I’d like to give you a couple of recommendations for your weekly schedules. First, don’t schedule four classes on one day. You’ll get too tired by the end of the day. Also, try to have a break or free period between classes in order to leave time to prepare for your next class. It’s best to avoid scheduling two classes in a row. I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas, and maybe even learned from my mistakes.

Message from Kosuke

My experience

Congratulations and welcome! There’s a lot to think about when making your schedules, and maybe my experience and advice will point you in the right direction. Overall, I did pretty well scheduling my first year courses. The best thing I did was to take Professor Sawada’s Introductory Psychology right away because the course topics are essential for all the other psychology courses.

One of my concerns was how many classes to take per semester. Because I hate to have too many classes in one year, I chose to balance them out. By taking eight classes per semester, I can earn all the credits I need to graduate in four years. So, here’s the routine I’ve established: work part-time in the mornings, take two afternoon classes, and have Wednesdays off for my club activity. This works for me because I won’t be able to keep getting good grades if I take more than eight classes. However, one problem is that I’ll have to take the same number of classes in my third and fourth years. I’ll also have to start job hunting which will probably affect my daily routine. I may need to quit my club activity or part-time job, which is too bad.

My advice

Maybe my personal routine doesn’t work for you, but here’s some advice you really need for your first year. Along with Introductory Psychology on Tuesday third period, another good course to take early on is Statistics, which is always held on Thursday during fourth period. You may also want to find out your advisor’s office hours and fit that into your schedule so you can visit if necessary. I know it’s a lot to think about at first, but it gets easier. Don’t worry! Have fun with your first year of college!

No.1 Eri describes herself as a person who [ 41 ].

1.doesn’t worry about getting high grades
2.is flexible and creative
3.is willing to take risks
4.tries to finish all of her work early

No.2 After her first year, Eri adjusted her plan because she [ 42 ].

1.couldn’t join the club that she liked
2.didn’t do well in some of her classes
3.had fun during her summer vacation
4.wanted to take more morning classes

No.3 Kosuke’s description of his experience implies that he [ 43 ].

1.couldn’t attend Professor Sawada’s Introductory Psychology class
2.has been satisfied with the grades he has gotten so far
3.was used to having classes all day when he was in high school
4.will not change his everyday schedule in his third or fourth year

No.4 When planning their first year schedules, Eri and Kosuke [ 44 ].

1.chose to have classes four days a week
2.included time for their club activities
3.used recommendations from other students
4.used their high school routines as models

No.5 Which of the following shows the best schedule for first year students if they follow both Eri’s and Kosuke’s advice? [ 45 ]

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Answer

No.1 [ 41 ] 4

No.2 [ 42 ] 2

No.3 [ 43 ] 2

No.4 [ 44 ] 1

No.5 [ 45 ] 1

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