In the PTE Summarize Text questions, you will find a long text on your screen. Your task is to write a one sentence summary of the text. It should be between 5 and 75 words.
For each question of this type, you will get 10 minutes.
Your score depends upon whether or not you are able to identify the key points from the text. Your score also depend upon how well you construct a single sentence with those key points. If you don’t make any grammatical mistakes, you will get full marks on that account.
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San people, tribe, Africa
San, people of southern Africa, consisting of several groups and numbering over 85,000 in all. They are generally short in stature; their skin is yellowish brown in color; and they feature prominent cheekbones. The San have been called Bushmen by whites in South Africa, but the term is now considered derogatory. Although many now work for white settlers, about half are still nomadic hunters and gatherers of wild food in desolate areas like the Kalahari semi-desert, which streches between todays Nation States of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Their social unit is the small hunting band; larger organizations are loose and temporary. Grashuts, caves and rock shelters are used as dwellings. They possess only what they can carry, using poisoned arrowheads to fell game and transporting water in ostrich-egg shells. The San have a rich folklore, are skilled in drawing, and have a remarkably complex language characterized by the use of click sounds, related to that of the Khoikhoi . For thousands of years the San lived in southern and central Africa, but by the time of the Portuguese arrival in the 15th cent., they had already been forced into the interior of southern Africa. In the 18th and 19th cent., they resisted the encroachment on their lands of Dutch settlers, but by 1862 that resistance had been crushed.
Competitive advantage – India, US – programming, innovation
Consider the current situation: Like their counterparts in the United States, engineers and technicians in India have the capacity to provide both computer programming and innovative new technologies. Indian programmers and high-tech engineers earn one- quarter of what their counterparts earn in the United States. Consequently, India is able to do both jobs at a lower dollar cost than the United States: India has an absolute advantage in both. In other words, it can produce a unit of programming for fewer dollars than the United States, and it can also produce a unit of technology innovation for fewer dollars. Does that mean that the United States will lose not only programming jobs but innovative technology jobs, too? Does that mean that our standard of living will fall if the United States and India engage in international trade?
David Ricardo would have answered no to both questions—as we do today. While India may have an absolute advantage in both activities, that fact is irrelevant in determining what India or the United States will produce. India has a comparative advantage in doing programming in part because such activity requires little physical capital. The flip side is that the United States has a comparative advantage in technology innovation partly because it is relatively easy to obtain capital in this country to undertake such long-run projects. The result is that Indian programmers will do more and more of what U.S. programmers have been doing in the past. In contrast, American firms will shift to more and more innovation. The United States will specialize in technology innovation; India will specialize in programming. The business man-agers in each country will opt to specialize in activities in which they have a comparative advantage. As in the past, the U.S. economy will continue to concentrate on what are called the “most best” activities.
Travel, Tourism industry and jobs
Jobs generated by Travel & Tourism are spread across the economy – in retail, construction, manufacturing and telecommunications, as well as directly in Travel & Tourism companies. These jobs employ a large proportion of women, minorities and young people; are predominantly in small and medium sized companies; and offer good training and transferability. Tourism can also be one of the most effective drivers for the development of regional economies. These patterns apply to both developed and emerging economies.
There are numerous good examples of where Travel & Tourism is acting as a catalyst for conservation and improvement of the environment and maintenance of local diversity and culture. Travel & Tourism creates jobs and wealth and has tremendous potential to contribute to economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development in both developed countries and emerging nations. It has a comparative advantage in that its start up and running costs can be low compared to many other forms of industry development. It is also often one of the few realistic options for development in many areas. Therefore, there is a strong likelihood that the Travel & Tourism industry will continue to grow globally over the short to medium term.
The history of marketers seeking the advice of physicists is a short one, but an
understanding of the Theory of Resonance may give communications experts the edge. Resonance Theory explains the curious phenomenon of how very small pebbles dropped
into a pond can create bigger waves than a large brick. The brick makes a decent splash but its ripples peter out quickly. A tiny pebble dropped into the same pond, followed by another, then another, then another, all timed carefully, will create ripples that build into small waves.
As Dr Carlo Contaldi, a physicist at Imperial College London, explains, a small amount of energy committed at just the right intervals – the ‘natural frequency’ – creates a cumulatively large effect.
Media consultant Paul Bay believes that just as with pebbles in a pond, a carefully choreographed and meticulously timed stream of communication will have a more lasting effect than a sporadic big splash during prime time TV breaks.
Innocent is testament to the power of pebbles. Until last year, the maker of smoothies had never advertised on TV, instead drip-feeding the market with endless ingenious marketing ploys – from annotating its drinks labels with quirky messages to hosting its own music festival, Fruitstock. The company sent a constant stream of messages rather than communicating through the occasional big and expensive noise.
So whether you’re trying to make waves in the laboratory or in the media, the people in white coats would advise a little and often. A big budget is not the prerequisite of success.
Disorderly behavior and bulling in schools
Spurred by the sense that disorderly behaviour among students in South Euclid was increasing, the school resource officer (SRO) reviewed data regarding referrals to the principal’s office. He found that the high school reported thousands of referrals a year for bullying and that the junior high school had recently experienced a 30 percent increase in bullying referrals. Police data showed that juvenile complaints about disturbances, bullying, and assaults after school hours had increased 90 percent in the past 10 years.
A researcher from Kent State University (Ohio) conducted a survey of all students attending the junior high and high school. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with students—identified as victims or offenders— teachers, and guidance counsellors. Finally, the South Euclid Police Department purchased a Geographic Information System to conduct crime incident mapping of hotspots within the schools. The main findings pointed to four primary areas of concern: the environmental design of the school; teacher knowledge of and response to the problem; parental attitudes and responses; and student perspectives and behaviours.
The SRO worked in close collaboration with a social worker and the university researcher. They coordinated a Response Planning Team comprising many stakeholders that was intended to respond to each of the areas identified in the initial analysis. Environmental changes included modifying the school schedule and increasing teacher supervision of hotspots. Counsellors and social workers conducted teacher training courses in conflict resolution and bullying prevention. Parent education included mailings with information about bullying, an explanation of the new school policy, and a discussion about what could be done at home to address the problems. Finally, student education included classroom discussions between homeroom teachers and students, as well as assemblies conducted by the SRO. The SRO also opened a substation next to a primary hotspot. The Ohio Department of Education contributed by opening a new training centre to provide a non-traditional setting for specialized help.
The results from the various responses were dramatic. School suspensions decreased 40 percent. Bullying incidents dropped 60 percent in the hallways and 80 percent in the gym area. Follow-up surveys indicated that there were positive attitudinal changes among students about bullying and that more students felt confident that teachers would take action when a problem arose. Teachers indicated that training sessions were helpful and that they were more likely to talk about bullying as a serious issue. Parents responded positively, asking for more information about the problem in future mailings. The overall results suggest that the school environments were not only safer, but that early intervention was helping at-risk students succeed in school.
Talent shortage, war for talent
Some of this panic is overdone—and linked to the business cycle: there was much ado about “a war for talent” in America in the 1990s, until the dotcom bubble burst. People often talk about shortages when they should really be discussing price. Eventually, supply will rise to meet demand and the market will adjust. But, while you wait, your firm might go bust. For the evidence is that the talent shortage is likely to get worse.
Nobody really disputes the idea that the demand for talent-intensive skills is rising. The value of “intangible” assets—everything from skilled workers to patents to know-how—has ballooned from 20% of the value of companies in the S&P 500 to 70% today. The proportion of American workers doing jobs that call for complex skills has grown three times as fast as employment in general. As other economies move in the same direction, the global demand is rising quickly.
As for supply, the picture in much of the developed world is haunted by demography. By 2025 the number of people aged 15-64 is projected to fall by 7% in Germany, 9% in Italy and 14% in Japan. Even in still growing America, the imminent retirement of the baby-boomers means that companies will lose large numbers of experienced workers in a short space of time (by one count half the top people at America’s 500 leading companies will go in the next five years). Meanwhile, two things are making it much harder for companies to adjust.
The first is the collapse of loyalty. Companies happily chopped out layers of managers during the 1990s; now people are likely to repay them by moving to the highest bidder. The second is the mismatch between what schools are producing and what companies need. In most Western countries schools are churning out too few scientists and engineers—and far too many people who lack the skills to work in a modern economy (that’s why there are talent shortages at the top alongside structural unemployment for the low-skilled).
They call it the “marshmallow test.” A four- to six-year-old-child sits alone in a room at a table facing a marshmallow on a plate. The child is told: “If you don’t eat this treat for 15 minutes you can have both it and a second one.” Kids on average wait for five or six minutes before eating the marshmallow. The longer a child can resist the treat has been correlated with higher general competency later in life.
Now a study shows that ability to resist temptation isn’t strictly innate—it’s also highly influenced by environment.
Researchers gave five-year-olds used crayons and one sticker to decorate a sheet of paper. One group was promised a new set of art supplies for the project—but then never received it. But the other group did receive new crayons and better stickers.
Then both groups were given the marshmallow test. The children who had been lied to waited for a mean time of three minutes before eating the marshmallow. The group that got their promised materials resisted an average of 12 minutes.
Thus, the researchers note that experience factors into a child’s ability to delay gratification. When previous promises have been hollow, why believe the next one?
Archaeology, British rules
Human remains are a fundamental part of the archaeological record, offering unique insights into the lives of individuals and populations in the past. Recently a new set of challenges to the study of human remains has emerged from a rather unexpected direction: the British government revised its interpretation of nineteenth-century burial legislation in a way that would drastically curtail the ability of archaeologists to study human remains of any age excavated in England and Wales. This paper examines these extraordinary events and the legal, political and ethical questions that they raise.
In April 2008 the British government announced that, henceforth, all human remains archaeologically excavated in England and Wales should be reburied after a two-year period of scientific analysis. Not only would internationally important prehistoric remains have to be returned to the ground, removing them from public view, but also there would no longer be any possibility of long-term scientific investigation as new techniques and methods emerged and developed in the future. Thus, while faunal remains, potsherds, artefacts and environmental samples could be analysed and re-analysed in future years, human remains were to be effectively removed from the curation process. Archaeologists and other scientists were also concerned that this might be the first step towards a policy of reburying all human remains held in museum collections in England and Wales including prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Viking and Medieval as well as more recent remains.
Geothermal energy – Africa
What is the solution for nations with increasing energy demands, hindered by frequent power cuts and an inability to compete in the international oil market? For East Africa at least, experts think geothermal energy is the answer. More promising still, the Kenyan government and international investors seem to be listening. This is just in time according to many, as claims of an acute energy crisis are afoot due to high oil prices, population spikes and droughts.
Currently over 60% of Kenya’s power comes from hydroelectric sources but these are proving increasingly unreliable as the issue of seasonal variation is intensified by erratic rain patterns. Alternative energy sources are needed; and the leading energy supplier in Kenya, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), hopes to expand its geothermal energy supply from 13% to 25 % of its total usage by 2020. The potential of geothermal energy in the region was first realised internationally by the United Nations Development Program, when geologists observed thermal anomalies below the East African Rift system. Locals have been utilising this resource for centuries; using steam vents to create the perfect humidity for greenhouses, or simply to enjoy a swim in the many natural hot lakes.
Along the 6000 km of the rift from the Red Sea to Mozambique, geochemical, geophysical and heat flow measurements were made to identify areas suitable for geothermal wells. One area lies next to the extinct Olkaria volcano, within the Hell’s Gate National Park, and sits over some of the thinnest continental crust on Earth. This is a result of the thinning of the crust by tectonic stretching, causing hotter material below the Earth’s surface to rise, resulting in higher temperatures. This thin crust was ideal for the drilling of geothermal wells, reaching depths of around 3000 m, where temperatures get up to 342°C, far higher than the usual temperature of 90°C at this depth. Water in the surrounding rocks is converted to steam by the heat. The steam can be used to drive turbines and produce electricity. Wells like those in Olkaria operate by pumping cold water down to permeable ‘geothermal reservoir’ rocks, causing steam to rise back up a nearby production well. Care must be taken with the rate at which cold water is added so as to not permanently cool the source rock.
Development of language
What is text/written language anyway? It’s an ancient IT for storing and retrieving information. We store information by writing it, and we retrieve it by reading it.
Six thousand to 10,000 years ago, many of our ancestors’ hunter-gatherer societies settled on the land and began what’s known as the agricultural revolution. That new land settlement led to private property and increased production and trade of goods, generating a huge new influx of information. Unable to keep all this information in their memories, our ancestors created systems of written records that evolved over millennia into today’s written languages.
But this ancient IT is already becoming obsolete. Text has run its historic course and it now rapidly getting replaced in every area of our lives by the ever-increasing array of emerging ITs driven by voice, video, and body movement rather than the written word. In my view, this is a positive step forward in the evolution of human technology, and it carries great potential for a total positive redesign of K-12 education.