Школьный этап 2016-2017

Олимпиада по английскому языку школьный этап 10 класс 2016-2017


Time: 40 minutes (15 scores)

Read the passage below and answer questions 1–15.


There is a strong tendency among many people to think of the dinosaur as a failure. It’s true, of course, that the species did die out. And, in relation to the long existence of the earth, the disappearance of the dinosaur was a rather sudden one. No one is quite sure why they disappeared; and since they haven’t been around for some 75 million years, it’s a little difficult to come up with an explanation that is any more than partially acceptable. One of the most commonly-held theories is that the dinosaur couldn’t adapt. The question very few seem to ask, however, is, “Couldn’t adapt to what?” The dinosaur was the dominant earth species for over one hundred million years. Surely within any period of such great length there had to be considerable adaptation. One of the yardsticks we can use as a basis for judgment is to examine the number of dinosaur extremes. How many orders and sub-orders were there within the dinosaur species? Without going into statistics, I can assure you that there were plenty. They ran from the chicken-sized Compsognathus on up to the more familiar – and much bigger – Brontosaurus. Now let’s apply this same yardstick to man. In the one million years or so that we’ve been around, only four racial extremes have finally evolved; and I think you’ll agree that they can hardly be considered ‘extremes’. When it comes to pure biological differences, the distinctions among the Australoid, Mongoloid, Caucasoid and Negroid races are rather superficial. On the basis of the number of extremes, it appears that man, not the dinosaur, has shown the least variety in adapting. As a matter of fact, man is not nearly the perfect creature he likes to imagine he is. Evolution, in fact, has played a couple of nasty tricks on us. To begin with, it has left us with an appendix that in other animals serves a definite digestive purpose but which, in man, seems to do nothing other than catch a stray orange pit or something, become inflamed, and need surgical removal. Our sinuses serve the important function of eliminating unnecessary bone structure and thereby making one’s head light enough so that it can be easily supported by the rest of the body. In man, however, the sinuses frequently become infected due to improper drainage, thus causing annoying medical problems. Some specialists point out that if man did not insist upon walking only on his hind legs instead of on all four  like other animals, his sinuses would drain properly because that is the way they are built to drain. And finally we come to the great affliction of mankind, the common aching back. Man is born with a straight, unstressed (that is, not under pressure) spine; and if he never learned to walk upright, his spine would remain that way and he probably wouldn’t have any backaches. But once man does begin to walk, his spine, in order to permit the upright position, becomes stressed with an inward curve. Sometimes the stresses prove too great, and injuries are the result. Of course, as a species, man is still undergoing a variety of evolutionary changes. We are becoming taller, growing less hair and fewer teeth, and developing larger skulls, and we may eventually lose one or more toes and an equal number of fingers. In fact, we are becoming more and more specialized and, if anything, less able to adapt. If these trends continue, the people of the future will be a most unattractive group, at least by today’s standards. However, attractiveness isn’t particularly important to racial success or failure. As unpleasant as the Tyranosaurus might have looked to us, or we to him, he probably looked fine to another Tyranosaurus. What is most important, though, is this inability of ours to adapt from within. A while ago, a ‘scientific theory’ which was really a joke, claimed that man had come from some place other than earth and had arrived here fairly well along in his development. It was, of course, nonsense and never meant to be otherwise, but some of the ‘proofs’ were rather interesting. To state them briefly: (1) man can’t breathe under water, so he can’t survive without artificial aid on most of the earth’s surface; (2) extreme exposure to this atmosphere’s natural radiation (sunlight) will kill him; (3) without protection man cannot survive the earth’s normal temperature changes; and (4) normal earth gravity severely limits his activities. Hence, the ‘theory’ claimed, man couldn’t possibly have developed in a place so naturally unsuited to the way he is made. If you stop to think about it, you’ll see that all of these environmental limitations – and more – do really exist, and that man cannot survive outside rather narrow environmental limits. It’s this inability to adapt that may provide the causes for our own racial extinction. If we cannot adapt enough to fit our environment, then we must, as we are doing, keep changing our environment to make it fit us; and it is that changing that is creating serious problems. For example, it’s all very good to develop a light, portable cave called a tent; but tents have a way of becoming less portable and turning into more permanent structures called houses. And not being content to let well enough alone, we must then begin to control the climate in these houses. So far so good, but when you extend this idea of changing and controlling nature to include your total environment – and we are headed in this direction – how many delicate balances are you disturbing? And, more important, what will be the long-range effect of these disturbances? We’re all aware, I think, of the terrible dangers in the polluting of air and water. But aren’t we also taking a great risk when we set out to destroy a particular species of annoying insect or to bring in an animal new to the area in order to destroy another species of animal? Perhaps, thus far, we’ve been fortunate and haven’t quite completed the destruction of our own ecology, but each time we upset the balance, no matter in how small a way, we increase the risk. And sooner or later we are going to make that one all-important mistake. Incidentally, it may well be that we’ve made the mistake already. We are now discovering that our survival may well depend upon the solution of several problems all related to the same question: Will man kill himself through overpopulation? We have more people being born, more babies and children staying alive and growing up (because of better feeding and medical care), more adults living longer than ever before. We have reduced the death rate tremendously – but not the birth rate. At the present rate of population growth, scientists tell us, the earth (which already has millions of people living in crowded conditions that most Americans can’t begin to imagine and which already has millions of people starving to death) will eventually not have enough living space or food for anyone. To get back to my original question, “Were Dinosaurs a Failure?”, considering the fact that they were around for something over a hundred million years and we’ve been here for only slightly more than one million, I think that any answer is at least 99 million years too early. In the long run, it may be that the dinosaur, compared with man, was a great, glowing success.

Task 1. Questions 1–7

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? In boxes 1–7 on your answer sheet, circle A (TRUE) if the statement agrees with the information given in the text; B (FALSE) if the statement contradicts the information given in the text.

1. Dinosaurs’ dying out is frequently put down to their inability to get adjusted to the new conditions on the earth.

2. The presence of a wide range of various dinosaur types proves that this species went through a considerable adjustment period.

3. On the basis of the number of extremes, it appears that the dinosaur has shown the least variety in adapting in comparison with man.

4. An appendix in man serves a definite digestive purpose.

5. As a species, man is becoming more and more attractive as a result of numerous evolutionary changes.

6. Since people are unable to get adjusted to their natural habitat, they are desperately trying to make it fit them, which invariably leads to grave consequences.

7. Of all the delicate balances man is disturbing, the air pollution seems the most long-lasting and thus the most dangerous.

Task 2. Questions 8–15 Choose option A, B, C which best fits according to the text. Circle the correct letter in boxes 8–15 on your answer sheet.

8. There … about the reason for the disappearance of the dinosaur.

A. are many theories

B. is general agreement

C. is no information

9. Dinosaurs lived on the earth … man has existed so far.

A. about half the length of time that

B. about 100 times longer than

C. for an unknown but longer period than

10. Every time we change the balance of nature, we increase … .

A. the population

B. a particular species

C. the risk to ourselves

11. According to experts, unless the earth’s birth rate is reduced considerably there will not be … .

A. enough food

B. enough living space

C. enough living space or food

12. There were … extremes in the types and sizes of dinosaurs.

A. a great many

B. very few

C. only four

13. In comparison with the racial extremes of the dinosaurs, the differences among the races of mankind … .

A. are very great

B. amount to practically nothing

C. don’t exist at all

14. Many of mankind’s aches and pains are thought to be caused by … .

A. our mental attitudes

B. our upright position

C. our lack of sleep

15. The more civilized people become, the … they adapt to their environment.

A. less

B. more

C. more intelligently


Time: 30 minutes (20 scores)

Task 1. Questions 1–10 For items 1–10, read the text below. Use the word given in capitals at the end of each line to form a word that fits in the space in the same line.

There is an example at the beginning (0). Example: 0 decision


When you have made the (0).. to begin exercising, DECIDE


you need more than just enthusiasm – you need to use (1)… EQUIP

which is high quality, safe and (2)… . The Classic Home RELY

Cycle is a basic model with a (3)… distance meter and timer. MECHANIC

It has a strong construction and enclosed flywheel for (4) … SAFE

and both the seat and handlebars are (5) … to different ADJUST

(6) … so the user can pedal in the most comfortable position. HIGH

With a rowing machine you can (7) … the arms and legs as STRONG

well as exercise the back. Brisk rowing is just as (8) … for EFFECT

burning calories as running at 11 km an hour. The (9)… REASON

priced Classic Rower has a seat which moves smoothly (10) … the whole rowing programme, and is suitable for all home exercisers. THROUGH

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