托福阅读答题小贴士:当心否定事实信息题中的“陷阱”
2018-07-25
来自互联网
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摘要:

  Negative Factual Information Questions,一般译作否定事实信息题,有时也被称为反向事实信息题、排除列举题或选非题,在阅读十大题型中出错率一直较高。出错的原因,往往被简单归结于“粗心大意”。诚然,在其他题型的解答过程中,同学们往往都是在努力寻找与原文说法最为接近的选项,而遇到否定事实信息题,由于思维惯性,在看到与原文说法基本一致但本该被排除的选项的时候,往往会忘记题目中那个大大的EXCEPT或NOT,导致错选。

  但是,只是说不要“粗心大意”并没有什么用,就像在穿越雷区的时候只是说“要当心哦”并没有太多实际的帮助。只有当我们了解到哪里可能埋雷,哪里可能会有陷阱,才更有可能避开危险,安全抵达目的地。而在否定事实信息题的解答过程中,对题型认知不够准确是一些题目错误率居高不下的主要原因。

  而且这锅还真得由ETS(即托福考试出题人)来背。在其出版的《托福考试官方指南》中,关于否定事实信息题的介绍如下:

  Negative Factual Information Questions

  These questions ask you to verify what information is true and what information is NOT true or not included in the passage based on information that is explicitly stated in the passage. To answer this kind of question, first locate the relevant information in the passage. Then verify that three of the four answer choices are true and that the remaining choice is false. Remember, for this type of question, the correct answer is the one that is NOT true.

  简单翻译就是,这类题型要求你根据文章中所明确给出的信息判断哪些选项的说法是正确的,哪些是不正确或文章中未提及的。需要先在文章中定位相关信息,然后判断哪三个选项的说法正确而哪个选项是错误的。并且记住,对于这类题型来说,正确答案反而是那个说法不正确的选项。

  以上,同学们很容易得出的结论即是,为了答对否定事实信息题,我们需要排除三个与原文说法一致的选项,找到那个说法不一致,或未提及的选项。而在绝大多数时候,这个判断选项的思路是正确的。例如在Spartina这篇文章中,有一道否定事实信息题:

  Spartina alterniflora, known as cordgrass, is a deciduous, perennial flowering plant native to the Atlantic coast and the Gulf Coast of the United States. It is the dominant native species of the lower salt marshes along these coasts, where it grows in the intertidal zone (the area covered by water some parts of the dayand exposed others).

  According to paragraph 1, each of the following is true of Spartina alrerniflora EXCEPT:

  A. It rarely flowers in salt marshes.

  B. It grows well in intertidal zones.

  C. It iscommonly referred to as cordgrass.

  D. It occurs naturally along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic coast of the United States.

  正确答案A中的否定词rarely使得该选项与原文第一句的说法正好相反。

  但是,有些题目之所以错误率高,或同学们在答题的时候觉得难,觉得正确答案不好找,往往因为这些题属于所谓的“例外”,即常规思路看似不适用的情况。有许多否定事实信息题,仅从选项的措辞来看,四个选项看似都与原文的某些内容一致。而这是我们在解读官方指南的时候往往会忽略掉的一种可能性,也即是本文标题中所指的“陷阱”。如果没有意识到这种可能性的存在,遇到此类题目的时候,出错的几率自然大大提高。

  例如以下这道经典例题,来自Westward Migration这篇文章:

  Why were these hundreds of thousands of settlers—most of them farmers, some of them artisans—drawn away from the cleared fields and established cities and villages of the East? Certain characteristics of American society help to explain this remarkable migration. The European ancestors of some Americans had for centuries lived rooted to the same village or piece of land until some religious, political, or economic crisis uprooted them and drove them acrossthe Atlantic. Many of those who experienced this sharp break there after lackedthe ties that had bound them and their ancestors to a single place. Moreover,European society was relatively stratified; occupation and social status were inherited. In American society, however, the class structure was less rigid;some people changed occupations easily and believed it was their duty to improve their social and economic position. As a result, many Americans were an inveterately restless, rootless, and ambitious people. Therefore, these social traits helped to produce the nomadic and daring settlers who kept pushing westward beyond the fringes of settlement. In addition, there were other immigrants who migrated west in search of new homes, material success, and better lives.

  According to paragraph 2, all of the following are reasons why Americans migrated westward EXCEPT

  A. the desire to move from one place to the next

  B. the hope of improving their socioeconomic status

  C. the opportunity to change jobs

  D. the need to escape religious or political crises

  本题正确答案D选项来自原文中的这句话The European ancestors of some Americans had for centuries lived rooted to the same village or piece of land until some religious, political, or economic crisis uprooted them and drove them across the Atlantic. 很多同学在答题的过程中只记得看到了“因为宗教或政治而迁徙”这个内容,从而认为D选项与原文说法一致,就想当然的按照惯例排除了这个选项导致错选。但只要稍微细心,就能够意识到这是部分美国人的欧洲祖先迁移到美国的原因,而不是美国人西迁的原因,反而是可以直选的正确答案。

  而另一道来自Role of Play in Development这篇文章的例题:

  Play is not without considerable costs to the individual animal. Play is usually veryactive, involving movement in space and, at times, noise making. Therefore, it results in the loss of fuel or energy that might better be used for growth orfor building up fat stores in a young animal. Another potential cost of this activity is greater exposure to predators since play is attention-getting behavior. Great activities also increase the risk of injury in slipping or falling.

  According to paragraph 3, each of the following is a cost to animals that engage in play EXCEPT

  A. exposure to predators

  B. abuildup of fat stores

  C. a lossof fuel that could be used for growth

  D. riskof injury from slipping or falling

  正确答案B选项看似在文章中有直接对应的内容“building up fat stores”,但仔细阅读会发现,失去用以形成脂肪的能量才是玩耍的代价之一,而脂肪本身的积累并不是。甚至这里的B和C选项可视作一对矛盾选项,非此即彼,必有一为正确答案。

  同样,在Industrialization in the Netherlands and Scandinavia这篇文章中有一道题:

  The political institutions of the four countries posed no significant barriers to industrialization or economic growth. The nineteenth century passed relatively peacefully for these countries, with progressive democratization taking place in all of them. They were reasonably well governed, without notable corruptionor grandiose state projects, although in all of them the government gave some aid to railways, and in Sweden the state built the main lines. As small countries dependent on foreign markets, they followed a liberal trade policy in the main, though a protectionist movement developed in Sweden. In Denmark and Sweden agricultural reforms took place gradually from the late eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth, resulting in a new class of peasant land owners with a definite market orientation.

  According to paragraph 5, each of the following contributed positively to theindustrialization of the Netherlands and Scandinavia EXCEPT

  A. Generally liberal trade policies

  B. Huge projects undertaken by the state

  C. Relatively uncorrupt governments

  D. Relatively little social or political disruption

  正确答案B选项也似乎与原文中的“grandiose state projects”一致,但联系前半句话中的without就会意识到正好与问题中的EXCEPT对应,这个答案也是可以直选出来的。而这道题的B和C选项也是原文中的并列结构,被处理成了正好矛盾的选项。

  还有更多例题这里就不一一列举了,而我们可以得出的结论是:否定事实信息题的四个选项,需要被排除的那三个一定与原文说法一致,而需要被选出来的那个正确答案,由于选取的只是部分内容,1)可能直接与原文矛盾,2)可能属于完全未提及,甚至3)看似在原文中能够找到对应,实际内容也符合题目,可以做直选。而意识到正确选项的这三种可能性,意识到否定事实信息题的四个选项在原文中都可能有对应,能帮助避免只凭借部分信息就认定选项对错的这种“粗心大意”,也往往比仅仅采用排除法解题更有效率。

  但是再仔细想想,任何题型的正确答案,不就应该是符合题目要求的选项吗。从这个角度来看,并不存在所谓的“例外”,无非是题目和选项的措辞,使得否定事实信息题的正确答案也可能与原文的某些内容一致,刚好能够回答问题。

  说到底,仔细读题目,仔细读原文,仔细读选项,句子要看完整,不要看一半就想当然,等等这些最基本的要求,是在练习和考试中都要始终如一地坚定贯彻执行的。所谓的技巧,无非是对于各种规律和套路的总结。对于前人的经验,从来不是去盲目相信或生搬硬套,而是在反复验证的过程中,去完善和优化,并最终成为自己可以熟练运用的能力。

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作者:冷暖自知
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