It is really a surprise that after hundreds of years, educationists have still failed to design anything more efficient and reliable than examinations. It is claimed that examinations test what you know, but it is common knowledge that they more often do the exact opposite. They may be a good means of testing memory, or the skills of working rapidly under extreme pressure, but they can tell you nothing about a person's true ability.
As anxiety-makers, examinations are second to none. That is because so much depends on them. They are the mark of success or failure in our society. Your whole future may be decided in one fateful day. No one can show his best in worry, or after a sleepless night, yet this is precisely what the examination system expects him to do.
A good education should, among other things, train you to think for yourself. The examination system, however, does anything but that. What has to be learnt is laid down by a syllabus(教学大纲), so the student is encouraged to memorize it. Examinations do not motivate a student to read widely, and they do not enable him to seek more and more knowledge. Furthermore, teachers themselves are often judged by the results of their students' examinations. Consequently, they have to train their students to master exam techniques which they dislike. The most successful candidates are not always the best educated but the best trained.
The results on which so much depends are often nothing more than a subjective assessment by some anonymous(匿名的) examiners. They certainly make mistakes, because they have to mark mountains of scripts(答卷) in a limited amount of time. They work under the same sort of pressure as the candidates.
1.The main idea of this passage is that examinations are __________.
B.harmful to education
C.reliable and efficient
D.good measures of memory
2. It is clear that the author _______ examinations.
C.is interested in
D.is indifferent to
3. The fate of students is decided by _______ according to the passage.
【精析】A 根据第二段前四句“As anxiety-makers, examinations are second to none. That is because… Your whole future may be decided in one fateful day.”可知，考试决定着许多事，它是一个人在社会中成功或失败的标志，它决定着一个人的未来。故选A。
4. According to the author, the most importance of a good education is to ______.
A.encourage students to read widely
B.teach students how to tackle exams
C.train students to think on their own
D.encourage students to seek more knowledge
【精析】C 根据第三段第一句“A good education should, among other things, train you to think for yourself.”可知，好的教育最应当具有的作用就是培养学生的独立思考能力。故选C。on their own是文章中的for yourself的同义替换。B项在文中未提及;A、D两项只是培养学生独立思考能力的两种具体方法，所以都不正确。
5. Which statement is NOT mentioned in the passage?
A.Examinations can make students anxious.
B.The examiners might make mistakes in marking.
C.Teachers' work is judged based on the results of examinations.
D.Tools better than examinations to test students' ability have been found.
【精析】D 根据第二段第一句“As anxiety-makers…”可知，考试会让学生焦虑，所以A项正确;根据最后一段第一、二句“…anonymous examiners. They certainly make mistakes…”可知，考官在打分时会犯错，所以B项正确;根据第三段倒数第三句“…teachers themselves are often judged by the results of their students' examinations.”可知，老师的工作通常是根据学生的考试结果来进行评定的，所以C项正确;根据第一段第一句“It is really a surprise that…still failed to design anything more efficient and reliable than examinations.”可知，数百年后，教育家们还是没有找到比考试更为可靠和有效的手段。由此可知，D项说法与原文不符。故选D。