CELPIP Reading for Viewpoints The Value of a University Education
This Reading Module has 12 questions similar to the kinds of questions that you can expect to find on an actual CELPIP Test. Practice Celpip Test Reading for Reading for Viewpoints The Value of a University Education
Directions: Read the following opinion piece.
One of the most crucial decisions that high school students have to make is whether or not to pursue a university degree after obtaining their high school diploma. Then, once a student has decided to pursue a degree, a major must also be chosen. It can be quite stressful for a student, as well as the parents, to weigh the pros and cons of continuing on to university. While it is clearly not an easy decision, I feel that there are compelling reasons to pursue a degree after high school.
The first reason is that a university degree increases employment prospects. Not only that, the kinds of employment that one will be offered tend to be better in terms of position, prestige, and salary. For instance, anyone wanting to become a physician has no choice but to obtain a university degree prior to being able to practice medicine. There is no way around it, if one is set on becoming a physician. Granted, a decade of post-secondary studies is not uncommon for anyone seeking to become a medical practitioner specializing in one area of medicine. Becoming a physician requires years of dedicated studying as well as practical training. That said, the rewards in terms of status and salary cannot be denied.
The second compelling reason is that, in my opinion, a university degree increases our intelligence. There are so many things that one can learn at university that one cannot learn anywhere else. For example, if one wants to study astronomy, then university is the perfect place to study that field in depth. The knowledgeable university professors dedicate themselves to educating eager students on the characteristics of the universe, the solar system, our galaxy, and everything related. A university is a concentration of specific knowledge, on any given field depending on the university itself. It would be impossible to learn even half of what one could learn at university anywhere else.
I really believe that obtaining a university degree after high school is a wise decision. Not only does one learn many things that contribute to one’s becoming a more intelligent being, one also greatly improves one’s chances of landing desirable employment upon graduation. It is difficult to argue with such reasons when one observes the success within society of those of us who choose to pursue a university education. If more people decided to get a university degree after high school, our society would be more intelligent, and more people would have prestigious jobs.
Directions: Answer the questions by choosing the best word or phrase to complete the sentence, referring to the opinion piece when necessary.
1. The writer _____.
a. favours studying at university over studying at high school.
b. is biased towards working after high school.
c. does not seem to support seeking employment immediately after high school.
d. states clearly the benefits of not pursuing a university degree.
2. The writer says that it is stressful to _____.
a. weigh the student and the parents.
b. talk to parents about going to university.
c. consider the advantages of going to university.
d. go to university.
3. According to the writer, becoming a physician with an area of specialization _____.
a. always requires ten years of study.
b. is uncommon.
c. often requires decades of studying.
d. can be quite a long process.
4. According to the writer, we _____ the prestige as well as the monetary benefits of a university degree.
b. cannot exaggerate
c. cannot agree with
d. should understate
5. According to the writer, a university education makes us _____.
a. pursue a degree.
b. get a higher status and salary.
d. more intelligent.
6. According to the writer, university professors _____.
a. are dedicated to their knowledge.
b. dedicate their knowledge eagerly to students.
c. know a lot.
d. educated themselves to eager students.
7. The writer says that _____.
a. what we learn at university is a lot relative to what we learn elsewhere.
b. half of what we learn at university can be learned elsewhere.
c. universities teach us at most twice as much as other places.
d. we can learn more than twice as many things at university as at other places.
8. In the conclusion, the writer argues that _____.
a. society is more successful when people have prestigious jobs.
b. people with a university education always succeed.
c. university graduates are generally more successful in life than others.
d. one can land desirable employment by the time one graduates from university.
Directions: : Read someone’s comment about the above opinion piece. Answer the questions by choosing the best word or phrase to complete the sentence, referring to the above opinion piece when necessary
I take exception to your opinion that we should all get a university education. I myself do not have a university education, and my life has been just fine without it. First of all, because I decided to start working right after high school, my parents and I avoided wasting at least $20,000 on university tuition fees. (9. Addition / On top of that / In additionally / On the one hand) , because I was working right away after high school, I was making money instead of spending it. Ten years later, by the time I was 28, I (10. had saved / have gotten / have saved / earned) my first million dollars. What kind of job did I have? I worked for the city as a parks and recreation employee. I worked (11. hardly / very harder / as a dog / my way up) , becoming a supervisor within two years, and saving up my money and investing in real estate. Now, at the age of 43, I am two years away from retirement, with three houses and two million dollars to (12. me / my name / the account / my bank) . I am living proof that you do not need a university degree to be successful in life
CELPIP Reading for Viewpoints The Value of a University Education
9) On top of that
10) had saved
11) my way up
12) my name
1) c: In the last sentence of his introduction, the writer supports getting a (university) degree after high school.
2) c: In the third sentence of his introduction, the writer says that it can be stressful to “weigh the pros and cons” (=consider the advantages and disadvantages) of going to university.
3) d: In Paragraph 2, the writer says that “a decade (=10 years) of post-secondary studies is not uncommon for anyone…specializing in one area of medicine.”
4) b: At the end of Paragraph 3, the writer says that “…the rewards (of a university degree) in terms of status and salary are undeniable” (=we cannot argue with the idea that a university degree gives us prestige and monetary benefits.
5) d: The first sentence of Paragraph C says that “…a university degree increases our intelligence.”
6) c: In Paragraph 3, the writer discusses “knowledgeable professors”.
7) d: In the last sentence of Paragraph 3, the writer says that “it would be impossible to learn even half of what one could learn at university anywhere else.” That means, according to him, we can learn more than twice as much at university as at other places.
8) c: In his conclusion, the writer mentions the success of university graduates, indicating that they have a higher level of success than others.
9) On top of that: This expression means “In addition” (not “In additionally”). The writer of this comment uses this expression to show that, not only did she not waste money on expensive university tuition fees, but she also started earning money right away after high school.
10) had saved: Grammatically, we use the past perfect here to show that, in the past, after she had worked for 10 years, the result (after those 10 years) was that she had saved a million dollars.
11) my way up: When you work your way up, you start from a low level and reach a high level, after much time and effort.
12) my name: When we have money to our name, that is the (usually large) amount of money that we own