Part I Writing (30 minutes)
Directions: For this part, you are allowed 30 minutes to write a short essay on the topic “Education: Examination-Oriented or Quality-Oriented”. You should write at least 120 words following the outline given below in Chinese:
Part II Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning) (15 minutes)
Directions: In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly. For questions 1-7, choose the best answer from the four choices marked A), B), C) and D). For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.
Selling Expertise on the Internet for Extra Cash
Teresa Estes, a licensed mental-health counselor, watched as business at her private practice decreased last year. Then the single mother turned to her keyboard to boost her income.
Ms. Estes applied to become an “expert” on LivePerson Inc., a Web site where clients pay for online chat time with professionals and advisers of all fields. For $1.89 a minute — a rate she set — the 39-year-old from Marianna, Fla., dispenses advice to clients around the globe. She spends about four hours a day online, often at night, when her daughter has gone to bed.
“It was the economy,” she says of her move to take her skills online. “Live Person is more profitable than my private practice.” Ms. Estes had charged her private clients up to $75 an hour.
As the recession deepens, a small but growing number of people are taking their skills online, offering expertise or performing specified tasks for a fee. Labor-at-the-keyboard sites are gaining popularity as people increasingly turn to the Web in search of work. Internet job-search sites saw a 51% rise in traffic from January 2008 to January 2009, according to comScore Media Metrix, to 26.7 million unique visitors.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... >>
Among the many fee-for-service Web sites out there, at least three are attracting a significant number of users — though consumers should exercise a healthy degree of skepticism when consulting any of these sites. Live Person seeks out experts on a slew of topics, including mental health, financial services, shopping and fashion, as well as psychics and spiritual advisers. Mechanical Turk, a Web service run by Amazon.com Inc., pays workers to perform tasks, such as cataloging products online. Associated Content pays contributors to write articles on a wide range of subjects, from organic flower gardening to how to apply for financial aid.
Live Person went public in 2001, and the current version of the site was launched in late 2007. Today, the site has 30,000 registered experts, attracting an average of 100,000 people a year who pay for the offered services, says Chief Executive Officer Robert LoCascio. Roughly 3,500 people have made contributing to the site their full-time job, he says.