8. READING EXAMS PRACTICE

EXAMS PRACTICE READING Reading PART 1 5 points Read the text below and mark the correct answer (A, B, C or D). (Company background Founded in 1982, Ad...

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EXAMS PRACTICE

READING Reading PART 1

5 points

Read the text below and mark the correct answer (A, B, C or D). (Company background Founded in 1982, Adobe today is one of the world's largest software companies, with an annual turnover of more than US $ 1.2 billion and more than 3,700 employees. Adobe has its headquarters in San Jose, California.)

Ability to change is essential in the new business environment, as we found out when we talked to Bruce Chizen of Adobe Systems Adobe Systems is a software company which survived the dot-com crash of the late 90s. As Bruce Chizen, its CEO, recalls, 'By that time, we had already refocused our business. Our strategy had several elements. First, we said we were going to focus our key markets. In other words, we were going to concentrate on creative professionals and people who really cared about the quality of the information they communicated.' They also decided to focus on documents and to streamline the company. 'Our mission hasn't changed,' he adds, 'It's always been about developing designing, marketing, selling software to help people to communicate better. But being able to stay with what we do well – and then growing the number of our constituents (people who use our programmes) – was a major transformation for the company. 'The biggest growth opportunity for Adobe is around documents. On the desktop, our approach has been to use Acrobat. So far, we've only sold about 14 million new units of Acrobat. According to Microsoft, there are at least 200 million knowledge workers who have Microsoft Office. We believe at least 60 million of them want to send reliable documents – either through email, or on the web, or through networks. We think Acrobat is a greta solution for that.' The company has gone through various transformations. One involved changing the way they did business. The second involved focusing on new products. And the third involved moving towards new customer bases, especially business clients. But, as Chizen recognises, the key to successful change is the people working for the company. 'Employment was easy and attractive, so someone who left Adobe could get a job somwhere else with relatively little risk and a great deal of upside. In fact, back then, 20% of the people in the company were leaving on an annual basis, which is a lot. So the people who chose to stay really saw the potential in this company. And because we had committed employees, the motivation to change was there. 'It was important that the employees felt proud about what they were doing; that they believed what they were doing was having an impact on the world. For examlpe, the type you see is probably an Adobe font. The image you see on the web was probably touched by Adobe Photoshop. The title effect you see in a movie was probably enhanced by Adobe After Effects. And just about any important document you see on the web is communicated with PDF and Acrobat. 1

Mgr Bożena Bielak

Practice for Standard Examination / Exams practice: reading

'The fact that we have had that kind of impact on society – and the belief that we could continue to have impact on society – is, I believe, what has motivated our employees more than anything else. It certainly wasn't the money, because they could have gone to a lot of other places to get rich. It was the potential that we had as an organisation, the richness of technology and innovation, and our ability to direct that against real customer solutions.' Adapted from [email protected]

1. How did Adobe survive the dot-com crash? A They changed before it happened. B They changed their markets. C They took on new staff. D They reduced the size of the company. 2. According to paragraph 2, what is Adobe's main objective? A To become the world's largest software company. B To become a telecommunications company. C To make products which improve how people exchange information. D To diversify their product range. 3. What represents Adobe's main business opportunity? A A new operating system. B A word-processing program. C A program for producing web pages. D A program for transmitting documents. 4. Why did employees stay with Adobe? A They were afraid of being unemployed. B They thought the company had a good future. C They enjoyed working for Adobe. D They did not want to change their lifestyles. 5. What, according to Chizen, has motivated Adobe's employees? A They are paid more than in other companies. B The variety of products they make. C The belief that all businesses use Adobe's products. D The way Adobe's products are changing the world. PART 2

5 points

Read the text below about developments at a bank. Fill each gap (1-5) with one option (A-E) given below. A) Linking what they saw, they put in a bid, in fierce competition with at least five other financial institutions. B) Despite this, and although he is one of the relatively few to have prospered, he feels that his position is far from secure. C) Gradually, though, as the new structure took shape, the bank began to feel like a modern company with an exciting future. 2

Mgr Bożena Bielak

Practice for Standard Examination / Exams practice: reading

D) Young employees were given responsible positions, including Miroslav, who was put in charge of a department. E) The bank has, in effect, become a financial supermarket, where customers can purchase the services they need 'off the shelf'. The Pan-Slavic Trading Bank When Miroslav Novak started work as a graduate trainee, his employer, the Pan-Slavic Trading Bank (P-STB), was a state-owned bank specialising in export trade. Though only the country's fourth bank in size and turnover, it was well run and had a proven track record.With a client base restricted to national corporations, for whom it financed overseas trade, the P-STB put its success down to reliability and conservatism. Despite its inclusion in the government's programme of privatisation, expansion or major change were not on the agenda. Today, ten years on, Miroslav has come a long way from its modest beginnings. Recently appointed director of the branch network, he now sits on the executive board. 1 .............. Of particular concern is the fact that the P-STB has become a retail bank, no longer dealing exclusively with large companies. This sector has, in fact, been downgraded to secondary status, since the most important market is seen to be elsewhere. The new emphasis is on offering a wide range of products to the general public. 2 ......................... When this policy was first put forward, Miroslav and his colleagues doubted its feasibility, since it was not part of their financial culture. The directors went ahead with their plans, however, and, as success followed success, their doubting employees were forced to admit to having been mistaken. The source of the P-STB's change of direction was to be found abroad; the directors of a bank from Luxembourg had been monitoring the progress of the P-STB as it moved towards privatisation. 3 .................. After lengthy negotiations, including with government deparments, the Luxembourg bank was successful and became the majority shareholder. The P-STB now found itself the subsidiary of a foreign bank. No time was wasted in flying in a team of managers from the parent company. No sooner had they arrived than major changes began to be implemented. 4 ..................... This was exciting and challenging, but there was a high price to pay. The average working day increased from eight to twelve hours almost immediately, and several of the longer-serving staff were given early retirement.Those who remained felt extremely uncomfortable about the contrast in their fortunes. The next few months under new ownership were extremely demanding, and Miroslav found little to be optimistic about. 5 ...................... Miroslav grew to enjoy the demands made on him, and before long, was promoted to his present position, with responsibility for converting all the branches in the network to retail banking. He spends less time than he would like with his family, and still misses former colleagues, but the work itself is more satisfying than he could ever have imagined.

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Mgr Bożena Bielak

Practice for Standard Examination / Exams practice: reading

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