PREPARE FOR THE VARC SECTION OF MBA ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS
His __________ approach to the sport was copied by competitors and quickly
became the standard method.
The museum’s collection is vast and (i) __________, covering thousands of years of
worldwide art history; thus, to (ii) __________ it, it would take several days at least.
Blank (i) Blank (ii)
Picture yourself as a big shot from an unpopular country – leader of an oil-rich bit of the Middle East, say, or a tycoon from a grungy bit of the former Communist world. You wish your family could shop, invest, socialise and study in the richest and nicest parts of the world (and flee there if needs be). But you don't deserve it and won't earn it: you will not stop torture, allow criticism, obey the law, or keep your fingers out of the public purse.
Luckily, respectability is on sale. You just have to know how to buy it. The place to start is London. Among its advantages are strict libel laws, which mean nosy journalists risk long, costly legal battles. And helpful banks, law firms, accountants and public relations people abound.
Laws on money-laundering have irritating requirements about scrutiny of new customers. This used to be merely an exercise in ticking boxes, but has got a bit tougher. Still, a well-connected and unscrupulous bankers will be your best friend, for a fee. You cut him in on some lucrative transactions with your country or company. In return he will pilot you through the first stages,
arming you with a lawyer (to scare rivals and critics) and an accountant (to keep your books opaque but legal).
Next comes a virtuous circle of socialising and do-gooding. Start with the cash-strapped upper reaches of the cultural world; a big art gallery, an opera house, or something to do with young musicians. Donations there will get you known and liked. Or try funding a prize at UNESCO or some other international do-gooding outfit. Support causes involving war veterans or sick
children. Sponsorship of sport works too.
Send your children to posh English schools. Shower hospitality on their friends; they will be important one day. But invite the parents too; they are influential now. A discreet payment will tempt hard up celebrities to come to your parties. Minor royals are an even bigger draw. British for choice, but continental will do. Even sensible people go weak at the knees at the thought of meeting a princeling, however charmless or dim-witted.
Armed with social and cultural clout, you can approach money-hungry academia and think-tanks. A good combination is a Washington D.C. think-tank and a London-based university (Oxford and Cambridge, being richer, are also choosier about whom they take money from). The package deal should involve a centre (perhaps with a professional chair) and a suitable
title; it should include words like global, sustainable, strategic and ethical.
You are now in a position to approach politics. Most rich countries make it hard (or illegal) for foreigners to give money to politicians or parties. But you can oil the wheels. A non-executive directorship can be a mindchanging experience. Invite retired politicians and officials for lucrative speaking engagements and consultancy work; word will soon get around and the
soon-to-retire will bear your interests in mind. Even better, set up an advisory council stuffed with influential foreigners. You need tell them nothing about what you do. Nor do you have to heed their advice.
Your progress from villain to hero will not always go smoothy, especially if you have to start killing your opponents. But when the alarm is raised, your allies will rally to your defence. A tame academic can write an opinion piece; a newspaper grateful for your advertising will publish it. Your fans can always say that someone else is much worse and that you are at least a
reforming, if not fully reformed, character.
Q1. Which of the following statements about the credentials of the person being addressed
CANNOT be inferred from the passage?
a) The person being addressed is unscrupulous and opportunistic.
b) The person being addressed leads an opulent lifestyle.
c) The person being addressed is welcome in elite social circles.
d) The person being addressed does not have altruism as an agenda.
Q2. In the passage, the phrase "respectability is on sale" refers to
a) Integrity being irrelevant to one's acceptability in high society.
b) Respectability being available to tycoons at the right price.
c) London being a convenient choice to launch oneself into genteel society.
d) Media publicity being available to the highest bidder.
Q3. What does the author mean by "include words like global, sustainable, strategic and ethical"?
a) The person being addressed must ensure that the catchphrases of the times are used to best effect.
b) The person being addressed must show genuine interest in contemporary issues.
c) The person being addressed must fund scholarships that promote world peace and
d) The person being addressed must ensure that the scholars wooed do play to the gallery.
Q4. Which of the following is a reason for the author to suggest London as the “place to start”?
a) The money hungry academia in London-based universities can help in projecting a philanthropic image.
b) The minor British Royals are more likely to attend parties in London than in other cities.
c) One’s dubious dealings in London will probably not come to light because of the strict libel
d) All of the above.
Q5. In this passage, the author has focussed on how a big shot from an unpopular country.......
a) can become a political leader in a rich country.
b) can gain acceptance, for his family and himself, in the better parts of the developed world.
c) can keep earning money through unethical means without tarnishing his reputation.
d) can get rid of all his opponents without losing his social, political and cultural clout.
Q6. The idiom “oil the wheels” in the penultimate paragraph can be best replaced by which of the following phrases/idioms?
(1) pour oil on troubled waters
(2) oil someone’s palm
(3) keep your fingers out of the public purse
(4) grease the wheel that squeaks
(5) bet that the wheel of fortune comes a full circle
(6) hope to put your shoulder to the wheel
Although the villagers’ lives were profoundly different from her
own, Jing-Mae felt a deep ______ for the people when she served
in the Peace Corps.
Sometimes late at night Sharon would gaze joyfully at her children
as they slept and ______ in their innocence.
In the famous balcony scene, Romeo ______ Juliet’s beauty in one
of the most romantic soliloquies ever written.
It was ______ to think that it could possibly snow in the middle of
Every evening at the restaurant, the reporter would eavesdrop on
the Mayor’s conversations in order to ______ any information that
could make headlines.
The surgeon placed a ______ on the femoral artery to bind it
during the long and exhausting surgery.
By sheer ______ force, the men pushed the truck to the side of the
road and out of danger.
Based on his recent poor decisions, it was obvious that Seth lacked
even a ______ of good sense.
The ______ newspaper accounts of the city scandal caused some
readers to question the truth of the stories.
The ______ man with amnesia was unable to recognize where
Justin’s ______ solution to the problem revealed that he did not
spend much time considering the consequences.
The events of the evening ______ without difficulty despite the
lack of planning on the part of the host.
It is every American person’s ______ to live the life he or she
After the boisterous customers left the café without tipping, Carlos
______ at them through the restaurant’s front window.
People often referred to Noelle as ______ because she trusted
everyone and even slept with her doors unlocked.