【PTE阅读】今天来讲解一道Fill in the Blanks，看看你能拿几分？2017/04/14
Modern marketing is accused of pushing up prices to finance heavy advertising and sales promotion. For example, a dozen tablets of a heavily promoted brand of aspirin sell for the same price as 100 tablets of less promoted brands. Differentiated products—cosmetics, detergents, toiletries—include promotion and packaging costs that can amount to 40 percent or more of the manufacturer’s price to the retailer. Critics charge that much of the packaging and promotion adds only psychological value to the product rather than functional value. Retailers use additional promotion—advertising, displays, and sweepstakes—that add several cents more to retail prices.
Marketers respond that consumers can usually buy functional versions of products at lower prices. However, they want and are willing to pay more for products that also provide psychological benefits—that make them feel wealthy, attractive, or special. Brand-name products may cost more, but branding gives buyers confidence. Heavy advertising adds to product costs but is needed to inform millions of potential buyers of the merits of a brand. If consumers want to know what is available on the market, they must expect manufacturers to spend large sums of money on advertising. Also, heavy advertising and promotion may be necessary for a firm to match competitors’ efforts—the business would lose “share of mind” if it did not match competitive spending. At the same time, companies are cost-conscious about promotion and try to spend their money wisely.
• For example表明了举例的目的，因此整句可以省去。
• Critics charge that这个短句中，critics的意义等同于之前的accused，也就是批评、指责的含义。换言之，这句话的实际目的就是对第一句话进行详细解释。因此可以不用读。
• If 表明了这句话是一个逻辑推论，换言之就是解释。因此也可以省略不计。
• Also以及At the same time都是典型的signposting，后面一般都会有关键词的出现。
Marketers respond to accusations that their activities cause prices to be higher than necessary by claiming that marketing helps people to choose brands that make them feel good and that they can rely on, that these activities are necessary to stay competitive and that they do in fact try to avoid unnecessary expense. (53 Words)
以下是五位同学的针对这题给出的答案，其中有一个是满分答案。大家可以来思考一下哪一个答案比较好，其他的答案有什么不足之处。首先跟大家说明一下SWT的评分包含Form 1分，Content 2分，Grammar 2分，Vocabulary 2分，共7分。赶快比照一下自己的答案，看看自己的答案是哪个分数档位的吧~
A. Some people accuse marketing of pushing up prices to finance advertising, sales promotion, packaging and marketer’s salaries, but marketers point out that their activities add value by informing potential buyers of the availability and advantages of a greater choice of brands; which most customers want. (45 Words)
B. Some people claim that marketers cause prices to be higher than necessary due to the expense of promotion and packaging, but marketers reply that they help people to choose brands that make them feel good and that they can rely on, and that these expenses are necessary for their company to stay competitive. (53 Words)
C. Some people criticize marketing for putting prices up but marketers say they add value to products. (16 Words)
D. Some products, such as cosmetics and toiletries, can be more than 40 percent more expensive than they need to be just because of the cost of promotion and packaging, which adds value only in the mind. (36 Words)
E. There are people who claim that marketing pushes up prices unnecessarily due to increased costs of advertising and packaging. HOWEVER, marketers hit back by pointing out that through their activities, customers can choose brands that given them a good feeling and that they need to keep their company competitive. (49 Words)
B答案：这个答案是最推荐的答案版本。短短的53个词中，对原文进行了较多的Paraphrase，比如confidence = can rely on，又比如competitor = competitive。这些Paraphrase基本都很成功。因此会使得答案分数较高，在此可以拿到满分7/7分。
E答案：这个答案最本质的问题是没有使用一句话，而PTE考试对于SWT的评分首先看的就是Form，如果Form为0分，则Content, Grammar, Vocabulary都不做评分。所以按照这样的评分标准，这个答案也只能拿到0/7分。这点非常重要，各位同学千万不要在这个部分心存侥幸的认为自己即使不是一句话，也能拿到一定的分数。