English reading test (Multiple Choice) – No.4


Read the passages below carefully.
Then choose the best answer for each of the four questions that follow.

The following are letters to the editor of a school newspaper.

Students should be allowed to study without worrying about grades. Fortunately, most educators are becoming aware of the fact that students have different interests and abilities. However, the regimentation resulting from grades still exists. Grades often stifle creativity. Competing for better grades causes many students to turn down opportunities to pursue music, dramatics and sports. Grades impose an arbitrary standard of success on everyone. I do not demand as some extremists do, that grades be abolished immediately. However, I do believe that less emphasis should be placed on grades. I hope that someday grades will become optional at Village High School.

Magdalena Smith, President,
Drama Club

Let’s face the facts about grades. Grades perform three basic functions. First, grades motivate students to work at their highest level of competence. Second, they act as a reward for hardworking students and as a reprimand to students who do not work hard. Finally, grades are used as an effective standard by which to measure student achievement. Good grades help students to get jobs and to get into university. I’ve spoken with a number of students who have jobs, and most of them say that they were hired primarily on the basis of their grades. My grades helped me land a part-time job and will help me get into university next year. I think grades are extremely important at Village High School.

Simon Harper, Member,
Science Club


1. Simon Harper writes from the viewpoint of someone who

(a) wants business to hire more students
(b) believes in the benefits of good grades
(c) is concerned about students’ creativity
(d) supports students’ interests and abilities
(e) doesn’t work too hard at his studies

2. Magdalena Smith thinks it is important for

(a) students to get good jobs
(b) students to participate in music, dramatics, and sports
(c) students to compete more for grades
(d) educators to have more control over grades
(e) students to be reprimanded for not working hard

3. Which of the following states a fact about grades at Village High School?

(a) They are not useful
(b) They stifle creativity
(c) They foster unnecessary competition
(d) They should be optional
(e) They are currently in use

4. Which of the following is NOT an opinion expressed by Magdalena Smith?

(a) Grades should be abolished.
(b) Regimentation results from grades.
(c) Grades impose arbitrary standards of success.
(d) Students should be able to learn without worrying about grades.
(e) Competition may discourage students from pursuing subjects such as drama and art.



1. B
2. B
3. E
4. A

English reading test (Multiple Choice) – No.3


You are going to read a magazine article about crime prevention. For Questions 1-8, choose the correct answer A, B, C or D.


A recent survey of crime statistics shows that we are all more likely to be burgled now than 20 years ago and the police advise everyone to take a few simple precautions to protect their homes.

The first fact is that burglars and other intruders prefer easy opportunities, like a house which is very obviously empty. This is much less of a challenge than an occupied house, and one which is well-protected. A burglar will wonder if it is worth the bother.

There are some general tips on how to avoid your home becoming another crime statistic. Avoid leaving signs that your house is empty. When you have to go out, leave at least one light on as well as a radio or television, and do not leave any curtains wide open. The sight of your latest music centre or computer is enough to tempt any burglar.

Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place. The first place a burglar will look is under the doormat or in a flower pot and even somewhere more ‘imaginative’ could soon be uncovered by the intruder. It is much safer to leave a key with a neighbour you can trust. But if your house is in a quiet, desolate area be aware that this will be a burglar’s dream, so deter any potential criminal from approaching your house by fitting security lights to the outside of your house.

But what could happen if, in spite of the aforementioned precautions, a burglar or intruder has decided to target your home? Windows are usually the first point of entry for many intruders. Downstairs windows provide easy access while upstairs windows can be reached with a ladder or by climbing up the drainpipe. Before going to bed you should double-check that all windows and shutters are locked. No matter how small your windows may be, it is surprising what a narrow gap a determined burglar can manage to get through. For extra security, fit window locks to the inside of the window.

What about entry via doors? Your back door and patio doors, which are easily forced open, should have top quality security locks fitted. Even though this is expensive it will be money well spent. Install a burglar alarm if you can afford it as another line of defence against intruders.

A sobering fact is that not all intruders have to break and enter into a property. Why go to the trouble of breaking in if you can just knock and be invited in? Beware of bogus officials or workmen and, particularly if you are elderly, fit a chain and an eye hole so you can scrutinise callers at your leisure. When you do have callers never let anybody into your home unless you are absolutely sure they are genuine. Ask to see an identity card, for example.

If you are in the frightening position of waking in the middle of the night and think you can hear an intruder, then on no account should you approach the intruder. Far better to telephone the police and wait for help.


1 A well-protected house:
A is less likely to be burgled.
B is regarded as a challenge by most criminals.
C is a lot of bother to maintain.
D is very unlikely to be burgled.

2 According to the writer, we should:
A avoid leaving our house empty.
B only go out when we have to.
C always keep the curtains closed.
D give the impression that our house is occupied when we go out.

3 The writer thinks that hiding a key under a doormat or flower pot:
A is a predictable place to hide it.
B is a useful place to hide it.
C is imaginative.
D is where you always find a spare key.

4 The ‘aforementioned precautions’ refer to steps that:
A will tell a burglar if your house is empty or not.
B are the most important precautions to take to make your home safe.
C will stop a potential burglar.
D will not stop an intruder if he has decided to try and enter your home.

5 Gaining entry to a house through a small window:
A is surprisingly difficult.
B is not as difficult as people think.
C is less likely to happen than gaining entry through a door.
D is tried only by very determined burglars.

6 According to the writer, window locks, security locks and burglar alarms:
A cost a lot of money but are worth it.
B are good value for money.
C are luxury items.
D are absolutely essential items.

7 The writer argues that fitting a chain and an eye hole:
A will prevent your home being burgled.
B avoids you having to invite people into your home.
C is only necessary for elderly people.
D gives you time to check if the visitor is genuine.

8 The best title for the text is:
A Increasing household crime.
B Protecting your home from intruders
C What to do if a burglar breaks into your home.
D Burglary statistics.


1. A
2. D
3. A
4. D
5. B
6. A
7. D
8. B

English reading test (Multiple Choice) – No.2



You are going to read an article about online safety. For questions 1-8, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.



Protect your computer, by all means, but don’t forget to protect yourself, advises web safety expert, Amanda Knox.

We’re always being urged to stay safe online. But in an era where the internet is part of our everyday lives – for work, fun, study, shopping, even managing finances – it’s not always easy to spot the dangers. Web safety expert, Amanda Knox, explores some of the issues lurking in cyberspace.

Her first piece of advice is to install software and a firewall to protect your computer from viruses, hackers and criminals who want to steal your data or financial information. “Think of these as your first line of defence,” says Amanda.

So much for protecting yourself against intruders, but what about other problems? Say you’ve accidentally deleted an important file or you’ve been at the mercy of a natural disaster. Katy Marsh runs an online photography business from home and when a fire destroyed part of her house it could easily have spelled ruin for her business too. “Luckily I keep a regular back-up of my data so it wasn’t a catastrophe.” Amanda advises that while back-ups are good to have we must ensure we protect our computers to start with.

Whilst most of us are aware of the need to protect our computers, it seems we’re more lax when it comes to looking out for ourselves, at least according to a recent web awareness survey. Web safety specialists say better personal awareness is needed and this is due in part to the rise of ‘Social Networking’ sites like ‘Bebo’, ‘MySpace’ and ‘Facebook’, which allow us to connect with people around the world with similar interests and professional backgrounds. Chris Simpson, a computer programmer, learnt the hard way. “I joined a free online networking group in the hope of making some professional contacts to help me find a new job. After a month, one of my online contacts invited me to take out a subscription to a club that promised access to a network of job recruiters. It turned out to be a waste of money. I ended up a laughing stock with my mates – they couldn’t believe that someone in my job could get taken in so easily.” No wonder then that Amanda warns, “It’s easy to get complacent and let our guard down when we meet someone with the same interests online.”

This brings us to other potential pitfalls. Are the people you meet online who they really claim to be? Can you be sure the person you’re chatting with is in fact a 22-year-old Maths undergraduate from London and not someone merely masquerading as a student to win your trust? Khaled, a postgrad from Manchester University, quickly realised that it was unwise of him to post his phone number and email address in the public forum of an online academic discussion group. He was soon bombarded with unwanted emails and nuisance phone calls. Yet, it’s astonishing how many highly educated people do this without considering the consequences that anyone in the world could use the information to make (unwanted) contact.

When networking and joining online communities it’s better to be cautious about the amount of personal information you share. For example, it isn’t always necessary to use your real name as a username when registering for a service. You could instead use a pseudonym, or a name that doesn’t give away your real identity to other users. And is it really important to tell the world details about your school, college or any local clubs you’re a member of? Sometimes it pays to be a little vague and simply say something like ‘I’m studying at college in Madrid at the moment and I’m a member of a local tennis club’.

If you do experience problems from another user be prepared to report them for misusing the service. You’ll be doing other users a favour too. And if all else fails, check to see if it is easy to delete your account and leave the service if you choose to and that you have the option to delete all your details.

A general rule of thumb is not to post any information about yourself that you would not be happy for the world to know – not just now but in years to come. This includes photographs of yourself, particularly embarrassing shots of you at that party which you may later regret! It’s not always easy to remove information after it’s been posted so you – not to mention your future employer – may have an unpleasant surprise a few years down the line.


1. In the second paragraph the phrase ‘first line of defence’ suggests something
A is the only option.
B offers protection.
C is an instruction.
D shows weakness.

2. The effect of the fire was
A worse for Katy’s business than her home.
B to ruin Katy’s business.
C not as serious for Katy’s business as it could have been.
D to make Katy start to back up her data.

3. According to the web awareness survey, our attitude to our personal safety is rather
A relaxed.
B concerned.
C positive.
D uncertain.

4. Chris first joined the networking group
A because it promised him a job.
B in order to make friends and have fun.
C to assist him in a job search.
D because it didn’t cost him anything.

5. Regarding Khaled’s experience, the writer is surprised that
A people telephone complete strangers.
B people don’t think of the results of their actions online.
C university students take part in online discussions.
D people sent emails to Khaled without asking permission.

6. What tip does the writer give for joining an online community?
A Always use a false name.
B Make sure you are properly registered.
C Limit the information you give to others.
D Tell other users where you’re studying.

7. The writer says that you should report troublesome users
A because other people will benefit.
B so you can stop using the service.
C only if nothing else works.
D if you want to delete your own details.

8. In the final paragraph, the writer advises people
A not to put photos online.
B to apply for a job online.
C not to have any personal information online.
D to consider what may cause problems in the future.


1. B
2. C
3. A
4. C
5. B
6. C
7. A
8. D

English reading test (Multiple Choice) – No.1



You are going to read an extract from a writer’s journal. For Questions 1-8, choose the correct answer A, B, C or D.


Six months ago I made a rash promise. The leader of the youth club in our village rang me in March saying, “We’re thinking of running a children’s playscheme for a day in October half-term. Would you be prepared to help?” My response was “Sure, why not?” In truth I was a little flattered to be asked, even though working as a care assistant with old people hardly qualified me for the role. Still, I duly put the date in my diary and of course I forgot all about it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but time has a habit of speeding along faster than a police car chasing a robber and, before I knew it, the day was dawning.

I arrived at the youth centre that morning feeling full of trepidation. There was a gang of 12 helpers including me and each pair had been allocated a particular age group. Mine was the 10 to 11 year olds. Even with the planning meeting I had attended the week before, I worried about whether I was up to the task. Why hadn’t I read through the copious lesson plans we were given beforehand? And wasn’t the average 10-year-old more interested in the latest Play Station game than making things with paper and glue?

All too quickly the children began arriving. The look of relief on parents’ faces as they handed their offspring over to us was quite comical. A handful of the children were already members of the club but the other forty five or so were from the local primary schools. Again I asked myself why I had elected to spend a day with all these ‘little monsters’ especially when I have two all of my own to contend with!

I needn’t have worried of course as it turned out to be a marvellous day. We watched entertaining dvd clips, learned ‘action’ songs, made clay pyramids, decorated biscuits, played memory games and spent some time in quiet reflection. I say ‘we’ because I rediscovered my inner child and joined in all the activities.

The particular highlight for me was the final rendition of “He’s got the whole world in his hands” in the closing part of the day. The children knew the words and actions off by heart and sang so loudly it was almost enough to bring the roof down. It’s difficult to explain those moments; only that the body tingles with the pleasure of having witnessed something so magical.

Of course there were also moments of great poignancy. I found it difficult to stop thinking of one little girl, who mentioned oh-so-casually that her mum was in hospital and would be there for a long time. It’s easy for us adults to idealise childhood and forget that some children have their own burden of anxieties and concerns. When I got home utterly exhausted, still with modelling clay under my fingernails, I reflected on what a privilege it had been.

There was one disappointment for the children and that was that the playscheme was only running for a day, and not the whole week. As I said farewell to my group, one of the children turned and said “Can we do it again in the next holiday, Miss?” My response was, “Sure, why not?”

1. When the offer of the job was made the writer
a) felt she had made a mistake to agree.
b) thought she had appropriate experience for the job.
c) believed she shouldn’t have been asked.
d) gave the impression she wasn’t sure about accepting the job.

2. When the day arrived the writer was surprised
a) that the day had come round so quickly.
b) because she’d forgotten to write down the date.
c) because she witnessed a car chase on the way.
d) that she woke up at dawn.

3. When the writer arrived to start her job she
a) put the children into pairs.
b) realised she should have done more preparation.
c) felt confident she could deal with 10 and 11 year olds.
d) saw the children had brought their own electronic games to play with.

4. According to the writer, the parents were
a) happy to stay with their children all day.
b) worried about children from the other schools.
c) nervous that their children might not behave themselves.
d) glad to leave their children.

5. The writer needn’t have worried because
a) the children were quiet during the day.
b) the children weren’t doing messy activities.
c) she had fun herself.
d) the time passed quickly.

6. The writer’s best moment
a) occurred in the middle of the day.
b) took her by surprise.
c) was hard to put into words.
d) was when the day was over.

7. According to the writer, adults
a)think that being a child is a privilege.
b) sometimes forget that children have worries too.
c) are usually exhausted by bringing up their children.
d) don’t have a stressful life.

8. What is the writer’s attitude by the end of the day?
a) She could imagine doing the job again next time.
b) She was sad to say good bye to the chidlren.
c) She was disappointed with the experience.
d) She hopes the playscheme will be longer in future.


1. a)
2. a)
3. b)
4. d)
5. c)
6. c)
7. b)
8. a)