Paper 1 reading (1 hour) Part 1 You are going to read a magazine article about an artist who paints flowers. For questions 1-8

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Test 1

PAPER 1 READING (1 hour)

Part 1

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

Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.

An eye for detail

line 12
rtist Susan Shepherd is best known for her flower paintings, and the large garden that surrounds her house is the source of many of her subjects. It is full of her favourite flowers, most especially varieties of tulips and poppies. Some of the plants are unruly and seed themselves all over the garden. There is a harmony of colour, shape and structure in the two long flower borders that line the paved path which crosses the garden from east to west. Much of this is due to the previous owners who were keen gardeners, and who left plants that appealed to Susan. She also inherited the gardener, Danny. ‘In fact, it was really his garden,’ she says. ‘We got on very well. At first he would say, “Oh, it’s not worth it” to some of the things I wanted to put in, but when I said I wanted to paint them, he recognised what I had in mind.’

Susan prefers to focus on detailed studies of individual plants rather than on the garden as a whole, though she will occasionally paint a group of plants where they are. More usually, she picks them and then takes them up to her studio. ‘I don’t set the whole thing up at once,’ she says. ‘I take one flower out and paint it, which might take a few days, and then I bring in another one and build up the painting that way. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to finish.’

Her busiest time of year is spring and early summer, when the tulips are out, followed by the poppies. ‘They all come out together, and you’re so busy,’ she says. But the gradual decaying process is also part of the fascination for her. With

tulips, for example, ‘you bring them in and put them in water, then leave them for perhaps a day and they each form themselves into different shapes. They open out and are fantastic. When you first put them in a vase, you think they are boring, but they change all the time with twists and turns.’

Susan has always been interested in plants: ‘I did botany at school and used to collect wild flowers from all around the countryside,’ she says. ‘I wasn’t particularly interested in gardening then; in fact, I didn’t like garden flowers, I thought they looked like the ones made of silk or plastic that were sold in some florists’ shops - to me, the only real ones were wild. I was intrigued by the way they managed to flower in really awkward places, like cracks in rocks or on cliff tops.’ Nowadays, the garden owes much to plants that originated in far-off lands, though they seem as much at home in her garden as they did in China or the Himalayas. She has a come-what-may attitude to the garden, rather like an affectionate aunt who is quite happy for children to run about undisciplined as long as they don’t do any serious damage.

With two forthcoming exhibitions to prepare for, and a ready supply of subject material at her back door, finding time to work in the garden has been difficult recently. She now employs an extra gardener but, despite the need to paint, she knows that, to maintain her connection with her subject matter, ‘you have to get your hands dirty’.

Paper 1 Reading

1 In the first paragraph, the writer describes Susan’s garden as

A having caused problems for the previous owners.

B having a path lined with flowers.

C needing a lot of work to keep it looking attractive.

D being only partly finished.

2 What does ‘this’ in line 12 refer to?

A the position of the path

B the number of wild plants

C the position of the garden

D the harmony of the planting

3 What does Susan say about Danny?

A He felt she was interfering in his work.

B He immediately understood her feelings.

C He was recommended by the previous owners.

D He was slow to see the point of some of her ideas.

4 What is Susan’s approach to painting?

A She will wait until a flower is ready to be picked before painting it.

B She likes to do research on a plant before she paints it.

C She spends all day painting an individual flower.

D She creates her paintings in several stages.

5 Susan thinks that tulips

A are more colourful and better shaped than other flowers.

B are not easy to paint because they change so quickly.

C look best some time after they have been cut.

D should be kept in the house for as long as possible.

6 Why did Susan enjoy studying wild flowers at school?

A She found the way they adapted to their surroundings fascinating.

B She used the lessons as a good excuse to get out of school.

C She was attracted by their different colours and shapes.

D She wanted to learn how to make copies of them in material.

7 How does the writer describe Susan’s attitude to her garden?

A She thinks children should be allowed to enjoy it.

B She prefers planting flowers from overseas.

C She likes a certain amount of disorder.

D She dislikes criticism of her planting methods.

8 What point is Susan making in the final paragraph?

A It’s essential to find the time to paint even if there is gardening to be done.

B It’s important not to leave the gardening entirely to other people.

C It’s good to have expert help when you grow plants.

D It’s hard to do exhibitions if there are not enough plants ready in the garden.

Test 1

Part 2

You are going to read a magazine article about letter writing. Seven sentences have been removed from the article. Choose from the sentences A-H the one which fits each gap (9-15). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.

Drop me a line!

In our fast world of phones, emails and computers, the old-fashioned art of letter writing is at risk of disappearing altogether. Yet, to me, there is something about receiving a letter that cannot be matched by any other form of communication. There is the excitement of its arrival, the pleasure of seeing who it is from and, finally, the enjoyment of the contents.

Letter writing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It probably began with the little notes I would write to my mother. My mother, also, always insisted I write my own thank-you letters for Christmas and birthday presents.

When I left home at 18 to train as a doctor in London, I would write once a week, and so would my mother. Occasionally my father would write and it was always a joy to receive his long, amusing letters.

Of course, we also made phone calls but it is the letters I remember most.

There were also letters from my boyfriends. In my youth I seemed to attract people who had to work or study away at some time and I was only able to stay in touch by correspondence. I found that I could often express myself more easily in writing than by talking.

I love the letters that come with birthday or Christmas cards. And it’s even nicer

when it’s an airmail envelope with beautiful stamps. My overseas letters arrive from Mangala in Sri Lanka, from someone I trained with over 20 years ago, and I have a penfriend in Australia and another in Vancouver.

Then there’s the lady who writes to me from France. If we hadn’t started talking in a restaurant on the way home from holiday, if my husband hadn’t taken her photo and if I hadn’t asked her for her address, I would never have been able to write to her. As it is, we now have a regular correspondence. I can improve my French (she speaks no English); we have stayed at her home twice and she has stayed with us.

My biggest letter-writing success, however, came this summer, when my family and I stayed with my American penfriend in Texas.

Everyone was amazed that a correspondence could last so long. The local press even considered the correspondence worth reporting on the front page.

I am pleased that my children are carrying on the tradition. Like my mother before me, I insist they write their own thank-you letters. My daughter writes me little letters, just as I did to my mother. However convenient communicating by email may appear to be, I strongly urge readers not to allow letter writing to become another ‘lost art’.

Paper 1 Reading

A Most of the letters from home contained just everyday events concerning my parents and their friends.

B We had been corresponding for 29 years but had never met.

C It didn’t matter how short or untidy they were as long as they were letters.

D Notes are appreciated, but how much better to have a year’s supply of news!

E Poor handwriting can spoil your enjoyment of a letter.

F But instead of harming the relationships, letter writing seemed to improve them.

G She and my son have penfriends of their own in Texas, organised by my penfriend.

H More important, if she hadn't replied, we would be the poorer for it.

Test 1

Part 3

You are going to read a magazine article in which five people talk about railway journeys. For questions 16-30, choose from the people (A-E). The people may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.

Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.

Which person or people

found on returning years later that nothing had changed?

was unsure of the number of passengers on the train?

enjoyed the company of fellow passengers?

found the views from the train dramatic?

welcomed a chance to relax on the trip?

was never disappointed by the journey?

has a reason for feeling grateful to one special train?

travelled on a railway which is no longer in regular service?

regretted not going on a particular train trip?

used to travel on the railway whenever possible?

learnt an interesting piece of information on a train journey?

took a train which travelled from one country to another?

says that the railway had been looked after by unpaid helpers?

was once considered not old enough to travel by train?

Paper 1 Reading

On the rails

Five celebrities tell Andrew Morgan their favourite memories of railway journeys.


Andrea Thompson - Newsreader

I fell in love with the south of France a long time ago and try to get back there as often as I can. There’s a local train from Cannes along the coast which crosses the border with Italy. It takes you past some of the most amazing seascapes. It never matters what the weather is like, or what time of the year it is, it is always enchanting. Out of the other window are some of the best back gardens and residences in the whole of France. You feel like someone peeping into the property of the rich and famous. The travellers themselves are always lively because there is an interesting mix of tourists and locals, all with different itineraries but all admirers of the breathtaking journey.


Raj Patel - Explorer

I have enjoyed so many rail journeys through the years, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Nile Valley Express, which runs across the desert of northern Sudan. The one misfortune in my youth, growing up in South Africa, was missing out on a family train journey from Cape Town to the Kruger National Park. I was regarded as being too young and troublesome and was sent off to an aunt. When I came to live in England as a teenager, I still hadn’t travelled by train. London Waterloo was the first real station I ever saw and its great glass dome filled me with wonder.


Betty Cooper - Novelist

I am indebted to one train in particular: the Blue Train, which took my husband and me on our honeymoon across France to catch a boat to Egypt. It was on the train that my husband gave me a pink dress, which I thought was absolutely wonderful. Someone happened to mention that pink was good for the brain, and I’ve never stopped wearing the colour since. What I remember about the journey itself,

however, is how lovely it was to travel through France and then by boat up the Nile to Luxor. It was, without a doubt, the perfect way to wind down after all the wedding preparations.


Martin Brown - Journalist

We were working on a series of articles based on a round-the-world trip and had to cross a desert in an African country. There wasn’t a road, so the only way we could continue our journey was to take what was affectionately known as the Desert Express. The timetable was unreliable - we were just given a day. We also heard that, in any case, the driver would often wait for days to depart if he knew there were people still on their way. When it appeared, there was a sudden charge of what seemed like hundreds of people climbing into and onto the carriages - people were even allowed to travel on the roof free. During the night, the train crossed some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. It was like a dream, like travelling across the moon.


Arisu Mezuki - Actress

I imagine most people’s favourite impressions of trains and railways are formed when they are young children, but that’s not my case. I was brought up in Singapore and Cyprus, where I saw very few trains, let alone travelled on them. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that trains began to dominate my life. I made a film which featured a railway in Yorkshire. Most of the filming took place on an old, disused stretch of the line which had been lovingly maintained by volunteers. That’s where my passion for steam trains began. When we weren’t filming, we took every opportunity to have a ride on the train, and, when I went back last year, it was as if time had stood still. Everything was still in place, even the gas lights on the station platform!

Test 1

PAPER 2 WRITING (1 hour 20 minutes)

Part 1

You must answer this question. Write your answer in 120-150 words in an appropriate style.

1. Your English friend Bill is a travel writer. He has written a chapter for a guidebook about a town you know well and you have just read it. Read Bill’s letter and your notes. Then write a letter to Bill using all your notes.

Notes for letter to Bill

• Tell Bill what I liked about his chapter - places to visit,…

• Give Bill correct information about

- parking in city centre

- museum opening times

• Suggest Bill includes information about nightilfe - give him details

Write your letter. You must use grammatically correct sentences with accurate spelling and punctuation in a style appropriate for the situation.

Do not write any postal addresses.

Paper 2 Writing

Part 2

Write an answer to one of the questions 2-5 in this part. Write your answer in 120-180 words in an appropriate style.

2. You recently saw this notice in an English language computer magazine.

Reviews needed!

Do you play computer games? Write us a review of a computer game that you enjoy. Describe the game’s good and bad points and say how easy or difficult it is to play.

Also say what age group it is suitable for.

A free game for the best review!

Write your review.

3. Your teacher has asked you to write a story for the college English language magazine.

The story must begin with the following words:

It was only a small mistake but it changed my life for ever.

Write your story.

4. You have seen the following notice in an international magazine.

Is it better to live in a flat, a modern house or an old house?

Write us an article giving your opinions.

The best article will be published and the writer will receive £500.

Write your article.

5. Answer one of the following two questions based on one of the titles below.

(a) Officially Dead by Richard Prescott

This is part of a letter from your friend Matthew.

Write your letter to Matthew. Do not write any postal addresses.

(b) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Your English teacher has given you this essay for homework.

Compare the characters of Mr and Mrs Bennett and say whether you think they have a good marriage or not.

Write your essay.

Test I

PAPER 3 USE OF ENGLISH (45 minutes)
Part 1

For questions 1-12, read the text below and decide which answer (A, B, C or D) best fits each gap. There is an example at the beginning (0).

Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.


0 A. joined B. held C. were D. took

Thomas Edison

On the night of 21 October 1931, millions of Americans (0)........part in a coast-to-coast ceremony to commemorate the passing of a great man. Lights (1) homes and offices from New York to California. The ceremony (2)..........the death of arguably the most important inventor of (3).........time: Thomas Alva Edison.

Few inventors have (4).........such an impact on everyday life, and many of his inventions played a crucial (5) the development of modern technology. One should never (6) revolutionary some of Edison’s inventions were.

In many ways, Edison is the perfect example of an inventor - that is, not just someone who (7).........up clever gadgets, but someone whose products transform the lives of millions. He possessed the key characteristics that an inventor needs to (8).......a success of inventions, notably sheer determination. Edison famously tried thousands of materials while working on a new type of battery, reacting to failure by cheerfully (9) his colleagues: ‘Well, (10)........we know 8,000 things that don’t work’. Knowing when to take no (11)..........of experts is also important. Edison’s proposal for electric lighting circuitry was (12)............with total disbelief by eminent scientists, until he lit up whole streets with his lights.

Paper 3 Use of English

1 A turned out

2 A marked

3 A whole

4 A put

5 A effect

6 A underestimate

7 A creates

8 A gain

9 A announcing

10 A by far

11 A notice

12 A gathered

B came off

B distinguished

B full

B had

B place

B lower

B shapes

B make

B informing

B at least

B regard

B caught

C went out

C noted

C entire

C served

C role

C decrease

C dreams

C achieve

C instructing

C even though

C attention

C drawn

D put off

D indicated

D all

D set

D share

D mislead

D forms

D get

D notifying

D for all

D view

D received

Test 1

Part 2

For questions 13-24, read the text below and think of the word which best fits each gap. Use only one word in each gap. There is an example at the beginning (0).

Write your answers IN CAPITAL LETTERS on the separate answer sheet.



Vancouver in western Canada is named (0).............Captain George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy. However, Captain Vancouver was not the first European (13)........visit the area - the coast (14).......already been explored by the Spanish. Nor did Captain Vancouver spend many days there, even (15)...........the scenery amazed him and everyone else (16)............was travelling with him.
The scenery still amazes visitors to (17) of Vancouver today. First-time visitors who are (18) of breathtaking views are usually directed to a beach about ten minutes (19)...........the city centre. There, looking out over the sailing boats racing across the blue water, visitors see Vancouver’s towering skyline backed by the magnificent Coast Mountains.
The city is regularly picked by international travel associations (20) of the world’s best tourist destinations. They are only confirming what the two million residents and eight million tourists visiting Greater Vancouver (21)..............single year are always saying: there is simply (22).............other place on earth quite (23) It’s not just the gorgeous setting that appeals to people, (24).............also Vancouver’s wide range of sporting, cultural and entertainment facilities.

Paper 3 Use of English

Part 3

For questions 25-34, read the text below. Use the word given in capitals at the end of some of the lines to form a word that fits in the gap in the same line. There is an example at the beginning (0).

Write your answers IN CAPITAL LETTERS on the separate answer sheet.


A job with risks
ave you ever got really caught up in the excitement and emotion of a good action film, and wondered in (0) film stars manage to perform (25)..................acts like jumping off buildings or driving at great speed? Of course, it is only a momentary feeling as it is no secret that the real (26).................are almost invariably stunt men or women, who can earn a very good (27) standing in for the stars when necessary. The work is (28)..........demanding, and before qualifying for this job they have to undergo a rigorous training programme and (29) ...............their ability in a number of sports including skiing, riding and gymnastics.

Naturally, the (30).........of the stunt performer is of the utmost importance. Much depends on the performer getting the timing exactly right so everything is planned down to the (31)...........detail. In a scene which involves a complicated series of actions, there is no time for (32)..............mistakes. A stunt man or woman often has only one chance of getting things right, (33) stars, who can, if necessary, film a scene (34)................until it gains the director’s approval.

Test 1

Part 4

For questions 35-42, complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Do not change the word given. You must use between two and five words, including the word given.


0. A very friendly taxi driver drove us into town.


We a very friendly taxi driver.

The gap can be filled by the words ‘were driven into town by’, so you write:


Write only the missing words IN CAPITAL LETTERS on the separate answer sheet.

35 ‘Don’t sit in front of the computer for too long,’ our teacher told us.


Our teacher in front of the computer for too long.

36 We got lost coming home from the leisure centre.


We couldn’t from the leisure centre.

37 Mary didn’t find it difficult to pass her driving test


Mary had her driving test.

38 I always trust Carla’s advice.


Carla advice I always trust.

39 We appear to have been given the wrong address.


It we have been given the wrong address.

40 I couldn’t understand the instructions for my new DVD player.


The instructions for my new DVD player didn’t me.

41 It’s a pity we didn’t do more sport when I was at school.


I wish that more sport when I was at school.

42 He described the hotel to us in detail.


He of the hotel.

Test 1

PAPER 4 LISTENING (approximately 40 minutes)

Part 1

You will hear people talking in eight different situations. For questions 1-8, choose the best answer (A, B or C).

1 You overhear a young man talking about his first job.

How did he feel in his first job?

A bored

B confused

C enthusiastic

2 You hear a radio announcement about a dance company.

What are listeners being invited to?

A a show

B a talk

C a party

3 You overhear a woman talking to a man about something that happened to her. Who was she?

A a pedestrian

B a driver

C a passenger

4 You hear a woman talking on the radio about her work making wildlife films. What is her main point?

A Being in the right place at the right time is a matter of luck.

B More time is spent planning than actually filming.

C It is worthwhile spending time preparing.

5 You hear part of a travel programme on the radio.

Where is the speaker?

A outside a café

B by the sea

C on a lake

6 You overhear a woman talking about a table-tennis table in a sports shop.

What does she want the shop assistant to do about her table-tennis table?

A provide her with a new one

B have it put together for her

C give her the money back

7 You hear part of an interview with a businesswoman.

What is her business?

A hiring out boats

B hiring out caravans

C building boats

8 You hear a man talking on the radio.

Who is talking?

A an actor

B a journalist

C a theatre-goer

Test 1

Part 2

You will hear a radio interview with Mike Reynolds, whose hobby is exploring underground places such as caves. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences.

Cavers explore underground places such as mines and

as well as caves.

When cavers camp underground, they choose places which have

In the UK, the place Mike likes best for caving is
As a physical activity, Mike compares caving to
Cavers can pay as much as £20 for a suitable.
Cavers can pay as much as £50 for the right kind of

,which is worn on the head.

Mike recommends buying expensive

to avoid having accidents.

Caving is a sport for people of and backgrounds.

Some caves in Britain are called ‘places of

The need for safety explains why people don’t organise caving

Paper 4 Listening

Part 3
You will hear five different people talking about their work on a cruise ship. For questions 19-23, choose from the list (A-F) what each speaker says about their work. Use the letters only once. There is one extra letter which you do not need to use.
A One aspect of my job is less interesting than others.

Speaker 1

B My job involves planning for the unexpected.

Speaker 2

C You have to be sociable to do my job.

Speaker 3

D I don’t like routine in my working life.

Speaker 4

E There’s not much work to do during the day.

Speaker 5

F I provide passengers with a souvenir of their trip.

Test 1 Part 4

You will hear an interview with a man called Stan Leach who is talking about adventure sports. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer (A, B or C).

24 Stan says that the best thing about walking is that you can

A get fit by doing it.

B please yourself how you do it.

C do it on your own.

25 Stan’s opinion on scrambling is that

A people doing it may need to be accompanied.

B it is unsuitable for beginners.

C it is more exciting than walking.

26 What did Stan discover when he went climbing?

A It was not enjoyable.

B It was harder than he expected.

C It can be very frightening.

27 What does Stan say about mountain biking?

A Britain is not the best place for it.

B It is more expensive in Britain than elsewhere.

C It is best where there are lots of downhill slopes.

28 Stan’s advice on scuba diving is that

A most of the courses for it are good.

B it is easier than it seems.

C you should think carefully before trying it.

29 What is Stan’s view of skydiving?

A It is surprisingly popular.

B It is best when done in teams.

C Only certain types of people like it.

30 What does Stan say about canoeing?

A You can do it in conditions that suit you.

B It is best at certain times of the year.

C There are few places in Britain to do it.

Test 1

PAPER 5 SPEAKING (14 minutes)

You take the Speaking test with another candidate, referred to here as your partner. There are two examiners. One will speak to you and your partner and the other will be listening. Both examiners will award marks.

Part 1 (3 minutes)

The examiner asks you and your partner questions about yourselves. You may be asked about things like ‘your home town’, ‘your interests’, ‘your career plans’, etc.

Part 2 (a one-minute ‘long turn’ for each candidate, plus 20-second response from the second candidate)

The examiner gives you two photographs and asks you to talk about them for one minute. The examiner then asks your partner a question about your photographs and your partner responds briefly.

Then the examiner gives your partner two different photographs. Your partner talks about these photographs for one minute. This time the examiner asks you a question about your partner’s photographs and you respond briefly.
Part 3 (approximately 3 minutes)

The examiner asks you and your partner to talk together. You may be asked to solve a problem or try to come to a decision about something. For example, you might be asked to decide the best way to use some rooms in a language school. The examiner gives you a picture to help you but does not join in the conversation.

Part 4 (approximately 4 minutes)

The examiner asks some further questions, which leads to a more general discussion of what you have talked about in Part 3. You may comment on your partner’s answers if you wish.

Level B2

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