CAE - Reading

Sponzor testu

Part 1

You are going to read three extracts which are all concerned in some way with scientific research. For questions 1 – 6, choose one answer, which you think fits best according to the text.


  • If you’re aged 16-25, we’re looking for original articles of 1,000 words (or less) with an environmental or conservation theme. The closing date for entries is 30 December 2006.
  • Your article should show proof of investigative research, rather than relying solely on information from the internet and phone interviews. You don’t have to go far; a report on pollution in a local stream would be as valid as a piece about the remotest rainforest.
  • Your article should show you are passionate and knowledgeable about environmental issues. It should also be objective and accurate, while being creative enough to hold the reader’s interest. We are not looking for ‘think pieces’ or opinion columns.
  • Your aim should be to advance understanding and awareness of environmental issues. You should be able to convey complex ideas to readers of this general interest magazine in an engaging and authoritative manner.
  • Facts or information contained in short-listed articles will be checked.
  • Read the rules carefully.

1. Before entering for the competition, young people must have
conducted some relevant research in their local area.
gained a qualification in environmental research.
uncovered some of the evidence in their research themselves.
consulted a number of specialists on the subject under research.

2. The articles submitted must
focus on straightforward concepts.
include a range of views.
be accessible to non-specialists.
reveal the writer’s standpoint.


Chapter One

The landing cupboard is stacked high with what Glyn calls low-use material: conference papers and research papers including, he hopes, a paper that he needs right now for the article on which he is working. All of these go back to his postgraduate days, in no convenient sequential order but all jumbled up. A crisp column of Past and Present magazine is wedged against a heap of tattered files. Forgotten students drift to his feet as he rummages, and lie reproachful on the floor: ‘Susan Cochrane’s contributions to my seminar have been perfunctory’ … labelled boxes of aerial photographs showing archaeological sites are squeezed against a further row of files. To remove one will bring the lot crashing down, like an ill-judged move in that game involving a tower of balanced blocks. But he has glimpsed behind them a further cache which may well include what he is looking for.

On the shelf above he spots the gold-lettered spine of his own doctoral thesis, its green cloth blotched brown with age. On top of it sits a 1985 run of the Archaeological Journal. Come to think of it, the contents of the landing cupboard are a nice reflection of his profession – it is a landscape in which everything co-exists requiring expert deconstruction. But he does not dwell on that, intent instead on this increasingly irritating search.

3. The writer mentions a game (underlined) in order to emphasise
the difficulty in accessing some material stored in the cupboard.
the poor condition of much of the contents of the cupboard.
Glyn’s approach to locating items stored in the cupboard.
Glyn’s skill in manoeuvring the material in the cupboard.

4. In the second paragraph, the writer makes a comparison between the cupboard and
the development of Glyn’s academic career.
Glyn’s particular area of work.
Glyn’s way of life.
the current state of Glyn’s research.


Time was when physicists dreamed of a final theory of fundamental physics, a perfect set of equations that would describe every force and particle in nature. Today that dream is being overtaken by the suspicion that there is no such thing. Some even fear that all attempts at a deeper understanding of nature are dead ends. This will lend support to those who have long claimed that research into fundamental physics is a waste of time and money; that at best it provides answers to obscure questions which few people understand or care about.

So do these reservations undermine pure physics as a scientific pursuit? Surely, it makes no difference if the truths that physicists seek turn out to be more complex and messy than they once hoped. It could even make the search more intriguing. There are as many profound questions out there as there have ever been, and to answer them physicists need the kind of hard experimental evidence that can only come from pure research.

Can we, therefore, justify spending the huge sums of money that such research demands? What it boils down to is whether we think the search for fundamental truths is important. This quest for knowledge is a defining human quality, but it’s hard to quantify how our lives have been ‘improved’ by it. There have been plenty of technological spin-offs from the space race and other experiments. But the spin-offs are not the point. In showing us how the universe works, fundamental physics could also tell us something profound about ourselves. And for that, a few billion dollars would be a small price to pay.

5. According to the writer, technological ‘spin-offs’ from scientific research
do not justify the sums invested in it.
reveal the true aims of those promoting it.
should convince the public of the value of it.
should not be the main reason for pursuing it.

6. In this piece, the writer is generally
distrustful of those who doubt the value of pure research.
supportive of those wishing to carry out pure research.
sceptical about the long-term benefits of pure research.
optimistic about the prospects of funding for pure research.

Part 2

You are going to read an extract from a magazine article. Six paragraphs have been removed from the extract. Choose from the paragraphs A – G the one which fits each gap (7 – 12). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.

When the hippos roar, start paddling!

Richard Jackson and his wife spent their honeymoon going down the Zambezi river in a canoe.

‘They say this is a good test of a relationship,’ said Tim as he handed me the paddle. I wasn’t sure that such a tough challenge was what was needed on a honeymoon, but it was too late to go back. My wife, Leigh, and I were standing with our guide, Tim Came, on the banks of the Zambezi near the Zambia/Botswana border. This was to be the highlight of our honeymoon: a safari downriver, ending at the point where David Livingstone first saw the Victoria Falls.


Neither of us had any canoeing experience. Tentatively we set off downstream, paddling with more enthusiasm than expertise. Soon we heard the first distant rumblings of what seemed like thunder. ‘Is that Victoria Falls?’ we inquired na?vely. ‘No,’ said Tim dismissively. ‘That’s our first rapid.’ Easy, we thought. Wrong!


The canoe plotted a crazed path as we careered from side to side, our best efforts seeming only to add to our plight. This was the first of many rapids, all relatively minor, all enjoyably challenging for tourists like us.


The overnight stops would mean mooring at a deserted island in the middle of the river, where Tim’s willing support team would be waiting, having erected a camp and got the water warm for our bucket showers. As the ice slowly melted in the drinks, restaurant-quality food would appear from a cooker using hot coals. Then people would begin to relax, and the day’s stories would take on epic proportions.


One morning, Tim decided to count the number of hippos we saw, in an attempt to gauge the population in this part of the river. Most of the wildlife keeps a cautious distance, and we were assured that, safe in our canoe, any potential threats would be more scared of us than we were of them – but we had been warned to give these river giants a wide berth. They’d normally stay in mid-stream, watching us with some suspicion, and greeting our departure with a cacophony of grunts.


Tim yelled ‘Paddle!’ and over the next 100 metres an Olympic runner would have struggled to keep up with us. The hippo gave up the chase, and although Tim said he was just a youngster showing off, our opinion was that he had honeymooners on the menu. That would certainly be the way we told the story by the time we got home.


At some times of the year, you can even enjoy a natural jacuzzi in one of the rock pools beside the falls. No permanent structures are allowed on the island – everything has to be removed when you leave.

The travel brochures say it’s the world’s most exclusive picnic spot. It’s certainly the ideal place to wind down after a near miss with a hippo.

A: Luckily we could make our mistakes in privacy as, apart from Tim and another couple, for two days we were alone. Our only other company was the array of bird and animal life. The paddling was fairly gentle and when we got tired, Tim would lead us to the shore and open a cool-box containing a picnic lunch.

B: If that was the scariest moment, the most romantic was undoubtedly our final night’s campsite. Livingstone Island is perched literally on top of Victoria Falls. The safari company we were with have exclusive access to it: it’s just you, a sheer drop of a few hundred metres and the continual roar as millions of litres of water pour over the edge.

C: There was plenty of passing traffic to observe on land as well – giraffes, hippos, elephants and warthogs, while eagles soared overhead. We even spotted two rare white rhinos – sadly shorn of their horns in an attempt to stop poaching. We paddled closer to get a better look.

D: We had a 4-metre aluminium canoe to ourselves. It was a small craft for such a mighty river, but quite big enough to house the odd domestic dispute. Couples had, it seemed, ended similar trips arguing rather than paddling. But it wasn’t just newly-weds at risk. Tim assured us that a group of comedians from North America had failed to see the funny side too.

E: But number 150 had other ideas. As we hugged the bank he dropped under the water. We expected him to re-surface in the same spot, as the others had done. Instead, there was a sudden roar and he emerged lunging towards the canoe.

F: Over the next hour or so the noise grew to terrifying dimensions. By the time we edged around the bend to confront it, we were convinced we would be faced with mountains of white water. Instead, despite all the sound and fury, the Zambezi seemed only slightly ruffled by a line of small rocks.

G: When we’d all heard enough, we slept under canvas, right next to the river bank. Fortunately, we picked a time of year largely free of mosquitoes, so our nets and various lotions remained unused. The sounds of unseen animals were our nightly lullaby.

Part 3

You are going to read a newspaper article. For questions 13 – 19, choose one answer which you think fits best according to the text.

Groomed for TV

Martyn Harris looks back on his experience of being trained to appear on TV.

I am terrible on TV. I slouch, sneer, stammer, fidget, forget my lines and swallow the ends of my words. It rankles, because I know inside I am scintillating, sensitive and sincere. Television can make any fool look like an intellectual. Newsreaders can contrive to look nice and even the worst presenters can seem sensible, but I come over as a shifty subversive. The single television programme I have presented was so awful that even my mother couldn’t find a good word for it. After a catastrophic radio show last year, when I addressed the interviewer by the wrong name throughout, I swore I’d never do broadcasting again.

Until now, that is. I have my first novel out next month, which is called Do It Again, and the PR people inform me you just have to get out there and promote it. Scotland one day, the south coast of England the next. It’s going to be hectic and I have to get my act together. Which is how I find myself being scrutinised for televisual potential by two svelte creatures from Public Image Ltd, while cameraman Alastair focuses on my trembling upper lip. Public Image is the outfit which has been teaching MPs how to look good on TV. They also groom executives from major companies in everything from corporate presentations to handling broadcast interrogation, but as far as I’m concerned, if they can make politicians look like real people, they are good enough for me.

‘He blinks a lot, doesn’t he?’ says Diana, the speech specialist, studying my image on a video monitor. ‘And the crossed legs look defensive. But the voice isn’t bad.’ Jeannie, who is introduced to me as Public Image’s ‘charisma consultant’, takes a step backwards to study the general posture. ‘Needs to get his bottom back in the sofa. And the jacket makes him look a bit deformed. Where does he get his clothes from?’

‘Honesty is the most important thing,’ says Diana. ‘We don’t want to turn people into actors. We want to bring out the personality. And of course speech is most important too. Lots of politicians don’t breathe properly, so they have to shout. They give themselves sore throats and polyps on the vocal chords. Breathe from the diaphragm and you can speak quite loudly and for quite a long time without strain. Then most importantly, there are the three E’s: Energy, Enthusiasm and Enjoyment. And do try to stop blinking.’

And so, as I breathe from the diaphragm, clench my eyelids apart and desperately try to project honesty as well as the three Es at once, the camera rolls. ‘Today we are visiting the home of Martyn Harris,’ says Diana dishonestly, ‘a journalist who has recently published his first novel Do It Again. So, what can you tell us about the plot, Martyn?’ ‘Umm …’ A long pause. ‘Errr … ‘ A longer pause. ‘Tee hee, hargh … ’ An asinine giggle. ‘All right Alastair,’ says Diana patiently, ‘we’ll try that again.’

We try it again, many, many times, each time chipping away at another tic and mannerism and gaucherie. On the second run-through, my crossed legs keep bobbing up and down, which makes me look as if I want to run away (I do, I do). On the third run they are uncrossed, but my hands are clenched in my lap. On the fourth I have wrenched my hands from my lap, but now they are fiddling with my ears. On the fifth, I’m throwing away the ends of my sentences, which sounds as if I think my audience is thick (I don’t really).

Television does curious things to your face, dragging it towards the edges of the screen. If you have a long face, as I have, it makes you look like a cadaverous mule. It emphasises the darkness of lipstick and eyeshadow, so make-up should be minimal, and used mainly to soften facial shadows. Does Diana think it is wicked, I wonder, to mould politicians in this way? ‘As soon as anyone gets on telly these days, we expect them to be as good as the professionals, because that’s where we get our standards from. It’s unfair, but that’s the way of the world. As for the ethics, I leave that to others and get on with my job.’

And it’s a job she does very well, because on the final run-through, after three hours or so, I really don’t look too bad. Steady gaze, breathing from the diaphragm, no twitches, no blinking. Not a consummate professional in the business, but not bad.

I’m brimming with honesty, energy, enthusiasm and enjoyment and I’m talking a lot of twaddle, but you’d hardly notice. When you watch politicians on TV, you’ll see a lot more just like me.

13. The writer believes that one reason he is terrible on TV is that
he doesn’t make enough effort to perform well.
he can’t help being rude to interviewers.
his personality seems unappealing to viewers.
his personality differs from that of newsreaders and presenters.

14. The writer has become involved with Public Image Ltd because
he wants to find out what such companies do.
he has been told that it is in his interests to do so.
he is intrigued by the work they do for politicians.
he has been told that the company is good at promoting novels.

15. Diana and Jeannie both say that one of the writer’s problems when appearing on TV concerns
the way he sits.
the clothes he wears.
the way his eyes move.
the way he moves.

16. What does Diana tell the writer about politicians?
They are usually reluctant to tell the truth.
They often fail to realise that they are shouting.
They are frequently nervous when they appear on TV.
They frequently speak in a way that is harmful to them.

17. The writer believes that his response to Diana’s first question sounds

18. When the writer asks Diana about her job, she
says that she is only interested in doing it well.
admits that sometimes it results in people looking foolish.
says that it frequently involves frustrations.
agrees that it is hard to justify it.

19. In the final paragraph, the writer concludes that
he has underestimated how challenging appearing on TV can be for politicians.
he has learnt how to sound convincing without saying anything meaningful.
some people can be trained to do absolutely anything.
viewers are more perceptive than is generally believed.

Part 4

You are going to read an article containing reviews of crime novels. For questions 20 – 34, choose from the reviews (A – F). The reviews may be chosen more than once.

In which review are the following mentioned?

20. - a book successfully adapted for another medium

21. - characters whose ideal world seems totally secure

22. - a gripping book which introduces an impressive main character

23. - a character whose intuition is challenged

24. - the disturbing similarity between reality and fiction within a novel

25. - an original and provocative line in storytelling

26. - the main character having a personal connection which brings disturbing revelations

27. - the completion of an outstanding series of works

28. - the interweaving of current lives and previous acts of wickedness

29. - a deliberately misleading use of the written word

30. - a rather unexpected choice of central character

31. - an abundant amount of inconclusive information about a case

32. - a character seeing through complexity in an attempt to avert disaster

33. - a novel which displays the talent of a new author

34. - the characters’ involvement in a crime inevitably leading to a painful conclusion


Some recommendations from the latest batch of crime novels

A: Zouache may not be the obvious heroine for a crime novel, but November sees her debut in Fidelis Morgan’s wonderful Restoration thriller Unnatural Fire. From debtor to private eye, this Countess is an aristocrat, fleeing for her life through the streets of 17th-century London. Featuring a colourful cast of misfits and brilliantly researched period detail, Unnatural Fire has a base in the mysterious science of alchemy, and will appeal to adherents of both crime and historical fiction.

B: Minette Walters is one of the most acclaimed writers in British crime fiction whose books like The Sculptress have made successful transitions to our TV screens. Preoccupied with developing strong plots and characterisation rather than with crime itself, she has created some disturbing and innovative psychological narratives. The Shape of Snakes is set in the winter of 1978. Once again Walters uses her narrative skills to lead the reader astray (there is a clever use of correspondence between characters), before resolving the mystery in her latest intricately plotted bestseller which is full of suspense. Once again she shows why she is such a star of British crime fiction.

C: Elizabeth Woodcraft’s feisty barrister heroine in Good Bad Woman, Frankie, is a diehard Motown music fan. As the title suggests, despite her job on the right side of the law, she ends up on the wrong side – arrested for murder. No favourite of the police – who are happy to see her go down – in order to prove her innocence she must solve the case, one that involves an old friend and some uncomfortable truths a bit too close to home. Good Bad Woman is an enthralling, fast-paced contemporary thriller that presents a great new heroine to the genre.

D: Black Dog is Stephen Booth’s hugely accomplished debut, now published in paperback. It follows the mysterious disappearance of teenager Laura Vernon in the Peak District. Ben Cooper, a young Detective Constable, has known the villagers all his life, but his instinctive feelings about the case are called into question by the arrival of Diane Fry, a ruthlessly ambitious detective from another division. As the investigation twists and turns, Ben and Diane discover that to understand the present, they must also understand the past – and, in a world where none of the suspects is entirely innocent, misery and suffering can be the only outcome.

E: Andrew Roth’s deservedly celebrated Roth Trilogy has drawn to a close with the paperback publication of the third book, The Office, set in a 1950s cathedral city. Janet Byfield has everything that Wendy Appleyard lacks: she’s beautiful, she has a handsome husband, and an adorable little daughter, Rosie. At first it seems to Wendy as though nothing can touch the Byfields’ perfect existence, but old sins gradually come back to haunt the present, and new sins are bred in their place. The shadows seep through the neighbourhood and only Wendy, the outsider looking in, is able to glimpse the truth. But can she grasp its twisted logic in time to prevent a tragedy whose roots lie buried deep in the past?

F: And finally, Reginald Hill has a brilliant new Dalziel and Pascoe novel, Dialogues, released in the spring. The uncanny resemblance between stories entered for a local newspaper competition and the circumstances of two sudden disappearances attracts the attention of Mid-Yorkshire Police. Superintendent Andy Dalziel realises they may have a dangerous criminal on their hands – one the media are soon calling the Wordman. There are enough clues around to weave a tapestry, but it’s not clear who’s playing with whom. Is it the Wordman versus the police, or the criminal versus his victims? And just how far will the games go?

[ x ]

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