Advanced level – Reading comprehension

English – Advanced level – Reading comprehension

There are three different types of tasks in the reading comprehension subtest: multiple choice tasks, true-false tasks and open-ended questions.

Find out more about the reading comprehension subtest here.


Multiple choice task:

Read the text. Choose the right alternative (A, B or C).
M1. The judiciary dislike the current law on murder because

The single offence of murder should be replaced by an American-style system based on the seriousness of the killing, the Director of Public Prosecutions said last night. “I am strongly in favour of a system that recognises degrees of homicide” he said in an interview.
His call will be backed by the judiciary, which has long resented the straitjacket of the existing law. The DPP said he believed that most murder convictions would still carry a mandatory life sentence but that offenders slipped through the net under the present law.

M2. The Congress party

India looks forward
The victorious BJP-led alliance in India looks forward to another term of office as the defeated Congress party begins a post mortem on its dismal performance.

M3. What is Libby Purves’s view of rude words?

How rude is the use of rude words?

To blurt one out on the spur of the moment can be regarded as careless, but to do so with forethought is definitely a sin.
Libby Purves

M4. The main point of the text seems to be that drinking alcohol

Alcohol at Christmas

We all know alcohol wreaks havoc with our waistlines, but that doesn’t stop us bingeing on booze during the Christmas party season. And though our indulgences always seem like a good idea at the time, they also lead to carb-craving hangovers.

M5. Choose the right alternative (A, B or C).

New fashion

The women, the Daily Mail wrote recently in a characteristic burst of maidenly distaste, “pull their shoddily dyed hair back in that ultra-tight bun known as ‘council house facelift’, wear skirts too short for their mottled blue thighs and expose too much of their distressingly flabby midriffs.”

M6. Steve Bassam is

Ex-squatter swaps red noses for red boxes.

How times and the shifting sands of politics can change a man. Once a plain campaigning squatter, now a junior Home Office minister, Steve Bassam has undergone a successful political change.

 True-false task:

Read the text and the statements about it. Check A, if the statement is correct and B, if the statement is false.
M7. The agenda for the meeting was available to the general public.
M8. Everyone voted in all the discussions mentioned.
M9. The meeting was about new routes for public transport in Santa Barbara.
M10. The Transit Board will help collect toys for the poor.
M11. The Transit Board may feature in a TV commercial in the future.
M12. The Transit Board has been rewarded for improving the image of the city.
M13. The Transit Board recommends making the Calle Real property safer.

Minutes of the Metropolitan Transit District Board of Directors Meeting

1. Call to Order
Chair Rogers called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM.

2. Report Regarding Posting of Agenda
Daisy Evans, General Manager, reported that the agenda for this meeting was posted at the MTD administrative headquarters, and mailed to the media for general circulation.

3. Approval of Prior Minutes
Chair Rogers noted that there is an error on item #5 of the April 14 Board minutes. Director Houlton moved to approve the minutes for the meeting of April 14 with the necessary correction to item #5. Chair Rogers seconded the motion. The motion passed. Vice Chair Martin and Secretary Stocks abstained due to their absences from the April 14 Board meeting.

4. Public Hearing Regarding Fare Structure for Valley Express Service
General Manager Evans reported to the Board MTD staff recommendations for fare and pass structure for the Valley Express Service, which included an option “A” and “B”.
General Manager Evans introduced Jeb Waters. Mr. Waters stated that he commutes to Santa Barbara from Santa Ynez twice a week and commented that he is looking forward to utilizing the new service. He also commented that the proposed fare looks good, but with his schedule hopes that the MTD Board and staff might consider a 40-ride pass along with the proposed 10-ride pass.
Director Houlton thanked Mr. Waters for his comments and moved to close the public hearing. Vice Chair Martin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

5. General Manager Report
General Manager Evans announced that MTD is participating in a toy drive for PAL (Police Assistance League). Toy bins will be placed at the Transit Center and at employee areas at MTD for distribution to local needy families.
General Manager Evans invited the Board to appear in an upcoming MTD “Happy Holidays” spot that will air on Univision.
General Manager Evans invited Don Caitlin, Manager of Transit Development and Community Relations, to update the Board on an award received by the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. The Tourism Star Award is part of an ongoing program to acknowledge individuals or organizations that help promote Santa Barbara as a premiere tourism location. One of the contributing factors during the selection process was the success of the Waterfront Shuttle as a tourism icon.

6. Recess to Closed Session-Calle Real
The Board met in closed session pursuant to Government Code §54956.8, conference with real property negotiators regarding the MTD Calle Real Property.
The Board instructed staff to contact the County of Santa Barbara regarding securing the Calle Real property, by having a portion of the property posted as soon as possible.

7. Adjournment

Open-ended questions:

Read the column and the questions related to it. Answer the questions in English.
A1. What changes took place in the Kansas’s state Board of Education?

Kansas evolves – An election gets Darwin ready for comeback

Evolutionary theory is to Kansas school board politics what the weather is to the state’s long-suffering farmers. There’s always something in the air to be upset about, but if a farmer waits long enough the weather will change.
Last week the intellectual winds buffeting Kansas’s state Board of Education began blowing in a moderate direction, again. In a closely watched primary, moderate Republicans captured one seat from a conservative incumbent and replaced another who was retiring from the board. Both departing members had been advocates of the state’s anti-evolution science standards.
At stake is a board of education majority that, after November’s election, will determine whether 2005 guidelines subjecting Darwin’s theory of evolution to critical review is implemented in the 2007 state curriculum.
The Kansas Board of Education has swung between moderate and conservative majorities since 1999. During these cycles, each faction has managed to roll back the progress of its rival, usually the slimmest of margins. Doesn’t anyone think of the impact on students?
The Kansas electorate, mocked as ground zero for the “intelligent design” movement, has apparently wearied of the issue. The turnout for last week’s primary was the lowest in recent years. Energized conservative voters could just as easily restore intelligent design – the belief that nature is so complex that it must have been created by a higher intelligence – to the centre of Kansas’s curriculum in a future election. For now, analysts believe 6-4 moderate majority will take hold after November.
This is good news to anyone who takes science education seriously. Kansas students have suffered enough as their curriculum took a back seat to the politics of intelligent design believers. Fortunately, the movement received a reality check last year in a case when a judge ruled that teaching a religious theory dressed up as science was unconstitutional.

Pittsburg Post-Gazette