изучение английского языка
Английский в контексте
Тесты по аудированию на английском языке
Тесты по чтению на английском языке
Словарный запас английского языка
CAE чтение тест №4
You are going to read three extracts which are all concerned in some way with looking at things. For questions 1-6, choose the answer (А. В, С or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
Anyone who has experienced the sensation of locking eyes across a room with someone interesting knows that mutual gaze can be a powerful force. How powerful? It must be the force behind the idea that it is possible to fall in love 'at first sight'. An attractive face can turn heads, but it's not nearly enough. However, when eyes lock, something dramatically different happens. Just how powerful this is may surprise you.
One example is a set of experiments conducted by psychologist Ekhard Hess, who wanted to find out whether dilated pupils had any effect on a person looking at them. He presented male volunteers with a variety of pictures, one of which was an attractive woman. In fact, she appeared twice in the set, once with her pupils retouched to be highly dilated, another time with her pupils normal size. He found that a significant proportion of the time the men judged the version with the dilated pupils to be more attractive, although none of them was actually aware of the pupils themselves.
But why? Hess performed other experiments that showed that our pupils dilate if we're looking at something or someone interesting. In one set of experiments, he had people who were hungry view images of random objects, including slices of very delicious looking cake. Whenever the hungry people saw food items like the cake, their pupils dilated. If they weren't hungry, the cake had no effect. So dilated pupils signify interest. If a man then looks into the eyes of a woman, and her pupils are dilated, he senses that she is interested in him. So, flattered, albeit unconsciously, he returns that interest.
In his first experiment, Hess included
A a range of photographs, some of which were of different women's eyes.
В various photographs of the same woman taken at different moments.
С photographs of various women with dilated and undilated pupils.
D two shots of the same woman, one of which had been altered.
Which phrase from the first paragraph introduces the idea that interest is 'returned' (line 46)?
A 'mutual gaze' (line 4)
В 'the force behind the idea' (line 5)
C 'at first sight' (line 7)
D 'can turn heads' (line 8)
Something strange and slightly troubling begins to happen when you spend more than about two minutes watching Cheddarvision, the website set up by the cheesemaker Tom Calver, which broadcasts live footage of a Cheddar cheese as it imperceptibly matures. First, unsurprisingly, you feel bored and irritable. Then, after a while, and without really meaning to, you slip into a peaceful, meditative, quasi-hypnotic state. You start to breathe more deeply. Peripheral distractions - traffic noise, ringing telephones - fall away. There is you, and there
is the cheese. Nothing more. If something should actually happen to the cheese while you're in this state of mind - every week the cheese is turned over; on one occasion, the label fell off and had to be replaced - it has an impact utterly disproportionate to the event. It is inexplicably hilarious; astonishing; gasp-inducing. Then the drama subsides, and once again, it's just you and the cheese - and, depending on the time of day, perhaps tens of thousands of other people, scattered across the planet, for whom no other concern is more pressing in their
lives, right at this very moment, than to stare at Cheddar.
It is generally agreed that we are more bored today than ever before. Some surveys put the percentage of people who yearn for more novelty in their lives at around seventy percent and rising. So it's something of a paradox that in the age of the Internet, when the average person has access to vastly more genuinely fascinating information than at any point in history, the sites that have achieved cult status are consistently the boring ones.
What is suggested about the website Cheddarvision in the first paragraph?
A It can make you more tolerant of minor irritations in life.
В It could help you to cope with a stressful environment.
C It will get more interesting the longer you watch it.
D It may affect you in ways that you can't control.
What is the 'paradox' referred to in the second paragraph?
A the most boring websites seeming to attract so much attention
В people feeling increasingly bored despite the potential of the Internet
C an increase in the number of boring websites not affecting their popularity
D people finding the novelty they crave in websites that are intrinsically boring
ART FOR EVERYONE
Once upon a time the joy of buying art was reserved for the very few. The really good stuff could be had only through elite galleries, yet even there, wads of cash were not enough to make you a collector: you needed credentials just to get a peep. Fortunately for art, and art lovers, today's scene is more democratic. In New York in March, $20 bought you a day at the Armory Show. Make no mistake: top collectors get in while the booths are still being set up, and favoured clients get VIP tickets in advance. Meanwhile, $250 was the minimum benefit ticket for opening night. All the same, the art market no longer hides behind frosted gallery doors.
Why do museum curators, long-time collectors and the art newcomer alike walk the long aisles of gallery displays? They come for the buzz. What hot artist will sell out on the preview night? Whose booth will attract the museum director on a shopping spree? Which celebrity will show their cluelessness, and how will the gallerist handle it?
And people come to eye the art. Once demeaned as a mere sales outlet, the best galleries have now found a balance between commerce and culture that makes them required attendance among art aficionados.
In the first paragraph the writer is
A suggesting ways that art galleries could be more democratic.
В explaining how art galleries have become more accessible.
C illustrating how art galleries have responded to criticisms.
D giving an example of an art gallery that remains elitist.
According to the writer, what has improved the reputation of art galleries?
A the ability to attract celebrity collectors to shows
В the continued support of leading museum directors
C a move away from a purely commercial philosophy
D a realisation that art enthusiasts are potential buyers
You are going to read an extract from an account of a sailing race. 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.
Stiff breeze, no cocktails
Victor Mallet set sail on the yacht Moonblue 2 in a three-day race across the South China Sea which turned out to be packed with incident and excitement
The sailing in the San Fernando Race was glorious; one of the best in the thirty-year history of the event. From the outset, all the front-runners were spared the windless calms that can cause such frustration in events like this.
Apart from the unaccustomed speed, a few other things about Moonblue 2 took some getting used to for me. There was the novelty of being on such a luxurious cruiser-racer, and the overall excellence of the food and drink on board. I wasn't used to such luxury, and I can't recall racing in a boat where you can take a shower when your period of watch comes to an end.
Despite such minor inconveniences, the race had been going well, but suddenly we hit a problem. Peter, the normally cheery skipper and owner of Moonblue 2, was shouting almost angrily from somewhere below, demanding to know where the cocktail blender was.
Peter repeated his question in frustration, adding: 'Didn't anyone bring it back from the party at the yacht club?' We looked studiously into the darkness while we struggled to trim the sails and bring the boat under control. No, no one had brought it back from the pre-race party two nights earlier.
Once the penny had dropped, we realised it wasn't such a crazy request after all. It seemed that, not for the first time, the high-strength line connecting the wheel to the rudder had snapped. Peter wanted the blender's long electric cable because it could be used to replace it. Just two hours later, three crew members - there were thirteen of us on board altogether - fixed the steering, not with the blender cable but with the help of a spare length of aerial cable, and we were able to continue racing. Part of the challenge of sailing for me is that anything can go wrong, even on a superbly equipped yacht such as Moonblue 2.
Such complicated yachts as Moonblue 2 also require constant attention and minor adjustments to the steering, in contrast to an old-fashioned yacht that almost steers itself. For the crew on this trip, however, there were mercifully few sail changes during the race until the very end. But even at that stage, we still had one last small mishap to contend with. When we crossed the finishing line off San Fernando at midnight, two-and-a-half days after the start, a local captain who was supposed to guide us in to a safe anchorage took us straight on to a mudbank.
And of the eighteen starters, Moonblue 2 was second to finish, a fantastic result overall - with or without the cocktail blender!
This had become apparent the previous weekend on a pre-race practice run when the propeller had been entangled twice, first in rope and then again in industrial plastic, in the space of an hour. On each occasion, one of the crew had had to dive into the water with a knife and a pair of goggles to clear the debris.
But any large boat, however stylish, also has its drawbacks. In rough seas, it was tricky getting from one end of the spacious cabin to the other because the handholds were so far apart.
After all, the pre-race discussion had revolved largely around the issue of how just such a situation might be dealt with. Fortunately, however, an unexpected solution was at hand.
It could have been worse, however. Our Australian rival Strewth was led into a reef with a crunch, so we actually had quite a lucky escape.
To those of us out on deck, however, this didn't seem to be quite the moment for any kind of a drink. It was eight hours into the race, there was a stiff breeze, rough waves and the steering had just failed completely.
This wasn't an entirely enjoyable time for me, though, as in the initial thirty-six hours we were driven by a northeast monsoon wind that sometimes whipped up a rough and uncomfortable sea. On the plus side, however, we sped southwards under full sail, making amazing time.
A few uncomfortable moments passed, nobody wanting to break this piece of news to him. Then we suddenly saw what he was on about.
You are going to read an extract from a novel. For questions 13-19, choose the answer (А, В, С or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
It's a commonplace of parenting and modern genetics that parents have little or no influence on the characters of their children. As a parent, you never know who you are going to get. Opportunities, health, prospects, accent, table manners - these might lie within your power to shape. But what really determines the sort of person who's coming to live with you is chance. Cheerful or neurotic, line 5 kind or greedy, curious or dull, expansive or shy and anywhere in between; it can be quite an affront to parental self-regard, just how much of the work has already been done. On the other hand, it can line 7 let you off the hook. The point is made for you as soon as you have more than one child; when two line 8 entirely different people emerge from their roughly similar chances in life.
Here in the cavernous basement kitchen at 3.55 a.m., in a single pool of light, as though on stage, isTheo Perowne, eighteen years old, his formal education already long behind him, reclining on a tilted-back kitchen chair, his legs in tight black jeans, his feet in boots of soft black leather (paid for with his own money) crossed on the edge of the table. As unlike his sister Daisy as randomness will allow. He's drinking from a large tumbler of water. In the other hand he holds the folded-back music magazine he's reading. A studded leather jacket lies in a heap on the floor. Propped against a cupboard is his guitar in its case. It's already acquired a few steamer trunk labels-Trieste, Oakland, Hamburg, Val d'lsere. There's space for more. From a compact stereo player on a shelf above a library of cookery books comes the sound, like soft drizzle, of an all-night pop station.
Henry Perowne sometimes wonders if, in his youth, he could ever have guessed that he would one day father a blues musician. He himself was simply processed, without question or complaint, in a polished continuum from school, through medical school, to the dogged acquisition of clinical experience, in London, Southend-on-Sea, Newcastle, Bellevue Emergency Department in New York and London again. How have he and Rosalind, such dutiful, conventional types, given rise to such a free spirit? One who dresses, with a certain irony, in the style of the bohemian fifties, who won't read books or let himself be persuaded to stay on at school, who's rarely out of bed before lunchtime, whose passion is for mastery in all the nuances of the blues guitar tradition, Delta, Chicago, Mississippi, and for the success of his band, New Blue Rider. In the confined, gossipy world of British blues, Theo is spoken of as a man of promise, already mature in his grasp of the idiom, who might even one day walk with the gods, the British gods that is - Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Eric Clapton. Someone has written somewhere that Theo Perowne plays like an angel.
Naturally, his father agrees, despite his doubts about the limits of the form. He likes the blues well enough - in fact, he was the one who showed the nine-year-old Theo how it worked. After that, grandfather took over. But is there a lifetime's satisfaction in twelve bars of three obvious chords? Perhaps it's one of those cases of a microcosm giving you the whole world. Like a Spode dinner plate. Or a single cell. Or, as Daisy says, like a Jane Austen novel. When player and listener together know the route so well, the pleasure is in the deviation, the unexpected turn against the grain...
And there's something in the loping authority of Theo's playing that revives for Henry the inexplicable lure of that simple progression. Theo is the sort of guitarist who plays in an open-eyed trance, without moving his body or ever glancing down at his hands. He concedes only an occasional thoughtful nod. Now and then, during a set he might tilt back his head to indicate to the others that he is 'going round' again. He carries himself on stage as he does in conversation, quietly, formally, protecting his privacy within a shell of friendly politeness. If he happens to spot his parents at the back of a crowd, he'll lift his left hand from the fret in a shy and private salute.
13 In the first paragraph, the writer suggests that parents
A are often disappointed by their children's behaviour.
В have relatively little impact on their children's personality.
C sometimes leave too many aspects of child development to chance.
D often make the mistake of trying to change their children's character.
Which phrase is used to suggest that parents are not to blame for how their children turn out?
A 'anywhere in between' (line 5)
В 'an affront to ... self-regard' (line 5)
C 'let you off the hook' (line 7)
D 'roughly similar chances' (line 8)
What do we learn about Theo Perowne in the second paragraph?
A He has successfully completed his studies.
В He is not particularly interested in travel.
C He is not making a living as a musician.
D He has little in common with his sister.
Theo's parents are described as the sort of people who
A have let their careers take precedence over family.
В have found it quite difficult to settle down in life.
C regret the rather predictable nature of their lives.
D have always done what was expected of them.
With regard to his music, we learn that Theo is
A dedicated to one particular style.
В planning to form a band of his own.
C unable to take it completely seriously.
D already admired by some famous people.
According to Henry Perowne's daughter Daisy, how is blues music similar to a Jane Austen novel?
A It has stood the test of time well.
В It has an easily recognised structure.
C It is open to individual interpretation.
D It is full of unexpected changes of direction.
From the text as a whole, we understand that Henry is
A proud of his son's musical ability.
В puzzled by his son's attitude to music.
C envious of his son's great skill as a guitarist.
D sorry that he introduced his son to blues music.
You are going to read an article about novels set in places that the author isn't actually familiar with. For questions 20-34, choose from the novels (A-E). The novels may be chosen more than once.
Something Like a House
The Tenderness of Wolves
Welcome to Hard Times
Eclipse of the Sun
About which novel is the following stated?
It attracted a criticism which pleased its author.
It contrasts the lives of people living in different locations.
It was the author's first book of this type.
It fails to make all of its local references clear to the reader.
It is really a type of crime novel.
It is regarded as one of the best novels of its type.
It may give a rather unrealistic impression of the country concerned.
It contains at least one inaccurate detail.
It was written by somebody who chose to visit the area only briefly.
It was praised for the way it describes the life of ordinary people.
it doesn't attempt to describe the place as it is today
it describes a country as seen by a foreigner.
It was written by someone who lacked the financial resources to visit the area.
Novels are works of the imagination. But what happens when an author writes about a part of the world they've never been to?
A few years ago, presenter Mark Lawson conducted a memorable radio interview with the author Sid Smith, who had just won an award for his debut novel Something Like a House. Set in China during the Cultural Revolution, the novel received critical acclaim for its evocation of peasant life. Lawson, impressed by Smith's depiction, asked if he spoke fluent Chinese. Smith said no, he didn't. Lawson asked if he'd worked in China. No, he hadn't. At this point Lawson became agitated. 'But you've been to China,' he said. There was a short pause, followed by Smith's calm assertion that actually he hadn't. Lawson was right to be astounded. Although set in the past and told through an Englishman, the story is full of odd details about life in the China of the period that you'd think would take years of first-hand experience to note. Not just physical things, such as the river sand in the bottom of a cup of tea, but social niceties such as Madame Tao judging her neighbours by how far up the valley they collect their water. What was most enjoyable about the interview, though, was Smith's refusal to be even slightly apologetic. He found his China in the London Library; from films, newspapers and the Internet. Who's to say that this gave him any less valid a picture of China than one he might have gained on a trip to modern-day Beijing?
Another novel written by a foreigner who's never set foot in the country concerned is Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves. Set in the icy wilderness of Northern Ontario, it's essentially a whodunit: a local boy goes missing after a murder is committed and his mother sets off into the snowbound forests to find him and prove his innocence, with the help of an Indian tracker. It's a novel in which the landscape plays a crucial part, as individuals pit themselves against it and the fierce weather. Penney excuses herself slightly by setting the novel in 1867 - a place no author can get to. She also uses outsiders' eyes - Mrs Ross, and most of the inhabitants of the frontier settlement, are Scottish immigrants (Penney herself is Scottish). She notices what they would notice - like the surprise of iced-up moustaches and how quickly a cup of tea loses its heat in subzero temperatures.
A novel often cited as exemplary in depicting place is Waterland, Graham Swift's saga of several generations of Fenlanders. The Crick family lacks ambition and drive, driven to 'unquiet and sleep-defeating thoughts' by the insistently flat, monotonous land; while the Atkinsons, who live on the only hill, get 'ideas', spot gaps in the market, and make a fortune brewing beer. As an example of how landscapes shape characters, it is perhaps unmatched in contemporary fiction. Yet Swift is not a Fenlander, and according to his agent made just a few fleeting visits to the Fens after he'd begun his novel. Swift lives in London and presumably could have travelled to the Fens more often had he wished to. Is it possible that a partial knowledge of the place suited him?
American novelist E. L. Doctorow wrote his western Welcome to Hard Times 'never having been west of Ohio'. Although it's a wholly satisfying example of the genre, such an approach is vulnerable to errors. After the book came out, an old lady from Texas wrote to Doctorow to say that she could tell he'd never been out west because of the character who 'made himself a dinner of the roasted haunch of a prairie dog'; a prairie dog's haunch, she said, 'wouldn't fill a teaspoon'. Doctorow was delighted and let the line stand in future editions, being 'leery of perfection'. Too much accuracy, he realised, might suck the life out of the novel.
Too ardent a straining for accuracy is a charge that could be levelled at Phil Whitaker's novel Eclipse of the Sun. Set in a fictional town in an imagined India (Whitaker has said that he couldn't afford the trip), the novel has clearly been meticulously researched. He has grasped the implied insult of answering in English a question posed in Marathi; that Indians love the word 'auspicious'. He gives us bidis and rikkas, crores and lakhs, plates of jalebi and the performances of yagnas, while resisting the urge to explain. The BBC's India correspondent Mark Tully found no fault in its depiction of smalltown India. Yet Whitaker runs the risk of making his characters too Indian, too perfect. Perhaps if he'd been to India he'd have found a people that were odder, less typical, than the country he discovered through research. Or perhaps, if he'd gone to India, he wouldn't have written the book at all - he might have become aware of how much he didn't know.
Изучение английского языка