CAE :: Lesson 12



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Your ability to understand written English is tested in Paper 1. The paper contains several parts and each part has a different reading task.

There may be some unfamiliar words in the texts. The questions, however, will require a knowledge only of the vocabulary which a typical CAE candidate should know; so you should be able to answer them even if you don't understand every word.

Now let's see an example to help you do your best:


You are going to read a newspaper article about a house with ghosts. For questions 1-to-2, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

Read through the text carefully to understand as much as you can. If you don't know certain words or phrases, don't worry. You may understand them better later on, or they may not be important for answering the questions.

London is famous for its ghosts, with thousands of reported sightings over the centuries. The paranormal is not choosy where it shows itself – theatres, pubs, churchyards, commercial buildings, council houses, even Vine Street Police Station, public toilets and the underground.

Says Tom Perrott, chairman of the members-only Ghost Club and a member of The Society for Psychical Research (SPR): "It's generally thought these things only happen in romantic moonlit ruins or ancient halls hung with rows of antlers, but experiences in modern buildings are equally frequent."

Marcel Seymour is an investigator with The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP). He says: "People claiming to have paranormal experiences are far more numerous than anyone would think. Most of them are level-headed, reasonable types."

Look at the multiple-choice questions, which could be in the form of either a question or an incomplete sentence. Don't look at the four possible answers (A-D) yet.
Decide where in the text the answer is. If the question is about a detail, this will be easier; if the question is more general – about a whole paragraph or even the whole text – then you will have to think about the overall content.
Read again carefully the part of the text where you think the answer is. Then answer the question or finish the incomplete sentence in your mind.

Now, let's read the two questions:


Where, according to the article, do paranormal experiences take place?                    

A.    in places connected with death
B.    in historical places
C.    in lonely places
D.    in all sorts of places


Marcel Seymour thinks that the majority of people who have paranormal experiences are ...

A.    imaginative.
B.    sensible.
C.    mentally disturbed.
D.    religious.

Now look at the four possible answers (A-D) in both questions. Which is closest to your own answer? To help you make the right choice, cross out the answers that you know are not right.

Now, let's see the correct answers:

The CORRECT ANSWER for the first question is ...

D.    in all sorts of places

because the article states: "... It's generally thought these things only happen in romantic moonlit ruins..., but experiences in modern buildings are equally frequent".

The CORRECT ANSWER for the second question is ...

B.    sensible.

because the article states: "... Most of them are level-headed, reasonable types". Also the adjective level-headed means sensible ("sensato" in Spanish).


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