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General Reading Test 4

Part 1

GEAR UP FOR LONDON MARATHON

Run for the NSPCC
Each year, thousands of people from across the UK come together to be part of the NSPCC’s London Marathon running team, raising vital funds for vulnerable children in the UK.

Looking for an NSPCC charity place?
Complete our online enquiry form to express your interest in an NSPCC place in the next Virgin London Marathon. A £100 registration fee will be payable on application (refundable if we’re unable to offer you a place). Places are based on strength of application, so we will ask you to include as much detail as possible. Successful applicants must commit to raise at least £2,000.

Run for us with your own place
If you were successful in securing a place in the ballot or other Virgin London Marathon entry scheme, and would like to run for the NSPCC, we’d love to welcome you to the team! Register as an own place runner and receive the same support as our charity place runners, we just ask that you raise as much as you can for vulnerable children. Join the NSPCC team today

We’ll support you every step of the way
As part of the NSPCC team, you will receive full support throughout your marathon journey, including:
• An exclusive training day with marathon training experts in January.
• Comprehensive training plans for all levels of experience.
• NSPCC runners Facebook page to chat to your team mates.
• A dedicated London Marathon team at the NSPCC, on hand with first class fundraising support.
• ·A huge team of NSPCC supporters cheering you on along the route.
• A well deserved massage and refreshments soon after you’ve crossed the finish line.

Enquire now
If you have any questions, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also contact us by completing our online enquiry form, calling 020 7825 2621 or sending an email to [email protected]

How your money helps
Every penny you raise by taking part in this fantastic event will go towards offering support and advice to vulnerable children across the UK who need our help. We want to protect the most vulnerable children in society, as well as being there for every child who needs us through services like ChildLine and the NSPCC helpline.

NSPCC = National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Questions 1- 7
Read the extract about the London Marathon on the webpage.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the webpage?
In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information.
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information.
NOT GNEN if there is no information on this.

1 A payment of £100 will secure a place in the NSPCC team.

2 There is a minimum amount that NSPCC team runners are expected to raise.
3 It is not too late for runners who have already been offered a London Marathon place to join the NSPCC team.
4 Runners who run with their own place will need more training than NSPCC team runners.
5 NSPCC runners can communicate with one another before the event.
6 NSPCC runners can count on encouragement from spectators.
7 NSPCC team runners will be given food and drink during the race.

Advice sheet on food poisoning

What is it?

Food poisoning is an illness which occurs after eating or drinking anything that is contaminated by germs or sometimes chemicals.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms depend on the type of germ or chemical, but diarrhea, sickness, stomach pains and sometimes fever and headache are the most common. Illness may last for only a day or continue for one or two weeks.

How can I tell if food is contaminated?
You can’t! Even food which looks and tastes fresh can cause food poisoning.

What can I do to avoid food poisoning?
Raw food, especially meat and poultry, contains germs which can cause food poisoning. To stop these germs getting onto food:
• Store raw and cooked food apart. Raw meat must always be kept on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
• Use separate utensils and chopping boards for raw and cooked foods.
• Wash your hands with soap in warm running water after handling raw food.
• Do not eat food while handling it.
To kill the germs before you eat food:
• Thaw frozen poultry and joints of meat completely before cooking. Meat should be thawed in the bottom of the refrigerator.
• Cook food thoroughly. Poultry should always be cooked until the juices run clear.
• If you want to keep food for later, cool it quickly and put it in the fridge as soon as possible or keep it hot in the oven. If food is stored at the right temperature, germs cannot grow.
To keep other germs off food:
• Do not eat foods made with raw eggs, e.g. homemade mayonnaise, some mousses and desserts.

• Do not drink unpasteurized milk and do not drink milk from bottles which birds have pecked.
• Keep pets and pet food away from food, work surfaces and utensils.
• Wash your hands after using the toilet, before and after preparing food, after handling pets and after emptying the waste bin.
• Keep food covered.
• Do not store food in open tins in the refrigerator.

Having a party?
• Follow the advice in this leaflet.
• Do not prepare food too far in advance.
• If you invite a lot of guests, use commercial caterers who have the equipment to prepare and store large amounts of food safely.

If I am suffering from food poisoning, is there anything I should do while I am ill?
• Wash hands with soap in warm running water and dry thoroughly, especially when preparing food and after using the toilet.
• Avoid close contact with other people until sickness and diarrhea has stopped.
• Avoid preparing food for other people.
• Clean toilet seats, flush handles, door handles and taps frequently with hot soapy water and disinfectant.
• Soiled clothes and bedding should be washed separately in the washing machine on the hottest cycle.

Will I need to take time off work/school?
You must stay away from work or school until at least 48 hours after you begin to feel better. If your work involves handling food, nursing or working with the young, sick or elderly, you must tell your employer.

 

Questions 8-14
Read the leaflet about food poisoning on the side page.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 8-14 on your answer sheet.

8 Different germs and chemicals produce different .
9 Food might be even when it appears to be fine.
10 All contains germs, but particular care must be taken with meat and poultry.
11 It is preferable to frozen meat and poultry rather than cook it directly.
12 The food of should not come into contact with the food you eat.
13 Hiring is the best option if you want to provide food for a large number of people.
14 If you are suffering from food poisoning, clean your living space more rigorously. The of the washing machine is advisable for any clothes or bedding affected.

Part 2

Part-time jobs: how to balance
Work and play

A Whether you’re currently a student looking to take on a part-time job to cover your living costs or a graduate needing cash to tide you over while you get on the career ladder, getting part-time work can be essential to keeping your finances in order. However, you mustn’t burn yourself out and become ineffective. It’s easy to take on too much and suddenly find there’s no time for fun.

B And stretch …
We all need to stretch ourselves to reach our potential, and that includes funding our way through university and after university. This is also something that future employers wish to see. By getting a part-time job you’re learning important transferable skills that you can make the most of later. You’ll also earn yourself a bit of extra cash.

C … But be realistic
While stretching to reach your full potential, make sure you’re realistic about what you can physically manage and what other commitments you have. Remember that the National Association of Student Employment Services suggests a sensible work limit of no more than 15 hours per week. If you’re still at university, write a priorities list with how many hours you need to spend in lectures, how many you need to spend on coursework and how many you realistically need for yourself. Whatever’s left over can be put to good use in a part-time job – it’s certainly more productive than watching day-time TV. If you’re job hunting for your graduate career then you need to put time aside to actively look for work and this can be very time-consuming. Don’t lose sight of your end goal and become so engrossed in your day-to-day part-time job that you forget what you’re doing it all for!

D Money, money, money
Once you have a part-time job and your hours are set, it can be very easy to think only about the money if you’re offered extra shifts. While a little more cash might be welcome – and good for your bank account – make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle. The last thing you want is to spoil your work-life balance or miss out on a proper full-time graduate job because you couldn’t say no to another £30.

E Paying tax
Taxes can get very complicated as a student or part-time worker and you need to stay on top of things to get the most out of your part-time job. If you’re a student and working in your holidays, you won’t need to pay tax – you just have to ask for a P38S Student Employees form from your employer to prove you’re exempt. However, if you’re working during term time or are a graduate trying to earn some extra cash while job-hunting, you will have to pay tax, but only if you earn more than your Personal Allowance. Read our guide to taxes if you’re unsure – being aware of the laws surrounding your own taxes could save you a lot of money.

F Time to relax
The most important thing about working part-time is to ensure there’s still at least some relaxation. If you’re studying or looking for work all day and then having to go straight into a long evening shift, you’ll quickly resent the fact that you’ve got no free time. If you’re desperate for the cash, see if budgeting better can help to reduce overheads and free up some time. Remember those priorities!

Questions 15-19
Read the online information about student part-time jobs on the side page.
The reading passage has six sections, A-F.
Which section contains the fallowing information? Write the correct letter A-F on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

15 A warning about the temptation of getting distracted for short-term financial gain
16 Advice about remembering a fundamental objective
17 An explanation of rules that apply to some students and not others
18 A warning about the possibility of exhaustion
19 A suggestion that working while you are a student will improve your chances of employment in the future
Questions 20-22
Answer the questions below.
Write NO MORE THAN FOUR WORDS OR A NUMBER ONLY from the text for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 20-22 on your answer sheet.

20 Which phrase in section B means abilities that can be used in more than one situation?
21 What is recommended as a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to a part-time job?
22 What name is given to the amount you must exceed before you start paying tax?

Top five best-paying jobs without a degree

While most people now aspire to go to university after high school, not everyone can. There are all sorts of reasons why young people choose to get into the job market sooner rather than later, and some of them are earning very healthy salaries. We’ve put together a list of the top five most popular careers that offer high income opportunities without you having to have letters after your name.

1. Estate agent
Annual salary – anything between £20,000 and £100,000

Being an estate agent requires a license but anyone interested needs only a few formal qualifications. During the property boom of the late nineties, many people became licensed estate agents and the market became very competitive. If you’re dedicated, however, you can make a very good living. The downside is that you’ll be permanently on call, you’ll work weekends, and you’ll probably have to survive periods with little or no income.

2. Firefighter
Annual starting salary – £20,000 / annual salary for trained firefighter -£30,000

The attraction is the sense of reward and the fact that you’ll be seen as a hero. You’ll be out there saving lives and property and, what’s more, you’ll stay in great shape. Most firefighters have a reasonable set of exam results but a degree is not required. If you stay with a battalion, you can soon work through the ranks and take on a leadership role. However, bear in mind work can be physically draining and the risk factor is extremely high.

3. Air Traffic Controller
Annual salary – upwards of £80,000

You don’t need a degree to apply, but, if initially accepted, you’ll have to take classes and pass stringent tests. Both your medical history and social background will be rigorously checked. Pay can be very generous but being responsible for the safety of thousands of people every day is immensely stressful.

4. Salesperson
Annual salary – anyone’s guess!

You don’t need a post-school education to be a salesperson – just an iron will and a very thick skin. The appeal is that you earn what you’re worth and there are no limits. The drawback is the lack of stability, together with constant rejection and occasional disapproval of what you do for a living.

5. Electrician
Annual salary: £20,000 – £36,000

The great thing about learning a trade is that even those who failed dismally at school get a second bite at the cherry. Of course, you need basic intelligence to learn complex, potentially dangerous skills but the process of becoming an electrician is fairly painless. Not surprisingly, the queue to work with high voltage isn’t long so there’s usually plenty of work around for those willing.

Questions 23-29
Read the article about top paying jobs on the side page. Choose the correct job for each statement from the list of jobs below. Write your answers in boxes  23-29 on your answer sheet.

List of jobs

A estate agent
B firefighter
C air traffic controller
D salesman
E electrician

23 People will ask questions about your past.
24 The work keeps you fit.
25 Not many people want such a dangerous job.
26 Some people feel the job is not respectable.
27 The profession was especially popular at a certain time.
28 People with low educational attainment get a second chance.
29 Quick promotion is a possibility.

Part 3

Science shows why you’re smarter than a Neanderthal

Neanderthals never invented written language, developed agriculture or progressed past the Stone Age. At the same time, they had brains just as big in volume as modern humans’. The question of why we Homo sapiens are significantly more intelligent than the similarly big-brained Neanderthals–and why we survived and proliferated while they went extinct has puzzled scientists for some time.

A study by Oxford researchers provides evidence for a novel explanation. As they detail in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a greater percentage of the Neanderthal brain seems to have been devoted to vision and control of their larger bodies, leaving less mental real estate for higher thinking and social interactions.

The research team, led by Eiluned Pearce, came to the finding by comparing the skulls of 13 Neanderthals who lived 27,000 to 75,000 years ago to 32 human skulls from the same era. In contrast to previous studies, which merely measured the interior of Neanderthal skulls to arrive at a brain volume, the researchers attempted to come to a “corrected” volume, which would account for the fact that the Neanderthals’ brains were in control of rather differently proportioned bodies than our ancestors’ brains were.

One of the easiest differences to quantify, they found, was the size of the visual cortex-the part of the brain responsible for interpreting visual information. In primates, the volume of this area is roughly proportional to the size of the animal’s eyes, so by measuring the Neanderthals’ eye sockets, they could get a decent approximation of the visual cortex as well. The Neanderthals, it turns out, had much larger eyes than ancient humans. The researchers speculate that this could be because they evolved exclusively in Europe, which is of higher latitude (and thus has poorer light conditions) than Africa, where H. sapiens evolved.

Along with eyes, Neanderthals had significantly larger bodies than humans, with wider shoulders, thicker bones and a more robust build overall. To account for this difference, the researchers drew upon previous research into the estimated body masses of the skeletons found with these skulls and of other Neanderthals. In primates, the amount of brain capacity devoted to body control is also proportionate to body size, so the scientists were able to calculate roughly how much of the Neanderthals’ brains were assigned to this task.

After correcting for these differences, the research team found that the amount of brain volume left over for other tasks-in other words, the mental capacity not devoted to seeing the world or moving the body-was significantly smaller for Neanderthals than for ancient H. sapiens. Although the average raw brain volumes of the two groups studied were practically identical ( 1473.84 cubic centimetres for humans versus 1473.46 for Neanderthals), the average “corrected” Neanderthal brain volume was just I 133.98 cubic centimetres, compared to 1332.41 for the humans.

This divergence in mental capacity for higher cognition and social networking, the researchers argue, could have led to the wildly different fates of H. sapiens and Neanderthals. “Having less brain available to manage the social world has profound implications for the Neanderthals’ ability to maintain extended trading networks;’ Robin Dunbar, one of the co-authors, said in a press statement.”[They] are likely also to have resulted in less well developed material culture- which, between them, may have left them more exposed than modern humans when facing the ecological challenges of the Ice Ages.”

Previous studies have also suggested that the internal organisation of Neanderthal brains differed significantly from ours. For example, a 20 IO project used computerized 30 modelling and Neanderthal skulls of varying ages to find that their brains developed at different rates over the course of an individual’s adolescence as compared to human brains despite comparable brain volumes.

The overall explanation for why Neanderthals went extinct while we survived, of course, is more complicated. Emerging evidence points to the idea that Neanderthals were smarter than previously thought, though perhaps not smart enough to out maneuver humans for resources. But not all of them had to-in another major 20 IO discovery, a team of researchers compared human and Neanderthal genomes and found evidence that our ancestors in Eurasia may have interbred with Neanderthals, preserving a few of their genes amidst our present-day DNA

Apart from the offspring of a small number of rare interbreeding events, though, the Neanderthals did die out. Their brains might have been just as big as ours, but ours might have been better at a few key tasks-those involved in developing social bonds in particular-allowing us to survive the most recent glacial period while the Neanderthals expired.

Questions 30-31
Read the article about Neanderthals on the side webpage .
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 30-31 on your answer sheet.

30 What is it that scientists have until this research been unable to understand?
31 What did the research team base their investigations on?
Questions 32-34
Which of the following information about Neanderthals and Homo sapiens is provided in the passage?
Choose THREE letters A-G. Write your answers in boxes 32-34 on your answer sheet.

A Neanderthals’ visual cortex was about the same size as their eye sockets.
B Neanderthals probably spent more time in relative darkness than did Homo sapiens.
C Neanderthals had heavier skeletons than Homo sapiens.
D Neanderthals were less physically adept than Homo sapiens.
E Neanderthals had significantly smaller brains than Homo sapiens.
F Neanderthals were more socially adept than Homo sapiens.
G Neanderthals may have suffered due to conducting an insufficient amount of trade.

Question No.32
Question No.33
Question No 34.
Question 35
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.
Write your answer in box 35 on your answer sheet.
The research team’s overall conclusion was that …
A. Neanderthals’ brains were too small to control their large bodies.
B. Homo sapiens survived longer than Neanderthals due to their superior intelligence.
C. Neanderthals were less intelligent than had previously been thought.
D. The brains of Neanderthals were geared in a way that did not ultimately benefit them.
Questions 36-40
Complete the summary. Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

Previous studies and emerging evidence
Study of Neanderthal skulls and 36 images helped researchers conclude that although Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had 37 , their mental development differed. Other evidence suggests that some Neanderthals and Homo sapiens may have shared 38 rather than fight over them. Modem humans may have Neanderthal 39 as a result of possible interbreeding. However, Neanderthals did not survive, and this may be largely due to their inability to build 40 .

ANSWERS

(Q.1 to Q.10)

1 False

2 True

3 True

4 Not Goven

5 True

6 True

7 Not Given

8 symptoms

9 contaminated

10 raw food

(Q.11 to Q.20)

11 thaw

12 pets

13 commercial caters

14 hottest cycle

15 D

16 C

17 E

18 A

19 B

20 transferable skills

(Q.21 to Q.30)

21 15 hours per week

22 Personal Allowance

23 C

24 B

25 E

26 D

27 A

28 E

29 B

30. C

(Q.31 to Q.40)

31 B

32 B

33 C

34 G

35 D

36 computerised

37 comparable brain volumes

38 resources

39 genes

40 social bonds

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