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This quiz is part of a past paper, which means it appeared in a real exam (in June 2004). It’s Part 1 (Selective cloze) of Paper 3 (Use of English) of the ESOL First Certificate in English (FCE) of the University of Cambridge, taken approximately at the upper-intermediate level.

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Deserts


To most people, the word ‘desert’ means sand, a hot sun, camels and the occasional palm tree. And there is nothing wrong with that picture in general, for the fact that this describes only one type of desert.

The truth is that sand deserts only a very small proportion of the world’s dry lands. Many deserts are vast expanses of stony ground, covered with thin plants. Others of rocky mountains, with hardly a leaf in . Each type is by a combination of temperature, rainfall and wind conditions. There are hot deserts and cold deserts, deserts where rain has never been to fall and deserts that have up to 10 cm of rain a year. Deserts are varied. They are also to millions of people, more than 5,000 kinds of animal, and a huge of plants.

The size of some deserts is difficult to . The Sahara Desert covers more than 9 million square kilometres, which it more than sixteen times the size of Great Britain. In the great deserts the days are exceedingly hot, while night temperatures plunge to zero. These extreme of temperature mean that surviving in the desert is difficult for all of life.

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I thought this was a trick. I scored 16/16.
New Member13
I scored only 11/16 Emotion: sad
New Member02
I don't mean to sound cocky, sorry. I was just happy I got them all right.[:^)]
Hi Tanit,

heh.... I had 15/16...Emotion: smile. I made a mistake in "Many deserts are vast expanses of straight stony ground"...Actually, I was hesitating between straight and flat....:-). But I guess, what's straight is also flat, am I right?...hm..[:^)]..Emotion: thinking ..Ehmmm, It doesn't matter...Emotion: smile...

In any case, it was nice test!..Emotion: smile

Thanks Tanit.

Best Regards

JCD
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Hmm, there are lots of things I will never understand about these kinds of tests... They want you to pick the most idiomatic one, but how can I do that when I don't even know what's idiomatic, LOL? For example, I got the first one wrong... I chose smoking hot... what's wrong with that? I thought it was the best by far. Emotion: stick out tongue Unless I actually dreamed of people saying"Hey dude, check out that chick... she's smoking hot!"LOL Emotion: big smile
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I guess because when one thinks of the desert, they think of sun--sun burn, so I guess burning was the "right" answer. I don't know. But "smoking hot" would be slightly more descriptive. Emotion: smile
KooyeenI chose smoking hot... what's wrong with that? I thought it was the best by far. Unless I actually dreamed of people saying "Hey dude, check out that chick... she's smoking hot!"
... hmm, but would you say "a smoking hot sun"? Emotion: thinking
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Tanit... hmm, but would you say "a smoking hot sun"?

:-))).
Yeah, exactly.Emotion: smile In my point of view, this test was just about what sounds more natural....Like this one:The truth is that sand deserts represent only a very small proportion of the world’s dry lands. In my opinion, word ilustrate isn't there wrong as well, but it just sounds a little weird...Really nice exercise, thanks again.
JCD
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