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Hi! This is one of the parts from the Russian national exam on English. Some teachers find it difficult and say that even a native speaker'd have problems with it. I can't understand why they think so. Dear native speakers here, if you have a couple of spare minutes, read the text below and answer the questions. Anyone can try even if English isn't his mother tongue. I'll post the keys later.

Sometimes my father scares me. He can tackle something he knows nothing about, and nine times out of ten, it will come out all right. It’s pure luck, of course, but try convincing him. “Frame of Mind,” he says. “Just believe you can do a thing, and you’ll do it.” “Anything?” I asked. “Some day your luck will run out. Then see what good your Frame of Mind will do,” I said.
Believe me, I am not just being a smart alec. It so happens that I have actually tried Frame of Mind myself. The first time was the year I went all out to pass the civics final. I had to go all out, on account of I had not cracked a book all year. I really crammed, and all the time I was cramming I was concentrating on Frame of Mind. Just believe you can do a thing – sure. I made the lowest score in the history of Franklin High. “Thirty-three percent,” I said, showing my father the report card. “There’s your Frame of Mind for you.” He put it on the table without looking at it. “You have to reach a certain age and understanding,” he explained. “That’s the key to Frame of Mind.” “Yeah? What does a guy do in the meantime?” “Maybe you should study. Some kids learn a lot that way.”
That was my first experience with Frame of Mind. My latest one was for a promotion at the Austin Clothing Store. Jim Watson had a slightly better sales record and was more knowledgeable and skillful. Me, I had Frame of Mind. Jim Watson got the job. Did this convince my father? It did not. To convince him, something had to happen. To him, I mean. Something did happen, too, at the Austin Clothing Store. My father works there, too. What happened was that Mr Austin paid good money for a clever Easter window display. It’s all set up and we’re about to draw the curtain when we discover the display lights won’t work. I can see Mr Austin growing pale. He is thinking of the customers that could go right by his store in the time it will take him to get hold of an electrician.
This is when my father comes on the scene. “Is something the matter?” he says. “Oh, hello, Louis,” Mr Austin says. He calls my father “Louis.” Me, Joe Conklin – one of his best salesmen – he hardly knows. My father, a stock clerk, he calls “Louis.” Life isn’t always fair. “These darned lights won’t work.” “H’mm, I see,” my father says. “Maybe I can be of service.” From inside his pocket comes a screwdriver. Mr Austin looks at him. “Can you help us, Louis?” “No, he cannot,” I volunteer. “You think he’s Thomas Edison?” I don’t intend to say that. It just slips out. “Young man, I was addressing your father,” Mr Austin says, giving me a cold hard look. My father touches something with his screwdriver and the display lights go on.
What happened next was that the big safe in Mr Austin’s office got jammed shut with all our paychecks in it. From nowhere comes my father. “Is something the matter?” he says. “The safe, Louis,” Mr Austin is saying. “It

won’t open, I was going to send for you.” “H’mm, I see,” my father says. “Can you help us, Louis?” Mr Austin inquires. I start to say he cannot, but I stop myself. If my father wants to be a clown, that’s his business. “What is the combination of this safe?” my father says. Mr Austin whispers the combination in my father’s ear. Armed with the combination, he starts twirling the knob. I can’t believe it: grown men and women standing hypnotized, expecting that safe door to open. And while they stand there, the safe door opens.
“Go ahead, say it was luck, my opening the safe today,” my father says. “OK,” I reply. Then I tell him what I saw in the faces of those people in Mr Austin’s office: confidence and trust and respect. “The key to Frame of Mind is you have to use it to give support to those who need it when there’s no one else to save the situation. Otherwise it will not work.”

A15
The narrator thought that his father

1) believed that he was the luckiest man in the world.
2) was a knowledgeable and highly qualified man.
3) succeeded in almost everything he did.
4) didn’t mind being called a lucky man.

A16

In paragraph 2 “I had to go all out” means that the narrator had to

1) take the civics examination one more time.
2) take the civics examination in a different school.
3) try as hard as he could to prepare for the exam.
4) find somebody to help him pass the exam.

A17

They didn't promote the narrator because he had

1) proved less successful than Jim.
2) sold few records.
3) no Frame of Mind.
4) not reached the promotion age.

A18

Mr Austin was in despair because

1) the curtain wouldn’t draw open.
2) he couldn’t find an electrician.
3) the display had cost him a lot of money.
4) he was likely to lose some customers.

A19

When Mr Austin called the narrator’s father “Louis” the young man felt

1) proud of his Dad.
2) hopeful of his Dad.
3) jealous of his Dad.
4) sorry for his Dad.

A20

The narrator was sure that

1) his Dad would open the safe.
2) his Dad knew nothing about safes.
3) Mr. Austin wanted to make fun of his Dad.
4) Mr. Austin had sent for his Dad to open the safe.

A21

According to Louis’ words, Frame of Mind worked if one was

1) an expert in many fields.
2) ready to help other people.
3) a lucky person.
4) respectful and trustful.
Comments  
Hi,

A15
The narrator thought that his father

1) believed that he was the luckiest man in the world.
2) was a knowledgeable and highly qualified man.
3) succeeded in almost everything he did.
4) didn’t mind being called a lucky man.

It's not a well-framed question. The narrator changes his mind between the start and the end of the narrative.

A16

In paragraph 2 “I had to go all out” means that the narrator had to

1) take the civics examination one more time.
2) take the civics examination in a different school.
3) try as hard as he could to prepare for the exam.
4) find somebody to help him pass the exam.

A17

They didn't promote the narrator because he had

1) proved less successful than Jim.
2) sold few records.
3) no Frame of Mind.
4) not reached the promotion age.

A18

Mr Austin was in despair because

1) the curtain wouldn’t draw open.
2) he couldn’t find an electrician.
3) the display had cost him a lot of money.
4) he was likely to lose some customers.

A19

When Mr Austin called the narrator’s father “Louis” the young man felt

1) proud of his Dad.
2) hopeful of his Dad.
3) jealous of his Dad.
4) sorry for his Dad.

A20

The narrator was sure that

1) his Dad would open the safe.
2) his Dad knew nothing about safes.
3) Mr. Austin wanted to make fun of his Dad.
4) Mr. Austin had sent for his Dad to open the safe.

A21

According to Louis’ words, Frame of Mind worked if one was

1) an expert in many fields.
2) ready to help other people.
3) a lucky person.
4) respectful and trustful.
None of the above

Best wishes, Clive
Without looking at Clive's answers first
A15 - Can I pick none as he doesn't believe any of these things? I would guess that 3 is the answer they want but I don't think it entirely reflects what he thinks - he's waiting for his father to go wrong with something, and I don't like the 'almost' as it seems his dad can do anything.

A16 -3

A17 -1

A18 - 4

A19 - 3

A20 -2

A21 - 2
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2nona the brit
Yeah, all of your answers are right.
2Clive, nona the brit
As I see, both of you found some of the questons confusing. You did ok though and proved that a native speakers wouldn't really have many problems answering. Nevertheless, Russian teachers think their students aren't ready for such a test)))
Hi,

I suppose it depends on what level the test is intended for.

Clive
This test reminds me of the 3rd part of the Reading Paper of Cambridge ESOL exams Emotion: smile
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First off, I have to say that the passage reads very strangely. I think it's mainly a result of using the present tense to describe past events. Anyway...

A15 - 3*

A16 - 3

A17 - 1

A18 - 4

A19 - 3

A20 - 2

A21 - 2

* This question is worded strangely. I was initially going to go with answer 1, but then realized it would sound as if the father believed himself to be lucky. Honestly, I think the person who came up with test needs to work on their own English skills.
Prez1dentAs I see, both of you found some of the questons confusing. You did ok though and proved that a native speakers wouldn't really have many problems answering. Nevertheless, Russian teachers think their students aren't ready for such a test)))
Well I am confused, is the actual test about finding discrepancies in the test or picking the answers from the given answer choices? If it is the latter I quite agree with those Russian teachers.
Prez1dent Hi! This is one of the parts from the Russian national exam on English. Some teachers find it difficult and say that even a native speaker'd have problems with it. I can't understand why they think so. Dear native speakers here, if you have a couple of spare minutes, read the text below and answer the questions. Anyone can try even if English isn't his mother tongue. I'll post the keys later.
Sometimes my father scares me. He can tackle something he knows nothing about, and nine times out of ten, it will come out all right. It’s pure luck, of course, but try convincing him. “Frame of Mind,” he says. “Just believe you can do a thing, and you’ll do it.” “Anything?” I asked. “Some day your luck will run out. Then see what good your Frame of Mind will do,” I said.
Believe me, I am not just being a smart alec. It so happens that I have actually tried Frame of Mind myself. The first time was the year I went all out to pass the civics final. I had to go all out, on account of I had not cracked a book all year. I really crammed, and all the time I was cramming I was concentrating on Frame of Mind. Just believe you can do a thing – sure. I made the lowest score in the history of Franklin High. “Thirty-three percent,” I said, showing my father the report card. “There’s your Frame of Mind for you.” He put it on the table without looking at it. “You have to reach a certain age and understanding,” he explained. “That’s the key to Frame of Mind.” “Yeah? What does a guy do in the meantime?” “Maybe you should study. Some kids learn a lot that way.”
That was my first experience with Frame of Mind. My latest one was for a promotion at the Austin Clothing Store. Jim Watson had a slightly better sales record and was more knowledgeable and skillful. Me, I had Frame of Mind. Jim Watson got the job. Did this convince my father? It did not. To convince him, something had to happen. To him, I mean. Something did happen, too, at the Austin Clothing Store. My father works there, too. What happened was that Mr Austin paid good money for a clever Easter window display. It’s all set up and we’re about to draw the curtain when we discover the display lights won’t work. I can see Mr Austin growing pale. He is thinking of the customers that could go right by his store in the time it will take him to get hold of an electrician.
This is when my father comes on the scene. “Is something the matter?” he says. “Oh, hello, Louis,” Mr Austin says. He calls my father “Louis.” Me, Joe Conklin – one of his best salesmen – he hardly knows. My father, a stock clerk, he calls “Louis.” Life isn’t always fair. “These darned lights won’t work.” “H’mm, I see,” my father says. “Maybe I can be of service.” From inside his pocket comes a screwdriver. Mr Austin looks at him. “Can you help us, Louis?” “No, he cannot,” I volunteer. “You think he’s Thomas Edison?” I don’t intend to say that. It just slips out. “Young man, I was addressing your father,” Mr Austin says, giving me a cold hard look. My father touches something with his screwdriver and the display lights go on.
What happened next was that the big safe in Mr Austin’s office got jammed shut with all our paychecks in it. From nowhere comes my father. “Is something the matter?” he says. “The safe, Louis,” Mr Austin is saying. “It
won’t open, I was going to send for you.” “H’mm, I see,” my father says. “Can you help us, Louis?” Mr Austin inquires. I start to say he cannot, but I stop myself. If my father wants to be a clown, that’s his business. “What is the combination of this safe?” my father says. Mr Austin whispers the combination in my father’s ear. Armed with the combination, he starts twirling the knob. I can’t believe it: grown men and women standing hypnotized, expecting that safe door to open. And while they stand there, the safe door opens.
“Go ahead, say it was luck, my opening the safe today,” my father says. “OK,” I reply. Then I tell him what I saw in the faces of those people in Mr Austin’s office: confidence and trust and respect. “The key to Frame of Mind is you have to use it to give support to those who need it when there’s no one else to save the situation. Otherwise it will not work.”
A15
The narrator thought that his father
1) believed that he was the luckiest man in the world.
2) was a knowledgeable and highly qualified man.
3) succeeded in almost everything he did.
4) didn’t mind being called a lucky man.
A16
In paragraph 2 “I had to go all out” means that the narrator had to
1) take the civics examination one more time.
2) take the civics examination in a different school.
3) try as hard as he could to prepare for the exam.
4) find somebody to help him pass the exam.
A17
They didn't promote the narrator because he had
1) proved less successful than Jim.
2) sold few records.
3) no Frame of Mind.
4) not reached the promotion age.
A18
Mr Austin was in despair because
1) the curtain wouldn’t draw open.
2) he couldn’t find an electrician.
3) the display had cost him a lot of money.
4) he was likely to lose some customers.
A19
When Mr Austin called the narrator’s father “Louis” the young man felt
1) proud of his Dad.
2) hopeful of his Dad.
3) jealous of his Dad.
4) sorry for his Dad.
A20
The narrator was sure that
1) his Dad would open the safe.
2) his Dad knew nothing about safes.
3) Mr. Austin wanted to make fun of his Dad.
4) Mr. Austin had sent for his Dad to open the safe.
A21
According to Louis’ words, Frame of Mind worked if one was
1) an expert in many fields.
2) ready to help other people.
3) a lucky person.
4) respectful and trustful.
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