An exercise to practise Paper 1 (Reading) of the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) of the University of Cambridge, Part 1.
In this part candidates are asked to read three extracts and to answer a total of 18 questions, six per extract.



Gorillas have long been the subject of interest among zoologists for their uncanny similarity to human beings in so many aspects of their individual and social behaviour. By far the largest of the anthropoid apes, they live in the forests of West Africa and the mountainous regions of Central Africa, in family groups of a senior male gorilla, several females, younger males and a number of infants. Within each family group the relationships between the members are always very defined. Almost entirely vegetarian, parties of animals roam from place to place in of food and build their nests high up in trees for overnight use. Although gorillas are affectionate, peace-loving creatures and will even accept human beings into their midst, ruthless hunting has to a huge decline in the numbers surviving today.

From: Mann, R. (2002) Proficiency Gold - Exam Maximiser . Edinburgh, UK: Pearson Education Ltd.
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Second extract ...


The New Assistant

The first thing Inspector Highgate noticed on entering his office was the of the cigarette. It seemed to spare menacingly at him, like the motionless red ey of a fierce animal in the shadows in the corner of the room. He could just the bulky contours of his new assistant's body as he leaned backwards in his chair. It was unnerving. Did he enjoy making people uneasy? 'Hello, Howard,' he said brightly, expecting no answer and himself for the hundredth time that he would be ritiring in just under a month. In that time he was expected to the man the ropes, so that he could take over when Highgate left. He knew that Howard's appointment would be the detriment of the department, but it had not been his decision. Someone higher up the ladder had unexpectedly taken the matter out of his hands.
... and third one. Enjoy! Emotion: smile


Interview with Austen Grove

Austen Grove, whose new novel, A Dublin Childhood, took the publishing world by last week, is intensely wary of publicity. During interviews he unfailingly (and quite maddeningly) his right to refuse to answer questions he perceives as being too personal. And that, I'm afraid, is most questions. His interview with me didn't to be any different. 'I'm a very shy man at heart, you know,' he pointed out on first meeting me. My evident disbelief in the truth of this remark was greeted by a wry smile. 'I've always found it difficult to relate to other people. Even when I was studying in Dublin with a to becoming an actor one day, I was regarded as being extremely antisocial and eccentric. I up against all sort of problems, which were the result entirely of my feeling ill at ease with other people. Fortunately for me -- and for the rest of the world, I suppose -- I dropped acting and became a writer of novels instead. Being in the now doesn't come easily.'
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Thanks Tanit. I winkled out only 10/16. Emotion: smile By the way, are you preparing for CPE?
Hi, Fandorin,

Yes ... sort of. Emotion: crying
I wish you luck.

By the way.


It will help improve and prepare a lot. Emotion: wink
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

Thanks for the link. I already knew that site ... so I know what's in there Emotion: wink and, especially, what'sNOT in there (random order, and I'm sure I'll forget to mention somebody ... my apologies in advance! Emotion: sad): Clive, Jim, Barbara, Philip, Amy, MrM, MrP, Avangi, CB, Nona, Khoff, Lil'RR, Delmobile, OldManGordon, Opti, etc etc.
Aarrgh! Those were so tough! I gave up on the last one, I just didn't know the words. You have to know a lot of vocabulary and that's not enough, you need to know what sounds the best in collocations! That's pretty difficult. And then there are several phrasal verbs to know too... and I guess they are the most difficult part of vocabulary to learn, because each one can have more than one meaning, and many phrasal verbs are all very similar to each other (only a little preposition changes).

Anyway, how are you preparing for the CPE? How are you improving your skills? Are you also learning new vocabulary in any way? Emotion: smile
Hi K.,

Right you are! Some of these exercises are not a piece of cake.
Even when I don't "know" the answer however, I often "feel" instinctively what is correct, probably because I read a lot and also listen to spoken English (esp. podcasts) a lot. My passive vocabulary is improving steadily (I did a mock exam last week and my teacher asked me what sort of drugs I had taken Emotion: surprise before sitting for the test, so stunning was my performance), but this improvement doesn't seem to affect my active vocabulary.
Any suggestions?

About the phrasal verbs, I'll see if I manage to post a couple of exercises I've recently done. It will take me at least a couple of weeks, though. Emotion: wink
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