Yesterday I took my final English exams. Answer sheets will be taken to the capital soon where expert teachers will begin correcting and marking them. It will take some time for them to complete this (about one month) because 16,000 students had the English exam simultaneously across the country. By now, the corrections must have already begun and while they are looking into our answer sheets we students are very nervous about our results. Even though I think I did quite well at the test, I thought I could post some questions in this forum that worry me the most.

Here we go.

6. An experimental [subdivision] of science has received a grant.
An experimental ___________________________ of science has received a grant.

In this, a student had to replace the word subdivision with another word which, when inserted into the sentence with a gap, would have the same meaning (ie both sentences must mean exactly the same). The words to choose from were given ina text before this task. I can't give you the entire text but the word which I picked up from the text and wrote in the space was 'derivative'. Some of my classmates wrote 'branch'. What do you think of this?

In the 1980s and 1990s, however, there has been (7) ______________________ growing interest in fitness among young adults.

In this, you had to think of only one word which would suit the gap. This was quite difficult for me.

Finally, we had to write an e-mail message to refuse an invitation to an official event. Is such a message formal or informal?

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Hello Rokas-- good luck on your exam score! You gave an interesting description of the examination process-- I wonder if you would tell me the name of your country.

6. I think your classmates got it right, unless there was a third and better choice than 'branch'. A derivative is not a subdivision, it is a result, a product.

7. 'a' is the most likely (if not the only) word choice.

8. It's an 'official' event, so the email refusal should be formal-- and courteous.
Yes, certainly. I live in Lithuania and they call this system "National Exams". This is used for the final assessment of every subject, not just English, before leaving school.

I hope no one is angry if I give a link to the PDF version of the exam paper for those who are interested in what this exam was like. Here is the link:
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For number 7, wouldn't 'much' also fit quite adequately (as well as 'a')?
Very interesting, Rokas, thank you. Parts of it remind me of the Japanese uninversity entrance examinations. Links are fine here for information related to our discussions.

And yes, 'much' seems to work OK in #7 too.

I had a look on the file. I think the questions are much more practical than those we find in the entrance exams of Japanese colleges. I tried the part of "Sports and Fitness".
Put a word in the blank after the number

Sport and Fitness

The British are very fond [0] of sport, but many people prefer to watch rather [1] ___ take part. Many go to watch football or cricket at the ground, but many more sit [2] ____ home and watch sport on TV. Most people today [3] ____ relatively little general exercise. Over the last 30 or 40 years lifestyles have changed considerably and many people now travel even the shortest distances by car or bus. Lack of exercise combined [4] ____ eating too many fatty and sugary foods is one of the reasons [5] ____ people are becoming too fat. Experts are particularly concerned that children spend a lot of their free time watching TV or playing computer games [6] ____ of being physically active. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, there has been [7] ____ growing interest in fitness among young adults and today many belong to a sports club or do sport [8] ____ their main leisure activity. In Britain most towns have [9] ____ own amateur football and cricket team, and people also have opportunities to play sports [10] ____ as tennis and golf. Some people go regularly to a leisure centre where [11] ____ is a hall for playing badminton or squash. Many sports centres arrange classes in aerobics and step. Some people work [12] ____ regularly at a local gym and do weight training. Others [13] ____ fit by walking or cycling. Many people now go abroad on a skiing holiday each year. Unfortunately, there are very few dry slopes in Britain [14] ____ they can practise. Membership of a sports club or gym can be expensive and [15] ____ everyone can afford the subscription. Some companies now provide sports facilities for their employees or contribute [16] ____ the cost of joining a gym and a swimming pool, [17] ___ is highly appreciated by the employees and their families.

My try is as follows. Please check and point out errors.
[1] to [2] at [3] have [4] with [5] why [6] instead [7] a [8] for [9] their [10] such
[11] where [12] out [13] keep [14] where [15] not [16] to [17] which

As to [7], I suppose null [no word] could be also a right answer. Am I right?

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Hi Paco - I wrote down my own answers before looking at yours - here is what I got, and I noted where I thought your answers were also good. I'd say you did very well!

1) than
2) at
3) get
4) with
5) null (I think "why" is also okay.)
6) instead
7) a
8) as ("for" is okay.)
9) their
10) such
11) there
12) out
13) stay or get ("keep" is also fine.)
14) where
15) not
16) to
17) which
Ugh, I mistyped! #11 should be "there" of course. Thank you, Khoff!

Yes, I thought #11 was probably a typo. Nice job, Paco.
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