This quiz is given by the University of Cambridge as a free sample of Paper 1 (Reading), Part 2 (Gapped Sentences) of the ESOL Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE).

This type of test assesses how well candidates understand the structure of the text and the development of the theme (so pay attention to demonstrative pronouns and adjectives, time references, sequence of verb tenses etc.)

You are going to read an extract from a magazine article. Six paragraphs have been removed from the extract. Choose from the paragraphs A – G the one which fits each gap (1-6). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.

Good luck! Emotion: smile


Tracking the mountain lion

Rupert Isaacson joins a volunteer project to protect mountain lions in Idaho, USA.

After two hours of trudging up the mountainside through deep snowdrifts, the dogs began to bark. There, in our path, was what we’d been looking for: the paw print of a mountain lion. It belonged to a female that had recently passed by. Kevin and Ken, the houndsmen, consulted briefly with John, the biologist, while the four hounds whimpered with excitement, straining at their leads, eager to begin the chase.
I carried one of the two rifles, followed by a pilot lugging measuring instruments, and a doctor and a postman struggling with cameras and radio antennae. Six others puffed and panted their way behind us, all of them – like me – professional cityfolk unused to such strenuous exertion.
When we finally caught up with the dogs they were bunched up at a rock, behind which an angry female mountain lion snarled and spat, swiping with its claws. We kept back, ready to run if it made a bid for freedom, while John crept down the mountain behind it. Having approached the lion quietly from below, he took his rifle from his bag, loaded it, took aim and shot.
We moved in, briskly efficient, photographing, measuring and weighing as John had taught us. Having changed the battery in its radio-collar, we brought the silken-coated creature round with an injection. Snarling and unsteady, it slunk away into cover and we began the long trek down the mountain.
However, our initial prejudices soon faded, as we realised the pair had more in common with us than we’d thought, and as the skill and dedication which they put into the project became apparent. This was most noticeable the next day, when our task was to provide a mother and cubs with new batteries in their collars. As we reached the point in the canyon where the pines grew thickest, suddenly a large male lion went streaking across the snowy plain. Ken and Kevin set off through the sagebrush.
While this was happening, Ken and Kevin crept up behind and tried to drop a pitifully small lasso – made from the dogs’ leads – over the lion’s head. Sensing their presence, the animal whirled around, slashing with its claws. I went in with the hounds again, and a surreal dance developed.
Of course it wasn’t always so dramatic – many of our days in the mountains were quite mundane. But for me, the best thing about the trip was watching hunters and environmentalists sharing an adventure and putting money and energy into conservation, all the while showing that really they are two sides of the same coin.



A The dart hit the lioness in the back of the leg. It flinched, growled and then turned sleepily back to the hounds. Like a tiring boxer, its slashing movements became slower and slower until it slumped into the snow, unconscious.

B Finally, on the fifth or sixth try, the houndsmen managed to drop the restraint over the lion’s head and tie it around a sagebrush trunk. Quickly and efficiently they did the same with one of its hind legs, then I helped them to sit on the protesting lion until John arrived with the tranquilliser.

C On the way, John told me he had recruited Ken and Kevin, two hunters, to assist in the lion study because of their local knowledge. At first my fellow volunteers felt uncomfortable with this. How could these men kill animals one day, then try to protect them the next?

D The men exchanged nods, then bent down to set the animals loose. And with a whoop, they were off, bounding through the snow, leaving the rest of us to lumber after them, each laden with his allotted encumbrance.

E Kevin barely had time to reply before the lion reached out a massive paw and swiped at the rifle. With impressive speed, John seized his own rifle, and – what seemed like a split-second later – the creature lay motionless on the ground, a tranquilliser dart in its tawny side.

F This motley crew formed the ten-strong paying volunteer group taking part in a University of Idaho study into the effect of habitat fragmentation on wildlife. Our task was to radio-collar mountain lions and gather data on their feeding habits, with the ultimate aim of persuading state authorities to curb urban growth and adopt more wildlife-friendly forestry practices.

G They sprinted effortlessly over the rocky ground, while I stumbled along in their wake. After five kilometres we spotted the lion. ‘Quick,’ said Ken, thrusting the hounds’ collars into my hand. ‘You distract it for a moment.’ Scarcely able to believe what I was doing, I found myself letting the straining dogs lunge at the lion just enough to make it come at us, then jumping back in time to avoid its claws.
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3 out of 6. Emotion: angry I must accept that it was difficult and I haven't solved such a test before. Could you add more like this Tanit?

And how much time do they allow in the real test for this part?
DollAnd how much time do they allow in the real test for this part?
There isn't a definite answer for this question. The CAE comprises five papers (Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening and Speaking).
This test was a part of Paper 1 (Reading), which consists of four parts (exercises) and has a total of 34 questions. Candidates are given one hour and fifteen minutes to complete Paper 1, but there's no limit on each part of the paper, so they can decide how much time they want to spend on each exercise.

The four parts which make up Paper 1 ask candidates to:
  • Read three short extracts and answer two questions per each extract (multiple choice)
  • Complete six gapped sentences (this exercise)
  • Read one long piece of text and answer seven questions (multiple choice)
  • Read one long piece of text (divided into 4-8 sections) and match fifteen statements with the appropriate parts of the text (e.g. the ones where certain pieces of information were given)
Trust me, time flies during Paper 1. There are a lot of things to read, so the time allotted is really, really short.
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I see, you really need to know how to read qucikly, passages are time-taking.
I had added this one to my favourites but didn't really feel like trying it out as I usually need a pen to underline the "key" words.

I scored 5 out of 6, my readings are giving its fruits! Emotion: smile
TanitTrust me, time flies during Paper 1. There are a lot of things to read, so the time allotted is really, really short.

It really does! Emotion: crying

I think the only paper in which you can "take your time" is in Paper 3
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
PuccaI think the only paper in which you can "take your time" is in Paper 3
I completely agree!
I scored 5 out of 6. But this exercise is devouring so much precious time!!! Don't know, but may be I had 20 minutes. As for me I never considered such kind of exercises to be suitable. But may be I am mistaken ... Anyhow, it was pretty difficult. Good thing for practicing Emotion: smile
Recommended time is 20 minutes top > and don't feel bad , you should be happy. I finished it in 15 minutes with 2 out of 6 scour, so you're average !
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