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 ZNO English Practice Test 11


You are going to read an extract from a short story.
For questions 1-8, choose the answer А-D which you think fits best according to the text.

Finding a good flat in Dublin at a price you could afford was like finding gold in the gold rush. The best way was by personal contact: if you knew someone who knew someone who was leaving a place, that often worked. But if, like Jo, you had only just arrived in Dublin, there was no chance of any personal contact, nobody to tell you that their bedsit would be vacant at the end of the month. No, it was a matter of staying in a hostel and searching.

For Jo, Dublin was a very big blank spot. She really felt she was stepping into the unknown when she got on the train to go and work there. She didn't ask herself why she was going there in the first place. It had been assumed by everyone she went around with at school that she would go. Who would stay in a one-horse town, the back of beyond, the end of the world, the sticks? That's all she had heard for years. They were all going to get out, escape, see some life, get some living in, have a real kind of existence, and some of the others in her class had gone as far as the towns of Ennis or Limerick, where an elder sister or an aunt would see them settled in. But out of Jo's year, none of them were going to Dublin. She was heading off on her own.

Jo's mother thought it would be great if she stayed permanently in the hostel. It was run by nuns, and she would come to no harm. Her father said that he hoped they kept the place warm; hostels were well known for being freezing. Jo's sisters, who worked in a hotel as waitresses, said she must be off her head to have stayed a whole week in a hostel. But Jo didn't know they were all still thinking about her and discussing her, as she answered the advertisement for a flat in Ringsend. It said, 'Own room, own television, share kitchen, bathroom.' It was very near the post office where she worked and seemed too good to be true. Please, please let it be nice, let them like me, let it not be too dear!

There wasn't a queue for this one because it wasn't so much 'Flat to Let', more 'Third Girl Wanted'. The fact that it said 'own television' made Jo wonder whether it might be too high a class for her, but the house did not look in any way overpowering. An ordinary red-brick terraced house with a basement. But the flat was not in the basement, it was upstairs. And a cheerful-looking girl with a college scarf, obviously a failed applicant, was coming down the stairs. 'Desperate place,' she said to Jo. 'They're both awful. Common as dirt.' 'Oh,' said Jo and went on climbing.

'Hello,' said the girl with 'Nessa' printed on her T-shirt. 'Did you see that toffee-nosed girl going out? I can't stand that kind, I can't stand them.' 'What did she do?' asked Jo. 'Do? She didn't have to do anything. She just poked around and pulled a face and sort of giggled and then said, "Is this all there is to it? Oh dear, oh dear," in a posh accent. We wouldn't have her in here, would we, Pauline?'

Pauline had a psychedelic shirt on, so colourful it almost hurt the eyes, but even so it was only slightly brighter than her hair. Pauline was a punk, Jo noted with amazement. She had seen some of them on O'Connell Street, but hadn't met one close up to talk to. 'I'm Jo, I work in the post office and I rang.' Nessa said they were just about to have a mug of tea. She produced three mugs; one had 'Nessa' and one had 'Pauline' and the other one had 'Other' written on it. 'We'll get your name put on if you come to stay,' she said generously.

1 What does 'it' paragraph 1 refer to?
Athe accommodation available
Bfinding accommodation
Cgetting advice on accommodation
Dthe shortage of accommodation

2 What do we learn about Jo's schoolfriends in paragraph 2?
AThey would have liked to be as independent as Jo was.
BThey had more self-confidence than Jo had.
CThey had made Jo feel that she ought to leave her home town.
DThey were not as happy as Jo was to move to a new town.

3 What impression do we get of Jo's home town?
AIt was an uninteresting place in the middle of the countryside.
BIt was a place where people struggled to earn a living.
CIt was a place where the population had fallen greatly.
DIt was an unfriendly place, where young people were treated badly.

4 What did Jo think about the flat in Ringsend before she saw it?
Athat she was likely to be able to afford it
Bthat the advertisement for it was confusing
Cthat it might not be as suitable for her as it first sounded in the advertisement
Dthat it did not really have all the facilities mentioned in the advertisement

5 What do we learn about the girl who passed Jo on the stairs?
AShe was upset that she was not going to live in the flat.
BShe liked neither the flat nor the other girls living there.
CShe had not been seriously intending to live in the flat before seeing it.
DShe had not realised that other people were already living in the flat.

6 What is meant by 'toffee-nosed' in paragraph 5 ?
Afeeling superior
Bbeing curious about others
Dappearing nervous

7 What did Jo think when she first met Pauline?
AShe probably wouldn't like Pauline because of her appearance.
BPauline was different from other punks she had met.
CPauline would probably not want to make friends with her.
DShe knew very little about people who looked like Pauline.

8 By the end of the extract, we learn that
ANessa and Pauline did not really want anyone to share their flat.
Bother people had moved out of the flat because they had not enjoyed living there.
CNessa felt that Jo would be more suitable than the previous applicant.
DNessa and Pauline were not expecting anyone to want to share their flat.



You are going to read a magazine article about how to become a published author.
Seven sentences have been removed from the article.
Choose from the sentences A-H the one which fits each gap (9-15).
There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

A However, if you fancy yourself as a writer of thrillers then you will need to read books by thriller writers.
B Then familiarise yourself with the kind of stories they are buying, taking special note of who the readers are.
C That almost never happens.
D If not, try joining a local writers' group which will help you to gain ideas and confidence from mixing with other aspiring writers.
E There are several ways of doing this, but the best one is simply by reading everything relevant you can lay your hands on.
F Don't tear any of them up - improve them instead.
G New titles are coming and going all the time.
H As a former teacher, I would never actively discourage anyone.
Trying to get published?
If you are wondering where to send your story, our expert Margaret Stubbs is here with the advice you need.

Readers of this magazine often write in saying, 'I have written this story/book. Can you please tell me who to send it to?' One of the first things they need to know is that they should be researching their markets and finding out about publishers as well as practising their writing skills. Turning words into a saleable commodity takes a good deal of knowledge about the 'writing game'.

Whatever kind of writing you do, you need to develop a knowledge of the markets you are aiming at. 9_____ Use your local library and go round the local bookshops and newsagents. Reading widely will always give you the best guide to what kinds of writing publishers are actually accepting at any given time.

As time goes on, this knowledge must be updated as new publications are constantly appearing - editors change jobs, and magazines change direction. 10_____ Publishers are always hungry for new blood; as writers we have to make sure we give them what they want.

To begin with you may be looking around, not quite sure what you want to write. Let us say you feel that you might like to write short love stories. The very first thing you must do is find out which magazines use love stories, a rather limited market these days, and get hold of as many recent copies as you can. 11_____ These readers will expect different things from their magazine, and the editor is only interested in catering to their needs.

Writers often send me their stories saying, 'This has been rejected three times - please tell me if I am wasting my time... do I stand a chance at all?' 12_____ But it is unlikely that the work is of publishable standard; so I have to try to give an honest opinion, but always with a positive viewpoint.

The problem is that most new writers are too eager to send their work out, usually long before they are ready to enter the market. If you have only written one story or one article, it is not at all likely to be published. 13_____ When you read about so-called 'overnight success', you usually find that the person has been in the publishing trade or journalism for some years before their current success.

When you do finally send off some of your work for the first time, immediately get on with more work while you await a reply; write ten more stories, twenty even. Each one will be better than the last, and you will begin to think of yourself as a writer, and both your fluency and your confidence will grow. 14_____ Also I would advise not showing your work to anyone else, certainly in the early stages.

Don't forget that every successful writer will have had many rejections before succeeding. Do everything you can to advance your career as a writer. See whether there's a creative writing course near you. 15_____ Think of yourself as a writer and get that writing practice in -every day if possible.



You are going to read a magazine article in which five people talk about their favourite places.
For questions 16-30, choose the people A-E.
The people may be chosen more than once.
When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.

Which person or people
16appreciates a little luxury?
17enjoy an area that they appreciated as a child?
18enjoy an area that they appreciated as a child?
19enjoys watching other people in their everyday lives?
20appreciates the plantlife in their favourite place?
21appreciates a lack of noise?
22like an area which few people visit?
23like an area which few people visit?
24revealed talents as a child which were required in their future career?
25stays in inexpensive accommodation?
26finds changing circumstances add to their appreciation of the place?
27admits the landscape is not very special?
28experienced a variety of landscapes while still a child?
29experienced a variety of landscapes while still a child?
30has been keen to share their enthusiasm with others?
Favourite places

A Bruce

I don't like landscapes which are completely untamed. It's the human element which is important to me. It's the same when I travel abroad. Lovely villages with old temples attract me, not empty deserts. When I was eight, I went away to school in England and on Saturdays I would cycle to the village of Lastingham in its lovely valley. Cycling was a release from school. I loved exploring the bleak hilltops, the sheltered valleys and old villages. Coming from Scotland myself, I found the landscape familiar yet different and I still go back there today. I used to describe my adventures in my private diary. In a way, that was my first attempt at travel writing, at which I subsequently made my name.

B Sophia

There is a miniature railway that goes from Hythe to Dungeness, run by amateurs. I always travel first class as it doesn't cost much more than the regular fare. The scenery is not spectacular. The train moves across Romney Marsh with its sheep, and alongside a canal. But there is one point on the journey that I always look forward to -when our miniature world takes a detour through back gardens. For a few moments, we passengers spy on people at random points in their day, making a cup of tea, doing the washing up, unfolding a deckchair. I see myself in their eyes, a woman in a tiny train carriage, looking into other people's homes. It's the ordinariness of the landscape that attracts me. Just fields and sheep and a distant grey sea. That makes me look more closely, to search for something that opens my eyes.

C Matthew

The Hartland Peninsula is a remote and lovely coast. The beaches are hard to reach and scattered with rocks, so crowds are largely non-existent here. They attract a few brave surfers but most visitors prefer instead to reflect on the majesty of the sea. The coast, which faces the Atlantic, is notorious for shipwrecks. There are coast walks which you can combine with trips inland up beautiful damp valleys, full of oak trees, ferns and wild flowers. We stay in modest self-catering accommodation with a family who have some property in the village of Southole.

D Annette

My favourite place in England is the Trough of Bowland, a landscape of wide-open moorland which is perfect for hiking. There are not many residents and not many visitors either. It's an unknown corner, empty and remote, and I like the feeling of space. I discovered the area by chance when I was a student, and since then I've made an annual visit, either alone, or with my boyfriend, and now with my son. It has changed little since my first visit. Having a child makes these visits more special. It makes me sad that he's growing up in an urban environment.

E James

I purchased Glenthorne, my favourite house in Britain. It was a question of obtaining pure peace and reconnecting with my English roots and coming home. I grew up in what is now known as Sri Lanka, but at the age of twelve went to school in Devon, in the west of England. I used to cycle around the moors and village backstreets. We had a story about a place we would never cycle past: if you went down the driveway you'd never return. That place was Glenthorne. It's the place of my dreams. It's a magic, secluded, romantic house. You can't hear anything except sea, wind and birds.



For questions 31-42, read the text below and decide which answer А-D best fits each gap.


In the past, British children were frequently encouraged to try out their performing skills for the benefit of adults. They did this by reading aloud, acting or (31)_____ a musical instrument. As they (32)_____ up they were taken to public places of entertainment - the theatre, opera, circus or ballet. They looked forward to these (33)_____ with great (34)_____ and would remember and discuss what they had seen for many weeks afterwards. But nowadays television and computers (35)_____ an endless stream of easily (36)_____ entertainment, and children quickly accept these marvellous (37)_____ as a very ordinary part of their everyday lives. For many children, the sense of witnessing a very (38)_____ live performance is gone forever.

But all is not lost. The (39)_____ of a TV set may have encouraged a very lazy response from (40)_____ in their own homes, but the (41)_____ of those with ambitions to become performing artists themselves does not seem to have been at all diminished. And live performances in public are still relatively (42)_____ albeit with an older, more specialist audience.

31 A controlling B handling C doing D playing
32 A developed B grew C advanced D brought
33 A circumstances B occasions C incidents D situations
34 A sensation B action C thrill D excitement
35 A supply B send C stock D store
36 A applicable B convenient C available D free
37 A designs B inventions C exhibits D appearances
38 A special Bpeculiar C specific D particular
39 A attendance B presence C being D company
40 A spectators B onlookers C viewers D listeners
41 A want B appeal C pressure D desire
42 A famous B favourite C popular D approved


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