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 ZNO English Practice Test 14


You are going to read a magazine article about a company called Holiday on Ice, which puts on iceskating shows.
For questions 1-8, choose the answer (А-D) which you think fits best according to the text.

Holiday on Ice

What is the secret of Holiday on Ice's long-lasting success? Hilary Rose reports

At 7pm on a dark, cold November evening, thousands of people are making their way across a vast car park. They're not here to see a film, or the ballet, or even the circus. They are all here for what is, bizarrely, a global phenomenon: they are here to see Holiday on ice. Given that most people don't seem to be acquainted with anyone who's ever been, the show's statistics are extraordinary: nearly 300 million people have seen Holiday on Ice since it began in 1943; it is the most popular live entertainment in the world.

But what does the production involve? And why are so many people prepared to spend their lives travelling round Europe in caravans in order to appear in it? It can't be glamorous, and it's undoubtedly hard work. The backstage atmosphere is an odd mix of gym class and workplace. A curtained-off section at the back of the arena is laughably referred to as the girls' dressing room, but is more accurately described as a corridor, with beige, cracked walls and cheap temporary tables set up along the length of it. Each girl has a small area littered with pots of orange make-up, tubes of mascara and long false eyelashes.

As a place to work, it must rank pretty low down the scale: the area round the ice-rink is grey and mucky with rows of dirty blue and brown plastic seating and red carpet tiles. It's an unimpressive picture, but the show itself is an unquestionably vast, polished global enterprise: the lights come from a firm in Texas, the people who make the audio system are in California, but Montreal supplies the smoke effects; former British Olympic skater Robin Cousins is now creative director for the company and conducts a vast master class to make sure they're ready for the show's next performance.

The next day, as the music blares out from the sound system, the cast start to go through their routines under Cousins' direction. Cousins says, The aim is to make sure they're all still getting to exactly the right place on the ice at the right time - largely because the banks of lights in the ceiling are set to those places, and if the skaters are all half a metre out they'll be illuminating empty ice. Our challenge,' he continues, is to produce something they can sell in a number of countries at the same time. My theory is that you take those things that people want to see and you give it to them, but not in the way they expect to see it. You try to twist it. And you have to find music that is challenging to the skaters, because they have to do it every night.'

It may be a job which he took to pay the rent, but you can't doubt his enthusiasm. The only place you'll see certain skating moves is an ice show,' he says, 'because you're not allowed to do them in competition. It's not in the rules. So the ice show world has things to offer which the competitive world just doesn't.' Cousins knows what he's talking about because he skated for the show himself when he stopped competing - he was financially unable to retire. He learnt the hard way that you can't put on an Olympic performance every night. 'I'd be thinking, these people have paid their money, now do your stuff, and I suddenly thought, "I really can't cope. I'm not enjoying it".' The solution, he realised, was to give 75 per cent every night, rather than striving for the sort of twice-a-year excellence which won him medals.

To be honest, for those of us whose only experience of ice-skating is watching top-class Olympic skaters, some of the movements can look a bit amateurish, but then, who are we to judge? Equally, it's impossible not to be swept up in the whole thing; well, you'd have to try pretty hard not to enjoy it.

1 What surprises the writer about the popularity of Holiday on Ice?
AThe show has not changed since it started.
BFew people know someone who has seen it.
CIce-skating is not generally a popular hobby.
DPeople often say they prefer other types of show.

2 The writer describes the backstage area in order to show
Athe conditions that the skaters put up with.
Bthe type of skater that the show attracts.
Chow much fun the cast have during their work.
Dhow much preparation is needed for a performance.

3 What does the writer highlight about the show in the third paragraph?
Athe need for a higher level of professional support
Bthe difficulty of finding suitable equipment
Cthe range of companies involved in the production
Dthe variety of places in which the show has been staged

4 For Robin Cousins, the key point when rehearsing skating routines is
Athe movement of the lights.
Bkeeping in time with the music.
Cfilling all available space on the ice.
Dthe skaters' positions on the ice.

5 Cousins believes that he can meet the challenge of producing shows for different audiences
Aby varying the routines each night.
Bby adapting movements to suit local tastes.
Cby presenting familiar material in an unexpected way.
Dby selecting music that local audiences will respond to.

6 What does Cousins suggest in paragraph 5 about skating in shows?
AIt allows skaters to try out a range of ideas.
BIt enables skaters to visit a variety of places.
CIt can be as competitive as other forms of skating.
DIt is particularly well paid.

7 What is meant by 'the hard way' in paragraph 5?
Athrough making a lot of errors
Bthrough difficult personal experience
Cby over-estimating the ability of others
Dby misunderstanding the expectations of others

8 What conclusion does the writer draw about Holiday on Ice?
AIt is more enjoyable to watch than formal ice-skating.
BIt requires as much skill as Olympic ice-skating.
CIt is hard to know who really enjoys it.
DIt is difficult to dislike it.



You are going to read a newspaper article about a woman who spent last year as a judge for the British Theatre Awards.
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 Having to take this approach meant that she couldn't let her concentration slip at any time.
B In this situation there is surely a danger of the professional critics dominating the discussions.
C Regular theatre-goers usually disagree with some of their judgements, of course, and Mrs Hart is no exception.
D They were part of a panel that also included five professional theatre critics.
E Her appointment was therefore something of a dream come true for her.
F The experience has left Mrs Hart optimistic about the state of British theatre.
G In one week alone, her duties involved her reviewing as many as seven plays.
H So did management show her enormous respect?
Mrs Hart - amateur theatre critic
Who judges the British Theatre Awards? James Pickard finds out.

Elisabeth Hart went to the theatre in London 55 times last year. She read 55 programmes, saw 55 curtains rise and ate an undisclosed number of ice creams. On top of that, she had to write page after page of notes on each visit. However, she is not a professional theatre critic. She is an ordinary member of the public on the judging panel of this year's British Theatre Awards.

Mrs Hart was one of four theatre-lovers chosen to judge all new drama productions (excluding musicals) last year. 9_____ Mrs Hart 13 thinks this was a good system. 'It's important to have amateurs playing a part in the decisions,' she says. 'It stops the awards appearing to have been fixed like some others. And if a play wins an award, the public know that it's been approved by people with no axe to grind.'

Mrs Hart is extremely enthusiastic about the theatre. 'The year before last I went to over 30 plays,' she says, 'and they were a complete mixed bag.' 10_____ It began with an 15 application form left on a foyer shelf by the Society of London Theatre, which organises the awards. She filled it in, added a short theatre review, and was selected from several hundred applicants.

'They were looking for people with a very wide taste in theatre,' she explains. 'I always enjoyed acting in plays when I was young, and as a student in London, I regularly bought cheap standing tickets for West End productions.' Being a judge was hard work, though. 11_____ 'But I never got sick of it. Even the plays I didn't like always had some redeeming qualities.'

She could never sit back and relax, though, because she had to make hefty notes on everything. 12_____ 'It wasn't just the actors we were judging, but also costume design, direction, lighting and script - twelve categories in all. But I still enjoyed it. It felt like an enormous privilege.'

13_____ "That didn't happen at all. It was all very civilised and friendly,' says Mrs Hart. 'We were listened to and our votes were all equal.'

Theatre critics, of course, are known for their power to make or break a play. 14_____ 'I wasn't treated differently at all, although one receptionist did optimistically describe me as looking as if I was keen to enjoy my evening.'

15_____ 'It is bursting with talent on all fronts, from playwriting to direction, and there are plenty of innovative developments in productions. I personally think new writing should be encouraged. But overall, theatre is definitely alive and kicking.'



You are going to read an article in which four people describe their best teacher.
For questions 16-30, choose from the people (A-D).
The people may be chosen more than once.

Which person had a teacher who
16taught more than one member of the same family?
17might have preferred their pupil to choose a different career?
18was popular with all the pupils?
19had to overcome a disadvantage when teaching?
20made contact after their pupil left school?
21taught in an unusual physical position?
22changed their pupils' behaviour?
23became their teacher as a result of a personal contact?
24developed their pupils' physical and mental skills?
25pointed their pupil in the direction of a successful career?
26demonstrated a sense of humour?
27decided what to teach by responding to their pupil's interests?
28showed what was necessary instead of talking about it?
29was also doing another job?
30put an emphasis on what pupils expressed, not the way they expressed it?
My best teacher

A Veronique Tadjo

Tae Kwon Do is a martial art which has become popular as a sporting activity in recent years. I started learning it in the Ivory Coast in Africa when I was about 13, and later became the country's first black belt. My teacher, Kim Young Tae, had been sent by the Tae Kwon Do federation in Korea to open a club. It was very successful. When he arrived he didn't know a word of French so he used to demonstrate rather than explain. At the time my brother and I started learning Tae Kwon Do, we were fighting like mad. But we quickly understood we had to stop fighting because we realised that fighting was about self-defence, not aggression. Tae Kwon Do teaches you to control your anger and control your body. It is very good for your memory, co-ordination and self-discipline. And you are acquiring a philosophy. Later on, Kim opened a restaurant and then moved back to Korea. We had a very friendly relationship, but somehow I feel like I was a disappointment to him. He thought I had a future in the sport. But when I was 17 I decided it was not what I wanted to do.

B Helen Mirren

Everyone loved Miss Welding. She taught me between the ages of 13 and 17 and was instrumental in my becoming an actress. She knew I was interested in acting, but it just wasn't an option in my world. My father was a driving examiner and I wasn't exposed to acting as a career. It was Miss Welding who told me about the National Youth Theatre, which was an organisation I was unaware of. She suggested I look into it and think about going there. About ten years after I left school, when I was with the Royal Shakespeare Company and playing fairly high-profile parts, I got a letter from Miss Welding saying she was following my career with interest, but as far as I know, she never came to see me perform. She certainly never came to see me backstage.

C Nisha Ishtiak

My father was editor of Pakistan's largest newspaper and he knew and liked its librarian, Atif Burkhi. Atif was well-educated and when I was about 12 my father decided I should learn more about the region's history and he chose Atif as my tutor. It turned out to be an inspired move. He would come to our house once a week to teach me, from the end of school until supper. He took me through a lot of history, but after a few lessons I got bored. 'I know you're being paid by my parents to teach me this stuff," I said, 'but there are other things in the world." He burst out laughing as he so often did and asked: 'What do you want to talk about then?" And so we would discuss global issues and world literature.

D Suzanne Terry

Brian Earle, my English teacher was a very intense man with thick glasses, and the fact that he taught a lot of his classes standing on his head was also seen as extremely peculiar. He taught me for just one year and it was probably one of the most creative years of my life. He didn't believe in giving marks for grammar or punctuation; he implied that the mechanics of writing were not important if you had something to say. When I wrote a short story for him called Army", he simply wrote across the bottom: 'You've just got to keep on writing." Those few words of support had a fantastic effect on me in terms of wanting to write and be involved in writing. Brian Earle had a love of teaching and his subject.



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

A wildlife cameraman

I earn a living as a freelance wildlife cameraman working all over the world. It is my job to provide the 31_____ material from which a natural history programme is 32_____ up. If the lifestyle agrees with you, the travel and the filming can be great. There is fantastic variety: I often do not have the slightest 33_____ where I am going or what I will see. There is also a certain pleasure in 34_____ some of the film you take on TV, though as I am often away working, I do not always 35_____ the programmes when they are shown.

It is unusual to get an 'easy' filming job. One of the most challenging things is 36_____ your sense of humour under sometimes difficult circumstances. I 37_____ to work in the region of 300 days a year and I often 38_____ I had more time to play my guitar or see friends. Sometimes there is no 39_____ even unpacking, when I get home.

But it is an amazing job, even though there are frustrations. What I hate most is flying - I really cannot 40_____ with that. All things 41_____ if it were not for the flying, this job would be 42_____ about perfect.

31 A pure B plain C raw D bare
32 A made B set C taken D put
33 A idea B thought C purpose D sense
34 Anoticing B viewing C looking Dregarding
35 A catch B glimpse C glance D remark
36 A guarding B holding C keeping D saving
37 A expect B suppose C imagine D rely
38 A hope B desire C wish D want
39 A reason B point C purpose D matter
40 A suffer B stand C tolerate D cope
41 A examined B weighed C consulted D considered
42 A round B near C almost D just


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