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 ZNO English Practice Test 5


You are going to read a magazine article about an artist who paints flowers.
For questions 1-8, choose the answer (А-D) which you think fits best according to the text.

An eye for detail

Artist Susan Shepherd is best known for her flower paintings, and the large garden that surrounds her house is the source of many of her subjects. It is full of her favourite flowers, most especially varieties of tulips and poppies. Some of the plants are unruly and seed themselves all over the garden. There is a harmony of colour, shape and structure in the two long flower borders that line the paved path which crosses the garden from east to west. Much of this is due to the previous owners who were keen gardeners, and who left plants that appealed to Susan. She also inherited the gardener, Danny. 'In fact, it was really his garden,' she says. 'We got on very well. At first he would say, "Oh, it's not worth it" to some of the things I wanted to put in, but when I said I wanted to paint them, he recognised what I had in mind.'

Susan prefers to focus on detailed studies of individual plants rather than on the garden as a whole, though she will occasionally paint a group of plants where they are. More usually, she picks them and then takes them up to her studio. 'I don't set the whole thing up at once," she says. 'I take one flower out and paint it, which might take a few days, and then I bring in another one and build up the painting that way. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to finish.'

Her busiest time of year is spring and early summer, when the tulips are out, followed by the poppies. 'They all come out together, and you're so busy,' she says. But the gradual decaying process is also part of the fascination for her. With tulips, for example, 'you bring them in and put them in water, then leave them for perhaps a day and they each form themselves into different shapes. They open out and are fantastic. When you first put them in a vase, you think they are boring, but they change all the time with twists and turns.'

Susan has always been interested in plants: '1 did botany at school and used to collect wild flowers from all around the countryside,' she says. 'I wasn't parti-cularly interested in gardening then; in fart, I didn't like garden flowers, I thought they looked like the ones made of silk or plastic that were sold in some florists' shops - to me, the only real ones were wild. I was intrigued by the way they managed to flower in really awkward places, like cracks in rocks or on cliff tops.' Nowadays, the garden owes much to plants that originated in far-off lands, though they seem as much at home in her garden as they did in China or the Himalayas. She has a come-what-may attitude to the garden, rather like an affectionate aunt who is quite happy for children to run about undisciplined as long as they don't do any serious damage.

With two forthcoming exhibitions to prepare for, and a ready supply of subject material at her back door, finding time to work in the garden has been difficult recently. She now employs an extra gardener but, despite the need to paint, she knows that, to maintain her connection with her subject matter, 'you have to get your hands dirty'.

1 In the first paragraph, the writer describes Susan's garden as
Ahaving caused problems for the previous owners.
Bhaving a path lined with flowers.
Cneeding a lot of work to keep it looking attractive.
Dbeing only partly finished.

2 What does 'this' in paragraph 1 refer to?
Athe position of the path
Bthe number of wild plants
Cthe position of the garden
Dthe harmony of the planting

3 What does Susan say about Danny?
AHe felt she was interfering in his work.
BНе immediately understood her feelings.
CНе was recommended by the previous owners.
DHe was slow to see the point of some of her ideas.

4 What is Susan's approach to painting?
AShe will wait until a flower is ready to be picked before painting it.
BShe likes to do research on a plant before she paints it.
CShe spends all day painting an individual flower.
DShe creates her paintings in several stages.

5 Susan thinks that tulips
Aare more colourful and better shaped than other flowers.
Bare not easy to paint because they change so quickly.
Clook best some time after they have been cut.
Dshould be kept in the house for as long as possible.

6 Why did Susan enjoy studying wild flowers at school?
AShe found the way they adapted to their surroundings fascinating.
BShe used the lessons as a good excuse to get out of school.
CShe was attracted by their different colours and shapes.
DShe wanted to learn how to make copies of them in material.

7 How does the writer describe Susan's attitude to her garden?
AShe thinks children should be allowed to enjoy it.
BShe prefers planting flowers from overseas.
CShe likes a certain amount of disorder.
DShe dislikes criticism of her planting methods.

8 What point is Susan making in the final paragraph?
AIt's essential to find the time to paint even if there is gardening to be done.
BIt's important not to leave the gardening entirely to other people.
CIt's good to have expert help when you grow plants.
DIt's hard to do exhibitions if there are not enough plants ready in the garden.



You are going to read a magazine article about letter writing.
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 Most of the letters from home contained just everyday events concerning my parents and their friends.
B We had been corresponding for 29 years but had never met.
C It didn't matter how short or untidy they were as long as they were letters.
D Notes are appreciated, but how much better to have a year's supply of news!
E Poor handwriting can spoil your enjoyment of a letter.
F But instead of harming the relationships, letter writing seemed to improve them.
G She and my son have penfriends of their own in Texas, organised by my penfriend.
H More important, if she hadn't replied, we would be the poorer for it.
Drop me a line!

In our fast world of phones, emails and computers, the old-fashioned art of letter writing is at risk of disappearing altogether. Yet, to me, there is something about receiving a letter that cannot be matched by any other form of communication. There is the excitement of its arrival, the pleasure of seeing who it is from and, finally, the enjoyment of the contents.

Letter writing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. It probably began with the little notes I would write to my mother. My mother, also, always insisted I write my own thank-you letters for Christmas and birthday presents. I 9_____

When I left home at 18 to train as a doctor in London, 1 would write once a week, and so would my mother. Occasionally my father would write and it was always a joy to receive his long, amusing letters. Of course, we also made phone calls 10_____ but it is the letters I remember most.

There were also letters from my boyfriends. In my youth I seemed to attract people who had to work or study away at some time and I was only able to stay in touch by correspondence. 11_____ I found that I could often express myself more easily in writing than by talking.

I love the letters that come with birthday or Christmas cards.

And it's even nicer 12_____ when it's an airmail envelope with beautiful stamps. My overseas letters arrive from Mangala in Sri Lanka, from someone l trained with over 20 years ago, and I have a penfriend in Australia and another in Vancouver.

Then there's the lady who writes to me from France. If we hadn't started talking in a restaurant on the way home from holiday, if my husband hadn't taken her photo and if I hadn't asked her for her address, I would never have been able to write to her.

13_____ As it is, we now have a regular correspondence. I can improve my French (she speaks no English); we have stayed at her home twice and she has stayed with us.

My biggest letter-writing success, however, came this summer, when my family and I stayed with my American penfriend in Texas. 14_____ Everyone was amazed that a correspondence could last so long. The local press even considered the correspondence worth reporting on the front page.

I am pleased that my children are carrying on the tradition. Like my mother before me, I insist they write their own thank-you letters. My daughter writes me little letters, just as I did to my mother. However convenient communicating 15_____ by email may appear to be, I strongly urge readers not to allow letter writing to become another 'lost art'.



You are going to read a magazine article in which five people talk about railway journeys.
For questions 16-30, choose from 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
16found on returning years later that nothing had changed?
17was unsure of the number of passengers on the train?
18enjoyed the company of fellow passengers?
19found the views from the train dramatic?
20found the views from the train dramatic?
21welcomed a chance to relax on the trip?
22was never disappointed by the journey?
23has a reason for feeling grateful to one special train?
24travelled on a railway which is no longer in regular service?
25regretted not going on a particular train trip?
26used to travel on the railway whenever possible?
27learnt an interesting piece of information on a train journey?
28took a train which travelled from one country to another?
29says that the railway had been looked after by unpaid helpers?
30was once considered not old enough to travel by train?
On the rails

Five celebrities tell Andrew Morgan their favourite memories of railway journeys.
A Andrea Thompson - Newsreader

I fell in love with the south of France a long time ago and try to get back there as often as I can. There's a local train from Cannes along the coast which crosses the border with Italy. It takes you past some of the most amazing seascapes. It never matters what the weather is like, or what time of the year it is, it is always enchanting. Out of the other window are some of the best back gardens and residences in the whole of France. You feel like someone peeping into the property of the rich and famous. The travellers themselves are always lively because there is an interesting mix of tourists and locals, all with different itineraries but all admirers of the breathtaking journey.

B Raj Patel - Explorer

I have enjoyed so many rail journeys through the years, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Nile Valley Express, which runs across the desert of northern Sudan. The one misfortune in my youth, growing up in South Africa, was missing out on a family train journey from Cape Town to the Kruger National Park. I was regarded as being too young and troublesome and was sent off to an aunt. When I came to live in England as a teenager, I still hadn't travelled by train. London Waterloo was the first real station I ever saw and its great glass dome filled me with wonder.

C Betty Cooper - Novelist

I am indebted to one train in particular: the Blue Train, which took my husband and me on our honeymoon across France to catch a boat to Egypt, It was on the train that my husband gave me a pink dress, which I thought was absolutely wonderful. Someone happened to mention that pink was good for the brain, and I've never stopped wearing the colour since. What I remember about the journey itself, however, is how lovely it was to travel through France and then by boat up the Nile to Luxor. It was, without a doubt, the perfect way to wind down after all the wedding preparations.

D Martin Brown - Journalist

We were working on a series of articles based on a round-the-world trip and had to cross a desert in an African country. There wasn't a road, so the only way we could continue our journey was to take what was affectionately known as the Desert Express. The timetable was unreliable -we were just given a day. We also heard that, in any case, the driver would often wait for days to depart if he knew there were people still on their way. When it appeared, there was a sudden charge of what seemed like hundreds of people climbing into and onto the carriages - people were even allowed to travel on the roof free. During the night, the train crossed some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. It was like a dream, like travelling across the moon.

E Arisu Mezuki - Actress

I imagine most people's favourite impressions of trains and railways are formed when they are young children, but that's not my case. I was brought up in Singapore and Cyprus, where I saw very few trains, let alone travelled on them. It wasn't until I was a teenager that trains began to dominate my life. I made a film which featured a railway in Yorkshire. Most of the filming took place on an old, disused stretch of the line which had been lovingly maintained by volunteers. That's where my passion for steam trains began. When we weren't filming, we took every opportunity to have a ride on the train, and, when I went back last year, it was as if time had stood still. Everything was still in place, even the gas lights on the station platform!



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

Thomas Edison

On the night of 21 October 1931, millions of Americans took part in a coast-to-coast ceremony to commemorate the passing of a great man. Lights 31_____ in homes and offices from New York to California. The ceremony 32_____ the death of arguably the most important inventor of 33_____ time: Thomas Alva Edison.
Few inventors have 34_____ such an impact on everyday life, and many of his inventions played a crucial 35_____ in the development of modern technology. One should never 36_____ how revolutionary some of Edison's inventions were.
In many ways, Edison is the perfect example of an inventor - that is, not just someone who 37_____ up clever gadgets, but someone whose products transform the lives of millions. He possessed the key characteristics that an inventor needs to 38_____ a success of inventions, notably sheer determination. Edison famously tried thousands of materials while working on a new type of battery, reacting to failure by cheerfully 39_____ to his colleagues: 'Well, 40_____ we know 8,000 things that don't work.' Knowing when to take no 41_____ of experts is also important. Edison's proposal for electric lighting circuitry was 42_____ with total disbelief by eminent scientists, until he lit up whole streets with his lights.

31 A turned out B came off C went out D put off
32 A marked B distinguished C noted D indicated
33 A whole B full C entire D all
34 A put B had C served D set
35 A effect B place C role D share
36 A underestimate B lower C decrease D mislead
37 A creates B shapes C dreams D forms
38 A gain B make C achieve D get
39 A announcing B informing C instructing D notifying
40 A by far B at least C even though D for all
41 A notice B regard C attention D view
42 A gathered B caught C drawn D received


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