Category Archives: Reading

Exercises designed to test your reading skill. Any materials enhancing your knowledge about reading principles. Mock exams with reading part tests or actual tests from original Polish MoD exams.

Reading test – level 2

Below, you’ll find a level 2 (SLP 2222) reading comprehension test. It’s a courtesy of CKEJO MON. The answer key is given at the end of the test.

READING test, level 2

(L2/R/005)

Task One

Read the text and choose the right answer.

The Big Biggs

In 1963 Ronald Biggs, together with other gang members, stole £2.6 million from a mail train, the equivalent of around £40 million today. After being convicted and jailed, Biggs escaped from prison on 7 July 1965. He then fled to Paris, where he acquired new identity papers and underwent plastic surgery. Continue reading “Reading test – level 2” »

Reading test, level 2

Reading comprehension on level 2 - English test for the military.Thanks to PAFSL you have another level 2 test on reading comprehension. You have 75 minutes to do all 3 tasks. The answer key is provided at the end of the page.

Reading – level 2

Reading – SLP 2222

L2/R/004

Task One

Read the text and choose the right answer.

Lifestyle Guide

Martha Stewart was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to middle-class Polish-American parents. Continue reading “Reading test, level 2” »

Reading test, level 2

STANAG 6001 English test - reading on level 2.Below you will find a full reading test from original examination paper (courtesy of the Polish Armed Forces School of Languages (PAFSL). You have 75 minutes to do all the tasks. Then you can check your answers with the answer key provided at the end of the test.

Reading – level 2

Reading – SLP 2222

L2/R/003

 Task One

Read the text and choose the right answer.

Mamma Mia!

It is Money, money, money for a Greek island as the film Mamma Mia! attracts many tourists. The small Greek island of Skopelos was not a well known tourist destination. The number of tourists may be going down in other places, however the situation on Skopelos is different. Continue reading “Reading test, level 2” »

Best books for military English learners

Military reading

You could notice that my site lacks a section called “blogroll” or any of such a type. Instead, to support your self-studies, here is the additional list of the best books to read and the best sites to visit while learning military English.

Course book reviews

Most of the books mentioned below are the books I have already read and thorougly studied. That’s why I have no scruples about recommending it to the military English learners.

1) “Command English” by James Arnold and Robert Sacco. It is the first book featuring military vocabulary I have Command English - a basic military English course bookread in my life. It’s a well recognized and received publication, which thanks to many illustrations enables beginners to familiarize with the military vocabulary. The whole book is divided into 20 units, all of them featuring thematic vocabulary on a particular subject – an area of military life. The book also contains four progress tests, each of them testing 5 subsequent units. To help the reader out with word search there is also a vocabulary list at the end of the book. In this list, you can easily find an unknown word and refer to the proper chapter for its usage. The book was published by Longman – Pearson Education (in 2011 rebranded to Pearson: http://www.pearsoned.com). Pearson no longer offers this book. Continue reading “Best books for military English learners” »

Reading comprehension level 4 STANAG 6001 test SLP 4444

Reading test logo from STANAG6001 military English web serviceReading test – level 4

(L4/R/003)

Task One

Read each of the texts below and then complete the sentence, which comes under the text, using no more than five words to show that you have understood the text.

An example has been provided for you.

0.     Chee Soon Juan, leader of the Singapore Democratic party, pleaded not guilty to the charge of speaking in public without a permit, over a speech made in February. The case highlights the state restrictions on free speech.

In Singapore one has to ____have a permit/have permission ___ to speak in public

1.      The attempt by Beyoncé and Jay-Z to register their infant daughter’s name as a trade mark in the US appears to be continuing in spite of the fact that a wedding planner, who has been running a business with the same name since 2009, has been given the go ahead by the US Patent and Trademark Office to carry on using the name Blue Ivy for events.

Blue Ivy is both a pop _______________________________ name. Continue reading “Reading comprehension level 4 STANAG 6001 test SLP 4444” »

Level 4 exam – marking considerations

STANAG exam requirements

As far as the exam requirements are concerned there is nothing surprising about the fact that your four basic linguistic skills will be tested. There is a fixed sequence of the skills tests. Reading goes as the first one, then listening follows, then writing and eventually speaking. In each part the examinee should show his/her proficiency in English, but how we are marked for our performance depends on the assessment criteria and the assessors’ evaluation. Fortunately, the assessment criteria are not a mistery any longer.

STANAG 6001 – marking system

The assessment criteria introduced to Polish examination boards are very simple and clear. For each part of the exam you can receive 20 points in total. Many people are familiar with that number of points to get, however, not many know that the total number of points you are awarded consists of four components (applicable to so called productive skills only). For each skill there are different components which are subject to evaluation during the exam.

For writing it will be :

1) grammatical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
2) lexical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
3) task achievements – max. 6 points;
4) organisation – max. 2 points.

For speaking it will be:

1) grammatical range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
2) vocabulary range and accuracy – max. 6 points;
3) presentation skills – max. 5 points;
4) interactive ability – max. 3 points.

If you fail any of the productive components, you cannot pass the whole skill part of the exam. E.g. you can get 6 points for writing accuracy, 6 points for lexical range, but you failed in task achievement and you got two points for organisation. The total number of points is 14, theoretically it still  is the pass mark, but since you didn’t achieve the overarching goal of your task, you are not given the credit for your writing. To make things worse, to pass the components you are required to fit your performance into so called ‘top band‘ or ‘pass band‘. It means that in case of grammatical range and accuracy you have to obtain at least 4 points out of 6 available in the rating scale.

 Writing – rating scale:

Grammatical range and accuracy Lexical range and accuracy Task achievement Organisation
Top band

wide range of structures, including the use of complex structures;
complete accuracy achieved

6 points

wide range of lexical resources, including complex lexis;
complete accuracy and appropriacy

6 points

all seven elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner;
full use of supporting evidence and convincing arguments

6 points

as in the pass band

2 points

Pass band

wide range of structures, including the use of complex structures;
a few problems with complex structures;
all other structures accurate

4 points

wide range of lexical resources, including complex lexis;
minor slips in complex lexis;
all other lexis accurate and appropriate

4 points

six elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner;
adequate use of supporting evidence and convincing arguments

4 points

paragraphs/sections well-defined and concise;
text easy to follow

2 points

Fail band wide range of structures used, including the use of complex structures; noticeable problems with complex structures; all other structures accurate

2 points

lexical accuracy generally high; complex lexis either not attempted or, if attempted, showing noticeable inaccuracies and inappropriacies

2 points

no more than five elements fulfilled in a satisfactory manner; weak or irrelevant supporting evidence and unconvincing arguments used

2 points

paragraphs/sections present but either poorly defined or not concise; text difficult to follow at times

0 points

Bad fail band wide range of simple to middle level structures; no attempt at complex structures, or if attempted, mostly inaccurate

0 points

inaccuracies and inappropiacies even in middle-level lexis

0 points

several elements not attempted or done in an unsatisfactory manner; unsatisfactory use of supporting evidence; unconvincing arguments

0 points

as in the fail band

0 points

 Speaking – rating scale:

Grammatical range and accuracy
To be assessed throughout the whole exam
Vocabulary range and accuracy
To be assessed throughout the whole exam
Presentation skills
To be assessed in the second task only
Interactive ability
To be assessed in the third task only
Top band

all structures including complex structures fully accurate

6 points

wide range of vocabulary and complex lexis used accurately; no searching for words;
no avoidance strategy applied

6 points

presentation logical and clear;
very good organisation:
– clearly marked sections
– smooth transitions
– perfect time management;a native-like fluency with
natural hesitations

5 points

awareness of the partner’s arguments and fully communicative / co-operative response to them;
turn taking maintained and noticeable attempts to involve the partner in discussion (the interlocutor’s involvement is not necessary)

3 points

Pass band

all structures including complex structures used but minor slips or few mistakes may occur;
if mistakes appear
self-correction technique is applied

4 points

wide range of vocabulary though occasional groping
for words may be present;
gaps readily overcome with circumlocution;
minor slips repaired
immediately

4 points

presentation logical and clear;
good organisation:
– clearly-marked sections
– transitions not always
present
– minor defects in time
management;

good fluency, hesitations to order ideas but not in search for lexis.

4 points

awareness and understanding of the partner’s arguments
though asking for clarification may appear;
turn taking mostly maintained though the interlocutor’s assistance may once be given in case one candidate dominates

2 points

Fail band no complex structures
attempted or attempted
unsuccessfully;
mistakes in simple
structures may occur without selfcorrection

2 points

range of vocabulary
not adequate to cope with the topic;
groping for words
frequent;
avoidance strategy
often used leading
to simplification of
language

2 points

occasional lack of logic and clarity;
organisation disturbed:
– not clearly marked
sections
– rough transitions
– impaired time
management (e.g. parts
over-stretched or missing);fluency not maintained at times due to groping for
words.

2 points

awareness and understanding of the partner’s arguments are limited;
unwillingness to ask for clarification is apparent;
turn taking mostly maintained though the interlocutor’s assistance is occasionally necessary if one candidate is constantly dominant or the other unwilling to speak

1 point

Bad fail band noticeable mistakes and/or noticeable simplification of the language used

0 points

noticeable misuse
of vocabulary
items;
communication
disturbed

0 points

lack of logic and clarity;
bad organisation:
– no divisions into sections
– no transitions
– poor time management
(e.g. presentation not
finished);fluency not maintained
because of frequent groping for words.

0 points

ignoring or misunderstanding
the partner’s arguments or/and lack of appropriate response;
turn taking noticeably
disturbed;
no attempts to involve the partner in discussion (the
interlocutor’s assistance
frequently needed

0 points

Both tables – courtesy of Central Examination Board of the Polish MoD, “Model egzaminu z języka angielskiego”, Łódź, 2007