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
Read the text and choose the right answer.
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. The island’s spectacular scenery is bringing visitors wanting beach weddings. Some want weddings, others want champagne receptions at sunset on their own private beach. Others, still, want to take a leaf straight out of the film script and “dance and kiss on the beach.” It’s called the Mamma Mia! effect. And nowhere is it felt more strongly than on the Aegean isle of Skopelos, where the capacity for life to imitate art has increased greatly since the release of the film version of the hit Abba stage show.
“The phones never stop ringing,” says Mayor Christos Vasiloudi. “People call in all the time asking how they can get to our Mamma Mia! paradise.” Greece may have been hit in recent weeks by some of the worst problems in decades, but this week, Mamma Mia! has beaten Titanic to become the highest-earning movie in the UK. This has meant that the island where most of the movie was filmed is struggling to keep up with outside interest. And, with it, increasingly strange requests. “It’s extraordinary. I’ve had requests from people in England, Hungary, and Australia, asking whether they can marry here, hold champagne parties here, buy land here,” said Mahi Drossou, a local travel agent.
Until the arrival of the Hollywood star cast 15 months ago, Skopelos (population 4,696) was best known for its plums, pears and pine trees. The island does not have an airport, and is reachable only by boat. Although it is without the ugly tourist development of other Greek islands, few people could have imagined that the 96-sq km isle, would become the backdrop of a blockbuster. Even fewer people could have predicted that the island would become the film’s star.
“Who would have guessed?” asked Giorgos Tsolovikos a 57-year-old transporter who had a small part with his mechanised tricycle in the film. “I had no idea that the person who kept singing and dancing and screaming and crying was so famous and I was shocked to discover it was Meryl Streep. I was in the scene where she drives up in the jeep and they kept saying don’t look at the cameras when she comes.” Indeed, if it had not been for the many times people saw the film, the fictional Greek island “Kalokairi” in Mamma Mia! might have gone unnoticed.
Excited by the island’s spectacular scenery, fans appear to have gone to great lengths to uncover its identity. “I’ve met people who have come because friends had seen the film four or five times and they wanted to see what all the excitement is about,” said Dimitra Rekkas at the town hall. “The producers checked out at least 25 Greek islands before opting for Skopelos. They chose our island because of its greenness and the fact it really is a small paradise.”
The film’s success could not have been better timed for a country whose tourist-dependent economy has been hard hit by violent anti-government protests. On Thursday Greek officials announced that hotel bookings had dropped by 40% due to the protests. This made Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis announce emergency measures to boost tourism. A lot of Greeks think the film is a positive symbol of Greece – carefree, idyllic, life-affirming. This means the movie has increased the mood of a nation that has typically become hit by money worries and pessimism.
Predictably, officials hope the Mamma Mia! effect will reach other parts of Greece. On Skopelos locals are already preparing for the Mamma Mia! movie tour. But they also insist that it’s not only about money, money, money. “Okay, we need Mamma Mia! in this economic crisis but a lot of us would hate it if the film that promoted our island also ended up destroying it,” said travel agent Mahi Drossou. “It’s great that people want to come and marry here and dance and kiss on our beaches, but Skopelos has an unspoilt natural beauty and we want to keep it that way.”
1. The number of tourists on the island of Skopelos …
A. has become lower recently
B. has always been big
C. has grown a lot recently
2. In Great Britain the film has been …
A. more successful than Titanic
B. as successful as Titanic
C. less successful than Titanic
3. The island of Skopelos was …
A. a well known film set
B. known mainly for its fruit
C. similar to other Greek islands
4. Giorgos Tsolovikos …
A. knew who the woman was
B. hadn’t met the woman before
C. was good friends with the woman
5. Dimitra Rekkas says tourists come to the island because …
A. it is small and beautiful
B. their friends had been there
C. they had heard a lot about it
6. Many Greeks think the film …
A. is another reason to protest
B. is going to damage tourism
C. is a good image for Greece
7. Mahi Drossou …
A. is unhappy about the island’s new fame
B. is only interested in business opportunities
C. wants to protect the island and make money
In this task six phrases have been removed from a text and placed at the bottom. An extra phrase has been included. You must decide which phrase goes into which gap and write the letter in the box bellow the sentences. An example has been done for you.
Ross Kemp is an actor known for playing some of television’s most uncompromising characters. For Example, in BBC drama, Ultimate Force, he played a part of a tough-talking Sgt Henry Garvie… (0) … .
Fictional characters played by Ross Kemp have been really good at surviving enemy attacks. But when the actor found himself in Afghanistan’s real-life war zone, … (8) … when bullets and grenades flew over his head.
Ross found himself on the front line in order to shoot a documentary – Ross Kemp in Afghanistan. The film shows soldiers’ day-to-day life in Helmand. Helmand is one of the most dangerous provinces in Afghanistan … (9) … . Ross thought that young men who are sent to war zones should be given a voice. “What we can see in the media is guys who have been taught what to say in front of the cameras,” he says. “But we’ve never heard from an 18-year-old soldier who lived with mum and dad one minute … (10) … . ”
Ross has played in brutal films, but nothing could prepare him for life on the front line. One day he drove past an improvised explosive device … (11) … . He was lucky to be alive, but just a moment later his film crew was pinned down by bullets and rocket-propelled grenades. They survived only thanks to an intervention of an Apache helicopter.
Kemp says that he didn’t expect his idea of contemporary war was so completely wrong. He used to believe … (12) … . However, to win battles, the modern army must have men on the ground. And it was only when Ross found himself under fire that he realized what real war is about.
Ross’s time in Helmand was a mix of adventure and tragedy. The saddest moments came when some members of the battalion were killed. He hopes … (13) … . “Our boys are extremely intelligent, witty and very aware of the political situation. They risk their lives every day. We should be incredibly proud of them.”
… A … (Example) which kept millions of viewers glued to their TV sets
… B … that the documentary will make people appreciate their soldiers
… C … and was then sent to one of the bloodiest regions of the world
… D … that soldiers on the ground were really necessary
… E … and the battle against the Taliban continues there
… F … that later killed one member of the battalion
… G … that conflicts were fought electronically
… H … he was paralysed with fear
Read the text and write if the statements 14 to 20 are true (T) or false (F).
Heaven Scent Paws
Michele Smith, a married businesswoman, is the founder of Heaven Scent Paws (HSP), the largest service dog organization in the United States which helps people suffering from diabetes. On New Year’s Eve of 2000, Michele took her seven-year-old son, Joseph, to the emergency room. She had been repeatedly told by other doctors her son only had the flu. But Joseph had now lost 12 pounds in two weeks, and was constantly thirsty. Joseph was finally diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He stayed in the hospital for a week before going home to face a lifetime of insulin injections. Six months went by, and the Smith family adjusted well.
However, one night, Joseph’s blood sugar dropped too low and he began having seizures, that is sudden violent attacks. The doctors reassured Michele that this was simply one of the things that happened to people with diabetes. Michele could not accept this and began searching the Internet for answers. Almost by chance, she found an article about a woman who had a service dog that alerted her when the level of sugars in her blood was getting low. And the dog had learnt to do this on its own! After that, Michele began to think that perhaps she could train a dog to detect low blood sugars and help her son. The idea to train a diabetes alert dog came easier to Michele than did finding a suitable dog to train. She searched for months in shelters, calling service dog organizations, and no one seemed interested in helping her.
Eventually, her efforts led her to a German Shepherd puppy, named Delta. The dog came from Germany, and cost $1,000. Michele read everything she could about dogs. Later on, she was able to develop a training protocol that she would later patent and use to help train tens of diabetes alert dogs for other families. After only two weeks of training, Delta alerted Michele that Joseph’s blood sugars had dropped too low. Michele also trained a yellow Labrador named Lance, to assist her daughter, Alice, who was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Because of the dog’s remarkable scent skills and devotion, Alice has never had a single seizure.
Michele began training dogs for others and placing them with families through a licensed Service Dog Organization (SDO). She appeared on Good Morning America, dressing her family in their best clothes following the producer’s strict instructions. The SDO wanted her to promote them, wear their T-shirts, and give them credit for training the dogs, including Delta and Lance. Michele refused. After the show was broadcast, the SDO attempted to discredit Michele and her family. It was then that Michele decided to start her own organization.
When Michele became “official”, she encouraged volunteers to better provide for her clients. HSP now has a board of directors, and a panel of experts including two veterinarians. HSP no longer offers trained dogs. Instead, she teaches others how to train their own dogs. Michele has a long list of satisfied clients inluding her own children. A word from Michele: “Our clients are loyal and some of our best advocates. They “advertise” us by word of mouth, which is more effective than pricy media campaigns. For their efforts and commitment, we will always be grateful”.
0 (Example) Michele is the founder of HSP. (…T…)
14. Joseph stayed in the hospital because he had the flu. (…)
15. Michele found information about a woman who trained service dogs. (…)
16. Organizations helped Michele to find and train dogs. (…)
17. The German dog proved useful after two weeks of training. (…)
18. The SDO wanted people to believe that it trained Michele’s dogs. (…)
19. At present, Michele’s organization still trains dogs. (…)
20. Michele’s organization gets publicity through customers. (…)
1. C 2. A 3. B 4. B 5. C 6. C 7. C
8. H 9. E 10.C 11.F 12.G 13.B
14.F 15.F 16.F 17.T 18.T 19.F 20.T