SLP 1111 – Reading part of the exam

English exam – level 1


Reading part of the exam

Below you will find the example of level 1 English exam, made available by the The Polish Armed Forces School of Languages (PAFSL), located in Łódź.
Reading part consists of 3 tasks with a few texts assigned to each task.

Task 1
Read the texts and choose the correct answer a., b., or c..

Text 1

I don’t want to keep my favourite photo in an album. I just want to have it in a beer mat! Why put a photo in a piece of plastic? Because when I put a glass of beer on it, I can see the photo. That is why I’m going to a specialist framing shop where they put photos on or in anything you want, for example, tea cups or T-shirts. The shop is located on York Avenue, about a mile away from Green Point station. It’s one in the afternoon and there is still a “Closed” sign on the shop door. I can’t believe it! Normally, all the local shops are open from 10 am to 6 pm every day. I’m standing there for a minute thinking what to do. Then I look inside and see a shop assistant in there. She waves at me and invites me to enter, so I push the door open. The woman is wearing flowery clothes – to me, she looks quite funny in them. She smiles at me and says that the shop isn’t closed – she’s just forgotten to change the sign. She explains it often happens to her as she’s a forgetful person. Then I tell her what I want: to cut a hole in a beer mat that I have with me and put a photo in it. I know it’s a little strange but each framing shop has a machine which cuts holes in plastic, wood and even metal. The woman looks at the photo and mat and says the machine can’t do that. It’s because the mat is too small and the machine can stop working if it cuts such small holes. I can’t argue with her because she definitely knows a lot about the machine. I don’t have bigger mats at home. I don’t know what to do. I look around the shop and I can see big mats on the shelf. I think people buy them because they’re not expensive – just $5. But I’m not sure if I want to get a new mat. So I tell her I’ll think about it. Before I leave I ask her when she has lunch. “At 2 pm I have lunch in the restaurant across the street,” she says. It means she must close the shop for about 30 minutes. This is the information I need because I won’t have to wait for her outside the shop, if I decide to come back of course.

  1. At 1 o’clock the man is …
    a) in the shop
    b) at the station
    c) on York Avenue
  2. The woman often …
    a) forgets things
    b) smiles at clients
    c) wears funny clothes
  3. There is a problem because …
    a) the mat is not the right size
    b) the machine does not work well
    c) the woman can’t operate the machine
  4. The man …
    a) can bring a bigger mat from his house
    b) decides to buy a new mat in the shop
    c) must think what to do about the mat
  5. In the end, the man wants to know …
    a) what time she has a break
    b) when she finishes work
    c) where she eats lunch

Text 2

One day our friend, Mary, found a dog on a busy street. The dog had a broken leg and needed help. Because she is an animal lover, she took him to a veterinary clinic, and paid $1,200 out of her own money to help sick dog. She wanted to find the owners of Bud, as she called him, but she couldn’t. Soon Mary got a new job where she spent long hours. That’s why she couldn’t keep Bud. At the same time we were looking for a dog because ours was 13 years old. We knew we were going to lose her soon. So Mary asked us if we wanted Bud and we took him. It was an adventure to begin with. He was one year old at the time and unfortunately he had to stay in one room because of his broken leg. We couldn’t take him outside beacause he was ill. We had to change bandages twice a day for two months. We got him in the middle of February, and in April Bud felt OK and could run around the house. Then there appeared a problem – he made our house dirty. Why? Bud just didn’t want to go for walks! It was really difficult for us to train a fourteen-month-old dog. At first we tried on our own. We bought him tasty pet food and put it outside but that didn’t work. So we went to an obedience course where professional trainers helped us with our problem. Now it’s easy to take Bud for walks – he loves it so much that he doesn’t want to come back home!

  1. Mary didn’t want the dog because she didn’t …
    a) like animals
    b) have money
    c) have time
  2. When we got Bud …
    a) he was feeling OK
    b) our dog was very old
    c) he could run around
  3. There was a problem because …
    a) Bud didn’t come back home
    b) Bud didn’t want to go for walks
    c) professionals couldn’t train Bud

Task 2

Read the 5 stories below and then decide which statements below describe the stories in the best way. Only 5 statements are true. Put the story number next to the corresponding letter.

The woman doesn’t see the sign at first.     _________ A
The child wants some food.                   _________ B
Someone’s playing Chopin’s music.            _________ C
The woman sees some men in the last car.     _________ D
The woman gives some money to a poor person. _________ E
The man has a break because he is tired.     _________ F
The man is saying goodbye to his wife.       _________ G
Everybody must have a short break.           _________ H
The child doesn’t listen to the woman.       _________ I
The man and woman are going on a trip.       _________ J


Story 1

Fernanda is in the departure lounge. Her mother is flying back to Rome today. There’s a couple sitting nearby. The man is in a pilot’s uniform. The woman looks very elegant. Both seem to be in their 60s. Fernanda goes to gate 46 to get her

mother a better seat. The flight attendants are talking about something. “It’s his last flight,” one of them says. “He is retiring tonight! Taking his wife to Rome for the occasion.” Fernanda understands that they are talking about the pilot and his wife. She rushes back to tell her mother about it.


Story 2

Julie is travelling by Delhi subway. It’s incredibly crowded today. She goes to the end of the train hoping there won’t be so many people there. She’s right. The last car is not very crowded. Julie sits, looks around and notices something strange. There are only women in the car. There is not one man in sight. And then she sees a sign. It says “Women Only” and explains that between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. the first and last car of each train is reserved for women. “Wow! Perhaps I should move to India,” she thinks.


Story 3

Sarah Hyder is walking along Oakland Street. Suddenly, a girl comes up to her and asks her for a quarter. Sarah has only a five-dollar bill, so she takes the girl to a corner store and offers to buy

some chocolate bars and candy. The girl doesn’t want any sweets, but asks for a loaf of bread and some cottage cheese. Sarah buys the food and asks: “Do you go to school?” “Sometimes,” the girl says.

Story 4

On my third day in Japan, I go to a swimming pool. I get into the water and start swimming back and forth. From time to time I stop to

let faster swimmers go past me. I start to relax fully, but suddenly I hear a whistle. I ignore it and

keep on swimming, but a woman taps me on the shoulder. “Rest now,” she says. I look at her

surprised. And then I notice that everybody is getting out of the pool. It is rest time for everybody. Every hour, all swimmers take a ten-minute break. It doesn’t matter that you’ve just arrived or you don’t need to rest.


Story 5

I’m having lunch in the lobby and listening to Chopin’s music. There’s a piano, but … there’s no player. The instrument is programmed and its keys are going up and down all by themselves. Suddenly, a 4-year-old kid appears in front of the piano and starts to bang on the keyboard. A waitress comes and tells the boy to stop. “No!” he yells and keeps on banging. Finally the waitress politely tells the boy’s mother that kids are not allowed to touch the instrument.


Task 3
Read the following texts and decide whether sentences 1-7 are true (T) or false (F).

Text 1

I want to tell you about my hobby. I like to ride motorbikes. I have a 900cc Kawasaki Ninja. It is very fast. I know that riding a motorbike quickly is dangerous but sometimes I can’t help it. I just love going fast. It is so exciting. I learnt to ride when I was in the army. At that time I used a 125cc bike which was not fast and was quite small.

When I learnt to ride a bike I already had a car licence. I got it 3 years earlier after my second test. That is why learning to ride a bike was much easier. I passed my bike test first time and was very happy. But I did not have my own bike. I could not enjoy my new licence. It was a year before I bought my own motorcycle.

The bike I bought was a 600cc Suzuki. It was gold and could go more than 200 km per hour. This was a lot faster than the 125cc army bike on which I learnt. It was great!! I used to take it around the small country roads. I had to be very careful because sometimes there were sheep or cows on the road.

Today I drive a car to work every day. But whenever I have some free time I ride my bike for pleasure. I think it’s really exciting.

  1. The writer likes to go fast. T / F
  2. The writer took his car driving test twice. T / F
  3. The writer’s first bike was a 125cc Suzuki. T/ F

Text 2

Driving a car is very important for most people. Most families have a car and some have two or three cars. We use them for many things. For example to get to work, do shopping or go on holiday. In Poland people drive on the right, but in Britain people drive on the left. I am English and it was a big change for me when I came to Poland.

I have lived here for five years, but people still ask me what it is like to drive on the other side of the road. Well, today it is natural for me. But five years ago it was a different story. You have to look the other way at stop signs and remember to use your right hand to change gears. Now, after five years, I feel strange when I drive in Britain.

However, the greatest problem is at night when there are no other cars on the road. At this time, you can forget to drive on the right and start driving down the left-hand side of the road. This is of course very dangerous. You quickly change your position when a car comes towards you.

Today Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and Great Britain are the only countries in Europe that drive on the left, but there were many more. People in Sweden, for example, once drove on the left. But in 1967 they changed to the right. Why do Britain and Ireland still drive on the left? Well, the biggest problem is cost. Just to change road signs would cost ₤750 million for example.

Driving on the ‘wrong’ side, left or right, is easy, so don’t be afraid. Take your car abroad and drive!

  1. The writer first learnt to drive on the left. T / F
  2. For the writer, driving in Poland is still strange. T / F
  3. The biggest problem is when you are the only car on the road. T / F
  4. In the past people in Sweden drove on the left. T / F

And now it’s time to check your performance. You will find the answer key below.

Test answer key

Task 1
1C   2A   3A   4C   5A   6C   7B   8B
Task 2
Story 1 – J
Story 2 – A
Story 3 – B
Story 4 – H
Story 5 – I
Task 3
1T   2T   3F   4T   5F   6T   7T