CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8
You are going to read reviews of four psychology books. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.
About which book is each following point made?
47 It is likely to put certain kinds of people off.
48 It has aims which resemble those in other recently published books.
49 It offers unnecessary advice to readers.
50 It makes seemingly original but convincing observations.
51 It avoids obvious answers to an issue which is familiar to many people.
52 It may prompt the publication of other books exploring the same subject matter.
53 It is organised differently from other writing by the same author.
54 It lacks a clear structure.
55 It challenges a modern trend in psychology.
56 It is difficult to understand in places.
Reviews of psychology books
A Missing Out: in Praise of the Unlived Life by Adam Phillips
In Missing Out, a slim volume peppered with insights that may never have been expressed quite like this before but which make you want to scrawl ‘yes’ in the margins on almost every page, the psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips asserts that we all ‘learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like’. For ‘modern’ people, ‘the good life is … filled to the full’; we seek complete satisfaction. But what we need, argues Phillips, isn’t satisfaction but frustration. You can’t get instant satisfaction because you can’t control people or the world. You can’t ‘get’ other people because no one can be fully understood and neither, of course, can you. But a capacity for tolerating frustration allows us to develop. Appropriately, given the subject matter, this book can be a frustrating read – sometimes you think you’re just getting to grips with an idea, only for it to slip away. But, as is often true of Phillips’s books, what you do feel when you’ve finished it is that it offers glimpses of the real, messy and never fully knowable human heart.
B Together by Richard Sennett
Together is the second book in a planned trilogy about the skills modern humans need for a happy co-existence. The first addressed the joys of making things with your hands, and the third will be about cities. This one looks at how we can all get along together. Sennett explores the importance of equality and how, in unequal societies, people are less willing to co-operate. He argues that our society is becoming atomised, ‘deskilling people in practising co-operation’. The trouble is it all feels atomised itself. Sennett’s argument seems to bounce from place to place, and he relies on anecdotes and experience more than data. It aims to be a practical, how-to guide for maximising co-operation, but ends up a sort of unsystematic self-help book: listening is as important a skill as the presentation of your own ideas; discussion need not reach agreement but can teach us new things; assertiveness is valuable, but so is politeness and diffidence. All true, but don’t we know it already?
C Teach Us To Sit Still by Tim Parks
A few years ago, a number of writers dealt movingly about what it’s like to have a serious illness. If Teach Us to Sit Still does well, we could be in for a glut of writing by people who don’t have much wrong with them, yet still write about it at length. But if they are anything like as good as this, it might not be such a gloomy prospect. A few years ago, Tim Parks couldn’t sleep and had serious pains in his side. Medical tests all came back negative, but the pain persisted. So, he embarked on a sceptical exploration of the possible causes of and cures for his woes. He tried out an array of theories and therapies. The intensity, of Park’s search makes for a less than relaxing read, and, in all probability, there will be readers who fail to make it past the first couple of chapters. Parks, an innovative and prolific novelist, writes wonderfully however, and despite the subject matter, a layer of wit runs through it Parks eventually achieves some relief through special breathing exercises and meditation, but uncovers no magic formulas.
D The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman
Should we all be striving for happiness? Should we think positively? Should we try to ignore any difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations that arise? Many self-help books these days would shout ‘Yes!’ Oliver Burkeman isn’t so sure. A leading writer in what could be called the ‘antiself-help self-help’ genre – which happily seems to be swelling – Burkeman’s work, as represented in The Antidote, is not about positive thinking, finding partners, and getting promotions at work and doesn’t offer facile instructions for living a happy, easy life. Rather, it uses research to suggest that we reconsider our assumptions and find new ways of thinking and being. Help! How to Become Slightly Happier, his previous book, comprised a series of short sections, each a page or two long, which presented an idea fairly quickly. The Antidote has just eight chapters and each one explores a subject like success and failure in detail. So what are his conclusions? Well, one is that we have to stop searching for firm answers and quick fixes.
1 A — dispose. The only word that takes ‘of’ preposition here.
2 B — matter. A matter of course is something that is to be expected.
3 B — notice. The meaning that is needed here is that of doing something subconsciously, without paying attention to it (or noticing it).
4 B — occur. ‘To occur to someone’ means ‘to become known, clear or obvious’. Other options do not go with ‘to’.
5 A — inconvenienced. The word means ‘being caused trouble or discomfort’.
6 A — light-hearted. To choose the right answer you have to look at the next sentence for the description of ‘gimmick’ mentioned here. It’s the rubbish bin that say ‘thank you’. It’s a light-hearted gimmick – a feature that doesn’t take itself seriously and meant as a joke.
7 D — mind. ‘With something in mind’ means ‘considering something’.
8 B — do. Another set expression, ‘to do the trick’ means to achieve something, to succeed in doing it.
9 which. ‘Which’ clause here refers to ‘were used’ later on in the sentence.
10 many. ‘As many as’ construction is used to emphasise a surprisingly large number.
11 According. ‘As said by’. Note that capitalisation is not important in this task as all of your letters in the answer form should be capitalised.
12 other. The author rephrases the previous statement using different constructions.
13 addition. An additional argument is introduced at the beginning of a new paragraph.
14 Besides. A synonym for ‘in addition to’, albeit a more concise one. Remember, that you can’t use more than one word for each gap.
15 little. ‘Little or no’ is a set expression opposite to ‘as many as’, but used with uncountable nouns and meaning a very small amount of something.
16 own. The meaning ‘on their own’ in this context is ‘isolated, without any context’.
17 misconceptions. It is important to read on as far as the beginning of the next paragraph to understand whether the required word should or shouldn’t have a negative prefix. Paragraph Two goes on to dispel some of the myths about black widow spiders.
18 comparison. Two different poisons are compared. Note the spelling of the word.
19 fatalities. A fatality is any unfortunate incident that results in death. Note that the word has to be in plural (the following verb ‘to be’ is pluralised).
20 solitary. Used to being alone.
21 occurrences. Spelling is key here. Double ‘c’, double ‘r’. Getting the word right but spelling it is regarded as an incorrect answer.
22 unpleasant. The context clearly suggest a negative adjective.
23 underestimated. To regard something as less important or dangerous than it is.
24 precautions. A tricky question. The plural form here is required as the set phrase is ‘to take precautions’.
25 highly likely (that) this novel will
26 insisted on us/our staying
27 no matter what time it may/might
28 no account am I to be / must I be / should I be
29 it not been for Mark
30 will have started by the time
31 A. In the middle of the first paragraph: ‘… I eventually allowed myself to be dragged along by a friend of mine to talk to an osteopath…’. The verb ‘dragged along’ denotes the writers unwillingness to address her health issues.
32 B. The author believed that one was born with bad posture, then refutes her own misconception by illustrating the opposite with a number of examples, such as car mechanics and dentists.
33 C. ‘Strenuous’ is the key word here. The meaning is ‘requiring a lot of physical or mind effort’. This is mentioned in the second sentence, how you should not overstress your body but instead choose a way that doesn’t put too much strain on your muscles.
34 D. Sentence three of this paragraph says, that the habits can be hard to break.Answer A is not mentioned. B is incorrect – last sentence claims that bad habits ‘can’ affect, not ‘will’. Nothing is said about bad habits that stem from our childhood.
35 B. The reason the technique was invented was to restore Alexander’s voice. Answers A and C are not mentioned. Answer D refers to him moving to London where he has established his own school. However, nothing is said about his original intention, his moving was merely incidental.
36 B. Answers A and C touch upon mentioned ideas, however they can’t be called the main topic of this text. Answer D topic is a bit more developed, however it is Answer B that is prevalent throughout the text.
37 A. Speaker A is the only one seeing hosting the Olympics as a potential investment, whereas others see no monetary gains from such venture.
38 C. Both speakers state that one of the positive impacts of hosting the Olympics is the increased appeal of sport as an activity. Paragraph B, last sentence: ‘… exercise and fitness become cool things to aspire to’. Paragraph C: ‘There is the sporting legacy too, with the greatest athletes from around the world inspiring mass participation, a crucial development when modern lifestyles tend to have a significantly detrimental effect on fitness and health’.
39 D. Speaker D is the only one believing that the Olympics do more harm than good to the host country in terms of bringing people together. As stated there, most events take place in a handful of large cities, with smaller towns being left out and therefore a feeling of injustice appears.
40 C. Both authors believe in a positive impact of hosting country exposure. Paragraph A, in the middle: ‘The international media focus on the Games can also lift the host country’s profile to another level’. Paragraph C, second sentence states that the country gets a chance to show how it has all it takes.
41 B. The preceding paragraph ends with the analogy of books and animals and how we could learn from them. Then, Paragraph B continues the idea of things we could learn from various species.
42 D. This paragraph begins with ‘This growth…’ referring to the increasing number of people seeking wildlife tourism programs. It then ends with the mention of people willing to experience all the thrill, rather than watch it all on TV, and the following paragraph starts with the mention of TV contribution to popularising wildlife tourism.
43 G. Starting with ‘It is a term which is overused…’, the term mentioned is ‘ecotourism’ that the preceding paragraph ends with.
44 E. Beginning of Paragraph E: ‘Despite being an important part of the population there’ refers to the Maasai people in Kenya.
45 F. ‘research and conservation’ mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph is exactly what Earthwatch project does – to actively help with conservation of endangered species. Next paragraph gives another example of a similar project.
46 A. The pronoun ‘he’ at the beginning of Paragraph A refers to Dr Matthias Hammer.
47 C. Last but one sentence: ‘… there will be readers who fail to make it past the first couple
48 D. In sentence six of this paragraph, the book is called to be of ‘antiself-help self-help’ genre. This genre is mentioned to be ‘swelling’, or increasing.
49 B. Last sentence of Paragraph B poses a question of usefulness of the information in the book
50 A. At the beginning of the paragraph the ‘insights that may never have been expressed
quite like this before’ are mentioned, that seem to be quite useful.
51 D. Sentences four and five on the classical self-help book approach: ‘Many self-help books these days would shout ‘Yes!’ Oliver Burkeman isn’t so sure.’
52 C. Second sentence of this paragraph says that if the book turns out to be successful, then we are going to be in a ‘glut of writing’ of similar books. A glut is an excessive amount of something, much more than is actually required.
53 D. At the end of the paragraph the previous book by the same author is said to be separated into short parts, whereas his more recent one is much more detailed.
54 B. The middle of the paragraph complains how the argument in the book ‘seems to bounce from place to place’. It is also mentioned, that the contents of the book are ‘atomised’, or haven’t got any connection between its elements.
55 D. The middle of the paragraph focuses on how this book takes a different approach, without promising us to live a trouble-free, happy lives, but instead to change our perception of things.
56 A. Last but one sentence complains about the book being at times a bit frustrating to read because of its content’s complexity.