CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 2 Printable -
CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 2 Printable and PDF version

CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 2 Printable

CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8

You are going to read an article about various birds in Britain. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections o f the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once.

Of which bird are the following stated?

47 Further attempts to increase its numbers were made once initial attempts had proved successful.
48 Its population growth is a reflection of how tough it is.
49 There is statistical evidence to support the view that it is a very popular bird.
50 There was a particular period when its population plummeted.
51 A criticism could be made of its physical appearance.
52 A common perception of it has proved inaccurate.
53 Growth in its numbers has been much more gradual than desired.
54 There is reason to believe that its progress in a particular region will be maintained.
55 Measures taken in the running of a certain type of countryside have assisted in the growth of its population.
56 Even though its population has fallen, it can frequently be seen in various particular locations.


Birds in Britain come under scrutiny in a massive new study, Birds Britannica. A record of the avian community in the 21st century, it reveals a continually evolving pattern. Mark Cocker, the principal author of the tome, selects some cases.

A Red Kite
The red kite’s recent rise from a mere handful to several thousands is among the great stories of modern conservation. Testimony to its flagship status is a recent Royal Society for the Protection of Birds poll which ranked it with the golden eagle and song thrush in the nation’s list of favourite birds. The dramatic spread has hinged on a reintroduction scheme at six sites in England and Scotland using kites originally taken from Spain and Sweden. The English releases began in the Chilterns in 1989 and when these had achieved a healthy population, subsequent introductions were made in Northamptonshire and Yorkshire using mainly English birds. The Scottish releases in the 1980s and 1990s have resulted in populations totalling more than 50 pairs. Altogether there are now about 3,000 kites in Britain

B Dartford Warbler
This highly attractive bird is confined to just five Western European countries as well as the north African littoral, and has the smallest world range of any of our breeding birds. It is also a highly sedentary bird and a major cause of decline is its great susceptibility to the cold. The worst case occurred in the two successive hard winters of 1961 and 1962 when the numbers fell from 450 pairs to just 10. Memories of this calamitous decrease, coupled with the bird’s own tiny size and seeming delicacy, have cemented our sense of an overarching vulnerability. It is one of the best British examples where a species’ local rarity has been assumed to equal almost constitutional weakness. All the caution is perfectly understandable as an expression of our protective instincts towards a much-loved bird. Yet it sits oddly with the warbler’s continuing rise and expansion to a population of 1,925 pairs by the year 2000. It has undoubtedly been helped by mild winters as well as the intensive management and protection of England’s lowland heath. Yet the Dartford Warbler’s recent history illustrates how easy it is to underestimate the resilience of a small rare bird.

C White-tailed Eagle
It is difficult to judge which is the more exciting conservation achievement – the reintroduction of this magnificent bird or of red kites. By wingspan and weight, this is the largest eagle in Europe and one of the biggest of all birds in Britain. However, if the species itself is on a grand scale, the size of the reintroduced population is tiny and the pace of increase agonizingly slow. The project involved a remarkable team effort by various UK environmental groups, as well as the Norwegian conservationists who organized the capture of the donated birds. Between 1975 and 1985, they released 82 eagles (39 males and 43 females) from a special holding area on the Inner Hebridean island of Rhum. Eight were later recovered dead, but in 1983 came the first breeding attempt.

Two years later, a pair of white-tailed eagles produced the first British-born chick in 69 years and every subsequent breeding season has seen a small incremental improvement. There is now an established breeding nucleus spread between the islands of Skye and Mull as well as the adjacent mainland, and their recent history suggests that the white-tailed eagle’s increase will continue throughout north-west Scotland.

D Spotted Flycatcher
Even the greatest fans of this lovely bird, with its mouse-grey upper parts and whitish breast and belly, would have to admit that it is rather drab. They have no more than a thin, squeaky, small song. However, spotted flycatchers compensate with enormous character.

They are adept at catching large species such as day-flying moths, butterflies, bees and wasps, whose stings they remove by thrashing the victim against the perch. Their specialized diet means that they are among the latest spring migrants to return and are now in serious decline because of half a century of pesticide use. In the past 25 years, their numbers have declined by almost 80 per cent, but they are still sufficiently numerous (155,000 pairs) to be familiar and are often birds of large gardens, churchyards or around farm buildings.

Answer Keys


1 A — golden. Golden age is a collocation that means ‘the best time or period in history of something’. Other adjectives do not make any collocation.
2 D — make. Same as before, to make a jump is an accepted collocation.
3 B — height. The answer is height of fame. Even though top of fame sounds acceptable, the first option is a much more widely used way of saying this.
4 A — covering. B — stretching means the distance, but it wouldn’t say whether she has travelled it or not. C — crossing has an implication that she travelled it by ground rather than air. D doesn’t collocate.
5 C — hailed. Because of preposition ‘as’ following the gap we should be using this word (to hail as). Rest of the words aren’t used with ‘as’ in this context.
6 A — cut. ‘To cut short’ means ‘to stop prematurely, before its time’. The context then goes about how the woman tragically died in an air accident. ‘To bring up short’ means to stop somebody abruptly, but it would need an extra preposition ‘up’ here.
7 B — suffered. Know the difference between ‘suffer’ and ‘suffer from’. The first one usually happens instantly (like a trauma), while the second is more continuous (‘suffer from cancer’).
8 D — same. ‘Never the same’ means that she never recovered. Other options do not collocate with definite article.


9 to. It is important to understand why its ‘happened to’ and not ‘happened with’. In the first example the meaning is that something affected the person, something changed his way of thinking. The second example means that there was some attitude issue, for example ‘What happened with you? You have scored so low on your exam!’.
10 how. He came to realize the extent of his boredom — how bored he became.
11 being. Meaning is the same as ‘to be sporty’, but instead of infinitive we use gerund being.
12 its. Make sure not to use an apostrophe (it’s). First of all, that would mean you are using two words instead of one (it is) and second, that would be the wrong choice.
13 anything. Anything but means ‘not at all’. The following sentence proves that triathlons are very exciting and offer a number of fun activities such as running or cycling.
14 from. ‘To move away from’ means to stop doing something and shift your attention elsewhere.
15 great/good. Great or good deal = ‘much more’.
16 so. ‘So on’ = and something similar, something in the same fashion


17 nomination. Nominating form would be wrong as it would imply that it is the form that nominates something. Nomination form on the other hand, is used for nominations.
18 receipt. Receipt here means ‘taking or approval’. ‘Receival’ doesn’t fit here as it isn’t a word, or a word that is commonly used or known. ‘Receiving’ can’t be used because it can’t be used with ‘of’ preposition.
19 diners. Diner here means a person who attends a restaurant or any other food outlet. Note that a diner can also mean a small restaurant, usually one by the road (mostly used in AmE).
20 chosen. Past participle of ‘to choose’.
21 contested. Contested means that there are many participants. Do not confuse it with ‘contestable’ which means ‘rising a lot of doubts and arguments about’. Nothing like that is implied by the context.
22 deadline. Deadline is the time limit for something, in this case for sending your application.
23 unannounced. It is implied that the visits are going to be anonymous and the restaurant owners won’t know anything about it — these visits will be unannounced.
24 prestigious. Mind the spelling of this word, remember that any typos are counted as wrong answer even if you got the word right.


25 a while before/until/till I fully. A while = some time. E.g.: ‘I haven’t seen you for a while!’ = I haven’t seen you for some time.
26 isn’t /is not worth arguing about. Not point doing something = not worth doing something. Use ‘argue’ with ‘about’ here or it will be counted as a mistake.
27 there be any/a delay. To make it easier to understand, just replace ‘should’ with ‘if’ (in your head, not on the paper!)
28 have anything in common with. To have something in common = to have similarities. If there are no similarities, then there is nothing in common. If the beginning of sentence went ‘The two situations ___’ then you could have used ‘have nothing in common’.
29 my amazement, nothing went. To my amazement = I was amazed. To have problems = to go wrong. The comma here is optional.
30 wouldn’t/would not dream of doing any. To dream of something has several meanings, one of them is ‘to have no intention to do something at all’ or ‘to think of something that is unlikely to take place’.


31 B. Answers A and C aren’t mentioned in the text. Answer D is too general and is vaguely implied, but not as strongly as B.
32 C. Third and fourth sentences of second paragraph explain how people motivate themselves to perform better if they see the outcome and impact of their good work on the business as a whole. A and D are not mentioned. Answer B is unrelated to the information in the text, even though the ‘box-ticking’ phrase is used.
33 D. The number of clients seen each day wasn’t the ultimate goal of the company, but for the employees it was made as the most important aspect of their job (sentence ‘The sales people obviously …’). Other answers are either not mentioned in the text or unrelated to the question.
34 B. To foresee the consequences here mean to see the results of their actions beforehand, in advance. The products got inadequate testing because of lack of time and thus proved to be of poor quality.
35 A. The text gives an example how employees of that company were betrayed by senior management in the past and therefore they now have doubts about similar programmes that are introduced. Answer C states it from employees’ perspective, but it isn’t true. Other answers are not mentioned.
36 B. A self-contained exercise here is an exercise that was made for the purpose of doing the exercise itself rather than learning something new and improving your ways of management. Last two sentences confirm this attitude of senior management. They get back to their old ways.


37 D. Second sentence of Paragraph A states that the studies tend to over-complicate the phenomenon of pop-culture which itself is simple. First sentence of Paragraph D states the same idea in a slightly different way.
38 B. Speaker from Paragraph B believes that the whole pop-culture thing is being forced on people by corporations (sentence two: ‘… imposed from high on’) while all other speakers believe that the culture appears by natural means.
39 A. Speaker B states that what people buy and consume ‘speaks volumes’ about the culture — meaning that you can tell a lot about it by their consuming. Speaker A in the first sentence says that the phenomenon of pop-culture ‘… is key to the understanding of any modern society.’.
40 D. Speaker D is convinced that pop-culture can have negative impact on the young people. In the middle of the paragraph he states: ‘… popular culture can have undue influence, encouraging them to acquire unrealistic ideas … therefore potentially having a damaging effect…’. Other speakers hold it that pop-culture provides younger generations with sense of comfort and belonging.


41 F. The paragraph begins with ‘They do so …’ referring to the works mentioned in the end of previous paragraph. The paragraph ends with the description of a dark wood in moonlight shine, which matches the beginning of next paragraph, talking about monochrome pictures.
42 A. ‘Claustrophobic and joyless’ stays even when he uses strong colours (by strong here they mean something other that white, black and grey).
43 E. The preceding paragraph asks a question on how artist’s talent would have developed if he were to stay in England. The beginning of Paragraph E gives a probable answer to that. It ends with him having to leave the country, and the next paragraph talks about his visit to Greece.
44 G. At the end of the previous paragraph artist’s transformation is mentioned, and this topic is developed in Paragraph G. His pictures are no longer grim and devoid of colour, they become vivid.
45 C. Ending of Paragraph C mentions that Craxton stopped experimenting and developing his art, and the following paragraph expands on that topic: ‘But if there is little exploration or discovery in Craxton’s later work …’.
46 B. He mentions feeling like an emigre (a political emigrant) in London, and this notion is continued in the paragraph after.


47 A. First sentence talks about ‘recent rise’ from few to many specimen and then in the middle of the paragraph they talk of a ‘reintroduction scheme’ inspired by this success.
48 B. Last sentence talks of a ‘resilience of a small bird’. Resilience here means ‘being able to recover quickly and overcome hardships easily’.
49 A. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds poll suggests that it is one of the most popular bird among with two other specimen mentioned in sentence two of Paragraph A.
50 B. Two winters in 1961 and 1962 drastically reduced population of this bird according to the middle of Paragraph B.
51 D. First sentence of the paragraph states that even the most convinced admirers of this bird confess that it looks rather ‘drab’ — or dull, shabby and not arousing any interest.
52 B. Second part of Paragraph B talks about ‘protective instincts’ for this defenseless birds, yet strangely it manages to restore its population.
53 C. The middle of third paragraph goes: ‘… the pace of increase agonizingly slow’, implying that faster pace of reintroduction would have been more than welcome.
54 C. Last sentence of Paragraph C states that there are reason to believe the rate of breeding is going to continue its increase.
55 B. The second part of Paragraph B talks about ‘intensive management and protection of England’s lowland heath’ that ensured increased breeding rate of the rare bird.
56 D. The last sentence of fourth paragraph states that these birds ‘are often birds of large gardens’ and other buildings, meaning that they can still be seen around frequently.

PDF Click to download this CAE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF

2 thoughts on “CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 2 Printable”

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.