CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 8 Printable -
CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 8 Printable and PDF version

CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 8 Printable

CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8

You are going to read an article about colour-taste relationships. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once.

In which section are the following mentioned?
47 the influence of external factors other than the colour of food or drink
48 the idea that reaction to colours is not uniform
49 the type of people who are most susceptible to colour influence
50 a collaboration between people from different backgrounds
51 the effect of impaired vision on eating habits
52 something that interests people but not for its original purpose
53 a hypothetical situation which may disgust us
54 some people’s ability to be more precise than others in describing subtle taste changes
55 the way companies can use psychology to make us eat more
56 a belief that some people are naturally reluctant to taste something

How we taste different colours

We’ve all heard that the first bite is taken with the eye but the link between our visual sense and our flavour perception may be stronger than you think. When I think of flavour perception, noses and taste buds primarily spring to mind. Sure, other factors such as texture, temperature and touch sensations play a part but taste and smell are the dominant senses here, right? Well, perhaps not. You only have to consider the insatiable public appetite for food pictures masquerading as cookbooks to see there is meat to the old adage we eat with our eyes. Charles Spence, the Oxford experimental psychologist who helped Heston Blumenthal develop some of his playful multisensory signature dishes, places vision right up there with smell, in flavour’s ‘premier league’, if you will. ‘Half the brain is visual in some sense,’ says Spence. This is, in part, why the colour of our food and drink can not only determine whether it is appetising but its flavour, too.

It is often said that we have an inherent aversion to blue food because it appears so rarely in nature. Another popular theory is that we’re attracted to red food because it signals ripeness, sweetness and calories.But is this an innate preference? Probably not, thinks Chris Lukehurst, head of research at the Marketing Clinic. How colour affects appetite is inconsistent and contextual. Think about green food and you might picture fresh, nutritious rocket, watercress or cucumber. Or perhaps under-ripe, sour fruits. ‘However, If I talk to you about green meat,’ he says, ‘your stomach probably turns.’ It is interesting, though, that a dyed-blue steak will have the same effect, even if you know it’s perfectly safe. If you get people to eat it in the dark, says Spence, ‘so they think it’s normal, then you turn the lights up and show them the colour, some will get up and be sick straightaway.’ Such is the powerfully aversive effect of food colour out of context.

As well as tasting the colour of what we consume, we can also taste the shade of its wrapping. Spence has tricked people into confusing salt and vinegar crisps with cheese and onion flavour merely by switching packets. ‘Many of our subjects will taste the colour of the crisp packet, not the crisp itself,’ he says. Our brains excel in picking up associations and using them as shortcuts. When the colour makes us expect something to taste a certain way, we’ll taste what we expect unless it’s shockingly different. Using multiple colours in sweets such as Smarties and M&Ms is a strategy to get you to eat lots of them. People will wolf down more from a mixed bowl than they will from a bowl full of their favourite colour. And a recent study from Cornwell University showed that you’ll eat more, too, if your food colour matches the plate, while a contrast will have the opposite effect.

If you can’t see colours, you might expect your other senses to sharpen and compensate but blind people don’t taste or smell any more than anyone else. They are, however, generally better at naming smells, which most sighted people struggle with. So they may not be tasting more intensely but they can identify flavours better without visual cues. Not surprisingly, losing your sight can make eating stressful and it is thought to contribute to a diminished appetite in old age. But even losing the capacity to see colours can have adverse effects. In his book An Anthropologist on Mars, Oliver Sacks told the fascinating story of a man who experienced this after an accident. He found eating less pleasurable and started to choose black or white foods, or eat with his eyes closed. Following a discussion with Blumenthal, Spence and his team at Oxford did some research to discover who is the most easily influenced by the effects of colouring and found that those at the super-taster end of the spectrum rely less on their eyes. ‘Whereas those with fewer taste buds,’ says Spence, ‘will be more easily led astray or say,”Yep, I see red therefore it’s sweet”.’

Answer Keys


1 В — save. To save face is a set phrase that means ‘to save one’s dignity’.
2 D — rather than. Do something rather than do something else. The other three phrases are normally used with -ing form (e.g. instead of upsetting them).
3 B — embark. The only verb that collocates with on. To embark on(upon) something means to commence, to start doing it.
4 A — backed. To back up means to support, to reinforce (e.g. to back up your argument with scientific data)
5 D — telling. To tell lies is the commonly used phrase.
6 A — go. To go ahead — to continue, to carry on. Another set phrase.
7 B — Obviously. It fits in the context and it is the only adverb that would require a comma after it in this position of an introductory word.
8 B — home. Home truths (usually plural) are unpleasant facts that are told to a person you know well (e.g. you tell your best friend about his bad breath). This is a set phrase.


9 how. The more we “invest” in happiness the more happier we become.
10 into. To put time and effort into something. Effort has to be used with ‘into’, but time can have both ‘into’ and ‘in’. Since the preposition is used with both words in this case, you will have to use the only common preposition ‘into’. Using ‘in’ will be regarded as a mistake.
11 can. Not ‘could’ and not ‘may’ because the fact was actually demonstrated, as it is explained in the sentence that follows.
12 their. The sentence mentions the brains of people who practiced meditation.
13 in. To keep in check means to keep under control.
14 not. The second part of the sentence refutes (proves wrong) the statement made in the previous sentence.
15 way. The way we do something = how we do it.
16 make. To make a difference = to have an effect, to change something.


17 indisputable. The context makes it clear that the word has to have negative prefix. The meaning of the word is “beyond doubt, not open to question”. Mind the spelling and use the right negative prefix. If it is not clear whether to use negative prefix or not, try skipping this word and finishing the rest of the sentence to understand it better.
18 rigorous. Harsh, accurate and very strict. Do not omit ‘u’ at the end as you are supposed to stick to BrE spelling.
19 dedication. A noun is needed here. Note the preposition ‘to‘ used with ‘dedication‘.
20 endurance. Endurance athletes are required to display both strength and stamina.
21 musicality. Sensitivity to music or being musical. This can involve feeling the rhythm that dancers need so much.
22 dissimilar. Double negative should be used here (not dissimilar = similar) — the authors compare a dance with a football game and it is clear from context that they are alike. Make sure you use the correct negative prefix.
23 explosive. It is important not to be mistaken and use ‘exploding’. The energy the dancer needs is explosive in its nature (comes suddenly, in quick bursts). The energy does not explode.
24 repetitive. The word routine implies that it repeats over and over again — so it is repetitive.


25 had not/never faced a bigger/such a big. It is important to understand why we use Past Perfect here. ‘To date’ indicates that the period is finished.
26 regret not trying harder. Regret doing/not doing something. Regret is normally used with -ing form.
27 gets on my nerves when. Uptight means tense or nervous. To get on somebody’s nerves means to upset, unnerve or irritate somebody.
28 to make his mark. To make one’s mark means to succeed or to become recognised.
29 to make dreams come true. Dreams come true is an established collocation.
30 would rather not take. Would rather not do something indicates lack of desire to do it.


31 D. Answers A, B and C are all opinions the rest of the family had about author’s father strange habit. Answer D is what the author thinks of his father, stated in the very first sentence: “a hoarder”. See vocabulary for more information.
32 С. Paragraph 2, second sentence mentions author’s father ‘relatively benign symptoms’. What this means is that father’s condition wasn’t as bad as in comparison to those people in the documentary.
3З А. The main clue is the mentioned ‘Freudian analysts’. As you know, Freud was a famous psychologist. Evidently Jasmine tried to offset the psychological damage caused by her troubled childhood by choosing an occupation that involves the opposite environment to that witnessed back home.
34 D. Beginning of paragraph 4 goes: “Jasmine coaxed and cajoled Vasoulla to jettison at least some of her junk”. The less known vocabulary contains the answer here. In short, Jasmine tried to persuade Vasoulla to let go of the things she amassed. Refer to vocabulary for more information. Answers A and B are not mentioned. Answer C is not correct — Vasoulla’s condition did not need to be diagnosed, Jasmine asked the doctor for more information about the illness.
35 C. Ending of paragraph five: “But she (Vasoulla) was touchingly appreciative of what Jasmine had done for her”. Answer A is wrong — it is clearly stated that Vasoulla was far from completely recovering from her condition. Answer B is not mentioned. Answer D is only a minor detail (“it’s good to see the table again”).
36 B. The whole paragraph talks about how their father is very frugal and afraid that even the slightest part of what he has goes to waste.


37 A. Blogger A questions “more practical” things about preparing, namely the benefit of learning your lines.
38 С. Both bloggers believe that actor himself can’t tell how well he performs. Blogger A: ” actors are not necessarily the best judge of their own performance”, Blogger C: “the actor is simply playing a part, and how well he or she does that is for others to judge”
З9 А. This is answer explanation is courtesy of Josef Svoboda, one of the visitors. Thanks Josef!

“[…] if they use >the practical techniques performed well<”
To put this into context:
B – “When a performance is a revelation, and completely truthful in what it says about life, it lifts both audience and the actors on to a different level.”
C – “The audience must believe in their characters and understand a greater truth.”
D – “[…] the aim of the actor is to convey his or her version of the truth of the play to the audience. Every actor wants to achieve a performance that really reaches an audience and helps them look at something in a new way.”
40 D. Blogger B believes that the best thing is to change somebody’s view on things: “the best part of an actor’s job is to convey that and change the way people think about it”; Blogger D concurs in the very last sentence of his paragraph.


41 G. The previous paragraphs mentions the advantages, and this one immediately introduces the downside, so the narrative is easy to trace.
42 В. It is easier to have a look at a paragraph that follows this one — it starts with “The writer …”, suggesting that the previous paragraph introduced a writer and possibly a book. Paragraph B is the only one fitting this description.
4З А. The preceding paragraphs numbers the downsides of the Internet in contrast with the advantages of more conventional reading from a book. Then this paragraph suggests that despite of all the downsides, the web offers best possibility for quick and efficient learning: “… a medium that would rewire our mental circuits as quickly and thoroughly as possible… “
44 D. The paragraph before focuses on how a brain can me “malleable” — or able to change. Then Paragraph D continues and expands the idea by explaining and giving examples. The next paragraph starts with “When I ask him… “ it is clear that ‘he’ is Dr. Small.
45 F. At the very end of Paragraph F online games are mentioned. The paragraph that follows continues this idea with the example of Second Life virtual world type of game.
46 C. The game talk is continues and Dr. Small explains how playing a game can be beneficial for your thinking: “you have to pay an incredible amount of attention to what your team-mates are doing, to the mechanics of the game”


47 C. The ‘other’ factor here is label. The example illustrates how people can be mislead by a changed label on potato crisps.
48 В. Reaction to green can be both positive and negative — a ripe cucumber or an unripe fruit.
49 D. The example in the middle of Paragraph D talks about people with poor colour perception and how it affects their appetite.
50 A. The paragraph mentions two people who worked together to conduct an experiment in taste preference.
51 D. The bottom half of the paragraph talks about a man who sustained an injury that impaired his colour vision and it affected his food preferences dramatically.
52 A. ‘Food pictures masquerading as cookbooks’ is what the author meant here. This suggests that the original idea of cookbooks (to help cooking by giving recipes) is overlooked in favour of just gazing at highly-appetising pictures.
53 B. The blue and green meat examples are meant. Disgust = get sick.
54 D. The example with blind people shows how they are more capable of telling the slight differences in taste, compared to people with sight.
55 C. Examples with Skittles and M&Ms — they colour each candy differently to subtly make us want to eat more of them.
56 В. Example with green-dyed meat suggests that some would be unwilling to taste it: ‘your stomach probably turns.’
PDF Click to download this CAE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF

4 thoughts on “CAE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 8 Printable”

  1. Of course, angle brackets are no good. Once again:

    Ad 39-A

    I think the answer is here, on the very end of paragraph A:

    “[…] if they use the practical techniques learned in drama school they will be better equipped to […] face their critics knowing they have performed well

    To put this into context:
    B – “When a performance is a revelation, and completely truthful in what it says about life, it lifts both audience and the actors on to a different level.”
    C – “The audience must believe in their characters and understand a greater truth.”
    D – “[…] the aim of the actor is to convey his or her version of the truth of the play to the audience. Every actor wants to achieve a performance that really reaches an audience and helps them look at something in a new way.”

    Hope it helped!

  2. Josef, thank you so much for clearing this up! I have included your explanation in the answer key sheet, I hope you don’t mind me mentioning your name there!:)

  3. KA, thanks for your feedback. Could you make a screenshot of ad placement you find disurbing? We are trying to improve user experience 🙂

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