- C- local. ‘Local residents’ makes the only strong collocation of the four.
- B – recently. A study that has been published short time ago.
- A- images. A satellite image is a picture taken from the orbit of our planet.
- B- extremely. The only word having the meaning of ‘very rapidly’.
- D- combined. The only word of the four that can be used with ‘of’. If something is combined with something else, they are joined together.
- C- chances. To increase chances of something is to make something more likely to happen.
- B – influence. This is the only noun that collocates with ‘on’ preposition.
- C – unlikely. Unlikely to do something. ‘Doubtful’ is not used with ‘to’ infinitive; ‘Unsure’ doesn’t fit grammatically; ‘Improbable’ has the meaning ‘impossible’ here.
- for. ‘To be responsible for something’ means to be the reason that something has happened, especially something bad.
- many. The idea in these two sentences is that despite the obvious advantages of cycling, few people actually use bicycles.
- to/and. Both options can be used with slightly different meaning: ‘Stop to think’ is to stop in order to spend some time thinking about it; ‘Stop and think’ are two actions followed by one another.
- unlike. A contrast is made between large investments – houses and cars.
- top. ‘On top of that’ is a set expression meaning ‘in addition to something’.
- which. A relative clause that requires the usage of which (and not that).
- less. Making a comparison with the topic of the previous paragraph – cars – we can deduce, that the word ‘less’ (and not ‘more) is required here.
- whether. ‘Whether or not’ means ‘unimportant which of the two options is true’.
- network/networking. Either is acceptable.
- steadily. Adverb that means ‘at an even rate’.
- stressful. An adjective that denotes stress is needed. Note the ending ‘-ful’ with only one ‘l’.
- unbearable. An adjective with a negative meaning is required. Make sure to spell the word right.
- risky. An adjective with the meaning of risk.
- commercial. Do not forget to spell it with double ‘m’, otherwise you won’t get the point for this question.
- enabling. A prefix ‘en-‘ is added as well as the ending ‘-ing’ to form a verb.
- decisions. A plural form is needed as we are not talking about one email, but many of them.
- as/so long as I was. Remember that in reported speech we take one step back with all the tenses (as I was…).
- get my old bike repaired. Passive voice is used here – as suggested by the keyword ‘get’.
- the fall in profits on. ‘To blame on something or someone’. The main difficulty is using the right preposition.
- wished (that) she had/she’d spent. Past Perfect is needed here to show what happened first and what followed it. In this case first she spent money, then she regretted.
- is believed to have been. Another passive voice construction. Make sure to spell ‘believed’ right.
- it had not been for. Another Past Perfect tense example to show relation of actions in time.
- C. Paragraph Three, first sentence: ‘A deciding factor for me in choosing to study at the University of Edinburgh was the fact it offered more than 230 exchange places at overseas universities’. Answer A is not mentioned. Answer B doesn’t fit – hew sister persuaded her to study abroad, not in Edinburgh specifically. The opposite of Answer D is said in the text: ‘… deciding to spend a year abroad was something of a novelty, with most of my friends giving more thought to embracing Edinburgh…’
- B. Paragraph Five contains the answer, even though it is mentioned before Berkeley, it relates to it as Berkeley was the ultimate aim of going to California. The opposite of Answer A is mentioned – people didn’t live up to popular stereotypes (end of Paragraph Six). Answers C and D are not mentioned.
- A. Last sentence of Paragraph Seven: ‘… my stay there enabled me to return to Edinburgh with an increased sense of awareness about what I wanted to gain from my English literature degree.’ Answer C is mentioned as a minor detail.
- C. Paragraph Eight, second sentence says that you only pay a fraction of what you would normally pay in your home university. Therefore, it can actually be much cheaper. Other answers are either not mentioned or given partial attention.
- A. To qualify for a place on the international exchange programme. The whole paragraph talks about the possible difficulties of getting there.
- B. The cases of satisfied students are very numerous – they believe that their time abroad was well worth it.
- D. ‘This information’ in D refers to whatever he learns from his phone, social media and so on, to prioritise his tasks.
- F. ‘Making sure it does so’ is getting the report into the studio, ready to be read live.
- G. ‘it’s best to keep trying’ helps to connect it to the next sentence: ‘Don’t be put off; people in this business admire people who don’t give up.’
- A. Sentence A is the best way to illustrate how luck can be a huge factor in this kind of business.
- C. The idea of the paragraph is how equipment is getting smaller, better and easier to use. Sentence C shows how in the past it took a number of people with various hardware to shoot the news.
- B. An additional argument is presented in favour of the future of reporting and news in general.
- D. ‘… I must confess that back then she was the last person I would have imagined becoming an economist because she was pretty hopeless at maths.’
- C. ‘… in fact as soon as we saw each other on the screen we started chatting again as if that ten-year gap had never existed.’
- D. ‘… in fact she might be having an influence on me.’
- B. ‘… she remains as sociable as she ever was and I suppose we’re quite alike in that respect.’
- E. ‘Somehow I’d always known that one way or another we were bound to run into each other at some point…’
- A. ‘… I know I should have made more of an effort to stay in touch with Amina because we always got on well together…’
- C. ‘The other mistake I made was being rather cautious about responding when she first got in touch with me…’
- E.‘I expressed my sympathy…’
- B. ‘The first thing that struck me was that Natalia still looked much the same as she had ten years earlier…’
- C. ‘… she was never keen on studying so I sort of took it for granted that she would end up doing a job that didn’t require qualifications. Now it turns out she went on to do really well academically and for two years was a Philosophy lecturer at a top university.’
The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech(see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.
And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.
Take off (phr v) – to leave the surface of the ground and get in the air. Usually used to talk about aircrafts such as planes, helicopters and others. Take off procedure had to be delayed due to poor visibility.
Expand (v) – to increase in size, volume or quantity. Water expands when turns into ice so make sure not to leave any full bottles in your fridge.
Significant (adj) – considerable, noticeable. A significant part of city budget was used to found a new park.
Aware (adj) – If you are aware of something you know of it or at least you understand it exists. We are well aware of the current schedule problems are are trying our best to fix them.
Face (v) – to be presented with a problem, usually used in the passive. Young people nowadays are facing multiple problems, one of them is sky-high rent prices.
Running costs – the amount of money it takes to keep something in operating condition i.e. repairs, regular maintenance and other payments. Car running costs can be reduced significantly if you know how to fix it yourself.
At present – currently, at the moment.
Common (adj) – ordinary, regular, not special. It is common for first year students to have a part-time job to help take care of expenses.
Volume (n) – the amount of something. The difference between volume and quantity is that the first usually can’t be counted accurately. The volume of orders we have had to process recently has increased dramatically.
Keen (adj) – happy or enthusiastic to do something. She wasn’t very keen to help her fellow students – needless to say, she wasn’t the most popular girl of the group.
Recession (n) – a situation in global economy when people have no extra money to spend so businesses either slow down or die out.
On account of – due to, because of. The classes had to be cancelled on account of teacher falling ill.
Swap (v) – to get one thing in exchange for another. In this context, students exchange places, i.e. student A takes student B’s place in the other country and vice versa.
Novelty (n) – something that is new to you, something you are not used to. Waking up at dawn was quite a novelty after spending almost three months of summer partying without a care in the whole world.
Fortified by – made stronger by something, used both figuratively and literally. My decision to leave home as soon as I turned 18 was fortified by Harvard offer of scholarship.
Predetermined (adj) – decided from the beginning. Sports analysts believe that results of key games in the championship are predetermined.
Contemporary (adj) – relating to the current time period. Contemporary poets are just as good at capturing reality and putting it eloquently into phrases as those of the times long gone.
Entitled (adj) – to have the right to something i.e. discounts, privileges and other benefits. You should be entitled to free legal protection if you have no money to pay for it out of your own pocket.
Coincide (v) – to happen at the same time.
Low point – the worst possible period or situation. The low point of my life was in my late thirties when I had to sleep on a park bench because I couldn’t afford to rent a room.
Loads (n) – (informal) lots of, too many to count. Teenagers spend loads of hours on useless activities such as playing videogames.
Put off (phr v) – to feel dislike or to have reservations about something. Many future doctors are put off by the fact that they would have to study for many years before they could make any money.
Obsessed with – to be very interested in something, to be crazy about it. Dan is obsessed with this girl next door but I fail to see how she could make anybody interested in her.
Supply (v) – to provide or deliver something. Our business supplies paper to most corporate clients in the area and we are very proud of the fact.
Last (v) – to continue for a long time. They say that school friendship lasts the longest.
Regret (v) – to feel sorry about something. I regret spending so much time in college without getting a second degree – I think I would have achieved much more in life if that way.
Admit (v) – to understand and face that something unpleasant is true, i.e. that you were wrong or that you will have to do something you didn’t want to. Bob admitted to have stolen his brother’s phone.
Content (adj) – happy and satisfied. Note that the adjective has the second syllable stressed : ‘conTENT’.
Occur to smb – to come to somebody’s mind. It never occurred to her that others found her comments offensive or hurtful.
Lose touch with smb – to stop communicating with somebody usually because you live far away from one another or have different lifestyles.
Take smth for granted – (here) to assume that something will take place judging by the current situation.
Cautious (adj) – careful, worried or suspicious about something, as if expecting trouble or danger. Wild animals are very cautious and rarely let humans approach them.
Confess (v) – to admit (see before) that you have done something wrong and to say it openly hoping to feel better afterwards.
Attitude (n) – approach to something, a way of taking or seeing something, i.e. family, career, friendship. His attitude to work showed no desire to get anywhere in life, he had no ambition whatsoever.
Hesitate (v) – not to act for some time because you are unsure what to do.
Bound to do something – when something is bound to happen it is very likely or almost guaranteed to happen. They were bound to get married at one point, they just seemed to complete each other.
Click to download this FCE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF