FCE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 9 Printable

Part 6

You are going to read a magazine article about outdoor ice skating. Six sentences have been removed from the article. Choose from the sentences A-G the one which fits each gap (37-42). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use. 

Go skating in Sweden this winter

Forget crowded indoor ice rinks. Once you’ve skated on natural ice, there’s no going back.

It was the question on all of our minds, but I asked it: ‘How do you know when the ice isn’t safe to skate on?’ Niklas, our calm Swedish guide, rubbed his chin, thought for a moment, then offered up the wisdom of a lifetime spent playing around on frozen water. ‘When it breaks,’ he said with a broad smile.

The comment wasn’t exactly reassuring, but his easy confidence was. As long as it was just jokes being cracked, maybe we’d be all right after all. Niklas, a maths teacher when having breaks from pursuing hobby, was not entirely joking about his attitude to ice. 37 __. The fact that strong ice makes a deeper sound under one’s feet than thin ice does is a useful clue.

Our group of beginners was feeling rather nervous as we stood at the edge of a vast frozen bay that first day. Niklas tried his best to persuade us to move forward but, like hesitating penguins on an iceberg, no-one wanted to take the first step. 38 __. ‘Look at your faces,’ shouted Niklas to the happily smiling group, racing along behind him.

Our expressions had been far less joyful the previous evening on being told that a five-hour drive would follow our flights into Sweden’s Arlanda airport. That hadn’t been the plan; but then, in the world of natural ice skating, no-one expects very much from plans. With its 100,000 lakes and continuous sub zero winter temperatures, Sweden has no shortage of ice. 39 __. For instance, too much overlying snow and you get a bumpy, uncomfortable ride; a sudden thaw and vast areas become unusable.

Perfect conditions must be sought out, and don’t last. 40 __. Niklas had received a message via social media about Stigfjorden, a shallow, island-studded bay around 50 kilometres north of Gothenburg on the west coast.

There we quickly discovered skating in the open air is a wonderfully leisurely activity. Push off with one skate and you can go 10 metres with ease. Two or three quick kicks at the surface and you accelerate like a top-class sprinter. 41 __. We weren’t yet ready to skate that kind of distance, but we certainly had a wonderful sense of freedom.

Our best day was at Vattern, one of Europe’s biggest lakes and also one of its clearest. In ideal conditions, this clarity creates a phenomenon known as ‘glass ice’. The rocky lake bottom stretched beneath us, three metres below a surface so perfect it was unseen. My tentative first steps left scratches; it felt like vandalising a classical sculpture. As my confidence grew, so did my speed. The sensation as I raced across the invisible ice was astonishing, somewhere between floating, falling and flying. Then there was a sharp noise from all around us. 42 __. No one had to say it. We were skating on very thin ice.

A. That was the reason for our unscheduled journey from one side of the country to the other.
В. Ten minutes later we laughed at our earlier caution as we slid across the smooth surface, our joy as limitless as our surroundings.
C. The skates consisted of removable blades that fastened to the toes of our specialist boots like cross-country skis.
D. At first I ignored it, but when thin cracks began to appear I thought it wise to return to solid ground.
E. After our first session on the ice had ended, we were not surprised to be told that covering 250 kilometres in a single day is quite possible.
F. The Swedes adopt a common-sense approach: they are cautious, they test as they go, and they use ears – as well as eyes – to check it.
G. This is not always suited to skating, however.

Part 7

You are going to read an article about the effects of tourism on local people. For questions 43-52, choose from the people (A-E). The people may be chosen more than once.

Which section…
43. misses a place they used to go to as a child? __
44. states that tourism provides a considerable number of jobs for local people? __
45. wishes local people had opposed the construction of certain holiday homes? __
46. claims that tourism has destroyed a traditional industry? __
47. blames the tourist industry for spoiling the local countryside? __
48. feels that the presence of people from other cultures benefits the local community? __
49. criticises the behaviour of tourists in their town? __
50. says the town is wealthier than it was before it became a tourist resort? __
51. believes that most of the profits from the local tourist industry go abroad? __
52. is not convinced that so-called green tourism actually benefits the environment? __

Living with tourism

Five people describe how tourism has affected their home town.

A Leonor Sousa
It can’t be denied that tourism has attracted investment, which has certainly raised living standards here, but the cost in other respects has been extremely high. Take the effect on the environment, for instance. When my parents were young this used to be an area of fields and woods, but now everything is covered in concrete. The tourists themselves aren’t responsible for this,- it’s the construction companies, property developers and estate agents who are to blame because they’re the ones making all the money. They’re all based in the big cities and bring in their own people, so they hardly create any employment at all for local residents.

В Yusuf Demir
When I was growing up in my home town there was a path I used to walk along to go to school, and last summer I went to see if it was still there. It was, but the view from it had changed completely. Now there is a vast shopping mall, with a cinema and cafes alongside. I don’t actually mind that, because it means there are lots more things to do, and I also like the fact that it has a really international atmosphere. It’s good for local people to meet visitors from other parts of the world, try new kinds of food and hear about different ways of living.

C Matt Walker
Tourism has changed this town so much, even in the years since I was at junior school. In those days there was a football pitch near the harbour where we would kick a ball around, but it’s gone now, which is a pity. In the harbour itself luxury yachts owned by people from richer parts of the country have replaced the fishing boats, to the extent that there is now no sign of what used to be the main source of income and employment locally. In the evenings the town is certainly a lot livelier, but sometimes people start doing things they would never think of doing back in their own home towns, and then the police have to be called.

D Trisha Chandra
I was just a child when tourism first took off here and those incredibly ugly houses were built for summer visitors. The residents really should have protested about that. It was all the fault of the town council, who only ever thought in the short term and seemed to give planning permission to anyone who applied to build anything. Nowadays there’s talk of ecological tourism, but that’s just a way of making people feel less guilty about the harm they are doing by making a few insignificant changes, such as re using towels in their hotel rooms.

E Daniela Navarro
I know some of the new hotels and holiday apartment blocks are unattractive, and that the bars, restaurants and nightclubs that cater for tourists have changed the nature of the town, but without them unemployment – particularly among the young – would be far worse than it currently is. That, though, is as far as the economic benefits to the town go, as the only ones making any real money out of all this are the big tour operators and the owners of hotel chains, none of whom are actually based in this country. Also, very few tourists learn our language. I know it must be difficult for them because most of them are quite old, but it means there’s little communication between us and them.