- B – rather. ‘Rather than’ is used to contrast it with the second clause and means ‘instead of, as opposed to’. ‘Instead’ shouldn’t be picked as it is used with ‘of’ preposition.
- C – result. ‘To result in something’. The only verb here that is followed by ‘in’ preposition. ‘Lead’ fits in term of lexic, however it should be used with ‘to’: ‘Increased unemployment might lead to higher crime rates’.
- B – access. To get access, to use, to be allowed to use something.
- D – expense. The focus here is people who spend money, not the providers of such information, therefore ‘charge’ shouldn’t be used.
- C – remark. ‘To remark’ is to point out, to mention, to say what you notice.
- A – reveal. To reveal is to make known, to uncover, to learn something that remained a mystery.
- D – further. The bigger part of one’s family past you take, the more likely you are to find something.
- B – participated. To participate in something ‘Included’ should be used in the passive here, so we can’t choose it.
- where. The author goes back in time – using ‘when’ conjunction.
- so. ‘So’ is used for emphasis and as a reason to do something.
- myself. The sentence that follows the gap makes it clear that the author is talking about himself.
- in. A degree in something – meaning that the person had that subject as their major at college or university.
- which/that. Both determiners can be used here. See more on difference between relative clauses.
- out/on/at. Different prepositions change the meaning slightly. ‘To work out’ is to understand how something works. ‘To work on’ is to spend your time doing something, similarly to ‘work at’.
- from. Apart from here has a similar meaning to ‘other than’.
- any. The author doesn’t feel any danger at all because of all the excitement. ‘Some’ shouldn’t be used here because it would change the message – the author feels very confident, and ‘any kind of danger’ illustrates that.
- producer. A noun-forming suffix ‘-er’ is used.
- illness(es). Note that the word is spelled with double ‘l’ and double ‘s’.Both plural and singular forms are acceptable as they do not change the meaning.
- effective. A comparison is made using ‘as… as…’ structure.
- scientists. The plural form is needed as the verb ‘have’ is used in plural. Another word with tricky spelling – make sure to get it right otherwise it won’t be scored.
- addition. ‘In addition’ means ‘what is more, also’.
- pressure. ‘Blood pressure’ is a commonly used medical term, so this one shouldn’t cause any difficulties.
- disadvantage. A negative prefix ‘dis-‘ is used to change the meaning of the word to fit the context.
- spicy. An adverb is formed by adding ‘-y’ ending and dropping the letter ‘e’.
- a good idea to go. ‘To be in favour of something’ is paraphrased as ‘to think that something would be a good idea’, then changed accordingly to grammatically fit the context.
- talented that he/she. ‘So talented that’ means ‘talented enough to’.
- if he/she knew what/the. We don’t really know if Sally is a boy or a girl, so both pronoun are acceptable. In the second part, the determiner ‘what’ and the definite article ‘the’ are interchangeable as the meaning remains unchanged.
- spent/took/was a long time. Any of the three verbs are fine as they collocate well with the verb in Continuous tense.
- are/is said to be. Both plural and singular of the auxiliary verb ‘to be’ can be used as we can either think of it as a single group or as a number of individuals.
- not call off OR you/we didn’t/did not call off. I’d rather not means ‘I would prefer not to’. The second option is more group-oriented, meaning that a group of people are in charge of making the decision of cancelling the meeting.
- C. Answers A and D are not mentioned. Answer B is not addressed either – she talks about the size of the island, but that’s all.Caitlin says that you only realise that you live on an island during high tide, when you get completely cut off from the mainland for a few hours.
- D. Her father’s usual reaction at being disturbed is irritation and indignation. However, this time he quite surprisingly agrees to meet Dominic. Answer A is not correct as he himself chooses to do his writing almost all the time. Answer B is wrong as if we talk about ‘initial’ reaction we imply that later he changes his way of looking at it, which he doesn’t do. There is no information relating to Answer C.
- C. Caitlin couldn’t understand the reason behind her brother’s change of behaviour: ‘… that kind of discomfort you feel when someone you like, someone close to you, suddenly starts acting like a complete idiot’. Answer A is not mentioned. Answer B is wrong – she couldn’t relate to him because of the way he had changed. Answer D is not mentioned.
- A. Throughout the description given by Caitlin in Paragraph Four we can clearly see how fond she is of the place she calls home.
- D. Nothing can be found immediately outside the island, that is the reason people do not normally walk from it, but rather take buses to ride further away where civilisation begins.
- C. At first Caitlin thought him to be a little boy, but as they got closer she realised that he is a young man, albeit not that tall.
- D. The previous sentence ends with ‘… I would beg to question this’. Question what? The fact that ballet is all about pain and suffering. Sentence D then dispels that myth.
- G. Both this and the previous sentence talk about about the importance of regular, thorough exercising in order to achieve something.
- F. The sentence that follows the gap helps us pick the right answer – even the greatest dancers do this routine. It is a great ‘democratiser’ – a thing that makes people more even. Both the new dancers and the professionals do the same thing, they do the training routine.
- A. It is by means of endless exercising that ballet dancers manage to achieve perfect balance of strength and accuracy of movements.
- E. ‘… pushing yourself to the limit, but not beyond…’ continues the idea from the previous sentence, where it states how we should be careful about what we demand of our bodies.
- C. A sentence to introduce the last paragraph and put the fact of declining popularity of physical exercising in perspective.
- A. Last sentence mentions how the author struggles to believe the difficulties that Duncan had at the very beginning of his sports career.
- D. ‘An old head on young shoulders’ is an expression that the author uses to talk about Duncan. It means that he seems to be quite wise and reasonable, especially for his age.
- B. Duncan’s father was very upset at the fact that no teams wanted to take his son.
- D. Last sentence says that the day he will be playing for a national team is not that far away.
- B. Last summer the boy shot up in height as well as gained more strength, closing the gap between himself and his peers.
- A. The author mentions football, rugby and cricket in order to show how Duncan was good at all of the sports.
- C. Gavin pointed out how being small can teach you better control of the ball and how you have to work with what you have.
- B. His current club told him that Duncan is not a part of their plans and how he has to work really hard.
- C. Despite losing 3-1, Duncan performed well which won him a place in the first team.
- D. ‘Now Duncan is following in Gavin’s footsteps’.
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.
Concern (v) – (here) to have something as a subject of study or research, to be connected with.
Merely (adv) – only, just. He was merely an amateur, not a real athlete, even though he was quite talented.
Trace (v) – to follow something in order to understand where it comes from, find its origins.
Ancestor (n) – a person of your family line that lived before you, i.e. your grandparents, great grandparents and so on.
Stunt (n) – a dangerous maneuver either on or off a vehicle that looks impressive but could potentially injure or kill you if you do it wrong.
Earn a living – to make enough money to cover expenses such as bills, rent and food. Being a single parent and having to earn a living at the same time is extremely challenging.
Degree (n) – a formal education at a particular field. You get after you spend several years at a college, university or other place providing higher education. My economics degree really helped me to start my career as a business consultant.
Resistance (n) – if you have resistance to something you can fight it effectively, such as a disease or infection. To increase your resistance to colds you should get your body used to low temperatures.
Forefather – (used figuratively here) the ancestor (see Part 1). In this context the forefather means the creator or inventor of something.
Cough (n) – a medical condition when your throat is irritated by the virus and you force air out of it. I caught a really nasty cold yesterday so I guess I’m going to start coughing any day now.
Causeway (n) – a road or a path that is raised off the ground to connect to pieces of land. Like a bridge, but made from earth with a road on top.
Vast (adj) – extremely large. The vast deserts of Sahara.
High tide (n) – a natural phenomenon when sea level rises due to moon phase change.
Sigh (n) – letting air out from your lungs through your mouth or nose when you feel upset or relieved. I could swear I could almost feel a sigh of relief from her as soon as she heard the good news.
Boot – a container in the back of a car that is used to store things such as suitcases, grocery bags and such.
Gig (n) – a live performance by a musician. We were sort of late for the main part of the performance but made it just in time for the last gig by our friends and their band.
Jabber (v) – to talk excitedly, quickly and in a way that can be difficult to understand. She kept jabbering about how exciting her time abroad had been.
Hazy (adj) – (about the weather) having poor visibility because of mist or moisture in the air.
Decade (n) – a period of ten years.
Misinterpret (v) – to understand incorrectly, to misunderstand. I’m afraid you’ve misinterpreted my words – I didn’t mean to offend you at all!
Persist (v) – to remain, to keep living or existing.
Pretence (n) – something that is not true but shown as being true. They say that many rich families’ happiness is a pretence while in reality they are miserable.
Conditioning (n) – (here) physical exercising to make your body more used to heavy and demanding activities (ballet dancing in this case).
Adolescence (n) – the period of your life from childhood to becoming an adult, usually from age ten to nineteen.
Routine (n) – certain series of actions that make up some activity. These actions rarely change. Note that in some language the word might have a negative meaning – this is not the case with this word in English.
Hardship (n) – difficulties, often as a result of not having enough money. I had to go through a lot of hardship in my student years.
Catch up (phr) – if you catch up with somebody it means you become as good as they are at something even though you weren’t as good before. Malcolm was the shortest guy in his class but by the last year at school he really caught up with them.
All-round (adj) – well-balanced, equally good in every way.
Reassure (v) – to say something to somebody to make them stop worrying about something. My tutor reassured me that I won’t have to retake this exam – I am qualified enough to pass it on my first attempt.
Turn smb down (phr v) – to reject somebody, to say ‘no’ to somebody. Nate asked Jannie out to the movies but she turned him down as she felt she didn’t know him that well.
Humble (adj) – not proud of their achievements, not thinking that they are better than others despite how much they might have achieved in their lives.
Click to download this FCE Reading and Use of English worksheet in PDF