FCE Reading and Use of English Practice Test 5

Part 6

You are going to read a magazine article about a volcano in New Zealand, now a nature reserve, and the experience of the native people in the past when it erupted. 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. 

By Alastair Jamieson

Off-track the ground is menacing. Lava, like angry waves frozen in mid-chop only moments ago, claws at the soles of my boots and threatens to shred my knees if I place a foot wrong. The surface is so uneven that progress is extraordinarily difficult. Occasional smooth stone channels course like petrified streams through the rougher ground, their solid surfaces a welcome pathway amid teetering plates of broken lava and treacherous bouldery rubble. Out of the shade of the dense thickets of bush, it’s as hot as a furnace. All that black rock absorbs and radiates enough heat to melt Antarctica. It’s as hostile a spot as you could find anywhere in New Zealand, yet when I turn around, there is downtown Auckland in plain view just a few kilometres away.

37 . Its symmetrical cone is a relaxed cousin of those higher and steeper volcanoes Taranaki and Ngauruhoe but Rangitoto is a truly astonishing wilderness right on the doorstep of the city. Landing on the island, the graceful sweeping curves seen from a distance quickly give way to a magnificent mosaic of the tortuous lava I’ve been scrambling through and scrubby, impenetrable pohutukawa forest.

Of course, it was not always like this. 38 . However, the emergence of the youngest and largest of the fifty-odd volcanoes in Auckland’s volcanic field was witnessed by Maori living on adjacent Motutapu Island.

The persistent yelping of dogs might first have awoken them. Soon afterwards there would have been a thundering roar. The vibration of the sandy ground beneath them would surely have Jolted them from their homes. 39 . A wind shift and the familiar smells of the camp – wood smoke, the sea, and even the penetrating stench of shark flesh drying on frames – were soon overpowered by the pungent, suffocating odour of sulphur dioxide.

Running across the beach and dragging boats into the sea, shoals of dead fish bumped against their legs as they waded into the cold shallows. 40 . Looking behind them, the cataclysm was becoming clearer in the first light of day. Black clouds were blasting out from the base of a roiling column of steam, flying boulders were arcing white streamers through the sky and splashing into the sea.

41 .The footprints of a small group of adults and children were found sandwiched between layers of Rangitoto ash. Markings show where the ground was prodded with sticks and that one of the dogs with the group paused to drink from a puddle. 42 . Whether these people were foolhardy or brave, lured by curiosity, or a desire to retrieve their treasured possessions, we’ll never know

A. The familiar form of Rangitoto did not exist for generations of Maori who first inhabited the surrounding lands.
B. The low black cliffs of Rangitoto are just 1500m away, the centre of the eruption only 3 km further.
C. The impressions were so well preserved that the next blanket of ash must have spewed from Rangitoto soon after they were made.
D. Paddling hard towards safety, the first wet ash began to fall, sticky and abrasive.
E. Outside, the familiar stars above and the scatter of bright campfires along the shore to the west was hidden by a pall of steam, strobed by lightning and lit by a ferocious fiery glow from beneath.
F. No landform is more familiar to Aucklanders than Rangitoto Island and yet how many of them ever go there?
G. Proof exists that in the weeks or months following the onset of the eruption, people came back to their campsite on Motutapu Island.

For this task: Answers with explanations :: Vocabulary