Online Test - English skills
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A. Using all the given words, form questions:

B. Complete the sentence with the right form of the verb in parentheses.

C. Vocabulary:

Text 1

D. Choose the correct answer for each of these questions. Please select just one option.

The Town of Clarkson
Clarkson is a large town. It has more than fifty thousand people living there. It sits next to a large river, the Clark River. Every day, people take the ferry from North Clarkson to South Clarkson to go to work. Most people live in North Clarkson. There are many trees and the streets are very broad. When the sun shines and the children run and play in the safe streets. North Clarkson is a wonderful place to live. South Clarkson has a lot of shops and factories. People don't live there, but they come in the morning to work. There is also a big stadium where the Clarkson Tigers play. On Sundays, many people go to watch their favorite team. At the weekend, the people from Clarkson enjoy walking along the bank of the Clark River. They also sail small boats on the water and if there is a little wind, they fly kites in the large park. Every year, Clarkson grows in size because a lot of people come to live there. The government builds more houses and the streets get busier. Maybe in the future, if the town continues to grow, it will become a city!
Taken from:

Text 2

E. Look at the five advertisements, A-E. Which advertisement mentions the following? Write only one letter from A to E next to the statements. You may use any letter more than once.

Taken from: A ab
Dd e

Text 3

F. Look at the sentences below and decide if the information is true (T), false (F), or not given (NG) in the text.

Why warm showers aid creativity

For many years, people have known that solutions to difficult problems often come when we least expect them to. For years, psychologists have suggested reasons, but thanks to new developments in brain scanning and the field of chemistry, we are getting closer to understanding the creative process.

What exactly is creativity? Robert E. Franken defined it as the ability to create or recognize ideas or other possibilities that may help to solve problems or to communicate and entertain others. It is a skill that is useful in every area of life, from computer programming to business, and the areas of work which we more commonly relate to creativity, such as music or drawing.

Recent research carried out by Dr. Allen Braun and Dr. Siyuan Liu looked at the brains of freestyle rappers, while they were performing. It is a highly creative process. They found that specific areas of the brain which are typically inactive become active when we are being creative. In their study, artists working creatively showed higher brain activity in the part of their frontal lobes called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is known to control learning associations and emotional responses.

However, another area, called the medial prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for functions such as decision-making, clearly deactivated, in other words, it shut down. Braun believes that the relaxation of these ways of thinking was necessary to allow the brain to focus on the process of being creative. So that would go some way to explain why great ideas often come when we least expect them. Braun and Liu’s findings are supported by studies in the field of chemistry. According to Dr. Alison Flaherty, the reason different people have different levels of creativity is because of a chemical called dopamine. The more dopamine pathways there are to their limbic system, the more creative they will be. Generally, more dopamine flows when we are involved in events that make us relaxed, such as going for a walk or exercising. So chemically, you are more likely to get your best ideas in relaxing situations such as the shower.

Dr. Shelly Carson believes that distraction is also essential in encouraging creativity. She argues that after thinking about a problem all day, the subconscious brain will be working on the ideas even if we are not aware of it. Dr. Carson found that the people in her study generally focused too much on ineffective solutions to problems when they were working actively to solve them. Any activity which allows your mind to wander, in other words, a distraction, can distance you from that damaging habit and allow the right solution to come to you.

Joydeep Bhattacharya has also studied the increase in creativity during moments of relaxation, but he came to the conclusion that moments of relaxation allowed the brain to avoid the obvious connections in favor of making more unusual connections. He found that focusing on obvious details was a useful skill in a situation where a problem could be solved analytically, but was of no help in a situation where a creative mind was needed. Bhattacharya refers to it as “the quiet voices in the back of our head”. Stepping away from a problem allows these voices to be heard.

Dr. Robert Epstein claimed that we need to go even further and give the brain too much to think about, in other words, overwhelm the brain, to get the most out of it. By setting yourself tasks that appear to be too hard, your brain is forced to work at a higher level. He worked with programmers, giving them the kind of computer problems to solve that would normally be given to someone at a much later stage in their career. Although they did not solve the problem, they used more of the creative area of their brain than they normally would, and as a result, achieved more than they expected. To sum up, difficult tasks became easier thanks to the increased brain activity. So, the next time you have a problem you cannot solve, try taking a shower.
Dannally Torrealba, 2010.


Audio 1

G. A rock star talks about her daily routine. Listen to the audio and put the words from the table into her itinerary. There are four extra phrases you don't need to use. You will only listen to the audio once.

  • lunch
  • to bed
  • a pastry and a coffee
  • with the music with my friends
  • until about midday
  • to relax
  • do some shopping first
  • a coffee
  • my newspaper
  • arrive
  • to eat in a restaurant
  • my e-mail
  • the internet

Elisa's Diary

7.00: I get up.

11.00: My car arrives to take me to the studio.

1.00 - 2.00: Recording in the studio.

Audio 2

H. Listen to the interview about Aussie food, and answer the questions. There is only one correct answer. You will only listen to the audio once.

Audio 3

I. Listen to the conversation between a professor and two students. Complete the notes below write no more than three words for each answer. You will only listen to the audio once.

Audio 4

J. You are going to listen to a short lecture about athletics. While the recording is playing, you can take notes if you please. After you hear the recording, you will be asked some questions. You will hear the questions on the recording.