Level 1 & 2 – Last minute Reading exam revision crib sheet

Here are a bunch of question types that have turned up on the C&G Reading exam paper. The sort of questions you can expect to see in the exam.

  1. What is the meaning of the word flubalub… ? Use. See – using context clues – https://macmillanmh.com/ccssreading/treasures/grade6/ccslh_g6_lv_8_3b.html

In the context of the text what does flubalub… mean in the text? – use the dictionary BUT DON’T JUST READ THE 1ST MEANING – words mean different things. The examining board are trying to test you (obviously!)

  1. What is the purpose of the document? See – http://moveon-stage.excellencegateway.org.uk/ilr_php/hottopics/te/l1/indexfs.html?url=http://moveon-stage.excellencegateway.org.uk/ilr_php/hottopics/te/l1/intro/body01.htm
  2. What is the key theme/focus of the last paragraph? The key point of the paragraph is … ‘The writer highlights the impact of … : See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z398d2p/revision
  3. Which textual features are used in this text? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/reading/questionsrev2.shtml
  4. What is an appropriate heading for the 3rd paragraph? What is an appropriate title for the text? See – http://www.ieltsbuddy.com/paragraph-headings.html

In order to do this type of task well you must understand the gist, or main ideas, of each paragraph. These tips will help you do this task well.

  • First read all of the headings.
  • Then read the paragraphs carefully and match the ones you are sure about.
  • If you are not sure about one, leave it and move on to the next one. You may be able to match up ones you are not sure about by elimination at the end.
  • Be careful with extra options, e.g. six headings to match with four paragraphs. There will be two headings you don’t need.
  1. The final paragraph has been written in 1st, 2nd, 3rd singular/plural? See – http://study.com/academy/lesson/point-of-view-first-second-third-person.html#lesson
  2. The register/tone of the text is? / The language in the text is (Formal, polite, facetious, technical) See – https://writerswrite.co.za/155-words-to-describe-an-authors-tone/
  3. What is the perspective of the author? See – https://www.thatquiz.org/tq/practicetest?4y393q0w5n5i & http://www.mpsaz.org/rmre/grades/grade5/homework_help/files/authors_purpose_and_perspective2.pdf
  4. What layout features have been used? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/dida/using_ict/presenting_informationrev3.shtml
  5. What discourse markers are used in this text? See – http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/discourse-markers/discourse-markers-so-right-okay
  6. Why is there a paragraph break between 3 and 4? See – http://www.saidsimple.com/content/100835/
  7. What is the target audience for the text? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/writing/genreaudiencerev4.shtml
  8. Text type – see – http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z97mxnb/revision
  9. The content of the text is: biased, factual, fictional, first hand, detached. See – Objective information does not vary, whereas subjective information can vary greatly from person to person or day to day. Subjectivity can actually be wrong, or far from the truth, whereas objectivity means being as close to the truth as possible.12 Jun 2014

Objective vs Subjective Writing: Understanding the Difference


Search for: What does it mean to be objective

  1. Inverted commas/speechmarks, commas, apostrophes. See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/spelling_grammar/punctuation/read/1/ & http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zqsyvcw/revision/4
  2. Colons & semi-colons   http://www.colonsemicolon.com/
  3. What does you/it/he refer to? See – https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/pronouns
Purpose of text questions:













give instructions/advice

offer help/advice

to show how/why


Type of text questions:

Letter (formal/informal)

Leaflet (information or advertisement)


Set of instructions

Email (formal/informal)



Text message

Article (any published text)




Sign (danger/road/shop/school etc… can be an image too!)



Guide (travel, tourist, grammar…)

Reference book (dictionary, atlas, thesaurus)

Questions about images:


Sign (can also be a type of text)







Language questions:










Features of text:

Bullet points                 Block capitals

Images (see above)     Internet links/web icon

Text box                        Bold text

Columns                       Italics

Headings                     Subheadings

Numbers                     Captions

Compare & Contrast – Things we find difficult – part 3

The difference between the verbs ‘to compare’ and ‘to contrast’ seems to have caused some heated debate. Probably more than it should. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the perenial potato debate. Which do you prefer? Sweet potatoes or old fashioned regular potatoes? Or how about yams? Surely a discussion about potatoes couldn’t cause so much argument, could it?

Let’s look at the meaning of ‘to contrast’ first because it’s easier to understand:

contrast verb

C2 [ T ]to compare two people or things in order to show thedifferences between them:

If you contrast some of her early writing with her later work, you can see just how much she improved.


C2 [ I ]If one thing contrasts with another, it is very different from it:

The styles of the two film makers contrast quite dramatically.
The tartness of the lemons contrasts with the sweetness of the honey.
So the potatoes are rounder, and obviously, the sweet potatoes are ummm sweeter. I’m not doing very well here….
Cleveland Health Clinic explain that, “Sweet potatoes provide 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fibre and fewer total carbs than white potatoes, despite more sugar. But don’t forget white potatoes — they’re more versatile in cooking and less expensive.
So that’s the contrast sorted. Fine. We’re happy with that. One is usually white the other is usually orange. Contrast! Easy… So, to compare:

compare verb [ T ] (EXAMINE DIFFERENCES)

B1 to examine or look for the difference between two or more things:

If you compare house prices in the two areas, it’s quite amazing how different they are.
That seems expensive – have you compared prices in other shops?
Compare some recent work with your older stuff and you’ll see how much you’ve improved.
This road is quite busy compared to/with ours
But – we also use ‘to compare’ – to talk about similarities and to decide which thing is better. We can make chips out of potatoes and sweet potatoes; the taste is different but overall I prefer regular potatoes:

compare verb [ T ] (CONSIDER SIMILARITIES)

to judge, suggest, or consider that something is similar or of equal quality to something else:

The poet compares his lover’s tongue to a razor blade.
Still only 25, she has been compared to the greatest dancer of all time.
People compared her to Elizabeth Taylor.
You can’t compare the two cities – they’re totally different.

does not compare


If something or someone does not compare with something or someone else, the second thing is very much better than the first:

Instant coffee just doesn’t compare with freshly ground coffee.

compare favourably


If something compares favourably with something else, it is better than it:

The hotel certainly compared favourably with the one we stayed in last year.

Things we find difficult to understand – part 2 – collective nouns

collective noun  [ C ]

a noun that describes a group of things or people as a unit:

“Family” and “flock” are examples of collective nouns.
Collective nouns are often very peculiar and very particular. You don’t need to know them all (most people don’t), but they are fun to know and make for excellent conversation starters if you’re a language geek!

A) Check out these lists of collective nouns on buzzle.com  then try the online tests:

B) Collective nouns – online tests:

Collective nouns, English skills online, interactive activity lessons

Abstract nouns. Collective nouns. Apostrophes – possession (Common and proper nouns). L.1.1.c – Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic …

Subject-verb agreement with collective nouns – Quizzes – Language …

Does a singular collective noun take a singular or plural verb? Well, it depends. If the collective noun refers to the group as a unit, then it takes a singular verb.

Collective Noun Quiz – ProProfs Quiz

This quiz was created for beginner ESL learners studying collective nouns.

Quiz: Collective Nouns – CliffsNotes

Choose the TRUE statement. Collective nouns are always singular.Collective nouns may function as verbs. Collective nouns may be singular or plural. Previous.

collective nouns 1 – Englishleap.com

COLLECTIVE NOUNS EXERCISE 1. CHOOSE THE CORRECT OPTION: … Related Exercises. Auxiliary Verbs Exercise – 1 · Collective Nouns Exercise – 2.

Things we find difficult to understand – part 1 – Subject-Verb agreement in sentences

A) Check out these PowerPoint links for a full explanation of the many difficulties with Subject-Verb agreement. If this is easy, then you’re doing pretty well, my friend:

[PPT]Subject – Verb Agreement PPT – Grammar Bytes!

SubjectVerb Agreement. Do I need an s at the end of the verb? Or should I leave the s off? This presentation covers maintaining agreement between subjects …

[PPT]Subject and Verb Agreement

SubjectVerb Agreement. A Project LA Activity. Basic Rule. Singular subjects need singular verbs. Plural subjects need plural verbs. These create problems:.

B) Advanced level videos:

Subject verb agreement BBC English explanation parts 1, 2 & 3. Listen with subtitles and watch more than once if that helps:

subscribe for more excellent and complex language advice:

bbclearningenglish bbclearningenglish

C) Now try some Subject-Verb agreement online exercises:


After each sentence select the verb form that will best fit in the blank. The explanation will describe the process of arriving at the correct choice for that sentence.

Subject Verb Agreement Quiz

Read the sentences to decide whether the verbs should be singular or plural. Then click the drop-down menu. answer. to see the answer.

ESL Quiz – Subject-Verb Agreement (Difficult) (Keith S. Folse) I-TESL-J

ESL Quiz – SubjectVerb Agreement (Difficult) (Keith S. Folse) I-TESL-J … This quiz is part of Interactive JavaScript Quizzes for ESL Students. Quiz Data …
Subjectverb agreement is one of the first things you learn in English class: “My friend is Japanese.” (singular). “My friends are Japanese.” (plural). In this English …

Advanced Grammar | Subject / Verb Agreement Exercise | esl-lounge …

Subject / Verb Agreement Exercise. Look at each sentence and think about subject/verb agreement. Which is the correct answer?

Subject-Verb Agreement: Advanced – Quizzes – Language Portal of …

An advanced English-language quiz on subjectverb agreement.
Whether you’re a native speaker of English or an advanced ESL student, these … topic: SUBJECT/VERB AGREEMENT IN ENGLISH 1 | level:Advanced Choose …