General Training Reading Practice exam Online

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SECTION 1 - Questions 1-14

Read the information below and answer Questions 1-7.


Want some great clothing ideas for your family?
Our key for clothing specials in July:
M for Mean W for Women C for children

For under $10

Cotton socks C- made of pure cotton for long-wearing
Woollen socks C- to keep young feet warm in winter
Sports socks M- to go with jeans and other casual clothes
Patterned belts W- to go with jeans and other casual clothes

For under $25

Cotton shirts W- for day and evening wear
Silk shirts M- five sizes, in designer colours, for that special social occasion
T-shirts C- hard-wearing, white with a variety of animal motifs
Colour T-shirts M W- cotton and polyester blend, plain colours, no ironing required

For under $50

Blue jeans M W- non-shrink, colourfast, small sizes only
Silk shirts M W- plain and patterned, all sizes
Hooded jacket C- protects from the wind, 4 sizes, large strong pockets
jacket W- waterproof with zipper front, all sizes
  • Or you can buy a gift voucher so that someone else can choose. These come in $10, $20 and $50 amounts.

Additional monthly specials for July to September
July - $10 voucher with any purchase over $60
August - Travel alarm clock worth %19.95 free with the purchase of $80 or more
September - Children's backpacks free with any credit card purchase over $75

Note: Postage and packing charges
These are applied to each order as follows:
Within Australia:
$7.95 per address, regular post
$17.95 for Express Delivery Service (overnight)
Surface mail (allow a minimum of two months for delivery)
Airmail (allow around two weeks delivery to most destinations)

Questions 1-7

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?

For answering questions 1-7, select

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

1. Women's cotton socks cost less than men's
2. Men's silk shirts are available in more than five colours.
3. Children's T-shirts come in a variety of colours.
4. The child's jacket has four pockets.
5. If you buy clothes worth $80 in August, you will receive a free alarm clock.
6. The charge for special next-day delivery in Australia is $7.95.
7. All clothing is guaranteed to arrive within two months.
Questions 8-14

Using your new microwave oven
Some important points to note

Section A: As microwave cooking times are much shorter than other cooking times, it is essential that recommended cooking times are not exceeded without first checking the food.

Section B: Take care when heating small amounts of food as these can easily burn, dry out or catch fire if cooked too long. Always set short cooking times and check the food frequently.

Section C: Take care when heating 'dry' foods, e.g. bread items, chocolate and pastries. These can easily burn or catch fire if cooked too long.

Section D: Some processed meats, such as sausages, have non-porous casings. These must be pierced by a fork before cooking, to prevent bursting. Whole fruit and vegetables should be similarly treated.

Section E: When heating soup, sauces and beverages in your microwave oven, heating beyond boiling point can occur without evidence of bubbling. Care should be taken not to overheat.

Section F: When warming up food for a second time, it is essential that it is served 'piping hot', i.e. steam is being emitted from all parts and any sauce is bubbling. For foods that cannot be stirred, e.g. pizza, the centre should be cut with a knife to test it is well heated through.

Section G: It is important for the safe operation of the oven that it is wiped out regularly. Use warm, soapy water, squeeze the cloth out well and use it to remove any grease or food from the interior. The oven should be unplugged during this process.

Questions 8-14

The text has seven sections, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of heading.

8. Section A
9. Section B
10. Section C
11. Section D
12. Section E
13. Section F
14. Section G

SECTION 2 - Questions 15-27

Read the text and answer Questions 15-21.

Recycling at work - handy hints to employers

It is estimated that avoidable waste costs UK businesses up to 4.5% of their annual revenue. Reducing waste in the workplace is about being efficient. By becoming more efficient, businesses not only increase profits but they also save natural resources.

On the island of Jersey, for example, the amount of waste produced each year has doubled since 1980. In 2004 it topped 100,000 tonnes - and 60% is generated by local businesses. A lot of waste for a small island!

Setting up a company scheme

Waste audit Before starting a recycling scheme, perform an audit. This will make you aware of how much waste you are producing in the company.

Company policy Consider switching your office waste contractor to one that provides a recycling service. Buy recycled paper. Although this is sometimes more expensive, costs can be reduced by lowering consumption and using duplex printers.

Get everyone involved - Raise awareness internally within the company, perhaps by putting up educational posters. - Allocate a person to be the point of contact for anyone with queries. There are also a couple of ways to increase motivation: - Hold internal competitions between different departments. For example, see which can reduce their waste the most within a specific time period. - Send out regular newsletters reporting on all waste improvements. Staff will then see the impact their actions are having.

What to recycle and how

Paper According to a recent survey, 65% of the waste produced is paper waste. The waste paper will inevitably be produced in the workplace, but it is not necessary to discard it. It can serve a variety of purposes before it is recycled, such as writing notes. Envelopes too can be re-used for internal mail.

Plastic cups Rather than supplying disposable plastic cups in your workplace, get ceramic mugs that can be re-used. Not only do they make your tea taste better, but they can reduce your office waste by up to 1%.

Electrical equipment Rather than giving up on any old electrical equipment and just throwing it away, why not try upgrading it? This reduces waste, as well as avoiding the need to manufacture a new machine - a process which creates a large amount of waste. You could also consider donating your old computers to charities when it comes to replacing them.

Questions 15-21

Answer the questions below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 15-21.

  • 15. What does the writer think should be carried out in a company before it starts recycling?
  • 16. What machines can help to cut the stationery budget?
  • 17. What can be displayed in the workplace to publicise the recycling scheme?
  • 18. What can be distributed to motivate staff to recycle more?
  • 19. What can unwanted paper be used for in the office?
  • 20. What can be bought to cut down on the waste produced by staff refreshments?
  • 21. Where can unwanted PCs be sent?
Read the text and answer Questions 22-27.

How to Prepare for a Presentation

The first time your boss suggests that you formally present something to your department or a client, your reaction may be to panic. But remember that being asked to present is a compliment. Someone believes that you have valuable information to share with the group, and wants to listen to your ideas.

You need to decide exactly what you will say during the allotted time. Condense your topic into one sentence. What do you want your audience to remember or learn from your talk? This is your 'big idea'. Remember that you are dealing with the short attention spans of individuals who tend to have many things in their minds.

Think of three main points you want to make to support your overall topic. Develop a story to demonstrate each of those concepts. This could be something that happened to you or someone you know or something you read in a newspaper or magazine.

We have all heard the saying 'A picture is worth a thousand words'. Think about how your presentation can be more interesting to watch. Props are a wonderful way to make your talk come alive. You could do something as simple as holding up a toy phone receiver when talking about customer service or putting on a hat to signal a different part of your talk.

Think of a dynamic and unusual way to start your presentation. This might involve telling anecdotes that relate to your topic. Never begin with, 'Thank you for inviting me here to talk with you today'. You will put your audience to sleep right away. Start off enthusiastically so they will listen with curiosity and interest. After your energetic introduction, identify yourself briefly and thank the audience for taking the time to listen to you.

Plan your ending, and finish in a memorable way. Your listeners remember best what they hear at the beginning and end of a speech, so conclude with a game in which they can participate, or tell a humorous story and your audience will leave laughing.

Don't try to memorise your talk to read it word-for-word. It will sound stilted and boring. Instead, practice your dynamic introduction and conclusion until you can deliver them effortlessly. If you do this you'll feel a burst of confidence that will help you sail through the whole of the speech.

Questions 22-27

Complete the sentences below

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.

How to Prepare for a Presentation

  • Express your main idea in a .
  • Try using to support the major points you are making.
  • Add visual excitement to your talk by using .
  • Express appreciation to your listeners for their .
  • A will get the audience to interact.
  • It is important to prepare well as this will increase your .

SECTION 3 - Questions 28-40


Section A

It is estimated that the average man and woman needs between seven-and-a-half and eight hours' sleep a night. Some can manage on a lot less. Baroness Thatcher, for example, was reported to be able to get by on four hours' sleep a night when she was Prime Minister of Britain. Dr Jili Wilkinson, senior lecturer in psychology a Surrey University and co-author of 'Psychology in Counselling and Therapeutic Practice', states that healthy individuals sleeping less than five hours or even as little as two hours in every 24 hours are rare, but represent a sizeable minority.

Section B

The latest beliefs are that the main purposes of sleep are to enable the body to rest and replenish, allowing time for repairs to take place and for tissue to be regenerated. One supporting piece of evidence for this rest-and-repair theory is that production of the growth hormone somatotropin, which helps tissue to regenerate, peaks while we are asleep. Lack of sleep, however, can compromise the immune system, muddle thinking, cause depression, promote anxiety and encourage irritability.

Section C

Researchers in San Diego deprived a group of men of sleep between 3 am and 7 am on just one night and found that levels of their bodies' natural defences against viral infections had fallen significantly when measured the following morning. 'Sleep is essential for our physical and emotional well-being and there are few aspects of daily living that are not disrupted by the lack of it', says Professor William Regelson of Virginia University, a specialist in insomnia. 'Because it can seriously undermine the functioning of the immune system, sufferers are vulnerable to infection'.

Section D

For many people, lack of sleep is rarely a matter of choice. Some have problems getting to sleep, others with staying asleep until the morning. Despite popular belief that sleep is one long event, research shows that, in an average night, there are five stages of sleep and four cycles, during which the sequence of stages is repeated. In the first light phase, the heart rate and blood pressure go down and the muscles relax. In the next two stages, sleep gets progressively deeper. In stage four, usually reached after an hour, the slumber is so deep that, if awoken, the sleeper would be confused and disorientated. It is in this phase that sleep-walking can occur, with an average episode lasting no more than 15 minutes. In the fifth stage, the rapid eye movement(REM) stage, the heartbeat quickly gets back to normal levels, brain activity accelerates to daytime heights and above and the eyes move constantly beneath closed lids as if the sleeper is looking a something. During this stage, the body is almost paralysed. This REM phase is also the time when we dream.

Section E

Sleeping patterns change with age, which is why many people over 60 develop insomnia. In America, that age group consumes almost half the sleep medication on the market. One theory for the age-related change is that it is due to hormonal changes. The temperature rise occurs at daybreak in the young, but at three or four in the morning in the elderly. Age-wise, it is estimated that roughly one in three people suffer some kind of sleep disturbance. Causes can be anything from pregnancy and stress to alcohol and heart disease. Smoking is a known handicap to sleep, with one survey showing that ex-smokers got to sleep in 18 minutes rather than their earlier average of 52 minutes.

Section F

Apart from self-help therapy such as regular exercise, there are psychological treatments, including relaxation training and therapy aimed at getting rid of pre-sleep worries and anxieties. There is also sleep reduction therapy, where the aim is to improve sleep quality by strictly regulating the time people go to bed and when they get up. Medication is regarded by many as a last resort and often takes the form of sleeping pills, normally benzodiazepines, which are minor tranquilisers.

Section G

Professor Regelson advocates the use of melatonin for treating sleep disorders. Melatonin is a naturally secreted hormone, located in the pineal gland deep inside the brain. The main function of the hormones is to control the body's biological clock, so we know when to sleep and when to wake. The gland detects light reaching it through the eye; when there is no light, it secretes the melatonin into the bloodstream, lowering the body temperature and helping to induce sleep. Melatonin pills contain a synthetic version of the hormone and are commonly used for jet lag as well as for sleep disturbance. John Nicholls, sales manager of one of America's largest health food shops, claims that sales of the pill have increased dramatically. He explains that it is sold in capsules, tablets, lozenges and mixed with herbs. It is not effective for all insomnias, but many users have weaned themselves off sleeping tablets as a result of its applications.

Questions 28-35

The text has seven sections labelled A-G.

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-G in the boxes.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

  • 28. The different amounts of sleep that people require.
  • 29. An investigation into the results of sleep deprivation.
  • 30. Some reasons why people may suffer from sleep disorders.
  • 31. Lifestyle changes that can help overcome sleep-related problems.
  • 32. A process by which sleep helps us to remain mentally and physically healthy.
  • 33. Claims about a commercialised man-made product for sleeplessness.
  • 34. The role of physical changes in sleeping habits.
  • 35. The processes involved during sleep.

Questions 36-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage?

For answering questions 36-40, select

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

36. Sleep can cure some illnesses.
37. The various stages of sleep occur more than once a night.
38. Dreaming and sleep-walking occur at similar stages of sleep
39. Sleepers move around a lot during the REM stage of sleep.
40. The body temperature rises relatively early in elderly people.