In Part 2 of the Reading paper, you have to read a text of about 700 words and answer 7 or 8 multiple choice questions about it. You have under 20 minutes in which to do this. In this e-m@il lesson you study some techniques for dealing with multiple choice questions, particularly how to find where the answers are quickly, and you also study vocabulary from the texts.

One technique for dealing with questions on a fairly long text is to find the part of the text where the questions are answered quickly, so that you can concentrate on that place without reading the whole text again.

Read the following text as quickly as possible to find in which paragraph the writer mentions these ideas. Write the number of the paragraph or paragraphs in the space after the sentence. Do not try to understand the whole text yet.

In which paragraph(s) does the writer mention: Paragraph number (s)
reasons for wanting to stop smoking?
a first step in trying to give up smoking?  
some statistics?  
being surprised?  
the physical effect on women?  
reasons why people between 13 and 19 in particular start smoking?  
general reasons for starting to smoke? (3 paragraphs)  
feeling nervous?  

One Monday evening last November, Gaby Leboeuf decided to give up smoking...

  1. One Monday evening last November, I turned up at my local "Women's Quit Smoking Group" at the village hall, keen to stop, but a little frightened about the sort of people I would meet there. I was expecting them all to be wrinkled, grey-haired people in their forties and fifties, who had been smoking a steady forty cigarettes a day for thirty years, whereas I just smoked a modest ten cigarettes a day.
  2. I took up smoking 10 years ago, when I was 16, and for the last three years I have been trying to give up. But when I saw the group, I was in for a surprise. There were fourteen women sitting in the hall, many of whom were looking more nervous than me, and there were three who were younger than me.
  3. We were led by Jerry, a cheerful woman in her thirties who had kicked the habit five years ago. In answer to our questions she told us that nowadays, in our society, more women smoke than men - 30% more, according to the statistics. And in the United States 1,500 girls of 18 or less start smoking every day. In fact, many girls, after they have smoked just a hundred cigarettes in their lives, already want to give up, but do not know how.
  4. Jerry insisted that in order to give up, it is a good idea to discover why we started in the first place, and here she put the blame squarely on the tobacco companies for directing much of their advertising at women. She showed us a video of examples of cigarette advertising with pictures of young, attractive models smoking cigarettes, all of which makes people believe that smoking is a fashionable activity for women. And if people believe something is fashionable, it is.
  5. Many advertisements also give the impression that smoking is healthy: we see pictures of healthy young people, and especially sportsmen and sportswomen alongside advertisements for cigarettes. According to Jerry, our common sense will tell us we cannot smoke and keep fit, but subconsciously, we believe the opposite - at least to begin with.
  6. Smoking advertisements are particularly persuasive for women because they encourage us to believe that smoking will make us slim. There is some truth in this - women who smoke weigh less and eat less, and when they give up, they tend to put on weight, possibly because they start eating instead of smoking.
  7. It is no accident either that many of us start smoking when we are teenagers, just at the time when we are trying to become independent of our parents. Few parents are happy when their children start smoking, and children use this as a signal to their parents that they are losing their power over them. For teenage girls this is even more important as they have to fight harder to become independent of their parents than boys.
  8. As the hall began to fill with smoke (smoking is not forbidden in the early sessions), we began to have a clearer idea of the things which influence us to smoke. Jerry insisted that if we understood the pressures making us smoke, we would find it easier to deal with them. Kicking the habit would never be easy, she told us, but people who want to usually manage it. And the more times you try, the more likely you are to succeed.
  9. After answering our questions, she asked each person present why they wanted to stop. Several people mentioned pressure from their family, their boyfriends or husbands. Others talked about the effect on their health and fitness. One mentioned a death in the family which had resulted from smoking. Funnily enough, no one mentioned the cost as the main reason for wanting to give up, and, in spite of Jerry's lecture on cigarette advertising, almost everybody blamed themselves for having started in the first place. They saw smoking as evidence of weakness in their character and as evidence that they were not as independent of social and commercial pressures as they would like to believe.
Read the article again. It was written by a journalist who has been investigating why so many women smoke cigarettes. For Questions 1-8, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
Multiple choice questions 1
Read the text fairly quickly first in order to get a general idea of what it is about.
Do not try to translate the sentences into your language: it will take too long, and you may get confused.
Look at the first question and try to find the answer, starting at the beginning of the text. Be careful to make sure the alternative you choose matches some words or ideas expressed in the text. Usually the question will not repeat the same words as the text, so you will have to look for a similar meaning.
If you are not immediately sure which is the correct answer, begin by rejecting the answers which are not correct. Then look for something in the text which means the same as the alternative you finally choose.
You will find the answer to question 2 in the text after the answer to question 1, and so on. You do not need to read the whole text again to find the answer to each question.
1 The writer felt nervous about joining the group because
A she thought it would be difficult to stop smoking.
B she didn't smoke as much as the other people in the group.
C she thought the other people would be different from her.
D she imagined the other people would not be so keen to stop.
2 What surprised the writer was
A the number of women in the group.
B how worried some of the women seemed.
C the age of some of the women.
D the fact that none of them had grey hair.
3 According to Jerry's statistics
A people become addicted very soon.
B more girls start smoking than men.
C the majority of smokers are under 18.
D women smoke more heavily than men.
4 Which of these is not given as a reason for starting to smoke?
A Making friends.
B Doing what other people do.
C Doing what people we admire do.
D Interest in our physical appearance
5 Women who smoke
A are heavier than non-smokers.
B are healthier than non-smokers.
C eat more than non-smokers.
D are lighter than non-smokers.
6 According to the writer, many people between 13 and 19 start smoking because
A their parents want them to.
B it makes them feel more powerful.
C they want to change their relationship with their parents.
D they enjoy it.
7 According to Jerry, in order to give up smoking, you should
A try several times.
B understand why you smoke.
C change your attitude to life.
D have your ideas clear.
8 What surprised the writer about why the others wanted to give up?
A Economic reasons did not seem important.
B Few people had lost relations from smoking.
C Family problems were an important reason.
D Nobody was worried about their health.
1. turn up (paragraph 1) a) next to
2. quit (paragraph 1) b) an action which communicates a message
3. took up (paragraph 2) c) reasonableness which comes from experience
4. kicked the habit (paragraph 3) d) to arrive
5. alongside (paragraph 5) e) surprisingly
6. common sense (paragraph 5) f) to stop, leave
7. signal (paragraph 7) g) stopped being addicted
8. funnily enough (paragraph 9) h) started
Unfamiliar words
In this part of the exam there will certainly be words you don't know. Don’t spend too much time trying to understand them the first time you read. Try to get a general idea about the text. Only worry about these words if you think they will help you with the answer to a question, otherwise you may spend a lot of time trying to work out the meaning of a word, and then find it doesn’t matter!
You can listen to the article on giving up smoking if you log on to the FCE Reading pages on the LearnEnglish Professionals website.
Here are some types of weather. Decide if they are examples of extreme weather or normal weather conditions. Write them under the correct heading in the box below.
Extreme weather
Normal weather
heat wave
sunny spell
You are going to read a newspaper article about research into the effects of global warming on the world's weather. For questions 1 - 8, choose the answer (A, B, C, or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
Unfamiliar words
When you choose between the four alternatives, you must find evidence in the text which convinces you that one particular answer is correct. Don’t just choose what you believe is correct because you have read about the subject before: there must be some words in the text which make one of the alternatives correct.
What should you do if you are not sure which is the correct answer? Go through the alternatives, discarding each of them until you get to one you cannot discard. If there are two you cannot discard, choose between them - you have a fifty per cent chance of being right!
Be careful with the time. You should read the whole passage quickly before you look at the questions (in 3 - 5 minutes) to get a general idea of what it is about. Then answer the questions in order. Once you have answered a question about one part of the text, you will not be asked about that part of the text again. You will find the answer to the next question later in the text.
Don’t waste time checking answers which you were sure about the first time you answered the question.
Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on this part - you have 5 minutes extra for this exercise to read the advice and explanations.

Environmental disaster unavoidable, scientists warn

The strength and frequency of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods is already increasing as a result of global warming, according to the Reginald Kray Centre for Climate Research, based in Berea, Durban. According to a report released this week, natural disasters occur almost 25% more often than they did just half a century ago, and this trend is set to continue.
The report, called "Natural Disasters and Global Warming", warns that as temperatures throughout the world increase, polar ice caps are melting and the sea level is rising at an even greater rate than that predicted ten years ago. What is more, there are few places in the world which will be unaffected by droughts, hurricanes, heavy rainstorms or other extreme weather phenomena.
The report is based on research by leading weather scientists who admit a link between global warming, melting ice caps, and the strength and frequency of natural disasters. "We do not know exactly how the mechanism works," said Dr Ruth King yesterday in an interview for Frost at Night on Earth TV, "but the evidence from statistics and observations is very convincing."
Examples range from the disappearance or shrinking of glaciers in many parts of the world to the changing habits of animals: birds which no longer migrate to escape harsh winters or spiders which are found further north than was the case fifty years ago. Recently, moreover, holes have been appearing in the ice close to the North Pole, while vast icebergs have been seen floating in the Southern Ocean, breakaways from the Antarctic ice-cap.
According to the report, not all parts of the world will be affected uniformly. The most extreme variations in climate are likely to occur in the southern hemisphere, though the Northern hemisphere will also have its share of natural disasters. In general the southern part of Europe will get drier, suffering more frequent and prolonged droughts leading to an accelerated process of desertification, while northern Europe will become wetter and would be more frequently affected by floods. The climate of the British Isles might even grow cooler as warm ocean currents change direction or disappear.
However, scientists do not concur on the causes of climate change, although they agree that human activity is at least partly responsible for global warming. "We understand the mechanism by which CO2 emissions contribute to global warming," says Dr King, "and there is no doubt that levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased in the last 25 years since reliable statistics have been kept. What we can't be sure about is how much of the increase in world temperatures is due to human activity and how much is part of a natural cycle involving periodic variations in ocean currents and solar activity."
According to some experts we have to choose between reducing CO2 emissions and living with the consequences of a series of natural disasters and changes to our habitat and lifestyles imposed by climate changes. Others disagree, saying that there is little choice because the only way to arrest global warming lies in large-scale abandonment of the car as a means of transport and closure of much of the world's industry. Says Professor Van Bloeten of Bloemfontein University, "There is no choice. We must learn to adapt to survive. The world of the future will not be the same as the one we know, but then nor is the world of the present like the one our ancestors lived in. The fact of the matter is you can raise fuel prices, you can double or treble them, but experience shows that it does not significantly reduce the amount we use our cars. It is simply beyond the ability of governments to reduce CO2 emissions. Global warming is a fact of life."

1) According to the report natural disasters will happen
A less often than fifty years ago.
B more often than now.
C as often as they do now.
D less often than now.
2) The report states that the sea level is rising
A in the way that was expected.
B unexpectedly fast.
C in an unpredictable way.
D more than ever before.
3) The scientists who have written the report have based their conclusions on
A an understanding of how global warming affects the weather.
B the violence of natural disasters nowadays.
C figures they have collected and things they have seen.
D a theoretical model of the world's climate.
4) Some birds stay in the same place nowadays because
A the bad weather makes it too dangerous to migrate.
B it is too cold in the places they used to migrate to.
C glaciers are growing smaller.
D the weather in winter is not as cold as it used to be.
5) The report predicts that
A temperatures will rise in some parts of the world and not in others.
B temperatures throughout the world will rise.
C all parts of the world will suffer natural disasters.
D all parts of the world will suffer the same sorts of natural disasters.
6) According to scientists, global temperatures have increased
A entirely as a result of human activity.
B mainly because of natural phenomena.
C due to a mixture of human and natural causes.
D at least partly as a result of human activity.
7) According to the text, Professor Van Bloeten thinks that
A global warming is inevitable.
B we can reduce CO2 emissions.
C we should stop driving cars.
D we should return to the way of life our ancestors had.
Look at these root words. Write the noun which comes from each of the root words. All the words are in the text but try to complete them before you look back at the text.

strong -

frequent -

appear -

desert -

emit -

vary -

choose -

abandon -

close -

You can listen to the article on environmental disasters if you log on to the FCE Reading pages on the LearnEnglish Professionals website.
In this e-m@il lesson you have:
developed a technique to deal with paper 1 part 2 multiple choice questions
improved your vocabulary for talking about the weather
practised forming nouns from root words
The next e-m@il lesson focuses on paper 1 part 3, the gapped text exercise and gives more practice in word building.