Образовательный портал для подготовки к экзаменам
Английский язык
английский язык
сайты - меню - вход - новости

Каталог заданий.
Задания 12. Выделение информации в прочитанном тексте

Пройти тестирование по этим заданиям
Вернуться к каталогу заданий
Версия для печати и копирования в MS Word
Задание 12 № 80

Supermarkets offer local farmers good prices for their products.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated



It is believed that the idea of supermarkets first belonged to an American businessman who opened a self-service grocery store in 1916. The main advantage of the new American store was that the goods were stocked on the shelves, so the customers could take their own goods and bring them to the front of the store to pay for them. Although there was a high risk of stealing, the owner found the new shop's organisation more effective because it allowed him to reduce the number of shop assistants. Later the new shop organisation spread widely throughout European countries.

Nowadays supermarkets are as British as football and cricket. In the UK 90% of all food is bought at five different supermarket chains. That makes these companies extremely powerful, especially when they deal with small businesses, for example farmers. Milk is a good example. Supermarkets like to use things such as milk and bread, which are at the top of almost everyone's shopping list, to attract customers. To offer the lowest price the supermarkets need to buy milk from dairy farmers very cheaply, so big supermarket chains agree on a very low price and dictate it to farmers. If the farmers don't agree to that price, supermarkets start to look for the cheapest possible products abroad instead.

The consumers are of course happy to get cheaper products, but they should also keep in mind the influence supermarkets have on the environment. First of all there's packaging. Supermarkets like all the products to be packed because it makes it easier to put them neatly on the shelves. Consequently, supermarkets produce nearly 10 million tons of waste packaging in the UK every year, less than 5% of which is recycled. Some supermarkets put large recycling bins in their car parks, trying to create the image that they are environmentally friendly. However, that is just an image.

To reach the supermarket shelves the products often have to travel half the globe. Due to preservatives even milk products can stay unspoiled for months. It's a great advantage for the supermarket as yoghurt bought from a farmer can't be kept for longer than 2 days. That is why many small farmers do not even get a chance to compete with long-lasting imported goods.

When a new supermarket is planned, everyone says that a lot of new jobs will be created. In reality the number of jobs lost in the area is greater than the number of new positions in the supermarket. Within a 15km radius of every new supermarket that opens the number of people working in the food business goes down. It happens because all the small shops nearby are forced to close.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1301.

Задание 12 № 115

In the 20th century doctors believed that marathons were harmful for women.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Many Americans enjoy running marathons – a forty-two kilometer race. More than three hundred marathons were held in the United States last year and that number is expected to grow.


The New York City marathon is held every year on the first Sunday of November. It is a big sporting event with thousands of participants. One can see celebrities and famous sportsmen among the marathon runners. A famous cyclist, whose excellent physical condition helped him complete the marathon in less than three hours, admitted that the race was ‘the hardest physical thing he had ever done’.


While the New York City marathon is the biggest, the Boston Marathon is the oldest one. Boston’s is held in April. Boston is famous for the fact that Roberta Gibb became the first woman to unofficially run that marathon in 1966. At that time, people did not believe women could run marathons. The Olympics did not hold a women’s marathon event until 1984 in Los Angeles, California.


Today’s marathons welcome everyone. The popularity of the sport has spread among people who are interested in health and fitness. Many middle-aged people like to spend a weekend visiting a new city and running a marathon there. Some magazines call the middle-aged people of today the ‘marathon generation’. Forty-three percent of marathon runners in the United States are 40 years old or older. There are many organisations for marathoners. Nowadays many local running clubs offer training programmes that can prepare runners for the big race. A marathon really starts several months before the race. You need to run about five days every week to prepare. Most runs should be for half an hour. You should also try to run for an hour or more each Sunday. This is a very basic way for an average runner to prepare.


What you can’t prepare for is running in a big marathon with thousands of other participants. A marathon is in many ways a social event. There is a sense of community. The spectators are as much a part of the race as the runners. Almost every age group is present. At the start of the race there is a lot of shouting as the runners want to release some tension. They have three to five hours of hard running ahead of them.


However there are people who want to run farther. For them ultra-marathons are organised that take running to a different level. An ultra-marathon is any race longer than a marathon. One of the oldest ultra-marathons is held annually in California, USA. It is 160 kilometers long. Last year, 210 people finished the race. The winner, Graham Cooper, finished in eighteen hours and seventeen minutes.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1302.

Задание 12 № 150

Mark’s family approved of his moneyless project.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

The Moneyless Man

For most of us it seems that money makes the world go round. However, not for Mark Boyle who has turned his life into a radical experiment.

Mark Boyle was born in 1979 in Ireland and moved to Great Britain after getting a degree in Business. He set up his own business in Bristol. For six years Mark Boyle managed two organic food companies which made him a good profit.

However, in 2008, he decided to give up earning money. He vowed to live without cash, credit cards, or any other form of finance.

Mark Boyle began to realise that many of the world’s problems are just symptoms of a deeper problem. He thought that money gave people the illusion of independence.

Mark sold his house and started preparing himself for his new life. He posted an advert on a website asking for a tent, a caravan (a vehicle for living or travelling) or any other type of a house. Soon an old lady gave him a caravan for free. At least he then had a roof over his head!

After that, with his pockets empty, Mark was ready to go. He didn't even carry keys as he decided to trust the world a bit more and not lock his caravan. On November 28th (International Buy Nothing Day 2008), he became the Moneyless Man for one whole year.

Everything was different from then on. Mark lived in his caravan on an organic farm where he worked as a volunteer three days a week. In return he got a piece of land to live on and grow his own vegetables. His food was cooked on a stove, and he washed in a shower made from a plastic bag hanging from a tree, and warmed by the sun.

Even breakfast was different. With no morning coffee to brew, Mark had to find an alternative drink to start the day with. So he drank herbal teas, sometimes with some fresh lemon verbena that he could find near the caravan. «It's all very good for you: iron, calcium, anti-oxidants,» Mark said.

Food was the first thing to consider. Mark discovered that there were four ways to find it: looking for wild food, growing his own food, bartering (exchanging his grown food for something else), and using loads of waste food from shops.

Public interest in his project was divided. While a huge number of people supported him, there was criticism of him, particularly on Internet forums.

“People are either very positive about what I'm doing or very negative; I think it's about 70 percent/30 percent. It's funny, if you don't have a massive plasma TV these days, people think you are an extremist,” Mark said.

People tend to ask Mark what he learnt from a year of a moneyless life. “What have I learned? That friendship, not money, is real security,” he answers.

Mark's remarkable journey is described in his new book “The Moneyless Man”, which shows in a detailed way the challenges he faced on the road to his new world.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1303.

Задание 12 № 185

People from different countries applied for the job.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Best Job in the World

Have you ever heard of the Great Barrier Reef? It is the world's largest coral reef system along the eastern coast of Australia. In February 2009 an extraordinary position was advertised by the Australian Tourism Office. The advertisement ran that the Great Barrier Reef needed a caretaker for half a year. It was for a special person who would look after the Reef.

The job offered a large salary, free accommodation in a luxury villa, and transportation there and around the islands. All expenses would be paid: the winner wouldn't need to spend any extra money on anything.

The job's duties were pretty simple. You could only dream of such requirements. First, the person had to speak English and swim well. Second, on the island his responsibility included writing a weekly Internet blog. That's right, weekly, not even daily! The job description also required the successful applicant to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, make friends with the locals and generally enjoy the tropical climate and lifestyle. A real dream!

Within the first 2 days of the contest, the tourism office received more than seven thousand online applications. All told, 34,000 people of all different nationalities applied. Each made and presented a 60-second video resume. They had to be creative and they were. In the end 16 people were chosen, who flew to Australia for the final selection. The candidates were interviewed and the winner was Ben Southall from the UK.

Ben greatly enjoyed the dream job he had got. He realised that people knew very little about planet earth and its treasures. Living in big cities, they forgot how important the flora and fauna of this world were. Every time Ben went outdoors, he could discover something new. “Every time I dived or went underwater, I forgot about all the troubles above water and concentrated on living in the moment. It was a good way to clean the mind and build respect for the natural world,” Ben said.

Ben's life on the island was not just fun. It was very busy, busier than most people imagined, and certainly busier than Ben himself had imagined. He worked seven days a week and up to 19 hours a day. The Best Job included travelling to over 60 islands of the Reef almost every day. It was not just looking after the Reef, Ben had a lot of meetings, press conferences and interviews. He was getting a lot of attention all the time and he couldn't get away from it. That was probably the hardest part of the job.

Moreover, any adventure has a certain degree of risk. Swimming and diving on the Great Barrier Reef was not different. Ben had to deal with whales, sharksand other huge sea creatures. Surprisingly, the most dangerous thing was a small jellyfish about the size of a little finger. It's considered to be extremely poisonous and Ben was stung by it. He had to spend a couple of days in hospital but luckily recovered after a course of antibiotics.

Ben often says that the project has taught him a few valuable lessons. Working with the Internet is one of those jobs you can do 24 hours a day. Ben realised it was hard to separate life and work, but this he had to do. He also said: “I've learned that we get one life on earth so we have to use it. There'll always be other countries to visit, other people to meet and other adventures to meet. This is what I wish to do. I'm planning to go to Asia in a few years time”.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1304.

Задание 12 № 220

Banksy often takes part in advertising campaigns for different goods.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated



Where do you expect to see graffiti? Probably not in a museum. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, in the south-west of England, was the kind of place where you could see classical pictures and statues. However, in the summer of 2009 the exhibition ‘Banksy versus the Bristol Museum’ opened. The exhibition presented more than a hundred works by Banksy, one of the world’s most famous graffiti artists.

Banksy is a puzzle to all. He keeps his identity secret. He hardly ever gives interviews and likes to remain anonymous. Nobody knows much about his life or his background but many people believe that his real name is either Robert Banks or Robin Banks and that he was born in England, somewhere near Bristol.

Banksy’s street art is always provocative. It's his way of communicating with society. His graffiti is characterised by bright and frequently shocking images, often combined with slogans. His work is often a personal protest against wars, social policy or people's behaviour. Although graffiti is not allowed in cities, Banksy's works have become immensely popular.

Banksy believes that art should not be used for advertising. He has refused four times to do adverts for Nike, a famous sportswear company.

A year after the Bristol exhibition, Banksy made a film called “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. The film tells the story of a street artist. It got many positive reviews from the critics and from the general audience.

Another curious fact from Banksy's biography is that once he was named among the 100 most influential people in the world. He actually found himself in the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. When he was asked to send a photo, Banksy sent a picture of himself with a paper bag (recyclable, naturally) over his head. His fans still don’t really know who he is.

Bristol isn’t the only place in Britain to welcome and accept graffiti. A park in Dundee, Scotland, has the longest legal graffiti wall (almost 110 metres long) in the UK. Anyone can paint on the wall any time they like. The idea of this graffiti wall project is to demonstrate the positive side of graffiti and to organise workshops and graffiti classes for local children.

Even the capital of the country could not stay free of street art. There's a special website dedicated to London's street art and artists. The site's team is a group of enthusiastic young people who are closely connected with the street art world. They try to record and register all the works and display them on their “Street Art London” site. That is quite a job to do! The reason is that street art is very temporal and short-lived: graffiti is soon covered by another wall painting so they have to be quick to take a picture and post it on the website.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1305.

Задание 12 № 255

Red Nose Day is held every year in spring.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Red Nose Day

There's one special day in Britain when you can see lots of people all over the country wearing clown red noses. This is known as Red Nose Day. It's arranged by a charity organisation “Comic Relief” whose aim is to collect money for people who are in need.

“Comic Relief” was started in 1985 by the writer Richard Curtis and the comedian Lenny Henry. At that time, people in Ethiopia were suffering from an awful hunger and something had to be done. The idea was simple. Richard and Lenny decided to gather a group of much-loved British comedians to give public performances. And in this way they would collect money to help people in desperate need. They also hoped to let people know about poverty in Africa. Richard and Lenny strongly believe that laughter is the best weapon to fight tragedy, poverty and injustice. That was how “Comic Relief” was born.

One of the main events organised by “Comic Relief” is Red Nose Day. It takes place every two years in the spring, though many people think that this day should be held annually. The first Red Nose Day was held on 5 February 1988 and since then they have been held on the second or third Friday in March.

The event is widely celebrated in the UK and many people consider it to be a type of unofficial national holiday. The symbol of the day is the red nose which you can find in various supermarkets and charity shops. The thing is that red noses are not sold and you cannot buy them, but you can leave a small sum of money (a donation) and just take one. The exact sum of the donation is not fixed. You can leave as much as you want — it's an act of charity.

Since 1985 there have been all kinds of noses: plastic, soft, boring common ones, there were noses that looked like faces, noses that made noises, noses that changed colour when they got hot… This year it's a dinosaur theme, which means noses are shaped like small creatures from pre-history.

On Red Nose Day money-raising events take place all over the country and many schools participate.

In the evening of Red Nose Day a ‘telethon' takes place on the BBC channels. This is like a televised marathon that shows a selection of the events of the day, and lots of short comic performances and reports of how the money will

be spent. It starts in the evening and goes through into the early hours of the morning.

There’s a Red Nose Day page on Facebook and you can follow it on Twitter. People also upload videos of local charity events on YouTube and Facebook.

So, if you are ever in the UK on Red Nose Day, now you know why you will find normal people wearing red noses and doing silly things! It's all for a good reason!

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1306.

Задание 12 № 290

Ghost-writers are paid less than ordinary authors.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Hardy Boys Mystery Stories

First introduced in 1927, The Hardy Boys Mystery Stories are a series of books about the adventures of brothers Frank and Joe Hardy. They are teenage detectives who solve one mystery after another.

The Hardy Boys were so popular among young boys that in the 1930s a similar series was created for girls featuring a sixteen-year-old detective named Nancy Drew. The cover of each volume of The Hardy Boys states that the author of the series is Frank Dixon. The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories for girls are supposedly written by Carol Keen. Over the years, though, many fans of both series have been surprised to find out that Frank Dixon and Carol Keen were only pen names. Nobody knew who was hiding behind those names or who actually wrote The Hardy Boys and The Nancy Drew Stories.

The Hardy Boys and The Nancy Drew Stories were written through a process called ghostwriting. A ghost-writer creates a book according to a specific formula. Ghost-writers are paid for writing books, but their names do not appear on the covers when the works are published. Ghost-writers can create books for children or adults, and most often they work on book series.

The initial idea for both The Hardy Boys and The Nancy Drew Stories was developed by a man named Edward Stratemeyer, who owned a publishing company that specialised in children’s books. Edward Stratemeyer noticed the increasing popularity of mysteries among adults and decided that children would enjoy reading mysteries about younger detectives.

Edward Stratemeyer first described the plot, the setting, and the characters himself. Then he hired a ghost-writer to develop his ideas into a book of over 200 pages. After the ghost-writer had written the book, he or she sent it back to Stratemeyer, who made a list of corrections and mailed it back. Once Stratemeyer had approved the book, it was ready for publication.

As each series was published for so many years, The Nancy Drew Stories and The Hardy Boys both had a number of different ghost-writers. However, the first ghost-writer for each series turned out to be the most influential.

Although The Hardy Boys and The Nancy Drew Stories were very popular with children, not everyone approved of them. Critics thought their plots were very far from the real life of teenagers — most of them could not experience adventures such as the young detectives from the books had.

The way the books were written also attracted criticism. Many teachers and librarians disliked the ghostwriting process. They said it was designed to produce books quickly rather than create quality literature. Some libraries, including the New York Public Library, even refused to include the books in their children’s collections.

Ironically, this decision helped sales of the books because children simply bought them when they couldn’t find them in local libraries. Despite the debates about the literary value of these books, they have had a great influence on American and even global culture. Most Americans have never heard of Edward Stratemeyer and his ghost-writers, but people throughout the world are familiar with Nancy Drew and Frank and Joe Hardy.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1307.

Задание 12 № 325

The business started with renting a large shop.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated



Take a look around. How many people are wearing Nike right now? There is at least one, trust me. Nike is the number one manufacturer of footwear and clothes, and it has become a world famous brand on the same level as Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and Apple.

Nike was originally known as Blue Ribbon Shoes. It was founded in 1964 by the runner Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. They established the company to import cheap Japanese running shoes for sale in the U.S. At the very beginning they had no room or shop, so Philip Knight sold the shoes out of the back of his car. Meanwhile Bill Bowerman worked on improvements to the footwear. He tore the shoes apart to see how he could make them lighter and better.

In 1967 a third person joined Blue Ribbon Shoes. It was Jeff Johnson. A runner himself, Johnson became the first full-time employee of Blue Ribbon Shoes. His contribution to the company is so great that it's hard to estimate. Johnson created the first product brochures, print adverts and marketing materials, and even took the photographs for the company’s catalogues. He established a mail-order system and opened the first company shop.

At about the same time the company became ready to take a big move forward. They no longer wanted to be distributors, but wished to start designing and manufacturing their own brand of athletic shoes. Here again Johnson made an enormous contribution to the company. One night, he dreamed of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and suggested the name to his bosses.

Yet, another thing was missing — a memorable logo. One was created by a graphic design student Carolyn Davidson. She had become acquainted with Philip Knight who asked her for her design ideas and Carolyn agreed to do some freelance work for his company. Soon she presented a number of designs to Philip Knight and the other company managers, and they finally selected the mark which today is the Swoosh. That has been the Nike logo ever since then. Amazingly, Carolyn asked just $35 for her work.

In 1988 Nike started an advertising campaign with its world famous slogan “Just Do It”. The slogan was born during a Nike meeting with the advertising agency. The slogan has become so closely associated with Nike that as soon as most people hear or see those three words, they remember Nike, even if the company name is not mentioned. Today, the words «Just Do It» and the Nike “swoosh” brandmark are all that are needed to identify something as a Nike product.

Isn't it amazing how a small symbol we call a logo can make a company into a huge success.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1308.

Задание 12 № 360

As a teenager Louis Armstrong did several jobs.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong played jazz, sang jazz and wrote jazz. He recorded hit songs for fifty years and his music is still heard today on television, radio and in movies.

Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana on August 4th, 1901. His father was a factory worker and left the family soon after Louis's birth. Young Louis was desperately poor. He lived with his sister, mother and grandmother in the poorest area of New Orleans known as the Battlefield because of the fighting and shooting that often happened there.

When Louis was eleven years old, he was arrested for firing a gun into the air on New Year's Eve. He was sent to a reform school, where he learned to play the trumpet in the school's band. Eighteen months later Louis was back home and already dreaming of the life of a musician. He sold newspapers, unloaded boats and sold coal. However, in the evenings Louis played the trumpet with local groups or went to clubs to listen to jazz bands. He soon became friends with one of the greatest musicians of the time, Joe Oliver, who became young Louis's teacher. As Louis's skills developed, he began to perform professionally.

He was soon able to stop working on manual labour jobs and began concentrating full-time on music, playing at parties, dances, and at local cafes. He joined Joe Oliver's band and moved to Chicago. Later, Louis organised his own band and began to record one of the greatest series of songs in the history of jazz. Louis developed a unique style of singing: he could make his voice sound like a musical instrument and he could make an instrument sound like a singer's voice. Louis enjoyed singing improvised melodies and rhythms. Armstrong was an easygoing and communicative person. His fellow musicians called him “Satchelmouth” because of his wide smile. Later, it was shortened to “Satchmo”.

Armstrong's biggest hits came later in his life. In 1964, his version of the song «Hello Dolly» was a top hit around the world. It even replaced a top-selling hit by the hugely popular British group, the Beatles. Three years later, he appeared in the film version of “Hello Dolly” with singer Barbra Streisand. The song “What a Wonderful World”, recorded in 1968, was his final big hit.

Louis Armstrong never finished the fifth grade in school, yet he wrote two books about his life and many stories for magazines. He appeared in more than thirty movies. He composed many jazz pieces. He won several gold records and many other awards. Armstrong performed about three hundred concerts each year, travelling all over the world. He became known as the legend and symbol of jazz.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1309.

Задание 12 № 395

According to Mac’s experience, campers were indifferent to the food at the campsite.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Art of Campfire Cooking

Pat Mac and Mike Faverman first met when they were comedians going on tour and organising shows around the country. Later their love of food became a new hobby they had in common and a new project.

Before they met in 2005, Mac had grown up cooking in his father’s restaurant in Idaho, and Faverman had worked as a chef in restaurants across the US. They decided to combine their two hobbies – making people laugh and

cooking good food – into a travelling road show called Ultimate Outdoor Cooking. The idea of the show was to prove that cooking by campfire out in the woods is exciting but not always simple.

Mac had had a lot of camping experience before he met Faverman and it had taught him that food was extremely important for people on vacation. Interestingly, better food brought more people to the campground. When it was their turn to cook, the new campers started to give up eating hot dogs and hamburgers and started to create new recipes.

Mac and Faverman have tried different types of camping together, each time experimenting with the most suitable recipes. Their favourite dish for car camping, for example, is steak in lemon juice mixed with salt and pepper. To keep the meat fresh, they keep it cool in a car while travelling. Afterwards, when they get to the campsite, the steak is barbecued with red potatoes.

For travelling on foot with a rucksack they suggest either red potatoes with grilled and salted fish or sausages with different vegetables like zucchini, cabbage, carrots and onions. The only secret to keeping the vegetables nice and fresh while walking is to pack them properly and leave them until ready to cook in a pan over the fire at the campsite.

As they do a lot of cooking, the most useful instruments for Mac and Faverman are plastic bags, knives, a wooden rack to cut the food on and also matches and a lighter. Besides the latter, they use electric things, which can be a little risky at times. For example, a couple of years ago Mac was using an oven to slow-cook meat on a little grill. Suddenly one of the legs of the oven broke; the grill itself and the pot fell to the ground and the meat fell straight onto the dirt. Luckily, Mac used the «five-second rule»: just wash the meat off and put it back on the grill. He said later that it tasted a bit sandy but the campers didn’t notice.

Unlike Mac, at the beginning of the project Faverman was usually unsuccessful at making a fire and putting up a tent because he didn’t have enough experience. Later he became quite a skillful camper who could give a useful tip or two to beginners. The best piece of advice from the pair for cooking in the woods is to design the menu ahead of time and to know exactly what you are going to cook on the first and second days. A good camper should try to make the first meal easy because setting up camp takes a lot of time and effort.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1310.

Задание 12 № 430

Eton College was established to educate the children from the wealthiest British families.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated



Within a ten minute walk of Windsor Castle, across a bridge over the River Thames, there’s an old Gothic building. It is the legendary Eton College. It is one of England’s largest independent schools and one of the highest in prestige. Members of the British royal family are traditionally educated here. It was one of the best schools when first founded and remains so now; it is still commonly known as one of the greatest schools among all the schools in the world.

Following the old tradition, Eton is a full boarding school, which means all students live and study at the school with their fellow students throughout the school year. Eton is also one of the four remaining boys’ schools, so there’s no opportunity for a girl to study there. Eton students traditionally come from England’s wealthiest and most prestigious families, many of them aristocratic. Boys enter Eton at about 13 and continue there until they are ready to enter university.

The school was founded by Henry VI in the fifteenth century to provide free education for poor pupils who would then go on to get a higher education at King’s College in Cambridge. That connection no longer exists today.

All students have a uniform of a black tailcoat and a waistcoat, a white collar and dark trousers. All students wear a white tie. This uniform is not for special occasions, it is worn at all times for all classes. If you visit Eton during term time, you will see students walking the streets with books under their arms dressed in their uniforms.

At Eton, there are dozens of organisations known as “societies”, in many of which students come together to discuss a particular topic. The societies are traditionally governed by the boys themselves. Societies range from astronomy to Scottish dancing and stamp-collecting. Some of them are dedicated to music, some to arts, some to languages, and so on. Meetings are usually held after supper and often include a guest speaker. Among past guest speakers are composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, writer J. K. Rowling, designer Vivienne Westwood, and actor Ralph Fiennes.

One of the oldest and most influential Eton societies is called the Pop. Its members are like school head-boys or prefects who are given limited authority over other students. They are called Poppers and take an active part in many official events of the school year, including parents’ evenings. While all students wear black waistcoats, members of the Pop are allowed to wear any waistcoat they please. Prince William, when he was a Popper, wore a waistcoat designed like the British national flag. The style immediately became popular.

Irrespective of this, the official colour of the college is the so-called “Eton blue”. It’s a light blue-green colour which has been used since the early 19th century. The main purpose was to identify Eton sportsmen in rowing races and on the cricket field.

Источник: ГИА по английскому языку 31.05.2013. Основная волна. Вариант 1311.

Задание 12 № 465

Charles Dodgson was the oldest child in the family.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Dodgson, an English writer and author of two of the best loved children's books in English Literature – “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”. The characters and phrases from these books have entered and become part of the English culture so if someone calls you “Mad as a Hatter”, you know whom to thank.

Charles Dodgson was talented in many ways. Apart from being a creative writer, he was also a Mathematics Don (professor) at Oxford and a well-known logician. He was interested in photography and music. He sang very well, played chess and enjoyed creating and solving puzzles.

Charles Dodgson was born on 27 January 1832 and spent the first eleven years of his life at Warrington, Cheshire where his father was the priest. His family was large; his parents had 11 children, 4 boys and 7 girls.

Charles was educated first by home-schooling, then at two boarding schools, and finally at Christ Church College, Oxford. Later in life, he remembered his boarding school experience without any warm feelings. Still, he was an excellent student and studied very well in all his subjects.

In 1854 Charles Dodgson got a 1st class degree in Mathematics and one year later he became a lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church College. It was then that he started his literary career and took his pen-name, Lewis Carroll. While his creative books and poetry were published under his pen-name, he also wrote books on Mathematics under his own name.

When a new Headmaster arrived at Christ Church College, he brought with him his family. Dodgson became the family’s close friend. The Headmaster’s little daughters, the youngest of which was called Alice, enjoyed his company very much. Charles often entertained the girls by telling them stories about imaginary worlds with fantastic creatures.

The story about the adventures of little Alice became popular all over the world. “Alice in Wonderland” is primarily a children’s story, but adults have enjoyed the novel for over a century together with children.

Many elements of “Alice” were not completely new. Talking animals, for instance, or the story idea in which a child or children are carried away from reality into a fantasy world. However, it was Carroll who established a new motif that would be used again and again in children’s literature: Peter Pan, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Narnia books, and the Harry Potter books. That is the possibility for the main characters to travel back and forth between the real world and wonderland.

Though his characters travelled a lot between one world and another, Charles Dodgson himself didn’t like being away from home. The only occasion on which (as far as it is known) he went abroad was a trip to Russia in 1867.

He died of pneumonia on 14 January 1898 at his sisters' home. He was 2 weeks away from turning 66.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1312.

Задание 12 № 500

Samuel Clemens enjoyed his job as a steam boat pilot.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Mark Twain

Mark Twain wrote “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in 1884. Since then, the book has been published in at least sixty languages, and some people say it is the best book ever created by an American writer. American students have “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” on their school reading list and parents, teachers and literary experts still debate the problems touched in the book.

The writer’s real name was Samuel Clemens. Samuel was born in 1835. He grew up in the state of Missouri on the Mississippi River. After his father died, young Samuel went to work as an assistant to a publisher. Ten years later, he became a pilot on a steamboat that sailed on the Mississippi. He heard the riverboat workers call out the words “mark twain!” That was a measure for the depth of water. Later he used this word combination as a pen-name.

In 1861 Clemens travelled west and became a reporter for newspapers in Nevada and California. He wrote news stories, editorials and sketches under his pen-name Mark Twain. He became one of the best known storytellers in the West. He developed his own narrative style — friendly, funny, and often satirical, which won him a wide audience. The first success came with the story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.

Mark Twain travelled a lot during his lifetime not only round the USA but also to Europe and the Holy Land. He naturally began writing books about his travels. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was published in 1876, and soon after he began writing a sequel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.

It took Mark Twain longer to write “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” than any of his other books. He started writing in 1876, but put the story away after about two years of work. He returned to it in 1883, and the following year it was published.

From the beginning, the book was strongly debated. Some critics praised its realism and honesty but the others strongly disliked it. They protested against the personality of Huck — a rough, dirty and disobedient boy. They could not agree that such a person should be the main character of a book. What's more, critics disliked the way Mark Twain used the language of a common, uneducated person to tell the story; no writer had ever done that before.

Today there is no longer any debate about the importance of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn» in American literature. In 1935 Ernest Hemingway wrote: «All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called «Huckleberry Finn.» There was nothing before. And there has been nothing as good since.”

No wonder then, that the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was a great inspiration for film producers — more than 20 screen versions of the book have been shot not only in America but in Europe, Russia and Japan. There are feature films, musicals, cartoons and even Japanese anime.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1313.

Задание 12 № 535

William’s uncle left all his money to his servants.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


One day young William was called to a lawyer’s office. The lawyer announced that William’s uncle had left him a thousand dollars. He also added that William was required to give the lawyer a report of how he used the money as soon as he spent it. That was his uncle’s last wish.

William promised to follow his uncle’s wish and went straight to his club. He looked for Bryson, a calm wise man of about forty who was sitting in a corner reading a book. When William told him about the contents of the will, Bryson did not seem at all surprised. He only remarked that the uncle was worth about half a million.

William told Bryson that his uncle had left a lot of money to charity while his servants had received only ten dollars each. There was one more person mentioned in the will, Miss Hayden, a distant relative who lived in the uncle’s house. She was a quiet, musical girl and the dearest woman in the world to William. William had been in love with her for two years but he had never told her about his feelings.

William had no idea how to spend a thousand dollars and he hated making the report. He had a feeling that his uncle was making fun of him. In the street William saw a blind man selling pencils. William went up to him and asked him what he would do with the money. The blind man shrugged his shoulders and said that he had never seen such a huge amount of money and therefore had never had the problem of spending such a sum. William bought all his pencils and gave him ten dollars above the asking price.

William was walking down the empty street when he had an idea.

He got into a cab and went to his uncle’s house where Miss Hayden lived. He found her, sad and beautiful, writing letters in the library. William knew that like the servants she had received nothing from his uncle but ten dollars. So he said that there was an addition to his uncle’s will that allowed her to have a thousand dollars and he gave her the money there and then. Miss Hayden turned white, took the banknotes and put them in the drawer of the writing desk. Then she quietly thanked William and gave him a shy smile.

In excitement William went back to the lawyer’s office, ready to hand over the report. Suddenly the lawyer took out another document which had been given to him by William’s uncle and started reading. It said that in the case that William spent the money wisely, he was to receive another fifty thousand dollars. On the contrary, if he had spent it in a foolish way, the fifty thousand would go to Miss Hayden.

Smiling brightly, William destroyed the report and said he had lost a thousand dollars on the races. William realised that he was going to lose much more than that but he felt happy about it.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1314.

Задание 12 № 570

On Tynwald Day the Manx parliament has a day off.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Isle of Man

In the Irish Sea about 20 miles away from the UK you will find a beautiful island. This is the Isle of Man. The people of the island are called Manx and they speak the Manx language. The island occupies a mid-point in the Irish Sea and the British Isles – right between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The scenery of the Isle is varied. There are ranges of hills with green valleys between them, there are sandy beaches in the north which contrast with the rocky cliffs along the coasts. The island's only mountain is slightly over 600 metres high. An old legend says that from its top on clear days you can see six kingdoms: the island itself, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and Heaven.

The Isle of Man has the oldest parliament in the world. It is called the Tynwald and it has met regularly since 979. The Tynwald usually meets in the capital of the country. However, for one day every summer the Manx parliament

gathers in a small village to celebrate Tynwald Day. It is the only day of the year when parliament is held in the open air. On this day government officials read a summary of all the laws that have been passed during the year in both the English and the Manx languages. There is entertainment before and after the ceremony and it is a real community event. In addition to that, an open air market is organised and different concerts are held in the evening. At the conclusion, the Manx national anthem is played and there is a firework display.

Another thing that attracts tourists to the Isle of Man is its rich and unique culture. Any visitor to the island will be particularly fascinated by the legends, folklore and the ancient traditions that are still kept alive today. Most tourists are happy to participate in the folk programmes.

In Manx mythology, the island’s name comes from the name of a Celtic sea god. He ruled the kingdom and protected the land from invaders by covering the island with mist and thick fog. The island is also reputedly home to fairies who are very special. The Manx fairies are described as small and human-like. They wearred caps and green jackets and are naughty and wicked.

There's even a bridge called Fairy Bridge. Those who cross it are advised to say “hello fairies” in order to get good fortune. If the person doesn’t greet the fairies, the fairies will become angry with him and may play a nasty trick on him. Some people go further in trying to pay their respects to the ‘little people’. They do not just simply say hello, they also leave messages and gifts at the side of the road.

If you love reading about King Arthur and his knights, then a must-see place is Peel Castle. It was constructed in the 11th century by the Vikings and has a fascinating history. It is believed that Peel Castle was the location of Avalon – the legendary island where King Arthur’s sword was made and where King Arthur was taken after being wounded.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1315.

Задание 12 № 605

Jamie went to France to continue studying economics.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Jamie Oliver is a genius in the world of food and one of Britain's most famous cooks. He has encouraged people to spend more time in the kitchen and enjoy it. His programmes are shown in over 100 countries including the USA, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Iceland. They were translated into over 30 languages. Jamie Oliver's cookery books are bestsellers not only in the UK but across the world.

Jamie Oliver was born in 1975 in England. From an early age he got interested in food. His parents had a pub where he often helped them in the kitchen. He actually began working there at the age of eight. Jamie cut vegetables like any other ordinary worker in the pub.

Jamie Oliver left school at 16 without any official certificate. He went to Westminster College to study economics and after that travelled to France. Jamie knew that in France cooking was a kind of art. And he wanted to master that art. It was no doubt the best place to study if he wished to become a professional chef.

After returning from France, Jamie worked in a number of British restaurants. At that time there was a programme on the telly about the cafe where Jamie worked. TV producers were impressed by the young chef. The next day Jamie received calls from five different TV companies wishing to work with him. He soon became the best-liked celebrity chef on television and his programme was a real revolution in cooking shows. Thanks to an informal and friendly manner Jamie Oliver won crowds of fans around the world.

However, Jamie devotes his time not only to cooking. He's a family man, with a wife and four children. He also works on a number of projects. For example, Jamie Oliver created the "Fifteen Foundation". Each year, fifteen young people are trained and taught to work in the restaurant business. It's interesting that they are not common people. They are from unhappy families, they are unemployed. Some of them were in prison or took drugs. In this way Jamie Oliver tries to help them start a new life.

Another project by Jamie Oliver was connected with school dinners and lunches. He wanted school children to begin eating healthy food instead of junk food. The British government supported the project. It spent extra 280 million pounds to improve school meals. Part of the money was spent on training cooks and buying modern equipment for schools.

It's really hard to name all the TV programmes, shows, projects that Jamie Oliver had and is still having. He's so creative and imaginative, that there's no end to new ideas and projects. Except television, Jamie Oliver is a writer. His every book immediately becomes a bestseller. It's interesting that he became the best-selling author in the country after J. K. Rowling, the "Harry Potter" writer.

Задание 12 № 640

Grey is the best colour for a school uniform.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


A great fight still goes on. The question is: should students wear school uniform? As with most things, there are two sides to the debate. Some people say that all schools should introduce uniforms. Others are sure that school uniforms are old-fashioned. However, both arguments have experts on their side. There is no clear answer. Let's look at the pros and cons of it.

Many experts believe that students who wear school uniforms study much better than those who don't. This is because you don't have to worry about what you are wearing each day. As a result your attention improves and you learn to concentrate better on your studies. Wearing a uniform in calming colours makes you feel more serious and responsible.

They say if you wear a uniform then you won't behave in a violent or inappropriate way at school. A uniform is a rule and rules must be obeyed. Research showed that students in uniforms don't play as many tricks on their classmates, tease or bully them as much as their casually dressed mates.

Everyone wants to look their best and better than their classmates. Everybody wants to be popular and wear the latest fashions. However, not all students have enough money to buy stylish clothes. Uniforms make them all equal, social differences are not seen. No one wears expensive brands. Everyone wears the same thing, exactly the same brand. With a uniform, there is less competition in class.

School uniforms, however, are not always cheap for parents, especially if there are two or more children in a family and they all go to school. Parents can't buy any skirt or trousers they want. They can't shop in the sales either. What is more, many schools have several uniforms such as an everyday uniform, a formal uniform for special events and a uniform for P.E. classes.

Students in uniforms look the same. Uniforms don't give students individuality so they have to look for other opportunities to express themselves. For example, they might start using make-up early, behaving badly or wearing bright accessories as a reaction against it. It's not the answer.

Finally, there's comfort. Lots of students complain that they feel uncomfortable when they wear uniforms in class. Some children have sensitive skin and like to wear 100% cotton clothes. Uniforms are often made from synthetics, such as polyester which is harmful for a child's skin, especially if the child spends the whole day at school.

And we are back to the question: to wear or not to wear? You decide.

Задание 12 № 675

The first students of Cambridge University got only religious education.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Cambridge University is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world (after the University of Oxford) and the seventh-oldest in the world.

The story of Cambridge University begins in 1209 when several hundred students arrived in the little town of Cambridge after having walked 60 miles from Oxford. These students were all churchmen and had been studying in Oxford at that city's well-known schools. It was a hard life at Oxford for there was constant trouble, even fighting, between the citizens of the town and the students. Then one day a student accidentally killed a man of the town. The Mayor arrested three other students who were innocent and they were put to death. In protest, many students left Oxford, some of them went to Cambridge. And so the new University began.

It was Cambridge University. Of course, there were no Colleges in those early days and student life was very different from what it is now. Students were of all ages and came from anywhere and everywhere. Life in University was strict. Students were forbidden to play games, to sing (except sacred music), to hunt or fish or even to dance. Books were very rare and all the lessons were in the Latin language which students were supposed to speak even among themselves.

In 1440, King Henry VI founded King's College, and other colleges followed.

Nowadays there are more than 30 different colleges, including five for women students and several mixed colleges, in the University. The number of students in colleges is different: from 30 to 400 or 500.

The training course lasts 4 years. The academic year is divided into 3 terms. The students study natural and technical sciences, law, history, languages, geography, medicine, economics, agriculture, music and many other subjects. After 3 years of study a student may proceed to a Bachelor's degree, and later to the degrees of Master and Doctor.

There are many ancient traditions that are still observed at Cambridge. Students are required to wear gowns at lectures, in the University library, in the street in the evening, for dinners in the colleges and for official visits. One more tradition is to use Latin during public ceremonies of awarding degrees.

All the students must pay for their education, examinations, books, laboratories, university hostel, the use of libraries. The cost is high. It depends on college and university speciality. Very few students get grants.

Many great men studied at Cambridge, for example, Bacon (the philosopher), Milton and Byron (the poets), Cromwell (the soldier), Newton (the outstanding physicist), Darwin (who is famous for his theory of evolution) and Kapitsa (the famous Russian physicist).

Задание 12 № 710

During the marathon the weather was fine.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Running the Thames

Three friends Alan, Tom and Martin decided to run 184 miles along the most famous British river–from the beginning of the Thames down to its mouth, where the river runs into the sea.

Their preparations for the marathon didn’t take long and they set out. It was not easy to find the place marked on the map as the official source of the river Thames. In reality, it was an old stone under a big tree. Surprisingly, there was practically no water at the source, just a small pit. However, at the end of the first day, they came to a narrow stream running under a wooden bridge.

The runners were lucky with the weather; it was cool and bright for the whole week. Soft winds blew and the sun shone. In spite of the weather, the start of the marathon was not very promising. On the first day, Martin accidentally fell over a tree root and hurt his foot. In addition to that, Alan said he had damaged his rucksack during their preparation. However, the friends went on running.

They passed lovely houses and some wonderful nature. The Thames had grown from a small river into a strong stream. Hypnotised by the view of the river, Tom missed the path and fell into the mud. Cold and angry, he was a real trouble the first day. In the evening, the runners reached the point where the river became possible to navigate. The friends were so tired that they stopped at a cheap hotel for food, drink and sleep.

The second day they ran along arched stone bridges and through forty-five river locks1, each one having its own history. The runners stopped at the first lock to take a photo by the 19th century statue of Old Father Thames. The other locks and the bridges, dating from the 13th century, could have told much about British royal families, writers and inventors, battles and victories. So the runners spent the second day exploring the locks and the old bridges and taking photos.

The next few days Alan, Tom and Martin ran through quiet and peaceful places in Oxfordshire. The calm river occupied all their thoughts and they left their troubles behind them. They spent nights at small Bed-and-Breakfasts with unusual foreign guests who were discovering the old British towns, castles and churches.

Closer to London the Thames changed its character. It became wide and busy with numerous boats and ships. The banks were full of grand houses with green lawns, street markets and modern walkways.

On the seventh day the runners followed the river as it cut the capital in two. The friends made their way past famous London sights such as The Tower, The London Eye and Greenwich.

Finally the friends got to The Thames Barrier, where the river ran into the sea. The marathon was over.


1River locks — шлюзы на реке.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1316.

Задание 12 № 745

Ted’s family lived in a small town.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Christmas Tree Memories

My name is Ted. I grew up in the 50s but my childhood memories are still alive. The most pleasant of them is the family Christmas tree. Besides my mum and dad, there were five children in the family. We all took part in decorating the Christmas tree, one way or another. It was a special time for me as dad took us for a trip to the winter forest.

The experience was special as only boys were allowed to go to the countryside to pick out the tree. At the age of five I felt proud to be in a man’s adventure. I remember walking through the forest with dad looking for the perfect, large tree. We had a tall ceiling in the living room, so a small tree did not look right there.

At the age of five, even a small tree seemed great to me. To measure a tree I raised my hands above my head and looked up. If I could reach the top of the tree I thought it was big enough. Dad, however, always chose the perfect tree very carefully.

Once he had made his choice, he took out an axe to cut down the tree. I wanted to help my dad and brothers, but they always told me to stand back. When the cutting began, I tried to hold the tree up. I was afraid the tree would fall on them and I felt strong enough to hold it.

After the tree was down we took it to the car and went back home. I don’t remember how we got that large tree through the door, but it was always right. Then dad got the tree to stand up and we could start the decorating. The tree, the boxes with decorations and a tall ladder took up the whole room.

All the family took part as mum gave everyone a task. I had to pass the decorations. What I liked best about the Christmas tree were the lights. When everybody else had left I stayed in the room and watched the lights travelling up and down the Christmas tree.

Dad had one more special job that day. Mum took her favourite ornament, a lighted angel, which she had got as a present from her family. Dad climbed up the ladder and fixed the angel at the top of the Christmas tree. When I looked at the angel, I thought Santa was close to my house.

Everyone, and the decorated shining tree, was ready to celebrate Christmas. It was so big that it nearly touched the ceiling. I felt I was a small part of a big adventure. The last few years we lived in that house the trips to the forest with dad ceased. We bought an artificial tree instead.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1317.

Задание 12 № 780

Tim had never believed that Santa existed.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Santa Claus Wait

Christmas Eve is a special time for children. Every year they wait for their presents from Santa Claus. Magic is everywhere in Tim and Robert’s house which is decorated with greeting cards, candles and lights. The sweet smell of Mum’s homemade cookies also brings to mind the coming wonders.

Throughout the month before Christmas Tim and his brother Robert regularly made their beds, set the table and followed their parents’ instructions about the house. As usual, each of them wrote a letter to Santa to ask for a toy. They knew Santa wouldn’t visit naughty children.

The same thing happened each year until the brothers were nine. They suddenly began to doubt that Santa could decorate their tree and millions more trees in a single night. It also seemed hard for Santa to deliver all the gifts before daybreak. Besides, they kept asking Dad how Santa could get inside their house without a chimney!

Dad usually answered that Santa would surely come, but that the children should be good and go to bed early. So on Christmas Eve, after Mum had checked that there was enough food left for Santa, the boys were sent to bed as usual. Robert was soon asleep, but Tim silently lay in bed, hoping to hear Santa coming. It seemed the longest night of Tim’s life.

In the early morning, when the other members of the family were still asleep, Tim bravely went to the living room to check for presents from Santa. When he switched on the light, he cried “Wow! He’s come!” In the room the Christmas tree stood in the middle of a big platform that looked like a small town with a toy railroad. It was unbelievable; a toy wonderland!

Tim spent an hour among the toys and then decided to wake up Robert and his parents to see the presents. While running upstairs he saw that the cookies had disappeared. In excitement he went into his parents’ bedroom but didn’t notice that they seemed a little bit more tired than usual.

“Mum! Dad! Quick! Robert! It’s fantastic!” he shouted. Everybody went down. Robert immediately saw his new car. It was wonderful. Poor Robert was upset because the car wouldn’t run. Dad said he couldn't understand why the car wouldn't start. The batteries in the car had been absolutely new.

He didn’t know Tim had turned on the car and had forgotten about it when he was checking out other gifts earlier. Within that hour the batteries died, in those times they didn't last long. Tim kept silent as he didn’t want to be punished on Christmas Day.

Источник: ГИА по ан­глий­ско­му языку 31.05.2013. Ос­нов­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1318.

Задание 12 № 815

At school Shakira was more successful in dancing than in singing.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Shakira Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977, in Colombia. She was the only daughter of a well-respected jeweller and his wife. In naming the newborn daughter, her mother chose from several names, containing the letter “K”. She thought about Karime and Katiuska but finally chose Shakira. It's an Arabic name which comes from the word “Shukram” meaning “Grace”. So Shakira's full name is translated as “a woman of Grace”.

When Shakira was a child, her mother discovered that the girl had a gift for writing. Shakira knew the alphabet by the age of eighteen months, and at three she knew how to read. By the time she was four, she was ready for school. School was not just a place where little Shakira learnt her arithmetic and geography. There she began to understand such great things as kindness, love, trust, and other human ideals. She realized what real friendship was and how much her family meant to her. Later it helped her to decide what to do with the big money she earned.

Shakira loved attention and wished to find a way to get it. She sang a lot for her schoolmates and teachers. However, the music teacher told her that she sounded “like a goat”. Shakira wasn't too upset about it and soon found a more original way to become the centre of attention. It was dancing. It helped her to express herself and become famous in school. What is interesting is that no one had ever taught her to dance.

In school Shakira was disciplined, but absent-minded. She was usually writing lyrics for her songs on the back of her notebooks. However, Shakira was a good student because she was a quick learner and could understand her teachers' explanations faster than others.

As soon as the bell rang after class, Shakira was the first one to run and get in line for the cafeteria. She usually bought a pepsi, a hamburger and something sweet, like a muffin or a piece of cake. She seldom took a packed lunch from home. Though Shakira was a lover of fast food, she had no weight problems, as she loved dancing.

When she was eight, Shakira's father lost all his money because his business went bankrupt. For a while Shakira had to stay with her relatives in Los Angeles. When the girl returned, she was shocked to see almost everything that her family had, had been sold. She later said: “In my childish head, this was the end of the world.”

To show her that things could be worse, her father took her to a local park to see the homeless children. What she saw shocked her deeply and she said to herself: “One day I'm going to help these poor kids when I become a famous singer or dancer”.

Between the ages of ten and thirteen Shakira was invited to various dance events and became very popular in the area. It was at this time that Shakira met a local theatre producer, who was impressed with her performance and as a result tried to help her career. This woman organized a meeting with the managers of the Sony company. After Shakira sang, they decided to sign a contract for three albums with the talented girl.

Задание 12 № 850

A number of the American graffiti fans later became well-known artists and designers.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


You can travel almost anywhere in the world, and you will probably see graffiti. Although graffiti is more common in big cities, today you may find it in almost any region or district, big or small. It's everywhere: on trains, walls, bridges and buildings. Love it or hate it but graffiti is part of the everyday urban world. Some people consider it art while others think it's vandalism. However, few of them really know how old graffiti is.

The word graffiti itself probably comes from the old Greek verb which means “to write”. Writings on walls already existed in ancient Rome. The Romans cut graffiti on walls and monuments. What was it like, you may ask? Ancient graffiti was absolutely different from today's. It showed phrases of love, political ideas, simple thoughts, magic spells, alphabets, and famous quotations from literature.

Modern graffiti dates back to the US of the 1960s. At that time for young people it was a form of self-expression and a political protest. Teenage groups in New York, for example, painted graffiti to mark their territory. Later, there started competitions between different groups. That meant that the quality of graffiti became more important than just the amount of it.

Today graffiti has travelled all over the world. However, it is still an illegal art. It has been always painted on private or public property, like cars, trains, fences and house walls. As a result most people see it as vandalism. Besides, it's rather hard to clean graffiti paints, and cities spend millions every year on it. So, in most countries graffiti is forbidden.

On the other hand, modern graffiti is, by its nature, a form of painting. After all, the artists uses the same methods and materials. However, instead of paints a graffiti artist prefers sprays, markers, and crayons. Some of their works are really impressive and fascinating, they are powerful and have a deep meaning. Graffiti often makes grey walls look cheerful.

The purpose of some graffiti is to spread and declare social ideas. That's why a lot of graffiti paintings have political topics. Some cities have special places where the walls of different buildings can be used to create pieces of graffiti art.

Probably, the most famous graffiti artist is Banksy, who comes from Bristol, England. He strongly believes that writing graffiti on buildings is an effective way to communicate with people. His works are very often aggressive, provocative and even rude. In his graffiti he expresses personal political and social views, which are against war and capitalism.

Banksy is known not only for his graffiti works. He also likes playing “jokes”. He sometimes unofficially hangs his works in the main art galleries. He doesn't want to be paid for them because he's sure art should be free. He says he wants to see how long it will take people to notice it. Once Banksy went into the Tate Gallery dressed as an old man, and glued a picture to the museum wall in protest of the Iraq War.

Задание 12 № 885

Marta's husband works in the financial sector.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


My names Marta and I'm from Poland. I'm an accountant by profession and I worked for a large chemical plant for more than fifteen years. The job seemed to be stable and I was quite happy with my salary there. It wasn't a lot but it was enough- for a comfortable life. However, when the economic crisis broke, the plant went bankrupt and hundreds of employees, myself included, found themselves unemployed.

It was shocking news for me as we had two children to support. My husbands business was affected by the crisis too, so we needed to come up with something very urgently. I had lots of free time but it didn't make me happy at all. I sent CVs to different companies but no answers came — who needs an accountant when the economy is in ruins and the financial sector is a complete disaster?

To escape the stressful situation I turned to my old hobby — photography. I was pretty good at it when I was at university, but I'd completely given up after graduation. At the difficult time of the crisis, taking photos became my relaxation therapy — my camera helped me notice things most people don't see and don't pay attention to. I took close-ups of the grass growing through the sand, the old cracked wooden bench covered with vine leaves or a stray dog sleeping on the pavement. Life around me was amazing — there was no reason for depression!

I wanted to share my new vision of life with other people and arranged a little photo exhibition for our community and friends. People came, looked at the pictures and left in a peaceful and relaxed mood. Sometimes they wanted to buy some of the photos to brighten up their home or office. I gave the photos away for free as I didn't want to charge my friends and neighbours. Their interest, however, gave me the idea of how my hobby could help me earn money.

I enrolled on a Photo Art Course, completed it and prepared a business plan for my own photo studio. Last week my plan was approved by the local business committee and I received an interest-free loan to buy all the necessary equipment for my business — I've already bought a new camera and rented a studio. Its all very exciting as its going to be a new page in my life. I really hope it's a happy one.

Задание 12 № 920

The Dolphins rescue team is the only professional team in the country.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Dolphins Team

The Dolphins is a relatively new beach service that has been in operation for three years so far, and we are growing fast. The tourist business in the region is booming. More and more people are coming to the Southern Beach every year and our services are in great demand.

We provide a variety of services to the beachgoers. We lend them beach equipment like parasols and beach chairs, we arrange boat tours, snorkelling and diving expeditions. However, first, and foremost, The Dolphins help swimmers who are in danger. We've got a highly professional rescue team. Last year we were awarded first prize in the national lifeguard competition in which the best teams of the country took part. Being a lifeguard is a job, not entertainment as some people may think. Anyone who wants to join us has to remember that the duty of a lifeguard is not only to be on watch and save careless holiday-makers but to prevent any dangerous situation for them.

Not only excellent physical condition but strong personal skills are necessary as beachgoers are not always very cooperative. Everyone knows that lifeguards fly flags of different colours: the green one indicates that the sea is calm and there's no danger for swimmers; the yellow flag means that the weather conditions are not very good — swimmers should be very careful and not go too deep. The red flag indicates that the situation is potentially dangerous and swimming is prohibited. It doesn't necessarily mean a storm, it could be a strong current, water pollution, the danger of marine animals attacking or something else. Unfortunately, some people ignore it and go into the water anyway. The beach patrol are not the police — we cant arrest people for disobedience. All we can do is educate people and get them to behave in a civilized way.

This is actually the main reason why we decided to set up our Summer Lifeguard School — we want to make the beach a safer and more civilized place. The school is for children from ten to seventeen who want to spend summer on the beach and learn some lifeguard skills. Anyone who meets the age requirement is admitted. Our instructors will teach them the basic skills of water safety and basic emergency procedures, the language of semaphore (that is how to use flags to transmit a message), how to avoid sunstroke and how to swim in the waves of the sea. Our open-air classes will be useful to everyone. Reckless divers and swimmers will understand that no one, no matter how sporty they are, can be absolutely free of risk in the sea. Those who are afraid to step into the water will learn to control their fear and will learn to swim (under the very close supervision of Our instructors).

On completing the summer course, the children will be awarded our Summer Lifeguard School Certificate and we hope some of them will join The Dolphins in the future. To do so, they will have to wait until they turn 18 and gain the Professional Lifeguard Certificate.

Задание 12 № 955

The author approves of people who explore their own country.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


New Branch in Tourism

Today, people travel much more than they used to. Due to contemporary transportation means, globalization and integration, the most distant places have become easily accessible. Lots of people enjoy spending holidays abroad and often go to exotic countries like Bali, the Philippines, Kenya or New Zealand. Tourist agencies offer a wide range of tourist options ranging from lazy beach holidays to safari or diving tours. There are offers to meet the requirements of the most sophisticated clients, and skilful tourist managers can design individual tours according to tourists' personal desires.

It seems that any destination is possible if only the tourist can afford the cost. Surprisingly enough, but in spite of growing possibilities more and more tourists reject the idea of an exotic holiday and choose to explore their own country. It's a good tendency I think, as if people don't know their own country, they will never be able to appreciate other countries' natural wonders and cultural treasures.

My dad has been working in the tourist business for many years and he detected the homeland-focused tendency years ago. Having it in mind, he started a little family business — . a small animal farm in the countryside. That was a risky thing to do — he had inherited an old farmhouse and a large plot of land from a distant relative but he had never been in farming and didn't know how to run the business. However, he knew the tourism business from the inside out, and he decided to combine them both.

He sold most of the animals and kept only a few cows, sheep, goats and nanny goats. Then he bought several horses, ponies and donkeys to add them to the herd. To make the farms population diverse, dad brought a couple of camels, several fallow deer and some roe deer. We certainly didn't get any income selling milk or meat, but surprisingly many city people came to spend weekends in our farmhouse. They brought children with them — the children were happy to see a real cow or a goat, they were delighted to feed the animals and to have a horse ride or a trip in a cart pulled by donkeys or deer!

Dad and the rest of the family got deeply involved in the business that started as a hobby. Our animal farm has turned into a real tourist attraction and we have had to hire several people to mind the animals, to run the inn and to entertain the guests. Actually, as we are getting more and more skilled in farming we are considering the possibility of buying some more land and are planning to expand our business so that we can produce dairy products, too. Frankly speaking, I never saw myself as a farmer, but unexpected things happen.

Задание 12 № 990

The merchant was going to buy at least four toys at the fair.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Toy House

The history of the Wooden Toy Museum begins with the trade fair that took place in our town more than three hundred years ago. It was an important event — peasants, craftsmen, and merchants came here to sell and buy goods and to make arrangements for further cooperation. There was timber and iron, grain and flour, meat and honey, cows, hens and ducks for sale and barter. As the town was famous for its toy making tradition the local craftsmen took advantage of the event too and demonstrated their crafts to visitors from neighbouring towns and villages. Hundreds of carved wooden dolls, birds, animals, clowns and other toys were displayed on large stalls. Some of them were painted and some were not but they looked attractive either way.

A rich merchant happened to visit the fair. He was accompanied by his family. To keep the children occupied while the father was busy on business, he let them go to see the toys and promised to buy one toy for each of the four children. It was a hard choice for the children to make — there were plenty of toys. How could they find the best one? The youngest daughter, who was only four, didn't hesitate. She was determined to get the wonderful dolls' house she saw on one of the stalls. It was a real wonder — the door and the windows were decorated with wooden fretwork, the house had a porch and a chimney, and there was furniture inside! The little girl couldn't take her eyes off it and desperately looked forward to the moment when her father finished his business and bought it for her. The business however kept the man busy till very late at night and when he came, the children had been put to bed. They were promised that their father would buy the toys the next morning but he never did.

The weather turned windy that night. The dry wind picked up the sparks from the cooking fires and in seconds the whole fair was on fire. Everyone rushed to rescue their goods, but the wooden toys had no chance of surviving.

When the little daughter of the merchant found out that the fantastic doll house had been burnt, she kept very quiet and was unhappy for several days. It felt to her as if a real house had been destroyed. The merchant loved his daughter very much and to console her he promised to make a real house exactly like the lost one. The house would be full of different toys which the local craftsmen would exhibit there not only during the fair but all year round.

And such a house was built. It's certainly not the building that houses the toy collections now — the original construction was destroyed long ago and several new versions have been constructed at the same location since then. Now its a fairly large brick house, much more fire-resistant than its predecessors.

To tell the truth, there's no solid evidence that the story about the merchant's daughter is real. Historians say that it's no more than a legend but the locals insist it is true. Who is right and who is wrong? It doesn't matter much as long as the Wooden Toy Museum exists and gives joy to children and grown-up visitors.

Задание 12 № 1025

The bathyscaph is the only machine for ocean exploration presented at the exhibition.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Exhibition

The exciting event of this week is the Engineering Exhibition. It started on Friday and has already welcomed a record number of visitors. The administration of the exhibition ground haven't seen such long lines of people queuing for entrance tickets for a long time. Visitors of all ages are amazed to see robots and machines which they thought could exist only in science fiction films and books. In fact, some exhibits are more unbelievable than the machines described by the writers!

Among the most prominent exhibits the visitors can see a bathyscaph created by a group of young engineers. Their bathyscaph is a diving chamber that can descend to 18 km. The constructors insist that their machine is able to go deeper than any submarine in current use due to the uniquely reinforced material its made of. They also claim that the bathyscaph cannot be damaged if it doesn't go deeper than 20 km. However, they admit that the machine hasn't yet been tested in waters as deep as that.

The most amazing feature of the bathyscaph is not its reliability. The main wonder is the special equipment that allows people ashore to experience the sea exploration process as if they were inside the bathyscaph! Due to the internet and 3D technologies anyone can join the online deep-ocean expedition and explore the underwater world in real time. Thus the crew of the bathyscaph may consist of millions of people. The only admission requirement is a good internet connection.

“It's amazing to find out what it's like to be a deep-sea explorer!” Oliver Johnson, a fifteen-year-old visitor says. “I've learnt a lot about the sea and modern research technologies. The bathyscaph is very impressive! I think such an exhibition should function on a permanent basis — it's a great motivating factor for children and young people to get interested in engineering and science. For example, I'm considering a career in engineering and robotics at the moment. I wouldn't if I hadn't seen this exhibition. It was an inspiration to me.”

Due to the undisputable success of the exhibition, its administration, in conjunction with the local Education Committee, is looking at the possibilities of integrating the exhibition ground into the education environment of the region. It's already been agreed that some of the-exhibits will not be reihoved when the exhibition officially closes. They will be available to students and schoolchildren all-year-round. College professors, university teachers, engineers and researchers will be lecturing there. New technologies require new educational methods and the bathyscaph classroom is probably one of them.

Задание 12 № 1060

The Siberian hunters are often attacked by brown bears.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Living in the Zoo

When I was a small child, I thought that I was the luckiest person in the world — we lived near the zoo and I could go there whenever I wanted. And I wanted to go there every day! My grandmother, who looked after me while my mum was at work, would buy two month tickets, which was very cheap for the two of us — she was retired and I was under seven, so we bought the tickets at a special discount.

The zoo was another world to me. It was a great way to escape the reality of a big city with its skyscrapers and highways. The asphalt jungles were the right place for cars but a poor environment for small children. The zoo territory seemed very large and there were animals from all around the world there. My usual route started with the bear enclosure. The large, brown bear, called Paddy, was separated from the visitors with a high bar fence which I thought was absolutely unnecessary — the bear looked very friendly to me.

Then I grew older and could read the information table near the bear enclosure. It said that the animal was the East Siberian Brown Bear, born in the zoo. The bears of that species are large and skillful. They can hunt reindeer and elks and they also fish in the great Siberian rivers. “So sad,” I thought, “The bear has never seen the great environment he belongs to.” That actually made me look at the zoo from another angle: it seemed large but the giraffes didn't have enough space for running, the seals were kept in a pool that was far too small for them, and the leopards were pacing up and down the length of their cage. They felt nervous with the visitors' eyes on them all the time but there was no shelter on their territory. Should zoos be abolished?

I'm still in two minds over that. On the one hand, life in the zoo is like serving a life sentence — there's no hope of the animals returning home. That's definitely unfair. On the other hand, zoos are a place where children can be taught about different animals and where they can see animals from other parts of the world. It's also true that zoos can save some species from extinction. For example, three Sumatran tigers were born in our zoo several years ago. It's very unlikely that all three cubs would survive in the wild but in the zoo all of them turned into mature, healthy animals and now the staff are happy to take care of the eight new cubs of the rare tigers. The media said that when the tigers are old enough they will be returned to the wild.

Задание 12 № 1095

Koalas eat low-calorie food.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The koala is a small bear-like animal that looks like a soft toy. The animal is cute and non-aggressive, but it’s difficult to see a koala in the Zoo and no one ever keeps them as pets. Why is it so?

The main reason why people shouldn’t try to take koalas out from their natural home is their diet. It’s a strict diet of eucalyptus leaves as koalas practically never eat anything else. In Australia there are over 600 types of eucalyptus, but koalas eat only 40–50 varieties with only about 10 being preferred. And even if you find the koala’s most favourite tree and plant it in your backyard, you won’t be able to supply your koala-pet with food anyway. The thing is that koalas eat only fresh young leaves, and the tree has few of them. So, to keep a koala happy and healthy, you would have to plant about 100 eucalyptus trees!

It’s difficult to explain why koalas love eucalyptus leaves so much. The leaves are tough and feel like rubber. They have very few calories and they are poisonous to most animals. Koalas, however, cope with such a diet easily. Nature has equipped them with specialised adaptations. Each koala eats approximately 200 to 500 grams of leaves per day. They are very slow eaters and they manage to get the maximum amount of energy from such a small amount of food. They also sleep for up to 18 hours per day in order to conserve energy.

Koalas spend all their lives on eucalyptus trees and they don’t have any need to leave them. Normally the animals don’t drink water as they receive it from the leaves. For this reason the koala got its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning “no drink”.

Koalas live in societies, just like humans, so they need to be able to come into contact with other koalas. They live in suitable eucalyptus forests which are large enough to support a healthy koala population and to allow for expansion by maturing young koalas. In spite of their peaceful and sleepy look, koalas are highly territorial animals and don’t allow strangers to approach their “home trees” and “food trees”.

A female koala gives birth to only one baby in one or two years. It's hairless, blind and very little – about 2 cms long! It gets into the mother's pouch – a special pocket of skin on the stomach – and stays there for six or seven months. Then it gets out of the pouch but stays with the mother until it's about one year old. Koalas are slow-breeding animals and their population can't grow fast. The animals were in danger of extinction at the beginning of the 20th century when the koala was hunted for its fur. Fortunately, the population has been restored and today the Australian government doesn't consider the koala as endangered.

Источник: Демонстрационная версия ГИА—2013 по английскому языку.

Задание 12 № 1139

People from different countries applied for the job.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Best Job in the World

Have you ever heard of the Great Barrier Reef? It is the world's largest coral reef system along the eastern coast of Australia. In February 2009 an extraordinary position was advertised by the Australian Tourism Office. The advertisement ran that the Great Barrier Reef needed a caretaker for half a year. It was for a special person who would look after the Reef.

The job offered a large salary, free accommodation in a luxury villa, and transportation there and around the islands. All expenses would be paid: the winner wouldn't need to spend any extra money on anything.

The job's duties were pretty simple. You could only dream of such requirements. First, the person had to speak English and swim well. Second, on the island his responsibility included writing a weekly Internet blog. That's right, weekly, not even daily! The job description also required the successful applicant to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, make friends with the locals and generally enjoy the tropical climate and lifestyle. A real dream!

Within the first 2 days of the contest, the tourism office received more than seven thousand online applications. All told, 34,000 people of all different nationalities applied. Each made and presented a 60-second video resume. They had to be creative and they were. In the end 16 people were chosen, who flew to Australia for the final selection. The candidates were interviewed and the winner was Ben Southall from the UK.

Ben greatly enjoyed the dream job he had got. He realised that people knew very little about planet earth and its treasures. Living in big cities, they forgot how important the flora and fauna of this world were. Every time Ben went outdoors, he could discover something new. “Every time I dived or went underwater, I forgot about all the troubles above water and concentrated on living in the moment. It was a good way to clean the mind and build respect for the natural world,” Ben said.

Ben's life on the island was not just fun. It was very busy, busier than most people imagined, and certainly busier than Ben himself had imagined. He worked seven days a week and up to 19 hours a day. The Best Job included travelling to over 60 islands of the Reef almost every day. It was not just looking after the Reef, Ben had a lot of meetings, press conferences and interviews. He was getting a lot of attention all the time and he couldn't get away from it. That was probably the hardest part of the job.

Moreover, any adventure has a certain degree of risk. Swimming and diving on the Great Barrier Reef was not different. Ben had to deal with whales, sharksand other huge sea creatures. Surprisingly, the most dangerous thing was a small jellyfish about the size of a little finger. It's considered to be extremely poisonous and Ben was stung by it. He had to spend a couple of days in hospital but luckily recovered after a course of antibiotics.

Ben often says that the project has taught him a few valuable lessons. Working with the Internet is one of those jobs you can do 24 hours a day. Ben realised it was hard to separate life and work, but this he had to do. He also said: “I've learned that we get one life on earth so we have to use it. There'll always be other countries to visit, other people to meet and other adventures to meet. This is what I wish to do. I'm planning to go to Asia in a few years time”.

Источник: Демонстрационная версия ГИА—2014 по английскому языку.

Задание 12 № 1174

The rings were the only two pieces of jewellery Donna’s mother had.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Hidden Treasure

One hot summer day in the 1950s, Donna and her cousin Toby, who lived next door, decided to have a little adventure. At the age of six, it seemed a good idea to them. Donna’s mother was working in the garden and Toby’s mother was baking bread in the kitchen to share with their neighbours while it was still warm.

That day, the children were bored and restless and wanted to do something exciting. Toby suggested finding hidden treasure. He thought they would bury Donna’s mother’s rings and later take them out of the ground. It would be like finding treasure. At first, Donna was not sure as she felt it could get them in trouble. But Toby seemed older and wiser, so she agreed.

They knew Donna’s mother kept her rings on the dressing table in her bedroom. She had a beautiful pearl ring and a diamond wedding ring that she wore only for special occasions. So the children thought she wouldn’t miss the rings if they took them for a while. They got upstairs, entered the tidy room, which smelled of the mother’s perfume, and removed the rings from their special box.

Toby put the rings into his pocket and they both ran to the big field where they often played. Toby thought it was an excellent place where nobody would find the rings. They made a hole in the ground with the help of a kitchen spoon and put the secret treasure inside. Soon they heard their mothers calling them for lunch and ran back home. For some unknown reason, they forgot to go back to dig up the rings and to return them to their place.

About a week later, Donna’s mother found out that her rings were missing and was furious. From the look on Donna’s face she guessed the girl knew the truth. So Donna had to tell the whole story of her adventure with cousin Toby. At that moment she realized the seriousness of her crime.

The mother demanded that Donna should show her the place. They went to the field to dig up the rings. Unfortunately Donna couldn't remember exactly where they were buried. They tried several places without success till it was absolutely dark. They kept trying to find the rings for many days but eventually they gave up. Amazingly, the mother forgave Donna. She never scolded her nor even reminded her about the lost rings. She knew that her daughter didn’t mean any harm - she was just a small child and did it for a game. Everyone, however, silently hoped the 'hidden treasure' would be found someday.

Six years later, the field was planted with rows of little pine trees for a Christmas sale. One day, the farmer found a pearl ring in the ground and told a neighbour, who remembered the story of the lost rings. He handed the ring over to Donna’s mother. The discovery made her extremely happy. They started a new search but the other ring was never found.

Many years later Donna noticed her younger sister was wearing the pearl ring. When she asked her mother why she had given it to her sister, she answered, 'Well, I always planned to give my best rings to my daughters some day and you were supposed to get the diamond wedding ring!'

Задание 12 № 1209

Billy and his brother got on very well with each other.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


An Artist


Billy got up very early with the first rays of sunlight. His room faced the sun at the beginning of the day. So, on clear summer mornings, it woke him up no matter how late he stayed up. He got up, made breakfast, watched TV and had a shower. All the rest of the family were still asleep.

Billy lived with his mother and older brother, who supported the family. Every morning when Billy’s brother got up for work, Billy went downstairs to make him a cup of tea and say, “Morning”. Billy’s brother usually looked gloomy and sleepy, with his hair untidy. He worked in a fish factory. They produced all kinds of canned fish that went to different cities and different countries. The business was going well and the money was good. Actually, Billy’s brother was lucky to have got a job in the factory. Jobs like his were scarce in a coastal village.

Like all boys of his age, Billy had to go to school because two months later he had exams. He promised his mother he would pass them and now had to spend half the day in the classroom. His grades left much to be desired and his teachers considered him an average and poorly motivated student. Indeed, he never felt happy about learning. Instead he would rather go to the library to read another book on artists and painting.

At school the boys were taught to draw straight lines and circles, but Billy was not very good at it. He had a special kind of talent: he could get the idea of a picture clearer than other students. He hoped to develop his drawing skills but didn’t want anybody to know about it. Even Billy’s mother knew nothing about her

son’s interest. Billy practised painting like the famous artists he had read about. He studied their techniques and tried to imitate them, spending hours in the attic of their old house.

Billy had happy memories of his father, who had disappeared five years before. He was a fisherman and one day their boat didn’t come back to the port. The neighbours kept saying there was no hope, but Billy still couldn’t believe that. There were lots of small islands in the region — why couldn’t his father have reached one of them? The islands were uninhabited but his father could cope with tough living conditions.

They never discussed it in the family, but Billy often recalled the days from his childhood when he and his father went shopping in town. Father bought him oils, paints and books about famous painters and kept asking Billy to paint him. Billy was nine at that time and said he couldn’t.

During the next five years, things changed. Father’s birthday was a special day for Billy. Every year, on his dad’s birthday, the boy drew a picture of him. Each year, it looked different. When Billy was twelve, he painted like Monet. At the age of thirteen he preferred the Italian style. He hoped that someday father would see the paintings and realize how much Billy loved him.

Задание 12 № 1244

Alfred Nobel was a successful businessman.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

Alfred Nobel


The name of the most well-known Swede of all time — Alfred Nobel — is famous all over the world due to the prize he established. Despite hundreds of publications about the Nobel Prize, most people know very little about the man behind it.

Alfred Nobel was born in 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden. When he was four, the family moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. Alfred studied at home with the best private tutors and quickly mastered chemistry and became fluent in English, French, German and Russian as well as his native language, Swedish. In Russia, Alfred attended neither school nor university.

Alfred left Russia at the age of 18 to take a two-year trip around Europe and to the USA. When he returned to Russia, he began working at his father's arms factory where he experimented with chemistry and explosives.

Later, Alfred Nobel expanded the business to Europe and America. He had homes in six countries complete with laboratories as he was also a workaholic. He said himself that “my home is where I work and I work everywhere”. Alfred Nobel had 93 profitable factories around the world when he died. Many of the leading industries in the chemical field today like ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) came from companies established by Nobel. His 355 registered patents1 showed that Alfred Nobel had a wide range of interests in many fields of technology. There were experiments with imitation leather, artificial rubber and synthetic silk. Nobel tried to improve the electrical battery, the light bulb and the phonograph. He also took photographs from the air, using rockets and parachutes. Alfred Nobel was also a big letter writer, sometimes writing as many as 30 letters a day. It was not only letters that Alfred Nobel wrote. A year before his death, he published his sad novel “Nemesis” that was performed as a play in Stockholm. Nobel was full of paradoxes. He was successful yet felt hopeless. He made a fortune out of war but fought for peace. He was a faithful patriot, yet spent little time in Sweden. He was an outstanding scientist and inventor, yet had only one year of formal schooling and no university degree. He loved family life but had none of his own. His dream of a wife and children never came true.

In 1864, a deadly explosion killed his younger brother. Deeply affected, Nobel developed a safer explosive: dynamite. Soon the newspapers accused Alfred Nobel of being the “salesman of death”, even though 90 % of dynamite use was for non-violent purposes. However, Alfred Nobel himself knew that “there was nothing that could not be abused”. He never tried to defend his revolutionary invention. But Nobel was disappointed with how he might be remembered and decided to establish the Nobel Prizes to honour men and women for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for working towards peace. . A prize in economics “in memory of Alfred Nobel” was added in 1969.

Задание 12 № 1279

Alexander Bell was the best pupil at school.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


Alexander Graham Bell


Alexander Graham Bell was a famous scientist, teacher of deaf people1 and inventor, who is widely known for the creation of the telephone. His father, grandfather and brothers had all been associated with work on speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf. The family greatly influenced Bell's life and work, making him look past people’s disadvantages and find solutions to help them.

Alexander Bell was born in 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a young child, Bell received his early schooling at home from his parents. At the age of 10 he asked his father for a middle name like his two brothers. For his 11th birthday, his father allowed him to adopt the middle name "Graham", which was the surname of a close family friend. However, for most of his life he remained "Aleck" to close relatives and friends.

Alexander attended the Royal High School in Edinburgh, which he left at age 15, completing the first four forms only. He was not a good pupil, to the disappointment of his father. His main interest was in the sciences, especially biology, and he was indifferent to other school subjects. After graduation from university, Bell became his father's assistant. He taught deaf people to talk by using his father's system.

Both of Bell's brothers died of tuberculosis. In 1870 his family, in search of a healthier climate, moved to Canada. Soon, Alexander was invited to Boston to teach at Sarah Fuller's School for the Deaf, the first such school in the world. Throughout his life Alexander Bell continued to educate deaf people.

From 1873 to 1876 Bell experimented with many inventions, including an electric speaking telegraph (the telephone). The money for his work came from the fathers of two of his students. One of these men had a deaf daughter, Mabel, who later became Bell's wife.

In 1876, at the age of 29, Alexander Bell invented his telephone and in 1877, he created the Bell Telephone Company. By 1886, over 150,000 people in the U.S. owned telephones. Later, Bell company engineers made numerous other improvements to the telephone. However, Bell considered his most famous invention an interruption to his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Although Alexander Graham Bell is most often associated with the invention of the telephone, his interests were extremely varied.

The magazine Science was founded in 1880 because of Bell's efforts. He took part in creating the National Geographic Society and became its second President. He was also involved in hydrodynamics (the study of the forces of water), and projects related to the development and design of aeroplanes. Alexander Graham Bell had 18 patents granted in his name alone and he shared 12 with colleagues. Bell's inventions included a metal jacket to assist in breathing, a device to locate icebergs, a metal detector, and investigations on how to separate salt from seawater.

Bell died at the age of 75 on August 2, 1922. His contribution to the modern world and its technologies was enormous.

Задание 12 № 1314

People from different countries applied for the job.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated


The Best Job in the World


Have you ever heard of the Great Barrier Reef? It is the world's largest coral reef system along the eastern coast of Australia. In February 2009 an extraordinary position was advertised by the Australian Tourism Office. The advertisement ran that the Great Barrier Reef needed a caretaker for half a year. It was for a special person who would look after the Reef.

The job offered a large salary, free accommodation in a luxury villa, and transportation there and around the islands. All expenses would be paid: the winner wouldn't need to spend any extra money on anything.

The job's duties were pretty simple. You could only dream of such requirements. First, the person had to speak English and swim well. Second, on the island his responsibility included writing a weekly Internet blog. That's right, weekly, not even daily! The job description also required the successful applicant to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, make friends with the locals and generally enjoy the tropical climate and lifestyle. A real dream!

Within the first 2 days of the contest, the tourism office received more than seven thousand online applications. All told, 34,000 people of all different nationalities applied. Each made and presented a 60-second video resume. They had to be creative and they were. In the end 16 people were chosen, who flew to Australia for the final selection. The candidates were interviewed and the winner was Ben Southall from the UK.

Ben greatly enjoyed the dream job he had got. He realised that people knew very little about planet earth and its treasures. Living in big cities, they forgot how important the flora and fauna of this world were. Every time Ben went outdoors, he could discover something new. "Every time I dived or went underwater, I forgot about all the troubles above water and concentrated on living in the moment. It was a good way to clean the mind and build respect for the natural world," Ben said.

Ben's life on the island was not just fun. It was very busy, busier than most people imagined, and certainly busier than Ben himself had imagined. He worked seven days a week and up to 19 hours a day. The Best Job included travelling to over 60 islands of the Reef almost every day. It was not just looking after the Reef, Ben had a lot of meetings, press conferences and interviews. He was getting a lot of attention all the time and he couldn't get away from it. That was probably the hardest part of the job.

Moreover, any adventure has a certain degree of risk. Swimming and diving on the Great Barrier Reef was not different. Ben had to deal with whales, sharks and other huge sea creatures. Surprisingly, the most dangerous thing was a small jellyfish about the size of a little finger. It's considered to be extremely poisonous and Ben was stung by it. He had to spend a couple of days in hospital but luckily recovered after a course of antibiotics.

Ben often says that the project has taught him a few valuable lessons. Working with the Internet is one of those jobs you can do 24 hours a day. Ben realised it was hard to separate life and work, but this he had to do. He also said: "I've learned that we get one life on earth so we have to use it. There'll always be other countries to visit, other people to meet and other adventures to meet. This is what I wish to do. I'm planning to go to Asia in a few years time".

Источник: Де­мон­стра­ци­он­ная вер­сия ОГЭ—2018 по английскому языку., Демонстрационная вер­сия ГИА—2015.

Задание 12 № 1360

Mary Seacole had a Diploma in Medicine.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

Mary Seacole


The name of a British nurse, Florence Nightingale, is well-known all over the world. She is famous for her selfless work during the Crimean War in the middle of the 19th century. However, the name of another nurse, Mary Seacole, who was called ‘the black Florence Nightingale’, is unfairly forgotten.

Mary was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. Her father was a Scottish officer, and her mother was a free born black Jamaican woman. Mary’s mother kept a boarding house for invalid soldiers. Though Mary’s mother had no formal education, she was a great expert in herbal remedies. She used herbs to cure sick and wounded soldiers. Mary learnt a lot from her.

In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole, an English officer. The couple travelled a lot. During their trips to the Bahamas, Haiti, and Cuba, Mary discovered some new effective remedies the local people used for cholera and fever. After her husband’s death in 1844, Mary gained further nursing experience during a cholera epidemic in Panama. After returning to Jamaica, she cared for yellow fever victims. Though Mary had never had any formal qualifications, her fame as a medical practitioner grew. She learned everything through practice and soon even carried out operations on people with knife and gunshot wounds.

In 1853 the Crimean War started. Mary offered her services as a volunteer nurse but her application was rejected due to prejudice against women, especially black women. So Mary decided to go to the Crimea on her own and at her own expense.

Mary started up a business called the British Hotel, that others referred to as “Mrs Seacole’s Hut”. It was only a few miles from the battlefront. “Mrs Seacole’s Hut” operated as a general store, a restaurant and a hotel. Here she sold food and medicines and ran a canteen for the soldiers. She often provided free medicines to soldiers who were not able to pay.

Mary regularly went out to the front line to help the wounded soldiers, often putting her own life in danger. She treated wounded soldiers from both sides and often did it while the battle was still going on.

When the war was finished, Mary came back to London as a famous person. But she was completely bankrupt. The British newspapers started a public campaign to raise money for her. The mass media’s initiative was supported by the Royal family, British officers and soldiers. Mary was rescued from poverty.

In 1857 Mary Seacole wrote her autobiography called ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands’. The book was the first travel memoirs ever published by a black woman. It became a bestseller and the income allowed Mary Seacole to live the rest of her life in comfort in London, until her death in 1881.

Sadly, Mary Seacole was completely forgotten after her death. However, in recent years there has been a renewed interest in her life and her achievements.

Задание 12 № 1395

People in America started to celebrate April Fools’ Day later than Europeans.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

April Fools' Day


April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is an odd holiday which encourages us to play tricks and fool our family and friends. There is some uncertainty about when and where this bizarre tradition began. Popular belief says that April Fools’ Day started in the 16th century in France but there are not enough facts to confirm it.

Anyway, according to legends and a small number of facts, the story seems to be as follows. Before the 16th century, the New Year was celebrated in spring, around April 1st. In 1564 King Charles IX of France declared that the country would start using a new calendar, which changed New Year's Day to January 1st. In those days, with no communication technologies, news travelled slowly and new ideas were often mistrusted. Many people still celebrated the New Year the old way. These people were called 'fools' and became a target for jokers.

Playing jokes on April 1st became a custom and was later transported across the Atlantic to the American colonies. Nowadays, April Fools’ Day has developed into an international festival of fun.

Today in France, people who are fooled on April 1st are called Poisson d'Avril, which literally means the April Fish. Children stick paper fish to their friends’ backs. There are different fish souvenirs in the shops and chocolate fish of all shapes and sizes are sold in supermarkets. In England, if a trick is played on you, you are a noodle. Remember that in this country you should observe the time limit - tricks can be played only in the morning. People playing jokes after midday are April fools themselves.

April Fools’ jokes should not harm anyone. The best jokes are when everyone laughs, especially the people the joke was played on.

One of the great April Fools’ jokes happened on April 1st, 1957. BBC TV did a documentary on 'spaghetti farmers' growing 'spaghetti trees.' The report showed a family from Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest. It showed women carefully pulling long thin pieces of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.

The joke was an enormous success. A lot of people were fooled - the BBC began to receive hundreds of calls from puzzled viewers. “Did spaghetti really grow on trees?”, they wanted to know. Others were eager to learn how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC replied that they should "place a piece of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

Another famous April joke was played by the Burger King Company in the USA in 1998. They ran an advertisement about launching a “twin brother” of their most famous sandwich Whopper. Along with the traditional Whopper they were going to sell a Left-Handed Whopper, which was specially designed for the company’s left-handed customers. According to the advertisement, they rotated all the ingredients 180 degrees. Amazingly, thousands of customers requested the new sandwich at their restaurants.

Задание 12 № 1702

Jack and Martin were relatives.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

Jack and Martin were walking along the coast. It was typical weather for early September - misty and grey. It felt like the summer days were far behind. The sea was calm and the seagulls flew in the sky monitoring the surface of the water for small fish.

It was a routine view for Jack who had been born in a fishing village and had lived all his life there. He had left it only twice when his parents took him to New York for the holidays. Actually, Jack’s home was not a fishing village any more as there were very few people who really went to the sea to fish. Most young people preferred to work in the city. Jack thought that after finishing school he would probably leave his village too. But, for now, he enjoyed living by the sea. Unlike Jack, Martin was a typical city boy and the walk along the sea edge was a sort of adventure to him. He chased the waves and hunted the crabs only to throw them back into the water. He and Jack were cousins, they even looked alike, but it was the first time they’d ever spent holidays together. Martin’s parents had let him spend a month with his aunt’s family. And both Martin and Jack seemed to be enjoying their time together.

Thanks to Jack, Martin had a black spaniel puppy. The puppy had belonged to Jack’s neighbours and it was Jack who arranged the whole deal. He persuaded the neighbours to give him the puppy as a birthday present, as Martin had just turned twelve. Both Jack and Martin agreed that it was a clever plan - it would be not so easy for Martin’s parents to reject the present when they came to collect their son after the holidays. Martin had never kept cats or dogs and he was not sure what his parents’ reaction would be.

The puppy was cute and it followed Martin and Jack everywhere. Now it was happily running backwards and forwards, barking at the large birds and chasing the small ones. It was a curious dog and was impatient to explore the surroundings.

‘Where’s Pup?’ asked Martin when all of a sudden he couldn’t see him anywhere around. ‘He’s gone missing.’

Martin still called the puppy just Pup as he didn’t want to give him a proper name before he got his parent’s permission to take him to the city. He thought that the trick would help him feel less attached to the dog 1in case the parents were against it.

The boys searched for the puppy for an hour but with no result. Jack looked worried and Martin felt like crying.

‘We should check the rocks,’ Jack said. ‘There are caves in the rocks and Pup could have got lost there. But first we need to get back home.’

‘No! ’ cried Martin. ‘I won’t leave Pup here alone.’

‘We have no choice,’ Jack explained. ‘The caves are a dangerous place and we’ll never find Pup there ourselves. What we need is another dog that could smell and find him. Hurry! I know a dog that will help us.’

Задание 12 № 1738

Kevin was the only child in the family.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

Kevin enjoyed waking up in the morning. His window looked out on the green fields around. Their house was an American farmhouse though it looked more like an English cottage. It was Kevin’s mother who had restyled the place. She came from England and wanted to have some of it in her new home.

The bean fields around belonged to their family. As the only child in the family, Kevin’s father took up the family business and had never regretted it. He managed to take care of his fields all by himself, only with occasional help from his wife and his son. The farm was highly mechanized. There were all sorts of tractors, combines and other farming machines in their backyard. The father was skillful with them and mum too — she operated all the machines almost professionally. Kevin’s help was needed too, especially now - his small brother had been born recently and mum was busy with the baby.

Right, Kevin was always ready to help but not today. Some of his school friends were going to visit him and that didn’t happen very often. Living on a farm means some sort of isolation. You can’t just see some of your classmates on the street. You can’t walk around with them when you have an hour or two to spare. His mother drove Kevin to school and back every day and that was it — he spent every evening with his family. But today Max and Bob were coming and Kevin was going to enjoy his day off.

When the boys arrived, both Kevin and his father showed them around the farm. The boys were impressed when they learned how many beans the small family produced. Then the adults got busy with the barbecue and the boys went on exploring the farm land and the constructions there. Bob, who was crazy about archaeology, was absolutely fascinated with the old barn (амбар). It had never been used as a barn. Nobody had even entered it for years — the father kept some ancient farming equipment there.

With sincere interest Bob studied the old spades (лопаты), ploughs (плуги) and other ancient tools, the names of which Kevin did not know. Suddenly, Bob’s eyes sparkled: ‘Where did you get it from?’ In his hand he held something that looked like a spade but it was much smaller and the design was different.

‘I have no idea what it is,’ Kevin looked puzzled. ‘It was probably my grandfather or great-grandfather who left it here.’

‘But I suspect that it was made much earlier than your great-grandparents lifetime,’ Bob looked really excited. ‘Can I take it with me? To show it to the people in the Archaeology society?’

Kevin shrugged his shoulders. ‘I don’t think anyone minds if we take everything from here. Father would be glad to get rid of the stuff. He has always wanted to remove this barn completely but still cannot find time to do it.’

‘Do not be in too much of a hurry to do it,’ Bob gave him a wink. ‘Who knows... this ancient stuff will probably make your name famous.’

Задание 12 № 1774

Andrew and Patrick studied together at university.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

From Russia with love

The followers of my blog may be interested to know that starting from now I'll be sharing my experience of living and working in a new country. Right at this moment, I, Andrew Carter, am writing my blog from a very remote place in Russia.

When I accepted the offer of the international ecological group to take part in the project in the Russian North, I never expected the experience would be so amazing. As a professional ecologist I have worked in different parts of the world, but never in Russia. A trip to the north region of the country looked really challenging. Now I see that it is a very special place. My journey is to last for two months and now I wish I could stay here longer. Two months are definitely not enough to enjoy the beauty of this place, which is called the Kenozersky National Park.

Anyway, my adventures started two weeks ago. Patrick and I landed in Moscow at 10am in the morning and our plane to Arkhangelsk was at 11pm so we had the whole day to see Moscow. We did not need to stay in a hotel at that.

My first impression was that, well, Moscow is a huge city! My colleague, Patrick, who’s visited Moscow several times already, told me that the best way to get some idea of the Russian capital was to take a bus excursion round the city. And he was right!

We managed to see the historical centre, and walked across Red Square. I have to confess that I’ve never seen a square so huge and grand. Then the bus took us along the wide streets and avenues. We made a brief stop near the famous Russian university - the Moscow State University. I had certainly seen the building in the photos, but in real life it looks even more impressive.

When the excursion was over, we found ourselves in the centre again. We still had plenty of time and decided to visit the State Historical Museum that is on Red Square. We only managed to see a small part of the vast collection of the museum. Its exhibitions range from relics of prehistoric tribes that lived on the territory of present-day Russia centuries ago to priceless pieces of art that belonged to the Romanov dynasty.

After the intense cultural programme, we were just walking along the streets. Then we dropped into a small restaurant and ordered some national dishes. They tasted unfamiliar, but I liked them.

The next day we got to our destination.

Kenozersky National Park is exactly at the border of the Arkhangelsk Oblast and Karelia. The park is centred round the Lake Kenozero, one or the largest lakes in the region. The Russian colleagues met us at Arkhangelsk airport and drove us to the place where we were to live and work for two months. It was a long drive but it was worth it!

As I’ve already mentioned, the national park is a very remote place. Three quarters of its territory is covered with taiga. The environment is untouched, and we were charmed by its beauty. The park is inhabited by a great variety of animals and birds. Some of them are extremely rare species. It’s actually a paradise for a person who studies nature!

However, the place is not only interesting for nature lovers like me. In spite of the remoteness of the place, there are tourists from all over the world here. They are charmed by the wooden architecture of the region. There are many authentic wooden houses and churches with wonderful painted ceilings. Some tourists, including the people from America and Asia, come specially to attend carpentry courses and workshops, where skilled craftsmen teach them to make traditional wooden toys, furniture, and home decorations. Some of their works are real pieces of art.

I have to stop now as we are setting off to the lake. The story is to be continued…

Задание 12 № 1810

Anna has never been to animal performances.


1) True

2) False

3) Not stated

Is it right or wrong?

Animal rights is a new topic for my blog and my followers may get surprised that I'm writing about the things I've never mentioned before.

Right, on my blog, I usually share my impressions of the university, fellow students, courses and exams. Being a first-year-student is a new experience for me and I feel very excited about it. Some experienced bloggers often tell me: 'Anna, you are too emotional. Your blogging should be more responsible to select the right topics and the right words.' But I can't help it! I write about everything that surprises, excites, upsets, or puzzles me.

Today's story is just about being puzzled. It started when Ms. Miller, my former biology teacher, asked me to help the pupils she is teaching now with their ecological project. I thought it would be fun, and agreed.

However, the topic we chose was not just fun — it made me think really hard and I’m still in two minds about it. The thing is that my little friends decided to make the project about animal rights. We collected material about pets and about endangered animals. Everything went smoothly until we touched on the problem of circus animals.

Basically, the problem is whether it’s OK to keep wild animals in the circus or if it is cruel and unfair. And I’m not sure I know the answer.

I still remember my delight when my parents and I went to the dolphinarium together. I was about eight or nine at the time, and I was amazed by the dolphin show! Also we once saw a fantastic Russian circus, where lions and tigers were performing together. As a future biologist I know that tigers and lions are hostile towards each other and that is why they never perform on the stage together. But the trainers did what was considered impossible — the lions and tigers cooperated and worked as partners! So, the point is that if there are no animals in the circus and there are no zoos, people, especially children, will never have the opportunity to watch wild animals at all! And they’ll never feel the delight my friends and I felt when we were children.

However, on the other hand, the circus animals don't perform because they enjoy entertaining the public. They have no choice and, in fact, they are kept imprisoned all their life, which is not fair at all.

Some circuses also feel that it is unfair and are becoming animal-free. It means that only human artists perform there and there are no animal shows. Cirque du Soleil is one circus of this kind. They are famous for their acrobats and gymnasts, and for their beautiful musical performances that always tell a story or a fairy tale. But there are no animals! And I haven’t decided yet whether this is an advantage or disadvantage of the circus.

The other news that we discussed in relation to the school project is the ban on dolphin and whale shows. We’ve found out that in at least four countries — in India, Costa Rica, Chile, and Hungary — these marine mammals are officially declared non-human persons. This means that, according to the law, people and dolphins have equal rights. Keeping a dolphin in captivity is a crime similar to keeping a human being locked up against their will. I’m positive that this is a great, just and fair law! We probably won’t enjoy the dolphin shows anymore but the dolphins will enjoy their free life in their real home!

Right, I believe I know what I should tell my little friends tomorrow. And I’ll be grateful for your posts on the topic. Please, share your thoughts and ideas on the point whatever they are...

Пройти тестирование по этим заданиям