Reading

Answer of 900 Years: The Respiration of Westminster Abbey

QUESTIONS 30-33

  1. Answer: x. The answer to this question is in paragraph D. The marker in the text to look for is the effigy of Queen Elizabeth 1. There are two distracters here. Number vi is not correct, because the text says the effigy was dismissed (considered) as a poor copy (replica), not that it was a poor copy. Distracter ii is wrong, because the effigy was not completely restored.
  2. Answer: iv. The answer to this question is in paragraph C. The marker in the text to look for is the name of the church. Note that iv summarises the idea of how suitable the replacement for St Peter’s was as argued in the first three sentences of the paragraph. The distracter here is i; the text says that it was not regarded then as an act of vandalism.
  3. Answer: vii. The answer to this question is in paragraph E.You need to look in the text for a reference to a comprehensive assessment of the past or the same idea expressed in another way. The complete sentence is a summary of the last paragraph. The distracter here is viii; note that it is not the validity of the works, but the restoration work…the physical reality of the works exhibited that is being compared.
  4. Answer: v. The answer to this question is in paragraph B. The marker in the text to look for is the word restoration and references to its meaning, which occurs at the beginning of paragraphs B and C. The clues here are in the words ‘modern’ and ‘narrow; paragraph B gives the modern meaning and paragraph C gives you the ‘wider’ meaning.
    The difficulty in this exercise is that the first part of all the sentences ends in a verb, with three ending in was and one with is. This means that you cannot just try to fit the two parts together by looking at the grammar. You have to understand the meaning of the text that they summarise.
    Question type. The questions in this section test:
  • whether you are able to scan a text for specific information.
  • whether you can recognise information or an idea which is expressed in another way.
  • whether you can recognise a paraphrase.
  • whether you are able to analyse a small part of a text and not allow the information around it to
    interfere with your analysis.
  • whether you are able to summarise a text

QUESTIONS 34-36

  1. Answer: A. The answer to this question is in paragraph B:
    …with the campaign of comprehensive repair…. This programme of work, covering the entire
    building both inside and out… The distracters C and D are obviously wrong, which leaves B. The word conscientiously does not mean the same as self-consciously.
  2. Answer: C. The answer to this question is in the second sentence of paragraph A. Notice the word but in the sentence, which shows you that a contrast is about to be made with the transformation and change just mentioned.
  3. Answer: B The answer to this question is in paragraph D, the last sentence. This question also relates to number 33. It shows you that the writer supports the idea of the wider meaning of restoration.
    Question type: The questions in this section test:
  • whether you are able to scan a text for specific information.
  • whether you can recognise information or an idea which is expressed in another way.
  • whether you can recognise a paraphrase.
  • whether you are able to analyse a small part of a text and not allow the information around it to interfere with your analysis.
  1. Answer: iv. You need to read each paragraph to extract the central meaning. In other words, you need to work out why the author wrote the paragraph (See Reading Exercises 11 and 12) and to find the direction of the paragraph (See Reading Exercises 6-10). If we look at the organisation, we can see, the first two sentences deal with the change the Abbey has experienced over the past 900 years: transformed/change and change. The second sentence also mentions a permanent aspect of the building during the period: the fact that the Abbey has not lost its identity. These first two sentences provide the background information to the focus of the paragraph in the third sentence. Here the theme of change is taken up again: this process of change deserves chronicling. This sentence is in effect the foreground information or most important information in the paragraph (See Reading Exercises 10-12). It is as if all the other details in the paragraph dance around this point. The fourth and fifth sentences describe elements of change. The last sentence
    concludes the paragraph by repeating the theme in the third sentence, i.e. the foreground information of the paragraph.
  1. Answer: v. Again, you need to ask yourself why the author wrote the paragraph. He wrote it to explain what restoration means by giving the example of the Abbey’s repair scheme (campaign of…repair) at the end of the seventeenth century, which was all-embracing (comprehensive) and unusual (exceptional) for its time.
    The title neatly summarises the paragraph. Notice how the information is built up: the phrase campaign of comprehensive repair in the first sentence. Then the point is taken up again in the second sentence and expanded. When you first look at this reading passage, you see that the paragraphs have letters at the beginning. This
    indicates that there is likely to be a question on paragraph headings. As you are reading a passage for the first time write down a brief heading of your own. Then when you do the exercise you can compare what you have written with the exercise.
  2. Answer: vi. The focus of the paragraph is in the phrase but respecting the meaning and ethos of the building, which occurs at the end of the first sentence. The next sentence gives a good example of this, i.e. St Peter’s in Rome. The last sentence then states how the Abbey was restored, but its meaning was kept. So the heading reflects why the author wrote the paragraph.
  3. Answer: ii. This is an easy one. The word example occurs in the first sentence, giving the focus of the whole paragraph. Many students attempt all questions in the order they occur on the question paper. This means that they waste a lot of time on the questions that they cannot do. You could give a title to this question easily and then attempt the more difficult ones.

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