PET Reading – Part 4: Multiple Choice

International Autism Day: 2nd April

Questions and Answers

What do I have to read?
A long text and five questions.
What type of text is it?
The text can be from a newspaper or magazine and will include the writer's opinion on the subject s/he is writing about.
What do I have to do?
You have to read the text and choose the right answer (A, B, C or D) for each of the five questions.
How do I do it?
Read the article quickly to get a general idea of the subject. This is important in this part of the exam because you will probably have to answer a question about what the writer is doing in the text. When you've finished reading, go through questions 1-5 and eliminate the answers you know to be wrong. Doing this, you will have less options later, making it easier to decide on the correct answer. Look back at the text to check before you decide the answers.

Here's an example:

Despite this, it is my personal belief that social media is an invaluable tool for helping us lead happier lives. The growing problem of loneliness has its origins in a society which has for decades placed more importance on the individual than on developing healthy relationships with others.

Question: What does the writer think is the cause for people feeling lonely?

A) having cheap tools which don't make us happy B) the age of a society C) an emphasis on personal rather than shared experieneces D) bad health that stops us from meeting other people

So, what's the correct answer for the question above?
Ok, so let's read the text, then decide which option(s) can't be true.

Option A) - The text doesn't say anything about cheap tools not making us happy. Even if you thought 'invaluable' means 'cheap', (It really means very valuable!) there is no negative language connected to 'happier lives'. So we can forget about A) and the first sentence.

Option D) also plays with a word connection in the text. 'healthy' and 'health', 'with others' and 'other people'. Be careful with this, because many times in the exam these similar words are used as distractors, (words which appear in the text and an option, designed to check if you really understand the text) when it's more likely you will find synonyms or different expressions which are similar in meaning. there is no reference here to 'bad health' or 'stopping us from meeting'. So forget about option D).

We're left with two possibilities, B) and C).

Option B) includes the words 'age' and 'society'. In the text we have 'origins', 'decades', and 'society'. But then look at 'which' in the text. Here comes the action, which we can also call the 'cause'. The words before 'which' don't tell us what causes loneliness. But hey, we have one option left!

Option C) has 'emphasis', 'personal' 'rather than' 'shared' and 'experiences'. If we match that to the text, we can see 'placed more importance on' (= given more 'emphasis' to), 'individual' (= 'personal'), 'more... than' (= 'rather than'), 'with others' (= 'shared'), and 'developing...relationships' (= 'experiences'). In case you have any doubt still, go for option C)!

Now let's do this part of the exam.

Read the text then answer questions 1-5 below.

Mummy, Why’s That Boy Being Strange?

Jenny remembers when she went round to her friend Diana’s house and met Diana’s 6-year-old brother, Kevin. “Hi there” said Jenny, with her big, broad smile. After staring up at her without saying a word, Kevin turned back to the toy he was holding and stood there, slowly rocking back and forth.

Some time later when the two girls were playing in Diana’s garden, Jenny said, “I don’t think your brother likes me.”
“Don’t worry. It’s not that.” said Diana. “Kevin has autism and he finds it difficult to communicate sometimes. Later, I’ll show you how to make friends with him, if you like.”
Jenny was interested in finding out what autism meant, and after spending a short while with Kevin, realised that while he was certainly different, he wasn’t that strange or unfriendly after all.

Autism spectrum disorders include autism and other disorders such as the milder form of autism, Asperger Syndrome which occur when the brain develops differently and has trouble making sense of the world around it. This difficulty in interpreting the outside world can make it hard to talk, listen, understand, play, and learn, which in turn can often make others find it challenging to engage with a person who has the condition.

People with autism will often have trouble learning the meaning of words, do the same thing over and over, like saying the same word, move their arms or body in a certain way and have trouble adjusting to changes.

Currently, there is no cure for autism, though doctors, therapists, and special education teachers can help children with the condition learn to communicate better. While some of these youngsters may grow up to lead normal, independent lives, others will always need some kind of help. But with the support and understanding of their families, doctors, teachers, therapists and friends, all can enjoy the prospect of a brighter life.

Article adapted from Original article here. (Link opens on new page.)

Choose the best option from A-D, then click 'NEXT'. When you have answered the 5 questions, click 'FINISH' to see your result. You can then click 'VIEW ANSWERS' to see any mistakes and the correct answers.

Click “Start” to reload.

Comments and Information

Write on the board about your experiences or ask for help if you have any questions about this part of the exam.