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Задание 12 № 24

Why did schoolchildren like the new teacher, Mr. Sampson?


1) They liked his appearance.

2) He often went for a walk with them.

3) He organized competitions for them.

4) They enjoyed listening to his stories.

A School Story

It happened at my private school thirty odd years ago, and I still can’t explain it. I came to that school in September and among the boys who arrived on the same day was one whom I took to. I will call him McLeod. The school was a large one: there must have been from 120 to 130 boys there as a rule, and so a considerable staff of masters was required. One term a new master made his appearance. His name was Sampson. He was a tall, well-built, pale, black-bearded man. I think we liked him. He had travelled a good deal, and had stories which amused us on our school walks, so that there was some competition among us to get a chance to listen to him.


Well, the first odd thing that happened was this. Sampson was doing Latin grammar with us. One of his favourite methods was to make us construct sentences out of our own heads to illustrate the rules he was trying to teach us. Now, on this occasion he ordered us each to make a sentence bringing in the verb memlnij ‘I remember.’ Well, most of us made up some ordinary sentence such as ‘I remember my father, ’ but the boy I mentioned — McLeod — was evidently thinking of something more interesting than that. Finally, very quickly he wrote a couple of lines on his paper, and showed it up with the rest. The phrase was “Remember the lake among the four oaks.” Later McLeod told me that it had just come into his head. When Sampson read it he got up and went to the man- tel-piece and stopped quite a long time without saying anything looking really embarrassed. Then he wanted to know why McLeod had put it down, and where his family lived, and if there was such a lake there, and things like that.


There was one other incident of the same kind. We were told to make a conditional sentence, expressing a future consequence. We did it and showed up our bits of paper, and Sampson began looking through them. All at once he got up, made some odd sort of noise in his throat, and rushed out. I noticed that he hadn’t taken any of the papers with him, so we went to look at them on his desk. The top paper on the desk was written in red ink — which no one used — and it wasn’t in anyone’s handwriting who was in the class. I questioned everyone myself! Then I thought of counting the bits of paper: there were seventeen of them on the desk, and sixteen boys in the form. I put the extra paper in my bag and kept it. The phrase on it was simple and harmless enough: ‘If you don’t come to me, I’ll come to you.’ That same afternoon I took it out of my bag — I know for certain it was the same bit of paper, for I made a fingermark on it — and there was no single piece of writing on it!


The next day Sampson was in school again, much as usual. That night the third and last incident in my story happened. We — McLeod and I — slept in a bedroom the windows of which looked out at the main building of the school. Sampson slept in the main building on the first floor. At an hour which I can’t remember exactly, but some time between one and two, I was woken up by somebody shaking me. I saw McLeod in the light of the moon which was looking right into our windows. ‘Come,’ he said, — ‘come, there’s someone getting in through Sampson’s window. About five minutes before I woke you, I found myself looking out of this window here, and there was a man sitting on Sampson’s window-sill, and looking in.’ ‘What sort of man? Is anyone from the senior class going to play a trick on him? Or was it a burglar?!’ McLeod seemed unwilling to answer. ‘I don’t know,’ he said, ‘but I can tell you one thing — he was as thin as a rail, and water was running down his hair and clothing and/ he said, looking round and whispering as if he hardly liked to hear himself, ‘I’m not at all sure that he was alive.’ Naturally I came and looked, and naturally there was no one there.


And next day Mr. Sampson was gone: not to be found, and I believe no trace of him has ever come to light since. Neither McLeod nor I ever mentioned what we had seen to anyone. We seemed unable to speak about it. We both felt strange horror which neither could explain.

Задание 12 № 70

The first time Sally travelled by train was when she


1) had to move to her aunt Alice.

2) had a summer vacation at school.

3) went to Pittsburgh for the first time in her life.

4) visited her aunt Alice together with aunt Winnie.

First Train Trip

I must have been about eight when I made my first train trip. I think I was in second grade at that time. It was midsummer, hot and wet in central Kansas, and time for my aunt Winnie’s annual vacation from the store, where she worked as a clerk six days a week. She invited me to join her on a trip to Pittsburgh, fifty miles away, to see her sister, my aunt Alice. ‘Sally, would you like to go there by train or by car?’ aunt Winnie asked. ‘Oh, please, by train, aunt Winnie, dear! We’ve been there by car three times already!’


Alice was one of my favourite relatives and I was delighted to be invited to her house. As I was the youngest niece in Mother’s big family, the aunties all tended to spoil me and Alice was no exception. She kept a boarding house for college students, a two-storey, brown brick building with comfortable, nicely decorated rooms at the corner of 1200 Kearney Avenue. She was also a world-class cook, which kept her boarding house full of young people. It seemed to me that their life was so exciting and joyful.


Since I’d never ridden a train before, I became more and more excited as the magic day drew near. I kept questioning Mother about train travel, but she just said, ‘Wait. You’ll see.’ For an eight-year-old, waiting was really difficult, but finally the big day arrived. Mother had helped me pack the night before, and my little suitcase was full with summer sundresses, shorts and blouses, underwear and pyjamas. I was reading Billy Whiskers, a fantastic story about a goat that once made a train trip to New York, and I had put that in as well. It was almost midnight when I could go to bed at last.


We arrived at the station early, purchased our tickets and found our car. I was fascinated by the face-to-face seats so some passengers could ride backwards. Why would anyone, I thought, want to see where they’d been? I only wanted to see what lay ahead for me.


Finally, the conductor shouted, ‘All aboard!’ to the people on the platform. They climbed into the cars, the engineer blew the whistle and clanged the bell, and we pulled out of the station.


This train stopped at every town between my home in Solomon and Pittsburgh. It was known as the ‘milk train’ because at one time it had delivered goods as well as passengers to these villages. I looked eagerly at the signs at each station. I’d been through all these towns by car, but this was different. The shaky ride of the coaches, the soft brown plush seats, the smells of the engine drifting back down the track and in through the open windows made this trip far more exotic.


The conductor, with his black uniform and shiny hat, the twinkling signals that told the engineer when to stop and go, thrilled me. To an adult, the trip must have seemed painfully slow, but I enjoyed every minute.


Aunt Winnie had packed a lunch for us to eat along the way as there was no dining car in the train. I was dying to know just what was in that big shopping bag she carried, but she, too, said, ‘Wait. You’ll see.’ Midway, Aunt Winnie pulled down her shopping bag from the luggage rack above our seats. My eyes widened as she opened it and began to take out its contents. I had expected lunch- meat sandwiches, but instead there was a container of fried chicken, two hardboiled eggs, bread and butter wrapped in waxed paper, crisp radishes and slim green onions from Winnie’s garden, as well as rosy sliced tomatoes. She had brought paper plates, paper cups and some of the ‘everyday’ silverware. A large bottle of cold tea was well wrapped in a dishtowel; the ice had melted, but it was still chilly. I cautiously balanced my plate on my knees and ate, wiping my lips and fingers with a large paper napkin. This was living!


When we had cleaned our plates, Aunt Winnie looked into the bag one more time. The best treat of all appeared — homemade chocolate cakes! Another cup of cold tea washed these down and then we carefully returned the remains of the food and silverware to the bag, which Aunt Winnie put into the corner by her feet.


‘Almost there,’ said my aunt, looking out of the window at the scenery passing by. And sure enough, as we pulled into the Pittsburgh station we immediately caught sight of aunt Alice, waiting for us, a smile like the sun lighting up her face, arms wide open. We got off the train and she led us past the taxi rank and the bus stop to her car that was parked near the station. And all the way to her home she was asking about my impressions of my first train trip and I could hardly find the words to express all the thrill and excitement that filled me.

Задание 12 № 162

Why is the collage of photographs more important for Kathy than the other wedding presents?


1) It reminds Kathy of her wedding.

2) Kathy didn’t like the other wedding presents.

3) It was the most expensive present.

4) Kathy’s sister made it for her.


‘Dear Kathy! Chance made us sisters, hearts made us friends.’ This quote is at the center of a collage of photographs — covering our twenty-something years — that now hangs in my office. My sister, Susie, made it for me as a wedding present. It probably cost very little to make (she is a starving college student, after all), but it means more to me than any of the more ‘traditional’ wedding presents my husband and I received from family and friends last June. Whenever I look at the collage, it reminds me of my sister and what a true friend she is.


Susie and I weren’t always close friends. Far from it, in fact. We shared a room for nearly fifteen years when we were younger, and at the time I thought I couldn’t have asked for a worse roommate. She was always around! If we argued and I wanted to go to my room to be alone, she’d follow me right in. If I told her to go away, she’d say right back, ‘It’s my room, too! And I can be here if I want to.’ I’d consult my mother and she usually agreed with Susie. I suppose being three years younger has its benefits.


When we were kids, she’d ‘borrow’ my dolls without asking. (And no toy was safe in her hands.) When we got older, Susie quit borrowing my toys and started borrowing my clothes. That was the final straw. I couldn’t take it anymore. I begged my parents to let me have a room of my own — preferably one with a lock on the door. The answer was always a resounding ‘no.’ ‘Please?!’ I’d beg. My parents would just shake their heads. They didn’t agree with each other on much, but for some reason they had a united front on this issue.


To crown it all, she had this habit of doing everything I did. Choirs, rock bands, sports teams, dance studios: There was no place where I was safe. ‘She looks up to you,’ my mom would say. I didn’t care. I just wanted a piece of my life that didn’t involve my little sister. When I complained to my mother, she’d just smile and say, ‘One day you’ll want her around.’ Sure.


It’s strange how mothers have this habit of being right about everything. When I was sixteen and my sister was thirteen, we went through a series of life-chang- ing events together that would forever change our relationship. First, my parents announced that they were divorcing. My dad packed up and moved to an apartment in New Hampshire — more than a half hour drive away from our cozy house in Massachusetts. He bought me my first car and I often went with Susie to his place when we missed him a lot. During those trips we started discussing our troubles and making plans about how to reunite the family again. But a year later, our father met his future second wife and moved again; this time to Indiana. This meant we could only see him once or twice a year, as opposed to once every few weeks. That was hard.


Yet those few months changed my relationship with my sister forever. We started having more heart-to-heart talks as opposed to silly fights. Over time, she became my most cherished friend. It’s not uncommon for us to have three-hour-long telephone conversations about everything or about nothing—just laughing over memories from childhood or high school.


She’s the only person who’s been through all of the tough stuff that I’ve been through, and the only person who truly understands me. Susie and I have shared so much. She’s been my roommate, my friend, and my partner in crime. We’ve done plays together, gone to amusement parks, sang, and taken long road trips together. We’ve laughed until our sides hurt, and wiped away each others’ tears.


Even though distance separates us now, we’re closer than ever. Sisters share a special bond. They’ve seen all of your most embarrassing moments. They know your deepest, darkest secrets. Most importantly, they love you unconditionally. I’m lucky to be able to say that my little sister is my best friend. I only wish everyone could be so fortunate.

Задание 12 № 254

In his childhood the narrator’s idea of happiness was to


1) get what he wanted.

2) live an interesting life.

3) be an influential person.

4) make other people happy.

То Become Wealthy

As a kid, I always wanted to become wealthy. I knew if I could achieve this, I would be able to consider myself successful. At the time, I had no worries and felt my happiness would be based on whether I could fulfill all my needs and wants. My simple philosophy of that time was if I was rich, I would definitely be content with my life.


My father always stressed his belief that happiness includes much more than money. I can remember him lecturing me about how money does not make an individual happy; other things in life such as: health, family, friends, and memorable experiences make a person genuinely happy. At this time in my life, I took what my dad said for granted and did not give any thought to his words. All I could see was the great life my cousins had because they had everything a kid ever dreamed of.


At a young age, I noticed society was extremely materialistic. The media seemed to portray the wealthy as happy people who add value to our society. My opinions did not change; in high school I still sought a career that would eventually yield a high salary. I still felt that the possibility of living life from paycheck to paycheck would automatically translate into my unhappiness. However, things changed when I decided to take an internship in the accounting department for the summer after my second year of college.


Starting the first day on the job in the accounting department, I found myself extremely bored. I was forced to do monotonous work, such as audit eight thousand travel and expense reports for a potential duplicate. In addition, I had to relocate away from friends and family in order to accept the position. I was earning the money I always wanted; however, I noticed that having money to spend when you are by yourself was not satisfying.


I began to think back to what my dad always said. After a few months in the job, I truly realized that money does not bring happiness. A more satisfying experience for me would have been doing an ordinary summer job for far less money. For me to understand that concept, it took an experience as painful as this one. I often contemplated how much money it would take me to do this as my everyday job. I concluded, whatever the salary for this position I would never be capable of fulfilling a happy life and making a career out of this job.


As I looked forward to the summer to draw to a close, I truly comprehended the meaning of my dad’s words. Contrary to my prior beliefs, I firmly believe through experience that money cannot make a person happy. The term ‘wealth’ is a broad term, and I believe the key to happiness is to become wealthy in great memories, friends, family, and health. This I believe.

Задание 12 № 300

The unlimited liberty of reading for the narrator means


1) access to different types of books.

2) freedom in choosing and interpreting books.

3) possibility to challenge other opinions on the book.

4) opportunity to select what to read according to the mood.

The Joy and Enthusiasm of Reading

I believe in the absolute and unlimited liberty of reading. I believe in wandering through the huge stacks of books and picking out the first thing that strikes me. I believe in choosing books based on the dust jacket. I believe in reading books because others dislike them or find them dangerous, or too thick to spend their free time on, or too difficult to understand. I believe in choosing the hardest book imaginable. I believe in reading what others have to say about this difficult book, and then making up my own mind, agreeing or disagreeing with what I have read and understood.


Part of this has to do with Mr. Buxton, who taught me Shakespeare in the 10th grade. We were reading Macbeth. Mr. Buxton, who probably had better things to do, nonetheless agreed to meet one night to go over the text line by line. The first thing he did was point out the repetition of motifs. For example, the reversals of things (‘fair is foul and foul is fair’). Then there was the association of masculinity with violence in the play.


What Mr. Buxton did not tell me was what the play meant. He left the conclusions to me. The situation was much the same with my history teacher in 11th grade, Mr. Flanders, who encouraged me to have my own relationship with historical events and my own attitude to them. He often quoted famous historians in the process. I especially liked the one who said, ‘Those who forget their history have no future.’


High school was followed by college, where I read Umberto Eco’s Role of the Reader, in which it is said that the reader completes the text, that the text is never finished until it meets this careful and engaged reader. The open texts, Eco calls them. In college, I read some of the great Europeans and Latin Americans. All the works I read were open texts. It was an exciting experience. Besides, I got familiar with wonderful works of literary criticism.


There are those critics, of course, who insist that there are right ways and wrong ways to read every book.


No doubt they arrived at these beliefs through their own adventures in the stacks. Perhaps their adventures were not so exciting or romantic. And these are important questions for philosophers of every character. But yet I know only what joy and enthusiasm about reading have taught me, in bookstores new and used. They have taught me not to be afraid of something new, unusual or non*traditional, not to deny it but embrace it and try to understand even if you cannot agree with it. Not to stay within the boundaries but always seek for something new and enjoy every second of this creative process and be happy every time you get some result, no matter how positive or negative.


I believe there is not now and never will be an authority who can tell me how to interpret, how to read, how to find the pearl of literary meaning in all cases. There exist thousands of versions, interpretations, colours and shadows. You could spend a lifetime thinking about a sentence, and making it your own. In just this way, I believe in the freedom to see literature, history, truth, unfolding ahead of me like a book whose spine has just now been cracked.

Задание 12 № 346

Llandudno is described as a


1) fashionable 19th century resort.

2) beautiful growing resort.

3) place where Lewis Carroll lived.

4) place famous for its comfortable hotels.


Llandudno is truly a fine and handsome place, built on a generously proportioned bay and lined along its broad front with a huddle of prim but gracious nineteenth- century hotels that reminded me in the fading light of a lineup of Victorian nannies. Llandudno was purpose-built as a resort in the mid-1800s, and it cultivates a nice old-fashioned air. I don’t suppose that Lewis Carroll, who famously strolled this front with little Alice Liddell in the 1860s, would notice a great deal of change today.


To my consternation, the town was packed with weekending pensioners. Buses from all over were parked along the side streets, every hotel I called at was full, and in every dining room I could see crowds — veritable oceans — of nodding white heads spooning soup and conversing happily. Goodness knows what had brought them to the Welsh seaside at this bleak time of year.


Farther on along the front there stood a clutch of guesthouses, large and virtually indistinguishable, and a few of them had vacancy signs in their windows. I had eight or ten to choose from, which always puts me in a mild fret because I have an unerring instinct for choosing badly. My wife can survey a row of guesthouses and instantly identify the one run by a white-haired widow with a fondness for children, and sparkling bathroom facilities, whereas I can generally count on choosing the one run by a guy with a grasping manner, and the sort of cough that makes you wonder where he puts the phlegm. Such, I felt, would be the case tonight.


All the guesthouses had boards out front listing their many amenities -COLOUR TV, HOSPITALITY TRAYS, FULL CENTRAL HEATING, and the coyly euphemistic EN SUITE ALL ROOMS, meaning private bathrooms. One place offered satellite TV and a trouser press, and another boasted CURRENT FIRE CERTIFICATE — something I had never thought to look for in a B&B. All this heightened my sense of unease and doom. How could I possibly choose intelligently among such a variety of options?


I selected a place that looked reasonable enough from the outside — its board promised a color TV and coffee making facilities, about all I require these days for a Saturday night — but from the moment I set foot in the door I knew it was a bad choice. I was about to turn and flee when the owner emerged from a back room and stopped my retreat with an unenthusiastic “Yes?” A short conversation revealed that a single room with breakfast was for £19.50. It was entirely out of the question that I would stay the night in such a dismal place at such an exorbitant price, so I said,

“That sounds fine,” and signed in. Well, it’s so hard to say no.


My room was everything I expected it to be — cold and cheerless with laminated furniture, grubbily matted carpet, and those mysterious ceiling stains that bring to mind a neglected corpse in the room above. There was a tray of coffee things but the cups were disgusting, and the spoon was stuck to the tray.


The bathroom, faintly illuminated by a distant light activated by a length of string, had curling floor tiles and years of accumulated dirt packed into every corner. I peered at the yellowy tile around the bath and sink and realized what the landlord did with his phlegm. A bath was out of the question, so I threw some cold water on my face, dried it with a towel that had the texture of shredded wheat, and gladly took my leave.

Задание 12 № 392

The narrator was looking forward to meeting with his father because he


1) hoped that his parents would get back together.

2) expected to get a valuable present from him.

3) wanted to stay with him in New York.

4) missed the feeling of being with him.


The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station. I was going from my grandmother’s in the Adirondacks to a cottage on the Cape that my mother had rented, and I wrote my father that I would be in New York between trains for an hour and a half, and asked if we could have lunch together. His secretary wrote to say that he would meet me at the information booth at noon, and at twelve o’clock sharp I saw him coming through the crowd.


He was a stranger to me — my mother divorced him three years ago and I hadn’t been with him since — but as soon as I saw him I felt that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom. I knew that when I was grown I would be something like him; I would have to plan my campaigns within his limitations. He was a big, good-looking man, and I was terribly happy to see him again.


He struck me on the back and shook my hand. “Hi, Charlie,” he said. “Hi, boy. I’d like to take you up to my club, but it’s in the Sixties, and if you have to catch an early train I guess we’d better get something to eat around here.” He put his arm around me, and I smelled my father the way my mother sniffs a rose. It was a rich compound of whiskey, after-shave lotion, shoe polish, woollens, and the rankness of a mature male. I hoped that someone would see us together. I wished that we could be photographed. I wanted some record of our having been together.


We went out of the station and up a side street to a restaurant. It was still early, and the place was empty. The bartender was quarrelling with a delivery boy, and there was one very old waiter in a red coat down by the kitchen door. We sat down, and my father hailed the waiter in a loud voice. “Kellner!” he shouted. “Garcon! You!” His boisterousness in the empty restaurant seemed out of place. “Could we have a little service here!” he shouted. Then he clapped his hands. This caught the waiter’s attention, and he shuffled over to our table.

“Were you clapping your hands at me?” he asked.

“Calm down, calm down,” my father said. “It isn’t too much to ask of you — if it wouldn’t be too much above and beyond the call of duty, we would like a couple of Beefeater Gibsons.”

“I don’t like to be clapped at,” the waiter said.

“I should have brought my whistle,” my father said. “I have a whistle that is audible only to the ears of old waiters. Now, take out your little pad and your little pencil and see if you can get this straight: two Beefeater Gibsons. Repeat after me: two Beefeater Gibsons.” 

“I think you’d better go somewhere else,” the waiter said quietly.

“That,” said my father, “is one of the most brilliant suggestions I have ever heard. Come on, Charlie.”


I followed my father out of that restaurant into another. He was not so boisterous this time. Our drinks came, and he cross-questioned me about the baseball season. He then struck the edge of his empty glass with his knife and began shouting again. “Garcon! You! Could we trouble you to bring us two more of the same.”

“How old is the boy?” the waiter asked.


“That,” my father said, “is none of your business.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the waiter said, “but I won’t serve the boy another drink.”

“Well, I have some news for you,” my father said. “I have some very interesting news for you. This doesn’t happen to be the only restaurant in New York. They’ve opened another on the corner. Come on, Charlie.”


He paid the bill, and I followed him out of that restaurant into another ...

Задание 12 № 438

The people in the cafe were all in a hurry because


1) they had to buy their lunch far away from the office.

2) they wanted to be the first in line to pay for the food.

3) it was the way they normally behaved at lunch time.

4) they had to buy their lunch before the cashier left for her lunch.

Getting What He Deserved?

    There were seven or eight of us in the line, waiting to pay the cashier for our lunches. We were all in a hurry because that’s the way of the American business-day lunch. At the front of the line there was a pretty woman with a small boy of about eight. He was a cute little fellow wearing black jeans, white sneakers and a blue pullover sweater. A shock of dark hair fell over his eyes. He looked very much like his mother. The boy had a charming face with chiseled features but he was depressed.

    As the woman fumbled in her purse, looking for money to pay her check, the kid noticed a display of candy bars beside the cash register and immediately wanted one.

    “You can’t have any candy”, said his mother. “You had a pie with your lunch”. She took out her handkerchief, then put it back and went on fumbling in her purse.

    “But I want some candy”, said the kid. His tone was surprisingly insistent. Almost aggressive.

    The mother continued her search for money in her purse, and the kid continued to whine about the candy. Then he began to stamp his feet and shout.

    The rest of us in line were beginning to get fidgety. We bunched a little closer together and several folks began mumbling under their breath. “Ought to snatch him bald”, said one man quietly.

    The kid by now was reaching for the candy display in open opposition to his mother. She grabbed his arm and pulled it away, but not before he clutched a Snickers bar in his hand.

    “Put it back”, she said.

    “No!” shouted the child. It was an arrogant “No!”

The line bunched even more closely together, and the man who had suggested snatching the kid bald appeared ready to do so himself. So much for the kid’s shock of dark hair, I thought.

    But the mother moved suddenly and with purpose. She paid the cashier, took back her change and dropped it into her purse. Then with one quick motion, she grabbed hold of the child’s pullover sweater and lifted him off the floor. The moment his sneakers came back to earth, she turned his back toward her and began flailing him. A look of disbelief came across the kid’s face. His eyes filled with tears. He tried to break away but that made his mother flail him again.

    When she had finished administering the punishment, she turned the child around and pointed a finger squarely in his sobbing face. With a voice strong and certain, she said, “The next time I tell you do something, young man, will you do it?”

    The child looked at the floor. Meekly and sincerely, he replied, “Yes, ma’am.”

    The mother turned to go. The child returned the Snickers bar without further hesitation and marched dutifully out behind her.

    The people in a line broke into spontaneous applause.

“Did the kid deserve the punishment he had? What would I do if I were his mother? She may have been absolutely right for all I know. I have no children. I have no right to argue with the mother” I thought. “There is nothing I can do but wait. Perhaps the best way to get an idea of normal behavior of children is to get married and raise a few”.

Источник: Яндекс: Тренировочная работа ЕГЭ по английскому языку. Вариант 1.

Задание 12 № 484

The girls kept silent because they


1) didn’t like to speak to Aaron.

2) didn’t know what to say to Aaron.

3) were afraid to speak in their mother’s presence.

4) were too modest to speak in the guest’s presence.

Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания А15 – А21, отмечая цифру 1, 2, 3 или 4, соответствующую номеру выбранного вами варианта ответа.


The Courtship of Susan Bell

Mrs. Bell invited Aaron Houston, a famous British artist, to paint her younger daughter’s portrait. Aaron wanted to make a few drawings before he started a portrait. On the Thursday evening the drawing was finished. Not a word had been said because the girls were shy to speak in Aaron’s presence and he had gone on working in silence. “There,” said he, “I don’t think that it will be any better if I go on for another hour. I hope you will like it. There, Miss Susan”, and he sent it across the table with his fingers.

Susan’s face got red, she was embarrassed. She took the drawing and said, “Oh, it’s beautiful”. The superb originality of the drawing captivated her. A young girl was represented sitting at a table in a room filled with fresh air and the soft light of a summer day. The greenery of an old overgrown garden could be seen through the window. In front of her on the white tablecloth there was her book. The eyes of the girl looked out at you, dark grey, mysterious, sad, languorous, yet strangely intent. What was the girl thinking about? Who was the girl thinking about? The drawing was more than a portrait. It fact, the artist tackled a far bigger job than that of reproducing a definite person in portraiture and in performing which he imparted another and bigger content.

Susan’s face revealed her feelings. She turned to her mother and said, “Isn’t it beautifully done, mother?” and then her elder sister and her mother got up to look at it, and both admitted that it was beautifully done but Susan felt there was doubt in her mother’s voice.

“We thank you very much,” said Susan after a long pause.

“Oh, it’s nothing”, said he, not quite liking the word “we”.

On the following day he returned from his work to Saratoga about noon. He had never done this before, and therefore no one expected that he would be seen in the house before the evening. On this occasion, however, he went straight there, and by chance both the widow and her elder daughter were out. Susan was there alone in charge of the house.

He walked in and opened the sitting-room door. There she sat, with her knitting and a book forgotten on the table behind her, and Aaron’s drawing, on her lap. She was looking at it closely as he entered.

“Oh, Mr. Dunn,” she said, getting up and holding the picture behind her dress.

“Miss Susan, I have come here to tell your mother that I must start for New York this afternoon and be there for six weeks, or perhaps, longer.”

“Mother is out,” she said. “I am sorry.”

“Is she?” said Aaron.

“And Hetta too. Dear me! And you will want dinner. I’ll go and see about it.”

Aaron began to swear that he could not possibly eat any dinner.

“But you must have something, Mr. Dunn“ she said.

“Miss Susan,” said he, “I’ve been here nearly two months.”

“Yes, sir,” Susan said, hardly knowing what she was saying.

“I’m going away now, and it seems to be such a long time before I’ll come back.” And then he paused, looking into her eyes, to see what he could read there. She leant against the table; but her eyes were turned to the ground, and he could hardly see them.

“Will you help me?” he said. She was keeping silent. “Miss Susan,” he continued, “I am not very good at saying things like this, but will you marry me? I love you dearly with all my heart. I never saw anyone so beautiful, so nice, so good.” And then he stopped. He didn’t ask for any love in return. He simply declared his feelings, leaning against the door. Susan remained silent. Aaron ran out of the room.

Источник: Яндекс: Тренировочная работа ЕГЭ по английскому языку. Вариант 2.

Задание 12 № 530

The author decided to go to work abroad because…


1) she felt bored with her life in Liverpool.

2) she needed to earn money for charity.

3) she was eager to help people directly.

4) she wanted to see India.

Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания А15 – А21, отмечая цифру 1, 2, 3 или 4, соответствующую номеру выбранного вами варианта ответа.


Making the Difference

Mу life is the same as millions of others'. I'm a wife and mother to two great kids. I work as a sales advisor and spend my weekends pottering about in the kitchen or garden. But eight years ago, my "normal", Liverpool-centred life changed forever.

I've always donated money to various charities. But rather than just giving money, I also wanted to help people face to face, so I decided to look for a project abroad. On the Internet I read about an Indian organization called the Rural Development Society. I knew very little about India, but I discovered that people in Tamil Nadu, the poorest state in Southern India, were in dire need of help.

I talked it through with my husband Paul, but I don’t think he expected me to go through with it.

Still, I sent a letter offering my services and within a few weeks received a reply from Manhoran, the chief of Ananandal village. In broken English, he explained how excited they were to think that someone would want to come to help them. My decision was made.

My husband was not enthusiastic about my going there, but he also knew how important it was to me. And, though my sons said they'd miss their mum, they knew it'd only be for a few months.

I booked a flight and wrote to Chief Manhoran that I was coming.

Nothing could have prepared me for my arrival at Chennai airport. The noise, the heat and the bustle was totally alien - as were the surroundings. I got to work straight away teaching at the small local school funded by the Rural Development Society, for six days a week.

Day-to-day life was a total culture shock. With no electricity or running water, everything was exceedingly basic. But despite the shockingly simple life, not for one moment did I regret going. The kindness of the villagers was all-encompassing. In return for me showing them respect for their culture, they gave me their all. My Hindi was awful, but we communicated with smiles, laughter and hugs.

From arriving in a desolate village full of strangers, they'd become my friends. I started to look at the place with the utmost affection. And despite looking forward to my trip back to Liverpool, it felt like home.

I started teaching the village children the alphabet under the tree by the hut. Every day more and more children turned up. It was soon impossible for me to manage on my own. I found a local teacher and we started to share evening classes. We settled into a routine, splitting them into groups of older and younger children - named my Little and Big Darlings.

The day before the end of my three-month stay, I was overwhelmed when 2,000 villagers begged me to stay and continue with the school. There was no way I could remain there - I missed my husband and children. But I promised to be back.

My husband was incredibly proud of how far we'd come, but never felt the urge to visit Ananandal. He and our sons prefer to stay at home and help raise money for the school over here.

Since then the school has got bigger and bigger and now we have 500 pupils. The best thing is that the school recently came second in the annual exams of the whole of Southern India. I've thought about going to live there, but my life, my job and family are in England so I'm happy just visiting.

When I'm back in Liverpool people say how proud I must be of myself. To a certain extent I am. But I'm more proud of my Little and Big Darlings who come to school every day with a smile, desperate to learn. They're the inspiration, not me.

Источник: Яндекс: Тренировочная работа ЕГЭ по английскому языку. Вариант 3.

Задание 12 № 622

Which reason for the trip to the rainforest was NOT mentioned?


1) Dream of visiting South America.

2) Gathering a collection.

3) Thirst for adventures.

4) Saving rainforests. 

I arrived at the cloud forest in Ecuador ten days ago. I was one of a group of twelve volunteers that wanted to save the rainforest. My reasons for going on this trip were twofold: firstly, I wanted to collect and bring back alive some of the fascinating animals, birds and reptiles that inhabit this region; secondly, I had long cherished a dream to see South America: not the inhabited South America with its macadam roads, its cocktail bars, its express trains roaring through a landscape denuded of its flora and fauna by the beneficial influences of civilization. I wanted to see one of those few remaining parts of the continent that had escaped this fate and remained more or less as it was when America was first discovered: I wanted to see its rainforests, its vast lands of untouched, pure, natural wildlife. We were working together with local people and scientists and we were learning and seeing new things every day. Our lodge was comfortable, had breathtaking views and was in the middle of the rainforest. It was a two-hour walk from the nearest road, and it was even further to the nearest village.


The rainforest is truly an astonishing place. There are thousands of species of plants here and more than 700 species of birds. There are millions of insects and scientists think there may be around forty mammal species that haven’t even been discovered. But what I was really amazed at how everything depends on everything else for survival.


Every tree in the rainforest is covered in a species of another kind. The black wasp uses the tarantula as a nest for its eggs, plants need monkeys for seed dispersal, and the clouds are necessary for the survival of the whole rainforest. This is because they provide moisture. The problem is, climate change is causing the clouds to rise by 1—2 meters every year. What will happen to the plants that need this moisture? What will happen to the animals that need those plants?


Our job was to watch this changing ecosystem. One of my favourite projects was the bird survey. Every day a group of us set out at around five o’clock with a local scientist. At this time of the morning the air was filled with the sound of bird song. We had to identify the birds we hear and see and write down our findings. Later, we entered all our information into a computer at the lodge.


We also set up cameras to record pumas, spectacled bears and other large mammals. It was always exciting to see pumas because it meant there were other animals around that they would normally hunt. We fixed the cameras to trees around the reserve, and every day a team of volunteers collected the cameras memory cards.


There was a lot to do in the rainforest, but at least I felt like we were making a difference.


However, soon I started collecting some animals and insects. I realized that as soon as the hunting got under way and the collection increased, most of my time would be taken up in looking after the animals, and I should not be able to wander far from camp. So I was eager to get into the forest while I had the chance.


Nevertheless, I should mention the fact that without the help of the natives you would stand little chance of catching the animals you want, for they know the forest, having been born in it. Once the animal is caught, however, it is your job to keep it alive and well. If you left this part of it to the natives you would get precious little back alive.

Задание 12 № 668

In paragraph 1 “I was running wild” means that the boy


1) hardly spent any time at home.

2) led an uncontrolled life.

3) became very angry.

4) had an unhealthy lifestyle.

Scarcely had we settled into the Strawberry-pink Villa before my mother decided that I was running wild, and that it was necessary for me to have some sort of education. As usual when a problem arose, the entire family flung itself with enthusiasm into the task of solving it. Each member had his or her own idea of what was best for me.


Sitting under the open window in the twilight, I had listened with interest, not unmixed with indignation, to the family discussion of my fate. Finally my mother decided that George would be a good teacher for me. Now it was settled, I wondered vaguely who George was, and why it was so necessary for me to have lessons. But the dusk was thick with flower-scents, and the olive-groves were dark, mysterious, and fascinating. I forgot about the imminent danger of being educated, and went off with Roger to hunt for glow-worms in the sprawling brambles.


Later I discovered that George was my brother’s friend and he had come to Corfu to write. There was nothing very unusual about this, for all Larry’s acquaintances in those days were either authors, poets, or painters.


My new teacher came over to the villa to discuss my education with Mother, and we were introduced. We regarded each other with suspicion. George was a very tall and extremely thin man with a brown beard and a pair of large spectacles. He had a deep, melancholy voice, a dry and sarcastic sense of humor. However, he was not upset by the fact that there were no school-books available on the island; he simply looked through his own library and appeared on the appointed day armed with his own selection of books. He patiently taught me Geography from the maps in the back of an ancient copy of Pears Encyclopedia, English from books that ranged from Wilde to Gibbon, French from the book called “Le Petit Larousse”, and mathematics from memory. From my point of view the most important thing was that we devoted some of our time to natural history, and George carefully taught me how to observe and how to note down observations in a diary. At once my enthusiastic interest in nature became focused, for I found that by writing things down I could learn and remember much more. The only morning that I was ever on time for my lessons were those which were given up to natural history.


Every morning at nine George would come into the little dining-room of the villa, sit at the table methodically arranging the books. He would droop over the exercise- book pensively, pulling at his beard. Then in his large, clear writing he would set the task for me to solve.


“If it took two caterpillars a week to eat eight leaves, how long would four caterpillars take to eat the same number? Now, apply yourself to that”.


While I was struggling with the apparently insoluble problem of the caterpillar appetites, George was practicing some dancing moves in the hall as at that time he was engaged in learning some of the local dances, for which he had a passion. Through all this I would be watching him, fascinated, the exercise-book lying forgotten in front of me. Mathematics was not one of our successful subjects. 


In geography we made better progress, for George was able to give a more zoological tinge to the lesson. We drew giant maps and then filled in the various places of interest, together with drawings of the most exciting animals and birds to be found there.

Задание 12 № 714

The narrator said that he liked London cab drivers because they


1) can be trusted and nice to deal with.

2) can drive in a straight line.

3) know all the hotels and streets in the city.

4) make friends easily.

Hazlitt’s Hotel

I took a cab to Hazlitt’s Hotel on Frith Street. I like Hazlitt’s because it’s intentionally obscure — it doesn’t have a sign or a plaque or anything at all to betray its purpose — which puts you in a rare position of strength with your cab driver. Let me say right now that London cab drivers are without question the finest in the world. They are trustworthy, safe and honest, generally friendly and always polite. They keep their vehicles spotless inside and out, and they will put themselves to the most extraordinary inconvenience to drop you at the front entrance of your destination. There are really only a couple of odd things about them. One is that they cannot drive more than two hundred feet in a straight line. I’ve never understood this, but no matter where you are or what the driving conditions, every two hundred feet a little bell goes off in their heads and they abruptly lunge down a side street. And when you get to your hotel or railway station or wherever it is you are going, they like to drive you all the way around it so that you can see it from all angles before alighting.


The other distinctive thing about them, and the reason I like to go to Hazlitt’s, is that they cannot bear to admit that they don’t know the location of something they feel they ought to know, like a hotel, which I think is rather sweet. To become a London cab driver you have to master something titled The Knowledge — in effect, learn every street, hospital, hotel, police station, cricket ground, cemetery and other notable landmarks in this amazingly vast and confusing city. It takes years and the cabbies are justifiably proud of their achievement. It would kill them to admit that there could exist in central London a hotel that they have never heard of. So what the cabbie does is probe. He drives in no particular direction for a block or two, then glances at you in the mirror and in an overcasual voice says, “Hazlitt’s — that’s the one on Curzon Street, innit, guv? Opposite the Blue Lion?” But the instant he sees a knowing smile of demurral forming on your lips, he hastily says, “No, hang on a minute, I’m thinking of the Hazelbury. Yeah, the Hazelbury. You want Hazlitt’s, right?” He’ll drive on a bit in a fairly random direction. “That’s this side of Shepherd’s Bush, innit?” he’ll suggest speculatively.


When you tell him that it’s on Frith Street, he says. “Yeah, that the one. Course it is. I know it — modern place, lots of glass”.


“Actually, it’s an eighteenth-century brick building.”

“Course it is. I know it.” And he immediately executes a dramatic U-turn, causing a passing cyclist to steer into a lamppost (but that’s all right because he has on cycle clips and one of those geeky slip stream helmets that all but invite you to knock him over). “Yeah, you had me thinking of the Hazelbury” the driver adds, chuckling as if to say it’s a lucky thing he sorted that one out for you, and then lunges down a little side street off the Strand called Running Sore Lane or Sphincter Passage, which, like so much else in London, you had never noticed was there before. 

Задание 12 № 760

What did the girls hope to do that weekend?


1) Talk all the weekend.

2) Have some more studies that weekend.

3) Go to the cinema.

4) Have a quiet weekend in.

Lily and I had planned a movie marathon weekend. I was exhausted from work and she was stressed out from her classes, so we’d promised to spend the whole weekend parked on her couch and subsist solely on pizza and crisps. No healthy food. No diet Coke. And absolutely no strict, official clothes. Even though we talked all the time, we hadn’t spent any real time together since I’d moved to the city.


We’d been friends since the eighth grade, when I first saw Lily crying alone at a cafeteria table. She’d just moved in with her grandmother and started at our school in Avon, after it became clear that her parents weren’t coming home any time soon. The day I found her crying alone in the cafeteria was the day her grandmother had forced her to chop off her dirty dreadlocks, and Lily was not very happy about it. Something about the way she talked, the way she said, “That’s so nice of you,” and “Let’s just forget about it”, charmed me, and we immediately became friends. We’d been inseparable through the rest of high school, and lived in the same room for all four years at Brown College. Lily hadn’t yet decided whether she preferred girlish dresses or rough leather jackets, but we complemented each other well. And I missed her. Because with her first year as a graduate student and my exhausting work, we hadn’t seen a whole lot of each other lately.


Lily was studying for her Ph.D. in Russian Literature at Columbia University and working odd jobs every free second she wasn’t studying. Her grandmother barely had enough money to support herself, and Lily had to pay for the studies on her own. However, she seemed to be fond of such a way of life. She loved Russian culture ever since her eighth-grade teacher told her that Lily looked how he had always pictured Lolita, with her round face and curly black hair. She went directly home and read Nabokov’s “Lolita”, and then read everything else Nabokov wrote. And Tolstoy. And Gogol. And Chekhov. By the time we finished school, she was applying to Brown College to work with a specific professor who had a degree in Russian Literature. On interviewing a seventeen-year-old Lily the professor declared her one of the most well- read and passionate students of Russian literature he’d ever met. She still loved it, still studied Russian grammar and could read anything in its original.


I couldn’t wait for the weekend. My fourteen-hour workdays were registering in my feet, my upper arms, and my lower back. Glasses had replaced the contacts I’d worn for a decade because my eyes were too dry and tired to accept them anymore. I’d begun losing weight already as I never had time to eat properly, although I was drinking an enormous amount of coffee. I’d already weathered a flue infection and had paled significantly, and it had been only four weeks. I was only twenty-three years old. And my boss hadn’t even been in the office yet. I knew I deserved a weekend.


Saturday afternoon found us particularly motivated, and we managed to saunter round the city center for a few hours. We each bought some new clothes for the upcoming New Year’s party and had a mug of hot chocolate from a sidewalk cafii. By the time we made it back to her apartment, we were exhausted and happy and spent the rest of the night watching old movies and eating pizza.

Задание 12 № 806

At the beginning of the Oscar ceremony prizes were awarded


1) to the most famous stars among the winners.

2) to the best director.

3) for the best film.

4) to the secondary members of shooting crews.


It was almost midnight before they got around to giving the Oscars to the really well-known personalities. At first a series of guest stars had awarded the prizes: to the best designer, to the best special-effects man, for the best technical invention for motion pictures during the year, and to all the other people, so unknown outside the industry, but so significant within it.


I looked around the theatre, recognizing most of the weighty faces in the business, but not caring much. You see, I was pretty nervous. Myra Caldwell, whom I had brought to the ceremony, was sitting there beside me, and right across the aisle was Joan Weyland. Now, to get the picture properly, you have to remember that during that particular year Myra had played the sensational supporting role in The Devil Loses and had been called the greatest find in the history of pictures. But that was the same year that Joan Weyland had stolen a big picture called Calumet Centre right out from under the nose of one of the most famous female stars in the industry. The only other actress nominated was not given much chance. Now in a few minutes, they were going to announce who had won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress of the year. It was the hottest Contest and everybody was aware of it. Furthermore, it was no secret that the two leading contestants would be delighted to boil each other in oil — win, lose, or draw. And here they were across the aisle from each other. Do you get why I was nervous?


Then the lights went down. They were going to run short scenes from the pictures for which the actors and actresses had been nominated. The supporting-actress pictures were coming on, and here was Joan Weyland in her grand scene from Calumet Centre. The audience started to applaud as soon as they saw her.


After that they ran a short episode from Whirlwind, showing the other nominee, a refugee actress called Tanya Braden. I had never seen the picture of the actress, and the picture hadn’t made much money, but there was no doubt she could act! She played the star’s mother and she made you believe it.


Then they ran Myra’s big moment in The Devil Loses. After it was over, I tried to guess who had the biggest chance.


“I think I won,” Myra said to me.


The lights went up. The old actor, who had won the Supporting Actor award the year before, came through the curtains and prepared to present the award. I didn’t see how I was going to live through the next few minutes. He got the envelope and began opening it very slowly.

He was loving every second of it, the old man. Then he looked at the little piece of paper.

“The Winner,” he said, then paused again, “is Miss Tanya Braden, for her performance in Whirlwind.”


Well, I’m not too sure about the sequence of events that followed. I don’t remember the applause, because Joan let out a loud cry from across the aisle that drowned out everything else. Then Myra started to cry. I don’t mean cry like the ordinary person, but I mean cry so that the building shook.


Then Joan jumped to her feet and started out, and her mother accompanied her. But I couldn’t do anything with Myra. The show was interrupted and the whole theatre was staring at her. I picked her up and carried her out.


It wasn’t a very pleasant performance, but I think there is some excuse. After all, Joan is 8 years old, and Myra is only 6, and she isn’t used to being up so late. I’m a little on her side anyway. And why not? I’m her father.

Задание 12 № 852

Gabe’s mother thinks that he is


1) lazy.

2) determined.

3) selfish.

4) thoughtful.

A Gifted Cook

If there is a gene for cuisine, Gabe, my 11-year-old son, could splice it to perfection. Somewhere between Greenwich Village, where he was born, and the San Francisco Bay area, where he has grown up, the little kid with the stubborn disposition and freckles on his nose has forsaken Boy Scouts and baseball in favor of wielding a kitchen knife.


I suppose he is a member of the Emeril generation. Gabe has spent his formative years shopping at the Berkeley Bowl, where over half a dozen varieties of Thanksgiving yams, in lesser mortals, can instill emotional paralysis. He is blessed with a critical eye. “I think Emeril is really cheesy,” he observed the other night while watching a puff pastry segment. “He makes the stupidest jokes. But he cooks really well.”


With its manifold indigenous cultures, Oaxaca seemed the perfect place to push boundaries. Like the mole sauces for which it is justly famous, the region itself is a subtle blend of ingredients — from dusty Zapotec villages where Spanish is a second language to the zocalo in colonial Oaxaca, a sophisticated town square brimming with street life and vendors selling twisty, one-story-tall balloons.


Appealing to Gabe’s inner Iron Chef seemed like an indirect way to introduce him to a place where the artful approach to life presides. There was also a selfish motive: Gabe is my soul mate, a fellow food wanderer who is not above embracing insanity to follow his appetite wherever it leads.


Months ahead of time, we enrolled via the Internet in the daylong Wednesday cooking class at Seasons of My Heart, the chef and cookbook author Susana Trilling’s cooking school in the Elta Valley, about a 45-minute drive north to town. In her cookbook and PBS series of the same name, Ms. Trilling, an American whose maternal grandparents were Mexican, calls Oaxaca “the land of no waste” where cooking techniques in some ancient villages have endured for a thousand years.


I suspected that the very notion of what constitutes food in Oaxaca would test Gabe’s mettle. At the suggestion of Jacob, his older brother, we spent our second night in Mexico at a Oaxaca Guerrero baseball game, where instead of peanuts and Cracker Jack, vendors hawked huge trays piled high with chapulines, fried grasshoppers cooked in chili and lime, a local delicacy. Gabe was bug-eyed as he watched the man next to him snack on exoskeletal munchies in a paper bowl. “It’s probably less gross than a hot dog,” he admitted. “But on the rim of the bowl I saw a bunch of legs and served body parts. That’s revolting!”


Our cooking day began at the Wednesday market in Etla, shopping for ingredients and sampling as we went. On the way in the van, Gabe had made friends with Cindy and Fred Beams, fellow classmates from Boston, sharing opinions about Caesar salad and bemoaning his brother’s preference for plain pizza instead of Hawaiian. Cindy told Gabe about a delicious sauce she’d just had on her omelet at her В & В. “It was the best sauce — to die for,” she said. “Then I found out the provenance. Roasted worms.”


The Oaxacan taste for insects, we’d learn — including the worm salt spied at the supermarket and the “basket of fried locusts” at a nearby restaurant — was a source of protein dating back to pre-Hispanic times.


When our cooking class was over I saw a flicker of regret in his face, as though he sensed the world’s infinite variety and possibilities in all the dishes he didn’t learn to cook. “Mom”, he said plaintively, surveying the sensual offerings of the table. “Can we make everything when we get home?”

Задание 12 № 898

The narrator was afraid to enter the hairdresser’s because she


1) had spilt coffee on her white trousers.

2) doubted the qualification of local stylists.

3) was strangely self-conscious.

4) was pressed for time.

Avoidance activity

I am in Birmingham, sitting in a cafe opposite a hairdresser’s. I’m trying to find the courage to go in and book an appointment. I’ve been here three quarters of an hour and I am on my second large cappuccino. The table I’m sitting at has a wobble, so I’ve spilt some of the first cup and most of the second down the white trousers I was so proud of as I swanked in front of the mirror in my hotel room this morning.


I can see the hairdressers or stylists as they prefer to be called, as they work. There is a man with a ponytail who is perambulating around the salon, stopping now and then to frown and grab a bank of customer’s hair. There are two girl stylists: one has had her white blonde hair shaved and then allowed it explode into hundreds of hedgehog’s quills; the other has hair any self-respecting woman would scalp for: thick and lustrous. All three are dressed in severe black. Even undertakers allow themselves to wear a little white on the neck and cuffs, but undertakers don’t take their work half as seriously, and there lies the problem. I am afraid of hairdressers.


When I sit in front of the salon mirror stuttering and blushing, and saying that I don’t know what I want, I know I am the client from hell. Nobody is going to win Stylist of the year with me as a model.


‘Madam’s hair is very th ...’,they begin to say ‘thin’, think better of it and change it for ‘fine’ — ultimately, coming out with the hybrid word ‘thine’. I have been told my hair is ‘thine’ many times. Are they taught to use it at college? Along with other conversational openings, depending on the season: ‘Done your Christmas shopping?’ ‘Going away for Easter?’ ‘Booked your summer holiday?’ ‘You are brown, been way?’ ‘Nights are drawing in, aren’t they?’ ‘Going away for Christmas?’


I am hopeless at small talk (and big talk). I’m also averse to looking at my face in a mirror for an hour and a half. I behave as though I am a prisoner on the run.


I’ve looked at wigs in stores, but I am too shy to try them on, and I still remember the horror of watching a bewigged man jump into a swimming pool and then seeing what looked like a medium sized rodent break the surface and float on the water. He snatched at his wig, thrust it anyhow on top of his head and left the pool. I didn’t see him for the rest of the holiday.


There is a behavior trait that a lot of writers share — it is called avoidance activity. They will do anything to avoid starting to write: clean a drain, phone their mentally confused uncle in Peru, change the cat’s litter tray. I’m prone to this myself, in summer I deadhead flowers, even lobelia. In winter I’ll keep a fire going stick by stick, anything to put off the moment of scratching marks on virgin paper.


I am indulging an avoidance activity now. I’ve just ordered another cappuccino, I’ve given myself a sever talking: For God’s sake, woman! You are forty-seven years of age. Just cross the road, push the salon door open, and ask for an appointment!

It didn’t work. I’m now in my room, and I have just given myself a do-it-yourself hairdo, which consisted of a shampoo, condition and trim, with scissors on my Swiss army knife.


I can’t wait to get back to the Toni & Guy salon in Leicester. The staff there haven’t once called my hair ‘thine’ and they can do wonders with the savagery caused by Swiss army knife scissors.

Задание 12 № 990

Who is Mike Melwill?


1) The founder of a new space program.

2) An American scientist.

3) A highly-qualified astronaut.

4) A man who paid for a space travel.

So far there are only two ways to get into space — you either have to be an astronaut or very rich. Countries such as Russia and the USA have space programs, but you need to be highly qualified and very determined if you want to become an astronaut. Only a few of the thousands of applicants make it through the training and selection program. Alternatively, if you have the money and are fit enough, you may be able to buy a place on the space journey, as the US millionaire, Mike Melwill did in 2004. But soon there may be another way.


Asif Mahsood is a 14-year old Pakistani with big plans. He dreams of getting a job in space, but hopes he doesn’t need to become an astronaut. And the idea is not so fantastic. Many experts believe that the travel industry will be revolutionized during the next decades by the development of space holidays.


Most people know about the space stations that are already circling the Earth. They are used for research and are operated by professional astronauts. But soon a space station could be built for commercial purposes. A holiday in space would not be cheap, but there are probably already plenty of people who would be prepared to pay.


This is where Asif’s dream comes in. He wants to be the manager of the world’s first orbiting hotel. It is likely that rocket ships will provide the transport. They could be launched from the Earth’s surface, or even from a carrier aircraft high in the atmosphere. The space hotel will be designed with a landing platform for the rocket ship. The passengers could then move into the hotel through a large tube connected to the hotel entrance. This would be necessary because there is no gravity in space. However, inside the space hotel there would need to be a system creating artificial gravity, so that guests could move around normally.


Naturally, if hotels are built in space, there will also be new jobs in space. Guests will need all the normal services found in a hotel on Earth, but there will also be some new possibilities. For example, all sorts of recreation activities could be designed to take advantage of the zero gravity conditions in space. Being able to float around a room, bounce off the walls and ceiling would be very attractive for tourists looking for a new experience. Games of three-dimensional football, basketball or volleyball would certainly be very interesting. The hotel would also have telescopes to look out at the universe, and to look back at the Earth below.


A space hotel will need to have other facilities that are not necessary in normal hotels. It would be more like a small city in some ways, with its own hospital, communication system, police force and fire department.


In the meantime, Asif is going to keep studying hard at school so that he can find a job working in one of the big international hotels in Lahore or Karachi. He wants to qualify in hotel management and continue to study business administration. The hotels are much the same, so Asif believes that the best preparation for a job in space will be gaining plenty of experience working in Earth hotels.


The whole idea of hotels in space may sound a little like science fiction, but 30 years ago technology such as mobile video phones and the Internet seemed to be just a crazy dream, whereas today they are a normal part of everyday life, and it is hard to imagine our world without them. 

Задание 12 № 1174

The advice of American doctors is all about


1) ways to reduce negative effect of modern technologies.

2) complex measures that ensure healthy sleep.

3) positive effect of herbal therapy.

4) the process of restoring from unexpected psychological stress

A good night’s sleep — an impossible dream?

Tonight, do yourself a favor. Shut off the TV, log off the Internet and unplug the phone. Relax, take a bath, maybe sip some herbal tea. Then move into the bedroom. Set your alarm clock for a time no less than eight hours in the future, fluff up your pillows and lay your head down for a peaceful night of restorative shut-eye. That’s what American doctors advise.


American sleep experts are sounding an alarm over America’s sleep deficit. They say Americans are a somnambulant nation, stumbling groggily through their waking hours for lack of sufficient sleep. They are working longer days — and, increasingly, nights — and they are playing longer, too, as TV and the Internet expand the range of round-the-clock entertainment options. By some estimates, Americans are sleeping as much as an hour and a half less per night than they did at the turn of the century — and the problem is likely to get worse.


The health repercussions of sleep deprivation are not well understood, but sleep researchers point to ills ranging from heart problems to depression. In a famous experiment conducted at the University of Chicago in 1988, rats kept from sleeping died after two and a half weeks. People are not likely to drop dead in the same way, but sleep deprivation may cost them their lives indirectly, when an exhausted doctor prescribes the wrong dosage or a sleepy driver weaves into someone’s lane.


What irritates sleep experts most is the fact that much sleep deprivation is voluntary. “People have regarded sleep as a commodity that they could shortchange,” says one of them. “It’s been considered a mark of very hard work and upward mobility to get very little sleep. It’s a macho attitude”. Slumber scientists hope that attitude will change. They say people have learned to modify their behavior in terms of lowering their cholesterol and increasing exercise. Doctors also think people need to be educated that

allowing enough time for sleep and taking strategic naps are the most reliable ways to promote alertness behind the wheel and on the job.


Well, naps would be nice, but at the moment, employers tend to frown on them. And what about the increasing numbers of people who work at night? Not only must they work while their bodies’ light-activated circadian rhythms tell them to sleep, they also find it tough to get to sleep after work. Biologists say night workers have a hard time not paying attention to the 9-to-5 day because of noises or family obligations or that’s the only time they can go to the dentist. There are not too many dentists open at midnight.


As one might imagine, companies are springing up to take advantage of sleeplessness. One of the companies makes specially designed shift-work lighting systems intended to keep workers alert around the clock. Shiftwork’s theory is that bright light, delivered in a controlled fashion, can help adjust people’s biological clocks. The company president says they are using light like a medicine. So far, such special lighting has been the province of NASA astronauts and nuclear power plant workers. He thinks that in the future, such systems may pop up in places like hospitals and 24-hour credit-card processing centers. Other researchers are experimenting with everything from welder’s goggles (which night workers wear during the day) to human growth hormones. And, of course, there is always what doctors refer to as “therapeutic caffeine use”, but everyone is already familiar with that.


So, is a good night’s sleep an impossible dream for Americans? Maybe so.

Задание 12 № 1358

The narrator and his companion decided to choose the Cardona ski resort because


1) it was a short distance from Queenstown.

2) they couldn’t find a room at other resorts.

3) somebody said that it was worth going to.

4) it was popular with snowboarders.

Whilst travelling in 2001, I had my first but definitely not last go at snowboarding. Rhona and I went to the Cardona ski resort, a couple of hours from Queenstown in New Zealand. We had been staying in Queenstown for a couple of weeks and had tried a couple of the local ski resorts. They had been so popular, that there was almost no room to stay. The problem for me with this was that with so many people moving around me, my eyes were constantly re-focusing. This meant that I couldn’t see a thing! As I had never snowboarded before, we decided that it was going to be a problem. A guy at one of the local ski rental shops recommended that we should try Cardona.


On arrival I went straight to the Ski Patrol and explained my situation. They suggested that I should wear a vest, that they supplied, with the words ‘BLIND SKIER’ on the front and back on top of my jacket. They told me that this was more for the benefit of the other skiers around me. I must admit, I wasn’t very keen to do this, but thought I would give it a try.


Once onto the slopes, I put my vest on and began to practise my limited skills. Because I have done some other board sports, i. e. skateboarding, surfing, etc., it wasn’t too hard to learn the basics. Once I was comfortable with this, I headed off for the ski lift and the big slopes. As I stood in the queue I could hear people talking about that ‘poor blind guy’. This niggled me a bit, but I decided to try to ignore it. At the top of the lift I stepped off and strapped my feet onto the board.


As we headed off I could hear more people talking about the vest. I was starting to get paranoid. Then as I gathered speed and Rhona would shout directions, I realized that the people who saw the vest were getting out of my way. Fantastic! This was better than a white stick in a crowd. We picked up speed turning left, then right, hitting a few bumps, but mainly going really well. I even managed to control the snowboard. Well, sort of control it. Before I knew it, we had zipped down a long straight slope and had come to the end of the run. The adrenaline was buzzing and I was ‘high as a kite’. What a feeling. I got back on the ski lift and headed back up. This time I was going to do the run solo!


I had memorized the slope from my first run and felt very confident. As I came off the lift, I rushed to get started. Again, I could hear people talking about me, but now it didn’t matter. The vest was a definite benefit for the novice snowboarder! I took the first stage at a steady pace, looking for my first left bend. No problems there. I found that easy enough. I was now looking for my fast approaching right bend. I missed this one completely and ended up in the safety netting at the edge of the run.


At this point, I decided I was not the world’s best snowboarder and would have to take things a little slower. As the day progressed, so did my skills. I had a great time. Even taking ‘air’ on quite a few occasions. However this was not deliberate! I was now very wary about that bend I had missed , so I started to take it a bit earlier. Unfortunately, this meant that I would leap about 2 metres into the air. And what was more surprising than being airborne, was the fact that on half a dozen occasions, (out of about 30), I landed on my feet and carried on downhill. The rest of the time I fell on my bottom. I heard some people comment on how brave ‘that blind guy’ was. Little did they know it was lack of skill rather than bravery.


We boarded at Cardona for two days and had a fantastic time. Because it is a bit of a drive away from most of the tourist places, it is not as busy as the other ski resorts. It is mostly visited by the locals and I think that says something. If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend Cardona. I would also like to thank the Ski Patrol for that great suggestion. Without the vest, I am sure there could have been some crashes, caused by me. But with the vest, everyone just got out of the way. However, I think that if I was to get a vest for myself, it would probably read ‘BLIND&DAFT’.

Задание 12 № 1450

The slave's Russian descendants believe that the slave


1) had Russian royal blood in him.

2) was Peter the Great’s godfather.

3) belonged to the royal family in his native land.

4) was a close friend of the English royal family.

The introduction to a new biography of Gannibal by the Author

Alexander Pushkin was not only Russia’s greatest poet, but he was also the great-grandson of an African slave. The slave, whose godfather was Peter the Great, claimed to have royal blood of his own. Certainly his Russian descendants believed that he was an African prince. His descendants have included members as well as close friends of the English royal family. So the legend goes on.


Pushkin told the story of his black ancestor in ‘The Negro of Peter the Great’, but this biography tells a different version. The main difference is between fact and fiction. The Russian poet hoped to discover a biographical truth by sticking to the facts, only to discover that facts are slippery and not always true. His biography turned into a novel. Even then, it was left unfinished after six and a half chapters. The scrawled manuscript comes to an end with a line of dialogue — ‘Sit down, you scoundrel, let’s talk!’ — and a line of dots. Pushkin could be speaking to himself. In any case, it’s now time to stand up and carry on with the story. I have tried to join up the dots.


This is a book, then, about a missing link between the storyteller and his subject, an African prince; between the various branches of a family and its roots; between Pushkin and Africa; Africa and Europe; Europe and Russia; black and white. It is the story of a remarkable life and it poses the question: how is such a life to be explained?


My own explanation began in 2001, while I was living in Russia and working there as a journalist. The first draft was written during the war in Afghanistan, on the road to Kabul, but it describes my journey to the frontline of a different kind of war in Africa between the armies of Ethiopia and Eritrea. According to legend, Pushkin’s ancestor was born there, on the northern bank of the River Mareb, where I was arrested for taking photographs and compass readings, on suspicion of being a spy. Understandably my captors didn’t believe that I was only a journalist researching the life of Russia’s greatest writer. At the military camp, where I was held for a number of hours, the commandant looked me up and down when I asked, in my best posh English accent, ‘I say, my good man, can you tell me, basically, what is going on here?’ ‘Basically,’ he replied, with distaste, ‘you are in prison!’ The incident taught me something. Journalists, like biographers, are meant to respect facts, and by retracing Gannibal’s footsteps, I hoped to find a true story.


Some of those journeys lie behind the book, and are used whenever it is helpful to show that the past often retains a physical presence for the biographer — in landscapes, buildings, portraits, and above all in the trace of handwriting on original letters or journals. But my own journeys are not the point of the book. It is Gannibal’s story. I am only following him. Descriptions of Africa and the slave trade result from my journeys, but this is not a book about a ‘stolen legacy’, nor certainly about the intellectual wars that have been part of black history in recent years. Biographers, like novelists, should tell stories. I have tried to do this. I should, however, point out from the outset that Gannibal was not the only black face to be seen in the centre of fashionable St Petersburg at that time. Negro slaves were a common sight in the grand salons of Millionaires’ Street and they appeared in a variety of roles, such as pets, pages, footmen, mascots, mistresses, favourites and adopted children. At the Winter Palace, so-called court Arabs, usually Ethiopians dressed in turbans and baggy trousers stood guard like stage extras in the marble wings.

Задание 12 № 1496

The first paragraph implies that the public school


1) was more than just an educational institution.

2) offered the best educational curriculum.

3) had developed close ties with a college.

4) preferred students talented in sports and music.

Keeping busy

The public school in town served a number of purposes. Education, of course, was one. It offered a curriculum in general education, manual education, and preparatory education for college. Its music and sports programs provided entertainment to the school and its patrons. And the school served as an agency of social cohesion, bringing the community together in a common effort in which everyone took pride.


The sports program was the center of gravity of extra-curricular activities. The school fielded junior and senior varsity teams in football, basketball and track. Any young man with enough coordination to walk and chew gum at the same time could find a place on one of those teams. In addition, sports generated a need for pep rallies, cheerleaders, a band, homecoming activities, parades and floats, a homecoming queen and maids of honor, and a sports banquet. It also mobilized parents to support the activities with time and money.


There were any number of clubs a student might join. Some were related to academics, like the Latin Club, the Spanish Club, and the Science Club. Others brought together students interested in a profession, like the Future Farmers of America, the Future Homemakers of America, the Future Teachers of America, and the Pre-Med Club. Still others were focused on service. The Intra-Mural Council, made up of girls (who had been neglected in the regular sports program), organized tournaments in a variety of sports for girls. The Library Club worked to improve library holdings and equipment. The Pep Club organized homecoming activities, parades and athletic banquets.


The Student Council, including representatives from each class, was elected by the student body after a heated political campaign with banners and speeches. It represented student interests to the administration and the school board. It approved student clubs that were formed, helped resolve discipline problems, and played a role in setting codes of conduct and dress. For the most part, it was a docile body that approved the policies of the administration.


The Journalism Club published a monthly newspaper of school news and opinion. It was financed by selling ads to business men in the community.


Another group planned and published the school Yearbook, which was a pictorial record of the student body, the year’s activities, sports, and achievements. The Yearbook staff sponsored a beauty contest, pictured outstanding students selected by the faculty, and a Who’s Who of popular and talented students selected by the student body.


Churches in town, of which there were many, sponsored their own activities for youth; and the community sponsored a recreation center, called Teen Town, for chaperoned Saturday night dances each week. Community and school leaders seemed determined to keep the youth of the town busy and out of trouble. In a small Southern town in the Bible Belt where very few students had access to a car, which had been voted dry and in which no alcohol was sold, they succeeded marvelously well.

Задание 12 № 1542

Because of the father’s job the boy had to


1) visit UK air bases.

2) change home three times a year..

3) often change schools

4) behave as a dreamer.

Lucky Break

For the first ten years of my life my father was in the RAF (Royal Air Force). This meant that he was frequently posted to different air bases around the UK and I, as frequently, changed schools. One year we moved no fewer than three times and each time I tried, in vain, to settle and make friends. For a young child this frequency of change can only have a detrimental effect and I still have school reports stating that I was “lazy” and a “dreamer”.


When I reached ten, my worried parents decided I needed a personal tutor. She turned out to be a kindly and patient old lady who presented me with a large, black book of tests. She made me complete it as a home task and I scored about 20 out of 100. At out next meeting, on a Saturday morning, she went through it with me item by item, until I completely understood each task. She then made me retake the test and of course I got almost every question correct. Then we again moved house!


In our new town I took and failed the 11 plus exam (my excuse was that I was still only ten!) and my prospects looked dim. I was destined to go to the local comprehensive which had a reputation for being quite rough. But also nearby was an ancient public school, set in a castle. This was a place for rich kids only — apart from every year they gave 2 free places to the highest performing local boys (it was a boys only school) in their entrance exam.


My crazy parents decided I should enter the exam. I had as much chance of succeeding as going to the moon — or so I thought. But when I sat down to take the test, a rather familiar black book of 100 tests was placed on the desk!


I did the test and kept quiet and the next term, as a terror struck 11 year old in an ill fitting suit, I arrived for my first day at “the castle”.


Clearly I was going to have problems in this new, intensely academic environment and I did. There were 31 boys in my class and in every subject, despite my best efforts, I finished in the bottom 5 in every test, exam and report.


We were then streamed into “sets” for each subject and I ended up being taught with boys closer to my own ability. I worked really hard and at the end of my third year there, I won my first form prize. I was top of the bottom class! But I was really motivated and in time got “promoted” to higher “sets”. I worked really hard and won prizes every year until I left after A Levels. My grades were all A’s — the highest you can get - and I was offered a place to study at a prestigious university.


So when a certain old Lady presented me with a large black book full of tests, you could say it was my lucky break. Although I would argue that if you work really hard and keep your wits about you — then you begin to make your own luck.

Задание 12 № 1588

We know that children who eat with their parents benefit because they


1) have greater intelligence.

2) show better test results.

3) develop better social skills.

4) learn to speak sooner.


The family meal time is one of the most valuable routines to establish in the life of a family. Research has proved that children who eat at least one meal a week with their families benefit greatly in terms of social skills and acceptance of shared responsibilities. They learn simply and directly through their own experience, the importance of family interaction and the value of close friendship, support and loyalty.


In theory and with practice, a shared meal can be the setting for peaceful conversation and allow each family member the opportunity to talk about his/her day, and possibly to discuss any problems or issues. Successful family meal times are primarily about talking and communication. In the modern age of 24 hour TV, computer games and computer social networking sites — the fact is that it is often easier to eat alone rather than together. Furthermore, if parents fail to establish these routines whilst their children are young it is very hard to implement them when the kids become teenagers. But it is not impossible. There are various strategies available for promoting shared family meals.


It is of first importance that every family member should be made to understand the possible benefits; namely that our lives really can be better in general if we make the effort to communicate more effectively. Next step — a weekly meal together can be set as a realistic first goal. The meal should be quite a tasty and popular one as an inducement to keep the kids away from computers and TV sets!


It is important that shared meals should not be the setting for trying to deal with family disputes. There will always be arguments from time to time — even in the happiest and closest families. But these should be kept away from the dinner table if possible. Parents are encouraged to set the tone by example. Light hearted banter, stories about the day and a joke or two can help set the tone. They can also help by being attentive listeners and appropriate responders. Successes should be marked by congratulation and bad news supported with commiseration. Quieter family members should be encouraged by asking what their opinion is on something, rather than about what they did or failed to do. It makes them feel more important and valued. Sometimes a good start can help a simple family meal go on to be a really enjoyable or even memorable experience.


The next stage in building this routine can be to introduce more days. In our experience the best place to start is Sunday lunch. The second might be to establish Wednesday nights as family meal time. Of course the most important thing is flexibility. This and a bit of effort are required to set up helpful routines but the pay back can be immense for a family.


Dinnertime family routines, especially if established early on, have all kinds of other potential benefits. For example children can be encouraged to prepare one course (possibly on an agreed rota): they might even be encouraged to compete to produce maybe an exceptional soup or a truly sensational desert! This can be good fun.


Once established, family meal routines are also great for developing good table manners and “work” habits. Children can learn to set the table, help with clearing up and generally build good patterns of co-operation with their parents, friends and the people they meet with in daily life.

Задание 12 № 1634

Women pilots from АТА had no instrument training because


1) it was an auxiliary air force.

2) they were not supposed to fly in low visibility.

3) their main job was to deliver Spitfires to airdromes.

4) there was no money for this during the war.

Crash Landing

At that time the people of Britain would have been shocked to know that women were flying their most famous war plane. But the fact is that the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) had over 100 women pilots who delivered more than 300,000 air craft during the war. We had to fly the Spitfires from the factories and deliver them to airfields dotted around the south of England. Normally we would be flying in daylight with good visibility conditions. That is why we were never given instrument training as our instructors told us that with all the restrictions of war time, there was no time or money to spare for this luxury.


Occasionally we had to fly other aircraft — without any kind of additional training at all. Probably some high ranking, non-flying military official somewhere said that all aircraft were exactly the same to fly. Well — I can assure you that this is not true. With unfamiliar aircraft we had ten minutes to read an instruction booklet called the “Ferry Pilot Notes”: And that was it. We had to climb in, fire up, taxi and then take off in completely unknown flying machines.


That particular day, the day I came so close to death, was my twenty first birthday. I had no cake or candles that day and my two friends and myself shared some chocolate— the only luxury available in those days. We drank apple juice, and ate apples and cheese. We entertained ourselves with silly stories. But at one solemn moment we also made a toast to absent friends and remembered the girls who had died delivering aircraft.


In the morning we were driven to the factory and my worst fears were realized. Instead of a lovely new and familiar Spitfire I had a bulky Torpedo bomber. We all hated these as several had crashed without any clear reason why. I was able to take the Ferry Pilot Notes into the canteen and studied them over breakfast. I had a very uneasy feeling in my stomach which had nothing to do with the breakfast I was consuming. I had birthday kisses from the other girls but it only made me feel worse.


At about 111 was given my flight plan and it was time to go. I looked at the sky. There was a strange quality to the light that I didn’t like and I was worried. With no instrument training, fog or mist made flying incredibly dangerous and absolutely terrifying. With a heavy heart I fired up the engine.


Within 20 minutes I was approaching the river Forth. But I couldn’t see the river as clouds thickened up around me. I took the aircraft lower and lower looking for a glimpse of the ground. At one point I was sure that I was virtually at ground level but I couldn’t see a thing. It was too dangerous to continue. I could hear my heart beating even over the roar of the engine.


When it happened — it happened really quickly. The plane hit water. I didn’t see anything. I was thrown against my straps — and then a flood of cold seawater in my eyes and mouth. I was a mile out to sea!


I was certain I was going to die. Funnily enough— I was perfectly calm. I even thought that my ATA insurance payment would really be a big help to my Mother. But then survival instinct kicked in. I was still alive — and close to shore. I had no life jacket or any survival gear but I was a good swimmer. I was certain there were no bones broken and I didn’t have to swim far. I was picked up by a fishing boat that I had narl-owly missed in the fog. And in the end I got a real birthday drink after all — a cup of spiced, dark rum.

Задание 12 № 1680

The first similarity between the narrator’s school and Hogwarts is that both schools are situated


1) far from pupils’ homes.

2) in an unusual school building.

3) not far from London.

4) near a village.

Kimbolton School

I went to school in a large village called Kimbolton in the county of Cambridgeshire. In recent years I have been reminded of my time there by, strangely enough, the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. The first and most obvious reason is that Kimbolton is a castle school; just as Hogwarts is the castle school for Harry and his friends.


Hogwarts is of course filled with ghosts, such as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington — better known as Nearly Headless Nick: But Kimbolton also has a reputation for being haunted and in fact lays claim to a very famous ghost. This is Katherine of Aragon — the first wife of Henry VIII. She was sent there in April 1534 after refusing to accept the legality of Henry’s divorce proceedings. When I arrived there as a first year in September 1971,1 was told that her ghost was often seen — but only from the knees upwards. This, I was told, was because she walked on the original rather than the later modern floors. I am ashamed to confess that at times we set up “ghostly” tricks to scare our friends. These usually involved almost invisible fishing lines being used to “mysteriously” open and close cupboards or move chairs.


There are other comparisons to be made however. In Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School there are four “houses”; Gryfinndor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and the dark house, Slytherin. The four houses being named after famous headmasters of Hogwarts’ past. At Kimbolton we also had four houses named for the same reason. They were called Ingram’s, Bailey’s, Dawson’s and Gibbard’s. As I recall there were no sinister connotations with any house although probably the Slytherin equivalent was Gibbard’s. At the time Gibbard’s was the house for “day boys” who lived at home and travelled to school each day. The other houses were for the “borders” that lived in the castle. The dayboys were nicknamed “day bugs” and the residents were called “border bugs”. I was a day bug.


There were common rooms and detentions which I suppose all schools still have. But few schools, like Kimbolton, have narrow, long corridors lined with portraits whose eyes seem to follow you round! Mind you — none of our paintings spoke to us as they sometimes do at Hogwarts! Kimbolton also has a fantastic staircase in the castle and huge murals by the Italian Rococo painter Pellegrini.


Apart from the castle, ghosts and houses there were other comparisons to Hogwarts. The teachers (who were called masters) also wore black gowns and addressed us only by our surnames. We pupils had to wear suits and ties to school and actually were not allowed to take our jackets off unless the day was exceptionally hot. But there were some fairly important differences too.


Firstly Kimbolton, at the time I was there, was a school only for boys. It has changed since, but then we had no Hermione Grangers to fight against evil with. We played football and cricket rather than Quidditch and took ‘O’ Levels rather than OWLS. That is “Ordinary” Level exams rather than “Ordinary Wizarding Levels”. But still, looking back on it all, I have to say that I, at least, thought the place was rather magical. 

Задание 12 № 1726

Llandudno is described as a


1) fashionable 19th century resort.

2) beautiful growing resort.

3) place where Lewis Carroll lived.

4) place famous for its comfortable hotels.

Прочитайте текст и выполните задания А15–А21. В каждом задании отметьте вариант 1, 2, 3 или 4, соответствующую выбранному Вами ответу.


Llandudno is truly a fine and handsome place, built on a generously proportioned bay and lined along its broad front with a huddle of prim but gracious nineteenth-century hotels that reminded me in the fading light of a lineup of Victorian nannies. Llandudno was purpose-built as a resort in the mid-1800s, and it cultivates a nice old-fashioned air. I don’t suppose that Lewis Carroll, who famously strolled this front with little Alice Liddell in the 1860s, would notice a great deal of change today.

To my consternation, the town was packed with weekending pensioners. Buses from all over were parked along the side streets, every hotel I called at was full, and in every dining room I could see crowds – veritable oceans – of nodding white heads spooning soup and conversing happily. Goodness knows what had brought them to the Welsh seaside at this bleak time of year.

Farther on along the front there stood a clutch of guesthouses, large and virtually indistinguishable, and a few of them had vacancy signs in their windows. I had eight or ten to choose from, which always puts me in a mild fret because I have an unerring instinct for choosing badly. My wife can survey a row of guesthouses and instantly identify the one run by a white-haired widow with a fondness for children, and sparkling bathroom facilities, whereas I can generally count on choosing the one run by a guy with a grasping manner, and the sort of cough that makes you wonder where he puts the phlegm. Such, I felt, would be the case tonight.

All the guesthouses had boards out front listing their many amenities – COLOUR TV, HOSPITALITY TRAYS, FULL CENTRAL HEATING, and the coyly euphemistic EN SUITE ALL ROOMS, meaning private bathrooms. One place offered satellite TV and a trouser press, and another boasted CURRENT FIRE CERTIFICATE – something I had never thought to look for in a B&B. All this heightened my sense of unease and doom. How could I possibly choose intelligently among such a variety of options?

I selected a place that looked reasonable enough from the outside – its board promised a color TV and coffee making facilities, about all I require these days for a Saturday night – but from the moment I set foot in the door I knew it was a bad choice. I was about to turn and flee when the owner emerged from a back room and stopped my retreat with an unenthusiastic “Yes?” A short conversation revealed that a single room with breakfast was for £19.50. It was entirely out of the question that I would stay the night in such a dismal place at such an exorbitant price, so I said, “That sounds fine,” and signed in. Well, it’s so hard to say no.

My room was everything I expected it to be – cold and cheerless with laminated furniture, grubbily matted carpet, and those mysterious ceiling stains that bring to mind a neglected corpse in the room above. There was a tray of coffee things but the cups were disgusting, and the spoon was stuck to the tray. The bathroom, faintly illuminated by a distant light activated by a length of string, had curling floor tiles and years of accumulated dirt packed into every corner. I peered at the yellowy tile around the bath and sink and realized what the landlord did with his phlegm. A bath was out of the question, so I threw some cold water on my face, dried it with a towel that had the texture of shredded wheat, and gladly took my leave.

Источник: Демонстрационная версия ЕГЭ—2013 по английскому языку.

Задание 12 № 1772

According to the author students turn to fast food when ...


1) their schedule is well adjusted.

2) they are short of time.

3) they live close to the campus.

4) they have no willpower.

Shape it up: tips you can follow for a healthier campus diet


Rushing up and down the streets, I often have days when I wonder how I will find the time to eat. This is when it becomes easy for students to turn to fast food. Once you stop living close by or have awkward time gaps between classes, fast food is available at almost every on-campus eatery.


There's no doubt that the university tries to make healthier food readily available. Some cafes have organic foods ready to go and Greenhouse allows students to make almost any kind of fresh salad they can think of. But I have to wonder, why is there so much fast food available? For many students, it's difficult to choose an expensive salad from Greenhouse over a meal from Taco Bell.


To solve the problem of finding healthy food on campus without having to eat salad daily, I do three things: take advantage of meal options I previously disregarded, completely ignore any fast food place and get creative in the dining halls.


First, I take advantage of meal options I had previously disregarded at on-campus restaurants. Being both a vegetarian and interested in a fair-trade diet has made it somewhat challenging to arrange an eating plan while living on campus. With limited options, food gets old fast. I looked closely at menus to see what options I overlooked. On campus, I eat oatmeal and fresh fruit instead of getting smoothies. I try the soup at Greenhouse instead of salad. If I have time in the morning I use an extra swipe and pack a lunch. By including this, I now have something new to eat each day, and I can go an entire school week without repeating a lunch.


As I create a pattern of eateries to maintain a healthy diet without losing interest in the food, it is clear I cannot include every on-campus restaurant in my plan.


This is where my second solution comes in. I have learned to completely ignore fast food. If I linger in front of Panda Express or Sbarro too long, temptation takes over. I started ignoring these places in the middle of fall quarter, and now I can walk by them without a thought. The only way I know to accomplish this is willpower. Of course, that does not mean in any way that you should never allow yourself the occasional visit to these restaurants. Everyone deserves a treat sometimes. I know I can never give up animal-style fries completely.


Finally, I have learned to get creative in dining halls. This can't easily be done outside a dining hall, so it isn't exactly an "on-the-go" solution to eating on campus. Just the same, it can help make meals less boring. I often take a veggie patty and make a wrap out of it, and I use the salad bar to throw on any other toppings I want. I use the microwave to heat up whatever I want in it. If you are a meat lover, you can put the bacon bits from the salad bar or slice a grilled chicken breast to put in soup or pasta.


When living on a college campus, it can be difficult to find a way to eat what you like and what's good for you while trying to avoid a repetitive diet. There are a limited number of options available and the dominance of fast food can be hard to ignore. But if you try out as many places as you can, use willpower and turn on your creativity, you can certainly design your own healthy meal plan that won't feel as if you eat the same thing every day.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Дальний Восток. Вариант 1.

Задание 12 № 1818

How did the author feel about the beginning of her college life?


1) Disgusted.

2) Insecure.

3) Ready for new life.

4) Confident.

Start of college life: how I coped with fear


For the last two years I've been working really hard to pass all my exams successfully and to get accepted to college. And yet college seemed to be the scariest thing that I could think of. Whenever I thought about it, my stomach would immediately begin to spin in circles. Although I was ready to go off and be by myself and meet new people, I was scared to death at the same time. I pictured hard classes that I wouldn't be able to keep up with, people that wouldn't like me, long hikes to get to my classes, and horrible food. I couldn't imagine leaving the security of my own room, my own stuff where I want it, my friends that I've spent practically my whole life with, my family who put up with all my little quirks.


Everyone else that I talked to, however, didn't seem to have this problem. They all were thrilled at the thought of being on their own and not having to worry about their parents telling them what to do or not to do all the time. And, sure, the thought was extremely exciting to me as well, but how would I survive without my family and friends and the things that had taken me eighteen years to get used to?


The summer before I came to college was probably the most fun my friends and I ever had. We all knew that in September things would never be the same again and we had to make the most of it while we still could. As the end of August rolled around we knew that it was time to say goodbye and be on our way to our own independence. I packed up the memories of the last eighteen years of my life into about five suitcases and was ready to go. I still didn't feel like I was just as mature as my older college friends and I thought that I still looked like I was twelve years old.


We finally made it to the doors and began unloading my clothes and the eight million bags of food that my mom had packed for me. I still was unsure about sharing my room and not being able to have the privacy that I had back home. I was worried that the little habits that I had might annoy my roommate and that my roommate might have just as many annoying little habits that I might not be able to handle as well.


After I had all my things unpacked and put exactly where I wanted, my roommate and I decided to go around our hall and see whom we would be living with for the next two semesters. As we went around to different rooms and met different people my nervousness seemed to diminish. I began to realize that not everyone here knew everyone else and most were just as anxious and nervous about being here as I was. It worked. I started to feel better and was actually kind of excited about living here all by myself.


I still miss the security of living at home (and I wonder who would blame me for this feeling) and, most of all, home-cooked meals that are nonexistent here and the friends that I grew up with. But I know that we've all changed and those memories are just that - memories, no matter how pleasant they might be. And when times get too tough, my mom is just a phone call away. But I'm not too quick to call her and have her solve my problems. I've learned that I can usually work things out by myself. I'm glad that I've gone through these changes in myself and it makes me realize that I don't need to fear change, that it's just a part of life that everyone has to go through sometime.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Дальний Восток. Вариант 2.

Задание 12 № 1864

The email letter the author sent to Oxford was meant to be ...


1) regretful.

2) desperate.

3) respectful.

4) mocking.

Why I sent Oxford a rejection letter


A little over a month ago, I sent Oxford a rejection email that parodied the thousands that they send each year. Much to my surprise, it has become a bit of an Internet hit, and has provoked reactions of both horror and amusement.


In my letter I wrote: "I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application. I realize you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview, I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering."


I sent the email after returning from my interview at Magdalen College, Oxford, to prove to a couple of my friends that Oxbridge did not need to be held in awe. One of them subsequently shared it on Facebook because he found it funny.


I certainly did not expect the email to spread as far as it has. Varying between offers of TV interviews and hundreds of enthusiastic Facebook messages, it has certainly been far-reaching. Many of my friends and undoubtedly many strangers were unable to comprehend that I'd sent such an email to this bastion of prestige and privilege. Why was I not afraid of damaging my future prospects as a lawyer? Didn't I think this might hurt my chances with other universities?


For me, such questions paint a picture of a very cynical society. I do not want to study law because I want to be rich, or wear an uncomfortable wig and cloak. Perhaps optimistically, I want to study law because I am interested in justice.


To me, withdrawing my application to an institution that is a symbol of unfairness in both our education and the legal system (which is so dominated by Oxbridge graduates) makes perfect sense, and I am reluctant to be part of a system so heavily dominated by such a narrow group of self-selecting elites.


So, why did I apply in the first place? If you're achieving high grades at A-level (or equivalent), you can feel quite a lot of pressure to "prove yourself' by getting an Oxbridge offer. Coupled with the fact that I grew up on benefits in council estates throughout Bristol - not a type of heritage often associated with an Oxbridge interview -1 decided to give it a try.


It was only at the interview that I started to question what exactly I was trying to prove. I was well aware that fantastic candidates are often turned down, and I did not believe that this was a true reflection of their academic potential.


Although I share concern that not going to Oxbridge gives you a "chip on your shoulder", I did not write to Oxford to avoid the risk of being labeled as an "Oxbridge reject": I already am one. Last year I made an (admittedly weak) application to Cambridge and was inevitably rejected post-interview.


A year ago, I was in awe of the beautiful buildings of Oxbridge, but today I am in awe of the sheer number of people who, like me, have managed to not take it so seriously. Ultimately, I am not harming Oxford by laughing at it, and it is an amazing feeling to realize that so many people are enjoying my email. Actually, I was amazed to know how many people of different ages bothered to read it and even to leave their comments about it in Facebook. I had fun reading some of them, too.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Сибирь. Вариант 1.

Задание 12 № 1910

Dr. Gijbert Stoet claims that women do worse than men at maths because they ...


1) use improper methods in problem-solving.

2) are not encouraged to do the subject.

3) do not believe in their own competence.

4) employ wrong stereotypical techniques.

Women and the maths problem


Women's underachievement in maths may not be due to their poor self-image in the subject, a new report suggests. Researcher Dr. Gijsbert Stoet at the University of Leeds says that the so-called "stereotype threat" theory - which holds that women perform worse than men because they expect to do badly - "does not stand up to scrutiny".


Earlier research had serious flaws, he says, with improper use of statistical techniques and methodology. Clearly, those who carried out this research need to review their own competence in maths. Stoet believes the gender gap may simply be that men and women have different interests from an early age, and says the answer to getting more women into maths and engineering is probably a matter of motivation.


According to last year's results, even though girls perform as well as boys in their maths GCSEs, 60% of A-levels in the subject are taken by boys, who achieve 60% of grade As.


I am an engineer, who has worked in the chemical industry for most of my working career. When I graduated in the 80, I assumed we were at the start of a new era for women in science: I studied alongside intelligent and motivated women, opportunities seemed aplenty, in-roads had been made.


But 20 years down the line, only 8.7% of British engineers are women, the lowest proportion in Europe, compared with 25% in Sweden. So what has happened?


One of the main problems is that careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (known as Stem) are not sufficiently promoted in schools, with fewer children taking up these subjects at GCSE and A-level. Year in, year out, we are told that Britain has a skills shortage. The general lack of interest among schoolchildren in maths and science subjects, together with the underlying social conditioning that still remains - that science subjects "aren't really for girls" - has led to a double-whammy effect, reducing female entrants even further.


Over the past few years, I have been involved in Stemnet, an organization dedicated to promoting these careers by getting people who work in jobs from biologists to builders to talk to schoolchildren about what they do. It's an attempt to debunk the myth that maths and sciences are too difficult or too boring. I was amazed to see hundreds of schoolboys and girls at a recent event at the Science Museum, presenting a range of experiments and projects they had prepared. And the ones prepares by girls were equally challenging and sophisticated.


I agree with the new study that rather than focusing on the problems of stereotyping, we should devote more time to encouraging girls into science and technology: they clearly respond.


But encouraging schoolgirls into university and careers is not all. As is typical in most sectors, I see a number of female engineers at the entry and midlevels of companies, but precious few at the top. This is a huge waste of talent. It also raises the issue of certain professional inequality and a biased attitude towards women. The report has done well to challenge the myths behind women's underachievement in schools, but more work still needs to be done to address the problem of women's lack of achievement in the workplace. At least in the spheres closely related to science and engineering.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Урал. Вариант 1.

Задание 12 № 1956

Which of the following is mentioned among the reasons for poorer sleep?


1) Consumption of drugs.

2) Work for telecom firms.

3) Lack of communication.

4) Work done at home.

Chronic lack of sleep affects one in three British workers


One in three British workers suffers from poor sleep, research shows, with stress, computers and taking work home blamed for the lack of quality sleep. Some employees get fewer than five hours sleep a night, only one in seven feels completely refreshed when they wake and more women have poor shut-eye than men. The alarming findings emerged from a study of self-assessments completed by 38,784 staff working in the UK for firms such as telecoms firm, 02, drugs developer, Quintiles and medical technology manufacturer, Medtronic.


A third were dissatisfied with the amount and quality of their sleep, with 8.4% saying they were "very unhappy" with it, and another 24.4% describing themselves as "unhappy". When asked how they felt 30 minutes after getting up, only 15.5% said "refreshed". Of the others, 3.3% said they were "exhausted", 24% said "unrefreshed" and 57.2% were still "a little tired".


While experts say that everyone should ideally get seven to eight hours sleep a night, only 38.5% of the 38,784 respondents did so. More had between five and seven hours (45%), only a lucky 10% reported sleeping for eight to nine hours and one in 100 enjoyed more than nine hours.


When researchers combined those results to give each respondent an overall "sleep score" out of 100, some 33.8% got a mark of less than 30 — the lowest category. That means someone either has, or is at high risk of developing, a sleeping problem. "This research is telling us that a large number of working adults, one in three in the UK, has a sleeping problem," said Dr Tony Massey, medical director of Vielife, the health and productivity firm that carried out the assessments between 2009 and 2011. "A very concerning number of British workers get too little sleep." Britain is near the top of an international league table for lack of sleep. A Vielife study of 116,452 staff in America found that 23.4% scored poorly for sleep.


The extent of inadequate rest has prompted fears that many people are too tired to do their jobs properly, with some so sleep-deprived their brains are as confused as if they had consumed too much alcohol.


"Too few people practice sleep hygiene," said Massey. "That involves little things that people can do without professional help, like ensuring your room is dark and quiet, getting to bed at the same time every night — just like a two-year-old — reading a book, which is a proven relaxant, and not looking at bright screens, such as the TV or computer, for an hour before you go to bed as that will disturb your sleep."


The growing tendency for employees to do extra work in the evenings and at weekends, which may have risen in the recession, also seems to be linked to poor sleep. "More people are scrunching the golden hour before they go to sleep, and they are paying the price in that their sleep isn't refreshing and they end up in a vicious cycle of fatigue, poor productivity and then feeling that they have to do the same again the next day to compensate," said Massey.


The best guarantee of good quality shut-eye is to work five days a week and sleep seven to eight hours a night. Five-days-a-week staff had the best sleep score, while those getting seven to eight hours a night scored 72.7.


"These are very worrying findings because lack of sleep is a risk factor for a whole range of serious health problems, such as stroke and heart disease," said Massey.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Центр. Вариант 1.

Задание 12 № 2048

Speaking about her vegetarianism, the author admits that...


1) it is the result of her childhood experiences.

2) there were times when she thought she might abandon it.

3) it was provoked by the sight of corpses.

4) she became a vegetarian out of fashion.

Meat eaters — you are daredevils or dumb. Or both.


I am a vegetarian as well as my parents and all my family members. I've been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember. There have been times during my years of vegetarianism when I've wondered if I may indeed grow out of it. I've wondered if there might come a day when I'll put aside my childish aversion to the thought of dead stuff travelling through my intestines, like a corpse on a raft ride.


However, it could never happen, and not because I'm so enlightened, sensitive or any of the other euphemisms for "whining hippie" usually dumped on vegetarians. My conversion to flesh-eating couldn't happen because, frankly, I'm not stupid enough. As in, I can read.


Analysis of more than 6,000 pancreatic cancer cases published in the British Journal of Cancer says that eating just 50g of processed meat a day (one sausage or a couple of slices of bacon) raises the likelihood of pancreatic cancer by a fifth. lOOg a day (the equivalent of a medium burger) raises it by 38%, 150g by 57%. Men are worst hit, as they tend to eat the most processed meat. And while pancreatic cancer is not the most common of cancers, it's frequently diagnosed late, with four-fifths of sufferers dying within a year of diagnosis.


It should be pointed out that this is about processed meat. However, many past studies have stated a probable link between too much meat and all manner of cancers and heart problems, as well as links to other conditions, from diabetes and high blood pressure to obesity and Alzheimer's.


If, by now, you're thinking that I'm out to shock you, then you couldn't be more wrong. I'd be shocked if any of this was considered new enough to shock anyone. This information has popped up regularly for years in all forms of popular media - newspapers and numerous TV and radio programs, to say nothing of the Internet. Indeed, in this era of info overload, if you've never come across the "burgers and kebabs are unhealthy" revelation, one would have to presume you've been lying in a coma.


Sympathy is in short supply these days. You can't move for people being blamed for their own miserable situations: smokers who "burden" the NHS; alcoholics who don't "deserve" liver transplants; obese people who "should" pay more for flights. By this logic, people who've been regularly informed of the dangers of meat, particularly the cheap processed variety, but who continue to wolf it down should be held just as accountable.


Yet if these meat eaters are mentioned at all, it's in general poor lifestyle terms, as an afterthought to drinking, smoking, and lack of exercise. You just don't get people making emotional pronouncements about bacon lovers not deserving cancer treatment or kebab fans burdening the NHS.


It's not as if they haven't been warned countless times about the dangers -how willfully ill-informed can people be? Or maybe they're just hard. In fact, when I say I'm not dumb enough to eat meat, I should probably add brave enough. With so much frightening information, so readily available for so long, the modern committed carnivore must have nerves of steel. And yet, we should admit it, meat eaters still predominate and even grow in number. Must all of them be deaf and blind, and immune to a general sense of self-safety?

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Сибирь. Вариант 2.
Пояснение · · Видеокурс ·

Задание 12 № 2094

The fears of the users about the «millennium bug» were ...


1) overestimated.

2) suppressed.

3) unrealistic.

4) justified.

The Difference Engine: No more addresses


REMEMBER the panic over the "millennium bug", when computers everywhere were expected to go haywire on January 1st, 2000, thanks to the way a lot of old software used just two digits to represent the year instead of four? Doomsters predicted all sorts of errors in calculations involving dates when the clocks rolled over from 99 to 00. In the event, the millennium dawned without incident. That may have been because of the draconian preparations undertaken beforehand. Or perhaps, as many suspected, the problem was grossly exaggerated in the first place, as it often happens. Certainly, the computer industry made a packet out of all the panic-buying of new hardware and software in the months leading up to the new millennium. And who would blame them for this? Business is business.


Well, something similar is about to happen in the months ahead. This time, the issue concerns the exhaustion of Internet addresses — those four numbers ranging from 0 to 255 separated by dots that uniquely identify every device attached to the Internet. According to Hurricane Electric, an Internet backbone and services provider based in Fremont, California, the Internet will run out of bulk IP addresses sometime next week — given the rate addresses are currently being gobbled up.


The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will then have doled out all its so-called "slash-eight" blocks of addresses to the five regional Internet registries around the world. In turn, the registries are expected to have allocated all their remaining addresses to local network operators by October at the latest. After that, any organization applying for new addresses will be told, "Sorry, none left".


The issue is real and has been a long time in the making. The Economist first warned about it ten years ago. The problem concerns the address space of the existing version of the Internet protocol (IPv4), which is only 32 bits wide. The total number of binary addresses possible with such an arrangement is 4.3 billion. Back in the 1980s, when the Internet connected just a couple of dozen research institutes in America, that seemed like a huge number. Besides, the Internet was thought at the time to be just a temporary network anyway.


But with the invention of the Web in 1990 came an explosion in popular demand. It was soon clear that it was only a matter of time before the Internet would exhaust its supply of addresses. Work on a replacement for IPv4 began in the early 1990s, with IPv6 finally being made available around 1998. By giving the new internet version an address space of 128 bits, the designers pretty well guaranteed that it would not run out of unique identifiers for decades, or even centuries, to come.


Two raised to the 128th power is an astronomical number. That will come in handy when the "Internet of things" becomes a reality. Already, some two billion people have access to the Internet. Add all the televisions, phones, cars and household appliances that are currently being given Internet access — plus, eventually, every book, pill case and item of inventory as well — and a world or two of addresses could easily be accounted for. And yet, the solution of any problem begins with its verbalization. We are forewarned and it means — forearmed.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Урал. Вариант 2.

Задание 12 № 2278

Paragraph 1 says that people ...


1) tend to ask strange questions about climate change.

2) think that the climate is not changing.

3) doubt that climate change is man-made.

4) believe that in medieval times climate was harsh.

Do you believe in climate change?


This may seem like an odd question for a climate scientist to ask, but it is one I am constantly asked now. The typical discussion starts: "I know that the climate is changing, but hasn't it always changed through natural cycles?" Then they will often give an example, such as the medieval warm period to prove their point.


Those asking the question include a wide range of people I meet in the pub, friends, politicians and, increasingly, even some of those active in sustainable development and the renewable energy businesses. What I find interesting is that I have known many of these people for a long time and they never asked me this before.


Recent studies show that public acceptance of the scientific evidence for man-made climate change has decreased. However, the change is not that great. The difference I find in talking to people is that they feel better able to express their doubts.


This is very hard for scientists to understand. The scientific evidence that humanity is having an effect on the climate is overwhelming and increasing every year. Yet public perception of this is confused. People modify their beliefs about uncomfortable truth, they may have become bored of constantly hearing about climate change; or external factors such as the financial crisis may have played a role.


Around three years ago, I raised the issue of the way that science can be misused. In some cases scare stories in the media were over-hyping climate change, and I think we are paying the price for this now with a reaction the other way. I was concerned then that science is not always presented objectively by the media. What I don't think any of us appreciated at the time was the depth of disconnect between the scientific process and the public.


Which brings me to the question, should you believe in climate change? The first point to make is that it's not something you should believe or not believe in -this is a matter of science and therefore of evidence - and there's a lot of it out there. On an issue this important, I think people should look at that evidence and make their own mind up. We are often very influenced by our own personal experience. After a couple of cold winters in the UK, the common question was: "Has climate change stopped?" despite that fact that many other regions of the world were experiencing record warm temperatures. And 2010 was one of the warmest years on record. For real evidence of climate change, we have to look at the bigger picture.


You can see research by the Met Office that shows the evidence of man-made warming is even stronger than it was when the last report was published. A whole range of different datasets and independent analyses show the world is warming. There is a broad consensus that over the last half-century, warming has been rapid, and man-made greenhouse gas emissions are very likely to be the cause.


Ultimately, as the planet continues to warm, the issue of whether you believe in climate change will become more and more irrelevant. We will all experience the impacts of climate change in some way, so the evidence will be there in plain sight.


The more appropriate questions for today are how will our climate change and how can we prepare for those changes? That's why it's important that climate scientists continue their work, and continue sharing their evidence and research so people can stay up to date - and make up their own minds.

Источник: ЕГЭ по английскому языку 06.06.2013. Основная волна. Центр. Вариант 2.

Задание 12 № 2370

The email letter the author sent to Oxford was meant to be …


1) desperate.

2) respectful.

3) mocking.

4) regretful.

Why I sent Oxford a rejection letter



A little over a month ago, I sent Oxford a rejection email that parodied the thousands that they send each year. Much to my surprise, it has become a bit of an Internet hit, and has provoked reactions of both horror and amusement.


In my letter I wrote: "I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application. I realize you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview, I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering."


I sent the email after returning from my interview at Magdalen College, Oxford, to prove to a couple of my friends that Oxbridge did not need to be held in awe. One of them subsequently shared it on Facebook because he found it funny.


I certainly did not expect the email to spread as far as it has. Varying between offers of TV interviews and hundreds of enthusiastic Facebook messages, it has certainly been far-reaching. Many of my friends and undoubtedly many strangers were unable to comprehend that I'd sent such an email to this bastion of prestige and privilege. Why was I not afraid of damaging my future prospects as a lawyer? Didn't I think this might hurt my chances with other universities?


For me, such questions paint a picture of a very cynical society. I do not want to study law because I want to be rich, or wear an uncomfortable wig and cloak. Perhaps optimistically, I want to study law because I am interested in justice.


To me, withdrawing my application to an institution that is a symbol of unfairness in both our education and the legal system (which is so dominated by Oxbridge graduates) makes perfect sense, and I am reluctant to be part of a system so heavily dominated by such a narrow group of self-selecting elites.


So, why did I apply in the first place? If you're achieving high grades at A-level (or equivalent), you can feel quite a lot of pressure to "prove yourself' by getting an Oxbridge offer. Coupled with the fact that I grew up on benefits in council estates throughout Bristol - not a type of heritage often associated with an Oxbridge interview -1 decided to give it a try.


It was only at the interview that I started to question what exactly I was trying to prove. I was well aware that fantastic candidates are often turned down, and I did not believe that this was a true reflection of their academic potential.


Although I share concern that not going to Oxbridge gives you a "chip on your shoulder", I did not write to Oxford to avoid the risk of being labeled as an "Oxbridge reject": I already am one. Last year I made an (admittedly weak) application to Cambridge and was inevitably rejected post-interview.


A year ago, I was in awe of the beautiful buildings of Oxbridge, but today I am in awe of the sheer number of people who, like me, have managed to not take it so seriously. Ultimately, I am not harming Oxford by laughing at it, and it is an amazing feeling to realize that so many people are enjoying my email. Actually, I was amazed to know how many people of different ages bothered to read it and even to leave their comments about it in Facebook. I had fun reading some of them, too.

Источник: Демонстрационная версия ЕГЭ—2014 по английскому языку.

Задание 12 № 2416

Suzie’s mom


1) had had over a thousand allergic reactions to animals throughout her life.

2) was allergic to people as well as animals and other living things.

3) always had an emotional reaction to Suzie's multiple questions about pets.

4) didn’t allow pets because Suzie and her little brother had allergies too.

The Sea Monkeys

More than anything else, Suzie wanted a little puppy to cuddle, play with and take on long walks. In short, she wanted a pet, but the problem was her mom.

"Why can't I have a dog?"

"Suzie, you know we've been through this a thousand times. I have allergies to animals, and that means no pets."

Suzie knew it was true. Not only did her mom have severe allergies to animals, she was also highly allergic to practically everything that existed, including her daughter when she asked this question a million times a day.

"What about your baby brother, isn't he more fun than some silly dog?" Her mom offered in consolation.

Suzie did not agree. To her, her infant brother was a disgusting smelly little thing that did nothing but cry all day long. Before he was born, she’d had hopes of dressing him up in funny little costumes and playingwith him all day, but he turned out to be no fun at all. He couldn't even crawl!

"Why can't I at least have a fish?" She demanded. "You aren't allergic to fish, are you?"

"No, I'm not. There's so much trouble, though. You have to change the water every so often and clean the tank.”

By this time Suzie had practically given up hope and plopped down on her bed in despair. Gloomily, she picked up a Spider-Man comic on her bedside table. Her mom didn't approve of her comic books but she didn't care. She liked them much more than My Little Pony or Strawberry Shortcake, which the other girls in her class liked. She especially liked them because her mother didn't, and felt she was getting revenge for not being able to get a pet.

What caught her eye, however, was an advertisement in the back of the book for something called ‘sea monkeys’. The caption read: "Enter the wonderful world of amazing live sea monkeys. Own a bowlful of happiness  —  instant pets!" In the picture was a smiling family of sea monkeys who looked more human than monkey but with funny heads and tails. The ad promised that they were "eager to please" and could be trained for tricks. The best part though was that they only cost $5. Suzie had that much left from her last birthday. She decided to send off for them without telling her mom.

A few weeks later the parcel arrived. Inside, there was a small plastic aquarium and two little paper packets, one labeled ‘eggs’ and the other ‘food’. She filled the tank with water, sprinkled the eggs over the top and waited. Nothing happened. She put them in the back of her closet behind her clothes and tried not to think of them for the rest of the day.

The next day she pulled them out and saw to her surprise tiny little things swimming around, like specks of dust. They looked nothing like the playful sea monkeys in the ad.

Over the weeks, they grew a bit more. Once she decided to put them on the windowsill in the sunlight to get a better look at them. Her disappointment was terrible when she finally understood they were just tiny worm-like creatures. At that moment, her mom walked into the room.

"What is that?" She exclaimed in surprise, then broke into a smile. "Sea monkeys! I had these when I was your age. I didn't even know they still sold them."

"But Mom, they don't look like monkeys at all!" Suzie said in dismay.

"No, silly, they aren't real monkeys, they're a kind of specially modified shrimp, but they're still fun and not any trouble at all to keep", her mom replied.

Susan soon got over her initial disappointment and even grew to love her new pets, which were certainly more fun than having no pets at all and especially more entertaining than her baby brother!

Задание 12 № 2463

Which of the following was NOT the reason why Polina didn’t want to move to


1) She was afraid of doing badly at school.

2) She didn't want to part with her friends.

3) She was reluctant to change her lifestyle.

4) She was afraid of Texan climate.

Lost in the Heat

Polina didn't want to move to America. At the age of 12, she was very set in her ways and did not welcome change. She had a group of friends whom she had known since nursery school and enjoyed hanging out with. She also could hardly speak any English, so she doubted she would be able to make any new friends.

Her father was selected to be a Russian representative for the International Space Station project to NASA. They were moving to Houston, Texas, for a year. First, she imagined Texas to be desert with cowboys riding around on horses. When she found out that Houston was a big city, however, she imagined skyscrapers.

The reality turned out completely different.

Nobody actually lived in the city. It was surrounded by many suburbs, which were really just small towns. They lived in a suburb called Katy, in a neighborhood with houses that all looked the same as if stamped out by identical cookie-cutters.

She had really been afraid of the heat. On the big wall map they had in Moscow she had seen that Houston was the same latitude as Africa. But now she barely noticed it because of the blasting freezing air-conditioning everywhere: in the car, in every store, and at home. Every time she stepped outside, however, she was assaulted by the overpowering heat.

Her parents were off at work, so she found herself alone most of the time. She tried watching TV but couldn't understand anything. She thought about chatting with her friends back in Moscow, but then remembered that it was the middle of the night on account of the time difference.

That was when she decided to go for a walk. She knew it would be scorchingly hot, but she felt suffocated sitting inside. So she lathered up with sunscreen, laced up her sneakers and went outside.

The full force of the heat was like a blazing furnace. But after a while she got used to it. She walked along the street, thinking about how strange it was here. In Moscow, everyone lived in apartment buildings with courtyards. In the summer, there would be lots of people out strolling, enjoying themselves. Here she didn't see a single person. An occasional car passed by but that was it.

She kept walking aimlessly until she stumbled upon a highway. To her left, there was a field with cows. Beyond this small oasis of country life, other housing communities were visible in the distance, mirroring the one she lived in. Further down the highway was a small convenience store. She was thirsty so she walked there to get a drink.

When she opened the door, she felt frosty relief from the heat. The cashier looked up, smiled and said,

"How’re you doing? It sure is a scorcher today ain't it?"

Polina had no idea what he was talking about, so she just stared at him.

"What's wrong, little darling, cat got your tongue?" he asked, but she just paid and left.

She didn't notice which direction she was going and ended up in a neighborhood she assumed was hers. Everything looked familiar. It was only when she couldn't find her house that she knew she was totally lost. She was sweating and feeling dizzy and when everything started going black, she remembered the cows. She should have looked for the field with cows to get back. That was her last thought...

When she woke up, she was lying in a hospital bed. Her mom and dad were there.

“What happened?” she inquired.

A nurse didn't understand the language, but guessed her question.

"You're lucky to be alive little lady, you had a heat stroke. Guess you know now why people don't go on walks in the Texas heat!"

Задание 12 № 2539

According to the author, Internet changes people because …


1) it adds lots of friends.

2) it helps to create new communities.

3) they spend too much time online.

4) of the amount of information it provides.



Internet is one of the greatest tools we have today. Billions of bits of information, unlimited ways to connect, games to play, videos to watch, things to learn. There’s something for everyone. We Facebook, tumble, stumble, and tweet more now than ever. Social media is connecting us in incredible ways. You can create communities of like-minded people that would never meet before on the Internet. But, due to this, we are spending copious amounts of time on the World Wide Web, and it’s slowly changing who you are as a person.

I went for a long period of time where I didn’t read a book. I finally got around to picking up a few new books and as soon as I started reading them, I struggled. I couldn’t hold concentration like I used to. I would read a whole paragraph with my mind elsewhere or had this constant anxious feeling to do something else, even when there was absolutely nothing else to do. My mind would jump from one thought to another and I barely could read a chapter in one sitting. A talked to a few people about this, and I even looked to the trusty Internet for my solution. I found that I’m not alone, many people report the same type of concentration shift. The reason for this is the information overload via Internet.

We take in 34 gigabytes of information each day now. That is 5 times more than we did 20 years ago. There is so much going on in our minds that we rarely spend any time on one particular bit of information because there is always something new and more intriguing just around the corner. When we land on a webpage, we spend the average of about 50 seconds, if that, and know that there are at least 5 other links we can click on the page. We can still concentrate, but our minds would much rather be focused on a series of things, not one thought.

Not only is it altering our concentration on reading long works, but it’s changing “how” we read. We no longer read; we skim. This is our way of adapting to this information overload. It would take too long to process all this information and we don’t need everything. We sift through the information and get to the main point or relevant material.

The way things are written online is changing for us as well. For anyone who has written a blog post, it’s a much different style of writing compared to novels and even newspaper articles. The things we read online are as clear and concise as possible. Adjectives are a thing of the past. The information is usually already condensed for you, and is separated into neat headlines that make it easy to scan the page in a few seconds. We don’t focus on comprehension anymore, we know what we’re looking for and we find it quickly.

The way we are reading things is just the start, the way we are thinking is changing too. Before, we had calm linear thoughts, one thing led to another. Now, our thoughts are jumping back and forth between so many things. We have one thought, which leads to four or five other non-related thoughts, and then some time later we return to the original thought. This is a direct result of our attention being focused on so many things for so little time on the web. There is always a link that can take us somewhere new and start a new train of thoughts.

We’ve developed a much more fluid way of thinking. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s making us more creative. You are much more efficient at combing and filtering through ideas, which in essence is what inspiration is. Linear thought is very organized and does not leave room for new ideas.

So, the Internet has become an essential part of our daily lives. But it’s also important to disconnect for a while and to take care of your body and mind. Create a balance of time online and in the real world, so you can reap the positive cognitive abilities the Internet is giving you and avoid forming an unhealthy set of habits that will cost you later in life.

Источник: ЕГЭ по ан­глий­ско­му языку 24.04.2014. До­сроч­ная волна. Ва­ри­ант 1.

Задание 12 № 2585

According to the author travelling helps you …


1) learn new skills.

2) see the world.

3) understand yourself.

4) enjoy the life.



I’ve spent the last year wandering around the globe and exploring this wondrous thing called life. Through 26 flights, I’ve managed to circle the globe twice, and touch 5 of the 7 continents. It’s been an incredible experience. The journey led me from scuba diving for a month in Thailand to hitchhiking in African country. I’ve learned about the world and myself more than any book, teacher or person could tell me.

I’ve learned that the timing will never be perfect because rarely are we blessed with the perfect time to do something. When I was planning on leaving to travel for a year, it was never the “right time” when everything was going to be put on hold for my travels. I needed more money, or I would lose my job. I realized that I was never going to be “ready” to drastically change my life, as I was always going to have some new commitment or excuse. So I left at the “wrong time” in life and it turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. But once I got sick of missing out on things I wanted to do and see, I started to just do them anyway.

I’ve also learned that friendships are everything. I heard this one a lot before, but never really believed it that much. When I started looking back on my travels, I started to think “Wow, I’ve seen a heck of lot of cool places”. I tried to think back to my favorites, which ones did I enjoy the most? They were always the ones where I had the best friends and really had nothing to do with where I was. The people around you contribute a great deal to your overall happiness. It was only when I had no friends that I realized their importance.

When travelling, you have complete freedom to literally do anything you want. You can relax everyday on the beach, you can be alone every day in your room, you can eat ice cream for breakfast every day, and you can drink all the time. This freedom can be quite liberating, but many people have a tough time balancing the party/drinking/vacation aspect with truly seeing and experiencing each country, because you have no responsibilities and no one around to tell you when you can’t do something. I too fell into a similar kind of trap. I indulged in so many aspects of life. I took everything to the extreme until it had lost its excitement. I realized that balance was the key.

Another lesson I have learned is that life doesn’t have to be “normal”. Go to school, get a job, or buy a big house. When anyone strays from this path they are considered to be not “normal”. It’s only when I started traveling that I saw that a fulfilling and happy life isn’t always a respectable job, with a big house and lots of money. I began to meet interesting characters from all over the world and saw firsthand how they had gone “against the grain” and succeeded. There are tons of other ways to live a fulfilling and happy life, but most of us have only seen the “big house” scenario. I saw and experienced how happy people are doing something completely different than normal jobs, because they get to wake up every day and do what they want to do in the place they want to be.

So, while travelling I realized that you can read about things, watch them on TV, or hear stories from a friend, but nothing comes close to first-hand human experience. You get a whole new perspective on what really matters and you feel this sense of adventure and excitement that reminds you just how many possibilities you have in life. To anyone who has not travelled, do it. And to those who have, continue to do so. It will teach you more about yourself and the world around you than you could ever imagine.

Источник: ЕГЭ по ан­глий­ско­му языку 24.04.2014. До­сроч­ный экзамен. Ва­ри­ант 2.

Задание 12 № 2682

What problem is raised in the article?


1) Cooperation in space.

2) Threats of climate change.

3) Danger of drinking salt water.

4) Lack of water supplies on Earth.

Space could solve water problems


Have you ever tasted saltwater? I guess you have and if so, you will agree with me that it’s not very refreshing. In fact, drinking more than a few cups worth can kill you.

According to the United States Geological Survey, whose mission is to collect and disseminate reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand the nation’s water resources, about ninety-seven percent of the water on our planet is saltwater; the rest is stored in lakes, rivers, glaciers and aquifers underground. Moreover, only about one-third of the world’s potential fresh water can be used for human needs. As pollution increases, the amount of usable water decreases.

Water is the most precious and taken-for-granted resource we have on Earth. It is also one of the most threatened resources. Increased population and possible climate change will put more and more strain on supplies of this vital resource as time goes on. What could we do in this situation? Though it may seem like science fiction, the solution could lie in outer space.

I’m not saying we’re going to be teleporting to a spring on the other side of the galaxy or colonizing another planet just to have longer showers – it’s much more mundane than that. What we could achieve realistically in this century is the successful use of the solar system’s rare metals and water, barring the invention of the matrix.

You may be surprised to learn that the metal in your keys, coins, cell phone, computer, car and everywhere else, originally came to this planet from space. When Earth formed, the heavy metals sank to the center and formed a solid core. The lighter elements formed the mantle and the crust we live on. Asteroids and comets that struck the Earth brought water and metals to the surface.

There are thousands of asteroids orbiting near Earth. Most asteroids are made of rock, but some are composed of metal, mostly nickel and iron. Probes could be sent out to these to identify useful ones. Then larger probes could push them towards the Earth where they can be handled in orbit.

In order to fuel ships and probes, we simply need to find a source of water, such as a comet or the surface of the moon. We collect the water and pass an electric current through it from a solar panel. The water separates into oxygen and hydrogen, which in liquid form is a powerful rocket fuel.

Is this really possible? We may soon find out. Private company SpaceX has already started delivering equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is proof that countries once at each other’s throats, like America and Russia, can work together and pull off multi-billion dollar projects.

Recently, a company called Planetary Resources Inc. made the news for getting big names like Google and Microsoft to invest in exploring asteroids for material gain. Although it will take many decades, it is wise to put the gears in motion now.

We’ve already landed probes on the surface of asteroids and taken samples from them. We can put something as large as the ISS, which weighs just short of 500 tons, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in orbit.

We can make a half-million-mile round-trip to get rocks from the moon. We can do all of these things already. They just need to be applied and developed in a smart way.

Источник: Де­мон­стра­ци­он­ная версия ЕГЭ—2015 по ан­глий­ско­му языку.

Задание 12 № 2918

All over the world people think that tea ceremony in England is


1) similar to tea ceremony in China.

2) connected with the cult of food.

3) is conducted in a formal style.

4) the same as it was in the 18th century.

Why The English Love Drinking Tea


Ever since the 18th century, tea time has been an integral part of English life. People from other countries have a set idea of what English tea time means: smart dresses, delicate finger foods, and hot tea all served on the best china.

This is not a passion that England shares with most of the rest of the world, where coffee is almost universally more popular than tea. In fact, the per capita consumption of tea in the United Kingdom is 12.85kg per year, which is almost three times as much as in Morocco which comes in second place at 4.34kg per year. This per capita consumption is even higher if you looked at England (one of 4 countries in the United Kingdom) on its own. Perhaps surprisingly, in Japan the popularity of tea has been suffering a slight decline since the start of the new millennium.

During the early 1700s the British East India Company began growing tea in the newly conquered Indian territories on an industrial scale using cheap labour and conquered land. The massive scale of tea production in India, the majority of which was sent straight to England, sent the price of tea plummeting. Suddenly, what was once a rare treat for the wealthy became an affordable product which ordinary British people could enjoy on a regular basis. Not only that, but sugar was just starting to become more affordable for ordinary people as well. As a result of this, tea became a powerful symbol of the benefits of Empire for the ordinary English citizen.

It is one thing to understand why the English first started drinking so much tea, but that doesn't really explain why we continue to do so some 300 years later. My own personal opinion is that one of the biggest reasons behind our continuing love affair with tea is because we find tea comforting. Its familiarity is like a cosy comfort blanket to us, and the long tradition of tea drinking provides a calming ritual with which to punctuate the day.

At times of stress, grief or hardship it is not uncommon for the first response of an English person to be 'making a nice cup of tea'. The sheer familiarity of the ritual serves to centre you, diminishing the pressing concerns of the moment by making them seem small in comparison to such a long and often repeated tradition.

Being an Englishman, I prefer drinking tea with milk. Debate continues whether to put milk in the cup before or after pouring tea. Originally milk was always added before tea to prevent hot tea from cracking the fine bone china cups. Tea experts agree with this tradition but also state that tea needs to be left in the water on its own for the flavour and colour to develop and a splash of milk should be added later.

Tea itself seems to have calming properties, and it most certainly has a range of proven and suspected health benefits. Although many English people actually drink more tea than is strictly good for them, it cannot be denied that in moderate quantities (4 cups per day is usually said to be ideal) tea drinking has a remarkable range of health benefits. Studies have shown that drinking three to four cups of tea per day reduces your risk of having a heart attack, as well as protecting you from a range of degenerative heart conditions. Although the link has not yet been fully proven, several studies have suggested that tea drinking may help to prevent a range of different kinds of cancer, including lung cancer.

Задание 12 № 2962

What kind of a phone does the author want her children to have first?


1) An old-type phone.

2) A modern phone.

3) Something like her “old” phone.

4) Something like her parents’ phone.

The lure of the screen

I used to tell my parents that the first cell phone I will allow my own children to have will be a flip phone, incapable of Internet access and certainly without the ability to use “apps.” I argued that their first phones would have only the capabilities of my first phone – texting and calling – used primarily to contact their parents, and once in a while classmates to ask about homework. Isn’t it primarily what we think kids need phones for?

It took me a while to realize how impractical this was because if the first piece of a given technology that I possessed had been the same as my parents’, I would have been walking around with a cassette player in a world of iPods (incidentally, I loved my Sony Walkman CD player).

So maybe it was a little ridiculous for me to suggest this, but I think my point was (and is) valid. I look at young kids today and see that they’re as attached to mobile devices as their adult counterparts. It has come to the point where kids would rather sit inside and play games on their parents’ (or their own) iPads than go outside and play hide-and-seek, or catch, well, do anything.

And while I recall my parents telling me to drop the Legos or even the PlayStation controller and head outside, I, unlike these children, often actually did it, and when I didn’t, at least I was capable of breaking away to utter a response.

Today, however, youngsters are becoming so attached to technology at such a young age, as young as 3 or 4, that they are forgetting – if they ever learned in the first place – how to have fun without an iPad – literally.

In April, The Telegraph quoted North Ireland teacher Colin Kinney, who said his colleagues, “have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone.”

Kinney goes on to say that the “brilliant computer skills” these children possess is “outweighed by their deteriorating skills in pen and paper exams because they rely on instant support of the computer and are often unable to apply what they should have learned from their textbooks.”

It is true that we are moving into a world in which the ability to understand the language of computer coding is more important than the ability to read and write cursive. This, however, is not an excuse for the extent to which young children have become as addicted (or more so) to their mobile devices as their parents.

LeapFrog, the popular children’s brand is set to unveil a product called the Leap Band; the first wearable tech catered specifically toward children. And although the wristwatch-like product is designed to get kids up and moving, it raises a question for me: How young is too young?

I read that Google is considering allowing online accounts for children under the age of 13 (though giving their parents control over how the service is used).

Because of this cross-generational addiction, this week has been designated as “Screen Free Week” in schools around the country. The week is aimed at getting every member of the family away from computer and device use for just one week and head outside.

For parents, technology is now a dilemma: Give it to their kids at a young age so they are in line with their classmates in terms of computer prowess or withhold it and allow them the gift of social skills … only time will tell, but I fear the former is gaining ground.

Источник: ЕГЭ 05.05.2015. До­сроч­ная волна.

Задание 12 № 3186

According to the author driverless cars will become cheap enough for most people to buy within the following …


1) 8 years.

2) 15 years.

3) 7 years.

4) 20 years.

Driverless cars

Driverless cars are expected to be rolling into the streets within the next 20 years. In fact, they’ve legally been on the roads for the past years, approved for testing purposes. It is predicted that driverless vehicles will be commercially available at a high cost within 7 years, but it may take another 8 years for prices to drop enough to spur mass consumption.

Today, the discussions focus primarily on the shifting of accident liability to manufacturers and all the goodness that comes along with reducing accidents. A truly driverless road would not be accident-free as there would still be a number of accidents caused by mechanical or computer errors, weather conditions, pedestrians and sheer random chance. But it would make the now-routine loss of life on the roads far rarer.

The concept of a “driver” will be replaced with that of an “operator”, who simply programs the vehicle’s GPS to arrive at the desired destination and pushes the “Start” button to begin the trip. Since judgment will no longer be required of the operator, they won’t need a driver’s license. Theoretically, a 10-year-old child could independently take the car to school in the morning.

Computer-operated cars will eventually reshape the car design as things like windshields will become less necessary. Drivers will be able to sit wherever they’d like in their cars. There will be no need for gas and brake pedals as speed will be automatically controlled by the computer. The steering wheel and the turn signal arm can also be eliminated once the public gets used to reliability of these vehicles.

Each passenger will have a personal video display informing about a current location, the distance to your destination, speed and personal entertainment selections. The concept of ‘distracted driving’ will disappear as there will be no reason to pay attention to where you are going.

Vehicle owners will no longer buy collision insurance since manufacturers will be solely responsible for damage. Owners will only need theft insurance and coverage for hail, falling objects or floods. To take this one step further, personal vehicle ownership may dramatically diminish. Car dealers will have lots full of vehicles for hire on a daily or hourly basis instead of vehicles for sale. When you need a car, you’ll summon one using your mobile phone. The closest unmanned vehicle will be dispatched to your home to take you where you need to go. When done, you’ll simply push the button for the unmanned vehicle to drive itself back to the rental lot.

The social and cultural impact of driverless cars could cause far more upheaval than any of us could imagine. Perhaps, it would be even greater than the impact the Internet had on commerce and communication. Obviously, the picture being painted is the one that assumes total adoption, which is far from realistic. You will always have transitional delays caused by the lack of free cars, the longevity of today’s vehicles and cultural resistance.

This resembles the historical factors that affected the transition from horse to the automobile. At the moment, the driverless car seems like a novelty. However, it will open up new prospects. The prospect of flying cars may soon become a reality. With computer-controlled vehicles that strictly follow traffic rules, threedimensional roads become far less scary and more a matter of simply solving the technological challenge.

Where we’re going, we may not need roads at all.

Источник: Де­мон­стра­ци­он­ная вер­сия ЕГЭ—2016 по ан­глий­ско­му языку.

Задание 12 № 3235

Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that oracles


1) were difficult to understand.

2) put hidden messages into dreams.

3) could tell you what your dreams meant.

4) avoided having dreams about the future.


When you fall asleep, you enter a strange and magical world. This is the world of dreams.

In Greek and Roman times, it was believed that gods communicated with people through dreams and that dreams could predict the future. Often these dreams were difficult to understand, so a person known as an oracle would be consulted to interpret the dream. The oracles that could correctly understand the dreams were highly valued since they advised what needed to be done or avoided in the future.

In the 20th century psychologists such as Sigmund Freud developed the theory that dreams express our deepest fears and desires. Therefore, common dreams such as failing a test or being late may simply be an expression of what you are afraid of, while dreams of becoming a millionaire may just express what we wish. However, some dreams might not be so obvious and can be cloaked in symbols that only a trained specialist can interpret. This is actually similar to the oracle mentioned above, only instead of predicting the future the psychoanalyst explained the psychological meaning of a dream.

According to the latest scientific research, dreams are simply random signals that are interpreted by the brain. When we sleep, some parts of the brain are activated, such as the visual centres of the brain, while other parts are deactivated, like those that are responsible for logic, which is why even though dreams are so strange, we don't question them or understand that we are dreaming. A consequence of this theory is that dreams are simply mixed up memories, fears and worries and therefore don't need to be interpreted to be understood.

Some people claim that they don't dream at all. Scientific research has proven this false. When we dream, our eyes move rapidly beneath our closed eyelids. This is known as Rapid Eye Movement or REM. Even animals dream, some even more than humans. Dolphins dream the least, while opossums dream the most. The reason some people don't remember that they were dreaming is that following REM sleep is another stage called deep sleep, where we don't dream. During this stage dreams are forgotten. If people wake up during REM sleep, they remember having dreamt. If they wake up during the stage of deep sleep, they may have the illusion that they did not dream at all.

A new kind of dreaming that has recently been studied is called lucid dreaming. This is a dream where you understand that you are dreaming and can control it. Normally when you are dreaming, the part of the brain responsible for logic is turned off. Somehow during a lucid dream, these logical centres are activated and a person is half-awake and half-dreaming. One of the benefits of lucid dreaming is being able to avoid a nightmare by realizing that it is just a dream. Another positive outcome of lucid dreams is that they are very fun. One of the first things people usually try in a lucid dream is flying, and the thrill of exploring a dream and being able to control it is an unforgettable experience.

Задание 12 № 3296

The main object of the research was


1) the evolution of the human brain.

2) the comparison of human and primate brain.

3) the cues people pay attention to.

4) the human attention network.

The Unique Human Brain

The human brain is selective about the things it pays attention to. Our senses are constantly attacked by smells, colours, tastes, and sounds, and much of that information has to be filtered out, so we can focus on the important things that can keep us alive. But humans aren't the only animals who need to focus on certain signals to stay alive, so what sets us apart?

As it turns out, when humans and macaques focus on the same task their brains work differently, a small study published recently shows. The finding reveals that the human attention network probably expanded over time. And that's a pretty important piece of our evolutionary puzzle – especially given how often scientists use the macaque brain to study our own.

During the test the humans and the monkeys had to memorise a picture, like a green car, for instance. Then, they were told to fixate on a point in the centre of a computer screen. As the monkeys and the humans stared at the point, a stream of images appeared in various parts of the screen at a rate of about 10 objects per second. The goal was to push a button whenever they saw the green car appear.

The data captured during the test showed that the region of the human brain that plays a key role in redirecting attention doesn't have an equivalent in the macaque brain. The researchers also found that some brain areas were more active in humans than in macaques during this task. Finally, there was more communication between the two brain hemispheres in humans compared with the macaques – a finding that researchers think was surprising.

The increased communication doesn't necessarily mean that the way the human brain operates is better, however. Sharing information with other parts of the brain may reduce the speed of certain processes in humans. If that's the case, it may mean that being able to react quickly to a predator's approach, for instance, matters more for macaques. Humans, on the other hand, may have traded speed for some kind of cognitive flexibility.

These differences point to a larger message: humans seem to have developed an additional attention control network over evolutionary time. Contrasting both brains as they perform the same tasks is a good way of reconstructing the evolutionary forces that lead to these differences.

Humans are much more complex in the way they interact socially, so they need a better ability to single out those subtle cues and use that information to guide their future decisions than a macaque would. It's therefore possible that this additional network is used to detect behavioural information that macaques don't need. The study didn't look at social behaviours, however.

The most exciting finding is the fact that there is a clear sign that the human brain has some unique properties that separate it from other primates.

Yet, some scientists claim that the findings can't really discredit the use of the macaque brain model. They believe that here is a wealth of evidence that the macaque is an excellent model for attention research in general. Others point out that the data isn't very detailed.

For the researchers the study shows that there are some aspects of human cognition that we’ll just have to study in humans, instead of monkeys. They hope that this work will push scientists to try to learn more about the macaque brain. Focusing on that could reveal much about what the human brain has done to adapt to its own environment during the past 25 million years.

Задание 12 № 3340

What does the author like about summer holidays?


1) She works at a day camp.

2) She сan have a summer job.

3) She has no school.

4) She does not have to get up early.

Lazy summer days vs. landscapers

Whether you’re a first grader proud of the fact you survived your first year of full-day education or a grad student desperate for a study break, summer vacation means one thing to everybody: sleeping in on weekday mornings. There is no alarm to hit at 6:30 and no bus to chase after. And while days might be filled with summer jobs and day camp, those never seem to start quite as early.

So why is there a conspiracy working against students the minute the final bell rings and the last exam is turned in? And the culprit is visible in any given apartment complex, condo community or public park: landscapers.

I have lived in many towns and in homes of different shapes and sizes in my short, 23 years on Earth. And yet, no matter where I call home, I am faced with the same hardship: trying to sleep in on lazy, summer mornings while the lawn mowers are hard at work on public and private yards.

The townhouse neighborhood I called home when I was a little girl was a jam-packed street. We had more than 250 houses on my block alone. One of the things my mom loved about that house was its tiny yard.

My mother does not have a green bone in her body. She has killed every herb garden my sister and I have ever given her. So my mother was thrilled that our front yard was the size of a postage stamp. It, like every other yard on the block, only needed to be trimmed once a month to look good. And yet, every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m., the city-contracted landscaping team would drive down our street and unload two or three industrial mowers and go to work on the little patches of public grass around mail boxes and trees.

Later, when I moved to Michigan, my family and I lived in a condominium complex our first year. As part of the deal, every yard was landscaped with big bushes and tulip patches. But to keep the yards all looking nice and healthy, the owners had full-time landscapers keep up with the maintenance. My mother was thrilled to have a full garden without worrying about killing each plant one by one.

Never having to before, I was thrilled I didn’t have to mow this new yard that was 100 times bigger than the postage stamp one we had before. But I was not so thrilled when the mowers showed up on Saturday mornings. Saturdays! Were they serious? Mowing every yard on the street starting at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.

As an adult out on my own, I like that apartments don’t come with yards I have to maintain. I am just getting the hang of remembering to buy groceries and having my own mailbox to check. If I had to add watering flowers to my to-do list, I would forget. But what I’m not so thrilled about is that Friday mornings is my building’s scheduled mowing day. I live on the first floor of my building, with no way to muffle the roar of the mower against the side of the building when it is directly outside my window. No sleep for me.

I am not so selfish that I don’t understand why mowers work in the morning. Landscapers have multiple customers to serve on any given day, and the earlier they start the earlier they can be done. Plus, it is cooler in the morning, and preferable, rather than at noon when the sun is high in the sky. But students work hard all year and look forward to a break from books, tests and alarm clocks.

So, in order to find a common ground between landscapers and students, I send this challenge out into the universe: whoever can build a silent lawn mower will get my undying gratitude, love and affection and whatever else they want, I promise!

Источник: ЕГЭ по ан­глий­ско­му языку 08.04.2016. До­сроч­ная волна

Задание 12 № 3543

In the last sentence of the first paragraph the author implies that …


1) the ability to travel anywhere fast requires a universal language.

2) a universal language is needed for effective use of computers.

3) creating a universal language is harder than creating a computer.

4) computers should be used to create a universal language.

Universal Language

Isn't it strange that there is still no language that everyone on our planet understands? Many people say that English is the international language, yet there are many places you can go where English would not be understood. Even though we have sent people to the moon, invented computers and can travel anywhere on earth in a matter of hours, we still have not come up with a universal way to

communicate with each other.

There is a legend that long ago there was only one language. The people at that time, being proud and ambitious, decided to build a tower that would reach up to the heavens. God was not pleased with this, however, and mixed up their language, in the process creating many languages, so they would not understand each other. As a result, they were not able to work together, and so the tower, known as the tower of Babel, was never completed. Inspired by this story, people have dreamed of recreating a single universal language ever since.

For many centuries, Latin was the language that educated people in Europe used as a common means of communication. It was the language of science and education. However, in the 17th century, the German philosopher Leibniz dreamed about constructing a language that could replace Latin. It would be able to mathematically express every thought possible and would therefore be better than any existing natural language. Unfortunately, the project was too ambitious and never completed, and even if it had, it probably would have been too abstract and difficult for people to learn.

Throughout history, there have been times when a particular language is widely used by many different people in addition to their own native languages as an international language. Lingua franca is the term used to describe such languages. Many people think this word refers to French, which was a lingua franca in Europe in the 19th century. In fact, the term refers to a language spoken around the eastern Mediterranean Sea as a language of trade and diplomacy from late medieval times until the Renaissance. It was mostly Italian but mixed with French, Spanish, Greek and even Arabic. In modern times, English enjoys the status of a lingua franca in many parts of the world.

The most successful attempt at creating a constructed language that could be used as a lingua franca has been Esperanto. It was created by Ludwik Zamenhof, a Polish medical doctor in the 19th century. Saddened by the many quarrels and arguments between the different ethnic groups living in Poland at the time, such as Russians, Poles, Tatars, Germans and others, he dreamed of creating a language that could be easily learned by everyone and be used as a neutral tool of communication by people from different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

Esperanto is still around today, but it has failed to become a universal language. One of the reasons is that it is not taught at school except as an experiment in Hungary and China, and so never really caught on. People still study it as a hobby and meet up with other enthusiasts of Esperanto, but the numbers of those who learn it cannot compete with the popularity of English. Although Esperanto failed to attract enough speakers to become a lingua franca people have never given up on the dream and continue to create new international languages such as Interlingua, Ido and others.

Задание 12 № 3587

At the beginning of the article the author reminds that the new media technologies …


1) turn our attention off morals.

2) used to frighten the majority of people.

3) improve human brainpower.

4) could make people less intelligent.

Mind over mass media

New forms of media have always caused moral panic: the printing press, newspapers, and television were all once denounced as threats to their consumers’ brainpower and moral fiber. So too with electronic technologies. PowerPoint, we’re told, is reducing discourse to bullet points. Search engines lower our intelligence, encouraging us to skim on the surface of knowledge rather than dive to its depths. Twitter is shrinking our attention spans.

But such panic often fails basic reality checks. When comic books were accused of turning juveniles into criminals in the 1950s, crime was falling to record lows. The decades of television, transistor radios and rock videos were also decades in which I.Q. scores rose continuously.

For a reality check today, take the state of science, which demands high levels of brainwork. These days scientists are never far from their e-mail, rarely touch paper and cannot lecture without PowerPoint. If electronic media were hazardous to intelligence, the quality of science would be plummeting. Yet discoveries are multiplying like fruit flies, and progress is dizzying.

Critics of new media sometimes use science itself to press their case, citing research that shows how “experience can change the brain”. But cognitive neuroscientists roll their eyes at such talk. Experience does not remake the basic information-processing capacities of the brain. Speed-reading programs have long claimed to do just that, but the verdict was rendered by Woody Allen after he read “War and Peace” in one sitting: “It was about Russia.”

Moreover, the effects of experience are highly specific to the experiences themselves. If you train people to do one thing, they get better at doing that thing, but almost nothing else. Music doesn’t make you better at math. Accomplished people immerse themselves in their fields. Novelists read lots of novels, scientists read lots of science.

The effects of consuming electronic media are also likely to be far more limited than the panic implies. Media critics write as if the brain takes on the qualities of whatever it consumes, the informational equivalent of “you are what you eat”. As with primitive peoples who believe that eating fierce animals will make them fierce, they assume that reading Twitter postings turns your thoughts into Twitter postings.

Yes, the continual arrival of information packets can be distracting or addictive. But distraction is not a new phenomenon. The solution is to develop strategies of self-control. Turn off Twitter when you work and put away your smartphone at dinner time.

And to encourage intellectual depth, don’t rail at PowerPoint or Google. It’s not as if habits of deep reflection or thorough research ever came naturally to people. They must be acquired in universities, and maintained with constant analysis, criticism and debate. They are not granted by propping a heavy encyclopedia on your lap, nor are they taken away by efficient access to information on the Internet.

The new media have caught on for a reason. Knowledge is increasing exponentially; human brainpower and waking hours are not. Fortunately, the Internet and information technologies are helping us manage and search our collective intellectual output at different scales, from Twitter to e-books and online encyclopedias. Far from making us stupid, these technologies are the only things that will keep us smart.

Источник: ЕГЭ — 2017. До­сроч­ная волна по английскому языку

Задание 12 № 3631

The first Star Wars movie came out in


1) 1963.

2) 1966.

3) 1977.

4) 1989.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a British science-fiction TV series that follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien, called the Doctor, and his human companion, as they travel through time and space in a spaceship, called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), and courageously save the world time and time again.

Doctor Who first aired on BBC on 23 November, 1963 and was one of the first science-fiction stories to appear on screen: 3 years before Star Trek and 14 years before the Star Wars franchise. In 1989, due to falling popularity, the show was suspended. But 16 years later, in 2005, it was brought back to the screen with a whole new cast of actors and has been ongoing ever since. It is considered to be the longest running sci-fi show in the world, having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

But how has Doctor Who managed to survive for this long? What sets it apart from other amazing shows that are now over? What makes Doctor Who really unique, is that it does not have to rely on any particular actor to continue. When the Doctor is close to death, he is able to start a biological process within himself, called regeneration, that changes every single cell in his body, while still leaving his mind intact. Essentially, he becomes a different person: new looks, new personality, new everything. But one thing that never changes is his genius, and his sense of humor. This means, that every four years or so, when the actors playing the Doctor decide to move on to different projects and leave the show, the producers can find a new actor to take on the iconic role. So far twelve actors have played the Doctor.

Another reason the show has been running for so long is that there is no main storyline, it is very much episodic, each episode telling a story of a separate adventure. So as long as the writers of the show keep coming up with new planets for the Doctor and his companion to visit, and new alien villains for them to defeat, the show can continue forever.

Doctor Who has an unbelievably huge fan base all over the world, so big in fact, that the 50th anniversary episode aired in 94 countries simultaneously, earning it a Guinness World Record. There is also a large amount of music, inspired by Doctor Who, and since the series's renewal, a music genre called Trock (Time Lord Rock) has appeared. The most famous Trock band is Chameleon Circuit. They produce music exclusively about Doctor Who, and so far have released two albums.

Soon after Doctor Who’s appearance in 1963, novels surrounding the series started to appear. The first ever novelization came out on 12 November, 1964, almost exactly a year after the first episode came out. Since then over 150 novelizations and 200 spin-off books have been published, including some written by Neil Gaiman.

Doctor Who has been an important part of popular culture for over half a century now. The show is limitless, filled with possibility: you can go to Victorian London, or to Pompeii, or to the 51st century. It can be any genre: comedy, horror, fantasy, drama, sometimes all of them at the same time. It’s clever, and funny, and sad, and makes you think. The plots are well written, and sometimes you feel like you’re twisting your brain into a knot, trying to figure out the paradoxes. But most importantly it’s kind-hearted and beautiful. No doubt Doctor Who will remain a fan-favorite for many years to come.

Задание 12 № 3758

Drivers of Hackney carriages insulted people who were using umbrellas because


1) they wanted to sell umbrellas themselves.

2) they were trying to save their business.

3) the owners of umbrellas were French.

4) they didn't like what umbrellas looked like.


Ha, ha, ha! How they laughed that day in the 1790s when a man first walked the streets of London holding an umbrella.

Some people got angry and began shouting that to carry such a contraption was ungodly because it ‘defied the heavenly purpose of rain’ (which is to get uswet).

Drivers of Hackney carriages soon realised umbrellas posed a threat to their trade, and insulted chaps who carried them by yelling: ‘What’s wrong – are you a Frenchman?’ It was a grievous insult (and still is today), but the umbrella was not

to be denied.

Eton schoolboys took to carrying them, much to the annoyance of their headmaster, John Keats. “An effeminate innovation,” he thundered. “We are degenerating into a girl’s school.”

Early umbrellas were not impenetrable to rain. Their coverings of cotton, or even silk, were coated with oil, varnish or melted wax, which soon cracked. They featured all kinds of gimmicks. Some had windows, or whistled when open. There was an umbrella with a gutter, which drained rain down a tube. A variation on this caught rain in a flask for use as drinking water.

It was not until about 1800 that umbrellas and parasols achieved separate identities in Britain. Since ancient times there have been umbrellas to keep off the sun, but the word umbrella had nothing to do with rain. It is derived from Latin ‘umbra’, meaning shade.

Until the early 1850s umbrellas had heavy whalebone frames which tended to crack. But then Samuel Fox came on the scene, and from his factory in Stockbridge, Sheffield, he revolutionised the umbrella world. In 1852, he patented a lightweight metal frame which was to make him a fortune and set the standard for umbrellas we know today.

The first umbrellas came to Britain from France but by the time of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 it was the French who were laughing at the British for using them. Napoleon’s General Lejeune was highly amused that English officers rode across the field of battle holding aloft umbrellas and parasols. It might have looked ridiculous, but the British won!

That was not the only instance of umbrellas being used by the British army. The British Major Digby Tatham-Warter, veteran of WWI, and a commander of a parachute brigade during WWII, always carried an umbrella into battle. This not only provided some British humour in otherwise very serious and frightening circumstances, but was even used by the brave major to fight the Germans. Once he disabled a German tank by pushing the umbrella through the observation slit and wounding the driver in the eye.

Some collectors believe that now is a perfect time to start collecting antique umbrellas and parasols, as they are reckoned to be underpriced, a situation which could easily change if more people got the idea of collecting them. Parasol styles seemed to change every few months in the 19th century, so there are plenty to choose from. Beautiful parasols made in Victorian times can be bought for as little as 30 to 100 pounds, but even a rare Georgian umbrella with carved ivory grip might be unlikely to exceed 500 pounds at an auction.

Задание 12 № 3824

According to the article, disappointing experiences could result in …


1) a broken heart.

2) a deserved success.

3) a lack of confidence.

4) coping with one’s fears.

How to turn failure to success

A lot of authors speak about how true success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful. But that is easier said than done. We all face situations where we fail and it feels like everything is going wrong. That coveted job interview that does not result in a call back, that amazing person who doesn’t reciprocate romantic interest, that close friend who is not keen on hanging out anymore feature in all of our lives. Somewhere these experiences chip away at one’s sense of self, slowly eroding our self-worth.

Carrie Fisher, who had immortalised Princess Leia in Star Wars, had said it beautifully, “take your broken heart and make it into art”. That is exactly what 18-year-old Londoner Claudia did. She had received a rejection letter from Oxford, like many other students, in response to her application for a Classics course. However, she was not dejected by it. By the time her mother got home from work,

Claudia had cut up the letter and transformed it into a beautiful piece of art.

When her mum posted Claudia’s art on Twitter, it touched a chord among thousands and went viral in a matter of days, having been liked and retweeted more than two hundred thousand times.

Claudia explained her motivations in such a way: “I just thought I had this letter, it’s not often that you get a letter dedicated to you from Oxford. So, I thought it would be funny if I made it into something.” The letter is pretty much summarised in the phrases stuck into the painting: delivering the news, apologising, wishing her well.

She created the painting very quickly, explaining, “I suppose some of my feelings about the letter went into the artwork. Obviously I didn’t know it would go viral as I painted it for myself — but I think the message that it’s associated with now is that Oxbridge doesn’t determine your worth as a person, and I love that.” A lot of people are saying Oxford should now take Claudia on an art course but

that’s not really how it works.

She is joining another premier institution — Durham university — soon, leaving behind her brief disappointment from Oxford as she embarks on the new phase of her life. However, there are life lessons that this young girl can teach us on how to cope with rejection.

It always feels a bit hurtful to be rejected, but when you can turn your disappointment into art, it helps you to move on. After all, closed doors hide open ones. It’s impossible that things go well all the time. Even for those who seem super successful, there are still low points and adverse situations they have had to tackle. But brooding over what did not work out will only lead to missing out newer opportunities. Success and failure can truly be understood only in retrospect. What seems like heart-breaking rejection might turn out to be the start of the best thing ever to happen to you in another five years.

Letting go is important but what is even more important is letting go beautifully. As the proverb goes — “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you”.

Failure is a part of life. You can call it whatever you want — a setback, an emotional let down, a breakup, a loss, but part of the reason why the experience is so painful is because at some level you feel you failed. The solution here is being open to the bigger lessons of life. After all, learning a new way to see situations can be the very key to your next success.

Источник: ЕГЭ по ан­глий­ско­му языку 02.04.2018. До­сроч­ная волна

Задание 12 № 3952

When she moved to Scotland, the student was mostly confused by …


1) television shows.

2) small unexpected things.

3) the local food.

4) the weather.

The culture shock of being an international student

For any student, moving away from home can be a bit scary. But I did not expect student life in Scotland to be all that different from my home of the Netherlands. After all, we get the same news and TV shows online. Many students find the northwest climate can affect them a lot. You may find the grayness and dampness, especially during the winter months, difficult to get used to. However, when I moved from Amsterdam to study at the University of Stirling, I began to realise that a few minor issues were catching me off balance. I was suffering a minor cultural shock.

In my first year, I quickly found out my English was not as good as I had assumed. Most of my roommates were born and raised in Scotland, and I constantly found myself having to ask people to repeat themselves. Their Scottish accents did not help and I was mispronouncing names and places all the time. I also got confused about minor cultural things. Much to my flatmates’ amusement, it took me two Christmases to figure out that mince pies are not actually filled with minced beef.

The linguistic barrier meant that public transport was tricky at first. I found the lack of information about bus prices and how and where to get tickets really surprising. It turned a simple 15-minute journey into a daunting task.

Then I had to adjust to a new social life. I was surprised by the campus culture in the UK — in the Netherlands, most universities don’t have one main campus where you can attend university, as well as live and exercise all in the same place. But here, you never have to leave campus if you don’t want to. I had to adapt to everyone being so close to each other all the time.

Parties are different here too. In the Netherlands, the less effort you put into getting ready, the better. I’d normally slip on my trusty Converse shoes, along with some clothes I could get away with wearing to class tomorrow, and wear minimal make-up. But, in my experience, partying is more formal in the UK. Your make-up needs to be flawless and your hair needs to be immaculate. You’ll preferably be wearing a dress and heels, too. I was constantly having to borrow clothes off my friends just to fit in. Parties finish early and everyone just wanders off, whereas in my country that would be the time I’d leave the house.

But it is not all early closing times and strange pastries. Social behaviours may also confuse, surprise or offend you. For example, you may find peopleappear cold, distant or always in a hurry. Cultures are built on deeply-embedded sets of values, norms, assumptions and beliefs. It can be surprising and sometimes distressing to find that people do not share some of your most deeply held ideas, as most of us take our core values and beliefs for granted and assume they are universally held.

However, I have found lots of pleasant surprises in the UK too — and so have many other international students I know. My friend Agnes was taken aback by how sociable people are. She says she was shocked when complete strangers started talking to her at the bus stop. I, personally, was surprised by how smartly male students in Sterling dress compared to my home country.

Culture shock can knock your confidence in the beginning. But you are not alone in taking time to adapt, and soon you start to come to grips with all experiences. Studies suggest that taking a gap year or studying abroad can positively influence your brain to make you more outgoing and open to new ideas. Looking back, most of the ones I experienced made good stories to tell my friends.

Источник: Де­мон­стра­ци­он­ная вер­сия ЕГЭ—2019 по ан­глий­ско­му языку.

Задание 12 № 4516

The author’s childhood dream was to …


1) enter a college.

2) leave the state she grew up in.

3) visit a college campus.

4) change her life.


Philanthropy is defined as the love of humanity. A modern definition is “private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life”, which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social aspect developed in the 20th century.

Growing up in this state, I dreamed of attending a college one day. On fall Saturdays at the stadium, I caught a glimpse of the brick buildings and tree-lined walkways. I knew they led to information, knowledge, and a whole tribe of new minds to connect with. When the day finally came to unpack my few belongings in the residence hall, I knew I was finally where I had always wanted to be. My years on campus certainly lived up to the anticipation. The classes, professors, friends, and opportunities created a life-changing experience.

Philanthropy is a critical part of the life and success of the whole local community, and college in particular. As a board member of the Center for Advancement, I have seen firsthand the joy of our alumni and friends as they make a difference in the life of this institution. They are delighted to pay it forward as they understand what college means to them. As a student, one does not always value how much the path was paved by those who have gone before, those who have an ability to give back. Now that my friend and I have made this community our family’s home, we have a much better understanding of how vital the longterm success of the college is for our entire state.

Through my involvement with the Center for Advancement, I truly witness the breadth of areas one can support. This institution is doing incredible researching, educating, and programming in so many areas. And our donors can discover their passion and connect in a meaningful way that goes beyond the dollars given. Whether it is the joy of the written word, the connection to firstgeneration college students, the atmosphere of a football Saturday, or a desire to support the cure for a hereditary medical condition, our donors become a part of the life of the college.

I have also seen philanthropy directly affect the life of the college from my experience in the Department of Finance. I work with students who have the opportunity to attend college because of the financial assistance they receive from our donors. Continued support has fostered the enhanced facility we work in today which has been reconfigured to remain relevant to today’s needs. The educational experience is much richer because of the generosity of others. Our new auditorium is one shining example that we are proud to support. Not only is this facility a marvel of world-class architecture and programming, it also strives to make the arts accessible to all citizens. These experiences spark curiosity and imagination in audiences, young and old, to remind us what it means to be alive in this era of technology and separation.

Different funds provide a real-life working experience that is as relevant as any internship. Through philanthropy, students and faculty are able to use technology that could not be supported with tuition dollars. Private gifts also allow us to assist our faculty, who are the life of the institution, and provide our students a top-notch education.

Every dollar of support to the university today replays itself over and over as successive generations of learners have an opportunity to develop the skills they need to save lives, shape minds, and transform our future. One of the values we hope to instill in our children is the understanding of the value of giving back.

Источник: ЕГЭ по ан­глий­ско­му языку 01.04.2019. До­сроч­ная волна

Задание 12 № 4556

The word ‘ambitious’ in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to the word


1) determined.

2) aggressive.

3) arrogant.

4) hopeful.

Moscow’s ‘Universal Provider’

Teatralnaya Square in Moscow is dominated by three imposing buildings: the Bolshoi Theatre, the Maly Theatre and TsUM — Central Universal Department Store. All of them have a rich and fascinating history.

The building that has been known for almost 100 years as TsUM was built in 1908 as the famous Muir & Mirrielees Dpartment Store and is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. Back at the turn of the 20th century, the building was owned by a Scottish family which was very well-known in Moscow.

Archibald Mirrielees was a 25-year-old ambitious Scotsman when he came to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1822 to gain fame and fortune. Having started as a representative of a British company, in 1843 he founded a business under his own name. In 1852 he was joined by his young brother-in-law Andrew Muir, and so the Muir & Mirrielees company was born.

At first, the company was operating in St. Petersburg as a whole-sale business. Andrew Muir traveled all over Europe choosing the best fabrics, clothes and other fashionable goods which were then imported into Russia and sold to local shops. In 1867 the firm opened its first office in Moscow, which had played second fiddle to St. Petersburg from the time of Peter the Great, but now was rapidly developing its industries. By that time Archibald Mirrielees had already been retired for ten years and lived in England. Now his sons Archie and Fred were helping Andrew Muir to run the company.

In the middle of the 19th century the first Department stores appeared in Europe: first, The Bon Marché in Paris, and then, Whiteley’s in London. At the time when most shops were small, this was an innovation that was characterized by fixed prices, the possibility to exchange goods or get a refund, seasonal sales and daily deliveries to every part of the city. William Whiteley, who was first to open such a store in London, called his shop a 'Universal Provider' and indeed managed to find anything a client could ever fancy to buy.

This was the example that Muir & Mirrielees in Moscow were going to follow. In 1885, they bought a three-storey building in Petrovka, across the street from the Bolshoi. By 1892 the store had 25 departments, and in 1891 Muir & Mirrielees gave up wholesale trading and focused entirely on their Department store — Moscow’s true ‘Universal Provider’.

Nobody knows how the big fire started. Some believe that it was jealous rivals from the smaller shops that set Muir & Mirrielees on fire. In any case, early in the evening on November 24, 1900, while Feodor Shalyapin was singing one of his leading roles across the street, the famous store went up in flames. By midnight, to the audience of both Bolshoi and Maly theatres’s spectators who'd deserted their performances in favour of a more dramatic spectacle, the building burnt down completely.

In 1908, the new Muir & Mirrielees store with 80 departments was erected in the same place, designed by the well-known architect Roman Klein. It was the first building in Russia to use walls of reinforced concrete — a technique invented in America for sky-scrapers. It allowed for thinner walls and bigger windows. Moscow had never seen a building quite like this before. One of the attractions of the new store were two lifts that held 8 passengers each. This was also a novelty in Moscow, and not everyone trusted them.

Among the loyal customers of Muir & Mirrielees were Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy’s wife and daughter, the Tsvetayev family and many more.

Задание 12 № 4600

Students can take the SAT


1) only one time.

2) up to six times.

3) up to eight times.

4) more than 8 times.

Scholastic Aptitude Test

The Scholastic Aptitude Test or the SAT is a standardized test used in the United States for college admissions. High school students usually take the SAT at the end of their junior year (11 grade) of High School or at the beginning of their senior year (12 grade). Students are able to re-take the test as many times as they like on any of the test dates, which occur 6-8 times a year. The test is administered all over the world, and most big cities have at least one testing center.

The SAT is developed and run by College Board, an American non-profit organization created to provide teenagers with access to higher education. It was founded in 1899 and was originally called the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Not only does it develop standardized testing, it also develops the Advances Placement (AP) Program. AP classes are offered in most High Schools in the U.S. and provide students with university level classes. These classes allow students to gain college credit and skip some of the basic courses at the university.

Today, the SAT is made up of three main parts: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Mathematics and the Essay, but over its long history, the SAT has undergone several changes in format, types of questions and scoring. The first standardized exam was administered by the CEEB in 1901. It consisted of a series of essay questions on topics such as Greek, Latin and Physics, it was completed over the course of 5 days. After the development of the IQ test in 1905, the SAT changed its approach to the test, now testing not specific knowledge, but aptitude for learning. By 1961 the SAT was taken by over 800 thousand students annually.

A lot of changes were made to the SAT between 1994 and 2005: the use of calculators became permitted, the reading passages were chosen to mimic texts students might encounter in college, the scoring system was changed from 1600 to 2400, and an essay section was introduced. Some of these changes were reversed in 2016: the scoring system changed back to 1600 and the essay became optional.

In recent years, the SAT has been criticized for not being a good reflection of students’ academic ability. The test puts a lot of emphasis on speed and time management, prioritizing it over knowledge and reasoning. The reading section contains 52 questions based on 5 reading passages and has a time limit of 65 minutes. Even without the time it takes to read and understand each passage, this gives a student a little over a minute to answer each question, some of which are quite difficult. The other sections are no better. The whole exam takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to complete, and the breaks between its four sections are very short: a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing sections, 5 minutes between Writing and Math, and only 2 minutes between Math and the essay. Because of these issues, more and more universities are becoming “test-optional”, meaning that they do not require their students to submit standardized test scores.

In the summer of 2018, there was a scandal regarding the August SAT. The test got leaked to the Internet a few days before the exam. Because of this College Board threatened to cancel all the scores. This news resulted in a lot of panicked high school seniors, who would not have time to re-take the test before their college applications were due. A lot of desperate students turned to the ACT (American College Testing), the SAT’s main rival, as an alternative standardized test.

Задание 12 № 4645

Which choice is the closest in meaning to the phrase ‘it was met with universal acclaim’ in the second paragraph?


1) It toured all over the world.

2) It was admired by everybody.

3) All theatres wanted to stage it.

4) Tickets were immediately sold out.


How much do you really know about the man on the ten-dollar bill? You might know that his name was Alexander Hamilton, that he was one of America’s founding fathers, you might even know that he was the first secretary of the treasury and founded America’s financial system. But what do you know about his life, his story?

In February of 2015 a musical premiered in New York’s Public Theatre by the name of “Hamilton” written by Lin Manuel Miranda. It was met with universal acclaim and in August of the same year transferred to Broadway. Since then the show has exploded in popularity, winning many awards including 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

“Hamilton” tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, a “young, scrappy and hungry” orphan from a tiny island in the Caribbean, who at the age of 17 immigrated to America, fought alongside George Washington in the revolution, worked for the new American government and wrote over a thousand pages in letters, essays, speeches and reports. Through Lin Manuel Miranda’s emotional narrative, we get a closer and more personal look at Hamilton’s life and his death.

The idea for “Hamilton” was born in 2009, when, while on vacation, Lin Manuel Miranda picked up a 700-page biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. After reading only a few chapters Miranda was on the Internet, sure that someone had already made Hamilton’s story into a musical. As it turned out, no one had, and so Miranda began his project. A year later Miranda preformed a rough version of the opening number at the White House.

Due to its revolutionary use of different styles of music, critics claim that “Hamilton” is making musical history. Hamilton’s story is told primarily through hip-hop music, but also includes some elements of pop, soul, blues and traditional show tunes. In interviews Miranda says that he had always taken it as a given that hip-hop is the music of the revolution. Because of its energy, its empowering narrative, it seemed like the perfect pick for “Hamilton”.

But Lin Manuel Miranda took the idea of using music as a plot device to a whole new level. Each character has their own music style. King George III, for example, has a distinctly British pop sound, the Schuyler sisters sound a lot like the popular R’n’B group “Destiny's Child”, and Hamilton’s lifelong rival Aaron Burr sings a few classic “showstoppers”.

In March of 2016 Lin Manuel Miranda was interviewed by British actress Emma Watson who played the role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. Miranda confessed that a lot of the structure of the play was inspired by Harry Potter, and the “Hamilton” cast was sorted into their Hogwarts houses. Lin and Emma discussed the importance of the play in current times and how Miranda’s personal history influenced his writing. Lin Manuel also shared a few interesting stories behind the creation of some of the beloved songs.

In less than 2 years, “Hamilton” has become a cultural phenomenon. Not only did it introduce many teenagers to the world of theatre, it also gave the world a history lesson. The show humanizes the founding fathers, shows us that they were actual people with emotions and personal relationships. But the show did more than just touch the hearts of thousands of its listeners, it actually made an impact. In 2015 the US Department of the Treasury announced that they were redesigning the 10-dollar bill, replacing Hamilton, but thanks to the show’s popularity the plans were reversed.

Задание 12 № 4742

According to the author, in her childhood she used to ...


1) watch TV a lot.

2) call her mother every half an hour.

3) go to the mall with her family.

4) do the shopping with her friends.

iGeneration: teenagers affected by phones

One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone — she has had an iPhone since she was 11 — sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?” I asked, recalling my own middleschool days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. “No — I go with my family,” she replied. “We’ll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we are going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes.”

Those mall trips are infrequent — about once a month. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned. Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, a smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. She told me she had spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That is just the way her generation is, she said. “We didn’t know any life other than with iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”

Some generational changes are positive, some are negative, and many are both. More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They are markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It is not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

However, in my conversations with teens, I saw hopeful signs that kids themselves are beginning to link some of their troubles to their ever-present phone. Athena told me that when she does spend time with her friends in person, they are often looking at their device instead of at her. “I’m trying to talk to them about something, and they don’t actually look at my face,” she said. “They’re looking at their phone, or they’re looking at their Apple Watch.” “What does that feel like, when you’re trying to talk to somebody face-to-face and they’re not looking at you?” I asked. “It kind of hurts,” she said. “It hurts. I know my parents’ generation didn’t do that. I could be talking about something super important to me, and they wouldn’t even be listening.”

Once, she told me, she was hanging out with a friend who was texting her boyfriend. “I was trying to talk to her about my family, and what was going on, and she was like, ‘Uh-huh, yeah, whatever.’ So I took her phone out of her hands and I threw it at the wall.”

Though it is aggressive behavior that I don’t support, on the other hand — it is a step towards a life with limited phone use. So, if I were going to give advice for a happy adolescence, it would be straightforward: put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something — anything — that does not involve a screen.

Источник: Де­мон­стра­ци­он­ная вер­сия ЕГЭ—2020 по ан­глий­ско­му языку.

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