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Matrix Upper-Intermediate Tests


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Test 6

Reading

1 Read the article and decide whether these statements are true or false. Write T or F in each box.

1 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented details about what the boarding party found.
2 Pemberton said that there was more than one survivor.
3 There is no record of Pemberton having been on the ship.
4 No one believed Pemberton's story.
5 There is no evidence that the crew were hallucinating when they abandoned ship
6 It is impossible for ships to contain deadly moulds.

What happened to the crew?

The end of the official enquiry into the wreck of the Mary Celeste marked the beginning of many theories about what may have happened. Why did the crew abandon the ship in such a hurry? One famous version of events was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. He describes how the boarding party found freshly cooked food on the captain's table, and important documents missing. But this was pure fiction.

The strangest twist in the story emerged almost 50 years after the Mary Celeste was found abandoned. A man named Pemberton claimed to have been on board the ship. According to Pemberton, there was a violent argument between the Captain and the rest of the crew. Only Pemberton escaped alive. However, for some reason, he kept the story to himself for the next half century. This story is almost certainly untrue. For Pemberton's name is not even on the official crew register of the voyage. Yet the fact that he was able to convince people to take him seriously shows how few sensible theories were around at the time.

Some theories have more to do with illness. One is that the crew ate mouldy bread. Eaten in quantity, it might have been possible that they experienced hallucinations. However, all the signs are that the crew were perfectly sane when they jumped off the ship. Another is that the wood of the ship contained a killer fungus. This makes a little more sense, as some ships have been known to have lethal moulds. But how the crew all came to be poisoned quickly, and at the same time, and why they then left the ship, is a mystery in itself.

Vocabulary

2 Complete the text with the correct prepositions.

    from by of with to in around

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is among the greatest 20th century detective writers. Born 1______________ Devon, she was educated at home 2______________her mother. She started writing as a child, when recovering 3______________an illness and her mother told her to write a story. 'Don't say you can't, of course you can!' her mother instructed. Agatha Christie's two most famous detectives are Hercule Poirot, a Belgian, who is famous for his round face 4______________its prominent moustache and Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster, who lives 5______________a small English village. She finds evidence 6______________ criminal activities 7______________the most unlikely places, and uses her knowledge 8____________ human nature to solve mysteries that often puzzle the local police force. Agatha Christie once said that as she knew nothing about guns and revolvers, her victims were usually killed 9______________a blunt instrument, or poison. Although she provides clues to help her readers, when you get 10______________the end of one of her books, you are often surprised 11_____________ the murderer's identity. Agatha Christie's most famous play, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running stage play ever, and has been thrilling audiences from 12______________the world for 48 years. According 13______________the theatre where it is performed, since its opening, 297 actors have appeared in the play, and over 320 tons 14______________ice cream have been sold!

3 Choose the best answer, a, b or c, to complete the text.

When I was a child, I went to a girls' boarding school in the English countryside. The buildings were very old, and we were told they were 1____________ by their previous owner, who had died of a broken heart. The story was that every Halloween, if you went to a particular corridor at midnight, and looked in the mirror there, you would see the face of the man you would marry. I was 13 when I tried this out. It was dark and there was a cold 2______________ coming from the window behind me. Suddenly, I saw a strange shape behind me in the mirror. Too frightened to 3______________, I panicked and ran out of the corridor down the stairs and straight into the arms of a teacher, who had been 4_____________ by my shouting, and come to 5______________the noise. But the phantom turned out to be my best friend, wrapped in a blanket!
    1 a haunted       b possessed       c attended

    2 a movement          b flow        c draught

    3 a turn in        b turn out        c turn round

    4 a alarmed        b upset        c warned

    5 a explore        b investigate        c inspect

Grammar

4 Circle the correct option in the following sentences.

1 The teacher told us today that the test is going to be next week instead of today. I mustn't have studied / needn't have studied so late yesterday evening.

2 When Michael saw John smiling, he knew that John must have passed / might have passed his music exam.

3 I was terribly stiff after my first day's skiing. I might have trained / ought to have trained harder.

4 If we had got up earlier, we could have bought / must have bought tickets for the football match.

5 You shouldn't have read / couldn't have read your sister's diary. She will be very upset when she finds out.

6 Someone has sent me a bunch of flowers. It couldn't have been / shouldn't have been my boyfriend because he is away on holiday. 7 Martin may have found out / can't have found out Jane's phone number- I'll go and ask him.

8 I shouldn't have worried / needn't have worried about seeing the doctor. She told me that my leg wasn't badly hurt.

9 Dad should have asked / might have asked when the museum closed. Then we wouldn't have missed the exhibition.

5 Use the verbs in the correct past form to complete the text.

    ought to / take must / be need / not / worry must / start could / not / be might / exaggerate

Nessie-hunting

Sightings of a monster known as Nessie in Loch Ness, a lake in Scotland, have been reported since the fifteenth century. Some people say that the idea of a monster 1______________as the result of a real sighting, though others think that the accounts over the years 2______________Nevertheless, the lake still attracts thousands of tourists a year. Last year my cousin Becky visited Loch Ness, and waited with a crowd of people for three hours in a storm taking photographs of every tiny wave, but there was no sign of Nessie. But suddenly, a large, unidentifiable object was seen below the surface. Some of the crowd, including Becky, thought that the shape 3______________Nessie, but others said it 4______________because it wasn't swimming quickly enough. Becky had used up all her film so could not prove anything. Back home, her friends were not sympathetic and said she 5______________ a spare film. But Becky 6______________Some time ago, a camera was set up to film Loch Ness in order to record everything that goes on there, and you can see this live film on the Internet. So Becky can do future Nessie-hunting sitting at her computer!

Writing

6 Write a short story (200-250 words) which starts with the following sentences:

'It was dark outside, and raining hard. I was alone in the house and had just settled down to watch TV when I heard a loud noise outside the door. Suddenly I felt very frightened ...'

Remember to:
describe what happened
describe how you felt about it
use adverbs and adjectives effectively
create atmosphere

Speaking

Discussion: strange phenomena

Preparation time: 1 minute. Work in groups of two or three.

You have 3-4 minutes to discuss these questions:

1 What do you know about the strange phenomena shown below?
2 Which do you think are the most believable?
3 Can you think of logical explanations for these phenomena?




Test 6 Answers

1 1T 2F 3T 4F 5T 6F
2 1 in 2 by 3 from 4 with 5 in
9 with 6 of 7 in 8 of
10 to 11 by 12 around 13 to 14 of
3 1a 2 c 3 c 4 a 5 b
4 1 needn't have studied 2 must have passed
3 ought to have trained 4 could have bought
5 shouldn't have read 6 couldn't have been
7 may have found out 8 needn't have worried
9 should have asked
5 1 must have started 2 might have been exaggerated
3 must have been 4 couldn't have been
5 ought to have taken 6 needn't have worried