This test has two separate sections, A and B. In this test, we are focusing on Section A and in particular looking at questions on the theme of Politics

Section A : Multiple Choice

This section is divided into 12 subsections; each subsection has between 3 and 4 questions.

You should answer all 40 multiple choice questions in section A, selecting one of the possible answers listed for each question.

Once you have completed all 40 questions, you will be presented with an Item Review Screen giving you the opportunity to review your responses. Once you are happy with your responses you should select ‘End Review’ and move to the next review screen.

Time allowed: 90 minutes 40 seconds

 

Solution Feedback Review

This screen shows all questions and your response as correct or incorrect. You may not change your response.

You may view solutions to each question by selecting the ‘Explain Answer’ button in the top left corner of the question.

Is the UK housing bubble about to burst? These are the best and worst scenarios

Josh Ryan-Collins

UK house prices appear to have defied economic gravity over the past year. The lockdowns triggered by the pandemic led to a 10% fall in GDP, the largest fall in 300 years, since the Great Frost of 1709. Yet the latest data shows house prices have grown at the fastest annual rate – 13.4% – in 17 years. Are we in the midst of another housing bubble?

An optimistic scenario is that the current boom is driven by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic rather than more systemic problems. Spending more time at home has led many homeowners to desire more space and a better environment. They have used the record buildup of household savings, amassed during the lockdowns and supported by the government’s furlough scheme, to buy larger homes or move out of cities (property prices outside cities have increased by 14% compared with 7% within them).

The introduction of the stamp duty holiday by the government further ramped up the demand for such purchases. The phasing out of this subsidy at the end of June may help explain the most recent upturn in growth rates as people scramble to complete purchases. Once it ends, prices will probably flatten or fall for a few months; but it will be a soft landing as recent price rises reflect the ongoing structural changes to our working habits and desire for increased living space.

A more pessimistic scenario is that the end of the stamp duty holiday will puncture a huge mortgage credit-driven housing bubble that will ripple through the financial system and damage the nascent Covid recovery. Mortgage credit has grown at record rates, expanding from minus figures in April 2020 as the first lockdown kicked in, to its highest ever rate of £11bn by March this year. The ultra-low interest rates and expanded quantitative easing programme of the Bank of England has also fuelled this credit binge.

But how much harm will the bursting of this bubble do? In the short term, the wider risk to the economy at the aggregate level from a fall in house prices looks less severe than in 2008. Household debt (including consumer debt) is lower relative to incomes and so are interest rates on that debt. Alongside the savings that have been built up, this means that falls in people’s housing wealth should have less of a negative impact on consumer spending. Banks are also much better capitalised than they were in 2007, meaning a fall in the value of housing – which they hold as collateral against their mortgage loans – will be less likely to impact on their lending activity.

But in the medium term, the risks could be more severe. Most obviously, rising inflation could lead to the Bank of England raising interest rates. The Bank has tried to calm such fears, arguing the recent surge in consumer prices was “transitory” – the result of the unusually rapid recovery in economic activity that has followed the reopening of the economy – and that as a result it has no plans to raise rates. There is certainly a case for “wait-and-see”, given the third Covid wave that is now washing across the country and the proposed end of the furlough scheme in September.

But it is possible to imagine scenarios whereby inflation becomes more sustained, in particular if it continues to rise in economies such as the US and eurozone, with which the UK has close trading links, and if oil prices keep rising as global demand for energy or travel rebounds – or if the economy suffers ongoing shortages of labour due to Brexit-related issues that drive up wages.

 That would put the Bank in a difficult position, since although average household debt-to-income ratios have fallen since the 2007-08 crisis, its distribution across different socioeconomic groups is far from equal.

This raises a broader issue. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of the pandemic, how did we end up with a situation where small rises in interest rates – a key tool of monetary policy – could raise such serious concerns for the macroeconomy?

1. What is the author’s main purpose of writing
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author explains the current housing economic situation, but in the last paragraph he draws out to make a more general point about economics.

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    Is the UK housing bubble about to burst? These are the best and worst scenarios

    Josh Ryan-Collins

    UK house prices appear to have defied economic gravity over the past year. The lockdowns triggered by the pandemic led to a 10% fall in GDP, the largest fall in 300 years, since the Great Frost of 1709. Yet the latest data shows house prices have grown at the fastest annual rate – 13.4% – in 17 years. Are we in the midst of another housing bubble?

    An optimistic scenario is that the current boom is driven by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic rather than more systemic problems. Spending more time at home has led many homeowners to desire more space and a better environment. They have used the record buildup of household savings, amassed during the lockdowns and supported by the government’s furlough scheme, to buy larger homes or move out of cities (property prices outside cities have increased by 14% compared with 7% within them).

    The introduction of the stamp duty holiday by the government further ramped up the demand for such purchases. The phasing out of this subsidy at the end of June may help explain the most recent upturn in growth rates as people scramble to complete purchases. Once it ends, prices will probably flatten or fall for a few months; but it will be a soft landing as recent price rises reflect the ongoing structural changes to our working habits and desire for increased living space.

    A more pessimistic scenario is that the end of the stamp duty holiday will puncture a huge mortgage credit-driven housing bubble that will ripple through the financial system and damage the nascent Covid recovery. Mortgage credit has grown at record rates, expanding from minus figures in April 2020 as the first lockdown kicked in, to its highest ever rate of £11bn by March this year. The ultra-low interest rates and expanded quantitative easing programme of the Bank of England has also fuelled this credit binge.

    But how much harm will the bursting of this bubble do? In the short term, the wider risk to the economy at the aggregate level from a fall in house prices looks less severe than in 2008. Household debt (including consumer debt) is lower relative to incomes and so are interest rates on that debt. Alongside the savings that have been built up, this means that falls in people’s housing wealth should have less of a negative impact on consumer spending. Banks are also much better capitalised than they were in 2007, meaning a fall in the value of housing – which they hold as collateral against their mortgage loans – will be less likely to impact on their lending activity.

    But in the medium term, the risks could be more severe. Most obviously, rising inflation could lead to the Bank of England raising interest rates. The Bank has tried to calm such fears, arguing the recent surge in consumer prices was “transitory” – the result of the unusually rapid recovery in economic activity that has followed the reopening of the economy – and that as a result it has no plans to raise rates. There is certainly a case for “wait-and-see”, given the third Covid wave that is now washing across the country and the proposed end of the furlough scheme in September.

    But it is possible to imagine scenarios whereby inflation becomes more sustained, in particular if it continues to rise in economies such as the US and eurozone, with which the UK has close trading links, and if oil prices keep rising as global demand for energy or travel rebounds – or if the economy suffers ongoing shortages of labour due to Brexit-related issues that drive up wages.

     That would put the Bank in a difficult position, since although average household debt-to-income ratios have fallen since the 2007-08 crisis, its distribution across different socioeconomic groups is far from equal.

    This raises a broader issue. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of the pandemic, how did we end up with a situation where small rises in interest rates – a key tool of monetary policy – could raise such serious concerns for the macroeconomy?

    2. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The text aims to inform and is impersonal, it is difficult to decipher the author’s own opinion

    a. Correct

    b. The author does not appear to be criticizing

    c. The author does not appear to be criticizing

    d. The author is impersonal rather than supportive

    e. The author is not idiosyncratic rather impersonal

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    Is the UK housing bubble about to burst? These are the best and worst scenarios

    Josh Ryan-Collins

    UK house prices appear to have defied economic gravity over the past year. The lockdowns triggered by the pandemic led to a 10% fall in GDP, the largest fall in 300 years, since the Great Frost of 1709. Yet the latest data shows house prices have grown at the fastest annual rate – 13.4% – in 17 years. Are we in the midst of another housing bubble?

    An optimistic scenario is that the current boom is driven by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic rather than more systemic problems. Spending more time at home has led many homeowners to desire more space and a better environment. They have used the record buildup of household savings, amassed during the lockdowns and supported by the government’s furlough scheme, to buy larger homes or move out of cities (property prices outside cities have increased by 14% compared with 7% within them).

    The introduction of the stamp duty holiday by the government further ramped up the demand for such purchases. The phasing out of this subsidy at the end of June may help explain the most recent upturn in growth rates as people scramble to complete purchases. Once it ends, prices will probably flatten or fall for a few months; but it will be a soft landing as recent price rises reflect the ongoing structural changes to our working habits and desire for increased living space.

    A more pessimistic scenario is that the end of the stamp duty holiday will puncture a huge mortgage credit-driven housing bubble that will ripple through the financial system and damage the nascent Covid recovery. Mortgage credit has grown at record rates, expanding from minus figures in April 2020 as the first lockdown kicked in, to its highest ever rate of £11bn by March this year. The ultra-low interest rates and expanded quantitative easing programme of the Bank of England has also fuelled this credit binge.

    But how much harm will the bursting of this bubble do? In the short term, the wider risk to the economy at the aggregate level from a fall in house prices looks less severe than in 2008. Household debt (including consumer debt) is lower relative to incomes and so are interest rates on that debt. Alongside the savings that have been built up, this means that falls in people’s housing wealth should have less of a negative impact on consumer spending. Banks are also much better capitalised than they were in 2007, meaning a fall in the value of housing – which they hold as collateral against their mortgage loans – will be less likely to impact on their lending activity.

    But in the medium term, the risks could be more severe. Most obviously, rising inflation could lead to the Bank of England raising interest rates. The Bank has tried to calm such fears, arguing the recent surge in consumer prices was “transitory” – the result of the unusually rapid recovery in economic activity that has followed the reopening of the economy – and that as a result it has no plans to raise rates. There is certainly a case for “wait-and-see”, given the third Covid wave that is now washing across the country and the proposed end of the furlough scheme in September.

    But it is possible to imagine scenarios whereby inflation becomes more sustained, in particular if it continues to rise in economies such as the US and eurozone, with which the UK has close trading links, and if oil prices keep rising as global demand for energy or travel rebounds – or if the economy suffers ongoing shortages of labour due to Brexit-related issues that drive up wages.

     That would put the Bank in a difficult position, since although average household debt-to-income ratios have fallen since the 2007-08 crisis, its distribution across different socioeconomic groups is far from equal.

    This raises a broader issue. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of the pandemic, how did we end up with a situation where small rises in interest rates – a key tool of monetary policy – could raise such serious concerns for the macroeconomy?

    3. What is the average annual increase in house price growth rate over the last 17 years ?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    This answer is worked out by doing 17 (number of years) divided by 13.4%

    a. Correct

    b. If you got this answer you mistakenly used another number in the first paragraph

    c. If you got this answer you mistakenly used another number in the first paragraph

    d. If you got this answer you mistakenly used another number in the first paragraph

    e. If you got this answer you mistakenly used another number in the first paragraph

    TOP TIP! When there are lots of numbers in a paragraph, double check you are using the ones appropriate to your question

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    Is the UK housing bubble about to burst? These are the best and worst scenarios

    Josh Ryan-Collins

    UK house prices appear to have defied economic gravity over the past year. The lockdowns triggered by the pandemic led to a 10% fall in GDP, the largest fall in 300 years, since the Great Frost of 1709. Yet the latest data shows house prices have grown at the fastest annual rate – 13.4% – in 17 years. Are we in the midst of another housing bubble?

    An optimistic scenario is that the current boom is driven by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic rather than more systemic problems. Spending more time at home has led many homeowners to desire more space and a better environment. They have used the record buildup of household savings, amassed during the lockdowns and supported by the government’s furlough scheme, to buy larger homes or move out of cities (property prices outside cities have increased by 14% compared with 7% within them).

    The introduction of the stamp duty holiday by the government further ramped up the demand for such purchases. The phasing out of this subsidy at the end of June may help explain the most recent upturn in growth rates as people scramble to complete purchases. Once it ends, prices will probably flatten or fall for a few months; but it will be a soft landing as recent price rises reflect the ongoing structural changes to our working habits and desire for increased living space.

    A more pessimistic scenario is that the end of the stamp duty holiday will puncture a huge mortgage credit-driven housing bubble that will ripple through the financial system and damage the nascent Covid recovery. Mortgage credit has grown at record rates, expanding from minus figures in April 2020 as the first lockdown kicked in, to its highest ever rate of £11bn by March this year. The ultra-low interest rates and expanded quantitative easing programme of the Bank of England has also fuelled this credit binge.

    But how much harm will the bursting of this bubble do? In the short term, the wider risk to the economy at the aggregate level from a fall in house prices looks less severe than in 2008. Household debt (including consumer debt) is lower relative to incomes and so are interest rates on that debt. Alongside the savings that have been built up, this means that falls in people’s housing wealth should have less of a negative impact on consumer spending. Banks are also much better capitalised than they were in 2007, meaning a fall in the value of housing – which they hold as collateral against their mortgage loans – will be less likely to impact on their lending activity.

    But in the medium term, the risks could be more severe. Most obviously, rising inflation could lead to the Bank of England raising interest rates. The Bank has tried to calm such fears, arguing the recent surge in consumer prices was “transitory” – the result of the unusually rapid recovery in economic activity that has followed the reopening of the economy – and that as a result it has no plans to raise rates. There is certainly a case for “wait-and-see”, given the third Covid wave that is now washing across the country and the proposed end of the furlough scheme in September.

    But it is possible to imagine scenarios whereby inflation becomes more sustained, in particular if it continues to rise in economies such as the US and eurozone, with which the UK has close trading links, and if oil prices keep rising as global demand for energy or travel rebounds – or if the economy suffers ongoing shortages of labour due to Brexit-related issues that drive up wages.

     That would put the Bank in a difficult position, since although average household debt-to-income ratios have fallen since the 2007-08 crisis, its distribution across different socioeconomic groups is far from equal.

    This raises a broader issue. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of the pandemic, how did we end up with a situation where small rises in interest rates – a key tool of monetary policy – could raise such serious concerns for the macroeconomy?

    4. What is the meaning of the phrase ‘“transitory”?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    ‘Transitory’ means not permanent. If you did not know this you can work it out from the text, the word ‘unusually’ suggesting that transitory means temporary.

    a. This is the opposite meaning

    b. This is correct

    c. This is incorrect, temporary does not mean it is necessarily not concerning and the tone of the text suggests concern

    d. This is wrong for the same reasons as C

    e. The tone of the text suggests concerning, but ‘transitory’ is suggested as a solution to this concern so this is incorrect

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    Is the UK housing bubble about to burst? These are the best and worst scenarios

    Josh Ryan-Collins

    UK house prices appear to have defied economic gravity over the past year. The lockdowns triggered by the pandemic led to a 10% fall in GDP, the largest fall in 300 years, since the Great Frost of 1709. Yet the latest data shows house prices have grown at the fastest annual rate – 13.4% – in 17 years. Are we in the midst of another housing bubble?

    An optimistic scenario is that the current boom is driven by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic rather than more systemic problems. Spending more time at home has led many homeowners to desire more space and a better environment. They have used the record buildup of household savings, amassed during the lockdowns and supported by the government’s furlough scheme, to buy larger homes or move out of cities (property prices outside cities have increased by 14% compared with 7% within them).

    The introduction of the stamp duty holiday by the government further ramped up the demand for such purchases. The phasing out of this subsidy at the end of June may help explain the most recent upturn in growth rates as people scramble to complete purchases. Once it ends, prices will probably flatten or fall for a few months; but it will be a soft landing as recent price rises reflect the ongoing structural changes to our working habits and desire for increased living space.

    A more pessimistic scenario is that the end of the stamp duty holiday will puncture a huge mortgage credit-driven housing bubble that will ripple through the financial system and damage the nascent Covid recovery. Mortgage credit has grown at record rates, expanding from minus figures in April 2020 as the first lockdown kicked in, to its highest ever rate of £11bn by March this year. The ultra-low interest rates and expanded quantitative easing programme of the Bank of England has also fuelled this credit binge.

    But how much harm will the bursting of this bubble do? In the short term, the wider risk to the economy at the aggregate level from a fall in house prices looks less severe than in 2008. Household debt (including consumer debt) is lower relative to incomes and so are interest rates on that debt. Alongside the savings that have been built up, this means that falls in people’s housing wealth should have less of a negative impact on consumer spending. Banks are also much better capitalised than they were in 2007, meaning a fall in the value of housing – which they hold as collateral against their mortgage loans – will be less likely to impact on their lending activity.

    But in the medium term, the risks could be more severe. Most obviously, rising inflation could lead to the Bank of England raising interest rates. The Bank has tried to calm such fears, arguing the recent surge in consumer prices was “transitory” – the result of the unusually rapid recovery in economic activity that has followed the reopening of the economy – and that as a result it has no plans to raise rates. There is certainly a case for “wait-and-see”, given the third Covid wave that is now washing across the country and the proposed end of the furlough scheme in September.

    But it is possible to imagine scenarios whereby inflation becomes more sustained, in particular if it continues to rise in economies such as the US and eurozone, with which the UK has close trading links, and if oil prices keep rising as global demand for energy or travel rebounds – or if the economy suffers ongoing shortages of labour due to Brexit-related issues that drive up wages.

     That would put the Bank in a difficult position, since although average household debt-to-income ratios have fallen since the 2007-08 crisis, its distribution across different socioeconomic groups is far from equal.

    This raises a broader issue. Whatever the idiosyncrasies of the pandemic, how did we end up with a situation where small rises in interest rates – a key tool of monetary policy – could raise such serious concerns for the macroeconomy?

    5. Which of the following is an inference we can deduce from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    We can deduce this from the fact that the author gives us an ‘optimistic’ view and a ‘pessimistic’ view suggesting it is a question of opinion and not a question of fact

    a. Correct

    b. This is stated in the text

    c. This is the opposite of the truth

    d. This is the opposite of an explicit statement in the text and hence we cannot deduce this

    e. Lots of the answers contradict so E is definitely not the answer

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    Why does Keir Starmar keep telling voters that Labour deserves to lose?

    Matt Zarb-Cousin

    The news this week that Keir Starmer is parting ways with his director of communications, deputy director of communications, chief of staff, and his political director may bring an end to an unusual experiment in political communications that has been under way inside Labour. This innovative approach to messaging has attracted some attention for its lack of memorable policies (remember “British Recovery Bonds”?). But its main feature has been the unconventional insistence, from Starmer and his top team, that voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories, who are frankly doing such an excellent job that they will naturally keep winning.

    The seeds of this approach were first sown by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the aftermath of the 2019 election defeat, when he said the British public got it right by voting Tory. The baton was soon picked up by the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, who was keen to stress in her leadership campaign that Labour must “change or die”.

    What started as a useful campaigning tool in the leadership elections – a bit of tough love for the party faithful – soon became a national communications strategy. Starmer himself parroted these sentiments in his first conference speech as Labour leader, saying the party he campaigned for as a prominent member of its shadow cabinet “deserved to lose the 2019 election”. These days, every subsequent setback brings new lines to explain why Labour should not get your vote: “Labour doesn’t listen to voters”; “Labour has lost the trust of working people”; “Labour are talking to ourselves instead of the country”; and on and on.

    This over-the-top self-flagellation has its roots in the repeated insistence from frontbenchers that Labour needed first of all to “earn the right to be heard” – the belief that in order to win back Tory voters, Labour needed to analyse its own failings in a way that would resonate with hostile media and its audiences. As a result, prominent figures repeatedly imply that the 10 million people who voted for their party in 2017 and 2019 were mad to do so, or delusional for believing the manifestos that they backed could ever be delivered. (This attitude is all the more bemusing given the policies of its 2019 manifesto continue to poll extremely well and are finding more resonance in a context where political imaginations have been expanded by a pandemic.)

    For Starmer’s Labour there are no political gains to be made from appealing to progressive voters, who seem to be defecting in droves to the Greens and even the Liberal Democrats, or simply abstaining. There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data.

    According to figures from the latest round of the British Election Study, most low-income workers actually voted for Labour in 2019; if we leave aside retirees, the only income group where the Conservatives led Labour was those earning over £100k. Without the votes of pensioners, Labour would have led the Conservatives by three percentage points.

    This is a different challenge than the 1990s, when New Labour identified and targeted what it saw as an aspirational section of the electorate that had been drawn to Thatcherism but which could be won over. Today’s version of Mondeo Man – a self-employed worker who is far from retirement age and “not rich” – is already likely to vote for Labour. So the party’s issue is not that it has “lost the working class” or failed to appeal to aspirational voters; it has lost pensioners whose material circumstances, alongside demographic shifts, have created an almost impenetrable Tory base.

    It is difficult to see a way back for Labour while their own MPs lack the political sense to draw on the party’s strengths while addressing its real weaknesses – rather than those conjured for internal political gains. Labour must rediscover its radical edge quickly or it will continue to lose support. Otherwise, despite all the criticism, Corbyn’s leadership will be seen as a post-2005 high-water mark for a party in perpetual decline.

    6. What is the author’s main point?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    A encapsulates the author’s point without taking his argument too far or focussing on just one aspect of his point

    b. This stretches the author’s point beyond what can sensibly be found in the text

    c. This is too narrow and does not acknowledge that the text focuses on voting bases

    d. This is stated in the text but it merely supports the main point rather than encapsulates it

    e. This misconstrues the point

    TOP TIP! Before reading the options close your eyes and think about what main point came across to you after reading the text

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    Why does Keir Starmar keep telling voters that Labour deserves to lose?

    Matt Zarb-Cousin

    The news this week that Keir Starmer is parting ways with his director of communications, deputy director of communications, chief of staff, and his political director may bring an end to an unusual experiment in political communications that has been under way inside Labour. This innovative approach to messaging has attracted some attention for its lack of memorable policies (remember “British Recovery Bonds”?). But its main feature has been the unconventional insistence, from Starmer and his top team, that voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories, who are frankly doing such an excellent job that they will naturally keep winning.

    The seeds of this approach were first sown by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the aftermath of the 2019 election defeat, when he said the British public got it right by voting Tory. The baton was soon picked up by the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, who was keen to stress in her leadership campaign that Labour must “change or die”.

    What started as a useful campaigning tool in the leadership elections – a bit of tough love for the party faithful – soon became a national communications strategy. Starmer himself parroted these sentiments in his first conference speech as Labour leader, saying the party he campaigned for as a prominent member of its shadow cabinet “deserved to lose the 2019 election”. These days, every subsequent setback brings new lines to explain why Labour should not get your vote: “Labour doesn’t listen to voters”; “Labour has lost the trust of working people”; “Labour are talking to ourselves instead of the country”; and on and on.

    This over-the-top self-flagellation has its roots in the repeated insistence from frontbenchers that Labour needed first of all to “earn the right to be heard” – the belief that in order to win back Tory voters, Labour needed to analyse its own failings in a way that would resonate with hostile media and its audiences. As a result, prominent figures repeatedly imply that the 10 million people who voted for their party in 2017 and 2019 were mad to do so, or delusional for believing the manifestos that they backed could ever be delivered. (This attitude is all the more bemusing given the policies of its 2019 manifesto continue to poll extremely well and are finding more resonance in a context where political imaginations have been expanded by a pandemic.)

    For Starmer’s Labour there are no political gains to be made from appealing to progressive voters, who seem to be defecting in droves to the Greens and even the Liberal Democrats, or simply abstaining. There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data.

    According to figures from the latest round of the British Election Study, most low-income workers actually voted for Labour in 2019; if we leave aside retirees, the only income group where the Conservatives led Labour was those earning over £100k. Without the votes of pensioners, Labour would have led the Conservatives by three percentage points.

    This is a different challenge than the 1990s, when New Labour identified and targeted what it saw as an aspirational section of the electorate that had been drawn to Thatcherism but which could be won over. Today’s version of Mondeo Man – a self-employed worker who is far from retirement age and “not rich” – is already likely to vote for Labour. So the party’s issue is not that it has “lost the working class” or failed to appeal to aspirational voters; it has lost pensioners whose material circumstances, alongside demographic shifts, have created an almost impenetrable Tory base.

    It is difficult to see a way back for Labour while their own MPs lack the political sense to draw on the party’s strengths while addressing its real weaknesses – rather than those conjured for internal political gains. Labour must rediscover its radical edge quickly or it will continue to lose support. Otherwise, despite all the criticism, Corbyn’s leadership will be seen as a post-2005 high-water mark for a party in perpetual decline.

    7. In the context of the passage what is the meaning of the word ‘shun’?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The line in the text is ‘voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories’ hence shun must mean to reject Labour in favour of the Tories

    a. This is the opposite meaning

    b. This is the opposite meaning

    c. This is the opposite meaning

    d. This is the correct answer

    e. This is close but does not quite get to the heart of the sentence, which is that labour should not be chosen

    QUESTION TIP! Ask yourself – does the word sound positive or negative in the sentence, then rule out any options that don’t fit with your thinking.

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    Why does Keir Starmar keep telling voters that Labour deserves to lose?

    Matt Zarb-Cousin

    The news this week that Keir Starmer is parting ways with his director of communications, deputy director of communications, chief of staff, and his political director may bring an end to an unusual experiment in political communications that has been under way inside Labour. This innovative approach to messaging has attracted some attention for its lack of memorable policies (remember “British Recovery Bonds”?). But its main feature has been the unconventional insistence, from Starmer and his top team, that voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories, who are frankly doing such an excellent job that they will naturally keep winning.

    The seeds of this approach were first sown by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the aftermath of the 2019 election defeat, when he said the British public got it right by voting Tory. The baton was soon picked up by the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, who was keen to stress in her leadership campaign that Labour must “change or die”.

    What started as a useful campaigning tool in the leadership elections – a bit of tough love for the party faithful – soon became a national communications strategy. Starmer himself parroted these sentiments in his first conference speech as Labour leader, saying the party he campaigned for as a prominent member of its shadow cabinet “deserved to lose the 2019 election”. These days, every subsequent setback brings new lines to explain why Labour should not get your vote: “Labour doesn’t listen to voters”; “Labour has lost the trust of working people”; “Labour are talking to ourselves instead of the country”; and on and on.

    This over-the-top self-flagellation has its roots in the repeated insistence from frontbenchers that Labour needed first of all to “earn the right to be heard” – the belief that in order to win back Tory voters, Labour needed to analyse its own failings in a way that would resonate with hostile media and its audiences. As a result, prominent figures repeatedly imply that the 10 million people who voted for their party in 2017 and 2019 were mad to do so, or delusional for believing the manifestos that they backed could ever be delivered. (This attitude is all the more bemusing given the policies of its 2019 manifesto continue to poll extremely well and are finding more resonance in a context where political imaginations have been expanded by a pandemic.)

    For Starmer’s Labour there are no political gains to be made from appealing to progressive voters, who seem to be defecting in droves to the Greens and even the Liberal Democrats, or simply abstaining. There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data.

    According to figures from the latest round of the British Election Study, most low-income workers actually voted for Labour in 2019; if we leave aside retirees, the only income group where the Conservatives led Labour was those earning over £100k. Without the votes of pensioners, Labour would have led the Conservatives by three percentage points.

    This is a different challenge than the 1990s, when New Labour identified and targeted what it saw as an aspirational section of the electorate that had been drawn to Thatcherism but which could be won over. Today’s version of Mondeo Man – a self-employed worker who is far from retirement age and “not rich” – is already likely to vote for Labour. So the party’s issue is not that it has “lost the working class” or failed to appeal to aspirational voters; it has lost pensioners whose material circumstances, alongside demographic shifts, have created an almost impenetrable Tory base.

    It is difficult to see a way back for Labour while their own MPs lack the political sense to draw on the party’s strengths while addressing its real weaknesses – rather than those conjured for internal political gains. Labour must rediscover its radical edge quickly or it will continue to lose support. Otherwise, despite all the criticism, Corbyn’s leadership will be seen as a post-2005 high-water mark for a party in perpetual decline.

    8. The author’s opinion of the media’s take on labour votes is
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The text says ‘There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data’. The ‘tabloid’ is part of the media and the author suggests the media narrative is unsupported by ‘actual data’ and that Labour are unwilling to test this

    a. The line suggests that the media’s narrative is inaccurate

    b. This is correct

    c. This is too extreme

    d. This may be correct but is not quite supported by the text

    e. This may be correct but is not quite supported by the text

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    Why does Keir Starmar keep telling voters that Labour deserves to lose?

    Matt Zarb-Cousin

    The news this week that Keir Starmer is parting ways with his director of communications, deputy director of communications, chief of staff, and his political director may bring an end to an unusual experiment in political communications that has been under way inside Labour. This innovative approach to messaging has attracted some attention for its lack of memorable policies (remember “British Recovery Bonds”?). But its main feature has been the unconventional insistence, from Starmer and his top team, that voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories, who are frankly doing such an excellent job that they will naturally keep winning.

    The seeds of this approach were first sown by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the aftermath of the 2019 election defeat, when he said the British public got it right by voting Tory. The baton was soon picked up by the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, who was keen to stress in her leadership campaign that Labour must “change or die”.

    What started as a useful campaigning tool in the leadership elections – a bit of tough love for the party faithful – soon became a national communications strategy. Starmer himself parroted these sentiments in his first conference speech as Labour leader, saying the party he campaigned for as a prominent member of its shadow cabinet “deserved to lose the 2019 election”. These days, every subsequent setback brings new lines to explain why Labour should not get your vote: “Labour doesn’t listen to voters”; “Labour has lost the trust of working people”; “Labour are talking to ourselves instead of the country”; and on and on.

    This over-the-top self-flagellation has its roots in the repeated insistence from frontbenchers that Labour needed first of all to “earn the right to be heard” – the belief that in order to win back Tory voters, Labour needed to analyse its own failings in a way that would resonate with hostile media and its audiences. As a result, prominent figures repeatedly imply that the 10 million people who voted for their party in 2017 and 2019 were mad to do so, or delusional for believing the manifestos that they backed could ever be delivered. (This attitude is all the more bemusing given the policies of its 2019 manifesto continue to poll extremely well and are finding more resonance in a context where political imaginations have been expanded by a pandemic.)

    For Starmer’s Labour there are no political gains to be made from appealing to progressive voters, who seem to be defecting in droves to the Greens and even the Liberal Democrats, or simply abstaining. There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data.

    According to figures from the latest round of the British Election Study, most low-income workers actually voted for Labour in 2019; if we leave aside retirees, the only income group where the Conservatives led Labour was those earning over £100k. Without the votes of pensioners, Labour would have led the Conservatives by three percentage points.

    This is a different challenge than the 1990s, when New Labour identified and targeted what it saw as an aspirational section of the electorate that had been drawn to Thatcherism but which could be won over. Today’s version of Mondeo Man – a self-employed worker who is far from retirement age and “not rich” – is already likely to vote for Labour. So the party’s issue is not that it has “lost the working class” or failed to appeal to aspirational voters; it has lost pensioners whose material circumstances, alongside demographic shifts, have created an almost impenetrable Tory base.

    It is difficult to see a way back for Labour while their own MPs lack the political sense to draw on the party’s strengths while addressing its real weaknesses – rather than those conjured for internal political gains. Labour must rediscover its radical edge quickly or it will continue to lose support. Otherwise, despite all the criticism, Corbyn’s leadership will be seen as a post-2005 high-water mark for a party in perpetual decline.

    9. Why does the author say ‘remember “British Recovery Bonds”?’
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author uses this line to support the argument he makes just before the quote, which states that labour policies are often immemorable

    a. It is a rhetorical question but that does not explain why it is used

    b. This is not the author’s purpose

    c. This is the correct answer

    d. It might make the piece sound more factual but that does not seem to be the author’s purpose

    e. This is not a purpose and is also unsupported

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    Why does Keir Starmar keep telling voters that Labour deserves to lose?

    Matt Zarb-Cousin

    The news this week that Keir Starmer is parting ways with his director of communications, deputy director of communications, chief of staff, and his political director may bring an end to an unusual experiment in political communications that has been under way inside Labour. This innovative approach to messaging has attracted some attention for its lack of memorable policies (remember “British Recovery Bonds”?). But its main feature has been the unconventional insistence, from Starmer and his top team, that voters are right to shun Labour, who deserve to lose, in favour of the Tories, who are frankly doing such an excellent job that they will naturally keep winning.

    The seeds of this approach were first sown by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the aftermath of the 2019 election defeat, when he said the British public got it right by voting Tory. The baton was soon picked up by the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, who was keen to stress in her leadership campaign that Labour must “change or die”.

    What started as a useful campaigning tool in the leadership elections – a bit of tough love for the party faithful – soon became a national communications strategy. Starmer himself parroted these sentiments in his first conference speech as Labour leader, saying the party he campaigned for as a prominent member of its shadow cabinet “deserved to lose the 2019 election”. These days, every subsequent setback brings new lines to explain why Labour should not get your vote: “Labour doesn’t listen to voters”; “Labour has lost the trust of working people”; “Labour are talking to ourselves instead of the country”; and on and on.

    This over-the-top self-flagellation has its roots in the repeated insistence from frontbenchers that Labour needed first of all to “earn the right to be heard” – the belief that in order to win back Tory voters, Labour needed to analyse its own failings in a way that would resonate with hostile media and its audiences. As a result, prominent figures repeatedly imply that the 10 million people who voted for their party in 2017 and 2019 were mad to do so, or delusional for believing the manifestos that they backed could ever be delivered. (This attitude is all the more bemusing given the policies of its 2019 manifesto continue to poll extremely well and are finding more resonance in a context where political imaginations have been expanded by a pandemic.)

    For Starmer’s Labour there are no political gains to be made from appealing to progressive voters, who seem to be defecting in droves to the Greens and even the Liberal Democrats, or simply abstaining. There appears to be a reluctance in the leader’s office to test their crude tabloid narrative of why Labour “lost the working class” against the actual data.

    According to figures from the latest round of the British Election Study, most low-income workers actually voted for Labour in 2019; if we leave aside retirees, the only income group where the Conservatives led Labour was those earning over £100k. Without the votes of pensioners, Labour would have led the Conservatives by three percentage points.

    This is a different challenge than the 1990s, when New Labour identified and targeted what it saw as an aspirational section of the electorate that had been drawn to Thatcherism but which could be won over. Today’s version of Mondeo Man – a self-employed worker who is far from retirement age and “not rich” – is already likely to vote for Labour. So the party’s issue is not that it has “lost the working class” or failed to appeal to aspirational voters; it has lost pensioners whose material circumstances, alongside demographic shifts, have created an almost impenetrable Tory base.

    It is difficult to see a way back for Labour while their own MPs lack the political sense to draw on the party’s strengths while addressing its real weaknesses – rather than those conjured for internal political gains. Labour must rediscover its radical edge quickly or it will continue to lose support. Otherwise, despite all the criticism, Corbyn’s leadership will be seen as a post-2005 high-water mark for a party in perpetual decline.

    10. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The text is critical and questioning, it explains the current labour approach and then questions its utility and is critical of its benefit by laying out the ways in which it is unsupported by evidence and unsuccessful

    a. There may be some anger but it seems ‘critical’ captures the tone more sensitively

    b. This is the correct answer

    c. The text is informative but it is subjective and this answer fails to acknowledge that

    d. The text has some objective elements but it is largely subjective and this answer fails to acknowledge that

    e. The text is not supportive

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    History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches

    Mark Honigsbaum

    There has only ever been one way of exiting this pandemic and that is through herd immunity. The question is how to achieve this as quickly as possible without sinking the economy.

    Should we rely on vaccines to do this job or continue to employ a mix of measures and, if so, can citizens be trusted to become arbiters of which measures to adopt, when?

    One hundred years ago these dilemmas did not arise. With the exception of smallpox, there were no vaccines against viral diseases and, although in 1918 scientists attempted to make a vaccine against Spanish flu, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Instead, prioritising the wartime economy, people were left to find their own accommodation with the virus as infections spread through the population.

    Even when it became possible to manufacture vaccines against influenza, as was the case during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics, it was thought there was little possibility of developing vaccines against new strains in time. Calculating that at most one quarter of the population would be infected, the viruses were permitted to run their course.

    Today, whether we realise it or not, descendants of the H1N1 Spanish flu and other pandemic viruses continue to circulate. Sure, every season they mutate a little and vaccines have to be updated, but while some people, mostly the elderly, continue to die, the rest of us have learned to live with the threats. The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic.

    The endgame most scientists envisage for Covid is vaccination, hence the talk of “booster vaccines” and follow-on jabs to address mutations.

    In the meantime, however, given the uneven global distribution of vaccines and supply bottlenecks, the need for social distancing and quarantines has not gone away. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where, despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative, vaccine supplies fall far short of what is required to reach the Elysian fields of herd immunity. Instead, those countries are fertile breeding grounds for the Delta and other variants.

    The problem is that as long as the virus continues to run wild anywhere, there is a risk of someone becoming infected with an emerging variant resistant to vaccines and unknowingly introducing it to another country, potentially undermining the effectiveness of that country’s vaccination programme. As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO, puts it: “No one is safe, until we are all safe.”

    The tragedy is that it has taken far too long for the world to wake up to this fundamental biological fact.

    11. What is the meaning of the phrase ‘The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic’?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    Even if you don’t know what the words mean, you can work this out from the rest of the passage which suggests that diseases used to effect the whole population but now some only effect the elder generation whilst the vast majority of people ‘learn to live with them’

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    History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches

    Mark Honigsbaum

    There has only ever been one way of exiting this pandemic and that is through herd immunity. The question is how to achieve this as quickly as possible without sinking the economy.

    Should we rely on vaccines to do this job or continue to employ a mix of measures and, if so, can citizens be trusted to become arbiters of which measures to adopt, when?

    One hundred years ago these dilemmas did not arise. With the exception of smallpox, there were no vaccines against viral diseases and, although in 1918 scientists attempted to make a vaccine against Spanish flu, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Instead, prioritising the wartime economy, people were left to find their own accommodation with the virus as infections spread through the population.

    Even when it became possible to manufacture vaccines against influenza, as was the case during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics, it was thought there was little possibility of developing vaccines against new strains in time. Calculating that at most one quarter of the population would be infected, the viruses were permitted to run their course.

    Today, whether we realise it or not, descendants of the H1N1 Spanish flu and other pandemic viruses continue to circulate. Sure, every season they mutate a little and vaccines have to be updated, but while some people, mostly the elderly, continue to die, the rest of us have learned to live with the threats. The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic.

    The endgame most scientists envisage for Covid is vaccination, hence the talk of “booster vaccines” and follow-on jabs to address mutations.

    In the meantime, however, given the uneven global distribution of vaccines and supply bottlenecks, the need for social distancing and quarantines has not gone away. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where, despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative, vaccine supplies fall far short of what is required to reach the Elysian fields of herd immunity. Instead, those countries are fertile breeding grounds for the Delta and other variants.

    The problem is that as long as the virus continues to run wild anywhere, there is a risk of someone becoming infected with an emerging variant resistant to vaccines and unknowingly introducing it to another country, potentially undermining the effectiveness of that country’s vaccination programme. As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO, puts it: “No one is safe, until we are all safe.”

    The tragedy is that it has taken far too long for the world to wake up to this fundamental biological fact.

    12. In what way does the author suggest herd immunity could be jeopardized by events in another country?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author suggests that unequal distribution of vaccines leads to a lack of herd immunity in lower income countries, which hence become breeding grounds for new strains which themselves affect countries that had established herd immunity 

    a. Correct

    b. This is correct but misses a step of explanation

    c. This is not mentioned

    d. This is false

    e. This is false

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    History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches

    Mark Honigsbaum

    There has only ever been one way of exiting this pandemic and that is through herd immunity. The question is how to achieve this as quickly as possible without sinking the economy.

    Should we rely on vaccines to do this job or continue to employ a mix of measures and, if so, can citizens be trusted to become arbiters of which measures to adopt, when?

    One hundred years ago these dilemmas did not arise. With the exception of smallpox, there were no vaccines against viral diseases and, although in 1918 scientists attempted to make a vaccine against Spanish flu, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Instead, prioritising the wartime economy, people were left to find their own accommodation with the virus as infections spread through the population.

    Even when it became possible to manufacture vaccines against influenza, as was the case during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics, it was thought there was little possibility of developing vaccines against new strains in time. Calculating that at most one quarter of the population would be infected, the viruses were permitted to run their course.

    Today, whether we realise it or not, descendants of the H1N1 Spanish flu and other pandemic viruses continue to circulate. Sure, every season they mutate a little and vaccines have to be updated, but while some people, mostly the elderly, continue to die, the rest of us have learned to live with the threats. The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic.

    The endgame most scientists envisage for Covid is vaccination, hence the talk of “booster vaccines” and follow-on jabs to address mutations.

    In the meantime, however, given the uneven global distribution of vaccines and supply bottlenecks, the need for social distancing and quarantines has not gone away. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where, despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative, vaccine supplies fall far short of what is required to reach the Elysian fields of herd immunity. Instead, those countries are fertile breeding grounds for the Delta and other variants.

    The problem is that as long as the virus continues to run wild anywhere, there is a risk of someone becoming infected with an emerging variant resistant to vaccines and unknowingly introducing it to another country, potentially undermining the effectiveness of that country’s vaccination programme. As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO, puts it: “No one is safe, until we are all safe.”

    The tragedy is that it has taken far too long for the world to wake up to this fundamental biological fact.

    13. In what way does the author suggest our treatment of diseases in the past is different to today?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author mentions both vaccines not existing and vaccines existing but not being able to adapt to new strains quickly enough 

    TOP TIP! Never put an answer down without checking the other options. Sometimes one answer option is correct but not comprehensive, and a different option includes both that option and an additional piece of information necessary to get the question entirely correct.

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    History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches

    Mark Honigsbaum

    There has only ever been one way of exiting this pandemic and that is through herd immunity. The question is how to achieve this as quickly as possible without sinking the economy.

    Should we rely on vaccines to do this job or continue to employ a mix of measures and, if so, can citizens be trusted to become arbiters of which measures to adopt, when?

    One hundred years ago these dilemmas did not arise. With the exception of smallpox, there were no vaccines against viral diseases and, although in 1918 scientists attempted to make a vaccine against Spanish flu, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Instead, prioritising the wartime economy, people were left to find their own accommodation with the virus as infections spread through the population.

    Even when it became possible to manufacture vaccines against influenza, as was the case during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics, it was thought there was little possibility of developing vaccines against new strains in time. Calculating that at most one quarter of the population would be infected, the viruses were permitted to run their course.

    Today, whether we realise it or not, descendants of the H1N1 Spanish flu and other pandemic viruses continue to circulate. Sure, every season they mutate a little and vaccines have to be updated, but while some people, mostly the elderly, continue to die, the rest of us have learned to live with the threats. The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic.

    The endgame most scientists envisage for Covid is vaccination, hence the talk of “booster vaccines” and follow-on jabs to address mutations.

    In the meantime, however, given the uneven global distribution of vaccines and supply bottlenecks, the need for social distancing and quarantines has not gone away. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where, despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative, vaccine supplies fall far short of what is required to reach the Elysian fields of herd immunity. Instead, those countries are fertile breeding grounds for the Delta and other variants.

    The problem is that as long as the virus continues to run wild anywhere, there is a risk of someone becoming infected with an emerging variant resistant to vaccines and unknowingly introducing it to another country, potentially undermining the effectiveness of that country’s vaccination programme. As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO, puts it: “No one is safe, until we are all safe.”

    The tragedy is that it has taken far too long for the world to wake up to this fundamental biological fact.

    14. Which of the following would the author deem the most important in our fight against a modern day pandemic?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The author says that herd immunity is the way out of the pandemic and that “No one is safe, until we are all safe.” hence global vaccination to establish herd immunity is the correct answer.

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    History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches

    Mark Honigsbaum

    There has only ever been one way of exiting this pandemic and that is through herd immunity. The question is how to achieve this as quickly as possible without sinking the economy.

    Should we rely on vaccines to do this job or continue to employ a mix of measures and, if so, can citizens be trusted to become arbiters of which measures to adopt, when?

    One hundred years ago these dilemmas did not arise. With the exception of smallpox, there were no vaccines against viral diseases and, although in 1918 scientists attempted to make a vaccine against Spanish flu, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Instead, prioritising the wartime economy, people were left to find their own accommodation with the virus as infections spread through the population.

    Even when it became possible to manufacture vaccines against influenza, as was the case during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics, it was thought there was little possibility of developing vaccines against new strains in time. Calculating that at most one quarter of the population would be infected, the viruses were permitted to run their course.

    Today, whether we realise it or not, descendants of the H1N1 Spanish flu and other pandemic viruses continue to circulate. Sure, every season they mutate a little and vaccines have to be updated, but while some people, mostly the elderly, continue to die, the rest of us have learned to live with the threats. The viruses are no longer epidemic but endemic.

    The endgame most scientists envisage for Covid is vaccination, hence the talk of “booster vaccines” and follow-on jabs to address mutations.

    In the meantime, however, given the uneven global distribution of vaccines and supply bottlenecks, the need for social distancing and quarantines has not gone away. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where, despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax initiative, vaccine supplies fall far short of what is required to reach the Elysian fields of herd immunity. Instead, those countries are fertile breeding grounds for the Delta and other variants.

    The problem is that as long as the virus continues to run wild anywhere, there is a risk of someone becoming infected with an emerging variant resistant to vaccines and unknowingly introducing it to another country, potentially undermining the effectiveness of that country’s vaccination programme. As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the WHO, puts it: “No one is safe, until we are all safe.”

    The tragedy is that it has taken far too long for the world to wake up to this fundamental biological fact.

    15. Which of the following is not a quality of an effective vaccine discussed or implied by the author?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    The author does not discuss the effectiveness of vaccines in the elder generation, the elder generation is mentioned but not in relation to vaccines. All of the other answer options are explicitly or implicitly mentioned in the text.

    QUESTION TIP! Whilst recognising a term or word from the text can be a good indicator that it is a true statement, it is best to check by reading around the sentence to understanding the meaning of the term in the context of the passage

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    Footballers can say it, but for England’s politicians, ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word

    Marina Hyde

    These days English people expect more from our football team than our government. Which is a funny old switcheroo, when you think about it. My apologies to the other home nations for making the “we” of this particular article the English – but All This is very much an English problem, and there’s no point kidding ourselves about that.

    England Expects That Every Footballer Will Do His Duty. For the players, faultless competence is that duty, and – if it is not delivered – public apologies and contrition are in order from those who failed. And very promptly indeed. It’s not like we kick it down the road to a public inquiry that reports in two tournaments’ time. Since Sunday night, despite many being deluged by racist abuse, we have seen England stars break cover to apologise for their mistakes, for letting fans down, for not being quite enough in the moment.

    It is, of course, a fundamental tenet of sporting greatness that reckoning with failure makes you stronger, that the mistake or the falling-short is not the defining moment. Rather, it is how you respond to it: first by owning up to it, then by learning from it, and folding it back into your story so you come back stronger. Gareth Southgate knows that journey of old; he was beginning it again in the immediate aftermath of the final, fronting up to the nation to insist that failure “totally rests with me”.

    Children hear these messages so often from people who want the best for them that many of them already know they are the right things to say. After his own letter to fans, Marcus Rashford posted some of those he has received from children since Sunday’s defeat, and they themselves make for extraordinarily humbling and emotional reading.

    Where is any of this in our politics, I wonder? There is something completely antithetical to modern political culture in it all. It is, on every level, absurd that it should feel socially necessary for footballers barely out of their teens to pen missives to the nation apologising for missing a penalty, but not for a government to even acknowledge vast and lethal mistakes, much less say sorry for them.

    In yet another avoidable foul-up in the offing, even as the government enlivened the football hangover by confirming it was fully opening up for its “freedom day”, with its own ministers briefing that they were “flying blind”. You certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Yet at no point in any of this has Boris Johnson offered a single apology, much less a sincere one in which specific failures are faced up to and responsibility “totally rests with me”. Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.

    As you’re supposed to learn from early childhood, it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up. Even when she was found to have bullied her staff, Priti Patel couldn’t say a proper sorry. So it’s no surprise to find her refusing to reconsider her statement that people had a right to boo players taking the knee – despite, as Tyrone Mings has now so arrestingly put it to her, “the very thing we are campaigning against” is happening to the players in the wake of defeat. If only Patel or Johnson were a strong enough character to say “you know what, I got that wrong. I’m sorry, my eye was off the ball at the time but I think given what’s happened since, we can all see what these players face.” It’s really not that hard. Everyone can make mistakes – even politicians.

    Yet in his serial refusal to take responsibility for his past statements – or even concede he ever really made them – Johnson seems to have rather more in common with the sort of guy who claims their social media account has been hacked. 

    England Expects … what, honestly? England expects no one to take responsibility. England expects less than what it deserves. As long as we’re ruled by people who regard self-examination and the odd sorry as a sign of weakness as opposed to a sign of strength, we will continue to be let down and short-changed by what they deliver. Taking responsibility should be for politicians as well as footballers – otherwise the country can expect plenty more years of hurt.

    16. Which of the following is an objective characteristic that the author alludes to in a comparison between footballers and the government?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The author compares footballers, ‘footballers barely out of their teens’, with the government, who of course are not ‘barely out of their teens’ thereby alluding to an age comparison between footballers and the government.

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    Footballers can say it, but for England’s politicians, ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word

    Marina Hyde

    These days English people expect more from our football team than our government. Which is a funny old switcheroo, when you think about it. My apologies to the other home nations for making the “we” of this particular article the English – but All This is very much an English problem, and there’s no point kidding ourselves about that.

    England Expects That Every Footballer Will Do His Duty. For the players, faultless competence is that duty, and – if it is not delivered – public apologies and contrition are in order from those who failed. And very promptly indeed. It’s not like we kick it down the road to a public inquiry that reports in two tournaments’ time. Since Sunday night, despite many being deluged by racist abuse, we have seen England stars break cover to apologise for their mistakes, for letting fans down, for not being quite enough in the moment.

    It is, of course, a fundamental tenet of sporting greatness that reckoning with failure makes you stronger, that the mistake or the falling-short is not the defining moment. Rather, it is how you respond to it: first by owning up to it, then by learning from it, and folding it back into your story so you come back stronger. Gareth Southgate knows that journey of old; he was beginning it again in the immediate aftermath of the final, fronting up to the nation to insist that failure “totally rests with me”.

    Children hear these messages so often from people who want the best for them that many of them already know they are the right things to say. After his own letter to fans, Marcus Rashford posted some of those he has received from children since Sunday’s defeat, and they themselves make for extraordinarily humbling and emotional reading.

    Where is any of this in our politics, I wonder? There is something completely antithetical to modern political culture in it all. It is, on every level, absurd that it should feel socially necessary for footballers barely out of their teens to pen missives to the nation apologising for missing a penalty, but not for a government to even acknowledge vast and lethal mistakes, much less say sorry for them.

    In yet another avoidable foul-up in the offing, even as the government enlivened the football hangover by confirming it was fully opening up for its “freedom day”, with its own ministers briefing that they were “flying blind”. You certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Yet at no point in any of this has Boris Johnson offered a single apology, much less a sincere one in which specific failures are faced up to and responsibility “totally rests with me”. Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.

    As you’re supposed to learn from early childhood, it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up. Even when she was found to have bullied her staff, Priti Patel couldn’t say a proper sorry. So it’s no surprise to find her refusing to reconsider her statement that people had a right to boo players taking the knee – despite, as Tyrone Mings has now so arrestingly put it to her, “the very thing we are campaigning against” is happening to the players in the wake of defeat. If only Patel or Johnson were a strong enough character to say “you know what, I got that wrong. I’m sorry, my eye was off the ball at the time but I think given what’s happened since, we can all see what these players face.” It’s really not that hard. Everyone can make mistakes – even politicians.

    Yet in his serial refusal to take responsibility for his past statements – or even concede he ever really made them – Johnson seems to have rather more in common with the sort of guy who claims their social media account has been hacked. 

    England Expects … what, honestly? England expects no one to take responsibility. England expects less than what it deserves. As long as we’re ruled by people who regard self-examination and the odd sorry as a sign of weakness as opposed to a sign of strength, we will continue to be let down and short-changed by what they deliver. Taking responsibility should be for politicians as well as footballers – otherwise the country can expect plenty more years of hurt.

    17. In the sixth paragraph the author suggests
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This is found in the line “Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.”

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    Footballers can say it, but for England’s politicians, ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word

    Marina Hyde

    These days English people expect more from our football team than our government. Which is a funny old switcheroo, when you think about it. My apologies to the other home nations for making the “we” of this particular article the English – but All This is very much an English problem, and there’s no point kidding ourselves about that.

    England Expects That Every Footballer Will Do His Duty. For the players, faultless competence is that duty, and – if it is not delivered – public apologies and contrition are in order from those who failed. And very promptly indeed. It’s not like we kick it down the road to a public inquiry that reports in two tournaments’ time. Since Sunday night, despite many being deluged by racist abuse, we have seen England stars break cover to apologise for their mistakes, for letting fans down, for not being quite enough in the moment.

    It is, of course, a fundamental tenet of sporting greatness that reckoning with failure makes you stronger, that the mistake or the falling-short is not the defining moment. Rather, it is how you respond to it: first by owning up to it, then by learning from it, and folding it back into your story so you come back stronger. Gareth Southgate knows that journey of old; he was beginning it again in the immediate aftermath of the final, fronting up to the nation to insist that failure “totally rests with me”.

    Children hear these messages so often from people who want the best for them that many of them already know they are the right things to say. After his own letter to fans, Marcus Rashford posted some of those he has received from children since Sunday’s defeat, and they themselves make for extraordinarily humbling and emotional reading.

    Where is any of this in our politics, I wonder? There is something completely antithetical to modern political culture in it all. It is, on every level, absurd that it should feel socially necessary for footballers barely out of their teens to pen missives to the nation apologising for missing a penalty, but not for a government to even acknowledge vast and lethal mistakes, much less say sorry for them.

    In yet another avoidable foul-up in the offing, even as the government enlivened the football hangover by confirming it was fully opening up for its “freedom day”, with its own ministers briefing that they were “flying blind”. You certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Yet at no point in any of this has Boris Johnson offered a single apology, much less a sincere one in which specific failures are faced up to and responsibility “totally rests with me”. Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.

    As you’re supposed to learn from early childhood, it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up. Even when she was found to have bullied her staff, Priti Patel couldn’t say a proper sorry. So it’s no surprise to find her refusing to reconsider her statement that people had a right to boo players taking the knee – despite, as Tyrone Mings has now so arrestingly put it to her, “the very thing we are campaigning against” is happening to the players in the wake of defeat. If only Patel or Johnson were a strong enough character to say “you know what, I got that wrong. I’m sorry, my eye was off the ball at the time but I think given what’s happened since, we can all see what these players face.” It’s really not that hard. Everyone can make mistakes – even politicians.

    Yet in his serial refusal to take responsibility for his past statements – or even concede he ever really made them – Johnson seems to have rather more in common with the sort of guy who claims their social media account has been hacked. 

    England Expects … what, honestly? England expects no one to take responsibility. England expects less than what it deserves. As long as we’re ruled by people who regard self-examination and the odd sorry as a sign of weakness as opposed to a sign of strength, we will continue to be let down and short-changed by what they deliver. Taking responsibility should be for politicians as well as footballers – otherwise the country can expect plenty more years of hurt.

    18. Which of the following can be deduced from the 7th paragraph of the passage?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author says ‘ it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up’ and we can deduce from this line, and from the contextual evidence of the rest of the passage, that the author thinks an ability to apologize can earn you respect from others.

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    Footballers can say it, but for England’s politicians, ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word

    Marina Hyde

    These days English people expect more from our football team than our government. Which is a funny old switcheroo, when you think about it. My apologies to the other home nations for making the “we” of this particular article the English – but All This is very much an English problem, and there’s no point kidding ourselves about that.

    England Expects That Every Footballer Will Do His Duty. For the players, faultless competence is that duty, and – if it is not delivered – public apologies and contrition are in order from those who failed. And very promptly indeed. It’s not like we kick it down the road to a public inquiry that reports in two tournaments’ time. Since Sunday night, despite many being deluged by racist abuse, we have seen England stars break cover to apologise for their mistakes, for letting fans down, for not being quite enough in the moment.

    It is, of course, a fundamental tenet of sporting greatness that reckoning with failure makes you stronger, that the mistake or the falling-short is not the defining moment. Rather, it is how you respond to it: first by owning up to it, then by learning from it, and folding it back into your story so you come back stronger. Gareth Southgate knows that journey of old; he was beginning it again in the immediate aftermath of the final, fronting up to the nation to insist that failure “totally rests with me”.

    Children hear these messages so often from people who want the best for them that many of them already know they are the right things to say. After his own letter to fans, Marcus Rashford posted some of those he has received from children since Sunday’s defeat, and they themselves make for extraordinarily humbling and emotional reading.

    Where is any of this in our politics, I wonder? There is something completely antithetical to modern political culture in it all. It is, on every level, absurd that it should feel socially necessary for footballers barely out of their teens to pen missives to the nation apologising for missing a penalty, but not for a government to even acknowledge vast and lethal mistakes, much less say sorry for them.

    In yet another avoidable foul-up in the offing, even as the government enlivened the football hangover by confirming it was fully opening up for its “freedom day”, with its own ministers briefing that they were “flying blind”. You certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Yet at no point in any of this has Boris Johnson offered a single apology, much less a sincere one in which specific failures are faced up to and responsibility “totally rests with me”. Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.

    As you’re supposed to learn from early childhood, it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up. Even when she was found to have bullied her staff, Priti Patel couldn’t say a proper sorry. So it’s no surprise to find her refusing to reconsider her statement that people had a right to boo players taking the knee – despite, as Tyrone Mings has now so arrestingly put it to her, “the very thing we are campaigning against” is happening to the players in the wake of defeat. If only Patel or Johnson were a strong enough character to say “you know what, I got that wrong. I’m sorry, my eye was off the ball at the time but I think given what’s happened since, we can all see what these players face.” It’s really not that hard. Everyone can make mistakes – even politicians.

    Yet in his serial refusal to take responsibility for his past statements – or even concede he ever really made them – Johnson seems to have rather more in common with the sort of guy who claims their social media account has been hacked. 

    England Expects … what, honestly? England expects no one to take responsibility. England expects less than what it deserves. As long as we’re ruled by people who regard self-examination and the odd sorry as a sign of weakness as opposed to a sign of strength, we will continue to be let down and short-changed by what they deliver. Taking responsibility should be for politicians as well as footballers – otherwise the country can expect plenty more years of hurt.

    19. Which of the following summarizes the author’s main point?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The main point is that we can recognize footballers ability to apologize as a skill which is not present in the government, but which would be a helpful skill for politicians.

    QUESTION TIP! For ‘main point’ questions, take a moment to jot down or think of the main point before you look at the answer options – then all you need to do is pick the most similar answer option.

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    Footballers can say it, but for England’s politicians, ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word

    Marina Hyde

    These days English people expect more from our football team than our government. Which is a funny old switcheroo, when you think about it. My apologies to the other home nations for making the “we” of this particular article the English – but All This is very much an English problem, and there’s no point kidding ourselves about that.

    England Expects That Every Footballer Will Do His Duty. For the players, faultless competence is that duty, and – if it is not delivered – public apologies and contrition are in order from those who failed. And very promptly indeed. It’s not like we kick it down the road to a public inquiry that reports in two tournaments’ time. Since Sunday night, despite many being deluged by racist abuse, we have seen England stars break cover to apologise for their mistakes, for letting fans down, for not being quite enough in the moment.

    It is, of course, a fundamental tenet of sporting greatness that reckoning with failure makes you stronger, that the mistake or the falling-short is not the defining moment. Rather, it is how you respond to it: first by owning up to it, then by learning from it, and folding it back into your story so you come back stronger. Gareth Southgate knows that journey of old; he was beginning it again in the immediate aftermath of the final, fronting up to the nation to insist that failure “totally rests with me”.

    Children hear these messages so often from people who want the best for them that many of them already know they are the right things to say. After his own letter to fans, Marcus Rashford posted some of those he has received from children since Sunday’s defeat, and they themselves make for extraordinarily humbling and emotional reading.

    Where is any of this in our politics, I wonder? There is something completely antithetical to modern political culture in it all. It is, on every level, absurd that it should feel socially necessary for footballers barely out of their teens to pen missives to the nation apologising for missing a penalty, but not for a government to even acknowledge vast and lethal mistakes, much less say sorry for them.

    In yet another avoidable foul-up in the offing, even as the government enlivened the football hangover by confirming it was fully opening up for its “freedom day”, with its own ministers briefing that they were “flying blind”. You certainly wouldn’t bet against it. Yet at no point in any of this has Boris Johnson offered a single apology, much less a sincere one in which specific failures are faced up to and responsibility “totally rests with me”. Perhaps that’s why the government doesn’t “grow” as a set of players, much less feel like the type of people we would hold up as role models to children.

    As you’re supposed to learn from early childhood, it is a mark of weakness never to apologise or own up. Even when she was found to have bullied her staff, Priti Patel couldn’t say a proper sorry. So it’s no surprise to find her refusing to reconsider her statement that people had a right to boo players taking the knee – despite, as Tyrone Mings has now so arrestingly put it to her, “the very thing we are campaigning against” is happening to the players in the wake of defeat. If only Patel or Johnson were a strong enough character to say “you know what, I got that wrong. I’m sorry, my eye was off the ball at the time but I think given what’s happened since, we can all see what these players face.” It’s really not that hard. Everyone can make mistakes – even politicians.

    Yet in his serial refusal to take responsibility for his past statements – or even concede he ever really made them – Johnson seems to have rather more in common with the sort of guy who claims their social media account has been hacked. 

    England Expects … what, honestly? England expects no one to take responsibility. England expects less than what it deserves. As long as we’re ruled by people who regard self-examination and the odd sorry as a sign of weakness as opposed to a sign of strength, we will continue to be let down and short-changed by what they deliver. Taking responsibility should be for politicians as well as footballers – otherwise the country can expect plenty more years of hurt.

    20. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The text is political, whilst it starts with a discussion of footballers it is clear that this is a technique to make the author’s main point – which is that the government need to learn to own up to their mistakes and apologize for the better. 

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    The Guardian view on slashing foreign aid: Britain is abandoning the desperate

    Tuesday was a day of shame for Britain. The world is enduring a catastrophe of the kind that happens once a century, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. Extraordinarily, this was his justification for slashing life-saving aid, arguing that the UK could not afford it. The government carried the day, fending off a rebellion against the cuts by 35 votes.

    But the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Though coronavirus has brought financial pressures for Britain, it has proved ruinous elsewhere: on Monday, a United Nations report warned that almost one in three people globally are going hungry. At the very moment when help is most needed, it is being snatched away. The economic damage wreaked by Covid already meant that Britain would be spending less in absolute terms. To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act. Other countries are increasing their funding, albeit often from a lower base.

    The £4bn saved is just 1% of last year’s government borrowing. Yet the impact of taking it away will be huge. Without it, as Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, spelt out, “fewer girls will be educated, more boys and girls will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die”. The cuts will lead to an estimated 100,000 preventable deaths and millions more facing malnutrition. Yemen, experiencing what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is losing 60% of its funding.

    In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five. They offered cover to Tory MPs rightly embarrassed at dumping a manifesto promise that they were elected on just a year and a half ago, but did not address the moral failure or the damage caused to the national interest.

    It is almost beyond belief that the government would cut spending on global health – including Covid research and basic sanitation – just as coronavirus has shown that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s. Aid funding also boosts stability, security and soft power; both friends and rivals will take note of the cuts. In the supposed year of British leadership, this country has shown itself to be not only mean but shortsighted. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, reportedly warned that it will damage our ability to reach a deal when Britain hosts November’s critical summit. The UK is asking developing countries to meet climate pledges, while claiming it can no longer meet its commitments. It is asking other nations to trust us while acting as an unpredictable and dishonest partner.

    The government has concluded that the 0.7% pledge, which helped to rebrand the “nasty party”, is no longer electorally useful. Mr Johnson would like us to believe that it is a choice between supporting British hospitals and schools or helping faraway strangers. Yet support for aid has increased among both right- and left-leaning voters, and Tory MPs cited the cuts as a factor in the party’s defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The government got away with its betrayal in the Commons, despite a spirited and principled Conservative rebellion. But it should expect to pay both at home and abroad.

    21. If the UK has a gross national income 3.2 trillion dollars, how much will be spent on aid post the government decision discussed in the article?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author says that the government decision will cut funding to 0.5% “To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act”, 0.5% x 3.2 trillion = 0.016 trillion (A).

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    The Guardian view on slashing foreign aid: Britain is abandoning the desperate

    Tuesday was a day of shame for Britain. The world is enduring a catastrophe of the kind that happens once a century, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. Extraordinarily, this was his justification for slashing life-saving aid, arguing that the UK could not afford it. The government carried the day, fending off a rebellion against the cuts by 35 votes.

    But the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Though coronavirus has brought financial pressures for Britain, it has proved ruinous elsewhere: on Monday, a United Nations report warned that almost one in three people globally are going hungry. At the very moment when help is most needed, it is being snatched away. The economic damage wreaked by Covid already meant that Britain would be spending less in absolute terms. To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act. Other countries are increasing their funding, albeit often from a lower base.

    The £4bn saved is just 1% of last year’s government borrowing. Yet the impact of taking it away will be huge. Without it, as Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, spelt out, “fewer girls will be educated, more boys and girls will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die”. The cuts will lead to an estimated 100,000 preventable deaths and millions more facing malnutrition. Yemen, experiencing what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is losing 60% of its funding.

    In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five. They offered cover to Tory MPs rightly embarrassed at dumping a manifesto promise that they were elected on just a year and a half ago, but did not address the moral failure or the damage caused to the national interest.

    It is almost beyond belief that the government would cut spending on global health – including Covid research and basic sanitation – just as coronavirus has shown that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s. Aid funding also boosts stability, security and soft power; both friends and rivals will take note of the cuts. In the supposed year of British leadership, this country has shown itself to be not only mean but shortsighted. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, reportedly warned that it will damage our ability to reach a deal when Britain hosts November’s critical summit. The UK is asking developing countries to meet climate pledges, while claiming it can no longer meet its commitments. It is asking other nations to trust us while acting as an unpredictable and dishonest partner.

    The government has concluded that the 0.7% pledge, which helped to rebrand the “nasty party”, is no longer electorally useful. Mr Johnson would like us to believe that it is a choice between supporting British hospitals and schools or helping faraway strangers. Yet support for aid has increased among both right- and left-leaning voters, and Tory MPs cited the cuts as a factor in the party’s defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The government got away with its betrayal in the Commons, despite a spirited and principled Conservative rebellion. But it should expect to pay both at home and abroad.

    22. Which of the following can be deduced from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This can be deduced from the lines ‘In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five’. The author is setting out evidence which we can use to deduce that the government is being misleading and deceptive on this matter.

    a. There is some evidence to support this in the final paragraph but the deduction is too big a leap

    b. Correct

    c. No evidence

    d. Not mentioned

    e. Incorrect

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    The Guardian view on slashing foreign aid: Britain is abandoning the desperate

    Tuesday was a day of shame for Britain. The world is enduring a catastrophe of the kind that happens once a century, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. Extraordinarily, this was his justification for slashing life-saving aid, arguing that the UK could not afford it. The government carried the day, fending off a rebellion against the cuts by 35 votes.

    But the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Though coronavirus has brought financial pressures for Britain, it has proved ruinous elsewhere: on Monday, a United Nations report warned that almost one in three people globally are going hungry. At the very moment when help is most needed, it is being snatched away. The economic damage wreaked by Covid already meant that Britain would be spending less in absolute terms. To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act. Other countries are increasing their funding, albeit often from a lower base.

    The £4bn saved is just 1% of last year’s government borrowing. Yet the impact of taking it away will be huge. Without it, as Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, spelt out, “fewer girls will be educated, more boys and girls will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die”. The cuts will lead to an estimated 100,000 preventable deaths and millions more facing malnutrition. Yemen, experiencing what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is losing 60% of its funding.

    In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five. They offered cover to Tory MPs rightly embarrassed at dumping a manifesto promise that they were elected on just a year and a half ago, but did not address the moral failure or the damage caused to the national interest.

    It is almost beyond belief that the government would cut spending on global health – including Covid research and basic sanitation – just as coronavirus has shown that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s. Aid funding also boosts stability, security and soft power; both friends and rivals will take note of the cuts. In the supposed year of British leadership, this country has shown itself to be not only mean but shortsighted. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, reportedly warned that it will damage our ability to reach a deal when Britain hosts November’s critical summit. The UK is asking developing countries to meet climate pledges, while claiming it can no longer meet its commitments. It is asking other nations to trust us while acting as an unpredictable and dishonest partner.

    The government has concluded that the 0.7% pledge, which helped to rebrand the “nasty party”, is no longer electorally useful. Mr Johnson would like us to believe that it is a choice between supporting British hospitals and schools or helping faraway strangers. Yet support for aid has increased among both right- and left-leaning voters, and Tory MPs cited the cuts as a factor in the party’s defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The government got away with its betrayal in the Commons, despite a spirited and principled Conservative rebellion. But it should expect to pay both at home and abroad.

    23. In the fourth paragraph, which of the following is suggested as a potential consequence of the aid cuts for the UK?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The fourth paragraph discusses the impact the cuts will have on the UK’s position and relationship with other countries and hence A is the correct answer.

    QUESTION TIP! Always read the question carefully, this question asks for an impact on the UK, and so impacts on other countries are trick answers.

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    The Guardian view on slashing foreign aid: Britain is abandoning the desperate

    Tuesday was a day of shame for Britain. The world is enduring a catastrophe of the kind that happens once a century, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. Extraordinarily, this was his justification for slashing life-saving aid, arguing that the UK could not afford it. The government carried the day, fending off a rebellion against the cuts by 35 votes.

    But the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Though coronavirus has brought financial pressures for Britain, it has proved ruinous elsewhere: on Monday, a United Nations report warned that almost one in three people globally are going hungry. At the very moment when help is most needed, it is being snatched away. The economic damage wreaked by Covid already meant that Britain would be spending less in absolute terms. To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act. Other countries are increasing their funding, albeit often from a lower base.

    The £4bn saved is just 1% of last year’s government borrowing. Yet the impact of taking it away will be huge. Without it, as Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, spelt out, “fewer girls will be educated, more boys and girls will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die”. The cuts will lead to an estimated 100,000 preventable deaths and millions more facing malnutrition. Yemen, experiencing what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is losing 60% of its funding.

    In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five. They offered cover to Tory MPs rightly embarrassed at dumping a manifesto promise that they were elected on just a year and a half ago, but did not address the moral failure or the damage caused to the national interest.

    It is almost beyond belief that the government would cut spending on global health – including Covid research and basic sanitation – just as coronavirus has shown that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s. Aid funding also boosts stability, security and soft power; both friends and rivals will take note of the cuts. In the supposed year of British leadership, this country has shown itself to be not only mean but shortsighted. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, reportedly warned that it will damage our ability to reach a deal when Britain hosts November’s critical summit. The UK is asking developing countries to meet climate pledges, while claiming it can no longer meet its commitments. It is asking other nations to trust us while acting as an unpredictable and dishonest partner.

    The government has concluded that the 0.7% pledge, which helped to rebrand the “nasty party”, is no longer electorally useful. Mr Johnson would like us to believe that it is a choice between supporting British hospitals and schools or helping faraway strangers. Yet support for aid has increased among both right- and left-leaning voters, and Tory MPs cited the cuts as a factor in the party’s defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The government got away with its betrayal in the Commons, despite a spirited and principled Conservative rebellion. But it should expect to pay both at home and abroad.

    24. Which of the following best expresses the opinion of the Conservative rebellion?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    This answer can be found directly in the passage, in the line ‘the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid’.

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    The Guardian view on slashing foreign aid: Britain is abandoning the desperate

    Tuesday was a day of shame for Britain. The world is enduring a catastrophe of the kind that happens once a century, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons. Extraordinarily, this was his justification for slashing life-saving aid, arguing that the UK could not afford it. The government carried the day, fending off a rebellion against the cuts by 35 votes.

    But the disaster that the prime minister described is precisely why so many in his party voted against reneging on the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Though coronavirus has brought financial pressures for Britain, it has proved ruinous elsewhere: on Monday, a United Nations report warned that almost one in three people globally are going hungry. At the very moment when help is most needed, it is being snatched away. The economic damage wreaked by Covid already meant that Britain would be spending less in absolute terms. To cut funding further, to 0.5%, is an ugly act. Other countries are increasing their funding, albeit often from a lower base.

    The £4bn saved is just 1% of last year’s government borrowing. Yet the impact of taking it away will be huge. Without it, as Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, spelt out, “fewer girls will be educated, more boys and girls will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people in the world will die”. The cuts will lead to an estimated 100,000 preventable deaths and millions more facing malnutrition. Yemen, experiencing what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is losing 60% of its funding.

    In setting out the conditions for a return to 0.7%, the government claimed to be offering reassurance of its commitment, while in fact demonstrating that this is a long-term change rather than a temporary measure. The tests it established have been met only once in the last 20 years. They are unlikely to be met within the next five. They offered cover to Tory MPs rightly embarrassed at dumping a manifesto promise that they were elected on just a year and a half ago, but did not address the moral failure or the damage caused to the national interest.

    It is almost beyond belief that the government would cut spending on global health – including Covid research and basic sanitation – just as coronavirus has shown that our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s. Aid funding also boosts stability, security and soft power; both friends and rivals will take note of the cuts. In the supposed year of British leadership, this country has shown itself to be not only mean but shortsighted. Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, reportedly warned that it will damage our ability to reach a deal when Britain hosts November’s critical summit. The UK is asking developing countries to meet climate pledges, while claiming it can no longer meet its commitments. It is asking other nations to trust us while acting as an unpredictable and dishonest partner.

    The government has concluded that the 0.7% pledge, which helped to rebrand the “nasty party”, is no longer electorally useful. Mr Johnson would like us to believe that it is a choice between supporting British hospitals and schools or helping faraway strangers. Yet support for aid has increased among both right- and left-leaning voters, and Tory MPs cited the cuts as a factor in the party’s defeat by the Liberal Democrats at the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The government got away with its betrayal in the Commons, despite a spirited and principled Conservative rebellion. But it should expect to pay both at home and abroad.

    25. The author uses Yemen as an example of
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Yemen is an example of a country which relies on foreign aid, and has had a large amount of that aid slashed in recent times.

    a. There is no clear link between the UK and Yemen

    b. Correct

    c. Incorrect

    d. Insufficient evidence

    e. Incorrect

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    The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor

    Long-distance supply chains hide costly risks — and those risks may help usher in a new stage of global commerce. The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given (which was freed on Monday) in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.

    The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.  But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.

    Starting in the late 1980s, the combination of cheaper container shipping, vanishing communications costs and improved computing flipped the script. Manufacturers and retailers adopted new strategies — arranging, for example, to buy chemicals in Country A, transform them into plastics in Country B, mold the plastics into components in Country C and deliver them to an assembly plant in Country D.Container ships made it possible to move parts and components from one country to another at low cost, while technology, soon accelerated by the internet, allowed managers to oversee their supply chains from a headquarters far away.

    Two factors drove this redistribution of industry. One was wages: The gap between the pay of factory workers in China or Mexico and those in Western Europe, Japan or North America yawned so wide that even if the low-wage workers accomplished far less in an hour of work, producing in Shanghai rather than in St. Louis made financial sense. The other was economies of scale. Factories serving the entire world could specialize, making a small array of products in enormous volume and lowering the cost of each unit.With outsourcing, there is now no need for the company at the top of the chain to undertake large investments in the countries where it wanted its components or its finished goods produced.Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product. The potential loss of revenue if the supply chain failed to deliver goods on time was simply ignored.

    The company at the top of a supply chain often has little insight into its suppliers’ suppliers or into the transportation system that connects them. Incident after incident has shown long supply chains to be more fragile than imagined. For many firms, the consequences can be painful, even fatal.

    And the business risks are not limited to disruption. Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains.  Long-distance trade is also slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago. That helps explain why exports of manufactured goods account for a smaller share of the world’s economic output than they did in 2008. Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain.

    Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.

    In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.

    (Edited from a piece by Mark Levinson from the New York Times)

    26. What is the author’s purpose in this text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The author is using the Suez Canal story to express a wider opinion about the risks of outsourcing and the likely effect this will have on the future of globalisation

    a. This is too narrow

    b. This takes the author’s point too far, he is not strongly advocating for changes

    c. The author does this to further his point, it is not in itself the main point

    d. This is correct

    e. This is not related to the author’s point

    TOP TIP! Be careful, just because an author talks about something a lot (for example the Suez Canal) it may be that they are using that thing to evidence or explain their wider point, so consider whether the text is actually about the Suez Canal or whether the author’s purpose goes beyond that example

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    The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor

    Long-distance supply chains hide costly risks — and those risks may help usher in a new stage of global commerce. The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given (which was freed on Monday) in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.

    The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.  But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.

    Starting in the late 1980s, the combination of cheaper container shipping, vanishing communications costs and improved computing flipped the script. Manufacturers and retailers adopted new strategies — arranging, for example, to buy chemicals in Country A, transform them into plastics in Country B, mold the plastics into components in Country C and deliver them to an assembly plant in Country D.Container ships made it possible to move parts and components from one country to another at low cost, while technology, soon accelerated by the internet, allowed managers to oversee their supply chains from a headquarters far away.

    Two factors drove this redistribution of industry. One was wages: The gap between the pay of factory workers in China or Mexico and those in Western Europe, Japan or North America yawned so wide that even if the low-wage workers accomplished far less in an hour of work, producing in Shanghai rather than in St. Louis made financial sense. The other was economies of scale. Factories serving the entire world could specialize, making a small array of products in enormous volume and lowering the cost of each unit.With outsourcing, there is now no need for the company at the top of the chain to undertake large investments in the countries where it wanted its components or its finished goods produced.Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product. The potential loss of revenue if the supply chain failed to deliver goods on time was simply ignored.

    The company at the top of a supply chain often has little insight into its suppliers’ suppliers or into the transportation system that connects them. Incident after incident has shown long supply chains to be more fragile than imagined. For many firms, the consequences can be painful, even fatal.

    And the business risks are not limited to disruption. Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains.  Long-distance trade is also slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago. That helps explain why exports of manufactured goods account for a smaller share of the world’s economic output than they did in 2008. Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain.

    Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.

    In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.

    (Edited from a piece by Mark Levinson from the New York Times)

    27. In the text, which of the following is not presented as a disadvantage to outsourcing with carrier ships?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    ‘Managers oversee their supply chains from headquarters far away’ is presented as an advantage to the businesses, a reason for outsourcing, not as a disadvantage to outsourcing like the other answer options.

    QUESTION TIP! Pay close attention to the specific words in the question. This question asked for things which were not ‘presented’ as a disadvantage. This is different to asking which things are advantageous or disadvantageous 

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    The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor

    Long-distance supply chains hide costly risks — and those risks may help usher in a new stage of global commerce. The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given (which was freed on Monday) in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.

    The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.  But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.

    Starting in the late 1980s, the combination of cheaper container shipping, vanishing communications costs and improved computing flipped the script. Manufacturers and retailers adopted new strategies — arranging, for example, to buy chemicals in Country A, transform them into plastics in Country B, mold the plastics into components in Country C and deliver them to an assembly plant in Country D.Container ships made it possible to move parts and components from one country to another at low cost, while technology, soon accelerated by the internet, allowed managers to oversee their supply chains from a headquarters far away.

    Two factors drove this redistribution of industry. One was wages: The gap between the pay of factory workers in China or Mexico and those in Western Europe, Japan or North America yawned so wide that even if the low-wage workers accomplished far less in an hour of work, producing in Shanghai rather than in St. Louis made financial sense. The other was economies of scale. Factories serving the entire world could specialize, making a small array of products in enormous volume and lowering the cost of each unit.With outsourcing, there is now no need for the company at the top of the chain to undertake large investments in the countries where it wanted its components or its finished goods produced.Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product. The potential loss of revenue if the supply chain failed to deliver goods on time was simply ignored.

    The company at the top of a supply chain often has little insight into its suppliers’ suppliers or into the transportation system that connects them. Incident after incident has shown long supply chains to be more fragile than imagined. For many firms, the consequences can be painful, even fatal.

    And the business risks are not limited to disruption. Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains.  Long-distance trade is also slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago. That helps explain why exports of manufactured goods account for a smaller share of the world’s economic output than they did in 2008. Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain.

    Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.

    In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.

    (Edited from a piece by Mark Levinson from the New York Times)

    28. Which of the following was not a reason for growth in outsourcing?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    ‘Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains’ – D is presented as an effect of outsourcing rather than a reason for it 

    a. Technology is listed as a reason for the growth

    b. Economies of scale is given as one of the two main reasons for outsourcing

    c. Container ships are listed as a reason – they allow for transport of small components between areas

    d. This is the correct answer

    e. Labour is the first main reason for outsourcing given in the text

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    The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor

    Long-distance supply chains hide costly risks — and those risks may help usher in a new stage of global commerce. The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given (which was freed on Monday) in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.

    The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.  But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.

    Starting in the late 1980s, the combination of cheaper container shipping, vanishing communications costs and improved computing flipped the script. Manufacturers and retailers adopted new strategies — arranging, for example, to buy chemicals in Country A, transform them into plastics in Country B, mold the plastics into components in Country C and deliver them to an assembly plant in Country D.Container ships made it possible to move parts and components from one country to another at low cost, while technology, soon accelerated by the internet, allowed managers to oversee their supply chains from a headquarters far away.

    Two factors drove this redistribution of industry. One was wages: The gap between the pay of factory workers in China or Mexico and those in Western Europe, Japan or North America yawned so wide that even if the low-wage workers accomplished far less in an hour of work, producing in Shanghai rather than in St. Louis made financial sense. The other was economies of scale. Factories serving the entire world could specialize, making a small array of products in enormous volume and lowering the cost of each unit.With outsourcing, there is now no need for the company at the top of the chain to undertake large investments in the countries where it wanted its components or its finished goods produced.Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product. The potential loss of revenue if the supply chain failed to deliver goods on time was simply ignored.

    The company at the top of a supply chain often has little insight into its suppliers’ suppliers or into the transportation system that connects them. Incident after incident has shown long supply chains to be more fragile than imagined. For many firms, the consequences can be painful, even fatal.

    And the business risks are not limited to disruption. Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains.  Long-distance trade is also slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago. That helps explain why exports of manufactured goods account for a smaller share of the world’s economic output than they did in 2008. Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain.

    Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.

    In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.

    (Edited from a piece by Mark Levinson from the New York Times)

    29. Which of the following can be inferred from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    We can infer the answer in A from the line ‘Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product’ and ‘Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain’. 

    a. This is the correct answer option

    b. This is explicitly in the text and therefore is not an inference

    c. The author does not suggest this, it is a step too far

    d. This is not suggested, the author thinks globalisation will change not stop entirely

    e. This is what the author thinks, but his understanding is based on opinion not fact so we cannot say ‘certainly’

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    The Stuck Container Ship on the Suez Canal Was a Metaphor

    Long-distance supply chains hide costly risks — and those risks may help usher in a new stage of global commerce. The March 23 grounding of the giant vessel Ever Given (which was freed on Monday) in the Suez Canal may have been bad news for the world economy. Still, corks have been popping in the headquarters of the world’s container shipping lines. Carriers are having their best year since at least 2008: Ships are full, rates are sky-high, and profits, slim in recent years, are rolling in.

    The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.  But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.

    Starting in the late 1980s, the combination of cheaper container shipping, vanishing communications costs and improved computing flipped the script. Manufacturers and retailers adopted new strategies — arranging, for example, to buy chemicals in Country A, transform them into plastics in Country B, mold the plastics into components in Country C and deliver them to an assembly plant in Country D.Container ships made it possible to move parts and components from one country to another at low cost, while technology, soon accelerated by the internet, allowed managers to oversee their supply chains from a headquarters far away.

    Two factors drove this redistribution of industry. One was wages: The gap between the pay of factory workers in China or Mexico and those in Western Europe, Japan or North America yawned so wide that even if the low-wage workers accomplished far less in an hour of work, producing in Shanghai rather than in St. Louis made financial sense. The other was economies of scale. Factories serving the entire world could specialize, making a small array of products in enormous volume and lowering the cost of each unit.With outsourcing, there is now no need for the company at the top of the chain to undertake large investments in the countries where it wanted its components or its finished goods produced.Hardly any attention was paid to the risks arising from the number of firms that might be involved in making and delivering any given product. The potential loss of revenue if the supply chain failed to deliver goods on time was simply ignored.

    The company at the top of a supply chain often has little insight into its suppliers’ suppliers or into the transportation system that connects them. Incident after incident has shown long supply chains to be more fragile than imagined. For many firms, the consequences can be painful, even fatal.

    And the business risks are not limited to disruption. Famous firms have seen their names tarnished by scandals involving working conditions or environmental practices at obscure companies far down their supply chains.  Long-distance trade is also slower and less reliable than it was two decades ago. That helps explain why exports of manufactured goods account for a smaller share of the world’s economic output than they did in 2008. Once the risks are accounted for properly, manufacturing in distant places with low wages isn’t always a bargain.

    Yet pronouncements about the death of globalization are not well founded. Rather, the stage of globalization we have known since the 1980s, in which highly trained employees in the advanced economies create physical products to be manufactured where wages are lower, is past its peak. In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly.

    In globalization’s next stage, ships carrying metal boxes full of stuff will no longer be at the center of the story.

    (Edited from a piece by Mark Levinson from the New York Times)

    30. What does the author predict the future of globalization to be?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    We can infer that the answer is C from the line ‘ In its place, a new stage of globalization, in which factory production and foreign investment matter less than the flow of services and ideas, is advancing quickly’

    a. The author talks about globalisation changing not reducing

    b. The author talks about globalization changing not increasing 

    c. This is correct

    d. This is the opposite of what the author says in the text

    e. The author says that globalization will change to a ‘new form’

    TOP TIP!  This is a very specific question so it is likely to relate to one or two lines of the text, before you answer you should go back to the text and see if you can find the line that it relates to

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    Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems

    The Covid vaccination campaign is a better advertisement for Brexit than even Brexiteers could have imagined. Hasn’t the newly liberated Britain, freed from the shackles of EU membership, shown what it’s capable of?

    The evidence couldn’t be clearer: 19% of the British population has already received a first vaccination, compared with barely 1.5% of the EU’s. Malta, the EU country out in front, is still only on 8%. Surely a case of “game, set and match”, as John Major so proudly declared back in December 1991, having won the UK’s opt-out from the Maastricht treaty?

    Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

    True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

    But, and there’s a very big but, the UK’s “success” is a really an illusion: because to be fully effective, the vaccine requires two doses. And only 0.80% of the UK population has received both shots, less than that of France (0.92%), and a long way behind Denmark, which has 2.87% of its population fully vaccinated.

    Above all, extending the time lag between first and the second doses, as the UK has done, potentially carries risks. So Brexit Britain’s triumph doesn’t seem quite so striking, even if the logistics of rollout – which are handled by national health ministries and have no EU involvement – are more efficient in the UK than in most European countries.

    Solidarity is one of the great virtues of the European Union and it has implemented it without complaint, not only among its citizens but also with regard to the rest of the world. African countries in particular will benefit from the surplus jabs ordered by the EU. And this is a well thought out solidarity, by the way, since only vaccinating Europe’s population makes no sense in a globalised world.

    (Edited from a Guardian article by Jean Quatremer)

    31. What is the author’s purpose in writing this article?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The author is trying to put the argument that covid vaccination is really good and a symbol of an effective BREXIT, in perspective, by showing that the difference between Britain and the EU is not quite as extensive as it seems

    a. This takes the authors argument to too far of an extreme

    b. The author does criticise the EU’s vaccination programme in some ways and praises it in others, this is not the purpose of the text

    c. The author does criticise Britain’s vaccination programmes in some respects, but praises it in others. He makes these points to illustrate his overall argument, it is not his main point

    d. This is correct

    e. This is said by the author, but it is not his main argument   

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    Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems

    The Covid vaccination campaign is a better advertisement for Brexit than even Brexiteers could have imagined. Hasn’t the newly liberated Britain, freed from the shackles of EU membership, shown what it’s capable of?

    The evidence couldn’t be clearer: 19% of the British population has already received a first vaccination, compared with barely 1.5% of the EU’s. Malta, the EU country out in front, is still only on 8%. Surely a case of “game, set and match”, as John Major so proudly declared back in December 1991, having won the UK’s opt-out from the Maastricht treaty?

    Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

    True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

    But, and there’s a very big but, the UK’s “success” is a really an illusion: because to be fully effective, the vaccine requires two doses. And only 0.80% of the UK population has received both shots, less than that of France (0.92%), and a long way behind Denmark, which has 2.87% of its population fully vaccinated.

    Above all, extending the time lag between first and the second doses, as the UK has done, potentially carries risks. So Brexit Britain’s triumph doesn’t seem quite so striking, even if the logistics of rollout – which are handled by national health ministries and have no EU involvement – are more efficient in the UK than in most European countries.

    Solidarity is one of the great virtues of the European Union and it has implemented it without complaint, not only among its citizens but also with regard to the rest of the world. African countries in particular will benefit from the surplus jabs ordered by the EU. And this is a well thought out solidarity, by the way, since only vaccinating Europe’s population makes no sense in a globalised world.

    (Edited from a Guardian article by Jean Quatremer)

    32. Which of the following must be false?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    C must be false because France has 0.92% whilst Denmark has 2.87%

    a. This is true, we can find this information in the second paragraph

    b. This might be true, we simply cannot tell from the text

    c. This is the correct answer

    d. This might be false but the text does not give us any data for us to be certain

    e. This might be true, the text says Malta is out ahead at 8%, but that does not necessarily tell us anything about who will be the first to completely vaccinate the population

    TOP TIP! – The key word is ‘must’ be false, do not pick an answer that ‘might’ be false

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    Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems

    The Covid vaccination campaign is a better advertisement for Brexit than even Brexiteers could have imagined. Hasn’t the newly liberated Britain, freed from the shackles of EU membership, shown what it’s capable of?

    The evidence couldn’t be clearer: 19% of the British population has already received a first vaccination, compared with barely 1.5% of the EU’s. Malta, the EU country out in front, is still only on 8%. Surely a case of “game, set and match”, as John Major so proudly declared back in December 1991, having won the UK’s opt-out from the Maastricht treaty?

    Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

    True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

    But, and there’s a very big but, the UK’s “success” is a really an illusion: because to be fully effective, the vaccine requires two doses. And only 0.80% of the UK population has received both shots, less than that of France (0.92%), and a long way behind Denmark, which has 2.87% of its population fully vaccinated.

    Above all, extending the time lag between first and the second doses, as the UK has done, potentially carries risks. So Brexit Britain’s triumph doesn’t seem quite so striking, even if the logistics of rollout – which are handled by national health ministries and have no EU involvement – are more efficient in the UK than in most European countries.

    Solidarity is one of the great virtues of the European Union and it has implemented it without complaint, not only among its citizens but also with regard to the rest of the world. African countries in particular will benefit from the surplus jabs ordered by the EU. And this is a well thought out solidarity, by the way, since only vaccinating Europe’s population makes no sense in a globalised world.

    (Edited from a Guardian article by Jean Quatremer)

    33. What is the underlying tone of the piece?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The tone of the piece is critical of those who take the political position that the covid vaccination programme shows that BREXIT was a really good idea

    a. This is the correct answer

    b. This is not really an underlying tone of the text it is more likely an explicit aspect of the text

    c. The text is not overall positive or uplifting

    d. This takes the underlying tone too far, the author does not come across aggressive

    e. This is not really relevant

    TIMING TIP! Don’t go back to the text for underlying tone questions, your gut feeling from reading over it the first time should give you a good idea of the underlying tone

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    Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems

    The Covid vaccination campaign is a better advertisement for Brexit than even Brexiteers could have imagined. Hasn’t the newly liberated Britain, freed from the shackles of EU membership, shown what it’s capable of?

    The evidence couldn’t be clearer: 19% of the British population has already received a first vaccination, compared with barely 1.5% of the EU’s. Malta, the EU country out in front, is still only on 8%. Surely a case of “game, set and match”, as John Major so proudly declared back in December 1991, having won the UK’s opt-out from the Maastricht treaty?

    Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

    True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

    But, and there’s a very big but, the UK’s “success” is a really an illusion: because to be fully effective, the vaccine requires two doses. And only 0.80% of the UK population has received both shots, less than that of France (0.92%), and a long way behind Denmark, which has 2.87% of its population fully vaccinated.

    Above all, extending the time lag between first and the second doses, as the UK has done, potentially carries risks. So Brexit Britain’s triumph doesn’t seem quite so striking, even if the logistics of rollout – which are handled by national health ministries and have no EU involvement – are more efficient in the UK than in most European countries.

    Solidarity is one of the great virtues of the European Union and it has implemented it without complaint, not only among its citizens but also with regard to the rest of the world. African countries in particular will benefit from the surplus jabs ordered by the EU. And this is a well thought out solidarity, by the way, since only vaccinating Europe’s population makes no sense in a globalised world.

    (Edited from a Guardian article by Jean Quatremer)

    34. Which of the following is not something the author feels the UK has jeopardized?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author is not criticising the speed of the UK’s vaccination roll out, in fact that is praised by the author

    a. This is suggested by the comparison with the EU, who the author states is standing in solidarity with the rest of the world

    b. The author suggests that the UK had to allow big pharma to forfeit their civil liability in order to get the vaccine out faster

    c. This is the correct answer

    d. This is suggested when the author discuss the fact that the UK has not given many double doses which provide maximum effective protection

    e. The author suggests there are medical risks attached to leaving a large amount of time between the first and second vaccine doses

    TOP TIP! Watch out for double negative question types like this one

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    Brexit Britain’s victory over the EU on Covid vaccination is not what it seems

    The Covid vaccination campaign is a better advertisement for Brexit than even Brexiteers could have imagined. Hasn’t the newly liberated Britain, freed from the shackles of EU membership, shown what it’s capable of?

    The evidence couldn’t be clearer: 19% of the British population has already received a first vaccination, compared with barely 1.5% of the EU’s. Malta, the EU country out in front, is still only on 8%. Surely a case of “game, set and match”, as John Major so proudly declared back in December 1991, having won the UK’s opt-out from the Maastricht treaty?

    Sorry, but the reality is a little more complex – and not quite such a stunning UK victory.

    True, Britain got a month’s head start on the EU by approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the start of December, and then AstraZeneca’s at the end of that month. It had to accept the terms offered by the pharmaceutical companies, however, both in paying a higher price per dose, and by waiving their civil liability in the event of adverse effects.

    But, and there’s a very big but, the UK’s “success” is a really an illusion: because to be fully effective, the vaccine requires two doses. And only 0.80% of the UK population has received both shots, less than that of France (0.92%), and a long way behind Denmark, which has 2.87% of its population fully vaccinated.

    Above all, extending the time lag between first and the second doses, as the UK has done, potentially carries risks. So Brexit Britain’s triumph doesn’t seem quite so striking, even if the logistics of rollout – which are handled by national health ministries and have no EU involvement – are more efficient in the UK than in most European countries.

    Solidarity is one of the great virtues of the European Union and it has implemented it without complaint, not only among its citizens but also with regard to the rest of the world. African countries in particular will benefit from the surplus jabs ordered by the EU. And this is a well thought out solidarity, by the way, since only vaccinating Europe’s population makes no sense in a globalised world.

    (Edited from a Guardian article by Jean Quatremer)

    35. If Britain’s population is 64 million, how many people have had only one shot of the vaccination at the time this article was written?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The question asks for the number of people who have had ONLY one vaccine. So we need to work out the number who have had one and subtract the number who have had two.

    a. This is the number who have had one or two (19%)

    b. This is the number who have had two (0.8%)

    c. This is the correct answer

    d. This is incorrect, not everybody has had only one

    e. This is incorrect but is close to the number in C

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    For more than a year, I’ve been helping two friends with the Life in the UK test, which is a prerequisite for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain, or naturalisation as a British citizen. They’ve each failed twice since January, Victor took his third test on Saturday.

    Immersed in it, still never a week goes by that I’m not astonished and wrongfooted by a question on the practice tests. What, in 2007, did Britons vote the nation’s best view? Which of the following statements is correct: Shakespeare focused mainly on kings, queens and the nobility; Shakespeare was one of the first to portray the lives of ordinary Englishmen and women? (I’d say you could make a case for both, except for that ambiguity – one of the first whats? Writers? What about Chaucer? Anyway, the second was the answer they were looking for.)

    Some of the questions are wrong by accident; they had to send out an erratum when they got the wrong number of candles on a menorah. Some of the answers are reverse engineered, so what they’re looking for is not the truth, but a previous-truth that no longer obtains, yet a true Briton would (presumably?) know anyway. For instance, is Valentine’s Day strangers sending each other anonymous notes, or couples proposing to one another, or couples giving each other gifts, or couples going out for dinner? Plainly, there are whole (British!) industries partly sustained by the fact that couples do give each other gifts and go out for dinner, but the answer they were looking for was the one last true in the 1980s.

    Some are wrong to make a specific point; so “a terrorist will always try to persuade you and recruit you to their cause”, apparently (I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck). Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism – another retraction had to be made on the subject of Concorde, when the text failed to note that Russia got there first. Some are simply atmospherically wrong, because they’re seeking to land a point: so did prosperity grow during industrialisation? It’s hard to know what to say, if you know anything at all about the conditions of the English working class. And it’s hard to ignore that, if you then want to understand the trades union movement (and the rest). Yet of course “yes” is the answer they’re looking for. Some are wrong because the whole thing is just much more complicated than that, especially with regard to the English civil war, which seems to baffle the setters yet they can’t leave it alone.

    More importantly, it is much too hard: the taxonomies of the English and Scottish court systems, criminal and civil, where they differ; the number of MLAs in the Northern Ireland assembly; the plate a Northern Irish driver must display for the first year after they pass their test; I would be surprised if this were common knowledge among people who were born and bred here. It demands expertise that would probably never reside in the same person whether they were British or not – so, I might know what happened in the Highland Clearances, but I would not be able to rattle off all Olympic gold winners of note.

    In short, it is exactly as sloppy, immature, boastful and jingoistic as you would expect from our current manifestation of Conservatives, and yet it did not originate with them. It was a feature of the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act of 2002, part of Tony Blair’s obsession with demonstrating his belief that “every country should have the right to determine whether certain people can live within its borders”, which also included measures to prevent suspected terrorists even entering the country. This, at the time, seemed to veer radically away from what was supposed to be, if not an exclusively British principle, certainly an important element of our vaunted fair play: that you couldn’t fundamentally alter a person’s rights based on a suspicion. Other changes of the era were even more consequential: the introduction of the Azure card instead of cash benefits, which cast many refugees into penury and the restriction of an asylum seeker’s ability to work legally, and thereby wholesale removal of their rights in the workplace.

    In meeting that rhetoric halfway, we have arrived at a version of Britishness that, when you see it in a single document, puts the “moron” into oxymoronic. It’s an anti-intellectual chest-beating about the past’s intellectuals, an ahistorical account of history, a parade of national pride that makes you shudder with embarrassment. It reflects the state of our current discourse, and crystallises a truth that progressive parties must recognise: you cannot meet ethno-nationalism halfway. You cannot negotiate with it, or find elegant solutions to its chagrin, or throw it scraps of meat from the populations you don’t care about. You have to resist it as you would an anti-vaxxer, not because you despise its proponents, but because it’s wrong, and unopposed, it endangers us all.

    My friend Victor failed again on Saturday. God knows how. He could tell you facts about battles I couldn’t even spell. It is a test to keep people out, of a nation where the criteria of belonging are narrower every day.

    (Edited from The Guardian, Zoe Williams)

    36. Which of the following is not a reason why questions on the test are incorrect?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    The question asks us for reasons why test questions are incorrect, D is a reason why the test questions are bad but not incorrect.

    a. The text says ‘Some of the questions are wrong by accident’

    b. This is found in the third paragraph

    c. This is found in the fourth paragraph

    d. This is the correct answer

    e. This can be inferred from the line ‘Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism’

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    For more than a year, I’ve been helping two friends with the Life in the UK test, which is a prerequisite for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain, or naturalisation as a British citizen. They’ve each failed twice since January, Victor took his third test on Saturday.

    Immersed in it, still never a week goes by that I’m not astonished and wrongfooted by a question on the practice tests. What, in 2007, did Britons vote the nation’s best view? Which of the following statements is correct: Shakespeare focused mainly on kings, queens and the nobility; Shakespeare was one of the first to portray the lives of ordinary Englishmen and women? (I’d say you could make a case for both, except for that ambiguity – one of the first whats? Writers? What about Chaucer? Anyway, the second was the answer they were looking for.)

    Some of the questions are wrong by accident; they had to send out an erratum when they got the wrong number of candles on a menorah. Some of the answers are reverse engineered, so what they’re looking for is not the truth, but a previous-truth that no longer obtains, yet a true Briton would (presumably?) know anyway. For instance, is Valentine’s Day strangers sending each other anonymous notes, or couples proposing to one another, or couples giving each other gifts, or couples going out for dinner? Plainly, there are whole (British!) industries partly sustained by the fact that couples do give each other gifts and go out for dinner, but the answer they were looking for was the one last true in the 1980s.

    Some are wrong to make a specific point; so “a terrorist will always try to persuade you and recruit you to their cause”, apparently (I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck). Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism – another retraction had to be made on the subject of Concorde, when the text failed to note that Russia got there first. Some are simply atmospherically wrong, because they’re seeking to land a point: so did prosperity grow during industrialisation? It’s hard to know what to say, if you know anything at all about the conditions of the English working class. And it’s hard to ignore that, if you then want to understand the trades union movement (and the rest). Yet of course “yes” is the answer they’re looking for. Some are wrong because the whole thing is just much more complicated than that, especially with regard to the English civil war, which seems to baffle the setters yet they can’t leave it alone.

    More importantly, it is much too hard: the taxonomies of the English and Scottish court systems, criminal and civil, where they differ; the number of MLAs in the Northern Ireland assembly; the plate a Northern Irish driver must display for the first year after they pass their test; I would be surprised if this were common knowledge among people who were born and bred here. It demands expertise that would probably never reside in the same person whether they were British or not – so, I might know what happened in the Highland Clearances, but I would not be able to rattle off all Olympic gold winners of note.

    In short, it is exactly as sloppy, immature, boastful and jingoistic as you would expect from our current manifestation of Conservatives, and yet it did not originate with them. It was a feature of the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act of 2002, part of Tony Blair’s obsession with demonstrating his belief that “every country should have the right to determine whether certain people can live within its borders”, which also included measures to prevent suspected terrorists even entering the country. This, at the time, seemed to veer radically away from what was supposed to be, if not an exclusively British principle, certainly an important element of our vaunted fair play: that you couldn’t fundamentally alter a person’s rights based on a suspicion. Other changes of the era were even more consequential: the introduction of the Azure card instead of cash benefits, which cast many refugees into penury and the restriction of an asylum seeker’s ability to work legally, and thereby wholesale removal of their rights in the workplace.

    In meeting that rhetoric halfway, we have arrived at a version of Britishness that, when you see it in a single document, puts the “moron” into oxymoronic. It’s an anti-intellectual chest-beating about the past’s intellectuals, an ahistorical account of history, a parade of national pride that makes you shudder with embarrassment. It reflects the state of our current discourse, and crystallises a truth that progressive parties must recognise: you cannot meet ethno-nationalism halfway. You cannot negotiate with it, or find elegant solutions to its chagrin, or throw it scraps of meat from the populations you don’t care about. You have to resist it as you would an anti-vaxxer, not because you despise its proponents, but because it’s wrong, and unopposed, it endangers us all.

    My friend Victor failed again on Saturday. God knows how. He could tell you facts about battles I couldn’t even spell. It is a test to keep people out, of a nation where the criteria of belonging are narrower every day.

    (Edited from The Guardian, Zoe Williams)

    37. What is the meaning of ‘jingoistic’ in the context of the text
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    We can work out the meaning from other text around the words, including ‘boastful’ and ‘chest beating’

    a. This is the correct answer

    b. This is too simplistic

    c. This is incorrect – if anything the writer makes it seem like the test is consistently bad

    d. This does not really capture the meaning

    e. The writer does not really discuss justification, but this is probably the answer you are most likely to have put if you got it wrong

    QUESTION TIP! – Read around the word, the correct answer option is likely to be the one that best fits with the passage

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    For more than a year, I’ve been helping two friends with the Life in the UK test, which is a prerequisite for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain, or naturalisation as a British citizen. They’ve each failed twice since January, Victor took his third test on Saturday.

    Immersed in it, still never a week goes by that I’m not astonished and wrongfooted by a question on the practice tests. What, in 2007, did Britons vote the nation’s best view? Which of the following statements is correct: Shakespeare focused mainly on kings, queens and the nobility; Shakespeare was one of the first to portray the lives of ordinary Englishmen and women? (I’d say you could make a case for both, except for that ambiguity – one of the first whats? Writers? What about Chaucer? Anyway, the second was the answer they were looking for.)

    Some of the questions are wrong by accident; they had to send out an erratum when they got the wrong number of candles on a menorah. Some of the answers are reverse engineered, so what they’re looking for is not the truth, but a previous-truth that no longer obtains, yet a true Briton would (presumably?) know anyway. For instance, is Valentine’s Day strangers sending each other anonymous notes, or couples proposing to one another, or couples giving each other gifts, or couples going out for dinner? Plainly, there are whole (British!) industries partly sustained by the fact that couples do give each other gifts and go out for dinner, but the answer they were looking for was the one last true in the 1980s.

    Some are wrong to make a specific point; so “a terrorist will always try to persuade you and recruit you to their cause”, apparently (I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck). Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism – another retraction had to be made on the subject of Concorde, when the text failed to note that Russia got there first. Some are simply atmospherically wrong, because they’re seeking to land a point: so did prosperity grow during industrialisation? It’s hard to know what to say, if you know anything at all about the conditions of the English working class. And it’s hard to ignore that, if you then want to understand the trades union movement (and the rest). Yet of course “yes” is the answer they’re looking for. Some are wrong because the whole thing is just much more complicated than that, especially with regard to the English civil war, which seems to baffle the setters yet they can’t leave it alone.

    More importantly, it is much too hard: the taxonomies of the English and Scottish court systems, criminal and civil, where they differ; the number of MLAs in the Northern Ireland assembly; the plate a Northern Irish driver must display for the first year after they pass their test; I would be surprised if this were common knowledge among people who were born and bred here. It demands expertise that would probably never reside in the same person whether they were British or not – so, I might know what happened in the Highland Clearances, but I would not be able to rattle off all Olympic gold winners of note.

    In short, it is exactly as sloppy, immature, boastful and jingoistic as you would expect from our current manifestation of Conservatives, and yet it did not originate with them. It was a feature of the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act of 2002, part of Tony Blair’s obsession with demonstrating his belief that “every country should have the right to determine whether certain people can live within its borders”, which also included measures to prevent suspected terrorists even entering the country. This, at the time, seemed to veer radically away from what was supposed to be, if not an exclusively British principle, certainly an important element of our vaunted fair play: that you couldn’t fundamentally alter a person’s rights based on a suspicion. Other changes of the era were even more consequential: the introduction of the Azure card instead of cash benefits, which cast many refugees into penury and the restriction of an asylum seeker’s ability to work legally, and thereby wholesale removal of their rights in the workplace.

    In meeting that rhetoric halfway, we have arrived at a version of Britishness that, when you see it in a single document, puts the “moron” into oxymoronic. It’s an anti-intellectual chest-beating about the past’s intellectuals, an ahistorical account of history, a parade of national pride that makes you shudder with embarrassment. It reflects the state of our current discourse, and crystallises a truth that progressive parties must recognise: you cannot meet ethno-nationalism halfway. You cannot negotiate with it, or find elegant solutions to its chagrin, or throw it scraps of meat from the populations you don’t care about. You have to resist it as you would an anti-vaxxer, not because you despise its proponents, but because it’s wrong, and unopposed, it endangers us all.

    My friend Victor failed again on Saturday. God knows how. He could tell you facts about battles I couldn’t even spell. It is a test to keep people out, of a nation where the criteria of belonging are narrower every day.

    (Edited from The Guardian, Zoe Williams)

    38. What is the main reason that the author dislikes the test?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    B best encapsulates the author’s main argument which is that the test is unfair and sends out a worrying and false message about what it means to be British

    a. This is true but the author’s point is wider than this

    b. This is correct

    c. This is true but is only a small reason given by the author

    d. This is true but again the authors argument is much wider than just her friends

    e. The author does not necessarily oppose all kinds of border control, rather she opposes the way in which the test works 

    ANSWER TIP! If one answer option is partly included in another answer option (for example the first half of B is essentially option A) check closely that the second half of the answer is incorrect before choosing the smaller option

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    For more than a year, I’ve been helping two friends with the Life in the UK test, which is a prerequisite for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain, or naturalisation as a British citizen. They’ve each failed twice since January, Victor took his third test on Saturday.

    Immersed in it, still never a week goes by that I’m not astonished and wrongfooted by a question on the practice tests. What, in 2007, did Britons vote the nation’s best view? Which of the following statements is correct: Shakespeare focused mainly on kings, queens and the nobility; Shakespeare was one of the first to portray the lives of ordinary Englishmen and women? (I’d say you could make a case for both, except for that ambiguity – one of the first whats? Writers? What about Chaucer? Anyway, the second was the answer they were looking for.)

    Some of the questions are wrong by accident; they had to send out an erratum when they got the wrong number of candles on a menorah. Some of the answers are reverse engineered, so what they’re looking for is not the truth, but a previous-truth that no longer obtains, yet a true Briton would (presumably?) know anyway. For instance, is Valentine’s Day strangers sending each other anonymous notes, or couples proposing to one another, or couples giving each other gifts, or couples going out for dinner? Plainly, there are whole (British!) industries partly sustained by the fact that couples do give each other gifts and go out for dinner, but the answer they were looking for was the one last true in the 1980s.

    Some are wrong to make a specific point; so “a terrorist will always try to persuade you and recruit you to their cause”, apparently (I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck). Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism – another retraction had to be made on the subject of Concorde, when the text failed to note that Russia got there first. Some are simply atmospherically wrong, because they’re seeking to land a point: so did prosperity grow during industrialisation? It’s hard to know what to say, if you know anything at all about the conditions of the English working class. And it’s hard to ignore that, if you then want to understand the trades union movement (and the rest). Yet of course “yes” is the answer they’re looking for. Some are wrong because the whole thing is just much more complicated than that, especially with regard to the English civil war, which seems to baffle the setters yet they can’t leave it alone.

    More importantly, it is much too hard: the taxonomies of the English and Scottish court systems, criminal and civil, where they differ; the number of MLAs in the Northern Ireland assembly; the plate a Northern Irish driver must display for the first year after they pass their test; I would be surprised if this were common knowledge among people who were born and bred here. It demands expertise that would probably never reside in the same person whether they were British or not – so, I might know what happened in the Highland Clearances, but I would not be able to rattle off all Olympic gold winners of note.

    In short, it is exactly as sloppy, immature, boastful and jingoistic as you would expect from our current manifestation of Conservatives, and yet it did not originate with them. It was a feature of the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act of 2002, part of Tony Blair’s obsession with demonstrating his belief that “every country should have the right to determine whether certain people can live within its borders”, which also included measures to prevent suspected terrorists even entering the country. This, at the time, seemed to veer radically away from what was supposed to be, if not an exclusively British principle, certainly an important element of our vaunted fair play: that you couldn’t fundamentally alter a person’s rights based on a suspicion. Other changes of the era were even more consequential: the introduction of the Azure card instead of cash benefits, which cast many refugees into penury and the restriction of an asylum seeker’s ability to work legally, and thereby wholesale removal of their rights in the workplace.

    In meeting that rhetoric halfway, we have arrived at a version of Britishness that, when you see it in a single document, puts the “moron” into oxymoronic. It’s an anti-intellectual chest-beating about the past’s intellectuals, an ahistorical account of history, a parade of national pride that makes you shudder with embarrassment. It reflects the state of our current discourse, and crystallises a truth that progressive parties must recognise: you cannot meet ethno-nationalism halfway. You cannot negotiate with it, or find elegant solutions to its chagrin, or throw it scraps of meat from the populations you don’t care about. You have to resist it as you would an anti-vaxxer, not because you despise its proponents, but because it’s wrong, and unopposed, it endangers us all.

    My friend Victor failed again on Saturday. God knows how. He could tell you facts about battles I couldn’t even spell. It is a test to keep people out, of a nation where the criteria of belonging are narrower every day.

    (Edited from The Guardian, Zoe Williams)

    39. Which of the following is true, according to the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    We can infer that the author is surprised that the test was not made by our current government, suggesting that the style of the test is, in her view, in keeping with the policies and style of the current government

    a. This is correct

    b. This is incorrect the test was not developed by the current government

    c. The author seems surprised that the test was developed by a labour government, she would expect it to be made by a conservative government

    d. This is incorrect and conflicts with A

    e. The test was devised by Tony Blair and not by a conservative government

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    For more than a year, I’ve been helping two friends with the Life in the UK test, which is a prerequisite for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain, or naturalisation as a British citizen. They’ve each failed twice since January, Victor took his third test on Saturday.

    Immersed in it, still never a week goes by that I’m not astonished and wrongfooted by a question on the practice tests. What, in 2007, did Britons vote the nation’s best view? Which of the following statements is correct: Shakespeare focused mainly on kings, queens and the nobility; Shakespeare was one of the first to portray the lives of ordinary Englishmen and women? (I’d say you could make a case for both, except for that ambiguity – one of the first whats? Writers? What about Chaucer? Anyway, the second was the answer they were looking for.)

    Some of the questions are wrong by accident; they had to send out an erratum when they got the wrong number of candles on a menorah. Some of the answers are reverse engineered, so what they’re looking for is not the truth, but a previous-truth that no longer obtains, yet a true Briton would (presumably?) know anyway. For instance, is Valentine’s Day strangers sending each other anonymous notes, or couples proposing to one another, or couples giving each other gifts, or couples going out for dinner? Plainly, there are whole (British!) industries partly sustained by the fact that couples do give each other gifts and go out for dinner, but the answer they were looking for was the one last true in the 1980s.

    Some are wrong to make a specific point; so “a terrorist will always try to persuade you and recruit you to their cause”, apparently (I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck). Some are wrong to make a point about British exceptionalism – another retraction had to be made on the subject of Concorde, when the text failed to note that Russia got there first. Some are simply atmospherically wrong, because they’re seeking to land a point: so did prosperity grow during industrialisation? It’s hard to know what to say, if you know anything at all about the conditions of the English working class. And it’s hard to ignore that, if you then want to understand the trades union movement (and the rest). Yet of course “yes” is the answer they’re looking for. Some are wrong because the whole thing is just much more complicated than that, especially with regard to the English civil war, which seems to baffle the setters yet they can’t leave it alone.

    More importantly, it is much too hard: the taxonomies of the English and Scottish court systems, criminal and civil, where they differ; the number of MLAs in the Northern Ireland assembly; the plate a Northern Irish driver must display for the first year after they pass their test; I would be surprised if this were common knowledge among people who were born and bred here. It demands expertise that would probably never reside in the same person whether they were British or not – so, I might know what happened in the Highland Clearances, but I would not be able to rattle off all Olympic gold winners of note.

    In short, it is exactly as sloppy, immature, boastful and jingoistic as you would expect from our current manifestation of Conservatives, and yet it did not originate with them. It was a feature of the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act of 2002, part of Tony Blair’s obsession with demonstrating his belief that “every country should have the right to determine whether certain people can live within its borders”, which also included measures to prevent suspected terrorists even entering the country. This, at the time, seemed to veer radically away from what was supposed to be, if not an exclusively British principle, certainly an important element of our vaunted fair play: that you couldn’t fundamentally alter a person’s rights based on a suspicion. Other changes of the era were even more consequential: the introduction of the Azure card instead of cash benefits, which cast many refugees into penury and the restriction of an asylum seeker’s ability to work legally, and thereby wholesale removal of their rights in the workplace.

    In meeting that rhetoric halfway, we have arrived at a version of Britishness that, when you see it in a single document, puts the “moron” into oxymoronic. It’s an anti-intellectual chest-beating about the past’s intellectuals, an ahistorical account of history, a parade of national pride that makes you shudder with embarrassment. It reflects the state of our current discourse, and crystallises a truth that progressive parties must recognise: you cannot meet ethno-nationalism halfway. You cannot negotiate with it, or find elegant solutions to its chagrin, or throw it scraps of meat from the populations you don’t care about. You have to resist it as you would an anti-vaxxer, not because you despise its proponents, but because it’s wrong, and unopposed, it endangers us all.

    My friend Victor failed again on Saturday. God knows how. He could tell you facts about battles I couldn’t even spell. It is a test to keep people out, of a nation where the criteria of belonging are narrower every day.

    (Edited from The Guardian, Zoe Williams)

    40. What point is the author trying to make when she says “I’d like to see someone get into the Baader-Meinhof without a polo neck”
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author uses this quote to make a point that the test question is incorrect and ultimately ridiculous

    a. This is the opposite of the author’s purpose

    b. This is the correct answer

    c. This is not true, the author is making a silly point to make a serious point about the test

    d. This is true but misses the further purpose of making the test seem ridiculous

    e. This is not necessarily true

    TOP TIP! Read around the quote and check your answer fits with the author’s wider argument

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    Politics Review Screen

    Instructions

    Below is a summary of your answers. You can review your questions in three (3) different ways.

    The buttons in the lower right-hand corner correspond to these choices:

    1. Review all of your questions and answers.
    2. Review questions that are incomplete.
    3. Review questions that are flagged for review. (Click the 'flag' icon to change the flag for review status.)

    You may also click on a question number to link directly to its location in the exam.

    Politics Section

    Final Answer Review Screen

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    This review section allows you to view the answers you made and see whether they were correct or not. Each question accessed from this screen has an 'Explain Answer' button in the top left hand side. By clicking on this you will obtain an explanation as to the correct answer.

    At the bottom of this screen you can choose to 'Review All' answers, 'Review Incorrect' answers or 'Review Flagged' answers. Alternatively you can go to specific questions by opening up any of the sub-tests below.

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