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C2 Proficient (CPE)
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Test 1 / 30

Soap operas

It is surely beyond dispute that soap opera is the most consistently popular type of television programme in the world. It has succeeded in capturing the imagination of millions since it first emerged as a genre back in the 1930s. The word ‛soap’ alludes to the role originally played by detergent manufacturers, who promoted their products during commercial breaks. Soap operas have been dismissed as mindless entertainment, with viewers only resorting to these programmes in order to escape from reality.

Soaps are often set in friendly, tightly-knit neighbourhoods, evoking nostalgic feelings in some viewers, since such communities may no longer exist in many areas. The subject matter of soaps also holds great appeal for viewers since the stories invariably focus on domestic problems they may have experienced themselves.

There has been a significant shift in attitudes with many soaps now addressing moral and social issues. The characters and situations depicted are complex and ambiguous, providing much food for thought and no easy answers.

Test 2 / 30

Diamonds

Diamonds have inspired dreams of wealth and power throughout history. Until modern times, most diamonds were insignias of royalty and were beyond the reach of the common person, who could only elicit visions of the astounding beauty and wealth brought forth by diamonds.

It’s no wonder that other gems and precious metals have historically taken a back seat to diamonds. Some diamonds are so valuable that a person can literally carry a king’s ransom in a pocket. A similar value in gold would mean one would have to have access to a forklift, as some of the most valuable diamonds in the world have been appraised for many thousands of times that of a similar weigh in gold!

Diamond deposits are not easily found. Diamonds occur in some of the rarest rock types on the surface of the earth, and when found, they are disseminated in trace amounts even in the richest deposits. The principal host rock, kimberlite, forms very small deposits. Being a relatively soft rock, kimberlite commonly erodes faster than the surrounding country rock and often is covered by thin layers of soil and regolith derived from adjacent rock outcrops.

Test 3 / 30

A brief history of the mall

Standardized shopping malls have become the new Main Streets of the USA according to one authority on the subject. Along with antibiotics and personal computers, the shopping mall has been put forward as one of the top 50 wonders that have revolutionized the lives of people today. But shopping malls didn’t just happen out of the blue.

The mall was originally conceived of as a community center where people would converge for shopping, cultural activity, and social interaction. It is safe to say that the mall has achieved and surpassed those early expectations. The first enclosed mall was developed in a suburb of Minneapolis in 1956 and was designed to get the shopper out of the harsh weather.

The phenomenal growth and development of shopping centers was a natural consequence of the migration of population out from the cities and paralleled the growth of the use of the automobile. The success and impact of the shopping mall may have something to do with their potential to enhance community life.

Test 4 / 30

Satellites

The word ‘satellite’ is a household name today. It sounds very familiar to all of us irrespective of our educational and professional background. It is no longer the prerogative of a few select nations and is not a topic of research and discussion that is confined to the premises of big academic institutes and research organizations. Today, it is not only one of the main subjects taught at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level; it is the bread and butter for a large percentage of electronics, communications and IT professionals.

Although mankind is yet to travel beyond the moon, satellites have crossed the solar system to investigate all planets. These satellites for astrophysical applications have giant telescopes on board and have sent data that has led to many new discoveries, shedding new light on the universe. It is for this reason that almost all developed nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, Russia and major developing countries like India have full fledged and heavily funded space programmes, managed by organizations with massive scientific and technical manpower and infrastructure.