B2 First (FCE)
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Test 1 / 30

Steel that doesn’t  rust

Harry Brearley, the son of a Sheffield steel smelter, left school at 12 to go to work in one of the city’s steelworks. He was an ambitious(AMBITION) chap and started to study metallurgy at home and in evening classes. He gradually(GRADUAL) built a reputation for expertise, and still in his 30s was chosen to run a new research(SEARCH) facility funded by two of Sheffield’s largest steel companies. In 1912, he was tasked by a small-arms manufacturer to find a material that could prolong(LONG) the life of their gun barrels. He set out to find erosion-resistant steel, but found corrosion-resistant steel instead.

The story goes that in 1913 he threw out some experimental(EXPERIMENT) steel made of 12.8 per cent chromium and 0.24 per cent carbon. A few weeks later, he found it in the yard still shiny(SHINE) as new. This apparently serendipitous discovery led to the transformation(TRANSFORM) of the already established cutlery industry in Sheffield. Stainless steel is now used in everything from surgical(SURGERY) instruments and turbine blades to architectural cladding.

Test 2 / 30

Diamonds are forever

Diamonds are the most prized and highly(HIGH) valued of gemstones. Throughout history they have been admired by royalty and worn as a symbol of strength(STRONG), courage and invincibility. Over the centuries the diamond acquired unique status as the ultimate gift of love, in myth and reality(REAL). It is the hardest known substance yet has the simplest chemical composition(COMPOSE), consisting of crystallised carbon, the chemical element that is fundamental to all life.

Diamonds come in many colours and their optical(OPTICS) properties are stunning. They disperse light into the colours of the rainbow, and sparkle far more than any other gemstone. First mined in India over 4000 years ago, diamonds were used to decorate religious(RELIGION) objects, serve as a talisman against evil and a protector(PROTECT) in battle. Buddhists also recognised the deep symbolic(SYMBOL) significance accorded the diamonds in ancient Buddhist scriptures, including the ‘Diamond Sutra’ which states that truth is eternal, just like the diamond.

Test 3 / 30

School trip

There are many excellent(EXCEL) ways to enhance learning beyond the classroom, and taking your students on a school trip is one of the most beneficial. The options for great destinations are plentiful(PLENTY), but no matter where you go, a well-planned trip will allow students to expand their knowledge(KNOW) of their subjects while at the same time broadening(BROAD) their appreciation for global life and culture.

Italy is an ideal choice for achieving both these aims, as it is a history-rich country where many academic subjects can be explored, as well as being a vibrant and diverse place perfect for expanding(EXPAND) horizons. Read on to find out about some of the highlights that await in its capital Rome. Capturing the hearts of artists(ART), writers and thinkers through the ages, and featured in countless(COUNT) paintings, novels and films, the ‘Eternal City’ has earned its nickname as a centre of beauty and culture, and it is not difficult to see why it has become such an enduringly(ENDURE) popular school trip destination.

Test 4 / 30


Casablanca is most well-known as the title of a classic film from 1942 starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. But what about the city where this romantic(ROMANCE) war film was set? Casablanca (Spanish for white house), or Casa as it is known by those who live there, is the largest city in Morocco with a population(POPULATE) of approximately 5 million and is the country’s economic(ECONOMY) capital. Rabat is the political capital.

Casablanca is situated in the west of Morocco on the Atlantic coast and boasts one of the world’s largest artificial ports, a port which was very strategic(STRATEGY) during the Second World War. At that time there was also a large American airbase situated(SITE) in Casablanca and in 1943 it was in Casablanca that a significant conference took place where world leaders(LEAD) met to discuss the progress of the war. Casablanca was formally(FORMAL) under the control of the French from 1910 until 1956 when Morocco gained independence(DEPEND) French influence on the city is evident in the city layout and architecture. French is also the second language after Arabic. The city now has a growing tourist industry, although it is not as popular as other Moroccan cities like Marrakesh and Fez.