April 17


Let’s Practice Cambridge C2 Reading and Use of English Part 1 Multiple-Choice Cloze

Hello dear, dear listeners, you’re listening to Cambridge Exam Coach, a podcast for ambitious learners of English. This is the show where you can prepare for the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam at the same time as improving your English.

I’m Kristian, your host, today it’s Saturday 17 April 2021, and in this episode we’re going to do another C2 exam exercise together. To be more specific, we’re going to practice Reading and Use of English part 1, multiple-choice cloze.

Before we start, I’d like to give a big shout-out to one of the members of the Cambridge Exam Coach Community. This episode is dedicated to Elizabeth Bedrik, who is not only a regular listener to this podcast, but also the person who hosts a book club in the Cambridge Exam Coach Club on Clubhouse. Elizabeth, thank you so much for your efforts and ongoing support, this episode is dedicated to you.

Alright, let’s crack on.

On the podcast we’re working with exercises that you can find on my website. So how does this work?

1. Go to the transcript of this episode. You can find the link to the transcript in the description of the podcast.
2. In the transcript you can see the exercise at the top of the blog post. You can now do the exercise.
3. Last but not least, you can listen to this episode, check your answers & build your vocabulary together with me.

And if you want to go the extra mile, you can create your own personal examples sentences after you’ve finished listening to this episode. I highly recommend doing this. Your memory will thank you for that, trust me.

So, this procedure is not really that complicated, is it? Let me repeat it one more time, because I really want you to take action and become an active listener:

1. Go to the transcript of this episode. You can find the link to the transcript in the description of the podcast.
2. In the transcript you can see the exercise at the top of the blog post. You can now do the exercise.
3. Last but not least, you can listen to this episode, check your answers & build your vocabulary together with me.

Alright, let’s start then. Today we’re doing part 1 of the Reading and Use of English paper of the C2 exam: multiple-choice cloze. Here are a few tips for you on how to prepare for this part of the exam successfully.

Some Tips to Take Into Account

Part 1 requires candidates to complete eight gaps in a text by selecting the correct word (or phrase) from a set of four options.

Some questions focus on the meaning of individual words in context. Others focus more on fixed language such as fixed phrases, collocations and idioms. 

Reading the whole text to understand the context is a must. This is particularly important in the case of linking words. Equally, you should be aware that the missing word(s) may form part of an idiom, fixed phrase or collocation, so you should always check the words around the gap carefully.

Alright, I’ll now start reading the complete text with the correct answers. So I assume you’ve downloaded the exercise and did it, OK?

Here we go!


Grow your C2 Vocabulary

OK, let’s look at some of the interesting vocabulary in this text:

Wincing: If someone winces, the muscles of their face twist sharply and briefly because they are experiencing pain, embarrassment or unhappiness.

Did I hurt you? I thought I saw you wince.

Leering: If someone leers at someone, they look at them with an expression on the face that makes it clear that they find them sexually attractive, and the other person or someone watching finds this unpleasant.

He was always leering at female members of staff.

Squinting: If someone squints, they look at something with great effort and with the eyes partly shut, because the light in front of them is very bright or because their eyesight is poor.

The sun was shining straight in her eyes and made her squint.

Smirking: If someone smirks, they smile in a way that is considered unpleasant by someone who sees them do it, because it indicates that the person doing it finds something ridiculous or is pleased with themselves.

“Maybe your husband does things that you don’t know about,” he said with a smirk.

Full: If a machine or appliance is turned up full or on full, its controls have been turned up to the highest setting (volume, speed, temperature, etc.) so that it is operating at its greatest capacity.

Top: Up top is an informal expression meaning ’in the head’, or ‘on the head’ and is used for talking about whether someone is intelligent or not or whether they have hair on their head or not.

“A man with nothing much up top.” He’s not particularly intelligent.

Maximum: The maximum setting, speed, volume, temperature etc. of a machine or appliance is the highest at which it can operate.

Peak: A peak is the point or tie at which something is as high or intense as it can be or higher or more intense than it has ever been.

Prices reach a peak during August.
We saw a victory by an athlete at the very peak of her fitness and career.

Verge: If someone or something is on the verge of something/doing something, they are close to doing it or about to do it.

He was on the verge of saying something but stopped and shook his head.

Rim: The rim of something is the edge or border of something that is circular or round, such as a wheel or cup.

The rim of the coffee cup was chipped and broken.

Fringe: The fringe(s) of something is the outer edge of an area, or a status close to inclusion in but not included in a group of people or the activities of a group of people.

The southern fringe of the city
The radical fringes of the political party (extreme left, extreme right)

Border: A border is a strip on the edge of or around a photograph or piece of material that is intended to make it look pleasantly arranged. If something borders on something, it is close to being it.

The plot of the film borders on the ridiculous.

Past: If something moves past something, it moves from one side of it to the other and is then not next to or in front of it.

Beside: If something is besides something, it is positioned next to it and not moving.

At the concert I was standing beside a lovely woman.
Come and sit here beside me

Along: If something moves along something, it moves on the surface of it and follows the shape of it.

But it has also a different meaning:

The police were telling us to move along. = to leave the area.

Across: If something moves across something, it moves on the surface of it from one side to the other.

Moving across the street.

Prospect: The prospect of something/doing something is the idea of something that will or might happen in the future or the chance that something will happen.

Outlook: Someone’s outlook on life, etc, is their general attitude towards it. The outlook for something is its probable future, what is likely to happen with regard to it.

My outlook on life is positive.

Foresight: Foresight is the ability to predict what might happen so that you are ready to deal with it if it happens.

She’d had the foresight to sell her apartment just before the housing market collapsed.

Viewpoint: A viewpoint is an opinion or attitude, or a point of view.

Lays: If you lay hands on something, you get or obtain something that you have been looking for and want to find. The writer is saying that if she met Brennan, she would be like a historian who had found a source of information that no historian had found before.

Sets: If you set foot in a place, you enter or arrive in the place.

Rests: If you rest part of the body on something, you place it on that thing so that it is supported by it.

After I’d worked out,I rested my legs on the couch.
Her eyes rested on a small wooden box at the back of the shop.
Christianity rests on the belief that Jesus was the son of God.

Casts: If you cast your eye over something, you look quickly at something:

Could you cast an eye over this report for me?

Picture: If you have a picture of someone/something in your mind, you imagine what that person/thing looks like, although this may not be the way they really look. The writer is saying that Elizabeth did not have a clear idea of what Brenna would look like, although she had been given a general idea.

Sight: The sight of something is the act or experience of seeing it.

The flowers at the annual flower show were a beautiful sight.
You should always keep sight of your bags (= have them where you can see them) while you’re at the airport.
He was a real sight in his old clothes (= he looked messy or silly).
The child laughed at the sight of (= when she saw) the new toy.

Vision: If you have a vision/visions of something, you imagine a situation, especially an unlikely or dramatic situation.

We see in his novels his sinister, almost apocalyptic, vision of the future.

Figure: Someone’s figure is their physical shape or the outline of their body.

I could see two tall figures in the distance.

Judging: The phrase judging from is used to introduce the reason or evidence on which a view or conclusion has been based. The writer is saying that Elizabeth thought that Brenna was going to be in a very weak and bad condition because of old age, because that was the impression the matron had given her.

Reflecting: If you reflect on something, you think deeply about it for a period of time.

In December I’m always reflecting on my life.

Accounting; If something accounts for something, it explains it or provides the reason for it. If you take something into account, you consider it before making a decision.

I hope my teacher will take into account the fact that I was ill just before the exams when she marks my paper.

Rating: How you rate something is the way you think of it in terms of quality or value that it has.

The drug has a high success/failure rate.

Don’t Forget to Check Out Instagram and Clubhouse

Alright, that’s a wrap! I hope this was relevant and useful for you and that you enjoyed listening to this episode.

Let me know your thoughts on this episode. It really helps me to create better and better content for you in the future, so it’s really useful if you send me an email or leave a comment on Instagram, the blog or on Clubhouse.

Before we finish, let me just point out that you can also find loads of specific C2 exam content on our Instagram page, and if you have an iPhone you can also join our C2 exam sessions on Clubhouse. The weekly schedule for these sessions is posted in the email newsletter and on Instagram.

OK, that’s it. For now I want to wish you a pleasant day (or goodnight).

And as always, take care of yourself, and each other, alright?

Speak to you soon, bye bye!

About the author 


Kristian is from The Netherlands, but he lives in Prague, Czechia. He is a CELTA qualified teacher who passed the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam with grade A. When he's not working, he likes to chill out with music, podcasts or an audiobook.


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  • Hi, Kristian. Please let me thank you for your commitment and passion with the English language. You truly showed your tuition skills and how to approach my way to the CPE exam ( in December ) easier. I am only 53 and after 35 years of teaching I can easily notice when someone has a command in their field and you are no exception.


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