Practice Reading Test

Answers the questions below each reading passage. Try to complete the test in 60 minutes.

Reading Passage 1

A guide to developing your digital presence

A. Recent research suggests that there are over 2.3 billion active social media users globally. However, social media can be used for so much more than posting selfies or catching up with the latest gossip. Did you know that employers also use social media to find out more about potential employees? This guide will show you how to increase your chances of getting a job by enhancing your professional profile with social media.

B. Employers use various social media platforms in their recruitment campaigns, so it is important that you are aware of all of the different ones so you do not miss out on a job opportunity. Positions are advertised on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as well as through the company’s website and external recruitment agencies. Employers usually have one or two platforms that they prefer, so you should check all of the different platforms regularly to keep updated.

C. Check your settings to make sure your private accounts stay private. Many recruiters will check your profile before making a hiring decision so it is important that they can only see what you want them to see. Photographs of you and your friends together on social occasions, or embarrassing pictures of you as a child should usually be kept private. Pictures of you in your new work suit, or receiving an award can be made public to make sure your potential employers only see the best side of you.

D. Even though there are reasons to be cautious, employers like to see websites illustrating your work or a professional LinkedIn account. You should try to make sure all of your most important achievements and work are recorded on your social media accounts to make sure employers see what you are capable of.

E. Make sure you are consistent across all of your social media accounts. For example, if you write on Facebook that you are a business expert with years of experience but your LinkedIn account shows you only have 2 weeks of experience in business, employers will quickly become suspicious of your claims and think negatively about you.

F. Try to keep your opinions to yourself. Whilst it is okay to discuss sensitive issues with your friends and family, posting on social media about these topics could turn employers against you. Companies do not want to offend, so make sure your social media posts that are visible to them do not support controversial issues that others may not agree with.

G. Use social media to quickly find information about companies and industry news. It is an excellent way to do your research before an interview, especially if you use a variety of platforms to get a balanced view. Use a company’s social media account to find out what issues they think are important so you can make sure you mention these in your interview.

H. It is still essential to stick to these tips even once you become employed. Work can be frustrating at times, whether it is your colleagues, a stressful project or the general nature of your work. Whatever the reason, do not vent your frustrations on social media. There have been many instances when employees have used social media inappropriately and have been warned about what they posted or even fired as a consequence. When you are employed, you represent that company, whether it is in work time or not. Avoid bringing work issues into your social media profiles.

Adapted for test purposes from Coventry University. (2019). A guide to developing your digital presence [Brochure]. Coventry University.

Questions 1-4

Reading Passage 1 has 10 paragraphs. Choose the heading from the table below (A-P) that best matches the paragraph in each question.

Questions 5-9

Decide whether the following statements agree with the information given in reading passage 1 by choosing:

  • True – if the statement agrees with the information in the passage
  • False – if the statement does not agree with the information in the passage
  • Not given – if there is no information about the statement in the passage

According to the text:

Questions 10-11

Find the underlined word below in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Decide which word or idea from the text (A, B or C) the bold word refers to.

Questions 12-13

Find the underlined word below in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Use the context to choose the best definition or synonym from the choices below (A, B or C)

This is the End of Part One of the reading test

Reading Passage 2

Connecting science students and local communities with the FabLab

A. The ‘FabLab’ (short for Fabulous Laboratory) is an innovative community development in Coventry city centre where Coventry University students and staff focus on enhancing opportunities and skills by providing science-based workshops for primary-school-age children (aged between 7 and 11) and their families.

B. The project enables our students and staff to ignite children’s curiosity in studying science, either as a lifestyle activity or as part of their forthcoming learning journey through the UK education system. The families who attend the FabLab learn to help develop their children’s essential science knowledge and skills in a fun environment. 

C. In turn, the experience increases the students’ own employability prospects and improves their organisational and communication skills because they learn how to write up grant bids, create workshop sessions, and communicate with children and their parents in a teaching environment. The students also inspire children from disadvantaged backgrounds into considering going to university in the future.

D. The FabLab activities usually take place Monday to Friday. The activities relate to real life, for example showing children how to make potato batteries that powers up an LED light bulb, how to get DNA from strawberries in a tube, and how to make UV bead bracelets to wear. The students work under the guidance of lecturers to plan sessions, run activities, buy materials and also evaluate the families’ experiences. Our students run 4 or 5 workshops per year. Due to the preparation beforehand and evaluation afterwards, students typically commit to volunteering for approximately 10 to 12 hours per session. 

E. University staff go into primary schools once per month to advertise workshops so the children and their families know which activities to sign up for. We also advertise on Facebook and Twitter for those who use social media. We have noticed that the workshops are particularly useful for home-schooled children, giving them opportunities for social education. 

F. Staff and students circulate findings via Twitter and write reports collaboratively for the grant funding. This is a valuable learning opportunity in terms of research skills and employability opportunities. It also gives students community responsibilities which enhance not just their career but their life experience. Coventry University undergraduate students come from all over the world and this further enhances their intercultural awareness, as it does for our UK students too.

G. The scheme enhances our students’ overall experience at university and helps them to learn skills that conventional teaching cannot. It is a great opportunity for our students to interact with the community. It enriches their understanding of making positive things happen by taking a societal, collaborative approach. They also learn how vital, yet daunting, it is to apply for grants. Writing a grant bid is not for the faint-hearted, and yet our students rise to the challenge and are excited when we learn the grant funding has been approved, enabling to them to continue with this initiative.

H. After each outreach activity, students are asked for feedback. This information indicates to us how engaged our students felt and how we can improve our practice. It also enables us to update the Societies who give us grants. In terms of wider impact, we help local schools adapt their current practices to make science in the classroom more engaging. Our students are key partners with school teachers in the delivery of this initiative and as a consequence, they gain real-world contexts of the knowledge and skills necessary for future employment.

Adapted for test purposes from Williams, S., Lewis, H., & Butler, R. (2019). Connecting science students and local communities with the FabLab. In C. Simmons (Ed.), Teaching and Learning Excellence – The Coventry Way. Coventry University. https://doi.org/10.18552/2019CUGCW1

Questions 14-17

Choose the paragraph (A-H) that best matches the summary given in each question.

Questions 18- 22

Decide whether the following statements agree with the information given in reading passage 2 by choosing:

•          True – if the statement agrees with the information in the passage

•          False – if the statement does not agree with the information in the passage

•          Not given – if there is no information in the passage that confirms or denies the statement

According to the text:

Questions 23-24

Find the word in inverted commas (‘ ‘) for each question in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Decide which word or idea from the text (A, B or C) the bold word refers to.

Questions 25-26

Find the word for each question in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Use the context to choose the best definition or synonym from the choices below (A, B or C)

This is the end of Part Two of the Reading Test.

Reading Passage 3

Improving undergraduate employability

A. Many employers say that graduates do not have key skills for work such as commercial awareness, team working, interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical thinking. Over recent years, British universities have been called on by the government to improve students’ employability. Universities have always been rated on quality of teaching, but since 2017, they have also been rated on ‘graduate employability outcomes’ – how many of their students get the job they want after graduating. As this influences students’ decisions about where to study, universities need to focus on making students more employable.

B. In 2015, Coventry University decided to address this by including employability skills training with all of its undergraduate business courses. A new approach was developed, called Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The programme combined employability skills with lots of practical work. The aim was to help undergraduates understand the skills that employers look for.

C. Before the programme was created, students were asked what they would want from such a course. They said that they did not want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employability skills. Instead, they wanted to customise their CPD so that it matched their own preferences and aspirations. With this in mind, the programme was designed with many options that students could choose. Workshops were offered on many topics such as presentations, CV writing, interviews and entrepreneurship. The aim was for the students to build a completely personalised programme.

D. The key strength of the CPD programme is that it makes students think about their employability as soon as they start their degree course. They are taught the skills that employers expect from graduates. After the programme had finished, students were again consulted. They reported that the programme helped them to understand why they had failed certain tests included in employers’ selection processes. The programme provided an opportunity to practice skills they already had and to learn new skills. Most students stated that they particularly valued workshops by guest speakers with specialist expertise.

E. Despite these successes, some students felt that it was difficult to choose the best workshops for their needs and that the whole programme was too complicated for them to manage. Some students struggled because they come from backgrounds where they are not used to making their own choices about their education.

F. All the feedback has been taken into consideration to develop the latest programme. It has now been designed as a mix of essential and optional workshops. Essential workshops focus on building basic skills that students need to pass employers’ selection processes. Optional activities include some designed specifically for overseas students who were perhaps intending to return to their home country after graduating and work for the family business. The topics that are offered are those which best suit the demographic and preferences of our students.

G. Furthermore, a pilot project was launched to develop entrepreneurship skills. First-year students were placed in teams to create a business plan to sell items at a charity event. The students were supported by lecturers in project planning, budgeting and marketing. However their ultimate responsibility was to work as a team to make a profit for their charity, and this was part of their assessment. The project was so popular and successful that it will now be extended to all business students.

Adapted for test purposes from Skirrow, C. (2019). Building undergraduate employability. In C. Simmons (Ed.), Teaching and Learning Excellence – The Coventry Way. Coventry.  https://doi.org/10.18552/2019CUGCW1

Part 3

Questions 27-30

Choose the paragraph (A-G) that best matches the summary given in each question.

Questions 31 – 35

Decide whether the following statements agree with the information given in reading passage 3 by choosing:

•          True – if the statement agrees with the information in the passage

•          False – if the statement does not agree with the information in the passage

•          Not given – if there is no information in the passage that confirms or denies the statement

According to the text:

Questions 36-37

Find the word in inverted commas (”) for each question in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Decide which word or idea from the text (A, B or C) the bold word refers to.

Questions 38-39

Find the word in inverted commas (”) for each question in the reading passage by going to the correct paragraph and looking for the word in bold. Use the context to choose the best definition or synonym from the choices below (A, B or C).

Question 40

Choose the correct option from the choices (A-C) below that best represents the meaning of the whole text.

Congratulations! That is the end of the practice CUET reading test! 😁😎🎈🏆🏅🥇