SPE001 Reading Comprehension

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Questions 1 – 5: Choose the best multiple-choice answer for each question.

There’s nothing pygmy hippos love more than having plenty of sleep and long soaks in warm water. The pygmy hippo enclosure has been equipped with solar panels to make sure their hippo pond is always a nice temperature, ensuring these lovely hippos stay nice and warm all year long, even through the cold English winters. Just like the giraffes, okapi, and warthogs, pygmy hippos hail from Africa. In fact, pygmy hippos are very rare animals and can only be found in West Africa. (Adapted from 'Pygmy Hippo’, londonzoo.org, 2023)

What is the meaning of the word “rare” in the paragraph above?

uncommon, low in number
many, a lot of
living on many continents
enjoyment, a feeling of comfort

The asteroid named 2023 BU passed closer to the earth than some satellites. The asteroid passed by Earth a short while ago. About the size of a minibus, the space rock whipped over the southern tip of South America just before 00:30am GMT. With a closest approach of 3,600km (2,200 miles), it counts as a close shave. And it illustrates how there are still asteroids of significant size lurking near Earth that remain to be detected. (Excerpt from 'Asteroid 2023 BU: Space rock passes closer than some satellites’, bbc.com, 2023)

What is the purpose of the text?

To inform readers about a space rock that came close to Earth.
To inform readers about a collision with our planet.
To frighten readers about a dangerous incident.
To raise awareness about minibus-shaped space rocks.

Egyptian Business Leader Who Came to the UAE Six Decades Ago Retraces His Journey

Dubai: When the UAE and Egypt recently celebrated 50 years of deep-rooted official ties between the two countries, there was an Egyptian father-son duo among the UAE delegation that visited Egypt. The reason why the UAE government invited Farouk Mohamed and his son Hisham Farouk, the chairman and the CEO of Grant Thornton UAE respectively, for the historic celebration was that Farouk is one of the earliest Egyptian ex-pats to arrive here six decades ago and their company had celebrated 55 years in the UAE.

Farouk recollected his early days in the UAE with Gulf News and spoke about how the ties between Egypt and the Trucial States (the former name of the UAE) had formed long before the formation of the UAE.

In the 1960s, when an Egyptian delegation visited Dubai and explored how they could boost their relationship, the then head of Dubai Chambers sought the assistance of accounting professionals who could help businesses in the emirate, he said. “When the delegation got back to Cairo, I received the offer to come to Dubai,” said Farouk.

After having completed his university graduation in Cairo, he joined Price Waterhouse for a four-year internship. On being certified as a chartered accountant, Farouk said he started his own practice in a small office.

“It was also the time the Egyptian government nationalised all the private sector industries. This resulted in limited activities of the auditors as the responsibility for auditing was transferred to the Central Accounting Bureau.” So, when the Dubai offer came up, Farouk decided to explore life in the Trucial States. “I received an employment agreement from here and I decided to accept the job.”

When he landed in Dubai in 1963, he was given accommodation in a building next to the vegetable market. “There was no air conditioning or electricity at the time. At 5 every morning, the start of the auction and the bidders’ shouting made it difficult to sleep,” he recollected. Farouk said he would fill up the tub with water before leaving for work in the morning. After work, he would sit in the tub with the somewhat cooled water while reading newspapers that came days after publication. This was his nightly ritual before going to sleep. During the extremely hot weather, he said he would move his bed to the roof and sleep under the stars. “But again the humidity would drive me back to my room and I would try to sleep till the auction began again.” (Adapted from 'Egyptian business leader who came to UAE six decades ago retraces his journey’, gulfnews.com, 2023)

How does the subject of the news story remember his early experience in Dubai?

He enjoyed all of the luxuries that existed in Dubai at the time.
The market that he lived next to was a great place to buy his favourite fruit and vegetables.
He had trouble sleeping because of the lack of air conditioning.
Sleeping under the stars was his favourite thing to do.
What at first convinced Farouk Mohamed to take the offer of employment in Dubai?
There were no good jobs in Cairo at the time.
The Egyptian government had taken over many of the private businesses in the country so he had less work.
The working conditions in Dubai were extremely luxurious.
He had lost his job in his own country,
What does the word “recollected” (as seen in paragraphs 2 and 6) mean?
To gather things together in one place
To store things so they can be used again
To make a plan for the future
To remember a past experience
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