Easing up on English

Updated: 2013-10-24 07:33

By Peng Yining, He Na and Wang Shanshan in Beijing (China Daily)

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A sample of the 2012 Beijing Gaokao English exam

Total marks available: 150

Listening: 30 (at present, this accounts for 20% of the total mark, but from 2016, it will rise to 30%)

Multiple Choice: 15

Cloze Test: 30

Reading: 40

Writing: 35

Some sample questions:

1. George said that he would come to school to see me the next day, but he - .

A) Wouldn't. B) Didn't. C) Hasn't. D) Hadn't.

2. When deeply absorbed in work, - he often was, he would forget all about eating or sleeping.

A) That. B) Which. C) Where. D) When.

3. Do you think this shirt is too tight - the shoulders?

A) At. B) On. C) To. D) Across.

Extracts used for comprehension exercises:

1. The Basics of Math - Made Clear.

2. Peanuts to This.

3. Decision-making under Stress.

4. Wilderness.

Practical writing:

1. Four pictures of a young man helping other people were given out to the students, who were then asked to write a story using the pictures as a guide.

2. In one illustration, a pencil laughs at a shorter pencil, which is almost used up, saying: "You're nearing the end!" Students were asked to explain the joke."You are discussing a picture with an English friend. Describe your understanding of the illustration, and the reason why."