English Olympiad Year 9 Reading Test 1

English Olympiad

For those students who are keen on learning English and would like to check themselves doing English Olympiad Year 9 Reading Test 1

Reading Comprehension Test for Year 9 Students

Text 1

Read the article and choose the best answers (A, B, C, D) to the questions (1- 5)

Secrets of the Face

Is it really possible to judge someone’s character from their face? The Chinese seem to think so. For over 2,000 years they have been practising Siang Mien, which is the art of judging character and predicting fortune from an analysis of the face. It developed in the ancient imperial courts of China and consisted of jealously guarded secrets that were passed from master to a few chosen apprentices. The secrets of face analysis were hidden away in special books which only a very few could look at.

These secrets cannot have been that well guarded and must have got out because practically all Chinese practise some form of face analysis. Mothers tell their daughters  that men with flat noses and small ear lobes will make shy and rather dull husbands.

So how this anallysis work? Well, to start with, people’s faces can be classified according to one of ten basic shapes, each of which has its own special name. A triangular face, for example, is called a fire-face. One which is square is known as a wall-face, while one which is diamond shaped is a jade-face. There are even bucket-faces!

Once the basic shape has been decided, then parts of the face such as the eyes, nose, chin and mouth can be analyzed in their turn. People who have not got conventional or beautiful faces should not worry, as ugly people tend to be lucky.

Anyway, let us see how Siang Mien works by using Princess Diana as a practical example. To begin with, we can say that she has got a jade-face which means that she must be strong-willed. This shape also belongs to people who are said to have had difficult childhoods. As you may know, the Princess’s parents were divorced when she was a child and this time must have been a period of great unhappiness.

Turning to more specific features, we can see that one eye is a little larger than the other. It is a known fact that people with eyes of different sizes are often brought up by stepparents. They are also believed to be charming as well as being capable of great jealousy. We can see from Diana’s photograph that the top of her ears goes above the line of her eyebrows. People who have high ears such as hers are likely to become famous before the age of 30, while those who combine this with eyes of different sizes will be lucky.

1. Siang Mien

A. was a secret art
B. was known by emperors
C. is quite recent
D. is generally practised

2. Chinese mothers think men with

A. big ears are exciting
B. small ear lobes are kind
C. flat noses are not interesting
D. small ear lobes and flat noses can’t be trusted

3. A jade-face is best described as

A. flat at the bottom and pointed at the top
B. pointed at the top and bottom
C. pointed at the bottom but flat at the top
D. oval

4. People with eyes of different sizes

A. often have stepparents
B. are usually unhappy
C. are often divorced
D. are supposed to be generous

5. Princess Diana

A. proves the truth of Siang Mien
B. has low ears
C. was over 30 when she became famous
D. has an ordinary face

Text 2

Read the story and choose the best answer according to the text.

During the baking hot months of the summer holidays my mother and I used to escape to one of the scattered lakes north of Prince Albert. In its magic surroundings we used to spend the long summer days in the open air, swimming and canoeing or just lying dreaming in the sun. In the evening the lake was always a bright, luminous grey after the unbelievable sunset colours had faded.

The last summer before we returned to England was particularly enchanted. For one thing, I was in love for the first time. No one will ever convince me that one cannot be in love at fifteen. I loved then as never since, with all my heart and without doubts or reservations or pretence.

My boyfriend Don worked in Saskatoon, but the lake was ”his place” – the strange and beautiful wilderness drew him with an obsessive urgency, so I suspected it was not to see me that he got on his motor-cycle as many Fridays as he possibly could, and drove three hundred-odd miles along the pitted prairie roads to spend the weekends at our place.

Sometimes he couldn’t come, and the joy would go out of everything until Monday, when I could start looking forward to Friday again. He could never let us know in advance, as we were too far from civilization to have a phone or even a telegraph service. Three hundred miles in those conditions is quite a journey. Besides, Don was hard up, and sometimes worked overtime at weekends.

One Friday night a storm broke out. I lay in bed and listened to the thunder and the rain beating on the roof. Once I got up and stood looking out over the treetops, shivering. I tried not to expect Don that night hoping he would have enough sense to wait until the storm ended. Yet in my frightened thoughts I couldn’t help imagining Don fighting the storm. His motorbike, which had always looked to me so heavy and solid, seemed in my thoughts frail enough to be blown onto its side by the first gust that struck it. I thought of Don pinned under it, skidding, his face pressed into the mud.

I crawled back into bed, trying to close my throat against the tears. But when my mother, prompted by the deep sympathy and understanding between us, came in to me, she kissed my cheek and found it wet.

“Don’t get upset, Jane,” she said softly. ”He may still come.”

When she had tucked me in and gone, I lay thinking about Don, about the danger of the roads … you couldn’t ride or walk along them safely after heavy rain; your feet would slip from under you. The roads in Northern Canada are not like the friendly well-populated English ones, where there are always farmhouses within walking distance and cars driving along them day and night.

It was hours later, that I suddenly realized the sound of the roaring engine was real. The storm was dying. I lay absolutely still, relief and pain fighting for ascendancy within me, each in itself overwhelming enough to freeze the breath in my lungs as I heard Don’s heavy tired footsteps on the wooden stairs.

1.The last summer was particularly fascinating for Jane because she

A. spent it in the magic surroundings.
B. had a lot of fun in the open air.
C. enjoyed unbelievable sunsets by the lake.
D. fell in love for the first time.

2. Jane believes that love at fifteen is

A. a sincere deep  feeling.
B. associated with doubts.
C. full of reservations.
D. connected with pretence.

3. Don travelled three hundred-odd miles  every weekend because he was

A. desperate to see the author before she left.
B. fond of riding his motorcycle.
C. attracted by the beauty of the lake.
D. fond of spending weekends with his friends.

 4. Sometimes Don didn’t come to see Jane and her mother on Friday because he

A. thought they were too far from civilization.
B. had given up hope of seeing the author.
C. worked to make some extra money.
D. hated travelling in exhausting conditions.

5.  Mother came into Jane’s room during the storm because she

A. felt Jane was afraid of the thunder.
B. felt Jane was worried about Don.
C. heard Jane walking in the room.
D. heard Jane crying in her bed.

6. According to the author the roads in Northern Canada were

A. slippery.
B. muddy.
C. lonely.
D. busy.

7. “… relief and pain fighting for ascendancy within me…” means that the author felt

A. overwhelming pain.
B. relief and pain alternately.
C. relief as a prevailing emotion.
D. neither relief nor pain.

How did you find English Olympiad Year 9 Reading Test 1? Leave your comment, please.

Categories: Olympiad|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


  1. Bogdan 20.11.2020 at 22:32 - Reply

    Text 1
    I was surprised that it is really possible to judge someone’s character from their face. The art of judging character and predicting fortune from an analysis of the face, called Siang Mien, was absolutely new for me. I can’t say that I believe in such things, but the information was really interesting and I’ve read it with great interest. I didn’t find much information about Siang Mien in Ukrainian , but the internet is full of articles about this ancient science in English. I think, people should learn more about Siang Mien.
    Text 2
    I am not keen on reading love stories, but this story was quite interesting and impressive. I can say that Don is really a brave person and he loves his girlfriend. The most strained moment for me, was when the storm started. Something bad could happen to Don on the slippery road. The writer describes alarmed feelings of a girl and her mother in a good way. In the end of the story I felt relief, and I liked that the story has happy ending.

  2. Liza 21.11.2020 at 12:04 - Reply

    I learn English and I like reading interesting articles. Recently I’ve taken part in the English language competition so I needed to prepare for it and on your site I found various reading tests, one of them was this one. I was surprised after reading the first text because I’d never heard of such art as Siang Mien before. It’s like the secret language of a face. In another source I read that one can supposedly determine — five element personality type — their character, behavior, and health potential — by analyzing their face. I think this art is cool because thanks to Siang Mien you can determine the character of someone. I was surprised that people with eyes of different sizes often have stepparents.
    I enjoyed reading the second text. I see that this text was only a part of a bigger story and I would like to read the whole story about teenagers’ love. I like Don because he travelled by his motorbike three hundred-odd miles every weekend because to spend weekends with his girlfriend and her friends. I consider him to be a true friend. He is also hard-working because worked to earn some extra money.
    I liked this reading test because I learned something useful and new.

  3. Dasha 25.11.2020 at 22:44 - Reply

    I’ve read two texts to be prepared for my olympiad, but at the same time I got to know about Chinese art and read a love story.
    Text 1:
    I can’t believe, that we can judge someone’s character from their face. It is impossible for me. After reading this text, I got to know some interesting information about Siang Mien. It is an incredible art of judging character and predicting fortune from an analysis of the face. There is one evidence, which shows us that it may work. I’d like somebody to practise this art on me.
    Text 2:
    I’m not keen on reading love stories, and this one is not an exception. It was hard for me to read it, and to understand because the vocabulary is rather complicated. But the story is like in real life. The author describes the deep feelings of a girl. It is an important part of life for this girl. She worries greatly about her boyfriend, and as for him, he loves her and he is ready to overcome any difficulties to see his love.

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