The following test has been designed to determine whether your current English proficiency is sufficient for you to undertake the Uniroute IELTS Preparation Programme successfully. You have 20 minutes.

Read the passage and then answer the questions:


Charles Dickens

            Charles Dickens is one of England’s most famous writers. Born in 1812, he began writing as a free-lance reporter in 1829. Although he worked as a journalist throughout his career, he is best known for his novels. His first successful novel was The Pickwick Papers. In the custom of the day, it was first published in installments in a magazine. Like other books first published this way that proved popular, it was later published in regular book form.

            Dickens had a difficult childhood. His father was sent to debtors’ prison. Some of his most famous novels, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Great Expectations, are based on his own childhood experiences. His other famous novels are A Tale of Two Cities, about the French Revolution, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, and Bleak House. In 1843, the year he wrote Martin Chuzzlewit, he also published The Christmas Carol, the most famous of his popular series of Christmas books. The first episode of his final book, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was published in a magazine in April 1870, only three months before he died.

             It is estimated that, during Dickens’ lifetime, one out of every ten Britons read his books, frequently out loud to other people. They were not the only ones to read Dickens’ works aloud. The author himself was a great public reader of his work. His public readings throughout England and in other European countries were highly popular events. He made a reading tour of America in 1867.

The 12 farewell readings he gave in London in January 1870 are thought to have damaged his health. Charles Dickens died of a brain hemorrhage on June 9.
















The following, concluding paragraph contains grammatical errors that are the subject of questions 11-15:

            (1) Like many other 19-century authors, Dickens is highly prolific. (2) That is, he wrote many novels, most of which are long, and much else in addition. (3) The books’ strong story lines and their memorable, well-drawn characters makes them as interesting to readers today as they were in his day.  (4) This could also be said of some of his fellow writers. (5) Tobias Smollett, Sir Walter Scott, and, particularly, Anthony Trollope, all also wrote copiously and still have a significant readerships today. (6) Even so, no other author of his time has matched Dickens’ continuing popularity. (7) His books are read and studied by readers from grammar school to graduate school, which have been translated into countless languages. (8) Professional critics and biographers continue to study both the man and his work. (9) Perhaps the strongest indication of his popularity and relevance for our day are the facts that many of his works have been turned into popular movies, stage plays, and even Broadway musicals.




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