Reading – Part 1 multiple-choice 4

Reading – Part 1 multiple-choice 4

This is an example of a multiple-choice question in part 1 of the exam.

You are going to read an extract from a novel. For questions 1-6, choose the best answer [A, B , C or D].

I told some of you last Thursday of the principles of the Time Machine, and showed you the actual thing itself, incomplete in the workshop. There it is now, a little travel-worn, truly; and one of the ivory bars is cracked, and a brass rail bent; but the rest of it’s sound enough. I expected to finish it on Friday, but on Friday, when the putting together was nearly done, I found that one of the nickel bars was exactly one inch too short, and this I had to get remade; so that the thing was not complete until this morning. It was at ten o’clock to-day that the first of all Time Machines began its career. I gave it a last tap, tried all the screws again, put one more drop of oil on the quartz rod, and sat myself in the saddle. I suppose a suicide who holds a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then. I took the starting lever in one hand and the stopping one in the other, pressed the first, and almost immediately the second. I seemed to reel; I felt a nightmare sensation of falling; and, looking round, I saw the laboratory exactly as before. Had anything happened? For a moment I suspected that my intellect had tricked me. Then I noted the clock. A moment before, as it seemed, it had stood at a minute or so past ten; now it was nearly half-past three!

I drew a breath, set my teeth, gripped the starting lever with both hands, and went off with a thud. The laboratory got hazy and went dark. Mrs. Watchett came in and walked, apparently without seeing me, towards the garden door. I suppose it took her a minute or so to traverse the place, but to me she seemed to shoot across the room like a rocket. I pressed the lever over to its extreme position. The night came like the turning out of a lamp, and in another moment came to-morrow. The laboratory grew faint and hazy, then fainter and ever fainter. To-morrow night came black, then day again, night again, day again, faster and faster still. An eddying murmur filled my ears, and a strange, dumb confusedness descended on my mind.

I am afraid I cannot convey the peculiar sensations of time travelling. They are excessively unpleasant. There is a feeling exactly like that one has upon a switchback — of a helpless headlong motion! I felt the same horrible anticipation, too, of an imminent smash. As I put on pace, night followed day like the flapping of a black wing. The dim suggestion of the laboratory seemed presently to fall away from me, and I saw the sun hopping swiftly across the sky, leaping it every minute, and every minute marking a day. I supposed the laboratory had been destroyed and I had come into the open air. I had a dim impression of scaffolding, but I was already going too fast to be conscious of any moving things. The slowest snail that ever crawled dashed by too fast for me. The twinkling succession of darkness and light was excessively painful to the eye. Then, in the intermittent darknesses, I saw the moon spinning swiftly through her quarters from new to full, and had a faint glimpse of the circling stars. Presently, as I went on, still gaining velocity, the palpitation of night and day merged into one continuous greyness; the sky took on a wonderful deepness of blue, a splendid luminous color like that of early twilight; the jerking sun became a streak of fire, a brilliant arch, in space; the moon a fainter fluctuating band; and I could see nothing of the stars, save now and then a brighter circle flickering in the blue.


1 The reader gets the impression that the narrator
A enjoys the sensation of time travel.
B recommends making a time machine to everybody.
C has travelled in time before.
D feels frightened and uncomfortable about time travel.

2 The machine
A worked perfectly the first time.
B needed a few adjustments.
C had been ready to use for weeks.
D was completely broken and didn’t work.

3 The narrator felt
A like committing suicide.
B apprehensive because he didn’t know what to expect.
C unhappy and depressed.
D disappointed about his creation.

4 What was the narrator’s first reaction when after turning on the machine?
A He thought it was all a pleasant dream.
B He thought he had been tricked.
C He wasn’t sure if anything had happened.
D He was terrified, so he turned it off quickly.

5 How did he know he had travelled in time?
A The laboratory suddenly went dark.
B Because the clock showed a different time.
C Everything looked strange in his laboratory.
D Because the control lever broke.

6 Mrs. Watchett
A had travelled in time.
B was an extremely fast runner.
C appeared from the garden.
D didn’t see him in his time machine.


1 D He makes a number of negative references to it during the extract.
2 B He did a little bit of ‘tuning’ to correct a few faults in the first paragraph.
3 B feels much the same wonder at what will come next
4 C Had anything happened?
5 B Then I noted the clock.
6 D walked, apparently without seeing me.

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