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New

Upper-Intermediate

Tests

Petrina Cliff

2

with Kathy Gude

Test 1

Reading

1Read the text and match headings a–f to paragraphs 1–5. There is one heading you do not need.

a Real animals aren’t like that

b Getting fixed ideas about animals

c Finding our place in the natural world

d Is the natural world really so threatening? e Is symbolic language a good thing?

f Symbolic language helps us to understand nature

Images and animals

1

When we speak about the natural world and human culture, our language is often very symbolic – we use words, especially objects, to represent something, such as ‘mother’ nature. Humans often use images of animals to convey meaning, for example, seeing a dove as a symbol of peace. We need to check whether our symbolism is beneficial or whether it is causing harm.

2

We use animals as symbols for human characteristics: lions stand for courage; monkeys for mischievousness, wolves for cruelty, and so on. This symbolic idea of an animal becomes established in a culture. It is then thought to be true of the actual living creature. For example, in fairy tales wolves are predatory and frightening. They chase and eat people and, in our image world, this is what being a wolf amounts to.

3

The problem is that legends guide our attitudes when we see actual wolves and lead to unnecessary fear. Careful observation of wolves going about their daily lives has revealed a very different picture of a structured, cooperative social life, with no more fierceness than is needed for survival. For instance, while most of the pack is out hunting, some wolves stay behind to look after the cubs, and a lot of time is actually spent resting and playing. If two wolves get into a fight, it usually ends when one wolf gives in, without much damage being done, and wolves rarely attack humans.

4

When we apply symbolic meanings to real, living animals, nature can seem a place inhabited by enemies. Human society then comes to be seen as ordered and safe, the only place to find friends. But is it so black and white? The natural world should not be viewed merely as a wild and threatening place where we are not at home. Furthermore, our cosy image of human society and culture may not always live up to our expectations.

5

The alternative to a rather depressing idea of our isolated place in the natural world should not, however, be an image of nature as a paradise on earth where all is peace.

Name:

Class:

We must aim instead to see the natural world as it really is. Isn’t this a more useful view? Nature is not something to be fought against. The natural world is our home, but we must learn to share it with thousands of animals. It is true that we might prefer to keep our distance from some of them. However, they are all fascinating and have their part to play.

5

Vocabulary

2Complete the text with the correct form of these phrasal verbs.

fall behind with drop out of live up to go on about

carry on go out with

Joe’s sister had always been very bright, so from the

beginning Joe had a lot 1 . No matter how

hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to please his parents or do

as well as the other children in his class. In fact, he

2

his work. His parents were always

3

it and although he tried hard to please

them, he still couldn’t cope with it. In the end he decided

not 4 studying. He 5

his friends until late at night and tried to not to think about

school work. When he was 16 he 6

school

altogether.

6

 

3Complete the sentences by putting the words in brackets into the correct form.

1

Humans imitate animals in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ways.

 

(count)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Although there is a huge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of plants,

 

they all have certain features in common. (vary)

3

I’ve never understood the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of a beach

 

holiday; I much prefer sightseeing! (attract)

4

I’m not surprised that Anna is doing so well at art school

 

– she has always been very

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. (create)

5

Adam gets a lot of

 

 

 

 

 

from his Saturday

 

job at the internet café. (satisfy)

6

The students were asked to hand in both

 

 

 

 

 

before the end of the week. (assign)

7

What was John’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when he heard that

 

he’d lost his job? (react)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Although the idea was a good one, the manager felt that

 

it would never be a

 

 

 

 

 

success.

 

(commerce)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Beata found the instructions for the new camcorder

 

surprisingly

 

 

– she learned how to use

 

it really quickly. (help)

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 New Matrix Upper-Intermediate

4Complete the sentences with the negative form of these adjectives.

possible legal responsible expensive mature

1It’s ___________ of parents to allow their children to access anything on the internet.

2I found the Maths test really difficult – some of the questions were absolutely ___________.

3We had a meal at the new Chinese restaurant in town last night. The food was delicious and surprisingly

___________.

4Don’t you know that driving without a licence is

___________?

5I don’t get on very well with David. I find him rather

___________ and silly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Grammar

 

 

 

 

 

5 Complete the second sentence

same

meaning as the first sentence

 

 

 

 

 

1

I haven’t seen such a good

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s ages

 

 

 

 

.

2

I started learning English

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve

 

 

 

 

 

.

3

You can only go to the

all

 

your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t

 

 

 

.

4

Dorota came to live in

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorota has

 

 

.

5

How long have you had

 

 

 

 

 

 

When

 

 

 

 

 

?

6

When Clare has apologised,

.

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

7

It’s three weeks since I saw

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

6 Complete the sentences

, never,

still and yet.

 

 

 

 

 

1

I’ve ____________ read

book by

 

Mark Haddon.

 

 

 

 

 

2

Tim’s been doing that

two

 

hours and he ________

 

 

 

 

 

3

Haven’t you finished that

?

 

 

 

 

4

Paul doesn’t want to come

because

 

he’s ____________ seen

 

 

 

 

 

5Have you ____________

6The reason Maria looks so heard she’s got the job.

7

We haven’t booked the

we

 

don’t know if Mary’s coming

 

8

I’ll just have a coffee, I’ve

.

8

Test 1

Writing

7You have seen this advertisement for a writing competition in your local newspaper.

Describe your town!

We want you to write a description of your town to encourage other young people to visit. You should write about the image of the town itself, the type of people who live there and finish by saying why you think young people would enjoy their visit. The best entries will be printed in the paper.

Write your description (200–250 words).

10

Total 50

Speaking

Discussion: looking good

Preparation time: 1 minute. Work in pairs.

You have 2–3 minutes to discuss how important appearance and creating the right image are to different people.

Here are some points you could mention:

whether the way we look depends on the occasion.

whether other people judge us by our appearance.

how the way you look can affect how you feel.

© Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE

New Matrix Upper-Intermediate 3

Test 2

Reading

1Choose from the sentences a–f the one which fits each gap 1–5. There is one sentence you do not need.

aInstead we should aim to be realistic and start concentrating on what we want – and what we’ve got.

bA career choice, relationship or even an impulse buy that makes us happy one day might make us perfectly miserable the next.

cAt the end of the day, how we choose to be happy is how we choose to be ourselves.

dIn spite of this, happiness may not be within our reach.

eMoreover, achievements are often less important than we think.

fHowever, one person’s definition of heaven might be another’s idea of hell.

Happiness

Whatever anyone says, there doesn’t appear to be any

universal model for happiness. It is encouraging that happy

people seem to have some characteristics in common.

1Thus Person A might be happiest when he / she is stressed at work, dealing with problems and meeting deadlines, whilst Person B prefers other activities, spending his / her leisure time painting and travelling. Just to add to the confusion, happiness tends to be related to a particular situation at a particular time.

2Bearing this in mind, maybe it’s time to loosen our

grip on the fantasy of the perfect life. 3

 

 

Far from

being the ultimate goal, happiness might simply be the

product of a fulfilled, centred life. 4

 

 

Whilst they may

impress other people, they may not make us happy.

5

Once we’ve sorted that out the rest should fall

into place.

5

Vocabulary

2Complete the gaps with these phrases. Put the verbs in the correct form.

become defensive have no control go wrong

feel pressurised make a conscious decision

run smoothly clear the air

I’m the head teacher of Foulds School which is a cheerful little primary school on the outskirts of London. Things

usually 1 at Foulds, but last year a new

teacher, Mrs Griffin, arrived to teach Class 2 and everything

2

. Mrs Griffin was very young and

inexperienced and seemed 3

over the

class. After two weeks and several calls from dissatisfied parents, I decided to talk her about the situation.

Name:

Class:

4 New Matrix Upper-Intermediate

Grammar

5Complete the sentences using one of the following verbs in the correct form – gerund or infinitive.

take look go write visit shout work

miss help

1

If you can’t understand a word try

 

 

 

 

 

 

it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

up in a dictionary before you ask me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Peter denied

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

missing from his mother’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

The teacher told Sarah that

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

harder

a good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Ben’s father regretted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Frank has arranged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

The teacher told Jean that

with

 

her work and she couldn’t

 

 

 

 

any

 

 

 

 

 

 

more lessons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

When they arrived at the

 

said

 

that he remembered

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

On the last day of their

 

her

 

penfriend promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

I don’t mind

 

 

as long

 

 

as she listens to what I’m

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Rewrite the sentences using

 

 

any

necessary changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

I don’t really want to go

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not really interested

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Although she felt unwell,

the race.

 

In spite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

‘Who can I ask about the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna wanted to know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Harry couldn’t wait to visit

.

 

 

 

 

 

Harry was looking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

‘How do I get to the station?’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tourist wanted to know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Susan decided she didn’t

went to

 

bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan went to bed instead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

When people shout at me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really can’t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Test 2

Writing

7Write a story (200–250 words) start with the words: ‘Until that day Tom had been a regular visiter to...’

Think about:

what sort of place it was and why Tom went there.

what happened to Tom – did something go wrong?

how Tom felt at the end of the story.

10

Total 50

Speaking

Discussion: holidays

Preparation time: 1 minute. Work in pairs.

You have 2–3 minutes to look at the photographs and headlines and discuss these questions:

What are the people in the photographs doing? Where are they?

Why do you think the people have chosen to be in these different places?

How important do you think it is for people to have holidays in order to be happy?

What effect can tourists have on places and local people while they are enjoying their holiday?

Only tourists can afford to eat out here Coastal forest cleared to build new 5-star resort

© Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE

New Matrix Upper-Intermediate 5

Test 3

Reading

Name:

Class:

1Read the article and decide whether statements 1–7 are true or false according to the text. Write T or F in each box.

1 What John finds most shocking is the number of animals on sale.

2 John expected the price of the animals to be higher. 3 Yunus thinks that the zoo didn’t know about

the illegal show.

4 From Yunus’s rescue centre, animals are returned to the wild.

5 The factory workers could have done more to help the orang-utans.

6 Yunus and John found that the orang-utans were in poor condition.

7 Yunus thinks that the policy on prosecuting people who treat animals badly should be tougher.

For sale

‘You name it, we’ll get it for you,’ Baki said, waving his mobile phone as if to show delivery was just a quick call away. ‘Monkeys, birds, turtles, orang-utans, whatever you want. Tigers and rhinos are a bit harder but shouldn’t be a problem.’ What was so shocking about this conversation was not that it was taking place – I wasn’t so naive as to think the problem of illegal animal trading had been solved – but how openly it was happening.

The next shock came when we started discussing prices. Most of the species on offer are endangered, and so listed as protected, anyone caught trading them faces five years in prison and up to £7,000 in fines. ‘It’s like this, mister,’ Baki began, clearly trying to justify a very high price. ‘Orang-utans are getting pretty hard to find these days, so I’m going to have to charge you at least two million rupiah.’ Seeing the surprise on my face, he added hurriedly, ‘But we can offer you a discount.’ Baki had completely misunderstood my look. Two million rupiah – a complete bargain, I thought, considering there are perhaps only 15,000–20,000 orang-utans left in the wild.

Someone trying to make a difference to all this is conservationist, Yunus Makasau, who runs an animal rescue centre. When I visited, there were three bears, several monkeys and four orang-utans. Two of these were seized in a raid on an illegal animal show at a local zoo. The zoo refused to comment on the case, but Yunus finds it hard to believe the people in charge knew nothing about it. ‘How can they not be aware of what is going on in their own zoo? This just shows the size of the problem we are facing.’

Most of the animals are kept at the centre for a week

or two before being shipped to larger rehabilitation centres where they are trained to survive in the wild.

I accompanied Yunus on a mission to a nearby factory to rescue two orang-utans. When we arrived we found Lucky and Lulu imprisoned in a tiny cage. Like inquisitive children,

6 New Matrix Upper-Intermediate

3 Choose the best answer, a, b, c or d.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

I’ve got so much work to do. Do you think you could help

 

me

 

 

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

up b out

c along

d over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

I don’t mind contributing as long as it’s a

 

 

 

 

cause.

 

a

admirable

b decent

c worthy

d respectable

3

I’m glad I had a word with Jim. His advice was very

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

helpful

 

b kind

c successful

d worthwhile

4

The crops were ruined that year due to

 

 

 

drought.

 

a

severe

 

b harsh

c sensible d excessive

 

 

 

5

After a lot of thought Bill eventually came

 

 

 

with

 

the correct answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

along

b across

c away d up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

Grammar

4Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form, positive or negative. Use the present simple, present continuous or will.

1

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(forever / ask) me the same

 

question, and it’s driving me mad!

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(you ever / think) it might be nice to

 

live in a different country?

3

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

(often / go) out in the evenings these

 

days – I’m too tired.

4

You

 

 

 

 

 

 

(always / tell) me to work harder,

 

but I’m trying my best!

5

He

 

 

 

 

 

(change) his mind about it whatever

 

you say to him – he never does.

6

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(always / complain) about how

 

little pocket money he gets.

7You just can’t rely on Gary. I bet he

(arrive) at your party an hour late wearing a scruffy pair of jeans.

8 Our teacher

 

(usually / give) us much

homework at the weekend, but this week we got loads!

 

 

8

5 Underline the correct verb form.

My name’s Mary and I 1 grew

 

family – six kids! It was great

very

little money, but we 3 was /

 

summer we 4 used to went /

.

We 5 stay / used to stay at a

 

Woollacombe in Devon. Each

 

help around the farm and

let

us feed a new born lamb with

 

course some summers it 8

no

fun when you’re camping!

 

when my youngest sister 9

on

the very first day! But we still

 

to have a good time in spite

 

Test 3

Writing

6 An English friend has sent this letter to you.

Hi there!

Sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while. Actually, I’m writing to ask you a favour. A friend of mine called Tom (he’s 18) is planning to spend a week in your area with his family this summer, and he wanted me to write and ask you for some information.

He’s interested in what there is to do during the day. He’s really keen on sport and likes sight-seeing too. He’ll be with his family and has a sister who’s only 13, so they’ll need to think of something for her to do as well.

Can you suggest anything that’d be good for the whole family in the evenings? They also need somewhere to stay that’s comfortable but not too expensive. Any suggestions? And is there anything else you’d really recommend? I know it’s a lot to ask, but Tom and his family would be really grateful!

And what about you? Are you planning any trips to England this year? It’d be great to see you again!

Well thanks for your help.

All the best,

Jo

Write an informal letter (120–150 words) replying to your friend and answering the questions.

Think about:

what there is to do in your area in the daytime and in the evening

what sort of things the whole family would enjoy

where the family could stay

what to tell your friend about your plans

Remember to use an appropriate informal style.

10

Total 50

Speaking

Giving a short presentation

Prepare to give a short presentation (2–3 minutes) on the topic:

What we could do to protect the world we live in.

Here are things you could talk about:

global warming

pollution

endangered species

10

Talk about how these different things affect the world we

live in and what we should do about these problems.

 

© Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE

New Matrix Upper-Intermediate 7

Test 4

Reading

Name:

Class:

1Read the text and choose the best answer, a, b, c or d, to questions 1–5.

Hungry for words

You’d better like photocopying. And faxing. And searching through old copies of the Boxwood News, or whatever, hunting for an article from 1983 about football. If you’re considering a career in journalism, it’s worth spending your holidays making coffee, answering telephones and taking notes for a local or national publication (unpaid, of course).

The idea occurred to me halfway through university, where everyone else was already muttering about becoming bankers. I sent off a handful of letters and managed to get a temporary job on a fashion magazine. While my friends were earning extra money working in bars, I was sleeping on a friend’s floor in London, trying to look like a professional journalist.

My first experience of professional journalism did not go smoothly. During my first week at the magazine, I spent most of my time covered in photocopying ink, mastering (slowly) the art of transferring telephone calls. I tried not to be scared by the pencil-thin fashion journalists, but would take the stairs so I could avoid standing next to them in the lift.

Back at university, I edited the student newspaper before I began to have doubts about whether this was really the career for me. I wasn’t entirely sure I had the sort of toughness that journalists are supposed to possess. I didn’t think I’d ever grasp shorthand. In short, I decided that it was a nasty business and I’d rather be a hairdresser. Shortly after I’d telephoned a hairdressing school, I won an award which gave me some work experience on a national Sunday paper. It was a fantastic four weeks. Although it was yet more filing and photocopying, for the first time I felt that I was actually part of the publication; I sat in on meetings – I even interviewed a couple of fashion designers.

In September, I moved to my present job, and it’s here I’ve been happiest. It’s like any job – six months down the line I’m still finding out everyone’s name, and how to use the computers, and where everything is. I even still feel nervous when I speak to my Section Editor! It’s different from student journalism. Deadlines are tougher, the need for accuracy greater. There are certainly jobs that pay better, offer longer holidays and more sociable hours. People write and complain and it’s still the most mortifying thing in the world to know you’ve got your facts wrong and let everyone down. But it’s worth it. At least for me, it is.

8 New Matrix Upper-Intermediate

8

Sarah looked at the clock and

 

 

 

out of bed,

 

realising that she had overslept.

 

 

 

a crawled

b staggered

c leapt

d crept

9

The accident could have been

 

 

if the motorists

 

had been driving more slowly.

 

 

 

a caused

b reduced

c stopped

d avoided

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

3Complete the sentences using these verbs in the correct form.

achieve apply encourage maintain represent

gather allocate devote establish select

1

Large crowds

 

 

along the sides of the

 

roads to watch the procession

 

 

 

2

Yesterday, Mrs Gates

 

 

 

 

boy to

 

speak more in class by

.

3

The seats for the end of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on a

.

4

Mr Dean couldn’t be

 

 

 

 

teacher because he didn’t

 

 

.

5

Nowadays, children seem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to sport

 

 

 

6

‘Red Water Arts’ is an

 

 

was

in 1985

7The teacher told Harry that more if he came to class

8Sarah was hoping to be basketball team.

9More police were needed

law and

10It was pleasing to see that were

10

Grammar

4Complete the sentences

according to all in all

unfortunately nevertheless

1

On Saturday I went a party

 

cycling.

 

 

 

 

it was

 

 

 

2

Maria bought a most

 

but

 

 

 

 

she

.

 

3

 

 

 

a report

 

 

 

 

number of burglaries in

 

 

 

4

Daylight was fading and

.

 

 

 

 

they

 

 

 

5

Mr Thomas is

 

 

 

at

 

the school.

 

 

 

6

The computer is now

 

 

one

 

small problem, which I’d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Test 4

5Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first sentence.

1

Where’s the library?

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell me

 

 

?

2

Did Peter go to the cinema?

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder

 

 

 

.

3

Are you going to apply for that job?

 

Do you know

 

 

 

?

4

Where have I put my keys?

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve no idea

 

 

 

 

.

5

How did Claire get back from the party last night?

 

Do you know

 

 

 

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

6 Complete the sentences with a relative pronoun.

1

The school

 

 

 

 

 

I went as a child has just

 

been closed.

 

 

 

 

2

The teacher

 

 

 

 

 

class I’ve just been to

 

seems extremely kind.

 

 

 

 

3

The book,

 

 

 

 

 

has quite a complicated

 

plot, was difficult to find at the library.

4

The woman

 

 

 

 

I spoke to about the

 

problem wasn’t very helpful.

 

 

 

 

5Judith showed me her holiday photos, were really interesting.

5

Writing

7Your school is holding a writing competition to describe a festival or popular event that takes place in your area each year. You decide to enter the competition.

Write a description of the event (200–250 words).

Here are some points to mention:

why the event takes place

where the event takes place

what happens

what sort of people enjoy going

10

Total 50

Speaking

Discussion: the power of the press

Preparation time: 1 minute. Work in pairs.

You have 3–4 minutes to discuss how newspapers can affect people’s lives.

Talk about:

the importance of newspapers to different people.

how journalists ensure they get a good story.

other ways of finding out about the news.

© Oxford University Press PHOTOCOPIABLE

New Matrix Upper-Intermediate 9

Test 5

Reading

Name:

Class:

1Read the article and decide whether these sentences are true or false according to what the writer says. Write T or F in each box.

1If children expect to succeed in life, they will succeed.

2Children are confused by the number of job

opportunities on offer.

3 Parents do not realise what effect their criticism may have.

4 Few parents are aware of all the job opportunities available these days.

5 Children are more likely to succeed in getting a good job if they go on to higher education.

6 Parents often ask their children too many questions.

7 Parents may actually prevent children from finding a suitable job.

7

Must try harder

All parents have high hopes for their children and it is common to instil in children the belief that hard work will earn rewards. High expectations, it is believed, will lead to high achievement in the long run. But are parents’ ambitions for their children consistent? The confidence parents try to give children – telling them that they can be anything they want, instructing them to aim for an exciting future – may not be a very practical message.

Young people are told to make sure their university course is interesting, but also that it must be useful and that it should lead to a job. They are urged to take advantage of the many career choices available, while at the same time being told to make sure there is a career ladder they can climb. Don’t give up a good opportunity is the advice – but don’t settle for the first thing that comes along. No wonder children are confused.

Take, for example, a son who wants to ‘do something in design’, while the parents feel that he should get himself a ‘sensible job in computing’. The son may appear to stick to his plans but his confidence has, in reality, already been worn down by his parents’ lack of support. He tries to make his future in design but when he meets his first difficulty, he is filled with self-doubt. It may only be a minor setback, but because of his parents’ comments about what an unsuitable career choice it was in the first place, it seems like a disaster. The parents have done the last thing they wanted; they have influenced their son, but only in a negative way.

Making a career choice today is far from easy and parents will not help by simply repeating the advice they once received. Much has changed in the employment market over the last generation, and many parents may still be out of touch. Even if they appreciate the changes in their own area of work, they have almost certainly failed to grasp them across a range of jobs. A college or a degree course may

10 New Matrix Upper-Intermediate

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