English Reading Exercises for B1- Miscalculations

1. Write the measurements using abbreviations for the units.

1 six feet ________

2 nine inches ________

3 five feet ten inches ________

4 two metres sixteen centimetres ________

5 seventy-four kilometres ________

6 fifty-six millimetres ________

Show answers

1 6 ft   2 9 in   3 5 ft 10 in   4 2 m 16 cm

5 74 km   6 56 mm

2. Read the texts (A-C) and match the titles with the texts. There is one extra title.

Side to side

Safe and sound

In and out

There and back?

[A ]

Imagine you were in the middle of a long-distance flight. How would you feel if you were told that your plane had run out of fuel? That’s what happened to passengers on an Air Canada flight in 1983. The plane was the first to use metric measurements. However, the fuel gauge wasn’t working, so the captain calculated the fuel needed – but in pounds, not kilograms. This resulted in the plane only carrying half the amount it needed. It ran out of fuel above a place called Gimli. Fortunately, the pilot was able to land there safely with minimal fuel, earning the plane the nickname the ‘Gimli Glider’.

[B ]

Crossing the new Millennium Bridge for the first time in June 2000, the people of London got a more thrilling journey to work than they expected. As they passed over the River Thames, the footbridge started to swing. It was a beautiful, elegant bridge, designed especially for the new century. Unfortunately, the designers hadn’t calculated the effect of thousands of people walking on it at the same time. Although it wasn’t particularly dangerous, the bridge was very wobbly, especially when it was windy. It had to be closed for nearly two years while the design was modified, at great expense.

[C ]

In 1912, explorer Robert Scott fatally miscalculated the amount of food his team would need while trying to become the first to reach the South Pole. His team had rations of 4,500 calories per day. If Scott had known more about physical health at that time, he would have taken nearly double that amount of food. So the team must have lost about 25 kg of weight before they got to the Pole. The journey was doubly tragic for Scott. He was beaten to the South Pole by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and, worse, he and his men died of starvation on the return journey, just eleven miles from their next food supply.

Show answers

1 B   2 A   4 C

Reading Strategy

When a statement can match more than one text, you need to make sure you have matched all of the possible texts to each statement. First decide which text matches with a particular statement. Then check that none of the other texts match the statement.

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match the texts (A-C) with statements 1-4. One text matches with two statements.

This mistake could have had fatal results.

More than one person was responsible for this mistake.

This problem took a long time to fix.

The mistake was due to lack of knowledge rather than miscalculation.

Show answers

1 A   2 B   3 B   4 C

Extra exercises


First, try to understand the general idea of each paragraph. This will help you decide where each of the missing sentences should go. Make sure that the sentence you put in the gap fits with the general topic of the paragraph.

1. Read the Strategy. Then read the text in exercise 2. Match the paragraphs with the descriptions below.

In this paragraph, the writer

A describes an option which involves exchanging something.

B recommends getting to know the local way of life when you travel.

C says that more adventurous accommodation can teach you more about local life.

D talks about a change in what people want from travel.

Show answers

A 2 B 4 C 3 D 1

2. Now read the text again. Complete the gaps (1-4) in the text with the missing sentences (A-F). There are two extra sentences.

[1 ]

Staying in hotels and resorts has been a traditional part of travel since mass tourism began. But nowadays, many tourists want a more intimate experience. 1 ___ This often means staying in the kinds of places that local people inhabit. In big cities, try staying with the friend of a friend. You may end up sleeping on the couch or the floor, but the advantages outweigh the discomfort. The biggest plus is that you’ll be staying with a local and seeing the city from a local perspective.

[2 ]

Another option is house-swapping. 2 ___ It’s usual to exchange emails about favourite places in the city before the swap, meaning you can have a truly local experience. But of course, you can only do this if you don’t mind having strangers staying in your house.

[3 ]

For the more adventurous, staying in a native structure in an African village or a hut on the water in Vietnam or Thailand can be a real thrill. 3 ___ The experience of dealing with oil lamps and carrying water really gives you a sense of how the people live.

[4 ]

No matter how unadventurous you feel, you might want to consider crossing hotels off your list. 4 ___ And what better way is there to do this than staying where the local people actually live?

Unfortunately, these areas are becoming increasingly tourist-orientated.

For this reason, they are choosing to ‘go native’.

Several websites allow you to connect with people who want to trade living situations.

Of course this type of accommodation is not for everyone.

E   Getting to know the local way of life is the most valuable part of travel.

F   These might not even include plumbing or electricity, and that is part of the charm.

Show answers

12 C  34 E