English Reading Exercises for B1 – Body clock

1. Complete the sentences with the words below. Use the same word in each pair of sentences.

exercise      hard      level      light      record      rest      show      work

1)  a Usain Bolt set a new world ________. at the Olympic Games.

b You can ________. a message for someone to listen to later.

2)  a Look at ________. 3 on page 78.

b You need to ________. to stay fit.

3)  a This MP3 player doesn’t ________. It’s broken.

b Does your mum ________. at the hospital?

4)  a There’s a great quiz ________. on TV tonight.

b Can you ________. me the way to the library?

5)  a I’m exhausted. I need a ________.!

b How will you spend the ________. of the day?

6)  a I couldn’t sleep because bed was too ________.

b If I think ________, I’m sure I’ll work out the answer.

7)  a It’s getting dark. Switch on the ________.

b This suitcase is quite ________. – only 6 kg.

8)  a There is a worryingly high ________. of CO2 in the atmosphere.

b The shelf isn’t ________. so the books might fall off.

Show answers

1) record   2) exercise   3) work   4) show   5) rest

6) hard   7) light   8) level

2. Read the text. Does the research support the theory that students perform better if school starts later?

What time should school start?


The debate in the USA about whether to start school later has been running for many years. Ask any American teenager arriving at school at 7.30 a.m. and they will tell you that it’s difficult to memorise chemical formulae or lists of vocabulary so early in the morning. Is it just laziness, or is there a biological reason for this? Studies by scientists in the UK show that teenagers naturally want to go to bed about two hours later than adults and also get up later. This trend begins at about the age of thirteen and continues right through the teenage years. The scientists conclude that students inevitably feel tired in the morning and will therefore perform worse at school before lunch.


Schools in some US states have tested this theory, and the findings back up the science. By delaying the start of school by just one hour, academic achievement has risen, absenteeism has declined and cases of depression among teenagers have also fallen. One study that involved 9,000 students revealed that grades in maths, English and science all rose when school began at 8.35 a.m. or later. Studies in other countries such as Brazil, Italy and Israel also show that later start times improve learning.


However, not everyone advocates changing the school timetable. They claim that it would cause a huge amount of disruption. Others are opposed to the change because students won’t have time for after-school activities or part-time jobs. However, one benefit of a later start time may yet convince the doubters. A study in Wyoming showed that car crashes among 16 – 18-year-olds fell by 70% after the start time was changed from 7.35 a.m. to 8.55 a.m. More studies need to be carried out before a definite link can be made between the number of accidents and the school start times, but it is undeniable that it is less safe to drive when you feel sleepy.

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Reading Strategy

When matching questions with texts, follow these steps.

1) Read the text to get a general idea of the meaning.

2) Read the task’s lead-in line very carefully. (In which paragraph ___ ). Then read all the options carefully.

3) Read the paragraphs of the text carefully one by one and match them to the correct option.

4) If you can’t find the answer, leave it for now and come back to it later when you have fewer options left.

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match paragraphs A-C with questions 1-4 below. One paragraph matches two questions.

In which paragraph does the author ___

1) suggest that students might be safer if the school start time were changed?

2) refer to evidence that shows that adults’ body clocks are different from those of teenagers?

3) quote the results of a study that confirms the conclusions of British scientists?

4) mention some practical problems that might result from a change in the start time?

Show answers

1) C   2) A   3) B   4) C