English Reading Exercises for B1- Out of work

1. Complete the sentences with a verb and a preposition below. Use the correct form of the verb.

Verbsappeal      arrest      complain      employ      respond      search      sit       spend      work      worry

Prepositionsabout      about      as      at      for      for      for      on      to      to

1) I usually ____________ pocket money ____________ music downloads.

2) All I do is ____________ desk all day. I need to get some exercise!

3) dad has his own business, but he used to ____________ a big bank.

4) Working abroad doesn’t really ____________ me. I’d prefer to stay in this country.

5) I ____________ keys, but I couldn’t find them. I wonder where they are.

6) I ____________ all the comments on Facebook page. I think it’s impolite to ignore them.

7) The café manager wants to ____________ me ____________ a dishwasher, but I want to work as a waiter.

8) Don’t ____________ your exams. I’m sure you’ll pass them.

9) Yesterday, the police ____________ a teenager ____________ shoplifting. They questioned him, but have let him go.

10) The neighbours always ____________ the noise when little cousins come to stay.

Show answers

1) spend, on   2) sit at   3) work for   4) appeal to

5) searched for   6) respond to   7) employ, as

8) worry about   9) arrested, for   10) complain about

2. Read the newspaper article. Are the sentences true (T) or false (F)?

1) Omar Bashir is in his twenties.

2) He doesn’t have a university qualification.

3) He finally got a job.




Omar had qualified with a good degree in economics from City University, London, and had been working in a basic marketing job for some time. In order to further his career, he had applied for nearly 100 jobs, but without success. He said, ‘The graduate job market is extremely competitive and good grades are not good enough. 2) ___ ’

So he took advice from his father, who he greatly admired. His father and uncle used to have market stalls in Petticoat Lane which sold women’s clothes and mobile phone accessories. 3) ___ ‘I picked up a lot of selling skills from there,’ Omar said. His father told him, ‘You can sell anything.’ So then Omar decided that the time had come to tell himself.

On the second day, Omar stood outside another underground station, this time Cannon Street, with the same sign. 4) ___ Early on the second day, however, he was noticed by the CEO of a top insurance firm, who took his CV. He was called in for an interview that afternoon, and at the end of the day he had a job. David Ross, who gave Omar the interview, said, ‘Omar’s work ethic, inclusive nature, willingness to learn and humility means that he has fitted straight into the organisation.’

Show answers

1) T   2) F   3) T

Reading Strategy

When you are doing a gapped-sentence task:

1) Fill in the easiest gaps first.

2) When you have filled all the gaps, try the extra sentences in each gap again to make sure they don’t fit.

3) Read the whole text again, checking your answers.

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Then match sentences A-F with gaps 1-4 in the text. There are two extra sentences.

a It’s important to do something that catches people’s attention.

b He thought the job offer was too good to be true.

c He found a place at the top of the stairs at Bank Station in the heart of London’s financial district.

d Although the first day had resulted in some interesting conversations, nothing had come of them.

e Omar used to help them at weekends.

f He was offered £5,000 more than his current job.

Show answers

1) C   2) A   3) E   4) D

Extra exercises


When matching headings with paragraphs, focus on the first and last sentences in each paragraph first. These often introduce and summarise the contents of a paragraph, so they may help you to identify the correct heading. It is still very important to read the whole paragraph carefully before making your choices.

1. Read the Strategy above. Then read the first and last lines of two paragraphs and match them with headings A and B.

1) Not everyone can manage a part-time job, interests and school work at the same time. ___ So carefully consider your need for free time before deciding to take on a job.

2) Working while you’re a student can broaden your view of the world. ___ Learning that not everyone is thinking about school issues is a useful lesson.

a Work provides a wider experience of life.

b Leisure activities may be more important than a job.

Show answers

a 2   b 1

2. Now read the article. Match the headings (A-F) with the paragraphs (1-4). There are two extra headings.

1) _____.

A weekend job is an attractive idea for many of us. Weekend work is a break from school routine, and it provides some extra spending money. It can also give us a chance to explore the working world and gain a bit of experience.

2) _____.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many weekend jobs for school-aged people these days. Since the economic troubles of the early 2000s, many part-time jobs have been taken by adults who need the work – meaning fewer jobs for us.

3) _____.

Young people can still find ways to earn money if they think creatively. Start by studying your house. Are there chores which no one seems to have time for? Offer to tidy the garden, paint the fence or clear out the garage – for a fee.

4) _____.

Neighbours are a well-known source of income too. Babysitting is a traditional job, and if you’re good at it, you can earn respect and money. Gardening, washing people’s cars and cleaning windows are also dependable possibilities.

a The benefits of weekend work

b Some jobs are not right for us

c What’s happened to jobs for young people?

d Traditional jobs in the community

e Get help in finding work

f Earning money can begin at home

Show answers

1) A   2) C   3) F   4) D

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