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BLUNDERING BANK 'GIVES' STUDENT £1M

Suggested procedure

  1. Read the text through to get the general idea.
  2. Read the text again. When you come to each gap, try and predict ways to complete it by reading what comes before and after. Then look carefully at the alternatives suggested below and choose the most appropriate alternative.
  3. Read the complete text again with the added phrases/sentences. Make sure that it all makes sense.
Exam task For questions 1-6, read the following text and then choose from the list A-l the best phrase given below it to fill each of the spaces. Each correct phrase may be used only once. Some of the suggested answers do not fit at all. The exercise begins with an example (0). Spend no more than 15 minutes on this task.


Like most students, Faye Pattison struggles to make ends meet. So, when she checked her bank balance (0) J. .
Barclays explained afterwards that a one-figure error in an international transaction (1) ... . A week later, she was even richer - to the tune of £500,000. And by the end of the month, according to her account, she was a millionaire.
Friends began making mischievous suggestions about (2) ... . Instead Ms. Pattison, a 21-year-old antiques restoration and conservation student, went to great lengths, helped by her family, (3) ... .
After repeated phone calls to Barclays' headquarters in London the tangle was finally sorted out (4) ... . She said yesterday: 'The longer it went on, the more my friends began suggesting I should just quietly move the money abroad and take off. But 1 can honestly say (5) ... . It just wouldn't be the right thing to do. It was nice, though, to stare at those figures and dream it was for real.'
Last night, however, Barclays showed some recognition of Faye's honesty by giving her the £300, part of the interest on her fortune. What happened was in no way her fault (6) ... ,' said a spokesman. 'We have apologised verbally for the inconvenience caused by the mistake and will also be sending her a written apology.'

  1. although Ms. Pattison was still left with an unexplained £300
  2. that I was never really tempted
  3. to ensure the cash reached its proper destination
  4. when the bank got in touch with me
  5. and we feel she deserves a reward
  6. meant the money had gone to her by mistake
  7. transferring the money to a Swiss account and disappearing to South America
  8. despite having to take out a loan to pay for her tuition fees
  9. but I can't say that it didn't cross my mind
  10. she was staggered to find it £34,000 in credit

Here are some answers from the students:

Which of these answers are good answers? Certainly not all of them.

  1. dissatisfaction , irritation, disaffection, discontent, discontentment
  2. understand, imagine, realise, apprehend, comprehend
  3. interview, talk, chat, conversation, meeting
  4. employee, staff, personnel, clerks
  5. situation, condition, state
  6. (an) exception, rarity, rare occurrence
  7. notices, papers, declaration
  8. limit
  9. agreement, approval
  10. appointment
  11. view, arguments,
  12. apology
  13. encountering, experiencing, facing, undergoing




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