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Occupational English Test

Part B - Text Booklet
Practice test

You must record your answers for Part B on the

multiple-choice answer sheet using 2B pencil.

Please print in BLOCK LETTERS

Candidate number

Family name

Other name(s)


Date of test

Candidates signature


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OET Centre Practice test ABN 84 434 201 642



There are TWO reading texts in Part B. After each of the texts you will find a number of questions or unfinished
statements about the text, each with four suggested answers or ways of finishing.
You must choose the ONE which you think fits best. For each question, 1-20, indicate on your answer sheet
the letter A, B, C or D against the number of the question.
Answer ALL questions. Marks are NOT deducted for incorrect answers.
NOTE: You must complete your Answer Sheet for Part B within the 45 minutes allowed for this part of the


OET PART B READING - All life is connected

All Life is Connected

Cancer in Humans and Wildlife

Janette D. Sherman, MD (2000) Life's Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer.
[Copyright permission has been granted to use this work as material for a reading exercise.]

Man has lost the ability to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.
-Albert Schweitzer, quoted in Silent Spring


It may be that biologists, rather than physicians, will

be the major contributors to the health of our
planet and its people. It was Rachel Carson, a
biologist, who researched and wrote of the harm to
wildlife caused by the combined action of pesticides
and radiation. In the tradition of the observant
biologist is Theo Colborn, who, with her colleagues,
provided a significant breakthrough in
understanding the hormonal effects of
environmental contaminants. In July 1991, a
gathering of some of the world's most astute
scientists was held at the Wingspread Conference
Center in Wisconsin,1 where they defined the
pattern of diverse endocrine malfunction seen
throughout the animal kingdom. They revealed a
picture of the Brave New World we should
rigorously seek not to leave as a legacy to our

The conferees, studying wildlife over the globe, described ominous findings of disease and death
linked to environmental pollution. Exposure to toxic chemicals that possess unintended hormonal
actions has resulted in anatomic, physiologic, reproductive, carcinogenic, and behavioral
abnormalities across all forms of animal life: in mollusks, fish, birds, seals, and rodents. These
creatures are to we humans as canaries were to the miners. We must understand that the
destruction of eons of evolutionary function and development in wildlife foreshadows destruction of
the entire biosphere, humans included.

These widespread adverse effects were attributed to xenoestrogens. Xeno- comes from a Greek
origin, meaning "foreign." Foreign itself is not bad: how else do we share and spread culture and
ideas? But xenoestrogens are less foreigners than invaders, gaining entrance by the Trojan horse of
seemingly harmless routes: milk, meat, cheese, fish, the products we use to nourish ourselves and
families. Like the invaders of Troy, after the xenoestrogens gain entrance to the bodies of animals
and humans alike, they weaken defences and wreak their harm of cancer, hormonal disruption,
immunological abnormalities, and birth defects.

Xenoestrogens are an insidious enemy, but they have had help from powerful allies: the purveyors
of products and chemicals, and legislators, regulators, and scientists reluctant to bite the money-
laden hands that feed them.
OET PART B READING - All life is connected

Wingspread researchers found that birds exposed to xenoestrogens show reproductive failure,
growth retardation, life-threatening deformities, and alterations in their brains and liver function.2
"There is direct experimental evidence for permanent [organizational] effects of gonadal steroids on
the brain as well as reproductive organs throughout life."3 This means that offspring whose brains
have been altered are unable to function as had their parents. They become different in ability or

This means that the sea of hormonally active chemicals in which the fetus develops may change
forever the health and function of the adult, and in some cases, may alter the course of an entire
species.4 Worldwide there are reports of declining sperm counts5 and reduced ratio in births of male
babies.6 Without the capacity to reproduce, a species ceases to exist. Extinction is forever; a species
loss has never been reversed.

The data derived from animal observations are unequivocal: breast and genital cancers, genital
abnormalities, interference with sexual development, and changes in reproductive behavior are all
expressions of a root cause. A possible connection between women with breast cancer and those
having children with reversed sexual orientation is a question that bears study. This is not an idea
from science fiction, considering what we have learned from observing wildlife and the effects of
inappropriate hormonal influence upon the breast, brain, and reproductive organs. If an
unequivocal answer were to emerge from human observation, it could have a significant impact
upon the prevailing political and economic landscape, and may finally settle the nature or nurture
issue of sexual orientation.


Considering the accumulated knowledge linking chemical and radioactive contamination of the
environment with increasing breast cancer rates means we must focus our energies and efforts on

Early were the eloquent words and pleas for prevention from Rachel Carson. Her book, Silent Spring,
originally published in 1962, while she herself was suffering from breast cancer, is still a bestseller.
Ms. Carson documented wholesale killing of species; animals, birds, fish, insects; the destruction of
food and shelter for wild creatures; failure of reproduction; damage to the nervous system; tumors
in wild animals; increasing rates of leukemia in children; and chronicled the pesticides and chemicals
known at that time to cause cancer. This was over 30 years ago!

Carson's is a book for every citizen, for without understanding of our collective actions and
permissions, we cannot govern democratically. In Australia, a citizen is required to vote. In the
United States, proclaimed by some politicians as the "greatest democracy on earth," often fewer
than 50% bother to vote in a major election. Of those who do take the time to register and vote, few
are sufficiently alert and/or educated to vote with intelligence, thought, and compassion. Requiring
participation in the governance of ones own country is not a bad idea. Requiring thoughtful voting
may be more difficult, especially when it comes to such issues as cancer, pesticide use, consumer
products, nuclear radiation, toxic chemicals, and environmental destruction. Taking this thought one
step further, this democracy could do far worse than to require reading of Silent Spring as a
requirement to vote! Radical? Perhaps. But is the ongoing cancer epidemic any less radical?
OET PART B READING - All life is connected

One successor to Ms. Carson has emerged in the person of Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist, poet,
and scientist. In her book, Living Downstream, she writes eloquently of the connections between
environmental contamination and cancer. Dr. Steingraber was diagnosed with bladder cancer at age
20, a highly unusual diagnosis in a woman, a young woman, a nonsmoker and nondrinker. She
pursued the question, why? She realized a connection with our wild relations and she asks: Tell
me, does the St. Lawrence beluga drink too much alcohol and does the St. Lawrence beluga smoke
too much and does the St. Lawrence beluga have a bad diet . . . is that why the beluga whales are ill?
. . . Do you think you are somehow immune and that it is only the beluga whale that is being

The portion of Dr. Steingraber's book that struck me most personally was when she says: First,
even if cancer never comes back, one's life is utterly changed. Second, in all the years I have been
under medical scrutiny, no one has ever asked me about the environmental conditions where I grew
up, even though bladder cancer in young women is highly unusual. I was once asked if I had ever
worked with dyes or had been employed in the rubber industry. (No and no.) Other than these two
questions, no doctor, nurse, or technician has ever shown interest in probing the possible causes of
my disease-even when I have introduced the topic. From my conversations with other cancer
patients, I gather that such lack of curiosity in the medical community is usual .8

I take her words as an indictment of the medical and scientific establishment, whose point of view
must be changed. Certainly the lack of curiosity among physicians, scientists, policymakers, and
politicians has contributed to the epidemic of illness among humans and wildlife alike.

An equally talented woman is Terry Tempest Williams, an ecologist and wildlife researcher, whose
book, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, tells the story of her Utah family, whom she
labels "a clan of one-breasted women." Ms. Williams contrasts the life-affirming awareness of the
Great Salt Lake wildlife refuge against the erosion-of-being, as cancer takes away the women in her
family: her mother, her grandmothers, and six aunts. She writes: "I cannot prove that my mother
Diane Dixon Tempest, or my grandmothers, Lettie Romney Dixon and Kathryn Blackett Tempest,
along with my aunts, developed cancer from nuclear fallout in Utah. But I can't prove that they

Times are changing. It is becoming impossible to ignore the carnage of endocrine-disrupting

chemicals, nuclear radiation, and chemical carcinogens, alone and in combination, invading nearly
every family with cancer.

Facing this reality may be too much for some people, afraid to look, or afraid of being the next
victim. The story of cancer is not an easy one, and neither is cancer. But if we do not exert our
efforts to prevent this disease, we doom our children and grandchildren to repeat our collective

What does it take to change from environmental destruction and random killing to affirmation of
life? Can the protection of life for ourselves and our environment be accomplished by women with
breast cancer; the women at risk for breast cancer; the families of breast cancer victims? Who
should lead? If we citizens can't and don't try, what are our alternatives?
OET PART B READING - All life is connected

ALL LIFE IS CONNECTED - QUESTIONS - Circle the most appropriate answer

Q1 The authors main contention is that

a. wildlife all around the world is being linked to environmental pollution

b. fish, birds, seals and canaries are being exposed to toxic chemicals
c. humans need to understand the link between destroying the planets wildlife, through
exposure to toxic chemicals, and the destruction of the entire biosphere which includes human
life itself.
d. humans need to understand the link between destroying the planets wildlife, through exposure
to toxic chemicals, and behavioural abnormalities across all forms of life.

Q2 The author states that in an environment of hormonally active chemicals

a. males with higher sperm counts may result

b. more male babies are born
c. lower sperm count in males may result in a particular species being wiped out
d. males with more sperm count may result

Q3 Dr Sandra Steingraber, ecologist, poet and scientist:

a. realised that contracting bladder cancer was not due to her alcohol drinking
b. realised her bladder cancer was not due to her smoking
c. believed her bladder cancer was due to environmental contamination
d. doctors, nurses and technicians were very interested in her unusual cancer

Q4 The wildlife researcher, Terry Tempest Williams, sees the dichotomy which exists in the Great
Salt Lake wildlife refuge area:

a. many women in her family have died from breast cancer after a nuclear fallout in Utah
b. many men in her family have died from breast cancer
c. her family have many one-breasted women unusual for Utah
d. such wide-spread cancer is probably due to environmental, not genetic causes

Q5 Animal observations show:

a. changes in sexual maturity are not only due to a root cause

b. genital abnormalities may be due to a root cause
c. inappropriate hormones adversely affect the development of breast, brain and reproductive
d. humans are not similarly affected
OET PART B READING - All life is connected

Q6 The author puts forward several ideas about governance except for one of the following:

a. People who participate in elections are not alert and educated enough
b. Unless the wants and needs of the population are known, it is difficult for politicians to
govern democratically
c. People being required to vote, to participate in the decision making process, is a good idea
d. Reading Carsons book, Silent Spring, should be made compulsory for all voters.

Q7 Rachel Carsons book Silent Spring, written in 1962, revealed:

a. more had to be done to prevent chemical contamination of the environment

b. there was a link between pesticides, chemicals and cancer
c. chemicals were leading to an inability to reproduce leading to the eradication of entire
species of insects, birds, fish and animals
d. all of the above

Q8 Research about xenoestrogens reveals

a. they are everywhere

b. they are harmless
c. they are in our everyday foods
d. they are in our everyday foods and disrupt hormonal function

Q9 Xenoestrogens

a. lead to birth deformities

b. alter genetically inherited abilities
c. continue to be used by profiteering stakeholders
d. all of the above

Q10 The author asserts:

a. people need to be aware of the dangers of chemicals, radiation, carcinogens

b. tackling cancer should be embraced not shunned
c. change should not be left to only those suffering from breast cancer
d. all of the above

Tufts University faculty debunks common dental myths

7 August 2010 02:39

Brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental check-ups are standard for oral health
care, but there are more health benefits to taking care of your pearly whites than
most of us know. In a review article, a faculty member at Tufts University School of
Dental Medicine (TUSDM) debunks common dental myths and outlines how diet and
nutrition affects oral health in children, teenagers, expectant mothers, adults and

Myth 1: The consequences of poor oral health are restricted to the mouth

Expectant mothers may not know that what they eat affects the tooth development
of the fetus. Poor nutrition during pregnancy may make the unborn child more likely
to have tooth decay later in life. "Between the ages of 14 weeks to four months,
deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein and calories could result in oral
defects," says Carole Palmer, EdD, RD, professor at TUSDM and head of the division
of nutrition and oral health promotion in the department of public health and
community service. Some data also suggest that lack of adequate vitamin B6 or B12
could be a risk factor for cleft lip and cleft palate formation.

In children, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease, about five times more
common than childhood asthma. "If a child's mouth hurts due to tooth decay,
he/she is less likely to be able to concentrate at school and is more likely to be eating
foods that are easier to chew but that are less nutritious. Foods such as donuts and
pastries are often lower in nutritional quality and higher in sugar content than more
nutritious foods that require chewing, like fruits and vegetables," says Palmer. "Oral
complications combined with poor diet can also contribute to cognitive and growth
problems and can contribute to obesity."

Myth 2: More sugar means more tooth decay

It isn't the amount of sugar you eat; it is the amount of time that the sugar has
contact with the teeth. "Foods such as slowly-dissolving candies and soda are in the
mouth for longer periods of time. This increases the amount of time teeth are
exposed to the acids formed by oral bacteria from the sugars," says Palmer.

Some research shows that teens obtain about 40 percent of their carbohydrate
intake from soft drinks. This constant beverage use increases the risk of tooth decay.
Sugar-free carbonated drinks and acidic beverages, such as lemonade, are often
considered safer for teeth than sugared beverages but can also contribute to
demineralization of tooth enamel if consumed regularly.

Myth 3: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay

It is a common myth that losing baby teeth due to tooth decay is insignificant
because baby teeth fall out anyway. Palmer notes that tooth decay in baby teeth can
result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth developing below

them. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, the permanent teeth may erupt mal-
positioned and require orthodontics later on.

Myth 4: Osteoporosis only affects the spine and hips

Osteoporosis may also lead to tooth loss. Teeth are held in the jaw by the face bone,
which can also be affected by osteoporosis. "So, the jaw can also suffer the
consequences of a diet lacking essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamins D
and K," says Palmer.

"The jawbone, gums, lips, and soft and hard palates are constantly replenishing
themselves throughout life. A good diet is required to keep the mouth and
supporting structures in optimal shape."

Myth 5: Dentures improve a person's diet

If dentures don't fit well, older adults are apt to eat foods that are easy to chew and
low in nutritional quality, such as cakes or pastries. "First, denture wearers should
make sure that dentures are fitted properly. In the meantime, if they are having
difficulty chewing or have mouth discomfort, they can still eat nutritious foods by
having cooked vegetables instead of raw, canned fruits instead of raw, and ground
beef instead of steak. Also, they should drink plenty of fluids or chew sugar-free gum
to prevent dry mouth," says Palmer.

Myth 6: Dental decay is only a young person's problem

In adults and elders, receding gums can result in root decay (decay along the roots of
teeth). Commonly used drugs such as antidepressants, diuretics, antihistamines and
sedatives increase the risk of tooth decay by reducing saliva production. "Lack of
saliva means that the mouth is cleansed more slowly. This increases the risk of oral
problems," says Palmer. "In this case, drinking water frequently can help cleanse the

Adults and elders are more likely to have chronic health conditions, like diabetes,
which are risk factors for periodontal disease (which begins with an inflammation of
the gums and can lead to tooth loss). "Type 2 diabetes patients have twice the risk of
developing periodontal disease of people without diabetes. Furthermore,
periodontal disease exacerbates diabetes mellitus, so meticulous oral hygiene can
help improve diabetes control," says Palmer.

Source: Tufts University, Health Sciences



1. This article is about

a. how the nutritional needs of children, teenagers and expectant mothers has an
effect on oral health
b. how the oral health is affected by nutritional needs of children, teenagers,
expectant mothers and other groups.
c. how diet and nutritional needs of children, teenagers, mothers-to-be, and adults
affects ones oral health
d. disproving some long held beliefs

2. Carole Palmer observes that

a. pies and pastries have low food value and require more chewing
b. lower nutritional quality food needs more chewing
c. nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables have less sugar and require more
d. too much vitamin B6 or B12 could lead to problems with cleft palate formation

3. According to Palmer

a. asthma is five times less common in childhood than tooth decay

b. school kids with tooth decay pain may have concentration problems at school
c. mouth and dental problems plus a poor diet can affect thinking abilities and be a
factor later on in obesity
d. all of the above

4. According to the article

a. its important to make sure you retain baby teeth

b. Its important that teeth are not exposed for a long time to acids formed by oral
bacteria as a result of eating sugary foods
c. its important to look after your baby teeth
d. its important that teeth are not exposed to acids formed by oral bacteria from
sugary foods

5. According to the article, baby teeth

a. are dispensable
b. develop to help eat food
c. if lost prematurely, may result in poor development of permanent teeth
d. help with correct development of permanent teeth

6. Dental health in older people requires

a. properly fitting dentures

b. a calcium rich diet
c. nutritious food containing vitamins D and K
d. all of the above

7. The article says that Osteoporosis

a. may prevent loss of teeth

b. may affect jaw bones
c. jaw bone health may be affected by chewing sugar-free gum
d. none of the above

8. Lack of saliva

a. all of the following

b. results in mouth being cleansed more slowly
c. can be addressed by chewing sugar-free gum
d. may increase the risk of tooth decay

9. Palmer says that Type 2 Diabetics

a. have the same amount of tooth decay as the rest of the population
b. develop periodontal disease twice as fast as the rest of the population
c. develop periodontal disease twice as fast as people without Type 2 Diabetes
d. can help themselves by watching their sugar intake

10. Dental decay is up to us

a. Teenagers obtain almost half their daily carbohydrate requirements from soft
drinks increasing the risk of tooth decay so they should drink less sugary drinks
b. Older adults with ill fitting dentures, often eat easily-chewable food, low in
nutritional quality which leads to tooth decay so they should get their dentures
c. If baby teeth are not looked after, they may need to come out prematurely, thus
affecting correct development of erupting permanent teeth so parents should
make sure their childrens baby teeth are kept clean by regular brushing
d. all of the above



1c [most detailed answer]

2 c [para 2, p2]

3c [para 2, p3]

4d [p3, para4, last line]

5c [p2, para3, starts 1st line]

6a [p2, last para, line 5]


8d [See para 3, p1]


10 d

Part B2

3- d
6- d
10 - d