Reading Tip Skip any questions you are not sure about, rather than wasting too much time on a particular question.
Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet. For questionsanswer by choosing from the sections of the article A-E on page 9.
Some of the choices may be required more than once. In which section are the following mentioned? Thus we have the clock radio.
But how do you pick a good one? Our panel, which cambridge ielts 6 writing answers to sympathy of myself plus the inventor Tom Granger and the broadcaster Paul Bridges, tested five currently available.
A The 'dual alarm function' that is advertised with this model does not allow you, as I first supposed, to be woken by the buzzer, snooze a while and then finally be driven out of bed. The instruction booklet advises you to use this function to set two different wake-up times, one for work days and one for weekends, but whose life is programmed to this extent?
Since this model costs more or less the same as the second model tested, the inclusion of a cassette player is quite a bargain - you can fall asleep to your own soothing tapes and wake up to a day without news.
We all thought the quality of the radio excellent, too - if only the whole thing was smaller. It's as big as a rugby ball.
Paul Bridges said, 'Any clock radio I buy has to leave enough space on the bedside table for my keys, wallet, glasses and telephone. Anyway, I'm completely paranoid and always book a wake-up call in case the alarm doesn't go off. Paul Bridges declared himself 'in love with it', although the clock on the one he tested 'kept getting stuck at I was fascinated by the digital display, with its classy grey numbers on a gentle green background.
The wide snooze bar means you can tap it on the edge with your eyes shut. Unfortunately, the smooth undulations and tactile buttons, like pebbles on the beach, encouraged me to run my fingers over them as if they were keys on a piano, which proved my undoing when I finally looked at the SO-page instruction booklet.
The clock has a self-power back-up so you don't have to reset it if someone unceremoniously pulls the plug out in order to use a hairdryer or the vacuum cleaner; this met with unanimous approval. However, we all found it a technical feat to set up - though completing the learning curve made us feel 'cool' and sophisticated.
C Tom Granger described this model with its extra builtin lamp as 'unbelievably tacky' in the way it's made. The light was certainly hard to position; you would never be able to read by it - it only shines on the clock, which is illuminated anyway.
Paul Bridges said he was 'very tickled' by the lamp idea but agreed that the radio was hard to tune. The buzzer is reminiscent of 'action stations' on a submarine and made me feel like hurling the whole thing across the bedroom.
Interestingly, however, this model is the third most popular on the market.
D Clearly aimed at young people, with its brightly coloured casing and matching bootlace strap, this one appealed to the child in Tom Granger and me. In fact, the traditional design of the controls made it the only one we managed to set up without reading the instruction booklet. Too bad the alarm is allowed a hilarious 20minute margin for error; the manual notes, 'the alarm may sound about 10 minutes earlier or later than the pre-set time'.
Paul Bridges scoffed at such a notion, adding that this model was 'terribly fiddly' and, indeed, 'completely useless'. E The simplest and cheapest of all the models tested, this scored points with Tom Granger because it 'seemed very standard and took up little space', but also because it has old-fashioned dial tuning.
With modern push-button tuning you're never really sure if you've pressed all the buttons in the right order so you can't have confidence that the thing will actually work. I thought the tuning rather crude, as did Paul Bridges, but we agreed that the radio quality was fine.
The buzzer on this model certainly works; it succeeded in getting me out of bed in just two beeps! There is one extra paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps.
And he put it into practice in his own craft, 'The Westerman'. Nearly all are descendants of the hull-shape revolution that took place 25 years ago.
By contrast, my own lies quietly on a tidal creek off the south coast.
She was designed last year but, seeing her, you might imagine her to be years old and think that her owner must be some kind of lost-soul romantic. These are often the very realities they hoped to rediscover by going to sea in the first place.
And for what purpose should we abandon common sense and move our steering positions from the security of the aft end to some vulnerable perch half-way to the bow? The sad answer is that this creates a cabin like that of an ocean liner, with space for a bed larger than the one at home. The Westerman has never disappointed me.
Although Nigel Irens, the designer, and Ed Burnett, his right-hand man, are adept with computer-assisted design programs, Irens initially drew this boat on a paper napkin, and only later transferred his ideas to the computer.
After this had generated a set of lines, he carved a model, just as boatyards did in the days of sail.Our support team are always accessible.
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