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snakebitesFor this exercise about snakebites in Australia, you read the text and choose the correct answer to each of the five questions. It provides practice for this reading section of the Cambridge English B1 Preliminary exam. 

About 5-10 minutes.Reading Skills.Expanding stage.
Enhanced Accessibility.
Read the text and questions below. For each question, choose the correct answer at the end of the text.


You're hiking with a friend and then as you step over a tree log a snake beneath bites your leg. One thought races through your mind, 'If you get bitten by a snake, suck out the venom.’' Terrified, you turn to your friend, but he replies, 'No way! Then we'll both die.' Is he right?

Most likely, your friend wouldn't die. But if he has an open wound in his mouth, the venom could enter his bloodstream, which is no help to either of you. So, venom sucking isn't a solution.

To understand how to treat snakebites, you need to know the difference between poisons and venoms. Poisons are toxic, in other words dangerous, if you swallow or smell them. Venoms, on the other hand, are only toxic if they get into soft tissues and the bloodstream.

So, if you suck the venom out of a snake bite, you won't be affected. But that doesn't mean you should do it! Experts now strongly advise against it. Why? Venom enters the bloodstream extremely quickly, and trying to suck it out is ineffective because it’s faster than your reaction. The best way to prevent the venom from quickly moving through the bloodstream is to remain calm, and avoid doing anything that would increase the heart rate.

So what else should we do? Well, be aware of what snakes are in the place you are walking in. That way you will have an idea which ones are dangerous.

1. What is the writer trying to do in this text?

Question 1 of 5

2. The writer advises against sucking the venom because

Question 2 of 5

3. According to the writer, poison ...

Question 3 of 5

4. If bitten by a snake, you should ...

Question 4 of 5

5. Which would be the best advice leaflet for snakebites?

Question 5 of 5


Here are new words and phrases from this exercise for the B1 Preliminary Part 3 reading section of the test:

  • avoid
  • bloodstream
  • dangerous
  • heart rate
  • hiking
  • poisons
  • reaction
  • remain calm
  • snakebites
  • soft tissues
  • solution
  • suck out the venom
  • terrified
  • toxic
  • wound
We add reading and writing exercises on a regular basis. Why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day?

Part 1 - Read five real-world notices, messages and other short texts for the main message.

Part 2 - Match five descriptions of people to eight short texts on a particular topic, showing detailed comprehension.

Part 3 - Read a longer text for detailed comprehension, gist, inference and global meaning, as well as writer’s attitude and opinion.

Part 4 - Read a longer text from which five sentences have been removed. Show understanding of how a coherent and well-structured text is formed.

Write about 100 words, answering the email and notes provided.

In addition, we add listening and speaking exercises in order to practise for this part of the A2 Key test.

Part 3 - Gap-Filled Exercise

The B1 Preliminary Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate. There are two examiners. One of the examiners talks to you and the other examiner listens.

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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