APTIS Advanced: Reading Tests, Answers And Tips

In this post, we will provide you with reading practice tests, answers and tips to prepare for "APTIS Advanced".

What is the APTIS Advanced?

APTIS Advanced is a language proficiency test designed by the British Council that follows a similar format to the APTIS General Test. Like the general version, it is a computer-based test that analyzes an individual’s Grammar and Vocabulary, as well as his/her Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. There are several tasks within each component and each section has a specified assigned time limit. In total, the test lasts about 2 hours and 50 minutes.

APTIS Advanced Reading Test is separated into four parts. Each part becomes harder, so that part 1 is the easiest, while part 4 is the hardest. You are given 60 minutes in APTIS Advanced

If you would like to access simulated APTIS advanced tests, please follow the link here.

For further details please visit the British Council website here.


APTIS Advanced: Reading Practice Test #1   

(60 minutes)


Part 1:  Four people were interviewed for an article on Money Saving Habits.

Read the four opinions. Then, match the opinions to the statements.

Person A: I have never been one to spend much. As a university student, I was incredibly tight-fisted. For example, I used to walk 40 minutes to campus in order to save on bus fare. I’d also only buy necessities from shops that offered a student discount. Now that I have a high-paying job, you’d think that I have loosened the reins a bit, so to speak, but that’s not the case. I’d like to buy my own house in the next year or so, so I need to pinch every penny.

Person B: I am awful at keeping money in my bank account. Once I have it, I feel like it’s a hot potato and I need to immediately use it. Sometimes I really don’t even know where it goes. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. If only my high school had offered a financial literacy course! Why were we studying algebra and geometry when we all lacked practical knowledge? And I can’t forget about my parents. They never made me have a piggy bank or encouraged me to save. I whole heartedly believe that I was set up for failure from the get go.


Person C:  I used to have a part time job in a shopping centre, at a shoe store when I was in university. I think that’s when I started to really spend frivolously. Having to walk through the mall on my way to work was dangerous! I would see the new merchandise in the windows and sale signs everywhere and be tempted. I justified it as having the responsibility to be on trend while I was in the fashion industry. Since moving to a corporate role in a different sector, I no longer frequent the mall unless it’s absolutely necessary. Just like that, my savings account has been growing steadily.


Person D: I’ve always believed in the importance of tracking your income and expenses. When I was a kid, I remember my mom meticulously noting down each cent she spent in a calendar. I’d do it too, from time to time, but I never seemed to have had much success. That is to say, until my roommate introduced me to his spreadsheet software in university. It was incredible and the organization was unmatched. He sent me the template and I downloaded it on my phone. It works really well for me and has helped me get my finances in order.


Which person …

1.1. uses technology to help them save? ________

1.2 has always been frugal? ________

1.3 values having a budget? ________

1.4 blames others for their spending problem? ________

1.5 doesn’t keep track of their finances? ________

1.6 believes a change in career helped them? ________

1.7 has a savings goal? ________



Part 2: Read the text. Match the headings (A-H) to the paragraphs (19-25). The answer to question 0 is an example. There is one heading that you will not use.


(0) Geographical Location


The region of Western United States, affectionately nicknamed the “Old West” comes with an interesting topographical history. While originally bound by the Appalachian Mountains, as the states expanded westward, the Mississippi River came to be the new boundary. It was from that point all the way to the Pacific Ocean with plenty of dry, arid landscapes in between, that inspiration for the film genre of the Western was born.


It is worth noting that it was not just the terrain that gave birth to this new genre. While it is true that mass migration of Americans westbound was encouraged by the government in the 17th century, it would be a gross generalization to say that it was based on borders.  Instead, the ideology of the ‘American Frontier’ encompassed the historical and geographical intricacies as well as the culture that helped popularize the Western. Think about it – the brave American undergoes an endeavour of exploring the unknown and annexing new lands.  It was new, exciting and very much a representation of the time. For Hollywood appeal, this notion was further glamorized with exaggerations of romance, disorder and violence which appear throughout the genre.


When you hear the ‘Wild West’, the first thing that pops into your mind is flat, dry land with cowboys and horses. This idyllic scene is most certainly accompanied by a rolling tumbleweed, just before an action scene where a bandit comes into town. Just as he begins to start trouble, the swinging doors smack open exposing rugged men swigging back whiskey and tossing their chewing tobacco into a spittoon. The county sheriff and deputy emerge and a shoot-out begins.


Yet, a true Western buff would know that the films are more complex than that overgeneralized story line. Of course, the most identifiable subgenres include some sort of power struggle between the righteous protagonists versus a criminal antagonist who is causing harm or terrorizing the town. Alongside this, the ‘bad guy’s’ motivation could be revenge-based, in which the outlaws are out to get someone who wronged them in the past. Alternatively, plots could be centred around a land dispute where rustlers attempt to annex a ranch that does not belong to them. Other varieties are centered around the building of technological advancement or transportation system.


It is those iconic tropes and plotlines that make Westerns such a recognizable genre. In their prime, tales set in the Old West were the most popular Hollywood genre in the United States, with their reign lasting from the early 1900s all the way to the middle of the century. However, they experienced some trials and tribulations before arriving at that status. While wildly popular in the era of silent movies, they were quickly discarded by cinema-goers when sound was introduced into film. Despite this period of inactivity, a resurgence of admiration for the genre was restored in the 1930s with some of Western films’ most popular features being released such as Stagecoach, Dodge City and Destry Rides Again.


Though the genre eventually lost its steam among American viewers, its legacy spread to international frontiers so to speak. As they were on the way out of the United States in the sixties, they gained traction and success in Italy. Dubbed ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ by American critics, the term was actually coined by Alfonso Sanchez, a Spanish journalist. A unique feature of these films is a lack of a central language. Although they were led by an Italian director, staff and actors were often from other countries such as Spain, Germany and even the US. Because of this, movies were often voiced over in Italian for their audience. As most of these films were produced with a Spanish partnership, ‘Paella Western’ is the name given to those shot and made in Spain.


Although it might be hard to catch the latest Western flick, its legacy lives on in pop culture and has for decades. Most recently, as of 2019, fashion runways were filled with fringe jackets and cowboy boots with farm-themed spreads. What’s more is that the look of the Wild West has been modernized to include funkier patterns and textures on the same traditional attire as seen on celebrities on the red carpet or on street-style posts on the social media platform, Instagram.


So, where does it go from here? As a new decade dawns, nearly a century after Westerns began their peak, we are left wondering what comes next. While some more modern Western-inspired films have seen some success, like Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight, they are being produced at 1/10th the rate of what they used to be. The bottom line is that the dominant motif of the expansion of a young nation into unexplored lands is no longer as prevalent in modern society. Perhaps as the United States increases its presence in space, we may see a resurgence in the production of this genre. Only time will truly tell. Nevertheless, at the present moment, the attraction of Westerns remains stagnant. 


A.    Uncertain Horizons

B.    Cinematic Origins

C.     Western Influence in the Present Day

D.   Geographical Location

E.    A Push Westward

F.    Political Climate

G.    International Influence

H.   Common Tropes

I.     Typical Plotlines


Part 3: Read the text. Choose the word (A,B,C) that fits in the gap.


Social Media and the BLM Movement


With the rise of social media as a tool for communication, it is not surprising that it is being used beyond posting selfies and earning followers. Superficial aspects aside, it has played an important role in spreading information about social injustices that are happening around the world.


Following a consecutive series of police incidents (3.1) ___________ the lives of African-Americans, young people acted on their right to protest police brutality and racism in favour of Black Lives Matter (BLM) on the weekend of June 6th-7th, 2020. However, when they were met with challenges in blocked-off or restricted areas along with negative response from law enforcement, they took to their devices to share information. Reports from New York City state that in the face of these (3.2) ___________, youth took to Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to exchange information about real-time protest locations. Moreover, (3.3) ___________ the event, through the use of hash-tagging, images, factual information and practical knowledge were shared including what to bring to a protest and who to contact in case you are held by police.


Nonetheless, the use of social media as a successful platform for activism is not as new as one may believe. In fact, these movements are not a (3.4) ___________  of the present decade. Rather, they are a continuation of outrage dating back to the killing of unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, and the subsequent acquittal of his shooter, George Zimmerman back in 2013. What began as a Facebook post voicing public outrage, bearing the title Black Lives Matter, soon went viral and continues to draw attention to the victims of race crimes and violence. With thousands of daily shares, likes, and retweets, BLM has become a global phenomenon. Without a shadow of a (3.5) ___________, social media will only continue to amplify social issues of varying concern in the future all around the world.



A. declaring

B. claiming

C.  honoring


A. roadblocks

B. checkpoints

C. openings


A. following

B. during

C. prior to


A. product

B. cause

C. symptom


A. skepticism

B. doubt

C. certainty





Part 4: Read the two texts. Choose the appropriate phrase (A,B,C) that fits in the gap.


Article 1


Some scientists subscribe to the belief that the massive extinctions of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary (more commonly referred to as the K-T Boundary) were the result of a beyond-earthly phenomenon. In fact, followers of The Alvarez Hypothesis blame the loss of species including the dinosaurs on a large extraterrestrial impact, such as an asteroid striking the Earth. However, researchers 4.1) ___________ the plausibility of this theory due to its lack of physical evidence. Despite maintaining that this collision did in fact occur, the concept rests on the notion that a crater of 100km in diameter existed at the time of impact, but has since disappeared. Notwithstanding this minor flaw, supporters (4.2) _______________ when the large crater in Chicxulub, Mexico was discovered and fit the bill of the description proposed in The Alvarez Hypothesis. A recent study conducted by Yale University suggests that it was not the asteroid alone that led to the demise of thousands of species. Rather, these researchers (4.3) ___________ the idea presented by another school of thought, maintaining that it was in fact a huge disruption in the global atmosphere to which plants and animals could no longer adapt. They were led to believe this on the newly-discovered information that the asteroid hit sulphur-rich rocks, which caused a brief yet substantial period of climate cooling.


Article 2


Many scholars stand by the principle that the disappearance of the dinosaurs is a result of a change in the Earth’s composition. These claims have been (4.4) ___________ by the believers of the widespread notion that an apocalyptic asteroid was responsible for the mass loss of life. Nevertheless, some propose that a series of volcanic eruptions, or volcanism more generally, is the true cause. Recent studies show that the Indian volcanoes, termed the Deccan Traps, erupted over half a million cubic kilometres of lava in a one-million-year time-frame. Moreover, these eruptions preceded the estimation of dating on the Chicxulub crater, ultimately (4.5)_____________ on full supporters of  The Alvarez Hypothesis. Conversely, there is still varying disagreement amongst enthusiasts of this intrinsic explanation of extinction.  By erupting, these volcanoes released gases and particles into the air, ultimately creating a nuclear winter and leaving life on Earth unable to adapt. Thus, it is believed that the alteration of the sky's chemical composition over the course of the volcanic emissions is the direct cause, with the eruption being the lesser one.  Notwithstanding the notion of abrupt atmospheric conditions, this theory (4.6) _______________ The Alvarez Hypothesis of a quick catastrophic event.



A. had doubts about

B. subscribed to

C.  neglected


A. joined forces

B. hopped on the bandwagon

C. rallied


A. argued against

B. added on to

C. were opposed to


A. disputed

B. altered

C. revived


A. cheering

B. echoing

C. casting doubt


A. proves

B. fully supports

C. goes against



APTIS Advanced: Answers To Reading Practice Test #1   


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Part 2
















Part 3












Part 4
















Top Tips For The Reading Test

Below are list of tips that you can use in order to improve your APTIS reading score:

Analyse context: For example, the word ‘arduous’ does not appear in texts very often but look at this sentence.

The children were extremely tired but relieved after their arduous journey.

Arduous comes before ‘journey’, and so it is probably an adjective. The journey made the children tired, and so ‘arduous’ must describe a journey that is tiring. They were ‘relieved’ when it had finished. Therefore, ‘arduous’ must mean tiring and difficult and must be a negative word. 

Be Aware Of Timing: Don’t spend too long on one part. Learn to ‘pace yourself’ by practising the test at home using a timer. Learn the reading skills demonstrated and don’t spend large amounts of time trying to understand the complete text.

Flag the question for later review if not sure: Remember you can always go back to a question and often something will become clearer if you stop concentrating on it for a moment.

Don't leave any blank answers: Check the summary page to see if you have missed any questions. You do not lose marks for incorrect questions and so make sure that you answer everything.

Go back to flagged questions (if you have time): If you have moved on to another question, don’t forget to go back and complete the ones you left. If you still don’t know the answer, guess and move on.

Don’t expect to understand every word: Many of my students have been taught to look up every word they don’t understand in a dictionary. The theory behind this is good, a wide vocabulary is vital to getting a good score in the APTIS test, but worrying about words you don’t understand in the reading exam is one of the worst things you can do. It will slow you down and unknown words rarely prevent you from getting the answer right.

Don’t panic: Some of the questions have to be easy and some have to be extremely difficult so that they assess students from low to high levels. The key is not to panic when trying to answer a difficult one. Nearly all of the APTIS teachers I know have to check the answers to some questions because they are so difficult.

Getting used to difficult passages on a range of topics: Although most English tests do not require specific knowledge of a subject and will not you technical words, some passages can seem difficult. You can make sure that this becomes less of a problem by reading in English more and by reading texts similar in length and style to the ones you would find in the test. Doing this will help your writing as well.

Keywords: Each question will have keywords to help you locate the information in the passage and find the right answer. Sometime they may be obvious like a date. You would then scan the text looking for the date. Often they are in the form of a synonym or similar phrase(sometimes called a ‘parallel phrase’). It might be- ‘Which person dislikes busy places? And there is a phrase ‘John can’t stand crowds’. Therefore, the answer would be John.

Develop your speed reading skills: The test has a strict time limit which will challenge your ability. Remember that you are not reading a book or newspaper but just looking for information. Exam reading is different from reading in detail because you are only trying to answer some questions. Learn how to Skim and Scan texts and not to worry about unknown words. 

Leave difficult questions for the end. If you spend a lot of time on questions that you find difficult, you’ll be wasting valuable exam time. You won’t be able to answer all the easier questions and you’ll lose points! If you don’t know the right answers to some questions, leave them and move on. This way, you can focus on all the questions you do know the answers to. You can return to the difficult questions at the end if you have the time.

Focus: Your focus should be on the text first, then on the questions! Only if you have a good understanding of the text, can you answer the questions precisely and more effectively.

Cross out the wrong answers: If you see an answer that you're sure is wrong, cross it out. This way you won't get confused and save your time.

Don’t start reading the text before looking at the tasks. When you start reading, you should do so with questions in mind. If not, you’ll read the text too often and you simply don’t have time for that. Read the tasks and questions first, before you read the text. Underline the keywords and think about the information you need to find to answer those questions while you’re reading. Skim the text for a minute to get a general idea and then scan for information.

Notice the title of the passage. It often gives you a general idea about the main idea of the text, as will the sub-headings.

Guess the meaning from the context: When a native speaker in any language finds a word they don’t understand, they rarely translate. Usually, they get a general idea from the contest. Firstly, you can ask yourself, do I need to understand this word to answer the question? the answer is usually no, in which case you can ignore it. If the answer is yes, then decide if the word is positive or negative? Finally, look at the context.

Example: He was put in prison for robbery but later exonerated.

The word ‘exonerated’ is quite a specialised word in English and not used much and we don’t know if it is positive or negative. We know someone was put in prison and then we have the word ‘but’ this tells us there was a change to the situation. We can guess that ‘exonerated’ means something like freed or cleared, which it does.

Read, read, read! Reading will increase your vocabulary and help make the more idiomatic expressions and phrases, like dependent prepositions and phrasal verbs, become more instinctive as well as improving your English grammar.

APTIS practice reading tests: Practice makes perfect! So practice APTIS reading test as many times you can. If you would like to increase your APTIS reading score by practicing more reading tests then please check the exam library in our website here. There you will find largest simulated APTIS test database. Totally free with no registration (we won't even ask for your email). 


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About Me

Hey! My name is Celine and I’m a Native English speaker from Toronto, Canada. Helping students learn is my passion. I’ve been teaching English as a Second/Foreign language for 5+ years in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom, to students from all around the world. In addition to this, I’ve worked as a freelance consultant and a curriculum developer for international education companies such as Kaplan Test Prep and Pearson English in the UK, and many others in China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and more! I have designed these practice exams to better prepare you for your APTIS Test and your future goals. Hope they help!

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