1. Vegans are people who do not eat meat, dairy, or any animal products at all, including eggs. What reasons might a person have for becoming a vegan? Do you think veganism is a good lifestyle choice? Why or why not? Imagine a vegan friend is coming to dinner. What would you serve?
2. Many parts of the world are losing important natural resources such as forests, animals, or clean water. Choose one resource that is disappearing and explain why it needs to be saved. How have humans affected this natural resource? Can the situation be improved or has too much damage been done already? Explain your point of view.
3. Some would say it is important to have many friends, while others would argue that it is better to have a small group of friends. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a large group of friends? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a smaller group of friends? Do you feel it is more important to have many friends or few? Why?
4. Imagine that Ukraine has decided to colonize a new planet and you have been chosen to go into space. If you could take only five things with you, what would you take? What would you miss most about Ukraine? What are the first three things you would do on the new planet?
5. School uniforms are becoming more popular in Ukraine, but students don’t always seem to like them. In your opinion, why are more and more schools requiring uniforms? What effects do uniforms have on students, teachers, and education? Why do people in certain professions have to wear uniforms? Is a uniform required at your school?
6. Books have a positive influence on many peoples’ lives. What childhood books influenced you most? What do you think are the most important elements of a good story? If you could be any character from literature, who would you be and why?
7. You have been chosen to form a new band. You will be in charge of creating the band’s image and sound. What kind of music will your band perform? Why? How will you select your performers, and where will you find them? What name will be given to your new band?
8. Many people think that parents are the most important role models. Are your parents your role models? If not, who are your role models? What qualities do you feel are important for being a good role model? What responsibilities do role models have?
9. People behave differently when they wear different clothes. Do you agree or disagree with the statement? What clothes do you wear, and does it influence your behaviour? How can someone’s appearance affect the way people judge them?
10. Holidays are a special period of time to spend with friends and family. What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate this holiday? What interesting tradition(s) do your family have? If you could introduce a holiday or a tradition from a foreign country into Ukraine, what would it be?
11. Some people say that the content of mainstream media such as TV, movies, video games, and the Internet have a negative influence on young people. Do you think that the media influence young people negatively? What are some positive and negative aspects of the content of these media? If there are any negative effects, what can we do to combat them?
12. You speak with teachers on a daily basis. What do you think of teaching as a profession? Is it important or not? Is it hard or easy? What position do teachers occupy in our society? How do you think the profession of teaching will change in your lifetime?
13. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” How do you interpret this American saying? What does it mean to you? What would life be like if money did grow on trees? Do you think Ukrainian and American people differ in making money? Can money make a person happy?
14. Many actors’ and musicians’ lives take place in the spotlight. Do you believe that the public should have access to the lives of celebrities? Why? Which celebrities do you feel are the most interesting? How do celebrities influence your life and the lives of pupils at your school?
15. The Internet has provided the world with a wonderful tool for communication. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet? How has the Internet allowed people from different cultures to communicate? In what ways has the Internet changed our society?
16. Imagine that you have been asked to write a travel guide to Ukraine. What cities would you recommend, and what attractions should people see in these cities? Do you think it is important that visitors to Ukraine also experience life in a village? Why? Why not? What natural wonders of Ukraine would you suggest visiting?
17. Historically, baseball has been America’s favourite sport. Now many Americans prefer basketball or American football. Is there a favourite sport of Ukrainians? Why do Ukrainians love this sport so much? Do you think the favourite sport of Ukrainians will ever change? Explain.
18. Fifty percent of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Why do you think so many people want to live in cities rather than in towns or villages? Do you think the number of people living in cities will continue to increase? Why? Do you think urbanization has a positive or a negative effect on societies? Why?
19. Most people agree that eating junk food such as chips, cookies, and candies is not good for our health, yet almost everyone eats these things anyway. Do you eat junk food? Why? Which are your favourites? What other bad habits do people have that affect their health negatively? What would life be like if we always did what was best for us and never made poor decisions?
20. Do you think all children should study art at school? How great is your interest in art? What kind of art do you like – paintings, sculpture, ceramics, etc? Does art change the way you think or feel? Do you think painting can really be worth a million (or more) dollars? Do you think anyone can be an artist or do you need a special talent?
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Stage Ii National Students Olympiad in the English Language
Writing Comprehension Test
For 10th Form Students
In this test you will select from three writing tasks. Choose the one that you feel you are most capable to write about. You will then begin writing your essay on the pages provided. When you are finished close your papers, lay down your pen and wait for us to collect your test materials.