GT Reading Test 2 Part 3 - First impressions count

GT Reading Mock Test 2:

Reading Part 1  |  Reading Part 2   |  Reading Part 3  | 

Part 3:

General Training Reading Sample: FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Part 3: Questions 28-40

Look at the passage below.


A. Traditionally uniforms were - and for some industries still are - manufactured to protect the worker. When they were first designed, it is also likely that all uniforms made symbolic sense - those for the military, for example, were originally intended to impress and even terrify the enemy; other uniforms denoted a hierarchy - chefs wore white because they worked with flour, but the main chef wore a black hat to show he supervised.

B. The last 30 years, however, have seen an increasing emphasis on their role in projecting the image of an organisation and in uniting the workforce into a homogeneous unit — particularly in ‘customer facing" industries , and especially in financial services and retailing. From uniforms and workwear has emerged ‘corporate clothing’. "The people you employ are your ambassadors," says Peter Griffin, managing director of a major retailer in the UK. "What they say, how they look, and how they behave is terribly important." The result is a new way of looking at corporate workwear. From being a simple means of identifying who is a member of staff, the uniform is emerging as a new channel of marketing communication.

C. Truly effective marketing through visual cues such as uniforms is a subtle art, however. Wittingly or unwittingly, how we look sends all sorts of powerful subliminal messages to other people. Dark colours give an aura of authority while lighter pastel shades suggest approachability. Certain dress style creates a sense of conservatism, others a sense of openness to new ideas. Neatness can suggest efficiency but, if it is overdone, it can spill over and indicate an obsession with power. "If the company is selling quality, then it must have quality uniforms. If it is selling style, its uniforms must be stylish. If it wants to appear innovative, everybody can’t look exactly the same. Subliminally we see all these things," says Lynn Elvy, a director of image consultants House of Colour.

D. But translating corporate philosophies into the right mix of colour, style, degree of branding and uniformity can be a fraught process. And it is not always successful. According to Company Clothing magazine , there are 1000 companies supplying the workwear and corporate clothing market. Of these, 22 account for 85% of total sales - £380 million in 1994.

E. A successful uniform needs to balance two key sets of needs. On the one hand, no uniform will work if staff feel uncomfortable or ugly. Giving the wearers a choice has become a key element in the way corporate clothing is introduced and managed. On the other, it is pointless if the look doesn’t express the business’s marketing strategy. The greatest challenge in this respect is time. When it comes to human perceptions, first impressions count. Customers will size up the way staff look in just a few seconds, and that few seconds will colour their attitudes from then on. Those few seconds can be so important that big companies are prepared to invest years, and millions of pounds, getting them right.

F. In addition, some uniform companies also offer rental services. "There will be an increasing specialisation in the marketplace," predicts Mr Blyth, Customer Services Manager of a large UK bank. The past two or three years have seen consolidation. Increasingly, the big suppliers are becoming ‘managing agents’, which means they offer a total service to put together the whole complex operation of a company’s corporate clothing package - which includes reliable sourcing, managing the inventory, budget control and distribution to either central locations or to each staff member individually. Huge investments have been made in new systems, information technology and amassing quality assurance accreditations.

G. Corporate clothing does have potentials for further growth. Some banks have yet to introduce a full corporate look; police forces are researching a complete new look for the 21st century. And many employees now welcome a company wardrobe. A recent survey of staff found that 90 per cent welcomed having clothing which reflected the corporate identity.

Questions 28-33

The passage "First Impressions Count" has seven paragraphs A-G.
Which paragraphs discuss the following points?
Write the appropriate letters A-G in boxes 28-33 on your answer sheet.

Example                                                                                                    Answer

the number of companies supplying the corporate clothing market.           D

28. different types of purchasing agreement
29. the original purposes of uniforms
30. the popularity rating of staff uniforms
31. involving employees in the selection of a uniform
32. the changing significance of company uniforms
33. perceptions of different types of dress

Questions 34-40

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the passage? In boxes 34-40 on your answer sheet write:

YES           if the statement agrees with the writer’s views
NO            if the statement contradicts the writer’s views
NOT GIVEN      if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

34. Uniforms were more carefully made in the past than they are today.
35. Uniforms make employees feel part of a team.
36. Using uniforms as a marketing tool requires great care.
37. Being too smart could have a negative impact on customers.
38. Most businesses that supply company clothing are successful.
39. Uniforms are best selected by marketing consultants.
40. Clothing companies are planning to offer financial services in the future.

Click the button to Show/ Hide Answers.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.48 (27 Votes)

Add comment

Security code


0 # Varun Singh 2018-03-21 22:35
Quoting Ashutosh Arora:
Hi, I had answered 'Message to President' for question no. 18. Will it be right?

Q: How do you let the CAS President know you are interested in joining a club?

Given text: If you are interested in joining any of these clubs, you can leave a message for the President at the CAS Office in the Student Union Building.

A: would be (leave a message) to the president, if "leave a" is not mentioned in the given text then it would have been "a message". Hope this helps.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Ashutosh Arora 2018-02-09 17:36
Hi, I had answered 'Message to President' for question no. 18. Will it be right?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Meet 2017-12-13 10:07
I think the answer to question 14 should be vi. Why is it iii?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Hardik Patel 2018-02-06 05:55
Dear Meet, movie is the main title of cinematography and drama, action, comedy come under supported words. Hope this information would be helpful to your question.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Yang 2017-08-18 02:26
For Q. 19, would it be correct if I answer '1 year'?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Adebayo Adekusibe 2017-04-25 18:26
In no 18, I wrote 'by messaging him'. Is it correct?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Altaf hussain 2016-10-21 21:13
Will the exam be corrected by a computer or by an English professor? By the way, do we need to write the numbers in full letters or just numbers? Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you in advance.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # Funsho 2016-07-10 11:01
On No.19, I wrote "an annual event" but answers says "annually / once a year / every year / each year". Am I still correct with my answer?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Akriti 2017-11-22 05:15
I also wrote 'an annual event'. Is it correct?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Nik 2017-04-10 05:07
I have written 'once every year'.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # Yousuff 2016-05-18 15:18
It will be more helpful for learners if all the questions were present here! Thank you nevertheless.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-1 # Andrei Frandes 2016-05-06 12:18
Hi! what if I write "message Cas office" at 18? Is it incorrect?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Jane 2016-03-01 10:15
Hello, please, let me know why the answer to the question 15 is ''ix''. ''ii/ Education Club'' would have been more appropriate, I assume. Please shed some light on that issue.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Ayesha 2016-02-18 01:10
Can you please tell how Paragraph 'B' is "United Nations Student Club"?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Abrino 2016-09-15 18:48
UN stands for the United Nations. I think so.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Wilson 2016-02-08 10:31
Hi, IELTS Mentor; in number 19, if I answer "annual" instead of "annually", would it be right or wrong?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Janice Macay 2017-04-14 06:30
Quoting Wilson:
Hi IELTS Mentor, in number 19, if I answer "annual" instead of "annually". Is it right or wrong?

Hi Wilson, the answer should be "annually" as it answers the question "how often" it is held.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Abiha 2016-01-13 07:32
In question 19, can I write 'yearly' instead of 'annually'? Both words mean the same I suppose. Suggestion, please.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # IELTS Mentor 2016-01-16 23:50
"Yearly" is also correct.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-5 # Maher Aboukhaled 2015-10-24 03:11
How is the answer to question 17 'a drama society'? Never saw any links to drama in there! I thought 'x' was a more logical answer.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Sabin 2015-11-19 08:42
The answer to the question 17 is 'drama society' because there you can get to read the words related to drama act inclusive. However, I am really confused about the question 15. How could it be "ix"? Is anybody there keen to answering it ideally?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Chris 2016-09-06 20:02
@ Sabin you can see a keyword UN General Assembly which shows United Nations.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Sheryl 2016-03-08 05:33
Theses are the keyword:

# non-political unbiased international organisation
#international awareness on campus.
#to build a model of the UN General Assembly.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Abdul 2015-05-22 18:11
The questions here are very easy. I wonder if the real exam will be so easy. I am scoring very well in these tests here. Alhamdulillah.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Arletha 2014-09-06 10:59
I like the helpful information you have provided in your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. Hope I will hit a high IELTS score. Please pray for me. Thanks.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote