IELTS Academic ReadingSample questions
Sample Academic Reading Summary Completion (selecting from a list ofwords or phrases)[Note: This is an extract from a Part 3 text about language.] Guy Deutscher, Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group. 2006'This Marvellous Invention'Of all mankind’s manifold creations, language must take pride of place. Other inventions – thewheel, agriculture, sliced bread – may have transformed our material existence, but the adventof language is what made us human. Compared to language, all other inventions pale insignificance, since everything we have ever achieved depends on language and originates fromit. Without language, we could never have embarked on our ascent to unparalleled power overall other animals, and even over nature itself.But language is foremost not just because it came first. In its own right it is a tool ofextraordinary sophistication, yet based on an idea of ingenious simplicity: ‘this marvellousinvention of composing out of twenty-five or thirty sounds that infinite variety of expressionswhich, whilst having in themselves no likeness to what is in our mind, allow us to disclose toothers its whole secret, and to make known to those who cannot penetrate it all that weimagine, and all the various stirrings of our soul’. This was how, in 1660, the renowned Frenchgrammarians of the Port-Royal abbey near Versailles distilled the essence of language, and noone since has celebrated more eloquently the magnitude of its achievement. Even so, there isjust one flaw in all these hymns of praise, for the homage to language’s unique accomplishmentconceals a simple yet critical incongruity. Language is mankind’s greatest invention – except, ofcourse, that it was never invented. This apparent paradox is at the core of our fascination withlanguage, and it holds many of its secrets.
Questions 1 – 4Complete the summary using the list of words, A-G, below.Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.The importance of languageThe wheel is one invention that has had a major impact on 1 aspects of life, but noimpact has been as 2 as that of language. Language is very 3 , yetcomposed of just a small number of sounds. Language appears to be 4 to use.However, its sophistication is often overlooked.ADGdifficultadmiredfundamentalGo to answer sheetBEcomplexmaterialCForiginaleasy
Sample Academic Reading Flow-chart Completion (selecting words from thetext)[Note: This is an extract from a Part 3 text about the effect of a low-calorie diet on theageing process.]Adapted from ‘The Serious Search for an Anti-Aging Pill’. Copyright 2006 ScientificAmerican, a division of Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.No treatment on the market today has been proved to slow human aging. But oneintervention, consumption of a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet, worksincredibly well in a broad range of animals, increasing longevity and prolonging goodhealth. Those findings suggest that caloric restriction could delay aging and increaselongevity in humans, too. But what if someone could create a pill that mimicked thephysiological effects of eating less without actually forcing people to eat less, a 'caloricrestriction mimetic'?The best-studied candidate for a caloric-restriction mimetic, 2DG (2-deoxy-D-glucose),works by interfering with the way cells process glucose. It has proved toxic at some dosesin animals and so cannot be used in humans. But it has demonstrated that chemicalscan replicate the effects of caloric restriction; the trick is finding the right one.Cells use the glucose from food to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the moleculethat powers many activities in the body. By limiting food intake, caloric restrictionminimizes the amount of glucose entering cells and decreases ATP generation. When2DG is administered to animals that eat normally, glucose reaches cells in abundancebut the drug prevents most of it from being processed and thus reduces ATP synthesis.Researchers have proposed several explanations for why interruption of glucoseprocessing and ATP production might retard aging. One possibility relates to the ATPmaking machinery’s emission of free radicals, which are thought to contribute to agingand to such age-related diseases as cancer by damaging cells. Reduced operation of themachinery should limit their production and thereby constrain the damage. Anotherhypothesis suggests that decreased processing of glucose could indicate to cells that foodis scarce (even if it isn’t) and induce them to shift into an anti-aging mode thatemphasizes preservation of the organism over such ‘luxuries’ as growth andreproduction. calorie: a measure of the energy value of food
Questions 5 – 7Complete the flow-chart below.Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.How a caloric-restriction mimetic worksCR mimetic less 5 is processed production of ATP is decreasedTheory 1:Theory 2:cells less damaged by disease becausecells focus on 7 becausefewer 6 are emittedfood is in short supplyGo to answer sheet
Sample Academic Reading Identifying Information (True/False/Not Given)[Note: This is an extract from a Part 1 text about the scientist Marie Curie.]Adapted with permission from Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007 by EncyclopaediaBritannica, Inc.The life and work of Marie CurieMarie Curie is probably the most famous woman scientist who has ever lived. BornMaria Sklodowska in Poland in 1867, she is famous for her work on radioactivity, andwas twice a winner of the Nobel Prize. With her husband, Pierre Curie, and HenriBecquerel, she was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics, and was then sole winnerof the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.From childhood, Marie was remarkable for her prodigious memory, and at the age of 16won a gold medal on completion of her secondary education. Because her father lost hissavings through bad investment, she then had to take work as a teacher. From herearnings she was able to finance her sister Bronia’s medical studies in Paris, on theunderstanding that Bronia would, in turn, later help her to get an education.In 1891 this promise was fulfilled and Marie went to Paris and began to study at theSorbonne (the University of Paris). She often worked far into the night and lived on littlemore than bread and butter and tea. She came first in the examination in the physicalsciences in 1893, and in 1894 was placed second in the examination in mathematicalsciences. It was not until the spring of that year that she was introduced to Pierre Curie.
Questions 8 – 10Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?In boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet, writeTRUEFALSENOT GIVENif the statement agrees with the informationif the statement contradicts the informationif there is no information on this8Marie Curie’s husband was a joint winner of both Marie’s Nobel Prizes.9Marie became interested in science when she was a child.10Marie was able to attend the Sorbonne because of her sister’s financial contribution.Go to answer sheet
Sample Academic Reading Multiple Choice (more than one answer)[Note: This is an extract from a Part 1 text about older people in the workforce.] The Economist Newspaper Limited, London, 1999Clearly, when older people do heavy physical work, their age may affect their productivity.But other skills may increase with age, including many that are crucial for good management,such as an ability to handle people diplomatically, to run a meeting or to spot a problembefore it blows up. Peter Hicks, who co-ordinates OECD work on the policy implications ofageing, says that plenty of research suggests older people are paid more because they areworth more.And the virtues of the young may be exaggerated. ‘The few companies that have kept onolder workers find they have good judgement and their productivity is good,’ says PeterPeterson, author of a recent book on the impact of ageing. ‘Besides, their educationstandards are much better than those of today’s young high-school graduates.’ Companiesmay say that older workers are not worth training because they are reaching the end of theirworking lives; in fact, young people tend to switch jobs so frequently that they offer the worstreturns on training. The median age for employer-driven training is the late 40s and early50s, and this training goes mainly to managers. OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Questions 11 and 12Choose TWO letters, A-G.Write the correct letters in boxes 11 and 12 on your answer sheet.The list below gives some of the advantages of employing older workers.Which TWO advantages are mentioned by the writer of the text?ABCDEFGThey are less likely to be involved in careless accidents.They can predict areas that may cause trouble in the future.They are able to train younger workers.They can deal with unexpected problems.They are more conscientious.They are prepared to work for lower salaries.They are more skilled in personal relationships.Questions 13 and 14Choose TWO letters, A-F.Write the correct letters in boxes 13 and 14 on your answer sheet.The list below gives some of the disadvantages of employing younger workers.Which TWO disadvantages are mentioned by the writer of the text?ABCDEFThey are too confident of their own skills.They may injure themselves.They do not stay with the same company for very long.Their training has been too theoretical.They are not as well educated as older workers.They demand higher salaries.Go to answer sheet
Sample Academic Reading Multiple Choice (one answer)[Note: This is an extract from a Part 1 text about older people in the workforce.] The Economist Newspaper Limited, London, 1999The general assumption is that older workers are paid more in spite of, rather than becauseof, their productivity. That might partly explain why, when employers are under pressure tocut costs, they persuade a 55-year old to take early retirement. Take away seniority-basedpay scales, and older workers may become a much more attractive employment proposition.But most employers and many workers are uncomfortable with the idea of reducingsomeone’s pay in later life – although manual workers on piece-rates often earn less as theyget older. So retaining the services of older workers may mean employing them in differentways.One innovation was devised by IBM Belgium. Faced with the need to cut staff costs, andhaving decided to concentrate cuts on 55 to 60-year olds, IBM set up a separate companycalled Skill Team, which re-employed any of the early retired who wanted to go on workingup to the age of 60. An employee who joined Skill Team at the age of 55 on a five-yearcontract would work for 58% of his time, over the full period, for 88% of his last IBM salary.The company offered services to IBM, thus allowing it to retain access to some of theintellectual capital it would otherwise have lost.The best way to tempt the old to go on working may be to build on such ‘bridge’ jobs: parttime or temporary employment that creates a more gradual transition from full-time work toretirement. Studies have found that, in the United States, nearly half of all men and womenwho had been in full-time jobs in middle age moved into such ‘bridge’ jobs at the end of theirworking lives. In general, it is the best-paid and worst-paid who carry on working. Thereseem to be two very different types of bridge job-holder – those who continue workingbecause they have to and those who continue working because they want to, even thoughthey could afford to retire.If the job market grows more flexible, the old may find more jobs that suit them. Often, theywill be self-employed. Sometimes, they may start their own businesses: a study by DavidStorey of Warwick University found that in Britain 70% of businesses started by people over55 survived, compared with an overall national average of only 19%. But whatever pattern ofemployment they choose, in the coming years the skills of these ‘grey workers’ will have tobe increasingly acknowledged and rewarded.
Questions 15 – 18Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.Write the correct letter in boxes 15-18 on your answer sheet.15In paragraph one, the writer suggests that companies could considerABCD16Skill Team is an example of a company whichABCD17offers older workers increases in salary.allows people to continue working for as long as they want.allows the expertise of older workers to be put to use.treats older and younger workers equally.According to the writer, ‘bridge’ jobsABCD18abolishing pay schemes that are based on age.avoiding pay that is based on piece-rates.increasing pay for older workers.equipping older workers with new skills.tend to attract people in middle-salary ranges.are better paid than some full-time jobs.originated in the United States.appeal to distinct groups of older workers.David Storey’s study found thatABCDpeople demand more from their work as they get older.older people are good at running their own businesses.an increasing number of old people are self-employed.few young people have their own businesses.Go to answer sheet
IELTS Reading Answer cademicTest DateGeneral TrainingDayMonthYearReading Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading ReadingMarker use onlyMarker use 7373718183838193939204040141920Marker 2Signature:mSa13ple1012Sh25er26swAn911eet11Go to answer sheetMarker 1Signature:Reading Total:61788
IELTS Academic ReadingAnswers
Sample Academic Reading Summary Completion (selecting from a list of words or phrases)Answers1234E materialG fundamentalB complexF easy
Sample Academic Reading Flow-chart Completion (selecting words from thetext)Answers
The best way to tempt the old to go on working may be to build on such ‘bridge’ jobs: part-time or temporary employment that creates a more gradual transition from full-time work to retirement. Studies have found that, in the United States, nearly half of all men and women who had been in full-time jobs in middle age moved into such ‘bridge’ jobs at the end of their working lives. In .