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IELTS Academic Reading Sample 1 - Population Viability Analysis

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-39 which are based on Reading
Passage 1 below:
Population Viability Analysis
Part A
To make political decisions about the extent and type of forestry in a region it is
important to understand the consequences of those decisions. One tool for assessing
the impact of forestry on the ecosystem is population viability analysis (PVA). This is a
tool for predicting the probability that a species will become extinct in a particular region
over a specific period. It has been successfully used in the United States to provide
input into resource exploitation decisions and assist wildlife managers and there is now
enormous potential for using population viability to assist wildlife management in
Australias forests. A species becomes extinct when the last individual dies. This
observation is a useful starting point for any discussion of extinction as it highlights the
role of luck and chance in the extinction process. To make a prediction about extinction
we need to understand the processes that can contribute to it and these fall into four
broad categories which are discussed below.
Part B
A) Early attempts to predict population viability were based on demographic
uncertainty whether an individual survives from one year to the next will largely be a
matter of chance. Some pairs may produce several young in a single year while others
may produce none in that same year. Small populations will fluctuate enormously
because of the random nature of birth and death and these chance fluctuations can
cause species extinctions even if, on average, the population size should increase.
Taking only this uncertainty of ability to reproduce into account, extinction is unlikely if
the number of individuals in a population is above about 50 and the population is
B) Small populations cannot avoid a certain amount of inbreeding. This is
particularly true if there is a very small number of one sex. For example, if there are only
20 individuals of a species and only one is a male, all future individuals in the species
must be descended from that one male. For most animal species such individuals are
less likely to survive and reproduce. Inbreeding increases the chance of extinction.
C) Variation within a species is the raw material upon which natural selection acts.
Without genetic variability a species lacks the capacity to evolve and cannot adapt to

changes in its environment or to new predators and new diseases. The loss of genetic
diversity associated with reductions in population size will contribute to the likelihood of
D) Recent research has shown that other factors need to be considered. Australias
environment fluctuates enormously from year to year. These fluctuations add yet
another degree of uncertainty to the survival of many species. Catastrophes such as
fire, flood, drought or epidemic may reduce population sizes to a small fraction of their
average level. When allowance is made for these two additional elements of uncertainty
the population size necessary to be confident of persistence for a few hundred years
may increase to several thousand.
Part C
Beside these processes we need to bear in mind the distribution of a population. A
species that occurs in five isolated places each containing 20 individuals will not have
the same probability of extinction as a species with a single population of 100
individuals in a single locality. Where logging occurs (that is, the cutting down of forests
for timber) forest-dependent creatures in that area will be forced to leave. Grounddwelling herbivores may return within a decade. However, arboreal marsupials (that is
animals which live in trees) may not recover to pre-logging densities for over a century.
As more forests are logged, animal population sizes will be reduced further. Regardless
of the theory or model that we choose, a reduction in population size decreases the
genetic diversity of a population and increases the probability of extinction because of
any or all of the processes listed above. It is therefore a scientific fact that increasing the
area that is loaded in any region will increase the probability that forest-dependent
animals will become extinct.
Questions 28-31
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Part A of Reading
Passage 1? In boxes 28-31 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement agrees with the writer
if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
A link exists between the consequences of decisions and
the decision making process itself.

28 Scientists are interested in the effect of forestry on native animals.

29 PVA has been used in Australia for many years.
30 A species is said to be extinct when only one individual exists.
31 Extinction is a naturally occurring phenomenon.
Questions 32-35
These questions are based on Part B of Reading Passage 1. In paragraphs A to D the
author describes four processes which may contribute to the extinction of a species.
Match the list of processes (i-vi) to the paragraphs. Write the appropriate number (i-vi)
in boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more processes than paragraphs so you will not use all of them.
32 Paragraph A
33 Paragraph B
34 Paragraph C
35 Paragraph D

i Loss of ability to adapt
ii Natural disasters
iii An imbalance of the sexes
iv Human disasters
v Evolution
vi The haphazard nature of reproduction

Questions 36-38
Based on your reading of Part C, complete the sentences below with words taken from
the passage. Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer. Write your
answers in boxes 36-38 on your answer sheet.
While the population of a species may be on the increase, there is always a chance that
small isolated groups .......... (36) ..........Survival of a species depends on a balance
between the size of a population and its .......... (37) ......... The likelihood that animals
which live in forests will become extinct is increased when .......... (38) ...........
Question 39
Choose the appropriate letter A-D and write it in box 39 on your answer sheet.
39 An alternative heading for the passage could be:
A The protection of native flora and fauna
B Influential factors in assessing survival probability
C An economic rationale for the logging of forests
D Preventive measures for the extinction of a species
ELTS Academic Reading Sample 2 - Visual Symbols and the Blind

You should spend no more than 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on
Reading Passage 2 below.
Visual Symbols and the Blind
Part 1
From a number of recent studies, it has become clear that blind people can appreciate
the use of outlines and perspectives to describe the arrangement of objects and other

surfaces in space.
But pictures are more than literal
representations. This fact was drawn to my attention dramatically when a blind woman
in one of my investigations decided on her own initiative to draw a wheel as it was
spinning. To show this motion, she traced a curve inside the circle (Fig. 1). I was taken
aback, lines of motion, such as the one she used, are a very recent invention in the
history of illustration. Indeed, as art scholar David Kunzle notes, Wilhelm Busch, a
trend-setting nineteenth-century cartoonist, used virtually no motion lines in his popular
figure until about 1877.
When I asked several other blind study subjects to draw a spinning wheel, one
particularly clever rendition appeared repeatedly: several subjects showed the wheel's
spokes as curves lines. When asked about these curves, they all described them as
metaphorical ways of suggesting motion. Majority rule would argue that this device
somehow indicated motion very well. But was it a better indicator than, say, broken or
wavy lines-or any other kind of line, for that matter? The answer was not clear. So I
decided to test whether various lines of motion were apt ways of showing movement or
if they were merely idiosyncratic marks. Moreover, I wanted to discover whether there
were differences in how the blind and the sighted interpreted lines of motion.
To search out these answers, I created raised-line drawings of five different wheels,
depicting spokes with lines that curved, bent, waved, dashed and extended beyond the
perimeters of the wheel. I then asked eighteen blind volunteers to feel the wheels and

assign one of the following motions to each wheel: wobbling, spinning fast, spinning
steadily, jerking or braking. My control group consisted of eighteen sighted
undergraduates from the University of Toronto.
Words associated
with circle/square


All but one of the blind subjects assigned distinctive motions to each wheel. Most
guessed that the curved spokes indicated that the wheel was spinning steadily; the
wavy spokes, they thought; suggested that the wheel was wobbling; and the bent
spokes were taken as a sign that the wheel was jerking. Subjects assumed that spokes
extending beyond the wheel's perimeter signified that the wheel had its brakes on and
that dashed spokes indicated the wheel was spinning quickly.
In addition, the favored description for the sighted was favored description for the blind
in every instance. What is more, the consensus among the sighted was barely higher
than that among the blind. Because motion devices are unfamiliar to the blind, the task I
gave them involved some problem solving. Evidently, however, the blind not only figured
out meaning for each of motion, but as a group they generally came up with the same
meaning at least as frequently as did sighted subjects.

Part 2
We have found that the blind understand other kinds of visual metaphors as well. One
blind woman drew a picture of a child inside a heart-choosing that symbol, she said, to
show that love surrounded the child. With Chang Hong Liu, a doctoral student from
china, I have begun exploring how well blind people understand the symbolism behind
shapes such as hearts that do not directly represent their meaning.
We gave a list of twenty pairs of words to sighted subjects and asked them to pick from
each pair the term that best related to a circle and the term that best related to assure.
For example, we asked: what goes with soft? A circle or a square? Which shapes goes
with hard?
All our subjects deemed the circle soft and the square hard. A full 94% ascribed happy
to the circle, instead of sad. But other pairs revealed less agreement: 79% matched fast
to slow and weak to strong, respectively. And only 51% linked deep to circle and shallow
to square. (see Fig. 2) When we tested four totally blind volunteers using the same list,
we found that their choices closely resembled those made by he sighted subjects. One
man, who had been blind since birth, scored extemely well. He made only one match
differing from the consensus, assigning 'far' to square and 'near' to circle. In fact, only a
small majority of sighted subjects-53%- had paired far and near to the opposite
partners. Thus we concluded that the blind interpret abstract shapes as sighted people
Questions :
Choose the correct letter, A, B,C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 27 29 on your answer sheet.
27 In the rst paragraph the writer makes the point that blind people
may be interested in studying art.
can draw outlines of different objects and surfaces.
can recognize conventions such as perspective.
can draw accurately.
28 The writer was surprised because the blind woman
drew a circle on her own initiative.
did not understand what a wheel looked like.
included a symbol representing movement.
was the rst person to use lines of motion.

29 From the experiment described in Part 1,the writer found that the blind subjects
had good understanding of symbols representing movement.
could control the movement of wheels very accurately.
worked together well as a group in solving problems.
got better results than the sighted undergraduates.
Questions 30 32
Look at the following diagrams (Questions 30 32), and the list of types of movement
below. Match each diagram to the type of movement AE generally assigned to it in the
experiment. Choose the correct letter AE and write them in boxes 3032 on your
answer sheet.


steady spinning
jerky movement
rapid spinning
wobbling movement
use of brakes

Questions 33 39
Complete the summary below using words from the box. Write your answers in boxes
33 39 on your answer sheet. NB You may use any word more than once.
In the experiment described in Part 2, a set of word 33....... was used to investigate
whether blind and sighted people perceived the symbolism in abstract 34........ in
the same way. Subjects were asked which word tted best with a circle and which with a
square. From the 35...... volunteers, everyone thought a circle tted soft while a
square tted hard. However, only 51%of the 36....... volunteers assigned a circle
to 37..... .When the test was later repeated with 38......volunteers, it was found
that they made 39...... choices..
associations blind
identical pairs
similar shallow soft

Question 40
Choose the correct letter, A , B , C or D. Write your answer in box 40 on your answer

Which of the following statements best summarizes the writer s general

A The blind represent some aspects of reality differently from sighted
B The blind comprehend visual metaphors in similar ways to sighted
C The blind may create unusual and effective symbols to represent
D The blind may be successful artists if given the right training.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 3 - Zoo Conservation Programmes

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 16-28 which are based on Reading
Passage 3 below.

Zoo Conservation Programmes

One of London Zoos recent advertisements caused me some irritation, so patently did it
distort reality. Headlined Without zoos you might as well tell these animals to get
stuffed, it was bordered with illustrations of several endangered species and went on to
extol the myth that without zoos like London Zoo these animals will almost certainly
disappear forever. With the zoo worlds rather mediocre record on conservation, one
might be forgiven for being slightly skeptical about such an advertisement.
Zoos were originally created as places of entertainment, and their suggested
involvement with conservation didnt seriously arise until about 30 years ago, when the
Zoological Society of London held the first formal international meeting on the subject.
Eight years later, a series of world conferences took place, entitled The Breeding of
Endangered Species, and from this point onwards conservation became the zoo
communitys buzzword. This commitment has now been clear defined in The World Zpo
Conservation Strategy (WZGS, September 1993), which although an important and
welcome document does seem to be based on an unrealistic optimism about the nature
of the zoo industry.
The WZCS estimates that there are about 10,000 zoos in the world, of which around
1,000 represent a core of quality collections capable of participating in co-ordinated
conservation programmes. This is probably the documents first failing, as I believe that
10,000 is a serious underestimate of the total number of places masquerading as
zoological establishments. Of course it is difficult to get accurate data but, to put the
issue into perspective, I have found that, in a year of working in Eastern Europe, I

discover fresh zoos on almost a weekly basis.

The second flaw in the reasoning of the WZCS document is the naive faith it places in
its 1,000 core zoos. One would assume that the calibre of these institutions would have
been carefully examined, but it appears that the criterion for inclusion on this select list
might merely be that the zoo is a member of a zoo federation or association. This might
be a good starting point, working on the premise that members must meet certain
standards, but again the facts dont support the theory. The greatly respected American
Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA) has had extremely dubious
members, and in the UK the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and
Ireland has
Occasionally had members that have been roundly censured in the national press.
These include Robin Hill Adventure Park on the Isle of Wight, which many considered
the most notorious collection of animals in the country. This establishment, which for
years was protected by the Isles local council (which viewed it as a tourist amenity),
was finally closed down following a damning report by a veterinary inspector appointed
under the terms of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. As it was always a collection of dubious
repute, one is obliged to reflect upon the standards that the Zoo Federation sets when
granting membership. The situation is even worse in developing countries where little
money is available for redevelopment and it is hard to see a way of incorporating
collections into the overall scheme of the WZCS.
Even assuming that the WZCSs 1,000 core zoos are all of a high standard complete
with scientific staff and research facilities, trained and dedicated keepers,
accommodation that permits normal or natural behaviour, and a policy of co-operating
fully with one another what might be the potential for conservation? Colin Tudge, author
of Last Animals at the Zoo (Oxford University Press, 1992), argues that if the worlds
zoos worked together in co-operative breeding programmes, then even without further
expansion they could save around 2,000 species of endangered land vertebrates. This
seems an extremely optimistic proposition from a man who must be aware of the
failings and weaknesses of the zoo industry the man who, when a member of the
council of London Zoo, had to persuade the zoo to devote more of its activities to
conservation. Moreover, where are the facts to support such optimism?
Today approximately 16 species might be said to have been saved by captive

breeding programmes, although a number of these can hardly be looked upon as

resounding successes. Beyond that, about a further 20 species are being seriously
considered for zoo conservation programmes. Given that the international conference at
London Zoo was held 30 years ago, this is pretty slow progress, and a long way off
Tudges target of 2,000.

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In
boxes 16-22 write :
Y if the statement agrees with the writer
N if the statement contradicts the writer
NG if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

London Zoos advertisements are dishonest.

Zoos made an insignificant contribution to conservation up until 30 years ago.
The WZCS document is not known in Eastern Europe.
Zoos in the WZCS select list were carefully inspected.
No-one knew how the animals were being treated at Robin Hill Adventure Park.
Colin Tudge was dissatisfied with the treatment of animals at London Zoo.
The number of successful zoo conservation programmes is unsatisfactory.

Questions 23-25
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 23-25 on your answer
23 What were the objectives of the WZCS document?
A to improve the calibre of zoos world-wide
B to identify zoos suitable for conservation practice
C to provide funds for zoos in underdeveloped countries
D to list the endangered species of the world
24 Why does the writer refer to Robin Hill Adventure Park?
A to support the Isle of Wight local council
B to criticise the 1981 Zoo Licensing Act
C to illustrate a weakness in the WZCS document
D to exemplify the standards in AAZPA zoos

25 What word best describes the writers response to Colin Tudges prediction on
captive breeding programmes?
A disbelieving
B impartial
C prejudiced
D accepting
Questions 26-28
The writer mentions a number of factors which lead him to doubt the value of the WZCS
document Which THREE of the following factors are mentioned? Write your answers
(A-F) in boxes 26-28 on your answer sheet.
List of Factors:
A the number of unregistered zoos in the world
B the lack of money in developing countries
C the actions of the Isle of Wight local council
D the failure of the WZCS to examine the standards of the core zoos
E the unrealistic aim of the WZCS in view of the number of species saved to date
F the policies of WZCS zoo managers

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 4 - A Workaholic Economy

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-38 which are based on Reading
Passage 4 below.
A Workaholic Economy
For The first century or so of the industrial revolution, increased productivity led to
decreases in working hours. Employees who had been putting in 12-hour days, six days
a week, found their time on the job shrinking to 10 hours daily, then, finally, to eight
hours, five days a week. Only a generation ago social planners worried about what
people would do with all this new-found free time. In the US, at least, it seems they
need not have bothered.
Although the output per hour of work has more than doubled since 1945, leisure seems
reserved largely for the unemployed and underemployed. Those who work full-time
spend as much time on the job as they did at the end of World War II. In fact, working
hours have increased noticeably since 1970 perhaps because real wages have
stagnated since that year. Bookstores now abound with manuals describing how to
manage time and cope with stress.
There are several reasons for lost leisure. Since 1979, companies have responded to
improvements in the business climate by having employees work overtime rather than
by hiring extra personnel, says economist Juliet B. Schor of Harvard University. Indeed,
the current economic recovery has gained a certain amount of notoriety for its jobless
nature: increased production has been almost entirely decoupled from employment.
Some firms are even downsizing as their profits climb. All things being equal, we'd be
better off spreading around the work, observes labour economist Ronald G. Ehrenberg
of Cornell University.
Yet a host of factors pushes employers to hire fewer workers for more hours and, at the
same time, compels workers to spend more time on the job. Most of those incentives
involve what Ehrenberg calls the structure of compensation: quirks in the way salaries
and benefits are organised that make it more profitable to ask 40 employees to labour
an extra hour each than to hire one more worker to do the same 40-hour job.

Professional and managerial employees supply the most obvious lesson along these
lines. Once people are on salary, their cost to a firm is the same whether they spend 35
hours a week in the office or 70. Diminishing returns may eventually set in as
overworked employees lose efficiency or leave for more arable pastures. But in the
short run, the employers incentive is clear. Even hourly employees receive benefits
-such as pension contributions and medical insurance - that are not tied to the number
of hours they work. Therefore, it is more profitable for employers to work their existing
employees harder.
For all that employees complain about long hours, they, too, have reasons not to trade
money for leisure. People who work reduced hours pay a huge penalty in career
terms, Schor maintains. It's taken as a negative signal about their commitment to the
firm. [Lotte] Bailyn [of Massachusetts Institute of Technology] adds that many corporate
managers find it difficult to measure the contribution of their underlings to a firms wellbeing, so they use the number of hours worked as a proxy for output. Employees know
this, she says, and they adjust their behavior accordingly.
Although the image of the good worker is the one whose life belongs to the company,
Bailyn says, it doesn't fit the facts. She cites both quantitative and qualitative studies
that show increased productivity for part-time workers: they make better use of the time
they have, and they are less likely to succumb to fatigue in stressful jobs. Companies
that employ more workers for less time also gain from the resulting redundancy, she
asserts. The extra people can cover the contingencies that you know are going to
happen, such as when crises take people away from the workplace. Positive
experiences with reduced hours have begun to change the more-is-better culture at
some companies, Schor reports.
Larger firms, in particular, appear to be more willing to experiment with flexible working
It may take even more than changes in the financial and cultural structures of
employment for workers successfully to trade increased productivity and money for
leisure time, Schor contends. She says the U.S. market for goods has become skewed
by the assumption of full-time, two-career households. Automobile makers no longer
manufacture cheap models, and developers do not build the tiny bungalows that served
the first postwar generation of home buyers. Not even the humblest household object is

made without a microprocessor. As Schor notes, the situation is a curious inversion of

the appropriate technology vision that designers have had for developing countries:
U.S. goods are appropriate only for high incomes and long hours.
----- Paul Walluh
Questions 27-32
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in reading passage 4? In
boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement agrees with the writer
if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
During the industrial revolution people worded harder

Today, employees are facing a reduction in working hours.

Social planners have been consulted about US employment figures.
Salaries have not risen significantly since the 1970s.
The economic recovery created more jobs.
Bailyns research shows that part-time employees work more efficiently.
Increased leisure time would benefit two-career households.

Questions 33-34
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 33 and 34 on your answer
33 Bailyn argues that it is better for a company to employ more workers because
A it is easy to make excess staff redundant.
B crises occur if you are under-staffed.
C people are available to substitute for absent staff.
D they can project a positive image at work.
34 Schor thinks it will be difficult for workers in the US to reduce their working hours
A they would not be able to afford cars or homes.
B employers are offering high incomes for long hours.
C the future is dependent on technological advances.
D they do not wish to return to the humble post-war era.

Questions 35-38
The writer mentions a number of factors that have resulted, in employees working
longer hours. Which FOUR of the following factors are mentioned? Write your answers
(A-H) in boxes 35-38 on your answer sheet.
List of Factors
A Books are available to help employees cope with stress.
B Extra work is offered to existing employees.
C Increased production has led to joblessness.
D Benefits and hours spent on the job are not linked.
E Overworked employees require longer to do their work.
F Longer hours indicate greater commitment to the firm.
G Managers estimate staff productivity in terms of hours worked.
H Employees value a career more than a family.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 5 - The Risks of Cigarette Smoke

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-28 which are based on Reading
Passage 5 below.
The Risks of Cigarette Smoke
Discovered in the early 1800s and named nicotianine, the oily essence now called
nicotine is the main active ingredient of tobacco. Nicotine, however, is only a small
component of cigarette smoke, which contains more than 4,700 chemical compounds,
including 43 cancer-causing substances. In recent times, scientific research has been
providing evidence that, years of cigarette smoking vastly increases the risk of
developing fatal medical conditions.
In addition to being responsible for more than 85 per cent of lung cancers, smoking is
associated with cancers of, amongst others, the mouth, stomach and kidneys, and is
thought to cause about 14 per cent of leukemia and cervical cancers. In 1990, smoking
caused more than 84,000 deaths, mainly resulting from such problems as pneumonia,
bronchitis and influenza. Smoking, it is believed, is responsible for 30 per cent of all
deaths from cancer and clearly represents the most important preventable cause of
cancer in countries like the United States today.
Passive smoking, the breathing in of the side-stream smoke from the burning of tobacco
between puffs or of the smoke exhaled by a smoker, also causes a serious health risk. A
report published in 1992 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasized
the health dangers, especially from side-stream smoke. This type of smoke contains
more, smaller particles and is therefore more likely to be deposited deep in the lungs.
On the basis of this report, the EPA has classified environmental tobacco smoke in the
highest risk category for causing cancer.
As an illustration of the health risks, in the case of a married couple where one partner
is a smoker and one a non-smoker, the latter is believed to have a 30 per cent higher
risk of death from heart disease because of passive smoking. The risk of lung cancer
also increases over the years of exposure and the figure jumps to 80 per cent if the

spouse has been smoking four packs a day for 20 years. It has been calculated that 17
per cent of cases of lung cancer can be attributed to high levels of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke during childhood and adolescence.
A more recent study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco
(UCSF) has shown that second-hand cigarette smoke does more harm to non-smokers
than to smokers. Leaving aside the philosophical question of whether anyone should
have to breathe someone elses cigarette smoke, the report suggests that the smoke
experienced by many people in their daily lives is enough to produce substantial
adverse effects on a persons heart and lungs.
The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), was
based on the researchers own earlier research but also includes a review of studies
over the past few years. The American Medical Association represents about half of all
US doctors and is a strong opponent of smoking. The study suggests that people who
smoke cigarettes are continually damaging their cardiovascular system, which adapts in
order to compensate for the effects of smoking. It further states that people who do not
smoke do not have the benefit of their system adapting to the smoke inhalation.
Consequently, the effects of passive smoking are far greater on non-smokers than on
This report emphasizes that cancer is not caused by a single element in cigarette
smoke; harmful effects to health are caused by many components. Carbon monoxide,
for example, competes with oxygen in red blood cells and interferes with the bloods
ability to deliver life-giving oxygen to the heart. Nicotine and other toxins in cigarette
smoke activate small blood cells called platelets, which increases the likelihood of blood
clots, thereby affecting blood circulation throughout the body.
The researchers criticize the practice of some scientific consultants who work with the
tobacco industry for assuming that cigarette smoke has the same impact on smokers as
it does on non-smokers. They argue that those scientists are underestimating the
damage done by passive smoking and, in support of their recent findings, cite some
previous research which points to passive smoking as the cause for between 30,000
and 60,000 deaths from heart attacks each year in the United States. This means that
passive smoking is the third most preventable cause of death after active smoking and
alcohol-related diseases.

The study argues that the type of action needed against passive smoking should be
similar to that being taken against illegal drugs and AIDS (SIDA). The UCSF
researchers maintain that the simplest and most cost-effective action is to establish
smoke-free work places, schools and public places.
Questions 15-17
Choose the appropriate letters A - D and write them in boxes 15 -17 on your answer
15 According to information in the text, leukaemia and pneumonia
A are responsible for 84,000 deaths each year.
B are strongly linked to cigarette smoking.
C are strongly linked to lung cancer.
D result in 30 per cent of deaths per year.
16 According to information in the text, intake of carbon monoxide
A inhibits the flow of oxygen to the heart.
B increases absorption of other smoke particles.
C inhibits red blood cell formation.
D promotes nicotine absorption.
17 According to information in the text, intake of nicotine encourages
A blood circulation through the body.
B activity of other toxins in the blood.
C formation of blood clots.
D an increase of platelets in the blood.
Questions 18-21
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 5? In
boxes 18-21 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
18 Thirty per cent of deaths in the United States are caused by smoking-related
19 If one partner in a marriage smokes, the other is likely to take up smoking.
20 Teenagers whose parents smoke are at risk of getting lung cancer at some time

during their lives.

21 Opponents of smoking financed the UCSF study.
Questions 22-24
Choose ONE phrase from the list of phrases A - J below to complete each of the
following sentences (Questions 22-24).
Write the appropriate letters in boxes 22 - 24 on your answer sheet.
22 Passive smoking ...................
23 Compared with a non-smoker, a smoker ...................
24 The American Medical Association ...................

includes reviews of studies in its reports.

argues for stronger action against smoking in public places.
is one of the two most preventable causes of death.
is more likely to be at risk from passive smoking diseases.
is more harmful to non-smokers than to smokers.
is less likely to be at risk of contracting lung cancer.
is more likely to be at risk of contracting various cancers.
opposes smoking and publishes research on the subject.
is just as harmful to smokers as it is to non-smokers.
reduces the quantity of blood flowing around the body.

Questions 25-28
Classify the following statements as being
A a finding of the UCSF study
B an opinion of the UCSF study
C a finding of the EPA report
D an assumption of consultants to the tobacco industry
Write the appropriate letters AD in boxes 2528 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
25 Smokers cardiovascular systems adapt to the intake of environmental smoke.
26 There is a philosophical question as to whether people should have to inhale others
27 Smoke-free public places offer the best solution.
28 The intake of side-stream smoke is more harmful than smoke exhaled by a smoker.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 6 - A Remarkable Beetle

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading
Passage 6 below.
A Remarkable Beetle
Some of the most remarkable beetles are the dung beetles, which spend almost their
whole lives eating and breeding in dung.

More than 4,000 species of these remarkable creatures have evolved

and adapted to the worlds different climates and the dung of its many animals.
Australias native dung beetles are scrub and woodland dwellers, specialising in coarse
marsupial droppings and avoiding the soft cattle dung in which bush flies and buffalo
flies breed.
In the early 1960s George Bornemissza, then a scientist at the Australian Governments
premier research organisation, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
Organisation (CSIRO), suggested that dung beetles should be introduced to Australia to
control dung-breeding flies. Between 1968 and 1982, the CSIRO imported insects from
about 50 different species of dung beetle, from Asia, Europe and Africa, aiming to match
them to different climatic zones in Australia. Of the 26 species that are known to have
become successfully integrated into the local environment, only one, an African species
released in northern Australia, has reached its natural boundary.
Introducing dung beetles into a pasture is a simple process: approximately 1,500
beetles are released; a handful at a time, into fresh cow pats 2 in the cow pasture. The
beetles immediately disappear beneath the pats digging and tunneling and, if they
successfully adapt to their new environment, soon become a permanent, self-sustaining

part of the local ecology. In time they multiply and within three or four years the benefits
to the pasture are obvious.
Dung beetles work from the inside of the pat so they are sheltered from predators such
as birds and foxes. Most species burrow into the soil and bury dung in tunnels directly
underneath the pats, which are hollowed out from within. Some large species originating
from France excavate tunnels to a depth of approximately 30 cm below the dung pat.
These beetles make sausage-shaped brood chambers along the tunnels. The
shallowest tunnels belong to a much smaller Spanish species that buries dung in
chambers that hang like fruit from the branches of a pear tree. South African beetles dig
narrow tunnels of approximately 20 cm below the surface of the pat. Some surfacedwelling beetles, including a South African species, cut perfectly-shaped balls from the
pat, which are rolled away and attached to the bases of plants.
For maximum dung burial in spring, summer and autumn, farmers require a variety of
species with overlapping periods of activity. In the cooler environments of the state of
Victoria, the large French species (2.5 cms long) is matched with smaller (half this size),
temperate-climate Spanish species. The former are slow to recover from the winter cold
and produce only one or two generations of offspring from late spring until autumn. The
latter, which multiply rapidly in early spring, produce two to five generations annually.
The South African ball-rolling species, being a subtropical beetle, prefers the climate of
northern and coastal New South Wales where it commonly works with the South African
tunneling species. In warmer climates, many species are active for longer periods of the
Dung beetles were initially introduced in the late 1960s with a view to controlling buffalo
flies by removing the dung within a day or two and so preventing flies from breeding.
However, other benefits have become evident. Once the beetle larvae have finished
pupation, the residue is a first-rate source of fertiliser. The tunnels abandoned by the
beetles provide excellent aeration and water channels for root systems. In addition,
when the new generation of beetles has left the nest the abandoned burrows are an
attractive habitat for soil-enriching earthworms. The digested dung in these burrows is
an excellent food supply for the earthworms, which decompose it further to provide
essential soil nutrients. If it were not for the dung beetle, chemical fertiliser and dung
would be washed by rain into streams and rivers before it could be absorbed into the
hard earth, polluting water courses and causing blooms of blue-green algae. Without

the beetles to dispose of the dung, cow pats would litter pastures making grass inedible
to cattle and depriving the soil of sunlight. Australias 30 million cattle each produce 1012 cow pats a day. This amounts to 1.7 billion tones a year, enough to smother about
110,000 sq km of pasture, half the area of Victoria.
Dung beetles have become an integral part of the successful management of dairy
farms in Australia over the past few decades. A number of species are available from
the CSIRO or through a small number of private breeders, most of whom were
entomologists with the CSIROs dung beetle unit who have taken their specialised
knowledge of the insect and opened small businesses in direct competition with their
former employer.
1. dung:- the droppings or excreta of animals
2. cow pats:- droppings of cows
Questions 1-5
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 6? In
boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
Bush flies are easier to control than buffalo flies.
Four thousand species of dung beetle were initially brought to Australia by the
Dung beetles were brought to Australia by the CSIRO over a fourteen-year period.
At least twenty-six of the introduced species have become established in Australia.
The dung beetles cause an immediate improvement to the quality of a cow
Questions 6-8
Label the tunnels on the diagram below. Choose your labels from the box below the
diagram. Write your answers in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.
Write your answers in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.

Dung Beetle Types

Australian native

South African
South African ball roller.

Question 9-13
Complete the table below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR A NUMBER from Reading Passage 6
for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 913 on your answer sheet.
Start of
Number of
active period
per year
2.5 cm
Late spring
1.25 cm
South African ball

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 7 - Alarming Rate of Loss of Tropical Rainforest

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 114 which are based on Reading
Passage Sample 7 below:
Alarming Rate of Loss of Tropical Rainforests
Adults and children are frequently confronted with statements about the alarming rate of

loss of tropical rainforests.

For example, one graphic illustration to
which children might readily relate is the estimate that rainforests are being destroyed at
a rate equivalent to one thousand football fields every forty minutes about the duration
of a normal classroom period. In the face of the frequent and often vivid media
coverage, it is likely that children will have formed ideas about rainforests what and
where they are, why they are important, what endangers them independent of any
formal tuition. It is also possible that some of these ideas will be mistaken. Many studies
have shown that children harbour misconceptions about pure, curriculum science.
These misconceptions do not remain isolated but become incorporated into a
multifaceted, but organised, conceptual framework, making it and the component ideas,
some of which are erroneous, more robust but also accessible to modification. These
ideas may be developed by children absorbing ideas through the popular media.
Sometimes this information may be erroneous. It seems schools may not be providing
an opportunity for children to re-express their ideas and so have them tested and
refined by teachers and their peers.
Despite the extensive coverage in the popular media of the destruction of rainforests,
little formal information is available about childrens ideas in this area. The aim of the
present study is to start to provide such information, to help teachers design their
educational strategies to build upon correct ideas and to displace misconceptions and to
plan programmes in environmental studies in their schools.
The study surveys childrens scientific knowledge and attitudes to rainforests.

Secondary school children were asked to complete a questionnaire containing five

open-form questions. The most frequent responses to the first question were
descriptions which are self-evident from the term rainforest. Some children described
them as damp, wet or hot. The second question concerned the geographical location of
rainforests. The commonest responses were continents or countries: Africa (given by
43% of children), South America (30%), Brazil (25%). Some children also gave more
general locations, such as being near the Equator.
Responses to question three concerned the importance of rainforests. The dominant
idea, raised by 64% of the pupils, was that rainforests provide animals with habitats.
Fewer students responded that rainforests provide plant habitats, and even fewer
mentioned the indigenous populations of rainforests. More girls (70%) than boys (60%)
raised the idea of rainforest as animal habitats.
Similarly, but at a lower level, more girls (13%) than boys (5%) said that rainforests
provided human habitats. These observations are generally consistent with our previous
studies of pupils views about the use and conservation of rainforests, in which girls
were shown to be more sympathetic to animals and expressed views which seem to
place an intrinsic value on non-human animal life.
The fourth question concerned the causes of the destruction of rainforests. Perhaps
encouragingly, more than half of the pupils (59%) identified that it is human activities
which are destroying rainforests, some personalising the responsibility by the use of
terms such as we are. About 18% of the pupils referred specifically to logging activity.
One misconception, expressed by some 10% of the pupils, was that acid rain is
responsible for rainforest destruction; a similar proportion said that pollution is
destroying rainforests. Here, children are confusing rainforest destruction with damage
to the forests of Western Europe by these factors. While two fifths of the students
provided the information that the rainforests provide oxygen, in some cases this
response also embraced the misconception that rainforest destruction would reduce
atmospheric oxygen, making the atmosphere incompatible with human life on Earth.
In answer to the final question about the importance of rainforest conservation, the
majority of children simply said that we need rainforests to survive. Only a few of the
pupils (6%) mentioned that rainforest destruction may contribute to global warming. This

is surprising considering the high level of media coverage on this issue. Some children
expressed the idea that the conservation of rainforests is not important.
The results of this study suggest that certain ideas predominate in the thinking of
children about rainforests. Pupils responses indicate some misconceptions in basic
scientific knowledge of rainforests ecosystems such as their ideas about rainforests as
habitats for animals, plants and humans and the relationship between climatic change
and destruction of rainforests.
Pupils did not volunteer ideas that suggested that they appreciated the complexity of
causes of rainforest destruction. In other words, they gave no indication of an
appreciation of either the range of ways in which rainforests are important or the
complex social, economic and political factors which drive the activities which are
destroying the rainforests. One encouragement is that the results of similar studies
about other environmental issues suggest that older children seem to acquire the ability
to appreciate, value and evaluate conflicting views. Environmental education offers an
arena in which these skills can be developed, which is essential for these children as
future decision-makers.
Questions 18
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Sample 7?
In boxes 18 on your answer sheet write:
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
1 The plight of the rainforests has largely been ignored by the media.
2 Children only accept opinions on rainforests that they encounter in their classrooms.
3 It has been suggested that children hold mistaken views about the pure science that
they study at school.
4 The fact that childrens ideas about science form part of a larger framework of ideas
means that it is easier to change them.
5 The study involved asking children a number of yes/no questions such as Are there
any rainforests in Africa?
6 Girls are more likely than boys to hold mistaken views about the rainforests
7 The study reported here follows on from a series of studies that have looked at

childrens understanding of rainforests.

8 A second study has been planned to investigate primary school childrens ideas about
Questions 913
The box below gives a list of responses AP to the questionnaire discussed in Reading
sample 7.
Answer the following questions by choosing the correct responses AP.
Write your answers in boxes 913 on your answer sheet.
09 What was the childrens most frequent response when asked where the rainforests
10 What was the most common response to the question about the importance of the
11 What did most children give as the reason for the loss of the rainforests?
12 Why did most children think it important for the rainforests to be protected?
13 Which of the responses is cited as unexpectedly uncommon, given the amount of
time spent on the issue by the newspapers and television?
A There is a complicated combination of reasons for the loss of the rainforests.
B The rainforests are being destroyed by the same things that are destroying the forests of Western
C Rainforests are located near the Equator.
D Brazil is home to the rainforests.
E Without rainforests some animals would have nowhere to live.
F Rainforests are important habitats for a lot of plants.
G People are responsible for the loss of the rainforests.
H The rainforests are a source of oxygen.
I Rainforests are of consequence for a number of different reasons.
J As the rainforests are destroyed, the world gets warmer.
K Without rainforests there would not be enough oxygen in the air.
L There are people for whom the rainforests are home.
M Rainforests are found in Africa.
N Rainforests are not really important to human life.
O The destruction of the rainforests is the direct result of logging activity.
P Humans depend on the rainforests for their continuing existence.

Question 14
Choose the correct letter A, B, C, D or E.
Write your answer in box 14 on your answer sheet.
Which of the following is the most suitable title for Reading sample Passage 7?
A The development of a programme in environmental studies within a science
B Childrens ideas about the rainforests and the implications for course design
C The extent to which children have been misled by the media concerning the
D How to collect, collate and describe the ideas of secondary school children
E The importance of the rainforests and the reasons for their destruction
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 8 - Changing Our Understanding of Health
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27 which are based on Reading
Passage sample 8 below.

Questions 14-18
Reading passage 8 has six paragraphs B-F from the list of headings below Choose the
most suitable headings for paragraphsB-F from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

List of Headings
i) Ottawa International Conference on Health Promotion
ii) Holistic approach to health
iii) The primary importance of environmental factors
iv) Healthy lifestyles approach to health
v) Changes in concepts of health in Western society
vi) Prevention of diseases and illness
vii) Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
viii) Definition of health in medical terms
ix) Socio-ecological view of health




Changing Our Understanding of Health

The concept of health holds different meanings for different people and groups. These
meanings of health have also changed over time. This change is no more evident than
in Western society today, when notions of health and health promotion are being
challenged and expanded in new ways.
For much of recent Western history, health has been viewed in the physical sense only.
That is, good health has been connected to the smooth mechanical operation of the
body, while ill health has been attributed to a breakdown in this machine. Health in this
sense has been defined as the absence of disease or illness and is seen in medical
terms. According to this view, creating health for people means providing medical care
to treat or prevent disease and illness. During this period, there was an emphasis on
providing clean water, improved sanitation and housing.
In the late 1940s the World Health Organisation challenged this physically and
medically oriented view of health. They stated that 'health is a complete state of
physical, mental and social well-being and is not merely the absence of disease' (WHO,
1946). Health and the person were seen more holistically (mind/body/spirit) and not just
in physical terms.
The 1970s was a time of focusing on the prevention of disease and illness by
emphasising the importance of the lifestyle and behaviour of the individual. Specific

behaviours which were seen to increase risk of disease, such as smoking, lack of
fitness and unhealthy eating habits, were targeted. Creating health meant providing not
only medical health care, but health promotion programs and policies which would help
people maintain healthy behaviours and lifestyles. While this individualistic healthy
lifestyles approach to health worked for some (the wealthy members of society), people
experiencing poverty, unemployment, underemployment or little control over the
conditions of their daily lives benefited little from this approach. This was largely
because both the healthy lifestyles approach and the medical approach to health largely
ignored the social and environmental conditions affecting the health of people.
During 1980s and 1990s there has been a growing swing away from seeing lifestyle
risks as the root cause of poor health. While lifestyle factors still remain important,
health is being viewed also in terms of the social, economic and environmental contexts
in which people live. This broad approach to health is called the socio-ecological view of
health. The broad socio-ecological view of health was endorsed at the first International
Conference of Health Promotion held in 1986, Ottawa, Canada, where people from 38
countries agreed and declared that:
The fundamental conditions and resources for health are peace, shelter, education,
food, a viable income, a stable eco-system, sustainable resources, social justice and
equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic requirements.
(WHO, 1986) .
It is clear from this statement that the creation of health is about much more than
encouraging healthy individual behaviours and lifestyles and providing appropriate
medical care. Therefore, the creation of health must include addressing issues such as
poverty, pollution, urbanisation, natural resource depletion, social alienation and poor
working conditions. The social, economic and environmental contexts which contribute
to the creation of health do not operate separately or independently of each other.
Rather, they are interacting and interdependent, and it is the complex interrelationships
between them which determine the conditions that promote health. A broad socioecological view of health suggests that the promotion of health must include a strong
social, economic and environmental focus.
At the Ottawa Conference in 1986, a charter was developed which outlined new

directions for health promotion based on the socio-ecological view of health. This
charter, known as the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, remains as the backbone of
health action today. In exploring the scope of health promotion it states that:
Good health is a major resource for social, economic and personal development and an
important dimension of quality of life. Political, economic, social, cultural, environmental,
behavioural and biological factors can all favour health or be harmful to it. (WHO,
1986) .
The Ottawa Charter brings practical meaning and action to this broad notion of health
promotion. It presents fundamental strategies and approaches in achieving health for
all. The overall philosophy of health promotion which guides these fundamental
strategies and approaches is one of 'enabling people to increase control over and to
improve their health' (WHO, 1986).
Questions 19-22
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage, answer the following
Write your answers in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet.
19. In which year did the World Health Organization define health in terms of mental,
physical and social well-being?
20. Which members of society benefited most from the healthy lifestyles approach to
21. Name the three broad areas which relate to people's health, according to the socioecological view of health.
22. During which decade were lifestyle risks seen as the major contributors to poor
Questions 23-27
Do the following statements agree with the information in Reading Passage 8?
In boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet write
if the statement agrees with the information.
if the statement contradicts the information.
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage.
23 Doctors have been instrumental in improving living standards in Western society.
24 The approach to health during the 1970s included the introduction of health

awareness programs.
25 The socio-ecological view of health recognises that lifestyle habits and the provision
of adequate health care are critical factors governing health.
26 The principles of the Ottawa Charter are considered to be out of date in the 1990s.
27 In recent years a number of additional countries have subscribed to the Ottawa

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 9 - Paper Recycling

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 30-41 which are based on the
Reading Passage below.

A Paper is different from other waste produce because it comes from a sustainable
resource: trees. Unlike the minerals and oil used to make plastics and metals, trees are
replaceable. Paper is also biodegradable, so it does not pose as much threat to the
environment when it is discarded. While 45 out of every 100 tonnes of wood fibre used
to make paper in Australia comes from waste paper, the rest comes directly from virgin
fibre from forests and plantations. By world standards this is a good performance since
the world-wide average is 33 per cent waste paper. Governments have encouraged
waste paper collection and sorting schemes and at the same time, the paper industry
has responded by developing new recycling technologies that have paved the way for
even greater utilization of used fibre. As a result, industrys use of recycled fibres is
expected to increase at twice the rate of virgin fibre over the coming years.
B Already, waste paper constitutes 70% of paper used for packaging and advances in
the technology required to remove ink from the paper have allowed a higher recycled
content in newsprint and writing paper. To achieve the benefits of recycling, the
community must also contribute. We need to accept a change in the quality of paper
products; for example stationery may be less white and of a rougher texture. There also
needs to be support from the community for waste paper collection programs. Not only
do we need to make the paper available to collectors but it also needs to be separated
into different types and sorted from contaminants such as staples, paperclips, string and
other miscellaneous items.
C There are technical limitations to the amount of paper which can be recycled and
some paper products cannot be collected for re-use. These include paper in the form of
books and permanent records, photographic paper and paper which is badly
contaminated. The four most common sources of paper for recycling are factories and
retail stores which gather large amounts of packaging material in which goods are
delivered, also offices which have unwanted business documents and computer output,
paper converters and printers and lastly households which discard newspapers and

packaging material. The paper manufacturer pays a price for the paper and may also
incur the collection cost.
D Once collected, the paper has to be sorted by hand by people trained to recognise
various types of paper. This is necessary because some types of paper can only be
made from particular kinds of recycled fibre. The sorted paper then has to be repulped
or mixed with water and broken down into its individual fibres. This mixture is called
stock and may contain a wide variety of contaminating materials, particularly if it is
made from mixed waste paper which has had little sorting. Various machineries are
used to remove other materials from the stock. After passing through the repulping
process, the fibres from printed waste paper are grey in colour because the printing ink
has soaked into the individual fibres. This recycled material can only be used in
products where the grey colour does not matter, such as cardboard boxes but if the grey
colour is not acceptable, the fibres must be de-inked. This involves adding chemicals
such as caustic soda or other alkalis, soaps and detergents, water-hardening agents
such as cal-cium chloride, frothing agents and bleaching agents. Before the recycled
fibres can be made into paper they must be refined or treated in such a way that they
bond together.
E Most paper products must contain some virgin fibre as well as recycled fibres and
unlike glass, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely. Most paper is down-cycled which
means that a prod-uct made from recycled paper is of an inferior quality to the original
paper. Recycling paper is beneficial in that it saves some of the energy, labour and
capital that go into producing virgin pulp. However, recycling requires the use of fossil
fuel, a non-renewable energy source, to collect the waste paper from the community
and to process it to produce new paper. And the recycling process still creates
emissions which require treatment before they can be disposed of safely. Nevertheless,
paper recycling is an important economical and environmental practice but one which
must be carried out in a rational and viable manner for it to be useful to both industry
and the community.
Questions 30-36
Complete the summary below of the first two paragraphs of the Reading Passage.
Choose ONE OR TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 30-36 on your answer sheet.
Example ....
From the point of view of recycling, paper has two advantages over minerals
and ...........oil..........

in that firstly it comes from a resource which is ........ (30) ........ and secondly it is less
threatening to our environment when we throw it away because it is .......
(31) ...... Although Australias record in the re-use of waste paper is good, it is still
necessary to use a combination of recycled fibre and ........ (32) ........ to make new
paper. The paper industry has contributed positively and people have also been
encouraged by .........(33) ......... to collect their waste on a regular basis. One major
difficulty is the removal of ink from used paper but ......... (34) ......... are being made in
this area. However, we need to learn to accept paper which is generally of a lower .........
(35) ......... than before and to sort our waste paper by removing ......... (36) ........ before
discarding it for collection.
Look at paragraphs C, D, and E and, using the information in the passage, complete the
flow chart below. Write your answers in boxes 37-41 on your answer sheet. Use ONE
OR TWO WORDS for each answer.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 10 - Absenteeism In Nursing

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are bused on Reading
Passage 10 below.
Absence from work is a costly and disruptive problem for any organisation. The cost of
absenteeism in Australia has been put at 1.8 million hours per day or $1400 million
annually. The study reported here was conducted in the Prince William Hospital in
Brisbane, Australia, where, prior to this time, few active steps had been taken to
measure, understand or manage the occurrence of absenteeism.
Nursing Absenteeism
A prevalent attitude amongst many nurses in the group selected for study was that there
was no reward or recognition for not utilising the paid sick leave entitlement allowed
them in their employment conditions. Therefore, they believed they may as well take the
days off sick or otherwise. Similar attitudes have been noted by James (1989), who
noted that sick leave is seen by many workers as a right, like annual holiday leave.
Miller and Norton (1986), in their survey of 865 nursing personnel, found that 73 per
cent felt they should be rewarded for not taking sick leave, because some employees
always used their sick leave. Further, 67 per cent of nurses felt that administration was
not sympathetic to the problems shift work causes to employees' personal and social
lives. Only 53 per cent of the respondents felt that every effort was made to schedule
staff fairly.
In another longitudinal study of nurses working in two Canadian hospitals, Hacket Bycio
and Guion (1989) examined the reasons why nurses took absence from work. The most
frequent reason stated for absence was minor illness to self. Other causes, in
decreasing order of frequency, were illness in family, family social function, work to do at
home and bereavement.
In an attempt to reduce the level of absenteeism amongst the 250 Registered an
Enrolled Nurses in the present study, the Prince William management introduced three
different, yet potentially complementary, strategies over 18 months. Strategy 1:Nonfinancial (material) incentives : Within the established wage and salary system it was
not possible to use hospital funds to support this strategy. However, it was possible to

secure incentives from local businesses, including free passes to entertainment parks,
theatres, restaurants, etc. At the end of each roster period, the ward with the lowest
absence rate would win the prize. Strategy 2 Flexible fair rostering: Where possible,
staff were given the opportunity to determine their working schedule within the limits of
clinical needs. Strategy 3: Individual absenteeism : and Each month, managers would
analyse the pattern of absence of staff with excessive sick leave (greater than ten days
per year for full-time employees). Characteristic patterns of potential 'voluntary
absenteeism' such as absence before and after days off, excessive weekend and night
duty absence and multiple single days off were communicated to all ward nurses and
then, as necessary, followed up by action.
Absence rates for the six months prior to the Incentive scheme ranged from 3.69 per
cent to 4.32 per cent. In the following six months they ranged between 2.87 per cent
and 3.96 per cent. This represents a 20 per cent improvement. However, analysing the
absence rates on a year-to-year basis, the overall absence rate was 3.60 per cent in the
first year and 3.43 per cent in the following year. This represents a 5 per cent decrease
from the first to the second year of the study. A significant decrease in absence over the
two-year period could not be demonstrated.
The non-financial incentive scheme did appear to assist in controlling absenteeism in
the short term. As the scheme progressed it became harder to secure prizes and this
contributed to the program's losing momentum and finally ceasing. There were mixed
results across wards as well. For example, in wards with staff members who had longterm genuine illness, there was little chance of winning, and to some extent the staffs on
those wards were disempowered. Our experience would suggest that the long-term
effects of incentive awards on absenteeism are questionable.
Over the time of the study, staff were given a larger degree of control in their rosters.
This led to significant improvements in communication between managers and staff. A
similar effect was found from the implementation of the third strategy. Many of the
nurses had not realised the impact their behaviour was having on the organisation and
their colleagues but there were also staff members who felt that talking to them about
their absenteeism was 'picking' on them and this usually had a negative effect on
managementemployee relationships.

Although there has been some decrease in absence rates, no single strategy or
combination of strategies has had a significant impact on absenteeism per se.
Notwithstanding the disappointing results, it is our contention that the strategies were
not in vain. A shared ownership of absenteeism and a collaborative approach to
problem solving has facilitated improved cooperation and communication between
management and staff. It is our belief that this improvement alone, while not tangibly
measurable, has increased the ability of management to manage the effects of
absenteeism more effectively since this study.
[" This article has been adapted and condensed from the article by G. William and K.
Slater (1996), 'Absenteeism in nursing: A longitudinal study', Asia Pacific Journal of
Human Resources, 34(1): 111-21. Names and other details have been changed and
report findings may have been given a different emphasis from the original. We are
grateful to the authors and Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources for allowing us to
use the material in this way. " ]
Questions 1-7
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage In
boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement agrees with the information
if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage
1) The Prince William Hospital has been trying to reduce absenteeism amongst
nurses for many years.
2) Nurses in the Prince William Hospital study believed that there were benefits in
taking as little sick leave as possible.
3) Just over half the nurses in the 1986 study believed that management understood
the effects that shift work had on them.
4) The Canadian study found that 'illness in the family' was a greater cause of
absenteeism than 'work to do at home'.
5) In relation to management attitude to absenteeism the study at the Prince William
Hospital found similar results to the two 1989 studies.
6) The study at the Prince William Hospital aimed to find out the causes of
absenteeism amongst 250 nurses.
7) The study at the Prince William Hospital involved changes in management

Questions 8-13
Complete the notes below.
Choose ONE OR TWO WORDS from the passage, for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet.
In the first strategy, wards with the lowest absenteeism in different periods would win
prizes donated by ....... (8) .......
In the second strategy, staff were given more control over their ......(9 )........
In the third strategy, nurses who appeared to be taking ...... (10)...... sick leave or ......
(11) ...... were identified and counseled.
Initially, there was a ...... (12)...... per cent decrease in absenteeism.
The first strategy was considered ineffective and stopped.
The second and third strategies generally resulted in better ...... (13) ...... among staff.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 11 - The Rocket From East To West

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14, which are based on following
reading passage:
A The concept of the rocket, or rather the mechanism behind the idea of propelling an
object into the air, has been around for well over two thousand years. However, it wasnt
until the discovery of the reaction principle, which was the key to space travel and so
represents one of the great milestones in the history of scientific thought, that rocket
technology was able to develop. Not only did it solve a problem that had intrigued man
for ages, but, more importantly, it literally opened the door to exploration of the universe.
B An intellectual breakthrough, brilliant though it may be, does not automatically ensure
that the transition is made from theory to practice. Despite the fact that rockets had
been used sporadically for several hundred years, they remained a relatively minor artefact of civilization until the twentieth century. Prodigious efforts, accelerated during two
world wars, were required before the technology of primitive rocketry could be
translated into the reality of sophisticated astronauts. It is strange that the rocket was
generally ignored by writers of fiction to transport their heroes to mysterious realms
beyond the Earth, even though it had been commonly used in fireworks displays in
China since the thirteenth century. The reason is that nobody associated the reaction

principle with the idea of traveling through space to a neighbouring world.

C A simple analogy can help us to understand how a rocket operates. It is much like a
machine gun mounted on the rear of a boat. In reaction to the backward discharge of
bullets, the gun, and hence the boat, move forwards. A rocket motors bullets are
minute, high-speed particles produced by burning propellants in a suitable chamber.
The reaction to the ejection of these small particles causes the rocket to move forwards.
There is evidence that the reaction principle was applied practically well before the
rocket was invented. In his Noctes Atticae or Greek Nights, Aulus Gellius describes the
pigeon of Archytas, an invention dating back to about 360 BC. Cylindrical in shape,
made of wood, and hanging from string, it was moved to and fro by steam blowing out
from small exhaust ports at either end. The reaction to the discharging steam provided
D The invention of rockets is linked inextricably with the invention of black powder.
Most historians of technology credit the Chinese with its discovery. They base their
belief on studies of Chinese writings or on the notebooks of early Europeans who
settled in or made long visits to China to study its history and civilisation. It is probable
that, sometime in the tenth century, black powder was first compounded from its basic
ingredients of saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur. But this does not mean that it was
immediately used to propel rockets. By the thirteenth century, powder propelled fire
arrows had become rather common. The Chinese relied on this type of technological
development to produce incendiary projectiles of many sorts, explosive grenades and
possibly cannons to repel their enemies. One such weapon was the basket of fire or,
as directly translated from Chinese, the arrows like flying leopards. The 0.7 metre-long
arrows, each with a long tube of gunpowder attached near the point of each arrow,
could be fired from a long, octagonal-shaped basket at the same time and had a range
of 400 paces. Another weapon was the arrow as am flying sabre, which could be fired
from crossbows. The rocket, placed in a similar position to other rocket-propelled
arrows, was designed to increase the range. A small iron weight was attached to the
1.5m bamboo shaft, just below the feathers, to increase the arrows stability by moving
the centre of gravity to a position below the rocket. At a similar time, the Arabs had
developed the egg which moves and burns. This egg was apparently full of
gunpowder and stabilised by a 1.5m tail. It was fired using two rockets attached to either
side of this tail.

E It was not until the eighteenth century that Europe became seriously interested in the
possibilities of using the rocket itself as a weapon of war and not just to propel other
weapons. Prior to this, rockets were used only in pyrotechnic displays. The incentive for
the more aggressive use of rockets came not from within the European continent but
from far-away India, whose leaders had built up a corps of rocketeers and used rockets
successfully against the British in the late eighteenth century. The Indian rockets used
against the British were described by a British Captain serving in India as an iron
envelope about 200 millimetres long and 40 millimetres in diameter with sharp points at
the top and a 3m-long bamboo guiding stick. In the early nineteenth century the British
began to experiment with incendiary barrage rockets. The British rocket differed from
the Indian version in that it was completely encased in a stout, iron cylinder, terminating
in a conical head, measuring one metre in diameter and having a stick almost five
metres long and constructed in such a way that it could be firmly attached to the body of
the rocket. The Americans developed a rocket, complete with its own launcher, to use
against the Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century. A long cylindrical tube was propped
up by two sticks and fastened to the top of the launcher, thereby allowing the rockets to
be inserted and lit from the other end. However, the results were sometimes not that
impressive as the behaviour of the rockets in flight was less than predictable. Since
then, there has been huge developments in rocket technology, often with devastating
results in the forum of war. Nevertheless, the modern day space programs owe their
success to the humble beginnings of those in previous centuries who developed the
foundations of the reaction principle. Who knows what it will be like in the future?
Questions 1-4
Reading passage 11 has six paragraphs labelled A-F.
Choose the most suitable headings for paragraphs B-E from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings

How the reaction principle works

The impact of the reaction principle
Writer's theories of the reaction principle
Undeveloped for centuries
The first rockets

vi The first use of steam

vii Rockets for military use
viii Developments of fire
ix What's next?

Paragraph A

Answer ii

Paragraph B
Paragraph C
Paragraph D
Paragraph E

Questions 5 and 6
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 5 and 6 on your answer
5 The greatest outcome of the discovery of the reaction principle was that
rockets could be propelled into the air.
space travel became a reality.
a major problem had been solved.
bigger rockets were able to be built.
6 According to the text, the greatest progress in rocket technology was made
from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries.
from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
from the early nineteenth to the late nineteenth century.
from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
Questions 7-10
From the information in the text, indicate who FIRST invented or used the items in the
list below.
Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

rockets for displays


7 black powder
8 rocket-propelled arrows for fighting
9 rockets as war weapons
10 the rocket launcher
FIRST invented or used by
A the Chinese
B the Indians
C the British
D the Arabs
E the Americans
Questions 11-14
Look at the drawings of different projectiles below, A-H, and the names of types of
projectiles given
in the passage, Questions 11-14. Match each name with one drawing.
Write the appropriate letters A-H in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.
The Greek pigeon of Archytas


The Chinese basket of fire

The Arab egg which moves and burns
The Indian rocket
The British barrage rocket

IELTS Academic Reading Sample - 12 The Scientific Method

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are bused on Reading
Passage below.
A Hypotheses, said Medawar in 1964,are imaginative and inspirational in character;
they are adventures of the mind. He was arguing in favour of the position taken by Karl
Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1972, 3rd edition) that the nature of
scientific method is hypothetico-deductive and not, as is generally believed, inductive.
B It is essential that you, as an intending researcher, understand the difference between
these two interpretations of the research process so that you do not become
discouraged or begin to suffer from a feeling of cheating or not going about it the right
C The myth of scientific method is that it is inductive: that the formulation of scientific
theory starts with the basic, raw evidence of the senses - simple, unbiased,
unprejudiced observation. Out of these sensory data - commonly referred to as facts
generalisations will form. The myth is that from a disorderly array of factual information
an orderly, relevant theory will somehow emerge. However, the starting point of
induction is an impossible one.
D There is no such thing as an unbiased observation. Every act of observation we
make is a function of what we have seen or otherwise experienced in the past. All

scientific work of an experimental or exploratory nature starts with some expectation

about the outcome. This expectation is a hypothesis. Hypotheses provide the initiative
and incentive for the inquiry and influence the method. It is in the light of an expectation
that some observations are held to be relevant and some irrelevant, that one
methodology is chosen and others discarded, that some experiments are conducted
and others are not. Where is, your naive, pure and objective researcher now?
E Hypotheses arise by guesswork, or by inspiration, but having been formulated they
can and must be tested rigorously, using the appropriate methodology. If the predictions
you make as a result of deducing certain consequences from your hypothesis are not
shown to be correct then you discard or modify your hypothesis.If the predictions turn
out to be correct then your hypothesis has been supported and may be retained until
such time as some further test shows it not to be correct. Once you have arrived at your
hypothesis, which is a product of your imagination, you then proceed to a strictly logical
and rigorous process, based upon deductive argument hence the term hypotheticodeductive.
F So dont worry if you have some idea of what your results will tell you before you even
begin to collect data; there are no scientists in existence who really wait until they have
all the evidence in front of them before they try to work out what it might possibly mean.
The closest we ever get to this situation is when something happens by accident; but
even then the researcher has to formulate a hypothesis to be tested before being sure
that, for example, a mould might prove to be a successful antidote to bacterial infection.
G The myth of scientific method is not only that it is inductive (which we have seen is
incorrect) but also that the hypothetico-deductive method proceeds in a step-by-step,
inevitable fashion. The hypothetico-deductive method describes the logical approach to
much research work, but it does not describe the psychological behaviour that brings it
about. This is much more holistic involving guesses, reworkings, corrections, blind
alleys and above all inspiration, in the deductive as well as the hypothetic component
-than is immediately apparent from reading the final thesis or published papers. These
have been, quite properly, organised into a more serial, logical order so that the worth of
the output may be evaluated independently of the behavioural processes by which it
was obtained. It is the difference, for example between the academic papers with which
Crick and Watson demonstrated the structure of the DNA molecule and the fascinating
book The Double Helix in which Watson (1968) described how they did it. From this

point of view, scientific method may more usefully be thought of as a way of writing up
research rather than as a way of carrying it out.
Questions 29-30
Reading Passage 12 has seven paragraphs A-G.
Choose the most suitable headings for paragraphs C-G from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers i-x in boxes 29-33 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings

The Crick and Watson approach to research


Antidotes to bacterial infection


The testing of hypotheses


Explaining the inductive method

Anticipating results before data is collected


How research is done and how it is reported

vii The role of hypotheses in scientific research

viii Deducing the consequences of hypotheses



Karl Poppers claim that the scientific method is


The unbiased researcher

Paragraph A

Answer: ix


Paragraph C


Paragraph D


Paragraph E


Paragraph F


Paragraph G

Questions 34 and 35
In which TWO paragraphs in Reading Passage12 does the writer give advice directly to
the reader?
Write the TWO appropriate letters (AG) in boxes 34 and 35 on your answer sheet.
Questions 36-39
Do the following statements reflect the opinions of the writer in Reading Passage 12?
In boxes 36-39 on your answer sheet write
YES if the statement reflects the opinion of the writer.
NO if the statement contradicts the opinion of the writer.
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
36 Popper says that the scientific method is hypothetico-deductive.
37 If a prediction based on a hypothesis is fulfilled, then the hypothesis is confirmed as
38 Many people carry out research in a mistaken way.
39 The scientific method is more a way of describing research than a way of doing it.
Question 40
Choose the appropriate letter A-D and write it in box 40 on your answer sheet.
Which of the following statements best describes the writers main purpose in Reading
Passage 3?
A to advise Ph.D students not to cheat while carrying out research.
B to encourage Ph.D students to work by guesswork and inspiration.
C to explain to Ph.D students the logic which the scientific research paper follows.
D to help Ph.D students by explaining different conceptions of the research process.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 13 - A.D.D. Missing Out on Learning

ou are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27 - 40.
A.D.D. - Missing Out on Learning
Study requires a student's undivided attention. It is impossible to acquire a complex skill
or absorb information about a subject in class unless one learns to concentrate without

undue stress for long periods of time.

Students with Attention
Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) are particularly deficient in this respect for reasons which are
now known to be microbiological and not behavioral, as was once believed. Of course,
being unable to concentrate, and incapable of pleasing the teacher and oneself in the
process, quickly leads to despondence and low self-esteem. This will naturally induce
behavioral problems. It is estimated that 3 - 5 % of all children suffer from Attention
Deficit Disorder. There are three main types of Attention Deficit Disorder: A.D.D. without
Hyperactivity, A.D.D. with Hyperactivity (A.D.H.D.), and Undifferentiated A.D.D.
The characteristics of a person with A.D.D. are as follows:
has difficulty paying attention
does not appear to listen
is unable to carry out given instructions
avoids or dislikes tasks which require sustained mental effort
has difficulty with organization
is easily distracted
often loses things
is forgetful in daily activities
Children with A.D.H.D. also exhibit excessive and inappropriate physical activity, such
as constant fidgeting and running about the room. This boisterousness often interferes
with the educational development of others. Undifferentiated A.D.D. sufferers exhibit
some, but not all, of the symptoms of each category.
It is important to base remedial action on an accurate diagnosis. Since A.D.D. is a
physiological disorder caused by some structural or chemically-based neurotransmitter

problem in the nervous system, it responds especially well to certain psycho stimulant
drugs, such as Ritalin. In use since 1953, the drug enhances the ability to structure and
complete a thought without being overwhelmed by non-related and distracting thought
Psycho stimulants are the most widely used medications for persons with A.D.D. and
A.D.H.D. Recent findings have validated the use of stimulant medications, which work in
about 70 - 80% of A.H.D.D. children and adults (Wilens and Biederman, 1997). In fact,
up to 90% of destructibility in A.D.D. sufferers can be removed by medication. The
specific dose of medicine varies for each child, but such drugs are not without side
effects, which include reduction in appetite, loss of weight, and problems with falling
Not all students who are inattentive in class have Attention Deficit Disorder. Many are
simply unwilling to commit themselves to the task at hand. Others might have a specific
learning disability (S.L.D.). However, those with A.D.D. have difficulty performing in
school not usually because they have trouble learning 1 , but because of poor
organization, inattention, compulsion and impulsiveness. This is brought about by an
incompletely understood phenomenon, in which the individual is, perhaps, best
described as 'tuning out' for short to long periods of time. The effect is analogous to the
switching of channels on a television set. The difference is that an A.D.D. sufferer is not
'in charge of the remote control'. The child with A.D.D. is unavailable to learn something else has involuntarily captured his or her whole attention.
It is commonly thought that A.D.D. only affects children, and that they grow out of the
condition once they reach adolescence. It is now known that this is often not the case.
Left undiagnosed or untreated, children with all forms of A.D.D. risk a lifetime of failure
to relate effectively to others at home, school, college and at work. This brings
significant emotional disturbances into play, and is very likely to negatively affect selfesteem. Fortunately, early identification of the problem, together with appropriate
treatment, makes it possible for many victims to overcome the substantial obstacles that
A.D.D. places in the way of successful learning.
1 approximately 15% of A.D.H.D. children do, however, have learning disabilities
Alternative Treatments for A.D.D.

EEG Biofeedback
Dietary intervention (removal of food additives

-preservatives, colorings etc.)

Sugar reduction (in A.D.H.D.)

Correction of (supposed) inner-ear disturbance
Correction of (supposed) yeast infection

(Candida albicans)
Vitamin/mineral regimen for (supposed) genetic


Body manipulations for (supposed)

misalignment of two bones in the skull

trials flawed - (sample groups small,
no control groups)
numerous studies disprove link
slightly effective (but only for small
percentage of children)
undocumented, unscientific studies
inconsistent with current theory
lack of evidence
inconsistent with current theory
lack of evidence
theory disproved in the 1970s
lack of evidence
inconsistent with current theory

Figure 1. Evaluations of Controversial Treatments for A.D.D.

Questions 27-29
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 27-29.
Refer to Reading Passage 13 "A.D.D. - Missing Out On Learning", and decide which of
the answers best completes the following sentences. Write your answers in boxes 27 29 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done for you as an example.
Example: The number of main types of A.D.D. is:
a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4
Q. 27. Attention Deficit Disorder:
a) is a cause of behavioural problems
b) is very common in children
c) has difficulty paying attention
d) none of the above
Q. 28. Wilens and Biederman have shown that:
a) stimulant medications are useful
b) psychostimulants do not always work
c) hyperactive persons respond well to psychostimulants
d) all of the above
Q. 29. Children with A.D.D.:

a) have a specific learning disability

b) should not be given medication as a treatment
c) may be slightly affected by sugar intake
d) usually improve once they become teenagers

Questions 30-37
You are advised to spend about 10 minutes on Questions 30 - 37.
The following is a summary of Reading Passage 13.
Complete each gap in the text by choosing 30 - 37 on your Answer Sheet.
Write your answers in boxes. Note that there are more choices in the box than gaps.
You will not need to use all the choices given, but you may use a word, or phrase more
than once.
Attention Deficit Disorder is a neurobiological problem that affects 3 - 5% of all .....
(Ex:). ...... Symptoms include inattentiveness and having difficulty getting (30) , as well
as easily becoming distracted. Sometimes, A.D.D. is accompanied by (31) In these
cases, the sufferer exhibits excessive physical activity. Psychostimulant drugs can be
given to A.D.D. sufferers to assist them with the (32) of desired thought processes,
although they might cause (33) Current theory states that medication is the only (34)
that has a sound scientific basis. This action should only be taken after an accurate
diagnosis is made. Children with A.D.D. do not necessarily have trouble learning; their
problem is that they involuntarily (35) their attention elsewhere. It is not only (36) that
are affected by this condition. Failure to treat A.D.D. can lead to lifelong emotional and
behavioral problems. Early diagnosis and treatment, however, are the key to (37)
overcoming learning difficulties associated with A.D.D.
side effects












losing weight
remedial action


Questions 38 - 40
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 38 - 40.
Refer to Reading Passage 13, and decide which of the following pieces of advice is best
suited for child listed in the table below.
Write your answers in boxes 38 - 40 on your Answer Sheet.
A current treatment ineffective - suggest increased dosage of Ritalin.
B supplement diet with large amounts of vitamins and minerals.
C probably not suffering from A.D.D. - suggest behavioral counseling.
D bone manipulation to realign bones in the skull.
E EEG Biofeedback to self-regulate the child's behavior.
F daily dose of Ritalin in place of expensive unproven treatment.



does not listen to

given instructions
loses interest

cannot complete

quiet and

often forgets to do
sleeps in class
disturbs other


excessively active
unable to pay attention
dislikes mental effort
disturbs other students

diet contains no food



EEG Feedback



Best Advice



low dose of Ritalin

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 14 - The Beam Operated Traffic System

Questions 1-12
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-12 which are based on the
following reading passage:
The Need for Change
The number of people killed each year on the road is more than for all other types of
avoidable deaths except for those whose lives are cut short by tobacco

Yet road deaths are tolerated - so great is our need to travel
about swiftly and economically. Oddly, modern vehicle engine design - the combustion
engine - has remained largely unchanged since it was conceived over 100 years ago. A
huge amount of money and effort is being channeled into alternative engine designs,
the most popular being based around substitute fuels such as heavy water, or the
electric battery charged by the indirect burning of conventional fuels, or by solar power.
Nevertheless, such innovations will do little to halt the carnage on the road. What is
needed is a radical rethinking of the road system itself.
Section (ii)
The Beam-Operated Traffic System, proposed by a group of Swedish engineers, does
away with tarred roads and independently controlled vehicles, and replaces them with
innumerable small carriages suspended from electrified rails along a vast
interconnected web of steel beams crisscrossing the skyline. The entire system would
be computer-controlled and operate without human intervention.
Section (iii)
The most preferable means of propulsion is via electrified rails atop the beams.

Although electric transport systems still require fossil fuels to be burnt or dams to be
built, they add much less to air pollution than the burning of petrol within conventional
engines. In addition, they help keep polluted air out of cities and restrict it to the point of
origin where it can be more easily dealt with. Furthermore, electric motors are typically
90% efficient, compared to internal combustion engines, which are at most 30%
efficient. They are also better at accelerating and climbing hills. This efficiency is no less
true of beam systems than of single vehicles.
Section (iv)
A relatively high traffic throughput can be maintained - automated systems can react
faster than can human drivers - and the increased speed of movement is expected to
compensate for loss of privacy. It is estimated that at peak travel times passenger
capacity could be more than double that of current subway systems. It might be
possible to arrange for two simultaneous methods of vehicle hire: one in which large
carriages (literally buses) run to a timetable, and another providing for hire of small
independently occupied cars at a slightly higher cost. Travelers could order a car by
swiping a card through a machine, which recognizes a personal number code.
Section (v)
Monorail systems are not new, but they have so far been built as adjuncts to existing
city road systems. They usually provide a limited service, which is often costly and fails
to address the major concern of traffic choking the city. The Beam-Operated Traffic
System, on the other hand, provides a complete solution to city transportation. Included
in its scope is provision for the movement of pedestrians at any point and to any point
within the system. A city relieved of roads carrying fast moving cars and trucks can be
given over to pedestrians and cyclists who can walk or pedal as far as they wish before
hailing a quickly approaching beam-operated car. Cyclists could use fold-up bicycles for
this purpose.
Section (vi)
Since traffic will be designated an area high above the ground, human activities can
take place below the transit system in complete safety, leading to a dramatic drop in the
number of deaths and injuries sustained while in transit and while walking about the city.
Existing roads can be dug up and grassed over, or planted with low growing bushes and
trees. The look of the city is expected to improve considerably for both pedestrians and
for people using the System.

Section (vii)
It is true that the initial outlay for a section of the beam-operated system will be more
than for a similar stretch oftarred road. However, costs for the proposed system must
necessarily include vehicle costs, which are not factored into road-building budgets.
Savings made will include all tunnels, since it costs about US $120,000 per kilometer to
build a new six lane road tunnel. Subway train tunnels cost about half that amount,
because they are smaller in size. Tunnels carrying beamed traffic will have a narrower
cross-sectional diameter and can be dug at less depth than existing tunnels, further
reducing costs.
The only major drawbacks to the proposal are entrenched beliefs that resist change, the
potential for vandalism, and the loss of revenue for car manufacturers. Video camera
surveillance is a possible answer to vandalism, while the last objection could be
overcome by giving car manufacturers beam-operated vehicle building contracts. 60%
of all people on earth live in cities; we must loosen the immediate environment from the
grip of the road-bound car.
Questions 1-4
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 1 - 4.
Refer to Reading Passage 14 "The Beam-Operated Traffic System", and complete the
flowchart below with appropriate words or phrases from the passage. Write your
answers in boxes 1 - 4 on your Answer Sheet.
Current City Traffic System


Proposed City Traffic System :


tarred road


without any

Questions 5 - 9
You are advised to spend about 8 minutes on Questions 5-9. Choose the most suitable
heading from the list of headings below for the seven sections of Reading Passage 14
"The Beam-Operated Traffic System". Write your answers in boxes 5 - 9 on your Answer


List of Headings
Returning the city to the people
Speed to offset loss of car ownership
Automation to replace existing roads
A safe and cheap alternative
The monorail system
Inter-city freeways
Doing the sums ( Example)
The complete answer to the traffic problem
Cleaner and more efficient

5. Section (ii)............... Q8. Section (v)..................

6. Section (hi).............. Q9. Section (vi) .................
7. Section (iv)............... Example: Section (vii).........
Questions 10-12
You are advised to spend about 7 minutes on Questions 10 -12.
Refer to Reading Passage 14, and look at the statements below.
Write S if the statement is Supported by what is written in the passage, and write NS if
the statement is Not Supported. Write your answers in boxes 10 -12 on your Answer
Example: The combustion engine was designed over 100 years ago.

10. The increased speed of traffic in a Beam-Operated Traffic System is due to

electric motors being 90% efficient.
11. Beamed traffic will travel through tunnels costing less to build than subway
12. A possible solution to willful damage to the System is to install camera equipment.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 15 - Beneath The Canopy

1. The world's tropical rainforests comprise some 6% of the Earth's land

area and contain more than half of all known life forms, or a conservative
estimate of about 30 million species of plants and animals. Some experts
estimate there could be two or even three times as many species hidden
within these complex and fast- disappearing ecosystems; scientists will
probably never know for certain, so vast is the amount of study required.
2. Time is running out for biological research. Commercial development is
responsible for the loss of about 17 million hectares of virgin rainforest each
year - a figure approximating 1% of what remains of the world's rainforests.
3. The current devastation of once impenetrable rainforest is of particular
concern because, although new tree growth may in time repopulate felled
areas, the biologically diverse storehouse of flora and fauna is gone forever.
Losing this bountiful inheritance, which took millions of years to reach its
present highly evolved state,
would be an unparalleled act of human stupidity.
4. Chemical compounds that might be extracted from yet-to-be-discovered
species hidden beneath the tree canopy could assist in the treatment of
disease or help to control fertility. Conservationists point out that important
medical discoveries have already been made from material found in tropical
rainforests. The drug aspirin, now synthesised, was originally found in the
bark of a rainforest tree. Two of the most potent anti- cancer drugs derive
from the rosy periwinkle discovered in the 1950s in the tropical rainforests of
5. The rewards of discovery are potentially enormous, yet the outlook is
bleak. Timber-rich countries mired in debt, view potential financial gain
decades into the future as less attractive than short-term profit from logging.
Cataloguing species and analysing newly-found substances takes time and
money, both of which are in short supply.
6. The developed world takes every opportunity to lecture countries which
are the guardians of rainforest . Rich nations exhort them to preserve and
care for what is left, ignoring the fact that their wealth was in large part due
to the exploitation of their own natural world.
7. It is often forgotten that forests once covered most of Europe. Large tracts
of forest were destroyed over the centuries for the same reason that the
remaining rainforests are now being felled - timber. As well as providing
material for housing, it enabled wealthy nations to build large navies and
shipping fleets with which to continue their plunder of the world's resources.
8. Besides, it is not clear that developing countries would necessarily benefit
financially from extended bioprospecting of their rainforests. Pharmaceutical

companies make huge profits from the sale of drugs with little return to the
country in which an original discovery was made.
9. Also, cataloguing tropical biodiversity involves much more than a search
for medically useful and therefore commercially viable drugs. Painstaking
biological fieldwork helps to build immense databases of genetic, chemical
and behavioural information that will be of benefit only to those countries
developed enough to use them.
10. Reckless logging itself is not the only danger to rainforests. Fires lit to
clear land for further logging and for housing and agricultural development
played havoc in the late 1990s in the forests of Borneo. Massive clouds of
smoke from burning forest fires swept across the southernmost countries of
South-East Asia choking cities and reminding even the most resolute
advocates of rainforest clearing of the swiftness of nature's retribution.
11. Nor are the dangers entirely to the rainforests themselves. Until very
recently, so-called "lost" tribes - indigenous peoples who have had no
contact with the outside world - still existed deep within certain rainforests. It
is now unlikely that there are any more truly lost tribes. Contact with the
modern world inevitably brings with it exploitation, loss of traditional culture,
and, in an alarming number of instances, complete obliteration.
12. Forest-dwellers who have managed to live in harmony with their
environment have much to teach us of life beneath the tree canopy. If we do
not listen, the impact will be on the entire human race. Loss of biodiversity,
coupled with climate change and ecological destruction will have profound
and lasting consequences.
Questions 16-20
You are advised to spend about 8 minutes on Questions 16-20.
Refer to Reading Passage 15 "Beneath the Canopy" and answer the following
questions. The left-hand column contains quotations taken directly from the
reading passage. The right-hand column contains explanations of those
quotations. Match each quotation with the correct explanation. Select
from the choices A - F below and write your answers in boxes 16 - 20 on
your Answer Sheet.
Example: ' a conservative estimate'


'a conservative estimate'
(paragraph 1)

A. with many trees but few financial


'biologically diverse storehouse
of flora and fauna'
(paragraph 3)

B. purposely low and cautious


17. 'timber-rich countries mired in

debt' (paragraph 5)

C. large-scale use of plant and wildlife

18. 'exploitation of their own natural

world' (paragraph 6)
19. 'benefit financially from extended
bioprospecting of their rainforests'
(paragraph 8)
20. 'loss of biodiversity'

D. profit from an analysis of the plant

and animal life
E. wealth of plants and animals
F. being less rich in natural wealth


Questions 21-23
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 21-23.Refer to
Reading Passage 2, and look at Questions 21-23 below. Write your answers in
boxes 21 - 23 on your Answer Sheet.
Q21. How many medical drug discoveries does the article mention?
Q22. What two shortages are given as the reason for the writer's pessimistic
Q23. Who will most likely benefit from the bioprospecting of developing
countries' rainforests?
Questions 24-26
You are advised to spend about 7 minutes on Questions 24-26. Refer to
Reading Passage 15, and decide which of the answers best completes the
Write your answers in boxes 24-26 on your Answer Sheet.
Q 24. The amount of rainforest destroyed annually is:
a) approximately 6% of the Earth's land area
b) such that it will only take 100 years to lose all the forests
c) increasing at an alarming rate
d) responsible for commercial development
Q 25. In Borneo in the late 1990s:
a) burning forest fires caused air pollution problems as far away as Europe
b) reckless logging resulted from burning forest fires
c) fires were lit to play the game of havoc
d) none of the above

Q 26. Many so-called "lost" tribes of certain rainforests:

a) have been destroyed by contact with the modern world
b) do not know how to exploit the rainforest without causing harm to the
c) are still lost inside the rainforest
d) must listen or they will impact on the entire human race.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 16 - Destinations For International English Students
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-15.

Paragraph (i)
At any given time, more than a million international students around the world are
engaged in the study of the English language in a predominantly English-speaking
country. The five most popular destinations, in order of popularity, are the U. S., Britain,
Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The reasons for choosing to study English abroad
differ with each individual, as do the reasons for the choice of destination.
Paragraph (ii)
Numerous studies conducted in Britain and the United States show that the country of
choice depends to a large extent on economic factors. While this should not provoke
much surprise, careful analysis of the data suggests that students and their parents are
most influenced by the preconceptions they have of the countries considered for study
abroad, which, in turn, influence the amount they or their parents are prepared to outlay
for the experience. The strength of international business connections between
countries also gives a good indication of where students will seek tuition. In the main,
students tend to follow the traditional pattern of study for their national group.
Paragraph (iii)
The United States attracts the most diverse array of nationalities to its English language
classrooms - this heterogeneity being largely due to its immense pulling power as the
world's foremost economy and the resulting extensive focus on U.S. culture.
Furthermore, throughout the non-European world, in Asia and North and South America
especially, the course books used to teach English in most elementary and high schools
introduce students to American English and the American accent from a very early age.
Canada also benefits from worldwide North American exposure, but has the most
homogenous group of students - most with French as their first language. Before

furthering their English skills, students in Europe study from predominantly British
English material; most Europeans, naturally, opt for neighbouring Britain, but many
Asian, Middle-Eastern, and African students decide upon the same route too.
Paragraph (iv)
Australia and New Zealand are often overlooked, but hundreds of thousands of
international students have discovered the delights of studying in the Southern
Hemisphere. The majority are Asian for reasons that are not difficult to comprehend: the
proximity of the two countries to Asia, (Jakarta, the capital of Australia's closest Asian
neighbor, Indonesia, is only 5506 kilometers from Sydney), the comparatively
inexpensive cost of living and tuition, and, perhaps of most importance to many Asian
students whose English study is a prelude to tertiary study, the growing awareness that
courses at antipodean universities and colleges are of an exceptionally high standard.
In addition, revised entry procedures for overseas students have made it possible for an
increasing number to attend classes to improve their English for alternative reasons.
Paragraph (v)
Australia and New Zealand have roughly the same mix of students in their language
classrooms, but not all students of English who choose these countries are from Asia.
The emerging global consciousness of the late twentieth century has meant that
students from as far as Sweden and Brazil are choosing to combine a taste for exotic
travel with the study of English 'down under' and in 'the land of the long white cloud'. But
even the Asian economic downturn in the 1990s has not significantly altered the
demographic composition of the majority of English language classrooms within the
Paragraph (vi)
Nor have the economic problems in Asia caused appreciable drops in full-time college
and university attendances by Asian students in these two countries. This is partly
because there has always been a greater demand for enrolment at Australian and New
Zealand tertiary institutions than places available to overseas students. In addition, the
economic squeeze seems to have had a compensatory effect. It has clearly caused a
reduction in the number of students from affected countries who are financially able to
study overseas. However, there has been a slight but noticeable shift towards Australia
and New Zealand by less wealthy Asian students who might otherwise have chosen the
United States for English study.
Paragraph (vii)
The U.S. and Britain will always be the first choice of most students wishing to study the
English language abroad, and it is too early to tell whether this trend will continue.

However, economic considerations undoubtedly wield great influence upon Asian and
non-Asian students alike. If student expectations can be met in less traditional study
destinations, and as the world continues to shrink, future international students of
English will be advantaged because the choice of viable study destinations will be wider.
Questions 1-4
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 1-4.
Complete the missing information in the table below by referring to Reading Passage 1
"Destinations for International English Students".
Write your answers in boxes 1 - 4 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done
for you as an example.

order of popularity

type of English in course books

used in this country







Ex: 2nd







not given

not given


Equal 3


student heterogeneity
(1 = most heterogenous
5 = least heterogenous)
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 4 -9.
Choose the most suitable heading from the list of headings below for the seven
paragraphs of Reading Passage 1 "Destinations for International English Students".
Write your answers in boxes 5 - 10 on your Answer Sheet.

List of Heading
A. Heterogeneity in the language classroom
B. Enrollment demand in Australia & New Zealand.
C. Reasons for the choice of destination
D. The attractions of studying in the antipodes
Example: E. Conclusion
F. Additional student sources
G. Student destinations
Q4. Paragraph (i) ............... Q5. Paragraph (ii) ...............
Q6. Paragraph (iii)............... Q7. Paragraph (iv)...............
Q8. Paragraph (v)............... Q9. Paragraph (vi)...............
Example: Paragraph (vii) ...... E..............
Questions 10-15
You are advised to spend about 10 minutes on questions 10 -15.
Refer to Reading Passage 1 "Destinations for International English Students", and look
at the statements below.
Write your answers in boxes 10 -15 on your Answer Sheet.
Write T if the statement is True; F if the statement is False; N if the information is Not
Given in the text.
Example: There are presently more than 1,000,000 foreign students of English abroad.
Q10. Study destination choices are mostly influenced by proximity to home.
Q11. Students who wish to study business will probably study English overseas.
Q12. Students of the same nationality usually make similar study choices.
Q13. English language classrooms in the U.S. have the widest range of student

Q14. Standards at Australian and New Zealand tertiary institutions are improving.
Q15. Despite the 1990s Asian economic crisis, Asian students still dominate the English
language classrooms of Australia and New Zealand.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 17 - The Danger Of Ecstasy
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 32 - 40.
The Danger of ECSTASY
Use of the illegal drug named Ecstasy (MDMA) has increased alarmingly in Britain
over the last few years, and in 1992 the British Medical Journal claimed that at least
seven deaths and many s,evere adverse reactions have followed its use as a dance
drug. 14 deaths have so far been attributed to the drug in Britain, although it is possible
that other drugs contributed to some of those deaths. While it is true that all drugs by
their very nature change the way in which the body reacts to its environment and are
therefore potentially dangerous, it is still unclear whether casual use of Ecstasy is as
dangerous as authorities believe. What is certain is that the drug causes distinct
changes to the body which, unless understood, may lead to fatal complications in
certain circumstances.
In almost all cases of MDMA-related deaths in Britain, overheating of the body and
inadequate replacement of fluids have been noted as the primary causes of death. Yet
in the United States, studies appear to implicate other causes since no deaths from
overheating have yet been reported. It seems that normal healthy people are unlikely to
die as a result of taking MDMA, but people with pre-existing conditions such as a weak
heart or asthma may react in extreme ways and are well-advised not to take it.
Not all physical problems associated with the drug are immediate. Medium term and
long term effects have been reported which are quite disturbing, yet not all are
conclusively linked to the drug's use. Medium term effects include the possibility of
contracting the liver disease hepatitis, or risking damage to the kidneys. However,
animal studies show no such damage (although it is readily admitted by researchers
that animal studies are far from conclusive since humans react in different ways than
rats and monkeys to the drug), and cases of human liver or kidney damage have so far

only been reported in Britain. Nonetheless, evidence to date suggests that alcohol and
Ecstasy taken at the same time may result in lasting harm to bodily organs.
Evidence that MDMA causes long term cellular damage to the brain has, until
recently, been based on experiments with animals alone; the most common method of
detection is to cut out a section of the brain, and measure the level of the chemical
serotonin. This is performed weeks or
months after use of a suspect drug. If the serotonin level, which is lowered as a result of
the use of many drugs, fails to return to normal, then it is probable that the drug in
question has caused damage to the cells of that part of the brain. Ecstasy has been
implicated in causing brain damage in this way, but in most cases the serotonin level
returns to normal, albeit after a long time.
Early experiments with monkeys, in which they were found to have permanent brain
damage as a result of being administered MDMA, were used to link brain damage in

humans to Ecstasy use.

These early concerns led to the drug being
classified as extremely dangerous, and although the results of the research were
doubted by some and criticised as invalid, no attempt was made to change the
classification. However, the latest available data regarding permanent brain damage in
humans who have taken Ecstasy regularly over many years (as little as once a week for
four years) seem to justify the cautious approach taken in the past. The psychological
effects of taking Ecstasy are also a major cause for concern. It is clear that the mind is
more readily damaged by the drug than is the body. It is not difficult to find occasional or
regular users of the drug who will admit to suffering mental damage as a result.
Paranoia, depression, loss of motivation and desire, bouts of mania - all are common,
and not unusual side effects of the drug.
To be fair to those who claim that Ecstasy frees the personality by removing one's
defenses against psychological attack, it is true that the drug can be liberating for some
users. Unfortunately, the experience is likely to be short-lived, and there is always the
danger is that one's normal life might seem dull by comparison. .*

Perhaps the most damning evidence urging against the use of Ecstasy is that it is
undoubtedly an addictive substance, but one that quickly loses its ability to transport the
mind, while it increases its effect upon the body. Yet, unlike the classic addictive drugs,
heroin, opium, morphine and so on, Ecstasy does not produce physical withdrawal
symptoms. In fact, because one becomes quickly tolerant of its effect on the mind, it is
necessary to forgo its use for a while in order to experience again its full effect. Any
substance which produces such a strong effect on the user should be treated with
appropriate respect and caution.
You are advised to spend about 10 minutes on Questions 32 - 35.
Refer to Reading Passage 17 "The Dangers of Ecstasy", and decide which of the
answers best completes the following sentences.
Write your answers in boxes 32 - 35 on your Answer Sheet.
The first one has been done for you as an example.
Example: In recent years, use of the illegal drug Ecstasy in Britain:
a) has increased
b) has decreased alarmingly
c) has decreased
d) has increased a little
Q32. It is not known whether:
a) drugs change the way the body reacts
b) the British Medical Journal has reported seven deaths caused Ecstasy
c) Ecstasy alone was responsible for the 14 deaths in Britain
d) Ecstasy causes changes to the body
Q33. The use of Ecstasy:
a) is usually fatal
b) is less dangerous than the authorities believe
c) is harmless when used as a dance drug
d) none of the above
Q34. Deaths from Ecstasy are sometimes caused by:
a) people with pre-existing conditions
b) too much fluid in the body
c) overheating of the body
d) all of the above
Q35. MDMA studies conducted on animals:
a) show damage to the kidneys

b) cannot provide absolute proof of the effect of the drug on humans

c) are cruel and have been discontinued
d) have yet to indicate long term brain damage
Questions 36 - 40
Using information from Reading Passage 17, complete the following sentences
Write your answers in boxes 36 - 40 on your Answer Sheet.
Q36. Permanent damage to the body may result if Ecstasy is taken simultaneously with
Q37. Cellular damage to the brain is detected by measuring the amount of
Q38. The serotonin level of Ecstasy users takes a long time to
Q39. One of the positive effects of taking Ecstasy is that it can
Q40. Ecstacy produces no withdrawal symptoms even though it is
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 18 - The Discovery of Uranus

You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27 - 40

The Discovery of Uranus
Someone once put forward an attractive though unlikely theory. Throughout the Earth's
annual revolution around the sun there is one point of space always hidden from our
eyes. This point is the opposite part of the Earth's orbit, which is always hidden by the
sun. Could there be another planet there, essentially similar to our own, but always
If a space probe today sent back evidence that such a world existed it would cause not
much more sensation than Sir William Herschel's discovery of a new planet, Uranus, in
1781. Herschel was an extraordinary man no other astronomer has ever covered so
vast a field of work and his career deserves study. He was born in Hanover in
Germany in 1738, left the German army in 1757, and arrived in England the same year
with no money but quite exceptional music ability. He played the violin and oboe and at
one time was organist in the Octagon Chapel in the city of Bath. Herschel's was an
active mind, and deep inside he was conscious that music was not his destiny; he
therefore read widely in science and the arts, but not until 1772 did he come across a
book on astronomy. He was then 34, middle-aged by the standards of the time, but
without hesitation he embarked on his new career, financing it by his professional work

as a musician. He spent years mastering the art of telescope construction, and even by
present-day standards his instruments are comparable with the best.
Serious observation began 1774. He set himself the astonishing task of 'reviewing the
heavens', in other words, pointing his telescope to every accessible part of the sky and
recording what he saw. The first review was made in 1775; the second, and most
momentous, in 1780-81. It was during the latter part of this that he discovered Uranus.
Afterwards, supported by the royal grant in recognition of his work, he was able to
devote himself entirely to astronomy. His final achievements spread from the sun and
moon to remote galaxies (of which he discovered hundreds), and papers flooded from
his pen until his death in 1822. Among these there was one sent to the Royal Society in
1781, entitled An Account of a Comet. In his own words:
On Tuesday the 13th of March, between ten and eleven in the evening, while I was
examining the small stars in the neighbourhood of H Geminorum, I perceived one that
appeared visibly larger than the rest; being struck with its uncommon magnitude, I
compared it to H Geminorum and the small star in the quartile between Auriga and
Gemini, and finding it to be much larger than either of them, suspected it to be a comet.
Herschel's care was the hallmark of a great observer; he was not prepared to jump any
conclusions. Also, to be fair, the discovery of a new planet was the last thought in
anybody's mind. But further observation by other astronomers besides Herschel
revealed two curious facts. For comet, it showed a remarkably sharp disc; furthermore,
it was moving so slowly that it was thought to be a great distance from the sun, and
comets are only normally visible in the immediate vicinity of the sun. As its orbit came to
be worked out the truth dawned that it was a new planet far beyond Saturn's realm, and
that the 'reviewer of the heavens' had stumbled across an unprecedented prize.
Herschel wanted to call it georgium sidus (Star of George) in honour of his royal patron
King George III of Great Britain. The planet was later for a time called Herschel in
honour of its discoverer. The name Uranus, which was first proposed by the German
astronomer Johann Elert Bode, was in use by the late 19th century.
Uranus is a giant in construction, but not so much in size; its diameter compares
unfavourably with that of Jupiter and Saturn, though on the terrestrial scale it is still
colossal. Uranus' atmosphere consists largely of hydrogen and helium, with a trace of
methane. Through a telescope the planet appears as a small bluish-green disc with a

faint green periphery. In 1977, while recording the occultation 1 of a star behind the
planet, the American astronomer James L. Elliot discovered the presence of five rings
encircling the equator of Uranus. Four more rings were discovered in January 1986
during the exploratory flight of Voyager 2 2 , In addition to its rings, Uranus has 15
satellites ('moons'), the last 10 discovered by Voyager 2 on the same flight; all revolve
about its equator and move with the planet in an eastwest direction. The two largest
moons, Titania and Oberon, were discovered by Herschel in 1787. The next two,
Umbriel and Ariel, were found in 1851 by the British astronomer William Lassell.
Miranda, thought before 1986 to be the innermost moon, was discovered in 1948 by the
American astronomer Gerard Peter Kuiper.
'Occultation' : in astronomy, when one object passes in front of another and hides the
second from view, especially, for example, when the moon comes between an observer
and a star or planet .
'Voyager 2' : an unmanned spacecraft sent on a voyage past Saturn, Uranus and
Jupiter in 1986; during which it sent back information about these planets to scientists
on earth .

Questions 27-31
Complete the table below. Write a date for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.


William Herschel was born
Herschel began investigating astronomy


Discovery of the planet Uranus


Discovery of the moons Titania and Oberon


First discovery of Uranus' rings


Discovery of the last 10 moons of Uranus


Questions 32-36
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer of the Reading Passage?
In boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet write
if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
Herschel was multi-talented


32 It is improbable that there is a planet hidden behind the sun.

33 Herschel knew immediately that he had found a new planet.
34 Herschel collaborated with other astronomers of his time.
35 Herschel's newly-discovered object was considered to be too far from the sun to be
a comet.
36 Herschel's discovery was the most important find of the last three hundred years.
Questions 37-40
Complete each of the following statements (Questions 37-40) with a name from the
Reading Passage.
Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
The suggested names of the new planet started with ........ (37) ........, then ........
(38) ......., before finally settling on Uranus. The first five rings around Uranus were
discovered by ........ (39) ......... From 1948 until 1986, the moon ........ (40)........ was
believed to be the moon closest to the surface of Uranus.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 19 - Creating Artificial Reefs
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading
Passage 19 below.
Creating Artificial Reefs

In the coastal waters of the US, a nation's leftovers have been discarded. Derelict ships,
concrete blocks, scrapped cars, army tanks, tyres filled with concrete and redundant
planes litter the sea floor. However, this is not waste disposal, but part of a coordinated,
state-run programme. To recently arrived fish, plants and other sea organisms, these
artificial reefs are an ideal home, offering food and shelter.

Sea-dumping incites widespread condemnation. Little

surprise when oceans are seen as 'convenient' dumping grounds for the rubbish we
have created but would rather forget. However, scientific evidence suggests that if we
dump the right things, sea life can actually be enhanced. And more recently, purposebuilt structures of steel or concrete have been employed - some the size of small
apartment blocks -principally to increase fish harvests.
Strong currents, for example, the choice of design and materials for an artificial reef
depends on where it is going to be placed. In areas of a solid concrete structure will be
more appropriate than ballasted tyres. It also depends on what species are to be
attracted. It is pointless creating high-rise structures for fish that prefer flat or low-relief
habitat. But the most important consideration is the purpose of the reef.
In the US, where there is a national reef plan using cleaned up rigs and tanks, artificial
reefs have mainly been used to attract fish for recreational fishing or sport-diving. But
there are many other ways in which they can be used to manage the marine habitat. For
as well as protecting existing habitat, providing purpose-built accommodation for
commercial species (such as lobsters and octupi) and acting as sea defences, they can
be an effective way of improving fish harvests.

Japan, for example, has created vast areas of artificial habitat - rather than isolated
reefs - to increase its fish stocks. In fact, the cultural and historical importance of
seafood in Japan is reflected by the fact that it is a world leader in reef technology;
what's more, those who construct and deploy reefs have sole rights to the harvest.
In Europe, artificial reefs have been mainly employed to protect habitat. Particularly so
in the Mediterranean where reefs have been sunk as physical obstacles to stop illegal
trawling, which is destroying sea grass beds and the marine life that depends on them.
If you want to protect areas of the seabed, you need something that will stop trawlers
dead in their tracks,' says Dr Antony Jensen of the Southampton Oceanography Centre.
Italy boasts considerable artificial reef activity. It deployed its first scientifically planned
reef using concrete cubes assembled in pyramid forms in 1974 to enhance fisheries and
stop trawling. And Spain has built nearly 50 reefs in its waters, mainly to discourage
trawling and enhance the productivity of fisheries. Meanwhile, Britain established its first
quarried rock artificial reef in 1984 off the Scottish coast, to assess its potential for
attracting commercial species.
But while the scientific study of these structures is a little over a quarter of a century old,
artificial reefs made out of readily available materials such as bamboo and coconuts
have been used by fishermen for centuries. And the benefits have been enormous. By
placing reefs close to home, fishermen can save time and fuel. But unless they are
carefully managed, these areas can become over- fished. In the Philippines, for
example, where artificial reef programmes have been instigated in response to declining
fish populations, catches are often allowed to exceed the maximum potential new
production of the artificial reef because there is no proper management control.
There is no doubt that artificial reefs have lots to offer. And while purpose-built
structures are effective, the real challenge now is to develop environmentally safe ways
of using recycled waste to increase marine diversity. This will require more scientific
research. For example, the leachates from one of the most commonly used reef
materials, tyres, could potentially be harmful to the creatures and plants that they are
supposed to attract. Yet few extensive studies have been undertaken into the long- term
effects of disposing of tyres at sea. And at the moment, there is little consensus about
what is environmentally acceptable to dump at sea, especially when it comes to oil and
gas rigs. Clearly, the challenge is to develop environmentally acceptable ways of
disposing of our rubbish while enhancing marine life too. What we must never be
allowed to do is have an excuse for dumping anything we like at sea.
Questions 1-3
The list below gives some of the factors that must be taken into account when deciding

how to construct an artificial reef. WhichTHREE of these factors are mentioned by the
writer of the article? Write the appropriate letters A-F in boxes 1-3 on your answer
A The fishing activity in the area
The intended location of the reef
The existing reef structures
D The type of marine life being targeted
E The function of the reef
F The cultural importance of the area
Questions 4-8
Complete the table below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the
passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 4-8 on your answer sheet.
Area/Country Type of Reef
Made using old .(4).
To attract fish for leisure activities
Forms large area of artificial habitat
to improve .(5).
lies deep down to form (6).
to act as a sea defence
Consists of pyramid shapes of .(7).. to prevent trawling
made of rock
to encourage .(8). Fish species
Questions 9-12
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS, complete the following sentences. Write your
answers in boxes 9-12 on your answer sheet.
In .....(9)....., people who build reefs are legally entitled to all the fish they attract.
Trawling inhibits the development of marine life because it damages the .....(10)...... In
the past, both ......(11)......were used to make reefs. To ensure that reefs are not overfished, good ......(12)..... is required.
Question 13
Choose the appropriate letter A-D and write it in box 13 on your answer sheet.
13 According to the writer, the next step in the creation of artificial reefs is
A to produce an international agreement.
to expand their use in the marine environment.
to examine their dangers to marine life.
D to improve on purpose-built structures.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 20 - The Pursuit of Happiness
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40 which are based on Reading
Passage 20 below.

The Pursuit of Happiness

"New research uncovers some
anti-intuitive insights into how
many people are happy - and why."
Compared with misery, happiness is relatively unexplored terrain for social
scientists, Between 1967 and 1994, 46,380 articles indexed in Psychological Abstracts
mentioned depression, 36,851 anxiety, and 5,099 anger. Only 2,389 spoke of
happiness, 2,340 life satisfaction, and 405 joy.
Recently we and other researchers have begun a systematic study of happiness.
During the past two decades, dozens of investigators throughout the world have asked
several hundred thousand Representative sampled people to reflect on their
happiness and satisfaction with life or what psychologists call "subjective well-being". In
the US the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has surveyed
a representative sample of roughly 1,500 people a year since 1957; the Institute for
Social Research at the University of Michigan has carried out similar studies on a less
regular basis, as has the Gallup Organization. Government-funded efforts have also
probed the moods of European countries.
We have uncovered some surprising findings. People are happier than one might
expect, and happiness does not appear to depend significantly on external
circumstances. Although viewing life as a tragedy has a long and honorable history, the
responses of random samples of people around the world about their happiness paints
a much rosier picture. In the University of Chicago surveys, three in
10 Americans say they are very happy, for example. Only one in 10 chooses the most
negative description "not too happy". The majority describe themselves as "pretty
happy", ...
How can social scientists measure something as hard to pin down as happiness?
Most researchers simply ask people to report their feelings of happiness or unhappiness
and to assess how satisfying their lives are. Such self-reported well-being is moderately
consistent over years of retesting. Furthermore, those who say they are happy and
satisfied seem happy to their close friends and family members and to a psychologist-

interviewer. Their daily mood ratings reveal more positive emotions, and they smile
more than those who call themselves unhappy. Self-reported happiness also predicts
other indicators of well-being. Compared with the depressed, happy people are less
self-focused, less hostile and abusive, and less susceptible to disease.
We have found that the even distribution of happiness cuts across almost all
demographic classifications of age, economic class, race and educational level. In
addition, almost all strategies for assessing subjective well-being - including those that
sample people's experience by polling them at random times with beepers - turn up
similar findings. Interviews with representative samples of people of all ages, for
example, reveal that no time of life is notably happier or unhappier. Similarly, men and
women are equally likely to declare themselves "very happy" and "satisfied" with life,
according to a statistical digest of 146 studies by Marilyn J, Haring, William Stock and
Morris A, Okun, all then at Arizona State University.
Wealth is also a poor predictor of happiness. People have not become happier over
time as their cultures have become more affluent. Even though Americans earn twice as
much in today's dollars as they did in 1957, the proportion of those telling surveyors
from the National Opinion Research Center that they are "very happy" has declined
from 35 to 29 percent.
Even very rich people - those surveyed among Forbes magazine's 100 wealthiest
Americans - are only slightly happier than the average American. Those whose income
has increased over a 10-year period are not happier than those whose income is
stagnant. Indeed, in most nations the correlation between income and happiness is
negligible - only in the poorest countries, such as Bangladesh and India, is income a
good measure of emotional well-being.
Are people in rich countries happier, by and large, than people in not so rich
countries? It appears in general that they are, but the margin may be slim. In Portugal,
for example, only one in 10 people reports being very happy, whereas in the much more
prosperous Netherlands the proportion of very happy is four in 10. Yet there are curious
reversals in this correlation between national wealth and well-being -the Irish during the
1980s consistently reported greater life satisfaction than the wealthier West Germans.
Furthermore, other factors, such as civil rights, literacy and duration of democratic
government, all of which also promote reported life satisfaction, tend to go hand in hand
with national wealth, As a result, it is impossible to tell whether the happiness of people
in wealthier nations is based on money or is a by-product of other felicities.

Although happiness is not easy to predict from material circumstances, it seems

consistent for those who have it, In one National Institute on Aging study of 5,000
adults, the happiest people in 1973 were still relatively happy a decade later, despite
changes in work, residence and family status,
[ From "The Pursuit of Happiness" by David G, Myers and Ed Diener. Copyright May
1996 by Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved. ]
Questions 28-30
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 23-30 on your answer
28 What point are the writers making in the opening paragraph?
A Happiness levels have risen since 1967.
Journals take a biased view on happiness.
Happiness is not a well-documented research area,
D People tend to think about themselves negatively.
29 What do the writers say about their research findings?
A They had predicted the results correctly.
They felt people had responded dishonestly.
They conflict with those of other researchers.
D Happiness levels are higher than they had believed.
30 In the fourth paragraph, what does the reader learn about the research method
A It is new.
It appears to be reliable.
It is better than using beepers.
D It reveals additional information.
Questions 31-34
According to the passage, which of the findings below (31-34) is quoted by which
Investigative Body (A-G)? Write your answers in boxes 31-34 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more Investigative Bodies than findings, so you do not have to use all of
31 Happiness is not gender related.
32 Over fifty per cent of people consider themselves to be 'happy'.

33 Happiness levels are marginally higher for those in the top income brackets.
34 'Happy' people remain happy throughout their lives.
Investigative Bodies
A The National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
B Arizona State University
The Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
D Forbes Magazine
E The National Institute on Aging
F The Gallup Organization
G The Government
Questions 35-40
Complete the summary of Reading Passage 20 below. Choose your answers from the
box at the bottom of the page and write them in boxes 35-40 on your answer
sheet NB There are more words than spaces so you will not use them all. You may use
any of the words more than once.
Example :
Our happiness levels are ... ...... by relatively few factors.
For example, incomes in the States have ..... (35)..... over the past forty years but
happiness levels have ..... (36)..... over the same period. In fact, people on average
incomes are only slightly..... (37)..... happy than extremely rich people and a gradual
increase in prosperity makes ..... (38)..... difference to how happy we are. In terms of
national wealth, populations of wealthy nations are ..... (39)..... happier than those who
live in poorer countries. Although in some cases this trend is ..... (40)..... and it appears
that other factors need to be considered.

Crept up

Slowed down


List of Words

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 21 - Looking for a Market among Adolescents

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27 which are based on Reading
Passage 21 on the following pages.
Questions 14-19
Reading Passage 21 has eight paragraphs (A-H). Choose the most suitable heading for
each paragraph from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers (i-xi) in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more headings than paragraphs so you will not use all of them. You may
use any heading more than once.
List of Headings
i Gathering the information
ii Cigarettes produced to match an image
iii Financial outlay on marketing
iv The first advertising methods
v Pressure causes a drop in sales
vi Changing attitudes allow new marketing tactics
vii Background to the research
viii A public uproar is avoided
ix The innovative move to written adverts
x A century of uninhibited smoking
xi Conclusions of the research

14 Paragraph A
15 Paragraph
16 Paragraph
Paragraph D

17 Paragraph E
18 Paragraph F


19 Paragraph G
Paragraph H


Looking for a Market among Adolescents

A In 1992, the most recent year for which data are available, the US tobacco industry
spent $5 billion on domestic marketing. That figure represents a huge increase from the
approximate 250-million budget in 1971, when tobacco advertising was banned from
television and radio. The current expenditure translates to about $75 for every adult
smoker, or to $4,500 for every adolescent who became a smoker that year. This
apparently high cost to attract a new smoker is very likely recouped over the average 25
years that this teen will smoke.
In the first half of this century, leaders of the tobacco companies boasted that
innovative mass-marketing strategies built the industry. Recently, however, the tobacco
business has maintained that its advertising is geared to draw established smokers to
particular brands. But public health advocates insist that such advertising plays a role in
generating new demand, with adolescents being the primary target. To explore the
issue, we examined several marketing campaigns undertaken over the years and
correlated them with the ages smokers say they began their habit. We find that,
historically, there is considerable evidence that such campaigns led to an increase in
cigarette smoking among adolescents of the targeted group.
National surveys collected the ages at which people started smoking. The 1955
Current Population Survey (CPS) was the first to query respondents for this information,
although only summary data survive. Beginning in 1970, however, the National Health
Interview Surveys (NHIS) included this question in some polls. Answers from all the
surveys were combined to produce a sample of more than 165,000 individuals. Using a
respondent's age at the time of the survey and the reported age of initiation, [age they
started smoking ], the year the person began smoking could be determined. Dividing the
number of adolescents (defined as those 12 to 17 years old)who started smoking during

a particular interval by the number who were "eligible" to begin at the start of the interval
set the initiation rate for that group.
D Mass-marketing campaigns began as early as the 1880s, which boosted tobacco
consumption sixfold by 1900. Much of the rise was attributed to a greater number of
people smoking cigarettes, as opposed to using cigars, pipes, snuff or chewing tobacco.
Marketing strategies included painted billboards and an extensive distribution of
coupons, which a recipient could redeem for free cigarettes .... Some brands included
soft-porn pictures of women in the packages. Such tactics inspired outcry from
educational leaders concerned about their corrupting influence on teenage boys.
Thirteen percent of the males surveyed in 1955 who reached adolescence between i
890 and 1910 commenced smoking by 18 years of age, compared with almost no
E The power of targeted advertising is more apparent if one considers the men born
between 1890 and 1899. In 1912, when many of these men were teenagers, the R.J.
Reynolds company launched the Camel brand of cigarettes with a revolutionary
approach. ... Every city in the country was bombarded with print advertising. According
to the 1955 CPS, initiation by age 18 for males in this group jumped to 21.6 percent, a
two thirds increase over those bom before 1890. The NHIS initiation rate also reflected
this change. For adolescent males it went up from 2.9 percent between 1910 and 1912
to 4.9 percent between 1918 and 1921.
F It was not until the mid-1920s that social mores permitted cigarette advertising to
focus on women. ... In 1926 a poster depicted women imploring smokers of Chesterfield
cigarettes to "Blow Some My Way". The most successful crusade, however, was for
Lucky Strikes, which urged women to "Reach for a Lucky instead of a Sweet." The 1955
CPS data showed that 7 percent of the women who were adolescents during the mid1920s had started smoking by age 18, compared with only 2 percent in the preceding
generation of female adolescents. Initiation rates from the NHIS data for adolescent
girls were observed to increase threefold, from 0.6 percent between 1922 and 1925 to
1.8 percent between 1930 and 1933. In contrast, rates for males rose only slightly.
G The next major boost in smoking initiation in adolescent females occurred in the
late 1960s. In 1967 the tobacco industry launched "niche" brands aimed exclusively at
women. The most popular was Virginia Slims. The visuals of this campaign emphasized
a woman who was strong, independent and very thin. ... Initiation in female adolescents
nearly doubled, from 3.7 percent between 1964 and 1967 to 6.2 percent between 1972
and 1975 (NHIS data). During the same period, rates for adolescent males remained

H Thus, in four distinct instances over the past 100 years, innovative and directed
tobacco marketing campaigns were associated with marked surges in primary demand
from adolescents only in the target group. The first two were directed at males and the
second two at females. Of course, other factors helped to entrench smoking in
society. ... Yet it is clear from the data that advertising has been an overwhelming force
in attracting new users.
Questions 20-24
Do the following statements agree with the information in Reading Passage 21? In
boxes 20-24 write:
if the statement is true according to the passage
if the statement contradicts the passage
NOT GIVEN if there is no information about this in the passage
20 Cigarette marketing has declined in the US since tobacco advertising banned on
21 Tobacco companies claim that their advertising targets existing smokers.
22 The difference in initiation rates between male and female smokers at of the 19 Lh
century was due to selective marketing.
23 Women who took up smoking in the past lost weight.
24 The two surveys show different trends in cigarette initiation.
Questions 25-27
Complete the sentences below with words taken from the Reading Passage. Use NO
MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 25-27 on
your answer sheet.
Tobacco companies are currently being accused of aiming their advertisements mainly
at ..... (25)..... statistics on smoking habits for men born between 1890 and 1899 were
gathered in the year ..... (26)..... The ..... (27)..... brand of cigarettes was designed for a
particular sex.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 22 - First Impressions Count


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
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 cant 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 doesnt express the businesss 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 companys 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 potential 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 AG. Which paragraphs
discuss the following points? Write the appropriate letters A-G in boxes 28-33 on your
answer sheet.
the number of companies supplying the corporate clothing market
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
if the statement agrees with the writers views
if the statement contradicts the writers views
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

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

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 23 - Air Pollution

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 113 which are based on Reading
Passage 23 below.
A Air pollution is increasingly becoming the focus of government and citizen concern
around the globe. From Mexico City and New York, to Singapore and Tokyo, new
solutions to this old problem are being proposed, Mailed and implemented with ever
increasing speed. It is feared that unless pollution reduction measures are able to keep
pace with the continued pressures of urban growth, air quality in many of the worlds
major cities will deteriorate beyond reason.
B Action is being taken along several fronts: through new legislation, improved
enforcement and innovative technology. In Los Angeles, state regulations are forcing
manufacturers to try to sell ever cleaner cars: their first of the cleanest, titled "Zero
Emission Vehicles, hove to be available soon, since they are intended to make up 2 per
cent of sales in 1997. Local authorities in London are campaigning to be allowed to
enforce anti-pollution lows themselves; at present only the police have the power to do
so, but they tend to be busy elsewhere. In Singapore, renting out toad space to users is
the way of the future.
C When Britains Royal Automobile Club monitored the exhausts of 60,000 vehicles, it
found that 12 per cent of them produced more than half the total pollution. Older cars
were the worst offenders; though a sizeable number of quire new cars were also
identified as gross polluters, they were simply badly tuned. California has developed a
scheme to get these gross polluters off the streets: they offer a flat $700 for any old,
run-down vehicle driven in by its owner. The aim is to remove the heaviest-polluting,
most decrepit vehicles from the roads.
D As part of a European Union environmental programme, a London council is resting
an infra-red spectrometer from the University of Denver in Colorado. It gauges the
pollution from a passing vehicle - more useful than the annual stationary rest that is the

British standard today - by bouncing a beam through the exhaust and measuring what
gets blocked. The councils next step may be to link the system to a computerised video
camera able to read number plates automatically.
E The effort to clean up cars may do little to cut pollution if nothing is done about the
tendency to drive them more. Los Angeles has some of the worlds cleanest cars - far
better than those of Europe - but the total number of miles those cars drive continues to
grow. One solution is car-pooling, an arrangement in which a number of people who
share the same destination share the use of one car. However, the average number of
people in o car on the freeway in Los Angeles, which is 1.0, has been falling steadily.
Increasing it would be an effective way of reducing emissions as well as easing
congestion. The trouble is, Los Angelinos seem to like being alone in their cars.
F Singapore has for a while had o scheme that forces drivers to buy a badge if they
wish to visit a certain part of the city. Electronic innovations make possible increasing
sophistication: rates can vary according to road conditions, time of day and so on.
Singapore is advancing in this direction, with a city-wide network of transmitters to
collect information and charge drivers as they pass certain points. Such road-pricing,
however, can be controversial. When the local government in Cambridge, England,
considered introducing Singaporean techniques, it faced vocal and ultimately successful
The scope of the problem facing the worlds cities is immense. In 1992, the United
Nations Environmental Programme and the World Health Organisation (WHO)
concluded that all of a sample of twenty megacities - places likely to have more than ten
million inhabitants in the year 2000 - already exceeded the level the WHO deems
healthy in at least one major pollutant. Two-thirds of them exceeded the guidelines for
two, seven for three or more.
Of the six pollutants monitored by the WHO - carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone,
sulphur dioxide, lead and particulate matter - it is this last category that is attracting the
most attention from health researchers. PM10, a sub-category of particulate matter
measuring ten-millionths of a meter across, has been implicated in thousands of deaths
a year in Britain alone. Research being conducted in two counties of Southern California
is reaching similarly disturbing conclusions concerning this little-understood pollutant.
A world-wide rise in allergies, particularly asthma, over the past four decades is now
said to be linked with increased air pollution. The lungs and brains of children who grow
up in polluted air offer further evidence of its destructive power the old and ill; however,

are the most vulnerable to the acute effects of heavily polluted stagnant air. It can
actually hasten death, so it did in December 1991 when a cloud of exhaust fumes
lingered over the city of London for over a week.
The United Nations has estimated that in the year 2000 there will be twenty-four megacities and a further eighty-five cities of more than three million people. The pressure on
public officials, corporations and urban citizens to reverse established trends in air
pollution is likely to grow in proportion with the growth of cities themselves. Progress is
being made. The question, though, remains the same: Will change happen quickly
Questions 1-5
Look at the following solutions (Questions 1-5) and locations. Match each solution with
one location. Write the appropriate locations in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any location more than once.
1 Manufacturers must sell cleaner cars.
2 Authorities want to have power to enforce anti-pollution laws.
3 Drivers will be charged according to the roads they use.
4 Moving vehicles will be monitored for their exhaust emissions.
5 Commuters are encouraged to share their vehicles with others.
New York
Mexico City
Los Angeles
Questions 6-10
Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 23?
In boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet write

if the statement reflects the claims of the writer

if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
6 According to British research, a mere twelve per cent of vehicles tested produced over
fifty per cent of total pollution produced by the sample group.
7 It is currently possible to measure the pollution coming from individual vehicles whilst
they are moving.
8 Residents of Los Angeles are now tending to reduce the yearly distances they travel
by car.
9 Car-pooling has steadily become more popular in Los Angeles in recent years.
10 Charging drivers for entering certain parts of the city has been successfully done in
Cambridge, England.
Questions 11-13
Choose the appropriate letters AD and write them in boxes 11-13 on your answer
11 How many pollutants currently exceed WHO guidelines in all megacities studied?
A one
B two
C three
D seven
12 Which pollutant is currently the subject of urgent research?
A nitrogen dioxide
B ozone
C lead
D particulate matter
13 Which of the following groups of people are the most severely affected by intense air
A allergy sufferers
B children
C the old and ill
D asthma sufferers
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 24 - Measuring Organizational Performance
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40 which are based on Reading

Passage 24 below.
There is clear-cut evidence that, for a period of at least one year, supervision which
increases the direct pressure for productivity can achieve significant increases in
production. However, such short-term increases are obtained only at a substantial and
serious cost to the organisation.
To what extent can a manager make an impressive earnings record over a short period
of one to three years by exploiting the companys investment in the human organisation
in his plant or division? To what extent will the quality of his organisation suffer if he
does so? The following is a description of an important study conducted by the Institute
for Social Research designed to answer these questions.
The study covered 500 clerical employees in four parallel divisions. Each division was
organised in exactly the same way, used the same technology, did exactly the same
kind of work, and had employees of comparable aptitudes.
Productivity in all four of the divisions depended on the number of clerks involved. The
work entailed the processing of accounts and generating of invoices. Although the
volume of work was considerable, the nature of the business was such that it could only
be processed as it came along. Consequently, the only way in which productivity could
be increased was to change the size of the workgroup.
The four divisions were assigned to two experimental programmes on a random basis.
Each programme was assigned at random a division that had been historically high in
productivity and a division that had been below average in productivity. No attempt was
made to place a division in the programme that would best fit its habitual methods of
supervision used by the manager, assistant managers, supervisors and assistant
The experiment at the clerical level lasted for one year. Beforehand, several months
were devoted to planning, and there was also a training period of approximately six
months. Productivity was measured continuously and computed weekly throughout the
year. The attitudes of employees and supervisory staff towards their work were

measured just before and after the period.

Turning now to the heart of the study, in two divisions an attempt was made to change
the supervision so that the decision levels were pushed down and detailed supervision
of the workers reduced. More general supervision of the clerks and their supervisors
was introduced. In addition, the managers, assistant managers, supervisors and
assistant supervisors of these two divisions were trained in group methods of
leadership, which they endeavoured to use as much as their skill would permit during
the experimental year. For easy reference, the experimental changes in these two
divisions will be labelled the participative programme!
Result of the Experiment
In the other two divisions, by contrast, the programme called for modifying the
supervision so as to increase the closeness of supervision and move the decision levels
upwards. This will be labelled the hierarchically controlled programme. These changes
were accomplished by a further extension of the scientific management approach. For
example, one of the major changes made was to have the jobs timed and to have
standard times computed. This showed that these divisions were overstaffed by about
30%. The general manager then ordered the managers of these two divisions to cut
staff by 25%. This was done by transfers without replacing the persons who left; no one
was to be dismissed.
Changes in Productivity
Figure 1 shows the changes in salary costs per unit of work, which reflect the change in
productivity that occurred in the divisions. As will be observed, the hierarchically
controlled programmes increased productivity by about 25%. This was a result of the
direct orders from the general manager to reduce staff by that amount. Direct pressure
produced a substantial increase in production.
A significant increase in productivity of 2O/o was also achieved in the participative
programme, but this was not as great an increase as in the hierarchically controlled
programme. To bring about this improvement, the clerks themselves participated in the
decision to reduce the size of the work group. (They were aware of course that
productivity increases were sought by management in conducting these experiments.)
Obviously, deciding to reduce the size of a work group by eliminating some of its
members is probably one of the most difficult decisions for a work group to make. Yet

the clerks made it. In fact, one division in the participative programme increased its
productivity by about the same amount as each of the two divisions in the hierarchically
controlled programme. The other participative division, which historically had been the
poorest of all the divisions, did not do so well and increased productivity by only 15%.
Changes in Attitude
Although both programmes had similar effects on productivity, they had significantly
different results in other respects. The productivity increases in the hierarchically
controlled programme were accompanied by shifts in an adverse direction in such
factors as loyalty, attitudes, interest, and involvement in the work. But just the opposite
was true in the participative programme.
For example, Figure 2 shows that when more general supervision and increased
participation were provided, the employees feeling of responsibility to see that the work
got done increased. Again, when the supervisor was away, they kept on working. In the
hierarchically controlled programme, however, the feeling of responsibility decreased,
and when the supervisor was absent, work tended to stop.
As Figure 3 shows, the employees in the participative programme at the end of the year
felt that their manager and assistant manager were closer to them than at the
beginning of the year. The opposite was true in the hierarchical programme. Moreover,
as Figure 4 shows, employees in the participative programme felt that their supervisors
were more likely to pull for them, or for the company and them, and not be solely
interested in the company, while in the hierarchically controlled programme, the
opposite trend occurred.

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 28-30 on your answer
28 The experiment was designed to ...
A. establish whether increased productivity should be sought at any cost.
B. show that four divisions could use the same technology.
C. perfect a system for processing accounts.
D. exploit the human organisation of a company in order to increase profits.
29 The four divisions ...
A. each employed a staff of 500 clerks.
B. each had equal levels of productivity.
C. had identical patterns of organisation.
D. were randomly chosen for the experiment.
30 Before the experiment ...
A. the four divisions were carefully selected to suit a specific programme.
B. each division was told to reduce its level of productivity.
C. the staff involved spent a number of months preparing for the study.
D. the employees were questioned about their feelings towards the study.

Questions 31-36
Complete the summary below. Choose ONE word from Reading Passage 24 for each
Write your answers in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.
This experiment involved an organisation comprising four divisions, which were divided
into two programmes: the hierarchically controlled programme and the participative
programme. For a period of one year a different method of ....... 31 ....... was used in
each programme. Throughout this time ........ 32 ........ was calculated on a weekly basis.
During the course of the experiment the following changes were made in an attempt to
improve performance.
In the participative programme:
supervision of all workers was ....... 33 .......
supervisory staff were given training in ........ 34 .......
In the hierarchically controlled programme:
supervision of all workers was increased.
work groups were found to be ....... 35 ...... by 30%.
the work force was ...... 36 ...... by 25%.
Questions 37-40
Look at Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Reading Passage 24.
Choose the most appropriate label, AI, for each Figure from the box below.
Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
A. Employees interest in the company
B. Cost increases for the company
C. Changes in productivity
D. Employees feelings of responsibility towards completion of work
E. Changes in productivity when supervisor was absent
F. Employees opinion as to extent of personal support from management
G. Employees feel closer to their supervisors
H. Employees feelings towards increased supervision
I. Supervisors opinion as to closeness of work group
37. Fig 1..............................

38. Fig 2..............................

39. Fig 3..............................
40. Fig 4..............................
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 25 - Tracking Hurricanes
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-15 which are based on Reading
Passage 24 below.

North American meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA)'s Hurricane Research Division have recently improved the
success rate in their forecasting of where hurricanes are likely to hit land by an
estimated 15 to 30%. This increase in accuracy is due to the use of instruments called
GPS-dropwindsondes, which can probe the atmosphere surrounding a hurricane while it
is still out at sea. The atmospheric characteristics of hurricanes over land are well
understood because investigation is possible with weather balloons containing
sophisticated meteorological instruments. When hurricanes are out of reach of balloons,
gathering information is decidedly more difficult. Little is known of the weather
conditions that guide hurricanes towards land.
An accurate estimation of where a hurricane will strike is essential in order to reduce
loss of life and property. Hurricane Andrew, the most costly hurricane in U.S. history,
killed 15 people and caused damage of $35 billion, in today's dollars, in 1992. However,
the unnamed : Category 4 2 hurricane which struck southeast Florida in 1926 and killed
243 people would have caused an estimated $77 billion if it had struck today. The
reason for this is the explosion in population growth and development along the southeast coast of the U.S. during the last half century.
Hurricanes occur in cycles every few decades, the last intense period in the U.S. being
from 1940 to 1969. 'Camille', a Category 5 hurricane of such catastrophic force that it
caused over a billion and a half dollars worth of damage at the time and killed 256
people, struck the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in 1969 with winds over 320 km/h. Yet, for
the last quarter century, hurricane activity has been relatively mild. Scientists do not

know the precise reason for the cycles of hurricane activity, but they could be caused by
a phenomenon called the 'Atlantic Conveyor'. This is the name given to the gigantic
current of water that flows cold from the top of the globe slowly along the Atlantic ocean
floor to Antarctica and resurfaces decades later before flowing back north, absorbing
heat as it crosses the equator. Since hurricanes derive their energy from the heat of
warm water, it is thought that an increase in the speed of the' Conveyor', as it pulls
warm water to the north, is an indicator of intensifying hurricane activity.
The use of GPS-dropwindsondes began in 1997. Small sensing devices dropped from
planes at very high altitudes and over a wide area, they are far more revealing than
previously used sensors. Because they weigh only 0.4 kilograms, they are able to stay
aloft for longer periods and broadcast more data to the ground. Each sonde carries its
own global positioning satellite receiver. The GPS signals received are used to calculate
the direction and speed of wind, and data on temperature, humidity, and barometric
pressure at half second intervals all the way down to the ocean surface.
Dropwindsonde information is fed into a special meteorological computer in Maryland
which generates a global computer model of wind patterns. Data analysts have
discovered a greater variability in the winds at sea level than previously believed, but
many forecasting problems are beyond a solution, at least for the time being. For
instance, it is not yet known why hurricanes can suddenly change in intensity; current
computer models often fail to predict whether a hurricane will reach land or else cannot
pinpoint where a strike will take place.
One surprising result of a recent computer simulation was the destruction of a large part
of downtown New York. Hurricane researchers believe that the city is more likely than
Miami to suffer a direct hit in the near future. Also, certain geographical features of the
coastline near New York make it conceivable that a wall of water called a storm surge
pushed ashore by hurricane winds would cause a devastating flooding of Manhattan. A
storm surge was responsible for the more than 8000 deaths caused by the hurricane
that destroyed the city of Galveston in 1900.

the custom of naming hurricanes began in the early 1950s

hurricanes are categorised according to their wind speed from Category 1 (least
intense) to Category 5 (most intense)

Questions 1 - 4
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 1-4.
Refer to Reading Passage 25 "Tracking Hurricanes", and look at Questions 1 - 4 below.
Write your answers in boxes 1 - 4 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done
for you as an example.
Example: What do the letters NOAA stand for?
Q1. Which instruments have recently increased the success rate of U.S. hurricane
Q2. What reason is given for the lack of knowledge of hurricanes at sea?
Q3. Why was the hurricane which struck in 1926 not given a name?
Q4. What is the name of the strongest hurricane mentioned in the article?
You are advised to spend about 8 minutes on Questions 5-11.
Look at the table below. According to Reading Passage 1, to whom or what do the
phrases on the right refer?
Write your answers in boxes 5 -11 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done
for you as an example.
Note that you must give your answer IN NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.
Ex : ......... Meteorologist ..........
Q5 ...........................................
Q6 ...........................................
Q7 ...........................................
Q8 ...........................................
Q9 ............................................
Q10 ..........................................
New York.
Q11 ..........................................

have improved their forecasts for hurricanes.

become stronger every few decades.
energises all hurricanes.
is a huge current of water flowing from north to
could not stay in the air for a long time.
know more about surface winds than they knew
recently predicted a catastrophe for the city of
is a huge wave of water blown on land by a

Questions 12 -15
You are advised to spend about 7 minutes on Questions 12-15.
Refer to Reading Passage 25, and decide which of the answers best completes the
following sentences.
Write your answers in boxes 12 -15 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done
for you as an example.
Example: The main point of the passage is to give information about:
a) previous U.S. hurricanes
b) future U.S. hurricanes
c) forecasting hurricane activity
d) why hurricanes change in intensity
Q12. The intensity of U.S. hurricanes:
a) has increased by 15 to 30% recently
b) depends on the GPS-dropwindsondes
c) was greater from 1940 to 1969 than at any previous time
d) can be more accurately measured by satellite assistance
Q13. The Category 4 hurricane which hit Florida in 1926:
a) w as the most catastrophic to hit the U. S. this century
b) caused $77 billion worth of damage
c) caused an explosion in population growth
d) none of the above
Q14. Hurricane'Camille':
a) caused $1.5 billion dollars damage in today's money
b) was the worst U.S. storm this century in terms of life lost
c) was named in the 1950s
d) was not as intense as the hurricane of 1926
Q15. The writer of the passage probably believes that:
a) accurate tracking of hurricanes might be possible in the future
b) storm surges only occur within computer simulations
c) computer predictions are unreliable
d) the worst hurricanes occur in the U.S.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 26 - The Department Of Ethnography

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 112 which are based on Reading
Passage 26 below.
The Department of Ethnography was created as a separate deportment within the
British Museum in 1946, offer 140 years of gradual development from the original
Department of Antiquities. If is concerned with the people of Africa, the Americas, Asio,
the Pacific and parrs of Europe. While this includes complex kingdoms, as in Africa, and
ancient empires, such as those of the Americas, the primary focus of attention in the
twentieth century has been on small-scale societies. Through its collections, the
Departments specific interest is to document how objects are created and used, and to
understand their importance and significance to those who produce them. Such objects
can include both the extraordinary ond the mundane, the beautiful and the banal.
The collections of the Department of Ethnography include approximately 300,000
artefacts, of which about half are the product of fhe present century. The Department
has o vital role to play in providing information on non-Western cultures to visitors ond
scholars. To this end, the collecting emphasis has often been less on individual objects
than on groups of material which allow the display of a btoad range of o societys
cultural expressions. Much of the more recent collecting was carried out in the field,
sometimes by Museum staff working on general anthropological projects in
collaboration with a wide variety of national governments and other institutions. The
material collected includes great technical series - for instance, of textiles from Bolivia,
Guatemala, Indonesia and ateas of West Africa - or of artefact types such as boats. The
latter include working examples of coracles from India, reed boars from Lake Titicaca in
fhe Andes, kayaks from fhe Arctic, and dug-out canoes from several countries. The field
assemblages, such as those from fhe Sudan, Madagascat and Yemen, include a whole
range of material culture represenrarive of one people. This might cover the necessities
of life of an African herdsman or on Arabian farmer, ritual objects, or even on occasion
airport art. Again, a series of acquisitions might represent a decades fieldwork
documenting social experience as expressed in the varieties of clothing and jewellery
styles, tents and camel trappings from various Middle Eastern countries, or in the

developing preferences in personal adornment and dress from Papua New Guinea.
Particularly interesting are a series of collections which continue to document the
evolution of ceremony and of material forms for which the Department already
possesses early (if nor the earliest) collections formed after the first contact with
The importance of these acquisitions extends beyond the objects themselves. They
come fo the Museum with documentation of the social context, ideally including
photographic records. Such acquisitions have multiple purposes. Most significantly they
document for future change. Most people think of the cultures represented in the
collection in terms of the absence of advanced technology. In fact, traditional practices
draw on a continuing wealth of technological ingenuity. Limited resources and ecological
constraints are often overcome by personal skills that would be regarded as exceptional
in the West. Of growing interest is the way in which much of what we might see as
disposable is, elsewhere, recycled and reused.
With the Independence of much of Asia and Africa after 1945, if was assumed that
economic progress would rapidly lead to the disappearance or assimilation of many
small-scale societies. Therefore, it was felt that the Museum should acquire materials
representing people whose art or material culture, ritual or political structures were on
the point of irrevocable change. This attitude altered with the realisation that marginal
communities can survive and adapt In spire of partial integration into a notoriously fickle
world economy. Since the seventeenth century, with the advent of trading companies
exporting manufactured textiles to North America and Asia, the importation of cheap
goods has often contributed to the destruction of local skills and indigenous markets. On
fhe one hand modern imported goods may be used in an everyday setting, while on the
other hand other traditional objects may still be required for ritually significant events.
Within this context trade and exchange aftifudes are inverted. What are utilifarian
objects to a Westerner may be prized objects in other cultures - when transformed by
locol ingenuity - principally for aesthetic value. In fhe some way, the West imports goods
from other peoples and in certain circumsronces categotises them as art.
Collections act as an ever-expanding database, nor merely for scholars and
anthropologists, bur for people involved in a whole range of educational and artistic
purposes. These include schools and universities as well as colleges of art and design.
The provision of information about non-Western aesthetics and techniques, not just for

designers and artists but for all visitors, is a growing responsibility for a Department
whose own context is an increasingly multicultural European society.
Questions 1-6
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet write
if the statement is true according to the passage
if the statement is false according to the passage
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
The Department of Ethnography replaced the Department of
Antiquities at the British Museum.
1 The twentieth-century collections come mainly from mainstream societies such as the
US and Europe.
2 The Department of Ethnography focuses mainly on modern societies.
3 The Department concentrates on collecting single unrelated objects of great value.
4 The textile collection of the Department of Ethnography is the largest in the world.
5 Traditional societies are highly inventive in terms of technology.
6 Many small-scale societies have survived and adapted in spite of predictions to the
Questions 7-12
Some of the exhibits at the Department of Ethnography are listed below (Questions 712). The writer gives these exhibits as examples of different collection types. Match
each exhibit with the collection type with which it is associated in Reading Passage 1.
Write the appropriate letters in boxes 7-12 on your answer sheet. NB You may use any
collection type more than once.

Collection Type

Artefact Types
Evolution of Ceremony
Field Assemblages

SE Social Experience
TS Technical Series
7 Bolivian textiles
8 Indian coracles
9 airport art
10 Arctic kayaks
11 necessities of life of an Arabian farmer
12 tents from the Middle East

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 27 - Secrets of The Forests

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 13-25 which are based on Reading
Passage 27 on the following pages.
A In 1942 Allan R Holmberg, a doctoral student in anthropology from Yale University,
USA, ventured deep into the jungle of Bolivian Amazonia and searched out an isolated
band of Siriono Indians. The Siriono, Holmberg later wrote, led a "strikingly backward"
existence. Their villages were little more than clusters of thatched huts. Life itself was a
perpetual and punishing search for food: some families grew manioc and other starchy
crops in small garden plots cleared from the forest, while other members of the tribe
scoured the country for small game and promising fish holes. When local resources
became depleted, the tribe moved on. As for technology, Holmberg noted, the Siriono
"may be classified among the most handicapped peoples of the world". Other than
bows, arrows and crude digging sticks, the only tools the Siriono seemed to possess
were "two machetes worn to the size of pocket-knives".
B Although the lives of the Siriono have changed in the intervening decades, the image
of them as Stone Age relics has endured. Indeed, in many respects the Siriono
epitomize the popular conception of life in Amazonia. To casual observers, as well as to
influential natural scientists and regional planners, the luxuriant forests of Amazonia
seem ageless, unconquerable, a habitat totally hostile to human civilization. The
apparent simplicity of Indian ways of life has been judged an evolutionary adaptation to
forest ecology, living proof that Amazonia could not - and cannot - sustain a more
complex society. Archaeological traces of far more elaborate cultures have been
dismissed as the ruins of invaders from outside the region, abandoned to decay in the
uncompromising tropical environment.
C The popular conception of Amazonia and its native residents would be enormously
consequential if it were true. But the human history of Amazonia in the past 11,000
years betrays that view as myth. Evidence gathered in recent years from anthropology
and archaeology indicates that the region has supported a series of indigenous cultures
for eleven thousand years; an extensive network of complex societies - some with
populations perhaps as large as 100,000 - thrived there for more than 1,000 years
before the arrival of Europeans. (Indeed, some contemporary tribes, including the
Siriono, still live among the earthworks of earlier cultures.) Far from being evolutionarily
retarded, prehistoric Amazonian people developed technologies and cultures that were

advanced for their time. If the lives of Indians today seem "primitive", the appearance is
not the result of some environmental adaptation or ecological barrier; rather it is a
comparatively recent adaptation to centuries of economic and political pressure.
Investigators who argue otherwise have unwittingly projected the present onto the past.
D The evidence for a revised view of Amazonia will take many people by surprise.
Ecologists have assumed that tropical ecosystems were shaped entirely by natural
forces and they have focused their research on habitats they believe have escaped
human influence. But as the University of Florida ecologist, Peter Feinsinger, has noted,
an approach that leaves people out of the equation is no longer tenable. The
archaeological evidence shows that the natural history of Amazonia is to a surprising
extent tied to the activities of its prehistoric inhabitants.
E The realization comes none too soon. In June 1992 political and environmental
leaders from across the world met in Rio de Janeiro to discuss how developing
countries can advance their economies without destroying their natural resources. The
challenge is especially difficult in Amazonia. Because the tropical forest has been
depicted as ecologically unfit for large-scale human occupation, some environmentalists
have opposed development of any kind. Ironically, one major casualty of that extreme
position has been the environment itself. While policy makers struggle to define and
implement appropriate legislation, development of the most destructive kind has
continued apace over vast areas.
F The other major casualty of the "naturalism" of environmental scientists has been the
indigenous Amazonians, whose habits of hunting, fishing, and slash-and-burn cultivation
often have been represented as harmful to the habitat. In the clash between
environmentalists and developers, the Indians, whose presence is in fact crucial to the
survival of the forest, have suffered the most. The new understanding of the pre-history
of Amazonia, however, points toward a middle ground. Archaeology makes clear that
with judicious management selected parts of the region could support more people than
anyone thought before. The long-buried past, it seems, offers hope for the future.
Questions 13-15
Reading Passage 27 has six sections A-F.
Choose the most suitable headings for sections A, B and D from the list of headings
Write the appropriate numbers i-vii in boxes 13-15 on your answer sheet.


List of Headings
Amazonia as unable to sustain complex societies
The role of recent technology in ecological research in Amazonia
The hostility of the indigenous population to North American influences
Recent evidence
Early research among the Indian Amazons
The influence of prehistoric inhabitants on Amazonian natural history
The great difficulty of changing local attitudes and practices

13 Section A
14 Section B
Paragraph C


15 Section D
Questions 16-21
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 27?
In boxes 1621 on your answer sheet write :
if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
The prehistoric inhabitants of Amazonia were relatively
backward in technological terms.
16 The reason for the simplicity of the Indian way of life is that Amazonia has always
been unable to support a more complex society.
17 There is a crucial popular misconception about the human history of Amazonia.
18 There are lessons to be learned from similar ecosystems in other parts of the world.
19 Most ecologists were aware that the areas of Amazonia they were working in had
been shaped by human settlement.
20 The indigenous Amazonian Indians are necessary to the well-being of the forest.
21 It would be possible for certain parts of Amazonia to support a higher population.
Questions 22-25
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 22-25 on your answer

22 In 1942 the US anthropology student concluded that the Siriono

A were unusually aggressive and cruel.
B had had their way of life destroyed by invaders.
C were an extremely primitive society.
D had only recently made permanent settlements.
23 The author believes recent discoveries of the remains of complex societies in
A are evidence of early indigenous communities.
B are the remains of settlements by invaders.
C are the ruins of communities established since the European invasions.
D show the region has only relatively recently been covered by forest.
24 The assumption that the tropical ecosystem of Amazonia has been created solely by
natural forces
A has often been questioned by ecologists in the past.
B has been shown to be incorrect by recent research.
C was made by Peter Feinsinger and other ecologists.
D has led to some fruitful discoveries.
25 The application of our new insights into the Amazonian past would
A warn us against allowing any development at all.
B cause further suffering to the Indian communities.
C change present policies on development in the region.
D reduce the amount of hunting, fishing, and slash-and-burn.
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 28
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1 14 which are based on Reading
Passage 28 below.
Cleaning up The Thames
The River Thames, which was biologically dead as recently as the 1960s, is now the
cleanest metropolitan river in the world, according to the Thames Water Company. The
company says that thanks to major investment in better sewage treatment in London
and the Thames Valley, the river that flows through the United Kingdom capital and the
Thames Estuary into the North Sea is cleaner now than it has been for 130 years. The
Fisheries Department, who are responsible for monitoring fish levels in the River
Thames, has reported that the river has again become the home to 115 species of fish

including sea bass, flounder, salmon, smelt, and shad. Recently, a porpoise was spotted
cavorting in the river near central London.
But things were not always so rosy. In the 1950s, sewer outflows and industrial effluent
had killed the river. It was starved of oxygen and could no longer support aquatic life.
Until the early 1970s, if you fell into the Thames you would have had to be rushed to
hospital to get your stomach pumped. A clean-up operation began in the 1960s. Several
Parliamentary Committees and Royal Commissions were set up, and, over time,
legislation has been introduced that put the onus on polluters-effluent-producing
premises and businesses to dispose of waste responsibly. In 1964 the Greater London
Council (GLC) began work on greatly enlarged sewage works, which were completed in
The Thames clean up is not over though. It is still going on, and it involves many
disparate arms of government and a wide range of non-government stakeholder groups,
all representing a necessary aspect of the task. In London s case, the urban and nonurban London boroughs that flank the river s course each has its own reasons for
keeping their river nice. And if their own reasons do not hold out a sufficiently attractive
carrot, the government also wields a compelling stick. The 2000 Local Government Act
requires each local borough to prepare a community strategy for promoting or
improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area. And if your
area includes a stretch of river, that means a sustainable river development strategy.
Further legislation aimed at improving and sustaining the rivers viability has been
proposed. There is now legislation that protects the River Thames, either specifically or
as part of a general environmental clause, in the Local Government Act, the London
Acts,and the law that created the post of the mayor of London. And these are only the
tip of an iceberg that includes industrial, public health and environmental protection
regulations. The result is a wide range of bodies officially charged, in one way or
another, with maintaining the Thames as a public amenity. For example, Transport for
London -the agency responsible for transport in the capital - plays a role in regulating
river use and river users. They now are responsible forcontrolling the effluents and
rubbish coming from craft using the Thames. This is done by officers on official vessels
regularly inspectiing craft and doing spot checks. Another example is how Thames
Water (TW) has now been charged to reduce the amount of litter that finds its way into
the tidal river and its tributaries. TW s environment and quality manager, Dr. Peter

Spillett, said: This project will build on our investment which has dramatically improved
the water quality of the river.
London should not be spoiled by litter which belongs in the bin not the river.
Thousands of tons of rubbish end up in the river each year, from badly stored waste,
people throwing litter off boats, and rubbish in the street being blown or washed into the
river. Once litter hits the water it becomes too heavy to be blown away again and
therefore the rivers act as a sink in the system. While the Port of London already
collects up to 3,000 tons of solid waste from the tideway every year, Thames Water now
plans to introduce a new device to capture more rubbish floating down the river. It
consists of a huge cage that sits in the flow of water and gathers the passing
rubbish.Moored just offshore in front of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich,southeast London,the device is expected to capture up to 20 tons of floating litter each year.If
washed out to sea, this rubbish can kill marine mammals, fish and birds. This machine,
known as the Rubbish Muncher,is hoped to be the first of many, as the TW is now
looking for sponsors to pay for more cages elsewhere along the Thames.
Monitoring of the cleanliness of the River Thames in the past was the responsibility of a
welter of agencies -British Waterways, Port of London Authority,the Environment
Agency, the Health and Safety Commission, Thames Water as well as academic
departments and national and local environment groups.If something was not right,
someone was bound to call foul and hold somebody to account,whether it was the local
authority, an individual polluter or any of the many public and private sector bodies that
bore a share of the responsibility for maintaining the River Thames as a public amenity.
Although they will all still have their part to play, there is now a central department in the
Environment Agency, which has the remit of monitoring the Thames. This centralisation
of accountability will, it is hoped, lead to more efficient control and enforcement.
[Source:US Water News 2000]
Questions 1 -6
Some of the actions taken to clean up the River Thames are listed below.
The writer gives these actions as examples of things that have been done by various
agencies connected with the River Thames.
Match each action with the agency responsible for doing it. Write the appropriate letters
(A-G )in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

Actions to Clean up the River Thames

A Operating the Rubbish Muncher
B Creating Community Strategies
C Monitoring the Cleanliness of the River Thames
D Monitoring Fish Levels
E Collecting Solid Waste from the Tideway
F Creating Enlarged Sewage Works
G Controlling the River Thames Traffic

The Fisheries Department


The Environment Agency

Transport for London
The Greater London Council
Thames Water
Port of London
Local Boroughs

Questions 7 -14
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the reading passage on
Cleaning up the Thames ?
In Boxes 7 -14 write:
if the statement agrees with the writer
if the statement doesnt agree with the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
7 The Thames is now cleaner that it was in 1900.
8 Swimming in the Thames now poses no health hazards.
9 It is now mainly the responsibility of those who pollute the Thames to clean their
waste up.
10 All local London boroughs are now partly responsible for keeping the Thames clean.
11 Transport for London now employs a type of River Police to enforce control of their
12 Rubbish Munchers are now situated at various locations on the Thames.
13 Previously no one department had overall responsibility or control for monitoring the

cleanliness of the Thames.

14 British Waterways will no longer have any part in keeping the Thames clean.

IELTS Academic Reading Sample 29


Paragraph A
Deer are not indigenous to Australia.They were introduced into the country during
the nineteenth century under the acclimatization programs governing the introduction of
exotic species of animals and birds into Australia.Six species of deer were released at
various locations.The animals dispersed and established wild populations at various
locations across Australia,mostly depending upon their points of release into the
wild.These animals formed the basis for the deer industry in Australia today.
Commercial deer farming in Australia commenced in Victoria in 1971 with the
authorized capture of rusa deer from the Royal National Park,NSW.Until 1985,only four
species of deer, two from temperate climates (red,fallow)and two tropical species
(rusa,chital)were confined for commercial farming.Late in 1985,pressure from industry
to increase herd numbers saw the development of import protocols.This resulted in the
introduction of large numbers of red deer hybrids from New Zealand and North
American elk directly from Canada.The national farmed deer herd is now distributed
throughout all states although most are in New South Wales and Victoria.
Paragraph B
The number of animals processed annually has continued to increase,despite the
downward trend in venison prices since 1997.Of concern is the apparent increase in the
number of female animals processed and the number of whole herds committed for
processing.With more than 40,000 animals processed in 1998/99 and 60,000 in
1999/2000, there is justified concern that future years may see a dramatic drop in
production.At least 85% of all venison produced in Australia is exported,principally to
Europe.At least 90%of all velvet antler produced is exported in an unprocessed state to
Schemes to promote Australian deer products continue to have a positive effect on
sales that in turn have a positive effect on prices paid to growers.The industry appears
to be showing limited signs that it is emerging from a state of depression caused by
both internal and external factors that include:(i)the Asian currency downturn;(ii)the
industry's lack of competitive advantage in influential markets (particularly in respect to
New Zealand competition),and;(iii)within industry processing and marketing competition
for limited product volumes of venison.
Paragraph C
From the formation of the Australian Deer Breeders Federation in 1979,the industry
representative body has evolved through the Deer Farmers Federation of Australia to
the Deer Industry Association of Australia Ltd (DIAA),which was registered in 1995.The

industry has established two product development and marketing companies,the

Australian Deer Horn and Co-Products Pty Ltd (ADH)and the Deer Industry Projects
and Development Pty Ltd,which trades as the Deer Industry Company (DIC).ADH
collects and markets Australian deer horn and co-products on behalf of Australian deer
farmers.It promotes the harvest of velvet antler according to the strict quality assurance
program promoted by the industry.The company also plans and co-ordinates regular
velvet accreditation courses for Australian deer farmers.
Paragraph D
Estimates suggest that until the early 1990s the rate of the annual increase in the
number of farmed deer was up to 25%,but after 1993 this rate of increase fell to
probably less than 10%.The main reasons for the decline in the deer herd growth rate at
such a critical time for the market were:(i)severe drought conditions up to 1998 affecting
eastern Australia during 1993-96 and (ii)the consequent slaughter of large numbers of
breeding females,at very low prices.These factors combined to decrease confidence
within the industry.Lack of confidence saw a drop in new investment within the industry
and a lack of willingness of established farmers to expand their herds.With the
development of strong overseas markets for venison and velvet and the prospect of
better seasons ahead in 1996,the trends described were seen to have been significantly
reversed.However,the relatively small size of the Australian herd was seen to impose
undesirable restraints on the rate at which herd numbers could be expanded to meet
the demands for products. Supply difficulties were exacerbated when the supply of
products,particularly venison, was maintained by the slaughter of young breeding
females.The net result was depletion of the industry s female breeding herds.
Paragraph E
Industry programs are funded by statutory levies on sales of animals for venison,velvet
antler sales and the sale of live animals into export markets.The industry has a 1996
-2000 five year plan including animal nutrition,pasture quality,carcass quality,antler
harvesting, promotional material and technical bulletins.All projects have generated a
significant volume of information,which compliments similar work undertaken in New
Zealand and other deer farming countries.
Major projects funded by levy funds include the Venison Market Project from 1992 to
1996.This initiative resulted in a dramatic increase in international demand for Australian
venison and an increase in the domestic consumption of venison.In an effort to maintain
existing venison markets in the short term and to increase them in the long term,in 1997
the industry s top priority became the increase in size and production capacity of the
national herd.

Questions 33 -37
Read the passage about Deer Farming in Australia again and look at the statements
In boxes 33 -37 on your answer sheet write:
if the statement is true
if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in Reading Passage 29
33 Until 1985 only 2 species of the originally released Australian deer were not used for
34 Since 1985 many imported deer have been interbred with the established herds.
35 The drop in deer numbers since 1997 led to an increase in the price of venison.
36 Only a small amount of Australian venison production is consumed domestically.
37 Current economic conditions in Asian countries have had positive effect on the
Australian deer industry.
Questions 38-40
Complete each of the following statements (Questions 38 -40 )with words taken from
Reading Passage 29.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 38 -40 on your answer sheet.
38 A stringent ............. allows the Australian deer industry to maintain their excellence
of product.
39 Herd stock expansion was made difficult by the killing of..............to continue product
40 Foreign and home markets for Australian venison increased due to the ............
IELTS Academic Reading Sample 30 - Hard Disk Drive Technology
You are advised to spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28 - 40.
A few years ago, a query about the health of a person's hard disk drive would have
been met with a blank stare. Nowadays, almost everyone is aware of this remarkable

electronic storage medium that is part of every modern computer, even though most

users remain ignorant of the complexity of hard drive technology.

In the early days of computing, an information record of a computer' s memory content
was kept on punched cards similar to the way in which an automated piano stores the
keynote sequences on a piano roll. Later, magnetic tape was used to store electronic
signals, and is still the favoured means of economically backing up the contents of hard
drives. However, accessing information sequentially stored on tape is slow since the
electroniodata must be input through a fixed head in a single pass.
Hard disk drives solve this problem by incorporating a spinning platter on which
magnetic data can be made accessible via a moving head that reads and writes
information across the width of the disk. It is analogous to the way in which a person
can choose to play a particular track on a CD player by causing the arm to move the
head across the disk. The CD player is, in fact, necessarily similar in design to a hard
drive, although there are significant differences in speed of data access.
Most modern hard drives incorporate several platters to further reduce the time spent
seeking the required information. Also, some newer drives have two heads; one for
reading, and a second head for writing data to disk. This separation of tasks enables
much higher densities of magnetic information to be written on the platter, which
increases the capacity of the hard drive.
There are three important ways in which the capacity of hard disks has been increased.
First, the data code itself has been tightened with express coding techniques. Second,
as previously noted, the head technology has been improved; and third, the distance
between the heads and the platters has been greatly reduced. It is hard to believe, but
the head can be made to pass over the magnetised platter at distances of less than 1
microinch (the width of a typical human hair is 5000 microinches). This is achieved by
means of a special protective coating applied to the platter. Each of these three
improvements enables speedier access to the data.
Hard drives are more commonplace than tape recorders these days, but it must be
remembered that they are much more fragile. Treated with respect they may last a
number of years, but they are quite easily damaged, often with disastrous
consequences for the user, whose precious data can become lost forever. Dropping a
drive is almost always fatal, as is passing an incorrect electrical current through one (by
faulty connection). Dust and even extremes of temperature can cause failure. Yet, no
physical damage can ever result from the input of data via the keyboard or mouse. Of

course, over time the magnetised coating on the platters will erode, yet this is almost
entirely independent of the amount of use.
There are serious questions being raised about the direction of the future of electronic
storage media. Some researchers claim that it would be wiser to invest more time and
money in setting up systems for streaming data across networks of computers from
centralised banks of information storage. This would avoid the need for each personal
computer user to have his or her own copy of a software program resident on a local
hard drive. Personal data files could be kept at a central storage unit, and be suitably
protected from disaster by a failsafe backup system.
As the Internet becomes ever more pervasive, and the speed of access to other
machines increases across our telephone lines, it might be possible to do away with
local storage systems altogether.
backing up
Streaming data

-- duplicating
-- in sequence (or one after the other)
-- circular disk or plate
-- sending or broadcasting information as data

Questions 29 - 31
You are advised to spend about 5 minutes on Questions 29-31.
Refer to Reading Passage 30 "Hard Disk Drive Technology" and the diagram below.
Choose from the words and phrases in the given list, and label the diagram with the
correct name of each part of the hard drive.
Write your answers in boxes 29 - 31 on your Answer Sheet. The first one has been done
for you as an example.
Note that you will not need to use every word or phrase in the list.
CD player
moving head
electric current

List of Parts
second head
magnetic tape
date code
special protective coating

Refer to Reading Passage 30 "Hard Disk Drive Technology", and decide which of the
answers best completes the following sentences.
Write your answers in boxes 32 - 36 on your Answer Sheet.
The first one has been done for you as an example.
Example: Nowadays, hard disk drive technology is:
a) less complex

(b) part of every modern computer

c) expensive
d) not difficult to understand
Q32. Magnetically-coated disks are one of many types of:
a) sequential access information systems
b) information storage solutions
c) tape storage solutions
d) CD players
Q33. Connecting a hard drive incorrectly usually:
a) results in excess temperature
b) erodes the magnetised material on the platters
c) damages the keyboard or mouse
d) destroys the drive
Q34. Keyboard or mouse use can easily cause:
a) incorrect electrical currents
b) the magnetised coating on the platter to wear out
c) physical damage to the hard disk drive
d) none of the above
Q35. In the future, a computer user might be able to access personal data files from:
a) a central storage unit
b) a local hard drive
c) a software program
d) the local bank
Q36. Centralised banks of storage information could:
a) offer better protection of a user's data files
b) stream data across telephone lines
c) mean the end of local storage systems
d) all of the above
Questions 37-40
You are advised to spend about 8 minutes on Questions 37 - 40.
The following following text is a summary of part of Reading Passage 30.

Complete each gap in the text by choosing the best phrase from the box below the
Write your answers in boxes 37 - 40 on your Answer Sheet.
Note that there are more phrases to choose from than are required. The first one
has been done for you as an example.
Hard disk drives are exceedingly complex and fragile pieces of equipment, but .........
(Ex:)........ The cheapest way to store computer information is .......(37)....... However, it
is slow to read back stored information in this way. .......(38)....... , on the other hand,
consists of one or more spinning platters coated with magnetised material holding data
made accessable by two moving heads. Modern advancesindisktechnology
haveincreasedthe .......(39)......... of harddisks. This has been accomplished ......(40).......
A. storage capacity
B. on magnetic tape
C. most computer users know that a hard disk drive is complex
D a CD player is faster than a disk drive
E. A hard disk drive
F. few computer users are aware of this
G. in three ways
H. cost
I. increasing the size of the platters used
J. size of the heads