IELTS MASTER | ielts general reading test 86

ielts general reading test 86

Section 1
Read the advertisements given below and answer questions 1-10.

A Archer Insurance – low cost quality car insurance
Give yourself peace of mind – get insurance that is worth having but will not break the bank.
• All motor histories considered
• Monthly payment options
• Young drivers welcome
• Free courtesy car including during repairs
• No claims bonus available
• Legal protection cover included
• Breakdown cover included
• 24-hour claims service

Call Freefone 08008 777 111

B Country Car Rentals
All vehicle types from economy car to SUVs and vans. Special deals are available for long rentals. Discounts available if booked on our website.

Reservations and emergencies: 07524 651 878
www.countrycarrentals.com




C Perfection Car Valeting
• Fleet plus contract work available
• Competitive pricing
• Cleaners fully insured
• We come to your service

Find all our contact details online on our website: www.prefectioncarvaleting.com

D Stanford Breakdown Services
Breaking down in your car can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation. Our countrywide network guarantees to get to you within 60 minutes of your call, with a female priority service in action. One modest payment will cover you and your car with our standard service and upgrades are available that include transport home, hotel accommodation and extra family cars.

Call today to take advantage of our award winning service. www.stanford.com – 08001 333 444

E Williamson Motors – 45, Beach Parade, JU8 9 UT
We are stockists of a large range of used cars. All our sales are guaranteed for one year following purchase with free servicing for two years. Buying a used car can be stressful – our salespeople provide a professional and pressure-free situation, where you will be comfortable throughout the whole sales process.

We buy as well as sell – call us today for a quote for your car: 07770 756 284

F John Hopkins – Professional Restorers
For over 30 years, I have been restoring classic cars for clients around the world. I can provide a perfect service covering mechanics, upholstery, bodywork and electrics. This is naturally a bespoke service, so email me today to arrange an appointment: johnhopkins@classiccars.com

Questions 1-10
There are 6 advertisements A-F. Write the correct advertisement for questions 1-10.

1. The advertisement says there are cheaper prices if reservations are mad online.
2. The advertisement says they will come to the clients’ homes.
3. The advertisement says they will buy from or sell to clients.
4. The advertisement says clients can pay in installments.
5. The advertisement says their employees’ work is covered by insurance.
6. The advertisement says their service will deal with women more quickly.
7. The advertisement says they sell a second-hand product.
8. The advertisement says they have international experience.
9. The advertisement says they can include in their service a place to stay at night.
10. The advertisement says a zero-cost is provided as part of their service.




Read the text below and answer questions 11-14.

Complaining about your Energy Supplier

Energy suppliers in this country are generally very efficient. People only hear about the horror stories that are the exception and not the rule. Sometimes, however, you may have cause to complain to or about the company that supplies your energy.

Before starting any formal action, you should contact the energy company directly. The phone number and website will be on your energy bill. You can make a complaint by email, in writing or on the phone. Explain to the energy company what the problem is and what you want them to do about it. The Citizens Advice Consumer Service can help you through the process if you can’t find the energy company’s details or need support. They will give you information and advice and lend you their expertise If you need It.

All companies are required to deal proactively with complaints from domestic consumers and they all have mandatory complaints procedures detailing how they do this. The energy company should respond and try to resolve your complaint You then need to decide if you think their response is reasonable and will solve the problem you have.

The Ombudsman Services in charge of Energy (OSE) can investigate it the complaint hasn’t been resolved to your satisfaction at the end of eight weeks. The OSE is the free independent scheme set up to investigate complaints from domestic consumers that the energy company cannot resolve. The OSE can require the company to correct the problem, apologise, explain what happened, and make a financial award. Its decisions are binding on the energy company, but not the consumer.

Questions 11-14
Complete the summary below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer.

Complaining about your Energy Supplier

It’s not common to have to complain about an energy supplier Before (11)………….. begins, contact the supplier and try to resolve the issue. The Citizens Advice Consumer Service can sometimes assist with this. Companies all have obligatory (12)……………… to deal with dissatisfied customers and should resolve the problem quickly. You can refer the problem to the OSE if you’re not satisfied after (13)………………… The OSE can direct the supplier to complete certain action and its orders are (14)……………for the company.

Section 2
Read the text below and answer questions 15-21.

Customer Service Advice

Everyone enjoys great customer service. whether you are in a shop or a restaurant. Good customer service creates repeat business, happier employees and better profitability.

A Welcome Customers Correctly
It’s usually fine to be less formal with younger people, but older customers often don’t appreciate being called ‘you guys’ or similar. Use your common sense and be polite. Remember, no one objects to being called ‘sir’ or ‘madam’?

B Use Positive Body Language
Customers don’t want their day affected by your bad day. Look as though you are happy that the customer has come into your shop or restaurant and look as though you want to serve him/her.

C Strategies For When Things Get Busy
There’s always a time when there are lots of people to deal with at the same time. Everyone expects at some time to be kept waiting, but if they see people trying to get them served, they’ll be happier. Here are some tips: speak to the waiting customers and tell them you’re trying to get to them. Try and get extra help to deal with the waiting customers. Don’t answer the phone when there are waiting customers. Don’t allow a talkative customer to take up too much of your time when others are waiting. Apologize for the wait when the customer is served.

D Stay Calm when Dealing with Angry Customers
Sometimes you will have to deal with someone, with a bad attitude. Stay calm don’t take anything to heart and be polite, no matter what the customer says. Sometimes the customer will be right, so listen carefully, be sympathetic and apologise with genuine feeling. Often this approach will calm the customer down. If you start to get abuse, just ask your manager to take over. If you can, take a short break afterwards and allow yourself to calm down – you’ll probably be angry inside.

E End the Experience Well
Before the customer leaves, make sure he/she has the correct change, check the goods when you’re packing them to make sure they have what they paid for and that everything is the right size and undamaged.

F Create a Professional Atmosphere
Dress smartly with ironed clothes, make sure your hair is tidy, be clean shaven (if you’re a man), have clean hands, eat or drink in your break room, never swear and don’t talk about customers in front of other customers.

Questions 15-21
There are six customer advice A-F. Which advice mentions the following information?

15. Don’t take a phone call in front of customers.
16. Smile when you see customers.
17. Never use bad language if customers might hear you.
18. Don’t take bad things personally when dealing with customers.
19. Don’t chat for too long with customers.
20. Greet people in an appropriate way.
21. Make sure customers don’t leave without the things they have paid for.




Read the text below and answer questions 22-27.

The Recruitment Process

1 Plan the Vacancy
The first stop in the recruitment process is to decide if your organisation needs a new employee. The need might come from someone leaving the company or increased business activity or scheduled expansion. If it’s decided a new employee is needed, a selection committee should be formed. This should be made up of three or four people, at least two of whom should be from the prospective employee’s future department, so that they will know about what the job will entail. The selection committee should create a job description for the vacancy. If the vacancy is for someone who has left, the previous job description would be a good starting point.

2 Advertising and Applications
The advertisement for the vacancy needs to be posted in appropriate places. A headhunter firm might be used if the vacancy warrants it. Applications will be received and should be reviewed by the selection committee. The committee should create a short list and contact unsuccessful applicants. A short email will suffice. Applicants on the short list should be contacted and invited to interview. Applicants will need to know when and where the interview will be and who it well be with. Some basic guidelines can often be appreciated.

3 Interviews and Assessment
The interviews should be conducted by the selection committee. They should have questions and/or tasks ready. Although questions will normally be related to the job description, the committee may want to include various questions that stretch and surprise the candidate to test his/her suitability. The selection committee will assess the interviewees and either choose a successful candidate or make a second short list for a second interview. The second interviews will usually be for a maximum of three candidates. Questions will normally relate to the issues that stopped an outright selection in the assessment stage. The selection committee will assess the second interviewees and choose a successful candidate and a back-up in case the job offer Is refused.

4 Check References and Offer Job
This is an essential part of the process to ensure that everything the successful candidate has said is true. When the selection committee is satisfied the job otter can be made.

Questions 22-27
Complete the flow chart below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

The recruitment process

• Plan the vacancy: A resignation, new business or planned (22)…………………..may create the need for a new worker. A selection committee (min 3 or 4) will create a (23)…………………maybe using the previous one as a basis.
• Advertising and applications: The vacancy will be advertised or a (24)………………may be consulted. Applications will be vetted. An interview shot list will be made and unsuccessful applicants can be contacted with an (25)……………….Interviewees will be contacted with some brief information.
• Interviews and assessment: The selection committee will conduct the interviews using questions that will test candidates’ (26)……………….The selection committee will choose the best candidate or will opt for a second interview with max 3 interviewees before choosing the best candidate and a (27)…………
• Check references and offer job: It is essential to check the candidate’s claims before a job offer is made.




Section 3

A History of the Watch

A The earliest dated evidence of a timepiece is a fragment of a Chinese sundial from circa 1500 BC. Which suggests there were rudimentary attempts to keep time during this period. Later wealth Romans were known to carry around pocket-sized sundials, though these cannot be regarded as predecessors of the modern watch. It would take developments in measuring hours without the sun such as water clocks, sand glasses, and candles uniformly burning away the hours to begin to measure time in the increments understood today. All of these ways for tracking time were utilized in the East, particularly in China during the Middle Ages. However, despite its more advanced culture, it appears that China had less use for the kind of accurate timekeeping that came to rule the West, because of their unique understanding of the Earth’s rhythm and their different relationship with nature.

B The first mechanical clock probably emerged out of monasteries, developed by monks as alarm mechanism to ring the bells according to the regular and regimented hours of their religious rhythms. Once the twenty-four equal-hour day was developed the chiming of the bells gradually fell In line with the clock. Early clocks both large tower as well as turret clocks and the smaller models that they were based on, were propelled by weight mechanisms. By the fifteenth century, however, the mainspring was developed, employing the stored power of a tightly coiled spring. This was soon followed by a device called the fusee which equalled the momentum of a spring as it uncoiled. Smaller versions of this mechanism led to the invention of the watch.

C Early watches were bulky and ornate, like the early spring-powered clocks, kept time with only an hour hand, though still rather inaccurately due to errors from friction. These early watches were made in many places around the world, but the earliest manufacturing dominance in the watch industry was by the British. The British factory systems emerging out of the industrial revolution and the development of the railroad combined to give birth to a strong and profitable business. The small scale manufacture of watches in the early 18th century was a dual system of production that combined craftspeople in the metalworking industry putting out product from their workshops to be acquired and assembled in factory systems. The strategy, however, proved to be short-lived in light of more integrated approaches to manufacturing. This, poor transportation and communication among participants in the British watch industry led to them losing their market dominance.

D The defining factor of the 20th century technological evolution in watchmaking was precision. Watches have always evolved with respect to trends in fashion, but the mechanics of the standard spring-powered device itself had undergone few in changes in 300 years, until the advent of electronics in the middle of the 20th century. Since precision in watchmaking was the driving force behind innovation, it is easy to understand how an accurate watch that could be made inexpensively would come to dominate the market. Gradually, improvements in battery technology, the miniaturisation of batteries, additional components combined with quartz technology and integrated circuit technology combined to produce the most accurate timepieces ever assembled.

E The Japanese correctly identified quartz analog as the future of watchmaking and were particularly adept at developing it. Building upon early knowledge gained in part from American industries, they developed large vertically integrated factories for their watchmaking companies. These firms quickly controlled their protected domestic market and build solid foundations in manufacturing based in Hong Kong that have helped them prosper until they dominated internationally. All the major watch producers utilized Hong Kong as a cheap source of labor for assembling products as well as purchasing components for watches, but the Japanese were the best at controlling their distribution channels.

F Watches are not limited to mere time keeping and the measurement of seconds, minutes and hours are potentially only one function of a watch. Anything else has come to be called ‘complications’ in watchmaking. As an example, perpetual calendars have been built into watches for more than two centuries. Such calendars have included everything from days and months to phases of the moon and adjustments for leap years. Modern technology, especially inexpensive batteries and microchips allow for such ‘minor’ complications in even cheaper watches. Meanwhile, time continues to be measured in increasingly precise manner, and so the evolution of the personal timepiece seems destined to continue into eternity.

Questions 28-33
The text has 6 paragraphs A-F. Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list below.

i The early watch manufacturing industry
ii Increased investments
iii Early methods of measuring time
iv 20th century innovations
v Watchmaking beyond time and technology
vi The first clocks
vii Industry competition
viii The new industry leader
ix From early watches to now

28. Paragraph A
29. Paragraph B
30. Paragraph C
31. Paragraph D
32. Paragraph E
33. Paragraph F

Questions 34-37
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage? 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

34. China in the Middle Ages did not share the West’s obsession with precise time.
35. Religious worship times probably led to the development of the first mechanical clock.
36. Friction was used in early watches to help with accuracy.
37. The early British watch industry exported their product around the world.

Questions 38-40
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-F below.

38. Poor transport and communication
39. Developments in battery technology and miniaturisation, along with other technological advances
40. Controlling distribution channels

A made one entrepreneur a millionaire
B led to the British watch industry losing their early dominance of the watch market
C allowed unprecedented economies of scale
D led to the most accurate timepieces being developed
E proved to be a competitive advantage of Japanese companies
F lest to a modern set of factories being built




1. B
2. C
3. E
4. A
5. C
6. D
7. E
8. F
9. D
10. A
11. (any) (formal) action
12. (complaints) procedures
13. 8 weeks
14. Binding
15. C
16. B
17. F
18. D
19. C
20. A
21. E
22. Expansion
23. (job) description
24. Headhunter (firm)
25. Email
26. Suitability
27. Back-up
28. iii
29. vi
30. i
31. iv
32. viii
33. v
34. True
35. True
36. False
37. NG
38. B
39. D
40. E


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