IELTS MASTER | ielts reading test 238

ielts reading test 238

The problem of climate change

A. The climate of the Earth is always changing. In the past it has altered as a result of nat­ural causes. Nowadays, however, the term ‘climate change’ is generally used when referring to changes in our climate which have been identified since the early part of the twentieth century. The changes we’ve seen over recent years and those which are predicted to occur over the next 100 years are thought by many to be largely a result of human behavior rather than due to natural changes in the atmosphere. And this is what is so significant about current climactic trends; never before has man played such a significant role in determining long-term weather patterns – we are entering the unknown and there is no precedent for what might happen next.

B The greenhouse effect is very important when we talk about climate change as it relates to the gases which keep the Earth warm. Although the greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon, it is believed that the effect could be intensified by human activity and the emission of gases into the atmosphere. It is the extra green­house gases which humans have released which are thought to pose the strongest threat. Certain researchers, such as Dr Michael Crawley, argue: ‘even though this nat­ural phenomenon does exist it is without a doubt human activity that has worsened its effect; this is evident when comparing data regarding the earth’s temperature in the last one hundred years with the one hundred years prior to that.’ Some scientists, however, dispute this as Dr Ray Ellis suggests: ‘human activity may be contributing a small amount to climate change but this increase in temperature is an unavoidable fact based on the research data we have compiled.

C Scientists around the globe are look­ing at all the evidence surrounding climate change and using advanced technology have come up with pre­dictions for our future environment and weather. The next stage of that work, which is just as important, is looking at the knock-on effects of potential changes. For example, are we likely to see an increase in precip­itation and sea levels? Does this mean there will be an increase in flooding and what can we do to protect ourselves from that? How will our health be affected by climate change, how will agricultural practices change and how will wildlife cope? What will the effects on coral be? Professor Max Leonard has suggested, ‘while it may be controversial some would argue that climate change could bring with it positive effects as well as negative ones’.

D There are many institutions around the world whose sole priority is to take action against these environmental problems. Green Peace is the organisation that is probably the most well-known. It is an international organisation that campaigns in favour of researching and promoting solutions to climate change, exposes the companies and governments that are blocking action, lobbies to change national and international policy, and bears witness to the impacts of unnecessary destruction and detrimental human activity.

E The problem of climate change is without a doubt something that this generation and the generations to come need to deal with. Fortunately, the use of renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular, which means that less energy is consumed as renewable energy is generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geo­thermal heat—which can be naturally replenished. Another way to help the environment, in terms of climate change, is by travelling light. Walking or riding a bike instead of driv­ing a car uses fewer fossil fuels which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addi­tion, using products that are made from recycled paper, glass, metal and plastic reduces carbon emissions because they use less energy to manufacture than products made from completely new materials. Recycling paper also saves trees and lets them continue to limit climate change naturally as they remain in the forest, where they remove carbon from the atmosphere. Professor Mark Halton, who has completed various studies in this field, has stated: ‘with all this information and the possible action that we can take, it isn’t too late to save our planet from over-heating and the even worse side-effects of our own activity.

Questions 1–5
Reading Passage 1 has 5 paragraphs, A – E. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter A – E in the boxes below. NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. A natural phenomenon that could also affect climate change.
2. Steps we can take to help reverse the situation.
3. An explanation of what climate change is.
4. Organisations that want to help.
5. Possible effects of climate change.

Questions 6-9
Look at the following people (Questions 6 -9) and the list of statements below. Match each person with the correct statement, A – F.

6. Professor Max Leonard
7. Dr Michael Crawley
8. Professor Mark Halton
9. Dr Ray Ellis

A We have the ability to change the situation
B Climate Change is Inevitable
C Humans have made the situation much worse
D Climate Change might not be all bad
E Human activity and natural weather phenomena
F While we may not be too late to save our planet, there are bound to be some extreme side-effects of past human activity one way or the other

Questions 10-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In spaces 10-13 below, write

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

10. Man is not entirely responsible for global warming.
11. Scientists have come up with new evidence about the negative effects of carbon-free sources of energy such as nuclear power
12. One of the purposes of Green Peace is to find out which companies and governments are doing things which don’t help the actions of environmentalists.
13. Most people aren’t willing to start using renewable energy.


Most countries’ education systems have had what you might call educational disasters, but, sadly, in many areas of certain countries these ‘disasters’ are still evident today. The English education system is unique due to the fact that there are still dozens of schools which are known as private schools and they perpetuate privilege and social division. Most countries have some private schools for the children of the wealthy; England is able to more than triple the average number globally. England has around 3,000 private schools and just under half a million children are educated at them whilst some nine million children are educated at state schools. The over­whelming majority of students at private schools also come from middle-class families.

The result of this system is evident and it has much English history embedded within it. The facts seem to speak for themselves. In the private system almost half the students go on to University, whilst in the state sys­tem only about eight per cent make it to further educa­tion. However, statistics such as these can be deceptive due to the fact that middle-class children do better at examinations than working class ones, and most of them stay on at school after 16. Private schools therefore have the advantage over state schools as they are entirely ‘middle class’, and this creates an environment of success where students work harder and apply them­selves more diligently to their school work.

Private schools are extortionately expensive, being as much as £18,000 a year at somewhere such as Harrow or Eton, where Princes William and Harry attended, and at least £8,000 a year almost everywhere else. There are many parents who are not wealthy or even comfortably off but are willing to sacrifice a great deal in the cause of their children’s schooling. It baffles many people as to why they need to spend such vast amounts when there are perfectly acceptable state schools that don’t cost a penny. One father gave his reasoning for sending his son to a private school, ‘If my son gets a five-percent-better chance of going to University then that may be the dif­ference between success and failure.” It would seem to the average person that a £50,000 minimum total cost of second level educa­tion is a lot to pay for a five-percent-better chance. Most children, given the choice, would take the money and spend it on more enjoyable things rather than shelling it out on a school that is too posh for its own good

However, some say that the real reason that parents fork out the cash is prejudice: they don’t want their little kids mixing with the “workers”, or picking up an undesirable accent. In addition to this, it wouldn’t do if at the next din­ner party all the guests were boasting about sending their kids to the same place where the son of the third cousin of Prince Charles is going, and you say your kid is going to the state school down the road, even if you could pocket the money for yourself instead, and, as a result, be able to serve the best Champagne with the smoked salmon and duck.

It is a fact, however, that at many of the best private schools, your money buys you something. One school, with 500 pupils, has 11 science laboratories; another school with 800 pupils, has 30 music practice rooms; another has 16 squash courts, and yet another has its own beach. Private schools spend £300 per pupil a year on invest­ment in buildings and facilities; the state system spends less than £50. On books, the ratio is 3 to 1.

One of the things that your money buys which is difficult to quantify is the appearance of the school, the way it looks. Most private schools that you will find are set in beautiful, well-kept country houses, with extensive grounds and gardens. In comparison with the state schools, they tend to look like castles, with the worst of the state schools looking like public lavatories, perhaps even tiled or covered in graffiti. Many may even have an architectural design that is just about on the level of an industrial shed.

Questions 14–20
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

14. The English educational system differs from the other ones because
A it tries to make state and private equal.
B more students are educated at private schools than state schools
C it contributes to creating a class system within society.
D it is more expensive to run

15. There are more private school children who go to university because
A the lessons and teachers at the private schools are much better.
B their parents often send their children to private schools
C they have more teaching hours
D the school create a successful environment.

16. A lot of parents often send their children to private schools
A because they are not well-informed.
B to show how much money they have to their friends
C to increase their chances of succeeding in the university exams.
D because of the better sports facilities.

17. It is suggested that some parents of children at private schools are
A prejudiced and superficial.
B more intelligent that those with children at state schools.
C well-brought-up and cultivated.
D overly protective.

18. Private schools
A always have their own beaches.
B teach sports that state schools do not.
C spend more money per student than state schools.
D spend more money on hiring good teachers.

19. writer thinks that private-school buildings
A are very attractive and luxurious.
B generally do not look very nice.
C are too big for the amount of students who attend the school.
D are not built to suit student’s needs

20. In general, what do you think the writer’s opinion of private schools is?
A It isn’t fair that those without money can’t attend them.
B They divide social classes but they offer better facilities and a more creative environment.
C There is little difference between private and state schools.
D They have the best teachers.

Questions 21–26
Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

The fact that there are so many private schools in England, in comparison to other countries, makes the English educational system (21) ……………… Most students in these schools are from (22) …………….. families. These students seem to do better at exams although statistics can be (23) ……………… One of the advantages of private schools is that they seem to provide students with a better, more positive environment that encourages them to (24) ……………… themselves to their school work with more enthusiasm. A lot of not very well-off parents make huge sacrifices for their children’s (25) …………………. to help them go to respectable universities. Unfortunately, many state school buildings sometimes have the appearance of an industrial (26) ……………………

Martin Luther King

A Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. He had an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother Alfred Daniel Williams King. Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School. He skipped ninth and twelfth grade, and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen without formally graduating from high school. From the time that Martin was born, he knew that black people and white people had different rights in certain parts of America. If a black family wanted to eat at a restaurant, they had to sit in a separate section of the restaurant. They had to sit at the back of the cinema, and even use separate toilets. Worse, and perhaps even more humiliating still, in many southern states, if a black man was on a bus and all the seats were taken, he would have to endure the indignity of relinquishing his own seat to a white man. King could never understand the terrible injustice of this.

In 1948, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. Later, King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955. King married Coretta Scott, on June 18, 1953 and they had four children.

B Returning to the South to become pastor of a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, King first achieved national renown when he helped mobilise the black boycott of the Montgomery bus system in 1955. This was organised after Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man – in the segregated south, black people could only sit at the back of the bus. The 382-day boycott led the bus company to change its regulations, and the Supreme Court declared such segrega­tion unconstitutional.

C In 1957 King was active in the organisation of the Southern Leadership Christian Conference (SCLC), formed to co-ordinate protests against discrimination. He advocated non-violent direct action based on the methods of Gandhi, who led protests against British rule in India culminating in India’s independence in 1947. In 1963, King led mass protests against dis­criminatory practices in Birmingham, Alabama, where the white population were violently resisting desegregation. The city was dubbed ‘Bombingham’ as attacks against civil rights protesters increased, and King was arrested and jailed for his part in the protests.

D After his release, King participated in the enormous civil rights march, in Washington, in August 1963, and delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, predicting a day when the promise of freedom and equality for all would become a reality in America. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1965, he led a campaign to register blacks to vote. The same year the US Congress passed the Voting Rights Act out­lawing the discriminatory practices that had barred blacks from voting in the south.

E As the civil rights movement became increasingly radicalised, King found that his message of peaceful protest was not shared by many in the younger generation. King began to protest against the Vietnam War and poverty levels in the US. On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treat­ment. In one incident, black street repair­men had received pay for two hours when they were sent home because of bad weath­er, but white employees had been paid for the full day. King could not bear to stand by and let such patent acts of racism go unno­ticed. He moved to unite his people, and all the peoples of America on the receiving end of discriminatory practices, to protest for their rights, peacefully but steadfastly.

F On his trip to Memphis, King was booked into room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey. King was shot at 6:01 p.m. April 4, 1968 while he was standing on the motel’s second-floor balcony. King was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where doc­tors opened his chest and performed manu­al heart massage. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. King’s autopsy revealed that although he was only 39 years old, he had the heart of a 60-year-old man.

Questions 27-31
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

27. From a young age Martin Luther King
A wanted to protest for the rights of black people.
B could not understand why black people were treated differently.
C was not allowed to go to the cinema or to restaurants.
D was aware that black people were being humiliated in many northern states.

28. What initially made Martin Luther King famous?
A the black boycott of the Montgomery bus system
B becoming a pastor at a Baptist Church
C when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus
D when he persuaded Rosa Parks not to give up her bus seat to a white man

29. What influenced Martin Luther King regarding non-violence?
A India’s independence in 1947
B Christianity
C the Southern Leadership Christian Conference
D the methods of Gandhi

30. What did Martin Luther King fight for in 1965?
A the right of black people to vote
B the actions of the US Congress
C the right to win the Nobel Peace Prize
D the right of black people to travel abroad

31. How did Martin Luther King feel about the civil rights movement?
A It was helping the war in Vietnam.
B It brought the younger generation together.
C It had been exploited by politicians who wanted to get more votes.
D The protesters sometimes behaved too violently.

Questions 32-34
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In spaces 32 – 34 below, write

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

32. The black boycott of the Montgomery bus system was a success.
33. In 1963 the white people in Alabama wanted desegregation.
34. Martin Luther King achieved a lot in his protest against the Vietnam War.

Questions 35-40
Reading Passage 3 has 6 paragraphs. Choose the correct heading for each paragraph A – F, from the list of headings. Write the correct number, i – viii, in spaces 35 – 40 below.

List of Headings
i the memorable speech
ii Unhappy about violence
iii A tragic incident
iv Protests and action
v The background of an iconic man
vi Making his mark internationally
vii Difficult childhood
viii Black street repairmen

35. Paragraph A
36. Paragraph B
37. Paragraph C
38. Paragraph D
39. Paragraph E
40. Paragraph F

1. B
2. E
3. A
4. D
5. C
6. D
7. C
8. A
9. B
10. Yes
11. Not given
12. Yes
13. No
14. C
15. D
16. C
17. A
18. C
19. A
20. B
21. Unique
22. Middle-class
23. Deceptive
24. Apply
25. Schooling
26. Shed
27. B
28. A
29. D
30. A
31. D
32. Yes
33. No
34. Not given
35. v
36. iv
37. ii
38. i
39. vi
40. iii

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