IELTS MASTER | ielts reading test 246

ielts reading test 246

Paul Nash

A Paul Nash, the elder son of William Nash and his first wife, Caroline Jackson, was born in London on 11th May 1889. His father was a successful lawyer who became the Recorder of Abingdon. According to Ronald Blythe: “In 1901 the family returned to its native Buckinghamshire, where the garden of Wood Lane House at Iver Heath, and the countryside of the Chiltern Hills, with its sculptural beeches and chalky contours, were early influences on the development of the three children. Their lives were overshadowed by their mother’s mental illness and Nash himself was greatly helped by his nurse who, with some elderly neighbors, introduced him to the universe of plants.”

B Nash was educated at St. Paul’s School and the Slade School of Art, where he met Dora Carrington. Unlike some of his contemporaries at the Slade School, Nash remained untouched by the two post-impressionist exhibitions organized by Roger Fry in 1910 and 1912. Instead, he was influenced by the work of William Blake. He also became a close friend of Gordon Bottomley, who took a keen interest in his career.

C Nash had his first one-man show, of ink and wash drawings, at the Carfax Gallery in 1912. The following year he shared an exhibition at the Dorian Leigh Gallery with his brother, John Nash. Myfanwy Piper has added: “Nash had a noteworthy sense of order and of the niceties of presentation; his pictures were beautifully framed, drawings mounted, his studio precisely and decoratively tidy, and oddments which he collected were worked up into compositions.”

D Paul Nash was strongly attracted to Dora Carrington: He later recalled: “Carrington… was the dominating personality, I got an introduction to her and eventually won her regard by lending her my braces for a fancy-dress party. We were on the top of a bus and she wanted them then and there.”

E On the outbreak Nash considered the possibility of joining the British Army. He told a friend: “I am not keen to rush off and be a soldier. The whole damnable war is too horrible of course and I am all against killing anybody, speaking off-hand, but besides all that I believe both Jack and I might be more useful as ambulance and red cross men, and to that end we are training. Nash enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles. He told Gordon Bottomley: “I have joined the Artists’ London Regiment of Territorials, the old Corps which started with Rossetti, Leighton, and Millais as members in 1860. Every man must do his bit in this horrible business so I have given up painting. There are many nice creatures in my company and I enjoy the burst of exercise – marching, drilling all day in the open air about the pleasant parts of Regents Park and Hampstead Heath.”

F In March 1917 he was sent to the Western Front Nash, who took part in the offensive at Ypres, had reached the rank of lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment by 1916. Whenever possible, Nash made sketches of life in the trenches. In May 1917 he was invalided home after a non-military accident. While recuperating in London, Nash worked from his sketches to produce a series of war paintings. This work was well-received when exhibited later that year. As a result of this exhibition, Charles Masterman, head of the government’s War Propaganda Bureau (WPB), and the advice of Edward Marsh and William Rothenstein, it was decided to recruit Nash as a war artist. In November 1917 in the immediate aftermath of the battle of Passchendaele Nash returned to France.

G Nash was unhappy with his work as a member of the War Propaganda Bureau. He wrote at the time: “I am no longer an artist. I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting to those who want the war to go on forever. Feeble, inarticulate will be my message, but it will have a bitter truth and may burn their lousy souls.” However, as Myfanwy Piper has pointed out: “The drawings he made then, of shorn trees in ruined and flooded landscapes, were the works that made Nash’s reputation. They were shown at the Leicester Galleries in 1918 together with his first efforts at oil painting, in which he was self-taught and quickly successful, though his drawings made in the field had a more immediate public impact.

H In 1919 Nash moved to Dymchurch in Kent, beginning his well-known series of pictures of the sea, the breakwaters, and the long wall that prevents the sea from flooding Romney Marsh. This included the Winter Sea and Dymchurch Steps. Nash also painted the landscapes of the Chiltern Hills. In 1924 and 1928 he had successful exhibitions at the Leicester Galleries. Despite this popular acclaim in 1929, his work became more abstract. In 1933 Nash founded Unit One, the group of experimental painters, sculptors, and architects.

I During the Second World War Nash was employed by the Ministry of Information and the Air Ministry and paintings produced by him during this period include the Battle of Britain and Totes Meer. His biographer, Myfanwy Piper, has argued: “This war disturbed Nash but did not change his art as the last one had. His style and his habits were formed, and in the new war, he treated his new subjects as he had treated those he had been thinking about for so long. His late paintings, both oils, and watercolors are alternately brilliant and somber in color with the light of setting suns and rising moons spreading over wooded and hilly landscapes. “Paul Nash died at 35 Boscombe Spa Road, Bournemouth, on 11th July 1946.

Questions 1-4
Choose the correct letter, A-G? Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet. What four statements are correct concerning Nash’s story?

A He did not make an effort after becoming a high ranking official in the army
B He had a dream since his childhood
C He once temporarily ceased his painting career for some reason
D He was not affected by certain shows attractive to his other peers
E He had cooperation in art with his relative
F Some of his paintings were presented in a chaotic way
G His achievement after being enlisted in the army did not gather as much attention as his previous works

Questions 5-10
The reading Passage has eleven paragraphs A-I. Write the correct letter A-I, in boxes 5-10 on your answer sheet. Which paragraph contains the following information? NB You may use any letter more than once.

5. a charming lady in Nash’s eyes
6. Nash’s passion for following particularly appreciated artists
7. Nash’s works with contrast elements
8. the true cause for Nash to join the military service
9. the noticeable impact on Nash’s growth exerted from the rearing environment
10. high praise for Nash’s unique taste of presenting his works

Questions 11-13
Answer the questions below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

11. Because of a popular display of Nash’s works created in the army, what did his leader designate him as?
12. How did Nash learn oil painting?
13. What change took place for Nash’s painting style in the late second decade of the twentieth century?

Tool for ancient writing

A With time, the record-keepers developed systematized symbols from their drawings. These symbols represented words and sentences but were easier and faster to draw and universally recognized for meaning. The discovery of clay made portable records possible (you can’t carry a cave wall around with you). Early merchants used clay tokens with pictographs to record the quantities of materials traded or shipped. These tokens date back to about 8,500 B.C. With the high volume and the repetition inherent in record keeping, pictographs evolved and slowly lost their picture detail. They became abstract figures representing sounds in spoken communication. The alphabet replaced pictographs between 1700 and 1500 B.C. in the Sinaitic world. The current Hebrew alphabet and writing became popular around 600 B.C. About 400 B.C. the Greek alphabet was developed. Greek was the first script written from left to right. From Greek followed the Byzantine and the Roman (later Latin) writings. In the beginning, all writing systems had only uppercase letters, when the writing instruments were refined enough for detailed faces, lowercase was used as well (around 600 A.D.)

B The earliest means of writing that approached pen and paper as we know them today was developed by the Greeks. They employed a writing stylus, made of metal, bone, or ivory, to placemarks upon wax-coated tablets. The tablets are made in hinged pairs, closed to protect the scribe’s notes. The first examples of handwriting (purely text messages made by hand) originated in Greece. The Grecian scholar, Cadmus invented the written letter – text messages on paper sent from one individual to another.

C Writing was advancing beyond chiselling pictures into stone or wedging pictographs into wet clay. The Chinese invented and perfected ‘Indian Ink’. Originally designed for blacking the surfaces of raised stone-carved hieroglyphics, the ink was a mixture of soot from pine smoke and lamp oil mixed with the gelatin of donkey skin and musk. The ink invented by the Chinese philosopher, Tien-Lcheu (2697 B.C.), became common by the year 1200 B.C. Other cultures developed inks using natural dyes and colours derived from berries, plants, and minerals. In early writings, different coloured inks had ritual meanings attached to each colour.

D The invention of inks paralleled the introduction of the paper. The early Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews, used papyrus and parchment papers. One of the oldest pieces of writing on papyrus known to us today is the Egyptian “Prisse Papyrus” which dates back to 2000 B.C. The Romans created a reed-pen perfect for parchment and ink, from the hollow tubular stems of marsh grasses, especially from the jointed bamboo plant. They converted bamboo stems into a primitive form of a fountain pen. They cut one end into the form of a pen nib or point. A writing fluid or ink filled the stem, squeezing the reed forced fluid to the nib

E By 400 A.D. a stable form of ink developed, a composite of iron salts, nutgalls, and gum, the basic formula, which was to remain in use for centuries. Its colour when first applied to paper was a bluish-black, rapidly turning into a darker black and then over the years fading to the familiar dull brown colour commonly seen in old documents. Wood-fiber paper was invented in China in 105 A.D. but it only became known about (due to Chinese secrecy) in Japan around 700 A.D. and was brought to Spain by the Arabs in 711 A.D. Paper was not widely used throughout Europe until paper mills were built in the late 14th century

F The writing instrument that dominated for the longest period in history (over one thousand years) was the quill pen. Introduced around 700 A.D., the quill is a pen made from a bird feather. The strongest quills were those taken from living birds in the spring from the five outer left wing feathers. The left wing was favoured because the feathers curved outward and away when used by a right-handed writer. Goose feathers were most common; swan feathers were of a premium grade being scarcer and more expensive. For making fine lines, crow feathers were the best, and then came the feathers of the eagle, owl, hawk, and turkey.

G There were also disadvantages associated with the use of quill pens, including a lengthy preparation time. The early European writing parchments made from animal skins required much scraping and cleaning. A lead and a ruler made margins. To sharpen the quill, the writer needed a special knife (origins of the term “pen-knife”.) Beneath the writer’s high-top desk was a coal stove, used to dry the ink as fast as possible.

H Plant-fiber paper became the primary medium for writing after another dramatic invention took place: Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with replaceable wooden or metal letters in 1436. Simpler kinds of printing e.g. stamps with names used much earlier in China, did not find their way to Europe. During the centuries, many newer printing technologies were developed based on Gutenberg’s printing machine e.g. offset printing.

I Articles written by hand had resembled printed letters until scholars began to change the form of writing, using capitals and small letters, writing with more of a slant and connecting letters. Gradually writing became more suitable to the speed the new writing instruments permitted. The credit of inventing Italian ‘running hand’ or cursive handwriting with its Roman capitals and small letters, goes to Aldus Manutius of Venice, who departed from the old set forms in 1495 A.D. By the end of the 16th century, the old Roman capitals and Greek letterforms transformed into the twenty-six alphabet letters we know today, both for upper and lower-case letters. When writers had both better inks and paper, and handwriting had developed into both an art form and an everyday occurrence, man’s inventive nature once again turned to improving the writing instrument, leading to the development of the modern fountain pens.

Questions 14-15
What two features do record retention possess in nature?

A Easier and faster
B Capaciousness
C Portable
D Convenient
E Iterance

Question 16
16. What hurts the technique of producing wooden paper from popularity for a long time?

A Scarcity
B Complexity
C Confidentiality by the inventors
D High cost

Questions 17-23
The reading Passage has eleven paragraphs A-I. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter A-I, in boxes 17-23 on your answer sheet. NB You may use any letter more than once.

17. the working principle of the primitive pens made of plant stems
18. a writing tool commonly implemented for the longest time
19. liquid for writing firstly devised by Chinese
20. majuscule scripts as the unique written form originally
21. the original invention of today’s correspondences
22. the mention of two basic writing instruments being invented coordinately
23. a design to safeguard the written content

Questions 24-26
Answer the questions below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

24. What makes it not so convenient to use the quill pens?
25. When did one more breakthrough occur following the popularity of paper of plant fibres?
26. What inventions were the results of human’s creative instinct of developing writing tools?

The Bite That Heat

A Michael decided to go for a swim. He was on vacation with his family in Guerrero, Mexico, and it was hotter than blazes. He grabbed his swimming trunks from where they’d been drying on a chair, slid them on, and jumped into the pool. Instead of cool relief, a burning pain ripped through the back of his thigh. Tearing off his trunks, he leaped naked from the pool, his leg on fire. Behind him a small, ugly, yellow creature was treading water. He scooped it into a Tupperware container, and the caretaker of the house rushed him to the local Red Cross facility, where doctors immediately identified his attacker: a bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, one of the most venomous species in North America. The fierce pain from a sting is typically followed by what feels like electric shocks racking the body. Occasionally victims die.

B Luckily for Michael (who asked me not to give his Ml name), the bark scorpion is common in the area, and antivenom was readily available. He had an injection and was released a few hours later. In about 30 hours the pain was gone. What happened next could not have been predicted. For eight years Michael had endured a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic autoimmune disease of the skeleton, a sort of spinal arthritis. No one knows what triggers it. In the worst cases the spine may fuse, leaving the patient forever stooped and in anguish. “My back hurt every morning, and during bad flare-ups it was so horrible I couldn’t even walk,” he says.

C But days after the the scorpion sting, the pain went away, and now, two years later, he remains essentially pain free and off most of his medications. As a doctor himself, Michael is cautious about overstating the role of the scorpion’s venom in his remission. Still, he says, “if my pain came back, I’d let that scorpion sting me again.” Venom-the stuff that drips from the fangs and stingers of creatures lurking on the hiking trail or hiding in the cellar or under the woodpile—is nature’s most efficient killer. Venom is exquisitely honed to stop a body in its tracks. The complex soup swirls with toxic proteins and peptides——short strings of amino acids similar to proteins. The molecules may have different targets and effects, but they work synergistically for the mightiest punch. Some go for the nervous system, paralyzing by blocking messages between nerves and muscle. Some eat away at molecules so that cells and tissues collapse. Venom can kill by clotting blood and stopping the heart or by preventing clotting and triggering a killer bleed.

D All venom is multifaceted and multitasking. (The difference between venom and poison is that venom is injected, or dibbled, into victims by way of specialized body parts, and poison is ingested.) Dozens, even hundreds, of toxins can be delivered in a single bite, some with redundant jobs and others with unique ones. In the evolutionary arms race between predator and prey, weapons and defenses are constantly tweaked. Drastically potent concoctions can result: Imagine administering poison to an adversary, then jabbing him with a knife, then finishing him off with a bullet to the head. That’s venom at work.

E Ironically, the properties that make venom deadly are also what make it so valuable for medicine. Many venom toxins target the same molecules that need to be controlled to treat diseases. Venom works fast and is highly specific. Its active components—those peptides and proteins, working as toxins diabetes have been derived from venom. New treatments for autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pain could be available within a decade.

F “We aren’t talking just a few novel drugs but entire classes of drugs,” says National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer Zoltan Takacs, a toxinologist and herpetologist. So far, fewer than a thousand toxins have been scrutinized for medicinal value, and a dozen or so major drugs have made it to market. “There could be upwards of 20 million venom toxins out there waiting to be screened,” Takacs says. “It’s huge. Venom has opened up whole new avenues of pharmacology.” Toxins from venom and poison sources are also giving us a clearer picture of how proteins that control many of the body’s crucial cellular functions work. Studies of the deadly poison tetrodotoxin (TTX) from puffer fish, for instance, have revealed intricate details about the way nerve cells communicate.

G “We ’re motivated to look for new compounds to lessen human suffering,” Angel Yanagihara of the University of Hawaii told me. “But while doing that, you may uncover things you don’t expect.” Driven in part out of revenge for a box jellyfish sting she endured 15 years ago, Yanagihara discovered a potential wound-healing agent within the tubules that contain jellyfish venom. “It had nothing to do with the venom itself,” she said. “By getting intimate with a noxious animal, I’ve been informed way beyond my expectations.”

H More than 100,000 animals have evolved to produce venom, along with the glands to house it and the apparatuses to expel it: snakes, scorpions, spiders, a few lizards, bees, sea creatures such as octopuses, numerous species of fish, and cone snails. The male duck-billed platypus, which carries venom inside ankle spurs, is one of the few venomous mammals. Venom and its components emerged independently, again and again, in different animal groups. The composition of the venom of a single snake species varies from place to place and between adults and their young. An individual snake’s venom may even change with its diet.

I Although evolution has been fine-tuning these compounds for more than a hundred million years, venom’s molecular architecture has been in place much longer. Nature repurposes key molecules from around the body—the blood, brain, digestive tract, and elsewhere—to serve animals for predation or protection. “It makes sense for nature to steal the scaffolds already in place,” Takacs says. “To make a toxin to wreck the nervous system, it’s most efficient to take a template from the brain that already works in that system, make some tiny changes, and there you have it: Now it’s a toxin.” Not all venom kills, of course—bees have it as a nonlethal defense, and the male platypus uses it to show rival males who’s boss during mating season. But mostly it’s for killing, or at least immobilizing, an animal’s next meal. Humans are often accidental victims. The World Health Organization estimates that every year some five million bites kill 100,000 people, although the actual number is presumed to be much higher. In rural areas of developing countries, where most bites occur, victims may not be able to get treatment or may instead choose traditional therapies and are therefore not counted.

Questions 27-35
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage? In boxes 27-35 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

27. Michael was unluckily hit by electric shocks and nearly lost his life during his vacation.
28. The disease Michael had suffered from for eight years was caused by an accident
29. Michael is grateful for the bark scorpion bite because it helped him recover from the ankylosing spondylitis.
30. No venom is just responsible for one job.
31. There is no difference between venom and poison.
32. Venom can kill while it can also be used as medicine to save.
33. New treatments for cancer are now available in the market.
34. So far 20 million venom toxins have been checked for medical use.
35. The majority of mammals carry venom inside their bodies.

Questions 36-40
Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

36. The way how venom works can be utilised to create………..
37. A venom source such as has helped to present complex facts about how nerve cells convey information to each other………
38. Tens of thousands of animals have developed and which are respectively responsible for storing and letting out venom………….
39. The makeup of venom of a snake may change with places, ages and ……………
40. Some animal uses venom to warn of its exclusive power during the mating season…………….

1. A, C, D, E
2. A, C, D, E
3. A, C, D, E
4. A, C, D, E
5. D
6. B
7. I
8. E
9. A
10. C
11. A war artist
12. Self-taught
13. More abstract
14. B, E
15. B, E
16. C
17. D
18. F
19. C
20. A
21. B
22. D
23. B
24. Lengthy preparation time
25. In 1436
26. Modern fountain pens
27. False
28. Not given
29. True
30. True
31. False
32. True
33. False
34. False
35. False
36. Medicines
37. Puffer fish
38. Glands, apparatuses
39. Diet
40. Rival males