IELTS MASTER | Test1 Reading


Multiple choice, choose single Answer

A Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.

“Rightly is they called pigs,” said Rowley, a farm laborer looking at the wallowing animals before passing on to the cow sheds, in Aldous Huxley’s novel Chrome Yellow. Those who heard his words commented on his wisdom.

This raises all sorts of questions about language and how we perceive the world, questions that range from the philosophical to the politically correct (PC) use of language and the question of causing offence - for example, calling someone a pig.

Those who believed in being PC tried to adjust language to take into account people’s sensitivities in the areas of race, sexuality and disability, and a theologian has recently written that we should do the same for the animal kingdom. To call them “wild” or “beasts” is, he says, “derogatory and offensive”. I’m all in favor of animal welfare, but, in arguing his case, he says that language is the means by which we understand and conceptualize the world around us.

But is it? Isn’t it the other way round? To put it another, very simple, way: do you believe that the language you use has made you think of the world in a certain way, or that you have an idea of the world as it is and your place in it, and you use language to understand and describe it?

Is Rowley’s wisdom based on his many years working with farm animals, and what he has seen is just pigs being pigs and there’s nothing more to be said? Or has he decided that the name “pig” suits these creatures because they behave piggishly? If we cleaned them up, taught them table manners and made them wear a tie, would we have to call them something else?

What is the main reason for the writer mentioning Rowley?


Answer: 2

B Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.

These days you can fit hundreds of books into one e-book reader or smartphone, and this has led publishers, writers and readers alike to ask whether this means the death of the printed book and a drastic change in how we read. Or, as some hope and believe, will the electronic book format simply complement traditional book publishing? The fact that a book can be downloaded from almost anywhere in the world has blurred the lines between author, reader, format and distribution, and this has caused some head-scratching at some of the world’s biggest publishing companies. Such companies must adapt, and quickly, to the new market; but many are nervous of the risks and often shareholders are not willing to break new ground.

For many writers, however, e-publishing provides new freedoms and opportunities. Many e-books are published by writers who do not have a readership through mainstream publishers, and this allows them to deal with material that mainstream publishers would consider too controversial or otherwise unmarketable.

The market is very much driven by the consumer, and publishing companies are going to have to deal with this new situation sooner or later. It is quite a complicated situation, but it doesn’t have to be either/or. The book as we know it has been around for about S00 years and, once things settle down, there is no reason why the e-book and the traditional printed book should not exist happily side by side.

Which of the following statements is true according to the text?


Answer: 1

Multiple choice, choose multiple Answer

A Read the text and Answer the question by selecting all the correct responses.More than one response is correct..

The flaneur is almost extinct now. It is not just that men - and they usually were men - no longer have the time or the inclination to idly stroll the city streets, taking in the sights and sounds at a leisurely pace while the crowd hurries to and fro about its business. Cities have changed their nature too and, for the most part, people today walk as little as possible.

Baudelaire, the 19th century French poet, was probably the first to describe the flaneur in his essay The Painter of Modem Life, and he himself would often saunter and loiter in the arcades of Paris absorbing the frantic bustle going on around him. The flaneur is the detached, ironic observer in the midst of the crowd, rambling through the city seeing where the streets take him. There is no specific aim in mind; it is not like the evening promenade that still occurs in many Mediterranean towns, where the purpose is to see and be seen. Besides, promenaders usually amble arm in arm with a chaperone. The flaneur is a solitary walker.

As mentioned above, cities have changed and are far less congenial for walking nowadays. Baudelaire’s Paris of arcades and narrow, crooked streets disappeared with Baron Haussmann’s wholesale redevelopment of the city. These days, despite the provision of public spaces such as parks, city dwellers would rather go to the countryside, and hike up and down hills and valleys where the air is fresh and there are no crowds.

Which of the following words have the same meaning in the passage as “walk”?


Answer: 2, 3, 5, 6

B Read the text and answer the question by selecting all the correct responses. More than one response is correct.

What do we mean by the term “intellectual”, and what is a “public intellectual”? It is an odd fact of English culture that it is largely a term of abuse and, when asked to name one, we almost always turn to the continent, particularly France. A typical intellectual in France, we think, will hold down a job as a professor - preferably of philosophy - have a column in a mass circulation daily newspaper, be involved in politics and appear on the cover of Vogue.

Our aversion to intellectuals, or to the term, may go back to when we were at school where nobody likes a “swot”. In fact, almost any kind of braininess is disparaged: scientists are mad-haired “boffins”, tech-savvy kids are “nerds”, and people can be “too clever by half”. Indeed, we would claim that we are naturally practical thinkers and too full of common sense to produce such highbrows - a situation not helped by many of the people who we consider to be intellectuals denying the fact.

One problem is that of definition: what qualifications are required and what sort of activities does someone have to engage in before they can be called an intellectual? One possible definition is that public intellectuals should be independent of those in power and critical of received ideas. Furthermore, he or she must be someone who raises embarrassing questions in public, contests dogma, and who cannot be persuaded to join governments or corporations.

Let’s take a thinker from last century whose theories still have an impact today and see if the definition fits: John Maynard Keynes was an economist who worked for the Treasury and wrote influential books on monetary policy, an art collector, and a member of the Bloomsbury group of writers, artists and intellectuals. Perhaps we need to adjust our definition slightly!

According to the text, which of the following are true of English attitudes towards intellectuals?


Answer: 3, 4

Re-order Paragraphs

A The paragraphs have been placed in a random order. Restore the original order.

Jumbled paragraphs Correct paragraph order (1-4)
A The construction of new houses came to a standstill during the war, and this, together with growing demand, led to an estimated shortage of close to a million houses when the war was over.
B In the absence of housing regulations, including the availability of loans to the less well-off, poor-quality housing was built by private enterprise to meet the growing demand at rents that people could afford.
C Before the First World War, most housing in Britain was provided on a rental basis as the cost of housing was beyond the means of the average family and mortgages were hard to come by.
D This created a dilemma, since wartime inflation had pushed up wages and the cost of building materials with the result that private enterprise was no longer able to provide the houses needed at rents which people could afford.


Answer: 1-c, 2-b, 3-a, 4-d

B The paragraphs have been placed in a random order. Restore the original order.

Jumbled paragraphs Correct paragraph order (1-4)
A Others, however, believe that the fossil evidence suggests that, at various stages in the history of life, evolution progressed rapidly, in spurts, and that major changes occurred at these points.
B An evolving group may have reached a stage at which it had an advantage over other groups and was able to exploit new niches in nature. Climate change may also have produced a "spurt”, as might the extinction of other groups or species, leaving many niches vacant.
C Today, many years later, many believe that evolution has progressed at the same steady rate and that the absence of transitional forms can be explained by Darwin’s argument that there are huge gaps in the fossil record and that transition usually occurred in one restricted locality.
D Paleontologists still argue about the origins of major groups, though new fossil finds since Darwin’s time have cleared up many of the disparities in the fossil record. Even during Darwin’s lifetime, some transitional forms were found.


Answer: 1-d, 2-c, 3-a, 4-b

Fill In The Blanks

A In the text below some words are missing. Choose the correct word to fill each blank from the box below. There are more words than you need to complete the exercise.

This exciting new M.A. in Creative Writing is designed for graduates who wish to examine and expandtheir work.

This exciting new M.A. in Creative Writing is designed for graduates who wish to examine and expand their work. Through workshops, seminars, and
(1) tutorials, students will discover new writing strategies and refine their writing. The course (2) students the practical expertise needed for researching and structuring texts, and (3) traditions and genres, as well as the critical and creative proficiencies (4) to develop a career in creative writing or in a related (5) .

Single     |   Understanding     |   Field     |   Individual     |   Offers     |   Necessary     |   Wanted


Answer: 1-individual, 2-offers, 3-understanding, 4-necessary, 5-field

B In the text below some words are missing. Choose the correct word to fill each blank from the box below. There are more words than you need to complete the exercise.

As we know from tsunamis, when water is moving at 50 or 60 kilometers an hour it becomes deadly. Even if a wave only (1) up to the knees, the
(2) can knock a person down. Water flows around some obstacles, while slamming into large (3) such as walls, which stand in its way. It also gathers (4) , like rocks and trees, as it flows, causing even more destruction when it crashes into buildings.

Energy     |   Materials     |   Objects     |   Force     |   Rise     |   Debris     |   Comes     |   Rubbish


Answer: 1-comes, 2-force, 3-objects, 4-debris

C In the text below some words are missing. Choose the correct word to fill each blank from the box below. There are more words than you need to complete the exercise.

Wind-blown (1) of sand from dunes may carry far inland, covering fields and diverting streams. More seriously, drifting sands can bury whole buildings and transform (2) land into desert. However, dunes can be made more stable by the artificial (3) of marram grass, a plant so robust that it can find (4) even in sand. The grass spreads over the (5) of the dune, protecting it against wind, while its roots bind the sand together.

Summit     |   Grains     |   Rich     |   Fertile     |   Surface     |   Nourishment     |   Clouds     |   Planting


Answer: 1-grains, 2-fertile, 3-planting, 4-nourishment, 5-surface

D In the text below some words are missing. Choose the correct word to fill each blank from the box below. There are more words than you need to complete the exercise.

Employers often offer employees perks in addition to cash wages, for example, membership of a health insurance or company pension (1) If they do, they must (2) that they are fair in providing these benefits in order to (3 ) discrimination. For instance, if an employer (4 ) an entitlement to low-interest loans in male, but not female, employees’ contracts, the female employees could take the employer to court on the basis of unequal (5) .

Consideration     |   Avoid     |   Allowance     |   Scheme     |   Treatment     |   Includes     |   Allows     |     Ensure


Answer: 1- scheme, 2-ensure, 3-avoid, 4-includes, 5-treatment

Fill In The Blanks

A Below is a text with blanks. Select the appropriate Answer choice for each blank.

Most of us (1) to have, or like to think we have, a sense of humor. It makes us better company and is an effective way of dealing with the various annoyances and frustrations that life brings, whether (2) By people or by circumstances. We assume that it gives us the ability to laugh at ourselves, even when others make (3) Of us. Now, what is the difference between humor and satire, and is it true, as many people seem to think, that humorists are on the whole optimistic and sympathetic, while satirists are cynical and negative? I will be taking two writers - Henry Fielding, a writer of comedy, and Jonathan Swift, a satirist - to examine what the differences might be and how much a comic or satiric view of things is a matter of character and temperament, and to see how much the lives these two men led coincided with their respective visions. However, first I’d like to put (4) a theory of sorts that would seem to reverse the general idea that humor is a positive and satire a negative view of the world. Humor is a way of accepting things as they are. Confronted with human stupidity, greed, vice, and so on, you shrug your shoulders, laugh, and carry on. After all, there is nothing to be done. Human nature is unchanging and we will never reform and improve ourselves. Satirists, on the other hand, begin with the idea that making fun of the follies of man is a very (5) way of reforming them. Surely, in believing this they, rather than the humorists, are the optimists, however angry they may be.


Answer: 1-claim, 2-caused, 3-fun, 4-forward, 5-effective

B BBelow is a text with blanks. Select the appropriate answer choice for each blank.

It’s a risky, not to say foolhardy, business predicting the future, but some (1) trends are so large they are impossible to ignore and the future becomes a little less difficult to see. (2) of what the future might be like for the natural environment include population
(3) , acts of environmental vandalism such as deforestation, global warming, and pollution.
Since the 1960s, the human population has roughly doubled and it is likely to rise by another third by 2030. This will of course lead to increased demands for food, water, energy, and space to live, necessarily putting us in competition with other species - and, if the past is anything to go by - with obvious results. Humans already use 40% of the world’s primary production (energy) and this is bound to increase, with serious consequences for nature. We are fast losing overall biodiversity, including micro-organisms in the soil and sea, not to mention both tropical and temperate forests, which are (4) to maintaining productive soils, clean water, climate regulation, and resistance to disease. It seems we take these things for granted and governments do not appear to factor them in when making decisions that affect the environment.
One prediction that has been made is that, in the UK at least, warming and the loss of (5) habitats could lead to more continental species coming to live here, and that in towns and cities, we will have more species that have adapted to urban life and living alongside humans.


Answer: 1-global, 2-indicators, 3-growth, 4-crucial, 5-rare

C Below is a text with blanks. Select the appropriate Answer choice for each blank.

In any given population, about ten percent of the people are left-handed and this figure remains relatively (1) over time. So-called “handedness” (2) in families, but what causes it and why the proportion of left-handed to right-handed people is a constant are still a mystery.
One thing we do know is that hand dominance is related to brain asymmetry; and it seems to be generally agreed that the human brain is profoundly asymmetric, and that understanding how this works will tell us much about who we are and how our brains work. Brain (3) is distributed into the left and right hemispheres, and this is crucial for understanding language, thought, memory, and perhaps even creativity. For right-handed people, language activity is mainly on the left side. Many left-handers also have left-side language dominance, but a (4) number may have language either more evenly distributed in both hemispheres or else predominantly on the right side of the brain. Because left-handedness is seen as a key to the complex anatomy of the brain, scientists are
(5) for links to other conditions, including immune disorders, learning disabilities, and reduced life expectancy.


Answer: 1-stable, 2-runs, 3-function, 4-significant, 5-searching

D Below is a text with blanks. Select the appropriate Answer choice for each blank.

Computer viruses have been a (1) of life at least since the 1980s, if not before. They can cause companies to lose hours of working time and they can also spread panic among computer users everywhere. There are, however, several (2) types of computer infection-all loosely referred to as viruses - and they each work in a slightly different way. A particularly nasty one is the worm, which is a program designed to sneak its way into an entire computer network, and reproduce itself over and over again. Then there is the Trojan, which strictly (3) isn’t a virus, but a piece of software that appears to do one thing, but actually does something malicious instead. When the (4) operator introduces it into the computer, the alien program will take over the machine. With Trojans you have to be particularly careful because they can often be introduced by way of a message advertising an anti-virus product. So what motivates someone to introduce a virus into the computer systems of innocent victims? Perhaps it’s simply the desire to prove that it can be done. Or because it gives the kind of pleasure you get from solving a difficult problem-nowadays people protect their computers with all sorts of security software, so it takes considerable (5) to break through all the defences and introduce a virus.


Answer: 1-fact, 2-distinct, 3-speaking, 4-unsuspecting, 5-skill

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