So let’s’ start with IELTS Academic Reading Sample Papers
IELTS Reading Sample Test 1 For Academic
Is there more to video games than people realize?
Many people who spend a lot of time playing video games insist that they have helped them in areas like confidence-building, presentation skills and debating. Yet this way of thinking about video games can be found almost nowhere within the mainstream media, which still tend to treat games as an odd mix of the slightly menacing and the alien. This lack of awareness has become increasingly inappropriate, as video games and the culture that surrounds them have become very big business indeed.
Recently, the British government released the Byron report into the effects of electronic media on children. Its conclusions set out a clear, rational basis for exploring the regulation of video games. The ensuing debate, however, has descended into the same old squabbling between partisan factions: the preachers of mental and moral decline, and the innovative game designers. In between are the gamers, busily buying and playing while nonsense is talked over their heads.
Susan Greenfield, renowned neuroscientist, outlines her concerns in a new book. Every individual’s mind is the product of a brain that has been personalized by the sum total of their experiences; with an increasing quantity of our experiences from very early childhood taking place ‘on screen’ rather than in the world, there is potentially a profound shift in the way children’s minds work. She suggests that the fast-paced, second-hand experiences created by video games and the Internet may inculcate a worldview that is less empathetic, more risk-taking and less contemplative than what we tend to think of as healthy.
Greenfield’s prose is full of mixed metaphors and self-contradictions and is perhaps the worst enemy of her attempts to persuade. This is unfortunate, because however much technophiles may snort, she is articulating widely held fears that have a basis in fact. Unlike even their immediate antecedents, the latest electronic media are at once domestic and work-related, their mobility blurring the boundaries between these spaces, and video games are at their forefront. A generational divide has opened that is in many ways more profound than the equivalent shifts associated with radio or television, more alienating for those unfamiliar with new’ technologies, more absorbing for those who are. So how do our lawmakers regulate something that is too fluid to be fully comprehended or controlled?
Adam Martin, a lead programmer for an online games developer, says:’ Computer games teach and people don’t even notice they’re being taught.’ But isn’t the kind of learning that goes on in games rather narrow? ‘A large part of the addictiveness of games does come from the fact that as you play you are mastering a set of challenges. But humanity’s larger understanding of the world comes primarily through communication and experimentation, through answering the question “What if?’ Games excel at teaching this too.’
Steven Johnson’s thesis is not that electronic games constitute a great, popular art, but that the mean level of mass culture has been demanding steadily more intellectual engagement from consumers. Games, he points out, generate satisfaction via the complexity of their virtual worlds, not by their robotic predictability. Testing the nature and limits of the laws of such imaginary worlds has more in common with scientific methods than with a pointless addiction, while the complexity of the problems children encounter within games exceeds that of anything they might find at school.
Greenfield argues that there are ways of thinking that playing video games simply cannot teach. She has a point. We should never forget, for instance, the unique ability of books to engage and expand the human imagination, and to give us the means of more fully expressing our situations in the world. Intriguingly, the video games industry is now growing in ways that have more in common with an old-fashioned world of companionable pastimes than with a cyber future of lonely, isolated obsessives. Games in which friends and relations gather round a console to compete at activities are growing in popularity. The agenda is increasingly being set by the concerns of mainstream consumers – what they consider acceptable for their children, what they want to play at parties and across generations.
These trends embody a familiar but important truth: games are human products, and lie within our control. This doesn’t mean we yet control or understand them fully, but it should remind us that there is nothing inevitable or incomprehensible about them. No matter how deeply it may be felt, instinctive fear is an inappropriate response to technology of any kind.
So far, the dire predictions many traditionalists have made about the ‘death’ of old-fashioned narratives and imaginative thought at the hands of video games cannot be upheld. Television and cinema may be suffering, economically, at the hands of interactive media. But literacy standards have failed to decline. Young people still enjoy sport, going out and listening to music And most research – including a recent $1.5m study funded by the US government – suggests that even pre-teens are not in the habit of blurring game worlds and real worlds.
The sheer pace and scale of the changes we face, however, leave little room for complacency. Richard Battle, a British writer and game researcher, says Times change: accept it; embrace it.’ Just as, today, we have no living memories of a time before radio, we will soon live in a world in which no one living experienced growing up without computers. It is for this reason that we must try to examine what we stand to lose and gain, before it is too late.
Solve the question based on above pasage
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?
In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement agrees with the writer’s claims
NO, if the statement contradicts the writer’s claims
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
1Much media comment ignores the impact that video games can have on many people’s lives. ……….
2The publication of the Byron Report was followed by a worthwhile discussion between those for and against video games. ……….
3Susan Greenfield’s way of writing has become more complex over the years. ……….
4It is likely that video games will take over the role of certain kinds of books in the future. ……….
5More sociable games are being brought out to satisfy the demands of the buying public. ……….
6Being afraid of technological advances is a justifiable reaction. ……….
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
7According to the writer, what view about video games does Susan Greenfield put forward in tier new book?
AThey are exposing a child to an adult view of the world too soon.
BChildren become easily frightened by some of the situations in them.
CThey are changing the way children’s view of the world develops.
DChildren don’t learn from them because they are too repetitive.
8According to the writer, what problems are faced when regulating video games?
AThe widespread and ever-changing use of games makes it difficult for lawmakers to control them.
BThe appeal of the games to a younger generation isn’t really understood by many lawmakers.
CThe lawmakers try to apply the same rules to the games as they did to radio and television.
DMany lawmakers feel it is too late for the regulations to have much effect on the use of games.
9What main point does Adam Martin make about video games?
APeople are learning how to avoid becoming addicted to them.
BThey enable people to learn without being aware of it happening.
CThey satisfy a need for people to compete with each other.
DPeople learn a narrow range of skills but they are still useful.
10Which of the following does Steven Johnson disagree with?
Athe opinion that video games offer educational benefits to the user
Bthe attitude that video games are often labelled as predictable and undemanding
Cthe idea that children’s logic is tested more by video games than at school
Dthe suggestion that video games can be compared to scientific procedures
11 Which of the following is the most suitable subtitle for Reading Passage?
A A debate about the effects of video games on other forms of technology.
B An examination of the opinions of young people about video games.
C A discussion of whether attitudes towards video games are outdated.
D An analysis of the principles behind the historical development of video games.
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-E, below.
A young people have no problem separating their own lives from the ones they play on the screen.
B levels of reading ability will continue to drop significantly.
C new advances in technology have to be absorbed into our lives.
D games cannot provide preparation for the skills needed in real life.
E young people will continue to play video games despite warnings against doining so.
12There is little evidence for the traditionalists’ prediction that ……….
13A recent study by the US government found that ……….
14Richard Battle suggests that it Is important for people to accept the fact that ……….
IELTS Reading Sample Test 2 For Academic
History of the Steam Engine
The first steam-powered machine was built in 1698 by the English military engineer Thomas Savery (c. 1650-1715). His invention, designed to pump water out of coal mines, was known as the Miner’s Friend. The machine, which had no moving parts, consisted of a simple boiler – a steam chamber whose valves were located on the surface – and a pipe leading to the water in the mine below. Water was heated in the boiler chamber until its steam filled the chamber, forcing out any remaining water or air. The valves were then closed and cold water was sprayed over the chamber. This chilled and condensed the steam inside to form a vacuum. When the valves were reopened, the vacuum sucked up the water from the mine, and the process could then be repeated.
A few years later, an English engineer named Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) improved the steam pump. He increased efficiency by setting a moving piston inside a cylinder, a technique still in use today. A cylinder – a long, thin, closed chamber separate from the boiler – replaced the large, open boiler chamber. A piston – a sliding piece that fits in the cylinder – was used to create motion instead of a vacuum. Steam filled the cylinder from an open valve. When filled, the cylinder was sprayed with water, causing the steam inside to condense into water and create a partial vacuum. The pressure of the outside air then forced the piston down, producing a power stroke. The piston was connected to a beam, which was connected to a water pump at the bottom of the mine by a pump-rod. Through these connections, the movement of the piston caused the water pump to suck up the water.
The most important improvement in steam engine design was brought about by the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736-1819). He set out to improve the performance of Newcomen’s engine and by 1769 had arrived at the conclusion: if the steam were condensed separately from the cylinder, the cylinder could always be kept hot. That year he introduced the design of a steam engine that had a separate condenser and sealed cylinders. Since this kept the heating and cooling processes separate, his machine could work constantly, without any long pause at each cycle to reheat the cylinder. Watt’s refined steam engine design
used one-third less fuel than a comparable Newcomen engine.
Over the next 15 years, Watt continued to improve his engine and made three significant additions. He introduced the centrifugal governor, a device that could control steam output and engine speed. He made the engine double-acting by allowing steam to enter alternately on either side of the piston. This allowed the engine to work rapidly and deliver power on the downward and upward piston stroke. Most important, he attached a flywheel to the engine.
Flywheels allow the engine to run more smoothly by creating a more constant load, and they convert the conventional back-and-forth power stroke into a circular (rotary) motion that can be adapted more readily to power machinery. By 1790, Watt’s improved steam engine offered a powerful, reliable power source that could be located almost anywhere. It was used to pump bellows for blast furnaces, to power huge hammers for shaping and strengthening forged metals, and to turn machinery at textile mills. More than anything, it was Watt’s steam engine that speeded up the Industrial Revolution both in England and the rest of the world.
Steam was successfully adapted to powerboats in 1802 and railways in 1829. Later, some of the first automobiles were powered by steam. In the 1880s, the English engineer Charles A. Parsons (1854-1931) produced the first steam turbine, a new steam technology that was more efficient and which enabled the steam engine to evolve into a highly sophisticated and powerful engine that propelled huge ships and ran turbogenerators that supplied electricity.
Once the dominant power source, steam engines eventually declined in popularity as other power sources became available. Although there were more than 60,000 steam cars made in the United States between 1897 and 1927, the steam engine eventually gave way to the internal combustion engine as a power source for vehicles.
Match each statement with the correct person A-D.
Write the correct letter A, B, C or D in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.
A Thomas Savery
B Thomas Newcomen
C James Watt
D Charles A. Parsons
1His invention was the first to use moving parts. ……….
2His invention allowed steam power to be converted into electric power. ……….
3His invention was the single biggest step in development. ……….
4His invention was a simple solution to an industrial problem. ……….
5His invention was the first continuous power source. ……….
6His invention first used a method people still use now. ……….
7His invention allowed a much greater degree of control. ……….
Complete the flow chart below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
The Miner’s Friend used condensed steam to (8) , which sucked water from mines.
Design improved: Newcomen (9) using a piston and cylinder instead of an open boiler.
1769: separating heating and cooling processes meant no (10) between power strokes.
Further development: became easier to (11) through the use of the flywheel.
Nineteenth century: steam power (12) for use in various means of transport.
IELTS Reading Sample Test 1 For General
How Babies Learn Language
During the first year of a child’s life, parents and carers are concerned with its physical development; during the second year, they watch the baby’s language development very carefully. It is interesting just how easily children learn language. Children who are just three or four years old, who cannot yet tie their shoelaces, are able to speak in full sentences without any specific language training.
The current view of child language development is that it is an instinct – something as natural as eating or sleeping. According to experts in this area, this language instinct is innate – something each of us is born with. But this prevailing view has not always enjoyed widespread acceptance.
In the middle of last century, experts of the time, including a renowned professor at Harvard University in the United States, regarded child language development as the process of learning through mere repetition. Language “habits” developed as young children were rewarded for repeating language correctly and ignored or punished when they used incorrect forms of language. Over time, a child, according to this theory, would learn language much like a dog might learn to behave properly through training.
Yet even though the modern view holds that language is instinctive, experts like Assistant Professor Lise Eliot are convinced that the interaction a child has with its parents and caregivers is crucial to its developments. The language of the parents and caregivers act as models for the developing child. In fact, a baby’s day-to-day experience is so important that the child will learn to speak in a manner very similar to the model speakers it hears.
Given that the models parents provide are so important, it is interesting to consider the role of “baby talk” in the child’s language development. Baby talk is the language produced by an adult speaker who is trying to exaggerate certain aspects of the language to capture the attention of a young baby.
Dr Roberta Golinkoff believes that babies benefit from baby talk. Experiments show that immediately after birth babies respond more to infant-directed talk than they do to adult-directed talk. When using baby talk, people exaggerate their facial expressions, which helps the baby to begin to understand what is being communicated. She also notes that the exaggerated nature and repetition of baby talk helps infants to learn the difference between sounds. Since babies have a great deal of information to process, baby talk helps. Although there is concern that baby talk may persist too long, Dr Golinkoff says that it stops being used as the child gets older, that is, when the child is better able to communicate with the parents.
Professor Jusczyk has made a particular study of babies’ ability to recognise sounds, and says they recognise the sound of their own names as early as four and a half months. Babies know the meaning of Mummy and Daddy by about six months, which is earlier than was previously believed. By about nine months, babies begin recognizing frequent patterns in language. A baby will listen longer to the sounds that occur frequently, so it is good to frequently call the infant by its name.
An experiment at Johns Hopkins University in USA, in which researchers went to the homes of 16 nine-month-olds, confirms this view. The researchers arranged their visits for ten days out of a two week period. During each visit the researcher played an audio tape that included the same three stories. The stories included odd words such as “python” or “hornbill”, words that were unlikely to be encountered in the babies’ everyday experience. After a couple of weeks during which nothing was done, the babies were brought to the research lab, where they listened to two recorded lists of words. The first list included words heard in the story. The second included similar words, but not the exact ones that were used in the stories.
Jusczyk found the babies listened longer to the words that had appeared in the stories, which indicated that the babies had extracted individual words from the story. When a control group of 16 nine-month-olds, who had not heard the stories, listened to the two groups of words, they showed no preference for either list.
This does not mean that the babies actually understand the meanings of the words, just the sound patterns. It supports the idea that people are born to speak, and have the capacity to learn language from the day they are born. This ability is enhanced if they are involved in conversation. And, significantly, Dr Eliot reminds parents that babies and toddlers need to feel they are communicating. Clearly, sitting in front of the television is not enough; the baby must be having an interaction with another speaker.
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR NUMBERS for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
The study of (1) in very young children has changed considerably in the last 50 years. It has been established that children can speak independently at age (2) , and that this ability is innate. The child will, in fact, follow the speech patterns and linguistic behaviour of its carers and parents who act as (3) .
Babies actually benefit from “baby talk”, in which adults (4) both sounds and facial expressions. Babies’ ability to (5) sound patterns rather than words comes earlier than was previously thought. It is very important that babies are included in (6) .
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?
In boxes 7-12 on your answer sheet, write
YESif the statement agrees with the writer’s claims
NOif the statement contradicts the writer’s claims
NOT GIVENif there is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
7Children can learn their first language without being taught. ……….
8From the time of their birth, humans seem to have an ability to learn language. ……….
9According to experts in the 1950s and ‘60s, language learning is very similar to the training of animals. ……….
10Repetition in language learning is important, according to Dr Eliot. ……….
11Dr Golinkoff is concerned that “baby talk” is spoken too much by some parents. ……….
12The first word a child learns to recognise is usually “Mummy” or “Daddy”. ……….
IELTS Reading Sample Test 2 For General
Advice for Employees
Safe computer use
Most people suffer no ill-effects from using VDUs (Visual Display Units) as they don’t give out harmful levels of radiation and rarely cause any kind of skin complaint. If you do suffer ill-effects, it may be because of the way you’re using the computer and this can be avoided by well-designed workstations. When working at a VDU, make sure you keep a good posture and that your eyes are level with the screen.
Under health and safety regulations your employer should look at VDU workstations, and reduce any risks by supplying any equipment considered necessary (e.g. a wrist rest). They should also provide health and safety training. This also applies if you’re working at home as an employee and using a VDU for a long period of time. There is no legal limit to how long you should work at a VDU, but under health and safety regulations you have the right to breaks from work using a VDU. This doesn’t have to be a rest break, just a different type of work. Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests it’s better to take frequent short breaks but if your job means spending long periods at a VDU, for example as in the case of data input, then longer breaks from your workstation should be introduced.
If you’re disabled, your employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments for you may mean that they will provide you with special computer equipment. You can also get advice and maybe help with paying for equipment from the local job centre. Studies haven’t shown a link between VDU use and damage to eyesight, but if you feel that using a VDU screen is making your eyes tired, tell your employee safety representative. You have the right to a free eyesight test if you use a VDU a lot during work hours. If you’re prescribed glasses your company must pay for them, provided they’re required in your job.
If you have any health problems you think may be caused by your VDU, contact your line manager. He/she has a duty to consult you on health and safety issues that affect you, and should welcome early reporting of any issue.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
1It is unusual to get a as a result of using computers.
2Employers may be required to provide you with items such as a to use while at work.
3If your job involves tasks such as , the advice from the HSE may not apply.
4Financial assistance in the case of special requirements may be available from the .
5The company is obliged to cover the cost of if you need them while working.
6Any concerns about the effect of using a VDU on your general well-being should be reported to.
Complete the table below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 7-13 on your answer sheet.
Candidates go online to complete their .
Suitable candidates are then invited to come to a .
After having satisfactorily completed a , successful candidates will then go to an Assessment Centre.
Kiwi Air then asks for and candidates are required to undergo a medical check.
If there is no immediate need for flight attendants, successful candidates are put into a .
When the need arises, these candidates will then be given a , after which they may be offered a job.
On starting the job, a 5-week training programme is given which includes how to look after passengers and what to do in an .
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