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The general as well as academic IELTS reading section of the exam both last 60 minutes and tests your reading skills. Each has 40 questions. The 60 minutes includes the time you must fill in the answer sheet.

Our tutorial materials cover the tips and advice to help you pass your exam at a single try

Below are the most likely types of reading questions you can get on your reading test:

  • Diagram label completion
  • Matching headings
  • Multiple choice
  • True false, not given
  • Short-answer questions
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
  • Matching information
  • Sentence completion


These IELTS reading tips will help you to increase your score:

  1. Skimming is very important

Learn to skim and scan, If you read in the usual slow, relaxed way you are likely to fail the IELTS test.

  1. Don’t leave any question unanswered

Don’t leave any box unanswered. When you know there’s, no time left, just guess and write something down.

  1. Scanning

Learn how to read fast and find the facts that will help you answer the question.

  1. Learn how to paraphrase

The question is aimed at assessing your ability to understand the same (or similar) ideas hidden behind different wordings.

  1. Try different exam strategies, then choose a winner

Ensure to try out many exam strategies and pick out the best for yourself.

  1. Find facts in the text, underline, and number.

Find the exact location of the rephrased answer in the reading passage. Then underline and write the number on top of the question that is answered by that line.

  1. Improve your reading speed

To get the score in the exam you have to improve your reading speed when you are preparing for the exam.

  1. Use context and Don’t panic over unknown words.

Try to look around the new word. Maybe the content of the sentence can help you deduce whether it’s relevant or not

  1. Focus on the facts, not the words.

Re-read and Explain to yourself what you have just read. (rephrase it in your own words.)

Practice Exercise for Reading Skills:

Below Are Practice exercise to help you develop your skills for IELTS Exam

Reading Exercise 1 (General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.


Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
1. What did archaeologists in southern Germany discover? Show hint
A. Remains of 34 dead animals
B. Graveyard containing 34 skeletons
C. Relics of early civilization
D. 9 adult males, 7 adult females and 16 children

2. Why did scientists suggested that those people were killed whilst running away? Show hint
A. Their skeletons showed signs of fatal trauma
B. There were 16 children
C. During that period organised group violence was very frequent
D. Their skeletons didn’t show any signs of defensive wounds

3. Why do human beings fight, according to the article? Show hint
A. Because they have been fighting wars for thousands of years
B. Because chimpanzees, who are humans’ closest relatives, engage in warfare
C. Because humans inherited predilection for warfare from their ape-like ancestors
D. Because fighting is their inbuilt instinct

4. Which of the following phrases best describes the main aim of the Reading Passage? Show hint
A. To describe fighting among different species
B. To intoduce principles of contemporary archaeology and its application
C. To introduce some relics of humans’ warfare for further discussion whether violence is innate or not
D. To suggest ways of interperting humans’ violence





Reading Exercise 2 (General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.


We ask you to keep luggage down to one medium-sized suitcase per person. But a small holdall can also be taken on board the coach.

Seat Allocation

Requests for particular seats can be made on most coach breaks when booking.  Since allocations are made on a first come first served basis, early booking is advisable. When bookings are made with us you will be offered the best seats that are available on the coach at that time.

Travel Documents

When you have paid your deposit we will send to you all the necessary documents and labels.  You will receive them in good time before the coach break departure date. Certain documents, for example, air or boat tickets. may have to be retained and your driver or courier will then issue them to you at the relevant point.

Special Diets

If you require a special diet you must inform us at the time of booking with a copy of the diet. This will be notified to the hotel or hotels on your coach break, but on certain coach breaks the hotels used are tourist class and whilst offering value for money within the price range, they may not have the full facilities to cope with special diets. Any extra costs incurred must be paid to the hotel by yourself before departure from the hotel.


Many of our coach-breaks now include, within the price, accommodation with private facilities, and this will be indicated on the coach break page. Other coach breaks have a limited number of rooms with private facilities which, subject to availability, can be reserved and guaranteed at the time of booking – the supplementary charge shown in the price panel will be added to your account.
On any coach break, there are only a limited number of single rooms. When a single room is available it may be subject to a supplementary charge and this will be shown on the brochure page.


Some of our hotels arrange additional entertainment which could include music, dancing, film shows, etc. The nature and frequency of the entertainment presented is at the discretion of the hotel and therefore not guaranteed and could be withdrawn if there is a lack of demand or insufficient numbers in the hotel.

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 9-14 on your answer sheet.

9. If you want to sit at the front of the coach –

A. ask when you get on the coach.
B. arrive early on the departure date.
C. book your seat well in advance.
D. avoid travelling at peak times.

10. Your air tickets –

A. will be sent to your departure point.
B. must be collected before leaving.
C. will be enclosed with other documents.
D. may be held by your coach driver.

11. If you need a special diet you should –

A. inform the hotel when you arrive.
B. pay extra with the booking.
C. tell the coach company.
D. book tourist class.

12. It may be necessary to pay extra for –

A. a bathroom.
B. boat tickets.
C. additional luggage.
D. entertainment.

13. Entertainment is available –
A. at all hotels.
B. if there is the demand.
C. upon request.
D. for an additional cost.
14. With every booking, Classic Tours guarantee you will be able to –

A. request high-quality meals.
B. take hand luggage on the coach.
C. use your own personal bathroom.
D. see a film if you want to.




9. C
10. D
11. C
12. A
13. B
14. B

Reading Exercise 3 (Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Indian Marriages

Marriage is one of the oldest human institutions and this is as true in Indian culture as anywhere else. In India marriage, called “Kanyadana” or “donating a virgin”, is thought of as the greatest sacrifice that a father can make and for the groom as an obligation to perpetuate his bloodline. Many people believe that a marriage is still binding after death.

In early times girls were thought to be ready for marriage after puberty and later even children could be married. Divorce and remarriage were not always possible. By Medieval times Marriage was compulsory for girls, who very often married between the ages of eight and nine. Among those able to afford it, polygamy was common and rulers would often have one wife from their own region and other minor wives from other areas. Now, divorce and remarriage is possible and non-Muslim Indian men can only have one wife.

Although are many regional variations, some features of the Indian wedding ceremony are similar throughout the country. In general weddings are very complicated events and involve long negotiations about dowry payments prior to the event. After this has been decided a day is chosen by asking an astrologer to find a lucky day. Preparations begin early because a marriage is not only one of the highlights a person’s life, but a large and complex social gathering to organize.

The night before, the bride, her friends and female relatives gather together for a party called a “mehendi”, where they paint each other’s hands and feet with Henna and dance and listen to music. Her guests often give the bride advice about married life and tease her about her future husband. Weddings are traditionally held at the bride’s home or in a temple, but parks, hotels and marriage halls are becoming increasingly popular. On the day a wedding altar or “mandapa” is built and covered in flowers. All of the wedding ceremony will be held in the altar.

The clothing a couple wear on their wedding day varies between regions and ethnic groups. Women most commonly wear a sari. The bride wears a lot of jewelry as this symbolizes the prosperity she will bring to her new family. In the South wearing flowers is common. The groom wears traditional costume or a suit. Turbans are also popular headgear.

The ceremony begins with a mixture of tumeric, sandlewood paste and oils being applied to the couples face and arms. In the past this was done to the whole body, but now it is only symbolic, with only a little being rubbed on. Then they are showered in flowers. After this they perform the rituals that will make them man and wife. First they garland each other and then take seven symbolic steps together representing seven gifts and seven promises.

Finally they say the vows and then they are legally married. The bride’s father or guardian takes her hands and puts them in her husband’s giving her to him. Now she is no longer a member of her father’s family, but a member of her husband’s. They then touch the feet of their elders for luck.

After the wedding ceremony, the couple go to the groom’s house. The bride should be careful to enter the house right foot first for luck. In the evening and late into the night the families and their guests celebrate with dancing, music and food.

Questions 1-3

Choose the correct answer from A – D.

  1. In India weddings are …

A         a duty for the man to continue his family.
B         thought to end at death.
C         a duty for the father.
D         seen asa benefit for the father.

  1. Divorce and remarriage …

A         are only possible for non-Muslims.
B         were sometimes not possible in the past.
C         have always been possible.
D         have only become possible in modern times.

  1. Indian weddings …

A         are straightforward and brief.
B         are thought to be lucky
C         are intricate and time consuming.
D         involve only the immediate family.

Questions 4-9

Complete the statements below. Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

  1. The evening prior to the wedding, the wife-to-be is given recommendations about ?
  1. The wedding ceremony is conducted in a special ?
  1. The gold and jewels the bride wears represent ?
  1. These days, the materials applied to the face and arms at the start of the ceremony are just ?
  1. After the wedding, the bride has left ……………….. and belongs to her husband’s.
  1. It is important that the new bride goes into the new house with her ?


  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. married life
  5. (wedding) alter / mandapa
  6. prosperity
  7. symbolic
  8. her father’s family
  9. right foot first

Reading Exercise 4 (Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Zoo Conservation Programmes

One of London Zoo’s recent advertisements caused me some irritation, so patently did it distort reality. Headlined “Without zoos, you might as well tell these animals to get stuffed”, it was bordered with illustrations of several endangered species and went on to extol the myth that without zoos like London Zoo these animals “will almost certainly disappear forever”. With the zoo world’s rather mediocre record on conservation, one might be forgiven for being slightly sceptical about such an advertisement.

Zoos were originally created as places of entertainment, and their suggested involvement with conservation didn’t seriously arise until about 30 years ago, when the Zoological Society of London held the first formal international meeting on the subject. Eight years later, a series of world conferences took place, entitled “The Breeding of Endangered Species”, and from this point onwards conservation became the zoo community’s buzzword. This commitment has now been clear defined in The World Zoo Conservation Strategy (WZCS, September 1993), which although an important and welcome document does seem to be based on an unrealistic optimism about the nature of the zoo industry.

The WZCS estimates that there are about 10,000 zoos in the world, of which around 1,000 represent a core of quality collections capable of participating in coordinated conservation programmes. This is probably the document’s first failing, as I believe that 10,000 is a serious underestimate of the total number of places masquerading as zoological establishments. Of course, it is difficult to get accurate data but, to put the issue into perspective, I have found that, in a year of working in Eastern Europe, I discover fresh zoos on almost a weekly basis.

The second flaw in the reasoning of the WZCS document is the naive faith it places in its 1,000 core zoos. One would assume that the calibre of these institutions would have been carefully examined, but it appears that the criterion for inclusion on this select list might merely be that the zoo is a member of a zoo federation or association. This might be a good starting point, working on the premise that members must meet certain standards, but again the facts don’t support the theory. The greatly respected American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA) has had extremely dubious members, and in the UK the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland has

Occasionally had members that have been roundly censured in the national press. These include Robin Hill Adventure Park on the Isle of Wight, which many considered the most notorious collection of animals in the country. This establishment, which for years was protected by the Isle’s local council (which viewed it as a tourist amenity), was finally closed down following a damning report by a veterinary inspector appointed under the terms of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

As it was always a collection of dubious repute, one is obliged to reflect upon the standards that the Zoo Federation sets when granting membership. The situation is even worse in developing countries where little money is available for redevelopment and it is hard to see a way of incorporating collections into the overall scheme of the WZCS.

Even assuming that the WZCS’s 1,000 core zoos are all of a high standard complete with scientific staff and research facilities, trained and dedicated keepers, accommodation that permits normal or natural behaviour, and a policy of co-operating fully with one another what might be the potential for conservation? Colin Tudge, author of Last Animals at the Zoo (Oxford University Press, 1992), argues that “if the world”s zoos worked together in co-operative breeding programmes, then even without further expansion they could save around 2,000 species of endangered land vertebrates’.

This seems an extremely optimistic proposition from a man who must be aware of the failings and weaknesses of the zoo industry the man who, when a member of the council of London Zoo, had to persuade the zoo to devote more of its activities to conservation. Moreover, where are the facts to support such optimism?

Today approximately 16 species might be said to have been “saved” by captive breeding programmes, although a number of these can hardly be looked upon as resounding successes. Beyond that, about a further 20 species are being seriously considered for zoo conservation programmes. Given that the international conference at London Zoo was held 30 years ago, this is pretty slow progress, and a long way off Tudge’s target of 2,000.

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 16-22 write :

Y   if the statement agrees with the writer
N   if the statement contradicts the writer
NG if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

16.    London Zoo’s advertisements are dishonest.
17.    Zoos made an insignificant contribution to conservation up until 30 years ago.
18.    The WZCS document is not known in Eastern Europe.
19.    Zoos in the WZCS select list were carefully inspected.
20.    No-one knew how the animals were being treated at Robin Hill Adventure Park.
21.    Colin Tudge was dissatisfied with the treatment of animals at London Zoo.
22.    The number of successful zoo conservation programmes is unsatisfactory.

Questions 23-25

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 23-25 on your answer sheet.

23 What were the objectives of the WZCS document?
A.    to improve the calibre of zoos worldwide
B.    to identify zoos suitable for conservation practice
C.    to provide funds for zoos in underdeveloped countries
D.    to list the endangered species of the world

24 Why does the writer refer to Robin Hill Adventure Park?
A.    to support the Isle of Wight local council
B.    to criticise the 1981 Zoo Licensing Act
C.    to illustrate a weakness in the WZCS document
D.    to exemplify the standards in AAZPA zoos

25 What word best describes the writer’s response to Colin Tudges’ prediction on captive breeding programmes?
A.    disbelieving
B.    impartial
C.    prejudiced
D.    accepting

Questions 26-28

The writer mentions a number of factors which lead him to doubt the value of the WZCS document Which THREE of the following factors are mentioned? Write your answers (A-F) in boxes 26-28 on your answer sheet.

List of Factors:

A. the number of unregistered zoos in the world
B. the lack of money in developing countries
C. the actions of the Isle of Wight local council
D. the failure of the WZCS to examine the standards of the “core zoos”
E. the unrealistic aim of the WZCS in view of the number of species “saved” to date
F. the policies of WZCS zoo managers




16. Y  

17. Y   

18. NG   

19. N  

20. N   

21. NG   

22. Y   

23. B  

24. C  

25. A  

26. A   

27. D   

28. E  (26, 27, 28 In any order)

Reading Exercise 5 (General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

The Earth

(A) The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and it is the only planet known to have life on it. The Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. It is one of four rocky planets on the inside of the Solar System. The other three are Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

(B) The large mass of the Sun makes the Earth move around it, just as the mass of the Earth makes the Moon move around it. The Earth also turns round in space, so different parts face the Sun at different times. The Earth goes around the Sun once (one “year”) for every 365¼ times it turns all the way around (one “day”).

(C) The Moon goes around the Earth about every 27⅓ days, and reflects light from the Sun. As the Earth goes round the Sun at the same time, the changing light of the Moon takes about 29½ days to go from dark to bright to dark again. That is where the idea of “month” came from. However, now most months have 30 or 31 days so they fit into one year.

(D) The Earth is the only planet in our Solar System that has a large amount of liquid water. About 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans. Because of this, it is sometimes called the “Blue Planet”.

(E) Because of its water, the Earth is home to millions of species of plants and animals. The things that live on Earth have changed its surface greatly. For example, early cyanobacteria changed the air and gave it oxygen. The living part of the Earth’s surface is called the “biosphere”.

(F) The Earth is part of the eight planets and many thousands of small bodies that move around the Sun as its Solar System. The Solar System is moving through the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy now, and will be for about the next 10,000 years.

(G) The Earth is generally 150,000,000 kilometers or 93,000,000 miles away from the Sun (this distance is named an “Astronomical Unit”). The Earth moves along its way at an average speed of about 30 km or 19 mi a second. The Earth turns all the way around about 365¼ times in the time it takes for the Earth to go all the way around the Sun. To make up this extra bit of a day every year, an additional day is used every four years. This is named a “leap year”.

(H) The Moon goes around the Earth at an average distance of 400,000 kilometers (250,000 mi). It is locked to Earth, so that it always has the same half facing the Earth; the other half is called the “dark side of the Moon”. It takes about 27⅓ days for the Moon to go all the way around the Earth but, because the Earth is moving around the Sun at the same time, it takes about 29½ days for the Moon to go from dark to bright to dark again. This is where the word “month” came from, even though most months now have 30 or 31 days.

Questions 1–8

Reading Passage 1 has eight paragraphs A-H. Which paragraph contains the following information?  Write the correct letter, A–H, in boxes 1–8 on your answer sheet.

1. Earth’s natural satellite 

2. Distance between Earth and Sun 

3. General information about Earth 

4. The Solar System 

5. Length of most moths 

6. Another name for Earth 

7. The living part of the Earth’s surface 

8. The movements of Earth around the Sun 

Questions 9-13

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.

9. Apart from Earth, other rocky planets in our Solar Systems are Venus, Mars and .

10. Moon  from the Sun on Earth.

11. There are millions of  of plants and animals that inhabit Earth.

12. Now the Solar System is travelling through  .

13. The dark side of the Moon is the side, which  faces Earth.



1. H
2. G
3. A
4. F
5. C
6. D
7. E
8. B
9. Mercury
10.Reflects light
11. Species
12. The Orion Arm
13. Never

Reading Exercise 6 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Private Space

A.  It’s a remarkable achievement: the question is no longer ‘How can we send humans into space?’ but ‘How can we keep them there?’ Spaceflight is reaching a turning point where new technologies in engine development, better understanding of aerodynamics and materials for body construction are making spaceflight possible for private industry.

B.  The history of space exploration, until relatively recently, has been one of big government-backed projects like the Space Shuttle, Mars Landers and Long March rockets. But the most recent launches to the International Space Station (ISS) have been very special for at least three reasons. Firstly, along with 450 kg of scientific equipment, food and clothes, the rocket was carrying ice cream for the three space station astronauts. Secondly, the rocket was unmanned, being guided into docking position and back to earth again by remote control and automated systems. Finally, the rocket was commissioned from a private company by NASA.

C.  When the privately owned rocket delivered its goods to the ISS, it marked a milestone in the evolution of space flight and vindicated NASA’s decision to delegate routine supply flights to the space station. The flight has been a long time in development. It started with President George W Bush announcing his Vision for Space Exploration, calling for the ISS to be completed. Under the next President, America’s Space Shuttles were retired leaving NASA with no other choice but to look for alternative methods of supplying the ISS. The initiative was part of an effort to commercialise the space industry in order to decrease costs and spread the investment in the industry across a wider group than governments.

D.  The initiative had many attractions for NASA. By outsourcing to the private sector the routine business of taking food and equipment to and from low-earth orbit, NASA can theoretically free up money to do things that it really wants to prioritise: missions such as sending astronauts to Mars and landing on asteroids by the 2030s. Now that the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (spaceX) has proved that private enterprise can be players in space exploration, firms are pouring money into developing new spacecraft built to transport cargo, to mine asteroids and to carry passengers into space.

E.  In the last half of the twentieth century only government-backed agencies like NASA and Russia’s ROSCOSMOS were capable of running space programmes due to the gigantic investment costs and uncertain payoffs. However, SpaceX and similar companies are proving that the former conditions are no longer relevant as new solutions are coming to light. Commercial companies like Boeing are able to raise large sums of money to run these projects. Furthermore, as the firms are running cargo and taxi services to lower orbits, the break-even point is lower, the technology is cheaper and they have the benefit of years of experience in commercial aviation and space flight.

Opening space programmes to the commercial sector has the additional advantage of generating more solutions to old problems. An analogy is the invention of the Internet. when the technology went into the commercial sector, no one could have envisioned the development of social network sites. Likewise, no one can predict where commercial enterprise will take the space industry.

F.  The uncertainty surrounding where the space industry will end up is a problem as well as an asset and it is unsettling private investors who like to invest in relatively certain prospects. At the moment the industry is dominated by big-spending billionaires like the owner of SpaceX. In addition, the relatively small number of companies in the area could pose a problem in the future. The commercial space industry is still very new and there is no guarantee that progress will be smoother. For one thing, no one is sure that the business model is sound: government is still the major, if not only, customer available to the private space companies.

The other problem is that space travel is high risk: the loss of space shuttles Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003 illustrates that even the most carefully planned launches have unavoidable risks associated with them. The question is what would happen to the industry if another accident occurred. Finally, many space experts are doubtful that, even if private industry takes over the ‘taxi’ role for low-orbit missions, NASA will be able to achieve its ambitions, given its squeezed budgets and history of being used for political purposes. Furthermore, NASA may have created another space race, this time between government and private industry. If NASA doesn’t go to Mars or the asteroid belt, its private competitors certainly have plans to do so.

G.  In spite of all of these risks, many argue that it is critical for the private sector and federal government to work together to push further into space.

Questions 1-6

The passage has seven paragraphs labelled A-F

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

1. NASA being able to spend money on important projects ……….

2. events leading to the commercialisation of spaceflight ……….

3. new developments that have made spaceflight more accessible ……….

4. an automated rocket that successfully completed a mission ……….

5. the great dangers of space travel ……….

6. new answers being found to previous questions ……….

Questions 7-11

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

7. Which is NOT mentioned as making private space night possible?

8. Why are the recent launches special?

9. In order to make NASA look for other spaceflight providers, the US government

10. Private companies

11. At present, the private space industry is characterised by

Questions 12-17

Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 12-17 on your answer sheet.

There are a number of problems with commercial space projects. To start with, the ……….  might not be sound. There is also great ……….  attached to space flight – what would happen if there was another ………. ? Experts doubt whether NASA can fulfil its ……….  as it has often been under ……….  pressure. Moreover, the development may lead to a ……….  between NASA and the private space industry.




1 = D
2 = C
3 = A
4 = B
5 = F
6 = E
7 = D
8 = D
9 = C
10 = D
11 = B
12 = Business Model
13 = Risk
14 = Accident
15 = Ambitions
16 = Political
17 = Space race/race

Reading Exercise 7 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Buying the Rail Card:


The quickest and easiest way to buy is right here online.  All you need is:

  • A valid passport or UK driving licence to verify your identity
  • A digital passport-style photo saved to your computer, tablet or mobile phone
  • A debit or credit card

What happens next?

We aim to dispatch your Railcard within one working day of you ordering it, but it’s probably best to allow up to five working days for your 16-25 Railcard to arrive. It’ll be sent out free of charge by First Class post, but if you prefer, you have the option to pay for Special Delivery.

You’ll need the physical Railcard with you to be able to get a discount on your rail ticket, so be sure to leave enough time before your journey for the Railcard to reach you. If you need to travel straight away, you’re better off buying a 16-25 Railcard over the counter at your local staffed station.

At a staffed station ticket office

You can buy a 16-25 Railcard at any staffed station ticket office or National Rail-licensed Travel Agent. The main advantage of this is that you can do it on the day you are travelling.

If you’re applying at a station for the first time you’ll need to complete an application form here (you can pick this up at the station) and bring either of the following:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Passport (all nationalities accepted)
  • UK driving licence
  • National identity card

You’ll also need:

  • A passport-size photo
  • Proof of eligibility if applying as a mature student

If you’re renewing your Railcard, you’ll need to fill in the application form, and take your existing Railcard and Photocard. These are automatically accepted as proof of your age. If you are renewing an online Railcard at a station you will need proof of age as above.

Once you’ve bought your Railcard at a station, you can then register it online.  This will make it easier for you to renew or buy other cards online.

By phone

You can get your Railcard over the phone. Call our telesales service on 0345 3000 250 (0700hrs to 2200hrs every day except Christmas Day). Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02). Please note, you’ll also need to submit your photo via email.

Questions 9-14

Do the following statements agree or disagree with the information given in the text?




If the statement agrees with the information

Iff the statement contradicts with the information

If there is no information on this

  1. The travel card should not take more than 5 working days to arrive once ordered. 
  2. You can still travel and get the discount on your first trip if your railcard has not arrived.
  3. A benefit of applying at a station office is that staff can help you with the form.
  4. At least two pieces of identification are required the first time you apply. 
  5. A current railcard and photocard can be used as evidence of age when renewing a rail card. 
  6. If you apply by phone you can talk to a customer sales representative. 



9. True

10. False

11. Not Given

12. False

13. True

14. Not Given

Reading Exercise 8 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Life lessons from villains, crooks and gangsters

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14–26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.

(A) A notorious Mexican drug baron’s audacious escape from prison in July doesn’t, at first, appear to have much to teach corporate boards. But some in the business world suggest otherwise. Beyond the morally reprehensible side of criminals’ work, some business gurus say organised crime syndicates, computer hackers, pirates and others operating outside the law could teach legitimate corporations a thing or two about how to hustle and respond to rapid change.

(B) Far from encouraging illegality, these gurus argue that – in the same way big corporations sometimes emulate start-ups – business leaders could learn from the underworld about flexibility, innovation and the ability to pivot quickly. “There is a nimbleness to criminal organisations that legacy corporations [with large, complex layers of management] don’t have,” said Marc Goodman, head of the Future Crimes Institute and global cyber-crime advisor. While traditional businesses focus on rules they have to follow, criminals look to circumvent them. “For criminals, the sky is the limit and that creates the opportunity to think much, much bigger.”

(C) Joaquin Guzman, the head of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, for instance, slipped out of his prison cell through a tiny hole in his shower that led to a mile-long tunnel fitted with lights and ventilation. Making a break for it required creative thinking, long-term planning and perseverance – essential skills similar to those needed to achieve success in big business.

(D) While Devin Liddell, who heads brand strategy for Seattle-based design consultancy, Teague, condemns the violence and other illegal activities he became curious as to how criminal groups endure. Some cartels stay in business despite multiple efforts by law enforcement on both sides of the US border and millions of dollars from international agencies to shut them down. Liddell genuinely believes there’s a lesson in longevity here. One strategy he underlined was how the bad guys respond to change. In order to bypass the border between Mexico and the US, for example, the Sinaloa cartel went to great lengths. It built a vast underground tunnel, hired family members as border agents and even used a catapult to circumvent a high-tech fence.

(E) By contrast, many legitimate businesses fail because they hesitate to adapt quickly to changing market winds. One high-profile example is movie and game rental company Blockbuster, which didn’t keep up with the market and lost business to mail order video rentals and streaming technologies. The brand has all but faded from view. Liddell argues the difference between the two groups is that criminal organisations often have improvisation encoded into their daily behaviour, while larger companies think of innovation as a set process. “This is a leadership challenge,” said Liddell. “How well companies innovate and organise is a reflection of leadership.”

Left-field thinking

(F) Cash-strapped start-ups also use unorthodox strategies to problem solve and build their businesses up from scratch. This creativity and innovation is often borne out of necessity, such as tight budgets. Both criminals and start-up founders “question authority, act outside the system and see new and clever ways of doing things,” said Goodman. “Either they become Elon Musk or El Chapo.” And, some entrepreneurs aren’t even afraid to operate in legal grey areas in their effort to disrupt the marketplace. The co-founders of music streaming service Napster, for example, knowingly broke music copyright rules with their first online file sharing service, but their technology paved the way for legal innovation as regulators caught up.

(G) Goodman and others believe thinking hard about problem solving before worrying about restrictions could prevent established companies falling victim to rivals less constrained by tradition. In their book The Misfit Economy, Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips examine how individuals can apply that mindset to become more innovative and entrepreneurial within corporate structures. They studied not just violent criminals like Somali pirates, but others who break the rules in order to find creative solutions to their business problems, such as people living in the slums of Mumbai or computer hackers. They picked out five common traits among this group: the ability to hustle, pivot, provoke, hack and copycat.

(H) Clay gives a Saudi entrepreneur named Walid Abdul-Wahab as a prime example. Abdul-Wahab worked with Amish farmers to bring camel milk to American consumers even before US regulators approved it. Through perseverance, he eventually found a network of Amish camel milk farmers and started selling the product via social media. Now his company, Desert Farms, sells to giant mainstream retailers like Whole Foods Market. Those on the fringe don’t always have the option of traditional, corporate jobs and that forces them to think more creatively about how to make a living, Clay said. They must develop grit and resilience in order to last outside the cushy confines of cubicle life. “In many cases scarcity is the mother of invention,” Clay said.

Questions 14-21

Reading Passage 2 has eight paragraphs A-H. Match the headings below with the paragraphs. Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 14-21 on your answer sheet.

14. Jailbreak with creative thinking 

15. Five common traits among rule-breakers 

16. Comparison between criminals and traditional businessmen 

17. Can drug baron’s espace teach legitimate corporations? 

18. Great entrepreneur 

19. How criminal groups deceive the law 

20. The difference between legal and illegal organisations  

21. Similarity between criminals and start-up founders 

Questions 22–25

Complete the sentences below.

Write ONLY ONE WORD from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 22–25 on your answer sheet.

22. To escape from a prison, Joaquin Guzman had to use such traits as creative thinking, long-term planning and .

23. The Sinaloa cartel built a grand underground tunnel and even used a  to avoid the fence.

24. The main difference between two groups is that criminals, unlike large corporations, often have  encoded into their daily life.

25. Due to being persuasive, Walid Abdul-Wahab found a  of Amish camel milk farmers.

Question 26

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

26. The main goal of this article is to:

      A  Show different ways of illegal activity

      B  Give an overview of various criminals and their gangs

      C  Draw a comparison between legal and illegal business, providing examples

      D  Justify criminals with creative thinking



  1. C
  2. G
  3. B
  4. A
  5. H
  6. D
  7. E
  8. F
  9. Perseverance
  10. Catapult
  11. Improvisation
  12. Network
  13. C

Reading Exercise 9 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

The Great Australian Fence

A war has been going on for almost a hundred years between the sheep farmers of Australia and the dingo, Australia’s wild dog. To protect their livelihood, the farmers built a wire fence, 3,307 miles of continuous wire mesh, reaching from the coast of South Australia all the way to the cotton fields of eastern Queensland, just short of the Pacific Ocean.

The Fence is Australia’s version of the Great Wall of China, but even longer, erected to keep out hostile invaders, in this case hordes of yellow dogs. The empire it preserves is that of the woolgrowers, sovereigns of the world’s second largest sheep flock, after China’s – some 123 million head – and keepers of a wool export business worth four billion dollars. Never mind that more and more people – conservationists, politicians, taxpayers and animal lovers – say that such a barrier would never be allowed today on ecological grounds. With sections of it almost a hundred years old, the dog fence has become, as conservationist Lindsay Fairweather ruefully admits, ‘an icon of Australian frontier ingenuity’.

To appreciate this unusual outback monument and to meet the people whose livelihoods depend on it, I spent part of an Australian autumn travelling the wire. It’s known by different names in different states: the Dog Fence in South Australia, the Border Fence in New South Wales and the Barrier Fence in Queensland. I would call it simply the Fence.

For most of its prodigious length, this epic fence winds like a river across a landscape that, unless a big rain has fallen, scarcely has rivers. The eccentric route, prescribed mostly by property lines, provides a sampler of outback topography: the Fence goes over sand dunes, past salt lakes, up and down rock-strewn hills, through dense scrub and across barren plains.

The Fence stays away from towns. Where it passes near a town, it has actually become a tourist attraction visited on bus tours. It marks the traditional dividing line between cattle and sheep. Inside, where the dingoes are legally classified as vermin, they are shot, poisoned and trapped. Sheep and dingoes do not mix and the Fence sends that message mile after mile.

What is this creature that by itself threatens an entire industry, inflicting several millions of dollars of damage a year despite the presence of the world’s most obsessive fence? Cousin to the coyote and the jackal, descended from the Asian wolf, Cam’s lupus dingo is an introduced species of wild dog. Skeletal remains indicate that the dingo was introduced to Australia more than 3,500 years ago probably with Asian seafarers who landed on the north coast.

The adaptable dingo spread rapidly and in a short time became the top predator, killing off all its marsupial competitors. The dingo looks like a small wolf with a long nose, short pointed ears and a bushy tail. Dingoes rarely bark; they yelp and howl. Standing about 22 inches at the shoulder – slightly taller than a coyote – the dingo is Australia’s largest land carnivore.

The woolgrowers’ war against dingoes, which is similar to the sheep ranchers’ rage against coyotes in the US, started not long after the first European settlers disembarked in 1788, bringing with them a cargo of sheep. Dingoes officially became outlaws in 1830 when governments placed a bounty on their heads. Today bounties for problem dogs killing sheep inside the Fence can reach $500. As pioneers penetrated the interior with their flocks of sheep, fences replaced shepherds until, by the end of the 19th century, thousands of miles of barrier fencing crisscrossed the vast grazing lands.

The dingo started out as a quiet observer,’ writes Roland Breckwoldt, in A Very Elegant Animal: The Dingo, ‘but soon came to represent everything that was dark and dangerous on the continent.’ It is estimated that since sheep arrived in Australia, dingo numbers have increased a hundredfold. Though dingoes have been eradicated from parts of Australia, an educated guess puts the population at more than a million.

Eventually government officials and graziers agreed that one well-maintained fence, placed on the outer rim of sheep country and paid for by taxes levied on woolgrowers, should supplant the maze of private netting. By 1960, three states joined their barriers to form a single dog fence.

The intense private battles between woolgrowers and dingoes have usually served to define the Fence only in economic terms. It marks the difference between profit and loss. Yet the Fence casts a much broader ecological shadow for it has become a kind of terrestrial dam, deflecting the flow of animals inside and out. The ecological side effects appear most vividly at Sturt National Park. In 1845, explorer Charles Sturt led an expedition through these parts on a futile search for an inland sea. For Sturt and other early explorers, it was a rare event to see a kangaroo.

Now they are ubiquitous for without a native predator the kangaroo population has exploded inside the Fence. Kangaroos are now cursed more than dingoes. They have become the rivals of sheep, competing for water and grass. In response state governments cull* more than three million kangaroos a year to keep Australia’s national symbol from overrunning the pastoral lands. Park officials, who recognise that the fence is to blame, respond to the excess of kangaroos by saying The fence is there, and we have to live with it.

Questions 1-4

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

1      Why was the fence built?

A  to separate the sheep from the cattle

B  to stop the dingoes from being slaughtered by farmers

C  to act as a boundary between properties

D  to protect the Australian wool industry

2      On what point do the conservationists and politicians agree?

A  Wool exports are vital to the economy.

B  The fence poses a threat to the environment.

C  KThe fence acts as a useful frontier between states.

D  The number of dogs needs to be reduced.

3      Why did the author visit Australia?

A  to study Australian farming methods

B  to investigate how the fence was constructed

C  because he was interested in life around the fence

D  because he wanted to learn more about the wool industry

4      How does the author feel about the fence?

A  impressed

B  delighted

C  shocked

D  annoyed

Questions 5-11

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 5-11 on your answer sheet write

YES             if the statement agrees with the information

NO               if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage

           The fence serves a different purpose in each state.

           The fence is only partially successful.

           The dingo is indigenous to Australia.

           Dingoes have flourished as a result of the sheep industry.

           Dingoes are known to attack humans.

10            Kangaroos have increased in number because of the fence.

11            The author does not agree with the culling of kangaroos.

Questions 12-13

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 12-13 on your answer sheet.

12    When did the authorities first acknowledge the dingo problem?

A  1788

B  1830

C  1845

D  1960

13    How do the park officials feel about the fence?

A  philosophical

B  angry

C  pleased

D  proud



1. D 8. YES
3. C 10. YES
4. A 11. NOT GIVEN
5. NO 12. B
6. YES 13. A
7. NO

Reading Exercise 10 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

A Workaholic Economy

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-38 which are based on Reading Passage

For the first century or so of the industrial revolution, increased productivity led to decreases in working hours. Employees who had been putting in 12-hour days, six days a week, found their time on the job shrinking to 10 hours daily, then finally to eight hours, five days a week. Only a generation ago social planners worried about what people would do with all this new-found free time. In the US, at least it seems they need not have bothered.

Although the output per hour of work has more than doubled since 1945, leisure seems reserved largely for the unemployed and underemployed. Those who work full-time spend as much time on the job as they did at the end of World War II. In fact, working hours have increased noticeably since 1970 — perhaps because real wages have stagnated since that year. Bookstores now abound with manuals describing how to manage time and cope with stress.

There are several reasons for lost leisure. Since 1979, companies have responded to improvements in the business climate by having employees work overtime rather than by hiring extra personnel, says economist Juliet B. Schor of Harvard University. Indeed, the current economic recovery has gained a certain amount of notoriety for its “jobless” nature: increased production has been almost entirely decoupled from employment. Some firms are even downsizing as their profits climb. “All things being equal, we’d be better off spreading around the work,” observes labour economist Ronald G. Ehrenberg of Cornell University.

Yet a host of factors pushes employers to hire fewer workers for more hours and at the same time compels workers to spend more time on the job. Most of those incentives involve what Ehrenberg calls the structure of compensation: quirks in the way salaries and benefits are organised that make it more profitable to ask 40 employees to labour an extra hour each than to hire one more worker to do the same 40-hour job.

Professional and managerial employees supply the most obvious lesson along these lines. Once people are on salary, their cost to a firm is the same whether they spend 35 hours a week in the office or 70. Diminishing returns may eventually set in as overworked employees lose efficiency or leave for more arable pastures. But in the short run, the employer’s incentive is clear. Even hourly employees receive benefits – such as pension contributions and medical insurance – that are not tied to the number of hours they work. Therefore, it is more profitable for employers to work their existing employees harder.

For all that employees complain about long hours, they too have reasons not to trade money for leisure. “People who work reduced hours pay a huge penalty in career terms,” Schor maintains. “It’s taken as a negative signal’ about their commitment to the firm.’ [Lotte] Bailyn [of Massachusetts Institute of Technology] adds that many corporate managers find it difficult to measure the contribution of their underlings to a firm’s well-being, so they use the number of hours worked as a proxy for output. “Employees know this,” she says, and they adjust their behaviour accordingly.

“Although the image of the good worker is the one whose life belongs to the company,” Bailyn says, “it doesn’t fit the facts.’ She cites both quantitative and qualitative studies that show increased productivity for part-time workers: they make better use of the time they have and they are less likely to succumb to fatigue in stressful jobs. Companies that employ more workers for less time also gain from the resulting redundancy, she asserts. “The extra people can cover the contingencies that you know are going to happen, such as when crises take people away from the workplace.” Positive experiences with reduced hours have begun to change the more-is-better culture at some companies, Schor reports.

Larger firms, in particular, appear to be more willing to experiment with flexible working arrangements…

It may take even more than changes in the financial and cultural structures of employment for workers successfully to trade increased productivity and money for leisure time, Schor contends. She says the U.S. market for goods has become skewed by the assumption of full-time, two-career households. Automobile makers no longer manufacture cheap models, and developers do not build the tiny bungalows that served the first postwar generation of home buyers. Not even the humblest household object is made without a microprocessor. As Schor notes, the situation is a curious inversion of the “appropriate technology” vision that designers have had for developing countries: U.S. goods are appropriate only for high incomes and long hours. — Paul Walluh.

Questions 27-32

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in reading passage ? In boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet write:

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

  Example                                                                                                             Answer

During the industrial revolution, people worked harder                           NOT GIVEN

27    Today, employees are facing a reduction in working hours.
28    Social planners have been consulted about US employment figures.
29    Salaries have not risen significantly since the 1970s.
30    The economic recovery created more jobs.
31    Bailyn’s research shows that part-time employees work more efficiently.
32    Increased leisure time would benefit two-career households.

Questions 33-34

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 33 and 34 on your answer sheet.

33 Bailyn argues that it is better for a company to employ more workers because
A.    it is easy to make excess staff redundant.
B.    crises occur if you are under-staffed.
C.    people are available to substitute for absent staff.
D.    they can project a positive image at work.

34 Schor thinks it will be difficult for workers in the US to reduce their working hours because
A.    they would not be able to afford cars or homes.
B.    employers are offering high incomes for long hours.
C.    the future is dependent on technological advances.
D.    they do not wish to return to the humble post-war era.

Questions 35-38

The writer mentions a number of factors that have resulted, in employees working longer hours. Which FOUR of the following factors are mentioned? Write your answers (A-H) in boxes 35-38 on your answer sheet.

List of Factors

A   Books are available to help employees cope with stress.
B   Extra work is offered to existing employees.
C   Increased production has led to joblessness.
D   Benefits and hours spent on the job are not linked.
E   Overworked employees require longer to do their work.
F    Longer hours indicate a greater commitment to the firm.
G   Managers estimate staff productivity in terms of hours worked.
H   Employees value a career more than a family




27. No
28. Not Given
29. Yes
30. No
31. Yes
32. Not Given
33. C
34. A
35. B. (Extra work is offered to existing employees.)
36. D. (Benefits and hours spent on the job are not linked)
37. F. (Longer hours indicate greater commitment to the firm.)
38. G. (Managers estimate staff productivity in terms of hours worked.)
[Answer 35 – 38, in any order]

Reading Exercise 11 (General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

NHS Hospital Job Interview Guidelines for Managers


Interview Process

All candidates should receive at least 7 days’ notice of the interview. Hiring Managers should provide interview details to the Human Resources (HR) department in a timely way so that applicants can be well prepared for interview.

All interview panels should have at least two members to ensure objectivity. The chair of the interview panel will normally be the Appointing Manager. Where interviews for specialist or senior clinical positions take place, the Appointing Manager may wish to include an outside assessor. At least one member of the interview panel must have attended recruitment and selection training.

The interview panel should meet at least 20 minutes prior to the interview to discuss the structure of the interview and the questions each panel member will ask. Depending on the seniority of the post, interviews should last between 30-60 minutes. If any other method of selection (e.g. a test) or a tour has been arranged, candidates will be notified in the interview letter.

Interviews should take place in a quiet room away from ringing phones and disruptions. Panel members should ensure other members of their department/colleagues know they are interviewing so that they are not interrupted.

The HR Department will circulate the interview papers to all panel members electronically at least two working days before interviews are due to take place, unless alternative arrangements have been made. Managers should ensure they have checked the relevant documents such as passport, NI number, and any qualification certificates before the candidate leaves.

Note taking

It is vital to have a written record of what took place during an interview to avoid final assessments being subjective, to help remember candidates and to compare candidates answers. At least one member of the panel should take notes during the interview. Candidates should be told at the start of their interview that notes will be taken.

Panel members will also have the Interview Report Form against which they can determine whether or not individuals have or have not met the essential and desirable criteria from the person specification.

Appointment Process

Although it is recommended that the panel reach a consensus on their decision to appoint, ultimately the decision resides with the Appointing Manager.

The completed Interview Decision Form should be sent with all notes, selection test information, interview questions and the application forms to the HR Department.

Upon receipt of the documentation the HR team one working day later will issue a conditional offer of employment, subject to employment checks to the candidate.

Questions 22-28

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

  1. It is important to have more than one person on the interview panel so  is maintained
  2. If alternative selection methods are to be used, the candidate must be  in advance
  3. All the interview documents should be distributed to panel members by the  prior to the interviews
  4. Taking notes is beneficial because it means that the panel will be able to  the responses given by candidates
  5. The  ensures members can assess whether the essential and desirable criteria were met
  6. The final appointment  not with the panel but with the Appointing Manager
  7. Any offer of work will be  on the successful candidate passing the employment checks



22. objectivity

23. notified

24. HR department / Human Resources department

25. compare

26. Interview Report Form

27. decision resides

28. conditional

Reading Exercise 12 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27–40, which are based on Reading Passage  below.

Britain needs strong TV industry

Comedy writer Armando Iannucci has called for an industry-wide defence of the BBC and British programme-makers. “The Thick of It” creator made his remarks in the annual MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

“It’s more important than ever that we have more strong, popular channels… that act as beacons, drawing audiences to the best content,” he said. Speaking earlier, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale rejected suggestions that he wanted to dismantle the BBC.

‘Champion supporters’

Iannucci co-wrote “I’m Alan Partridge”, wrote the movie “In the Loop” and created and wrote the hit “HBO” and “Sky Atlantic show Veep”. He delivered the 40th annual MacTaggart Lecture, which has previously been given by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, former BBC director general Greg Dyke, Jeremy Paxman and Rupert Murdoch. Iannucci said: “Faced with a global audience, British television needs its champion supporters.”

He continued his praise for British programming by saying the global success of American TV shows had come about because they were emulating British television. “The best US shows are modelling themselves on what used to make British TV so world-beating,” he said. “US prime-time schedules are now littered with those quirky formats from the UK – the “Who Do You Think You Are”‘s and the variants on “Strictly Come Dancing” – as well as the single-camera non-audience sitcom, which we brought into the mainstream first. We have changed international viewing for the better.”

With the renewal of the BBC’s royal charter approaching, Iannucci also praised the corporation. He said: “If public service broadcasting – one of the best things we’ve ever done creatively as a country – if it was a car industry, our ministers would be out championing it overseas, trying to win contracts, boasting of the British jobs that would bring.” In July, the government issued a green paper setting out issues that will be explored during negotiations over the future of the BBC, including the broadcaster’s size, its funding and governance.

Primarily Mr Whittingdale wanted to appoint a panel of five people, but finally he invited two more people to advise on the channer renewal, namely former Channel 4 boss Dawn Airey and journalism professor Stewart Purvis, a former editor-in-chief of ITN. Iannucci bemoaned the lack of “creatives” involved in the discussions.

“When the media, communications and information industries make up nearly 8% our GDP, larger than the car and oil and gas industries put together, we need to be heard, as those industries are heard. But when I see the panel of experts who’ve been asked by the culture secretary to take a root and branch look at the BBC, I don’t see anyone who is a part of that cast and crew list. I see executives, media owners, industry gurus, all talented people – but not a single person who’s made a classic and enduring television show.”

‘Don’t be modest’

Iannucci suggested one way of easing the strain on the licence fee was “by pushing ourselves more commercially abroad”.

“Use the BBC’s name, one of the most recognised brands in the world,” he said. “And use the reputation of British television across all networks, to capitalise financially oversees. Be more aggressive in selling our shows, through advertising, through proper international subscription channels, freeing up BBC Worldwide to be fully commercial, whatever it takes.

“Frankly, don’t be icky and modest about making money, let’s monetise the bezeesus Mary and Joseph out of our programmes abroad so that money can come back, take some pressure off the licence fee at home and be invested in even more ambitious quality shows, that can only add to our value.”

Mr Whittingdale, who was interviewed by ITV News’ Alastair Stewart at the festival, said he wanted an open debate about whether the corporation should do everything it has done in the past.  He said he had a slight sense that people who rushed to defend the BBC were “trying to have an argument that’s never been started”.

“Whatever my view is, I don’t determine what programmes the BBC should show,” he added. “That’s the job of the BBC.” Mr Whittingdale said any speculation that the Conservative Party had always wanted to change the BBC due to issues such as its editorial line was “absolute nonsense”.

Questions 27-31

Do the following statements agree with the information in the IELTS reading text?

In boxes 2731 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. Armando Iannucci expressed a need of having more popular channels.                                            

28. John Whittingdale wanted to dismantle the BBC.                                            

29. Iannucci delivered the 30th annual MacTaggart Lecture.                                            

30. Ianucci believes that British television has contributed to the success of American TV-shows.                                            

31. There have been negotiations over the future of the BBC in July.                                            

Questions 32–35

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet.

32. Ianucci praised everything EXCEPT

      A  US shows

      B  British shows

      C  Corporation

      D  British programming

33. To advise on the charter renewal Mr Whittingdale appointed a panel of

      A  five people

      B  two people

      C  seven people

      D  four people


34. Who of these people was NOT invited to the discussion concerning BBC renewal?

      A  Armando Iannucci

      B  Dawn Airey

      C  John Whittingdale

      D  Stewart Purvis


35. There panel of experts lacks:

      A  media owners

      B  people who make enduring TV-shows

      C  gurus of Television industry

      D  top executives

Questions 36–40

Complete the summary below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 3740 on your answer sheet Easing the strain on the licence fees

Iannucci recommended increasing BBC’s profit by pushing ourselves more 36. He suggests being more aggressive in selling British shows, through advertising and proper international 37. Also, he invokes producers to stop being 38.  and modest about making money and invest into even 39.  quality shows. However, Mr Whittingdale denied any 40.  that the Conservative Party had always wanted to change the BBC because of its editorial line.



  1. True
  2. False
  3. Not Given
  4. True
  5. False
  6. A
  7. C
  8. A
  9. B
  10. commercially abroad
  11. subscription channels
  12. icky
  13. more ambitious
  14. speculation

Reading Exercise 13 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Visiting Australia

Traveller’s Tips

A. Quarantine Arrangement

Australia is a beautiful country free from many pests and diseases found elsewhere in the world. Quarantine helps keep it that way. When entering Australia, it’s vital that you declare on your Incoming Passenger Card any food, live plants and animals and any items made from wood, plants or animals. Quarantine officers use detector dog teams, X-ray machines and random baggage checks to detect undeclared quarantine items. If you conceal items of quarantine concern, you may receive an on-the-spot fine or you could be prosecuted.

B. Health in Australia

Australia has a very high standard of hygiene and very safe food and drinking water. As a result, special precautions are unnecessary. No vaccinations are required unless some time has been spent in an infected country in the previous two weeks, although immunisation is always a good idea if your international itinerary is broad.

C. Health Services

Australia offers free service at public hospitals to its own citizens and permanent residents and has universal health care under the Medicare system. This covers most or all of the cost of visiting a doctor. However, these services only extend to citizens of the United Kingdom and New Zealand. All visitors will have to pay in full and up-front for dental treatment, ambulance charges and medicines. The cost of an unsubsidised, standard visit to a doctor is currently around A$35, but serious illness can be much more expensive. Traveller’s insurance covering medical care and medicines is therefore highly recommended. A personal basic medical kit could also be a good idea.

D. Fire Bans

Respect fire bans (broadcast on the radio) and be careful with cigarette butts and broken glass which can ignite bush fires in hot, dry weather. if caught in a fire, head for a clearing (avoid dense tree growths). If in a car get off the road, stay in the vehicle, get under the dashboard and cover yourself, preferably with a woollen blanket.

E. Bushwalking

If bushwalking or camping, be sure to leave an itinerary with friends and go carefully prepared for the contingency of getting lost. Remember that nights can be freezing despite the daytime temperature.

F. Bite and Fright

When walking in the bush and rainforest, be sure to wear boots, thick long socks and long trousers and be careful about putting your hand into holes. Ticks* and leeches* are common so check your body thoroughly after bushwalking. Ticks can be dangerous if not removed. They can be removed with kerosene or methylated spirits (don’t break the head off inside your body) and leeches can be removed with salt or heat.


The chances of being attacked, stung or bitten by poisonous wildlife are extremely remote but, if a poisonous snake or spider should bite, try to stay calm, wrap the area in a tight bandage, keep very still and send for medical help.


A similar procedure applies to poisonous marine life. Sea wasps are a deadly type of jellyfish which sting with their tentacles, causing tell-tale welt marks. Wash the wound with vinegar and don’t remove the stingers. Do not swim in unprotected waters. Areas of danger – particularly those involving sharks, crocodiles and stingers – have clearly marked signs. Even if your English is less than perfect, the signs have clear illustrations of the potential dangers of an area.

I. Australian Roads

There is a very clear division between inland and coastal roads. The built-up coastal area from South Australia to Queensland (and the south western corner of Western Australia) is served by modern freeways and good quality sealed roads. The further inland the traveller goes, the worse the roads become. In the far west of Queensland, for example, the roads can be unsealed and around the Gulf it is common for a road to only have a single width of tarmac. This means that if you come across a road train (they can be over 20 metres long) carrying cattle you have to head off the road. This is not a humorous suggestion. Road trains need all the road and expect on-coming traffic to head for the hills. They have trouble deviating and will destroy a car rather than endanger their entire load.

*small animals which such blood

Questions 1-6

The passage has nine paragraphs labelled A-I

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-I in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

1. a comparison between the interior and areas near the sea ……….

2. a warning about luggage ……….

3. advice about clothing ……….

4. advice on litter ……….

5. information on a problem which doesn’t occur often ……….

6. reassurance about what you can eat ……….

Questions 7-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?

In boxes 7-13 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

7. If you try to bring things which are forbidden into Australia, you may be taken to court. ……….

8. Under certain circumstances, vaccinations are obligatory for entry to Australia. ……….

9. Only people with Australian nationality receive free medical treatment in Australia. ……….

10. If you are trapped in a bush fire while driving, you should abandon your car. ……….

11. Leech bites can cause dangerous infections. ……….

12. Sea swimming is completely safe in protected areas. ……….

13. If you meet a road train on a narrow road, leave the road. ……….

Questions 14-18

Complete the following table with words taken from the passage.

Use ONE OR TWO WORDS for each answer.

Problem or danger Precaution or remedy
Medical costs Obtain  14. ………. .
  15. ………. Find an open space away from trees.
Getting lost in the bush Tell someone your 16.  ………. in advance.
Ticks and leeches Examine On  17. ……….  carefully after a walk.
Snake or spider bite Put a  18. ………. around it.




1 = I
2 = A
3 = F
4 = D
5 = G
6 = B
7 = YES
8 = YES
9 = NO
10 = NO
13 = YES
14 = Traveller’s Insurance
15 = Bush Fires
16 = Itinerary
17 = Your body
18 = Tight bandage

Reading Exercise 14 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.


The average air temperature at the surface of the earth has risen this century, as has the temperature of ocean surface waters. Because water expands as it heats, a warmer ocean means higher sea levels. We cannot say definitely that the temperature rises are due to the greenhouse effect; the heating may be part of a “natural” variability over a long time-scale that we have not yet recognized I our short 100 years of recording. However, assuming the build up of greenhouse gases is responsible, and that the warming will continue. Scientists and inhabitants of low-lying coastal areas would like to know the extent of future sea level rises.

Paragraph 2.

Calculating this is not easy. Models used for the purpose have treated the oceans as passive, stationary and one-dimensional. Scientists have assumed that heat simply diffused into the sea from the atmosphere. Using basic physical laws, they then predict how much a known volume of water would expand for a given increase in temperature. But the oceans are not one-dimensional, and recent work by oceanographers, using a new model which takes into account a number of subtle facets of the sea-including vast and complex ocean currents-suggests that the rise in sea level may be less than some earlier estimates had predicted.

Paragraph 3

An international forum on climate change, in 1986, produced figures for likely sea-level rises of 20 cm and 1.4 m, corresponding to atmospheric temperature increases of 1.5 and 4.5C respectively. Some scientists estimate that the ocean warming resulting from those temperature increases by the year 2050 would raise the sea level by between 10 cm and 40 cm. This model only takes into account the temperature effect on the oceans; it does not consider changes in sea level brought about by the melting of ice sheets and glaciers, and changes in groundwater storage. When we add on estimates of these, we arrive at figures for total sea-level rises of 15 cm and 70 cm respectively.

Paragraph 4

It’s not easy trying to model accurately the enormous complexities of the ever-changing oceans, with their great volume, massive currents and sensitively to the influence of land masses and the atmosphere. For example, consider how heat enters the ocean. Does it just “diffuse” from the warmer air vertically into the water, and heat only the surface layer of the sea? (Warm water is less dense than cold, so it would not spread downwards). Conventional models of sea-level rise have considered that this the only method, but measurements have shown that the rate of heat transfer into the ocean by vertical diffusion is far lower in practice than the figures that many models have adopted.

Paragraph 5

Much of the early work, for simplicity, ignored the fact that water in the oceans moves in three dimensions. By movement, of course, scientists don’t mean waves, which are too small individually to consider, but rather movement of vast volumes of water in huge currents. To understand the importance of this, we now need to consider another process-advection. Imagine smoke rising from a chimney. On a still day it will slowly spread out in all directions by means of diffusion. With a strong directional wind, however, it will all shift downwind, this process is advection-the transport of properties (notably heat and salinity in ocean) by the movement of bodies of air or water, rather than by conduction or diffusion.

Paragraph 6

Massive oceans current called gyres do the moving. These currents have far more capacity to store heat than does the atmosphere. Indeed, just the top 3 m of the ocean contains more heat than the whole of the atmosphere. The origin of the gyres lies in the fact that more heat from the Sun reaches the Equator than the Poles, and naturally heat trends to move from the former to the latter. Warm air rises at the Equator, and draws more air beneath it in the form of winds (the “Trade Winds”) that, together with other air movements, provide the main force driving the ocean currents.

Paragraph 7

Water itself is heated at the Equator and moves poleward, twisted by the Earth’s rotation and affected by the positions of the continents. The resultant broadly circular movements between about 10 and 40 ‘ North and South are clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. They flow towards the east at mind latitudes in the equatorial region. They then flow towards the Poles, along the eastern sides of continents, as warm currents. When two different masses of water meet, once will move beneath the other, depending on their relative densities in the subduction process.

The densities are determined by temperature and salinity. The convergence of water of different densities from the Equator and the Poles deep in the oceans causes continuous subduction. This means that water moves vertically as well as horizontally. Cold water from the Poles travels as depth-it is denser than warm water-until it emerges at the surface in another part of the world in the form of a cold current.


Ocean currents, in three dimensions, from a giant “conveyor belt”, distributing heat from the thin surface layer into the interior of the oceans and around the globe. Water may take decades to circulate in these 3-D gyres in the lop kilometer of the ocean, and centuries in the deep water. With the increased atmospheric temperatures due to the greenhouse effect, the oceans conveyor belt will carry more heat into the interior.

This subduction moves heat around far more effectively than simple diffusion. Because warm water expands more than cold when it is heated, scientists had presumed that the sea level would rise unevenly around the globe. It is now believed that these inequalities cannot persist, as winds will act to continuously spread out the water expansion. Of course, of global warming changes the strength and distribution of the winds, then this “evening-out” process may not occur, and the sea level could rise more in some areas than others.

Questions 1-6

This Reading Passage  has 8 Paragraphs, 1-8. The first paragraph and the last have been given headings. Choose the correct heading for the remaining 6 Paragraphs from the list below.

There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use all the headings.

Write the correct number, A-I, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet

     Paragraph 2

     Paragraph 3

     Paragraph 4

     Paragraph 5

     Paragraph 6

     Paragraph 7

List of Headings
A The gyre principle
B The Greenhouse Effect
C How ocean waters move
D Statistical evidence
E The advection principle
F Diffusion versus advection
G Figuring the sea level changes
H Estimated figures
I The diffusion model

Questions 7-8

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 7-8 on your answer sheet.

7 Scientists do not know for sure why the air and surface of oceans temperatures are rising because

A  there is too much variability

B  there is no enough variability

C  they have not been recording these temperatures for enough time

D  the changes have only been noticed for 100 years

8 New search leads scientists to believe that

A  the oceans are less complex

B  the oceans are more complex

C  the oceans will rise more than expected

D  the oceans will rise less than expected

Questions 9

Look at the following list of factors A-F and select THREE which are mentioned in the Reading Passage 2 which may contribute to the rising ocean levels.

Write the correct THREE letters A-F in the box 9 on your answer sheet.

A  thermal expansion

B  melting ice

C  increased air temperature

D  higher rainfall

E  changes in the water table

F  increased ocean movement

Questions 10-14

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? 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

10      The surface layer of the oceans is warmed by the atmosphere.

11      Advection of water changes heat and salt levels.

12      A gyre holds less heat than there is in the atmosphere.

13      The process of subduction depends on the water density.

14      The sea level is expected to rise evenly over the Earth’s surface



1. G 8. D
2. H 9. B C E
3. I 10. NOT GIVEN
4. E 11. TRUE
5. A 12. FALSE
6. C 13. TRUE
7. C 14. FALSE

Reading Exercise 15 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

The burden of thirst

Millions of women carry water long distances. If they had a tap by their door, whole societies would be transformed.


Aylito Binayo’s feet know the mountain. Even at four in the morning, she can run down the rocks to the river by starlight alone and climb the steep mountain back up to her village with a container of water on her back. She has made this journey three times a day since she was a small child.

So has every other woman in her village of Foro, in the Konso district of south-western Ethiopia in Africa. Binayo left school when she was eight years old, in part because she had to help her mother fetch water from the Toiro River. The water is unsafe to drink; every year that the drought continues, the river carries less water, and its flow is reduced. But it is the only water Foro has ever had.


In developed parts of the world, people turn on a tap and out pours abundant, clean water. Yet nearly 900 million people in the world have no access to clean water. Furthermore, 2.5 billion people have no safe way to get rid of human waste. Polluted water and lack of proper hygiene cause disease and kill 3.3 million people around the world annually, most of them children. In southern Ethiopia and in northern Kenya, a lack of rain over the past few years has made even dirty water hard to find. But soon, for the first time, things are going to change.


Bringing clean water close to villagers’ homes is the key to the problem. Communities where clean water becomes accessible and plentiful are transformed. All the hours previously spent hauling water can be used to cultivate more crops, raise more animals or even start a business. Families spend less time sick or caring for family members who are unwell. Most important, not having to collect water means girls can go to school and get jobs. The need to fetch water for the family, or to take care of younger siblings while their mother goes, usually prevents them ever having this experience.


But the challenges of bringing water to remote villages like those in Konso are overwhelming. Locating water underground and then reaching it by means of deep wells requires geological expertise and expensive, heavy machines. Abandoned wells and water projects litter the villages of Konso. In similar villages around the developing world, the biggest problem with water schemes is that about half of them break down soon after the groups that built them move on. Sometimes technology is used that can’t be repaired locally, or spare parts are available only in the capital.


Today, a UK-based international non-profit organisation called WaterAid is tackling the job of bringing water to the most remote villages of Konso. Their approach combines technologies proven to last – such as building a sand dam to capture and filter rainwater that would otherwise drain away. But the real innovation is that WaterAid believes technology is only part of the solution. Just as important is involving the local community in designing, building and maintaining new water projects. Before beginning any project, WaterAid asks the community to create a WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) committee of seven people. The committee works with WaterAid to plan projects and involve the village in construction. Then it maintains and runs the project.


The people of Konso, who grow their crops on terraces they have dug into the sides of mountains, are famous for hard work. In the village of Orbesho, residents even constructed a road themselves so that drilling machinery could come in. Last summer, their pump, installed by the river, was being motorised to push its water to a newly built reservoir on top of a nearby mountain. From there, gravity will carry it down in pipes to villages on the other side of the mountain. Residents of those villages have each given some money to help fund the project. They have made concrete and collected stones for the structures. Now they are digging trenches to lay pipes. If all goes well, Aylito Binayo will have a tap with safe water just a three-minute walk from her front door.

adapted from National Geographic magazine

Questions 1-6

The reading passage has six paragraphs, A-F.

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.

      Paragraph  A

      Paragraph  B

      Paragraph  C

      Paragraph  D

      Paragraph  E

      Paragraph  F

List of Headings
i Why some plans have failed
ii A rural and urban problem
iii A possible success
iv Explaining a new management style
v Some relevant statistics
vi A regular trip for some people
vii Treating people for disease
viii How water can change people’s lives

Questions 7-11

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

7      The water levels in the Toiro River are falling because of 

8      Globally, the number of people who die each year as a result of using dirty water is 

9      When families have clean water, they can spend more time growing 

10       Specialist knowledge and equipment are needed to dig 

11       WaterAid uses a dam made of  to capture rainwater.

Questions 12-13

Choose TWO letters, A-E.

Which TWO of these activities were performed by the villagers of Orbesho?

A  building a transport route

B  digging a reservoir

C  gathering building materials

D  making pipes

E  fitting taps



1. vi 8. 3.3 million
2. v 9. crops
3. viii 10. wells
4. i 11. sand
7. drought

Reading Exercise 16 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 31–40, which are based on Reading Passage  below.

When you think about it, kissing is strange and a bit icky. You share saliva with someone, sometimes for a prolonged period of time. One kiss could pass on 80 million bacteria, not all of them good.

Yet everyone surely remembers their first kiss, in all its embarrassing or delightful detail, and kissing continues to play a big role in new romances.

At least, it does in some societies. People in western societies may assume that romantic kissing is a universal human behaviour, but a new analysis suggests that less than half of all cultures actually do it. Kissing is also extremely rare in the animal kingdom.

So what’s really behind this odd behaviour? If it is useful, why don’t all animals do it – and all humans too? It turns out that the very fact that most animals don’t kiss helps explain why some do.

According to a new study of kissing preferences, which looked at 168 cultures from around the world, only 46% of cultures kiss in the romantic sense.

Previous estimates had put the figure at 90%. The new study excluded parents kissing their children, and focused solely on romantic lip-on-lip action between couples.

Many hunter-gatherer groups showed no evidence of kissing or desire to do so. Some even considered it revolting. The Mehinaku tribe in Brazil reportedly said it was “gross”. Given that hunter-gatherer groups are the closest modern humans get to living our ancestral lifestyle, our ancestors may not have been kissing either.

The study overturns the belief that romantic kissing is a near-universal human behaviour, says lead author William Jankowiak of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Instead it seems to be a product of western societies, passed on from one generation to the next, he says. There is some historical evidence to back that up.

Kissing as we do it today seems to be a fairly recent invention, says Rafael Wlodarski of the University of Oxford in the UK. He has trawled through records to find evidence of how kissing has changed. The oldest evidence of a kissing-type behaviour comes from Hindu Vedic Sanskrit texts from over 3,500 years ago. Kissing was described as inhaling each other’s soul.

In contrast, Egyptian hieroglyphics picture people close to each other rather than pressing their lips together.

So what is going on? Is kissing something we do naturally, but that some cultures have suppressed? Or is it something modern humans have invented?

We can find some insight by looking at animals.

Our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, do kiss. Primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, has seen many instances of chimps kissing and hugging after conflict.

For chimpanzees, kissing is a form of reconciliation. It is more common among males than females. In other words, it is not a romantic behaviour.

Their cousins the bonobos kiss more often, and they often use tongues while doing so. That’s perhaps not surprising, because bonobos are highly sexual beings.

When two humans meet, we might shake hands. Bonobos have sex: the so-called bonobo handshake. They also use sex for many other kinds of bonding. So their kisses are not particularly romantic, either.

These two apes are exceptions. As far as we know, other animals do not kiss at all. They may nuzzle or touch their faces together, but even those that have lips don’t share saliva or purse and smack their lips together. They don’t need to.

Take wild boars. Males produce a pungent smell that females find extremely attractive. The key chemical is a pheromone called androstenone that triggers the females’ desire to mate.

From a female’s point of view this is a good thing, because males with the most androstonene are also the most fertile. Her sense of smell is so acute, she doesn’t need to get close enough to kiss the male.

The same is true of many other mammals. For example, female hamsters emit a pheromone that gets males very excited. Mice follow similar chemical traces to help them find partners that are genetically different, minimising the risk of accidental incest.

Animals often release these pheromones in their urine. “Their urine is much more pungent,” says Wlodarski. “If there’s urine present in the environment they can assess compatibility through that.”

It’s not just mammals that have a great sense of smell. A male black widow spider can smell pheromones produced by a female that tell him if she has recently eaten. To minimise the risk of being eaten, he will only mate with her if she is not hungry.

The point is, animals do not need to get close to each other to smell out a good potential mate.

On the other hand, humans have an atrocious sense of smell, so we benefit from getting close. Smell isn’t the only cue we use to assess each other’s fitness, but studies have shown that it plays an important role in mate choice.

A study published in 1995 showed that women, just like mice, prefer the smell of men who are genetically different from them. This makes sense, as mating with someone with different genes is likely to produce healthy offspring. Kissing is a great way to get close enough to sniff out your partner’s genes.

In 2013, Wlodarski examined kissing preferences in detail. He asked several hundred people what was most important when kissing someone. How they smelled featured highly, and the importance of smell increased when women were most fertile.

It turns out that men also make a version of the pheromone that female boars find attractive. It is present in male sweat, and when women are exposed to it their arousal levels increase slightly.

Pheromones are a big part of how mammals chose a mate, says Wlodarski, and we share some of them. “We’ve inherited all of our biology from mammals, we’ve just added extra things through evolutionary time.”

On that view, kissing is just a culturally acceptable way to get close enough to another person to detect their pheromones.

In some cultures, this sniffing behaviour turned into physical lip contact. It’s hard to pinpoint when this happened, but both serve the same purpose, says Wlodarski.

So if you want to find a perfect match, you could forego kissing and start smelling people instead. You’ll find just as good a partner, and you won’t get half as many germs. Be prepared for some funny looks, though.

Questions 31–35

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage ?

In boxes 31–35 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


31. Both Easter and Wester societies presume that kissing is essential for any part of the world.                                      

32. Our ancestors were not likely to kiss.                                      

33. Chimpanzees and bonbons kiss not for the romance.                                      

34. There are other animal, rather than apes, that kiss.                                      

35. Scent might be important in choosing your partner.                                      

Questions 36–39

Complete the sentences below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 35–39 on your answer sheet.

36. According to the Mehinaku tribe, kissing is  .

37. Human tradition is to  when they meet.

38. A male black widow will mate with the female if only she is  .

39. Humans benefit from getting close due to the fact that we have an  of smell.

Question 40

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

40. Passage 3 can be described as:

  1.  Strictly scientific text
  2.  Historical article
  3.  Article from a magazine
  4.  Dystopian sketch


  1. False
  2. True
  3. True
  4. False
  5. True
  6. gross
  7. shake hands
  8. not hungry
  9. (an) atrocious sense
  10. C

Reading Exercise 17 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Lack of sleep

Section A

It is estimated that the average man or woman needs between seven-and-a-half and eight hours’ sleep a night. Some can manage on a lot less. Baroness Thatcher, for example, was reported to be able to get by on four hours’ sleep a night when she was Prime Minister of Britain. Dr Jill Wilkinson, senior lecturer in psychology at Surrey University and co-author of ‘Psychology in Counselling and Therapeutic Practice’, states that healthy individuals sleeping less than five hours or even as little as two hours in every 24 hours are rare, but represent a sizeable minority.

Section B

The latest beliefs are that the main purposes of sleep are to enable the body to rest and replenish, allowing time for repairs to take place and for tissue to be regenerated. One supporting piece of evidence for this rest-and-repair theory is that production of the growth hormone somatotropin, which helps tissue to regenerate, peaks while we are asleep. Lack of sleep, however, can compromise the immune system, muddle thinking, cause depression, promote anxiety and encourage irritability.

Section C

Researchers in San Diego deprived a group of men of sleep between 1am and 5am on just one night, and found that levels of their bodies’ natural defences against viral infections had fallen significantly when measured the following morning. ‘Sleep is essential for our physical and emotional well-being and there are few aspects of daily living that are not disrupted by the lack of it’, says Professor William Regelson of Virginia University, a specialist in insomnia. ‘Because it can seriously undermine the functioning of the immune system, sufferers are vulnerable to infection.’

Section D

For many people, lack of sleep is rarely a matter of choice. Some have problems getting to sleep, others with staying asleep until the morning. Despite popular belief that sleep is one long event, research shows that, in an average night, there are five stages of sleep and four cycles, during which the sequence of stages is repeated.

In the first light phase, the heart rate and blood pressure go down and the muscles relax, In the next two stages, sleep gets progressively deeper. In stage four, usually reached after an hour, the slumber is so deep that, if awoken, the sleeper would be confused and disorientated. It is in this phase that sleep-walking can occur, with an average episode lasting no more than 15 minutes.

In the fifth stage, the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, the heartbeat quickly gets back to normal levels, brain activity accelerates to daytime heights and above and the eyes move constantly beneath closed lids as if the sleeper is looking at something. During this stage, the body is almost paralysed. This REM phase is also the time when we dream.

Section E

Sleeping patterns change with age, which is why many people over 60 develop insomnia. In America, that age group consumes almost half the sleep medication on the market. One theory for the age-related change is that it is due to hormonal changes. The temperature General Training: Reading and Writing rise occurs at daybreak in the young, but at three or four in the morning in the elderly. Age aside, it is estimated that roughly one in three people suffer some kind of sleep disturbance. Causes can be anything from pregnancy and stress to alcohol and heart disease. Smoking is a known handicap to sleep, with one survey showing that ex-smokers got to sleep in 18 minutes rather than their earlier average of 52 minutes.

Section F

Apart from self-help therapy such as regular exercise, there are psychological treatments, including relaxation training and therapy aimed at getting rid of pre-sleep worries and anxieties. There is also sleep reduction therapy, where the aim is to improve sleep quality by strictly regulating the time people go to bed and when they get up. Medication is regarded by many as a last resort and often takes the form of sleeping pills, normally benzodiazepines, which are minor tranquillisers.

Section G

Professor Regelson advocates the use of melatonin for treating sleep disorders. Melatonin is a naturally secreted hormone, located in the pineal gland deep inside the brain. The main function of the hormone is to control the body’s biological clock, so we know when to sleep and when to wake. The gland detects light reaching it through the eye; when there is no light, it secretes the melatonin into the bloodstream, lowering the body temperature and helping to induce sleep. Melatonin pills contain a synthetic version of the hormone and are commonly used for jet lag as well as for sleep disturbance.

John Nicholls, sales manager of one of America’s largest health food shops, claims that sales of the pill have increased dramatically. He explains that it is sold in capsules, tablets, lozenges and mixed with herbs. It is not effective for all insomniacs, but many users have weaned themselves off sleeping tablets as a result of its application.

Questions 1-8

The passage has seven sections labelled A-G.

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

  the different amounts of sleep that people require  
  an investigation into the results of sleep deprivation
  some reasons why people may suffer from sleep disorders  
  lifestyle changes which can help overcome sleep-related problems  
  a process by which sleep helps us to remain mentally and physically healthy  
  claims about a commercialised man-made product for sleeplessness  
  the role of physical changes in sleeping habits  
  the processes involved during sleep

Questions 9-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage.

In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE  if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE  iff the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN  if there is no information on this
    Sleep can cure some illnesses.  
10   The various stages of sleep occur more than once a night.
11   Dreaming and sleep-walking occur at similar stages of sleep.  
12   Sleepers move around a lot during the REM stage of sleep.  
13   The body temperature rises relatively early in elderly people.


1. A 8. D
3. E 10. TRUE
4. F 11. FALSE
5. B 12. FALSE
6. G 13. TRUE
7. E

Reading Exercise 18 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

The Birth of Blue


As a primary colour, blue has been the most difficult for artists and scientists to create.

Artists have always been enhanced by blue, yet fine blues have long been difficult to obtain. Blues are relatively rare in nature, and painters throughout the ages have therefore found themselves at the mercy of what contemporary chemical technology could offer. Some blues have been prohibitively expensive, others were unreliable. The quest for a good blue has driven some crucial technological innovations, showing that the interaction of art and science has not always been a one-way affair.

The first pigments were simply ground-up coloured minerals dug from the earth. But few blue minerals are suitable as pigments – so there are no blues in cave art. Ancient Egyptian artists used blue prominently, however, because they knew how to make a fine artificial pigment, now known as Egyptian blue.

The discovery of Egyptian blue, like that of many other artificial pigments, was almost certainly an accident. The Egyptians manufactured blue-glazed stones and ornaments called faience using a technique they inherited from the Mesopotamians. Faience manufacture was big business in the ancient world-it was traded all over Europe by 1500 BC. Faience is made by heating stone ornaments in a kiln with copper minerals such as malachite. Egyptian blue, which was made from at least 2500 BC, comes from firing chalk or limestone with sand and copper minerals, and probably appeared by the chance mixture of these ingredients in a faience kiln.

Scientists recently deduced the secrets of another ancient blue: Maya blue, used for centuries throughout central America before the Spanish Conquest. This is a kind of clay – a mineral made of sheets of atoms – with molecules of the blue dye indigo wedged between the sheets. Using indigo in this way makes it less liable to decompose. No one has made colours this way since the Mayas, and no one knows exactly how they did it. But technologists are now interested in using the same trick to make stable pigments from other dyes.

The finest pigment available to mediartists was ultramarine, which began to appear in Western art in the 13th century. It was made from the blue mineral lapis lazuli, of which only one source was known: the remote mines of Badakshan, now in Afghanistan. In addition to the difficulty of transporting the mineral over such distances, making the pigment was a tremendously laborious business. Lapis lazuli turns greyish when powdered because of impurities in the mineral. To extract the pure blue pigment, the powder has to be mixed to a dough with wax and kneaded repeatedly in water.

As a result, ultramarine could cost more than its weight in gold, and medieval artists were very selective in using it. Painters since the Renaissance craved a cheaper, more accessible, blue to compare with ultramarine. Things improved in 1704, when a Berlin-based colour maker called Diesbach discovered the first “modern” synthetic pigment: Prussian blue. Diesbach was trying to make a red pigment, using a recipe that involved the alkali potash. But Diesbach’s potash was contaminated with animal oil, and the synthesis did not work out as planned. Instead of red, Diesbach made blue.

The oil had reacted to produce cyanide, a vital ingredient of Prussian blue. Diesbach kept his recipe secret for many years, but it was discovered and published in 1724, after which anyone could make the colour. By the 1750s, it cost just a tenth of ultramarine. But it wasn’t such a glorious blue, and painters still weren’t satisfied. They got a better alternative in 1802, when the French chemist Louis Jacques Thenard invented cobalt blue.

Best of all was the discovery in 1826 of a method for making ultramarine itself. The French Society for the Encouragement of National Industry offered a prize of 6,000 francs in 1824 to anyone who could make artificial ultramarine at an affordable price. The Toulouse chemist Jean-Baptiste Guimet was awarded the prize two years later, when he showed that ultramarine could be made by heating china clay, soda, charcoal, sand and sulphur in a furnace. This meant that there was no longer any need to rely on the scarce natural source, and ultramarine eventually became a relatively cheap commercial pigment (called French ultramarine, as it was first mass-produced in Paris).

In the 1950s, synthetic ultramarine became the source of what is claimed to be the world’s most beautiful blue. Invented by the French artist Yves Klein in collaboration with a Parisian paint manufacturer, Edouard Adam, International Klein Blue is a triumph of modern chemistry. Klein was troubled by how pigments lost their richness when they were mixed with liquid binder to make a paint. With Adam’s help, he found that a synthetic resin, thinned with organic solvents, would retain this vibrant texture in the dry paint layer. In 1957, Klein launched his new blue with a series of monochrome paintings, and in 1960 he protected his invention with a patent.

Questions 1-4

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

The colours used in cave paintings and other early art were made by crushing . However, later artists have generally had to rely on the  of the day for their supplies of blue. Among the first examples of the widespread use of blue was in  art. Over the centuries, many more attempts to create acceptable blues have been made, some of which have led to significant .

Questions 5-6

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

5. What was the main disadvantage in using ultramarine for medieval artists?

6. The discovery of Prussian blue was the result of

Questions 7-12

Look at the following notes that have been made about the types of blue described in Reading Passage.

Match each description with a type of blue.

Types of Blue
AEgyptian blue
BMaya blue
DPrussian blue
Ecobalt blue
FFrench ultramarine
GInternational Klein Blue

7. derived from a scarce natural resource  ……….

8. specially designed to retain its depth of colour when used in paint  ……….

9. was cheap to produce but had limited appeal for artists  ……….

10. made using a technique which is not yet fully understood  ……….

11. thought to have been produced during another manufacturing process  ……….

12. came to be manufactured inexpensively in large quantities  ……….




1 =  minerals / coloured

2 = minerals / colored minerals

3 = technology / chemical technology / science

4 = Egyptian / Ancient Egyptian

5 = technological innovations

6 = B

7 = C

8 = G

9 = D

10 = B

11 = A

12 = F

Reading Exercise 19 (  General Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

Bingham Regional College

International Students’ Orientation Programme

What is it?

It is a course which will introduce you to the College and to Bingham. It takes place in the week before term starts, from 24th – 28th September inclusive, but you should plan to arrive in Bingham on the 22nd or 23rd September.

Why do we think it is important?

We want you to have the best possible start to your studies and you need to find out about all the opportunities that college life offers. This programme aims to help you do just that. It will enable you to get to know the College, its facilities and services. You will also have the chance to meet staff and students.

How much will it cost?

International students (non-European Union students)
For those students who do not come from European Union (EU) countries, and who are not used to European culture and customs, the programme is very important and you are strongly advised to attend. Because of this, the cost of the programme, exclusive of accommodation, is built into your tuition fees.

EU students
EU students are welcome to take part in this programme for a fee of £195, exclusive of accommodation. Fees are not refundable.

Accommodation costs (international and EU students)
If you have booked accommodation for the year ahead (41 weeks) through the College in one of the College residences (Cambourne House, Hanley House, the Student Village or a College shared house), you do not have to pay extra for accommodation during the Orientation programme. If you have not booked accommodation in the College residences, you can ask us to pre-book accommodation for you for one week only (Orientation Programme week) in a hotel with other international students. The cost of accommodation for one week is approximately £165. Alternatively, you can arrange your own accommodation for that week in a flat, with friends or a local family.

What is included during the programme?

Meals: lunch and an evening meal are provided as part of the programme, beginning with supper on Sunday 23rd September and finishing with lunch at midday on Friday 28th September. Please note that breakfast is not available.

Information sessions: including such topics as accommodation, health, religious matters, welfare, immigration, study skills, careers and other ‘essential information’.

Social activities: including a welcome buffet and a half-day excursion round Bingham.

Transport: between your accommodation and the main College campus, where activities will take place.

Questions 1-6

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage.

In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN iif there is no information on this
  Participants are advised to arrive one or two days early.  
  The cost of the programme for European Union students, excluding accommodation, is £195.
  The number of places available is strictly limited.  
  Some students are not charged extra for accommodation during the programme.  
  The College will arrange accommodation with local families.  
  You can obtain breakfast at the College for an extra charge.



Reading Exercise 20 (  Academic Reading)

Read the text and answer the questions below.

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 13-28, which are based on Reading Passage  below.

We know the city where HIV first emerged

It is easy to see why AIDS seemed so mysterious and frightening when US medics first encountered it 35 years ago. The condition robbed young, healthy people of their strong immune system, leaving them weak and vulnerable. And it seemed to come out of nowhere.

Today we know much more how and why HIV – the virus that leads to AIDS – has become a global pandemic. Unsurprisingly, sex workers unwittingly played a part. But no less important were the roles of trade, the collapse of colonialism, and 20th Century sociopolitical reform.

HIV did not really appear out of nowhere, of course. It probably began as a virus affecting monkeys and apes in west central Africa.

From there it jumped species into humans on several occasions, perhaps because people ate infected bushmeat. Some people carry a version of HIV closely related to that seen in sooty mangabey monkeys, for instance. But HIV that came from monkeys has not become a global problem.

We are more closely related to apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees, than we are to monkeys. But even when HIV has passed into human populations from these apes, it has not necessarily turned into a widespread health issue.

HIV originating from apes typically belongs to a type of virus called HIV-1. One is called HIV-1 group O, and human cases are largely confined to west Africa.

In fact, only one form of HIV has spread far and wide after jumping to humans. This version, which probably originated from chimpanzees, is called HIV-1 group M (for “major”). More than 90% of HIV infections belong in group M. Which raises an obvious question: what’s so special about HIV-1 group M?

A study published in 2014 suggests a surprising answer: there might be nothing particularly special about group M.

It is not especially infectious, as you might expect. Instead, it seems that this form of HIV simply took advantage of events. “Ecological rather than evolutionary factors drove its rapid spread,” says Nuno Faria at the University of Oxford in the UK.

Faria and his colleagues built a family tree of HIV, by looking at a diverse array of HIV genomes collected from about 800 infected people from central Africa.

Genomes pick up new mutations at a fairly steady rate, so by comparing two genome sequences and counting the differences they could work out when the two last shared a common ancestor. This technique is widely used, for example to establish that our common ancestor with chimpanzees lived at least 7 million years ago.

“RNA viruses such as HIV evolve approximately 1 million times faster than human DNA,” says Faria. This means the HIV “molecular clock” ticks very fast indeed.

It ticks so fast, Faria and his colleagues found that the HIV genomes all shared a common ancestor that existed no more than 100 years ago. The HIV-1 group M pandemic probably first began in the 1920s.

Then the team went further. Because they knew where each of the HIV samples had been collected, they could place the origin of the pandemic in a specific city: Kinshasa, now the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At this point, the researchers changed tack. They turned to historical records to work out why HIV infections in an African city in the 1920s could ultimately spark a pandemic.

A likely sequence of events quickly became obvious. In the 1920s, DR Congo was a Belgian colony and Kinshasa – then known as Leopoldville – had just been made the capital. The city became a very attractive destination for young working men seeking their fortunes, and for sex workers only too willing to help them spend their earnings. The virus spread quickly through the population.

It did not remain confined to the city. The researchers discovered that the capital of the Belgian Congo was, in the 1920s, one of the best connected cities in Africa. Taking full advantage of an extensive rail network used by hundreds of thousands of people each year, the virus spread to cities 900 miles (1500km) away in just 20 years.

Everything was in place for an explosion in infection rates in the 1960s.The beginning of that decade brought another change.

Belgian Congo gained its independence, and became an attractive source of employment to French speakers elsewhere in the world, including Haiti. When these young Haitians returned home a few years later they took a particular form of HIV-1 group M, called “subtype B”, to the western side of the Atlantic.

It arrived in the US in the 1970s, just as sexual liberation and homophobic attitudes were leading to concentrations of gay men in cosmopolitan cities like New York and San Francisco. Once more, HIV took advantage of the sociopolitical situation to spread quickly through the US and Europe.

“There is no reason to believe that other subtypes would not have spread as quickly as subtype B, given similar ecological circumstances,” says Faria.

The story of the spread of HIV is not over yet.

For instance, in 2015 there was an outbreak in the US state of Indiana, associated with drug injecting.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been analyzing the HIV genome sequences and data about location and time of infection, says Yonatan Grad at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. “These data help to understand the extent of the outbreak, and will further help to understand when public health interventions have worked.”

This approach can work for other pathogens. In 2014, Grad and his colleague Marc Lipsitch published an investigation into the spread of drug-resistant gonorrhoea across the US.

“Because we had representative sequences from individuals in different cities at different times and with different sexual orientations, we could show the spread was from the west of the country to the east,” says Lipsitch.

What’s more, they could confirm that the drug-resistant form of gonorrhoea appeared to have circulated predominantly in men who have sex with men. That could prompt increased screening in these at-risk populations, in an effort to reduce further spread.

In other words, there is real power to studying pathogens like HIV and gonorrhoea through the prism of human society.

Questions 13-20

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage ?

In boxes 13-20 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


13. AIDS were first encountered 35 years ago.                                      

14. The most important role in developing AIDS as a pandemia was played by sex workers.                                      

15. It is believed that HIV appeared out of nowhere.                                      

16. Humans are not closely related to monkey.                                      

17. HIV-1 group O originated in 1920s.                                      

18. HIV-1 group M has something special.                                      

19. Human DNA evolves approximately 1 million times slower than HIV.                                      

20. Scientists believe that HIV already existed in 1920s.                                      

Questions 21-28

Complete the sentences below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 21-28 on your answer sheet.

21. Scientists can place the origin of  in a specific city.

22. Kinshasa was a very  for young working men and many others willing to spend their money.

23. In just 20 years virus managed to  to cities 900 miles away.

24. Belgian Congo became an attractive source of employment to French speakers when it gained  .

25. HIV has spread quickly through the US and Europe because of the  .

26. It is said that outbreak in Indiana was associated with  .

27. The same approach as for HIV can work for  .

28. The form of gonorrhoea that is drug-resistant appeared to have  in men who have sex with men.



  1. True
  2. False
  3. False
  4. True
  5. Not given
  6. False
  7. True
  8. True
  9. The pandemic
  10. Attractive destination
  11. Spread
  12. Its independence
  13. Sociopolitical situation
  14. Drug injecting
  15. Other pathogens
  16. Circulated predominantly