IELTS Reading Recent Actual Test 17 in 2016 with Answer Key


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

Computer Games for Preschoolers:

Nintendo’s Research and Design Process

A Designing computer games for young children is a daunting task for game producers, who, for a long time, have concentrated on more “hard core” game fans. This article chronicles the design process and research involved in creating Nintendo DS for preschool gamers.

B After speaking with our producers who have a keen interest in designing for the DS, we finally agreed on three key goals for our project. First, to understand the range of physical and cognitive abilities of preschoolers in the context of handheld system game play; second, to understand how preschool gamers interact with the DS, specifically how they control the different forms of play and game mechanics offered by the games presently on the market for this platform; third, to understand the expectations of preschoolers, parents concerning the handheld systems as well as the purchase and play contexts within which game play occurs. The team of the research decided that in-home ethnographies with preschoolers and their families would yield comprehensive database with which to give our producers more information and insights, so we start by conducting 26 in-home ethnographies in three markets across the United States: an East coast urban/suburban area, a West coast urban/suburban area, and a Midwest suburban/rural area.

C The subjects in this study included 15 girls and 11 boys ranging from 3 years and 3 months old to 5 years and 11 months old. Also, because previous research had shown the effects of older siblings on game play (demonstrated, for example, by more advanced motor coordination when using a computer mouse), households were employed to have a combination of preschoolers with and without elder peers. In order to understand both “experienced” and “new” preschool users of the platform, we divided the sample so that 13 families owned at least one Nintendo DS and the others did not. For those households that did not own a DS, one was brought to the interview for the kid to play. This allowed us to see both the instinctive and intuitive movements of the new players (and of the more experienced players when playing new games), as well as the learned movements of the more experienced players. Each of those interviews took about 60 to 120 minutes and included the preschooler, at least one parent, and often siblings and another caregiver.

D Three kinds of information were collected after each interview. From any older siblings and the parents that were available, we gathered data about : the buying decisions surrounding game systems in the household, the family’s typical game play patterns, levels of parental moderation with regard to computer gaming, and the most favorite games played by family members .We could also understand the ideology of gaming in these homes because of these in-home interviews: what types of spaces were used for game play, how the systems were installed, where the handheld play occurred in the house (as well as on-the-go play), and the number and type of games and game systems owned. The most important is, we gathered the game-playing information for every single kid.

E Before carrying out the interviews, the research team had closely discussed with the in-house game producers to create a list of game mechanics and problems tied to preschoolers* motor and cognitive capabilities that were critical for them to understand prior to writing the games. These ranged from general dexterity issues related to game controllers to the effectiveness of in-game instructions to specific mechanics in current games that the producers were interested in implementing for future preschool titles. During the interviews, the moderator gave specific guidance to the preschooler through a series of games, so that he or she could observe the interaction and probe both the preschooler and his or her parents on feelings, attitudes, and frustrations that arose in the different circumstances

F If the subject in the experiment had previous exposure to the DS system, he or she was first asked to play his or her favorite game on that machine. This gave the researchers information about current of gaming skill related to the complexity of the chosen one, allowing them to see the child playing a game with mechanics he or she was already familiar with. Across the 26 preschoolers, the Nintendo DS selections scope were very broad,including New Super Mario Bros, Sonic Rush. Nintendo, and Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. The interviewer observed the child play,noting preferences for game mechanics and motor interactions with the device as well as the complexity level each game mechanic was for the tested subject The researchers asked all of the preschoolers to play with a specific game in consultation with our producers, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The game was chosen for two major reasons. First, it was one of the few games on the market with characters that appeal to this young age group. Second, it incorporated a large variety of mechanics that highlighted the uniqueness of the DS platform, including using the microphone for blowing or singing.

G The findings from this initial experiment were extensive. After reviewing the outcomes and discussing the implications for the game design with our internal game production team, we then outlined the designing needs and presented the findings to a firm specialising in game design. We worked closely with those experts to set the game design for the two preschool-targeted DS games under development on what we had gathered.

H As the two DS games went into the development process, a formative research course of action was set up. Whenever we developed new game mechanics, we brought preschoolers into our in-house utility lab to test the mechanics and to evaluate both their simplicity, and whether they were engaging. We tested either alpha or beta versions of different elements of the game, in addition to looking at overarching game structure. Once a full version of the DS game was ready, we went back into the field test with a dozen preschoolers and their parents to make sure that each of the game elements worked for the children, and that the overall objective of the game was understandable and the process was enjoyable for players. We also collected parents’ feedback on whether they thought the game is appropriate, engaging, and worth the purchase.

Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLYfrom the passage for each answer. Write your answers in

boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet

Exploratory Research Project

Main Objectives:

Determine the relevant 1_________________ in the context

Observe how preschoolers manage playing

Investigate attitudes of 2______________________________ towards games


26 children from different US 3____________________

Age range: 3 years and 3 months to 5_years and 11 months

Some children have older 4__________________ in the house as playing peers.

Equal number of new and 5___________________________ players

Some households have Nintendo DS and some don’t

Length of Interview:

1-2 hours

Questions 6-9

Do following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1In boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement aggress with the information

FALES             if the statement contradicts the information

NOTGIVEN    if there is no information a on this

6. One area of research is how far mothers and fathers controlled children’s playing after school.

7. Some researchers are allowed an access to the subjects’ houses.

8. The researchers regarded The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure as likely appeal to preschoolers.

9. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is entirely designed for preschool children.

Questions 10-13

Complete the flow-chart below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer Write your answers in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.

Using the Results of the Study

Presentation of design requirements to a specialist 10_________

Testing the mechanics of two new games in the Nintendo lab (assess 11 _________  and interest)

A field test in 12__________________ trailed by twelve children

Collection of 13__________________ from parents


The History of pencil

A The beginning of the story of pencils started with a lightning. Graphite, the main material for producing pencil, was discovered in 1564 in Boirowdale in England when a lightning struck a local tree during a thunder. Local people found out that the black substance spotted at the root of the unlucky tree was different from burning ash of wood. It was soft, thus left marks everywhere. Chemistry was barely out of its infancy at the time, so people mistook it for lead, equally black but much heavier. It was soon put to use by locals in marking their sheep for signs of ownership and calculation.

B Britain turns out to be the major country where mines of graphite can be detected and developed. Even so, the first pencil was invented elsewhere. As graphite is soft, it requires some form of encasement. In Italy, graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability, becoming perhaps the very first pencil in the world. Then around 1560, an Italian couple made what are likely the first blueprints for the modem, wood-encased carpentry pencil. Their version was a flat, oval, more compact type of pencil. Their concept involved the hollowing out of a stick of juniper wood. Shortly thereafter in 1662,a superior technique was discovered by German people: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together – essentially the same method in use to this day. The news of usefulness of these early pencils spread far and wide, attracting the attention of artists all over the known world.

C Although graphite core in pencils is still referred to as lead, modem pencils do not contain lead as the “lead “of the’ pencil is actually a mix of finely ground graphite and clay powders. This mixture is important because the amount of clay content added to the graphite depends on intended pencil hardness, and the amount of time spent on grinding the mixture determines the quality of the lead. The more clay you put in, the higher hardness the core has. Many pencils across the world, and almost all in Europe, are graded on the European system. This system of naming used B for black and H for hard; a pencil’s grade was described by a sequence or successive Hs or Bs such as BB and BBB for successively softer leads, and HH and HHH for successively harder ones. Then the standard writing pencil is graded HB.

D In England, pencils continued to be made from whole sawn graphite. But with the mass production of pencils, they are getting drastically more popular in many countries with each passing decade. As demands rise, appetite for graphite soars. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), world production of natural graphite in 2012 was 1,100,000 tonnes, of which the following major exporters are: China, India, Brazil, North Korea and Canada.

When the value of graphite was realised, the mines were taken over by the government and guarded. One of its chief uses during the reign of Elizabeth I in the second half of the 16th century was as moulds for the manufacture of camion balls. Graphite was transported from Keswick to London in armed stagecoaches. In 1751 an Act of Parliament was passed making it an offence to steal or receive “wad”. This crime was punishable by hard labour or transportation.

E That the United States did not use pencils in the outer space till they spent $1000 to make a pencil to use in zero gravity conditions is in fact a fiction. It is widely known that astronauts in Russia used grease pencils, which don’t have breakage problems. But it is also a fact that their counterparts in the United States used pencils in the outer space before real zero gravity pencil was invented .They preferred mechanical pencils, which produced fine lines, much clearer than the smudgy lines left by the grease pencils that Russians favoured. But the lead tips of these mechanical pencils broke often. That bit of graphite floating around the space capsule could get into someone’s eye, or even find its way into machinery or electronics short or other problems. But despite the fact that the Americans did invent zero gravity pencil later, they stuck to mechanical pencils for many years.

F Against the backcloth of a digitalized world, the prospect of pencils seems bleak. In reality, it does not. The application of pencils has by now become so widespread that they can be seen everywhere, such as classrooms, meeting rooms and art rooms, etc. A spectrum of users are likely to continue to use it into the future: students to do math works, artists to draw on sketch pads, waiters or waitresses to mark on order boards, make-up professionals to apply to faces, and architects to produce blue prints. The possibilities seem limitless

Questions 14-19

Complete the sentences below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer,

 Write your answers in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet

Graphite was found under a 14 __________ in Borrowdale

Ancient people used graphite to sign possession and number of 15 __________       .

The first pencil was graphite wrapped in 16 __________   or animal skin.

In the eighteenth century, the 17__________ value of graphite was realized.

During the reign of Elizabeth I,people was condemnable if they 18  __________  or receive the “wad”.

Russian astronauts preferred 19  __________  pencils to write in the outer space.

Questions 20-26

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Rending Passage 2? In boxes20-26 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

20. Italy is probably the first country of the whole world to make   pencils.

21. Germany used various kinds of wood to make pencils.

22. Graphite makes a pencil harder and sharper.

23. Pencils are not produced any more since the reign of Elizabeth

24. Pencil was used during the first American space expedition.                                                                                        ‘

25. American astronauts did not replace mechanical pencils immediately after the zero gravity pencils were invented.

26. Pencils are unlikely to be used in the fixture.


Knowledge in Medicine

A What counts as knowledge? What do we mean when we say that we know something? What is the status of different kinds of knowledge? In order to explore these questions we are going to focus on one particular area of knowledge——medicine.

B How do you know when you are ill? This may seem to be an absurd question. You know you are ill because you feel ill; your body tells you that you are ill. You may know that you feel pain | or discomfort but knowing you are ill is a bit more complex. At times, people experience the symptoms of illness, but in fact they are simply tired or over-worked or they may just have a ‘ hangover. At other times, people may be suffering from a disease and fail to be aware of the illness until it has reached a late stage in its development. So how do we know we are ill, and what counts as knowledge?

C Think about this example. You feel unwell. You have a bad cough and always seem to be tired. Perhaps it could be stress at work, or maybe you should give up smoking. You feel worse. You visit the doctor who listens to your chest and heart, takes your temperature and blood pressure, and then finally prescribes antibiotics for your cough.

D Things do not improve but you struggle on thinking you should pull yourself together, perhaps things will ease off at work soon. A return visit to your doctor shocks you. This time the doctor, drawing on years of training and experience, diagnoses pneumonia. This means that you will need bed rest and a considerable time off work. The scenario is transformed. Although you still have the same symptoms, you no longer think that these are caused by pressure at work. You now have proof that you are ill. This is the result of the combination of your own subjective experience and the diagnosis of someone who has the status of a medical expert. You have a medically authenticated diagnosis and it appears that you are seriously ill; you know you are ill and have evidence upon which to base this knowledge.

E This scenario shows many different sources of knowledge. For example, you decide to consult the doctor in the first place because you feel unwell—this is personal knowledge about your own body. However, the doctor’s expert diagnosis is based on experience and training, with sources of knowledge as diverse as other experts, laboratory reports, medical textbooks and years of experience.

F One source of knowledge is the experience of our own bodies; the personal knowledge we have of changes that might be significant, as well as the subjective experience of pain and physical distress. These experiences are mediated by other forms of knowledge such as the words we have available to describe our experience and the common sense of our families and friends as well as that drawn from popular culture. Over the past decade, for example, Western culture has seen a significant emphasis on stress-related illness in the media. Reference to being Stressed out7 has become a common response in daily exchanges in the workplace and has become part of popular common-sense knowledge. It is thus not surprising that we might seek such an explanation of physical symptoms of discomfort.

G We might also rely on the observations of others who know us. Comments from friends and family such as 7you do look ill7 or ‘that’s a bad cough7 might be another source of knowledge. Complementary health practices, such as holistic medicine, produce their own sets of knowledge upon which we might also draw in deciding the nature and degree of our ill health and about possible treatments.

H Perhaps the most influential and authoritative source of knowledge is the medical knowledge provided by the general practitioner. We expect the doctor to have access to expert knowledge. This is socially sanctioned. It would not be acceptable to notify our employer that we simply felt too unwell to turn up for work or that our faith healer, astrologer, therapist or even our priest thought it was not a good idea. We need an expert medical diagnosis in order to obtain the necessary certificate if we need to be off work for more than the statutory self-certification period. The knowledge of the medical sciences is privileged in this respect in contemporary Western culture. Medical practitioners are also seen as having the required expert knowledge that permits them legally to prescribe drugs and treatment to which patients would not otherwise have access. However there is a range of different knowledge upon which we draw when making decisions about our own state of health.

I However, there is more than existing knowledge in this little story; new knowledge is constructed within it. Given the doctor7s medical training and background, she may hypothesize ‘is this now pneumonia? and then proceed to look for evidence about it. She will use observations and instruments to assess the evidence and—critically interpret it in the light of her training and experience. This results in new knowledge and new experience both for you and for the doctor. This will then be added to the doctor’s medical knowledge and may help in future diagnosis of pneumonia.

Questions 27-32

Complete the table.

Choose no more than three words from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet

Source of knowledge




Symptoms of a (27)……………………… and tiredness

Doctor’s measurement by taking (28)………………….. and


Common judgment from (29)……………………… around you




Medical knowledge from the general (30)………………………

e.g. doctor’s medical(31)………………………………

Examine the medical hypothesis with the previous drill and(32)  ……………………………..


Question 33-40

The reading Passage has nine paragraphs A-I

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-I, in boxes 33-40 on your answer sheet.

 33. the contrast between the nature of personal judgment and the nature of doctor’s diagnosis

34. a reference of culture about pressure

35. sick leave will not be permitted without the professional diagnosis

36. how doctors, opinions are regarded in the society

37. the illness of patients can become part of new knowledge

38. a description of knowledge drawn from non-specialized sources other than personal knowledge

39. an example of collective judgment from personal experience and professional doctor

40. a reference that some people do not realize they are ill


1 Abilities 2 Parents 3 Markets
4 Siblings 5 Experienced 6 NOT GIVEN
10 Firm 11 Simplicity 12 Full version
13 Feedback  
14 Tree 15 Sheep 16 Strings
17 Government 18 Steal 19 Grease


27 Bad cough 28 Blood pressure 29 Families and friends
30 Practitioner 31 Dianosis 32 Background
33 E 34 F 35 H
36 H 37 I 38 G
39 D 40 B

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