IELTS Reading Recent Actual Test 9 in 2016 with Answer Key - ielts reading actual test 9 - ielts reading actual test 9


SOSUS: Listening to the Ocean

A The oceans of Earth cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface, yet, until quite recently, we knew less about their depths than we did about the surface of the Moon. Distant as it is, the Moon has been far more accessible to study because astronomers long have been able to look at its surface, first with the naked eye and then with the telescope-both instruments that focus light. And, with telescopes tuned to different wavelengths of light, modem astronomers can not only analyze Earth’s atmosphere, but also determine the temperature and composition of the Sun or other stars many hundreds of light-years away. Until the twentieth century, however, no analogous instruments were available for the study of Earth’s oceans: Light, which can travel trillions of miles through the vast vacuum of space, cannot penetrate very far in seawater.

 B Curious investigators long have been fascinated by sound and the way it travels in water. As early as 1490, Leonardo da Vinci observed: “If you cause your ship to stop and place the head of a long tube in the water and place the outer extremity to your ear, you will hear ships at a great distance from you.” In 1687, the first mathematical theory of sound propagation was published by Sir Isaac Newton in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Investigators were measuring the speed of sound in air beginning in the mid seventeenth century, but it was not until 1826 that Daniel Colladon, a Swiss physicist, and Charles Sturm, a French mathematician, accurately measured its speed in water. Using a long tube to listen underwater (as da Vinci had suggested), they recorded how fast the sound of a submerged bell traveled across Lake Geneva. Their result-1,435 meters (1,569 yards) per second in water of 1.8 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit)- was only 3 meters per second off from the speed accepted today. What these investigators demonstrated was that water – whether fresh or salt- is an excellent medium for sound, transmitting it almost five times faster than its speed in air

C In 1877 and 1878,the British scientist John William Strutt, third Baron Rayleigh, published his two-volume seminal work, The Theory of Sound, often regarded as marking the beginning of the modem study of acoustics. The recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904 for his successful isolation of the element argon, Lord Rayleigh made key discoveries in the fields of acoustics and optics that are critical to the theory of wave propagation in fluids. Among other things, Lord Rayleigh was the first to describe a sound wave as a mathematical equation (the basis of all theoretical work on acoustics) and the first to describe how small particles in the atmosphere scatter certain wavelengths of sunlight, a principle that also applies to the behavior of sound waves in water.

 D A number of factors influence how far sound travels underwater and how long it lasts. For one, particles in seawater can reflect, scatter, and absorb certain frequencies of sound – just as certain wavelengths of light may be reflected, scattered, and absorbed by specific types of particles in the atmosphere. Seawater absorbs 30 times the amount of sound absorbed by distilled water, with specific chemicals (such as magnesium sulfate and boric acid) damping out certain frequencies of sound. Researchers also learned that low frequency sounds, whose long wavelengths generally pass over tiny particles, tend to travel farther without loss through absorption or scattering. Further work on the effects of salinity, temperature, and pressure on the speed of sound has yielded fascinating insights into the structure of the ocean. Speaking generally, the ocean is divided into horizontal layers in which sound speed is influenced more greatly by temperature in the upper regions and by pressure in the lower depths. At the surface is a sun-warmed upper layer, the actual temperature and thickness of which varies with the season. At mid-latitudes, this layer tends to be isothermal, that is, the temperature tends to be uniform throughout the layer because the water is well mixed by the action of waves, winds, and convection currents; a sound signal moving down through this layer tends to travel at an almost constant speed. Next comes a transitional layer called the thermocline, in which temperature drops steadily with depth; as temperature falls, so does the speed of sound.

E The U.S. Navy was quick to appreciate the usefulness of low-frequency sound and the deep sound channel in extending the range at which it could detect submarines. In great secrecy during the 1950s,the U.S. Navy launched a project that went by the code name Jezebel; it would later come to be known as the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). The system involved arrays of underwater microphones, called hydrophones, that were placed on the ocean bottom and connected by cables to onshore processing centers. With SOSUS deployed in both deep and shallow waters along both coasts of North America and the British West Indies, the U.S. Navy not only could detect submarines in much of the northern hemisphere, it also could distinguish how many propellers a submarine had, whether it was conventional or nuclear, and sometimes even the class of sub.

F The realization that SOSUS could be used to listen to whales also was made by Christopher Clark, a biological acoustician at Cornell University, when he first visited a SOSUS station in 1992. When Clark looked at the graphic representations of sound, scrolling 24 hours day, every day, he saw the voice patterns of blue, finback, minke, and humpback whales. He also could hear the sounds. Using a SOSUS receiver in the West Indies, he could hear whales that were 1,770 kilometers (1,100 miles) away. Whales are the biggest of Earth’s creatures. The blue whale, for example, can be 100 feet long and weigh as many tons. Yet these animals also are remarkably elusive. Scientists wish to observe blue time and position them on a map. Moreover, they can track not just one whale at a time, but many creatures simultaneously throughout the North Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific. They also can learn to distinguish whale calls. For example, Fox and colleagues have detected changes in the calls of finback whales during different seasons and have found that blue whales in different regions of the Pacific ocean have different calls. Whales firsthand must wait in their ships for the whales to surface. A few whales have been tracked briefly in the wild this way but not for very great distances, and much about them remains unknown. Using the SOSUS stations, scientists can track the whales in real time and position them on a map. Moreover, they can track not just one whale at a time, but many creatures simultaneously throughout the North Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific. They also can learn to distinguish whale calls. For example, Fox and colleagues have detected changes in the calls of finback whales during different seasons and have found that blue whales in different regions of the Pacific Ocean have different calls.

 G SOSUS, with its vast reach, also has proved instrumental in obtaining information crucial to our understanding of Earth’s weather and climate. Specifically, the system has enabled researchers to begin making ocean temperature measurements on a global scale – measurements that are keys to puzzling out the workings of heat transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere. The ocean plays an enormous role in determining air temperature the heat capacity in only the upper few meters of ocean is thought to be equal to all of the heat in the entire atmosphere. For sound waves traveling horizontally in the ocean, speed is largely a function of temperature. Thus, the travel time of a wave of sound between two points is a sensitive indicator of the average temperature along its path. Transmitting sound in numerous directions through the deep sound channel can give scientists measurements spanning vast areas of the globe. Thousands of sound paths in the ocean could be pieced together into a map of global ocean temperatures and, by repeating measurements along the same paths over times, scientists could track changes in temperature over months or years.

H Researchers also are using other acoustic techniques to monitor climate. Oceanographer Jeff Nystuen at the University of Washington, for example, has explored the use of sound to measure rainfall over the ocean. Monitoring changing global rainfall patterns undoubtedly will contribute to understanding major climate change as well as the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. Since 1985, Nystuen has used hydrophones to listen to rain over the ocean, acoustically measuring not only the rainfall rate but also the rainfall type, from drizzle to thunderstorms. By using the sound of rain underwater as a “natural” rain gauge, the measurement of rainfall over the oceans will become available to climatologists.

Questions 1-4

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

1. In the past, difficulties of research carried out on Moon were much easier than that of

2. The same light technology used on investigation of moon can be employed in the field of ocean.

3. Research on the depth of ocean by method of sound wave is more time-consuming.

4. Hydrophones technology is able to detect the category of precipitation.

Questions 5-8

The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 5-8 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once

5. Elements affect sound transmission in the ocean.

6. Relationship between global climate and ocean temperature

7. Examples of how sound technology help people research ocean and creatures in it

8. Sound transmission under water is similar to that of light in any condition.

Questions 9-13

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

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

9. Who of the followings is dedicated to the research of rate of sound?

A Leonardo da Vinci

B Isaac Newton

C John William Strutt

D Charles Sturm

10. Who explained that the theory of light or sound wavelength is significant in water?

A Lord Rayleigh

B John William Strutt

C Charles Sturm

D Christopher Clark

11. According to Fox and colleagues, in what pattern does the change of finback whale calls happen

A Change in various seasons

B Change in various days

C Change in different months

D Change in different years

12. In which way does the SOSUS technology inspect whales?

A Track all kinds of whales in the ocean

B Track bunches of whales at the same time

C Track only finback whale in the ocean

D Track whales by using multiple appliances or devices

13. what could scientists inspect via monitoring along a repeated route ?

A Temperature of the surface passed

B Temperature of the deepest ocean floor

C Variation of temperature

D Fixed data of temperature


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27, which are based on Reading Passage 2 on the following pages.

Monkeys and Forests

AS AN EAST WIND blasts through a gap in the Cordillera de Tilaran, , a rugged mountain range that splits northern Costa Rica in half, a female mantled howler monkey moves through the swaying trees of the forest canopy.

A Ken Glander, a primatologist from Duke L University, gazes into the canopy, tracking the female’s movements. Holding a dart gun, he waits with infinite patience for the right moment to shoot. With great care, Glander aims and fires. Hit in the rump, the monkey wobbles. This howler belongs to a population that has lived for decades at Hacienda La Pacifica, a working cattle ranch in Guanacaste province. Other native primates — white-faced capuchin monkeys and spider monkeys — once were common in this area, too, but vanished after the Pan-American Highway was built nearby in the 1950s. Most of the surrounding land was clear-cut for pasture.

B Howlers persist at La Pacifica, Glander explains, because they are leaf-eaters. They eat fruit, when it’s available but, unlike capuchin and spider monkeys, do not depend on large areas of fruiting trees. “Howlers can survive anyplace you have half a dozen trees, because their eating habits are so flexible” he says. In forests, life is an arms race between trees and the myriad creatures that feed on leaves. Plants have evolved a variety of chemical defenses, ranging from bad-tasting tannins, which bind with plant-produced nutrients, rendering them indigestible, to deadly poisons, such as alkaloids and cyanide.

C All primates, including humans, have some ability to handle plant toxins. “We can detoxify a dangerous poison known as caffeine, which is deadly to a lot of animals:’ Glander says. For leaf-eaters, long-term exposure to a specific plant toxin can increase their ability to defuse the poison and absorb the leaf nutrients. The leaves that grow in regenerating forests, like those at La Pacifica, are actually more howler friendly than those produced by the undisturbed, centuries-old trees that survive farther south, in the Amazon Basin. In younger forests, trees put most of their limited energy into growing wood, leaves and fruit, so they produce much lower levels of toxin than do well- established, old-growth trees.

D The value of maturing forests to primates is a subject of study at Santa Rosa National Park, about 35 miles northwest of Hacienda La Pacifica. The park hosts populations not only of mantled howlers but also of white-faced capuchins and spider monkeys. Yet the forests there are young, most of them less than 50 years old. Capuchins were the first to begin using the reborn forests, when the trees were as young as 14 years. Howlers, larger and heavier than capuchins, need somewhat older trees, with limbs that can support their greater body weight. A working ranch at Hacienda La Pacifica also explain their population boom in Santa Rosa. “Howlers are more resilient than capuchins and spider monkeys for several reasons, Fedigan explains. “They can live within a small home range, as long as the trees have the right food for them. Spider monkeys, on the other hand, occupy a huge home range, so they can’t make it in fragmented habitat”

E Howlers also reproduce faster than do other monkey species in the area. Capuchins don’t bear their first young until about 7 years old, and spider monkeys do so even later, but howlers give birth for the first time at about 3.5 years of age. Also, while a female spider monkey will have a baby about once every four years, well-fed howlers can produce an infant every two years.

F The leaves howlers eat hold plenty of water, so the monkeys can survive away from open streams and water holes. This ability gives them a real advantage over capuchin and spider monkeys, which have suffered during the

long, ongoing drought in Guanacaste.

G Growing human population pressures in Central and South America have led to persistent destruction of forests. During the 1990s, about 1.1 million acres of Central American forest were felled yearly. Alejandro Estrada, an ecologist at Estacion de Biologia Los Tuxtlas in Veracruz, Mexico, has been exploring how monkeys survive in a landscape increasingly shaped by humans. He and his colleagues recently studied the ecology of a groupof mantled howler monkeys that thrive in a habitat completely altered by humans: a cacao plantation in Tabasco, Mexico. Like many varieties of coffee, cacao plants need shade to grow, so 40 years ago the landowners planted fig, monkey pod and other tall trees to form a protective canopy over their crop. The howlers moved in about 25 years ago after nearby forests were cut. This strange habitat, a hodgepodge of cultivated native and exotic plants, seems to support about as many monkeys as would a same-sized patch of wild forest. The howlers eat the leaves and fruit of the shade trees, leaving the valuable cacao pods alone, so the farmers tolerate them

H Estrada believes the monkeys bring underappreciated benefits to such farms, dispersing the seeds of fig and other shade trees and fertilizing the soil with feces. He points out that howler monkeys live in shade coffee and cacao plantations in Nicaragua and Costa Rica as well as in Mexico. Spider monkeys also forage in such plantations, though they need nearby areas of forest to survive in the long term. He hopes that farmers will begin to see the advantages of associating with wild monkeys, which includes potential ecotourism projects.

“Conservation is usually viewed as a conflict between agricultural practices and the need to preserve nature,” Estrada says. “We’re moving away from that vision and beginning to consider ways in which agricultural activities may become a tool for the conservation of primates in human-modified landscapes.”

 Questions 14-19

The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-I.

Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter U, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

14. a reference of reduction in Forest inhabitant

15. Only one species of monkey survived while other two species were vanished

16. a reason for howler Monkey of choosing new leaves

17. mention to howler Monkey’s nutrient and eating habits

18. a reference of asking farmers’ changing attitude toward wildlife

19. the advantage for howler Monkey’s flexibility living in a segmented habitat

Questions 20-22

Look at the following places and the list of descriptions below.

Match each description with the correct place, A-E.

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 20-22 on your answer sheet.

List of places

A Hacienda La Pacifica

B Santa Rosa National Park

C a cacao plantation in Tabasco, Mexico

D Estacion de Biologia Los Tuxtlas in Veracruz, Mexico

E Amazon Basin

20. howler Monkey’s benefit to the local region’s agriculture

21. Original home for all three native monkeys

22. A place where Capuchins monkey comes for a better habitat

Questions 23-27

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet.

The reasons for Howlers monkey survive better

in focal region than other two species

Howlers in La Pacifica since they can feed themselves with leaf when 23………………………is not easily found

Howlers has better ability to alleviate the 24………………………. which old and young trees used to protect themselves)

When compared to that of spider monkeys and capuchin monkeys, the 25 …………….. the rate of Howlers is relatively faster (round for just every 2 years).

The monkeys can survive away from open streams and water holes as the leaves howlers eat hold high content of 26………………………………. which ensure them to resist to continuous 27………………………………………. in Guanacaste


A While it may not be possible to completely age-proof our brains, a bravenew world of anti-aging research shows that our gray matter may be far more flexible than we thought. So no one, no matter how old, has to lose their mind. The brain has often been called the three-pound universe. It’s our most powerful and mysterious organ, the seat of the self, laced with as many billions of neurons as the galaxy has stars. No wonder the mere notion of an aging, failing brain——and the prospect of memory loss, confusion, and the unraveling of our personality——is so terrifying. As Mark Williams, M.D., author of The American Geriatrics Society’s Complete Guide to Aging and Health, says, “The fear of dementia is stronger than the fear of death itself.” Yet the degeneration of the brain is far from inevitable. ”  Its design features are such that it should continue to function for a lifetime,” says Zaven Khachaturian, Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer1s Association1s Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute. “There’s no reason to expect it to deteriorate with age, even though many of us are living longer lives.” In fact, scientists ‘ view of the brain1s potential is rapidly changing, according to Stanford University neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D.

“Thirty-five years ago we thought Alzheimer1 s disease was a dramatic version of normal aging. Now we realize it1s a disease with a distinct pathology. In fact, some people simply don’t experience any mental decline, so we’ve begun to study them.” Antonio Damasio, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa and author of Descartes’ Error, concurs. “Older people can continue to have extremely rich and healthy mental lives.’

B The seniors were tested in 1988 and again in 1991. Four factors were found to be related to their mental fitness: levels of education and physical activity, lung function, and feelings of self-efficacy “Each of these elements alters the way our brain functions, says Marilyn Albert, Ph.D. , of Harvard Medical School, and colleagues from Yale, Duke, and Brandeis Universities and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, who hypothesizes that regular exercise may actually stimulate blood flow to the brain and nerve growth, both of which create more densely branched neurons, rendering the neurons stronger and better able to resist disease. Moderate aerobic exercise, including long brisk walks and frequently climbing stairs, will accomplish this.

C Education also seems to enhance brain function. People who have challenged themselves with at least a college education may actually stimulate the neurons in their brains. Moreover, native intelligence may protect our brains. It’s possible that smart people begin life with a greater number of neurons, and therefore have a greater reserve to fall back on if some begin to fail. “If you have a lot of neurons and keep them busy, you may be able to tolerate more damage to your brain before it shows,” says Peter Davies, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Early linguistic ability also seems to help our brains later in life. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 93 elderly nuns and examined the autobiographies they had written 60 years earlier, just as they were joining a convent. The nuns whose essays were complex and dense with ideas remained sharp into their eighties and nineties.

D Finally, personality seems to play an important role in protecting our mental prowess. A sense of self-efficacy may protect our brain, buffeting it from the harmful effects of stress. According to Albert, there’ s evidence that elevated levels of stress hormones may harm brain cells and cause the hippocampus——a small seahorse-shaped organ that1s a crucial moderator of memory——to atrophy. A sense that we can effectively chart our own course in the world may retard the release of stress hormones and protect us as we age. “It’ s not a matter of whether you experience stress or not, ” Albert concludes , “it’s your attitude toward it. ” Reducing stress by meditating on a regular basis may buffer the brain as well. It also increases the activity of the brain’ s pineal gland, the source of the antioxidant hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep and may retard the aging process. Studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and the University of Western Ontario found that people who meditated regularly had higher levels of melatonin than those who took 5-milligram supplements Another study, conducted jointly by Maharishi international University, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland, found that seniors who meditated for three months experienced dramatic improvements in their psychological well-being, compared to their non-meditative peers.

E Animal studies confirm that both mental and physical activity boost brain fitness. At the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Urbana, Illinois, psychologist William Greenough, Ph. D., let some rats play with a profusion of toys. These rodents developed about 25 percent more connections between their neurons than did rats that didn’t get any mentally stimulating recreation. In addition, rats that exercised on a treadmill developed more capillaries in specific parts of their brains than did their sedentary counterparts. This increased the blood flow to their brains. “Clearly the message is to do as  many different flyings as possible,” Greenough says.

F It’s not just scientists who are catching anti-aging fever. Walk into any health food store, and you111 find nutritional formulas ——with names like Brainstorm and Smart ALEC——that claim to sharpen mental ability. The book Smart Drugs & Nutrients, by Ward Dean, M.D., and John Morgenthaler, was self-published in 1990 and has sold over 120,000 copies worldwide. It has also spawned an underground network of people tweaking their own brain chemistry with nutrients and drugs——the latter sometimes obtained from Europe and Mexico. Sales of ginkgo ——an extract from the leaves of the 200-mill ion-year-old ginkgo tree, which has been shown in published studies to increase oxygen in the brain and ameliorate symptoms of Alzheimer s disease——are up by 22 percent in the last six months alone, according to Paddy Spence, president of SPINS, a San Francisco-based market research firm. Indeed, products that increase and preserve mental performance are a small but emerging segment of the supplements industry, says Linda Gilbert, president of Health Focus, a company that researches consumer health trends. While neuroscientists like Khachaturian liken the use of these products to the superstition of tossing salt over your shoulder, the public is nevertheless gobbling up nutrients that promise cognitive enhancement.

Questions 28-31

Choose the Four correct letters among A-G

Write your answers in boxes 28-31 on your answer sheet.

Which of the FOUR situations or conditions assisting the Brains’ function?

A Preventive treatment against Alzheimer’s disease

B Doing active aerobic exercise and frequently climbing stairs

C High levels of education

D Early verbal or language competence training

E Having more supplements such as ginkgo tree

F Participate in more physical activity involving in stimulating tasks

G Personality and feelings of self-fulfillment

Questions 32-39

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-G) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-G in boxes 32-39 on your answer sheet.

NB you may use any latter more than once

A Zaven Khachaturian

B William Greenough

C Marilyn Albert

D Robert Sapolsky

E Linda Gilbert

F Peter Davies

G Paddy Spence

32. Alzheimer’s was probably a kind of disease rather than a normal aging process.

33. Keeping neurons busy, people may be able to endure more harm to your brain

34. Regular exercises boost blood flow to the brain and increase anti-disease disability.

35. Significant increase of Sales of ginkgo has been shown.

36. More links between their neurons are found among stimulated animals.

37. Effectiveness of the use of brains supplements products can be of little scientific proof.

38. Heightened levels of stress may damage brain cells and cause part of brain to deteriorate.

39. Products that upgrade and preserve mental competence are still a newly developing industry.

Questions 40

Choose the correct letters among A-D

Write your answers in box 40 on your answer sheet.

According the passage, what is the most appropriate title for this passage?

A Making our minds last a lifetime

B amazing pills of the ginkgo

C how to stay healthy in your old hood

D more able a brain and neurons


4 TRUE 5 D 6 G
7 F 8 D 9 D
10 A 11 A 12 B
13 C  
14 G 15 A 16 C
17 B 18 I 19 D
20 C 21 A 22 B
23 Fruits 24 Plant toxins/ toxin 25 Reproduction/ reproduce
26 Water 27 drought
28 C 29 D 30 F
31 G 32 D 33 F
34 C 35 G 36 B
37 A 38 C 39 E
40 A  


Main IELTS Pages:

This website is to develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free books, and more. Each section (Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading) has a complete collection of lessons to help you improve your IELTS skills.

Get all the latest updates/lessons via email:

Subscribe for free IELTS lessons/Books/Tips/Sample Answers/Advice from our IELTS experts. We help millions of IELTS learners maximize their IELTS scores!

Subscribe to IELTS Material to receive the latest lessons

Did not See What You Were Looking For? - Try Search!

Rate this post

The following two tabs change content below.

Welcome to IELTS Material! Check it daily to receive useful IELTS books, practice tests and tips to get high score in IELTS exam