IELTS Reading Practice Test 01 with Solution
IELTS Reading Practice Test 01 – Free IELTS Practice Tests
READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-15, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Reading Passage 1 below has 5 paragraphs (A-E). Which paragraph focuses on the Information below? Write the appropriate letters (A-E) in Boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
NB. Write only ONE letter for each answer.
- The way parameters in the mind help people to be creative
- The need to learn rules in order to break them
- How habits restrict us and limit creativity
- How to train the mind to be creative
- How the mind is trapped by the desire for order
The creation myth
A. It is a myth that creative people arc born with their talents: gifts from God or nature. Creative genius is, in fact, latent within many of us, without our realising, But how far do we need to travel to find the path to creativity? For many people, a long way, In our everyday lives, we have to perform many acts out of habit to survive, like opening the door, shaving, getting dressed, walking to work, and so on. If this were not the case, we would, in all probability, become mentally unhinged. So strongly ingrained are our habits, though this varies from person to person, that, sometimes, when a conscious effort is made to be creative, automatic response takes over. We may try, for example, to walk to work following a different route, but end up on our usual path. By then it is too late to go back and change our minds. Another day, perhaps. The same applies to all other areas of our lives. When we arc solving problems, for example, we may seek different answers, but, often as not, find ourselves walking along the same well-trodden paths.
B. So, for many people, their actions and behaviour arc set in immovable blocks, their minds clogged with the cholesterol of habitual actions, preventing them from operating freely, and thereby stifling creation. Unfortunately, mankind’s very struggle for survival has become a tyranny – the obsessive desire to give order to the world is a case in point. Witness people’s attitude to time, social customs and the panoply of rules and regulations by which the human mind is now circumscribcd.
C. The groundwork for keeping Creative ability in check begins at school. School, later university and then work teach us to regulate our lives, imposing a continuous process of restrictions, which is increasing exponentially with the advancement of technology. Is it surprising then that creative ability appears to be so rare? It is trapped in the prison that we have erected. Yet, even here in this hostile environment, the foundations for creativity arc being laid; because setting off on the creative path is also partly about using rules and regulations, Such limitations arc needed so that once they arc learnt, they can be broken.
D. The truly creative mind is often seen as totally free and unfettered. But a better image is of a mind, which can be free when it wants, and one that rccogniscs that rules and regulations arc parameters, or barriers, to be raised and dropped again at will. An example of how the human mind can be trained to be creative might help here. People’s minds arc just like tense muscles that need to be freed up and the potential unlocked. One strategy is to erect artificial barriers or hurdles in solving a problem, As a form of stimulation, the participants in the task can be forbidden to use particular solutions or to follow certain lines of thought to solve a problem. In this way, they arc obliged to explore unfamiliar territory, which may lead to some startling discoveries. Unfortunately, the difficulty in this exercise, and with creation itself, is convincing people that création is possible, shrouded as It is in so much myth and legend. There is also an element of fear involved, however subliminal, as deviating from the safety of one’s own thought patterns is very much akin to madness. But, open Pandora’s box, and a whole new world unfolds before your very eyes.
E. Lifting barriers into place also plays a major part in helping the mind to control ideas rather than letting them collide at random. Parameters act as containers for ideas, and thus help the mind to fix on them. When the mind is thinking laterally, and two ideas from different areas of the brain come or are brought together, they form a new idea, just like atoms floating around and then forming a molecule. Once the idea has been formed, it needs to be contained or it will fly away, so fleeting is its passage. The mind needs to hold it in place for a time so that it can recognise it or call on it again. And then the parameters can act as channels along which the ideas can flow, developing and expanding. When the mind has brought the idea to fruition by thinking it through to its final conclusion, the parameters can be brought down and the idea allowed to float off and comc in contact with other ideas.
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IELTS Reading Practice Test 1
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in Boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet.
- According to the writer, creative people
A. are usually born with their talents
B. are born with their talents
C. are not born with their talents
D. are geniuses
- According to the writer, creativity is …
A. a gift from God or nature
B. an automatic response
C. difficult for many people to achieve
D. a well-trodden path
- According to the writer, …
A. the human race’s fight to live is becoming a tyranny
B. the human brain is blocked with cholesterol
C. the human race is now circumscribed by talents
D. the human race’s light to survive stifles creative ability
- Advancing technology …
A. holds creativity in check
B. improves creativity
C. enhances creativity
D. is a tyranny
- According to the author, creativity
A. is common
B. is increasingly common
C. is becoming rarer and rarer
D. is a rare commodity
Do the statements below agree with the Information in Reading Passage 1?
In Boxes 11-15, write:
Yes if the statement agrees with the information in the passage
No if the statement contradicts the information in the passage
Not Given if there is no information about the statement in the passage
Example: In some people, habits are more strongly Ingrained than in others,
- Rules and regulations arc examples of parameters.
- The truly creative mind is associated with the need for free speech and a totally free society.
- One problem with creativity is that people think it is impossible.
- The act of creation is linked to madness.
- Parameters help the mind by holding ideas and helping them to develop.
READING PASSAGE 2 You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 16-30, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
LOCKED DOORS, OPEN ACCESS
The word, “security”, has both positive and negative connotations. Most of us would say that we crave security for all its positive virtues, both physical and psychological – its evocation of the safety of home, of undying love, or of freedom from need. More negatively, the word nowadays conjures up images of that huge industry which has developed to protect individuals and property from invasion by ‘‘outsiders”, ostensibly malicious and intent on theft or wilful damage.
Increasingly, because they arc situated in urban areas of escalating crime, those buildings which used to allow free access to employees and other users (buildings such as offices, schools, colleges or hospitals) now do not. Entry areas which in another age were called “Reception” arc now manned by security staff. Receptionists, whose task It was to receive visitors and to make them welcome before passing them on to the person they had come to see, have been replaced by those whose task it is to bar entry to the unauthorized, the unwanted or the plain unappealing.
Inside, these buildings are divided into “secure zones” which often have all the trappings of combination locks and burglar alarms. These devices bar entry to the uninitiated, hinder circulation, and create parameters of time and space for user access. Within the spaces created by these zones, Individual rooms are themselves under lock and key, which is a particular problem when it means that working space becomes compartmentalized.
To combat the consequent difficulty of access to people at a physical level, we have now developed technological access. Computers sit on every desk and are linked to one another, and in many cases to an external universe of other computers, so that messages can be passed to and fro. Here too, security plays« part, since we must not be allowed access to messages destined for others. And so the password was Invented. Now correspondence between individuals goes from desk to desk and cannot be accessed by colleagues. Library catalogues can be searched from one’s desk. Papers can be delivered to, and received from, other people at the press of a button.
And yet it seems that, just as work is isolating individuals more and more, organizations are recognizing the advantages of “team-work”; perhaps in order to encourage employees to talk to one another again. Yet, how can groups work in teams if the possibilities for communication are reduced? How can they work together If e-mail provides a convenient electronic shield behind which the blurring of public and private can be exploited by the less scrupulous? If voice-mail walls up messages behind a password? If I can’t leave a message on my colleague’s desk because his office is locked?
Team-work conceals the fact that another kind of security, “job security”, is almost always not on offer. Just as organizations now recognize three kinds of physical resources: those they buy, those they lease long-term and those they rent short-term – so it is with their human resources. Some employees have permanent contracts, some have short-term contracts, and some arc regarded simply as casual labour.
Telecommunication systems offer us the direct line, which means that individuals can be contacted without the caller having to talk to anyone else. Voice-mail and the answer- phone mean that Individuals can communicate without ever actually talking to one another. If we are unfortunate enough to contact an organization with a sophisticated touch-tone dialling system, we can buy things and pay for them without ever speaking to a human being.
To combat this closing in on ourselves we have the Internet, which opens out communication channels more widely than anyone could possibly want or need. An individual’s electronic presence on the Internet is known as the “Home Page” – suggesting the safety and security of an electronic hearth. An elaborate system of 3-dimensional graphics distinguishes this very 2-dlmenslonai medium of “web sites”. The nomenclature itself creates the illusion of a geographical entity, that the person sitting before the computer is travelling, when in fact the “site” is coming to him. “Addresses” of one kind or another move to the individual, rather than the individual moving between them, now that location is no longer geographical.
An example of this is the mobile phone. I am now not available either at home or at work, but wherever I take my mobile phone. Yet, even now, we cannot cscapc the security of wanting to “locate” the person at the other end. It is no coincidence that almost everyone we see answering or Initiating a mobile phone-call In public begins by saying where he or she is.
IELTS Reading Practice Test 1
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in Boxes 16-19 on your answer sheet
- According to the author, one thing we long for is …
A. the safety of the home
C. open access
D. positive virtues
- Access to many buildings …
A. is unauthorised
B. is becoming more difficult
C. is a cause of crime in many urban arcus
D. used to be called “Reception”
- Buildings used to permit access to any users, …
A. but now they do not
B. and still do now
C. especially offices and schools
D. especially in urban areas
- Secure zones …
A. don’t allow access to the user
B. compartmentalise the user
C. are often like traps
D. are not accessible to everybody
Complete the text below, which Is a summary of paragraphs 4-6. Choose your answers from the Word List below and write them in Boxes 20-27 on your answer sheet.
There are more words and phrases than spaces, so you will not be able to use them all. You may use any word or phrase more than once.
Example: The problem of__________ access to buildings … .
The problem of physical access to buildings has now been _____________ 20____ by technology.
Messages are sent betwoon_______ 21____ , with passwords not allowing_______ 22_ to read
someone else’s messages. But,, while Individuals are becoming increasingly_____________ 23
socially by the way they do their job, at the same time more value is being put on
___ 24____ , However, e-mail and voice-mail have led to a___________ 25 opportunities for
person-to-person communication. And the fact that job-security is generally not available
nowadays is hidden by the very concept of____________ 26____ . Human resources arc now
regarded in______ 27____ physical ones.
Complete the sentences below. Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in Boxes 28-30 on your answer sheet.
- The writer does not like…………. _……………….. .
- An Individual’s Home Page indicates their___________________ on the Internet.
- Devices like mobile phones mean that location is_____________________ .
IELTS Reading Practice Test 1
READING PASSVIE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 31-40, which are bused on Reading Passage 3 below,
National Cuisine and Tourism
To an extent, agriculture dictates that every country should have a set of specific foods which are native to that country. They may even be unique, However, even allowing for the power of agricultural science, advances in food distribution and changes in food economics to alter the ethnocentric properties of food, it is still possible for a country “to be famous for” a particular food even if it is widely available elsewhere.
The degree to which cuisine is embedded in national culture within the sociology of food literature two themes suggest that food is linked to social culture. The first relates food and eating to social relationships, (Finkelsteln, Vlssor, Wood), and the second establishes food as a reflection of the distribution of power within social structures, (Mennell). However, establishing a role for food in personal relationships and social structures is not a sufficient argument to place food at the centre of national culture, To do that it is necessary to prove a degree of embeddedness. It would be appropriate at this point to consider the nature of culture.
The distinction made by Pierce between a behavioural contingency and a cultural contingency is crucial to our understanding of culture. Whilst a piece of behaviour may take place very often, involve a network of people and be reproducible by other networks who do not know each other, the meaning of the behaviour does not go beyond the activity itself. A cultural practice, however, contains and represents ‘’meta-contingencies” that is, behavioural practices that have a social meaning greater than the activity itself and which, by their nature reinforce the culture which houses them. Celebrating birthdays is a cultural practice not because everybody does it but because it has a religious meaning. Contrast this with the practice in Britain of celebrating “Guy Fawkes Night”. It is essentially an excuse for a good time but if fireworks were banned, the occasion would gradually die away altogether or end up as cult to California. A smaller scale example might be more useful. In the British context, compare drinking in pubs with eating “fish and chips”. Both arc common practices, yet the former reflects something of the social fabric of the country, particularly family, gender, class and age relationships whilst the latter is just a national habit. In other words, a constant, well-populated pattern of behaviour is not necessarily cultural. However, it is also clear that a cultural practice needs behavioural reinforcement. Social culture is not immortal.
Pinkelstein argues that “dining out” is simply “action which supports a surface life”. For him it is the word “out” that disconnects food from culture. This view of culture and food placcs the “home’’ as the cultural centre. Continental European eating habits may contradict this notion by their general acceptance of eating out as part of family life. Following the principle that culture needs behavioural reinforcement, if everyone “eats out” on a regular basis, irrespective of social and economic differentiation, then this might constitute behavioural support for cuisine being part of social culture. That aside, the significance of a behavioural practice being embedded In culture is that it naturally maintains an approved and accepted way of life and therefore has a tendency to resist change.
The thrust of the argument is that countries differ in the degree to which their food and eating habits have a social and cultural meaning beyond the behaviour itself. This argument, however, could be Interpreted to imply that the country with the greatest proportion of meals taken outside the home would be the one In which the national cuisine is more embedded in social culture. This is a difficult position to maintain because it would bring America, with its fast-food culture to the fore. The fast-food culture of America raises the issue of whether there are qualitative criteria for the concept of cuisine. The key Issue is not the extent of the common behaviour but whether or not it has a function in maintaining social cohesion and Is appreciated and valued through social norms. French cuisine and “going down the pub” arc strange bedfellows but bedfellows nevertheless.
How homogenous is national cuisinef like language, cuisine is not a static entity and whilst Its fundamental character is unlikely to change in the short run it may evolve in different directions. Just as in a language there arc dialects so in a cuisine there arc variations. The two principal sources of diversity arc the physical geography of the country and its social diversity.
The geographical dimensions work through agriculture to particularise and to limit locally produced Ingredients. Ethnic diversity in the population works through the role of cuisine in social identity to create ethnically distinct cuisincs which may not converge into a national cuisine. This raises the question of how far a national cuisine is related to national borders. To an ethnic group their cuisine is national. The greater the division of a society into classes, castes and status groups with their attendant ethnocentric properties, of which cuisine is a part, then the greater will be the diversity of the cuisincs.
However, there is a case for convergence. Both these principal sources of diversity arc, to an extent, influenced by the strength of their boundaries and the willingness of society to erode them. It Is a question of isolation and integration. Efficient transport and the application of chemistry can alter agricultural boundaries to make a wider range of foods available to a cuisinc. Similarly, political and social Integration can erode ethnic boundaries. However, all these arguments mean nothing if the cuisine is not embedded in social culture. Riley argues that when a cuisine is not embedded in social culture It is susceptible to novelty and Invasion by other cuisincs.
IELTS Reading Practice Test 1
Choose one phrase (A-K) from the List of phrases to complete each Key point below. Write the appropriate letters (A-K) In Boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.
The information In the completed sentences should be an accurate summary of the points made by the writer.
NB. There are more phrases (A-K) than sentences, so you will not need to use them all. You may use each phrase once only.
- The native foods of a country, …
- The ethnocentric properties of food …
- Celebrating birthdays …
- Cultural practice …
- Drinking in pubs in Britain …
- The link between language and cuisine
List of Phrases
A. Is a behavioural practice, not a cultural practice
B. are unique
D. is that both are diverse
E. is a reflection of the social fabric
F. is a cultural practice
G. can be changed by economic and distribution factors
H. is fundamental
I. are not as common as behaviour
J. needs to be reinforccd by behaviour
K. are, to a certain extent, dictated by agriculture
Use the information in the text to match the Authors (A-D) with the Findings (37-40) below. Write the appropriate letters (A-D) in Boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
- There is a difference between behaviour and cultural practice.
- The connection between social culture and food must be strong if national cuisine is to survive intact.
- Distribution of power in society is reflected In food.
- The link between culture and eating outside the home is not strong.