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  • Dirty river but clean water, Smell and Memory, Soviet’s new working week – IELTS Reading Answers in 2016
Dirty river but clean water, Smell and Memory, Soviet’s new working week - IELTS Reading Answers in 2016
Dirty river but clean water, Smell and Memory, Soviet’s new working week – IELTS Reading Answers in 2016

Dirty river but clean water, Smell and Memory, Soviet’s new working week – IELTS Reading Answers in 2016

In this article, we have given a series of IELTS Reading test questions that will give you an idea about the actual test. The reading test in this article is divided into 3 sections and we have also provided answer keys using which you can analyse your responses.


Dirty river but clean water

Floods can occur in rivers when the flow rate exceeds the capacity of the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders in the waterway. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in the natural flood plains of rivers. While riverine flood damage can be eliminated by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water, people have traditionally lived and worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile and because rivers provide easy travel and access to commerce and industry.


IELTS Reading (Academic) Actual Tests with Answers (Feb–May 2021) | eBook

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A FIRE and flood are two of humanity’s worst nightmares. People have, therefore, always sought to control them. Forest fires are snuffed out quickly. The flow of rivers is regulated by weirs and dams. At least,that is how it used to be. But foresters have learned that forests need fires to clear out the brush and even to get seeds to germinate. And a similar revelation is now dawning on hydrologists. Rivers 一 and the ecosystems they support — need floods. That is why a man-made torrent has been surging down the Grand Canyon. By Thursday March 6th it was running at full throttle, which was expected to be sustained for 60 hours.

B Floods once raged through the canyon every year. Spring Snow from as far away as Wyoming would melt and swell the Colorado river to a flow that averaged around 1,500 cubic metres (50,000 cubic feet) a second. Every eight years or so, that figure rose to almost 3,000 cubic metres. These floods infused the river with sediment, carved its beaches and built its sandbars.

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C However, in the four decades since the building of the Glen Canyon dam, just upstream of the Grand Canyon, the only sediment that it has collected has come from tiny, undammed tributaries. Even that has not been much use as those tributaries are not powerful enough to distribute the sediment in an ecologically valuable way.

D This lack of flooding has harmed local wildlife. The humpback chub, for example, thrived in the rust-red waters of the Colorado. Recently, though, its population has crashed. At first sight, it looked as if the reason was that the chub were being eaten by trout introduced for sport fishing in the mid-20th century. But trout and chub co-existed until the Glen Canyon dam was built, so something else is going on. Steve Gloss, of the United States’ Geological Survey (USGS), reckons that the chub’s decline is the result of their losing their most valuable natural defense, the Colorado’s rusty sediment. The chub were well adapted to the poor visibility created by the thick, red water which gave the river its name, and depended on it to hide from predators. Without the cloudy water the chub became vulnerable.

E And the chub are not alone. In the years since the Glen Canyon dam was built, several species have vanished altogether. These include the Colorado pike-minnow, the razorback sucker and the roundtail chub. Meanwhile, aliens including fathead minnows, channel catfish and common carp, which would have been hard, put to survive in the savage waters of the undammed canyon, have moved in.

F So flooding is the obvious answer. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Floods were sent down the Grand Canyon in 1996 and 2004 and the results were mixed. In 1996 the flood was allowed to go on too long. To start with, all seemed well. The floodwaters built up sandbanks and infused the river with sediment. Eventually, however, the continued flow washed most of the sediment out of the canyon. This problem was avoided in 2004,but unfortunately, on that occasion, the volume of sand available behind the dam was too low to rebuild the sandbanks. This time, the USGS is convinced that things will be better. The amount of sediment available is three times greater than it was in 2004. So if a flood is going to do some good, this is the time to unleash one.

G Even so, it may turn out to be an empty gesture. At less than 1,200 cubic metres a second, this flood is smaller than even an average spring flood, let alone one of the mightier deluges of the past. Those glorious inundations moved massive quantities of sediment through the Grand Canyon, wiping the slate dirty, and making a muddy mess of silt and muck that would make modem river rafters cringe.

Questions 1-7

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? Refer the box given below and answer the questions from 1 to 7 on your answer sheet.

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

1. Damage caused by fire is worse than that caused by flood.

2. The flood peaks at almost 1500 cubic meters every eight years.

3. Contribution of sediments delivered by tributaries has little impact.

4. Decreasing number of chubs is always caused by introducing of trout since mid-20th

5. It seemed that the artificial flood in 1996 had achieved success partly at the very beginning

6. In fact, the yield of artificial flood water is smaller than an average natural flood at present.

7. Mighty floods drove fast moving flows with clean and high-quality water.

Questions 8-13

  • Complete the summary below.
  • Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes for questions 8-13 on your answer sheet.

The Eco- Impact of the Canyon Dam

Floods are peopled nightmare. In the past, canyon was raged by flood every year. The snow from far Wyoming would melt in the season of 8………………. and caused a flood flow peak in Colorado river. In the four decades after people built the Glen Canyon dam, it only could gather 9…………………………………. together from tiny, undammed tributaries.

humpback chub population reduced, why?

Then, several species disappeared including Colorado pike-minnow, 10 ………………… and the round-tail chub. Meanwhile, some moved in such as fathead minnows, channel catfish and 11……………………………… The non-stopped flow led to the washing away of the sediment out of the canyon, which poses great threat to the chubs because it has poor 12……………………… away from predators. In addition, the volume of 13…………………… available behind the dam was too tow to rebuild the bars and flooding became more serious.

Also check :


Smell and Memory


Why does the scent of a fragrance or the mustiness of an old trunk trigger such powerful memories of childhood? New research has the answer, writes Alexandra Witze.

A You probably pay more attention to a newspaper with your eyes than with your nose. But lift the paper to your nostrils and inhale. The smell of newsprint might carry you back to your childhood, when your parents perused the paper on Sunday mornings. Or maybe some other smell takes you back- the scent of your mother’s perfume, the pungency of a driftwood campfire. Specific odours can spark a flood of reminiscences. Psychologists call it the “Proustian phenomenon “,after French novelist Marcel Proust. Near the beginning of the masterpiece In Search of Lost Time,   Proust’s narrator dunks a madeleine cookie into a cup of tea – and the scent and taste unleash a torrent of childhood memories for 3000 pages.

 B Now, this phenomenon is getting the scientific treatment. Neuroscientists Rachel Herz, a cognitive neuroscientist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, have discovered, for instance, how sensory memories are shared across the brain, with different brain regions remembering the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of a particular experience. Meanwhile, psychologists have demonstrated that memories triggered by smells can be more emotional, as well as more detailed, than memories not related to smells. When you inhale, odour molecules set brain cells dancing within a region known as the amygdala,a part of the brain that helps control emotion. In contrast, the other senses, such as taste or touch, get routed through other parts of the brain before reaching the amygdala. The direct link between odours and the amygdala may help explain the emotional potency of smells. “There is this unique connection between the sense of smell and the part of the brain that processes emotion,” says Rachel Herz.

C  But the links don’t stop there. Like an octopus reaching its tentacles outward, the memory of smells affects other brain regions as well. In recent experiments, neuroscientists at University College London (UCL) asked 15 volunteers to look at pictures while smelling unrelated odours. For instance, the subjects might see a photo of a duck paired with the scent of a rose, and then be asked to create a story linking the two. Brain scans taken at the time revealed that the volunteers’ brains were particularly active in a region known as the olfactory cortex, which is known to be involved in processing smells. Five minutes later, the volunteers were shown the duck photo again, but without the rose smell. And in their brains, the olfactory cortex lit up again, the scientists reported recently. The fact that the olfactory cortex became active in the absence of the odour suggests that people’s sensory memory of events is spread across different brain regions. Imagine going on a seaside holiday, says UCL team leader, Jay Gottfried. The sight of the waves becomes stored in one area, whereas the crash of the surf goes elsewhere, and the smell of seaweed in yet another place. There could be advantages to having memories spread around the brain. “You can reawaken that memory from any one of the sensory triggers,” says Gottfried. ’’Maybe the smell of the sun lotion, or a particular sound from that day, or the sight of a rock formation.” Or – in the case of an early hunter and gatherer ( out on a plain – the sight of a lion might be trigger the urge to flee, rather than having to wait for the sound of its roar and the stench of its hide to kick in as well.

D Remembered smells may also carry extra emotional baggage, says Herz. Her research suggests that memories triggered by odours are more emotional than memories triggered by other cues. In one recent study, Herz recruited five volunteers who had vivid memories associated with a particular perfume, such as opium for Women and Juniper Breeze from Bath and Body Works. She took images of the volunteers’ brains as they sniffed that perfume and an unrelated perfume without knowing which was which. (They were also shown photos of each perfume bottle.) Smelling the specified perfume activated the volunteers brains the most,particularly in the amygdala, and in a region called the hippocampus,which helps in memory formation. Herz published the work earlier this year in the journal Neuropsychologia.

But she couldn’t be sure that the other senses wouldn’t also elicit a strong response. So in another study Herz compared smells with sounds and pictures. She had 70 people describe an emotional memory involving three items – popcorn, fresh-cut grass and a campfire. Then they compared the items through sights,sounds and smells. For instance, the person might see a picture of a lawnmower, then sniff the scent of grass and finally listen to the lawnmower’s sound. Memories triggered by smell were more evocative than memories triggered by either sights or sounds.

F Odour-evoked memories may be not only more emotional, but more detailed as well. Working with colleague John Downes,psychologist Simon Chu of the University of Liverpool started researching odour and memory partly because of his grandmother’s stories about Chinese culture. As generations gathered to share oral histories, they would pass a small pot of spice or incense around; later, when they wanted to remember the story in as much detail as possible, they would pass the same smell around again. “It’s kind of fits with a lot of anecdotal evidence on how smells can be really good reminders of past experiences,” Chu says. And scientific research seems to bear out the anecdotes. In one experiment, Chu and Downes asked 42 volunteers to tell a life story, then tested to see whether odours such as coffee and cinnamon could help them remember more detail in the story. They could.

G Despite such studies, not everyone is convinced that Proust can be scientifically analysed. In the June issue of Chemical Senses, Chu and Downes exchanged critiques with renowned perfumer and chemist J. Stephan Jellinek. Jellinek chided the Liverpool researchers for, among other things, presenting the smells and asking the volunteers to think of memories, rather than seeing what memories were spontaneously evoked by the odours. But there’s only so much science can do to test a phenomenon that’s inherently different for each person, Chu says. Meanwhile, Jellinek has also been collecting anecdotal accounts of Proustian experiences, hoping to find some there is a case to be made that surprise may be a major aspect of the Proust phenomenon,” he says. “That’s why people are so struck by these memories” No one knows whether Proust ever experienced such a transcendental moment. But his notions of memory, written as fiction nearly a century ago, continue to inspire scientists of today.


Questions 14-18

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-C) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A- C in boxes for the questions 14-18 on your answer sheet. NB you may use any letter more than once

A Rachel Herz

B Simon Chu

C Jay Gottfried

14. Found pattern of different sensory memories stored in various zones of a brain.

15. Smell brings detailed event under a smell of certain substance.

16. Connection of smell and certain zones of brain is different with that of other senses.

17. Diverse locations of stored information help us keep away the hazard.

18. There is no necessary correlation between smell and processing zone of brain.

Questions 19-22

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

Write your answers in boxes 19-22 on your answer sheet.

19. What does the experiment conducted by Herz show?

A        Women are more easily addicted to opium medicine

B        Smell is superior to other senses in connection to the brain

C        Smell is more important than other senses

D        Amygdala is part of brain that stores processes memory

20. What does the second experiment conducted by Herz suggest?

A        Result directly conflicts with the first one

B        Result of her first experiment is correct

C        Sights and sounds trigger memories at an equal level

D        Lawnmower is a perfect example in the experiment

21. What is the outcome of experiment conducted by Chu and Downes?

A        smell is the only functional under Chinese tradition

B        half of volunteers told detailed stories

C        smells of certain odours assist story tellers

D        odours of cinnamon is stronger than that of coffee

22. What is the comment of Jellinek to Chu and Downers in the issue of Chemical Senses:

A       Jellinek accused their experiment of being unscientific

B       Jellinek thought Liverpool is not a suitable place for experiment

C       Jellinek suggested that there was no further clue of what specific memories aroused

D       Jellinek stated that experiment could be remedied

Questions 23-26


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using not more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet.

In the experiments conducted by UCL, participants were asked to look at a picture with a scent of a flower, then in the next stage, everyone would have to……………………… 23………….. for a connection.

A method called……………… 24…………. suggested that specific area of brain named……………. 25…………. were quite active. Then in another paralleled experiment about Chinese elders, storytellers could recall detailed anecdotes when smelling bowl of…………… 26……………… or incense around.


 Soviet’s new working week

Historian investigates how Stalin changed the calendar to keep the Soviet people continually at work.

A “There are no fortresses that Bolsheviks cannot storm”. With these words, Stalin expressed the dynamic self-confidence of the Soviet Union’s Five Year Plan: weak and backward Russia was to turn overnight into a powerful modem industrial country. Between 1928 and 1932,production of coal, iron and steel increased at a fantastic rate, and new industrial cities sprang up, along with the world’s biggest dam. Everyone’s life was affected, as collectivised farming drove millions from the land to swell the industrial proletariat. Private enterprise disappeared in city and country, leaving the State supreme under the dictatorship of Stalin. Unlimited enthusiasm was the mood of the day, with the Communists believing that iron will and hard-working manpower alone would bring about a new world.

B Enthusiasm spread to time itself, in the desire to make the state a huge efficient machine, where not a moment would be wasted, especially in the workplace. Lenin had already been intrigued by the ideas of the American Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), whose time-motion studies had discovered ways of stream-lining effort so that every worker could produce the maximum. The Bolsheviks were also great admirers of Henry Ford’s assembly line mass production and of his Fordson tractors that were imported by the thousands. The engineers who came with them to train their users helped spread what became a real cult of Ford. Emulating and surpassing such capitalist models formed part of the training of the new Soviet Man, a heroic figure whose unlimited capacity for work would benefit everyone in the dynamic new society. All this culminated in the Plan, which has been characterized as the triumph of the machine, where workers would become supremely efficient robot-like creatures.

C Yet this was Communism whose goals had always included improving the lives of the proletariat. One major step in that direction was the sudden announcement in 1927 that reduced the working day from eight to seven hours. In January 1929, all Indus-tries were ordered to adopt the shorter day by the end of the Plan. Workers were also to have an extra hour off on the eve of Sundays and holidays. Typically though, the state took away more than it gave, for this was part of a scheme to increase production by establishing a three-shift system. This meant that the factories were open day and night and that many had to work at highly undesirable hours.

D Hardly had that policy been announced, though, than Yuri Larin, who had been a close associate of Lenin and architect of his radical economic policy, came up with an idea for even greater efficiency. Workers were free and plants were closed on Sundays. Why not abolish that wasted day by instituting a continuous work week so that the machines could operate to their full capacity every day of the week? When Larin presented his idea to the Congress of Soviets in May 1929, no one paid much attention. Soon after, though, he got the ear of Stalin, who approved. Suddenly, in June, the Soviet press was filled with articles praising the new scheme. In August, the Council of Peoples’ Commissars ordered that the continuous work week be brought into immediate effect, during the height of enthusiasm for the Plan, whose goals the new schedule seemed guaranteed to forward.

E The idea seemed simple enough, but turned out to be very complicated in practice. Obviously, the workers couldn’t be made to work seven days a week, nor should their total work hours be increased. The solution was ingenious: a new five-day week would have the workers on the job for four days, with the fifth day free; holidays would be reduced from ten to five, and the extra hour off on the eve of rest days would be abolished. Staggering the rest-days between groups of workers meant that each worker would spend the same number of hours on the job, but the factories would be working a full 360 days a year instead of 300. The 360 divided neatly into 72 five-day weeks. Workers in each establishment (at first factories,then stores and offices) were divided into five groups, each assigned a colour which appeared on the new Uninterrupted Work Week calendars distributed all over the country. Colour-coding was a valuable mnemonic device, since workers might have trouble remembering what their day off was going to be, for it would change every week. A glance at the colour on the calendar would reveal the free day, and allow workers to plan their activities. This system, however, did not apply to construction or seasonal occupations, which followed a six-day week, or to factories or mines which had to close regularly for maintenance: they also had a six-day week, whether interrupted (with the same day off for everyone) or continuous. In all cases, though, Sunday was treated like any other day.

F Official propaganda touted the material and cultural benefits of the new scheme. Workers would get more rest; production and employment would increase (for more workers would be needed to keep the factories running continuously); the standard of living would improve. Leisure time would be more rationally employed, for cultural activities (theatre, clubs, sports) would no longer have to be crammed into a weekend, but could flourish every day, with their facilities far less crowded. Shopping would be easier for the same reasons. Ignorance and superstition, as represented by organized religion, would suffer a mortal blow, since 80 per cent of the workers would be on the job on any given Sunday. The only objection concerned the family, where normally more than one member was working: well, the Soviets insisted, the narrow family was far less important than the vast common good and besides, arrangements could be made for husband and wife to share a common schedule. In fact, the regime had long wanted to weaken or sideline the two greatest potential threats to its total dominance: organised religion and the nuclear family. Religion succumbed, but the family, as even Stalin finally had to admit, proved much more resistant.

G The continuous work week, hailed as a Utopia where time itself was conquered and the sluggish Sunday abolished forever, spread like an epidemic. According to official figures, 63 per cent of industrial workers were so employed by April 1930; in June, all industry was ordered to convert during the next year. The fad reached its peak in October when it affected 73 per cent of workers. In fact, many managers simply claimed that their factories had gone over to the new week, without actually applying it. Conforming to the demands of the Plan was important; practical matters could wait. By then, though, problems were becoming obvious. Most serious (though never officially admitted), the workers hated it. Coordination of family schedules was virtually impossible and usually ignored, so husbands and wives only saw each other before or after work; rest days were empty without any loved ones to share them 一 even friends were likely to be on a different schedule. Confusion reigned: the new plan was introduced haphazardly, with some factories operating five-, six- and seven-day weeks at the same time, and the workers often not getting their rest days at all.

H The Soviet government might have ignored all that (It didn’t depend on public approval) ,but the new week was far from having the vaunted effect on production. With the complicated rotation system, the work teams necessarily found themselves doing different kinds of work in successive weeks. Machines, no longer consistently in the hands of people who knew how to tend them, were often poorly maintained or even broken. Workers lost a sense of responsibility for the special tasks they had normally performed.

I As a result, the new week started to lose ground. Stalin’s speech of June 1931, which criticised the “depersonalised labor” its too hasty application had brought, marked the beginning of the end. In November, the government ordered the widespread adoption of the six-day week, which had its own calendar, with regular breaks on the 6th, 12th, 18th,24th, and 30th,with Sunday usually as a working day. By July 1935, only 26 per cent of workers still followed the continuous schedule, and the six-day week was soon on its way out. Finally, in 1940,as part of the general reversion to more traditional methods, both the continuous five-day week and the novel six-day week were abandoned, and Sunday returned as the universal day of rest. A bold but typically ill-conceived experiment was at an end.

Questions 27-34

Reading Passage 2 has nine paragraphs A-I.

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below. Write the correct number i-xii in boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet.


List of Headings

i Benefits of the new scheme and its resistance
ii Making use of the once wasted weekends
iii Cutting work hours for better efficiency
iv Optimism of the great future
v Negative effects on production itself
vi Soviet Union’s five year plan
vii The abolishment of the new work-week scheme
viii The Ford model
ix Reaction from factory workers and their families
x The color-coding scheme
xi Establishing a three-shift system
xii Foreign inspiration

27. Paragraph A

28. Paragraph B

29. Paragraph D

30. Paragraph E

31. Paragraph F

32. Paragraph G

33. Paragraph H

33. Paragraph I

Example                                Answer

Paragraph C                             iii

Questions 35-37

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

Write your answers in boxes for questions 35-37 on your answer sheet.

35. According to paragraph A, Soviet’s five year plan was a success because

A Bolsheviks built a strong fortress.

B Russia was weak and backward.

C industrial production increased.

D Stalin was confident about Soviet’s potential.

36. Daily working hours were cut from eight to seven to

A improve the lives of all people.

B boost industrial productivity.

C get rid of undesirable work hours.

D change the already establish three-shift work system.

37. Many factory managers claimed to have complied with the demands of the new work week because

A they were pressurized by the state to do so.

B they believed there would not be any practical problems.

C they were able to apply it.

D workers hated the new plan.

Questions 38-40

Answer the questions below using NOT MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes for questions 38-40 on your answer sheet.

38. Whose idea of continuous work week did Stalin approve and helped to implement?

39. What method was used to help workers to remember the rotation of their off days?

40. What was the most resistant force to the new work week scheme?


7 NOT GIVEN 8 Spring 3 Sediment
10 Razorback sucker 11 Common carp 12 Visibility
13 sand    
14 A 15 B 16 A
17 C 18 C 19 D
20 B 21 C 22 C
23 Create a story 24 Brain scans 25 Olfactory cortex
26 Spice    
27 iv 28 Xii 29 ii
30 x 31 I 32 ix
33 v 34 Vii 35 C
36 B 37 A 38 Yuri Larin
39 Colour – coding/ colour 40 Family

Test 9<< >>Test 11

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Syed Monif is a professional content marketer and IELTS Trainer by day, and a bookworm by night, and sometimes during the day too! He currently works on creating extremely user-friendly and engaging content for the online portal His work involves creating and editing content while making sure they're super interesting and easy to read! And also as a master procrastinator, right now he's probably googling something so arbitrary like 'How rich is Scrooge McDuck?' without realizing that his lunch break is almost over.


3. Contribution of sediments delivered by tributaries has little impact. CORRECT answer is ‘TRUE’ not ‘FALSE’:
“Even that has not been much use as those tributaries are not powerful enough to distribute the sediment in an ecologically valuable way.”

there is the 34 question missing. It is sometimes very confusing when you do the tasks. hope it can be fixed. Thank you in advance

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