IELTS READING

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Reading Practice Test 1
Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on
Reading Passage 1 below.
Snow-makers
Skiing is big business nowadays. But what can ski resort owners do if
the snow doesn't come?
A In the early to mid twentieth century, with the growing popularity of skiing,
ski slopes became extremely profitable businesses. But ski resort owners were
completely dependent on the weather: if it didn't snow, or didn’t snow enough,
they had to close everything down. Fortunately, a device called the snow gun
can now provide snow whenever it is needed. These days such machines are
standard equipment in the vast majority of ski resorts around the world,
making it possible for many resorts to stay open for months or more a year.
B Snow formed by natural weather systems comes from water vapour in the

atmosphere. The water vapour condenses into droplets, forming clouds. If the
temperature is sufficiently low, the water droplets freeze into tiny ice crystals.
More water particles then condense onto the crystal and join with it to form a
snowflake. As the snow flake grows heavier, it falls towards the Earth.
C The snow gun works very differently from a natural weather system, but it
accomplishes exactly the same thing. The device basically works by combining
water and air. Two different hoses are attached to the gun. one leading from a
water pumping station which pumps water up from a lake or reservoir, and the
other leading from an air compressor. When the compressed air passes
through the hose into the gun. it atomises the water - that is, it disrupts the
stream so that the water splits up into tiny droplets. The droplets are then
blown out of the gun and if the outside temperature is below 0°C, ice crystals
will form, and will then make snowflakes in the same way as natural snow.
D Snow-makers often talk about dry snow and wet snow. Dry snow has a
relatively low amount of water, so it is very light and powdery. This type of
snow is excellent for skiing because skis glide over it easily without getting
stuck in wet slush. One of the advantages of using a snow-maker is that this
powdery snow can be produced to give the ski slopes a level surface. However,
on slopes which receive heavy use, resort owners also use denser, wet snow
underneath the dry snow. Many resorts build up the snow depth this way once
or twice a year, and then regularly coat the trails with a layer of dry snow
throughout the winter.
E The wetness of snow is dependent on the temperature and humidity outside,
as well as the size of the water droplets launched by the gun. Snow-makers
have to adjust the proportions of water and air in their snow guns to get the
perfect snow consistency for the outdoor weather conditions. Many ski slopes
now do this with a central computer system that is connected to weather-
reading stations all over the slope.
F But man-made snow makes heavy demands on the environment. It takes
about 275,000 litres of water to create a blanket of snow covering a 60x60
metre area. Most resorts pump water from one or more reservoirs located in
low-lying areas. The run-off water from the slopes feeds back into these
reservoirs, so the resort can actually use the same water over and over again.
However, considerable amounts of energy are needed to run the large air-
compressing pumps, and the diesel engines which run them also cause air
pollution.
G Because of the expense of making snow, ski resorts have to balance the cost
of running the machines with the benefits of extending the ski season, making

sure they only make snow when it is really needed and when it will bring the
maximum amount of profit in return for the investment. But man-made snow
has a number of other uses as well. A layer of snow keeps a lot of the Earth’s
heat from escaping into the atmosphere, so farmers often use man-made snow
to provide insulation for winter crops. Snow-making machines have played a
big part in many movie productions. Movie producers often take several
months to shoot scenes that cover just a few days. If the movie takes place in a
snowy setting, the set decorators have to get the right amount of snow for
each day of shooting either by adding man-made snow or melting natural
snow. And another important application of man-made snow is its use in the
tests that aircraft must undergo in order to ensure that they can function
safely in extreme conditions.
Questions 1-5
Reading Passage 1 has seven paragraphs A-G.
Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings
below.
Write the correct number (i-x) in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i Considering ecological costs
ii Modifications to the design of the
snow gun
iii The need for different varieties of
snow
iv Local concern over environmental
issues
v A problem and a solution
vi Applications beyond the ski slopes

viiConverting wet snow to dry snow
viii New method for calculating
modifications
ix Artificial process, natural product
x Snow formation in nature
Example Answer
Paragraph
A v
Paragraph
B x
Paragraph
C 1
Paragraph
D2
Paragraph
E3
Paragraph
F4
Paragraph
G5
Questions 6-8
Label the diagram below using
NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the
passage for each answer.

6
7
8
Questions 9-13
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each
answer.
Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.
Dry snow is used to give slopes a level surface, while wet snow is used
to increase the 9
on busy slopes.
To calculate the required snow consistency, the 10
of the
atmosphere must first be measured.
The machinery used in the process of making the snow consumes a lot of

11 which is damaging to the environment.
Artificial snow is used in agriculture as a type of 12
for plants
in cold conditions.
Artificial snow may also be used in carrying out safety checks on
13

Reading Passage 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on
Reading Passage 2 below:
Why are so few tigers man-eaters?
A. As you leave the Bandhavgarh National Park in central India, there is a
notice which shows a huge, placid tiger. The notice says, ‘You may not have
seen me, but I have seen you.’ There are more than a billion people In India
and Indian tigers probably see humans every single day of their lives. Tigers
can and do kill almost everything they meet in the jungle, they will kill even
attack elephants and rhino. Surely, then, it is a little strange that attacks on
humans are not more frequent.
B. Some people might argue that these attacks were in fact common in the
past. British writers of adventure stories, such as Jim Corbett, gave the
impression that village life in India in the early years of the twentieth century
involved a stage of constant siege by man-eating tigers. But they may have
overstated the terror spread by tigers. There were also far more tigers around
in those days (probably 60.000 in the subcontinent compared to just 3000
today). So in proportion, attacks appear to have been as rare then as they are
today.
C. It is widely assumed that the constraint is fear; but what exactly are tigers
afraid of? Can they really know that we may be even better armed than they
are? Surely not. Has the species programmed the experiences of all tigers with
humans its genes to be inherited as instinct? Perhaps. But I think the
explanation may be more simple and, in a way, more intriguing.

D. Since the growth of ethology in the 1950s. we have tried to understand
animal behaviour from the animal’s point of view. Until the first elegant
experiments by pioneers in the field such as Konrad Lorenz, naturalists wrote
about animals as if they were slightly less intelligent humans. Jim Corbett’s
breathless accounts of his duels with a an-eaters in truth tell us more about Jim
Corbett than they do about the animals. The principle of ethology, on the other
hand, requires us to attempt to think in the same way as the animal we are
studying thinks, and to observe every tiny detail of its behaviour without
imposing our own human significances on its actions.
E. I suspect that a tiger’s afraid of humans lies not in
some preprogramed ancestral logic but in the way he actually perceives us
visually. If you think like a tiger, a human in a car might appear just to be a
part of the car, and because tigers don’t eat cars the human is safe-unless the
car is menacing the tiger or its cubs, in which case a brave or enraged tiger
may charge. A human on foot is a different sort of puzzle. Imagine a tiger sees
a man who is 1.8m tall. A tiger is less than 1m tall but they may be up to 3m
long from head to tail. So when a tiger sees the man face on, it might not be
unreasonable for him to assume that the man is 6m long. If he meet a deer of
this size, he might attack the animal by leaping on its back, but when he looks
behind the mind he can’t see a back. From the front the man is huge, but
looked at from the side he all but disappears. This must be very disconcerting.
A hunter has to be confident that it can tackle its prey, and no one is confident
when they are disconcerted. This is especially true of a solitary hunter such as
the tiger and may explain why lions-particularly young lionesses who tend to
encourage one another to take risks are more dangerous than tigers.
F. If the theory that a tiger is disconcerted to find that a standing human is
both very big and yet somehow invisible is correct, the opposite should be true
of a squatting human. A squatting human is half he size and presents twice the
spread of back, and more closely resembles a medium-sized deer. If tigers
were simply frightened of all humans, then a squatting person would be no
more attractive as a target than a standing one. This, however appears not to
be the case. Many incidents of attacks on people involving villagers squatting
or bending over to cut grass for fodder or building material.
G. The fact that humans stand upright may therefore not just be something
that distinguishes them from nearly all other species, but also a factor that
helped them to survive in a dangerous and unpredictable environment.
Note:
Ethology = the branch of zoology that studies the behaviour of animals in

their natural habitats
Questions 14-18
Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs labelled A-G
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
14
a rejected explanation of why tiger attacks on
humans are rare
15
a reason why tiger attacks on humans might be
expected to happen more often than they do
16
examples of situations in which humans are more
likely to be attacked by tigers
17
a claim about the relative frequency of tiger attacks
on humans
18
an explanation of tiger behaviour based on the
principles of ethology
Questions 19-23
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading
Passage 2?
In boxes 19-23 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

19 Tigers in the Bandhavgarh National Park are a
protected species.
20
Some writers of fiction have exaggerated the
danger of tigers to man.
21
The fear of humans may be passed down in a
tiger's genes.
22
Konrad Lorenz claimed that some animals are
more intelligent than humans.
23
Ethology involves applying principles of human
behaviour to animals.
Questions 24-26
Choose the correct answer, A. B C or D
Write your answers in boxes 24-26 on your answer sheet.
24 Why do tigers rarely attack people in cars?
A
B
C
D
25 The writer says that tigers rarely attack a man who is standing up
because
A
B
C
D They have learned that cars are not dangerous.
They realise that people in cars cannot be harmed.
They do not think people in cars are living creatures.
They do not want to put their cubs at risk
they are afraid of the man s height.
they are confused by the man's shape.
they are puzzled by the man s lack of movement.
they are unable to look at the man directly.

26 A human is more vulnerable to tiger attack when squatting because
A
B
C
D he may be unaware of the tiger's approach.
he cannot easily move his head to see behind him.
his head becomes a better target for the tiger.
his back appears longer in relation to his height

Reading Passage 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on
Reading Passage 3 below.
Keep taking the tablets
The history of aspirin is a product of a rollercoaster ride through time,
of accidental discoveries, intuitive reasoning and intense corporate
rivalry.
In the opening pages of Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder
Drug , Diarmuid Jeffreys describes this little white pill as ‘one of the most
amazing creations in medical history, a drug so astonishingly versatile that it
can relieve headache, ease your aching limbs, lower your temperature and
treat some of the deadliest human diseases’.
Its properties have been known for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian
physicians used extracts from the willow tree as an analgesic, or pain killer.
Centuries later the Greek physician Hippocrates recommended the bark of the
willow tree as a remedy for the pains of childbirth and as a fever reducer. But it
wasn't until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that salicylates the
chemical found in the willow tree became the subject of serious scientific
investigation. The race was on to identify the active ingredient and to replicate
it synthetically. At the end of the nineteenth century a German company,
Friedrich Bayer & Co. succeeded in creating a relatively safe and very effective
chemical compound, acetylsalicylic acid, which was renamed aspirin.
The late nineteenth century was a fertile period for experimentation, partly

because of the hunger among scientists to answer some of the great scientific
questions, but also because those questions were within their means to
answer. One scientist in a laboratory with some chemicals and a test tube
could make significant breakthroughs whereas today, in order to map the
human genome for instance, one needs ‘an army of researchers, a bank of
computers and millions and millions of dollars’.
But an understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry is not
enough on its own to explain how society innovates. In the nineteenth century,
scientific advance was closely linked to the industrial revolution. This was a
period when people frequently had the means, motive and determination to
take an idea and turn it into reality. In the case of aspirin that happened
piecemeal - a series of minor, often unrelated advances, fertilised by the
century’s broader economic, medical and scientific developments, that led to
one big final breakthrough.
The link between big money and pharmaceutical innovation is also a significant
one. Aspirin is continued shelf life was ensured because for the first 70 years of
its life, huge amounts of money were put into promoting it as an ordinary
everyday analgesic. In the 1070s other analgesics, such as ibuprofen
and paracetamol, were entering the market, and the pharmaceutical
companies then focused on publicising these new drugs. But just at the same
time, discoveries were made regarding the beneficial role of aspirin in
preventing heart attacks, strokes and other afflictions. Had it not been for
these findings, this pharmaceutical marvel may well have disappeared.
So the relationship between big money and drugs is an odd one. Commercial
markets are necessary for developing new products and ensuring that they
remain around long enough for scientists to carry out research on them. But
the commercial markets are just as likely to kill off' certain products when
something more attractive comes along. In the case of aspirin, a potential
‘wonder drug* was around for over 70 years without anybody investigating the
way in which it achieved its effects, because they were making more than
enough money out of it as it was. If ibuprofen or paracetamol had entered the
market just a decade earlier, aspirin might then not be here today. It would be
just another forgotten drug that people hadn't bothered to explore.
None of the recent discoveries of aspirin's benefits were made by the big
pharmaceutical companies; they were made by scientists working in the public
sector. 'The reason for that is very simple and straightforward,' Jeffreys says in
his book. 'Drug companies will only pursue research that is going to deliver
financial benefits. There's no profit in aspirin any more. It is incredibly
inexpensive with tiny profit margins and it has no patent any more, so anyone

can produce it.' In fact, there's almost a disincentive for drug companies to
further boost the drug, he argues, as it could possibly put them out of business
by stopping them from selling their more expensive brands.
So what is the solution to a lack of commercial interest in further exploring the
therapeutic benefits of aspirin? More public money going into clinical trials,
says Jeffreys. ‘If I were the Department of Health. I would say “this is a very
inexpensive drug. There may be a lot of other things we could do with it." We
should put a lot more money into trying to find out.'
Jeffreys' book which not only tells the tale of a 'wonder drug' but also explores
the nature of innovation and the role of big business, public money and
regulation reminds us why such research is so important.
Questions 27-32
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-H from the box below.
Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.
A the discovery of new medical
applications.
B the negative effects of publicity.
C the large pharmaceutical
companies.
D the industrial revolution.
E the medical uses of a particular
tree
F the limited availability of new
drugs.
G the chemical found in the willow
tree.

Hcommercial advertising
campaigns.
27
Ancient Egyptian and Greek doctors were aware of
28
Frederick Bayer & Co were able to reproduce
29
The development of aspirin was partly due to the
effects of
30
The creation of a market for aspirin as a painkiller was
achieved through
31
Aspirin might have become unavailable without
32
The way in which aspirin actually worked was not
investigated by
Questions 33-37
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in
Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 33-37 on your answer sheet write
YES if the statement agrees with the
views of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the
views of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the
writer thinks about this
33
For nineteenth-century scientists, small-scale
research was enough to make important discoveries.
34
The nineteenth-century industrial revolution caused
a change in the focus of scientific research.

35 The development of aspirin in the nineteenth
century followed a structured pattern of development.
36
In the 1970s sales of new analgesic drugs overtook
sales of asprin.
37
Commercial companies may have both good and
bad effects on the availability of pharmaceutical products.
Questions 38-40
Complete the summary below using the list of words A-l below.
Write the correct letter A-l in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet
Research into aspirin
Jeffreys argues that the reason why 38
did not find out
about new uses of aspirin is that aspirin is no longer a 39
drug. He therefore suggests that there should be 40 support
for further research into the possible applications of the drug.
A useful
B cheap
C state
D international
E major drug companies
F profitable
G commercial
H public sector scientists

Ihealth officials

1ix 2iii
3viii 4i
5vi 6compressed
7(tiny) droplets 8ice crystals
9depth 10 temperature and humidity
11energy 12insulation
13aircraft 14C
15A 16F
17B 18E
19NOT GIVEN 20TRUE
21TRUE 22NOT GIVEN
23FALSE 24C
25B 26D
27E 28G
29D 30H
31A 32C
33YES 34NOT GIVEN
35NO 36NOT GIVEN
37YES 38E
39F 40C
X