Official IELTS Reading Test

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Reading Practice
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based
on Reading Passage 1 below.
A. It is often more difficult for outsiders and non-sufferers to understand mental rather than
physical illness in others. While it may be easy for us to sympathise with individuals living
with the burden of a physical illness or disability, there is often a stigma attached to being
mentally ill, or a belief that such conditions only exist in individuals who lack the strength of
character to cope with the real world. The pressures of modern life seem to have resulted
in an increase in cases of emotional disharmony and government initiatives in many
countries have, of late, focussed on increasing the general public’s awareness and
sympathy towards sufferers of mental illness and related conditions.
B. Clinical depression, or ‘major depressive disorder’, a state of extreme sadness or
despair, is said to affect up to almost 20% of the population at some point in their lives
prior to the age of 40. Studies have shown that this disorder is the leading cause of
disability in North America; in the UK almost 3 million people are said to be diagnosed with
some form of depression at any one time, and experts believe that as many as a further 9
million other cases may go undiagnosed. World Health Organisation projections indicate
that clinical depression may become the second most significant cause of disability’ on a
global scale by 2020. However, such figures are not unanimously supported, as some
experts believe that the diagnostic criteria used to identify ՛ the condition are not precise
enough, leading to other types of depression being wrongly classified as ‘clinical’.
C. Many of us may experience periods of low morale or mood and feelings of dejection, as
a natural human response to negative events in our lives such as bereavement,
Reading Practice Test 1

redundancy or breakdown of a relationship. Some of us may even experience periods of
depression and low levels of motivation which have no tangible reason or trigger. Clinical
depression is classified as an on-going state of negativity, with no tangible cause, where
sufferers enter a spiral of persistent negative thinking, often experiencing irritability,
perpetual tiredness and listlessness. Sufferers of clinical depression are said to be at
higher risk of resorting to drug abuse or even suicide attempts than the rest of the
D. Clinical depression is generally diagnosed when an individual is observed to exhibit an
excessively depressed mood and/or ‘anhedonia’ – an inability to experience pleasure from
positive experiences such as enjoying a meal or pleasurable social interaction – for a
period of two weeks or more, in conjunction with five or more additional recognised
symptoms. These additional symptoms may include overwhelming feelings of sadness;
inability to sleep, or conversely, excessive sleeping; feelings of guilt, nervousness,
abandonment or fear; inability to concentrate; interference with memory capabilities;
fixation with death or extreme change in eating habits and associated weight gain or loss.
E . Clinical depression was originally solely attributed to chemical imbalance in the brain,
and while anti-depressant drugs which work to optimise levels of ‘feel good’ chemicals –
serotonin and norepinephrine – are still commonly prescribed today, experts now believe
that onset of depression may be caused by a number, and often combination of,
physiological and socio-psychological factors. Treatment approaches vary quite
dramatically from place to place and are often tailored to an individual’s particular
situation; however, some variation of a combination of medication and psychotherapy is
most commonly used. The more controversial electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may also
be used where initial approaches fail. In extreme cases, where an individual exhibits
behaviour which Indicates that they may cause physical harm to themselves, psychiatric
hospitalisation may be necessary as a form of intensive therapy.
F. Some recent studies, such as those published by the Archives of General Psychiatry,
hold that around a quarter of diagnosed clinical depression cases should actually be
considered as significant but none-the-less ordinary sadness and maladjustment to coping
with trials in life, indicating that in such cases, psychotherapy rather than treatment
through medication is required. Recovery as a result of psychotherapy tends, in most
cases, to be a slower process than improvements related to medication; however,
improvements as a result of psychological treatment, once achieved, have been observed
in some individuals to be more long term and sustainable than those attained through
prescription drugs. Various counselling approaches exist, though all focus on enhancing
the subject’s ability to function on a personal and interpersonal level. Sessions involve
encouragement of an individual to view themselves and their relationships in a more
positive manner, with the intention of helping patients to replace negative thoughts with a
more positive outlook.

G. It is apparent that susceptibility to depression can run in families. However, it remains
unclear as to whether this is truly an inherited genetic trait or whether biological and
environmental factors common to family members may be at the root of the problem. In
some cases, sufferers of depression may need to unlearn certain behaviours and attitudes
they have established in life and develop new coping strategies designed to help them
deal with problems they may encounter, undoing patterns of destructive behaviour they
may have observed in their role models and acquired for themselves.
Questions 1-5
Reading Passage 1 has seven sections A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letters A-G in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.
Details of treatment alternatives for worst case scenario
Information regarding cases where drug treatment is
Details of how those diagnosed with depression may be more
vulnerable than other members of society,
Information about society’s attitudes to depression and similar
Information regarding why estimates of incidence of future
growth in cases may be overly exaggerated.
Questions 6-8
Choose THREE letters A-G.
Write your answers in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.
NB Your answers may be given in any order
Which THREE of the following statements are true of depression?
B Governments have generally failed to take action to educate the general
public about the condition.
The highest reported number of cases are in the USA.

G In Britain, it is likely that there are more individuals who live with the
condition without the help of a doctor than those being officially treated.
Clinical depression may be triggered by divorce.
Lethargy may be one of the symptoms of depression.
Prescribed pharmaceuticals have radically changed over recent years.
Approaches to treating depression are not universal.
Questions 9-13
Complete the summary of paragraphs F and G with the list of words A-L below.
Write the correct letter A-L in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.
Whilst recovery through counselling rather than medicine may be more
, results once achieved may have more 10 with
some patients.
Counselling sessions are geared towards improving the subject’s relationship with
others and their own 11
, encouraging sufferers of depression to
take on a more 12
The extent to which genetic disposition and sociological factors impact on state of
mind is 13
. Many people undergoing counselling therapy do so with
the purpose of unlearning negative behaviour and reactions.

A gratifying
B longevity
C ambition
D optimistic
E pessimistic
F difficulty
G inconclusive
H self-image
I gradual
J unequivocal
K immediate
L categorical

You should spend about 20 .minutes on Questions 14-27, which are based on Reading
Passage 2 below.
A. In response to the emergence of the ‘metro-sexual’ male, In other words, an urban,
sophisticated man who is fashionable, well-groomed and unashamedly committed to
ensuring his appearance is the best it can be, a whole new industry has developed.
According to research conducted on behalf of a leading health and beauty retailer in the
UK, the market for male cosmetics and related products has grown by 800% since the
year 2000 and is expected to continue to increase significantly. The male grooming
products market has become the fastest growing sector within the beauty and cosmetics
industry, currently equivalent to around 1.5 billion pounds per annum.
B. Over the last decade, a large number of brands and companies catering for
enhancement of the male image have been successfully established, such operations
ranging from male-only spas, boutiques, personal hygiene products, hair and skin care
ranges, and male magazines with a strong leaning towards men’s fashion. Jamie Cawley,
proprietor of a successful chain of London-based male grooming boutiques, holds that his
company’s success in this highly competitive market can be attributed to the ‘exclusivity’
tactics they have employed, in that their products and services are clearly defined as
male- orientated and distinctly separate to feminine products offered by other
organisations. However, market analyst, Kim Sawyer, believes that future growth in the
market can also be achieved through sale of unisex products marketed to both genders,
this strategy becoming increasingly easy to implement as men’s interest in appearance
and grooming has become more of a social norm.

C. Traditionalists such as journalist Jim Howrard contend that the turn-around in male
attitudes which has led to the success of the industry w’ould have been inconceivable a
decade ago, given the conventional male role, psyche and obligation to exude masculinity;
however, behavioural scientist Professor Ruth Chesterton argues that the metro-sexual
man of today is in fact a modern incarnation of the ‘dandy’ of the late eighteenth and early
nineteenth century. British dandies of that period, who were often of middle class
backgrounds but imitated aristocratic lifestyles, were devoted to cultivation of their physical
appearance, development of a refined demeanour and hedonistic pursuits. In France, she
adds, dandyism, in contrast, was also strongly linked to political ideology and embraced by
youths wishing to clearly define themselves from members of the working class
revolutionary social groups of the period.
D. Over recent decades, according to sociologist Ben Cameron, gender roles for both
sexes have become less defined. According to research, he says, achievement of status
and success have become less important in younger generations of men, as has the need
to repress emotions. Cameron defines the traditional masculine role within western
societies – hegemonic masculinity – as an expectation that males demonstrate physical
strength and fitness, be decisive, self-assured, rational, successful and in control. Meeting
this list of criteria and avoiding situations of demonstrating weakness, being overly
emotional or in any way ’inferior’, he says, has placed a great deal of pressure on many
members of the male population. So restrictive can society’s pressure to behave in a
‘masculine’ fashion on males be, Professor Chesterton states that in many situations men
may respond in a way they deem acceptable to society, given their perceived gender role,
rather than giving what they may actually consider to be the best and most objective
E. Jim Howard says that learning and acquiring gender identity makes up a huge
component of a child’s socialisation and that a child who exhibits non-standard behavioural
characteristics often encounters social and self image difficulties due to the adverse
reactions of their peers. According to Kim Sawyer, media images and messages also add
to pressures associated with the male image, stating that even in these modern and
changing times, hegemonic masculinity is often idolised and portrayed as the definitive
male persona.
F. Whilst male stereotypes and ideals vary from culture to culture, according to Professor
Chesterton, a universal trait in stereotypical male behaviour is an increased likelihood to
take risks than is generally found in female behaviour patterns. For this reason, she
attributes such behaviour to the influence of genetic predisposition as opposed to socially
learned behaviour. Men, she says, are three times more likely to die due to accident than
females, a strong indication he says of their greater willingness to involve themselves in
precarious situations. Ben Cameron also says that an attitude of invincibility is more
dominant in males and is a predominant factor in the trend for fewer medical checkups in

males and late diagnosis of chronic and terminal illness than in their more cautious and
vigilant female counterparts.
G. Jamie Cawley, however, remains optimistic that the metro-sexual culture will continue
and that what society accepts as the face of masculinity will continue to change. He
attributes this to a male revolt against the strict confines of gender roles, adding that such
changes of attitudes have led and will continue to lead to establishment of greater equality
between the sexes.
Questions 14-18
Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs A-G.
Choose the correct heading for paragraphs B-D and F-G from the list of headings
Write the correct number i to viii in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i Basis and predictions
ii Revolution or recurrence?
iii Servicing a growing demand
iv The surfacing of a new phenomenon
v A long-held mindset and its downsides
vi Influence on minors
vii Hereditary predilection
viii Effects of external pressures
Example : Paragraph E; Answer: viii
Paragraph B
Paragraph C
Paragraph D
Paragraph F
Paragraph G

Questions 19-22
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 19-22 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 pass …
19 Sales in the female health and beauty market have slightly
declined over recent years.
The rise of ‘dandyism’ in England and France is attributed to
similar factors.
Emotional reaction is contradictory to hegemonic masculine
There is a correlation between men’s belief that they are
indestructible and their decreased likelihood to seek medical advice.
Questions 23-27
Look at the following list of statements (Questions 23-27) based on changes in male
image and behavior.
Match each statement with the correct person A-E.
Write the correct letters A-E in boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet.
Male behaviour patterns have changed in a way that would have
been considered implausible in the past.
Traditional benchmarks of masculinity are often exacerbated by
the press.
Metro-sexual culture has developed as a response to modern
men’s dissatisfaction with traditional images.
The need to conform to society’s expectations of male behaviour
may impede men’s decision-making and judgement.

27 There is potential in a market which makes no differentiation
between products for males and females.
List of Contributors
A Jamie Cawley
B Kim Sawyer
C Jim Howard
D Professor Ruth Chesterton
E Ben Cameron

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40, which are based on Reading
Passage 3 below.
A. The benefits of vitamins to our well-being are now familiar to most; however, when the
link between diets lacking in citrus fruits and the development of the affliction ‘scurvy’ in
sailors was first discovered by James Lind in 1747, the concept of vitamins was yet to be
discovered. Scurvy, which causes softening of the gums, oral bleeding and, in extreme
cases, tooth loss, is now known to present as a result of lack of Vitamin C in the diet.
Additional symptoms include depression, liver spots on the skin – particularly arms and
legs – loss of colour in the face and partial immobility; high incidence of the ailment aboard
ships took an enormous toll on the crew’s ability to complete essential tasks while at sea.
B. Suggestions that citrus fruit may lower the incidence or indeed prevent scurvy had been
made as early as 1600. It was Lind, however, who would conduct the first clinical trial by
studying the effect within scientific experimental parameters. However, while the
correlation between consuming citrus fruit and avoidance of scurvy was established, the
preventative properties were attributed to the presence of acids in the fruit and not what
would later be identified as vitamin content.
C. Lind’s subjects for his trial consisted of twelve sailors already exhibiting symptoms of
scurvy. These individuals were split into six groups; each pair common diet. Pair 1 were
rationed a daily quart of cider, pair 2 elixir of vitriol, pair 3 a given quantity of vinegar, pair 4
seawater, pair 5 oranges and a lemon and pair 6 barley water. Despite the trial having to
be aborted after day five, when supplies of fruit were depleted, the findings of the
interventional study showed that only the control group who were given fruit supplements

showed any significant improvement in their condition (one had, in fact, recovered to the
extent that he was fit enough to return to work). The immediate impact on sailors’ health
and incidence of scurvy on board ship was, however, limited as Lind and other physicians
remained convinced that the curative effect was acid based. Therefore, while consumption
of citrus fruit was recommended, it was often replaced by cheaper acid supplements. The
preventative Qualities of citrus fruit against scurvy were not truly recognised until 1800,
though throughout the latter part of the 1700s, lemon juice was increasingly administered
as a cure for sailors already afflicted.
D. Nowadays, the implementation of findings discovered in clinical trials into mainstream
medicine remains an arduous and lengthy process and the clinical trials themselves
represent only a small stage of the process of developing a new drug from research stage
to launch in the marketplace. On average, for every thousand drugs conceived, only one
of the thousand actually makes it to the stage of clinical trial, other projects being
abandoned for a variety of reasons. Stages which need to be fulfilled prior to clinical trial –
where the treatment is actually tested on human subjects -include discovery, purification,
characterisation and laboratory testing.
E. A new pharmaceutical for treatment of a disease such as cancer typically takes a period
of 6 years or more before reaching the stage of clinical trial. Since legislation requires
subjects participating in such trials to be monitored for a considerable period of time so
that side-effects and benefits can be assessed correctly, a further eight years typically
passes between the stage of a drug entering clinical trial and being approved for general
use. One of the greatest barriers to clinical trial procedures is availability of subjects willing
to participate. Criteria for selection is rigorous and trials where subjects are required to be
suffering from the disease in question, experience tremendous recruitment difficulties as
individuals already vulnerable due to the effects of their condition, are often reluctant to
potentially put their health at higher levels of risk.
F. Clinical trials are conducted in line with a strict protocol and the stages of a trial are
generally defined by five distinct phases. A drug that is deemed safe and effective enough
to reach the end of stage three is most often, at that point, approved for use in mainstream
medicine. Phase 0 involves a first-in-human trial (usually conducted using a small
population often to fifteen subjects) with the purpose of ascertaining that the drug’s effect
is, in fact, the same as predicted in pre-clinical studies. If no concerns are raised, the drug
then enters Phase 1 of trial where a modest selection (usually between twenty and eighty
subjects) of usually healthy volunteers, is exposed to the drug. However, for HIV and
cancer drugs, this stage is conducted using patients suffering from the condition in
question. There are two main variations of Phase I testing, these being SAD (single
ascending dose) and MAD (multiple ascending dose). The former involves a single
administration of a drug at a pre-determined level to one group of subjects, and the second
involves administration of a pre-determined sequence of dosages.

G. Phases 0 and 1 are geared towards establishing the safety of a pharmaceutical and
once this has been confirmed, drugs pass into Phase II testing where, while safety
continues to be monitored, the drug’s effectiveness is also assessed using a larger group
of subjects, ranging from twenty up to three hundred. In some trials, Phase II is regarded
as involving two sub-stages, in that Phase 11(a) may be concerned with establishing
optimum dosage levels and Phase 11(b) to evaluate effectiveness. Phase III is the most
expensive, time-consuming and complex stage of the trial process, often involving as
many as 3000 patients. At this stage, a new drug’s effectiveness is rigorously tested and
compared to that of the best of the existing alternatives already approved and in common
use. Where research indicates that a pharmaceutical has passed all requirements of
Phases 0, I, II and III, submissions to relevant regulatory and licensing bodies are then
H. The final phase of clinical testing, Phase IV, is conducted over a lengthy period of time
post-launch for general usage. This stage is, in essence, a safety net which involves
continued monitoring of the drug, its properties and side-effects through which any long
term adverse reactions, which remained undetected in the pre-launch clinical testing time
frame can be discovered. Identification of harmful effects at this stage, on occasion, has
led to withdrawal of a drug from the market; for example, as was the case with cerivastin, a
cholesterol-lowering drug, which was later found to have an adverse effect on muscle
reaction which, on occasion, had fatal consequences.
Questions 28-31
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 28-31 on your answer sheet.
In advanced cases of scurvy suffers may experience 28
with numerous other symptoms.
Fruit adds were mistakenly heralded as having 29
in incidents
of scurvy prior to the identification of vitamins.
Lind’s subjects for the first clinical trial were seamen who were at the time of
the condition in question.
All groups in Lind’s experiment were given a 31
along with
specific rations which were varied for each control group.
Questions 32-35
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D

Write your answers in boxes 32 – 35 on your answer sheet
32 The first clinical trial was conducted for only 5 days

33 The impact of findings from the trial were not used to full potential

34 One of the greatest hindrances to clinical testing today

35 Clinical testing for HIV and cancer drugs differs from usual procedures

D that period of time was the planned protocol.
the subjects in the relevant control group had already recovered.
resources fundamental to the experiment were used up.
those taking part in the trial were too sick to continue.
Lind failed to recommend consumption of citrus fruit.
ineffective substitutes were often made available.
other physicians were unconvinced by his evidence.
the trial was not conducted over a long enough period to be valid.
low volunteer rates.
the poor success rate.
the strict protocol.
shortage of laboratory staff.
the clinical trial phase is much longer.
the MAD instead of the SAD approach is used during Phase I.
subjects exhibiting no symptoms of the illness are not used.
effectiveness is more rigorously tested than safety.
Questions 36-40
Complete the flowchart
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.
Phases of Clinical Testing
Phase 0
10-15 subjects tested to confirm assumptions made in the 36
stages were accurate.
Phase I
2 different approaches may be used. One involving one-off exposure to the drug
the other involving a 37
Phase II
May involve two sub-stages to establish 38
quantities and
Phase III
The most 39
, protracted and costly of all stages. Submissions
made post-testing at this stage of all is agreeable.
Phase IV
Precautionary monitoring continues post-launch. Any serious issues uncovered
can, on occasion, result in 40

1E 2F
3C 4A
5B 6-8 C,E,G
9I 10 B
11H 12D
13G 14iii
15ii 16v
17vii 18i
23C 24B
25A 26D
27B 28tooth loss
29preventative properties 30exhibiting symptoms
31common diet 32C
33B 34A
35C 36Pre-clinical
37Sequence 38Optimum
39Complex 40withdrawal