Answer for Complete IELTS 2 - Reading Practice Test 1

7. Honeymoon 27. YES
8. similarities 28. NOT GIVEN
9. one month 29. NO
10. enthusiasm 30. C
11. clues 31. B
12. skills 32. A
13. adaptation 33. F
14. v 34. E
15. i 35. A
16. iii 36. C
17. ix 37. C
18. vii 38. B
19. iv 39. D

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Other modules in this test:

Marking Scheme

Level Band Listening Score Reading Score
Expert 9 39-40 39-40
Very Good 8.5 37-38 37-38
Very Good 8 35-36 35-36
Good 7.5 32-34 33-34
Good 7 30-31 30-32
Competent 6.5 26-29 27-29
Competent 6 23-25 23-26
Modest 5.5 18-22 19-22
Modest 5 16-17 15-18
Limited 4.5 13-15 13-14
Limited 4 10-12 10-12
Extremely Limited 3.5 8-10 8-9
Extremely Limited 3 6-7 6-7

Test details


Questions 1-6

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?


TRUE            if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE           if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this

1     Australian teachers will suggest alternatives to students rather than offer one solution.
Answer: TRUE   (Locate)

2     In Australia, teachers will show interest in students’ personal circumstances.

3     Australians use people’s first names so that everyone feels their status is similar.
Answer: TRUE   (Locate)

4     Students who study all the time may receive positive comments from their colleagues.
Answer: FALSE   (Locate)

5     It is acceptable to discuss financial issues with people you do not know well.
Answer: FALSE   (Locate)

6     Younger Australians tend to be friendlier than older Australians.

Questions 7-13

Complete the table below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.




Newcomers' reaction to problems



Answer: Honeymoon   (Locate)

They notice the 8
Answer: similarities   (Locate) 
between different nationalities and cultures.

They may experience this stage for up to 9
Answer: one month   (Locate)




They reject the new culture and lose the 10
Answer: enthusiasm   (Locate) 
they had at the beginning.




and reorientation

They can understand some 11 which they had not reviously observed.
Answer: clues   (Locate)

They learn 12 for dealing with difficulties.
Answer: skills   (Locate)



Answer: adaptation   (Locate)

They enjoy some of the customs that annoyed them before.

Questions 14-19

The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs B-G from the list of headings below. 

Example:   Paragraph A: viii 

14  Paragraph B
Answer: v

15  Paragraph C
Answer: i

16  Paragraph D
Answer: iii

17  Paragraph E
Answer: ix

18  Paragraph F
Answer: vii

19  Paragraph G
Answer: iv

List of Headings

i       Research into whether organic food is better for us

ii      Adding up the cost of organic food

iii     The factors that can affect food quality

iv     The rich and poor see things differently

v      A description of organic farming

vi     Testing the taste of organic food

vii    Fear of science has created the organic trend

viii   The main reason for the popularity of organic food

ix     The need to remove hidden dangers from food

Questions 20-21

Choose TWO letters, A-E Questions 20-21

Which TWO of the following points does the writer mention in connection with organic farming?

A the occasional use of pesticides

B using the same field for different crops

C testing soil quality

D reducing the number of farm workers

E the production of greenhouse gases
20. Answer: B OR E IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
21. Answer: B OR E IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)

Questions 22-23

According to the writer, which TWO factors affect the nutritional content of food?

A who prepares the food

B the weather conditions during growth

C where the food has been stored

D when the plants were removed from the earth

E the type of farm the food was grown on
22. Answer: B OR D IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
23. Answer: B OR D IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)

Questions 24-25

Which TWO negative aspects of organic farming does the writer mention?

A Consumers complain about the extra cost.

B Organic food may make people ill.

C Farm workers have to be specially trained.

D It requires too much technological expertise.

E It is not possible in some countries.
24. Answer: B OR E IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
25. Answer: B OR E IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)

Questions 26-29

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in the reading passage?


YES                   if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

NO                    if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN        if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

26     People are extremely amused when they see a baby talk like an adult.
Answer: YES   (Locate)

27     Behaviourists of the early 20th century argued that children learn to speak by copying adults.
Answer: YES   (Locate)

28    Children have more conversations with adults than with other children.

29    Scientists have found it easy to work out why babies use one-word sentences.
Answer: NO   (Locate)

Questions 30-34

Complete the summary using the list of words and phrases, A-H, below.

Two theories about babytalk

According to the writer, there are two main theories related to babytalk. One states that a young child’s brain needs 30 to master language, in the same way that it does to master other abilities such as 31 The second theory states that a child’s 32 is the key factor. According to this theory, some key steps have to occur in a logical sequence before 33  occurs. Children's 34  develops in the same way.


vocabulary level


mathematical knowledge


physical movement


sentence formation









30. Answer: C   (Locate)

31. Answer: B   (Locate)

32. Answer: A   (Locate)

33. Answer: F   (Locate)

34. Answer: E   (Locate)

Questions 35-39

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

35    What is the writer’s main purpose in the seventh paragraph?

A to give reasons why adopted children were used in the study

B to reject the view that adopted children need two languages

C to argue that culture affects the way children learn a language

D to justify a particular approach to language learning
Answer: A   (Locate)

36    Snedeker, Geren and Shafto based their study on children who

A were finding it difficult to learn English.

B had come from a number of language backgrounds.

C were learning English at a later age than US children.

D had taken English lessons in China.
Answer: C   (Locate)

37    What aspect of the adopted children's language development differed from that of US-born children?

A their first words

B the way they learnt English

C the rate at which they acquired language

D the point at which they started producing sentences
Answer: C   (Locate)

38    What did the Harvard finding show?

A Not all toddlers use babytalk.

B Language learning takes place in ordered steps.

C Some children need more conversation than others.

D Not all brains work in the same way.
Answer: B   (Locate)

39    When the writer says ‘critical period’, he means a period when .

A studies produce useful results.

B adults need to be taught like children.

C immigrants want to learn another language.

D language learning takes place effectively.
Answer: D   (Locate)

Legend:       Academic word (?)            New word


Australian culture and culture shock

Sometimes work, study or an sense of adventure take us out of our familiar surroundings to go and live in a different culture. The experience can be difficult, even shocking.

Almost everyone who studies, lives or works abroad has problems adjusting to a new culture. This response is commonly referred to as 'culture shock' . Culture shock can be defined as 'the physical and emotional discomfort a person experiences when entering a culture different from their own' (Weaver, 1993).

For people moving to Australia, Price (2001) has identified certain values which may give rise to culture shock. Firstly, he argues that Australians place a high value on independence and personal choice. This means that a teacher or course tutor will not tell students what to do, but will give them a number of options and suggest they work out which one is the best in their circumstances. It also means that they are expected to take action if something goes wrong and seek out resources and support for themselves.

Australians are also prepared to accept a range of opinions rather than believing there is one truth. This means that in an educational setting, students will be expected to form their own opinions and defend the reasons for that point of view and the evidence for it.

Price also comments that Australians are uncomfortable with differences in status and hence idealise the idea of treating everyone equally. An illustration of this is that most adult Australians call each other by their first names . This concern with equality means that Australians are uncomfortable taking anything too seriously and are even ready to joke about themselves.

Australians believe that life should have a balance between work and leisure time. As a consequence, some students may be critical of others who they perceive as doing nothing but study.

Australian notions of privacy mean that areas such as financial matters, appearance and relationships are only discussed with close friends. While people may volunteer such information, they may resent someone actually asking them unless the friendship is firmly established. Even then, it is considered very impolite to ask someone what they earn. With older people, it is also rude to ask how old they are, why they are not married or why they do not have children. It is also impolite to ask people how much they have paid for something, unless there is a very good reason for asking.

Kohls (1996) describes culture shock as a process of change marked by four basic stages. During the first stage , the new arrival is excited to be in a new place, so this is often referred to as the " honeymoon " stage . Like a tourist, they are intrigued by all the new sights and sounds, new smells and tastes of their surroundings. They may have some problems, but usually they accept them as just part of the novelty. At this point, it is the similarities that stand out, and it seems to the newcomer that people everywhere and their way of life are very much alike. This period of euphoria may last from a couple of weeks to a month , but the letdown is inevitable.

During the second stage , known as the 'rejection' stage , the newcomer starts to experience difficulties due to the differences between the new culture and the way they were accustomed to living. The initial enthusiasm turns into irritation, frustration, anger and depression, and these feelings may have the effect of people rejecting the new culture so that they notice only the things that cause them trouble, which they then complain about. In addition, they may feel homesick, bored, withdrawn and irritable during this period as well.

Fortunately, most people gradually learn to adapt to the new culture and move on to the third stage , known as 'adjustment and reorientation' . During this stage a transition occurs to a new optimistic attitude. As the newcomer begins to understand more of the new culture, they are able to interpret some of the subtle cultural clues which passed by unnoticed earlier. Now things make more sense and the culture seems more familiar. As a result, they begin to develop problem-solving skills , and feelings of disorientation and anxiety no longer affect them.

In Kohls's model, in the fourth stage , newcomers undergo a process of adaptation . They have settled into the new culture, and this results in a feeling of direction and self-confidence. They have accepted the new food, drinks, habits and customs and may even find themselves enjoying some of the very customs that bothered them so much previously. In addition, they realise that the new culture has good and bad things to offer and that no way is really better than another, just different.


Organic food: why?

Today, many governments are promoting organic or natural farming methods that avoid use of pesticides and other artificial products. The aim is to show that they care about the environment and about people's health.But is this the right approach?

A - The main reason for the popularity of organic food

Europe is now the biggest market for organic food in the world, expanding by 25 percent a year over the past 10 years. So what is the attraction of organic food for some people? The really important thing is that organic sounds more ‘natural’. Eating organic is a way of defining oneself as natural, good, caring, different from the junk-food-scoffing masses. As one journalist puts it: It feels closer to the source, the beginning, the start of things.' The real desire is to be somehow close to the soil, to Mother Nature.

B - A description of organic farming

Unlike conventional farming, the organic approach means farming with natural, rather than man-made, fertilisers and pesticides. Techniques such as crop rotation improve soil quality and help organic farmers compensate for the absence of man-made chemicals. As a method of food production, organic is, however, inefficient in its use of labour and land; there are severe limits to how much food can be produced. Also, the environmental benefits of not using artificial fertiliser are tiny compared with the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by transporting food (a great deal of Britain’s organic produce is shipped in from other countries and transported from shop to home by car).

C - Research into whether organic food is better for us

Organic farming is often claimed to be safer than conventional farming - for the environment and for consumers. Yet studies into organic farming worldwide continue to reject this claim. An extensive review by the UK Food Standards Agency found that there was no statistically significant difference between organic and conventional crops. Even where results indicated there was evidence of a difference, the reviewers found no sign that these differences would have any noticeable effect on health.

D - The factors that can affect food quality

The simplistic claim that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food was always likely to be misleading. Food is a natural product, and the health value of different foods will vary for a number of reasons, including freshness, the way the food is cooked, the type of soil it is grown in, the amount of sunlight and rain crops have received , and so on. Likewise, the flavour of a carrot has less to do with whether it was fertilised with manure or something out of a plastic sack than with the variety of carrot and how long ago it was dug up . The differences created by these things are likely to be greater than any differences brought about by using an organic or non­organic system of production. Indeed, even some ‘organic’ farms are quite different from one another.

E - The need to remove hidden dangers from food

The notion that organic food is safer than ‘normal’ food is also contradicted by the fact that many of our most common foods are full of natural toxins. Parsnips cause blisters on the skin of agricultural workers. Toasting bread creates carcinogens. As one research expert says: ‘People think that the more natural something is, the better it is for them. That is simply not the case. In fact, it is the opposite that is true: the closer a plant is to its natural state, the more likely it is that it wiil poison you . Naturally, many plants do not want to be eaten, so we have spent 10,000 years developing agriculture and breeding out harmful traits from crops.'

F - Fear of science has created the organic trend

Yet educated Europeans are more scared of eating traces of a few, strictly regulated, man-made chemicals than they are of eating the ones that nature created directly. Surrounded by plentiful food, it’s not nature they worry about, but technology. Our obsessions with the ethics and safety of what we eat - concerns about antibiotics in animals, additives in food, GM crops and so on - are symptomatic of a highly technological society that has little faith in its ability to use this technology wisely. In this context, the less something is touched by the human hand, the healthier people assume it must be.

G - The rich and poor see things differently

Ultimately, the organic farming movement is an expensive luxury for shoppers in well-manicured Europe. For developing parts of the world, it is irrelevant. To European environmentalists, the fact that organic methods require more labour and land than conventional ones to get the same yields is a good thing; to a farmer in rural Africa, it is a disaster . Here, land tends to be so starved and crop yields so low that there simply is not enough organic matter to put back into the soil. Perhaps the focus should be on helping these countries to gain access to the most advanced farming techniques, rather than going back to basics.


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 26-40 , which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

Why don’t babies talk like adults?

Kids go from 'goo-goo' to talkative one step at a time

A recent e-trade advertisement shows a baby speaking directly to the camera: 'Look at this,’ he says, I'm a free man. I go anywhere I want now.’ He describes his stock-buying activities, and then his phone rings. This advertisement proves what comedians have known for years: few things are as funny as a baby who talks like an adult . But it also raises an important question: Why don’t young children express themselves clearly like adults?

Many people assume children learn to talk by copying what they hear . In other words, they listen to the words adults use and the situations in which they use them and imitate accordingly. Behaviourism, the scientific approach that dominated American cognitive science for the first half of the 20th century, made exactly this argument.

However, this ’copycat’ theory can’t explain why toddlers aren’t as conversational as adults. After all, you never hear literate adults express themselves in one-word sentences like ‘bottle’ or ‘doggie’. In fact, it's easy for scientists to show that a copycat theory of language acquisition can’t explain children’s first words. What is hard for them to do is to explain these first words, and how they fit into the language acquisition pattern.

Over the past half-century, scientists have settled on two reasonable possibilities. The first of these is called the ‘mental-developmental hypothesis’. It states that one-year-olds speak in baby talk beca use their immature brains can’t handle adult speech . Children don't learn to walk until their bodies are ready . Likewise, they don't speak multi-word sentences or use word endings and function words (‘Mummy opened the boxes') before their brains are ready.

The second is called the ‘stages-of-language hypothesis’, which states that the stages of progress in child speech are necessary stages in language development.

A basketball player can't perfect his or her jump shot before learning to (1) jump and (2) shoot. Similarly, children learn to multiply after they have learned to add. This is the order in which children are taught - not the reverse. There's evidence, for instance, that children don't usually begin speaking in two-word sentences until they’ve learned a certain number of single words.

In other words, until they’ve crossed that linguistic threshold, the word-combination process doesn't get going.

The difference between these theories is this: under the mental-development hypothesis, language learning should depend on the child’s age and level of mental development when he or she starts learning a language. Linder the stages-of-language hypothesis, however,  it shouldn’t depend on such patterns, but only on the completion of previous stages.

In 2007, researchers at Harvard University, who were studying the two theories, found a clever way to test them. More than 20,000 internationally adopted children enter the US each year. Many of them no longer hear their birth language after they arrive, and they must learn English more or less the same way infants do - that is, by listening and by trial and error. International adoptees don’t take classes or use a dictionary when they are learning their new tongue and most of them don’t have a well-developed first language. All of these factors make them an ideal population in which to test these competing hypotheses about how language is learned.

Neuroscientists Jesse Snedeker, Joy Geren and Carissa Shafto studied the language development of 27 children adopted from China between the ages of two and five years. These children began learning English at an older age than US natives and had more mature brains with which to tackle the task . Even so, just as with American-born infants, their first English sentences consisted of single words and were largely bereft of function words, word endings and verbs. The adoptees then went through the same stages as typical American- born children, albeit at a faster clip . The adoptees and native children started combining words in sentences when their vocabulary reached the same sizes, further suggesting that what matters is not how old you are or how mature your brain is, but the number of words you know.

This finding - that having more mature brains did not help the adoptees avoid the toddler-talk stage - suggests that babies speak in babytalk not because they have baby brains, but because they have only just started learning and need time to gain enough vocabulary to be able to expand their conversations. Before long, the one-word stage will give way to the two-word stage and so on. Learning how to chat like an adult is a gradual process .

But this potential answer also raises an even older and more difficult question. Adult immigrants who learn a second language rarely achieve the same proficiency in a foreign language as the average child raised as a native speaker. Researchers have long suspected there is a ‘critical period’ for language development, after which it cannot proceed with full success to fluency . Yet we still do not understand this critical period or know why it ends.

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