Answer for Complete IELTS (Bands 6.5 – 7.5) - Reading Practice Test 1

1. iv 18. NOT GIVEN
2. i 19. computer science
3. iii 20. program
4. vii 21. adaptability
5. training trials 22. contact lens
6. post-nominal position 23. one quarter
7. features 24. global warming
8. meaning 25. electric cars
9. unhelpful 26. corridors
10. A OR C IN EITHER ORDER 27. B
11. A OR C IN EITHER ORDER 28. B
12. C OR D IN EITHER ORDER 29. A
13. C OR D IN EITHER ORDER 30. A
14. FALSE 31. A
15. FALSE 32. A
16. NOT GIVEN 33. A OR B IN EITHER ORDER
17. TRUE 34. A OR B IN EITHER ORDER

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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

Sections:

Questions 1-4

The Reading Passage has four sections A-D.

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.

List of Headings

i     A possible explanation

ii     Why names of objects are unhelpful

iii     Checking out the theory

iv     A curious state of affairs

    The need to look at how words are formed

vi     How age impacts on learning colours

vii     Some unsurprising data

 

1       Section A
Answer: iv   (Locate)

2        Section B
Answer: i   (Locate)

3        Section C
Answer: iii   (Locate)

4        Section D
Answer: vii   (Locate)

Questions 5-9

Complete the summary below.

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

The Hypothesis

Children learn many words quite quickly, but their ability to learn colour words takes longer than expected.

In fact, despite 5 many four-year olds still struggle to arrange objects into colour categories.
Answer: training trials   (Locate)

Scientists have hypothesised that this is due to the 6 of the adjectives in a phrase or sentence and the challenges this presents.
Answer: post-nominal position   (Locate)

While objects consist of a number of 7
Answer: features   (Locate) that can be used to recognise other similar objects, the 8
Answer: meaning   (Locate)  of a colour cannot be developed using the same approach. As a consequence, the way colour words tend to be used in English may be 9 to children.
Answer: unhelpful   (Locate)

Questions 10-13

Choose TWO letters, A-E.

Questions 10-11

Which TWO of the following statements about the experiment are true?

A The children were unfamiliar with the objects used in the pre- and post-test.

B The children had to place the pre- and post-test objects onto coloured trays.

C The training was conducted by dividing the children into two groups.

D Pre-nominal questions were used less frequently than post-nominal questions in the training.

E The researchers were looking for inconsistencies in children's knowledge ot word order.
10. Answer: A OR C IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
11. Answer: A OR C IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)

Questions 12-13

Which TWO of the following outcomes are reported in the passage?

A Average results contradicted parental assessment of children’s knowledge.

B Children who were post-tested using post-nominal adjectives performed well, regardless of the type of training.

C Greatest levels of improvement were achieved by children who were trained and post-tested using post-nominal adjectives.

D Some children performed less well in the post-test than in the pre-test.

E Some children were unable to accurately name any of the colours in the pre- and post-tests. 
12. Answer: C OR D IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
13. Answer: C OR D IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)

 


Questions 14-18

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

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

14    The activities going on at the MIT campus are like those at any other university.
Answer: FALSE   (Locate)

15     Harvard and MIT shared a similar approach to education when they were founded.
Answer: FALSE   (Locate)

16     The school motto was suggested by a former MIT student.
Answer: NOT GIVEN

17     MIT’s logo reflects the belief that intellect and craftsmanship go together.
Answer: TRUE   (Locate)

18    Silicon Valley companies pay higher salaries to graduates from MIT.
Answer: NOT GIVEN

Questions 19-22 

Complete the notes below.

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

Christopher Merrill - student at MIT

Degree subject:     19
Answer: computer science   (Locate)

Competition:          to 20  the automated construction of a house
Answer: program   (Locate) 

Special focus on:    the 21  of robots
Answer: adaptability   (Locate)

Future plans:         to develop new type of 22
Answer: contact lens   (Locate)

Questions 23-26

Answer the questions below.

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

23  What proportion of workers at Silicon Valley are employed in companies set up by MIT graduates?
Answer: one quarter   (Locate)

24  What problem does MIT’s Energy Initiative aim to solve?
Answer: global warming   (Locate)

25  Which ‘green’ innovation might MIT’s work with viruses help improve?
Answer: electric cars   (Locate)

26  In which part of the university does Tim Berners-Lee enjoy stimulating conversations with other MIT staff?
Answer: corridors   (Locate)


Questions 27-32

27. What is the topic of this reading passage?

A An American Idol

B A reality TV show

C A live dancing competition

D A popular entertainment festival
Answer: B   (Locate)

28. Look at paragraph 2. What is the difference between American Idol and the TV shows mentioned at the end of paragraph 1?

A Nobody ever watched regular TV shows.

B Regular TV shows were more expensive to make.

C Regular TV' shows did not appear on ABC.

D Regular TV shows were not ordinary. 
Answer: B   (Locate)

29. In what order do the following happen?

A Hollywood round, live TV, judges' opinion, audience voting

B Judges' opinion, Hollywood round, live TV, audience voting

C Hollywood round, judges’ opinion, live TV, audience voting

D Hollywood round, live TV, audience voting, judges' opinion
Answer: A   (Locate)

30. What can be inferred about the competition?

A The competition can give momentum to career development.

B The winner gets an award and prize money.

C The audience decides who gets on to the final round.

D Each contestant has more than 20 percent chance of winning the competition 
Answer: A   (Locate)

31. What kind of record does the first idol winner make?

A Rock

B Jazz

C Soul

D Country
Answer: A   (Locate)

32. What is NOT mentioned about the judges in the last paragraph?

A They were not in favor of using cameras.

B Their opinion is divided.

C  Each judge evaluates the contestants in a different way. 

D Each is distinguished in his or her own field.
Answer: A

 

 

 

 

Questions 33-34

Why was American Idol so successful?

Choose TWO answers.

A It was cheap to make.

B It did not use regular television stars.

C It had a lot of singing in it.

D It had very famous writers.
33. Answer: A OR B IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)
34. Answer: A OR B IN EITHER ORDER   (Locate)


Legend:       Academic word (?)            New word


READING PASSAGE 1

Learning color words

Young children struggle with color concepts, and the reason for this may have something to do with how we use the words that describe them.

A In the course of the first few years of their lives, children who are brought up in English- speaking homes successfully master the use of hundreds of words. Words for objects, actions, emotions, and many other aspects of the physical world quickly become part of their infant repertoire. For some reason, however, when it comes to learning color words, the same children perform very badly . At the age of four months, babies can distinguish between basic color categories. Yet it turns out they do this in much the same way as blind children. "Blue" and "yellow" appear in older children's expressive language in answer to questions such as "What color is this?", but their mapping of objects to individual colors is haphazard and interchangeable. If shown a blue cup and asked about its color, typical two-year-olds seem as likely to come up with "red" as "blue." Even after hundreds of training trials , children as old as four may still end up being unable to accurately sort objects by color.

B In an effort to work out why this is, cognitive scientists at Stanford University in California hypothesized that children's incompetence at color-word learning may be directly linked to the way these words are used in English . While word order for color adjectives varies, they are used overwhelmingly in pre-nominal position (e.g. "blue cup"); in other words, the adjective comes before the noun it is describing. This is in contrast to post-nominal position (e.g. "The cup is blue") where the adjective comes after the noun. It seems that the difficulty children have may not be caused by any unique property of color, or indeed, of the world. Rather, it may simply come down to the challenge of having to make predictions from color words to the objects they refer to, instead of being able to make predictions from the world of objects to the color words.

To illustrate, the word "chair" has a meaning that applies to the somewhat varied set of entities in the world that people use for sitting on. Chairs have features , such as arms and legs and backs, that are combined to some degree in a systematic way; they turn up in a range of chairs of different shapes, sizes, and ages. It could be said that children learn to narrow down the set of cues that make up a chair and in this way they learn the concept associated with that word. On the other hand, color words tend to be unique and not bound to other specific co-occurring features; there is nothing systematic about color words to help cue their meaning . In the speech that adults direct at children, color adjectives occur pre-nominally ("blue cup") around 70 percent of the time. This suggests that most of what children hear from adults will, in fact, be unhelpful in learning what color words refer to.

C To explore this idea further, the research team recruited 41 English children aged between 23 and 29 months and carried out a three- phase experiment . It consisted of a pre-test, followed by training in the use of color words, and finally a post-test that was identical to the pre-test. The pre- and post-test materials comprised six objects that were novel to the children . There were three examples of each object in each of three colors—red, yellow, and blue. The objects were presented on trays, and in both tests, the children were asked to pick out objects in response to requests in which the color word was either a prenominal ("Which is the red one?") or a post-nominal ("Which one is red?").

In the training, the children were introduced to a "magic bucket" containing five sets of items familiar to 26-month-olds (balls, cups, crayons, glasses, and toy bears) in each of the three colors. The training was set up so that half the children were presented with the items one by one and heard them labelled with color words used pre-nominally ("This is a red crayon"), while the other half were introduced to the same items described with a post-nominal color word ("This crayon is red"). After the training, the children repeated the selection task on the unknown items in the post-test . To assess the quality of children's understanding of the color words, and the effect of each type of training, correct choices on items that were consistent across the pre- and post-tests were used to measure children's color knowledge.

D Individual analysis of pre- and post-test data, which confirmed parental vocabulary reports, showed the children had at least some knowledge of the three colour words: they averaged two out of three correct choices in response to both pre- and post-nominal question types, which, it has been pointed out, is better than chance. When children's responses to the question types were assessed independently, performance was at its most consistent when children were both trained and tested on post-nominal adjectives, and worst when trained on pre-nominal adjectives and tested on post-nominal adjectives. Only children who had been trained with post- nominal color-word presentation and then tested with post-nominal question types were significantly more accurate than chance . Comparing the pre- and post-test scores across each condition revealed a significant decline in performance when children were both pre- and post-tested with questions that placed the color words pre-nominally .

As predicted, when children are exposed to color adjectives in post-nominal position, they learn them rapidly (after just five training trials per color); when they are presented with them pre-nominally, as English overwhelmingly tends to do, children show no signs of learning.

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READING PASSAGE 2

The MIT factor: celebrating 150 years of maverick genius

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has led the world into the future for 150 years with scientific innovations.

The musician Yo-Yo Ma’s cello may not be the obvious starting point for a journey into one of the world’s great universities. But, as you quickly realise when you step inside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there’s precious little going on that you would normally see on a university campus . The cello, resting in a corner of MIT’s celebrated media laboratory — a hub of creativity — looks like any other electric classical instrument. But it is much more. Machover, the composer, teacher and inventor responsible for its creation, calls it a ‘hyperinstrument’, a sort of thinking machine that allows Ma and his cello to interact with one another and make music together. ‘The aim is to build an instrument worthy of a great musician like Yo-Yo Ma that can understand what he is trying to do and respond to it,’ Machover says. The cello has numerous sensors across its body and by measuring the pressure, speed and angle of the virtuoso’s performance it can interpret his mood and engage with it, producing extraordinary new sounds. The virtuoso cellist frequently performs on the instrument as he tours around the world. 

Machover’s passion for pushing at the boundaries of the existing world to extend and unleash human potential is not a bad description of MIT as a whole. This unusual community brings highly gifted, highly motivated individuals together from a vast range of disciplines, united by a common desire: to leap into the dark and reach for the unknown.

The result of that single unifying ambition is visible all around. For the past 150 years, MIT has been leading the world into the future. The discoveries of its teachers and students have become the common everyday objects that we now all take for granted. The telephone, electromagnets, radars, high-speed photography, office photocopiers, cancer treatments, pocket calculators, computers, the Internet, the decoding of the human genome, lasers, space travel ... the list of innovations that involved essential contributions from MIT and its faculty goes on and on.

From the moment MIT was founded by William Barton Rogers in 1861, it was clear what it was not. While Harvard stuck to the English model of a classical education, with its emphasis on Latin and Greek, MIT looked to the German system of learning based on research and hands-on experimentation . Knowledge was at a premium, but it had to be useful.

This down-to-earth quality is enshrined in the school motto, Mens et manus - Mind and hand - as well as its logo, which shows a gowned scholar standing beside an ironmonger bearing a hammer and anvil . That symbiosis of intellect and craftsmanship still suffuses the institute’s classrooms, where students are not so much taught as engaged and inspired.

Take Christopher Merrill, 21, a third-year undergraduate in computer science . He is spending most of his time on a competition set in his robotics class. The contest is to see which student can most effectively program a robot to build a house out of blocks in under ten minutes. Merrill says he could have gone for the easiest route - designing a simple robot that would build the house quickly. But he wanted to try to master an area of robotics that remains unconquered — adaptability , the ability of the robot to rethink its plans as the environment around it changes, as would a human.

‘I like to take on things that have never been done before rather than to work in an iterative way just making small steps forward,’ he explains.

Merrill is already planning the start-up he wants to set up when he graduates in a year’s time. He has an idea for an original version of a contact lens that would augment reality by allowing consumers to see additional visual information. He is fearful that he might be just too late in taking his concept to market, as he has heard that a Silicon Valley firm is already developing something similar. As such, he might become one of many MIT graduates who go on to form companies that fail. Alternatively, he might become one of those who go on to succeed in spectacular fashion. And there are many of them. A survey of living MIT alumni* found that they have formed 25,800 companies, employing more than three million people, including about a quarter of the workforce of Silicon Valley. What MIT delights in is taking brilliant minds from around the world in vastly diverse disciplines and putting them together. You can see that in its sparkling new David Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, which brings scientists, engineers and clinicians under one roof.

Or in its Energy Initiative, which acts as a bridge for MIT’s combined work across all its five schools, channelling huge resources into the search for a solution to global warming . It works to improve the efficiency of existing energy sources, including nuclear power. It is also forging ahead with alternative energies from solar to wind and geothermal, and has recently developed the use of viruses to synthesise batteries that could prove crucial in the advancement of electric cars .

In the words of Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who invented the World Wide Web, ‘It’s not just another university.

Even though I spend my time with my head buried in the details of web technology, the nice thing is that when I do walk the corridors , I bump into people who are working in other fields with their students that are fascinating, and that keeps me intellectually alive.’

adapted from the Guardian

* people who have left a university or college after completing their studies there

READING PASSAGE 3

The American Idol TV show

American Idol premiered in the winter of 2002. It appeared on TV for the first time in January 2002. At that time there were no reality TV shows. All TV channels showed movies or TV series. The people from the channel ABC wanted to do something different. They thought the audience was bored with regular TV shows. People did not want to watch shows with doctors, lawyers or policeman anymore. So ABC came up with a new type of show.

American idol is a reality TV show . There are no real actors or actresses in it. The stars are ordinary people like you and me. The audience really identified with these stars. They felt very close to them. The show was an instant hit. It was very successful and popular from the beginning. ABC was very happy about it. Usually, a new show would cost a lot of money . The producers had to pay both the actors and the writers. But with American Idol it was not the case . These ordinary people did not have to be paid at all. They were happy just to be seen on TV. Besides the show didn't need any writers. The people on the show just sang and gave interviews.

The idea behind American idol is very simple. Three judges tour the country in search of the next music star. They travel all around America and listen to young people sing. Then they choose the best singers and bring them to Hollywood . Here the contestants have to pass a few more singing tests. The best 12 people in the competition go on to the final round. They perform live on TV every Tuesday night. The judges give their opinion after each performance. But the audience gets to vote on who to keep in the competition. People can vote by phone or through text messaging. The singer with the lowest number of votes is eliminated each week. He has to leave the competition for good. The rest go on singing until two people remain. After the final night the most popular singer becomes the American Idol.

So far, there have been 4 American Idols. They all sold a lot of records . But the most popular of all former Idols is the first-time winner Kelly Clarkson . She is a rock and pop star and has won a Grammy Award for her latest album. Two of the other Idols thing more jazz and soul music. Last year's Idol was a country singer.

American Idol is watched not only for singing part. The three judges also play an important role in the show. They argue a lot in front of the camera. Their opinions are always different. This makes the show so exciting. Randy Jackson is a successful record producer. He always acts very cool and relaxed. Paula Abdul is a famous dancer and singer. She is always sweet and has something good to say about the contestants. Simon Cowell, however, is very hard on the contestants. He always finds mistakes and criticizes a lot. 

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