IELTS Academic Reading Practice 34

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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 1-14.

Questions 1-4
The reading passage has eight paragraphs labelled A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1 How geographic locations influenced the development and the use of the calendar in farming communities.
2 A description of an early timekeeping invention affected by frigid temperatures
3 Time was being measured before the Roman Empire was founded.
4 A description of a newly-developed timekeeper that shaped like a cabinet.
Questions 5-9
Look at the following Events (Questions 5-9) and A list of nationalities below.

Match each event with the correct nationality

Write the correct number A-F in boxes Questions 5-9 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.
A list of nationalities
  1. The English
  2. The Babylonians
  3. The Egyptians
  4. The Greeks
  5. The Romans
  6. The French

5. Divided the day into two equal halves
6. Spread the idea of temporal hours throughout Europe
7. Created a civil calendar in which the months were equal in length
8. Devised a calendar to organize public events and work schedules
9. Formulated a calendar based on the sequence of star patterns
Questions 10-14
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 10-14 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.

10. The natural units for timekeeping used by the Babylonians are the day, the solar year and the lunation.
11. The need to measure time has led the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to create sundials, water clocks and other early chronometric tools.
12. The decans, 36 groups of small constellations used in ancient Egyptian calendar, rose consecutively on the horizon throughout each earth rotation.
13. The observation of Sirius enables the Egyptians to become the first people to move from a lunar to a solar calendar.
14. The earliest mechanical clocks invented by Western Europeans were too inaccurate and unreliable for scientific application after the pendulum was employed to govern its operation.

Answer Sheet
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  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
    1. HOLD LEFT CLICK
    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

The Development of Chronometric Tools A  According to archaeological evidence, at least 5,000 years ago, and long before the advent of the Roman Empire, the Babylonians began to measure time. They did this by introducing calendars to coordinate communal activities, to plan the shipment of goods and, in particular, to regulate plant...
Reading Passage Vocabulary
 
IELTS Academic Reading Tips for Success
These are general tips that will appear on all reading questions.

Tips to improve your reading speed
To get a high score on the IELTS reading section, you need to have a fast reading speed. To have a fast reading speed, you need to improve your vocabulary and practice dissecting sentences. One strategy to dissect a sentence is to look for the subject and verb of the sentence. Finding the subject and verb will help you better understand the main idea of said sentence. Keep in mind, a common feature of a IELTS reading passage is to join strings of ideas to form long compound sentences. This produces large chunks that students have a hard time absorbing. Do not get overwhelmed by its length, just look for the subject and verb, the rest of the ideas will flow.

Keep in mind, having a slow reading speed makes skimming or scanning a reading passage more difficult. The process of quickly skimming through a reading passage for specific keywords or main ideas is a requirement for you to employ successful reading strategies to improve your IELTS reading score. In other words, skimming and scanning are critical skills to ensure you complete all questions in the allotted time frame.
IELTS Reading Strategies
Once you can read and comprehend a passage with a rate of, at least, 220 words per minute, you'll be ready to start implementing our strategies. All too often, students spend too much time reading the passages and not enough time answering the questions. Here is a step by step guide for tackling the reading section.

  1. Step 1: Read questions first

    One of the most common mistakes that candidates make when approaching the reading exam is reading every single word of the passages. Although you can practice for the exam by reading for pleasure, "reading blindly" (reading without any sense of what the questions will ask) will not do you any favors in the exam. Instead, it will hurt your chances for effectively managing your time and getting the best score.

    The main reason to read the questions first is because the type of question may determine what you read in the passage or how you read it. For example, some question types will call for the "skimming" technique, while others may call for the "scanning" technique.

    It is important to answer a set of questions that are of the same question type. You'll need to determine which question type you want to tackle first. A good strategy would be to start with the easier question type and move on to more difficult question types later. The Easiest question types are the ones where you spend less time reading. For example, the Matching Heading question type is an easier one because you only need to find the heading that best describes the main idea of a paragraph. An example of a difficult question type would be Identifying Information. For this question type, you'll need to read each paragraph to find out if each statement is TRUE, FALSE, or NOT GIVEN according to the passage.

    Here is a table that lists the difficulty levels for each question type. Use this table as a reference when choosing which question type you want to tackle first.

    Difficulty level Question Type
    Easy Match Headings
    Short answer
    Medium Matching Sentence Endings
    Matching Features
    Multiple choice
    Sentence Completion
    Diagram Label, Summary, Note, Table, Flow-Chart Completion
    Difficult Match Information
    Identifying Information (TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN)
    Identifying Viewer's claims (YES/NO/NOT GIVEN)

  2. Step 2: Read for an objective

    After you've read the questions for the passage, you will be able to read for an objective. What does this mean? For example, if you come across a question that includes the year "1896", you can make a note of when this year comes up in the text, using it to answer the question later on. There are two reading techniques that will help you stay on track with reading for an objective. The first one, skimming, is best defined as reading fast in order to get the "gist", or general idea, or a passage. With this technique, you are not stopping for any unfamiliar words or looking for specific details. The second technique, scanning, is best defined as reading for specific information. With this technique, you are not reading for the overall gist, but rather, specific information. Notice how each of these techniques has a specific objective in mind. This will help you find information more quickly.

  3. Step 3: Take notes

    As you're reading for an objective, you should also be making notes on the margins of the passage, placing stars next to key information, or underlining things that you believe will help you answer the various questions. This will make it easier for you to check back when you are asked certain things in the questions. Choose whichever note-taking system is right for you - just make sure you do it!

  4. Step 4: Answer wisely

    After you've read the questions, read the passage, and have taken any appropriate notes, you you should have located the part of the text where you where you need to read carefully. Then just read carefully and think critically to determine the correct answer.

IELTS Reading Question Types
 
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