IELTS® Academic Reading Practice 40

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Llewyn

A poem written in approximately 598 AD describes the hunt for a mysterious creature known as a llewyn. What could it have been? No living thing seemed to fit, that is until an animal bone dating from around the same period was discovered in 2006 at the Kinsey Cave in northern England. Before the bone was discovered, lynxes, which are large spotted cats with tufty ears, were believed to have gone extinct about 6,000 years ago in Britain, before any agricultural practices had begun. Along with evidence gathered from three other discoveries made in Yorkshire and Scotland, it seems that the unidentified creature called a llewyn may actually have been a lynx. If this potential explanation turns out to be true, it would mean that lynxes only went extinct 1,000 years ago in this area.

It seems, however, that there exist more references to the animal British culture. Found on the Isle of Eigg, a stone cross dating back over 1000 years, depicting a man on horseback hunting several animals such as deer, boar and aurochs also included a furry-eared spotted cat. The stubby tail of the lynx is is impossible to miss, but unfortunately the rear of the animal on the cross had been worn away. However, it’s difficult to imagine the animal being anything besides a lynx even with this identifying feature being absent. Today, a transformative movement to British environmentalism known as “rewilding” is often symbolized by the lynx itself.

Large scale restoration of damaged ecosystems is what defines rewilding. In this movement, goals include permitting parts of the seabed to recuperate from practices such as trawling and dredging, and trees to regrow in places they had been stripped away, but the most important of all is to restore species that have disappeared. Modern ecology finds that ecosystems lacking in large predators do not behave similarly to those which have retained them. Large predators may instigate dynamic processes which resonate throughout entire food chains, leading to the creation of specific niches allowing hundreds of more vulnerable species to thrive. In fact, these predators actually breathe life into an ecosystem as they kill prey.

The British conservation movement is struggling to deal with these findings, as it has typically selected random groups of plants and animals, then made expensive and laborious attempts to keep them from changing in any way. It seems that preserving life artificially, in turn, keeps nature from developing naturally. However, unlike an arbitrary grouping of species, ecosystems also consist of dynamic and constantly changing relationships between the living members of different species as they coexist. It turns out that such dynamism within an ecosystem relies in part on large predators.  

The potential for boosting ecosystems at sea is also great. When large areas are off-limits to commercial fishermen, we would once again see large schools of fish pursued by fin and sperm whales, just as some 18th-century literature described off the English shore. The bounty of fish in nearby areas would be affected positively as well. It seems the fishing industry's current policy of covering every possible seabed only continues to further damage itself, as breeding grounds for fish are constantly disturbed.

Participants in rewilding articulate what they stand for instead of what they are against making it somewhat of a rarity amongst other similar environmental movements. One of the reasons that rewilding is spreading this rapidly throughout Britain is that it compares favorably with other green movement sentiments such as “Follow us and the world will be slightly less awful than it would otherwise have been,” which seem to generate less enthusiasm.

There is no recorded instance of a lynx attacking any human being, so it seems that they do not pose any direct threat to us. The lynx is a specialist predator of roe deer, a species whose population has multiplied in Britain throughout the last half century. Any efforts made thus far to re-establish forests in Britain have been hindered by the deer’s browsing habits. Another species that lynx hunts is the exotic sika deer, which hides in impenetrable groups of small trees, making them virtually resistant any human attempts to control their population. To reintroduce this predator pairs quite well with the goal of encouraging the regrowth of forests in parts of the country, especially in barren uplands. The lynx needs almost complete cover to hunt, therefore it doesn’t pose much of a risk to livestock, who, as a condition of farm subsidies, should not be allowed in the woods.

While in the Cairngorm Mountains not too long ago, I listened to a few conservationists claim that within 20 years, lynxes could be reintroduced in the area. The big cats would be able to make their homes if trees once again covered the bare hills of Britain. These proposals are not particularly unusual, as seen through other perspectives around Europe. In places such as the Jura Mountains, the Alps, the Vosges in eastern France and the Harz mountains in Germany, and many other places, the lynx has successfully been reintroduced. In the past 40 years, lynx numbers in Europe have gone up three times to roughly 10,000. As with wolves, bears, beavers, boar, bison, moose and many other species, the end of farming practices in the hills has allowed the lynx population to spread. Now, it seems people are realizing that it’s actually more lucrative to protect charismatic wildlife than it is to destroy it, as travelers spend money on to visit the areas and see the animal for themselves. Mass rewilding is going on nearly everywhere these days, save for Britain.

British people’s way of looking at the issue is just starting to shift. And it seems those who wish to conserve species are also beginning to realize the shortcomings of employing the preservation method alone. Trees for Life, a project in the Highlands show us a glimpse of what may be in store. In an attempt to catalyse the rewilding of land and sea across Britain, this organization will try to reintroduce a rarity within the ecosystem in Britain, and that’s the species of “hope” itself.

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 1-9
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 1-9 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.

1. The 2006 discovery of the animal bone revealed that the lynx vanished from Britain several thousand years ago.

2. The llewyn creature lived throughout Europe over 5,000 years ago.

3. Large predators promote the overall health of an ecosystem.

4. The number one goal of rewilding is to preserve an ecosystem exactly as it is, preventing any changes.

5. Protecting large areas of the sea from commercial fishing would result in practical benefits for the fishing industry.

6. Domesticated farm animals are common prey for lynx populations re-established in Europe.

7. Some areas in Europe have successfully reintroduced the lynx.

8. Changes in agricultural practices have not extended the habitat of the lynx in Europe.

9. It has become evident that species reintroduction has commercial advantages.

Questions 10-11
Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in 10-11 on your answer sheet.

advocates are able to articulate what they want, rather than what they are against, which sets them apart from other groups.

Reintroducing the lynx to certain areas would lower the populations of other animals, such as the Roe and deer.

Questions 12-14
Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in 12-14 on your answer sheet.

There would be many benefits to reintroducing the lynx to Britain. While no evidence suggested that the lynx has ever put in danger, it would reduce the numbers of certain wild animals. It would also present only a minimal threat to , provided these were kept away from lynx habitats.  Finally, the reintroduction programme would also link efficiently with the aim to return to certain areas of the country.


Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


Reading Passage Vocabulary
Llewyn

A poem written in approximately 598 AD describes the hunt for a mysterious creature known as a llewyn. What could it have been? No living thing seemed to fit, that is until an animal bone dating from around the same period was discovered in 2006 at the Kinsey Cave in northern England. Before the bone was discovered, lynxes, which are large spotted cats with tufty ears, were believed to have gone extinct about 6,000 years ago in Britain, before any agricultural practices had begun. Along with evidence gathered from three other discoveries made in Yorkshire and Scotland, it seems that the unidentified creature called a llewyn may actually have been a lynx. If this potential explanation turns out to be true, it would mean that lynxes only went extinct 1,000 years ago in this area.

It seems, however, that there exist more references to the animal British culture. Found on the Isle of Eigg, a stone cross dating back over 1000 years, depicting a man on horseback hunting several animals such as deer, boar and aurochs also included a furry-eared spotted cat. The stubby tail of the lynx is is impossible to miss, but unfortunately the rear of the animal on the cross had been worn away. However, it’s difficult to imagine the animal being anything besides a lynx even with this identifying feature being absent. Today, a transformative movement to British environmentalism known as “rewilding” is often symbolized by the lynx itself.

Large scale restoration of damaged ecosystems is what defines rewilding. In this movement, goals include permitting parts of the seabed to recuperate from practices such as trawling and dredging, and trees to regrow in places they had been stripped away, but the most important of all is to restore species that have disappeared. Modern ecology finds that ecosystems lacking in large predators do not behave similarly to those which have retained them. Large predators may instigate dynamic processes which resonate throughout entire food chains, leading to the creation of specific niches allowing hundreds of more vulnerable species to thrive. In fact, these predators actually breathe life into an ecosystem as they kill prey.

The British conservation movement is struggling to deal with these findings, as it has typically selected random groups of plants and animals, then made expensive and laborious attempts to keep them from changing in any way. It seems that preserving life artificially, in turn, keeps nature from developing naturally. However, unlike an arbitrary grouping of species, ecosystems also consist of dynamic and constantly changing relationships between the living members of different species as they coexist. It turns out that such dynamism within an ecosystem relies in part on large predators.  

The potential for boosting ecosystems at sea is also great. When large areas are off-limits to commercial fishermen, we would once again see large schools of fish pursued by fin and sperm whales, just as some 18th-century literature described off the English shore. The bounty of fish in nearby areas would be affected positively as well. It seems the fishing industry's current policy of covering every possible seabed only continues to further damage itself, as breeding grounds for fish are constantly disturbed.

Participants in rewilding articulate what they stand for instead of what they are against making it somewhat of a rarity amongst other similar environmental movements. One of the reasons that rewilding is spreading this rapidly throughout Britain is that it compares favorably with other green movement sentiments such as “Follow us and the world will be slightly less awful than it would otherwise have been,” which seem to generate less enthusiasm.

There is no recorded instance of a lynx attacking any human being, so it seems that they do not pose any direct threat to us. The lynx is a specialist predator of roe deer, a species whose population has multiplied in Britain throughout the last half century. Any efforts made thus far to re-establish forests in Britain have been hindered by the deer’s browsing habits. Another species that lynx hunts is the exotic sika deer, which hides in impenetrable groups of small trees, making them virtually resistant any human attempts to control their population. To reintroduce this predator pairs quite well with the goal of encouraging the regrowth of forests in parts of the country, especially in barren uplands. The lynx needs almost complete cover to hunt, therefore it doesn’t pose much of a risk to livestock, who, as a condition of farm subsidies, should not be allowed in the woods.

While in the Cairngorm Mountains not too long ago, I listened to a few conservationists claim that within 20 years, lynxes could be reintroduced in the area. The big cats would be able to make their homes if trees once again covered the bare hills of Britain. These proposals are not particularly unusual, as seen through other perspectives around Europe. In places such as the Jura Mountains, the Alps, the Vosges in eastern France and the Harz mountains in Germany, and many other places, the lynx has successfully been reintroduced. In the past 40 years, lynx numbers in Europe have gone up three times to roughly 10,000. As with wolves, bears, beavers, boar, bison, moose and many other species, the end of farming practices in the hills has allowed the lynx population to spread. Now, it seems people are realizing that it’s actually more lucrative to protect charismatic wildlife than it is to destroy it, as travelers spend money on to visit the areas and see the animal for themselves. Mass rewilding is going on nearly everywhere these days, save for Britain.

British people’s way of looking at the issue is just starting to shift. And it seems those who wish to conserve species are also beginning to realize the shortcomings of employing the preservation method alone. Trees for Life, a project in the Highlands show us a glimpse of what may be in store. In an attempt to catalyse the rewilding of land and sea across Britain, this organization will try to reintroduce a rarity within the ecosystem in Britain, and that’s the species of “hope” itself.

 
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 Sentence Completion
    Short answer
    Medium Matching Features
    Multiple choice
    Matching Headings
    Summary, Table, Flow-Chart Completion
    Difficult Matching Sentence Endings
    Matching 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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