IELTS® Academic Reading Practice 50

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Western Immigration to Canada

Section A

The nation of Canada was being populated throughout the mid-1870s by an immigrant population of agricultural settlers. They established themselves in the west, and small towns sprang up around the prairies through 1870s. Meanwhile, rural settlements were the true focus of the federal government’s attention. A western rural settlement was the goal, as it would provide homesteads for the sons and daughters of eastern farmers. At this time, eastern agricultural land was quickly becoming less plentiful as the populations there grew. Fortunately, eastern farmers and politicians also regarded western Canada to be a great location for expanding Canada’s agricultural output with its huge expanses of unpopulated land, particularly as a means to support the wheat production for east Canadian markets.

Section B

The federal government made plans to take control of land in the west of Canada, in the hopes that this would help population and agricultural output grow. In 1870, the Dominion of Canada bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and two years later, the federal government enacted the Dominion Lands Act. Settlers were able to acquire 160 acres of free land as part of this act, but only if a few conditions were met. Settlers who paid a $10.00 registration fee were then required to remain on their land for at least three years, while also improving it slightly. The Canadian government then formed a Mounted Police Force in the following year of 1873. These Mounties traveled west to make sure the area was secured for incoming settlers. By 1876, the NWMP were established in the west. Significant posts were Swan River, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Calgary, Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod. Eastern-Canadian settlers, along with some European and American immigrants, flocked to these early posts in Canada’s west, particularly to the area of Manitoba.

Section C

In order to effectively protect Canadian territory, as well as reach their secondary goal of integrating British Columbia into the rest of the country, the best way the government could think of was to import large numbers of eastern Canadian and British settlers. They began building a transcontinental railway to connect the eastern and western expanses of Canada. With the help of the railway, western Canada would be able to sustain the growing urban industrial population of the east with food, the trade-off being that eastern Canadian manufactured goods would be able to reach the eastern part of the country.

Section D

Winnipeg became the urban center of western Canada throughout this time. Prior to year 1900, Winnipeg’s grew due to factors such as land speculation, more available housing, as well as Winnipeg becoming a major stop along the CPR as mandated by the federal government. The latter decision resulted in a period of rapid development from years 1881-1883, transforming small settlements such as Portage la Prairie and Brandon into towns, in addition to a significant boost to the population size of Manitoba. Before long, Winnipeg was at the junction between three transcontinental railway lines where thousands of employees worked in rail yards. Winnipeg had also become an important processor of agricultural products for the entire area surrounding it.

Section E

Throughout this early period, most of those who settled in Winnipeg and the countryside around it were English-speaking, Protestant settlers from either Ontario or the British Isles. These pioneers settled Winnipeg with British-Ontarian traditions. This system of belief came to define that society socially, politically, and economically. However, the population did not remain ethnically homogenous for very long as more immigrants from foreign lands began to arrive. Many immigrants came from Austria-Hungary and Ukraine, thus influencing the ethnic makeup of the settler populations in British settlements, older First Nation Metis, and Selkirk. Eastern Canadians and British immigrants settling in the west gave an advantage to the 49th parallel, keeping it safe against potential threats of American take-over if the Minnesota legislature had passed a resolution allowing the annexation of the Red River district. As of 1870, The Red River was the most essential settlement of the Canadian prairie. 11,963 residents lived there, with 9,700 who were Metis and 575 who were First Nations. Nearby Minnesota already had a larger population with over 100,000 residents.

Section F

However, not everyone who settled in western Canada in the 1880s was inclined to stay in the area. During the 1870s and 1880s, an economic depression suppressed the value of Canada’s most important exports, dissuading many from settling permanently in the West.  Canada had to compete with other countries for immigrants to choose to move there, with competitors such as Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Many immigrants, as well as thousands of Canadians, were drawn to the appeal of the American frontier. Before 1891, Canada has been referred to as “a huge demographic railway station,” or, “a place where thousands of men, women, and children were in constant transit, and where the number of departures invariably exceeded that of arrivals.”

Section G

In 1891, eastern Canada had many urban centers which brought along with them the troubles of city life. At the turn of the century, the economic centers of Toronto and Montreal already had electricity and telephones in the cities’ wealthiest areas, while the poorest areas, such as the district known as ‘the Ward’ in Toronto, could have been characterized as slum-like. Farm animals roamed wild, as privy buckets were dumped into yards and streets; these were the urban slums. The social reformers of the time thought that a rural lifestyle would allow people to be healthier, more moral, and more charitable, than they would be in an urban lifestyle. Social reformers valued fresh air, hard work, and wide open spaces to “Canadianize’” incoming immigrants. Farm work and agriculture were seen as especially appropriate in pursuit of a more family-oriented way of life, as opposed to the bachelor-oriented world found in cities. In fact, agriculture had a vital role in shaping the Canadian economy of 1891, with one third of the workforce at that time working on farms.

Section H

The Canadian government advertised the appeals of Canada to potential migrants abroad in a few different ways. The government proposed giving away land to farmers either for free or for subsidized prices. In addition to this, agents and/or agencies were established in order to bring in migrants from overseas. Assisted passage from abroad, as well as cash bonuses and commissions to agents and settlers advertised on pamphlets enticed even more immigrants into Canada. But most powerful of all were the letters home written by immigrants who had already arrived in Canada. Trusted friends and family members wrote exaggerated words describing the “wonder of the new world.” Those who had already come to Canada likely hoped these embellished accounts would placate any worried family and friends from back home. Over-the-top stories telling of good fortune and happiness were often the most successful in encouraging others to come.




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 15-27.
Questions 15-22
The reading passage has eight sections, A-H.

Choose the correct heading for sections A-H from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-x in boxes 15-22 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. A period of high growth has an impact on the newly populated region
  2. An improved infrastructure allow easier movement of people and goods
  3. Agriculture become Canada’s leading economic resource
  4. A rural lifestyle is considered healthier and thereby preferential to that of life in the city
  5. As migration is planned, law and order spreads
  6. Western Canada become culturally and nationally more diverse
  7. In order to ease overcrowding, the government promotes resettlement
  8. The Canadian government seek to attract political and religious refugees from Europe
  9. Canada loses its appeal and immigrants are drawn to other developing countries
  10. The approaches used in order to encourage people to come to Canada

15. Section A

16. Section B

17. Section C

18. Section D

19. Section E

20. Section F

21. Section G

22. Section H

Questions 23-24
Complete the summary below.

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

Write your answers in 23-24 on your answer sheet.

As the population grew in eastern Canada, the federal government wanted to expand settlements to the West. To attract new farmers, they offered discounted or even , if the owners agreed to improve it and stay there for 3 years. A few years later, a was formed, and they are often known as “mounties.”

Questions 25-27
Complete the sentences below.

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

Write your answers in 25-27 on your answer sheet.

The poorer districts of Canada’s most commercially important cities have been described as .

of the time believed that country living would bring about personal and social change.

Canada settlers probably hoped that the give of the country would soothe any worries their loved ones at home might be having.




Answer Sheet
1
N/A
2
N/A
3
N/A
4
N/A
5
N/A
6
N/A
7
N/A
8
N/A
9
N/A
10
N/A
11
N/A
12
N/A
13
N/A
14
N/A
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
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
Western Immigration to Canada


Section A

The nation of Canada was being populated throughout the mid-1870s by an immigrant population of agricultural settlers. They established themselves in the west, and small towns sprang up around the prairies through 1870s. Meanwhile, rural settlements were the true focus of the federal government’s attention. A western rural settlement was the goal, as it would provide homesteads for the sons and daughters of eastern farmers. At this time, eastern agricultural land was quickly becoming less plentiful as the populations there grew. Fortunately, eastern farmers and politicians also regarded western Canada to be a great location for expanding Canada’s agricultural output with its huge expanses of unpopulated land, particularly as a means to support the wheat production for east Canadian markets.

Section B

The federal government made plans to take control of land in the west of Canada, in the hopes that this would help population and agricultural output grow. In 1870, the Dominion of Canada bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and two years later, the federal government enacted the Dominion Lands Act. Settlers were able to acquire 160 acres of free land as part of this act, but only if a few conditions were met. Settlers who paid a $10.00 registration fee were then required to remain on their land for at least three years, while also improving it slightly. The Canadian government then formed a Mounted Police Force in the following year of 1873. These Mounties traveled west to make sure the area was secured for incoming settlers. By 1876, the NWMP were established in the west. Significant posts were Swan River, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Calgary, Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod. Eastern-Canadian settlers, along with some European and American immigrants, flocked to these early posts in Canada’s west, particularly to the area of Manitoba.

Section C

In order to effectively protect Canadian territory, as well as reach their secondary goal of integrating British Columbia into the rest of the country, the best way the government could think of was to import large numbers of eastern Canadian and British settlers. They began building a transcontinental railway to connect the eastern and western expanses of Canada. With the help of the railway, western Canada would be able to sustain the growing urban industrial population of the east with food, the trade-off being that eastern Canadian manufactured goods would be able to reach the eastern part of the country.

Section D

Winnipeg became the urban center of western Canada throughout this time. Prior to year 1900, Winnipeg’s grew due to factors such as land speculation, more available housing, as well as Winnipeg becoming a major stop along the CPR as mandated by the federal government. The latter decision resulted in a period of rapid development from years 1881-1883, transforming small settlements such as Portage la Prairie and Brandon into towns, in addition to a significant boost to the population size of Manitoba. Before long, Winnipeg was at the junction between three transcontinental railway lines where thousands of employees worked in rail yards. Winnipeg had also become an important processor of agricultural products for the entire area surrounding it.

Section E

Throughout this early period, most of those who settled in Winnipeg and the countryside around it were English-speaking, Protestant settlers from either Ontario or the British Isles. These pioneers settled Winnipeg with British-Ontarian traditions. This system of belief came to define that society socially, politically, and economically. However, the population did not remain ethnically homogenous for very long as more immigrants from foreign lands began to arrive. Many immigrants came from Austria-Hungary and Ukraine, thus influencing the ethnic makeup of the settler populations in British settlements, older First Nation Metis, and Selkirk. Eastern Canadians and British immigrants settling in the west gave an advantage to the 49th parallel, keeping it safe against potential threats of American take-over if the Minnesota legislature had passed a resolution allowing the annexation of the Red River district. As of 1870, The Red River was the most essential settlement of the Canadian prairie. 11,963 residents lived there, with 9,700 who were Metis and 575 who were First Nations. Nearby Minnesota already had a larger population with over 100,000 residents.

Section F

However, not everyone who settled in western Canada in the 1880s was inclined to stay in the area. During the 1870s and 1880s, an economic depression suppressed the value of Canada’s most important exports, dissuading many from settling permanently in the West.  Canada had to compete with other countries for immigrants to choose to move there, with competitors such as Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Many immigrants, as well as thousands of Canadians, were drawn to the appeal of the American frontier. Before 1891, Canada has been referred to as “a huge demographic railway station,” or, “a place where thousands of men, women, and children were in constant transit, and where the number of departures invariably exceeded that of arrivals.”

Section G

In 1891, eastern Canada had many urban centers which brought along with them the troubles of city life. At the turn of the century, the economic centers of Toronto and Montreal already had electricity and telephones in the cities’ wealthiest areas, while the poorest areas, such as the district known as ‘the Ward’ in Toronto, could have been characterized as slum-like. Farm animals roamed wild, as privy buckets were dumped into yards and streets; these were the urban slums. The social reformers of the time thought that a rural lifestyle would allow people to be healthier, more moral, and more charitable, than they would be in an urban lifestyle. Social reformers valued fresh air, hard work, and wide open spaces to “Canadianize’” incoming immigrants. Farm work and agriculture were seen as especially appropriate in pursuit of a more family-oriented way of life, as opposed to the bachelor-oriented world found in cities. In fact, agriculture had a vital role in shaping the Canadian economy of 1891, with one third of the workforce at that time working on farms.

Section H

The Canadian government advertised the appeals of Canada to potential migrants abroad in a few different ways. The government proposed giving away land to farmers either for free or for subsidized prices. In addition to this, agents and/or agencies were established in order to bring in migrants from overseas. Assisted passage from abroad, as well as cash bonuses and commissions to agents and settlers advertised on pamphlets enticed even more immigrants into Canada. But most powerful of all were the letters home written by immigrants who had already arrived in Canada. Trusted friends and family members wrote exaggerated words describing the “wonder of the new world.” Those who had already come to Canada likely hoped these embellished accounts would placate any worried family and friends from back home. Over-the-top stories telling of good fortune and happiness were often the most successful in encouraging others to come.

 
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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