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IELTS® Academic Reading Practice 54

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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 28-40.

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Enormous reptiles, marsupials and birds, are known to have once roamed Australia. However, the way that these huge animals known as megafauna went extinct has been under debate throughout the course of the 19th century. Even with technological advances and improvements to the scientific techniques ...
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Questions 28-34
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-M from the box below.

Write the correct letter A-M in boxes 28-34 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

  1. wiped out in the manner that was originally though
  2. living alongside human beings
  3. made extinct due to dramatic changes in climate
  4. discovered in more than one location
  5. dated using a method called uranium series
  6. lacking in sufficient collagen
  7. made extinct because it was eaten by other animals and because of changes to its environment
  8. encased in its original sediments
  9. the reason that humans and megafauna were forced into contact
  10. destroyed by fire 50,000 years before human beings arrived
  11. found to have a great similarity to the megafauna of Africa
  12. shows that people and megafauna co-existed for less than 17,000 years
  13. died sometime around 33,000 years ago

28. The Genyornis was thought to have been

29. Contrary to what was believed the bird may not have been

30. These megafauna, prior to the animals’ demise were believed to have been

31. Carbon dating has been proved ineffective when it is found to have been

32. Zygomturus trilobus was the size of a bull and specimens have been

33. The remains of Zygomturus trilobus was

34. The Zygomaturus specimen

Questions 35-39
Complete the sentences below.

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

Write your answers in 35-39 on your answer sheet.

The evidence for firing of the landscape shows no record of plants going through as a result of significant firing events.

Showing that megafauna died out just after the arrival of the first settlers would support a .

Age estimates on fossils using uranium series only represent .

It is possible that climate change led to fewer sources of appearing around the Willandra Lakes.

Today we are able to forget the and look at the part changes in weather and population played in the extinction of megafauna.

Question 40
Complete the short answers below.

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

Write your answers in 40-40 on your answer sheet.

40. Which method of dating provides the maximum age range of a specimen?

Answer Sheet
BestMyTest IELTS reading Report

Score Summary
0 / 1
Multiple Choice
Matching Sentence Endings
Note Completion
Table Completion
Flow Chart Completion
Summary Completion
Short Answer
Matching Headings
Matching Features
Matching Information
Identifying Information
Identifying Viewer Claims
Sentence Completion
Diagram Labelling
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Key Words Found in this practice
IELTS reading LessonsCompleted: 0 / 72
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