IELTS® General Reading Practice 2

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Read the text below and answer Questions 15-21.

Maxwell Enterprises Employee Handbook
Appendix A: Code of Conduct

This document serves as a benchmark for all staff of Maxwell Enterprises, including all members on the Board of Directors, interns, and visiting employees from different offices. If breach of conduct is suspected, resulting action will include a thorough investigation and potential disciplinary action. Unless otherwise noted, 'the Company' shall refer to Maxwell Enterprises.

Section A 

Maxwell Enterprises is supportive and welcoming of employees from various backgrounds and identities. The Company does not discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity, political associations, immigration status, or natural origin. All employees should seek to uphold this quality and maintain respectful working relationships with all members of staff.

Section B

It is strictly forbidden to supervise someone with whom you have a close personal relationship, including but not limited to: family members, relatives, a spouse or significant other. Additionally, employees and staff must not utilize their  position(s) at Maxwell Enterprises in the hopes of advancing personal interests for themselves at the expense of The Company. Lastly, employees are strictly forbidden to solicit employment opportunities from distributors, suppliers, and freelance clients of Maxwell Enterprises.

Section C

When signing the employment contract with Maxwell Enterprises, all employees agree to give up rights towards self-employment and/or to be employed for another company or organization (including charitable or non-profit organizations) aside from Maxwell Enterprises. This limitation also applies to employment through the Company's subsidiaries and affiliates.

Section D

Staff and employees must not disclose any classified or exclusive information regarding current working clients without prior notice or authorization. It must be noted that this disclosure is also prohibited between different departments of the Company. Departments that have access to specific client information must uphold adequate safeguards in order to prevent misuse of protocol. Unauthorized disclosure of aforementioned personal data will result in a breach of any applicable legislation on privacy.

Section E

The Company is wholly committed to providing a safe, environmentally ethical, and illness-free workplace for all employees and staff. This includes the presence of an Emergency Services department in all offices and buildings of Maxwell Enterprises. As such, all working areas are in compliance with relevant safety laws and environmental regulations that aim to protect the safety of all workers.

Section F

If employees or staff of Maxwell Enterprises have been made aware of potential breaches to the Code of Conduct, it is imperative that they contact the Company Concern Line via phone or Web. All contact, including inquiries and allegations, are kept confidential in order not to bring upon negative consequences for those calling attention to potential breaches of this document. Any questions regarding the Concern Line should be made to one's direct supervisor.

Section G

All employees and staff who engage in working relationships with clients must always use good judgment in business affairs and meetings. Any offer given by a client to an employee or staff member, in order to influence a business decision or deal, is to be strictly refuted. Additionally, it is strictly prohibited for employees and staff to ask clients for gifts, including meals or entertainment, and/or capitalize on working relationships. Any such aforementioned encounters would be considered as unethical bribes, resulting in disciplinary action.

Read the text below and answer Questions 22-27.

Employee Sick Leave Policy

This document exists to clarify and inform employees on their entitlement to sick leave, including short-term disability and all necessary procedures.

Scope and Elements

All company employees have a right to equitable paid time off during normal company working hours in order to recover from illnesses. This is otherwise known as Sick Leave. In order to qualify for this benefit, employees must have been contractually signed with The Company for at least six months. With each year of service with The Company, employees will receive a maximum of five days added onto the minimum four day benefit per year. 

In terms of short-term disability leave, all employees, irrespective of their length of service to The Company, are entitled to receive up to 80 percent of their salary payment for the first two months of short-term disability. After this period, employees will receive a maximum of 40 percent of their salary payment for the remainder of the short-term disability leave.

It should be noted that interns, freelance workers, and seasonal employees are not entitled to paid time off due to illness, nor are they entitled to payments associated with short-term disability leave.

Procedures and Processing

All employees are required to provide prompt notification to their direct managers in the case of illness or inability to be present at work due to injury or sickness, either through email or an automated Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Consequently, a signed, written certification from a medical professional must be presented to the employee's direct manager within three days in order for the aforementioned Sick Leave Policy to be effective. If such certification is not presented, the employee must use Paid Time Off for the days not present at work. All sick time requests will be handled with discretion and kept confidential.

Unused Sick Leave Policy

As stated previously, employees will accrue a maximum of five Sick Leave days for each year of service with The Company. As such, employees can accumulate unused sick leave days until they have a maximum of 20 Sick Leave days, which may be calculated for an employee's annuity when he or she retires.

15. iv - Section A describes how Maxwell Enterprises is supportive of employees “from various backgrounds and identities”. Additionally, the section urges employees to “uphold this quality and maintain respectful working relationships”, making Promoting Diversity the best option.
16. i - Section B contains information regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest, since it describes how 'it is strictly forbidden to supervise someone with whom you have a close personal relationship'. Additionally, the section describes how employees cannot create potential employment opportunities from vendors or clients.

17. x - Section C describes the rights of employees with Maxwell Enterprises. The section states that 'all employees agree to give up rights towards self-employment and/or to be employed for another company or organization…'. As such, this description would best fit the heading, Employment Outside Maxwell Enterprises.

18. vi - Section D contains information regarding interactions with clients, most notably in terms of confidentiality. The statement, 'Staff and employees must not disclose any classified or exclusive information regarding current working clients without prior notice or authorization'. This makes it clear that the section regards Client Confidentiality. This should not be confused with heading viii. (Employee Privacy), because the section does not describe this in detail.

19. ii - Section E describes how Maxwell Enterprises adheres to a safe working environment. The statement, '...safe, environmentally ethical, and illness-free workplace for all employees and staff' makes this apparent. Therefore, the best option would be Safety and Health Practices.

20. vii - Section F (If employees or staff of Maxwell Enterprises have been made aware of potential breaches of the Code of Conduct, it is imperative that they contact the Company Concern Line via phone or Web.) A key phrase to understand here is “breaches of the Code of Conduct.” If you “breach” a law or a code, you fail to follow it, so a “breach” is similar to a “violation” – making Violation Reporting Services the best option.

21. v - Section G talks about working relationships between employees and clients. (Any offer given by a client to an employee or staff member, in order to influence a business decision or deal, is to be strictly refuted.) This means that employees must reject any attempts by clients to sway their judgment or persuade them to make a business decision in their favor. Therefore, the best heading is Anti-Corruption Ethics.
22. six months / 6 months - The passage states that 'In order to qualify for this benefit, employees must have been contractually signed with The Company for at least six months.'

23. short-term disability - The passage states '...all employees, irrespective of their length of service to The Company, are entitled to receive up to 80 percent of their salary payment for the first two months of short-term disability.'

24. written certification / signed written certification / signed certification / certification - The passage states that 'a signed, written certification from a medical professional must be presented to the employee's direct manager within three days in order for the aforementioned Sick Leave Policy to be effective'.

25. Paid time off - The passage states that 'If such certification is not presented, the employee must use Paid Time Off for the days not present at work.'
26. confidential - The passage states that 'All sick time requests will be handled with discretion and complete confidentiality.' The phrase 'kept confidential' is a collocation that should be understood and used in this case.
27. retires - The passage states that '...employees can accumulate unused sick leave days until they have a maximum of 20 Sick Leave days, which may be calculated for an employee's annuity when he or she retires.' The word 'retirement' should be an understandable noun form of the base verb 'to retire'.
 
This reading practice simulates the second section of the IELTS General Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage(s) and answer questions 15-27.
Questions 15-21
The reading passage has seven sections, A-G.

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

Write the correct number i-x in boxes 15-21 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. Potential Conflicts of Interest
  2. Safety and Health Practices
  3. Elimination of Insider Training
  4. Promoting Diversity
  5. Anti-Corruption Ethics
  6. Client Confidentiality
  7. Violation Reporting Services
  8. Employee Privacy
  9. Use of Company Materials
  10. Employment Outside Maxwell Enterprises

15. Section A

16. Section B

17. Section C

18. Section D

19. Section E

20. Section F

21. Section G

Questions 22-27
Complete the notes below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in 22-27 on your answer sheet.

Scope and Elements:

Each and every employee is allowed Sick Leave after of service with The Company.

Independent of their time with The Company, employees have a right to , during which they receive a portion of their salaries.

Only employees who are contractually and officially signed with The Company are eligible for these benefits.

Procedures and Processing:

Managers must be notified when employees are ill, and a must be submitted for the Sick Leave Policy to apply.

will be applied if the required document is not presented.

Requests of this nature will be kept .

Unused Sick Leave Policy:

An employee can accrue a maximum of 20 Sick Leave days.

Unused Sick Leave days can be taken into effect when an employee .





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
Maxwell Enterprises Employee Handbook / Employee Sick Leave Policy

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-21.

Maxwell Enterprises Employee Handbook
Appendix A: Code of Conduct

This document serves as a benchmark for all staff of Maxwell Enterprises, including all members on the Board of Directors, interns, and visiting employees from different offices. If breach of conduct is suspected, resulting action will include a thorough investigation and potential disciplinary action. Unless otherwise noted, 'the Company' shall refer to Maxwell Enterprises.

Section A 

Maxwell Enterprises is supportive and welcoming of employees from various backgrounds and identities. The Company does not discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity, political associations, immigration status, or natural origin. All employees should seek to uphold this quality and maintain respectful working relationships with all members of staff.

Section B

It is strictly forbidden to supervise someone with whom you have a close personal relationship, including but not limited to: family members, relatives, a spouse or significant other. Additionally, employees and staff must not utilize their  position(s) at Maxwell Enterprises in the hopes of advancing personal interests for themselves at the expense of The Company. Lastly, employees are strictly forbidden to solicit employment opportunities from distributors, suppliers, and freelance clients of Maxwell Enterprises.

Section C

When signing the employment contract with Maxwell Enterprises, all employees agree to give up rights towards self-employment and/or to be employed for another company or organization (including charitable or non-profit organizations) aside from Maxwell Enterprises. This limitation also applies to employment through the Company's subsidiaries and affiliates.

Section D

Staff and employees must not disclose any classified or exclusive information regarding current working clients without prior notice or authorization. It must be noted that this disclosure is also prohibited between different departments of the Company. Departments that have access to specific client information must uphold adequate safeguards in order to prevent misuse of protocol. Unauthorized disclosure of aforementioned personal data will result in a breach of any applicable legislation on privacy.

Section E

The Company is wholly committed to providing a safe, environmentally ethical, and illness-free workplace for all employees and staff. This includes the presence of an Emergency Services department in all offices and buildings of Maxwell Enterprises. As such, all working areas are in compliance with relevant safety laws and environmental regulations that aim to protect the safety of all workers.

Section F

If employees or staff of Maxwell Enterprises have been made aware of potential breaches to the Code of Conduct, it is imperative that they contact the Company Concern Line via phone or Web. All contact, including inquiries and allegations, are kept confidential in order not to bring upon negative consequences for those calling attention to potential breaches of this document. Any questions regarding the Concern Line should be made to one's direct supervisor.

Section G

All employees and staff who engage in working relationships with clients must always use good judgment in business affairs and meetings. Any offer given by a client to an employee or staff member, in order to influence a business decision or deal, is to be strictly refuted. Additionally, it is strictly prohibited for employees and staff to ask clients for gifts, including meals or entertainment, and/or capitalize on working relationships. Any such aforementioned encounters would be considered as unethical bribes, resulting in disciplinary action.

Read the text below and answer Questions 22-27.

Employee Sick Leave Policy

This document exists to clarify and inform employees on their entitlement to sick leave, including short-term disability and all necessary procedures.

Scope and Elements

All company employees have a right to equitable paid time off during normal company working hours in order to recover from illnesses. This is otherwise known as Sick Leave. In order to qualify for this benefit, employees must have been contractually signed with The Company for at least six months. With each year of service with The Company, employees will receive a maximum of five days added onto the minimum four day benefit per year. 

In terms of short-term disability leave, all employees, irrespective of their length of service to The Company, are entitled to receive up to 80 percent of their salary payment for the first two months of short-term disability. After this period, employees will receive a maximum of 40 percent of their salary payment for the remainder of the short-term disability leave.

It should be noted that interns, freelance workers, and seasonal employees are not entitled to paid time off due to illness, nor are they entitled to payments associated with short-term disability leave.

Procedures and Processing

All employees are required to provide prompt notification to their direct managers in the case of illness or inability to be present at work due to injury or sickness, either through email or an automated Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Consequently, a signed, written certification from a medical professional must be presented to the employee's direct manager within three days in order for the aforementioned Sick Leave Policy to be effective. If such certification is not presented, the employee must use Paid Time Off for the days not present at work. All sick time requests will be handled with discretion and kept confidential.

Unused Sick Leave Policy

As stated previously, employees will accrue a maximum of five Sick Leave days for each year of service with The Company. As such, employees can accumulate unused sick leave days until they have a maximum of 20 Sick Leave days, which may be calculated for an employee's annuity when he or she retires.

15. iv - Section A describes how Maxwell Enterprises is supportive of employees “from various backgrounds and identities”. Additionally, the section urges employees to “uphold this quality and maintain respectful working relationships”, making Promoting Diversity the best option.
16. i - Section B contains information regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest, since it describes how 'it is strictly forbidden to supervise someone with whom you have a close personal relationship'. Additionally, the section describes how employees cannot create potential employment opportunities from vendors or clients.

17. x - Section C describes the rights of employees with Maxwell Enterprises. The section states that 'all employees agree to give up rights towards self-employment and/or to be employed for another company or organization…'. As such, this description would best fit the heading, Employment Outside Maxwell Enterprises.

18. vi - Section D contains information regarding interactions with clients, most notably in terms of confidentiality. The statement, 'Staff and employees must not disclose any classified or exclusive information regarding current working clients without prior notice or authorization'. This makes it clear that the section regards Client Confidentiality. This should not be confused with heading viii. (Employee Privacy), because the section does not describe this in detail.

19. ii - Section E describes how Maxwell Enterprises adheres to a safe working environment. The statement, '...safe, environmentally ethical, and illness-free workplace for all employees and staff' makes this apparent. Therefore, the best option would be Safety and Health Practices.

20. vii - Section F (If employees or staff of Maxwell Enterprises have been made aware of potential breaches of the Code of Conduct, it is imperative that they contact the Company Concern Line via phone or Web.) A key phrase to understand here is “breaches of the Code of Conduct.” If you “breach” a law or a code, you fail to follow it, so a “breach” is similar to a “violation” – making Violation Reporting Services the best option.

21. v - Section G talks about working relationships between employees and clients. (Any offer given by a client to an employee or staff member, in order to influence a business decision or deal, is to be strictly refuted.) This means that employees must reject any attempts by clients to sway their judgment or persuade them to make a business decision in their favor. Therefore, the best heading is Anti-Corruption Ethics.
22. six months / 6 months - The passage states that 'In order to qualify for this benefit, employees must have been contractually signed with The Company for at least six months.'

23. short-term disability - The passage states '...all employees, irrespective of their length of service to The Company, are entitled to receive up to 80 percent of their salary payment for the first two months of short-term disability.'

24. written certification / signed written certification / signed certification / certification - The passage states that 'a signed, written certification from a medical professional must be presented to the employee's direct manager within three days in order for the aforementioned Sick Leave Policy to be effective'.

25. Paid time off - The passage states that 'If such certification is not presented, the employee must use Paid Time Off for the days not present at work.'
26. confidential - The passage states that 'All sick time requests will be handled with discretion and complete confidentiality.' The phrase 'kept confidential' is a collocation that should be understood and used in this case.
27. retires - The passage states that '...employees can accumulate unused sick leave days until they have a maximum of 20 Sick Leave days, which may be calculated for an employee's annuity when he or she retires.' The word 'retirement' should be an understandable noun form of the base verb 'to retire'.
 
 
IELTS General 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.

 
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