IELTS® General Reading Practice 29

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Read the text below and answer questions 15-21.

Company Dress Code

At Allegheny Limited, we pride ourselves in presenting a professional atmosphere in the office and with our distinguished clients. In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance. While we have begun to offer up alternative solutions during the work-week and relaxed our standards, we expect our employees to use the Employee Handbook in times of doubt or clarification.

Basic Guidelines

Allegheny Limited requires all employees to wear formal attire each day. On a basic level, this includes a matching two-piece suit for both men and women. However, in some cases, alternative jackets and pants (for men) and skirts and pants (for women) will suffice. Employees must not wear clothing that is torn or dirty. Of course, we ask that employees use their best judgement when deciding what to wear to the office. In the case that a doubt arises, please check our Employee Handbook on the company website.

Footwear

For women, heels must be tasteful and are not to exceed 5 inches. For men, shoes must be cleaned and formal. In general, appropriate shoes include and are not limited to: dress shoes, loafers, flats, or heels. Sneakers or backless shoes are not acceptable.

Tattoos

All tattoos must be covered by clothing and unable to be seen, even during Relaxed Casual Days, explained below. If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.

Accessories

Men must wear ties with suits and jackets during the work day. Women are asked to use good judgement in accessories without wearing anything considered too extravagant for the office setting. However, please note that employees may be sensitive to chemicals in perfumes. Thus, we urge our employees to use perfumes and fragrances as sparingly as possible.

Hats and Religious Covers

Allegheny Limited is an equal opportunity employer. Thus, all religious head covers or those that honor one's culture are permitted. Hats, however, are not allowed in the office.

Relaxed Casual Days

Due to our participation in national fundraisers, our entire company reserves various days for “Relaxed Casual Days” in order to support our causes. In order to participate, employees must pay a $10.00 fee for the day, which goes directly to the cause at hand. While we strongly encourage our employees to wear clothing that has our company logo, any type of business casual attire will be accepted during these days. Keep in mind, however, that jackets should be kept in the office in the case that a visiting client stops by the office.

Violations

If the employee dress code does not meet the aforementioned standards, the employee will receive a written warning. If the problem persists, a mandatory meeting with the employee's direct supervisor will be necessary, as well as possible punitive action in terms of pay.

Read the text below and answer questions 22-27.

While it's only been on Working Career Mom's 100 Best Companies for two years, the Winston Daniels Co. has a long history of influencing women's ability to balance work and life.

Winston Daniels Co. is honored to be considered a nonprofit with limited resources that can make this distinguished list five years in a row! This shows that any company truly dedicated to supporting mothers and families can make a difference for its employees. We are pleased to offer policies and benefits that promote the health of babies and mothers.

Among the benefits Winston Daniels Co. offers to new mothers are:

  • Full-time pay for up to 6 months while on maternity leave.
  • 100% medical coverage for all maternity and childbirth costs.
  • Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.
  • Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.
  • 10 extra “sick pay days” for use when a child or dependent is ill. These days are accurable over time. 
  • Prenatal kits at work 
  • An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.
  • Flexible work-from-home offerings. This includes up to 20% of the work-week spent working from home. Mothers will also be able to compress weeks in order to best fit their schedules. For example, they can work 10 hour days from Monday - Thursday, or work on weekends.

...and that's not all! 

Winston Daniels Co. also offers an Employee Assistance Program. What does this include? In addition to immediate medical coverage, starting on the first day of employment for expectant mothers, it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status. We also include paid time off (up to 4 weeks) for new fathers/significant others for the birth of a child and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment. Additionally, we include paid time off (1 week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.

In some cases, extended parental leave of absence is necessary. We understand this and can offer an additional six months of unpaid leave for new mothers. Expectant mothers may request two months of this leave prior to the delivery date, even if it is not medically necessary. 

15. assist - The statement, “In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance.” proves this to be correct.
16. appearance - The statement, “In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance.” proves this to be correct.
17. employee handbook - The statements, “we expect our employees to use the Employee Handbook in times of doubt or clarification.” and “In the case that a doubt arises, please check our Employee Handbook on the company website.” prove this to be correct.
18. tattoo - The statement, “If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.” proves this to be correct.
19. written warning - The statement, “If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.” proves this to be correct.
20. Perfumes and fragrances - The statement, “Thus, we urge our employees to use perfumes and fragrances as sparingly as possible.” proves this to be correct.
21. Relaxed Casual Days  - The statements, “Due to our participation in national fundraisers, our entire company reserves various days for “Relaxed Casual Days” in order to support our causes. In order to participate, employees must pay a $10.00 fee for the day, which goes directly to the cause at hand.” prove this to be correct.

22. A - The statements, “Winston Daniels Co. is honored to be considered a nonprofit with limited resources that can make this distinguished list five years in a row! This shows that any company truly dedicated to supporting mothers and families can make a difference for its employees.” show that this is correct. “Household units”, as used in option A, is synonymous with “mothers and families”. The passage also states that the company is a nonprofit. This answer should not be confused with C, which uses the phrase “for the past five years”, because it has only made a distinguished list for five years in a row. This answer should also not be confused with D, which uses the phrase “promotes the health of…”, because the passage specifies only “babies and mothers”. Option B is also incorrect because the passage does not mention yearly donations from profit companies.
23. C - The statement, “An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.” shows that C is the correct answer. The answer option is “an extra bonus of $5,000 related to childbirth costs”, whereas the passage specifies this bonus for those who choose to adopt. Therefore, this is not included in an offer for new mothers and is correct for this answer. Option A is included in the plan, as proved by the statement: “Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.”. Option B is included in the plan, as proved by the statement, “Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.” (since childminding services is a way to say “nanny” or “nursery”). Option D is included in the plan, as proved by the statement, “Flexible work-from-home offerings.”
24. A - The statement, “100% medical coverage for all maternity and childbirth costs.” proves this to be correct, since “expenses related to giving birth” is another way to say “maternity and childbirth costs”. Option B is incorrect because “Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.” proves it is only partially, and not fully, covered. Option C is incorrect because “An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.” shows that only $5,000 is given as a bonus, and it is not clear whether or not this is “fully covered”. Option D is incorrect because “Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.” does not specify whether or not it is for six months, and the key word “six months” is located only in the “Full-time pay for up to six months” line in the beginning of this section. 
25. D - The statement, “In addition to immediate medical coverage, starting on the first day of employment for expectant mothers, it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status.” proves that this is correct, since employees expecting a child are covered starting on the first day of employment. Option A is not correct because legal marital status is not necessary (“...it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status.”). Option B is not correct because although significant others can receive medical coverage, it does not happen before the employee's initial start date. Option C is incorrect because the passage does not state that the paid time off for adoption or foster care is negotiable (“Additionally, we include paid time off (one week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.”).
26. B - The statement, “ We also include paid time off (up to four weeks) for new fathers/significant others for the birth of a child and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment.” proves this to be correct. The “supplemental leave” is a synonym for “additional paid week off”, and “NICU treatment” is a specific example of specific hospital care. Option A is incorrect because it is not a minimum of five weeks of compensated leave in all cases, but “up to four weeks” generally. Option C is incorrect because the statement, “...and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment.” does not mean that it is a minimum of one week. Option D is incorrect because the one week of paid time off for adoption services is not listed as negotiable in the passage (“Additionally, we include paid time off (one week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.”).
27. D - This scenario is correct, due to the statement “Expectant mothers may request two months of this leave prior to the delivery date, even if it is not medically necessary.”. The scenario in option D states that the mother has a medical need, but it fits within the scope, as is noticed with the phrase “even if it is not necessary” in the passage. Option A is incorrect because of the phrase “even if it is not necessary” in the passage. Option B is incorrect because of the sentence “We understand this and can offer an additional six months of unpaid leave for new mothers.”. Option C is incorrect because significant others are not mentioned in the passage when it comes to the extended parental leave.



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
Complete the table below.

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

Write your answers in 15-21 on your answer sheet.
Reasoning or Cause Guideline or Effect
In order to clients and uphold company values... ...employees must uphold a sophisticated .
If employees have doubts on the dress code... ...they should consult the .
If an employee has a visible ... ...they will receive a from their Direct Supervisor.
Employees may be sensitive to chemicals... ...therefore, must not be used in excess.
By donating $10.00... Employees can participate in company-wide .
Questions 22-27
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

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

22. Which is true regarding Winston Daniels Co.?

23. Which of the following is not included in an offer for new mothers?

24. Which feature is fully covered for new mothers?

25. Which of the following is accurate regarding the company's Employee Assistance Program?

26. What can significant others expect from the Employee Assistance Program?

27. Which scenario would be suitable for the extended parental leave of  absence to take effect?






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
Company Dress Code / Working Career Moms


Read the text below and answer questions 15-21.

Company Dress Code

At Allegheny Limited, we pride ourselves in presenting a professional atmosphere in the office and with our distinguished clients. In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance. While we have begun to offer up alternative solutions during the work-week and relaxed our standards, we expect our employees to use the Employee Handbook in times of doubt or clarification.

Basic Guidelines

Allegheny Limited requires all employees to wear formal attire each day. On a basic level, this includes a matching two-piece suit for both men and women. However, in some cases, alternative jackets and pants (for men) and skirts and pants (for women) will suffice. Employees must not wear clothing that is torn or dirty. Of course, we ask that employees use their best judgement when deciding what to wear to the office. In the case that a doubt arises, please check our Employee Handbook on the company website.

Footwear

For women, heels must be tasteful and are not to exceed 5 inches. For men, shoes must be cleaned and formal. In general, appropriate shoes include and are not limited to: dress shoes, loafers, flats, or heels. Sneakers or backless shoes are not acceptable.

Tattoos

All tattoos must be covered by clothing and unable to be seen, even during Relaxed Casual Days, explained below. If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.

Accessories

Men must wear ties with suits and jackets during the work day. Women are asked to use good judgement in accessories without wearing anything considered too extravagant for the office setting. However, please note that employees may be sensitive to chemicals in perfumes. Thus, we urge our employees to use perfumes and fragrances as sparingly as possible.

Hats and Religious Covers

Allegheny Limited is an equal opportunity employer. Thus, all religious head covers or those that honor one's culture are permitted. Hats, however, are not allowed in the office.

Relaxed Casual Days

Due to our participation in national fundraisers, our entire company reserves various days for “Relaxed Casual Days” in order to support our causes. In order to participate, employees must pay a $10.00 fee for the day, which goes directly to the cause at hand. While we strongly encourage our employees to wear clothing that has our company logo, any type of business casual attire will be accepted during these days. Keep in mind, however, that jackets should be kept in the office in the case that a visiting client stops by the office.

Violations

If the employee dress code does not meet the aforementioned standards, the employee will receive a written warning. If the problem persists, a mandatory meeting with the employee's direct supervisor will be necessary, as well as possible punitive action in terms of pay.

Read the text below and answer questions 22-27.

While it's only been on Working Career Mom's 100 Best Companies for two years, the Winston Daniels Co. has a long history of influencing women's ability to balance work and life.

Winston Daniels Co. is honored to be considered a nonprofit with limited resources that can make this distinguished list five years in a row! This shows that any company truly dedicated to supporting mothers and families can make a difference for its employees. We are pleased to offer policies and benefits that promote the health of babies and mothers.

Among the benefits Winston Daniels Co. offers to new mothers are:

  • Full-time pay for up to 6 months while on maternity leave.
  • 100% medical coverage for all maternity and childbirth costs.
  • Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.
  • Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.
  • 10 extra “sick pay days” for use when a child or dependent is ill. These days are accurable over time. 
  • Prenatal kits at work 
  • An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.
  • Flexible work-from-home offerings. This includes up to 20% of the work-week spent working from home. Mothers will also be able to compress weeks in order to best fit their schedules. For example, they can work 10 hour days from Monday - Thursday, or work on weekends.

...and that's not all! 

Winston Daniels Co. also offers an Employee Assistance Program. What does this include? In addition to immediate medical coverage, starting on the first day of employment for expectant mothers, it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status. We also include paid time off (up to 4 weeks) for new fathers/significant others for the birth of a child and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment. Additionally, we include paid time off (1 week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.

In some cases, extended parental leave of absence is necessary. We understand this and can offer an additional six months of unpaid leave for new mothers. Expectant mothers may request two months of this leave prior to the delivery date, even if it is not medically necessary. 

15. assist - The statement, “In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance.” proves this to be correct.
16. appearance - The statement, “In order to effectively assist our clients and customers who need our professional input, we expect our employees to maintain a dignified appearance.” proves this to be correct.
17. employee handbook - The statements, “we expect our employees to use the Employee Handbook in times of doubt or clarification.” and “In the case that a doubt arises, please check our Employee Handbook on the company website.” prove this to be correct.
18. tattoo - The statement, “If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.” proves this to be correct.
19. written warning - The statement, “If employees are in the office with visible tattoos, they will receive a written warning from their direct supervisor.” proves this to be correct.
20. Perfumes and fragrances - The statement, “Thus, we urge our employees to use perfumes and fragrances as sparingly as possible.” proves this to be correct.
21. Relaxed Casual Days  - The statements, “Due to our participation in national fundraisers, our entire company reserves various days for “Relaxed Casual Days” in order to support our causes. In order to participate, employees must pay a $10.00 fee for the day, which goes directly to the cause at hand.” prove this to be correct.

22. A - The statements, “Winston Daniels Co. is honored to be considered a nonprofit with limited resources that can make this distinguished list five years in a row! This shows that any company truly dedicated to supporting mothers and families can make a difference for its employees.” show that this is correct. “Household units”, as used in option A, is synonymous with “mothers and families”. The passage also states that the company is a nonprofit. This answer should not be confused with C, which uses the phrase “for the past five years”, because it has only made a distinguished list for five years in a row. This answer should also not be confused with D, which uses the phrase “promotes the health of…”, because the passage specifies only “babies and mothers”. Option B is also incorrect because the passage does not mention yearly donations from profit companies.
23. C - The statement, “An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.” shows that C is the correct answer. The answer option is “an extra bonus of $5,000 related to childbirth costs”, whereas the passage specifies this bonus for those who choose to adopt. Therefore, this is not included in an offer for new mothers and is correct for this answer. Option A is included in the plan, as proved by the statement: “Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.”. Option B is included in the plan, as proved by the statement, “Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.” (since childminding services is a way to say “nanny” or “nursery”). Option D is included in the plan, as proved by the statement, “Flexible work-from-home offerings.”
24. A - The statement, “100% medical coverage for all maternity and childbirth costs.” proves this to be correct, since “expenses related to giving birth” is another way to say “maternity and childbirth costs”. Option B is incorrect because “Covering 50% of all nursery and nanny expenses.” proves it is only partially, and not fully, covered. Option C is incorrect because “An extra bonus of up to $5,000 for those who choose to adopt.” shows that only $5,000 is given as a bonus, and it is not clear whether or not this is “fully covered”. Option D is incorrect because “Salary continuation plan for short-term disability.” does not specify whether or not it is for six months, and the key word “six months” is located only in the “Full-time pay for up to six months” line in the beginning of this section. 
25. D - The statement, “In addition to immediate medical coverage, starting on the first day of employment for expectant mothers, it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status.” proves that this is correct, since employees expecting a child are covered starting on the first day of employment. Option A is not correct because legal marital status is not necessary (“...it also covers significant others, regardless of legal marital status.”). Option B is not correct because although significant others can receive medical coverage, it does not happen before the employee's initial start date. Option C is incorrect because the passage does not state that the paid time off for adoption or foster care is negotiable (“Additionally, we include paid time off (one week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.”).
26. B - The statement, “ We also include paid time off (up to four weeks) for new fathers/significant others for the birth of a child and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment.” proves this to be correct. The “supplemental leave” is a synonym for “additional paid week off”, and “NICU treatment” is a specific example of specific hospital care. Option A is incorrect because it is not a minimum of five weeks of compensated leave in all cases, but “up to four weeks” generally. Option C is incorrect because the statement, “...and an additional paid week off if their newborn requires a NICU treatment.” does not mean that it is a minimum of one week. Option D is incorrect because the one week of paid time off for adoption services is not listed as negotiable in the passage (“Additionally, we include paid time off (one week) for adoption or foster care placement of a child.”).
27. D - This scenario is correct, due to the statement “Expectant mothers may request two months of this leave prior to the delivery date, even if it is not medically necessary.”. The scenario in option D states that the mother has a medical need, but it fits within the scope, as is noticed with the phrase “even if it is not necessary” in the passage. Option A is incorrect because of the phrase “even if it is not necessary” in the passage. Option B is incorrect because of the sentence “We understand this and can offer an additional six months of unpaid leave for new mothers.”. Option C is incorrect because significant others are not mentioned in the passage when it comes to the extended parental leave.
 
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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