IELTS® General Reading Practice 35

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Read the information below and answer questions 15-22.

McGinnis Group Travel Magazine

Featured Article: Finding a Job Abroad

A. If you're an American living and working in Europe, rest assured that there are many bureaucratic issues when starting your first job. First off, you will need to be aware of the various different types of contracts available to you in Europe. You can be employed with a fixed-term contract or an open-ended contract. These are two different things and you will need to check with your employer regarding which one is best for the position. If you are hired as a fixed employee, consider yourself quite lucky in the current economic climate! This means you will benefit from job security, a regular income, and paid holiday time. If you are a woman, you can also expect to receive maternity rights as well. Coming across this contract, however, is not always easy.

B. Many foreigners find their first European job through a project contract. That is, when the contract concludes, the employer will simply let you go, unless there is another project to be done. Other foreigners find their first projects through freelancing and networking with other expatriate citizens. Keep in mind that many European firms seem to be doing anything they can to avoid employing more fixed employees, due to a recent legislation regarding taxes. Recent tax laws have made it extremely difficult for firms to remain cost-efficient while hiring new employees.

C. Whether you need to pay taxes in Europe will depend on whether or not you live in Europe full-time, and also if you live in Europe for less than 180 days over a 12-month period. Since this understanding can become quite complicated, it is best to hire an accountant who speaks your native language. When it comes to tax deductible costs, Europe requires all invoices to be in both your native language and the language of your home country. Additionally, there are fees that need to be sent to local post offices, and it is difficult to do this alone. We believe this is all the more reason to hire someone to help you in this venture!

D.  If tax information scares you and you are not able to find work as a fixed employee, you might want to try working as a freelancer or consultant. It is not as simple as you may imagine, though, and there are quite a few drawbacks. In Europe, for example, you are required to open a VAT code as soon as you exceed 5,000 Euro a year in income. European tax laws do not favour freelancers in the slightest, so make sure that your activity will generate enough income in order for you to make a reasonable income after taxes.

E. Do not fear, though! Starting your own business as a European freelancer can be done, albeit it is a difficult process. Opening a new business might be the opportunity you have been waiting for, so try not to get discouraged by bureaucratic obstacles or potential language barriers. It would be a great idea to get in touch with various groups for freelancers and co-working spaces in your area. Once you put yourself out there, your business will surely grow.

F. If all else fails and you are not able to find a job or start your own freelancing career, you might want to try going back to university. Legally, most people need a job to stay in a different country, but often overlook the university setting. Studying is a great way to obtain a visa in order to stay in Europe (especially if you are not a citizen of the country), and you may be working on your diverse skill sets for future endeavors. This is considered an excellent second option if nothing in the career field seems promising. Who knows, you might find a new passion and even become a professor! 

Read the text below and answer questions 23-29.

Leeland Board of Directors Presents: Officer and Volunteer Hierarchy Breakdown


Leeland Board of Directors is an employee-management group that is entirely run by our volunteers. Below you will find more information regarding our most popular office roles and the responsibilities of each position.

Secretary

In addition to taking the minutes of all meetings as a record of motions, reports, and action taking, the Secretary also handles all business and social correspondence. He or she serves as chair of the committee to review and revise all chapter bylaws and serves as a correspondent for our company newsletter. Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of this office is maintaining a constantly updated list of chapter members, in order for mailings to go out on time and in proper fashion. Lastly, this officer must compile the chapter calendar and make it available to all members.

Treasurer

This officer role contains a lot of financial data and reports. Thus, this officer must be able to adhere to confidentiality standards and not disclose pertinent information regarding the group. All dues must be paid to the Executive Office in a timely manner. Therefore, the Treasurer must collect dues on time and submit them to the main office to adhere to deadlines. At the end of each meeting, this officer must prepare a written report that is presented and voted upon. For this reason, it is imperative that the Treasurer is present for all group meetings.

Membership Chair

This person must contact potential members in the area using a data report from our company headquarters. Although membership in the group is exclusive, the Membership Chair must be able to forecast how many members will be leaving the club in order to make room for new members. Additionally, this person must be welcoming and help in acclimating new members to the group. When necessary, this officer must make phone calls to alert members of various meetings and changes to schedules. 

Reference Chair

As the organization is one of many, we need to constantly update our other chapters of the various news and updates we come up with each year. Thus, the Reference Chair must take responsibility for forwarding any pertinent information to other state chapters regarding new members, officer changes, and news. Additionally, this person must submit an article to the national Leeland magazine once a year. During the annual conference, this person must prepare a short speech to give in front of the audience, explaining useful updates and providing an annual summary.

Hospitality Chairman

This person works mostly “behind the scenes” and is an organization expert. Since we have various older members with limited mobility, this officer arranges transportation for older members coming to our meetings. This role also delights in the details that many do not think of; making name tags for each meeting and function and compiling useful information on our members are some of the basic tasks the Hospitality Chairman completes.

15. B- The statement, “Keep in mind that many European firms seem to be doing anything they can to avoid employing more fixed employees, due to recent legislations regarding taxes.” proves this as correct.
16. E- The statement, “It would be a great idea to get in touch with various groups for freelancers and co-working spaces in your area.” proves this to be correct.
17. C- The statements, “Additionally, there are fees that need to be sent to local post offices, and it is difficult to do this alone. We believe this is all the more reason to hire someone to help you in this venture!
18. A- The statement, “This means you will benefit from job security, a regular income, and paid holiday time. If you are a woman, you can also expect to receive maternity rights as well.” proves this to be correct.
19. F- The statement, “Studying is a great way to obtain a visa in order to stay in Europe (especially if you are not a citizen of the country), and you may be working on your diverse skill sets for future endeavors.” proves this to be correct.
20.C- The statements, “Since this understanding can become quite complicated, it is best to hire an accountant who speaks your native language. When it comes to tax deductible costs, Europe requires all invoices to be in both your native language and the language of your home country.” prove this to be correct.
21.D- The statements, “It is not as simple as you may imagine, though, and there are quite a few drawbacks. In Europe, for example, you are required to open a VAT code as soon as you exceed 5,000 Euro a year in income. European tax laws do not favour freelancers in the slightest, so make sure that your activity will generate enough income in order for you to make a reasonable income after taxes.” show that this is correct.
22.B- The statement, “Many foreigners find their first European job through a project contract.” proves this to be correct.
23. B - The statement, “For this reason, it is imperative that the Treasurer is present for all group meetings.” shows that this is correct.
24. D- The statement, “During the annual conference, this person must prepare a short speech to give in front of the audience, explaining useful updates and providing an annual summary.” shows that this is correct.
25. B- The statement, “Thus, this officer must be able to adhere to confidentiality standards and not disclose pertinent information regarding the group.” shows that this is correct. 
26. E- The statement, “This role also delights in the details that many do not think of; making name tags for each meeting and function and compiling useful information on our members are some of the basic tasks the Hospitality Chairman completes.” shows that this is correct.
27. C- The statement, “Additionally, this person must be welcoming and help in acclimating new members to the group.” proves this as correct. 
28. A- The statement, “Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of this office is maintaining a constantly updated list of chapter members, in order for mailings to go out on time and in proper fashion.” shows that this is correct.
29. C- The statement, “Although membership in the group is exclusive, the Membership Chair must be able to forecast how many members will be leaving the club in order to make room for new members.” shows that this is correct.



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 15-29.
Questions 15-22

The reading passage has six sections, A-F. Which section contains the following information? 

Write the correct letter A-F on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

15. why European companies hesitate to hire fixed employees

16. advice for freelancers

17. reasons for enlisting hired help

18. benefits that come with being a fixed employee

19. an idea for qualifying for a visa

20. getting information and assistance regarding taxes

21. disadvantages of freelancing

22. ways that newcomers initially find jobs in Europe

Questions 23-29
Look at the following Statements (Questions 23-29) and A list of roles below.

Match each statement with the correct role A, B, C, D, or E.

Write the correct number A-E in boxes Questions 23-29 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.
A list of roles
  1. Secretary
  2. Treasurer
  3. Membership Chair
  4. Reference Chair
  5. Hospitality Chairman

23. This person's attendance at meetings is crucial.

24. This person must give an annual speech.

25. This person must maintain a strict confidentiality code.

26. This person has many small tasks that may go unnoticed.

27. This person should be a “people person” and help new arrivals.

28. This person should know exactly who is in the organization at all times.

29. This person must be forward-thinking and predict growth patterns.






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
29
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
Finding a Job Abroad / Officer and Volunteer Hierarchy Breakdown


Read the information below and answer questions 15-22.

McGinnis Group Travel Magazine

Featured Article: Finding a Job Abroad

A. If you're an American living and working in Europe, rest assured that there are many bureaucratic issues when starting your first job. First off, you will need to be aware of the various different types of contracts available to you in Europe. You can be employed with a fixed-term contract or an open-ended contract. These are two different things and you will need to check with your employer regarding which one is best for the position. If you are hired as a fixed employee, consider yourself quite lucky in the current economic climate! This means you will benefit from job security, a regular income, and paid holiday time. If you are a woman, you can also expect to receive maternity rights as well. Coming across this contract, however, is not always easy.

B. Many foreigners find their first European job through a project contract. That is, when the contract concludes, the employer will simply let you go, unless there is another project to be done. Other foreigners find their first projects through freelancing and networking with other expatriate citizens. Keep in mind that many European firms seem to be doing anything they can to avoid employing more fixed employees, due to a recent legislation regarding taxes. Recent tax laws have made it extremely difficult for firms to remain cost-efficient while hiring new employees.

C. Whether you need to pay taxes in Europe will depend on whether or not you live in Europe full-time, and also if you live in Europe for less than 180 days over a 12-month period. Since this understanding can become quite complicated, it is best to hire an accountant who speaks your native language. When it comes to tax deductible costs, Europe requires all invoices to be in both your native language and the language of your home country. Additionally, there are fees that need to be sent to local post offices, and it is difficult to do this alone. We believe this is all the more reason to hire someone to help you in this venture!

D.  If tax information scares you and you are not able to find work as a fixed employee, you might want to try working as a freelancer or consultant. It is not as simple as you may imagine, though, and there are quite a few drawbacks. In Europe, for example, you are required to open a VAT code as soon as you exceed 5,000 Euro a year in income. European tax laws do not favour freelancers in the slightest, so make sure that your activity will generate enough income in order for you to make a reasonable income after taxes.

E. Do not fear, though! Starting your own business as a European freelancer can be done, albeit it is a difficult process. Opening a new business might be the opportunity you have been waiting for, so try not to get discouraged by bureaucratic obstacles or potential language barriers. It would be a great idea to get in touch with various groups for freelancers and co-working spaces in your area. Once you put yourself out there, your business will surely grow.

F. If all else fails and you are not able to find a job or start your own freelancing career, you might want to try going back to university. Legally, most people need a job to stay in a different country, but often overlook the university setting. Studying is a great way to obtain a visa in order to stay in Europe (especially if you are not a citizen of the country), and you may be working on your diverse skill sets for future endeavors. This is considered an excellent second option if nothing in the career field seems promising. Who knows, you might find a new passion and even become a professor! 

Read the text below and answer questions 23-29.

Leeland Board of Directors Presents: Officer and Volunteer Hierarchy Breakdown


Leeland Board of Directors is an employee-management group that is entirely run by our volunteers. Below you will find more information regarding our most popular office roles and the responsibilities of each position.

Secretary

In addition to taking the minutes of all meetings as a record of motions, reports, and action taking, the Secretary also handles all business and social correspondence. He or she serves as chair of the committee to review and revise all chapter bylaws and serves as a correspondent for our company newsletter. Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of this office is maintaining a constantly updated list of chapter members, in order for mailings to go out on time and in proper fashion. Lastly, this officer must compile the chapter calendar and make it available to all members.

Treasurer

This officer role contains a lot of financial data and reports. Thus, this officer must be able to adhere to confidentiality standards and not disclose pertinent information regarding the group. All dues must be paid to the Executive Office in a timely manner. Therefore, the Treasurer must collect dues on time and submit them to the main office to adhere to deadlines. At the end of each meeting, this officer must prepare a written report that is presented and voted upon. For this reason, it is imperative that the Treasurer is present for all group meetings.

Membership Chair

This person must contact potential members in the area using a data report from our company headquarters. Although membership in the group is exclusive, the Membership Chair must be able to forecast how many members will be leaving the club in order to make room for new members. Additionally, this person must be welcoming and help in acclimating new members to the group. When necessary, this officer must make phone calls to alert members of various meetings and changes to schedules. 

Reference Chair

As the organization is one of many, we need to constantly update our other chapters of the various news and updates we come up with each year. Thus, the Reference Chair must take responsibility for forwarding any pertinent information to other state chapters regarding new members, officer changes, and news. Additionally, this person must submit an article to the national Leeland magazine once a year. During the annual conference, this person must prepare a short speech to give in front of the audience, explaining useful updates and providing an annual summary.

Hospitality Chairman

This person works mostly “behind the scenes” and is an organization expert. Since we have various older members with limited mobility, this officer arranges transportation for older members coming to our meetings. This role also delights in the details that many do not think of; making name tags for each meeting and function and compiling useful information on our members are some of the basic tasks the Hospitality Chairman completes.

15. B- The statement, “Keep in mind that many European firms seem to be doing anything they can to avoid employing more fixed employees, due to recent legislations regarding taxes.” proves this as correct.
16. E- The statement, “It would be a great idea to get in touch with various groups for freelancers and co-working spaces in your area.” proves this to be correct.
17. C- The statements, “Additionally, there are fees that need to be sent to local post offices, and it is difficult to do this alone. We believe this is all the more reason to hire someone to help you in this venture!
18. A- The statement, “This means you will benefit from job security, a regular income, and paid holiday time. If you are a woman, you can also expect to receive maternity rights as well.” proves this to be correct.
19. F- The statement, “Studying is a great way to obtain a visa in order to stay in Europe (especially if you are not a citizen of the country), and you may be working on your diverse skill sets for future endeavors.” proves this to be correct.
20.C- The statements, “Since this understanding can become quite complicated, it is best to hire an accountant who speaks your native language. When it comes to tax deductible costs, Europe requires all invoices to be in both your native language and the language of your home country.” prove this to be correct.
21.D- The statements, “It is not as simple as you may imagine, though, and there are quite a few drawbacks. In Europe, for example, you are required to open a VAT code as soon as you exceed 5,000 Euro a year in income. European tax laws do not favour freelancers in the slightest, so make sure that your activity will generate enough income in order for you to make a reasonable income after taxes.” show that this is correct.
22.B- The statement, “Many foreigners find their first European job through a project contract.” proves this to be correct.
23. B - The statement, “For this reason, it is imperative that the Treasurer is present for all group meetings.” shows that this is correct.
24. D- The statement, “During the annual conference, this person must prepare a short speech to give in front of the audience, explaining useful updates and providing an annual summary.” shows that this is correct.
25. B- The statement, “Thus, this officer must be able to adhere to confidentiality standards and not disclose pertinent information regarding the group.” shows that this is correct. 
26. E- The statement, “This role also delights in the details that many do not think of; making name tags for each meeting and function and compiling useful information on our members are some of the basic tasks the Hospitality Chairman completes.” shows that this is correct.
27. C- The statement, “Additionally, this person must be welcoming and help in acclimating new members to the group.” proves this as correct. 
28. A- The statement, “Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of this office is maintaining a constantly updated list of chapter members, in order for mailings to go out on time and in proper fashion.” shows that this is correct.
29. C- The statement, “Although membership in the group is exclusive, the Membership Chair must be able to forecast how many members will be leaving the club in order to make room for new members.” shows that this is correct.
 
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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