IELTS® General Reading Practice 36

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Section A

The well-known American multinational energy corporation, Chevron Corporation, has played arguably the largest role in global oil acquisition and management. Chevron was established in September 1879 as the “Pacific Coast Oil Company” with the discovery of oil in California in Pico Canyon.  They were initially a San Francisco based company with a five-state market in the Western area of the United States. The fundamental purpose, as defined in the company's mission statement, was to provide the energy people need to fuel human progress. In 1906, the company underwent what would be the first of many mergers when they consolidated operations with Iowa Standard Oil Company.   The new company was known as the Standard Oil Company and established the first service station to serve the growing demand for motor fuel. 

Section B

Currently, the main source of fuel for most vehicles in the global economy is crude oil. The world population is expected to grow and markets, such as India and China, are expected to be the emerging economic markets in the future. As these are newly industrialized in terms of vehicle usage, their emerging economies will demand oil reserves beyond what is currently produced.  Consequently, this will require additional sources of energy. If sufficient alternative fuel sources are developed, the demand for oil would most likely decrease and the price of oil would drop in order to reduce excess supply. This will result in more elastic demand, but only in the case that the substitutes for oil are sufficient to satisfy consumers.   

Section C

In an effort to keep up with global energy trends, Chevron is active in all three biofuel categories. They are active in biofuels research and testing through their Chevron Technology Ventures unit in an attempt to develop technologies for manufacturing biofuels.  Like their competitors, they are seeking ways to address the issues of land use to grow biofuels as well as the need to reduce costs of growing, transporting and harvesting to create this alternative fuel source. Advantages of biofuels include the fact that it is a renewable energy source and can be regrown each year.  Leading experts argue that they should be used in most cars made today as they do not require major changes in existing fuel lines in order to be utilized. Biofuels are also environmentally friendly if produced in the right way and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Section D

Rightly so, the price of oil and inflation are often seen as being interchangeable. When the price of oil is up, for example, inflation follows suit. Oil is a key input into many items used by consumers. Thus, when oil prices rise, the costs of producing end products also increase. Additionally, oil is necessary to provide the fuel to deliver the products to the end consumer. In times of rising oil prices, there will be a negative effect on the Consumer Price Index, as the costs associated with making and delivering products will rise proportionately.  As a result, short-term oil price forecasts are also considered a leading indicator of which direction the economy is expected to go in the next 12-15 months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the monthly All Items C-CPI-U (Chained Consumer Price Index). This index measures changes in the cost of living for U.S. consumers. 

Section E

According to Enerdata (The Global Energy Statistical Yearbook), the world's primary energy production for 2012 grew at a 2.1% rate.This is lower than the average annual growth rate of 2.4%, which remained somewhat consistent throughout the past decade. The highest primary energy production growth was recorded in Africa, which achieved 6.9% growth in 2012.  Other countries with high energy production included China, United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia.    All of these countries, particularly those in the Middle East (3.4% in 2012 as opposed to 8.9% in 2011) saw decreases in production due to a slow-down in energy consumption. China and India are considered to be “countries of the future” in regards to economic growth. As these are two of the world's most populous countries, an increased need for energy will be required to meet not only their increased energy demands, but also those of the remainder of the world. 

Section F

Finally, it is pivotal to understand the involvement of the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate from which depository institutions borrow and lend overnight funds to each other. This activity has a direct effect on monetary and financial conditions and ultimately inflation.  When the Federal Funds rate is increased, it will eventually lead to inflation and higher prices for goods. With this in mind, it is clear that fluctuations in interest rates can have an indirect impact on fuel costs. However, not everyone agrees on this concept of U.S. monetary policy affecting oil prices.  Most believe that monetary policy must always be set in terms of meeting the Federal Reserve mandate of maximum employment and price stability.

30. vii- The statements, “Chevron was established in September 1879 as the Pacific Coast Oil Company with the discovery of oil in California in Pico Canyon.  They were initially a San Francisco based company with a five-state market in the Western area of the United States.”, along with the rest of the paragraph's opening information prove that this is correct. 
31. i- The statements, “If sufficient alternative fuel sources are developed, the demand for oil would most likely decrease and the price of oil would drop in order to reduce excess supply. This will result in more elastic demand, but only in the case that the substitutes for oil are sufficient to satisfy consumers.”, portraying economic information, prove this to be correct.  
32. x- The statement, “Like their competitors, they are seeking ways to address the issues of land use to grow biofuels as well as the need to reduce costs of growing, transporting and harvesting to create this alternative fuel source.” shows this to be correct.
33. vi- The statement, “As a result, short-term oil price forecasts are also considered a leading indicator of which direction the economy is expected to go in the next 12-15 months.”, shows a short-term forecast, making this correct.
34. ii- The statements, “According to Enerdata (The Global Energy Statistical Yearbook), the world's primary energy production for 2012 grew at a 2.1% rate.This is lower than the average annual growth rate of 2.4% which remained somewhat consistent throughout the past decade.”, along with the information regarding India and China, make this correct.
35. iv- The statements, “However, not everyone agrees on this concept of U.S. monetary policy affecting oil prices.  Most believe that monetary policy must always be set in terms of meeting the Federal Reserve mandate of maximum employment and price stability.” prove this to be correct.
36. YES- The statements, “Advantages of biofuels include the fact that it is a renewable energy source and can be regrown each year.  Leading experts argue that they should be used in most cars made today as they do not require major changes in existing fuel lines in order to be utilized.” prove this to be correct. 
37. NO- The statement, “Rightly so, the price of oil and inflation are often seen as being interchangeable. When the price of oil is up, for example, inflation follows suit..” shows the reasoning behind the answer.
38.YES- The statement, “Oil is a key input into many items used by consumers. Thus, when oil prices rise, the costs of producing end products also increase.” shows the reasoning behind the answer.
39. NOT GIVEN- This is not provided in the passage.
40. NO- The statement, “Finally, it is pivotal to understand the involvement of the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate from which depository institutions borrow and lend overnight funds to each other. This activity has a direct effect on monetary and financial conditions and ultimately inflation..” shows the reasoning behind the answer.




This reading practice simulates the third section of the IELTS General Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage(s) and answer questions 30-40.
Questions 30-35
The reading passage has six sections, A-F.

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

Write the correct number i-x in boxes 30-35 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. Economic Findings
  2. Global Supply of Energy
  3. Interim Programs
  4. Influence of Financial Policy
  5. Long-Term Outlook
  6. Importance of Short-Term Oil Price Forecasts
  7. History and Background
  8. Advantages and Disadvantages
  9. Asking for Assistance
  10. Alternative Energy Consumption

30. Section A

31. Section B

32. Section C

33. Section D

34. Section E

35. Section F

Questions 36-40
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet, write

YES   if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
NO   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN   if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

36. Car manufacturing companies should use biofuels because of their compatibility with fuel lines.

37. Inflation and the price of oil are not as interchangeable as one would think.

38. Oil prices and production are related in that they increase at the same time.

39. The Chained Consumer Price Index is not viewed as an important factor by economists.

40. The Federal Funds Rate does not affect inflation.






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
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40


Reading Passage Vocabulary
Hitting Oil: A Case Study


Section A

The well-known American multinational energy corporation, Chevron Corporation, has played arguably the largest role in global oil acquisition and management. Chevron was established in September 1879 as the “Pacific Coast Oil Company” with the discovery of oil in California in Pico Canyon.  They were initially a San Francisco based company with a five-state market in the Western area of the United States. The fundamental purpose, as defined in the company's mission statement, was to provide the energy people need to fuel human progress. In 1906, the company underwent what would be the first of many mergers when they consolidated operations with Iowa Standard Oil Company.   The new company was known as the Standard Oil Company and established the first service station to serve the growing demand for motor fuel. 

Section B

Currently, the main source of fuel for most vehicles in the global economy is crude oil. The world population is expected to grow and markets, such as India and China, are expected to be the emerging economic markets in the future. As these are newly industrialized in terms of vehicle usage, their emerging economies will demand oil reserves beyond what is currently produced.  Consequently, this will require additional sources of energy. If sufficient alternative fuel sources are developed, the demand for oil would most likely decrease and the price of oil would drop in order to reduce excess supply. This will result in more elastic demand, but only in the case that the substitutes for oil are sufficient to satisfy consumers.   

Section C

In an effort to keep up with global energy trends, Chevron is active in all three biofuel categories. They are active in biofuels research and testing through their Chevron Technology Ventures unit in an attempt to develop technologies for manufacturing biofuels.  Like their competitors, they are seeking ways to address the issues of land use to grow biofuels as well as the need to reduce costs of growing, transporting and harvesting to create this alternative fuel source. Advantages of biofuels include the fact that it is a renewable energy source and can be regrown each year.  Leading experts argue that they should be used in most cars made today as they do not require major changes in existing fuel lines in order to be utilized. Biofuels are also environmentally friendly if produced in the right way and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Section D

Rightly so, the price of oil and inflation are often seen as being interchangeable. When the price of oil is up, for example, inflation follows suit. Oil is a key input into many items used by consumers. Thus, when oil prices rise, the costs of producing end products also increase. Additionally, oil is necessary to provide the fuel to deliver the products to the end consumer. In times of rising oil prices, there will be a negative effect on the Consumer Price Index, as the costs associated with making and delivering products will rise proportionately.  As a result, short-term oil price forecasts are also considered a leading indicator of which direction the economy is expected to go in the next 12-15 months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the monthly All Items C-CPI-U (Chained Consumer Price Index). This index measures changes in the cost of living for U.S. consumers. 

Section E

According to Enerdata (The Global Energy Statistical Yearbook), the world's primary energy production for 2012 grew at a 2.1% rate.This is lower than the average annual growth rate of 2.4%, which remained somewhat consistent throughout the past decade. The highest primary energy production growth was recorded in Africa, which achieved 6.9% growth in 2012.  Other countries with high energy production included China, United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia.    All of these countries, particularly those in the Middle East (3.4% in 2012 as opposed to 8.9% in 2011) saw decreases in production due to a slow-down in energy consumption. China and India are considered to be “countries of the future” in regards to economic growth. As these are two of the world's most populous countries, an increased need for energy will be required to meet not only their increased energy demands, but also those of the remainder of the world. 

Section F

Finally, it is pivotal to understand the involvement of the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate from which depository institutions borrow and lend overnight funds to each other. This activity has a direct effect on monetary and financial conditions and ultimately inflation.  When the Federal Funds rate is increased, it will eventually lead to inflation and higher prices for goods. With this in mind, it is clear that fluctuations in interest rates can have an indirect impact on fuel costs. However, not everyone agrees on this concept of U.S. monetary policy affecting oil prices.  Most believe that monetary policy must always be set in terms of meeting the Federal Reserve mandate of maximum employment and price stability.

30. vii- The statements, “Chevron was established in September 1879 as the Pacific Coast Oil Company with the discovery of oil in California in Pico Canyon.  They were initially a San Francisco based company with a five-state market in the Western area of the United States.”, along with the rest of the paragraph's opening information prove that this is correct. 
31. i- The statements, “If sufficient alternative fuel sources are developed, the demand for oil would most likely decrease and the price of oil would drop in order to reduce excess supply. This will result in more elastic demand, but only in the case that the substitutes for oil are sufficient to satisfy consumers.”, portraying economic information, prove this to be correct.  
32. x- The statement, “Like their competitors, they are seeking ways to address the issues of land use to grow biofuels as well as the need to reduce costs of growing, transporting and harvesting to create this alternative fuel source.” shows this to be correct.
33. vi- The statement, “As a result, short-term oil price forecasts are also considered a leading indicator of which direction the economy is expected to go in the next 12-15 months.”, shows a short-term forecast, making this correct.
34. ii- The statements, “According to Enerdata (The Global Energy Statistical Yearbook), the world's primary energy production for 2012 grew at a 2.1% rate.This is lower than the average annual growth rate of 2.4% which remained somewhat consistent throughout the past decade.”, along with the information regarding India and China, make this correct.
35. iv- The statements, “However, not everyone agrees on this concept of U.S. monetary policy affecting oil prices.  Most believe that monetary policy must always be set in terms of meeting the Federal Reserve mandate of maximum employment and price stability.” prove this to be correct.
36. YES- The statements, “Advantages of biofuels include the fact that it is a renewable energy source and can be regrown each year.  Leading experts argue that they should be used in most cars made today as they do not require major changes in existing fuel lines in order to be utilized.” prove this to be correct. 
37. NO- The statement, “Rightly so, the price of oil and inflation are often seen as being interchangeable. When the price of oil is up, for example, inflation follows suit..” shows the reasoning behind the answer.
38.YES- The statement, “Oil is a key input into many items used by consumers. Thus, when oil prices rise, the costs of producing end products also increase.” shows the reasoning behind the answer.
39. NOT GIVEN- This is not provided in the passage.
40. NO- The statement, “Finally, it is pivotal to understand the involvement of the federal funds rate, which is the interest rate from which depository institutions borrow and lend overnight funds to each other. This activity has a direct effect on monetary and financial conditions and ultimately inflation..” shows the reasoning behind the answer.

 
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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