IELTS® General Reading Practice 48

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Section A

What is consciousness? Basically, it describes how aware we are of internal and external things happening around us. Some examples of internal awareness can include feeling pain, hunger, sleepiness, and being aware of our emotions. External awareness deals with other types of experiences, such as feeling the wind, hearing your loved one's voice, or seeing colors. As people, we experience different states of consciousness and different levels of awareness constantly. Some scientists even describe consciousness as a range that starts from full awareness to a deep sleep, including all events that happen throughout the period! 

Section B

When it comes to awareness, we should also have a solid understanding of the different ways that our bodies move with the ebbs and flows of life. Each person experiences different rhythms, such as biological rhythms or circadian rhythms. These are two different things that help regulate the body, and differ in how they are experienced. Think about your body temperature. It is never the same temperature throughout a twenty-three hour period. Since this fluctuates, this would be an example of a biological rhythm. Circadian rhythms, on the other hand, are specific biological rhythms that take place over a twenty-four hour period. This rhythm plays an important role in changes in our state of consciousness.

Section C

Despite body rhythms being somewhat constant and unproblematic, there are other various problems that can occur every now and then. Circadian rhythms are, for the most part, aligned with the outside world. In other words, most people are awake during the day and sleep at night. This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate various biological rhythms as well as the immune system. What happens when a person has less melatonin, then? Immune systems are weaker and there are more complaints of feeling exhausted during the day.

Section D

However, there are also various different examples to consider when looking at how people adapt to their circadian rhythms. For instance, someone may consider himself or herself to be a “night owl”, while others would consider themselves to be “morning people”. These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity. In other words, both biology and a person's tastes play a part in this! Night owls and morning people have different chronotypes, which is why they differ with regard to sleep regulation. Of course, other factors can impact adaptations to circadian rhythms, which can be out of a person's control. Careers and work shifts, for example, can play a large part in the amount of sleep one gets, and when they get it. News reporters who must work in the early morning, or hospital staff with “night shifts”, are just a few examples of employees whose work schedules control their circadian rhythms.

Section E

Aside from chronotypes and disruptions in sleep, there are also various cases in which people are simply not able to get enough sleep. This can be a chronic problem, influencing alertness and mental efficiency in a drastic way. As science would suggest, this problem is only getting worse as time continues. The fact that people use the Internet, computers, and technology for both professional and personal matters means that we get less sleep. When compared to our ancestors, or simply just a few decades before the present day, our current society is more often exposed to artificial light and technological devices. Studies have shown that the simple use of electric light, for example, has decreased the amount of sleep that we get. This makes sense, as it shows how inventions have allowed us to “be awake” even during times of darkness. 

Section F

The more people become sleep-deprived, the more we are made aware of the drastic and negative consequences of not getting enough rest. Not only can a lack of sleep result in a decreased level of mental alertness, but it can also have physiological effects. It has contributed to obesity, reduced immune functioning, increased stress hormones, and high blood pressure. It continues to astonish doctors how lack of sleep can have such an effect on the body's biological functions as well. In a study done by Harvard Medical School, results showed that those who slept less had more health problems and generally paid visits to their doctors more often.

Section G

These physiological effects run over into psychological effects as well. It has been found that some sleep-deprived individuals have difficulty staying awake when they are not moving. Examples of this would include not being able to remain alert while watching television, sitting at the table for dinner, or worse--sitting at a stoplight on the road. Unfortunately, it has been noted many times that individuals suffering from sleep-deprivation put themselves and others at risk while operating machinery. In fact, driving while sleep-deprived has even been known to be more dangerous than alcohol intake at the wheel.

28. v- The statements, “External awareness deals with other types of experiences, such as feeling the wind, hearing your loved one's voice, or seeing colors. As people, we experience different states of consciousness and different levels of awareness constantly.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
29. x- The statement, “Each person experiences different rhythms, such as biological rhythms or circadian rhythms.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
30. ii- The statement, “This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm..” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
31. i- The statement, “These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
32. iv- The statements, “The fact that people use the Internet, computers, and technology for both professional and personal matters means that we get less sleep. When compared to our ancestors, or simply just a few decades before the present day, our current society is more often exposed to artificial light and technological devices. Studies have shown that the simple use of electric light, for example, has decreased the amount of sleep that we get.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
33. ix- The statement, “Not only can a lack of sleep result in a decreased level of mental alertness, but it can also have physiological effects.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct. Note how 'adverse' is similar to 'negative', and is an important synonym to know. Option viii would not work, since the paragraph discusses 'physiological effects', and not 'psychiatric effects' nor 'psychological effects'.
34. vi- The statement, “Unfortunately, it has been noted many times that individuals suffering from sleep-deprivation put themselves and others at risk while operating machinery. In fact, driving while sleep-deprived has even been known to be more dangerous than alcohol intake at the wheel.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
35. D- The statements, “These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity. In other words, both biology and a person's tastes play a part in this!” proves 'biology' to be correct. 'Chronotype' would not work in this case, since it has not influenced these preferences mentioned. A 'chronotype' is defined in the text as the set of individual differences.
36. H- The statements, “Circadian rhythms are, for the most part, aligned with the outside world. In other words, most people are awake during the day and sleep at night. This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm.” prove this to be correct. 'Secured' is a synonym for 'guaranteed' / or the noun form of 'guarantee'.
37. G- The statements, “Aside from chronotypes and disruptions in sleep, there are also various cases in which people are simply not able to get enough sleep. This can be a chronic problem, influencing alertness and mental efficiency in a drastic way.” prove this to be correct.
38. E- The statement, “The more people become sleep-deprived, the more we are made aware of the drastic and negative consequences of not getting enough rest.” proves this to be correct.
39. A- The statement, “It continues to astonish doctors how lack of sleep can have such an effect on the body's biological functions as well.” proves this to be correct.
40. C- The statement, “In a study done by Harvard Medical School, results showed that those who slept less had more health problems and generally paid visits to their doctors more often.” proves this to be correct.




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 28-40.
Questions 28-34
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 28-34 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. Preferences and Biology
  2. Disruptions in Rhythm
  3. Sufficient Sleep
  4. Effects of Human Inventions
  5. Explaining Awareness
  6. High-Risk Behaviors
  7. Children Sleep Cycles
  8. Psychiatric Effects
  9. Effects on Poor Health
  10. Different Body Rhythms

28. Section A

29. Section B

30. Section C

31. Section D

32. Section E

33. Section F

34. Section G

Questions 35-40
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-L, below.
  1. surprised
  2. given
  3. frequently
  4. biology
  5. results
  6. chronotype
  7. effectively
  8. secured
  9. badly
  10. causes
  11. skeptical
  12. long-term

If you prefer staying up late to do work, these preferences have most likely been influenced by   or lifestyle. In some cases, however, people do not have an adequate amount of melatonin, meaning a balanced circadian rhythm is not . There is also the long-standing problem of insufficient sleep, which negatively impacts how alert someone is, along with how  their mind can operate. With each new piece of information regarding sleep, we are made increasingly aware of the extremely negative of sleep deprivation. Doctors remain that lack of sleep can have such an effect on a person's health. In fact, it has been noted that sleep-deprived people visit doctors more than those who are not sleep-deprived.






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
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40


Reading Passage Vocabulary
Awareness and States of Being


Section A

What is consciousness? Basically, it describes how aware we are of internal and external things happening around us. Some examples of internal awareness can include feeling pain, hunger, sleepiness, and being aware of our emotions. External awareness deals with other types of experiences, such as feeling the wind, hearing your loved one's voice, or seeing colors. As people, we experience different states of consciousness and different levels of awareness constantly. Some scientists even describe consciousness as a range that starts from full awareness to a deep sleep, including all events that happen throughout the period! 

Section B

When it comes to awareness, we should also have a solid understanding of the different ways that our bodies move with the ebbs and flows of life. Each person experiences different rhythms, such as biological rhythms or circadian rhythms. These are two different things that help regulate the body, and differ in how they are experienced. Think about your body temperature. It is never the same temperature throughout a twenty-three hour period. Since this fluctuates, this would be an example of a biological rhythm. Circadian rhythms, on the other hand, are specific biological rhythms that take place over a twenty-four hour period. This rhythm plays an important role in changes in our state of consciousness.

Section C

Despite body rhythms being somewhat constant and unproblematic, there are other various problems that can occur every now and then. Circadian rhythms are, for the most part, aligned with the outside world. In other words, most people are awake during the day and sleep at night. This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate various biological rhythms as well as the immune system. What happens when a person has less melatonin, then? Immune systems are weaker and there are more complaints of feeling exhausted during the day.

Section D

However, there are also various different examples to consider when looking at how people adapt to their circadian rhythms. For instance, someone may consider himself or herself to be a “night owl”, while others would consider themselves to be “morning people”. These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity. In other words, both biology and a person's tastes play a part in this! Night owls and morning people have different chronotypes, which is why they differ with regard to sleep regulation. Of course, other factors can impact adaptations to circadian rhythms, which can be out of a person's control. Careers and work shifts, for example, can play a large part in the amount of sleep one gets, and when they get it. News reporters who must work in the early morning, or hospital staff with “night shifts”, are just a few examples of employees whose work schedules control their circadian rhythms.

Section E

Aside from chronotypes and disruptions in sleep, there are also various cases in which people are simply not able to get enough sleep. This can be a chronic problem, influencing alertness and mental efficiency in a drastic way. As science would suggest, this problem is only getting worse as time continues. The fact that people use the Internet, computers, and technology for both professional and personal matters means that we get less sleep. When compared to our ancestors, or simply just a few decades before the present day, our current society is more often exposed to artificial light and technological devices. Studies have shown that the simple use of electric light, for example, has decreased the amount of sleep that we get. This makes sense, as it shows how inventions have allowed us to “be awake” even during times of darkness. 

Section F

The more people become sleep-deprived, the more we are made aware of the drastic and negative consequences of not getting enough rest. Not only can a lack of sleep result in a decreased level of mental alertness, but it can also have physiological effects. It has contributed to obesity, reduced immune functioning, increased stress hormones, and high blood pressure. It continues to astonish doctors how lack of sleep can have such an effect on the body's biological functions as well. In a study done by Harvard Medical School, results showed that those who slept less had more health problems and generally paid visits to their doctors more often.

Section G

These physiological effects run over into psychological effects as well. It has been found that some sleep-deprived individuals have difficulty staying awake when they are not moving. Examples of this would include not being able to remain alert while watching television, sitting at the table for dinner, or worse--sitting at a stoplight on the road. Unfortunately, it has been noted many times that individuals suffering from sleep-deprivation put themselves and others at risk while operating machinery. In fact, driving while sleep-deprived has even been known to be more dangerous than alcohol intake at the wheel.

28. v- The statements, “External awareness deals with other types of experiences, such as feeling the wind, hearing your loved one's voice, or seeing colors. As people, we experience different states of consciousness and different levels of awareness constantly.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
29. x- The statement, “Each person experiences different rhythms, such as biological rhythms or circadian rhythms.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
30. ii- The statement, “This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm..” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
31. i- The statement, “These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
32. iv- The statements, “The fact that people use the Internet, computers, and technology for both professional and personal matters means that we get less sleep. When compared to our ancestors, or simply just a few decades before the present day, our current society is more often exposed to artificial light and technological devices. Studies have shown that the simple use of electric light, for example, has decreased the amount of sleep that we get.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
33. ix- The statement, “Not only can a lack of sleep result in a decreased level of mental alertness, but it can also have physiological effects.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct. Note how 'adverse' is similar to 'negative', and is an important synonym to know. Option viii would not work, since the paragraph discusses 'physiological effects', and not 'psychiatric effects' nor 'psychological effects'.
34. vi- The statement, “Unfortunately, it has been noted many times that individuals suffering from sleep-deprivation put themselves and others at risk while operating machinery. In fact, driving while sleep-deprived has even been known to be more dangerous than alcohol intake at the wheel.” along with the theme of the rest of the paragraph prove this to be correct.
35. D- The statements, “These individual differences are known as a person's “chronotype” in addition to relying on a person's proclivity. In other words, both biology and a person's tastes play a part in this!” proves 'biology' to be correct. 'Chronotype' would not work in this case, since it has not influenced these preferences mentioned. A 'chronotype' is defined in the text as the set of individual differences.
36. H- The statements, “Circadian rhythms are, for the most part, aligned with the outside world. In other words, most people are awake during the day and sleep at night. This can be disrupted, however, when people have less melatonin than is needed to guarantee a balanced rhythm.” prove this to be correct. 'Secured' is a synonym for 'guaranteed' / or the noun form of 'guarantee'.
37. G- The statements, “Aside from chronotypes and disruptions in sleep, there are also various cases in which people are simply not able to get enough sleep. This can be a chronic problem, influencing alertness and mental efficiency in a drastic way.” prove this to be correct.
38. E- The statement, “The more people become sleep-deprived, the more we are made aware of the drastic and negative consequences of not getting enough rest.” proves this to be correct.
39. A- The statement, “It continues to astonish doctors how lack of sleep can have such an effect on the body's biological functions as well.” proves this to be correct.
40. C- The statement, “In a study done by Harvard Medical School, results showed that those who slept less had more health problems and generally paid visits to their doctors more often.” proves this to be 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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