IELTS® General Reading Practice 6

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Section A          

Without a doubt, British architecture has shifted throughout the ages, and leaves the majority of art critics on their toes! Firstly, it is important to look at the history of British architecture and debunking myths surrounding the topic. Despite the popular idea that the Roman escape from Britain in the fifth century marked the simple disappearance of engineering phenomena, such as Hadrian's Wall and expertly laid-out towns, the truth is more complicated and understanding it requires a more analytical approach. These myths, while interesting, ignore the fact that Romano-British culture maintained a strong existence even after the Romans pulled out.

Section B

Some of the greatest examples of British architecture came about in 1485, when the Tudors entered in the Early Modern period due to the death of Richard III in Bosworth. These examples were not only considered to be practical and modern when they were first introduced in the Early Modern period, but they are currently used as inspiration for modern architects. After all, combining efficiency and style is still a functional concept widely used in the architectural field. The fundamental idea behind medieval architecture can be best described as “fitness for purpose”, meaning that British architecture was not only beautifully elegant, but it featured perfectly functional buildings.   However, domestic architecture of the time also featured buildings with a purpose of showcasing one's affluent status in society or financial stability.

Section C

The craftsmanship of the 16th Century featured a striking paradox in terms of the arrangement of houses and courtyards.  In previous medieval times, houses faced inward towards one or many courtyards as a way to guarantee protection from intruders. This was a common method employed by communities, which entailed a collective approach on protection. In other words, the inward facing houses allowed all members of a community to actively monitor potential risks and unknown townspeople from entering the courtyards.  Conversely, British domestic architecture contained vastly different styles and looks. For instance, more elaborately decorated, outward-facing buildings were featured in the 16th Century, placing a higher emphasis on the individual's responsibility for security, along with an appreciation for decorative exteriors. These structures usually included larger rooms, which were often detailed with glass aspects. 

Section D

 Most architects of the 17th century followed this classic Tudor style, and some continued on to expand upon its dramatic flare. The Italian, Dutch, and French architecture styles came into prominence during the aftermath of the Civil War in the 1640s and 1650s. Circumstances related to the war and Charles II's exile brought both nobles and gentlemen to the Continent and sparked an interest in this “new” architecture. Thus, when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, the influence of European trends was noticeable in the property of royalists, rich with over-the-top, dramatic style. According to some historians, this clear stylistic change is representative of a greater societal shift from communal living towards an appreciation for individualism.

Section E

Despite the initial acceptance of industrialisation, some reformers were unable to accept its dehumanizing consequences, and actively sought to influence others towards accepting a more traditional approach. William Morris and John Ruskin are just a few examples of reformers who wanted to return “back to basics” in terms of manufacturing techniques. This concept of “deindustrialisation” contradicted the modernity of social and economic changes caused by manufacturing, including the influx of factories, assembly line work, and industrial economies. As the idea took off, the 1880s gave way to a new generation of determined architects seeking to follow in Morris' footsteps. They did so by providing ethical construction methods that were more aligned with pre-industrial manufacturing techniques.

Section F

These “followers” of Morris remained even into the early 20th Century when new architects were entering into the scene. Despite these “establishment architects” obsessed with preserving the feel of the pre-Industrial Revolution era, the 20th century was home to new architects, such as Gropius and Le Corbusier, who aimed to impact the stylistic scene with innovative techniques. These modern voices brought along stauch competition between designers and architects, most notably affecting the “less daring” in the architectural sector. Britain, for example, is a prime example of a nation that seemed to be stuck in the past when compared to its avant-garde counterparts. In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time. 

Section G

When it comes to its design, Britain's history is full of paradoxes that leave much to be analyzed. Rightly so, many people wonder what could be next for British architecture. By following the post-war trend, it is clear that much remains unchanged regarding the authorities that govern architecture. Since the post-war period, corporations, local authorities, and multinational companies continue to control British architecture. Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-modernism, if it exists.

28. iv - Section A discusses myths regarding British architecture. The statement, “Firstly, it is important to look at the history of British architecture and debunking myths surrounding the topic.”, makes “Exposing Common Fallacies in Architectural History” the best option.
29. x - Section B describes how beauty and function came together in British architecture. The statement, “The fundamental idea behind medieval architecture can be best described as “fitness for purpose”, meaning that British architecture was not only beautifully elegant, but it featured perfectly functional buildings.”, makes “Beautiful and Functional Style” the best option.
30. i - Section C discusses a paradox in style. The statement, “The craftsmanship of the 16th Century featured a striking paradox in terms of the arrangement of houses and courtyards.”, makes “Opposing Aspects in Style” the best option.
31. iii - iii - Section D describes varying styles and influences. The statement, “The Italian, Dutch, and French architecture styles came into prominence during the aftermath of the Civil War in the 1640s and 1650s.”, makes “European Influence on Style” the best option.
32. ix - Section E discusses a return to fundamental ideas. The statement, “William Morris and John Ruskin are just a few examples of reformers who wanted to return “back to basics” in terms of manufacturing techniques.”, makes “Returning to Fundamental Techniques” the best option.
33. vii - Section F describes the impact of foreign architects. The statement, “In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time.” makes “Contributions of Non-Domestic Architects” the best option.
34. ii - Section G discusses what is in store for British architects. The statement, “Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-post-modernism, if it exists.” makes “The Future of Architecture” the best option.
35. B - disciples is the best answer, based on the statement: “These “followers” of Morris remained even into the early 20th Century when new architects were entering into the scene.” The word, “followers” would be a synonym for “disciples”.
36. G - non-domestic is the best answer, based on the statement: “In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time.” The word, “foreign” would be a synonym for “non-domestic”.
37. A - future is the best answer, based on the statement: “Rightly so, many people wonder what could be next for British architecture.” The phrase, “what could be next” would be a synonym for “future”.
38. E - jurisdiction is the best answer, based on the statement: “By following the post-war trend, it is clear that much remains unchanged regarding the authorities that govern architecture.” The words, “the authorities” are a synonym for “jurisdiction” that remains unchanged.
39. F - organizations is the best answer, based on the statement: “Since the post-war period, corporations, local authorities, and multinational companies continue to control British architecture.” The examples included in the sentence are examples of “organizations”.
40. C - postmodernism is the best answer, based on the statement: “Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-post-modernism, if it exists.”



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. Opposing Aspects in Style
  2. The Future of Architecture
  3. European Influence on Style
  4. Exposing Common Fallacies in Architectural History
  5. Direct Effects of War on Architecture
  6. Financial Burdens on Architects
  7. Contributions of Non-Domestic Architects
  8. Government Regulations
  9. Returning to Fundamental Techniques
  10. Beautiful and Functional Style

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-H, below.
  1. future
  2. disciples
  3. postmodernism
  4. groups
  5. jurisdiction
  6. organizations
  7. non-domestic
  8. architecture

Despite the arrival of new architects, of Morris were still visible in the early 20th Century. However, Britain seemed to remain in the past. Had it not been for architects, the Modern Movement buildings may not have been produced. The of British architecture is still up for debate, but the that has governed the sector remains the same.  ranging from multinational companies and local authorities control British architecture, but a variant of may be an aspect of the future of British architecture.






Answer Sheet
1
N/A
2
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3
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4
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5
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6
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7
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8
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9
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10
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11
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12
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13
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14
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15
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16
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17
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18
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19
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20
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21
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22
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23
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24
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25
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26
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27
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28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40


Reading Passage Vocabulary
Changes in British Architecture


Section A          

Without a doubt, British architecture has shifted throughout the ages, and leaves the majority of art critics on their toes! Firstly, it is important to look at the history of British architecture and debunking myths surrounding the topic. Despite the popular idea that the Roman escape from Britain in the fifth century marked the simple disappearance of engineering phenomena, such as Hadrian's Wall and expertly laid-out towns, the truth is more complicated and understanding it requires a more analytical approach. These myths, while interesting, ignore the fact that Romano-British culture maintained a strong existence even after the Romans pulled out.

Section B

Some of the greatest examples of British architecture came about in 1485, when the Tudors entered in the Early Modern period due to the death of Richard III in Bosworth. These examples were not only considered to be practical and modern when they were first introduced in the Early Modern period, but they are currently used as inspiration for modern architects. After all, combining efficiency and style is still a functional concept widely used in the architectural field. The fundamental idea behind medieval architecture can be best described as “fitness for purpose”, meaning that British architecture was not only beautifully elegant, but it featured perfectly functional buildings.   However, domestic architecture of the time also featured buildings with a purpose of showcasing one's affluent status in society or financial stability.

Section C

The craftsmanship of the 16th Century featured a striking paradox in terms of the arrangement of houses and courtyards.  In previous medieval times, houses faced inward towards one or many courtyards as a way to guarantee protection from intruders. This was a common method employed by communities, which entailed a collective approach on protection. In other words, the inward facing houses allowed all members of a community to actively monitor potential risks and unknown townspeople from entering the courtyards.  Conversely, British domestic architecture contained vastly different styles and looks. For instance, more elaborately decorated, outward-facing buildings were featured in the 16th Century, placing a higher emphasis on the individual's responsibility for security, along with an appreciation for decorative exteriors. These structures usually included larger rooms, which were often detailed with glass aspects. 

Section D

 Most architects of the 17th century followed this classic Tudor style, and some continued on to expand upon its dramatic flare. The Italian, Dutch, and French architecture styles came into prominence during the aftermath of the Civil War in the 1640s and 1650s. Circumstances related to the war and Charles II's exile brought both nobles and gentlemen to the Continent and sparked an interest in this “new” architecture. Thus, when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, the influence of European trends was noticeable in the property of royalists, rich with over-the-top, dramatic style. According to some historians, this clear stylistic change is representative of a greater societal shift from communal living towards an appreciation for individualism.

Section E

Despite the initial acceptance of industrialisation, some reformers were unable to accept its dehumanizing consequences, and actively sought to influence others towards accepting a more traditional approach. William Morris and John Ruskin are just a few examples of reformers who wanted to return “back to basics” in terms of manufacturing techniques. This concept of “deindustrialisation” contradicted the modernity of social and economic changes caused by manufacturing, including the influx of factories, assembly line work, and industrial economies. As the idea took off, the 1880s gave way to a new generation of determined architects seeking to follow in Morris' footsteps. They did so by providing ethical construction methods that were more aligned with pre-industrial manufacturing techniques.

Section F

These “followers” of Morris remained even into the early 20th Century when new architects were entering into the scene. Despite these “establishment architects” obsessed with preserving the feel of the pre-Industrial Revolution era, the 20th century was home to new architects, such as Gropius and Le Corbusier, who aimed to impact the stylistic scene with innovative techniques. These modern voices brought along stauch competition between designers and architects, most notably affecting the “less daring” in the architectural sector. Britain, for example, is a prime example of a nation that seemed to be stuck in the past when compared to its avant-garde counterparts. In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time. 

Section G

When it comes to its design, Britain's history is full of paradoxes that leave much to be analyzed. Rightly so, many people wonder what could be next for British architecture. By following the post-war trend, it is clear that much remains unchanged regarding the authorities that govern architecture. Since the post-war period, corporations, local authorities, and multinational companies continue to control British architecture. Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-modernism, if it exists.

28. iv - Section A discusses myths regarding British architecture. The statement, “Firstly, it is important to look at the history of British architecture and debunking myths surrounding the topic.”, makes “Exposing Common Fallacies in Architectural History” the best option.
29. x - Section B describes how beauty and function came together in British architecture. The statement, “The fundamental idea behind medieval architecture can be best described as “fitness for purpose”, meaning that British architecture was not only beautifully elegant, but it featured perfectly functional buildings.”, makes “Beautiful and Functional Style” the best option.
30. i - Section C discusses a paradox in style. The statement, “The craftsmanship of the 16th Century featured a striking paradox in terms of the arrangement of houses and courtyards.”, makes “Opposing Aspects in Style” the best option.
31. iii - iii - Section D describes varying styles and influences. The statement, “The Italian, Dutch, and French architecture styles came into prominence during the aftermath of the Civil War in the 1640s and 1650s.”, makes “European Influence on Style” the best option.
32. ix - Section E discusses a return to fundamental ideas. The statement, “William Morris and John Ruskin are just a few examples of reformers who wanted to return “back to basics” in terms of manufacturing techniques.”, makes “Returning to Fundamental Techniques” the best option.
33. vii - Section F describes the impact of foreign architects. The statement, “In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time.” makes “Contributions of Non-Domestic Architects” the best option.
34. ii - Section G discusses what is in store for British architects. The statement, “Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-post-modernism, if it exists.” makes “The Future of Architecture” the best option.
35. B - disciples is the best answer, based on the statement: “These “followers” of Morris remained even into the early 20th Century when new architects were entering into the scene.” The word, “followers” would be a synonym for “disciples”.
36. G - non-domestic is the best answer, based on the statement: “In fact, it is only thanks to foreign architects including Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin, and Erno Goldfinger that various Modern Movement buildings were produced in Britain during this time.” The word, “foreign” would be a synonym for “non-domestic”.
37. A - future is the best answer, based on the statement: “Rightly so, many people wonder what could be next for British architecture.” The phrase, “what could be next” would be a synonym for “future”.
38. E - jurisdiction is the best answer, based on the statement: “By following the post-war trend, it is clear that much remains unchanged regarding the authorities that govern architecture.” The words, “the authorities” are a synonym for “jurisdiction” that remains unchanged.
39. F - organizations is the best answer, based on the statement: “Since the post-war period, corporations, local authorities, and multinational companies continue to control British architecture.” The examples included in the sentence are examples of “organizations”.
40. C - postmodernism is the best answer, based on the statement: “Perhaps the appropriate answer for the future of British architecture involves a unique post-post-modernism, if it exists.”
 
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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