IELTS Reading Easy Demo is a good choice for beginners or dummies. Candidate can see the answers while attempting questions.

IELTS READING – The 7 best running watches S15GT2

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The 7 best running watches

Kate Hilpern advises people on the best watches to use when they go running.

A. Soleus FIT 1.0

Soleus claims this has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Water – resistant to 30m and with a built-in rechargeable battery, Q6 it’s accurate at measuring speed, pace, distance and calories burnt.

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B. Nike+ SportWatch GPS

You’ll be hard pushed to find a running watch that finds a GPS signal quicker than this. It will keep you updated on current location, distance covered, number of laps and calories burnt.

C. Garmin Forerunner

This watch, which is small enough to wear at the office, is touchscreen and is packed with impressive features, Q4 although the battery life is limited.

D. Timex Run Trainer 2.0

Q5 The hi-res screen makes this a great watch for athletes at any level. The easy-to-use, upgraded menu system makes monitoring pace, speed and distance child’s play. Q3 Alerts remind you when it’s time to hydrate or top up the nutrition.

E. Garmin Forerunner 10

Q1 This is a well-priced, entry-level watch that’s light as well as waterproof and available in a range of colours. Don’t expect added extras, but do expect good basic functionality.

F. Nike Fuelband

Described by the Huffington Post as ‘the sports watch you never knew you needed,’ Q2 this soft-touch and lightweight watch has been lovingly designed to appear more like a piece of futuristic jewellery than a running watch. But it’s hi-tech too and synchronises with your phone to show the results.

G. Suunto Ambit2 S HR

This is better suited to off-roaders rather than Q7 urban runners and although it’s quite big, it has a functional design and is compatible with the thousands of Suunto apps available.

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IELTS READING – New York Late-Starters String Orchestra S15GT1

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New York Late-Starters String Orchestra

NYLSO, the New York Late-Starters String Orchestra, is something special. It was founded in early 2007, and Q1 grew out of a concept developed by The East London Late Starters Orchestra (ELLSO), an award-winning group in England.

NYLSO is an amateur orchestra for adult players of violin, viola, cello, and double bass. If you played a string instrument when you were younger and would like to start again,

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or if you are learning as an adult and would like the chance to play in a group of similar people, then NYLSO is for you! Our goal is to create a fun, supportive, non-competitive environment for adults 18 to 80+ who wish to participate in collective music-making.

Q2 Participants should have basic music reading skills and a willingness to commit to the group, but are not required to audition. It is recommended that you have studied your instrument for at least one year. Q3 If you have ever been paid to play your instrument, recently graduated with a degree in performance, or have been playing continuously since elementary school, you may decide we are not the appropriate group for you.

How We Work:

We know that New Yorkers are busy people. Q5 It is fine if you miss an entire rehearsal period when an emergency arises. Ultimately, though, too many absences disrupt the function of the group and make it difficult to perform the pieces. Sessions are in six-week rehearsal cycles, with two-hour rehearsals held once a week. We work with the goal of producing one to three very informal ‘friends-and-family’ concerts per year. 

Q4 NYSLO concerts are free to members’ families and friends. NOT GIVEN.

Our professional tutor/facilitator serves as coach and conductor during rehearsals. Substitute conductors also join in to teach different sections, providing groups of players with valuable experience in working with different approaches and styles. Everyone is encouraged to play to their fullest potential, whatever that may be, but please recognize that while we do have a conductor, her role is not to provide one-on-one instruction during rehearsals.

NYLSO is a self-supporting collective; we do not receive any other funding. The cost is $80 for each six-week cycle. Q6 Payments are applied to the costs of rehearsal space, conductor’s fees, and photocopying music.

Materials You Will Need At Rehearsals:

You will need an instrument, a portable music stand, and any other relevant accessories.You should bring a folder to keep your music together and a soft-lead pencil with an eraser for writing in changes. Sheet music is provided.

Q7 The NYLSO gives advice on what instrument to purchase. NOT GIVEN.

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IELTS READING – DINOSAURS AND THE SECRETS THEY STILL HOLD S14GT5

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DINOSAURS AND THE SECRETS THEY STILL HOLD

Dinosaur expert Dr Steve Brusatte continues to investigate the mysteries surrounding these fascinating prehistoric creatures

I was recently part of a team of palaeontologists that discovered a new dinosaur. Living in what is now China, the species would have resembled a strange bird. It was about the size of a Q1 sheep and covered in feathers, with a sharp Q2 shellfish that it probably used to crack open Q3 beak.

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It was given the formal scientific name Tongtianlong, but we called it ‘Mud Dragon’ because its skeleton was discovered in Q4 rock that had hardened from ancient mud. It seems that the creature got trapped in the mud and died. Then its fossil remains were found a few months ago when workmen were excavating a site in order to build a Q5 school.

It is every dinosaur-obsessed child’s dearest wish to discover and name a completely new species. In fact what my colleagues and I did wasn’t that unusual. Q6 New dinosaurs are appearing everywhere these days – about 50 each year. And this pace shows no signs of slowing, as different areas continue to open up to fossil hunters and a fresh generation of scientists comes of age.Because of this plentiful supply of new fossils, we now know more about dinosaurs than we do about many modern animals. But there are still many unsolved mysteries.

Dinosaurs didn’t start out as huge monsters like Tyrannosaurus Rex. Instead they evolved from a group of angular, cat-sized reptiles called dinosauromorphs. These creatures remained small and rare for millions of years until they developed into dinosaurs. The boundary between dinosauromorphs and dinosaurs is becoming less and less distinct with each new discovery that’s made, but what’s becoming clear is that it took millions of years for these first dinosaurs to spread around the world, grow to huge sizes and become truly dominant.

Q13 Some discoveries in the 1970s, like the agile and strangely bird-like Deinonychus, proved that dinosaurs were far more dynamic and intelligent than previously thought. Some palaeontologists even proposed that they were warm-blooded creatures like modern birds with a constant high body temperature that they controlled internally, rather than from warming themselves by lying in the sun. A few decades later opinions are still mixed. The problem is that dinosaurs can’t be observed. Q7 Palaeontologists must rely on studying fossils. Some results are convincing: we know from studying their bones that dinosaurs had rapid growth rates, just like modern, warm-blooded animals. Other palaeontologists, however, use the same fossils to suggest that dinosaurs were somewhere between cold-blooded reptiles and warm-blooded birds. More studies are needed to provide more clarity.

The discovery of Deinonychus with its long arms, skinny legs, arched neck and big claws on its feet, helped to strengthen the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs. In the late 1990s, the discovery of thousands of feather- covered dinosaurs closed the argument.

But the fossils raised another question: why did feathers first develop in dinosaurs? They probably originated as simple, hair-like strands — a necessary means of keeping warm. Many dinosaurs retained this basic fluffy coat, but in one group the strands modified. They grew bigger, started to branch out and changed into feathers like those on modern birds. Q12 They lined the arms, and sometimes the legs, forming wings. Q11 These feathers were probably for display: to attract mates or scare off rivals. They appeared in species such as the ostrich-like Ornithomimosaur. Such creatures were too large to fly. Q8 Flight may actually have come about by accident when smaller winged dinosaurs began jumping between trees or leaping in the air, and suddenly found that their wings had aerodynamic properties. This is one of the most stimulating new notions about dinosaurs and a fascinating area for further investigation. 

There’s something else that these feathers can tell us. They allow us to determine what colour dinosaurs were. If you look at modern bird feathers under a microscope, you can see tiny blobs called melanosomes. Q9 These structures contain melanin, one of the main colour-producing pigments in animals. Some are round, others are egg-shaped, etc. And that’s important, because different shapes contain different colour pigments. So if you can identify the shape, you can identify the colour. A few years ago, some palaeontologists realised that you could find melanosomes in particularly well-preserved fossil feathers. They discovered that different dinosaurs had different melanosomes, which meant they had a variety of colours. Dinosaurs, therefore, probably came in a rainbow of colours – yet another thing that links them to modern birds.

The most enduring mystery of all, which has been argued about ever since the first dinosaur fossils were found, is ‘Why aren’t dinosaurs around today?’ Of course, we now know that birds evolved from dinosaurs, so some dinosaurs do continue in a sense. But there’s nothing like a Tyrannosaurus Rex today. They dominated the planet for over 150 million years, but suddenly disappeared from the fossil record 66 million years ago. That’s when a 10 km-wide asteroid came out of space and struck what is now Mexico, impacting with huge force and unleashing earthquakes, tidal waves, wildfires and hurricane-force winds. Although palaeontologists still like to argue about what part the asteroid played in the dinosaurs’ extinction, there really isn’t much of a mystery left. The asteroid did it and did it quickly. Q10 There are few signs that dinosaurs were struggling before the impact. None survived except a few birds and some small furry mammals. They found themselves in an empty world, and as the planet started to recover, they evolved into new creatures, including the first apes, and so the long journey began to the beginning of humankind.

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IELTS READING – Why you should delegate tasks to team members S14GT3

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Why you should delegate tasks to team members

Delegation helps you get more done, helps your team members progress through learning new things and spreads the load in the team.

When you give someone a project task to do, make sure that they have all the information they require to actually get on and do it. That includes specifying the date it is due, writing a clear definition of the task, providing any resources they need to get it done or names of people you expect them to talk to.

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It also means informing them of any Q1 expectations you have, such as delivering it as a spreadsheet rather than a Word document.

If you have Q2 concerns that someone doesn’t have the skills to do a good job (or they tell you this outright), make sure that you offer some help. It might take longer this time but next time they will be able to do it without you, so it will save you time in the long run.

Once you have given the task to someone, let them get on with it. Tell them how you expect to be kept informed, like through a Q3 report once a week. Then let them get on with it unless you feel things are not progressing as you would like.

As a project manager, you have to retain some of the main project responsibilities for yourself. You shouldn’t expect someone else on the project team to do your job. Equally, don’t delegate tasks such as Q4 dull administrative ones, just because you don’t want to do them. But remember that project management is a leadership position so you don’t want your role to be seen as too basic.

One way to free up your time to spend on the more strategic and leadership parts of project management is to delegate things that are regular, like noting whether weekly Q5 targets have been met. Could someone in your team take this on for you? This can be a useful way of upskilling your team members to complement any ongoing training and allowing them to gain confidence too.

So in summary, be clear, supportive, and don’t Q6 micromanage Don’t become the problem on your project that prevents progress just because you’re afraid to leave people alone to get on with their jobs.

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