IELTS READING TEST SET 8 AC- South Pole Adventurer

IELTS READING TEST SET 8 AC

South Pole Adventurer

In the race to the South Pole, there was a Japanese team attempting to be first,led by heroic explorer Nobu Shirase

FOR a few weeks in January 1912, Antarctica was full of explorers. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole on 14 December and was speeding back to the coast. On 17 January, Robert Scott and the men of the British Antarctic expedition had arrived at the pole to find they had been beaten to it. Just then, a third man arrived; Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase. However, his part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the 20th century is hardly known outside his own country, even by fellow explorers. Yet as Scott was nearing the pole and with the rest of the world still unaware of Amundsen’s triumph, Shirase and his team sailed into Antarctica’s Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these dangerous waters.

Since boyhood Shirase had dreamed of becoming a polar explorer. Like Amundsen, he initially set his sights on the North Pole. But after the American Robert Peary claimed to have reached it in 1909, both men hastily altered their plans. Instead they would aim for the last big prize: the South Pole. In January 1910, Shirase put his plans before Japanese government officials, promising to raise the flag at the South Pole within three years. For many of them, the question wasn’t could he do it but why would it be worth doing? 15 years earlier the International Geographical Congress had said that as the last unknown continent the Antarctic offered the chance to add to knowledge in almost every branch of science. So, like the British, Shirase presented his expedition as a search for knowledge: he would bring back fossils, make meteorological measurements and explore unknown parts of the continent.

The response from the government was cool, however, and Shirase struggled to raise funds. Fortunately, a few months later, Japan’s former prime minister Shigenobu kuma came to Shirase’s rescue. With kuma’s backing, Shirase got together just enough money to buy and equip a small ship. He eventually acquired a scientist, too, called Terutaro Takeda. At the end of November 1910, his ship the Kainan Maru finally left Tokyo with 27 men and 28 Siberian dogs on board. Before leaving, Shirase confidently outlined his plans to the media. He would sail to New Zealand, then reach Antarctica in February, during the southern summer, and then proceed to the pole the following spring….

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IELTS READING TEST SET 7 AC – SECRETS OF THE SWARM

 

IELTS READING TEST SET 7 AC – SECRETS OF THE SWARM

Insects, birds and fish tend to be the creatures that humans feel furthest from. Unlike many mammals they do not engage in human-like behaviour. The way they swarm or flock together does not usually get good press coverage either: marching like worker ants might be a common simile for city commuters, but it’s a damning, not positive, image. Yet a new school of scientific theory suggests that these swarms might have a lot to teach us.

American author Peter Miller explains, ‘I used to think that individual ants knew where they are going, and what they were supposed to do when they got there. But Deborah Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University, showed me that nothing an ant does makes any sense except in terms of the whole colony. Which makes you wonder if, as individuals, we don’t serve a similar function for the companies where we work or the communities where we live’. Ants are not intelligent by themselves. Yet as a colony, they make wise decisions. And as Gordon discovered during her research, there’s no one ant making decisions or giving orders.

Take food collecting, for example. No ant decides, ‘There’s lots of food around today; lots of ants should go out to collect it.’’ Instead, some forager ants go out, and as soon as they find food, they pick it up and come back to the nest. At the entrance, they brush past reserve foragers, sending a ‘go out’ signal. The faster the foragers come back, the more food there is and the faster other foragers go out, until gradually the amount of food being brought back diminishes. An organic calculation has been made to answer the question, ’How many foragers does the colony need today?’ And if something goes wrong-a hungry lizard prowling around for an ant snack, for instance -then a rush of ants returning without food sends waiting reserves a ‘Don’t go out’ signal.

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IELTS WRITING TEST SET 4 AC – Numbers of visitors to Ashdown Museum during the year before

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 4 AC

The table below show the numbers of visitors to Ashdown Museum during the year before and the year after it was refurbished. The charts show the result of surveys asking visitors how satisfied they were with their visit, during the same two period.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 4 AC - The numbers of visitors to Ashdown Museum during the year before and the year after it was refurbished. IELTS SIMULATOR, IELTS SIMULATION

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IELTS WRITING TEST SET 3 AC – average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per person in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Portugal

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 3 AC

The Graph below shows average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per person in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Portugal between 1967 and 2007.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Average carbon dioxide (CO2)emission per person, 1967-2007

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 3 AC - Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per person in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Portugal between 1967 and 2007. IELTS SIMULATOR

 

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IELTS WRITING TEST SET 2 AC – Proportions of British students at one university in England who were able to speak other languages in addition to English, in 2000 and 2010.

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 2 AC

The charts below show the proportions of British students at one university in England who were able to speak other languages in addition to English, in 2000 and 2010.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 2 AC - Proportions of British students at one university in England who were able to speak other languages in addition to English, in 2000 and 2010. IELTS SIMULATOR

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IELTS WRITING TEST SET 1 AC # Percentage of water used for different purposes in six areas of the world

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 1 AC

Percentage of water used for different purposes in six areas of the world.

The charts below show the percentage of water used for different purpose in six areas of the world.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

 

IELTS WRITING TEST SET 1 AC # Percentage of water used for different purposes in six areas of the world IELTS SIMULATOR

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IELTS READING TEST SET 5 AC – The Dover Bronze-Age Boat

The Dover Bronze-Age Boat

A beautifully preserved boat, made around 3,000 years ago and discovered by chance in a muddy hole, has had a profound impact on archaeological research.

It was 1992. In England, workmen were building a new road through the heart of Dover, to connect the ancient port and the Channel Tunnel, which, when it opened just two years later, was to be the first land link between Britain and Europe for over 10,000 years. A small team from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) worked alongside the workmen, recording new discoveries bought to light by the machines.

At the base of the deep shaft six meters below the modern streets, a wooden structure was revealed. Cleaning away the waterlogged site overlying the timbers, archaeologists realized its true nature. They had found a prehistoric boat, preserved by the type of sediment in which it was buried. It was then named by Dover Bronze- Age Boat.
About nine meters of the boat’s length was recovered; one end lay beyond the excavation and had to be left. What survived consisted essentially of four intricately carved oak planks: two on the bottom, joined along a central seam by a complicated system of wedges and stitched to the others. The seams had been made watertight by pads of moss, fixed by wedges and yew stitches.
The timbers that closed the recovered end of the boat had been removed in antiquity when it was abandoned, but much about its original shape could be deduced. There was also evidence for missing upper side planks. The boat was not a wreck, but had been deliberately discarded, dismantled and broken. Perhaps it had been “ritually killed” at the end of its life, like other Bronze-Age objects.

With hindsight, it was significant that the boat was found and studied by mainstream archaeologists who naturally focused on its cultural context. At the time, ancient boats were often considered only from a narrower technological perspective, but news about the Dover boat reached a broad audience. In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the discovery, the Dover Bronze-Age Boat Trust hosted a conference, where this meeting of different traditions became apparent. Alongside technical papers about the boat, other speakers explored its social and economic contexts, and the religious perceptions of boats in Bronze- Age societies. Many speakers came from overseas, and debate about cultural connections was renewed. 

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IELTS READING TEST SET 2 GT # Lost, Damaged or Delayed Inland Mail Claim Form

IELTS SIMULATOR GERENAL TRAINING  READING TEST SET 2 GT #  Lost, Damaged or Delayed Inland Mail Claim Form FREE COMPUTER DELIVERED IELTS SIMULATION

Lost, Damaged or Delayed Inland Mail Claim Form

Before completing this claim form for lost, damaged or delayed mail you should visit www.royalmail.com to find out all you need to know about our policies. Alternatively you can get the details from our ‘Mail Made Easy’ booklet, available at any local post office branch. When you fill in the form, make sure you complete it in full, using the checklist that we have provided to help you. If you find that you do not have the evidence required to make a claim but would like us to investigate an issue with your mail service, the easiest way to do this is by visiting our website. 

Lost items 

If you wish to claim compensation for lost items, you need to send us original proof of posting, e.g. a Post Office receipt. If claiming for the contents of a package, you also need to provide proof of value, e.g. till item reference number, receipt, bank statement, etc. 

Damaged items 

When claiming compensation for items that have been damaged, you should send us the items themselves, if possible. However, if these are very large or unsafe to post, you may instead provide photographs as evidence of the damage. Please retain the original packaging ( and damaged items, if not sent to us) as we may need to inspect them. 

Time restrictions 

We allow up to 15 working days for items to arrive, so cannot accept a claim for loss unless 15 working days or more have passed since the item was posted. 

Claims for lost or damaged items must be made within 12 months of the postal date. Claims for delayed items must be submitted within 3 months of the date they were posted if the claim is made by the sender, or within 1 month of receipt if the claim is made by the recipient of the item. 

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IELTS READING TEST SET 4 AC: RESEARCH USING TWINS.

RESEARCH USING TWINS

To biomedical researchers all over the world, twins offer a precious opportunity to untangle the influence of genes and the environment – of nature and nurture. Because identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits into two, they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them -one twin having younger looking skin, for example – must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun.

Alternatively, by comparing the experiences of identical twins with those of fraternal twins, who come from separate eggs and share on average half their DNA, researchers can quantify the extent to which our genes affect our lives. If identical twins are more similar to each other with respect to an ailment than fraternal twins are, then vulnerability to the disease must be rooted at least in part in heredity.

These two lines of research – studying the differences between identical twins to pinpoint the influence of environment, and comparing identical twins with fraternal ones to measure the role of inheritance – have been crucial to understanding the interplay of nature and nurture in determining our personalities, behavior, and vulnerability to disease.

The idea of using twins to measure the influence of heredity dates back to 1875, when the English scientist Francis Galton first suggested the approach (and coined the phrase ‘nature and nurture’). But twin studies took a surprising twist in the 1980s, with the arrival of studies into identical twins who had been separated at birth and reunited as adults. Over two decades 137 sets of twins eventually visited Thomas Bouchard’s lab in what became known as the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. Numerous tests were carried out on the twins, and they were each asked more than 15,000 questions.

Bouchard and his colleagues used this mountain of data to identify how far twins were affected by their genetic makeup. The key to their approach was a statistical concept called heritability. in broad terms, the heritability of a trait measures the extent to which differences among members of a population can be explained by differences in their genetics. And wherever Bouchard and other scientists looked, it seemed, they found the invisible hand of genetic influence helping to shape our lives.

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IELTS READING TEST SET 3 TASK 1 AC – THE STORY OF SILK

IELTS READING TEST SET 3 AC

THE STORY OF SILK

The history of the world’s most luxurious fabric, from ancient China
to the present day

Silk is a fine, smooth material produced from the cocoons – soft protective shells – that are made by mulberry silkworms (insect larvae). Legend has it that it was Lei Tzu, wife of the Yellow Emperor, ruler of China in about 3000 BC, who discovered silkworms. One account of the story goes that as she was taking a walk in her husband’s gardens, she discovered that silkworms were responsible for the destruction of several mulberry trees. She collected a number of cocoons and sat down to have a rest. It just so happened that while she was sipping some tea, one of the cocoons that she had collected landed in the hot tea and started to unravel into a fine thread. Lei Tzu found that she could wind this thread around her fingers. Subsequently, she persuaded her husband to allow her to rear silkworms on a grove of mulberry trees. She also devised a special reel to draw the fibres from the cocoon into a single thread so that they would be strong enough to be woven into fabric. While it is unknown just how much of this is true, it is certainly known that silk cultivation has existed in China for several millennia.

Originally, silkworm farming was solely restricted to women, and it was they who were responsible for the growing, harvesting and weaving. Silk quickly grew into a symbol of status, and originally, only royalty were entitled to have clothes made of silk. The rules were gradually relaxed over the years until finally during the Qing Dynasty (1644—1911 AD), even peasants, the lowest caste, were also entitled to wear silk. Sometime during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), silk was so prized that it was also used as a unit of currency. Government officials were paid their salary in silk, and farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk. Silk was also used as diplomatic gifts by the emperor. Fishing lines, bowstrings, musical instruments and paper were all made using silk. The earliest indication of silk paper being used was discovered in the tomb of a noble who is estimated to have died around 168 AD.

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IELTS READING TEST SET 2 AC – RAISING THE MARY ROSE

READING TEST SET 2 AC 

RAISING THE MARY ROSE

How a sixteenth-century warship was recovered from the seabed

On 19 July 1545, English and French fleets were engaged in a sea battle off the coast of southern England in the ;area of water called the Solent, between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Among the English vessels was a warship by the name of Mary Rose. Built in Portsmouth some 35 years earlier, she had had a long and successful fighting career, and was a favourite of King Henry VIII. Accounts of what happened to the ship vary: while witnesses agree that she was not hit by the French, some maintain that she was outdated, overladen and sailing too low in the water, others that she was mishandled by undisciplined crew. What is undisputed, however, is that the Mary Rose sank into the Solent that day, taking at least 500 men with her. After the battle, attempts were made to recover the ship but these failed.

The Mary Rose came to rest on the seabed, lying on her starboard (right) side at an angle of approximately 60 degrees. The hull (the body of the ship) acted as a trap for the sand and mud carried by Solent currents. As a result, the starboard side filled rapidly, leaving the exposed port (left) side to be eroded by marine organisms and mechanical degradation. Because of the way the ship sank, nearly all of the starboard half survived intact. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the entire site became covered with a layer of hard grey clay, which minimised further erosion.

Then, on 16 June 1836, some fishermen in the Solent found that their equipment was caught on an underwater obstruction, which turned out to be the Mary Rose. Diver John Deane happened to be exploring another sunken ship nearby, and the fishermen approached him, asking him to free their gear. Deane dived down, and found the equipment caught on a timber protruding slightly from the seabed. Exploring further, he uncovered several other timbers and a bronze gun. Deane continued diving on the site intermittently until 1840, recovering several more guns, two bows, various timbers, part of a pump and various other small finds.

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IELTS READING TEST SET 1 AC – CROP-GROWING SKYCRAPERS

IELTS READING TEST SET 1 AC

CROP – GROWING SKYCRAPERS

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the Earth’s population will live in urban centres. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about three billion people by then. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% larger than Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming methods continue as they are practised today.

At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crop is in use. Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to ensure enough food for the world’s population to live on ?

The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another three billion people. Many believe an entirely new approach to indoor farming is required, employing cutting-edge technologies. One such proposal is for the ‘Vertical Farm’. The concept is of multi-storey buildings in which food crop are grown in environmentally controlled conditions. Situated in the heart of urban centres, they would drastically reduce the amount of transportation required to bring food to consumers. Vertical farms would need to be efficient, cheap to construct and safe to operate. If successfully implemented, proponents claim, vertical farms offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (through year-round production of all crop, and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.

It took humans 10,000 years to learn how to grow most of the crop we now take for granted. Along the way, we despoiled most of the land we worked, often turning verdant, natural ecozones into semi-arid deserts. Within that same time frame, we evolved into an urban species, in which 60% of the human population now lives vertically in cities. This means that, for the majority, we humans have shelter from the elements, yet we subject our food-bearing plants to the rigours of the great outdoors and can do no more than hope for a good weather year. However, more often than not now, due to a rapidly changing climate, that is not what happens. Massive floods, long droughts, hurricanes and severe monsoons take their toll each year, destroying millions of tons of valuable crops.

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