DAILY BEST IELTS READING PRACTICE TEST, 19 May
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3.
Doesn’t that sound terribly yellow to you?
“I can’t say. I’m colour blind”, was my flatmate’s response. And that was that for another twenty odd years, when by chance I came across an article in a newspaper on research into synaesthesia at a London hospital. At last, I understood my interpretation of the world through colour.
Synaesthesia is the subjective sensation of a sense other than the one being stimulated. For example, the sight of a word may evoke sensations of colour or the sound of music may also have a similar effect, as may taste. Or, to put it simply, synacsthctes, i.e. people with synaesthesia, have their senses hooked together, so that they experience several senses simultaneously.
To those not already aware of it, synaesthesia seems a new phenomenon. Yet, it is far from new. In 1690, John Locke, the philosopher, wrote of a blind man with synaesthetic capabilities. The first reference in the medical field was in 1710, by Thomas Woodhouse, an English ophthalmologist. In his Theory of Colour, the German writer, Goethe, talked about colour and the senses. The poet, Arthur Rimbaud, wrote about synaesthesia in his 1871 poem Voyelles, as did another French poet Baudelaire, in Correspondence. So, synaesthesia has a respectable history.
Synaesthesia is understandably met with a certain degree of scepticism, since it is something beyond the ken of the vast majority of people. Son et lumière shows in the 19,h century were an attempt at combining the senses in a public display, but such displays were not capable of conveying the sensations experienced by involuntary synaesthesia, as the ability which a synaesthete’s experience is called. There has been a number of well-documented synacsthctes. Alexander Scriabin, the Russian composer, (1871-1915) tried to express his own synaesthetic abilities in his symphony Prometheus, the Poem of Fire (1922). And another Russian, Rlmsky-Korsakov, noted the colour associations musical keys possessed. For example, Scriabin saw C major as red, while to Rimsky-Korsakov it was white. Arthur Bliss, an English composer, based his 1922 Colour Symphony on the concept of synaesthesia. He did not claim to be a synaesthete; his colour choices were arbitrary and the project an intellectual exercise.
In the field of the visual arts, probably the best known artist with synaesthetic capabilities is the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), credited with being the founder of abstract painting. It is said he experienced “sensory fusion” at a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin, with the music producing colours before his eyes. He did not see colours solely in terms of objects, but associated them with sounds. He even composed an opera, Der GelbeKlang (The Yellow Sound), which was a mixture of colour, light, dance and sound.
For many people with synaesthesia, knowing that what they have been experiencing has both a name and a history and that they are among a number of notable sufferers is a revelation, Initially, they often feel that these is something wrong psycho logic ally or mentally, or that everyone feds that way. Then they realise with a thud that other people do not. Suppression is an option, but unwittingly some people have managed to make use of the ability to their advantage. While the condition of synaesthesia may hamper many people because of its disorienting effects, It can also open up a range of new skills, It is not unusual for people who have synaesthesia to be creative and imaginative, As many studies have shown, memory is based to some extent on association. Synacsthctes find they are able to remember certain things with great ease. The person who associates the shape of a word with colour is quite often able to remember a longer sequence of words; and the same goes for other areas where memory needs to he used.
But this condition like all gifts, has its drawbacks, Some people see words as colours; others even individual letters and syllables, so that a word becomes a kaleidoscope of colour. Beautiful though such a reading experience may be, synaesthesia can cause problems with both reading and writing, Reading can take longer, because one has to wade through all the colours, as well as the words! And, because the colour sequences as well as the words have to fit together writing is then equally difficult.
Do the statements below agree with the information in Reading Passage 3?In Boxes 29-32,
Yes – if the statement agrees with the Information in the passage
No – if the statement contradicts the information in the passage
Not Given- If there is no information about the statement in the passage
Example: The writer is colour blind,
29. Synacsthctes experience several senses at the same time.
30. Newspaper articles and TV news reports about the synaesthesia arc appearing with monotonous regularity nowadays.
31. Mention of synaesthesia can be traced back to the 17th century.
32. It is strange that many people are sceptical about synaesthesia.
Choose the appropriate letter A-D and write theme in Boxes 33-36 on your answer sheet.
33. Son et lumiere shows …
A. attempted to combine public senses
B. were frequent in the 19′” century
C. were both public and involuntary
D. did not reproduce the experiences of synacsthctes
34. Both Alexander Scriabin and Rimsky-Korsakov …
A. wanted to have synaesthetic abilities
B. created a lot of documents
C. linked music to colour
D. agreed with Bliss in 1922
35. The Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, …
A. performed Wagner’s Lohengrin
B. found abstract painting
C. also composed music
D. saw objects
36. At first, “sufferers” of synaesthesia believe that …
A. other people have similar experiences or there is something wrong with them
B. they are a revelation
C. they are psychologically or mentally superior
D. they are unique
According to the reading passage, which of the following statements are true about synaesthetes?
Write the appropriate letters in Boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
A. Some synacsthctcs are disoriented by their abilities.
B. Unusually, some synaesthetes hove great creativity.
C. Memory is heightened by synaesthesia.
D. Synaesthetes have gilts and drawbacks.
E. Some synaesthetes use their ability to help themselves.
F. Their ability can be an obstacle to them.
G. Some synaesthetcs write in colour.
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30. NOT GIVEN
37-40 ANSWERS:- A, C, E, F.