IELTS General Reading Test 2
READING PASSAGE 1
Read the text below and answer question 1-8
Some places to visit
- Beautiful Kingsley House was built in the 18th century, and all the rooms are decorated and furnished in the style of the time. They include in the dining room, study and dressing room, which contains a display of 18th century ladies’ clothing. Our volunteer guides in each room bring the house to life with stories of the past.
- The Africa Museum was founded 50 years ago, and to commemorate the event, we have chosen 50 treasures from the permanent collection and put them together to tell them fascinating story of that continent. This exhibition continues until the end of the year. The folk art gallery opens to the public next month, exhibiting traditional paintings and other objects from all over the Africa.
- From the outside, 17 Mansfield Street may not look particularly exciting, but come inside, and you will find yourself in a historic building that started life as a theatre, before becoming a bank and then a restaurant, which is still in operation. On Sundays and Mondays, when the restaurant is closed a guide is available to show you round the building and its fascinating architectural features.
- The Industrial Heritage Centre tells the fascinating story of local family firm. Mr. John Carroll started his engineering business in this building exactly 150 years ago. The firm closed in 1969, but the factory has been recreated with machines like those that Mr. Carroll was familiar with. See what working life could be like in the 19th century, a like far removed from the elegance of the wealthy.
- The Fashion Museum has only just opened. It is home to an outstanding collection of more than 30,000 objects worn by men, women and children, dating from the 17th century to the present day. You’ll see how people used to dress! As well as the permanent exhibits, you can currently see dressing the stars, which displays original costumers worn by the stars of many popular films.
- Having spent the best part of two years being refurbished, the Mason Museum has recently opened its door again, it provides a magnificent setting for its collection and for the beautiful 18th century furniture for which the Mason is famous. Open Mondays to Fridays 10-4, and weekwnds10-6.
The text above has six descriptions of places to visit in the same city, A-F.
Which description mentions the following information?
Write correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.
NB you may use any letter more than once.
- Clothes that well-known people have worn
- A display that cannot be seen yet
- People who talk in an entertaining way
- The museum having just reopened
- A building that has changed its function several times
- Furniture of the same kind that was used when the building was new
- Being open for tours on certain days of the week
- A special event to mark an anniversary
Read the text below and answer questions 9-14
LearnWithUs courses are great way to learn, because they’re so flexible. All our courses are taken online using a computer, so you can work through the course at your own speed, and go back to any session whenever you want to. For some courses there are workbooks, in addition to the computer course, to provide extra written practice.
We offer hundreds of courses in a whole range of subjects from reading and maths to business and management. Many of these are specially designed for people whose first language isn’t English.
Step one: have a chat with a friendly member of staff in one of our 1,500 LearnWithUs centers around the country. They can advise you on the most suitable course. They’ll also work out whether you qualify for funding, so that you won’t have to pay the full fee for the course.
You might want to try a taster lesson first. This is a single computer session in any subject of your choice, and it will show you what learning with LearnWithUs is like.
When you’ve made final decision, step two is to register on your course. Once you’ve done this, a stsff member will show you how to get started, whether you’re using a computer at home, at work or at a LearnWithUs centre.
That’s all you need to do! When you start your course, you can contract your LearnWithUs centre by phone (we’re open during normal office hours) or email if you need help.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text above?
In boxes 9-14 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
9. You can work together parts of a course more than once.
10. The number of courses offered by LearnWithUs has increased enormously.
11. Many staff members have worked through a LearnWithUs course themselves.
12. You may have to pay to take a LearnWithUS course.
13. Everybody takes the same taster lesson.
14. LearnWithUs centers are open seven days a week.
Reading Passage 2
Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20
CHOOSING PREMISES FOR A NEW BUSINESS
What you need.
Three factors dominate the priorities of small business looking for premises: cost, cost and cost. Nobody ever has enough money, so there is an overwhelming temptation to go for the cheapest property. It is a mistake that can take decades to rectify-and even threaten the future of a promising business.
Ironically some firms swing too far in the other direction, committing themselves to a heavy initial outlay because they believe in the importance of image-and that does not come cheap. Finding the right premises is the real secret. That can, and will, vary enormously according to the type of business. But there are some general rules that apply to any operation.
High street premises are important for shops which rely on passing trade- but these are expensive. Rents fall quickly within a few metres of main roads. Offices, however, need not be located centrally, particularly if most business is done on the phone or via email.
Manufacturing and storage relies heavily on access. Think about how vans and lorries will deliver and collect goods from the premises. Nearby parking can be important for staff, and public transport can be even more so, as traffic restrictions tighten.
This is a crucial decision. Health and Safety laws provide basic guidance on how much room is required per office desk or manufacturing operation. But remember to allow for growth.
Every small business aims to become a big business, but this prospect can be obstructed if the wrong decisions are made early on. It is important to consider flexibility from the start. Can a building be physically altered internally by knocking down walls or by extending outwards or adding extra floors. Is there spare land text door to expand later if necessary.
Landlords obviously have to agree to any changes so it is important that the contract includes details of what will be allowed and how much extra will be charged on top of the costs of rebuilding or alteration. Planning rules must also be considered. Local authorities are not always open to discussion about the future of premises. They may have rigid rules about increasing density of development. The building may be in a conservation area or near housing, in which case it will be much more difficult to consider changes.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet.
15 Some people choose expensive premises because they want to create an impressive……………….for their company.
16 Businesses which depend on……………………need to be on or near the principal shopping areas.
17 Businesses which produce goods must check there is………….to the premises for delivery vehicles.
18 When choosing a building for your premises, find out whether……………….could be removed to create more room.
19 Make sure that the………………states what type of building alterations might be permitted.
20 If business premises are located close to ………………….extensions may not be allowed.
Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27
CALIFORNIA STATE COLLEGE
WORKING CONDITIONS AND BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES
Employees are paid every other Friday. If Friday is a holiday, payday will be the following Monday. Generally employees pick up the pay checks in their department; if not, they may be picked up at the Business Office.
All time worked over eight hours in one day and forty hours in a workweek, and also the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in a workweek is considered overtime for non-exempt employees. The supervisor must approve all overtime before overtime occurs. Hours in excess of eight hours on the seventh day and in excess of twelve hours in one day will be paid at double time. Exempt employees receive no additional compensation for overtime hours.
All employees who will be parking in a staff parking zone must obtain a parking permit. A monthly pre-tax payroll deduction can be made by visiting human resources. If you wish to pay cash, present your staff I.D. and license number to the Cashier’s office. The safety department will ticket cars without a parking permit and a fine will be applied.
All employees are required to carry an I.D card. If an employee loses his/her card, there will be an automatic charge of $5.00 to issue a duplicate. If an employee gives up employment his/her I.D card must be returned prior to release of final paycheck
All regular and temporary full-time employees generally receive approximately 13 paid holidays during the course of each calendar year. Regular part-time employees will receive holiday benefits worked out using a prorated system. The holiday schedule is initiated annually.
Each employee is granted one extra day as a personal holiday at the time of hire, and at the beginning of each calendar year. Personal holiday hours must be taken at one time.(eight hours full time or prorated based on the employee’s time). Employees requesting personal holiday will be required to complete ‘Leave Request’ forms. No more than one personal holiday is authorized annually.
All regular and temporary full time or part time employees are entitled to take their birthdays off with pay. An employee has a fifteen day span before and following his/her birthday to take the paid day off. What is known as a grace period through January 15th is given to those employees whose birthdays fall between December 16th and the end of the year.
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer
Write your answer in boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet.
21 Where do most employees collect their wages?
22 Who has to authorize any overtime an employee wishes to do?
23 Who is not paid extra for working more than 40 hours a week?
24 Where should employees go if they wish to have the parking charge taken off their salary?
25 What method is used to calculate part-time employees holidays?
26 Which documents must employees fill in to select their personal holiday
27 What is the name of the special entitlement provided to employees with birthdays in the second half of December?
Reading Passage 3
Read the passage below and answer Questions 28-40
LACK OF SLEEP
It is estimated that the average man or woman needs between seven-and-a-half and eight hours’ sleep a night. Some can manage on a lot less. Baroness Thatcher, for example was reported to be able to get by on four hours’ sleep a night when she was Prime Minister of Britain. Dr Jill Wilkison, senior lecturer in psychology at Surrey University and co-author of ‘Psychology in counseling and Therapeutic Practice’ states that healthy individuals sleeping less than five hours or even as little as two hours in every 24 hours are rare, but represent a sizeable minority.
The latest beliefs are that the main purposes of sleep are to enable the body to rest and replenish, allowing time for repairs to take place and for tissue to be regenerated. One supporting piece of evidence for this rest and repair theory is that production of the growth hormone somatotropin, which helps tissue to regenerate, peaks while we are asleep. Lack of sleep, however, can compromises the immune system, muddle thinking, cause depression, promote anxiety and encourage irritability.
Researchers in San Diego deprived a group of men of sleep between 3am and 7 am on just one night, and found that levels of their bodies’ natural defences against viral infections had fallen significantly when measured the following morning. ‘Sleep is essential for our physical and emotional well – being and there are few aspects of daily living that are not disrupted by the lack of it; says professor William regelson of Virginia university, a specialist in insomnia because it can seriously undermine the functioning of the immune system , sufferers are vulnerable to infection
For many people , lack of sleep is rarely a matter of choice, some have problems getting to sleep, others with staying asleep until the morning, Despite popular belief that sleep is one long event, research shows that , in an average night, there are five stages of sleep and four cycles, during which the sequence of stages is repeated. In the first light phase, the heart rate and blood pressure go down and the muscles relax. In the next two stages, sleeps gets progressively deeper. In stage four, usually reached after an hour, the sleeper would be confused and disoriented. It is in this phase that sleep-walking can occur, with an average episode lasting no more than 15 minutes. In the fifth stage, the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, the heartbeat quickly gets back to normal levels, brain activity accelerates to daytime heights and above and the eyes move constantly beneath closed lids as if the sleeper is looking at something. During this stage, the body is almost paralysed. This REM phase is also the time when we dream.
Sleeping patterns change with age, which is why many people over 60 develop insomnia. In America, that age group consumers almost half the sleep medication on the market. One theory for the age-related change is that it is due to hormonal changes. The temperature rise occurs at daybreak in the young. But at three or four in the morning in the elderly. Age aside, it is estimated that roughly one in three people suffer some kind of sleep disturbance. Causes can be anything from pregnancy and stress to alcohol and heart disease. Smoking is a known handicap to sleep, with one survey showing that ex-smokers got to sleep in 18 minutes rather than their earlier average of 52 minutes.
Apart from self –help therapy such as regular exercise, there are psychological treatments, including relaxation training and therapy aimed at getting rid of pre-sleep worries and anxieties. There is also sleep reduction therapy, where the aim is to improve sleep quality by strictly regulating the time people go to bed and when they get up. Medication is regarded by many as a last resort and often takes the form of sleeping pills, normally benzodiazepines, which are minor tranquilisers.
Professor regelson advocates the use of melatonin for treating sleep disorders. Melatonin is a naturally secreted hormone, located in the pineal gland deep inside the brain. The main function of the hormone is to control the body’s biological clock, so we know when to sleep and when to wake. The gland detects light reaching it through the eye; when there is no light, it secretes the melatonin into the bloodstream, lowering the body temperature and helping to induce sleep.
Melatonin pills contain a synthetic version of the hormone and are commonly used for jet lag as well as for sleep disturbance. John Nicholls, sales manager of one of America’s largest health food shops, claims that sales of the pill have increased dramatically. He explains that it is sold in capsules, tablets, lozenges and mixed with herbs. It is not effective for all insomniacs, but Man users have weaned themselves off sleeping tablets as a result of its application.
The passage on the previous pages has seven sections labeled A-G
Which section contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 28-35 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
28 the different amounts of sleep that people require
29 An investigation into the results of sleep deprivation
30 some reasons why people may suffer from sleep disorders
31 lifestyle changes which can help overcome sleep-rented problems
32 a process by which sleep helps us to remain mentally and physically healthy
33 claims about a commercialized man-made product for sleeplessness
34 the role of physical changes in sleeping habits
35 the processes involved during sleep
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage?
In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet write
TRUE if the statement agree with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
36 Sleep can cure some illnesses
37 The various stages of sleep occur more than once a night
38 Dreaming and sleep- walking occur and similar stages of sleep
39 Sleepers move around a lot during the REM stage of sleep
40 The body temperature rises relatively early in elderly people
- NOT GIVEN
- NOT GIVEN
16 passing trade
21 their department
22 (the) supervisor
23 exempt employees
24 Human Resources/HR
25 (a) prorated system
26 Leave Request Forms
27 (a) grace period
36 NOT GIVEN