Academic IELTS Reading Test 3

Reading Passage 1

Spend about 20 minutes on questions 1-13, based on passage 1 below.


A. Wen Gabriel Garcia Marquez died in 2014, he was mourned around the world, as readers recalled his 1967 novel, one hundred years of solitude, which has sold more than 25 million copies, and led to Marquez’s receipt of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature.

B. Born in 1927, in a small town on Colombia’s Caribbean coast called America, Marquez was immersed in Spanish, black, and indigenous culture. In such remote places, religion, myth, and superstition hold sway over logic and reason, or perhaps operate as parallel belief systems. Certainly, the ghost stories told by his grandmother affected the young Gabriel profoundly, and a pivotal character in his 1967 epic is indeed a ghost.

Marquez’s family was not wealthy: there were twelve children, and his father worked as a postal clerk, a telegraph operator, and an occasional pharmacist. Marquez spent much of his childhood in the care of his grandparents, which may account for the main character in one hundred years of solitude resembling his maternal grandfather. Although Marquez left Aracataca aged eight, the town and its inhabitants never seemed to leave him. And suffuse his fiction.

C. One hundred years of solitude was the fourth of fifteen novels, but Marquez was an equally passionate and prolific journalist.

In Bogota during his twenties and thirties, Marquez experienced La Violencia, a period of great political and social upheaval, when around 300,000 Colombians were killed. Certainly, life was never safe for journalists, and after writing an article on corruption in the Colombians navy in 1955, Marquez was forced to flee to Europe. Incidentally, in Paris, he discovered that European culture was not richer than his own, and he was disappointed by Europeans who were patronizing towards Latin Americans. On return to the southern hemisphere, Marquez wrote for Venezuelan newspaper and the Cuban press agency.

D. In terms of politics, Marquez was leftwing. In Chile, he campaigned against the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet; in Venezuela, he financed a political party; and, in Nicaragua, he defended revolutionaries. He considered Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, as a dear friend. Since the US was hostile towards Castro’s communist regime, which Marquez supported, the writer was banned from visiting the US until invited by President Clinton in 1995, the novels Marquez are imbued with his politics, but this does not prevent readers from enjoying a good yarn.

E. Marquez maintained that in Latin America so much that is real would seem fantastic elsewhere, while so much that is magical seems real. He was an exponent of a genre known as Magical Realism.

‘if you can explain it’, said the Mexican critic, Luis Leak, ‘then it’s not Magical Realism.’ This demonstrates the difficulty of determining the genre encompasses and which writers belong to it.

The term Magical Realism is usually applied to literature, but its first use was probably in 1925, when a German art critic reviewed paintings similar to those of Surrealism.

Many critics define Magical Realism by what it is not. Realism describes lives that could be real; Magical Realism uses the detail and the tone of a realist work, but includes the magical as through it were real. The ghosts in one hundred years of solitude and in American Toni Morrison’s beloved are presented by their narrators as normal, so readers accept them unhesitatingly. Likewise, a character can live for 200 yearsin a Magical Realism novel. Surrealism explores dream states and psychological experience; Magical Realism does not. Science Fiction describes a new or an imagined world, as in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, but Magical Realism depicts the real world. Nor is Magical Realism fantasy, like Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, in which an ordinary man awakens to find he has transformed into a cockroach. This is because the writer and the reader of that story cannot decide whether to ascribe natural or supernatural causes to the event. In contrast, in a work by Marquez, the world is both natural and supernatural, both rational and irrational, and binary nature fascinates readers.

Magical Realism does share some common ground with post-modernism since the acts of writing and reading are self-relaxive. A narrative may not be linear, but may double back on itself, or be discontinuous, and the notion of character is more illusive than in other genres.

Naturally, some of these elements disturb a reader although the enormous success of one hundred years of solitude and the hundreds of other Magical Realist works from authors as far apart as Norway, Nigeria, and New Zealand would seem to be it.

F. Latin America has had a long history of conquest, revolution, and dictatorship; of hunger, poverty, and chaos, yet, at the same time, is endowed with rich cultures, with warm, emotional people, many of whom, like Marquez, remain optimistically utopian. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has passed away, but his fiction will certainly endure.

Questions 1-7

Passage 1 has six sections, A-F

Which section contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

NB: you may use any letter more than once.

  1. Marquez’s background
  2. How Marquez felt about Europe
  3. Influences on Marquez
  4. The extent of Marquez’s fame
  5. Why the US did not welcome Marquez
  6. What constituents a Magical Realist work
  7. Other writing important to Marquez

Questions 8-13

Complete the summary below using the dates or words, A-I, below.

Write the correct letter, A-I, in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet.

A   accept                    B   adapting                C   adopting

D   believes                 E   fantasy                   F   non-linear


G   novel                     H   rational                 I   supernatural

J   use                          K   1925                       L   1927

What is Magical Realism?

The genre of Marquez’s fiction is known as Magical Realism, a term first applied to painting in (8)…………………………. Magical Realism is often describe in negative terms, as not being Realism, Surrealism, Service fiction, or (9)………………………..

In a Magical Realism novel, the world people live in – which is the real world – is described in detail, but Magical or (10)………………………………elements intrude. These are treated like ones, so that a reader (11)…………………….them. for instance, may also be (12)………………………….

Despite requiring a suspension of disbelief by readers, Magical Realism has enjoyed great success, with writers from all over the world (13)…………………..the style.

Reading Passage 2


The vast expansion in international trade owes much to a revolution in the business of moving freight


International trade is growing at a starling pace, while a global economy has been expanded at a bit over 3% a year, the volume of trade has been rising at a compound annual rate of about twice that. Foreign products, from meat to machinery, play a more important role in almost every economy in the world, and foreign markets now tempt businesses that never much worried about sales beyond their nation’s borders.


What lies behind this explosion in international commerce? The general worldwide decline in trade berries, such as customs duties and import quotes, is surely on explanation. The economic opening of countries that have traditionally been minor players is another, but one force behind the import-export boom has passed all but unnoticed: the rapidly falling cost of getting goods to market. Theoretically, in the world of trade, shipping costs do not matter. Goods, once they have been made, are assumed to move instantly and at no cost from place to place. The real world, however, is full of frictions. Cheap labour may make Chinees clothing competitive in America, but if delays in shipment tie up working capital and cause winter coats to arrive in spring, trade may lose its advantages.


At the turn of the 20th century, agriculture and manufacturing were the two most important sectors almost everywhere, accounting for about 70% of total output in Germany, Italy and France, and 40-50% in America, Britain and Japan. International commerce was therefore dominated by raw materials, such as wheat, wood and iron ore, or processed commodities, such as meat and steel. But these sorts of products are heavy and bulky and the cost of transporting them relatively high.


Countries still trade disproportionately with their geographic neighbours. Over time, however, world output has shifted into goods whose worth is related to their size and weight. Today, it is finished manufactured products that dominated the flow of trade, and, thanks to technological advances such as lightweight components, manufactured goods themselves have tended to become lighter and less bulky. As a result, less transportation is required for every dollar’s worth of imports or exports.


To see how this influences trade, consider the business of making disk drives for computers. Most pf the world’s disk-drive manufacturing is concentrated in South-east Asia. This is possible only because disk drives valuable, are small and light and so cost little to ship. Computer manufacturers in Japan or Texas will not face hugely bigger freight bills if they import drives from Singapore rather than purchasing them on the domestic market, distance therefore poses no obstacle to the globalization of the disk-drive industry.


This is even more true of the fast-growing information industries. Films and compact discs cost little to transport, even by aeroplane. Computer software can be ‘exported’ without ever loading it onto a ship, simple by transmitting it over telephone lines from one country to another, so freight rates and cargo-handling schedules become insignificant factors in deciding where to make the product. Businesses can locate based on other considerations, such as the availability of labour, while worrying less about the cost of delivering their output.


In many countries deregulation has helped to drive the process along. But, behind the scenes, a series of technological innovations known broadly as containerization and inter-modal transportation has led to swift productivity improvements in cargo-handling. Forty years ago, the process of exporting or importing involved a great many stages of handling, which risked portions of the shipment being damaged or stolen along the way. The invention of the container crane made it possible to load and unload containers without capsizing the ship and the adoption of standard container sized allowed almost any box to be transported on any ship. By 1967, dual-purpose ships, carrying loose cargo in the hold* and containers on the deck, were giving way to all-container vessels that moved thousands of boxes at a time.


The shipping container transformed ocean shipping into a highly efficient, intensely competitive business. But getting the cargo to and from the dock was a different story. National governments, by and large, kept a much firmer hand on truck and railroad tariffs than charges for ocean freight. This started changing, however, in the mid-1970s, when America began to deregulate its transportation industry. First airlines, then road hauliers and railways, were freed from restrictions on what they could carry, where they could haul it and se what price they could charge. Big productivity gains resulted. Between 1985 and 1996, for example, America’s freight railways dramatically reduced their employment, trackage, and their fleets of locomotives – while the amount of cargo they hauled. Europe’s railways have also shown marked, albeit smaller, productivity improvements.


In America the period of huge productivity gains in transportation may be almost over, but in most countries the process still has far to go. State ownership of railways and airlines, regulation of freight rates and toleration of anti-competitive practices, such as cargo-handling monopolies, all keep the cost of shipping unnecessarily high and deter international trade. Bringing these barriers down would help the world’s economies grow even closer.

Questions 14-17

Reading passage 2 has six sections, A-I

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-I in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.

14. A suggestion for improving trade in the future

15. The effects of the introduction of electronic delivery

16. The similar cost involved in transporting a product from abroad or from a local supplier

17. The weakening relationship between the value of goods and the cost of their delivery

Questions 18-22

Do the following statements agree with the information given un Reading passage 2?

In boxes 18-22 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

18. International trade is increasing at a great rate than the world economy.

19. Cheap labour guarantee effective trade conditions.

20. Japan imports more meat and steel than France.

21. Most countries continue to prefer to trade with nearby nations.

22. Small computer components are manufactured in Germany.

Questions 23-26

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-K, below.

Write the correct letter, A-K, in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet.


Modern cargo-handling methods have had a significant effect on 23…………………………….as the business of moving freight around the world becomes increasingly streamlined.

Manufacturers of computer, for instance, are able to import 24……………………….from overseas, rather than having to rely on a local supplier. The introduction of 25……………………has meant that bulk cargo can be safely and efficiently moved over long distances. While international shipping is now efficient, there is still a need for governments to reduce 26……………………… order to free up the domestic cargo sector.

A tariffs               B components                  C container ships             D output

E employees      F Insurance costs             G trade                               H freight

I Fares                  H software                         H international standards

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on questions 27-40, which are based on reading passage 3 below.



Today, one in every 5 human beings is a migrant worker, a refuse or asylum seeker, or an immigrant living in a foreign country. Current estimates by the United Nations and the international organization for migration indicate that some 150 million people live temporarily or permanently outside their countries of origin (2.5% of the world population). Many of these, 80-97 million, are estimated to be migrant workers with members of their families. Another 12 million are refugees outside their country of origin. These figures do not include the estimated 20 million internally displaced persons forcibly displaced within their own country, nor the tens of millions more of internal migrants, mainly rural to urban, in countries around the world.

Increasing ethnic and racial diversity of societies is inventible consequence of migration. Increasing migration means that a growing number of states have become or are becoming more multi-ethnic, and are confronted with the challenge of accommodating peoples of different cultures, races, religions and languages. Addressing the reality of increased diversity means finding political, legal, social and economic mechanisms to ensure mutual respect and to meditate relations across differences. But xenophobia and racism have become manifest in some societies which have received substantial numbers of immigrants, as workers or as asylum-seekers. In the last few decades, the emergence of new nation states has often been accompanied by ethnic exclusion.

As governments grapple with the new realities of their multi-ethnic societies, there has been a marked increase in discrimination and violence directed against migrants, refugees and other non-nationals by extremist groups in many parts of the world. The lack of any systematic documentation or research over time makes it unclear whether there is a real increase in the level of abuse or in the level of exposure and reporting. Unfortunately, there is more than enough anecdotal evidence to show that violations of the human rights of migrants, refugees and other non-nationals are so generalized, widespread and commonplace that they are a defining feature of international migration today.

The extent of racial discrimination and xenophobia is often played down and sometimes denied by authorities. Racial discrimination is defined in international law as being: any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economical, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

Racism and xenophobia are distinct phenomena, although they often overlap. While racism generally implies distinction based on difference in physical characteristics, such as skin color, hair type, facial features, etc, xenophobia denotes behavior specifically based on the perception that ‘the other’ is foreign to or originates from outside the community or nation. By the standard dictionary definition, xenophobia is the intense dislike or fear of strangers or people from other countries. As a sociologist puts it, ‘xenophobia is an attitudinal orientation of hostility against non-natives in a given population.’

The definition of xenophobia, and its differentiation from racism and racial discrimination, is a still evolving concept. One of the regional preparatory meetings for a recent world conference suggested that:

                   –  Racism is an ideological construct that assigns a certain race and/or ethnic group to a   position of power over others on the basis of physical and cultural attributes, as well as economic wealth, involving hierarchical relations where the superior race exercises domination and control over it. 

                  – xenophobia describes attitudes, prejudices and behavior that reject, exclude and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners in the community, society or with respect to national identity.

In many cases, it is difficult to distinguish between racism and xenophobia as motivations for behavior, since differences in physical characteristics are often assumed to distinguish a person from the common identity. However, manifestations of xenophobia occur against people of identical physical characteristics, even of shared ancestry, when such people arrive, returns or migrate to states or areas where occupants consider them outsiders.  

Questions 27-30

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below.

Write the correct letter, A-F, in the spaces below.

27. An upward trend in violence perpetrated against

      non –national minority groups by radical nations                                     27. …………………………………..

28. Where racism occurs, the dominant groups promotes a  

       Hierarchical system in which it                                                                    28. …………………………………

29. Persons not considered being culturally or physically

       Distinct from the majority                                                                           29. ………………………………..

30.  Racism differs from xenophobia in those victims of the former          30. ………………………………..


A   are always culturally or physically distinct from the perpetrators of the  acts of wrongdoing.
 tends to share a likeness with the perpetrators of the crime.
 may still find themselves the victims of xenophobic behavior.
D has been observed in many different parts of the world.
E   will eventually reach a position of total submission.
F   has a controlling hand in the affairs of one or more of the other sections of society.    

 Questions 31-34  

       Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

31.    Which of the following migrants are there more of?

          A.    internally displaced persons

          B.    refugees

          C.    internal migrants

          D.   immigrant workers

32.     The author of the text believes that

           A. racism is inventible when people emigrate.

           B. governments are finding it difficult to stop racism and xenophobia.

           C. the exploitation of minority groups deters others from migrating.

           D. xenophobia does not exist within minority groups.

33.    There is no real way of knowing how many migrants are discriminated against because.

          A. not all racial abuse cases are documented or looked into.

          B. the number of migrants is increasing at an alarming rate.

          C. migrants don’t complain about being abused.

          D. only serious cases are documented.

34.    People in authority sometimes

         A. exaggerates the seriousness of the problem.

         B. creates the problem.

         C. deny there is a problem.

         D. is eager to solve the problem.

Questions 35-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in reading passage 3?

 In spaces 35-40 below, 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

35.  Most migrants flee their country of origin Because of political or social disorder.       …………………………

36. Most internal migrants leave the countryside for the cities.    …………………………

37. Governments are often reluctant to acknowledge

That racial discrimination and xenophobia exist.        ……………………..

38.  Migrants are exploited an d abused because they

       Create a sense of insecurity for extremist groups.    ………….………………

39. People who are racist or xenophobic are uneducated and hostile.          ………………………….

40. People returning to their country of ancestry do not Face xenophobia.        …………………………

Academic IELTS Reading Test 3


  1. B
  2. C
  3. B
  4. A
  5. D
  6. E
  7. C
  8. K
  9. E
  10. I
  11. D
  12. F
  13. C
  14. I
  15. F
  16. E
  17. D
  18. TRUE
  19. FALSE
  21. TRUE
  22. NOT GIVE
  23. Trade
  24. Components
  25. Container ships
  26. Tariffs
  27. D
  28. F
  29. C
  30. A
  31. D
  32. B
  33. A
  34. C
  36. TRUE
  37. TRUE
  40. FALSE

3 thoughts on “Academic IELTS Reading Test 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!