Best Academic IELTS Reading Practice Test 5

Academic IELTS Reading Practice Test 5

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on questions 1-13.

Pilot whales rely on the same high-risk, high-gain hunting strategy as cheetahs do.

Spanish biologists have unearthed evidence that deep-sea whales, which are known to be slow and energy saving creatures, are indeed the cheetahs of the ocean. Experts at La Laguna University say that they have observed super-fast pilot whales sprinting after their preys, which may even include giant squid sometimes.

In their study report, appearing in the Journal of Animal Ecology, the researchers say that highly specialized hunting strategy the cetaceans use is very similar to the strategies cheetahs use.

The researchers have even successfully recorded such remarkable behavior of the whales, hundreds of meters underwater in complete darkness.

“As far as we know, no other whale has been recorded to swim nearly as fast at depth,” the BBC quited marine biologist Natacha Aguilar Soto of La Laguna University in Tenerife as saying.

“Short-fined pilot whales seem to be the greatest burst-speed athletes of the deep-diving mammals,” the researcher added.

During the study, the researchers attached a tag to 23 short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) living off the coast of the canary Islands, with the help of which they could record the speed, depth and direction of the whales’ dives, as well as the sounds made and heard by the whales.

While scientists previously thought that the tags demonstrated that the whales also hunt during the day. The tags also revealed that when the whales surged after their prey, they reached the speeds of 32 km per hour, and might keep up the sprint for 200km (650ft), before either catching the prey or giving up the chase.

Aguilar Soto said the new findings contrasted the existing perceptions of how deep-sea creatures behave, such as the belief that deep diving whales moved relatively slowly due to the need to conserve oxygen while holding their breath.

“It was completely unexpected that short-finned pilot whales sprint at depth with limited oxygen reserves. Cheetahs for example, more than double their breathing rate during chases,” Aguilar Soto said.

The researchers said pilot whales rely on the same high-risk, high-gain hunting strategy as cheetahs do According to them, the whales do it while still holding their breath. Aguilar Soto said such behavior of whales indicates that they are spotted lazing on the surface perhaps due to the fact that they might be actually recovering from the exertion of the hunt.

Questions 1-6

Fill in the blanks. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer:-

Complete the sentences below from given list or words.

  1. Hunting techniques use by whales is common to the strategies of……………………………………
  2. Short finned pilot whales have ………………………………………… among the sea mammals.
  3. Scientists first thought that whales ……………………………………… at night was not correct.
  4. Whales can move with a velocity of ………………………………… 60 minutes.
  5. Whales moved slowly to ……………………………………. The respiration process.
  6. Cheetahs in fact more than ……………………………………………..rate during hunting.

Questions 7-10

Do the following statements agree with the information in reading passage 1? In boxes 7-10.  Write on your answer sheet.

YES                            if the statement agrees with the information

NO                             if the statement contradicts the information

NOTGIVEN              if there is no information on this in the passages.

7. Whales are energy conserving creatures.

8. Researchers studied the behavior of whales successfully.

9. Tag was attached to measure the weefing of whales.

10. Whales can jump up to 200m.

Questions 11-13

CHOOSE the appropriate Letter A-D and write it in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.

11. Tag was attached to know ………………………… of whales

A. Jumping limit

B. Position

C. Velocity and direction

D. Force

12. Short finned pilot whales used limited oxygen during hunting at

A. Depth

B. Middle of ocean

C. Upper surface of sea

D. Sub-surface

13. Choose a suitable title for passage

A. Short-finned pilot whales

B. Cheetahs of Ocean

C. Nature of whales

D. Hunting of whales.

Reading Passage 2:-

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage Two.



The most difficult aspect of money to understand is its function as a unit of account. In linear measurement we find the definition of a yard, or a metre, easy to accept. In former times these lengths were defined in terms of fine mines etched onto brass rods maintained in standards laboratories at constant temperatures. Money is much more difficult to define, however, because the value of anything is ultimately in the mind of the observer, and such values will change with time and circumstances.

Sir lsaac Newton, as Master of the Royal Mint, defined the pound sterling (£) in 1717 as 113 grains of pure gold. This took Britain of silver and onto gold as defining the unit of account. The pound was 113 grains of pure gold, the shilling was 1/2-0 of that, and the penny 1/240 of it.

By the end of the 19th century the gold standard had spread around most of the trading world, with the result that there was a single world money. It was called by different names in different countries, but all these supposedly different currencies were rigidly interconnected through their particular definition in terms of a quality of gold.


In economic life the prices of different commodities and services are always changing with respect to each other. If the price of potato crop, for example, is ruined by frost or flood, then the price of potatoes will go up. The consequences of that particular price increase will be complex and unpredictable. Because of the high price of potatoes, prices of other things will decline, as demand for them declines. Similarly, the argument that the Middle East crisis following the lraqi annexation of Kuwait would, because of increased oil prices, have led to sustained general inflation is, although widely accepted, entirely without foundation. With sound money (money whose purchasing power does not decline over time) a sudden price shock in any one commodity will not lead to a general price increase, but to changes in relative prices throughout the economy. As oil increases, other goods and services will drop in price, and oil substitutes will rise in price, as the consequences of the oil price increase work their unpredictable and complex way through the economy.

The use of gold as the unit of account during the days of the gold standard meant that the price of all other commodities and services would swing up and down reference to the price of gold, which was fixed. If gold rushes in California and Australia petered out, then deflation ( a general price level decrease) would set in, when new gold rushes followed in South Africa and again in Australia, in the 1880s and 1890s, the general price level increased, gently, around the world.


The end of the gold standard began with the introduction of the Bretton-Woods Agreement in 1946. This fixed the values of all world currencies relative to the US dollar, which in turn was fixed to a specific value of gold (US$0.35/oz). However, in 1971 the US government finally refused to exchange US dollars for gold, and other countries as they wanted, and the more that was printed, the less each unit of currency was worth.

The key problem with these government “fiat” currencies is that their value is not defined; such value is subject to how much money a government cares to print. Their future value is unpredictable, depending as it does on political chance. In our economic calculating concerning the past we automatically convert incomes and expenditures to dollars of a particular year, using CPI deflators which are stored in our computers. When we perform economic calculations into the future we guess at inflation rates and include these guesses in our figures. Our guesses are entirely based on past experience. In Australia most current calculations assume a three to four per cent inflation rate.


The great advantage of the 19th century gold standard was not just that it defined the unit of account, but that it operated throughout almost the entire world. A piece in England was the same as a price in Australia and in North America. Anthony Trollope tells us in his diaries about his Australian travels in 1872 that a pound of meat, selling in the UK. It was this price difference which drove investment and effort into the development of shipboard refrigerations, and opening up of major new markets for Australian meat, at great benefit to the British public.

Today we can determine price differences between countries by considering the exchange rate of the day. In twelve months’ time, even a months’ time, however, a totally different situation may prevail, and investments of time and money made on the basis of an opportunity at an exchange rate of the day, become completely wasted because of subsequent exchange rate movements.

The great advantage of having a single stable world money is that such money has very high information content. It tells people where to invest their time, energy and capital, all around the world, with much greater accuracy and predictability than would otherwise be possible.

Questions 14-17

THE reading passage has four sections. Choose the most suitable heating for each section from the list of headings below.

Write the appropriate numbers in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet. Note: There are more headings than sections so you will not use all of them.

i. The Price of Gold

ii. The Notion of Money and its Expression

iii. The Rise of Problematic Modern Currencies

iv. Stable Money Compared to Modern “fiat” Currencies

v. The Effects of Inflation


14. SECTION I:   .………………………….

15. SECTION II:  ……………………………

16. SECTION III:  …………………………..

17. SECTION IV:  ………………………….

Questions 18-21

USING information from the text, match the following causes with a result. Write the appropriate letters in boxes 18-21 on your answer sheet.

A. Oil substitutes become more expensive

B. Oil substitutes drop in price

C. People developed techniques of transporting it to other places

D. More people went to live in Australia

E. The price of other things goes down, because fewer people could afford to buy them

F. People used gold instead of silver as money

G. All prices went up slightly, everywhere

H. There is no observable effect

I. All prices went down, everywhere


18. The price of potatoes goes up.

19. The amount of gold available went down.

20. Meat in Australia was cheaper than elsewhere.

Questions 22-26

IN the reading passage, writer compared money based on a gold standard, and fiat money. Using the information in the passage, match a phrase A, B or C in the box with the writer’s opinions in each question to show which kind of money is meant. Write the appropriate letter in boxes 22 – 26 on your answer sheet.

A. Money based on a gold standard

B. Government fiat monopoly currencies

C. Both money based on a gold standard and fiat currencies


22. The writer states that it has a clearly defined value.

23. The writer states that its value by definition varies over time.

24. The writer describes its future value as predictable.

25. The writer knows or can calculate its past value.

26. The writer believes it makes international investment easier.

Reading Passage 3:-

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40.


Latchkey child was a term coined to describe children who wore or carried house keys to school so that they could let themselves into their home when they returned from school. The term came into use during the Second World War, when fathers had gone off to war, and mothers had gone into industry, making the tanks, planes, uniforms and bullets the soldiers needed. The children went home with keys on chains, ribbons or a piece of string tied around their neck. Some mothers chose to work the night shift, called the “swing shift”, and tucked their children into bed, locked the door and went to the factory. The country’s response was prompt and comprehensive. Programmes were set up in factories, in schools and community centres, to gather in all the children whose parents were busy with the war effort. These programmes closed promptly when the war ended, and women resumed their roles as housewives. More than sixty years on, there are large numbers of working mothers, but unlike in wartime, the country is not organised to care for their children.

Sadly, finding young children at home without adult supervision has become much too commonplace. Latchkey children were once found only among the lower classes, but the situation has gradually spread to the middle and upper classes. The same is true of adolescent violence. In the past, shootings and stabbings were associated primarily with inner city, or poverty stricken areas permeated with abusive families and neglectful schools. However, in recent times, the “teen violence” epidemic has penetrated society at every economic level. An increase in the number of working mothers, as well as singlr-parent families, combined with a decrease in extended families that once helped with childcare, has contributed to the growing ranks of latchkey kids.

According to one census, one third of all school-age children in the United States are, for some part of the week, latchkey kids, that is, they go home to an empty house or apartment. The total number may be between five and seven million children between Edelman, the director of the Children’s Defence Fund, thinks it’s close to 16 million children. The Census Bureau found that 15% were home alone before school, 76% after school and 9% at night. Presumably, the 9% have parents who work night shifts.

One-half of all children in the country aged 12 o 14 are home alone for an average of seven hours a week. The very poor in America are less likely to leave their children alone at home, or allow them go home alone, than families who earn twice their level of income. This is probably because the very poor live in less safe neighborhoods, and have fewer friends or family who can step in, in case of emergency. In spite of the hours spent on the job, working mothers spend an average of five-and-a-half hours a day with their children.

When latchkey children are functioning well, we don’t hear about them. But we do hear about the one-third of all complaints to child welfare agencies which involve latchkey children. We know about the 51% who are doing poorly in school. Most teachers believe that being alone at home is the number one cause of school failure. The afternoon hours are the peak time for juvenile crime. In the last 11 years, juvenile crime has increased 48%. The Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development found that 8th graders who are alone 11 hours a week are twice as likely to abuse drugs as adolescents who are busy after school. Unsupervised children are more likely to become depressed, smoke cigarettes and marijuana and drink alcohol. They are also more likely to be the victims of crimes. When home alone, latchkey children generally watch television, eat snacks, plat with pets and fight with siblings.

Adolescents who fall under the classification of latchkey children are more likely than others of the same age group to experience feelings of rage and isolation and to express those emotions in a physically aggressive manner. While there are certainly genetic and biological factors involved in the development of an adolescent’s propensity towards acting out their feelings of rage and isolation, environment also plays a key role in this arena. Sociologists have found that many latchkey children, because they are frequently raised in dysfunctional families, are taught by example to be manipulative, secretive and unpredictable. They often instinctively develop a sense of timing and management of their emotions. These are skills that can be easily and directly used to portray a false picture of themselves and their living situations.

Making the decision: when is a child ready to be home alone? Personality characteristics, skills and maturity are useful criteria for determining a child’s readiness to be home alone. Personality doesn’t generally change much with age, although children can learn to modify some of their reactions as they learn what is expected of them. There are some children who find it very difficult to be alone, some who need time and gradual exposure to become accustomed to being by them-selves, and some who adapt easily.

The personality characteristics of the child who is ready to be home alone is a child who

  • Is not fearful, feels at ease in the world and is self-confident
  • Is claim, and is not excitable when something unexpected happens
  • Is outgoing and talks about his or her feelings and thoughts readily with parents and others
  • Admits wrongdoing, even when expecting disapproval
  • Has courage enough to resist pressure from friends and others

In many communities there are activities for school age children whose parents work and cannot be at home in the afternoon. The importance of looking into these is stressed by children development professionals. According to James Comer of Yale University, “the period between 10 and 15 years is a time when young people re-examine their attitudes and values. They are being pressured by peers. They need to be protected by responsible adults who will help them examine and counter some of these attitudes.”

The activities available vary as does the cost. Some are more popular with children than others, and some are more popular with children than others, and some are more rewarding, but all are preferable to sitting at home in front of the television. These programs can vary in cost or are free, depending upon the particular activity and the age of the child. All of them offer the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that are useful throughout life. Children who are not learning anything for hours every week are at e distinct disadvantage compared to children who are engaged in enriching activities. In the words of T. Berry Brazelton, of Harvard University:”During these all important bridge years between childhood and adulthood, kids really do need something constructive to do, and they also still need to have their activities supervised. Most of all, they need to know that their parents care about them, are involved in their lives, and have their best interests at heart.”

Questions 27-29

Choose THREE letters A-H.

NB your answers may be given in any order.

Which THREE of the following statements are mentioned in the text?

A. Youth crime is no longer attributable to economic background.

B. The greatest cause for concern is the children whose parents work the night shift.

C. Latchkey children whose parents have alcohol-abuse problems are more likely to drink alcohol when unsupervised at home.

D. The safer the neighborhood, the lower the crime rate amongest adolescents.

E. Because of financial considerations, children from middle-class or upper-class backgrounds have more access to community activities.

F. Latchkey children are not only drawn to crime; they are victims of crime, too.

G. Expense should not be a factor in allowing children to get involved in out-of-school activities.

H. Knowing how to say no to one’s peers is a sign of an adolescent’s maturity.

Questions 30-31

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

31. The writer says that during the war,

A. Children whose parents were absent from the home were better looked after than present-day children in the same situation are.

B. The country was slow to react to the problem of latchkey children.

C. The role of the housewife changed forever.

D. All wives whose husbands had gone off to fight were expected to work in industry.

32. According to the Census Bureau, most children were left alone

A. At night.

B. In the morning.

C. In the afternoon.

D. All day.

Questions 32-35

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?

In spaces 32-35 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

32. Latchkey children can be experts at hiding the truth about their situation. …………………….

33. Latchkey children leave home at a very early age. …………………………

34. Latchkey children’s aggressive emotional responses are due principally to their biological make-up. …………………………….

35. Good communication skills are a measure of a child’s ability to be left unsurprised. ……………………

Questions 36-40

Complete the summary.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.\

The Second World War gave rise to the phenomenon of the latchkey child, as mothers had to abandon their traditional duties and fill the places of men in 36…………………………….. . Fortunately, there was a quick 37…………………………….. to this by the authorities to help mothers so that their children would not be left at home unsurprised. However, now, so many years after the war, this type of support has disappeared and the problem of having children alone at home without 38…………………………… is very common. These children take up smoking and drinking alcohol. While 40…………………………….. and level of maturity plays a part in how a child copes with being a latchkey child, experts say that the remedy for this situation is more parental involvement and interest in their children’s lives.

Academic IELTS Reading Practice Test 5
Best Academic IELTS Reading Practice Test 5


  1. cheetahs
  2. greatest burst speed
  3. hunt only
  4. 32 km
  5. Conserve oxygen
  6. Double their breathing
  7. YES
  8. YES
  9. NO
  11. C
  12. A
  13. B
  14. ii
  15. vi
  16. iii
  17. iv
  18. E
  19. G
  20. I
  21. C
  22. A
  23. B
  24. A
  25. C
  26. A
  27. A
  28. F
  29. H
  30. A
  31. C
  32. TRUE
  34. FALSE
  35. TRUE
  36. Industry
  37. Response
  38. Adult supervision
  39. Physically aggressive
  40. Personality

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