BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 12

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 12


BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 12
BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 12


Reading passage – 1

SOsUS: Listening to the Ocean

A. The oceans of Earth cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface, yet, until quite recently, we knew less about their depths than we did about the surface of the Moon. Distant as it is, the Moon has been far more accessible to study because astronomers long have been able to look at its surface, first with the naked eye and then with the telescope both instruments that focus light. And, with telescopes tuned to different wavelengths of light, modem astronomers can not only analyse Earth’s atmosphere, but also determine the temperature and composition of the Sun or other stars many hundreds of light-years away. Until the twentieth century, however, no analogous instruments were available for the study of Earth’s oceans: Light, which can travel trillions of miles through the vast vacuum of space, cannot penetrate very far in seawater.

B. Curious investigators long have been fascinated by sound and the way it travels in water. As early as 1490, Leonardo da Vinci observed: “If you cause your ship to stop and place the head of a long tube in the water and place the outer extremity to your ear, you will hear ships at a great distance from you.” In 1687, the first mathematical theory of sound propagation was published by Sir Isaac Newton in his Philosophiae Natural is Principia Mathematic a, Investigators were measuring the speed of sound in air beginning in the mid seventeenth century, but it was not until 1826 that Daniel Colladon, a Swiss physicist, and Charles Sturm, a French mathematician, accurately measured its speed in water. Using a long tube to listen underwater (as da Vinci had suggested), they recorded how fast the sound of a submerged bell travelled across Lake Geneva. Their result-1,435 meters (1,569 yards) per second in water of 1.8 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit)was only 3 meters per second off from the speed accepted today. What these investigators demonstrated was that water-whether fresh or salt- is an excellent medium for sound, transmitting it almost five times faster than its speed in air.

C. In 1877 and 1878, the British scientist John William Strutt, third Baron Rayleigh, published his two-volume seminal work, The Theory of Sound, often regarded as marking the beginning of the modem study of acoustics. The recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904 for his successful isolation of the element argon, Lord Rayleigh made key discoveries in the fields of acoustics and optics that are critical to the theory of wave propagation in fluids. Among other things, Lord Rayleigh was the first to describe a sound wave as a mathematical equation (the basis of all theoretical work on acoustics) and the first to describe how small particles in the atmosphere scatter certain wavelengths of sunlight, a principle that also applies to the behavior of sound waves in water.

D. A number of factors influence how far sound travels underwater and how long it lasts. For one, particles in seawater can reflect, scatter, and absorb certain frequencies of sound -just as certain wavelengths of light may be reflected, scattered, and absorbed by specific whales in real time and position them on a map. Moreover, they can track not just one whale at a time, but many creatures simultaneously throughout the North Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific. They also can learn to distinguish whale calls. For example, Fox and colleagues have detected changes in the calls of finback whales during different seasons and have found that blue whales in different regions of the Pacific Ocean have different calls.

E. The U.S. Navy was quick to appreciate the usefulness of low-frequency sound and the deep sound channel in extending the range at which it could detect submarines. In great secrecy during the 1950s,the U.S. Navy launched a project that went by the code name Jezebel; it would later come to be known as the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). The system involved arrays of underwater microphones, called hydrophones, that were placed on the ocean bottom and connected by cables to onshore processing centers. With SOSUS deployed in both deep and shallow waters along both coasts of North America and the British West Indies, the U.S. Navy not only could detect submarines in much of the northern hemisphere, it also could distinguish how many propellers a submarine had, whether it was conventional or nuclear, and sometimes even the class of sub.

F. The realization that SOSUS could be used to listen to whales also was made by Christopher Clark, a biological acoustician at Cornell University, when he first visited a SOSUS station in 1992. When Clark looked at the graphic representations of sound, scrolling 24 hours day, every day, he saw the voice patterns of blue, finback, minke, and humpback whales. He also could hear the sounds. Using a SOSUS receiver in the West Indies, he could hear whales that were 1,770 kilometers (1,100 miles) away. Whales are the biggest of Earth’s creatures. The blue whale, for example, can be 100 feet long and weigh as many tons. Yet these animals also are remarkably elusive. Scientists wish to observe blue time and position them on a map. Moreover, they can track not just one whale at a time, but many creatures simultaneously throughout the North Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific. They also can learn to distinguish whale calls. For example, Fox and colleagues have detected changes in the calls of finback whales during different seasons and have found that blue whales in different regions of the Pacific ocean have different calls. Whales firsthand must wait in their ships for the whales to surface. A few whales have been tracked briefly in the wild this way but not for very great distances, and much about them remains unknown. Using the SOSUS stations, scientists can track the whales in real time and position them on a map. Moreover, they can track not just one whale at a time, but many creatures simultaneously throughout the North Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific. They also can learn to distinguish whale calls. For example, Fox and colleagues have detected changes in the calls of finback whales during different seasons and have found that blue whales in different regions of the Pacific Ocean have different calls.

G. SOSUS, with its vast reach, also has proved instrumental in obtaining information crucial to our understanding of Earth’s weather and climate. Specifically, the system has enabled researchers to begin making ocean temperature measurements on a global scale measurements that are keys to puzzling out the workings of heat transfer between the Ocean and the atmosphere. The ocean plays an enormous role in determining air temperature the heat capacity in only the upper few meters of ocean is thought to be equal to all of the heat in the entire atmosphere. For sound waves traveling horizontally in the ocean, speed is largely a function of temperature. Thus, the travel time of a wave of sound between two points is a sensitive indicator of the average temperature along its path. Transmitting sound in numerous directions through the deep sound channel can give scientists measurements spanning vast areas of the globe. Thousands of sound path sin the ocean could be pieced together into a map of global ocean temperatures and, by repeating measurements along the same paths over times, scientists could track changes in temperature over months or years.

H. Researchers also are using other acoustic techniques to monitor climate Oceanographer Jeff Nystuen at the University of Washington, for example, has explored the use of sound to measure rainfall over the ocean. Monitoring changing global rainfall patterns undoubtedly will contribute to understanding major climate change as well as the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. Since 1985, Nystuen has used hydrophones to listen to rain over the ocean, acoustically measuring not only the rainfall rate but also the rainfall type, from drizzle to thunderstorms. By using the sound of rain underwater as a “natural” rain gauge, the measurement of rainfall over the oceans will become available to climatologists.

Questions 1-4

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE – if the statement is true

FALSE – if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN – if the information is not given in the passage

1. In the past, difficulties of research carried out on Moon were much easier than that of

2. The same light technology used on investigation of moon can be employed in the field of ocean.

3. Research on the depth of ocean by method of sound wave is more time-consuming.

4. Hydrophones technology is able to detect the category of precipitation.

Questions 5-8

The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 5-8 on your answer sheet.

NB. You may use any letter more than once

5. Elements affect sound transmission in the ocean.

6. Relationship between global climate and ocean temperature

7. Examples of how sound technology help people research ocean and creatures in it

8. Sound transmission under water is similar to that of light in any condition.

Questions 9-13

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

Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.

9. Who of the followings is dedicated to the research of rate of sound?

A. Leonardo da Vinci B. Isaac Newton C. John Wiliam Strutt D. Charles Sturm

10. Who explained that the theory of light or sound wavelength is significant in water?

A. Lord Rayleigh
B. John William Strutt
C. Charles Sturm
D. Christopher Clark

11. According to Fox and colleagues, in what pattern does the change of finback whale calls happen

A. Change in various seasons
B. Change in various days
C. Change in different months
D. Change in different years

12. In which way does the SOSUS technology inspect whales?

A. Track all kinds of whales in the ocean
B. Track bunches of whales at the same time
C. Track only finback whale in the ocean
D. Track whales by using multiple appliances or devices

13. What could scientists inspect via monitoring along a repeated route?

A. Temperature of the surface passed
B. Temperature of the deepest ocean floor
C. Variation of temperature
D. Fixed data of temperature

Reading Passage – 2

Trash Talk

Sorting through a mountain of pottery to track the Roman oil trade

(A) In the middle of Rome’s trendiest neighborhood, surrounded by sushi restaurants and nightclubs with names like Rodeo Steakhouse and Love Story, sits the ancient world’s biggest garbage dump—a 150-foot-tall mountain of discarded Roman amphoras, the shipping drums of the ancient world. It takes about 20 minutes to walk around Monte Testaccio, from the Latin testa and Italian cocci, both meaning “potsherd.” But despite its size—almost a mile in circumference—it’s easy to walk by and not really notice unless you are headed for some excellent pizza at Velavevodetto, a restaurant literally stuck into the mountain’s side. Most local residents don’t know what’s underneath the grass, dust, and scattering of trees. Monte Testaccio looks like a big hill, and in Rome people are accustomed to hills.

(B) Although a garbage dump may lack the attraction of the Forum or Colosseum, I have come to Rome to meet the team excavating Monte Testaccio and to learn how scholars are using its evidence to understand the ancient Roman economy. As the modern global economy depends on light sweet crude, so too the ancient Romans depended on oil—olive oil. And for more than 250 years, from at least the first century A.D., an enormous number of amphoras filled with olive oil came by ship from the Roman provinces into the city itself, where they were unloaded, emptied, and then taken to Monte Testaccio and thrown away. In the absence of written records or literature on the subject, studying these amphoras is the best way to answer some of the most vexing questions concerning the Roman economy—How did it operate? How much control did the emperor exert over it? Which sectors were supported by the state and which operated in a free market environment or in the private sector?

(C) Monte Testaccio stands near the Tiber River in what was ancient Rome’s commercial district. Many types of imported foodstuffs, including oil, were brought into the city and then stored for later distribution in the large warehouses that lined the river. So, professor, just how many amphoras are there?” I ask José Remesal of the University of Barcelona, co-director of the Monte Testaccio excavations. It’s the same question that must occur to everyone who visits the site when they realize that the crunching sounds their footfalls make are not from walking on fallen leaves, but on pieces of amphoras. (Don’t worry, even the small pieces are very sturdy.) Remesal replies in his deep baritone, “Something like 25 million complete ones. Of course, it’s difficult to be exact,” he adds with a typical Mediterranean shrug. I, for one, find it hard to believe that the whole mountain is made of amphoras without any soil or rubble. Seeing the incredulous look on my face as I peer down into a 10-foot-deep trench, Remesal says, “Yes, it’s really only amphoras.” I can’t imagine another site in the world where archaeologists find so much—about a ton of pottery every day. On most Mediterranean excavations, pottery washing is an activity reserved for blisteringly hot afternoons when digging is impossible. Here, it is the only activity for most of Remesal’s team, an international group of specialists and students from Spain and the United States. During each year’s two-week field season, they wash and sort thousands of amphoras handles, bodies, shoulders, necks, and tops, counting and cataloging, and always looking for stamped names, painted names, and numbers that tell each amphora’s story.

(D) Although scholars worked at Monte Testaccio beginning in the late 19th century, it’s only within the past 30 years that they have embraced the role amphoras can play in understanding the nature of the Roman imperial economy. According to Remesal, the main challenge archaeologists and economic historians face is the lack of “serial documentation,” that is, documents for consecutive years that reflect a true chronology. This is what makes Monte Testaccio a unique record of Roman commerce and provides a vast amount of datable evidence in a clear and unambiguous sequence. “There’s no other place where you can study economic history, food production and distribution, and how the state controlled the transport of a product,” Remesal says. “It’s really remarkable.”

Questions 14-17

Reading Passage 2 has four paragraphs A-D. Which paragraph contains what information? Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 13-16 on your answer sheet.

14. Questions about the Roman economy…………………

15. A unique feature ………………..

16. Description of the dump …………………….

17. Dialogue with a professor ………………….

Questions 18–22

Do the following statements agree with the information given in 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. World’s biggest garbage dump is surrounded by restaurants and nightclubs.                  

19. The garbage dump is as popular as the Colosseum in Rome.                  

20. Ancient Roman economy depended on oil.                  

21. There is no information on how many amphoras are there.                  

22. Remesal says that Monte Testaccio is a great place to study economics.                

Questions 23–27

Complete the sentences below.

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 2226 on your answer sheet.

23. It is unknown for  …………………  what’s underneath the grass, dust, and scattering of trees.

24. Monte Testaccio stands near the ancient Rome’s……………………..

25. Remesal doesn’t believe that the whole mountain is made of ………………… without any soil or rubble.

26. Remesal’s team washes and sorts thousands of amphoras each year’s two-week…………………..

27………………..started working at Monte Testaccio in the late 19th century.

Reading Passage – 3

The concept of childhood in the western countries

The history of childhood has been a topic of interest in social history since the highly influential 1960 book Centuries of Childhood, written by French historian Philippe Aries.He argued that “childhood” is a concept created by modern society.

A. One of the most hotly debated issues in the history of childhood has been whether childhood is itself a recent invention. The historian Philippe Aries argued that in Western Europe during the Middle Ages (up to about the end of the fifteenth century) children were regarded as miniature adults, with all the intellect and personality that this implies.He scrutinized medieval pictures and diaries, and found no distinction between children and adults as they shared similar leisure activities and often the same type of work. Aries, however, pointed out that this is not to suggest that children were neglected, forsaken or despised. The idea of childhood is not to be confused with affection for children; it corresponds to an awareness of the particular nature of childhood, that particular nature which distinguishes the child from the adult, even the young adult.

B. There is a long tradition of the children of the poor playing a functional role in contributing to the family income by working either inside or outside the home. In this sense children are seen as ‘useful. Back in the Middle Ages, children as young as 5 or 6 did important chores for their parents and, from the sixteenth century, were often encouraged (or forced) to leave the family by the age of 9 or 10 to work as servants for wealthier families or to be apprenticed to a trade.

C. With industrialization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a new demand for child labour was created, and many children were forced to work for long hours, in mines, workshops and factories. Social reformers began to question whether labouring long hours from an early age would harm children’s growing bodies. They began to recognize the potential of carrying out systematic studies to monitor how far these early deprivations might be affecting children’s development.

D. Gradually, the concerns of the reformers began to impact on the working conditions of children. In Britain, the Factory Act of 1833 signified the beginning of legal protection of children from exploitation and was linked to the rise of schools for factory children. The worst forms of child exploitation were gradually eliminated, partly through factory reform but also through the influence of trade unions and economic changes during the nineteenth century which made some forms of child labour redundant. Childhood was increasingly seen as a time for play and education for all children, not just for a privileged minority. Initiating children into work as ‘useful’ children became less of a priority. As the age for starting full-time work was delayed, so childhood was increasingly understood as a more extended phase of dependency, development and learning. Even so, work continued to play a significant, if less central role in children’s lives throughout the later nineteenth and twentieth century. And the ‘useful child, has become a controversial image during the first decade of the twenty-first century especially in the context of global concern about large numbers of the world’s children engaged in child labour.

E. The Factory Act of 1833 established half-time schools which allowed children to work and attend school. But in the 1840s, a large proportion of children never went to school and if they did, they left by the age of 10 or 11. The situation was very different by the end of the nineteenth century in Britain. The school became central to images of a normal childhood.

F. Attending School was no longer a privilege and all children were expected to spend a significant part of their day in a classroom. By going to school, children’s lives were now separated from domestic life at home and from the adult world of work. School became an institution dedicated to shaping the minds, behaviour and morals of the young. Education dominated the management of children’s waking hours, not just through the hours spent in classrooms but through ‘home work, the growth of after school activities and the importance attached to parental involvement.

G. Industrialization, urbanization and mass schooling also set new challenges for those responsible for protecting children’s welfare, and promoting their learning. Increasingly. children were being treated as a group with distinctive needs and they were organized into groups according to their age. For example, teachers needed to know what to expect of children in their classrooms, what kinds of instruction were appropriate for different age groups and how best to assess children’s progress. They also wanted tools that could enable them to sort and select children according to their abilities and potential.

Questions 28-34

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? Write your answers in boxes 28-34 on your answer sheet.

TRUE – if the statement is true

FALSE – if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN – if the information is not given in the passage

28. Aries pointed out that children did different types of work as adults during the Middle Age.

29. During the Middle Age, going to work necessarily means children were unloved indicated by Aries.

30. Scientists think that overworked labour damages the health of young children

31. The rise of trade union majorly contributed to the protection children from exploitation in 19th century

32. By the aid of half-time schools, most children went to school in the mid of 19 century.

33. In 20 century almost all children need to go to school in full time schedule.

34. Nowadays, children’s needs were much differentiated and categorised based on how old they are

Questions 35-40

Answer the questions below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

35. what is the controversial topic arises with the French historian Philippe Aries’s concept

36. what image for children did Aries believed to be like in Western Europe during the Middle Ages

37. what historical event generated the need for great amount child labour to work long time in 18 and      19 century

38. what legal format initiated the protection of children from exploitation in 19th centenary

39. what the activities were more and more regarded as being preferable for almost all children time in 19th centenary

40. where has been the central area for children to spend largely of their day as people’s expectation in modern society






5. D

6. G

7. F

8. D

9. D

10. A

11. A

12. B

13. C

14. B

15. D

16. A

17. C

18. True

19. False

20. True

21. False

22. True

23. Most local residents

24. Commercial district

25. Amphoras

26. Field season

27. Scholars


29. TRUE

30. TRUE




34. TRUE

35. History of childhood

36. (as) miniature adults

37. (with the) industrialization

38. The factory Act

39. Play and education

40. Classroom

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