BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 13

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 13


BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 13
BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 13



Dirty river but clean water

Floods can occur in rivers when the flow rate exceeds the capacity of the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders in the waterway. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in the natural flood plains of rivers. While riverine flood damage can be eliminated by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water, people have traditionally lived and worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile and because rivers provide easy travel and access to commerce and industry.

A.FIRE and flood are two of humanity’s worst nightmares. People have, therefore, always sought to control them. Forest fires are snuffed out quickly. The flow of rivers is regulated by weirs and dams. At least,that is how it used to be. But foresters have learned that forests need fires to clear out the brushand even to get seeds to germinate. And a similar revelation is now dawning on hydrologists. Rivers 一 and the ecosystems they support — need floods. That is why a man-made torrent has been surging down the Grand Canyon. By Thursday March 6th it was running at full throttle, which was expected to be sustained for 60 hours.

B.Floods once raged through the canyon every year. Spring Snow from as far away as Wyoming would melt and swell the Colorado river to a flow that averaged around 1,500 cubic metres (50,000 cubic feet) a second. Every eight years or so, that figure rose to almost 3,000 cubic metres. These floods infused the river with sediment, carved its beaches and built its sandbars.

C. However, in the four decades since the building of the Glen Canyon dam, just upstream of the Grand Canyon, the only sediment that it has collected has come from tiny, undammed tributaries. Even that has not been much use as those tributaries are not powerful enough to distribute the sediment in an ecologically valuable way.

D. This lack of flooding has harmed local wildlife. The humpback chub, for example, thrived in the rust-red waters of the Colorado. Recently, though, its population has crashed. At first sight, it looked as if the reason was that the chub were being eaten by trout introduced for sport fishing in the mid-20th century. But trout and chub co-existed until the Glen Canyon dam was built, so something else is going on. Steve Gloss, of the United States’ Geological Survey (USGS), reckons that the chub’s decline is the result of their losing their most valuable natural defense, the Colorado’s rusty sediment. The chub were well adapted to the poor visibility created by the thick, red water which gave the river its name, and depended on it to hide from predators. Without the cloudy water the chub became vulnerable.

E. And the chub are not alone. In the years since the Glen Canyon dam was built, several species have vanished altogether. These include the Colorado pike-minnow, the razorback sucker and the round tail chub. Meanwhile, aliens including fathead minnows, channel catfish and common carp, which would have been hard, put to survive in the savage waters of the undammed canyon, have moved in.

F. So flooding is the obvious answer. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Floods were sent down the Grand Canyon in 1996 and 2004 and the results were mixed. In 1996 the flood was allowed to go on too long. To start with, all seemed well. The floodwaters built up sandbanks and infused the river with sediment. Eventually, however, the continued flow washed most of the sediment out of the canyon. This problem was avoided in 2004,but unfortunately, on that occasion; the volume of sand available behind the dam was too low to rebuild the sandbanks. This time, the USGS is convinced that things will be better. The amount of sediment available is three times greater than it was in 2004. So if a flood is going to do some good, this is the time to unleash one.

G. Even so, it may turn out to be an empty gesture. At less than 1,200 cubic metres a second, this flood is smaller than even an average spring flood, let alone one of the mightier deluges of the past. Those glorious inundations moved massive quantities of sediment through the Grand Canyon, wiping the slate dirty, and making a muddy mess of silt and muck that would make modem river rafters cringe.

Questions 1-7

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-7 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. Damage caused by fire is worse than that caused by flood.

2. The flood peaks at almost 1500 cubic meters every eight years.

3. Contribution of sediments delivered by tributaries has little impact.

4. Decreasing number of chubs is always caused by introducing of trout since mid-20th

5. It seemed that the artificial flood in 1996 had achieved success partly at the very beginning

6. In fact, the yield of artificial flood water is smaller than an average natural flood at present.

7. Mighty floods drove fast moving flows with clean and high quality water.

Questions 8-13

Complete the summary below.

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

The Eco- Impact of the Canyon Dam

Floods are peopled nightmare. In the past, canyon was raged by flood every year. The snow from far Wyoming would melt in the season of 8………………. and caused a flood flow peak in Colorado River. In the four decades after people built the Glen Canyon dam, it only could gather 9…………………………………. together from tiny, undammed tributaries.

Humpback chub population reduced, why?

Then, several species disappeared including Colorado pike-minnow, 10 ………………… and the round-tail chub. Meanwhile, some moved in such as fathead minnows, channel catfish and 11……………………The non-stopped flow leaded to the washing away of the sediment out of the canyon, which poses great threat to the chubs because it has poor 12……………………… away from predators. In addition, the volume of 13…………………… available behind the dam was too tow to rebuild the bars and flooding became more serious.


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-27, which are based on Reading Passage 2 on the following pages.

Monkeys and Forests

AS AN EAST WIND blasts through a gap in the Cordillera de Tilaran, , a rugged mountain range that splits northern Costa Rica in half, a female mantled howler monkey moves through the swaying trees of the forest canopy.

A. Ken Glander, a primatologist from Duke L University, gazes into the canopy, tracking the female’s movements. Holding a dart gun, he waits with infinite patience for the right moment to shoot. With great care, Glander aims and fires. Hit in the rump, the monkey wobbles. This howler belongs to a population that has lived for decades at Hacienda La Pacifica, a working cattle ranch in Guanacaste province. Other native primates — white-faced capuchin monkeys and spider monkeys — once were common in this area, too, but vanished after the Pan-American Highway was built nearby in the 1950s. Most of the surrounding land was clear-cut for pasture.

B. Howlers persist at La Pacifica, Glander explains, because they are leaf-eaters. They eat fruit, when it’s available but, unlike capuchin and spider monkeys, do not depend on large areas of fruiting trees. “Howlers can survive anyplace you have half a dozen trees, because their eating habits are so flexible” he says. In forests, life is an arms race between trees and the myriad creatures that feed on leaves. Plants have evolved a variety of chemical defences, ranging from bad-tasting tannins, which bind with plant-produced nutrients, rendering them indigestible, to deadly poisons, such as alkaloids and cyanide.

C. All primates, including humans, have some ability to handle plant toxins. “We can detoxify a dangerous poison known as caffeine, which is deadly to a lot of animals:’ Glander says. For leaf-eaters, long-term exposure to a specific plant toxin can increase their ability to defuse the poison and absorb the leaf nutrients. The leaves that grow in regenerating forests, like those at La Pacifica, are actually more howler friendly than those produced by the undisturbed, centuries-old trees that survive farther south, in the Amazon Basin. In younger forests, trees put most of their limited energy into growing wood, leaves and fruit, so they produce much lower levels of toxin than do well- established, old-growth trees.

D. The value of maturing forests to primates is a subject of study at Santa Rosa National Park, about 35 miles northwest of Hacienda La Pacifica. The park hosts populations not only of mantled howlers but also of white-faced capuchins and spider monkeys. Yet the forests there are young, most of them less than 50 years old. Capuchins were the first to begin using the reborn forests, when the trees were as young as 14 years. Howlers, larger and heavier than capuchins, need somewhat older trees, with limbs that can support their greater body weight. A working ranch at Hacienda La Pacifica also explain their population boom in Santa Rosa. “Howlers are more resilient than capuchins and spider monkeys for several reasons, Fedigan explains. “They can live within a small home range, as long as the trees havethe right food for them. Spider monkeys, on the other hand,occupy a huge home range, so they can’t make it in fragmented habitat”

E. Howlers also reproduce faster than do other monkey species in the area. Capuchins don’t bear their first young until about 7 years old, and spider monkeys do so even later, but howlers give birth for the first time at about 3.5 years of age. Also, while a female spider monkey will have a baby about once every four years, well-fed howlers can produce an infant every two years.

F. The leaves howlers eat hold plenty of water, so the monkeys can survive away from open streams and water holes. This ability gives them a real advantage over capuchin and spider monkeys, which have suffered during the long, ongoing drought in Guanacaste.

G. Growing human population pressures in Central and South America have led to persistent destruction of forests. During the 1990s, about 1.1 million acres of Central American forest were felled yearly. Alejandro Estrada, an ecologist at Estacion de Biologia Los Tuxtlas in Veracruz, Mexico, has been exploring how monkeys survive in a landscape increasingly shaped by humans. He and his colleagues recently studied the ecology of a group of mantled howler monkeys that thrive in a habitat completely altered by humans: a cacao plantation in Tabasco, Mexico. Like many varieties of coffee, cacao plants need shade to grow, so 40 years ago the landowners planted fig, monkey pod and other tall trees to form a protective canopy over their crop. The howlers moved in about 25 years ago after nearby forests were cut. This strange habitat, a hodgepodge of cultivated native and exotic plants, seems to support about as many monkeys as would a same-sized patch of wild forest. The howlers eat the leaves and fruit of the shade trees, leaving the valuable cacao pods alone, so the farmers tolerate them.

H. Estrada believes the monkeys bring underappreciated benefits to such farms, dispersing the seeds of fig and other shade trees and fertilizing the soil with feces. He points out that howler monkeys live in shade coffee and cacao plantations in Nicaragua and Costa Rica as well as in Mexico. Spider monkeys also forage in such plantations, though they need nearby areas of forest to survive in the long term. He hopes that farmers will begin to see the advantages of associating with wild monkeys, which includes potential ecotourism projects.

I. “Conservation is usually viewed as a conflict between agricultural practices and the need to preserve nature,” Estrada says. “We’re moving away from that vision and beginning to consider ways in which agricultural activities may become a tool for the conservation of primates in human-modified landscapes.”

Questions 14-19

The reading Passage has seven paragraphs A-I.

Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter A-I, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

14. a reference of reduction in Forest inhabitant

15. Only one species of monkey survived while other two species were vanished

16. a reason for howler Monkey of choosing new leaves

17. mention to howler Monkey’s nutrient and eating habits

18. a reference of asking farmers’ changing attitude toward wildlife

19. the advantage for howler Monkey’s flexibility living in a segmented habitat

Questions 20-22

Look at the following places and the list of descriptions below.

Match each description with the correct place, A-E.

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 20-22 on your answer sheet.

List of places

A. Hacienda La Pacifica

B. Santa Rosa National Park

C. a cacao plantation in Tabasco, Mexico

D. Estacion de Biologia Los Tuxtlas in Veracruz, Mexico

E. Amazon Basin

20. howler Monkey’s benefit to the local region’s agriculture

21. Original home for all three native monkeys

22. A place where Capuchins monkey comes for a better habitat

Questions 23-27

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 23-27 on your answer sheet.

The reasons for Howlers monkey survive better in focal region than other two species

Howlers in La Pacifica since they can feed themselves with leaf when 23………………………is not easily found Howlers has better ability to alleviate the 24………………………. which old and young trees used to protect themselves) When compared to that of spider monkeys and capuchin monkeys, the 25…….…………..the rate of Howlers is relatively faster (round for just every 2 years). The monkeys can survive away from open streams and water holes as the leaves howlers eat hold high content of 26………………………………. which ensure them to resist to continuous 27………………………………. in Guanacaste.


Read the passage below and answer Questions 28-40.

Music: Language We All Speak

Section A: Music is one of the human species relatively few universal abilities. Without formal training, any individual, from Stone Age tribesman to suburban teenager has the ability to recognize music and, in some fashion, to make it. Why this should be so is a mystery. After all, music isn’t necessary for getting through the day, and if it aids in reproduction, it does so only in highly indirect ways. Language, by contrast, is also everywhere- but for reasons that are more obvious. With language, you and the members of your tribe can organize a migration across Africa, build reed boats and cross the seas, and communicate at night even when you can’t see each other. Modem culture, in all its technological extravagance, springs directly from the human talent for manipulating symbols and syntax. Scientists have always been intrigued by the connection between music and language. Yet over the years, words and melody have acquired a vastly different status in the lab and the seminar room. While language has long been considered essential to unlocking the mechanisms of human intelligence, music is generally treated as an evolutionary frippery-mere “auditory cheesecake,” as the Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker puts it.

Section B: But thanks to a decade-long wave of neuroscience research, that tune is changing. A flurry of recent publications suggests that language and music may equally be able to tell us who we are and where we’re from – not just emotionally, but biologically. In July, the journal Nature Neuroscience devoted a special issue to the topic. And in an article in the August 6 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, David Schwartz, Catherine Howe, and Dale Purves of Duke University argued that the sounds of music and the sounds of language are intricately connected. To grasp the originality of this idea, it’s necessary to realize two things about how music has traditionally been understood. First, musicologists have long emphasized that while each culture stamps a special identity onto its music; music itself has some universal qualities. For example, in virtually all cultures sound is divided into some or all of the 12 intervals that make up the chromatic scale – that is, the scale represented by the keys on a piano. For centuries, observers have attributed this preference for certain combinations of tones to the mathematical properties of sound itself. Some 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras was the first to note a direct relationship between the harmoniousness of a tone combination and the physical dimensions of the object that produced it. For example, a plucked string will always play an octave lower than a similar string half its size, and a fifth lower than a similar string two-thirds its length. This link between simple ratios and harmony has influenced music theory ever since.

Section C: This music-is-moth idea is often accompanied by the notion that music formally speaking at least, exists apart from the world in which it was created. Writing recently in The New York Review of Books, pianist and critic Charles Rosen discussed the long-standing notion that while painting and sculpture reproduce at least some aspects of the natural world, and writing describes thoughts and feelings we are all familiar with, music is entirely abstracted from the world in which we live. Neither idea is right, according to David Schwartz and his colleagues. Human musical preferences are fundamentally shaped not by elegant algorithms or ratios but by the messy sounds of real life, and of speech in particular -which in turn is shaped by our evolutionary heritage.” The explanation of music, like the explanation of any product of the mind, must be rooted in biology, not in numbers per se,” says Schwartz. Schwartz, Howe, and Purves analyzed a vast selection of speech sounds from a variety of languages to reveal the underlying patterns common to all utterances. In order to focus only on the raw sound, they discarded all theories about speech and meaning and sliced sentences into random bites. Using a database of over 100,000 brief segments of speech, they noted which frequency had the greatest emphasis in each sound. The resulting set of frequencies, they discovered, corresponded closely to the chromatic scale. In short, the building blocks of music are to be found in speech Far from being abstract, music presents a strange analog to the patterns created by the sounds of speech. “Music, like the visual arts, is rooted in our experience of the natural world,” says Schwartz. “It emulates our sound environment in the way that visual arts emulate the visual environment.” In music we hear the echo of our basic sound-making instrument- the vocal tract. The explanation for human music is simple; still than Pythagoras’s mathematical equations. We like the sounds that are familiar to us- specifically, we like sounds that remind us of us. This brings up some chicken-or-egg evolutionary questions. It may be that music imitates speech directly, the researchers say, in which case it would seem that language evolved first. It’s also conceivable that music came first and language is in effect an Imitation of song – that in everyday speech we hit the musical notes we especially like. Alternately, it may be that music imitates the general products of the human sound-making system, which just happens to be mostly speech. “We can’t know this,” says Schwartz. “What we do know is that they both come from the same system, and it is this that shapes our preferences.”

Section D: Schwartz’s study also casts light on the long-running question of whether animals understand or appreciate music. Despite the apparent abundance of “music” in the natural world- birdsong, whale song, wolf howls, synchronized chimpanzee hooting previous studies have found that many laboratory animals don’t show a great affinity for the human variety of music making. Marc Hauser and Josh McDermott of Harvard argued in the July issue of Nature Neuroscience that animals don’t create or perceive music the way we do. The act that laboratory monkeys can show recognition of human tunes is evidence, they say, of shared general features of the auditory system, not any specific chimpanzee musical ability. As for birds, those most musical beasts, they generally recognize their own tunes – a narrow repertoire – but don’t generate novel melodies like we do. There are no avian Mozarts. But what’s been played to the animals, Schwartz notes, is human music. If animals evolve preferences for sound as we do – based upon the sounds cape in which they live – then their “music” would be fundamentally different from ours. In the same way our scales derive from human utterances, a cat’s idea of a good tune would derive from yowls and meows. To demonstrate that animals don’t appreciate sounds the way we do, we’d need evidence that they don’t respond to “music” constructed from their own sound environment.

Section E: No matter how the connection between language and music is parsed, what is apparent is that our sense of music, even our love for it, is as deeply rooted in our biology and in our brains as language is. This is most obvious with babies, says Sandra Trehub at the University of Toronto, who also published a paper in the Nature Neuroscience special issue. For babies, music and speech are on a continuum. Mothers use musical speech to “regulate infants’ emotional states.” Trehub says. Regardless of what language they speak, the voice all mothers use with babies is the same: “something between speech and song.” This kind of communication “puts the baby in a trance-like state, which may proceed to sleep or extended periods of rapture.” So if the babies of the world could understand the latest research on language and music, they probably wouldn’t be very surprised. The upshot, says Trehub, is that music may be even more of a necessity than we realize.

Question 28 – 31

Reading Passage 3 has five sections A-E.

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-viii in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i. Animal sometimes make music.

ii. Recent research on music

iii. Culture embedded in music

iv. Historical theories review

v. Communication in music with animals

vi. Contrast between music and language

vii. Questions on a biological link with human and music

viii. Music is good for babies.

28. Section B

29. Section C

30. Section D

31. Section E

Questions 32-38

Look at the following people and list of statements below.

Match each person with the correct statement.

Write the correct letter A-G in boxes 32-38 on your answer sheet.

List of statements

A. Music exists outside of the world in which it is created

B. Music has a common feature though cultural influences affect

C. Humans need music

D. Music priority connects to the disordered sound around

E. Discovery of mathematical musical foundation

F. Music is not treat equally well compared with language

G. Humans and monkeys have similar traits in perceiving sound

32. Steven Pinker

33. Musicologists

34. Greek philosopher Pythagoras

35. Schwartz, Howe, and Purves

36. Marc Hauser and Josh McDermott

37. Charles Rosen

38. Sandra Trehub

Questions 39-40

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D

Write your answers in boxes 39-40 on your answer sheet.

39. Why was the study of animal’s music uncertain?

A. Animals don’t have the same auditory system as humans.

B. Experiments on animal’s music are limited.

C. tunes are impossible for animal to make up.

D. Animals don’t have spontaneous ability for the tests.

40. What is the main subject of this passage?

A. Language and psychology.

B. Music formation.

C. Role of music in human society.

D. Music experiments for animals.









8. spring

9. sediment

10. razorback sucker

11. common carp

12. visibility

13. sand

14. G

15. A

16. C

17. B

18. I

19. D

20. C

21. A

22. B

23. Fruits

24. Plant toxins/ toxin

25. Reproductive/reproduce

26. Water

27. drought

28. vi

29. iv

30. v

31. vii

32. F

33. B

34. E

35. D

36. G

37. A

38. C

39. B

40. C

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