BEST IELTS General Reading Test 17
GENERAL READING PASSAGE 17
GENERAL READING PASSAGE 17
READING PASSAGE – 1
Look at the eight advertisements, A-H.
Which advertisement mentions the following?
Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 1 – 8 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once
1 However long it takes, this worker has a minimum amount that must be paid if he or she comes to a job.
2 This worker can supply recommendations from previous customers.
3 This worker wants to be contacted by email.
4 This worker wants to be paid by card.
5 This worker can supervise children in the mornings.
6 This worker needs to be provided with transport to get home at certain times.
7 This worker will wash your clothes.
8 This worker has a website that people can use to order the service.
A Hello. My name’s John and I am an odd job man. I can do any repair or maintenance work around the house, though I specialise in working with wood. Making wood furniture made to measure is something I’m particularly well known for. Call me on 01564 398 877 if you need something done!
B Experienced gardener available to work mornings in this area. I have lots of experience with creating and maintaining beautiful lawns and I have plenty of experience with landscaping and planting and nurturing flowers. I can also plan and set up kitchen gardens or I can just come in and give you advice about your garden. References available on request. Call 07454 893 212.
C Babysitter for you! Hi. I’m Sally and I’m a student at the local university. I offer babysitting services on any evening of the week. I am available from 6 p.m. every weekday and from 4 p.m. at weekends. charge $10 an hour and I ask for a taxi to take me home if I stay at your home after 11 p.m. Overnight stays are possible with older children. If you want to have a chat about what I can do, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
D Home Cleaning. I am efficient cleaner in your area with years of experience who can work mornings only (8 a.m. – 12 noon – weekdays and weekends). I can do all types of housework, and I can also handle your laundry, ironing, washing up or childcare. Call my mobile: 07864 382 855.
E Mike the Electrician. If you have any issues with the electrics in your house, then I’m the man to call. I can do anything from a total rewire of your home to changing a bulb. Many houses today have wildly out-of-date wiring, so call me to come and have a look for free and I’ll provide you with an analysis of your requirements and a quotation 07232 767434 ($60 call-out charge).
F Home Shopping. For people who can’t get out and about, I will come to your house or receive a phone call for your shopping needs and then I’ll bring it all back to your house and put it into the right place. I charge an hourly rate of $10 with pro rata for time between the hours. Call Alex on 07821 441 448.
G Hayley’s Car Servicing. My garage and team of mechanics will give your car a careful check over and get it back to you on the same day (providing we get it before midday). We can also deal with any “yellow sticker” problems right away. Car valeting service available as well. Phone: 01564 902 993.
H Home Cooking. For those people who might find it hard to cook a meal at home (or for those who just don’t have time), I provide a cooking and meal delivery service. All you need to do is to place an order from our menu list before 7 p.m. the previous night and we’ll bring it to your house. Call or use our website to place your orders. All payments to be done by credit or debit card at the time of ordering. Make sure to give us details of any allergies that you might suffer from. www.foodforyou.com.au/ 01564 555 444.
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 9 – 14 on your answer sheet.
9 Who should people speak to if they wish to change the sitting they will attend for dinner?
10 What must people give to have the use of a sun lounger on the beach?
11 Who should people ask to see if they’re sick in the hotel?
12 Who are the only people who can use the hotel swimming pool?
13 How will drinks be served at the hotel swimming pool?
14 Where will people find information about the evening shows and fun at the hotel?
Welcome to the Bayside Hotel. This paper will explain to you some of the basics you’ll need to know about during your stay with us.
Breakfast is buffet style and served every morning in the Seaview restaurant, located on the 2nd floor. Breakfast is served every day from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. If you’re up earlier and in a hurry for a plane or a train, we will have “Breakfast on the Go” available at the reception. Pick up some coffee or tea, and some filled rolls or fruit (available from 4 a.m. until 7a.m.).
For those people who have lunch in their package or want to order lunch, it too is buffet style and available in the Seaview restaurant from 12 noon until 3 p.m.
Dinner is served at two sittings, the first is from 5.30 p.m. until 7.30 p.m. and the second is from 7.45 p.m. until 10 p.m. Ask the head waiter which sitting you have been allocated. She can change this if space is available. Again, dinner is buffet style and served in the Seaview restaurant. If you’d like to order à la carte, you may go to the top floor Oyster Restaurant. Eating at this restaurant is not included in package prices.
Residents only may use our private beach at any time, though the lifeguards are on duty only from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. We discourage swimming outside these hours, as there will be no supervision. All sun loungers and tables on the beach are free of charge for our residents, but a small deposit is required. Food and drinks may be ordered at the snack bar in the pool area and these can be brought to your place on the beach. If you have any minor accident on the beach, such as a minor cut, speak to our lifeguards, who are all first aid trained. For anything more serious or problems in the hotel, there is the nurse on duty 24/7 in the hotel. Ask at the reception if you need him/her.
The Pool Area
The main hotel swimming pool area is also solely accessible by hotel residents. Sun loungers and tables are free of charge, but they may not be ‘reserved’ unattended for long periods of time. The pool is open for swimming 24-hours a day, but, like the beach, a lifeguard is only on duty from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. People may order food and drinks at the snack bar. The food can be eaten on the tables at the snack bar or on the sun loungers and tables. Please note that all drinks will be supplied in plastic receptacles, as glass can be a potential danger by the pool. The pool is not suitable for young children. A paddling pool is available for young children (accompanied by an adult) to the west of the main pool.
Every evening from 7 p.m., we have entertainment around the pool. This will vary from music recitals and singing to quiz and games nights. Check the entertainment board for the weekly plan.
For any further information about any of the above, please speak to one of our receptionists, who will be happy to deal with your questions.
READING PASSAGE – 2
Job Search Assistance from the Human Resources Dept.
The recent downturn in the economy has meant that some of our employees will soon be seeking employees will soon be seeking employment elsewhere. Our company is committed to assisting staff in the search for a new position whenever and wherever we can. Please read the following tips and tools for effective job searching:
1 Be organized.
First and foremost make sure you are planning your attack on the job market in an organized and professional manner. Apply your talents to the cause for a fixed minimum number of hours per day. Keep records of everything you do. Obtain as much information as possible from reliable sources online and off, and be sure to keep a job search diary. Do not procrastinate. Always return calls when they are made to you, and follow up opportunities the moment they present themselves.
2 Work on your resume.
The important of well-presented, accurate and comprehensive resume cannot be overemphasized. Creating and composing a professional document is essential, but not everyone has specific experience about what and what not to include nor the requisite design skills. To show yourself in your best light, pay someone to perform this task for you. A quality resume be worth a hundred times what you spend on it.
3 The importance of references.
Use relevant references from as many reputable persons and establishments you have worked for in the past as you can. Although current policy forbids the disclosure of reference details, retrenched staff members can expect fair treatment and positive referrals from managers at this company when dismissal is due to unavoidable downsizing.
4 Use a variety of search options.
Use a job search agency to get the best jobs (you should not have to pay up front for this – or usually at all, since commission is obtained later from your employer). Peruse ads online and in the daily papers, both local and statewide. Contact companies direct, and make it known that your talents are for hire. Social media websites, including Twitter and Face book can help. Ask us how.
5 Get networked.
It can help a great deal to get others involved in your search. Te moral support of friends in a similar position to you will combine with your help towards them and create a synergy that opens doors and Moves Mountains!
6 Dress well for the interview.
Job applications do not always look the part. A prospective employer can easily be turned off by a scruffy person with good qualifications. Package yourself as you would a top product, for that is how you must present yourself. Incidentally, women are not advised to wear too much jewellery or make-up to an interview.
7 Send a thank you note.
Once your interview is over, and if you know it went well, consider sending a thank you note to the interviewer. The job application is not oven when you walk out the door. This small step can help resurrect your chance if the number of candidates for the job is large. Surprisingly, few people take advantage of this opportunity to be remembered.
8 Keep a positive outlook.
It is all too easy to become discourages after failing to secure a job after a number of attempts. Try to learn something from each interview experience so that your failures will count towards your eventual success. Mock interview sessions can be arranged in the evening between managerial and floor staff. Contact Joan Blackwell on 0402-969-465 or speak directly with your manger.
9 Things to avoid.
Don’t imagine that get rich quick schemes or gambling with your payout funds will help you through the lean times. Job scams are an unfortunate fact of working life. If the job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never hand over money to a prospective employer in the hope that his or her offer of training will result in employment. More often than not, the job will fail to materialize.
Complete the following sentences with suitable words or phrases from the text above. Write your answers in boxes 15-17 on your answer sheet.
Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
EXAMPLE: The economic downturn is the reason that some staff members will be
15 When an opportunity arises follow it up immediately; in other words, ……………………………..
16 It is not possible to …………………………….the need for a quality resume.
17 When staff lose their jobs due to downsizing, they will receive…………………………………………..
Choose the correct letter from A-D. Write your answers in boxes 18-20 on your answer sheet.
Example: A good resume should include references
A. regardless of their relevance
B. only if they are relevant.
C. from all sources
D. both positive and negative.
18 The Human Recourses Dept.
A Keeps the content of references private.
B Always gives a good reference to past employers.
C Advertises in the daily papers.
D Will contact companies directly for you.
19 Paying a job search agency is
A Only necessary once you have landed the job.
B Not often the obligation of the job-seeker.
C An option to choose if you wish to get the better jobs.
D All of the above.
20 At the interview session, you are advised
A To dress well but not to overdo the accessories.
B To take something positive from the interview.
C Not to accept costly training that might result in you being hired.
D All of the above.
Choose THREE letters from A-G. Write your answer in box 21 on your answer sheet.
Which THREE of the job search tips below are NOT mentioned in the text?
A Be regular in your job-seeking efforts
B Be selective when you record events in your job search diary
C Send your resume to as many companies as possible
D Team up with other job-seekers
E sharpen your interview skills with role-plays
F follow up on potentially successful interviews
E upgrade your job skills while looking for work
Read the text below and answer Question 22-27.
Work Overtime – Facts and Fiction
Working overtime for no pay has become standard practice in most offices and factories throughout the U.K., U.S., and even Australia and New Zealand – countries where Workers’ Union once ruled supreme. Gone are the days when union bosses could and would order workers to down tools and strike if employers so much as requested a minute of voluntary unpaid work time. What has gone wrong? Or right, depending on your viewpoint?
The financial crisis that overwhelmed the world in September 2008 has been labeled the villain that finally put to rest any notion of compensation for overtime. Airline crews have regularly worked 15-hour shifts for many years with no such luxury. Restaurant staff starting at lunchtime can easily put in 12 hours a day with no expectation of extra pay for their trouble. The difference is that now, right across the board, workers are being asked to stay back at work or run the risk of not being asked to return. It might not be legal just yet, but it is happening.
In Australia, a new Nation Employment Standard says “an employer must not request an employee work more than 38 hours unless the additional hours are reasonable”. But how does an employee argue that additional hours are unreasonable? Unreasonable for Whom and Why? What exactly constitute an unreasonable request to work back later? Working more than 50 hours a week is considered the uppermost limit before work starts to affect your health – according to the International Labour Organisation – but many workers are expected to work as many or more hours to satisfy the ever-increasing consumer demand for a shop or business to stay open and compete in the modern economy.
This situation does not come as news to most older Asian workers who have long been used to working vast numbers of hours per week for a little or no extra monetary reward; however, there is a recent argument that is hard not to accept: worldwide living standards have increased to very high levels for many millions of consumers in the West, and large parts of Asia and fast catching up.
In China and India for example, once considered slow growth economies, the reward for exceptionally hard work is beginning to pay off, with millions of people now able to afford cars and white goods that were once luxuries enjoyed in the West.
The fact is that working long and hard pays dividends; if not in the pay packet, then at the pump or at the local supermarket where prices are kept well within reasonable limits while living standards climb slowly higher for the benefit of all. Workers find it difficult to argue for higher wages for more work achieved when consumer rewards are already being felt across the entire world economy. At the same time, boss can extract more and more hours from staff without having to pay for it. Paid overtime is becoming a distant memory.
Look at the following statements
TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the text.
Write your answers in boxes 22-27 on your answer sheet.
22 Unpaid overtime is limited to the airline and restaurant industry. ……………………………..
23 Workers who refuse to perform unpaid overtime can be lawfully sacked. ………………………….
24 Working back late is bad for your health. …………………………………………
25 Asian workers now spend more than Western workers. …………………………..
26 Living standards across the global are steadily increasing. …………………………………
27 Paid overtime may not be necessary when living standards are high. ……………………………
READING PASSAGE – 3
Read the text below and answer Questions 28 – 40.
Joseph Paxton: Gardener and Architect
A Joseph Paxton was born in 1803 and grew up on a farm 70 km north of London, although his date of birth is sometimes mistakenly given as 1801. After a series of gardening jobs when in his teens, at the age of 20 he claimed to be two years older than he really was to obtain a post as gardener with the Horticultural Society, at Chiswick Gardens, a few miles from London. The gardens were leased from a wealthy aristocrat, the Duke of Devonshire, who had a house nearby. The duke saw and was impressed by Paxton’s horticultural achievements, and in 1826 offered him the position of head gardener at his large country house, Chatsworth, in the English midlands.
B On his first day in his new post, he met Sarah Bown, the niece of Chatsworth’s housekeeper. Before long they wed, and had a long and happy marriage. At Chatsworth Paxton designed gardens, fountains, an arboretum – a collection of trees – and even rebuilt a village. His Emperor Fountain involved removing 76,000 m’ of earth from a hill above the gardens, in order to create a lake to feed the fountain.
C At Chatsworth Paxton also constructed the Great Conservatory, a massive glass structure supported by a cast iron framework, at a time when glass houses were very new. Its purpose was to house plants imported from around the world. Because some came from temperate climates and others from tropical, the plants needed different temperatures. Paxton’s solution was to install eight boilers, to gradually increase the temperature from one end of the conservatory to the other. His design for the roof maximised light and heat from the sun, and drained rainwater away through hollow cast iron columns. All the elements that made up the conservatory were prefabricated, and could be produced in large quantities and assembled into buildings of various designs. Completed in 1840, the conservatory was the largest glass building in the world – 69m long by 37m wide. It was lit by 12,000 lamps for a visit by Queen Victoria, when she was driven through the building in a carriage.
D Ten years later Paxton was responsible for the lily house at Chatsworth, built for a waterlily from the Amazon. He was struck by the strength of the waterlily’s huge leaves – reaching 1.4m in diameter – which he demonstrated by standing his daughter on one as it floated on water. He based the design of the lily house on these leaves.
E Paxton is best remembered for the Crystal Palace, the building he designed for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London’s Hyde Park. The committee responsible for the exhibition hall had examined 245 designs, all of them unsuitable, though one had been accepted as the least bad option, and was well into its planning stage. Paxton happened to be in London to attend a business meeting, and mentioned an idea he had for the hall. He hadn’t intended to submit plans, but was encouraged to do so, though it had to be done within the next nine days. He met this deadline, but Some members of the committee objected to dropping the current proposal. Paxton’s response was to publish his ideas in the Illustrated London News, and the reaction was so favourable that the committee substituted his design for the one previously chosen.
F The design was a development of the Great Conservatory and lily house at Chatsworth: a modular, prefabricated structure of glass and cast iron. It was 563m long, 124m wide and 33mbhigh. Most importantly, unlike the other proposals it was cheap, easy to erect and remove, and could be constructed quickly; in fact, it took 2,000 men only eight months to build. The Great Exhibition was an enormous success, and Paxton was one of three men knighted for making that possible.
G Paxton remained as head gardener at Chatsworth: the duke admired and supported him, and left him free to take on many other projects. Besides the Crystal Palace, he designed several country houses and public parks, and was a director of the Midland Railway. His investment in the booming railway industry made him wealthy. In 1858 the duke died and Paxton retired from Chatsworth.
H One of his most innovative designs, although never implemented, was the Great Victorian Way. Paxton presented his plan to a parliamentary committee in 1855. It was intended as a solution to the severe congestion in the streets of London. It was for a 16km loop around the centre of the city, constructed of iron and glass like the Crystal Palace, and linking London’s railway termini. Paxton pointed out that by road it took longer to make an eight-kilometre journey across London than it took to travel by train the 120 kilometres from London to Brighton. Paxton’s design contained a glass-roofed roadway, with houses or shops on each side. It also incorporated two levels of atmospheric railway tracks, one for fast trains and one for slow, powered by air pressure. The committee was interested in the plan, but in 1858 the need for a sewer network in London became overwhelming. With both projects requiring major investment, only one could be afforded, and the sewers were the more urgent. From 1854 until his death, Paxton was a member of parliament, and continued working on various projects after retiring from Chatsworth. He died in 1865 at the age of 61, and was buried on the Chatsworth estate. His wife lived until 1871.
Questions 28 – 35
The text on the previous pages has eight sections, A-H.
Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.
write the correct number, i – x, in boxes 28 – 35 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i Why Paxton’s proposed structure couldn’t be built
ii A major transformation of the landscape
iii Paxton travels abroad
iv Inspiration from nature
v Support from his employer
vi Inaccurate information helps in getting a job
vii Making the most of an unplanned opportunity
viii Accommodating plants with different requirements
ix Buildings that inspired other architects
X Why Paxton’s design was the most suitable
28 Section A
29 Section B
30 Section C
31 Section D
32 Section E
33 Section F
34 Section G
35 Section H
Questions 36 -40
Complete the summary below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 36 – 40 on your answer sheet
The Great Conservatory at Chatsworth
The Great Conservatory was constructed of 36………………held in a cast iron structure. It contained several 37…………………so that one end could be made warmer than the other. Rainwater was brought from the roof down to ground level inside cast iron 38……………… .Every part of the building was 39…………………and then put together on site to form the conservatory. Queen Victoria visited and travelled through the conservatory by 40…………… .
9. (The) head waiter
10. (A) (small) deposit
11. (The) nurse
12. (Hotel) residents
13. (In) (plastic) receptacles / (In) plastic (receptacles)
14. (The) entertainment board
15. Do not procrastinate/(Always) return calls/be organised
17. Fair treatment/positive referrals
21. B,C,G (answers to 21 may be in any order, but all 3 answers must be given)
24. NOT GIVEN
25. NOT GIVEN