BEST IELTS General Reading Test 33

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 33


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 33
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 33



Sahara Desert

There are some areas on this planet where rainfall is not sufficient to support vegetation the difference of temperature between day and night is high. Days are hot and sunny whereas nights are very cold. In some places for several years there may not be any rainfall. When rain occurs, it is accompanied by strong winds or storms. Such hot and dry landscapes, devoid of vegetation, are called deserts. Deserts occupy about one-seventh of the earth’s surface. Deserts can be of two types – hot deserts as mentioned above and cold deserts. In high latitudes or high altitudes, vast stretches of treeless landscape covered by permanent snow is called cold desert. Here you will know about Sahara, the hot desert.

Sahara — The Biggest Hot Desert

Sahara is the largest desert in the world. From the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean it stretches across the northern part of Africa. If you carefully observe the map of Africa, the continent has more land in the northern part. Towards south the continent is narrowing down. Thus, you can realize that a substantial portion of this continent is covered by sand. Sand dunes is the most noticeable feature in this landscape. As strong wind blows, when it is obstructed on its way, the sands it was carrying, get deposited. These deposits are called sand dunes- A major part of the Sahara Desert consists of shifting dunes.

Sahara records very high temperature for most part of the year. But the hottest months are June, July and August. In places where water is near the surface some cacti and shrubs grow apart from date palms. In Sahara Arabian deserts, date palms are Prevalent. The fruits, i.e., the dates are brown when ripe. Both people and animals eat dates. The leaves areusefulas fodder or fuel. Sometimes the leaves are also used to cover roofs. This tree is very useful.

The sap of this tree is used to make wine. In the shelter of date palms, fruits like figs. olives, apricots are grown.

Therefore, the common belief that the desert is a lifeless habitat, is not entirely true. But. water is evidently very important factor behind life. Here we find a beautiful relation between landform in deserts and availability of water. In high areas or on steep slopes. water does not accumulate. Thus, plants and animals are rarely found there. But, in low lying areas plants and animals are to be seen.

Plants and animals show various features of adaptation to the natural environment of a hot desert. For example, the plants develop long and extensive roots to extract water from beneath the surface soil. Usually these plants have smaller leaves so that water is not lost through transpiration.

Similarly, human settlements are found in the Oases as water is available there. Some oases are very small with some palm trees clustered around a well but few are quite big where even farming is practiced. Wheat, maize, millets, beans, onions, tobacco and sweet potatoes are grown in such farms. People build thick-walled houses with small windows to prevent heat. In Tunisia, for example, people have built caves in soft rocks for themselves and their animals. White loose clothes are worn to survive in the heat. For long distance travels people carry water in containers made out of goat skin or camel skin which keeps the water cool.

Camel is the most important animal which is very well adjusted to the harsh climate of the desert. The soft-padded feet help the camels from sinking in loose sand and long eyelashes protect eyes from sand. The hump stores water for long time which help it to survive long journeys in the deserts. Therefore, camel is rightly named the Ship of the Desert.

Some wild animals are also found in Sahara; for example, antelopes, jackals, sand-rats, foxes, gazelles and oryx are some of them. Among insects’ various kinds of spiders and scorpions inhabit this desert.

Questions 1-5

Choose the appropriate letters from A-D and write them in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

1. What is the difference in temperature where the rainfall is not sufficient

A. Very low

B. Low

C. Moderate

D. High

2. Sahara Desert stretches across the northern—

A. southern part of America

B. part of Africa

C. area of Ladakh

D. side of China

3. The deposits of sand in the desert are called—

A. sand dunes

B. heaps of sands

C. mounds of sand

D. sand mounts

4. Which fruit is prevalent in Sahara?

A. figs

B. olives

C. date palms

D. apricots

5. In the desert, where are the plants and animals to be seen?

A. near sand dunes

B. on high areas

C. on slopes

D. in low lying areas

Questions 6-10

Do the following statements agree with the information on the Reading Passage in boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet, write

YES: if the statement agrees with the information

NO: if the statement contradicts the information

NG: if there is no information arrow the statement

6. Deserts can be of two types-hot deserts and cold deserts.

7. There are no roots of the desert plants.

8. The common belief is that the desert is a habitat full of life.

9. Some palm trees can be seen clustered around a well.

10. Camel is rightly named the Ship of the Desert.

Questions 11-19

Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage, answer the questions below.

11. How much part of the earth is occupied by deserts?

12. What is the most noticeable feature in the Sahara Desert?

13. What for is the sap of date palm tree used?


1. D

2. B

3. A

4. C

5. D

6. Yes

7. NG

8. No

9. Yes

10. Yes

11. about one-seventh

12. sand dunes

13. to make wine


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