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Global Warming, What is a Dinosaur?, GDoesn’t that Sound Terribly Yellow to You? -IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test with Answers

Pratice Question Types

Reading Passage 1 :

• Multiple Choice Questions
• Yes/No or Not Given
• Sentence completion

Reading Passage 2 :

• Matching headings
• Sentence completion
• Matching features

Reading Passage 3

• Yes/No or Not Given
• Multiple Choice Questions


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

Global Warming

Day after day, we hear about how anthropogenic development is causing global warming. According to an increasingly vocal minority, however, we should be asking ourselves how much of this is media hype, and how much is based on real evidence. It seems – as so often is the ease – that it depends on which expert you listen to, or which statistics you study.

Yes, it is true that there is a mass of evidence to indicate that the world is getting warmer, with one of the world’s leading weather predictors stating that air temperatures have frown an increase of just under half a degree Celsius since the beginning of the twentieth century. And while this may not sound like anything worth losing sleep over, the interna¬tional press would have us believe that the consequences could be devastating. Other ex¬perts, however, are of the opinion that what we are seeing is just part of a natural upward and downward swing that has always been part of the cycle of global weather. An analysis of the views of major meteorologists in the United States showed that less than 20% of them believed that any change in temperature over the last hundred years was our own fault – the rest attributed it to natural cyclical changes.

There is, of course, no denying that we are still at a very early stage in understanding weather. The effects of such variables as rainfall, cloud formation, the seas and oceans, gases such as methane and ozone, or even solar energy are still not really understood, and therefore the predictions that we make using them cannot always be relied on. Dr James Hansen, in 19BH, was predicting that the likely effects of global warming would be a raising of the world temperature which would have disastrous consequences for mankind: “a strong cause arid effect relationship between the current climate and human alteration of the at-mosphere”. He has now gone on record as stating that using artificial models of climate as a way of predicting change is all but impossible. In fact, he now believes that, rather than getting hotter, our planet is getting greener as a result of the carbon dioxide increase, with the prospect of increasing vegetation in areas which in recent history have been frozen wastelands.

In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that as our computer-based weather models have become more sophisticated, the predicted rises In temperature have been cut back. In addi¬tion, if we look at the much-reported rise in global temperature over the last century, a close analysis reveals that the lion’s share of that increase, almost three quarters in total, occurred before man began to “poison” his world with industrial processes and the accom¬panying greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the twentieth century.

So should we pay any attention to those stories that scream out at us from billboards and television news headlines, claiming that man, with his inexhaustible dependence on oil-based machinery and ever more sophisticated forms of transport is creating a nightmare level of greenhouse gas emissions, poisoning his environment and ripping open the ozone layer? Doubters point to scientific evidence, which can prove that, of all the greenhouse gases, only two per cent come from man-made sources, the rest resulting from natural emissions. Who, then, to believe: the environmentalist exhorting us to leave the car at home, to buy re-usable products packaged in recycled paper and to plant trees in our back yard? Or the sceptics, including, of course, a lot of big businesses who have most to lose, when they tell us that we are making a mountain out of a molehill? And my own opinion? The jury’s still out as for as I am concerned!

Questions 1-5
Choose the appropriate letters A-D.
Write them next to 1-5 on your answer sheet.

1 The author …
A believes that man is causing global warming
B believes that global warming is a natural process
C is sure what the causes of global warming are
D does not say what he believes the causes of global warming are

2 As to the cause of global warming, the author believes that …
A occasionally the fact depends on who you are talking to
B the facts always depend on who you are talking to
C often the fact depends on which expert you listen to
D you should not speak to experts

3 More than 80% of the top meteorologists in the United States are of the opinion that…
A global warming should make us lose sleep
B global warming is not the result of oil natural cyclical changes, but man-made
C the consequences of global warming will be deviating
D global warming is not man-made, but the result of natural cyclical changes.

4 Our understanding of the weather…
A leads to reliable predictions
B is variable
C cannot be denied
D is not very developed yet

5 Currently, Dr. James Hansen’s beliefs include the fact that …
A It is nearly impossible to predict weather change using artificial models
B the consequences of global warming would be disastrous in mankind
C there is a significant link between the climate now, mid man’s changing of the atmosphere
D Earth is getting colder

Questions 6-11
Do the statements below agree with the information in Reading Passage 1? In Boxes 6-11, write:

YES                if the statement agrees with the information in the passage
NO               if the statement contradicts the information in the passage
NOT GIVEN              if there is no information about the statement in the passage

Example: Computer-based weather models have become more sophisticated.
Answer: Yes.

6 At the same time that computer-based weather models have become more sophisticated, weather forecasters have become more expert.
7 Most of the increase in global temperature happened in the second half of the twentieth century.
8 The media wants us to blame ourselves for global warming.
9 The media encourages the public to use environment-friendly vehicles, such as electric cars to combat global warming.
10 Environmentalists are very effective at persuading people to be kind to the environment.
11 Many big businesses are on the side of the sceptics as regards the cause of global warming.

Questions 12 and 13
Complete the sentences below.
Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each blank space.
Write your answers in blank spaces next to 12 and 13 on your answer sheet.

12 As well as planting trees and not driving, the environmentalist would like us to choose products that are wrapped________________and can be used more than once.
13 Big businesses would have us believe that we are making too much fuss about global warming because they have the ___________________.

Question 14 Choose the appropriate letter A-D and write it next to 14 on your answer sheet

14 Which of these is the best title for this text?
A Global Warming is for real
B Global warming – media hype or a genuine threat?
C Weather changes over the last 100 years
D Global Warming – the greatest threat to mankind


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-28, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.

What is a Dinosaur?

Although the name dinosaur is derived from the Crocks for “terrible lizard“ dinosaurs were not, in fact, lizards at all. Like lizards, dinosaurs are included in the class Reptilia, or reptiles, one of the five main classes of Vertebrata, Animals with backbones. However, at the next level of classification, within reptiles, significant differences in the skeletal ana-tomy of lizards and dinosaurs have led scientists to place these groups of animals into two different superorders: Lepidosauria, or lepidosaurs, and Archosauria, or archosaurs.

Classified as lepidosaurs are lizards and snakes and their prehistoric ancestors. Included among the archosaurs, or “ruling reptiles”, are prehistoric and modern crocodiles, and the now-extinct thecodonts, pterosaurs anti dinosaurs. Palaeontologists believe that both dino¬saurs and crocodiles evolved, in the later years of the Triassic Period (c, 248-208 million years ago), front creatures tailed pseudosuchian thecodonts. Lizards, snakes and different types of thecodont are believed to have evolved earlier in the Triadic Period from reptiles known as Eosuchians.

The most important skeletal differences between dinosaurs and other archosaurs are in the bones of the skull, pelvis and limbs. Dinosaur skulls are found in a great range of shapes and sizes, reflecting the different eating habits anti lifestyles of a large and varied group of animals that dominated life on Earth for an extraordinary 165 million years. However, unlike the skulls of any other known animals, the skulls of dinosaurs had two long bones known as vomers. These bones extended on either side of the head, from the front of the snout to the level of the holes in the skull known as the antorbital fenestra, situated in front of the dinosaur’s orbits or eye sockets.

All dinosaurs, whether large or small, quadrupedal or bipedal, fleet-footed or slow-mov¬ing, shared a common body plan. Identification of this plan makes it possible to differenti¬ate dinosaurs from any other types of animal, even other archosaurs. Most significantly, in dinosaurs, the pelvis and femur had evolved so that the hind limbs were held vertically be¬neath the body, rather than sprawling out to the sides like the limbs of a lizard. The femur of all dinosaur hull a sharply in-turned neck and a halt-shaped bead, which slotted into a fully open acetabulum or hip socket. A supra-acetabular crest helped prevent dislocation of the femur. The position of the knee joint, aligned below the acetabulum, made it possi¬ble for the whole hind limb to swing backwards and forwards. This unique combination of features gave dinosaurs what is known as a “fully improved gait”. Evolution of this highly efficient method of walking also developed in mammals, but among reptiles, it occurred only in dinosaurs.

For the purpose of further classification, dinosaurs are divided into two orders: Saurischian dinosaurs, and Ornithischia, or ornithischian dinosaurs. This division is made on the basis of their pelvic anatomy- All dinosaurs with pelvic girdle with each side comprised of three bones: the pubis, ilium and ischium. However, the orientation of these bones follows one of two patterns. In saurischian dinosaurs, also known as lizard-hipped dinosaurs, the pubis points forwards, as is usual in most types of reptile, by contrast, in ornithischian, or bird-hipped, dinosaurs, the pulse points back towards the rear of the animal which is also true of birds.

Of the two orders of dinosaurs, the Stiurischia was the larger mid the first to evolve, It is divided into two suborders: Theropoda, or therapods, and Sauropodomorpha, or sauropodomorphs. The therapods, or “beast feet”, were bipedal, predatory carnivores. They ranged in size from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, 12m long, 5.6m tall and weighing an estimated 6.4 tonnes, to the smallest known dinosaur, Compsognathus, a mere 1,4m long and estimated 3kg in weight when fully grown. The sauropodomorphs, or “lizard feet forms”; included both bipedal and quadrupedal dinosaurs. Some sauropodomorphs were carnivorous or omnivorous but later species were typically herbivorous. They included some of the largest and best-known of all dinosaurs, such as Diplodocus, a huge quadruped with an elephant-like body, a long, thin tail and neck that gave it a total length of 27m, and a tiny head.

Ornithischian dinosaurs were bipedal or quadrupedal herbivores, They are now usu¬ally divided into three suborders: Ornithipodu, Thyrcopborii and Margmoccphalia. The ornithopods, or “bird feet’, both large and small, could walk or run on their long hind legs, balancing their body by holding their tails stiffly off the ground behind them. An ex¬ample is Iguanodon, up to 9m long, 5m tall and weighing 4.5 tonnes. The thyreophorans, or “shield bearers”, also known as armoured dinosaurs, were quadrupeds with rows of protective bony spikes, studs, or plates along their backs and tails. They included Stego¬saurus, 9m long and weighing 2 tonnes.

The margirtucephalians, or “margined heads” were bipedal or quadrupedal ornithischians with a deep bony frill or narrow shelf at the back of the skull. An example is Triceratops, a rhinoceros-like dinosaur, 9m long, weighing 5,4 tonnes and bearing a prominent neck frill and three large horns.

Questions 15-21
Reading Passage 2 has paragraphs A-H.
Choose the most suitable heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers i-xiii in Boxes 15-21 on your answer sheet.

NB. There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use all of them.

15 Paragraph A
16 Paragraph B
17 Paragraph C
18 Paragraph D
19 Paragraph E
20 Paragraph F
21 Paragraph G
Example: Paragraph H               x

List of headings
i. 165 million years
ii. The body plan of archosaurs
iii. Dinosaurs – terrible lizards
iv. Classification according to pelvic anatomy
v. The suborders of Saurischia
vi. Lizards and dinosaurs – two distinct super orders
vii. Unique body plan helps identify dinosaurs from other animals
viii. Herbivore dinosaurs
ix. Lepldosaurs
x. Prills and shelves
xi. The origins of dinosaurs and lizards
xii. Bird-hipped dinosaurs
xiii. Skull bones distinguish dinosaurs from other archosaurs

Questions 22-24
Complete the sentences below.
Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each blank space.
Write your answers in blank spaces next to 22-24 on your answer sheet.

22 Lizards and dinosaurs arc classified into two different superorders because of the difference in their__________.
23 In the Triassic Period, ________________ evolved into thecodonts, for example, lizards and snakes.
24 Dinosaur skulls differed from those of any other known animals because of the presence of vomers:______________.

Questions 25-28 Choose one phrase A-H from the list of features to match with the Dinosaurs listed below.
Write the appropriate letters A-H In Boxes 25-28 on your answer sheet.
The information in the completed sentences should be an accurate summary of the points made by the writer.
NB You may use each phrase once only.

25 Dinosaurs differed from lizards, because…
26 Saurischian and ornithischian dinosaurs…
27 Unlike theropods, sauropodomorphs…
28 Some dinosaurs used their tails to balance, others…

         List of features
A are both divided into two orders.
B the former had a “fully improved gait”.
C was not usually very heavy.
D could walk or run on their back legs.
E their hind limbs sprawled out to the side.
F walked or ran on four legs, rather than two.
G both had a pelvic girdle comprising six bones.
H did not always eat meat.


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

Doesn’t that sound terribly yellow to you?

“I can’t say. I’m colour blind”, was my flatmate’s response. And that was that for another twenty-odd year when by chance I came across an article in a newspaper on research into synaesthesia at a London hospital. At last, I understood my interpretation of the world through colour. Synaesthesia is the subjective sensation of a sense other than the one being stimulated. For example, the sight of a word may evoke sensations of colour or the sound of music may also have a similar effect, as may the taste. Or, to put it simply, synaesthetes, i.e. people with synaesthesia, have their senses hooked together so that they experience several senses simultaneously. To those not already aware of it, synaesthesia seems a new phenomenon. Yet, it is far from new.

In 1690, John Locke, the philosopher, wrote of a blind man with synaesthetic capabil¬ities. The first reference in the medical field was in 1710, by Thomas Woodhouse, an Eng¬lish ophthalmologist. In his Theory of Colour, the German writer, Goethe, talked about colour and the senses. The poet, Arthur Rimbaud, wrote about synaesthesia in his 1871 poem Voyelles, as did another French poet Baudelaire, in Correspondance. So, synaesthesia has a respectable history. Synaesthesia is understandably met with a certain degree of scepticism since it is something beyond the ken of the vast majority of people. Son et lumière shows in the 19th century were an attempt at combining the senses in a public display, but such displays were not capable of conveying the sensations experienced by involuntary synaesthesia, as the ability which a synaesthete’s experience is called.

There has been a number of well-documented synaesthetes. Alexander Scriabin, the Rus¬sian composer, (1871-1915) tried to express his own synaesthetic abilities in his symphony Prometheus, the Poem of Fire (1922). And another Russian, Rlmsky-Korsakov, noted the colour associations musical keys possessed. For example, Scriabin saw C major as red, while to Rimsky-Korsakov it was white. Arthur Bliss, an English composer, based his 1922 Colour Symphony on the concept of synaesthesia. He did not claim to be a synaesthete; his colour choices were arbitrary and the project an intellectual exercise. In the field of the visual arts, probably the best-known artist with synaesthetic capabilities is the Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), credited with being the founder of abstract painting.

It is said he experienced “sensory fusion” at a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin, with the music producing colours before his eyes. He did not see colours solely in terms of objects but associated them with sounds. He even composed an opera, Der GelbeKlang (The Yellow Sound), which was a mixture of colour, light, dance and sound. For many people with synaesthesia, knowing that what they have been experiencing has both a name and a history and that they are among a number of notable sufferers is a revelation, Initially, they often feel that there is something wrong psychologically or mentally, or that everyone feds that way. Then they realise with a thud that other people do not. Suppression is an option, but unwittingly some people have managed to make use of the ability to their advantage.

While the condition of synaesthesia may hamper many people be¬cause of its disorienting effects, It can also open up a range of new skills, it is not unusual for people who have synaesthesia to be creative and imaginative, as many studies have shown, memory is based to some extent on the association. Synacsthctes find they are able to remember certain things with great ease. The person who associates the shape of a word with colour is quite often able to remember a long sequence of words, and the same goes for other areas where memory needs to be used. Cut this condition like all gifts, has its drawbacks, Some people see words as colours; others even individual letters and syllables so that a word becomes a kaleidoscope of colour. Beautiful though such a reading experience may be, synaesthesia can cause problems with both reading and writing, Reading can take longer because one has to wade through all the colours, as well as the words! And, because the colour sequences, as well as the words, have to fit together writing is then equally difficult.

Questions 29-32
Do the statements below agree with the information in Reading Passage 3?
In Boxes 29-32, write:

YES                if the statement agrees with the information in the passage
NO               if the statement contradicts the information in the passage
NOT GIVEN              if there is no information about the statement in the passage

Example: The writer is colour blind. Answer: No.

29 Synesthetes experience several senses at the same time.
30 Newspaper articles and TV news reports about synaesthesia arc appearing with monotonous regularity nowadays.
31 Mention of synaesthesia can be traced back to the 17th century.
32 It is strange that many people are sceptical about synaesthesia.

Question 33-36
Choose the appropriate letter A-D.
Write them next to 33-36 on your answer sheet.

Sonet Lumiere shows …
A attempted to combine public senses
B were frequent in the 19th century
C were both public and involuntary
D did not reproduce the experiences of synaesthetes

34 Both Alexander Scriabin and Rimsky-Korsakov …
A wanted to have synaesthetic abilities
B created a lot of documents
C linked music to colour
D agreed with Bliss in 1922

35 The Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, ..…
A performed Wagner’s Lohengrin
B found abstract painting
C also composed music
D saw objects

36 At first, “sufferers” of synaesthesia believe that …
A other people have similar experiences or there is some¬thing wrong with them
B they are a revelation
C they are psychologically or mentally superior
D they are unique

Questions 37-40
According to the reading passage.
Write the appropriate letters in Boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

Which of the following statements are true about synaesthetes?
A Some synaesthetes are disoriented by their abilities.
B Unusually, some synaesthetes hove great creativity.
C Memory is heightened by synaesthesia.
D Synaesthetes have gilts and drawbacks.
E Some synaesthetes use their ability to help themselves.
F Their ability can be an obstacle to them.
G Some synaesthetes write in colour.


1 D
2 C
3 D
4 D
5 D
7 NO
11 YES
12 in recycled paper
13 most to lose
14 B
15 vi
16 xi
17 xiii 18 vii
19 iv
20 v
21 viii
22 skeletal anatomy
23 eosuchians
24 two long bones
25 B
26 G
27 H
28 F
29 YES
31 YES
32 NO
33 A
34 C
35 B
36 A
37 , 38 , 39 , 40
A, C, E, F

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