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IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following article, and choose the best title from the list below.

The setting is decidedly modest: a utility room in a red-brick house at the end of a cul-de-sac in Wales. But if the hype turns out to be right, this may be the starting point for an energy revolution in the UK. Householder Mark Kerr has become the first British owner of a Tesla Powerwall, a cutting-edge bit of kit that the makers say will provide a “missing link” in solar energy.

Like many owners of solar panels, Kerr and his family have a basic problem. They tend to be out at work and school when the sun is shining and the 16 solar panels on the roof of their home in Cardiff are producing power. The excess they miss out on is fed into the grid and they make a return on it but it does not seem right that they do not get to use the power from their panels. However, from now, energy produced but not used during the day will charge the Powerwall and can then be used to provide them with the energy they need when they’re at home and their lights, music centres, computers, televisions and myriad other devices need feeding.

Choose title A, B, C or D. Can you explain why the others are wrong?

A) The UK energy revolution.
B) Wales at the forefront of technology.
C) New device could herald energy revolution.
D) The problem with solar panels.


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Read the following passage about cognitive behavioural therapy:

A) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach: a talking therapy. CBT aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present.

B) The particular therapeutic techniques vary, but commonly may include keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours; questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation, mindfulness and distraction techniques are also commonly included.

C) Going through cognitive behavioural therapy is not an overnight process for clients; a typical course consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions. Even after clients have learned to recognise when and where their mental processes go awry, it can in some cases take considerable time or effort to replace a dysfunctional process or habit with a more reasonable and adaptive one. CBT is problem-focused and structured towards the client. It requires honesty and openness between the client and therapist, as a therapist develops strategies for managing problems and guiding the client to a better life.

Choose the best headings for paragraphs A, B and C from this list:

  1. A slow process
  2. A new type of therapeutic approach
  3. The benefits and drawbacks of CBT
  4. A goal-oriented therapeutic approach
  5. CBT therapists are always honest with their clients
  6. The range of CBT interventions


IELTS Reading: choose the best summary

Read the following description of a book called 'What are Universities for?'.

Across the world, universities are more numerous than they have ever been, yet at the same time there is unprecedented confusion about their purpose and scepticism about their value. What Are Universities For? offers a spirited and compelling argument for completely rethinking the way we see our universities, and why we need them.

Stefan Collini challenges the common claim that universities need to show that they help to make money in order to justify getting more money. Instead, he argues that we must reflect on the different types of institution and the distinctive roles they play. In particular we must recognise that attempting to extend human understanding, which is at the heart of disciplined intellectual enquiry, can never be wholly harnessed to immediate social purposes - particularly in the case of the humanities, which both attract and puzzle many people and are therefore the most difficult subjects to justify.

At a time when the future of higher education lies in the balance, What Are Universities For? offers all of us a better, deeper and more enlightened understanding of why universities matter, to everyone.

Which statement best summarises the book's message?

A) We do not necessarily need universities nowadays
B) Universities should be harnessed for social purposes
C) Universities must justify the money they are given
D) We need to change our understanding of the role of universities


IELTS Reading: paragraph heading

Read the following paragraph about the inventor Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications.

Choose the best heading for the paragraph from the list below.

A) The creator of the first industrial research laboratory.
B) A pioneering and prolific inventor.
C) Edison’s contribution to mass communication.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following passage.

The cinematograph is a motion picture film camera which also serves as a film projector and developer. It was invented in the 1890s, but there is much dispute as to the identity of its inventor.

Some argue that the device was first invented and patented as "Cinématographe Léon Bouly" by French inventor Léon Bouly on February 12, 1892. Bouly coined the term “cinematograph”, which translates in Greek to “writing in movement”. It is said that Bouly was not able to pay the rent for his patent the following year, and that the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière bought the licence.

A more popular version of events is that Louis Lumière was the first to conceptualise the idea. The Lumière brothers shared the patent, and they made their first film, Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon, in 1894.

Choose the best title for the whole passage from the list below.

A) How the cinematograph was invented
B) The first film projector
C) Who invented the cinematograph?
D) What is a cinematograph?


IELTS Reading: choose the heading

Choose the best heading for the following paragraph from the list below.

“Big data” is a term being used more and more by politicians. It refers to the concept that any problem – from underperforming pupils to failing hospitals – can be solved by collecting some tightly focused data, crunching it and making tweaks, such as moving pupils or changing nurses’ shifts, rather than dealing with bigger issues, such as poverty or spending cuts. This is an approach that focuses narrowly on “what works” without ever troubling to ask: “works for whom?” Its watchword is “smart”, which can easily be appreciated, rather than “right”, which can’t. Putting trust in highly educated technocrats, it is naturally less interested in public debate.

A) How data can be used to improve society.
B) Big data: a smart approach to politics that works for everyone.
C) A sceptical perspective on “big data”.
D) Why the public trusts technocrats more than politicians.


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Read the following paragraph and choose the best heading.

‘Phonics’ refers to a method for teaching speakers of English to read and write that language. Young learners are taught to associate the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters. For example, they might be taught that the sound /k/ can be represented by the spellings c, k, ck, ch, or q. Using phonics, the teacher shows the learners how to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words. Phonics is a widely used method of teaching children to read and decode words. Children begin learning to read using phonics usually around the age of 5 or 6.

A) A new method for language learning
B) How phonics benefits children in the UK
C) Children learn to link sounds with spellings
D) Children learn the rules of spelling


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings exercise

Match two of the following headings with the paragraphs below. I'll reveal the correct answers tomorrow.

  1. Rapid sales of printing presses.
  2. The revolutionary impact of the printing press.
  3. New information and ideas.
  4. The printing boom.

From a single point of origin, Mainz, Germany, printing spread within several decades to over two hundred cities in a dozen European countries. By 1500, printing presses in operation throughout Western Europe had already produced more than twenty million volumes. In the 16th century, with presses spreading further afield, their output rose tenfold to an estimated 150 to 200 million copies. The operation of a press became so synonymous with the enterprise of printing that it lent its name to an entire new branch of media, the press.

In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information and ideas transcended borders and threatened the power of political and religious authorities. The sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class.


IELTS Reading: choose the best title

Read the following article and choose the best title from the list below.

A new survey reveals that a family sit-down at dinnertime may reduce a teenager’s risk of trying or using alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. The study surveyed more than 1,000 teens and found that those who dined with their families five to seven times a week were four times less likely to use alcohol, tobacco or marijuana than those who ate with their families fewer than three times a week.

A recent UK survey also found that dining together as a family is a key ingredient in ensuring a child's happiness. Children in the survey reported higher levels of happiness when they dined together with their families at least three times a week. "Contrary to the popular belief that children only want to spend time playing video games or watching TV," said researcher Dr. Maris Iacovou of the University of Essex, "we found that they were most happy when interacting with their parents or siblings."

A) Children's happiness
B) Why teenagers use alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
C) What teenagers really want
D) Why families should dine together


IELTS Reading: paragraph heading

Choose the correct heading for the paragraph from the list below.

A) The environmental impact of estuaries
B) The human impact on certain coastal areas
C) Why estuaries will disappear

An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries are amongst the most heavily populated areas throughout the world, with about 60% of the world’s population living along estuaries and the coast. As a result, estuaries are suffering degradation by many factors, including overgrazing and other poor farming practices; overfishing; drainage and filling of wetlands; pollutants from sewage inputs; and diking or damming for flood control or water diversion.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following extract from an article in National Geographic magazine (September 2017 edition, page 26).

The Brazilian pepper tree, an invasive plant in the southern United States, is showing great potential in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. A team of scientists studied historical accounts of its use in traditional South American medicine from as early as 1648. Focusing their experiments on its fruits, which reportedly were used to treat wounds, they then produced an extract that’s able to disarm a virulent type of Staphylococcus bacterium.

Modern antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria. But some bacterial cells survive and pass on their resistance to their offspring, making it increasingly difficult for physicians to fight tenacious infections that threaten their patients’ lives. The Brazilian pepper tree extract deploys an unconventional tactic against infections. It prevents bacterial cells from communicating, which keeps them from ganging up to create tissue-destroying toxins. That, in turn, gives the body’s immune system a change to mount it’s own defence against the bacteria.

One of the four titles below is the real title of the article. Which do you think it is? Try to explain why.

A) A weed that busts bacteria
B) Traditional medicines make a comeback
C) The problem of resistant bacteria
D) New plant-based medicines are on the way


IELTS Reading: choose the correct statements

Read the following passage and complete the task below it.

Cultivation Theory

Cultivation theory examines the long-term effects of television. Its primary proposition is that the more time people spend 'living' in the television world, the more likely they are to believe social reality aligns with reality portrayed on television.

Cultivation theory suggests that exposure to television, over time, subtly "cultivates" viewers' perceptions of reality. Researchers George Gerbner and Larry Gross, the originators of this idea, assert: "Television is a medium of the socialisation of most people into standardised roles and behaviours. Its function is in a word, enculturation”.

Initial research on the theory establishes that concern regarding the effects of television on audiences stem from the unprecedented centrality of television in American culture. Gerbner posited that television as a mass medium of communication had formed into a common symbolic environment that bound diverse communities together, socialising people into standardised roles and behaviours. He thus compared the power of television to that of religion, stating that television was to modern society what religion once was in earlier times.

Which THREE of the following statements correctly describe cultivation theory?

1. It looks at the physical impact of watching too much television.
2. It proposes that television influences the way we see the world.
3. It suggests that the effects of television occur gradually.
4. It is an established theory that is widely accepted by researchers.
5. It refers to a uniquely American phenomenon.
6. It looks at the role of television in society.


IELTS Reading: match the headings

Read the following passage about migrating birds.

A) A tiny bird from the Farne Islands off Northumberland, England has clocked up the longest migration ever recorded. The Arctic tern’s meandering journey to Antarctica and back saw it clock up 59,650 miles, more than twice the circumference of the planet. The bird, which weighs just 100g, left its breeding grounds last July and flew down the west coast of Africa, rounded the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean and arrived in Antarctica in November. Its mammoth trek was recorded by a tiny device attached to its leg, weighing 0.7g - too light to affect its flight.

B) “It’s really quite humbling to see these tiny birds return when you consider the huge distances they’ve had to travel and how they’ve battled to survive,” said Richard Bevan at Newcastle University and part of the tracking team. The birds survive the vast journey by dipping down to the sea surface to catch fish and other food as they travel. “They live in the fast lane all the time, constantly on the move,” said Bevan. “They have to flap all the time. It is an incredibly energetic lifestyle.”

C) Like all migratory animals, the birds travel to take advantage of food that is available in particular seasons. Arctic terns perform the longest migrations but another bird, the bar-tailed godwit, completes its marathon from the Arctic to New Zealand in eight days straight, without stopping to feed. Whales undertake the longest mammal migrations and leatherback turtles and some dragonflies also travel over 9,321 miles.

(Source: theguardian.com)

Choose the best heading from the list below for each paragraph above.

i Migration and food
ii Survival of the fittest
iii A record-setting bird
iv Other incredible animal migrations
v A new device for tracking bird migrations
vi How do migrating Arctic terns manage such a feat?


IELTS Reading: tricky paragraph headings exercise

Here's a 'paragraph headings' question that many students find tricky. It is taken from Cambridge IELTS book 1.

For the first time, dictionary publishers are incorporating real, spoken English into their data. It gives lexicographers (people who write dictionaries) access to a more vibrant, up-to-date vernacular language which has never really been studied before. In one project, 150 volunteers each agreed to discreetly tie a Walkman recorder to their waist and leave it running for anything up to two weeks. Every conversation they had was recorded. When the data was collected, the length of tapes was 35 times the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. Teams of audio typists transcribed the tapes to produce a computerised database of ten million words.

Which paragraph heading would you chose, and why?

  1. New method of research
  2. The first study of spoken language

Feel free to discuss this question in the "comments" area below this lesson. I'll give you my answer and explanation tomorrow.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the passage and choose the best title from the list below it.

Finland’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. In international ratings, it’s always in the top ten. However, the authorities there aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, and they’ve decided to carry through a real revolution in their school system. Finnish officials want to remove school subjects from the curriculum. There will no longer be any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography.

Instead of individual subjects, students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, the Second World War will be examined from the perspective of history, geography, and math. And by taking the course ”Working in a Cafe," students will absorb a whole body of knowledge about the English language, economics, and communication skills.

The Finnish education system encourages collective work, which is why the changes will also affect teachers. The school reform will require a great deal of cooperation between teachers of different subjects. Around 70% of teachers in Helsinki have already undertaken preparatory work in line with the new system for presenting information, and, as a result, they’ll get a pay increase. The changes are expected to be complete by 2020.

A) The world's best education system.
B) Finland plans to scrap school subjects.
C) Teachers in Finland welcome education reform.


IELTS Reading: which paragraph contains...?

Early modern policing

A) The first centrally organised police force was created by the government of King Louis XIV in 1667 to police the city of Paris, then the largest city in Europe. The task of the police was defined as "ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties”. The word "police" was borrowed from French into the English language in the 18th century.

B) In 1797, Patrick Colquhoun, a Scottish merchant, was able to persuade the West Indies merchants who operated at the Pool of London on the River Thames, to establish a police force at the docks to prevent rampant theft that was causing annual estimated losses of £500,000 worth of cargo. The idea of a police, as it then existed in France, was considered as a potentially undesirable foreign import. However, Colquhoun used economic indicators to show that a police dedicated to crime prevention was "perfectly congenial to the principle of the British constitution”.

C) With an initial investment of £4,200, the new trial force of the Thames River Police began with about 50 men charged with policing 33,000 workers in the river trades. The force was a success after its first year, and Colquhoun’s men had "established their worth by saving £122,000 worth of cargo and by the rescuing of several lives”. Word of this success spread quickly, and the government passed the Marine Police Bill on 28 July 1800, transforming it from a private to public police agency; now the oldest police force in the world.

(Adapted from wikipedia.com)

Which paragraph contains the following information?

1. positive news that led to a new government policy
2. the origin of an English word
3. people’s reluctance to accept a foreign idea
4. a specific problem that needed to be solved


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Choose the best heading for paragraphs A and B from the list below.

i. Why the elderly are living longer
ii. The impossibility of living beyond a certain age
iii. Medical and healthcare developments since the 1960s
iv. Is there a maximum age for humans?

A) A fundamental question in ageing research is whether humans and other species possess an immutable lifespan limit. A theoretical study suggested the maximum human lifespan to be around 125 years. The longest-living person whose dates of birth and death were verified to the modern norms of Guinness World Records and the Gerontology Research Group was Jeanne Calment, a French lady who lived to 122.

B) Reduction of infant mortality has accounted for most of the increased average life span longevity, but since the 1960s, mortality rates among those over 80 years have decreased by about 1.5% per year. The progress being made in lengthening lifespans and postponing senescence is entirely due to medical and public-health efforts, rising standards of living, better education, healthier nutrition and more salubrious lifestyles.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following passage, and choose the best title from the list below.

Dennis Tito, an American engineer and multimillionaire, was the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In 2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station, after being accepted by the Russian Federal Space Agency as a candidate for a commercial spaceflight. Tito met criticism from NASA before the launch, primarily from Daniel Goldin, at that time the Administrator of NASA, who considered it inappropriate for a tourist to take a ride into space.

In the decade since Dennis Tito journeyed to the International Space Station, eight private citizens have paid the $20 million fee to travel to space, but it is believed that this number could increase fifteen-fold by 2020. A web-based survey suggested that over 70% of those surveyed were interested in travelling to space, 88% wanted to spacewalk, and 21% liked the idea of staying in a space hotel.

A) A giant leap for tourism in the 21st century.
B) The first space tourist.
C) The pros and cons of space tourism.


IELTS Reading: choose the heading

Read the following passage and choose the best heading.

The environmental challenges posed by agriculture are huge, and they’ll only become more pressing as we try to meet the growing need for food worldwide. We’ll likely have two billion more mouths to feed by mid-century - more than nine billion people. But sheer population growth isn’t the only reason we’ll need more food. The spread of prosperity across the world, especially in India and China, is driving an increased demand for meat, eggs and dairy, boosting pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more cattle, pigs and chickens. If these trends continue, the double whammy of population growth and richer diets will require us to roughly double the amount of crops we grow by 2050.

(Source: National Geographic)

A) Two key trends driving the demand for food worldwide.
B) The impact of agriculture on the natural world.
C) Growing populations and their need for food.


IELTS Reading: choose the best title

Read the following passage, then choose the best title from the list below it.

According to a new review of studies related to running and health, jogging for as few as five or six miles per week could substantially improve someone’s health. “It seems like the maximum benefits of running occur at quite low doses,” said Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. As little as “one to two runs per week, or three to six miles per week, and well less than an hour per week” can be quite beneficial, he said.

However, there may be an upper limit to the desirable mileage if your primary goal is improved health. Some evidence, he said, suggested that running strenuously for more than about an hour every day could slightly increase someone’s risks for heart problems, as well as for running-related injuries and disabilities.

Choose title A, B, C or D.

A) The health benefits of jogging
B) How much running is best?
C) Surprising findings about running
D) The benefits and drawbacks of regular jogging


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Choose the best title for the following passage from the list below it.

How we deal with the most challenging children remains rooted in B.F. Skinner's mid-20th-century philosophy that human behaviour is determined by consequences, and that bad behaviour must be punished. During the 2011-12 school year, the US Department of Education counted 130,000 expulsions and roughly 7 million suspensions among 49 million primary and secondary students - one for every seven children. Furthermore, it is estimated that there are a quarter of a million instances of corporal punishment in US schools every year.

But contemporary psychological studies suggest that, far from resolving children's behaviour problems, these standard disciplinary methods often exacerbate them. They sacrifice long-term goals (student behaviour improving definitively) for the short-term gain of momentary peace in the classroom.

Choose one title from the following list:

A) Behaviour management in US schools may do more harm than good.
B) How to improve behaviour in schools.
C) The US education system in crisis.
D) The long-term goals of discipline in schools.


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Try this 'paragraph headings' question from Cambridge IELTS 7, page 48-50.

Choose the correct heading for the paragraph below.

  1. Co-operation of district officials.
  2. Government authorities' instructions.

It would have been easy to criticise the MIRTP for using in the early phases a 'top-down' approach, in which decisions were made by experts and officials before being handed down to communities, but it was necessary to start the process from the level of the governmental authorities of the district. It would have been difficult to respond to the requests of villagers and other rural inhabitants without the support and understanding of district authorities.


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Match the correct headings with the paragraphs below.

1. The causes of stress among employers and employees
2. The increase in work-related stress
3. The increase in visits to physicians
4. Stress has wide-ranging effects on the body and on behaviour

A) The number of stress-related disability claims by American employees has doubled according to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association in Arlington, Virginia. Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.

B) It is clear that problems caused by stress have become a major concern to both employers and employees. Symptoms of stress are manifested both physiologically and psychologically. Persistent stress can result in cardiovascular disease, a weaker immune system and frequent headaches, stiff muscles, or backache. It can also result in poor coping skills, irritability, jumpiness, insecurity, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating. Stress may also perpetuate or lead to binge eating, smoking, and alcohol consumption.


IELTS Reading: which paragraph contains...?

Read the following passage about the tutorial method of teaching, which is used in some universities.

A) The tutorial method of teaching, where students are taught individually or in very small groups of two or three, developed as the collegiate system in Oxford and Cambridge Universities established itself. Teaching has existed in Oxford since the 11th century, and the role of tutors was documented in the 15th century, when Oxford tutors were described as ‘having responsibility for the conduct and instruction of their younger colleagues’ (Moore, 1968). Thus, the early role of the tutor was both pastoral as well as academic.

B) One of the foundations of Oxford’s academic excellence is the dialectic of the individual, discussion-based tutorial which is reputed to have reached its unique status in the middle of the 19th century. Professor Benjamin Jowett, classicist and Master of Balliol College, Oxford, is traditionally credited with having been the guiding influence behind the establishment of the tutorial system based on the Socratic method. His students said of Jowett, ‘his great skill consisted, like Socrates, in helping us to learn and think for ourselves’ (Markham, 1967). When Jowett took up the mantle of Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University in 1882, his teaching method of Socratic dialogue became established as a ‘pattern for the whole university’ (Markham, 1967).

C) In the last decade, multiple studies have been conducted exploring the unique learning benefits of the tutorial method. 130 years after it was formally established as the cornerstone of Oxford education, the tutorial method retains its prestige and effectiveness. As the present university website states, it is through the tutorial system that ‘students develop powers of independent and critical thought, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and skills in both written and oral communication and argument'.

(Source: http://www.greenes.org.uk/our-history/the-history-of-the-tutorial/)

Which paragraph contains the information in the statements below?

1. The tutorial is still a key part of the Oxford education system.
2. The tutorial method encourages students to learn independently.
3. The tutorial method features in Oxford University marketing.
4. Traditionally, Oxford tutors had more than just an academic role.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Choose the best title for the passage below.

A) The story of a visionary cycling coach.
B) Cycling’s ‘marginal gains’ theory and its application in schools.
C) The man behind Britain’s Olympic cycling success.
D) How cyclists implement the ‘marginal gains’ concept.
E) Schools have improved since the Olympic Games.

One simple, but highly effective, lesson from the Olympics comes from the visionary British cycling coach, Dave Brailsford. Brailsford believes that by breaking down and identifying every tiny aspect of an athlete's performance and then making just a 1% improvement in each area, the athlete's overall performance can be significantly enhanced. His concept of 'the aggregation of marginal gains' has been making transformative ripples in classrooms and schools ever since the cycling team came to prominence a few years ago.

What is so brilliant about Brailsford's marginal gains concept is that it is so flexible. It provides an accessible, precise and useful language for achieving success in a school context in various ways: from students improving their learning, to teachers looking to enhance their pedagogy, and, more broadly, school leaders looking to make small, but highly significant improvements.


IELTS Reading: match the headings

The space agency NASA proposes six "lunar exploration themes" to answer the question, "Why should we return to the Moon?"

Match each heading from the following list with one of the themes described below.

A) Economic Expansion
B) Scientific Knowledge
C) Global Partnerships
D) Human Civilisation
E) Public Engagement
F) Exploration Preparation

1. Extend human presence to the Moon to enable eventual settlement.

2. Pursue scientific activities that address fundamental questions about the history of Earth, the solar system and the universe; and therefore, about our place in them.

3. Test technologies, systems, flight operations and exploration techniques to reduce the risks and increase the productivity of future missions to Mars and beyond.

4. Provide a challenging, shared and peaceful activity that unites nations in pursuit of common objectives.

5. Expand Earth's economic sphere, and conduct lunar activities with benefits to life on the home planet.

6. Use a lively space exploration program to engage the public, encourage students and help develop the high-technology workforce that will be required to address the challenges of tomorrow.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following passage and choose the best title from the list below.

The attitude of the scientific community towards the unconscious mind has shifted dramatically in recent years. While once viewed as a lazy reservoir of memories and non-task oriented behaviour, the unconscious is now regarded as an active and essential component in the processes of decision making.

Historically, the unconscious mind was considered to be the source of dreams and implicit memory (which allows people to walk or ride a bicycle without consciously thinking about the activity), as well as the storing place for memories of past experiences. But recent research reveals that the unconscious brain might also be an active player in decision making, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking. One familiar example of the operation of the unconscious in problem solving is the well-known phenomenon of the "eureka moment", when a solution to a problem presents itself without the involvement of active thinking.

A) Scientists present new findings about the unconscious mind
B) Our growing understanding of the role of the unconscious
C) How humans solve problems
D) What is a “eureka moment”?


IELTS Reading: paragraph heading

Read the paragraph below and choose the best heading from the list.

Reading underwent serious changes in the 18th century. Until 1750, reading was done “intensively”: people tended to own a small number of books and read them repeatedly, often to a small audience. After 1750, people began to read “extensively”, finding as many books as they could, and increasingly reading them alone. Libraries that lent out their material for a small price started to appear, and occasionally bookstores would offer a small lending library to their patrons. Coffee houses commonly offered books, journals and sometimes even popular novels to their customers.

1. The appearance of the first public libraries.
2. Intensive and extensive reading habits.
3. The reading revolution.


IELTS Reading: paragraph heading

Read the following paragraph and choose the best heading.

Melbourne has topped the list of the best cities in the world to live in, according to a new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Vienna in Austria and Vancouver in Canada came in second and third place respectively on the Global Livability Ranking. Cities across the world are awarded scores depending on lifestyle challenges faced by the people living there. Each city is scored on its stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. This is the third time that the Australian city has topped the list. Unfortunately, UK cities fared worse on the list with London coming 55 out of 140 cities while Manchester was ranked 51. The report also shows that livability across the world has fallen by 0.6 per cent.

A) Livability survey produces some surprising results.
B) How cities are ranked.
C) Results of the latest “Most Livable Cities Index”.
D) Melbourne is top city for tourists.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following passage and choose the best title from the list below.

Future Shock is a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. In the book, Toffler defines the term "future shock" as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". The book became an international bestseller, selling over 6 million copies, and has been widely translated.

Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people, he believed, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation" - future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock he popularized the term "information overload."

A) A shocking vision of the future.
B) What is “future shock”?
C) The career of the futurist Alvin Toffler.
D) A changing society.


IELTS Reading: choose the title

Read the following passage and choose the best title from the list below.

Future Shock is a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. In the book, Toffler defines the term "future shock" as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". The book became an international bestseller, selling over 6 million copies, and has been widely translated.

Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people, he believed, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation" - future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock he popularized the term "information overload."

A) A shocking vision of the future.
B) What is “future shock”?
C) The career of the futurist Alvin Toffler.
D) A changing society.


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Read the following passage about a chess-playing computer.

A) On February 10, 1996, Deep Blue became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion (Garry Kasparov) under regular time controls. However, Kasparov won three and drew two of the following five games, beating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2. Deep Blue was then heavily upgraded and played Kasparov again in May 1997, winning the six-game rematch 3½–2½. Deep Blue won the deciding game six, becoming the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls.

B) After the loss, Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine's moves, suggesting that during the second game, human chess players had intervened on behalf of the machine, which would be a violation of the rules. IBM denied that it cheated, saying the only human intervention occurred between games. The rules provided for the developers to modify the program between games, an opportunity they said they used to shore up weaknesses in the computer's play that were revealed during the course of the match. This allowed the computer to avoid a trap in the final game that it had fallen for twice before. Kasparov demanded a rematch, but IBM refused and dismantled Deep Blue.

Choose the best heading for paragraphs A and B from the list below.

  1. The first chess-playing computer
  2. Developers’ intervention is questioned
  3. Chess champion accepts defeat
  4. Program developers caught cheating
  5. A victory for artificial intelligence


IELTS Reading: paragraph headings

Read the following paragraphs, taken from The Guardian newspaper.

A) The hunt for intelligent species outside Earth may be a staple of literature and film – but it is happening in real life, too. Nasa probes are on the lookout for planets outside our solar system, and astronomers are carefully listening for any messages being beamed through space. How awe-inspiring it would be to get confirmation that we are not alone in the universe, to finally speak to an alien race. Wouldn't it?

B) Well no, according to the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," Hawking has said in a forthcoming documentary made for the Discovery Channel. He argues that, instead of trying to find and communicate with life in the cosmos, humans would be better off doing everything they can to avoid contact.

C) Hawking believes that, based on the sheer number of planets that scientists know must exist, we are not the only life-form in the universe. There are, after all, billions and billions of stars in our galaxy alone, with, it is reasonable to expect, an even greater number of planets orbiting them. And it is not unreasonable to expect some of that alien life to be intelligent, and capable of interstellar communication.

Match each paragraph with one of the headings below.

  1. A pessimistic prediction.
  2. The probability of life existing on other planets.
  3. Astronomers send messages through space.
  4. How to avoid contact with aliens.
  5. The search for alien life-forms.
  6. Life-forms exist on other planets.

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