IELTS Reading Section 1
- D. ‘Disadvantages’ from the questions are paraphrased as ‘drawbacks’ in the text of Paragraph D.
- F. Second and third sentences of Paragraph F mention the potential usefulness of the condition. Even though Paragraph E mentions a study on how it could be of benefit to future generations, no real-life examples of its application are listed.
- G. The prediction in paragraph G is to find out ways of using the benefits of this condition by general population. Paragraph E has the phrase ‘future generations’ in the first sentence
- A. ‘Grapheme-colour synaesthesia’ is the keyword here and it can be found in the middle of Paragraph A. Paragraph B describes more general cases that are not limited to grapheme-colour case.
- C. From the very first sentence of Paragraph C the answer is evident.
- B. From second sentence onwards we are given various kinds of synaesthesia.
- E. ‘Arbitrary’ means ‘based on chance, not planned’. The studies state the opposite – in other words, according to these studies the symptoms of synaesthesia are predetermined or based on certain factors. Paragraph E suggests that synaesthesia ‘can be taught’ – in other words it is a factor that can be controlled.
- FALSE. Paragraph B, last but one sentence states: ‘at least 60 different combinations of senses have been reported so far’. So saying there are 60 types is false – the bit ‘at least’ suggests that there can be more, whereas saying that there are only 60 limits it to this number.
- NOT GIVEN. Nothing is mentioned about synaesthesia believed to be a myth. Second sentence of Paragraph C states that ’empirical research proved its existence’, but there was no doubt expressed about its actual existence. Remember how in TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN tasks you shouldn’t infer and speculate, but instead operate with the solid facts taken from the text.
- NOT GIVEN. Last sentence of Paragraph D names two celebrities affected by synaesthesia. We can neither confirm nor deny that ‘a lot of celebrities’ are affected by it based on two people. In any case, no such information is given in the text.
- TRUE. In the middle of Paragraph E: ‘synaesthesia is predominantly considered to be a hereditary condition’. The word ‘hereditary’ means ‘passed from parents to children, from one generation to another’.
- Memory. ‘Enhance’ in the questions has similar meaning to ‘improve’ from the text. The answer to this and the next question are found in the middle of Paragraph F.
- Function. See question 12. Note that you should always use words from the text. Even though using the word ‘ability’ would be grammatically and lexically correct, it is not used in the relevant sentence from the text and therefore shouldn’t be picked for the answer.
- Teach. Paragraph G mentions how it could take some time before scientists come up with ways to teach people synaesthesia.
IELTS Reading Section 2
- Henley Beach. Paragraph Two, fourth sentence. Two things to note here: first is that preposition ‘to’ indicates destination, second is that both words should be capitalised, otherwise the answer won’t be counted as correct.
- Cause of death. ‘Post mortem’ is paraphrased as ‘autopsy’, both mean post-death examination of body, often to determinate the reason for death. Answering ‘sings of violence/poisoning’ is incorrect as one answer does not include the other, and ’cause of death’ in this case is more general and preferred.
- (Secret) code. Paragraph Four, first sentence states that a secret code was found in the book.
- (Phone) number. Second sentence of Paragraph four – Jestyn’s phone number was found along with the secret code.
- Moseley Street. Preposition ‘on’ helps to understand that it is the street name that should go in the gap. Don’t forget to capitalise both words, otherwise it won’t be scored.
- Guarded and non-committal. Note that non-committal is a compound adjective and therefore is counted as one word. If you omit either word you won’t get a point. There are no half-points in IELTS.
- F. Last two sentences of Paragraph Four (‘As for the code?’)
- D. Paragraph Three, second sentence. The word ‘inadvertently’ means ‘unintentionally’. This is a rare case of having to go back in text to find the answer. This will happen several times in this text.
- C. Last Paragraph, third sentence. Jestyn’s daughter reveals that her mother was a Soviet spy.
- A. The answer is in the middle of last paragraph: ‘… whom many believe to have been the Somerton man’s son’.
- D. Last sentence of Paragraph Two. The choice here is between A and D: ‘although he had clearly died of heart failure, his heart had been healthy’. A doesn’t fit as nothing is mentioned of the reason – whether there was or wasn’t one. However, it is clearly states that his heart was in good state – there was nothing wrong with it.
- B. Paragraph Three, last sentence. Here we struggle to choose between B and C. Answer C implies that the the book had been found six months after the murder, which is true. However, Answer B is more complete as it states that the man had had that book in his car all that time, although he had not been aware of it.
- C. Paragraph Five, last but one sentence. The slant of the tie pattern is clearly mentioned here. Chewing gum shouldn’t be picked for two reasons – first, it is a supporting argument at the end of the sentence and second, it is unknown whether he had in fact chewed gum before his death, the chewing gum was just in his possession.
- D. Last paragraph: ‘Also participating in the show were Roma and Rachel Egan.
IELTS Reading Section 3
- IX. This is a very straightforward answer. V – relevance of Greek coins can’t be used here as it is only a minor point.
- III. The paragraph focuses on flaws of barter system and how with the growth of Mediterranean trade a new form of exchange appeared.
- I. A good reference point can be found at the end of the paragraph: ‘Up until approximately 510 BC’. At the beginning of the paragraph three distinct periods are mentioned, and then the paragraph refers to the first – Archaic one.
- VII. ‘Precursor’ is something that existed before the thing that influenced it. For example, a cart is a precursor of the modern automobile. Thus, the system adopted in Athens was an earlier design of what is now used in the European Union.
- VI. A number of states and cities are mentioned such as Egypt, Syria and Athens, all coming up with their own rules and patterns of coin design.
- V. Ancient Greek coins remain desirable both as items of a great historical period and as things of beautiful design.
- Poleis. Paragraph Two, second sentence. Make sure to get the spelling right.
- Turtle. There were several ‘types’ of coins, including a ‘turtle’ type. Another type mentioned in the text is the tetradrachm.
- Six obols/6 obols. The answer is in the third sentence of Paragraph C. Do not confuse it with tetradrachm, which is 24 obols.
- Bronze bars. Second sentence of Paragraph E mentions the Romans giving up using bronze bars in favour of coins around 300 BC.
- B. Answers A, C and D generally refer to coins of Hellenistic period, whereas only answer B is true for coins made in Athens during that period (last sentence of Paragraph E).
- C. Last paragraph of the text focuses on the aesthetic value of the coins of Ancient Greece and how they are a worthy example of art of that time and place.
The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech (see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.
And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.
Reading Section 1
Strain (v) – to stretch or apply pressure to something. Can also be used figuratively. Her witty remark really strained our relationship.
Rogue (adj) – behaving in an unusual or unexpected way that is usually harmful. This cellphone operator is known for its rogue practice of overcharging its clients.
Perky (adj) – happy and energetic. The new employee was a perky girl in her late twenties.
Self-conscious (adj) – shy, lacking confidence and uncomfortable because you’re too worried about other people’s opinions of you. I couldn’t help being self-conscious in my school years, I worried about things too much.
Witness (v) – to see something in person, be present when something happens. I witnessed a huge row between our employees in the company cafeteria today.
Blindfolded (adj) – with one’s eyes covered by something like a piece of fabric. You don’t expect me to walk across this busy street blindfolded, do you?
Drawback (n) – a negative aspect of something, a disadvantage. One of the major drawbacks of having a full-time job is that you have almost no time for yourself.
Peculiar (adj) – unusual or strange, sometimes unpleasantly so. There was a peculiar smell in our kitchen I couldn’t find the source of.
Hereditary (adj) – being passed from parents to children, from one generation to the next. This disease is not hereditary, so you shouldn’t be worried about it at all!
Tremendous (adj) – impressively big in amount, size, or exceptionally good. Unexpectedly, the school play turned out to be a tremendous success.
Corroborate (v) – to add proof or additional information to some statement. The scientists corroborated the research in quantum physics.
Cognitive decline – a process when one’s intelligence, memory and other brain functions become worse or slower. It is believed that learning foreign languages can offset cognitive decline among the elderly.
Reading Section 2
Baffle (v) – to puzzle, to make or be difficult to understand. No matter how hard I try to understand it, physics simply baffles me.
Aficionado (n) – someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about something. This wine shop is very popular with local aficionados.
Noncommittal (adj) – not participating, not having any opinion on something. Despite my expectations, the majority of our class remained noncommittal when it came to choosing the school president.
Rekindle (v) – to bring back to life, to bring old feelings back. I don’t think that old love can be rekindled.
Exhume (v) – to extract a body from the ground after it has been buried. I don’t think it is a good idea to exhume the corpse – it is extremely disrespectful.
Reading Section 3
Coinage (n) – the process of making coins. Coinage in some countries costs more than the actual coins produced.
Currency (n) – money used in a particular country. Tugrik is the national currency of Mongolia.
Commonality (n) – sharing something with someone, e.g. interests or experience. There is no commonality between you two, you are completely different.
Effigy (n) – an object that represents something or someone. Sometimes used negatively. The car’s front part was adorned with a tiny effigy of a woman.
Legal tender – just another word for officially recognised money. A one hundred dollar bill is a well-known form of a legal tender.
Transaction (n) – the act or process of exchanging things, usually financial. We have set up the meeting at ten o’clock to conduct the transaction.
Expire (v) – if something expires, it becomes too old to be useful or edible. This milk has expired, you’d better throw it away.
Mint (v) – to produce coins. Similar to coinage. The government has announced that it will not mint coins starting in 2021.
Preponderant (adj) – large, significant or important. A series of preponderant events.
Escapade (n) – an out-of-ordinary act or event, usually involving danger or excitement. Julian offered to join him in his usual weekend escapades. It was too grand an opportunity to miss.
In lieu (of) – instead of. The company offered me money in lieu of the days off I couldn’t take.
Eschew (v) – to avoid something or to give something up. The policy of not hiring people from other cities should be eschewed.
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