Answer Keys :: Vocabulary Please note: this is one of the easier IELTS Reading Tests. It does not reflect the actual level of challenge of IELTS Tests. Use as reference only.
Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
In 1979 the Chinese government introduced a policy that no other country had ever introduced before. Each couple was restricted by law to having only one child. This one-child policy, although highly controversial, is believed to have helped prevent the rapidly growing Chinese population from becoming unsustainable.
In 2015 the one-child policy was finally relaxed, allowing couples to now have two children. According to the Communist Party of China, 400 million births have been prevented since the policy was introduced, and the Chinese population has become sustainable. Meanwhile other developing countries like India and Nigeria, where such a policy has never been nationally enforced, continue to struggle with population explosions.
On a statistical level it is easy to suggest that the one-child policy has been rather successful in China. It has lessened the negative environmental impact that rapid industrialisation and population growth have had on China since being implemented. However, there are plenty of grounds for criticism, especially from human rights activists, as well as advocates for freedom of choice. The main question raised by such a move is should a government be allowed to control family size, or is that too much control over individual liberty?
In the poorer rural areas of China, where life has changed very little for hundreds of years, farmers often used to rely on their children to help out on the farm. It was common for couples to have many children because infant mortality was high and the burden of work could not be handled by just a few people. It was generally considered that a girl was bad luck in this case because she would not be able to do as much manual labour. However backwards this way of thinking may seem to many people, the sad reality was that the instances of infanticide of female babies began to rise rapidly in the 1980s in China, as a result of the one child policy.
Despite this raising other important concerns such as gender inequality in China, the growing problem of infanticide did lead to change; the government relaxed the one child policy so that a couple could have a second child, but only if their first child was a girl. On the other hand, the government has also faced heavy criticism of its methods of trying to enforce the one-child policy in the past. In rural areas it was very difficult for the government to enforce the policy, and so only really applied in urban areas of the country. In extreme cases the government in China would force pregnant women who already had one child to have an abortion. However they were also forced to introduce laws in 2005 outlawing sex-selective abortions, which were increasingly common choices being made by couples who knew the sex of their baby to be female before birth.
Whilst true statistics are difficult to obtain from China, it is thought that there are now 60 million more men than women in China. This gender imbalance is almost certainly an indirect result of the one-child policy. Another theory suggests that there are unofficially millions more women in China who were never registered with local authorities by their parents through fear of being fined or losing their child.
The necessity of having children in some parts of China is something many in the West have trouble understanding. After all, increasing numbers of adults in the West now choose not to have children purely for environmental reasons.
Research by statisticians at Oregon State University in America found that because of the average American’s huge carbon footprint, having a child in America increased a person’s long-term carbon output by up to 20 times. To put this into greater context, the long-term pollution output of a child born in the U.S. can be up to 160 times higher than that of a child born in Bangladesh.
One of the reasons in China for changing the one-child policy to a two-child policy in 2015 was that the original policy was almost redundant anyway. The original legislation was only aimed at a single generation. Under the ruling, any couple in China who were both sole children to their respective parents were allowed to have two children. Therefore the two-child policy was already in effect for most couples by 2015.
China has a rapidly developing economy, and with such development comes a higher average carbon output per person. This leads some authorities to worry that the already strained environment in China will suffer even more in decades to come. Having said that, as China continues to experience such rapid economic development, Chinese people are enjoying increased personal wealth and financial stability. With that may also come the philosophy of choice, such as having the luxury to choose not to have children purely for environmental reasons, just like in the U.S.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
1. China’s one child policy is believed to have kept population growth in the country at sustainable levels.
2. The negative environmental impact of population growth in China is less because of the one-child policy.
3. The number of cases of infanticide of female babies decreased in China during the 1980s.
4. In India effective population control is becoming an increasingly important concern for the government.
5. Estimates suggest that there are 60 million more men than women living in China.
6. Long-term pollution output of a child born in the U.S. is roughly the same as for a child born in Bangladesh.
7. The original one-child legislation in China was designed to apply to one generation only.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
8 According to the passage, there is criticism of the one-child policy, particularly from
A. other countries.
B. family planning organisations.
C. Chinese citizens.
D. human rights activists.
9 One other important concern raised by infanticide of female babies is
A. housing prices.
B. gender inequality.
C. the well-being of mothers.
D. the loneliness of children in China.
10 Laws passed in 2005 banned
A. parents having three children.
B. sex-selective abortions.
C. all abortion in China.
D. same sex marriage.
11 The author suggests that increasing numbers of westerners are choosing not to have children
A. before the age of 30.
B. before marriage.
C. for environmental reasons.
D. because it is too expensive.
12 The passage suggests that there is a link between a rapidly developing economy and a higher
A. average carbon output per person.
B. demand for electronic goods.
C. desire for couples to have more children.
D. level of crime in urban areas.
Choose the correct letter: A, B, C, D or E.
13 Which of the following is the most likely title for the passage?
A. The Environmental Impact of Big Families
B. China Reinstates the One-Child Policy
C. A Brief History of Family Management
D. The End of China’s One-Child Policy
E. The Story of the Chinese Power