IELTS Reading Practice Test 1


Answer Keys

Section 1
  1. Candlewax. Second paragraph, third sentence. Plastic is compared to wax, both becoming soft when treated with high temperature.
  2. Synthetic. Last sentence of second paragraph. “Entirely” is a paraphrased “totally” from the text, which makes it more difficult to find when using keywords.
  3. Chemistry. Paragraph three, second sentence. Advances in the field of chemistry promoted the progress of plastic industry.
  1. Novalak. Paragraph five, sentence number two. Resin is hard to paraphrase, which makes it an excellent keyword. Pay attention to spelling — Novalak should be capitalised like in the text. Lack of capitalisation will be seen as mistake.
    Note that the previous paragraph can be skipped as it is about the history of Bakelite which we do not need. Remember that the answers in the text follow one another, meaning that you will not have to return to that paragraph.
  2. Fillers. Paragraph five, fourth sentence. The words in brackets in the diagram are examples of the skipped word.
  3. Hexa. Same sentence, the second part of it. “A compound of ammonia and formaldehyde” is what makes up this material according to the text. You mix them and you get hexa. It fits the diagram.
  4. Raw. Paragraph five, sentence six. Bakelite is capitalised in the text so it is pretty easy to find as a keyword.
  5. Pressure. Last sentence of paragraph five. Heat and pressure are applied during the last stage of the process. Note how passive voice is used in the text – the material is subjected to heat and pressure.
  6. and 10. B and C (in either order). “C” is found in the second sentence of paragraph six. Negative phrasing is used which can make it more difficult to notice. “B” is same paragraph, sentence four. “Facility” in this answer means “ease, readiness, lack of any obstacles”. ”A” and “D” are not mentioned. “E” is mentioned — however it is the form of Bakelite objects that made the style fashioned rather than the objects trying to follow the established trend.
  1. True. This is a very rare example when you have to go back in the text to answer this. Paragraph four, last sentence. “The essential features are still in use today”. Using the date as keyword would help to find the answer quickly.
  2. False. Paragraph seven, first sentence. “Treated with disdain” means that it wasn’t welcomed. The opposite of the question statement is correct, so the answer is “false”.
  3. False. Paragraph seven, sentence number four. “Dazzling array of shades”, “no longer restricted to drab browns” means that the opposite is true — the material was available in a very wide selection of colors.

Section 2
  1. False. Last sentence of paragraph one. “It serves no purpose” — the opposite statement is true. Easily found by the author’s name in the text — capitalised proper names stand out noticeably.
  2. Not given. Paragraph two, second sentence. Plato believed it a fact of superiority, but it does not necessarily mean intellectual superiority. There is not relevant information to support this expression.
  3. True. Paragraph two, sentence number three. Psychic tension is “safely punctured” — which is the paraphrased version of “controlled release” from the statement.
  4. False. Sentence three in the second paragraph. The opposite is true according to the text — most modern humour scientists use Aristotle’s beliefs in their work.
  5. True. Paragraph three, first sentence. Ritchie links the ability of understanding humour to reasoning in machines — he links jokes to artificial intelligence. This is true.
  6. Not given. No mentioning of comedians’ techniques is present in the text.
  7. True. Paragraph five, fourth sentence. Chimpanzees produce a panting noise when engaged in a game.
  1. Problem solving. Paragraph eight, second sentence. The question is easy to answer as there is an anatomic term present, which is impossible to paraphrase. Use it as a keyword to find the relevant information in the text.
  2. Temporal lobes. Paragraph eight, sentence three. Again, a medical term as a keyword help us to find the information quickly and effortlessly.
  3. Evaluating information. Paragraph eight, last sentence. Prefrontal cortex is mentioned in the previous sentence while explanation is given in the following one. Don’t let this confuse you.
  1. C. Paragraph nine, sentence one. The easiest way to tackle this task is to find the question information in the text and then fit the most appropriate option from the answers. “Rapid assessment” is a synonym for “quick response”.
  2. A. Paragraph 10, sentence one, the second part of it. “Humans … respond to their own thoughts”.
  3. F. Last sentence of paragraph 10. Person’s reaction to humour depends on their “outlook” — personal views, beliefs and preferences.
  4. D. Paragraph 11, last sentence. To have a good handle here means to have good understanding of something. They will understand the brain functioning mechanism.

Section 3
  1. Latin. Paragraph one, last sentence. “Language of choice” is paraphrased as “lingua franca” in the text, a Latin phrase with similar meaning. Pay attention to capitalisation — spelling Latin without the first capital letter will be seen as mistake.
  2. Doctors. Paragraph seven, last sentence. As mathematicians are mentioned in the task it is preferable to use them as keyword. It is easy to see from question context that you need to look for another profession. Doctors are mentioned in the sentence following the one with mathematicians in the text.
  3. Technical vocabulary. Paragraph eight, sentence two. Britain is not mentioned in the text, however the word “English” help us navigate and find the right information. Pay attention that you have to give answers to questions 30 and 31 in this order, the order the information is given in the text.
  4. Grammatical resources. Paragraph eight, sentence three. Same as the previous question. Keep in mind that you can’t change the words from the text, so “grammatical resource” would be considered incorrect.
  5. Royal Society. Eighth paragraph, sentence four. “Associated with” means membership to a certain group. The only group mentioned here is the Royal Society. Both letters have to be capitalised.
  6. German. Paragraph 10, sentences two and three. It is easy to guess that English is compared to other language. “Overtaken by” means “Lost to”, “Was less than”. Spelled with capital G.
  7. Industrial revolution. Paragraph 10, sentence four. 19 Century is the keyword that help to locate the needed information in the text. It promoted development in various spheres, including the English language.
  1. Not given. In paragraph two, third sentence the word “competitive” might tempt you to answer “True”. However, competitive here means “strong” rather than “willing to compete”. For this and the following questions we have to track back to previous paragraphs.
  2. False. Paragraph two, last sentence (the second part). Magnetism is mentioned only as a secondary discovery. The most important progress was made in astronomy by Copernicus.
  3. True. Third paragraph, last sentence. By “expressing ideas” they meant developing linguistics.
  1. Popular. Paragraph four, second sentence. Note how popular refers to all array of the books — encyclopedias, textbooks, translations etc.
  2. Principia / the Principia / Newton’s Principia / mathematical treatise. Paragraph five, sentences one and two. You are given freedom to choose any of those answers — all would be seen as correct. Principia has to be capitalised because it’s a proper name.
  3. Local / more local / local audience. Paragraph six, sentence two. Again, you are given a variety of correct answers. No need for capitalisation this time.