IELTS Reading Practice Test 2



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.

Section 1

Remote (adj) — distant, away from others. I spent the better part of my life in a remote village in the mountainous regions of Spain.
Booming (adj) — developing at an incredible rate, very popular, successful and producing a lot of money. The booming car industry of 1960s.
By definition (phr) — because of its nature or its features. Religion by its definition is a matter of faith rather than matter.
Prevail (v) — to win or to dominate. Despite our best efforts the opposing team has prevailed in the finals.
Indigenous (adj) — existing in a country or region from the beginning as opposed to having arrived there later. The indigenous people of the tundra.

Porter (n) — a person whose job is to help carry your bags, i. e. luggage. Porters make most of their money from tips, so they salary is adjusted accordingly.
Trekker (n) — a person engaged in trekking – walking long distances, especially over hilly or mountainous terrain. We met a group of trekker on our way up the hill.
Irrigation (n) — an act or system of providing plants with water to ensure their sustained growth. This facility has developed an advanced irrigation system which they are very proud of.
Culprit (n) — something or someone that is the cause of the problem. I couldn’t start my car and it took the repairman less that a minute to find the culprit – a burnt fuse.
(Government) handouts (phr) — money or goods given by the government to certain groups of population that require it, usually the less financially secure ones. Many people of the rural region rely on government handouts.
Undermine (v) — to make something weaker, less likely to succeed, over time. Susan and her endless gossip really undermines our company’s morale.
Dry up (phr v) — to end (about a supply, source of income and so on). Once our savings dry up you will have to find a job!

Legion (adj) — very large in number. The number of problems new government will have to deal with is legion.
Reinvigorate (v) — to bring back to life, to return lost energy. Reading Ayn Rand reinvigorated my passion for fiction and books in general.
Impose (v) — to force something, such as a tax or a limitation to be obeyed. The government has imposed a number of restrictions on imported goods to support local production.
Transient (adj) — temporary, passing, lasting for a short time. Most of her hobbies were transient – they wouldn’t last two months.
Repatriate (v) — to bring someone or something back to the country they came from. Nowadays our country is trying to repatriate young professionals by offering them competitive salaries.
Thereby (adv) —as a result of this action. She took up running, thereby improving her health and quality of life.
Accrue (v) — to increase over a period of time. Over her lifetime she has accrued wisdom few could claim to have.

Section 2

Toughened (adj) — reinforced, made stronger than it normally is. Life in this crime-ridden neighbourhood toughened Luigi, making him more ready for the hardships to come.
Minute (adj) — extremely small. Our minute disagreements shouldn’t stand in the way of friendship.
Bad press — to have bad press means to be criticized in the media, e.g. in newspapers, on the radio and so on. If this information leaks our candidate is going to get a lot of very bad press.
Shatter (v) — to break into many pieces. Your boy has shattered the window with a ball!
Transparent (adj) — if something is transparent, it is easy to see through it. Tinting car windows makes them less transparent, hence it is illegal in some states.
Exert (v) — to use power, force, influence etc to make something happen. The politician exerted all his influence on the ruling body to get more votes.
Propagate (v) — here: to spread. All they do is propagate lies.
Impurity (n) — here: an unwelcome inclusion of different material. If the total amount of impurities exceed 0.2% the material can’t be used for production.
Molten (adj) — in a liquid state. Because of extreme temperatures, molten steel produces a beautiful orange glow.
Primed (adj) — prepared, in full readiness for something. We have primed the engine for its first start-up.
Unleash (v) — to release something uncontrollable or having great force. Making this news a matter of public knowledge would unleash a massive scandal.
Batch (n) — here: a group of items produced in one go. This batch of beer can’t be shipped because we have used the wrong ingredients.
Cradle (n) — a small bed for baby that can be rocked from side to side. The cradle was empty, my wife must have taken the baby to our bed.

Section 3

Cue (n) — a signal or a reminder to do something. Green traffic light is a cue to start moving.
Fluctuate (v) — to change frequently. Currency exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis, and some people make quite good money off it.
Occur (v) — to happen (especially about something unexpected). Yesterday a big problem occurred at work, happily we managed to resolve it quickly.
Offspring (n) — young of an animal, also used to refer to children in a humorous, not serious way. Cat’s offspring is called kitten.
Fledge (v) — (of a bird) to grow feather and learn how to fly. The amount of time before fledging hugely varies from one bird species to another.
Germinate (v) — (about a plant seed) to start growing. Water the seed frequently to make it germinate sooner.
Perennial (adj) — lasting for a very long time. When talking about plants, perennials live for two years or more.
Horticulture (n) — study or practice of growing plants and flowers. Horticulture is a very popular pastime in Britain.

n — noun; v — verb; phr v — phrasal verb; adj — adjective; adv — adverb