IELTS Reading Practice Test 3



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

Confront (v) — to face or deal with difficulties. There is no way around it – eventually you will have to confront that bully at school.
Graphic (adj) — (about a description of something) powerful and effective. She felt it necessary to give us the most graphic rendition of the story.
Harbour (v) — (here) to have in mind, to think about something for a long time. Gill has harboured the thought of quitting her job for over a month now.
Peers (n) — people of the same age or social position. I recall back in the school days peers’ opinion was the most important thing for me.
Displace (v) — to force something out of its usual place. This species was eventually displaced by a more numerous one.
Indigenous (adj) — being natural to any particular place as opposed to have arrived there from someplace else. The indigenous population of the tundra.
Consistent with (phr) — behaving or acting according to an established view. The data you provided me with is consistent with our previous observations.
Logging (v) — the act of chopping trees down for wood or clearing the area. This area has seen heavy logging activity and now it has almost no wildlife left.
Complexity (n) — state of being difficult to understand, containing multiple parts. I couldn’t understand most of Joyce’s writing because of its sheer complexity.

Section 2

Terrestrial (adj) — relating to Earth. This particular species of fish doesn’t look like any other terrestrial organism.
Cetacean (n) — any mammal living in the sea (such as whales or dolphins). Cetaceans were the focus of her marine biology dissertation.
Neural (adj) — relating to brain and its activity. Neural impulses are what keeps us alive.
Sacrifice (v) — to give up something valuable for a cause. Many ancient religions have practices of sacrificing animals to please their gods. Some still do it nowadays.
Taste buds (n) — small areas of tongue responsible for recognizing taste. Taste buds can be distinctly seen on some species’ tongues.
Rudimentary (adj) — basic and undeveloped. The methods our company chose to use would be considered rudimentary by professionals.
Captive (adj) — if a living thing is captive, it is held in a limited space with no freedom of movement, e.g. in a cage or in prison. A number of captive animals has been shipped to London Zoo.
Courtship (n) — the period of romantic relationship that precedes marriage (for humans) or mating (for everyone else). Courtship rituals vary greatly between species.
Object (v) — to be against something vocally. I had to object to those new developments suggested by the office as I believed them too risky and brash.
Turbid (adj) — (about a liquid) not transparent or see-through. Our small river was more a dirty, turbid creek really.
Forage (v) — to go in search of things to eat. This forest is favored by many animals, they often come here to forage.
Speculation (n) — the act of speculating – guessing and making assumptions without any information to back it up. Girls at the office would often engage in shameless speculation about other people’s private lives.

Section 3

Appreciate (v) — to recognize how good or valuable something is. Mark never appreciated the good things in life he had.
Trace (v) — (here) to copy something, such as a drawing, by drawing over its lines and copying it. Tracing pictures is what some people do to learn how to draw.
To be taken aback (phr) — to be shocked or surprised. We got taken aback by her unexpected hostility towards her guests.
Rendition (n) — a way of performing a song, a poem and so on. Mike gave his rendition of Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane at one of our karaoke nights.
Depict (v) — to represent or show something in a story or a picture. You can see this picture depicting the rough realities of Victorian-era life in England.
Distinctive (adj) — easily recognized because of how different it is from other things. The distinctive style of the Beatles songs.
Consensus (n) — a collective agreement. After a prolonged debate session the sides have finally reached a consensus.
Deem (v) — to believe or consider. I had always deemed YouTube to be a source of mindless entertainment, but I was proved very wrong.

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