IELTS Reading

IELTS General Reading Test 12 – with Answers

IELTS General Reading Tests

Reading Passage 1

Read the text and answer the Questions 1-13.


Summer Holiday Coach Tours would like to announce its new tours that will be available this coming Summer. This is your chance to visit some of the undiscovered beauties of England and have a holiday that is completely new and exciting for those of you who enjoy active holidays this is a good opportunity to get out in the open air, We do incorporate some relaxing elements, however, into some of our tours for those who want to take a break.

Our tours are two weeks long and we welcome people from all walks of life. There will be a range of activities provided in the evenings as well as during the day, which will suit all different types of people. The best part about England Summer Holiday Tours is that we have designed our tours to cater to different age groups. We have three different tours on offer:

When? 1st – 15th August

Where? The Tours cover Cornwall, Poole, Somerset, and Oxfordshire to name a few.

Tour 1 (18-30 years old) this tour is very active and includes lots of sports. It begins in Cornwall where there will be lots of surfing, sailing, and diving. Or, if you prefer canoeing, coast steering, and caving we have that, too! After two days the coach will take everyone on to Poole, where there will be walking tours and swimming. Then, it will be up to Somerset to do some fantastic rock climbing and abseiling.

Tour 2 (30-45 years olds) This tour includes long walks in the beautiful countryside. We will begin in Oxfordshire and then make our way up north to Nottingham, Yorkshire, and the Lake District. In the evening there will be wine tasting and trips to some nice restaurants. Climbing has been arranged during the stay in the Lake District.

Tour 3 (45 plus) This Tour is a relaxed tour that includes country walks through Cambridge, Suffolk, and Kent. Horse riding has been organized during the stay in Kent and spas and massages are also available at the end of a long day’s walk. We will stop off for breaks from the walks to take picnics and a tour of Cambridge University has also been organized.

Accommodation and food: hotels will be booked for every night of the tour and food will be provided in the hotel except on the nights when there are trips to restaurants. Stay in the hotel and the food will be included in the total cost of the tour. Trips to restaurants are optional and cost extra.


Tour 1: The tour costs $700 per person which includes all accommodation, activities, and sports.

Tour 2: The tour costs $550 per person which includes all accommodation, wine tasting, and climbing.
Restaurant trips cost extra.

Tour 3: The tour costs $500 per person which includes all accommodation, horse riding, spas, massages, and picnics. Restaurant trips cost extra.

For more information Please Call: 0800 444 222

Questions 1-4

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? In spaces 1-4, 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. The holiday will be similar to a beach holiday. …………………………………………………
2. There will be no shortage of organized events. …………………………………………………
3. These holidays would not appeal to more mature age groups. ……………………………………….
4. Those participating in activities will delight in getting to know new areas. ………………………..

Questions 5 and 6

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
Write your answers in spaces 5-6.

5. Which tour places an emphasis on aqua sports?

6. Which event in one of the three tours will help with relaxation?

Question 7

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

7. England Summer Holiday Coach Tours organize
A. only holidays that are very active.
B. holidays for a wide age range.
C. holidays in two different parts of England only.
D. the same tours for all age groups.

Read the text below and answer Questions 8-13.

Saturday, March 5th

Attention all Salsa Fanatics!

А ……………………..London Salsa is a new and exciting club that has opened in the heart of London to cater for all of those who want to swing their hips and get into the groove with some upbeat, Latino music. This exciting new Salsa club will bring some life and soul to London’s Regent Street which is where the club is situated.

B …………………..This newly built nightclub will have many different events going on. Friday and Saturday nights are Salsa party time with food and a live Salsa band playing! On weeknights, we will have experienced Salsa teachers here from 7 pm to 9 pm for all those who want to learn the basic steps of Salsa. Once the lessons are finished you can dance the night away!

C ………………….There is no booking needed for Salsa classes. The entrance will be £8 on weeknights for Salsa classes and £10 on weekends for the parties and food. Just come along on any night to take part, meet fun and exciting people and keep dancing all night long! 

Questions 8-10

The text has three paragraphs, A, B and C. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A, B, and C from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-vi, in spaces 8-10. Questions 8-10

List of Headings

i. Take part in a dance competition
ii. The chance to see a Salsa concert
iji. The cost to take part
iv. A new arrival on the social scene
v. The programme of events
vi. A way to meet single people

8. Section A .…………
9. Section B ……………
10. Section C ……………

Questions 11-13

Complete the sentences below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for your answer.

Write your answer in spaces 11-13.

11. A..……………is not a prerequisite, so if you want to take part in salsa classes just turn up at the door.
12. The newly built Salsa club …………… Regent Street, in the heart of London.
13. Salsa dancing lessons will be on offer for two hours on …………………

Reading Passage 2

Read the text below and answer questions 14-20.


Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. it is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name and has become an iconic symbol of London.

Plans for the Tower Bridge were devised around 1876 when the east of London became extremely crowded and a bridge across the Thames in that area of the city seemed a necessity. It would take another eight years, and lots of discussions about the design, before construction of the bridge started.

The bridge, designed by city architect Horace Jones, in collaboration with John Wolfe Barry, would eventually be completed in 1894. Five contractors and nearly 450 workers were involved in the construction of the 265-meter long bridge. It took 11,000 tons of steel to build the framework. At the time many people disliked its Victorian Gothic design, but over time the bridge became one of London’s most famous symbols.

The bridge consists of two towers that are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bridge’s present color dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white, and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Originally, it was painted a chocolate brown color.

Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream. A popular urban legend is that in 1968, Robert McCulloch, the purchaser of the old London Bridge that was later shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, believed that he was in fact buying Tower Bridge.

Taking photographs of the Tower Bridge is a favorite London tourist activity, but you can also go inside the bridge, where you’ll have a magnificent view over London from the walkway between the two bridge towers.

Inside the bridge is the Tower Bridge Exhibition, a display area that encompasses the walkway and the two famous towers where you can observe the Victorian engine room. Visitors can learn about the history of the bridge via photos, films, and other media.

Questions 14-17

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? In spaces 14-17, 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

14. The building of Tower Bridge began in 1876………………..
15. People didn’t really appreciate how the bridge looked when it was first built……………………
16. People preferred the original color that the bridge was painted in………………
17. It is a common misapprehension, that London Bridge is Tower Bridge………………

Questions 18-20

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, from the box below.

Write the appropriate letter, A-F, in spaces 18-20.

18. The idea to build Tower Bridge came about because…………….
19. Today, Tower Bridge is widely recognized as………………….
20. People do not only take photos of the bridge,…………………

A. people didn’t like its design.
B. people consider it one of the most famous London landmarks.
C. it was originally the bridge that was called London Bridge.
D. they also enter within, thereby gaining access to a panoramic view of London.
E. East London became increasingly congested, requiring the construction
of a bridge to traverse the Thames.
F. they film the bridge as well.

Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27.

Minutes of Nightingale House: Older People’s Retirement Home Meeting

Topic of Meeting: Changes and Modernisation to Nightingale House.
Government allowance: £100,000
September 21st
The meeting was attended by Jane Smith, Edmund Theobald, Vivien Kato and Neil Turner.

Change 1 – The Balint Wing
Edmund Theobald suggested that the government allowance of £100,000 should be used to modernize the Balint Wing of Nightingale House. He has proposed that new beds should be put into all the residents’ rooms and the walls need to be painted. The eating area in this section needs a new kitchen and tables. All residents need new basins in their bathrooms as well. These changes are important for hygiene and health reasons.

Change 2 – The reception area
Vivien Kato proposed that the money would be better spent updating the reception area of the home. New sofas need to be provided as the current ones are old and unattractive. The elderly residents enjoy sitting in this area so some pictures could be put on the walls. New computers are needed for the receptionists, which is important, as they keep all the information about the residents on these computers. A porter needs to be employed who will keep a record of all the visitors that come in and out during the day. This is important for the security of the home.

Change 3 – The restaurant area
Neil Turner put forward the idea that the restaurant area should be totally renovated and changed. The purpose of this is for visitors to bring their elderly relatives who are living in the home to the restaurant and enjoy a nice relaxing meal. This would be beneficial to the residents because they can relax in a nice environment away from their living area. A new menu can be supplied as well as a more modern restaurant decor with chairs and tables. A coffee machine could be installed as well.

It was decided that the £100,000 of government money should be spent on the Balint Wing as this is where the residents actually live and is deemed to be more important than the other two suggestions. Beds for residents have been considered a priority as their sleeping area is more significant for their well-being and health than any other part of the home.

It was decided to reconvene in a week to set down the proposal on paper to present to the local government authorities.

Jane Smith

Managing Director of Nightingale House 

Questions 21-23

Complete the table below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for your answer. Write your answers in spaces 21-23.

The Balint Wing
New beds
Walls to be painted
New kitchen and tables

The reception area
New sofas
New computer s
Pictures on the walls

The restaurant area
New menu
Tables and chairs
A coffee machine

Questions 24-27

Classify the following as being the views of

A. Edmund Theobald
B. Vivien Kato
C. Neil Turner

Write the correct letter A, B or C in spaces 24-27.

24. It is good for residents to eat and spend time with their family in a different area……………….
25. Certain changes need to be made to ensure cleanliness and physical well-being of the elderly residents……………..
26. It is advisable to monitor the movement of non-residents, entering and leaving the building……………..
27. A change of scene is welcome for the elderly residents when they want to relax………………….

Reading Passage 3

Read the text below and answer Questions 28-40.

The Life of an Amah

Life in China at the beginning of the 20th Century was a very different world than today, especially for women. It was often a very hard life with most women working in the rural areas of China for nothing more than a hand-to-mouth living. For many women in Guangdong province by the Pearl River Delta, however, life was to change forever.

The villages they lived in by the Delta that had once been surrounded by fishponds were now replaced by mulberry trees. This meant large quantities of white mulberry leaves to feed silkworms. This was a chance for many women in the area to grab their independence and they did this by working in China’s now booming silk industry.

It is estimated that over two million women were involved in the silk industry. They took great pride in their independence and refused a conventional lifestyle. They formed sisterhoods and refused to get married, swore oaths of chastity, and moved out of their family homes into spinster houses or vegetarian halls as they were called. Some women even held funeral services for a ‘sister’ who had decided to marry.

By the 1930s, however, it was all over. The silk industry had been badly affected by the world depression and many of the once-thriving factories were forced to close leaving many women jobless. Some managed to maintain their independence by becoming domestic servants. These were the amahs. By moving to Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian countries they could earn enough money (5$ a month) to live a reasonable life and continue their independent lifestyle.

An amahs social life took place in a ‘coolie fong’. This was a 2-3 story building rented by a sisterhood. It was here where she would spend time after her working day was over or on days off. It was a place to relax, share stories with other ‘sisters’, hear about new job opportunities, and collect any letters that had been sent to her from her family in China.

Sisterhoods usually ranged in size from six to ten women but could have up to thirty members. The sisterhood networks helped women migrate from the silk areas of China into cities overseas. Once the ‘sisters’ had arrived in one of these cities, the sisterhoods trained the women in various skills to be a cook, lady’s maid or baby amah, and assisted them in finding jobs and in relocating them if their work situation was unsatisfactory. The training provided by the sisterhood usually helped the ‘sister’ become a valued servant and, therefore, to receive the wages she asked for.

In many ways, the sisterhood was similar to a primitive labor union in that members established job definitions and minimum wages for each job. If a member was treated badly by an employer, other ‘sisters’ refused to work for the employer. Sometimes one sisterhood dominated the domestic staff of a whole apartment building. In such cases the sisterhood controlled who was hired, and if an employer fired a ‘sister’ without just cause, the sisterhood made it very difficult for the employer to hire another servant.
Sisterhoods also established loan associations for their members, which were especially important for immigrants separated from possible family assistance. The loan associations also acted as investment clubs where the women pooled their savings to buy property where they could retire together.

Every amah had a different routine as this partly depended on the size of the family they were working for and whether they were European or local. Europeans tended to be more demanding. Some households would hire more than one amah but others would only hire one. For many amahs, this was a good thing. Although they had to work harder they felt they were more independent and free of typical domestic servant arguments. These amahs were usually known as “one-leg kick” (or “yat keok tek” in Cantonese) since they did all the work in the household.

A typical workday began when she woke up early in the morning around 5 a.m. and, after getting herself ready, she would start cooking breakfast. After doing the dishes, she swept and tidied up the house. When that was done, she washed the clothes and prepared lunch. After cleaning up, she did the ironing. When that was done, she took a bath. It would then be time to cook again. By the time dinner was over, and she had cleaned up and finished the dishes, it would be about 9 p.m. A 16-hour day that was repeated seven days a week with only an occasional half-day off.

Sometimes known as ‘black and whites’ because they often wore white shirts and black pants with their hair in a bun or a long braid falling down their backs, they were seen as an elite group of servants that were hard working, trustworthy, and completely loyal to the families they worked for.

Stories of their complete loyalty are common with one amah jumping into the sea to rescue her English charge who had accidentally fallen from the ship. Others even worked for free if their employees lost their job and couldn’t pay them. In return, the amahs were not exploited but treated like members of the family. Indeed, it was the loyalty that led to them being called amah as the Cantonese word for mother is amah.

Questions 28-32

Complete the flow chart below.

Write your answers in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.

Sisterhoods usually had up to 28………….members
Their networks stretched all the way to 29……………..
Sisterhoods offered training in 30…………….and help in finding jobs
A trained Amah was able to get the 31……………..she wanted
Sisterhoods acted rather like a 32……………controlling salaries

Questions 33-35

Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 33-35 on your answer sheet.

33. What were silkworms given to eat?
34. Why did many silk factories close?
35. How would sisterhoods help women buy a property?

Questions 36-40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage?

True – if the statement agrees with the information
False – if the statement contradicts the information
Not given – if there is no information on this

In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet, write

36.  Most Amahs never wanted to marry.
37.  Amahs would often get letters from China.
38.  Some Amahs were called “one-leg kick” because they were kicked by their owners.
39.  Amahs were given a regular day off.
40.  Amahs were considered the best of the best.

Thanks for visiting our Reading Test. Answers are below

IELTS Reading practice 12 - Answers


5. Tour I
6. (space and/or) massages
7. B
8. iv
9. v
10. iii
11. booking
12. is situated
13. weeknights
15. TRUE
17. TRUE
18. E
19. B
20. D
21. New basins
22. A proper
23. New Decor
24. C
25. A
26. B
27. B
28. 30/thirty
29. China
30. various skills
31. wages
32. (primitive) labour union
33. (white) mulberry leaves
34. world depression
35. investment club s
36. True
37. Not given
38. False
39. False
40. True

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