IELTS Reading

IELTS General Reading Test 9 – with Answers

IELTS General Reading Tests

Reading Passage – 1

Read the text below and answer Questions 1-6.


A love affair that lasts a lifetime

It’s hard not to fall in love with Cornwall. For some, it’s the happy memories of a childhood seaside holiday. For others, it’s the brief fling of a teenage summer. For most, it’s a passionate affair that lasts a lifetime… So let the affair begin!

Where is Cornwall?
Located in the far west of Great Britain, Cornwall is almost completely surrounded by the sea and has a magnificent 300-mile coastline. It is also the location of mainland Great Britain’s most southerly promontory, The Lizard, and one of the UK’s most westerly points, Land’s End.

What’s so special about it?
There are lots of things Cornwall is loved for; the dramatic coastline with its captivating fishing harbours; the spectacular beaches and the pounding surf that provide a natural playground for a variety of water sports; and of course the Cornish pasty and cream teas.

Expect the unexpected
But there are also lots of things about Cornwall that may surprise you. For instance, the wilderness of Bodmin Moor with its panorama of big skies. There’s also the dynamic art scene found mainly in West Cornwall, inspired by the naturally stunning landscapes. More recently, Cornwall has become known for a food scene to rival London and beyond.

History and culture
Cornwall also has a tremendous history based on its Celtic roots; its Celtic Cornish culture; the warmth and friendliness of the people; and the Cornish language that can be seen in the village names. Cornwall is truly unique.

Why not visit some of Cornwall’s most iconic experiences. From towering castles, beautiful gardens, and places steeped in legends and history, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are a few to get you started.

Trebah Garden – near Falmouth
One of the great gardens of Cornwall and rated among the 80 finest gardens in the world, discover the magic of this beautiful Cornish valley garden with over four miles of footpath.

Lanhydrock – Bodmin
Lanhydrock boasts a magnificent late Victorian country house with gardens and a wooded estate. Discover two sides of Victorian life: those ‘below stairs’, and those ‘upstairs’.

Geevor Tin Mine – near Penzance
Geevor tin mine is one of the largest preserved mine sites in the country and a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Housed in two acres of listed buildings, Geevor’s collections and guides bring the story of Cornwall’s rich industrial past to life.

Questions 1-6

Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

1.  Cornwall has stunning coastal views including the most …………………… point in Great Britain.

2.  Apart from the coastal views, the amazing landscapes have inspired an unexpected but thriving…………………….

3.  Cornwall can now be compared to …………………… for its food and amazing chefs.

4.  One thing that makes Cornwall different from the rest of England is its …………………… heritage.

5.  The perfect place to discover insights into lifestyles from a bygone era is………………….. .

6.  The perfect place to discover insights into Cornwall’s industrial past is a…………………… .

Read the text below and answer Questions 7– 14.


Worker bees are between 8-19mm in length. They are divided into three distinct parts; head, thorax, abdomen. They have an almost completely blackhead, a thorax that is golden brown and black with patches of orange, and yellow bands that can be easily seen on the abdomen. At the front of the head are two antennae for sensing their environment.

They have four single wings. The largest are called forewings and the smallest hindwings. The hind legs are specialized for collecting pollen – each leg is flattened to form a pollen basket near the end of each leg.

Love them or hate them, we need bees to pollinate many important food crops, including most fruit and vegetables. Bee-pollinated crops are important sources of vitamins A and C, and minerals like calcium. By pollinating attractive wildflowers like bluebells and poppies, bees also help support the natural environment that people love – benefitting us culturally and economically, as well as ecologically. Calculations from the University of Reading show that £510 million of annual total crop sales in the UK are pollinated by bees and other insects.

What would happen if there were suddenly no more bees to pollinate these crops? This is a question being asked by farmers, beekeepers, and scientists because bees are now dying in their millions and they want to know why.

It’s widely recognized now that changes in agriculture are the main cause of bee decline across Europe. For example, hay meadows, which are full of many different plant species, have declined by 97 percent since the 1930s, removing an important source of food for bees.

This has happened because of the trend towards growing the same crop (monocultures) over large fields. This has reduced the diversity of flowers available and resulted in the removal of hedges. Species that have more specialized food needs, like the Shrill Carder Bee, have been particularly hard hit. It is now listed as an endangered species.

With fewer hedges, bees find it more difficult to move between feeding and nesting sites. This is because hedges act as corridors for bees to move along, but with fewer hedges movement becomes more difficult.

Pests and diseases are also a major threat to honey bees and other managed bees. The Varroa mite is thought to be one of the main causes of native honeybee loss. The impact on wild bees is harder to assess but ‘spill-over’ of diseases and pests between wild and managed bees has increasingly been observed.

Climate change has an effect as it can alter the timing of plant flowering or the time that bees come out of hibernation, which means bees may emerge before there is enough food available.

Questions 7 – 10

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

7. Apart from pollinating crops how else do bees help us?
A. Economically
B. culturally
C. ecologically
D. all of the above

8.  Why has the variety of flowers available for bees to pollinate fallen?
A. conservation measures
B. less hedges
C. fertilizers
D. urban development

9.  There are many reasons for the decline in bees but what is one of the major reasons for the shrinking numbers of native honey bees?
A. Varroa mites
B. spill-over
C. managed bees
D. hard to assess

10.  Why might bees end their hibernation at a different time?
A. to pollinate more flowers
B. to get more food
C. climate change
D. to emerge with other bees

Questions 11 – 14

The diagram below shows the worker bee.

Label the diagram.

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

Write your answers in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.

Reading Passage 2

Questions 14-22

Look at the Introduction to Kingston multipurpose Institute on the following page and the statements (Questions 14-22) below

In boxes 14-22 on your answer sheet write

True – if the statement is true
False – if the statement is false
Not given – if the statement is not given in the passage

15. The institute is more than half a century old.
16. The only problem about the institute is that racialism is prevalent here is veiled form.
17. Some scholarships for meritorious students are available in this institute.
18. Web technology is one of the subjects taught in this institute.
19. The services of qualified counsellors are available here.
20. Teaching is done with audio-visual aid here.
21. The name of the institute was decided on the basis of the name of the founder of the institution.
22. Those feeling confused regarding the working of the institution are advised to pay a personal visit to it.

Kingston Multipurpose Institute

You may be wondering why we insist on your joining this particular institute. You may also be puzzled about its names, particularly the used word “multipurpose”. We understand your difficulty, but we advise you to pay a visit to this institute and see with your own eyes to learn all about what we mean to say.

Meanwhile, we tell you that this institute is about 40 years old and has stood the test of time. It has catered to the needs of thousands of students from different parts of the world. It is a multicultural institute with no racial overtone whatsoever. There is complete impartiality and transparency in the selection and promotion process. There is counseling, guidance, and help at every place. Personal attention is the hallmark of studies here. In fact, the institute is a unique ground for developing both interpersonal and interpersonal relations.

The greatest charm of the student is the varied field of studies which are very much the order of the day. This is the only institute which teaches such order-of-the-day subjects as fashion Technology, Home Science, Vocal, Instrumental Music, Fine arts, Classical Folk dance, Metal and woodworks, Entrepreneurship and Journalism beside these traditional subjects like Arts, Humanities, Commerce and sciences. Indeed, the variety is limitless and you are only to make a choice according to your aptitude. For your convenience, even the services of a qualified, experienced counselor are available. Then the institute is also renowned for sports and extracurricular activities.

To cap it all, the staff is highly qualified and dedicated, having a parent-like attitude. That is why you are regularly advised, encouraged and inspired in the most congenial atmosphere of this institute with all rooms air-conditioned and centrally connected and controlled.

Note: Teaching is done with audio-visual aid.

Questions 23-27

Look at the information regarding “Cornfield Technical University” on the following pages. Each paragraph A-F provides a different kind of information.

From the list below (i-ix) choose the most suitable summaries for paragraphs A-F. Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 22-27 on your answer sheet.

NB: There are summaries than paragraphs, so you will not use them all

i. The working of distance education.
ii. The purpose of the university.
iii. Modes of financial aids to deserving students.
iv. Infrastructure of the university.
v. Essentialities for the students.
vi. Comparison with other universities.
vii. Special field of the university.
viii. The question of discipline.
ix. The importance of science subject.

23. Paragraph A
24. Paragraph B
25. Paragraph C
26. Paragraph D
27. Paragraph E
28. Paragraph F

Cornfield Technical University

A. Cornfield Technical University (CTU) is recognized by over 100 countries of the world. The University was set up a decade back keeping in view the needs of the modern world. The main purpose is to provide state-of-the-art education to students at the most reasonable rates.

B. The university has a spacious campus spread over several acres of land. It has over1000 learning centres all over the world. There are more than 150000 students on its roll. All the centres are well-equipped with modern labs and AC classrooms. Multi-entry and Multi-exit system exists in the university. There are daily 3 hours of teaching work at these centers with unlimited practical hour. The highly qualified staff not only gives lectures but also pays individual attention to every student. This faculty students interaction is an important feature of the university.

C. This is briefly about the functioning of the university. There are more than three hundred courses on which certificates, diplomas, and degrees are rewarded by this university and are an airline, hotel, and travel industry. This university arranges at its center’s free information seminars and spot interviews for careers as an air hostess, flight steward, and hospitality and travel professionals. This university is known for the best cabin crew selections. It has exclusive cabin crew recruitment tie-ups with several renowned international airlines.

D. Many middle-rung people feel handicapped in meeting the high expenses of their ward, in the matter of providing ultra-modern technical training to them. Keeping in view this fact, the university has arranged help from several philanthropic Non-government organizations. As such, not only does the university offers a very affordable fees structure and supplies free of cost all course material but also arranges scholarship, stipends, and grants to meritorious, but financially weak students.

E. Apart from this, the university has excellent arrangements for distance education. In the remote areas of all countries where the certificates, diplomas, and degrees of the university are recognized, the students who cannot afford to approach any of the centers of the University for any reason, can avail themselves of the distance education programs of the university. The latest course material is sent well in advance charging the most affordable fees. There is a 20 percent concession for girls, handicapped persons, sportspersons, and defense personnel. However, each student has to attend a one-week compulsory practical program every two months at a specified center which will be allotted as near to the student’s residence as possible.

F. It has, however, to be noted that all the regular students have to attend a minimum number of lectures and practical periods as per university rules. Those who join the distance education program have to send solved exercises which are forwarded to them with each despatch. A pass in such test is essential. The brochure containing rules and regulations is provided free of cost to each student. Each student has to adhere to them any violation shall attract a deduction in assessment marks. Every student joining any course of the university will have to produce not only an approval certificate from the parent or guardian but also a character certificate from a gazetted officer or from the head of the institution last attended.

Reading Passage 3


The world’s oldest form of resistance training

A. From the very first caveman to scale a tree or hang from a cliff face, to the mighty armies of the Greco-Roman empires and the gymnasiums of modern American high schools, calisthenics has endured and thrived because of its simplicity and utility. Unlike strength training which involves weights, machines or resistance bands, calisthenics uses only the body’s own weight for physical development.

B. Calisthenics enters the historical record at around 480 B.C., with Herodotus’ account of the Battle of Thermopylae. Herodotus reported that, prior to the battle, the god-king Xerxes sent a scouting party to spy on his Spartan enemies. The scouts informed Xerxes that the Spartans, under the leadership of King Leonidas, were practicing some kind of bizarre, synchronized movements akin to a tribal dance. Xerxes was greatly amused. His own army was comprised of over 120,000 men, while the Spartans had just 300. Leonidas was informed that he must retreat or face annihilation. The Spartans did not retreat, however, and in the ensuing battle, they managed to hold Xerxes’ enormous army at bay for some time until reinforcements arrived. It turns out their tribal dance was not a superstitious ritual but a form of calisthenics by which they were building awe-inspiring physical strength and endurance.

C. The Greeks took calisthenics seriously not only as a form of military discipline and strength but also as an artistic expression of movement and an aesthetically ideal physique. Indeed, the term calisthenics itself is derived from the Greek words for beauty and strength.  We know from historical records and images from pottery, mosaics, and sculptures of the period that the ancient Olympians took calisthenics training seriously. They were greatly admired – and still are, today – for their combination of athleticism and physical beauty. You may have heard a friend whimsically sigh and mention that someone ‘has the body of a Greek god’. This expression has travelled through centuries and continents, and the source of this envy and admiration is the calisthenics method.

D. Calisthenics experienced its second golden age in the 1800s. This century saw the birth of gymnastics, an organized sport that uses a range of bars, rings, vaulting horses, and balancing beams to display physical prowess. This period is also when the phenomena of strongmen developed. These were people of astounding physical strength and development who forged nomadic careers by demonstrating outlandish feats of strength to stunned populations. Most of these men trained using hand balancing and horizontal bars, as modern weight machines had not yet been invented.

E. In the 1950s, Angelo Siciliano – who went by the stage name Charles Atlas – was crowned “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man”. Atlas’s own approach stemmed from traditional calisthenics and through a series of mail-order comic books he taught these methods to hundreds of thousands of children and young adults through the 1960s and 1970s. But Atlas was the last of a dying breed. The tides were turning, fitness methods were drifting away from calisthenics, and no widely-regarded proponent of the method would ever succeed him.

F. In the 1960s and 1970s calisthenics and the goal of functional strength combined with physical beauty was replaced by an emphasis on huge muscles at any cost. This became the sport of bodybuilding. Although body building’s pioneers were drawn from the calisthenics tradition, the sole goal soon became an increase in muscle size. Bodybuilding icons, people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva were called mass monsters because of their imposing physiques. Physical development of this nature was only attainable through the use of anabolic steroids, synthetic hormones which boosted muscle development while harming overall health. These bodybuilders also relied on free weights and machines, which allowed them to target and bloat the size of individual muscles rather than develop a naturally proportioned body. Calisthenics, with its emphasis on physical beauty and a balance in proportions, had little to offer the mass monsters.

G. In this “bigger is better” climate, calisthenics was relegated to groups perceived to be vulnerable, such as women, people recuperating from injuries, and school students. Although some of the strongest and most physically developed human beings ever to have lived acquired their abilities through the use of sophisticated calisthenics, a great deal of this knowledge was discarded and the method was reduced to nothing more than an easily accessible and readily available activity. Those who mastered the rudimentary skills of calisthenics could expect to graduate to weight training rather than advanced calisthenics.

H. In recent years, however, fitness trends have been shifting back toward the use of calisthenics. Bodybuilding approaches that promote excessive muscle development frequently lead to joint pain, injuries, unbalanced physiques, and weak cardiovascular health. As a result, many of the newest and most popular gyms and programmes emphasize calisthenics-based methods instead. Modern practices often combine elements from a number of related traditions such as yoga, Pilates, kettle-ball training, gymnastics, and traditional Greco-Roman calisthenics. Many people are keen to recover the original Greek vision of physical beauty and strength and harmony of the mind-body connection.

Questions 29–35

The text has eight paragraphs, A–H. Which paragraph contains the following information? Choose the correct letter for questions 29–35.

29. the origin of the word ‘calisthenics’
30. the last popular supporter of calisthenics
31. the first use of calisthenics as a training method
32. a multidisciplinary approach to all-round health and strength
33. reasons for the survival of calisthenics throughout the ages
34. the medical substance to increase muscle mass and strength
35. a reference to travelling showmen who displayed their strength for audiences

Questions 36–40

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

During the sixties and seventies, attaining huge muscles became more important than 36………………..or having an attractive-looking body. The first people to take up this new sport of bodybuilding had a background in calisthenics but the most famous practitioners became known as 37………………..on account of the impressive size of their muscles. Drugs and mechanical devices were used to develop individual muscles to a monstrous size.

Calisthenics then became the domain of ‘weaker’ people: females, children, and those recovering from 38 ……………….. . Much of the advanced knowledge about calisthenics was lost and the method was subsequently downgraded to the status of a simple, user-friendly activity. Once a person became skilled at this, he would progress to 39……………….. . Currently a revival of calisthenics is under way as extreme muscle building can harm the body leaving it sore, out of balance, and in poor 40 ……………….. .


Thanks for visiting our Reading Test. Answers are below

IELTS Reading practice 9 - Answers


1. southerly
2. art scene
3. London
4. Celtic
5. Lanhydrock
6. tin mine
7. B
8. A
9. D
10. C
11. forewing // forewings
12. antennae
13. hindwing // hindwings
14. pollen basket
18. TRUE
19. TRUE
20. TRUE
22. TRUE
23. iii
24. i
25. vii
26. iv
27. ii
28. v
29. C
30. E
31. B
32. H
33. A
34. F
35. D
36. functional strength
37. mass monsters
38. injuries
39. weight training
40. cardiovascular health

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