IELTS Reading Practice



UK Car Insurance for the over 50sIf you’re looking for insurance that gives you the kind of policy you deserve, call for a no-obligation quote today. Independent online research has shown that 3 out of 5 over 50s could save money with UK Car insurance.No upper age limitStatistically, older drivers have fewer accidents so we believe older drivers should be rewarded and not penalised by car insurance policies. Unlike many other car insurance companies, we do not discriminate against more mature drivers. We pride ourselves on delivering an unbiased and great value policy to our older clientele.No extra charges for paying monthlyOur policy is to give our customers a fair deal for their money. Hence, we will not charge interest if you choose to pay by monthly instalments.If you need to make a claimShould you have to make a claim and you have comprehensive insurance cover, you will be guaranteed a courtesy car in the event of an accident. You can therefore rest assured that you will never be left high and dry without a means of transport should your vehicle need to be taken in for repair. We also cover the cost of a medical transfer service for you or any passengers if hospitalisation is required and the trip exceeds a 50-mile radius from your home. For simple breakdowns, if it is not possible to repair your vehicle by the roadside, we will collect you and your vehicle. You can claim up to £100 should you break down more than 25 miles from home to cover costs of accommodation in the event of an emergency. Home service is also included in the cost of your insurance.Don’t delay, act today!If you have already received a quote from us or bought a UK Car Insurance policy, thank you! If you’re still making up your mind, why not call the UK-based team for a quote today on 0800 7893 234? Alternatively, pop into your local UK Car Insurance branch or get a quote online.
Winter Events in LondonA. The Art of the Brick ExhibitionIt’s not improbable that you indulged a Lego habit as a child. When you see this exhibition you might wish you had kept going. Former corporate lawyer turned master of tiny bricks, Nathan Sawaya, never stopped. Returning from a tour of Asia, America and Australia, the show is headed for Brick Lane, London (where else?) for its UK debut at the Old Truman Brewery.Venue: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, El 6QLB. Harry Potter TourA walking tour for fans of J.K. Rowling’s much-loved fictional character, Harry Potter. The tour explores film locations and inspirations for the books with props and trivia. Ten percent of proceeds go to charity. Group sizes are restricted so booking is essential. A travel card is also needed as a short tube ride is incorporated in the tour.Venue: London Bridge. Please refer to our website for further details.C. Covent GardenGlittering baubles and twinkling fairylights turn the cobbled piazza into a winter wonderland. Wander amongst the street buskers and living statues and experience the lively atmosphere of the market. Even if you’re not a fan of bric-a-brac and crafts, Covent Garden is irresistible at this time of year, tempting even the most reluctant of shoppers.Every Saturday a live reindeer will put in an appearance to add to the festive fun. Liquid refreshments will be nearby as well as festive fare.Venue: Covent Garden PiazzaD. Somerset House Skating RinkNo matter how impressive your skating skills, a trip to this 900-m2 outdoor rink is highly recommended.With the magnificent eighteenth-century Somerset House as a stunning backdrop and a rink that is aglow with fairylights as dusk falls, this is the perfect Christmas setting. The now well-established Skate School and Penguin Club are on hand to help visitors of all ages build confidence and learn new tricks.Tickets available now!Advance bookings recommended for peak sessions during weekends.Venue: Somerset House, Strand WC2 R1LAE. Winter Sun InstallationOffering up a more unorthodox form of entertainment but promising to chase away the Januaryblues, ‘Winter Sun’ is a commission undertaken by a 3-strong team of two artists and one architect. Doubling up as an event space and bar, the circular, metallic construction is covered on the outside by mini ‘suns’ that mimic the effect of natural daylight. Within, the space functions as a bar and venue for events. If the mini ‘suns’ fail to lift your spirits then step inside and cheer yourself up with a selection of warming winter drinks and enjoy the entertainment on offer.Venue: Granary Square, London NCI 4AA

Questions 1-8

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

Quotes are given with  to buy.

There is a tendency to  drivers over a certain age.

Those paying in  will not be liable for extra interest.

Provision of  will ensure you are not left without a means of transport.

To receive full benefit from the policy,  is required.

Should  be required, medical transfers may be possible.

Claimants are entitled to a maximum of £100 after a breakdown, should  arise.

By phoning our  you can receive a quote today.

Questions 9-14

Look at the five advertisements, A-E, referring to winter events in London.

Which advertisement mentions the following?

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 9-14 on your answer sheet.

You may use any letter more than once.

9.ABCDE  additional costs

10.ABCDE  fluctuation in public attendance

11.ABCDE  a possible source of regret

12.ABCDE  seasonal food on offer

13.ABCDE  a change in career

14.ABCDE  seasonally induced mood changes



Lunar Cycles and SleepA _Sleep specialist Professor Wiseman recently set out to determine if sound could affect dream content. However, he also ended up uncovering an uncanny correlation between lunar cycles and sleep processes.B _Volunteers in his study were played a variety of sounds ranging from bird song to traffic. If sensors detected the subject was sleeping, shortly before the alarm was set to go off, the sounds were played. The reasoning behind this was that sleepers recall dreams more accurately just after waking and so would still remember sound-induced dreams.C _Whilst the content of dreams was found to remain constant with the seasons or the days of the week, it showed considerable variation with the full moon. Dreams became increasingly bizarre, bearing little relation to the usual pedestrian dreams we normally have about being late for work or losing personal items. In some cases, subjects became superheroes such as Batman or Superman.D _The findings build on research that had previously demonstrated a link between lunar cycles and duration and quality of sleep rather than content. These earlier findings revealed a more fitful sleep in subjects during the full moon and difficulty initially falling asleep.E _Biologically, an inability to sleep soundly during a full moon is probably attributable to low levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. The waxing and waning of the moon can directly affect melatonin levels and hence sleep quality.F_Wiseman believes that the evolutionary advantage conferred on our predecessors by such sensitivity to lunar rhythms was incalculable. Sleeping lightly at the full moon would have heightened our awareness to predators. In addition, a full moon may have been the optimum conditions for our ancestors to go hunting by. This accounts for the lunar influence on our sleeping habits today.G _Sensitivity to the moon’s rhythms and concurrent lack of good quality sleep is likely, however, to be seen as a source of irritation to most. This is because contemporary Man is unlikely to derive the same benefit from moon-induced sleep changes compared to his ancestors.
Different ways to exercise and get healthyAs the pounds pile on we may become more complacent about keeping fit. However there is a lot at stake if you resign yourself to an indolent lifestyle. Cosmetic concerns as to increasing girths and flabby abdomens aside, there is also your health to consider. Many diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cancer arise from obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. So here are some suggestions to kick start your exercise regime, focusing on body-specific areas that you might wish to improve upon.If you are seeking to improve stamina and cardiovascular fitness, then interval training is a good way to start. Activities are completed at high intensity for a specific length of time, followed by another cycle of low intensity exercises termed ‘sets’ which are repeated throughout the routine.For those desiring speedy results and wanting to simultaneously boost overall fitness levels, then practising squats is the answer. Squats not only help burn fat but also build muscle strength and aid suppleness throughout the entire body, which in turn helps prevent injuries. Performing this exercise that is heavily focused on working the muscles along the hips and upper thighs can help streamline your body. Lunges are another ideal choice for toning and building thigh muscles. They are also regarded by fitness experts as one of the best functional activities during which the body is exercised through multiple planes of motion. Because the entire body is involved, lunges are a great exercise choice for hectic days as they offer multiple benefits within a short time frame. If your focus is more on improving your chest and torso then you would be better off doing push ups. In addition to working on the chest and torso, push ups also help define the shoulders, triceps and oblique muscles.If increasing body bulk takes precedence over improving fitness levels and general mobility, then weight training is for you. This activity aims to develop the size and strength of the skeletal muscles by using weight stacks, dumbbells and weighted bars to create gravity resistance, thereby increasing muscle mass. Since individual target goals will vary with regard to what muscle groups need to be developed, weight training programmes need to be adjusted to the individual concerned.

Questions 15-21

The text on the next page has seven sections, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-x, in boxes 15-21 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
i.A previously proven correlation
ii.An unwelcome inheritance
iii.Old habits die hard
iv.A modern advantage
v.A departure from the mundane
vi.A physical interaction
vii.An unexpected finding
viii.Fantasies become reality
ix.A theory is disproved
x.Theory is put into practice

15.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section A

16.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section B

17.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section C

18.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section D

19.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section E

20.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section F

21.iiiiiiivvviviiviiiixx  Section G

Questions 22-23

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 22-23 on your answer sheet.

There is too much  if you fail to keep to a healthy fitness regime.

 apart, there is also the matter of your health to think about.

Questions 24-28

Look at the following descriptions and the list of terms in the box below.

Match each description with the correct term, A-E.

Write the appropriate letter, A-E, in boxes 24-28 on your answer sheet.

List of Descriptions

24.ABCDE  Works on the upper body only

25.ABCDE  Requires the individual to follow a tailor-made programme

26.ABCDE  High impact exercises are interspersed with low impact ones.

27.ABCDE  General mobility is improved in addition to fitness levels and overall appearance.

28.ABCDE  A workout simultaneously affecting several areas of main body

A.Interval training
D.Push ups
E.Weight training



Read the text below and answer Questions 29-35.

‘Thought’ Crime

A. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government attempts to curb not only the speech and actions but also the thoughts of its subjects. Unapproved thoughts are labelled ‘thought’ crime and draconically punished with the death sentence. It is undoubtedly a grim portrayal of the future. Alarmingly, it could soon become, partially at least, a reality.

B. Future policing systems aimed at identifying deviant thought processes are currently in the pipeline. The US Department of Homeland Security believes that the system will be capable of detecting ‘hostile thoughts’ in individuals passing through border controls, airports and public places.

C. Its critics believe that ‘Project Hostile Intent’, as it is called, is entering the realms of fantasy. The belief that sensors could single out ne’er-do-wells via increased pulse rate, breathing, skin temperature or fleeting facial expressions is viewed by the project’s detractors as frankly absurd and more akin to something out of the sci-fi movie Minority Report and the ‘pre-crime’ units featured in the movie.

D. The project’s promoters are not impervious to the public controversy that their proposed policing system has stirred up. So significant has the backlash been to the proposed project that it has now been dubbed the less innocuous-sounding Future Attribute Screening Technologies (FAST). Whether re-branding quells public dissent remains to be seen.

E. In the meantime, a pilot study to test the system has been undertaken. At an equestrian centre in Maryland, 140 paid volunteers walked through a machine kitted out with a battery of FAST sensors, in addition to cameras, infrared heat sensors and an eyesafe laser radar (named a Bio-Ladar) that measures pulse and breathing rate from a distance.

F. According to individual briefing, subjects acted either shifty, hostile and evasive whilst others acted the exact opposite, conforming to model citizen behaviour. DHS science spokesman, John Verrico, claims the study was ‘promising’, achieving a 78% accuracy on mal-intent and 80% on deception.

G. It could be argued, however, that such overt visual behaviour would be apparent without recourse to specialist equipment and that border control and security officers would do better to improve on honing their knowledge of body language. We judge people daily, after all, from their appearance, so this must count for something. It’s certainly a method that is a lot less obtrusive than the FAST system.

H. Finally, there is the matter of invasion of privacy. The FAST system is capable of detecting health problems such as heart murmurs in those passing through the security mechanism, Seemingly this would seem to open up a whole new moral debate. Should those previously unaware of health issues be informed, or not? Assurances have been issued, however, by proponents of the FAST system, that individual data will not be stored on the database to avoid a breach of confidentiality. But why not put such information to good effect? If it is considered permissible to analyse the very thought processes of individuals then why is the assessment of health considered too invasive? The FAST system has a long way to go yet in answering such issues adequately and becoming an acceptable method of surveillance.

Questions 29-35

The text has eight paragraphs, A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 29-35 on your answer sheet.

29.ABCDEFGH  an inconsistency in approach

30.ABCDEFGH  already a new policing system is underway

31.ABCDEFGH  a public relations exercise

32.ABCDEFGH  fiction not transferable into fact

33.ABCDEFGH  the future foreshadowed in fiction

34.ABCDEFGH  effective but commonplace assessment methods

35.ABCDEFGH  official confirmation of the efficacy of the FAST system

Questions 36-40

Complete the summary below.

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

Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

The dystopian future predicted in Orwell’s novel 1984 may soon become reality. A policing system said to be thought-sensitive is in . It is reputedly able to reveal  and so is arguably of use at security checkpoints. Subtle changes in an individual’s behaviour and physiological processes can be measured by the policing system. Until now the project has met with  which officials attempted to quell by renaming the project ‘FAST’, a considerably less offensive title than the original ‘Project Hostile Intent’. So far, a  has provided tentative confirmation of the efficacy of the FAST system.However, it is arguable that simple methods such as reading body language might be equally effective. More problematic is the possibility that the FAST system may uncover health issues an individual is unaware of. Whether to inform the individual or not is subject to 



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