IELTS READING






TFNG Reading: Exercise 1

Passage: The Thames Tunnel



When it opened in 1843 the Thames Tunnel was described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. People came from far and wide to see the first tunnel under a river. On the first day, fifty thousand people descended the staircase and paid a penny to walk through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months there were a million people, or half the population of London. This was the most successful visitor attraction in the world. In the age of sail and horse-drawn coaches, people came long distances and bought souvenirs and listened to the entertainment in the cross-tunnel arches. The idea, of course, was not entertainment but to move cargo and turn a profit.
Notice: This passage is from brunel-museum.org.uk. You can read the full article here: The Thames Tunnel

Questions 1-5

Are the following statements true, false or not given according to the information in the passage?

True = the statement matches the information in the passage
False = the statement contradicts the information in the passage
Not Given = the information is not found in the passage
1.People were drawn from all over to see the Thames Tunnel.
2.People were able to travel by sea or land in those days.
3.Statues of the tunnel could be purchased as souvenirs.
4The aim of building the tunnel was make money as a tourist attraction.

Answers

1.T
2.T
3.NG (no information is given about the types of souvenirs sold)
4.F (the aim was to make money through moving cargo)



















TFNG Reading: Exercise 2

Passage: Pyramid Building

The pyramid blocks were hewn from quarries using stone and copper tools. The blocks were transported to the pyramid site from remote quarries using barges, and from local quarries using wooden sleds. The Egyptians did not use the wheel during the Pyramid Age, an invention that would have been of limited use on softer ground under heavy loads. The sleds were dragged manually, sometimes with the help of beasts of burden, over smoothed roads. Some of the existing pathways were equipped with transverse wooden beams to lend support to the sled. A lubricant may have been poured upon the road to reduce friction.

Egyptians successfully completed the most massive building projects in all of history. There is nothing magical or supernatural in the means by which they achieved their goals, as is commonly thought. By all indications, they retained their knowledge of construction throughout their history, but they were limited after the Fourth Dynasty not by the lack of technology but rather by the lack of the abundant resources that were previously available. More than two thousand years later, the Romans would move huge stones, some weighing nearly 1,000 tons, using similar techniques at Baalbek.

Notice: The above passage is from: catchpenny.org. You can view the full article here: How the pyramids were built

Questions 1-7

Decide if the statements below are True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

1.The wheel was invented during the Pyramid Age, even thought it was not used.
2.Sleds were dragged by animals not humans.
3.It is possible that Ancient Egyptians could have lubricated their roads to aid transportation.
4.The building work of the Ancient Egyptians is unrivalled.
5.Some people believed that magic may have been used by the Ancient Egyptians.
6.Limited technology limited the construction of the Ancient Egyptians from the Fourth Dynasty.
7.The Romans learned the techniques of moving huge stones from the Ancient Egyptians.

Answers
1.NG
2.F
3.T
4.T
5.T
6.F
7.NG

Vocabulary

Here is a list of useful vocabulary
·        hewn = cut / chopped
·        granite = a type of stone
·        to be of limited use = not very useful
·        dragged = pulled
·        manually = by hand
·        friction = resistance
·        ramp = slope / inclines
·        configuration = formation
·        conjecture = guesswork / estimation / surmise
·        retained = kept
·        abundant = plentiful / rich / ample
















  





TFNG Reading:  Exercise 3

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven 

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born on or near December 16, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. He is widely considered the greatest composer of all time. Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven’s father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigour and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice. He studied the violin and clavier with his father as well as taking additional lessons from organists around town. Beethoven was a prodigiously talented musician from his earliest days and displayed flashes of the creative imagination that would eventually reach farther than any composer’s before or since.
In 1804, only weeks after Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor, Beethoven debuted his Symphony No. 3 in Napoleon’s honor. It was his grandest and most original work to date — so unlike anything heard before that through weeks of rehearsal, the musicians could not figure out how to play it. At the same time as he was composing these great and immortal works, Beethoven was struggling to come to terms with a shocking and terrible fact, one that he tried desperately to conceal. He was going deaf. By the turn of the century, Beethoven struggled to make out the words spoken to him in conversation.
Despite his extraordinary output of beautiful music, Beethoven was frequently miserable throughout his adult life. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56.

Notice: The passage above is from biography.com. You can read the full article on this page:Ludwig Van Beethoven. There is also a great video to watch about this composer.




Questions 1 – 8
Are the following statements True, False or Not Given according to the information in the passage.

1.     It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
2.     Beethoven suffered cruelty at the hands of his father.
3.     Beethoven was denied hours of sleep as a punishment for poor performance
4.     Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
5.     Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by a famous man.
6.     In the early 1800’s Beethoven struggled to follow a conversation.

Answers
1.     True
2.     True
3.     False
4.     Not Given
5.     Not Given
6.     True











TFNG Reading Exercise 4

Passage: Spam Messaging

SPAM, as every user of mobile phones in China is aware to their intense annoyance, is a roaring trade in China. Its delivery-men drive through residential neighbourhoods in “text-messaging cars”, with illegal but easy-to-buy gadgetry they use to hijack links between mobile-phone users and nearby communications masts. They then target the numbers they harvest, blasting them with spam text messages before driving away. Mobile-phone users usually see only the wearisome results: another sprinkling of spam messages offering deals on flats, investment advice and dodgy receipts for tax purposes.
Chinese mobile-users get more spam text messages than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. They received more than 300 billion of them in 2013, or close to one a day for each person using a mobile phone. Users in bigger markets like Beijing and Shanghai receive two a day, or more than 700 annually, accounting for perhaps one-fifth to one-third of all texts. Americans, by comparison, received an estimated 4.5 billion junk messages in 2011, or fewer than 20 per mobile-user for the year—out of a total of more than two trillion text messages sent.

(Notice: Passage from The economist, November 2014)

Questions 1-7
 Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given.
1.In China, SPAM text messaging is a successful business.
2.People’s phone numbers are collected through the use of technology which cannot be readily bought.
3.In no other country do people receive more Spam texts than in China.
4.In 2013, the number of SPAM texts increased considerably to reach 300 billion.
5.The majority of all texts received in Shanghai and Beijing are SPAM.
6.In 2011, Americans sent more texts than anywhere else in the world.

Answers

1.True (roaring trade)
2.False (the gadgetry = technology / easy to buy = readily bought ). This is false because the passage shows it is easy to buy which contradicts the statement.
3.True
4.Not Given (there is no information if the number given had increased or decreased before hitting over 300 billion)
5.False (only one third are SPAM at the most)
6.Not Given

Vocabulary

·        intense = strong / extreme
·         roaring business = successful business / booming business
·         residential = suburban
·        gadget = device
·        harvest information = collect / gather
·         sprinkling = smattering
·        counterparts = equals / colleagues
·        spam messages = junk messages

·        digits = numbers / numerals

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