IELTS Multiple Choice Reading Practice

This multiple choice reading practice has lots of academic language similar to the academic paper in IELTS reading.

First Test to Predict Alzheimer’s

The world’s first blood test to predict Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur has been developed. The test identifies 10 chemicals in the blood associated with the disease two to three years before symptoms start, but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.

Globally, 35 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. It is characterised by a toxic build up of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which destroys the neurons. Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.

But with no treatments available, would anyone want to take these tests? Mapstone says “In my experience, the majority of people are very interested to know whether they will get Alzheimer’s. They believe that knowledge is power – particularly when it comes to your own health. We may not have any therapy yet but there are things we can do – we can get our financial and legal affairs in order, plan for future care, and inform family members.”

Questions 1 – 3

Choose the correct letter A-C

  1. The test can predict Alzheimer’s…….

a) two or three years before the illness begin

b) two or three years from the start of the symptoms

c) a decade before

 2. This test is the first blood test which can …….

a) cure Alzheimer’s

b) estimate the start of the disease

c) diagnose the disease

3. Mapstone believes that ….

a) this test will help people understand Alzheimer’s

b) people want to know about their health

c) people want power


1 = a   Before symptoms start = before the illness begins (2nd sentence)

2 = b   Estimate the start = predict its onset (2nd paragraph, last sentence)

3 = b

Vocab Builder
  • 2 or 3 years from the start of = 2 or 3 years after symptoms start
  • predict = foresee / forecast / foretell
  • occur = happen / came about
  • associated with = connected to
  • characterise = typify / exemplify
  • symptoms = signs (of an illness)
  • onset = start / inception


Passage from New Scientist, 09/03/14

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  1. fazalbangash says:


  2. I am always missing one in almost all of the practice items on this blog. What might my problem?

    • There might not be any problem unless you are aiming for band score 9. If your aim is band 6 or 7 or even 8, then getting one wrong is normal.

  3. Liz, thank you, I just love the way you explain everything. It makes the preparation time more positive and easier 😀 I have my test next week and need to get a score of 6, which I think is possible. I live in London now since 6 month, therefore I guess with learning the different techniques, I should pass it 🙂 Thank you for all your effort on this website.

  4. thank you Liz i dont know how i can thank you,you do an incredible job here for many people only God will reward you.

  5. Your blog is really helpful in my on-going self-study. I am so glad i found your website. I hope it will remain here forever and continue to help people like us struggling to understand english well. God bless you always and more power 🙂

  6. Maria Mascarenhas says:

    Your efforts are appreciated ma’am Liz . Your lessons are extremely helpful and simple to understand. Love the way you grouped the type of questions for reading followed by practice questions. I am so glad I came across your page.
    Big thank you once again.

    Regards and blessings

  7. I got through IELTS general module.. purely by GOD’s grace…….thank you jesus….overall 8 L:9, R:8, W:7, S:7

  8. Hi Liz,
    You are simply amazing. Thank you so much for your time and efforts to make people successful in IELTS through your extremely helpful tips. Moreover, at no cost.
    Remain blessed.

  9. Shamik Ray says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for all your generous helps.I am very confused on question 1.
    Paragraph 1 is clearly saying “but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s a decade earlier”

    Then why option c) a decade before is wrong?

    Please help.

  10. Jofeldgreat says:

    I got all correct answers. Thanks liz for these amazing review materials that you’re giving for free. I hope you continue to update your website to help more people like us.

  11. Hi!
    I am a Doctor so I’m getting slightly confused by the options in question 1. Symptoms are patient’s complaints and the test is used to diagnose the disease before symptoms occur, but doesn’t that mean that the illness is already there? Hence the appearance of chemicals associated with the disease in the blood? Kindly elaborate on this, thanks.

    • Don’t over think. This is about paraphrasing and selecting the most likely answer. It can’t be “b” because that means two or three years after the start of the symptoms and it can’t be “c”. Therefore “a” is the correct answer. It is not about your own personal knowledge of medicine but about what is written and the answer options.
      All the best

  12. Got 3/3. I hope this will be the same case as when the real exam comes.

  13. Hello Liz,
    Im really confused about question number2 the answer should be C because the passage says that the test can diagnose the disease but has low sensitivity in predicting its onset, so how did you choose answer B?


    • In the passage, it states “but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.” The words “until now” mean that other tests couldn’t predict its onset but this test can.
      All the best

  14. I was also in thinking that answer would be’ c’ for the question no. 1
    But author said ‘it can identify decade before’ thats means it just showing possibilities not presently conducting

    • Actually it doesn’t say that. It says “it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.” which means it might be able to in the future (it’s a possibility not a certainty). Always check for traps like that.
      All the best

  15. Hello
    Thank you for your sharing your experiences with others

    I want to ask about reading and analysing questios tips

    For example , if I am working on MCQ from 1-6 , should I read an analyze all the 6 questions at the same time , first , and go to the passege to find the answer for each ( one-one by one ) ?
    Just read and analyse the first one and search for the answer , and after that start working on the second one ?

  16. hi mam liz
    your bltogs and videos are really helpful for the candidates who want attempt ielt test kindly tell me how to have grip on grammar help me with this

  17. Hi Liz,

    I have done all the practice tests. What I have understood is each piece of word or information is the most important.

    Your reading skills and tips are too easy to understand and to follow. Awesome!
    Thanking you so much, you have a great heart to place these valuable tips for free. God Bless.


  18. One more clarification:
    For the question #1, since the question talks about ‘Prediction’ of the Alzheimer’s whereas as per your answer (a) for this question “is for identifying (the disease) not for ‘Prediction’ “.

    In this case shouldn’t the answer be ‘c’ (related to prediction not identification) ?

    • Hi,

      The question is about the prediction of Alzheimer’s through a test. This means how we know someone will get this disease. The passage explains that the test helps us know when Alzheimer’s will hit, who it will hit and how the test works (by identifying chemicals in the blood). It also explains that the test can predict (identify signs which is the same thing) the onset 2 or 3 years before the symptoms start = two or three years before the illness begin. So, the answer must be a.

      Being able to know if someone has a disease before the symptoms show means that illness can be predicted. To predict an illness means we know who is likely to get it.
      All the best

    • Hi,

      This is all about the grammar. It says that the test can spot who will get the disease 2 or 3 years before the symptoms show – this has been proven. However, it says “it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier”. We use the word “might” when we are not sure. So, this means it has not be confirmed but that it is hopeful for the future. So, the answer can’t be c because the test does not currently do that.

      • Thank you Liz for the explanation..I would say for me the catch was ‘might’ which I should have considered in analysis.

  19. Hi Liz,
    First I’d like to thank you for the fascinating videos and blogs you have provided for free. I am a working professional and want to improve my reading skills (especially for ielts). Your tips are indispensable peace of information to get success in the exam.
    Could you please suggest why ‘c’ can’t be the answer for question #2 of above paragraph.
    As ‘b’ suggests that “estimate the start of the disease” but paragraph says ‘NONE’ has had the sensitivity to predict’
    Whereas I can see that ‘c’ has the more relevance with paragraph ‘to diagnose the disease’ but I maybe wrong as paragraph says ‘Several Blood tastes’ whereas questions talks about only ‘This test’

    • Hi,

      For question 2, you are looking at this test only. The information in the passage says “Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.”. The key to the answer is not “none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset”, the key is understanding “until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.”. Until now, means that before now no test has this possibility but now this test does. So, you definitely need to understand how to use “until now, none has…” in order to get the right answer.
      All the best

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