IELTS Reading: The Origin of Water

This practice exercise is about space and tests your ability to deal with true, false not given questions.

Where Did Earth’s Water Come From?

The exact origin of our planet’s water, which covers about 70 percent of Earth’s surface, is still a mystery to scientists. Many researchers think that, instead of water forming at the same time as Earth, objects in the outer solar system delivered water to Earth in violent collisions shortly after its formation.

Astronomers began to wonder if clues to our water’s past may lie in the asteroid belt. This region of hundreds of thousands of asteroids orbiting between the inner and outer planets was believed by astronomers to be too close to the sun to house water, but astronomers recently found the first evidence of ice on the asteroid 24 Themis.

This discovery and others of ice on asteroids suggest that there might be far more ice in the asteroid belt than originally thought and provide another possibility for the origin of ocean water. Probes sent to explore asteroids, such as the DAWN spacecraft, in the upcoming years will reveal more about their mysterious water ice, potentially help us understand the beginnings of Earth’s water.

Questions 1-5

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

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. 70% of the Earth is covered in water from a known source.
  2. Astronomers studied thousands of asteroids for signs of water.
  3. It was believed that asteroids did not have water because of the proximity to the sun.
  4. It has long been known that there was ice on the asteroid 24 Themis.
  5. More information will be gleaned about the ice on asteroids by dispatching probes.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers

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

Passage from livescience.com

 Vocabulary
  • collision = crash, impact, accident
  • to wonder = to speculate, to question
  • clue = indication, sign, evidence
  • astronomer = a person who studies space and the universe
  • asteroid = a kind of rock orbiting (circling, going round) the sun
  • house (vb) = to contain, to store
  • upcoming years = future, approaching
  • gleaned = learned, collected, gathered

 

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IELTS TFNG Practice: History of Clocks

True False Not Given questions are very common questions in IELTS reading and are also one of the most difficult. You must read the statement in each question and decide if the information can be found in the passage (true), if the information is contrary to what is written in the passage (false) or if the statement cannot be found (not given) in the passage. Answers can be written as either a full word (True False Not Given) or a letter, for example T/F/NG.

This practice exercise is slightly easier than in the academic test and is similar to GT passage 3. But it will still provide you all with good practice. Download the free PDF of this passage: IELTS Reading Practice The History of Clocks

The History of Clocks

The movement of the sun through the sky makes possible a simple estimate of time, from the length and position of a shadow cast by a vertical stick. If marks are made where the sun’s shadow falls, the time of day can be recorded in a consistent manner. The result is the sundial. An Egyptian example survives from about 800 BC, but the principle may have been familiar to astronomers a few centuries before. However it is difficult to measure time precisely on a sundial, because the sun’s path through the sky changes with the seasons. Earlier attempts at precision in time-keeping rely on a different principle.

The water clock, known from a Greek word as the clepsydra, attempts to measure time by the amount of water which drips from a tank. This would be a reliable form of clock if the flow of water could be perfectly controlled. In practice it cannot. The clepsydra has an honourable history from perhaps 1400 BC in Egypt, through Greece and Rome and the Arab civlizations and China, and even up to the 16th century in Europe. But it is more of a toy than a timepiece.

The hourglass, using sand on the same principle, has an even longer career. It is a standard feature on 18th-century pulpits in Britain, ensuring a sermon of sufficient length. In a reduced form it can still be found timing an egg.

Questions 1-5

Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given. TFNG answers usually come in order but in this passage, it is not the case. So, please pay attention to this.

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. Sundials are able to provide accurate time using the sun’s paths through the skies.
  2. The existing Egyptian sundial was entirely new at that time.
  3. Water clocks provide a more reliable method of telling the time than sundials.
  4. The water clock is older than the sundial.
  5. Water clocks make good toys.
  6. Hourglasses work using sand to measure time.
  7. Hourglasses were found in Britain earlier than the 18th century.
  8. Hourglasses are no longer used by modern people.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers and vocabulary

Answers
  1. False
  2. False
  3. Not Given
  4. True.
    1. Message from Liz: I have a lot of students writing to me because they don’t understand this answer. 1400BC, which is the date for the water clock, is older than 800BC. These dates are BC, not AD. If you don’t understand dates which are BC, please see this page: Understanding AD and BC dates
  5. Not Given (this is a difficult question. Although it does compare the water clock to a toy, it does not give information about the water clock being a good toy)
  6. True
  7. Not Given
  8. False

(passage from here)

Vocabulary
  • consistent = regular
  • principle = theory / notion
  • attempts = endeavors
  • it is more of a toy = it is not used in a functional manner
  • time piece = clock
  • sermon = lecture / oration / reading
  • a reduced form = a simplification of something

 

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IELTS Reading: The Life of Beethoven

This lesson is to practice the yes no not given question types in IELTS reading. Skim read the passage first – don’t take too long doing this, you only want to get the gist of the passage. Then read through the questions and prepare the paraphrases etc. Download free PDF of the passage and questions below: IELTS Reading Practice YNNG Beethoven

The Life of Beethoven

beethoven ielts reading

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born on or near December 16, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. His personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness. The fact that Beethoven composed his most beautiful and extraordinary music while deaf is an almost superhuman feat of creative genius. 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 rigor and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. Neighbors provided accounts of the small boy weeping while he played the clavier, standing atop a footstool to reach the keys, his father beating him for each hesitation or mistake. Qs

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.

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. Whether in spite of or because of his father’s draconian methods, 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.

When the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died in 1790, a 19-year-old Beethoven received the immense honor of composing a musical memorial in his honor. In 1792, with French revolutionary forces sweeping across the Rhineland into the Electorate of Cologne, Beethoven decided to leave his hometown for Vienna. In Vienna, Beethoven dedicated himself wholeheartedly to musical study with the most eminent musicians of the age. He studied piano with Haydn, vocal composition with Antonio Salieri and counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger. Qs

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.

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. Beethoven’s Ninth and final symphony, completed in 1824, remains the illustrious composer’s most towering achievement. The symphony’s famous choral finale is perhaps the most famous piece of music in history.

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.

Questions 1- 10

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer? Write

  • yes – if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
  • no – if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
  • not given – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.
Answers
  1. Yes
  2. Not Given
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. No
  6. Not Given
  7. Yes
  8. Yes
  9. Yes
  10. No

Passage from biography.com

 

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IELTS Yes No Not Given Reading Practice

An IELTS reading practice exercise for Yes/ No / Not Given questions.  This is quite an easy practice lesson to help you develop your techniques.  Here is a quick review of what the answers mean:

Yes = the statement agrees with the writer

No = the statement contradicts the witer

Not Given = the information is not found in the passage

Richard, the Lionheart

Richard, the Lionheart, King of England had spent much of his reign outside England fighting wars in the Middle East and France. To pay for these he had taxed the English heavily. Richard was considered a good King by the people. In 1199, Richard died and his brother, John became king.

John continued to fight wars in France but he kept losing battles. He needed more money so his government in England ruthlessly demanded more taxes from the nobility who were expected to pay tax if the King asked.

The Barons became very unhappy about John exploiting their loyalty and belief in his complete power. They rebelled and took over London and forced John to negotiate.

Question 1-4

Do the following statements match the information in the passage? Decide Y/N/NG for the following statements.

  1. Richard did not live in England while he was king.
  2. The people had to pay King Richard a lot of tax.
  3. John was a better king than Richard.
  4. John was not successful at war.
Answers

1. N

2. Y

3. NG

4. Y

Vocab Builder
  • reign = time in power / sovereignty
  • battle = war / conflict
  • exploit = take advantage of
  • ruthless = cruel / cold-blooded / pitiless

 

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True False Not Given: IELTS Reading Practice

The T/F/NG are difficult questions which require you to locate the information and then decide if the information in the statement is the same, opposite or not given in the passage. These questions come regularly in IELTS reading so the more practice you have the better.

Skim read the passage below and then spend time reading the statements in each question. The more time you spend preparing the questions with paraphrases and paying attention to the information given, the easier it will be to get the right answer. Remember, the answers come in order.

Spam Text Messages in China

SPAM, as every user of mobile phones in China is aware to their intense annoyance, is a roaring business 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 almost 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.

In China, by contrast, the three largest mobile operators sell special numbers that start with the digits 106. These are exempt from rules limiting the number of messages that can be sent daily by a normal account. Regulators allow them to be used for non-commercial purposes, such as by companies to send messages to staff. But Tencent Mobile Security Lab, a software-security firm, found last year that 55% of mobile spam reported by users came from 106 numbers. After a documentary last year on these accounts by Chinese state television, China Mobile, one of the biggest carriers, admitted there were “loopholes and inadequacies” and said it would work to “hold people accountable”. The broadcaster estimated that the big three carriers earned hundreds of millions of dollars a year from spam text messages. (The economist, November 2014)

Questions 1-6

Decide if the following questions are true, false or not given.

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. The men delivering spam text messages in China use technology which is illegal and cannot be bought readily.
  2. Customer numbers are accessed by hacking into users phones.
  3. Mobile phone owners in Beijing and Shanghai receive over 700 spam texts in a year.
  4. America received 4.5 billion junk texts which was the least amount worldwide in 2011.
  5. Over half of all reported junk texts were sent from 106 numbers according to Tencent Mobile Security Lab.
  6. The three largest mobile operators make large amounts of money from junk text messaging.
Answers
  1. False (the gadgetry – technology – is easy-to-buy)
  2. False (numbers are accessed through a link which is hacked between the phones and the communication mast)
  3. True
  4. Not Given (there is no information given about how these figures compare to the rest of the world)
  5. True (55% = over half)
  6. True (the big three carriers is a paraphrase for the 3 largest mobile operators)
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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Origins of Bread: IELTS T F NG Reading Practice

A reading practice for the IELTS T F NG  (true / false / not given) question type. Here is a quick review of what each one means:

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

Origins of Bread

Bread is the most widely consumed food in the world. Not only is it an important source of carbohydrates, it’s also small and easy to carry, which helps to explain why it has been part of our diet for thousands of years. In fact, recent scholarship suggests humans started baking bread at least 30,000 years ago.

Prehistoric man had already been making gruel from water and grains, so it was a small jump to starting cooking this mixture into a solid bread form by frying it on stones. A 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences discovered traces of starch (likely from the roots of cattails and ferns) in prehistoric mortar and pestle-like rocks. The roots would have been peeled and dried before they were ground into flour and mixed with water. Finally, the paste would be cooked on heated rocks.

Question 1-4

Which of the following statements are true, false or not given?

  1. Bread is eaten in all countries in the world.
  2. Bread contains carbohydrates.
  3. The first bread was made about 30,000 years ago.
  4. Bread was first made from gruel cooked in clay pots.
Answers
  1. Not Given (It states in the text that bread is widely eaten in the world but we are not given information that shows it is eaten in all countries.)
  2. True (This is a direct paraphrase of the statement in the passage)
  3. True (This is a direct paraphrase of the statement in the passage)
  4. False (The passage says that bread was made from gruel and fried on stones)
Vocab Builder
  • consume food = eat food
  • carbohydrates = foods with sugars and starch (potatoes, bread, pasta etc)
  • gruel = porridge
  • traces = small amounts
  • peeled = had their skins removed
  • ground = crushed / pounded

 

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