IELTS General Reading Test 81

Section 1
Read the text below and answer questions 1-6.

What to do before an operation in hospital

In the days leading up to your surgery, you’ll need to think about how you’ll get to the hospital and back again. You probably won’t be well enough to drive, so you may want to arrange transport or ask a friend or relative to help. Make sure you give your family and friends plenty of notice about your operation, so that if necessary, they can take time off work to be with you. Check your hospital’s policy on visiting times and let your family and friends know. When preparing your things for your stay, remember to bring your appointment card with you too.

Pre-operative assessment
At some hospitals, you’ll be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment, which may be an appointment with a nurse or doctor, a telephone assessment or an email assessment. You’ll be asked questions about your health, your medical history and your home circumstances. If the assessment involves a visit to the hospital, some tests may be carried out, including a blood test. This assessment will usually happen one or more days before your operation. Make sure you know the results of any previous tests. You’ll be given clear information on:
• if you need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before your operation (see below)
• whether you should cease taking your usual medications before going into hospital
• what to bring with you into hospital
• whether you’ll need to stay in hospital overnight and, if so, for how long

The importance of fasting
If your doctor has instructed you to fast before the operation, it’s really important that you don’t eat or drink anything — this includes light snacks, sweets and water. You need an empty stomach during surgery, so you don’t vomit while you’re under anaesthetic.

You’ll need to remove all make-up and nail polish before your operation, as the doctors will need to see your skin and nails to make sure your blood circulation is healthy. This can also help to reduce the chances of unwanted bacteria being brought into the hospital.

Questions 1-6
Complete the sentences below. Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

1. It’s important to include your…………………when packing your things for your time in hospital.
2. A pre-operative assessment may be conducted face to face, by phone or by…………….
3. Part of a pre-operative assessment might include a test of a patient’s………………..
4. Patients might be told to stop their……………… their pre-operative assessment.
5. Patients might suffer negative effects if they eat or drink before their pre-operative………………is administered.
6. Removing all cosmetics allows doctors to properly assess a patient’s……………………

Read the text below and answer questions 7-11.

What to do when moving home

There is so much to organize in just packing for the move that important things are often over-looked. Use a checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered. It’s best not to tell anyone of your address change until the contracts have been exchanged, otherwise if the sale or rental agreement falls through, you will need to contact everyone again. When the contract is ready, you will need to tell many organizations of your new address.

Contact your local rates office to let them know the date you move out of your current property and when you move into your new one, so they bill you correctly for council tax. If you’ve moved area, you may need to register with a new doctor’s surgery (GP) or dentist. If you use other local medical services, don’t forget to find alternatives when you move.

A lot of people and organizations will not know you have changed address and they will continue to send you post to your old address. To deal with this, redirect your post to your new address. You can download a form from the Post Office website. It can take up to 10 days to set up and there is a charge.

You don’t want to keep paying bills at your old address, so you need to contact the appropriate organizations to stop that. Common bills will apply to the telephone, the gas and electricity providers. You need to tell them at least 48 hours before you are moving. Pass on the details of your current supplier to the people moving in. On your moving day, you will need to read the meters in both properties, so the right bills can be issued. When you move in to your new home, contact the companies that you want to deliver your utilities, so they can register you as a new customer and start billing you from that day.

A lot of official documents are registered to you at your old address, including those to do with driving. You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Agency (OVA) immediately of any changes to your name, address or both. You must also tell the DVA if either the name and address details shown on the registration certificate are incorrect.

Questions 7-11
Complete the notes below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

What to do When Moving Home
• Use a (7)………………to help you remember what to do when moving home.
• Wait until your dwelling sale or rental contracts are completed before informing anyone of your new address.
• In order to pay the right (8)……………..bills, contact the rates office.
• You might need a new doctor and dentist if you’ve moved (9)………………
• A form on the Post Office website can allow you to (10)……………..your post to the right address.
• Contact organizations that bill you at your old address. For gas and electricity, make a note of the reading of the old and new properties’ (11)…………………., so that you pay the correct amount. Choose the appropriate organizations and tell them of your new address.
• Tell the DVA of your new address change (and name if relevant)

Read the text below and answer questions 12-14.

Advance notice of upcoming road works

Sections of the East High Street will be closed from Monday, April 6, for up to 12 weeks to allow for Campion Gas to replace and reinforce gas networks. Your local council is taking the closure as an opportunity to carry out street lighting improvements at the same time so as to minimise possible future disruption.

Campion Gas will carry out the work in four phases:

Phase 1: Broad Avenue, from the roundabout to the junction with Winton Street, will be closed as well as one lane on the Market Square. An alternative route will be available via East High Street, Winton Street and Castle Road.

Phases 2 & 3: East High Street, from the crossroads at Broad Avenue to the junction with Winton Street, will be closed, as will the junction at Winton Street. An alternative route will be available via Winton Street, Castle Road and Broad Avenue.

Phase 4: Eastern Road will be closed from the junction with South Street and No. 15 on that road. One lane only on South Street will also be closed. Exact details of the closures, including dates for each phase, are still to be finalized and will be released in due course.

Questions 12-14
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? In boxes 12-14 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

12. Two projects will be carried out at the same time during the upcoming road works.
13. Alternative bus services will be free of charge during the disturbances.
14. People will not be able to use South Street in phase 4.

Section 2
Read the text below and answer questions 15-20.

Working from home – Notes for employees

The number of employees working from home in office-type jobs, or roles involving travel, where home is used as a base, is steadily increasing. We have therefore published these notes about working for us from home.

Homeworking can present challenges to both you and us. For us, the main issue is the staff management of those who work on their own and away from the main business base. For you, it can include overcoming feelings of loneliness and managing the boundaries between home and work life. Often, being away from the managers who are responsible for promotion is felt to be the greatest disadvantage.

Home working can include:
• Working entirely at home apart from attending regular or occasional meetings at the office or with customers
• Time split between office and home or with customers – for example, two days in the office and three days at home or with customers
• Working mainly in the office and working from home only occasionally Homeworking can also be used in conjunction with other arrangements, such as flexible hours, working part-time, term-time working or working our core hours. The employee’s post will determine whether this is possible. While homeworking can be seen as an attractive option, it will not suit everyone. A homeworker needs to be able to cope with working on their own with little supervision.

Homeworkers ideally need to be:
• able to spend long periods on their own and be confident working without supervision
• self-disciplined and self-motivated
• able to separate work from home life

As the employer of all our staff, we have a duty of care for all our employees, and the requirements of the health and safety legislation apply to homeworkers. We are responsible for carrying out a risk assessment to check whether the proposed home workplace’s ventilation, temperature, lighting, space, chair, desk and computer, or any kind of workstation, and floor are suitable for the tasks the homeworker will be carrying out Employees will have to arrange this with us before they start homeworking.

Any application for homeworking should be made in writing and sent to your line manager. Any refusal will be accompanied by an explanation and employees can make an appeal if they are not satisfied.

Questions 15-20
Answer the questions below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

15. What is the main challenge for the company with having homeworkers?
16. Dealing with which emotion can be a challenge for homeworkers?
17. What do homeworkers perceive they are missing out on the most when they are away from the office?
18. What will the decision depend on if an employee wishes to work part-time as well as working from home?
19. What process will have to take place before an employee can begin working from home?
20. What process can employees initiate if their application for homeworking is refused?

Read the text below and answer questions 21-27.

Staying healthy at work

Most of our waking hours are spent at work, which means the working environment can play a big part in our health and well-being. About 131 million working days were lost through absences due to sickness or injury in 2013. There are many things that workers can do not only to reduce their risk of work-related ill health, but also to use their time at work to boost their health.

About 15.2 million days were lost last year because of work-related stress, depression and anxiety. While not all stress is work-related, knowing how to deal with a lot of pressure at work is vital. Learn to identify the symptoms of stress. Don’t wait for it to make you ill before you do something about it. One of the best ways of dealing with stress is knowing how to prioritize your workload and not taking on more than you can handle.

Back Pain
About 30.6 million working days were lost due to work-related back, neck and muscle pain and other musculoskeletal disorders in 2013. The main causes are poor posture or an awkward twisting movement (bending or reaching), or a combination of the two. In most cases, the best treatment is to stay active and, if necessary, use over-the-counter painkillers. You may feel like lying down, but this won’t help and could make things worse. The longer you stay immobile, the weaker your back muscles will be and the more they’ll hurt in the long term.

Repetitive strain injury IRSI) is more likely to occur if you spend long periods of work without a break, or if you sit on an uncomfortable chair or at a poorly arranged workstation. Incorrect procedure when using a computer keyboard and mouse, mobile phone or hand-held device can all cause RSI. Modern technology isn’t solely responsible. Anyone who uses certain muscles repeatedly can get RSI.

If you spend a lot of your time at work sitting at a desk, make sure you’re sitting in the right position in relation to your computer. If you’re unsure about correct posture, ask your line manager for a workplace assessment. If you work on a computer a lot, it’s important to leave the computer periodically. That means for every hour at your keyboard, you should rest for at least five to ten minutes.

Many of us spend long hours at work and may have long and tiring journeys to and from work. But getting active at work is easier than you may think. Try and cycle or walk to work, take stairs rather than the lift or use your lunch break as an exercise slot. Working out and losing weight will also benefit your posture and help prevent injury.

Most people consume over 35 per cent of their daily calorie intake while at work. What we eat and drink affects not just our health, but our efficiency and success too. If we don’t eat regular well-balanced meals or drink enough water, we may get headaches, feel sluggish or have difficulty concentrating.

Questions 21-27
Choose the correct words for questions 21-27 from list of words given below.


Staying Healthy at Work

Workers can improve their health and fitness at work. Avoiding stress is important and (21)……………is better than dealing with it after its arrival. Workers should prioritize work and not over-work. Back pain is a common workplace health problem and is caused in different ways. Workers should stay active, use analgesic if necessary, and avoid (22)………….. RSI is a threat and can be caused by poor posture, poor equipment or poor (23)……………. using equipment. Sitting badly can also cause problems. Workers should be assessed and take regular (24)…………….if they use a computer a lot. A long (25)……………..and working hours are tiring, but workers can exercise at work in different ways or work at lunchtimes. Developing (26)……………and getting lighter will help workers in all areas of health. As people eat a lot at work, how they eat affects their health, fitness and (27)………………

Section 3

Passage Three

Paragraph A
Nothing identifies a city more than the Golden Gate Bridge does San Francisco. Completed just six months after its neighbor, the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge is painted a striking hue known as international orange, a reddish colour that was chosen to compliment the bridge’s natural surroundings. Spanning the San Francisco bay the Golden Gate is a suspension bridge, held up by massive steel cables strung between towers. Its central span, at 4,200 feet, remained the longest in the world until 1964. This bridge represents the city it serves probably more than any other bridge in the world and possibly more than any manmade structure.

Paragraph B
The idea of bridging the mile-wide Golden Gate channel was proposed as early as the 1870’s, but it was not until the San Francisco Call Bulletin began an editorial campaign in 1916 that the plan received popular backing. Rocky terrain and difficult weather conditions made the task appear impossible and the bridge’s detractors publicized this. However, following feasibility studies in 1923, the California legislature passed the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act. The only problem was the funding, which was considerable, as the planning time was following the 1929 stock market crash. Then the Great Depression followed and of course money was hard to come by. It was decided to underwrite a major bond issue of $35,000,000 to fund the bridge. The idea was that tolls paid to cross the bridge would redeem the bond issue, pay the interest and maintenance, and probably make a profit.

Paragraph C
Aesthetes and environmentalists worried the bridge would mar the natural beauty of San Francisco’s world-famed harbor. A formidable group of civic leaders objected to the financing of the span through the proposed bond measure placed on the ballot for November 1930. Also opposing the bond measure were the Pacific American Steamship Association and the Ship Owners Association of the Pacific Coast who both charged that the Bridge would be a hazard to navigation and would handicap the shipping industry. A series of other accusations followed: an enemy fleet could demolish the bridge and bottle-up the US fleet. The bridge could not be built. It would not stand. It was vulnerable to earthquakes. The floor of the Golden Gate Strait would not support the weight of the bridge. The entire project was a hoax and sham. Only fools would buy bonds of a bridge certain to fall. Taxpayers would suffer and have to continue paying to finance the fiasco.

Paragraph D
Unions, and civic, trade and booster organizations stepped up their campaigns in support of the bond measure. The Redwood Empire Association maintained it would promote tourism in the northern California counties. The California State Automobile Association knew the bridge would encourage auto sales. San Francisco’s Chamber of Commerce agreed that the bridge could solve unemployment problems. Voters, despite the financial uncertainty that was used as further grounds to oppose the bridge, approved a $35 million construction bond in November 1930.

Paragraph E
Construction began on January IS, 1933 and was completed on May 27, 1937, ahead of schedule and under budget. The engineer overseeing the construction was Joseph Strauss. Strauss had originally wanted a different design for the bridge, but he was advised to accept advice from several consulting project experts. Finally, a suspension bridge was decided upon, due to various new developments in metallurgy. During the construction, Strauss instituted unprecedented protection measures including an early version of the hard hat and a fall net that stretched end-to-end under the bridge. While eleven workers died during the course of the project, nineteen others whose falls were broken by the net became known as the “Half-Wayto-Hell Club.”

Paragraph F
In 1989, the lone Prieto earthquake shook the San Francisco area. Although the Golden Gate Bridge suffered 110 observed damage horn it, since the epicenter was located some 60 miles to the south, the earthquake became a catalyst for an extensive renovation program. After determining that retrofitting the Bridge would be more cost effective than replacing it, in 1991, the district hired engineering consultants to develop seismic retrofit design criteria. Because of financial constraints, the district proceeded with phasing the construction of the seismic retrofit in a manner that reflected the degrees of structural vulnerabilities. The work still goes on today and it is estimated that it will take another two or three years to make the bridge wholly safe from earthquakes.

Paragraph G
The Golden Gate Bridge currently serves as a vital transportation link between the City and County of San Francisco and Main County to the north. The Bridge is a fixed six-lane roadway, is 1.7 miles long (the main span is 4,700 feet Song) and carries about 111,000 vehicles per day. Tolls are assessed electronically in the southbound direction only – heading into San Francisco from Marin County. Pedestrians are allowed, but only on the East Sidewalk and at certain times. Bicycles are allowed, but electric bikes or animals are not.

Questions 28-34
The text has 7 paragraphs A-G. choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings given below.

i Scandal intervenes
ii To the rescue
iii The shadow of war
iv The beginning of the project
v Opposition
vi Recent vulnerability
vii Rising costs and worker strikes
viii Building and safety
ix An iconic symbol
x Traffic today

28. Paragraph A
29. Paragraph B
30. Paragraph C
31. Paragraph D
32. Paragraph E
33. Paragraph F
34. Paragraph G

Questions 35-39
Choose FIVE letters, A – I.

What FIVE of the following reasons were used to oppose the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge?

A Unions would oppose the plan.
B The weather would be too poor at the construction site.
C The bridge would not look beautiful enough.
D Tolls for crossing the bridge would not raise enough money to pay back the bonds and their interest.
E The bridge would potentially threaten the operational capability of the US military forces in San Francisco Bay.
F The bridge would be bad for tourism in the area of the bridge.
G The seabed would not be strong enough to hold the bridge’s weight.
H The financial uncertainty of the time would undermine the project.
I The bridges construction would destroy the marine ecosystem at the construction site.

Question 40
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

40. What is the writer’s purpose in the text in passage 3?
A To criticise construction methods of the Golden Gate Bridge
B To highlight the advantages of using the Golden Gate Bridge
C To provide an overview of the construction and use of the Golden Gate Bridge
D To describe the problems facing the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge

Show answers

1. Appointment card
2. Email
3. Blood
4. (usual) medications
5. Anaesthetic
6. (blood) circulation
7. Checklist
8. Council tax
9. Area
10. Redirect
11. Meters
12. True
13. NG
14. False
15. (the) (staff) management
16. Loneliness
17. Promotion
18. (the) (employee’s) post
19. (a) (risk) assessment
20. (an) appeal
21. Prevention
22. Bed
23. Technique
24. Breaks
25. Commute
26. Fitness
27. Performance
28. ix
29. iv
30. v
31. ii
32. viii
33. vi
34. x
35. B
36. C
37. E
38. G
39. H
40. C

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