IELTS General Reading Test 9



Questions 1-14
Read the text below and answer Questions 1-7.

Interesting Day Courses in your Area

A Photographing Wildlife
This workshop includes an introduction in the classroom, two photography sessions with specially arranged access to the zoo enclosures so that you can take natural-looking close-ups of the most exotic species, and the opportunity to review and discuss your images as a group.

B Drawing For Fun
You will learn some basic techniques using soft pencils and charcoal. These and different types of paper are provided. Just bring yourself and a willingness to ‘have a gd. This is a start-up day so people who have already attended courses should not apply.

C Find Your Voice
You may feel you can’t sing or you may be an established singer who wants to improve or gain confidence. You will be shown how to sing in tune, how to breathe correctly and how to project your voice. You may attend this course more than once and each time have a wonderful experience. Everyone can sing and it’s great fun.

D Focus On Landscapes
This course is designed for students who are familiar with painting in watercolours, but are having difficulty with some techniques. We will discuss choice of materials, colour mixing and any other areas that may be raised.
The day will start with a demonstration, followed by an opportunity to sketch outdoors. After a light lunch cooked in the studio, there will be a further practical session.

E Taking Happy Pictures
The main objective is to introduce you to the skills required to take good photographs of people at special events, such as parties or weddings. We will discuss camera settings, dealing with varied light or bad weather, and how to get a good atmosphere. Lunch is provided at a nearby hotel, followed by a practical session inside the studio.

F The Music Takeaway
Get some friends, family or colleagues together for your own music course in a venue of your choice, which could be your front room, basement or workplace. We send two guitar tutors to lead a one-day session for you in the style of music you prefer, such as rock, country, funk or blues.

Questions 1-7
Look at the six advertisements, A—F below. For which course are the following statements true?
Write the correct letter, A—F, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. Participants can decide where the course is held.
2. Different ability levels are welcome.
3. All the necessary materials are supplied.
4. Participants will be able to go where the public are not normally allowed.
5. It is possible to repeat this course.
6. You can select what to study from a range of options.
7. The course will provide advice on how to overcome difficult conditions.

Read the text below and answer Questions 8-14.

Learn to Skydive

Accelerated Freefall (AFF) is an intensive skydiving course and you can experience freefall on your very first jump. We offer the AFF Level 1 course as a unique introduction to the world of parachuting and skydiving. It’s great as a one-off freefall experience. However, the full eight-level Accelerated Freefall course is the best way to learn to skydive and attain your licence as a qualified parachutist, which allows you to jump at skydiving centres across the world.

The AFF Level 1 course begins with an intensive day of ground training. During the day, you will learn how your parachute equipment works and how to check and fit it, how to exit the aircraft, how to maintain the correct body position in the air, monitor your altitude and deploy your parachute and how to deal with emergencies. The day will finish with a written test. The training can be both mentally and physically tiring so you should stay overnight if you wish to do your first jump the next day. For safety reasons we require you to return and jump in less than a month after your training in order to complete the Level 1 course.

When you come to do your jump you will receive refresher training before you board the aircraft. You will exit the aircraft with two AFF Level 1 instructors. They will provide in-air coaching as they fall alongside you, holding onto your harness. You will experience about one minute of freefall and deploy your own parachute, then fly and navigate for around five minutes before landing on the dropzone. Following this, you will meet your instructors to debrief the jump and collect your certificate. Shortly after you arrive home, you will receive an email link to the instructors’ footage of your skydive to post online.

There are some restrictions for solo skydiving. The maximum acceptable weight is 95 kg fully clothed and a reasonable level of fitness is required. As far as age is concerned, the minimum is 16 and a parental signature of consent is required for students of 16-17 on three forms. Adults over 45 wishing to skydive must bring a completed Declaration of Fitness form signed and stamped by their doctor. Acceptance rests with the head instructor.

Questions 8-14
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text on page below?
In boxes 8-14 on your answer sheet, 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

8. After doing the AFF Level 1 course, people can skydive in different countries.
9. The AFF Level 1 course takes more than one day to complete.
10. Students must do their first jump within a certain period.
11. Training continues after the student jumps out of the plane.
12. During a first jump, an instructor will open the student’s parachute.
13. Instructors usually film the first jumps that the students make.
14. Students will be divided into age groups when taking the course.


Questions 15-27
Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20.

Mistakes when applying for a job

There are many mistakes that people make when writing their résumé (CV) or completing a job application. Here are some of the most common and most serious.

The biggest problem is perhaps listing the duties for which you were responsible in a past position: all this tells your potential employers is what you were supposed to do. They do not necessarily know the specific skills you used in executing them, nor do they know what results you achieved – both of which are essential. In short, they won’t know if you were the best, the worst, or just average in your position.

The more concrete information you can include, the better. As far as possible, provide measurements of what you accomplished. If any innovations you introduced saved the organization money, how much did they save? If you found a way of increasing productivity, by what percentage did you increase it?

Writing what you are trying to achieve in life – your objective – is a waste of space. It tells the employer what you are interested in. Do you really think that employers care what you want? No, they are interested in what they want! Instead, use that space for a career summary. A good one is brief – three to four sentences long. A good one will make the person reviewing your application want to read further.

Many resumes list ‘hard’ job-specific skills, almost to the exclusion of transferable, or `soft’, skills. However, your ability to negotiate effectively, for example, can be just as important as your technical skills.

All information you give should be relevant, so carefully consider the job for which you are applying. If you are applying for a job that is somewhat different than your current job, it is up to you to draw a connection for the resume reviewer, so that they will understand how your skills will fit in their organization. The person who reviews your paperwork will not be a mind reader.

If you are modest about the skills you can offer, or the results you have achieved, a resume reader may take what you write literally, and be left with a low opinion of your ability: you need to say exactly how good you are. On the other hand, of course, never stretch the truth or lie.

Questions 15-20
Complete the sentences below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet.

15. It is a mistake to specify your………………………………. in past positions.
16. Do not include a description of your………………………………… in life.
17. Include soft skills such as an ability to………………………………..successfully.
18. Think hard about the position so you can ensure that the information in your application is…………………………..
19. Make the…………………………… between your abilities and the job you are applying for clear.
20. Do not be too……………………………… about what you can do.

Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27.


Who should register for this course?
The H&S Certificate is aimed at people who work as supervisors within the construction industry (whether or not that is part of their job title), who are required to ensure that activities under their control are undertaken safely.

Course duration
Option 1 — Conversion Course (for those who have a PHS Certificate — see below): 10 days, either one day a week or two weeks full-time

Option 2 — Full Course (for all others): 15 days, either one day a week or three weeks full-time
For both options, the written exam and practical assessment take half a day.

About the course
The course provides thorough preparation for the H&S Certificate, which is an award in health and safety specifically designed for the construction industry. It combines theory with practice, ensuring that those who gain the certificate are capable of managing health and safety throughout each stage of the construction process, from planning and design to use and finally demolition.

You may already be one step towards gaining an H&S Certificate
The PHS (Principles of Health and Safety) Certificate can be taken separately or as part of the H&S Certificate. If you gained this qualification no more than five years before entering for the H&S Certificate, it will be recognised as contributing to your Certificate without the need to repeat that unit of the course.

Course content
The H&S Certificate is divided into three units. Unit 1 covers the principles of health and safety (and is identical to the PHS Certificate), Unit 2 covers the identification and control of hazards, and Unit 3 deals with practical applications of health and safety.

How is the course assessed?
Candidates take written examinations for Units 1 and 2. Unit 3 is assessed by a practical examination testing the ability to identify health and safety issues in a construction workplace. Unit 3 needs to be taken within 14 days of a written examination.

A full certificate is issued on successful completion of all three units.

Candidates from non-EU countries may be eligible for a small number of grants. These cover the cost of tuition, but not examination fees. For details, please contact the Registrar.

For further information please contact our administration office.

Questions 21-27
Answer the questions below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet.

21. Which position is the Certificate intended for?
22. How many days must a student without a PHS Certificate study?
23. What is the last stage of the construction process that is covered by the course?
24. For how long does a PHS Certificate count towards the H&S Certificate?
25. What do students learn to identify and deal with in Unit 2?
26. What type of examination is used for Unit 3?
27. What will a grant pay for?


Questions 28-34
The text on 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 28-34 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
i The instructions for old dances survive
ii Inspired by foreign examples
iii Found in a number of countries and districts
iv An enthusiastic response from certain people
v Spectators join in the dancing
vi How the street event came about
vii From the height of popularity to a fall from fashion
viii A surprise public entertainment
ix Young people invent their own clog dances
x Clog dancing isn’t so easy

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

Clog dancing’s big street revival

A The streets of Newcastle, in the north-east of England, have begun to echo with a sound that has not been heard for about a century. A sharp, rhythmic knocking can be heard among the Saturday crowds in one of the city’s busiest intersections. It sounds a little like dozens of horses galloping along the street, but there are none in sight. In fact, it’s the noise of a hundred people dancing in wooden shoes, or clogs.

The shoppers are about to be ambushed by the UK’s biggest clog dance event. The hundred volunteers have been coached to perform a mass routine. For ten minutes, the dancers bring the city centre to a standstill. There are people clogging on oil drums and between the tables of pavement cafés. A screaming, five-man team cuts through the onlookers and begins leaping over swords that look highly dangerous. Then, as swiftly as they appeared, the cloggers melt back into the crowd, leaving the slightly stunned spectators to go about their business.

B This strange manifestation is the brainchild of conductor Charles Hazlewood, whose conversion to clog dancing came through an encounter with a folk band, The Unthanks. `Rachel and Becky Unthank came to develop some ideas in my studio,’ Hazlewood says. ‘Suddenly, they got up and began to mark out the rhythm with their feet — it was an extraordinary blur of shuffles, clicks and clacks that was an entirely new music for me. I thought, “Whatever this is, I want more of it”.’

Hazlewood was inspired to travel to Newcastle to make a television programme, Come Clog Dancing, in which he and a hundred other people learn to clog in a fortnight. Yet when he first went out recruiting, local people seemed unaware of their heritage. ‘We went out on to the streets, looking for volunteers, lilt nobody seemed to know anything about clog dancing; or if they did, they thought it originated in the Netherlands.’

C The roots of clog dancing go back several hundred years, and lie in traditional dances of the Dutch, Native Americans and African-Americans, in which the dancer strikes the ground with their heel or toes, to produce a rhythm that’s audible to everyone around. In England, clogging is believed to have first developed in the mid-19th century in the cotton mills of Lancashire, in the north-west, where workers created a dance that imitated the sound of the machinery. The style quickly spread and developed a number of regional variations. In Northumberland, it became a recreation for miners, who danced solo or to the accompaniment of a fiddle.

`The Northumberland style is very distinct from Lancashire clogging,’ says Laura Connolly, a virtuoso dancer who worked with Hazlewood on the programme. ‘Northumbrian dancing is quite neat and precise with almost no upper-body movement, whereas the Lancastrian style is more flamboyant.’

D Whatever the region, clogging remains very much a minority pursuit. Yet at the turn of the 20th century, clogging was a fully-fledged youth craze. Two famous comic film actors. Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin, both began their careers as cloggers. But the dance almost completely died out with the passing of the industrial age. ‘People danced in clogs because they were cheap, hardwearing and easily repaired,’ Connolly says. ‘Yet eventually clogs became associated with poverty and people were almost ashamed to wear them.’

E Fortunately, the key steps of the dances were preserved and handed down in a series of little blue books, often named after their inventors. ‘It means that we still know what Mrs Willis’s Rag or Ivy Sands’s Hornpipe were like,’ Connolly says. ‘It’s my dream that one day there’ll be a little blue book called Laura Connolly’s Jig.’

F Her biggest challenge to date was to teach Hazlewood and 100 other beginners a routine sufficiently accomplished to perform on television, from scratch, in less than two weeks. ‘I started people off with something simple,’ she says. ‘It’s a basic shuffle that most people can pick up.’ Once Hazlewood had absorbed the basics, Connolly encouraged him to develop a short solo featuring more complex steps — though he nearly came to grief attempting a tricky manoeuvre known as Charlie Chaplin Clicks, so named as it was the signature move of Chaplin’s film character the Little Tramp.

`To be honest, I never quite got those right,’ Hazlewood says with a laugh. ‘We came up with a slightly easier version, which Laura thought we should call Charlie Hazlewood Clicks. The thing about clogs is that they’re all surface: there’s no grip and they’re slightly curved so you stand in a slightly peculiar way. The potential to fall over is enormous.’

On the day, Hazlewood managed to pull off a decent solo, clicks and all. ‘I wasn’t convinced, until the moment I did it, that I was going to get it right,’ he admits. ‘But in the end, clog dancing is not so very different from conducting. Both require you to communicate a beat — only I had to learn how to express it with my feet, rather than my hands. But it’s a good feeling.’

G ‘People forget that clogging was originally a street dance,’ Connolly says. ‘It was competitive, it was popular, and now young people are beginning to rediscover it for themselves. As soon as we finished in Newcastle, I had kids coming up to me saying, “Clog dancing’s cool — I want to do that!’

Questions 35-37
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 35-37 on your answer sheet.

A clog dancing event in Newcastle
First the city’s shoppers hear a sound that seems to be created by a large number of 35……………………… ,and then over a hundred people wearing clogs appear and dance. Most dance on the pavement, some on oil drums. One group uses 36………………………… as part of its dance. The event was organised by Charles Hazlewood, a 37………………………….. He was introduced to clog dancing by a folk band working-with him in his studio.

Questions 38-40
Complete the notes below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.

The origins of clog dancing
• Originated in the Netherlands and North America
• In England, probably invented by factory workers copying the noise made by the 38……………………. in mills
• In Northumberland, was danced by 39…………………………
• Very popular in the early 20th century
• Lost popularity when clogs were thought to indicate 40…………………….

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