IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

Extraterrestrial National Park

The message to visitors at many beauty spots is “TAKE only pictures, leave only footprints.” Although you won’t see the actual place, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their giant leap for mankind on the moon. It will be the first extraterrestrial national park.

It may still be some years off, but the imminent reality of space tourism is already stimulating some archaeologists to begin to plan how to protect historic sites in space. With further moon missions planned, the fear is that the principal sites like Apollo 11’s landing place may be in danger. According to Beth O’Leary, a researcher in New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, “Technologically, probably the most important event in human history was to land to another celestial body,” “It’s like the discovery of fire or the first stone tools. They should be protected and conserved.”

In September 1959 since the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 crashed into the moon, a total of 40 expeditions have touched down on the moon’s surface. 22 of them were launched by the US with the six crewed Apollo missions launching between 1969 and 1972. The Apollo missions alone left behind 23 large artefacts including the descent and ascent stages of the lunar module landing equipment, the stage there Saturn rockets used to fly them there, and the lunar rovers or “moon buggies” the astronauts used to explore when they arrived.

As well as these, there are also smaller artefacts and personal items scattered around, such as Neil Armstrong’s boots and portable life-support system, scientific instruments and their power generators. Of course, the iconic US flag planted in the moon’s surface is there too. There are also the footprints and rover tread paths. In spite of the passing of the years, these remains are carved into the dust, since the moon has no wind or rain to wash them away.

P.J. Capelotti, an anthropologist at Penn State University in Abington, has mapped out five “lunar parks.” These are the areas where the majority of the artefacts are concentrated and will be used as a basis for future preservation efforts. “Although nobody’s saying that the whole moon has to be off-limits, people are starting to make plans for tourism and mineral extraction, or for putting a base there, needing to be aware of them and work around them.”

More technological developments are also on their way. NASA’s LCROSS mission plans to crash an SUV-sized rocket into one of the moon’s poles later this year with the hope of finding water there. At the same time, teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize for the first privately funded robot to reach the moon have been offered a $5 million bonus if they take a picture of artefacts like the Apollo 11 landing equipment. Already, a question to be reported is how national governments and private companies should cooperate to ensure that artefacts are protected. There is some evidence that the US government is interested in working alongside other governments.

A space-flight company called TransOrbital, based in Palo Alto, California presented its plans for sending a commercial mission to the moon by the end of the 1990s. these plans include making detailed maps of the moon and landing a capsule containing personal items, like business cards and cremated ashes. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stipulated that TransOrbital’s rockets must crash well away from any historic US artefacts when its flight was over. Although ultimately TransOrbital was unable to fund the mission, it might try again in the near future.

According to Phil Stooke, a planetary cartographer of the University of Western Ontario in London, he agrees Luna 2 also has great significance. “It crashed, but that impact site is every bit as historic as Apollo 11.” Another one is Luna 9, the first spacecraft to land sending back pictures. “They must be preserved.”

On the remaining Apollo sites, Stooke is searching how electronics, metal and paints have degraded after years of exposure to solar radiation and extremes of temperature. Also, he suggests that another Apollo site could be turned into a biological research centre, analysing the DNA and bacteria left behind from astronauts’ life-support packs.

Once a consensus has been reached as to which sites are worthy of conservation, and guidelines have been built up to protect them from being damaged by future missions, the next question will be how future space tourists should be allowed to interact with them. Capelotti says, “Looking at grey dust is going to hold its attraction for only so long,” “People are going to make pilgrimages to these sites.”

There is a suggestion to build domes over historic sites, or perhaps even hotels, with the artefacts displayed in the “lobby.” Another idea is to build up a raised railway track over the sites, so visitors could look at them without touching them. Capelotti says, “If Walt Disney was developing it, he would put a monorail around all five ‘lunar parks,’ so you could do the entire Apollo tour.”

Questions 1-7

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 1-7 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

1   Archaeologists have established links between space tourism and Apollo 11.

2   Of the 40 expeditions that landed on the lunar surface, the US embarked on more than half of them.

3   Between 1969 and 1972, there were not remarkable issues in the Apollo missions.

4   Neil Armstrong made up his mind to exploit the natural resources of the moon.

5   Astronauts’ traces marked on the surface of the moon remain unchanged due to the lack of wind and rain.

6   Commercial space-flight companies planned to place both business cards and ashes on the moon.

7   In spite of financial problems, TransOrbital plan to launch their mission again in the foreseeable future.

Questions 8-13

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-H, below.

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet.

8   Archaeologists

9   The Apollo missions

10   Anthropologist P.J. Capelotti

11   SUV-sized rocket into the moon’s people

12   TransOrbital

13   The impact site of Luna 2

A     left various artefacts on the moon’s surface.

B     discovered water supported by NASA’s LCROSS mission scheme.

C     aimed to launch a project to preserve relic sites in space.

D     funded a robot to reach the moon.

E     promoted commercial business on the moon.

F     designed the lunar parks for cultural industries and resources.

G     had a similar historic impact to Apollo 11.

H     made detailed maps of the moon and personal items.

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-28 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below. 

Asiatic black bear

Known as a moon bear, Jasper is an Asiatic black bear with a yellow crescent on his chest. The bear came to the Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Chengdu, China, from a bear farm in 2000.

When Jasper arrived, rescuers had to cut Jasper out of a tiny “crush cage.” Bear bile has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and fetches a high price. The wholesale price is approximately 4,000 yuan (approximately $580) per kilogram with each bear producing up to 5 kilograms every year in China. But it comes at a high price.

Jasper normally spent 15 years in a cage. Other bears spend up to 25 years without moving in cages no bigger than their bodies. Bears are milked for bile twice a day. In China, farmers use a catheter inserted into the gall bladder or permanently open wound. In Vietnam, farmers use long hypodermic needles.

The Animals Asia has rescued 260 bears from Chinese bear farms over the past 10 years. These bears are lucky. The official number of reared bears in China is 7,000, but the Animals Asia fears the real figure is close to 10,000.

In spite of the obvious cruelty, bear farming is legal in China. Whilst the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species lists Asiatic black bears as being at the highest level of endangerment, China grants them only second-level protection, allowing them to be farmed. Although some have reported there are 15,000 bears, its figure is not a true estimate of the remaining wild population in China.

Bear farming is also practiced in Vietnam where it is illegal but remains common due to a lack of enforcement. There are approximately 4,000 bears on Vietnamese farms but even more in Laos, Cambodia and Korea.

Bear farming is justified on the grounds that it satisfies the local demand for bile in China, therefore decreasing the number of bears taken from the wild. Since 1989 farmers have been allowed to breed bears in captivity and hunting wild bears has been illegal. In spite of this, a lot of wild bears are still poached for their gall bladders or to restock the farms. Sometimes bears arrive at the rescue centre with missing ribs after being caught in the wild.

Those bears that arrived at the centre have suffered from severe physical and psychological trauma. Rescued bears can’t be set free into the wild due to the long-term damage caused by their incarceration. They all need surgery to get rid of damaged gall bladders and many need additional surgery and long-term medical care because of missing claws or paws, infected necrotic wounds along with broken and missing teeth caused by biting at bars or because farmers break them to make the bears less of a hazard. Also, many have liver cancer as a result of being continually milked for bile and suffer from a litany of other ailments including blindness, arthritis, peritonitis, weeping ulcers and ingrown claws.

On the other hand, with the horrors of bear farming, the rehabilitation process is amazing and inspiring to witness. It takes around a year to rehabilitate a bear. Although some have to be kept alone for the rest of their lives, most can eventually be housed with other bears. The transition in personality from animals which are violent and fearful to ones which are trusting, inquisitive and completely at ease with people is truly remarkable. Robinson says, “I have visited the rescue centre and it changed my life.” That is how powerful the bears’ stories are.

In spite of the rescue programme, bear bile extraction remains a cause of wanton and remorseless abuse. It is difficult to change attitudes when bear bile has been used in Chinese medicine for over 3,000 years to cope with “heat-related” ailments, such as eye conditions and liver disease. These days, it is used to treat conditions from hangovers to haemorrhoids. There is some evidence from western medicine that a synthetic version of the active ingredient in bear bile, ursodeoxycholic acid, is able to treat a range of disorders including hepatitis C. But traditional Chinese medicine still insists on using natural bear bile which is often contaminated with pus, blood, urine and faeces. Although healthy bear bile is free-flowing and orangey-green, veterinarians describe bile leaking from the diseased gall bladders of rescued bears as “black sludge.”

The half-moon bear rescue project raises a number of critical questions. For instance, why do bears show large individual differences in response to persecution and variations in recovery? Rescued bears are powerful ambassadors, but should so much time and money be invested in saving the lives of individuals who will not make any direct contributions to saving their species? How can people from outside China work to free bears whilst respecting their Chinese colleagues and remaining sensitive to cultural tradition?

Efforts to quit bear farming will continue. Soon after Robinson established the Animals Asia in 1998, she negotiated an agreement with the Chinese government to work towards the eradication of bear farming. All farmers are cruel, but the very worst are identified for closure by the government and the farmers have their licences revoked. It is bears from these farms that come to the rescue centre. The Animals Asia compensates the farmers so that they can begin another business or retire. More than 40 farms have so far been closed, and China has not issued any new licences since 1994.

Questions 14-20

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answer in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.

In 2000 Jasper, an Asiatic black bear in China was called a moon bear due to embedding 14……………………….. on the chest. Whilst bear farming is illegal, it is prevalent because of weak 15……………………….. in Vietnam. Since 1989 hunting wild bears has been illegal in China, but breeding bears in the farmland is not prohibited. At intervals, bears are delivered to the rescue centre without 16………………………. by poachers.

Most bears that arrived at the centre have experienced 17…………………………. of both physical and psychological problems to be continued. Besides, 18………………………… is caused by extracting the bile from the bear’s gall. Over 3,000 years the Chinese have made use of the bile for healing illness related to both 19………………………….. and …………………………. In 1998 the Animals Asia was established by Robinson. She made an agreement against bear farming. Actually, she negotiated with the Chinese government to eliminate 20………………………..

Questions 21-25

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 21-25 on your answer sheet, write

YES                  if the statement agrees with the opinion of the writer

NO                   if the statement contradicts the opinion of the writer

NOT GIVEN    if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

21   Jasper is an Asiatic black bear and it had grown in the wild.

22   China is accustomed to using the bear bile as a traditional medicine from the old times.

23   The bile from the bear’s gall is extracted every day.

24   Even though bear bile use has spread among the Chinese, it had no effect on them.

25   In 1998 Robinson has reported the Animals Asia to the United Nations.

Questions 26-27

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

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

Write the correct letter in boxes 26-27 on your answer sheet.

26   The writer reports that bear bile has been prevalent in China due to

A   working a sense of beauty for women.

B   using traditional medicine and a little expense.

C   delaying the ageing and relieving mental fatigue.

D   using traditional medicine and its price being skyrocketing.

27   Jill Robinson founded the Animals Asia in 1998 in order to

A   protect animals in Asian zoos.

B   promote the bear rescue project to the United Nations.

C   protect the bear and prohibit brutal farming in Asia.

D   support bear farms. 

Question 28

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

From the list below, choose the most suitable title for Reading Passage 2.

Write the appropriate letter A-E in box 28 on your answer sheet.

A     Cruel bear bile business

B     Increasing the bear bile supply

C     Traditional Chinese medicine

D     Rescue project forward

E     Bear farming enforcement

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

Colorado Desert


Particularly in the summer, California’s lower Colorado desert is a harsh place. It’s a barren landscape of rocks and rattlesnakes that little grows in but creosote bushes and cactus. Midday temperatures can reach 43oC and searing winds and afternoon sun combine to suck moisture from the body. This is not the place for a midday march, but that is precisely what Edward Adolph had in mind when, in the summer of 1942, he took a group of soldiers and researchers there. Adolph, a physiologist at the University of Rochester in New York state, wanted to investigate how people could live and work efficiently in the desert and how to get the best out of them.


He wasn’t the first to consider the effects of hot, dry conditions on the human body. The image of the traveler lost in the desert, crawling towards a shimmering mirage, is probably as old as desert travel itself. But earlier researchers mainly focused on survival. According to Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town and master of some of the world’s toughest ultra-marathons, “They never looked at performance.” Adolph was the first to test the presumptions most of the people still have about what to do if forced to make any sort of effort in unbearable heat. What he discovered most were myths. For example, stripping to T-shirt and shorts is not the best way to treat dehydration. Although long sleeves and long trousers may feel hotter, they’ll slow the loss of water. Nor is there any point in rationing water when supplies are low. Postponing drinking it only makes you unhappier sooner. Adolph wrote, “It is better to drink the water and have it inside you than to carry it.”


The most critical of Adolph’s discoveries was the simplest: drinking during exercise enhances performance. Nowadays, we take this for granted, but generations of coaches and distance runners were taught that drinking during exercise was for wimps. Some claimed it would only make you thirstier. Others said it could even trigger a heart attack. The author of Marathon Running in 1909 advised, “Don’t buy into the habit of drinking and eating in a marathon race,” “Some outstanding runners do, but it is not helpful.” Adolph tested these old assumptions by splitting his soldiers into two groups. When the average afternoon high was up to 42oC, both marched through the desert for 8 hours. The soldiers in one group were allowed to drink as much water as they needed and the others weren’t allowed any water. The results were obvious, the drinkers outperformed the non-drinkers, but the men in both groups backed out once they had sweated off 7 to 10% of their body weight.


To Adolph, this made perfect sense. On days when the temperature is hotter than the average person’s skin temperature – approximately 33oC – the only way for the body to cool itself is by the evaporation of sweat, and he could estimate how much moisture that required. A brisk walk could easily need three-quarters of a litre or more of evaporative cooling each hour. Adolph’s research was launched by the North Africa campaign, and he finished in 1943. But he came back to the desert every summer and supplemented his experiments with tests in his heated lab. His discoveries stayed secret until 1947 when he published Physiology of Man in the Desert. It went almost entirely unnoticed. In the late 1960s, marathon runners were still advised not to drink water during races. Until 1977, runners in international competitions were prohibited from drinking water in the first 11 kilometres and after that were allowed water only every 5 kilometres.


However, there was a complete reversal of opinion. A study began to warn of the dangers of running a marathon without enough water and suddenly runners were told they must drink during the race – and if they didn’t feel like it, they should force themselves or risk heatstroke. In 1978, Alberto Salazar, one of America’s great distance runners, ran a 7.1-mile race in temperatures of 29oC. At mile six, he was in second place. He said later, “The last thing I remember, and I was watching Bill Rodgers pull away from me. It was dreamlike. Bill was floating away, and I wasn’t able to follow the energy to go after him. In the next mile, I faded from second to tenth, but I do not have any memory of being passed by anyone.”


Salazar almost died. At the finish, his body temperature was 42oC and he was saved only as a result of a quick-thinking member of the medical crew promptly dumping him into a tub of iced water. Everyone “found” what Salazar had done wrong: Salazar hadn’t drunk enough before or during the race. He, therefore, became dehydrated and nearly killed himself. Even Salazar accepted this. “Dehydration is insidious,” he would later say. At first glance, Adolph’s discoveries seem to support this. His notes about his dehydrated soldiers are a litany of sorrow. “Their only desire is to stop and to rest,” he wrote of one man, after 13.4 waterless kilometres in 40oC heat. “He had an unsocial attitude, began to lag and finally stopped,” he wrote of another, who managed 29.8 kilometres at 34oC.

Both 1970s and 1980s runners and coaches assumed that collapsing athletes like Salazar were simply extreme cases of the same thing. Dehydration and heat collapse were virtually synonymous in many minds. “Drink early and often,” athletes were told, “and not just when thirsty.” However, as Noakes points out, none of Adolph’s dehydrated soldiers suffered heatstroke. “They just got very angry and stopped walking.” What’s more, they recovered quickly when allowed to rest and drink. “They were able to walk almost immediately after drinking water,” Adolph wrote in one case. In another: “exhaustion relieved by water.” Salazar’s brush with death wasn’t the result of drinking too little: on a very hot day he had simply tried to run a world-class race. Under these kinds of conditions, heat is the enemy, not dehydration.


Adolph had accepted this but thought it too clear to guarantee more than a few lines in his book. He had conducted most of his tests on marches, not because he wasn’t interested in the effects of running in the heat, but because when he made his soldiers run, even at a slow jog their body temperature soared by 2.5oC in 30 minutes. “There is no doubt that men are limited in the physical work they can do in the desert,” he wrote. The advocates of drinking-early-and-often had also overlooked Adolph’s discovery that even soldiers who were able to drink what they wanted still tended to dehydrate, and only made up their deficiencies at mealtimes. Adolph disregarded this as a “peculiarity of dehydration,” but Noakes believes he had stumbled upon a quirk of human evolution.


Humans, Noakes observed, are “delayed drinkers.” He supposes that this is a consequence of early humans hunting and chasing game for long distances under the African sun. There are good reasons for not stopping to drink during a hunt, not least the expectation of the prey escaping. There’s also the fact that we are not built like camels and other animals that are able to drink deeply and quickly. That makes us better runners – and running hunters – but means we cannot drink as much as we can sweat, so we delay our thirst until it’s comfortable to drink, says Noakes. Adolph never used the word evolution in his book but he would have understood Noakes’s point.

Questions 29-35

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Reading Passage 3 has eight sections, A-H.

Choose the correct heading for sections B-H from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 29-35 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i           The opposite of Adolph’s view

ii          Adolph’s studies to guarantee in the book

iii         The utmost limits for survival

iv         Positive evidence of Adolph’s research

v          A barren landscape for marching

vi         Noakes’ stance on humans of drinking

vii        A simple solution for developing performance

viii       Misjudgment of Salazar’s thought

Example          Answer
Section A         v

29   Section B

30   Section C 

31   Section D

32   Section E

33   Section F

34   Section G

35   Section H

Questions 36-40

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 180 with Answers

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

36   Adolph found out that a critical way for improving a marathon race is……………………. during a performance.

37   During walking, the body needs approximately………………………. of a litre of moisture per hour.

38   International competitions didn’t allow water within racing………………………….. kilometres.

39   Salazar nearly died at the end of the race as a result of…………………………..

40   In the final section, Noakes indicates humans are part of the concept of……………………….

Answer Key
Academic Reading Practice Test 179