General Ielts Reading Material

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers


IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Section 1

Question 1-14

You are advised to spend 20 minutes on Questions 1-14.

Read the text below and answer Questions 1-8.

Some places to visit


Beautiful Kingsley House was built in the 18th century, and all the rooms are decorated and furnished in the style of the time. They include the dining room, study and dressing room, which contains a display of 18th-century ladies’ clothing. Our volunteer guides in each room bring the house to life with stories of the past.


The Africa Museum was founded 50 years ago, and to commemorate the event, we have chosen 50 treasures from the permanent collection and put them together to tell the fascinating story of that continent. This exhibition continues until the end of the year. The Folk Art Gallery opens to the public next month, exhibiting traditional paintings and other objects from all over Africa.


From the outside, 17 Mansfield Street may not look particularly exciting, but come inside, and you’ll find yourself in a historic building that started life as a theatre, before becoming a bank and then a restaurant, which is still in operation. On
Sundays and Mondays, when the restaurant is closed, a guide is available to show you round the building and its fascinating architectural features.


The Industrial Heritage Centre tells the fascinating story of a local family firm. Mr John Carroll started his engineering business in this building exactly 150 years ago. The firm closed in 1969, but the factory has been re-created, with machines like those that Mr Carroll was familiar with. See what working life could be like in the 19th century, a life far removed from the elegance of the wealthy.


The Fashion Museum has only just opened. It is home to an outstanding collection of more than 30,000 objects worn by men, women and children, dating from the 17th century to the present day. You’ll see how people used to dress! As well as
the permanent exhibits, you can currently see Dressing the Stars, which displays original costumes worn by the stars of many popular films.


Having spent the best part of two years being refurbished, the Mason Museum has recently opened its doors again. It provides a magnificent setting for its art collection and for the beautiful 18th-century furniture for which the Mason is famous. Open Mondays to Fridays 10-4, and weekends 10-6.

Questions 1-8

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

The text above has six descriptions of places to visit in the same city, A-F.

Which description mentions the following information?

Write the correct letter A-F, in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1. clothes that well-known people have worn
2. a display that cannot be seen yet
3. people who talk in an entertaining way
4. the museum having just reopened
5. a building that has changed its function several times
6. furniture of the same kind that was used when the building was new

7. being open for tours on certain days of the week
8. a special event to mark an anniversary

Read the text below and answer Questions 9-14.

Learn With Us courses

LearnWithlls courses are a great way to learn, because they’re so flexible. All our courses are taken online using a computer, so you can work through the course at your own speed, and go back to any session whenever you want to. For some courses there are workbooks, in addition to the computer course, to provide extra written practice.
We offer hundreds of courses in a whole range of subjects from reading, writing and maths to business and management. Many of these are specially designed for people whose first language isn’t English.

Step 1

Step one: have a chat with a friendly member of staff in one of our 1,500 LearnWithUs centres around the country. They can advise you on the most suitable course. They’ll also work out whether you qualify for funding, so that you won’t have to pay the full fee for the course.
You might want to try a taster lesson first. This is a single computer session in any subject of your choice, and it will show you what learning with LearnWithUs is like.
When you’ve made your final decision, step two is to register on your course. Once you’ve done this, a staff member will show you how to get started, whether you’re using a computer at home, at work or at a LearnWithUs centre.

That’s all you need to do! When you start your course, you can contact your LearnWithUs centre by phone (we’re open during normal office hours) or email if you need help.

Questions 9-14

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

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

In boxes 9-14 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

9. You can work through parts of a course more than once.
10. The number of courses offered by LearnWithUs has increased enormously.
11. Many staff members have worked through a LearnWithUs course themselves.
12. You may have to pay to take a LearnWithUs course.
13. Everybody takes the same taster lesson.
14. LearnWithUs centres are open seven days a week.

Section 2

 Question 15-27

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Question 15-20


Do you want to have the best summer holiday ever?

Have you just graduated and want to escape for a unique experience abroad?

Only $1950 will make it all happen!

This unbeatable program fee includes:

  • return flight from Sydney to Los Angeles (onward travel in the USA not included)
  • 3 months’ insurance cover
  • 2 nights’ accommodation on arrival plus meet and greet and airport transfer
  • arrival orientation by experienced InterExchange staff
  • visa application fees
You also have:
  •   access to a J-l visa enabling you to work in the USA
  •   an extensive directory of employers
  •  InterExchange support throughout the program
  • 24-hour emergency support throughout the length of the program

Call toll-free 1800 678 738

InterExchange has 50 years’ experience in international student exchange programs. 18,000 students from around the world travel yearly to the USA on this very program. InterExchange con also offers you work opportunities in other countries.


InterExchange, one of the world’s leading operators of international exchange programs and related services:

  • is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation
  • has 700 professional staff in 30 countries worldwide
  • was founded in 1947

InterExchange operates these programs for students all around the world. It offers you trained and travelled staff, plus full support during the application process. You can choose any job that interests you anywhere in the USA, whether that is working in a law firm in Boston, a famous ski resort in Colorado or serving coffee and doughnuts in the buzzing streets of New York. And you can select the period you work and the period you travel; you may want to work for 1 month and travel for 3 or work the entire duration of your stay. The choice is your

  •  a full-time student at an Australian university or TAFE college
  • presently enrolled, or finishing this year, or you have deferred a year of study
  • over 18 years old by November in the academic year in which you apply to InterExchange
  • enthusiastic about the experience of a lifetime …
Questions 15-20

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the advertisement.
In boxes 15-20 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

15. The program cost includes internal flights within the USA. 
16. Emergency assistance offered in the program includes legal advice.

17. InterExchange offers similar programs in countries other than the USA. 
18. InterExchange is part of a government program. 
19. There are no restrictions on the type of job you can do. 
20. There is an upper age limit for applicants.


IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

A about Arthur Phillip CollegeG learning methods
B entry requirementsH course fees
C orientation for new studentsI study commitment
D academic counselling serviceJ assessment and results
E credit courses to universityK social activities and clubs
F assistance for international studentsL what’s new
Questions 21-27

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Each of the short paragraphs below (21-27) gives information about Arthur Phillip College.

Read each paragraph and choose which of the linked sections of the website, A-L, would contain this information.

Write the correct letter A-L in boxes 21-17 on your answer sheet.

21. All students receive a transcript of results and relevant award documentation when they end their studies with the College. 
22. On enrolment, all students receive automatic membership to the Social Club and Public Speaking Club. Students may choose to participate in any arranged activities. The College encourages and promotes interaction between students and teaching and non-teaching staff.
23. Successful completion and the achievement of an A or B result in some courses will enable students to achieve advanced standing in these subjects if they proceed to university study. For a list of the courses acceptable to a particular university, e-mail us your request with the name of the university and the course you are interested in. 
24. Arthur Phillip College is one of the top business colleges in Sydney, Australia. The College offers a wide range of educational and training programs in business and related areas. Its accredited vocational training ourses are designed to meet the needs of individual students and industry. 


25. At Arthur Phillip College you will learn from lectures, seminars, case studies, group projects, individual assignments and class workshops. Lectures and seminars present concepts and ideas and provide for question-and-answer sessions. Students are expected to take an active role in the learning process through class participation, presentations and projects. 
26. Courses at Arthur Phillip College involve an average of 25 hours per week of tuition time, with supervised group study accounting for a further 5 hours per week. At least 10 hours per week of individual study is also recommended for most courses. 
27. During this program, you will meet the Director of Studies, teachers and key administrative staff such as the Accommodation Officer and Student Counsellor so that, right from your first day, you will know how each of them can help you during your time at the College.  

Section 3

Question 28-40

Read the text below and answer Questions 28-40.

The Penny Black

It might not have looked very impressive, but the Penny Black, now 170 years old, was the first stamp to create and it launched the modem postal system in Britain.

Before 1840 and the arrival of the Penny Black, you had to be rich and patient to use the Royal Mail. Delivery had charged according to the miles travelled and the number of sheets of paper used; a 2-page letter sent from Edinburgh to London, for example, would have cost 2 shillings, or more than £7 in today’s money. And when the top-hatted letter carrier came to deliver it, it was the recipient who had to pay for the postage.

Letter writers employed various ruses to reduce the cost, doing everything possible to cram more words onto a page. Nobody bothered with heavy envelopes; instead, letters would folded and sealed with wax. You then had to find a post office – there were no pillar boxes – and hope your addressee didn’t live in one of the several rural areas which had not served by the system. If you were lucky, your letter would arrive (it could take days) without being read or censored.


The state of mail had been causing concern throughout the 1830s, but it was Rowland Hill, an inventor, teacher and social reformer from Kidderminster, who proposed a workable plan for change. Worried that a dysfunctional, costly service would stifle communication just as Britain was in the swing of its second industrial revolution, he believed reform would ease the distribution of ideas and stimulate trade and business, delivering the same promise as the new railways.

Hill’s proposal for the penny post, which meant any letter weighing less than half an ounce (14 grams) could be sent anywhere in Britain for about 30p in today’s money, was so radical that the Postmaster General, Lord Lichfield, said, ‘Of all the wild and visionary schemes which I ever heard of, it is the most extravagant.’ Lord Lichfield spoke for an establishment not convinced of the need for poor people to post anything. But merchants and reformers backed Hill. Soon the government told him to make his scheme work. And that meant inventing a new type of currency.


Hill quickly settled on ‘a bit of paper covered at the back with a glutinous wash which the user might, by applying a little moisture, attach to the back of a letter’. Stamps would be printed in sheets of 240 that could be cut using scissors or a knife. Perforations would not arrive until 1854. The idea stuck, and in August 1839 the Treasury launched a design competition open to ‘all artists, men of science and the public in general’.

The new stamp would need to be resistant to forgery, and so it was a submission by one Mr Cheverton that Hill used as the basis for one of the most striking designs in history.


Cheverton, who worked as a sculptor and an engineer, determined that a portrait of Queen Victoria, engraved for a commemorative coin, when she was a 15-year-old princess. She had detailed enough to make copying difficult, and recognisable enough to make fakes easy to spot. The words ‘Postage’ and ‘One Penny’ had added alongside flourishes and ornamental stars. Nobody thought to add the word ‘Britain’, as it had assumed that the stamps would solely put to domestic use.

With the introduction of the new postal system, the Penny Black was an instant hit, and printers struggled to meet demand. By the end of 1840, more than 160 million letters had been sent – more than double the previous year. It created more work for the post office, whose reform continued with the introduction of red letter boxes, new branches and more frequent deliveries, even to the remotest address, but its lasting impact on society was more remarkable.

Hill and his supporters rightly predicted that cheaper post would improve the ‘diffusion of knowledge’. Suddenly, someone in Scotland could be reached by someone in London within a day or two. And as literacy improved, sections of society that had been disenfranchised found a voice.

Tristram Hunt, an historian, values the ‘flourishing of correspondence’ that followed the arrival of stamps. ‘While I was writing my biography of Friedrich Engels I could read the letters he and Marx sent between Manchester and London,’ he says. ‘They wrote to each other three times a day, pinging ideas back and forth so that you can almost follow a real-time correspondence.’


The penny post also changed the nature of the letter. Weight-saving tricks such as cross-writing began to die out, while the arrival of envelopes built confidence among correspondents that mail would not be stolen or read. And so people wrote more private things – politically or commercially sensitive information or love letters.

‘In the early days of the penny post, there was still concern about theft,’ Hunt says. ‘Engels would still send Marx money by ripping up five-pound notes and sending the pieces in different letters.’ But the probity of the postal system became a great thing and it came to be expected that your mail would not be tampered with.

For all its brilliance, the Penny Black was technically a failure. At first, post offices used red ink to cancel stamps so that they could not be used again. But the ink could be removed. When in 1842, it was determined that black ink would be more robust, the colour of the Penny Black became a sort of browny red, but Hill’s brainchild had made its mark.

Questions 28-30

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

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

Write the correct letter in boxes 28-30 on your answer sheet.

28. One of the characteristics of the postal service before the 1840s was that

    A. postmen were employed by various organisations.
    B. letters were restricted to a certain length.
    C. distance affected the price of postage.
    D. the price of delivery kept going up.

29. Letter writers in the 1830s

    A. were not responsible for the cost of delivery.
    B. tried to fit more than one letter into an envelope.
    C. could only send letters to people living in cities.

D. knew all letters were automatically read by postal staff.

30. What does the text say about Hill in the 1830s?

    A. He was the first person to express concern about the postal system.
    B. He considered it would be more efficient for mail to be delivered by rail.
    C. He felt that postal service reform was necessary for commercial development.
    D. His plan received support from all the important figures of the day.

Questions 31-34

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Look at the following statements (Questions 31-34) and the list of people below.

Match each statement with the correct person, A, B , C or D.

Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes 31-34 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

31. His inspiration came from a particular picture.
32. He claimed that the postal system would lead to the spread of information.
33. He organised the creation of the first stamp.
34. He expressed doubts about the plans to change the postal service.

List of People

A.  Rowland Hill
B.  Lord Lichfield
C.  Cheverton
D.  Tristram Hunt

Questions 35-40

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 15 With Answers

Complete the notes below.

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

Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

The Penny Black
  • Design came about as a result of a competition organised by the 35 ……………………
  • Based on an engraving of Queen Victoria featured on a 36 …………………….
  • Apart from the Queen’s face, the stamp had just three words and pictures of 37……………………. as decoration
  • No mention of 38……………………. as plan was for stamps to be for domestic use only
  • The 39……………………., which had applied to indicate that the stamp had been used, proved to be ineffective
  • In 1842, the 40……………………. of the stamp was changed.

General Reading Test 14 with Answers