General Ielts Reading Material

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers


Section 1

Question 1-14

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14 which are based on the text below.

Read the passage below and answer Questions 1-9.

The Earth


The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and it is the only planet known to have life on it. The Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. It is one of four rocky planets on the inside of the Solar System. The other three are Mercury, Venus, and Mars.


The large mass of the Sun makes the Earth move around it, just as the mass of the Earth makes the Moon move around it. The Earth also turns round in space, so different parts face the Sun at different times. The Earth goes around the Sun once (one “year”) for every 365¼ times it turns all the way around (one “day”).


The Moon goes around the Earth about every 27⅓ days, and reflects light from the Sun. As the Earth goes round the Sun at the same time, the changing light of the Moon takes about 29½ days to go from dark to bright to dark again. That is where the idea of “month” came from. However, now most months have 30 or 31 days so they fit into one year.


The Earth is the only planet in our Solar System that has a large amount of liquid water. About 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans. Because of this, it is sometimes called the “Blue Planet”.


Because of its water, the Earth is home to millions of species of plants and animals. The things that live on Earth have changed its surface greatly. For example, early cyanobacteria changed the air and gave it oxygen. The living part of the Earth’s surface is called the “biosphere”.


The Earth is part of the eight planets and many thousands of small bodies that move around the Sun as its Solar System. The Solar System is moving through the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy now, and will be for about the next 10,000 years.


The Earth is generally 150,000,000 kilometers or 93,000,000 miles away from the Sun (this distance is named an “Astronomical Unit”). It (the Earth) moves along its way at an average speed of about 30 km or 19 mi a second. The Earth turns all the way around about 365¼ times in the time it takes for the Earth to go all the way around the Sun. To make up this extra bit of a day every year, an additional day is used every four years. This is named a “leap year”.


The Moon goes around the Earth at an average distance of 400,000 kilometers (250,000 mi). It is locked to Earth so that it always has the same half facing the Earth; the other half is called the “dark side of the Moon”. It takes about 27⅓ days for the Moon to go all the way around the Earth but, because the Earth is moving around the Sun at the same time, it takes about 29½ days for the Moon to go from dark to bright to dark again. This is where the word “month” came from, even though most months now have 30 or 31 days.

Questions 1-6

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

Reading Passage “The Earth” has eight paragraphs A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information? 

Write the correct letter, A–H, in boxes 1–8 on your answer sheet.

1.  Earth’s natural satellite
2.  The distance between Earth and Sun
3.  General information about Earth
4.  Length of most months
5.  Another name for Earth
6.  The living part of the Earth’s surface

Questions 7-9

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

Complete the sentences below.

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

Write your answers in boxes 7-9 on your answer sheet.

7.  Apart from Earth, other rocky planets in our Solar Systems are Venus, Mars and …………………….
8. There are millions of ……………………. of plants and animals that inhabit Earth.
9. The dark side of the Moon is the side, which ……………………. faces Earth.

Read the passage below and answer Questions 10-14.

What to do in a fire?

Fire drills are a big part of being safe in school: They prepare you for what you need to do in case of a fire. But what if there was a fire where you live? Would you know what to do? Talking about fires can be scary because no one likes to think about people getting hurt or their things getting burned. But you can feel less worried if you are prepared.

It’s a good idea for families to talk about what they would do to escape a fire. Different families will have different strategies. Some kids live in one-story houses and other kids live in tall buildings. You’ll want to talk about escape plans and escape routes, so let’s start there.

Know Your Way Out

An escape plan can help every member of a family get out of a burning house. The idea is to get outside quickly and safely. Smoke from a fire can make it hard to see where things are, so it’s important to learn and remember the different ways out of your home. How many exits are there? How do you get to them from your room? It’s a good idea to have your family draw a map of the escape plan.

It’s possible one way out could be blocked by fire or smoke, so you’ll want to know where other ones are. And if you live in an apartment building, you’ll want to know the best way to the stairwell or other emergency exits.

Safety Steps

If you’re in a room with the door closed when the fire breaks out, you need to take a few extra steps:

    • Check to see if there’s heat or smoke coming through the cracks around the door. (You’re checking to see if there’s fire on the other side.)
    • If you see smoke coming under the door — don’t open the door!
    • If you don’t see smoke — touch the door. If the door is hot or very warm — don’t open the door!
    • If you don’t see smoke — and the door is not hot — then use your fingers to lightly touch the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot or very warm — don’t open the door!

If the doorknob feels cool, and you can’t see any smoke around the door, you can open the door very carefully and slowly. When you open the door, if you feel a burst of heat or smoke pours into the room, quickly shut the door and make sure it is really closed. If there’s no smoke or heat when you open the door, go toward your escape route exit.

Questions 10-14

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Section “What to do in a fire?“?

In boxes 10–14 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

10.  It is important to have a strategy before escaping the fire.
11.  You should mark different ways out of your home on the map.
12.  If you’re stuck in a room and see smoke coming from the other room, you should open the door and run to the exit.
13.  A hot door means you shouldn’t open it to escape.
14.  If you open the door and everything seems fine, go straight to the exit.

Section 2

Question 15-26

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-26 which are based on the text below.

Read the Reviews below and answer Questions 15-26.

Which direction for a career?

To examine your career options, you should first gather as much information as possible.

Here are some places where you can get advice.


Your careers library will have some basic information on a variety of occupations. Ask the librarian questions like:

  •    What does someone with this job do?
  •    How long will it take to train?
  •    What subjects do I need to study?
  •    What courses are available?

Also, use careers advisors to expand your list of career ideas by finding out about related options. Many schools have work experience programs which give you the chance to check out a job which interests you.

Career Information Centres

Resources in these centres include printed information about jobs and tertiary study reference materials such as university and college handbooks. There are 12 Career Information Centres throughout the country. Assistance from the staff is also available.


You could talk to employers in areas you find interesting. You might ask them questions such as:

  •      What are the most demanding aspects of this work?
  •      What is the most preferred method of entry?
  •      Are there courses which will prepare me for this work?
Parents, friends, relatives

Relatives and friends can be helpful in giving you insights into the daily routine of an occupation. By questioning them, you can expand your knowledge of the work. Another option is to use this group to arrange industry contacts or check out possible vacancies.

Universities and colleges

These institutions have careers advisors for prospective students. You can also take advantage of their open days. During these days, you can have a look at the facilities offered- and chat to the students and lecturers.


Don’t forget the Internet. One great site to start at is the government careers directory.

Getting it all together

You will no doubt. gather lots of information, but it is easy to forget details, so you should collect the infor¬mation using a folder or filing system. Check that your information is kept up-to-date.

Questions 15-20

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

Complete the summary below.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text ‘Which direction for a career?’,

Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on the answer sheet.

Complete the summary below:

Both schools and universities have 15 ……………… to assist students with job information. Schools may also run 16 ……………… for practice at specific jobs. There are several 17 ……………… which advise clients on careers. Acquaintances can sometimes provide 18 ……………… and colleges also hold 19 ……………… Finally, for those with access to the Internet, the 20 ……………… is a useful source of information.

Questions 21-26

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

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

In boxes 21-26 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

21.  Job seekers should speak to their school principals about future careers. 
22.  Career Information Centres do not offer information on tertiary courses. 
23.  Prospective employers could be consulted. 
24.  Job opportunities may be discovered through friends. 
25.  Tertiary institutions encourage prospective students to enrol in their courses. 
26.  Job seekers should keep all their information in one place.

Section 3

Question 27-40

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on the text below.

Read the Reviews below and answer Questions 27-33.

Life in an international orchestra


Playing in a big international orchestra is one of life’s most exciting experiences, yet it is also a very tough job. Players are part of a team of eighty or more musicians playing some of the world’s greatest music.

They work very long hours – turning up early for rehearsals on dark, cold, winter’s mornings in a chilly, empty hall; working till late in the evening on the night of a concert; travelling on trains and planes at all hours of the day and night; eating and sleeping when they can; trying to play well when they are tired or hungry or have a headache. There’s not much time left for home, family or friends. In fact, their ‘family’ is the rest of the orchestra. The musicians share the hectic pace and the worries, but they also share the wonderful moments when they are all playing together and feel on top of the world.


Much of an orchestra’s time is spent in rehearsal. The players may already know the music by heart, but every conductor has his or her own ideas about how a piece of music should be played. That is one reason why rehearsals are necessary. Another reason is the problem of orchestral balance of sound. With the rest of the orchestra around them, players cannot always hear themselves properly (sometimes not at all), and so they cannot gauge the balance of sound between their own instruments or section and the rest of the orchestra. At rehearsals, this is something that the conductor is able to put right.


Some conductors like to go through a piece of music bar by bar, stopping the orchestra each time they want to make a comment. Others let an orchestra play for long stretches at a time, then go back to a particular point they want to rehearse again. Whatever the conductor’s method, it is important that the musicians are happy with it.

If the players don’t like the conductor they can become very difficult, interrupting the session with questions or complaints. At one time conductors, such as Toscanini, used to get such fine performances out of an orchestra by shouting at the musicians and almost frightening them into playing well. That sort of behaviour would not work with most orchestras today. After all, orchestral musicians are highly trained and experienced people and they should be treated with respect.


If a rehearsal is held in the morning of a concert, it probably takes place in the concert hall. In the morning, everybody will still be in casual clothes but in the evening they will change into formal dress. Most will arrive at least an hour early to unpack and inspect their instruments – violinists to check their strings and bow, woodwind players to check their reeds and change them if need be, and everyone to run over any difficult passages of music.

If they want a bit of peace and quiet some members of the orchestra may even hide themselves away in the toilets or creep down to the boiler room! Players whose instruments are too big for them to carry, such as timpani, harps and double-basses, will arrive on the platform before the rest to make their last minute checks.


About five minutes before the concert is due to start, everybody except the leader or concert master, files on and takes their place. Then the leader comes on to a round of applause from the audience and calls for silence, while the oboist sounds the note A. The rest of the orchestra tune their instruments to this note. Finally, on comes the conductor, to more applause, and, when there is quiet once more, the concert begins.


However well the orchestra may have rehearsed, problems may still occur. In a warm, crowded concert hall the acoustics are different from those in a cool, empty building, and this can change the balance of the sound. Also, the instruments may go out of tune after some time in a warm atmosphere.


Musicians, like actors, are aware of the audience; they notice whether the audience is a good one or not. A good audience will listen and respond to the music, whereas a difficult audience coughs and fidgets throughout the performance. Above all, the musicians are also aware of whether they are playing well, not just individually but as a team. Knowing they are giving a good performance makes all the difference at the end of a long, hard day.

Questions 27-33

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

The text ‘Life in an international orchestra’ has seven paragraphs (A-G).

Choose the correct heading for Paragraphs A-G from the list of headings (i-x) below.
Write your answers in boxes 27-33 on the answer sheet.

NB There are more headings than paragraphs so you will not use all of them.

List of Headings

i     The need for a high-quality instrument
ii     Formalities at the beginning of the concert
iii     Problems with changes in sound in the hall
iv     Poor and ineffective conducting method
v     The highs and lows of being a member of an orchestra
vi     Pre-concert arrangements
vii     The response of the audience
viii     The need for detailed rehearsal
ix     The importance of the conductor’s management style
x     Correct adjustment of each instrument

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

Questions 34-40

IELTS General Reading Practice Test 48 With Answers

Choose the letter A-D for questions 34-40.

Write your answers, A-D, in boxes 34-40 on your answer sheet.

34.  Playing in a large orchestra requires long hours because

     A) there are many members in a team.
     B) the rehearsals take a lot of time.
     C) the leader asks them to do so.
     D) players are sometimes absent because they are sick.

35.  Frequent rehearsals may be needed because

     A) the musicians are occasionally worried.
     B) the conductor must correct players’ mistakes.
     C) the players may not know each piece of music.
     D) the volume of the instruments needs to be adjusted.

36.  An effective conductor is one who

     A) has the players’ approval.
     B) forces the team to play well.
     C) explains everything to the players.
     D) allows no interruption to the rehearsal.


37. Today, a conductor who loudly criticises the players

    A) is showing them respect.
    B) can expect insults from them.
    C) will force them to play well.
    D) will not get good music from them.

38. On the evening of a concert, the players, will

    A) visit the changing rooms.
    B) arrive at the hall too early.
    C) make sure their instruments are working properly.
    D) check they have their formal clothing.

39. Problems in a concert may occur if

    A) the hall temperature changes.
    B) the audience does not applaud the conductor.
    C) the players are playing an unfamiliar piece of music.
    D) the conductor doesn’t go through the music bar by bar.

40. Players feel satisfaction in their music when

    A) they have rehearsed well.
    B) they have worked a long hard day.
    C) the whole orchestra plays well together.
    D) the audience is happy.

General Reading Test 47