IELTS General Reading

Time: 60 minutes


  • Answer all the questions.
  • You can change your answers at any time during the test.


  • There are 40 questions in this test.
  • Each question carries one mark.
  • The test clock will show you when there are 10 minutes and 5 minutes remaining.

Test will start right after you click "Start test" button.

Morpeth is today a small town about two hours' drive north of Sydney. The town of Morpeth grew from an original 2000 acres of land given to an English army officer, Lieutenant Edward Close (1790-1866), in 1821. During the 1830s and 1840s Morpeth became a major river port, due to its favourable location. Produce, hides and timber were brought to Morpeth from inland New South Wales and shipped down the Hunter river to the coast and then to Sydney. However, in 1870 a railway line reached the town, and the importance of river shipping began to decline. Today, Morpeth, with its beautiful old buildings, is a popular tourist destination.
Questions 1 – 3


1. When was Lieutenant Close given the land on which Morpeth grew?

2. On what river is Morpeth situated?

3. When did trains first get to Morpeth?

A. Country Comfort Inn, Hunter Valley
The Country Comfort Inn, Hunter Valley, is a beautifully restored 125-year-old building just 20 minutes from the vineyards.

Formerly an orphanage, the Inn is set on 10 acres of landscaped gardens complete with pool, sauna, tennis court, spa, gym, billiard room, guest lounge, fireplace, cocktail bar, and two restaurants. Special packages available.

New England Highway, Maitland.
Call toll-free 1800 065 064 or (049) 32 52 88.

B. Siesta Motel
“Spend a night – not a fortune”

That’s the Budget Motel chain motto. The Siesta Motel, rated 3-star, is conveniently placed at the gateway to tire winery district and nearby to the historic towns of Morpeth and Wollombi.

The family-owned and operated Siesta offers air-conditioned comfort and a friendly atmosphere. A free light breakfast is delivered to your suite and excellent meals are available at the Maitland City Bowling Club next door. Quality of accommodation is assured and the tariff is the lowest in the district.

258 New England Highway, Maitland.
Phone (049) 32 83 22.

C. Endeavour East Maitland Motel
28 modern, comfortable 3-star units which open onto the swimming pool and barbeque area. All units feature TV and videos, air- conditioning, 2 with spas.

Fully licensed restaurant with cocktail bar and lounge is open 7 nights. Close to all amenities.

New England Highway, East Maitland.
Phone (049) 33 54 88.

D. Eskdale Country Cottages
Rustic cottages secluded amongst gum trees provide quietness and privacy on 200 acres. The cottages are located on the historic beef cattle property, “Eskdale”, nestled in the Williams Valley. Each cottage is completely self-contained having 2 bedrooms, full kitchen facilities, and sitting rooms with TV and video, and offers comfortable rural accommodation to those who enjoy the delights of the country yet still retain access to the city. Situated close to the towns of Morpeth, Maitland, Port Stephens & rainforests around Dungog.

Nelson Plains Road, Seaham NSW 2324.
Phone (049) 88 62 07, 88 62 09
Fax (049)88 62 09.

Questions 4 - 8
There are four advertisements on the page for places to stay near Morpeth.
Answer the questions below with the letter of the appropriate advertisements.

4Which expensive place to stay has restaurant?

5Which place claims to offer the cheapest rate?

6For more information, to which place can you telephone free of charge?

7At which place can the guests cook their own food?

8Which cheap place to stay has restaurant?


The Art Gallery’s mission is to bring diverse forms of art and craft
to the people of this city.

New Year festivities: a multimedia exhibition from the four comers of the earth on show in the Hanson Theatre, Level 2, Main Building
Opens January 1, closes March 20.

The art of the early West: American art of the westward expansion is on show in the South Gallery, Level 3.
$15 adults, $5.00 for members, $4.50 for students.
Opens March 13, closes June 30

Greek Olympic sculpture: a historical exhibit of work by ancient artists is in the North Gallery
$10 adults, $8.00 for members, $6.00 for students
Opens July 1, closes August 7

Developmental art: work by gifted local school children on show in the East Gallery.
$2.00. Donations may be left in the box at the exit, and will be gratefully received
Opens July 25, closes September 30

Headsets are available for the Greek Olympic Sculpture only
A fee of $6.00 per adult, $5.00 for members and $4.50 for students will be charged.

Questions 9 - 15
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR NUMBERS answer the questions below.

9. Which exhibition can you visit in late August?

10. A student would like a headset for the Greek Olympic Sculpture. How much will it cost?

11. Which exhibition shows the work of young people?

12. How much must a member pay to see the exhibition of art from the United States?

13. In which location would you find the oldest exhibits?

14. Which exhibit could a large group see most cheaply?

15. Which exhibit is the most expensive for a student?


General LRC rules
We have a number of simple rules to help you use the LRC. Please cooperate and enjoy your visit with us.
• No eating or drinking
• No copying of audio cassettes

Please work quietly. This is a library and many students are studying for exams.

Using the LRC
• You can use the LRC either on your own during self-access times or you may use it with your teacher as part of a lesson.
• If you use it as a self-access student you must scan your borrower barcode (issued by the library staff) when entering and leaving. The LRC is for use by Language Centre students only.
• All bags must be put in the bag-rack.
• Always work quietly.

We have a photocopier available. Please ask the library staff to help you. The cost is 20c for one A4 sheet.

Borrowing from the LRC
Language Centre students are permitted to borrow materials from the library. Other schools’ students must use the facilities at their own schools.
Full-time students: Give your photo-ID card to the librarian and you will get an LRC number. Part-time students: You will need to bring your $50.00 deposit receipt from the cashier. When your course finishes, bring your library card back and your deposit will be refunded in cash.

Language students can borrow up to 4 items (of which no more than 2 can be kits) at one time. Kits are bags containing book(s) plus cassette(s).
All teacher trainee students may borrow up to 3 items:
• IELTS materials 1 week
• Listening kits 1 week
• Most other books 2 weeks

Books marked REF in red are reference books and cannot be taken out of the library. Books marked REF in green may be removed by staff only.

Most items can be renewed once. IELTS materials cannot be renewed.

Questions 16 - 20
Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS OR NUMBERS from the passage to answer the questions below.

16. Which students may use the LRC?

17. What must full-time students show in order to receive an LRC number?

18. How will part-time students’ deposits be refunded?

19. What mark shows a book cannot be removed from the library?

20. What materials must be returned after one borrowing period?

International Business Institute – Buddy Peer Support Scheme

Think back to your first days and weeks in a new country. Were there times when you had questions that you wished you could ask a friend? Or when you wanted to have a chat about how you were feeling?

To help new students, the International Business Institute (IBI) plans to set up a buddy peer support scheme. The scheme will help new students meet current students at IBI who can provide them with some friendly company during their first months in Newcastle and help them with any small problems that they may have. Often, buddies may not be able to solve the problem, but they may know who can help.

What’s in it for you?
We believe that being a buddy will be rewarding in several ways. As a volunteer, it will be personally satisfying to know that you are able to help new students. However, it will also help you to make contacts that may be valuable in your future academic and professional lives. If you are an overseas student, it will give you another opportunity to practise speaking English. Lastly and most importantly, we hope that it will be enjoyable for you to be a buddy!

Responsibilities of buddies

1. Telephone and arrange to make contact with the new student.

2. Meet the student and show him/her around the campus and the local area. Meet for coffee, perhaps. Answer questions about living in Newcastle and administration procedures at IBI. (We will give you a checklist of things to mention when we send you the new student’s name and telephone number).

3. Arrange to meet the new student one morning or afternoon one weekend early in the semester, and take the student to places that you enjoy in Newcastle.

4. Be prepared to take phone calls from the new student to answer further questions that he/she may have from
time to time. Meet to explain information to the new student in person, if required.

5. You will be matched to an individual new student. However, if you have friends who are also buddies, you might prefer to form a support group together. This would mean that you meet the new students as a group rather than one-on-one.

6. Being a buddy is voluntary. There is no “requirement” to provide assistance beyond the help outlined above. However, we hope that the buddy and new students will enjoy each other’s company and continue to meet each other.

Please note that if you agree to become a peer support buddy, you will be expected to fulfil your role conscientiously and cheerfully. It will be important to be considerate and reliable so that our student can feel confident in your support.

7. When you agree to act as a buddy for a particular term, your commitment covers that term only. For example, if you act as a buddy for Term 2, and would prefer to be free in the following term, there is no obligation to continue as a buddy in Term 3. Of course, we hope that you will want to assist every term.

Questions 21 - 28
Choose TRUE if the statement agrees with the information given in the text, choose FALSE if the statement contradicts the information, or choose NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this.

21The main aim of the Buddy Peer Support Scheme is to help new students during exam periods.

22Students will be put in touch with others from their own language group.

23The principal reward for the buddy is making new friends.

24The buddy is responsible for making the first move to meet the new student.

25Buddies need to work one on one with the student in their care.

26Buddies will be paid a small allowance.

27The buddy's obligations finish at the end of each term.

28Buddies are required to attend two meetings per term.

How Babies Learn Language

During the first year of a child’s life, parents and carers are concerned with its physical development; during the second year, they watch the baby’s language development very carefully. It is interesting just how easily children learn a language. Children who are just three or four years old, who cannot yet tie their shoelaces, are able to speak in full sentences without any specific language training.

The current view of child language development is that it is an instinct – something as natural as eating or sleeping. According to experts in this area, this language instinct is innate – something each of us is born with. But this prevailing view has not always enjoyed widespread acceptance.

In the middle of last century, experts of the time, including a renowned professor at Harvard University in the United States, regarded child language development as the process of learning through mere repetition. Language “habits” developed as young children were rewarded for repeating language correctly and ignored or punished when they used incorrect forms of language. Over time, a child, according to this theory, would learn a language much like a dog might learn to behave properly through training.

Yet even though the modern view holds that language is instinctive, experts like Assistant Professor Lise Eliot are convinced that the interaction a child has with its parents and caregivers is crucial to its developments. The language of the parents and caregivers act as models for the developing child. In fact, a baby’s day-to-day experience is so important that the child will learn to speak in a manner very similar to the model speakers it hears.

Given that the models' parents provide are so important, it is interesting to consider the role of “baby talk” in the child’s language development. Baby talk is the language produced by an adult speaker who is trying to exaggerate certain aspects of the language to capture the attention of a young baby.

Dr Roberta Golinkoff believes that babies benefit from baby talk. Experiments show that immediately after birth babies respond more to infant-directed talk than they do to adult-directed talk. When using baby talk, people exaggerate their facial expressions, which helps the baby to begin to understand what is being communicated. She also notes that the exaggerated nature and repetition of baby talk helps infants to learn the difference between sounds. Since babies have a great deal of information to process, baby talk helps. Although there is concern that baby talk may persist too long, Dr Golinkoff says that it stops being used as the child gets older, that is, when the child is better able to communicate with the parents.

Professor Jusczyk has made a particular study of babies” ability to recognise sounds and says they recognise the sound of their own names as early as four and a half months. Babies know the meaning of Mummy and Daddy by about six months, which is earlier than was previously believed. By about nine months, babies begin recognizing frequent patterns in language. A baby will listen longer to the sounds that occur frequently, so it is good to frequently call the infant by its name.

An experiment at Johns Hopkins University in the USA, in which researchers went to the homes of 16 nine-month-olds, confirms this view. The researchers arranged their visits for ten days out of a two week period. During each visit, the researcher played an audio tape that included the same three stories. The stories included odd words such as “python” or “hornbill”, words that were unlikely to be encountered in the babies’ everyday experience. After a couple of weeks during which nothing was done, the babies were brought to the research lab, where they listened to two recorded lists of words. The first list included words heard in the story. The second included similar words, but not the exact ones that were used in the stories.

Jusczyk found the babies listened longer to the words that had appeared in the stories, which indicated that the babies had extracted individual words from the story. When a control group of 16 nine-month-olds, who had not heard the stories, listened to the two groups of words, they showed no preference for either list.

This does not mean that the babies actually understand the meanings of the words, just the sound patterns. It supports the idea that people are born to speak, and have the capacity to learn language from the day they are born. This ability is enhanced if they are involved in a conversation. And, significantly, Dr Eliot reminds parents that babies and toddlers need to feel they are communicating. Clearly, sitting in front of the television is not enough; the baby must be having an interaction with another speaker.
Questions 29 - 34
Complete the summary below. Choose no more than THREE WORDS AND/OR NUMBERS from the passage and write them in boxes 29 - 34.

The study ofin very young children has changed considerably in the last 50 years. It has been established that children can speak independently at age, and that this ability is innate. The child will, in fact, follow the speech patterns and linguistic behaviour of its carers and parents who act as.

Babies actually benefit from “baby talk”, in which adultsboth sounds and facial expressions. Babies’ ability tosound patterns rather than words comes earlier than was previously thought. It is very important that babies are included in.

Questions 35 - 40
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in the passage “How babies learn language”?
Choose TRUE if the statement agrees with the information given in the text, choose FALSE if the statement contradicts the information, or choose NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this.

35Children can learn their first language without being taught.

36From the time of their birth, humans seem to have an ability to learn languages.

37According to experts in the 1950s and ’60s, language learning is very similar to the training of animals.

38Repetition in language learning is important, according to Dr Eliot.

39Dr Golinkoff is concerned that “baby talk” is spoken too much by some parents.

40The first word a child learns to recognise is usually “Mummy” or “Daddy”.

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