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Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

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Section - 1
The Origin of Writing

(A) Writing was first invented by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia before 3,000 BC. It was also independently invented in Meso-America before 600 BC and probably independently invented in China before 1,300 BC. It may have been independently invented in Egypt around 3,000 BC although given the geographical proximity between Egypt and Mesopotamia the Egyptians may have learnt writing from the Sumerians.

(B) There are three basic types of writing systems. The written signs used by the writing system could represent either a whole word, a syllable or an individual sound. Where the written sign represents a word the system is known as logographic as it uses logograms which are written signs that represent a word. The earliest writing systems such as the Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Mayan glyphs are predominantly logographics as are modem Chinese and Japanese writing systems. Where the written sign represents a syllable the writing system is known as syllabic. Syllabic writing systems were more common in the ancient world than they are today. The Linear A and B writing systems of Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece are syllabic. The most common writing systems today are alphabetical. These involve the written sign (a letter) representing a single sound (known as a phoneme). The earliest known alphabetical systems were developed by speakers of semetic languages around 1700 BC in the area of modem day Israel and Palestine. All written languages will predominately use one or other of the above systems. They may however partly use the other systems. No written language is purely alphabetic, syllabic or logographic but may use elements from any or all systems.

(C) Such fully developed writing only emerged after development from simplier systems. Talley sticks with notches on them to represent a number of sheep or to record a debt have been used in the past. Knotted strings have been used as a form of record keeping particularly in the area around the Pacific rim. They reached their greatest development with the Inca quipus where they were used to record payment of tribute and to record commercial transactions. A specially trained group of quipu makers and readers managed the whole system. The use of pictures for the purpose of communication was used by native Americans and by the Ashanti and Ewe people in Africa. Pictures can show qualities and characteristics which can not be shown by tally sticks and knot records. They do not however amount to writing as they do not bear a conventional relationship to language.

(D) An alternative idea was that a system by which tokens, which represented objects like sheep, were placed in containers and the containers were marked on the outside indicating the number and type of tokens within the container gave rise to writing in Mesopotamia. The marks on the outside of the container were a direct symbolic representation of the tokens inside the container and an indirect symbolic representation of the object the token represented. The marks on the outside of the containers were graphically identical to some of the earliest pictograms used in Sumerian cuneiform, the worlds first written language. However cuneiform has approximately 1,500 signs and the marks on the ouside of the containers can only explain the origins of a few of those signs.

(E) The first written language was the Sumerian cuneiform. Writing mainly consisted of records of numbers of sheep, goats and cattle and quantites of grain. Eventually clay tablets were used as a writing surface and were marked with a reed stylus to produce the writing. Thousands of such clay tablets have been found in the Sumerian city of Uruk. The earliest Sumerian writing consists of pictures of the objects mentioned such as sheep or cattle. Eventually the pictures became more abstract and were to consist of straight lines that looked like wedges.

(F) The earliest cuneiform was an accounting system consisting of pictograms representing commodities such as sheep and a number. The clay tablets found might for example simply state “ten sheep”. Such writing obviously has its limitations and would not be regarded as a complete writing system. A complete writing system only developed with the process of phonctization. This occurs when the symbol ceases to represent an object and begins to represent a spoken sound, which in early cuneiform would be a word. This process was assisted when the symbols which initally looked very like the object they represented gradually became more abstract and less clearly related to an object. However while the symbol became more closely connected to words, it was words dealing with objects, such as sheep, bird or pot. It was still not possible to write more abstract ideas such as father, running, speech or foreigner.

(G) The solution to this problem was known as the rebus principle. Words with the same or similar pronuciation to an abstract word could be used to represent the abstract word. The sign for eye could be used to represent the word “I”. The sign for deer could represent the word “dear”. Which word is referred to by the picture is decided by an additional sign. Pictographs which originally represented a word began to represent the sound of the word. The rebus principle is used to represent abstract words in all word writing systems in Sumer, Egypt, China and in the Aztec and Mayan writing in central America.

(H) The Rebus principle lead to cuneiform becoming a form of logo-syllabic writing consisting of both logograms and syllabic writing. The effect of the change from logographic to logo-syllabic writing was substantial. Logographic writing cannot produce normal prose and is resticted to nouns, numbers, names and adjectives. The vast majority of early Sumerian writing consisted of bureaucratic records of products received or products distributed. Only when syllabic writing was introduced into cuneiform did it become possible to write prose such as myths and royal propaganda.

(I) The next major development in writing in the old world was the development of the alphabet. The alphabet was developed out of Egyptian hieroglyphs which contained 24 signs for 24 Egyptian consonants. About 1700 BC Semites who knew Egyptian hieroglyphs began making certain changes in their writing system. They put the letters in a particular sequence and gave them simple names to assist learning and ease of memory. They also dropped the logograms and other signs used in hieroglyphs and just kept the Egyptian consonants and resticted the signs to those for individual consonants. Finally, they introduced vowels into their alphabet. Alphabets were soon to spread over most of the world as they provide both flexibility and simplicity for a writing system.

Question 1-3: Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 1 - 3 on your answer sheet.
There are three types of writing systems. Logography utilizes written signs representing a 1 __________ Syllabic writing systems were more common in the ancient world, as they adopt written sign symbolizing a 2 __________ The most common alphabetical systems use a letter to represent a 3__________.

Question 4-10: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
On your answer sheet please write TRUE if the statement is true FALSE if the statement is false NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage 4. There is no language that adopts elements from only one writing system.
Q.5. Inca quipus used talley sticks to track payments and commercial transactions.
Q.6. The marks on the outside of the containers originated from pictograms used in Sumerian cuneiform.
Q.7. The first written language was created to document the quantities and types of livestock and food.
Q.8. Cuneiform could not express abstract concepts at all.
Q. 9. Affected by the rebus principle, cuneiform combined the elements of both logograms and syllabic writing.
Q.10. Most countries adopt alphabetical writing systems due to their flexibility and simplicity.

Question 11 - 14: Use the information in the passage to match the options (listed A - E) with statements (listed 11-14) below.
Write the appropriate letter (A - E) in boxes 11 - 14 on your answer sheet.
NB Some options may match more than one statement.
(A) Egyptians
(B) Native Americans
(C) Semites
(D) Chinese
(E) Sumerians
Q. 11. ______developed the alphabet from Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Q. 12. ______used pictures for the purpose of communication.
Q.13. ______invented a written language which consisted of signs looked like wedges.
Q.14. ______might have independently invented writing 5,000 years ago.

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

Section - 2
Aqua product: New Zealand’s Igae Biodiesel

(A) The world’s first wild algae biodiesel produced in New Zealand by Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, was successfully test driven in Wellington by the Minister for Energy and Climate Change Issues, David Parker. In front of a crowd of invited guests, media and members of the public, the Minister filled up a diesel-powered Land Rover with Aquaflow B5 blend biodiesel and then drove the car around the forecourt of Parliament Buildings in Central Wellington. Green Party co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons was also on board. Marlboroughbased Aquaflow announced in May 2006 that it had produced the world’s first biodiesel derived from wild microalgae sourced from local sewage ponds.

(B) “We believe we are the first company in the world to test drive a car powered by wild algae-based biodiesel. This will come as a surprise to some international biodiesel industry people who believe that this breakthrough is still years away” explains Aquaflow spokesperson Barrie Leay. “A bunch of inventive Kiwis, and an Aussie, have developed this fuel in just over a year”, he comments. “This is a huge opportunity for New Zealand and a great credit to the team of people who saw the potential in this technology from day one.”

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(C) Biodiesel based on algae could Vegetable oil E10 Diesel eventually become a sustainable, low cost, cleaner burning fuel alternative for New Zealand, powering family cars, trucks, buses and boats. It can also be used for other purposes such as heating or distributed electricity generation. There is now a global demand for billions of litres of biodiesel per year. Algae are also readily available and produced in huge volumes in nutrient rich waste streams such as at the settling ponds of Effluent Management Systems (EMS). It is a renewable indigenous resource ideally suited to the production of fuel and other useful by-products. The breakthrough comes after technology start-up, Aquaflow, agreed to undertake a pilot with Marlborough District Council late last year to extract algae from the settling ponds of its EMS based in Blenheim. By removing the main contaminant to use as a fuel feedstock, Aquaflow is also helping clean up the council’s water discharge - a process known as bioremediation. Dairy farmers, and many food processors too, can benefit in similar ways by applying the harvesting technology to their nutrient-rich waste streams.

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(D) Blended with conventional mineral diesel, biodiesel can run vehicles without the need for vehicle modifications. Fuel derived from algae can also help meet the Government B5 (5% blended) target, with the prospect of this increasing over time as bio-fuel production increases.
“Our next step is to increase capacity to produce one million litres of biodiesel from the Marlborough sewerage ponds over the next year” says Leay. Aquaflow will launch a prospectus pre-Christmas as the company has already attracted considerable interest from potential investors. The test drive biodiesel was used successfully in a static engine test at Massey University’s Wellington campus on Monday, December 11.

(E) Today Algae are used by humans in many ways; for example, as fertilizers, soil conditioners and livestock feed. Aquatic and microscopic species are cultured in clear tanks or ponds and are either harvested or used to treat effluents pumped through the ponds. Algaculture on a large scale is an important type of aquaculture in some places. Naturally growing seaweeds are an important source of food, especially in Asia. They provide many vitamins including: A, B, B2, B6, niacin and c, and are rich in iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. In addition commercially cultivated microalgae, including both Algae and Cyan-bacteria, are marketed as nutritional supplements, such as Spirulina Chlorella and the Vitamin-C supplement, Dunaliella, high in beta-carotene. Algae are national foods of many nations: China consumes more than 70 species, including choy, a cyanobacterium considered a vegetable; Japan, over 20 species. The natural pigments produced by algae can be used as an alternative to chemical dyes and coloring agents.

(F) Algae are the simplest plant organisms that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide in the air around US into stored energy through the well understood process of photosynthesis. Algae are rich in lipids and other combustible elements and Aquaflow is developing technology that will allow these elements to be extracted in a cost effective way. The proposed process is the subject of a provisional patent. Although algae are good at taking most of the nutrients out of sewage, too much algae can taint the water and make it smell. So, councils have to find a way of cleaning up the excess algae in their sewerage outflows and then either dispose of it or find alternative uses for it. And that’s where Aquaflow comes in.

(G) Unlike some bio-fuels which require crops to be specially grown and thereby compete for land use with food production, and use other scarce resources of fuel, chemicals and fertiliser, the source for algae-based biodiesel already exists extensively and the process produces a sustainable net energy gain by capturing free solar energy from the sun.

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-27 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
Questions 15-19: Reading Passage 2 contains 7 paragraphs A -G.
Which paragraphs stale the following information?
Write the appropriate letters A - G in boxes 15-19 on your answer sheet.
You may use any letter more than once 15 It is unnecessary to modify vehicles driven by biodiesel.
Q.16. Some algae are considered edible plants.
Q.17. Algae could be part of a sustainable and recycled source.
Q.18. Algae biodiesel is superior to other bio-fuels in lot a ways.
Q.19. overgrown algea also can be a potential threat to environment

Questions 20-24: Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 20-24 on your answer sheet.
Biodiesel based on algae could become a substitute for 20_______in New Zealand. It could be used to 21_______vehicles such as cars and boats. As a result, billions of litres of biodiesel are required world wide each year. Algae can be obtained from 22_______with nutrient materials. With the technology breakthrough, algae are extracted and the 23_______removed from the settling ponds. Dairy farmers, and many food processors can adopt such 24_______technology.

Question 25 -27: Choose words from the passage to answer the questions25 -27. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
Q.25. What environmental standard would biodiesel vehicles are to meet?
Q.26. What is to do as the immediate plan for coming years for Aquaflow?
Q.27. Through what kind of process do algae obtain and store energy?

Section - 3
British Architecture 2

(A) Architecture is about evolution, not revolution. It used to be thought that once the Romans pulled out of Britain in the fifth century, their elegant villas, carefully-planned towns and engineering marvels like Hadrian's Wall simply fell into decay as British culture was plunged into the Dark Ages. It took the Norman Conquest of 1066 to bring back the light, and the ố othic cathedral-builders of the Middle Ages played an important part in the revival of British culture. However, the truth is not as simple as that Romano-British culture - and that included architecture along with language, religion, political organization and the arts - survived long after the Roman withdrawal. And although the Anglo- Saxons had a sophisticated building style of their own, little survives to bear witness to their achievements as the vast majority of Anglo-Saxon buildings were made of wood.

(B) Even so, the period between the Norman landing at Pevensey in 1066 and the day in 1485 when Richard III lost his horse and his head at Bosworth, ushering in the Tudors and the /Early Modern period, marks a rare flowering of British building. And it is all the more remarkable because the underlying ethos of medieval architecture was 'fitness for purpose'. The great cathedrals and parish churches that lifted up their towers to heaven were not only acts of devotion in stone; they were also fiercely functional buildings. Castles served their particular purpose and their battlements and turrets were for use rather than ornament. In a sense, the buildings of the 16th century were also governed by fitness for purpose - only now, the purpose was very different. In domestic architecture, in particular, buildings were used to display status and wealth.

(C) This stately and curious workmanship showed itself in various ways. A greater sense of security led to more outward-looking buildings, as opposed to the medieval arrangement where the need for defense created houses that faced inward onto a courtyard or series of courtyards. This allowed for much more in the way of exterior ornament. The rooms themselves tended to be bigger and lighter - as an expensive commodity, the use of great expanses of glass was in itself a statement of wealth. There was also a general move towards balanced and symmetrical exteriors with central entrances.

(D) With the exception of Inigo Jones (1573-1652), whose confident handling of classical detail and proportion set him apart from all other architects of the period, most early 17th century buildings tended to take the innocent exuberance of late Tudor work one step further. /But during the 1640s and 50s the Civil War and its aftermath sent many gentlemen and nobles to the Continent either to escape the fighting or, when the war was lost, to follow Charles II into exile. There they came into contact with French, Dutch and Italian architecture and, with Charles's restoration in 1660, there was a flurry of building activity as royalists reclaimed their property and built themselves houses reflecting the latest European trends. The British Baroque was a reassertion of authority, an expression of absolutist ideology by men who remembered a world turned upside down during the Civil War. The style is heavy and rich, sometimes overblown and melodramatic. The politics which underpin it are questionable, but its products are breathtaking. 

(E) The huge glass-and-iron Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, shows another strand to 19th century architecture - one which embraced new industrial processes. But it wasn't long before even this confidence in progress came to be regarded with suspicion. Mass production resulted in buildings and furnishings that were too perfect, as the individual craftsman no longer had a major role in their creation. Railing against the dehumanising effects of industrialisation, reformers like John Ruskin and William Morris made a concerted effort to return to hand-crafted, preindustrial manufacturing techniques. Morris's influence grew from the production of furniture and textiles, until by the 1880s a generation of principled young architects was following his call for good, honest construction.

(F) The most important trends in early 20th century architecture simply passed Britain by. Whilst Gropius was working on cold, hard expanses of glass, and Le Corbusier was experimenting with the use of reinforced concrete frames, we had staid establishment architects like Edwin Lutyens producing Neo-Georgian and Renaissance country houses for an outmoded landed class. In addition there were slightly batty architect-craftsmen, the heirs of William Morris, still trying to turn the clock back to before the Industrial Revolution by making chairs and spurning new technology. Only a handful of Modern Movement buildings of any real merit were produced here during the 1920s and 1930s, and most of these were the work of foreign architects such as Serge Chermayeff, Berthold Lubetkin and Erno Goldf inger who had settled in this country.

(G) After the Second World War the situation began to change. The Modern Movement's belief in progress and the future struck a chord with the mood of post-war Britain and, as reconstruction began under Attlee's Labour government in 1945, there was a desperate need for cheap housing which could be produced quickly. The use of prefabricated elements, metal frames, concrete cladding and the absence of decoration - all of which had been embraced by Modernists abroad and viewed with suspicion by the British -were adopted to varying degrees for housing developments and schools. Local authorities, charged with the task of rebuilding city center, became important patrons of architecture. This represented a shift away from the private individuals who had dominated the architectural scene for centuries.

(H) Since the War it has been corporate bodies like these local authorities, together with national and multinational companies, and large educational institutions, which have dominated British architecture. By the late 1980s the Modern Movement, unfairly blamed for the social experiments implicit in highrise housing, had lost out to irony and spectacle in the shape of post-modernism, with its cheerful borrowings from anywhere and any period. But now, in the new Millennium, even post-modernism is showing signs of age. What comes next? Post-post-modernism?

Questions 28-34: Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 28-34 on your answer sheet.
Q.28. The Anglo-Saxon architecture failed to last because the buildings were constructed in______.
Q.29. Different from the medieval architecture, the buildings of the 16th century represents______.
Q.30. The costly glass was applied widely as an______in that years.
Q.31. Inigo Jones was skilled at handling______style.
Q.32. William Morris favored the production of______made in preindustrial manufacturing techniques.
Q.33. The architects such as______provided the landlord with conservative houses.
Q.34. After World War Two, the architect commission shifted from individual to______.

Questions 35-40: Choose the correct letter, (a), (b), (c) or (d).
Write the correct letter in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.
Q.35. The feature of medieval architecture was
(a) Immense
(b) Useful
(c) Decorative
(d) Bizarre

Q.36. What contributes to the outward-looking buildings in the 16th century?
(a) Safety
(b) Beauty
(c) Quality
(d) Technology

Q.37. Why were the buildings in the 1660s influenced by the latest European trends?
(a) Because the war was lost.
(b) Because the craftsman came from all over the Europe,
(c) Because the property belongs to the gentlemen and nobles.
(d) Because the monarch came back from the continent.

Q.38. What kind of sense did the British Baroque imply?
(a) Tough
(b) Steady
(c) Mild
(d) Conservative

Q.39. The individual craftsman was no more the key to creation for the appearance of
(a) Crystal Palace
(b) Preindustrial manufacturing return
(c) Industrial process in scale
(d) Ornament

Q.40. The building style changed after World War Two as a result of
(a) Abundant materials
(b) Local authority
(c) Shortage of cheap housing
(d) Conservative views


Section - 1

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTSSection - 2

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

Section - 3

Practice Test - 11 Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

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