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Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

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Section - 1
Animal minds: Parrot Alex

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS(A) In 1977 Irene Pepperberg, a recent graduate of Harvard University, did something very bold. At a time when animals still were considered automatons, she set out to find what was on another creature's mind by talking to it. She brought a one-year-old African gray parrot she named Alex into her lab to teach him to reproduce the sounds of the English language. "I thought if he learned to communicate, I could ask him questions about how he sees the world."

(B) When Pepperberg began her dialogue with Alex, who died last September at the age of 31, many scientists believed animals were incapable of any thought. They were simply machines, robots programmed to react to stimuli but lacking the ability to think or feel. Any pet owner would disagree. We see the love in our dogs' eyes and know that, of course, they has thoughts and emotions. But such claims remain highly controversial. Gut instinct is not science, and it is all too easy to project human thoughts and feelings onto another creature. How, then, does a scientist prove that an animal is capable of thinking—that it is able to acquire information about the world and act on it? "That's why I started my studies with Aex," Pepperberg said. They were seated—she at her desk, he on top of his cage—in her lab, a windowless room about the size of a boxcar, at Brandeis University. Newspapers lined the floor; baskets of bright toys were stacked on the shelves. They were clearly a team—and because of their work, the notion that animals can think is no longer so fanciful.

(C) Certain skills are considered key signs of higher mental abilities: good memory, a grasp of grammar and symbols, self-awareness, understanding others' motives, imitating others, and being creative. Bit by bit, in ingenious experiments, researchers have documented these talents in other species, gradually chipping away at what we thought made human beings distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities came from. Scrub jays know that other jays are thieves and that stashed food can spoil; sheep can recognize faces; chimpanzees use a variety of tools to probe termite mounds and even use  weapons to hunt small mammals; dolphins can imitate human postures; the archerfish, which stuns insects with a sudden blast of water, can learn how to aim its squirt simply by watching an experienced fish perform the task. And Alex the parrot turned out to be a surprisingly good talker.

(D) Thirty years after the Alex studies began; Pepperberg and a changing collection of assistants were still giving him English lessons. The humans, along with two younger parrots, also served as Alex’s flock, providing the social input all parrots crave. Like any flock, this one —as small as it was—had its share of drama. Alex dominated his fellow parrots, acted huffy at times around Pepperberg, tolerated the other female humans, and fell to pieces over a male assistant who dropped by for a visit. Pepperberg bought Alex in a Chicago pet store where she let the store’s assistant pick him out because she didn’t want other scientists saying later that she’d particularly chosen an especially smart bird for her work. Given that Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, most researchers thought Pepperberg's interspecies communication study would be futile.
Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(E) "Some people actually called me crazy for trying this," she said. "Scientists thought that chimpanzees were better subjects, although, of course, chimps can’t speak." Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas have been taught to use sign language and symbols to communicate with US, often with impressive results. The bonobo Kanzi, for instance, carries his symbol-communication board with him so he can "talk" to his human researchers, and he has invented combinations of symbols to express his thoughts. Nevertheless, this is not the same thing as having an animal look up at you, open his mouth, and speak. Under Pepperberg’s patient tutelage, Alex learned how to use his vocal tract to imitate almost one hundred English words, including the sounds for various foods, although he calls an apple a "banerry." "Apples taste a little bit like bananas to him, and they look a little bit like cherries, so Alex made up that word for them," Pepperberg said.

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(F) It sounded a bit mad, the idea of a b u d having lessons to practice, and willingly doing it. But after listening to and observing Alex, it was difficult to argue with Pepperberg’s explanation for his behaviors. She wasn’t handing him treats for the repetitious work or rapping him on the claws to make him say the sounds. "He has to hear the words over and over before he can correctly imitate them," Pepperberg said, after pronouncing "seven" for Alex a good dozen times in a row. "I’m not trying to see if Alex can learn a human language," she added. "That’s never been the point. My plan always was to use his imitative skills to get a better understanding of avian cognition."

(G) In other words, because Alex was able to produce a close approximation of the sounds of some English words, Pepperberg could ask him questions about a bird’s basic understanding of the world. She couldn’t ask him what he was thinking about, but she could ask him about his knowledge of numbers, shapes, and colors. To demonstrate, Pepperberg carried Alex on her arm to a tall wooden perch in the middle of the room. She then retrieved a green key and a small green cup from a basket on a shelf. She held up the two items to Alex’s eye. "What’s same?" she asked. Without hesitation, Alex’s beak opened: "Color." "What’s different?" Pepperberg asked. "Shape," Alex said. His voice had the digitized sound of a cartoon character. Since parrots lack lips (another reason it was difficult for Alex to pronounce some sounds, such as ba), the words seemed to come from the air around him, as if a ventriloquist were speaking. But the words—and what can only be called the thoughts—were entirely his.

(H) For the next 20 minutes, Alex ran through his tests, distinguishing colors, shapes, sizes, and materials (wool versus wood versus metal). He did some simple arithmetic, such as counting the yellow toy blocks among a pile of mixed hues. And, then, as if to offer final proof of the mind inside his bird’s brain, Alex spoke up. "Talk clearly!" he commanded, when one of the younger birds Pepperberg was also teaching talked with wrong pronunciation. "Talk clearly!" "Don’t be a smart aleck," Pepperberg said, shaking her head at him. "He knows all this, and he gets bored, so he interrupts the others, or he gives the wrong answer just to be obstinate. At this stage, he’s like a teenager; he’s moody, and I’m never sure what he’ll do."

Questions 1-6: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet

  • TRUE if the statement is true
  • FALSE if the statement is false
  • NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

Q.1. Firstly, Alex has grasped quite a lot of vocabulary.
Q.2. At the beginning of study, Alex felt frightened in the presence of humans.
Q.3. Previously, many scientists realized that animals possess the ability of thinking.
Q.4. It has taken a long time before people get to know cognition existing in animals.
Q.5. As Alex could approximately imitate the sounds of English words, he was capable J of roughly answering Irene’s questions regarding the world.
Q.6. By breaking in other parrots as well as producing the incorrect answers, he tried to be focused.

Questions 7-10: Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet.
After the framing of Irene, Parrot Alex can use his vocal tract to pronounce more than _____7____, while other scientists believe that animals have no this advanced ability of thinking, they would rather teach _____8______. Pepperberg clarified that she wanted to conduct a study concerning ___9____ but not to teach him to talk. The store’s assistant picked out a bird at random for her for the sake of avoiding other scientists saying that the bird is ____10_____ afterwards.

Questions 11-13: Answer the questions 11-13 below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Q.11. What did Alex reply regarding the similarity of the subjects showed to him?
Q.12. What is the problem of the young parrots except Alex?
Q.13. To some extent, through the way he behaved what we can call him?

Section - 2
Stealth Forces in weight Loss

The field of weight loss is like the ancient fable about the blind men and the elephant. Each man investigates a different part of the animal and reports back, only to discover their findings are bafflingly incompatible.
Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS(A) The various findings by public-health experts, physicians, psychologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, and nutritionists are about as similar as an elephant's tusk is to its tail Some say obesity is largely predetermined by our genes and biology; others attribute it to an overabundance of fries, soda, and screen-sucking; still others think we're fat because of viral infection, insulin, or the metabolic conditions we encountered in the womb. "Everyone subscribes to their own little theory," says Robert Berkowitz, medical director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. We're programmed to hang onto the fat we have, and some people are predisposed to create and carry more fat than others. Diet and exercise help, but in the end the solution will inevitably be more complicated than pushing away the plate and going for a walk. "It's not as simple as 'You're fat because you're lazy,'" says Nikhil Dhurandhar, an associate professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. "Willpower is not a prerogative of thin people. It's distributed equally."

(B) Science may still be years away from giving US a miracle formula for fat-loss. hormone leptin is a crucial player in the brain's weight-management circuitry Some people produce too little leptin; others become desensitized to it. And when obese people lose weight, their leptin levels plummet along with their metabolism. The body becomes more efficient at using fuel and conserving fat, which makes it tough to keep the weight off. Obese dieters’ bodies go into a state of chronic hunger, a feeling Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University, compares to thirst. "Some people might be able to tolerate chronic thirst, but the majority couldn’t stand it," says Leibel "Is that a behavioral problem—a lack of willpower? I don’t think so."

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(C) The government has tong espoused moderate daily exercise—of the evening-walk or take-the-stairs variety—but that may not do much to budge the needle on the scale. A 150-pound person burns only 150 calories on a half-hour walk, the equivalent of two apples. It’s good for the heart, less so for the gut "Radical changes are necessary," says Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of Waistland "People don’t lose weight by choosing the small fries or taking a little walk every other day." Barrett suggests taking a cue from the members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a self-selected group of more than 5,000 successful weight-losers who have shed an average of 66 pounds and kept it off 5.5 years. Some registry members lost weight using tow-carb diets; some went low-fat; others eliminated refined foods. Some did it on their own; others relied on counseling. That said, not everyone can lose 66 pounds and not everyone needs to. The goal shouldn’t be getting thin, but getting healthy. It’s enough to whittle your weight down to the tow end of your set range, says Jeffrey Friedman, a geneticist at Rockefeller University. Losing even 10 pounds vastly decreases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The point is to not give up just because you don’t took like a swimsuit model.

(D) The negotiation between your genes and the environment begins on day one. Your optimal weight, writ by genes, appears to get edited early on by conditions even before birth, inside the womb. If a woman has high blood-sugar levels while she’s pregnant, her children are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to a study of almost 10,000 mother-child pairs. Maternal diabetes may influence a child’s obesity risk through a process called metabolic imprinting, says Teresa Hillier, an endocrinologist with Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research and the study’s lead author. The implication is clear: Weight may be established very early on, and obesity largely passed from mother to child Numerous studies in both animals and humans have shown that a mother’s obesity directly increases her child’s risk for weight gain. The best advice for moms-to-be: Get fit before you get pregnant. You’ll reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy and increase your chances of having a normal-weight child

(E) It’s the $64,000 question: Which diets work? It got people wondering: Isn’t there a better way to diet? A study seemed to offer an answer. The paper compared two groups of adults: those who, after eating, secreted high levels of insulin, a hormone that sweeps blood sugar out of the bloodstream and promotes its storage as fat, and those who secreted less. Within each group, half were put on a tow-fat diet and half on a tow-glycemic-toad diet. On average, the tow-insulin-secreting group fared the same on both diets, losing nearly 10 pounds in the first six months — but they gained about half of it back by the end of the 18-month study. The high-insulin group didn’t do as well on the tow-fat plan, losing about 4.5 pounds, and gaining back more than half by the end But the most successful were the high-insulin-secretors on the low-glycemic-toad diet. They lost nearly 13 pounds and kept it off.

(F) What if your fat is caused not by diet or genes, but by germs—say, a virus? It sounds like a sci-fi horror movie, but research suggests some dimension of the obesity epidemic may be attributable to infection by common viruses, says Dhurandhar. The idea of “infectobesity” came to him 20 years ago when he was a young doctor treating obesity in Bombay. He discovered that a local avian virus, SMAM-1, caused chickens to die, sickened with organ damage but also, strangely, with tots of abdominal fat. In experiments, Dhurandhar found that SMAM-l-infected chickens became obese on the same diet as uninfected ones, which stayed svelte.

(G) He later moved to the U.S. and onto a bona fide human virus, adenovirus 36 (AD-36). In the lab, every species of animal Dhurandhar infected with the virus became obese—chickens got fat, mice got fat, even rhesus monkeys at the zoo that picked up the virus from the environment suddenly gained 15 percent of their body weight upon exposure. In his latest studies, Dhurandhar has isolated a gene that, when blocked from expressing itself, seems to turn off the virus’s fattening power. Stem cells extracted from fat cells and then exposed to AD-36 reliably blossom into fat cells—but when stem cells are exposed to an AD-36 virus with the key gene inhibited, the stems cells don’t differentiate. The gene appears to be necessary and sufficient to trigger AD-36-related obesity, and the goal is to use the research to create a sort of obesity vaccine. Researchers have discovered 10 microbes so far that trigger obesity—seven of them viruses. It may be a long shot, but for people struggling desperately to be thin, even the possibility of an alternative cause of obesity offers some solace. "They feel better knowing there may be something beyond them that could be responsible,” says Dhurandhar. "The thought that there could be something besides what they've heard all their lives—that they are greedy and lazy— helps. ”

Questions 14-18: Reading Passage 2 has five sections, A-G. Which section contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A-Q in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.
NB: You may use any letter more than once.
Q.14. evaluation on the effect of weight loss on different kind of diets
Q.15. an example of research which include relatives of participants
Q.16. Example of a group of people who never regain weight immediately after.
Q.17. tong term hunger may appear to be acceptable to most of the participants while losing weight
Q.18. a continuous experiment may bad to a practical application besides diet or hereditary resort.

Questions 19-23: Look at the following researchers and the list of findings below. Match each researcher with the correct finding. Write the correct letter in boxes 19-23 on your answer sheet.
List of Researchers
(a) Robert Berkowitz
(b) Rudolph Leibel
(c) Nikhil Dhurandhar
(d) Deirdre Barrett
(e) Jeffrey Friedman
(f) Teresa Hillier

Q.19. A person’s weight is predetermined to a set point by the DNA.
Q.20. Pregnant mother who are overweight may risk their fetus
Q.21. The aim of losing Wright should be keeping healthy rather than attractiveness
Q.22. mall changes in lifestyle will not have great impact on reducing much weight
Q.23. Researchers should be divided into different groups with their own point of view about weight loss.

Questions 24-27: Complete the summery below. Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 24-27 on your answer sheet.
In Bombay Clinic, a young doctor who came up with the concept ’infect obesity’ believed that the obesity is caused by a kind of virus, Years of experiment that he conducted on _____24____ Later he moved to America and tested on a new virus named _____25_____ which proved to be a significant breakthrough. Although there seems no way to eliminate the virus, a kind of ______26______ can be separated as to block the expressing power of the virus. The doctor future is aiming at developing a new ______27_______ to effectively combating the virus.

Section - 3
Bright Children

(A) BY the time Laszlo Polgar’s first baby was born in 1969 he already had film views on child-rearing. An eccentric citizen of communist Hungary, he had  written a book called "Bring up Genius r and one of his favourite sayings was “Geniuses are made, not bom77. An expert on the theory of chess, he proceeded to teach little Zsuzsa at home, spending lip to tm hours a day on the game. Two more daughters were similarly hot-housed. All three obliged then father by becoming world-class players. The youngest, Judit, is currently ranked 13th in the world, and is by far the best female chess player of all time. Would the experiment have succeeded with a different trio of children? If any child can he turned into a star, then a lot of time and money are being wasted worldwide on trying to pick winners.

(B) America has long held “talent searches”, using test results and teacher recommendations to select children for advanced school courses, summer schools and other extra tuition. This provision is set to grow. In his state-of-the-union address in 2006, President George Buah announced the “American Competitiveness Initiative”, which, among much else, would train 70,000 high-school teachers to lead advanced courses for selected pupils in mathematics and science. Just as the superpowers' space race made Congress put money into science education, the thought of China and India turning out hundreds of thousands of engineers and scientists is scaring America into prodding its brightest to do their best.

(C) The philosophy behind this talent search is that ability is innate; that it can be diagnosed with considerable accuracy, and that it is worth cultivating. In America, bright children are ranked as “moderately”, "highly”, "exceptionally” and “profoundly” gifted. The only chance to influence innate ability is thought to be in the womb or the first couple of years of life. Hence the fed for “teaching aids” such as videos and flashcards for newborns, and “whale sounds* on tape which a pregnant mother can strap to her belly.

(D) In Britain, there i 5 a broadly similar belief in die existence of innate talent, but also an egalitarian sentiment which makes people queasy about the idea of investing resources in grooming intelligence. Teachers are often opposed to separate provision for the best-performing children, saying any extra help should go to stragglers. In 2002, in a bid to help the able while leaving intact die ban on most selection by ability in state schools, the government get up the National Acadony for Gifted and Talented Youth. This outfit runs summer schools and masts-classes for children nominated by then schools. To date, though, only seven in ten secondary schools have nominated even a single child. Last year all schools were told they must supply the names of their top 10%.

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

(E) Picking winners is also the order of the day in ex-communist states, a hangover from the times when talented individuals were plucked from their homes and ruthlessly trained far die glory of the notion. But in many other countries, opposition to the idea of singling out talent and grooming it runs deep. In Scandinavia, a belief in virtues like modesty and social solidarity makes people flinch from die idea of treating brainy children differently.

(F) And in Japan there is a widespread belief that all children are born with the some innate abilities—and should therefore be treated alike. All are taught together, covering the same syllabus at the same Tate until they finish compulsory schooling. Those who team quickest are expected then to teach their classmates. In China, extra teaching is provided, but to a self-selected hunch. “Children’s palaces’’ in big cities offer a huge range of after-school classes. Anyone can sign up; all that is asked is excellent attendance.

(G) Statistics give little clue as to which system is best. The performance of the most able is heavily affected by factors other than state provision. Most state education in Britain is nominally rum-selective, but middle-class parents try to live near die best schools. Ambitious Japanese parents have made private, out-of-school tuition a thriving business. And Scandinavia’s egalitarianism might work less well in places with more diverse populations and less competent teachers. For what it’s worth, the data suggest that some countries—like Japan and Finland, see table—can eschew selection and still thrive. But that does not mean that any country can ditch selection and do as well.

(H) Mr Polgar thought any child could be a prodigy given the right teaching, an early start and enough practice. At one point he planned to prove it by adopting three baby boys from a poor country and toying his methods on them. (His wife vetoed the scheme.) Some say the key to success is simply hard graft. Judit, the youngest of the Polgar sisters, was the most driven, and the most successful; Zsofia, the middle one, was regarded as the most talented, but she was the only one who did not achieve the status of grand master. “Everything came easiest to her,” said her older sister. “But she was lazy.”

Questions 28-33: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 28-33 on iyour answer sheet, write    

  • YES: if the statement is true
  • NO:  if the statement is false
  • NOT GIVEN: if the information is not given in the passage

Q.28. America has a long history of selecting talented students into different categories.
Q.29. Teachers and schools in Britain held welcome attitude towards government’s selection of gifted students.
Q.30. Some parents agree to move near reputable schools in Britain.
Q.31. Middle-class parents participate in theft children’s education.
Q.32. Japan and Finland comply with selected student’s policy.
Q.33. Avoiding-selection-policy only works in a specific environment.

Questions 34-35: Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write your answers in boxes 34-35 on your answer sheet.
Q.34. What's Laszlo Polgar's point of view towards geniuses of children?

(a) Chess is the best way to train geniuses
(b) Genius tend to happen on first child
(c) Geniuses can be educated later on
(d) Geniuses are born naturally

Q.35. What is the purpose of citing Zsofia's example in the last paragraph?
(a) Practice makes genius
(b) Girls are not good at chessing
(c) She was an adopted child
(d) Middle child is always the most talented

Questions 36-40: Use the information in the passage to match the countries (listed A-E) with correct connection below. Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.
(b) Japan
(c) Britain
(d) China
(e) America

Q.36. Less gifted children get help from other classmates
Q.37. Attending extra teaching is open to anyone
Q.38. People are reluctant to favor gifted children due to social characteristics
Q.39. Both view of innate and egalitarian co-existed
Q.40. Craze of audio and video teaching for pregnant women.


Section - 1

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

Section - 2

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

Section - 3

Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS

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Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS


Practice Test - 32 - Notes | Study Reading Practice Tests for IELTS - IELTS