IELTS Reading Sample (Academic) #13

Reading Tip: Summary

  • Read through the summary at normal speed so that you have a fair idea of what it is about.
  • Check the instructions: you can use a maximum of two words for each answer and these words must be taken from the reading passage. If you use more than two words or words that are not in the passage, the answer will be marked wrong.
  • Skim the passage and find out where the part that has been summarised begins.
  • Read the text around each gap carefully. See if you can predict the answer or the kind of word(s) that you are looking for.
  • Select the best word from the text for each gap.
  • Re-read the summary, with the words you have selected for each gap, to make sure that it makes sense both grammatically and in terms of meaning.

Questions 1-8

Complete the summary below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

Prior to the 19th century, professional (1) did not exist and scientific research was largely carried out by amateurs. However, while (2) today is mostly the domain of professionals, a recent US survey highlighted the fact that amateurs play an important role in at least seven (3) and indeed many professionals are reliant on their (4) In areas such as astronomy, amateurs can be invaluable when making specific (5) on a global basis. Similarly in the area of palaeontology their involvement is invaluable and helpers are easy to recruit because of the popularity of (6) Amateur birdwatchers also play an active role and their work has led to the establishment of a (7) Occasionally the term ‘amateur’ has been the source of disagreement and alternative names have been suggested but generally speaking, as long as the professional scientists (8) the work of the non-professionals, the two groups can work productively together.

Reading Tip

  • Read through the questions, underlining the key words e.g. Question 10: accidents.
  • Scan the passage for the name of the first scientist.
  • Read the text around the name carefully.
  • Check for any opinions that are expressed by that person. Verbs like ‘says’, ‘felt’, and ‘contends’ are used to express opinions.
  • Re-read the questions and see whether any of these express a similar idea to the opinions you have noted in the passage.
  • If you find an answer, skim the rest of the passage to see whether the same name occurs again. If so, repeat the above procedure. (At least one name must be used twice in this set as there are five questions and only four names.)

Questions 9-13

Classify the following opinions as referring to

A Dr Fienberg
B Adrian Hunt
C Rick Bonney
D Dr Carlson

Write the correct letter A, B, C or D in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.

9Amateur involvement can also be an instructive pastime.  

10Amateur scientists are prone to accidents.  

11Science does not belong to professional scientists alone.  

12In certain areas of my work, people are a more valuable resource than technology.  

13It is important to give amateurs a name which reflects the value of their work.  


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