IELTS Reading 3 - Passage 1

About the Reading module

  • How long does the IELTS Reading module last?
    The IELTS Reading module has three sections and lasts one hour.
  • What is the maximum length of each text?
    Each section contains a reading text of 750-950 words and has two or three different tasks. There are 40 questions in total.
  • Which text is the easiest?
    The first reading text is the easiest and the third is the most difficult. The texts can come from newspapers, magazines, books and journals and cover a range of subjects, e.g. physics, biology, architecture and history, but you don't have to be an expert to understand them.
  • What do tasks in the Reading module test?
    The tasks are intended to test understanding of English, not subject knowledge.

Questions 1-3

Complete the summary below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.

Some plastics behave in a similar way to 1 in that they melt under heat and can be moulded into new forms. Bakelite was unique because it was the first material to be both entirely 2 in origin, and thermosetting.

There were several reasons for the research into plastics in the nineteenth century, among them the great advances that had been made in the field of 3 and the search for alternatives to natural resources like ivory.

IELTS Reading Tip

In the IELTS Reading module you may be given a flow chart as visual input. Flow charts are designed to show clearly the stages in a process or a sequence of events. They often show cause and effect: how one thing (an event or events) can lead to other things happening.

The instructions will tell you what the maximum number of words is for each space. All the words that you use must come from the text: you cannot use your own words, even if these mean the same.

Questions 4-8

Complete the flow-chart.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 4-8 on your answer sheet.

IELTS Reading Flowchart

4stage one resin, called

5 (e.g. cotton, asbestos)


7 Bakelite

8apply intense heat and

Questions 9 and 10

Choose TWO letters A-E

Write your answers in boxes 9 and 10 on your answer sheet.

NB Your answers may be given in either order.

Which TWO of the following factors influencing the design of Bakelite objects are mentioned in the text?

Questions 11-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet write

TRUEif the statement agrees with the information
FALSEif the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVENif there is no information on this

11Modern-day plastic preparation is based on the same principles as that patented in 1907. 

12Bakelite was immediately welcomed as a practical and versatile material. 

13Bakelite was only available in a limited range of colours. 


Dear readers,

This is to inform you that we have moved to a new domain,

Our old domain, will remain active till the time we migrate all our content to the new domain.

We look forward to your continuing support.