Ielts reading practice test pdf

 
    Contents
  1. IELTS General Reading Practice Tests | IELTS Essentials
  2. academic reading practice test with answers free PDF 50 test files part 1 ielts exam
  3. You will be allowed 1 hour to complete all 3 sections of the IELTS Academic Reading test.
  4. IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests

Try sample questions for a range of different Reading questions, including The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long. Answer sheet (PDF, KB); Identifying writer's views (PDF, 56KB); Matching IELTS Academic practice tests. IELTS General Training Reading Practice Tests General Training Reading Sample Task - Flow Chart Completion (PDF, 40KB); General Training Reading. These IELTS Reading practice tests are optimised for offline use — you can save them in PDF or print right from the page. To take test online and see your IELTS.

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Ielts Reading Practice Test Pdf

IELTS practice test to assess your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in the USA. IELTS Practice Listening Test Blank Answer Sheet (pdf). Prepare for IELTS with these free practice tests and answers. Time yourself General Training Reading Sample Task – Flow Chart Completion (PDF, 40KB). Answer the 3 part IELTS academic reading practice test sections online or offline.

In fact, it is so important to take these tests that you should make them a cornerstone of your IELTS review. About one each week is ideal. I know, I know! It sounds like a lot. And it is a lot. Convinced now? I thought so! What exactly is it you ask? To correctly practice the interview, find a speaking partner if possible.

You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how someting works or describe an object or event.

IELTS General Reading Practice Tests | IELTS Essentials

Task 2: You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The Speaking test is designed to assess your use of spoken English.

Every test is recorded. The Speaking test consists of three parts: Task 1: You will be asked to answer general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as your home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes. Task 2: You will be given a card and you will be asked to talk about a particular topic.

You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner then asks you one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test. Once you have those four scores, average them together.

Then round up or down to the nearest 0. For example, if the average of your four sections is 6. Following that pattern, a 6. The questions in the Practice module are representative of those I came across during the exam. But the best time to learn from your mistakes is before test day. So keep an error log. Be sure to also make note of what concepts and skills were tested, such as word meaning, listening for number words, and so on.

Finally, make note of what you could do in order to avoid similar mistakes in the future. For Writing and Speaking , and error log will work a bit differently.

In these sections, record any problems you might have with pacing, organization, pronunciation, grammar, and so on. You can adjust your studies based on the log, focusing on your weaknesses in these two sections.

The answer to that question? All over the web! And there are certainly some good full length IELTS sample tests out there, if you know where to look. PDFs focus on question types rather than test sections. Sections and full tests for both GT and Academic. Free registration and login required for access. Practice questions are not organised into full tests, but there is enough material for at least one practice exam each for Academic and GT.

For more information on how to use these free practice exam services, see our blog post on how to use the official IELTS websites. Instead of focusing on the score, focus on areas in which you can improve …and taking IELTS practice tests will become less of a chore and more of an experience that provides interesting insights into your language skills!

Well, at the end of this test, you will find an answer key and a guide to grading your practice test. Or perhaps not. It depends whom you believe… A Members of the Department Analysis Centre ODAC recently met in London and presented technical data that support their grim forecast that the world is perilously close to running out of oil.

Leading lights of this moment, including the geologists Colin Campbell, rejected rival views presented by American geological survey and the international energy agency that contradicted their findings.

Campbell even decried the amazing display of ignorance, denial and obfuscation by government, industry and academics on this topic.

B So is the oil really running out? The answer is easy: Nobody seriously disputes the notion that oil is, for all practical purposes, a non-renewable resource that will run out some day, be that years or decades away. The harder question is determining when precisely oil will begin to get scarce. King Hubbert, a Shell geologist of legendary status among depletion experts, forecast in that oil production in the United States would peak in the early s and then slowly decline, in something resembling a bell-shaped curve.

At the time, his forecast was controversial, and many rubbished it. After , however, empirical evidence proved him correct: Over time, reservoirs age and go into decline, and so lifting oil becomes more expensive.

Oil from that area then becomes less competitive in relation to other fuels, or to oil from other areas. As a result, production slows down and usually tapers off and declines. That, he argued, made for a bell-shaped curve. E His successful prediction has emboldened a new generation of geologists to apply his methodology on a global scale.

Chief among them are the experts at ODAC, who worry that the global peak in production will come in the next decade. Dr Campbell used to argue that the peak should have come already; he now thinks it is just round the comer. A heavyweight has now joined this gloomy chorus.

F That sharply contradicts mainstream thinking. G Who is right? In making sense of these wildly opposing views, it is useful to look back at the pitiful history of oil forecasting. Doomsters have been predicting dry wells since the s, but so far the oil is still gushing. Nearly all the predictions for made after the s oil shocks were far too pessimistic. In a new paper, Dr Lynch analyses those historical forecasts.

He finds evidence of both bias and recurring errors, which suggests that methodological mistakes rather than just poor data were the problem. I That points to what will probably determine whether the pessimists or the optimists are right: The first camp tends to be dismissive of claims of forthcoming technological revolutions in such areas as deep-water drilling and enhanced recovery.

Dr Deffeyes captures this end-of-technology mindset well. He argues that because the industry has already spent billions on technology development, it makes it difficult to ask today for new technology, as most of the wheels have already been invented. J Yet techno-optimists argue that the technological revolution in oil has only just begun. That is the result of adversity: The IEA concludes that global oil production need not peak in the next two decades if the necessary investments are made.

So how much is necessary? The recovery of the oil gets more 34 ……………….. Match each statement with correct person, A-E. Write the correct letter, A-E in boxes on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once. Feeding 9 billion people will take more than the same old farming practices, especially if we want to do it without felling rainforests and planting every last scrap of prairie. That view was echoed in January by the Curry report, a government panel that surveyed the future of farming and food in Britain.

Concerned consumers come up short at this point, facing what appears to be an ever-widening ideological divide. In one corner are the techno-optimists who put their faith in genetically modified crops, improved agrochemicals and computer- enhanced machinery; in the other are advocates of organic farming, who reject artificial chemicals and embrace back-to-nature techniques such as composting.

C Not so. If you take off the ideological blinkers and simply ask how the world can produce the food it needs with the least environmental cost, a new middle way opens. The key is sustainability: But intelligent farming should also make shrewd and locally appropriate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Yet ironically, this key element may be the most neglected today.

D Clearly, organic farming has all the warm, fuzzy sentiment on its side. An approach that eschews synthetic chemicals surely runs no risk of poisoning land and water. And its emphasis on building up natural ecosystems seems to be good for everyone. Organic agriculture has its own suite of environmental costs, which can be worse than those of conventional farming, especially if it were to become the world norm. But more fundamentally, the organic versus- chemical debate focuses on the wrong question.

F Take chemical fertilisers, which deliver nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, to crops along with some phosphorus and potassium. It is a mantra of organic farming that these fertilisers are unwholesome, and plant nutrients must come from natural sources. But in fact the main environmental damage done by chemical fertilisers as opposed to any other kind is through greenhouse gases-carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels used in their synthesis and nitrogen oxides released by their degradation.

Excess nitrogen from chemical fertilisers can pollute groundwater, but so can excess nitrogen from organic manures.

G On the other hand, relying solely on chemical fertilisers to provide soil nutrients without doing other things to build healthy soil is damaging. Such soil also holds water better and therefore makes more efficient use of both rainfall and irrigation water.

And organic matter ties up C02 in the soil, helping to offset emissions from burning fossil fuels and reduce global warming. I Advocates of organic farming like to point out that fields managed in this way can produce yields just as high as fields juiced up with synthetic fertilisers. For example, Bill Liebhardt, research manager at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania recently compiled the results of such comparisons for corn, wheat, soybeans and tomatoes in the US and found that the organic fields averaged between 94 and per cent of the yields of nearby conventional crops.

J But this optimistic picture tells only half the story. They need to alternate with soil-building crops such as pasture grasses and legumes such as alfalfa. So in the long term, the yield of staple grains such as wheat, rice and com must go down.

This is the biggest cost of organic farming. Either farmers would have to double the amount of land they cultivate- at catastrophic cost to natural habitat —or billions of people would starve. Technologically advanced farmers in wealthy countries, for instance, can now monitor their yields hectare by hectare, or even more finely, throughout a huge field.

They can then target their fertiliser to the parts of the field where it will do the most good, instead of responding to average conditions. This increases yield and decreases fertiliser use. Eventually, farmers may - incorporate long-term weather forecasts into their planning as well, so that they can cut back on fertiliser use when the weather is likely to make harvests poor anyway, says Ron Olson, an agronomist with CargillFertilizer in Tampa, Florida.

L Organic techniques certainly have their benefits, especially for poor farmers. Take herbicides, for example. These can leach into waterways and poison both wildlife and people. Just last month, researchers led by Tyrone Hayes at the University of California at Berkeley found that even low concentrations of atrazine, the most commonly used weedkiller in the US, can prevent frog tadpoles from developing properly.

Questions 1 — 4 Use the information in the passage to match the people listed A-D with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-D in boxes on your answer sheet. Questions Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer.

A team called 11…………………… repeated the viewpoint of a scholar by a survey in British farming. More and more European farmers believe in 12……………………farming these years.

The argument of organic against 13……………………seems in an inaccurate direction. For instance, the pearl was the favored gem of the wealthy during the Roman Empire.

This gift from the sea had been brought back from the orient by the Roman conquests. Roman women wore pearls to bed so they could be reminded of their wealth immediately upon waking up. Before jewelers learned to cut gems, the pearl was of greater value than the diamond.

In the Orient and Persia Empire, pearls were ground into powders to cure anything from heart disease to epilepsy, with possible aphrodisiac uses as well. Pearls were once considered an exclusive privilege for royalty. A law in drawn up by the Duke of Saxony prohibited the wearing of pearls by nobility, professors, doctors or their wives in an effort to further distinguish royal appearance.

American Indians also used freshwater pearls from the Mississippi River as decorations and jewelry. B There are essentially three types of pearls: A natural pearl often called an Oriental pearl forms when an irritant, such as a piece of sand, works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam.

As a defense mechanism, the mollusk secretes a fluid to coat the irritant.

Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is formed. C The only difference natural pearls and cultured pearls is that the irritant is a surgically implanted bead or piece of shell called Mother of Pearl.

Often, these shells are ground oyster shells that are worth significant amounts of money in their own right as irritant- catalysts for quality pearls. The resulting core is, therefore, much larger than in a natural pearl.

Yet, as long as there are enough layers of nacre the secreted fluid covering the irritant to result in a beautiful, gem-quality pearl, the size of the nucleus is of no consequence to beauty or durability. D Pearls can come from either salt or freshwater sources. Typically, saltwater pearls tend to be higher quality, although there are several types of freshwater pearls that are considered high in quality as well. Freshwater pearls tend to be very irregular in shape, with a puffed rice appearance the most prevalent.

Nevertheless, it is each individual pearls merits that determines value more than the source of the pearl. However, most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China. Cultured pearls are the response of the shell to a tissue implant.

A tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell. This graft will form a pearl sac and the tissue will precipitate calcium carbonate into this pocket. There are a number of options for producing cultured pearls: The majority of saltwater cultured pearls are grown with beads.

E Regardless of the method used to acquire a pearl, the process usually takes several years. Mussels must reach a mature age, which can take up to 3 years, and then be implanted or naturally receive an irritant. Once the irritant is in place, it can take up to another 3 years for the pearl to reach its full size. Often, the irritant may be rejected, the pearl will be terrifically misshapen, or the oyster may simply die from disease or countless other complications.

F Imitation pearls are a different story altogether. In most cases, a glass bead is dipped into a solution made from fish scales. This coating is thin and may eventually wear off. One can usually tell an imitation by biting on it. Fake pearls glide across your teeth, while the layers of nacre on real pearls feel gritty.

The Island of Mallorca in Spain is known for its imitation pearl industry. Quality natural pearls are very rare jewels. The valuation factors include size, shape, and color, quality of surface, orient and luster. In general, cultured pearls are less valuable than natural pearls, whereas imitation pearls almost have no value. One way that jewelers can determine whether a pearl is cultured or natural is to have a gem lab perform an x-ray of the pearl. If the x-ray reveals a nucleus, the pearl is likely a bead-nucleated saltwater pearl.

Cultured freshwater pearls can often be confused for natural pearls which present as homogeneous pictures which continuously darken toward the surface of the pearl. Natural pearls will often show larger cavities where organic matter has dried out and decomposed.

Although imitation pearls look the part, they do not have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls, and their luster will also dim greatly. Among cultured pearls, Akoya pearls from Japan are some of the most lustrous.

Size on the other hand, has to do with the age of the oyster that created the pearl the more mature oysters produce larger pearls and the location in which the pearl was cultured.

The South Sea waters of Australia tend to produce the larger pearls; probably because the water along the coast line is supplied with rich nutrients from the ocean floor. The pearls of the Persian Gulf were natural created and collected by breath-hold divers.

The secret to the special luster of Gulf pearls probably derived from the unique mixture of sweet and salt water around the island. Those who once dove for pearls sought prosperity in the economic boom ushered in by the oil industry. The water pollution resulting from spilled oil and indiscriminate over-fishing of oysters essentially ruined the once pristine pearl producing waters of the Gulf.

Today, pearl diving is practiced only as a hobby. Still, Bahrain remains one of the foremost trading centers for high quality pearls. Nowadays, the largest stock of natural pearls probably resides in India.

Unlike Bahrain, which has essentially lost its pearl resource, traditional pearl fishing is still practiced on a small scale in India. Questions 18 — 23 Complete the summary below Choose letter from A-K for each answer. Write them in boxes on your answer sheet. In ancient history, pearls have great importance within the rich and rulers, which was treated as gem for women in 18……………….. And pearls were even used as medicine and sex drug for people in 19……………….. There are essentially three types of pearls: Most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China while the 20………………..

academic reading practice test with answers free PDF 50 test files part 1 ielts exam

The country 21…………………… usually manufactures some of the glitteriest cultured ones while the nation such as 22……………….. In the past, one country of 23 ……………….. Across a diverse range of commercial successes, from the Hills Hoist clothes line to the Cochlear ear implant, it is hard to generalize beyond saying the creators tapped into something consumers could not wait to get their hands on. However, most ideas never make it to the market. Some ideas that innovators are spruiking to potential investors include new water-saving shower heads, a keyless locking system, ping-pong balls that keep pollution out of rainwater tanks, making teeth grow from stem cells inserted in the gum, and technology to stop LPG tanks from exploding.

Grant Kearney, chief executive of the Innovation Xchange, which connects businesses to innovation networks, says he hears of great business ideas that he knows will never get on the market. It was selling different kinds of cleaning products, mainly in bulk. The business was in bad shape, the cleaning formulas were ineffective and environmentally harsh, and there were few regular clients. Now Shower Power is claimed to be the top-selling bathroom cleaning product in the country.

In particular, Shower Power is making big inroads on the British market. Market research showed that people were looking for a better cleaner for the bathroom, universally regarded as the hardest room in the home to clean. He detested all the chlorine-based cleaning products that dominated the market.

He is credited with finding the Shower Power formula. The company is the recipe is in a vault somewhere and in my sole owner of the intellectual property. Customers were travel- ling long distances to download supplies. Others began writing to OzKleen to say how good Shower Power was. The Woolworths downloader took a bottle home and was able to remove a stain from her basin that had been impossible to shift.

You will be allowed 1 hour to complete all 3 sections of the IELTS Academic Reading test.

E Shower Power was released in Australian supermarkets in and became the top- selling product in its category within six months. It was all hands on deck at the factory, labeling and bottling Shower Power to keep up with demand. OzKleen ditched all other products and rebuilt the business around Shower Power. This stage, recalls McDonnell, was very tough.

OzKleen had to pay new-line fees to supermarket chains, which also squeezed margins. Despite the product success, Peter Quinn says the company was wary of how long the sales would last and hesitate to spend money on upgrading the manufacturing process. As a result, he remembers long periods of working around the clock to keep up with orders. Small tanks were still being used so batches were small and bottles were labeled and filled manually The privately owned OzKleen relied on cash-flow to expand.

It is about doing something simple that no one else is doing. Tom Quinn, who previously ran a real estate agency, says: The Power range includes cleaning products for carpets, kitchens and pre-wash stain removal. The Quinn and Heron families are still involved. OzKleen has been approached with offers to download the company, but Tom Quinn says he is happy with things as they are. Write the correct letter A-G, in boxes on your answer sheet.

Match each person with the correct statement Write the correct letter A-E in boxes on your answer sheet. B Appealing to individual customers. C Popular in foreign markets.

D Attractive to supermarkets. A No one wanted to download OzKleen. B New products were being developed in OzKleen. D He wanted to keep things unchanged. Anyone lucky enough to see these creatures flitting between patches of sunlight cannot fail to be impressed by the variety of their patterns.

But why do they display such colourful exuberance? Until recently, this was almost as pertinent a question as it had been when the 19th-century naturalists, armed only with butterfly nets and insatiable curiosity, battled through the rainforests.

They send out a message to any predators: Biologists use the term mimicry rings for these clusters of impostors and their evolutionary idol.

The idea is that in each locality there should be just the one pattern that best protects its wearers. Predators would quickly learn to avoid it and eventually all mimetic species in a region should converge upon it. In pursuit of a solution to the mystery of mimetic exuberance, Beccaloni set off for one of the megacentres for butterfly diversity, the point where the western edge of the site basin meets the foothills of the Andes in Ecuador. They are famous for their bright colours, toxic bodies and complex mimetic relationships.

D Even though all ithomiines are poisonous, it is in their interests to evolve to look like one another because predators that learn to avoid one species will also avoid others that resemble it. This is known as Mullerian mimicry. Mimicry rings may also contain insects that are not toxic, but gain protection by looking likes a model species that is: E But why are there so many different mimicry rings? One idea is that species flying at the same height in the forest canopy evolve to look like one another.

The idea is that wing colour patterns are camouflaged against the different patterns of light and shadow at each level in the canopy, providing a first line of defence, against predators. And observations show that the insects do not shift in height as the day progresses and the light patterns change. They really flew that way.

Then we might finally understand how they could evolve in such a complex way. Not only were there 56 ithomiine butterfly species divided among eight mimicry rings, there were also 69 other insect species, including 34 day-flying moths and a damselfly, all in a hectare study area.

Like many entomologists before him, Beccaloni used a large bag-like net to capture his prey. This allowed him to sample the 2. Unlike many previous workers, he kept very precise notes on exactly where he caught his specimens G The attention to detail paid off. Beccaloni found that the mimicry rings were flying at two quite separate altitudes. H However, this being practice rather than theory, things were a bit fuzzy. I Then Beccaloni had a bright idea. Write the correct letter A-I, in boxes on your answer sheet.

A We like to think that laughing is the height of human sophistication. Our big brains let us see the humour in a strategically positioned pun, an unexpected plot twist or a clever piece of word play.

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Tests

But while joking and wit are uniquely human inventions, laughter certainly is not. Other creatures, including chimpanzees, gorillas and even rats, chuckle. It points the way to the origins of laughter, suggesting a much more practical purpose than you might think. B There is no doubt that laughing typical involves groups of people.

Men tend to laugh longer and harder when they are with other men, perhaps as a way of bonding. Women tend to laugh more and at a higher pitch when men are present, possibly indicating flirtation or even submission. C To find the origins of laughter, Provine believes we need to look at play. Well-known primate watchers, including Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, have long argued that chimps laugh while at play.

The sound they produce is known as a pant laugh. It seems obvious when you watch their behavior — they even have the same ticklish spots as we do. When Provine played a tape of the pant laughs to of his students, for example, only two guessed correctly what it was. When we laugh the sound is usually produced by chopping up a single exhalation into a series of shorter with one sound produced on each inward and outward breath.

The question is: New research lends weight to the idea that it does. The findings come from Elke Zimmerman, head of the Institute for Zoology in Germany, who compared the sounds made by babies and chimpanzees in response to tickling during the first year of their life. Using sound spectrographs to reveal the pitch and intensity of vocalizations, she discovered that chimp and human baby laughter follow broadly the same pattern. Zimmerman believes the closeness of baby laughter to chimp laughter supports the idea that laughter was around long before humans arrived on the scene.

What started simply as a modification of breathing associated with enjoyable and playful interactions has acquired a symbolic meaning as an indicator of pleasure. E Pinpointing when laughter developed is another matter. Humans and chimps share a common ancestor that lived perhaps 8 million years ago, but animals might have been laughing long before that.

More distantly related primates, including gorillas, laugh, and anecdotal evidence suggests that other social mammals nay do too. Scientists are currently testing such stories with a comparative analysis of just how common laughter is among animals. So far, though, the most compelling evidence for laughter beyond primates comes from research done by Jaak Panksepp from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, into the ultrasonic chirps produced by rats during play and in response to tickling.

One idea is that f laughter and tickling originated as a way of sealing the relationship between mother and child. Another is that the reflex response to tickling is protective, alerting us to the presence of crawling creatures that might harm us or compelling us to defend the parts of our bodies that are most vulnerable in hand-to-hand combat.

This hypothesis starts from the observation that although a little tickle can be enjoyable, if it goes on too long it can be torture.

By engaging in a bout of tickling, we put ourselves at the mercy of another individual, and laughing is a signal that we laughter is what makes it a reliable signal of trust according to Tom Flamson, a laughter researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.

And they get bonded to us as a result, which certainly seems like a show of trust. The funny thing is that while the origins of laughter are probably quite serious, we owe human laughter and our language-based humor to the same unique skill.

While other animals pant, we alone can control our breath well enough to produce the sound of laughter. Without that control there would also be no speech — and no jokes to endure.

Questions 14 — 19 Look at the following research findings questions and the list of people below. Match each finding with the correct person, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes on your answer sheet. Questions 20 — 23 Complete the summary using the list of words, A-K, below.

Write the correct letter, A-K, in boxes on your answer sheet. Some researchers believe that laughter first evolved out of 20……………………. Investigation has revealed that human and chimp laughter may have the same 21 …………………….

Besides, scientists have been aware that 22…………………… laugh, however, it now seems that laughter might be more widespread than once we thought. Although the reasons why humans started to laugh are still unknown, it seems that laughter may result from the 23…………………… we feel with another person A evolution B chirps C origins D voice E confidence F rats G primates H response I play J children K tickling Questions 24 — 26 Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

Fill in the blanks on the next page. The Examinations School at Oxford University is an austere building of oak- paneled rooms, large Gothic windows, and looming portraits of eminent dukes and earls.

It is where generations of Oxford students have tested their memory on final exams, and it is where, last August, 34 contestants gathered at the World Memory Championships to be examined in an entirely different manner.

A In timed trials, contestants were challenged to took at and then recite a two-page poem, memorize rows of digit numbers, recall the names of people after looking at their photographs, and perform seven other feats of extraordinary retention.

Some tests took just a few minutes; others lasted hours. In the 14 years since the World Memory Championships was founded, no one has memorized the order of a shuffled deck of playing cards in less than 30 seconds.

Their feats are based on tricks that capitalize on how the human brain encodes information. Anyone can learn them. B Psychologists Elizabeth Valentine and John Wilding, authors of the monograph Superior Memory, recently teamed up with Eleanor Maguire, a neuroscientist at University College London to study eight people, including Karsten, who had finished near the top of the World Memory Championships.

The researchers put the competitors and a group of control subjects into an MRI machine and asked them to perform several different memory tests while their brains were being scanned When it came to memorizing sequences of three-digit numbers, the difference between the memory contestants and the control subjects was, as expected immense.

However, when they were show photographs of magnified snowflakes, images that the competitors had never tried to memorize before, the champions did no better than the control group. When the researchers analyzed the brain scans, they found that the memory champs were activating some brain regions that were different from those the control subjects were using.

These regions, which included the right posterior hippocampus, are known to be involved in visual memory and spatial navigation. C It might seem odd that the memory contestants would use visual imagery and spatial navigation to remember numbers, but the activity makes sense when their techniques are revealed Cooke, a year-old cognitive-science graduate student with a shoulder-length mop of curly hair, is a grand master of brain storage.

He can memorize the order of 10 decks of playing cards in less than an hour or one deck of cards in less than a minute. He is closing in on the second deck. In the Lamb and Flag, Cooke pulled out a deck of cards and shuffled it.

He held up three cards—the 7 of spades, the queen of clubs, and the 10 of spades. Cooke has already memorized a specific person, verb, and object that he associates with each card in the deck. The queen of clubs is always his friend Henrietta, the action is thwacking with a handbag, and the image is of wardrobes filled with designer clothes.

When Cooke commits a deck to memory, he does it three cards at a time. Every three-card group forms a single image of a person doing something to an object. The first card in the triplet becomes the person, the second the verb, the third the object. He then places those images along a specific familiar route, such as the one he took through the Lamb and Flag.

In competitions, he uses an imaginary route that he has designed to be as smooth and downhill as possible. When it comes time to recall Cooke takes a mental walk along his route and translates the images into cards. E The more resonant the images are, the more difficult they are to forget. That technique, known as the toci method reportedly originated in B.

The bodies were mangled beyond recognition, but Simonides was able to reconstruct the guest list by closing his eyes and recalling each individual around the dinner table. What he had discovered was that our brains are exceptionally good at remembering images and spatial information.

Evolutionary psychologists have offered an explanation: Presumably our ancestors found it important to recall where they found their last meal or the way back to the cave. Aristotle wrote about it, and later a number of treatises on the art of memory were published in Rome. Before printed books, the art of memory was considered a staple of classical education, on a par with grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

F The most famous of the naturals was the Russian journalist S. Shereshevski, who could recall long lists of numbers memorized decades earlier, as well as poems, strings of nonsense syllables, and just about anything else he was asked to remember. Shereshevski also had synesthesia, a rare condition in which the senses become intertwined For example, every number may be associated with a color or every word with a taste. Synesthetic reactions evoke a response in more areas of the brain, making memory easier.

He cites an experiment with S. When he started, he could hold, like most people, only about seven digits in his head at any given time conveniently, the length of a phone number. Over two years, S. By then, he had stretched his digit span from 7 to more than The study of S. Using visual imagery and spatial navigation to remember numbers are investigated and explained.

According to World Memory Championships, what activities need good memory? Some elements of this enormous resource have long been known. B It is possible to trace a variety of causes for this concentration of effort and interest In the s and s scientific research into climate change and its environmental impact spilled over into a much broader public debate as awareness of these issues grew; the prospect of rising sea levels over the next century, and their impact on current coastal environments, has been a particular focus for concern.

At the same time archaeologists were beginning to recognize that the destruction caused by natural processes of coastal erosion and by human activity was having an increasing impact on the archaeological resource of the coast.

C The dominant process affecting the physical form of England in the post- glacial period has been the rise in the altitude of sea level relative to the land, as the glaciers melted and the landmass readjusted. The encroachment of the sea, the loss of huge areas of land now under the North Sea and the English Channel, and especially the loss of the land bridge between England and France, which finally made Britain an island, must have been immensely significant factors in the lives of our prehistoric ancestors.

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