IELTS Reading Practice

You should spend about 20 minutes on Question 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage below. You can also download this practice (pdf file)


Part A

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is conducted by dedicated scientists every day. In the movie Contact, Jodie Foster’s character, Ellie Arroway, searches the heavens with several large radio telescopes. When she receives a radio message from a distant star, there are profound implications for humanity. Modern SETI efforts began with a paper written by physicists Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison and published in the science press in 1959. Since then, SETI has been an extremely controversial scientific endeavor. Some scientists believe that it is a complete waste of time and money, while others believe that detection of a signal from ET would forever change our view of the universe.

The idea that life, especially life with intelligence, might exist in other parts of the universe is a very old one. Early ideas were based on an intuitive belief in the enormity of the universe and in what is now called the mediocrity principle, namely that there is nothing special about the Sun, the Earth, and the human race. Present ideas are also based on the mediocrity principle supported by the universality of the laws of physics and chemistry, and by the enormity of the universe. The chemical evolution, that is, the natural formation of complex organic compounds that led to the origin of life on Earth is quite common in the universe.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: free time

here is a student's essay about one topic from Cambridage 5

Some people believe that children are given too much free time. They feel that this time should be used to do more school work.

How do you think children should spend their free time?

Nowadays, children are facing more pressure during the school time than before. Some parents argue that children should put more efforts on their study. However, in my opinion, spare time is a dispensable part for children to get relaxed, thus using it appropriately will not only enrich their daily life but also widen their horizons.

Watching TV is always the first choice for spendingleisure time on. It cannot be denied that TV programs are becoming more varied and colourful. Children can absorb knowledge ranges from animals to science, geography to biology from TV. However, spending too much time on watching TV may cause obesity and impair their eye sights. Therefore, children should under parents’ guides to shorten the time of watching TV and to avoid inappropriate contents.

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