Academic IELTS Reading Test 113

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For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 113 Answers

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 113 Reading Passage The psychology in Happiness below.

The psychology in Happiness

{A} In the late 1990s, psychologist Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania urged colleagues to observe optimal moods with the same kind of focus with which they had for so long studied illnesses: we would never learn about the full range of human functions unless we knew as much about mental wellness as we do about mental illness. A new generation of psychologists built up a respectable body of research on positive character traits and happiness-boosting practices. At the same time, developments in neuroscience provided new clues to what makes us happy and what that looks like in the brain. Self-appointed experts took advantage of the trend with guarantees to eliminate worry, stress, dejection and even boredom. This happiness movement has provoked a great deal of opposition among psychologists who observe that the preoccupation with happiness has come at the cost of sadness, an important feeling that people have tried to banish from their emotional repertoire. Allan Horwitz of Rutgers laments that young people who are naturally weepy after breakups are often urged to medicate themselves instead of working through their sadness. Wake Forest University’s Eric Wilson fumes that the obsession with happiness amounts to a “craven disregard” for the melancholic perspective that has given rise to the greatest works of art. “The happy man” he writes, “is a hollow man.”

{B} After all, people are remarkably adaptable. Following a variable period of adjustment, we bounce back to our previous level of happiness, no matter what happens to us. (There are some scientifically proven exceptions, notably suffering the unexpected loss of a job or the loss of a spouse. Both events tend to permanently knock people back a step.) Our adaptability works in two directions. Because we are so adaptable, points out Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, we quickly get used to many of the accomplishments we strive for in life, such as landing a big job or getting married. Soon after we reach a milestone, we start to feel that something is missing. We begin coveting another worldly possession or eyeing a social advancement. But such an approach keeps us tethered to a treadmill where happiness is always just out of reach, one toy or one step away. It’s possible to get off the treadmill entirely by focusing on activities that are dynamic, surprising, and attention-absorbing, and thus less likely to bore us than, say, acquiring shiny new toys.

{C} Moreover, happiness is not a reward for escaping pain. Russ Harris, the author of The Happiness Trap, calls popular conceptions of happiness dangerous because they set people up for a “struggle against reality”. They don’t acknowledge that real life is full of disappointments, loss, and inconveniences. “If you’re going to live a rich and meaningful life,” Harris says, “you’re going to feel a full range of emotions.” Action toward goals other than happiness makes people happy. It is not crossing the finish line that is most rewarding, it is anticipating achieving the goal. University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found that working hard toward a goal, and making progress to the point of expecting a goal to be realized, not only activates positive feelings but also suppresses negative emotions such as fear and depression.

{D} We are constantly making decisions, ranging from what clothes to put on, to whom we should marry, not to mention all those flavors of ice cream. We base many of our decisions on whether we think a particular preference will increase our well-being. Intuitively, we seem convinced that the more choices we have, the better off we will ultimately be. But our world of unlimited opportunity imprisons us more than it makes us happy. In what Swarthmore psychologist Barry Schwartz calls “the paradox of choice,” facing many possibilities leaves us stressed out — and less satisfied with whatever we decide. Having too many choices keeps us wondering about all the opportunities missed.

{E} Besides, not everyone can put on a happy face. Barbara Held, a professor of psychology at Bowdoin College, rails against “the tyranny of the positive attitude”. “Looking on the bright side isn’t possible for some people and is even counterproductive” she insists. “When you put pressure on people to cope in a way that doesn’t fit them, it not only doesn’t work, it makes them feel like a failure on top of already feeling bad.” The one-size-fits-all approach to managing emotional life is misguided, agrees Professor Julie Norem, author of The Positive Power of Negative Thinking. In her research, she has shown that the defensive pessimism that anxious people feel can be harnessed to help them get things done, which in turn makes them happier. A naturally pessimistic architect, for example, can set low expectations for an upcoming presentation and review all of the bad outcomes that she’s imagining so that she can prepare carefully and increase her chances of success.

{F} By contrast, an individual who is not living according to their values, will not be happy, no matter how much they achieve. Some people, however, are not sure what their values are. In that case Harris has a great question: “Imagine I could wave a magic wand to ensure that you would have the approval and admiration of everyone on the planet, forever. What, in that case, would you choose to do with your life?” Once this has been answered honestly, you can start taking steps toward your ideal vision of yourself. The actual answer is unimportant, as long as you’re living consciously. The state of happiness is not really a state at all. It’s an ongoing personal experiment.

Questions 1-6 

Reading Passage 1 has six paragraphs, A-F. 

Which paragraph mentions the following? 

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet 

NB You may use any letter more than once.

(1) the need for individuals to understand what really matters to them 

(2) tension resulting from a wide variety of alternatives 

(3) the hope of success as a means of overcoming unhappy feelings 

(4) people who call themselves specialists 

(5) human beings’ capacity for coping with change 

(6) doing things which are interesting in themselves

Questions 7-8

Choose TWO letters, A-E. 

Write the correct letters in boxes 7 and 8 on your answer sheet 

Which TWO of the following people argue against aiming for constant happiness?

(A) Martin Seligman

(B) Eric Wilson

(C) Sonja Lyubomirsky 

(D) Russ Harris

(E) Barry Schwartz

Questions 9-10

Choose TWO letters, A-E. Write the correct letters in boxes 9 and 10

Which TWO of the following beliefs are identified as mistaken in the text? 

(A) Inherited wealth brings less happiness than earned wealth. 

(B) Social status affects our perception of how happy we are. 

(C) An optimistic outlook ensures success. 

(D) Unhappiness can and should be avoided. 

(E) Extremes of emotion are normal in the young.

Questions 11 -13 

Complete the sentences below. 

Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage for each answer. 

Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet

(11) In order to have a complete understanding of how people’s minds work, Martin Seligman suggested that research should examine our most positive …………………. as closely as it does our psychological problems.

(12) Soon after arriving at a ……………… in their lives, people become accustomed to what they have achieved and have a sense that they are lacking something

(13) People who are ……………. by nature are more likely to succeed if they make thorough preparation for a presentation.

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 113 Reading Passage The History of pencil below.

The History of pencil 

(A) The beginning of the story of pencils started with a flash of lightning. Graphite, the main material for producing pencil, was discovered in 1564 in Borrowdale in England when a bolt of lightning struck a local tree during a thunder. Local people found out that the black substance spotted at the root of the unlucky tree was different from burning ash of wood. It was soft, thus left marks everywhere. Chemistry was barely out of its infancy at the time, so people mistook it for lead, equally black but much heavier. It was soon put to use by locals in marking their sheep for signs of ownership and calculation.

(B) Britain turns out to be the major country where mines of graphite can be detected and developed. Even so, the first pencil was invented elsewhere. As graphite is soft, it requires some form of the encasement. In Italy, graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability, becoming perhaps the very first pencil in the world. Then around 1560, an Italian couple made what are likely the first blueprints for the modern, wood-encased carpentry pencil. Their version was a flat, oval, more compact type of pencil. Their concept involved the hollowing out of a stick of juniper wood. Shortly thereafter in 1662, a superior technique was discovered by German people: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together – essentially the same method in use to this day. The news of the usefulness of these early pencils spread far and wide, attracting the attention of artists all over the known world.

(C) Although graphite core in pencils is still referred to as lead, modern pencils do not contain lead as the “lead”of the pencil is actually a mix of finely ground graphite and clay powders. This mixture is important because the amount of clay content added to the graphite depends on intended pencil hardness, and the amount of time spent on grinding the mixture determines the quality of the lead. The more clay you put in, the higher hardness the core has. Many pencils across the world, and almost all in Europe, are graded on the European system. This system of naming used B for black and H for hard; a pencil’s grade was described by a sequence of successive Hs or Bs such as BB and BBB for successively softer leads, and HH and HHH for successively harder ones. Then the standard writing pencil is graded HB.

(D) In England, pencils continued to be made from whole-sawn graphite. But with the mass production of pencils, they are getting drastically more popular in many countries with each passing decade. As demands rise, appetite for graphite soars. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), world production of natural graphite in 2012 was 1,100,000 tonnes, of which the following major exporters are: China, India, Brazil, North Korea, and Canada. When the value of graphite was realized, the mines were taken over by the government and guarded. One of its chiefs uses during the reign of Elizabeth I in the second half of the 16th century was as moulds for the manufacture of cannonballs. Graphite was transported from Keswick to London in armed stagecoaches. In 1751 an Act of Parliament was passed making it an offense to steal or receive “wad”. This crime was punishable by hard labor or transportation.

(E) That the United States did not use pencils in outer space till they spent $1000 to make a pencil to use in zero gravity conditions is in fact a fiction. It is widely known that astronauts in Russia used grease pencils, which don’t have breakage problems. But it is also a fact that their counterparts in the United States used pencils in outer space before the real zero gravity pencil was invented. They preferred mechanical pencils, which produced fine lines, much clearer than the smudgy lines left by the grease pencils that Russians favored. But the lead tips of these mechanical pencils broke often. That bit of graphite floating around the space capsule could get into someone’s eye, or even find its way into machinery or electronics, causing an electrical short or other problems. But despite the fact that the Americans did invent zero gravity pencils later, they stuck to mechanical pencils for many years.

(F) Against the backcloth of a digitalized world, the prospect of pencils seems bleak. In reality, it does not. The application of pencils has by now become so widespread that they can be seen everywhere, such as classrooms, meeting rooms and art rooms, etc. A spectrum of users are likely to continue to use it into the future: students to do math works, artists to draw on sketch pads, waiters or waitresses to mark on order boards, make-up professionals to apply to faces, and architects to produce blueprints. The possibilities seem limitless.

Questions 14-19

Complete the sentences below. +

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer, 

Write your answers in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

Graphite was found under 14……………in Borrowdale. Ancient people used graphite to sign possession and number of 15………………….

The first pencil was graphite wrapped in 16……………….or animal skin. 

In the eighteenth century, the17…………….. protect the mines when the value of graphite was realized. 

During the reign of Elizabeth I, people was condemned if they 18…………….. or receive the “wad”. 

Russian astronauts preferred 19………………. pencils to write in outer space.

Questions 20-26

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Rending Passage 2? In boxes 20-26 on your answer sheet write

TRUE if the statement is True
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN If the information is not given in the passage

(20) Italy is probably the first country in the whole world to make pencils.

(21) Germany used various kinds of wood to make pencils.

(22) Graphite makes a pencil harder and sharper.

(23) Pencils are not produced anymore since the reign of Elizabeth I.

(24) Pencil was used during the first American space expedition.

(25) American astronauts did not replace mechanical pencils immediately after the zero gravity pencils were invented.

(26) Pencils are unlikely to be used in the future.

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 113 Reading Passage Soviet’s New Working Week below.

Soviet’s New Working Week

Historians investigate how Stalin changed the calendar to keep the Soviet people continually at work.

{A} “There are no fortresses that Bolsheviks cannot storm”. With these words, Stalin expressed the dynamic self-confidence of the Soviet Union’s Five Year Plan: weak and backward Russia was to turn overnight into a powerful modern industrial country. Between 1928 and 1932, production of coal, iron and steel increased at a fantastic rate, and new industrial cities sprang up, along with the world’s biggest dam. Everyone’s life was affected, as collectivized farming drove millions from the land to swell the industrial proletariat. Private enterprise disappeared in the city and country, leaving the State supreme under the dictatorship of Stalin. Unlimited enthusiasm was the mood of the day, with the Communists believing that iron will and hard-working manpower alone would bring about a new world.

{B} Enthusiasm spread to time itself, in the desire to make the state a huge efficient machine, where not a moment would be wasted, especially in the workplace. Lenin had already been intrigued by the ideas of the American Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), whose time-motion studies had discovered ways of streamlining effort so that every worker could produce the maximum. The Bolsheviks were also great admirers of Henry Ford’s assembly line mass production and of his Fordson tractors that were imported by the thousands. The engineers who came with them to train their users helped spread what became a real cult of Ford. Emulating and surpassing such capitalist models formed part of the training of the new Soviet Man, a heroic figure whose unlimited capacity for work would benefit everyone in the dynamic new society. All this culminated in the Plan, which has been characterized as the triumph of the machine, where workers would become supremely efficient robot-like creatures.

{C} Yet this was Communism whose goals had always included improving the lives of the proletariat. One major step in that direction was the sudden announcement in 1927 that reduced the working day from eight to seven hours. In January 1929, all Indus-tries were ordered to adopt the shorter day by the end of the Plan. Workers were also to have an extra hour off on the eve of Sundays and holidays. Typically though, the state took away more than it gave, for this was part of a scheme to increase production by establishing a three-shift system. This meant that the factories were open day and night and that many had to work at highly undesirable hours. 

{D} Hardly had that policy been announced, though, then Yuri Larin, who had been a close associate of Lenin and architect of his radical economic policy, came up with an idea for even greater efficiency. Workers were free and plants were closed on Sundays. Why not abolish that wasted day by instituting a continuous workweek so that the machines could operate to their full capacity every day of the week? When Larin presented his idea to the Congress of Soviets in May 1929, no one paid much attention. Soon after, though, he got the ear of Stalin, who approved. Suddenly, in June, the Soviet press was filled with articles praising the new scheme. In August, the Council of Peoples’ Commissars ordered that the continuous workweek be brought into immediate effect, during the height of enthusiasm for the Plan, whose goals the new schedule seemed guaranteed to forward.

{E} The idea seemed simple enough but turned out to be very complicated in practice. Obviously, the workers couldn’t be made to work seven days a week, nor should their total work hours be increased. The solution was ingenious: a new five-day week would have the workers on the job for four days, with the fifth day free; holidays would be reduced from ten to five, and the extra hour off on the eve of rest days would be abolished. Staggering the rest-days between groups of workers meant that each worker would spend the same number of hours on the job, but the factories would be working a full 360 days a year instead of 300. The 360 divided neatly into 72 five-day weeks. Workers in each establishment (at first factories, then stores and offices) were divided into five groups, each assigned a color that appeared on the new Uninterrupted Work Week calendars distributed all over the country. Colour-coding was a valuable mnemonic device since workers might have trouble remembering what their day off was going to be, for it would change every week. A glance at the color on the calendar would reveal the free day, and allow workers to plan their activities. This system, however, did not apply to construction or seasonal occupations, which followed a six-day week, or to factories or mines which had to close regularly for maintenance: they also had a six-day week, whether interrupted (with the same day off for everyone) or continuous. In all cases, though, Sunday was treated like any other day.

{F} Official propaganda touted the material and cultural benefits of the new scheme. Workers would get more rest; production and employment would increase (for more workers would be needed to keep the factories running continuously); the standard of living would improve. Leisure time would be more rationally employed, for cultural activities (theatre, clubs, sports) would no longer have to be crammed into a weekend, but could flourish every day, with their facilities far less crowded. Shopping would be easier for the same reasons. Ignorance and superstition, as represented by organized religion, would suffer a mortal blow, since 80 percent of the workers would be on the job on any given Sunday. The only objection concerned the family, where normally more than one member was working: well, the Soviets insisted, the narrow family was far less important than the vast common good and besides, arrangements could be made for husband and wife to share a common schedule. In fact, the regime had long wanted to weaken or sideline the two greatest potential threats to its total dominance: organized religion and the nuclear family. Religion succumbed, but the family, as even Stalin finally had to admit, proved much more resistant.

{G} The continuous work week, hailed as a Utopia where time itself was conquered and the sluggish Sunday abolished forever, spread like an epidemic. According to official figures, 63 percent of industrial workers were employed by April 1930; in June, all industry was ordered to convert during the next year. The fad reached its peak in October when it affected 73 percent of workers. In fact, many managers simply claimed that their factories had gone over to the new week, without actually applying it. Conforming to the demands of the Plan was important; practical matters could wait. By then, though, problems were becoming obvious. Most serious (though never officially admitted), the workers hated it. Coordination of family schedules was virtually impossible and usually ignored, so husbands and wives only saw each other before or after work; rest days were empty without any loved ones to share them — even friends were likely to be on a different schedule. Confusion reigned: the new plan was introduced haphazardly, with some factories operating five-, six- and seven-day weeks at the same time, and the workers often not getting their rest days at all.

{H} The Soviet government might have ignored all that (It didn’t depend on public approval), but the new week was far from having the vaunted effect on production. With the complicated rotation system, the work teams necessarily found themselves doing different kinds of work in successive weeks. Machines, no longer consistently in the hands of people who knew how to tend them, were often poorly maintained or even broken. Workers lost a sense of responsibility for the special tasks they had normally performed.

{I} As a result, the new week started to lose ground. Stalin’s speech of June 1931, which criticized the “depersonalized labor” its too hasty application had brought, marked the beginning of the end. In November, the government ordered the widespread adoption of the six-day week, which had its own calendar, with regular breaks on the 6th, 12th, 18th, 24th, and 30th, with Sunday usually as a working day. By July 1935, only 26 percent of workers still followed the continuous schedule, and the six-day week was soon on its way out. Finally, in 1940, as part of the general reversion to more traditional methods, both the continuous five-day week and the novel six-day week were abandoned, and Sunday returned as the universal day of rest. A bold but typically ill-conceived experiment was at an end.

Questions 27-34

Reading Passage 3 has nine paragraphs A-I. 

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below. Write the correct number i-xii in boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

(I)Benefits of the new scheme and its resistance 

(II) Making use of the once wasted weekends

(III) Cutting work hours for better efficiency 

(IV) Optimism of the great future

(V) Negative effects on the production itself 

(VI) Soviet Union’s five-year plan

(VII) The abolishment of the new work-week scheme 

(VIII) The Ford model 

(IX) Reaction from factory workers and their families 

(X) The color-coding scheme

(XI) Establishing a three-shift system 

(XII) Foreign inspiration

(27) Paragraph A 

(28) Paragraph B

Example                      Answer

Paragraph C                     III

(29) Paragraph D 

(30) Paragraph E 

(31) Paragraph F 

(32) Paragraph G 

(33) Paragraph H 

(34) Paragraph I 

Questions 35-37 

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D. Write your answers in boxes 35-37 on your answer sheet.

Question 35:  According to paragraph A, the Soviet’s five-year plan was a success because 

(A) Bolsheviks built a strong fortress. 

(B) Russia was weak and backward. 

(C) industrial production increased. 

(D) Stalin was confident about the Soviet’s potential. 

Question 36: Daily working hours were cut from eight to seven to 

(A) improve the lives of all people. 

(B) boost industrial productivity. 

(C) get rid of undesirable work hours. 

(D) change the already established three-shift work system. 

Question 37: Many factory managers claimed to have complied with the demands of the new work week because 

(A) they were pressured by the state to do so. 

(B) they believed there would not be any practical problems. 

(C) they were able to apply it. 

(D) workers hated the new plan.

Questions 38-40 

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.

Question 38: Whose idea of continuous work week did Stalin approve and helped to implement? 

Question 39: What method was used to help workers to remember the rotation of their off days?

 Question 40: What was the most resistant force to the new work week scheme?

For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 113 Answers

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