Academic IELTS Reading Test 124

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IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 ( Passage 1 Andrea Palladio Italian architect, Passage 2 Western Immigration of Canada, Passage 3 Talc Powder ) we prefer you to work offline, download the test paper, and blank answer sheet.

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For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 Answers

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 Reading Passage Andrea Palladio. Italian architect below.

Andrea Palladio. Italian architect

A new exhibition celebrates Palladio’s architecture 500 years on

{A} Vicenza is a pleasant, prosperous city in the Veneto, 60km west of Venice. Its grand families settled and farmed the area from the 16th century. But its principal claim to fame is Andrea Palladio, who is such an influential architect that a neoclassical style is known as Palladian. The city is a permanent exhibition of some of his finest buildings, and as he was born in Padua, to be precise-500 years ago, the International Centre for the Study of Palladio’s Architecture has an excellent excuse for mounting la grande Mostra, the big show.

{B} The exhibition has the special advantage of being held in one of Palladio’s buildings, Palazzo Barbaran da Porto. Its bold façade is a mixture of rustication and decoration set between two rows of elegant columns. On the second floor, the pediments are alternately curved or pointed, a Palladian trademark. The harmonious proportions of the atrium at the entrance lead through to a dramatic interior of fine fireplaces and painted ceilings. Palladio’s design is simple, clear and not overcrowded. The show has been organised on the same principles, according to Howard Burns, the architectural historian who co-curated it.

{C} Palladio’s father was a miller who settled in Vicenza, where the young Andrea was apprenticed to a skilled stonemason. How did a humble miller’s son become a world-renowned architect? The answer in the exhibition is that, as a young man, Palladio excelled at carving decorative stonework on columns, doorways and fireplaces. He was plainly intelligent and lucky enough to come across a rich patron, Gian Giorgio Trissino, a landowner and scholar, who organised his education, taking him to Rome in the 1540s, where he studied the masterpieces of classical Roman and Greek architecture and the work of other influential architects of the time, such as Donato Bramante and Raphael.

{D} Burns argues that social mobility was also important. Entrepreneurs, prosperous from agriculture in the Veneto, commissioned the promising local architect to design their country villas and their urban mansions. In Venice, the aristocracy was anxious to co-opt talented artists, and Palladio was given the chance to design the buildings that have made him famous – the churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Redentore, both easy to admire because they can be seen from the city’s historical centre across a stretch of water.

{E} He tried his hand at a bridges-his unbuilt version of the Rialto Bridge was decorated with the large pediment and columns of a temple – and, after a fire at the Ducal Palace, he offered an alternative design which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Banqueting House in Whitehall in London. Since it was designed by Inigo Jones, Palladio’s first foreign disciple, this is not as surprising as it sounds.

{F} Jones, who visited Italy in 1614, bought a trunk full of the master’s architectural drawings; they passed through the hands of the Dukes of Burlington and Devonshire before settling at the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1894. Many are now on display at Palazzo Barbarian. What they show is how Palladio drew on the buildings of ancient Rome as models. The major theme of both his rural and urban building was temple architecture, with a strongly pointed pediment supported by columns and approached by wide steps.

{G} Palladio’s work for rich landowners alienates unreconstructed critics on the Italian left, but among the papers in the show are designed for cheap housing in Venice. In the wider world, Palladio’s reputation has been nurtured by a text he wrote and illustrated, “Quattro Libri dell’ Architettura”. His influence spread to St Petersburg and to Charlottesville in Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson commissioned a Palladian villa he called Monticello.

{H} Vicenza’s show contains detailed models of the major buildings and is leavened by portraits of Palladio’s teachers and clients by Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto; the paintings of his Venetian buildings are all by Canaletto, no less. This is an uncompromising exhibition; many of the drawings are small and faint, and there are no sideshows for children, but the impact of harmonious lines and satisfying proportions is to impart in a viewer a feeling of benevolent calm. Palladio is history’s most therapeutic architect.

{I} “Palladio, 500 Anni: La Grande Mostra” is at Palazzo Barbaran da Porto, Vicenza, until January 6th 2009. The exhibition continues at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from January 31st to April 13th, and travels afterwards to Barcelona and Madrid.

Questions 1-7 Academic IELTS Reading Test 124

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

In boxes 1-7 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

(1) The building where the exhibition is staged has been newly renovated

(2) Palazzo Barbaran da Porto typically represent Palladio’s design

(3) Palladio’s father worked as an architect.

(4) Palladio’s family refused to pay for his architectural studies

(5) Palladio’s alternative design for the Ducal Palace in Venice was based on an English building.

(6) Palladio designed both wealthy and poor people

(7) The exhibition includes paintings of people by famous artists

Questions 8-13

Answer the questions below

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. 

Write your answers in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet

(8) What job was Palladio training for before he became an architect? 

(9) Who arranged Palladio’s architectural studies? 

(10) Who was the first non-Italian architect influenced by Palladio? 

(11) What type of Ancient Roman buildings most heavily influenced Palladio’s work? 

(12) What did Palladio write that strengthened his reputation? 

(13) In the writer’s opinion, what feeling will visitors to the exhibition experience?

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 Reading Passage Western Immigration of Canada below.

Western Immigration of Canada

{A} By the mid-1870s Canada wanted an immigrant population of agricultural settlers established in the West. No urban centres existed on the prairies in the 1870s, and rural settlement was the focus of the federal government’s attention. Western rural settlement was desired, as it would provide homesteads for the sons and daughters of eastern farmers, as eastern agricultural land filled to capacity. As well, eastern farmers and politicians viewed western Canada, with its broad expanses of unpopulated land, as a prime location for expanding Canada’s agricultural output, especially in terms of wheat production to serve the markets of eastern Canada

{B} To bolster Canada’s population and agricultural output, the federal government took steps to secure western land. The Dominion of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870. In 1872, the federal government enacted the Dominion Lands Act. This act enabled settlers to acquire 160 acres of free land, as long as settlers remained on their land for a period of three years, made certain minor improvements to the land, and paid a $10.00 registration fee. The Canadian government also created a Mounted Police Force in 1873. The Mounties journeyed west to secure the area for future settlers. By 1876 the NWMP had established themselves in the West. The major posts included Swan River, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Calgary, Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod. All of these initiatives attracted a number of eastern-Canadian settlers, as well as European and American immigrants, to Canada’s West, and particularly to the area of Manitoba.

{C} The surest way to protect Canadian territory, and to achieve the secondary goal of joining British Columbia to the rest of the country, was to import large numbers of Eastern Canadian and British settlers. Settling the West also made imperative the building of a transcontinental railway. The railway would work to create an east-west economy, in which western Canada would feed the growing urban industrial population of the east, and in return become a market for eastern Canadian manufactured goods.

{D} Winnipeg became the metropolis of the West during this period. Winnipeg’s growth before 1900 was the result of a combination of land speculation, growth of housing starts, and the federal government’s solution in 1881 of Winnipeg as a major stop along the CPR. This decision culminated in a land boom between 1881 and 1883 which resulted in the transformation of hamlets like Portage la Prairie and Brandon into towns, and a large increase in Manitoba’s population. Soon, Winnipeg stood at the junction of three transcontinental railway lines which employed thousands in rail yards. Winnipeg also became the major processor of agricultural products for the surrounding hinterland.

{E} The majority of settlers to Winnipeg, and the surrounding countryside, during this early period were primarily Protestant English-speaking settlers from Ontario and the British Isles. These settlers established Winnipeg upon a British-Ontarian ethos which came to dominate the society’s social, political, and economic spirit. This British-Ontarian ethnic homogeneity, however, did not last very long. Increasing numbers of foreign immigrants, especially from Austria-Hungary and the Ukraine soon added a new ethnic element to the recent British, the older First Nation Métis, and Selkirk’s settler population base. Settling the West with (in particular) Eastern Canadians and British immigrants offered the advantage of safeguarding the 49th parallel from the threat of American take-over, had not the Minnesota legislature passed a resolution which provided for the annexation of the Red River district. The Red River in 1870 was the most important settlement on the Candian prairies. It contained 11,963 inhabitants of whom 9,700 were Métis and 575 First Nations. But neighbouring Minnesota already had a population of over 100,000.

{F} Not all of the settlers who came to western Canada in the 1880s, however, desired to remain there. In the 1870s and 1880s, economic depression kept the value of Canada’s staple exports low, which discouraged many from permanent settlement in the West. Countries including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the United States competed with Canada for immigrants. Many immigrants, and thousands of Canadians, chose to settle in the accessible and attractive American frontier. Canada before 1891 has been called “a huge demographic railway station” where thousands of men, women, and children were constantly going and coming, and where the number of departures invariably exceeded that of arrivals.”

{G} By 1891 Eastern Canada had its share of both large urban centres and problems associated with city life. While the booming economic centres of Toronto and Montreal were complete with electricity and telephones in the cities’ wealthiest areas by the turn of the century, slum conditions characterised the poorest areas like the district known as ‘the Ward’ in Toronto. Chickens and pigs ran through the streets; privy buckets spilled onto backyards and lanes creating cesspools in urban slums. These same social reformers believed that rural living, in stark contrast to urban, would lead to a healthy, moral, and charitable way of life. Social reformers praised the ability of fresh air, hard work, and open spaces for ‘Canadianizing’ immigrants. Agricultural pursuits were seen as especially fitting for attaining this ‘moral’ and family-oriented way of life, in opposition to the single male-dominated atmosphere of the cities. Certainly, agriculture played an important part of the Canadian economy in 1891. One third of the workforce worked on farms.

{H} The Canadian government presented Canada’s attractions to potential overseas migrants in several ways. The government offered free or cheap land to potential agriculturists. As well, the government established agents and/or agencies for the purpose of attracting emigrants overseas. Assisted passage schemes, bonuses and commissions to agents and settlers and pamphlets also attracted some immigrants to Canada. The most influential form of attracting others to Canada, however, remained the letters home written by emigrants already in Canada. Letters from trusted friends and family members. Letters home often contained exaggerations of the ‘wonder of the new world.’ Migrant workers and settlers already in Canada did not want to disappoint, or worry, their family and friends at home. Embellished tales of good fortune and happiness often succeeded in encouraging others to come.

Questions 14-20

The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-H 

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-H from the list below. 

Write the correct number, i-xi, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings 

(i) Not all would stay in Canada forever 

(ii) Government’s safeguard in the West 

(iii) Eastern Canada is full

(iv) Built-up of the new infrastructure 

(V) An exclusive British domination in Ontario established ever since 

(vi) Ethnics and language make-up 

(vii) Pursuing a pure life viii Police recruited from mid class families 

(ix) Demand of western immigration 

(x) Early major urban development of the West 

(xi) Attracting urban environment 

(xii) Advertising of Western Canada

Example: Paragraph A     ix

(14) Paragraph B

(15) Paragraph C

(16) Paragraph D

(17) Paragraph E

(18) Paragraph F

(19) Paragraph G

(20) Paragraph H

Questions 21-26 Academic IELTS Reading Test 124


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 21-26 on your answer sheet.

With the saturation of Eastern Canada, Western rural areas would supply ______21______ for the descendants of easterners. Politicians also declared that Western area got potential to increase______22______ of Canada according to ______23______ crops that are consumed in the East. 

Federal government started to prepare and made it happen. First, the government bought a land from a private ______24______ , and legally offered certain areas to people who stayed for a qualified period of time. Then, a mounted ______25______ was found to secure the land. However, the best way to protect citizens was to build a ______26______ to transport the migrants and goods between the West and the East.

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 Reading Passage Talc Powder below.

Talc Powder

{A} Peter Brigg discovers how talc from Luzenac’s Trimouns in France finds its way into food and agricultural products – from chewing gum to olive oil. High in the French Pyrenees, some 1,700m above sea level, lies Trimouns, a huge deposit of hydrated magnesium silicate – talc to you and me. Talc from Trimouns, and from ten other Luzenac mines across the globe, is used in the manufacture of a vast array of everyday products extending from paper, paint and plaster to cosmetics, plastics and car tyres. And of course there is always talc’s best-known end use: talcum powder for babies bottoms. But the true versatility of this remarkable mineral is nowhere better displayed than in its sometimes surprising use in certain niche markets in the food and agriculture industries.

{B} Take, for example, the chewing gum business. Every year, Talc de Luzenac France which owns and operates the Trimouns mine and is a member of the international Luzenac Group (art of Rio Tinto minerals) – supplies about 6,000 tons of talc to chewing gum manufacturers in Europe. “We’ve been selling to this sector of the market since the 1960s,” says Laurent Fournier, sales manager in Luzenac’s Specialties business unit in Toulouse. “Admittedly, in terms of our total annual sales of talc, the amount we supply to chewing gum manufacturers is relatively small, but we see it as a valuable niche market: one where customers place a premium on securing supplies from a reliable, high quality source. Because of this, long term allegiance to a proven suppler is very much a feature of this sector of the talc market.” Switching sources – in the way that you might choose to buy, say, paperclips from Supplier A rather than from Supplier B — is not an easy option for chewing gum manufacturers,” Fournier says. “The cost of reformulating is high, so when customers are using a talc grade that works, even if it’s expensive, they are understandably reluctant to switch.”

{C} But how is talc actually used in the manufacture of chewing gum? Patrick Delord, an engineer with a degree in agronomics, who has been with Luzenac for 22 years and is now senior market development manager, Agriculture and Food, in Europe, explains that chewing gums has four main components. “The most important of them is the gum base,” he says. “It’s the gum base that puts the chew into chewing gum. It binds all the ingredients together, creating a soft, smooth texture. To this the manufacturer then adds sweeteners, softeners and flavourings. Our talc is used as a filler in the gum base. The amount varies between, say, ten and 35 per cent, depending on the type of gum. Fruit flavoured chewing gum, for example, is slightly acidic and would react with the calcium carbonate that the manufacturer might otherwise use as a filler. Tale, on the other hand, makes an ideal filler because it’s non-reactive chemically. In the factory, talc is also used to dust the gum base pellets and to stop the chewing gum sticking during the lamination and packing process,” Delord adds.

{D} The chewing gum business is, however, just one example of talc’s use in the food sector. For the past 20 years or so, olive oil processors in Spain have been taking advantage of talc’s unique characteristics to help them boost the amount of oil they extract from crushed olives. According to Patrick Delord, talc is especially useful for treating what he calls “difficult” olives. After the olives are harvested – preferably early in the morning because their taste is better if they are gathered in the cool of the day – they are taken to the processing plant. There they are crushed and then stirred for 30-45 minutes. In the old days, the resulting paste was passed through an olive press but nowadays it’s more common to add water and centrifuge the mixture to separate the water and oil from the solid matter. The oil and water are then allowed to settle so that the olive oil layer can be decanted off and bottled. “Difficult” olives are those that are more reluctant than the norm to yield up their full oil content. This may be attributable to the particular species of olive, or to its water content and the time of year the olives are collected – at the beginning and the end of the season their water content is often either too high or too low. These olives are easy to recognize because they produce a lot of extra foam during the stirring process, a consequence of an excess of a fine solid that acts as a natural emulsifier. The oil in this emulsion is lost when the water is disposed of. Not only that, if the waste water is disposed of directly into local fields – often the case in many smaller processing operations – the emulsified oil may take some time to biodegrade and so be harmful to the environment.

{E} “If you add between a half and two per cent of talc by weight during the stirring process, it absorbs the natural emulsifier in the olives and so boosts the amount of oil you can extract,” says Delord. “In addition, talc’s flat, ‘platey structure helps increase the size of the oil droplets liberated during stirring, which again improves the yield. However, because talc is chemically inert, it doesn’t affect the colour, taste, appearance or composition of the resulting olive oil.”

{F} If the use of talc in olive oil processing and in chewing gum is long established, new applications in the food and agriculture industries are also constantly being sought by Luzenac. One such promising new market is fruit crop protection, being pioneered in the US. Just like people, fruit can get sunburned. In fact, in very sunny regions up to 45 per cent of a typical crop can be affected by heat stress and sunburn. However, in the case of fruit, it’s not so much the ultra violet rays which harm the crop as the high surface temperature that the sun’s rays create.

{G} To combat this, farmers normally use either chemicals or spray a continuous fine canopy of mist above the fruit trees or bushes. The trouble is, this uses a lot of water – normally a precious commodity in hot, sunny areas – and it is therefore expensive. What’s more, the ground can quickly become waterlogged . “So our idea was to coat the fruit with talc to protect it from the sun,” says Greg Hunter, a marketing specialist who has been with Luzenac for ten years. “But to do this, several technical challenges had first to be overcome. Talc is very hydrophobic: it doesn’t like water. So in order to have a viable product we needed a wettable powder – something that would go readily into suspension so that it could be sprayed onto the fruit. It also had to break the surface tension of the cutin (the natural waxy, waterproof layer on the fruit) and of course it had to wash off easily when the fruit was harvested. No-one’s going to want an apple that’s covered in talc.”

{H} Initial trials in the state of Washington in 2003 showed that when the product was sprayed onto Granny Smith apples, it reduced their surface temperature and lowered the incidence of sunburn by up to 60 per cent. Today the new product, known as Envelope Maximum SPF, is in its second commercial year on the US market. Apple growers are the primary target although Hunter believes grape growers represent another sector with long term potential. He is also hopeful of extending sales to overseas markets such as Australia, South America and southern Europe.

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Questions 27-32 Academic IELTS Reading Test 124

Use the information in the passage to match each use of talc powder with correct application from A, B or C. Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet 

NB you may use any letter more than once

(A) Fruit protection 

(B) Chewing gum business 

(C) Olive oil extraction

(27) Talc is used to increase the size of drops. 

(28) Talc is applied to reduce foaming. 

(29) Talc is employed as a filler of base. 

(30) Talc is modified and prevented sunburn. 

(31) Talc is added to stop the stickiness. 

(32) Talc is used to increase production. 

Questions 33-38

Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 33-38 on your answer sheet.

Spanish olive oil industry has been using talc in the oil extraction process for about ______33______ years. It is useful in dealing with difficult olives which often produce high amounts of______34______because of the high content of solid materials. When smaller factories release ______35______ , it could be ______36______ to the environment because it is hard to ______37______and usually takes time as it contains emulsified oil. However, talc powder added in the process is able to absorb the emulsifier oil. It improves the oil extraction production, because with the aid of talc powder, the size of oil ______38______increased.

Questions 39-40 

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. 

Write your answers in boxes 39-40 on your answer sheet.

(39) In which process is talc used to clear the stickiness of chewing gum?

(40) Which group of farmers does Invelop intend to target in the long view?

For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 124 Answers

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