Academic IELTS Reading Test 126

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IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 126 ( Passage 1 voyage of going: beyond the blue line 2, Passage 2 Corporate Social Responsibility 2, Passage 3 Learning lessons from the past ) we prefer you to work offline, download the test paper, and blank answer sheet.

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Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 126 Reading Passage Voyage of Going: beyond the blue line 2 below.

Voyage of Going: beyond the blue line 2

{A} One feels a certain sympathy for Captain James Cook on the day in 1778 that he “discovered” Hawaii. Then on his third expedition to the Pacific, the British navigator had explored scores of islands across the breadth of the sea, from lush New Zealand to the lonely wastes of Easter Island This latest voyage had taken him thousands of miles north from the Society Islands to an archipelago so remote that even the old Polynesians back on Tahiti knew nothing about it. Imagine Cook’s surprise, then, when the natives of Hawaii came paddling out in their canoes and greeted him in a familiar tongue, one he had heard on virtually every mote of inhabited land he had visited Marveling at the ubiquity of this Pacific language and culture, he later wondered in his journal: “How shall we account for this Nation spreading it self so far over this Vast ocean?”

{B} Answers have been slow in coming. But now a startling archaeological find on the island of Éfaté, in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, has revealed an ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today’s Polynesians, taking their first steps into the unknown. The discoveries there have also opened a window into the shadowy world of those early voyagers. At the same time, other pieces of this human puzzle are turning up in unlikely places. Climate data gleaned from slow-growing corals around the Pacific and from sediments in alpine lakes in South America may help explain how, more than a thousand years later, a second wave of seafarers beat their way across the entire Pacific.

{C} “What we have is a first- or second-generation site containing the graves of some of the Pacific’s first explorers,” says Spriggs, professor of archaeology at the Australian National University and co-leader of an international team excavating the site. It came to light only by luck. A backhoe operator, digging up topsoil on the grounds of a derelict coconut plantation, scraped open a grave—the first of dozens in a burial ground some 3,000 years old. It is the oldest cemetery ever found in the Pacific islands, and it harbors the bones of an ancient people archaeologists call the Lapita, a label that derives from a beach in New Caledonia where a landmark cache of their pottery was found in the 1950s. They were daring blue-water adventurers who roved the sea not just as explorers but also as pioneers, bringing along everything they would need to build new lives—their families and livestock, taro seedlings and stone tools.

{D} Within the span of a few centuries the Lapita stretched the boundaries of their world from the jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of Tonga, at least 2,000 miles eastward in the Pacific. Along the way they explored millions of square miles of unknown sea, discovering and colonizing scores of tropical islands never before seen by human eyes: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa.

{E} What little is known or surmised about them has been pieced together from fragments of pottery, animal bones, obsidian flakes, and such oblique sources as comparative linguistics and geochemistry. Although their voyages can be traced back to the northern islands of Papua New Guinea, their language-variants of which are still spoken across the Pacific-came from Taiwan. And their peculiar style of pottery decoration, created by pressing a carved stamp into the clay, probably had its roots in the northern Philippines. With the discovery of the Lapita cemetery on Éfaté, the volume of data available to researchers has expanded dramatically. The bones of at least 62 individuals have been uncovered so far-including old men, young women, even babies—and more skeletons are known to be in the ground Archaeologists were also thrilled to discover six complete Lapita pots. It’s an important find, Spriggs says, for it conclusively identifies the remains as Lapita. “It would be hard for anyone to argue that these aren’t Lapita when you have human bones enshrined inside what is unmistakably a Lapita urn.”

{F} Several lines of evidence also undergird Spriggs’s conclusion that this was a community of pioneers making their first voyages into the remote reaches of Oceania. For one thing, the radiocarbon dating of bones and charcoal places them early in the Lapita expansion. For another, the chemical makeup of the obsidian flakes littering the site indicates that the rock wasn’t local; instead it was imported from a large island in Papua New Guinea’s Bismarck Archipelago, the springboard for the Lapita’s thrust into the Pacific. A particularly intriguing clue comes from chemical tests on the teeth of several skeletons. DNA teased from these ancient bones may also help answer one of the most puzzling questions in Pacific anthropology: Did all Pacific islanders spring from one source or many? Was there only one outward migration from a single point in Asia, or several from different points? “This represents the best opportunity we’ve had yet,” says Spriggs, “to find out who the Lapita actually were, where they came from, and who their closest descendants are today.

{G} “There is one stubborn question for which archaeology has yet to provide any answers: How did the Lapita accomplish the ancient equivalent of a moon landing, many times over? No one has found one of their canoes or any rigging, which could reveal how the canoes were sailed. Nor do the oral histories and traditions of later Polynesians offer any insights, for they segue into myth long before they reach as far back in time as the Lapita.” All we can say for certain is that the Lapita had canoes that were capable of ocean voyages, and they had the ability to sail them,” says Geoff Irwin, a professor of archaeology at the University of Auckland and an avid yachtsman. Those sailing skills, he says, were developed and passed down over thousands of years by earlier mariners who worked their way through the archipelagoes of the western Pacific making short crossings to islands within sight of each other. Reaching Fiji, as they did a century or so later, meant crossing more than 500 miles of ocean, pressing on day after day into the great blue void of the Pacific. What gave them the courage to launch out on such a risky voyage?

{H} The Lapita’s thrust into the Pacific was eastward, against the prevailing trade winds, Irwin notes. Those nagging headwinds, he argues, may have been the key to their success. “They could sail out for days into the unknown and reconnoiter, secure in the knowledge that if they didn’t find anything, they could turn about and catch a swift ride home on the trade winds. It’s what made the whole thing work.” Once out there, skilled seafarers would detect abundant leads to follow to land: seabirds and turtles, coconuts and twigs carried out to sea by the tides, and the afternoon pileup of clouds on the horizon that often betokens an island in the distance. Some islands may have broadcast their presence with far less subtlety than a cloud bank. Some of the most violent eruptions anywhere on the planet during the past 10,000 years occurred in Melanesia, which sits nervously in one of the most explosive volcanic regions on Earth. Even less spectacular eruptions would have sent plumes of smoke billowing into the stratosphere and rained ash for hundreds of miles. It’s possible that the Lapita saw these signs of distant islands and later sailed off in their direction, knowing they would find land. For returning explorers, successful or not, the geography of their own archipelagoes provided a safety net to keep them from overshooting their home ports and sailing off into eternity.

{I} However they did it, the Lapita spread themselves a third of the way across the Pacific, then called it quits for reasons known only to them. Ahead lay the vast emptiness of the central Pacific, and perhaps they were too thinly stretched to venture farther. They probably never numbered more than a few thousand in total, and in their rapid migration eastward they encountered hundreds of islands—more than 300 in Fiji alone. Still, more than a millennium would pass before the Lapita’s descendants, a people we now call the Polynesians, struck out in search of new territory. 

Questions 1-7 

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement agrees with the writer
NO if the statement does not agree with the writer
NOT GIVEN if there is no information about this in the passage

(1) Captain Cook once expected the Hawaii might speak another language of people from other pacific islands.

(2) Captain Cook depicted a number of cultural aspects of Polynesians in his journal.

(3) Professor Spriggs and his research team went to the Efate to try to find the site of ancient cemetery.

(4) The Lapita completed a journey of around 2,000 miles in a period less than a centenary.

(5) The Lapita were the first inhabitants in many pacific islands.

(6) The unknown pots discovered in Efate had once been used for cooking.

(7) The um buried in the Efate site was plain as it was without any decoration.

Questions 8-10

Summary 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 8-10 on your answer sheet.

Scientific Evidence found in Efate site 

Tests show the human remains and the charcoal found in the buried um are from the start of the Lapita period. Yet The …….8………. covering many of the Efate sites did not come from that area.

Then examinations carried out on the ……..9……… discovered at Efate site reveal that not everyone buried there was a native living in the area DNS could identify  the Lapita’s nearest ………10………. present-days.

Questions 11-13

Answer the questions below. Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

(11) What did the Lapita travel in when they crossed the oceans?

(12) In Irwins’s view, what would the Latipa have relied on to bring them fast back to the base?

(13) Which sea creatures would have been an indication to the Lapita of where to find land?

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 126 Reading Passage Corporate Social Responsibility below.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Broadly speaking, proponents of CSR have used four arguments to make their case: moral obligation, sustainability, license to operate, and reputation. The moral appeal-arguing that companies have a duty to be good citizens and to “do the right thing” is prominent in the goal of Business for Social Responsibility, the leading nonprofit CSR business association in the United States. It asks that its members “achieve commercial success in ways that honor ethical values and respect people, communities, and the natural environment.” Sustainability emphasizes environmental and community stewardship

{A} An excellent definition was developed in the 1980s by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and used by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The notion of license to operate derives from the fact that every company needs tacit or explicit permission from governments, communities, and numerous other stakeholders to do business. Finally, reputation is used by many companies to justify CSR initiatives on the grounds that they will improve a company’s image, strengthen its brand, enliven morale, and even raise the value of its stock

{B} To advance CSR, we must root it in a broad understanding of the interrelationship between a corporation and society while at the same time anchoring it in the strategies and activities of specific companies. To say broadly that business and society need each other might seem like a cliché, but it is also the basic truth that will pull companies out of the muddle that their current corporate-responsibility thinking has created. Successful corporations need a healthy society. Education, health care, and equal opportunity are essential to a productive workforce. Safe products and working conditions not only attract customers but lower the internal costs of accidents. Efficient utilization of land, water, energy, and other natural resources makes business more productive. Good government, the rule of law, and property rights are essential for efficiency and innovation. Strong regulatory standards protect both consumers and competitive companies from exploitation. Ultimately, a healthy society creates expanding demand for business, as more human needs are met and aspirations grow. Any business that pursues its ends at the expense of the society in which it operates will find its success to be illusory and ultimately temporary. At the same time, a healthy society needs successful companies. No social program can rival the business sector when it comes to creating the jobs, wealth, and innovation that improve standards of living and social conditions over time.

{C} A company’s impact on society also changes over time, as social standards evolve and science progresses. Asbestos, now understood as a serious health risk, was thought to be safe in the early 1900s, given the scientific knowledge then available. Evidence of its risks gradually mounted for more than 50 years before any company was held liable for the harms it can cause. Many firms that failed to anticipate the consequences of this evolving body of research have been bankrupted by the results. No longer can companies be content to monitor only the obvious social impacts of today. Without a careful process for identifying evolving social effects of tomorrow, firms may risk their very survival

{D} No business can solve all of society’s problems or bear the cost of doing so. Instead, each company must select issues that intersect with its particular business. Other social agendas are best left to those companies in other industries, NGOs, or government institutions that are better positioned to address them. The essential test that should guide CSR is not whether a cause is worthy but whether it presents an opportunity to create shared value— that is, a meaningful benefit for society that is also valuable to the business. However, Corporations are not responsible for all the world’s problems, nor do they have the resources to solve them all. Each company can identify the particular set of societal problems that it is best equipped to help resolve and from which it can gain the greatest competitive benefit. Addressing social issues by creating shared value will lead to self-sustaining solutions that do not depend on private or government subsidies. When a well-run business applies its vast resources, expertise, and management talent to problems that it understands and in which it has a stake, it can have a greater impact on social good than any other institution or philanthropic organization.

{E} The best corporate citizenship initiatives involve far more than writing a check: They specify clear, measurable goals and track results over time. A good example is GE’s program to adopt underperforming public high schools near several of its major U.S. facilities. The company contributes between $250,000 and $1 million over a five-year period to each school and makes in-kind donations as well. GE managers and employees take an active role by working with school administrators to assess needs and mentor or tutor students. In an independent study of ten schools in the program between 1989 and 1999, nearly all showed significant improvement, while the graduation rate in four of the five worst performing schools doubled from an average of 30% to 60%. Effective corporate citizenship initiatives such as this one create goodwill and improve relations with local governments and other important constituencies. What’s more, GE’s employees feel great pride in their participation. Their effect is inherently limited, however. No matter how beneficial the program is, it remains incidental to the company’s business, and the direct effect on GE’s recruiting and retention is modest.

{F} Microsoft’s Working Connections partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is a good example of a shared-value opportunity arising from investments in context. The shortage of information technology workers is a significant constraint on Microsoft’s growth; currently, there are more than 450,000 unfilled IT positions in the United States alone. Community colleges, with an enrollment of 11.6 million students, representing 45% of all U.S. undergraduates, could be a major solution. Microsoft recognizes, however, that community colleges face special challenges: IT curricula are not standardized, technology used in classrooms is often outdated, and there are no systematic professional development programs to keep faculty up to date. Microsoft’s $50 million five-year initiative was aimed at all three problems. In addition to contributing money and products, Microsoft sent employee volunteers to colleges to assess needs, contribute to curriculum development, and create faculty development institutes. Note that in this case, volunteers and assigned staff were able to use their core professional skills to address a social need, a far cry from typical volunteer programs. Microsoft has achieved results that have benefited many communities while having a direct-and potentially significant-impact on the company.

{G} At the heart of any strategy is a unique value proposition: a set of needs a company can meet for its chosen customers that others cannot. The most strategic CSR occurs when a company adds a social dimension to its value proposition, making social impact integral to the overall strategy. Consider Whole Foods Market, whose value proposition is to sell organic, natural, and healthy food products to customers who are passionate about food and the environment. The company’s sourcing emphasizes purchases from local farmers through each store’s procurement process. Buyers screen out foods containing any of nearly 100 common ingredients that the company considers unhealthy or environmentally damaging. The same standards apply to products made internally. Whole Foods’ commitment to natural and environmentally friendly operating practices extends well beyond sourcing. Stores are constructed using a minimum of virgin raw materials. Recently, the company purchased renewable wind energy credits equal to 100% of its electricity use in all of its stores and facilities, the only Fortune 500 company to offset its electricity consumption entirely. Spoiled produce and biodegradable waste are trucked to regional centers for composting. Whole Foods’ vehicles are being converted to run on biofuels. Even the cleaning products used in its stores are environmentally friendly. And through its philanthropy, the company has created the Animal Compassion Foundation to develop more natural and humane ways of raising farm animals. In short, nearly every aspect of the company’s value chain reinforces the social dimensions of its value proposition, distinguishing Whole Foods from its competitors.

From Harvard business review 2007

Questions 14-20

The reading passage has seven paragraphs, A-G 

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

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

List of Headings 

(i) How CSR may help one business to expand 

(ii) CSR in many aspects of a company’s business 

(iii) A CSR initiative without a financial gain

(iv) Lack of action by the state of social issues 

(V) Drives or pressures motivate companies to address CSR 

(vi) the past illustrates business are responsible for future outcomes 

(vii) Companies applying CSR should be selective 

(viii) Reasons that business and society benefit each other

(14) Paragraph A

(15) Paragraph B

(16) Paragraph C

(17) Paragraph D

(18) Paragraph E

(19) Paragraph F

(20) Paragraph G

Questions 21-22 

Summary 

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 21-22 on your answer sheet.

The implementation of CSR, HOW?

Promotion of CSR requires the understanding of interdependence between business and society. Corporations workers’ productivity generally needs health care, Education, and given 21…………… Restrictions imposed by the government and companies both protect consumers from being treated unfairly. Improvement of the safety standard can reduce the 22 ……………of accidents in the workplace. Similarly society becomes a pool of more human needs and aspirations.

Questions 23-26

Use the information in the passage to match the companies (listed A-C) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A,B or C in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet.

List of companies 

(A) General Electronics 

(B) Microsoft 

(C) Whole foods market

NB you may use any letter more than once

(23) The disposable waste 

(24) The way company purchases as goods 

(25) Helping the undeveloped 

(26) ensuring the people have the latest information

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 126 Reading Passage Learning lessons from the past below.

Learning lessons from the past

{A} Many past societies collapsed or vanished, leaving behind monumental ruins such as those that the poet Shelley imagined in his sonnet, Ozymandias. By collapse, I mean a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable area, for an extended time. By those standards, most people would consider the following past societies to have been famous victims of full-fledged collapses rather than of just minor declines: the Anasazi and Cahokia within the boundaries of the modem US, the Maya cities in Central America, Moche and Tiwanaku societies in South America, Norse Greenland, Mycenaean Greece and Minoan Crete in Europe, Great Zimbabwe in Africa, Angkor Wat and the Harappan Indus Valley cities in Asia, and Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean.

{B} The monumental ruins left behind by those past societies hold a fascination for all of us. We marvel at them when as children we first learn of them through pictures. When we grow up, many of us plan vacations in order to experience them first hand. We feel drawn to their often spectacular and haunting beauty, and also to the mysteries that they pose. The scales of the ruins testify to the former wealth and power of their builders. Yet these builders vanished, abandoning the great structures that they had created at such effort. How could a society that was once so mighty end up collapsing?

{C} It has long been suspected that many of those mysterious abandonments were at least partly triggered by ecological problems: people inadvertently destroying the environmental resources on which their societies depended. This suspicion of unintended ecological suicide (ecocide) has been confirmed by discoveries made in recent decades by archaeologists, climatologists, historians, paleontologists, and palynologists (pollen scientists). The processes through which past societies have undermined themselves by damaging their environments fall into eight categories, whose relative importance differs from case to case: deforestation and habitat destruction, soil problems, water management problems, overhunting, overfishing, effects of introduced species on native species, human population growth, and increased impact of people.

{Ꭰ} Those past collapses tended to follow somewhat similar courses constituting variations on a theme. Writers find it tempting to draw analogies between the course of human societies and the course of individual human lives – to talk of a society’s birth, growth, peak, old age and eventual death. But that metaphor proves erroneous for many past societies: they declined rapidly after reaching peak numbers and power, and those rapid declines must have come as a surprise and shock to their citizens. Obviously, too, this trajectory is not one that all past societies followed unvaryingly to completion: different societies collapsed to different degrees and in somewhat different ways, while many societies did not collapse at all.

{E} Today many people feel that environmental problems overshadow all the other threats to global civilisation. These environmental problems include the same eight that undermined past societies, plus four new ones: human-caused climate change, build up of toxic chemicals in the environment, energy shortages, and full human utilisation of the Earth’s photosynthetic capacity. But the seriousness of these current environmental problems is vigorously debated. Are the risks greatly exaggerated, or conversely are they underestimated? Will modem technology solve our problems, or is it creating new problems faster than it solves old ones? When we deplete one resource (eg wood, oil, or ocean fish), can we count on being able to substitute some new resource (eg plastics, wind and solar energy, or farmed fish)? Isn’t the rate of human population growth declining, such that we are already on course for the world’s population to level off at some manageable number of people?

{F} Questions like this illustrate why those famous collapses of past civilisations have taken on more meaning than just that of a romantic mystery. Perhaps there are some practical lessons that we could learn from all those past collapses. But there are also differences between the modem world and its problems, and those past societies and their problems. We shouldn’t be so naive as to think that study of the past will yield simple solutions, directly transferable to our societies today. We differ from past societies in some respects that put us at lower risk than them; some of those respects often mentioned include our powerful technology (ie its beneficial effects), globalisation, modem medicine, and greater knowledge of past societies and of distant modem societies. We also differ from past societies in some respects that put us at greater risk than them: again, our potent technology (ie its unintended destructive effects), globalisation (such that now a problem in one part of the world affects all the rest), the dependence of millions of us on modern medicine for our survival, and our much larger human population. Perhaps we can still learn from the past, but only if we think carefully about its lessons.

Questions 27-29

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Question 27 When the writer describes the impact of monumental ruins today, he emphasises

(A) the income they generate from tourism. 

(B) the area of land they occupy. 

(C) their archaeological value. 

(D) their romantic appeal.

Question 28 Recent findings concerning vanished civilisations

(A) have overturned long-held beliefs. 

(B) caused controversy amongst scientists. 

(C) come from a variety of disciplines. 

(D) identified one main cause of environmental damage.

Question 29 What does the writer say about ways in which former societies collapsed?

(A) The pace of decline was usually similar. 

(B) The likelihood of collapse would have been foreseeable. 

(C) Deterioration invariably led to total collapse. 

(D) Individual citizens could sometimes influence the course of events.

Questions 30-34

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in the Reading Passage ? Write

YES if the statement agrees with the writer
NO if the statement does not agree with the writer
NOT GIVEN if there is no information about this in the passage

(30) It is widely believed that environmental problems represent the main danger faced by the modern world. 

(31) The accumulation of poisonous substances is a relatively modern problem. 

(32) There is general agreement that the threats posed by environmental problems are very serious. 

(33) Some past societies resembled present-day societies more closely than others. 

(34) We should be careful when drawing comparisons between past and present.

Questions 35-39 

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below.

 Write the correct letter, A-F.

(35) Evidence of the greatness of some former civilisations 

(36) The parallel between an individual’s life and the life of a society 

(37) The number of environmental problems that societies face

(38) The power of technology 

(39) A consideration of historical events and trends

(A) is not necessarily valid. 

(B) provides grounds for an optimistic outlook. 

(C) exists in the form of physical structures. 

(D) is potentially both positive and negative. 

(E) will not provide direct solutions for present problems. 

(F) is greater now than in the past.

Question 40

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D 

Question 40 What is the main argument of Reading Passage 3?

(A) There are differences as well as similarities between past and present societies. 

(B) More should be done to preserve the physical remains of earlier civilisations. 

(C) Some historical accounts of great civilisations are inaccurate. 

(D) Modern societies are dependent on each other for their continuing survival.

For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 126 Answers

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