IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 151

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For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 151 Answers

Reading Passage 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 151 Reading Passage The Impact of Wilderness Tourism below.

The Impact of Wilderness Tourism

{A} The market for tourism in remote areas is booming as never before. Countries all across the world are actively promoting their ‘wilderness’ regions – such as mountains, Arctic lands,  deserts, small islands, and wetlands – to high-spending tourists. The attraction of these areas is obvious: by definition, wilderness tourism requires little or no initial investment. But that does not mean that there is no cost. As the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recognized, these regions are fragile (i.e. highly vulnerable to abnormal pressures) not just in terms of their ecology, but also in terms of the culture of their inhabitants. The three most significant types of fragile environment in these respects, and also in terms of the proportion of the Earth’s surface they cover, are deserts, mountains, and Arctic areas. An important characteristic is their marked seasonality, with harsh conditions prevailing for many months each year. Consequently, most human activities, including tourism, are limited to quite clearly defined parts of the year. 

Tourists are drawn to these regions by their natural landscape beauty and the unique cultures of their indigenous people. And poor governments in these isolated areas have welcomed the new breed of ‘adventure tourist’, grateful for the hard currency they bring. For several years now, tourism has been the prime source of foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan. Tourism is also a key element in the economies of Arctic zones such as Lapland and Alaska and in desert areas such as Ayers Rock in Australia and Arizona’s Monument Valley. 

{B} Once a location is established as the main tourist destination, the effects on the local community are profound. When hill-farmers, for example, can make more money in a few weeks working as porters for foreign trekkers than they can in a year working in their fields, it is not surprising that many of them give up their farm-work, which is thus left to other members of the family. In some hill regions, this has led to a serious decline in farm output and a change in the local diet, because there is insufficient labor to maintain terraces and irrigation systems and tend to crops. The result has been that many people in these regions have turned to outside supplies of rice and other foods. 

In Arctic and desert societies, year-round survival has traditionally depended on hunting animals and fish and collecting fruit over a relatively short season. However, as some inhabitants become involved in tourism, they no longer have time to collect wild food; this has led to increasing dependence on bought food and stores. Tourism is not always the culprit behind such changes. All kinds of wage labor, or government handouts, tend to undermine traditional survival systems. Whatever the cause, the dilemma is always the same: what happens if these new, external sources of income dry up? 

The physical impact of visitors is another serious problem associated with the growth in adventure tourism. Much attention has focused on erosion along major trails, but perhaps more important are the deforestation and impacts on water supplies arising from the need to provide tourists with cooked food and hot showers. In both mountains and deserts, slow-growing trees are often the main sources of fuel and water supplies may be limited or vulnerable to degradation through heavy use. 

{C} Stories about the problems of tourism have become legion in the last few years. Yet it does not have to be a problem. Although tourism inevitably affects the region in which it takes place, the costs to these fragile environments and their local cultures can be minimized. Indeed, it can even be a vehicle for reinvigorating local cultures, as has happened with the Sherpas of Nepal’s Khumbu Valley and in some Alpine villages. And a growing number of adventure tourism operators are trying to ensure that their activities benefit the local population and environment over the long term. 

In the Swiss Alps, communities have decided that their future depends on integrating tourism more effectively with the local economy. Local concern about the rising number of second home developments in the Swiss Pays den Haut resulted in limits being imposed on their growth. There has also been a renaissance in communal cheese production in the area, providing the locals with a reliable source of income that does not depend on the outside. 

Many of the Arctic tourist destinations have been exploited by outside companies, which employ transient workers and repatriate most of the profits to their home base. But some Arctic communities are now operating tour businesses themselves, thereby ensuring that the benefits accrue locally. For instance, a native corporation in Alaska, employing local people, is running an air tour from Anchorage to Kotzebue, where tourists eat Arctic food, walk on the tundra and watch local musicians and dancers. 

Native people in the desert regions of the American Southwest have followed similar strategies, encouraging tourists to visit their pueblos and reservations to purchase high-quality handicrafts and artwork. The Acoma and San Ildefonso pueblos have established highly profitable pottery businesses, while the Navajo and Hopi groups have been similarly successful with jewelry. 

Too many people living in fragile environments have lost control over their economies, their culture, and their environment when tourism has penetrated their homelands. Merely restricting tourism cannot be the solution to the imbalance, because people’s desire to see new places will not just disappear. Instead, communities in fragile environments must achieve greater control over tourism ventures in their regions; in order to balance their needs and aspirations with the demands of tourism. A growing number of communities are demonstrating that, with firm communal decision-making, this is possible. The critical question now is whether this can become the norm, rather than the exception. 

Questions 1-3 

Reading Passage 1 has three-section, A-C. 

Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below. 

Write the correct number I-VI in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet. 

List of Headings 

(I) The expansion of international tourism in recent years 

(II) How local communities can balance their own needs with the demands of wilderness tourism 

(III) Fragile regions and the reasons for the expansion of tourism there 

(IV) Traditional methods of food supply in fragile regions 

(V) Some of the disruptive effects of wilderness tourism 

(VI) The economic benefits of mass tourism 

(1) Section A 

(2) Section B 

(3) Section C 

Questions 4-9 

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 1? 

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

(4) The low financial cost of setting up wilderness tourism makes it attractive to many countries. 

(5) Deserts, mountains, and Arctic regions are examples of environments that are both ecologically and culturally fragile. 

(6) Wilderness tourism operates throughout the year in fragile areas. 

(7) The spread of tourism in certain hill regions has resulted in a fall in the amount of food produced locally. 

(8) Traditional food-gathering in desert societies was distributed evenly over the year. 

(9) Government handouts do more damage than tourism does to traditional patterns of food-gathering. 

Questions 10-13 

Choose ONE WORD from Reading Passage 1 for each answer. 

Reading Passage 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 151 Reading Passage Venus in transit below.

Venus in transit 

June 2004 saw the first passage, known as a ‘transit’, of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun in 122 years. Transits have helped shape our view of the whole Universe, as Heather Cooper and Nigel Henbest explain 

{A} On 8 June 2004, more than half the population of the world was treated to a rare astronomical event. For over six hours, the planet Venus steadily inched its way over the surface of the Sun. This ‘transit’ of Venus was the first since 6 December 1882. On that occasion, the American astronomer Professor Simon Newcomb led a party to South Africa to observe the event. They were based at a girls’ school, where – it is alleged – the combined forces of three schoolmistresses outperformed the professionals with the accuracy of their observations. 

{B} For centuries, transits of Venus have drawn explorers and astronomers alike to the four corners of the globe. And you can put it all down to the extraordinary polymath Edmond Halley. In November 1677, Halley observed a transit of the innermost planet, Mercury, from the desolate island of St Helena in the South Pacific. He realized that, from different latitudes, the passage of the planet across the Sun’s disc would appear to differ. By timing the transit from two widely separated locations, teams of astronomers could calculate the parallax angle -the apparent difference in the position of an astronomical body due to a difference in the observer’s position. Calculating this angle would allow astronomers to measure what was then the ultimate goal: the distance of the Earth from the Sun. This distance is known as the astronomical unit or AU. 

{C} Halley was aware that the AU was one of the most fundamental of all astronomical measurements. Johannes Kepler, in the early 17th century, had shown that the distances of the planets from the Sun governed their orbital speeds, which were easily measurable. But no one had found a way to calculate accurate distances to the planets from the Earth. The goal was to measure the AU; then, knowing the orbital speeds of all the other planets around the Sun, the scale of the Solar System would fall into place. However, Halley realized that Mercury was so far away that its parallax angle would be very difficult to determine. As Venus was closer to the Earth, its parallax angle would be larger, and Halley worked out that by using Venus it would be possible to measure the Sun’s distance to 1 part in 500. But there was a problem: transits of Venus, unlike those of Mercury, are rare, occurring in pairs roughly eight years apart every hundred or so years. Nevertheless, he accurately predicted that Venus would cross the face of the Sun in both 1761 and 1769 – though he didn’t survive to see either. 

{D} Inspired by Halley’s suggestion of a way to pin down the scale of the Solar System, teams of British and French astronomers set out on expeditions to places as diverse as India and Siberia. But things weren’t helped by Britain and France being at war. The person who deserves the most sympathy is the French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil. He was thwarted by the fact that the British were besieging his observation site at Pondicherry in India. Fleeing on a French warship crossing the Indian Ocean, Le Gentil saw a wonderful transit – but the ship’s pitching and rolling ruled out any attempt at making accurate observations. Undaunted, he remained south of the equator, keeping himself busy by studying the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar before setting off to observe the next transit in the Philippines. Ironically after traveling nearly 50,000 kilometers, his view was clouded out at the last moment, a very disappointing experience. 

{E} While the early transit timings were as precise as instruments would allow, the measurements were dogged by the ‘black drop’ effect. When Venus begins to cross the Sun’s disc, it looks smeared not circular – which makes it difficult to establish timings. This is due to the diffraction of light. The second problem is that Venus exhibits a halo of light when it is seen just outside the Sun’s disc. While this showed astronomers that Venus was surrounded by a thick layer of gases refracting sunlight around it, both effects made it impossible to obtain accurate timings. 

{F} But astronomers labored hard to analyze the results of these expeditions to observe Venus transits. Johann Franz Encke, Director of the Berlin Observatory, finally determined a value for the AU based on all these parallax measurements: 153,340,000 km. Reasonably accurate for the time, that is quite close to today’s value of 149,597,870 km, determined by radar, which has now superseded transits and all other methods inaccuracy. The AU is a cosmic measuring rod and the basis of how we scale the Universe today. The parallax principle can be extended to measure the distances to the stars. If we look at a star in January – when Earth is at one point in its orbit – it will seem to be in a different position from where it appears six months later. Knowing the width of Earth’s orbit, the parallax shift lets astronomers calculate the distance. 

{G} June 2004’s transit of Venus was thus more of an astronomical spectacle than a scientifically important event. But such transits have paved the way for what might prove to be one of the most vital breakthroughs in the cosmos – detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars. 

Questions 14-17 

Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs, A-G. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet. 

(14) examples of different ways in which the parallax principle has been applied 

(15) a description of an event that prevented a transit observation 

(16) a statement about potential future discoveries leading on from transit observations 

(17) a description of physical states connected with Venus which early astronomical instruments failed to overcome 

Questions 18-21: 

Look at the following statements (Questions 18-21) and the list of people below. 

Match each statement with the correct person, A, B, C, or D. 

Write the correct letter, A, B, C, or D, in boxes 18-21 on your answer sheet. 

List of People 

(A) Edmond Halley 

(B) Johannes Kepler 

(C) Guillaume Le Gentil 

(D) Johann Franz Encke 

(18) He calculated the distance of the Sun from the Earth based on observations of Venus with a fair degree of accuracy. 

(19) He understood that the distance of the Sun from the Earth could be worked out by comparing observations of a transit. 

(20) He realized that the time taken by a planet to go round the Sun depends on its distance from the Sun. 

(21) He witnessed a Venus transit but was unable to make any calculations. 

Questions 22-26 

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? 

In boxes 22-26 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

(22) Halley observed one transit of the planet Venus. 

(23) Le Gentil managed to observe a second Venus transit. 

(24) The shape of Venus appears distorted when it starts to pass in front of the Sun. 

(25) Early astronomers suspected that the atmosphere on Venus was toxic. 

(26) The parallax principle allows astronomers to work out how far away distant stars are from the Earth. 

Reading Passage 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on the IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 151 Reading Passage. Think happy below.

Think Happy

It’s no joke: even scientists at the Royal Society are now taking the search for the source of happiness very seriously.

(A) What would Sir Isaac Newton have made of it? There he was, painted in oils, gazing down at one of the strangest meetings that the Royal Society, Britain’s most august scientific body, has ever held. If Newton had flashed a huge grin, it would have been completely appropriate, for beneath him last week a two-day conference was unfolding on a booming new field of science: investigating what makes people happy. Distinguished professors strode up to the podium, including one eminent neurologist armed with videos of women giggling at comedy films; another was a social scientist brandishing statistics on national cheerfulness. Hundreds of other researchers sat scribbling notes on how to produce more smiles.

(B) The decision by the Royal Society to pick ‘the science of wellbeing’ from hundreds of applications for conferences on other topics is no laughing matter. It means that the investigation of what makes people happy is being taken very seriously indeed. ‘Many philosophies and religions have studied this subject, but scientifically it has been ignored,’ said Dr. Nick Baylis, a Cambridge University psychologist and one of the conference organizers. For the Royal Society to give us its countenance is vital because that states that what we are doing deserves to be acknowledged and investigated by the best scientific minds.’

(C) At first sight, the mission of Baylis – and the growing number of other scientists working on happiness research – appears fanciful. They want to deploy scientifically rigorous methods to determine why some people are lastingly happy while others tend to misery. Then they envisage spreading the secret of happiness across the globe and, in short, increasing the sum of human happiness. ‘If someone is happy, they are more popular and also healthier, they live longer and are more productive at work. So it is very much worth having’ he says.

(D) Baylis, the only ‘positive psychology’ lecturer in Britain, knows that the aims of happiness research might sound woolly, so he is at pains to distance himself from the brigades of non-academic self-help gurus. He refers to ‘life satisfaction’ and ‘wellbeing’ and emphasizes that his work, and that of others at the conference, is grounded in solid research. So what have the scientists discovered – has a theory of happiness been defined yet?

(E) According to Professor Martin Seligman, probably the world’s leading figure in this field, happiness could be but a train ride – and a couple of questionnaires – away. It was Seligman, a psychologist from Pennsylvania University, who kick-started the happiness science movement with a speech he made as President of the American Psychological Association (APA). Why, asked Seligman, shocking delegates at an APA conference, does science only investigate suffering? Why not look into what steps increase happiness, even for those who have not been depressed, rather than simply seek to assuage pain? For a less well-known scientist, the speech could have spelled the end of a career, but instead, Seligman landed funding of almost £18m to follow his hunch. He has been in regular contact with hundreds of other researchers and practicing psychologists around the world, all the while conducting polls and devising strategies for increasing happiness.

(F) His findings have led him to believe that there are three main types of happiness. First, there is ‘the pleasant life’ – the kind of happiness we usually gain from sensual pleasures such as eating and drinking or watching a good film. Seligman blames Hollywood and the advertising industry for encouraging the rest of us, wrongly as he sees it, to believe that lasting happiness is to be found that way. Secondly, there is ‘the good life, which comes from enjoying something we are good or talented at. The key to this, Seligman believes, lies in identifying our strengths and then taking part in an activity that uses them. Third, there is a ‘meaningful life. The most lasting happiness, Seligman says, comes from finding something you believe in and then putting your strengths at its service. People who are good at communicating with others might thus find long-lasting happiness through becoming involved in politics or voluntary work, while a rock star wanting to save the world might find it in organizing a charity concert.

(G) Achieving ‘the good life’ and ‘the meaningful life is the secret of lasting happiness, Seligman says. For anybody unsure of how to proceed, he has an intriguing idea. To embark on the road to happiness, he suggests that you need a pen, some paper, and, depending on your location, a railway ticket. First, identify a person to whom you feel a deep debt of gratitude but have never thanked properly. Next, write a 300-word essay outlining how important the help was and how much you appreciate it. Then tell them you need to visit, without saying what for, turn up at their house and read them the essay. The result: tears, hugs, and deeper, longer-lasting happiness, apparently, than would come from any amount of champagne.

(H) Skeptics may insist that science will always remain a clumsy way of investigating and propagating happiness and say that such things are better handled by artists, writers, and musicians – if they can be handled at all. And not everybody at the conference was positive about the emerging science. Lewis Wolpert, professor of biology as applied to medicine at University College London, who has written a bestseller about his battle with depression, said: ‘If you were happy, I’d be very suspicious. I think you wouldn’t do anything, you’d just sort of sit there in a treacle of happiness. There’s a whole world out there, and unless you have a bit of discomfort, you’ll never actually do anything.’

Questions 27-30

Complete the sentences below with words taken from Reading Passage 3.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 27-30 on your answer sheet.

(27) At the conference, research into happiness had referred to as the………………… 

(28) Baylis and others intend to use……………………. to find out what makes people happy or unhappy.

(29) Baylis gives classes on the subject of……………………….

(30) Baylis says he should not be categorized among the ………………………who do not have academic credentials.

Questions 31-36

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 70 With Answers

Complete the summary below using words from the box.

Write your answers in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet.

Seligman’s categories of happiness

Seligman’s first type of happiness involves the enjoyment of pleasures such as 31…………. He believes that people should not be under 32.……………… that such things lead to happiness that is not just temporary. His second type is related to 33…………………. Identification of this should lead to 34 ………………. and the result is ‘the good life. His third type involves having a strong 35 ……………… and doing something about it for the benefit of others. This, according to Seligman, leads to happiness that has some 36 …………..
confidence thrill ability ego exaggeration
entertainment perseverance theory conviction encouragement 
  incentive performance celebration support participation 
illusion concept leadership effort  leadership

Reading Passage 3 has eight: paragraphs labeled A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

(37) a view that complete happiness may not be a desirable goal

(38) a reference to the potential wider outcomes of researching happiness

(39) an implication of the fact that the conference had held at all

(40) a statement concerning the possible outcome of expressing a certain view in public     

For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 151 Answers

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