Are you throwing away all the good stuff?
- IELTS tests are bursting with absolutely essential vocabulary
- Doing a Practice Test, checking your score and then throwing it in the bin is like buying a banana and just eating the skin (?! 😄)
- You must EXPLOIT the text for vocabulary and grammar and expressions that you can use in your Speaking and Writing tests
- Use the tests as vocabulary and grammar building exercises
- Check ALL unknown words
I’ve chosen this test simply because of its vocabulary.
1) Do the questions.
2) Check your answers.
3) Go back and pick the meat off the bones.
Look at each question and read the blue text taken from the original passage. Write down your answer, then check the answers below.
Multiple Choice Questions
Bring back the big cats
It’s time to start returning vanished native animals to Britain, says John Vesty
There is a poem, written around 598 AD, which describes hunting a mystery animal called a llewyn. But what was it? Nothing seemed to fit, until 2006, when an animal bone, dating from around the same period, was found in the Kinsey Cave in northern England. Until this discovery, the lynx – a large spotted cat with tassel led ears – was presumed to have died out in Britain at least 6,000 years ago, before the inhabitants of these islands took up farming. But the 2006 find, together with three others in Yorkshire and Scotland, is compelling evidence that the lynx and the mysterious llewyn were, in fact, one and the same animal. If this is so, it would bring forward the tassel-eared cat’s estimated extinction date by roughly 5,000 years.
14. What did the 2006 discovery of the animal bone reveal about the lynx?
A. Its physical appearance was very distinctive.
B. Its extinction was linked to the spread of farming.
C. It vanished from Britain several thousand years ago.
D. It survived in Britain longer than was previously thought.
Rewilding means the mass restoration of damaged ecosystems. It involves letting trees return to places that have been denuded, allowing parts of the seabed to recover from trawling and dredging, permitting rivers to flow freely again. Above all, it means bringing back missing species. One of the most striking findings of modern ecology is that ecosystems without large predators behave in completely different ways from those that retain them. Some of them drive dynamic processes that resonate through the whole food chain, creating niches for hundreds of species that might otherwise struggle to survive. The killers turn out to be bringers of life.
15. What point does the writer make about large predators in the third paragraph?
A. Their presence can increase biodiversity.
B. They may cause damage to local ecosystems.
C. Their behaviour can alter according to the environment.
D. They should be reintroduced only to areas where they were native.
Such findings present a big challenge to British conservation, which has often selected arbitrary assemblages of plants and animals and sought, at great effort and expense, to prevent them from changing. It has tried to preserve the living world as if it were a jar of pickles, letting nothing in and nothing out, keeping nature in a state of arrested development. But ecosystems are not merely collections of species; they are also the dynamic and ever-shifting relationships between them. And this dynamism often depends on large predators.
16. What does the writer suggest about British conservation in the fourth paragraph?
A. It has failed to achieve its aims.
B. It is beginning to change direction.
C. it has taken a misguided approach.
D. It has focused on the most widespread species.
At sea the potential is even greater: by protecting large areas from commercial fishing, we could once more see what 18th-century literature describes: vast shoals of fish being chased by fin and sperm whales, within sight of the English shore. This policy would also greatly boost catches in the surrounding seas; the fishing industry’s insistence on scouring every inch of seabed, leaving no breeding reserves, could not be more damaging to its own interests.
17. Protecting large areas of the sea from commercial fishing would result in
A. practical benefits for the fishing industry.
B. some short-term losses to the fishing industry.
C. widespread opposition from the fishing industry.
D. certain changes to techniques within the fishing industry.
Rewilding is a rare example of an environmental movement in which campaigners articulate what they are for rather than only what they are against. One of the reasons why the enthusiasm for rewilding is spreading so quickly in Britain is that it helps to create a more inspiring vision than the green movement’s usual promise of ‘Follow us and the world will be slightly less awful than it would otherwise have been’.
18. According to the author, what distinguishes rewilding from other environmental campaigns?
A. Its objective is more achievable.
B. Its supporters are more articulate.
C. Its positive message is more appealing.
D. It is based on sounder scientific principles.
Reintroducing the lynx to Britain
There would be many advantages to reintroducing the lynx to Britain. While there is no evidence that the lynx has ever put 19………………….in danger, it would reduce the numbers of certain 20…………………. whose populations have increased enormously in recent decades. It would present only a minimal threat to 21…………………., provided these were kept away from lynx habitats. Furthermore, the reintroduction programme would also link efficiently with initiatives to return native 22…………………. to certain areas of the country.
A trees B endangered species C hillsides
D wild animals E humans F farm animals
The lynx presents no threat to human beings: there is no known instance of one preying on people. It is a specialist predator of roe deer, a species that has exploded in Britain in recent decades, holding back, by intensive browsing, attempts to re-establish forests. It will also winkle out sika deer: an exotic species that is almost impossible for human beings to control, as it hides in impenetrable plantations of young trees. The attempt to reintroduce this predator marries well with the aim of bringing forests back to parts of our bare and barren uplands. The lynx requires deep cover, and as such presents little risk to sheep and other livestock, which are supposed, as a condition of farm subsidies, to be kept out of the woods.
On a recent trip to the Cairngorm Mountains, I heard several conservationists suggest that the lynx could be reintroduced there within 20 years. If trees return to the bare hills elsewhere in Britain, the big cats could soon follow.
Yes, No, Not Given
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in the Reading Passage?
In boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
23. Britain could become the first European country to reintroduce the lynx.
There is nothing extraordinary about these proposals, seen from the perspective of anywhere else in Europe. The lynx has now been reintroduced to the Jura Mountains, the Alps, the Vosges in eastern France and the Harz mountains in Germany, and has re-established itself in many more places.
24. The large growth in the European lynx population since 1970 has exceeded conservationists’ expectations.
The European population has tripled since 1970 to roughly 10,000.
25. Changes in agricultural practices have extended the habitat of the lynx in Europe.
As with wolves, bears, beavers, boar, bison, moose and many other species, the lynx has been able to spread as farming has left the hills…
26. It has become apparent that species reintroduction has commercial advantages.
…and people discover that it is more lucrative to protect charismatic wildlife than to hunt it, as tourists will pay for the chance to see it.
But don't walk away!
Analyse, check and learn!
I’ve done most of the work for you – now all you need to do is find a way of learning these (see my article on how to learn IELTS vocabulary).
There is so much essential vocabulary here. All I can do is list it – please go through the Vocabulary course to check and review definitions.
- A discovery, a FIND (thing they found)
- It is/ There is compelling evidence,
- The inhabitants took up farming
- Rewilding: the mass restoration of damaged ecosystems.
- To re-establish forests.
- To reintroduce native animals
- The seabed – to recover from trawling and dredging (commercial fishing), to create breeding reserves,
- to have a damaging impact
- ecosystems/The food chain
- large predators/ to prey on
- to struggle to survive
- This policy would greatly boost catches
- Environmental movement/The green movement/ campaigners/ conservationists/ conservation
- To preserve the living world
- to pose a threat/risk to humans/livestock
- Farm subsidies
- It is more lucrative to protect wildlife than to hunt it.
- The population has tripled
- Attitudes are beginning to change
- Passives: An animal bone was found; The lynx has been reintroduced; An organisation is being set up.
- Linking words: ‘ing’. It has tried to preserve the living world, letting nothing in,… keeping nature in a state of arrested development.
- 2nd Conditionals: This policy would greatly boost catches…
- Mixed Conditionals: If trees return, the big cats could soon follow.
- Advanced Conditionals: Were it not for the animal’s backside having worn away….
- Modals of deduction: What this animal could have been.
- Verbs patterns: It involves letting trees return. It means bringing back…to prevent them from changing
- Synonyms: letting (+ bare infinitive) allowing (+ obj + to) permitting (+ obj + to)
- Reference words: Such findings present a big challenge
- Emphasis: ‘One of the reasons why the enthusiasm is spreading is that….’
- Quantifiers: The lynx presents little threat…
Listen to the full podcast explanations here: