Cambridge 17 IELTS General Reading Test 1

SECTION 1 Questions 1-14

Read the text below and answer Questions 1-5.

Arriving in Singapore by plane

Baggage claim

You can refer to the flight information television screens on Level Two for the allocation of your baggage claim belt. Free trolleys are available near all baggage claim belts and our friendly porters are at your service on request. Should you require their assistance with carrying luggage, please ask at the Information Desk. You can proceed to the Lost and Found Counter for advice if you cannot find your baggage or would like to report damaged baggage.

Customs clearance

Please use the Green Channel for your baggage clearance if you do not have controlled or prohibited items to declare, or have not exceeded your Duty-Free Concession. Please use the Red Channel if you have items to declare or are in doubt.

Hotel reservations

You can make these at the Hotel Reservation Counter with a S$10.00 per reservation deposit, deductible from your hotel bill at the end of your stay. These counters do not handle the transit hotels. For these, go to the Reception Desk on Level Three.

Read the text below and answer Questions 6-10.

Singapore Airport

Goods and Services Tax (GST) relief

A 3% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied on the sale of all goods imported into Singapore. If you are a visitor, returning citizen or permanent resident of Singapore, you may be granted GST relief under certain conditions.

Tax-free shopping

As a tourist or visitor, you can apply for a refund at Customs of the 3% GST on goods purchased during your stay in Singapore, provided you:

  • shop at stores with the ‘Tax Free Shopping’ logo
  • spend a minimum amount of S$100 at any one shop, and at least S$300 in total
  • obtain a Global Refund Cheque from the place of purchase.

When collecting your refund you have several choices — cash, bank Cheque, or Changi Airport Shopping Voucher, which comes with an additional 10% in value.

Please note that a handling fee will be deducted from the GST amount for the refund service.

Read the text below and answer Questions 11-14.

Singapore Guide : A walk around the Orchard Road district

The route begins just opposite the Orchard MRT station at the Singapore Marriott Hotel. This eye-catching landmark has a distinctive Chinese-styled green roof and red pillars.

In 1958 a former lace—pedlar, C. K. Tang, foresaw that the area could become a bustling shopping centre, since residents in the neighbouring Tanglin district had to pass enroute to work at the commercial centre, Raffles Place. So with roof tiles brought in from his hometown in the Swatow province of China, Tang built a department store on what was then a cheap, isolated plot of land. The plot faced a cemetery, which is considered a bad omen in Chinese culture. His foresight paid off. Today, Tangs is one of Singapore’s most prominent and recognised home grown department stores, proudly showcasing local fashion and household products. Even when the original building was torn down in 1982 to give way to the present superstore and skyscraper hotel, it retained its unique Chinese architecture.

From the foyer at Tangs, turn left to Lucky Plaza. One of the oldest along Orchard Road, this mall is a perennial favourite with shoppers. Be amazed by the staggering array of cosmetics, jewellery, leather goods and hi-fi equipment. Prices, though, are not always fixed, so bring along a good set of bargaining skills.

Coming out of Lucky Plaza, continue along Orchard Road and enter the Paragon Shopping Centre. Apart from a wide range of shops and restaurants, there is also a Singapore Airlines Service Centre to facilitate bookings and offer information to tourists. Also available are a number of computer terminals for self-booking. Check out the life-sized sculptures by a well known Taiwanese sculptor, Sun Yu-li, outside the shopping centre. These were inspired by depictions of life in rock paintings dating back 20,000 years ago in Inner Mongolia.

SECTION 2 Questions 15-27

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20.

Writing a personal CV that will attract employers

You are unique. No-one has the same behavioural make-up that you have. Likewise, everyone’s career history is also unique. Why is it then that a great many CVs are mostly descriptions of past jobs or standard CV templates and give away very little about the individual behind the CV? It’s almost as if the majority of job seekers are afraid to let their own personality shine through.

Perhaps in a corporate world where everyone feels they have to have the same professional image — dress in dark, formal suits, for example — the same is subconsciously felt to be true for CV writing. But there’s a difficulty here: you want your CV to stand out and yet at the same time are afraid of saying anything that might make you stand out? The problem with the above thinking is painfully clear. Your CV will be dull, and likely to be swiftly passed over by an employer. Surely it is much better to be brave? To define your personal brand, as marketers might say. This isn’t about making unsupportable statements: it’s about choosing words that describe the qualities that drive your success. In short, what makes you good at your job.

Writing about oneself can sometimes be difficult. It involves the ability to see yourself from different people’s viewpoints. Working with a professional CV writer is one way to achieve that and to present your character positively within a CV. Asking a colleague that you trust is also a good way to find out how others see your strengths.

Try not to use classic recruitment clichés. Everyone says they have great. ‘communication’ or ‘organisational’ skills. This gets ignored by recruiters. So, instead think carefully about who you are and what you bring and then. try to describe yourself. In that way you give recruiters something original to engage With, something that grabs their attention.

Read the text below and answer Questions 21-27.

The value of being organised at work

Being organised is one of the most effective skills a businessperson can acquire because when were organised. we think more clearly. We’re in tune With our targets and know how to reach them. Here are my top tips to bring order to your business life:

Organise your workspace

Don‘t underestimate time lost or stress caused from an inefficient working environment. To restore order:

  • Cut down documents and stationery to the bare essentials. Be ruthless and remove anything that doesn’t directly serve a function in your day-to-day activity. One or two carefully selected photos to make your desk feel like home are fine, but avoid too many.
  • Create locations where you will keep all your work materials to make retrieval easy. Do this logically based on where you tend to use the items; for example, store spare copy paper near the printer. Move outside your immediate reach anything you use infrequently. Always return items once you have used them so they’ll be where you expect them next time.
  • Frustration ensues when you’re searching for a client proposal, but it’s buried among random papers. Eliminate desktop chaos by using trays, magazine files, or whatever you fancy and add clear labels such as ‘In’, ‘Out’, ‘For Action’, ‘Current Projects’ or other relevant categories.
  • Be brutally honest about What you must keep. Studies suggest that 80% of what we file is never accessed again. Ask: do I know of a tax or legal requirement for retaining it? Why would this be important to me in future? Avoid ‘miscellaneous’ as a category — you Won’t remember What’s in there.

Effective planning

Plan your work; work your plan. Time spent planning saves untold hours in execution. Implementing regular planning strategies will sharpen your focus, thereby keeping you on track with your work. Start planning today for tomorrow. Near the close of each work day, implement a 10- to 15-minute routine to wrap up loose ends and prioritise key tasks. A good plan for tomorrow allows you to clear your head and enjoy your evening. Once a week, ring-fence a 60-to 90-minute appointment with yourself for larger scale planning. Use the time to do research or any of the thinking that normally takes aback seat.

SECTION 3 Questions 28-40

Read the text below and answer Questions 28-40.

A significant development in mining safety

A Coal has been used as a source of fuel for over 5,000 years, but for most of that time it was probably gathered from places where it was exposed on the surface of the ground. It is possible that the Romans undertook some mining, but coal mines across Europe largely date from the 13th century. Thereafter coal production increased steadily and it gradually replaced charcoal and wood as a source of heat and energy.

Initially, coal mines were fairly shallow, but they quickly reached the point where artificial lighting was necessary. At first the lights used would have been no different from those used domestically – candles and simple oil lamps. But as coal mines became deeper, miners encountered a new and terrible problem – firedamp. This was a natural gas, principally consisting of methane, that exploded on contact with a naked flame. The first known major firedamp explosion, which killed 99 people, took place in Belgium in 1514 and as new technology was used to mine at increasingly deep levels, the problem got worse.

B The simplest solution was to improve the ventilation of the mine. Many mines had only one shaft leading from the surface down to the working area below. Ventilation could be improved to some extent by dividing this into a downcast (bringing in fresh air) and an upcast (returning foul air and firedamp to the surface).

But what was really needed was a safe lamp that could not ignite firedamp. The earliest forms of safety lighting sought to produce light without using a naked flame. One early method tried to utilise the fact that skins removed from decaying fish contain the element phosphorus, which emits light in the form of phosphorescence. Unfortunately, this phosphorus is highly toxic, flammable and can self-ignite-hardly desirable properties in a safety light.

An alternative was a device invented in about 1750, consisting of a flint which struck against a piece of iron when a handle was turned, creating a shower of sparks which lit up the surrounding area. These were believed to be too cool to ignite firedamp. This device had major drawbacks – extra manpower had to be used to operate it continuously, and it also required regular maintenance and replacement. But worst of all, it was not in fact safe, and numerous accidents were caused when the sparks ignited firedamp. Nonetheless, it was considered to be the least dangerous form of lighting at the time.

C By about 1810 the problem was becoming acute, and in some cases there was no alternative to working in the dark. Some mines were being forced to stop production, with serious economic consequences for the mine owners and local communities. The general response, however, was to keep going and reluctantly accept the inevitable deaths from ignition of firedamp as a regrettable, but not especially remarkable, consequence of coal mining.

The miners themselves could do little w they were largely illiterate, and depended on the mine owners for a livelihood However, the clerical, medical and legal professions were beginning to take notice. After 92 men and boys were killed in 1812 by an explosion at Felling Colliery in northern England, several professional people took action and a society was set up to raise funds for the discovery of new methods of lighting and ventilating mines. The first report of the society stated, ‘It is to scientific men only that we must look up for assistance in providing a cheap and effectual remedy.’

D As the leading chemist of the day, and an expert on gases, Sir Humphrey Davy was a natural choice from whom to seek help, and he was approached by the society in 1815. The general belief nowadays is that he was the inventor of the first miners’ safety lamp, in which the flame was enclosed by a mesh screen containing very small holes. Air could enter the lamp through the holes, but they were too small to allow the flame of the lamp to pass through them and ignite any firedamp present in the mine tunnels. Davy presented a paper describing the lamp in November 1815, and it was trialled in January 1816.

However, a few weeks prior to Davy’s presentation, an engineer called George Stephenson had independently designed and demonstrated a lamp based on the same scientific principles. After much discussion and argument, he was eventually recognised as deserving equal credit for the discovery, but the time needed for this recognition to be given meant that the miners’ safety lamp had already been called the ‘Davy lamp’, and it is still called that today.

E But in fact, the real inventor of the safety lamp was a man called Dr William Reid Clanny, who in 1813 had been awarded a silver medal by the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce for his own version of a safety lamp. Clancy’s first lamp did not fulfil the needs of the ordinary working miner as it was rather heavy and cumbersome.

But rather than seeking to glory in his achievement, he recognised its deficiencies and continued to work to improve it, as well as sharing his knowledge with others. George Stephenson acknowledged a debt to Clanny’s research, and Humphrey Davy visited him in 1815 shortly before completing the design for his own safety lamp but to this day Dr Clanny remains a forgotten hero.

 

Section 1 Questions 1-14

Questions 1-5

Which places would you go to in the following situations?

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

List of Places:

  A Information Desk

  B Hotel Reservation Counter

  C Lost and Found Counter

  D Red Channel

  E Green Channel

  F Level Two

  G Reception Desk

  H Baggage Claim Belt

1. You find after your flight that your suitcase has split.

2. You want to reserve a room at a transit hotel.

3. You are not sure if you have bought too much in the duty-free shop.

4. You are not sure where to collect your luggage after your flight.

5. You need someone to help you with your suitcases.

Questions 6—10

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text.

In boxes 6—10 on your answer sheet, write,

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

6. Everyone is obliged to pay 3% tax on goods they bring into Singapore.

7. You can only reclaim tax on purchases made in certain shops.

8. If you have spent a total of S$150 on your purchases, you can get a tax refund.

9. You have to reclaim your tax within a certain amount of time.

10. You will be charged a certain amount for administration when you get the tax back.

Questions 11-14

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS. Write your answers in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.

11. The Singapore Marriott Hotel is described as an.

12. The land that Tang bought was located Opposite a.

13. Theof the new Tang building is very similar to that of the original building.

14. Access to severalat the Singapore Airlines Service Centre means that you don’t need to wait for assistance.

Questions 15-20

Complete the sentences below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 15—20 on your answer sheet.

15. Many job applicants do not dare to reveal in a CV what their real is.

16. if applicants do not include what makes them distinctive, their CVs are likely to appear to the reader

17. Applicants need to find ways to define the that make them do well in their work.

18. It can be helpful for applicants to try to base a consideration of themselves on the of others.

19. Requesting the input of a dependable can help an applicant work out their own good points.

20. It is best to avoid the used by many applicants when describing themselves in a CV.

Questions 21-27

Complete the notes below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.

How to become more organised at work

Maintaining order in the work area involves

– keeping the minimum amount of necessary 21.and paperwork

– restricting the number of personal 22.on the work surface

– deciding on sensible 23.for things that are needed regularly or hardly ever

– placing containers on the desk identified by 24.to organise on-going paperwork

– storing documents if there is an official 25.to do so

Planning ahead is important because

– in general, it will improve the employee’s 26. on work

– thinking about the next day’s work ensures important 27.are given due attention

SECTION 3 Questions 28-40

The text has five sections, A-E.

Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i A controversy over two versions of an invention

ii The need to mine deeper for good quality coal

iii Growing awareness of the need to improve conditions for miners

iv A new danger caused by developments in mining

v The impact of poor air quality in mines on miners’ health

vi Early attempts to provide lighting without flames

vii A demand by miners for new technology

viii A person whose work never received full recognition

28. Section A __

29. Section B __

30. Section C __

31. Section D __

32. Section E __

Questions 33-36

Complete the summary below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY.

The problem of providing artificial lighting in coal mines

Coal mines in Europe only really developed from the 13th century. As they became deeper, the methods used for lighting them created a serious risk of 33. due to the presence of firedamp. One solution was to improve ventilation by separating the 34. into two parts, However, better lighting was also needed. One suggestion was to use a chemical found in the skins of fish, but this was found to be unsafe. Another possibility was a device which created 35., as it was believed these would not ignite the gas. However, this required additional 36. as well as maintenance and replacement, and it was also unsafe.

Questions 37-40.

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

37. What does the writer say about mine owners in 1810?

38. According to the writer, what was the significance of the explosion at Felling Colliery in 1812?

39. The lamp presented by Davy was safer than previous methods of lighting because its flame?

40. What does the writer say about Davy and Stephenson?

ANSWERS

1 C

2 G

3 D

4 F

5 A

6 FALSE

7 TRUE

8 FALSE

9 NOT GIVEN

10 TRUE

11 eye-catching landmark

12 cemetery

13 (unique) (Chinese) architecture

14 (self-booking) computer terminals /terminals for self-booking

15 personality

16 dull

17 qualities

18 viewpoints

19 colleague

20 cliches / cliches

21 stationery

22 photos

23 locations

24 labels

25 requirement

26 focus

27 tasks

28 iv

29 vi

30 iii

31 i

32 viii

33 explosion

34 shaft

35 sparks

36 manpower

37 A

38 B

39 D

40 D

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