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IELTS practice test 1 reading and writing modules

IELTS practice tests for reading and writing modules free and downloadable

Reading section

1.Most land areas on Earth have some form of aquifer underlying them, sometimes at significant depths. These aquifers are rapidly being depleted by the human population. Fresh-water aquifers, especially those with limited recharge by meteoric water, can be over-exploited and, depending on the local hydro-geology, may draw in non-potable water or saltwater intrusion from hydraulically connected aquifers or surface water bodies. This can be a serious problem, especially in coastal areas and other areas where aquifer pumping is excessive. In some areas, the ground water can be contaminated by mineral poisons, such as arsenic. Aquifers are critically important in human habitation and agriculture. Deep aquifers in arid areas have long been water sources for irrigation. Many villages and even large cities draw their water supply from wells in aquifers. Municipal, irrigation, and industrial water supplies are provided through large wells. Multiple wells for one water supply source are termed “Well fields”, which may withdraw water from confined or unconfined aquifers. Using ground water from deep, confined aquifers provides more protection from surface water contamination. Some wells, termed “collector wells,” are specifically designed to induce infiltration of surface (usually river) water. Aquifers that provide sustainable fresh groundwater to urban areas and for agricultural irrigation are typically close to the ground surface (within a couple of hundred meters) and have some recharge by fresh water. This recharge is typically from rivers or meteoric water (precipitation) that percolates into the aquifer through overlying unsaturated materials. Occasionally, sedimentary or “fossil” aquifers are used to provide irrigation and drinking water to urban areas. In Libya, for example, Muammar Gaddafi’s Great Man made River project has pumped large amounts of groundwater from aquifers beneath the Sahara to populous areas near the coast. Though this has saved Libya money over the alternative, desalination, the aquifers are likely to run dry in 60 to 100 years. Aquifer depletion has been cited as one of the causes of the food price rises of 2011.

2. Fossil water or paleowater is groundwater that has remained sealed in an aquifer for a long period of time. Water can rest underground in “fossil aquifers” for thousands or even millions of years. When changes in the surrounding geology seal the aquifer off from further replenishing from precipitation, the water becomes trapped within, and is known as fossil water.

The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is among the most notable of fossil water reserves. Fossil aquifers also exist in the Sahara, the Kalahari, and the Ogallala underlying the US Great Plains. A further potential store of ancient water is Lake Vostok, a sub-glacial lake in Antarctica.
Fossil water is, by definition, a non-renewable resource.Whereas most aquifers are naturally replenished by infiltration of water from precipitation, fossil aquifers are those that get little or no recharge. The extraction of water from such non-replenishing groundwater reserves (known as low safe-yield reserves) is known in hydrology as water mining. If water is pumped from a well at a withdrawal rate that exceeds the natural recharge rate (which is very low or zero for a fossil aquifer), the water table drops, forming a depression in the water levels around the well.

3. The Great Artesian Basin situated in Australia is arguably the largest groundwater aquifer in the world (over 1.7 million km²). It plays a large part in water supplies for Queensland and remote parts of South Australia. The Guarani Aquifer, located beneath the surface of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, is one of the world’s largest aquifer systems and is an important source of fresh water. Named after the Guarani people, it covers 1,200,000 km², with a volume of about 40,000 km³, a thickness of between 50 m and 800 m and a maximum depth of about 1,800 m. Aquifer depletion is a problem in some areas, and is especially critical in northern Africa; see the Great Man-made River project of Libya for an example. However, new methods of groundwater management such as artificial recharge and injection of surface waters during seasonal wet periods has extended the life of many freshwater aquifers, especially in the United States.
The Ogallala Aquifer of the central United States is one of the world’s great aquifers, but in places it is being rapidly depleted by growing municipal use, and continuing agricultural use. This huge aquifer, which underlies portions of eight states, contains primarily fossil water from the time of the last glaciation. Annual recharge, in the more arid parts of the aquifer, is estimated to total only about 10 percent of annual withdrawals. According to a 2013 report by research hydrologist, Leonard F. Konikow, at the United States Geological Survey (USGC), the depletion between 2001–2008, inclusive, is about 32 percent of the cumulative depletion during the entire 20th century (Konikow 2013:22).” In the United States, the biggest users of water from aquifers include agricultural irrigation and oil and coal extraction. “Cumulative total groundwater depletion in the United States accelerated in the late 1940s and continued at an almost steady linear rate through the end of the century. In addition to widely recognized environmental consequences, groundwater depletion also adversely impacts the long-term sustainability of groundwater supplies to help meet the Nation’s water needs.”

4.An example of a significant and sustainable carbonate aquifer is the Edwards Aquifer in central Texas. This carbonate aquifer has historically been providing high quality water for nearly 2 million people, and even today, is full because of tremendous recharge from a number of area streams, rivers and lakes. The primary risk to this resource is human development over the recharge areas.

Match the headings to the paragraphs in the reading passage.
Questions 1-4

A. Human dependence on groundwater Linux Libertine
B. Trapped for millions of years
C. Human development can endanger water resources
D. Reducing underground water resources around the world

Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Paragraph 3
Paragraph 4


Question 5 – 10
Read the statements and mark them yes/ no / not given

5.Fossil aquifers are not recharged by rain water.
6.Any amount of potable water drawn from an aquifer is safe.
7.Water in the Ogallala aquifer is constantly replenished by rain.
8.Aquifers in deserts dry up faster than others.
9.Cities are built over aquifers which are sources of fresh water.
10.Aquifers which supply water to farms and cities are near the surface, so water can be easily pumped.


Task 1
You’ll have to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

writing task 1 - IELTS practice test

writing task 1 – IELTS practice test

Task 2
write 250 words in 40 minutes.

Write about the following topic.

Some people argue that it is more important to have an enjoyable job than to earn a lot of money. Others disagree and think that a good salary leads to a better job.
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons and include examples from your own experiences.

IELTS reading practice – Passage one

IELTS reading Practice test prep passage – Across the planet

Across the planet, forests, wetlands and other vegetation types are being converted to agricultural and other land uses, impacting freshwater, carbon and other cycles, and reducing biodiversity.
The environment adviser Steve Bass says research tells us that “the sustainability of land use depends less on percentages and more on other factors. For example, the environmental impact of 15 per cent coverage by intensively farmed cropland in large blocks will be significantly different from that of 15 per cent of land farmed in more sustainable ways, integrated into the landscape. The boundary of 15 per cent land-use change is, in practice, a premature policy guideline that dilutes the authors’ overall scientific proposition. Instead, the authors might want to consider a limit on soil degradation or soil loss. This would be a more valid and useful indicator of the state of terrestrial health.”
The Earth systems scientist Eric Lambin thinks that “intensive agriculture should be concentrated on land that has the best potential for high-yield crops. We can avoid losing the best agricultural land by controlling land degradation, freshwater depletion and urban sprawl. This step will require zoning and the adoption of more efficient agricultural practices, especially in developing countries. The need for farmland can be lessened, too, by decreasing waste along the food distribution chain, encouraging slower population growth, ensuring more equitable food distribution worldwide and significantly reducing meat consumption in rich countries.”
Over exploitation of groundwater from an aquifer can result in a peak water curve.

Human pressures on global freshwater systems are having dramatic effects. The freshwater cycle is another boundary significantly affected by climate change. Freshwater resources, such as lakes and aquifers, are usually renewable resources which naturally recharge (the term fossil water is sometimes used to describe aquifers which don’t recharge). Over exploitation occurs if a water resource is mined or extracted at a rate that exceeds the recharge rate. Recharge usually comes from area streams, rivers and lakes. Forests enhance the recharge of aquifers in some locales, although generally forests are a major source of aquifer depletion. Depleted aquifers can become polluted with contaminants such as nitrates, or permanently damaged through subsidence or through saline intrusion from the ocean. This turns much of the world’s underground water and lakes into finite resources with peak usage debates similar to oil.[66] Though Hubbert’s original analysis did not apply to renewable resources, their overexploitation can result in a Hubbert-like peak. A modified Hubbert curve applies to any resource that can be harvested faster than it can be replaced.

The hydrologist Peter Gleick comments: “Few rational observers deny the need for boundaries to freshwater use. More controversial is defining where those limits are or what steps to take to constrain ourselves within them. Another way to describe these boundaries is the concept of peak water. Three different ideas are useful. ‘Peak renewable’ water limits are the total renewable flows in a watershed. Many of the world’s major rivers are already approaching this threshold—when evaporation and consumption surpass natural replenishment from precipitation and other sources. ‘Peak nonrenewable’ limits apply where human use of water far exceeds natural recharge rates, such as in fossil groundwater basins of the Great Plains, Libya, India, northern China and parts of California’s Central Valley. ‘Peak ecological’ water is the idea that for any hydrological system, increasing withdrawals eventually reach the point where any additional economic benefit of taking the water is outweighed by the additional ecological destruction that causes. Although it is difficult to quantify this point accurately, we have clearly passed the point of peak ecological water in many basins around the world where huge damage has occurred. The good news is that the potential for savings, without hurting human health or economic productivity, is vast. Improvements in water-use efficiency are possible in every sector. More food can be grown with less water (and less water contamination) by shifting from conventional flood irrigation to drip and precision sprinklers, along with more accurately monitoring and managing soil moisture. Conventional power plants can change from water cooling to dry cooling, and more energy can be generated by sources that use extremely little water, such as photo voltaic and wind.”
The hydrologist David Molden says “a global limit on water consumption is necessary, but the suggested planetary boundary of 4,000 cubic kilometers per year is too generous.”

Yes/No/Not Given

IELTS reading question type – Yes/No/Not Given

tip! – Make sure you understood the writer’s views. Following instructions will help.
1. Look at the title and subtitle and think about what this passage is about.
2. Read the text intensely and also quickly, do not worry about the words you don’t understand (if you don’t).
3. Find the part of the text which discusses the ideas in the statement. Read it carefully.
4. Decide if the statement agrees with what the writer says and choose Yes (if it agrees), No (if it doesn’t or is just the opposite view) and Not given if nothing is mentioned.

IELTS academic reading – how to score above 6 band

How to score over 6 band in IELTS Academic reading task

Before we begin to attempt the IELTS academic reading strategies, let us understand the score.
Most IELTS reading modules would have 3 passages to read from and answer questions such as
1. Choose the correct answer from a, b, c or d.
2. Fill the gaps with a word or two
3. Match the headings with paragraphs in the given passage.

You would have to get at least 70% of the answers correct to be safely over band 6 in IELTS reading task.
The main problem that candidates usually face is the time limit of 60 min. Here are some easy strategies to help you overcome the time barrier.

5 simple and highly effective tips to score higher on IELTS reading task

1. Read the entire passage in 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Read intensely, concentrate and understand the content well. Memory is a problem for many so dont try to remember and then attempt to answer. read once to clearly and broadly get the idea.
3. Read the questions well and scan the text to find relevant answers.
4.Most importantly underline the answers in the passage for every question you answer this way you don’t have to go back and forth with the text. If you get a similar question you could get the answer quickly.
5. Write your answers down as you get them on the answer sheet. No separate time is given to transfer the answers from the question booklet.