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IELTS Reading (General Training)

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Travelling on the London Underground
Introduction
The London underground is the most convenient way to travel in London. The 275 stations are
dispersed throughout the entire city, 63 of which are in the centre. Therefore, its not
surprising that the majority of Londoners and tourists use the underground.
The size of the network
London currently has 12 tube lines which spread across the whole city and into its outskirts
and suburbs. In total there are 402 kilometres of track. This means that you can get around
quite easily using the underground. The network itself is the second largest in the world.
Rush hour
Peak times are in the early morning and evening between 7-9 and 5-7. Over a billion
passengers per year makes the London underground the third busiest system in Europe, while
the daily ridership is averaged at 2.93 million in the week, rising to 3.5 at weekends.
Service times
Most lines offer services every few minutes from the hours of 5:30 to 12:30. However, Sundays
offer a slightly reduced service with trains only running between 7:30 and 23:30. Public
holidays also affect service times as too do severe weather conditions such as floods and snow.
Ticket options
A valid ticket or travel card is necessary to travel on the network. This must be purchased
before starting your journey. The cheapest option is a single ticket and the most expensive a
yearly pass. There are also daily, weekly or monthly passes but the majority of regular
travellers choose to have an electronic rechargeable pass called an Oyster card or a pay as
you go card.
Ticket Pricing
The price of a ticket varies per zone and travel time. For example, a single ticket for zone 1 at
off-peak is currently 4.00 while a day travel card is 6.60. A single ticket for zones 1-9 in
comparison is 5.90 and a day pay stands at 14.50.
Reductions
Cheaper fares are available for young people, university students, unemployed and groups.
Disabled and retired people can also apply in writing for a freedom pass to gain free unlimited
travel across the network at any time.
Fines
Travel without a valid ticket will result in a fine of 50 leading to 1,000 and the possibility of 3
months imprisonment for refusal to pay. For these reasons it is highly recommended that you
purchase a ticket and also validate it using the machines at the entrance of the underground
station.

Questions 1-7
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each, answer the following questions.
1. How many tube lines reach the suburbs?
2. How many people travel on the London underground in one year?
3. What kind of service is offered on Sundays?
4. Which TWO environmental conditions affect the trains?
5. Which ticket has the lowest cost?
6. How much do disabled people pay to use the underground?
7. What is the worst punishment for not buying a ticket?


IELTS Reading (General Training)

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The Central Library announcement
The Bristol city centre library is pleased to announce that it has won government funding for a
major update. Presently located in 342 Clifton place, the library has been a focal point of the
city for over 100 years. The money will be spent on major repairs to the current building, the
interior will be redesigned to increase the amount of seating, toilets and computers and self-
service check-in and check-outs will be installed. The library catalogue will also be extensively
improved. Opening times are set to increase to 7 days a week from 8-21 Monday to Saturday
and 9-14 on Sundays.
The construction of a separate childrens library is to commence at 386 Clifton place on the site
of the old swimming pool. This will provide young children and teenagers with access to a wide
range of books, music and multimedia. Regular social and learning activities are also to be
arranged as part of the councils reading for life project. Primary school story times will remain
unaffected and bookable via the main desk but with greater availability because of the larger
space. After school activity clubs are to be scheduled between 3 and 5 for parents and their
children as well as regular weekend puppet performances. However, parents should note that
the childrens library is not due to be opened until late 2012.
A mobile library service is another possible addition if there is demand from residents. Other
nearby cities have such a service so this will be on the agenda at the next council meeting.
Anyone interested in this proposal should notify the library in person or visit their website
before May 21. The service will be run by local volunteers and be available 3 mornings a week.
If you would like to offer your time to this or any related library services please call the
councils volunteer agency on 0117 903546.
The current library is set to close temporarily from July 14 and then reopen December 17 if
work goes as planned. The childrens library is already in the second phase of planning. During
this period residents may wish to visit the nearby Arts and Social Sciences library as many of
the central librarys most popular resources will be transferred. Other less in demand items
may be available at other libraries within the area which can be acquired via an inter-library
loan. The councils digital e-library is another option for residents with internet access.
Questions 8-14
Match each statement with the library it applies to.
A. The arts and social sciences library
B. The childrens library
C. The city centre library
D. The mobile library
Write the letter A-D in boxes 8-14.
8. is to have its facilities improved
9. will offer more flexible opening times
10. will entertain families on Saturday and Sunday
11. will continue services for school classes
12. will be manned by unpaid staff
13. is not a full time service
14. will host a temporary book collection.
IELTS Reading (General Training)

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Staff training
Staff training is very beneficial for companies but some staff still remain unconvinced. This is a
difference in beliefs between departments about the general effectiveness of training. Our
company goal has always been to integrate consistent training into all our departments
because it creates a more favourable environment in which to work. In fact, we have been rated
as the industrys number five work place solely on the basis of our positive and encouraging
company culture, much of which is connected to staff development.
Motivation is a common reason for providing training. Our board of directors have always
believed that job satisfaction and happy staff who enjoy their job should work better and more
efficiently than unsatisfied employees. Problems of unmotivated or even demotivated staff are
common in the current economic climate as many fear redundancy or have no hope of
promotion. Therefore, we continue to invest in growth opportunities and internal promotion.
Technology represents another rational behind our staff training. New computers, networks
and evolving working habits all need to be explained to new and existing staff alike.
Nevertheless, time for training seems scarce and as a result certified online courses are being
introduced at all levels due to their flexibility. Online language courses have increased in
popularity with employees who can study online at lunch or after work. Mobile internet access
also means we can now offer employee training 24 hours a day.
Not all employers support staff training. There are valid reasons for a lack of staff training
departments. HR company Guptar associates revealed that a substantial percentage of both in-
house and out-house training is actually unproductive. As an alternative they propose more
effective training with specific measurable goals as opposed to more qualitative and hard to
assess personal improvement aims. They additionally point to the need for whole team
involvement from the top of the department all the way down to the shop floor. We have taken
this onboard and are devising new courses to be offered on a larger scale.
Training has become a large market as greater numbers of companies outsource to training
experts. One important fact that remains is that it is still on the bottom of most managers
priorities, possibly in fear of highly trained employees who have received expensive training
resigning and taking their expensive skills with them. To tackle both these issues we have
started a mentoring system for new staff which brings larger benefits than external trainers
and coupled with our online training provides a more effective solution with lower costs. As a
result, we no longer need to tie employees to the company with set contracts to recover training
costs.
Questions 15-21
Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.
15. Why does the company incorporate training?
A. Because it makes the company better.
B. Because it makes a better working environment.
C. Because it is good for the environment.
16. How does the company deal with the effects of the economic climate?
A. They continue developing.
B. They invest more money in the company.
C. They expand and promote existing staff.
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17. What is the main benefit of online courses?
A. Their flexibility.
B. They are certified.
C. They are popular with staff.
18. What do mobile phones offer employees?
A. 24 hours of training.
B. Access to training all day.
C. Mobile phone training
19. What do Guptar associates suggest?
A. Training for every employee which can be measured.
B. Personal training.
C. New courses on a bigger scale.
20. Why is training unpopular with managers?
A. Because training is expensive.
B. Because some staff leave after receiving training
C. Because staff do not enjoy training.
21. What are the benefits of the mentoring system?
A. It is effective and cheap.
B. It uses external trainers.
C. It does not recover costs.

Recruitment process for a personal assistant for the marketing manager
Applicants for the post of personal assistant to the marketing manager are encouraged to note
the following procedural steps.
The job application form and job-related information can be accessed from the company
website at http://www.telcon.com For an informal discussion about the post please email
Sarah Paul at S.Paul@telcon.com . Applicants should complete the form in full online before
the 26 September deadline.
1) Candidates must read the job description which includes relevant responsibilities associated
with the post. Linked to this is the job specification which is a list of all the necessary skills,
experience and qualifications the required employee must hold in order to carry out the job
satisfactorily. Candidates should check they meet all these criteria before proceeding with the
application process.
2) The 4 page application form should be thoroughly completed with all requested personal
details, qualifications and experience. Neither CVs nor cover letters should be attached to the
application form. However, 3 references are required but these will not be contacted prior to
interview. The application form can then be submitted and applicants will receive a
confirmation email immediately.
3) On receipt of all applications dossiers will be compiled and a short-list of potential
candidates drawn up. This is based on who meets the criteria stated in the advertisement.
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Candidates will receive an email informing them of their success or failure to secure an
interview. Unsuccessful candidates may request a more detailed explanation to aid them in
their future job search.
4) Interviews are then to be scheduled and arranged over 2 consecutive days from 10-11
November. There will be a panel consisting of a member of HR, the line manager and the
marketing manager. The companys interview procedure involves 3 steps. The first being 10 a
minute questioning period with each candidate, the second is a 5 minute individual
presentation on a set topic and finally a group problem solving task related to the job is to be
observed and recorded.
5) Following a selection meeting the successful candidate will be notified and an in-depth
criminal disclosure check carried out. Once the necessary checks are completed a formal job
offer will be issued to which the candidate should reply with a formal acceptance. At this point
related issues such as relocation assistance and induction training can be finalised and the
contract will be drawn up and signed.
Questions 22-27
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Candidates make sure they are suitable for the position by reading the job description and job
22____________
The candidates complete the 23____________ form in full.
Short-listed candidates will receive notice via 24____________.
A 25____________ of 3 people will conduct the interviews.
The chosen candidate will only receive an official 26____________ when he/she passes the
background checks.
The contract will be 27____________ after discussions about the candidate moving location and
carrying out initial training are discussed.

Eco Holidays in Costa Rica
A. Saving the world is something we all wish we could do but may never get the chance. One
way we can make a contribution is through our daily lives and the choices we make. Ever since
the green movement people have become increasingly concerned about this issue. Sadly, we
cant all quit our jobs and go volunteer in the jungles of Peru or fight to save endangered
animals in the Congo. But those of us who would like to do something this summer instead of
sitting at home or on the beach now can without sacrificing a well earned break. E-Hols offer
Eco Holidays in the exotic location of Costa Rica where holidaymakers can enjoy themselves in
a less environmentally damaging way and have the holiday of a life time.
B. For holidaymakers like me, used to travelling in style and staying in four and five star hotels
in Europe, an Eco Holiday can be a bit of a shock to the system. On my first day I was bustled
into a local bus and travelled 60 km in scorching heat which took over 3 hours. Arriving at the
Jose Bondita conservation park I was greeted by Mr Bondita himself. As we drove through the
wild vegetation in his 4 by 4 to my wooden hut for the next 2 weeks he pointed out the vast
array of iguanas, toucans and monkeys dotted throughout the reserve. In excess of 420 other
species of birds are also said to be in the rainforest and along the rocky coastline on the
borders of the park. For many of these creatures Jose Bondita is a safe refuge away from
poachers and the animal trade.
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C. Founded in 1984 the park shot to fame after a BBC documentary revealed its beautiful
unspoiled landscapes and rugged terrain to the world and they havent looked back since.
Everything on the site is environmentally friendly from the natural gas used to power the
vehicles to the solar power for heating the water and all the amenities. Even the vegetables are
grown locally and completely GM and pesticide free. Sustainability is paramount according to
Mr Bonita who is keen to avoid turning the park into a tourist destination. Bondita is adamant
that his park will not become commercialised. We are not and never will be for that matter, in
it for the money. He asserts his desire to couple education and conservation, 2 themes which
his park is built on. We are not about holidays, we offer life changing experiences that will
change how people view their role in our world he says.
D. As I had purchased the standard eco-tourist package I was granted full access to all the
parks activities and facilities. For those on a tighter budget theres the eco-basic package
which includes a pass to the park and the facilities only. On my second day we headed off into
the unknown on a jeep safari at dusk through the indescribably beautiful scenery. Looking for
further excitement I later opted for a zip line tour of the rainforest canopy but turned down
bungee jumping off the cliff. Although I still found time for some relaxing strolls and late night
fire side chats with other visitors, all of whom were left amazed by the whole experience. My
favourite free time activity though was feeding baby wild animals and even helping out with
park maintenance fixing fences. By the time my trip had come to an end I had promised never
to stay in a hotel complex again. It is safe to say that these experiences are not for everyone but
provide a once in a lifetime experience which will alter anyones view of the importance of
animal conservation.
E. With bookings set to increase even further next year Jose Bondita may become a victim of
its own success. Demand has far outstripped the parks capacity to comfortably accommodate
visitors. Trails tend to be congested and as the amount of vehicles rises so does the impact on
the natural ecosystem. The park itself is one of several in the area with more on the way as
Bonitas success seems to be spreading. According to a local council representative we have
become aware of the potential for attracting tourism and using that money to protect our
environment. In fact, yearly eco-visitors to Costa Rica are estimated at around 1.8 million.
Actually, it is somewhat of an international success story. The revenue alone is in the region of
$1.9 billion.
Questions 28-31
The passage has 5 paragraphs labelled A-E.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
28. a large variety of animals
29. a belief about the future of the park
30. 2 dangerous sports
31. a negative result of increased tourists




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Questions 32-37
Complete the summary below using words from the box.
amazement belief bird break experience holiday
location perception park power refuge time
An Eco 33____________ offers an exciting and more environmentally friendly experience than
normal more breaks. The Bondita park contains a large number of birds and other creatures
and is a 34____________ where they are safe from hunters. Everything about the 35____________
is environmentally friendly. It is aimed to educate visitors and change their 36____________ of
our world. There are many activities for visitors to take part in and guests are generally positive
about the entire 37____________. The park has become popular and others will be created in the
area.
Questions 38-40
Choose THREE letters A- F
Which THREE of the following benefits does the park provide according to the writer of the text?
A. a memorable holiday
B. luxury hotels
C. a way to save animals
D. a sustainable way of life
E. an opportunity to meet similar people
F. a range of packages to suit different budgets