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Sentence Completion Task: Practice 2

In the sentence completion task of the IELTS Reading test, you will be asked to complete sentences by using a word, short phrase or number from the text to fill gaps. In order to complete this task well, you need to be able to locate specific information, understand a short passage of text and choose the most appropriate word. Therefore, you will benefit from improving your paraphrasing skills, skimming and scanning skills and, most importantly, your reading comprehension (no doubt the MOST important skill to be successful in the IELTS Reading test).

 

Here are some top tips to ensure your success with this type of question in the IELTS test.

  • Think about which type of word is required in the gap – is it a noun, an adjective or a verb?
  • Check that the sentence is grammatically correct when the word is inserted!
  • Consider the topic of the sentence and where that information is located in the passage.
  • The answers to the questions will (normally!) come in order in the text. Use this to help you locate where in the text the answer may be located.
  • Ensure that you double check whether the answer is asking for one word, two words or a number as the answer.

 

As with any part of the IELTS test, practice makes perfect. So be sure to use our Sentence Completion Practice Tasks to help develop your ability and skill. Check out the other reading practice tasks for more opportunities to develop your reading skills!

 

Passage:

 

Obesity ’causes more cases of some cancers than smoking’

 

Obesity now causes more cases of four common cancers in the UK than smoking, according to a charity. Cancer Research UK says bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers are more likely to have been caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco. It says millions are at risk of cancer because of their weight and that obese people outnumber smokers two to one. But its new billboard campaign highlighting the obesity-cancer risk has been criticised for fat-shaming.

 

Cancer Research UK says it is not about blaming people for being overweight. Nor is it suggesting that smoking and obesity are directly comparable in terms of cancer risk. Both increase a person’s risk. But it says being overweight or obese causes around 22,800 cases of cancer each year, compared to smoking which causes 54,300. For the four highlighted cancers:-

 

Bowel – Of around 42,000 new cases, being obese causes 4,800, smoking 2,900

Kidney – 12,900 in total; being obese causes 2,900, smoking 1,600

Liver – 5,900 in total; being obese causes 1,300 cases, smoking 1,200

Ovarian – 7,500 in total; being obese causes 490 cases per year, smoking 25

 

Smoking remains the UK’s leading preventable cause of cancer overall. Obesity ranks second, says CRUK. But while smoking rates are decreasing, obesity is increasing, which health experts agree is concerning.

 

Text adapted from:  https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48826850

 

 

Questions:

 

Complete the following sentences. Choose no more than one word or number from the passage to fill the gaps.

 

  1. The main cause of the top four cancers is now said to be _______________.

 

  1. More people may end up with cancer due to their ________________.

 

  1. However, recent advertising about this has been heavily ___________________.

 

  1. Annually, approximately _________________ cases of bowel cancer are caused by people being overweight.

 

  1. The most common cause of cancer is still _____________.

 

Answers:

 

  1. obesity
  2. weight
  3. criticised
  4. 4,800
  5. smoking

 

 

New Vocabulary to Learn!

 

obesity = fat or overweight

outnumber = to be greater in number than something else

billboard = a large outdoor board for displaying advertisements

campaign = a planned group of activities to achieve something

criticised = expressed disapproval of something

fatshaming = humiliating or making fun of someone for being fat

nor = a word used to introduce the second or last in a set of negative statements

comparable = to be likened to something else that is similar

preventable =

Sentence Completion Task: Practice 1

 

In the sentence completion task of the IELTS Reading test, you will be asked to complete sentences by using a word, short phrase or number from the text to fill gaps. In order to complete this task well, you need to be able to locate specific information, understand a short passage of text and choose the most appropriate word. Therefore, you will benefit from improving your paraphrasing skills, skimming and scanning skills and, most importantly, your reading comprehension (no doubt the MOST important skill to be successful in the IELTS Reading test).

 

Here are some top tips to ensure your success with this type of question in the IELTS test.

  • Think about which type of word is required in the gap – is it a noun, an adjective or a verb?
  • Check that the sentence is grammatically correct when the word is inserted!
  • Consider the topic of the sentence and where that information is located in the passage.
  • The answers to the questions will (normally!) come in order in the text. Use this to help you locate where in the text the answer may be located.
  • Ensure that you double check whether the answer is asking for one word, two words or a number as the answer.

 

As with any part of the IELTS test, practice makes perfect. So be sure to use our Sentence Completion Practice Tasks to help develop your ability and skill. Check out our other reading practice tasks too!

 

Passage:

 

Emotion-detecting tech should be restricted by law

 

A leading research centre has called for new laws to restrict the use of emotion-detecting tech. The AI Now Institute says the field is “built on markedly shaky foundations”. Despite this, systems are on sale to help vet job seekers, test criminal suspects for signs of deception, and set insurance prices. It wants such software to be banned from use in important decisions that affect people’s lives and/or determine their access to opportunities.

 

The US-based body has found support in the UK from the founder of a company developing its own emotional-response technologies – but it cautioned that any restrictions would need to be nuanced enough not to hamper all work being done in the area.

 

AI Now refers to the technology by its formal name, affect recognition, in its annual report. It says the sector is undergoing a period of significant growth and could already be worth as much as $20bn (£15.3bn). “It claims to read, if you will, our inner-emotional states by interpreting the micro-expressions on our face, the tone of our voice or even the way that we walk,” explained co-founder Prof Kate Crawford.

 

Text adapted from: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50761116

 

Questions:

 

Choose no more than two words from the passage to complete the following sentences.

 

  1. Experts in AI have requested ___________________ to control how emotion-detecting technology is able to be used.

 

  1. Such experts believe that using this technology to influence vital judgements should be _____________ .

 

  1. However, supporters warn that _______________ must be carefully considered to ensure they do not negatively affect the progress being made with this type of technology.

 

  1. The full name of the technology is _____________________.

 

  1. The technology is capable of recognising people’s feelings through carefully reading their facial _______________________.

 

 

Answers:

 

  1. new laws
  2. banned
  3. restrictions
  4. affect recognition
  5. micro-expressions

 

 

New Vocabulary to Learn!

 

restrictions = limit or control something or someone

microexpressions = facial expressions that occur within a fraction of a second and may be voluntary or involuntary

facial = of the face

capable = having the ability to do something, able to

influence = affect the behaviour of someone or something

vital = important

judgements = decisions

markedly = something that is significant or clearly noticeable

vet = to carefully examine something or someone

deception = to deceive someone; to mislead them or hide the truth

nuanced = something that is done with extreme care

hamper = to hinder something and affect the progress of something

Matching Paragraph Information: Practice 3

IELTS Reading Test: Matching Paragraph Information

The IELTS Reading Test may contain a question that requires you to identify which paragraph information is found in or match headings to the correct paragraph. For this type of question, you need to understand the main topic of each paragraph and choose the most appropriate answer.

Here are our top tips for ‘Matching Paragraph Information’ questions:

  • Read through the whole article to get the ‘gist’ but do not worry about understanding all parts
  • Make notes as you skim through the article on any key themes emerging from paragraphs
  • After skimming through the whole article, look at the questions
  • If any paragraph information matches are immediately obvious, record that answer and remove that option from the list. This helps by reducing the options for the paragraphs you are not so sure about
  • When reading the statements you are trying to match, consider how the information could be paraphrased to help you to locate the information
  • Once you have matched the questions you are able to do easily, go back to the remaining paragraphs
  • Re-skim through the paragraph, think about what is being discussed and consider which paragraph best fits
  • Don’t spend too much time on these questions

This task will also give you exposure to a topic that may come up in any of the IELTS tests and will support you to learn and understand new vocabulary. You are also going to be practising your reading skills so this will help you with the tests whether a question like this comes up or not!

Level: Medium
Although this article features more complex vocabulary, the paragraphs are relatively short in length so there is not too much text to be decoded.

Sustainable Agriculture

1. __________________
Farmers prefer corn monoculture because it is a very productive crop, but also a resource intensive crop. Perhaps, this wouldn’t be such a problem if it were used for our consumption, but it is not. 40 percent of corn is used for ethanol production for biofuels, 36 percent is fed to factory farmed livestock and most of the remaining amount is either exported or used in a high-fructose corn syrup production.

2. _________________
For example, researchers observed in the U.S. Corn Belt that the corn yields decrease by almost one third if it rains more in spring. This is not good news for most farmers because the climate change models predict an increase in spring rains in the area.

3. _________________
To make space for conventional farms, ecosystems have to disappear–soils are tilled and straightened; trees are cut down, their roots are ripped from the ground; creeks are redirected into perfectly straight channels along cropland boundaries; wetlands are dried out and native perennial vegetation is buried.

4. ________________
The main objective of this farming system is to achieve the maximum possible yield from land. This requires inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to artificially create favorable conditions for crops. It has also led to the development of genetically modified varieties that are “programed” to give higher yields.

5. _________________
If conventional agriculture was characterized by efficiency, uniformity and maximization, sustainable agriculture could be described by: diversity, interconnectedness and preservation.

Source of passage: https://greentumble.com/can-sustainable-agriculture-feed-the-world/

 

1. Match the following paragraph headings with the correct paragraph in the text.

A) What are the main objectives of sustainable agriculture?

B) Food

C) Environment

D) What is the difference between conventional and sustainable agriculture?

E) Climate resilience

2. In which paragraph will I find the following information? Give the paragraph number as your answer. Numbers may be used more than once.

A) Rainfall in March and April is predicted to rise.

B) Some corn that is grown is used as food for farm animals being reared for food production.

C) The space used for farms removes important natural environments.

D) New approaches to agriculture are focused more on preserving the land as it is.

Answers:

Question 1:
A) 4
B) 1
C) 3
D) 5
E) 2

Question 2:
A) 2
B) 1
C) 3
D) 5

Matching Paragraph Information: Practice 2

IELTS Reading Test: Matching Paragraph Information

The IELTS Reading Test may contain a question that requires you to identify which paragraph information is found in or match headings to the correct paragraph. For this type of question, you need to understand the main topic of each paragraph and choose the most appropriate answer.

Here are our top tips for ‘Matching Paragraph Information’ questions:

  • Read through the whole article to get the ‘gist’ but do not worry about understanding all parts
  • Make notes as you skim through the article on any key themes emerging from paragraphs
  • After skimming through the whole article, look at the questions
  • If any paragraph information matches are immediately obvious, record that answer and remove that option from the list. This helps by reducing the options for the paragraphs you are not so sure about
  • When reading the statements you are trying to match, consider how the information could be paraphrased to help you to locate the information
  • Once you have matched the questions you are able to do easily, go back to the remaining paragraphs
  • Re-skim through the paragraph, think about what is being discussed and consider which paragraph best fits
  • Don’t spend too much time on these questions

This task will also give you exposure to a topic that may come up in any of the IELTS tests and will support you to learn and understand new vocabulary. You are also going to be practising your reading skills so this will help you with the tests whether a question like this comes up or not!

Level: Easy
Due to the short paragraphs included in this text, this exercise would be classed as easy. This would be a good practice for people who have not tried out an activity such as this previously.

Solar Energy

1. _______________________
Electricity generation is not the only use of solar energy at home. Solar water heaters are commonly used to heat and store hot water in warmer climates. They work by converting sunlight into energy for heating water through the use of a solar thermal collector. On sunny days, they can be very efficient in supplying enough hot water to cover a household’s warm water needs.

2. _______________________
You probably don’t realize this, but we depend on grid power for almost everything. And grid power is mainly generated by fossil fuels, a nonrenewable source of energy that is being depleted much more rapidly than most people think.

3. ______________________
Solar panels are durable, and because there are no moving parts, there is very little risk of wear and tear. Most solar panels nowadays come with a 20 to 25-year warranty, and even though they are made from tempered glass, they can withstand even moderate hailstorms without any damage.

4. _____________________
Based on the amount of money you save with your solar system, you can expect a return on your investment within the period of its warranty. Most solar installers give you a warranty of 20 to 25 years.

5. _____________________
Most commercially available panels reach only 15 to 18 percent efficiency. This means you need more panels to cover your energy needs, resulting in higher initial installation costs and a larger area to mount it.

6. _____________________
Although solar power cuts off your monthly electricity bills instantly, the return on the investment comes after several years. This requires careful planning and a lot of research before deciding how to cover the upfront investment.

7. ____________________
The intermittent nature of solar energy is one of the main reasons why it is difficult to rely entirely on solar power at the moment. Solar energy is generated only from the sunlight. At night or on cloudy days, your system will not produce power.

Source of passage: https://greentumble.com/solar-energy-pros-and-cons/#good-for-health

 

1. Match the following paragraph headings with the correct paragraph in the text.

A) The maintenance of solar systems is minimal

B) Low efficiency of solar panels

C) Return on investment

D) Energy security

E) Wide variety of solar power applications in daily life

F) Intermittent nature

G) High initial costs

2. In which paragraph will I find the following information? Give the paragraph number as your answer. Numbers may be used more than once.

A) Solar panels do not break easily and will last for a long time.

B) As the usefulness of most solar panels that can be found in stores is rather low, customers are forced to purchase a higher number of panels.

C) The use of solar systems is economically beneficial for consumers.

D) The sole use of solar energy does not generate enough power to meet consumer’s needs.

E) Solar panels are durable and able to survive extreme weather conditions.

F) Energy sources, such as coal and oil, will run out far sooner than people expect.

Answers:

Question 1:
A) 3
B) 5
C) 4
D) 2
E) 1
F) 7
G) 6

Question 2:
A) 3
B) 5
C) 4
D) 7
E) 3
F) 2

Matching Paragraph Information: Practice 1

IELTS Reading Test: Matching Paragraph Information

The IELTS Reading Test may contain a question that requires you to identify which paragraph information is found in or match headings to the correct paragraph. For this type of question, you need to understand the main topic of each paragraph and choose the most appropriate answer.

Here are our top tips for ‘Matching Paragraph Information’ questions:

  • Read through the whole article to get the ‘gist’ but do not worry about understanding all parts
  • Make notes as you skim through the article on any key themes emerging from paragraphs
  • After skimming through the whole article, look at the questions
  • If any paragraph information matches are immediately obvious, record that answer and remove that option from the list. This helps by reducing the options for the paragraphs you are not so sure about
  • When reading the statements you are trying to match, consider how the information could be paraphrased to help you to locate the information
  • Once you have matched the questions you are able to do easily, go back to the remaining paragraphs.
  • Re-skim through the paragraph, think about what is being discussed and consider which paragraph best fits
  • Don’t spend too much time on these questions

This task will also give you exposure to a topic that may come up in any of the IELTS tests and will support you to learn and understand new vocabulary. You are also going to be practising your reading skills so this will help you with the tests whether a question like this comes up or not!

Level: Hard
Due to the complex vocabulary included in the text and the lengthier paragraphs, this exercise is classed as hard. If you have not tired an activity of this kind previously, it is recommended that you try an easier level exercise first.

Soil Erosion

1.__________________________
If none of the options listed above suits your needs, you have another alternative that doesn’t require planting of other plants or crops on your land and allows you to create a clean look to your property. You can protect the soil by covering exposed spots around the plants with a mulching material. By putting down mulch, you are keeping bare soil from being washed and eroded away, as well as helping to retain soil moisture and eliminate weed growth around your carefully selected plants. Mulching layer stabilizes soil temperature, protecting plants and soil from the effects of fluctuating temperature in winter.

2. __________________________
You can create neatly looking dry creeks that direct water away from your land or channel runoff to your designated area from where you can reuse it (e.g. for irrigation). Dry creeks look like a small version of a rocky river bed and even imitate its function. You also have an option to plant vegetated filter strips or simply install drainage pipes to gather water and carry it away from critical areas. Some people choose to protect land around their houses by implementing so called French drains. French drains are trenches along outer house walls that contain drainage pipes covered by permeable gravel.

3. _________________________
Growing crops on slopes can be particularly challenging and plowing on slopes can easily lead to soil erosion. However, there are several techniques for cultivating crops on slopes that prevent erosion. These include contour farming, where farmers plow and plant across a slope along its contour lines as opposed to planting in downhill facing lines.

4. _________________________
When talking about soil erosion control measures, we should not neglect the areas that have already been damaged but have a potential for great improvement when managed properly. Restoration of degraded ecosystems and protection of marginal areas to ensure that we will place sufficient soil erosion prevention methods in place is crucial.

5.________________________
Land that is used for livestock grazing is often hilly or is located in marginal areas that are unsuitable for crop cultivation. Unsustainable livestock management on such lands leads to overgrazing and decreases the protective groundcover. When more than 60 percent of vegetation gets removed, the rate of erosion accelerates, and topsoil is more likely to be washed off with every rainfall event.

6. _______________________
Whether on a large scale, like rice fields, or on a smaller scale in your backyard, terracing allows cultivation and erosion control of many difficult slopes that would otherwise be unsuitable for any activity. With the structural support of retaining walls, terraces can create a nice decorative element on your property, giving it a new look. They can be useful for the creation of raised garden beds that are for many gardeners more comfortable to maintain.

7. ______________________
It is recommended to plant cover crops after the harvest of the main crop. Take for example corn. Once you harvest corn, the land will most likely remain barren over the winter. This means that the soil will lack the protective layer of growing vegetation in the season when it rains or snows a lot and the land is subjected to cycles of freezing and unfreezing. This easily damages soil structure and increases the risk of soil loss.

Source of passage: https://greentumble.com/how-can-we-prevent-erosion/#cover

 

1. Match the following paragraph headings with the correct paragraph in the text.

A) Protecting soils with cover crops

B) Afforestation and sustainable management of marginal areas

C) Mulching

D) Controlling water flow across your land

E) Terracing with retaining walls & edging

F) Contour farming and gardening & strip cropping

G) Preventing soil disturbance by livestock

2. In which paragraph will I find the following information? Give the paragraph number as your answer. Numbers may be used more than once.

A) A number of techniques allow farmers to overcome issues with slanted landscapes in farming.

B) Without an abundance of plants, the wind and rain will wear away the land more quickly.

C) When the land is emptier, it is more prone to damage and lose earth.

D) Adding a cover protects the land and keeps soil from being harmed by fluctuating temperatures.

E) Another way to protect soil is to redirect water away from where plants are being grown.

F) By becoming frozen and then thawing out, farmers may experience harm to soil or a reduction in the amount of soil.

Answers:

Question 1:
A) 7
B) 4
C) 1
D) 2
E) 6
F) 3
G) 5

Question 2:
A) 3
B) 5
C) 7
D) 1
E) 2
F) 7