Lesson 2: IELTS Multiple Choice Practice

Objectives:
  • To practice IELTS multiple choice questions
  • To practice scanning techniques
  • To look at the use of synonyms in IELTS reading questions

Strategies to answer the questions

  1. Look through the questions first
  2. Underline key words from the question
  3. Then scan the text for those key words that you have underlined
  4. The answer should be found close to that word
  5. The answers will be found in the text in the same order as the questions

Things to beware of

  1. There will be synonyms used in the reading - the words in the IELTS multiple choice questions may not be the same as in the text

One Paragraph Practice Exercise

Before looking at a longer reading, we'll have a practice with two paragraphs. It is the first part of the full reading you will do.

Identify the key word in the question first of all. Then scan the text to find it. When you have done this, read the sentences around this key word and see what information best matches the three choices you have.

  1. What is dry farming?

    Preserving nitrates and moisture.

    Ploughing the land again and again.

    Cultivating fallow land.

Australian Agricultural Innovations:
1850 – 1900

During this period, there was a wide spread expansion of agriculture in Australia. The selection system was begun, whereby small sections of land were parceled out by lot. Particularly in New South Wales, this led to conflicts between small holders and the emerging squatter class, whose abuse of the system often allowed them to take vast tracts of fertile land.

There were also many positive advances in farming technology as the farmers adapted agricultural methods to the harsh Australian conditions. One of the most important was “dry farming”. This was the discovery that repeated ploughing of fallow, unproductive land could preserve nitrates and moisture, allowing the land to eventually be cultivated. This, along with the extension of the railways allowed the development of what are now great inland wheat lands.

To answer this question you should have highlighted the word dry farming.

You should then have been able to scan the two paragraphs to quickly find this word.

Reading the information around it more carefully would the give you the answer:

Cultivating means to improve and prepare (land) by ploughing or fertilizing, for raising crops.

So the answer was "the ploughing of fallow land...to eventually be cultivated."

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Full Practice - IELTS Multiple Choice

1. What is dry farming?
Preserving nitrates and moisture.
Ploughing the land again and again.
Cultivating fallow land.

2. What did H. V. McKay do?

Export the stripper.
Improve the stripper.
Cut, collect and sort wheat.

3. What was the stump jump plough’s innovation?

It could cut through tree stumps.
To put the plough shear on wheels.
It allowed farmers to cultivate land that hadn’t been fully cleared.

4. What did John Custance recommend?

Improving wheat yields.
Revitalising the industry.
Fertilizing the soil.

5. Why was William Farrer’s wheat better?

It was drought resistant.
It wasn’t from England or South Africa.
It was drier for Australian conditions.

Australian Agricultural Innovations:
1850 – 1900

During this period, there was a wide spread expansion of agriculture in Australia. The selection system was begun, whereby small sections of land were parceled out by lot. Particularly in New South Wales, this led to conflicts between small holders and the emerging squatter class, whose abuse of the system often allowed them to take vast tracts of fertile land.

There were also many positive advances in farming technology as the farmers adapted agricultural methods to the harsh Australian conditions. One of the most important was “dry farming”. This was the discovery that repeated ploughing of fallow, unproductive land could preserve nitrates and moisture, allowing the land to eventually be cultivated. This, along with the extension of the railways allowed the development of what are now great inland wheat lands.

The inland areas of Australia are less fertile than most other wheat producing countries and yields per acre are lower. This slowed their development, but also led to the development of several labour saving devices. In 1843 John Ridley, a South Australian farmer, invented “the stripper”, a basic harvesting machine. By the 1860s its use was widespread. H. V. McKay, then only nineteen, modified the machine so that it was a complete harvester: cutting, collecting and sorting. McKay developed this early innovation into a large harvester manufacturing industry centred near Melbourne and exporting worldwide. Robert Bowyer Smith invented the “stump jump plough”, which let a farmer plough land which still had tree stumps on it. It did this by replacing the traditional plough shear with a set of wheels that could go over stumps, if necessary.

The developments in farm machinery were supported by scientific research. During the late 19th century, South Australian wheat yields were going down. An agricultural scientist at the colony’s agricultural college, John Custance, found that this was due to a lack of phosphates and advised the use of soluble superphosphate fertilizer. The implementation of this scheme revitalised the industry.

From early days it had been obvious that English and European sheep breeds had to be adapted to Australian conditions, but only near the end of the century was the same applied to crops. Prior to this, English and South African strains had been use, with varying degrees of success. William Farrer, from Cambridge University, was the first to develop new wheat varieties that were better able to withstand dry Australian conditions. By 1914, Australia was no longer thought of as a land suitable only for sheep, but as a wheat growing nation.

422wds

 

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IELTS Multiple Choice Correct answers:

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Further Reading Lessons:

Lesson 1:
Paragraph Headings

Lesson 2:
Multiple Choice & Scanning

Lesson 3:
True, False, Not Given

Lesson 4:
Matching Paragraph Headings

Lesson 5:
Sentence Completion

Lesson 6:
Multiple Choice / Skimming and Scanning

Lesson 7:
Guessing meaning from context

Lesson 8:
The difference between false and not given

Lesson 9:
IELTS Reading Strategies

Lesson 10:
IELTS Short Answer Questions

Lesson 11:
IELTS Gapped Summary