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IELTS General Reading Practice Test

This is an IELTS General Reading Practice Test with answers for section one.

In section one you have to answer questions based on factual information. There are three sections in total, and section one is the easiest. 

Test 1:
Section One

Read the text below and answer questions 1-8.

16-25 Rail Cards

About the Card:

1/3 off rail fares and so much more...

There’s every reason to be happy if you’re aged 16 to 25, because with this Railcard you’ll enjoy 1/3 off rail fares when you go by train. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Railcard costs just £30. So after three or four trips, the card will have paid for itself. And over a year, you could save an average of £192.

  • Your 16-25 Railcard will save you 1/3 off a wide range of tickets.

A quick check to make sure you're eligible...


If you’re between 16 and 25 years old, you’re eligible. In this case, you can buy your Railcard online using a valid debit or credit card, a valid UK driving license or international passport, and a digital passport-style photo for uploading. It will then be delivered for free within 5 working days.

A mature student?

To be eligible as a mature student and buy a 1-year Railcard, you will need:

  • To be attending a recognised college or university, for over 15 hours a week, at least 20 weeks a year (Unfortunately, Open University, distance learning and part-time courses do not qualify).

  • To have the mature student section of the 16-25 Railcard application form completed by your College or University.

  • Have an NUS card or College/University photocard as proof of identity.

Get more for your money

If you’re between 16 and 25, and you know you’re going to be doing a lot of travelling over the next 3 years, why not buy a 3-year Railcard instead? It costs just £70, saving you £20 on the price of three 1-year Railcards. What’s more you can get a 3-year 16-25 Railcard right up until the day before your 24th birthday.

Minimum Fares & Time Restrictions

A £12 minimum fare applies for journeys starting between 4.30am-10am Monday to Friday excluding Advance Fares. This minimum fare does not apply on Public Holidays or throughout July and August.

Journeys that commence at 10:00 will receive the Railcard discount

If you travel regularly between 04:30 and 10:00 Monday to Friday, to work or your place of study for instance, a weekly or monthly season ticket could be the best way for you to save money. Railcards do not give discounts on season tickets.

Remember, not every ticket type is available for every journey that you might want to make, so it’s always best to check before booking. And be sure to read the full terms and conditions for using your Railcard.

Questions 1 - 8

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

  1. Having a rail card will mean your fares will be reduced by
  2. The card should pay after several trips
  3. Your debit or credit card, and UK driving license or international passport must be
  4. Mature students at are not eligible for the card. 
  5. A may be a better choice if you plan to do many trips over 3 years. 
  6. At certain times of year the is not applicable 
  7. There is no reduction in price available for
  8. It is advisable  to because there is no guarantee you can purchase the type of ticket you require. 

Read the text below and answer questions 9-14.

Buying the Rail Card:


The quickest and easiest way to buy is right here online.  All you need is:

  • A valid passport or UK driving licence to verify your identity
  • A digital passport-style photo saved to your computer, tablet or mobile phone
  • A debit or credit card

What happens next?

We aim to dispatch your Railcard within one working day of you ordering it, but it’s probably best to allow up to five working days for your 16-25 Railcard to arrive. It’ll be sent out free of charge by First Class post, but if you prefer, you have the option to pay for Special Delivery.

You’ll need the physical Railcard with you to be able to get a discount on your rail ticket, so be sure to leave enough time before your journey for the Railcard to reach you. If you need to travel straight away, you’re better off buying a 16-25 Railcard over the counter at your local staffed station.

At a staffed station ticket office

You can buy a 16-25 Railcard at any staffed station ticket office or National Rail-licensed Travel Agent. The main advantage of this is that you can do it on the day you are travelling.

If you're applying at a station for the first time you'll need to complete an application form here (you can pick this up at the station) and bring either of the following:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Passport (all nationalities accepted)
  • UK driving licence
  • National identity card

You'll also need:

  • A passport-size photo
  • Proof of eligibility if applying as a mature student

If you're renewing your Railcard, you'll need to fill in the application form, and take your existing Railcard and Photocard. These are automatically accepted as proof of your age. If you are renewing an online Railcard at a station you will need proof of age as above.

Once you've bought your Railcard at a station, you can then register it online.  This will make it easier for you to renew or buy other cards online.

By phone

You can get your Railcard over the phone. Call our telesales service on 0345 3000 250 (0700hrs to 2200hrs every day except Christmas Day). Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02). Please note, you’ll also need to submit your photo via email.

Questions 9-14

Do the following statements agree or disagree with the information given in the text?




If the statement agrees with the information

If the statement contradicts with the information

If there is no information on this

  1. The travel card should not take more than 5 working days to arrive once ordered.
  2. You can still travel and get the discount on your first trip if your railcard has not arrived.
  3. A benefit of applying at a station office is that staff can help you with the form.
  4. At least two pieces of identification are required the first time you apply.
  5. A current railcard and photocard can be used as evidence of age when renewing a rail card.
  6. If you apply by phone you can talk to a customer sales representative.
Show/Hide the Answers

Section 2 >

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