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IELTS Reading Mock Test Academic

This IELTS reading mock test academic has these question types:

  • Sentence Completion
  • True, False, Not Given
  • Finding Information

The Critical Role of Bees to Ecosystems

A.    Bees are social insects that belong to the family Apidae and are best known for their ability to produce honey and their important role as pollinators in ecosystems. There are over 20,000 species of bees found worldwide, ranging from solitary bees to highly social species that form large colonies.

B.    Bees play a crucial role in pollination, which is the process by which plants transfer their male genetic material to female reproductive structures, leading to the production of seeds. Pollination is essential for the reproduction of most flowering plants and for the production of the majority of the world's food crops, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In fact, it is estimated that one out of every three bites of food we eat is directly or indirectly reliant on bee pollination.

C.    Honeybees are the most well-known species of bee and are the primary species used for commercial beekeeping. These social bees live in large colonies, or hives, and work together to gather nectar, produce honey, and care for the young. Honeybees have a division of labour, with worker bees responsible for gathering nectar and pollen, while queen bees lay eggs and drones mate with the queen.

D.    Bees have specialised structures on their bodies called pollen baskets, or corbiculae, that allow them to efficiently collect and transport pollen. As they gather nectar, they come into contact with the reproductive structures of flowers and transfer pollen from one flower to another, resulting in cross-pollination. This process leads to the production of more robust and diverse plant populations, which benefits both the plants and the insects that rely on them for food.

E.    Another important aspect of bee biology is the communication system they use to coordinate their activities. Worker bees use a dance called the "waggle dance" to convey information about the location and quality of food sources to other members of the colony. This system is incredibly efficient and allows bees to optimize their foraging efforts and maximize the amount of nectar and pollen they bring back to the hive.

F.    Despite their importance, bees face a number of threats, including habitat loss, pesticide exposure, disease, and climate change. Habitat loss is a major issue for bees, as the expansion of urban areas and the conversion of natural habitats to agricultural land have reduced the amount of available foraging and nesting sites. Pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, are also harmful to bees and have been shown to impair their ability to forage, navigate, and reproduce.

G.   Another significant threat to bees is the spread of diseases and parasites, such as Varroa mites and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Varroa mites are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of bees and can transmit diseases that can decimate entire colonies. CCD is a phenomenon that results in the sudden disappearance of adult bees from a hive, leaving behind only the queen, immature bees, and honey. The exact cause of CCD is still not well understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including pesticide exposure, disease, and stress.

H.   To address the decline in bee populations, a number of efforts have been made to protect and conserve bee species. This includes the creation of habitats and nectar corridors to provide food and nesting sites, reducing the use of harmful pesticides, and promoting sustainable beekeeping practices. In addition, research is being conducted to better understand the biology and behaviour of bees and the factors that contribute to their decline.

I.      Bees are incredibly important insects that play a critical role in pollination and the production of food crops. Despite the numerous challenges they face, there is hope that by continuing to protect and conserve bee populations, we can ensure that these valuable insects continue to play a vital role in our ecosystems.

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Questions 1-5

Complete the sentences below.

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

  1. Besides staying in big groups, bees can also remain .

  2. Bees help deliver between plants so that seeds can be produced.

  3. The bodies of bees allow them to gather pollen and move it around .

  4. The results of cross-pollination are good for bugs and .

  5. Bees use the “waggle dance” to let other bees know where are located.



Questions 6-9

Do the following statements agree with the information in the IELTS reading sample text?   In the boxes, mark them as follows. 

TRUE - if the statement agrees with the information in the text. 
FALSE - if the statement does not agree with the information in the text.
NOT GIVEN - if there is no information on this in the text.


  1. Honeybees are the best type of bee for making honey.

  2. Manmade chemicals are interfering with the bees’ ability to find food.

  3. Barely anything has been done to safeguard bees.

  4. Specialists are trying to determine why the bee population is dwindling.





Questions 10-14

The passage has nine paragraphs labeled A – I.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A – I, in the box.

NB  There are more paragraphs than statements so you will not use all of them.


  1. Optimism that the difficult situation may improve.

  2. Actions taken to tackle the reduction in numbers.

  3. Bees play a critical part in the human food chain.

  4. Specialised method to relay information to the group.

  5. A puzzling situation that is affecting bees.



    IELTS Reading Mock Test Academic: Answers

    1. solitary
    2. genetic material
    3. efficiently
    4. plants
    5. food sources

    6. Not Given
    7. True
    8. False
    9. True

    10. I
    11. H
    12. B
    13. E
    14. G

    Answers Explanation

    1. solitary – Paragraph A: "There are over 20,000 species of bees found worldwide, ranging from solitary bees to highly social species that form large colonies".

    2. genetic material – Paragraph B: "… process by which plants transfer their male genetic material to female reproductive structures, leading to the production of seeds".

      Although the complete idea is “male genetic material,” the instructions limit the answer to TWO words only.

    3. efficiently – Paragraph D: "Bees have specialised structures on their bodies called pollen baskets, or corbiculae, that allow them to efficiently collect and transport pollen".

    4. plants – Paragraph D: "… resulting in cross-pollination. This process leads to the production of more robust and diverse plant populations, which benefits both the plants and the insects that rely on them for food".

    5. food sources – Paragraph E: "Worker bees use a dance called the waggle dance to convey information about the location and quality of food sources to other members of the colony".

    6. Not Given – Paragraph C: Although it says they are the primary species for commercial beekeeping, there is no explicit statement that says they are the “best.” Thus, the statement could be True, and it could be False, making the answer Not Given.

    7. True – Paragraph F: It says pesticides are harmful to bees and have been known to “impair their ability to forage.” 

    8. False – Paragraph H: It says “a number of efforts” have been made to protect and conserve bee species.

    9. True – Paragraph H: It says research is being conducted to better understand the biology and behaviour of bees and the factors that contribute to their decline.

    10. I – In paragraph I, it says “there is hope that by continuing to protect and conserve bee populations, we can ensure that these valuable insects continue to play a vital role in our ecosystems.”

    11. H – In paragraph H, it says, “To address the decline in bee populations, a number of efforts have been made to protect and conserve bee species.” Then a list of actions is given.

    12. B – In paragraph B, it says, “bees play a crucial role in pollination.” In the same paragraph it emphases the importance to humans and their food when it says how it contributes to "the majority of the world's food crops" and “one out of every three bites of food we eat is directly or indirectly reliant on bee pollination.” 

      Paragraph “I” might seem like a good option since it also stresses “the critical role in pollination and the production of food crops,” but "B" is more suitable and “I” is already the answer for Q10.

    13. E – In paragraph E, the communication system of the bees is discussed, which helps “coordinate their activities”. It also “optimizes their foraging efforts and maximizes the amount of nectar and pollen they bring back to the hive.”

    14. G – In paragraph G, the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is discussed. It says that “the exact cause of CCD is still not well understood.”

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