BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 315

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 315


IELTS Academic Reading Test





Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the patient’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. This can lead to numerous physical and mental symptoms, as the disease affects the transmission of electrical signals between the body and the brain. However, the human body, being a flexible, adaptable system, can compensate for some level of damage, so a person with MS can look and feel fine even though the disease is present.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


MS patients can have one of two main varieties of the disease: the relapsing form and the primary progressive form. In the relapsing form, the disease progresses in a series of jumps; at times it is in remission, which means that a person’s normal functions return for a period of time before the system goes into relapse and the disease again becomes more active. This is the most common form of MS; 80-90% of people have this form of the disease when they are first diagnosed. The relapse-remission cycle can continue for many years. Eventually, however, loss of physical and cognitive function starts to take place, and the remissions become less frequent.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


In the primary progressive form of MS, there are no remissions, and a continual but steady loss of physical and cognitive functions takes place. This condition affects about 10-15% of sufferers at diagnosis.


The expected course of the disease, or prognosis, depends on many variables: the subtype of the disease, the patient’s individual characteristics and the initial symptoms. Life expectancy of patients, however, is often nearly the same as that of an unaffected person-provided that a reasonable standard of care is received. In some cases, a near-normal life span is possible.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


The cause of the disease is unclear; it seems that some people have a genetic susceptibility, which is triggered by some unknown environmental factor. Onset of the disease usually occurs in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. It is more common in women than men; however, it has also been diagnosed in young children and elderly people.


Hereditary factors have been seen to have some relevance. Studies of identical twins have shown that if one twin has the disease, then it is likely that the other twin will develop it. In addition, it is important to realize that close relatives of patients have a higher chance of developing the disease than people without a relative who has MS.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


Where people live can be seen to have a clear effect, as MS does not occur as frequently in every country. It commonly affects Caucasian people, particularly in North America, Europe and Australia. It has been recognized that MS is more common the further the country is away from the equator, and the incidence of MS is generally much higher in northern countries with temperate climates than in warmer southern countries.


Three things, which do not normally occur in healthy people, happen to people who have MS. First, tiny patches of inflammation occur in the brain or spinal cord. Second, the protective coating around the axons, or nerve fibres, in the body start to deteriorate. Third, the axons themselves become damaged or destroyed. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms in the patient, depending on where the affected axons are located.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


A common symptom of MS is blurred vision caused by inflammation of the optic nerve. Another sign is loss of muscle tone in arms and legs; this is when control of muscle movement, or strength in the arms or legs, can be lost. Sense of touch can be lost so that the body is unable to feel the heat or cold or the sufferer experiences temperature inappropriately; that is, feeling heat when it is cold and vice versa. Balance can also be affected; some people may eventually have to resort to a wheelchair, either on a permanent or temporary basis. The course of the disease varies from person to person.


A diagnosis of MS is often confirmed by the use of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which can show defects in the brain and spinal cord. Once diagnosed, MS is a lifelong disease; no cure exists, although a number of medical treatments have been shown to reduce relapses and slow the progression of the disease. It is important that patients with the disease are diagnosed early so that treatment, which can slow the disease, can be started early.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 15-19

Reading Passage 2 has ten paragraphs labeled A-J.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write your answers in boxes 15-19 on your answer sheet

NB. You may use any letter more than once.

15.  The main types of the disease

16.  Loss of the sense of feeling

17.  The progress of the disease

18.  Treatments for the disease

19.  The effects of geography

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 20-27

Complete this table below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TRE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 20-27 on your answer sheet.

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 315



BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 315


1. True

2. False

3. True

4. False

5. Not Given

6. C

7. D

8. B

9. C

10. Priming

11. Biological complexity

12. Offspring

13. French

14. Giraffes

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