BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 434

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 434

IELTS Academic Reading Test

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE

The Smithsonian was established in 1846 by the U.S. Congress under the terms of a gift by British scientist James Smithson, Today, it is the largest museum complex in the world. It comprises 16 museums, a National Zoo, and several prominent research centers, most of which are located near its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The institution’s collections number more than 140 million items, from masterpieces of modern sculpture and the world’s oldest fossil to the original compass used by the “Lewis and Clark expedition” to the American West.

A hallmark of the Smithsonian is its accessibility. Every museum is open to the public free of charge, generally every day of the year except December 25. The research centers offer frequent public exhibitions and educational programs, The Smithsonian’s principal museums and research centers are briefly described below.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The National Air and Space Museum presents a comprehensive survey of the evolution of aviation and space flight. Two dozen galleries trace themes and events in aviation and space history. The large and diverse collection of aircraft, spacecraft, and artifacts includes the Flyer, designed by the Wright brothers; the Spirit of St. Louis, used by Charles Lindbergh to make the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean; and the command module of Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon.

The National Museum of American History is devoted to providing an understanding of the United States and its many peoples through extensive collections, exhibitions, and public programs, Highlights of the collection include the original Star-Spangled Banner (the battle flag from the War of 1812 that inspired American lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key to compose the words of the United States’ national anthem); the compass explorer William Clark used on his expedition to the American West with Meriwether Lewis from 1804 to 1806; and the oldest operable locomotive, the John Bull, built in 1841.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The National Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s leading centers for research and learning about the natural world and humans’ place in it. Its collections, which number more than 120 million specimens, are the foundation for research, exhibitions, and education. Highlights include the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond, the largest deep blue diamond in the world; millions of fossilized plants, animals, and geologic specimens; and one of the most complete Allosaurus dinosaur skeletons displayed in a museum,

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory was founded in 1890, As the era of space exploration began, the observatory was at the forefront of space science research, gaining a prominent reputation for its worldwide satellite-tracking network. In 1973 the joint Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was created. The organization has been a pioneer in developing instruments and methods for astronomical research. Its facilities and equipment include ground-based telescopes in Arizona and Massachusetts, a highly advanced radio telescope in Cambridge, and many instruments aboard spacecraft and balloons.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center conducts long-term ecological studies that contribute to the protection and management of natural resources. Interdisciplinary studies at the center investigate the effects of human activities on natural systems. Biology is the primary focus, but scientists also use geography, geology, hydrology, chemistry, physics, and other disciplines to find answers to environmental questions. Studies are conducted over 25 years to identify patterns and draw conclusions about causes of environmental phenomena.

At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), staff scientists and visiting researchers from around the world study the organisms, ecosystems, and peoples of the world’s tropics in the institute’s laboratories and research stations. As one of the world’s leading centers for tropical research, STAI has programs exploring animal behavior, plant ecology, forest canopy biology, paleoecology (the study of ancient or prehistoric organisms in their environment), archaeology, evolution, genetics, marine ecology, anthropology, and conservation science.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Research by the institute’s staff and visiting scientists has increased understanding of how tropical plants respond to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. By studying how tropical organisms communicate, scientists know more about the tropical forest canopy’s effect on global biological diversity. Smithsonian scientists use a specially designed tower crane system to reach the forest canopy. The crane was developed by STRI and is the only system of its kind in the tropics.

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement is true according to the passage

FALSE if the statement is false according to the passage

NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

1. The Smithsonian consists of 6 large museums, all of which are located near its headquarters in New York.

2. At the National Air and Space Museum, you can learn about the evolution of aviation.

3. The 45.5-carat Hope Diamond, located in the National Museum of Natural History, is the world’s most valuable diamond.

4. The Smithsonian was established by an American scientist from Harvard University.

5. A hallmark of the Smithsonian is their lack of a public admission fee.

6. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center conducts 25-year studies to identify patterns and draw conclusions about causes of environmental phenomena.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Some of the exhibits and instruments of the Smithsonian Institute are listed below (Questions 7-12).

NB You may use any museum or research centre name more than once.

Museums and Research Centres

AS      National Air and Space Museum

AH     National Museum of American History

NH     National Museum of Natural History

AO     Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

TR      Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

7. The original Star-Spangled Banner

8. A highly advanced radio telescope

9. The oldest operable locomotive

10. The command module of Apollo

11. A specially designed tower crane system

12. The “Spirit of St. Louis”

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 434

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1. FALSE

2. TRUE

3. NOT GIVEN

4. FALSE

5. TRUE

6. TRUE

7. AH

8. AO

9. AH

10. AS

11. TR

12. AS

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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