BEST IELTS General Reading Test 408

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 408


IELTS General Reading Test




A. Freerunning – or Parkour -is an acrobatic discipline which turns the city into a playground. It has been described as jogging meets gymnastics, as urban-steeplechase aerobics and as acrobatic performance art.

B. The discipline of Parkour-sport really is not an accurate way of describing it-was developed in the suburbs of Paris in the 1980s when a group of friends began to use the architectural landscape as their playground and gym. Fun was important for these founders, but for them Parkour was not just a leisure activity, it was a way of life.

As in martial arts, Parkour involves mental discipline and self-improvement. It is not concerned solely with the acquisition of physical skills, but also with the improvement of one’s mental and spiritual wellbeing. As one runner comments, ‘It teaches me not to be scared in life, when new situations come to me, I deal with them calmly,like I would do before a new jump.’

IELTS General Reading Test

C. So, freerunning provides a philosophy for life: why walk when you could run, leap,vault and somersault? Why go round obstacles when you could go under, over and through them? Why use steps when there are handrails and sheer drops? The aim of a freerunner,or traceur, is to travel in an uninterrupted flow over the cityscape, incorporating any obstacles into the journey. ‘Flow’ is a key word here. Using fluid movements, which are both graceful and efficient, you try to flow like water through your surroundings.

Freedom is another key aspect – the sense of escaping from the restrictions of your surroundings and routine. In attempting to become ‘fluid like water’, the traceur tries to use the body as efficiently as possible. At the same time,they have respect for their surroundings and disapprove of anything, such as the grinding and waxing done by skateboarders,which damages them.

IELTS General Reading Test

D. This respect was not immediately evident to the people whose buildings they were using. Informal groups of young men testing their skills on public or other people’s property, naturally met with disapproval and even hostility – and for many traceurs this was the thrill or even the point of doing it. Knowing that it was an underground activity that belonged only to a select portion of urban youth was what made it special, what made it theirs.

E. The free, accessible nature of freerunning means it has the potential to engage groups of young people who are typically unmoved- by traditional sports. Basically anyone can practise, anywhere – all you need is a decent pair of the financial outlay is negligible. There are no joining fees, no forms to fill in and no rules and regulations. However, there is a shared attitude among the original traceurs, which they feel is being jeopardised by its rapidly increasing popularity.

IELTS General Reading Test

F. The TV ads involving the early French founders of the discipline drew attention from all over the world. A British documentary showed the founders running over the rooftops of famous London landmarks, which encouraged many to start to practise themselves. Subsequently the French were joined by a group of English traceurs called Urban Freeflow demonstrating the rapid growth of Parkour.

G. But it is this growing popularity and the acrobatic and spectacular performances which have attracted so much attention, that may contain the very few elements which some feel will change the nature of Parkour. The public approval and corporate sponsorship which could popularise the sport could actually destroy it. Yet that is the direction in which even some early traceurs would like it to take – away from the founders’ original philosophy.

IELTS General Reading Test

H. Media and big business have been attracted to the youthful appeal of the discipline. TY, which has done so much to popularise the activity,demands dramatic, showy visuals, including flips and somersaults. These daring embellishments are known as ‘tricking’, a term which, while it is an accurate description, might also suggest a false approach to the discipline. While the original traceurs might argue that true Parkour should not involve competition, there are forces pushing it in that direction.

I. There are participants of course, for whom entertainment and showmanship are the point. Inspired by YouTube clips, young people across Britain are adopting a form of freerunning which includes competing to produce moves which are spectacular. Runners who want to display acrobatics to each other are also more likely to stay in one place, abandoning the physical journey and its random challenges.

IELTS General Reading Test

J. The promoters of Parkour call it ‘the coolest way for young people to get fit and stay healthy’ and ‘a fitness regime designed by young people for young people’ and there are organisations where the words ‘cool’ and ‘young’ spark a great deal of interest. Councils, seeing this growing popularity, have started looking at ways to take the activity into schools or even to create ‘freerun parks’ and major companies, meanwhile, are keen to have their brands associated with the youthfulness of the activity.

Freerunners on the street seem to be particularly sceptical about commercialisation. ‘There are already special Freerunning trainers you can buy’ says a young traceur, who like most, wears a simple T-shirt, baggy tracksuit bottoms and unbranded trainers for the sport. Another neatly summed up the contradiction within the notion of this young, rebellious activity becoming mainstream, I don’t think I would do it if it really took off.’

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 27-34

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? In boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet, write

YES – if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer.

NO – if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer.

NOT GIVEN – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this.

27. Freerunning takes influences from several other sports and activities.

28. It is difficult to define what freerunning is.

29. It is not known where freerunning originated.

30. Freerunning is more popular with men than women.

31. Freerunners use similar movements to skateboarders.

32. Freerunning is an expensive activity for participants.

33. Freerunning was introduced to the British public by a TV advertisement.

34. Few newcomers to freerunning share the same view of the activity as the original founders.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 35-37

Choose THREE letters A-F.

Write your answers in boxes 35-37 of your answer sheet.

Which THREE of the following statements about the discipline of freerunning are true according to the passage?

A. It only focusses on the development of physical capabilities.

B. It is evolving into a competitive activity.

C. It involves a personal choice of movements.

D. It encourages dangerous behaviour.

E. It requires the ability to look beyond the traditional use of objects.

F. It is mainly performed in freerun parks.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 38-40

Choose THREE letters A-F.

Which THREE movements are associated with freerunning according to the text?

A. flipping

B. hopping

C. jumping

D. rolling

E. squatting

F. walking

IELTS General Reading Test


[quads id=4]
[quads id=5]
[quads id=7]
[quads id=8]
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 408

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27. YES

28. YES

29. NO


31. NO

32. NO

33. NO

34. YES

35. B

36. C

37. E

38. A

39. C

40. D

IELTS General Reading Test

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