BEST IELTS General Reading Test 426

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 426

IELTS General Reading Test

How tsunamis are made

The word tsunami comes from the Japanese. It means “harbor” (tsu) and “wave” (nami). The first person to discover a tsunami was a fisherman. He returned to shore on his boat. When he reached the beach, he saw the harbor was gone. This caught him by surprise. The fisherman did not expect this to happen. He did not feel a strong wave out in the ocean. He realized that it was not wind that created waves in the ocean. It was something stronger and deeper.

Tsunamis form after an earthquake. Earthquakes happen in special zones. These are called Subduction zones. They lie deep on the ocean floor. Famous Subduction zones arc in the Indian Ocean and the South East Pacific Ocean. Here the ocean floor is divided into two plates. These two pieces of floor slide one over the other very gently. But sometimes they collide. They crash into each other. The shock causes an earthquake. The earth shakes and lifts the ocean water above. Huge waves are generated. The waves made by the earthquake form a tsunami.

IELTS General Reading Test

A tsunami carries a lot of energy. It has created deep in the ocean. Thus its waves have far more power than normal waves. They carry a lot of speed. They travel faster and faster and get bigger and bigger. These waves travel across the ocean with 500 to 1,000 km/h. A set of waves is called a train. There is usually a big distance between these waves. Sometimes it can take an hour for a new tsunami wave to pass. But these waves are extremely long. A tsunami wave can have a length of several hundred kilometers. In the open ocean, a tsunami wave is only a few meters high. People on the open ocean do not feel it.

But things change when tsunami waves get close to shore. The sea becomes shallower. The water is not so deep anymore. The tsunami waves have no room to carry their energy and cannot travel as quickly. So they begin to pile up. They start to get on top of each other.  There is no more distance between the waves. The waves get steeper and taller until they reach huge heights. A typical tsunami wave on shore is 30 m high. All the energy is now inside this huge wave. When it crashes on land, it carries great power and destroys everything in its path.

IELTS General Reading Test

The biggest tsunami in the history of the world happened on December 26, 2004. It hit South East Asia. 230,000 people were killed, 168,000 in Indonesia alone. There were millions of dollars worth in damage. Scientists have analyzed this tsunami. They are trying to figure out new methods to track down tsunamis. One way to discover a tsunami is to use a tsunameter. This device is put deep into the ocean near Subduction zones. It senses when an earthquake happens. Then it sends signals to a nearby computer. The computer generates a tsunami model. Scientists read the computer model and can send early warnings to people in danger. 

Choose the correct letter.

1. What is the main idea of paragraph 1?

A. The word tsunami comes from the Japanese.

B. A fisherman discovered a tsunami by accident.

C. A fisherman was caught in a huge tsunami.

D. Tsunamis are not created by wind.

2. What is a Subduction zone?

A. An area under the ocean where earthquakes happen

B. An area under the ocean where tsunamis happen

C. An area in the Indian and South Pacific Ocean

D. The deepest area of a seafloor

IELTS General Reading Test

3. In what order does a tsunami happen?

A. Plate collision, earthquake shock, water lifting, huge waves

B. Earthquake shock, plate collision, water lifting, huge waves

C. Plate collision, water lifting, earthquake shock, huge waves

D. Earthquake shock, water lifting, plate collision, huge waves

4. Why does the author use the word “train” in paragraph 3?

A. To compare the speed of a tsunami wave with that of a train

B. To emphasize the big distance between two tsunami waves

C. To contrast the length of a tsunami wave with that of a train

D. To define a term related to tsunami waves

IELTS General Reading Test

5. Which of the following is NOT true?

A. Tsunamis have great energy when they reach shore.

B. Tsunamis get closer together when they reach shore.

C. Tsunamis are shallow waves when they reach shore.

D. Tsunamis lose some speed when they reach shore.

6. What does the sentence “There were millions of dollars’ worth in damage” in paragraph 5 mean?

A. The people hit by the tsunami paid $1 million.

B. It costs millions of dollars to rebuild the destroyed countries.

C. People donated millions of dollars to help clean the damage.

D. Banks must pay millions of dollars in insurance for the damage.

IELTS General Reading Test

7. Why do scientists use tsunameters?

A. To sense when an earthquake happens

B. To send signals to a nearby computer

C. To generate a tsunami model

D. To warn people about possible tsunamis

Mau Piailug, ocean navigator

Mau sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti using traditional methods

In early 1976, Mau Piailug, a fisherman, led an expedition in which he sailed a traditional Polynesian boat across 2,500 miles of ocean from Hawaii to Tahiti. The Polynesiai Voyaging Society had organised the expedition. Its purpose was to find out if seafarers in the distant past could have found their way from one island to the other without navigational instruments, or whether the islands had been populated by accident.

At the time, Mau was the only man alive who knew how to navigate just by observing the stars, the wind and the sea. He had never before sailed to Tahiti, which was a long way to the south. However, he understood how the wind and the sea behave around islands, so he was confident he could find his way. The voyage took him and his crew a month to complete and he did it without a compass or charts.

IELTS General Reading Test

His grandfather began the task of teaching him how to navigate when he was still a baby. He showed him pools of water on the beach to teach him how the behaviour of the waves and wind changed in different places. Later, Mau used a circle of stones to memorise the positions of the stars. Each stone was laid out in the sand to represent a star.

The voyage proved that Hawaii’s first inhabitants came in small boats and navigated by reading the sea and the stars. Mau himself became a keen teacher, passing on his traditional secrets to people of other cultures so that his knowledge would not be lost. He explained the positions of the stars to his students, but he allowed them to write things down because he knew they would never be able to remember everything as he had done.

IELTS General Reading Test


TRUE          if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE        if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

IELTS General Reading Test

8. At the time of his voyage, Mau had unique navigational skills.

9. Mau was familiar with the sea around Tahiti.

10. Mau thought it would be difficult to use a compass and charts.

11. Mau’s grandfather was his only teacher.

12. Mau used stones to learn where each star was situated in the sky.

13. The first inhabitants of Hawaii could read and write.

14. Mau expected his students to memorise the positions of the stars.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 426

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IELTS General Reading Test

1. B

2. A

3. A

4. D

5. C

6. B

7. D





12. TRUE



IELTS General Reading Test

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