BEST IELTS General Reading Test 427

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 427

IELTS General Reading Test

The happiest country in the world

Children growing up in Costa Rica are surrounded by some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world. Preserving tropical rainforests isn’t Costa Rica’s only success, because the government also makes sure everyone has access to health-care and education. So when the New Economics Foundation released its second Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica came out number one. The index is a ranking of countries based on their impact on the environment and the health and happiness of their citizens.

According to Mariano Rojas, a Costa Rican economics professor, Costa Rica is a mid-income country where citizens have plenty of time for themselves and for their relationships with others. ‘A mid-income level allows most citizens to satisfy their basic needs.

IELTS General Reading Test

The government makes sure that all Costa Ricans have access to education, health and nutrition services.’ Costa Ricans, he believes, are not interested in status or spending money to show how successful they are. 

Created in 2008, the Happy Planet Index examines happiness on a national level and ranks 143 countries according to three measurements: their citizens’ happiness, how long they live (which reflects their health), and how much of the planet’s resources each country consumes. According to researcher Saamah Abdallah, the Index also measures the outcomes that are most important, and those are happy, healthy lives for everyone.

IELTS General Reading Test

Choose ONE WORD OR ONE NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

The Happy Planet Index

Year started: (1)……………..

Number of countries it lists: (2)……………..

Measures each country’s happiness according to:

– its effect on the (3)…………….. (i.e. the quantity of the Earth’s (4)…………….. that it uses); 

– the (5)…………….. of the population (i.e. how long people live);

– how happy its (6)…………….. are. 

IELTS General Reading Test


Reaching the moon, multiplying two 12-digit numbers instantly, and searching trillions of gigabytes of information in one go has all been made possible due to technology. It has realized possibilities that would have otherwise been considered a mammoth task to complete. Imagining a life without technological devices in the vicinity is an unpleasant thought for most people. But is the dependence desirable or does it have its downside too? 

In a survey conducted in the US, people were asked if society has become dependent on technology. Out of the total responses, 77% of people believed that dependence on technology has increased at an alarming rate. According to a study, 6% of school-going teenagers in China are addicted to the Internet. In South Korea, the figures are likely to reach 10%. These results are not surprising.

IELTS General Reading Test

Today, if teenagers are asked the meaning of a particular word or to state their opinion on a given issue, they will instantly reach for their mobile and the internet instead of referring to a physical dictionary or a book for information. Turning pages of physical books are relatively time-consuming, but it does not necessarily mean that the much-trusted technology will always be able to deliver better.

We have improved with technology but have not thought of an alternative if technology does not work. The most recent examples are the outages at the New York Stock Exchange when a break-down in the system took three-and-half hours to resolve and resume trading, halting the overall pace of Wall Street. Another such example is a minor router issue at United Airlines which grounded its planes for two hours leading to 800 flight delays. These are just a couple of the many incidents of a technical outage. While the technology in use may be state-of-the-art, having a reliable backup is equally important. 

IELTS General Reading Test

Sophisticated systems in various areas such as airlines, military, or electric grids add to the convenience. However, there are inherent risks. For example, even upgraded security systems may be vulnerable to the slightest malfunction. A minor change in readings, codes, or chips with malicious intent may harm innocent people and society at large. 

Online networking, a gift of advanced technology, has become a part of our daily lives and its advantages are undeniable. However, it has changed our daily interactions and can change our social structure too. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced by chats and text messages on social media. Reduced face-to-face interaction has kept smartphone users away from real-life situations.

IELTS General Reading Test

The virtual world cannot replace real-life situations that demand communication skills, problem-solving skills, tolerance, and receptivity to coexist in society. “They don’t know how to handle conflict face to face because so many things happen through some sort of technology,” said Melissa Ortega, a child psychologist at New York’s Child Mind Institute.

Technology has improved our way of life, but it should be used only as a tool. Relying on it to an extent where a technological detox becomes next to impossible is worrying. We must be technologically advanced and not technology dependent.

IELTS General Reading Test

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?


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

7. People do not like the idea of living without technology.

8. Teenagers must prefer books over the Internet for information.

9. We are not yet prepared for technology failures.

10. An alternative setup is always reliable.

11. Improved systems have rare security breaches.

12. People are losing social skills due to virtual communication.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 427

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IELTS General Reading Test

1. 2008

2. 143





7. YES


9. YES


11. NO 

12. YES 

IELTS General Reading Test

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