BEST IELTS General Reading Test 446

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 446

IELTS General Reading Test

Wood: a valuable resource in New Zealand’s economy

During the settlement of New Zealand by European immigrants, natural timbers played a major role. Wood was easily accessible and relatively cheap. A tradition of wooden housed arose, supported by the recognition that they were less likely to collapse suddenly during earthquakes, a not infrequent event in this part of the world. But in addition to demand from the domestic market, there was also a demand for forest products from overseas.

Early explores recognised the suitability of the tall, straight trunks of the kauri for constructing sailing vessels. The kauri is a species of coniferous tree found only in small areas of the southern hemisphere. So from the early 1800s, huge amounts of this type of wood were sold to Australia and the UK for that purpose. For a period, the forestry industry was the country’s major export earner but the rate of harvest was unsustainable and, by the beginning of the 2O’n century, indigenous timber exports were rapidly declining.

IELTS General Reading Test

From the 1940s, newly established plantations of an imported, species of tree called radiate pine supplied timber and other wood products in increasing quantities. By the 1960s, plantation- grown timber was providing most of the basis of paper.

Pulp: wood which is crushed until soft enough to country’s sawn timber needs, especially for construction. Today, less than two per cent of timber is cut from indigenous forest, and almost all of that is used for higher- value end uses, such as furniture and fittings. As the pine industry developed, it became apparent that this type of wood was also well suited for many uses.

IELTS General Reading Test

It makes excellent pulp*, and is frequently used for post, poles, furnishings and moldings, particleboard, fiberboard, and for plywood and’ engineered’ wood products. Pine by- products are used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and residues are consumed for fuel. This amazing versatility has encouraged the development of an integrated forest- products industry which is almost unique in the world.

Exporters of wood products have largely targeted the rapidly growing markets of South and East Asia and Australia. 80 percent of exports by value go to only five markets: Japan, Korea, China, the United States and Australia. The product mix remains heavily based on raw materials, with logs, sawn wood, pulp and paper comprising 75 per cent of export value. However, finished wood products such as panels and furniture components are exported to more than 50 countries.

IELTS General Reading Test

In New Zealand itself, the construction industry is the principal user of solid wood products, servicing around 20000 new house starts annually. However, the small size of New Zealand’s population (just over four million), plus its small manufacturing and remanufacturing base, limit the forestry industry’s domestic opportunities. For the last few years local wood consumption has been around only four million cubic metres. Accordingly, the development of the export market is the key to the industry’s growth and contribution to the national economy in decades to come.

In 2004, forestry export receipts were about 11 per cent of the country’s total export income, their value having increased steadily for ten years, until affected by the exchange fluctuations and shipping costs of recent years. The forestry industry is New Zealand’s third largest export sector, generating around $ 3.3 billion annually from logs and processed wood products. But it is generally agreed that it is operating well below its capacity and, with the domestic market already at its peak, almost all of the extra wood produced in future will have to be marketed overseas. That presents a major marketing challenge for the industry.

IELTS General Reading Test

Although the export of logs will continue to provide valuable earnings for forest owners, there is broad acceptance that the industry mu3t be based on valuable earnings or forest owners, there is broad acceptance that the industry must be based on value- added products in future. So the industry is investigating various processing. Infrastructure and investment strategies with a view to increasing the level of local manufacturing before export.

The keys to factors, better international marketing, product innovation, internationally competitive processing, better infrastructure, and a suitable political, regulatory and investment environment. The industry claim that given the right conditions, by 2025 the forestry sector could be the country’s biggest export earner, generating $20 billion a year and employing 60000 people.

IELTS General Reading Test

One competitive advantages that New Zealand has is its ability to source large quantities of softwood from renewable forests. Consumers in several key wood markets are becoming more worried about sustainability, and the industry is supporting the development of national standards as well as the recognition of these internationally.

However, New Zealand is not the only country with a planation- style forestry industry. Chile, brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Australia all have extensive plantings of fast growing species ( hardwood and softwood), and in the northern hemisphere, Scandinavian countries have all expanded their forest or controlled their use in the interests of future production.

Finally, in addition to completion from other wood producers, New Zealand faces competition from goods such as wood substitutes. These include stool framing for houses. This further underlines the necessity for globally competitive production and marketing strategies. 

Pulp: wood which Is crushed until soft enough to form the basis of paper.

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IELTS General Reading Test

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

In boxed 1-6 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE                                   if the statement agree with the information

FALE                                    if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN                         if there is no information on this.

IELTS General Reading Test

1. Settlers realised that wooden houses were more dangerous than other types of structure

2. During the 1800s, New Zealand exported wood for use in boat- building.

3. Plantation- grown wood is generally better for construction than native- forest wood.

4. Compared to other types of wood, pine has a narrow range of uses.

5. Demand for housing in New Zealand is predicted to fall in the next few years.

6. In future, the expansion of New Zealand’s wood industry will depend on its exports.

IELTS General Reading Test

The history of jeans

The first people to wear jeans were sailors in the 16th century. Sailors were gone for a long time. They had to do hard work outside in bad weather. Often their clothes had holes in them, got thinner or lost color. They needed something strong against wear and tear. Their clothes had to last longer and stay in good condition. They found this type of cloth during their trip to India. It was made of thick cotton and was called dungaree. It was dyed indigo. Indians use the indigo plant to color this type of cloth in factories. Sailors bought dungaree cloth in outside markets, cut it and wore it on their trips home.

The first jeans were made in Genoa. Genoa is a city in Italy. In the 16th century, Genoa was very powerful. Its sailors traveled all around the world. The Genoa city decided to make better pants for their sailors. They used the dungaree cloth because it was sturdy and strong. The new pants were called ‘geanos’ or ‘jeanos’. Sailors could use it in both wet and dry weather. They could roll up the pants when cleaning the ship. To clean the pants, they put them inside a net, threw it in the ocean and dragged the net behind the ship. This is when they realized their color changes to white. This is how bleached jeans were invented.

IELTS General Reading Test

Later French workers in Nimes also made jeans. They used a different type of cloth called denim. But it was also sturdy and dyed blue, like the jeanos. In 1872, there was a small cloth merchant in Germany. His name was Levi Strauss. He bought and sold denim from France but Levi Strauss got into trouble and had to go away to America.

In New York Levi learned how to sew. When he moved to San Francisco, he met many gold diggers. These men went to find gold in rivers. The weather was often bad and the men were only thin pants. Levi started to cut pants out of denim. He sold these jeans to the gold diggers, and they loved them. Soon all factory workers and farmers were wearing jeans too. They were comfortable and easy to take care of and cheap.

IELTS General Reading Test

In 1950, popular movie and music stars like Elvis Presley and James Dean started wearing jeans. Those jeans were really tight and parents didn’t like them. But they caught on with teenagers. Jeans became so popular because they meant freedom. Teenagers wanted to be independent and to make their own rules. In 1960 they started to decorate their jeans with flowers and colorful designs, or to tear and rip the jeans.

But in 1980 jeans became very expensive. Famous fashion designers like Calvin Klein began making designer jeans. They put their name on these jeans. Young people wanted to wear certain brands to show their style. There was a lot of pressure to keep up with the trend. Everybody wanted to be fashionable. Jeans were considered the uniform of youth. You had to wear jeans to be in style.

IELTS General Reading Test

Choose the correct letter.

7. What is the main idea of paragraph 1?

A. Sailors made jeans out of dungaree.

B. Sailors needed stronger clothing and found dungarees.

C. Sailors are the first people to wear jeans.

D. Sailors bought their jeans in India.

8. Which or the following is NOT true?

A. There were many sailors in Genoa.

B. Sailors thought jeans were useful.

C. Sailors did not know how to clean the jeans.

D. Sailors made bleached jeans by accident.

IELTS General Reading Test

9. What was the difference between French and Italian jeans?

A. The color

B. The material

C. The style

D. The sturdiness

10. What can be inferred about jeans in paragraph 1?

A. The jeans were intended for practical use.

B. The jeans got worn out easily.

C. Most Indeans were skillful tailors.

D. Dungaree was the first jeans.

IELTS General Reading Test

11. Why does the author say “parents didn’t like them” in paragraph 4?

A. To say that jeans fitted too close on the body

B. To say that too many stars were wearing jeans

C. To emphasize that jeans were too expensive

D. To demonstrate that teenagers sometimes ripped their jeans

12. What does Jeans were considered “the uniform of youth” in paragraph 5 means?

A. You can wear jeans in school.

B. All teenagers wear jeans.

C. Jeans are for young people only.

D. Young people must wear jeans to be fashionable. 

IELTS General Reading Test

Why gold diggers loved jeans? 

A. Jeans were thin.

B. Jeans did not have to be washed.

C. Jeans were easy to wear.

D. Jeans were sold everywhere.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 446

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IELTS General Reading Test







7. B

8. C

9. B

10. A   

11. A

12. D

13. C

IELTS General Reading Test

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