BEST IELTS General Reading Test 450

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 450

IELTS General Reading Test
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 450

The ballpoint pen

Most of us have at least one, but how did this popular item evolve?

One morning in 1945, a crowd of 5,000 people jammed the entrance of Gimbels Department Store in New York. The day before, Gimbels had placed a full-page advertisement in the New York Times for a wonderful new invention, the ballpoint pen. The advertisement described the pen as ‘fantastic’ and ‘miraculous’. Although they were expensive, $12.50 each, all 10,000 pens in stock were sold on the first day.

In fact, this ‘new’ pen was not new at all. In 1888, John Loud, a leather manufacturer, had invented a pen with a reservoir of ink and a rolling ball. However, his pen was never produced, and efforts by other people to produce a commercially successful one failed too. The main problem was with the ink. If it was too thin, the ink leaked out of the pen. If it was too thick, it didn’t come out of the pen at all.

IELTS General Reading Test

Almost fifty years later, in 1935, a newspaper editor in Hungary thought he spent too much time filling his pens with ink. He decided to invent a better kind of pen. With the help of his brother, who was a chemist, he produced a ballpoint pen that didn’t leak when the pen wasn’t being used. The editor was called Ladislas Biro, and it was his name that people would associate more than any other with the ballpoint pen.

By chance, Biro met Augustine Justo, the Argentinian president. Justo was so impressed with Biro’s invention that he invited him to set up a factory in Argentina. In 1943, the first Biro pens were produced.

IELTS General Reading Test

Unfortunately, they were not popular, since the pen needed to be held in a vertical position for the ink to come out. Biro redesigned the pen with a better ball, and in 1944 the new product was on sale throughout Argentina.

It was a North American, Milton Reynolds, who introduced the ballpoint pen to the USA. Copying Biro’s design, he produced the version that sold so well at Gimbels. Another American, Patrick Frawley, improved the design and in 1950 began producing a pen he called the Papermate. It was an immediate success, and within a few years, Papermates were selling in their millions around the world.

IELTS General Reading Test

Read each part carefully and choose the correct option, A, B, C or D.

1.  People went to Gimbels to buy a ballpoint pen because

A.   they couldn’t get them anywhere else.

B.   they had been told how good the pens were.

C.   they had never seen a ballpoint pen before.

D.   they thought the price was good.

2.  Why were early ballpoint pens not produced commercially?

A.   Nobody wanted to buy one.

B.   It cost too much to produce them.

C.   They used too much ink.

D.   They didn’t work properly.

IELTS General Reading Test

3.  Why was Ladislas Biro’s pen better than earlier models?

A.   It didn’t need to be filled with ink as often.

B.   It was designed by a chemist.

C.   The ink stayed in the pen until it was needed.

D.   It was easier to use.

4.  Biro’s first commercially-produced pen

A.   was produced in a factory owned by the Argentinian president.

B.   only worked if used in a certain way.

C.   was a major success.

D.   went on sale in 1944.

IELTS General Reading Test

5.  Patrick Frawley’s pen

A.   was a better version of an earlier model.

B.   took time to become successful.

C.   was the USA’s first commercially successful ballpoint pen.

D.   was only successful in the USA.

Running Headphones 

Listening to music on headphones makes running and even working out at the gym much more enjoyable. Here are some alternatives to choose from.

A. Plantronics Backbeat Fit

These headphones are really tough so you don’t need to worry about just throwing them into your bag before or after a workout. As well as providing reasonably clear sound they will also last a remarkable eight hours on a single charge.

IELTS General Reading Test

B. Sennheiser CX685 Sports

These headphones are impressively practical. Designed to fit firmly in your ear, however energetic you are, they’re tight without being uncomfortable, and have a handy remote and a mic for phone calls. They will also resist some water being spilt on them.

C. Nokia WH-510 Coloud Pop

These stylish headphones have fantastic bass, giving you a bit of extra oomph when you run. They also have a tangle-free cable which avoids any time-consuming messing about before you set off on your run.

IELTS General Reading Test

D. Sony NWZ-W273S

It’s hard to imagine using any other headphones once you’ve tried these. As well as being wireless and waterproof at a depth of 2m, they even have a built-in MP3 player that can hold up to 1,000 songs. A charge provides up to an hour of playback.

E. Betron B750S

If you’re on a tight budget, it can always feel risky buying a bottom of the market pair of headphones, but with these you needn’t worry. Not only do they provide fair sound quality, they also come with a pouch to keep them in.

IELTS General Reading Test

F. Happy Plugs

The sound quality on these is decent, although you’re probably not going to be hugely impressed. They also come with a handy remote built into the cable to skip and pause songs while you work out.

G. Powerbeats 2

If money is not an issue, then these are definitely worth considering. They make everything sound so crisp and they’re so light and comfortable that it’s easy to forget that you’re even wearing them.

IELTS General Reading Test

Look at the seven reviews of headphones, A-G. For which headphones are the following statements true? Write the correct letter, A-G

NB You may use any letter more than once.

6. These headphones would suit someone who doesn’t mind spending a lot to get good quality.

7. The battery on these headphones has a surprisingly long life.

8. It is possible to keep in contact with other people while using these headphones.

9. Although these headphones are cheaper than most, music sounds quite good through them.

10. These headphones are very strong and do not require gentle handling.

11. These headphones allow users to move around their playlist of music easily while they are exercising.

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 450

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IELTS General Reading Test

1. B     

2. D     

3. C     

4. B

5. A

6. G

7. A

8. B

9. E

10. A

11. C

IELTS General Reading Test

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