IELTS Sample Reading # Vocabulary

The below article has been taken from TIME. Read the article and learn the meaning of the tough vocabulary words used.

GENDER STEREOTYPES

Gender stereotypes start in elementary school, a study published today in Science suggests. Though five-year-olds don’t discriminate between genders when deciding whether or not a person is brilliant, six- and seven-year-olds overwhelmingly think men are inherently smarter than women. At the same time, the children included in the study also believed that girls receive better grades in school.The reinforcement of these ideas could lead women to be less ambitious than men once it’s time to choose a career, the study claims.

In one part of the study, five-year-olds were told a story about “a really, really smart person” and then asked to guess who the person was, based on two photos. One photo showed a woman, and the other showed a man. Aside from the gender, the pictures were nearly identical, and the five-year-olds generally identified their own gender. But six- and seven year-old girls answering the same question were “significantly less likely” to chose the female photo, reports Bloomberg.

Another section of the study introduced children to two board games: one for kids who are “really, really smart” and another for kids who try “really, really hard.” Both five-year-old boys and girls were interested in playing the game for smart kids; but while the older boys continued to want to play that game, older girls preferred the game for people who tried hard.

Rebecca S. Bigler, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Associated Press that one possible reason for this is exposure in early grades to history’s luminaries,who are mostly men. “We need to explain to children that laws were created specifically to prevent women from becoming great scientists, artists, composers, writers, explorers, and leaders,” Bigler said. “Children will then be … more likely to believe in their own intellectual potential.”

WordMeaning
stereotypesa widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
elementaryrelating to the rudiments of a subject.
discriminatemake an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.
overwhelminglyto a very great degree or with a great majority.
reinforcement the action or process of reinforcing or strengthening.
preferred like (one thing or person) better than another or others; tend to choose.
psychology the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
luminariesa person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere.
scientistsa person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.
composersa person who writes music, especially as a professional occupation.
explorersa person who explores a new or unfamiliar area.
intellectual a person possessing a highly developed intellect.
potentiala person possessing a highly developed intellect.

IELTS BAND 7

IELTS Practice Reading # Christmas Pickle

The below passage has been taken from the below link –

NEW YORK TIMES

A great many people in the American Midwest have family roots in Germany, and a good number of them can tell you all about a beloved old-country holiday tradition: the Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle.

They will tell you that an ornament in the shape of a pickle is always the last one hung on the tree on Christmas Eve, camouflaged somewhere among the pine needles. It might be shiny or matte; it might have gold swirls or a little Santa hat. But whatever the style, the story goes that the first child to find the pickle in the morning is assured of good luck in the coming year and a special gift.

It sounds plausible: Germans tend to love traditions, Christmas and pickles. Versions of the story and speculation over its origins proliferate on the internet. There is only one snag: It is all but unknown in Germany.

The Statista polling agency surveyed 2,057 Germans in November and found that 91 percent had never even heard of this holiday legend attributed to their country.

Sascha Müller of the Lauscha glass center, in the eastern German region where the making of glass Christmas ornaments started in the mid-19th century, said he had learned of the Christmas pickle for the first time in the 1990s, on a trip to Frankenmuth, Mich.

He brought the story home with him, and his artisans now churn out 50,000 pickle ornaments a year, making it a best seller behind only Santa Claus and colored glass balls.

Dieter Dressler, a glass artisan in Weimar, also makes glossy green pickle ornaments, slightly curved and as thick as a large man’s thumb. He said there could be something to the idea that people in the Spreewald region, where cucumbers are grown and pickled, might have once been so poor that they had nothing else to hang on their trees, and that émigrés took the memory with them.

Mr. Dressler said that over the past three years he had been selling more and more pickle ornaments to Germans, who laugh when they hear the story of the Weihnachtsgurke.

“Lots of people ask me if I have a smaller one,” Mr. Dressler said. But being German, he knows you cannot go against tradition. “I tell them: ‘No, that wouldn’t be a pickle. It would be a cornichon.’”

Given below are the meaning of the tough words highlighted in the passage above. So, practice reading and increase chances of getting high band.

 

WORDSMEANING
beloveddearly loved.
traditionthe transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
ornamenta thing used or serving to make something look more attractive but usually having no practical purpose, especially a small object such as a figurine.
picklea relish consisting of vegetables or fruit preserved in vinegar or brine.
camouflagedthe disguising of military personnel, equipment, and installations by painting or covering them to make them blend in with their surroundings.
matteÊdull and flat; without a shine.
swirlsmove in a twisting or spiralling pattern.
plausible(of an argument or statement) seeming reasonable or probable.
proliferateincrease rapidly in number; multiply.
snagan unexpected or hidden obstacle or drawback.
artisana worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
cucumbersa long, green-skinned fruit with watery flesh, usually eaten raw in salads or pickled.
ŽmigrŽsa person who has left their own country in order to settle in another, typically for political reasons.
cornichona sour gherkin usually flavored with tarragon.

IELTS BAND 7

IELTS Vocabulary # Power And People

The following article has been taken from historytoday.com. Read the article at –

History Today

The idea of taking back ‘control’ has come to dominate political debate in Britain. Much of the discussion has centred on the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU). Indeed, the aim of achieving control substantially shaped the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. For the victorious Leave campaign, the promise of this kind of power resides in the restoration of sovereignty. Yet the analysis is based on a misunderstanding. While the future of Britain outside the EU is obviously hard to determine, one thing is certain: the possession of sovereignty does not guarantee the exercise of control.

The modern debate about sovereignty began with the French thinker Jean Bodin (1530-96). Having joined the Carmelite brotherhood as a monk in his early manhood, Bodin was released from his vows in 1549 and then opted to study law at the University of Toulouse. Much of his education involved attention to Roman law and included the humanistic study of classical texts in political and legal philosophy. It was out of these materials that Bodin developed his conception of supreme power.

In his most famous work, the Six Books of the Commonwealth, which originally appeared in French in 1576, Bodin presented a definition of sovereignty. He claimed that it was ‘the absolute and perpetual power of a commonwealth, which the Latins call maiestas [majesty]’. Later in his text, Bodin made clear that the Romans had yet other terms for sovereignty, summum imperium (ultimate authority) being conspicuous among them. Yet, while the Romans, like the Greeks and the Hebrews, had a conception of supreme authority, Bodin believed that they had not fully understood its implications. Above all, he insisted, they had failed to grasp that the highest power of command was indivisible. It could not be shared among competing powers in the commonwealth.

This meant in effect that, while a state might possess a mixed system of government, it could not be based on a system of ‘shared’ sovereignty. This insight has proved confusing to posterity, above all to admirers of the American constitution: since the United States can be seen as a mixed regime, surely its sovereignty is divided among the different organs of state? This thought was later used to characterize the European Union, too, which is similarly taken to exemplify the ‘pooling’ of sovereignty.

Let us now have a look at the meaning of the difficult words stated above.

WORDMEANING
dominatehave power and influence over.
substantiallyto a great or significant extent;for the most part; essentially.
referenduma general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.
victorioushaving won a victory; triumphant.
campaigna series of military operations intended to achieve a goal, confined to a particular area, or involving a specified type of fighting.
restorationthe action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.;the return of a monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power.
sovereigntysupreme power or authority;the authority of a state to govern itself or another state.
misunderstandinga failure to understand something correctly.;a disagreement or quarrel.
possessionthe state of having, owning, or controlling something.;something that is owned or possessed.
debatea formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.;argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner.
monka member of a religious community of men typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
legalpermitted by law.
conceptionthe action of conceiving a child or of one being conceived.;the forming or devising of a plan or idea.
posterityall future generations of people.;the descendants of a person.
regimea government, especially an authoritarian one.;a system or ordered way of doing things.
conspicuousclearly visible;attracting notice or attention.
characterizedescribe the distinctive nature or features of.;) be typical or characteristic of.

IELTS BAND7

IELTS Listening Sample Questions # Spouse

SPOUSE INCOME

The below audio has been taken from BBC 6 minutes learning English. The audio talks about the fact that most people don’t have a clue about their spouse income.

You can download the audio from the given link – AUDIO

Answer the following questions in NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS

  1. “Sharing the cost of something” has a phrasal meaning in the audio. What is it?What percentage of married couples don’t know exactly what their spouse earns?
  2. There is situation when a bank lends you money to buy a house. What word does the speaker uses in audio for it?
  3. The speaker uses a phrase for “physical money”. What is it?
  4. Who is the person who does not like spending money?
  5. The speaker uses a word to refer to the money you have available for something and have a plan to use it? What is it?
  6. What phrase has been used to mean that you accept that you have different opinions?

ANSWERS

  1. go dutch
  2. 44%
  3. mortgage
  4. hard cash
  5. cheapskate
  6. budget
  7. agree to differ

IELTS BAND7

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