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 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.”

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.

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IELTS Speaking Sample Questions # Job

There are millions of people out there who do a job for their living. There are even some who love the job they do. This time, we are looking at some of the questions that may be asked to you in the IELTS speaking section related to jobs.

Who do you work for?

Now, while answering this question there are various options available to you.

  • you could be working for a company
  • you could be a freelancer – that means working for lot of them
  • you could, well, have your own company

Let’s look into the possible ways you could answer the question.

  • I work as a Technical Lead in one of the major IT company of our country.
  • I am a writer and apart from having a blog of mine, I take assignments from almost all of the companies that ask for. There are even times, where I have written for newspapers editorial column.
  • Few years back, I did worked for a MNC. But, now, I have started on my own and currently working for myself.
Are you usually busy at work?

This question simply tends to ask as to how tiring your work is and how engaged are you in it during the day.

  • Well, there are certain days which are tightly packed, usually the ones nearing some release of a product. However, once the release is done we do get our share of light days as well.
  • Being a blogger, I think yes, I do have busy days but then it is not a hectic schedule because I tend to decide what needs to be done when.


Do you usually cover for a colleague when he or she is on leave?
  • As part of my job, we are given task on every day basis and no matter there is a single individual or many, we need to finish it and deliver it on that day. So, if there is someone not present, as a team, we all finish the task assigned.
  • Not particularly. Usually, people in our team take planned leaves. So, we all know what is coming up and how to divide the work. But, yes in cases of emergency, I do cover up for colleagues.
Who takes your place when you leave? How do you feel about this?

Most of the time, it our technical analyst that takes up on my  work when I am on leave because she is the who knows in and out of the project. I think it is completely fare to take the work because when she or for that matter someone else is not present, I readily take up the work.

What kind of jobs are you good at?

I really like field jobs. So, the ones where I need to see different locations, meet new people and then work on them on my time are really good for me. The one reason that I really love writing and blogging is because it does gives me all. I get to meet new people, listen to different stories and widen my horizon.

Can you tell me about your boss? What kind of a person is he / she?

Now, there are two things about this question. Either your boss could be good or not. If he or she is good, great. In case he or she is not, try not to make the answer too negative, because that will put on negative light, something you really don’t want.

  • I have had a privilege of working with a great boss. He was one of the best mentors I have got in a very long time. Not only he understands the strengths of everyone of us in team, he knows when he has to push our limits and when he needs to motivates us. I think more than a boss, he is a true leader.
  • I have been working as a blogger for a very long time now. However, I do get some assignments from people who are quite rude or sometimes weird. But, I think in all of those cases my work has helped me out. Ultimately, if they like the work there is not much they can say.
Have you ever had any serious problems at work?

I remember once, there was a senior in our office and he had a image of being a Casanova. We had heard lot of stuff about him and when he became the lead of our team, he did tried those tactics on a team member. Obviously, it did not directly effect me. But the person was my junior and since she confronted me, I had to fight for her. The task was quite risky because she did not wanted to ruin things for herself and then the pressure of working well, started increasing. I think during that period, we all as a team came up together and finally helped our team member.The fact that something like this happen was quite disturbing for me.

Have you ever had any serious problems at work?

My father is a government employee and gets a really good salary and other facilities. My mother is a home maker and I respect the work both of them do. But, for me, confining myself into four walls or a particular organization is really hard. Also, working under someone, taking orders, is not the kind of deal I would like to put myself on to. I will prefer working as a freelancer or better have my own company.


IELTS General Training Band Score Calculation

Here is a table you can use to convert the number of correct answers into an IELTS band score, which will give you the approximate band score in IELTS General Training.

General Training Listening:
Correct Answers IELTS Band Score Skill Level
10-13 4.0 Limited User
13-15 4.5
16-17 5.0 Modest User
18-22 5.5
23-25 6.0 Competent User
26-29 6.5
30-31 7.0 Good User
32-34 7.5
35-36 8.0 Very Good User
37-38 8.5
39-40 9.0 Expert User
General Training Reading:
Correct Answers IELTS Band Score Skill Level
15-19 4.0 Limited User
19-22 4.5
23-26 5.0 Modest User
27-29 5.5
30-31 6.0 Competent User
32-33 6.5
34-35 7.0 Good User
36 7.5
37-38 8.0 Very Good User
39 8.5
40 9.0 Expert User


IELTS Listening Sample Questions # Life on Edge

There are some people who like to live on edge and there are some who like leading a comfortable life. After all, living in extremes, be it too hot or too cold is not a something most people are able to cope up with. This time we are listening to a BBC 6 minutes English that speaks about living life on edge.


  1. What are the species that have adapted to live in extreme conditions called?
  2. Which word is the synonym of hostile?
  3. What word is used for hot springs that shoot hot water and steam into the air?
  4. Which US National Park is home to geysers?
  5. Which word describes something ancient?
  6. What is the study of plant life called?
  7. Which term refers to the study of animal life?
  8. Which micro-organism is similar to bacteria and different to every other known type?
  9. What term refers to organism with larger and more complex cell?
  10. Which word refers to something that is doing well?
  11. What are holes in the ocean floor with lot of pressure and no sunlight called?

life on edge

  1. extremophiles
  2. unfriendly
  3. geysers
  4. Yellowstone national park
  5. archaea
  6. botany
  7. zoology
  8. archaea
  9. eukaryote
  10. thriving
  11. hydrothermal vents


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