Free IELTS Academic Reading test 3 Section 1

Free IELTS Academic Reading test 3 Section 1

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This free IELTS reading test (Academic Module) has the same question types, content style, length and difficulty as a standard IELTS test. To get started, simply scroll down to read the texts and answer the questions.

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Section 1:

Studying in New Zealand

Paragraph A:

A relatively small island with a population of less than a quarter of that of Tokyo, New Zealand has a huge overseas student population. With over half a million fee-paying foreign students, an ever-increasing range of academic, professional and vocational courses and English language services are being created or expanded. But why do so many people come from overseas to study in New Zealand? Primarily, there is the fact that it has an excellent education system, especially in English language teaching. With its many British connections as well as the adoption of language from America, New Zealand offers a very international language. Language students are also enticed to New Zealand as they can fully immerse themselves in the language. This is only possible in a country where English is the spoken language.


Paragraph B:

There are also strict government controls and standards on the quality of education offered. The government controls the education system, and it has appointed the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, a Ministry of Education and an Education Review Office, to license and control schools. These government bodies ensure that standards are as high in New Zealand as anywhere in the world. In addition, they decide whether or not language schools have the credentials and quality to operate. This allows students to have some peace of mind when choosing a school, but there are other reasons to choose New Zealand first. Independent reports have proven New Zealand to be the most cost-effective country in the western world for study fees, accommodation, cost of living, and recreation. It also has a reputation for safety and security, perhaps the best amongst western countries. Auckland City offers a multicultural and cosmopolitan place to shop, eat and be entertained. Less than an hour out of the city and you find yourself on beaches or mountains famous for their cleanliness and lack of pollution.


Paragraph C:

Although a majority of international students spend some time in a language school, for those aged 13 to 18 New Zealand secondary schools provide a broad education. Other students take advantage of one of the many tertiary education institutions which form the New Zealand polytechnic system. These institutions are state-funded and provide education and training at many levels, from introductory studies to full degree programmes. University education was established in New Zealand in 1870 and has a similar tradition to the British university system. There are eight state-funded universities in New Zealand, all of them internationally respected for their academic and research performance. In addition to a centrally coordinated system of quality assurance audits at both institution and programme level, each university undertakes internal quality checks.


Paragraph D:

All New Zealand universities offer a broad range of subjects in arts, commerce and science, but they have also specialised in narrower fields of study such as computer studies, medicine or environmental studies. Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees are offered by all New Zealand universities. A range of undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas are also available, along with Honours programmes (usually requiring an additional year of study). The first degree a student is able to gain in New Zealand is, as elsewhere, a Bachelor’s degree. With a completed Bachelor’s degree, a graduate may be able to go on to a number of other options. There are Postgraduate Diploma courses, Master’s degrees, Doctorates and even research positions available.


Paragraph E:

The Postgraduate Diploma course takes one year on a full-time programme and is designed for graduates building on the academic field of their previous degree. The Master’s degree, like the Postgraduate Diploma, builds on a Bachelor’s degree but can take up to two years, by which time a thesis must be completed. The Master’s is the conventional pathway to the next level of education – the Doctorate. For this course, graduates are required to produce a research-based thesis as part of a course that takes a minimum of two years, and is by far the most challenging.


Paragraph F:

Finally there is the possibility of research in New Zealand universities. Research is the main characteristic that distinguishes a university as opposed to a polytechnic or other tertiary education institution. New Zealand remains justifiably proud of the quality of its research as a large number of awards are presented to researchers from New Zealand universities.

Continued below the advert

Questions 1-15

Questions 1-5

Choose the most suitable headings for sections A and C –F from the list below.

List of headings

i. Why New Zealand?
ii. Course requirements
iii. Government funding
iv. Cost of further education
v. Further education options
vi. Overseeing authorities
vii. Specialisation
viii. Prestigious contribution
ix. Postgraduate choices

1. Section A
Show answer I

Example Section B vi

2. Section C
Show answer III

3. Section D
Show answer V

4. Section E
Show answer IX

5. Section F
Show answer VIII

Questions 6 – 8

Complete the following sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

  1. The field of study in which New Zealand excels is…
    Show answer English language teaching
  2. Full immersion learning can only happen in an …
    Show answer English speaking country
  3. Educational standards are monitored by three…
    Show answer Government bodies

Questions 9-11

Look at the following statements and decide if they are right or wrong according to the information given.


TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

Write the correct answer TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN in boxes 9-11 on your answer sheet.

  1. Most international students start their studies in a secondary school.
    Show answer Not given
  2. Postgraduate students undertaking a diploma course extend what they have learned during their Bachelor’s degree.
    Show answer True
  3. All quality control at a tertiary level is done by the universities themselves
    Show answer False

Questions 12-15

Complete the flow chart below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text.



12. Show answer Postgraduate diploma

13. Show answer Masters degree

14. Show answer Doctorate

15. Show answer Research

Once you have finished, check your answers, then move on to  Section 2

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