Reading Passage 1
Read the text below and answer Questions 1–6.
* Price: per person, per package, twin share
Look at the three holidays, A, B and C in above text. For which holiday are the following statements true?
Write correct letter, A, B or C, in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.
1. This holiday doesn’t cater for young children.
2. This holiday provides a tour at no extra cost.
3. This holiday involves most travel time from the airport.
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answer in boxes 4-6 on your answer sheet.
4. When will one of the holiday locations not be open?
5. Which two outdoor activities are provided at no extra cost at Mountain Lodge?
6. What is the fastest way to travel to Mountain Lodge?
Read the text below and answer Questions 7–14.
SYDNEY TRAVEL COLLEGE
At this College, we recommend the Multiplan policy.
Travel insurance requirements
As this course includes a total of three months’ travel outside Australia, travel insurance is compulsory. If you are sick or have an accident in Australia, your medical bills will be fully covered – however, you cannot assume that everything will be covered overseas, so please read the following requirements carefully.
Australia has reciprocal medical arrangements with the governments of the eight nations you will be visiting. This arrangement will cover all emergency hospital treatment. However, students will have to take out insurance such as Multiplan to cover the costs of all visits to doctors, and other non-emergency medical situations.
If you have a serious accident or illness, Multiplan insurance will cover the cost of your flight back to Australia, if required. Depending on the circumstances, this may also pay for either medical personnel or a family member to accompany you home. Multiplan insurance may not cover all pre-existing medical conditions – so before you leave be sure to check with them about any long-term illnesses or disabilities that you have.
If you do require medical treatment overseas, and you want to make a claim on your insurance, the claim will not be accepted unless you produce both your student card and your travel insurance card.
The Multiplan policy covers most student requirements. In particular, it provides students with luggage insurance. This covers any loss or theft of your everyday belongings. For example, this insurance covers:
• the present value of items that are stolen, provided that you have purchase receipts for every item; if no receipts, no payment can be made
• replacement value of your briefcase or backpack and study books
• portable computers and CD players, if you specifically list them as items in the policy
This insurance covers any non-refundable deposit and other costs you have paid if you have to cancel due to ‘unforeseen or unforeseeable circumstances outside your control’. It does not provide cover if you change your study or travel plans for other reasons.
Classify the following events as being
A. covered by government arrangements
B. covered by the Multiplan policy
C. not covered by the Multiplan policy
D. covered in some situations
Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D in boxes 7-14 on your answer sheet.
7. A student travelling overseas suddenly needs hospital treatment.
8. A student consults a doctor regarding a minor problem while abroad.
9. A parent goes overseas to bring an injured or sick student to Australia.
10. A student is treated overseas for an illness he/she had before leaving Australia.
11. A student who requires medical treatment has lost his/her travel insurance card.
12. A student’s study books are lost.
13. A student’s laptop is stolen.
14. A student changes his/her mind about plans to study and decides not to take the booked flight.
Reading Passage 2
Read the text below and answers questions 15-27 on your answer sheet.
You should take around 20 minutes to complete this task.
Read the text below and answer Questions 15–20.
Kenichi Software: Security Guidelines for Staff
It is in everyone’s interest to maintain a high level of security in the workplace. You should immediately challenge any person who appears to be on the premises without proper authorisation, or inform a senior member of staff about any odd or unusual activity.
You are advised that it is within the company’s legal rights to detain any person on the grounds that they may be involved in the unauthorised removal of company property. The company reserves the right to search staff members leaving or entering the premises and to inspect any article or motor vehicle on company property. It is a condition of employment that you submit to such action if requested.
It is in your own interest to ensure that you have proper authority before removing any item of company property from a company building. Any member found removing company property from the building without proper authority will be subject to disciplinary action.
You will be issued with an identity badge, which should be worn at all times when you are on company premises. The purpose of these badges is to safeguard our security. Badges are issued by Human Resources, and contractors and people visiting the company on a one-off basis are also obliged to wear them.
In the course of your work, you may have access to information relating to the company’s business, or that of a supplier or customer. Such material, even where it appears comparatively trivial, can have a serious effect on the company, supplier or customer if it falls into the wrong hands. It is, therefore, essential that you should at all times be aware of the serious view the company would take of disclosure of such material to outsiders.
You must treat as confidential all information, data, specifications, drawings and all documents relating to the company’s business and/or its trading activities, and not divulge, use, or employ them except in the company’s service. Before you leave the company, you must hand over to your manager all private notes relevant to the company’s business, activities, prices, accounts, costs etc. Legal proceedings may be initiated for any misuse or unauthorized disclosure of such confidential information, whether during employment or afterwards.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-20 on your answer sheet.
15. If you see anything suspicious, you should report it to a ……………… employee.
16. If the company wants to stop you and ……………… you, you have to agree to it.
17. If you take things belonging to the company without permission, you will face ………………
18. Staff, ………………. and visitors must all wear a badge on company premises.
19. You must not pass on confidential information to ……………… .
20. If you leave the company, you have to hand in any ……………… you have made on matters concerning the company.
Read the text below and answer Questions 21–27.
Is Everyone Entitled to Paid Holidays?
The Working Time Regulations (WTRs) introduced a new right to paid holidays for most workers. However, some workers were not covered when the WTRs came into force in October 1998. Since the regulations were amended, with effect from 1 August 2003, the majority of these workers have been entitled to paid holidays, and since 1 August 2004, the regulations have also applied to junior doctors.
Workers who qualify are entitled to no fewer than four weeks of paid holiday a year, and public holidays (normally eight days in England and Wales) count towards this. However, workers and employers can agree longer holidays.
For the first year of work, special accrual rules apply. For each month of employment, workers are entitled to one-twelfth of the annual holiday. After the first year of employment, you can take your holiday entitlement at any time, with your employer’s approval.
Before taking holidays, you must give your employer notice of at least twice the length of the holiday you want to take: for instance, to take a five-day holiday, you must give at least ten days’ notice. If your employer does not want you to take that holiday, they can give you counter-notice equal to the holiday – for example, five days’ notice not to take a five-day holiday.
If the employer wants you to take holiday at a given time, e.g. when there is a shutdown at the same time every year,’ they must give you notice of at least twice the length of the holiday. There is no right for the worker to take that holiday at a different time.
Holiday cannot be carried over to the next year, unless your contract of employment allows this to happen. Nor can you be paid in lieu of your holiday. However, when you leave the job, you are entitled to receive payment for any outstanding holiday, provided your contract specifically allows for this.
It may be that your contract gives you better rights, or your holiday rights might be specified in a collective agreement. Your union representative can advise you on this.
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet.
21. In what year were the regulations extended to cover most of the workers who were originally excluded?
22. What is the minimum annual paid holiday which workers are entitled to?
23. During a worker’s first year of employment, what proportion of their annual holiday does a month’s work give?
24. What can an employer give a worker to stop them taking holiday that they have requested?
25. What is given as a possible reason for an employee having to take a holiday at a certain time?
26. When an employee leaves their job, what should be given in place of any holiday they have not taken?
27. Apart from a contract, what type of document may set out an employee’s holiday rights?
Reading Passage 3
Read the text below and answers questions 28-40 on your answer sheet.
You should take around 20 minutes to complete this task.
Read the text below and answer Questions 28–40.
The text on following pages has eight sections, A-H.
Choose the correct heading for sections C-H from the list of headings below. Section A and Section B have been done for you.
Write the correct number, i-xi, in boxes 28-33 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i. Where to buy the best Echinacea
ii. What ‘snake oil’ contained
iii. Growing Echinacea
iv. How to use the Echinacea plant
v. Earlier applications of Echinacea
vi. The origins of the term ‘snake oil’
vii. Early research into the effectiveness of Echinacea
viii. How ‘snake oil’ was first invented
ix. The use of Echinacea in new locations
x. Modern evidence of the effectiveness of Echinacea
xi. Early kinds of ‘snake oil’
Section A vi
Section B xi
28. Section C
29. Section D
30. Section E
31. Section F
32. Section G
33. Section H
A. Back in the days of America’s Wild West, when cowboys roamed the range and people were getting themselves caught up in gunfights, a new phrase – ‘snake oil’ – entered the language. It was a dismissive term for the patent medicines, often useless, sold by travelling traders who always claimed miraculous cures for everything from baldness to snakebite.
Selling ‘snake oil’ was almost as risky a business as cattle stealing; you might be run out of town if your particular medicine, as you realised it would, failed to live up to its claims. Consequently, the smarter – ‘snake oil’ sellers left town before their customers had much chance to evaluate the ‘cure’ they had just bought.
B. The remarkable thing about many of the medicines dismissed then as ‘snake oil’ is not so much that they failed to live up to the outrageous claims made for them – those that weren’t harmless coloured water could be positively dangerous. What’s remarkable is that so many of the claims made for some of these remedies, or at least their ingredients, most of them, plant based, have since been found to have at least some basis in fact.
One, Echinacea, eventually turned out to be far more potent than even its original promoter claimed. Echinacea first appeared in ‘Meyer’s Blood Purifier’, promoted as a cure-all by a Dr H.C.F. Meyer – a lay doctor with no medical qualifications. ‘Meyer’s Blood Purifier’ claimed not only to cure snakebite, but also to eliminate a host of other ailments.
C. Native to North America, the roots of Echinacea, or purple coneflower, had been used by the Plains Indians for all kinds of ailments long before Meyer came along. They applied poultices of it to wounds and stings, used it for teeth and gum disease and made a tea from it to treat everything from colds and measles to arthritis. They even used it for snakebite.
D. Settlers quickly picked up on the plant’s usefulness but until Meyer sent samples of his ‘blood purifier’ to John Lloyd, a pharmacist, it remained a folk remedy. Initially dismissing Meyer’s claims as nonsense, Lloyd was eventually converted after a colleague, John King, tested the herb and successfully used it to treat bee stings and nasal congestion.
In fact, he went much further in his claims than Meyer ever did and by the 1890s a bottle of tincture(1) of Echinacea could be found in almost every American home, incidentally making a fortune for Lloyd’s company, Lloyd Brothers Pharmacy.
E. As modern antibiotics became available, the use of Echinacea products declined and from the 1940s to the 1970s it was pretty much forgotten in the USA. It was a different story in Europe, where both French and German herbalists and homeopaths continued to make extensive use of it.
It had been introduced there by Gerhard Madaus, who travelled from Germany to America in 1937, returning with seed to establish commercial plots of Echinacea. His firm conducted extensive research on echinacin, a concentrate they made from the juice of flowering tops of the plants he had brought back. It was put into ointments, liquids for internal and external use, and into products for injections.
F. There is no evidence that Echinacea is effective against snakebite, but Dr Meyer – who genuinely believed in Echinacea – would probably be quite amused if he could come back and see the uses to which modern science has put ‘his’ herb. He might not be surprised that science has confirmed Echinacea’s role as a treatment for wounds, or that it has been found to be helpful in relieving arthritis, both claims Meyer made for the herb.
He might though be surprised to learn how Echinacea is proving to be an effective weapon against all sorts of disease, particularly infections. German researchers had used it successfully to treat a range of infections and found it to be effective against bacteria and protozoa (2).
There are many other intriguing medical possibilities for extracts from the herb, but its apparent ability to help with our more common ailments has seen thousands of people become enthusiastic converts. Dozens of packaged products containing extracts of Echinacea can now be found amongst the many herbal remedies and supplements on the shelves of health stores and pharmacies. Many of those might be the modern equivalents of ‘snake oil’, but Echinacea at least does seem to have some practical value.
G. Echinacea is a dry prairie plant, drought-resistant and pretty tolerant of most soils, although it does best in good soil with plenty of sun. Plants are usually grown from seed but they are sometimes available from nurseries. Echinacea is a distinctive perennial with erect, hairy, spotted stems up to a meter tall. Flower heads look like daisies, with purple rayed florets and a dark brown central cone. The leaves are hairy; the lower leaves are oval to lance-shaped and coarsely and irregularly toothed.
H. There are nine species of Echinacea in all but only three are generally grown for medicinal use. All have similar medicinal properties. Most European studies have used liquid concentrates extracted from the tops of plants, whereas extraction in the USA has usually been from the roots. Today most manufacturers blend both, sometimes adding flowers and seeds to improve the quality.
For the home grower, the roots of all species seem equally effective. Dig them up in autumn after the tops have died back after the first frost. Wash and dry them carefully and store them in glass containers. You can harvest the tops throughout the summer and even eat small amounts of leaf straight from the plant.
Even if you don’t make your fortune from this herb, there are few sights more attractive than a field of purple coneflowers in all their glory. And with a few Echinacea plants nearby, you’ll never go short of a cure.
(1) a liquid containing a special ingredient
(2) a type of micro-organism
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
In boxes 34-40 on your answer sheet, write:
True if the statement agrees with the information
False if the statement contradicts the information
Not given if there is no information on this
34. ‘Snake oil’ sellers believed their product was effective.
35. Most people in the Wild West mistrusted ‘snake oil’.
36. Some ‘snake oils’ were mostly water.
37. All ‘snake oils’ contained Echinacea.
38. Echinacea has been proven to kill microbes.
39. The highest quality Echinacea is grown in America.
40. More than one part of the Echinacea plant has a medicinal use.
SOURCE: CAMBRIDGE IELTS 8