IELTS Reading Practice Test 1

Reading Passage 1: Last Speech of Socrates at his trial

Someone will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely death? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong – acting the part of a good man or of a bad.

And therefore if you let me go now, and reject the counsels of Anytus, who said that if I were not put to death and that if I escape now, your sons will all be utterly ruined by listening to my words – if you say to me, Socrates, this time we will not mind Anytus, and will let you off, but upon one condition, that you are not to inquire and speculate in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing this again you shall die – if this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honour and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you, who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honour and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this? Wherefore, O men of Athens, I say to you, do as Anytus bids or not as Anytus bids, and either acquit me or not; but whatever you do, know that I shall not alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.

And now Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God, or lightly reject his boon by condemning me. For if you kill me, you will not easily find another one like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the State by the God; and the State is like a great and noble horse who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given to the State, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. I dare say that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead, as Anytus advises, which you easily might, then you would sleep for the reminder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly.

Well, Athenians, this and the like of this is nearly all the defence which I have to offer. Yet a word more. Perhaps there may be someone who is offended at me, when he calls to his mind how he himself, on a similar or even a less serious occasion, had recourse to prayers and supplications with many tears, and how he produced his children in court, which was a moving spectacle, together with a posse of his relations and friends; whereas I, who am probably in danger of my life, will do none of these things.

This passage is extracted from the last speech of Socrates at his trial.

IELTS Reading Exercise 1 (True/False/Not Given)

Questions 1 – 15

Look at the statements below, which are all true as regards the passage you read. Each statement has a blank space and after each one there are four alternatives (a-d). Add each alternative in turn to the statement and decide what effect each one has on the sentence: is the information in the sentence now True/False/Not given.

1. Socrates believes that a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying. He should only consider whether ————————-

a) he is doing the right thing or the wrong thing
b) he is acting wisely
c) he is acting foolishly
d) he is acting courageously

2. Socrates is —————— of a course of life which is likely to bring him to an untimely death.

a) ashamed
b) not ashamed
c) proud
d) unaware

3. Anytus said that if Socrates was not put to death, young Athenians will —————— by listening to his ruined.

a) be saved
b) be ruined
c) be enlightened
d) be delighted

4. If Socrates is let off, he is ——————— and stop the practice and teaching of philosophy.

a) not willing to alter his ways
b) willing to stoop before the authorities
c) clueless as to what he would do
d) willing to alter his ways

5. Socrates feels that Athenians care so little about ——————–

a) money and reputation
b) life and death
c) wisdom and truth
d) honour

6. Socrates ——————-

a) pleaded that he should be acquitted
b) said that it didn’t matter whether they acquit him or not
c) pleaded that he should be given another chance
d) exhorted the men of Athens to kill him

7. According to Socrates he who is ————————- does not have to calculate the chance of living or dying.

a) good for anything
b) good for nothing
c) very loyal to the State
d) intelligent

8. Anytus feels that Socrates should be ——————

a) let off
b) given another chance
c) put to death
d) deported

9. Socrates said that he is arguing for ——————–

a) his own sake
b) the sake of Athenians
c) God’s sake
d) his children’s sake

10. Socrates believes that if he is killed Athenians will ———————–

a) never find another man like him
b) find numerous men like him
c) have no difficulty finding another man like him
d) have great difficulty finding another man like him

11. Anytus fears that if Socrates is not put to death the Athenians will ——————-

a) listen to his preaches and be saved
b) listen to his preaches and be ruined
c) not listen to his preaches and be ruined
d) not listen to his preaches and be saved

12. Socrates asserts that he would only obey ——————–

a) God
b) the State
c) Men of Athens
d) Anytus

13. According to Socrates, ———————- is of a greater value than wealth and honour.

a) the verdict of the state
b) improvement of the soul
c) intelligence
d) experience

14. Socrates compared the State to ——————- and himself to a gadfly.

a) God
b) a horse
c) a capricious monkey
d) a mare

15. Ordinary Athenians who were awarded death sentence had ———————–

a) remained defiant
b) been willing to compromise
c) recourse to prayers
d) tried to bribe officials

How to solve this exercise?

Example

1. Socrates believes that a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying. He should only consider whether ————————-

a) he is doing the right thing or the wrong thing – (true)
b) he is acting wisely – (not given: there is no such mention in the passage)
c) he is acting foolishly – (not given)
d) he is acting courageously – (not given)

1. a) true; b) not given; c) not given; d) not given
2. a) false; b) true; c) not given; d) false
3. a) false; b) true; c) false; d) not given
4. a) true; b) false; c) false; d) false
5. a) false; b) not given; c) true; d) false
6. a) false; b) true; c) false; d) false
7. a) true; b) false; c) not given d) not given
8. a) false; false; c) true; d) not given
9. a) false; b) true; c) not given; d) not given
10. a) false; b) false; c) false; d) true
11. a) false; b) true; c) not given d) not given
12. a) true; b) not given; c) false; d) not given
13. a) not given; b) true; c) not given; d) not given
14. a) false; b) true; c) false; d) false
15. a) false; b) not given; c) true; d) not given

IELTS Reading Exercise 2 (Fill in the Blanks)

Stage 1

Read the summary given below and decide what kind of word you need to fill each blank space, e.g., a noun, verb etc.

During his last speech ———-1——— his trial Socrates said that he is not ——–2——- of a course of life that may bring him to an ———3———, ———-4———-. According to him, all that a person need ———-5——— in doing something is whether he is doing the right thing or the wrong thing. He ———-6———– that he will not cease from the ———7———— and teaching of philosophy no matter whether they ———-8———- him or not. Socrates feels that Athenians, ————9——— being the citizens of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so little about wisdom and truth. He then ————-10——— Athenians not to sin against God by condemning him who is God’s ———–11———- to the State of Athens. He then ———12——— the State to a horse and ———–13————- to a gadfly ———-14——– constantly keeps the horse ———–15————- by biting it.

Answers

1. preposition; 2. adjective; 3. adjective; 4. noun; 5. verb; 6. verb 7. noun; 8. verb; 9. preposition; 10. verb; 11. noun; 12. verb; 13. reflexive pronoun; 14. relative pronoun; 15. awake

Stage 2

Choose a suitable word from the list below for each blank space. You may use the same word more than once.

(1) which (2) awake (3) at (4) gift (5) compared (6) ashamed (7) himself (8) consider (9) untimely (10) asserted (11) death (12) guidance (13) practice (14) exhorted (15) acquit (16) imprison (17) save (18) despite (19) experience (20) wise (21) result (22) engage

Answers

1. at (preposition)
2. ashamed (adjective)
3. untimely (adjective)
4. death (noun)
5. consider (verb)
6. assert (verb)
7. practice (noun)
8. acquit (verb)
9. despite (preposition)
10. exhorted (verb)
11. gift (noun)
12. compared (verb)
13. himself (reflexive pronoun)
14. which (relative pronoun)
15. awake (adjective)

IELTS Reading Exercise 3 (Post Vocabulary Check)

Choose the alternative which best fits the meaning of the word in the passage. In each case, there may be more than one answer.

1. counsel: (a) advice (b) encouragement (c) order (d) plan
2. speculate: (a) worry (b) contemplate (c) direct (d) advice
3. cease: (a) commence (b) begin (c) terminate (d) alter
4. exhort: (a) urge (b) predict (c) warn (d) prevent
5. convince: (a) dissuade (b) satisfy (c) discourage (d) confuse
6. condemn: (a) recommend (b) commend (c) absolve (d) rebuke
7. ludicrous: (a) sensible (b) ridiculous (c) satisfactory (d) commendable
8. persuade: (a) sway (b) discourage (c) disorient (d) pretend
9. reproach: (a) criticize (b) praise (c) illustrate (d) disregard
10. recourse: (a) return (b) resort (c) disregard (d) disadvantage

Answers

1. (a) advice
2. (b) contemplate
3. (c) terminate
4. (a) urge
5. (b) satisfy
6. (d) rebuke
7. (b) ridiculous
8. (a) sway
9. (a) criticize
10. (b) resort

Related posts:

  1. Answering the True / False / Not given questions in the IELTS reading test
  2. Reading module practice test 1
  3. IELTS Reading Practice Test
  4. All and every
  5. Speaking test practice questions
  6. How to attempt the completion tasks in the reading module
  7. Reading module: overview
  8. IELTS test in Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia – January 2012
  9. IELTS reading practice – idioms
  10. What are noun clauses?

You may also like...