IELTS Reading Practice Test

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.

There is a fairly universal sentiment that the use of nuclear weapons is against morality and that its production should be restricted. These activities are not only opposed to morality but also to law and if the legal objection can be added to the moral, the argument against the use and the manufacture of these weapons will be considerably reinforced. Now the time is ripe to evaluate the responsibility of scientists who knowingly use their expertise for the construction of such a weapon which has deleterious effect on mankind.

To this must be added the fact that more than 50 percent of the skilled scientific manpower in the world is now engaged in the armaments industry. How appropriate it is that all this valuable skill should be devoted to the manufacture of weapons of death in a world of poverty is a question that must touch the scientific conscience.

A meeting of biologists on the Long-Term Worldwide Biological Consequences of Nuclear War added frightening dimensions to those forecasts. Its report suggested that the long biological effects resulting from climatic changes may at least be as serious as the immediate ones.

Sub-freezing temperatures, low light levels and high dose of ionizing and ultraviolet radiation extending for many months after a large-scale nuclear war could destroy the biological support systems of civilization, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Productivity in natural and agricultural ecosystems could be severely affected. Post war survivors will face starvation as well as freezing conditions in the dark and be exposed to near-lethal dose of radiation. If, as it now seems possible, the Southern Hemisphere was also affected, global disruption of the biosphere could ensue. In any event, there will be severe consequences, even in the areas not affected directly, because of the inter-dependence of the world economy. In either case the extinction of a large fraction of the earth’s animals, plants and micro-organism seems possible. The population size of Homo sapiens could be reduced to prehistoric levels or below, and extinction of the human species itself could not be ruled out.


1. From the answer choices given below choose the word which is most opposite in meaning to the word Deleterious.

a) beneficial b) harmful c) irreparable d) non-cognizable e) revolutionary


2. The author’s most important objective of writing the above passage seems to ———————

a) highlight the use of nuclear weapons as an effective population control measure

b) illustrate the devastating effects of the use of nuclear weapons on mankind

c) duly highlight the supremacy of nations which possess nuclear weapons

d) summarize the long biological effects of use of nuclear weapons

e) explain scientifically the climatic changes resulting from use of nuclear weapons


3. The scientists possessing expertise in manufacturing destructive weapons are

a) very few in number

b) irresponsible and incompetent

c) more than half of the total number

d) engaged in the armaments industry against their desire

e) not conscious of the repercussions of their actions


4. According to the passage, the argument against the use and manufacture of nuclear weapons

a) does not stand the test of legality

b) possesses legal strength although it does not have moral standing

c) is acceptable only on moral grounds

d) becomes stronger if moral and legal considerations are combined

e) none of these


5. The author of the passage seems to be of the view that

a) utilization of scientific skills in manufacture of weapons is appropriate

b) the evaluation of the scientists’ expertise show their incompetence

c) manufacture of weapons would help eradication of poverty

d) spending money on manufacture of weapons may be justifiable subject  to the availability of funds

e) utilization of valuable knowledge for manufacture of lethal weapons is inhuman


6. Which of the following is one of the consequences of nuclear war?

a) Fertility of land will be severely affected

b) post-war survivors being very few in number will have abundant food

c) lights would be cooler and more comfortable

d) Southern Hemisphere would remain quite safe in the post-war period

e) None of these


7. Which of the following best explains the word ‘devoted’, as used in the second paragraph of the passage?

a) dedicated for a good cause

b) utilized for betterment

c) abused for destruction

d) underutilized

e) overutilized


8. The Biological consequences of nuclear war as given in the passage include all the following, except

a) fall in temperature below zero degree Celsius

b) ultraviolet radiation

c) high dose of ionizing

d) low light levels

e) all of these


9. It appears from the passage that the use of nuclear weapons is considered against morality by

a) only those nations who cannot afford to manufacture and sell weapons

b) almost all the nations of the world

c) only the superpowers who can afford to manufacture and sell weapons

d) a minority group of scientists who have the necessary skill and competence

e) most of the scientists who devote their valuable skills to manufacture nuclear weapons


10. Which of the following statements is / are definitely true in the context of the given passage

1) Living organisms in the areas which are not directly affected by the consequences of nuclear war would suffer

2) There is a likelihood of extinction of the human species as a consequence of nuclear war

3) The post-war survivors would be exposed to the risk of near-lethal radiation

a) Only (1)

b) Only (2)

c) Only (3)

d) Only (1) and (2)

e) All the three


1. a. 2. d. 3. c. 4. d. 5. e. 6. a. 7. c. 8. e. 9. b. 10. e

Note: We do not have copyright over the passage given for reading. If you know the author of this piece of text, kindly let us know and we will give him / her due credit.


Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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