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IELTS answers


Questions 1-9

1. 4 out of 5

2. 10

3. 350,000

4. 50,000

5. 4

6. 0

7. 87.5%

8. 1/4



Q4. The number of people per year who die in the US from smoking is 7 times the number who die from car accidents. ( 350,000 / 7 = 50,000 )

Q5. The question asks for the number of decades (a decade is a period of 10 years) that tobacco has been recognised as dangerous.

Q6. Since nicotine is now recognised to be the most addictive substance known, there can be no substances more seriously addictive.

Questions 9 - 16

9.   T

10. T

11. T

12. T

13. F

14. F

15. N

16. F


Q10. Yes. "If the clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, the result is a stroke... if the clot blocks an artery in the heart, the result is a heart attack."

Q11. Yes. "The risk of cancer is greater for all smokers." (Usually, wordssuch as "all", or "only" etc., being 100% inclusive or exclusive, are foundin statements that are later modified or qualified in some way. But, inthis case, the statement is true.)

Q12. Yes, "... the immune system works tirelessly to kill cells which havebecome potentially [possibly, in the future] cancerous.".

Q13. Smoking decreases that ability ( "seriously affects the ability of theimmune system to do its job" ).

Q14. The answer to this question must be worked out from the descriptionsof the causes given. You do not hear the answer in a particular phrase.

Q15. It may be a true fact that smoking causes lung cancer, but we are nottold this in the talk. Therefore, the answer must be N for Not Mentioned.

Q16. The word "always" is a 'danger' word in True/False type tasks. In fact,the body weight is "likely to be a good deal less than normal".


Questions 1-7

A. Research into earphones inserted in the ear canal 4

B. Listening through earphones for too long 6

C. The maximum noise level of the 'Walkman'

D. The benefit of silence 1

E. An environment of constant noise 2

F. Three problems caused by inserted earphones 5

G. The maximum safe noise dosage

H. The curse of silence (Example) 8

I. A cure for 'tinnitus'

J. Alarming statistical evidence 3

K. A chronic hearing loss impairment 7

L. The danger of falling asleep

Questions 8 - 16

Q8. Silence is no longer a precious commodity F

Q9. There are basically two kinds of noise pollution T

Q10. The noise from a jet plane engine is not an obvious form of noise pollution F

Q11. 'Layering' sound reduces the overall amount of sound by masking it F

Q12. More males than females suffer the consequences of constant noise T

Q13. To achieve Dose 1 in 4 hours, the ear needs to be exposed to 93 decibels for that period of time T

Q14. The passage outlines four main dangers from using insertable earphones F

Q15. Beethoven's ability to compose music was threatened by his 'tinnitus' T

Q16. Deafness is caused by not hearing the warnings about noise abuse T

Questions 17 - 20

Q17. In Paragraph 1, what are the words of the old adage?

Silence is Golden

Q18. In Paragraph 1, less damage to the hearing is the result of

less superfluous noise

Q19. How many sources are given for hearing problems caused by constant noise?


Q20. What might a sufferer of 'tinnitus' get by blocking out certain sound frequencies?

(some) temporary relief


Writing Task 1:

The diagrams show data for a flu epidemic which hit a large country town in 1996. Figure 1 gives the number of persons who died; Figure 2 shows the percentage breakdown of females who received a new flu vaccine; and Figure 3 gives the number of cases of flu before and during the epidemic.

In Figure 1 it can be seen that the flu was responsible for the deaths of 2 females but no males in the period from March to May. However, from June to August, there were 4 female deaths and 1 male death.

According to the pie chart in Figure 2, only those females most at risk were given the new flu vaccine; 28% did not take part in the trial. Of those females who took part, 35% were aged (over 65 years old); 24% were babies or children; and 13% were either hospitalised or receiving other medical attention.

From Figure 3 it is clear that the new vaccine had a positive effect on the number of new cases of flu reported in females. There were just over 1000 cases reported in March, climbing rapidly to a peak of 3500 in June. Thereafter, the number of cases dropped slowly to about 2800 in August, before levelling off at 2500 for the rest of the year. For males, the figures were lower but showed a similar trend throughout the epidemic. (232 words)

Writing Task 2:

A much debated issue these days is whether citizens should take out private health insurance or not. The cost of providing free medical care for both the wealthy and the poor is far too great for any government, and most people agree that if you can pay for insurance, you should. In this essay, I will argue that all who can afford it should be insured, but free medical care must be made available for those too poor to do so.

The most important reason for encouraging people to take out private health insurance is the cost to the government of health care. Free health cover for people who are able to pay for it is a waste of public money. Of course, people will only pay health insurance premiums if they know that they are getting good value for their money. If they get sick, they should pay very little or nothing at all. In addition, the privately insured are entitled to special benefits such as having the choice of their own doctors, and being able to avoid long waiting lists for hospital beds.

On the other hand, those who really cannot afford to pay private insurance premiums, which are often very high, are still entitled as citizens to the best medical care available - they cannot be expected to pay their own medical bills. However, if they are working, they should still pay a percentage of their wage (say 1 to 2%) as a tax which pays towards the cost of providing 'free' medical services.

In conclusion, most people should privately insure their health, but it is unreasonable to suppose that all citizens can afford it. Therefore, a safety net in the form of a basic free health care system must exist for the very poor and the unemployed.

(301 words)


We suggest that you tape your answers to the questions for the 5 stages and ask a professional teacher of English for advice and recommendations.

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