IELTS Academic Reading – 5

IELTS Academic Reading – 5

The Grand Banks

A The Grand Banks is a large area of submerged highlands south-east of Newfoundland and east ofthe Laurentian Channel on the North American continental shelf. Covering 93,200 square kilometres, the Grand Banks are relatively shallow, ranging from 25 to 100 meters in depth. It is in this area that the cold Labrador Current mixes with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The mixing of these waters and the shape of the ocean bottom lifts nutrients to the surface and these conditions created one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Extensive marine life flourishes in the Grand Banks, whose range extends beyond the Canadian 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and into international waters. This has made it an important part of both the Canadian and the high seas fisheries, with fishermen risking their lives in the extremely inhospitable environment consisting of rogue waves, fog, icebergs, sea ice, hurricanes, winter storms and earthquakes.

B While the area’s ‘official’ discovery is credited to John Cabot in 1497, English and Portuguesevessels are known to have first sought out these waters prior to that, based upon reports they received from earlier Viking voyages to Newfoundland. Several navigators, including Basque fishermen, are known to have fished these waters in the fifteenth century. Some texts from that era refer to a land called Bacalao, ‘the land of the codfish’, which is possibly Newfoundland. However, it was not until John Cabot noted the waters’ abundance of sea life that the existence of these fishing grounds became widely known in Europe. Soon, fishermen and merchants from France, Spain, Portugal and England developed seasonal inshore fisheries producing for European markets. Known as ‘dry’ fishery, cod were split, salted, and dried on shore over the summer before crews returned to Europe. The French pioneered ‘wet’ or ‘green’ fishery on the Grand Banks proper around 1550, heavily salting the cod on board and immediately returning home.

C The Grand Banks were possibly the world’s most important international fishing area in thenineteenth and twentieth centuries. Technological advances in fishing, such as sonar and large factory ships, including the massive factory freezer trawlers introduced in the 1950’s, led to overfishing and a serious decline in the fish stocks. Based upon the many foreign policy agreements Newfoundland had entered into prior to its admittance into the Canadian Confederation, foreign fleets, some from as far away as Russia, came to the Grand Banks in force, catching unprecedented quantities of fish.

D Between 1973 and 1982, the United Nations and its member states negotiated the ThirdConvention of the Law of the Sea, one component of which was the concept of nations being allowed to declare an EEZ. Many nations worldwide-declared 200-nautical mile EEZ’s, including Canada and the United States. On the whole, the EEZ was very well received by fishermen in eastern Canada, because it meant they could fish unhindered out to the limit without fear of competing with the foreign fleets. During the late 1970’s and early 1980s,

Canada’s domestic offshore fleet grew as fishermen and fish-processing companies rushed to take advantage. It was during this time that it was noticed that the foreign fleets now pushed out to areas of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland outside the Canadian EEZ. By the late 1980’s, dwindling catches of Atlantic cod were being reported throughout Newfoundland and eastern Canada, and the

federal government and citizens of coastal regions in the area began to face the reality that the domestic and foreign overfishing had taken its toll.

The Canadian government was finally forced to take drastic action in 1992, when a total moratorium was declared indefinitely for the northern cod.

E Over the last ten years, it has been noted that cod appear to be returning to the Grand Banks insmall numbers. The reasons for this fragile recovery are still unknown. Perhaps, the damage done by trawlers is not permanent and the marine fauna and ecosystems can rebuild themselves if given a prolonged period of time without any commercial activity. Either way, the early stage recovery of the Grand Banks is encouraging news, but caution is needed, as, after nearly twenty years of severe limitations, cod stocks are still only at approximately ten per cent of 1960’s levels. It is hoped that in another ten to twenty years, stocks may be close to a full recovery, although this would require political pressure to maintain strict limitations on commercial fishing. If cod do come back to the Grand Banks in meaningful numbers, it is to be hoped that the Canadians will not make the same mistakes again.

F Further riches have now been found in the Grand Banks. Petroleum reserves have been discoveredand a number of oil fields are under development in the region. The vast Hibernia oil field was discovered in 1979, and, following several years of aborted start-up attempts, the Hibernia megaproject began construction of the production platform and gravity base structures in the early 1990’s. Production commenced on November 17, 1997, with initial production rates in excess of 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day from a single well. Hibernia has proven to be the most prolific oil well in Canada. However, earthquake and iceberg activity in the Grand Banks pose a potential ecological disaster that could devastate the fishing grounds that are only now starting to recover.

Questions 1-7

The reading passage has 6 paragraphs A-F. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write your answers in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

1. Many countries could legally fish Newfoundland waters because of treaties Newfoundland hadmade before becoming part of Canada.

2. The establishment of the EEZ did not stop over-fishing in the Grand Banks.

3. Natural disasters could cause oil to destroy what is left of the Grand Banks ecosystem.

4. The original amount of fish in the Grand Banks was due to different temperature waters mixing.

5. East Canadian fishermen were generally happy with the establishment of the Canadian EEZ.

6. Grand Banks’ cod stocks are still 90 per cent lower than what they were in the 1960’s.

7. The French were the first to prepare the cod on board their ships before going back to France.

Questions 8-10

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 8-10 on your answer sheet.

8. The first English fishermen to come to the Grand Banks to fish

  1. were told about the fishery by Basque fishermen.
  1. were sent word about the fishery from the first American colonists.
  1. acted on information from previous Viking expeditions.
  1. discovered the fishery themselves while exploring.

9. John Cabot’s reports of the Grand Banks

  1. led to the establishment of the Canadian EEZ.
  1. meant the fishery was well known in Europe.
  1. led to fighting between rival fishing fleets.
  1. were not immediately publicised, so that English fishermen could benefit.

10. The establishment of the Canadian EEZ

  1. did not stop foreign fishermen from fishing the Grand Banks.
  1. was not ratified by the United Nations.
  1. temporarily stopped the over-fishing of cod in the Grand Banks.
  1. meant Canadian fishermen were excluded from fishing the Grand Banks.

Questions 11-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?

In boxes 11-13 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

11. Even now, cod stocks have shown no signs of recovery in the Grand Banks.

12. Initial efforts to extract oil from the Grand Banks’ Hibernia oil field were unsuccessful.

13. Oil exploration companies have to follow strict safety controls imposed by the Canadiangovernment.


Elderly people are growing healthier, happier and more independent, say American scientists. The results of a 14-year study to be announced later this month reveal that the diseases associated with old age are afflicting fewer and fewer people and when they do strike, it is much later in life.

In the last 14 years, the National Long-term Health Care Survey has gathered data on the health and lifestyles of more than 20,000 men and women over 65. Researchers, now analysing the results of data gathered in 1994, say arthritis, high blood pressure and circulation problems -the major medical complaints in this age group – are troubling a smaller proportion every year. And the data confirms

that the rate at which these diseases are declining continues to accelerate. Other diseases of old age – dementia, stroke, arteriosclerosis and emphysema – are also troubling fewer and fewer people.

‘It really raises the question of what should be considered normal ageing,’ says Kenneth Manton, a demographer from Duke University in North Carolina. He says the problems doctors accepted as normal in a 65-year-old in 1982 are often not appearing until people are 70 or 75.

Clearly, certain diseases are beating a retreat in the face of medical advances. But there may be other contributing factors. Improvements in childhood nutrition in the first quarter of the twentieth century, for example, gave today’s elderly people a better start in life than their predecessors.

On the downside, the data also reveals failures in public health that have caused surges in some illnesses. An increase in some cancers and bronchitis may reflect changing smoking habits and poorer air quality, say the researchers. ‘These may be subtle influences,’ says Manton, ‘but our subjects have been exposed to worse and worse pollution for over 60 years. It’s not surprising we see some effect.’

One interesting correlation Manton uncovered is that better-educated people are likely to live longer. For example, 65-year-old women with fewer than eight years of schooling are expected, on average, to live to 82. Those who continued their education live an extra seven years. Although some of this can be attributed to a higher income, Manton believes it is mainly because educated people seek more medical attention.

The survey also assessed how independent people over 65 were, and again found a striking trend. Almost 80% of those in the 1994 survey could complete everyday activities ranging from eating and dressing unaided to complex tasks such as cooking and managing their finances. That represents a significant drop in the number of disabled old people in the population. If the trends apparent in the United States 14 years ago had continued, researchers calculate there would be an additional one million disabled elderly people in today’s population. According to Manton, slowing the trend has saved the United States government’s Medicare system more than $200 billion, suggesting that the greying of America’s population may prove less of a financial burden than expected.

The increasing self-reliance of many elderly people is probably linked to a massive increase in the use of simple home medical aids. For instance, the use of raised toilet seats has more than doubled since the start of the study, and the use of bath seats has grown by more than 50%. These developments also bring some health benefits, according to a report from the MacArthur Foundation’s research group on successful ageing. The group found that those elderly people who were able to retain a sense of independence were more likely to stay healthy in old age.

Maintaining a level of daily physical activity may help mental functioning, says Carl Cotman, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Irvine. He found that rats that exercise on a treadmill have raised levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor coursing through their brains. Cotman believes this hormone, which keeps neurons functioning, may prevent the brains of active humans from deteriorating.

As part of the same study, Teresa Seeman, a social epidemiologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, found a connection between self-esteem and stress in people over 70. In laboratory simulations of challenging activities such as driving, those who felt in control of their lives pumped out lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Chronically high levels of these hormones have been linked to heart disease.

But independence can have drawbacks. Seeman found that elderly people who felt emotionally isolated maintained higher levels of stress hormones even when asleep. The research suggests that older people fare best when they feel independent but know they can get help when they need it.

‘Like much research into ageing, these results support common sense,’ says Seeman. They also show that we may be underestimating the impact of these simple factors. ‘The sort of thing that your grandmother always told you turns out to be right on target,’ she says.

Questions 14-22

Complete the summary using the list of words, A-Q. below.

Write the correct letter, A-Q, in boxes 14-22 on your answer sheet.

Research carried out by scientists in the United States has shown that the proportion of people over

65 suffering from the most common age-related medical problems is 14………………….. and that the

speed of this change is 15……………………….. It also seems that these diseases ere affecting people

16…………………….. in life than they did in the past. This is largely due to developments in 17

……………………., but other factors such as improved 18 …………………… may also be playing a part.

Increases in some other illnesses may be due to changes in personal habits and to

19………………………. The research establishes a link between levels of 20 ……………………. and life

expectancy. It also shows that there has been a considerable reduction in the number of elderly

people who are 21……………………..which means that the 22 ……………………involved in supporting
this section of the population may be less than previously predicted. 
A costB fallingD technology 
D undernourishedE earlierF later 
G disabledH moreI Increasing 
J nutritionK educationL constant 
M medicineN pollutionO environmental 
P healthQ independent 


Questions 23-26

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-H, below. Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet.

23 Home medical aids

24 Regular amounts or exercise

25 Feelings of control over life

26 Feelings of loneliness

A may cause heart disease.

B can be helped by hormone treatment.

C may cause rises in levels of stress hormones.

D have cost the United States government more than $200 billion.

E may help prevent mental decline.

F may get stronger at night.

G allow old people to be more independent.

H can reduce stress in difficult situations.

Questions 27-31

Reading Passage contains six Key Points.

Choose the correct heading for Key Points TWO to SIX .from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

I Ensure the reward system is fair

Ii Match rewards lo individuals

Iii Ensure targets are realistic

IV Link rewards to achievement

V Encourage managers to take more responsibility

VI Recognise changes in employees’ performance over time

Vii Establish targets and give feedback

Viii Ensure employees are suited to their jobs

27 Key Point Two

28 Key Point Three

29 Key Point Four

30 Key Point Five

31 Key Point Six

Motivating Employees under Adverse Condition


It is a great deal easier to motivate employees in a growing organisation than a declining one. When organisations are expanding and adding personnel, promotional opportunities, pay rises, and the excitement of being associated with a dynamic organisation create Slings of optimism. Management is able ta use the growth to entice and encourage employees. When an organisation is shrinking, the best and most mobile workers are prone to leave voluntarily. Unfortunately, they are the ones the organisation can least afford to lose- those with me highest skills and experience. The minor employees remain because their job options are limited.

Morale also surfers during decline. People fear they may be the next to be made redundant. Productivity often suffers, as employees spend their time sharing rumours and providing one another with moral support rather than focusing on their jobs. For those whose jobs are secure, pay increases are rarely possible. Pay cuts, unheard of during times of growth, may even be imposed. The challenge to management is how to motivate employees under such retrenchment conditions. The ways of meeting this challenge can be broadly divided into six Key Points, which are outlined below.


There is an abundance of evidence to support the motivational benefits that result from carefully matching people to jobs. For example, if the job is running a small business or an autonomous unit within a larger business, high achievers should be sought. However, if the job to be filled is a managerial post in a large bureaucratic organisation, a candidate who has a high need for power and a low need for affiliation should be selected. Accordingly, high achievers should not be put into jobs that are inconsistent with their needs. High achievers will do best when the job provides moderately challenging goals and where there is independence and feedback. However, it should be remembered that not everybody is motivated by jobs that are high in independence, variety and responsibility.


The literature on goal-setting theory suggests that managers should ensure that all employees have specific goals and receive comments on how well they are doing in those goals. For those with high achievement needs, typically a minority in any organisation, the existence of external goals is less important because high achievers are already internally motivated. The next factor to be determined is whether the goals should be assigned by a manager or collectively set in conjunction with the employees. The answer to that depends on perceptions the culture, however, goals should be assigned. If participation and the culture are incongruous, employees are likely to perceive the participation process as manipulative and be negatively affected by it.


Regardless of whether goals are achievable or well within management’s perceptions of the employee’s ability, if employees see them as unachievable they will reduce their effort. Managers must be sure, therefore, that employees feel confident that their efforts can lead to performance goals. For managers, this means that employees must have the capability of doing the job and must regard the appraisal process as valid.


Since employees have different needs, what acts as a reinforcement far one may not for another. Managers could use their knowledge of each employee to personalise the rewards over which they have control. Some of the more obvious rewards that managers allocate include pay, promotions, autonomy, job scope and depth, and the opportunity lo participate in goal-setting and decision-making.


Managers need to make rewards contingent on performance. To reward factors other than performance will only reinforce those other factors. Key rewards such as pay increases and promotions or advancements should be allocated for the attainment of the employee’s specific goals. Consistent with maximising the impact of rewards, managers should look for ways to increase their visibility. Eliminating the secrecy surrounding pay by openly communicating everyone’s remuneration, publicising performance bonuses and allocating annual salary increases in a lump sum rather than spreading them out over an entire year are examples of actions that will make rewards more visible and potentially more motivating.


The way rewards ore distributed should be transparent so that employees perceive that rewards or outcomes are equitable and equal to the inputs given. On a simplistic level, experience, abilities, effort and other obvious inputs should explain differences in pay, responsibility and other obvious outcomes. The problem, however, is complicated by the existence of dozens of inputs and outcomes and by the Fact that employee groups place different degrees of importance on them. For instance, a study comparing clerical and production workers identified nearly twenty inputs and outcomes. The clerical workers considered factors such as quality of work performed and job knowledge near the top of their list, but these were at the bottom of the production workers’ list. Similarly, production workers thought that the most important inputs were intelligence and personal involvement with task accomplishment, two factors that were quite low in the importance ratings of the clerks. There were also important, though less dramatic, differences on the outcome side. For example, production workers rated advancement very highly, whereas clerical workers rated advancement in the lower third of their list. Such findings suggest that one person’s equity is another’s inequity, so an ideal should probably weigh different inputs and outcomes according to employee group.

Questions 32-37

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage?

In boxes 32-37 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement t agrees with the claims of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

32. A shrinking organisation tends to lose its less skilled employees rather than its more skilledemployees.

33. It is easier to manage a small business ban a large business.

34. High achievers are well-suited to team work.

35. Some employees can fee! manipulated when asked to participate in goal-setting.

36. The staff appraisal process should be designed by employees.

37. Employees’ earnings should be disclosed to everyone within the organisation.

Questions 38-40

Look at the follow groups of worker (Question 38-40) and the list of descriptions below Match each group with the correct description, A-E.

Write the correct letter, A – E, in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.

38. High achievers

39. Clerical workers

40. Production workers

List of Descriptions

A. They judge promotion to be important.

B. They have less need of external goats.

C. They think that the quality of their work is important.

D. They resist goals which are imposed.

E. They have limited job options.


  1. C
  2. D
  3. F
  4. A
  5. D
  6. E
  7. B
  8. C
  9. B
  10. A
  11. FALSE
  12. TRUE
  14. F
  15. I
  16. F
  17. M
  18. J
  19. N
  20. K
  21. G
  22. A
  23. G
  24. E
  25. H
  26. C
  27. vii
  28. iii
  29. ii
  30. iv
  31. i
  32. NO
  34. NO
  35. YES
  37. YES
  38. B
  39. C
  40. A

Leave a Reply