Trong các bài đọc IELTS, yếu tố có lẽ làm các thí sinh mất điểm nhiều nhất đó chính là từ vựng. Cụ thể đó là những từ đồng nghĩa giữa từ khoá trong câu hỏi và từ tương đương trong bài đọc. Hãy điểm qua 3 phần bên dưới để ý thức hơn về tầm quan trọng của chúng. 

1. Part 1 

- "corpus" = a collection of written or spoken texts)

- "lexicographical" = related to writing dictionaries

Hãy thử tìm hiểu nghĩa của những từ sau đây bằng cách tra từ điển Anh-Anh: 

  • incorporate (e.g. they are incorporating spoken English into their data)
  • verbal / non-verbal (e.g. a verbal warning, non-verbal communication)
  • portrayal (e.g. the portrayal of feelings)
  • convey (e.g. to convey feelings, convey a message)
  • an initiative (e.g. a Government initiative)

2. Part 2: 

Text about single-sex education (educating boys and girls separately).

You might have thought that boys brought up in a single-sex environment would find relationships with girls difficult to handle. Now research due to be published tomorrow proves it. It shows that boys taught in single-sex schools are more likely to be divorced or separated from their partner than those who attended a mixed school by their early 40s.

The findings, taken from studying a cohort of all those born in a single week of 1958, will be presented by Professor Diana Leonard, from London University's Institute of Education. The research covered 17,000 adults who had been taught in a range of institutions from private boarding schools to state comprehensives. The majority had been brought up in day schools.

Dr Leonard's findings have fuelled claims from teachers' leaders and education psychologists that boys brought up in a single-sex environment are less able to relate to the opposite sex than those taught in a co-educational school.

Find words in the text that are similar to the words/phrases below.

   - raised
   - to cope with
   - co-educational
   - a group
   - a variety of
   - high schools
   - added weight to

3. Part 3

Article about football can contain useful expressions:

The organisers of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are hoping it will stimulate the nation's economy and leave a lasting physical and social legacy. Danny Jordaan, the man who led the bid to secure the event, believes hosting the World Cup could be worth as much as $6 billion to South Africa, while also boosting the construction, telecommunications and tourist industries.

South Africa predicts at least 400,000 people will visit the country for the tournament, the first World Cup ever to be held in Africa. Some 160,000 jobs are expected to be created from hosting the event, according to the national football bid committee. Furthermore, it is estimated that for each visitor to the World Cup, another 150 will be indirectly influenced in their perceptions about the host country, through word-of-mouth by the fans when they return home, or as a result of global television coverage of the event.

Here are some "verb + noun" collocations from the text:

   - stimulate the economy
   - leave a legacy
   - host/hold an event
   - boost industries
   - create jobs
   - influence people's perceptions



Hãy thực hành trả lời các câu hỏi dạng Heading cho đoạn (paragraph) và Tittle cho bài (passage).



E 1.

It was once assumed that improvements in telecommunications would lead to more dispersal in the population as people were no longer forced into cities. However, the ISTP team's research demonstrates that the population and job density of cities rose or remained constant in the 1980s after decades of decline. The explanation for this seems to be that it is valuable to place people working in related fields together. 'The new world will largely depend on human creativity, and creativity flourishes where people come together face-to-face.'

Which paragraph heading would you choose and why?

  1. The impact of telecommunications on population distribution
  2. The benefits of working together in cities


E 2. 

A) The hunt for intelligent species outside Earth may be a staple of literature and film – but it is happening in real life, too. Nasa probes are on the lookout for planets outside our solar system, and astronomers are carefully listening for any messages being beamed through space. How awe-inspiring it would be to get confirmation that we are not alone in the universe, to finally speak to an alien race. Wouldn't it?

B) Well no, according to the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," Hawking has said in a forthcoming documentary made for the Discovery Channel. He argues that, instead of trying to find and communicate with life in the cosmos, humans would be better off doing everything they can to avoid contact.

C) Hawking believes that, based on the sheer number of planets that scientists know must exist, we are not the only life-form in the universe. There are, after all, billions and billions of stars in our galaxy alone, with, it is reasonable to expect, an even greater number of planets orbiting them. And it is not unreasonable to expect some of that alien life to be intelligent, and capable of interstellar communication.

Match each paragraph with one of the headings below.

   1. A pessimistic prediction.

   2. The probability of life existing on other planets.

   3. Astronomers send messages through space.

   4. How to avoid contact with aliens.

   5. The search for alien life-forms.

   6. Life-forms exist on other planets.


E 3. 

Choose the best title from the list below.

A new survey reveals that a family sit-down at dinnertime may reduce a teenager’s risk of trying or using alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. The study surveyed more than 1,000 teens and found that those who dined with their families five to seven times a week were four times less likely to use alcohol, tobacco or marijuana than those who ate with their families fewer than three times a week.

A recent UK survey also found that dining together as a family is a key ingredient in ensuring a child's happiness. Children in the survey reported higher levels of happiness when they dined together with their families at least three times a week. "Contrary to the popular belief that children only want to spend time playing video games or watching TV," said researcher Dr. Maris Iacovou of the University of Essex, "we found that they were most happy when interacting with their parents or siblings."

   A) Children's happiness
   B) Why teenagers use alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
   C) What teenagers really want
   D) Why families should dine together


E 4.  Match two of the following headings with the paragraphs below. 

   1. Rapid sales of printing presses.

   2. The revolutionary impact of the printing press.

   3. New information and ideas.

   4. The printing boom.

From a single point of origin, Mainz, Germany, printing spread within several decades to over two hundred cities in a dozen European countries. By 1500, printing presses in operation throughout Western Europe had already produced more than twenty million volumes. In the 16th century, with presses spreading further afield, their output rose tenfold to an estimated 150 to 200 million copies. The operation of a press became so synonymous with the enterprise of printing that it lent its name to an entire new branch of media, the press.

In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information and ideas transcended borders and threatened the power of political and religious authorities. The sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class.


E 5.  Choose the best heading.

‘Phonics’ refers to a method for teaching speakers of English to read and write that language. Young learners are taught to associate the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters. For example, they might be taught that the sound /k/ can be represented by the spellings c, k, ck, ch, or q. Using phonics, the teacher shows the learners how to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words. Phonics is a widely used method of teaching children to read and decode words. Children begin learning to read using phonics usually around the age of 5 or 6.

Screen Shot 2012-02-26 at 12.09.56

   A) A new method for language learning
   B) How phonics benefits children in the UK
   C) Children learn to link sounds with spellings
   D) Children learn the rules of spelling


E 6.  Choose the correct heading for the paragraph from the list below.

   A) The environmental impact of estuaries
   B) The human impact on certain coastal areas
   C) Why estuaries will disappear

An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries are amongst the most heavily populated areas throughout the world, with about 60% of the world’s population living along estuaries and the coast. As a result, estuaries are suffering degradation by many factors, including overgrazing and other poor farming practices; overfishing; drainage and filling of wetlands; pollutants from sewage inputs; and diking or damming for flood control or water diversion.


E 7.  Choose the best title from the list below.

Future Shock is a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. In the book, Toffler defines the term "future shock" as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". The book became an international bestseller, selling over 6 million copies, and has been widely translated.

Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people, he believed, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation" - future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock he popularized the term "information overload."

   A) A shocking vision of the future.
   B) What is “future shock”?
   C) The career of the futurist Alvin Toffler.
   D) A changing society.


E 8.  Choose the best heading.

Melbourne has topped the list of the best cities in the world to live in, according to a new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Vienna in Austria and Vancouver in Canada came in second and third place respectively on the Global Livability Ranking. Cities across the world are awarded scores depending on lifestyle challenges faced by the people living there. Each city is scored on its stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. This is the third time that the Australian city has topped the list. Unfortunately, UK cities fared worse on the list with London coming 55 out of 140 cities while Manchester was ranked 51. The report also shows that livability across the world has fallen by 0.6 per cent.

   A) Livability survey produces some surprising results.
   B) How cities are ranked.
   C) Results of the latest “Most Livable Cities Index”.
   D) Melbourne is top city for tourists.


E 9. Paragraph headings

Read the following passage about cognitive behavioural therapy:

A) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach: a talking therapy. CBT aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present.

B) The particular therapeutic techniques vary, but commonly may include keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviours; questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation, mindfulness and distraction techniques are also commonly included.

C) Going through cognitive behavioural therapy is not an overnight process for clients; a typical course consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions. Even after clients have learned to recognise when and where their mental processes go awry, it can in some cases take considerable time or effort to replace a dysfunctional process or habit with a more reasonable and adaptive one. CBT is problem-focused and structured towards the client. It requires honesty and openness between the client and therapist, as a therapist develops strategies for managing problems and guiding the client to a better life.

Choose the best headings for paragraphs A, B and C from this list:

   1. A slow process

   2. A new type of therapeutic approach

   3. The benefits and drawbacks of CBT

   4. A goal-oriented therapeutic approach

   5. CBT therapists are always honest with their clients

   6. The range of CBT interventions


E 10. Choose the best heading from the list.

Reading underwent serious changes in the 18th century. Until 1750, reading was done “intensively”: people tended to own a small number of books and read them repeatedly, often to a small audience. After 1750, people began to read “extensively”, finding as many books as they could, and increasingly reading them alone. Libraries that lent out their material for a small price started to appear, and occasionally bookstores would offer a small lending library to their patrons. Coffee houses commonly offered books, journals and sometimes even popular novels to their customers.

   1. The appearance of the first public libraries.
   2. Intensive and extensive reading habits.
   3. The reading revolution.




Answer keys:

Exercise -1

2 - benefits of working together in cities.

Be careful: the answer is NOT always in the first sentence. The first sentence is about what people "once assumed" (used to think), but the word "However" introduces the real topic of the paragraph.

Exercise -2

A = 5 (the search = the hunt)

B = 1

C = 2 (probability = Hawking BELIEVES, but it is not certain)




4 - The printing boom
2 - The revolutionary impact of the printing press

Exercise -5

- C

"Associate sounds with letters" means the same as "link sounds with spellings".

Exercise -6


- After "as a result" you can read a list of things that are affecting estuaries. Every factor in the list is related to human activity.

- There is nothing about the effect that estuaries have on the environment, and there is nothing about estuaries disappearing completely.

Exercise -7

B is correct.

A is wrong because the passage is about people's reaction to the future, not a particular vision of the future.

C is wrong because there is nothing about his whole career.

D is too general - the passage is about a specific reaction to change. We really need something about Toffler or future shock in the title.

B is the best title because both paragraphs talk about future shock: the first paragraph contains a definition, and the second paragraph explains how future shock can occur.

Excercise -8


Exercise -9

A = 4

solve problems... through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure = a goal-oriented therapeutic approach

B = 6

the particular therapeutic techniques vary, but commonly may include... = The range of CBT interventions

C = 1

going through cognitive behavioural therapy is not an overnight process for clients; a typical course consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions = a slow process

Exercise 10


Reading underwent serious changes... The text then explains these changes.