leap-scholar-logo
hamburger-menu

A Workaholic Economy Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

updated at

Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The IELTS Reading section is designed to evaluate your comprehension skills. This section consists of a series of passages sourced from academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and other reputable publications. It assesses your ability to understand, interpret, and analyse complex texts, reflecting the type of reading you might encounter in an English-speaking academic environment.

 

Key Highlights of the IELTS Reading section:
 

  • The Reading section comprises three passages, each escalating in difficulty.
  • You can expect a diverse range of question types, including multiple choice, true/false/not given, matching headings, and sentence completion.
  • With only 60 minutes to complete the entire section, effective time management is crucial. Allocate approximately 20 minutes to each passage and its associated questions.

 

The passage "A Workaholic Economy" delves into the pervasive phenomenon of overwork within modern societies, exploring its causes, consequences, and potential remedies. It offers insights into the cultural, economic, and psychological factors driving this trend, prompting readers to critically evaluate the balance between productivity and well-being in contemporary work environments.

On this page

Arrow right
Slider image

1. A Workaholic Economy Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

Slider image

2. A Workaholic Economy Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about A Workaholic Economy

More for you

Boost your IELTS Reading score

Book Free Reading class arrow right

See how to score 8+ in Speaking. 

 

Get proven strategies to ace your IELTS Speaking test.

Learn More arrow right
3/3
1.

A Workaholic Economy Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

 A Workaholic Economy Reading Passage


 

 

Paragraph 1

As a result of the Industrial Revolution, or for the first century, increased productivity led to reduced working hours. Employees who worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, found working hours of 10 hours a day, and then, finally, eight hours, five days a week. A generation ago, only social planners were worried about what people would do with this new free time. In the United States, at least, they seem to have nothing to worry about.

 

Paragraph 2

Although the result for one-hour work has doubled since 1945, rest time seems to have been mainly reserved for the unemployed and the unemployed. Full-time workers spent as much time at work as they did at the end of World War II. In fact, working hours have increased significantly since the 1970s, and maybe real earnings have stagnated since that year. Bookstores now have plenty of manuals explaining how to handle time and deal with stress. There are many reasons for missing rest time. Since 1979, companies have reacted to progress in the business environment by hiring more employees than making the employees overtime, says Juliet B., an economist at Harvard University. In fact, the recent economic recovery has achieved a certain degree of reputation for its “unemployment” nature, which has completely cut off increased productivity from employment.

 

Paragraph 3 

Some companies are cutting back on their profit margins. A labour economist at Cornell University, Ronald G. Snyder, observes that since all things are equal, it is good to spread the workaround.

 

Paragraph 4

Nevertheless, many factors push employers to hire fewer workers for longer hours while at the same time forcing workers to spend more time at work. Most of those motivations involve what Ehrenberg calls the compensation structure, quirks in the way wages and advantages are arranged that make it more lucrative to ask 40 employees to labour an additional hour each than to hire one more employee to do the same 40-hour job.

 

Paragraph 5 

Professional and managerial staff offer the clearest lesson in these ways. Once people are paid, it is the same for a company whether they spend 35 hours a week or 70 hours. Income will decline as overworked employees will lose performance or move to more arable pastures. However, in the short term, the employer’s motivation is clear.

 

Paragraph 6 

Hourly employees also receive advantages such as pension contributions and medical insurance, which are not connected to the hours they work. Hence, it would be more fruitful for employers to make existing workers work harder.

 

Paragraph 7:

Although employees complain about long hours, they also have causes not to trade money for leisure. Schor claims that those who work part-time pay higher fines based on work. It's taken as a negative signal about their dedication to the company. Lotte Bailyn of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says many corporate managers find it difficult to measure the contribution of their footnotes to a company's well-being, so they use the number of hours they work for publication. “Employees comprehend this,” she expresses, and they adjust their behaviour accordingly.

 

Paragraph 8

Bailey says that although the image of the good employee belongs to the company, it does not agree with the facts. She cites both quantitative and qualitative studies showing that part-time workers have increased productivity, that they make better use of the time they have, and that they are less likely to become exhausted from stressful work. She emphasises that companies that hire more workers in less time also benefit from the resulting layoffs. More individuals can cover up coincidences, you know, which means troubles will take people away from the workplace. Positive experiences with lessened times are beginning to change the culture even better in some companies, Schor reports.

 

Paragraph 9

Larger companies, in particular, seem to be more willing to test flexible work arrangements ...

 

Paragraph 10: 

Successful trading of money for greater productivity and leisure can take more than changes in the financial and cultural structures of employment for workers, Schor argues. She says the U.S. market for goods has been skewed by the belief of full-time, two-business families. Automobile makers no longer produce cheap models, and developers no longer build small bungalows to serve first-generation home customers. Even the simplest household item is not made without a microprocessor. As Schor points out, the situation is an interesting reversal of the designers' view of "appropriate technology" for developing countries, where American products are only suitable for high earnings and long hours.

2.

A Workaholic Economy Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about A Workaholic Economy

Questions and Answers 1-5
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

  • YES if the statement agrees with the information given
  • NO if the statement contradicts the information given
  • NOT GIVEN if there is no information about this

 

 

1. Decreased productivity led to increased working hours for the first century.

2. A generation ago, only social planners were worried about what people would do with this new free time.

3. Full-time workers spend as much time at work as they did at the end of World War II.

4. Expanding rest time will help both working families.

5. Many factors push employers to hire more workers to work for longer hours.


 

A Workaholic Economy  Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

 

Type of question: Yes/No/Not Given(True/False/Not Given)

 

In this question type, you are required to determine whether the statements provided agree with, contradict, or are not mentioned in the reading passage.  

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Understand what information is being presented and what is being asked.
  • Find relevant information in the reading passage that relates to the statement.
  • Determine if the statement agrees with, contradicts, or is not mentioned in the passage.
  • If the information is not explicitly provided in the passage, select 'Not Given' rather than making assumptions.
  • Base your answers solely on the information presented in the passage, avoiding personal opinions or outside knowledge.

 

 

1. No

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 1: "As a result of the Industrial Revolution, or for the first century, increased productivity led to reduced working hours."

 

Explanation

This answer is incorrect because the passage clearly states that increased productivity, not decreased, resulted in reduced working hours during the Industrial Revolution.


 

2. Yes

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 1: "A generation ago, only social planners were worried about what people would do with this new free time."
 

Explanation

This statement is correct as it aligns with the passage, which indicates that only social planners expressed concern about people's free time a generation ago.


 

3. Yes

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 2:  "Full-time workers spend as much time at work as they did at the end of World War II."
 

Explanation

This answer is accurate because the passage explicitly mentions that full-time workers dedicate the same amount of time to work as they did at the conclusion of World War II.


 

4. Not Given

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 4: N.A.
 

Explanation

The passage does not provide information regarding the impact of expanding rest time on working families, so it is impossible to determine if it would be beneficial or not.


 

5. No

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 4: "Nevertheless, many factors push employers to hire fewer workers for longer hours, while at the same time forcing workers to spend more time at work."

 

Explanation

This choice is incorrect because the passage indicates that employers are motivated to hire fewer workers for longer hours, contradicting the assertion that they are inclined to hire more workers for longer hours.

Questions and Answers 6-9
  • Choose the correct letter, A - D

 

 

6. It is the same for a company whether they spend 35 hours a week or 70 hours, 

 

A. they are paid less
B. once people joined 
C. once people are paid
D. they got no incentives

 

7. Hourly employees also receive advantages such as pension contributions and 

 

A. medical insurance 
B. health insurance
C. educational benefits
D. home loan

 

8. Employees complain about long hours; they also have causes not to trade money 

 

A. for their commitment
B. in busy time
C. for progress 
D. for leisure

 

9. Lotte Bailyn says many corporate managers find it difficult to measure the contribution of their footnotes to a

 

A. family
B. company's well-being
C. society
D. competitors

 

A Workaholic Economy  Reading Answers with Explanations (6-9)

 

Type of question: Multiple choice questions

 

In this question type, you are asked to answer the question followed by several options, typically lettered A, B, C, or D. The task is to select the correct answer from the given choices based on the information provided in the reading passage.

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Read the question carefully and understand what it asks.
  • Pay attention to the keywords in the question.
  • Skim the passage quickly to locate relevant information.
  • Eliminate the clearly incorrect options.
  • Select the answer that best fits the information in the passage.


 

6. C - Once people are paid

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 5: "Once people are paid, it is the same for a company whether they spend 35 hours a week or 70 hours."
 

Explanation

This answer indicates that regardless of the number of hours worked, once employees receive their pay, the company's financial commitment remains constant, highlighting the fixed nature of labour costs post-payment.


 

7. A - medical insurance

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 6: "Hourly employees also receive advantages such as pension contributions and medical insurance, which are not connected to the hours they work."
 

Explanation

The correct choice emphasises that hourly employees receive benefits such as medical insurance independent of the hours they work, illustrating the stability of certain perks irrespective of working hours.


 

8. D - for leisure

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: "Although employees complain about long hours, they also have causes not to trade money for leisure."
 

Explanation

This option reflects the paradox where employees, despite lamenting extended work hours, are disinclined to exchange their earnings for leisure time, underscoring the value they place on monetary compensation over leisure.


 

9. B - company’s well-being

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: "Lotte Bailyn, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says many corporate managers find it difficult to measure the contribution of their footnotes to a company's well-being, so they use the number of hours they work for publication."
 

Explanation

This option highlights the challenge faced by corporate managers in assessing the impact of their employees on the company's overall well-being, indicating the complexity involved in evaluating employee contributions beyond mere hours worked.

Questions and Answers 10-13
  • Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A–G, below.
  • Write the correct letter, A-G, as your answer to each question.

 

 

10. Bailey says that, although the image of the good employee belongs to the company, 

11. Part-time workers are less likely to become 

12. Positive experiences with lessened times are beginning 

13. Successful trading of money for greater productivity and leisure can take more than changes in the 

 

  1. financial and cultural structures
  2. exhausted from stressful work
  3. to test flexible work arrangements
  4. to change the culture
  5. it does not agree with the facts
  6. high earnings and long hours


 

A Workaholic Economy  Reading Answers with Explanations (10-13)

 

Type of question: Matching sentence endings

 

In this question type, you will be given incomplete sentences, and you will have to complete the end of the sentence by selecting suitable words or phrases from the given list. 

 

How to best answer: 

 

  • Skim through the incomplete sentences to get an idea of the context
  • Recognise keywords in each sentence
  • Scan your list of options and look for the keywords
  • Verify the context and check if the word flows with the rest of the sentence 
  • Finalise your answers


 

10. E - it does not agree with the facts

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 8: "Bailey says that, although the image of the good employee belongs to the company, it does not agree with the facts."
 

Explanation

This statement highlights a discrepancy between the perceived qualities of an ideal employee held by companies and the actual evidence provided by studies. It suggests that the traditional notion of a good employee may not align with empirical realities.


 

11. B - exhausted from stressful work

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 8: "She cites both quantitative and qualitative studies showing that part-time workers have increased productivity, that they make better use of the time they have, and that they are less likely to become exhausted from stressful work."
 

Explanation

This emphasises the advantage of part-time work in mitigating exhaustion caused by stress, supported by research findings. It underscores the importance of considering alternative work arrangements for maintaining employee well-being.


 

12. D - to change the culture

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 8: "Positive experiences with lessened times are beginning to change the culture even better in some companies, Schor reports."
 

Explanation

The passage suggests that positive experiences resulting from reduced working hours are gradually influencing and reshaping workplace culture within certain companies. This highlights the potential for cultural shifts towards a healthier work-life balance.


 

13. A - financial and cultural structures

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 9: "Successful trading of money for greater productivity and leisure can take more than changes in the financial and cultural structures of employment for workers, Schor argues."

 

Explanation

This assertion underscores Schor's argument that achieving successful trade-offs between money, productivity, and leisure necessitates more than just altering the financial and cultural frameworks within employment. It implies that other factors, such as individual attitudes, organisational practices, and societal norms, also play crucial roles in shaping work dynamics and outcomes.

Next Up

IELTS Reading Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Speaking Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Listening Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Important Information

IELTS Accepting Countries

IELTS Accepting Universities

Read More about IELTS Practice Test

Top Reading Samples with Answers

IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India

FAQs

Q. What should I do if I don't understand a word or phrase in the passage during the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. If you come across words you don't know during the test, try to figure out what they mean based on the sentence or paragraph. If you can't do that, focus on understanding the surrounding information so you can answer the questions as best as you can.


 

Q. Is there a specific order in which I should answer the questions in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. You can answer the questions in any order you like. Some test-takers start with the easiest questions, while others prefer to go through the questions one by one. Try different strategies during your practice to see what works best for you.


 

Q. What are some common misconceptions about the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. When taking the IELTS reading test, it's important to remember that you don't need to understand every word, read the entire passage, or expect straightforward questions. You also don't have to answer the questions in order. Recognising these misconceptions will help you approach the test with confidence and meet its requirements effectively.