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Glaciers Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

Glaciers are massive ice formed from compressed snow that moves slowly under their weight. They are critical freshwater reservoirs, storing about 69% of the world's fresh water. Glaciers shape the landscape through erosion and deposition, carving out valleys, creating lakes, and influencing weather patterns.

 

The topic of glaciers in IELTS reading passages typically covers various aspects such as their formation, movement, impact on the environment, and historical significance. These passages often describe how glaciers are formed from compacted snow, how they move due to gravity and internal pressure, and how they shape the landscape through erosion. Additionally, they might discuss the effects of climate change on glaciers and their role in global water resources.

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1. Glaciers Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 15 based on the Reading Passage below.

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2. Glaciers Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Glaciers IELTS reading answers

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1.

Glaciers Reading Passage

General Instructions
General Instructions for IELTS Reading:

  • You should read the instructions for each question carefully and answer according to them.
  • The reading passages will increase in difficulty as you progress through the test.
  • Skimming and scanning of the passage is very important to score well in the reading section.
  • You should manage your time carefully to ensure enough time to answer all the questions.
  • You cannot bring any electronic devices, including mobile phones, into the test room.

 

 

 

 

Glaciers Reading Passage

 

 

  1. Besides the earth’s oceans, glacier ice is the largest source of water on earth. A glacier is a massive stream or sheet of ice that moves underneath itself under the influence of gravity. Some glaciers travel down mountains or valleys, while others spread across a large expanse of land. Heavily glaciated regions such as Greenland and Antarctica are called continental glaciers. These two ice sheets encompass over 95 per cent of the earth’s glacial ice. The Greenland ice sheet is almost 10,000 feet thick in some areas, and the weight of this glacier is so heavy that much of the region has been depressed below sea level. Smaller glaciers that occur at higher elevations are called alpine or valley glaciers. Another way of classifying glaciers is in terms of their internal temperature. In temperate glaciers, the ice within the glacier is near its melting point. Polar glaciers, in contrast, always maintain temperatures far below melting.
  2. Most of the earth’s glaciers are near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. Glaciers are generally formed in high alpine regions because they require cold temperatures throughout the year. In areas with little opportunity for summer ablation (loss of mass), snow changes to compacted fim and then crystallised ice. During periods in which melting and evaporation exceed the amount of snowfall, glaciers will retreat rather than progress. While glaciers rely heavily on snowfall, other climactic conditions, including freezing rain, avalanches, and wind, contribute to their growth. One year of below-average precipitation can stunt the growth of a glacier tremendously. With the rare exception of surging glaciers, a common glacier flows about 10 inches per day in the summer and 5 inches per day in the winter. The fastest glacial surge on record occurred in 1953 when the Kutiah Glacier in Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.
  3. The weight and pressure of ice accumulation cause glacier movement. Glaciers move out from under themselves via plastic deformation and basal slippage. First, the internal flow of ice crystals begins to spread outward and downward from the thickened snowpack, also known as the zone of accumulation. Next, the ice along the ground surface begins to slip in the same direction. Seasonal thawing at the base of the glacier helps to facilitate this slippage. The middle of a glacier moves faster than the sides and bottom because there is no rock to cause friction. The upper part of a glacier rides on the ice below. As a glacier moves, it carves out a U-shaped valley similar to a riverbed but with much steeper walls and a flatter bottom.
  4. Besides the extraordinary rivers of ice, glacial erosion creates other unique physical features in the landscape, such as horns, fjords, hanging valleys, and cirques. Most of these landforms do not become visible until after a glacier has receded. Many are created by moraines at the sides and front of a glacier. Moraines are formed when material is picked up along the way and deposited in a new location. These moraines can create a horn when many alpine glaciers occur on the same mountain. The Matterhorn, in the Swiss Alps, is one of the most famous horns. Fjords, very common in Norway, are coastal valleys that fill with ocean water during a glacial retreat. Hanging valleys occur when two or more glacial valleys intersect at varying elevations. It is common for waterfalls to connect the higher and lower hanging valleys, such as in Vosemite National Park. A cirque is a large bowl-shaped valley that forms at the front of a glacier. Cirques often have a lip on their downslope that is deep enough to hold small lakes when the ice melts away.
  5. Glacier movement and shape-shifting typically occur over hundreds of years. While about 10 per cent of the earth’s land is covered with glaciers, it is believed that during the last Ice Age, glaciers covered approximately 32 per cent of the earth’s surface. Most glaciers have been retreating rather than flowing forward in the past century. Whether this glacial activity is due to human impact or natural causes is unknown. Still, glaciologists can begin to understand environmental issues such as global warming by studying glacier movement and comparing climate and agricultural profiles over hundreds of years.
2.

Glaciers Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Glaciers IELTS reading answers

Questions and Answers 1-5
The reading passage has five paragraphs: A-E.
Which paragraph contains the following information?

  • Write the correct A-E letter on your answer sheet in boxes 1-5.
  • There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

 

  1. Glacial Continents
  2. Formation and Growth of Glaciers
  3. Glacial Movement
  4. Glaciers in the Last Ice Age
  5. Glaciers Through the Years
  6. Types of Glaciers
  7. Glacial Effects on Landscape
  8. Glaciers in National Parks

 

1. Paragraph A 

2. Paragraph B 

3. Paragraph C 

4. Paragraph D 

5. Paragraph E

 

Glaciers Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

 

Type of question: Matching headings

These questions require you to match a paragraph with a heading that most accurately summarises it. The main intention behind this task is to check how well you can understand and recognise the subject of discussion in each paragraph.


 

How to best answer the questions


 

  • Read through the passage and mentally note the ongoing discussion in each paragraph. 
  • Read the set of headings carefully, paying special attention to the keywords. 
  • You can try using the process of elimination for each question and eliminate headings that absolutely cannot match the given paragraph.
  • Review the headings and paragraphs and confirm your answers.

 

1. vi

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A: “Besides the earth’s oceans, glacier ice is the largest source of water on earth. A glacier is a massive stream…..always maintain temperatures far below melting.”

 

Explanation

The first part of the paragraph discusses different kinds of glaciers, like ones on mountains or valleys. Big glaciers like those covering whole continents, like the one in Greenland, and smaller ones in valleys or mountains are mentioned. So, the answer is option six because it talks about the different types of glaciers.


 

2. ii

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: “Most of the earth’s glaciers are near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. The…..Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.”
 

Explanation

The paragraph talks about how glaciers are created in high places where it's very cold throughout the year. It then explains that things like freezing rain, avalanches, and wind help them grow. So, the answer is option ii because it's about how glaciers are formed and get bigger.


 

3. iii

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: “The weight and pressure of ice accumulation causes glacier movement. Glaciers move out from under themselves, via……similar to a riverbed, but with much steeper walls and a flatter bottom.”

 

Explanation

The third paragraph discusses how glaciers move. It says they move because of the heavy weight of the ice pushing down. As we read more, it explains how they slide downhill and how melting ice helps them slip. So, the answer is option iii because it explains how glaciers move.


 

4. vii

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D: “Besides the extraordinary rivers of ice, glacial erosion creates other unique physical features in the landscape such as horns, fjords, hanging…..on their downslope that is deep enough to hold small lakes when the ice melts away.”
 

Explanation

This paragraph discusses the environmental effects of glaciers. Glaciers can cause erosion, create ice rivers, and create special features like horns, fjords, hanging valleys, and cirques. Therefore, the answer is  Glacial Effects on Landscape.


 

5. v

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph E: “Glacier movement and shape-shifting typically occur over hundreds of years. While presently about 10 per cent of the earth’s….glaciologists can now understand environmental issues such as global warming.”
 

Explanation

This paragraph discusses glaciers from the past and explains how they have changed in size and shape over time. Scientists are still determining if these changes are due to natural causes or human actions. But after studying climate change and farming, they're sure global warming has caused these changes over many years.

Questions and Answers 6-10
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?
In boxes 6-10 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

 

6. Glaciers exist only near the north and south poles.

7. Glaciers are formed by a combination of snow and other weather conditions.

8. Glaciers normally move at a rate of about 5 to 10 inches a day.

9. All parts of the glacier move at the same speed.

10. During the last Ice Age, average temperatures were much lower than they are now.


 

Glaciers Answers with Explanations (6-10)


 

Type of question: TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN
 

In this task, you are given a set of statements. Based on your understanding of the passage, you should identify the nature of the given statement and write the correct answer. 

 

You can assess whether the statement given in the question is:
 

TRUE               if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE             if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this


 

How to best answer the question
 

  • Read the given question statements carefully and note down the keywords
  • With the help of the keywords, locate them in the passage, which will help you decide whether the given statement is true or false
  • Your answer will not be given if the information is not in the passage.

 

6. False

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: “Most of the earth’s glaciers are located near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. The…..Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.”
 

Explanation

"Glaciers exist only near the north and south poles" is false. The passage explicitly states that while most of the Earth's glaciers are near the poles, glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. Therefore, glaciers can be found in various regions beyond polar areas.
 

7. True

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: “Most of the earth’s glaciers are located near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. The…..Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.”
 

Explanation

"Glaciers are formed by a combination of snow and other weather conditions" is true. The passage describes how glaciers are formed in high alpine regions where cold temperatures prevail throughout the year. It explains that snow undergoes compaction and crystallisation to form glaciers and mentions other weather conditions, such as freezing rain, avalanches, and wind, contributing to their growth.

 

8. True

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: “Most of the earth’s glaciers are located near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. The…..Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.”
 

Explanation

"Glaciers normally move at a rate of about 5 to 10 inches a day" is true. The passage states that a common glacier flows about 10 inches per day in the summer and 5 inches per day in the winter. This indicates the typical rate of movement for glaciers.


 

9. False

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: “The weight and pressure of ice accumulation causes glacier movement. Glaciers move out from under themselves, via……similar to a riverbed, but with much steeper walls and a flatter bottom.”
 

Explanation

"All glacier parts move at the same speed" is false. The passage explains that the middle of a glacier moves faster than the sides and bottom because there is less friction. Additionally, the upper part of a glacier rides on the ice below, suggesting varying movement speeds across different parts of the glacier.

 

10. Not Given

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph E: “Glacier movement and shape-shifting typically occur over hundreds of years. While presently about 10 per cent of the earth’s….glaciologists can now understand environmental issues such as global warming.”
 

Explanation

The statement "During the last Ice Age, average temperatures were much lower than they are now" is not directly addressed in the passage. While the passage discusses the extent of glaciers during the last Ice Age and their subsequent retreat, it does not explicitly compare average temperatures then and now. Therefore, the passage does not provide information to confirm this statement.

Questions and Answers 11-15
Match each definition below with the term it defines.

  • Write the letters of the term, A-H, on your answer sheet.
  • There are more terms than definitions, so you will not use them all.

 

Number

Terms

A

Fjord

B

Alpine Glacier

C

Horn

D

Polar Glacier

E

Temperate Glacier

F

Hanging Valley 

G

Cirque

H

Surging Glacier

 

11. a glacier formed on a mountain 

12. a glacier with temperatures well below freezing 

13. a glacier that moves very quickly 

14. a glacial valley formed near the ocean 

15. a glacial valley that looks like a bowl


 

Glaciers Reading Answers with Explanations (11-15)


 

Type of question: Multiple Choice Question

 

This is the typical MCQ type. You just need to select one answer out of the 8 options.

 

How to best answer the questions 

 

  • Skim through the questions and identify the keywords
  • Use the elimination method and recognise options that include inaccurate or false information as per the given passage 
  • Match each option with the passage and choose an answer most accurately supported by the information in the passage. 
  • Cross-check your answers and finalise them.

 

11. B

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D:  “Besides the extraordinary rivers of ice, glacial erosion creates other unique physical features in the landscape such as horns, fjords, hanging…..on their downslope that is deep enough to hold small lakes when the ice melts away.”
 

Explanation

Alpine Glacier: An alpine glacier is a glacier-formed on a mountain. This description matches the text's mention: "Smaller glaciers that occur at higher elevations are called alpine or valley glaciers."

 

12. D

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A:  “Besides the earth’s oceans, glacier ice is the largest source of water on earth. A glacier is a massive stream…..always maintain temperatures far below melting.”
 

Explanation

Polar Glacier: A polar glacier has temperatures well below freezing. This corresponds to the description in the text, which states, "Polar glaciers, in contrast, always maintain temperatures far below melting."


 

13. H

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: “Most of the earth’s glaciers are located near the poles, though glaciers exist on all continents, including Africa and Oceania. The…..Pakistan grew more than 12 kilometres in three months.”
 

Explanation

Surging Glacier: A surging glacier moves very quickly. This aligns with the statement in the text, "With the rare exception of surging glaciers, a common glacier flows about 10 inches per day in the summer and 5 inches per day in the winter."

 

14. A

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D:  “Besides the extraordinary rivers of ice, glacial erosion creates other unique physical features in the landscape such as horns, fjords, hanging…..on their downslope that is deep enough to hold small lakes when the ice melts away.”
 

Explanation
 

Fjord: A fjord is a glacial valley formed near the ocean. This description matches the text: "Fjords, which are very common in Norway, are coastal valleys that fill with ocean water during a glacial retreat."
 

15. G

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph D:  “Besides the extraordinary rivers of ice, glacial erosion creates other unique physical features in the landscape such as horns, fjords, hanging…..on their downslope that is deep enough to hold small lakes when the ice melts away.”

 

Explanation

Cirque: A cirque is a glacial valley that looks like a bowl. This corresponds to the description in the text, which mentions, "A cirque is a large bowl-shaped valley that forms at the front of a glacier."

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FAQs

Q. Can I retake the IELTS Reading test alone?

Ans. Yes, you can retake any section of the IELTS test, whether listening, reading, writing, or speaking. The format and timing of that IELTS One Skill Retake test are the same as that individual skill in a full IELTS test; you can save time by not needing to complete the other three skills.

Q. What are good tips/practices for IELTS Reading preparation?

Ans. To prepare for the IELTS reading exam, you should familiarise yourself with the test format, improve your reading speed, develop your vocabulary, practice with sample tests, improve your skimming and scanning skills, and read various texts. Practice is essential, and with regular practice and dedication, you can improve your reading skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. What is the minimum preparation time required for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The minimum preparation time required for the IELTS reading test is four weeks. This will give you enough time to improve your reading skills, develop your vocabulary, practice with sample tests, and improve your skimming and scanning skills. However, the amount of preparation time required depends on your current level of English proficiency and familiarity with the test format.

Q. How can I score better on my IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To score better on your IELTS reading exam, you should focus on time management, skimming and scanning, vocabulary, accuracy, practice with sample tests, and reading different types of texts. Consistent and dedicated preparation is the key to achieving a high score on the test.

Q. Is the IELTS Reading test difficult to score?

Ans. The difficulty of the IELTS reading test depends on your English proficiency and familiarity with the test format. The test can be challenging because it contains a wide range of texts and questions within a limited time. However, with consistent preparation and practice, you can improve your skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. How can I answer multiple choice questions for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To answer multiple-choice questions in the IELTS reading test, you should read the instructions and questions carefully, skim the text quickly to locate the relevant section, eliminate wrong answers, and make an educated guess if you are unsure. With practice, you can improve your skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. How can I improve my comprehension skills for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To improve your comprehension skills for the IELTS reading test, you can:
 

  • Read Regularly
  • Practice skimming and scanning
  • Focus on vocabulary
  • Use context clues
  • Take practice tests
     

Following these tips can improve your skills and perform better in the IELTS reading test.

Q. What are some good resources for improving my reading skills in general?

Ans.  Try using sites like Project Gutenberg and Medium, where you can find many different things to read to improve your reading skills. If you have a lot of books, go to your local library, and they'll help you find books that suit you. To easily find books and audiobooks you want to listen to, apps such as the Kindle or Goodreads can also be used. Use websites such as Khan Academy or Newsela to practice exercises that correspond with your reading levels to improve your understanding of what you read.

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

Ans. There are several misconceptions about the IELTS reading test, including the belief that you need to know all the words in the passage, read the entire passage, that the questions are straightforward, that you need to answer the questions in order, and that you need prior knowledge of the topics. By understanding these misconceptions, you can confidently approach the test and clearly understand what is required to do well.

Q. How can I stay calm and focused during the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To stay calm and focused during the IELTS reading test, practice mindfulness, manage your time, stay hydrated, stay relaxed, read the questions carefully, and stay positive. You can perform to the best of your abilities by following these tips.

Q. What is the band score range for the IELTS Reading module?

Ans. The band score range for the IELTS reading module is 0 to 9. The score is based on the number of correct answers and is calculated using a conversion table. The final score is rounded to the nearest half-band and reported as a whole or half-band. A score of 9 indicates expert user proficiency, while 0 indicates non-user proficiency. The score requirements vary depending on the institution or organisation that requires the test.