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Why Being Bored Is Stimulating Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The IELTS Reading test is a crucial component among the four IELTS exam modules. It assesses your ability to comprehend and analyse texts typically encountered in academic and professional contexts. 

 

This section consists of three passages and 40 questions, to be completed within 60 minutes. A strong performance demonstrates language proficiency and can benefit practical needs such as visa applications and career progression.

 

Thorough preparation is essential to excelling in the IELTS Reading test. Regular practice with reading passages enhances your skills in understanding and analysing content effectively.

 

If you are preparing for the IELTS Reading test, be sure to study the passage ‘Why being bored is stimulating’ The passage explores the complex nature of boredom and its psychological implications. It discusses various definitions and types of boredom, ranging from low-energy states to more agitated forms. 

 

Let's dive into the details of ‘Why being bored is stimulating’ reading answers! 
 

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1. Why Being Bored is Stimulating 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.

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2. Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Questions and Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Why Being Bored is Stimulating

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1.

Why Being Bored is Stimulating 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.

 

 

 

 


 

Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Passage


 



Paragraph A

We all know how it feels – it’s impossible to keep your mind on anything, time stretches out, and all the things you could do seem equally unlikely to make you feel better. But defining boredom so that it can be studied in the lab has proved difficult. For a start, it can include a lot of other mental states, such as frustration, apathy, depression and indifference. There isn’t even agreement over whether boredom is always a low-energy, flat kind of emotion or whether feeling agitated and restless counts as boredom, too. In his book, Boredom: A Lively History, Peter Toohey, at the University of Calgary, Canada, compares it to disgust – an emotion that motivates us to stay away from certain situations. ‘If disgust protects humans from infection, boredom may protect them from “infectious” social situations,’ he suggests.


 

Paragraph B

By asking people about their experiences of boredom, Thomas Goetz and his team at the University of Konstanz in Germany have recently identified five distinct types: indifferent, calibrating, searching, reactant and apathetic. These can be plotted on two axes – one running left to right, which measures low to high arousal, and the other from top to bottom, which measures how positive or negative the feeling is. Intriguingly, Goetz has found that while people experience all kinds of boredom, they tend to specialise in one. Of the five types, the most damaging is ‘reactant’ boredom, with its explosive combination of high arousal and negative emotion. The most useful is what Goetz calls ‘indifferent’ boredom: someone isn’t engaged in anything satisfying but still feels relaxed and calm. However, it remains to be seen whether there are any character traits that predict the kind of boredom each of us might be prone to.


 

Paragraph C

Psychologist Sandi Mann at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, goes further. ‘All emotions are there for a reason, including boredom,’ she says. Mann has found that being bored makes us more creative. ‘We’re all afraid of being bored, but in actual fact, it can lead to all kinds of amazing things,’ she says. In experiments published last year, Mann found that people who had been made to feel bored by copying numbers out of the phone book for 15 minutes came up with more creative ideas about how to use a polystyrene cup than a control group. Mann concluded that a passive, boring activity is best for creativity because it allows the mind to wander. In fact, she goes so far as to suggest that we should seek out more boredom in our lives.


 

Paragraph D

Psychologist John Eastwood at York University in Toronto, Canada, isn’t convinced. ‘If you are in a state of mind-wandering, you are not bored,’ he says. ‘In my view, by definition, boredom is an undesirable state.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t adaptive, he adds. ‘Pain is adaptive – if we didn’t have physical pain, bad things would happen to us. Does that mean that we should actively cause pain? No. But even if boredom has evolved to help us survive, it can still be toxic if allowed to fester.’ For Eastwood, the central feature of boredom is a failure to put our ‘attention system’ into gear. This causes an inability to focus on anything, which makes time seem to go painfully slowly. What’s more, your efforts to improve the situation can end up making you feel worse. ‘People try to connect with the world, and if they are not successful, they experience frustration and irritability,’ he says. Perhaps most worryingly, says Eastwood, repeatedly failing to engage attention can lead to a state where we don’t know what to do any more and no longer care.


 

Paragraph E

Eastwood’s team is now trying to explore why the attention system fails. It’s early days but they think that at least some of it comes down to personality. Boredom proneness has been linked with a variety of traits. People who are motivated by pleasure seem to suffer particularly badly. Other personality traits, such as curiosity, are associated with a high boredom threshold. More evidence that boredom has detrimental effects comes from studies of people who are more or less prone to boredom. It seems those who bore easily face poorer prospects in education, their career and even life in general. But of course, boredom itself cannot kill – it’s the things we do to deal with it that may put us in danger. What can we do to alleviate it before it comes to that? Goetz’s group has one suggestion. Working with teenagers, they found that those who ‘approach’ a boring situation – in other words, see that it’s boring and get stuck in any way – report less boredom than those who try to avoid it by using snacks, TV or social media for distraction.


 

Paragraph F

Psychologist Francoise Wemelsfelder speculates that our over-connected lifestyles might even be a new source of boredom. ‘In modern human society, there is a lot of overstimulation but still many problems finding meaning,’ she says. So, instead of seeking yet more mental stimulation, perhaps we should leave our phones alone and use boredom to motivate us to engage with the world in a more meaningful way.
 

2.

Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Questions and Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Why Being Bored is Stimulating

Questions and Answers 1-6
  • Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs. A-F
  • Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.
  • Write the correct number, i-viii, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
  •  

     

    List of Headings


     i         The productive outcomes that may result from boredom

    ii          What teachers can do to prevent boredom 

    iii         A new explanation and a new cure for boredom

    iv         Problems with a scientific approach to boredom

    v          A potential danger arising from boredom

    vi         Creating a system of classification for feelings of boredom

    vii        Age groups most affected by boredom

    viii        Identifying those most affected by boredom


     

    1. Paragraph A

    2. Paragraph B

    3. Paragraph C

    4. Paragraph D

    5. Paragraph E

    6. Paragraph F


     

    Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Answers with Explanations (1- 6)

     

     

    Type of question: Matching heading 


     

    In this question type, you'll receive a list of headings, often in short phrases or sentences, and your task is to match each heading with the corresponding paragraph or section in the reading passage.


     

    How to best answer:


     

    • Thorough Reading: Begin by thoroughly reading the entire passage. Understanding the main ideas and themes is crucial.
    • Headings Relevance: The headings should encapsulate each paragraph or section's main idea or theme.
    • Detailed Scan: Carefully scan each paragraph for specific details that closely align with the meanings conveyed by the headings.
    • Elimination Process: Remove any headings that do not match the content of the paragraphs, even if they seem related.
    • Logical Order: Arrange the headings in a logical order that mirrors the passage's structure.
    • Precision: If unsure about a match, focus on eliminating options that do not fit, ensuring a precise match for each paragraph.


     

    1. iv

     

    Reference: Paragraph A, "But defining boredom so that it can be studied in the lab has proved difficult."

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph A discusses the challenges researchers face in defining boredom scientifically, highlighting the complexities involved in studying this emotion.


     

    2. vi

     

    Reference: Paragraph B, "By asking people about their experiences of boredom, Thomas Goetz and his team at the University of Konstanz in Germany have recently identified five distinct types:"

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph B introduces Thomas Goetz's research on categorising different types of boredom based on people's experiences, indicating a classification system for feelings of boredom.


     

    3. i

     

    Reference: Paragraph C, "Mann has found that boredom makes us more creative."

     

    Explanation: Paragraph C explores the positive outcome associated with boredom, suggesting that it can lead to productive outcomes such as increased creativity.


     

    4. v

     

    Reference: Paragraph D, "But even if boredom has evolved to help us survive, it can still be toxic if allowed to fester."

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph D discusses the potential negative consequences of boredom, emphasising its toxicity if not managed properly.


     

    5. vii

     

    Reference: Paragraph E, "Eastwood’s team is now exploring why the attention system fails."

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph E focuses on ongoing research into factors influencing boredom proneness and identifies those most affected by boredom.


     

    6. iii

     

    Reference: Paragraph F, "In modern human society, there is a lot of overstimulation but still many problems finding meaning."

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph F proposes a new perspective on boredom, suggesting it can catalyse deeper engagement with life and offer a new explanation and potential cure for boredom.

    Questions and Answers 7-10
  • Look at the following people (Questions 7-10) and the list of ideas below.
  • Match each person with the correct idea, A-E.
  • Write the correct A-E letter in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet.
  •  

    7. Peter Toohey

    8. Thomas Goetz

    9. John Eastwood

    10. Francoise Wemelsfelder


     

    List of Ideas:

     

    A. The way we live today may encourage boredom.

    B. One sort of boredom is worse than all the others.

    C. Levels of boredom may fall in the future.

    D. Trying to cope with boredom can increase its negative effects.

    E. Boredom may encourage us to avoid an unpleasant experience.

     

     

    Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Answers with Explanation (7-10)

     

     

    Type of question: Matching features 


     

    In matching features questions, you are presented with a list of features or characteristics and asked to match each feature with the appropriate paragraph or section of the reading passage.


     

    How to best answer:


     

    • Comprehensive Reading: Read the passage carefully to grasp the overall content and main ideas.
    • Identify Key Features: Pay attention to the specific features or characteristics mentioned in the list provided.
    • Detailed Comparison: Scan each paragraph for details or descriptions directly related to the features listed. Look for specific examples, explanations, or discussions that match the features.
    • Elimination of Irrelevant Options: Exclude any features that do not have corresponding details or explanations in the paragraphs, even if they seem related.
    • Logical Alignment: Arrange the features in a logical sequence that aligns with the structure and progression of ideas in the passage.
    • Accuracy and Precision: Ensure each feature accurately matches the paragraph discussed or explained. Avoid assumptions and base your choices strictly on information provided in the passage.


     

    7. E

     

    Reference: Paragraph A, "‘If disgust protects humans from infection, boredom may protect them from “infectious” social situations.’"

     

    Explanation: Paragraph A discusses boredom potentially serving a protective function similar to disgust, suggesting it helps individuals avoid unpleasant or socially uncomfortable situations.


     

    8. B

     

    Reference: Paragraph B, "Of the five types, the most damaging is ‘reactant’ boredom with its explosive combination of high arousal and negative emotion."

     

    Explanation: Paragraph B categorises different types of boredom, highlighting 'reactant' boredom as particularly harmful due to its intense negative emotions and high arousal levels.


     

    9. D

     

    Reference: Paragraph D, "For Eastwood, the central feature of boredom is a failure to put our ‘attention system’ into gear. This causes an inability to focus on anything, which makes time seem to go painfully slowly."

     

    Explanation: Paragraph D discusses how boredom leads to a lack of engagement and focus, and efforts to cope with it can exacerbate its negative effects.


     

    10. A

     

    Reference: Paragraph F, "Psychologist Francoise Wemelsfelder speculates that our over-connected lifestyles might even be a new source of boredom."

     

    Explanation: Paragraph F introduces the idea that modern, over-connected lifestyles may contribute to feelings of boredom, suggesting a potential new source of this emotion.

    Questions and Answers 11-13
  • Complete the summary below.
  • Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
  •  

     

    Responses to boredom

     

    For John Eastwood, the central feature of boredom is that people cannot 11.……………………………, due to a failure in what he calls the ‘attention system’, and as a result, they become frustrated and irritable. His team suggests that those for whom 12.……………………….. is an important aim in life may have problems in coping with boredom, whereas those who have the characteristic of 13.……………………….. can generally cope with it.

     

     

    Why Being Bored is Stimulating Reading Answers with Explanation (11-13)

     


     

    Type of question: Summary completion
     

    Summary completion questions require you to fill in missing words or phrases in a summary of the reading passage using information directly from the text.


     

    How to best answer:


     

    • Thorough Reading: Read the passage carefully to grasp its main ideas and key details.
    • Identify Key Information: Identify crucial information and arguments presented in the passage.
    • Contextual Understanding: Consider the context in which the passage's missing words or phrases appear.
    • Keyword Matching: Look for keywords or phrases in the summary prompts that correspond directly to the information in the passage.
    • Exact Replication: Use exact words or phrases from the passage to complete the summary, maintaining accuracy and intended meaning.
    • Grammar and Coherence: Ensure completed sentences maintain grammatical correctness and coherence with the rest of the passage.


     

    11. Attention

     

    Reference: Paragraph D, "For Eastwood, the central feature of boredom is a failure to put our ‘attention system’ into gear." 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph D discusses how boredom leads to a failure of the attention system, causing an inability to focus on tasks or activities.


     

    12. Pleasure

     

    Reference: Paragraph E, "People motivated by pleasure seem to suffer particularly badly." 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph E suggests that individuals motivated primarily by seeking pleasure may experience greater difficulties coping with boredom.


     

    13. Curiosity

     

    Reference: Paragraph E, "Other personality traits, such as curiosity, are associated with a high boredom threshold." 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph E indicates that individuals with higher levels of curiosity tend to tolerate boredom better, suggesting curiosity as a trait linked to a higher tolerance for boredom.

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    FAQs

    Q. What are some practices for IELTS Reading test preparation?

    Ans.  To prepare effectively for your IELTS Reading test, consider the following practices:

    • Read a variety of texts daily.
    • Practice with IELTS Reading sample passages.
    • Take IELTS Reading mock tests.
    • Review and analyse your answers.
    • Identify your strengths and weaknesses and focus on them.
    • Carefully read both the passages and the exam instructions.


     

    Q. How are hyphenated words counted in the IELTS Reading test?

    Ans. According to official guidelines, hyphenated words are counted as single words in the IELTS Reading test. For instance, “well-mannered,” “second-level,” and “empty-handed” are considered one word each.


     

    Q. Should I write answers in capital letters for my IELTS Reading test?

    Ans. There is no strict rule on using uppercase or lowercase letters for your IELTS Reading test answers. You can choose either format, but it is important to maintain consistency. Do not mix uppercase and lowercase letters; stick to one style throughout your answers.