Mock Test 4.1 | General Reading


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.


Section 1 (Questions 1 - 8)


Having a lovely time?

A chance to relax and leave your worries behind? For some, holidays are nothing but trouble as the results of one survey showed


When you think about it, it’s amazing that anyone gets away with a carefree holiday. It seems there is limitless potential for things to go wrong, from flight delays and lost luggage to poor accommodation.


A recent questionnaire showed that a third of people who replied had a complaint about their holiday last year. [Crack IELTS with Rob] And when these unhappy holiday-makers discussed the problem with their tour company nearly half said it involved time and effort on their part to resolve things.


When asked exactly what the reasons were for their dissatisfaction top of the list was flight delays and 20 percent of holiday-makers to Europe said they had to wait up to an hour.


More worrying is the fact that almost a third of holiday-makers who had complained said it was about the apartment or hotel room they had been allocated. There is an enormous variety of holiday accommodation and we recommend that consumers look for places that have been inspected by the Tourist Boards; this way they can have the confidence that they will get the type of accommodation they are looking for. It seems that tour companies now offer more honest accurate brochures though. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Eighty-five percent of holiday-makers who responded to our questionnaire said the description offered by the company matched the place they visited and the facilities provided.


This is good news for the industry and for holiday-makers. A holiday is a major purchase – yet it’s one we cannot try before we pay. All we have to go on is the brochure and it’s a credit to tour operators that they now contain more detail.


Our advice

Do be realistic. No one should be palmed off with a poor standard of service, food, or accommodation even if you paid a rock-bottom price for a last-minute break. However, be reasonable – you won’t get a room with the best view in town if you’ve paid a budget price.


Do complain to the right person. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Moaning to the waiter about a week’s worth of appalling food, then writing an indignant letter when you get back home won’t have the same impact as airing your grievances at the time.


Do get evidence for a serious problem such as having a building site instead of the promised swimming pool below your window. Take a photo to back up your case.


Don’t write and complain for the sake of it. Letters can be powerful as long as they’re about something you have a good reason to complain about.

Don’t lose your temper. Easier said than done, but you're more likely to get results if you state your case firmly, explain why you think there’s a problem then suggest a reasonable solution.


Section 2 (Questions 9 - 14)


Hiring a Car Online

Online car hire promises to be cheap, quick, and convenient.

But is it? Neil McDougall revs up his mouse




Just click on the reservations button, fill in your home country, destination and dates, pick a car and you’re into the booking form without any fuss and with all the charges, fixed and optional, laid out. [Crack IELTS with Rob] There’s also a detailed rental guide explaining your contact.



One to consider if you’re going to the States, although, after I’d worked through half the booking process, it returned an error message without telling me which element of the procedure needed adjusting. I got there in the end. There is an inspirational section with detailed direction for some of the great drives of America.



Book a flight with Expeed and when you continue on to the car-hire section, the software already knows where you are going and when. [Crack IELTS with Rob] However, you seem to be restricted to cities with airports for your car hire, and additional taxes are presented in travel-agent speak.



Is currently offering an aggressive lowest rates guarantee, an extra discount for former Holtravel clients, and a package of free gifts to sweenten the deal. It also commits to no insurance excess on any of their rentals anywhere.



Straightforward to navigate, with plenty of information on rental requirements and rules of operation. There are photographs of the types of vehicles available, leaving no doubt what a ‘premium’ or ‘compact’ car is. [Crack IELTS with Rob] It took me just seconds to start reserving a car but then the whole thing ground to a halt and refused all attempts to access the reservation system.



Another site offering discounts for booking online, but also special late deals (for example 35 pounds off a Renault Megane in Majorca last week). Prices are fully inclusive of insurance and there is a reassuringly large small-print section.



A three-step process to rent cars in 70 countries. Very flash and slick, so much so that people with older computers may have trouble getting this information. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Limited selection of online tourist attractions (but that’s more than most give you). Graphically complex but impressive booking system.



Avoids unnesessary embellishments online but the booking procedure is as good as it gets. Enter how many miles you expect to drive and tick your insurance, driver and child-seat choices and they will all be included in the final price. You must contact the location directly if you need a car within 3 days. And to hire a car abroad, there’s a dull emai form to fill in and they’ll get back to you.


Questions 1 - 8

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Section 1 (Questions 1 - 8)?

In boxes 1-8 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


  • 1.  Solving problems can be hard work for the holiday-maker.

  • 2.  The most common problem for holiday-makers is crowded airports.

  • 3.  Overall, holiday accommodation poses few problems.

  • 4.  Tour companies provide a satisfactory level of information to holiday-makers.

  • 5.  A low-cost holiday should still offer some high-quality services.

  • 6.  Hotel staff can advise you on who you should complain to.

  • 7.  Photographs may help to support an argument about holiday problems.

  • 8.  If you are not good at writing letters, find someone to help you.


Questions 9 - 14

Match the car-hire websites in Section 2 (Questions 9 - 14).

Write the appropriate letters, A-H, in boxes, 9-14, on your answer sheet.


NB    Some of the websites may be chosen more than once.


  • 9.  It is possible to see what the cars look like.

  • 10.  Assistance is provided with some holiday routes.

  • 11.  You will get cheaper car hire if you have used the company before.

  • 12.  Attempts made by the writer to book a car were unsuccessful.

  • 13.  You can only hire a car in certain location.

  • 14.  The site is suited to people with up-to-date hardware.





Please click the red words below for other Sections of this Mock Test:

Mock Test 4 | Listening Test
Mock Test 4 | General Reading Passage 2
Mock Test 4 | General Reading Passage 3


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