Mock Test 7.2 | Academic Reading


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.


A.   Coral reefs are found in shallow waters throughout the tropical world, and dominate the coastlines of many countries in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. It has been estimated that over half a billion people live within 100km of coral reef, with over 200 million living near reefs in South-east Asia and nearly 100 million living near reefs in the Indian Ocean (Bryant et al, 1998). [Crack IELTS with Rob] While these figures are often quoted in the literature, it is known exactly how many people depend on reefs, or what their level of dependence is. We do know, however, that there is a wide diversity of stakeholders.


B.  National and international interest in coral reefs are growing, for example as a focus for research studies by marine biologists, reefs are also increasingly seen as part of a national heritage, as a dumping ground for waste or a source of pleasure for tourists. Many of the people who live in adjacent coastal areas are: however, economically dependent on the reefs. Some of these local inhabitants are able to develop strategies that make full-time, regular use of the reef and its resources. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Others can use the reef as a crucial safety net in difficult times. Still, others use the reef as a resource that they tap into at certain times of the year, when they cannot earn a living from other resources. For these groups, coral reefs provide a complex range of benefits.


C.  The reefs are formed from the skeletons of minute sea creature, and provide cover for a wide variety of plants and animals. Raw materials include seasonally stable supplies of food, building materials and medicines. As well as an immediate resource, these can also act as a medium of exchange, or a source of income and status. In addition, reefs often give rise to islands that provide habitats for people, and lenses of fresh water for drinking and wave action, and protect lagoons and other productive areas, such as sea grasses and, mangroves, which, in turn, provide a reserve of food in all climatic conditions. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Furthermore, the physical structure of the reef dictates that many activities are done communally, and this means that work on the reefs can be socially unifying.


D.   Reefs offer multiple opportunities for direct exploitation by people with many different skills, as well as access to a wide range of different markets, including high-value export outlets. The structural- and species diversity of the reef prohibits largescale, industrial production, and favours small-scale production, thus preserving opportunities for those with few financial or physical resources. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Furthermore, the fact that many reef resources are collectively owned means that people who are displaced from other sectors are able to share in the, especially in times of emergency, although the high degree of skill required to fully understand the reef limits the uptake of certain activities which require more complex harvesting strategies.


E.  For poor coastal households, particularly female headed households and vulnerable groups such as the elderly, shallow coral-reef resources are often their principal source of subsistence and income. Unlike many other types of fishery, where the excluded from working, coral reefs offer opportunities for women and the elderly, because reef products can be collected on foot. This has significant benefits in empowering women in the household, and different reef-based occupations between men and women spread household risk. However, the ability of coral reefs to continue to provide benefits to the poor is now changing. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Throughout the world the capacity of coral reefs to buffer risks and provide livelihood stability is eroding as a result of the diminishing availability of resources. This change is driven by a complex web of direct and indirect factors, over which the coastal poor have only a limited degree of control.


F.   One of the principal factors responsible for declining reef benefits is reef degradation: coral reef ecosystems are extremely sensitive to change, and easily suffer from disturbance. As coastal areas become ever more populated, increasing numbers of reef stakeholders compete for access to reef benefits. This situation has led to increasing pressure on reef resources, typically resulting in over harvesting and reef decline. In addition, lucrative markets for reef species often drive unsustainable and destructive extraction regimes. The reefs are also degraded by coastal and inland developments and the pollution these products, as well as by the natural impacts of storms and predator outbreaks. [Crack IELTS with Rob] However, perhaps the most significant large-scale cause of reef decline in the longer term is climate change, which threatens to damage large areas of reef worldwide.


G.   For the poor, these changes have resulted in an increasing reliance on reefs; as larger coastal populations, widespread development, an increasing global-market forces overwhelm and degrade alternative resources such as farmland. [Crack IELTS with Rob] However, in many cases coastal tourism developments, external markets and well-meaning efforts to halt reef decline have excluded them from access to reef benefits too. In these cases, livehoods have often become criminalised by legislation, increasing the burden of risk and transaction costs on the poor, who typically have few other alternatives.


Questions 14 - 19

Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs A-G.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.


NB     You may use any letter more than once.


  • 14.  how coral reefs offer shelter from the weather

  • 15.  population statistics

  • 16.  various causes of reef deterioration

  • 17.  the location of coral reefs

  • 18.  examples of coral-reef products

  • 19.  the ease of physical access to reefs


Questions 20 - 25

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 20-25 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


  • 20.  Coral reefs are increasingly used for scientific purposes.

  • 21.  Some people only farm coral reefs to supplement other sources of income.

  • 22.  Foreign tourists are the main purchasers of coral-reef exports.

  • 23.  Coral reefs can support mass-production methods.

  • 24.  As with many fisheries, work on coral reefs is unsuitable for some sections of the population.

  • 25.  Coastal tourism developments have generally benefited the poor.


Question 26

Choose the correct ether, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in box 26 on your answer sheet.


Which is the best title for Reading Passage 2?

  • What inhabits a coral reef
  • How to repair a coral reef
  • The economic importance of coral reefs
  • The ecological sustainability of coral reefs




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

Mock Test 7 | Academic Reading Passage 1
Mock Test 7 | Academic Reading Passage 3
Mock Test 7 | Listening Test 
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