General Reading Test 3.2


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-28, which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.


Section 1 (Questions 15 - 20)


Ocean Study Semester

If you are looking for an educational adventure in a study abroad program, you won’t find anything similar anywhere in the world. This program takes college students to the deep ocean on a traditional sail ship sailing vessel to learn about the sea.

You may be excited at first by the opportunity to visit exotic ports like Tahiti, Hawaii, Martinique or Grenada. But if you talk to students who have experienced the program, many will tell you that the most exciting destination of all is the sea itself, and the most interesting discovery is learning what lies within you. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Perhaps, you want to have an international experience; perhaps you are intrigued that the world is mostly water and you want to know more about how the oceans work. Perhaps you want to understand how we are ONE world, land and sea, connected to our past and to each other. Perhaps you just want to do something very, very thrilling and different from what others are doing. If any of these are true, this could be the experience for you.

By participating in the program, you can get a semester’s credit for a 12-week program that takes place half on shore and half at sea. The interdisciplinary program begins in our centre for ocean research. Here you will study the chemistry, biology, physics and geology of the oceans and you will design your own research project that you will carry out at sea. You will learn the culture, history and traditions of life at sea. You will discuss major policy issues that will be tomorrow’s headlines. And you will learn what it requires to take a vessel under sail safety to the deep ocean and to international ports.

After six weeks on shore, you will be prepared and eager to go to the sea. You and your classmates will join one of our vessels, either in the Atlantic/Caribbean or in the Pacific. Is this for you? Only you can tell. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Our students are diverse. Some are Science majors but just as many come from the liberal arts. Students come from diverse colleges around the country and from abroad.

What do our students have in common? They are bright. They have a sense of adventure. They are willing to work hard. They welcome a unique experience. They love a challenge. They like people and want to be part of a community unlike any they have experienced before.



Section 2 (Questions 21 - 28)


Life on Board

Day-to-day operation of the ship is governed by the three colour watch system ( red, white and blue) typically used on naval vessels. Each watch is 4 hours long proceeding in sequence 24 hours a day. To rotate the watches, there are two shorter 2-hour watches in the afternoon.

Eight students are assigned to each watch and report to one of the three junior officers who in return report to the three watch officers. They report to the first mate, who reports to the captain. [Crack IELTS with Rob] The Swiftsure and Fairwind each carry a full time cook and an officer in charge of maintenance and repairs at sea.

As a crew member you will sleep in the lower deck quarters. Since one third of the crew will be awake and on deck while on watch, the bunks are shared with other students. While on watch your duties will include working and changing sails, steering, acting as lookout and handling lines as the ship comes alongside or puts to sea.

Life on board is not all duties, however. Every day is a surprise and depending on the weather and wind, other activities may include swimming and a variety of games only possible on a tall ship.

When off-watch some duties include assisting the cook in meal preparation and clean up, performing maintenance duties and managing sails where required. There will also be times when you will receive direct training in sailing and seamanship. [Crack IELTS with Rob] When the ship is at anchor, night time watch service is usually shortened to 1 hour 20 minutes with students staying awake in pairs. While in port, students who are not on watch may be given shore leave where they are free to explore the port of call.


Questions 15 - 19

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Section 1 (Questions 15 - 20)?

In boxes 15-19 on your answer sheet, write

YES                     if the statement is ''YES''

NO                       if the statement is ''NO''

NOT GIVEN         if there is no information on this


  • 15.  Are there exams at the end of the first part of the program?

  • 16.  Will the sailing part of the program last for 6 weeks?

  • 17.  Do I have to be enrolled in a science program to participate?

  • 18.  Do I get to sail on the ship of my choice?

  • 19.  Are international students eligible to apply?


Question 20

Answer the following question.

Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from Section 1 (Questions 15 - 20).

Write the correct answer in box 20, on your answer sheet.


  • 20. What are the students expected to complete while at sea? 


Questions 21 - 23

Answer Questions 21-23 based on the information in Section 2 (Questions 21-28).

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

Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 21-23, on your answer sheet.

21. How many staff and officers (including the captain) serve on each ship?

  • three
  • five
  • seven
  • ten


22. How many students does each ship carry?

  • 8
  • 16
  • 24
  • 32


23. When is the watch duty time reduced?

  • every night
  • every other afternoon
  • on the weekend
  • at night in port

Questions 24 - 28

Complete the sentences below.

Choosing NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from Section 2 (Questions 21 - 28).

Write the correct answer on boxes 24-28, on your answer sheet.


  • To qualify for the program, students have to be able to (24 after completing a swim of one hundred metres.

  • There is not enough space even to bring framed backpacks or (25.

  • Students share sleeping quarters, so one group remains awake and (26) at night while the others sleep.

  • Duties include climbing the rigging to set and change (27) ,

  • and as (28)  from the crow’s nest at the top of the mast.



Result: / Exit

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