Mock Test 11.3 | General Reading


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.


Phases of the Moon


Traveling Q28a distance of approximately 382,400 kilometers, the moon takes just over twenty-nine days to complete its orbit around the Eearth. During this lunar cycle, many different phases of the moon are visible from Earth, even though the moon itself never changes shape. [Crack IELTS with Rob] The cyclic period of the moon is determined by the extent to which the sun illuminates the moon on the side that is facing Earth. Just like Earth, the moon is sphere shaped, and thus always half illuminated by the sun. However, because the moon and the Earth are in syn-chronous rotation, Q29we can see only the near side of the moon. The side we do not see is called the far side, or the dark side, a term that is often misunderstood. The dark side refers to the mysteriousness of this unseen side, not the amount of light it receives. Both the near and the far sides of the moon receive approximately the same amount of sunlight. Though we see a slightly different moon from Earth each day, its reprtitive cycle is both predictable and functional.


There are eight phases of the moon, each with a unique name that signifies how much of the moon is visible from Earth. In the early phases, the moon is said to be waxing, or gradually getting larger. The first phase is called new moon. [Crack IELTS with Rob] In Q30 this phase, the moon is lined up between the Earth and the sun. the illuminated side of the moon is facing the sun, not the Earth, so from Earth, there appears to be no moon at all. As the moon begins to move slowly castward away from the sun, it becomes slightly more visible.


After new moon, the waxing crescent phase begins. During this phase, the moon appears to be less than half illuminated. Q31First quarter occurs when one-half of the moon is visible. It is called first quarter, not because of its size, but because it represents the end of the first quarter of the moon’s cycle. The next phase is called waxing gibbous and represents a moon that is larger than half a sphere, but not quite a whole. This phase is followed by full moon, which occurs when the moon’s illuminated side is directly facing Earth.


As the moon begins to get smaller again, it is said to be waning. The phases in the second half of the cycle appear the same as the first, except that the opposite half of the near side of the moon is illuminated, thus the moon appears to be shrinking rather than growing. Waning gibbous is followed by Q33last quarter, when one-half of the moon is visible, and finally waning crescent. [Crack IELTS with Rob] In the Northen Hemisphere, when the moon is waxing, the light of the moon increases from right to left. The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere.


Like the sun, the moon is an accurate tool for measuring time. A complete cycle of the moon is called a lunation. Q34A full cycle of the moon typically lasts just under one calendar month, therefore, the phase of the moon that starts a month usually repeats just before the month is through. Q35When two full moons occur in one calendar month the second one is called a blue moon. This phenomenon occurs about once every 2.7 years. Q36Within one cycle, the moon’s ‘age’ is calculated from the last day of the new moon. For example, the moon is approximately fifteen days old during the full moon phase.


The moon can also be used calculate the time of day. Just like the sun, the moon rises and sets each day and is visible on the Earth’s horizon. Q37At new moon, the moon and sunrise and set at almost the same time. As the moon beigns to wax, or move farther in its orbit, it rises approximately one hour later each day. By full moon, the moon rises at about the same time the sun sets and sets when the sun rises. [Crack IELTS with Rob] Therefore, the moon is out in the daytime as often as it is at night even though it is not always as easy to see in the daylight. The Islamic calendar is based on the phases of the moon. The beginning of each new month in the Islamic calendar begins when the waxing crescent first appears in the night sky.


The primary phases of the moon, which include new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter are published in almanacs for each month. The phases can also be found on many calendars in the Western world. Despite the world’s fascination with the moon, its phases are not entirely unique. Q39The planets Venus and Mercury have similar phases; however, unlike the moon, these planets can never be on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. [Crack IELTS with Rob] To see the equivalent of the ‘full moon’ phase of these planets, we would need to have the capacity to see through the sun.


Questions 28 - 29

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

Write your answers on boxes, 28-29, on your answers sheet.

28. It takes the moon approximately twenty-nine days to

  • travel 382,400 kilometers.
  • become fully illuminated.
  • travel from the Earth to the moon.
  • orbit the sun.


29. The dark side of the moon

  • can see from other planets.
  • receives a lot of light.
  • faces the Earth during the day.
  • is never visible from the Earth.

Questions 30 - 33

Complete the flowchart below.

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from Passage 3 for each answer.

Write the correct answers in boxes 30-33, on your answer sheet.


                           The Primary Phases of the Moon


  • 30. 

  • 31. 

  • 32. 

  • 33. 


Questions 34 - 40

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?

In boxes 34-40 on your answer sheet, write


YES                        if the statement agrees with the view of the writer

NO                         if the statement contradicts the view of the writer

NOT GIVEN         if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this


  • 34.  A lunation takes a little more than one month to complete.

  • 35.  The term blue moon refers to the color of the moon at certain times of the year.

  • 36.  It takes about fifteen days for the moon to move from new moon to full moon.

  • 37.  At certain times of the month, the moon rises at the same time as the sun.

  • 38.  There are twelve months on the Islamic calendar.

  • 39.  Some planet have phases similar to the moon’s phases.

  • 40.  The moons of Venus and Mercury are visible from Earth.




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

Mock Test 11 | Reading Passage 2
Mock Test 11 | Reading Passage 1
Mock Test 11 | Writing Task 1 
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