ielts academic reading practice test 4 History of Refrigeration

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 4 with Answers

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 4 | History of Refrigeration | Smell and Memory | Learning lessons from the past

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

History of Refrigeration

Refrigeration is a process of removing heat, which means cooling an area or a substance below the environmental temperature. Mechanical refrigeration makes use of (he evaporation of a liquid refrigerant, which goes through a cycle so that it can be reused. The main cycles include vapour-compression, absorption steam-jet or steam-ejector, and airing. The term ‘refrigerator’ was first introduced by a Maryland farmer Thomas Moore in 1803, but it is in the 20th century that the appliance we know today first appeared.

People used to find various ways to preserve their food before the advent of mechanical refrigeration systems. Some preferred using cooling systems of ice or snow, which meant that diets would have consisted of very little fresh food or fruits and vegetables, but mostly of bread, cheese and salted meals. For milk and cheeses, it was very difficult to keep them fresh, so such foods were usually stored in a cellar or window box. In spite of those measures, they could not survive rapid spoilage. Later on, people discovered that adding such chemical as sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate to water could lead to a lower temperature. In 1550 when this technique was first recorded, people used it to cool wine, as was the term ‘to refrigerate’. Cooling drinks grew very popular in Europe by 1600, particularly in Spain, France, and Italy. Instead of cooling water at night, people used a new technique: rotating long-necked bottles of water which held dissolved saltpeter. The solution was intended to create very low temperatures and even to make ice. By the end of the 17th century, iced drink including frozen juices and liquors tad become extremely fashionable in France.

People’s demand for ice soon became strong. Consumers’ soaring requirement for fresh food, especially for green vegetables, resulted in reform in people’s dieting habits between 1830 and the American Civil War, accelerated by a drastic expansion of the urban areas arid the rapid amelioration in an economy of the populace. With the growth of the cities and towns, he distance between the consumer and the source of food was enlarged. In 1799s as a commercial product, ice was first transported out of Canal Street in New York City to Charleston, South Carolina. Unfortunately, this transportation was not successful because when the ship reached the destination, little ice left. Frederick Tudor and Nathaniel Wyeth, two New England’ businessmen, grasped the great potential opportunities for ice business and managed to improve the storage method of ice in the process of shipment. The acknowledged ‘Ice King’ in that time, Tudor concentrated his efforts on bringing he ice to the tropica1 areas. In order to achieve his goal and guarantee the ice to arrive at the destination safely he tried many insulating materials in an experiment and successfully constructed the ice containers, which reduce the ice loss from 66 per cent to less than 8 per cent at drastically. Wyeth invented an economical and speedy method to cut the ice into uniform blocks, which had a tremendous positive influence on the ice industry. Also, he improved the processing techniques for storing, transporting and distributing ice with less waste.

When people realised that the ice transported from the distance was not as clean as previously thought and gradually caused many health problems, it was more demanding to seek the clean natural sources of ice. To make it worse, by the 1890s water pollution and sewage dumping made clean ice even more unavailable. The adverse effect first appeared in the blowing industry, and then seriously spread to such sectors as meat packing and dairy industries. As a result, the clean, mechanical refrigeration was considerately in need.

Many inventors with creative ideas took part in the process of inventing refrigeration, and each version was built on the previous discoveries. Dr William Cullen initiated to study the evaporation of liquid under the vacuum conditions in 1720. He soon invented the first man-made refrigerator at the University of Glasgow in 1748 with the employment of ethyl ether boiling into a partial vacuum. American inventor Oliver Evans designed the refrigerator firstly using vapour rather than liquid in 1805. Although his conception was not put into practice in the end the mechanism was adopted by an American physician John Gorrie, who made one cooling machine similar to Evans’ in 1842 with the purpose of reducing the temperature of the patient with yellow fever in a Florida hospital. Until 1851, Evans obtained the first patent for mechanical refrigeration in the USA. In 1820, Michael Faraday, a Londoner, first liquefied ammonia to cause cooling. In 1859, Ferdinand Carre from France invented the first version of the ammonia water cooling machine. In 1873, Carl von Linde designed the first practical and portable compressor refrigerator in Munich, and in 1876 he abandoned the methyl ether system and began using ammonia cycle. Linde later created a new method (‘Linde technique’) for liquefying large amounts of air in 1894. Nearly a decade later, this mechanical refrigerating method was adopted subsequently by he meat packing industry in Chicago. ieltsxpress

Since 1840, cars with the refrigerating system had been utilised to deliver and distribute milk and butter. Until 1860, most seafood and dairy products were transported with cold-chain logistics. In 1867, refrigerated, railroad cars are patented to J.B, Sutherland from Detroit, Michigan, who invented insulated cars by installing the ice bunkers at the end of the cars: air came in from the top, passed through the bunkers, circulated through the cars by gravity and controlled by different quantities of hanging flaps which caused different air temperatures. Depending on the cargo (such as meat, fruits etc.) transported by the cars, different car designs came into existence. In 1867, the first refrigerated car to carry fresh fruit was manufactured by Parker Earle of Illinois, who shipped strawberries on the Illinois Central Railroad. Each chest was freighted with 100 pounds of ice and 200 quarts of strawberries. Until 1949, the trucking industry began to be equipped with the refrigeration system with a roof-mounted cooling device, invented by Fred Jones.

From the late 1800s to 1929, the refrigerators employed toxic gases – methyl chloride, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide – as refrigerants. But in the 1920s, a great number of lethal accidents took place due to the leakage of methyl chloride out of refrigerators. Therefore, some American companies started to seek some secure methods of refrigeration. Frigidaire detected a new class of synthetic, refrigerants called halocarbons or CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in 1928. this research led to the discovery of chlorofluorocarbons (Freon), which quickly became the prevailing material in compressor refrigerators. Freon was safer for the people in the vicinity, but in 1973 it was discovered to have detrimental effects on the ozone layer. After that, new improvements were made, and Hydrofluorocarbons, with no known harmful effects, was used in the cooling system. Simultaneously, nowadays, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFS) are no longer used; they are announced illegal in several places, making the refrigeration far safer than before.

Questions 1-5
Look at the following events (Questions 1-5) and the list of dates below.
Match each event with the correct date, A-F.

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

List of Dates

A. 1550
B. 1799
C. 1803
D. 1840
E. 1949
F. 1973

1. Vehicles with refrigerator were used to transport on the road.
2. Ice was sold around the United States for the first time.
3. Some kind of chemical refrigerant was found harmful to the atmosphere.
4. The term ‘refrigerator’ was firstly introduced.
5. Some chemicals were added to refrigerate wine.

Questions 6-10
Look at the following opinions or deeds (Questions 6-10) and the list of people below.
Match each opinion or deed with the correct person, A-G.
Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet.

List of People

A. Thomas Moore
B. Frederick Tudor
C. Carl Von Linde
D. Nathaniel Wyeth
E. J.B. Sutherland
F. Fred Jones
G. Parker Earle

6. patented the idea that refrigerating system can be installed on tramcars
7. invented an ice-cutting technical method that could save money and time
8. enabled the cold storage technology to be applied in fruit
9. invented a cooling device applied into the trucking industry
10. created a new technique to liquefy the air

Questions 11-14
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-E, below.

Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet.

11. A healthy dietary change between 1830 and the American Civil War was greatly associated with
12. The development of urbanisation was likely to cause
13. Problems due to water treatment contributed to
14. The risk of the environmental devastation from the refrigeration led to

A. new developments, such as the application of Hydrofluorocarbons.
B. consumers ’ demand for fresh food, especially for vegetables.
C. the discovery of chlorofluorocarbons (Freon).
D. regional transportation system for refrigeration for a long distance.
E. extensive spread of the refrigeration method.

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

Smell and Memory


Why does the scent of a fragrance or the mustiness of an old trunk trigger such powerful memories of childhood? New research has the answer, writes Alexandra Witze.


You probably pay more attention to a newspaper with your eyes than with your nose. But lift the paper to your nostrils and inhale. The smell of newsprint might carry you back to your childhood when your parents perused the paper on Sunday mornings. Or maybe some other smell takes you back – the scent of your mother’s perfume, the pungency of a driftwood campfire. Specific odours can spark a flood of reminiscences. Psychologists call it the “Proustian phenomenon”, after French novelist Marcel Proust. Near the beginning of the masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, Proust’s narrator drunks a madeleine cookie into a cup of tea – and the scent and taste unleash a torrent of childhood memories for 3000 pages.


Now, this phenomenon is getting scientific treatment. Neuroscientists Rachel Herz, a cognitive neuroscientist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, have discovered, for instance, how sensory memories are shared across the brain, with different brain regions remembering the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of a particular experience. Meanwhile, psychologists have demonstrated that memories triggered by smells can be more emotional, as well as more detailed, than memories not related to smells. When you inhale, odour molecules set brain cells dancing within a region known as the amygdala, a part of the brain that helps control emotion. In contrast, the other senses, such as taste or touch, get routed through other parts of the brain before reaching the amygdala. The direct link between odours and the amygdala may help explain the emotional potency of smells. “There is this unique connection between the sense of smell and the part of the brain that processes emotion,” says Rachel Herz.


But the links don’t stop there. Like an octopus reaching its tentacles outward, the memory of smells affects other brain regions as well. In recent experiments, neuroscientists at University College London (UCL) asked 15 volunteers to look at pictures while smelling unrelated odours. For instance, the subjects might see a photo of a duck paired with the scent of a rose, and then be asked to create a story linking the two. Brain scans taken at the time revealed that the volunteers’ brains were particularly active in a region known as the olfactory cortex, which is known to be involved in processing smells. Five minutes later, the volunteers were shown the duck photo again, but without the rose smell. And in their brains, the olfactory cortex lit up again, the scientists reported recently. The fact that the olfactory cortex became active in the absence of the odour suggests that people’s sensory memory of events is spread across different brain regions. Imagine going on a seaside holiday, says ULC team leader, Jay Gottfried. The sight of the waves becomes stored in one area, whereas the crash of the surf goes elsewhere, and the smell of seaweed in yet another place. There could be advantages to having memories spread around the brain. “You can reawaken that memory from any one of the sensory triggers,” says Gottfried. “Maybe the smell of the sun lotion, or a particular sound from that day, or the sight of a rock formation.” Or – in the case of an early hunter and gatherer (out on a plain – the sight of a lion might be enough to trigger the urge to flee, rather than having to wait for the sound of its roar and the stench of its hide to kick in as well. ieltsxpress


Remembered smells may also carry extra emotional baggage, says Herz. Her research suggests that memories triggered by odours are more emotional than memories triggered by other cues. In one recent study, Herz recruited five volunteers who had vivid memories associated with a particular perfume, such as opium for Women and Juniper Breeze from Bath and Body Works. She took images of the volunteers’ brains as they sniffed that perfume and an unrelated perfume bottle.) Smelling the specified perfume activated the volunteers brains the most, particularly in the amygdala, and in a region called the hippocampus, which helps in memory formation. Herz published the work earlier this year in the journal Neuropsychologia.


But she couldn’t be sure that the other senses wouldn’t also elicit a strong response. Do in another study Herz compared smells with sounds and pictures. She had 70 people describe an emotional memory involving three items – popcorn, fresh-cut grass and a campfire. Then they compared the items through sights, sounds and smells. For instance, the person might see a picture of a lawnmower, then sniff the scent of grass and finally listen to the lawnmower’s sound. Memories triggered by smell were more evocative than memories triggered by either sights or sounds.


Odour-evoked memories may be not only more emotional but more detailed as well. Working with colleague John Downes, psychologist Simon Chu of the University of Liverpool started researching odour and memory partly because of his grandmother’s stories about Chinese culture. As generations gathered to share oral histories, they would pass a small pot of spice or incense around; later, when they wanted to remember the story in as much detail as possible, they would pass the same smell around again. “It’s kind of fits with a lot of anecdotal evidence on how smells can be really good reminders of past experiences,” Chu says. And scientific research seems to bear out the anecdotes. In one experiment, Chu and Downes asked 42 volunteers to tell a life story, the tested to see whether odours such as coffee and cinnamon could help them remember more detail in the story. They could.


Despite such studies, not everyone is convinced that Proust can be scientifically analysed. In the June issue of Chemical Senses, Chu and Downes exchanged critiques with renowned perfumer and chemist J. Stephan Jellinek. Jellinek chided the Liverpool researches for, among other things, presenting the smells and asking the volunteers to think of memories, rather than seeing what memories were spontaneously evoked by the odours. But there’s only so much science can do to test a phenomenon that’s inherently different for each person, Chu says. Meanwhile, Jellinek has also been collecting anecdotal accounts of Proustian experiences, hoping to find some common links between the experiences. “I think there is a case to be made that surprise maybe major aspect memories.” No one knows whether Proust ever experienced such a transcendental moment. But his notions of memory, written as fiction nearly a century ago, continue to inspire scientists of today.

Questions 14-18
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-C) with opinions or deeds below.

Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.

NB  You may use any letter more than once

A. Rachel Herz
B. Simon Chu
C. Jay Gottfried

14. The found pattern of different sensory memories stored in various zones of the brain.
15. The smell brings detailed event under the smell of a certain substance.
16. Connection of smell and certain zones of the brain is different from that of other senses.
17. Diverse locations of stored information help us keep away the hazard.
18. There is no necessary correlation between smell and processing zone of the brain.

Question 19-22
Choose the correct letter A, B, C, or D.

Write your answers in boxer 19-22 on your answer sheet

19. In paragraph B, what do the experiments conducted by Herz and other scientists show?

A  Women are more easily addicted to opium medicine
B  Smell is superior to other senses in connection to the brain
C  Smell is more important than other senses
D  certain part of the brain relates the emotion to the sense of smell

20. What does the second experiment conducted by Herz suggest?

A Result directly conflicts with the first one
B Result of her first experiment is correct
C Sights and sounds trigger memories at an equal level
D Lawnmower is a perfect example in the experiment

21. What is the outcome of an experiment conducted by Chu and Downes?

A smell is the only functional under Chinese tradition
B half of the volunteers told detailed stories
C smells of certain odours assist storytellers
D odours of cinnamon are stronger than that of coffee

22. What is the comment of Jellinek to Chu and Downes in the issue of Chemical Senses:

A Jellinek accused their experiment of being unscientific
B Jellinek thought Liverpool is not a suitable place for experiment
C Jellinke suggested that there was no further clue of what specific memories aroused
D Jellinek stated that the experiment could be remedied

Questions 23-26
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage
Using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 23-26 on your answer sheet.

In the experiments conducted by UCL, participants were asked to look at a picture with the scent of a flower, then in the next stage, everyone would have to 23 __________ for a connection. A method called 24 __________ suggested that specific area of the brain named 25 __________ were quite active. Then in another paralleled experiment about Chinese elders, storytellers could recall detailed anecdotes when smelling a bowl of 26__________ or incense around.

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

Learning Lessons from the Past


Many past societies collapsed or vanished, leaving behind monumental ruins such as those that the poet Shelley imagined in his sonnet, Ozymandias. By collapse, I mean a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable, for an extended time. By those standards, most people would consider the following past societies to have been famous victims of full-fledged collapses rather than of just minor declines: the Anasazi and Cahokia within the boundaries of the modem US, the Maya cities in Central American, Moche and Tiwanaku societies in South America, Norse Greenland, Mycenean Greece and Minoan Crete in Europe, Great Zimbabwe in Africa, Angkor Wat and the Harappan Indus Valley cities in Asia, and Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean.


The monumental ruins left behind by those past societies hold a fascination for all of us. We marvel at them when as children we first learn of them through pictures. When we grow up, many of us plan vacations in order to experience them at first hand. We feel drawn to their often spectacular and haunting beauty, and also to the mysteries that they pose. The scales of the ruins testify to the former wealth and power of their builders. Yet these builders vanished, abandoning the great structures that they had created at such effort. How could a society that was once so mighty end up collapsing?


It has long been suspected that many of those mysterious abandonments were at least partly triggered by ecological problems: people inadvertently destroying the environmental resources on which their societies depended. This suspicion of unintended ecological suicide (ecocide) has been confirmed by discoveries made in recent decades by archaeologists, climatologists, historians, palaeontologists, and palynologists (pollen scientists). The processes through which past societies have undermined themselves by damaging their environments fall into eight categories, whose relative importance differs from case to case: deforestation and habitat destruction, soil problems, water management problems, overhunting, overfishing, effects of introduced species on native species, human population growth, and increased impact of people. ieltsxpress


Those past collapses tended to follow somewhat similar courses constituting variations on a theme. Writers find in tempting to draw analogies between the course of human societies and the course of individual human lives – to talk of a society’s birth, growth, peak, old age and eventual death. But that metaphor proves erroneous for many past societies: they declined rapidly after reaching peak numbers and power, and those rapid declines must have come as a surprise and shock to their citizens. Obviously, too, this trajectory is not one that all past societies followed unvaryingly to completion: different societies collapsed to different degrees and in somewhat different ways, while many societies did not collapse at all.


Today many people feel that environmental problems overshadow all the other threats to global civilisation. These environmental problems include the same eight that undermined past societies, plus four new ones: human-caused climate change, the build-up of toxic chemicals in the environment, energy shortages, and full human utilisation of the Earth’s photosynthetic capacity. But the seriousness of these current environmental problems is vigorously debated. Are the risks greatly exaggerated, or conversely are they underestimated? Will modem technology solve our problems, or is it creating new problems faster than it solves old ones? When we deplete one resource (eg wood, oil, or ocean fish), can we count on being able to substitute some new resource (eg plastics, wind and solar energy, or farmed fish)? Isn’t the rate of human population growth declining, such that we’re already on course for the world’s population to level off at home manageable number of people?


Questions like this illustrate why those famous collapses of past civilisations have taken on more meaning than just that of a romantic mystery. Perhaps there are some practical lessons that we could learn from all those past collapses. But there are also differences between the modem world and its problems, and those past societies and their problems. We shouldn’t be so naive as to think that the study of the past will yield simple solutions, directly transferable to our societies today. We differ from past societies in some respects that put us at lower risk than them; some of those respects often mentioned include our powerful technology (ie its beneficial effects), globalisation, modem medicine, and greater knowledge of past societies and of distant modem societies. We also differ from past societies in some respects that put us at greater risk than them: again, our potent technology (ie its unintended destructive effects), globalisation (such that now a problem in one part of the world affects all the rest), the dependence of millions of us on modern medicine for our survival, and our much larger human population. Perhaps we can still learn from the past, but only if we think carefully about its lessons.

Questions 27-29
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

27. When the writer describes the impact of monumental ruins today, he emphasizes

A.  the income they generate from tourism.
B.  the area of land they occupy.
C.  their archaeological value.
D.  their romantic appeal.

28. Recent findings concerning vanished civilisations

A.  have overturned long-held beliefs.
B.  caused controversy amongst scientists.
C.  come from a variety of disciplines.
D.  identified one main cause of environmental damage.

29. What does the writer say about ways in which former societies collapsed?

A.   The pace of decline was usually similar.
B.   The likelihood of collapse would have been foreseeable.
C.   Deterioration invariably led to total collapse.
D.   Individual citizens could sometimes influence the course of events.

Also Check: The History of The Tortoise IELTS Reading Academic

Questions 30-34
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage?

YES                  if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO                   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN    if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

30. It is widely believed that environmental problems represent the main danger faced by the modern world.
31. The accumulation of poisonous substances is a relatively modern problem.
32. There is general agreement that the threats posed by environmental problems are very serious.
33. Some past societies resembled present-day societies more closely than others.
34. We should be careful when drawing comparisons between past and present.

Questions 35-39
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below.
Write the correct letter, A-F

35. Evidence of the greatness of some former civilisations
36. The parallel between an individual’s life and the life of a society
37. The number of environmental problems that societies face
38. The power of technology
39. A consideration of historical events and trends

A   is not necessarily valid.
B   provides grounds for an optimistic outlook.
C   exists in the form of physical structures.
D   is potentially both positive and negative.
E    will not provide direct solutions for present problems.
F   is greater now than in the past.

Question 40
Choose the correct letter A, B, D or D

40. What is the main argument of Reading Passage 3?

A.   There are differences as well as similarities between past and present societies.
B.   More should be done to preserve the physical remains of earlies civilisations.
C.   Some historical accounts of great civilisations are inaccurate.
D.   Modern societies are dependent on each other for their continuing survival.

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 4 Answers

History of Refrigeration Reading Answers

1. D
2. B
3. F
4. C
5. A
6. E
7. D
8. G
9. F
10. C
11. B
12. D
13. E

Smell and Memory Reading Answers

14. A
15. B
16. A
17. C
18. C
19. D
20. B
21. C
22. C

Learning Lessons from the Past Reading Answers

27. C
28. D
29. A
30. YES
31. YES
32. NO
34. YES
35. C
36. A
37. F
38. D
39. E
40. A

Also Practice: Rising Sea IELTS Reading Passage with Answers

Oh hi there! It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We promise not to spam you or share your Data. 🙂

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 4 with Answers

Oh Hi there!
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We promise not to Spam or Share your Data. 🙂

1 thought on “IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test 4 with Answers”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top