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Useful exercises for Ielts reading...

When looking for useful exercises for Ielts reading be sure to include some information location exercises. As described below, one of the more valuable exercises for Ielts reading practice is sure to benefit you.

Note: If you've just entered this site and want to follow our Ielts reading practice from the beginning, click on the link at the left of this page marked READING and follow the links.

By learning to quickly locate information from a text (usually a series of labelled paragraphs) you'll prepare yourself to be good at one of the more difficult exercises for Ielts reading.

What, exactly, must you do?
You will be provided with a list of items containing specific information. You will need to identify the section or paragraph in which the specific information required is found.

What kind of information will you need to find?

  • specific details relating to the text  
  • examples from the text  
  • the reason for an event or change etc  
  • descriptions (wide ranging)  
  • comparisons (people, events etc)  
  • summaries  
  • explanations for events or changes  
  • other  

Will information come from every paragraph of the text?
Probably not. Hence, you need to develop your skill in this task type and recognise traps set by the examiners.

Can you use an answer morethan once?
Yes. When this happens, though, you will be told in the directions that some information can be used for more than one answer.

What skills are being tested?
Your ability to identify specific information within sections or paragraphs plus your ability to relate that information to appropriate headings or sections from the text.

Note: Information for the answers does NOT come in the same order of the text. You must skim and scan quickly in order to find the section or paragraph from the text which contains the answer.

The text below has 5 paragraphs labelled A-E. Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet. You may use letters more than once.

The answers are at the bottom of this page... no peeking!


Useful Exercises for Ielts Reading

A. Chicken pox – general information

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV-3), one of the eight herpes viruses known to affect humans. It starts with conjunctival and catarrhal symptoms, moderate fever and then characteristic spots appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pox (pocks), small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.

Chickenpox has a two-week incubation period and is highly contagious by air transmission two days before symptoms appear. Following primary infection there is usually lifelong protective immunity from further episodes of chickenpox. Recurrent chickenpox is fairly rare but more likely in people with compromised immune systems.

Chickenpox is rarely fatal (usually from varicella pneumonia), with pregnant women and those with depressed immune systems being more at risk. Pregnant women not known to be immune and who come into contact with chickenpox may need urgent treatment as the virus can cause serious problems for the fetus.

B. Symptoms and signs

Chickenpox is highly infectious and spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. Touching the fluid from a chickenpox blister can also spread the disease. A person with chickenpox is contagious 1–2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. This may take between 5–10 days. It takes from 10–21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox.

The chickenpox lesions (blisters) start as a 2–4 mm red papule which develops an irregular outline (rose petal). A thin-walled, clear vesicle (dew drop) develops on top of the area of redness. This "dew drop on a rose petal" lesion is very characteristic for chickenpox. After about 8–12 hours the fluid in the vesicle gets cloudy and the vesicle breaks leaving a crust. The fluid is highly contagious, but once the lesion crusts over, it is not considered contagious. The crust usually falls off after 7 days sometimes leaving a crater-like scar. Although one lesion goes through this complete cycle in about 7 days, another hallmark of chickenpox is the fact that new lesions crop up every day for several days. Therefore, it may take about a week until new lesions stop appearing and existing lesions crust over. Children are not sent back to school until all lesions have crusted over.

C. Prognosis and treatment

Chickenpox infection tends to be milder the younger a child is and symptomatic treatment for itch (e.g. calamine lotion and/or antihistamines) and fever (with paracetamol or ibuprofen) is usually all that is required. Infection in otherwise healthy adults tends to more severe and active; treatment with antiviral drugs (e.g. aciclovir) is generally advised. Patients of any age with depressed immune systems or extensive eczema are at risk of more severe disease and should also be treated with antiviral medication. In the U.S., 55 percent of chickenpox deaths were in the over-20 age group.

D. Screening and prevention

In the UK Varicella antibodies are measured as part of the routine of prenatal care, and by 2005 all NHS healthcare personnel had determined their immunity and been immunised if they were non-immune and have direct patient contact.

E. History

There are many explanations offered for the origin of the name chickenpox:

  • the specks that appear looked as though the skin was pecked by chickens; 
  • the disease was named after chick peas, from a supposed similarity in size of the seed to the lesions; 
  • Samuel Johnson suggested that the disease was "no very great danger," thus a "chicken" version of the pox; 
  • the term reflects a corruption of the Old English word, "giccin", which meant "itching". 

As "pox" also means curse, in medieval times some believed it was a plague brought on to curse children by the use of black magic.

During the medieval era, oatmeal was discovered to soothe the sores, and oatmeal baths are today still commonly given to relieve itching.


Which paragraph contains the following information?

_____ 1. the younger the person, the milder the infection

_____ 2. two week incubation period

_____ 3. lesions are clear walled with liquid on top

_____ 4. small itchy sores

_____ 5. old methods to relieve itching

_____ 6. All healthcare personnel immunized

_____ 7. not a serious danger or threat

As you can see, the above is one of the more useful exercises for Ielts reading on the NET today. It's part of our dedication to giving you the information you need so you can get the score you deserve.

Notice that the information does not come in the order of the text. What's more, the information you are required to find is based on synonyms, general knowledge of vocabulary and other information collocations.


For more useful exercises for Ielts reading, click on the preceding link. You'll be taken to the next in our series of pages looking at all the question types you may face on the Ielts exam.

To return to the beginning of this series and to a page with links to every section of the Ielts Academic Reading module, click on the preceding link.

*** Exercises for Ielts Reading answers = 1.C 2.A 3.B 4.A 5.E 6.D 7.E