The Earth & What to do in a fire? – IELTS General Reading Passage

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

GT Reading: “The Earth” & “What to do in a fire?”

Read the passage below and answer Questions 1-9.

The Earth

A.  The Earth is the third planet from the Sun and it is the only planet known to have life on it. The Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. It is one of four rocky planets on the inside of the Solar System. The other three are Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

B.  The large mass of the Sun makes the Earth move around it, just as the mass of the Earth makes the Moon move around it. The Earth also turns round in space, so different parts face the Sun at different times. The Earth goes around the Sun once (one “year”) for every 365¼ times it turns all the way around (one “day”).

C.  The Moon goes around the Earth about every 27⅓ days, and reflects light from the Sun. As the Earth goes round the Sun at the same time, the changing light of the Moon takes about 29½ days to go from dark to bright to dark again. That is where the idea of “month” came from. However, now most months have 30 or 31 days so they fit into one year.

D.  The Earth is the only planet in our Solar System that has a large amount of liquid water. About 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by oceans. Because of this, it is sometimes called the “Blue Planet”.

E.  Because of its water, the Earth is home to millions of species of plants and animals. The things that live on Earth have changed its surface greatly. For example, early cyanobacteria changed the air and gave it oxygen. The living part of the Earth’s surface is called the “biosphere”.

F.  The Earth is part of the eight planets and many thousands of small bodies that move around the Sun as its Solar System. The Solar System is moving through the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy now, and will be for about the next 10,000 years.

G.  The Earth is generally 150,000,000 kilometers or 93,000,000 miles away from the Sun (this distance is named an “Astronomical Unit”). The Earth moves along its way at an average speed of about 30 km or 19 mi a second. The Earth turns all the way around about 365¼ times in the time it takes for the Earth to go all the way around the Sun. To make up this extra bit of a day every year, an additional day is used every four years. This is named a “leap year”.

H.  The Moon goes around the Earth at an average distance of 400,000 kilometers (250,000 mi). It is locked to Earth so that it always has the same half facing the Earth; the other half is called the “dark side of the Moon”. It takes about 27⅓ days for the Moon to go all the way around the Earth but, because the Earth is moving around the Sun at the same time, it takes about 29½ days for the Moon to go from dark to bright to dark again. This is where the word “month” came from, even though most months now have 30 or 31 days.

Questions 1-6

Reading Passage “The Earth” has eight paragraphs A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information? 

Write the correct letter, A–H, in boxes 1–8 on your answer sheet.

1.  Earth’s natural satellite
2.  The distance between Earth and Sun
3.  General information about Earth
4.  Length of most months
5.  Another name for Earth
6.  The living part of the Earth’s surface

Questions 7-9

Complete the sentences below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 7-9 on your answer sheet.

7.  Apart from Earth, other rocky planets in our Solar Systems are Venus, Mars and …………………….
8. There are millions of ……………………. of plants and animals that inhabit Earth.
9. The dark side of the Moon is the side, which ……………………. faces Earth.

Read the passage below and answer Questions 10-14.

What to do in a fire?

Fire drills are a big part of being safe in school: They prepare you for what you need to do in case of a fire. But what if there was a fire where you live? Would you know what to do? Talking about fires can be scary because no one likes to think about people getting hurt or their things getting burned. But you can feel less worried if you are prepared.

It’s a good idea for families to talk about what they would do to escape a fire. Different families will have different strategies. Some kids live in one-story houses and other kids live in tall buildings. You’ll want to talk about escape plans and escape routes, so let’s start there.

Know Your Way Out
An escape plan can help every member of a family get out of a burning house. The idea is to get outside quickly and safely. Smoke from a fire can make it hard to see where things are, so it’s important to learn and remember the different ways out of your home. How many exits are there? How do you get to them from your room? It’s a good idea to have your family draw a map of the escape plan.

It’s possible one way out could be blocked by fire or smoke, so you’ll want to know where other ones are. And if you live in an apartment building, you’ll want to know the best way to the stairwell or other emergency exits.

Safety Steps
If you’re in a room with the door closed when the fire breaks out, you need to take a few extra steps:

    • Check to see if there’s heat or smoke coming through the cracks around the door. (You’re checking to see if there’s fire on the other side.)
    • If you see smoke coming under the door — don’t open the door!
    • If you don’t see smoke — touch the door. If the door is hot or very warm — don’t open the door!
    • If you don’t see smoke — and the door is not hot — then use your fingers to lightly touch the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot or very warm — don’t open the door!

If the doorknob feels cool, and you can’t see any smoke around the door, you can open the door very carefully and slowly. When you open the door, if you feel a burst of heat or smoke pours into the room, quickly shut the door and make sure it is really closed. If there’s no smoke or heat when you open the door, go toward your escape route exit.

Questions 10-14

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Section “What to do in a fire?“?

In boxes 10–14 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

10.  It is important to have a strategy before escaping the fire.
11.  You should mark different ways out of your home on the map.
12.  If you’re stuck in a room and see smoke coming from the other room, you should open the door and run to the exit.
13.  A hot door means you shouldn’t open it to escape.
14.  If you open the door and everything seems fine, go straight to the exit.

1. H
2. G
3. A
4. C
5. D
6. E
7. Mercury
8. species
9. never
10. TRUE
13. TRUE
14. TRUE