GT Reading Test 1 Section 3 - Paper Recycling

GT Reading Mock Test 1:

Reading Part 1  |  Reading Part 2   |  Reading Part 3  |

Part 3:

General Training Reading Sample: Paper Recycling

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 30-41 which are based on the Reading Passage below.


A.  Paper is different from other waste produce because it comes from a sustainable resource: trees. Unlike the minerals and oil used to make plastics and metals, trees are replaceable. Paper is also biodegradable, so it does not pose as much threat to the environment when it is discarded. While 45 out of every 100 tonnes of wood fibre used to make paper in Australia comes from waste paper, the rest comes directly from virgin fibre from forests and plantations. By world standards, this is a good performance since the worldwide average is 33 percent waste paper. Governments have encouraged waste paper collection and sorting schemes and at the same time, the paper industry has responded by developing new recycling technologies that have paved the way for even greater utilization of used fibre. As a result, industry’s use of recycled fibres is expected to increase at twice the rate of virgin fibre over the coming years.

B. Already, waste paper constitutes 70% of paper used for packaging and advances in the technology required to remove ink from the paper have allowed a higher recycled content in newsprint and writing paper. To achieve the benefits of recycling, the community must also contribute. We need to accept a change in the quality of paper products; for example, stationery may be less white and of a rougher texture. There also needs to support from the community for waste paper collection programs. Not only do we need to make the paper available to collectors but it also needs to be separated into different types and sorted from contaminants such as staples, paperclips, string and other miscellaneous items.

C. There are technical limitations to the amount of paper which can be recycled and some paper products cannot be collected for re-use. These include the paper in the form of books and permanent records, photographic paper and paper which is badly contaminated. The four most common sources of paper for recycling are factories and retail stores which gather large amounts of packaging material in which goods are delivered, also offices which have unwanted business documents and computer output, paper converters and printers and lastly households which discard newspapers and packaging material. The paper manufacturer pays a price for the paper and may also incur the collection cost.

D. Once collected, the paper has to be sorted by hand by people trained to recognise various types of paper. This is necessary because some types of paper can only be made from particular kinds of recycled fibre. The sorted paper then has to be repulped or mixed with water and broken down into its individual fibres. This mixture is called stock and may contain a wide variety of contaminating materials, particularly if it is made from mixed waste paper which has had little sorting. Various machineries are used to remove other materials from the stock. After passing through the repulping process, the fibres from printed waste paper are grey in colour because the printing ink has soaked into the individual fibres. This recycled material can only be used in products where the grey colour does not matter, such as cardboard boxes but if the grey colour is not acceptable, the fibres must be de-inked. This involves adding chemicals such as caustic soda or other alkalis, soaps and detergents, water-hardening agents such as calcium chloride, frothing agents and bleaching agents. Before the recycled fibres can be made into the paper they must be refined or treated in such a way that they bond together.

E. Most paper products must contain some virgin fibre as well as recycled fibres and unlike glass, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely. Most paper is down-cycled which means that a product made from recycled paper is of an inferior quality to the original paper. Recycling paper is beneficial in that it saves some of the energy, labour and capital that go into producing virgin pulp. However, recycling requires the use of fossil fuel, a non-renewable energy source, to collect the waste paper from the community and to process it to produce new paper. And the recycling process still creates emissions which require treatment before they can be disposed of safely. Nevertheless, paper recycling is an important economic and environmental practice but one which must be carried out in a rational and viable manner for it to be useful to both industry and the community.

Questions 30-36

Complete the summary below of the first two paragraphs of the Reading Passage. Choose ONE OR TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 30-36 on your answer sheet.



From the point of view of recycling, paper has two advantages over minerals and   .....oil.....      

in that firstly it comes from a resource which is ...... (30) ......and secondly it is less threatening to our environment when we throw it away because it is ...... (31)...... Although Australia’s record in the re-use of waste paper is good, it is still necessary to use a combination of recycled fibre and ...... (32)...... to make new paper. The paper industry has contributed positively and people have also been encouraged by ...... (33) ...... to collect their waste on a regular basis. One major difficulty is the removal of ink from used paper but ...... (34) ...... are being made in this area. However, we need to learn to accept paper which is generally of a lower ...... (35)...... than before and to sort our waste paper by removing ...... (36) ...... before discarding it for collection.

Questions 37-41

Look at paragraphs C, D, and E and, using the information in the passage, complete the flow chart below. Write your answers in boxes 37-41 on your answer sheet. Use ONE OR TWO WORDS for each answer.

GT Reading - Paper Recycling


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Need explanations to the answers provided in this passage? Visit 'Answer Explanation - Paper Recycling' then.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.75 (65 Votes)

Uhammad Usama
I need more tests.
These samples have been very helpful.
Answer to question 39: why can't it be "Broken down" as it says repulped or mixed with water. That means adding water is already given instead of re-pulped.

Answer for question 40: why cant it be "Be de-inked" as it is clearly given in the paragraph and also 2 words. But the answer given quite surprises me!

Xuan Thu Nguyen
I love your samples and clear answers.
I want IELTS General Training Reading practice tests. Please send reading tests to me.
Have you taken the IELTS exam? I am just for this exam. Kindly send me the same. My email address is
Chau Long Do
Can anyone explain number 34? Why advances?
I also wrote "advance technologies".
Serina Cheung
Number 34 requires a noun and "advances" is the generic form which kind of means "new developments in technological knowledge or research", if you like. Another clue is the "are" which requires a plural noun.
Thank you. I've made mistakes in 2, 7, 17,18, 23, 23, 26, 27. And I have got 7.5. 25 and 26 were really confusing. Number 2 also. Thank you again.
One mistake only.
Ramandeep Kaur
Kindly send me IELTS general reading practice tests.
Could the answer to question 39 be "mixed" ?
No, it can't be mixed. The question is asking for what is going to happen to the paper.
I need more GT reading passages like this one. Please update the section.
Dear Sir, my answers were as follows:
20. Halls of Residence, 21. four-weeks blocks, 22. 10-12 students, 23. Waikato Students' Union, 24. river, 25. a picturesque, 26. ongoing travel arrangements.

Will the answers be accepted?

Priyam Chaturvedi said :
It has been mentioned in the article that "students may enrol for as many blocks as they wish" which means that students can enrol in the course for only 1-week's block. Now to answer the question 21; why can't it be 1 block which is the minimum length of the course, and it can be deduced clearly from the text.
I agree with you but when I read it again I noticed it said "intensive English" which indicates the fastest and most compressed period possible, and also it mentioned "four-week blocks" which means that each block is minimum four weeks, then they added "but students can enrol for more blocks" so I believe it makes more sense that four weeks is the correct answer.

Himanshu Gulati
Both are correct. Travel word needs to be there but if you are writing ongoing and arrangements as well. Both are correct. Anything in the bracket is optional, you may or may not use it.
For question 20th, I wrote University Hall. Is that correct by any chance?
Priyam Chaturvedi
It has been mentioned in the article that "students may enrol for as many blocks as they wish" which means that students can enrol on the course for only 1-week's block. Now to answer the question 21, why can't it be 1 block which is the minimum length of the course, and it can be deduced clearly from the text.
Shivaramane said :
For question 21, why not four-week block? Is this wrong?
I believe that it considers the period: minimum length course of 4 weeks. If you add block, as I did too, it is the length.

Prudvinath Malepati
Yes, the words in brackets are optional. I don't know why they gave '(University) Halls of Residence' as the answer. Because if I include University in our answer, my answer will have 4 words and guidelines given are 'Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR NUMBERS from the passage for each answer.'
The () parts in the answer are optional. So the correct answer could be either of the following: - travel - ongoing travel - travel arrangement - ongoing travel arrangement.
Hi, the answers given in the brackets is right or wrong or how is it corrected. For example, the answer to Q. 26 - (ongoing) travel (arrangements) OR ongoing travel arrangements. From the above two which one is supposed to be correct?
20. Halls of residence. Is it correct?
For question 21, why not four-week block? Is this wrong?
Answers are everywhere (paragraph). I mean it's not following the 1st and the 2 q. It can be the same in the exam?
Although tough, these tricks are valuable.
Vasyl said :
25 picturesque .Why not 25 picturesque and park-like ? Is park-like considered as two words? If so, why not for instance - 25. picturesque/park-like ?
Is it "a picturesque" or "picturesque"?

Md Mahfuzul Haque
For question 21, why the answer is four-week? If I give this, will it be wrong?
Park - like was mentioned on the rest of the passage as enjoyable walks. In some very... 25... views and enjoyable walks.
No, it's not correct mate.
20. University Halls. Is it correct???
That was pretty hard but very useful. Because you can learn new words as well as raise your reading skills. Thank you.
M Farhan Khan
It is very very difficult! Seems like academic reading to me. How a person who is not native can understand "PICTURESQUE"?
Kindly assist, I have the same question as Vasyl. For number 25, why is the answer not Picturesque and park-lake. Thank you.
IELTS Mentor
That's also correct Rohit.
For question 20, I wrote the answer as "University Residence Halls" to stick to 3 words limit. Is it correct? Please advise.
25. picturesque. Why not 25 picturesque and park-like? Is park-like considered as two words? If so, why not, for instance, 25 picturesque/park-like?
Md Nizam Uddin Talukder