IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 14: General Training Reading
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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.
There are two IELTS Tests - the Academic Test and the General Training Test.
Today we're going to look at the Reading Module of the General Training Test.
The main difference between the General Test and the Academic Test is that the texts you
have to read are more practical and related to everyday life.
The General Reading Test is divided into 3 sections:
Section 1 has up to 3 short texts that you are likely to come across, such as entertainment
brochures, bus timetables, accommodation lists and instructions.
Section 2 has 2 passages that are work-related, for example job descriptions, and instructions
for using facilities at work.
Section 3 has one longer passage on a general topic, often a magazine article.
Let's have a closer look at a typical short text that you would be asked about in Section
The questions you may be asked about a page like this only need short answers.
For example: 'On what page is the article about childhood obesity?'
You scan the page to find a title that mentions childhood obesity or means the same and find
the answer: 'Are children getting fatter?' - page 12.
It helps to be familiar with the way these texts are laid out. You need to practise scanning
these types of texts to find the information that relates to the question. Scanning means
looking for key words.
In the next section, Section 2, you will be asked about a work-related text that is a
bit more complex, such as this job advertisement.
It is important to know that information in job ads is presented in a particular way.
Being aware of the lay out will help you locate answers more quickly.
Because the texts in section 2 are longer, it is useful to preview them.
Let's reduce the ad to its headings.
We have: City of Greenfield; Position Description; Responsibilities; Key Selection Criteria
Under 'City of Greenfield' which is the name of the employer, we have some information
about the employer:
"Vibrant, modern and energetic, Greenfield is a city of choice and opportunity. The city
is experiencing significant growth and expansion and the Council is leading the way in managing
and delivering high quality services to its local community."
And we have the sales pitch, which is there to persuade suitable people to apply:
"An exciting career opportunity exists for an enthusiastic individual with good communication
skills and a proven track record in office administration."
'Position description' tells you exactly what the job is - the title, salary and if it is
full time or part time.
Under 'Responsibilities' are listed the things you would need to do or the duties you would
have to perform.
'Key Selection Criteria' covers the skills that the employer considers necessary for
the job and 'Qualifications' are, of course, your experience and education.
The final section of the ad has all the information needed by anyone who wants to apply.
So, if you were asked in what part of the ad you would find a duty such as running and
managing an office, where would it be?
It would be in the Responsibilities section.
It is very useful to be able to know exactly where to look because it saves vital time.
Because the test deals with texts that are work-related, it is expected that you will
be familiar with the terms used in the working world. Listen to this woman describing how
she went about finding a job:
I just handed my résumé around at any other shop that I could find and then
I just got a phone call from them asking to come in for an interview and they just asked
questions such as, what was my prior experience, what sort of qualities I could bring to the
She uses a number of 'job' words. To find work, she said she 'handed her résumé
A Résumé is a summary of your work experience and education. It's a document
that tells an employer all they need to know about you. A résumé is usually
written out as a list with headings. A more formal term for this list is the Latin term
curriculum vitae, which often gets shortened to CV in speech and writing.
Now, what sort of experience was she asked about?
And then I just got a phone call from them asking to come in for an interview and they
just asked questions such as, what was my prior experience, what sort of qualities I
could bring to the job.
An interview is a formal discussion with the employer where they try to find out who is
the best person for the job.
She was asked about her prior experience, which means the work she's done before.
In the next clip what word is used to mean 'job'?
I've been working for Telstra virtually since I left school, so it's 37 years ago now. But
in various forms I went through and did a lot of technical training and then with the
change in the workforce and changing technology, they didn't require the physical work to be
done any more so I eventually went to a couple of different positions and then finally finished
up transferring to the area I'm in now.
He talks about having a couple of different 'positions'. Position is another word for
job. He could also have said 'role'.
Position, job and role are words that refer to the specific thing that you do. More general
terms are occupation, profession and trade.
What's the profession of the man in the next clip?
A normal day at my job's during the night, actually. I work night shift and I'm a nurse,
an enrolled nurse at a War Veterans' Home. I now work in the hostel section of it and
look after 70 residents.
He's a nurse, so his profession is nursing. A profession is a job that requires formal
learning, such as teaching. Trades are the sorts of jobs that involve a combination of
skill and work with your hands, such as carpentry or plumbing.
The general term for all types of job is occupation.
There is one other general term worth knowing. Listen out for it in this clip:
Turning professional I guess at my age of 19 is quite, is different, it's really cool
I guess you know lots of my school friends are still at uni and you know just still working
on building their career I guess.
Career. Career refers to the work you do over a lifetime or to the work you do in a particular
area. You will hear people talk about someone's sporting career or artistic career.
To finish, let's listen to someone talking about the process of finding a job:
I found an advertisement in the paper, went for it. Out of 30 applications they had 30
interviews. Then they narrowed it down to five second interviews. I've had my second
interview and now I'm actually waiting for a response. Today, one of my friends rang
up saying they've actually rang him for a character reference.
She talked about a second interview. That's when you go back to the employer for another
interview. It's a good sign and means that you're one of the people they are considering.
She also talked about a friend being rung up for a character reference. Often job ads
will ask you to list what are called referees. These are people who can say that you can
do the job. They are often people you have worked with before.
Knowing how job ads are structured and being familiar with the language of the workplace
will help you with the General Training IELTS test.
Getting to know the sort of texts that are likely to be in the reading test will increase
your confidence and make finding the answers in good time much easier.
Good luck with your studies.
See you next time.