IELTS Multiple Choice Reading Practice

This multiple choice reading practice has lots of academic language similar to the academic paper in IELTS reading.

First Test to Predict Alzheimer’s

The world’s first blood test to predict Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur has been developed. The test identifies 10 chemicals in the blood associated with the disease two to three years before symptoms start, but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.

Globally, 35 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. It is characterised by a toxic build up of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which destroys the neurons. Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.

But with no treatments available, would anyone want to take these tests? Mapstone says “In my experience, the majority of people are very interested to know whether they will get Alzheimer’s. They believe that knowledge is power – particularly when it comes to your own health. We may not have any therapy yet but there are things we can do – we can get our financial and legal affairs in order, plan for future care, and inform family members.”

Questions 1 – 3

Choose the correct letter A-C

  1. The test can predict Alzheimer’s…….

a) two or three years before the illness begins.

b) two or three years from the start of the symptoms.

c) a decade before.

 2. This test is the first blood test which can …….

a) cure Alzheimer’s

b) estimate the start of the disease

c) diagnose the disease

3. Mapstone believes that ….

a) this test will help people understand Alzheimer’s

b) people want to know about their health

c) people want power


Click below to reveal the answers.


1 = a   Before symptoms start = before the illness begins (2nd sentence)

2 = b   Estimate the start = predict its onset (2nd paragraph, last sentence)

3 = b

Vocab Builder
  • 2 or 3 years from the start of = 2 or 3 years after symptoms start
  • predict = foresee / forecast / foretell
  • occur = happen / came about
  • associated with = connected to
  • characterise = typify / exemplify
  • symptoms = signs (of an illness)
  • onset = start / inception

All reading exercises on have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   



Passage from New Scientist, 09/03/14


  1. Harsh kaur says

    Hi Liz,

    When I do my speaking should I tell about Canada or India when examiner ask tell me something about you country/city/town etc. I came in Canada 3 years ago so I am confused which one I should talk about.

    Thank you,
    Harsh K

    • The examiner doesn’t care which one you talk about. The examiner is only interested in hearing your English. The only time it matters is during the ID check before the test starts – always match information to your ID card. Once the test starts, talk about the country that is considered your country in your mind. Do you really want to talk about Canada if you have only been there 3 years? Which country will provide you with lots of things to talk about?

  2. HI Liz,

    Thanks for Great Lessons – In Question 1 I doubted answer C . what could lead to answer A.? Will appreciate if i get this clarified. The Rest 2 i answered correct.

    • The question is about what the test can do. If we look at the passage, the information about a decade before is not what it can do, but what it might be able to do – it’s all about possibility rather than fact.

      • Austine says

        Thank you Liz . Your answer is very insightful. I thought ‘C’ was the correct answer but actually I am wrong. Thanks once again

  3. Hi Liz,
    I got 3/3
    thank you so much for the website


    How to choose 2 letters in reading module.
    I mean 2 letters for 1 question or 2 letters for 2 questions
    For example 25) E&B
    26) E&B
    25) E
    26) B
    which is correct please clarify me

    • Does it ask you to write two letters for one answer or one letter for one answer? If you write 25. E & B / 26. E & B – you will have written 4 letters.


  6. Thank you so much Liz. Initially I was too confused with the variety of questions in the Reading and writing sections and wanted a structure to be clear of all the kinds of questions that can be tested on the exam. I came across your site and you’ve really made my life easy. Can’t thank you enough Liz, your tips and the study material is amazing. Thank you so much!

    • I’m glad IELTS is becoming clearer for you 🙂

      • Poonam pandya says

        Thank you so much liz … I was getting a one or two incorrect answers in various types of questions and that was very disappointing.But now by practicing on these questions provided by you and using the effective tips you have given on various topics ,it is now possible for me to score better

  7. Such selfless work you are doing.. Thank you Liz

  8. I’ve got 3/3. Thank you Liz 🙂

  9. Nice selfless job Liz. A friend of mine recommended your blog and your tips have been amazing. Thanks
    I have been trying to make out why question 2 of the multiple choice passage should be option B instead of C,because the writer said,”several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, NONE has had the sensitivity to predict it’s onset”. If none can predict/estimate the onset but can diagnose, I think option C should be most appropriate.
    Please I need your clarification, I have been trying to get my head around it. Thank

    • You need to be really careful reading the statement “Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.”. The actual meaning is that until now (before today) blood tests could diagnose but not predict – NOW the tests can predict. The words “until now” change the whole meaning of the sentence. Don’t forget IELTS is a language test and it is testing your ability to see the meaning behind those words.

    • Albert Thomas says

      Thanks Liz, I was also wondering the same. Can you advise a few more tricky words like until now..which can change the entire meaning of the sentence

  10. Hi Liz,
    I request you to give me the link for this article.

    I would like to make a suggestion here. Please can you mention a hyperlink at the end of the passage so that student can read the entire article. I feel very anxious or rather incomplete at the end of the abstract, there is always an curiosity to read the original article.

    Thank you.

    • If the reading passage has been taking from one source, I always quote and link the authentic article. However, some of my reading passages have been created from a number of various sources and also altered. As with this one above.

  11. Scored 2/3
    Got number 2 wrong
    Lesson learnt
    Tomorrow is my speaking anyway

  12. Rajinder Singh Gill says

    thank you, its really valuable to me

  13. Awosanya Folake says

    I got 0/3 I have learnt my lesson and my exam is tomorrow .Thank you madam Liz

  14. Thank you ma for the lessons.
    Please I will like to seek clarification about questions 1, I think the right answer should be B, because froom the first statement ; the first blood test that may predict alhzeimer’s disease before the symptoms start, and the second sentence stated that the test can identify 10 chemicals 2-3years before the onset of symptoms. Onset of symptoms is not synonymous with illness.

  15. Heena Ahuja says

    Dear Liz,
    I love to see your videos. Your explanations are very precise, easily understandable and precticaly useful. Thanks.

  16. had the same mistake. Thanks for your explanation

  17. fazalbangash says


  18. I am always missing one in almost all of the practice items on this blog. What might my problem?

    • There might not be any problem unless you are aiming for band score 9. If your aim is band 6 or 7 or even 8, then getting one wrong is normal.

  19. Liz, thank you, I just love the way you explain everything. It makes the preparation time more positive and easier 😀 I have my test next week and need to get a score of 6, which I think is possible. I live in London now since 6 month, therefore I guess with learning the different techniques, I should pass it 🙂 Thank you for all your effort on this website.

  20. thank you Liz i dont know how i can thank you,you do an incredible job here for many people only God will reward you.

  21. Your blog is really helpful in my on-going self-study. I am so glad i found your website. I hope it will remain here forever and continue to help people like us struggling to understand english well. God bless you always and more power 🙂

  22. Maria Mascarenhas says

    Your efforts are appreciated ma’am Liz . Your lessons are extremely helpful and simple to understand. Love the way you grouped the type of questions for reading followed by practice questions. I am so glad I came across your page.
    Big thank you once again.

    Regards and blessings

  23. I got through IELTS general module.. purely by GOD’s grace…….thank you jesus….overall 8 L:9, R:8, W:7, S:7

  24. Hi Liz,
    You are simply amazing. Thank you so much for your time and efforts to make people successful in IELTS through your extremely helpful tips. Moreover, at no cost.
    Remain blessed.

  25. Shamik Ray says

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks for all your generous helps.I am very confused on question 1.
    Paragraph 1 is clearly saying “but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s a decade earlier”

    Then why option c) a decade before is wrong?

    Please help.

  26. I got all correct answers. Thanks liz for these amazing review materials that you’re giving for free. I hope you continue to update your website to help more people like us.

  27. Hi!
    I am a Doctor so I’m getting slightly confused by the options in question 1. Symptoms are patient’s complaints and the test is used to diagnose the disease before symptoms occur, but doesn’t that mean that the illness is already there? Hence the appearance of chemicals associated with the disease in the blood? Kindly elaborate on this, thanks.

    • Don’t over think. This is about paraphrasing and selecting the most likely answer. It can’t be “b” because that means two or three years after the start of the symptoms and it can’t be “c”. Therefore “a” is the correct answer. It is not about your own personal knowledge of medicine but about what is written and the answer options.
      All the best

  28. Got 3/3. I hope this will be the same case as when the real exam comes.

  29. Hello Liz,
    Im really confused about question number2 the answer should be C because the passage says that the test can diagnose the disease but has low sensitivity in predicting its onset, so how did you choose answer B?


    • In the passage, it states “but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.” The words “until now” mean that other tests couldn’t predict its onset but this test can.
      All the best

  30. I was also in thinking that answer would be’ c’ for the question no. 1
    But author said ‘it can identify decade before’ thats means it just showing possibilities not presently conducting

    • Actually it doesn’t say that. It says “it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.” which means it might be able to in the future (it’s a possibility not a certainty). Always check for traps like that.
      All the best

      • Yes, exactly what i mean.. Thnx

      • Thank you Liz.. scored 2/3 and got trapped for the word “May” as you explained here.

      • Nana Yaw says

        Hi Liz

        first of all, I give you all the accolades for a great job done.

        Now to my grievance, Q1 did not say emphatically that it predicts but it said it “can” predict, and in the passage we have “it might be able to predict”. So my question is, is “can” and “might” not SYNONYMOUS?
        If it is synonymous then i think the answer for Q1 ought to be C

        Please clear my doubt.

  31. Hello
    Thank you for your sharing your experiences with others

    I want to ask about reading and analysing questios tips

    For example , if I am working on MCQ from 1-6 , should I read an analyze all the 6 questions at the same time , first , and go to the passege to find the answer for each ( one-one by one ) ?
    Just read and analyse the first one and search for the answer , and after that start working on the second one ?

  32. hi mam liz
    your bltogs and videos are really helpful for the candidates who want attempt ielt test kindly tell me how to have grip on grammar help me with this

  33. Hi Liz,

    I have done all the practice tests. What I have understood is each piece of word or information is the most important.

    Your reading skills and tips are too easy to understand and to follow. Awesome!
    Thanking you so much, you have a great heart to place these valuable tips for free. God Bless.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!