IELTS Reading – Matching Headings – Exercise 2

Do you Live in a Burglar-Friendly House?


A It’s the last thing you want to hear when you’ve just been burgled but the awful truth is that if you’ve been burgled once you’ll probably be burgled again. In fact it’s likely to happen another four or five times. Why? Because some of us have “burglar-friendly” houses.
B Burglars think that the bigger the house the richer the owners. “You can’t do much about the size of your house,” says Professor Pease of Huddersfield University, “but if it’s large, you need to be even more careful than if it’s small.”
C You should take a good look at your house – – not as you normally do, but as a burglar would. If you were a burglar, which home would you choose to rob, – a house with a shiny new car parked outside or one with an old vehicle? Anything which signals nice possessions and money will certainly catch the burglar’s eye.
D People may complain about their nosy neighbours, but there’s no better way of stopping burglars than having watchful neighbours around. If a house is far away from others, or hidden from the road, it is more attractive to burglars, who think they can get in and out without being noticed. So a burglar alarm is a good idea. And remember, you may get privacy from a tall hedge or a high wall – but so do burglars.
E Ian Stephen, who works with the Scottish prison service, believes that you’re more at risk if your house looks nice. “Window-boxes, nice curtains and beautifully painted walls all tell the burglar that you’re proud of your home and care about your possessions and are more likely to have nice things in your house,” he says. He advises people to try to make their homes look as plain as possible and not to draw attention to any new things they have bought by leaving the empty boxes next to the dustbin.
F People often leave a light on when they go out. “But be sensible,” advises Ian Stephen. “Don’t leave a light on in the hall as it never makes the burglars believe that you’re in. Have you ever heard of a family enjoying an evening at home in the hall? Leave it on in the living room.” An open window is also an open invitation to burglars. If you sometimes forget to shut and lock doors and windows, stick a note on the inside of the front door to remind you. And make sure any ladders are put away and not left outside where burglars can use them.
G By leaving newspapers and letters sticking out of the letter-box, or full milk bottles on the doorstep, you are giving burglars the green light to break into your home. Similarly, if you’re away from the house at regular times – out at work or doing the shopping – then your home is also in danger of being burgled. Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house at these times.
H It’s a good idea to take photos of your valuable possessions. By doing that, if you’re burgled, you’ll be able to identify stolen property, which could lead to the thief being put behind bars. It is also possible to label valuable items such as TVs and videos with your postcode. If they are stolen, this will make them easier to find. One more good idea is to ask for a crime prevention officer to visit your home and identify weak points in its security.


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IELTS Reading – Matching Headings – Exercise 1


A In Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Wrong Men, Manny Ballestero is a musician who lives in New York. Life isn’t easy for Manny. His wife is ill and he has bills to pay. Finally he is forced to cash in an insurance policy. When he goes to the local insurance office, the employees seem strangely nervous. Manny looks just like thief who robbed them the year before. While Manny is waiting, one of them makes a phone call. Several minutes later the police arrive. They arrest Manny and take him to prison.
B The film is a true story of mistaken identity, but with a happy ending. Manny is eventually released. However, what the story shows is that our memory of a face or an event is not always perfect, even in an extreme situation. So just how reliable is it?
C ‘Evidence suggests that our recall of a frightening event is stronger,’ says Professor Frank Turner. ‘But even in these situations our memory can be distorted by certain details. For example, if the crime involves a gun, a witness will probably focus on the weapon. As a result, other things are not easy to remember. Memories of a criminal’s face, what they say or do, or of other people present are less reliable.’
D Experiments have also shown that our ability to identify people often depends on how we saw them. For example, a three-quarter view of a face is much easier to remember than a profile. And then there is the amount of disguise. You’ll still have a good chance of identifying someone if they’re wearing glasses. But if they have a wig or a hat on, you’ll only have a 70% chance of recognition. If you then add or subtract a beard, it drops to 30%.
E In fact, all kinds of things can confuse our memory. In one famous case, a scientist was arrested after a woman in New York picked him out in an identity parade. She was convinced he was the man who had broken into her house. However, the scientist was released a few hours later. Why? He had a very good alibi. He was actually on a live television show while the crime was in progress. The woman was watching the show when the burglar attacked her. What this proves is that our memories are sometimes mixed up, making a victim’s account of a crime even less reliable. When it comes to identifying people, we will more likely choose the wrong person.

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IELTS Reading – Family

As said earlier in the post IELTS Vocabulary – Family, this is one of the most common topics in both Speaking and Writing Tests. This is because IELTS focuses on social problems, and family is the fundamental unit of any kind of society.

The followings are some articles that I compiled to help you learn more about family-related issues. They might be too difficult for you at the beginning as there are many academic words and complex sentences. “No pain, no gain”. Reading the academic articles helps to improve your vocabulary and your writing. Believe me, the more you read, the easier it gets.

1. Marriage and Family

This material consists of many articles about marriage and family. It would be great if you have time to read all of them. You can also choose to read the topic of your interest. I would recommend the first section “Marriage and Family in Global Perspective” as it will give you an overview of this social institution around the world.

2. Family Influences on Delinquency

This article discusses family factors that may have influence on juvenile delinquency (teenage crime), such as poor parent-child relations, family size, etc.

3. How we learn to behave 

This is an article  (p.20 & 21) in the book “Academic Encounters”. It explains two important ways of socialisation: by sanctions and by modelling.

Here are the detailed steps on how to read:

  • Step 1: Read the articles and underline main ideas. You do not need to understand every words in order to comprehend the whole article. Try to guess the meaning of new words from the context. However, you would need to look up the meaning of some key words which are repeated many times.
  • Step 2: Write a summary of the article you just read. This is the best way to memorise knowledge while also practising your writing skills.