When lack of money prevents us from having something we want very much, it is tempting to dream of being rich. It is hard to keep in mind that Americans are already wealthy compared with people in many other parts of the world. Our modern conveniences would have been the envy of kings in times past. Just the same, most people would like a larger. Whether most people are capable of making a lot of money is another question. People in average circumstances can often get ahead through education, hard work, and careful money management. But getting ahead is not the same as actually becoming rich. Only a small percentage of Americans could be called truly wealthy. Some people joined this group from ordinary beginnings. Usually they have done it by carefully riding some major development in the economy on its way up. In the past, great fortunes have been made in oil, steel, and railroads. Recently, some people have made millions in computers and real estate. Usually, though, it takes money to make money. Big investors often start rich and then get richer. Most of us cannot strike oil or start the next new technical breakthrough. Most people are not born into wealthy families, either. In America it certainly is possible to become more prosperous. But unless someone wins the lottery, real wealth is not very likely to come along.
It hurts to look at a paycheck and see how much of it was taken out for income tax. That money could have paid some important bills. It is easy to dream of doing away with the income tax and keeping all that money for ourselves.
If there were no income tax, however, the government would have a lot less to spend. The money we send to Washington seems to fall into a black hole and disappear. Actually, though, many people depend on it. The money pays the salaries of government employees, who provide services from drug control to highway building. It supports our military defense. Also, much of the money is returned to people in the form of student loans, veterans’ benefits, and payments to farmers, for example. The government has been working to cut its budget lately. With every cut, someone complains loudly.
“After the baby is born, things will never be the same.” People say that to expectant parents-and they are right! It will be a long time before those parents can again sleep late in the morning. A baby wakes early, screaming for food. The toddler thinks 6 a.m. is the right time to start the day. After that come early school mornings. It will be years before the parents can go anywhere together on the spur of the moment. Every outing must be planned ahead so that a baby-sitter can be found. The budget will be stretched, the work load will get heavier, and by the time parents can be alone, they may be too tired to talk. Still, people want children. Why? One reason is that children are a link to the future. They will probably be here after the parents are gone. In addition, their children will live after them. A deeper reason for wanting children, perhaps, is that the more people we have to love, the more fulfilled our lives can be. By giving to a child, people enrich their own lives. In the end, we live not only for ourselves, but for others.
Every week millions of people buy lottery tickets, hoping their small investment will make them rich. They often believe that if they won a million dollars, their troubles would be over. If they actually got the money, would their dreams come true?
Whether people live “happily ever after” when they win the lottery probably depends on what their dreams are. Money can buy some things but not others.
Cash buys houses, cars, and college educations; it pays for medical treatment and clears up overdue bills. Money also purchases travel and new experiences. A million dollars could allow someone to quit a tough, boring job and try for something better. It could provide a feeling of security.
In this task type, which often appears in the exam, students are given a text with 5 to 7 paragraph headings missing. They must select the right paragraph headings from a list. There are always more paragraph headings than paragraphs (so that students can’t fill in the last one by a process of elimination).
Description of the task
In this task type students have to find which of the paragraphs in the text has information meaning the same as a given sentence, e.g. if Question 1 says “Bullets are becoming more dangerous all the time” and paragraph C has a sentence that says “The deadliness of bullets is rising” then the first answer is 1. C.
This task is always combined with one or two different tasks that involve reading the same text in more detail, e.g. True/ False/ Not Given or gap filling tasks.
Description of the task:
In this task type, which often appears in the exam, you are given a text with 5 to 7 paragraph headings missing. You must select the right paragraph headings from a list. Depending on the length and difficulty of the text and the number of paragraph headings, you will have between 5 and 8 minutes to do this task. There are always more paragraph headings than paragraphs, so you won’t need to use all of the paragraph headings that are given. There will always also be some other different reading tasks for detailed understanding to do with the same text.
The speaking part is usually a conversation about you, your plans for the future, your past studies, the reason for which you are taking the IELTS, your country, your town. Therefore be prepared for these subjects. You should prepare something to say about them. In addition, the examiner will show you a card with an argument you are supposed to discuss. The thing you have to remember is: use easy words and expressions if you are not very confident and everything will go well. To be able to comunicate what you think is far more important than doing it with a perfect English accent. Therefore, don’t worry if your pronunciation is not exactly a British one. That’s not the main point. Your understanding of what the examiner says and the ability to comunicate without grammatical mistakes is more important. The conversation usually lasts 15-20 minutes and will be recorded. Don’t panic about that!
There are two writing tasks and you can use an hour to write both. The first is an analysis of a chart, a graph, a table or something similar. The second is a composition about an argument of general interest. It is suggested that you spend 20 minutes on the first task and 40 on the second. I always used more than 20 minutes for the first and about 30 for the second, but you have to decide on your own strategy on the basis of your abilities. Use your time in an intelligent way: remember you have to compose two different tasks and you can’t devote too much time to the first (or the second). You can decide to start with the analysis or with the composition. It’s up to you. However, remember to read both titles before you start writing. In this way your subconscious will start thinking about the second task while you are writing the first.
The listening part of the test is the first you will encounter. It is divided into four sections with increasing difficulty. The main problem is that you will be allowed to listen to the cassette just once. Usually you have to write something you hear (a telephone number, an address, a name, etc.). Some questions are multiple choice. The total number of questions you have to answer is 40. More than 30 anwers right means a good mark, but sometimes you may get an acceptable mark even with 27 or 28 correct answers. The first suggestion is the following: write the answers as you hear them. Waiting could be a mistake because later you will not to remember the answer, particularly if you have to write something, and you won’t get the chance to listen to the same piece again. You will have the chance to read the following questions before listening each section. Use this chance: in this way you will be able to concentrate your attention just to the part you are interested in. In fact you do not have to understand everything if you want a good mark. You need to understand just what answers you have to give. Do not lose time trying to understand everything. You always have to know what question you are waiting for: when you hear the answer write it at once or, if you do not understand it, start reading the next question and waiting for the answer.