mental gymnastics ielts reading answers

Mental Gymnastics IELTS Reading Answers - Samples

Updated on 17 August, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency test that is taken for study, migration, and work. IELTS is divided into four sections: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The reading section is designed to assess a candidate's English reading skills. Here is a guide towards the mental gymnastics IELTS reading answers along with a glimpse into the passage and also the questions. This will enable better practice before the test.

Mental Gymnastics Reading Passage Samples

A: At the Barclays Bank head office in London, the working day has just commenced, with 17 staff members having the breakfast buffet, just as Sebastian Bailey, a young psychologist, comes into the room to start the framing session of the morning. However, this is not any conventional training program. He is not present for helping them build their management or financial abilities further; his presence is necessary for helping them suitably exercise their most important body parts, i.e. their brains. 

B: The workout of the day has been set up by Mind Gym, a company based in London. This is named as having presence and comprises a highly intensive session of 90 minutes where the concept, which is abstract, is steadily delineated into a more concrete bunch of feelings, behaviors, and mental patterns/tricks. At one stage in the proceedings, instructions are given to all the bankers to close their eyes before attempting to visualize how they fill up the room and then the entire building. The session concludes with everyone walking throughout the room, executing several presence levels. Some are downright excessive performances, while some are understated in nature. 

C: Making fun of the exercise is the easier part. However, mental workouts of a similar type are steadily taking place throughout seminar rooms of corporate companies worldwide. The Mind Gym itself has about 70 unique corporate sessions including those related to creativity to enhance logical thinking, mental stamina, and zoom learning as we know it. There are other entities that tap into analogies linked to exercises, providing courses on neurobics with certain titles like cerebral fitness, and brain sets. There are also books that have titles such as Pumping Iron and come with several brain teasers which enable flexing of the mind as they claim the same. There are software solutions that serve to boost spatial awareness and memory. 

D: Irrespective of the type and method, the sales pitches of these companies have universal aspects or similarities. They promise routines that chisel and engage the mind or the brain, similar to training and toning the body with proper workouts. They also state that their workouts for the brain are based on scientific studies and research along with deep thinking on the functioning of the brain. 

E: One such entity, namely Brainergy from Cambridge in Massachusetts has a motto-Because your grey matter matters. They state that studies have revealed mental exercises can bring changes in brain anatomy and brain chemistry which in turn increases mental efficiency and clarity. Neuroscience is cutting-edge. The Mind Gym, on its official portal, quoted one of the most famous British neuroscientists, Susan Greenfield, stating that it is a lot like visiting the gymnasium if the brain is exercised and it will only witness growth as a result. 

F: The Mind Gym had planned originally to conduct these sessions at health clubs locally, till the founders understood where the growth potential lay for the business. Contemporary business entities require sharp, flexible, and fast thinkers and will tap into almost any option for making this a reality, particularly if it appears as a swift solution, backed up by scientific research. However, are neurobic brain workouts really supported by scientific findings? The bigger question is do human beings actually require the same? 

G: There is nothing cutting-edge or technologically advanced about the recommendations of the Keep Your Brain Alive co-author, Lawrence Katz. A Duke University Medical School (North Carolina) neurobiologist, Katz states that similar to how many in the country do not get sufficient physical workouts, there are many people without suitable stimulation mentally for keeping their brains and thinking abilities in shape. Hence, with people busier than ever with their professional, personal and household duties, a large part of these activities are routine or repetitive in nature. Leisure time, if any, is usually spent with the television and other such activities. 

H: Ponder over the possibilities of reading a book not normally, but completely upside-down. How about brushing or writing with the other hand? How about shutting your eyes and feeling your path through a room or place? You can also sniff an essence while listening to brain-stimulating music. Katz states that this should be anything that helps you disrupt your regular routine mentally. This will keep your brain stimulated and invigorated, encouraging more brain cells to build newer connections and churn out the substances which help in the sustenance and feeding of circuits in the brain, i.e. neuroteophins

I: Up to one point, Katz states that it is mostly about What I’m really talking about is brain maintenance rather than bulking up your IQ. If we talk about neurobics, then it basically means enabling the fulfillment of one’s potential by the brain although it cannot lead to the development of a super-sharp brain. Can it enable the achievement of any such possibility? The brain is the foremost organ with adaptability to whatever demands we put on it. Animal brain tissue testing has demonstrated how the synapses that link nerve cells (vital for reasoning and learning abilities) can be made sharper through electrical stimulation. Brain scans also indicate how we majorly use up most of our brain when we are undertaking unique, new, or intriguing activities as compared to our regular or repetitive ones. Rats who were bred in cages that were bright and with suitable toys have higher neural links as compared to those in cages that are bare, indicating how variety or sheer novelty can lead to better brain development. Neurologists have repeatedly demonstrated how people who suddenly lose out on brain cells at the time of a stroke often build newer connections for making up for these losses, particularly if they are going through widespread therapies for tackling paralysis. 

J: University of Bristol educational psychologist, Guy Claxton, however, rebuffs a majority of these perspectives as neuro-babble. Yet, there are particular skills that human beings can learn in his opinion. Some of the preferred traits such as flexibility, creativity, and also motivation are not fixed as most people imagine. They are habits of thought that may be learned over time. The issue according to Claxton is that most people do not receive suitable training in building up these vita skills. People usually develop their personal mental blueprints for taking care of their jobs and do not overtly learn anything as such. Any skill like brushing or driving ultimately goes out of the conscious mind since human beings cannot view their habits of thought at some point. Hence, the mental resources or tools attain a layer of invisibility for human beings. 

K: The Mind Gym has Claxton functioning as its academic advisor. Unsurprisingly, the company advocates his perceptions, i.e. that human beings should get back their patterns of thought to a level of higher consciousness, thereby enhancing awareness of the intricate aspects of thinking. This is the solution for being able to practice superior patterns of thought until they transform into completely newer habits. This is akin to visualizing not a gym class or session, but a coaching session for football or tennis if we were to use a different metaphor. 

L: In actual practice, this training may be routine and repetitive. For instance, for one of the eight unique workouts for creativity available at the Mind Gym (called creativity for logical thinkers), one of the biggest blueprints is creating a suggestion that is reasonable and then instantly coming up with an opposite suggestion. Hence, suppose you are creating a whole new item or pizza for some time with a certain set of toppings and then another one without any toppings at all or different toppings for example. 

M: As per Bailey’s opinion, this is a simple enough method. However, it is astonishing that we do not have many of these tricks to use when we have to demonstrate our creativity. Bailey opines that people usually tend to call themselves uncreative without understanding that they can use techniques used similarly by creative individuals. Bailey also feels that the objective is to steadily usher people into six or seven tricks or blueprints in one session, making what was an unachievable and intimidating task become a set of easily implementable and learnable patterns. He also talks of how genius cannot be achieved through shortcuts. Some people do have faster brain circuits or bigger capacities for handling information. Yet, with suitable training, people can enhance how they use their brains and more efficiently at that. 

N: It is tough to furnish proof of the training methods attaining their intended results. Is it possible to track any changes in the creativity of one’s employees or their memory-based faculties? Yet, personnel has reported that these classes have benefited them, opening them up to newer possibilities. Hence, psychological or neurological training or stimulation makes a compelling case for itself. People are willing to bet on the same by paying money for learning the proper tricks of the trade. Claxton also feels that educational institutions like universities and schools should deploy more time towards teaching basic skills related to thinking; rather, they should avoid cramming younger minds with figures, facts, and other information, hoping that suitable thinking patterns form over time or undergo absorption by osmosis as we call it.

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Mental Gymnastics Reading Questions & Answers


Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1 In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage


1. Mind Gym coach instructed employees to imagine that they are in the building.

2. Mind Gym uses a similar marketing theory that is used all round

3. Susan Greenfield is the founder of Mind Gym.

4.  All business and industries are using Mind Gym’s session globally.

5.  According to Mind Gym, extensive scientific background supports their mental training sessions.

Questions 6-13

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-D) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-D in boxes 6-13 on your answer sheet.

A. Guy Claxton

B. Sebastian Bailey

C. Susan Greenfield

D. Lawrence Katz

NB: You may use any letter more than once 

6. inspiration to keep our brain fit. We do not have enough

7. The more you exercise your brain like exercise in the gym, the more your brain will grow.

8.  Exercise can keep someone’s brain healthy instead of improving IQ.

9.  It is valuable for schools to teach students about creative skills besides basic known knowledge.

10. We can develop new neuron connections when we lose old connections via certain treatment.

11. People usually mark themselves as not creative before figuring out there are approaches for each person.

12.  An instructor in Mind Gym who guided the employees to exercise.

13.  The majority of people don’t have appropriate skills training for the brain.


1. NO7. C
2. YES8. D
3. NO9. A
4. NO10. D
6. D12. B

13. A


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