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The Multitasking Debate Unveiled: IELTS Reading Passage With Questions & Answers

Updated on 08 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


In an age where the demands on our time and attention are ever-increasing, the ability to multitask is often heralded as a vital skill. However, this subject is not without controversy. Some argue that multitasking enhances productivity and efficiency, while others believe it diminishes the quality of our work and impairs cognitive function. This passage explores the multifaceted debate on multitasking, offering valuable insights for IELTS learners to consider and evaluate.


Multitasking, the act of performing several tasks simultaneously, is a concept that has permeated our work ethos and personal lives. With the proliferation of digital technology, the ability to engage in multiple activities at once is often seen as a valuable skill. However, recent studies and expert analyses suggest that the human brain may not be as adept at handling multiple tasks as previously thought.

Neurological research indicates that what we perceive as multitasking is often rapid task-switching, which can lead to increased cognitive load and reduced efficiency. The brain's prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions, can become overloaded during this process, causing a decrease in performance quality and an increase in stress levels.

Despite the scientific community's growing skepticism about the benefits of multitasking, many industries continue to encourage this practice, equating it with dynamism and productivity. The debate rages on, with compelling arguments on both sides, leaving us to ponder the true impact of multitasking on our lives.

Questions & Answers:

Q1: What is multitasking?

A. Focusing on one task at a time

B. Performing several tasks in sequence

C. Performing several tasks simultaneously

D. Avoiding tasks altogether

A1: C. Performing several tasks simultaneously

Explanation: Multitasking refers to the act of engaging in more than one activity at the same time, which aligns with option C.

Q2: According to the passage, what has research suggested about multitasking?

A. It is a myth

B. It is synonymous with rapid task-switching

C. It is the most efficient way to work

D. It is only suitable for complex tasks

A2: B. It is synonymous with rapid task-switching

Explanation: The passage explains that multitasking, as we know it, may actually be rapid task-switching, leading to a cognitive load that can reduce efficiency.

Q3: True or False: The prefrontal cortex is responsible for simple tasks.

A. True

B. False

A3: B. False

Explanation: The prefrontal cortex is in charge of executive functions, which are complex and include managing attention, behavior, and decision-making, not simple tasks.

Q4: Fill in the blank: Many industries continue to encourage multitasking, equating it with ________ and productivity.

A. laziness

B. dynamism

C. simplicity

D. inefficiency

A4: B. dynamism

Explanation: The passage states that industries view multitasking as a dynamic approach to work, thus the correct word to fill in the blank is 'dynamism.'

Q5: What does the debate over multitasking center around?

A. Its impact on cognitive function

B. Its ability to reduce stress

C. Its benefit to the tech industry

D. Its role in leisure activities

A5: A. Its impact on cognitive function

Explanation: The debate focuses on whether multitasking is beneficial or detrimental to our cognitive function, as detailed in the passage.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Reading Exam:

Tip 1: Understand the Context - Before answering, ensure you grasp the overall context of the passage. This will help with both comprehension and the accuracy of your answers.

Tip 2: Look for Keywords - Keywords in the questions can usually be found back in the passage and will guide you to the correct part of the text for the answer.

Tip 3: Don't Overthink - Your first instinct is often correct, especially if you have understood the passage well. Avoid overthinking, which can lead to second-guessing.

Tip 4: Manage Your Time - Allocate your time wisely. Spend no more than one minute per question so you have time to review your answers.

Tip 5: Practice Active Reading - While practicing, engage with the text by summarizing paragraphs, noting down key points, and predicting questions that could be asked.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.