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This paper discusses the findings of a cultural content analysis conducted on the reading component of
twenty IELTS exams. A total of sixty reading passages were examined for cultural capital. The study found
that, on average, one reading test contained fourteen cultural references in terms of a variety of cultural
elements including cultural objects and historical settings. Geographically speaking, the readings referred
to 139 places or regions around the world with only five references pertaining to the Middle East and none
to the United Arab Emirates where this study was conducted.