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Passage 1: The megafires of California

Questions 1-6: Complete the notes below.

1-2. Characteristics of wildfires and wildfire conditions today compared to the past:

– Occurrence: more frequent

– Temperature:  hotter

– Speed: faster

– Movement: 1…….more unpredictably

– Size of fires: 2……greater on average than two decades ago.

1. At  the  end  of  paragraph  1,  the  writer  indicates  that  “The  wildfires  themselves,  experts  say,  are generally hotter, faster, and spread more erratically than in the past.”

–     unpredictably=erratically

=>ANSWER: spread

2. At the beginning of paragraph 2, the writer says that “Megafires, also  called “siege fires” are the increasingly frequent blazes that burn 50,000 acres or more – 10 times the size of the average forest fire of 20 years ago.

–     20years = 2 decades

=>ANSWER: 10 times

3-6. Reasons wildfires cause more damage today compared to the past:

– Rainfall: 3……average

– More brush to act as 4…..

– Increase in yearly temperature

– Extended fire 5…….

– More building of 6……..in vulnerable places

3. In paragraph 3, the writer says that “One explanation for the trend to more super hot fires is that the region,  which  usually has  dry summers,  has  had significantly  below  normal  precipitation  in  many recent years.”

–     rainfall=precipitation

–     average=normal

=>ANSWER: below

4. In  paragraph  3,  “The  unintentional  consequence  has  been  to  halt  the  natural  eradication  of underbrush, now the primary fuel for mega fires.”   In the past, the US Forest Service had a policy of cutting this ‘brush’ – the plants that grow beneath the trees.  However, the Service did not realize then that if this brush was eradicated naturally by fires, then this natural process would be more effective. Without realising this, as a result of their policy, the brush grew more quickly and strongly, providing more fuel to start fires.

=>ANSWER: fuel

5. In   paragraph   4,   the   writer   indicates   that   “Three   other   factors   contribute   to   the  trend,   they add…Second  is  fire  seasons  that  on average  are  78  days longer  than  they were  20  years  ago.”  This means that fire seasons are extended.

–     extended=longer

=>ANSWER: seasons

6. At  the  end  of  paragraph  4,  the  writer  says  that  “Third  is  increased  construction  of  homes  in wooded areas.”

–     more=increased

–     building=construction

=>ANSWER: homes

Questions 7-13: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1 ?

7. The amount of open space in California has diminished over the last ten years.

Keywords: space, California, diminished, 10 years.

In  paragraph  6,  “In  California,  where  population  growth  has  averaged  more  than  600,000  a  year for at  least  a decade,  more  residential housing is  being built. What  once was  open  space  is  now residential  homes…”  This  means  that  the  open  space  in  California  has  diminished  over  the  last  ten years because there have been more residential homes. So, the statement is TRUE.


8. Many experts believe California has made little progress in readying itself to fight fires.

Keywords: experts, California, little progress, fight fires.

In paragraph 7, the writer argues that “That said, many experts give California high marks for making   progress   on   preparedness   in   recent   years,   after   some   of   the   largest   fires   in   state history scorched  thousands  of  acres,  burned  thousands  of  homes,  and  killed  numerous  people.”  This that  many  experts  appreciate  California ‟s  making  progress  on  preparedness  in  recent  years. The people involved are now fighting fires “better than previously”.  So, the statement is FALSE.

–     readying itself=preparedness


9. Personnel in the past have been criticised for mishandling fire containment.

Keywords: personnel, criticised, mishandling, containment

In  paragraph  7,  the  writer  argues  that  “Stung  in  the  past  by  criticism  of  bungling that  allowed fires to spread when they might have been contained, personnel are meeting the peculiar challenges of neighborhood – and canyon – hoping fires better than previously, observers say.” So, it is true that personnel in the past have been criticised for mishandling fire containment.

–     mishandling=bungling


10. California has replaced a range of firefighting tools.

Keywords: replace, firefighting tools, California

In  paragraph  9,  “Besides  providing  money  to  upgrade  the  fire  engines  that  must  traverse  the mammoth state and wind along serpentine canyon roads, the state has invested in better command- and-control facilities as well as in the strategies to run them.” This means that California has replaced a range of firefighting tools. So, the statement is TRUE.

–     replaced=upgrade

–     tools=facilities


11. More firefighters have been hired to improve fire-fighting capacity.

Keywords: more firefighters, hired, improve

In  this  passage,  the  writer  mentions  the  improvement  in  firefighting  tools,  but  does  not  mention  whether more firefighters have been hired to improve fire-fighting capacity. So, the statement is NOT  GIVEN.


12. Citizens and government groups disapprove of the efforts of different states and agencies working together.

Keywords: government, disapprove, working together.

At the end of paragraph 9, the writer argues that “There is a sense among both government and residents  that  the  speed,  dedication,  and  coordination  of  firefighters  from  several  states  and jurisdictions  are  resulting  in  greater  efficiency  than  in  past  „siege  fire‟  situations.”  So,  this  means that  both  citizens  and  government  groups  appreciate  the  efforts  of  different  states  and  agencies working together. The statement is FALSE.

–     agencies=jurisdictions

–     citizens=residents

–     working together=coordination


13. Randy Jacobs believes that loss of life from fires will continue at the same levels, despite changes made.

Keywords: Randy Jacobs, loss of life, same levels

At  the  end  of  the  passage,  Randy  Jacobs  says  that  “Notwithstanding  all  the  damage  that  will continue  to  be  caused  by  wildfires,  we  will  no  longer  suffer  the  loss  of  life  endured  in  the  past because of the fire prevention and firefighting measures that have been put in place”. This means that, thank’s to the fire prevention and firefighting measures, we will no longer suffer the loss of life from fires like we did in the past. So, the statement is FALSE.



Passage 2: Second nature

Questions 14-18: Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

14-15. Psychologists have traditionally believed that a personality 14…..was impossible and that by a 15….., a person‟s character tends to be fixed.

Keywords: personality, impossible, character, fixed

In the first paragraph, the author says that “Psychologists have long held that a person‟s character cannot  undergo  a  transformation  in  any meaningful  way  and  that  the  key  traits  of  personality  are determined at a very young age.”

–     personality=character

–     be impossible=cannot

–     fixed=determined

=>ANSWER: 14. transformation

15. young age

16. One of the easiest qualities to acquire is….

Keywords: easiest quality, acquire

In paragraph A, “Some qualities are less challenging to develop than others, optimism being one of them.”

–     less challenging to develop=easiest to acquire

=>ANSWER: optimism

17-18. However, regardless of the quality, it is necessary to learn a wide variety of different 17….. in order  for  a  new  quality  to  develop;  for  example,  a  person  must  understand  and  feel  some  18…..  in order to increase their happiness.

Keywords: learn different, new quality, understand and feel.

At the end of paragraph A, “However, developing qualities requires  mastering a range of skills which  are  diverse  and  sometimes  surprising.  For  example,  to  bring  more  joy  and  passion  into  your life, you must be open to experiencing negative emotions.”

–     a (wide) variety of=a range of

–     feel=experience

–     happiness=joy

=>ANSWER: 17. skills

18. negative emotions

Questions 19-22: Match each statement with the correct person, A-G.

19. People must accept that they do not know much when first trying something new.

Keywords: not know much, new

At the end of paragraph  F, Todd Kashdan says “As a newcomer,  you also  have to  tolerate and laugh  at your own  ignorance. You must  be willing to accept  the negative feelings that  come  your way.”

–     When first trying something new ~ As a newcomer

–     accept=tolerate

–     accept that they do not know much ~ tolerate your own ignorance


20. It is important for people to actively notice when good things happen.

Keywords: important, notice, good things.

In paragraph D, “She (Suzanne Segerstrom)  recommends  you train  yourself to pay attention to good fortune by writing down three positive things that come about each day.”

–     actively notice=pay attention to

–     good things=positive things

–     happen=come about


21. Courage can be learned once its origins in a sense of responsibility are understood.

Keywords: courage, be learned, origins, understood

In  paragraph  H,  “According  to  Cynthia  Pury,  a  psychologist  at  Clemson  University,  Pedeleose’s story proves  the  point  that  courage  is  not  motivated  by  fearlessness,  but  by  moral  obligation.  Pury also believes that people can acquire courage.”

–     learn=acquire

–     responsibility=moral obligation


22. It is possible to overcome shyness when faced with the need to speak in public.

In  paragraph  B,  “Inherently  introverted,  he  (Christopher  Peterson)  realised  early  on  that  as  an academic, his reticence would prove disastrous in the lecture hall. So he learned to be more outgoing and entertain his classes. ‘Now my extroverted behaviour is spontaneous,’ he says”

–     reticence=shyness

–     overcome shyness ~ learn to be more outgoing

–     faced  with  the  need  to  speak  in  public  ~  as  an  academic  (he  had  to  speak  in  lecture  halls  and classes)


Questions 23-26: Reading Passage has eight sections, A-H.

23. a mention of how rational thinking enabled someone to achieve physical goals.

Keywords: rational thinking, achieve goals

In  paragraph  E,  “The  physical  stamina  required  for  this  sport  is  intense  but  the  psychological demands are even more  overwhelming. Streeter learned to untangle her fears from  her judgment of what  her  body  and  mind  could  do.”  By judging what  her  body and  mind  could  do,  Streeter  could achieve goals about freediving.

–     rational thinking=judgment


24. an account of how someone overcame a sad experience.

Keyword: overcame, sad.

In paragraph C, “He (David Fajgenbaum) was preparing for university, when he had an  accident that  put  an  end  to  his  sports  career…He  launched  a  support  group  to  help  others  in  similar situations. He took action despite his own pain – a typical response of an optimist.”


25. a description of how someone decided to rethink their academic career path.

Keywords: rethink, academic career path

In paragraph G, “He (Mauro Zappaterra) was miserable as his research wasn‟t compatible with his  curiosity  about  healing.  He  finally  took  a  break  and  during  eight  months  in  Santa  Fe,  Zappaterra learned about alternative healing techniques not taught at Harvard. When he got back, he switched labs to study how cerebrospinal fluid nourishes the developing nervous system.”


26. an example of how someone risked his career out of a sense of duty.

Keywords: risked his career, duty.

In  paragraph  H,  “The  new  manager  was  intimidating  staff  so  Pedeleose  carefully  recorded  each instance  of  bullying  and  eventually  took  the  evidence  to  a  senior  director,  knowing  his  own  job security would be threatened….Pedeleose’s story proves the point  that courage is  not  motivated by fearlessness, but by moral obligation.”

–     a sense of duty=moral obligation



Passage 3: When evolution runs backwards

Questions 27-31: Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

27. When discussing the theory developed by Louis Dollo, the writer says that

Keywords:  theory; Louis Dollo

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  says  that  “a  Belgian  palaeontologist  called  Louis  Dollo  was  studying fossil  records  and  coming  to  the  opposite  conclusion.  In  1890,  he  proposed  that  evolution  was irreversible: that “an organism is unable to return, even partially, to a previous stage already realised in the  ranks  of  its  ancestors.”  Early  20th   -century  biologists  came  to  a  similar  conclusion,  though  they qualified it in terms of probability, stating that there is no reason why evolution cannot run backwards – it is just very unlikely. And so the idea of irreversibility in evolution stuck and came to be known as Dollo’s law.”

–     modified=qualified

=> ANSWER: C (it was modified by biologists in the early twentieth century)

28. The humpback whale caught off Vancouver Island is mentioned because of

Keywords:  humpback whale; Vancouver Island

In  paragraph  4,  “If  Dollo’s  law  is  right,  atavisms  should  occur  only  very  rarely,  if  at  all.  Yet almost since the idea took root, exceptions have been cropping up. In 1919, for example, a humpback whale with  a pair of leg-like appendages over a  metre long,  complete with  a set  of limb  bones, was caught off Vancouver Island in Canada.”  Its strange features made Roy Chapman Andrew argue that it  “must  be  a  throwback  to  a  land-living  ancestor”,  which  is  opposite  to  Dollo’s  law.  So,  the humpback whale is mentioned because of the reason given for its unusual features.


29. What is said about ‘silent genes’?

Keywords: silent genes

In  paragraph  5,  “while  some  evolutionary  changes  involve  the  loss  of  genes  and  are  therefore irreversible, others may be the result of genes being switched off. If these  silent genes are somehow switched  back  on,  they  argued,  long-lost  traits  could  reappear.”  So,  this  means  that  ‘silent  genes’ could lead to the re-emergence of certain characteristics.

–     characteristics= traits

–     re-emerge=reappear


30. The writer mentions the mole salamander because

Keywords: mole salamander

In  paragraph  6,  Raff’s  team  went  on  to  calculate  the  likelihood  of  silent  genes  happening.  The team  calculated  that  there  is  a  good  chance  of  silent  genes  surviving up  to  6  million  years,  and  that some might survive as long as 10 million years. Then, in paragraph 7, the mole salamander is mentioned. At the end of this paragraph, the writer concludes that “The salamander example fits with Raff‟s 10-million-year time frame.” So, this means that the mole salamander is mentioned to suggest that Raff’s theory is correct.

–     suggests that .. correct=fits with


31. Which of the following does Wagner claim?

Keywords: Wagner, claim

In paragraph 8, “According to his (Wagner’s) analysis of the Bachia family tree, the toed species re-evolved toes from toeless ancestors and, what is more, digit loss and gain has occurred on more than one occasion over tens of millions of years” So, this means Wagner claims that members of the Bachia lizard family have lost and regained certain features several times.

–     several times=on more than one occasion


Questions 32-36: Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-G, below.

32. For a long time biologists rejected

Keywords: long time; biologists, rejected

In the first paragraph, “For the better part of a century, most biologists have been reluctant to use those  words  (evolutionary  throwback),  mindful  of  a  principle  of  evolution  that  says  “evolution cannot  run  backwards”.  In  other  words,  for  a  long  time,  most  biologists  rejected  the  possibility of evolution being reversible.

–     reversible=run backwards


33. Opposing views on evolutionary throwbacks are represented by

Keywords: opposing; evolutionary throwbacks

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  argues  that  “whileLombroso  was  measuring  criminals,  a  Belgian palaeontologist   called   Louis   Dollo   was   studying   fossil   records   and   coming   to   the   opposite conclusion.” This conclusion was that:   “there is no reason why evolution cannot run backwards”.  This means that opposing views on evolutionary throwbacks are represented by Dollo’s findings and the convictions held by Lombroso.

–     views=convictions


34. Examples of evolutionary throwbacks have led to

Keywords: examples, evolutionary

In  paragraph  5,  “Since  then,  so  many  other  examples  have  been  discovered  that  it    no  longer makes  sense  to  say  that  evolution  is  as  good  as  irreversible.  And  this  poses  a  puzzle:  how  can characteristics  that  disappeared  millions  of  years  ago  suddenly  reappear?”  This  means  that examples  of  evolutionary  throwbacks  have  led  to  the  question  of  how  certain  long-lost  traits  could reappear.

–     the question=the puzzle


35. The shark and killer whale are mentioned to exemplify

Keywords: shark, killer whale

In paragraph 9, “One possibility is that these traits are lost and then simply reappear, in much the same  way that  similar  structures  can  independently  arise  in  unrelated  species,  such  as  the  dorsal fins  of  sharks  and  killer  whales.”  This  means  that  the  shark  and  killer  whale  are  mentioned  to exemplify the occurrence of a particular feature in different species.

–     different=unrelated


36. One explanation for the findings of Wagner’s research is

Keywords:  Wagner, research

In  paragraph  9,  the  writer  argues  that  “Another  more  intriguing  possibility  is  that  the  genetic information needed to make toes somehow survived for tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of years in  the  lizards  and  was  reactivated.”  This  means  that  one  explanation  for  the  findings  of  Wagner’s research is the continued existence of certain genetic information.

–     one explanation=another possibility


Questions 37-40: Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage?

37. Wagner was the first person to do research on South American lizards.

Keywords: Wagner, first, South American lizards

In this passage, the writer just specifies Wagner’s research on the evolutionary history of a group of  South  American  lizards,  but  does  not  mention  whether  he  was  the  first  person  to  do  research  on South American lizards or not. So, the statement is NOT GIVEN.


38. Wagner believes that Bachia lizards with toes had toeless ancestors.

Keywords: Bachia lizards, toeless ancestors.

In paragraph 8, “According to  his  analysis  of the Bachia family tree, the  toed  speciesre-evolved toes from toeless ancestors…”  So, the statement is true.


39. The temporary occurrence of long-lost traits in embryos is rare.

In  the  last  paragraph,  the  writer  argues  that  “Early  embryos  of  many species  develop  ancestral features.”  This means that the temporary occurrence of long-lost traits in embryos is NOT rare. So, the statement is false.

–     long-lost traits=ancestral features


40. Evolutionary throwbacks might be caused by developmental problems in the womb.

Keywords: evolutionary     throwbacks, developmental problems, womb

In the last paragraph, the writer indicates that “But if silent genes degrade within 6 to 10 million years, how can long-lost traits be reactivated over longer time scales? The answer may lie in the womb.”  So, the statement is true



cambridge ielts 10 reading test 4 passage 3
cambridge ielts 10 reading test 4 passage 3

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