Cambridge IELTS 11 is the latest IELTS exam preparation. READINGIELTS.COM will help you to answer all questions in cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 with detail explanations.

Passage 1: The story of silk

Questions 1-9: Complete the notes below.

Paragraph 1:  Silk is a fine….

Paragraph 2:  Originally, silkworm farming….

Paragraph 3:  Demand for this exotic fabric….

Paragraph 4:  With the mulberry silkworm….

Paragraph 5:  The nineteenth century….

1-2. Around 3000 BC, according to legend:

– silkworm cocoon fell into emperor’s wife’s 1……

– emperor’s wife invented a 2…..to pull out silk fibres

Keywords: 3000 BC, fell into, invented, emperor’s wife

In  the  first  paragraph,  the  writer  says  that  “Legend  has  it  that  it  was  Lei  Tzu,  wife  of  the  Yellow Emperor, ruler of China in about 3000 BC, who  discovered  silkworms. […]  It just so happened that while she was  sipping some tea, one of the  cocoons  that  she had collected  landed  in  the hot tea  and  started to unravel into a fine thread. […] She also  devised a special reel to draw the fibres from the cocoon into a single thread so that they would be strong enough to be woven into fabric.”

fell into=landed in


pull out=draw…from

=>ANSWER: 1. tea

2. reel

3. Only…..were allowed to produce silk

Keywords: only, produce silk

In the second paragraph, the writer states that “Originally, silkworm farming was solely restricted to women, and it was they who were responsible for the growing, harvesting and weaving.”


produce silk ~ the growing, harvesting and weaving

=>ANSWER: women

4. Only…..were allowed to wear silk

Keywords: only, wear silk

In  the  second  paragraph,  the  writer  indicates  that  “Silk  quickly  grew  into  a  symbol  of  status,  and originally, only royalty were entitled to have clothes made of silk.”

were allowed=were entitled

wear ~ have clothes made of silk

=>ANSWER: royalty

5. Silk used as a form of…..

– e.g. farmers’ taxes consisted partly of silk

Keywords: a form of, farmers, taxes

In  the  second  paragraph,  the  writer  says  that  “Sometime  during  the  Han  Dynasty (206  BC-220 AD), silk was so prized that it was also used as unit of currency. Government officials were paid their salary in silk, and farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk.

=>ANSWER: currency

6. Silk used for many purposes

-e.g. evidence found of….made from silk around 168 AD

Keywords: 168 AD, many purposes, evidence

At the end of paragraph 2, the writer says that “The earliest indication of silk paper being used was discovered in the tomb of a noble who is estimated to have died around 168 AD”

evidence = indication

=>ANSWER: paper

7. Merchants use Silk Road to take silk westward and bring back…..and precious metals.

Keywords: Silk Road, bring back

In paragraph 3, the writer explains that “Demand for this exotic fabric eventually created the lucrative trade route now known  as the Silk Road, taking silk westward  and bringing  gold, silver and  wool  to the East.”

precious metals ~ gold, silver

=>ANSWER: wool

8. 550 AD: …..hide silkworm eggs in canes and take them to Constantinople

Keywords: 550 AD, hide, eggs, canes, Constantinople

In  paragraph  4,  the  writer  indicates  that  “According  to  another  legend,  monks  working  for  the Byzantine  emperor  Justinian  smuggled  silkworm  eggs  to  Constantinople  in  550  AD,  concealed  inside hollow bamboo walking canes.”


=>ANSWER: monks

9. 20   century: …..and other man made fibres cause decline in silk production

Keywords: 20   century, manmade fibres, decline, silk production

In  the  last  paragraph,  the  writer  says  that  “The  nineteenth  century  and  industrialisation  saw  the downfall of the European silk industry[…] Then in the  twentieth century, new  man made fibres, such as nylon, started to be used in what had traditionally been silk products, such as stockings and parachutes.”


=>ANSWER: nylon

Questions 10-13: Do the following statements agree with the information in Reading Passage 1?

10. Gold was the most valuable material transported along the Silk Road

Keywords: gold, most valuable material

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  says  that  “Demand  for  this  exotic  fabric  eventually  created  the  lucrative trade  route  now  known  as  the  Silk  Road,  taking  silk  westward  and  bringing  gold,  silver  and  wool  to  the East. It was named the Silk Road after its most precious commodity, which was considered to be worth more than gold.” So, gold is not the most valuable material, it’s silk.




11. Most tradesmen only went along certain sections of the Silk Road.

Keywords: tradesmen, certain sections

At  the  end  of  paragraph  3,  the  writer  indicates  that  “The  Silk  Road  stretched  over  6,000  kilometers from  Eastern  China  to  the  Mediterranean  Sea.  Few  merchants  traveled  the  entire  route;  goods  were handled  mostly by  a  series  of  middlemen.”  This  means  that  the  Silk  Road  was  too  long  for  merchants  to travel along; therefore, they only went along certain sections.



12. The Byzantines spread the practice of silk production across the West.

Keywords: The Byzantines spread

In paragraph 4, the writer says that “The Byzantines were  as secretive as the Chinese, however, and for  many  centuries  the  weaving  and  trading  of  silk  fabric  was  a  strict  imperial  monopoly.  Then  in  the seventh  century,  the  Arabs  conquered  Persia,  capturing  their  magnificent  silks  in  the  process.  Silk production  thus  spread  through  Africa,  Sicily  and  Spain  as  the  Arabs  swept  through  these  lands.” This means that the Arabs, not the Byzantines, spread the practice of silk production across the West.

the West~Africa, Sicily and Spain


13. Silk yarn makes up the majority of silk currently exported from China.

Keywords: silk yarn, the majority, exported, China

In the last paragraph, the writer says that “in more recent decades, China has gradually recaptured its position as the world‟s biggest producer and exporter of silk and silk yarn.” So, whether silk yarn makes up the majority of silk currently exported from China is not mentioned, we only know that both silk and silk yarn are exported.

currently=in more recent decades



cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 1
cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 1

Passage 2: Great Migrations

Paragraph 1:  Animal migration, however…..

Paragraph 2:  An Arctic tern….

Paragraph 3:  But migration is a complex issue….

Paragraph 4:  But daily vertical movements….

Paragraph 5:  Dingle is an evolutionary….

Paragraph 6:  Human behaviour, however….

Paragraph 7:  Conservation scientists….

Questions 14-18: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2 ?

14. Local gulls and migrating arctic terns behave in the same way when offered food.

Keywords: Local gulls, migrating arctic terns, same way

In the second paragraph, the writer says that “An arctic tern, on its 20,000 km flight from the extreme south of South America to the Arctic circle will take no notice of a nice smelly herring offered from a bird- watcher’s boat along the way. While local gulls will dive voraciously for such handouts, the tern flies on.”

This means that local gulls and migrating arctic terns behave in different ways when offered food.


15. Experts’ definitions of migration tend to vary according to their area of study.

Keywords: definitions of migration, vary, study

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  indicates  that  “But  migration  is  a  complex  issue,  and  biologists  define  it differently, depending on what sorts of animals they study.”


according to=depending on


16. Very few experts agree that the movement of aphids can be considered migration.

Keywords: few experts, agree, movement of aphids, migration

Aphids are referred to in paragraph 5. Among the experts, we only know that Dingle and Berger have different  definitions  of  migration.  In  this  passage,  the  writer  does  not  mention  whether  very  few  experts agree that the movement of aphids can be considered migration. So, the statement is not given


17. Aphids’ journeys are affected by changes in the light that they perceive.

Keywords: Aphids’ journeys, changes, light

In  paragraph  5,  the  writer  says  that  “They  allow  for  the  fact  that,  for  example,  aphids  will  become sensitive to blue light (from the sky) when it’s time for takeoff on their big journey, and sensitive to yellow light (reflected from tender young leaves) when it’s appropriate to land.” So, the statement is true


18. Dingle’s aim is to distinguish between the migratory behaviors of different species.

Keywords: Dingle, distinguish, migratory behaviours

In  paragraph  5,  the  writer  says  that  “His  definition  is  more  intricate  than  Berger’s,  citing  those  five features  that  distinguish  migration  from other  forms  of  movement.”   Dingle  does  not  aim  to  study the migration of different species, he aims to study what makes migration different from other forms of animal movement. So, the statement is false.


Questions 19-22: Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-G, below.

19. According to Dingle, migratory routes are likely to

Keywords:  Dingle, migratory routes

In   the   first   paragraph,   the   writer   says   that   “The   biologist   Hugh   Dingle   has   identified   five characteristics  that  apply,  in  varying  degrees  and  combinations,  to  all  migrations.  They  are  prolonged movements that carry animals outside familiar habitats; they tend to be linear, not zigzaggy.” This means that according to Dingle, migratory routes are likely to follow a straight line.



20. To prepare for migration, animals are likely to

Keywords: prepare

In  the  first  paragraph,  the  writer  states  that  “they  (migrations)  involve  special  behaviour  concerning preparation (such as overfeeding) and arrival.” This means that to prepare for migration, animals eat more than they need for immediate purposes.

eat more than they need=overfeed


21. During migration, animals are unlikely to

Keywords:  during migration, unlikely

At the end of the first paragraph, the writer explains that “And one more: migrating animals maintain an  intense  attractiveness  to  the  greater  mission,  which  keeps  them  undistracted  by  temptations  and undeterred  by  challenges  that  would  turn  animals  aside.”  This  means  that  during migration,  animals  are unlikely to be discouraged by difficulties.



22. Arctic terns illustrate migrating animals‟ ability to

Keywords:  Arctic terns, ability

In paragraph 2, the writer says that “An arctic tern, on its 20,000 km flight from the extreme south of South  America  to  the  Arctic  circle  will  take  no  notice  of  a  nice  smelly  herring  offered  from  a  bird- watcher’s boat  along the way. While local  gulls will dive voraciously for such handouts, the tern flies on.

The arctic tern resists distraction because it is driven at the moment by an instinctive sense of something we humans find admirable: larger purpose.” This means that arctic terns illustrate migrating animals‟ ability to ignore distractions.



Questions 23-26: Complete the summary below.

23. Pronghorns rely on their eyesight and…..to avoid predators.

Keywords: pronghorns, eyesight, avoid predators

In  paragraph  6,  the  writer  says  that  “Pronghorn,  dependent  on  distance  vision  and  speed  to  keep safe from predators.”

rely on=be dependent on


avoid=keep safe from

=>ANSWER: speed

24. One particular population’s summer habitat is a national park, and their winter home is on the….., where they go to avoid the danger presented by the snow at that time of year.

Keywords: winter home, danger, snow

In  paragraph  6,  the  writer  indicates  that  “If  they  (pronghorns)  can‟t  pass  through  again  in  autumn, escaping south onto those windblown plains, they are likely to die trying to overwinter in the deep snow.”

danger~likely to die

=>ANSWER: plains

25. However, their route between these two areas contains three 25…..

Keywords: route, contains three

In  paragraph  6,  the  writer  explains  that  “These  pronghorns  are  notable  for  the  invariance  of  their migration route and the severity of its constriction at three bottlenecks.”

=>ANSWER: bottlenecks

26. One problem is the construction of new homes in a narrow 26…..of land on the pronghorns’ route.

Keywords: construction, homes, narrow

At the end of paragraph 6, the writer indicates that “At  one of the bottlenecks, forested hills rise to form a V, leaving a corridor of open ground only about 150 metres wide, filled with private homes.”

narrow~only about 150 metres wide

=>ANSWER: corridor

cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 2
cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 2


Passage 3: Preface to ‘How the other half thinks: Adventures in mathematical reasoning’

27-34 Which section contains the following information?

27. a reference to books that assume a lack of mathematical knowledge

Keywords: books, lack of mathematical knowledge

In paragraph D, the writer indicates that “Other scientists have written books to explain their fields to non-scientists,  but  have  necessarily had  to  omit  the  mathematics,  although  it  provides  the  foundation  of their theories.”

assume a lack of mathematical knowledge~omit the mathematics


28. the way in which this is not a typical book about mathematics.

Keywords: the way, not a typical book, mathematics

In  paragraph  B,  the  writer  states  that  “I want  to  reveal  not  only some  of  the  fascinating  discoveries, but,  more  importantly,  the  reasoning behind  them.  In  that  respect,  this  book  differs  from  most  books  on mathematics written for the general public.”

not a typical book~differs from most books


29. personal examples of being helped by mathematics

Keywords: personal examples, helped

In  paragraph  G,  the  writer  mentions  two  personal  examples:  the  example  of  a  physician  and  the example of a lawyer. Both of them were helped by mathematics.


30. examples of people who each had abilities that seemed incompatible

Keywords: examples, abilities, incompatible

In paragraph C, the writer says that “To illustrate our human potential, I cite a structural engineer who is  an  artist,  an  electrical  engineer  who  is  an  opera  singer,  an  opera  singer  who  published  mathematical research, and a mathematician who publishes short stories.”


31. mention of different focuses of books about mathematics

Keywords: different focuses, books

In paragraph B, the writer states that “Some [books] present the lives of colourful mathematicians. Others  describe  important  applications  of  mathematics.  Yet  others  go  into  mathematical  procedures, but assume that the reader is adept in using algebra.”


32. a contrast between reading this book and reading other kinds of publication.

Keyword: contrast

In paragraph E, the writer says that “This book presents details that illustrate the mathematical style of thinking,  which  involves  sustained,  step-by-step  analysis,  experiments,  and  insights.  You  will  turn  these pages much more slowly than when reading a novel or a newspaper.”

other kinds of publication ~ a novel, a newspaper


33. a claim that the whole of the book is accessible to everybody

Keywords: accessible to everybody

In paragraph A, the writer says that “There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend  on  specialized  knowledge,  not  even  on  algebra,  geometry,  or  trigonometry.  Instead,  they  may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as ‘them sum of two odd numbers is even’, common sense. Each of the eight chapters in this book illustrates this phenomenon. Anyone can understand every step in the reasoning.”

the whole of the book~each of the eight chapters


34. a reference to different categories of intended readers of this book.

Keywords: intended readers

In paragraph F, the writer explains that “As I wrote, I kept in mind two types of readers: those who enjoyed  mathematics  until  they were  turned  off  by an  unpleasant  episode,  usually around  fifth  grade,  and mathematics  aficionados,  who  will  find  much  that  is  new  throughout  the  book.  This  book  also  serves readers who simply want to sharpen their analytical skills.”



Questions 35-40: Complete the sentences below.

35. Some areas of both music and mathematics are suitable for someone who is a…..

Keywords: areas, music and mathematics, suitable

In  the  first  paragraph,  the  writer  argues  that  “Occasionally,  in  some  difficult  musical  compositions, there are beautiful, but easy parts – parts so simple a beginner could play them. So it is with mathematics as well.”


=>ANSWER: beginner

36. It is sometimes possible to understand advanced mathematics using no more than a limited knowledge of…..

Keywords: understand, advanced mathematics, limited knowledge

In paragraph A, the writer claims that “There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend on specialized knowledge, not even on algebra, geometry, or trigonometry. Instead, they may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as „the sum of two odd numbers is even‟, and common sense.”

no more than a limited knowledge of arithmetic~a little arithmetic

=>ANSWER: arithmetic

37. The writer intends to show that mathematics requires…..thinking, as well as analytical skills.

Keywords: mathematics requires, analytical

In paragraph C, the writer says that “As the chapters will illustrate, mathematics is not restricted to the analytical  and  numerical;  intuition  plays  a  significant  role.”  So,  besides  analytical  skills,  mathematics requires intuition, or intuitive thinking.

intuitive thinking=intuition

=>ANSWER: intuitive

38. Some books written by…..have had to leave out the mathematics that is central to their theories.

Keywords: written by, leave out, theories

In  paragraph  D,  the  writer  says  that  “Other  scientists  have  written  books  to  explain  their  fields  to non-scientists,  but  have necessarily had to  omit  the mathematics, although it  provides the  foundation  of their theories.

leave out=omit

is central to= provides the foundation of

=>ANSWER: scientists

39. The writer advises non-mathematical readers to perform…..while reading the book

Keywords: non-mathematical readers, perform

In paragraph E, the writer argues that “Still, non-mathematical readers can go far in understanding mathematical reasoning […] It may help to have a pencil and a paper ready to check claims and carry out experiments.”

perform=carry out

=>ANSWER: experiments

40. A lawyer found that studying…..helped even more than other areas of mathematics in the study of law.

Keywords: lawyer, studying, helped, law

In paragraph G, a lawyer indicates that “Although I had no background in law – not even one political science course – I did well at one of the best law schools. I attribute much of my success there to having learned,  through  the  study  of  mathematics,  and,  in  particular,  theorems,  how  to  analyze  complicated principles.”

=>ANSWER: theorems


cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 3
cambridge ielts 11 reading test 3 passage 3

Cambridge ielts 1-18 reading test solutions

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IELTS Reading Practice Test


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