Cambridge IELTS 12 Reading – Test 2 – Answers

Cambridge IELTS 12 Reading – Test 2 – Answers



  1. a reference to characteristics that only apply to food production

Keywords: characteristics, only, food production
We have to find paragraphs which contain information about “food production”. We can seethis phrase (food production) in paragraph A and paragraph E. In paragraph E, “foodproduction” is just mentioned as an example of the benefits of public welfare programmes,while in paragraph A, we can see the first sentence: “Two things distinguish food productionfrom all other productive activities: first, every single person needs food each day and has aright to it; and second, it is hugely dependent on nature.” The verb “distinguish” means “tomake one thing seem different from another”. Therefore, we can understand that these twothings mentioned above only belong to food production. All of this information lies inparagraph A. The answer is A.
Answer: A.


  1. a reference to challenges faced only by farmers in certain parts of the world

Keywords: challenges, only, farmers in certain parts


Paragraph B mentions difficulties farmers have to face. The first sentence is about problemsmet in everywhere in the world. The second sentence is about challenges that only farmers indeveloping countries have to deal with:“However, smallholder farmers in developingcountries must in addition deal with adverse environments, both natural, in terms of soilquality, rainfall, etc. and human, in terms of infrastructure, financial systems, markets,knowledge and technology”. The term “developing countries” refers to “certain parts of theworld”. Therefore, the answer is B.

 Answer: B.


  1. a reference to difficulties in bringing about co-operation between farmers
    Keywords: difficulties, co-operation between farmers.​


In terms of co-operation, the author mentions some kinds of co-operative groups of farmerssuch as collective action groups, co-operatives or producers’ groups in the second sentence ofparagraph H. Collective actions mean actions shared by every member of a group of people,which refers to co-operation between people in a group. He/ she not only names the groupsbut also claims that those actions do“not come as a free good. It takes time, effort and moneyto organise, build trust and to experiment.” Those are considered as difficulties in takingcollective actions. Therefore, the answer is H.
 Answer: H.

(Note: Matching Headings questions do not follow the order of the text).


  1. Financial assistance from the government does not always go to the farmers who most need it.
    Keywords: financial assistance from the government


This is a difficult question since you have to know that “state subsidies” refers to “financialassistance from the government”. And this phrase lies in paragraph E. In this paragraph, theauthor mentions Rokeya Kabir as she claims that these state subsidies ‘have not compensatedfor the stranglehold exercised by private traders”. To make it more clear, the authorwrites:“sixty percent of beneficiaries of subsidies are not poor, but rich landowners and non-farmertraders.” (when the subsidies go to some people, those people are called beneficiaries. Andthe writer claims some are non-farmers). Therefore, this information is matched with RokeyaKabir. The answer is D.

  • State subsidies = financial assistance from the government.
    Answer: D


  1. Farmers can benefit from collaborating as a group.
    Keywords: benefit, collaborate, as a group.​


“Collaborate” means “to work with someone else for a special purpose”, which refers tocollective actions of farmers. Therefore, we have to pay attention to paragraph H, whichcontains thatinformation (as we already know when doing question 3). In the first sentence ofthis paragraph, the writer says that “According to Murphy, ‘collective action offers animportant way for farmers to strengthen their political and economic bargaining power.”“Strengthen their political and economic bargaining power” is a way of benefiting.Therefore, the answer is Murphy – B.

  • Collective actions = collaborate as a group
    Answer: B


  1. Financial assistance from the government can improve the standard of living of farmers.
    Keywords: financial assistance from the government, standard of living, farmers.

This question is about the same issue as question 4, so we turn back to paragraph E. The firstsentence of this paragraph mentions Shennge Fan, who considers “safety nets and publicwelfare programmes” as “valuable ways to address poverty among farming families andreduce their vulnerability to agriculture shocks”. “Public welfare programmes” areprogrammes that provide financial assistance. “Adress poverty” means to “improve thestandard of living”. Therefore, the answer is C – Shenggen Fan.
Answer: C


  1. Farmers may be helped if there is financial input by the same individuals who buyfrom them

Keywords: financial input, same individuals, buy


In paragraph I, we find a reference to “One commentator suggested farmers can gain greater control over prices and minimise price volatility by selling directly to consumers”. This commentator is named as Sonali Bisht. Her experience is of India, where “consumers invest in local farmers by subscription and guarantee producers a fair price..” Selling directly to consumers means that the same individuals who buy from the farmers also pay the farmers.
Therefore, the answer is G, Sonali Bisht.

 Answer: G


  1. Governments can help to reduce variation in prices.

Keywords: governments, reduce, variation in prices.
In paragraph D, the author mentions the role of governments. While Kanayo F. Nwanzesuggests governments can provide basic services, Sophia Murphy thinks that governmentscan “help mitigate wild swings in food prices”. “Mitigate” is the same meaning as “reducetheeffect of something”, and “wild swings in prices” refers to “variation in prices”. Therefore,the answer is Sophia Murphy – B. (Note: You may use any letter more than once.)

  • Mitigate = reduce
  • Wild swings = variation
    Answer: B


  1. Improvements to infrastructure can have a major impact on risk for farmers.

Keywords: improvements to infrastructure, major impact, risk for farmers.

Regarding infrastructure and risks, we saw these issues in paragraph D when doing question8. “Basic services like roads” refers to infrastructure. Kanayo F. Nwanze argues that byimproving those services, they can “significantly reduce risks for farmers”, which means thisway has “a major impact on risk for farmers”. The answer is A.

  • Basic services = infrastructure
  • Significantly = major

Answer: A.


10 – 11 .

Keywords: problems, affect, farmers with small farms, developing countries.

In the first sentence of paragraph G, the author mentions “climate change and itsconsequences for small-scale agriculture”. “Small-scale agriculture” refers to “farmers withsmall farms”. We can detect the first problem – climate change and its consequences, whichare “the effects of changing weather patterns” – D. Next, “lack of demand for locallyproduced food” and “lack of irrigation programmes” are not mentioned in the whole passage.“Insurance” is mentioned once in paragraph F, but in terms of “private insurance” as a way to“help small-scale producers mitigate risk”. There is no information relating to “being unableto get insurance”. In paragraph I, the author mentions “the presence of intermediarypurchasers”. “Purchasers” refers to “buyers”. Those people,“taking advantage of farmers’ vulnerability, dictate prices.” Because farmers have to sell their goods to these intermediarybuyers, these buyers dictate prices. Therefore, the answer is D and E.

  • small – scale agriculture = farmers with small farms
  • purchasers = buyers

Answer: D, E.


12 – 13 .

Keywords: recommened, improving, conditions for farmers

Answer A mentions “the size of food stocks”, but in the passage, the author only mentionsthe avaibility of “adequate stocks” (the fourth sentence of pagagraph F). “reducing the size offood stocks” is not mentioned.

In terms of price control, the author suggests some solutions such as “by alleviatinguncertainties about market supply” (paragraph D), “greater transparency in markets”(paragraph F), “selling directly to consumers” (paragraph I) and “synchronise buying andselling with seasonal price conditions.” (paragraph H). This method is to synchroniseprices incertain times (seasonal), not to raise prices. Therefore, B is not the answer.

Additionally,“making customers aware of the reasons for changing food prices” is not mentioned either.Hence, E is not the answer.In paragraph H, the author suggests “all stakeholders, including business, government,scientists and civil society, must work together, starting at the beginning of the value chain.”“Work together” means “co-operation” and “all stakeholders, including business,government, scientists and civil society” refers to “a wide range of interested parties”. Hence,the first action which is recommended is C – C. organising co-operation between a widerange of interested parties. One of the answers is C.

The only remaining answeris D. We can use exclusive method to know that this is theanswer. When answering question 7, we found a reference to community-based agriculture:‘where consumers invest in local farmers by subscription and guarantee producers a fairprice, is a risk-sharing model worth more attention”. In this model, consumers and farmersshare the risks. This confirms that the correct answers is D.

  • Work together = co-operation
  • Stakeholders = interested parties

Answer: C, D.



  1. Paragraph A

The first paragraph is used to introduce Bingham’s trip (his goal and his plan when making the trip). The second sentence is: “His goal was to locate the remains of a city called Vitcos, the last capital of the Inca civilization.” “Goal” is the same as “aim”. We can see the heading iv “the aim of the course” is the most relevant to this paragraph’s content. The answer is iv. If you are not sure enough, take note and do following questions before deciding what is the answer.

  • Goal = aim


  1. Paragraph B Paragraph B is quite short, so you should read it thoroughly to find the correct answer. This paragraph is about the advantage of Bingham and his team over other travellers – “a track had recently been blasted down the valley canyon to enable rubber to be brought up by mules from the jungle.” “A track” means “a path, route or rough road” and “recently” means “not long ago, during the period of time that has just passed”. Therefore, we can consider this advantage as a new route. The answer is vi – “A new route”.
  • Track = route
  • Recently = new

Answer: vi.



  1. Paragraph C

This paragraph describes some negative things during the trek. Bingham’s team “showed no interest” in continuing this trek and Bingham himself claimed in his book “he made the ascent without having the least expectation that he would find anything at the top.” We can see that Bingham and his companions were lacking expectation and were “less than keen on” going up the hillto look at the ruins mentioned by the local farmer. Therefore, the answer is viii – “Bingham’s lack of enthusiasm”. (Other headings do not mention something negative).

  • Less than keen on = lack of enthusiasm

Answer: viii


  1. Paragraph D

In this paragraph, the author mentioned what Bingham described in his book, from “the ever-present possibility of deadly snakes” to “the grand ceremonial buildings of Machu Picchu”. This paragraph does not mention anything related to “different accounts” (heading i),support (heading ii), belief (heading iii) or Bingham’s theory (heading vii). What remains is heading v – a dramatic description and this heading is really relevant to this paragraph’s content. The answer is v.

  • Vivid = dramatic

Answer: v.


  1. Paragraph E

This paragraph shows that Bingham’s journalreveals “a much more gradual appreciation of his achievement compared with his book. He spent the afternoon at the ruins noting down the dimensions of some of the buildings, then descended and rejoined his companions, to whom he seems to have said little about his discovery. At this stage, didn’t realise the extent or the importance of the site, nor did he realise what use he could make of the discovery”. However, in his book, Bingham makes the discovery of ‘The Lost City of the Incas’ appear much more dramatic than it seemed at the time. The most appropriate heading for this paragraph is “Different accounts of the same journey” (i).

Answer: i.



  1. Paragraph F

There are only 3 headings which remain: Bingham gains support, A common belief and Bingham publishes his theory. We just need to pay attention to these keywords “support”, “belief” and “theory” to find the correct answer to the remaining 2 questions. In paragraph F, the author mentions the belief of Bingham. However, it is Bingham’s own belief and is inaccurate. It is not a common belief. Heading iii is not the answer. This paragraph is about Bingham’s big idea, “he knew he had to produce a big idea”. In this context, we can consider “his idea” as “his theory”, which he explained in an article which he wrote for publication in a magazine. The answer is vii – Bingham publishes his theory.

  • A big idea = theory


  1. Paragraph G

The third sentence of this paragraph mentions “An idea which has gained wide acceptance over the past few years”. The expression “it gained wide acceptance” means “it is accepted/ believed by many people”. We can consider it as “a common belief”. It is also can be consideredin terms of “gain support”. However, this idea does not belong to Bingham. Therefore, the heading “Bingham gains support” is inaccurate. The answer has to be iii – a common belief. • Wide acceptance = common belief

Answer: iii.


  1. Bingham went to South America in search of an Inca city.

Keywords: South America, search, Inca city.

We have to find the names “South America” and “Inca city”. It is quite a simple task for which you can use skim or scan skills to find them. Fortunately, they lie in the first paragraph. “Hiram Bingham arrived in South America in 1911” and “His goal was to locate the remains of a city called Vitcos, the last capital of the Inca civilization”. “locate” means “to find or discover the exact position of something”, which is the same as “search”. Therefore, the answer is True.

  • Locate = search

Answer: True.



  1. Bingham chose a particular route down the Urubamba valley because it was the most common route used by travellers. Keywords: a particular route, down the Urubamba valley, most common.

When doing question 15, we already know Bingham used a new route which other travellers had not used. In case you do True – False questions first, you can find the answer’s location according to the keywords. In the second part of paragraph A, the author mentions the route down the Urubamba valley. However, from paragraph B, we know Bingham did not follow that route, he found a new route – “they had an advantage over travellers who had preceded them : a track had recently been blasted down the valley canyon to enable rubber to be brought up by mules”. Therefore, the answer is False.

Answer: False.


  1. Bingham understood the significance of Machu Picchu as soon as he saw it.

Keywords: siginificance of Machu Picchu, as soon as he saw it.

In paragraph E, the author claimed “At this stage, didn’t realise the extent or the importance of the site, nor did he realise what use he could make of the discovery.” “The site” referred to is the Lost City – Machu Picchu – and “the importance” means “significance”. According to this sentence, at that time Bing didn’t realize those things. Therefore, the answer is False.

  • Significance = importance

Answer: False.


  1. Bingham returned to Machu Picchu in order to find evidence to support his theory

Keywords: return, evidence, support his theory.

The paragraph about Bingham’s theory is paragraph F: (the second sentence – “he knew he had to produce a big idea”). In the second part of this paragraph, the author claims his theory is wrong, but he/ she does not mention what Bingham did after that. Therefore, the answer is Not given.

Answer: Not given


  1. The track that took Bingham down the Urubamba valley had been created for the transportation of _____.

Keywords: track, Bingham, Urubamba valley, created, transportation

This route is mentioned in many other questions so we easily find its location, which is in paragraphs A and B. In paragraph B, the author writes “a track had recently been blasted down the valley canyon to enable rubber to be brought up by mules from the jungle”. This can be understood as “for the transportation of rubber”. The answer is “rubber”.

Answer: rubber.


  1. Bingham found out about the ruins of Machu Picchu from a ____ in the Urubamba valley.

Keywords: ruins of Machu Picchu, from, Urubamba valley. “The ruins of Machu Picchu” is mentioned in paragraph C – “His companions showed no interest in accompanying him up the nearby hill to see some ruins that a local farmer, Melchor Arteaga, had told them about the night before.” It is when they reached the valley. Therefore, it is a local farmer in the Urubamba valley who told them about some ruins of Machu Picchu. The answer is “farmer”.

Answer: farmer.





  1. Observing the _____ of Russian- English bilingual people when asked to select certain objects

Keywords: Observe, Russian – English bilingual people, select, objects

In IELTS Reading, it’s easier to find names of people and places than most other information. Therefore, we should start by finding location of information about “Russian – English bilingual people”. This information lies in paragraph B, in an example of “studying of eye movements” – “A Russian-English bilingual was asked to ‘pick up a marker’ from a set of objects”. “Studying” refers to “observing”, and “pick up” means “select”. Therefore, the words to fill in the blank are “eye movements”.

  • Study = observe
  • Pick up = select

Answer: eye movements.


  1. Bilingual people engage both languages simultaneously: a mechanism known as ____

Keywords: Bilingual people, simultaneously, mechanism

In paragraph B, the key sentence is: “Research shows that when a bilingual person uses one language, the other is active at the same time”. There is also a word which can be considered the same meaning as “a mechanism” – it is “activation”.:“For bilingual people, this activation is not limited to a single language; auditory input activates corresponding words regardless of the language to which they belong. Some of the most compelling evidence for this phenomenon, called ‘ language co-activation ’, comes from studying eye movements.” “not limited to a single language” means “engage both languages”, and “called” is the same as “known as”. Therefore, this activation – mechanism is known as “language co-activation”.

  • At the same time = simultaneously
  • Activation = mechanism

Answer: language co-activation


  1. A test called the _____, focusing on naming colours

Keywords: a test, naming colours In paragraph C, the author mentioned “tasks” and took an example of a classic task in which “people see a word and are asked to name the colour of the word’s font”. It is called “Stroop Task.” Therefore, Stroop Task is the answer.

  • Task = test

Answer: Stroop Task.


  1. Bilingual people are more able to handle tasks involving a skill called _____

Keywords: bilingual people, more able to, handle, skill

Since the questions are in the table with two coloumns “Test” and “Findings”, so questions in the same row will be closely related to each other. Therefore, their answers are definitely somewhere near the other and we still pay attention to paragraph C. In this case, the author mentioned the “findings” in the previous sentence – “bilingual people often perform better on tasks that require conflict management”. “Perfom better on tasks” has the same meaning with “are more able to handle tasks” and “require” is the same as “involving”. The skill mentioned here is “conflict management”.

  • Perform better = more able to handle

Answer: conflict management.


  1. When changing strategies, bilingual people have superior _____

Since this is the “finding” of “a test involving switching between tasks”, therefore we can find the answer by locating part of the text mentioning this test.

Keywords: switching, changing strategies, superior Paragraph C is about tests and tasks. In the last sentence of this paragraph, the author mentioned “switching between two tasks”. We have to pay attention to this sentence – “Bilinguals are also better at switching between two tasks; for example, when bilinguals have to switch from categorizing objects by colour (red or green) to categorizing them by shape (circle or triangle), they do so more quickly than monolingual people, reflecting better cognitive control when having to make rapid changes of strategy.” The expression: “make changes of strategy” is the same as “changing strategies”, and “better” refers to “superior”. In the above sentence, the writer claims bilingual people have “better cognitive control” when changing strategies. Therefore, the answer is “cognitive control”.

  • Better = superior

Answer: cognitive control


  1. Attitudes towards bilingualism have changed in recent years.

Keywords: attitudes, bilingualism, changed, recent years.

In paragraph A, the author mentioned something in the past in the second sentence, and the difference “over the past few decades” in the third sentence (using “however” as the conjuction). This means there were changes in recent years. Therefore, we can try finding our answer here. The author claimed “technological advances have allowed researchers to look more deeply at how bilingualism interacts with and changes the cognitive and neurological systems, thereby identifying several clear benefits of being bilingual”. It means they find being bilingual has its own advantages instead of only disadvantages, as people thought in the past. Therefore, attitudes towards bilingualism have changed. The answer is Yes.

Answer: Yes.​


  1. Bilingual people are better than monolingual people at guessing correctly what words are before they are finished.

Keywords: bilingual, monolingual, guess correctly, words, before they are finished.

When it comes to guessing words before they are finished, we have to pay attention to paragraph B. “Long before the word is finished, the brain’s language system begins to guess what that word might be.[…]. For bilingual people, this activation is not limited to a single language”. This is the explanation for the activation called “language co-activation”. There is no comparison between bilingual and monolingual people in guessing words before they are finished. The answer is Not given.

Answer: Not given.


  1. Bilingual people consistently name images faster than monolingual people.

Keywords: bilingual, monolingual, name, images, faster

In the second sentence of paragraph C, the author gave an example of the disadvantages of being bilingual – “For instance, knowing more than one language can cause speakers to name pictures more slowly.” “Knowing more than one language” means “bilingual” and “pictures” is the same as “images”. Therefore, bilingual people name images more slowly than monolingual people. The answer is No.

Answer: No.


  1. Bilingual people’s brains process single sounds more efficiently than monolingual people in all situations.

Keywords: bilingual people’s brains, process, single sounds, more efficiently, all situations.

In paragraph D, the writer mentioned “When monolingual and bilingual adolescents listen to simple speech sounds without any intervening background noise, they show highly similar brain stem responses”. Hence, there is at least one situation,when there is no intervening background noise, in which the brain processing of these 2 kinds of people is “highly similar”. The above statement is only right “in the presence of background noise”, not “all situations”. Therefore, the answer is No.

Answer: No.


  1. Fewer bilingual people than monolingual people suffer from brain disease in old age.

Keywords: fewer bilingual people, suffer, brain disease, old age. In terms of issues related to age,

in paragraph F, the author mentioned brain disease in old age. However, he/she only mentioned “bilingual experience may help to keep the cognitive mechanisms sharp”: “Older bilinguals enjoy improved memory relative to monolingual people”, “bilingual patients reported showing initial symptoms of the disease an average of five years later than monolingual patients”, “the bilinguals’ brains had more physical signs of disease than their monolingual”. There is no line which contains information about the number of bilingual people and their monolingual counterparts. We only knowthat the physical signs of disease in bilinguals are greater than monolinguals, but it is clear that both groups suffer from brain disease. Therefore, the answer is Not given.

Answer: Not given.


  1. An example of how bilingual and monolingual people’s brains respond differently to a certain type of non-verbal auditory input

Keywords: example, brains, respond, differently, type of non-verbal auditory input.

When doing question 35, we already know that information about brain responses is in paragraph D, so we have to pay attention to this paragraph. “Simple sound” can be considered as “a certain type of non-verbal auditory input” – “When researchers play the same sound to both groups in the presence of background noise, however, the bilingual listeners’ neural response is considerably larger, reflecting better encoding of the sound’s fundamental frequency, a feature of sound closely related to pitch perception.” Therefore, the answer is D.

Answer: D


  1. A demonstration of how a bilingual upbringing has benefits even before we learn to speak

Keywords: demonstration, a bilingual upbringing, benefit, before we learn to speak.

In paragraph G, the author gave an example of one study in which “researchers taught sevenmonth-old babies growing up in monolingual or bilingual homes”, then drew the conclusion that “for very young children, as well as for older people, navigating a multilingual environment imparts advantages that transfer far beyond language.” “advantages” is the same as “benefits” and “seven-month- old” is before we learn to speak. Therefore, the answer is G.

Answer: G.


  1. A description of the process by which people identify words that they hear

Keywords: description, process, identify words that they hear

In paragraph B, the author explained how we hear words and recognize them “When we hear a word, we don’t hear the entire word all at once: the sounds arrive in sequential order.” Therefore, the answer is B.

  • Word recognition = identify words

Answer: B.


  1. Reference to some negative consequences of being bilingual.

Keywords: negative consequences, being bilingual

In the first sentence of paragraph C, the writer claimed “Having to deal with this persistent linguistic competition can result in difficulties, however.” “Deal with this persistent linguistic competition” refers to “knowing more than one language” – or “being bilingual”, and “difficulties” is the same as “negative consequences”. Therefore, the answer is C. • Difficulties = negative consequences

Answer: C.


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