Cambridge IELTS 12 Reading – Test 3 – Answers

Cambridge IELTS 12 Reading – Test 3 – Answers



  1. Paragraph A
    The first paragraph is about the inhospitable environment of the Galapagos Islands and explains that “the islands were colonised by one or more tortoises from mainland South America”. There is no heading about the environment. “Colonise” can be considered the same as “populate”. Moreover, the author claims “This inhospitable environment is home to the giant Galapagos tortoise.” Hence, “one or more tortoises from mainland South America” populated the islands. Heading v is most appropriate for this paragraph. The answer is v.
    • Colonise = populate
    Answer: v


  1. Paragraph B
    In paragraph B, the author mentioned what happended to the tortoises after human arrival, and those are negative impactsfor the tortoises such as “taken on board these ships to act as food supplies”, “they (humans) hunted the tortoises and destroyed their habitat to clear land for agriculture”, and so on. All of thesecan be considered as “the disadvantage of tortoise
    populations”, while “human arrival” and “settlers came to the islands” can be seen as “developments”. Therefore, the heading for this paragraph has to be heading iii – “Developments to the disadvantage of tortoisepopulations”. The answer is iii.
    Answer: iii.​


  1. Paragraph C

Paragraph C is about a tortoise-breeding centre with its captive-breeding programme. “Work began” on this programme in 1989 andis “dedicated to protecting the island’s tortoise populations”. Hence, this programme was the starting-point fortortoise conservation. Heading viii – “The start of the conservation project” is the most appropriate.
• Start = begin
• Programme = project
• Protect tortoise populations = conservation
Answer: viii


  1. Paragraph D
    Paragraph D told us about an exact point – about 5 years of age – at which “their size and weight – and their hardened shells – are sufficient to protect them from predators”. And the author claims:“But if people wait too long after that point, the tortoises eventually become too large to transport.”. That means we need to find the perfect timing for captive-bred tortoises to be
    reintroduced into the wild. Hence, heading i – “The importance of getting the timing right” is the answer.
    Answer: i.​


  1. Paragraph E
    In this paragraph, the writer mentioned “repatriation efforts”, which refers to every endeavor to bring tortoises back to the islands. The author also tells usthat at first, this work was done in small numbers, but thenit was decided to “work out more ambitious reintroduction” – they brought 300 of the breeding centre’s tortoises back to theirislands by helicopter. It was a much bigger number, based ona bigger idea. Therefore, heading iv – “Planning a bigger idea” is the  heading of this paragraph.
    Note: You may be confused between heading iv and heading vii – Looking for a home for the islands’ tortoises. However, this is “repatriation”, which means taking back to the place where  theyused to be, they are not “looking for” any other home. Hence, heading vii is inappropriate.
    • More ambitious = bigger
    Answer: iv.​


  1. Paragraph F

The 3 remainingheadings are:“Carrying out a carefully prepared operation” (keywords: carefully prepared, operation), “Looking for a home for the islands’ tortoises” (look for, home), and “Young meets old” (young, old, meet). Paragraph F is about the preparation to usea helicopter to bring tortoises back to their islands. The author mentioned: “During a period of three days, a group of volunteers from the breeding centre worked around the clock to prepare the young tortoises for transport.” In addition, we are told that groups of volunteers spent some time on the islands before the tortoises arrived, clearing sites for the helicopter to land. Thereis no line about “looking for a home” or “young meets old”. Therefore, heading vi – “Carrying out a carefully prepared operation” is the most suitable one for this paragraph.
Answer: vi.


  1. Paragraph G
    In the second sentence of this paragraph, the author mentioned “Eventually, one tiny tortoise came across a fully grown giant who had been lumbering around the island for around a hundred years.” “One tiny tortoise” refers to “young” while “a fully grown giant” means “old”– about 100 years old, in fact. And “came across” means “to meet by accident”. Hence, “Young meets old” is the heading for this paragraph.
    • Come across = meet
    Answer: ii


  1. 17th century: small numbers taken onto ships used by _____
    Keywords: 17th century, small numbers, taken, ships

    “17th century” is mentioned in the second sentence of paragraph B, so we have to pay attention to this part – “From the 17th century onwards , pirates took a few on board for food”. “A few” refers to “small numbers” and “on board” refers to “on ships”. We can paraphrase this sentence like this “From the 17th century onwards, small numbers were taken onto ships for food by pirates”. Therefore, the answer is “pirates”.
    • A few = smallnumbers
    Answer: pirates


9 + 10. 1790s: very large numbers taken onto whaling ships, kept for ______and also used to produce _____
Keywords: 1790s, large numbers, whaling ships, kept, to produce

The next part of paragraph B is about what happened after “the arrival of whaling ships in the 1790s”. That is “Relatively immobile and capable of surviving for months without food or water, the tortoises were taken on board these ships to act as food supplies during long ocean passages.”The tortoises were taken onto ships “to act as food supplies”. That means they were kept for food. The answer for question 9 is “food”. The author also mentioned “Sometimes, their bodies were processed into high-grade oil.”
“processed into high-grade oil” means “used to produce high-grade oil”. However, they allow one word only, so we have to choose the most important word – “oil” – as the answer for question 10.
Answer: 9. Food 10. oil


  1. Hunted by ____ on islands​

Keywords: hunt, on islands
The author mentioned the word “hunt” later in paragraph B- “They hunted the tortoises and destroyed their habitat to clear land for agriculture”. We have to look at the previous sentences to find out who “they” refers to. “In total, an estimated 200,000 animals were taken from the archipelago before the 20th century. This historical exploitation was then exacerbated when settlers came to the islands.” Obviously, “they”are “settlers”who came to the islands”. Therefore, “settlers” is the answer.
Answer: settlers


12 + 13. Habitat destruction: for the establishment of agriculture and by various _____ not native to the islands, which also fed on baby tortoises and tortoises’ _____
Keywords: Habitat destruction, not native, fed on, tortoises

They not only hunted tortoises and destroyed their habitat to clear land for agriculture, but settlers also “introduced alien species – ranging from cattle, pigs, goats, rats and dogs to plants and ants – that either prey on the eggs and young tortoises or damage or destroy their habitat.” (the last sentence of paragraph C). The word“alien” means “coming from a different country, race, or group”, which is the same as “not native to the islands.” The author referred to those alien speciesthat “damage or destroy their habitat”, which means the same as “habitat destruction”. The answer for question 12 is “species”. Those species also “prey on eggs and
young tortoises.” “Prey on” means “feed on”, and “young tortoises” refers to “baby tortoises.”. Hence, what remains is “tortoises’ eggs.” The answer is eggs.
• Alien = not native
• Destruction = damage or destroy
Answer: 12. Species 13. eggs




  1. An acceptance that not all diseases can be totally eliminated

Keywords: acceptance, not all diseases, totally eliminated.

In paragraph D, the author mentioned some information about health geography and diseases: “It is an increasingly important area of study in a world where diseases like polio are re-emerging, respiratory diseases continue to spread, and malaria-prone areas are still fighting to find a better cure.” The words “continue to spread” and “still fighting to find a better cure” mean that humans cannot control the above-mentioned diseases and still need “a better cure” for them, which is the same as they are not “totally eliminated”. Later in the paragraph, we find a key statement : “…people will always be prone to illness…” Therefore, the answer is D. • Illness = diseases

Answer: D.


  1. Examples of physical conditions caused by human behavior.

Keywords: examples, physical conditions, human behavior.

In paragraph C, the author gives some examples. The human behavior referred to includes: “the massive number of cars being driven”, and “the cutting down of forests”. The physical conditions which have resulted in large cities are “smog and pollution that cause asthma, lung problems, eyesight issues and more”.

Answer: C.


  1. A reference to classifying diseases on the basis of how far they extend geographically

Keywords: reference, classify diseases, basis, extend, geographically

In paragraph F, the author mentioned a way of categorising illnesses and diseases. “Categorise” is the same as “classify”, which means “to divide diseases into groups according to their type”. Therefore, we have to pay attention to this part of the text: “…work to create a clear way of categorising illnesses, diseases and epidemics into local and global scales. Health geographers can map the spread of illnesses and attempt to identify the reasons behind an increase or decrease in illnesses”. “Categorising…into local and global scales” can be understood as “how far the extend geographically”. Hence, the information in paragraph F matches the statement.

  • Classify = categorise
  • Spread = extend

Answer: F.


  1. Reasons why the level of access to healthcare can vary within a country

Keywords: reasons, level of access to healthcare, vary, within a country

In paragraph G, the writer mentioned “a very large discrepancy between the options available to people”. “A very large discrepancy” is the same as “vary” and “options available to people” can be seen as “level of access”. In the previous sentence, the author was talking about the availability or the lack of healthcare provision, so we can understand they are “level of access to healthcare”. And the author named some reasons for this large discrepancy – “different social classes, income brackets, and levels of education”. Therefore, paragraph G contains information in the statement. The answer is G.

  • Vary = a very lagre discrepancy
  • Options available to people = level of access

Answer: G.


  1. A description of health geography as a mixture of different academic fields

Keywords: health geography, mixture, academic fields

In the second sentence of paragraph D, the author claimed “Health geography is the combination of, on the one hand, knowledge regarding geography and methods used to analyse and interpret geographical information, and on the other, the study of health, diseases and healthcare practices around the world.” “Combination” is the same as “a mixture”. It is a mixture of “knowledgeregarding geography”, “methods used to analyse and interpret geographical information”, and “the study of health, diseases and healthcare practices”. Those can be considered as “different academic fields” which, when combined, make a “hybrid science” (= a science which is the product of mixing different disciplines) Therefore, the answer is D.

  • Mixture = combination

Answer: D.


  1. A description of the type of area where a particular illness is rare

Keywords: type of area, a particular illness, rare

In paragraph B, the author claimed “depending on where you live, you will not have the same health concerns as someone who lives in a different geographical region” and gave an example of a particular illness (malaria) in different regions. In tropical regions, malaria is widespread. However, in high-altitude deserts, this disease “is much less of a problem”. High-altitude deserts is a type of area, and “much less of a problem” means it is very unusual, or we can consider it as “rare”. The answer is B.

Answer: B.


  1. Certain diseases have disappeared, thanks to better _____ and healthcare

Keywords: certain disease, disappeared, thanks to, better, healthcare

In the first sentence of the first paragraph, the author wrote: “many diseases that affect humans have been eradicated due to improvements in vaccinations and the availability of healthcare”. “diseases have been eradicated” means people are able to “get rid of those diseases completely”, or we can say that those diseases have disappeared completely. “Due to” is the same as “thanks to”, and “improvements” refers to “something better”. In this sentence, the author mentioned 2 things – “vaccinations” and “the availability of healthcare”. “Healthcare” is mentioned in the statement already, thefore, what we are looking for is “vaccinations”. The answer is “vaccinations”.

  • Eradicate = disappear
  • Improvements = better

Answer: vaccinations


  1. Because there is more contact between people, ______ are losing their usefulness.

Keywords: contact between people, lose, usefulness

In the next sentences of the first paragraph, the author mentioned “contact between people” – “In a world that is far more globalised than ever before, people come into contact with one another through travel and living closer and closer to each other. As a result, super-viruses and other infections resistant to antibiotics are becoming more and more common.” The first sentence let us know that “there is more contact between people” (more globalized, come into contact with one another, closer and closer), and the second one showed its consequence (as a result) that is “super-viruses and other infections resistant to antibiotics are becoming more and more common”. “Resistant to antibiotics” means antibiotics are not useful to combat those superviruses and other infections. They are losing their usefulness since those super-viruses are becoming more common. Therefore, the answer is antibiotics.

Answer: antibiotics


  1. Disease-causing _____ are most likely to be found in hot, damp regions.

Keywords: disease – causing, most likely, found, hot, damp regions.

This gap needs a noun, something or someone that can cause diseases. In the paragraph about the disease called malaria (paragraph B), the author mentioned “tropical regions that foster a warm and damp environment in which the mosquitos that can give people this disease can grow”. So, the writer tell us that mosquitos that can cause malaria to spread in a warm and damp environment. Therefore, what we have to find out here is “mosquitos”. The answer is mosquitos.

Answer: mosquitos


  1. One cause of pollution is ______ that burn a particular fuel.

Keywords: cause of pollution, burn, particular fuel In paragraph C, the author named some causes of pollution. They are the massive number of cars being driven , factories that run on coal power, and the rapid industrialisation of some countries. Among them causes, factories is the word that relates to “run on coal power”, which means burns a particular fuel (coal – to be more specific). Therefore, the answer is factories.

Answer: factories.


  1. The growth of cities often has an impact on nearby ____

Keywords: the growth of cities, impact, nearby

In the last sentence of paragraph C, the author explained why the rapid industrialization of some countries can cause pollution. “The rapid industrialisation of some countries in recent years has also led to the cutting down of forests to allow for the expansion of big cities, which makes it even harder to fight the pollution with the fresh air that is produced by plants.” “The expansion of big cities” can be seen as “the growth of cities”. To make way for the growth of cities, they have to “cut down forests”. We can say it has an impact on nearby forests. The answer is forests.

  • Growth = expansion

Answer: forests.


  1. ____is one disease that is growing after having been eradicated.

Keywords: one disease, grow, after eradicated.

We need to find out the most appropriate disease, one which is ‘growing’. In paragraph D, the author mentioned some diseases that need a better cure. One of them is polio which is reemerging. “Emerge” means to to appear, and “re” is a prefix used with the meaning “again”. We can understand that polio is a disease that can appear again (after being treated or eradicated). Therefore, the answer is polio.

Answer: polio.


  1. A physical barrier such as a ____ can prevent people from reaching a hospital.

Keywords: physical barrier, prevent, reach a hospital

The word needed is after an article and stands in front of a verb. Therefore, it has to be a noun. “Hospital” is mentioned once in the passage in paragraph G,in which the author took an example of people’s attempt to assess the levels of healthcare. The writer states: “it may be very difficult for people to get medical attention because there is a mountain between their village and the nearest hospital”. What prevents people from getting to their nearest hospital is a mountain (a physical barrier). Therefore, the noun we’re looking for is “mountain”.

Answer: mountain.




27 + 28. It was noted that the music stimulated the brain’s neurons to release a substance called ____ in two of the parts of the brain which are associated with feeling ____ .

Keywords: music, stimulate, brain’s neurons, release, substance, two of the parts of the brain, associated, feeling

In the last sentences of the second paragraph, the author wrote “The first thing they discovered is that music triggers the production of dopamine – a chemical with a key role in setting people’s moods – by the neurons (nerve cells) in both the dorsal and ventral regions of the brain. As these two regions have long been linked with the experience of pleasure, this finding isn’t particularly surprising.” “Trigger” means “to cause something to start” and can be considered as “stimulate”. It is said that music stimulates the production of a chemical called dopamine. “A chemical” is the same as “a substance” and “production” is the same as “release”. Therefore, “dopamine” is what we’re looking for in question 27. After that, the author mentioned two regions of the brain and claimed they “have long been linked with the experience of pleasure.” “Linked” refers to “associated” (to be connected), and “feeling” means “experience”. Hence, the answer for question 28 is “pleasure”.

  • stimulate = trigger
  • substance = chemical
  • associated = linked
  • parts = regions

Answer: 27. dopamine 28. pleasure


29 + 30. Researchers also observed that the neurons in the area of the brain called the _____ were particularly active just before the participants’ favourite moments in the music – the period known as the ______.

Keywords: observe, neurons, area of the brain, active, before, favourite moments

In the first sentence of the third paragraph, the author claimed that “the dopamine neurons in the caudate – a region of the brain involved in learning stimulus-response associations, and in anticipating food and other ‘reward’ stimuli – were at their most active around 15 seconds before the participants’ favourite moments in the music”. The phrase: “at their most active” is the same as “particularly active” and “region” means “area” of the brain, so it is clear that such a “region” refers to “the caudate”. Therefore, the answer for question 29 is “caudate”. In the following sentence, it is said that “The researchers call this the ‘anticipatory phase ’”. Here, “this” refers to the observation made by researchers concerning the participants’ favourite music. The period at which something happens is a stage or a ‘phase’. Hence, the answer for question 30 should be “anticipatory phase”.

  • particularly active = at their most active
  • area = region

Answer: 29. caudate 30. anticipatory phase


  1. Activity in this part of the brain is associated with the expectation of ‘reward’ stimuli such as ______.

Keywords: activity, this part of the brain, associated with, expectation, reward stimuli

Also in the first sentence of the third paragraph, the author described the caudate as “a region of the brain involved in learning stimulus-response associations, and in anticipating food and other ‘reward’ stimuli”. Thus, “involved in” means “associated with” and “anticipate” means “to look forward to”, which is the same as “expect”. Therefore, it can be understood that the “reward stimuli” expected by the caudate should include “food” as the example given in the passage. The word to fill in the blank is “food”. • to be involved in = to be associated with

  • anticipate = expect

 Answer: 31. Food


  1. What point does the writer emphasise in the first paragraph?

A how dramatically our reactions to music can vary

B how intense our physical responses to music can be

C how little we know about the way that music affects us

D how much music can tell us about how our brains operate

Keywords: point, emphasise, first paragraph

Looking at the first paragraph, it is claimed that “sound stirs us at our biological roots”, meaning that music can affect the listeners in a biological way. To demonstrate this, the author gave examples of some physical reactions that we may have when listening to our favourite music: “The pupils in our eyes dilate, our pulse and blood pressure rise, the electrical conductance of our skin is lowered, and the cerebellum, a brain region associated with bodily movement, becomes strangely active. Blood is even re-directed to the muscles in our legs”. These are all big or ‘intense’ physical changes that occur in our bodies when we listen to music. Therefore, the answer is B – how intense our physical responses to music can be.

Answer: B


  1. What view of the Montreal study does the writer express in the second paragraph?

A Its aims were innovative.

B The approach was too simplistic.

C It produced some remarkably precise data.

D The technology used was unnecessarily complex.

Keywords: view, Montreal study, second paragraph

In the second paragraph, the author mentioned “Although the study involves plenty of fancy technology, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and ligand-based positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, the experiment itself was rather straightforward”. The term: “fancy technology” may mean the same as “complex technology”, but there is no information about whether it was “unnecessary” or not, so D cannot be the correct answer. Neither is B, because the author mentioned that “the experiment itself was rather straightforward”, not “too simplistic”. Further in the paragraph, it is stated that scientists “were able to obtain an impressively exact and detailed portrait of music in the brain”. So, “exact” means “precise” and “impressively” means “remarkably”, so this information suggests that the Montreal study produced “remarkably precise data”. Hence, the answer is C.

  • exact = precise
  • impressively = remarkably

Answer: C


  1. What does the writer find interesting about the results of the Montreal study?

A the timing of participants’ neural responses to the music

B the impact of the music on participants’ emotional state

C the section of participants’ brains which was activated by the music

D the type of music which had the strongest effect on participants’ brains

Keywords: interesting, results, Montreal study

Because the questions follow the order of the text, and we already know the position of the answer to question 33 (in the second paragraph), just pay attention to the following sections. In the beginning of the third paragraph, it is said that “What is rather more significant is the finding that the dopamine neurons in the caudate … were at their most active around 15 seconds beforethe participants’ favourite moments in the music”. The fact that the caudate was particularly active before the musical climax can be considered “the timing of participants’ neural responses”. This observation was followed by the author’s question: “The question, of course, is what all these dopamine neurons are up to. Why are they so active in the period preceding the acousticclimax?” So, it can be inferred that the timing of this response of the neurons in the brain really caught his attention. In other words, he found it interesting. Hence, the correct answer is A.

Answer: A


  1. Why does the writer refer to Meyer’s work on music and emotion?

A to propose an original theory about the subject

B to offer support for the findings of the Montreal study

C to recommend the need for further research into the subject

D to present a view which opposes that of the Montreal researchers

Keywords: Meyer’s work, music and emotion

By using the skim and scan skill, we can easily locate the word “Meyer” in the fifth paragraph. The first sentence mentioned “To demonstrate this psychological principle, the musicologist Leonard Meyer, in his classic book Emotion and Meaning in Music (1956), analysed the 5th movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131”. Hence, to understand what “this psychological principle” refers to, we need to read the previous paragraph. The fourth paragraph explains the findings of the Montreal study, in which the participants’ caudate neurons were at their most active a few moments before the climax of the music: “it turns out that the most important part of every song or symphony is when the patterns break down, when the sound becomes unpredictable. If the music is too obvious, it is annoyingly boring, like an alarm clock. Numerous studies, after all, have demonstrated that dopamine neurons quickly adapt to predictable rewards. If we know what’s going to happen next, then we don’t get excited”. Meyer is a musicologist and his analysis of the music offers an explanation of why the brain is responding in this ‘reward principle, way. Therefore, it can be inferred that the author mentioned Meyer’s book to support the Montreal study.The answer is B.

Answer: B


  1. According to Leonard Meyer, what causes the listener’s emotional response to music?

A the way that the music evokes poignant memories in the listener

B the associtiation of certain musical chords with certain feelings

C the listener’s sympathy with the composer’s intentions

D the internal structure of the musical composition

Keywords: according, Leonard Meyer, causes, emotional response

In the last paragraph, it is stated that “According to Meyer, it is the suspenseful tension of music, arising out of our unfulfilled expectations, that is the source of the music’s feeling”. The author then explained in more detail: “Meyer argued that the emotions we find in music come from the unfolding events of the music itself”. So, emotional response is not connected to A or C – the listener’s memories or sympathies. “This ‘embodied meaning’ arises from the patterns the symphony invokes and then ignores”. The “unfolding events” and “the patterns the symphony invokes and then ignores” both imply the unpredictable part of any musical piece which is considered to be the most appealing. It is this part that makes the listeners want more and wait for more, therefore fully enjoy and be in sync with the music. Hence, when Meyer refers to “the music itself” and “the patterns” of the music, it can be understood that the internal structure is responsible for the listener’s feelings attached to a musical composition.

Answer: D


  1. The Montreal researchers discovered that _____.

Keywords: Montreal researchers, discover

From question 34, we already know that in the Montreal study, scientists found that the caudate neurons “were at their most active around 15 seconds before the participants’ favourite moments in the music”. The word: “before” is the same as “prior”, and “the participants’ favourite moments” can be considered as “key points” in the music. In addition, the fact that neurons “were at their most active” means that the level of neural activity had increased before those “key points”. Therefore, the answer should be F – neuron activity increases prior to key points in a musical piece.

  • prior = before

Answer: F


  1. Many studies have demonstrated that _____.

Keywords: studies, demonstrate

The author mentioned in the fourth paragraph that “Numerous studies, after all, have demonstrated that dopamine neurons quickly adapt to predictable rewards. If we know what’s going to happen next, then we don’t get excited”. The word: “numerous” means “many”. The two sentences suggests that if we can predict what’s going to happen next, which means that “the outcomes become predictable”, then our brains do not get excited because dopamine neurons have already become familiar with, or adapted to, those outcomes, leading to decreasing neuron activity. Hence, the answer is B – neuron activity decreases if outcomes become predictable.

  • numerous = many

Answer: B


  1. Meyer’s analysis of Beethoven’s music shows that _____.

Keywords: Meyer, analysis,

Beethoven’s music It is mentioned in the fifth paragraph that “Meyer dissected 50 measures (bars) of the masterpiece, showing how Beethoven begins with the clear statement of a rhythmic and harmonic pattern and then, in an ingenious tonal dance, carefully holds off repeating it”. To “dissect” means “to analyze and interpret minutely”, so Meyer’s work can be considered an analysis of Beethoven’s composition. This analysis shows that the musician held off, or “delayed”, the patterns that he had previously put in the beginning of the musical piece. Such delay “keeps us listening, waiting expectantly for our reward, for the pattern to be completed”. This has the same meaning as “emotive music delays giving listeners what they expect to hear”. Thus, the answer has to be E.

Answer: E


  1. Earlier theories of music suggested that _____.

Keywords: earlier, theories

It is mentioned in the last paragraph that “earlier theories of music focused on the way a sound can refer to the real world of images and experiences”. Therefore, “real” is the same as “actual”, “images” means “pictures” and “experiences” can be understood as “events”, so this information can be paraphrased into “ealier theories of music suggested that a sound can refer to actual pictures and events”. Hence, the appropriate answer is C – emotive music can bring to mind actual pictures and events.

  • real = actual
  • images = pictures
  • experiences = events

Answer: C


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