Cambridge IELTS 12 Reading – Test 4 – Answers


The History of Glass

Questions 1-8: Complete the notes below.

Q1 – 2. Early humans used a material called 1…… to make the sharp points of their 2…

Key words: early humans, sharp points

In the first paragraph, the author mentioned that “From our earliest origins, man has been making use of glass. Historians have discovered that a type of natural glass – obsidian – … was first used as tips for spears”. “From our earliest origins” can be understood as “early humans”, “make use of” is the same as “use”, and “tips” means “sharp points”, so it can be inferred from the two sentences that our ancestors used obsidian to make the sharp points of their spears. Therefore, the answer for question 1 is “obsidian” and for question 2 is “spears”.

Man from our ealiest origins = early human

Tip = sharp point • Make use of = use

Answer: 1. obsidian – 2. spears

3. 4000 BC: 3……………………. made of stone were covered in a coating of man-made glass.

Key words: 4000 BC, made of stone, covered, coating, man-made glass

By using the skim and scan skill, we can locate the word “4000 BC” in the first paragraph: “Archaeologists have even found evidence of man-made glass which dates back to 4000 BC; this took the form of glazes used for coating stone beads”. Here, “this” refers to “man-made glass”, and “coat” means “cover”, so the sentence can be paraphrased into “man-made glass was used to cover the stone beads”. The answer is “beads” (note that only one word is allowed)

Coat = cover

Answer: Beads

4. First century BC: glass was coloured because of the 4… in the material.

Key words: first century BC, coloured, because of, material We can find the phrase

“First century BC” in the second paragraph: “The glass made during this time was highly coloured due to the impurities of the raw material”. “due to” means “because of”, so the impurities in the material were responsible for the colour of glass. Hence, the answer is “impurities”.

Due to = because of

Answer: impurities

5. Until 476 AD: only the 5… knew how to make glass.

Key words: until 476 AD, only, knew

It is mentioned in the second paragraph that the Romans “guarded the skills and technology required to make glass very closely” and it was not until 476 AD “that glass-making knowledge became widespread”. “glass-making knowledge” means “how to make glass” and “widespread” means “distributed over a wide region, or occurring in many places or among many persons or individuals”, which is the opposite of the term “only”. It can be inferred from this that prior to 476 AD, such knowledge had been exclusive to the Romans and only they knew how to make glass. The answer is “Romans”.

Glass-making knowledge = how to make glass

Answer: Romans

Q6 – 7. 17th century: George Ravenscroft developed a process using 6… to avoid the occurrence of 7… in blown glass.

Key words: 17th century, George Ravenscroft, avoid, blown glass

Information about George Ravenscroft can be found in the third paragraph where the author mentioned an attempt to “counter the effect of clouding that sometimes occurred in blown glass by introducing lead to the raw materials used in the process”. The words “counter the effect of” mean “reduce the effect of”, which means it is the same as “avoid”. The idea is to use a material called lead in the production of blown glass to avoid “clouding” which may otherwise occur. Hence, the answer for question 6 is “lead” and for question 7 is “clouding”.

Counter the effect of = avoid

Answer: 6.lead – 7.clouding

8.Mid-19th century: British glass production developed after changes to laws concerning 8…

Key words: mid-19th century, British glass production, after, changes, laws

Because the questions follow the order of the text, and we already know the position of the answer to question 7 (in third paragraph), just pay attention to the following parts. We find the word “Britain” and the date 1845, which refers to “mid-19th century”, at the beginning of the fourth paragraph. It is mentioned that the Excise Act had put “heavy taxes on the amount of glass melted in a glasshouse, and were levied continuously from 1745 to 1845”. But since its repeal, meaning that the laws were cancelled, “the modern glass industry”, which is the same as “British glass production”, started to develop. “The repeal of the Excise Act in 1845” can be considered as “changes to laws” and obviously it was concerned with “heavy taxes”. With the note that only one word is allowed, the answer should be “taxes”.

Answer: taxes

Questions 9-13: In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet

9. In 1887, HM Ashley had the fastest bottle-producing machine that existed at the time.

Key words: fastest, bottle-producing, at the time

In terms of HM Ashley’s machine, the fifth paragraph stated that it was “more than three times quicker than any previous production method”. A “bottle-producing machine” is a form of “production method”, so this statement obviously means that it was the fastest machine at that time. Therefore the answer is TRUE.

Answer: True

10. Michael Owens was hired by a large US company to design a fully-automated bottle manufacturing machine for them.

Key words: hired, large US company, design,

fully-automated Information about Michael Owens can be found in the fifth paragraph. It is mentioned that he wasthe “founder of the Owens Bottle Machine Company”. He started the company and he was the owner. Hence, the statement that he was hired by the company, meaning that he was an employee, must be FALSE.

Answer: False

11. Nowadays, most glass is produced by large international manufacturers.

Key words: nowadays, most, large international manufacturers

It is mentioned in the sixth paragraph that “Today, glass making is a big business. It has become a modern, hi-tech industry operating in a fiercely competitive global market where quality, design and service levels are critical to maintaining market share”. However, there is no information about glass being produced by international companies. The answer is NOT GIVEN.

Answer: Not given

12. Concern for the environment is leading to an increased demand for glass containers.

Key words: concern, environment, lead to, increased demand, glass containers

In the last paragraph, the author said “with growing consumer concern for green issues, glass bottles and jars are becoming ever more popular”. Thus, “concern for green issues” means “concern for the environment” and “glass bottles and jars” are types of “glass containers”. It can be inferred from the sentence that environmental concerns led to the increasing popularity of, therefore “increased demand for”, the above-mentioned glass containers. The correct answer is TRUE.

Answer: True

13. It is more expensive to produce recycled glass than to manufacture new glass.

Key words: more expensive, recycled glass, new glass

In the last paragraph, the author made a comparison between recycled and new glass : “As less energy is needed to melt recycled glass than to melt down raw materials, this also saves fuel and production costs”, implying that the production of recycled glass is not as expensive as that of new glass, because it does not require as much “energy”, “fuel” and “production costs”. Thus, the answer is FALSE.

Answer: False.



Bring back the big cats

Questions 14-18: Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet

14. What did the 2006 discovery of the animal bone reveal about the lynx?

A Its physical appearance was very distinctive.

B Its extinction was linked to the spread of farming.

C It vanished from Britain several thousand years ago.

D It survived in Britain longer than was previously thought.

Key words: 2006 discovery, animal bone, lynx The date 2006 can be found in the first paragraph using the skim and scan skill. Here, the author claimed that “the 2006 find, together with three others in Yorkshire and Scotland, is compelling evidence that the lynx and the mysterious llewyn were in fact one and the same animal. If this is so, it would bring forward the tassel-eared cat’s estimated extinction date by roughly 5,000 years”. The word “find” is the same as “discovery” and “bring forward” means “to move to an earlier time or date”. It can be understood that after this discovery, scientists had enough proof to say that the extinction of the lynx had happened much later than previously thought. Hence, the answer is D.

Discovery = find

Answer: D

15. What point does the writer make about large predators in the third paragraph?

A Their presence can increase biodiversity.

B They may cause damage to local ecosystems.

C Their behavior can alter according to the environment.

D They should be reintroduced only to areas where they were native.

Key words: large predators, third paragraph

We can find information about “large predators” in the third paragraph: “Some of them drive dynamic processes that resonate through the whole food chain, creating niches for hundreds of species that might otherwise struggled to survive”. “The whole food chain” refers to ecosystems and “resonate” means “to broadly affect something”. The first half of the sentence means that the presence of large predators can extensively affect the ecosystems in which they live. In addition, it helps to create “niches”, meaning appropriate environments, for other animals including those considered to be the prey. Hence, more species are more likely to survive, which means biodiversity is increased. The author summarises this in the final sentence: “The killers turn out to be bringers of life”. The answer is A.

Killers = predators

Answer: A.

16. What does the writer suggest about British conservation in the fourth paragraph?

A It has failed to achieve its aims.

B It is beginning to change direction.

C It has taken a misguided approach.

D It has focused on the most widespread species.

Key words: British conservation, fourth paragraph

In the fourth paragraph, the author mentioned that British conservation “tried to preserve the living world as if it were a jar of pickles, letting nothing in and nothing out, keeping nature in a state of arrested development”. It can be understood that they wanted to keep everything in a static state, without developing, failing to understand that“ecosystems are not merely collections of species; they are also the dynamic and ever-shifting relationships between them”. “Ever- shifting” means “continuously changing and developing”, so the idea of always keeping everything the same is not plausible or possible. In other words,British conservation“has taken a misguided approach”. The answer is C.

Answer: C

17. Protecting large areas of the sea from commercial fishing would result in

A practical benefits for the fishing industry.

B some short-term losses to the fishing industry.

C widespread opposition from the fishing industry.

D certain changes to techniques within the fishing industry.

Key words: protect, large areas of the sea, commercial fishing,

result in In the fifth paragraph, the author mentioned “At sea the potential is even greater: by protecting large areas from commercial fishing, we could once more see what 18th-century literature describes: vast shoals of fish being chased by fin and sperm whales, within sight of the English shore”, anticipating the return of once-flourished marine life if sea protection is done right, by creating breeding reserves. However, protecting large areas of the sea not only benefits the ecosystem, it also benefits the fishing industry whose over-exploitation of the seabed “could not be more damaging to its own interests”. Commercial fishing leaves no fish offspring in the sea,meaning no fish to catch in the near future. An alternative would be to protect marine life and turn to “catches in the surrounding seas”, which could be more profitable in the long run. Therefore, the answer is A.

Answer: A​

18. According to the author, what distinguishes rewilding from other environmental campaigns?

A Its objective is more achievable.

B Its supporters are more articulate.

C Its positive message is more appealing.

D It is based on sounder scientific principles.

Key words: distinguishes, rewilding, other campaigns

It is claimed in the sixth paragraph that “rewilding is a rare example of an environmental movement”, meaning it is different from other campaigns, because “it helps to create a more inspiring vision”. “inspiring” means “appealing” and “vision” can be understood as“positive message”. By arguing in favour of rewilding, “campaigners articulate what they are for, rather than only what they are against”. Their message is, therefore, positive so the answer has to be C.

Appealing = inspiring

Positive message = vision

Answer: C

Questions 19-22: Complete the summary using the list of words and phrases A-F below

19. Key words: no evidence, lynx, danger

In the seventh paragraph, it is stated that “The lynx presents no threat to human beings: there is no known instance of one preying on people”. “no known instance” is the same as“no evidence” and “prey on” means to feed on, which is similar to “put something in danger”, so the sentence could be paraphrased into “there is no evidence that the lynx has put people in danger”. Hence, the blank must be filled with E – “humans”

No evidence = no known instance

Prey on = put something in danger

Answer: E

20. Key words: reduce the number, populations increased enormously, recent decades

Also inthe seventh paragraph,the lynx is described as “a specialist predator of roe deer, a species that has exploded in Britain in recent decades”. The term “to explode” means “to increase enormously in population”. A predator is an organism that exists by preying upon other organisms. The fact that the lynx is a predator of the roe deer means that it feeds on, therefore reduces the number of, the latter. And roe deer are a type of wild animal, so the answer should be D – “wild animals”.

Explode = increase enormously in population

Answer: D

21. Key words: minimal threat, provided, lynx habitats

The next part of the seventh paragraph stated that “The lynx requires deep cover, and as such presents little risk to sheep and other livestock, which are supposed, as a condition of farm subsidies, to be kept out of the woods”. The term “little risk” means “minimal threat”, “as a condition” means “provided”, “kept out of” is the same as “kept away from” and “the woods” refers to “lynx habitats”. We can paraphrase this sentence like this: “the lynx only poses a minimal threat to livestocks, provided that they are kept away from lynx habitats”. Since farm animals also mean livestock, the answer is F – “farm animals”.

Minimal threat = little risk

Provided = as a condition

Kept away from = kept out of

Answer: F

22. Key words: link efficiently, initiatives, return

In the seventh paragraph, it is mentioned that the reintroduction of the lynx “marries well”, meaning “links efficiently”, with the aim of “bringing forests back to parts of our bare and barren uplands” which imply “certain areas of the country”. Since “bring something back” means “return” and “initiative” can be understood as“aim”, the answer would relate to forests. Hence, it should be A – “trees” • Link efficiently = marries well

Return = bring back

Answer: A

Questions 23-26: Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 2?

23. Britain could become the first European country to reintroduce the lynx.

Key words: first European country, reintroduce

In the eighth paragraph, the author told us that he “heard several conservationists suggest that the lynx could be reintroduced there within 20 years”, meaning that the reintroduction of the lynx in Britain has not happened yet. In addition, it is also stated that “The lynx has now been reintroduced to the Jura Mountains, the Alps, the Vosges in eastern France and the Harz mountains in Germany”. Therefore, Britain cannot be the first European country to reintroduce the lynx. The answer is NO.

Answer: No

24. The large growth in the European lynx population since 1970 has exceeded conservationists” expectations.

Key words: large growth, exceed, conservationists” expectations

It is mentioned in the eighth paragraph that “the European population has tripled since 1970”, indicating “the large growth in the European lynx population since 1970”. However, there is no information about conservationists” expectations. So the answer is NOT GIVEN.

Answer: Not given​

25. Changes in agricultural practices have extended the habitat of the lynx in Europe.

Key words: changes, agricultural practices, extend, habitat

The next part of the eighth paragraph gave information about lynx habitats:“the lynx has been able to spread as farming has left the hills”. The word“farming” means “agricultural practices”, so “farming has left the hills” can be considered as a “change in agricultural practices”. This suggests that the land previously used for farming is now available for the lynx to inhabit, spreading their territory. The word “spread” has the same meaning as “extend the habitat”, therefore it can be deduced that the changes in agriculture have allowed the lynx to extend their habitat. The answer is YES.

Farming = agricultural practices

Spread = extend the habitat

Answer: Yes

26. It has become apparent that species reintroduction has commercial advantages.

Key words: species reintroduction, commercial advantages

Following information about the increasing size of lynx habitats, the eighth paragraph mentioned that “people discover that it is more lucrative to protect charismatic wildlife than to hunt it, as tourists will pay for the chance to see it”.Both “lucrative” and “commercial advantages” means money-making. The sentence suggests that the lynx could become a tourist attraction, bringing in money to the areas where they live. In other words, they bring about commercial benefits, so the correct answer isYES.

Lucrative = commercial advantages

Answer: Yes



UK companies need more effective boards of directors

Questions 27-33: Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A-G.

27. Paragraph A

This paragraph mentions the 2008 financial meltdown, the aftermath of which is the search for responsible businesses:“Governments, regulators, central banks and auditors have all been in the frame.The role of bank directors and management and their widely publicised failures have been extensively picked over and examined in reports, inquiries and commentaries”. In this sentence, “failures” is the same as “problems”;“Governments, regulators, central banks and auditors” are examples of “external bodies” related to the 2008 crisis. Therefore the correct heading is iv Many external bodies being held responsible for problems.

Problems = failures

External bodies = governments, regulators, central banks and auditors

Answer: iv

28. Paragraph B

The first sentence shows the main content of this paragraph: “The knock-on effect of this scrutiny has been to make the governance of companies in general an issue of intense public debate and has significantly increased the pressure on, and the responsibilities of, directors”. “Scrutiny” means “close examination” and “effect” means “impact”, so this paragraph is about the impacts of close examination on companies. The correct heading is ii – The impact on companies of being subjected to close examination.

Impact = effect

Close examination = scrutiny

Answer: ii

29. Paragraph C

Paragraph C is quite short, so you should read it thoroughly to find the correct answer. The author mentioned that “board business is devolved to committees in order to cope with the workload, which may be more efficient but can mean that the board as a whole is less involved in fully addressing some of the most important issues”. This suggests that the disadvantage of board business is the potential risk of board members not being able to work collectively to get through the issues. The term “the board” refers to “directors”, “to be involved in” means “take part in” and “address important issues” means “solve major problems”. Therefore, we can paraphrase as follows: directors may not fully take part in solving major problems. The correct heading is vi – A risk that not all directors take part in solving major problems.

Take part in = to be involved in

Solve major problems = address important issues

Answer: vi

30. Paragraph D

Paragraph D discusses “a radical solution” called “the professional board”. Although there are certain drawbacks to this solution and it may not be suitable for all businesses, the author claimed that “more professional and better-informed boards would have been particularly appropriate for banks where the executives had access to information that part-time non executive directors lacked, leaving the latter unable to comprehend or anticipate the 2008 crash”. Therefore, such a solution is a proposal about necessary changes to deal with the problems in board operation previously mentioned in paragraph C. The correct heading is viii – A proposal to change the way the board operates.

Answer: viii

31. Paragraph E

We can find information about the heading of this paragraph in the first sentence: “One of the main criticisms of boards and their directors is that they do not focus sufficiently on longer-term matters of strategy, sustainability and governance, but instead concentrate too much on short term financial metrics”. This means that boards do not see the bigger picture, nor do they understand the importance of long-term and sustainable development. Therefore, the most appropriate heading would be vii – Boards not looking far enough ahead.

Look far ahead = focus on longer-term

Answer: vii

32. Paragraph F

By reading the first sentence of paragraph F:“Compensation for chief executives has become a combat zone where pitched battles between investors, management and board members are fought”, we know that there are often disagreements concerning “compensation” between the investors and board directors of a company. The term “compensation” means payment or remuneration, so it has to do with money. Hence, heading i – Disputes over financial arrangements regarding senior managers is the most suitable (“dispute” means disagreement and “financial arrangements” refers to “compensation”). However, to be sure, we need to look further. In this paragraph, there is no information regarding changes made to the company, so heading iii – The possible need for fundamental change in every area of business is not relevant. Heading v – The falling number of board members with broad enough experience is not the answer either, despite the mention of “chief executives” in the paragraph,because there is no reference to a reduction in the number of board members.

Financial arrangements = compensation = payment

Senior managers = chief executives

Answer: i

33. Paragraph G

The correct heading for this paragraph can be inferred from the sentence: “Boards of companies in all sectors will need to widen their perspective to encompass these issues and this may involve a realignment of corporate goals”. The term“in all sectors” means “in every area”,and it is clear that there are fundamental questions asked about “the morality of capitalism and the market economy”.Thus, the answer is definitely iii – The possible need for fundamental change in every area of business.

In every area = in all sectors

Answer: iii

Questions 34-37 : Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?

34. Close scrutiny of the behavior of boards has increased since the economic downturn.

Key word: scrutiny, behavior, increased, economic downturn

We can find information about the economic downturn in paragraph A: “Following the 2008 financial meltdown, which resulted in a deeper and more prolonged period of economic downturn than anyone expected, the search for explanations in the many post-mortems of the crisis has meant blame has been spread far and wide” and“The role of bank directors and management and their widely publicised failures have been extensively picked over and examined in reports, inquiries and commentaries” . “The search for explanations” here can be understood as the fact that after the crisis, the responsibility of boards involved had been brought to the fore and examined in a thorough and careful manner (“extensively picked over and examined”). This has the same meaning as “being scrutinized”. In addition, the term “spread far and wide” means that such scrutiny has “increased” among the community. Therefore, the answer should be YES.

Scrutiny = extensively picked over and examined

Increase = spread far and wide

Answer: Yes

35. Banks have been mismanaged to a greater extent than other businesses.

Key words: mismanaged, greater extent, banks, other businesses Mismanagement refers to the failures of “governments, regulators, central banks and auditors”. These businesses are said to “have all been in the frame”, meaning that each and all of them are partly responsible for the 2008 crisis. However, we cannot find any information about whether “banks” contributed the most towards this crisis, nor are they more “mismanaged” than the remaining businesses, so the statement “Banks have been mismanaged to a greater extent than other businesses” must be NOT GIVEN.

Answer: Not given

36. Board meetings normally continue for as long as necessary to debate matters in full.

Key words: board meeting, normally, as long as necessary,

in full The last sentence of paragraph B: “Agendas can become overloaded and this can mean the time for constructive debate must necessarily be restricted in favour of getting through the business”. The fact that companies have a lot of other work to do means that they cannot afford long and thorough discussion. As a result, the time is restricted. Here, “the time for constructive debate” can refer to a board meeting,“in full” means “thorough” or “in detail”, so it can be inferred that board meetings are usually rushed and not fully discussed, which is the opposite meaning of “continue for as long as necessaryto debate matters in full”. Therefore the answer is NO.

Answer: No

37.Using a committee structure would ensure that board members are fully informed about significant issues.

Key words: committee structure, ensure, members, fully informed, significant issues

In paragraph C, the author mentioned that “board business is devolved to committees in order to cope with the workload, which may be more efficient but can mean that the board as a whole is less involved in fully addressing some of the most important issues”. The word “important” is the same as “significant”. The fact that members of the committee are “less involved in fully addressing some of the most important issues” can be seen as their inability to understand the problems in detail. In addition, the sentence “It is not uncommon for the audit committee meeting to last longer than the main board meeting itself” can imply that committee members are not “fully informed” and therefore take much more time than needed to get on with the business. Hence, the answer is NO.

Significant = important

Answer: No

Questions 38-40 : Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.

38. Before 2008, non-executive directors were at a disadvantage because of their lack of …

Key words: before2008, non-executive directors, disadvantage, lack of

In the last sentence of paragraph D, the author mentioned “executives had access to information that part-time non-executive directors lacked, leaving the latter unable to comprehend or anticipate the 2008 crash”. Here, “the latter” refers to non-executive directors, while“disadvantage” can imply the fact that they were not ready or prepared for the financial meltdown in 2008. The reason for this is that non-executive directors lacked “information”. Therefore the answer has to be “information”.

Answer: information

39. Boards tend to place too much emphasis on … considerations that are only of short-term relevance.

Key words: tend to, too much, emphasis, short-term

We can use the skim and scan skill to find the word “short-term” in paragraph E: “they do not focus sufficiently on longer-term matters of strategy, sustainability and governance, but instead concentrate too much on short-term financial metrics”. The term “concentrate too much on” is the same as “place too much emphasis on”. So the word to fill in the blank must be about “financial metrics”. With the note that only one word is allowed and that the blank is followed by the word “considerations” , the answer should be “financial”.

place too much emphasis on = concentrate too much on

Answer: financial

40. On certain matters, such as pay, the board may have to accept the views of …

Key words: pay, accept

We already know from question 32 that there are often conflicts between investors and boards concerning the matter of “compensation”, or “pay”. It is also stated in paragraph F that “shareholders use their muscle in the area of pay to pressure boards to remove under performing chief executives”. The passage continues: “Their powers to vote down executive remuneration policies increased when binding votes came into force”. If a decision is “binding”, this means that it must be accepted.Therefore, the word to fill in the blank should be “investors” or “shareholders”.

Pay = remuneration

Answer: investors/ shareholders


Leave a Reply