(Update 2023) Cambridge IELTS 13 Reading Test 2 Answers – Free Lesson

Cambridge IELTS 13 is the latest IELTS exam preparation. READINGIELTS.COM will help you to answer all questions in cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 with detail explanations.


Questions 1-9: Complete the notes below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

1. Biblical times: added to……………

Key words: biblical, added
Looking for the key words, we find a reference to biblical times in paragraph 1. “It was known in biblical times, and is mentioned in several books of the Bible, both as an ingredient that was mixed with oils for anointing people’s bodies and…..” So, cinnamon was used with oils.

– added to = mixed with

The answer is oils.

2. Biblical times: used to show……… between people

Key words: biblical, show
In the same sentence in paragraph 1, we find another use for cinnamon in biblical times. The passage continues: “…and also as a token indicating friendship amonglovers and friends”.

– show = indicate
– people = lovers and friends

The answer is friendship.

3. Ancient Rome: used for its sweet smell at………..

Key words: Rome, sweet smell
The use of cinnamon in Ancient Rome is also described in paragraph 1. “In ancient Rome, mourners attending funerals burnt cinnamon to create a pleasant scent”.

– sweet smell = pleasant scent

The answer is funerals.

4. Middle Ages: was an indication of a person’s………

Key words: Middle Ages, indication
The Middle Ages are first mentioned in paragraph 1. Here, we find: “In the Middle Ages, Europeans who could afford the spice used it to flavour food, particularly meat, and to impress those around them with their ability to purchase an expensive condiment from the ‘exotic’ East. At a banquet, a host would offer guests a plate with various spices piled upon it as a sign of the wealth at his or her disposal”.
Thus, at this time few people could afford spices such as cinnamon. If you could offer it to guests, this indicated that you were wealthy.

– indication = sign

The answer is wealth.

5. known as a treatment for …………. and other health problems

Key words: treatment, health problems
The medical use of cinnamon is referred to at the end of paragraph 1: “Cinnamon was also reported to have health benefits, and was thought to cure various ailments, such asindigestion”. Indigestion is mentioned as a specific health problem, for which cinnamon was a treatment.

– treatment = cure
– health problems = ailments

The answer is indigestion.

6. grown in…………

In paragraph 2, the writer describes how Arab traders/merchants transported cinnamon. “They took it from India, where it was grown…..”
The answer is India.

7. merchants used………. to bring it to the Mediterranean

Key words: merchants, Mediterranean
The same sentence in paragraph 2 continues: “where it was grown, on camels via anoverland route to the Mediterranean”.
Thus, cinnamon was brought to the Mediterranean using camels.
The answer is camels.

8. arrived in the Mediterranean at……………..

Key words: arrived, Mediterranean
In the next sentence, we find the answer to Q8: “Their journey ended when they reached Alexandria”.
When the journey ended, this means that they had arrived – they had reached their destination – Alexandria, which we are told is a port in the Mediterranean.

– arrived = reached

The answer is Alexandria.

9. traders took it to …………… and sold it to destinations around Europe

Key words: traders, sold, destinations, Europe
The next sentences in paragraph 2 then provide the answer to Q9. When cinnamon arrived in Alexandria: “European traders sailed there to purchase their supply ofcinnamon, then brought it back to Venice. The spice then travelled from that great trading city to markets all around Europe”.
Thus, the traders took/brought the cinnamon to Venice.

– destinations = markets

The answer is Venice.

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

10. The Portuguese had control over the cinnamon trade in Ceylon throughout the 16th century.

Key words: Portuguese, Ceylon, throughout, 16th century
Looking for the key words, we find ‘Portuguese’ and ‘Ceylon’ at the beginning of paragraph 3. All of paragraph 3 is about how the Portuguese controlled and increased the production of cinnamon, building a fort in 1518 to maintain their control of Ceylon during all of the 16th century. “In 1518, the Portuguese built a fort on Ceylon, which enabled them to protect the island, so helping them to develop a monopoly in the cinnamon trade and generate very high profits”.

– control over ~ a monopoly in

The statement is TRUE.

11. The Dutch took over the cinnamon trade from the Portuguese as soon as they arrived in Ceylon.

Key words: Dutch, took over, arrived, Ceylon
The arrival of the Dutch is described at the beginning of paragraph 4. “When the Dutcharrived off the coast of southern Asia at the very beginning of the 17th century, they set their sights on displacing the Portuguese as kings of cinnamon…. By 1640, the Dutch broke the 150-year Portuguese monopoly when they overran and occupied their factories. By 1658, they had permanently expelled the Portuguese from the island, thereby gaining control of the lucrative cinnamon trade”.

From this history, we learn that the Dutch arrived early in the 17th century, but they did not gain complete control of the cinnamon trade until after they had expelled the Portuguese in 1658. So, they did not take control of the cinnamon trade as soon as they arrived.

– take over = displace

The statement is FALSE.

12. The trees planted by the Dutch produced larger quantities of cinnamon than the wild trees.

Key words: trees, Dutch, larger quantities, wild
In paragraph 5, the planting of cinnamon trees by the Dutch is mentioned. “Eventually the Dutch began cultivating their own cinnamon trees to supplement the diminishing number of wild trees available for use”.
We are given no information here about whether these trees planted by the Dutch produced more cinnamon than the wild trees.

– plant = cultivate
The statement is NOT GIVEN.

13. The spice trade maintained its economic importance during the 19th century.

Key words: spice trade, importance, 19th century
In the last paragraph, the author refers to the 19th century and the ‘diminishing economic potential’ of the cinnamon trade: “the spice trade overall was diminishing in economicpotential, and was eventually superseded by the rise of trade in coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar”. The trade, therefore, had become less important by the middle of the 19th century.
The statement is FALSE.

cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 1
cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 1

Passage 2: OXYTOCIN

Questions 14-17: Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F.

14. reference to research showing the beneficial effects of oxytocin on people

Key words: research, beneficial effects
One of the key words to note is ‘beneficial’. The first reference to research is in paragraph B. This was in 2005: “The study was the start of research into the effects of oxytocin on human interactions”. This was followed by other studies: “These follow-up studies have shown that after a sniff of the hormone, people become more charitable, better at reading emotions on others’ faces and at communicating constructively in arguments”. All of these, we can say, are beneficial effects.
The paragraph concludes: “Together, the results fuelled the view that oxytocinuniversally enhanced the positive aspects of our social nature”.

– beneficial effects = positive aspects

The answer is paragraph B.

15. reasons why the effects of oxytocin are complex

Key words: reasons, effects, complex
We are looking for information about the effects of oxytocin, and the reasons why these effects are complex. The first sentence of paragraph F suggests that we might find the information in this paragraph: “Perhaps we should not be surprised that the oxytocin story has become more perplexing”. If something is ‘perplexing’, we have difficulties in understanding it, because it is complicated/complex.
Then, we find the answer in the statement by Sue Carter, who summarises the reasons: “It (oxytocin) affects primitive parts of the brain like the amygdala, so it’s going to have many effects on just abouteverything”.

Something which has many effects on almost everything is obviously complex. The answer is paragraph F.

16. mention of a period in which oxytocin attracted little scientific attention

Key words: period, little, scientific attention
In paragraph B, Heinrichs describes the experiment which he and his team conducted. “The study was the start of research into the effects of oxytocin on human interactions. ‘For eight years, it was quite a lonesome field’, Heinrichs recalls. Now, everyone is interested’.” Scientists, therefore, did not pay much attention to oxytocin during this period of 8 years, but then they did become interested.
The answer is paragraph B.

17. reference to people ignoring certain aspects of their research data

Key words: ignoring, aspects, research data
In paragraph E, we are told that Bartz looked again at some previous studies: “Bartz has recently shown that in almost half of the existing research results, oxytocin only influenced certain individuals or in certain circumstances. Where once researchers took no notice of such findings, now a more nuanced understanding of oxytocin’s effects is propelling investigations down new lines”.

– ignoring = taking no notice 

– research data = findings

The answer is paragraph E.

Questions 18-20: Match each research finding with the correct researcher, A-F.

18. People are more trusting when affected by oxytocin

Key words: trusting, affected
We find the answer when we read about the experiment in paragraph B. Markus Heinrichs “asked volunteers to do an activity in which they could invest money with ananonymous person who was not guaranteed to be honest. The team found that participants who had sniffed oxytocin via a nasal spray beforehand invested moremoney than those who received a placebo instead”. So, those people who took oxytocin invested more money than those who did not. This means that they trusted the anonymous (and possibly dishonest) person more than the participants who took no oxytocin.
The answer is A (Markus Heinrichs).

19. Oxytocin increases people’s feelings of jealousy

Key words: increases, jealousy
The experiment described in paragraph C shows that “ when volunteers played a competitive game, those who inhaled the hormone showed more pleasure when they beat other players, and felt more envy when others won”.
The volunteers who took oxytocin felt more jealousy when others won the game. This research was carried out by Simone Shamay-Tsoory.

– jealousy = envy
The answer is B (Simone Shamay-Tsoory).

20. The effect of oxytocin varies from one type of person to another

Key words: effect, varies
We are looking for an experiment in which oxytocin has different effects on different people. We find this in paragraph C. Bartz found this in her research: “What’s more, administering oxytocin also has sharply contrasting outcomes depending on a person’s disposition. Jennifer Bartz from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, found that it improves people’s ability to read emotions, but only if they are not very socially adept to begin with. Her research also shows that oxytocin in fact reduces cooperation in subjects who are particularly anxious or sensitive to rejection”.
In other words, the effects are different for different people.

– effect = outcome
– varies ~ contrasting

The answer is C (Jennifer Bartz).

Questions 21-26: Complete the summary below.

21. The earliest findings about oxytocin and bonding came from research involving……………

Key words: earliest, findings, bonding
The first research is mentioned in paragraph A, and it is clear that the studies linked oxytocin and bonding behaviour in animals: “It was through various studies focusing on animals that scientists first became aware of the influence of oxytocin. They discovered that it helps reinforce the bondsbetween prairie voles….”
The link between oxytocin and bonding behaviour came, therefore, from the first studies into oxytocin, which were carried out on animals – prairie voles and sheep.

– bonding = reinforce the bonds 

– research = studies

The answer is animals.

22. It was also discovered that humans produce oxytocin during …………….

Key words: humans, produce
The answer is also given in paragraph A. After discussing the effects of oxytocin on animals, the author continues: “It is also released by women in childbirth, strengthening the attachment between mother and baby”.
Thus, we are told that humans (mothers) produce oxytocin when they have babies, helping in the bonding process.

– produce = release

The answer is childbirth.

23. An experiment in 2005, in which participants were given either oxytocin or a ………….. , reinforced the belief that the hormone had a positive effect.

Key words: experiment, 2005, participants, positive effect
We find these key words in paragraph B: “Oxytocin’s role in human behaviour first emerged in 2005. In a groundbreaking experiment, Markus Heinrichs….asked volunteers to do an activity in which they could invest money with an anonymous person who was not guaranteed to be honest. The team found that participants who hadsniffed oxytocin…invested more money than those who received a placebo instead” More experiments were then done: “Together the results fuelled the view that oxytocin universally enhanced the positive aspects of our social nature”.

So, participants were given either oxytocin or a placebo (= a harmless substance, which they believed was oxytocin).

– reinforced the belief = fuelled the view

The answer is placebo.

24. A study at the University of Haifa where participants took part in a ………………. , revealed the negative emotions which oxytocin can trigger.

Key words: Haifa, negative emotions
We find these key words in paragraph C. “Simone Shamay-Tsoory at the University ofHaifa, Israel, found that when volunteers played a competitive game, those who inhaled the hormone showed more pleasure when they beat other players, and felt more envy when others won”.

In this study, participants had to play a game, and their emotions were recorded when they won or lost. If they lost, they felt more envy (a negative emotion) after they had taken oxytocin.

– participants = volunteers 

– took part in = played

The answer is game.

25. A study at the University of Antwerp showed people’s lack of willingness to help ……………. while under the influence of oxytocin.

Key words: Antwerp, lack of willingness, help
The University of Antwerp is mentioned in paragraph D. “Studies conducted byCarolyn DeClerck of the University of Antwerp, Belgium, revealed that people who had received a dose of oxytocin actually became less cooperative when dealing with complete strangers”.

Thus, after taking (a dose of) oxytocin, people were less willing to help (= became less cooperative to) strangers.

– showed = revealed

The answer is strangers.

26. Meanwhile, research at the University of Amsterdam revealed that people who have been given oxytocin consider……………… that are familiar to them in their own country to have more positive associations than those from other cultures”.

Key words: Amsterdam, familiar, positive associations

The University of Amsterdam is also mentioned in paragraph D. “Carsten De Dreu at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands discovered that volunteers given oxytocin showed favouritism: Dutch men became quicker to associate positive words with Dutch names than with foreign ones…”
Therefore, in the study, Dutch names were considered to have more positive associations, in preference to foreign names (= names from other cultures).
The answer is names.

cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 2
cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 2


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

27. In the first paragraph, the writer says that most managers

Key words: managers
In the first paragraph, the writer states that: “…managers often fail to recognize the lessobvious but profound ways these trends are influencing consumers’ aspirations, attitudes, and behaviors”. We learn that “managers can identify the major trends of the day”, so Answer A is incorrect. However, managers are not good at understanding how these trends influence the lives of consumers. So, they are unaware of the significant impact that trends have on consumers’ lives.

– profound = significant 

– influencing ~ impact on

The answer is D.

28. According to the third paragraph, Coach was anxious to

Key words: Coach, anxious

n paragraph 3, we learn how the company ‘Coach’ responded to the bad economic situation in 2008. “The Coach brand had been a symbol of opulence and luxury for nearly 70 years, and the most obvious reaction to the downturn would have been to lower prices. However, that would have risked cheapening the brand’s image”.

By producing a cheaper sub-brand, Poppy handbags, Coach was able to avoid price cuts on all its products, and maintain its image as a manufacturer of luxury goods. Most of its competitors, however, simply lowered their prices.
Therefore, Coach was anxious to ‘safeguard its reputation as a manufacturer of luxury goods’.

– reputation = image

The answer is C.

29. What point is made about Tesco’s Greener Living programme?

Key words: Tesco, Greener Living
In paragraph 4, the writer describes Tesco’s Greener Living programme. At the end of the paragraph, we learn that Tesco did not change the range of products which it sold, it simply added these ‘greener products’ to its range.
In other words, Tesco’s Greener Living programme ‘did not require Tesco to modify its core business activities’. The writer states: “Tesco has not abandoned its traditionalretail offerings, but augmented its business with these innovations, thereby infusing its value proposition with a green streak”.

– core business activities ~ traditional retail offerings

The answer is A.

30. What does the writer suggest about Nike’s strategy?

Key words: Nike, strategy
Nike’s strategy is described in paragraph 5. The writer explains: “At first glance, spending resources to incorporate elements of a seemingly irrelevant trend into one’s core offerings sounds like it’s hardly worthwhile”.
If something is ‘seemingly irrelevant to a business’, then this means that it will bring ‘few benefits’, and the strategy will be ‘hardly worthwhile’.

– might appear = at first glance
– few benefits ~ hardly worthwhile

In the case of Nike, therefore, the ‘strategy…might appear to have few obvious benefits’. 

The answer is D.

31. What was original about the ME2?

Key words: ME2, original

A video game, the ME2, is mentioned in paragraph 6. At the end of the paragraph, we learn what was original about this game: “What set it apart was that it incorporated thetraditional physical component of children’s play…The ME2, introduced in 2008, catered to kids’ huge desire to play video games while countering the negatives, such as associations with lack of exercise and obesity”.

Therefore, the feature of the ME2 which was different, was that children did physical exercise at the same time as using the handheld game. So, ‘it was a handheld game that addressed people’s concerns about unhealthy lifestyles”.

– unhealthy lifestyles ~ lack of exercise and obesity

The answer is D.

Questions 32-37: Match each statement with the correct company, A, B, C or D.

32. It turned the notion that its products could have harmful effects to its own advantage

Key words: products, harmful effects, advantage

We found similar information in the previous question. In paragraph 6, the strategy of ‘counteract and reaffirm’ used by iToys is described. This “…involves developing products or services that stress the values traditionally associated with the category in ways that allow consumers to oppose – or at least temporarily escape from – the aspects of trends they view as undesirable”. Later in the paragraph: “By reaffirming the toy category’s association with physical play, the ME2 counteracted some of the widely perceived negative impacts of digital gaming devices”.
Thus, the iToys handheld video games were products that aimed to provide children with physical exercise – counteracting (= turning to its own advantage) the image of video games as associated with lack of exercise.

– turned to its own advantage = counteracted 

– harmful effects = negative impacts

The answer is D.

33. It extended its offering by collaborating with another manufacturer

Key words: extended, offering, collaborating
In paragraph 5, we find a description of the collaboration (= business cooperation) between Nike and Apple to launch a new product (= extend its offering): “In 2006 they teamed up with technology company Apple to launch Nike+…”
This new product, developed between Nike and Apple, extended the range of products offered by Nike.

– collaborate = team up with

The answer is C.

34. It implemented an incentive scheme to demonstrate its corporate social responsibility

Key words: incentive scheme, social responsibility
In paragraph 4, Tesco’s Greener Living programme is described. This programme has an incentive scheme to encourage customers to care for the environment. “For example, Tesco customers can accumulate points for such activities as re-using bags, recycling cans and printer cartridges, and buying home-insulation materials. Like points earned on regular purchases, these green points can be redeemed for cash”.
This “…demonstrates the company’s commitment to protecting the environment by involving consumers…”
The scheme, therefore, is a scheme in which Tesco demonstrates that it is a socially-responsible company (= corporate social responsibility).
The answer is B.

35. It discovered that customers had a positive attitude towards dealing with difficult circumstances

Key words: customers, positive attitude, difficult
These difficult circumstances are the economic crisis (‘downturn’) of 2008, referred to in paragraph 3. The strategy adopted by the company ‘Coach’ was designed to cope with this situation: “…they initiated a consumer-research project which revealed that customers were eager to lift themselves and the country out of tough times”.

– discovered = revealed
– positive ~ eager
– difficult circumstances = tough times

The answer is A.

36. It responded to a growing lifestyle trend in an unrelated product sector

Key words: responded, growing, lifestyle, unrelated
In paragraph 5, the writer asks us to “…consider Nike’s move to integrate the digital revolution into its reputation for high-performance athletic footwear”. This is part of Nike’s radical strategy to ‘combine and transcend’: “This entails combining aspects of the product’s existing value proposition with attributes addressing changes arising from a trend…”
Nike thus took advantage to move their product into a new space in the market to appeal to ‘amateur athletes and digital consumers’. This was a combination of two unrelated product sectors.
The answer is C.

37. It successfully avoided having to charge its customers less for its core products

Key words: avoided, charge less, core products
In paragraph 3, the writer refers to the luxury-goods company, Coach. It created a new brand range of lower-priced Poppy handbags, but continued to produce the expensive handbags which were the “conventional Coach products”.
“Creating the sub-brand allowed Coach to avert an across-the-board price cut”.

– avoid = avert
– charge less ~ price cut 

– core = conventional

The answer is A.

Questions 38-40: Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A, B, C or D.

38. If there are any trend-related changes impacting on your category, you should

Key words: trend-related, changes, impacting, category
At the beginning of paragraph 7, we find the key words: “Once you have gained perspective on how trend-related changes in consumer opinions and behaviors impact on your category, you can determine which of our three innovation strategies to pursue”.

– identify = determine 

– use ~ pursue

The answer is B.

39. If a current trend highlights a negative aspect of your category, you should

Key words: current trend, negative aspect
In paragraph 7, the writer states that: “…if aspects of the category clash with undesired outcomes of a trend, such as associations with unhealthy lifestyles, there is an opportunity to counteract those changes by reaffirming the core values of your category”.

– emphasise = reaffirm
– traditional values ~ core values

The answer is C.

40. If the consumers’ new focus has an increasing lack of connection with your offering, you should

Key words: new focus, lack, connection
In the middle of paragraph 7 we find the key words ‘consumers’ new focus’. The writer states: “If analysis reveals an increasing disparity between your category and consumers’ new focus, your innovations need to transcend the category to integrate the two worlds”.

– lack of connection = disparity

The answer is D.

cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 3
cambridge ielts 13 reading test 2 passage 3

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  1. ALAERE 15/04/2021

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