(Update 2024) Cambridge IELTS 13 Reading Test 4 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 4 with detail explanations.


Questions 1-8: Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

1. Clippers were originally intended to be used as passenger ships

Key words: clippers, originally, passenger
At the beginning of paragraph 2, we find the statement: “The fastest commercial sailing vessels of all time were clippers, three-masted ships built to transport goods around the world, although some also took passengers”.
So, clippers were built/used originally to transport goods, not to carry passengers.

– ships = vessels

The statement is FALSE.

2. Cutty Sark was given the name of a character in a poem

Key words: name, character, poem
In paragraph 3, the writer explains how the ship was given its name: “Cutty Sark’s unusual name comes from the poem Tam O’Shanter by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Tam, a farmer, is chased by a witch called Nannie, who is wearing a ‘cutty sark’ – an oldScottish name for a short nightdress”.
A cutty sark, therefore, is a short nightdress, not the name of a character in the poem. It was a piece of clothing worn by the witch in the poem.
The statement is FALSE.

3. The contract between John Willis and Scott & Linton favoured Willis

Key words: contract, Willis, Scott & Linton
In paragraph 4, we find the key words: “To carry out construction, Willis chose a new shipbuilding firm, Scott & Linton, and ensured that the contract with them put him in a very strong position. In the end, the firm was forced out of business…”
To be ‘in a strong position’ means that the contract gave Willis an advantage in the business deal. In other words, the contract favoured Willis so much, that the shipbuilding company had to close before the ship was finished.

– favoured ~ put in a very strong position

The statement is TRUE.

4. John Willis wanted Cutty Sark to be the fastest tea clipper travelling between the UK and China

Key words: Willis, fastest, UK, China
At the beginning of paragraph 5, we find some of the key words: Willis, Britain (the UK) and China. “Willis’s company was active in the tea trade between China and Britain, where speed could bring ship owners both profits and prestige, so Cutty Sark was designed to make the journey more quickly than any other ship”.
So the idea of Willis was that Cutty Sark would transport the tea between China and the UK faster than any other ship.

– the fastest tea clipper ~ more quickly than any other ship.

The statement is TRUE.

5. Despite storm damage, Cutty Sark beat Thermopylae back to London 

Key words: storm damage, beat Thermopylae, London

We need to find information on the race from China to London between these tea clippers. At the end of paragraph 5, we learn that: “…in 1872, the ship and a rival clipper, Thermopylae, left port in China on the same day…”
Although Cutty Sark gained a lead, she was damaged: “…but then her rudder was severely damaged in stormy seas…Cutty Sark reached London a week afterThermopylae”.

Cutty Sark was damaged by a storm, so she only reached London after Thermopylae. The statement is FALSE.

6. The opening of the Suez Canal meant that steam ships could travel between Britain and China faster than clippers

Key words: Suez Canal, steam ships, faster
The key words are found at the beginning of paragraph 6: “Steam ships posed a growing threat to clippers, as their speed and cargo capacity increased. In addition, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869…had a serious impact”.
The writer then explains why only steam ships could make use of the Suez Canal, and this meant that the steam ships could make the journey faster than clippers, using this short route: “Steam ships reduced the journey time between Britain and China by approximately two months”.

– travel faster ~ reduced the journey time

The statement is TRUE.

7. Steam ships sometimes used the ocean route to travel between London and China

Key words: ocean route, London and China
Although the writer says in paragraph 6 that only steam ships were able to use the Suez Canal, there is no information whether steam ships sometimes chose to make the journey between London and China using the longer ocean route.
The statement is NOT GIVEN.

8. Captain Woodget put Cutty Sark at risk of hitting an iceberg

Key words: Captain Woodget, risk, iceberg
Captain Woodget is mentioned in paragraph 8. An excellent navigator, he took Cutty Sark on a route travelling a long way south to take advantage of the winds: “…Woodget took her further south than any previous captain, bringing her dangerously close to icebergs off the southern tip of South America. His gamble paid off, though, and the ship was the fastest vessel in the wool trade for ten years”.
So, Woodget took a risk by travelling this southern route, close to icebergs. However, he was successful.

– risk = gamble
– put Cutty Sark at risk of hitting an iceberg ~ bringing her dangerously close to icebergs

The statement is TRUE.

Questions 9-13: Complete the sentences below.

9. After 1880, Cutty Sark carried ………….. as its main cargo during its most successful time

Key words: 1880, cargo, most successful
Looking for the key words, we find these in paragraph 7. In 1880, two captains of the ship lost their jobs. Then, a new captain was appointed: “This marked a turnaround and the beginning of the most successful period in Cutty Sark’s working life, transporting wool from Australia to Britain”.
Thus, after 1880 the ship had its most successful period, carrying wool.

– carry = transport 

– time ~ period

The answer is wool.

10. As a captain and ……………… , Woodget was very skilled

Key words: captain, Woodget, skilled
The key words are in paragraph 8: “The ship’s next captain, Richard Woodget, was an excellent navigator, who got the best out of both his ship and his crew”.
The writer, therefore, tells us that Woodget was a good captain and a skilled navigator.
The answer is navigator.

11. Ferreira went to Falmouth to repair damage that a ………… had caused

Key words: Ferreira, Falmouth, repair
In paragraph 9, we find a reference to the Ferreira. The Cutty Sark “…was sold to a Portuguese firm, which renamed her Ferreira”.
In paragraph 10, we learn what caused the damage: “Badly damaged in a gale in 1922, she was put into Falmouth harbour, in southwest England, for repairs”.
A gale (= a strong, stormy wind) damaged the ship.
The answer is gale.

12. Between 1923 and 1954, Cutty Sark was used for …………….

Key words: 1923, 1954, used
In paragraph 10, we learn that the ship returned to Falmouth one year after it was repaired: “…the ship returned to Falmouth the following year (= 1923) and had her original name restored”.
Then in paragraph 11, we learn what happened between 1923 and 1954. The new owner, a man named Dowman: “…used Cutty Sark as a training ship, and she continued in this role after his death. When she was no longer required, in 1954, she was transferred to dry dock at Greenwich to go on public display”.
So, between these years, the ship was used for training.
The answer is training.

13. Cutty Sark has twice been damaged by ……………. in the 21st century

Key words: twice, damaged, 21st century

In the final paragraph, we find the most recent information about the ship in the 21st century: “The ship suffered from fire in 2007, and again, less seriously, in 2014….”

– damaged by ~ suffered from

The answer is fire.

cambridge ielts 13 reading test 4 passage 1
cambridge ielts 13 reading test 4 passage 1


Questions 14-17: Complete the summary below.

14. Healthy soil contains a large variety of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as plant remains and……………

Key words: healthy, bacteria, microorganisms, plant remains
We need to find information on the contents of healthy soil, using the key words. We find these words in the first part of paragraph B: “A single gram of healthy soil might contain 100 million bacteria, as well as other microorganisms such as viruses and fungi, living amid decomposing plants and various minerals”.

Thus, we have a list of the things which healthy soil contains – bacteria, microorganisms, plant remains and minerals.

– plant remains = decomposing plants

The answer is minerals.

15. It provides us with food and also with antibiotics, and its function in storing …………… has a significant effect on the climate.

Key words: food, antibiotics, storing, climate
The second part of paragraph B gives us the answer: “…soils do not just grow our food, but are the source of nearly all our existing antibiotics, and could be our best hope in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Soil is also an ally against climate change: as microorganisms within soil digest dead animals and plants, they lock in their carbon content, holding three times the amount of carbon as does the entire atmosphere”.
In other words, soil holds carbon, preventing its release into the atmosphere and so helping to prevent global warming.

– provides us with ~ are the source of
– store = lock in
– a significant effect on the climate ~ an ally against climate change.

The answer is carbon.

16. In addition, it prevents damage to property and infrastructure because it holds …………….

Key words: prevents, damage, property and infrastructure, holds
Continuing to look for key words in paragraph B, we find the answer: “Soils also storewater, preventing flood damage: in the UK, damage to buildings, roads and bridges from floods caused by soil degradation costs £233 million every year”.

Soils hold water. This reduces the problem of flooding and the damage which is caused by flooding.

– hold = store
– buildings, roads and bridges ~ property and infrastructure

The answer is water.

17. The main factor contributing to soil degradation is the ……………… carried out by humans

Key words: main factor, degradation, humans
We find the answer in paragraph C: “Agriculture is by far the biggestproblem……Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile”.

So, agriculture is the biggest problem. The way that it is practiced/carried out means that the soil becomes less fertile.

– main factor ~ biggest problem
– soil degradation ~ the soil gradually becomes less fertile

The answer is agriculture.

Questions 18-21: Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F

18. Nutrients contained in the unused parts of harvested crops

Key words: nutrients, unused, harvested crops
We find these key words in the second part of paragraph C: “…when the plants die and decay these nutrients are returned directly to the soil. Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile”.
Ending C gives us the following sentence: ‘Nutrients contained in the unused parts of harvested crops may not be put back into the soil’.

– may not be put back ~ tend not to return

Therefore, the answer is C.

19. Synthetic fertilisers produced with the Haber-Bosch process

Key words: synthetic fertilisers, Haber-Bosch
Paragraph D contains these key words: “A solution came in the early 20th century with the Haber-Bosch process for manufacturing ammonium nitrate. Farmers have been putting this synthetic fertiliser on their fields ever since.”
Continuing to read, we find out the problems of using these synthetic fertilisers: “Chemical fertilisers can release polluting nitrous oxide into the atmosphere and excess is often washed away with rain, releasing nitrogen into rivers. More recently, we have found that indiscriminate use of fertilisers hurts the soil itself, turning it acidic and salty…”
Ending E gives us the following sentence: ‘Synthetic fertilisers produced with the Haber-Bosch process may cause damage to different aspects of the environment’. These different aspects are the atmosphere, rivers and the soil.

– damage =hurt

The answer is E.

20. Addition of a mixture developed by Pius Floris to the soil

Key words: addition, mixture, Pius Floris
The name Pius Floris is mentioned in paragraph E. He “…developed a cocktail of beneficial bacteria, fungi and humus”.
Researchers then “…used this cocktail on soils destroyed by years of fertiliser overuse. When they applied Floris’s mix to the desert-like plots, a good crop of plants emerged that were not just healthy at the surface, but had roots strong enough to pierce dirt as hard as rock. The few plants that grew in the control plots, fed with traditional fertilisers, were small and weak”.
Ending A gives us the following sentence: ‘Addition of a mixture developed by Pius Floris to the soil may improve the number and quality of plants growing there’.
This is exactly what took place on the plots (= the soil) to which Floris’s mixture/mix was added – more plants grew there, and the plants were stronger.

– mixture = cocktail

The answer is A.

21. The idea of zero net soil degradation

Key words: idea, zero, degradation
In paragraph G, we find a reference to ‘zero net land degradation’. It is a goal which policy- makers can easily understand, like “…the idea of carbon neutrality”. Scientists have therefore proposed this goal to “…shape expectations and encourage action”: “We need ways of presenting the problem that bring it home to governments and the wider public’, says Pamela Chasek at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in Winnipeg, Canada”. Ending D gives us the following sentence: ‘The idea of zero net soil degradation may help governments to be more aware of soil-related issues”.

– be more aware of soil-related issues ~ bring the problem home to governments

The answer is D.

Questions 22-26: Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs, A-G.

22. A reference to one person’s motivation for a soil-improvement project

Key words: motivation, soil-improvement project
In paragraph E, Pius Floris is mentioned. His motivation to improve the soil came from “…running a tree-care business in the Netherlands”. The writer tells us that: “He came to realise that the best way to ensure his trees flourished was to take care of the soil, and has developed a cocktail of beneficial bacteria, fungi and humus to do this”.
Therefore, the ‘one person’ referred to is Pius Floris.
The answer is E.

23. An explanation of how soil stayed healthy before the development of farming

Key words: explanation, soil, healthy, before, farming
We find the answer in paragraph C: “Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile. In the past we developed strategies to get around the problem, such as regularly varying the types of crops grown, or leaving fields uncultivated for a season”.
So, two different strategies are described to explain how – before farming became very developed – the problem of keeping the soil healthy was solved.
The answer is C.

24. Examples of different ways of collecting information on soil degradation

Key words: ways, collecting information, soil degradation
In paragraph F, we learn that: “…the UN has created the Global Soil Map Project. Researchers from nine countries are working together to create a map linked to a database that can be fed measurements from field surveys, drone surveys, satellite imagery, lab analyses and so on to provide real-time data on the state of the soil”.
Several different ways of collecting information (measurements) are given as examples of ways to determine the state of the soil, and how much it has been degraded.

– information ~ real-time data

The answer is F.

25. A suggestion for a way of keeping some types of soil safe in the near future

Key words: soil, safe, near future

In the final paragraph, we find the following statement: “Several researchers are agitating for the immediate creation of protected zones for endangered soils”.
The suggestion of the researchers is to keep some soil types safe by creating protected zones.

– keeping some types of soil safe ~ creation of protected zones 

– the near future = immediate

The answer is G.

26. A reason why it is difficult to provide an overview of soil degradation

Key words: difficult, overview, soil degradation
We find the answer in paragraph F: “To assess our options on a global scale we first need an accurate picture of what types of soil are out there, and the problems they face. That’s not easy. For one thing, there is no agreed international system for classifyingsoil”.
Therefore, we need to have an accurate picture of soil types and the dangers to them. The reason that is difficult is that we have no agreed way of doing this.

– overview = accurate picture 

– difficult ~ not easy
– a reason ~ for one thing

The answer is F.

cambridge ielts 13 reading test 4 passage 2
cambridge ielts 13 reading test 4 passage 2

Passage 3: BOOK REVIEW

Questions 27-29: Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D

27. What is the reviewer’s attitude to advocates of positive psychology? 

A. They are wrong to reject the ideas of Bentham
B. They are over-influenced by their study of Bentham’s theories
C. They have a fresh new approach to ideas on human happiness

D. They are ignorant about the ideas they should be considering
Key words: attitude, advocates, positive psychology
In paragraph 1, the reviewer introduces the beliefs of the ‘advocates of positive psychology’. At the beginning of paragraph 2, we find the reviewer’s opinion of these beliefs: “It is an astonishingly crude and simple-minded way of thinking, and for that very reason increasingly popular. Those who think in this way are oblivious to the vast philosophical literature in which the meaning and value of happiness have been explored, and write as if nothing of anyimportance had been thought on the subject until it came to their attention”.
The attitude of the reviewer is that advocates of positive philosophy are completely ignorant of all that has been thought and written about happiness by earlier thinkers.

– ignorant about = oblivious to

The answer is D.

28. The reviewer refers to the Greek philosopher Aristotle in order to suggest that happiness

A. may not be just pleasure and the absence of pain
B. should not be the main goal of humans

C. it is not something which should be fought for
D. is not just an abstract concept
Key words: Greek, Aristotle
Also in paragraph 2, we find a reference to Aristotle: “For Bentham it was obvious that the human good consists of pleasure and the absence of pain. The Greek philosopher Aristotle may have identified happiness with self-realisation in the 4th century BC and thinkers throughout the ages may have struggled to reconcile the pursuit of happiness with other human values”.

Thus, the reviewer, contrasts the views of Bentham with those of Aristotle. For Aristotle, happiness was not simply the experience of pleasure and the absence of pain – it also consisted of ideas such as self-realisation.
The answer is A.

29. According to Davies, Bentham’s suggestion for linking the price of goods to happiness was significant because

A. it was the first successful way of assessing happiness
B. it established a connection between work and psychology

C. it was the first successful example of psychological research 

D. it involved consideration of the rights of consumers
Key words: linking, price, significant

In paragraph 4, Davies writes about Bentham’s views on the connection between price and pleasure/happiness: “…if two different goods have the same price, it can be concluded that they produce the same quantity of pleasure in the consumer….. By associating money so closely to inner experience, Davies writes, Bentham ‘set the stage for the entangling of psychological research and capitalism that would shape the business practices of the twentieth century”.

–  linking the price of goods to happiness ~ associating money so closely to inner experience

–  linking = associating

–  a connection between work and psychology ~ the entangling of psychological research and capitalism

–  work ~ capitalism/business

–  was significant ~ set the stage for

The answer is B.

Questions 30-34: Complete the summary using the list of words, A-G, below:

30. In the 1790s he suggested a type of technology to improve ………….. for different government departments.

Key words: 1790s, technology, improve, government departments
In paragraph 3, Davies writes about Bentham’s active interest in other areas, outside philosophy. “In the 1790s, he wrote to the Home Office suggesting that the departments of government be linked together through a set of ‘conversation tubes’…..”

In other words, these ‘conversation tubes’ would ‘link together’ government departments, and improve communication between them.

– conversation ~ communication

The answer is F.

31. He developed a new way of printing banknotes to increase………..

Key words: printing banknotes, increase.
The reference to ‘printing’ and ‘banknotes’ is also in paragraph 3. Bentham suggested a design to the Bank of England: “…for a printing device that could produce unforgeable banknotes”.
If banknotes cannot be forged, then the purpose is to make them more difficult to copy by criminals. This will increase security.
The answer is B.

32. …and also designed a method for the ……………… of food.

Key words: method, food
In paragraph 3, we learn that Bentham “…drew up plans for a ‘frigidarium’ to keepprovisions such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables fresh”.
Thus, in order to keep food fresh, the frigidarium was designed to preserve food in cold storage.

– designed ~ drew up plans 

– food = provisions

The answer is G.

33. He also drew up plans for a prison which allowed the …………….. of prisoners at all times, and believed the same design could be used for other institutions as well.

Key words: prison, same design, other institutions
The writer continues in paragraph 3: “His celebrated design for a prison to be known as a ‘Panopticon’, in which prisoners would be kept in solitary confinement while beingvisible at all times to the guards, was very nearly adopted”. The writer tells us that this ‘Panopticon’ was also designed as an instrument of control that could be used in schools and factories, not only prisons. As the prisoners were visible to the guards, the guards would be able to observe the prisoners at all times. The word required is ‘observable’.

The answer is E.

34. When researching happiness, he investigated possibilities for its …………. , and suggested some methods of doing this.

Key words: researching, possibilities, methods
At the beginning of paragraph 4, the writer tells us: “Bentham was also a pioneer of the ‘science of happiness’. If happiness is to be regarded as a science, it has to be measured, and Bentham suggested two ways in which this might be done”.

– possibilities ~ ways in which this might be done 

– methods = ways

Thus, Bentham suggested ways in which to measure happiness. The word required is ‘measurement’.
The answer is A.

Questions 35-40: Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?

35. One strength of The Happiness Industry is its discussion of the relationship between psychology and economics

Key words: strength, relationship, psychology and economics
At the beginning of paragraph 5, we are told about this book in terms of psychology and economics: “The Happiness Industry describes how the project of a science of happiness has become integral to capitalism. We learn much that is interesting about how economic problems are being redefined and treated as psychological maladies”.

So, this book discusses how, in capitalist societies, an attempt has been made to consider economic problems as simply psychological problems. The book is interesting because it shows how this has been done by writers trying to make a ‘science of happiness’. In other words, this is one strong point of the book.
The answer is YES.

36. It is more difficult to measure some emotions than others

Key words: more difficult, measure, emotions

The only reference in the passage to measurement and emotions is in paragraph 5. Here, we only learn that: “In addition, Davies shows how the belief that inner states of pleasure and displeasure can be objectively measured has informed management studies and advertising”.
There is no information about the measurement of different emotions and how such measurements can be compared.

– emotions = inner states

The answer is NOT GIVEN.

37. Watson’s ideas on behaviourism were supported by research on humans he carried out before 1915.

Key words: Watson, behaviourism, humans, before 1915.
The ideas of Watson are discussed in paragraph 5. “The tendency of thinkers such as J.B. Watson, the founder of behaviourism, was that human beings could be shaped, or manipulated, by policymakers and managers. Watson had no basis for his view of human action. When he became president of the American Psychological Association in 1915 he ‘had never even studied a single human being’: his research had been confined to experiments on white rats”.

Thus, before 1915, Watson had conducted no research on humans, only on white rats. The answer is NO.

38. Watson’s ideas have been most influential on governments outside America

Key words: Watson, influential, outside America
The influence of Watson’s ideas are discussed in paragraph 5. “…Watson’s reductive model is now widely applied, with ‘behaviour change’ becoming the goal of governments”.
Although the writer then continues, giving the example of Britain, there is no reference to Watson’s ideas becoming most influential on governments outside America – we only know that his ideas are ‘widely applied’.
The answer is NOT GIVEN.

39. The need for happiness is linked to industrialisation

Key words: need, linked, industrialisation
In the last paragraph, the writer states: “Modern industrial societies appear to need the possibility of ever-increasing happiness to motivate them in their labours”.
Thus, the need for more and more happiness is linked to industrial societies and motivation to work.

– industrialisation ~ industrial societies

The answer is YES.

40. A main aim of government should be to increase the happiness of the population

Key words: aim, government, increase, population
It is stated in the last paragraph that: “…whatever its intellectual pedigree, the idea that governments should be responsible for promoting happiness is always a threat to human freedom”.
The writer believes that if governments take responsibility for increasing the happiness of the population, then people will lose their freedom. The writer is definitely against this aim.

– increase the happiness ~ promoting happiness

The answer is NO.

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  1. Almira 28/04/2023

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