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CAMBRIDGE IELTS 8 READING TEST 3 ANSWERS
Passage 1: Striking Back at Lightning With Lasers
Questions 1 – 3
1. The main topic discussed in the text is ANSWER: D
A. The damage caused to US golf courses and golf players by lightning strikes.
The write only gives a little information about the effect of lightning on golfers [in paragraph 1] and no information about the damage caused to US golf courses => not the main topic. => FALSE
B. The effect of lightning on power supplies in the US and in Japan.
There is only information about the damage to US power companies [100 million dollars] in paragraph 1 and no information relating to damage in Japan => FALSE
C. A variety of methods used in trying to control lightning strikes
There are only two techniques to control lightning mentioned in the passage: rockets and lasers => not variety => FALSE
D. A laser technique used in trying to control lightning strikes.
Only paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 are not about the use of lasers. The other 7 paragraphs all give information about the laser technique. Note also the title of the passage=> TRUE
2. According to the text, every year lighting
A. Does considerable damage to buildings during thunderstorms.
The first paragraph refers to the problem when thunderstorms strike. The final 2 sentences in paragraph 1 state: “And there is damage to property too. Lightning damage costs American power companies more than 100 million dollars a year” => damage to companies is more than 100 million dollars [a huge amount of money] => It is considerable damage. => TRUE.
B. Kills or injures mainly golfers in the United States.
In paragraph 1, the writer only mentions “a lone golfer may be a lightning bolt‟s most inviting target”. There is no information whether golfers or other people in the US are the main victims of lightning strikes => NOT GIVEN.
C. Kills or injures around 500 people throughout the world.
In paragraph 1: “Their electrical fury inflicts death or serious injury on around 500 people each year in the United States alone”. => „In the United States alone‟, not in the world => FALSE
D. Damages more than 100 American power companies.
Lightning caused damage costing American power companies more than 100 million dollars a year, but there was no information relating to how many companies were damaged. => NOT GIVEN
3. Researchers at the University of Florida and at the University of New Mexico
A. Receive funds form the same source
In paragraph 3: “The technique survives to this day at a test site in Florida run by the University of Florida, with support from the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI)”
– Support from = receive fund from
In paragraph 5: Jean – Claude Diels of the University of New Mexico leads a project, “which is backed by EPRI”
– Backed by = receives funds from
– Backed by~to be supported by
Two researchers at the University of Florida and the University of New Mexico receive funds from the same source (EPRI) => TRUE
B. Are using the same techniques
The technique used in research at the University of Florida is firing rockets into thunder clouds, and the technique of the University of New Mexico is to use lasers to discharge lightning.
=> They use different techniques => FALSE
C. Are employed by commercial companies.
There is no information in either paragraph 3 or paragraph 5 about who employs them to do this
– research => NOT GIVEN
D. Are in opposition to each other.
– Neither paragraph 3 nor paragraph 5 say whether these two scientists are in opposition
=> NOT GIVEN
Questions 4-6: Complete the sentences below.
4. EPRI receives financial support from…..
In paragraph 3, “EPRI, which is funded by power companies”
– Funded by = receives financial support
=> ANSWER: Power companies
5. The advantage of the technique being developed by Diels is that it can be used….
In paragraph 5, “Diels is leading a project, which is backed by EPRI, to try to use lasers to discharge lightning safely – and safety is a basic requirement since no one wants to put themselves or their expensive equipment at risk”. => This means that the advantage of the technique Diels developed is that it can discharge lightning safely. Moreover, as mentioned in paragraph 4, the technique using rockets: while “they are fine for research; they cannot provide the protection from lightning strikes that everyone is looking for”. “Cannot provide the protection” means they are not safe. => Safety is the advantage of the technique using lasers.
6. The main difficulty associated with using the laser equipment is related to its….
In paragraph 7: “However, there is still a big stumbling block. The laser is no nifty portable….. Diels is trying to cut down the size….”. This means that the main difficulty of using the laser is that it is not easy to carry or to move. Diels is trying to cut down the laser to the size of a small table.
– Stumbling block = difficulty
– No nifty portable~ not easy to carry or to move
Questions 7 – 10
7. B – Atoms
In paragraph 6: “The idea began some 20 years ago; when high – powered lasers were revealing their ability to extract electrons out of atoms…generate a line of ionization…” “Extract electrons out of atoms” means the laser is able to remove electrons from atoms
– Generate a line of ionization = create a line of ionization
This means that a laser was used to create a line of ionization by removing electrons from atoms
8. C – Storm clouds
In paragraph 6: “If a laser could generate a line of ionization in the air all the way up to a storm cloud…in an uncontrollable surge”. This means that once the laser is able to create a line of ionization, it could then be directed at storm clouds in order to control electrical charges.
– Up to = directed at
– Guide = control
9. G – Rockets
In paragraph 4, the writer states: “But while rockets are fine for research, they cannot provide the protection from lightning” => They are dangerous.
In paragraph 5, the technique using lasers is mentioned as the way to discharge lighting safely.Therefore, in comparison to rockets, using laser techniques is less dangerous than using rockets in order to control electrical charges.
10. D – Mirrors
In paragraph 6, the writer writes that “To stop the laser itself being struck, it would not be pointed straight at the clouds. Instead it would be directed at a mirror and from there into the sky”. That means in order to protect the laser, it is firstly directed at a mirror, not pointed straight at the clouds.
– To stop the laser being struck = to protect the laser
Questions 11 – 13
11. Power companies have given Diels enough money to develop his laser.
Key words: power companies, Diels, enough money, develop laser.
In paragraph 8, “Bernstein says that Diels‟s system is attracting lots of interest from the power companies. But they have not yet come up with the 5 million dollars that EPRI says will be needed to develop a commercial system…”. This means that though power companies are interested in Diels‟ system, they have not yet given him the money that he needs to develop it.
12. Obtaining money to improve the lasers will depend on tests in real storms.
Key words: Money, improve the lasers, depend on, real storms.
In paragraph 8, “He reckons that the forthcoming field test will be the turning point – and he’s hoping for good news. Bernstein predicts „an avalanche of interest and support” if all goes well. He expects to see cloud – zappers eventually costing 50,000 dollars to 100,000 dollars each”. This means that if the upcoming [forthcoming] real tests go well (= depend on the tests), Bernstein can obtain a lot of interest and support costing 50,000 to 100,000 million dollars. – Field test = test done by practical work rather than working in library or laboratory ~ tests in real storms.
– Reckon: to think, have opinion on something
– Forthcoming: going to happen, very soon
– An avalanche of interest and support: a lot of interest and finance/money
=> ANSWER: YES
13. Weather forecasters are intensely interested in Diels’s system.
Key words: weather forecasters, interested in, Diels‟s system
Meteorology [weather forecasting] is referred to in paragraphs 9 and 10: “Diels also hopes to see the birth of „interactive meteorology‟ – not just forecasting the weather but controlling it”. That means Diels hopes his system can interact and affect weather, but there is no information about the interest of weather forecasters in his system.
=>ANSWER: NOT GIVEN
Passage 2: The Nature of Genius
Questions 14 – 18, choose FIVE letters, A – K
ANSWER: B, C, F, H, J
Most of the popular beliefs about genius and giftedness are mentioned in paragraph 2
A. Truly gifted people are talented in all areas.
In paragraph 2: “it is popularly believed that if people are talented in one area, they must be defective in another”. That means they are unable to be talented in all areas. => FALSE
– defective: having a fault or faults; not perfect or complete
B. The talents of geniuses are soon exhausted.
In paragraph 2, “… that intellectuals are impractical, that prodigies burn too brightly too soon and burn out”.
– burn out = exhausted
– prodigies = [young] talents
This means that the talents of geniuses soon burn out/are exhausted => TRUE
C. Gifted people should use their gifts
“that people with gifts have a responsibility to use them [their gifts]” => TRUE
D. A genius appears once in every generation => NOT GIVEN
E. Genius can be easily destroyed by discouragement => NOT GIVEN
F. Genius is inherited
In paragraph 2: “…that genius runs in families”. That means genius is inherited from people in their families. => TRUE
G. Gifted people are very hard to live with => NOT GIVEN
H. People never appreciate true genius. “…that genius goes unrecognized and unrewarded” => that means they [geniuses] are not appreciated by other people.=> TRUE
I. Geniuses are natural leaders => NOT GIVEN
J. Gifted people develop their greatness through difficulties. “….that adversity makes men wise” =>that means people [men] become wiser through difficulties. => TRUE
K. Genius will always reveal itself.
In paragraph 3, the writer refers to: “…the frequency with which abilities went unrecognised by teachers and schools”. Therefore, it is not always true that genius is recognized or reveals itself. => FALSE
Questions 19 – 26
19. Nineteenth century studies of the nature of genius failed to take into account the uniqueness of the person’s upbringing
Key words: nineteenth century studies, nature of genius, failed, take into account uniqueness of person‟s upbringing.
In paragraph 3: “However, the difficulty with the evidence produced by these studies, fascinating as they are in collecting together anecdotes and apparent similarities and exceptions, is that they are not what we would today call norm-referenced”.
– failed to take into account = they are not norm-referenced… we must also take into account
– the uniqueness of the person’s upbringing = information about how common or exceptional
these circumstances were at the time. For example, most studies were conducted among “members of the privileged classes”, but “home tutoring was common in the families of the nobility and wealthy”. So, studies failed to take into account the education and health of the circumstances of children from a range of social classes – the social norms.
=> ANSWER: TRUE
20. Nineteenth – century studies of genius lacked both objectivity and proper scientific approach.
Key words: nineteenth – century, studies of genius, lacked, objectivity, proper scientific approach
The last sentence in paragraph 3: “It was only with the growth of paediatrics and psychology in the twentieth century that studies could be carried out on a more objective, if still not always very scientific, basis”. This means that in the 19th century studies could not be conducted using an objective and scientific approach. Studies only became more objective and scientific in the 20th century.
=> ANSWER: TRUE
21. A true genius has general powers capable of excellence in any area.
Key words: true genius, general powers, excellence in any area.
In paragraph 4, the writer notes the idea of Dr Johnson that: “The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to particular direction. We may disagree with the „general‟, for we doubt if all musicians of genius could have become scientists of genius or vice versa…”
=> ANSWER: FALSE
22. The skills of ordinary individuals are in essence the same as the skills of prodigies.
Key words: skills of ordinary individual, the same as, the skills of prodigies.
In paragraph 5: “…the achievements of prodigies are the manifestations ofskills or abilities which are similar to, but also much superior to, our own”. This means that the skills of prodigies are similar to those of ordinary people, but their achievements are much greater. However, “….their minds are not different from our own…”
– the same as = similar to
23. The ease with which truly great ideas are accepted and taken for granted fails to lessen their significance.
Key words: truly great ideas, accepted, taken for granted, fails, lessen their significance.
In paragraph 5, the writer explains that “the hard-won discoveries of scientists like Kepler or Einstein become the commonplace knowledge of schoolchildren and the colours of an artist like Paul Klee so soon appear on the fabrics we wear. This does not minimise the supremacy of their achievements….”
– So, great ideas/hard-won discoveries are accepted and taken for granted~ even schoolchildren learn them. However, the importance of these ideas is not lessened/reduced.
– lessen = minimize
=> ANSWER: TRUE
24. Giftedness and genius deserve proper scientific research into their true nature so that all talent may be retained for the human race.
Key words: giftedness and genius, deserve, scientific research, true nature, talent, retained for the human race
In the passage, there is no reference to scientific research relating to what genius really is, in order for all talent to be retained. In fact, in the last paragraph the writer tells us that: “Genius and giftedness are relative descriptive terms of no real substance”.
=> ANSWER: NOT GIVEN
25. Geniuses often pay a high price to achieve greatness
Key words: geniuses, pay high price, achieve greatness
In paragraph 6: “We may envy their achievements and fame, but we should also recognize the price they may have paid in terms of perseverance, single-mindedness ….to make their way to the top”. This means that we may feel jealous because some geniuses become famous. However, they did not achieve this fame without a lot of hard work and determination to succeed.
=> ANSWER: TRUE
26. To be a genius is worth the high personal cost
Key worth: be a genius, worth, high personal cost
In paragraph 6, the writer only mentions the high price that geniuses may have paid to gain success/ achieve greatness. There is no reference to whether all the personal costs – restrictions on their personal lives, demands on their time and energy, for example – are worth the reward of becoming a genius.
=> ANSWER: NOT GIVEN
Passage 3: HOW DOES THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK TICK?
Questions 27 – 32
27. Paragraph B
In paragraph B, the writer explains that ageing of objects “must occur according to the laws of physical chemistry and of thermodynamics. Although the same law holds for a living organism, the result of this law is not in the same way… biological system has ability to renew itself it could actually become older without ageing”. The difference in aging of objects and living organisms is that ageing of objects must occur according to the laws of physical chemistry and of thermodynamics and living organisms actually become older without ageing. The reason is that “The material of which the organism is formed changes continuously”, unlike an object – the material of which it is made does not change. not in the same way = differences
=> ANSWER: ix – Fundamental differences in ageing of objects and organisms
28. Paragraph C
In paragraph C, the writer writes that “a restricted life span, ageing, and then death are basic characteristics of life”. The reason is that “in nature, the existent organisms either adapt or are regularly replaced by new types… it needs room for new and better life”. That means when an organism dies/ is replaced by new types, because of changes in the genetic material, they have new characteristics, and in the course of their individual lives they are tested for optimal or better adaptation to the environmental conditions. => This is the benefit of dying.
=> ANSWER: ii – Why dying is beneficial
29. Paragraph D
In paragraph D, the writer states that “Although more and more people attain an advanced age as a result of developments in medical care and better nutrition, the characteristic upper limit for most remains 80 years”.
This means that though there are developments/improvements in life [better nutrition, medical care], the lifespan is still stable/ remains [80 years]
– developments = improvements
– stable = remain
=>ANSWER: vii – A stable lifespan despite improvement
30. Paragraph E
In paragraph E: “If a life span is a genetically determined biological characteristic, it is logically necessary to propose the existence of an internal clock, which in some way measures and controls the ageing process and which finally determines death as the last step in a fixed program”. This means that we should think of the ageing process in the same way as an internal, biological clock functioning until death.
– an internal clock = biological clock
=> ANSWER: i – The biological clock
31. Paragraph F
The main idea of paragraph F is the effect of energy consumption on life span. “Animals which save energy….live much longer than those which are always active”.
For example, animals like crocodiles and tortoises which behave „frugally‟ with energy/ do not use up a lot of energy, and live for a long time. Compared with men, women also behave more frugally with energy – they use less of it~they have a lower metabolic rate. Therefore, people or animals consuming a lot of energy have an intensive life, but not a long life.
– frugally: in a way that uses only as much food or energy as is necessary
=> ANSWER: viii – Energy consumption
32. Paragraph G
In paragraph G, “It follows from the above that sparing use of energy reserves should tend to extend life”. This means that using less energy can extend/prolong life. “Each of us can develop his or her own „energy-saving programme‟…..Experience shows that to live in this way not only increases the life span but is also very healthy”.
– extend = prolonging
=> ANSWER: iv – Prolonging your life
Questions 33 – 36
33.& 34. Objects age in accordance with principles of…. and of…..
Key words: objects, principles of
In paragraph B, “Ageing in this case [ageing of objects] must occur according to the laws of physical chemistry and of thermodynamics”
– in accordance with = according to
– principles = laws
=> ANSWER: Physical chemistry, thermodynamics
35. Through mutations, organisms can… better to the environment
Key words: mutations, organisms, environment
In paragraph C: “Because of changes in the genetic material (mutations) these [organisms] have new characteristics and in the course of their individual lives they are tested for optimal or better adaptation to the environmental conditions”. This means that, thanks to mutations, organisms have new characteristics which may allow them to adapt better to the environment.
Though from the text ‘adaptation’ is in noun form, in the question, after „can‟ we need a verb, so we must change “:adaptation‟ => adapt
– environment = environmental conditions
36. … would pose a serious problem for the theory of evolution.
Key words: pose, serious problem, theory of evolution.
In paragraph C: “Immortality would disturb this system – it needs room for new and better life. This is the basic problem of evolution”. Immortality poses a problem for evolution – there would be no new life with a possibility of better characteristics.
– immortality: that lives or lasts for ever
=> ANSWER: Immortality
Questions 37 – 40
37. The wear and tear theory applies to both artificial objects and biological systems.
Key words: wear and tear theory, artificial objects and biological systems.
In paragraph A: “in this statement we think of artificially produced, technical objects [artificial objects], products which are subjected to natural wear and tear during use” =>when they are used, objects suffer from wear and tear~they become less effective/damaged.
In the last sentence, the writer raises a question “But is the wear and tear and loss of function of technical objects and the death of living organisms really similar or comparable?” The wear and tear and loss of function of technical objects are questioned whether they are comparable to the death of living organisms.
In paragraph B, the writer answers this question. Organisms are different because the “material of which the organism is formed changes continuously”.
– biological system = living organisms
=> ANSWER: NO
38. In principle, it is possible for a biological system to become older without ageing
Key words: principle, possible, biological system, become older without ageing
In paragraph B: “At least as long as a biological system has the ability to renew itself it could actually become older without ageing” => A biological system can become older without ageing.
39. Within seven years, about 90 per cent of a human body is replaced as new.
Key words: seven years, 90 per cent of human body, replaced as new
There is no information in the passage relating to „seven years‟, or 90 per cent
=>ANSWER: NOT GIVEN
40. Conserving energy may help to extend a human’s life.
Key words: conserving energy, extend, life
In paragraph G, “It follows from the above that sparing use of energy reserves should tend to extend life”. => That means saving energy can help people live longer.
– conserving energy = sparing use of energy reserves
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