Reading Passage 1:Crop-growing skyscrapers

Questions 1-7: Completing sentences by filling in the gaps (NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS)

Indoor Farming

  1. Some food plants, including ­­­_______, are already grown indoors.

The key phrase for the answer is: already grown indoors

The answer is found in the first sentence of Paragraph 2 where the author states, “The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes and other produce has been in vogue for some time”.

The example of only tomatoes clarifies the answer to the question. In the question, the word including is synonymous to for example.

More clues: in vogue for some time = already, hothouse production= grown indoors

Answer: tomatoes

  • Vertical farms would be located in _________, meaning that there would be less need to take them long distances to customers.

Key words / phrases for the answer are: vertical farm, located, distances

The answer is found in line 15 of Paragraph 2 where the author says, “Situated in the heart of urban centres, they (vertical farms) would drastically reduce the amount of transportation required to bring food to customers”.

More clues: situated= located, transportation= distance, drastically reduce= would be less

Answer: urban centers / centres

  • Vertical farms could use methane from plants and animals to produce ________.

Key words for the answer are methane, produce

The answer is found in paragraph 4 where the word methane is mentioned. Therefore, we should focus on it. Here, line 15 says, “Although the system would consume energy, it would return energy to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible parts of plants”.

More clues:  return = produced as a result

Answer: energy

  • The consumption of ______ would be cut because agricultural vehicles would be unnecessary.

Key words for this answer are consumption, cut, vehicles

The answer is found in lines 19, 20, 21 of Paragraph 4 where the writer states, “It would also dramatically reduce fossil fuel use, by cutting out the need for tractors, ploughs and shipping.”

More clues: use = consumption, reduce = cut, tractors = vehicles

Answer: fossil fuels

  • The fact that vertical farms would need ______ light is a disadvantage.

Key words for the answer are need, light, and disadvantage

The answer is found in the opening of Paragraph 5 where the writer states, “A major drawback of vertical farming, however, is that the plants would require artificial light”. So, here we find a description of light which is artificial.

More clues: require = need, drawback = disadvantage

Answer: artificial

  • One form of vertical farming involves planting in ______ which are not fixed.

Key words / phrases for this answer are one form, planting, not fixed.

The answer is found in the opening of Paragraph 6 where the author mentions, “One variation on vertical farming that has been developed is to grow plants in stacked trays that move on rails”.

More clues: One variation =One form, move on rails = not fixed

Answer: (stacked) trays

  • The most probable development is that food will be grown on ___ in towns and cities.

Key phrases/ words for the answer are most probable, grown on, towns and cities

The answer is found at the ending of the passage, the author mentions, “Most experts currently believe it is far more likely that we will simply use the space available on urban rooftops.”

More clues: far more likely = most probable, urban = towns and cities

Answer: (urban) rooftops

Questions 8-13: True, False, Not Given (You have to write whether the statements YesNo or there is no information in the passage about it.)

  • Methods for predicting the Earth’s population have recently changed.

Key phrase for the answer is have recently changed

In the first paragraph, the author says, “applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends”. With this the author guesses the future population. However, there is no information about current / recent changes in population predicting methods.  Therefore, we have to take the answer as NOT GIVEN.


More clues: predict = estimate, demographic trends = population change

  • Human beings are responsible for some of the destruction to food-producing land.

Key words for the answer are responsible and destruction.

In Paragraph 3, line 4 continues, “….. we despoiled most of the land we work, often turning verdant, natural eco-zones into semi-arid deserts”. It clearly tells us that human action is the reason for the injury to agricultural land. Humans destroyed most of the crop-growing land, causing natural eco-zones to be turned into semi-arid deserts. So, the statement is TRUE.

Answer: True

More clues: natural areas of plants and animals = eco-zones, semi-arid = with low rate of water,

  1. The crops produced in vertical farms will depend on the season.

Key words for this answer are depend, seasons, produced

At the outset of paragraph 2, the writer defines a benefit of vertical farming which is “sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (through year-round production of all crops)”.

In short, crops are produced in a controlled condition of the environment and therefore not influenced by natural conditions. For this reason, the statement is FALSE. The production will not depend on the season.

Answer: False

  1. Some damage to food crops is caused by climate change.

Key phrase for this answer is climate change.

The answer is in Paragraph 3 states, “However, more often than not now, due to a rapidly changing climate, this is not what happens. Massive floods, long droughts, hurricanes and severe monsoons take their toll each year, destroying millions of tons of valuable crops”. Therefore, because of climate change, unpleasant natural disasters result in the damage of many valuable crops. For this, the statement is TRUE.

More clues: plants which are grown for food = crops

Answer: True

  1. Fertilisers will be needed for certain crops in vertical farms.

Key phrase for this answer is fertilisers needed

The answer is located in the center of paragraph 4 where the writer states, “All the food could be grown organically, eliminating the need for herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers”.

It is clear that there is zero need for fertilisers to grow crops in vertical farms. The statement opposes the information in the passage and so the statement is FALSE.

Answer: False

  1. Vertical farming will make plants less likely to be affected by infectious diseases.

Key word / phrase for this answer are less, infectious diseases

The answer lies in paragraph 4 where the writer says, “The system would greatly reduce the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface”. The method (vertical farming) would decrease infectious diseases, which makes plants less likely to be affected. So, the statement is TRUE.

Answer: True

Reading Passage 2: The Falkirk Wheel (A unique engineering achievement)

Questions 14-19 (TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN):

[In this type of question, candidates are asked to find out whether:

The statement in the question matches with the account in the text- TRUEThe statement in the question contradicts the account in the text- FALSEThe statement in the question has no clear connection with the account in the text- NOT GIVEN]

  1. The Falkirk Wheel has linked the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal for the first time in history.

Keywords for this question: linked, Forth and Clyde Canal, Union Canal, first time,

In paragraph 2 lines 4-9 say, “….Historically, the two canals had been joined near the town of Falkirk by a sequence of 11 locks – enclosed sections of canal in which the water level could be raised or lowered- that stepped down across a distance of 1.5 km. This has been dismantled in 1933, .. … .” These lines mean that both the canals had been linked before, so this is not the first time.

So, the answer is: FALSE

  1. There was some opposition to the design of the Falkirk Wheel at first.

Keywords for this question: opposition, design, at first

As the most important keyword for this question is ‘opposition’, we need to find any word that relates to the word ‘opposition’. Apparently, there is no such information in the text.  According to paragraph 3, many ideas were submitted for the project but the writer does not show whether anyone opposed the plan that was approved.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

  1. The Falkirk Wheel was initially put together at the location where its components were manufactured.

Keywords for this question: initially, put together, location, components, manufactured

As this question asks for the location of the wheel, we need to find the information about the Wheel’s location.

According to paragraph 4, lines 1-4, “The various parts of the Falkirk Wheel were all constructed and assembled at Butterley Engineering’s Steelworks in Derbyshire.. . . .. .”.

So the statement and the information in the text have the same meaning.

So, the answer is: TRUE

  1. The Falkirk Wheel is the only boat lift in the world which has steel sections bolted together by hand.

Keywords for this question: only boat lift, bolted together by hand

At the end of paragraph 4, the writer says, “Over 45,000 bolt holes were matched with their bolts, and each bolt was hand-tightened.”

So, the writer does mention bolts being hand-tightened. But, we do not find any information which confirms that it was the only boat with such a unique feature.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

  1. The weight of the gondolas varies according to the size of boat being carried.

Keywords for this question: weight, varies, size of boat

The answer can be found in paragraph 5 lines 6-7. Here, the writer says, “….These gondolas always weigh the same, whether or not they are carrying boats.”

It means that the weight is always the same.

So, the answer is: FALSE

  1. The construction of the Falkirk Wheel site took into account the presence of a nearby ancient monument.

Keywords for this question: construction, presence, ancient, monument

In relation to the last paragraph, “the Wheel could not be constructed to elevate boats over the full 35-metre difference between the two canals, owing to the presence of historically important Antonine Wall”. Here, historically important means ancient.  So, we can understand from here that the construction of the Wheel is influenced by the presence of an ancient monument.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Questions 20-26 (Labeling diagram)

[In this type of question, candidates will be asked to work on a picture and fill in some gaps in the given points or labels. There is a condition to write the answers with no more than one, two, or three words. An interesting point about this type of question is that the answers for these questions are generally found around one or two paragraphs. The picture or diagram can become useful because it may help a lot to find critical information.]

Title of the diagram: How a boat is lifted on the Falkirk Wheel

  • A pair of ______ are lifted in order to shut out water from canal basin.

Keywords for this question: a pair, lifted, shut out water

In lines 4-7 of paragraph 6, we can find these, “Two hydraulic steel gates are raised, so as to seal the gondola off from the water in the canal basin”. Now, here we find some matches with keywords.

Here,  a pair of = two, lifted = raised, shut out water = seal off from water,

So, the answer is: gates

  • A _______ is taken out, enabling Wheel to rotate

Keywords for this question: taken out, rotate

The writer mentions in the fourth sentence of paragraph 6, “A hydraulic clamp ______ , is removed, allowing the Wheel to turn”.

We find some matches with keywords here, taken out = removed, rotate = turn,

So, the answer is: clamp

  • Hydraulic motors drive_______

Keywords for this question: drive

As far as paragraph 6 is concerned, “In the central machine room an array of ten hydraulic motors then begins to rotate the central axle“.

So it means that the hydraulic motors drive, or control the axle by rotating it.

So, the answer is: axle

  • A range of different-sized ________ ensures boat keeps upright.

Keywords for this question: different-sized, upright

Again in paragraph 6, lines 16-21 say, “As the wheel rotates, the gondolas are kept in the upright position by a simple gearing system. Two eight-metre-wide cogs orbit a fixed inner cog of the same width connected by two smaller cogs…..” Here, the writer says that the writer illustrates the gearing system which comprises many cogs of different sizes. So, the word in the blank is cogs.

So, the answer is: cogs

  • Boat reaches top Wheel, then moves directly onto…

Keywords for this question: moves directly onto

If we look closely at the end of paragraph 6, the author indicates, “When the gondola reaches the top, the boat passes straight onto the aqueduct situated 24 metres above the canal basin”. Here, *move onto=pass onto, * directly=straight

So, the answer is: aqueduct

  • Boat travels through tunnel beneath Roman __________

Keywords for this question: beneath, Roman

The end of the text provides us with the answer.

Here, in the last lines of the last paragraph, the writer says, “Boats travel under this wall via a tunnel …..”.

“This wall” indicates the wall built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. Also, here under means beneath.

So, the answer is: wall

  • ________ raise boat 11m to level of Union Canal.

Keywords for this question: raise, reach

The final paragraph begins with special information. “The remaining 11 metres of lift needed to reach the Union Canal is achieved by a pair of locks“. 

So, here it means that the locks actually lift or raise the boat.

So, the answer is: locks

Reading Passage 3: Reducing the Effects of Climate Change

Questions 27-29 (Identifying Information):

[This question asks you to find information from the passage and write the number of the paragraph (A, B, C or D … .. ) in the answer sheet. Now, if the question is given in the very first part of the question set, I’d request you not to answer them. It’s mainly because this question will not follow any sequence, and so it will surely kill your time. Rather, you should answer all the other questions first. For this passage, first answer questions 4- 13. After finishing with these questions, come to questions 1-3. And just like the List of Headings, only read the first two lines or last two lines of the expected paragraph initially. If you find the answers, you need not read the middle part. If you don’t find answers yet, you can skim the middle part of the paragraph. Keywords will be a useful matter here.]

  • mention of a geo-engineering project based on an earlier natural phenomenon.

Keywords for this question: geo-engineering, earlier natural phenomenon

Here, the question asks us to find whether a geo-engineering project had been modelled on any natural phenomenon. We can skim the paragraphs one by one and in paragraph D, we find the mention of a natural phenomenon or disaster in lines 3-4, where it states, “The idea is modelled on historic volcanic explosions, such as that of Mount Pinatubo…… . .

So, the answer is: D

  • an example of a successful use of geo-engineering.

Keywords for this question: successful use, geo-engineering

In paragraph B lines 1-2 say, “Geo-engineering has been shown to work, at least on a small localized scale. For decades, May Day parades in Moscow have taken place under clear blue skies, aircraft having deposited dry ice, silver iodide and cement powder to disperse cloud.’’

We can easily find here an example of a successful use of geo-engineering.

So, the answer is: B

  • a common definition of geo-engineering

Keywords for this question: common, definition

Generally, a definition of anything can be found in the first few paragraphs. So, we need to look carefully in Paragraph A. In paragraph A lines 7-8 state, “…. … .  .geo-engineering – a term which generally refers to the intentional large-scale manipulation of the environment.”

Here, refers to = means / defines

So, the answer is: A

Questions 30-36 (Completing table)

[Here, the candidates are given a table with two portions where there are some blanks. Candidates must fill up these blanks with ONE WORD only. Finding keywords quickly can help here a lot.]

  • to create a _________ that would reduce the amount of light reaching Earth.

Keywords for this question: create, would reduce, light reaching earth

Look carefully through the first few paragraphs and try to find out the word ‘spacecraft’ because this word is found in the Procedure column in the question. The mention of the word ‘spacecraft’ can be found in paragraph B, line 6. So, we have to scan from here. Lines 6-8 say, “…. His scheme would employ up to 16 trillion minute spacecraft, each weighing about one gram, to form a transparent, sunlight-refracting sunshade in an orbit 1.5 million km above the Earth. This could, argues Angel, reduce the amount of light reaching the Earth by two per cent.”

Here, tiny = minute, create = form, far above Earth = 1.5 million km above the Earth

So, the answer is: sunshade

  • place………in the sea

Keywords for this question: place, the sea

In paragraph C, line 2 the writer says, “…. . . and depositing iron in the ocean to stimulate the growth of algae – …”.

Here, depositing = place, ocean = the sea

So, the answer is: iron

  • to encourage …… form

Keywords for this question: encourage, to form

In paragraph C, line 2 the writer says, “…. . . and depositing iron in the ocean to stimulate the growth of algae – …”.

Here, to stimulate the growth = encourage, to form

So, the answer is: algae

  • to create ……….that would reduce the amount of light reaching Earth.

Keywords for this question: create, would reduce, light reaching Earth

To find this question, we need to find out the paragraph that contains the information about aerosol sprays because there is a phrase – ‘aerosol spray’ – in the Procedure column. We find the phrase ‘aerosol spray’ in paragraph D, line 1, and in line 3 it says, “… .. .. so that sulphur dioxide would form clouds which would, in turn, lead to a global dimming.”

Here, create = form, reduce the amount of light reaching Earth = a global dimming,

So, the answer is: clouds

  • fix strong……to Greenland ice sheets

Keywords for this question: fix, strong, Greenland ice sheets

Just try to find the word ‘Greenland’ and you will get the answer. Focusing on paragraph D, we find the following lines – “Scientists have also scrutinized whether it’s possible to preserve the ice sheets of Greenland with reinforced high-tension cables, preventing icebergs from moving into the sea.”

Here, strong = reinforced

So, the answer is: cables

  • to allow the…… reflect radiation

Keywords for this question: allow, reflect, radiation

As said by the table, we have to find out information about planting trees in Russian Arctic, because at the end of paragraph D, the author says, “Meanwhile in the Russian Arctic, geo-engineering plans include the planting of millions of birch trees. Whereas the region’s native evergreen pines shade the snow and absorb radiation, birches would shed their leaves in winter, thus enabling radiation to be reflected by the snow.” So, planting trees would allow snow to reflect radiation.

Here, lose = shed, allow = enable

So, the answer is: snow

  • change the direction of ……….. to bring more cold water into ice-forming areas.

Keywords for this question: change, direction, to bring, more cold water, ice-forming areas

For this question, the keyword is ice-forming areas. At the end of paragraph D, the author points out that “Re-routing Russian rivers to increase cold water flow to ice-forming areas could also be used to slow down warming, say some climate scientists.”

Here, change the direction of = re-route, bring more cold water =  increase cold water flow

So, the answer is: rivers

Questions 37-40 (Matching statements with a list of people)

[In this kind of questioncandidates have to match the given statements in the questions with the persons who gave those statements in the passage. To successfully answer these questions, you need to follow some simple steps:

Step 1: Read the questions carefully and select the keywords,
Step 2:Take a look at the list of people,
Step 3: Start reading from the beginning and quickly look for the names of people with any statement.
Step 4: When you find a names with statements, read it attentively and match it with the questions.
Step 5:
 Mark it properly so that you do need not to read it again. Then go to the next statement in the text.
Step 6:Continue doing the same for the rest of the questions.]

For these questions, we must focus on the last four paragraphs of Reading Passage 3 which contain the scientists’ statements.

  • The effects of geo-engineering may not be long-lasting.

Keywords for this question: effects, not long-lasting

In paragraph E, there is a statement from Dr Phil Rasch which is as follows – “I think all of us agree that if we were to end geo-engineering on a given day, then the planet would return to its pre-engineered condition very rapidly… . . .. ” This means that once geo-engineering does its job, the effects of it on the planet may end, too. In other words, “the effects of geoengineering may not be long-lasting”

So, the answer is: B

  • Geo-engineering is a topic worth exploring

Keywords for this question: worth exploring

In the last paragraph, Dr Martin Sommerkorn gives stress that “Human-induced climate change has brought humanity to a position where we shouldn’t exclude thinking thoroughly about this topic and its possibilities.”

Here, we find some matches:

worth exploring = should not exclude thinking thoroughly

So, the answer is: D

  • It may be necessary to limit the effectiveness of geo-engineering projects.

Keywords for this question: limit

In paragraph G, we find a statement from Dan Lunt – “To avoid such a scenario, Lunt says Angel’s project would have to operate at half strength; all of which reinforces his view that the best option is to avoid the need for  geo- engineering altogether.”

Here, limit the effectiveness = operate at half strength

So, the answer is: C

  • Research into non-fossil-based fuels cannot be replaced by geo-engineering.

Keywords for this question: non-fossil-based fuels

The answer is in paragraph E, Angel says that his plan is “no substitute for developing renewable energy, the only ‘permanent solution’.”

Here, non-fossil-based fuels = renewable energy, cannot be replaced = no substitute for

So, the answer is: A



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