IELTS Cambridge 13 Test 2: ACADEMIC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1:Bringing cinnamon to Europe

Questions 1-7 (Completing notes with ONE WORD ONLY):

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write only one word to complete a note on the given topic. For this type of question, first, skim the passage to find the keywords in the paragraph concerned with the answer, and then scan to find the exact word.

[TIPS: Here scanning technique will come in handy. Target the keywords of the questions to find the answers. Remember to focus on Proper nouns, random Capital letters, numbers, special characters of text etc.]

Question 1: added to ______ 

Keywords for these answers: Biblical times, added

We can easily find the answer to this question in lines 2-4 in paragraph no. 1. Here, the author of the passage states, “ ….. 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 . .. .”

*mixed with = added to

So, it is clear from the lines that in the biblical times cinnamon was added to oils.

So, the answer is: oils

Question 2: used to show  _________ between people.

Keywords for this answer: used, show, between people

The answer to this question is in line 4 of paragraph no. 1. “…. . .people’s bodies and also as a token indicating friendship among lovers and friends.”

*token indicating = show, lovers and friends = people

So, the answer is: friendship                         

Question 3: used for its sweet smell at __________.  

Keywords for this answer: Ancient Rome, used, sweet smell

The answer can be found in paragraph 1, lines 5-6. The lines say, “In ancient Rome, mourners attending funerals burnt cinnamon to create a pleasant scent.”

*pleasant scent = sweet smell

This means cinnamon was burnt at funerals for creating a sweet smell.

So, the answer is: funerals                

Question 4: was an indication of a person’s ________.

Keywords for this answer: Middle ages, food, meat, indication, person’s

We find the keywords Middle Ages, food, meat, etc. in lines 7-8 of paragraph no. 1. So, we continue reading from here. In lines 8-9, the author mentions, “… . . At a banquet, a host would offer guests a plate with spices piled upon it as a sign of the wealth at his or her disposal.”

*sign = indication

So, the answer is: wealth                   

Question 5: known as a treatment for __________ and other health problems. 

Keywords for these answers: treatment, other health problems

The last lines of paragraph 1 have the answer to this question. Here, in lines 11-12, the author states, “.. . .. Cinnamon was also reported to have health benefits, and was thought to cure various ailments, such as indigestion.”

*cure = treatment, various ailments = other health problems

So, the answer is:     indigestion    

Question 6: grown in _______.

Keywords for this answer:  Middle ages, grown

We can see another reference to the Middle ages in paragraph 2. So, we need to look carefully here for the word ‘grown’ or any similar words close to ‘grown’. In line 6 of paragraph no. 2, the writer says, “They took it from India, where it was grown, . . ..”

So, the answer is: India

Question 7: merchants used ________ to bring it to the Mediterranean

Keywords for this answer:  merchants, bring, Mediterranean

In paragraph no. 2 line 6, the author mentions the word merchants in line 3, “ .. . .  At that time, cinnamon was transported by Arab merchants, who closely guarded the secret of the source of the spice from potential rivals.” The next line has the answer. “. .. . They took it from India, where it was grown, on camels via an overland route to the Mediterranean.”. As we find the mention of the word Mediterranean, we can understand that they used camels to bring cinnamon to the Mediterranean.

So, the answer is:camels

Question 8: arrived in the Mediterranean at ________.  

Keywords for this answer: arrived in, Mediterranean

The question has a preposition ‘at’ after the word Mediterranean. This means cinnamon arrived at a fixed place which is located in the Mediterranean region. In line 6 of paragraph no. 2, the author writes, “… ..  to the Mediterranean. Their journey ended when they reached Alexandria.”

So, the answer is: Alexandria

Question 9: traders took it to ______ and sold it to destinations around Europe.

Keywords for this answer: traders, took, sold, destinations, Europe

The word ‘European’ and ‘traders’ are found in lines 6 and 7 of paragraph no. 2. Here, the author says, “… … European traders sailed there to purchase their supply of cinnamon, then brought it back to Venice. The spice then traveled from that great trading city to markets all around Europe.” This means the traders took cinnamon to Venice and then sold it all around Europe.

So, the answer is: Venice

Questions 10-13 (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- TRUE
The statement in the question contradicts the account in the text- FALSE
There is no clear connection of the statement with the account in the text- NOT GIVEN

For this type of question, you can divide each statement into three independent pieces and make your way through with the answer.

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

Keywords for these answers: Portuguese, control, Ceylon, 16th century

In paragraph no. 3, line 1, we find about the Portuguese. In the very next line, we can also see the word Ceylon. But candidates shouldn’t make mistakes and start reading the whole paragraph because you won’t find the reference of the 16th century here.

All these keywords – Portuguese, Ceylon, 16th century – can be found together at the very end of paragraph no. 3. Go straight there and read the last few lines.

In lines 10-12, the author says, “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. In the late 16th century, for example, they enjoyed a tenfold profit. … .”

These lines directly indicate that the Portuguese built the fort in Ceylon to take complete control of the cinnamon business, and by the 16th century, they got ten times more profit from it.

So, the answer is: TRUE

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

Keywords for this answer: The Dutch, cinnamon trade, the Portuguese, as soon as, arrived

We can see the phrase ‘the Dutch’ in line 1 of paragraph no. 4. So, we need to find the information here.

The Dutch, as mentioned in the paragraph, arrived in Ceylon ‘at the very beginning of the 17th century’.  In lines 5-6, the writer says, “. .. .. . By 1640, the Dutch broke the 150-year Portuguese monopoly when they overran and occupied their factories.” Therefore, we can understand that it took the Dutch about 40 long years to take control of the Portuguese monopoly of cinnamon.

So, the answer is: FALSE

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

Keywords for this answer: trees, the Dutch, larger quantities, wild trees

In paragraph no. 5, we can see the reference to cinnamon trees and wild trees.

In the question, there is a comparison between local cinnamon trees and wild cinnamon trees on the quantities produced by trees planted by the Dutch and the wild trees. The final lines say, “… .. Eventually, the Dutch began cultivating their own cinnamon trees to supplement the diminishing number of wild trees available for use.” But this doesn’t confirm for us of the quantity of cinnamon produced by the trees planted by the Dutch or wild species of cinnamon trees.

So the answer is: NOT GIVEN

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

Keywords for this answer: spice trade, maintained, economic importance, 19th century

The final paragraph or paragraph no. 6 has the answer to this question. In the second line, we find a reference to the 19th century. So, we should read the line. Here, the writer says, “…. By the middle of the 19th century, production of cinnamon reached 1000 tons a year, after a lower grade quality of the spice became acceptable to European tastes.” It seems the answer may be TRUE. But if you read further in lines 6-7, you will find a contrasting picture. “.. .. Not only was a monopoly of cinnamon becoming impossible, but also the spice trade overall was diminishing in economic potential. .. .. . .” This means cinnamon trade could not maintain economic importance during the 19th century.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Reading Passage 2: Stadiums: past, present, and future

Questions 14-17: 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 it. 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. And just like the List of Headings, only read the first two lines or final 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.]

Question no. 14: a mention of negative attitudes towards stadium building projects

Keywords for the question: negative attitudes, stadium building projects,

The answer to this question is in the second paragraph of section A. Here, the writer of the text says, “Today, however, stadiums are regarded with growing scepticismConstruction costs can soar above £1 billion, and stadiums finished for major events such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup have notably fallen into disuse and disrepair.”   

Here, regarded with growing scepticism = negative attitudes,

Construction costs can soar above £1 billion & notably fallen into disuse and disrepair = negatives attitudes,

So, the answer is: A

Question no. 15: figures demonstrating the environmental benefits of a certain stadium

Keywords for the question: figures, environmental benefits, a certain stadium,

In section F, the writer describes the environmental benefits of a particular stadium in the second paragraph. Let’s read the second paragraph, “Freiburg Mage Solar Stadium in Germany is the first of a new wave of stadiums as power plants, which also includes the Amsterdam Arena and the Kaohsiung Stadium. The latter, inaugurated in 2009, has 8,844 photovoltaic panels producing up to 1.14 GWh of electricity annuallyThis reduces the annual output of carbon dioxide by 660 tons and supplies up to 80 percent of the surrounding area when the stadium is not in use. This is proof that a stadium can serve its city, and have a decidedly positive impact in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions.” 

Here, proof that a stadium can serve its city, and have a decidedly positive impact in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions = the environmental benefits of a certain stadium,

reduces the annual output of carbon dioxide by 660 tons and supplies up to 80 percent of the surrounding area = figures,

So, the answer is: F

Question no. 16: examples of the wide range of facilities available at some new stadiums

Keywords for the question: wide range of facilities, at some new stadiums,

In section E, the author of the passage says in the second paragraph, “There’s a growing trend for stadiums to be equipped with public spaces and services that serve a function beyond sport, such as hotels, retail outlets, conference centres, restaurants and bars, children’s playgrounds, and green space. . .. … ..”

Here, hotels, retail outlets, conference centres, restaurants and bars, children’s playgrounds, and green space = wide range of facilities available at some new stadiums,

So, the answer is: E

Question no. 17: reference to the disadvantages of the stadiums built during a certain era

Keywords for the question: disadvantages, stadiums built, during a certain era,

The first paragraph of section D says, “ . .. . .. .. .. But some of the flexibility was lost at the beginning of the 20th century, as stadiums were developed using new products such as steel and reinforced concrete, and made use of bright lights for night-time matches.”

Here, the 20th century = a certain era, some of the flexibility was lost = the disadvantages,

So, the answer is: D

Questions 18-22: Summary completion

[In this kind of question, candidates are given a summary for one, two or three paragraphs with some fill-in-the-blank questions. Candidates need to find out the related paragraphs by correctly studying the keywords from the questions. Then, they should follow the steps of finding answers to fill in the gaps with ONE WORD ONLY.]

Title of the summary: Roman amphitheatres

Question no. 18: The Roman stadiums of Europe have proved very versatile. The amphitheatre of Aries, for example, was converted first into a ____________.

Keywords for the question: Roman stadiums, Europe, proved, versatile, the amphitheatre of Aries, was converted first into,

The first few lines of Paragraph no. 1 in Section B give us the answer to this question as the author writes here, “The amphitheatre of Aries in southwest France, with a capacity of 25,000 spectators, is perhaps the best example of just how versatile stadiums can be. Built by the Romans in 90 AD, it became a fortress with four towers after the fifth century, . . .. .. . . .”

Here, just how versatile stadiums can be = proved very versatile, became = converted into,  

So, the answer is: fortress  

Question no. 19:  . .. .. . .. .  then into a residential area and finally into an arena where spectators could watch ____________.

Keywords for the question: then, into, residential area, finally into, arena, where, spectators could watch,  

Again, in section B paragraph no. 1, in lines 4-6, the writer says, “ . . .. . and was then transformed into a village containing more than 200 houses. With the growing interest in conservation during the 19th century, it was converted back into an arena for the staging of bullfights, thereby returning the structure to its original use as a venue for public spectacles..”

Here, transformed into a village containing more than 200 houses = transformed into a residential area,

So, the answer is: bullfights  

Question no. 20: Meanwhile, the arena in Verona, one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres, is famous today as a venue where ___________ is performed.

Keywords for the question: Meanwhile, arena in Verona, one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres, famous today, as a venue, is performed,  

In Section B, in the second paragraph, the writer says, “Another example is the imposing arena of Verona in northern Italy, with space for 30,000 spectators, which was built 60 years before the Arles amphitheatre and 40 years before Rome’s famous Colosseum. It has endured the centuries and is currently considered one of the world’s prime sites for opera, thanks to its outstanding acoustics.”

Here, It has endured the centuries = one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres, one of the world’s prime sites = famous today as a venue,

So, the answer is: opera  

Question no. 21: The site of Lucca’s amphitheatre has also been used for many purposes over the centuries, including the storage of ___________.

Keywords for the question: The site of Lucca’s amphitheatre also been used for many purposes the storage of,

In Section C, lines 1-5 say, “The area in the centre of the Italian town of Lucca, known as the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, is yet another impressive example of an amphitheatre becoming absorbed into the fabric of the city. The site evolved in a similar way to Arles and was progressively filled with buildings from the Middle Ages until the 19th century, variously used as houses, a salt depot and a prison… . .. .. ..”

Here, variously used = been used for many purposes, depot = storage,

So, the answer is: salt

Question no. 22: It is now a market square with ___________ and homes incorporated into the remains of the Roman amphitheatre.

Keywords for the question: now a market square, with, homes, incorporated into, remains of the Roman amphitheatre,

Lines 5-7 of Section C say, “ . . .. But rather than reverting to an arena, it became a market square, designed by Romanticist architect Lorenzo Nottolini. Today, the ruins of the amphitheatre remain embedded in the various shops and residences surrounding the public square.”

Here, residences = homes,

So, the answer is: shops

Questions 23-26: Choosing TWO letters/ options from given list

[In this kind of question candidates must choose two or three answers for each question from five or six options. The answers will not follow any sequential order as they are randomly spread in the text, so this question will be time-consuming. Skimming will come in handy and previous reading of the text can come in use. Therefore, other questions should be answered first before answering this question.]

Questions no. 23 & 24: When comparing twentieth-century stadiums to ancient amphitheatres in Section D, which TWO negative features does the writer mention?

Keywords for the question: comparing, twentieth-century stadiums, to ancient amphitheatres, Section D, TWO negative features,    

Let’s have a look at Section D.

Section D has two paragraphs. In the second paragraph, the writer says, “Many such stadiums are situated in suburban areas, designed for sporting use only and surrounded by parking lots. These factors mean that they may not be as accessible to the general public, require more energy to run and contribute to urban heat.”

Here, designed for sporting use only = less versatile,

may not be as accessible to the general public = in less convenient locations,

So, the answers are:

(They are in less convenient locations.)

(They are less versatile.)

Questions no. 25 & 26: Which TWO advantages of modern stadium design does the writer mention?

Keywords for the question: TWO advantages of modern stadium design,

In Section E, the first paragraph has the answer for these two questions. The writer says here, “But many of today’s most innovative architects see scope for the stadium to help improve the city. Among the current strategies, two seem to be having success: the stadium as an urban hub, and as a power plant.”

Here, as an urban hub = bringing community life back into the city environment,

as a power plant = providing a suitable site for the installation of renewable power generators,

Then, in the following paragraphs and section, the writer explains these two points with examples.

So, the answers are:

(bringing community life back into the city environment)

(providing a suitable site for the installation of renewable power generators)

Reading Passage 3:The headline of the passage: Making the most of trends

Questions 27-31:  (Multiple Choice Questions)

[‘Multiple choice questions’ is a common type of question set in the IELTS Reading test. It is also found in the Listening test.  Most of the time, they come with four options but sometimes there are three options. Candidates need to work hard for this type of questions because this may confuse them easily in passage 2 or passage 3. There will be long answers for each question, so they may kill valuable time. So, quick reading or skimming technique might come handy here.  Remember that answers in 3 options out of 4 will be very close. So, vocabulary power will help a lot to choose the best answer.]

TIPS: Skimming is the best reading technique. You need not understand every word here. Just try to gather the gist of the sentences. That’s all. Read quickly and don’t stop until you finish each sentence.

Question 27: In the first paragraph, the writer says that most managers –

Keywords for this question: first paragraph, most managers

The answer is in lines 3-4 of paragraph no. 1. The writer says here, “… .. ..that managers often fail to recognise the less obvious but profound ways these trends are influencing consumers’ aspirations, attitudes and behaviors.” The lines indicate that most managers fail to recognize or are unaware of the impacts of these trends on customers’ lives.

So, the answer is: D (are unaware of the significant impact that trends have on consumers’ lives.)

Question 28: According to the third paragraph, Coach was anxious to –

Keywords for this question: third paragraph, Coach, anxious

In the third paragraph, we find about the company Coach in line 4. So, we read from there. Our answer is in lines 6-7 of paragraph no. 3. Here, the writer of the passage says, “… However, that would have risked cheapening the brand’s image …..” So, it can be understood from the lines that the strategy that the company ‘Coach’ were considering to lower their product’s price. But they feared that it would risk/harm the image or goodwill of the company. Coach wanted to keep its brand image.

So, the answer is: (safeguard its reputation as a manufacturer of luxury goods.)

Question 29: What point is made about Tesco’s Greener Living Programme?

Keywords for this question: Tesco’s Greener Living Programme  

The answer is in the fourth paragraph because it talks about Tesco. The phrase “Greener Living Program” is found in line 3. Take a look at lines 7-9, “…. Tesco has not abandoned its traditional retail offerings but augmented its business with these innovations, thereby infusing its value proposition with a green streak.” So, it can be realized from the lines that Tesco did not need to change its traditional (core) business activities; they only made it larger (augmented).

So, the answer is: (it did not require Tesco to modify its core business activities.)

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

Keywords for this question: suggest, Nike’s strategy

The answer to this question lies in paragraph no. 5 where we see discussion about Nike’s ‘radical strategy’. Here, in lines 4-5, the author says, “At first glance, spending resources to incorporate elements of a seemingly irrelevant trend into one’s core offerings sounds like it’s hardly worthwhile.” These lines indicate that the process might look like to have little value or fewer benefits.

So, the answer is: (it was the kind of strategy which might appear to have few obvious benefits.)

Question 31: What was original about the ME2?  

Keywords for this question: original about ME2

We find information about the video game ME2, created by Canada’s iToys, in paragraph no. 6. Here, we get quite a long reference to the game’s originality. Skim the lines 4-7, “By reaffirming the toy category’s association with physical play, the ME2 counteracted some of the widely perceived negative impacts of digital gaming devices. Like other handheld games…. . ….”

Here, the lines confirm that the game was handheld and it actually gave an excellent response to the worries of people about negative impacts of video games.

So, the answer is: (It was a handheld game that addressed people’s concerns about unhealthy lifestyles.)

Questions 32-37 (Matching statements with the company)

(The rules for finding answers to this sort of question are simple. Just read around it carefully and find the name of the company. Then, give a quick look to check whether there is another statement or idea provided by the same company in the text. If there is, check the reference carefully and decide your answer. Remember, the questions may not follow any sequential order.)

Question 32: It turned the notion that its products could have harmful effects to its own advantages.  

Keywords for this question: could have harmful effects, own advantage

The answer can be found in lines 4-6 of the sixth paragraph where the writer mentions a negative aspect of iToys, “…. …by Canda’s iToys. By reaffirming the toy category’s association with physical play, the ME2 counteracted some of the widely perceived negative impacts of digital gaming devices.” Here, ‘counteracted some of the widely perceived negative impacts of digital gaming devices’ – means that the game has prevented some of the most common negative impacts of video gaming devices.

Here, negative effects = harmful impacts

So, the answer is: D (iToys)

Question 33: It extended its offering by collaborating with another manufacturer.  

Keywords for this question: collaborating with another manufacturer

The answer is in lines 6-7 of paragraph no. 5. Here, the author writes about Nike, “In 2006, they teamed up with the technological company Apple to launch Nike+. .. . .” Here, teamed up means collaborating.

So, the answer is: C (Nike)

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

Keywords for this question: incentive scheme, demonstrate, corporate social responsibility  

The answer lies in lines 5-7 of paragraph no. 4. Here, we find a reference of Tesco’s implementation of an incentive (encouragement) – “Tesco customers can accumulate points for such activities as reusing 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 is clearly a reference to incentive scheme which is seen as a corporate social responsibility because Tesco is helping the society to be greener.

So, the answer is: B (Tesco)

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

Keywords for this question: customers, positive attitude, difficult circumstances

Lines 7-8 of paragraph no. 3 contain the answer for this question. Here, the author talks about the economic downturn of 2008 and a strategy of the company Coach, “…. . .. project which revealed that customers were eager to lift themselves and the country out of rough times.” Here, the lines mean that customers were eager or positive to help themselves and the whole country.

So, the answer is: A (Coach)

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

Keywords for this question: growing lifestyle trend, unrelated product sector

The answer is on the same lines from where we previously found the answer to question no. 30. The writer says, “…. .. spending resources to incorporate elements of a seriously irrelevant trend into one’s core offerings….”

Here, irrelevant trend = unrelated product sector

Also, the paragraph gives information about Nike’s integration with Apple, the tech giant. Technology is considered a growing lifestyle trend.

So, the answer is: C (Nike)

Question 37: It successfully avoided having to change its customers less for its core products.

Keywords for this question: successfully avoided, change customers less

The answer is found in lines 10-11 of paragraph no. 3. The author says here, “… . .Creating the sub-brand allowed Coach to avert an across-the-board product.” Here, avert = avoid, price cut = charge less

So, the answer is: A (Coach)

Questions 38-40: (Completing sentences/sentence completion)

[Here, candidates have to complete sentences by matching one part of the sentence with the other. Candidates need to check the keywords from the question parts and try to match those keywords with the information given in the passage.]

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

Keywords for this question: trend-related changes, impacting, category

The answer to this question is in lines 1-2 of paragraph no. 7. The writer says, “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.”

Here, we find keywords like trend-related changes, impact and category.

Also, determine = identify

So, the answer is: B (identify the most appropriate innovation strategy to use)

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

Keywords for this question: current trend, highlights, negative aspect, category

Answer to this question can be found in the last few lines of paragraph no. 7. The author writes, “… .. if aspects of the category clash with undesired outcomes of a trend, such as associates with unhealthy lifestyles, there is an opportunity to counteract these changes by reaffirming the core values of your category.”

Here, undesired outcomes = negative aspect

Also, we find here keywords like counteract, reaffirming, core, values

So, the answer is: C (emphasise your brand’s traditional value with the counteract-and-affirm strategy)

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

Keywords for this question: customers’ new focus, increasing lack of connection,

The answer is in lines 5-6 of paragraph no. 7. The writer says, “.. .. 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”.

Here, increasing disparity = increasing lack of connection

Also, we find words like transcend, integrate, two worlds

So, the answer is: D (use the combine-and-transcend strategy to integrate the two worlds.)



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