CAMBRIDGE IELTS 16 Reading answers explained
Test 2 answer key with extra explanations
Reading Passage 1
1. The correct answer is TRUE: The text says, ‘There are 56 hill figures scattered around England, with the vast majority on the chalk downlands of the country’s southern counties.’ The phrase ‘the vast majority of’ means the same as most, and ‘the country’s southern counties’ is one particular area of England.
2. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: The text says, ‘The figures include giants, horses, crosses and regimental badges.’ It does not say whether there are more figures in the shape of a horse than figures with other
3. The correct answer is TRUE: The text says, ‘The White Horse has recently been re-dated and shown to be even older than its previously assigned ancient pre-Roman Iron Age date.’ As the recent dating shows that the White Horse is even older than its previously assigned date, this means that people’s previous estimate of the White Horse’s age was
4. The correct answer is FALSE: The text refers to the date of the Long Man of Wilmington as ‘controversial’ and says, ‘While many historians are convinced the figure is prehistoric, others believe that it was the work of an artistic monk from a nearby priory and was created between the 11th and 15th centuries.’ The fact that there are two different views among historians about the figure’s origins means that they have not come to an
5. The correct answer is FALSE: The text says, ‘The method of cutting these huge figures was simply to remove the overlying grass to reveal the gleaming white chalk below.’ This means that people did not place the chalk on the hillside: the chalk was already on the hillside, and they uncovered it by cutting away the grass that was growing on
6. The correct answer is TRUE: The text refers to the fact that ‘the vast majority of hill figures have disappeared. This means that that most of these are not visible any
7. The correct answer is TRUE: The text says, ‘over hundreds of years, the outlines would sometimes change due to people not always cutting in exactly the same place, thus creating a different shape to the original geoglyph.’ If the shapes of some geoglyphs are now different from their original shapes, this means that they have altered over
8. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: The text describes the Uffington White Horse, but does not say whether its fame is due to its
9. The correct answer is ‘Ridgeway’: The text says, ‘The horse is situated 2.5 km from Uffington village … and below the Ridgeway, a long-distance Neolithic track.’ A track which dates from Neolithic times is several thousand years old: this means that the Ridgeway is an ancient The capital ‘R’ of ‘Ridgeway’ tells us that this is the name which the road is known by.
10. The correct answer is ‘documents’: The text says, ‘The earliest evidence of a horse at Uffington is from the 1070s CE when “White Horse Hill” is mentioned in documents from the nearby Abbey of Abingdon’. The phrase ‘earliest evidence’ means that these documents contain the first reference to White Horse Hill in
11. The correct answer is ‘soil’: The text says that ‘The Oxford Archaeological Unit carried out optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) testing on soil from two of the lower layers of the horse’s body, and from another cut near the base.’ ‘Testing’ of soil has the same meaning as analysis of soil.
12. The correct answer is ‘fertility’: The text says that the goddess Epona ‘was worshipped as a protector of horses, and for her associations with fertility’.
13. The correct answer is ‘Rhiannon’: The text says, ‘It is possible that the carving represents a goddess in native mythology, such as Rhiannon, described in later Welsh mythology as a beautiful woman dressed in gold and riding a white horse.’ The words ‘such as’ refer back to the word ‘goddess’, indicating that Rhiannon was an example of a goddess; the capital ‘R’ of ‘Rhiannon’ indicates that this was the goddess’s name.
Reading Passage 2
14. The correct answer is D: The text says, ‘Microbes, most of them bacteria, have populated this planet since long before animal life developed and they will outlive us.’ The word ‘us’ refers to animal life, including humans. The idea that microbes ‘will outlive us’ means that they will live for longer than we will: there will still be microbes on this planet when the human race no longer exists. A is incorrect: This paragraph mentions the environments where microbes live, but it does not say anything about how quickly they adapt to these environments. B is incorrect: The writer says, ‘we mess with them at our peril’, meaning that it would be dangerous for humans to interfere with This implies that the risk which they could pose is very great, and not at all exaggerated. C is incorrect: The text gives examples of both animal and plant life where microbes are found, but it does not compare them in terms of the numbers present.
15. The correct answer is C: The text says, ‘What is amazing is that while the number of human cells in the average person is about 30 trillion, the number of microbial ones is higher – about 39 trillion.’ The phrase ‘What is amazing’ tells us that the writer is impressed by the fact which follows: the writer finds it impressive that the average person has a higher number of microbial cells than human cells. A is incorrect: The writer says that each species has different microbes but does not express any opinion about this fact: we do not know whether or not the writer is impressed by this. B is incorrect: The text says that microbes vary from one part of an individual to another; it refers to varying types of microbes and does not say anything about varying numbers of microbes. D is incorrect: The text refers to scientists, but it does not say that they have limited understanding of how microbial cells behave.
16. The correct answer is A: The text describes how Antony van Leeuwenhoek designed microscopes and ‘examined a drop of water from a nearby lake and found it teeming with tiny creatures’. B is incorrect: The text refers to two scientists but does not compare their theories. C is incorrect: The text refers to two scientists but does not mention any confusion. D is incorrect: The text refers to the fact that some microbes cause disease but does not give any details about this.
17. The correct answer is G: ‘Disease’ has a similar meaning to illness. In the sixth paragraph, the text says that ‘while fewer than one hundred species of bacteria bring disease, many thousands more play a vital role in maintaining our health’. This compares the number of bacteria which lead to illness with the number which help keep us healthy. The ‘fewer than
one hundred’ bacteria species which cause disease is relatively small in comparison to the thousands which maintain our health.
18. The correct answer is B: The text says, ‘bacteria should not be viewed as either friends or foes, villains or heroes. Instead we should realise we have a symbiotic relationship, that can be mutually beneficial or mutually destructive.’ ‘Foes’ means enemies, so the text is saying that we should not think of bacteria as either our friends or our enemies. We should think of them as a species with which we have a ‘symbiotic’ relationship: this is when different species co-exist together in close association, similar to a
19. The correct answer is H: In the seventh paragraph, the text refers to ‘our unhealthy, low-fibre diets’ as one of several factors contributing to the increase in allergies and immune system problems. Our ‘diets’ are what we eat and drink, and this word has a similar meaning to nutrition. If our diet is ‘unhealthy’, this means that our nutrition is poor. E is incorrect: The word cleanliness does not fit in this part of the sentence because the text does not say that our standard of cleanliness is poor.
20. The correct answer is E: In the seventh paragraph, the text refers to ‘Our obsession with hygiene’ as one of several factors contributing to the increase in allergies and immune system problems. If people have an ‘obsession with hygiene’, this means that they focus far too much on keeping themselves H is incorrect: The word ‘nutrition’ does not fit in this part of the sentence because the text does not say that we focus too much on nutrition.
21. The correct answer is YES: In the eighth paragraph, the writer says, ‘there are studies indicating that the excessive use of household detergents and antibacterial products actually destroys the microbes that normally keep the more dangerous germs at bay’. The writer suggests that using antibacterial products may not lead to the result that we want: we use the products to kill dangerous germs, but in fact they might be killing the microbes which keep us safe from these germs. If these products do not keep us safe from dangerous germs, they are failing to have the desired
22. The correct answer is NO: In the eighth paragraph, the writer says, ‘Other studies show that keeping a dog as a pet gives children early exposure to a diverse range of bacteria, which may help protect them against allergies ’ The phrase ‘exposure to a diverse range of bacteria’ means ‘contact with many different types of bacteria’. In other words, the writer thinks that children may get protection against allergies if they are exposed to as many bacteria as possible when they are young. It is therefore not a good idea to ensure they come into contact with as few bacteria as possible.
23. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: In the ninth paragraph, the writer refers to several case studies in Yong’s book but does not give an opinion about whether there are too many or too few case studies included.
24. The correct answer is YES: In the ninth paragraph, the writer says that the study involving fungus and frogs is ‘Among the less appealing case studies’. The writer then goes on to say, ‘Another is about squid that carry luminescent bacteria that protect them against predators.’ The word ‘Another’ refers back to the phrase ‘Among the less appealing case studies’; this means that the writer thinks the case study about bacteria and squid is also one of the less appealing In other words, this case study is somewhat dull, or even unpleasant, and may therefore have limited appeal for readers.
25. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: In the ninth paragraph, the writer refers to an attempt to stop mosquitoes spreading dengue fever but does not say whether this has been
26. The correct answer is NO: In the ninth paragraph, the writer says, ‘In the future, our ability to manipulate microbes means we could construct buildings with useful microbes built into their walls to fight off infections’, and then mentions a hospital ward as an example of a possible location where we could imagine this happening. This means that microbes which reduce the risk of infection have not yet been put in the walls of hospital
Reading Passage 3
27. The correct answer is B: The writer says that wisdom ‘isn’t an exceptional trait possessed by a small handful of bearded philosophers after all’. The phrase ‘isn’t … after all’ indicates that this idea was believed until recently, but now research suggests that it may be wrong. This point is then reinforced by the phrase ‘in fact’, which introduces the findings of the research. A is incorrect: The writer says that wisdom is ‘one of the most revered human qualities’ but does not suggest that it is unique to humans. C is incorrect: The writer refers to different concepts of wisdom but does not relate these to society. D is incorrect: The writer refers to recent findings about the nature of wisdom but does not say whether there is more to be discovered.
28. The correct answer is C: Igor Grossmann is quoted as saying, ‘It appears that experiential, situational, and cultural factors are even more powerful in shaping wisdom than previously imagined’. This means that people did not previously realise how powerful the influence of these factors In other words, their importance was underestimated. A is incorrect: Grossmann suggests that a person’s ability to make wise decisions ‘varies dramatically across experiential and situational contexts’; he does not suggest that this varies from person to person. B is incorrect: Grossman does not say anything about earlier research. D is incorrect: Grossman refers to several branches of psychology but does not suggest that they have different definitions of wisdom.
29. The correct answer is B: Grossmann is quoted as saying, ‘wisdom … unfolds as a function of situations people happen to be in. Some situations are more likely to promote wisdom than others.’ This means that a person will show more wisdom in some circumstances than in A is incorrect: Grossman does not mention what people think about their own level of wisdom. C is incorrect: Grossman claims that an individual’s level of wisdom depends on ‘a variety of external factors’; he does not suggest that personality is a determining factor. D is incorrect: Grossman does not say anything about wisdom developing over time.
30. The correct answer is D: The fourth paragraph lists four characteristics identified as being associated with wise reasoning; the writer is implying that people can use these to help them reason A is incorrect: There is no mention of any difficulties. B is incorrect: No specific type of person is mentioned. C is incorrect: There is no mention of any controversial view.
31. The correct answer is D: The fourth paragraph refers to the four characteristics in the framework of wise reasoning and says, ‘One is intellectual humility or recognition of the limits of our own knowledge’. ‘Humility’ has a similar meaning to modesty, and the ‘recognition of the limits’ of something has a similar meaning to modesty regarding the extent of
32. The correct answer is A: The fourth paragraph mentions ‘compromise or integration of different attitudes and beliefs’ as a characteristic of wise reasoning. Someone who integrates different attitudes and beliefs into their decisions is taking into account opinions which may not be the same as their own. ‘View’ is incorrect: While view can have a similar meaning to opinions, this word does not fit grammatically. View is a singular countable noun; this gap requires a plural or uncountable
33. The correct answer is C: The fourth paragraph mentions ‘appreciation of perspectives wider than the issue at hand’ as a characteristic of wise reasoning. This has
a similar meaning to taking a broad view. ‘Opinions’ is incorrect: While opinions can have a similar meaning to ‘view’, this word does not fit grammatically. Opinions is a plural noun; this gap requires a singular countable noun.
34. The correct answer is F: The fifth paragraph suggests that ‘one of the most reliable ways to support wisdom in our own day-to-day decisions is to look at scenarios from a third-party perspective, as though advising a friend. This is a recommendation to regard scenarios in a detached way, as if from another person’s viewpoint: in other words, to look at them with objectivity.
35. The correct answer is G: The fifth paragraph suggests that a third-person perspective helps people focus more on interpersonal and moral ideals such as justice and impartiality. The concepts of ‘justice and impartiality’ have a similar meaning to
36. The correct answer is FALSE: The text says, ‘The students were instructed to imagine their career either “as if you were a distant observer” or “before your own eyes as if you were right there”.’ It then refers to participants being ‘assigned’ to particular groups. Both of these statements indicate that the students were given no choice about the perspective to
37. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: The text describes how the couple’s experiment was conducted but did not mention whether the participants knew the study was about wise reasoning.
38. The correct answer is NOT GIVEN: The text says that the ‘perspectives’ taken by the participants had an impact on the results; it does not say whether the length of the couples’ relationships had any impact on
39. The correct answer is TRUE: The text says of the job prospects experiment that ‘Participants in the group assigned to the “distant observer” role displayed more wisdom-related reasoning (intellectual humility and recognition of change) than did participants in the control group’; it says of the couples experiment that ‘Couples in the “other’s eyes” condition were significantly more likely to rely on wise reasoning – recognizing others’ perspectives and searching for a compromise – compared to the couples in the egocentric condition.’ This means that the two experiments produced the same results: in both cases, the participants who took the wiser decisions were those who looked at the situation from a detached
40. The correct answer is TRUE: The final paragraph says, ‘We might associate wisdom with intelligence or particular personality traits, but research shows only a small positive relationship between wise thinking and crystallized intelligence. If there is ‘only a small positive relationship’ between wisdom and intelligence, the latter determines the former to a very limited extent. The text then quotes Grossmann expanding on this point, saying, ‘It is remarkable how much people can vary in their wisdom from one situation to the next, and how much stronger such contextual effects are for understanding the relationship between wise judgment and its social and affective outcomes as compared to the generalized “traits”.’ This indicates that Grossman agrees with this view.