IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 11 Reading Test 3 Passage 1; The Story of Silk; with best solutions and detailed explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 11 Reading Test 3 Passage 1; The Story of Silk; with best solutions and detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on the best solutions and detailed explanations of IELTS Cambridge 11 Reading Test 3 Passage 1. The title of the passage is The Story of Silk. This is an on-demand post which is a result of requests from IELTS candidates who have major difficulties in locating and gathering Reading Answers. This post can be the best channel for you to understand every Reading answer easily and without trouble because all the answers have easy and clear explanations. Finding IELTS Reading answers is a gradual process and I hope this post can help you in this respect.

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 11 Reading Test 3 Passage 1; The Story of Silk; with best solutions and detailed explanations

Reading Passage 1:

The headline of the passage: The Story of Silk

Questions 1-9:            (Completing notes with ONE WORD ONLY)

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write only one word/ no more than two words 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.

Question 1: Around 3000 BC, according to legend:

  • silkworm cocoon fell into emperor’s wife’s __________

Keywords for the question: 3000 BC, fell into, emperor’s wife

We find the mention of 3000 BC in paragraph no. 1. So, we should try to locate the answer from here. The answer to this question can be found in paragraph no. 1 lines 14-17 where, the author writes, “It just so happened that while she was sipping some tea, one of the cocoons that she had collected landed in the hot tea and started to unravel into a fine thread.”

So, the answer is: tea

Question 2: – emperor’s wife invented a ______ to pull out silk fibres

Keywords for the question: emperor’s wife, invented, pull out silk fibres

The answer can be found in paragraph no. 1 lines 21-24. Here, the author writes, “She also devised a special reel to draw the fibres from the cocoon into a single thread so that they would be strong enough to be woven into fabric.” This means that the emperor’s wife devised or invented a reel to draw out or pull out silk fibres.

So, the answer is: reel                        

Question 3: Only _______ were allowed to produce silk

Keywords for the question: only, were allowed to produce

Paragraph no. 2 contains the answer to this question at the very beginning. Here, in lines 1-2, the author says, “Originally, silkworm farming was solely restricted to women and .. .. . .”. Here, the phrase solely restricted to women means that only women were allowed to farm silk.

So, the answer is: women                  

Question 4: Only _______ were allowed to wear silk

Keywords for the question: only, allowed to wear

In paragraph no. 2 lines 6-7 say, “…. . . only royalty were entitled to have clothes made of silk.” This clearly means that only royalty were allowed to wear silk clothes.

So, the answer is: royalty      

Question 5: Silk used as a form of _______

  • g. farmer’s taxes consisted partly of silk

Keywords for the question: silk used, form of, farmer’s taxes  

To locate this answer, we need to find the keywords farmer’s taxes and it can be found in lines 15-16 of paragraph no. 2. So, we need to look for the answer a few lines ahead because ‘farmer’s taxes’ is an example here. In lines 12-16, the writer says, “… . .. .silk was so prized that it was also used as a unit of currency. Government officials were paid their salary in silk, and farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk.”

So, the answer is: currency  

Question 6: Silk used for many purposes

  • g. evidence found of _____ made from silk around 168 AD

Keywords for the question: 168 AD, many purposes, evidence

The answer can be found at the end of paragraph 2. Here, in lines 20-23, the writer mentions, “The earliest indication of silk paper being used was discovered in the tomb of a noble who is estimated to have died around 168 AD.” So, it can be understood that paper made from silk was found around 168 AD.

So, the answer is: paper  

Question 7: Merchants use Silk Road to take silk westward and bring back _______ and precious metals.

Keywords for the question: Merchants, Silk Road, bring back, precious metals

In paragraph no. 3, the author talks about trading of silk through Silk Road. In lines 3-5 of the paragraph, the author writes, “…. now known as the Silk Road, taking silk westward and bringing gold, silver and wool to the East.” So, the merchants took silk westward and traded them for precious metals like gold and silver and for wool.

So, the answer is: wool

Question 8: 550 AD: ______ hide silkworm eggs in canes and take them to Constantinople.

Keywords for the question: 550 AD, hide, eggs, canes, Constantinople

Answer to this question can be found in the middle of paragraph no. 4 where we can find the reference to Constantinople. Here, in lines 10-14, the writer says, “According to another legend, monks working for  the Byzantine emperor  Justinian smuggled silkworm eggs to Constantinople in 550 AD, concealed inside hollow bamboo walking canes.”

So, the answer is: monks

Question 9: 20th century: ______ and other manmade fibres cause decline in silk production.

Keywords for the question: 20th century, manmade fibre, cause decline,

To find answer to this question, we need to locate the keywords ‘20th century’ and ‘decline in silk production’ which is found in the last paragraph. Here, the writer says in lines 7-8, “Then in the twentieth century, new manmade fibres, such as nylon, started to be used in what had traditionally been silk products, such as stockings and parachutes.” So, it can be understood that nylon was a manmade fibre.

So, the answer is: nylon

Question 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 with the account in the text- FALSE

The statement in the question has no clear connection 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: Gold was the most valuable material transported along the Silk Road.

Keywords for the question: gold, most valuable material

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  mentions in lines 1-8, “Demand  for  this  exotic  fabric  eventually  created  the  lucrative trade  route  now  known  as  the  Silk  Roadtaking  silk  westward  and  bringing  gold,  silver  and  wool  to  the East. It was named the Silk Road after its most precious commodity, which was considered to be worth more than gold.” So, it can be safely guessed that gold is not the most valuable material, it’s silk.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question 11: Most tradesmen only went along certain sections of the Silk Road.

Keywords for the question: tradesmen, certain sections

In  paragraph  3,  the  writer  indicates  that  “The  Silk  Road  stretched  over  6,000  kilometers from  Eastern  China  to  the  Mediterranean  Sea .. .. . . Few  merchants  traveled  the  entire  route;  goods  were handled  mostly by  a  series  of  middlemen.”  This  clearly means  that  the  journey through Silk  Road  was  lengthy enough  for  merchants  to travel along; therefore, they only travelled along certain sections.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 12: The Byzantines spread the practice of silk production across the West.

Keywords for the question: The Byzantines, spread  

In paragraph 4, from line 3, the writer mentions, “The Byzantines were  as secretive as the Chinese, however, and for  many  centuries  the  weaving  and  trading  of  silk  fabric  was  a  strict  imperial  monopoly.  Then  in  the seventh  century,  the  Arabs  conquered  Persia,  capturing  their  magnificent  silks  in  the  process.  Silk production  thus  spread  through  Africa,  Sicily  and  Spain  as  the  Arabs  swept  through  these  lands.” Therefore, it was the the Arabs, not the Byzantines, who spread the practice of silk production across the West.

So the answer is: FALSE

Question 13: Silk yarn makes up the majority of silk currently exported from China.

Keywords for the question: silk yarn, the majority, exported, China

In the last paragraph, the writer says, “.. .. .in more recent decades, China has gradually recaptured its position as the world’s biggest producer and exporter of silk and silk yarn.” So, it is unclear from the lines whether silk yarn makes up the majority of silk currently exported from China, we only make out that both silk and silk yarn are exported, but there is no information on which product makes up the majority of silk exported from China.

So the answer is: NOT GIVEN

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