IELTS academic Reading: Cambridge 13 Test 4, Reading passage 2; Saving the soil, with best solutions and easy explanations

IELTS academic Reading: Cambridge 13 Test 4, Reading passage 2; Saving the soil, with best solutions and easy explanations

This IELTS Reading post is the second of the series post deals with a total solution package for Cambridge IELTS Series Book 13 Reading test 4 Passage 2 which is entitled Saving the Soil. In this post I’ve discussed about all the answers and solutions for Reading Passage 2. This is another aimed post for candidates who have huge difficulties in finding and understanding IELTS Reading Answers. This post can easily direct you the best to figure out every Reading answer without much trouble. Finding IELTS Reading answers is a step-by-step routine and I hope this post can assist you in this topic.

IELTS academic Reading: Cambridge 13 Test 4, Reading passage 2; Saving the soil, with best solutions and easy explanations

Reading Passage 2:

The headline of the passage: SAVING THE SOIL

Questions 14-17: (Summary completion with NO MORE THAN OEN WORD)

(In this kind of questions candidates are given a summary for one, two or three paragraphs with some fill in the blanks questions. As these are fill in the blanks or gaps, there is a condition of writing no more than ONE, TWO or THREE words for each answer and candidates must maintain this condition. Candidates need to find out the related paragraphs by correctly studying the keywords form the questions. Then, they should follow the steps of finding answers for fill in the gaps.)

Question 14: Healthy soil contains a large variety of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as plant remains and _________ .

Keywords for this question: bacteria, microorganisms, plant remains

The reference to bacteria and microorganisms is found in paragraph B, lines 4-6. So, our answer to this question is surely there. Here, the writer says, “A single gram of healthy soil might contain 100 million bacteria, as well as other microorganisms such as viruses and fungi, living amid decomposing plants and various minerals.” Here, decomposing plants = plant remains.

So, the answer is: minerals

Question 15: It provides us with food and also with antibiotics, and its function in storing ________ has a significant effect on the climate.

Keywords for this question: food, antibiotics, storing, effect on the climate

In paragraph B, lines 9-11 say, “… Soil is also an ally against climate change: as microorganisms within soil digest dead animals and plants, they lock in their carbon content, holding three times the amount of carbon as does the entire atmosphere.”

Here, holding = store; an ally against climate change = a significant effect on climate change
So, the lines mean that carbon content found in soil actually has a great effect on the climate or atmosphere.

So, the answer is: carbon

Question 16: In addition, it prevents damage to property and infrastructure because it holds _________.

Keywords for this question: prevent damage, property, infrastructure, holds,  

The answer can be found in lines 11-13 of Paragraph B. Here, the writer gives reference to the prevention of damage done by flood, “….. .. .Soils also store water, preventing flood damage: in the UK, damage to buildings, roads and bridges from floods caused by soil degradation costs £233 million every year.” So, it means soil can store (hold) water, which can prevent damages to property and infrastructure (damage to buildings, roads and bridges) done by flood.

So, the answer is: water

Question 17: the main factor contributing to soil degradation is the ________ carried out by humans.

Keywords for this question: main factor, soil degradation, carried out by humans  

In Paragraph C, lines 5-9 give us information about “Agriculture is by far the biggest problem …. Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile.”
Here, biggest problem = the main factor
Soil degradation = soil gradually becomes less fertile

The lines mean that the way humans doing agriculture is affecting the fertility of the soil and it is degrading.

So, the answer is: agriculture

Question 18-21: (Completing sentences/sentence completion)

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

Question 18: Nutrients contained in the unused parts of harvested crops

Keywords for this question: nutrients, unused parts of harvested crops

The answer is in lines 7-8 of paragraph C. Here the writer says, “Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile”. It means humans have the tendency not to put back the unused parts of harvested crops directly and thus the soil slowly becomes less fertile.

So, the answer is: C

Question 19: Synthetic fertilizers produced with the Haber-Bosch process

Keywords for this question: tended to modify, ordinary speech, interacting with babies

In Paragraph D, line no. 3, we find the reference of the Haber-Bosch process. Then in lines 6-9 say, “…Chemical fertilisers can release polluting nitrous oxide into the atmosphere and excess is often washed away with the rain, releasing nitrogen into rivers. More recently, we have found that indiscriminate use of fertilisers hurts the soil itself, turning it acidic and salty, and degrading the soil they are supposed to nourish.” These lines suggest that the Haber-Bosch process may be responsible for the degradation of soil.

So, the answer is: E

Question 20: Addition of a mixture developed by Pius Floris to the soil      

Keywords for this question: mixture developed by Pius Floris  

In Paragraph E, line 1, we find the mention of Pius Floris, a farmer from the Netherlands. He developed a cocktail (mixture) which contained beneficial bacteria, fungi and humus. Then in line 7-10, the writer says, “When they applied Floris’s mix to the desert-like test plots, a good crop of plants emerged that were not just healthy at the surface, but had roots strong enough to pierce dirt as hard as rock”. Here, the lines mean that Pius Floris’ mixture or cocktail may improve the number and quality of plants.

So, the answer is: A

Question 21: The idea of zero net soil degradation

Keywords for this question: zero net soil degradation   

We can find the answer to this question in lines1-7 of paragraph G. “We need ways of presenting the problem that bring it home to governments and the wider public, says Pamela Chasek… . .. ..and vice versa. Chasek and her colleagues have proposed a goal of ‘zero net land degradation.. . . .”

Here, the lines indicate that zero net land degradation can be helpful for governments to be extra conscious about soil-degradation.

So, the answer is: D  

Question 24-26 : (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 question 4- 13. After finishing with these questions, come to question 1-3. And just like 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.]

Question 22: a reference to one person’s motivation for a soil-improvement project   

Keywords for this question: one person’s motivation, soil-improvement project

The answer is in lines 1-3 of paragraph E. “One of the people looking for a solution to this problem is Pius Floris, who started out running a tree-care business in the Netherlands, and now advises some of the world’s top soil scientists.” This paragraph indicates how Pius Floris’ cocktail became successful against soil degradation.

So, the answer is: E

Question 23: an explanation of how soil stayed healthy before the development of farming

Keywords for this question: soil stayed healthy, before, development of farming   

We find the reference of soil staying healthy in the second part (in the beginning) of paragraph C. Here, the writer says, “….. In the wild, when plants grow they remove nutrients from the soil, but then when the plants die and decay these nutrients are returned directly to the soil.” These lines explain how soil was healthy in natural-environmental process.

Then, the writer again says, “….. Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile.” These lines mean that agriculture done by human has made the soil less fertile or unhealthy.

So, the answer is: C

Question 24: examples of different ways of collecting information on soil degradation

Keywords for this answer: different ways of collecting information, soil degradation  

In paragraph F, lines 6-8 say, “Researchers from nine countries are working together to create a map linked to a database that can be fed measurements from field surveys, drone surveys, satellite imagery, lab analyses and so on to provide real-time data on the state of the soil”.
All these are different systems by which scientists can collect data about soil degradation.

So, the answer is: F

Question 25: a suggestion for a way of keeping some types of soil safe in the near future

Keywords for this answer: suggestion, keeping, some types of soil, safe, near future  

Answer to this question can be found in Paragraph G. Here, in lines 2-4, the writer says, “Chasek and her colleagues have proposed a goal of ‘zero net land degradation.”
Here, proposed = suggestion, goal = target for near future, zero net land degradation = keeping soil safe

So, the answer is: G

Question 26: a reason why it is difficult to provide an overview of soil degradation

Keywords for this answer: why, difficult, provide an overview, soil degradation    

The answer to this question is found in Paragraph F, lines 2-4, where the writer says, “To assess our options on a global scale we first need an accurate picture of what types of soil are out there, and the problems they face. That’s not easy. For one thing, there is no agreed international system for classifying soil.”

Here, That’s not easy = it is difficult,

picture of what types of soil are out there, and the problems they face = an overview of soil degradation

So, the answer is: F

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Click here for solutions to Cambridge 13 Test 4 Reading passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 13 Test 4 Reading passage 3

 

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