IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 4: Reading Passage 1; Land of the Rising Sum; with top solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 4 Reading Passage 1, which is entitled ‘Land of the Rising Sum’. This is an aimed post for IELTS candidates who have great problems in finding answers for the Academic Reading module. This post can guide you the best to comprehend each Reading answer without facing much difficulty. Tracing IELTS Reading answers is a gradual process and I sincerely hope this post can help you in your IELTS Reading preparation.

IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 4: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1:

The headline of the passage: Land of the Rising Sum

Questions 1-5: (List of headings):

[In this question type, IELTS candidates are provided with a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc,). A heading will refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section of the text. Candidates must find out the equivalent heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked with alphabets A, B, C and so forth. Candidates need to write the appropriate Roman numerals in the boxes on their answer sheets. There will always be two or three more headings than there are paragraphs or sections. So, some of the headings will not be used. It is also likely that some paragraphs or sections may not be included in the task. Generally, the first paragraph is an example paragraph that will be done for the candidates for their understanding of the task.

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 1: Section B

Section B is clearly an overview of lower secondary schools or middle-years education in Japan. The writer gives a description of the number of years, the different facilities, timing of lessons, break-time and description of the class-size, etc.

So, the answer is: vii (Background to middle-years education in Japan)

Special tips: Most of the time in ‘List of headings/Matching headings’ questions, the answers are found from the first few lines as they give an idea about the main topic. However, this is not applicable to all questions, so sometimes you need to skim the whole section/paragraph.  

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 4: Reading Passage 1; Land of the Rising Sum; with top solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

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Question 2: Section C

In paragraph C, look at lines 3-4, “Everyone has their own copy of the textbook supplied by the central education authority, Monbusho, as a part of the concept of free compulsory education up to the age of 15.” Therefore, Monbusho, which is Japan’s central education authority, supplies textbooks to the students for free.

Again, the last sentence in paragraph C says, “Besides approving textbooks, Monbusho also decides the highly centralized national curriculum and how it is to be delivered”.

These lines suggest that Monbusho has such a great effect/influence on Japan’s education that it not only designs textbooks but also the national curriculum.

So, the answer is: i (The influence of Monbusho)

Question 3: Section D

This section describes the format of every lesson in Monbusho system. However, it seems that none of the ‘headings’ from the list matches with this section.

Again, if you look at lines 11-12, the author writes, “. .. Only rarely are supplementary worksheets distributed in a maths class.” This means supplementary worksheets are rarely distributed in maths class only, and this makes maths class format typical.

So, the answer is: v (The typical format of a maths lesson)

Question 4: Section E

In the first part of section E, the writer says lines 3-4, “. .. In observed lessons, any strugglers would be assisted by the teacher or quietly seek help from their neighbour.” Here, strugglers mean less successful students.

Then, in the next part of section E, the author says, “This scarcely seems adequate help to enable slow learners to keep up. However, the Japanese attitude towards education runs along the lines of ‘if you work hard enough, you can do almost anything’.” This means slow learners get help which may seem inadequate but Japanese people believe hard work essential to get success.

So, the answer is: ii (Helping less successful students)

Question 5: Section F

The first lines of parts 1 and 2 of section F give us the answer to this question. At the beginning of part 1, “So what are the major contributing factors in the success of maths teaching? Clearly, attitudes are important.

And then, at the beginning of part 2, “Other relevant points relate to the supportive attitude of a class towards slower pupils, the lack of competition within a class and a positive emphasis on learning for oneself and improving one’s own standard.”

So, the answer is: viii (The key to Japanese successes in maths education)

Questions 6-9: YES, NO, NOT GIVEN

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

The statement in the question agrees with the claims of the writer in the passage – YES

The statement in the question contradicts with the claims of the writer in the passage – NO

If there is no information on this  – 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 6: There is a wider range of achievement amongst English pupils studying maths than amongst their Japanese counterparts.

Keywords for the question: wider range of achievement, English pupils, studying maths, Japanese counterparts,

In paragraph A, take a look at lines 4-6, where the writer says, “… .. . but there was also a larger proportion  of ‘low’ attainers in England, where, incidentally, the variation in attainment scores was much greater.” The lines suggest that even though Japan has a much better record in average mathematical achievement than England and Wales, England has a much wider range of achievement scores than Japan.

Here, wider means greater, achievement means attainment,

So, the answer is: YES

Question no. 7: The percentage of Gross National Product spent on education generally reflects the level of attainment in mathematics.

Keywords for the question: percentage, Gross National Product, spent, reflects, level of attainment,

Take a look at the last sentence of Section A,”. .. . The percentage of Gross National Product spent on education is reasonably similar in the two countries, so how is this higher and more consistent attainment in maths achieved?”

Now have a look at the sentence of section A, “Japan has significantly better record in terms of average mathematical attainment than England and Wales.”

Therefore, the writer is asking the question about the role of GNP in relation to higher scores in maths by Japan. This suggests that the percentage of GNP spent on education doesn’t necessarily reflect the level of scoring in maths. Had it been like that, England would have the same result in maths like Japan.

So, the answer is: NO

Question no. 8: Private schools in Japan are more modern and spacious than state-run lower secondary schools.

Keywords for the question: private schools in Japan, modern, spacious, state-run lower secondary schools,

In section B, the writer indicates in lines 2-3, “. .. . all pupils at this stage attend state schools; only 3 percent are in the private sector. Schools are usually modern in design, set well back from the road and spacious inside”. 

However, we don’t find any comparison between the facilities of private schools and state-run schools here.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 9: Teachers mark homework in Japanese schools.

Keywords for the question: teachers, mark, homework, Japanese schools,  

In section D, take a look at lines 3-5, “Pupils mark their own homework: this is an important principle in Japanese schooling as it enables pupils to see where and why they made a mistake so that these can be avoided in future”. 

So, the homework is marked by the pupils, not by their teachers.

So, the answer is: NO

Questions 10-13: Multiple choice questions

[This type of question asks you to choose a suitable answer from the options using the knowledge you gained from the passage. Generally, this question is found as the last question so you should not worry much about it. Finding all the answers to previous questions gives you a good idea about the title.]

Question no. 10: Maths textbooks in Japanese schools are –

Keywords for the question: Maths textbooks, Japanese schools,   

In section C, find this line, “These textbooks are, on the whole, small, presumably inexpensive to produce, but well set out and logically developed.”

Here, well set out and logically developed = well organised and adapted to the needs of the pupils

So, the answer is: B (Well organised and adapted to the needs of the pupils)         

Question 11: When a new maths topic is introduced,

Keywords for this question: new maths topic, introduced,     

In section D, the writer says in lines 7-10, “…. the teacher explains the topic of the lesson, slowly and with a lot of repetition and elaboration. Examples are demonstrated on the board; questions from the textbook are worked through first with the class….”.  This means that the teacher patiently explains any new maths topic with repetition and elaborates on the topic to the students so that they can understand it easily.

So, the answer is: C (It is carefully and patiently explained to the students)

Question 12: How do schools deal with students who experience difficulties?

Keywords for this question: schools, deal with, students, experience difficulties,

In section E, the author of the text says in lines 2-5, “. .. . . Teachers say that they give individual help at the end of a lesson or after school, setting extra work if necessary. In observed lessons, any strugglers would be assisted by the teacher or quietly seek help from their neighbour”.
Furthermore, the schools also inspire the parents and guardians to help as the writer explains in lines 10-13, “. .. . .. Parents are kept closely informed of their children’s progress and will play a part in helping their children to keep up with class, sending them to ‘Juku’ (private evening tuition) if extra help is needed and encouraging them to work harder”.

This means the students are encouraged to take extra lessons in ‘Juku’ (supplementary tuition)

So, the answer is: A (They are given appropriate supplementary tuition)

Question 13: Why do Japanese students tend to achieve relatively high rates of success in maths?

Keywords for this question: Japanese students, tend to achieve, relatively high rates of success, maths,  

In section F, the writer says in lines 3-4, “.. . .. . maths is recognised as an important compulsory subject throughout schooling, and the emphasis is on hard work coupled with a focus on accuracy.”

This means Japanese students and teachers give more importance to hard work and accuracy in maths and as a result, the students get relatively high scores in maths.

Here, hard work = effort, accuracy = correct answers,

So, the answer is: C (Much effort is made and correct answers are emphasised)

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 4 Reading Passage 2
Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 4 Reading Passage 3

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