IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

This General Training IELTS Reading post deals with a complete solution package for IELTS Cambridge 9 Reading Test A. This is a targeted post for candidates who have major problems in searching for and understanding Reading Answers. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer easily and without much difficulty. Finding IELTS Reading answers is a step-by-step process and I hope this post can help you in this respect.

IELTS Cambridge 9 Test A: GT Reading Module

Section 1: No Title

Questions 1-6 (Matching Advertisements with job descriptions):

[In this type of questions candidates are asked to match the questions (job descriptions) with the given job advertisements (Marked A, B, C, D etc.). Candidates have to write the correct letter for each answer. Here, having a close look at different numbers and important information will do the trick to find the answers.

Question 1: a person with two small children who wants a few hours a week of unskilled work in the early mornings.

Keywords for this question: two small children, a few hours a week, unskilled work, early mornings,  

Take a look at advertisement D:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can see some important points. Let’s have a look:

Cleaner = unskilled work, finish work before the offices open = in the early mornings,

Therefore, this job fits perfectly for person in question no. 1. 

So, the answer is: D

Question 2: a person with no experience or qualifications who is looking for a short term full-time job, Monday to Friday.

Keywords for this question: no experience, qualifications, short term, full-time, Monday to Friday,  

Take a look at advertisement C:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can find out some important points. Let’s have a look:

Former qualifications not as important = no experience or qualifications, Hours: 8.30 – 5.00 Mon-Fri = full-time job, Monday to Friday, from January till July = short term,

Therefore, this job is a perfect match for person in question no. 2.

So, the answer is: C               

Question 3: a lively student with no experience, who cannot work on weekdays.   

Keywords for this question: lively student, no experience, cannot work, weekdays,   

Take a look at advertisement A:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can find out some important points. Let’s have a look:

Energy and enthusiasm = lively, no experience = experience not essential, Sat & Sun only = cannot work on weekdays,

Therefore, this job is a perfect match for person in question no. 3.

So, the answer is: A               

Question 4: a person with more than 20 years’ experience in catering who would like to run a business.  

Keywords for this question: 20 years’ experience, catering, run a business,  

Take a look at advertisement G:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can see some important points. Let’s have a look:

Ideal for very experienced person = person with more than 20 years’ experience, Catering = Restaurant, To-let = place to run a business,

Therefore, this job is a perfect match for person in question no. 4.

So, the answer is: G  

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Question 5: a catering college graduate who is now looking for his first full-time job.   

Keywords for this question: catering college graduate, first full-time job,

Let’s take a look at advertisement F:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can find out some important points. Let’s have a look:

FULL-TIME COOK = catering college graduate. .. . full-time job, new and exciting café venture = first .. .. job,

Therefore, this job is a perfect match for the new catering graduate in question no. 5.

So, the answer is: F    

Question 6: a person with many years’ experience working in hotels who is now looking for well-paid part-time employment in a hotel.

Keywords for this question:  many years’ experience, hotels, well-paid, part-time, employment, hotel,   

Let’s take a look at advertisement B:

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Here in this advertisement, we can find out some important points. Let’s have a look:

applicants with experience = with many years’ experience, Excellent wages = well-paid, part-time silver service waiter/waitress = working in hotels . . . .. . part-time employment,

Therefore, this job is a perfect match for the person in question no. 6.

So, the answer is: B

Questions 7-14:

The headline of the passage: INTERCITY Sleeper between London and Scotland

IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 9 Test A; complete test with top solutions and best explanations

Questions 7-14 (Identifying information from different options in the passage)

This question asks you to find information from the passage and write the number of the train tickets (A, B, C or D … .. ) in the answer sheet. This question will not follow any sequence, and so it will surely kill your time if you are not very good in speed reading. You should always quickly 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 7: There are advantages if you book a journey with a friend.  

Keywords for this question: advantages, journey with a friend,

So, these are descriptions for train travels as you can see from the picture. For this question your KEYWORDS are ‘advantages’ if you make this ‘journey with a friend’. What you need to do here is this – you look quickly through all the ticket information and find out anything that relates to an ‘advantage’ which includes ‘two people’.

Now if you look closely at ticket number F-Special, you will find out a sentence there, “Special is an inclusive return travel package for two people . . .. . It can mean savings for both of you… .”

Here, two people = journey with a friend, savings for both of you = advantages,

So, the answer is: F                                                                                 

Question 8: You cannot use this on a Friday.

Keywords for this question: cannot use, on Friday,

Read the first line of this ticket information C-SuperSaver, “Available right up to the day of travel and valid any day except these peak days: all Fridays, also 18-20 December, 31 March and 28 May. ..  ..”

Here, except . .. . . . all Fridays = cannot use on Friday.

So, the answer is: C

Question 9: This can be used without restriction.  

Ticket number G-Standard says, “Not the cheapest option but available up to the time of travel and valid for all trains and at all times.

Keywords for this question: can be used, without restriction,

Here, valid for all trains and at all times means that this train service can be used without restriction.

So, the answer is: G

Question 10: This can only be booked up to 7 days before departure.

Keywords for this question: only be booked, up to 7 days, before departure,  

In the description of ticket number B-Apex we can see, “ … . Great value sleeper travel available by booking at least a week before outward travel.”

We know that a week means 7 days and departure means outward travel.

So, the answer is: B

Question 11: It’s the cheapest ticket available but there is a restriction on departure time.

Keywords for this question: cheapest ticket, restriction on departure time,

From the description of ticket number A-SuperApex we come to know that the price is £59 and if we look at all other ticket description we will find out that this ticket is the cheapest. Now, take a look at the first line of the description, “Only available for travel after 9am.” So, we can see a restriction on departure time.

So, the answer is: A

Question 12: If you decide not to travel after you have bought the ticket, you cannot get your money back. 

Keywords for this question: decide not to travel after …… bought the ticket, cannot get …. money back,

Take a look at the last line of the description, “… .. . This ticket is non-refundable unless the service is cancelled.”

This means if the train service authority decides to cancel the service, only then you will get your money back. So, passengers’ decision will not work here to demand a refund.

So the answer is: A

Question 13: This is not available if you’re travelling out on a Monday and back the next day.   

Keywords for this question: not available, travelling, on a Monday and back the next day,

The ticket description E-Solo includes this information, “.. .. . The journey must include a Saturday night away.” Therefore, if passengers wish to take this service, they are bound to include Saturday in their journey. Thus, a Monday trip with return on the next day is not valid here.

So the answer is: E

Question 14: You cannot use this ticket for departures between midnight and 10am.   

Keywords for this question: cannot use, departures between, midnight and 10am,

In the description of the ticket D-Saver, take a careful look at this line, “ . .. . Your ticket allows standard class travel on any train between 10 am and midnight.” So, the information is completely opposite to the description given in the question. That means a passenger cannot use this particular ticket for departures between midnight and 10am.

So the answer is: D

Section 2:

The headline of the passage: FORMAL DRESS CODE FOR COMPANY EMPLOYEES  

Questions 15-21: (Completing sentences with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS):

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write maximum two words to complete sentences 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 15: Aim of formal dress code: to present a ________ to clients

Keywords for this question: aim. Formal dress code, present, to clients,

In the opening paragraph of the text, the writer mentions about the objective of establishing the formal dress code, “At TransitEuropean, the company’s objective in establishing a formal dress code is to enable our employees to project the professional image that is in keeping with the needs of our clients and customers . . .”

This means the objective or aim of the formal dress code is to present a professional image to the clients.

So, the answer is: professional image

Question 16: State of clothes: they must be __________ and in good condition  

Keywords for this question: state of clothes, must be, good condition,  

The answer is in the second paragraph entitled ‘Formal Dress Code Guidelines’, where line no. 2-3 says, “. . .. Alternatively a jacket may be worn with appropriate accessories. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable. Clothing should be pressed and never wrinkled. … .. .”

Here, never wrinkled = in good condition,

So, the answer is: pressed

Question 17: Accessories: ties, scarves, belts and jewellery may be worn

  • these must be _________ and not brightly coloured

Keywords for this question: Accessories, must be, not brightly coloured,

As our main keyword is Accessories, we should look at paragraph no. 4 entitled ‘Accessories and Jewellery’. Here, this is written, “The wearing of ties, scarves, belts and jewellery is encouraged, provided they are tasteful. Items which are flashy should be avoided.”

Here, Items which are flashy should be avoided = these must not be brightly coloured

So, the answer is: tasteful

Question 18: Make up:  avoid wearing too much make up and perfume

  • these sometimes cause __________

Keywords for this question: Make up, avoid wearing, perfume, sometimes cause,

The answer remains in paragraph no. 5 entitled ‘Makeup, Perfume and Cologne’ where the writer mentions, “Remember that some employees may have allergic reactions to the chemicals in perfumes and makeup, so wear these substances in moderation.

Here, so wear these substances in moderation means avoid wearing too much make up and perfume

So, the answer is: allergic reactions

Question 19: Hats: hats should not be worn

  • head covers in line with religious reasons or __________ are allowed  

Keywords for this question: Hats, head covers, religious reasons, allowed,    

The answer to this question can be traced in paragraph no. 6 entitled ‘Hats and Head Covering’. Here, the writer says, “Hats are not appropriate in the office. Head covers that are required for reasons of faith or to honour cultural tradition are permitted.”

Here, reasons of faith means religious reasons

So, the answer is: cultural tradition

Question 20: Dressing down: casual clothing is allowed on some Fridays

  • clothing with the __________ on it is recommended

Keywords for this question: Dressing down, clothing with, on it, is recommended    

The answer to this question can be traced in paragraph no. 7 entitled ‘Dress Down Days’. Here, the writer states, “Clothing that has our company logo is strongly encouraged.”

Here, strongly encouraged = recommended

So, the answer is: company logo

Question 21: Breaking the dress code: if advice is repeatedly ignored, a ________ is given  

Keywords for this question: Breaking, dress code, advice, repeatedly ignored, is given,     

In the last line of the last paragraph entitled ‘Violation of Dress code’ the writer mentions, “If the problem persists, the employee will receive a verbal warning and  . . ..”

Here, the problem persists indicates to if advice is repeatedly ignored,

So, the answer is: verbal warning  

Questions 22-27:

The headline of the passage: JLP RETAIL: STAFF BENEFITS  

Questions 22-27: (Completing sentences with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER):

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER to complete some sentences based 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 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 22: Pay increases depend on the _________ that each member of staff makes.

Keywords for this question: pay increases, depend, each member of staff makes,   

Take a look at the first paragraph where the writer mentions about pay, “Whatever you role, your pay range will be extremely competitive and reviewed in the light of your progress.

The sentence suggests that pay range in this company is very close among staff members and it will be reviewed in the light of (pay increases depends on) the progress that staff members make.

So, the answer is: progress

Question 23: Employees must work a minimum of _________ to be eligible for a pension.

Keywords for this question: Employees must work, minimum, to be eligible, pension,

To find answer for this question, we need to go straight to the paragraph entitled ‘Pension Scheme’. Here, the writer says, “We offer a non-contributory final salary pension scheme, payable from the age of 60, to most staff who have completed the qualifying period of five years.”

This means that staffs must work a minimum of five years (qualifying period) to be eligible for a pension.

So, the answer is: five years

Question 24: Staff may take a holiday at one of the _________ provided by the company.

Keywords for this question: Staff may take, holiday at, provided by, the company, 

Let’s go to the paragraph entitled ‘Holiday and leisure facilities’. Here, the author of this text mentions, “The business owns a number of residential clubs which offer subsidised holiday accommodation for staff with at least three years’ service.”

Here, the sentence means that staff members of the company can enjoy subsidised holiday accommodation at one of the residential clubs.

So, the answer is: (residential) clubs

Question 25: The company pay half the seat price for ________ and plays.

Keywords for this question: company, pay, half the seat price, plays,  

In the ‘Ticket subsidies’ paragraph, the author states, “Ticket subsidies of 50% of the cost of plays or concerts are available.”

Here, Ticket subsidies of 50% = the company pay half the seat price of

So, the answer is: concerts

Question 26: The company gives financial assistance for both educational courses and _________ as part of staff development.

Keywords for this answer: company, gives, financial assistance, both, educational, courses, part of staff development,  

In the ‘Education subsidies’ section, the writer mentions, “We give generous financial support to staff who wish to acquire leisure skills or continue their education,  . .. ..”

This sentence means that the company offers generous financial support to staffs for education and leisure skills.

So, the answer is: leisure skills

Question 27: Employees may be entitled to a __________ if they find themselves in difficult circumstances.  

Keywords for this answer: Employees, entitled to, find themselves, difficult circumstances,   

In the last paragraph entitled ‘Financial help, benefits and discounted deals’, the writer says, “In cases of particular hardship, we will help staff with a loan.” 

Here, particular hardship = difficult circumstances

So, the answer is: loan

Section 3:

The headline of the passage: OUT OF THE ASHES  

Questions 28-33:  (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. This question will not follow any sequence, and so it will surely kill your time if you are not very good in speed reading. You should always quickly 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 28: the procedure for sorting through the remains of the fire   

Keywords for this answer: procedure, sorting through, remains of the fire,  

The last lines of paragraph C gives us the answer. Here, the writer says, “… The position of each fragment was recorded, and all the debris was stored in countless dustbins before being sifted and categorised.”

Here, all these words and phrases; recorded, stored in countless dustbins, being sifted and categorised, indicate to the procedure for sorting.

So, the answer is: C

Question 29: how Uppark looked after the fire

Keywords for this answer: Uppark, looked, after the fire,  

The answer is found in paragraph B, the shortest paragraph of the whole text, “The following morning, Uppark stood open to the sky. A sludge of wet charcoal covered the ground floor and basement, and in every room charred and fallen timbers lay amongst the smoke. It was a scene of utter devastation.”

This description directly relates to the scene of Uppark after the fire.

So, the answer is: B

Question 30: improvements made to the rebuilt Uppark

Keywords for this answer: improvements made, rebuilt Uppark,  

In paragraph G, the last half of the paragraph gives us the answer, “. . . In addition, it made economic sense for the National Trust to invest time and money in upgrading water and heating systems, installing modern environmental controls, and updating fire and security equipment.”

Here, upgrading water and heating systems, installing modern environmental controls, and updating fire and security equipment, all these refer to improvements made to the rebuilt Uppark.

So, the answer is: G

Question 31: the selection of people to carry out the repair work

Keywords for this answer: people, carry out the repair work,  

We can find the answer in paragraph F where the writer gives a detailed description of how people were selected to do the rebuild work of Uppark, “The search for craftsmen and women capable of doing the intricate restoration work was nation-wide. Once the quality and skills of the individual or company had been ascertained, they had to pass an economic test, as every job was competitively tendered. … .”

These lines describe how the people to carry out the repair work were selected.

So, the answer is: F

Question 32: why the National Trust chose to rebuild Uppark   

Keywords for this answer: why, the National Trust, chose, rebuild,  

In the middle of paragraph E, the author says in lines 11-12, “It was undertaken for three main reasons.. .”. Then the writer describes the all the reasons.

So, the answer is: E

Question 33: how people reacted to the rebuilt Uppark   

Keywords for this answer: how, people reacted, rebuilt Uppark,  

In paragraph H, the author states in lines 3-6, “ . . .The family and the room stewards were visibly moved when returning to their old haunts, perhaps the best testament that the spirit of Uppark had not died. . . .” 

Here, were visibly moved = reacted.

So, the answer is: H

Questions 34-37 Short answer to open questions (NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS)

[In this kind of questions candidates have to answer some questions, only with some conditions like NO MORE THAN THREE/TWO WORDS and/or A NUMBER or, ONE WORD ONLY. Each question has keywords which will lead to the answer. This question type generally follows a sequence.]

Question 34: On what date in 1989 should the original repairs to the roof have been completed?

Keywords for this answer: date, 1989, original repairs to the roof, have been completed,  

Take a close look at Paragraph A, lines 4-6, “For a year builders had been replacing the lead on the roof, and by a stroke of irony, were due to finish the next day, on August 31st.”   

The lines suggest that the builders wanted to change the roof of Uppark on August 31st.

So, the answer is: August 31st / 31st August

Question 35: By what method were things rescued immediately from the burning house?

Keywords for this answer: method, things rescued, immediately, burning house,

Again, the answer is in lines 13-20 in paragraph A, “. . . . But due to the courage and swift action of the previous owners, the Meade-Featherstonhaugh family, and the staff, stewards and visitors to the house, who formed human chains to pass the precious pieces of porcelain, furniture and paintings out on to the lawn, 95 percent of the contents from ground floor and the basement were saved.”

This means that the things from the burning house were rescued immediately by forming human chains.  

So, the answer is: human chain/ chains

Question 36: After the fire, what did the conservators require large quantities of immediately?

Keywords for this answer: after, fire, conservators, require, large quantities, immediately,  

The answer is in the last lines of paragraph A. Here, the author says, “. .. . As the fire continued to rage, the National Trust’s conservators were being mobilised, and that evening local stationers were especially opened to provide the bulk supplies of blotting paper so desperately needed in the salvage operation.”   

Here, bulk supplies = large quantities

So, the answer is: blotting paper

Question 37: Into what did the conservators put material recovered from the fire?  

Keywords for this answer: Into what, conservators, put material, recovered from, fire,

To find answer to this question, we should have a look at the paragraph where the steps taken to recover materials after the fire are included. This can be found in paragraph C. Here, in lines 8-10 the author says, “The position of each fragment was recorded, and all the debris was stored in countless dustbins before being sifted and categorised.”

The lines explain that the recovered materials from the fire or all the debris were put or stored in countless dustbins.

So, the answer is: (countless) dustbins

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Questions 38-40 (Multiple choice questions)

[‘Multiple choice questions’ is a common type of question set in IELTS Reading test. It is also found in 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 38: The fire destroyed –

Keywords for this answer: fire, destroyed,

The answer lies in Paragraph A where the writer says, “For a year builders had been replacing the lead on the roof, and by a strike of irony, were due to finish the next day, on August 31st. Within fifteen minutes of the alarm being sounded, the fire brigade had arrived on the scene, though nothing was to survive of the priceless collection on the first floor. . .  ”.

Therefore, we realise that the fire destroyed the roof. Some might go for the option D, but be careful! Option D says ‘all the contents of the first floor’. However, in the text, we find the information related a dog who saved an oil painting. So, not everything was destroyed.

So, the answer is: C (the roof of the house.)

Question 39: One of the reasons the National Trust decided to rebuild Uppark was that –

Keywords for this answer: one of the reasons, National Trust, decided to rebuild,

The answer lies in paragraph E, in lines 17-19, “. . . Also the property was covered by insurance, so the repairs would not call upon the National Trust’s own funds.” This means the National Trust wouldn’t have to pay anything for this repair work.

So, the answer is: C (they wouldn’t have to pay for the repairs.)

Question 40: Some of the craftsmen and women employed in the restoration of Uppark have benefited because –

Keywords for this answer: Craftsmen and women, employed, restoration, benefited,

The last lines of Paragraph F give us the answer, “ . . . – but many of them, for example plasterers, have relearnt the skills of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which can now be of use to other country house owners when need arises.”

Here, the lines suggest the fact that many of the craftsmen did not have the skills of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but for this big repair project they got a chance to re-learn the work.

So, the answer is: D (they acquired skills they didn’t have previously. )

Click here for complete solutions of Cambridge 9 General Training Reading Test B

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Click here for complete solutions to Cambridge 10 GT Reading Test B

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