IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 15 Test 4 Reading passage 3; Environmental practices of big businesses; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 15 Test 4 Reading passage 3; Environmental practices of big businesses; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge 15 Reading Test 4 Reading Passage 3 which is titled ‘Environmental practices of big businesses’. This is a targeted post for IELTS candidates who have big problems finding out and understanding Reading Answers in the AC module. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer without much trouble. Finding out IELTS Reading answers is a steady process, and this post will assist you in this respect.

IELTS Cambridge 15 Test 4: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 3: Questions 27-40

The title of the passage: Environmental practices of big businesses

Questions 27-31: Completing a summary with a list of words:

[In this type of question, candidates are asked to complete a summary with a list of words taken from the passage. Candidates must write the correct letters (not the words) which are given in the box under the questions as the answers. Keywords and synonyms are important to find answers correctly. Generally, this type of question maintains a sequence. Find the keywords in the passage and you are most likely to find the answers.]

Title of the summary: Big businesses

Question no. 27: Many big businesses today are prepared to harm people and the environment in order to make money, and they appear to have no _________.

Keywords for the question: many big businesses, prepared to harm, people, the environment, in order to, make money, appear to have, no,    

Take a look at lines 5-6 in paragraph no. 2, “ . .. . The seasonal impact of day length on physiological responses is called photoperiodism, and the amount of experimental evidence for this phenomenon is considerable. .. .. .”

Here, experimental evidence = scientific evidence, considerable = plenty of,  

So, the answer is: D (moral standards)

Questions no. 28, 29, 30, 31:

Lack of 28. _______ by governments and lack of public 29. ______ can lead to environmental problems such as 30. ________ or the destruction of 31. ________.

Keywords for the question: lack of, by governments, lack of public, can lead to, environmental problems, destruction,  

Answers to these questions can be found by studying lines 4-9 of paragraph no. 1.

Here, the writer says, “ . . .. That is still the case today for fishermen in an unmanaged fishery without quotas (overfishing), and for international logging companies with short-term leases on tropical rainforest land (destruction of trees) in places with corrupt officials and unsophisticated landowners. When government regulation if effective, and when the public is environmentally aware, environmentally clean big businesses may out-complete dirty ones, but the reverse is likely to be true if government regulation is ineffective (lack of control by governments) and if the public doesn’t care (lack of public involvement).”

Here, candidates need to be careful to find the answers because all the answers given in the box with the questions are synonyms.

Moreover, in the text, the answers are set in a tricky way.

First, consider the lines , “ . .. . That is still the case today for fishermen in an unmanaged fishery without quotas (overfishing), and for international logging companies with short-term leases on tropical rainforest land (destruction of trees) in places with corrupt officials and unsophisticated landowners.. . ..”

Here, we find the answers for questions no. 30 and 31. It’s because the writer has explained the results of big businesses without control or supervision.  

Then, in the following lines of the paragraph, the writer mentions, “ . . . When government regulation if effective, and when the public is environmentally aware, environmentally clean big businesses may out-complete dirty ones, but the reverse is likely to be true if government regulation is ineffective (lack of control by governments) and if the public doesn’t care (lack of public involvement).”

These lines explain what happens when the government is aware and when it is not aware. In the last lines, the word ‘reverse’ is used to explain ‘the results when the government is not aware’.

Here, we find the answers for questions no. 28 and 29. It’s because the writer has explained the reasons why big businesses are causing environmental problems.

So, the answers are:

  1. E (control)
  2. F (involvement)
  3. H (overfishing)
  4. B (trees)

Questions 32-34: 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 set found as the last question set in most passages so you should not worry much about it. Finding all the answers to previous questions gives you a good idea about these questions.]

Question no. 32: The main idea of the third paragraph is that environmental damages

Keywords for the question: main idea, third paragraph, environmental damages,

In the third paragraph, the writer explains how the general public can prevent environmental damages. Take a look at these lines, “ . .. . In the long run, it is the public, either directly or through its publications, that has the power to make such destructive policies unprofitable and illegal, and to make sustainable environmental policies profitable.”

Here, make such destructive policies unprofitable and illegal, and to make sustainable environmental policies profitable = environmental damages could be prevented,

The public = ordinary people,  

So, the answer is: C (could be prevented by the action of ordinary people.)  

Question no. 33: In the fourth paragraph, the writer describes ways in which the public can

Keywords for the question: fourth paragraph, ways, in which, public can,  

The first lines of paragraph no. 4 present the main idea with an example, “The public can do that by suing businesses for harming them, as happened after the Exxon Valdez disaster, in which over 40,000m3 of oil were spilled off the coast of Alaska. . ..”

Here, do that by suing businesses for harming them = influence the environmental policies,

Then, in the next lines of the paragraph, the writer shows more ways how the general public can influence the environmental policies of big and small businesses and governments.

So, the answer is: D (influence the environmental policies of businesses and governments.)  

Question no. 34: What pressure was exerted by big businesses in the case of the disease BSE?

Keywords for the question: pressure, exerted by, big businesses, disease BSE,      

We can see the reference for the disease BSE in paragraph no. 5. Here, take a look at lines 2-8, “ . .. For instance, after the US public became concerned about the spread of a disease known as BSE, which was transmitted to humans through infected meat, the US government’s Food and Drug Administration introduced rules demanding that the meat industry abandon practices associated with the risk of the disease spreading. But for five years, the meat packers refused to follow these, claiming that they would be too expensive to obey. However, when a major fast-food company then made the same demands after customer purchases of its hamburgers plummeted, the meat industry complied within weeks. . …”   

Here, when a major fast-food company then made the same demands after customer purchases of its hamburgers plummeted, the meat industry complied within weeks = A fast-food company forced their meat suppliers to follow the law,  

So, the answer is: B (A fast-food company forced their meat suppliers to follow the law.)

Questions 35-39: YES, NO, NOT GIVEN:

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

The statement in the question matches with the claim of the writer in the text- YES
The statement in the question contradicts with the claim of the writer in the text- NO
The statement in the question has no clear connection with the account in the text- NOT GIVEN

TIPS: For this type of question, you can divide each statement into three independent pieces and make your way through with the answer.]

Question no. 35: The public should be prepared to fund good environmental practices.  

Keywords for the question: the public, should be prepared, fund, good environmental practices,     

In paragraph no. 6, take a close look at lines 2-3, “ .. . . I also believe that the public must accept the necessity for higher prices for products to cover the added costs, if any, of sound environmental practices. . .. .”

Here, the public must accept = the public should be prepared, higher prices for products = fund, sound environmental practices = good environmental practices,  

So, the answer is: YES  

Question no. 36: There is a contrast between the moral principles of different businesses.  

Keywords for the question: contrast between, moral principles, different businesses,

In paragraph no. 6, the writer says in lines 4-9, “. . . My views may seem to ignore the belief that businesses should act in accordance with moral principles even if this leads to a reduction in their profits. But I think we have to recognize that, throughout human history, in all politically complex human societies, government regulation has arisen precisely because it was found that not only did moral principles need to be made explicit, they also needed to be enforced.”

Here, these lines talk about why moral principles are important in business practices. However, we don’t find any comparison between the moral principles of different businesses.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN   

Question no. 37: It is important to make a clear distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.  

Keywords for the question: important, to make, clear distinction, between, acceptable, unacceptable, behaviour,

In the first lines (lines 1-3) of the final paragraph, the author of the passage says, “To me, the conclusion that the public had the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of even the biggest businesses is empowering and hopeful, rather than disappointing. My conclusion is not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy. . ..”   

Here, not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy = NO clear distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour,

So, the answer is: NO

Question no. 38: The public have successfully influenced businesses in the past.

Keywords for the question: the public, successfully influenced, businesses, in the past,       

In the final paragraph, lines 3-6 say, “ .. . In the past, businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn’t want. .. ..”    

Here, businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior = the public have successfully influenced businesses,  

So, the answer is: YES

Question no. 39: In the future, businesses will show more concern for the environment.  

Keywords for the question: future, businesses, will show, more concern, for, environment,    

Lines 6-7 in the final paragraph say, “ . .. . I predict that in the future, just as in the past, changes in public attitudes will be essential for changes in businesses’ environmental practices.”

Here, the writer talks about what the effects of public attitudes will be for different changes in the environmental practices of big businesses. We don’t find any information regarding concern shown by businesses for the environment.   

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN   

Question no. 40: 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 set found as the last question set in most passages so you should not worry much about it. Finding all the answers to previous questions gives you a good idea about these questions.]

What would be the best subheading for this passage?

Keywords for the question: best subheading,   

The overall idea of the passage is the fact that both big businesses and the general public are to blame for the damage caused in the environment. We can’t just blindly blame big businesses for the damage alone.  

So, the answer is: D (Are big businesses to blame for the damage they cause the environment?)

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 15 Test 4 Reading Passage 1 

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 15 Test 4 Reading Passage 2

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