IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 3 Reading passage 1; SECRETS OF THE SWARM; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 3 Reading passage 1; SECRETS OF THE SWARM; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 3 Reading Passage 1 which is titledSECRETS OF THE SWARM. 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.

Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS, Test 3: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1: Questions 1-13

The headline of the passage: SECRETS OF THE SWARM

Questions 1-6: TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN

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

The statement in the question agrees with the information in the passage – TRUE
The statement in the question contradicts the information in the passage – FALSE
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 no. 1: Commuters are often compared favourably with worker ants.  

Keywords for the question: commuters, often, compared favourably with, worker ants,

The answer can be found in lines 3-4 of paragraph no.1, where the writer explains, “ . . ..  marching like worker ants might be a common simile for city commuters, but it’s a damning, not positive, image. .. ..”

Here, a common simile = often compared, it’s a damning, not positive, image = not favourably,

So, the statement contradicts the text.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question no. 2: Some ants within a colony have leadership roles.  

Keywords for the question: some ants, within, colony, have, leadership roles,

In lines 7-8 of paragraph no. 2, the writer says, “ . . . .. And as Gordon discovered during her research, there’s no one ant making decisions or giving orders.”

Here, no one ant making decisions or giving orders = many ants/ not some ants have leadership roles,

So, the statement contradicts the text.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question no. 3: Forager ants tell each other how far away the food source is.

Keywords for the question: forager ants, tell, each other, how far away, food source,      

The third paragraph in the passage talks about how forager ants collect food. However, there is no information regarding forager ants sharing the distance (how far away) of the food source.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN   

Question no. 4: Forager ants are able to react quickly to a dangerous situation.  

Keywords for the question: forager ants, able to react, quickly, dangerous situation,       

In the third paragraph have a close look at lines 7-9, “ . ..  And if something goes wrong – a hungry lizard prowling around for an ant snack, for instance – then a rush of ants returning without food sends waiting reserves a ‘Don’t go out’ signal.”  

Here, a rush of ants returning without food = quickly reacting forager ants, a hungry lizard prowling around for an ant snack = dangerous situation,

So, the answer is: TRUE  

Question no. 5: Termite mounds can be damaged by the wind.  

Keywords for the question: Termite mounds, damaged by, wind,

In this passage, the mention of ‘termite mounds’ is in paragraph no. 8. However, we do not find any information regarding termite mounds being damaged by the wind.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 6: Termites repair their mounds without directly communicating with each other.  

Keywords for the question: Termites, repair, mounds, without directly communicating, with each other,

In paragraph no. 8, lines 3-4 say, “ .. . ..  . Indirect collaboration is the key principle behind information-sharing web sites, just as it underlies the complex constructions that termites build. .. .. They simply sense changes in the environment, as for example when the mound’s wall has been damaged, altering the circulation of air. They go to the site of the change and drop a grain of soil. .. . .”

Here, the mound’s wall has been damaged. .. . . They go to the site of the change and drop a grain of soil = termites repair their moulds, Indirect collaboration = without directly communicating,

So, the answer is: TRUE

Questions 7-9: Matching sentences with correct endings

[For this type of question, candidates need to match the beginning and end of sentences. Candidates need to look for keywords in the sentence-beginnings and find the relative paragraphs and then sentences in the passage. Skimming and scanning, both reading skills are essential for this question-type.]

Question no. 7: Managers working for a Texas gas company

Keywords for the question: managers, working for, Texas gas company,  

The answer to question no. 7 can be traced from paragraph no. 4. Take a look at lines 1-6, “But could such decentralised control work in a human organisation? Miller visited a Texas gas company that has successfully applied formulas based on ant colony behaviour to ‘optimise its factories and route its trucks’. He explains, “If ant colonies had worked out a reliable way to identify the best route between their nest and food sources, the company managers figured, why not take the advantage of that knowledge? So they came up with a computer model based on the self-organising principles of an ant colony. .. .. .”   

Here, the company managers = Managers working for a Texas gas company, they came up with a computer model = use decision-making strategies, the self-organising principles of an ant colony = self-orgasnising principles in insect communities,

So, the answer is: C (use decision-making strategies based on insect communities to improve their service.)

Question no. 8: Citizens in an annual Vermont meeting   

Keywords for the question: Citizens, annual Vermont meeting,   

The answer to question no. 8 can be found in paragraph no. 6, in lines 6-7, “ .. . . . Citizens in Vermont control their municipal affairs by putting forward proposals, or backing up others’ suggestions, until a consensus is reached through a vote. .. .. .”

Here, backing up others’ suggestions = provide support for each other’s ideas, consensus is reached through a vote = reach the best outcome,

So, the answer is: A (provide support for each other’s ideas in order to reach the best outcome.)

Question no. 9: Some Internet users

Keywords for the question: some, Internet users,   

The answer to question no. 9 can be found in paragraph no. 7. Here, in the final line, the author of the text says, “A termite mound, in this way, is rather like a wiki website. Rather than meeting up and talking about what we want to post online, we just add to what someone – may be a stranger on the other side of the world – already wrote. This indirect knowledge and skill-sharing is now finding its way into the corridors of power. .. .”

Here, we = some internet users, a stranger on the other side of the world = others they do not know,  indirect knowledge and skill-sharing = contribute independently,

So, the answer is: E (contribute independently to the ideas of others they do not know.)

Questions 10-13: Completing FLOW-CHART with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS to complete some notes on the given flow-chart. 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.]

The Title of the flow chart: How honeybees choose a new nest

The reference to honeybees can be found in paragraph no. 5. So, all the answers can also be found in the same paragraph.

Question no. 10: Honeybee ______ explore possible nest sites  

Keywords for the question: honeybee, explore, possible nest sites,   

In paragraph no. 5, the writer says in lines 3-4, “ . .. .. The honeybees choose as a group which new nest to move to. First, scouts fly off to investigate multiple sites . . .” 

Here, investigate multiple sites = explore possible nest sites,  

So, the answer is: scouts    

Question no. 11: they perform what is known as a ________ on their return

Keywords for the question: perform, known as, on their return,    

In lines 4-5 of paragraph no. 5, the author of the text mentions, “ . . .  When they return they do a ‘waggle dance’ for their spot, and other scouts will then fly off and investigate it. .. . ..”

Here, When they return = on their return, they do = they perform,

So, the answer is: waggle dance  

Question no. 12: enthusiasm and _________ increase for one particular site

Keywords for the question: enthusiasm, increase, one particular site,   

In paragraph no. 5, the writer says in lines 6-8, “ .. . .  The more they liked their nest, the more vigorous and lengthy their waggle dance and the more bees will choose to visit it. Gradually, the volume of bees builds up towards one site; .. .. . .” 

Here, more vigorous and lengthy = enthusiasm, builds up = increase, towards one site = for one particular site,

So, the answer is: volume

Question no. 13: a final choice is reached using a _______ process  

Keywords for the question: final choice, reached, using, process,  

The final lines of paragraph no. 5 say, “ . .. . it’s a system that ensures that support for the best site snowballs and the decision is made in the most democratic way.”

Here, the decision = a final choice, is made = is reached, way = process,

So, the answer is: democratic

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 3 Reading Passage 2

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 3 Reading Passage 3

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IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 3 Test 3 Reading passage 1; THE DEPARTMENT OF ETHNOGRAPHY; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 3 Test 3 Reading passage 1; THE DEPARTMENT OF ETHNOGRAPHY; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge 3 Reading Test 3 Reading Passage 1 which is titled ‘THE DEPARTMENT OF ETHNOGRAPHY’. This is a targeted post for IELTS candidates who face major problems finding out and understanding Reading Answers in the AC module. This post can guide you the best to understand […]

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