IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading passage 1; South Pole Adventurer; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading passage 1; South Pole Adventurer; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4 Reading Passage 1 which is titledSouth Pole Adventurer’. 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 4: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1: Questions 1-13

The headline of the passage: South Pole Adventurer

Questions 1-8: 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 with 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: Shirase’s trip to the South Pole is well known to other explorers.

Keywords for the question: Shirase’s trip to the South Pole, well known to other explorers,

The answer can be found in lines 8-12 of paragraph no.1, where the writer says, “ . . ..  Just then, a third man arrived; Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase. However, his part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the 20th century is hardly known outside his own country, even by fellow explorers. .. .. ..”

Here, hardly known outside his own country, even by fellow explorers = NOT well known to other explorers,

So, the statement contradicts with the text.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question no. 2: Since Shirase arrived in Antarctica, smaller ships have also made the journey.

Keywords for the question: Since Shirase arrived in Antarctica, smaller ships, also made the journey,

In the final few lines of paragraph no. 1, the writer says, “ . . . .. Shirase and his team sailed into Antarctica’s Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these dangerous waters.”

Here, smallest ship ever to try its luck in these dangerous waters = Shiarse’s ship was THE FIRST that have made journey in Antarctica,

So, the statement contradicts with the text.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question no. 3: Shirase’s original ambition was to travel to the North Pole.

Keywords for the question: Shirase’s original ambition, travel to the North Pole,      

In the beginning of the second paragraph, the writer talks about the primary ambition of Shirase, “Since boyhood Shirase had dreamed of becoming a polar explorer. Like Amundsen, he initially set his sights on the North Pole. . .. . ..”

Here, initially set his sights on the North Pole = his initial/ original ambition was to travel to the North Pole, 

So, the answer is: TRUE   

Question no. 4: Some Japanese officials thought Shirase’s intention to travel to the South Pole was pointless.

Keywords for the question: Some Japanese officials thought, Shirase’s intention, travel to the South Pole, pointless,       

In the second paragraph, have a close look at lines 7-12, “ . ..  In January 1910, Shirase put his plans before Japanese government officials, promising to raise the flag at the South Pole within three years. For many of them, the question wasn’t could he do it but why would it be worth doing? . . .. . . .”  

Here, For many of them = some, Japanese government officials = Japanese officials,

the question . .. . why would it be worth doing? = thought . . ..  pointless,

So, the answer is: TRUE  

Question no. 5: The British team announced their decision to carry out scientific research in Antarctica before Shirase.

Keywords for the question: The British team announced their decision, carry out scientific research in Antarctica, before Shirase,

In this passage, we do not find any information regarding the British team’s announcement about their decision to carry out scientific research in Antarctica before Shirase.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 6: Shirase found it easy to raise the money he needed for his trip to the South Pole.

Keywords for the question: Shirase found it easy, raise the money he needed for his trip,

The first few lines of the third paragraph gives us the answer to this question. Here, the writer says, “The response from the government was cool, however, and Shirase struggled to raise funds. . .. . .”

Here, Shirase struggled to raise funds = Shirase did not find it easy to raise the money,

So, the statement contradicts with the text.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question no. 7: A previous prime minister of Japan persuaded a scientist to go with Shirase.

Keywords for the question: A previous prime minister of Japan, persuaded a scientist, to go with Shirase,

We find the name of Japan’s former prime minister Shigenobu Okuma in paragraph no. 3 where his contribution to fund Shirase’s expedition is mentioned.

The paragraph also provides information about Shirase hiring a scientist Terutaro Takeda.

However, there is NO INFORMATION about the involvement of a previous prime minister of Japan in persuading a scientist to go with Shirase.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 8: The weather that slowed down Shirase’s progress to New Zealand was unusually bad for the season.

Keywords for the question: The weather, slowed down Shirase’s progress to New Zealand, was unusually bad for the season, 

In paragraph no. 3, in lines 17-19 the writer mentions, “ .. . . . This was not to be, however. Bad weather delayed the expedition and they didn’t reach New Zealand until 8 February. .. .. .”

However, we do not find any information here which proves that the weather was unusually bad for the season.  

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Questions 9-13: 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 for previous questions gives you a good idea about the title.]

Question no. 9: When reporters in New Zealand met Shirase, they were

Keywords for the question: When reporters, New Zealand, met Shirase, they were,

The answer to question no. 9 can be found in paragraph no. 4. Let’s read this short paragraph quickly, “In New Zealand local reporters were astonished: the ship was half the size of Amundsen’s ship. True, it was reinforced with iron plate and extra wood, but the ship had only the feeblest engine to help force its way through ice. Few doubted Shirase’s courage, but most reckoned the expedition to be ill-prepared as the Japanese had only lightweight sledges for transport across the ice, made of bamboo and wood.”

Here, In New Zealand local reporters were astonished = the reporters in New Zealand were seriously concerned,

the ship was half the size of Amundsen’s ship; the ship had only the feeblest engine; the Japanese had only lightweight sledges for transport across the ice, made of bamboo and wood = poor quality equipment for the expedition,

So, the answer is: A (concerned about the quality of his equipment.)

Question no. 10: What are we told about the captain of the Kainan Maru in the fifth paragraph?  

Keywords for the question: the captain, the Kainan Maru, fifth paragraph,   

In paragraph no. 5, the writer says in lines 7-18, “ . .. .. Nevertheless, on 11 February the Kainan Maru left New Zealand and sailed straight into the worst weather the captain had ever seen. Then, on 6 March, they approached the coastline of Antarctica’s Ross Sea, looking for a place to land. The ice began to close in, threatening to trap them for the winter, an experience no one was likely to survive. With a remarkable piece of seamanship, the captain steered the ship out of the ice and turned north. They would have to wait out the winter in a warmer climate.” 

Here, remarkable piece of seamanship = Shirase’s skill at sailing,  

They would have to wait out the winter in a warmer climate = saved the boat and crew,

So, the answer is: B (His skill at sailing saved the boat and crew.)    

Question no. 11: After Shirase finally reached Antarctica he realised that

Keywords for the question: After Shirase finally reached Antarctica, he realised,    

In lines 9-11 of paragraph no. 7, the author of the text mentions, “ . . .  On 26 January, Shirase estimated there were enough provisions to continue for two more days . . .. . ..”

Here, there were enough provisions to continue for two more days = might not have enough food to get to the South Pole,

So, the answer is: C (he might not have enough food to get to the South Pole.)    

Question no. 12: What is the writer doing in the seventh paragraph?

Keywords for the question: the writer doing, seventh paragraph,   

In paragraph no. 7, the writer describes what conditions Nobu Shirase’s expedition faced, “Shirase set off on 20 January 1912 with Takeda and two dog handlers, leaving two men at the edge of the ice shelf to make meteorological measurements. For a week they struggled through one blizzard after another, holing up in their tents during the worst of the weather. The temperature fell to -25°C, and frostbite claimed some of the dogs. On 26 January, Shirase estimated there were enough provisions to continue for two more days. Two days later, he announced it was time to turn back. Takeda calculated they had reached 80°5 south and had travelled 250 kilometres. The men hoisted the Japanese flag.” 

Here, For a week they struggled through one blizzard after another, holing up in their tents during the worst of the weather. The temperature fell to -25°C, and frostbite claimed some of the dogs = condition of the rough weather,

On 26 January, Shirase estimated there were enough provisions to continue for two more days = condition of the provisions,

So, the answer is: C (describing the conditions that the expedition faced.)    

Question no. 13: What is the writer’s main point in the final paragraph?

Keywords for the question: writer’s main point, final paragraph,  

The final paragraph says, “ . .. . On 3 February, all the men were heading home. The ship reached Tokyo in June 1912 – and Shirase was greeted like a hero despite the fact that he never reached the pole. Nor did he contribute much to science – but then nor did Amundsen, whose only interest was in being first to the pole. Yet Shirase’s expedition was heroic. They travelled beyond 80° south, one of only four teams to have gone so far south at the time. Furthermore, they did it all without the advantages of the other teams and with no previous experience.”

Here, Yet Shirase’s expedition was heroic = incredible achievement, is made = is reached, way = process,

Furthermore, they did it all without the advantages of the other teams and with no previous experience = considering the problems Shirase had to deal with, the achievement was extraordinary,

So, the answer is: A (Considering the problems Shirase had to deal with, his achievement was incredible.)    

© All the texts with inverted commas used in this post are taken from Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 4

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS AC Test 4 Reading Passage 2

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