IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 5 Reading passage 2; Whale Strandings; with best solutions and best explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 5 Reading passage 2; Whale Strandings; with best solutions and best explanations

This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 5 Reading Passage 2 which is titledWhale Strandings. 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 to 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 5: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 2: Questions 14-26

The headline of the passage: Whale Strandings

Questions 14-17: Short answer to open questions (NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS)

[In this kind of question candidates must 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 that will lead to the answer. This question type generally follows a sequence.]

Question no. 14: What do researchers often take from the bodies of whales?  

Keywords for the question: researchers, often take, from the bodies of whales,

The answer to question no. 14 can be found in lines 1-6 of the first paragraph. The writer says here, “When the last stranded whale of a group eventually dies, the story does not end there. A team of researchers begins to investigate, collecting skin samples for instance, recording anything that could help them answer the crucial question: why? . .. . . . .. ”

Here, collecting = take from the bodies,

So, the answer is: skin (samples)

Question no. 15: What do some industries and shipping create that is harmful to whales?

Keywords for the question: some industries and shipping, create, harmful to whales,  

The answer can be found in lines 7-11 of the first paragraph where the writer of the text says, “ . . .. . . In recent years, navy sonar has been accused of causing certain whales to strand. It is known that noise pollution from offshore industry, shipping and sonar can impair underwater communication, . .. .. .. . .”

Here, offshore industry, shipping = some industries and shipping, can impair underwater communication = harmful to whales,

So, the answer is: noise (pollution)

Question no. 16: In which geographical region do most whale strandings in Australia happen?

Keywords for the question: geographical region, most whale strandings, Australia, happen,  

The answer can be found in lines 10-12 of the fourth paragraph, where the writer says, “ . . .. . . And when 80% of all Australian whale strandings occur around Tasmania, Gales and her team must continue in the search for answers.”

Here, 80% of all Australian whale strandings = most whale strandings in Australia, occur = happen,

So, the answer is: (around) Tasmania

Question no. 17: Which kind of whale was the subject of a study in the North Sea?

Keywords for the question: kind of whale, subject of a study, North Sea,

In paragraph no. 9, let’s have a close look at lines 6-9, because the keywords, ‘North Sea’ is mentioned here. “ . . .. . . ..  . In 2005, a survey by Klaus Vanselow and Klaus Ricklefs of sperm whale strandings in the North Sea even found a correlation between these and the sunspot cycle, . . . … .”

Here, a survey = a study,

So, the answer is: sperm (whale/ whales)

Questions 18-21: Labeling a diagram

[In this type of question, candidates are asked to label a diagram with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage. Keywords are important to find answers correctly. Generally, this type of question maintains a sequence. However, we should not be surprised if the sequence is not maintained. Find the keywords in the passage and you are most likely to find the answers.]

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 5 Reading passage 2; Whale Strandings; with best solutions and best explanations

Let’s analyse the diagram a little.

The left side of the diagram shows the beach/shore/coastal area and the shallower part of the ocean whereas the right side shows the deeper part of the ocean.

Question no. 18: Because __________ disappear on shallow beaches, whales don’t realise the beach is near.

Keywords for the question: because, disappear, shallow beaches, whales don’t realise, beach is near,

As the question has the key phrase ‘shallow beaches’, we must look for our answer somewhere in the passage that indicates to the coastline and shallow part of the ocean.

The mention of ‘shallow beaches’ is found in paragraph no. 7. Here, in lines 6-11 the writer says, “ .. …. .. . Usually, as they swim, they make clicking noises, and the resulting sound waves are reflected in an echo and travel back to them. However, these just fade out on shallow beaches, so the whale doesn’t hear an echo and it crashes onto the shore.”

Here, these just fade out on = sound waves disappear on, the whale doesn’t hear an echo = whales don’t realise the beach is near,  

So, the answer is: sound waves

Question no. 19: Extra __________ in the water attract fish and therefore whales to South Australian coasts.

Keywords for the question: extra, water, attract fish, therefore, whales, to South Australian coasts,   

Take a look at the final lines of paragraph no. 9, as the writer talks about South Australian coasts here, “ . .. . To put it more simply, she says, in the years when strong westerly and southerly winds bring cool water rich in nutrients closer to the Australia coast, there is an increase in the number of fish. The whales follow.”

Here, an increase in the number of fish = attract fish, rich in = extra, The whales follow = therefore attracts the whales,

So, the answer is: nutrients

Question no. 20: Storms create _______ which absorb whales’ clicks.

Keywords for the question: storms, create, absorb, whales’ clicks,  

In paragraph no. 8, the writer shares information about ‘whales’ clicks’; so our answer should be here. In lines 2-7 the writer says, “ . .. . The ocean is full of bubbles. Larger ones rise quickly to the surface and disappear, whilst smaller ones – called microbubbles – can last for days. It is these that absorb whale ‘clicks’. “Rough weather generates more bubbles than usual,” James adds.. . .. ..”

Here, Rough weather generates = Storms create, It is these = microbubbles,

So, the answer is: microbubbles

Question no. 21: Sonar may result in a blocked supply of ___________ in whale bodies.

Keywords for the question: Sonar, may result in, blocked supply of, whale bodies,     

To answer this question, you need to read paragraph no. 3, as the writer says here, “ ..  .. .. For whales, on the other hand, there is a theory on how sonar can kill. The noise can surprise the animal, causing it to swim too quickly to the surface. The result is decompression sickness, a hazard human divers know all too well. If a diver ascends too quickly from a high-pressure underwater environment to a lower-pressure one, gases dissolved in blood and tissue expand and form bubbles. The bubbles block the flow of blood to vital organs, and can ultimately lead to death.”

Here, block the flow = result in a blocked supply,

NB: Here, the writer gives reference to human divers as a similarity of whales.

So, the answer is: blood

Questions 22-26: 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. 22: The aim of the research by the Pelagos Institute in 1998 was to prove that navy sonar was responsible for whale strandings.

Keywords for the question: aim, research, Pelagos Institute, 1998, to prove, navy sonar, responsible, whale strandings,   

In paragraph no. 2, the writer provides details on the findings of the research carried out by the Pelagos Institute in 1998. However, we find no information about the actual aim of the research.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 23: The whales stranded in Greece were found at different points along the coast.   

Keywords for the question: whales stranded in Greece, found, different points, along the coast,  

To find the answer, we must look for the keyword ‘Greece’. We can find it in paragraph no. 2. Take a look at the final lines of this paragraph, “ . . .. . Typically they all wash ashore together, but in mass atypical strandings (such as the one in Greece), the whales don’t strand as a group; they are scattered over a larger area.”

Here, they are scattered over a larger area = different points along the coast,

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question no. 24: Rosemary Gales has questioned the research techniques used by the Greek scientists.

Keywords for the question: Rosemary Gales, questioned, research techniques, Greek scientists,  

We can find the name of Rosemary Gales in paragraph no. 4. However, here we do not find any information on whether she questioned the research techniques used by the Greek scientists.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question no. 25: According to Gales, whales are likely to try to help another whale in trouble.  

Keywords for the question: Gales, whales, likely, try to help, another whale, in trouble,  

Paragraph no. 5 discusses the point made in the question, as the writer quotes from Gales “. . . . .. “They’re highly social creatures,” says Gales. “When they mass strand – it’s complete panic and chaos. If one of the group strands and sounds the alarm, others will try to swim to its aid, and become stuck themselves.”

Here, says Gales = According to Gales,
When they mass strand = whales in trouble,
others will try to swim to its aid = likely to help another whale in trouble,

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question no. 26: There is now agreement among scientists that changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields contribute to whale strandings.

Keywords for the question: now, agreement among scientists, changes, Earth’s magnetic fields, contribute to, whale strandings,    

The answers to this question can be found in paragraph no. 9, in lines 6-11, “ .. . . . In 2005, a survey by Klaus Vanselow and Klaus Ricklefs of sperm whale strandings in the North Sea even found a correlation between these and the sunspot cycle, and suggested that changes in the Earth’s magnetic field might be involved. But others are sceptical… .. … ..”

Here, changes in the Earth’s magnetic field might be involved = changes in the Earth’s magnetic fields contribute to whale strandings,
others are sceptical = some scientists agree but others disagree,

So, the answer is: FALSE

© All the texts with inverted commas used in this post are taken from Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Test 5

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Academic Test 5 Reading passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge Official Guide to IELTS Academic Test 5 Reading passage 3

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