IELTS Reading: Cambridge 12 Test 5 Passage 3- What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge? - solutions with explanations

IELTS Reading: Cambridge 12 Test 5 Passage 3- What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge? – solutions with explanations

This post on IELTS Reading deals with the in depth analysis of Cambridge 12 Test 5 Reading Passage 3. The passage is entitled as ‘What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge?’. I’ve provided all the solutions here with some detailed explanations. Please, get the book Cambridge IELTS series 12 when you read the post. It will surely help you to find out the answers from the passage.

IELTS Reading: Cambridge 12 Test 5 Passage 3- What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge? - solutions with explanations

Cambridge 12 Test 5 Reading Passage 3

Name of the Passage: What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge?

Question 27-32           List of Headings/ Matching Headlines

In this kind of question, time is a crucial matter. It will take a lot of your important time. You must not waste too much time in other easy question. This will help you to save some extra time which may come beneficial to you. As questions like these target the whole paragraph, we may need some time to get used to at first. You need not panic. Practicing them regularly will surely upgrade your skills. Skills like skimming and scanning will come handy here. Speculating some answers may also help. Most importantly, you need to apply some techniques like avoiding reading the whole paragraph and focusing on key sentences. Read the first lines and, in some cases, the last line. Don’t read the whole paragraph!

  1. Section A

This section discusses the university founders’ passion to a wide variety of courses and majors. So, we must focus on headings related to those contents – they are ii, vi and vii (headings about the title, there is no heading about the other contents). In section A, the author writes “But what would the founders of these two institutions have thought of a course called Arson for Profit’?”. The author also says: “I kid you not…” to make clear that this course title is not a mere joke. We may have doubts about the existence of the course, but the writer confirms that it does exist. Since this is only one unexpected title, it cannot match with vii (different names) and the author states nothing related to its meanings, so it cannot be ii (with two meanings). The answer is vi because it says A surprising course title.

So, the answer is: vi

  1. Section B

Section B deals with targeting students of the course because the first sentence says: “the course is intended for prospective arson investigators”. After that the author throws a question: “But wouldn’t this also be the perfect course for prospective arsonists to sign up for?” The author asks this question to show the possibility of attracting the wrong kind of students. The course might attract those students who might be interested in starting fires, not fighting fires.

So, the answer is: viii

  1. Section C

Section C talks about the author and his life-story about the title of the course. There are only two outstanding headings that could be related to a title – ii and vii. We have already a confirmed answer-vi for Section A. As in this section, the author only states one confusing title that could be recognized by his students in two different ways, as it deals with the two meanings of ‘principles’. So, the answer has to be “a course title with two meanings”.

So, the answer is: ii

  1. Section D

Section D is a very small paragraph and you can cross out some answers straightaway because you know they are wrong for sure. As an example, in this section the author does not talk about any commitment, so the answer heading ‘i’ is wrong– “Courses that require a high level of commitment”. Continue to do the same for other answers. Thus, only heading iv – “Applying a theory in an unexpected context” will remain. Here, the writer provides a reference of the idea of the philosopher Kant that any body of knowledge is principled. The author states in the first line that this idea sounds like “downright crazy in the light of the evidence”, which is a clear match with “an unexpected context” in the heading, when applied to an immoral practice like marketing.

So, the answer is: iv

  1. Section E

In this section, the writer states two important terms in marketing, means and end, in the very first line. So, there are two important matters which are discussed in this section. In the last lines, he supposes that “A field of knowledge or a professional endeavor is defined by both the means and the end; hence both deserve scrutiny”, which means that both terms are equally important. Therefore, the answer is “the equal importance of two key issues”.

So, the answer is: iii

  1. Section F

In the last lines final section, the author gives the example of a doctor and a poisoner / murderer. Both may gather the same body of knowledge, but they use that knowledge for completely different purposes/ends, and so we give different names: we say that the doctor is practicing medicine and we say that the other is practicing murder. The author does not talk about anything related to “financial benefits” (heading v) and “a high level of commitment” (heading i). Therefore, the most suitable heading for this section is “Different names for different outcomes” (vii).

So, the answer is: vii

Question 33-36           Summary Completion (using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS)

In this question type, you are given a short text with some blank spaces. You have to fill in the blanks with one or two words taken directly from the passage. To practice this question type effectively, look at the words or phrases just before and after the blank spaces carefully. This may give you some idea about where to look for the answers in the passage.

  1. […] undergraduates and who are studying ____

In the final sentence of the first section, the author mentions: “Any undergraduates who have met the academic requirements can sign up for the course in our program in ‘fire science’.” So, it can be said that students who can sign up for the course are undergraduates and those who are studying ‘fire science’. (in this question you can write no more than two words).

So, the answer is: fire science.

  1. […] that they will become ____

The opening lines of the second section says: “Naturally, the course is intended for prospective arson investigators”. We can see here that expectation means prospective, which means they are studying to be arson investigators in the future. The answer is investigators.

Here, expectation = prospective and will be = in the future

So, the answer is: investigators.

  1. […] cases of arson and find ____ of criminal intent

In this question, the clause “The course will help them” means students can learn something from the course, so we need to look at this reference in section B, lines 1-3: “…. who can learn all the tricks of the trade for detecting whether a fire was deliberately set, discovering who did it, and establishing a chain of evidence for effective prosecution in a court of law.” Here, “A fire was deliberately set” can be taken as an example of criminal intent, that is: the arsonist deliberately intended to start a fire. Then the course can help them to detect whether it is done deliberately or not, who did it and find a chain of evidence. So, the answer has to be “evidence”.

Here, find means detect or establish

So, the answer is: evidence.

  1. […] leading to successful ____ in the courts.

The answer required for this question is just after an adjective (successful) and in front of an adverb of place (in the courts). Therefore, we can understand that the answer has to be a noun. In section B, the author states the court in this phrase in lines 3-4: “establishing a chain of evidence for effective prosecution in a court of law”. Here, “effective” means “successful”, and “in a court of law” means “in the courts”. So, the answer is “prosecution”.

So, the answer is: prosecution.

Question 37-40           TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN

Note: This type of questions maintains a sequence. For instance, if you find answer to question 2 in the first few lines of Paragraph 2, look for answer to question 1 in paragraph 1.

  1. It is difficult to attract students onto courses that do not focus on a career.

If this statement is true, you must find a sentence in the text conveying the same idea. If this statement is false, you need to point out what is wrong with it and find a sentence in the passage given to correct it. However, there is no reference like that in the passage. In the passage, we can’t find any sentence telling us about difficulties in attracting students onto such courses.

So, the answer is: Not given.

  1. The ‘Arson for Profit’ course would be useful for people intending to set fire to buildings.

Hence, we have already learnt from our previous reading of the passage that “use the very same knowledge” means they can use what they have learned from this course (= this course would be useful for them). Moreover, “destructive, dangerous, reckless activity” can include “set fire to buildings.” Therefore, the answer is Yes. Further in section F, the author once again states the “Arson for Profit” course and mentions: “As we have seen, someone could use the very same knowledge of means to achieve a much less noble end, such as personal profit via destructive, dangerous, reckless activity”.

So, the answer is: Yes.

  1. Fire science courses are too academic to help people to be good at the job of firefighting.

Look at section B where the author speaks about the knowledge learned on the course to its usefulness for students who want to become firefighters. They will be capable of doing the job in a professional and expert way: “…. programs in fire science: they are highly welcome as part of the increasing professionalization of this and many other occupations”. The course surely helps the students. Here, To be good at the job of  means  professionalization.

So, the answer is: No.

  1. The writer’s fire science students provided a detailed definition of the purpose of their studies.

Take a look at section F where the author asks the students about purpose of the course, “When I ask fire science students to articulate the end, or purpose, of their field, they eventually generalize to something like, ‘The safety and welfare of society,’ which seems right.” Here, they only “generalize”, which means “to make a flat/general statement or form a general opinion”. Their opinion is only general or flat, not detailed or particularly clear. Here, provide a detailed definition of means to articulate.

So, the answer is: No.

This is the end of the post.

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 12 Test 5 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 12 Test 5 Reading Passage 2

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10 months ago

Dear Rasul,
THank you so much for the useful post.
I would like to know whether the answer of Yes, No , Not given questions can be found in text in order or not?
Thank you in advance for your answer.

10 months ago

39 answer is not clear

9 months ago
Reply to  killer

Yes its not clear to me as well

6 months ago

28 answer is nt clear

Last edited 6 months ago by rajwinder
Akshay Kawade
Akshay Kawade
4 months ago

you are doing good job
thanks for help

9 days ago

As the everything in the passage come in sequence manner than questions no. 39 ? Isn’t in sequence ? How can it directly jump to paragraph B ?? Please explain?


IELTS General Training Reading: Cambridge 12 Test 6 Section 1; Lost, Damaged or Delayed Inland Mail Claim Form & Days out for the family; with top solutions and best explanations

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