IELTS Reading: Cambridge 13 Reading Test 2; passage 1: Bringing cinnamon to Europe; with best solutions and explanations

IELTS Reading: Cambridge 13 Reading Test 2; passage 1: Bringing cinnamon to Europe; with best solutions and explanations

This IELTS Reading post deals with a total solution package for IELTS Cambridge 13 Reading test 2 Passage 1. The title of the passage is Bringing cinnamon to Europe. This is a post on request from IELTS candidates who have major difficulties in finding and understanding Reading Answers. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer easily and without much difficulty. Finding IELTS Reading answers is a step-by-step process and I hope this post can help you in this respect.

IELTS Reading: Cambridge 13 Reading Test 2; passage 1: Bringing cinnamon to Europe; with best solutions and explanations

IELTS Cambridge 13 Test 2: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 1:

The headline of the passage: Bringing cinnamon to Europe

Questions 1-7 (Completing notes with ONE WORD ONLY):

In this type of question, candidates are asked to write only one word to complete a note on the given topic. 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.]

Question 1: added to ______ 

Keywords for these answers: Biblical times, added

We can easily find the answer to this question in lines 2-4 in paragraph no. 1. Here, the author of the passage states, “ ….. It was known in biblical times, and is mentioned in several books of the Bible, both as an ingredient that was mixed with oils for anointing people’s bodies . .. .”

*mixed with = added to

So, it is clear from the lines that in the biblical times cinnamon was added to oils.

So, the answer is: oils

Question 2: used to show  _________ between people.

Keywords for this answer: used, show, between people

The answer to this question is in line 4 of paragraph no. 1. “…. . .people’s bodies and also as a token indicating friendship among lovers and friends.”

*token indicating = show, lovers and friends = people

So, the answer is: friendship                         

Question 3: used for its sweet smell at __________.  

Keywords for this answer: Ancient Rome, used, sweet smell

The answer can be found in paragraph 1, lines 5-6. The lines say, “In ancient Rome, mourners attending funerals burnt cinnamon to create a pleasant scent.”

*pleasant scent = sweet smell

This means cinnamon was burnt at funerals for creating a sweet smell.

So, the answer is: funerals                

Question 4: was an indication of a person’s ________.

Keywords for this answer: Middle ages, food, meat, indication, person’s

We find the keywords Middle Ages, food, meat, etc. in lines 7-8 of paragraph no. 1. So, we continue reading from here. In lines 8-9, the author mentions, “… . . At a banquet, a host would offer guests a plate with spices piled upon it as a sign of the wealth at his or her disposal.”

*sign = indication

So, the answer is: wealth                   

Question 5: known as a treatment for __________ and other health problems. 

Keywords for these answers: treatment, other health problems

The last lines of paragraph 1 have the answer to this question. Here, in lines 11-12, the author states, “.. . .. Cinnamon was also reported to have health benefits, and was thought to cure various ailments, such as indigestion.”

*cure = treatment, various ailments = other health problems

So, the answer is:     indigestion    

Question 6: grown in _______.

Keywords for this answer:  Middle ages, grown

We can see another reference to the Middle ages in paragraph 2. So, we need to look carefully here for the word ‘grown’ or any similar words close to ‘grown’. In line 6 of paragraph no. 2, the writer says, “They took it from India, where it was grown, . . ..”

So, the answer is: India

Question 7: merchants used ________ to bring it to the Mediterranean

Keywords for this answer:  merchants, bring, Mediterranean

In paragraph no. 2 line 6, the author mentions the word merchants in line 3, “ .. . .  At that time, cinnamon was transported by Arab merchants, who closely guarded the secret of the source of the spice from potential rivals.” The next line has the answer. “. .. . They took it from India, where it was grown, on camels via an overland route to the Mediterranean.”. As we find the mention of the word Mediterranean, we can understand that they used camels to bring cinnamon to the Mediterranean.

So, the answer is: camels

Question 8: arrived in the Mediterranean at ________.  

Keywords for this answer: arrived in, Mediterranean

The question has a preposition ‘at’ after the word Mediterranean. This means cinnamon arrived at a fixed place which is located in the Mediterranean region. In line 6 of paragraph no. 2, the author writes, “… ..  to the Mediterranean. Their journey ended when they reached Alexandria.”

So, the answer is: Alexandria

Question 9: traders took it to ______ and sold it to destinations around Europe.

Keywords for this answer: traders, took, sold, destinations, Europe

The word ‘European’ and ‘traders’ are found in lines 6 and 7 of paragraph no. 2. Here, the author says, “… … European traders sailed there to purchase their supply of cinnamon, then brought it back to Venice. The spice then traveled from that great trading city to markets all around Europe.” This means the traders took cinnamon to Venice and then sold it all around Europe.

So, the answer is: Venice

Questions 10-13 (TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN):

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

The statement in the question matches with the account in the text- TRUE

The statement in the question contradicts the account in the text- FALSE

The statement in the question has no clear connection with the account in the text- 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 10: The Portuguese had control over the cinnamon trade in Ceylon throughout the 16th century.

Keywords for these answers: Portuguese, control, Ceylon, 16th century

In paragraph no. 3, line 1, we find about the Portuguese. In the very next line, we can also see the word Ceylon. But candidates shouldn’t make mistake and start reading the whole paragraph because you won’t find the reference of 16th century here.

All these keywords – Portuguese, Ceylon, 16th century – can be found together at the very end of paragraph no. 3. Go straight there and read the last few lines.

In lines 10-12, the author says, “In 1518, the Portuguese built a fort on Ceylon, which enabled them to protect the island, so helping them to develop a monopoly in the cinnamon trade and generate very high profits. In the late 16th century, for example, they enjoyed a tenfold profit. … .” These lines directly indicate that the Portuguese built the fort on Ceylon to take a complete control of the cinnamon business, and by the 16th century, they got ten times more profit from it.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 11: The Dutch took over the cinnamon trade from the Portuguese as soon as they arrived in Ceylon.  

Keywords for this answer: The Dutch, cinnamon trade, the Portuguese, as soon as, arrived

We can see the phrase ‘the Dutch’ in line 1 of paragraph no. 4. So, we need to find the information here.

The Dutch, as mentioned in the paragraph, arrived in Ceylon ‘at the very beginning of the 17th century’.  In lines 5-6, the writer says, “. .. .. . By 1640, the Dutch broke the 150-year Portuguese monopoly when they overran and occupied their factories.” Therefore, it is understood by us that it took the Dutch about 40 long years to take control of the Portuguese monopoly of cinnamon.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question 12: The trees planted by the Dutch produced larger quantities of cinnamon than the wild trees.   

Keywords for this answer: trees, the Dutch, larger quantities, wild trees

In paragraph no. 5, we can see the reference to cinnamon trees and wild trees.

In the question, there is a comparison between local cinnamon trees and wild cinnamon trees on the quantities produced by trees planted by the Dutch and the wild trees. In the last lines, the writer says, “… .. Eventually, the Dutch began cultivating their own cinnamon trees to supplement the diminishing number of wild trees available for use.” But this doesn’t confirm for us about the quantity of cinnamon produced by the trees planted by the Dutch or wild species of cinnamon trees.

So the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question 13: The spice trade maintained its economic importance during the 19th century. 

Keywords for this answer: spice trade, maintained, economic importance, 19th century

The final paragraph or paragraph no. 6 has the answer to this question. In the second line, we find the reference of the 19th century. So, we should read the line. Here, the writer says, “…. By the middle of the 19th century, production of cinnamon reached 1000 tons a year, after a lower grade quality of the spice became acceptable to European tastes.” It seems the answer may be TRUE. But if you read further in lines 6-7, you will find a contrasting picture. “.. .. Not only was a monopoly of cinnamon becoming impossible, but also the spice trade overall was diminishing in economic potential. .. .. . .” This means cinnamon trade could not maintain economic importance during the 19th century.

So the answer is: FALSE

Please make comments below if you like this post and need further suggestions or help.

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 13 Reading Test 2 Passage 2

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2 years ago

Thank you so much^^ It was so helpful.

1 year ago

Super sir

Rumana Akter Mili
Rumana Akter Mili
7 months ago

It is an interesting page where I can understand reading passage very easily

Gopinad Kotta
Gopinad Kotta
3 months ago


3 months ago

thanks for your helpful answer

Deep Patel
Deep Patel
1 month ago

Cambridge 13 Test 2 .. Reading Passage 3 solution link..

17 days ago

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