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Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jun 11, 2024, 14:16

The IELTS Reading section is a crucial component of the IELTS exam designed to assess your reading skills. This section includes three passages, each increasing in difficulty, designed to challenge your ability to understand explicit and implicit information, identify main ideas, and comprehend complex texts. Additionally, the passages cover a wide range of topics, ensuring that test-takers are exposed to diverse content.
 

The passage "Beyond The Blue Horizon" explores the fascinating realm of exploration and discovery, focusing on humanity's perpetual quest to venture into the unknown. It explores the historical significance of exploration and the enduring human spirit that drives individuals to push the boundaries of knowledge and adventure.

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1. Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

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2. Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Beyond The Blue Horizon

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1.

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Passage


 

 

Paragraph A

An important archaeological discovery on the island of Efate in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu has revealed traces of an ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today, Polynesians. The site came to light only by chance. An agricultural worker, digging in the grounds of a derelict plantation, scraped open a grave – the first of dozens in a burial ground some 3,000 years old. It is the oldest cemetery ever found in the Pacific islands, and it harbours the remains of an ancient people archaeologists call the Lapita.

 

Paragraph B

They were daring blue-water adventurers who used basic canoes to rove across the ocean. But they were not just explorers. They were also pioneers who carried with them everything they would need to build new lives – their livestock, taro seedlings and stone tools. Within the span of several centuries, the Lapita stretched the boundaries of their world from the jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of Tonga.

 

Paragraph C

The Lapita left precious few clues about themselves, but Efate expanded the volume of data available to researchers dramatically. The remains of 62 individuals have been uncovered so far, and archaeologists were also thrilled to find six complete Lapita pots. Other items included a Lapita burial urn with modelled birds arranged on the rim as though peering down at the human remains sealed inside. ‘It’s an important discovery,’ says Matthew Spriggs, professor of archaeology at the Australian National University and head of the international team digging up the site, ‘for it conclusively identifies the remains as Lapita.’

 

Paragraph D

DNA teased from these human remains may help answer one of the most puzzling questions in Pacific anthropology: did all Pacific islanders spring from one source or many? Was there only one outward migration from a single point in Asia or several from different points? ‘This represents the best opportunity we’ve had yet,’ says Spriggs, ‘to find out who the Lapita actually were, where they came from, and who their closest descendants are today.’

 

Paragraph E

There is one stubborn question for which archaeology has yet to provide any answers: how did the Lapita accomplish the ancient equivalent of a moon landing, many times over? No-one has found one of their canoes or any rigging, which could reveal how the canoes were sailed. Nor do the oral histories and traditions of later Polynesians offer any insights, for they turn into myths long before they reach as far back in time as the Lapita.

 

Paragraph F

‘All we can say for certain is that the Lapita had canoes that were capable of ocean voyages, and they had the ability to sail them,’ says Geoff Irwin, a professor of archaeology at the University of Auckland. Those sailing skills, he says, were developed and passed down over thousands of years by earlier mariners who worked their way through the archipelagoes of the western Pacific, making short crossings to nearby islands. The real adventure didn’t begin, however, until their Lapita descendants sailed out of sight of land with empty horizons on every side. This must have been as difficult for them as landing on the moon is for us today. Certainly, it distinguished them from their ancestors, but what gave them the courage to launch out on such risky voyages?

 

Paragraph G

The Lap it as thrust into the Pacific was eastward, against the prevailing trade winds, Irwin notes. Those nagging headwinds, he argues, may have been the key to their success. ‘They could sail out for days into the unknown and assess the area, secure in the knowledge that if they didn’t find anything, they could turn about and catch a swift ride back on the trade winds. This is what would have made the whole thing work.’ Once out there, skilled seafarers would have detected abundant leads to follow to land: seabirds, coconuts and twigs carried out to sea by the tides, and the afternoon pile-up of clouds on the horizon, which often indicates an island in the distance.

 

Paragraph H

For returning explorers, successful or not, the geography of their own archipelagoes would have provided a safety net. Without this to go by, overshooting their home ports, getting lost and sailing off into eternity would have been all too easy. Vanuatu, for example, stretches more than 500 miles in a northwest-southeast trend, its scores of intervisible islands forming a backstop for mariners riding the trade winds home.

 

Paragraph I

All this presupposes one essential detail, says Atholl Anderson, professor of prehistory at the Australian National University: the Lapita had mastered the advanced art of sailing against the wind. ‘And there’s no proof they could do any such thing,’ Anderson says. ‘There has been this assumption they made, and people have built canoes to recreate those early voyages based on that assumption. But nobody has any idea what their canoes looked like or how they were rigged.’

 

Paragraph J

Rather than give all the credit to human skill, Anderson invokes the winds of chance. El Nino, the same climate disruption that affects the Pacific today, may have helped scatter the Lapita, Anderson suggests. He points out that climate data obtained from slow-growing corals around the Pacific indicate a series of unusually frequent El Ninos around the time of the Lapita expansion. By reversing the regular east-to-west flow of the trade winds for weeks at a time, these super El Ninos5 might have taken the Lapita on long, unplanned voyages.

 

Paragraph K

However they did it, the Lapita spread themselves a third of the way across the Pacific, then called it quits for reasons known only to them. Ahead lay the vast emptiness of the central Pacific and perhaps they were too thinly stretched to venture farther. They probably never numbered more than a few thousand in total, and in their rapid migration eastward they encountered hundreds of islands – more than 300 in Fiji alone.

2.

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Beyond The Blue Horizon

Questions and Answers 1-6
  • This reading passage has eleven paragraphs, A–K.
  • Which paragraph contains the following information?
  • Write the correct letter, A-K, as your answer to each question.

 

 

1. How Lapita sailed with canoes is not known

2. Mention of sailing skills is passed from earlier mariners to Lapita

3. The archipelagoes’ geography is a safety net for Lapita

4. A series of El Ninos may scatter the Lapita during their expansion

5. DNA from human remains helps to solve the problems in Pacific Anthropology

6. Lapita people are pioneers in carrying everything necessary to build their lives.


 

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Answers with Explanations (1-6)

 

Type of question: Matching information

 

In this question type, you will be asked to match specific pieces of information, often dates, names, or events, from the reading passage with corresponding options provided in the question.

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Read each statement carefully to understand the specific information being asked for.
  • Scan the passage for relevant dates or events in the reading passage that corresponds to each statement.
  • Eliminate incorrect options that do not match the information found in the passage.
  • Match the remaining options based on the information provided in the passage.
  • Verify your answers to ensure they match the information in the passage before finalising them.

 

 

1. Paragraph E

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph E: "There is one stubborn question for which archaeology has yet to provide any answers: how did the Lapita accomplish the ancient equivalent of a moon landing, many times over? No one has found one of their canoes or any rigging, which could reveal how the canoes were sailed."
 

Explanation

This paragraph discusses the uncertainty surrounding how the Lapita accomplished their voyages, as no canoes or rigging have been found to reveal how they sailed.


 

2. Paragraph F

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph F: "Those sailing skills, he says, were developed and passed down over thousands of years by earlier mariners who worked their way through the archipelagoes of the western Pacific, making short crossings to nearby islands."

 

Explanation

The paragraph mentions that sailing skills were passed down from earlier mariners to the Lapita, indicating a transfer of knowledge and expertise in navigation.

 

 

3. Paragraph H

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph H:  "The geography of the archipelagoes provided returning explorers a safety net. Going beyond the home ports, getting lost and sailing off into eternity becomes so easy if they don’t have their safety net to go by."

 

Explanation

The geography of the archipelagoes is described in this paragraph as providing a safety net for Lapita explorers, preventing them from getting lost or sailing off course.


 

4. Paragraph J

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph J: "The climate data gained from slow-growing corals suggests that a series of unusual El Nino events happened during the Lapita expansion."

 

Explanation

This paragraph discusses the possibility that a series of El Niño events may have scattered the Lapita during their expansion across the Pacific.


 

5. Paragraph D

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: "We can come to the conclusions to the most puzzling problems in Pacific anthropology, like whether the Pacific Islanders came from the same source or multiple sources, with DNA extracted from the human remains."
 

Explanation

DNA extracted from human remains, as mentioned in this paragraph, is expected to provide insights into key questions in Pacific anthropology, such as the origins of Pacific Islanders.


 

6. Paragraph B

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: "They were courageous blue-water adventurers who used basic canoes to drift across the ocean. More than an explorer, they pioneered the act of carrying everything with them to build new lives, like their livestock, taro seedlings and stone tools."
 

Explanation

This paragraph describes the Lapita as pioneers who carried everything they needed to build new lives, indicating their pioneering nature in settling new territories.

Questions and Answers 7-10
  • Complete the summary below.
  • Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

 

 

The human remains of distant ancestors of today’s 7) _______  are discovered by archaeologists on the island of 8) _____ in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu. They used 9) _____ to go across the ocean. The boundaries of lapita’s world from jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of 10) _______.

 

 

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Answers with Explanations (7-10)

 

Type of question: Summary completion

 

Under this task, you will be given a summary with incomplete sentences. However, you will not be given a list of words/phrases to choose from for the missing information. You must refer to the main passage to fill in the missing information. 

 

How to answer: 

 

  • Read the summary to understand what information it’s missing
  • Identify keywords and locate them in the main passage to find missing words 
  • Review the context of the words you’ve chosen to match the summary
  • Finalise your answers


 

7. Polynesians

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A: "An important archaeological discovery on the island of Efate in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu has revealed traces of ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today, Polynesians."
 

Explanation

The passage directly states that the discovered remains belong to the distant ancestors of today's Polynesians, emphasising the link between the ancient civilisation and modern Polynesian populations.


 

8. Efate

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A: "An important archaeological discovery on the island of Efate in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu has revealed traces of ancient seafaring people, the distant ancestors of today, Polynesians."

 

Explanation

The passage identifies Efate as the specific island where the archaeological discovery took place, providing a geographical context for the findings.


 

9. Basic canoes/ canoes

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: "They were daring blue-water adventurers who used basic canoes to rove across the ocean."
 

Explanation

The paragraph highlights the adventurous spirit of the Lapita people, mentioning their use of basic canoes for oceanic voyages, underscoring the simplicity and effectiveness of their maritime technology.

 

10. Tonga

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph B: "Within the span of several centuries, the Lapita stretched the boundaries of their world from the jungle-clad volcanoes of Papua New Guinea to the loneliest coral outliers of Tonga."
 

Explanation

The text specifies Tonga as one of the destinations reached by the Lapita, showcasing the extent of their exploration and expansion across the Pacific region.

Questions and Answers 11-13
  • Complete the notes below.
  • Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/ OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

 

 

Findings on Lapita


 

An 11) _____ worker found the first dozens in the burial ground while they were digging the derelict plantation’s grounds.

Archaeologists had found 12) _____ complete Lapita pots.

Another item they have found is Lapita burial urn arranged on the 13) ____.

 

 

Beyond The Blue Horizon Reading Answers with Explanations (11-13)

 

Type of question: Notes completion

 

Under this task, you will be required to fill in missing information within a given text, often in the form of words, phrases, or sentences. These questions are designed to test your comprehension, attention to detail, and ability to infer meaning from context.

 

How to answer: 

 

  • Read the passage carefully to understand the context and main ideas.
  • Identify the type of information missing, such as words, phrases, or sentences.
  • Look for contextual clues or keywords surrounding the missing information.
  • Use logical reasoning and inference to fill in the missing parts.
  • Ensure that the completed notes are concise and grammatically correct.
  • Verify and finalise your answers. 

 

 

11. Agricultural

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph A: "An agricultural worker, digging in the grounds of a derelict plantation, scraped open a grave – the first of dozens in a burial ground some 3,000 years old."

 

Explanation

The mention of the agricultural worker's discovery of the burial ground emphasises the accidental nature of the find, highlighting the significance of chance in uncovering archaeological treasures.


 

12. Six

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: "The remains of 62 individuals have been uncovered so far, and archaeologists were also thrilled to find six complete Lapita pots."
 

Explanation

The excitement of archaeologists over the discovery of six complete Lapita pots underscores the rarity and importance of finding intact artefacts from ancient civilizations, providing valuable insights into their culture and technology.


 

13. Rim

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph C: "Other items included a Lapita burial urn with modelled birds arranged on the rim as though peering down at the human remains sealed inside."

 

Explanation

The arrangement of the Lapita burial urn with modelled birds on the rim suggests the presence of elaborate burial customs among the Lapita people, offering clues about their beliefs and social practices.

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FAQs

Q. Does the IELTS Reading Module have a negative marking?

Ans. There is no penalty for incorrect answers in the IELTS exams. Feel free to guess and seek clarification if necessary. Correct guesses earn you a +1 mark, but incorrect ones won't affect your score negatively.

Q. How can I score better on my IELTS Reading test?

Ans. Practice plays a vital role in IELTS preparation. Allocate time for practising sample test papers, monitor your progress, and identify areas for improvement. Regular reading practice tests will help you boost your score.

Q. Is the IELTS Reading test challenging to score?

Ans. Studying for the IELTS reading module may feel overwhelming because of the different question formats. However, with practice, it becomes more manageable within the time limit. You might find it helpful to take IELTS preparation courses for extra support.