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Cork Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The Cork Reading Answers IELTS Reading Practice Test of Cambridge 12 test 5 is designed to help you practice and improve your reading skills for the IELTS exam. The test consists of various reading passages, each followed by a series of questions to test your comprehension and analytical skills. 

 

This section requires you to read and comprehend complex texts, which can be challenging for some. The Cork Reading Answers provide a detailed solution to the practice test, allowing individuals to assess their performance and identify areas for improvement. 

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1. Cork Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below.

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2. Cork Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Cork IELTS reading answers.

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1.

Cork Reading Passage

General Instructions
General Instructions for IELTS Reading:

  • You will have 60 minutes to complete the entire reading test.
  • The test consists of three reading passages with a total of 40 questions.
  • The texts may be taken from books, magazines, journals, or newspapers.
  • You will receive an answer sheet and should write your answers on it.
  • The questions will be in different formats, such as multiple-choice, matching, sentence completion, and summary completion.
  • The reading passages will increase in difficulty as you progress through the test.
  • You cannot bring any electronic devices, including mobile phones, into the test room.

 

 

 

 

Cork Reading Passage


 

Paragraph 1

Cork - the thick bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber) - is a remarkable material. It is tough, elastic, buoyant, and fire-resistant, and suitable for a wide range of purposes. It has also been used for millennia: the ancient Egyptians sealed then sarcophagi (stone coffins) with cork, while the ancient Greeks and Romans used it for anything from beehives to sandals.
 

Paragraph 2

And the cork oak itself is an extraordinary tree. Its bark grows up to 20 cm in thickness, insulating the tree like a coat wrapped around the trunk and branches and keeping the inside at a constant 20°C all year round. Developed most probably as a defence against forest fires, the bark of the cork oak has a particular cellular structure - with about 40 million cells per cubic centimetre - that technology has never succeeded in replicating. The cells are filled with air, which is why cork is so buoyant. It also has an elasticity that means you can squash it and watch it spring back to its original size and shape when you release the pressure.
 

Paragraph 3

Cork oaks grow in a number of Mediterranean countries, including Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco. They flourish in warm, sunny climates where there is a minimum of 400 millimetres of rain per year, and no more than 800 millimetres. Like grape vines, the trees thrive in poor soil, putting down deep root in search of moisture and nutrients. Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region meets all of these requirements, which explains why, by the early 20th century, this region had become the world’s largest producer of cork, and why today it accounts for roughly half of all cork production around the world.
 

Paragraph 4

Most cork forests are family-owned. Many of these family businesses, and indeed many of the trees themselves, are around 200 years old. Cork production is, above all, an exercise in patience. From the planting of a cork sapling to the first harvest takes 25 years, and a gap of approximately a decade must separate harvests from an individual tree. And for top-quality cork, it’s necessary to wait a further 15 or 20 years. You even have to wait for the right kind of summer’s day to harvest cork. If the bark is stripped on a day when it’s too cold - or when the air is damp - the tree will be damaged.

 

Paragraph 5

Cork harvesting is a very specialised profession. No mechanical means of stripping cork bark has been invented, so the job is done by teams of highly skilled workers. First, they make vertical cuts down the bark using small sharp axes, then lever it away in pieces as large as they can manage. The most skilful cork- strippers prise away a semi-circular husk that runs the length of the trunk from just above ground level to the first branches. It is then dried on the ground for about four months, before being taken to factories, where it is boiled to kill any insects that might remain in the cork. Over 60% of cork then goes on to be made into traditional bottle stoppers, with most of the remainder being used in the construction trade, Corkboard and cork tiles are ideal for thermal and acoustic insulation, while granules of cork are used in the manufacture of concrete.
 

Paragraph 6

Recent years have seen the end of the virtual monopoly of cork as the material for bottle stoppers, due to concerns about the effect it may have on the contents of the bottle. This is caused by a chemical compound called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), which forms through the interaction of plant phenols, chlorine and mould. The tiniest concentrations - as little as three or four parts to a trillion - can spoil the taste of the product contained in the bottle. The result has been a gradual yet steady move first towards plastic stoppers and, more recently, to aluminium screw caps. These substitutes are cheaper to manufacture and, in the case of screw caps, more convenient for the user.
 

Paragraph 7

The classic cork stopper does have several advantages, however. Firstly, its traditional image is more in keeping with that of the type of high quality goods with which it has long been associated. Secondly - and very importantly - cork is a sustainable product that can be recycled without difficulty. Moreover, cork forests are a resource which support local biodiversity, and prevent desertification in the regions where they are planted. So, given the current concerns about environmental issues, the future of this ancient material once again looks promising.

2.

Cork Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Cork IELTS reading answers.

Questions and Answers 1-5
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write.

  • TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
  • FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
  • NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

 

1. The cork oak has the thickest bark of any living tree.

2. Scientists have developed a synthetic cork with the same cellular structure as natural cork.

3. Individual cork oak trees must be left for 25 years between the first and second harvest.

4. Cork bark should be stripped in dry atmospheric conditions.

5. The only way to remove the bark from cork oak trees is by hand.

 

Cork Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

 

In this task, you are given a set of statements. Based on your understanding of the passage, you should identify the nature of the given statement and write the correct answer. 
 

You can assess whether the statement given in the question is:
 

TRUE               if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE              if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this
 

How to best answer the question
 

  • Read the given question statements carefully and note down the keywords
  • With the help of the keywords, locate them in the passage, which will help you decide whether the given statement is true or false
  • Your answer will not be given if the information is not in the passage.

 

1. Not Given

 

Reference

 

From paragraphs 1 to 7: ‘Cork - the thick bark of the cork oak tree (Quercus suber) - is……..the future of this ancient material once again looks promising.’

 

Explanation

The answer is not given, as there is no information given in the context of cork oak being the thickest bark of any living tree. 


 

2. False

 

Reference

 

From paragraph 2: ‘Developed most probably as a defence against forest fires, the bark of the cork oak has a particular cellular structure - with about 40 million cells per cubic centimetre - that technology has never succeeded in replicating.’
 

Keywords

Cork, oak, 40 million cells, cellular structure
 

Explanation

As the paragraph above explains, the Cork oak tree's bark has a unique cellular structure with about 40 million cells per cubic centimetre that technology has never replicated. Cork is a versatile and sustainable material that is tough, elastic, fire-resistant, and buoyant, making it perfect for various applications. Therefore, the answer is false.

 

3. False

 

Reference

 

From paragraph 4: ‘From the planting of a cork sapling to the first harvest takes 25 years, and a gap of approximately a decade must separate harvests from an individual tree. And for top-quality cork, it’s necessary to wait a further 15 or 20 years.’
 

Keywords

2 years, 25 years, decade
 

Explanation

The statement "A cork tree can be harvested every 2 years." is false. From the planting of a cork sapling to the first harvest takes 25 years, and a gap of approximately a decade must separate harvests from an individual tree. Therefore, a cork tree takes a long time to produce cork and cannot be harvested every 2 years.
 

4. True

 

Reference

 

From paragraph 4: ‘You even have to wait for the right kind of summer’s day to harvest cork. If the bark is stripped on a day when it’s too cold - or when the air is damp - the tree will be damaged.’
 

Keywords

Summer day, cold, air, damp
 

Explanation

As explained in the paragraph, the answer is true. It is necessary to wait for the right kind of summer day to harvest cork because if the bark is stripped on a day when it's too cold or when the air is damp, the tree will be damaged.

 

5. True

 

Reference

 

From paragraph 5: ‘Cork harvesting is a very specialised profession. No mechanical means of stripping cork bark has been invented, so the job is done by teams of highly skilled workers. First, they make vertical cuts down the bark using small sharp axes, then lever it away in pieces as large as they can manage.’
 

Keywords

Mechanical, vertical cuts
 

Explanation

The answer is true, as no mechanical means of stripping cork bark have been invented yet. The job is done by teams of highly skilled workers who make vertical cuts down the bark using small, sharp axes and then lever it away in pieces as large as they can manage.

Questions and Answers 6-13
  • Complete the notes below.
  • Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers for questions 6-13 on your answer sheet.

 

Comparison of aluminium screw caps and cork bottle stoppers

 

Advantages of aluminium screw caps

  • do not affect the 6) _____ of the bottle contents
  • are 7) ______ to produce
  • are 8) ______ to use

 

Advantages of cork bottle stoppers

  • suit the 9) ______ of quality products
  • made from a 10) _____ material
  • easily 11) _____
  • cork forests aid 12) _____ 
  • cork forests stop 13) _____ happening


 

Cork Reading Answers with Explanations (6-13)


 

Type of questions: Note Completion

In this task type, you will receive incomplete notes, summaries or tables related to the passage. You must carefully review the passage and the incomplete note and find the missing word.

 

How to best answer the question: 
 

  • Read the incomplete note carefully and pay attention to the keywords or phrases related to the sentence.
  • Skim and scan through the passage for the information missing in the note given.
  • Based on your understanding, find the missing word/phrase and fill in the answer sheet. 

 

6. Taste

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 6: ‘The tiniest concentrations - as little as three or four parts to a trillion - can spoil the taste of the product contained in the bottle. The result has been a gradual yet steady move first towards plastic stoppers and, more recently, to aluminium screw caps.’
 

Keywords

Taste, Mediterranean countries, 25 years
 

Explanation

As the paragraph explains, cork is a remarkable material derived from the cork oak tree, which was used for millennia due to its unique properties. Cork oaks grow in Mediterranean countries and take 25 years to produce a harvest. Recent concerns about its effect on the taste of products have led to a shift towards plastic stoppers and aluminium screw caps as alternatives.

 

7. Cheaper

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 6: ‘These substitutes are cheaper to manufacture and, in the case of screw caps, more convenient for the user.’
 

Keywords

Aluminium screw, cheaper, plastic stoppers
 

Explanation

Using plastic stoppers and aluminium screw caps as alternatives to cork is a wise move due to their cheaper manufacturing costs and convenience. The substitutes are user-friendly and practical, especially with recent concerns about the effect of cork on the taste of products.
 

8. Convenient

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 6: ‘These substitutes are cheaper to manufacture and, in the case of screw caps, more convenient for the user.’
 

Keywords

Convenient, screw caps, cork stoppers
 

Explanation

Screw caps are a practical and convenient alternative to cork stoppers, especially with recent concerns about the effect of cork on the taste of products. By switching to screw caps, manufacturers can ensure high quality and meet customer needs while also offering a cost-effective and user-friendly alternative.
 

9. Image

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: ‘The classic cork stopper does have several advantages, however. Firstly, its traditional image is more in keeping with that of the type of high quality goods with which it has long been associated.’
 

Keywords

Image, high-quality, manufacturers
 

Explanation

Cork stoppers have a traditional image that aligns with high-quality goods, making them desirable for manufacturers. Their long-standing reputation for being a reliable and sustainable choice makes them a premium option for sealing products. Manufacturers can build a loyal customer base using cork stoppers and prioritise eco-friendliness.

 

10. Sustainable

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: ‘Secondly - and very importantly - cork is a sustainable product that can be recycled without difficulty.’
 

Keywords

Sustainable, natural, cork, renewable, versatile
 

Explanation

Cork is a sustainable and easily recyclable choice for manufacturers who want to reduce their environmental impact. It is a natural and renewable resource that can be used for various applications, making it a versatile and eco-friendly option. By using cork, manufacturers can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and contribute to a better future.
 

11. Recycled

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: ‘Secondly - and very importantly - cork is a sustainable product that can be recycled without difficulty.’

 

Keywords

Recyclable, eco-friendly, environment
 

Explanation

Cork is a sustainable, eco-friendly, and easily recyclable material. It is a responsible choice for manufacturers who want to prioritise sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.


 

12. Biodiversity

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: ‘Moreover, cork forests are a resource which support local biodiversity, and prevent desertification in the regions where they are planted.’
 

Keywords

Biodiversity, eco-system, vital, cork, forest
 

Explanation

Cork forests support biodiversity and prevent desertification, making them vital to the ecosystem. Manufacturers can help preserve these forests by choosing cork and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
 

13. Desertification

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: ‘Moreover, cork forests are a resource which support local biodiversity, and prevent desertification in the regions where they are planted.’


 

Keywords

Desertification, valuable, resource
 

Explanation

Cork forests are a valuable resource that supports biodiversity and prevents desertification. By using cork, companies can show they care about the environment and are socially responsible.

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FAQs

Q. What types of questions are included in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  You will see various questions in the IELTS Reading test to assess different reading abilities. These include multiple-choice, matching headings, true/false/not given, sentence completion, summary completion, and matching sentence endings. These questions are intended to assess your understanding, analysis and interpretation of the information provided in this section.

Q. How is the IELTS Reading test scored?

Ans.  Each correct answer shall receive one mark in the IELTS Reading test. The overall score is based on the number of correctly answered questions. There's no negative marking for incorrect answers, so trying all the questions is a good idea. The final score is reported as a band score ranging from 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating better performance in reading comprehension.

Q. What is the minimum score required in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  The IELTS Reading Minimum Score will vary depending on the institution or organisation you are applying to and the total band score requirement. Nevertheless, most universities and immigration authorities require a minimum score between 5.5 and 6.5. To obtain correct information, verifying the particular requirements of the institution or organisation you wish to apply for is important.

Q. How much time should I spend on each passage in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The IELTS Reading exam usually has three passages, and you're supposed to take a full test of 60 minutes. For each passage, it is recommended that you stay at least 20 minutes. This will allow you to read the passages thoroughly, comprehend the questions and assign enough time for a proper response. Nevertheless, some passages may be longer or more demanding than others, and you might need to adapt your time so that all the questions are answered within a specified period of time.

Q. What are some common mistakes to avoid in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  Spending a lot of time on one question, not reading the instructions in sufficient detail or attempting to comprehend every word rather than focus on its main concept are typical mistakes that can be avoided by taking your IELTS Reading test. In addition, errors can be made if keywords are overlooked in questions or passages and time management is not well organised. These mistakes can be prevented by practicing with timing tests and implementing effective strategies for skims and scans.

Q. How can I improve my reading speed for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  Practice regularly with various texts, focusing on skimming and scanning techniques, to improve reading speed for the IELTS Reading test. Set specific goals for increasing your reading speed and gradually increase the difficulty level of the texts you practice with. Additionally, try to minimise subvocalisation (silent reading) and train your eyes to move more efficiently across the text.

Q. How can I improve my vocabulary for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  Try incorporating daily reading habits, such as newspapers, magazines, and books, to find a wide range of words in context and improve your vocabulary for the IELTS Reading test. Use vocabulary-building tools such as flashcards, word lists or online learning exercises to learn new words and their meanings. Additionally, practice using newly learned vocabulary in writing tasks and speaking exercises to reinforce retention and application.

Q. What are some useful tips for tackling the IELTS Reading test's True/False/Not Given questions?

Ans. When answering True/False/Not Given questions in the IELTS Reading test, it is important to thoroughly understand the meaning of the text. Instead of skimming the passage, pay attention to specific keywords and phrases that indicate whether the statement is true, false, or cannot be determined based on the information provided. It is also important to practice extensively with sample questions to improve your skills in identifying accurate responses.

Q. How can I improve my comprehension skills for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  Practice with sample reading passages and questions to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions asked, in order to improve your language skills for the IELTS Reading test. To enhance your ability to obtain information more effectively, use effective reading strategies such as skimming for the main ideas, searching for details and summarising points of interest.

Q. What are some good resources for improving my reading skills in general?

Ans.  Consider books in all genres, online articles from trusted sources, reading apps that make it easy to access eBooks and specific practice materials such as the test preparation book or websites for Reading Comprehension exercises when you're improving your reading skills. The resources provide a coherent approach to improving literacy skills and comprehension.

Q. Can I skip the IELTS Reading Module for my IELTS exam?

Ans. No, you cannot skip the IELTS reading module. The IELTS exam consists of four modules: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, and all modules must be completed to receive an overall band score. Each module contributes to the assessment, and if you skip all modules, an incomplete test will be carried out that may have a material impact on your score. Therefore, all modules must be tried on the IELTS test.