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In Praise Of Amateurs Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The IELTS Reading section is a vital test that measures how well you understand and analyse written English. It includes different texts, from simple facts to more complex discussions. 


A good IELTS Reading score indicates that your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills are good enough for a university degree.


You'll answer 40 questions from three passages in 60 minutes, so it's important to be fast and accurate.


The passage ‘In Praise of Amateurs’ is a common passage used in IELTS prep! This passage discusses the significant contributions of amateur scientists across various fields and their collaboration with professionals. It highlights how amateurs play crucial roles in scientific research despite lacking formal training or financial resources. 


Let’s dive in. 

 

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1. In Praise of Amateurs Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 14 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. In Praise of Amateurs Reading Questions and Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about in Praise of Amateurs

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1.

In Praise of Amateurs 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.

 

 

 

 


 

In Praise of Amateurs Reading Passage


 



Paragraph A: 

During the 17th-century scientific revolution, scientists were mostly wealthy men who pursued their interest in natural philosophy for their own edification. It has only been possible to make a living studying the workings of nature for the past century or two. To put it another way, modern science was built on the efforts of amateurs. Science is becoming increasingly specialised and compartmentalised, with experts knowing more and more about less and less. Surprisingly, amateurs – even those with limited financial resources – are still important.


 

Paragraph B: 

A recent poll conducted by astronomer Dr. Richard Fienberg at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science revealed that, in addition to astronomy, amateurs are also interested in acoustics, horticulture, ornithology, meteorology, hydrology, and palaeontology. Amateur scientists, far from being crackpots, are frequently in contact with professionals, some of whom rely heavily on their cooperation.


 

Paragraph C: 

Some fields, admittedly, are more accessible to amateurs than others. Anything that necessitates the purchase of expensive equipment is clearly a no-no. And some types of research can be hazardous; according to Dr Fienberg, the majority of amateur chemists are either locked up or have blown themselves up. However, amateurs can make valuable contributions in fields ranging from rocketry to palaeontology, and the rise of the Internet has made collecting data and disseminating results easier than ever before.


 

Paragraph D: 

Which field of study has benefited the most from amateur contributions is a matter of contention. Dr. Fienberg makes a compelling case for the study of astronomy. He points out that amateur and professional skywatchers have a long history of working together. Amateurs found many asteroids, comets, and the planet Uranus. Observing the brightness of variable stars and detecting novae—'new' stars in the Milky Way and supernovae in other galaxies—are still important tasks for amateur astronomers today, in addition to comet and asteroid spotting. According to Dr. Fienberg, amateur observers are beneficial because there are so many of them (far outnumbering professionals) and because they are located all over the world. This allows for unique observations: for example if several observers around the world accurately record the time when a star is eclipsed by an asteroid, useful information about the asteroid's shape can be derived.


 

Paragraph E: 

Palaeontology is another field in which amateurs have historically played a significant role. Adrian Hunt, a palaeontologist at Mesa Technical College in New Mexico, claims that his field is the one where amateurs have had the most impact. Despite advances in technology, he claims that the best sensors for finding fossils are human eyes – and lots of them.

Because of the near-universal interest in anything dinosaur-related, he says, finding volunteers to look for fossils isn't difficult. Volunteers learn about science while also assisting with the research, which he refers to as recreational education.'


 

Paragraph F: 

In his field, Rick Bonney of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, believes that amateurs have made the most contributions. He points out that there are an estimated 60 million birdwatchers in the United States alone. Mr Bonney has enlisted thousands of amateurs in a number of research projects due to their large numbers and wide geographic coverage. Their observations over the last few years have revealed previously unknown trends and cycles in bird migrations, as well as declines in the breeding populations of several migratory bird species, prompting habitat conservation efforts.


 

Paragraph G: 

Collaboration between amateurs and professionals, despite its successes and regardless of the field of study, is not without its challenges. The term 'amateur,' for example, does not sit well with everyone. Mr Bonney coined the term "citizen scientist" because he thought other terms, such as "volunteer," were derogatory. The question of how professionals can best acknowledge amateur contributions is a more serious issue. Some amateur astronomers, according to Dr. Fienberg, are happy to provide their observations but complain about not being reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. Others are disappointed when their findings are included in scientific papers, but they are not listed as co-authors. Some amateur palaeontologists, according to Dr. Hunt, are disappointed when they are told they cannot take their findings home with them.


 

Paragraph H: 

These are legitimate concerns, but none seem insurmountable. There's no reason why amateurs and professionals can't work together if they agree on the terms of their collaboration ahead of time. Dr. S. Carlson, the founder of the Society for Amateur Scientists, received a $290,000 award last year for his efforts to promote such collaboration. He claims that one of the prize's main benefits is the recognition it has given to amateur scientists' contributions, which has helped silence critics among professionals who believe science should be their exclusive domain.


 

Paragraph I:

Dr. Carlson says the society is currently working on a number of projects, including an innovative rocket design project and the establishment of a network of observers to look for evidence of a link between earthquakes and low-frequency radiations. He claims that amateurs contribute enthusiasm and talent, while professionals provide guidance so that whatever they discover is taken seriously.' Having laid the foundations of science, amateurs will have much to give to its expanding structure. 

2.

In Praise of Amateurs Reading Questions and Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about In Praise of Amateurs

Questions and Answers 1-5
  • Complete the notes below.
  • Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
  •  

     

    During the 17th century scientific revolution, scientists were mostly 1________.

    Some types of research can be hazardous, according to 2________.

    The rise of the 3________ has made collecting data and disseminating results easier than ever before.

    4________ is another field where amateurs have historically played a significant role.  

    Adrian Hunt is a palaeontologist at 5________ Technical College in New Mexico. 

     

     

    In Praise of Amateurs Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

     

     

    Type of question: Note Completion 


     

    These questions require you to fill in missing information using details from the passage. 


     

    How to best answer:


     

    • Read the Instructions: Understand what type of information needs to be completed (e.g., words, numbers, dates).
    • Scan the Passage: Quickly skim through the passage to locate where the missing information might be found.
    • Identify Keywords: Note key terms or phrases that relate to the missing information.
    • Read Carefully: Focus on the specific section of the passage that is likely to contain the missing information.
    • Fill in the Blanks: Use the information in the passage to complete the missing parts accurately.


     

    1. Wealthy men

     

    Reference: Paragraph A: "During the 17th-century scientific revolution, scientists were mostly wealthy men who pursued their interest in natural philosophy for their own edification." 

     

     

    Explanation: The answer is found in Paragraph A, which discusses the socio-economic background of scientists during the 17th-century scientific revolution, highlighting that they were primarily wealthy individuals pursuing science out of personal interest.

     

     

    2. Dr. Fienberg

     

    Reference: Paragraph C: "According to Dr Fienberg, the majority of amateur chemists are either locked up or have blown themselves up." 

     

     

    Explanation: In Paragraph C, Dr. Fienberg discusses the hazardous nature of some amateur research, specifically in chemistry, indicating the risks involved for amateurs in this field.

     

     

    3. Internet

     

    Reference: Paragraph C: "The rise of the Internet has made collecting data and disseminating results easier than ever." 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph C discusses how the Internet has revolutionised amateur contributions to rocketry and palaeontology by facilitating easier data collection and result dissemination.

     

     

    4. Palaeontology

     

    Reference: Paragraph E: "Palaeontology is another field in which amateurs have historically played a significant role." 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph E focuses on the significant historical role of amateurs in palaeontology, highlighting their contributions aided by their interest in dinosaur-related findings.

     

     

    5. Mesa

     

    Reference: Paragraph E: "Adrian Hunt, a palaeontologist at Mesa Technical College in New Mexico," 

     

     

    Explanation: Paragraph E introduces Adrian Hunt as a palaeontologist affiliated with Mesa Technical College in New Mexico, where he emphasises the involvement of amateurs in palaeontological discoveries.

     

    Questions and Answers 6-9
    Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? Write-
    • Yes, if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
    • No, if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
    • NOT GIVEN , if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

     

     

    6. It has only been possible to make a living studying the workings of nature for the past century or two. 

     

    7. Amateurs are not interested in acoustics, horticulture, ornithology, meteorology, hydrology, and palaeontology. 

     

    8. Some amateur palaeontologists are disappointed when told they cannot take their finds home with them.

     

    9. Dr. S. Carlson is the founder of the Society for Amateur Scientists.

     

     

    In Praise of Amateurs Reading Answers with Explanation (6-9) 

     

     

    Type of question: Yes/No/Not Given

     

     

    These questions require you to determine if a statement matches the information in the passage (Yes), contradicts it (No), or if there's insufficient information (Not Given).

     

    How to best answer: 

     

     

    • Read Carefully: Understand the statement in the question, noting specific details.
    • Scan for Evidence: Quickly find where in the passage the relevant information might be.
    • Evaluate Evidence: Look for direct support or contradiction of the statement in the passage.
    • Make a Decision: Decide if the statement is supported (Yes), contradicted (No), or if there's not enough information to decide (Not Given).

     

    6. Yes

     

    Reference: Paragraph A "It has only been possible to make a living studying the workings of nature for the past century or two." 

     

     

    Explanation: The statement aligns with the passage, emphasising that professional scientists making a living from their studies is a recent phenomenon over the past century or two.

     

     

    7. No

     

    Reference: Paragraph B "amateurs are also interested in acoustics, horticulture, ornithology, meteorology, hydrology, and palaeontology." 

     

     

    Explanation: The statement directly matches the information provided in Paragraph B, which lists these fields among those of interest to amateurs.

     

     

    8. Yes

     

    Reference: Paragraph G "Some amateur palaeontologists, according to Dr. Hunt, are disappointed when told they cannot take their findings home." 

     

     

    Explanation: This statement correlates with the discussion in Paragraph G about amateur palaeontologists expressing disappointment over not being allowed to keep their discoveries.

     

     

    9. Yes

     

    Reference: Paragraph H "Dr. S. Carlson, the Society for Amateur Scientists founder, received a $290,000 award last year for his efforts to promote such collaboration." 

     

     

    Explanation: The passage in Paragraph H confirms that Dr. S. Carlson received an award for promoting collaboration between amateurs and professionals, aligning with the statement that he received a $290,000 award.

    Questions and Answers 10-14
  • This reading passage has ten paragraphs, A–J.
  • Which paragraph contains the following information?
  • Write the correct letter, A - J, as your answer to each question.
  •  

     

    10. Science is becoming increasingly specialised and compartmentalised.


    11. Amateurs are also interested in acoustics, horticulture, etc.


    12. Amateurs contribute enthusiasm and talent while professionals provide guidance.


    13. Rick Bonney believes that amateurs have made the most contributions in his field.


    14. Amateurs can make valuable contributions to rocketry and palaeontology. 


     

    In Praise of Amateurs Reading Answers with Explanation (10-14)

     

     

    Type of question: Matching Information 


     

    Matching Information questions in the IELTS Reading test assess your ability to locate specific details within a passage and match them to corresponding paragraphs. 


     

    How to best answer: 

     

     

    • Skim the passage: Begin by quickly reading through the passage to grasp its overall content and organisation.
    • Read the statements: Carefully review each statement provided in the question. Highlight key terms or phrases that are likely to appear in the passage.
    • Systematic approach: Methodically go through each paragraph, comparing its content with the highlighted terms from the statements.
    • Match details: Identify the paragraph where the specific information from the statement can be found. Ensure the information aligns accurately with the details provided in the passage.


     

    10. Paragraph A


     

    Reference: "Science is becoming increasingly specialised and compartmentalised, with experts knowing more and more about less and less."


     

    Explanation: This statement reflects the trend in Paragraph A, where modern science is depicted as becoming more specialised.


     

    10. Paragraph B


     

    Reference: "In addition to astronomy, amateurs are also interested in acoustics, horticulture, ornithology, meteorology, hydrology, and palaeontology."


     

    Explanation: This matches the information provided in Paragraph B about the diverse interests of amateurs beyond astronomy.


     

    12. Paragraph I


     

    Reference: "Amateurs contribute enthusiasm and talent, while professionals provide guidance"


     

    Explanation: This statement summarises the collaborative dynamic described in Paragraph I between amateurs and professionals.


     

    13. Paragraph G


     

    Reference: "Rick Bonney of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, believes that amateurs have made the most contributions."


     

    Explanation: This directly identifies Rick Bonney's viewpoint, as discussed in Paragraph G, regarding the significant contributions of amateurs.


     

    14. Paragraph C


     

    Reference: "Amateurs can make valuable contributions in fields ranging from rocketry to palaeontology."


     

    Explanation: This statement aligns with the information in Paragraph C, which discusses the valuable contributions amateurs can make across various fields of study.


     

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    FAQs

    Q. Can I reschedule my IELTS Reading test?

    Ans.  Yes, you can reschedule your IELTS test, but you cannot reschedule the Reading module alone. If needed, you must reschedule your entire IELTS test. Rescheduling can be done through the official IELTS IDP India website.


     

    Is there negative marking in the IELTS Reading test?

    Ans. No, the IELTS Reading test does not have negative marking. You receive one mark for each correct answer and zero for incorrect ones. It's advisable to attempt all questions to maximize your score potential.


     

    Q. Are punctuation mistakes penalized in the IELTS Reading test?

    Ans. Yes, punctuation mistakes do lead to lost marks in the IELTS Reading test. Since IELTS assesses language proficiency, accuracy in punctuation, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary usage is crucial. Pay attention to these details to demonstrate your language skills effectively.