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Left Or Right Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 09, 2024, 10:25

The IELTS Reading section presents a series of challenges aimed at assessing your ability to comprehend and analyse written texts. It consists of three passages, each accompanied by questions designed to evaluate your understanding of main ideas, factual details, and the writer's opinions and attitudes.


 

To better prepare for the IELTS Reading section, you can take an IELTS practice test, which provides a realistic experience of the types of texts and questions you will face in the actual exam.


 

The 'Left Or Right' passage explores the fascinating topic of lateralisation of brain functions—how different hemispheres of the brain control specific tasks and behaviours. This passage delves into research on whether individuals exhibit dominant tendencies towards using either the left or right hemisphere for certain cognitive functions.

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1. Left Or Right 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. Left Or Right Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Left Or Right Reading Question & Answers

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1.

Left Or Right 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.

 

 

Left Or Right Reading Passage

 

 

Paragraph A

 

Creatures across the animal kingdom have a preference for one foot, eye or even antenna. The cause of this trait, called lateralisation, is fairly simple: one side of the brain, which generally controls the opposite side of the body, is more dominant than the other when processing certain tasks. This does, on some occasions, let the animal down, such as when a toad fails to escape from a snake approaching from the right just because its right eye is worse at spotting danger than its left. So why would animals evolve a characteristic that seems to endanger them?

 

 

Paragraph B

 

For many years it was assumed that lateralisation was a uniquely human trait, but this notion rapidly fell apart as researchers started uncovering evidence of lateralisation in all sorts of animals. For example, In the 1970s. Lesley Rogers, now at the University of New England in Australia, was studying memory and learning in chicks.

She had been injecting a chemical into chicks’ brains to stop them from learning how to spot grains of food among distracting pebbles and was surprised to observe that the chemical only worked when applied to the left hemisphere of the brain. That strongly suggested that the right side of the chick's brain played little or no role in the learning of such behaviours. Similar evidence appeared in songbirds and rats around the same time, and since then, researchers have built up an impressive catalogue of animal lateralisation.

 

 

Paragraph C

 

In some animals, lateralisation is simply a preference for a single paw or foot, while in others, it appears in more general patterns of behaviour. The left side of most vertebrate brains, for example, seems to process and control feeding. Since the left hemisphere processes input from the right side of the body, that means animals as diverse as fish, toads and birds are more likely to attack prey or food items viewed with their right eye. Even humpback whales prefer to use the right side of their jaws to scrape sand eels from the ocean floor.

 

 

Paragraph D

 

Genetics plays a part in determining lateralisation, but environmental factors have an impact too. Rogers found that a chick’s lateralisation depends on whether it is exposed to light before hatching from its egg – if it is kept in the dark during this period, neither hemisphere becomes dominant. In 2004, Rogers used this observation to test the advantages of brain bias in chicks faced with the challenge of multitasking.

She hatched chicks with either strong or weak lateralisation, then presented the two groups with food hidden among small pebbles and the threatening shape of a fake predator flying overhead. As predicted, the birds incubated in the light looked for food mainly with their right eye, while using the other to check out the predator The weakly-lateralized chicks, meanwhile, had difficulty performing these two activities simultaneously.

 

 

Paragraph E

 

Similar results probably hold true for many other animals. In 2006, Angelo Bisazza at the University of Padua set out to observe the differences in feeding behaviour between strongly-lateralized and weakly-lateralized fish. He found that strongly-lateralized individuals were able to feed twice as fast as weakly-lateralized ones when there was a threat of a predator looming above them. Assigning different jobs to different brain halves may be especially advantageous for animals such as birds or fish, whose eyes are placed on the sides of their heads. This enables them to process input from each side separately, with different tasks in mind.

 

 

Paragraph F

 

And what of those animals who favour a specific side for almost all tasks? In 2009, MariaMagat and Culum Brown at Macquarie University in Australia wanted to see if there was a general cognitive advantage in lateralisation. To investigate, they turned to parrots, which can be either strongly right- or left-footed or ambidextrous (without dominance). The parrots were given the intellectually demanding task of pulling a snack on a string up to their beaks using a coordinated combination of claws and beaks. The results showed that the parrots with the strongest foot preferences worked out the puzzle far more quickly than their ambidextrous peers.

 

 

Paragraph G

 

A further puzzle is why are there always a few exceptions, like left-handed humans, who are wired differently from the majority of the population? Giorgio Vallortigora and Stefano Ghirlanda of Stockholm University seem to have found the answer via mathematical models. These have shown that a group of fish is likely to survive a shark attack with the fewest casualties if the majority turn together in one direction while a very small proportion of the group escapes in the direction that the predator is not expecting.

 

 

Paragraph H

 

This imbalance of lateralisation within populations may also have advantages for individuals. Whereas most cooperative interactions require participants to react similarly, there are some situations – such as aggressive interactions – where it can benefit an individual to launch an attack from an unexpected quarter. Perhaps this can partly explain the existence of left-handers in human societies. It has been suggested that when it comes to hand-to-hand fighting, left-handers may have the advantage over the right-handed majority. Where survival depends on the element of surprise, it may indeed pay to be different.

2.

Left Or Right Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Left Or Right 

Questions and Answers 1-4

  • Complete each sentence with the correct ending. A-F, below.
  • Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet

 

 

1. In the 1970s, Lesley Rogers discovered that
2. Angelo Bissaza’s experiments revealed that
3. Magat and Brown’s studies show that
4. Vallortigora and Ghirlanda’s research findings suggest that

 


 
A. lateralisation is more common in some species than in others.
B. it benefits a population if some members have a different lateralisation than the majority.
C. lateralisation helps animals do two things at the same time.
D. lateralisation is not confined to human beings.
E. the greater an animal’s lateralisation, the better it is at problem-solving.
F. strong lateralisation may sometimes put groups of animals in danger.

 


 

Left Or Right Reading Answers with Explanations (1-4)

 

 

Type of question: Matching sentence endings

 

In this question type, you will be given incomplete sentences, and you will have to complete the end of the sentence by selecting suitable words or phrases from the given list. 

 

 

How to best answer: 

 

  • Skim through the incomplete sentences to get an idea of the context
  • Recognise keywords in each sentence
  • Scan your list of options and look for the keywords
  • Verify the context and check if the word flows with the rest of the sentence 
  • Finalise your answers



 

1. D


 

Reference

 

From paragraph B: "For example, In the 1970s. Lesley Rogers, now at the University of New England in Australia, was studying memory and learning in chicks."


 

Explanation

 

Lesley Rogers' discovery in the 1970s, as detailed in Paragraph B, showed that lateralisation, initially thought to be unique to humans, is also present in animals like chicks. This finding broadened the understanding that lateralisation extends beyond humans, indicating its prevalence across different species.


 

2. C


 

Reference

 

From paragraph E:  "In 2006, Angelo Bisazza at the University of Padua set out to observe the differences in feeding behaviour between strongly-lateralized and weakly-lateralized fish. He found that strongly-lateralized individuals were able to feed twice as fast as weakly-lateralized ones when there was a threat of a predator looming above them."

 


 

Explanation

 

Angelo Bisazza's experiments, discussed in Paragraph E, revealed that animals with strong lateralisation, such as fish, can effectively manage multiple tasks simultaneously. This capability stems from the division of tasks between brain hemispheres, allowing animals to handle feeding and threat detection concurrently.


 

3. E


 

Reference

 

From paragraph F:  "In 2009, MariaMagat and Culum Brown at Macquarie University in Australia wanted to see if there was a general cognitive advantage in lateralisation —------------ the strongest foot preferences worked out the puzzle far more quickly than their ambidextrous peers."

 


 

Explanation

 

MariaMagat and Culum Brown's research findings, presented in Paragraph F, demonstrated that animals with pronounced lateralisation, like parrots, exhibit superior problem-solving skills. Their study highlighted that animals with strong preferences for one side of tasks perform better in complex challenges compared to those without such strong preferences.


 

4. B


 

Reference

 

From paragraph G: “Giorgio Vallortigora and Stefano Ghirlanda of Stockholm University seem to have found the answer via mathematical models. These have shown that a group of fish is likely to survive a shark attack with the fewest casualties if the majority turn together in one direction while a very small proportion of the group escapes in the direction that the predator is not expecting”.


 

Explanation

 

Giorgio Vallortigora and Stefano Ghirlanda's research, outlined in Paragraph G, suggested that populations benefit when a minority of individuals exhibit different lateralisation patterns. This diversity in response strategies enhances group survival, such as evading predators effectively, by utilising unexpected movements and behaviours.


 

 

Read more about 350+ Vocabulary words for IELTS: Difficult & New English Words List For 2024

Questions and Answers 5-9

  • Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage.
  • Write your answers in boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet.

 

 

   Lesley Rogers’ 2004 Experiment



Lateralisation is determined by both genetic and 5._____________ influences. Rogers found that chicks whose eggs are given 6._________________ during the incubation period tend to have a stronger lateralisation. Her 2004 experiment set out to prove that these chicks were better at 7.________________ than weakly lateralised chicks. As expected, the strongly lateralised birds in the experiment were more able to locate 8. ________________ using their right eye while using their left eye to monitor an imitation 9._______________ located above them.

 

 

Left Or Right Reading Answers with Explanations (5-9)

 

 

Type of question: Summary completion

 

Under this task, you will be given a summary with incomplete sentences. However, you will not be given any list of words/phrases to choose 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 


 

5. Environmental


 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: "Genetics plays a part in determining lateralisation, but environmental factors have an impact too."


 

Explanation

 

The passage states that genetics and environmental factors both play significant roles in determining lateralisation. Environmental influences, such as exposure to light during incubation, can impact the development of lateralisation in chicks, as highlighted in Paragraph D. This suggests that environmental conditions can contribute to the strength of lateralisation observed in animals.



 

6. Light


 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: "She hatched chicks with either strong or weak lateralisation, then presented the two groups with food hidden among small pebbles and the threatening shape of a fake predator flying overhead."


 

Explanation

 

According to Paragraph D, Rogers conducted an experiment where she observed that chicks' lateralisation depends on exposure to light before hatching. Chicks kept in the dark during this critical period did not develop strong lateralisation. This indicates that exposure to light plays a crucial role in shaping lateralisation in chicks, emphasising the environmental factor in this behavioural trait.


 

7. Multitasking


 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: "She hatched chicks with either strong or weak lateralisation, then presented the two groups with food hidden among small pebbles and the threatening shape of a fake predator flying overhead."

 


 

Explanation

 

In Paragraph D, Rogers tested the multitasking abilities of chicks with varying degrees of lateralisation. The experiment showed that strongly lateralised chicks performed better at multitasking compared to weakly lateralised ones. This finding underscores the advantage of having strong lateralisation in handling complex tasks simultaneously, demonstrating the cognitive benefits associated with this trait.


 

8. Food


 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: "As predicted, the birds incubated in the light looked for food mainly with their right eye, while using the other to check out the predator."

 


 

Explanation

 

Paragraph D discusses Rogers' experiment, where strongly lateralised chicks were observed to be more adept at locating food, specifically using their right eye. This suggests that strong lateralisation enhances the ability to perform specific tasks, such as finding food, by focusing sensory input more effectively.


 

9. Predator


 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: "As predicted, the birds incubated in the light looked for food mainly with their right eye, while using the other to check out the predator."


 

 

Explanation

 

According to Paragraph D, strongly lateralised chicks were able to use their left eye to monitor threats from predators while using their right eye to search for food. This demonstrates that strong lateralisation enables animals to divide cognitive tasks efficiently between the brain hemispheres, enhancing their ability to manage simultaneous challenges like avoiding predators while foraging.



 

Refer to tips and tricks for the IELTS Reading section to achieve a high band score.

Questions and Answers 10-14

  • Reading Passage has eight paragraphs: A-H.
  • Which paragraph contains the following information?
  • Write the correct letter, A-H, in the boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet.
  • You may use any letter more than once.

 

 

10. description of a study which supports another scientist’s findings.

11. the suggestion that a person could gain from having an opposing lateralisation to most of the population.

12. reference to the large amount of knowledge of animal lateralisation that has accumulated.

13. research findings that were among the first to contradict a previous belief.

14. a suggestion that lateralisation would seem to disadvantage animals.


 

Left Or Right Reading Answers with Explanations (11-14)

 

 

 

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.



 

10. E


 

Reference

 

From paragraph E: "Similar results probably hold true for many other animals. In 2006, Angelo Bisazza at the University of Padua set out to observe the differences in feeding behaviour between strongly-lateralised and weakly-lateralized fish."



 

Explanation

 

Paragraph E discusses Angelo Bisazza's study on fish, highlighting how strongly lateralised individuals feed faster in the presence of predators. This study supports previous findings on lateralisation in animals by demonstrating clear behavioural advantages linked to brain lateralisation.


 

11. H


 

Reference

 

From paragraph H: "This imbalance of lateralisation within populations may also have advantages for individuals."


 

 

Explanation

 

 In Paragraph H, the advantages of having an opposing lateralisation to the majority are discussed. It suggests that individuals with unusual lateralisation, such as left-handers among predominantly right-handers, may have strategic advantages in competitive situations like hand-to-hand combat, where surprise tactics can be beneficial.


 

12. B


 

Reference

 

From paragraph B: "For many years, it was assumed that lateralisation was a uniquely human trait, but this notion rapidly fell apart as researchers started uncovering evidence of lateralisation in all sorts of animals. For example, In the 1970s. Lesley Rogers, now at the University of New England in Australia, was studying memory and learning in chicks."


 

 

Explanation

 

Paragraph B details the extensive research and accumulated knowledge regarding animal lateralisation. It highlights studies across various species, from chicks to songbirds and rats, which have contributed significantly to our understanding of how lateralisation influences behaviour and cognitive functions in animals.


 

13. B


 

Reference

 

From paragraph B: “For many years it was assumed that lateralisation was a uniquely human trait, but this notion rapidly fell apart as researchers started uncovering evidence of lateralisation in all sorts of animals—----around the same time, and since then, researchers have built up an impressive catalogue of animal lateralisation.


 

 

Explanation

 

Paragraph B discusses Lesley Rogers' research on memory and learning in chicks, which challenged the previous notion that lateralisation was unique to humans. Her findings provided early evidence that contradicted this belief, contributing to the broader understanding of lateralisation in animals.


 

14. A


 

Reference

 

From paragraph A: “Creatures across the animal kingdom have a preference for one foot, eye or even antenna. The cause of this trait, called lateralisation, is fairly simple: one side of the brain, which generally controls the opposite side of the body, is more dominant than the other when processing certain tasks.”


 

 

Explanation

 

Paragraph A introduces the concept of lateralisation across the animal kingdom and suggests a potential disadvantage where animals may fail to evade dangers due to lateralised traits. It sets the stage for understanding why some species might evolve characteristics that, at times, seem to put them at risk.

 


 

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FAQs

Q. Are spelling and grammar important in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. Yes, spelling and grammar are crucial in the IELTS Reading test. Incorrect spelling can result in marking errors, affecting your overall score. It's crucial to double-check your answers for accuracy before transferring them to the answer sheet.


 

Q. What types of texts can I expect in the Academic Reading test?

Ans. In the Academic Reading test, you can expect texts sourced from academic journals, textbooks, and articles. These passages are chosen to assess your ability to comprehend and analyse complex academic content. Familiarising yourself with such texts beforehand can enhance your reading comprehension skills and prepare you effectively for the test.

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

Ans. Regular practice with timed exercises is key to enhancing your reading speed for the IELTS Reading test. Employ skimming and scanning techniques to quickly locate essential information while reading. This approach helps you manage time effectively during the test and ensures you can grasp the main points without getting caught up in every detail.