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The Department of Ethnography Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The IELTS Reading section is designed to assess a wide range of reading skills, including your ability to read for gist, main ideas, and details, understand inferences and implied meaning, recognise a writer's opinions, attitudes, and purpose, and follow the development of an argument. 

 

You will encounter three reading passages, each progressively harder, and you must answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. The texts are authentic and taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. They are selected to appeal to a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.
 

Key highlights of the Reading section:

 

  • Three reading passages of increasing difficulty.
  • 40 questions to be answered in one hour.
  • Authentic texts from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Assessment of a wide range of reading skills.
  • Suitable for those pursuing higher education or professional registration.

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1. The Department of Ethnography Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 12 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. The Department of Ethnography Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Department of Ethnography

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1.

The Department of Ethnography 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.

 

 

 

 

The Department of Ethnography Reading Passage


 

 

Paragraph A: The Department of Ethnography was created as a separate department within the British Museum in 1946, offering 140 years of gradual development from the original Department of Antiquities. It is concerned with the people of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific, and parts of Europe. While this includes complex kingdoms, as in Africa, and ancient empires, such as those of the Americas, the primary focus of attention in the twentieth century has been on small-scale societies. Through its collections, the Department's specific interest is to document how objects are created and used and to understand their importance and significance to those who produce them. Such objects can include both the extraordinary and the mundane, the beautiful and the banal.

 

Paragraph B: The collections of the Department of Ethnography include approximately 300,000 artefacts, of which about half are the product of the present century. The Department has a vital role to play in providing information on non-Western cultures to visitors and scholars. To this end, the collecting emphasis has often been less on individual objects than on groups of material which allow the display of a broad range of a society's cultural expressions.

 

Paragraph C: Much of the more recent collecting was carried out in the field, sometimes by Museum staff working on general anthropological projects in collaboration with a wide variety of national governments and other institutions. The material collected includes great technical series - for instance, textiles from Bolivia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and areas of West Africa - or artefact types such as boats. The latter includes working examples of coracles from India, reed boats from Lake Titicaca in the Andes, kayaks from the Arctic, and dug-out canoes from several countries. The field assemblages, such as those from Sudan, Madagascar, and Yemen, include a whole range of material cultures representative of one person. This might cover the necessities of life of an African herdsman or an Arabian farmer, ritual objects, or even, on occasion, airport art. Again, a series of acquisitions might represent a decade's fieldwork documenting the social experience as expressed in the varieties of clothing and jewellery styles, tents, and camel trappings from various Middle Eastern countries or in the developing preferences in personal adornment and dress from Papua New Guinea. Particularly interesting is a series of collections that continue to document the evolution of ceremony and of material forms for which the Department already possesses early (if not the earliest) collections formed after the first contact with Europeans.

 

Paragraph D: The importance of these acquisitions extends beyond the objects themselves. They come to the Museum with documentation of the social context, ideally including photographic records. Such acquisitions have multiple purposes. Most significantly they document for future change. Most people think of the cultures represented in the collection in terms of the absence of advanced technology. In fact, traditional practices draw on a continuing wealth of technological ingenuity. Limited resources and ecological constraints are often overcome by personal skills that would be regarded as exceptional in the West. Of growing interest is the way in which much of what we might see as disposable is, elsewhere, recycled and reused.

 

Paragraph E: With the Independence of much of Asia and Africa after 1945, it was assumed that economic progress would rapidly lead to the disappearance or assimilation of many small-scale societies. Therefore, it was felt that the Museum should acquire materials representing people whose art or material culture, ritual, or political structures were on the point of irrevocable change. This attitude altered with the realisation that marginal communities can survive and adapt in spite of partial integration into a notoriously fickle world economy. Since the seventeenth century, with the advent of trading companies exporting manufactured textiles to North America and Asia, the importation of cheap goods has often contributed to the destruction of local skills and indigenous markets. On the one hand, modern imported goods may be used in an everyday setting, while on the other hand, other traditional objects may still be required for ritually significant events. Within this context trade and exchange, attitudes are inverted. What are utilitarian objects to a Westerner may be prized objects in other cultures - when transformed by local ingenuity - principally for aesthetic value. In some way, the West imports goods from other peoples and in certain circumstances categorises them as ‘art'.

 

Paragraph F: Collections act as an ever-expanding database, not merely for scholars and anthropologists, but for people involved in a whole range of educational and artistic purposes. These include schools and universities as well as colleges of art and design. The provision of information about non-Western aesthetics and techniques, not just for designers and artists but for all visitors, is a growing responsibility for a Department whose own context is an increasingly multicultural European society.

2.

The Department of Ethnography Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Department of Ethnography

Questions and Answers 1-6
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In boxes 1-6 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 in the passage

 

 

1. The twentieth-century collections come mainly from mainstream societies such as the US and Europe.

 

2. The Department of Ethnography focuses mainly on modern societies.

 

3. The Department concentrates on collecting single unrelated objects of great value.

 

4. The Department of Ethnography's textile collection is the largest in the world.

 

5. Traditional societies are highly inventive in terms of technology.

 

6. Many small-scale societies have survived and adapted in spite of predictions to the contrary.


 

The Department of Ethnography Reading Answers with Explanations (1-6)


 

Type of Question: True/False/Not Given

 

These types of questions involve choosing whether the given sentence is True/False/Not Given based on the given paragraph. 
 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Focus on understanding exactly what the statement is saying.
  • Locate the section of the passage that addresses the statement.
  • Check if the statement matches, contradicts, or isn't mentioned in the text.
  • Look for specific information, qualifiers (like "always," and "never"), and comparisons.
  • Decide the Answer:
    • True: The statement agrees with the information in the text.
    • False: The statement contradicts the information in the text.
    • Not Given: The information is not mentioned or cannot be inferred from the text.

 

 

1. False

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph A, "The Department of Ethnography was created as a separate department within the British Museum in 1946, offering 140 years of gradual development from the original Department of Antiquities. It is concerned with the people of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific, and parts of Europe." 

 

Explanation: The Department of Ethnography focuses on people from various regions, not just mainstream societies.


 

2. False

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph A, "While this includes complex kingdoms, as in Africa, and ancient empires, such as those of the Americas, the primary focus of attention in the twentieth century has been on small-scale societies." 

 

Explanation: The primary focus in the twentieth century has been on small-scale societies, not modern ones.


 

3. False

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph A, "Through its collections, the Department's specific interest is to document how objects are created and used and to understand their importance and significance to those who produce them. Such objects can include both the extraordinary and the mundane, the beautiful and the banal." 

 

Explanation: The Department documents a wide range of objects to understand their significance, not just single unrelated objects of great value.


 

4. Not Given

 

Reference:

 

The particular information is not found in the department of ethnography reading passage. 

 

Explanation: The passage does not provide specific information about the size of the textile collection relative to others in the world.


 

5. True

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph D, "In fact, traditional practices draw on a continuing wealth of technological ingenuity. Limited resources and ecological constraints are often overcome by personal skills that would be regarded as exceptional in the West." 

 

Explanation: Traditional societies show great technological ingenuity, overcoming resource limitations with exceptional skills.


 

6. True

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph E, "This attitude altered with the realisation that marginal communities can survive and adapt in spite of partial integration into a notoriously fickle world economy." 

 

Explanation: Many small-scale societies have shown resilience and adaptability despite predictions of their disappearance.

Questions and Answers 7-12
  • Match each exhibit with the collection type with which it is associated in Reading Passage 1.
  • Write the appropriate letters for questions 7-12 on your answer sheet.
Note: You may use any collection type more than once.

 

 

7. Bolivian textiles

8. Indian coracles

9. airport art

10. Arctic kayaks

11. necessities of life of an Arabian farmer

12. tents from the Middle East

 

Collection Types

 

AT Artefact Types

EC Evolution of Ceremony

FA Field Assemblages

SE Social Experience

TS Technical Series

 

 

The Department of Ethnography Reading Answers with Explanations (7-12)


 

Type of Question: Matching Features  
 

These types of questions in IELTS reading involve identifying the key information in the question and matching it with the relevant details in the passage

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Understand what you need to match, whether it's people, dates, theories, etc.
  • Find and underline keywords in both the questions and the passage to help locate relevant information.
  • Quickly scan the passage to find sections that contain the keywords or related concepts.
  • Once a potential match is found, read around the keyword to ensure it fits the context of the question.
  • If a feature doesn’t match, eliminate it and move on to the next possible match until all questions are answered.


 

7. TS

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "The material collected includes great technical series - for instance, textiles from Bolivia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and areas of West Africa..." 

 

Explanation: Bolivian textiles are part of the technical series collection, showcasing expertise in textile production techniques.


 

8. AT

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "The latter includes working examples of coracles from India..." 

 

Explanation: Indian coracles are categorised as artefact types, representing different types of boats.


 

9. FA

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "This might cover the necessities of life of an African herdsman or an Arabian farmer, ritual objects, or even on occasion airport art." 

 

Explanation: Airport art is included in field assemblages, representing various material cultures of individuals.


 

10. AT

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "The latter includes working examples of coracles from India, reed boats from Lake Titicaca in the Andes, kayaks from the Arctic..." 

 

Explanation: Arctic kayaks are part of the artefact types collection, showcasing different types of boats.


 

11. FA

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "This might cover the necessities of life of an African herdsman or an Arabian farmer..." 

 

Explanation: The necessities of life of an Arabian farmer are included in field assemblages, representing various material cultures of individuals.


 

12. SE

 

Reference:

 

From Paragraph C, "Again, a series of acquisitions might represent a decade's fieldwork documenting the social experience as expressed in the varieties of clothing and jewellery styles, tents, and camel trappings from various Middle Eastern countries..." 

 

Explanation: Tents from the Middle East represent the social experience, documenting aspects of daily life and cultural practices.

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FAQs

Q. How many passages are there in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The IELTS Reading test consists of three passages. These passages are sourced from a variety of authentic materials, such as newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. Each passage is accompanied by a set of questions that assess different reading skills, including skimming, scanning, and detailed comprehension.

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

Ans. The IELTS Reading test includes various types of questions, such as multiple choice, matching headings, True/False/Not Given, sentence completion, and summary completion. These questions are designed to evaluate a candidate's ability to comprehend written English and assess different aspects of reading skills, including understanding main ideas, identifying specific information, and making inferences from the text.

Q. How long is the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The IELTS Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. During this time, candidates are required to read three passages of increasing complexity, each followed by a set of questions. Effective time management is essential to ensure adequate time for reading and answering all questions within the allotted timeframe.