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The Vikings Wayfaring Ways 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 your ability to comprehend and interpret written English. In this section, you'll encounter a variety of texts ranging from descriptive and factual to analytical and discursive. You'll be tested on your ability to understand main ideas, details, implied meanings, and writer’s opinions, as well as your ability to follow the development of an argument.

 

Key Highlights of the IELTS Reading Section:


 

  • Three passages of increasing difficulty, each with a set of questions.
  • A variety of text types, including articles, reports, advertisements, and literary texts.
  • A total of 40 questions were designed to test different reading skills, such as skimming, scanning, and comprehension.
  • A time limit of 60 minutes to complete the entire section.

     

In "The Vikings Wayfaring Ways" passage, you'll delve into the fascinating world of Viking exploration and navigation. Explore how the Vikings, skilled seafarers of ancient Scandinavia, navigated the vast seas using rudimentary yet remarkably effective methods. Learn about their legendary expeditions, trade routes, and the impact of their exploration on world history.

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1. The Vikings Wayfaring Ways 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. The Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Vikings Wayfaring Ways

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1.

The Vikings Wayfaring Ways 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 Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Passage


 

 

Paragraph 1

There have been many shifting interpretations of Vikings over the past century. It's intriguing to learn how Vikings have been used to establish nations.

 

Paragraph 2

Vikings are also referred to as Norse or Norsemen in the English language. Words like "blunder," "snub," "take," and "want," as well as the nouns "Hell," "husband," and "law" and "window," all have their roots in Old Norse and have had a major impact on the formation of the English language. The word "Viking" has several possible meanings, including "a Scandinavian pirate," "obscure," or a reference to a place called Vik in modern-day Norway, where the pirates originated. Different groups have been referred to as Vikings, Norse, or Norsemen throughout history, and some scholars even question the use of the term "Viking" itself.

 

Paragraph 3

The Viking Age lasted roughly from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh century. In AD 793, Vikings sailed to England to plunder coastal monasteries; after their success, they ruled over large swaths of the country, and several of their kings even ascended to the English throne. It is generally agreed that the Norman French invasion of 1066, at the Battle of Hastings, marked the end of the English Viking Age. However, the Viking Age ended earlier in Ireland, and the Viking colonies in Iceland and Greenland did not disband until the early sixteenth century.

 

Paragraph 4

The extent to which the Vikings extended beyond Scandinavia and Western Europe is also a matter of some debate. Archaeological evidence has yet to confirm that Vikings raided as far as Northwest Africa, as some writers claim, but they did plunder and settle down the Volga and Dnieper rivers and trade with modern-day Istanbul.

 

Paragraph 5

As many Vikings did not return to Scandinavia after raiding but instead assimilated into local populations, many of whom became Christians, the issue of control and extent is complicated. Religion defined the Viking Age to some extent. Vikings were polytheists at first, worshipping multiple gods, but by the end of the age, they had permanently accepted a new monotheistic religious system - Christianity.

Paragraph 6

There has been a widespread narrative throughout the last few centuries that emphasises the significance of a change in leadership from uncivilised pagans to more enlightened Christians. As an example, in the 1970s, United Kingdom schoolchildren were taught that the Vikings were bad, barbaric heathens who had ravaged Britain before they converted to Christianity. Today's youth, on the other hand, have the opportunity to visit museums that honour the Vikings not just as conquerors but also as merchants, pastoralists, artists, and proponents of a distinctive worldview.

 

Paragraph 7

To what extent do other definitions of Vikings exist? Historians in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, all in the nineteenth century, created their own Viking ages for nationalistic reasons. Each of those three nations was experiencing a crisis at the time. Following a crushing military defeat, Denmark had to surrender territory in what is now Germany. As Norway's economy struggled after its 1905 independence from Sweden, its citizens looked to the past and present to forge a unique national identity. The Norwegian historian Gustav Storm was adamant that his ancestors, not the Swedes or the Danes, had colonised Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland, the area that is now Canada. In the meantime, Sweden had lost Norway to the Norwegians and Finland to the Russians, so the country was eager in the late nineteenth century to improve its reputation by showcasing the splendour of its Viking past through priceless archaeological finds.

 

Paragraph 8

An Englishman, Herbert Spencer, who described people and cultures in evolutionary terms similar to those of Charles Darwin, had an impact on nineteenth-century thinkers and helped to bolster nationalism. Spencer popularised the term "survival of the fittest," which incorporates the idea that humanity makes moral and technological advancements over time. Therefore, the conversion of the Viking heathens to Christianity was seen as a positive development. The archaeological record seems to show that heathen Vikings and Christian Europeans were equally brutal, so modern historians do not compare cultures in the same way.

 

Paragraph 9

Not only do historians' perspectives on the Vikings shift based on the circumstances of their research but also on the sources they consult. Some Danish historians dismiss these works as "mere legends" because they were written up to 300 years after the events they describe.

 

Paragraph 10

Most of what is known about the Vikings from the modern era comes from writers of other cultures, such as the ninth-century Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh. The Vikings had a written language carved on large stones, but few of these survive today.

 

Paragraph 11

The impact of the Vikings on Russia has been widely interpreted in the last 40 years. Many historians who are not native Russians believe that a Viking king named Rurik established a kingdom in what is now western Russia and the Ukraine. After 862, Rurik's offspring maintained their dynastic position. There is abundant proof of this colonisation, including surviving runic inscriptions in Sweden that detail the conquests, loan words from Old Norse in Russian and Ukrainian, and the continued use of Scandinavian first names like Igor and Olga. During the Soviet era, however, the widespread Slavic ancestry of the Russian people was celebrated. (The Slavs first appear in historical records around the sixth century AD and are generally believed to have originated in Eastern Europe.) During the Cold War, efforts were made to promote this Slavic identity in order to differentiate it from that of their Nordic neighbours, the Swedes.

 

Paragraph 12

Many contemporary Russians see themselves as hybrids, and this perception is widespread. Recent genetic studies lend credence to the idea of a Norse colonisation of Russia; Western Russian DNA is found to be consistent with that of people living in an area of Sweden north of Stockholm.

 

Paragraph 13

Modern historians have access to a wide range of resources, making their findings appear less contested. Along with deciphering runes and building formidable ships, we now have linguistics, numismatics, dendrochronology, archaeozoology, palaeobotany, ice crystallography, climate analysis, and DNA analysis at our disposal. Historians, despite these advances, are still products of their time.

2.

The Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about The Vikings Wayfaring Ways

Questions and Answers 1-8
  • Look at the following statements and the list of times and places below.
  • Match each statement with the correct place or time: A-H
  • Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

 

 

1. Viking history is more related to legends than facts, according to the declaration made by the historians.
 

2. Locals are nearly related to the Swedes according to the DNA tests.
 

3. People consider themselves to be unconnected to Vikings.
 

4. The happenings of Viking culture were documented by a geographer.
 

5. After a territorial loss, Viking conquests were overstated to boost the mentioned pride.
 

6. A historian believes his nation supplied the original Viking settlers of what is now Canada.
 

7. Viking culture and economic activities are learnt by young individuals.
 

8. Cultures are categorised hierarchically by a philosopher. 


 

List of times & places

 

A. In 19th century England                           
B. In Russia today
C. In Denmark today
D. In 9th century Persia
E. In 19th century Norway
F.  In mid 20th century Soviet Union
G.  In the UK today
H.  In the 19th century Sweden


 

The Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Answers with Explanations (1-8)

 

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 correspond 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. C - In Denmark today

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 9: "Not only do historians' perspectives on the Vikings shift based on the circumstances of their research but also on the sources they consult. Some Danish historians dismiss these works as 'mere legends' because they were written up to 300 years after the events they describe."
 

Explanation

Danish historians, influenced by the gap between Viking events and recorded accounts, often dismiss Viking history as more mythical than factual, shaping a contemporary perspective that views Viking history through a lens of legend rather than concrete evidence.


 

2. B - In Russia today

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 12: "Recent genetic studies lend credence to the idea of a Norse colonisation of Russia; Western Russian DNA is found to be consistent with that of people living in an area of Sweden north of Stockholm."

 

Explanation

Modern DNA analysis reveals a genetic affinity between Russians and Swedes, indicating a historical connection to Viking settlers, shaping the contemporary understanding of Viking influence in Russia today.


 

3. F - In mid-20th century Soviet Union

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 11: "During the Soviet era, however, the widespread Slavic ancestry of the Russian people was celebrated."

 

Explanation

In the mid-20th century Soviet Union, the emphasis on Slavic identity overshadowed connections to Viking heritage, reflecting a political narrative that sought to differentiate Russian identity from Nordic influences.


 

4. D - In 9th-century Persia

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 10: "Most of what is known about the Vikings from the modern era comes from writers of other cultures, such as the ninth-century Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh."
 

Explanation

Viking culture was documented by non-Nordic sources like the Persian geographer Ibn Khordadbeh, providing valuable insights into Viking history and expanding the global understanding of their civilization.


 

5. H - In 19th-century Sweden

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: "To what extent do other definitions of Vikings exist? Historians in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, all in the nineteenth century, created their own Viking—--late nineteenth century to improve its reputation by showcasing the splendour of its Viking past through priceless archaeological finds."
 

Explanation

Nationalistic sentiments in 19th-century Sweden fueled claims of Viking colonisation by historians like Gustav Storm, contributing to a narrative that emphasised Sweden's role in Viking history and its colonial achievements.


 

6. E - In 19th-century Norway

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 7: “Historians in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, all in the nineteenth century, created their own Viking ages for nationalistic reasons. Each of those three nations was experiencing a crisis at the time. Following a crushing military defeat, Denmark had to surrender territory in what is now Germany. As Norway's economy struggled after its 1905 independence from Sweden, its citizens looked to the past and present to forge a unique national identity. The Norwegian historian Gustav Storm was adamant that his ancestors, not the Swedes or the Danes, had colonised Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland, the area that is now Canada”.

 

Explanation

In 19th-century Norway, historical narratives about Viking colonisation were shaped by the country's political and economic challenges, fostering a sense of national identity rooted in Viking heritage and colonial exploits.


 

7. G - In the UK today

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 6: “As an example, in the 1970s, United Kingdom schoolchildren were taught that the Vikings were bad, barbaric heathens who had ravaged Britain before they converted to Christianity. Today's youth, on the other hand, have the opportunity to visit museums that honour the Vikings not just as conquerors but also as merchants, pastoralists, artists, and proponents of a distinctive worldview.”
 

Explanation

Contemporary understanding of Vikings in the UK is shaped by educational initiatives that portray Vikings as multifaceted figures, highlighting their contributions beyond warfare and conquest, thus presenting a more nuanced view of Viking culture to younger generations.


 

8. A - In 19th-century England

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 8: “An Englishman, Herbert Spencer, who described people and cultures in evolutionary terms similar to those of Charles Darwin, had an impact on nineteenth-century thinkers and helped to bolster nationalism”.
 

Explanation

In 19th-century England, philosopher Herbert Spencer's hierarchical view of cultures, influenced by evolutionary theory, contributed to nationalist narratives that framed the conversion of Vikings to Christianity as a positive evolutionary development, shaping contemporary perspectives on Viking history.

Questions and Answers 9
  • Which one of these titles could be perfect for this section?
  • A-E, please select the proper option.
  • If the answer is found in box 9, please write it down.

 

 

A. condensed account of Viking history
B. Recent Viking Finds
C. The modern craze for Vikings
D. Different Views on the Vikings
E. History and Viking nationalism

 

The Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Answers with Explanations (9)

 

Type of question: Matching Headings

 

In this question type, you will be asked to choose the correct heading for each paragraph from a list of headings provided. This type of question assesses your ability to understand the main idea or theme of each paragraph.

 

How to best answer: 

 

  • Familiarise yourself with the list of headings before reading the paragraphs. This helps you know what to look for.
  • Identify the main idea or theme of each paragraph by looking for topic sentences or recurring themes.
  • Find keywords or phrases that are similar to those in the headings. This can help you make connections.
  • Eliminate incorrect options that don't match any paragraphs to narrow down your choices.
  • Skim and Scan each paragraph efficiently to get a context about the content.


 

9. D - Different Views on the Vikings

 

Reference:

 

Reference: The entire passage
 

Explanation

The passage explores the diverse perspectives on Viking history, highlighting how historians' views are shaped by their research circumstances and consulted sources. It delves into debates surrounding Viking accounts, indicating a spectrum of interpretations that reflect differing cultural and nationalistic agendas. Therefore, "Different Views on the Vikings" aptly encapsulates the section's thematic focus on varied historical interpretations.

Questions and Answers 10-14
  • Complete the notes below.
  • Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS OR A NUMBER for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 10-14 on your answer sheet.

 

 

Origins:  The word "Viking" is a 10)  ________.
                Vikings came from Scandinavia_________
 
 

Dates of the Viking Age:  AD 11)  ______________-1066 in Britain 

  • Length varies elsewhere
  • In doubt- but most of Europe


Territorial extent: Possibility of a far-ranging raid, possibly reaching 12). ___________
 

End of the Viking Age: The Vikings have fully embraced the 13). _______________, and the 14)  _________________ system. 


 

The Vikings Wayfaring Ways Reading Answers with Explanations (10-14)

 

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.


 

10. Obscure

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 2: "The word "Viking" has several possible meanings, including "a Scandinavian pirate," "obscure," or a reference to a place called Vik in modern-day Norway.”

 

Explanation

The term "obscure" reflects the uncertainty surrounding the exact origin and meaning of the word "Viking," indicating ambiguity in its definition.


 

11. 793

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 3: "In AD 793, Vikings sailed to England to plunder coastal monasteries; after their success, they ruled over large swaths of the country, and several of their kings even ascended to the English throne."
 

Explanation

AD 793 marks the beginning of the Viking Age, as it signifies the first recorded Viking raid on England, initiating a period of Viking expansion and influence.


 

12. Northwest Africa

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 4: "Archaeological evidence has yet to confirm that Vikings raided as far as Northwest Africa."

 

Explanation

Despite claims of Viking raids in Northwest Africa, archaeological evidence remains inconclusive, casting doubt on the extent of Viking territorial expansion into this region.


 

13. Local populations

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 5: "As many Vikings did not return to Scandinavia after raiding, but instead assimilated into local populations, many of whom became Christians, the issue of control and extent."
 

Explanation

The Vikings' integration into local communities, rather than returning home after raids, contributed to their assimilation into various societies, leading to cultural and religious shifts. This highlights the complexity of Viking influence and control, which extended beyond mere territorial conquest to include social and religious interactions with local populations.


 

14. Religious

 

Reference:

 

From paragraph 5: “Vikings were polytheists at first, worshipping multiple gods, but by the end of the age, they had permanently accepted a new monotheistic religious system - Christianity.”

 

Explanation

The Vikings' transition from polytheism to Christianity signifies a significant religious transformation during the Viking Age, highlighting the adoption of monotheistic beliefs as a defining aspect of their cultural evolution.

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FAQs

Q. How can I answer multiple choice questions for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.  When tackling multiple-choice questions in the IELTS reading test, carefully read instructions and questions, quickly skim the text to find relevant sections, eliminate incorrect options, and make educated guesses when unsure. Practice refining your approach to achieve a commendable score on the test.


 

Q. What is the IELTS Reading test format?

Ans. The IELTS Reading test has three sections, each with a different type of text, like passages from books, newspapers, magazines, or online resources. You'll have 60 minutes to answer 40 questions and must transfer your answers onto an answer sheet within this time.


 

Q. How are the passages selected for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The passages are carefully selected to represent the kinds of materials you might come across in academic or everyday English-speaking situations. They include a variety of topics and may feature excerpts from books, magazines, newspapers, or online articles.