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IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 1: Reading Passage 3; Telepathy; with top solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 1: Reading Passage 3; Telepathy; with top solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 1 Reading Passage 3 which is entitled ‘Telepathy’. This is an aimed post for IELTS candidates who have great problems in finding answers for the Academic Reading module. This post can guide you the best to comprehend each Reading answer without facing much difficulty. Tracing IELTS Reading answers is a slow process and I sincerely hope this post can assist you in your IELTS Reading preparation.

IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 1: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 3:

The headline of the passage: Telepathy

Questions 27-30   (Completing sentences/sentence completion)

[Here, candidates have to complete sentences by matching one part of the sentence with the other. Candidates need to check the keywords from the question parts and try to match those keywords with the information given in the passage.]

Question 27: Researchers with differing attitudes towards telepathy agree on   

Keywords for this question: differing attitudes, agree on,

The author mentions in lines 1-5 of paragraph no. 2, “Some researchers say the results constitute compelling evidence that telepathy is genuine. Other parapsychologists believe the field is on the brink of collapse, having tried to produce definitive scientific proof and failed. Sceptics and advocates alike do concur on one issue, however: that the most impressive evidence so far has come from the so-called ‘ganzfeld experiments’, a German term that means ‘whole field’.”

Here, Researchers with differing attitudes = Sceptics and advocates, agree on = concur on,

So, the answer is: E (the significance of the ganzfeld experiments.)

Question 28: Reports of experiences during meditation indicated  

Keywords for this question: experiences, during, meditation,   

The answer is found in paragraph no. 2. Here in lines 5-10, the author says, “. . . . Reports of telepathic experiences had by people during meditation led parapsychologists to suspect that telepathy might involve ‘signals’ passing between people that were so faint that they were usually swamped by normal brain activity. In this case, such signals might be more easily detected by those experiencing meditation-like tranquility in a relaxing ‘whole- field’ of light, sound and warmth.”

The lines suggest that a suitable environment such as tranquility in a relaxing ‘whole- field’ of light, sound and warmth needs to be created for telepathy.

So, the answer is: B (the need to create a suitable environment for telepathy.)

Question 29: Attitudes to parapsychology would alter drastically with

Keywords for this question: Attitudes to parapsychology, alter drastically,

The answer lies in the first few lines of the final paragraph. Here, in lines 4-6 the writer says, “While physicists have demonstrated entanglement with specially prepared atoms, no-one knows if it also exists between atoms making up human minds. Answering such questions would transform parapsychology.”  

Here, transform = alter drastically

The lines suggest that attitudes to parapsychology would completely change if any results can be found on whether specially prepared atoms are making up human minds or not.

So, the answer is: A (the discovery of a mechanism for telepathy.)

Question 30: Recent autoganzfeld trials suggest that success rates will improve with  

Keywords for this question: Recent autoganzfeld trials, success rates, improve with,

In the final paragraph, in lines 8-13, the answer can be found. Here, the author writes, “Some work has begun already, with researchers trying to identify people who are particularly successful in autoganzfeld trials. Early results show that creative and artistic people do much better than average: in one study at the University of Edinburgh, musicians achieved a hit-rate of 56 percent. Perhaps more tests like these will eventually give the researchers the evidence they are seeking and strengthen the case for the existence of telepathy.”

Here, hit rate = success rate, creative and artistic people or musicians = careful selection of subjects,

So, the answer is: F (a more careful selection of subjects.)

Questions 31-40: (Completing table)

[In this type of question, candidates are asked to complete different gaps in a table with NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage. Keywords are important to find answers correctly. Generally, this type of question maintains a sequence. However, we should not be surprised if the sequence is not maintained. Find the keywords in the passage and you are most likely to find the answers.]

Here is the table with the title: Telepathy Experiments

Question 31, 32 & 33:


Involved a person acting as a 31. ________ who picked out one 32. ________ from a random selection of four, and a 33. _________ , who then tried to identify it.

Keywords for this question: Ganzfeld studies 1982, person acting as,

In paragraph 3, in the paragraph where the writer explains the early Ganzfeld experiments in 1982, in lines 3-6, the writer says, “In early ganzfeld experiments, the telepathy test involved identification of a picture chosen from a random selection of four taken from a large image bank. The idea was that a person acting as a ‘sender’ would attempt to beam the image over to the ‘receiver’ relaxing in the sealed room.”

The lines indicate that the 1982 Ganzfeld studies involved a person, who acted as a ‘sender’, picked out one picture from a random selection of four pictures, and a receiver tried to identify it.  

So, the answers are:

  1. sender
  2. picture/image
  3. receiver

Question 34 & 35:


Positive results could be produced by factors such as 34. __________  or 35. __________ .

Keywords for this question: flaw, positive results could be produced, factors,    

In lines 4-6 of paragraph 4, the writer explains the flaw of the experiments, “ . . .. . . . there were many other ways of getting positive results. These ranged from ‘sensory leakage’ – where clues about the pictures accidentally reach the receiver – to outright fraud.”

Here, sensory leakage and outright fraud are the factors the range is explained here using the prepositions ‘from’ and ‘to’.

So, the answers are:

  1. sensory leakage
  2. (outright) fraud

Question 36 & 37:


  1. ________ were used for key tasks to limit the amount of 37. _________ in carrying out the tests.

Keywords for this question: Autoganzfeld studies 1987, key tasks, limit the amount of,    

In paragraph 5, the writer says in the beginning, “After this, many researchers switched to autoganzfeld tests – an automated variant of the technique which used computers to perform many of the key tasks such as random selection of images. By minimising human involvement, the idea was to minimise the risk of flawed results.”

Here, limit = minimise,

So, they used computers to limit the amount of human involvement.

So, the answers are:

  1. computers
  2. human involvement

Question 38:


The results were then subjected to ________.

Keywords for this question: results, subjected to,

The answer lies in lines 4-6 of paragraph 5, the writer says, “In 1987, results from hundreds of autoganzfeld tests were studied by Honorton in a ‘meta-analysis’, a statistical technique for finding the overall results from a set of studies.”

Here, tests were studied by Honorton in = the results were then subjected to,

So, the answer is: meta-analysis

Question 39 & 40:


  1. ________ between different test results was put down to the fact that sample groups were not 40. ________ (as with most ganzfeld studies)

Keywords for this question: different test results, put down, sample groups were not,   

In paragraph 6, the writer says in lines 1-6, “Yet some parapsychologists remain disturbed by the lack of consistency between individual ganzfeld tests. Defenders of telepathy point out that demanding impressive evidence from every study ignores one basic statistical fact: it takes large samples to detect small effects. If, as current results suggest, telepathy produces hit-rates only marginally above the 25 percent expected by chance, it’s unlikely to be detected by a typical ganzfeld study involving around 40 people: the group is just not big enough.”

Here, different test results = individual ganzfeld tests,

So, the answer is:

  1. lack of consistency
  2. big enough

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 1 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 1 Reading Passage 2

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