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IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 3: Reading Passage 2; The Nature of Genius; with best solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

This post on IELTS Reading focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 3 Reading Passage 2 which is entitled ‘The Nature of Genius’. This is a targeted 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 gradual process and I sincerely hope this post can help you in your IELTS Reading preparation.

IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 3: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 2:

The headline of the passage: The Nature of Genius

Questions 14-18 (Choosing from list of factors):

[In this question type, IELTS candidates are provided with a list of factors with a question. Candidates must find out three/four or five factors that matches with the questions. Most of the time, the answers can be found in one or two paragraphs.

TIPS: Both skimming and scanning are needed for this kind of question. You need to skim the passage to find out the paragraph where the answers can be found. Then you can scan it to find all the answers. The answers can be written in any order.]

Question for 14-18: Below are listed some popular beliefs about genius and giftedness.

Which FIVE of these beliefs are reported by the writer of the text?

For this question, we have to find out the paragraph where popular beliefs about genius and giftedness are reported.

A quick skimming of paragraph A indicates that the answers can’t be found there. Now, in paragraph B, take a look at lines 2-3, “. . .In the mythology of giftedness. . ..”

Here, mythology = popular beliefs.

Now, let’s match the answers:

In lines 4-5, “.. . .. that intellectuals are impractical, that prodigies burn too brightly too soon and burn out, … ..”.

Here, prodigies = gifted people/genius people, burn out = exhausted,

This information matches with the answer B

In lines 10-11, “… . that people with gifts have a responsibility to use them. . . ”.

Here, have a responsibility = should, use them = use their gifts,

This information matches with the answer C.

In lines 6-7, “… . that genius runs in families. . . ”.

Here, genius runs in families = Genius is inherited, 

This information matches with the answer F.

In line no. 9, “… . that genius goes unrecognized and unrewarded. . . ”.

Here, genius goes unrecognized and unrewarded = People never appreciate true genius,

This information matches with the answer H.

In line no. 10, “… . that adversity makes men wise . . . ”.

Here, adversity = difficulties, develop their greatness = makes men wise,

This information matches with the answer J.

The other options such as A, D, E, G, I, K, do not match with the information provided in paragraph B.

So the answers are: (in any order)







Questions 19-26 (TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN)

In this type of question, candidates are asked to find out whether:

The statement in the question agrees with the information in the passage – TRUE
The statement in the question contradicts the information in the passage – FALSE
If there is no information on this – NOT GIVEN

[For this type of question, you can divide each statement into three independent pieces and make your way through with the answer.]

Question 19: Nineteenth-century studies of the nature of genius failed to take into account the uniqueness of the person’s upbringing.

Keywords for this question: Nineteenth-century studies, failed to take into account, uniqueness, person’s upbringing,

We find the reference of 19th century studies in paragraph no. 3. Now, take a look at lines 7-9, “. . However, the difficulty with the evidence produced by these studies, fascinating as they are in collecting together anecdotes and apparent similarities and exceptions, is that they are not what we would today call norm-referenced.

Here, norm-referenced means followed by a fixed principle.  Here, the principle is to maintain standard in upbringing a genius person, which was not maintained properly as “. … the cases studied were members of the privileged classes” (line no. 16). Therefore, the information matches with the question.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 20: Nineteenth-century studies of genius lacked both objectivity and a proper scientific approach.

Keywords for this question: Nineteenth-century studies, lacked, objectivity, proper scientific approach,    

The last sentence of paragraph no. 3 points us to the answer, “It was only with the growth of paediatrics and psychology in the twentieth century that studies could be carried out on a more objective, if still not always very scientific, basis.”

This sentence directly indicates that 19th century studies on genius could not be conducted on an objective basis and that scientific approach was not so proper.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 21: A true genius has general powers capable of excellence in any area.

Keywords for this question: true genius, general powers, excellence in any area,   

Let’s have a look at paragraph no. 4 for this question’s answer. In lines 9-10, the writer gives reference to Dr. Samuel Johnson’s observation, “ ‘The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to particular direction’. We may disagree with the ‘general’, for we doubt if all musicians of genius could have become scientists of genius or vice versa, …. ..”

This means a genius person does not have general powers which make him or her capable of excellence in any area; otherwise musicians could easily be become scientists. So, the information is contradictory to the question.

So, the answer is: FALSE

Question 22: The skills of ordinary individuals are in essence the same as the skills of prodigies.

Keywords for this question: skills, ordinary individuals, in essence, same, prodigies,   

Take a look at lines 1-2 of paragraph no. 5, “.. …the achievements of prodigies are the manifestations of skills or abilities which are similar to, but also much superior to, our own.”

Here, are similar to = the same as

Remember, the line means that the skills of ordinary people are mainly the same as the genius people, only genius people can use them in a superior way.

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 23: The ease with which truly great ideas are accepted and taken for granted fails to lessen their significance.

Keywords for this question: ease, truly great ideas, accepted and taken for granted, fails, lessen, significance,   

In paragraph no. 5, in lines 4-8, the writer illustrates that “. .. .the hard-won discoveries of scientists like Kepler or Einstein become the commonplace knowledge of schoolchildren and the colours of an artist like Paul Klee so soon appear on the fabrics we wear. This does not minimise the supremacy of their achievements….”

Here, This does not = fails, lessen = minimize, commonplace knowledge = the ease,

Therefore, great ideas (hard-won discoveries) are accepted and taken for granted means that even schoolchildren can learn them. 

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 24: Giftedness and genius deserve proper scientific research into their true nature so that all talent may be retained for the human race.

Keywords for this question: Giftedness and genius, deserve, proper scientific research, true nature, all talent, retained for the human race,

In the passage we do not find any information regarding what genius really is, in order for all talent to be retained.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question 25: Geniuses often pay a high price to achieve greatness.

Keywords for this question: Geniuses, often, pay, high price, achieve greatness,    

In paragraph 6, lines 7-10, the writer talks about what genius people have to go through to achieve greatness, “We may envy their achievements and fame, but we should also recognise the price they may have paid in terms of perseverance, single-mindedness, dedication, restrictions on their personal lives, the demands upon their energies and time, and how often they had to display great courage to preserve their integrity or to make their way to the top.”

This means genius people have to pay a great price to reach the top of their success.  

So, the answer is: TRUE

Question 26: To be a genius is worth the high personal cost.

Keywords for this question: to be a genius, worth, high personal cost,   

In paragraph 6, the writer mentions about the high price that genius people may have paid to achieve greatness. However, we find no reference to whether all the personal costs, restrictions on their personal lives, demands on their time, dedication, energy and all other matters, are quite worthy of becoming a genius.”

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 3 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 3 Reading Passage 3

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