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IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 9, Test 1: Reading Passage 2; Is there anybody out there?; with best solutions and detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 9 Test 1 Reading Passage 2 which is entitled ‘Is there anybody out there?’. This is an aimed post for candidates who have major problems in finding Reading Answers. This post can guide you the best to comprehend every Reading answer without 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 9 Test 1: AC Reading Module
Reading Passage 2:

Title of the passage: Is there anybody out there?

Questions 14-17 (List of headings):

[In this question type, IELTS candidates are provided with a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc,). A heading will refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section of the text. Candidates must find out the equivalent heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked with alphabets A, B, C, and so forth. Candidates need to write the appropriate Roman numerals in the boxes on their answer sheets. There will always be two or three more headings than there are paragraphs or sections. So, some of the headings will not be used. It is also likely that some paragraphs or sections may not be included in the task. Generally, the first paragraph is an example paragraph that will be done for the candidates for their understanding of the task.

TIPS: Skimming is the best reading technique. You need not understand every word here. Just try to gather the gist of the sentences. That’s all. Read quickly and don’t stop until you finish each sentence. ]

Question 14: Paragraph B

Here, in line no. 1 of Paragraph B, we find the mention of two ‘ground rules’ that SETI scientists adopt.

In the first ground rule, we can see the writer mentions in line no. 4-5, “.. . .(although it is also important to keep an open mind in case any really convincing evidence emerges in the future.)”. This line suggests that there is no real evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence so far, which indicates that these are only assumptions.

Again, in line no. 5, the author mentions, “. . .Second, we make a very conservative assumption that . . ..”

So, the answer is: iv (Assumptions underlying the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence)

Question 15: Paragraph C

In lines 4-6, the writer says, “. . .  However, when we look at the 100 billion stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way), and 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, it seems inconceivable that at least one of these planets does not have a life form on it; in fact, the best educated guess we can make, . .. . . that perhaps one in 100,000 stars might have a life-bearing planet orbiting it.”

Here, it seems inconceivable, best-educated guess, perhaps, might have, all these phrases indicate to the word ‘likelihood’ or possibility.

So, the answer is: vii (Likelihood of life on other planets)

Question 16: Paragraph D

Here, the first lines directly indicate the fact that SETI scientists and organizations like NASA are seeking the transmission of radio signals from other planets. “An alien civilisation could choose many different ways of sending information across the galaxy, . .. .” Then, in the next lines, we see discussion on radio signals, “. . . .. radio waves in the frequency range 1000 to 3000 MHz travel the greatest distance.” After that, in lines 11-12, we can learn about NASA getting a large fund from the government which is dedicated to locate or seek radio signals from other planets, “.. .Much of the money in this project is being spent on developing the special hardware needed to search many frequencies at once.”

So, the answer is: i (Seeking the transmission of radio signals from planets)

Question 17: Paragraph E

The answer is in the first lines of paragraph E. “There is considerable debate over how we should react if we detect a signal from an alien civilisation. Everybody agrees that we should not reply immediately.”

Here, Everybody agrees that we should not reply immediately means it is most appropriate that we should not response to the signals straight away.

So, the answer is: ii (Appropriate responses to signals from other civilisations)

Questions 18-20: Short answer to open questions (NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER)

[In this kind of question candidates have to answer some questions, only with some conditions like NO MORE THAN THREE/TWO WORDS and/or A NUMBER or, ONE WORD ONLY. Each question has keywords that will lead to the answer. This question type generally follows a sequence.]

Question 18: What is the life expectancy of Earth?.

Keywords for this question: likely to, live longer, zoo, than in the wild,    

The answer for this question lies in line no. 12, “…Since the lifetime of a planet like ours is several billion years, .. ..”

Here, lifetime = life expectancy, a planet like ours = Earth,

So, the answer is: several billion years

Question 19: What kind of signals from other intelligent civilisations are SETI scientists searching for?

Keywords for this question: some species, zoos, no longer be found, wild,  

From our reading of paragraph D for question no. 16, we came to know that SETI scientists are seeking radio signals from other planets. In this paragraph, line no. 5-6 says, “….and so all searches to date have concentrated on looking for radio waves in this frequency.”

So, the answer is: radio (waves/signals)

Question 20: How many stars are the world’s most powerful radio telescopes searching?

Keywords for this question: improvements, quality of TV wildlife documentaries, insulted, increased, zoo visitors,     

In lines 13-15 of paragraph D the author says, “ . .. One part is a targeted search using the world’s largest radio telescopes, the American-operated telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and the French telescope in Nancy in France. This part of the project is searching the nearest 1000 likely stars . . ..”

Here, the world’s largest radio telescopes = the world’s most powerful radio telescopes

So, the answer is: 1000 (stars)

Questions 21-26 (YES, NO, NOT GIVEN)

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

The statement in the question matches the claim of the writer in the text- YES
The statement in the question contradicts the claim of the writer in the text- NO
The statement in the question has no clear connection with the account in the text- NOT GIVEN

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

Question 21: Alien civilisations may be able to help the human race to overcome serious problems.

Keywords for this question: alien, help overcome problems, 

In the end of paragraph A, the author says in lines 16-18, “It it even possible that the older civilisation may pass on the benefits of their experience in dealing with threats to survival such as nuclear war and global pollution, and other threats that we haven’t yet discovered.”

The lines suggest that alien civilisation may be able to assist us to deal with threats to survival.

Here, may pass on the benefits of their experience = may be able to help

So, the answer is: YES

Question 22: SETI scientists are trying to find a life form that resembles humans in many ways.

Keywords for this question: trying to find, life form, resemble humans

In paragraph B, the author states in lines 5-6, “.  .. .Second, we make a very conservative assumption that  we are looking for a life form that is pretty well like us, since if it differs radically from us we may well not recognise it as a form….. .”

Here, try to find = looking for, like = resembles, pretty well = in many ways,

So, the answer is: YES

Question 23: The Americans and Australians have co-operated on joint research projects.

Keywords for this question: Americans and Australians, co-operated, joint research projects,

We can find talks about ‘the Americans’ and ‘the Australians’ in paragraph D. However, there is no mention of any co-operation in research projects between the two.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question 24: So far SETI scientists have picked up radio signals from several stars.

Keywords for this question: picked up signals, several stars,

In paragraph D, the writer states in lines 8-9, “Until now, there have not been any detections from the few hundred stars which have been searched.”

The information in the passage contradicts with the question.

So, the answer is: NO

Question 25: The NASA project attracted criticism from some members of Congress.

Keywords for this question: NASA projects, criticism, Congress, 

Again, we can see the mention of ‘members of Congress’ in paragraph D. But there is no mention of criticism by the members of Congress about the NASA project.

So, the answer is: NOT GIVEN

Question 26: If a signal from outer space is received, it will be important to respond promptly.

Keywords for this question: signal, outer space, respond promptly,

In line 2 of paragraph E, the author mentions, “Everybody agrees that we should not reply immediately.” The previous line talks about what to do in case of receiving a signal from the aliens.

So, the lines suggest that we should not respond promptly or immediately if we receive a signal form the outer space.

So, the answer is: NO

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 9 Test 1 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 9 Test 1 Reading Passage 3

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