Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03 Vocabulary List.
READING PASSAGE 1
The story of silk
The history of the world’s most luxurious fabric, from ancient China to the present day
Silk is a fine, smooth material produced from the cocoons – soft protective shells – that are made by mulberry silkworms (insect larvae). Legend has it that it was Lei Tzu, wife of the Yellow Emperor, ruler of China in about 3000 BC, who discovered silkworms. One account of the story goes that as she was taking a walk in her husband’s gardens, she discovered that silkworms were responsible for the destruction of several mulberry trees. She collected a number of cocoons and sat down to have a rest. It just so happened that while she was sipping some tea, one of the cocoons that she had collected landed in the hot tea and started to unravel into a fine thread. Lei Tzu found that she could wind this thread around her fingers. Subsequently, she persuaded her husband to allow her to rear silkworms on a grove of mulberry trees. She also devised a special reel to draw the fibers from the cocoon into a single thread so that they would be strong enough to be woven into fabric. While it is unknown just how much of this is true, it is certainly known that silk cultivation has existed in China for several millennia.
Originally, silkworm farming was solely restricted to women, and it was they who were responsible for the growing, harvesting, and weaving. Silk quickly grew into a symbol of status, and originally, only royalty was entitled to have clothes made of silk. The rules were gradually relaxed over the years until finally during the Qing Dynasty (1644—1911 AD), even peasants, the lowest caste, were also entitled to wear silk. Sometime during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), silk was so prized that it was also used as a unit of currency. Government officials were paid their salary in silk, and farmers paid their taxes in grain and silk. Silk was also used as a diplomatic gift by the emperor. Fishing lines, bowstrings, musical instruments, and paper were all made using silk. The earliest indication of silk paper being used was discovered in the tomb of a noble who is estimated to have died around 168 AD.
Demand for this exotic fabric eventually created the lucrative trade route now known as the Silk Road, taking silk westward and bringing gold, silver, and wool to the East. It was named the Silk Road after its most precious commodity, which was considered to be worth more than gold. The Silk Road stretched over 6,000 kilometres from Eastern China to the Mediterranean Sea, following the Great Wall of China, climbing the Pamir mountain range, crossing modern-day Afghanistan, and going on to the Middle East, with a major trading market in Damascus. From there, the merchandise was shipped across the Mediterranean Sea. Few merchants travelled the entire route; goods were handled mostly by a series of middlemen.
With the mulberry silkworm being native to China, the country was the world’s sole producer of silk for many hundreds of years. The secret of silk-making eventually reached the rest of the world via the Byzantine Empire, which ruled over the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East during the period 330—1453 AD. According to another legend, monks working for the Byzantine emperor Justinian smuggle silkworm eggs to Constantinople (Istanbul in modern-day Turkey) in 550 AD, concealed inside hollow bamboo walking canes. The Byzantines were as secretive as the Chinese, however, and for many centuries the weaving and trading of silk fabric was a strict imperial monopoly. Then in the seventh century, the Arabs conquered Persia, capturing their magnificent silks in the process.
Silk production thus spread through Africa, Sicily, and Spain as the Arabs swept, through these lands. Andalusia in southern Spain was Europe’s main silk-producing centre in the tenth century. By the thirteenth century, however, Italy had become Europe’s leader in silk production and export. Venetian merchants traded extensively in silk and encouraged silk growers to settle in Italy. Even now, silk processed in the province of Como in northern Italy enjoys an esteemed reputation.
The nineteenth century and industrialisation saw the downfall of the European silk industry. The cheaper Japanese silk, trade which was greatly facilitated by the opening of the Suez Canal, was one of the many factors driving the trend. Then in the twentieth century, new manmade fibres, such as nylon, started to be used in what had traditionally been silk products, such as stockings and parachutes. The two world wars, which interrupted the supply of raw materials from Japan, also stifled the European silk industry. After the Second World War, Japan’s silk production was restored, with improved production and quality of raw silk. Japan was to remain the world’s biggest producer of raw silk, and practically the only major exporter of raw silk, until the 1970s. However, in more recent decades, China has gradually recaptured its position as the world’s biggest producer and exporter of raw silk and silk yarn. Today, around 125,000 metric tons of silk are produced in the world, and almost two-thirds of that production takes place in China.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 1
- downfall – noun – 1. a loss of power, prosperity, or status. “many factors led to the downfall of the Roman Empire” 2. a heavy fall of rain or snow. “the wind was whipping up the downfall into deep drifts on the moor”
- manmade – adjective – adjective: manmade – made or caused by human beings (as opposed to occurring or being made naturally). “a man-made lake”
- stocking – noun – plural noun: stockings – a women’s garment, typically made of translucent nylon or silk, that fits closely over the foot and is held up by suspenders or an elasticated strip at the upper thigh. Christmas stocking – a long sock worn by men.
- stifle /ˈstʌɪfl/ – verb – past tense: stifled; past participle: stifled – 1. make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate. “those in the streets were stifled by the fumes”
- What is called yarn? Image result for yarn meaning
yarn, continuous strand of fibres grouped or twisted together and used to construct textile fabrics.
- legend – an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field. “the man was a living legend”
- Mulberry trees – 1. a small deciduous tree with broad leaves, native to East Asia and long cultivated elsewhere. 2. a dark red or purple color. “a mulberry carpet”
- What is the full meaning of sipping? to drink a liquid slowly by taking in small amounts at a time: He sipped the hot coffee.
- unravel – investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling). – “they were attempting to unravel the cause of death”
- wind – the perceptible natural movement of the air, especially in the form of a current of air blowing from a particular direction. “the wind howled about the building”
- persuade – past tense: persuaded; past participle: persuaded – induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument. “it wasn’t easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing”
- grove – noun – a small wood or other groups of trees. “an olive grove”
- What is the full meaning of devised? – transitive verb. : to form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or principles: invent. devise a new strategy. archaic: conceive, imagine. : to plan to obtain or bring about: plot.
- reel – noun – 1. a cylinder on which film, wire, thread, or other flexible materials can be wound.
“a cotton reel”
- millennium – noun – plural noun: millennia – 1. a period of a thousand years, especially when calculated from the traditional date of the birth of Christ. “silver first came into use on a substantial scale during the 3rd millennium BC” 2. an anniversary of a thousand years. “the millennium of the Russian Orthodox Church”
- What is an example of exotic?
of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized: exotic foods; exotic plants. strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance: an exotic hairstyle. of a uniquely new or experimental nature: exotic weapons.
- overstretched; overstretching. transitive + intransitive. : to stretch (something or someone) to excess or beyond normal limits.
- peasants – noun – plural noun: peasants – a poor smallholder or agricultural laborer of low social status (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries). “peasants left the farms to work in the industry”
- caste – noun – each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status. “members of the lower castes”
- A diplomatic gift is a gift given by a diplomat, politician, or leader when visiting a foreign country. Usually, the gift is reciprocated by the host. The use of diplomatic gifts dates back to the ancient world and givers have competed to outdo each other in the lavishness of their gifts.
- bowstring – noun – plural noun: bowstrings – the string of an archer’s bow, traditionally made of three strands of hemp.
- tomb – noun – a large vault, typically an underground one, for burying the dead.
- smuggle – verb – move (goods) illegally into or out of a country. “he’s been smuggling cigarettes from Gibraltar into Spain” convey (someone or something) somewhere secretly and illicitly. – “he smuggled out a message”
- Constantinople (Istanbul in modern-day Turkey)
- hollow bamboo – Bamboo is as strong as lumber, but usually the poles are hollow on the inside. That’s because bamboo is actually grass and not a tree. Bamboo is hollow and woody at the same time. While trees have trunks and plants have stems, grasses have hollow culms.
- cane – plural noun: canes – 1. the hollow jointed stem of tall grass, especially bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan. 2. a length of cane or a slender stick, especially one used as a support for plants, a walking stick, or an instrument of punishment. “tie the shoot to a cane if vertical growth is required”
- imperial – adjective – – 1. relating to an empire. “Britain’s imperial past “adjective – 1. relating to an empire. “Britain’s imperial past” 2. relating to or denoting the system of non-metric weights and measures (the ounce, pound, stone, inch, foot, yard, mile, acre, pint, gallon, etc.) formerly used for all measures in the UK, and still used for some. – noun – a small pointed beard growing below the lower lip (associated with Napoleon III of France).
- magnificent – adjective 1. extremely beautiful, elaborate, or impressive.” a dramatic landscape of magnificent mountains”
- monk – plural noun: monks – a member of a religious community of men typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
- sweep – verb – past tense: swept; past participle: swept – 1. clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter. -“I’ve swept the floor”
- Who was the Venetian merchant and why was he important?
Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a Venetian merchant believed to have journeyed across Asia at the height of the Mongol Empire. He first set out at age 17 with his father and uncle, traveling overland along what later became known as the Silk Road.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03
READING PASSAGE 2
Animal migration, however, it is defined, is far more than just the movement of animals. It can loosely be described as travel that takes place at regular intervals – often in an annual cycle – that may involve many members of a species and is rewarded only after a long journey. It suggests inherited instinct. The biologist Hugh Dingle has identified five characteristics that apply, in varying degrees and combinations, to all migrations. They are prolonged movements that carry animals outside familiar habitats; they tend to be linear, not zigzaggy; they involve special behaviors concerning preparation (such as overfeeding) and arrival; they demand special allocations of energy. And one more: migrating animals maintain an intense attentiveness to the greater mission, which keeps them undistracted by temptations and undeterred by challenges that would turn other animals aside.
An arctic tern, on its 20,000 km flight from the extreme south of South America to the Arctic circle, will take no notice of a nice smelly herring offered from a bird-watchers boat along the way. While local gulls will dive voraciously for such handouts, the tern flies on. Why? The arctic tern resists distraction because it is driven at that moment by an instinctive sense of something we humans find admirable: a larger purpose. In other words, it is determined to reach its destination. The bird senses that it can eat, rest and mate later. Right now it is totally focused on the journey; its undivided intent is arrival.
Reaching some gravelly coastline in the Arctic, upon which other arctic terns have converged, will serve its larger purpose as shaped by evolution: finding a place, a time, and a set of circumstances in which it can successfully hatch and rear offspring.
But migration is a complex issue, and biologists define it differently, depending in part on what sorts of animals they study. Joe! Berger, of the University of Montana, who works on the American pronghorn and other large terrestrial mammals, prefers what he calls a simple, practical definition suited to his beasts: ‘movements from a seasonal home area away to another home area and back again’. Generally, the reason for such seasonal back-and-forth movement is to seek resources that aren’t available within a single area year-round.
But daily vertical movements by zooplankton in the ocean – upward by night to seek food, downward by day to escape predators – can also be considered migration. So can the movement of aphids when having depleted the young leaves on one food plant, their offspring then fly onward to a different host plant, with no one aphid ever returning to where it started.
Dingle is an evolutionary biologist who studies insects. His definition is more intricate than Berger’s, citing those five features that distinguish migration from other forms of movement. They allow for the fact that, for example, aphids will become sensitive to blue light (from the sky) when it’s time for takeoff on their big journey, and sensitive to yellow light (reflected from tender young leaves) when it’s appropriate to land. Birds will fatten themselves with heavy feeding in advance of a long migrational flight. The value of his definition, Dingle argues, is that it focuses attention on what the phenomenon of wildebeest migration shares with the phenomenon of the aphids, and therefore helps guide researchers toward understanding how evolution has produced them all.
Human behavior, however, is having a detrimental impact on animal migration. The pronghorn, which resembles an antelope, though they are unrelated, is the fastest land mammal of the New World. One population, which spends the summer in the mountainous Grand Teton National Park of the western USA, follows a narrow route from its summer range in the mountains, across a river, and down onto the plains. Here they wait out the frozen months, feeding mainly on sagebrush blown clear of snow. These pronghorn are notable for the invariance of their migration route and the severity of their constriction at three bottlenecks. If they can’t pass through each of the three during their spring migration, they can’t reach their bounty of summer grazing; if they can’t pass through again in autumn, escaping south onto those windblown plains, they are likely to die trying to overwinter in the deep snow. Pronghorn, dependent on distance vision and speed to keep safe from predators, traverse high, open shoulders of land, where they can see and run. At one of the bottlenecks, forested hills rise to form a V, leaving a corridor of open ground only about 150 metres wide, filled with private homes. Increasing development is leading toward a crisis for the pronghorn, threatening to choke off their passageway.
Conservation scientists, along with some biologists and land managers within the USA’s National Park Service and other agencies, are now working to preserve migrational behaviors, not just species and habitats. A National Forest has recognized the path of the pronghorn, much of which passes across its land, as a protected migration corridor. But neither the Forest Service nor the Park Service can control what happens on private land at a bottleneck. And with certain other migrating species, the challenge is complicated further – by vastly greater distances traversed, more jurisdictions, more borders, and more dangers along the way. We will require wisdom and resoluteness to ensure that migrating species can continue their journeying for a while longer.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 2
- far more – Is it much more or far more? “Far” is used as a measurement of distance, so something is said to be “far away”, or “We still have far to go”. “More” is used as a measurement of comparison, “Two is more than one” or “I want more [than I already have]”. “Much” is used just as a general word to mean plenty of something. “There was much rejoicing”.
- inherited – adjective 1. (of money, property, or a title) received as an heir at the death of the previous holder. “inherited wealth” 2. (of a quality, characteristic, or predisposition) derived genetically from one’s parents or ancestors. “inherited diseases”
- instinct – noun – an innate, typically fixed pattern of behaviour in animals in response to certain stimuli. “the homing instinct” – adjective – FORMAL – imbued or filled with (a quality, especially a desirable one). “these canvases are instinct with passion”
- What does a biologist do? – Biologists study living things, including people, animals, and plants.
- How do you use zig zag in a sentence? Example Sentences – Verb We saw a motorcycle zigzagging on the highway. The player with the ball zigzagged back and forth down the field. A dirt road zigzags up the steep hill to our cabin.
- intense – /ɪnˈtɛns/ adjective 1. of extreme force, degree, or strength.” the job demands intense concentration” having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious.” an intense young woman, passionate about her art”
- temptations – temptation /ˌtɛm(p)ˈteɪʃn/ noun – plural noun: temptations – the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. “he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office
- What is the meaning of the word undeterred? /ˌʌn.dɪˈtɝːd/ still continuing to do something or enthusiastic about doing it despite a bad situation: After four years of injury problems, Thomas remains undeterred. Excited, interested, and enthusiastic.
- An arctic tern – A small, slender gray-and-white bird with angular wings, the Arctic Tern is well known for its long yearly migration. It travels from its Arctic breeding grounds to Antarctica where it enjoys the Antarctic summer, covering around 25,000 miles. Breeding birds sport a full black cap, short red legs, and a red bill.
- herring – noun – a fairly small silvery fish that is most abundant in coastal waters and is of widespread commercial importance.
- gulls– noun – plural noun: gulls – a long-winged web-footed seabird with a raucous call, typically having white plumage with a grey or black mantle.
- dive – verb – 1. plunge head first into the water with one’s arms raised over one’s head.” she walked to the deep end, then she dived in”
- voraciously – excessively eager -: having a huge appetite: ravenous. : excessively eager: insatiable. a voracious reader. voraciously adverb.
- resists– verb – 3rd person present: resists – 1. withstand the action or effect of. “antibodies help us to resist infection”
- instinctive sense – adjective – relating to or prompted by instinct; done without conscious thought.” an instinctive distaste for conflict” (of a person) doing or being a specified thing apparently naturally or automatically. “he was an instinctive cook”
- intent – noun – intention or purpose. “with alarm she realized his intent”
- vertical movements – Scrolling top to bottom on a computer or throwing a ball upwards are examples of vertical motion.
- predators – noun – plural noun: predators 1. an animal that naturally preys on others. “wolves are major predators of rodents” 2. a person who ruthlessly exploits others.” a sexual predator”
- aphids– noun – plural noun: aphids – a small bug which feeds by sucking sap from plants; a blackfly or greenfly. Aphids reproduce rapidly, sometimes producing live young without mating, and large numbers can cause extensive damage to plants.
- depleted– verb – past tense: depleted; past participle: depleted – use up the supply or resources of.”reservoirs have been depleted by years of drought”
- offspring– noun – a person’s child or children. – “the offspring of middle-class parents”
- Dingle-: a small wooded valley.
- intricate – adjective – very complicated or detailed. – “an intricate network of canals”
- citing– verb – gerund or present participle: citing – 1. refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work.” authors who are highly regarded by their peers tend to be cited”
- takeoff– Takeoff is the beginning of a flight when an aircraft leaves the ground. The aircraft crashed in a reservoir after takeoff.
- fatten– verb – make or become fat or fatter. – “he could do with some good food to fatten him up”
- wildebeest migration – Do wildebeest migrate? Throughout every year in East Africa, wildebeest along with zebra, gazelle, and other animals, migrate in spectacular herds comprising millions of animals altogether across Kenya and Tanzania. This is known as the Great Migration.
- resembles – verb – 3rd person present: resembles – have a similar appearance to or qualities in common with (someone or something); look or seem like. – “some people resemble their dogs”
- antelope – The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminants that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia.
- sagebrush blown – noun – a shrubby aromatic North American plant of the daisy family.scrub that is dominated by sagebrush, occurring chiefly in semi-arid regions of western North America.
- severity– noun – the fact or condition of being severe. – “sentences should reflect the severity of the crime”
- constriction– noun – the action of making something narrower by pressure or of becoming narrower; tightening. – “Asthma is a constriction of the airways”
- bottlenecks – What is bottleneck in business? – A bottleneck is a point of congestion in a production system that slows or stops progress. Short-term bottlenecks are temporary and often caused by a labor shortage. Long-term bottlenecks are more incorporated into the system itself and characterized by inefficient machinery or processes.
- grazing – to eat small portions of food throughout the day. She was grazing on snacks all afternoon. transitive verb. : to crop and eat in the field. : to feed on the herbage of.
- windblown – blown by the wind. especially: having a permanent set or character of growth determined by the prevailing winds. windblown trees.
- overwinter– verb – 1. spend the winter. “many birds overwinter in equatorial regions”2. (of an insect, plant, etc.) live through the winter. – “the germinated seeds will overwinter”
- traverse – verb – 1. travel across or through. – “he traversed the forest” 2. move back and forth or sideways. “a probe is traversed along the tunnel”
- shoulders of land – a narrow edge of land (usually unpaved) along the side of a road. “the car pulled off onto the shoulder” synonyms: berm
- jurisdictions – noun – the official power to make legal decisions and judgments.” the English court had no jurisdiction over the defendants”
- resoluteness– being strong and determined
[uncountable] the quality of being strong and determined.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03
READING PASSAGE 3
Preface to ‘How the other half thinks:
Adventures in mathematical reasoning’
Occasionally, in some difficult musical compositions, there are beautiful, but easy parts – parts so simple a beginner could play them. So it is with mathematics as well. There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend on specialized knowledge, not even on algebra, geometry, or trigonometry. Instead, they may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as ‘the sum of two odd numbers is even’, and common sense. Each of the eight chapters in this book illustrates this phenomenon. Anyone can understand every step in the reasoning.
The thinking in each chapter uses at most only elementary arithmetic, and sometimes not even that. Thus all readers will have the chance to participate in a mathematical experience, appreciate the beauty of mathematics, and become familiar with its logical, yet intuitive, style of thinking.
One of my purposes in writing this book is to give readers who haven’t had the opportunity to see and enjoy real mathematics the chance to appreciate the mathematical way of thinking. I want to reveal not only some of the fascinating discoveries, but, more importantly, the reasoning behind them.
In that respect, this book differs from most books on mathematics written for the general public. Some present the lives of colorful mathematicians. Others describe important applications of mathematics. Yet others go into mathematical procedures but assume that the reader is adept in using algebra.
I hope this book will help bridge that notorious gap that separates the two cultures: the humanities and the sciences, or should I say the right brain (intuitive) and the left brain (analytical, numerical). As the chapters will illustrate, mathematics is not restricted to the analytical and numerical; intuition plays a significant role. The alleged gap can be narrowed or completely overcome by anyone, in part because each of us is far from
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 03
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 3
- Adept – adjective – /ˈadɛpt,əˈdɛpt/ – very skilled or proficient at something. “she is adept at cutting through red tape”
- Notorious – adjective – famous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed. “Los Angeles is notorious for its smog”
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