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Unit 1.3: Instructions for doing the “Short Answer Questions” exercise

I. REVIEW

Hi guys, for the Short Answer Questions type of exercise, what do we need to do, what is the strategy to do the test? Let’s review this exercise with IELTS-Fighter and try it with a Full Passage

When doing the Short Answer question type exercise, we need to pay attention to the following points:

– Limit the number of words for each answer

– The answer will appear in the correct order of the reading

– Determine what type of word the answer is (Noun/Verb/Adjective/Adverb)

– Note that the answer does not have to be grammatically correct, just correct

– Get key word in question, find synonyms or paraphrase key words

II. FULL PASSAGE

BENEATH THE CANOPY

1. The world’s tropical rainforests conservative includes some 6% of the Earth’s land area and contains more than half of all known life forms, or an estimate of about 30 million species of plants and animals. Some experts estimate there could be two or even three times as many species hidden within these complex and fast- disappearing currently; scientists will probably never know for certain, so vast is the amount of study required.

2. Time is running out for biological research. Commercial development is responsible for the loss of about 17 million hectares of virgin rainforest each year – a figure approximating 1% of what remains of the world’s rainforests.

3. The current devastation of once impenetrable rainforest is of particular concern because, although new tree growth may in time repopulate felled areas, the biologically diverse storehouse of flora and fauna is gone forever. Losing this bountiful inheritance, which took millions of years to reach its present highly evolved state,
would be an unparalleled act of human stupidity.

4. Chemical compounds that might be extracted from yet-to-be-discovered species hidden beneath the tree canopy could assist in the treatment of disease or help to control fertility. Conservationists point out that important medical discoveries have been made from material found in tropical rainforests. The drug aspirin, now synthesised, was originally found in the bark of a rainforest tree. Two of the most potent anti-cancer drugs derive from the rosy periwinkle discovered in the 1950s in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar.

5. The rewards of discovery are potentially enormous, yet the outlook is bleak. Timber-rich countries mired in debt, view potential financial gain decades into the future as less attractive than short-term profit from logging. Cataloging substances and analyzing newly-founded substances takes time and money, both of which are in short supply.

6. The developed world takes every opportunity to lecture countries which are the guardians of rainforest . Rich nations exhort them to preserve and care for what is left, ignoring the fact that their wealth was in large part due to the exploitation of their own natural world.

7. It is often forgotten that forests once covered most of Europe. Large tracts of forest were destroyed over the centuries for the same reason that the remaining rainforests are now being felled – timber. As well as providing material for housing, it enabled wealthy nations to build large navigation and shipping fleets with which to continue their plunder of the world’s resources.

8. Besides, it is not clear that developing countries would certainly benefit financially from extended bioprospecting of their rainforests. Pharmaceutical companies make huge profits from the sale of drugs with little return to the country in which an original discovery was made.

9. Also, cataloguing tropical biodiversity involves much more than a search for medically useful and commercially viable drugs. Painstaking biological fieldwork helps to build immense databases of genetic, chemical and behavioral information that will be of benefit only to those countries developed enough to use them.

10. Reckless logging itself is not the only danger to rainforests. Fires lit to clear land for further logging and for housing and agricultural development played havoc in the late 1990s in the forests of Borneo. Massive clouds of smoke from burning forest fires swept across the southernmost countries of South-East Asia choking cities and reminding even the most resolute advocates of rainforest clearing of the swiftness of nature’s retribution.

11. Nor are the dangers entirely to the rainforests themselves. Until very recently, so-called “lost” tribes – indigenous peoples who had no contact with the outside world – still existed deep within certain rainforests. It is now unlikely that there are any more truly lost tribes. Contact with the modern world inevitably brings with it exploitation, loss of traditional culture, and, in an alarming number of instances, complete obliteration.

12. Forest-dwellers who have managed to live in harmony with their environment have much to teach us of life beneath the tree canopy. If we do not listen, the impact will be on the entire human race. Loss of biodiversity, coupled with climate change and ecological destruction will have profound and lasting consequences.

Questions 1 – 3
You are advised to spend about 4 minutes on Questions 1-3
Look at Questions 1 – 3 below. Write your answers in boxes 1 – 3 on your Answer Sheet.

Q1. How many medical drug discoveries does the article mention?

Q2. What two shortages are given as the reason for the writer’s pessimistic outlook?

Q3. Who will most likely benefit from the bioprospecting of developing countries’ rainforests?

III. DISCUSSIONS

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Now let’s think together and choose the correct answer:

(first) The answer is a number. Reading passages can give direct answers in numbers or words. However, it is also possible that the reader has to count the medicine drugs mentioned in the article. The answers are expected to go with the keyword “discoveries” or synonyms of the word.

–>> The drug aspirin, now synthesised, was originally found in the bark of a rainforest tree. Two of the most potent anti-cancer drugs derive from the rosy periwinkle discovered in the 1950s in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar.

–>> Answer: Three

(2) Need to find two answers that are two nouns. Go with the keywords “shortagepessimistic outlook“. However, it is possible that the article has paraphrases these key words.

–>> The rewards of discovery are potentially enormous, yet the outlook is bleak. ………………takes time and money, both of which are in short supply.

–>> Answer: Time and money

(3) The answer to look for is a noun, organization or individual. Associate with keywords like “benefit“”bioprospecting

–>> Besides, it is not clear that developing countries would certainly benefit financially from extended bioprospecting of their rainforests. Pharmaceutical companies make huge profits from………….

–>> Answer: Pharmaceutical companies

Short Answer Questions is not the hard part. Most important for this type of exercise is the ability to catch the keyword in question and find the synonym/paraphrase of that keyword. So when learning a word, you should pay attention to practice paraphrase or find the synonym of the word you just learned. Besides, we should also pay attention to the number of words allowed in an answer.

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Good luck with your studies <3

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