Cambridge IELTS 12, Test 5, Reading Passage 3: What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge? Solution With Answer Key

What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge, Passage Solution with Answer Key – Cambridge IELTS 12, Test 5: Reading Passage 3. Here we will discuss detailed explanation of all the questions of the passage. Here is step by step Solution with Tips and Strategies. This post is for educational purpose only. If you find difficulties in reading passage to find the right answer in the exam, just read the post carefully. Tips and strategies will help you find the right answer.


What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge?

IELTS Reading Passage Solution


IELTS Cambridge 12, Test 5, Academic Reading Module, Reading Passage 3


PASSAGE 3: What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge?


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Questions 27-32. List of Heading.

** Tips (link details): How To Solve List of Heading in IELTS Reading Passage

Questions 27. SECTION A

Now, in section A, the author mentions the idea of the founding of a special institution, its possible majors and possible titles for a wide variety of courses. Therefore, we should pay attention to headings related to those contents – they are ii, vi and vii (headings about the title, there is no heading about the other contents). In section A, the author writes “But what would the founders of these two institutions have thought of a course called Arson for Profit’?”. The author adds: “I kid you not…” to explain that this course title is not a joke. We might not expect this course to exist, but it does exist. This is only one unexpected title, so it cannot be “vii” (different names) and the author does not mention anything related to its meanings, so it cannot be ii (with two meanings). The answer is vi.

Answer: vi

Questions 28. SECTION B

Now, section B is about targeting students of the course because of the opening: “the course is intended for prospective arson investigators”. Then the author asks a question: “But wouldn’t this also be the perfect course for prospective arsonists to sign up for?” in order to point out the possibility of attracting the wrong kind of student. The course might attract students interested in starting fires, not fighting fires. Therefore, the answer is viii.

Answer: viii.

Questions 27. SECTION C

Now, section C tells us about the author and his story about the title of the course. There are 2 remaining headings that could be related to a title – ii and vii. Since, in this section, the author only mentions one confusing title that could be understood by his students in two different ways, because of the the two meanings of ‘principles’, therefore the answer has to be “a course title with two meanings”. The answer is ii.

Answer: ii

Questions 30. SECTION D

Now, section D is a very short paragraph. You can look at all the headings and cross out the ones you know are wrong for sure. For example, in section D the author does not mention any course or commitment, so the heading cannot be i – “Courses that require a high level of commitment”. Do the same with other headings, you can find out that only heading iv – “Applying a theory in an unexpected context” still remains. The theory referred to is the idea of the philosopher Kant that any body of knowledge is principled. The author writes that this sounds “downright crazy in the light of the evidence”, which has the same meaning as “an unexpected context” when applied to an unethical practice like marketing. The answer is iv.

Answer: iv.

Questions 31. SECTION E

Now, in this section, the author mentions two terms in marketing, means and end, in conclusion, he supposes that “A field of knowledge or a professional endeavor is defined by both the means and the end; hence both deserve scrutiny”, which means that both terms are equally important. Therefore, the answer is “the equal importance of two key issues” (iii) “how to achieve X and what X is”.

Answer: iii

Questions 32. SECTION F

Now, in this section, the author gives the example of a doctor and a murderer. Both may learn the same body of knowledge, but they apply that knowledge for different purposes/ends. We give different names: we say that the doctor is practicing medicine and we say that the other is practicing murder. The author does not mention anything related to “a high level of commitment” (heading i) and “financial benefits” (heading v). Therefore, the most accurate heading for this section is “Different names for different outcomes” (vii). The doctor and the murderer use “identical knowledge to achieve their divergent ends”.

Here, Different = divergent; Outcomes = ends;

Answer: vii.



Questions 33-36. Complete the summary below.

** Tips (link details): How To Solve Completing Summaries with and without a Wordlist in IELTS Reading Module?

Question 33. […] WHO ARE STUDYING …………

Now, in the last sentence of the first section, the author writes: “Any undergraduates who have met the academic requirements can sign up for the course in our program in ‘ fire science ’.” Therefore, students who can sign up for the course are undergraduates and ones who are studying “fire science”. The answer is “fire science” (the question requires no more than two words so this is acceptable).

Answer: fire science.

Question 34. […] WILL BECOME ……………….

Now, the first sentence of the second section states: “Naturally, the course is intended for prospective arson investigators”. We can see expectation = prospective, which means they are studying to be arson investigators in the future (arson as an adjective = specialising in arson – who specialize in arson). The answer is investigators.

Here, expectation = prospective;

Answer: investigators.

Question 35. […] FIND …… OF CRIMINAL INTENT

Now, “The course will help them” means students can learn from the course, so we pay attention to this reference in section B: “who can learn all the tricks of the trade for detecting whether a fire was deliberately set, discovering who did it, and establishing a chain of evidence for effective prosecution in a court of law.” “A fire was deliberately set” can be considered as an example of criminal intent – the arsonist deliberately intended to start a fire. Then the course can help them to detect whether it is deliberate or not, who did it and find a chain of evidence. Therefore, the answer is “evidence”.

Here, Find = detect;

Answer: evidence.


Now, the word required is right after an adjective and in front of an adverb of place, so it has to a noun. In section B, the author mentions the court in this phrase: “establishing a chain of evidence for effective prosecution in a court of law”. We can consider “effective” as “successful”, and “in a court of law” as “in the courts”. Therefore, the answer is “prosecution”.

Here, Effective = successful;

Answer: prosecution.



Questions 37-40. Yes, No, Not Given.

** Tips (link details): How To Solve Yes, No, Not Given Question in IELTS Reading Module?

Question 37. It is difficult to attract students onto courses that do not focus on a career.

Now, if this statement is true, you have to find a sentence in the text expressing the same idea. If this statement is false, you have to point out what is wrong with it and find a sentence in the passage given to correct it. However, we cannot find any reference like that. In the passage, there is no sentence telling us about difficulties in attracting students onto such courses. Therefore, the answer is Not given.

Answer: Not given.

Question 38.   The ‘Arson for Profit’ course would be useful for people intending to set fire to buildings.

Now, “use the very same knowledge” means they can use what they have learned from this course (= this course would be useful for them). And “destructive, dangerous, reckless activity” can include “set fire to buildings.” Therefore, the answer is Yes. In section F, the author once again mentions the “Arson for Profit” course and writes: “As we have seen, someone could use the very same knowledge of means to achieve a much less noble end, such as personal profit via destructive, dangerous, reckless activity”. So

Answer: Yes.

Question 39.  Fire science courses are too academic to help people to be good at the job of firefighting.

Now, in section B, the author relates the knowledge learned on the course to its usefulness for students who want to become firefighters. They will be qualified to do the job in a professional and expert way: “programs in fire science: they are highly welcome as part of the increasing professionalization of this and many other occupations”. The courses will help students.

Here, To be good at the job of = professionalization;

Therefore, the answer is No.

Answer: No.

Question 40.  The writer’s fire science students provided a detailed definition of the purpose of their studies.

Now, in section F, the author asks the students about purpose of the course, “When I ask fire science students to articulate the end, or purpose, of their field, they eventually generalize to something like, ‘The safety and welfare of society,’ which seems right.” They only “generalize”, which means “to make a general statement or form a general opinion”. Their opinion is only general, not detailed or particularly clear. Therefore, the answer is No. Provide a detailed definition of = to articulate

Answer: No.


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Answer Key – What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge?

Cambridge IELTS 12 Test 5 Answer Key, Reading Passage 3


What’s the Purpose of Gaining Knowledge Reading Passage Answers Keys

Passage 3

27. vi

28. viii

29. ii

30. iv

31. iii

32. vii

33. fire science

34. investigators

35. evidence

36. prosecution


38. YES

39. NO

40. NO





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