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Acquiring the Principles of Mathematics and Science: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions and Answer

Updated on 17 January, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


The realms of mathematics and science stand as pillars of human intellectual achievement. These disciplines not only underpin much of modern technology and medicine but also offer a framework through which we can understand the universe. This passage delves into how these principles can be acquired and applied, offering insight into the systematic approach and critical thinking they demand.

Passage: Acquiring the Principles of Mathematics and Science

In the quest for knowledge, the principles of mathematics and science serve as crucial tools for understanding the world around us. These disciplines, rich in their complexity and beauty, offer more than just a body of knowledge; they provide a way of thinking, a method for solving problems, and a means of approaching the unknown.

The Essence of Mathematics

Mathematics is a universal language, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers. Its principles are not mere numbers and equations, but the very foundation upon which modern technology and science are built. To understand mathematics is to understand the logic and structure behind patterns, sequences, and relationships.

The journey into mathematics begins with basic numeracy - an understanding of numbers, their properties, and simple operations. This elementary knowledge is vital, as it forms the building block for more complex concepts like algebra, geometry, and calculus. Algebra introduces the use of symbols and letters to represent numbers and relationships, a fundamental step that allows for the expression of abstract concepts and the formulation of equations. Geometry, on the other hand, delves into the properties and relations of points, lines, surfaces, and solids, while calculus deals with change and motion, enabling us to understand concepts such as rates of change and the area under curves.

Advanced mathematics does not stand in isolation. It is deeply intertwined with other scientific disciplines, providing the tools necessary for scientists to model, predict, and understand phenomena. From the intricate algorithms that power our computers and smartphones to the complex equations used in physics, mathematics is omnipresent, a silent partner in every scientific endeavor.

The Scientific Method

Science, in its purest form, is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It follows a systematic methodology known as the scientific method, which involves observation, hypothesis formation, experimentation, and conclusion. This method is the backbone of scientific discovery and has been responsible for our understanding of everything from the basic structure of the atom to the complexities of the human genome.

Observation is the first step in the scientific process. It involves the careful and deliberate use of the senses to gather information about the world. This stage is crucial as it forms the basis for the next step - hypothesis formation. A hypothesis is an educated guess, a tentative explanation for an observation or a series of observations. The validity of a hypothesis is tested through experimentation, where controlled methods are used to determine whether the hypothesis holds true. Finally, conclusions are drawn based on the results of these experiments, leading to the development of scientific theories or laws.

Interplay of Mathematics and Science

The relationship between mathematics and science is symbiotic. Mathematics provides the language in which scientific laws and theories are expressed. For instance, Newton's laws of motion, which laid the foundation for classical mechanics, are framed in mathematical terms. These laws describe the relationship between the motion of an object and the forces acting upon it, a relationship that is best understood and communicated through mathematical equations.

Similarly, in the field of quantum mechanics, mathematical equations are used to describe the behavior of particles at the atomic and subatomic levels. These equations are not just symbolic representations but are integral to the prediction and understanding of quantum phenomena. The Schrödinger equation, for example, is central to quantum mechanics, providing a way to calculate the wave function of a system and thus predict its behavior.

The acquisition of mathematical and scientific principles also requires certain key skills and attributes. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical reasoning are essential. One must be able to approach problems methodically, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts, and applying logical reasoning to find solutions. Moreover, the pursuit of knowledge in these fields demands perseverance and resilience. The path to understanding is often fraught with challenges and setbacks, but it is through these struggles that breakthroughs are made and knowledge is advanced.


Q1. What is the first step in acquiring mathematical principles?
A. Understanding calculus
B. Grasping basic concepts like numbers and algebra
C. Conducting experiments
D. Learning about Newton's laws

Q2. Which process is fundamental to science?
A. Memorization
B. Observation and hypothesis formation
C. Pure calculation
D. Reading scientific literature

Q3. Who proposed the theory of relativity?
A. Isaac Newton
B. Albert Einstein
C. Niels Bohr
D. Charles Darwin

Q4. What is a key characteristic required to acquire principles in mathematics and science?
A. Memorization
B. Athletic ability
C. Innate curiosity and resilience
D. Artistic talent

Q5. In mathematics, what concept builds upon the understanding of numbers?
A. Historical knowledge
B. Algebra
C. Chemical equations
D. Physical fitness

Q6. The method of testing hypotheses in science is primarily done through:
A. Experimentation
B. Philosophical debate
C. Literary analysis
D. Economic modeling

Q7. Newton's laws of motion are an example of:
A. Mathematical concepts explaining physical phenomena
B. Biological principles
C. Artistic theories
D. Economic theories

Q8. Which field demonstrates the connection between mathematics and science in the modern world?
A. Music composition
B. Quantum mechanics
C. Political science
D. Literature

Q9. True or False: Acquiring principles of mathematics and science only involves memorization.
A. True
B. False

Q10. What universal application do mathematics and science have?
A. Decoding the mysteries of the universe
B. Improving athletic performance
C. Enhancing artistic expression
D. Influencing fashion trends


A1. The first step in acquiring mathematical principles is B. Grasping basic concepts like numbers and algebra. This foundational knowledge is crucial for understanding more complex areas like geometry and calculus.

A2. The fundamental process in science is B. Observation and hypothesis formation. This iterative process involves making observations, forming hypotheses based on these observations, and then conducting experiments to test these hypotheses.

A3. The theory of relativity was proposed by B. Albert Einstein. This groundbreaking theory revolutionized our understanding of space, time, and gravity.

A4. A key characteristic required to acquire principles in mathematics and science is C. Innate curiosity and resilience. These qualities enable individuals to explore, question, and persevere through complex problems.

A5. In mathematics, the concept that builds upon the understanding of numbers is B. Algebra. Algebra is a fundamental branch of mathematics that deals with symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols.

A6. The method of testing hypotheses in science is primarily done through A. Experimentation. This is a critical part of the scientific method, allowing scientists to test and refine their hypotheses.

A7. Newton's laws of motion are an example of A. Mathematical concepts explaining physical phenomena. These laws laid the foundation for classical mechanics.

A8. A field that demonstrates the connection between mathematics and science in the modern world is B. Quantum mechanics. This field merges complex mathematical concepts with experimental physics to explain the behavior of particles at the quantum level.

A9. The statement is B. False. Acquiring principles of mathematics and science involves more than memorization; it requires understanding, critical thinking, and practical application.

A10. The universal application of mathematics and science is A. Decoding the mysteries of the universe. These disciplines provide a framework for understanding everything from the microcosm of atomic particles to the macrocosm of galactic structures.


Acquiring the principles of mathematics and science is a journey of intellectual discovery. It requires an understanding of basic concepts, a methodical approach to problem-solving, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. As we continue to advance technologically and scientifically, these principles will remain essential tools for understanding and shaping the world around us.

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