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Making Time for Science IELTS Reading Answers

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

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The IELTS reading section assesses the applicant’s English proficiency and comprehension skills. Practicing sample IELTS papers is the ideal strategy to ace the exam. To enhance your preparation process, here is the reading passage for the topic,’ Making time for Science, along with questions and answers. 

A timely consideration of a timeless process that has largely remained under-appreciated.

Although a concept or process as ancient as the earth itself, chronobiology often comes across as futuristic. This branch of study is highly riveting, mainly dealing with the short-term rhythmic patterns of time that influence all living things – plants, animals, and humans. No wonder many confuse it with being the figment of a science fiction writer's imagination. 

This can take many forms. Marine life, for example, is influenced by tidal patterns. Animals tend to be active or inactive depending on the position of the sun or moon. Numerous creatures, humans included, are primarily diurnal - that is, they like to come out during the hours of sunlight. Nocturnal animals like bats and possums prefer to forage by night. A third group is crepuscular: they thrive in the low- light of dawn and dusk and remain inactive at other hours.

Regarding humans, chronobiologists are interested in what is known as the circadian rhythm. This is the complete cycle our bodies are naturally geared to undergo within the passage of a twenty-four-hour day. Aside from sleeping at night and waking during the day, each cycle involves many other factors, such as blood pressure and body temperature changes. Not everyone has an identical circadian rhythm. 'Night people, for example, often describe how they find it very hard to operate during the morning but become alert and focused by evening. This is a benign variation within circadian rhythms known as a chronotype.

Scientists have limited abilities to create durable modifications of chronobiological demands. Recent therapeutic developments for humans, such as artificial light machines and melatonin administration, can reset our circadian rhythms, for example, but our bodies can tell the difference, and health suffers when we breach these natural rhythms for extended periods of time. Plants appear no more malleable in this respect; studies demonstrate that vegetables grown in season and ripened on the tree are far higher in essential nutrients than those grown in greenhouses and ripened by laser.

Knowledge of chronobiological patterns can have many pragmatic implications for our day-to-day lives. While contemporary living can sometimes appear to subjugate biology - after all, who needs circadian rhythms when we have caffeine pills, energy drinks, shift work and cities that never sleep? - keeping in synch with our body clock is important.

The average urban resident, for example, rouses at the eye-blearing time of 6.04 AM, which researchers believe to be far too early. One study found that even rising at 7.00 AM has deleterious effects on health unless exercise is performed for 30 minutes afterwards. The optimum moment has been whittled down to 7.22 AM; muscle aches, headaches and moodiness were reported to be lowest by participants in the study who awoke then.

Once you're up and ready to go, what then? If you're trying to shed some extra pounds, dieticians are adamant: never skip breakfast. This disorients your circadian rhythm and puts your body in starvation mode. The recommended course of action is to follow an intense workout with a carbohydrate-rich breakfast; the other way around, and weight loss results are less pronounced.

Morning is also great for breaking out vitamins. Supplement absorption by the body is not temporal-dependent, but naturopath Pam Stone notes that the extra boost at breakfast helps us get energised for the day ahead. For improved absorption, Stone suggests pairing supplements with a food in which they are soluble and steer clear of caffeinated beverages. Finally, Stone warns to take care with storage; high potency is best for absorption, and warmth and humidity are known to deplete the potency of a supplement.

After-dinner espressos are becoming more of a tradition - we have the Italians to thank for that - but to prepare for a good night's sleep, we are better off putting the brakes on caffeine consumption as early as 3 PM. With a seven-hour half-life, a cup of coffee containing 90 mg of caffeine taken at this hour could still leave 45 mg of caffeine in your nervous system at ten o'clock that evening. By the time you are ready to sleep, it is essential that your body is rid of all traces.

Evenings are necessary for winding down before sleep; however, dietician Geraldine Georgeou warns that an after-five carbohydrate fast is more cultural myth than chronobiological demand. This will deprive your body of vital energy needs. Overloading your gut could lead to indigestion, though. Our digestive tracts do not entirely shut down for the night, but their work slows to a crawl as our bodies prepare for sleep. Consuming a modest snack should be entirely sufficient.

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Questions 1-7 

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet, write – 

TRUE If the statement agrees with the information 

FALSE If the statement contradicts the information 

NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this 

  1. Chronobiology is the study of how living things have evolved over time. 
  2. The rise and fall of sea levels affect how sea creatures behave. 
  3. Most animals are active during the daytime. 
  4. Circadian rhythms identify how we do different things on different days.
  5. A 'night person can still have a healthy circadian rhythm. 
  6. New therapies can permanently change circadian rhythms without causing harm. 
  7. Naturally produced vegetables have more nutritional value. 

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Questions 8-13 

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D. 

Write the correct letters in boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet. 

  1. What did researchers identify as the ideal time to wake up in the morning?

A – 6:04

B – 7:00

C – 7:22

D – 7:30 

  1. In order to lose weight, we should –

A – Avoid eating breakfast 

B – Eat a low-carbohydrate breakfast 

C – Exercise before breakfast 

D – Exercise after breakfast 

  1. Which is NOT mentioned as a way to improve supplement absorption? 

A – Avoiding drinks containing caffeine while taking supplements 

B – Taking supplements at breakfast 

C – Taking supplements with foods that can dissolve them 

D – Storing supplements in a cool, dry environment 

  1. The best time to stop drinking coffee is –

A – Mid-afternoon

B – 10 PM

C – Only when feeling anxious 

D – After dinner 

  1. In the evening, we should – 

A – Stay away from carbohydrates 

B – Stop exercising 

C – Eat as much as possible 

D – Eat a light meal 

  1. Which of the following phrases best describes the main aim of reading Passage 1?

A – To suggest healthier ways of eating, sleeping, and exercising 

B – To describe how modern life has made chronobiology largely irrelevant 

C – To introduce chronobiology and describe some practical applications 

D – To plan a daily schedule that can alter our natural chronobiological rhythms

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1. Answer – True 


Explanation: The hint to the answer may be found in paragraph A. The paragraph clearly states that despite coming across as futuristic, the concept of chronobiology is one of the oldest. It speaks about the oldest process on the planet. Then, it mentions that this oldest process is short-term patterns or rhythms of time and how they affect plant and animal life. Such statements indicate that the first paragraph talks about how living things evolve over time. 

2. Answer – True


Explanation: The hint for this statement may be found in paragraph B of Making Time for Science Reading Answers. It states, “Marine life, for example, is influenced by tidal patterns.” The context is the behaviour of creatures, of which the first mention is made of marine life. Since tidal patterns are nothing but the rise and fall in sea levels due to the combined gravitational force exerted by the Earth and the Moon, the statement is true.

3. Answer – True


Explanation: The answer to this statement can be found in paragraph B. The second line mentions that 'numerous' creatures (humans included) prefer to come out when the sun is up, which makes them diurnal. This means they are primarily active during the daytime, thus making the statement true. 

4. Answer – False 


Explanation: Making Time for Science’s paragraph C offers the answer. The second line states (in the context of the circadian rhythm) that our bodies undergo this complete cycle within the span of 24 hours, which is a single day, not different days. The circadian rhythm is about how our bodies naturally wake up during the day and begin to slack and slow down (or sleep) as night approaches. Hence, the statement is false. 

5. Answer – True 


Explanation: The answer to this statement may be found in paragraph C of Making Time for Science Reading Answers. The third line onwards states that everyone does not have an identical circadian rhythm using night people as an example in the following sentence. The last line of the paragraph also mentions (regarding night people) that this is merely a slight variation in the circadian rhythm or chronotype. This shows that night people still have a healthy circadian rhythm.

6. Answer – False 


Explanation: Paragraph D of Making Time for Science holds the answer. From the second sentence onwards, it states that different therapeutic developments, such as melatonin administration and artificial light machines, may reset circadian rhythms. But, the following line states that health suffers when such artificial processes are used to breach natural rhythms for extended time periods. So, the statement is false. 


7. Answer – True 


Explanation: The answer to this statement may be found in paragraph D of the essay. Towards the end, it states that studies have found that vegetables ripe on the tree in their season are higher in essential nutrients when compared to those ripened by laser treatments and grown in greenhouses. The word 'in season' and 'ripened on the tree' hint at naturally grown vegetables. So, the statement is true.

8. Answer – 7:22 


Explanation: Paragraph F of Making Time for Science Reading Answers gives a clear answer. The paragraph broadly discusses the right time to wake up in the morning. It states that researchers consider 6:04 AM a little too early from a health perspective. As for 7:00 AM, it is only recommended if one exercises for 30 minutes after waking up. But, the ideal time bottles down to 7:22 AM as instances of moodiness, headaches, and muscle aches were the lowest among participants.

9. Answer – Exercise before breakfast 


Explanation: The answer to this statement is found in paragraph G. It clearly states that dieticians are adamant that one must never skip breakfast if trying to lose some extra pounds. This is because it disturbs the circadian rhythm and pushes the body into starvation mode. It says that the ideal course of action is to do an intense workout followed by a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, not the other way around. 

10. Answer – Taking supplements at breakfast 


Explanation: As per paragraph H of the Making Time for Science, Pam Stone suggests that to improve supplement absorption, one must steer clear of caffeinated drinks and have them with a food item if they are readily soluble. Further, towards the end, it also says the supplement potency reduces with warmth and humidity (the opposites of a cool and dry environment). However, supplements for breakfast are mentioned as a means to stay energized throughout the day rather than improving supplement absorption. 


11. Answer – Mid-afternoon 


Explanation: The answer to this question lies in paragraph I of the Making Time for Science Reading Answers. The paragraph starts with talking about the Italian tradition of consuming after-dinner espressos. However, it mentions that doing so may disrupt a good night's sleep. It further recommends that caffeine intake be stopped as early as 3 PM, which is mid-afternoon.

12. Answer – Eat a light meal 


Explanation: The last paragraph, or paragraph J, answers this question. It talks about dietician Geraldine George, who believes that a carbohydrate-rich fast consumed after 5 PM is not a chronological demand but a cultural myth. It also states that overeating may cause indigestion. No mention is made of exercising in the evenings. However, the last statement does state that consuming a modest snack or light meal is sufficient. 

13. Answer – To suggest healthier ways of eating, sleeping, and exercising 


Explanation: Passage 1 begins with a description of how modern life has made chronobiology irrelevant, and it also introduces us to some practical applications, it is mainly about developing healthier ways of sleeping, eating, and exercising. From paragraph E onwards, this message is conveyed that keeping up with our bio-clock is essential. The following five paragraphs discuss improving sleep, eating habits, and exercise practices. However, no mention of a daily schedule is given that may alter chronobiological rhythms. 


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