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The Story of Silk Reading Answers IELTS Sample

Updated on 22 May, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The IELTS is a popular exam that can help students secure admission to reputed foreign universities. Amidst various sections, there is a dedicated module for a full-length essay. Examinees need to read the passage and answer relevant questions.

Here is a sample of a prominent passage titled, ‘the story of silk.’ The subsequent section contains frequently asked questions of different types. Read the essay and attempt to answer the questions. Later, one can go through the explanations to understand how to proceed with such a section.  

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Complete the questions or notes below.

Choose ONLY ONE or TWO WORDS from the essay for answering each question.

Early production of silk in the country of China

Around 3000 B.C., according to an age-old legend:

1. The silkworm cocoon accidently fell into the emperor’s wife’s _____? 

2. The Emperor’s wife invented a _____ to draw fibers

3. Only _____ had the responsibility and permission to produce silk

For instance, in this case, ‘entitle,’ and its associated forms is the main keyword. Also, an examinee needs to read and understand the essay thoroughly.

5. Silk was also popularly utilized as a form of _____

6. The applications of silk were numerous.

Silk _____ was one of the interesting products discovered around 168 A.D.

7. Merchants utilized the silk route or road to bring materials like _____ and precious metals

8. In or around 550 A.D., _____ hid silkworm eggs in bamboo canes to smuggle them to Constantinople

9. In the 20th century, _____ and other artificial materials led to a decline in the production of silk.

Do the statements below relate to the information in the Reading essay?

TRUE    if the sentence agrees with the content of the essay

FALSE if the sentence contradicts the relevant portion of the essay

NOT GIVEN if the information is not present in the essay

10. Gold was the most precious material transported along the Silk Route.

11. Chinese regained the largest exporter of silk tag in recent years 

12. The Byzantine empire was responsible for spreading the process of silk production in western countries

13. China exports the majority of silk in the form of yarn


1.Answer: tea


Scan the story of silk essay for the mention of 3000 B.C. This entry is presented in paragraph two. So, move directly to the second paragraph and read the fifth line. It is clear from the sentences that empress Leizu was sipping delicious hot tea, and the cocoon fell into her cup. Hence, the answer is ‘tea.’

2.Answer: reel 


In the third paragraph, there is a clear mention of Empress Leizu developing a special reel to draw fibers. This way, she indulged in creating single threads from the silkworms. So, ‘reel’ is the correct answer in this reading answers IELTS sample.

3.Answer: women


One can locate the answer to this question in the sixth line of the third paragraph. There is a mention of the Chinese keeping silk as a secret material. Following this statement, it’s written that women were solely responsible for silk production activities like harvesting and weaving. So, the final answer is ‘women.’

4.Answer: royalty


The eighth line of paragraph three mentions how Qing Dynasty made it possible for silk finds its major inclusion in Chinese society. However, the subsequent line informs the reader about the elimination of an old rule that entitled royalty to possess silk clothes. The trick to finding solutions to such reading answers IELTS sample is to locate specific keywords.

5.Answer: currency


One can locate this answer in the opening lines of the fourth paragraph. It was evident that silk became an enticing fabric during the reign of the Han Dynasty. However, the story of silk also reveals that the charisma and popularity of this fabric made it an alternative currency.

6.Answer: paper


The third line of this reading answers IELTS sample mentions the date 168 A.D. This section mentions the discovery of silk paper found near a noble’s tomb. Individuals looking to quickly solve this question should be alert to locate the mention of the time phase. The answer is most likely adjacent to the year, in this case, 168 A.D.

7.Answer: wool


The fourth paragraph explicitly mentions small information about the silk route. One can find the solution to this question in the fifth line of the story of silk passage. In this case, it is vital to apply logic as the answer isn’t present in direct words. The essay mentions this road’s pivotal role in the gold, wool, and silver trade. Since both silver and gold are precious metals, wool is the correct answer.

8.Answer: monks


The answer to this essay question lies in the fifth paragraph. One needs to read lines three to six in the passage to locate it. There is a clear mention of 550 A.D. Next; there is a straightforward answer to this sentence starting from ‘monks who worked for the Byzantine empire.’ Hence, finding the solution to this reading answers IELTS sample isn’t quite challenging.

9.Answer: nylon


This question’s answer is present in the sixth paragraph. The ending lines of this section describe the physical properties of nylon, like durability, elasticity, and better heat retention. It is written that the fabric began replacing silk products. This sentence implies the decline in the production of silk. 

10.Answer: FALSE    


In paragraph four of 'the story of silk' essay, there is a clear mention of the silk road. So, the candidate should locate the statement's authenticity in this section. The fifth line states how silk was considered more precious than gold. Hence, the statement is incorrect.

11.Answer: TRUE


In the final paragraph of the story of silk, there is a mention of China regaining its position as a significant silk-producing country. Statistics like the production of over 150,000 metric tons and 70% of global silk production are testaments of this statement. So, the largest exporter tag for China is valid. 

12.Answer: FALSE


The fifth paragraph of this reading answers IELTS sample and mentions some details about the Byzantine empire. Hence, one should refer to this section for further analysis. Sixth line onwards, there is a mention of Arabs who should receive the credit for the widespread popularity of silk. This empire had an ambitious expansion and was responsible for spreading the knowledge of this fabric to countries like Spain. So, the statement in the question is incorrect.

13.Answer: NOT GIVEN


In the final paragraph of the story of silk, the writer mentions how China regained its position as the top producer of silk. The section also puts forth statistics to back up the claim. However, there is no inclusion of ‘silk yarn’ anywhere in the paragraph. Examinees should thus answer the question as ‘not given.’

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

IELTS Online Test

IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert








The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.