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Understanding the Growth of Intelligence: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 06 February, 2024

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Intelligence is not a monolithic trait but rather a dynamic and multifaceted spectrum of abilities that include problem-solving, reasoning, learning, and understanding. The growth of intelligence can be seen both in the individual's cognitive development from infancy through adulthood and the evolution of intelligence across the history of mankind.

From Instinct to Innovation: The Evolutionary Perspective

Human intelligence has evolved from basic survival instincts to advanced cognitive abilities that enable us to create complex societies, innovate technology, and explore the cosmos. The evolution of the human brain, particularly the expansion of the neocortex, has been pivotal in this development.

The Role of Environment and Genetics

The interplay between genetics and environment is crucial in the development of intelligence. While genetic factors set certain parameters, the environment can significantly influence the actualization of an individual's intellectual potential. Educational opportunities, social interactions, and even nutrition play roles in shaping one's cognitive growth.

Neuroplasticity: The Brain's Ability to Adapt

A key factor in the growth of intelligence is neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to change and adapt. This is most evident during childhood but continues throughout life. Learning new skills, engaging in challenging tasks, and even recovering from brain injuries all demonstrate the remarkable adaptability of the human brain.

Intelligence Across Lifespan

Intelligence is not static; it can grow and change throughout a person's life. While there are natural variations in the rate and manner of cognitive development, it is a lifelong process that can be enhanced through mental stimulation and continued learning.

Questions & Answers:

1. Multiple Choice: The human brain has evolved to:

A. Increase survival instincts

B. Expand the neocortex

C. Decrease cognitive abilities

D. Simplify complex societies

Answer: B. Expand the neocortex

2. Fill in the Blanks: Intelligence growth is influenced by both genetics and the environment.

Answer: genetics, environment

3. True or False: The human brain’s neuroplasticity is only active during childhood.

Answer: False. Neuroplasticity is active throughout life, though it is most evident during childhood.

4. Multiple Choice: Educational opportunities can influence intelligence by:

A. Limiting intellectual potential

B. Enhancing cognitive development

C. Reducing problem-solving abilities

D. None of the above

Answer: B. Enhancing cognitive development

5. Fill in the Blanks: Learning new skills is an example of the brain's neuroplasticity.

Answer: neuroplasticity

6. Multiple Choice: Which ability is not typically considered a component of intelligence?

A. Learning

B. Reasoning

C. Digesting food

D. Problem-solving

Answer: C. Digesting food

7. True or False: Social interactions have no significant impact on the development of intelligence.

Answer: False. Social interactions can significantly impact cognitive growth.

8. Multiple Choice: The spectrum of intelligence includes:

A. Problem-solving and reasoning

B. Physical strength

C. Immune response

D. Reflex actions

Answer: A. Problem-solving and reasoning

9. Fill in the Blanks: An individual's intellectual potential is set by genetics but actualized through environmental influences.

Answer: genetics

10. Multiple Choice: What does modern research into neuroplasticity suggest about human intelligence?

A. It diminishes with age.

B. It cannot change once adulthood is reached.

C. It can continue to grow and adapt over a person’s lifetime.

D. It is solely determined by early childhood experiences.

Answer: C. It can continue to grow and adapt over a person’s lifetime.

Understanding the growth of intelligence is a fascinating journey that spans across various disciplines. By dissecting this subject, IELTS learners can not only broaden their knowledge but also practice reading comprehension skills critical for exam success. The questions and answers provided aim to reinforce the understanding of the passage while challenging the learners to think critically and apply their knowledge in a test-like environment.

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Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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