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Unraveling the Tale of the Huarango: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 09 February, 2024

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert


The IELTS Reading Test challenges test-takers to comprehend, interpret, and analyze written texts. The passage below delves into the story of the huarango tree, a significant yet often overlooked part of the ecosystem. As you read, pay close attention to the details, which are essential for answering the subsequent questions accurately.


In the arid heartland of Peru's southern coast, the huarango tree, also known as Prosopis pallida, was once ubiquitous, its roots running as deep into the cultural identity of the region as they did into the soil. This indigenous tree species, capable of living for over a millennium, had been the cornerstone of local ecosystems and a silent witness to the rise and fall of pre-Columbian cultures.

The huarango's decline began with the European conquest, which saw its value mainly as fuelwood, leading to widespread deforestation. However, recent years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the huarango. Conservationists tout its ability to combat desertification, restore soil fertility, and support biodiversity.

As the huarango makes its return, it brings with it hope for ecological restoration and a renewed sense of cultural heritage. The tree’s resilience and utility are celebrated once more as it aids in reforestation efforts and provides sustenance and material resources for local communities.


Questions & Answers:


Q1. What is the local name for Prosopis pallida?

A) Huarango

B) Quebracho

C) Mesquite

D) Tamarugo

Q2. For how long can a huarango tree live?

A) 100 years

B) 500 years

C) Over 1000 years

D) Less than 50 years

Q3. Fill in the blank: The decline of the huarango began with the _________ conquest.

A) European

B) Asian

C) African

D) Incan

Q4. True or False: The huarango tree is valued for its ability to prevent desertification.

A) True

B) False

Q5. What has led to a renewed interest in the huarango tree?

A) Its historical sinificance

B) Its potential ecological benefits

C) Its decline in population

D) All of the above

Q6. Multiple Choice: Which of the following is not mentioned as a use for the huarango tree?

A) Fuelwood

B) Reforestation

C) Medicinal purposes

D) Soil fertility restoration

Q7. Fill in the Blanks: The huarango tree supports _________ and provides _________ for local communities.

A) biodiversity; sustenance

B) tourism; entertainment

C) urbanization; infrastructure

D) mining; employment

Q8. True or False: The huarango tree's wood is primarily used for building homes.

A) True

B) False

Q9. Multiple Choice: What cultural significance does the huarango tree hold?

A) It is a symbol of modernization.

B) It witnessed the rise and fall of pre-Columbian cultures.

C) It represents European influence in Peru.

D) It is a sacred plant used in religious ceremonies.

Q10. Fill in the Blanks: Conservationists tout the huarango's ability to restore _________ and support _________.

A) urban landscapes; construction

B) coral reefs; marine life

C) soil fertility; biodiversity

D) mountain terrains; wildlife


Answers & Explanations:

A1. The local name for Prosopis pallida is the Huarango.

Explanation: The passage mentions that the huarango tree is known locally as Prosopis pallida, identifying it as a significant part of the local ecosystem and culture.

A2. A huarango tree can live for over 1000 years.

Explanation: The passage states that the huarango tree is capable of living for over a millennium, highlighting its longevity.

A3. The decline of the huarango began with the European conquest.

Explanation: The passage specifies that the huarango's decline started with the arrival of Europeans, who saw the tree primarily as a source of fuelwood.

A4. True: The huarango tree is valued for its ability to prevent desertification.

Explanation: The text indicates that conservationists are promoting the huarango for its capacity to combat desertification, among other ecological benefits.

A5. A renewed interest in the huarango tree has been led by its potential ecological benefits.

Explanation: While all options are valid to some extent, the passage specifically emphasizes the ecological benefits of the huarango as a reason for renewed interest.

A6. Medicinal purposes

Explanation: The passage does not mention the huarango tree being used for medicinal purposes; instead, it focuses on its use as fuelwood and its ecological roles, such as reforestation and soil fertility restoration.

A7. biodiversity; sustenance

Explanation: The passage notes the huarango's role in supporting biodiversity and providing sustenance and material resources for local populations.

A8. False

Explanation: The text states that the huarango was mainly valued as fuelwood, not specifically for construction purposes.

A9. It witnessed the rise and fall of pre-Columbian cultures.

Explanation: The huarango is described as a silent witness to the historical progression of local cultures, indicating its deep cultural significance.

A10. soil fertility; biodiversity

Explanation: As per the passage, conservationists promote the huarango for its environmental benefits, including restoring soil fertility and supporting biodiversity.

IELTS Reading Tips:

Tip 1: Skim for the Main Idea:

Before diving into the questions, quickly skim the passage to grasp the central theme and the main ideas of each paragraph.

Tip 2: Scan for Keywords:

Identify and underline keywords in the questions that will help you locate the information in the passage.

Tip 3: Understand Question Types:

Familiarize yourself with the different question types, as each requires a different strategy to answer effectively.

Tip 4: Practice Time Management:

Allocate your time wisely, spending no more than one minute per question to ensure you have ample time to answer all questions.

Tip 5: Check Your Answers:

If time permits, review your answers, checking for any possible mistakes or overlooked details.

By approaching the IELTS reading section with a systematic and methodical strategy, test-takers can enhance their comprehension skills and increase their chances of achieving a high score. The story of the huarango, with its rich cultural and ecological narrative, serves as an excellent practice topic to hone these skills.

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Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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