How Much Higher, How Much Faster – IELTS Reading Answers
You should spend 20 minutes on questions 1-13 based on the reading passage given.
How Much Higher, How Much Faster
|1||TRUE||Paragraph 1 points out that Since the ‘early years of the twentieth century’ (about 1900), when the International Athletic Federation began keeping records (official athletic records), there has been a steady improvement in how fast athletes run, how high they jump and how far they are able to hurl massive objects, themselves included, through space. As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|2||NOT GIVEN||In the first sentence of Paragraph 1, it is stated that since the early years of the twentieth century, when the International Athletic Federation began keeping records, there has been ‘a steady improvement in how fast athletes run’, how high they jump and how far they are able to hurl massive objects, themselves included, through space. From the highlighted portion we can conclude that the improvement has been constant but whether it was slow or fast is not specified. Moreover, there is no mention of activities or improvements before the twentieth century. As there is no information on this, the answer is ‘NOT GIVEN’.|
|3||FALSE||Paragraph 1 mentions that for the so-called ‘power events’ (events requiring an intensive burst of energy) –that require a relatively brief, explosive release of energy, like the 100-metre sprint and the long jump-’times and distances have improved ten to twenty percent’. The overall improvement in performance has not been mostly great, rather there has been just a little improvement in distance and time. As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.|
|4||FALSE||Paragraph 2 brings out the fact that ‘no one theory can explain improvements in performance’, but the ‘most important factor has been genetics’, that is genetics is one of the factors but not fully responsible for the performance of the athlete. Later, in paragraph 3, it is supported by the statement of Michael Yessis, an emeritus professor of Sports Science at California State University at Fullerton, that ‘genetics only determines about one third of what an athlete can do’. As the statement contradicts the information, the answer is ‘FALSE’.|
|5||NOT GIVEN||The only reference to parents is given in paragraph B which says that according to Jesus Dapena, a sports scientist at Indiana University, the athlete must choose his parents carefully. Moreover, there is no hint that parents have often been successful athletes themselves. As there is no information on this, the answer is ‘NOT GIVEN’.|
|6||TRUE||Paragraph 2 indicates that over the past century, the composition of the human gene pool has not changed appreciably, but with ‘increasing global participation in athletics’ (growing international importance of athletics) -and greater rewards to tempt athletes-it is more likely that ‘individuals possessing the unique complement of genes for athletic performance’ (gifted athletes) can be ‘identified early’ (recognised at a younger age). As the statement agrees with the information, the answer is ‘TRUE’.|
|7||genetics||Paragraph 3 relates that Yesis believes that ‘U.S. runners’ (American runners), despite ‘their impressive achievements’ (their current success), are ‘running on their genetics’ (relying on genetics). Hence, the answer is ‘genetics’.|
|8||power||At the end of paragraph 3, the writer explains that scientific methods include strength training that duplicates what they are doing in their running events as well as ‘plyometrics, a technique pioneered in the former Soviet Union’. In paragraph 4, it is further explained that most exercises are designed to build up strength or endurance, ‘plyometrics’ ‘focuses on increasing’ (aims to develop) ‘power’– the rate at which an athlete can expend energy. Yesis describes that when a sprinter runs, her foot stays in contact with the ground for just under a tenth of a second, half of which is devoted to landing and the other half to pushing off. Plyometric exercises help athletes make the best use of this brief interval. Hence, the answer is ‘power’.|
|9||injuries||Paragraph 5 communicates that ‘nutrition’ is ‘another area that sports trainers have failed to address adequately’. Yessis insists that many athletes are not getting the best nutrition, even through supplements. Each activity has its own nutritional needs. As a result, few coaches are of the view that ‘deficiencies in trace minerals’ (inadequate diet) can ‘lead to injuries’. Hence, the answer is ‘injuries’.|
|10||training||The first sentence of paragraph 6 comments that ‘focused training will also play a role in enabling records to be broken’. Yessis asserts that if the Russian training model is applied to some of the outstanding runners in the U.S., they would be breaking records left and right. Although he is not sure how much training is needed, there will be an ‘increase (in setting new records) ‘as long as training continues to improve. Hence, the answer is ‘training’.|
|11||A||Paragraph 7 explains that a biomechanic films an athlete in action and then digitizes her performance, recording the motion of every joint and limb in three dimensions. The ‘trainer can tell if an athlete’s run is not fast enough, or another one is not using his arms strongly enough during take-off’, that is, he/she can highlight areas for improvement in athletes. To date, ‘biomechanics has made’ a small, but useful ‘difference to athletic performance’.
Hence, the answer is A (highlight areas for improvement in athletes).
|12||D||Paragraph 8 cites an example of the use of biomechanics. During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, a relatively unknown high jumper named Dick Fosbury won the gold by going over the bar backwards, in complete contradiction of all the received high-jumping wisdom, a move instantly dubbed the Fosbury flop. ‘That understanding took the later analysis of biomechanics specialists’. who put their minds to ‘comprehending’ (understanding and explaining) something that was too complex and unorthodox ever to have been invented through their ‘own mathematical simulations’ (theoretical models). Hence, the answer is D (explain the Fosbury flop).|
|13||B||Paragraph 9 discusses the comment of John S.Raglin, a sports psychologist at Indiana University when he says that once ‘athletics’ is studied, it is understood that it’s a ‘very complex issue’. The core performance is not a simple or mundane thing of higher, faster, longer. He further adds that so many variables enter into the equation of an athletic performance, and so, ‘our understanding’ (our current knowledge of athletics) in many cases is ‘fundamental’ (basic).
Hence, the answer is B (basic).
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