South pole adventurer - IELTS Reading Answers

South Pole Adventurer - IELTS Reading Answers

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2024-03-07

South pole adventurer

Overview

This Academic IELTS Reading task concentrates on the answers to the first reading passage from the IELTS Cambridge official Guide to IELTS Test 4 (named "South pole adventurer"). This post is intended for IELTS applicants who struggle to comprehend the Reading answers in the AC module. You can easily understand each Reading response by following the instructions in this page. It takes time to figure out IELTS Reading answers, but this guide will help you along the way. 

South Pole Adventurer - IELTS Reading Passage

This passage of the IELTS reading section, "South pole adventurer reading answers," covers an amazing story about a courageous explorer who made the impossible trek to the South Pole. You can read the passage below and then attempt the questions. 

1. There was a Japanese team led by heroic explorer Nobu Shirase attempting to be first in a race to the South Pole.

2. In January 1912, Antarctica was filled with explorers for a few weeks. On December 14th, Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole and went back to the coast. Robert Scott and the men of the British Antarctic expedition had arrived at the pole on 17 January to find out that they had been beaten to it. A third man then arrived – a Japanese explorer named Nobu Shirase. His part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the twentieth century is not known much outside his own country, even by fellow explorers. Shirase and his team sailed into Antarctica’s Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these dangerous waters as Scott was nearing the pole and with the rest of the people not aware of Amundsen’s triumph. Since childhood Shirase had wanted to become a polar explorer. He initially planned to go to the North Pole like Amundsen. But both men quickly changed their plans after the American Robert Peary claimed to have reached it in 1909. Instead, they went to the South Pole. In January 1910, Shirase promised to raise the flag at the South Pole within 3 years and put his plans before Japanese government officials. The question for many of them wasn’t whether he could do it but why it would be worth doing? The International Geographical Congress had said 15 years before that Antarctica, the last unknown continent, offered the chance to add to knowledge in almost every branch of science. Like the British, Shirase presented his expedition as a search for knowledge, making meteorological measurements and exploring unknown parts of the continent; he would bring back fossils. 

3. Before Shirase, the British team declared their decision to carry out scientific research in Antarctica. 

4. Even though the response from the government was positive, Shirase found it difficult to raise funds. Luckily a few months later, Japan’s former prime minister, Shigenobu Kuma came to Shirase’s rescue. Shirase got together just enough money to buy and equip a small ship with Kuma’s help. Later he eventually got a scientist named Terutaro Takeda. His ship, the Kainan Maru, finally left Tokyo at the end of November 1910 with 27 men and 28 Siberian dogs on board. Shirase confidently outlined his plans to the media before leaving. First, he would sail to New Zealand in a ship, and during the southern summer in February, he would go to Antarctica, and then proceed to the South Pole during the spring. But bad weather was a hurdle to the expedition, and they reached New Zealand only by 8th February. By that time, Amundsen and Scott reached Antarctica a month before and were preparing for winter.

Local reporters in New Zealand were surprised because his ship was only half the size of Amundsen’s ship. Although the ship was reinforced with extra wood and iron plate, the ship only had a small engine to go through the ice. Local reporters in New Zealand were surprised because his ship was only half the size of Amundsen’s ship. Although the ship was reinforced with extra wood and iron plate, the ship only had a small engine to go through the ice. On the one hand, some are suspicious about Shirase’s courage. And on the other hand, few considered that preparation for the journey was not good enough as they only had lightweight sledges made of bamboo and wood for transport across the ice. 

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5. The biggest challenge faced by him was time. Expeditions usually aimed to arrive in January or February as Antarctica is only accessible by sea for a few weeks in summer. ‘Our Japanese friends are running it fine with their determination and daring,’ wrote local reporters.

6. Kainan Maru on February 11th left New Zealand and went straight into the worst weather the captain had ever seen. They approached the coastline of Antarctica’s Ross Sea on March 6, looking for a place to halt. The ice began to surround them, which could trap them for the winter, an experience which no one will survive. The captain, who had a remarkable seamanship, steered north and escaped out of the ice. They would have to wait till the winter is over till the climate becomes warm again. 

7. Shirase and 6 men finally reached Antarctica a year later. He had said he would stick to science this time but catching up with Scott or Amundsen was out of the question. As he had always dreamed, Shirase still felt the pull of the pole and decided he would head southward to experience the thrills and hardships of polar exploration. With 4 men and provisions for 20 days he would see how far they could get.

8. On 20 January 1912, Shirase set off with Takeda and 2 dog handlers, leaving 2 men at the edge of the ice shelf to make meteorological measurements. For a week, they struggled through repeated blizzards, hiding in their tents during the worst of the weather. The temperature went to -25°C, and frostbite claimed the lives of some dogs. Shirase estimated there were enough provisions on 26th January to continue for 2 more days. 2 days later; he announced it was time to turn back. Takeda calculated they had reached 80°5 south and had travelled 250 km. They hoisted the Japanese flag.

9. All the men returned home on 3rd February. In June 1912, when the ship reached Tokyo Shirase was praised like a hero, although he never reached the pole. Also, he couldn’t contribute anything to science. Nor did Amundsen, whose only interest was to reach the pole first. But the expedition of Shirase was heroic. Only one of 4 teams have gone so far south beyond 80° south at the time. Also, they did all this without the advantages the other teams had and without any previous experience.

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South Pole Adventurer - Question and Answer

Questions (1-5)

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

1. When did Norwegian Roald Amundsen reach the South Pole? 

2. What did Shirase want to be since childhood?

3. How many dogs were there on the ship the Kainan Maru when leaving Tokyo? 

4. What was the biggest challenge faced by Shirase?

5. When did Kainan Maru leave New Zealand?

Answer 1: 14th December

Explanation 1: The 1st line of paragraph 2, ‘On December 14th Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole and went back to the coast.’ makes it very evident that on December 14, Norwegian Roald Amundsen arrived at the South Pole.

Answer 2: Polar explorer

Explanation 2: According to the 9th line of paragraph 2, ‘Since childhood Shirase had wanted to become a polar explorer. He initially planned to go to the North Pole like Amundsen.’ Shirase had dreamed about travelling to the North Pole since she was little.

Answer 3: 28

Explanation 3: According to the 4th line of paragraph 4, ‘His ship the Kainan Maru finally left Tokyo at the end of November 1910 with 27 men and 28 Siberian dogs on board.’ it is evident that when the Kainan Maru ship sailed out of Tokyo, it included 28 Siberian dogs.

Answer 4: Time

Explanation 4: According to the 1st line of paragraph 5, ‘The biggest challenge faced by him was time. Expeditions usually aimed to arrive in January or February as Antarctica is only accessible by sea for a few weeks in summer.’ Shirase's largest obstacle was time.

Answer 5: 11th February

Explanation 5: The 1st line of paragraph 6, ‘Kainan Maru on February 11th left New Zealand and went straight into the worst weather the captain had ever seen.’ clearly states that on February 11th, Kainan Maru departed from New Zealand and during the worst weather conditions the captain had ever experienced.

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Questions (6-10)

Complete the notes below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS/ OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

6. Shirase initially planned to go to the North Pole like 6__________.

7. Shirase presented his expedition as a search for 7________

8. Shirase confidently outlined his plans to the 8______ before leaving.

9. All the men returned home on 9_______. 

Only one of 4 teams have gone so far south beyond 10________, at the time.

Answer 6: Amundsen

Explanation 6: According to the 9th line of paragraph 2, ‘Since childhood Shirase had wanted to become a polar explorer. He initially planned to go to the North Pole like Amundsen.’ Shirase had a boyhood dream of travelling to the polar, exactly like Amundsen.

Answer 7: Knowledge

Explanation 7: As given in the last 3rd line of paragraph 2, ‘Like the British, Shirase presented his expedition as a search for knowledge, making meteorological measurements and exploring unknown parts of the continent; he would bring back fossils.’ we can conclude that Shirase's mission was an attempt to learn more and discover previously uncharted territory in Antarctica. 

Answer 8: Media

Explanation 8: According to the 6th line of paragraph 4, ‘Shirase confidently outlined his plans to the media before leaving. First, he would sail to New Zealand in a ship, and during the southern summer in February he would go to Antarctica, and then proceed to the South Pole during the spring.’ Prior to departing for his journey to the South Pole, Shirase disclosed his itinerary to the Media. 

Answer 9: 3rd February

Explanation 9: According to the 1st line of paragraph 9 ‘All the men returned home on 3rd February. In June 1912, when the ship reached Tokyo Shirase was praised as a hero, although he never reached the pole.’ On February 3rd, all of the guys who travelled to the South Pole with Shirase returned to Tokyo. 

Answer 10: 80 degree

Explanation 10: According to the 4th line of paragraph 9, ‘Only one of 4 teams have gone so far south beyond 80° south, at the time.’ Out of the four teams who travelled to the South Pole, only one team travelled 80 degrees farther south. 

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Questions (11-14)

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

In boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet, write

YES: if the statement agrees with the information

NO: if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN: if there is no information on this

11.  Antarctica is only accessible by sea for a few weeks in summer. 

12. Shirase defeated Amundsen in reaching the South Pole.

13. Shirase and 6 men finally reached Antarctica two years later.

14. Shirase was praised like a hero although he never reached the pole.

Answer 11: Yes

Explanation 11: According to the 5th paragraph, 1st line, ‘Expeditions usually aimed to arrive in January or February as Antarctica is only accessible by sea for a few weeks in summer.’ Since the sea in Antarctica is only reachable for a few weeks during the summer, the answer is yes.

Answer 12: No

Explanation 12: In the whale passage, there is no record of Shirase surpassing Amundsen to reach the South Pole; on the contrary, Shirase was never able to arrive there. Thus, the response is no.

Answer 13: No

Explanation 13: According to the 1st line of the 7th paragraph, ‘Shirase and 6 men finally reached Antarctica a year later. He had said he would stick to science this time, but catching up with Scott or Amundsen was out of the question.’ 

Answer 14: Yes

Explanation 14: According to the 1st lien of the 9th paragraph, ‘In June 1912 when the ship reached Tokyo, Shirase was praised like a hero although he never reached the pole.’ It is true that Shirase received recognition and acclaim for his efforts to reach the South Pole despite never reaching it. He was also commended for his fervour and effort. Therefore, the answer is Yes. 

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Conclusion

To sum up, you can have a thorough grasp of how to solve unseen portions in the IELTS reading exam by attentively reading the paragraph and going over all the answers.

If you want to get further details on how to prepare for IELTS or, particularly, the IELTS Reading section, you can contact the Prepare IELTS exam (PI) expert counsellors for additional guidance. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best test material and guidance to ace the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session and an IELTS online practice test via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388 for further queries.

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