Alfred Nobel Ielts Answers and Questions

The Blog post contains the following IELTS Reading Questions:

  • IELTS Reading Matching sentence endings
  • IELTS Reading True/False/Not given
  • IELTS Reading Notes completion

IELTS Alfred Nobel Reading Passage

Alfred Nobel

A. Men and women are honoured by the Nobel Prize from all the edges of the globe for outstanding achievements in science streams such as physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and work in peace since 1901. After Alfred Noble’s last will the foundations for the prize began in 1895 as he left much of his wealth for the foundation of the Nobel Prize.  

B.The birth of Alfred Nobel took place in Stockholm in 1833 on 21st of October. Immanuel Nobel was his father, an engineer and an inventor who built bridges and buildings in his birth place. Immanuel Nobel experimented with various blasting techniques in connection with his construction work. Immanuel Nobel in 1824 brought his family toSt. Petersburg after his success in industrial and business ventures. Here, his sons were educated by private tutors with first class education. Natural sciences, languages, and literature were all part of the curriculum. Alfred Nobel became fluent in Swedish, Russian, French, English and German by the age of 17. However, his primary interests were in English literature, poetry, chemistry and in physics. Alfred’s father disliked his field of interest in poetry and found his son rather introverted and wanted his sons to join the enterprise of engineers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 C. Alfred’s father sent him abroad for further training in chemical engineering in order to widen his horizons. In the two year period Alfred Nobel visited Sweden, Germany, France and the United States. In Paris, his favourite city, he worked in the private laboratory of chemist professor T.J.Pclouze. There he met the young Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero who, three years earlier, had invented nitrogen glycerin, a highly explosive liquid. But, it was considered dangerous for practical use. Even Though, its explosive power greatly exceeds that of gunpowder, the liquid would explode in a very unpredictable manner if subjected to heat and pressure. The practical use of nitroglycerine in construction work was the field of interest of Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel had the realisation to solve safety problems and to develop a method for the control detonation of nitroglycerine.                                                      

D.Back in Sweden in 1863, Alfred Nobel set out to perfect nitroglycerine for use as an explosive. Authorities were convinced that making nitroglycerine was extremely risky after several explosions, including one in which his brother Emil and several others were killed in 1864. After being told he couldn’t continue his nitroglycerine experiments in Stockholm, Alfred Nobel was forced to relocate them to a barge in the middle of Lake Malaren. Never one to give up, Alfred began producing nitroglycerine in large quantities in 1864. Alfred Nobel tried various additives to nitroglycerine to make it easier to handle and less dangerous. He quickly learned that by combining nitroglycerine and kieselguhr, he could make a paste that could be moulded into rods. These rods would be the perfect size and shape to fit into drill holes. This substance, later dubbed dynamite, was patented by him in 1867. He also developed a detonator (blasting cap) that could be set off by striking a match to set off the dynamite rods. During the same time period that the pneumatic drill was being widely adopted, these innovations were made. Collectively, these innovations greatly diminished the expense of undertaking such construction tasks as rock blasting, tunnelling, canal building, and many others. 

E.There was a rapid surge in the market for dynamite and detonating caps. Along with this, Alfred Nobel proved himself to be a very skillful entrepreneur and businessman. Over the years he founded factories and laboratories in some 90 different places in more than 20 countries.The majority of his life was spent in Paris, but he was in perpetual motion. Nobel himself worked tirelessly in his various laboratories, initially in Stockholm and then elsewhere, when he wasn’t travelling or conducting business. He worked extensively on improving explosives technology and on developing other chemical inventions like synthetic rubber and leather, artificial silk, etc. He had 355 patents when he passed away at 18%. 

F.Intensive work and travel did not leave much time for private life. At the age of 43, he was feeling like an old man. He put an ad in the paper reading, “Wealthy, highly educated elderly gentleman seeks the lady of mature age, versed in languages, as secretary and supervisor of household.” The most qualified applicant turned out to be an Austrian woman, Countess Bertha Kinsky. After only a short time at Nobel, she left to marry Count Arthur von Suttner in her native Austria. Nevertheless, Alfred Nobel and Bertha von Suttner remained close and kept up a correspondence for decades. Bertha von Suttner’s views on the arms race evolved over the course of her life. She gained notoriety as a leader in the peace movement after penning the best-selling book Lay Down Your Arms. Without a doubt, this is what inspired Alfred Nobel to leave a prize in his will for peace activists. The Norwegian Storting (Parliament) awarded Bertha von Suttner the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, long after Alfred Nobel’s death. 

G.After a long and productive life, Alfred Nobel passed away on December 10, 1896, in San Remo, Italy. When his will was read, it was a shock to learn that he had left his fortune to fund the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. Two young engineers, Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, were named as his executors. The Nobel Foundation was established to manage the funds that Nobel had set aside for this purpose and to oversee the cooperation between the various institutions that award the Nobel Prizes. This was not without its challenges, as members of the family and authorities in several countries challenged the will. 

H. Incorporating the forward-thinking energy of an industrialist with the keen intellect of a scientist and inventor, Alfred Nobel was truly exceptional. Nobel took an extreme interest in issues of social justice and world peace, and his views were radical for the time. He was a talented poet and playwright with a deep appreciation for the written word. The Nobles were a natural progression and culmination of his life’s work.

Alfred Nobel IELTS Reading Questions

Questions 1-4

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write a matching sentence ending from 1-4 on your answer sheet.

Nobel became fascinated by this new explosive and experimented with it. However, nitroglycerine was too dangerous and was prohibited for use in experiments within the city of 1.___________. As a result, Nobel was forced to relocate his experiments to a lake. Nobel invented dynamite to make nitroglycerine more easily usable, while 2. ________ became popular in the meantime 3.________ all of which dramatically reduced the 4. _________of construction works.

Questions 5-10

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

In boxes 5-10 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE                if the statement is true

FALSE               if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN     if the information is not given in the passage

5. In 1895, the first Nobel Prize was awarded.6.Nobel’s father desired that his son receive a better education than he had received.7.Nobel was a failed businessman.8. Nobel himself chose Bertha von Suttner to receive the first peace prize.9.The Nobel Foundation was established following Nobel’s death.10.Nobel’s social participation was unusual in the 1800s. 

Questions 11-13

Complete the notes below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage.
Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
Nobel’s father was determined to give his son the best education possible and sent him abroad to be trained in 11_______ during Nobel’s study in Paris, he worked in a private laboratory where he came into contact with a young engineer 12_________  and his invention nitroglycerine, a more powerful explosive than 13__________.

Alfred Nobel reading answers

1.  Stockholm

2.  Detonator 

3. Pneumatic Drill 

4. Cost 

5. False

6. Not Given 

7. False  

8. False 

9. True 

10. True  

11. Chemical Engineering 

12. Ascanio Sobrero 

13. Gunpowder 

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