Learning Lessons from the Past Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

The Blog post contains the following IELTS Reading Questions:

  • IELTS reading Yes/No/Not Given
  • IELTS reading Multiple Choice Questions
  • IELTS reading Matching Sentence Endings

Stay informed and prepared for success – Explore our comprehensive Reading Test Info page to get valuable insights, exam format details, and expert tips for mastering the IELTS Reading section.

IELTS Reading Passage: Learning Lessons from the Past

Learning lessons from the past

Many past societies caved in or disappeared, leaving behind huge disintegration such as those that the poet Shelley visualized in his ballad, Ozymandias. By cave in, I mean an extreme lesson in human population size and/or political/economic/social complication, over a sizable area, for an extended time. By those quality, most people would consider the following past societies to have been well known sufferer of full-fledged tumble rather than of just minor diminish: the Anasazi and  Cahokia within the frontier of the modern US, the Maya cities in Central America, Moche and Tiwanaku societies in South America, Norse Greenland, Mycenaean Greece and Minoan Crete in Europe, Great Zimbabwe in Africa, Angkor Wat and the Harappan Indus Valley cities in Asia, and Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. 

The huge ruins left behind by those past societies hold an interest for all of us. We wonder at them when as children we first learn of them through pictures. When we grow up, many of us plan quitting in order to experience them first hand. We feel worn to their frequent striking and evocative beauty, and also to the puzzle that they pose. The scales of the ruins testify to the former wealth and power of their builders. Yet these builders disappear, relinquishing the great structures that they had created at such effort. How could a society that was once so mighty end up cave in?

It has long been felt that many of those puzzling desertions were at least partly activated by ecological problems: people inadvertently demolishing the ecological resources on which their societies depended. This doubtful of inadvertent environmental suicide(ecocide) ha been confrimed by findings made in recent decades by paleontologist, weathercaster, chronicler, excavator, and palaeoecology (pollen scientists). The procedure through which past the community have undermined themselves by damaging their environments fall into eight groups, whose relative significance differs from case to case: erosion and environment destruction, soil issues, water management issues, overhunting, overfishing, sequel of introduced species on native species, human population growth, and increased collision of people. 

Those past collapses ministered to follow somewhat alike courses form variations on a theme writers find it tempting to draw resemblance between the course of human communities and the course of individual human loves- to talk of a community’s birth, growth, peak, old age and final death. But that trope manifests mistakes for many past communities: they reduce fastly after reaching high numbers and power, and those fast falls  must have come as a surprise and shock to their citizens. Evidently,  too, this course is not that all past communities followed even to completion: various communities collapsed to various degrees and in somewhat various ways, while many communities did not collapse at all. 
Today many people feel that ecological issues darken all the other warnings to world civilisation. These ecological issues comprise the same eight that erode past communities plus four new ones: human-caused climate swap, build up of poison chemicals in the habitat, energy scarcity, and full human usage of the Earth’s chemosynthesis capacity. But the solemnity of these current ecological issues is strenuously debated. Are the risks greatly overstated, or again are they underrated? Will modern automation solve our issues, or is it creating new issues quicker than it solves old ones? When we exhaust one resource(e.g. Wood oil, or ocean fish), can we count on benign able to replace some new resource(e.g. Plastics, wind and solar energy, or farmed fish)?Isn’t the rate of human population growth reduced, such that we’re formerly on course for the world’ population to level off at some achievable number of people?

Questions like this adorn why those popular collapses of past civilisations have taken on more meaning than just that of an amorous enigma. Maybe there are some particle lessons that we could learn from all those past collapses. But there are also variations between the modern world and its issues, and those past communities and their issues. We shouldn’t be so innocent as to think that studying the past will surrender simple solutions, straight transportable to our communities today.  We differ from past communities in some esteem that put us at lower risk than them; some  of those respects frequently noted encompass our powerful automation(i.e. Its advantageous effects), proliferation, modern medicine, and greater knowledge of past communities and of distant modern communities. We also differ from pat communities in some esteem that put us at greater risk than them: once more, our potent  automation(i.e., its accidental devastating effects), globalization(such that now an issue in one part of the world affects all the rest), the dependence of millions of us on modern medicine for our existence, and our much greater human population. Maybe we can still learn from the past, but only if we think carefully about its lessons. 

Unlock your full potential in the IELTS Reading section – Visit our IELTS Reading Practice Question Answer page now!

Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

IELTS Reading Questions: Learning Lessons from the Past

Questions 1-3

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

1. When the writer describes the impact of monumental ruins today, he emphasizes

A  The income they generate from tourism.
B  the area of land they occupy.
C  their archaeological value.
D  their romantic appeal.

2. Recent findings concerning vanished civilisations have

A  overturned long-held belief.
B  caused controversy amongst scientists.
C  comes from a variety of disciplines.
D  identified one main cause of environmental damage.

3. What does the writer say about ways in which former societies collapsed?

A  The pace of decline was usually similar.
B  The likelihood of collapse would have been foreseeable.
C  Deterioration invariably led to total collapse.
D  Individual citizens could sometimes influence the course of events.

Ready to improve your performance in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)? Click here to access our comprehensive guide on how to tackle MCQs effectively in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 4-8

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 3? Write

  • YES              if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
  • NO                if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
  • NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

4. It is widely believed that environmental problems represent the main danger faced by the modern world.
5. The accumulation of poisonous substances is a relatively modern problem.
6. There is general agreement that the threats posed by environmental problems are very serious.
7. Some past societies resembled present-day societies more closely than others.
8. We should be careful when drawing comparisons between past and present.

Want to excel in identifying the writer’s views and claims? Click here to explore our in-depth guide on how to accurately determine Yes, No, or Not Given in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 9-13

Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-F, below.

Write the correct letter, A-F.

9. Evidence of the greatness of some former civilisations
10. The parallel between an individual’s life and the life of a society
11. The number of environmental problems that societies face
12. The power of technology
13. A consideration of historical events and trends

A) is not necessarily valid.
B )provides grounds for an optimistic outlook.
C) exists in the form of physical structures.
D) is potentially both positive and negative.
E) will not provide direct solutions for present problems.
F) is greater now than in the past.

Ready to sharpen your skills in Matching Sentence Endings? Click here to discover expert strategies and techniques for accurately matching sentence endings with the corresponding information in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 14

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

14.  What is the main argument of Reading Passage 3?

A.  There are differences as well as similarities between past and present societies.
B.  More should be done to preserve the physical remains of earlier civilisations.
C. Some historical accounts of great civilisations are inaccurate.
D.  Modern societies are dependent on each other for their continuing survival.

Ready to improve your performance in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)? Click here to access our comprehensive guide on how to tackle MCQs effectively in the IELTS Reading section.

Unlock your full potential in the IELTS Reading section – Visit our IELTS Reading Practice Question Answer page now!

Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Learning lessons from the past Reading Answers

1. Answer: C 
2. Answer: D  
3. Answer: A
4. Answer: Yes  
5. Answer: Yes  
6. Answer: No  
7. Answer: Not given  
8. Answer: Yes  
9. Answer: C  
10. Answer: A  
11. Answer: F  
12. Answer: D
13. Answer: E
14. Answer: A


We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

The best way to keep up to date with posts like this is to like us on Facebook, then follow us on Instagram and Pinterest. If you need help preparing for the IELTS Test, join the IELTS Achieve Academy and see how we can assist you to achieve your desired band score. We offer an essay correction service, mock exams and online courses.

Scroll to Top