Solution for: Ambergris

Answer Table

1. A 8. vomited
2. C 9. hardens
3. D 10. TRUE
4. A 11. NOT GIVEN
5. B 12. NOT GIVEN
6. beaks 13. FALSE
7. passage

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Exam Review

Ambergris

A The name ambergris is derived from the Spanish “ambar gris”, ambar meaning amber and gris meaning grey, thus the name signifies grey amber. The use of ambergris in Europe is now entirely confined to perfumery-as a material of perfumery. Its high price varies from $15 to $25 an ounce, though it formerly occupied on inconsiderable place in medicine. Ambergris was also decorated and worn as jewelry, particularly during the Renaissance.It occupies a very important place in the perfumery of the East, and there it is also used in pharmacy and as a flavouring material in cookery.


Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Q1:very expensive

Its high price varies from $15 to $25 an ounce

Q2: food flavor

... as a flavoring material in cookery.

Note:

+ While the first paragraph in this passage describes the characters of ambergris, the second one focus on amber => Most of the information related to ambergris and amber could be found in these two paragraphs.

+ If you find any synonyms of the question’s keywords, and it turns out to be the ambergris’s characteristic, for example, you should check whether this characteristic could be found in amber since we have the option C. that both ambergris and amber have this characteristic.

+ If you could not find the proper answers after reading through these two paragraphs, skip them to the next questions.

+ After reading the whole passage, if you could not find any synonyms of the question’s keywords, the answer must be D. that neither amber nor ambergris has this property.   

Q1: From the text, high price could be understood as very expensive. Additionally, when we look at the next paragraph, it does not contain the information showing that amber has high price => The answer must be A: very expensive is the only character belonged to ambergris.

Q2:  From the text, food flavor could be understood as very expensive.

Similarly, we could not find any information relating to amber which states that it is used as a food flavor => The answer must be A: ony ambergris is used  as food flavor.


B Amber, however, is quite a different substance from ambergris and this discrepancy has puzzled some people. Amber is the fossilized resin from trees that was quite familiar to Europeans long before the discovery of the New World, and prized for jewelry. Although considered a gem, amber is a hard, transparent and wholly-organic material derived from the resin of extinct species of trees. In the dense forests of the Middle Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, between 10 and 100 million years ago, these resin-bearing trees fell and were carried by rivers to coastal regions. There, the trees and their resins became covered with sediment, and over millions of years the resin hardened into amber.



Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Q5:could be seen through  

...amber is a hard, transparent and wholly-organic material...

From the text, transparent could be understood as could be seen through.

We could not find any information relating to ambergris which states that it could be seen through => The answer must be B. only amber could be seen through.


C Ambergris and amber are related by the fact that both wash up on beaches. Ambergris is a solid, waxy and flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish color, with the shades being variegated like marble. It possesses a peculiar sweet,earthy odour not unlike isopropyl alcohol. It is now known to be a morbid secretion formed in the intestines of the sperm whale, found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Being a very lightweight material, ambergris is found floating upon the sea, on the sea coast, or in the sand near the sea coast.It is met with in the Atlantic Ocean, on the coasts Of Brazil and Madagascar; also on the coast Of Africa, of the East Indies, China, Japan, and the Molucca Islands; but most of the ambergris which is brought to England comes from the Bahama Islands. It is also sometimes found in the abdomen of whales; it is always in lumps in various shapes and sizes, weighing from 1/ 2 oz. to 100 or more lb. A piece which the Dutch East India Company bought from the King of Tydore weighed 182 lb. An American fisherman from Antigua found, Inside a whale, about 52 leagues south-east from the Windward Islands, a piece of ambergris which weighed about l 30 lb, and sold for 500 sterling.

D Like many other substances regarding the origin of which there existed some obscurity or mystery, ambergris in former times possessed a value, and had properties attributed to it, more on account of the source from which it was drawn than from its inherent qualities. Many ridiculous hypotheses were started to account for its origin, and among others it was conjectured to be the solidified foam of the sea, a fungous growth in the ocean similar to the fungi which form on trees.

E The true source and character of ambergris was first satisfactorily established by Dr. Swediaur in a communication to the Royal Society. It was found by Dr. Swediaur that ambergris very frequently contained the horny mandibles or beaks of the squid, on which the sperm whales are known to feed. That observation, in connection with the fact of ambergris being frequently taken from the intestines of the sperm whale, sufficiently proved that the substance is produced by the whale’s intestine as a means of facilitating the passage of undigested hard, sharp beaks of squid that the whale has eaten.


Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Q4:referred to in a communication   

The true source and character of ambergris was first satisfactorily established by Dr. Swediaur in a communication to the Royal Society.

The formation of ambergris experiences several stages. First, when sperm whale eats the hard and sharp 6____  of squid

It was found by Dr. Swediaur that ambergris very frequently contained the horny mandibles or beaks of the squid, on which the sperm whales are known to feed.

its intestine will produce ambergris to facilitate the 7____.

...sufficiently proved that the substance is produced by the whale’s intestine as a means of facilitating the passage of undigested hard, sharp beaks of squid that the whale has eaten.

Note:

Q4: From the text, referred to in a communication is paraphrased as established in a communication to.

We could not find any information relating to amber which states that it is referred to in a communication => The answer must be A. only ambergris is referred to in a communication.

Q3: used as currency

The keyword in this question is currency.

By scanning this keyword over the whole passage, we could not find any synonyms of currency. So the answer must be D. neither amber nor ambergris is used as currency.

Q6: From the question, we can assume that the answer must be a Noun, a part of a squid that is hard and sharp. Additionally, the sentence: “It was found by …. on which the sperm whales are known to feed”  contains all the keywords listed above. Therefore, the answer must be somewhere in this sentence.

+ So the answer must be a Noun, a part of a squid, is hard and sharp and belongs to the sentence above => beaks should be the correct answer of this question.

Q7: From the question, we can assume that the answer must be a Noun, which is the object of the verb facilitate.

+ The last sentence in this paragraph contains all the keywords listed above, so the answer, the object of the verb facilitate, should be somewhere in this sentence => passage should be the correct answer of this question.


F It was further observed that the whales in which ambergris was found were either dead or much wasted and evidently in a sickly condition. From this it was inferred that ambergris is in some way connected with a morbid condition of the sperm whale. Often expelled by vomiting, ambergris floats in chunks on the water and is of a deep grey colour, soft consistence, and an offensive, disagreeable smell. Following months to years of photo-degradation and oxidation in the ocean, this precursor gradually hardens, developing a dark grey or black colour, a crusty and waxy texture, and a peculiar odour that is at once sweet, earthy, marine, and animalist. Its smell has been described by many as a vastly richer and smoother version of isopropanol without its stinging harshness.


Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Then, ambergris can be 8___  up by sperm whale and float on the water.

….connected with a morbid condition of the sperm whale. Often expelled by vomiting, ambergris floats in chunks on the water ...

After months of exposure on air, it 9___ and the color turns dark grey or black.

Following months to years of photo-degradation and oxidation in the ocean, this precursor gradually hardens, developing a dark grey or black colour...

Note:

Q8: From the question, we can assume that the answer must be a Verb, which is performed by sperm whale and forms with up to become a phrasal verb. It is also clear that this Verb should be in its passive form.

+ Consider this part of the paragraph: “...connected with a morbid condition … ambergris floats in chunks on the water…”, it contains all the keyword listed above, so the answer should be somewhere here.  

+ Now we select two verbs from this part, expell and vomit,  which one is the correct answer? If you just consider that it should be in its passive form, you would pick the wrong one since expell up is not a proper phrasal verb. On the other hands, if you choose vomiting as the answer of this question, although vomit up is a proper phrasal verb, it would be wrong too because the answer must be a verb in its passive form => So vomited should be the correct answer of this question.

Q9: From the question, we can assume that the answer must be a singular Verb, which describes the status of ambergris after months of exposure on air.

+  Take a look at this sentence: “Following months to years of photo-degradation and oxidation … a peculiar odour that is at once sweet, earthy, marine, and animalist”, it contains all the keywords listed above, so the answer (a Verb) could be somewhere here=> hardens is our correct answer.


G In that condition its specific gravity ranges from 0.780 to 0.926. It melts at a temperature of about 145 F into a fatty yellow resin-like liquid.It is soluble in ether, volatile and fixed oils, but only feebly acted on by acids. By digesting in hot alcohol, a peculiar substance termed ambrein is obtained. In chemical constitution ambrein very closely resembles cholesterin, a principle found abundantly in biliary calculi . It is therefore more than probable that ambergris, from the position in which it is found and its chemical constitution, is a biliary concretion analogous to what is formed in other mammals.


H The industries founded on ambergris resulted in the slaughter of sperm whales  almost to extinction. Sperm whales were killed in two massive hunts, the Moby Dick whalers who worked mainly between 1740-1880, and the modem whalers whose operations peaked in 1964, when 29,255 were killed. Most recent estimates suggest a global population of about 360,000 animals down from about 1,100,000 before whaling. In the 20th century, 90% of ambergris was derived in the processing of killing sperm whales. To this day, ambergris is still the most expensive product in the whole body of sperm whale. Depending on its quality, raw ambergris fetches approximately 20 USD per gram. In the United States, possession of any part of an endangered species-including ambergris that has washed ashore-is a violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1978.

Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Q10: In the 20th century, most ambergris was made in the process of killing sperm whale.

In the 20th century, 90% of ambergris was derived in the processing of killing sperm whales.

Note:

Q10: Considering the details in the fourth sentence of the paragraph, it could be inferred that the question statement is confirmed in the passage => The answer is TRUE.

Q11:

Question statement: Ambergris’s cost increased recently.

So we must find the information in the passage describing the cost of ambergris witnessed an increase recently. But the passage does not contain this information, it just shows the price of ambergris is about 20 USD per gram. => The answer is NOT GIVEN.


I Historically, the primary commercial use of ambergris has been in fragrance chemistry. However, it is difficult to get a consistent and reliable supply of high quality ambergris. Due to demand for ambergris and its high price, replacement compounds have been sought out by the fragrance industry and chemically synthesized. The most important of these is Ambrox, which has taken its place as the most widely used amber odorant in perfume manufacture. Procedures for the microbial production of Ambrox have also been devised.


Keywords in Questions

Similar words in Passage

Q13: Ambergris is still the most important amber odorant in perfume manufacture.

The most important of these is Ambrox, which has taken its place as the most widely used amber odorant in perfume manufacture.

Note:

Q12: Question statement: Ambergris still remains in the perfume making.

Since we cannot find any information containing these keywords, the answer must be Not Given.

Q13:

From the text: “The most important of these is Ambrox, which has taken its place as the most widely used amber odorant in perfume manufacture ”, it could be inferred that Ambrox is the most important amber odorant in perfume manufacture, not ambergris => The answer is FALSE.

 

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Great thanks to volunteer Truong Nhat Minh (IELTS Reading 8.0) has contributed these explanations and question markings.

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Questions 1-5

Classify the following statement as applying to

A Ambergris only
B Amber only
C Both amber and ambergris
D Neither amber nor ambergris


1 very expensive
Answer: A    Locate
2 food flavor
Answer: C    Locate
3 used as currency
Answer: D
4 referred to in a communication
Answer: A    Locate
5 could be seen through
Answer: B    Locate

Questions 6-9

Complete the Summary paragraph described below in boxes 6-9 on your answer
sheet. Write the correct answer with ONE WORD.

The formation of ambergris experiences several stages. First, when sperm whale eats thehard and sharp 6
Answer: beaks    Locate of squid, its intestine will produce ambergris to facilitate the 7
Answer: passage    Locate. Then, ambergris can be 8
Answer: vomited    Locate up by sperm whale and float on the water. After months of exposure on air, it 9
Answer: hardens    Locate and the color turns dark grey or black.

Question 10-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the passage?
In boxes 10-13 on your sheet, write


TRUE  if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE  if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN  if there is no information on this


10 In the 20th century, most ambergris was made in the process of killing sperm whale.
Answer: TRUE    Locate
11 Ambergris’s cost increased recently.
Answer: NOT GIVEN
12 Ambergris still remains in the perfume making.
Answer: NOT GIVEN
13 Ambergris is still the most important amber odorant in perfume manufacture.
Answer: FALSE    Locate

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