Cork IELTS Reading: Sample, Answer Key and Questions

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IELTS cork Reading

Cork IELTS Reading: The IELTS Reading section, boasting approximately 40 questions, stands as a rigorous assessment of an individual’s reading comprehension skills. It delves into a varied range of tasks, demanding the ability to discern the central gist, pinpoint core ideas, extract specific details, scan efficiently, grasp logical arguments, and identify expressed opinions.


One intriguing theme frequently encountered in IELTS Reading passages is “Cork.” Test-takers are presented with passages centered around the topic of cork and subsequently challenged to demonstrate their comprehension through various question formats. Read the article to learn more about Cork IELTS reading. 

Cork IELTS Reading Answer 

Cork IELTS Reading Answer: Refer to the passages below and try solving the questions on your own. You may check your solutions with the help of the cork IELTS reading answer key.


“Cork, the thick bark of the cork oak tree is a terrific material. The material is robust, elastic, buoyant, and fire-resistant. It is ideal for a wide array of uses. Ancient Egyptians used cork to seal their stone coffins, whilst the ancient  Greeks and Romans used it for making sandals.

The cork oak boasts a truly exceptional bark, reaching up to 20 centimeters in thickness. This robust layer serves as a natural thermal insulator, akin to a protective coat enveloping the trunk and branches. Remarkably, it maintains a consistent internal temperature of 20°C throughout the year, offering valuable protection in both scorching summers and chilly winters.

This remarkable adaptability likely evolved as a defense mechanism against forest fires. The unique cellular structure of cork oak bark, containing a staggering 40 million air-filled cells per cubic centimeter, has proven impossible for even the most advanced technology to replicate. These air-filled chambers not only contribute to the bark’s impressive insulating properties but also endow it with exceptional buoyancy. Furthermore, the resilient elastic nature of the cork cells allows them to spring back to their original form even after compression, a further testament to the bark’s remarkable functionality.

Cork oaks find their ideal habitat within the sun-drenched climes of the Mediterranean, with Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Morocco serving as notable homes for these resilient trees. Their preference for warmth and sunshine is complemented by a moderate annual rainfall range of 400 to 800 millimeters. Much like grape vines, cork oaks display a remarkable ability to thrive in impoverished soils, sending their intricate root systems deep down in pursuit of vital moisture and nutrients. Among the Mediterranean territories, Portugal’s southern Alentejo region perfectly aligns with these ideal conditions. This favorable convergence of ecological factors explains why, by the early 20th century, Alentejo had secured its position as the world’s leading cork producer, a title it maintains to this day, contributing roughly half of global cork production.

The cork industry is deeply rooted in tradition, with numerous family-owned businesses holding centuries-old expertise. This longevity extends to the trees themselves, many exceeding 200 years of age. Patience is indeed the defining characteristic of cork production, a slow and deliberate process demanding respect for the natural rhythms of the forest. From the initial planting of a sapling to the first harvest, a quarter-century must transpire. Subsequent harvests from the same tree follow a decade-long interval, with the finest quality cork requiring an additional 15 to 20 years. Even the precise timing of the harvest plays a crucial role. Stripping the bark on an unsuitable day, whether too cold or damp, risks harming the tree and compromising the yield.

Cork harvesting remains a highly specialized craft, demanding meticulous technique and deep understanding of the trees. No mechanized method has successfully replicated the precision required, thus entrusting the task to expert teams of craftsmen. Their work unfolds in a series of delicate steps. First, using small, sharpened axes, they meticulously etch vertical incisions into the bark. Subsequently, the craftsmen expertly leverage the bark away, aiming for the largest possible sections. The most skilled achieve an astonishing feat, extracting a semi-circular husk encompassing the entire trunk, from near the ground to the first branches. Following this intricate procedure, the harvested cork undergoes a four-month drying period on the ground before its journey to dedicated factories. There, the cork is boiled to ensure the thorough elimination of any lingering insects. Remarkably, over 60% of the harvested cork finds its way into the iconic form of bottle stoppers, while the remaining portion embarks on a diverse set of applications. Within the construction trade, corkboard and cork tiles shine as exceptional thermal and acoustic insulators. Meanwhile, repurposed cork granules lend their unique properties to the production of concrete.

TCA, formed through the interaction of plant phenols, chlorine, and mold, can negatively affect the taste of the product at incredibly low concentrations, as little as three to four parts per trillion. This potential for taint has sparked a gradual migration towards plastic stoppers, offering a more cost-effective solution. However, the recent emergence of aluminum screw caps presents a compelling alternative, combining user convenience with improved barrier properties and eliminating the risk of TCA contamination.

Despite recent challenges, the classic cork stopper retains several compelling advantages. First, its time-honored association with high-quality goods imbues it with an enduring elegance that alternative closures struggle to match. Second, and critically, cork boasts exceptional sustainability. It is readily recyclable, further adding to its environmental appeal. Moreover, cork forests act as valuable havens for local biodiversity and play a crucial role in preventing desertification within their regions. In light of today’s heightened environmental consciousness, these inherent benefits of cork rekindle optimism for its future.” 

Cork Reading Questions

Refer to the passage above before attempting the questions. 

IELTS Reading ‘True False Not Given Questions

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the given passage?  Write true, false or not given. 

Question 1: The cork oak has the thickest bark of any living tree.

Question 2:  Scientists have developed a synthetic cork with the same cellular structure as natural cork.

Question 3: Individual cork oak trees must be left for 25 years between the first and second harvest.

Question 4:  Cork bark should be stripped in dry atmospheric conditions.

Question 5: The only way to remove the bark from cork oak trees is by hand.

Answer Key

  1. Not Given 
  2. False
  3. False 
  4. True 
  5. True

IELTS Reading Note Completion Questions

Fill in the Blanks. Choose one word from the given passage for each answer. 

  1. Advantages of Aluminium Screw Caps 
  1. do not affect the 6_____ of the bottle contents
  2. are 7______ to produce
  3. are 8______ to use
  1. Advantages of cork bottle stoppers
  1. suit the ______ of quality products
  2. made from a _____ material
  3. easily _____
  4. cork forests aid _____ 
  5. cork forests stop _____ happening

Answer Key

  1. Taste
  2. Cheaper
  3. Convenient
  4. Image
  5. Sustainable 
  6. Recycled
  7. Biodiversity 
  8. Desertification 

How to Ace IELTS Reading? Best Preparation Tips and Book Recommendations 

The IELTS Reading section often evokes apprehension among test-takers due to its sheer complexity. The challenging nature of the passages, encompassing diverse topics and intricate language, can understandably lead to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion. Fortunately, by diligently focusing on effective strategies and refining your reading skills, you can navigate this obstacle with confidence and achieve optimal results.

Here are the best tips to help you score better in IELTS Reading: 

  • Engaging in daily reading can be valuable for enriching your English vocabulary and bolstering your overall language proficiency. Inculcating such a habit exposes you to diverse linguistic structures, expands your knowledge base, and fosters a deeper understanding of grammatical nuances. Through regularly reading articles, books and other written content, you can naturally learn new words, refine your writing style, and develop greater eloquence in your expression.
  • When tackling the IELTS Reading section, multiple close readings of the provided passages are recommended. This iterative approach fosters a deeper understanding of the central themes and key arguments presented. Consequently, by engaging in thorough analysis beyond the initial reading, you equip yourself to provide more accurate and nuanced responses to the test questions.
  • Solve as many practice papers as possible. Doing so will help you understand the nuances of the questions, types of questions that may be asked, amount of time that must be dedicated to each question and so on. 
  • In the IELTS Reading section, meticulous attention to language accuracy is paramount. Grammatical and spelling errors, although seemingly minor, can have a significant impact on your score. Therefore, prioritizing precision in written communication during the test ensures clarity of expression and minimizes the risk of inadvertent mark deductions.

Best Books For IELTS Reading

Here are some of the best books for IELTS preparation. Have a look. 

Name of the BookAuthor/PublisherPrice
IELTS Reading Companion Academic Module 2024Judith Ash SamINR 275
IELTS Academic Readings for Exam Practice 2023 Edition Pen Pencil INR 299
IELTS ACADEMIC READING For Exam Practice Vol. 2Black and White Publications INR 398
IELTS ACADEMIC READING For Exam Practice Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and Vol 3Pen Pencil INR 992

So that was all about Cork IELTS Reading. Hope the blog has answered your questions regarding the topic. 

Related Reads:

IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks, Strategies, TechniquesIELTS Reading – How to Improve Your Score!How to Get a High Score in IELTS Academic Reading?
IELTS Sample Tests: PDF (Download), Exam PatternMistakes to Avoid in the IELTS ReadingDifferent IELTS Bands: Listening and Reading Score


Q1. How many questions are in IELTS reading?

Ans: The IELTS Reading test contains 40 questions.

Q2. How to score better in IELTS reading? 

Ans: Crack the IELTS reading section by strategically pre-reading the questions, systematically highlighting key words throughout the passages, and carefully analysing the information presented in the introductions and conclusions.

Q3. What are the best books for IELTS Reading? 

Ans: IELTS Academic Reading, IELTS Reading Companion Academic Module 2024, and IELTS Academic 15 Reading Practice Tests are some of the best books for IELTS Reading. 

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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