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Read the following paragraph:

Morning is also great for breaking out the vitamins. Supplement absorption by the body is not temporal-dependent, but naturopath Pam Stone notes that the extra boost at breakfast helps us get energised for the day ahead. For improved absorption, Stone suggests pairing supplements with a food in which they are soluble and steering clear of caffeinated beverages. Finally, Stone warns to take care with storage; high potency is best for absorption, and warmth and humidity are known to deplete the potency of a supplement.

Now, Answer this MCQ:

Which is NOT mentioned as a way to improve supplement absorption?

A. avoiding drinks containing caffeine while taking supplements

B. taking supplements at breakfast

C. taking supplements with foods that can dissolve them

D. storing supplements in a cool, dry environment

I'd written "D" as correct answer, but official IELTS reading answer key says it's "B ". How?

Option "D" is nowhere mentioned in the paragraph, if it seems, then it's not a way to improve supplement absorption.

  • The test is misleading—although perhaps that's part of its intent. It would depend on if it's given along with other "trick" tests or not. The misleading part is the statement that "morning is great for breaking out the vitamins," the implication of which that morning is a better time than other times (which is backed up later on). This, despite the fact that it's not actually true on the specific criterion of "vitamin absorption." It's almost a form of underhanded deception that relies on a completely literal interpretation. – Jason Bassford Jun 16 '18 at 16:25
  • If it's meant to teach "common" comprehension and English usage, it does a poor job. – Jason Bassford Jun 16 '18 at 16:27
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    This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center. Answering comprehension questions is not about the nuts and bolts of the language, but about broader interpretation. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 16 '18 at 17:04
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    There's nothing wrong with the test question. All of the information necessary to select the correct answer is available in the prompt. It's not an EASY question, as it depends on having a fairly extensive vocabulary and appropriately interpreting a bunch of negations and antonyms, but it's not at all wrong or ambiguous, as some test questions we see are. – 1006a Jun 16 '18 at 17:21
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    You have to throw common sense out of the window and just read the text. If you don't understand what it is saying, or "why" B is the correct answer (NOT "how") then it's proof that the test is doing its job. The exam is testing comprehension not our opinion or what we think should be the answer. – Mari-Lou A Jun 17 '18 at 10:35
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B Is correct. "Morning is also great for breaking out the vitamins. Supplement absorption by the body is not temporal-dependent" means - depending on time. So there is not a relation between the absorption of supplements and time. (eg breakfast time).

D = "Stone warns to take care with storage; high potency is best for absorption, and warmth and humidity are known to deplete the potency of a supplement." (This means storing supplements in a cool, dry environment is crucial to avoid depleting the potency).

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    So are you saying that D is indeed correct? Or B as the answer key has it? Please make your answer explicit. @Ariana, it does appear that your test is not one of the best. – Andrew Leach Jun 16 '18 at 16:20
  • @AndrewLeach This test is given by the official British Council IELTS test providers. This is less test and more confusion! – Ariana Jun 16 '18 at 16:22
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    @RobynSimpson nailed it. On these kind of advanced tests, watch out for such trickery. Make sure you are laser-focused on the “call of the question” (i.e., what the question is specifically asking you for). It wasn’t just what was not mentioned, but what was not mentioned specifically as a way to improve supplement absorption. There will typically only be one credited response per question on these kinds of exams, so when two answers both seem correct, think in terms of choosing the best answer. – user302366 Jun 16 '18 at 17:41

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